Raine:  Well, here's the second chapter of my fic, so enjoy!  And just so I get no flames, let me make one thing perfectly clear:  I LOVE TSENG!  HE ROCKS!  It's just that I started this Seph/Tseng fic on my laptop where he's an asshole, so . . . . . anyway, enjoy!

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You may see a stranger,
You may see a stranger
Across a crowded room
And somehow you know,

             Sephiroth sighed.  He absolutely hated Shin-Ra's parties.  Actually, he hated the fact that he was forced to attend.  The parties were perfectly fine without him there for a bunch of damned asinine hero-worshippers coming up and asking for his autograph, then making some insipid comment about him being left-handed. (AN:  I don't know if he really is; just go with me here.)                                                   As if on his thought's command, a little girl of no more than four came up and tugged on his arm.  "Mithter Theffiwoth?"  She lisped in a tiny voice.                                                                                 Sephiroth looked down at her, taking in the overly gaudy and terribly itchy-looking green party dress she was wearing.  "Yes?"  He asked impassively.                                                                  "May I pleathe have your autogwaph?"  She asked, holding out a piece of paper and a pen to him.            Sephiroth sighed and knelt beside her, taking the pen and paper as he swore this was the last person he was ever signing and autograph for.  "What's your name?"                                                 The little girl looked up at him with wide green eyes and smiled.  "Lucwecia."  She told him.            Sephiroth blinked and stared at her.  Lucrecia . . . Where had he heard that name before?  He shook his head, sighed, and turned his attention to the paper.  Dear Lucrecia, I hope you're having fun at this party.  I know I'm not.  Love, Sephiroth.  He smiled and handed the paper back to Lucrecia.                      "Thankth Mithter Theffiwoth!"  She said, clutching the paper to her chest.  Then, on impulse, she leaned up and kissed him on the cheek before scampering back through the crowd to her mother.                   "How cute, General Theffiwoth!"  A voice from behind him rang out cheekily.                             Sephiroth stood and turned around, examining the young raven-haired boy behind him before he smiled.  "Zax."  He stated casually.  "What are you doing here?"                                                     Zax gulped.  He had been dreading this moment since he had left Sephiroth's apartment a month ago.  Without telling him of course.  For the past month he had done his best to avoid the general, but it was rather hard, being second in command and all.  This was the first time he had come face to face with the man since then.  He swallowed his fear and stared straight into his superior's aquamarine eyes.  "I came to apologize."  He replied.  Then, with a sigh and a spoonful of courage whose origin he would never know, added, "And to ask for a dance."                                                                                                 That made Sephiroth pause.  A dance?  "Sure," he sighed, "why not?"

            "Really?"  Zax asked, puzzled by the response for a moment before he grabbed his superior's hand and dragged him to the dance floor.

You know even then
That somewhere you'll see him
Again and again.

            Once out on the dance floor, Zax stared at Sephiroth, looking a little lost.  The general looked at him and sighed.  "You don't know how to dance, do you?"

            The boy fidgeted.  "Well, um . . . no."  He looked up at Sephiroth with his wide violet eyes.  "I was kinda hoping you did . . ."

            Sephiroth sighed but then smiled.  He took one of Zax's hands and placed it on his shoulder before placing his hand on the boy's hip and taking his other hand to lead with.  "Just follow me and you'll be fine."

            Zax complied, allowing his superior to guide him through the dance.  He was awkward at first and stepped on Sephiroth's feet several times, but after a few songs he got the hang of it.


Some enchanted evening
Someone may be laughin',
You may hear him laughin'
Across a crowded room

            After they had grown tired of dancing, Sephiroth and Zax retired to lean against a shadowed wall.  For awhile they talked and joked about as though nothing had ever happened, and both found they were actually having a good time in each other's company.  But inevitably the question came up.

            "Zax," Sephiroth asked cautiously as he sipped his drink.  "Why did you leave?"

 
And night after night,
As strange as it seems
The sound of his laughter
Will sing in your dreams.

            Zax's eyes widened.  This is what he'd been dreading.  A month ago he had left Sephiroth's apartment before the general awoke.  He knew he would never be able to face Sephiroth in the morning; not with the way he felt about the man.  It was embarrassing!  He could not even think about the silver-haired man without his heart skipping a beat, and it only made it worse knowing that Sephiroth would never in a million years feel the same way.  Still, the boy could look into those Lifestream-colored eyes and drown forever there.  And yet he knew Sephiroth could never love him.  He probably had never known love in his entire life, being raised the way he was.  And who was Zax to try and make him feel?  He was afraid of being hurt again.  So he stared into the object of his adoration's aquamarine eyes and tried to think of something, anything, that he could say.


Who can explain it?
Who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons,
Wise men never try.

            Sephiroth patiently stared into Zax's beautiful, rich violet eyes as he awaited his answer.  As he waited, he began to ponder.  He loved Zax.  More than he had ever loved Tseng.  Yes, that rumor was true, and it was something the general was not proud of.  But no matter how strongly he felt for the boy, he knew his feelings would never be mutual.  The boy was a child compared to him, and more than that he was straight.  The general knew that Zax still loved Aeris.  Just from the way he had talked of her.  She has the most gorgeous green eyes you'll ever see, and the most perfect smile!  Sephiroth shook his head sadly.  Who was he, little more than an emotionless drone raised in a laboratory, to compete with that?  But he was not emotionless, was he?  Surely not, if he loved Zax as much as he did.  He shook his head to clear it and searched Zax's eyes for an answer.

Some enchanted evening
When you find your true love,
Across a crowded room,
And fly to his side,
And make him your own
For all through your life you
May dream all alone.

            "I . . . . I, well,"  Zax began awkwardly.  He looked mournfully up at Sephiroth.  "I-I can't.  I can't tell you!  I'm sorry!"  He half yelled before shoving past Sephiroth and frantically bolting out of the main party room.  After recovering from the initial shock of this, he blundered through the darkened hallway before burtsing out of a pair of wide glass doors into the garden.  Here the boy sank down amidst the rose bushes, panting heavily and half-crying.

            Sephiroth reached out to stop the boy as he dashed past, but found that the shock of the whole thing had dulled his reflexes.  He watched Zax go and pondered a moment before he set down his daquiri and followed the teenager's path.

            He found Zax sitting in the garden, sobbing amidst the red rose bushes.  His face was scratched and his suit tattered by the thorns.  The teenager did not seen to notice.  He stared at some unidentifiable point in the distance and cried steadily, hugging his knees like a little boy.

            "Zax," Sephiroth whispered as he sat down beside the raven-haired youngster.  "What's wrong?"

            The boy did not answer, he focused on his point in space and did not even seem to notice his superior.  Sephiroth sighed and wrapped his arms around Zax's shoulders, drawing him close.  "Tell me.  Please."  He added the magic word almost like an afterthought as he gently traced the crimson slashes made by the rose thorns on the boy's alabaster skin.

            Zax sighed deeply and settled back into Sephiroth's embrace, leaning his head against the general's chest.  To his pleasant surprise, the silver-haired man still smelled as wonderful as he had a month ago.  Zax had thought he had forgotten that fragrance, but always it had lingered in the corner of his mind, calling to him like some forbidden sweet.

Once you have found him,
Never let him go.

            "Sephiroth?"  Zax spoke the name cautiously, half of him not wanting a response.  He had to tell him.  He had to get this off of his chest, and Sephiroth deserved to know.  The boy was dreading it.

            "Yes?"  The general's deep, warm voice sounded right next to his ear.  Sephiroth had paused from his tender tracing of Zax's wounds to regard the boy with a mild air of curiosity.

            "Sephiroth . . . .I-I love you . . . . . ."  Zax managed with a minimal amount of awkwardness.  Then he squeezed his eyes shut as he felt his face grow hot.  How embarrassing this was.

            The general blinked.  Did he just hear that?  Zax loved him?!  Eyes wide, he stared at the teenager in utter shock.

            Feeling his superior tense up, Zax immediately began sputtering out an apology.  "I-I-I'm so-"  He was abruptly cut off as he felt warm, soft, silken lips close over his own, forcing him to shut up.  After a moment, Sephiroth pulled away.  He and Zax stared at each other in a way that utter shock would be a severe understatement for a moment.  Then he took the teenager's hand in both of his own and kissed it gently.

            "I love you too, Zax."


Once you have found him,
Never let him go!

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Raine:  Yay!  Chapter two is done!  By the way, I'm not going to make this a lemon.  I'm not old enough to read that stuff.  *shifty eyes*  But still, it'll be a wonderful fic just the same.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to E-mail me at OneManArmy22@yahoo.com.  E-san's email is the one in our profile.  Oh, and pleeeeeeaassseee review!  I love hearing what people think!  Thanks!