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Wedding of the Century

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At 4:15am on the dot and not a second later, Cloud woke up bellowing a vicious snarl.

At 4:15:30am Rufus shot up in bed next to him, ready to take on who would dare invade their home.

At 4:16am Rufus realized there was no invader, and Cloud put his head in his hands.

Rufus remained silent, as he let him be as Cloud went through his affirming mantra to recenter himself. With a smile, Rufus said nothing, and slipped out of bed. Sliding on his slippers, and tossing on his robe, he shuffled out and made his way to the kitchen.

The mansion was quiet at this hour, and cavernous, everything echoed through the vaulted construction. The staff had heard everything when he and Cloud made love. They said nothing at first, as not to earn the President’s ire. After time, they casually critiqued his performance and commented on it due to Cloud’s vocalness; Cloud seemed to enjoy certain techniques. They laughed about it together. And the staff understood Rufus was nothing like his father.

And now, Rufus smiled to himself as he listened to Cloud repeat his mantra. He tugged on the stubborn freezer door. After the fourth yank that threatened to pull the chrome and glass fridge from the wall and possibly crush him, the freezer popped open with the crackle of settled ice.

He did not hesitate as he grabbed the gallon bucket of chocolate cherries jubilee ice cream followed by a spoon from the dish rack. Rufus set it out on the counter, to let it thaw a bit as he set about brewing himself a pot of coffee. He trained his ears, and listened to Cloud affirm himself. The coffee pot dinged, and Rufus poured himself a mug and tossed in a sugar cube.

With everything settled, Rufus returned to the bedroom. He smiled as he set the gallon tub of ice cream and spoon into Cloud’s lap, and then slid in the bed next to him. He sipped his coffee as Cloud pried off the lid of the ice cream and took the first bite.

“Thank you…” he muttered around a mouthful.

“You’re welcome,” Rufus said, his voice soft.

“You really are good to me,” Cloud said, as he took another bite.

“I try my best.” Rufus sipped his coffee.

“People hate you, y’know?” Cloud asked as he crunched on a cherry.

“I know.”

“Doesn’t it bother you?”

Rufus nodded.

“Of course it does,” he said. “But when they think of me, they think of Shinra as a whole. They think of what my father had built. They see my face on the news, and I am the object of their anger. But that is their business, what they think of me as a person, is on them. They don’t know me. They only know what I tell the public.” He smirked. “They don’t know I would much rather slum around the mansion in sweats full of holes and a shirt I got at a concert ten years ago that is so ragged I need to throw it out. They just know the man in the white suit who is completely unflappable.” He took a sip of coffee, and considered Cloud’s question again. Finally, he chanced it. “Does it bother you?”

“…No,” Cloud said, his voice quiet.

“You hesitated,” Rufus said.

“I..I know I did,” Cloud said. “I’m sorry.”

“May I ask something?”

Cloud nodded.

“Do you think people will hate you?”

Cloud took a long breath, and his lip quivered.

“Y-yes,” he said, his voice cracked.

“Does it matter?” Rufus asked.

“I don’t…know…”

“It seems like it to me,” Rufus said as he took Cloud’s hand. “They don’t know you like I know you.”

Cloud squeezed his hand and then laced his fingers between Rufus’s own.

“Yeah,” Cloud said. “They see Cloud Strife, the hero. Cloud Strife, the man who saved Gaia from Sephiroth. Cloud Strife, the unwavering blessing that is destined to right every wrong.”

“See. They don’t know you,” Rufus said. “They’ve created this image of you that you think you have to live up to or else. I have an image, that…sadly, isn’t going to change any minds. I can only do what I can from inside Shinra. I can’t change anything on the outside. You know the Cloud Strife I know?”

“Who is the Cloud Strife you know?” Cloud asked.

Rufus brought up Cloud’s hand for a long, gentle kiss.

“I do see Cloud Strife, the hero,” Rufus said. “I do see Cloud Strife, the man who saved Gaia from Sephiroth. And I see Cloud Strife, the unwavering blessing that is destined to right every wrong. I also see the Cloud Strife who is delicate, loving, kind. Who lights up a room every time they walk in. Who comes to life in dresses and lingerie and savors the joy it brings. I see the Cloud Strife that’s going to become my bride and Cloud Shinra this evening.”

Cloud made a breathy chuckle.

“What gave it away?”

Rufus snorted a guffaw.

“I think waking up screaming made it pretty clear.”

Cloud took another bite of ice cream, and Rufus another sip of coffee. Silence passed between them, and Cloud continued to dig in to his comfort food.

“I’m just…,” Cloud began. He set down his spoon and sat in silence for several long breaths. “Scared,” he said, barely a whisper.

“Of what?” Rufus asked. “You’re a hero, after all.”

“That’s just it,” Cloud said, keeping his attention on the ice cream tub. “I…I don’t know if I’m what you signed up for.”

Rufus furrowed his brows and then turned his gaze to his coffee cup.

“The screaming in the night?” he asked while he kept his attention on his mug. “Tensing at fireworks? Jumping at car backfire? The smell of mako fumes making you nauseous and you have to excuse yourself?” He looked up and smiled warmly. “You used to throw up. Don’t think I didn’t know. But you don’t anymore. And you tell yourself a mantra when you wake up with night terrors. Those are improvements to be proud of.”

Cloud nodded, and made a tiny smile albeit sad.

“I…just…don’t want to be a burden.”

Rufus snorted a chuckle.

“My dearest Sparrow, you are the furthest thing from a burden,” Rufus said. “I wouldn’t have pursued you as hard as I did if I thought you’d be someone I’d get tired of.”

He set his coffee mug onto the side table, and then shifted in the bed to pull Cloud into his arms. Even with the firmness of muscle on his frame, he felt cold, fragile, and small. Rufus held on, and kissed his temple. Cloud made a sound mixed between protest and hesitant surrender. Rufus kissed Cloud’s temple again, held  his mouth there, and murmured pleasure. Again, Cloud rumbled in irritation.

Rufus chuckled against Cloud’s temple, and then shifted to whisper in his ear, “I’m going to keep kissing you until you turn your frown upside-down.” He nipped Cloud’s earlobe only to be rewarded with a delighted gasp. Rufus belted a laugh and clung tighter. “There you are!”

Cloud laughed as he tried to wiggle free.

“Stooooop,” Cloud cried out as he cackled, but Rufus dug at his ribs for tickles. “Stooop!”

Rufus wouldn’t let go, and as Cloud flailed, he kicked the ice cream tub off the bed. The plastic bucket went sailing, melted ice cream flying in contrails of chocolate and cherries, collided into one of the floor-to-ceiling drape panels, shattered the window pane, and the ice cream tub continued on its impossible flight from the fifth floor bedroom out onto the yard.

But Rufus didn’t care, and Cloud didn’t have a care in the world as the two of them laughed and wrestled across the bed. Their fingers roved each other’s bodies for the most sensitive ticklish areas of skin. First, it was a conservative, chaste tickling over night clothes. Now, it had become tickling underneath clothes, followed by stripping, and mouths meeting mouths, and mouths meeting skin.

Rufus didn’t remember when Cloud’s mouth had ended up on his cock, but it didn’t matter as his bride-to-be sucked him with such prowess that his eyes rolled back in his head.

“God…,” Rufus groaned as Cloud worked him. “Fuck…If you’re a burden…this is a trial I’ll happily take…” Cloud hummed around his cock, and opened his throat to swallow him down.

Rufus clawed fistfuls into the bed sheets. “Sparrow…Fuck…Sparrow…” He sighed, breathless, and rocked his hips gently to fuck Cloud’s mouth.

But Cloud held him captive, and his mouth left Rufus’s cock. Rufus groaned his displeasure. That is until Cloud’s mouth settled at his ass and gave a long, languorous lick at the rim.

Rufus would curse himself later for the most undignified screech that left his lips as Cloud ate with full starving greed. He laid back on the bed, and lifted his hips to accommodate Cloud’s ministrations. Cloud wasted no time by hooking Rufus’s knees over his shoulders, and then using his fingers to hold his cheeks apart as he licked.

Cloud pulled away, and then planted a kiss at Rufus’s perineum.

“Do you think they’ll hate me?” Cloud asked, his tone wicked and unbearably sexy.

“For…what?” Rufus asked, trying to catch his breath.

“That Missus Shinra is a wanton whore?” Cloud asked, then gave a high pitched moan.

“They’re just jealous.” Rufus grinned. “Are you going to finish me off or leave me here edging?”

It was a peculiar position to be in. Rufus’s knees hooked over Cloud’s shoulders, and Cloud’s ridiculous spikes sticking up like a shark fin between his thighs.

“Mmm, Rufus, I can only hump the sheets for so long,” Cloud groaned. “I need my husband to claim me. Please.”

Rufus chuckled a devilish laugh as he bucked his hips left, and flung Cloud off of him. Cloud had managed to catch himself on the edge of the bed before he toppled to the floor. The two of them laughed, as Rufus pinned him on his belly and then jerked his hips upward for the proper position.

Rufus spat into his hand, and then slicked himself up over Cloud’s own saliva on his cock. He then spat again into his hand, and then smeared it around Cloud’s pink hole as well as nestled his thumb across the rim.

“Good enough?” Rufus asked.

Cloud sighed as he pushed back against Rufus’s thumb.

“Hold it there a minute,” Cloud said as he rocked against Rufus’s hand. “Oh…yes…” he sighed, finding the rhythm. “Good boy…”

Rufus tilted his head, curious.

“I beg your fucking pardon?” he asked, cracking a slow smile. “What game are you getting at here?”

With his face still pressed to the sheets, Cloud rolled an eye back to watch Rufus and smiled mischievously in response.

“I believe you need to ask your First Lady permission to fuck him,” Cloud said as he rocked against Rufus’s thumb. “You want your cock there in that tight hole? You ask your First Lady, boy.”

Boy?” Rufus asked in amusement. “I’ll show you who's the boy around here.”

“Ask, boy. Ask.” Cloud demanded. “Before I cream on the sheets and you get nothing.

Rufus decided to play along, and to be fair, it did turn him on a bit.

“May I fuck you?” Rufus asked.

“I…can’t…hear you.” Cloud sighed as his lashes fluttered. “Fuck…”

Rufus cleared his throat. Cloud’s end was close, and Rufus was determined to be there for it.

“May I fuck you, Madam First Lady?” Rufus asked, his tone firm.

“You…may.” Cloud’s voice became softer.

In one smooth motion, Rufus pulled his thumb away and as Cloud rocked back, he nestled sweetly onto his cock.

Cloud cried out deliciously as Rufus fucked him in earnest. Rufus reached forward, nesting his fingers with Cloud’s. Their engagement rings rubbing against one another. Their emotions took over, as they cried out to each other, singing wordless odes and vows. How they would never leave each other. How they were each other’s morning star and moon rise. How they earned this. How they walked down lonely, dark paths full of betrayal and loss, only to find the light in each other. They loved each other too much that sometimes Rufus feared Cloud would burn away and his world would be nothing but a miserable gray once again.

Rufus breathed Cloud’s breath, and his heart came alive for only him. His soul was not even a worthy offering for Cloud’s gentle love; Cloud had accepted him. Loved him. Chose him. And in that sense, Rufus was indeed just a servant to his beautiful wife.

Rufus was a man who only lived to serve at the pleasure of his First Lady. He lived to chase Cloud’s demons away, love, honor, cherish, in sickness, in health, 'till they returned to the Planet together, forever more.

Cloud came first; he had been the closest, his body trembling with each wave of pleasure. Rufus followed, emptied himself and braced himself over Cloud for fear of toppling on him.

They remained there. Their breathing soft, their bodies slicked in sweat, their hands tight.

“What were you thinking about?” Cloud asked, his voice a ragged croak.

Rufus hesitated, considering what to say.

“How much you make my life brighter by being in it,” Rufus said then cleared his throat as his emotions took hold. “How I spend every waking moment of my life making sure you are safe, loved, adored. How I am just an insignificant speck of a man that has been blessed that you had chosen me in a world that has thrown me to the wolves.”

Cloud said nothing.

The silence persisted.

“Remember when you told me you loved me first and I wouldn’t speak to you for six months?” Cloud asked.

“You were scared. I know,” Rufus said.

“I loved you then,” Cloud said. “I loved you so desperately that I was afraid that I’d ruin it. That…”

“The public would hate you,” Rufus filled in.

“Yes…,” Cloud whispered.

“You chose your reputation over me,” Rufus said, but it wasn’t an accusation. “Can I tell you a secret?”

“Yeah?” Cloud asked.

“I chose my reputation over you,” Rufus said. “Countless times. Too many times. Too many horrific, unforgivable times. I was…”

“Afraid?” Cloud volunteered.

Rufus sighed.

“Yes,” he said. “At first, I thought I was protecting you, keeping our affiliation out of the media. But I was protecting myself, protecting Shinra. I couldn’t let the world know that Avalanche had compromised everything Shinra had built. I…” Rufus took a shaking breath. “I couldn’t let the world see I was weak.”

“And we still chose each other in the end,” Cloud whispered.

“Well, you chose me, more like,” Rufus said then smiled.

“I was tired of being ashamed,” Cloud said.

“Yeah…” Rufus whispered. “Me too.”

“We’re getting married,” Cloud said.

“Tonight.” Rufus nodded. “We can elope, y’know.”

“No,” Cloud said. “Let them see. Let the world see.”

“Why?” Rufus tilted his head.

“I want the world to see we’re not afraid anymore,” Cloud said.

His words hit Rufus in the deepest parts of himself that he had always kept locked away. The place that only held his love for Cloud and that no one else could take from him. Cloud’s courage made him weak and blessed that Cloud would take that step with him.

Rufus shifted, finally pulled out of Cloud, and settled him in his lap. Rufus again kissed his temple.

“Breakfast?” he asked as he nuzzled Cloud's hair. “Shower first?”

“Uh. Maybe code-phrase clearance?” Cloud asked, nervous.

“What are you—”

Rufus had been so focused on Cloud to the exclusion of all else. Elena stood with her back turned in the doorway, rifle at the ready as she blocked any oncoming intruders. Reno stood just inside the bedroom near the closet as he grinned like a jackass and tapped his baton to his shoulder.

“You’re tellin’ me I’m the one who has to tell you, y’tripped the silent alarm?” Reno asked. He sighed and shook his head. “Before you ask, yes. News crews are outside.”

As if it would help anything, Cloud pulled the sheets to his chest and Rufus clung tighter.

“What did that tub of chocolate cherries jubilee ever do to deserve such rejection?” Reno asked. “It crushed the holly topiary. That was Rude’s favorite.”

“Reno…,” Rufus muttered.

“Boss, we still need code-phrase clearance, y’know,” Reno prodded.

Rufus pinched the bridge of his nose and his cheeks heated. He counted to three and summoned his courage.

“The day I laid eyes on Cloud Strife, I knew he was the man that I would give my life for. Cocksure, I said ‘I own you,’ when that moment he owned me. Everything. Heart and soul,” he said.

Cloud gave a slight frown.

“I…don’t think that’s the code-phrase?” he asked, hesitant.

“It is,” Reno confirmed before he reached for his walkie. “Code-phrase confirmed. Phoenix and Sparrow are safe. They…” Reno trailed off to chuckle. “They were just having some pre-nuptial fun.” 

“I swear to God they fuck constantly.” Rude’s voice rumbled through the walkie static.

Shit. Rude. I’m in the room with them,” Reno hissed.

“Yes, we fuck constantly!” Cloud yelled, barely withholding his laughter.

Rufus groaned and flopped backward on the bed taking Cloud with him.

“How do ya wanna spin this, Boss?” Reno asked. “We can get Tseng on it.”

Rufus palmed his face as Cloud lay atop him smiling bright, and his eerie mako eyes twinkling with mischief.

“What?” Rufus mumbled.

“It’s time,” Cloud said.

“Time for what?” Rufus grunted.

“For the world to see.”

Rufus locked his gaze on Cloud’s own. The love and bravery in Cloud’s expression warmed him. Cloud wrinkled his nose, his eyes crinkling at the corners.

Rufus kissed his forehead in a long press of the lips.

“Time for them to see us,” Rufus said in agreement.

“Should I get dressed?” Cloud asked.

“Pfft! Fuck no,” Rufus said as he grinned like a devil, up to no good. “First rule of the media is it must be scandalous.”

He shifted out of the bed, and then reached for Cloud’s hand. Cloud furrowed his brows, and traded an impish grin between Rufus and Reno.

It was Reno’s turn to be anxious.

“Why am I immediately regretting everything about Strife’s face right now?” Reno asked as he took a hesitant step back.

Cloud slapped his hand into Rufus’s own, and in turn Rufus yanked Cloud into his arms, sheet and all. Rufus held tight to his bride draped in a bedsheet dress. He gave Cloud a kiss on the forehead and then sprinted by Reno, outmaneuvered Elena, and hustled down the halls with Cloud cackling away in his arms.

The media was going to have an absolute field day.

If that was a burden Rufus had to bear, he would do so with a smile and look back fondly on the day the most beautiful man had humbled him and had become his wife.

His First Lady.

His rock.

His missing piece.

His hero.