This fic is gift for BunnyGirl, who wanted a story to go with some of her favorite pictures of this adorable couple. Here's hoping I'm doing them justice. This fic contains shounen-ai that will become lemon if I get the okay to continue. For now all you need is an open mind about male homosexuality. No other warnings. Slightly PWP.

Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII or the characters herein. They are the property of Squaresoft. I do not make any profit from writing this story.

Sephiroth frowned as he watched the thick black clouds gathering on the horizon slowly move across the setting sun. He was waiting for his escort to finish loading their duffel bags into the open jeep. *We might not be able to make it back before that storm hits.*> he thought as a strong gust of wind fluttered his ankle-length coat.

He was looking forward to returning to his home after this past mission. It had gone well, but it was still exhausting. He heard his companion slide into the driver's seat and turned to look at a different kind of cloud. He smiled slightly as he watched the young blonde reach up strap on his seat belt and climbed onto passenger side.

Cloud's hands fumbled with the buckles as he felt Sephiroth looking at him. He was supposed to be taking the general to his private residence before reporting back to the fort. He didn't mind driving, it kept him from getting motion sick when he had to concentrate on the road. A fact he never would have discovered if Sephiroth hadn't forced him. What was making him nervous was the way those brilliant green eyes would rake over him on occasion, as if looking for something. His paranoia made him feel Sephiroth was looking for flaws.

Sephiroth continued to gaze at the teenager, remembering the times he'd glimpsed the lithe half-naked body in the locker rooms. The general almost groaned. His desires were getting out of hand. The young soldier was six years his junior, and so very innocent. He couldn't understand why he wanted him so much, but there was just something about Cloud that made the silver-haired swordsman throb with need.

Cloud turned the key and the jeep rumbled to life. "Ready to go 'sir?" he asked. Sephiroth nodded and they began the journey to Midgar.

The storm broke about a mile from Sephiroth's home and Cloud crawled along in the low visibility until he was able to pull into the garage. Both soldiers and everything within the vehicle had been thoroughly soaked by the deluge. Sephiroth squeezed some of the water out of his hair before heading towards the door.

Cloud sat on the driver's seat and shivered. There was no way he could drive in that, and he wasn't about to ask the general if he could go inside. He fought the urge to sigh in relief when the familiar voice called out. "You can join me you know.... We both need to dry off." He looked up at Sephiroth and quickly looked away again. *He even looks good wet.* thought the young soldier.

He shook the thought away and picked up his duffel bag, frowning when water began pouring from the sack. He heard Sephiroth's laugh, low and rich. "You may as well just leave it there for now, nothing inside is going to be useful anytime soon." Cloud nodded and dropped the bag with a loud squelch, before following Sephiroth inside.

Sephiroth veered off to the left, and Cloud got a fleeting glimpse of a sleek, ultra-modern kitchen of polished black, before he was led to a laundry area. He blinked, he hadn't expected Sephiroth would wash his own clothes. The older soldier set the Masamune on a high shelf and began to strip away his trademark outfit, hanging theitems up to dry. Cloud blushed, getting redder with each inch of skin that was exposed.

Sephiroth was down to his boxers when he noticed his guest was still fully-clothed, dripping on his tiles, and getting redder by the minute. "Are you okay Cloud? You need to get out of those wet clothes before you catch a chill. Mako treatments or no, a smart soldier takes no chances."

Cloud nodded and began to pull off the bright blue uniform, trying not to look up as he saw Sephiroth bend to remove the boxers from the corner of his eye. A towel waswrapped around the trim waist before anything was revealed, and Cloud frowned when he realized he was a little disappointed. He still couldn't believe how he reacted to the man. He'd always assumed he liked girls because of the way he felt for Tifa. ~Nobody ever said you couldn't like both.~ whispered a little voice. Cloud blushed even more, feeling the heat spread throughout his body.

He nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt a cool hand pressed to his forehead. "Hmm, you don't seem to have a fever." whispered Sephiroth. Cloud nodded numbly, staring at the muscular chest directly in front of his eyes. He had the oddest desire to lean forward and bury his face on the chiseled planes. He felt Sephiroth removing the rest of his clothes, and gasped slightly. *What is he doing??*

"I'm getting you out of these things and giving you something warm to drink." said the older soldier.

Cloud tried to protest, but all that came out was a small squeak. That only made him turn redder.

>ephiroth smiled and finished taking off the clothes, leaving the boxers, that would have been just a bit too forward. He couldn't believe his luck, the perfect opportunity to seduce his little warrior had been dropped into his lap. Part of him was telling him what he was thinking would be considered extremely questionable, but he ignored it as he wrapped the lovely bishonen in a large fluffy towel.

Sephiroth had Cloud sit at the counter while he set about making some tea.

"Do you have a preference, Cloud?" the general called over his shoulder as he examined various canisters.

Cloud shook his head. "No, I'll have whatever you're having."

Sephiroth nodded and pulled down his personal favorite. "Do you like jasmine?"

"Yes 'sir, that's fine." Cloud said, even though he had no clue what his leader was talking about. *I thought jasmine was a flower...can you drink flowers?*

The general gave him a mock stern look. "Now, now Cloud. Haven't I told you to call me Sephiroth when we're off duty?"

Cloud blushed slightly and nodded. Sephiroth's expression softened as he finished spooning tea leaves into a simple white teapot and walked over to the blonde. He touched the youth's shoulder and leaned close. "I like you Cloud, I want you to feel
comfortable with me."

Cloud's blush intensified as he stared up into those bright blue-green eyes. Sephiroth looked so much more different when he smiled. The blonde was one of the few people who got to see them on a regular basis. He shivered slightly when Sephiroth's knuckles brushed his cheek. *What?* It was too late to ask questions, the general was walking away again.

Sephiroth picked up the kettle just as the water started to steam and gently poured it over the tea. "Would you like to talk while this steeps?"

Cloud dropped his gaze. He was still recovering from his leader's touch. *Oh god! How can I talk to him? What am I supposed to say? I...*

Sephiroth sighed and set his hand over Cloud's, encouraged when he stiffened a moment, but didn't pull away. "You don't have to be so nervous around me Cloud, general or no, I'm still human. It's not as if I'm a god."

Cloud smiled a little, wondering if he should tell him people worshipped him all the same. *Myself included.* He gnawed on his lip a moment, then said "I'm sorry 'si-ephiroth. I just can't seem to help it. "

Sephiroth rubbed his thumb along the side of Cloud's hand, smiling when he saw the blonde didn't stiffen this time. "It's okay, I have that effect on people. You need to move beyond it though. I see potential in you Cloud, lots of potential, but you'll never reach that potential if you freeze when faced with a challenge."

Cloud sighed, he didn't acknowledge the compliment, all he heard was the negative. Sephiroth noticed this as well, and shook his head. His trainee had some real self-esteem issues. He lifted the blonde's chin and forced him to meet his gaze. "Don't belittle yourself Cloud. I wouldn't compliment you if I didn't mean every word I said. I want to see you use your potential. I want you to become one of the best. You can become a SOLDIER, a First-class SOLDIER, right up there with me and Zack. You just need to believe in yourself, the way I believe in you."

Cloud eyes shone slightly, he was so afraid to hope. He'd die if he disappointed the general, or any of the other people who expected so much from him.

Sephiroth released his hold and poured them both some tea. He didn't want to press too hard. Cloud had a tendency to fumble when faced with too much pressure. The blonde was at his best when he was relaxed, when he didn't feel obligated. "Would you prefer sugar or honey?"

It took Cloud a moment to realize what the general meant. "Oh, err sugar."

"One lump or two?"

Cloud bit his tongue to keep from laughing as an old cartoon came to mind. "Four."

Sephiroth chuckled, "You'll be bouncing off the walls on that much sugar."

Cloud blushed a bit, but he noticed Sephiroth not only gave him the requested amount, he also put the same number in his own tea. He raised one blonde eyebrow.

Sephiroth shrugged, "So I have a sweet tooth."

Cloud visibly relaxed as he smiled and picked up his spoon to stir the tea. "Mmm, this is pretty good." he whispered after a tentative sip.

Sephiroth nodded. "It's my favorite, imported from Wutai." The general glanced up and his eyes widened slightly when he saw Cloud guzzling down the hot liquid as if it were water. *Well...I see he doesn't drink tea often.*

Cloud sighed as he polished off the cup. It felt wonderful to have something hot in his belly. "May I have some more?"

Sephiroth smiled and poured him another serving. "Certainly, but might I suggest sipping? You can better appreciate the flavor if you drink slowly."

Cloud blushed slightly, but took the advice at face value, and they continued to drink their tea in silence.

Sephiroth was about to excuse himself to prepare Cloud a room (a room he hoped to be invited to stay in),when the lights flickered and died. The silver-haired man let out a sigh and stood up to get his emergency flashlight.

He pulled the large metal cylinder from a drawer and flicked the switch. It was still in working order, but a little dim. So he took down a few large candles and some matches, just in case the batteries died on him. He ran his fingers over one of them,
wondering what Cloud would look like in candlelight. More specifically what he would look like pinned underneath him, writhing in pleasure, as the flickering light bathed that slim body in its golden glow.

The image was so appealing he tucked the flashlight under his arm and decided to take the candles into his bedroom. He was determined to make his dream a reality. The batteries went out the moment he turned to the blonde and he fought the urge to swear. Instead, he closed his eyes for a few seconds to adjust to the dark. He preferred not to do this since it not only made the mako glow intensify to eerie levels, but tended to make his eye's a little red afterwards.

Cloud had yet to get the treatments, so when Sephiroth opened his eyes he saw Cloud staring around blankly with huge blue eyes before the young recruit focused on him. He smiled a little realizing the only thing his trainee would be able to see was the bright glow of his eyes. He moved behind the blonde and slid his arms around his chest. *You're so very beautiful Cloud.*

Cloud gasped and looked over his shoulder, feeling a few strands of his idol's long silver hair brush against his cheek. He lifted his hands and placed them over Sephiroth's arms, thinking of removing them before the embrace made him embarrass himself. The moment he touched them however, he forgot that intention. His gaze dropped a little as he simply let his hands rest on the strong arms holding him. *Sephiroth is touching me...I'm touching I dreaming?*

Sephiroth almost sagged in relief when Cloud accepted his embrace. He felt a hesitant hand reach up to toy with his hair and smiled tenderly. *He's willing, oh thank god, he's willing.* He fought the urge to lift Cloud into his arms and toss him across the table for a thorough ravishing. The teen deserved better than that, so he reined in his passions, and leaned over to nuzzle one smooth cheek. "I want you Cloud. I want to make love to you. Will you let me?"

A/N: Sadly, Smoochies MAX is no more, so I can't share the pictures that inspired this story. If anyone out there still has them saved for prosperity I'd love to see them again.

This is another one from the vault, and it shows. Still, this is where my version of Sephiroth began to form. How was I to know that Advent Children would completely change my Cloud?