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Cloud ate his dinner so fast he almost choked on his potatoes. He coughed, but didn't slow down. It was a common thing to eat ShinRa's meals fast; you never knew what you were eating. But the boy was setting a new record.

“Strife, be careful. Has something happened?” asked Mike, one of his classmates.

Strife swallowed a last bite of something that looked suspiciously like Bahamut meat.

“No. Zack's coming back from his mission.” He stood up, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “See you later, guys!”

Cloud almost ran to the exit, ignoring Mike's 'Remember about protection!' and everyone’s laughter.


Zack was sitting on his bed, drying his hair, dressed only in cotton pants. Cloud's mouth watered at the sight. He needed all of his self-control not to just jump on his boyfriend.

“Hey, Cloud,” Zack smiled, throwing the towel away. He looked even better than always: wet and half-naked. “I missed you.”

“I missed you, too.” But the boy wasn't looking at him. His eyes were glued to the whip on the First's bedside table. He had missed it, too... “I had some problems with my unit” he admitted, standing next to the furniture.

“Did they do something?” Zack put an arm around his waist and nuzzled Cloud's hair with his nose; it sent shivers down his partner's back. The older boy smelled like aloe and something familiar, like mountain air. That cologne for his birthday was a great idea. “Do I need to talk with someone? Kick some asses?”

The cadet shook his head. “Nah, they just were teasing me about the hickey you left on my neck.”

“Really?” Cloud felt as Zack tensed, and smiled. They were talking about it and yet...

“Yes” He turned to his lover with the whip in his hand, smiling coldly. “I told you 'no marks', didn't I?” He trailed the whip from the First's neck to the bulge in his pants, smacking it lightly. Zack groaned, his blue eyes half-closed in pleasure. But in them Cloud saw desire and need, too. “You were bad puppy... I think a little punishment is necessary.” The raven haired teenager moaned again. “Start with licking my boots and then we will decide if I should forgive you.”

Before he finished his sentence Zack was already on his knees with his head bowed in submission. Cloud smiled. The sight of the First as he was now, completely in his control, and with his tongue touching his boots, was addictive.

“Hands on your back”

“Yes, sir”

The cadet almost laughed, and leaned against the bedside table, playfully rubbing the whip in Zack's hair. Those red lips were now kissing the material on his calf. I wonder what Sephiroth would say if he saw you like this.

Because, whatever other people were thinking, they were wrong. It was Cloud holding the strings.