So after all these one-night stands

You've ended up with heart in hand

A child alone, on your own

Retreating

            Sephiroth pulled over slowly to the sodden figure on the curb.  He rolled down the window, allowing the heavy, pelting rain that came to Midgar's Plate to assault the black leather seats of his car.  He was more concerned about the drenched sixteen-year-old sobbing on the street corner.  "Zax," he called to the boy, "what's wrong?  Are you okay?"

            Zax looked up, tears and raindrops streaking across his wide, innocent face.  "I-" he began, "I caught-"  Here he stopped and continued sobbing.

            "Zax, get in the car."

            "What?"

            The silver-haired man reached over and opened the door of his car.  "Get in the car Zax."

            The sobbing raven-haired boy obligingly got up and plunked his drenched body into the passenger seat.  He watched the water from his saturated clothing drip down onto the immaculate black leather of the seat.  Wild violet eyes looked fearfully up at the general.

            "It's okay.  I care about you more than this car."  Sephiroth said as he began driving back to his apartment.  "Now, what happened?  I thought you and Aeris were going to...consumate your relationship tonight."

            Zax sniffed as he tried not to break down sobbing again.  "We- we were.  B-but when I-I got t-t-t-to her h-house, I-I caught her i-in bed with that l-litle blond bastard from the Shin-Ra army."  He explained, teeth chattering from the cold and causing him to stutter.

            "I- aw hell, there's nothing I can say to comfort you...."

            Zax sniffed and looked up at Sephiroth with his wide, innocent violet eyes.  "Please try."  He almost whimpered.

            "All right...let's see...I'm sorry."  He paused, now at loss for what to say.

Regretful for the things you're not
And all dreams you haven't got
Without a home
A heart of stone
Lies bleeding

            "It's not your fault."  Zax murmured.  "I...really loved her.  And I thought she loved me..."

            Sephiroth sighed as he pulled into the parking lot of his apartment complex.  "Come on.  You're staying with me tonight."  He said in a tone that bore absolutely no room for argument.

            Zax looked up at the silver-haired general of SOLDIER.  "But-"  He started to protest.

And for all the roads you followed
And for all you did not find
And for all the things you had to leave behind

            "I will not leave you alone when you're like this, Zax.  You're the best SOLDIER in Shin-Ra, next to me.  And, you're my only friend."  He added as he got out of the car.  Zax sighed as he hopped out of the car and followed Sephiroth.

            His friend?  Sephiroth considered him a friend?  Sephiroth had friends?

            The general led him up five flights of stairs, then swiped a keycard in the last door.  A click was heard, and Sephiroth opened the door, holding it for the teenager.

            Zax stepped into the apartment.  He had never been in the general's apartment before, and somehow this was exactly what he had expected of Sephiroth.  The carpet was silver and the furniture was black leather, and black curtains were pulled aside to reveal the energetic, all-lit-up-at-night city of Midgar.

I am the way

I am the light

I am the dark inside the night

            Sephiroth promptly grabbed Zax and dragged him down the hall, shoving him into the bathroom.  "Take a hot shower."  He instructed.  "I'll find you some dry clothes."

I hear your hopes

I feel your dreams

And in the dark

I hear your screams

            Zax sighed and turned the water on hot.  He stripped off his dripping clothes, depositing them on the floor.  They landed with a wet plop as he stepped into the steamy shower.

            Sephiroth rumaged through his closet until he found some clothes that would fit the sixteen-year-old SOLDIER.  He opened the bathroom door, which startled Zax a bit, and laid the clothes on the sink.  "Zax," he called into the shower, "would you like something to eat?"

            Zax pulled the shower curtain aside, revealing half of his muscular upper body, pale skin now slick and shiny with the water.  He peered at Sephiroth.  "What'd you say?"

            Sephiroth tried not to stare at the young man, finally locking his own glowing aquamarine eyes on Zax's violet ones.  "Would you like something to eat?"  He repeated.

            The teenager's face broke into a bright smile.  "Yeah that'd be great."  He said before going back to his shower.

Don't turn away
Just take my hand
And when you make your final stand
I'll be right there
I'll never leave
All I ask of you
Believe

            Sephiroth, after burning himself several times, had finally managed to create a halfway decent meal for the young man.  So what if it had involved going across the street to the 24-hour fast food joint?  He considered Zax well worth it.

            Zax stepped out of the shower, steam rising off of his pale skin as he dried himself with one of the dark green towels hanging there and pulled on the clothing Sephiroth had lent him.  It actually fit quite well.  He borrowed some of the general's hair gel to fix his raven locks and wandered out into the living room to find the silver-haired man.                                                                                                                   He found food in the dining room, but for the moment he was still looking for Sephiroth.  He found the general in the living room, shirtless as he practiced with his seven-foot katana.  Zax just stared, dark violet eyes locked on the silver-haired figure.  Sephiroth just exuded grace, calm, and control.  He could not even bring himself to tear his eyes away when the general turned to face him, lowering the Masamune to his side.

Your childhood eyes were so intense
While bartering your innocence
For bits of string
Grown-up wings
You needed

            "Zax."  The general stated with a slight smile.  "Your dinner's on the table."  He went back to practicing.                                                                                                                             Zax nodded dumbly.  "O-ok."  He stammered.  The teenager then returned to the dining room, seating himself as he pondered something he had somehow failed to notice until tonight.  "Sephiroth is beautiful," he murmured, "why the hell didn't I ever notice it before?  He's much better looking than Aeris."

But when you had to add them up
You found that they were not enough
To get you in
Pay for sins repeated

            Zax had never been attracted to men.  That much, anyway.  A few experiences in Gongaga had proven him bisexual, but he usually went after women.  And Sephiroth, he was anything but.  The young man pondered this new feeling bitterly as he ate.  One, he was attracted to his commander.  Two, he was seven years younger than Sephiroth.  Three, Sephiroth had a reputation for being emotionless.  Of course, there were rumors about the general's past relationship with the leader of the Turks.  Zax shook his head.  Tseng was an emotionless bastard as well.

And for all the years you borrowed
And for all the tears you cried
And for all the fears you had to keep inside

            Sephiroth came in and sat beside Zax just as he was finishing his meal.  He watched him for a few minutes, his expression unreadable.                                                                                                       "Am I sleeping on your couch?"  Zax asked him after being stared at until it made him fidget.   "Of course not."  Sephiroth replied matter-of-factly.  "You're sleeping in my room."              "Then you're sleeping on the couch?"  Zax asked, confused.                                                          Sephiroth chuckled softly.  "I'm worried about you, Zax, but I'm not sleeping on the couch for your sake."

I am the way
I am the light
I am the dark inside the night
I hear your hopes
I feel your dreams
And in the dark
I hear your screams
Don't turn away
Just take my hand
And when you make your final stand
I'll be right there
I'll never leave
And all I ask of you is
Believe

            Zax gulped.  He knew Sephiroth did not have a guest room.  So then, the only other option was, "we're sharing the bed?"  He asked.
            "Yes."  Sephiroth replied as though it was not something to worry about.                         "Why?"                                                                                                                         Sephiroth chuckled again.  "Go lay down on my couch and honestly tell me you could sleep there."  It was Zax's turn to chuckle.  "Point taken."                                                                          Sephiroth smiled softly, then stood up and started down the hallway.  "Shall we?"                 Zax gulped and followed him.

I never wanted to know
Never wanted to see
I wasted my time
Till time wasted me
Never wanted to go
Always wanted to stay
'Cause the person I am
Are the parts that I play
So I plot and I plan
Hope and I scheme
To the lure of a night
Filled with unfinished dreams
And I'm holding on tight
To a world gone astray
As they charge me for years
I can't pay

            Sephiroth slept in nothing but his pants, and even though he had a rather large bed, it was hard not to touch him.  Sephiroth slept in nothing but his pants, and he expected the same from Zax.  Sephiroth and Zax slept in nothing but their pants, were sharing a bed, and Zax had just realized he was very very attracted to Sephiroth.  "Oh Holy Lifestream, oh Holy Lifestream."  He whimpered.                         Sephiroth looked up at him quizzicaly as he reached up to turn off the light.  "Are you okay, Zax?"

"I'm fine.  Really."                                                                                                

           Sephiroth gave him a skeptical glance, the flicked off the light and burrowed beneath the covers.  "Goodnight, Zax."                                                                                                                "G-goodnight, Sephiroth."                                                                                                       "Are you sure you're okay?"                                                                                      "Yes."                                                                                                              

I am the way
I am the light
I am the dark inside the night
I hear your hopes
I feel your dreams
And in the dark
I hear your screams

            "This is about Aeris, isn't it?"                                                                                     Aeris?  Ha.  Well, it was better than telling him the truth.  "Yeah, it's about her."                           Zax froze in absolute shock as Sephiroth pulled him close.  "I'm sorry."                                      "I-i-it's o-okay."  Zax stuttered as he lay his head on Sephiroth's chest, breathing in his scent.  "It's not your fault, Sephiroth."  The general smelled wonderful.  Zax would never be able to describe it, so he continued drinking it in contentedly.     

Don't turn away
Just take my hand
And when you make your final stand
I'll be right there
I'll never leave

            "I know, but I still feel bad."  Sephiroth murmured as he ran his hands through Zax's spiky black hair.  "You used some of my hairgel, didn't you?"                                                                              "Yes....You're not mad, are you?"                                                                                     "Of course not."                                                                                                     

And all I ask of you is
Believe

            Zax took a deep breath, completely enthralled by the way the general smelled.  He was very sleepy.  He took one last deep breath before falling asleep on the silver-haired man's chest.                  Sephiroth smiled as he watched his subordinate sleep on his chest.  He still ruffled the teenager's hair fondly.  Once he was sure Zax was asleep, he leaned down and whispered in his ear.  "I love you, Zax."  Then he sighed.  "And maybe someday I can make you believe it."

Believe