Rating: NC-17 for yaoi, mild violence and dark themes.

Pairing: Sephiroth x Vincent

Fandom: Final Fantasy VII

Disclaimer: Non-profit fanfiction.

Notes: Seriously borderlining on necrophilia here. Be warned.

Actors on a Stage

By Emerald Embers


Sins cannot be forgiven.

Vincent knew this. The weight of it sat heavy in his chest, slowly crushing his lungs. Not that he needed the organs - Hojo had seen to that. The only place your sins burnt away was Hell, and Vincent had been denied that respite.

He did not remember death, but he knew it had taken him. The ache of his muscles not remembering him, the confusion of a mind that had ceased sorting through its memories, a week of maggots in his systems. Worms he could have understood, but living things did not attract maggots.

It was curious how the naturally alive all knew there was something wrong with him, their instincts whispering that here was a corpse, stay away or you might die too. Dogs and cats edged away slowly, humans tried to treat him like one of their own but slipped away one after the other, and the subconscious of all made him into an abomination.

It seemed Sephiroth had a morbid streak in him.

Vincent had first met the man in the dining hall of the Shinra mansion, one leather-clad hand pressed against the grandfather clock's surface. He could have said anything, recognising the features in an instant - "Do you know your mother?" "What did Hojo make you?" - but he settled on the banal, "What are you doing?"

"They say that every second tick of the clock, another person dies in Midgar," came the reply, Sephiroth turning and smiling in a way no nineteen-year-old should be capable of. "Two-hundred and eighty-seven, I've counted so far. Enough to man half the floors of the Shinra building." He raised an eyebrow at Vincent's nonplussed expression. "Does that not shock you?"

"I have been responsible for twice that number."

"And did they honour you for it?" Sephiroth released the clock, already knowing the answer, knowing the fate of any Turk who did not do as Shinra demanded. "Kill five-hundred men in secret, and they curse you forever. Kill five-thousand in public, and they can't come up with enough accolades to hand you."

The Masamune lay on the floor between them, daring Vincent to touch, to question Sephiroth's possession of the sword.

"You should be dead," Sephiroth reminded.

"Life runs in my family."

The silver-haired man snorted in amusement, before tilting his head. "Why have you not died?"

"I cannot."

"Are you certain?" Sephiroth touched a hand to Vincent's neck, his fingers finding the delicate bones no different in feel to those of any other mortal he had met. "Care to find out?"

Vincent nodded, barely feeling the quick sweep as Sephiroth broke his neck.


Running water. Vincent opened his eyes slowly, taking into account the changed surroundings. The mansion shower. Dimly, he tasted bile in the back of his throat, and his stomach was aching for lack of food.

"Setting your bones was a thankless job," Sephiroth informed him with an irritated tone. "If you hadn't kept vomiting while waking up, life would have been so much easier."

Vincent sat up, resting his back against the shower wall. "Any questions for a man back from the dead?" He asked wryly.

"How can I be sure you died?" Sephiroth paused for a moment in thought before leaning forward, his hair brushing over Vincent's thighs. "How does death feel?"

"It feels like nothing," came the reply, and Vincent wondered if the stories of angels had merely been optimistic foreshadowing of Sephiroth's role in the universe. Sephiroth's hand raised to his neck again, squeezing tight and forcing the unnecessary breath out of him.

"Then I know it, and how it looks." He pressed Vincent's mouth open with his own, slipping in and finding the secrets lying beneath and across Vincent's tongue for himself before pulling back and letting go of the bruising neck. "The taste is unfamiliar."

Vincent wondered if Sephiroth intended to make a mark for himself, walk over Hojo's footsteps and add to the tattoo on his neck. Blackest ink trailed thorned tendrils from a single lily down to his shoulder, but real lilies lack thorns and real corpses lack breath, so Hojo's critics were wrong to say the man had no imagination.

Whether he needed to or not was unimportant; Vincent gasped for breath, found his oxygen cut off again by lips over his and naked fingers driving themselves home between his thighs, and maybe it was a good thing because oxygen only helped the proces of rotting.

They were not slick, but Sephiroth's fingers were well-versed in all branches of the unspeakable, and Vincent was not squirming with the discomfort of incest. He was not the silver-haired man's father, but Lucrecia had taken him once, and he would never underestimate Hojo. Sephiroth's fingers drove in harder, this time truly straining, and the boy - how wrong, how terrible that this was still only a boy - snarled, "Do not think of past lovers with me," before pulling his hand free.


Vincent had expected tearing and burning pain, but Sephiroth was a perfectionist, and did not try to breach the older man until he had found oil with which to slick the two of them. "Should I thank you?"

"Do corpses need manners?"

Vincent sneered, tired of Sephiroth's game. The boy had more imagination than Hojo, but lacked the sincerity that made his father so intimidating by comparison. "You would not be interested if I were dead, and I'll be damned before you act as if you are the one with problems."

"Vincent," Sephiroth replied, smiling and taking a quick, pleasured breath at the luxury of Vincent's muscles tightening around him, "You are damned."

Vincent found his breath dying in his throat again as Sephiroth's fist tightened around a lower column than his throat.

"It's what I like about you most."

Vincent pressed his head back against the wall, listening to the discordant creaking of the mansion's piping as it attempted to supply the shower with whatever hot water lingered in the boiler. By the feel of what trickled over Sephiroth's body onto his own, not very much. "Do you treat all of your guests like this?"

"Only the special ones."


Coming in Sephiroth's hands hurt, but the sudden heat and eased friction as the silver-haired man came inside him made up for the painful orgasm somewhat. "Your grip is too tight."

"I know." Sephiroth pulled back from Vincent, the now-cold shower water helping his erection die down altogether. "Are you ashamed?"

"Shame would suggest I have something left to lose." Vincent looked over the hand Sephiroth brushed against his face, laughed as he caught sight of a long sliver of metal on the other side of the shower. "I see you brought a friend."

"And where are your weapons?" Sephiroth asked in return. "A Turk should know better than to leave his gun behind."

"In my coffin, guarding the dead."

Sephiroth rolled his eyes before pulling Vincent forward into his lap, sliding strangely gentle hands up his lover's spine. "So melodramatic, you and I. Were we meant to be so poorly written?"

"Hojo is no playwright," Vincent responded in turn, uncertain what to make of the kisses Sephiroth placed along his neck. Predictable was not a word for the boy's moods. "What would you have us do now?"

"Sleeping beauty woke to find herself with twins. What would you wake up with?"

"A dream and no memory."

"I can only grant one of those, and it comes with a catch."

Vincent bowed his head, listening.

"I cannot promise what dreams may come."

"Then I accept your proposal."


Vincent eyed the devices lined around his coffin with trepidation. "What manner of instruments are these?"

"Little more than a stasis-inducer. It will keep you alive, but not conscious, and you will be capable of nothing more than sleep while the lid stays in place."

"And if Hojo disturbs it?"

"That man is more interested in his newer toys," Sephiroth replied, pulling sodden strands of hair aside from his neck, revealing punctures in the flesh. "You have served your use."

The older man settled down, claustrophobia faded from years in confined spaces. "And you?"

"If you ever want to find out, wake up." Sephiroth pressed his lips against Vincent's forehead, smiled. "Goodnight, sweet prince."

The lid closed, and Vincent wondered what the years would make of them.


The End

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