An Angels Pain
Chapter 6: Love
Vincent’s eyes returned to their normal shade of crimson red as he fluttered them to life, inhaling sharply. He put his hand to his head, pain throbbing in his forehead from the trip to and from the spirit realm. It was then he realized the blood on his shirt.
"I see the injuries affect my physical body as well….." he whispered, tentatively touching his bandaged scar then wincing at the pressure.
"Val…..what are you talking about? What happened?" Cloud asked, drawing Vincent’s attention away from his newly formed scar.
Vincent let out a noticeable sigh. "It’s a long story. Are you willing to hear all of it?"
Cloud nodded, and Vincent proceeded to tell him everything, about Arios, his transformation, Chaos, and true cause of Tifa’s untimely demise. When he had finish, Cloud just sat there, motionless, awestruck.
"So Tifa…..and Chaos….." Cloud could hardly believe what he had just heard. All of this was because…..
"Wait….." Cloud suddenly said, realizing something. "Why did Chaos hate Tifa so much? What did she ever do to him?"
Vincent choked. He had purposely left out the reason because he knew that Cloud would never forgive him. Then again, he should have known Cloud was going to ask.
"It’s because….." Vincent paused. I can’t…..I can’t tell him. I can’t say it’s because I hated Tifa. I can’t say it was because I loved him…..
"Vincent?" Cloud beckoned.
Vincent decided that he would tell the truth because he knew he had to. Cloud had every right to know. He deserved to know, after all he’s gone through. "Chaos adapted my feelings. So he hated her because…..because I hated her….."
"What? But…but why?"
"Because….." Vincent stopped, pain straining his throat. He could feel his heart pounding up against his rib cage, the rhythm growing faster and faster with each delayed second. "Because I love you."
Cloud paused. "You….." He stopped, at a loss for words. Vincent sighed, blushing furiously as he tried to get up and walk away, only to be stopped by the throbbing pain in his chest.
"No, don’t. You need to rest….." Cloud said urgently, pushing him back down on the bed gently. Vincent looked away, too embarrassed to face Cloud any longer.
Vincent stared at him, eyes begging for a response. He locked his gaze with Cloud’s brilliant sapphire eyes, light swirling within pools of sky blue and cobalt. He tried to stare them down, but failed, turning away from Cloud’s watch.
"Tifa had the same problem….."
Vincent shot a look at him. "What?"
"My eyes. She couldn’t stare at them for very long. The mako I was infused with is responsible for that." He said, a small smile crossing his lips.
Vincent gave him a blank look, then returned the smile. "I see. I suppose I would have the same problem, my eyes being this unnatural red….."
"Nothing wrong with that. I like them." Cloud stated quietly. "Hey, you know who else had eyes that were hard to look into?"
Vincent stared at him. "Sephiroth?" he repeated. Cloud barked out a small laugh.
"Ah, I suppose I never told you. Back when I was in SOLIDER, he and I were together."
"Um, well, I guess bi, actually."
Both shared a good laugh at that. When the laughter died down, both remained silent, not knowing what to say or do next. The silence lingered about them for a long time, an eternity to Vincent. He could still feel his heart pounding against his ribs. He prayed to the Lifestream the Cloud didn’t hear the incessant noise of his excited heart.
"I knew….." Cloud began.
"You knew what?"
"That you held feelings for me."
"Oh….." Vincent mentally shrunk, feeling a thousand times more embarrassed.
"To tell you the truth, had it not been for Tifa, I probably would have….."
Vincent looked at him hopefully. He felt so uncomfortable, discussing this. He was never comfortable in situations like these, no matter whom the person was that he was talking to. He’d always choke up or stutter. After a few bad experiences, including one where he rambled off for about a minute, then turned and promptly ran into a door frame, he learned to allow the other to speak for the entire time, and he would only speak if he had to.
Unfortunately, Cloud was at a similar loss for words.
"I’m always really bad at these." Cloud sighed sullenly, shaking his head. "It’s just that for the past two months, you haven’t left my side, and with Tifa gone and everything….." Cloud paused. "Well…..what I’m trying to say is…..uhm….."
Why is he stuttering? Vincent thought, slightly amused by Cloud’s tenseness.
Fuck it…..Cloud thought as he leaned in, brushing his lips against Vincent’s in a light kiss. Vincent didn’t move, taken aback by Cloud’s sudden attack. Cloud didn’t push the kiss any further, fearing any rejection, so he pulled back, looking at Vincent expectantly.
"Do…..do you get what I’m trying to say?" Cloud asked.
"I…..well…..er….." Now it was Vincent’s time to stutter.
"Vincent, I…..I love you, too."
"What? But…..but how can you tell?"
Cloud shrugged, smiling. "I can just tell these things. I know my feelings, Val, and I hold only love for you now….." He said, leaning forward into another kiss. This time, Vincent moved his lips against Cloud’s, sliding against the supple flesh. Cloud moved over top of Vincent, running his hand against his chest, slowly moving southward…..
Vincent gasped. "Cloud, no….."
Cloud looked up. "Val, what is it?"
"I can’t do this…..what about Tifa? Don’t you still love her?"
Vincent could have slapped him and it wouldn’t have hurt more. He placed himself next to Vincent, sighing. He did still love Tifa, but things were different now. Tifa was gone.
"I do still love her." He said, smiling as he nipped at Vincent’s ear. "But I am -in- love with you. All that matters to me right now is you." He finished, delving into a deeper and longer kiss, a prelude to a night that neither of them would get much sleep through.
Arios waved his hand over the scrying device, the image of Vincent and Cloud disappearing from the mirror like plate. He shook his head dismally, tears rimming his eyes. "Enough….." he told himself. "This is how it has to be….."
"Devils never cry. Why is it that angels do?"
Arios froze at the question. He turned to face the demon that taunted him so.
"How did you get in here, Chaos?" He asked, irritation edging his voice.
The demon shrugged. "Not a difficult task considering the pathetic excuses you set as guards."
Arios turned to the scrying device and summoned an image of the guards he set outside. All lay injured. "This is what I get for hiring novices….." he muttered, returning his attention to demon.
Chaos smiled slyly, reveling at the angel’s disdainful expression. He approached Arios and ran the tip of his claw down the archangel’s cheek.
"No cut?" Chaos asked curiously.
"The room is enchanted. Nothing can be harmed nor healed in this room."
"So I can’t kill you where you stand?"
"And I you….." Arios responded.
"How disappointing….." the demon sighed sadly.
"Is that why you’re here? To kill me?" Arios asked, his signature smirk adorning his lips.
"No, although I thought that would have been a nice bonus."
"Then why are you here?" Arios asked, turning his attention back to the scrying device.
"How what, demon? I can’t read your mind, not like I’d want to….." Arios retorted.
"How did you turn Vincent into an angel?"
"That’s not a ritual you need know about."
Chaos snorted. "Well, did the other archangels approve of you turning a Child of Hell into an angel?"
Arios turned. "What the fuck are you talking about? Vincent was no Child of Hell….."
Chaos smiled. "Ignorant creature. I was not implanted into him, I was -born- with him. He was a Child of Hell."
Arios scowled. "Bastard. It was you who damned him…..I saved him."
"Only to get that little bitch killed."
Chaos smiled. He so enjoyed taunting this angel. "You never answered my question. Did the other angel’s approve?"
Arios eyes grew wide. Chaos smiled wider. He had struck a nerve that contorted Arios’ normally stoic face. "No…..Gabriel didn’t approve…..but it doesn’t matter!"
"Indeed. So…why the tears?"
"We’re just full of questions tonight, aren’t we?"
"Don’t fuck around. Why were you crying when you saw Vincent and his new lover?"
Arios’ shoulders slumped. Chaos issued another wicked grin.
"Ah…..so, you love him….."
Arios made no move to deny the statement. "Begone demon, before I decide to counteract the enchantment on this room and rid you from this existence….."
"Fine, but one last question. What would happen to dear Vincent if Gabriel were to find out about your treachery?"
Arios paused, knowing full well what would happen to both he and Vincent if Gabriel were to find out. "You couldn’t….."
"Watch me." Chaos hisses as he swept out of the room, leaving Arios alone with his dismal thoughts.
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