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Format: Rough Draft Teaser Chapter
Title: Seduction's Beginnings
Pairing: kinda Cloud x Sephiroth
Rating: PG, with some drops of lemon-lime juice. Cloud drools over Sephiroth.
Warnings: Mostly for the yaoi male x male implications, and set in an AU gameverse though you can't tell right now
Disclaimer: Square Enix owns FF7

Summary: Cloud is sent to collect Sephiroth for dinner

Seduction's Beginnings


Cloud wandered the guest level of the Highwind, trying to recall the correct path to Sephiroth’s quarters. It wasn’t that the area was too huge to get lost in, but looked the same. Everything tied into Shinra’s red and gold color scheme — from the overlapping diamond patterns on the carpet to the fake wooden beams decorating the bulkheads. The cherry-wood doors with gleaming gold handles had no identifying numbers or marks. Yellow-hued walls were unadorned with paintings, nor were there any decorative tables with flower arrangements in vases to help identify one hallway from another.

It didn’t help Cloud that the carpet was nearly mesmerizing in the color patterns and memories stirred. Before going to Midgar, most carpets and rugs he’d seen were plain and simple. They were uniform in color or tri-colored mixes, with occasional rugs having design qualities. Yet there was a store in Niebelheim whose imported rugs looked more like tapestries to be hung on a wall than material to walk on. Cloud would hold his mother’s hand, and as she talked to the shopkeep he would stare in awe at patterns and pictures woven into squares, rectangles, ovals, and other shapes.

There was even a Mother’s Day that he and his brother managed to save money for a small rug to place in front of the rocking chair. Cloud always teased that it matched his brother’s hair. The diamond pathway he stared at now reminded him of that rug with its varying shades of red.

Shaking off nostalgia, Cloud ignored the diamonds and focused on the task. A couple of nights ago he’d already walked into the wrong room thinking it was his. Barret had been sure to cuss him out for it until Aeris had calmed him down. The talk probably reminded Avalanche’s leader of his ‘situation’ and to take it easy on him. Cloud would rather avoid that small embarrassment again and prove that he was capable enough to find a particular room on his own.

Carefully counting doors from the second corner, Cloud was fairly sure that this was Sephiroth’s room. If it wasn’t, he’d just ask whoever opened the door which room belonged to the white haired man. Or maybe that person wouldn’t be in their room to answer a knock or maybe the room was unclaimed—

Or it could be Sephiroth’s room. Cloud steeled his nerves and knocked.

“Just a minute,” Sephiroth’s voice called from the other side of the door. Sighing in relief and pleased contentment that he did it by himself, Cloud mentally snubbed his nose at Barret and Cid. See— I can find the correct room; I can handle something simple like delivering a message.

The door opened, and Cloud turned his attention to the figure behind it. “Hi, Seph—“ The rest of his greeting was cut off by the sudden breathe he sucked in between his teeth. There stood Sephiroth, calmly gazing at him while towel-drying his hair and only dressed in a pair of black pants. Other proof of that he had gotten done with a shower remained in the form of water droplets that clung randomly to his skin. The most were located around his neck by his still damp hair, threatening to trace a path down from his ear to the hollow of his throat. Cloud noticed an interesting beaded necklace then, and the way that feather accents gently brushed his skin in the air currents. More beads of water were located on his left shoulder and down around the navel.

Cloud was sure his face was flaming by now, and dropped his eyes to the floor. His blush might have gotten an extra boost as his eyes traveled down the well fit pants. He stared determinedly at the diamond pattern again. Even Sephiroth’s bare feet seemed to mock Cloud’s blush.

“Good afternoon, Cloud.” His eyes jerked back up to meet glowing green. Sephiroth stepped back and gestured with his free hand. “Come on in.” Sliding past the other man enough to let him close the door, Cloud watched as a white towel twisted around silver hair to squeeze out excess water.

Sephiroth walked towards a dresser, pulling the towel from his hair as he did so. Cloud was knocked off balance again by what looked like tattoos on his back. Wing tattoos? As if I don’t already have enough things to stare at him for. And were those bird and bat wings...

“Seph, hmm?”

“What?” Sephiroth’s question interrupted his musing and tilted the balance the other way.

“Not many people call me by a nickname,” he replied as he turned around with a brush in his hand. Throwing the towel into a corner, he started to untangle his hair. “Too bad there’s nothing to shorten your name to.” Sephiroth grinned, and his eyes lit up more if possible. “I suppose I’ll just have to call you Kumo.”

Cloud was starting to get sick of the world being thrown off kilter. Oddly enough, the confusion he felt was providing some form of stability. “Kumo?” he asked. “What’s a kumo?”

“It’s Wutainese for cloud.” Sephiroth paused in his brushing, and seemed to look closer at Cloud. “Are you feeling alright? You look a little flushed.”

Also amazing that irritation of another emerging mother hen could set the world back on track. “I’m fine,” he ground out. “Cid sent me to tell you that dinner is almost ready.”

Sephiroth blinked, looking taken aback. “Oh.” He turned his back to Cloud and set down the hairbrush. His hair blocked any further view of wings. “He’s never reminded me of that before,” he muttered. Walking over to a closet and pulling it open, he said over his shoulder, “Well, when you see him at dinner, just tell Cid that I wasn’t hungry.”

The mood had shifted in the room, and it saddened Cloud. That last comment sounded like a dismissal. Perhaps it was better when the balance wobbled. He tried to find some form of levity to lighten the oppressive air. “But— but, uh, Cid was quite clear about you coming to dinner. He was ranting profanity. Threatened me several times with bodily harm or tossing me overboard. I fear for my safety should I arrive for dinner and you’re not with me.”

Sephiroth emerged from the closet with a long sleeve blue shirt. “I’m sure you’ll survive. Cid’s mostly all bark and saves the bite for enemies.” He snickered. “Granted that it’s a profanity filled bark, but a bark all the same.”

Cloud crossed his arms as he watched Sephiroth start to pull on the shirt. “Take away the bark, and he seemed worried about you. Ranted about you not showing up for previous meal times and having spies report no other trips to the kitchen.” Cloud glanced away, feeling sheepish. Now who’s the emerging mother hen...

Sephiroth sighed, and Cloud looked back at him. He waved his left hand in a dismissing manner. “No, no, I won’t be going to dinner. I don’t know what set Cid off, but it’s not like this hasn’t happened before. Sometimes I don’t feel the need to eat for a couple of days.”

However, Cloud felt the plane of existence shift again, and didn’t protest so much this time. Sephiroth’s shirt was still unbuttoned, and framed the necklace and muscular chest quite nicely. “It matches the feathers,” he stated.

“What?” Sephiroth tilted his head quizzically.

“Your shirt,” he clarified. “It matches the feathers.” Cloud felt emboldened, and stepped up in front of Sephiroth. He reached out and trailed a couple of fingers down a blue feather. “Actually matches the whole necklace pretty well.” The majority of the necklace was stringed with tiny cobalt beads, interspersed with larger blue, green, black, and silver beads and stones. There were some loops that looked like loose lace designs, and four feathers that accented the whole thing. Two blue and green feathers, each grouped with an opposite color that dangled from two points on the necklace. The feathers also had black stripes on them. “What bird has striped feathers like these?”

“None. A brother made this necklace for me, and the feathers were from chocobos that he raised. He painted the stripes on himself.”

“I have a brother, too. Wait, a brother? Does that mean you have more than one?”

Sephiroth laughed. “I have lots of brothers.” He raised a hand to Cloud’s forehead and pressed it against his skin. “Are you sure you’re alright? You’re looking red again.”

Cloud shivered at the feel of Sephiroth’s cool fingers, sure it was the laugh that set off the blush this time. It was easier this time to ignore irritation and simply grab his hand. “Do you like me?”

Sephiroth blinked obviously again, and Cloud was glad that he wasn’t the only one trying to maintain a balance. “Yeah... I do. Why?”

“I like you, too.” And perhaps I can help you, if only to mollify Cid and make sure neither of us listens to him howl. Twinning their fingers together, Cloud quietly asked, “Since we’re friends, can you be a good friend and show me the way to the dinning room? I had a bit of a hard time finding my way here.”

“Of course, let me get my boots on,” he agreed immediately. Cloud kept an innocent face as Sephiroth sent him a concerned look. By the time silver haired man grabbed his boots, he had already missed the devious smirk that crossed the blond’s face.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
choco_chick
Apr. 28th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC)
Helloo! :) I remember reading this somewhere else... (don't think I reviewed though ><) and i'm curious where you're going with this! Especially about this AU gameverse you've created where they both act this way around each other ^^ So good luck!

....ah ha! now I know why you asked for other silver haired men^^ I didn't see Vice from Dirge of Cerberus on your list. and Kilua (and his father?) from HunterXHunter.
ember_and_ash
Apr. 28th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
The other place you probably saw it was at myprettypuppet, but thanks for reviewing here though. :D

Yeah, the plotbunny spawned from someone else's plotbunny, and became AU gametwist. I'm about ready to start the first chapter (Kingdom Hearts 2 kinda interrupted me, and I think I have to watch Advent Children again, too) but then </i>another</i> bunny showed up at my door that's spawning an idea of things that could have happened in between cannon game plot and an after AC continuation like thing. so yeah, picking up the stray bunnies

Thanks for your additions to the list, but just as a warning I might not use them. Maybe Vice, even though I don't know what he's like as a character, he's a FF character....hmmm....
**ponders** We'll see.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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