A little one shot for the season. Hope you enjoy and please leave a review!
"I hate Christmas." Genesis seethed, arms crossed as he pulled his coat tightly around him, Zack trotting behind him down the streets of Midgar. The air was chilly and he couldn't believe he'd let Angeal's puppy talk him into going out in this weather especially over something as foolish as Christmas.
"You can't hate Christmas!" Zack declared. "Even Sephiroth doesn't hate Christmas!" his mind truly was unable to fathom how anyone could despise the holiday. There were family and friends, and presents and hot chocolate, and lots of food, really good food too.
"Sephiroth doesn't even know what Christmas is!" Genesis exploded on the poor SOLIDER. "And he's better off for it."
Zack knit his eyebrows together, Sephiroth had to know what Christmas was, he after all had asked Zack to help him plan a Christmas Party! The General actually seemed excited by the idea, and Zack's chest had puffed up with pride that of all the people Sephiroth had come to him for help.
Now he was beginning to understand why the man hadn't gone to Genesis for help however. "You seem to be the one without a clue." Zack muttered, though he hoped the Commander's ears couldn't pick up the insult.
The puppy however was never that lucky as Genesis rounded on him with fire in his eyes. "I know exactly what Christmas is." The ginger snarled shoving his finger into Zack's chest. "Christmas is a concocted holiday, meant to artificially raise people's spirits, while draining their pocket book. It's a farce if there ever was one and people somehow believe they have the right to do whatever they hell they want. From random touching, to kissing you simply because some weed is hanging over your head, singing off key, and shoving random thoughtless things into your arms, wrapped in tacky paper and proclaiming it to be a 'gift' that is either going to get thrown out, collect dust, or get donated. And they expect you to return the favor. Expect you to enjoy their presence. Partake in horribly made, tasteless food and enjoy it simply because other people who supposedly 'love you' are there despite the fact they don't give two shits about your existence the rest of the year. It is a cold miserable holiday and one I won't have any part of."
Zack for his part, fell on his ass as Genesis's rant continued. A few people had stopped to stare, but most were enjoying the scenery. There was a light dusting of snow on the ground, and all of the shops were decorated for the time of year, and the puppy knew that when the sun went down the lights would come on. He wanted to take Cloud out and show him this year. Bells were ringing down the street, thankfully drowning out Genesis's word to those that weren't close to him.
"You had a horrible childhood." Zack snapped as he stood rubbing his butt.
Genesis just glared at his friend's student. "Angeal needs to teach you that you shouldn't talk about things you have no idea about." he growled before turning and walking away, it was either that or set Zack on fire.
The puppy had thought Genesis would be the perfect person to ask for help. He was charismatic, seemed to enjoy social events, and had a keen eye for detail. Oh how horribly wrong he'd been. Never one to dwell on the negative for long however, Zack simply shook his head and went off to call Angeal, he might of been away in Banora but he could at least give Zack a few ideas. Though, he had to admit, now that he thought about it, he realized he didn't remember Genesis being at the company Christmas party last year.
Genesis had had his fill of the holiday season and it was only the beginning. He adored his fanclub most of the time, but the greeting cards that piled up in his mail just got on his nerves. He'd likely burn them all in his fireplace before the day was out but for now he just tossed them on the dining room table unopened.
A scowl crossed his face as he noticed a small tree covered in tackey multi colored lights , and other travesties against reasonable senses. How it got there he didn't know but some of the 'ornaments' were just insulting. An overweight man carrying a bulging sack of presents. The story goes that he would bring them to all the 'good boys and girls the night before Christmas'. Genesis remembered the tale Angeal gushed at him when their first Christmas together approached, even if he couldn't remember the character's name.
He had just been confused about what his new best friend had been going on about. "Every year on December 24th he comes. How can you not know this?" Angeal looked at him like he had been an idiot.
Genesis had played it off, and quickly distracted the other boy from the conversation , but that night when he got home the fact that some great benevolent man who took the time to deliver presents to everyone except for him hurt. For a small 8 year old boy. Especially one who had parents who repeatedly informed him of how worthless he was. Apparently this jolly fellow who apparently loved children thought the same thing.
He'd held out hope though. Angeal had mentioned something about belief. Of course that was it! Little Genesis had never even known the man existed, now he did! Now he could believe! Maybe just maybe this year he would finally get a present on Christmas.
That year he rushed down stairs like every other child in the world that morning. Hope in his heart. His parents didn't have a tree, his mother never decorated for such things unless they were expecting company, but still he ran. This was it he was sure of it!
Only there was nothing near the fireplace at all...or anywhere in the house. When his parents finally awoke to see find him frantically running around, they demanded to know what he was up too. Weakly, he admitted "I was looking for presents"
His mother scolded him, asking if what they had given him, the clothes on his back, the bed, the food wasn't already enough. His father had spanked him for being 'ungrateful' and he'd been sent off to make breakfast that morning, tears in his eyes.
Still, that was the closest Genesis Rhapsodos had ever come to caring about Christmas.
Later on of course he learned that this joyful man wasn't real, that it was typically a child's parent who left such gifts in his stead, which explained a lot. But the damage had been done. He could barely face Angeal the next time he'd seen him.
He left the room, intending to burn the tree, lights and all, with the letters later. Right now however he just wanted a hot bath to shake the chill that had settled in him and perhaps to forget that this wretched holiday even existed.
The wind whipped Sephiroth's hair about as he made his way down the street. People were staring as he passed, not that he paid them much heed. Truth be told at this point in his life he would have felt more uncomfortable if everyone had averted their eyes from him. A warmth spread through him as he thought of the gift that resided in his pocket.
The great Silver General had been reading a lot lately. Christmas had always fascinated him. The bright sparkling lights. The green and red the filled the halls. Red after all had always been one of his favorite colors.
People singing, and genuinely seemed to be happy simply because this one day was approaching.
Christmas had been one of those things that he never even knew existed until he'd left the labs and joined the SOLDIER program. The first year he thought something had gone wrong with all the men around him, but he had been too fresh to the world at large to have the nerve to ask.
Eventually, through observation he had discovered this holiday. It was a family holiday, one meant to be spent with loved ones. To cherish and celebrate them. Suddenly it all made sense why he didn't understand. Sephiroth didn't have a family, he didn't have loved ones.
Disappointed, he quickly realized it was something else he would never be able to take part in, in this strange world. But like always he filed the knowledge away, a flicker of hope that he might one day get to use it.
A rare smile crossed his lips as he thought of Genesis. This year he did have someone to love. Finally all of his knowledge could be put to use. And even more research had gone into making it perfect!
He'd had the tree delivered earlier today. Sephiroth noted you were supposed to decorate it yourself, but he hadn't the slightest clue how, and it was supposed to be a surprise for Genesis so he couldn't ask him. The man would have gone to Angeal but he had taken a bit of leave to go visit his mother back in Banora. Sephiroth had only assumed Genesis hadn't done the same because he wanted to spend the holiday with Sephiroth.
It was his first official Christmas and he was going to make sure everything was perfect. Placing his hand over his inner breast pocket, he thought maybe he'd at least got the present right. Everything else he wasn't sure.
He'd gone to Zack to help him put together a 'party'. Those were apparently common, he recalled Shinra throwing one every year for all the employees. He'd never gone thinking he wouldn't have been welcome, but this year! This year he was going with Genesis. He was certain the ginger would be thrilled that he offered to go to a public event with him.
Genesis was ready to just go find some isolated spot in the world and hide until this whole Christmas bullshit was over with. He would have asked Lazard for an assignment, any assignment that got him out of Midgar but he'd tried that one year before and realized he couldn't escape it within the confines of society.
He was just thankful that Sephiroth had never shown any spirit for the Holidays. Whoever had place the tree in their quarters was risking their life, and after the conversation he'd had earlier he was quick to blame a certain puppy.
He stepped out of the room in his bath towel, feeling a bit renewed. With a flick of his wrist he lit the long in the fire place with a small fireball, before walking over to the stack of letters he'd already received.
One by one he tossed them into the flames, watching them burn as if he was reaping some horribly twisted revenge on the person who had dared sent him a red enveloped covered in gold glitter. It was actually rather soothing as a grin spread across his face and the flames danced in his eyes.
It was this very scene that Sephiroth walked into their shared apartment to witness. The sight of his lover so animatedly tossing the unopened envelopes into the flames might have been disturbing to some, but the General merry blinked as a bit of confusion crossed his fine features. "Isn't it customary to hang them above the fireplace after you have read them? Not throw them into the fire unopened?"
Genesis turned and gave a half grunt in reply before turning back and continuing to chuck the cards into the fire. "You can join me if you like." he laughed a little bit but his normal humor was gone. "The tree goes once I'm done with the gaudy cards."
Sephiroth's eyes flickered to the tree trying to figure out why Genesis might have found it distasteful and found nothing he could recognize as being out of place, though he supposed he wasn't the best judge on the matter. "What is wrong with the tree? Is it not the right species? Are the lights the wrong color?" He asked not being able to fathom the problem.
Genesis snorted. "It's sitting there." he replied before his wrist once again flicked another card into the fire. This one, a metallic shimmering green with Merry Christmas emblazoned on the front in silver, and the ginger held hope that it would alter the color of the flames as it was reduced to ash.
Sephiroth stared at his lover still trying to comprehend, but he was starting to realize he had misjudged something along the way. "I can move it, if it's placement offends you."
"Unless you move it to Icicle Inn along with all the rest of the 'Holiday Cheer' in the city then it won't be far enough." Genesis replied standing as the rest of the cards slid on to their couch. "Why do you care about a stupid Christmas tree anyway? It's not like you celebrate Christmas."
Sephiroth paused, taking in Genesis's posture and his words before he realized what he had gotten wrong. "You're right. I never celebrated Christmas before." he adopted his "General" tone, something he hadn't used in private with Genesis in years. "Christmas, as I came to understand was a family holiday. Something, with the way you talk of your adoptive parents, I had come to realize neither one of us had, had before. Of course we would never have celebrated the holiday. This year, I thought that had changed, mistakenly obviously." he ended a bit clipped before he pulled two tickets to the theatre out of his pocket, and placed them on the counter next to him. "You can do with these what you want." he stated, disappointment clear in his voice, then simply turned on his heels and left, leaving Genesis standing there stunned.
Once he was gone, the ginger picked the tickets up and closed his eyes. He'd been pestering Sephiroth, for ages, even before they had gotten together romantically, to go with him to see his beloved play. The man had always made excuses of why he couldn't go and it had frustrated Genesis to no end. Now sitting here were two box seats for the production that was to take place Christmas Night.
"I'm an idiot." Genesis cursed before placing the tickets back on the counter. Of course the tree had to have been Sephiroth's doing. Even Zack couldn't get into the apartment without Angeal's aid. And Angeal was a thousand miles away in Banora.
The ginger knew how much having a family meant to his lover, how much having those experiences meant to him. He just hadn't realize that Sephiroth had come to see him as his family. Genesis hated Christmas, despised it, so much so that he had never thought about trying to make it meaningful for someone who had so little.
Rather than standing there feeling guilty as sin however, Genesis endeavored to make it right. But then came the next question, what could the ginger possibly get his lover that could make up for how he'd acted? To show him he did care.
Another wicked grin crossed his face, as he made his way over to the computer. Hacking wasn't a strong suit for him, but he'd pilfered Hollander's login information on his last visit to the lab thinking one day he'd need it. It seemed now that day had come sooner than later. There was one thing he could get the man he hoped. All Sephiroth knew of his blood family was that his mother had been named Jenova. Perhaps Genesis could find more for him.
It was late, very late, or perhaps early as the sun cracked over the horizon, when Sephiroth made his way back to the apartment. He'd spent hours in the VR room, fighting off emotions that he sometimes found himself even frustrated for having. Genesis's rejection had hurt. But he wasn't a coward and he had to face the ginger sometime, though what would become of this mess he didn't know.
He truly expected Genesis up, sitting at the counter, glaring at the door as he'd done other times Sephiroth had walked out after an argument. Things never went unfinished with the ginger, and while he didn't want to have an explosive fight with the man, past history, and burnt furniture had taught him that waiting for his lover to 'calm down' only made things worse.
So it was with gritted teeth he opened the door, only to find all the lights off except a faint glow coming from the door to their study.
Quietly he made his way over, the feeling of walking in to a nest of poisonous vipers washed over him as he twisted the door knob. Just because Genesis was waiting somewhere else didn't make Sephiroth think his temper had cooled anymore.
The General however was truly surprised to find Genesis passed out at the keyboard, a cup of coffee half gone next to him.
As he approached and glanced over he about died of shock.
Somehow his lover had managed to hack into the science department's records. Sitting in on the screen was a copy of his birth certificate, signed by someone in a town called Nibelheim. "That's where I was born?" the wind was about knocked out of him. On the line for mother was the name 'Lucrecia Crescent' not Jenova, and the father had been blacked out.
He stared down at Genesis, as his chest tightened. Is this what the man had been up to since Sephiroth had left? His heart twisted as he thought perhaps he hadn't thought so wrong after all. The ginger was always one to speak before he thought. The General knew how much he hated the holiday, and had hurt when that opinion had changed. But as he had previously concluded maybe Genesis's feelings for the Holiday were not linked to his feelings for him.
Sephiroth was broken from his musings however, as Genesis sat up and looked at him a bit bleary eyed , the shape of the keys making a red pattern on the side of the other man's face.
The General leaned over and kissed his lover, to show he himself was no longer upset before he pulled back and asked. "How did you find this?" he had never gotten any information out of Hojo outside his mother's name.
"I didn't mean for you to see it, not yet anyway." Genesis's reply was a bit nervous. "I'm sorry Seph, I found it in some of Hollander's files of all things. I don't even know if it's real. I had intended to find out more before I came to you about it."
"Real or not, I appreciate it." Sephiroth acknowledged before offering the ginger his hand. "Let's go to bed, and we can find out more together alright?"
Genesis simply nodded, seemly relieved that his lover was no longer mad at him. Once he stood he pulled Sephiroth back for a moment. "You are my family Seph, the only one I've got and I do love you. Christmas is hard for me, but if someone can get me to enjoy it, it will be you."
"I don't need a holiday to prove I love you." Sephiroth acknowledged. "But feeling the same excitement everyone else did for once was appealing."
"Well have a great Christmas Seph." Genesis promised before nuzzling his lover's neck. "If for no other reason than each other."