A/N:

Ah, the cursed writers block. It took waaaay to long to write this. But yeah~

Fanfiction is being so friggin picky!

It takes forever for me to even upload a fic, I can't edit my profile or update the poll.

-sigh-

Ah well…

Just as a random note: I'm almost to 10,000 profile hits, yay! I dunno why the fact is making me so happy, but it is. Hehe.

Enjoy and review please!

Rating (chapter): T+ (language, violence, fluff…)

Disclaimer: I do not own. Nor shall I . This is for fun.

Words: 3,183

Summary: Gift for karupinsama: It was a twist of fate that no one expected, especially not the three men thrown from their world into its future. Watch as Sephiroth, Genesis and Angeal learn the truth about themselves and their destiny.

A twist of fate

By Catsitta

Part Eight: Strife

It was an hour before Sephiroth began to form a migraine.

Already slightly on edge from the fact that Cloud decided to enlist him and his friends into his elite, and that he decided to dump the trio in the middle of them, his irritation and snappishness only grew worse. Most of the Angels were standoffish or aloof, apparently aware of the trio's story but not quite accepting. But one seemed damned determined to make friends.

Carmen, the Angel First.

She was tall for a woman, broad about the shoulders and well muscled. Her eyes were dark and her skinned webbed with scars, but the easy smile she wore seemed to mask all of it. Of course, Carmen was 'one-of –the-boys' it seemed and if it were not for the quality of her voice and the curves of her body, it would be easy enough to mistake her for a male. The way she walked, spoke and acted was typical of any SOLDIER Sephiroth had observed: Bold, confident and blunt. Carmen wasted no time with pretty words or a false pretense. What you saw was what you got.

And unfortunately, she was chatty.

It was not as if she spoke of anything vaguely useful, being as Sephiroth and his friends were still 'probationary' and until they were full Angels, certain company secrets stayed that way. So, the silver General was forced to tolerate her insistent company as he watched his friends socialize. Yes, they had some difficulty with many of the men, but by the hours end, the worst of ice had melted.

Even Genesis, and his flash fire temper, had managed to win over some of the Angels. Angeal and his honorable, responsible ways always seemed to gain respect, but for Genesis… Sephiroth shook his head. Only one person spoke to him for more than a few words and that person would not shut up!

Broodingly, the silver General began to massage his temples, glaring at the little semi circle at the gym's center where his friends were mock sparring. After months without a blade in hand, it was no wonder the pair were taking things slow as they re-accustomed themselves with the feel and weight of their weapons.

His fingers twitched at the prospect of a good spar. How he longed to take up Masamune and allow her to taste freshly spilt blood. They were the perfect match: a blade and man had never before moved with such harmony…Well, except perhaps Cloud and First Tsurugi.

"You don't talk much, do you?" Carmen inquired after actually managing to remain quiet for more than five seconds. "Then again, I never supposed you would." She was idly cleaning her nails with a boot knife, grimacing occasionally when the point pricked the tender nail bed. "General Strife mentioned you had a dry sense of humor and would likely make some sort of remark if provoked…" The dark-eyed Angel shifted her hips in a distinctly female manner and quirked a brow. "Have you anything to say? Seriously, anything at all."

Sephiroth grimaced and let one, cat-like eye slide over to look at his persistent companion. Carmen was being obnoxious on purpose? Of course…just his luck. "I speak when I deem it necessary. Never anymore than need be." He informed her, and the Angel grinned prettily. What could he say? It had been a while since Sephiroth had even seen a woman, much less had one in bed. Even a loquacious female that stood nearly as tall as he and was giving him one hell of a migraine had a few redeeming qualities at the moment.

"Hm. You've such a pretty voice." Carmen crooned—likely, the first feminine remark she made since the start of the one-sided conversation.

The silver General grunted with annoyance. He had to admit, her attention was quickly becoming obnoxious once again. Which was odd, since, he had tolerated considerably more nonsense from women before getting drug into the future. Now, it seemed his patience for such foolishness had dropped.

"Carmen," Sephiroth was startled to hear Cloud actually laugh the name out affectionately, "silly girl. Get off of him." The Angel smirked at her General. Said General arched a brow a motioned with his wrist. Odd. He never noticed Cloud's return until the blond spoke.

"You just want him for yourself," the woman retorted with a toss of her head as she strutted away. If anything, her graceful, powerful—almost predatory stride—revealed that, beneath the silly façade, Carmen was very dangerous.

As the female Angel greeted her comrades, Sephiroth glanced at the tiny General beside him. All of humor had fled, leaving a dangerous ire that bespoke of his inner upset. Cloud gazed stormily towards the nine Angels before him, and for a moment, a series of emotions swirled in the mako-tainted depths of his eyes. Anger and uncertainty were amongst them. But as quickly as his barriers fell, they were up again, enveloping everything in ice.

"I expect that there will be no issues between you and my elite," Cloud said after a while,"These times we are in are riddled with enemies and danger, having discord in the ranks would be very…unpleasant."

Sephiroth blinked slowly, before responding in a low voice,"We are in agreement, General. I wish to give you no reason to distrust myself and my friends."

"See that you keep that mindset," Cloud motioned towards the silver General,"But, now, I must escort you to your new living arrangement."

He heard laughter. Sephiroth looked up, away from the blond, to see Genesis strike a cocky pose and shoot the gunman, Vincent, a lewd smile. The man actually flushed slightly, his human hand rising to touch the scarf around his neck. The red clad Commander grinned triumphantly as he fiddled with the matching cloth wrapped around his own throat. A crude gesture and a smirk later found the pair face-to-face—Vincent looking flustered and Genesis smug.

Someone whistled and few chuckled.

Apparently, his Commanders were making friends quicker than he had suspected.

"Done?" Cloud asked, breaking Sephiroth from his thoughts. A quick nod and a few long strides later, the silver General once again found himself alone…save for the blond leading the way. It was foolish, what he felt, and he was not quite sure of its name, but the emptiness and sense of loneliness that filled his chest was difficult to deny or ignore. Was it possible that Angeal and Genesis no longer needed him? Had they found others to replace the young General whom they claimed was their closest friend? And if so, why did it hurt?

Hell, why did anything hurt?

He was the Demon of Wutai, and nothing fazed him! He was strong, fearless and emotionless in the heat of battle. Yet…

Sephiroth found himself recoiling at his own doubts. Weakness was not something he tolerated, especially from himself. Thus, he straightened his shoulders and emptied his mind.

000X000

Genesis was feeling rather proud of himself.

Vincent Valentine, the third highest ranked official in the Neo ShinRa military, was utterly speechless. Ruby eyes dilated in response to his advances, one of many signs that the gunman was little more than a tiny bit interested. The red clad SOLDIER—er, correction, Angel—grinned devilishly. It waxed poetic, the way the other man flushed and tugged at his collar.

It had taken a few months and a little more than just a couple blatant suggestions, but apparently he had wormed his way into the indifferent gunman's heart…or, at least into his mind…Genesis was curious if the Wutaian-looking man ever touched himself with fantasies of them together playing through his thoughts.

No longer angry for the earlier deception and the confinement for many months, Genesis found himself with very clear, very narrowed thoughts. It had been too long since he had a man in his bed that it was almost impossible not to ravish the gunman where he stood. But, for all he was a passionate creature by nature, as redheads were prone to being, he was no exhibitionist. He would play and tease Vincent for the sake of satisfying his inner need for dramatics, but when it came to his partners and sex, he was very possessive. Some would even call him jealous.

After tonight, no one would be able to lay claim on the red-eyed gunman and Vincent would never wish to stray.

Not quite certain when his curiosity turned into a dangerous lust, Genesis began to formulate his plan. After all, they were going to be living together…at least until he and his friends earned the 'trust' of the higher ups.

"Genesis…" Vincent's voice was a low, husky growl that sent shivers up the auburn warrior's spine. "Release me this instant!" Genesis chuckled softly and untangled himself from his flushed quarry. The gunman did his best to maintain a cool, dignified aura, but after losing his composure before practically all the Angels, it was difficult for him to recover.

Archer, a sandy-haired teen with a high-tech crossbow hooked at his hip and a thick scar over one eye, let out yet another sharp whistle. He was apparently enjoying the show at Vincent's expense. Edge and Aron looked none too amused, and kept muttering about inappropriate conduct.

Genesis hummed softly, his hazel eyes focused on his captor.

It was only a matter of time, he told himself, before his pent up desires were at last realized and dealt with.

000X000

Angeal was not exactly certain what to think of his current scenario.

At his side was his cheerful lover, whom made no effort to hide his affections as he stroked the larger man's muscled arm. To the left, about ten feet, stood a small crowd around Genesis and Vincent as the auburn swordsman flirted shamelessly with the gunman. And just to his right, standing somewhat uncomfortably, was the helmeted Angel, Kunsel. So far, Angeal learned that he and Zack were close friends and went through the SOLDIER program together. Except, Zack rose in the ranks and became a First while Kunsel stayed, apparently happily, a Second.

"So it's true." Kunsel said after a drawn out pause. He lifted a gloved hand to scratch at the side of his helmet. "Man. Angeal Hewley, it's been years since I've seen you in the flesh. To think, I thought you were mean and scary when I was a kid."

"Why would you think that?"

The Angel shrugged,"Well, you were nice enough and all the SOLDIERs loved you and talked about how patient and strong you were. But you have to admit, a five foot five Cadet who's a little on the underweight side would find a bulky, First Class SOLDIER rather intimidating."

"I'm not that bulky…" Angeal grumbled, only to have Zack squeeze his arm and laugh.

"Yeah, you are, but in a good way." The raven-haired man stated.

"Can I ask a question?"

Zack grinned and nodded,"'Course yah can Kunsel."

The Angel fidgeted some and glanced at the door,"Is it true?"

"Huh?" Angeal and Zack both wore confused expressions.

"You know what I mean, Zack. The rumors about the Generals…are they true?"

"Always the gossip, eh?"

"Wasn't cold-blooded enough to be a Turk, but I do like to keep…informed."

"You know what, Kunsel…I don't really know." Zack admitted.

"Know what, exactly?" Angeal growled. He did not like the fact that his lover or his lover's friend would gossip about Sephiroth in front of him.

Kunsel shivered,"If Generals Sephiroth and Strife are…involved."

"From what I have observed, they hate each other." The bulky swordsman replied darkly.

"Awe, don't be a grump, 'Geal. C'mon, let's see if we can wipe that scowl off your face!" Zack chirped rather happily.

"But—"

"Not buts, 'Geal."

And for some reason, Angeal allowed himself to fall silent.

000X000

It was a bizarre but welcome relief to enter Cloud's quarters.

After so many months of whitewashed walls, seeing the soft pallet of earthy shades was enough to lift Sephirth's spirits some. The apartment was somewhat smaller than he expected, but the living room itself was bigger than his cell, and the kitchen alongside it was far from extravagant, but the way all the furniture was arranged, it all screamed 'spacious'.

Sephiroth tempted to lounge across the long, leather couch the moment he saw it, but he kept his movements conservative. He was a guest in this place, and Cloud did not strike him as the forgiving type in the least. So he followed quietly as the blond pointed out various features of the apartment, including the fact that there was only one bathroom, and it was adjacent the only bedroom.

As the tour ended, the tiny General motioned at the couch the silver-haired warrior had eyed earlier. "You'll sleep here. In the mornings, do as you will to prepare for a day of training. Because when I leave, so do you, and while I am not in the building, you will be one of the training facilities. Myself or another officer will escort you back here every evening. Any questions?"

"No."

"Good." Cloud caught him with a hard glare, but the expression did soften as he asked,"Your shoulder?"

"Fine."

"Tomorrow I will assist you in revealing your remaining wing…or wings as it may be."

And then, the blond was turning on his heel, putting as much distance between them as physically possible in as short a time as possible. It was almost as if he was pointedly forgetting about their exchange a week earlier…

Deciding to allow the past to remain in the past, Sephiroth shed his boots and armor.

He did not realize how quickly he would fall asleep once he laid out on Cloud's couch.

000X000

Blood pounded in his ears, his breathing came in short gasps, sweat poured down his skin…slick, hot…

And then, pain!

Cloud leapt away from Sephiroth after landing a glancing blow to the sliver General's bare shoulder. In an instinctual response, the wing hidden there emerged yet again. It was a sickening process, as skin ripped, muscle twisted, and bones cracked and contorted. There was less blood this time, but the feathered appendage lay weak against Sephiroth's back, shadowy feathers drifting to the floor.

Before he could catch his breath, Cloud was on top of him yet again, slashing wildly with First Tsurugi, giving Sephiroth no chance to catch his breath. The silver warrior leapt away, struggling to maintain his balance with the unfamiliar weight resting heavily between his shoulders.

Why in Gaia's name were his wings so difficult to summon?

Genesis and Angeal were already in the hospital wing, recovering from the stress their newfound appendages put upon their bodies. It had been rather chilling to watch Angeal's face contort with a million different emotions as two, brilliantly white wings broke free from beneath his skin. And Genesis, well, his single, and impressively large wing came as both a surprise to him as well as another reason to preen. His feathers were dark, like Sephiroth's, but when once saw them in the right light one would realize that they were actually a deep crimson.

Their battles had been awe inspiring, and proof of their legendary skills.

But now, Sephiroth was alone with Cloud yet again, fighting for his life.

It had to have been close to an hour of fighting before his first wing showed itself…what exactly was it going to take to make any others emerge? As the tiny General rushed him and sliced deeply into his lower back, Sephiroth wondered if he would survive long enough. Cloud seemed eager for blood. His tainted-blue eyes wide with the lust for combat.

Their blades crossed.

Their bodies pressed close.

And then, they were leaping apart, Sephiroth staggering despite his best efforts to show no weakness.

"It is not working." The silver General announced, lowering Masamune, which was a grave mistake. Cloud charged him and yet again lanced his shoulder with the fusion blade. Sephiroth's breath hitched. The tiny General twisted—an almost sadistic grin on his face. "Stop…" He growled and the blond dug the blade in deeper. Masamune quivered in his grasp as the pain emanating from his shoulder shot down through his arm, numbing his fingers.

"Why?" Cloud asked in a dangerous tone, his face mere inches away from Sephiroth's.

"You…you promised not to kill me."

"Did I?"

"Among other things."

Suddenly, the blade retreated and Sephiroth found himself swaying. When a calloused hand gripped his jaw and forced him to look down, the silver General saw a strange light in Cloud's eyes. Was it desire? Was it hate?

"I have an idea. Another possible…trigger."

Sephiroth grew still, not trusting himself to either move or speak.

Cloud sheathed is sword and ripped Masamune out of the silver warrior's grip, sending the blade skittering across the gymnasium floor. Before the silver General could protest, their lips were crashing together, hands tangled in Sephiroth's hair. Once again, he was not sure why Cloud felt compelled to kiss him, but he had come to suspect that fighting (of any kind) was a turn-on for the temperamental blond.

Unexpectedly, the tiny General forced his knee between his legs, pressing his upper-thigh against the larger male's crotch. It felt good. As did the way, Cloud tugged demandingly at his hair, nipping a little too harshly at his lips before plunging his tongue deep. The blond eventually broke for air so that he could litter blood-tinted kisses along the column of Sephiroth's throat. It was hard to not react to the pleasure his rough ministrations incited with him, because he found himself wanting to.

But that did not mean Sephiroth was going to stand there and let Cloud do as he pleased. Getting taken advantage of was not exactly high on his list of things he enjoyed. No matter how much the idea of sex was beginning to appeal to him, Sephiroth was not going to fall prey to primal desires and allow himself to be abused and used. A childhood spent in Hojo's care made him leery of such.

He shoved the smaller male away from him, and balled a fist, ready to knock the idiot's teeth from his mouth. Cloud stared up at him, his mouth swollen from kissing, and his skin flushed with arousal. The expression on his face told Sephiroth that he was not going to take no for an answer, and he took a step forwards…then, the damndest thing happened.

The whole room began to ripple and shake.

Cloud cried out, gripping his head…

What followed seemed almost in slow motion.

An explosion ripped through the building. The floor cracked, the ceiling began to collapse, and the far wall burst in a spray of concrete and steel. Neo was under attack. Sephiroth felt his wing retreat, melting away against his back as he shielded his face from flying debris. As the trembling of the building subsided, he willed Masamune to his hand and looked towards the broken wall.

Standing just outside, framed by the light, were three black clad figures with radiant, silver hair.

A/N: (Yes, the infamous cliffhangers are back. But they are so fun to write and read (or is that just me?) . But yeah~ Review please! Feedback is uber important to me. )