Alright, here's the second part to My gift to You. I'm sure you notice that this one's significantly longer than the first. Yeah, Skiba had a lot of details she wanted in here, but no biggie, it was fun to write.

Pairing: Sephiroth/Zack

Warnings: sex. If it's not your thing, don't read it.

Summary: Sephiroth finds a way to repay Zack.

It had been about a week since Lapin had been given to Sephiroth. One week and the little lop bunny was already close to his heart. He found that since getting Lapin, he no longer spent so much time in his office after hours. It was nice knowing that there was something to come 'home' to after work. He and Zack hadn't yet reached the point in their blossoming relationship where they were willing to live together. Sephiroth was still a bit guarded when it came to getting close to others emotionally, but he was glad that Zack was more than willing to give him time.

Usually, it was only the other SOLDIER First who could get the General to leave his office. All it really took were some well spoken words and a few well placed kisses and touches. But now, Sepiroth had Lapin waiting for him, waiting to be let out to hop around and be spoiled with the affection he couldn't quite yet show Zack. So with the last document of the day completed at 1900, Sephiroth stood from his desk and left his office.

He was happy to walk into his apartment and hear the shuffling of bedding from the bunny's cage. He instantly felt a smile tug at his lips, and he didn't resist it. After closing the front door, he made his way to Lapin's cage and first checked to see if he needed food or anymore water. There was still an adequate supply of water in the bottle that hung on the cage wall, enough to last until the morning, and there was still some of the dried alfalfa hay from earlier today. Sephiroth would feed him some romaine lettuce leaves later before going to bed. After his inspection, the General knelt down and unhooked the latch on Lapin's cage, letting the door down. Seeing this, the gray lop bunny gladly hopped from his cage and set about sniffing at Sephiroth's boots.

This brought a chuckle to the man's lips and he let his hand down to stroke the little animal.

"I am going to go shower, Lapin. I'll leave you to your own devices and then give you all the attention you would like when I return." Funny how he didn't feel the least bit foolish talking to this animal when he knew it could not understand him.

Sephiroth raised himself up and carefully made his way to his bedroom, being mindful of where Lapin might be. The little gray ball of fur seemed to find an interest in one of the new toys Sephiroth had bought for him, so the man did not have to worry about him sneaking into the bedroom. During the week, Sephiroth had set about training Lapin. It seemed that Zack was right; the little bunny was smart and was already taking to the training. Sephiroth felt better about Lapin being left alone, outside his cage for longer periods of time since he had pretty much learned the function of the litter box in the kitchen. Still, Sephiroth made certain to not be absent for too long for worry that Lapin may get bored with his toys and set about doing more destructive activities. When Sephiroth had to leave for work, Lapin was kept in his cage with a couple of his toys. But even though he had things to keep himself occupied, the little bunny was always excited when Sephiroth entered the apartment, seeming to know that his coming home meant freedom and plenty of attention.

Once in his room, door closed, the General set about undressing. He removed his boots and placed them by the door, first. Next, he removed the signature leather coat and hung it in his large closet. Absently he rubbed one of his shoulders, trying to work out a small knot there before unclasping the belt on his waist. He placed it on a hanger beside his coat, and in the corner of his vision, saw his beloved Masumune shine in the low light of his bedroom. The sword was kept there in his closet whenever Sephiroth was not going on any missions. Contrary to what many people believed, he did not bring the large sword with him everywhere; that was impractical. Besides, Sephiroth had more than enough physical strength to defend himself without the Masumune having to be at his side all of the time. After leaving the closet, Sephiroth went to his dresser and rummaged through one of the drawers, finding a pair of light gray sweatpants. He set them down on the edge of his bed and removed his black leather pants, retrieving them from the floor and putting them away. Then, he headed into his bathroom.

Once in his spacious shower and under a spray of comfortably hot water, the General set about the task of meticulously cleaning every inch of his toned body. He went about it almost obsessively, making certain that no part of himself, no patch of flesh went without being soaped and scrubbed clean. He even made sure to clean under each one of his fingernails, before curling his body so he could scrub at his feet. The whole task always took time because he would go over his body again one or two more times. Once he was satisfied with his work, he let the hot water wash away the soap, and with it the tension in his muscles. The water formed numerous tiny rivulets that flowed from his neck and shoulders down his muscular torso and his long lean legs. The temperature in the bathroom rose and the heat of the spray made his pale skin blush faintly to a healthy looking pink. Sephiroth reached for his bottle of shampoo and began the lengthy task of washing long, thick silver hair. Despite how long it took to do his hair along with the sheer amount of hair product he used each time he washed his hair, which was every day, the General took pride in it. Though it was long and thick, it was also soft. It was also even, and it shined. His hair was really the only thing in life that Sephiroth had the capacity to be vain about, and he had no qualms with that.

While washing his hair, Sephiroth's mind was blank. There was no need to think about the day, the past, anything…well except maybe Lapin. As he did every evening in the shower since bringing the rabbit home, he wondered briefly if the ball of fluff was behaving. Lapin had proven to be a great little companion for him, just as Zack had believed. He was quiet and docile, smart but without mischief. But, most of all, the bunny craved attention, and Sephiroth was more than happy to give it. He just hoped the little thing wasn't getting bored. During some moments of free time, Sephiroth had used his office computer to look up some things on caring for rabbits. He'd learned that even the most docile rabbit could become destructive if not given adequate attention, exercise time, and toys, but he was pretty confident that he was doing well since he'd had no trouble with Lapin at all.

Finally, Sephiroth felt that he'd thoroughly shampooed his hair and went about rinsing it. Then, he went through it again with his conditioner. It proved to be just as time consuming a task, but once again he felt it was worth it. When he was done, he rinsed his hair again, turned off the shower spray, and stepped out onto the linoleum floor.

When Sephiroth finally reentered the living room, he was clad in only the simple pair of sweatpants he'd left on his bed. His hair was dried and brushed through, and his skin was still somewhat blushed. In all, he felt quite good. He was clean and the hot shower had soothed the tension in his muscles. He looked down to see Lapin chewing one of his toys. He smiled and gave the room a brief once over; nothing looked out of place or damaged, proving once again that Lapin had behaved. He walked to the bunny's cage and saw that the remaining alfalfa hay had been eaten. So he made his way into the kitchen and to the refrigerator. He located the head of romaine lettuce he had bought for Lapin and removed a couple of crisp leaves from it. He took the lettuce back into the living room and placed them in a clear spot in Lapin's cage for him to eat during the night. As he was about to stand back up, he happened to turn his head to see a pair of little brown eyes looking up at him. He smiled and reached out to pet soft gray fur before picking the bunny up.

Sephiroth sat down on his plush black couch and sat Lapin in his lap, then began rubbing his fingers over floppy, gray ears. His lips turned up in a content smile.

He really could not express how grateful he was to Zack for getting the bunny for him. Throughout the week he'd tried to think of a way to repay his second for such a wonderful gift, but he had no idea what he could possibly get them man. He'd tried to get an idea from his fellow First while trying not to make it obvious. Needless to say, being incognito was not a strongpoint of his. He remembered how Zack had just smiled and laughed that laugh of his.

'I've told you, Seph, you don't have to get me anything.'

'But I feel I should show my gratitude.'

'Seph, since I got you that rabbit you've been less tense. You don't stay cooped up in this office until ridiculous hours of the night, and that means that I don't have to come in here worrying and trying to get you to get some sleep. Not only that, but you smile more, or at least it's easier to get you to smile,' Zack explained. 'Seeing you happy, for once, is more than enough. Trust me.'

But to Sephiroth, it wasn't enough. How could his own happiness serve as a gift to the vivacious SOLDIER? He couldn't quite grasp the concept; after all, what benefit did Zack get from another person being happy? He looked down at Lapin who was lounging in his lap while long fingers deftly stroked his fur, and he frowned as he often did when he was confused and at a loss.

There just had to be something…

As he usually did, Zack burst through Sephiroth's office door at promptly 1100 hours. And, as usual, he saw the General buried in paperwork. Honestly, was it really necessary to swamp the man in paper work when he wasn't on the battlefield? Zack always informed Sephiroth of what he thought about the workload, saying that that was the reason he was so cranky. And because Sephiroth was a workaholic, he did it all without complaint, but he never took any breaks. Once Zack had gotten closer to him though, the SOLDIER made sure that the General took at least one break, and tried to make sure that he didn't overwork himself, which he was also very prone to doing.

"Good morning, Seph!"

Sepiroth didn't bother to look up. He knew there was only one person brave (or perhaps stupid) enough to noisily barge into his office. He'd actually grown accustomed to the seemingly rude behavior, but he hadn't realized it until Zack had been sent off on a mission outside Midgar and the noisy greetings ceased. He'd found that Zack's visits had become a part of his routine, and he hadn't had an easy time getting work done with the lack of noise brought on by his second's absence. So now Sephiroth didn't even flinch when Zack came charging through the door to greet him.

"Hello, Zackary," he said. He could sense Zack coming closer, and without looking, he tilted his head up so that his and the other's lips met. He felt the brunette weave his hand through the hair at the base of his skull and deepen the kiss before they parted.

"How's the paperwork?" Zack asked with a smirk.

Sephiroth snorted.

Zack only chuckled before rounding the desk and taking a seat on the edge on Sephiroth's right. He was careful not to make a mess of the papers; it wasn't yet noon, nowhere near the time of day to be taking drastic measures to get the General to take a break. However, it was the perfect time of day to harass the General into eating lunch, as Zack knew for a fact that Sephiroth did not eat in the mornings.

"So, wanna take a break for lunch?"

Sephiroth only turned his eyes to his second. He had a look on his face like he was about to state something that the other should have already known. Upon seeing that expression, Zack put his hands up in an innocent gesture.

"Seph, I don't have to kidnap you from your precious work in order for us to have lunch. I could just bring back something and we could eat in here. I'll be careful not to get any crumbs on your lovely desk."

"That isn't necessary, Zackary," Sephiroth said, his eye already back on the document he'd been reviewing. "If you'd like, you can get something to bring back, but I have supplied myself with adequate food."

Zack huffed. "You call those hunks of chewy cardboard and sawdust 'adequate'? I wouldn't expect a starving stray dog to eat those things!"

"Regardless of taste, Zackary, they are an appropriate source of nutrients. Therefore they are acceptable."

Zack sighed, but looked like he was about to try and argue his case again. Sephiroth however, would not give him the chance. He'd actually been counting on Zack's doing this. It gave him the perfect opportunity to set his plan in motion.

"Look. If you cease now, I should like to invite to my rooms later this evening. We can have dinner together…in private," Sephiroth spoke in a soft voice, the one he knew Zack couldn't resist.

Zack instantly shut his mouth. He then put on a face as if he was closely considering the invitation, but Sephiroth knew he had won. He didn't often invite his second to his apartment for them to be together. He'd had a second key card to his apartment made for the man, but that was after Zack had nearly broken down the door to get to him when he'd been horribly ill after a periodical appointment with Hojo. However, even though he had a key, Zack only went into the apartment with an invitation…except the week prior, when he'd gotten Lapin and his supplies. The truth was, Zack was only putting on that little façade of consideration just to be stubborn. He'd never pass up a chance to spend more time with the General.

"Well…alright," Zack relented. In response, Sephiroth smiled. Part one of his plan had worked; hopefully the rest would go just as smoothly.

"Good. Now go and get yourself something to eat, and if you'd like you may bring it back here. Just don't make a mess," he said the last part as if he were speaking to a child.

Zack perked up instantly and grinned. He hopped off the desk and gave Sephiroth a kiss before heading out of the office.

"Be back in a few!"

Sephiroth only chuckled before going back to his work.

He was sitting on his couch contently watching Lapin hop about when there was a knock at his door. He couldn't help the smile that came to his face as he went to answer it. His plan was going well so far. He had told Zack that he would call him, when he was ready for him. He'd let himself out of work early (he deserved it, after all) and went shopping for a few things. Once he got home, he'd begun preparing the meal. He'd not long put the chocobo steaks up to marinade, and he had a mushroom sauce simmering on the stove. He was already enjoying this dinner idea.

He made his way to his door and opened it revealing his second clad in civilian's clothes.

"Good evening, Zackary," he purred when he got a good look at the man.

Zack had shown up wearing an untucked polo shirt, the buttons on the collar undone. It was colored in stripes of varying blues and grays with bits of black and white. The stripes themselves were in varying sizes, and that coupled with the scattering of color created a sense of disorganization which was so very suitable for him. The shirt fit his form very well, Sephiroth observed, showing off the broadness of his shoulders with the short sleeves hugging his biceps. Zack also wore a pair of very nice form fitting jeans, the denim colored a blue that was neither light nor dark. But the General smirked as he noticed that his hair was just as unruly as ever. He cleaned up very well though.

He gladly let Zack pull him down to kiss him. He let his control slip and ran a hand up Zack's arm feeling the coiled muscle beneath his skin.

"I brought beer," Zack said with a grin, holding up the case of alcohol.

Sephiroth only chuckled before moving aside, letting the younger man in and closing the door. "Place it in the kitchen, Zackary."

He couldn't stop his eyes from wandering over his second's body as he passed. Zack really wore those clothes well, he mused as he noticed, then, how those blue jeans hugged at legs finely sculpted by innumerable hours of training. They seemed to loosen as they went down passed the knees and bunched around his shoes. Sephiroth snorted when he realized that Zack was wearing his SOLDIER combat boots.

"Are you checking out my ass, Seph?" Zack asked as he put his beer into the refrigerator. He could almost hear the smirk in the man's voice.

The blush that came to his face could not have been held back.

"Whatever would make you think that, Zackary?" Sephiroth countered in what he hoped to be an incredulous tone. However, Zack had just exited the kitchen and was facing him. Judging by his grin, he could see the blush that painted Sephiroth's face in the low light.

"Do I really need to answer that?"

"Well if you must know," Sephiroth began as he approached his second, "I was not 'checking out your ass.' I was 'checking out' all of you."

He finished the statement by pulling Zack close him and dipping his head down to capture his lips in his own. He was feeling quite emboldened tonight, but he was usually much more comfortable with reciprocating affection in the privacy of his own apartment. No one, no one was brave enough to disturb the General while he was in his own quarters. Except Zack, of course. But that was simply because Zack had long established the fact that no threat of dismemberment would keep him from looking after the silver haired man.

"Go sit down while I finish preparing our meal," Sephiroth said softly when they pulled away. He then strode back into the kitchen.

He first checked and stirred the mushroom sauce. When he was satisfied with that he went to his refrigerator and pulled out the two steaks that he'd kept in there, wrapped and marinating. He chosen the steaks because he remembered a conversation Zack had had with him once before. Zack probably thought he wasn't listening, but as habit, Sephiroth listened to everything and it was proving to work to his advantage. He brought the steaks to the counter next to the stove where there was a pan that he had seasoned and heating. He was in the process of going back to the refrigerator to get the vegetables for steaming, when Zack poked his head into the kitchen.

"So, whatcha makin', huh, Seph?"

Just like a puppy. Nosey. "Now, you don't worry about that- do not approach that stove, Zackary." Sephiroth had seen the young man about to make a beeline to his cooking space as he passed him, and stopped him then and there with a stern command. So much like a puppy…

"Come here," Sephiroth told him as he opened the refrigerator. He heard heavy footsteps indicating that his order had been obeyed.

He looked up to see Zack looking at him curiously. He only chuckled before handing him a glass plate adorned with slices of melon arranged in a radial pattern.

"Take this into the living room and place it on the coffee table. It should tide us over until our main course is ready," Sephiroth purred. "In the meantime, while I prepare the vegetables, why don't you play with Lapin; the last thing I need is to have both of you bored and wrecking the place."

Zack mock pouted as Sephiroth straightened and closed the refrigerator door, but he obeyed. He went back into the living room and sat down on the couch, placing the plate on the table as instructed. He looked over the arrangement of the fruit before popping a piece into his mouth. He savored the sweetness. It wasn't often that one had the luxury of eating sweet fruit in Midgar, considering how barren the land was around the heavily industrialized city. As he was about to reach for another slice of the fruit, he felt a small weight on his foot. He glanced down and saw a familiar ball of grey fluff and brown eyes.

"Well, hey there," Zack said softly, reaching down to pet Lapin behind his floppy ears.

Clearly, Zack observed, the little bunny loved attention, which was what he'd hoped for when he bought it for the General. He knew that the reason why Sephiroth stayed in his office for so long was because, really, there had been nothing at his apartment to come back to. He knew how Sephiroth thought; there had to be a practical reason for nearly everything he did. Despite the great amount of energy he had as an enhanced SOLDIER, Sephiroth did not want to waste it, any of it, for anything that did not have a purpose. So, in Sephiroth's mind, there was little need to return to his apartment, where there was nothing productive to do; not when he could just stay in his office, until he deemed it necessary for him to sleep, and work. Zack had a sneaking suspicion that that was the reason why the General was always so swamped with paperwork. It was likely that the higher-ups knew of his habits and figured why not give the work we don't want to do to someone who does. Although that was not at all the case; Sephiroth hated spending so much time in that office. He was a man engineered for war, for battle. How cruel it was to keep a fighter cooped up in small room like that. And, of course, the silver haired man wouldn't say anything; he never complained. At all.

Sephiroth stepped into the living room after setting up the vegetables to steam and rechecking the sauce. He smiled when he saw Zack petting Lapin and Lapin clearly content with it. However, his smile faltered when he saw the look on his second's face. It was blank, but his brow was only slightly pinched. He was thinking about something, and it wasn't a happy thought. He made his way to sit down on Zack's left and looked at him for a moment to see if he'd notice his presence.

He didn't.

His own brow drawing in concern, Sephiroth placed a hand on Zack's shoulder and just lightly shook to get his attention. It seemed to be enough as Zack only jerked slightly before looking up into the concerned eyes of the General. They seemed to ask if he were alright. Zack smiled to reassure him and planted a soft kiss on pale lips.

"You were thinking." It was a statement, but it had a tone that only Zack could notice. The General wanted to ask what he was thinking about, but just didn't know how to do so.

"Well, Seph, I am capable of it," he said with a smirk. He needed to lighten the mood.

Sephiroth made a small noise in response. He looked like he wanted to press him further, to try and understand what was wrong. It only seemed to make matters worse that Zack was trying to change the subject because that was one thing in which they were similar; they tried to deviate from the issue at hand, to get the attention off of them when they were distressed. However, Zack seemed to read him and smiled.

"Seph, it's alright. Nothing's wrong, I promise." That did put Sephiroth at ease. Zack never promised anything without it being true, especially to him.

Zack decided to change the subject, then. He chose to pick up a piece of the sliced melon and he held it out to Sephiroth between his thumb and index finger. Cyan eyes looked at him quizzically, and he offered only a smirk and a raise of an eyebrow. The General only narrowed eyes and pursed his lips before opening his mouth and taking the piece of fruit into his mouth along with Zack's finger. He held it there for a few seconds, looking up into Zack's mako blue eyes through thick lashes, before slowly pulling away, sucking lightly as he did. Zack only gaped at him as he chewed the fruit. Sephiroth barely had time to swallow before his head was turned and lips were crushed against his own.

It only took him a few seconds to engage his mind before he returned the kiss with equal fervor bringing his hand up to tangle in Zack's spikes. He fell back onto the couch cushions with Zack on top of him, but neither seemed to take much notice to the change in position and their lips stayed locked. Sephiroth could feel Zack's tongue rub against his own and he moaned softly into the other's mouth, tugging lightly on the black spikes around his fingers. Calloused hands slid up under his white button up shirt and pushed it further up his torso as they explored his skin. He arched up into those hands and pulled harder at Zack's hair earning him a moan from the other. It was when he felt a hand begin to dip into the hem of his black slacks that he pulled away, earning him an endearing sound of protest from the brunette. He could only chuckles softly when he was met with an openly pouting face.

"Shouldn't this wait until there isn't food cooking in the next room?" The General asked huskily.

Zack only growled and proceeded to continue pouting as he lifted himself off of the taller man. Just as Sephiroth was beginning to sit up, he heard the timer he'd set in the kitchen go off.

It had only taken a few more minutes to finish the meal's preparations, which included pan searing the steaks, but it was mostly setting up the plates. Once the plates were fixed, he called the brunette into the kitchen to sit at the small table. When Zack was seated, Sephiroth presented the meal: a seared chocobo steak with mushroom sauce sided with an assortment of vegetables. Zack could only gape at the still sizzling meat, even when Sephiroth placed a chilled beer besid the plate. Sephiroth himself had a small glass of wine with his meal. When he sat across from Zack, he noticed that the man was still staring at his food.

"Are you not going to try it?" Sephiroth asked. "I should like to know if I did well."

His voice seemed to snap Zack out of his daze, but almost instantly he made a face at his plate. Sephiroth couldn't help but notice a sinking feeling in his stomach. Was something wrong? He watched Zack pick up his fork and spear one of the vegetable, one that was small, round, and green.

"Brussels sprouts?" Zack asked incredulously.

"Do you not like them?"

Zack shook his head. "It's not that, it's just," he motioned to the food in front of him. "I never thought you'd be the type to eat brussels sprouts, I mean, the carrots and asparagus? Fine. But Brussels sprouts?"

Sephiroth's head tiled to one side. "Why not? They are rich in vitamins A and C as well as folic acid, so they have good nutritional value."

The brunette sighed then chuckled lightly at the General's justification.

"It figures you'd only look at food for its nutritional value. Do you ever decide on what to eat based on taste?"

"I happen to find their taste to my liking, Zackary," Sephiroth countered.

Another sigh came from Zack's lips, but there was a smile there as well. "Well to answer your question, yes, I like them. I'm just picky about how they're cooked," he said as he plopped the small vegetable into his mouth and chewed. "And I happen to like how yours are cooked."

Sephiroth chuckled.

"What," Zack said with a pout.

They fell into a comfortable silence as they ate, but Sephiroth chose to observe Zack and gauge his reactions to the rest of the meal. Judging by the way he practically shoveled the food into his mouth, Sephiroth felt it reasonable to conclude that the brunette was enjoying the meal. He however, ate much slower, preferring to actually enjoy the flavor of his food and, more importantly, not risk choking on it.

"So…not that I'm complaining-" Zack started.

"Chew and swallow your food before talking, Zackary," Sephiroth sighed as if talking to a child.

Zack seemed to decide to listen and swallowed audibly before trying to talk again.

"Not that I'm complaining, Seph, but why steak, if you don't mind my asking."

"I thought I should like to make something that you enjoy."

"But, how did you know that I like chocobo steaks?"

Sephiroth chuckled. "While it may not seem like I'm listening, I actually retain a lot more information than most do when fully engaged in conversation."

"Huh?" was Zack's eloquent response as he scratched his head.

Sephiroth only ate another small piece of his steak before answering. Only…it wasn't much of an answer.

"Exactly my point, Zackary…"

Zack seemed to give up and attribute it to Sephiroth just being Sephiroth. The rest of their meal passed in relative silence, though Zack had asked how well Sephiroth was doing with training Lapin. Zack could not help but smile at the fondness he heard in the other man's voice as he talked about the little bunny. The brunette had never been so happy with the outcome of one of his crazy ideas. He was just happy that he'd managed to get Sephiroth a pet that was docile and attention-loving. He also quite impressed at how well Sephiroth had caught on to pet care, and how well he was doing at training the bunny. Zack had honestly thought that General would eventually come to him about something regarding the care of the rabbit, but that hadn't been the case. It didn't bother him though. Zack was just happy that Sephiroth had something to take care of so he wouldn't be so lonely.

After the meal and after the dishes had been cleaned, both men sat on Sephiroth's couch. Zack had stared flipping through channels on Sephiroths wall-mounted television, while the General himself sat beside him, laying his head on Zack's shoulder while contently petting an equally content Lapin in his lap. There wasn't much to talk about, but the silence was anything but uncomfortable. They just sat together enjoying each other's company. Although Sephiroth was inwardly preparing the final stage of his plan; everything else up until now had gone smoothly. It was just a matter of keeping his second there for the night. He smiled when he felt Zack's hand run through his hair absently. It wouldn't be difficult to keep the man in his apartment, not difficult at all.

"I should probably go, Seph," Zack whispered.

Sephiroth only hummed before pressing closer to the other. "I'd prefer you didn't."

Zack chuckled a rubbed a finger over one of Lapin's floppy ears.

"I'd like you to stay tonight," Sephiroth said.

"Seph, you only have one room and one bed. I like this couch and all but…"

Sephiroth only smiled to himself. The man was playing dumb, trying to get him to outright say what he wanted. Zack tended to be able to read him better than any other person. That also meant that he could tell when Sephiroth wanted something or wanted to say something but couldn't address it. It was how he'd been conditioned. He was a weapon. He wasn't supposed to complain, to want. All he was supposed to do was keep silent and do what the higher ups told him to do. Zack had been trying to break that habit. He would play like he did not understand what Sephiroth was trying to say to a point that, eventually, he'd give up and outright say it. However, this often went on for hours due to Sephiroth's reluctance and Zack's seemingly infinite patience. That would not do this time.

"You will sleep in my bed. Beside me. Is that not what couples do?" The General asked as he shifted his gaze up to the other.

Zack turned his head and met the other's gaze. "So you're saying we're a couple?"

"I wouldn't allow you to kiss me and touch me so intimately unless that was the case," Sephiroth said, matter-of-factly. "I have no interest, nor intention of letting another have you."

Zack could only grin at the display of possessiveness. "Well since you put it that way…I suppose I have no choice but to stay. It's hard to say no to you." With that, he leaned down to plant a kiss on the other.

Sephiroth looked a bit smug as he stood up with Lapin in his arms and carried him over to his cage. Once Lapin was taken care of, he made his way back over to Zack and held out his hand to him.

"While it may be late, I do have a gift to give you"

"Seph, I told you-"

"Don't think of it as repayment then. People give gifts to those they care for, you said so yourself."

Zack was impressed. Sephiroth was using one of his arguments against him in order to get his way. Then again, although he wasn't supposed to want, if Sephiroth did want something, he usually got it. Of course, Zack was more than willing to give into the man; it was just a matter of coaxing him into making his wants known. Conceding, Zack took Sephiroth's offered hand and allowed himself to be pulled into standing.

"I guess I can't really say no when you're trying so hard." It was trying, for Sephiroth, to say things outright that weren't orders.

The conversation ended there and they made their way into the General's bedroom. Once the door was closed, Sephiroth found himself pressed against it with another pair of lips against his own. He felt those hands on him again, pushing up into his shirt and running of his skin. He wrapped his arms around the brunette's broad shoulders and pulled him flush against him. Those lips left his and went to his neck where he felt Zack nip at his skin. He ground his hips against the brunette and he pushed back, pressing his clothed arousal against his thigh. Absently, Sephiroth pushed away from the door and led them both to the bed where they fell. He pulled Zack away from his neck and looked him in the eyes.

"Take off those boots. I know where they've been, and I know they are not going on this bed." It was an order.

Zack smirked before getting to his feet but keeping himself bent over the General. He easily kicked the boots off of his feet and used the moment to push his socks off as well. He really didn't know why he had kept the damn things on. Maybe he'd just forgotten about them; he forgot about a lot of things while with Sephiroth.

"So, this gift," Zack purred, "is it, by any chance, you?"

The sliver haired man answered with a smirk of his own before pulling his second completely on top of him. He pulled him into another deep kiss before answering.

"You would be correct, Zackary. I felt I should give you a gift that compares to the gift you gave me, it only seemed fair. However, no matter what I could think of, nothing seemed good enough. I figured the best thing I could give you, in return for giving me Lapin, was myself."

"Seph-" he was quieted by a long, elegant finger pressed to his lips.

"I told you: do not think of it as repayment. I'm not doing this out of an obligation. I want this."

He moved his finger away from Zack's lips.

"Of course, the gift is not just myself. Eventually, I will be willing to give you that for all time. No, tonight I'm yours to have however you want. Anything you wish for me to do and I will."

Zack only groaned with desire. "I bet you weren't even trying to sound sexy, either."

"Well if I did, it's an added bonus," Sephiroth purred.

Their lips locked again and they ground against each other, seeking that friction. Fingers tangled into cloth as they tried to find a way to remove the cloth barriers between them without breaking apart. Seeing it a futile endeavor, they broke away, saying nothing, just working to remove clothing as quickly as they could. Shirts fell away and pooled on the floor and, they found themselves desperately seeking to feel every inch of newly exposed skin.

Zack took the reigns as he usually did and slowly kissed a trail down the pale body beneath him while his fingers explored every beautiful curve and angle. He reached the navel and could feel taught muscles flutter beneath his lips. Those hips twitched and he looked up at his lover's face. Cyan eyes were glazed in lust and hooded by long think lashes; slitted pupils were drawn so thin, that had he not had enhanced sight he probably would not have seen them. Beautiful lips were slightly parted. It was the perfect picture of lust, in Zack's opinion.

He continued his journey downward until he reached the hem of Sephiroth's slacks where he pulled away. A sound of protest came from the general's lips and his hips bucked. Zack smiled and sat back on his knees between long legs. He let his fingers toy at the fly of the others pants before undoing it. Fingers pulled lightly and those hips rose up, their owner clearly eager to have those pants removed.

Sephiroth gasped softly as the open air hit his sensitive erection. He looked to Zack to see what he would do, and he saw those brilliant mako blue eyes narrowed as his second smirked at him. He moaned in a mix of need and frustration and he wrapped his fingers around his leaking sex, seeking even the slightest relief. However, his hand was batted away.

"No." The command came out as a husky growl, and it made a shiver creep up his spine. Secretly, he loved when Zack told him what to do, especially in that voice.

"Zackary…" it came out as a whisper as he strained to keep his voice from cracking.

There was a rustle of fabric as Zack's jeans were stripped, and they joined the pile at the foot of the bed. Now that they were both bare, Zack crawled back up over the taller man and pressed his body against him placing soft kisses over the others lips and jaw. He felt Sephiroth rock against him and those strong arms wrapped around his shoulders trying to pull him closer. As a response, Zack tangled his fingers into soft silver hair and pulled roughly. The pulling stopped but he was still locked under those arms. Suddenly, he rolled them over so that the General was above him. Sephiroth was snapped out of his daze at the change in position. He moved his arms from under Zack and propped himself up on his elbows, looking down at the brunette questioningly.

"I figured we'd try it this way tonight," Zack whispered a smile on his lips.

I took a moment for the General to understand his meaning. When it dawned on him, he instantly looked uneasy.

"But-" Sephiroth started to argue.

"Ah, ah. You said I could have you anyway I wanted. Whatever I want to do, you do it," Zack said. "I want you like this."

"You want me…to penetrate you? But, Zack-"

"No 'buts,' Seph. I humored you the first time. This time, humor me. Besides, I've had fun fantasizing about what it'd be like with you inside me." He punctuated the statement with a grin. It was more the put Sephiroth at ease than anything.

He could see the conflict in those eyes as they looked away. He knew what was wrong though.

"You won't hurt me," he reassured. "I know you're strong, but don't forget: so am I. I can handle a lot more than you're giving me credit for."

Sephiroth did not seem convinced. "I could still hurt you."

"You just have to go slow. It's what I did with you. I know you have this unbelievable pain tolerance, but as long as we go slow, you won't hurt me," Zack tried hard to coax the other.

When it almost didn't seem like he would succeed he relented a bit.

"Look," he punctuated the word by turning Sephrioth's face to towards his. "We'll try this. And if you don't like it, we'll go back to me being on top. Just let me have this, at least this once."

It took a moment, but he knew that the other wouldn't continue to deny him. While he knew that with coaching, it would be fine; Sephiroth would cave since he knew that if something went wrong, they could go back to what he was comfortable with. They'd had this same argument their first time, and Zack had relented then. But this time, Sephiroth had given him the option of having him how he wanted. He wanted this. He wanted Sephiroth to take him. And he was more than willing to do whatever it took to ease the other into the idea. Finally, he became aware of a soft sigh of surrender from above him. He could only smile and bring the man in for a loving kiss.

"Thank you, Seph."

He allowed Sephiroth to take his time exploring his body. As he was with everything, he was thorough. He seemed to be trying his damnedest to memorize every inch, every subtle curve of Zack's tanned body. It was torturous, but he cooperated allowing the man to explore him and go at his own pace. Eventually though, it became too much and he felt a need to hurry things along. He allowed the man to languidly stroke him, but he only allowed him to continue if he used his fingers to breach him. Gradually, he got Sephiroth to prepare him, moaning his encouragement. He reached down and tugged lightly at silver hair, trying to pull him up.

"Seph," he moaned. "Come up here, I want to kiss you."

The General had been gently kissing and nipping at Zack's thigh, but upon hearing his second, he slowly moved back up. As he moved, he kissed, nipped, did anything he could to coax those beautiful moans from the brunette. They comforted him, encouraged him, and told him that he was doing something right. He let Zack pull him the rest of the way up and didn't resist when he was pulled into a fierce kiss. With one hand, he reached up into Zack's hair and tugged. In response, Zack writhed and bucked beneath him. He felt calloused hands on either side of his face and felt them slide back to grab at his hair again.

The need for oxygen won out over their desires, and they parted. They locked eyes for a moment before Zack bucked his hips into Sephiroth.

"I'm ready Seph."

He watched Sephiroth hesitate for only a moment. Then, he moved downward putting his hands behind Zack's knees, pushing them up. Zack moaned when he felt Sephiroth breach him. He kept his body relaxed and whispered soft words of endearment to man above him as he eased forward, inch by inch. When he was fully seated inside, Sephiroth released a breath he hadn't realized he was holding, and Zack could only laugh softly at him. They stayed that way a few moments so as to gather themselves before Zack coaxed Sephiroth into moving.

"Go ahead and move, Seph," he murmured.

He felt Sephiroth pull back then thrust into him, and his breath hitched.

"That's it…" his voice tapered off as the General repeated the motion again, and again.

They started slow, gently rocking against each other building up a rhythm that served both of them. Gradually though, their pace increased, and the heated air was filled with moans and Zack's words of love and devotion.

"You're doing so well," he punctuated this with a kiss to tightly drawn lips. "You catch on fast, as usual."

Sephiroth said nothing. The only noise he made was a strained exhaling breath. This earned him a chuckle from the man beneath him.

"Why are you suddenly so quiet?" Zack asked him, after a few more choked off sounds. "We talked about this, Seph. No holding back."

Sephiroth had done this same thing their first time. He tried as hard as he could to stay silent, seemingly afraid to make a sound. It was a barrier, Zack knew, to protect himself, to protect him from more emotional pain. But, Zack would have none of it.

The brunette reached up and tugged at the other's hair harshly.

"Go faster, Seph," it was a whisper, but it was a command nonetheless. "No holding back."

With that Zack went quiet; not because he wanted to but because whatever barrier Sephiroth had constructed crumbled, and whatever restraints he had broke along with it. A passion awoke in those beautiful eyes and they shined like the mako that created their glow. He moved faster, driving forward harder, deeper into the younger man. Whatever voice Zack had left him, and he could only gaze in awe and admiration at the beautiful creature he was suddenly faced with, this creature that moaned with him, breathed with him. He relished in the feeling of that powerful body moving against him, into him, watched as coiled muscle trembled beneath porcelain skin.

This was what he'd wanted. He'd wanted to see that shell break so he could see the passion he knew this legendary warrior held.

Zack cried out in pleasure when that spot within him was struck, and he felt his voice return. He begged for Sephiroth to move faster, harder, and he obeyed, aiming for that spot each time. They moved together in a feverish rhythm, embracing each other while desperately trying to keep up their pace. Sephiroth's ears were filled with breathless "I love you"s from his second that soon dissolved into incoherent strings of moans and broken syllables. One of his hands, seemingly with a mind all its own, moved to grip the younger man's straining sex, fingers stroking roughly with every thrust he made into the willing body beneath him.

Moans became cries and pleas, pleas of men torn between wanting completion and wanting the passion to never end. They could only keep moving and the need for release finally overtook them, their rhythm becoming erratic, falling out of synch. They just moved, thrusting and stroking and writhing with abandon. Zack arched off of the bed and howled the General's name, pleading wordlessly for completion as if he were a man begging for his life. Cyan eyes were wide open, staring blankly into the other's face. He could not see the glowing blue irises; they were hidden behind tightly closed lids. But he watched the stunning tan face regardless, watched it contort in agonizing pleasure.

"S-seph, I-" it was the first coherent thing to come from brunette's lips.

Sephiroth's only response was a choked groan.

They came together, hoarse cries of ecstasy echoing off of the walls. Zack arched up into Sephiroth; his eyes falling open to stare blindly above him; his mouth gaped open in choked scream. His hands scrabbled blindly for the General's thick biceps and gripped them like a lifeline. Sephiroth arched forward throwing his head back and groaning in a most beautiful display. He would have been the perfect picture of ecstasy had Zack been remotely coherent, but in his pleasure, he was a blind man. White-hot seed splashed between their bodies and onto their stomachs. Sephiroth's arm buckled, and he fell onto his elbows his facing coming within a mere breath of Zack's own. Their eyes remained wide open as if they were staring into each other, but they saw nothing through the haze. They twitched and trembled in the aftershocks of their orgasm.

After a few moments, Zack's mind was the first to emerge from its haze, his eyes the first to regain proper vision. He looked up into a pale, beautiful face stained an endearing pink in a blush. Cyan eyes were glazed over and lacked focus, staring through him as if he were not there. The slitted pupils had dilated to the point that they looked rounded, silken silver locks stuck to sweat slicked skin. He ran his hands up and down muscled arms lovingly, waiting for silver haired man to regain awareness. He watched as the glow returned to those eyes and the pupils contracted back to familiar cat like slits. He smiled when those eyes finally focused on him.

"Welcome back," he purred softly.

Sephiroth continued staring for a moment before his eyes flickered closed and he dropped onto the other, knocking the air out of him. Zack only chuckled softly and wrapped his arms securely around broad shoulders. They lay there in each other's arms, trying to catch their breath and slow their pounding hearts. The room was hot and heavy with the scent of sweat and sex, but the two SOLDIERs would not be bothered with it. They lay in content silence, exploring with their fingertips, pressing light kisses over each other. Zack was the first to break the silence.

"So how was it?"

It took a moment for the fog to clear in Sephiroth's mind so that he could comprehend what he'd been asked.

"I found it quite enjoyable," he said finally.

"See, I told you it wouldn't be so bad," Zack said with a chuckle. "And you didn't hurt me at all…though I may have trouble walking tomorrow."

"You're not going anywhere tomorrow. You and I are off duty."

Zack couldn't help but laugh.

"The General, Sephiroth, the poster child of workaholics, is taking a day off of his own free will? Now I've seen everything."

Sephiroth snorted before resting his head on Zack's chest, drawing circles on tan skin with his pale fingers.

"Yes well, Gaia knows how late it is, now. And I'll probably have to spend the day with Lapin due to the trauma we may have put his little ears through."

Zack only laughed and shook his head fondly.

"…So how about you?" he heard the General ask softly.

Zack lifted his head to peer at the top Sephiroth's head. "What about me, Seph?"

"Did you enjoy it?"

Zack smirked and began running fingers through silver hair. Even after sex, the locks were still silky to the touch.

"I did. Thank you."

"…You're welcome."