Author's Note: I gave myself a challenge - attempt to write Sephiroth/Cloud in the most canon way possible with a philosophical/theoretical outlook. This story is written in phases or theories which are common plots and reasons why people like Sephiroth/Cloud and love them together. I know what some of you are thinking, but really this is CANON. :)
I had Nephilim Rising in mind when writing this, along with "I am so dead when she sees this..." but to add fire to flames: this story is dedicated to Nephilim Rising. :D


Phase 1: Replacement Theory

Reason: Sephiroth is sore and hurt and Cloud can give him satisfaction.

There is no denying any adamant relationship, which stood beyond friendly between the man with hair of flames and the man with hair of steel. Their wills, accomplishments, challenges and strengths equated, complimented and where one surpassed the other it merely drew them nearer. A misplaced foot in dances of steel and enemy knocked shielded by a black body with a rush of power. A stumbled word in lyrical iambic prose guided by a cultured voice with a flow of passion.

Passion and Power. Power and Passion. Both complimentary qualities so overwhelming and consuming in nature had them intrigued with the other in a silent rivalry from battle to bed. They thought thoughts no mind had thought possible – not thoughts of their own, but the thoughts of each other.

Although Genesis' strength drew from his words, none of the sort swept between the romance they shared. Not a confession, or a thought, or even the mundane dilly-dally of how the day had faired for them and so on. There was a solid foundation of understanding, of knowing, and such intimacy was raw – of the purest kind, without doubt or conflict, just knowledge and acceptance. More than what Sephiroth would have asked for.

Genesis did not disrupt his life – he had become a wonderful addition, one he enjoyed meeting and spending time with. The one person whose very presence would affect him greater than the confines of his cage (a cage of lack of knowing what he was truly capable of), almost revolutionary, like a taste of freedom with the fresh air in the scent of his hair and the sun in his rose-lipped smile. An epitome of beauty.

Sephiroth, a man of pride and nothing more felt so strongly drawn to him – the narcissistic perfection. The education, the finesse, the ardour, the arrogance, the cultured accents, the passion...irreplaceable beauty. An irreplaceable being. What more could he ask for? Someone who complimented him in every possible way – one which reflected every quality he so felt intrigued by. A love of one's self, a pride in one...of great accomplishments that few could ever achieve and the desire to do great things furthermore.

Their rivalry was one something that could not be matched by any other. How they appeared to be so full of hate towards each other to those who understood little of their relationship, in truth was a rivalry they loved to share. It surged with pure energy and fuelled suppressed desires – how they could only yearn for each other as in their eyes the other was their better.

There was no destruction, no topic, which had been left undiscussed, their differences were mere similarities – where Sephiroth felt passion on the battlefield and knocking kings off a checked board, Genesis felt it likewise with a blade in one hand and a book in another. How could either of them deny a relationship of sparks and true flames? How could they ignore the perfection they felt in shared company?

How could Sephiroth ever find someone more perfect than perfection itself?

If he had ever needed to spend his days musing over, it had to be someone with a brain craving knowledge beyond what the world had to give. That state of mind he shared with Genesis, and on multiple occasions they discussed life and death, the cosmos and the immediate universe. That fiery tempered redhead had wit, that was for certain, he had a mind that was not wasteful, but it was brimming with an intelligence unique and very welcome to Sephiroth.

Likewise, they shared what they knew. Where Genesis spoke of poetic verse and symbolic meanings, Sephiroth told him what he knew of numbers and strategic warfare – and Genesis cared not whether the topic really was worth much to him, and Sephiroth much the same to what he had to say. It was the matter of knowledge, of understanding each other and both had impressive amounts of intelligence on differing areas, but of the same level of aptitude.

And his beauty...

Even if it were not for those rich, sapphire eyes so full of life and zest, or the wonderfully soft locks of auburn silk framing such a pretty, porcelain face with those lusciously seductive red lips...

What Genesis already had in his blood, his heart and his mind was enough for Sephiroth – he could have looked plain and boring, but his appearance, (and his vanity) only brought him nearer and nearer. Then came the shared attraction...the shared fascination which only brought them steps closer which soon turned into many steps as the years progressed, till not a gap of any size dared separate them and how they clung to each other in a most peculiar mix of their person. Of Passion and Power, how both alone are much the same, and combined they are the essence of absolute greatness. fate had it, Genesis lost himself to a crippling illness – his body surrendering to a battle as he slowly, but surely, began to degrade. And he kept his mouth shut, for many days, weeks, then months; trying so hopelessly to convince his dearest friend and his lover that he truly was fine. He was still pretty and vibrant during those times, but Sephiroth did sense an air about him, an air of confusion and slight worry, almost of sadness. With that, upon the first hearing of a need for a blood transfusion, he allowed himself his first moment of irrationality and bared his veins to Hollander, yelling at Angeal and the doctor that he needed to give his blood, that the silly scientist should take it all out of him if need be, for Genesis' sake, only to realise their blood's incompatibility...

The first mention of incompatibility. How the two, so inseparable, so alike, could ever be incompatible. There had to be a mistake somewhere, Hollander must have got it wrong...they could never be incompatible!

However, with his illness, came bitterness, and the Genesis that he so cherished had fled from him. How he thought that he changed, but somewhere, in the recesses of his mind, Sephiroth knew Genesis had not and never will change. Despite degradation he could not bring threat or harm to him, he knew, he knew so well that Genesis had a reason – he was not one to act so irrationally, at times there could be minor flares, but to take a whole army of SOLDIERs with him into MIA? It made little sense to Sephiroth, but even so, the madness of it all, he still felt that deep connection, that one which could not sever him from the only individual he shared all that truly mattered with – the only individual who understood him and he understood in kind.

Then came Nibelheim – How he would have died, not even with a thought of Genesis. He knew he was somewhere, he was somewhere and he was someone so much better than the mediocre race poisoning the world. He felt nothing for humanity, rather he desired to destroy the word, not out of fury or other petty human emotions, but out of power kept suppressed for too long. He had obtained godhood, thus he must fulfil his duty...

Somehow...the most curious thing happened.

There was that blonde cadet. What was his name? Sephiroth didn't care for petty bits of information. Oh yes! Cloud Strife..some cadet.

As they battled in the tempest, Cloud weak with being himself really, the two locking their swords together and the blonde huffed, face contorted with the utmost hatred against Sephiroth's calm features, the former General of SOLDIER blinked – taken aback by what he saw. Regardless of how dumb looking they were, Cloud had eyes that were blue, just like his much cherished Genesis (even though Genesis's eyes were much nicer shade of cerulean), even if they lacked the spark of wit and flamboyant playfulness. And that hair was rather pretty, even though it wasn't as uniquely lovely as Genesis' soft auburn locks, oh and he had a nice face too...not as perfectly fine-boned as Genesis and of a pure, smooth ivory tone, but something like a lightly sun-browned white with freckles...

But he was so hurt over the loss of much pain and anguish! But this beautiful (not as much as Genesis, but enough) young cadet...could he be the one? Could he really be the one to heal him and offer him salvation and the love he so desires? Could he be so many times more brilliant than Genesis? He could be, he so definitely could be better than nasty, hot-tempered, narcissistic Genesis. He could be...the one for Sephiroth. The perfect one meant for him.

Somehow, the battle ceased...and they got to drinking coffee at a local cafe. Cloud got to moping about how pathetic his life was and how Sephiroth destroyed everyone he loved, which is always very attractive. In terms of philosophy, purpose, knowledge – the kid had nothing to offer him aside from a new insight into just how hopeless humanity is.

Cloud...was everything he hated in humanity. Hopelessness, all-round pathetic and irrational (not to mention brainless), but even so, he felt attached to this human. Even went so far as to love him, and needed to repent for his sins to make up for Cloud. This cadet...who has no battle experience, no life experience, no knowledge of the world he lives in and the people in it, no perception, no passion, just blindness, weakness and romantic fanboy tendencies. He was everything that Genesis was not (yes, he wasn't even as fabulously attractive as his former lover either), but somehow, that didn't matter. This god, Sephiroth, would sacrifice his godhood to be with someone as clearly fantastic as Cloud. Forget Genesis, he screwed up his mind and played with his heart too much. so much better.

The better half of Sephiroth.

And how joyous would Genesis be to see who (or what) he was replaced by.

And Sephiroth was folding napkins in the cafe, sipping his coffee and listening intently to each intelligent word that Cloud the cute little cadet spoke...

Before thrusting Masamune through his open mouth to shut him up and watch as his dumb blue eyes dimmed as blood gushed out of his gaping orifice. He then ran the blade through his jaw and slit down his throat and vertebra, watching keenly as his neck gave way and his head hung limp from his shoulders. Satisfied, he removed his sword and wiped it down on the table, giving the shocked waitress a generous tip and left.

He had a Genesis to go find.

Phase 1 complete.

I call these 'phases' because there is always more than one theory they use to create the complete Sephiroth/Cloud relationship, what happens to each phase as we go...they become, abolished before the next theory can even be applied so they are hardly phases because with use of canon, they work up to NOTHING. :D For all you Seph/Cloud lovers, this is canon. Flames will be ignored, but constructive crit. welcome. :)