Sephiroth firmed his grip on his sword and braced himself.
"Genesis . . ." Angeal growled, in that deep, warning tone that did nothing but make Genesis angrier.
Genesis, the eternal teenager. Rebellious, emotional and obsessed with ridiculous poetry.
If it wasn't for the fury that flowed through Genesis like lava, Sephiroth might have found his tempestuous outbursts amusing. But it was there, that fire, bubbling under the surface, and it made Angeal's bossiness more dangerous than irritating. It also meant that when Genesis roared and rushed at Sephiroth for the third time, Sephiroth took him seriously.
"Genesis!" Angeal barked, voice like thunder, sword in his hands now. Far, far too late.
"Leave it to me." Sephiroth took a breath and went to the calm place in his head. Like creating a bubble of time and space where he could think with cold, easy logic, whatever was happening outside. Everything slowed.
He raised his sword effortlessly to deflect Genesis' attack. He'd calculated Genesis' follow-up attack already and turned all that rushing energy back on him in one smooth, fluid movement. Genesis staggered back a few steps but quickly rallied, regained his balance and readied his blade.
A grin twisted Sephiroth's lips. Genesis was improving all the time.
But not enough.
"You're as bad as each other," Angeal snorted in disgust.
"Come on, Angeal," said Genesis. "Two on one, we could take him easy."
"What's the point?" said Angeal, while Sephiroth calculated the feasibility of Genesis' boast. It could be an interesting test. "This isn't training. This is pointless rivalry. There's no honour in it."
"You and your honour," Genesis sneered.
Sephiroth observed the clenching of Genesis' hand on his sword, the tiny movement of his left foot. He was getting ready for another attack, using his pointless taunting of Angeal as a distraction. Sephiroth pretended it had worked, directing his gaze towards Angeal, waiting for his response.
"I can't believe you-" Angeal started.
Sephiroth raised his sword, met Genesis' blow, shoved it away. Shifted to hand-to-hand: ducked down for a swift, sweeping kick to force him off balance. Genesis jumped the kick and held steady, neatly countering move after move, until Sephiroth raised his sword again and caught his attention with Masamune's sharp, gleaming edge.
This time his kick struck home, and Genesis tumbled to the floor. Distracted by the threat of Sephiroth's deadly blade, he'd left himself wide open to more mundane attacks.
And that was Genesis all over. Too much passion, far too much imagination, not enough concentration. That's why their battles always ended the same way, however hard Genesis trained, however much he wanted to win.
Sephiroth stepped back, sheathing his sword. The door slammed behind Angeal, storming out in one of his huffs of righteous indignation. Another hothead.
Very nearly too late, Sephiroth realised that Genesis was on his feet and moving. Fast. A spike of adrenaline surged through Sephiroth's body and he let the rhythm of battle take him again. They danced around the training centre, boots clanging on the bare metal floor.
"You're not fucking trying," snarled Genesis.
Sephiroth shrugged, deflecting Genesis' attack smoothly in the process. He didn't have to try. When would Genesis get that into his head?
"Take me seriously, damn you!"
Genesis ran at Sephiroth like a demon, fire balling in his palm, hair streaming out behind him. Sephiroth dodged the first fireball, deflected the second with the flat of his blade, and shredded the third to harmless fireworks with the edge. Genesis snarled in frustration, but Sephiroth didn't miss the grudging respect in his eyes. They hadn't - yet - finished one of these battles as enemies.
There was something else in those eyes, too. A different kind of heat.
Sephiroth's heart skipped a beat. He took a step forwards.
Genesis stepped backwards, instinctively. But he made no move to start a counter-attack. His back made contact with the wall.
Sephiroth licked his lips. "Ready to surrender?"
"Never." Genesis had a knowing little grin on his face.
"Then. . ."
Their eyes met. Sephiroth hesitated for no more than a second before he leaned in and pressed his mouth to Genesis' for a hard, punishing kiss.
Genesis answered with all the passion and fire he'd brought to their fight. Better placed here. All the richer for that quiet undercurrent of need. Sephiroth's hands shook; he braced them flat on the wall either side of Genesis' head, willing the cold steel to calm him.
Genesis spoke softly. "'In the calm before the Goddess raised her bow, the world saw union 'twixt fire and ice.'"
"You know what Angeal says about mixing fire and ice?" Sephiroth shifted closer, pressing his thigh against Genesis', hard muscle to hard muscle.
"No, I must have missed that lecture. What does he say?"
"You end up with lukewarm water."
Genesis laughed. Not his usual staged, mocking chuckle, but something rich and real that came from his soul. "This doesn't feel lukewarm to me," he said, and strong arms wrapped around Sephiroth's waist, pulling him in.
"No," Sephiroth agreed, and closed his eyes as Genesis kissed him again.
The pale silk sheets on Genesis' bed were rumpled, tangling around the two of them as they rolled around. Sephiroth's hair flowed over his shoulders to brush Genesis' face as they took a short, hard-breathing moment to look at each other.
"I want..." Genesis looked flushed, his voice was thick and his gaze uncertain. Almost vulnerable. Sephiroth drank it in and realised he liked it. A great deal.
He brushed his lips along Genesis' jaw line and murmured, smiling: "And what is it you want, exactly?"
Genesis made a small, fierce noise and bucked his hips, rolling them over so he was on top, Sephiroth's hair tangling in his fingers. Genesis didn't look any more in control. "You," he snarled, as if it was a hateful thing and all Sephiroth's fault.
"Is that a problem?"
"Only if you-" Genesis cut off his own sentence and kissed Sephiroth hard on the mouth, as if that told him all he needed to know. "Fuck, Sephiroth, you know what happens next as well as I do."
Sephiroth let one hand come to rest on Genesis' sweater-clad back, low down, in the hollow before the lush curve of his ass. The wool of his sweater was soft and warm. "The way I see it, a number of things could happen."
Genesis looked as if he was about to start yelling, so Sephiroth plunged on. "We could keep doing this." He paused for a brief kiss, which earned a reluctant whimper from Genesis. "Or I could leave." Genesis had the grace to look shocked at this prospect. "Or we could have sex." Sephiroth let his fingers roam to the hem of Genesis' sweater and wriggled underneath. He relished the touch of smooth, warm skin.
"Yeah, right." Genesis' eyes flickered shut. He squirmed a little as Sephiroth stroked his back. "Like you could stop."
Sephiroth chuckled. "Oh, and you're planning on holding back, of course."
Genesis groaned and let himself fall forwards, grinding his hips into Sephiroth's as his tongue slid into Sephiroth's mouth, wet and warm and insistent.
No more teasing. Sephiroth tugged Genesis' sweater off, aided by his lover's lithe, supple body that moved conveniently to shed itself of clothing at the slightest invitation, it seemed.
"Lust rises like a tempest,
Storm devours the land,
One burst of thunderous fury and . . .
"Let me guess. 'Loveless'."
"Act One, Scene Three. Get your clothes off." Genesis smiled his most mischievous, quirky smile, and Sephiroth's blood sang. "I want to see what you look like naked."
"You've seen me before." Sephiroth slid a hand between their bodies to start unbuckling.
"Doesn't count. It's not as if I could take a proper look with Angeal around."
"You think he'd care?"
"He might want to join in. Or keep you all to himself."
"I'm sure that's not honourable."
"Now move," Sephiroth said. "I can't reach the zip."
Genesis let him up, and busied himself taking the remainder his clothes off. Sephiroth watched out of the corner of his eye as he stripped the leather from his own legs and arms. Watched muscles ripple and pale, creamy skin emerge from all that mundane SOLDIER uniform. Finally naked, Genesis lay back on the bed, and waited.
It took Sephiroth all of twenty seconds of ruthless efficiency with his own clothing before he was kneeling, panting, naked, over Genesis' prone form. Genesis licked his lips with that pink, wicked tongue. His skin was flushed, across his cheekbones, his throat, his chest.
Sephiroth had never wanted anyone - anything - so much in all his life.
He ran a hand from Genesis' knee to his inner thigh, rested it there. Genesis' leg was trembling.
"Are you sure?" Sephiroth said.
"Yes." Genesis wrapped his legs around Sephiroth's waist, pressing their bodies tight together. "Fuck me."
Sephiroth snatched a breath. He could feel the tremble in his own body, hoped Genesis wouldn't notice.
"Come on," Genesis said, reaching down to grasp Sephiroth's cock. Sephiroth winced; he'd been too hard for too long already and it ached like fire when Genesis touched it. Genesis looked at him, and Sephiroth closed his eyes.
Genesis spoke in a voice far gentler and softer than Sephiroth had expected. "Is this your first time?"
Sephiroth cringed inside. The one question he didn't want to answer, the one truth he didn't want Genesis to hold over him forever. He forced his eyes to open and stared Genesis down with all the icy determination he could muster. "We need something wet," he said, relieved when his voice came out strong and steady.
"In the drawer," Genesis said, and then, blurted out like a reluctant promise. "I use it for jerking off sometimes. Sensitive skin. Kind of."
"Right," said Sephiroth, storing away the image of Genesis masturbating, here on these sheets, this bed, hand slick with lubricant.
There were other things inside the drawer - clean socks, a magazine, a potion and a lump of materia which Sephiroth was pretty certain Genesis shouldn't have. An all-too-familiar, slender, leather bound book. And a bottle of ShinRa-brand lubricant, plastic pump-action, half-full.
Sephiroth knelt back on his heels and pumped a generous amount into his palm. He was aware of Genesis watching him, nibbling on his lower lip. If Sephiroth hadn't known better, he might have thought Genesis was nervous too.
"Warm it up," Genesis said. "That shit can be seriously cold."
"That sensitive?" Sephiroth arched an eyebrow.
"Fuck you," said Genesis.
Sephiroth parted Genesis' thighs, and got to work. Started off with his cock and balls, just stroking, teasing, exploring. Lower, lower, deeper, until he touched the little knot of muscle beneath. He scooped lube from his palm with one finger, and touched.
Touch, touch, push.
His finger slipped inside, immediately clenched tight by hot, slick muscle. He pulled it out again. Genesis whimpered. Head flung back, arms wide, hair wild, its auburn shade in beautiful contrast to the pale cream pillow.
Beautiful. So beautiful it stole Sephiroth's breath away.
Touch, touch, push. Two fingers.
"Fuck me," Genesis wailed.
"Shh. It'll hurt."
"I don't care."
Touch, touch, push.
Easier now. Slippery-wet and soft.
Touch, push, push.
"Please," begged Genesis.
Trembling, Sephiroth slicked up his cock, and lined it up.
"Oh," Genesis gasped, and wrapped his legs effortlessly around Sephiroth's back. Supple as ever.
Genesis groaned and pulled Sephiroth down, burying his face in his hair. He made noises as Sephiroth slid home. Quivering, breathy noises that felt real and good and open in a way Genesis had never appeared to Sephiroth before.
"This is good." Sephiroth murmured.
"Yes," said Genesis. "Fuck, yes."
"Are you alright?"
"Fine. Just really... full."
"Don't let it go to your head," said Genesis. "Now, move."
Sephiroth moved. And somewhere along the line, he forgot to think.
Sephiroth drowned in Genesis' passion, his beauty, the grace with which he surrendered himself to Sephiroth's every movement. Yes. It was like fighting, but for once they were both, completely, on the same side. No doubts. It was as if Genesis was part of him. An ally. A weapon. Lover.
Genesis arched his back and offered Sephiroth the slender, elegant column of his neck to kiss. Sephiroth couldn't resist. He nuzzled the pale skin, nipped and teased at his lover's ear. He brought their bodies to the edge of release, only to deny them both again and again, until Genesis looked more anguished than pleasured by the delay. Then Sephiroth let him come.
Genesis screamed when he came, as if his heart were breaking, body shuddering, a single tear streaking down his cheek.
Sephiroth thought it was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.
The sheets were sweat-damp and rumpled, but still felt good against his skin. Sephiroth lay entangled again, draped in silk, one leg curled beneath Genesis' bent knee, and watched him smile at the ceiling.
"I'm surprised it took us so long to get to this point," said Sephiroth.
"Yes." Genesis traced the smooth, muscled lines of Sephiroth's arm with his forefinger. "It's not as if I concealed anything from you."
"No." Sephiroth smiled a little. "But intent doesn't always lead to action."
"Doesn't it? Even when you want something this much?" Genesis twisted around to kiss him, soft and lingering, tongue flickering against Sephiroth's lips like candle flame.
Sephiroth suffered an unusual wave of uncertainty amid the rising of fresh lust. Had it really been inevitable? Irresistible? Could he really have lost that much control?
"Don't look so scared," Genesis said. "We can go back to the training room and I'll kick your arse to Hell and back instead, if you'd rather."
Sephiroth snorted. "As if you could." Automatic, comforting, familiar response.
"Lucky for you I like it here. I'm in no rush to fight you again."
He did look comfortable, languishing among the sheets and pillows, still touching Sephiroth's cool skin with warm, fluttering fingertips.
"I could stay here for a while," Sephiroth admitted.
"Good. Pass me the book out of the drawer there?"
Genesis re-arranged his pillows to prop himself up a little, and tucked his hair behind his ears. "I'll read to you," he said. "While you get your strength back."
Sephiroth smiled to himself and rested one hand softly on Genesis' belly.
"'Loveless'," Genesis read. "Act One."
And Sephiroth closed his eyes, and listened.