Title: Darkest Nights
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Summary: A bright light on the darkest night of the year.
Notes: Sequel to 'Outage'.
Cloud looked over at the tiny but glittering fir tree perched on his desk. His textbooks were stacked underneath, but not to be confused with gifts, just because there wasn't anywhere else in the tiny dormatory to store them.
Despite his three roommates being gone for the holiday, their stuff was still quite present, taking up every nook and cranny.
He had gotten a card from his mother some days before, explaining that a package was on its way. But without that, there were no gifts to go along with the celebration of the longest night of the year, during the deadest time of the year.
The fir tree, over-priced so close to the already near-lifeless Midgar, stood as a symbol that not all things were dead despite the snows and cold weather that blocked Cloud's own trip home.
The lights that shone from it were there to chase away the darkness, for it was the longest night of the year, and some said the darkest. But perhaps it only seemed so dark since it too so long before the sun again appeared in the sky.
Cloud sighed, thinking about the darkest night he could remember, despite it being during one of the long days of summer. It had been the night the powerstation had become overloaded, plunging them into blackness for almost an entire night.
Still, Cloud thought of that as more a shining point of starlight in his life. With that thought, he got up from where he was sitting and walked over to the window. It was snowing though, and the stars were hidden on the other side of a veil of clouds.
All the lights in the room were off, except for the strand of miniature bulbs that danced their way around the tree on the desk. They were the cheapest lights Cloud could find, a fact made obvious by their weak colors.
Gazing out into the night again, Cloud thought he saw unfamiliar light coming from the front of the compound. With most of the cadets and staff away from the holiday, headlights were a rare occurance.
The event didn't warrant a second thought in his mind though. He was too restless to ponder the comings and goings of every person connected with the compound.
Still, looking through the window while pondering if he should run out into the snow to burn off his extra energy, the lights appeared again, this time making themselves known as belonging to nothing more exciting than a snowplow.
"Shitty job," Cloud muttered while making a mental list of where his outdoor gear was. He hadn't built a snowman yet this year, and if he did it under the cover of night, no one would tease him about it in the morning.
The locked and alarm-rigged doors to the outside posed a problem though. Cloud knew only the first three digits of the eight digit code to leave.
There went that idea. So now all he could do was either stare at the decorated fir or watch the snowplow. Even the thought of reading his textbooks was beginning to sound exciting. Or he could just go to bed. That was a viable idea too, except he wasn't tired at all.
His mind kept wandering, brought back to reality each time the snowplow circled and he saw its headlights shining in the night.
The last time it was so dark, he at least had someone with him.
Thinking back on it, that night was one of the most surreal experiences of his life. And it was certainly one of the most amazing. In the blackness of the compound he thought he'd been kissing an overly-horny SOLDIER only to find out he'd been kissing... the SOLDIER, his idol, General Sephiroth.
He had only seen Sephiroth once since then - and that had been from a distance. The small wave Sephiroth had offered his way hadn't been missed though, even if no other cadet in attendance had noticed.
There was the snowplow again, distracting him. It looked as if it was snowing again, Cloud realized as the headlights illuminated the darkness momentarily. Whoever was plowing seemed to be doing it in vain.
A few sheets of loose notebook paper were scattered on the floor, ignored so long only because Cloud knew that he hadn't dropped them. With his roommates they had strict rules that whoever created the mess had to clean it up. Still, Cloud wasn't sure that it had been a person who'd left the paper fallen or if it had been the fault of either the heat register or a draft from the poorly sealed window.
Thinking back to what his mother had taught him a decade before, he picked up one of the sheets of paper and started folding and tearing. Within minutes he had a pair of makeshift snowflake ornaments for his sad little fir tree and was working on a third.
The wind howled outside, causing Cloud to look up for just a moment. He saw the snowplow headlights again, disappearing behind another building a split second later.
"The darkest night of the year," Cloud said to himself, shifting to fix his third ornament onto the tree. He thought about getting up to fetch a couple of colored markers from his bookbag but paused before actually moving. There was no point in putting so much work into something that would just be destroyed, he decided, going back to his folded paper ornaments. He couldn't quite remember how to fashion the birds that his mother made to decorate wreathes and garlands, but with a few alterations the first of his attempts at least resembled some sort of animal.
He couldn't help his mind from wandering, drifting back to Nibelheim and wondering what it was like there. He knew the town would be festive, filled with greenery and baubles hanging from every window. And most importantly, there was light. Candles and bulbs lit everything, casting beautiful flickering and swaying shadows to form from the simplest of things.
It was the sort of night that even while stuck in his dormitory, Cloud could feel the magic that made it worthy of such celebration.
This time Cloud missed the headlights as they arced and turned, tracing a wider arc than the last time. He was too involved in what he was doing.
On his fifth try he managed to make a workable star to sit on top of the tree, its base opening to grab the top of the tree and secure itself perfectly. Cloud smiled, looking at his handiwork and sort of ignoring how hard he'd had to try to get it right.
Leaning back, Cloud looked out the window again, not at all surprised to see that the snowplow had retired somewhere, leaving only the darkness and the still-falling snow.
He jumped when there was a knock at his door, completely unable to think of who would be bothering him unless...
Running to the door, Cloud tripped over his bookbag and went sailing against the wall next to the door. Finally he managed to find the knob and threw the door open. Outside stood a large, thick coat and scarf completely concealing its wearer.
"Stand aside," the coat and scarf said, pushing through the doorway and quickly closing the door.
A moment later the coat and scarf were cast off to reveal their owner, exactly whom Cloud had hoped it would be.
"Shh..." Sephiroth said, bringing a finger up to his lips. "With so little going on right now, it was easy to get away. And I don't trust you enough to leave you alone on the darkest night of the year."
"Sephiroth..." Cloud let himself be kissed, pulled into a deep embrace and held tight as he parted his lips to let Sephiroth take whatever was wanted.
"You've been sitting here in the dark?" Sephiroth asked when he finally let go and finished slipping out of his coat.
"I have the fir tree," Cloud replied, pointing at the still-somewhat-sad-looking evergreen on his desk. "It's all the light I need."
"No gifts?" Sephiroth walked over and looked at the tree.
"Nothing yet," Cloud replied, feeling quite a bit embarrassed to suddenly appear so... alone. In the dim light of the room he hadn't even noticed Sephiroth was out of his normal dress uniform and was instead wearing a most-likely warmer long-sleeved SOLDIER outfit. It looked strangely good, and served as a good reminder of just how incognito Sephiroth was travelling. "But I will get a package from my mother."
There was a bit of a faraway darkness in Sephiroth's eyes for a moment, but it passed and he walked back to grab Cloud and pull him over onto the narrow sofa that rested against the wall where the door was.
"Just making up for lost time," Sephiroth said, kissing Cloud again.
"I still don't know why you like me so much. I'm just a useless cadet," Cloud protested. He couldn't be anything like Sephiroth. He had nothing to offer.
"You treat me like I'm human," Sephiroth replied, reaching for the buttons of Cloud's shirt. "Nobody else really does anymore. They shy away as though I can't be touched, as though I'm some god."
Cloud gasped at the sensation of Sephiroth's fingers on his bare skin, peeling away his shirt quickly.
"It makes it hard to touch people back, too."
Nodding, Cloud shifted, not wanting Sephiroth to feel his arousal, but basically being on Sephiroth's lap made that quite difficult. Reaching out, Cloud ran his fingers through a few inches of Sephiroth's sliver hair, letting it float from his fingers to rest back perfectly where it had been.
"I don't want to rush you."
"It's okay," Cloud replied quickly, finally meeting Sephiroth's eyes. "You probably don't know when you'll be back, do you?"
"Not at the moment," Sephiroth replied, pushing Cloud's shirt off and reaching to touch the pale buds of Cloud's nipples. Cloud shivered and let out a slight, very involuntary groan, embarrassing himself yet again.
"Would you be more comfortable in bed?"
Happy that it was probably too dim to show the blush he was sure tinted his entire body, Cloud nodded.
"Yes," he said. "But... I haven't... I..."
"I won't hurt you," Sephiroth said quickly before pulling Cloud close for another kiss, knocking Cloud off balance so that he sprawled over Sephiroth's body, free to feel the hardness pressing against him, startling proof of arousal. As Sephiroth's tongue met his, he shuddered, forgetting any sort of control and thrusting slightly, pressing his own erection against Sephiroth's leg. He was scared but not scared at the same time. Sephiroth had gone out of his way to be helpful when they'd first met so Cloud knew deep down inside that he could trust Sephiroth.
This wasn't going to be an exception.
Sephiroth's kisses were perfect, not at all outdiong his feeble technique but instead guiding, teaching. Cloud was losing himself, feeling so hot and so aroused. Sephiroth's fingers were trailing over his back, working their way down, lower, even as they kissed. One hand found a firm bit of Cloud's bottom, squeezing gently as Cloud moaned into Sephiroth's mouth.
Finally Sephiroth let Cloud go, leaving Cloud sitting there, slightly dazed and confused when Sephiroth chuckled.
"C'mon. You should really be laying down for this," Sephiroth commented, hoisting Cloud up so they could both stand.
"Are you really sure about this?" Cloud asked, staggering for a couple of steps before scooting towards the bedroom.
"Shouldn't I be asking you that?"
"I..." And Cloud faltered for just a moment, eyeing his bed as Sephiroth stepped behind him to wrap strong arms around Cloud, letting his arousal press just below the small of Cloud's back. "I think I would have let you the last time."
"That would have been taking advantage of you," Sephiroth chided, reaching around to undo Cloud's belt and pants, slipping them downward along with Cloud's boxers to leave the blond nearly naked and very much self-conscious. Cloud suddenly felt as exposed as he actually was and he stiffened.
Cloud moaned and nearly lost his balance as Sephiroth's hands wrapped around his erection, amazed at how it felt, so incredibly different than when it was his own hands imagining this very situation. Sephiroth had him perfectly, stroking and supporting his weight now, making it so that...
Crying out perhaps a bit too loudly, Cloud suddenly lost himself, coming quickly over Sephiroth's hands as he did lost his balance, thankful that Sephiroth let him fall to the bed so that he could die of severe mortification in peace. But no, Sephiroth was on him almost instantly, licking away the last traces of orgasm, keeping him moaning and shuddering as Sephiroth pulled clothing from them both.
"I'm so sorry," Cloud whispered a moment later, afraid he was going to cry. That wasn't supposed to happen. Not like that. Not then.
"You're perfect," Sephiroth replied. "That was a very normal reaction - what I was expecting."
Cloud only nodded, eyes wide as Sephiroth stepped from his own pants, revealing his arousal, something that made Cloud swallow hard.
"Roll over and scoot up," Sephiroth directed, pointing. And when Cloud hesitated, he smiled slightly. "I already told you that I wouldn't hurt you."
"I know," Cloud replied as he followed Sephiroth's directions, grasping onto his pillow tightly and not really knowing what to expect. His bed wasn't really wide, but it was longer than a standard civilian bed. There was just enough room for them both to be nearly-comfortably positioned.
Closing his eyes, Cloud braced himself, not at all expecting the soft dampness across his buttocks. Sephiroth was kissing him... there. And as Sephiroth worked his way lower, Cloud could only gasp, waiting expectantly. Not quite knowing what to expect, Cloud was startled at just how intense the pleasure was when Sephiroth dipped his tongue into the tight opening of Cloud's body, slipping slowly inside before pulling back and tracing the ring of muscle, calming Cloud, relaxing him, letting him ride waves of pleasure that were slowly radiating from down there.
This... wasn't so scary at all, Cloud realized as his body begged for more... Mewling Sephiroth's name, Cloud was rewarded as slick fingers replaced Sephiroth's tongue, slipping easily inside of Cloud's relaxed opening, finding new spots to pleasure. Cloud hadn't even noticed Sephiroth grabbing any lubricant, but he hadn't been paying too much attention, either. Crying out again when Sephiroth hit some unimaginable spot, Cloud could barely believe the sensation, the sheer bliss that threatened again. He wanted to at least wait for Sephiroth - wanted Sephiroth to feel what he was feeling. Even if they had all night, he wanted to hear Sephiroth moaning his name, too.
And then he was suddenly empty, barely able to comprehend how strange that felt. He wanted the fullness back, wanted... Cloud felt the tip of Sephiroth's arousal against him and immediately he tensed.
"Relax, Cloud," Sephiroth said, reaching down to pull at Cloud's hips, bringing him up enough that Sephiroth could grasp at the erection Cloud hadn't even noticed forming. He'd been too caught up in one form of pleasure to even think about how his body was demanding more.
Thrusting into Sephiroth's hand, Cloud groaned as he was equally penetrated, feeling the first few inches quite clearly before letting Sephiroth sink deep into him, keeping still for a minute.
"You okay?" Sephiroth asked, his breathing less controlled than before.
"Yes. Please... Move!" Cloud exclaimed, pushing back and letting small bits of pain wash away to waves of pleasure.
And so Sephiroth moved, slowly at first, building to a fast, shallow rhythm that had them both moaning softly, each enjoying every movement. Almost as accidently as the first time, Cloud exploded into Sephiroth's hand, amazed at the power of his orgasm, making him shake and moan and buck against Sephiroth, wanting even more to hear Sephiroth cry out in the same way, reward him for the experience.
Sephiroth kept on, obviously trying to build to his own peak, shaking Cloud and moving him on the bed, his movements growing stronger, thrusts growing deeper, keeping Cloud at a point of heightened sensitivity until Cloud didn't think he could take it anymore, wishing he could reach back and grab Sephiroth, holding him close to whisper all sorts of crazed messages of lust.
Cloud could feel Sephiroth's hair falling over him, tickling slightly as Sephiroth bent lower, wrapping an arm around Cloud's chest before finally climaxing, pushing impossibly deep into Cloud's body. And somewhere in the broken praises falling softly from Sephiroth's mouth, Cloud knew he heard his name. Nothing loud, but definitely there.
They lay there, still joined, for a few minutes until Sephiroth pulled away, turning so he could lay beside Cloud. Rolling himself, Cloud looked over to find himself staring into bright green eyes. They were still lit only by the tree lights twinkling in through the doorway, but Cloud could see them clearly. He knew he could trust their owner, especially after what had just passed between them.
"You have to leave in the morning, don't you?"
"We have all night," Sephiroth replied, kissing Cloud softly.
Cloud was not at all surprised that when he finally left his bed the next day, there were two small wrapped boxes beneath his tiny little fir tree, reminders that no, he was not really alone.
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