Title: New Dress
Author: XpaperplaneX
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: ~5700
Pairing: Sephiroth/Cloud
Genre: romance
Warnings: smut
Also Contains: tentacles, BDSM

A/N: Five years and eleven months later, this is the direct continuation to New Dress. Please enjoy!


Cloud slowly came into wakefulness when he felt Sephiroth shift ever so minutely behind him. He always woke earlier than Cloud, but unless he had somewhere he needed to be, he would keep as still as possible, letting Cloud sleep.

"Good morning," he mumbled.

"Morning, sweetheart." Lips pressed against the back of his head and Sephiroth squeezed him slightly tighter. "Did I wake you?"

"Uh uh." He shook his head and snuggled back into the tight embrace. He could feel Sephiroth's morning wood pressed against the backs of his legs, and felt his own begin to stir. He hoped they had some time before checkout. "Bed was comfy."

"It was. So, are you feeling well rested?"

"Yeah. When's checkout?"

"We've got plenty of time. Why do you ask?"

"Hmm..." Cloud shifted down slightly so the hard flesh was pressed against his ass instead of his legs and wiggled suggestively. "Just wondering if we had time for a bit of morning exercise."

"We certainly do." Sephiroth threw the covers back and smacked his ass. "Go use the toilet and have some water. You're not going to be moving for a while."

Cloud yelped at both the cold air and the smack and scrambled out of bed. Just how much had Sephiroth packed? He knew he had clothes for him, and probably something other than his tux for himself. Did he seriously bring bondage gear as well?

Sephiroth took his turn in the washroom after him, and Cloud returned to the bed to see several lengths of thin jute rope lying on it. That made him grin in anticipation. He liked the way the natural fibres felt so much more than leather. The lube as there as well, and the black duffle bag had been left open next to the bed.

"Sorry, can you lube yourself up?" Sephiroth called from the washroom, sounding as though he was in the middle of brushing his teeth. "I want to try to get you mostly set up before breakfast gets here so it doesn't get too cold before we're done."

Cloud obediently knelt with his legs spread on the bed and grabbed the lube, slicking up his fingers to stretch himself, but he cast a nervous glance over his shoulder at the door. Were they really having breakfast delivered soon? By an actual person?

"Fuck, you're gorgeous." He looked over his shoulder again to see Sephiroth standing there in a pair of lounge pants with his erection clearly visible under them. "You okay? You look nervous."

Cloud hesitated a moment, then shook his head. "I just ... someone's coming to deliver breakfast?"

"Yeah, I asked for it at nine when I booked the room ... and regret it a little now. But it'll be better than having to get up to answer the door after we play." He paused and frowned. "No one will see you or even know that you're here. Remember there's another room? This door will stay shut until the bellhop is gone. Is that okay."

"Oh, yeah, that's fine. I forgot about the other room. It was kind of a blur last night. Sorry."

"No need to apologize." Sephiroth leaned over to kiss him gently. "Thanks for telling me the problem," he said when he pulled away and started rummaging through his bag.

"Sort of ..." Cloud said with a blush. He certainly hadn't said it very clearly.

"It was good enough. That's what counts."

Cloud continued stretching himself until Sephiroth came up with a box that held a prostate massager.

"How much are you planning on torturing me?" Cloud asked. They hadn't used the massagers very often, but the last time he had been kept on the brink of orgasm for ages, tormented with the constant, self-inflicted pleasure.

"Not at all. I don't see any cock rings around here, do you?"

"So I can come whenever I want? Doesn't that just mean you'll be distracting me with other things?"

Sephiroth stood up holding a pair of nipple clamps and smiled. A mix of threat and seduction. "Yes. And it also means that I'm not going to stop just because you came."

"I wish I were brave enough for blindfolds," he grumbled half-heartedly as he reached for the massager and applied a generous amount of lube to it. "Though I honestly don't know if I'd prefer not knowing what's coming or not, even if it didn't freak me out."

"Is it too much for today?" Sephiroth sat down and lay his hand over his, stopping him from putting in the toy. "You can say no. I know this is a new environment and that might be bothering you a bit."

"I ... I think it is a little, but I do want to play."

"Okay, how about we put this in, then I'll start on the ropes and we'll see how you feel. That usually calms you down."

"Yeah, that would be good, I think." Being tied, especially when Sephiroth took the time to create intricate patterns of knots and twists all over his body, was a strange sensation that he'd grown to really like. Ever since he had panicked once and Sephiroth had talked him through it, telling him that the ropes weren't restraining him, but holding him like a hug, it had helped him find his balance when he was nervous. With the rope, he could just let his mind focus on whatever sensations Sephiroth was giving him without worrying about anything else.

"Alright, give me this and lie down on your front." Sephiroth took the toy from him and kissed him for a few moments before giving him a nudge in the right direction.

Cloud settled himself comfortably on his front with his head turned to the side. A few gentle touches, then the massager was sliding in with a bit of a stretch, but no actual discomfort. He really hoped being tied would help. As it was, he kept picturing being hogtied and unable to move when some busybody barged in.


Sephiroth frowned as he trailed his hands and hair over the smooth skin of Cloud's back and thighs. He was still so tense. These days, just the thought of being restrained usually had Cloud relaxing in anticipation of giving up his control.

"Sweetheart," he said softly without breaking contact with Cloud's body, "I've changed my mind."

"What? I'm okay, really."

"I know, but I think you'll be better if we wait until after breakfast gets here. It'll only be another half hour." He kept one hand on Cloud's back and reached for his bag, pulling out a bottle of warming oil. He rubbed some between his palms and began at Cloud's shoulders, massaging it into his skin while seeking out the tense knots with his fingertips. Cloud gave a little sigh and seemed to sink slightly into the bed. "That's a good boy. I'll cover you up before I go out. It'll just look like you're sleeping if anything happens. You're safe."

"Thank you," Cloud mumbled.

He kept the massage fairly non-sexual. There'd be plenty of time for that later, and the goal was to get Cloud to calm down enough to be able to truly enjoy himself. The toy in him was doing its job, however, and Cloud shifted slightly as the minutes passed, taking the pressure off his growing arousal. He still wasn't fully hard by the time the was a soft knock on the outer door, but he was relaxed and barely twitched at the interruption.

"I'll be right back," Sephiroth said and grabbed the blanket from the side of the bed, laying it over him. "You're safe."

"Okay." The barely audible mumble told Sephiroth everything he needed to know, so he slipped out into the other room. Getting breakfast only took a minute, and he wheeled the cart it came on into the bedroom. "Just me," he said as he opened the door.

"What did we get?" Cloud asked, still in his lazy, relaxed tone.

"Standard Continental. I don't know how good it will be once it's cooled off, but we can order something else if it's terrible. Here, eat this, then hands behind your back, palms together."

Cloud happily accepted the strawberry he pulled out of the fruit salad, then got into position without any hesitation.

"Good." He picked up the rope and began his work, noting how Cloud's breathing gradually slowed as he bound his arms, tightly at the hands and wrists, then allowing them to separate so he could weave an intricate pattern between them. The ropes combined at his shoulder blades into a fat braid that he wrapped around his neck like a collar. Cloud only moved when Sephiroth nudged him in a particular direction, or from the occasional, inevitable reactions to the simulation on his prostate. He'd come such a long way from the jumpy trooper who had tried to run out of the restaurant where they first met. He pinched the ends of Cloud's fingers to check his blood flow and, satisfied it was good enough, moved on to his legs.

He bent the right one up until his calf was pressed against his thigh, and then made a few loops to keep it thoroughly in place while he continued on with the more decorative ropes. When he finished the right leg, he briefly placed his hand on Cloud's cheek. There was no reaction, though Sephiroth suspected he wasn't entirely lost in his head yet. Cloud tended to focus on the sensation of the scratchy fibres and nothing else unless Sephiroth did something deliberately to get his attention.

Moving a bit faster now, he repeated the pattern on his left leg, going for a symmetrical look this time. Finally, a few pieces that joined arms and legs together, wrapping around his hips and ass, and then he was done. He stepped back to admire the work of art before him. Sephiroth took a certain amount of pride in his ability to do something so lacking in practical use, purely for its aesthetic value, but the canvas Cloud had gifted him with was the real treasure. He wished Cloud would let him take pictures so he could see himself. Maybe one day. The mirrors above him at the moment would certainly work, but Sephiroth was loathe to disturb him for what would essentially be showing off.

"You look beautiful," he murmured in a low tone that he knew Cloud would hear, but not necessarily pay attention to. He stripped himself of the clothes he had put on for the sake of answering the door, then returned to Cloud's side and carefully turned him over, arranging a few pillows so he wasn't putting too much pressure on his bent legs. Cloud gave a small grunt of discomfort, but quickly settled and lay still again.

The view from the front was far more simplistic. Cloud was fully hard now, his cock framed by a few ropes. A single rope passed under his balls so that they were held up slightly to be more prominent. His legs were spread apart, showing off the toy inside him. Two ropes, one from each side, twisted together in the centre of his chest over his solar plexus, framing his nipples as well. Cloud's eyes were still shut and his breathing was calm.

As his hair ran over Cloud's body, running gentle trails over sensitive areas, Sephiroth reached for both nipples and began pinching and pulling at them, hard enough to invoke little noises of pleasured pain from Cloud. After a few minutes they were red and swollen, and Sephiroth attached the nipple clamps he had taken out earlier, prompting a small hiss as Cloud sucked in his breath.

"Good boy." He waited a couple moments for Cloud to adjust, then tugged on the chain that connected the clamps. He increased the pressure steadily until Cloud gave a soft cry as he tried unsuccessfully to lift his torso off the bed. A little bit further, then Sephiroth kept him there, nipples stretched out painfully for maybe fifteen seconds before letting him back down.

A few moments rest, then he repeated the process several times until Cloud was gasping and a few tears gathered at the corners of his still closed eyes.

"Good job," he murmured as his hair stroked at his face comfortingly. "You're doing so well."

He reached for his bag again, this time pulling out a black riding crop. He traced the fat leather end over Cloud's legs, making sure he felt it going over both rope and bare skin, then over his cock and balls, making Cloud moan and the toy within him twitch violently. Up his stomach, then without warning, he brought it down on Cloud's chest with a firm smack that could be heard clearly. Red blossomed under where he had struck, and he quickly did it three more times, creating an X pattern that mimicked the criss-crossing ropes.

He kept a steadying hand on Cloud's shoulder as he worked down his chest and stomach, slowly increasing the strength of his blows. He was hyperaware of just how badly he could hurt him if he slipped up, so he watched Cloud's reaction to each hit like a hawk. Not that it was a chore; he was beautiful when he lost his inhibitions and just reacted however his body told him to. Each strike brought on louder cries until Cloud was sobbing and writhing in his bonds, trying to do anything to protect himself from the blows.

"Please, please!" he sobbed.

"Please what? Do you want me to stop?" Sephiroth finished working his way down his thighs and started moving back up, hitting the same places and reinforcing the pattern.

"No! Don't ... I need ..."

"What do you need, Cloud?"

His hips gave a feeble jerk as the crop approached his groin. Cloud's cock was rock hard with a small pool of pre-come on his belly, and Sephiroth could see his muscles working the massager.

"Do you want me to touch you here?" he asked, trailing the crop over his genitals again, this time applying a bit more pressure as he rubbed it up and down his length.

Cloud gave a desperate whine when he moved the crop away that turned into a scream when Sephiroth began whipping him again. When he brought it down over the nipple clamps, Cloud gave his loudest scream yet as his cock jerked in orgasm. Sephiroth kept up his blows while Cloud writhed and jerked in a mix of pleasure and pain, shooting his load high up onto his chest. He sent a large section of hair between Cloud's legs to work the massager harder, prolonging his climax until he suddenly went limp, exhausted from the exertion.

Sephiroth tossed the crop on the bed and roughly rolled Cloud onto his side, pushing his top leg up high to his chest to expose his hole. He pulled out the massager and shoved in in one smooth motion, grabbing the chain for the nipple clamps as he did so and giving it a tug.

Cloud screamed again and clenched around him as Sephiroth began pounding into him hard and fast. He was so hot and tight; oversensitized from the simulation to his prostate and his orgasm, Cloud alternated between clenching almost to the point of pain and relaxing so much there was barely any pressure. Sephiroth grabbed his hair, squeezing it in his fist and yanked his head up to kiss him roughly.

His own climax came suddenly, and he struggled to maintain his control and not make any noise as wave after wave of intense pleasure rolled through his entire body. He kept up his fast pace as he emptied himself into Cloud's willing body, feeling his release slick his hole even further. Finally, he slumped as the strong waves of sensation left him and a pleasant tingling remained. "Good boy," he murmured again, letting himself slip out. "Good boy."

Sephiroth took a deep, steadying breath, and began the work of unmaking his art. The nipple clamps came off first and Cloud hissed again, writhing in pain as Sephiroth rubbed the sore nubs to get the blood flowing again. "That's it, I know it hurts. You're okay."

His legs were next. Undoing the ropes went a lot faster than tying them, and it was only a couple minutes before he was able to carefully let Cloud stretch them out, massaging the strained muscles as he did so. The intricate pattern keeping his arms bound took a bit more time, but it wasn't too long before Cloud was free of all the ropes. He grabbed the comforter off the floor where it had fallen and wrapped it around Cloud's shoulders before lifting him up so he could sit on his lap as he leaned against the headboard.

"Good boy. You did so well." Sephiroth kept up a steady murmur of praise and encouragement as he cradled Cloud against him, rubbing his back. After a solid twenty minutes, Cloud took a deep breath and opened his eyes.

"Ow, that felt good."

Sephiroth laughed and kissed the top of Cloud's head. "Move your arms and legs a bit. Anything that doesn't feel right?"

"Everything feels perfect," Cloud said, but dutifully sat up a bit and moved as he was told. "I think it's all okay. Bit stiff, but otherwise fine. I feel kind of shakey though."

"Not unexpected. Let's have some breakfast." He stretched as far as he could without moving Cloud and pulled the breakfast cart close enough to be able to reach the dishes. "The fruit is all yours. Get your blood sugar back up."

"Ooh, is this like all the leftovers from last night?" Cloud asked as he took the bowl Sephiroth handed him. "Do you know what this is?"

Sephiroth glanced down. "Dragon fruit. Comes from an island south of Wutai."

"I like it." Cloud leaned quietly against him for a time, steadily eating the various fruits while Sephiroth sipped at his cold coffee. "This poor blanket. I'm leaking fucking everywhere."

"I'll leave a big tip for the cleaning staff, don't worry," Sephiroth said with a laugh. He wondered if anyone would suspect there had been another man in the room with him, or if they'd just think he was able to come that much. He knew there were at least a few interesting rumours about him.

When Cloud had finished the fruit, he shifted a little bit so he wasn't sitting directly on him anymore, giving Sephiroth room to get both plates off the tray. Breakfast was cold and not that good, but it was filling and Cloud ate most of his before putting it aside and snuggling up against him again.

When he finished as well, Sephiroth pulled Cloud back up onto his lap and hugged him tightly. "Cloud, I couldn't help but notice that you kept your eyes closed the entire time just now. You didn't even peek for a second. Was that on purpose?"

"Um ... I don't think it was on purpose. I was just feeling really relaxed with the massage. There wasn't anything that made me want to open them. "

Sephiroth nodded in understanding. "That shows a lot of trust, especially since you were nervous about the room service."

"I guess. I mean, I do trust you. You said I was safe, so I knew I was."

"Would you be willing to consider a blindfold again sometime? Not while we're playing, at least not to start, but perhaps sitting together like this? To see if we can work through your issue with them together?"

Cloud hummed and furrowed his eyebrows. "Maybe ..."

"You don't have to answer right away. And it's okay to say no, I'm not trying to persuade you. I just think that you might be able to be okay with it if you want to challenge yourself."

"If you hold me ... and I wouldn't want to be restrained. I could try."

"Of course, no restraints. I promise I wouldn't let you go. And you'd be able to take it off at any time." Sephiroth gave Cloud another squeeze and kissed his temple. "You are so brave, and I am so lucky to have met you," he murmured in his ear. "I hope you realize that."

Cloud turned bright red and shook his head. "You-last night, did you-"

"Did I what?"

Cloud took a deep breath. "Did you say you love me?" he blurted out.

Sephiroth froze, even the hair that had been casually stroking Cloud paused. "I thought you were asleep," he finally said. "Well, I guess that cat's out of the bag."

"I didn't mishear?" Cloud asked incredulously.

"No. I've been ... practicing, I guess. For about a month whenever you're asleep."


"Well I don't exactly have a lot of experience telling people I love them. Hojo never really inspired the feeling. I didn't want to fuck it up. Stutter or something. I love you, Cloud. I love you so much."

Cloud looked up at him and Sephiroth was shocked to see tears gathered at the corners of his eyes. "I love you too," he whispered.

"Don't cry, sweetheart." He cupped Cloud's cheek in his hand and kissed his eyelashes, his nose, and then brushed his lips over Cloud's. He kissed him softly, with small pecks and slower, lingering touches. Cloud gave a soft sigh and seemed to melt into his embrace. Sephiroth rarely kissed Cloud just for the sake of kissing him. It was almost always with some other goal in mind, but now he let himself slow down and just enjoy their closeness.

Cloud's lips were soft and so responsive. He could taste the lingering sweetness of the fruit when he darted out his tongue briefly. Time passed and they somehow ended up further down on the bed, stretched out next to each other, and Sephiroth had one leg slung over Cloud's. When he realized his hair was stroking Cloud's face, brushing over his lips, he grabbed it with one hand and twisted it so he could toss it over his shoulder. He didn't want that this time. Cloud was so willing to put up with it despite the risks, not to mention the bad taste, but he shouldn't have to all the time.

Cloud gave him a smile when he leaned back down to kiss him again. "I don't mind," he said.

"I know, and I appreciate that so much, but not this time."

Cloud nodded and lifted his head to meet Sephiroth's lips. His legs had spread apart slightly, and Sephiroth gradually shifted so he was between them, lying groin to groin and he had to curl up a bit to be able to reach Cloud's lips. His focus remained on kissing, gently nipping and licking between pecks even as they began to shift, rubbing their growing arousals against each other.

Cloud kept a firm grip around his torso and they lost themselves in a haze of gradually growing pleasure. It occurred to Sephiroth that Cloud rarely got a chance to hug him either. He was usually restrained in some way or another when they had sex, and afterwards when Sephiroth would cuddle with him, it was mostly just him holding Cloud. He liked it that way, and didn't particularly enjoy being hugged, but he decided he would bring it up at some point and see if it was something Cloud wanted more of.

He finally pressed his tongue between Cloud's lips, deepening the kiss, then pulling back for more gentle, lingering kisses while they caught their breath. He was so wrapped up in the sensations that it came as a shock when he felt himself begin to come. It was nothing overwhelming, just a surge of heightened pleasure that spread through his body, making him groan and press himself into Cloud a bit more firmly as his release spread between them. He kept moving once it passed, and not even a minute later, Cloud followed suit, moaning against his lips as he came.

They kept kissing until Cloud finally relaxed his hold and let his head drop back down to the pillow. "That felt so nice," he murmured.

"It did," Sephiroth agreed as he rolled into his back and tucked Cloud in close to his side while breathing deeply. He felt so relaxed and his eyes drifted shut.

He didn't sleep. He never did during the day, but Cloud dozed beside him for nearly an hour before he stirred, stretching his probably fairly sore muscles and yawning.

"What time is it? Are we going to get in trouble for missing checkout?"

"Nearly thirteen hundred, and no. I didn't want to be rushed today, so I booked the room for two nights. I can't stay too much longer, though. I've got a conference call with Corel this afternoon. I hate time zones."

"Do I have time to take a shower?"

Sephiroth pulled back the blanket and stared at Cloud's body. He was an absolute mess. "You are not going back to the barracks and their public showers like that. Go take a shower while I order something for lunch. Do you want me to heal you before or after your shower?"

Cloud glanced down and ran his fingers over the red marks from his whipping and the ropes. They weren't anything that needed healing, but he didn't want Cloud to have to try and explain what had happened. His very well shaven body would be bad enough if anyone noticed. "Right before I leave?" he asked with a cheeky grin.

Sephiroth laughed and nodded. "Alright. Go on, then. You're probably good to take your ribbon off if you don't want to get it wet again. It was still pretty damp from the bath when I was tying you."

"Okay." Cloud rolled out of bed, grimacing at the sensation of gravity's effect on the semen in him. It ran down his thighs as he bent and untied the ribbon, tossing it into Sephiroth's bag. "Get me something with meat, please. I could eat a chocobo."

"You've got it." Sephiroth smiled as Cloud disappeared into the washroom. He had never imagined something like this when Zack had set himself to meddling again. He needed to talk to him again, and encourage Cloud to do the same. Sephiroth had been angry last night, it was true, but he hated the idea of his friend, one to whom he owed so much, thinking he was abusing his partner.


Cloud knew that probably no one was paying any attention to him. The hotel lobby wasn't at its busiest, sure, but there were still plenty of people around, and he was just a guy in regular clothes. Still, he blushed as he walked through the revolving doors and the bellhop tipped his hat at him. How long would Sephiroth wait before leaving himself? Would anyone notice that his supposed date didn't check out with him?

He took a deep breath and gave himself a shake. Gaia he felt good. The lingering soreness was just right, not to mention that he still felt like he was walking on air. Sephiroth loved him. Really, actually loved him.

The walk back to the barracks hardly seemed to take any time at all. There weren't many people around. Most would be training or in the rec room at this time of day, or nursing hangovers, he thought with a grin, remembering the excitement about the open bar. His bunk was quiet when he let himself in and sprawled on his back on his bed. He couldn't stop smiling as Sephiroth's words kept going round and round in his head. He loved him.

"You look well fucked."

Cloud opened his eyes and glanced over at the door, where Hollister had just come in. He couldn't even bring himself to be embarrassed. "Yep. You look well hungover."

Hollister laughed and sat down on the foot of the bed. "Oh hell yep. So good night? Did you stay at his?"

He gave his head a shake. "The hotel. And yeah, good night. And day."

"Hold on, so you went to the hotel, but not the ball? Dude, just tell him to come out already. You don't deserve to be hidden away like some dirty little secret."

"I'm not!" Cloud protested. "It's just hard with his rank. He doesn't want people to think he's abusing his authority, and he doesn't want me to have to deal with the fallout of everyone's reactions."

"What fallout? I mean, it's not like we're talking Sephiroth here. No one's gonna care that much."

Cloud felt his face catch fire at the mention of Sephiroth's name and Hollister's eyes widened into saucers.

"You're shitting me. Are we talking Sephiroth here? Strife, for the love of all that's holy, tell me your secret boyfriend isn't General Fucking Sephiroth."

"Want me to lie?"

Hollister's jaw dropped and he just stared in shock.

"Please don't tell anyone."

"Fucking hell, Strife. Wait, but ... dude, I don't know how to tell you this, so I'm just gonna say it. He's cheating on you."

"What?" Cloud lifted his head up to look properly at his friend. Real concern was stitched across his face.

Hollister held up his hands in surrender. "Don't shoot the messenger, man. But he was at the ball with some chick, and it wasn't a platonic had to go with someone thing. They were all over each other. I'm so sorry."

Cloud dropped his head back down and shook it from side to side. "That was me," he whispered as he blushed even brighter.


"So I fooled everyone?"

"You were the chick?"

"Shaved my legs and everything. Sorry, I know I'm weird. And I really wasn't planning on going yesterday. I didn't lie. I just went to his to take a shower and all the stuff was laid out there for me, so ..."

"What the fuck, Strife!?" Hollister grabbed a pillow from the next bunk and clocked him in the face with it. "You're in my fucking spank bank now!"

Cloud burst out laughing. "That's what you're worried about?" He threw the pillow back and it bounced off Hollister's head and landed on the floor.

"Dude! I'm pretty sure everyone was jerking it to thoughts of her this morning. She was hot!"

Cloud grabbed his own pillow and held it over his face, trying to will his blush away. "Shut up!" he shouted, muffled by the pillow. "I thought I was gonna die of embarrassment last night. Don't add fuel to the fucking fire!"

"Hey, I'm not the one who was-"

"Enough! I know what I was doing, thank you very much! I was there!"

"Alright, alright, sorry. I ... No, I can't say I won't tease you about it, because I know I can't keep that promise. But I'll shut up for now. And I won't tell anyone ... if you buy me a beer next time we're out."

"Deal." Cloud blindly held his fist out with the pillow still over his face and Hollister bumped his against it. "I'll buy you two if you never mention my place in your spank bank again."

"No can do, buddy. I need to be able to laugh through the pain of knowing I jerked off thinking of you."

Cloud tossed the pillow in Hollister's direction and laughed. "Plans for the rest of the day? Ah, hang on." His PHS was vibrating in his pocket and he blushed again when he saw Sephiroth's number on the caller ID. "Hello? Did I forget something?"

"Well, I've got a pair of purple panties in my pocket that aren't mine ..."

Cloud nodded when Hollister mouthed, 'Sephiroth?' at him. "Hey, you said you'd-"

"I know, I'm just teasing. I wanted to make sure you made it back okay and are still feeling alright. Nothing too sore once you were up and moving around? No after effects from the hair?"

"Yeah, I'm good."

"Good. I also wanted to ask if Claudia might be available next weekend while her legs are still mostly shaved."

He laughed and curled onto his side. At least Hollister appeared to be working hard at not listening in. "She might be. Why?"

"I was hoping to take her on a date. Dinner and a show maybe? Or a picnic out of the city? Perhaps a bit of shopping? I hear she's in need of a little pink chemise with some matching panties."

"I want to!" Cloud blurted out, amazed he had contained himself past the word 'date'. "Friday? Saturday?"

"Saturday would be best for me. Will you stay the night as well?"

"Do you really think you have to ask?"

Sephiroth chuckled and Cloud could almost hear him shaking his head as he laughed. "Any requests for a place to go?"

"No, anything is fine. Though ..."


"A picnic does sound nice. And shopping. We have to go shopping."

"Okay. I'll have everything ready for you in the morning, so come over any time after nine. I missed out on watching you get dressed yesterday ..."

Cloud laughed, remembering how he had wished Sephiroth had been there to watch him. "Perv."

"You didn't know that already? Huh. Okay, I've got to run. Don't hesitate to call if something doesn't feel right."

"I know. I won't. Good luck with your call."

"Thanks. I love you. Bye."

Cloud almost dropped the phone. It was so weird to hear it said so casually. "I love you too," he managed to say.

Hollister glanced up from the magazine he wasn't reading as Cloud hung up. "He loves you?"

"He does," Cloud said. That walking on air feeling had come back full force.