So, I finally remembered my login for this account, and reread this fanfiction. I actually found myself laughing at my own jokes (woops) and thinking up ideas for the plot… so I decided to return, and see if anyone is still up for reading this, or whether I am greeted by dust.
I appreciate this is the second time I've returned, I suck, I know, but with the right motivation and encouragement, I can try continue this story. This chapter is short, an introduction to what will come, and I'll see if people still want to read this. I've tried to recap the story as much as possible, as I appreciate it's been a long time, but you can always return to the other chapters to refresh... if you can be bothered, of course.
Chapter Eight: Typical
Cloud had imagined life at Shinra would be eventful, and sometimes unbearable, but he never could have believed it would be this fucking complicated.
Already in his first week he had thrown his condoms at the General of the company, offered his sacred flower to him and quickly reminded himself that sex to him was the same as a puppy - something he really wanted, but would realistically, never have.
In addition to that, he had met his new room mate, who just happened to be a pile of muscle attached to a human figure and quite possibly the scariest man he had ever met. Unfortunately, it didn't end there, and just to make things worse, he had befriended Zack and not yet managed to dribble all over himself like a lifeless potato whenever the two were in the same room.
But the worst thing of all was Sephiroth, who had thrown Cloud into an impossible situation. It wasn't enough that the man had seduced him, changed his mind and then threatened him. The General had now stressed that both their asses were on the line, and it would have to be the blonde to swoop in and majestically solve the complication.
There was no way out of it, though. If Cloud didn't do as Sephiroth commanded, the man would have him thrown out of the company because of his sexuality. The blackmail definitely put him in a tight situation, but it certainly wasn't helped by how appealing Sephiroth was, to the point where Cloud would happily harvest the President's organs just to get a sniff of the General's hair.
… The blonde was a pervert.
And it was his perverted behaviour that had landed him in this situation. If Cloud appreciated breasts more than tightly shaven chests, he would have never allowed himself to flirt with Sephiroth. The one thing his mother had said about his sexuality, despite her being fine with it, was that men are even more complicated than women, in the sense that women are more open with their emotions, and men keep them hidden. It was definitely the case with Sephiroth, who was impossible to read. If he were a book, Cloud imagined the actual pages would be written in 64 foreign languages and the words printed in invisible pen.
There was one certain thing about Sephiroth, though; if he wanted something, he would get it. Cloud had been ordered to find the man who had reported on his and Sephiroth's suspicious encounter by the bench, and destroy the document the stranger had written about them. Oh, it sounded easy when put like that, but the reality was completely different.
It wasn't as if Cloud could walk up to the man and say, "Oh, by the way, it would be utterly swell if you could just hand over that document to me in return for my everlasting gratitude."
The blonde would actually have to approach the man, befriend him and somehow get himself into his apartment.
Leon, his roommate, had offered to go into the man's apartment, pull out each of his teeth individually and take the document by force. There had been much darker descriptions, but Cloud had forced himself to zone out, after Leon had mentioned "Slicing off his eyeballs." Of course, Cloud had not gone into detail as to why he needed the documents, but he'd told his roommate that someone had seen the blonde do something, and had blabbed about it.
"Why would you slice his eyeballs?" Cloud had asked him, horrified.
Leon barely flinched, genuinely serious about the idea. "Well, the dude says he saw you do something; how the fuck is his story going to seem liable, if he has no eyes to see with?"
The blonde didn't know whether he was relieved about his room mate being batshit insane, or whether he should be concerned about being castrated in his sleep.
However, all crazy ideas aside, in the end, all Cloud could do was approach the man as Sephiroth had ordered and try strike up a friendship. If the documents got to the president, and people began to grow suspicious, Cloud might be removed from the company, and Sephiroth's sexuality could be questioned. The General claimed to be straight, but still feared having any rumours spread that he could be homosexual. It baffled Cloud, who saw no actual reason to claim the documents back, but couldn't risk the wrath of the General.
If the wrath had included having him bent over the man's desk, he might have felt a little more comfortable.
Cloud also needed information on the stranger, secrets, which Sephiroth could use against him. As even if the documents were recovered, the man had still seen them by the bench, and had still pointed out how uncomfortable Sephiroth had been at the assembly because of Cloud.
The blonde might as well have tightened a rope around his neck and allowed life to royally fuck him over one last time.
But it was too late for regrets.
Cloud found himself stood directly in front of the man he was about to attempt to befriend. Originally, he had intended to casually stroll past him, and devise a master-plan, but that had been thrown out the window and once again his spontaneous approach to everything had overruled his judgement.
The blonde began talking angrily to himself.
Why did you just speak to him?
What are you supposed to say now?
WHAT HAVE WE TALKED ABOUT - THINK BEFORE DOING SHIT.
The man turned to Cloud and a look of recognition swept across this face. It took a few seconds for his expression to change from that of surprise, into warmness. The blonde was taken aback by the stranger smiling across at him for no inexplicable reason.
That's when Cloud realised...
He needed to finish this goddamn sentence.
Cloud practically sprayed the collection of spit in his mouth against the man's face. "Do you happen to have the time?" he squealed, trying to sound normal, but in fact resembling a cat having it's fur shaved off by an axe.
The stranger casually looked down at his watch, and then back up at the blonde. "It's quarter past twelve," he said, suddenly scrunching his face up. "Wait… Do I know you?"
Cloud began to swiftly panic; of course he knew him, he was the guy who had gone to the company and ratted on him about Sephiroth! This was the man who had unintentionally made Sephiroth blackmail him and make his life a living hell! How could he NOT recognise him?
The man quickly piped up again. "Oh yes, you're the one from the assembly."
Cloud had certainly not been expecting that; was the man trying to avoid the conversation?
Or did he simply not recognise him?
"Y-yeah that was me," he said sheepishly, running his hands through his hair.
The blonde might as well have thrown Sephiroth's plan onto the floor, emptied his bladder onto it, and ignited it with gasoline and flame. There was clearly no hope for him now; Cloud had been nowhere near as subtle as he'd wanted to be, and now he was actually in front of the man, he had no idea what to say. Sephiroth would have to punish him, because this was ridiculous and he shouldn't be expected to…
… Expected to…
That's when Cloud noticed something strange.
For a second, it was as if he had been taken back to his encounter with Sephiroth a few nights ago, when the man had gazed flirtatiously into his eyes. It took him a second to return to reality, and recognise that it was in fact the stranger staring into him, his lips twisting into a mischievous grin. It was the exact same look Sephiroth had given him, and it made the blonde extremely uncomfortable.
"What is it?" he asked, unsure as to why the man was undressing him with his eyes.
Cloud couldn't understand it; in his hometown, he may as well have been replaced with a sign that read "Do Not Enter, or acknowledge, or breathe near," as it would have been just as effective as he clearly was at keeping people away. However, within a couple of days at Shinra, he had already been thrown enough sexual glances to make anyone moister than a freshly poured bath.
But, why this man?
Was Cloud misunderstanding this too, as he had done with Sephiroth before?
"I can't be blamed," the man admitted, rolling his eyes down the blonde's figure. "Why should I prevent myself from looking at such an appealing sight?"
Nope, nope, this was clearly not a misunderstanding.
This was sexual abuse.
Cloud turned his attention away from the man, cursing whatever God there was for allowing so much madness to happen to him. "I don't know what you mean…"
"Oh, I think you do," the man replied. "It's not exactly discreet is it? Your feminine attributes, and fashion sense, and the way in which you talk."
The blonde felt a little offended by that. "What are you trying to say?"
The man laughed as his cheeks began to redden, clearly enjoying the reaction. "I'm saying that I find you attractive," he told him, shameless as he did so. "I found you attractive when I saw you on that stage."
Cloud let his jaw drop to the ground, and concluded that this was the biggest mindfuck he had ever endured. In comparison to this madness, Sephiroth was a delicate butterfly dancing across a field of dandelions and rainbows. The plan had been to befriend this man, without seeming suspicious, but somehow he had attracted the man.
Or was this all in the man's plan?
It couldn't be possible that the stranger didn't recognise him, after reporting him and Sephiroth's behaviour to the company?
Regardless, Cloud needed to find a way into the man's apartment, to complete the mission in which Sephiroth had set him. Although, he had never once considered things would turn out like this. The blonde had wanted nothing more than male attention when joining the company, but now he wanted nothing more than to sit in a corner and rock himself to insanity.
Did he just attract the weirdos?
"Look, I don't expect an answer now," the man said, glancing down at his watch as he did so. "However, if you're interested, I'm inviting you round to my apartment tonight."
There was a glint of playfulness in his eyes. "We can get to know each other."
Cloud was baffled at how open the man was… surely this was all a trick?
The blonde could do nothing but nod dumbfoundedly, and watch as the man scribbled an address down to him. Oh, but surely this was too obvious? If the man was to lead him back to his apartment and try get him into further trouble? However, with the final sentence the man uttered to him, it seemed he was in fact being cautious with the blonde.
"We need to keep it between us, though," he told him, his expression turning stern. "If you repeat this to anyone, I will not hesitate in punishing you for it."
Cloud giggled to himself, uncontrollably and without intention, which made the man frown across at him. It wasn't down to amusement though, oh no, his brain had simply taken enough and shut down on him. It was a twisted laugh, and not too far from a cry. If the blonde could have broken down and sobbed uncontrollably, he would have.
It was the second time he had been threatened.
But unfortunately for the man opposite him, Sephiroth was significantly more terrifying to him, and unbeknown to the man, Cloud was going to do exactly what he had been ordered not to do.
"I'll be there," he told him, finally stopping himself from laughing in utter pain. "And I promise not to tell anyone."
The darkness of the office practically tore through the blonde and made him even more uncomfortable than he imagined possible. It was already the worst of situations, which he blamed on the intimidating figure positioned on the chair opposite him. Cloud awkwardly fiddled with his hands, and waited for the man to reply to his previous statement.
Sephiroth readjusted his reading glasses, and turned his attention directly to the blonde. "So you are telling me he offered himself to you?" he repeated, his voice venomous.
Although Cloud had not put it in such a blunt way, he nodded, not wanting to cause any more hassle than needed. "Well, he invited me back to his apartment."
The blonde could not prevent himself from shaking, and without warning, his elbow slammed into the pile of books beside him and sent them flying across the floor. Cloud whimpered, quickly bending down to pick them up, before he received an inevitable lecture from the General.
However, Sephiroth did not react to the blonde's clumsiness, and did not even appear to acknowledge what had happened. Out of the corner of Cloud's eyes, he could see Sephiroth staring across at him, but his eyes were not filled with anger. The blonde was checking anxiously to see whether the man scolded him, but much to his surprise, the General did something else entirely.
As Cloud bent down to retrieve the books, Sephiroth watched him longingly, as a predator would to its prey. The blonde got down on his knees, and could see the General's gaze following him, taking in every inch of his body. Sephiroth's expression was cold, but his eyes glazed over as if in a trance. The man was unintentionally analysing the blonde…
… And it definitely wasn't in an innocent way.
Cloud quickly scrambled up, and with that, Sephiroth's gaze shifted, as if he realised at last what he was doing.
"You will go to his apartment," Sephiroth told him, causing the blonde's heart to drop. "However, when you arrive, you will tell me, and we will set the plan in motion."
The blonde did not attempt to conceal his look of upset. "What do you expect me to do?"
Sephiroth glared into him. "I expect you to do nothing," he said, surprising the blonde with his response. "The man is clearly going to try and seduce you, which we will use against him. I am not entirely sure what he wishes to gain from this, perhaps further proof against you?"
The General continued, lost in his thought. "However, if you allow yourself to be seduced by him, we will no longer be successful in our mission."
Cloud repeat the final sentence in his head, and became irritated with Sephiroth's attitude towards him. Did he perceive him to be weak? Was he really that negative towards him?
"Are you suggesting I can't control myself?" the blonde spat, allowing himself to completely let loose at the man. "You think because of my sexuality, I'll automatically go for every man in sight?"
Sephiroth appeared unfazed by the blonde's outburst, and grinned. "Well, you certainly gave that impression when you first encountered me."
There was not a response Cloud could give to that… and so, the room fell silent.
"I will not be seduced," the blonde told him, and he meant it. "Not by anyone."
The General appeared amused with the response, and spoke one last time. "We both know that you are easily seduced," he practically whispered. "When the right person is seducing you…"
Cloud could not bear any more of Sephiroth's confusing conversation, and with a final nod, he departed from the office.
However, much to his annoyance, the General's sentence repeated in his mind, and the blonde could not help but question it. Why did he have to make such a comment about Cloud being seduced? Why did he appear so pleased with himself for seducing the blonde, when he claimed to have had no intention of taking it any further?
And more importantly, why had his eyes been tracing Cloud in such a... sexual... way?
It made no sense - Zack claimed Sephiroth couldn't be gay - Sephiroth himself claimed he wasn't gay.
Cloud couldn't even believe himself that Sephiroth was gay.
It was all too confusing, and quite frankly, the blonde didn't have time to think about it, because tonight he would have to concentrate on something else entirely. It would be the first time in his entire life that he would be hit on, and given the chance to lose his virginity. But of course, it wasn't as straight forward as that, and Cloud concluded once more that throwing those condoms away had been the best decision of his life.
... If they had not fallen directly in front of Sephiroth.
Well, what did you think?
If you guys are still here (calls out desperately) please review, and let me know if I should continue.
It's been so long that I worry my writing has gone downhill...