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Beloved, Chapter 16

Title: Beloved

Rating: M, for violence, language, slash.

Summary: FFVII, post DoC. Genesis/Cloud, one-sided Tifa/Cloud. It all starts when Cloud tries to leave during the middle of a Loveless performance.

Author’s Note: So hey, we're getting back to the romance parts of what is supposed to be a relationship fic.  It was bound to happen eventually.  What can I say, the fic stopped bearing any resemblance to my original outline about five chapters ago.

Thanks to Little House in the Woods for the beta!
Previous chapter


Beloved Chapter 16


Genesis sauntered down the street as though he were merely out for an afternoon stroll – his pace unhurried as he glanced at shop windows, gaze drifting curiously over the WRO officers before turning away with the air of the bored and unbothered.  


It was actually kind of amazing.  In the face of what should have been horror and stunned disbelief, Cloud could only feel impressed at the former SOLDIER’s reckless confidence - and in his ­acting abilities, of all things.


He had, at least, gone to some effort to disguise himself.  He’d done up his usual red coat to hide the SOLDIER uniform he wore underneath, and if he were carrying his rapier, Cloud couldn’t see it. 


He was also wearing Cloud’s sunglasses.


Rather than blending him in by hiding his mako eyes, they made him look like a movie star.  Down the road, a trio of women whispered among themselves, sending speculative glances his direction.  Even the WRO officers were staring, though none of them made any move to approach – simply elbowed each other and jerked their heads in Genesis’s direction. 


The man drawing all the attention, for his part, simply flashed a smile at them and kept walking towards Cloud’s alley.


Cloud had suspected Genesis was insane for a while.  This simply proved it.


He stepped back into an alcove, hiding from the eyes following the SOLDIER’s path.  A strange sort of apprehension gripped his chest. 


Then suddenly Genesis was in front of him, grasping him by the arm and slamming him against the wall with an audible thump, obscuring them both from anyone passing by. 


“You’re late, Cloud Strife.”


It would be really bad if Genesis broke out the fire right then.  “I wanted to come back,” Cloud muttered, eyes darting over the SOLDIER’s shoulder, checking for WRO officers.  “-but I didn’t exactly have a choice.”


“You mean to tell me the man who killed Sephiroth was incapable of finding a way?” he hissed, and shoved Cloud against the wall once more.  With SOLDIER strength, the wood cracked behind him.  “That sounds like an excuse.”


“I couldn’t come back without risking you,” Cloud snapped.  This was exactly the worst possible time to be hashing this out.  The pursuing patrol could catch up with him any minute.  “But if you want to go hand yourself in so they can shoot you on sight, be my guest.”


Genesis scowled, though there was an oddly pleased twist to his mouth at those words.  “You have a lot of explaining to do.  For now, you should simply be grateful that your furry red friend found me in time.”


So that was where Nanaki had gone.  He’d wondered when Tseng brought it up.  “How did he find you?  I never told him about the theatre.”  Not even Nanaki’s tracking skills were that good.


Genesis stiffened.  “I happened to be at the church.  It’s a pleasant place, after all.”


After three weeks?


Oh.  Oh


Cloud wasn’t sure what to feel about that.  He’d expected Genesis to be irritated with him for not returning, maybe even angry, but something like that… he hadn’t thought Genesis could feel that way. 


It made his stomach twist in a way it hadn’t since Aeris.


Hurriedly changing the subject, Cloud gestured at the sunglasses – almost identical to the ones he wore.  “You kept them?”


“They turned out to be useful, didn’t they?” Genesis replied airily, and pulled him from the wall, dragging him along by the arm.  “More importantly, inform me of the situation.”


“Surrounded.  And one patrol on my tail,” Cloud said, stumbling after him.  He’d never noticed how much taller Genesis was than him until now.  It sucked being short.  “When Tseng wakes up they’ll go into complete lockdown.”




“I punched him,” he admitted.  “…And maybe a few WRO officers as well.”


Genesis let out a huff of a laugh.  “I knew I admired you for more than your looks.”  He pulled them to a stop, and eyed the surrounding buildings – both three levels high.  “Here should do.”  His wing burst from his back, scattering black feathers across the alleyway.  Cloud blinked, and cautious hope took hold.


Genesis could fly.  Could air lift them straight out of Edge, beyond everyone’s reach.


It stole his breath away.  For the first time, when he’d seen that single black wing he’d thought freedom, instead of battling the instinctual tide fear and dread. 


Infinite in mystery is the gift of the goddess
We seek it thus, and take to the sky,
” Genesis announced with a grandiose gesture heavenward.


Loveless, First Act,” Cloud murmured in stunned reflex.


Genesis appeared as delighted as he did surprised. “You recognise it.”


“How can I forget, after you’ve drummed it into my head,” he retorted.


The former Commander stilled at that, giving him a queer look Cloud couldn’t quite read behind the sunglasses.  “…Indeed.”  He wrapped his arms around him, holding him far too close.  Cloud couldn’t bring himself to protest – not right then.  “Time to fly, Cloud Strife.”


And then they were in the air, wind against their faces.  Leaving Edge behind.


Leaving everything behind.






Tifa clutched the phone in the palm of her hands, staring it with such intensity that the rest of the bar faded out for a moment.  As though it were a materia capable of summoning Cloud back to them, if she just willed it hard enough.


A Cloud Lure.  She let out a half-strangled laugh at the thought.  Gaia knew how often she’d wished for such a thing.


“Tifa?” Marlene’s voice reached for her, small and tremulous.  “Does this mean Cloud’s leaving us again?”


She pulled a smile from the deepest, darkest depths of her reserves, and crouched down.  “It’s just a little misunderstanding.  You know how he is.”


“But he left his phone.” Denzel’s voice was thin and dry.  In shock, maybe.  They all were, when they came back home and Cloud’s room had been ransacked and his phone left behind.


A message, loud and clear.  Don’t look for me.


She closed her eyes briefly, and then forced another smile.  With a pat on each of their shoulders, she stood and steered them towards the stairs.  “He probably just forgot it.”  The dubious expressions both Marlene and Denzel sent her said they weren’t falling for such a thin lie.


“Is he doing something dangerous again?” Denzel asked.  “Are we going to be taken away somewhere ‘safe’?”


“That won’t be necessary,” a new voice interrupted, backed by the jingle of the front door bell.


Tifa glanced over.  “Reeve!”  He stood awkwardly in the doorway, brushing dust from his sleeves and belatedly managing a friendly smile at Denzel.  Her mouth hardened to a thin line.  With a gesture, she shooed the kids to their room – they both sent her plaintive looks, but headed upstairs wearing matching frowns.


She stalked over, fists clenching from habit, knuckles practically itching for a thrashing.  “What went wrong?  You promised me we were all going to go discuss it with Cloud together!  Why would he run away before we even made it home?”


Reeve held up his hands disarmingly – and not just a little nervously.  “The Turks said Red XIII must have come and told him, and if he didn’t hear the whole story, well, he might have been spooked…”


As frustrated as it made her, she couldn’t bring herself to be angry at Nanaki.  Like all of them, he had Cloud’s best interests at heart.  And she couldn’t deny that the idea had been abhorrent to her at first too, but when Reeve started laying out the worst case scenarios, and reassuring them that it wasn’t as bad as it first sounded…  And she’d been prepared to go with him, even.  To make sure he wasn’t alone, to help him if necessary.


If only she’d had a chance to talk to him herself.  She knew Cloud – he didn’t want to put anyone at risk.  He would sooner cut off his own hands than hurt someone innocent.  So why?


She turned away, wrapping her arms around herself.  “Does he hate me now?  For going along with this?”  To leave, without even discussing it…


“Cloud could never hate you,” Reeve said softly.


She clenched her jaw, and willed herself not to cry.


Reeve didn’t get it.  Didn’t get what this meant.


This wasn’t Cloud leaving to protect them.


He was leaving to protect himself.


From what?  From her?  From the WRO?  She didn’t understand.


Lately, she hadn’t understood her childhood friend at all.


“I’ve let him down,” she murmured, and sat down at the nearest table.  Where had she stepped wrong?  They’d all been doing so much better, after the Geostigma cure, and then after they repelled Deep Ground… There had been terrible losses, but things were getting better.




“You didn’t do anything wrong,” Reeve assured her.  “Don’t worry.  I’ve got people out looking for him.  And even the Turks…”  He trailed off there, a worried crease forming between his brows.


She stared down at her hands.  She’d thought herself strong.  How often she’d told Cloud to stop running, to talk to her, to stop hiding… but now, a sick sensation began to curl in her chest.


Maybe Cloud wasn’t the only one who’d been sticking his head in the sand, wishing for things that couldn’t happen.






Cloud wobbled on his feet, nausea from their flight leaving him feeling blurry.  He could fight on slabs of shattered concrete falling through the air, take the twists and turns and bumps of cross-country driving at full speed, but this still somehow managed to make him feel like some sickly runt on the ferry from Nibelheim all over again.


Maybe he should have just busted out on foot, consequences be damned


Genesis didn’t give him any time to regain his equilibrium.  The moment they landed, he all but dragged him into the theatre, taking his tote from his shoulders and dropping it by the door.  Cloud stumbled after him, head still spinning.  Genesis tossed his sunglasses aside, then snatched Cloud’s from his face too.  The theatre caught their echoes as they clattered to the floor.


They made it as far as the stage, when Genesis pulled him around and pressed their mouths together ferociously.  For one long minute, there was nothing but the sensation of closeness, the preoccupation with lips and tongue and hot breath.


Genesis eventually broke from the kiss, and eyed him speculatively.  “You’re not complaining.”


Guilt spiked in him briefly at the reminder, all the doubts and self-recriminations he’d harboured rushing back in one single thought of Tifa, but it was swept aside just as quickly by the sting of betrayal and loss.  It had hurt, that his childhood friend could bargain away his freedom like that, could make such a decision knowing his past.  It was the crown on a throne of a hundred tiny resentments that had collected over the past few months, the subtle pressure into a relationship he didn’t want, the expectations he could never meet, the endless ambiguity hanging in the air between them.


It was unfair of him, maybe.  To resent Tifa for something she didn’t – couldn’t – ever fully understand.  He knew she only wanted the best, thought she was making the right decision.  It wasn’t all her fault.  He hadn’t been completely honest with her either. 


But he couldn’t make the feeling go away. 


And some part of him admired Genesis, some deep unfulfilled corner of himself had craved this in a carnal way ever since the notion had first presented itself.  Hungered for the confidence and camaraderie and understanding that Tifa could no longer provide.


He couldn’t make that feeling go away, either.


So all he did was reach up, slide his fingers through smooth auburn hair, and pull Genesis towards him again.


Cloud had decided.  Maybe as many as three weeks ago.  Maybe when Vincent had told him what Tifa had agreed to.  Maybe not until he saw Genesis brazenly sauntering towards him on the street and it felt like burning sunlight on his skin after weeks underwater.


The black wing curled around him in a feathery embrace – the SOLDIER had not yet folded it away, and the soft down tickled his arms.  It fluttered briefly as Genesis deepened the kiss, and then stretched out as Cloud found himself being slowly pushed to the floor. 


“Magnificent,” Genesis murmured, nimble fingers already working at the clasps for his shoulder guard and sword harness.  They fell away, discarded into the orchestra pit, Genesis turning his attention to Cloud’s belts next.


“Wait,” he said. “Here?”  The stage, already large, seemed suddenly cavernous, and every sound amplified.


“Worried a monster will come in and come watch?” The retort was full of wry amusement, and Cloud’s breath hitched as cool fingers slid under his shirt.


It was a good point.  You couldn’t get much more alone than the middle of an abandoned metropolis.  Still… “Now?”


“ShinRa have not found me here yet.  They will not find you here now.”  Genesis leaned in close, lips tracing the edge of his jaw. “Your explanations for your inexcusable tardiness can come later.”


Any further protests he might have had dissolved under teasing, exploring touches and feather-light kisses.  It was so different to being with Tifa, where it only felt awkward and his mind wouldn’t stop turning things over, convincing himself it was a bad idea.  Now, he struggled to do anything more than focus on the feeling of skin, and warmth, and the whisper of black feathers and leather dragging against the wooden stage. 


It was also frustratingly slow.  Apparently now that Genesis had him on his back and willing, all his impatience had vanished.


“Cut it out with all the foreplay,” Cloud growled.


“No appreciation for romance,” Genesis mocked, fingers trailing delicately along the curve of his hips.  “It’s been a long time for me, Cloud Strife, and I intend to savour it.”


Genesis acted as though he’d been courting him for years instead of deciding a matter of weeks ago that he wanted to have sex.


It did, however, get things moving, and their boots and pants soon joined his sword and shoulder guard in the orchestra pit.  Their bodies rocked together, shallow gasps echoing through the empty auditorium.  Cloud clutched at Genesis’s leather coat – Genesis in turn dug his fingers into his shoulders – and he didn’t know why he’d even hesitated before.


It was like falling into a dream, leaving reality behind.  All that mattered was Genesis.  The rest of the world might as well have disappeared.

Next chapter


( 69 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 29th, 2012 04:33 am (UTC)

They made it. And Tifa's starting to come to her own realisations in this chapter as well.

I love how Genesis came sauntering to the rescue. (I bet he did too, especially with the results. XD)
Sep. 29th, 2012 05:15 am (UTC)
In my head, Genesis saunters/sashays absolutely everywhere. Walking is for boring people. XD
(no subject) - kotoshin - Sep. 29th, 2012 02:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 29th, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)

HEE, I'm just going to giggle like a madwoman at Genesis not only keeping, but using the sunglasses he stole from Cloud. <3 And aslkjfhdskjfhaslkjfsd the parallel between Sephiroth and Cloud there at the Loveless quoting, oh man I can only imagine how Gen's feeling. ;;

omg, Tifa and the kids, I fucking can't. I know the reasoning behind everything, but blugh I can't help but worry for them and what they and the rest of Avalanche are going to do in response. ;;

ALSO YOU. HAVE CUT OFF. WORSE THAN USUAL. ON THIS FUCKING CHAPTER. WRY. fuck sexual frustration okay *whinesob* Oh well, better than others too I suppose. And there have been abandoned kink meme fills left at even worse points, so I should survive this. *nod*

*insert usual "NEED NEXT WEEK NAO" comment here*
Sep. 29th, 2012 05:13 am (UTC)
Ahaha, sorry. Timezone disadvantage for you!

And here I was patting myself on the back for not hitting you with another cliffhanger! Well, at least you know it won't be an abandoned fill, right? Though I should say, as I did at the start, I'm not really a smut writer so if you're hanging out for the R-rated stuff you'll be disappointed! This is probably about as smutty as it'll get.
(no subject) - skibalovesya - Sep. 29th, 2012 05:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Sep. 29th, 2012 05:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - killiara - Sep. 29th, 2012 06:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caterfree10 - Sep. 29th, 2012 09:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kotoshin - Sep. 29th, 2012 12:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Sep. 30th, 2012 05:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skibalovesya - Sep. 30th, 2012 12:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caterfree10 - Sep. 29th, 2012 09:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 29th, 2012 06:22 am (UTC)
Hmm, maybe I'm just sleep deprived, but my sympathy for Tifa is just not on right now, as opposed to my defense of her last chapter, haha. I think I wanted her to have already come to terms with Cloud not being 'hers', rather than just realizing it here. :/

Genesis walking down the street like a movie star is just awesome, by the by. <3 And the height difference!! How tall are these boys anyway?
Sep. 29th, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
of SOLDIER boys, Squeenix has only concrete stats for Sephiroth and Zax.

And it's TOTALLY messed up.
Zax' height in CC canon is 6'3" (190cm).
Which ...can't be right ... when you look at OGC's stats. (altho I've seen one person comment facetiously that Zax is 6'3" with his hair. XD)

The rest of the height is all from OGC game booklet - and Sephiroth's listed at 6'1" (185cm) (*headdesks* Zax has GOT to be shorter than 6'3"). *facepalms* (other tall folks - Cid's 5'8"-178cm, Barret's 6'4"-197cm, and Vincent 6'-184cm even.)

Cloud is 5'7" (173cm)in OGC.

Link to all versions of the manual - PS2 NA, PS2 Europe, and PC.

Also something interesting - the FFVII 10year Ultimania lists Cloud's B-day as 8th month 11th day. But all the MANUALS list it as 8th month 19th day.

Edited at 2012-09-29 12:58 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - skibalovesya - Sep. 29th, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kotoshin - Sep. 29th, 2012 02:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Sep. 30th, 2012 05:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firedraygon97 - Sep. 30th, 2012 07:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:42 am (UTC)
A part of Cloud is whimpering, "this is the best bad idea ever." Another part sounds suspiciously like Zack and insists, "that's exactly why you should do it." And some where Aerith is smiling.

Cloud and Genesis really are adorable though. They're opposites in pretty much every way as far a personalities but they stand by what they cherish and balance each other out that way. I could go on with that but just too cute. I'm fine with lack of smut since it's more them being snuggly and interacting that I'm enjoying and sometimes smut just slows things down.

I'm looking forward to them actually trying to communicate. Between the brick wall and the drama queen, what will be established? Thank goodness Cloud's at least a sweethearted stoic, Genesis is demonstrative and singleminded, and they're both pretty to the point of distraction or they'd never get anywhere. Compromise and resonable discussions are not their strong points.

Genesis' rescue was great as Cloud facepalms at overly self assured rescuers. Angry Cloud is attractive apparently and so is violence upon all things Shinra-related. And now to isolation! Yay. :) And Cloud finally tells expectations to get in line behind actually trying to be happy and figure out what he wants. Double yay. :D

Fun chapter and thanks again!
Sep. 30th, 2012 06:00 am (UTC)
I agree! They're fun constrasts because they actually have heaps and heaps in common (especially in terms of backstory) but their personalities are so incredibly different! And you're quite savvy and I see have already picked up on some points that will be causes for contention later. :)

'-Isolation! Yay!' - only in fandom. XD

You're welcome, and thank you!
Sep. 29th, 2012 12:37 pm (UTC)
I'm really surprised no one's mentioned that Cloud just had a Sephiroth-clone moment where he re-enacted the VR-in-Junon scene, just before Genesis' degradation hit.

Does that mean in ADDITION to Zack-memories, Cloud's also a walking arsenal of Sephiroth-memories as well? (Given Jenova-cell's ability to READ and construct a 'familiar personae' of memories from those it interacts with - that's how Jenova got the Cetra, after all - there's also a third possibility: like in OGC where amnesiac!Cloud 'read' from Tifa his own past to construct a surface personality mix of Cloud/Zack, Cloud's now unconsciously doing the same with Genesis. XD)

Edited at 2012-09-29 12:38 pm (UTC)
Sep. 30th, 2012 06:01 am (UTC)
Well, I suppose not everyone has completely memorised the FMV-script to Crisis Core like we have. *coughs* But yes, there's a little bit of extra context there for you to chew on, and chew you have.
(no subject) - killiara - Sep. 30th, 2012 08:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kotoshin - Sep. 30th, 2012 12:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 29th, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
Genesis, you're fabulous. You were actually pining for Cloud, waiting in the church even three weeks later. Then you saunter in to rescue our boy in his hour of need (while wearing his sunglasses), swoop him off to your lair, and finish by ravishing him. But couldn't you have at least taken your coat off?

(When Cloud channeled Sephiroth I pictured him tapping the side of his head while he said it. *sniffle*)
Sep. 30th, 2012 06:47 am (UTC)
Too impatient for coat removal, that can come later. XD (Or Genesis really is that married to his coat. Considering it looks strongly like he's been creatively mending it for 10+ years...)
(no subject) - kotoshin - Sep. 30th, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 29th, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
If i wasn't currently suffering from a cold i would give a nice long squee filled review, unfortunately my head is all muzzy so you get the short version. I loved it, great chapter and well worth the wait! Keep up the good work!
Sep. 30th, 2012 06:47 am (UTC)
Thanks! Hope you get well soon!
Sep. 29th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
“I knew I admired you for more than your looks.”


I hated Genesis in canon. Your Genesis, on the other hand, fills me with demented glee.
Sep. 30th, 2012 06:48 am (UTC)
Heh, thank you. Glad I could provide some character rehabilitation~ <3
Sep. 29th, 2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
Genesis appeared as delighted as he did surprised. “You recognise it.”

“How can I forget, after you’ve drummed it into my head,” he retorted.


You had to make him say that didn't you. Oh the feels! I love how Genesis was pining for three weeks and just saunters up and down the street like a movie star. You are right, I really can't see him walking, only sauntering or strutting.
Sep. 30th, 2012 06:49 am (UTC)
Sep. 29th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Hahaha this is what makes the angst and feelings worth it... for them to consumate their love!!! Anyways, lovely buildup to this chapter and I can't wait to read more!
Sep. 30th, 2012 06:50 am (UTC)
Thanks! Hopefully haven't jumped the shark with this chapter. XD
Sep. 29th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)

I wonder if we can get the girl who did a podfic reading of the Fifth Act to do this one too. :D
Sep. 30th, 2012 01:49 am (UTC)
lunchy_munchy? XD I don't even know if she's reading this one, actually.
(no subject) - killiara - Sep. 30th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Sep. 30th, 2012 06:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 29th, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)

And that moment when Cloud answered Genesis in the very same manner Sephiroth did? Hng ♥

Genesis didn’t give him any time to regain his equilibrium. The moment they landed, he all but dragged him into the theatre [...] and had his wicked way with him... is what I hoped and got! Absolutely lovely scene there!

Thank you so much!
Sep. 30th, 2012 01:46 am (UTC)
Heh, thank you! And you're welcome, glad you enjoyed it. After three weeks, Genesis wasn't likely to be patient. ♥
Sep. 30th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
And my inner fangirl goes... Squee!!

No, really.

This was just so very Genesis here. Sauntering down the street without a care in the world. Without a single worry, save that Cloud was late. And then wanting to pick up right where they left off. I hope Nanaki or Vincent don't find them. Else, they'll get an eyeful.

And alas, poor deluded Tifa. Finally starting to at least glimpse the light of reality. Reeve so wasn't helping though.
Sep. 30th, 2012 08:07 am (UTC)
Hahaha, oh boy, that would be a fun scene. Although considering Nanaki, Vincent and Genesis, Cloud might be the only one genuinely embarrassed in that situation.
(no subject) - kotoshin - Sep. 30th, 2012 12:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 30th, 2012 01:44 am (UTC)
Genesis and Cloud are so cute! I love how Genesis sauntered in. I love the chapter! ^-^
Sep. 30th, 2012 08:07 am (UTC)
Heh, thanks! <3
Sep. 30th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
For some reason, during the 'strut', my brain started to loop the song, "I'm sexy and I know it."
Sep. 30th, 2012 08:08 am (UTC)
XD Dying.
(no subject) - kitty11chan - Oct. 2nd, 2012 02:36 am (UTC) - Expand
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