...Okay, so it wasn't as bad as all that. But still, waking up at at the ungodly hour of 7:00 in the morning is just not on when a girl goes to bed at... uh... actually, considering my record, it might have been an early night. 4:30 or so? I debated not going to class. But I dredged up my willpower (I do have some! :O) and dragged myself out of bed, got myself dressed and headed out the door. It was actually a lovely morning. Warm. I like warm.
And then I got to class. On time. And the teacher wasn't there. Which was fine because I'm late enough all the time that to show up before her for once was far from a bad thing. And then about twenty minutes later another lady walks into the room and says "yes, she just called in. She's not coming to class." (Yes, twenty minutes after the class is slated to start, she calls. Another reason why I hate her.)
I was there to pick up my midterm, be all studious and academic-like and then the professor doesn't even bother showing up. I was up at 8:30 in the morning for absolutely no reason at all and I couldn't leave campus for I still had another class--five hours later. But that's okay. The weather's nice. Yeah, that's enough to do wonders for my mood. What can I say? ;p
And! I had a happy, happy little plotbunny for my nano/Zackfic that I actually made a start in getting it written. ^_^
The stairs were rickety, and Cloud took them as slowly as if he’d been some kind of spiky-haired snail, wincing at each and every inevitable creak as he stepped down. Maybe Sephiroth was just busy… he was the General after all, surely with a record like his, he could afford to be distracted for just a little while…
It seemed an eternity before he made it to the last step, nearly stumbling when he hit the rocky, uneven ground at the very bottom. The startling smell of damp hit him fully when he passed through the hollowed-out archway of a cave; water ran sluggishly down along the sides, stains and sediments and crystallizations marking the age-old water pathways worn smooth over time, and dark, spongy moss grew in patches along the walls, barely lit here and there by a few well-placed cornices hammered directly into the rock face. Maybe Sephiroth would listen—he had to… Cloud didn’t know everything that’d happened between him and Zack, where Zack had went wrong and said something he probably shouldn’t have, but Zack was sorry and Cloud wanted to tell Sephiroth that, about how Zack was just worrying himself to death and blaming himself and hurting back at the hotel and if Sephiroth would only let him apologize maybe, Zack would do anything to make it right. Zack could always make things right…
There was a door off to the side that drew his attention and made him suddenly and irrationally uneasy, but that had clearly not been opened in years, surely Sephiroth couldn’t be there. And Zack had told him about the library, about how Sephiroth just stayed there, day, night, always pacing and reading and reading and reading… that couldn’t be healthy, Sephiroth was still human and maybe he could ask, maybe he could convince Sephiroth to come away, back to the hotel, just for a few hours, get him to eat something maybe…
The other door was open and there was light coming from it. Cloud didn’t even need mako enhancements to hear the steady pacing of Sephiroth’s boots and the dry crackle of old pages turning. He stepped forward—one foot in front of the other, be confident now, come on, you know how Zack would be, and the General listens to him, maybe if you do the same he’ll listen, don’t back out now talk running in loop in his head—unsure, and wary, and it was all so surreal; the piles of books just laying around in haphazard piles, especially when he knew Sephiroth was as fastidious as a cat and normally would never stand to have things out of order around him like this, the General pacing back and forth along a narrow little hallway like a trapped man with nowhere else to go, the rapid flick-flick of pages as he scanned them, the barely-coherent mutterings beneath his breath that Cloud could barely hear… A frisson of fear ran up along his spine at the sheer not right of the whole situation and he didn’t know what he might have done, maybe he’d have turned away, ran off to find Zack, maybe he’d have come forward and faced Sephiroth and asked, but as he stood there uncertain, Sephiroth began to laugh.
And Cloud had never heard Sephiroth laugh like that; quiet and without reserve but hollow like you sometimes heard from cornered men with nowhere else to look except down the barrel of a 9-millimeter, and it was terrifying seeing Sephiroth’s broad shoulders shaking with the effort, his head hanging low and shaking from side to side as if in defeat. But when the man suddenly looked up and pinned him with those eyes, the eyes were wide and glittering green and so very far from defeated, to match that smile twisting those familiar lips into something so unlike what Cloud knew, something cold and cruel… Cloud knew fear. Because that couldn’t be Sephiroth, this had to be some trick, even as the man dropped the book he’d been holding carelessly down on the floor with an abrupt slam. Cloud forced himself not to cringe as the sound echoed louder than it should have in the tight space and the pressing silence, and he had to force himself to stand still as Sephiroth approached, still with that terrifying smile and an arrogant stride he’d never seen. “Please…” he whispered, and he didn’t know what he was asking, what he’d wanted to say, only that he wanted Sephiroth back, not this stranger wearing his face.
And for a moment, he felt relief, because that was still Sephiroth’s voice; silk on velvet, quiet and perhaps even affectionate as the man reached out to draw a gloved hand along the side of Cloud’s face, slowly, as if he’d never seen him before and needed to memorize the curve of his cheekbone, the softness of his lips, the point of his chin.
“You shouldn’t have come.”
Cloud felt his body turn to ice and something large and choking lodge itself in his throat. “I didn’t mean… I only wanted… it’s been days, sir, and…”
He didn’t want to be turned away, not like this, and yes, this was still Sephiroth, had to be… he was just tired and needed to eat something, and anyone would be a little off if they’d gone without for as long as the General had done and Cloud needed to help, Cloud had to be able to help somehow, if he needed to he could even play messenger and run back to Zack, just because Zack always knew what to do, how to help, and the General always let him, eventually…
Obeying was as easy as breathing, and done with about as much thought. Trust, he trusted Sephiroth, believed in him, would follow him wherever he led if only Sephiroth would let him. He moved forward, nearly tripping over a book or two—very smooth, he’d never make SOLDIER like this, but the General only seemed to look amused—before he was in front of Sephiroth in an instinctive parade-stance salute.
For some reason that seemed to anger him; the elegant brows knitted and a frown darkened the man’s face. Cloud had a moment to go oh shit I’ve fucked up somehow too before Sephiroth had reached out and grabbed his wrist, jerked it inexorably away from his forehead and forwards so that Cloud stumbled forwards and fell against Sephiroth’s chest, the wide SOLDIER belt pressed hard against his stomach, but not as hard as what else was rubbing against him in unmistakable insinuation. He nearly stopped breathing right then and there, felt his eyes widen, as he jerked his head up to look at Sephiroth’s face, hoping for an explanation and seeing only naked desire. And something else. Something he couldn't place, didn't want to see.
It couldn’t be… right? Sephiroth had never… and Cloud maybe had hoped, yeah, had dreamed and woken up with a dire need to change the sheets before anyone else in the barracks woke up and noticed, but this? It was unlike him, so unlike him; he had hoped for a touch, something more than a kiss maybe, and this was so much more than that and…
“Sir… Sephiroth… I—”
Lips. Pressed so hard against his, but they were so soft and Sephiroth swallowed his gasp, demanding more and Cloud gave, eyes lidded and lips parted as Sephiroth’s tongue slipped down between and tangled with his; strangely cool and... different. Wrong. Cloud didn’t often catalogue how kisses tasted, but he knew. There was something off, something really, really wrong happening to Sephiroth, something that made a shiver crawl up along his spine like the memory of cold, bone-chilling terror.
And Cloud had known many things when Sephiroth was around, when Sephiroth was here, like this… but it had never been like this, he’d never known this kind of fear, had never been afraid of the man like this…
Then Sephiroth’s arms wrapped around him, leaning over even closer until his silver hair tumbled forwards, slithering down around Cloud like silk, an embrace of its own and Cloud’s hands were fisted in the edges of Sephiroth’s coat almost unbidden, because there was the sudden irrational fear that if Sephiroth turned him away now he would… he would…
He didn’t know what he would do, but he knew it would hurt—worse than… than… than even a rejection from SOLDIER might, than anything, that much he was sure. And he couldn’t let that happen, if he held on, if he kept kissing Sephiroth, then the General couldn’t push him away, couldn’t order him to leave. So, even as that chilling fear wracked him and the heat swallowed him, he held on.
And so on and so forth. A little long, a little meh, but it'll do for a first draft from a Steph who didn't think she could string six words together in proper order just a few hours earlier. Anyone who actually read that deserves a cookie though, honestly. Anyway, classtime is now! Which means I want to find something to eat. *zooms*