Considering all the days Sephiroth has worked with you in the field, he can’t figure out for the life of him why you’ve been acting so weird for the past few weeks.
Sure, the working chemistry between the two of you has been rocky at the beginning, but along the way, it proved the entire point of Tseng and Lazard jointly deciding to pair you up with Sephiroth for multiple assignments: your immaculate intel work and espionage skills as a promising Turk perfectly complemented his superhuman fighting prowess. You’re an additional intelligence to the already brains-and-brawn renowned war hero, and for Sephiroth, he immensely enjoyed working with you.
The thing now is, despite everything going along swimmingly, as of late, Sephiroth could not understand why you seem to be avoiding him. Like, being within his proximity just gets you strangely uncomfortable. At the back of his mind, he’s raking for reasons why, and he’s trying to figure out if there was anything offensive that he ever did to you at all. He replayed past conversations, all the dry-humoured jokes, and he just can’t seem to get to the bottom of anything. And with this, he somehow resented you for reasons beyond any plane of existence could ever understand. It’s not that there’s an existing animosity between the lot of you Turks and 1st Class SOLDIERs that warrants his ill-stemmed feeling. But for the first time in his life, there’s a mystery before him that no amount of his training in SOLDIER, nor any of his educated research could ever solve for him.
For the first time, he actually felt helpless.
And out of all the things that Sephiroth hates, this feeling of helplessness is at the top of his list.
Out of all the things that you hate, this unnamed feeling in your chest is now at the top of your list.
And for the first time, nothing ever made sense to you.
The funny thing about this is you don’t know how, or why, or when the tangle of emotions started, but every single time you see Sephiroth these days, you feel like your heart is about to erupt out of your chest. The funnier thing about that is he doesn’t even do anything that could merit a good reason for you to get all internally antsy. You try to rationalize things, just like you always do, but you end up taking the easy route which is to hate him.
True, your partnership with Sephiroth allowed you to witness and be amazed with his exceptional combat skills and his strategic mind at work, and you enjoyed every second of it. But as of late, you hate how he effortlessly executes everything he does. You hate how he sometimes smiles when Zack makes a silly joke about chocobos, or when Angeal passionately explains his gardening methods. But most of all, you hate his stupid, handsome face.
All things considered, you and Sephiroth are a force to be reckoned with.
But all of this tension finally takes its toll when you discover out of the blue that he has requested Tseng to pull you out from all his other assignments. Without even thinking, and with the fumes of your frustration consuming you, you march through the corridors of the SOLDIER headquarters, making a beeline for the training room. You stop to look through the glass door, and the unmistakeable long, silver hair and the black coat standing in the middle of the room is your cue to storm inside.
The whirring of the sliding door catches Sephiroth’s attention. “I believe I’m not expecting any company—”
“Care to explain to me why the fuck you pulled me out of all my upcoming missions with you?” The rage in your voice is so thick and scathing, but Sephiroth’s face remained unfazed as he turns to you, his eyes as cold as glaciers.
“I no longer require your assistance, given your inadequacies,” his words were sharper than steel. He should have just stabbed you in the chest while he’s at it.
You look at him, completely aghast. “I’m sorry— me? Inadequate? Are you fucking kidding me?” You pace across the room to distract yourself from the gripping feeling smothering your chest. “After that one time I saved your wounded ass in Wutai and I am inadequate?”
The crack in your voice allowed a faint twitch of emotion to break Sephiroth’s impassive face. Your eyes are burning hot from the tears that threaten to spill over, and you keep it at bay; he’s the last person in the universe that you ever wanted to see you cry.
When he does not answer, you finally diffuse the suffocating silence.
“You know what, fine,” you begin, and the tone of your voice still resonates a hurt that neither of you could ever comprehend. “Before all of this, it was actually my greatest pleasure working with you. I just… if you wanted to get rid of me, if you hated me that much, you could have said so. And it would have been nice if I heard it from you first.” You return towards him and stop to look at him straight in the eye. “So, there you have it. Have a fucking swell career, Sephiroth.”
You walk past him, and god, you can’t wait to get out of here and let all these stupid tears out of your system. But before you can even get through the door, like a flash of lightning, Sephiroth snatches your arm and spins you around. In a heartbeat, his face is now inches from yours, and you can feel and taste his breath.
“I don’t understand you,” he grits his teeth as he whispers the words out, and all the while, you can’t help but stare at his perfectly luscious lips.
“I don’t understand you, either,” you snap back, trying so hard to sound in control. “Glad the feeling is mutual.”
He leans even closer, his forehead touching yours, and his hands gingerly take your face.
Before this painful second stretches on, you breathe, “If you’re going to kiss me, you can do so—”
It was almost brutal and terrifyingly electric, but the way his lips met yours, the shock ran through your spine like a raging torrent. You respond roughly when you sink your teeth into his bottom lip, your fingers running through his hair.
And just like that, all at once, all the unnamed emotions finally make sense.
What began as a frustrated kiss led to another one. And then another. It went on until the both of you already memorized how your lips moved against each other. It kept going until the both of you had granted each other an unspoken forgiveness, a closure for all the aching and agonizing weeks of misunderstood words and misplaced feelings.
What started as a cutthroat partnership ended in his bed that night. And the night that followed. And the nights turned into three, four, and five, until the both of you eventually lost count.
Considering all the nights you’ve been in Sephiroth’s bed, you’ve already made a habit of watching his beautiful sleeping face.
It’s certainly one sight to behold, if you’re being honest, and a tricky one to catch, too. Apart from the other obvious habit that the both of you have been doing each other every night, and with Sephiroth possessing a stamina of a mighty stallion, waiting for him to lull into sleep after sex proved to be difficult, but never impossible. He would stay up, absentmindedly twirling a lock of your hair, or pressing his lips against your forehead, until slowly but surely, his breathing steadies into a rhythm, and all his soft and tender touches come to a pause.
As you study him in the faint glow of moonlight, you find a strange serenity that inhabits his pale features; his stern and stoic face is replaced by a gentleness that mellows the sharp planes of his cheeks, a calmness similar to that of a sleeping child.
Still buzzing in the delight of a beautiful exhaustion, you cautiously sneak out of bed, careful not to stir Sephiroth out of his peaceful slumber. You take whatever piece of clothing you find discarded on the floor; you settle on Sephiroth’s white dress-shirt and slip yourself in it.
You tiptoe out of his bedroom and into the kitchen. You never really paid attention to the details of his quarters. But now that you look closely, there are a couple of plants along the counters, which you immediately assumed to be Angeal’s doing. You expected his place to be gray and bland, but surprisingly, with all the potted plants and the photos of Zack, Angeal, and Genesis plastered on his fridge, it definitely puts your boring room to shame.
You felt your heart leap out of your chest when you see Sephiroth standing in the doorway, shirtless and looking nothing less than glorious. He curiously watches you, and he wonders how his shirt hanging so lazily around your small frame could look so sexy, matched with your beautifully disheveled hair.
You must have been gawking hard at him too when he says, “My eyes are up here.”
“Yup. Gotcha.” You mechanically answer, making an effort to drag your eyes out of his sculpted chest and back into his absurdly pretty face.
Sephiroth casually walks over to you, and he places a chaste kiss on your lips. The scent of rose and vanilla that lingered in his skin is intoxicating. "You do know it's rude to stare, right?"
"I wouldn’t be staring if you had something on."
"But you have my shirt on, my love," he wraps his arms around your waist. "Unless you want me to take it off you?"
You can practically hear him seducing you with just his voice. "That's a very tempting offer, but nope," you slyly counter. "Never mind—you look better with your shirt off."
Sephiroth’s mouth hangs slightly open, and you see a gentle flush creeping on his face. You try to bite back the smile on your face.
You cheekily laugh, “Did I just fluster you, big guy?”
“You and your smart mouth,” he grants your lips another kiss. He’s smiling when he pulls away, and you feel your heart doing somersaults at the sight of it.
“Well, it’s my only redeeming quality,” you flash him a sweet grin of your own.
“What are you doing here in the kitchen, anyway?” he asks, and his hands wander around your hips. “It’s four in the morning.”
Your own hands wander around his chest. “I was planning to get rid of these marks you left me—”
You squeak a little when he scoops you up and props you to sit on the counter. Sephiroth nuzzles your neck, leaving soft kisses and gentle bites. “But it looks good on you.”
You giggle. “My, you’re getting cheeky now? Is this Zack's annoying qualities rubbing off on you, because if it is, I prefer you to be your usual brooding self."
He only hums in response as he continues to traverse the expanse of your shoulders with more kisses. “Just call in sick.”
“You know I can’t—” you quickly whine, and he only laughs. “Sephiroth, I love you but this isn’t funny if I’m supposed to be your best guarded secret—”
He abruptly stops and he slowly raises his head to face you. There’s confusion in his eyes, and your face drops at the grave look on his face, so you could only ask, “Did I say something—”
“Say it again.”
“I’m your best guarded secret—”
“No, the other thing.”
The realization slowly unravels in your head. But instead of saying the words again, you decide to show it to him by pulling him into a deep kiss.
For the first time in Sephiroth’s life, the mystery before him finally reveals itself. The revelation required no help from his formal training in SOLDIER, nor any of his educated research. For the first time, he felt normal and human.
Out of all the things that he can finally claim that he truly adores, this feeling of you by his side is at the top of his list.