Summary: It was a sequel to Silent Sacrifice Written by our dear SLoveless now known as Nephilim rising. I thought the story deserved to stay in fanfiction, so I went after it and found it in my files. Again thanks to our very dear Sloveless and Enjoy!

Sephiroth and Genesis travel to distant places, meet their fates and fight for their humanity.

Disclaimer: I own nothing or no one. And also the story is not changed a bit and also I ask from those who might have saved a copy from Silent Sacrifice to inform me and upload the story with Nephilim rising's permission.

Pairings: Sephiroth/Genesis

A/N: Warning: yaoi Sephiroth/Genesis. Light though, like always. Hard questions and hard choices. Bloody at times.

Carmine is the color of freedom.

Thy vows are all broken,

And light is thy fame:

I hear thy name spoken

And share in its shame.

Chapter I. Prelude.

The welkin above had a crimson tinge, a single zigzag among the fading blue. A small wisp of a new moon was barely visible among the white puffed clouds. They were sliding off to somewhere, hurried by the ruthless lash of cool wind.

This was not Gaia. This was a world with the name Sephiroth didn't know. Him and Genesis arrived there barely an hour ago, carried by the flow of Lifestream.

But it looked so like the planet that gave birth to him. Not that he felt any desire to return.

Gaia rejected him.

Sephiroth lay on the warm wet sand, his feet barely touching the cool of sea water. Small waves gently and lazily licked his heels, tickling his skin and rolling back. The beach was deserted; behind him the line of forest was dark in the distance, unfamiliar crooked trees bending over the ground and sweeping it with their long branches.

The air was full of strange foreign smells, all of them pleasant. And the faint whisper of the surf was a calming soothing caress to his ears.

No matter how much time passed Sephiroth would remember Jenova's raving, tearing his thoughts and mind asunder, albeit here she was no more.

Genesis was close; he could feel his lover's presence and knew that if he stretched out his arm he would be able to touch his palm.

"I am glad we left, Genesis," Sephiroth said without turning his head. "That life would have undone us."

"You speak as if I didn't know it." Genesis allowed a touch of supremacy to alter his melodic voice. "Although as many times as I reminded you, I'd say it again. This little journey would not be without a price."

"What price? We come to a new place with no names, with no pasts. We live dozens of different lives and flee before our nature can overtake us."

"True freedom?" His lover's voice was again carefree, almost playful. And his was a question, not a statement.

"Perhaps. And, perhaps, not."

"Implying…"

"Solitude is the worst cage one could think of." Sephiroth remembered his very clearly. It did feel as a cage, its rods driven through his soul as if it was flesh.

Genesis quietly laughed.

"And here I thought being dramatic was my role."

Sephiroth raised himself on the elbow, now facing his friend. He lay on his back, eyes closed, a wan smile caressing his lips. Weak sunrays were glistening on his wet auburn hair.

And his face was peaceful; peaceful at last. Sephiroth remembered his encounter in Modeoheim. Nothing of that sickly fervent passion remained; nothing of the hatred, nothing of the morbid pallor. He sometimes wondered how Genesis felt at that time; how it was to know that you were slowly dying…

His elbow sank deeply into the warm sand as his left hand gently slid along Genesis' neck. His skin was silky smooth with just two flaws Sephiroth grew to love. He had a scar on his shoulder, the one that started the degradation and another one on his neck, a recent addition that for some reasons wouldn't completely heal.

"You wanted to know how I found out about the Promised Land." Genesis' eyes opened, riveting on the pale face as the redhead spoke. Ardent overwhelming azure, looking into his very soul or such was Sephiroth's impression. He nodded wondering about his lover's sudden desire to share his memories. "When your cells cured me I found myself in the ashen wasteland of my doing. With all the bridges burnt, with Hollander gone, with my vengeance complete and dreams discarded my life had become quite aimless.

I still had a large number of copies at my command and I launched a couple of attacks on regional reactors. Only it didn't satisfy me at all.

I wanted more. I hated the ground I walked upon, I hated the air I breathed, I hated the landscape I saw. I felt caged. That was when I returned to my abandoned search of the gift since S-cells happened to be a wrong theory. Hours after hours I read Loveless, trying to find the weakness in its interpretation until I was suitably rewarded." Genesis raised himself on his elbow as well and cited with passion.

"Legend shall speak

Of sacrifice at world's end

The wind sails over the water's surface

Quietly, but surely…"

Sephiroth smirked.

"It tells nothing to me."

Genesis' fingers slid along his cheekbone.

"Water was the keyword. And Lifestream was the solution. Lifestream that carries us from one world to another. I returned to Banora ruin and underneath in its caverns found what I sought." And then all of a sudden his azure eyes flashed with genuine hatred. "The goddess discarded me though. Gaia wanted nothing to do with the wretched soul such as myself. She only promised she'd open the way so that sacrifice would be fulfilled." He closed his eyes, calming down, a sneer reappearing on his lips. "I only lacked a perfect monster to keep me company."

Sephiroth frowned.

"And so you came back."

"I planned my move carefully." Genesis carried on with the conversation. "All resources I had left were thrown into one last attack. I lured you out of Shin-Ra building. I waited for you to come to Nebelheim reactor. I revealed the truth so that you'd be broken to a point where you'd have no other choice but to join me in my venture." He leaned closer. "Only you snapped beyond that."

Sephiroth suddenly smirked, his lips curling more and more until he simply couldn't suppress a chuckle.

"Why are you so smug?" Genesis' eyebrows rose.

"Because of who we are." He replied. "We don't ask. We take."

Genesis laughed at that. Easily.

The lives they lived, with no real devotion, with no strong feelings attached, forced memories of their fall out of their minds for most of times. They fought countless wars without taking the trouble to find out about their origins; they intruded into lives of hundreds of people, like fleeting shadows in twilight, destroying or mending their souls.

They were restless wanderers, with no home to return to, with an alluring star of freedom to guide them.

Only how long could it really last?

Genesis pushed him back, claiming his lips with demand. Wet droplets streamed down his cheeks, his chiseled neck, landing on Sephiroth's skin, mixing with the kiss. Wet salty droplets. His tongue slid along soft fiery flesh, tasting tart smack of sea water it now had.

Genesis was the first one to move away, pressing his lips to Sephiroth's ear.

"We take…" His lover gently bit his earlobe. "I certainly like that. Because I always get what I want."

By now Genesis knew all his weaknesses. Sephiroth closed his eyes, reveling in pleasure that felt like crackling of glowing embers.

It was a prelude for a game they both enjoyed. Just a simple prelude, but by the end of it Sephiroth could hardly think about anything else other than a mark that was definitely on the pale skin of his neck. He thought Genesis' lips were still there although they moved down finding another weak spot. Sephiroth moaned, fingers sinking into smooth deepening of his lover's arching back.

Genesis claimed his right then. He surrendered. On a tenantless shore of an unfamiliar world, under the setting sun, and this time wasn't his first nor was it his last.

Nebelheim taught him a lesson. If his lover didn't bother stopping him, for whatever selfish reasons he might have had, Sephiroth would have become a lifeless walking husk, an all-consuming void.

He surrendered. It no longer feared him. It no longer bothered him. Much…

It was painful at first but pain was something Sephiroth was taught to bare since his early childhood years. And then as Genesis pushed himself further, streams of bliss washed over his body, painting the darkening sky in vivid colors.

Every inch of him felt Genesis' presence. Every inch of him desired it, the fickle teasing feeling of lips on his sensitive skin, soft melodic moan, azure flash between the trembling half-closed eyelashes.

Sephiroth's neck arched, his head sinking into cooling warmth of sand, lips parting for the cry that never escaped them.

Genesis almost collapsed on top of him, disengaging. They were both breathing heavily by now, holding onto the short fragile moment when the rapture still flowed through their bodies. A larger wave hit the shore, fresh water sliding between his legs.

Sephiroth smirked for no reason at all. Perhaps, since he rarely expressed himself differently. This habit came from his early childhood years, years of pain and struggle as he tried to find himself in that world, growing to love his uniqueness.

After all he had nothing or no one to love at that time.

But it changed now…

Sephiroth's lips gently touched the scar on Genesis' neck as his tongue slid along the thin uneven line.

Genesis trembled slightly.

"How many times do I have to ask of you to be more careful?" His voice was muffled against his lover's skin.

Genesis stirred at once, raising himself on his palms.

"You are not my mother, Sephiroth." His voice was sharp.

A smirk and an arching silver eyebrow was an answer. Genesis' lips curved into an arrogant smile as he pushed himself off the sand and ascended into the air, leaving Sephiroth in the waterfall of jet-black feathers.

These emotional outbursts were always beyond him to understand.

But Sephiroth knew Genesis will soon be back. The songbird would return to its golden cage.

One wretched soul was bound to another.

Rising to his feet, Sephiroth stretched and walked into the fresh sea water. He needed to wash the sand off his body and his silver hair. Once it reached his chest he dived abruptly and into the sea depth.

Dusk. Sea.

Genesis.

Freedom…

Was it freedom that he sought all his life?

Sephiroth was not at fault. Genesis was waiting for him on the shore, fully dressed with a smirk on his lips as he caught sight of him. Sephiroth almost felt his gaze sliding along his frame from top to toe. Genesis' eyes continued to watch him silently as he picked up his leather attire and gracefully slid into it.

By the time he was ready to leave the sun almost hid behind the sealine. They could either travel in utter darkness without the knowledge where to go or find a place to spend the night at.

Genesis preferred the second option.

"Let's find a cave in those rocks." He gestured to the nearby gathering of cliffs.

And so they rose into midair, leaving black feathers scattered on the peaceful dusky shore.

… The cave they found was a small one but since it was high above the water's surface waves never reached it. It was completely dry inside, although with the ground being hard and uneven one would definitely not call it comfortable. Spreading their coats they put aside their swords and lay down, facing the entrance. Sephiroth put his chin on the back of his palms, turning his eyes towards the glistening sea water. It was completely dark by then, thin crescent shining dimly behind light smoky clouds. Weak waves smashed against the rocks underneath and the sound of it was calming; Sephiroth's eyes slowly closed, the landscape disappearing replaced by utter blackness…

"Do you remember Banora?" Genesis suddenly asked, his voice breaking the silence into myriads of melodic sounds. Then he chuckled, almost at once. "I know, wrong question. You remember everything."

Sephiroth suppressed a shrug. His lover answered the question.

"There is an apple tree there still. Just a single tree on the barren." Genesis continued. "The one that has been my pride is long but gone."

"You are still attached to that place, no matter how far we run." Sephiroth smirked a bit. "No matter how hard you pretend you hate everything about Gaia."

"Perhaps," Genesis agreed easily. "It holds a lot of memories, of me and Angeal mostly."

Sephiroth opened his eyes, gingerly, as if afraid that even something as simple as this could ruin the moment.

"How did you find out he fell?"

"Hollander told me." Genesis quietly sighed. "Only at that time it hardly meant anything to me. I was at Modeoheim then, as close to discovering the cure as I've never been before."

Sephiroth hemmed.

"Angeal's dream had been fulfilled… Or so I always wished to believe."

"When we join the Lifestream the three of us would be reunited once again." His lover stirred, trying to get more comfortable. "Then we'll have the chance to find out."

After remembering Angeal Sephiroth had no desire to continue the conversation and soon he was slowly falling into the blackness of slumber, with no strange dreams of his to alter it this time…

When Sephiroth woke up it was still dark, way before dawn. Weak rays of moonlight penetrated utter blackness and bathing in it the rocks became silvery.

It took him moments to realize what woke him up. It was the smell. Sickening sweet and heady smell that haunted him since that fateful encounter in Modeoheim filled his nostrils.

Smell of Genesis' blood.

His eyes riveted on his lover immediately. He was awake, azure eyes shining dimly, his skin paler than usual, covered in sweat.

"Genesis, what's wrong?"

"I cut my palm on the rock," his reply was deadpan. And yet Sephiroth could feel there was something else on redhead's mind. "And I had a nightmare."

"What nightmare?" He immediately demanded.

Genesis motioned to get up but Sephiroth almost pushed him back, with force.

"Answer me."

For a moment his lover fought himself, obviously struggling between a true response and an arrogant excuse.

Genesis chose the first.

"About Banora."

It was not completely true that their pasts were forgotten.

Now and then memories would come back. Nebelheim, Midgar and Banora, the clear-cut trail of blood and madness.

"You never talked about it before." Emerald eyes with silent question looked directly into azure depths.

Perhaps, if it was any other time Genesis would have refused again. But right now it felt as if something snapped inside him. His palm absently wiped his damp forehead, long refined fingers slightly trembling.

"I slit my mother's throat." He began with ruthless straightforwardness. "She knew it was coming, although my steps were light and darkness was impenetrable. She whispered my name before I was done. She wasn't begging for her life." Genesis' words were toneless, barely audible. "She was begging me to stop for later… later I would understand what I had done."

At times like that Sephiroth felt like he was talking to himself. He silently motioned for his lover to continue.

"It was easy after that. All that followed was nothing compared to my first doing. I hid in black flames of my hatred, shrouded in madness. I was a monster." Genesis was shaking now. "But I have nothing to shield me any longer."

That he didn't and that was the price.

Sephiroth seized his shoulders, looking into lifeless azure depths.

"You don't need to hide," he whispered with conviction. "You can tell me anything, knowing that I am not going anywhere."

"Of course you aren't," his lover's voice was again full of cruel mockery, "because like me you have nowhere else to go."

His friend's palm clutched onto his shoulder. The smell became sharper and a sticky wet liquid tickled his skin.

Sephiroth's fingers slid along Genesis' damp cheek.

"It is of no consequences now," he whispered, leaning closer and kissing him. Genesis responded with hunger, with fervent all-consuming passion.

To Sephiroth it felt like tasting hellish flames.