Alt Link (Please correct me if I'm not supposed to post this): xXx
Pairing: Cloud x Zack
Rating: Mature (sex, general M/M slash)
Summary: Working as members of SOLDIER, Cloud and Zack struggle to smother the flames of their attraction to the public when the teens discover an interest in each other.
Core of Youth
Under the grayed out moon, Cloud and Zack explored the mountains separating Midgar and Junon. Underneath their feet, pebbles rolled across the ground as they walked and cold crept into every bare surface on their bodies. Catching his foot on a loose root, Cloud nearly cocked his rifle, his heart thumping unsteadily in his chest before realizing it was nothing. Close to their destination, Cloud recognized the faint smell of Mako in the air. Where they were headed, there was more than just Mako. Considering how well the day had gone already, Cloud expected to smell the scent of rotten corpses sooner than Mako. Meanwhile, Zack carried on beside him, seemingly unaffected by the whole thing. Since they had left the truck quite some ways away, Zack hadn’t moved his hands to reach for his sword at the slightest disturbance.
“How much longer, do you think?”
“Not too much…I’ve smelled the Mako for a little while now. It should be another five minutes or so. You still awake?” Zack asked.
“Barely…if they hadn’t sent you along with me, I might’ve thought this was just some kind of test.”
“It’s never a…”
“Never a test. Yeah, I know, but still, it’s a little questionable. What if we just came here for nothing, and the monster is gone?”
“Well, if he’s gone, then let’s hope he didn’t make it to the truck.”
“What would he want with the truck?”
Lacking the experience that Cloud had with Shinra when compared to Zack, he felt the best way to learn was to ask as many questions as possible on missions. Often, he felt that Zack’s information was vague and barely useful for someone who felt so unprepared.
“Well, it may have caught our scent and followed it all the way here by now…”
Pausing to catch the worried look on Cloud’s face, Zack laughed and reassured the novice soldier that he was just trying to keep him awake. “The scent of the Mako will be heavy enough that we should go by undetected, unless this monster is especially primitive.”
“Zack…when you’re out here, do you ever feel completely scared in the middle of nowhere? I came from somewhere like this, where stars were the only light to guide you, and when I was a kid, I ran around not caring. Now, every night I find myself in the city, I feel like I’m missing something when I leave.”
“I could say that it didn’t bother me, but no one’s perfect. I try to keep the fear to a minimum...but I won’t lie, it’s a lot worse when I’m alone,” Zack replied. “Some time, you’ll have to go out on a mission alone. You won’t have anyone to back you up in situations you know are going to be unpredictable and unsafe. In every sense of the word, we are simply trying to service the people we care about. Shinra gains a lot of hate, especially the soldiers, but we have a job to do just like they do. If I had chosen to live a life of some other kind of service at home, would I be happy? No. Would the people I love be happy? Sure…we would get to see each other every day, and in that way it would be incredible. Through putting myself at risk time and time again, I see the value in all that I have.”
For a moment, Cloud thought about what Zack had told him and remembered what he valued in his own life. All of the people he had left at home were counting on him, and he had made promises, too.
“What you said…I know people who would say that by risking what we value, maybe we take away the happiness of others. Isn’t that what we’re trying to do, is make people happy?”
“Cloud…we can’t make anyone happy. We can protect them and give them what they need, and that’s all. We make them comfortable.”
“Okay?” Zack asked.
Chuckling, he slowed his pace and focused on the dark hill descending before the two. Had they walked another few feet, they would be sliding down into uncertain ground. “That’s not an order. I like hearing what goes on in your head when it’s not muddled with fear, Cloud.”
As Cloud watched the taller man lean down beside him, he felt a chill go up his spine. The man opposite him was so composed, and when he spoke, Zack sounded much worldlier than Cloud could ever picture himself being. All of his dreams of becoming like Sephiroth as a child were now dashed knowing that someone like Zack still stood in his way.
Pushing loose dust aside from the ground, Zack found the top of a ladder with his hands and followed it across its width.
“This is where the reactor begins…in this pit.”
Before Cloud could see Zack set foot on the ladder, his face and dark hair disappeared into the pit below.
“Hey, w-wait! Don’t leave me up here, man!”
When the two had reached the bottom, the smell of Mako had begun to thicken and a faint bluish glow emanated even further down from where they stood. Without saying more than two words to each other, the men agreed to delve deeper into the pit. When Cloud felt something solid against his boot, he paused and prepared his rifle. Holding his hand against Cloud’s chest, Zack quickly turned his flashlight on and aimed it at the newly discovered corpse.
“Oh, god…I knew we would find them like this.”
Feeling his stomach churn, Cloud covered his face and kneeled to pick the deceased soldier’s ID from his chest pocket. Waving his flashlight in all directions, Zack searched for more bodies, or a hint of where the soldiers’ killer may have gone. No tracks or other signs were to be seen in the emptied crevasse.
“There’s no ‘them,’ there’s only one. We have to find the others, and if we don’t, we call for backup. I wouldn’t bet our lives on the possibility of this thing not being big enough to carry two bodies. The others were never seen on the reactor’s cameras, which means they must have been outside when they went missing.”
“Zack…I’ll help you as much as I can. If…”
“Look, it’s going to be all right. We just have to get out of the pit now, come on.”
Circling around the body, Zack moved ahead of Cloud and ensured that he stood closely behind. When Zack had reached the top, he motioned for the other soldier and held his hand out while listening for any noises in the surrounding underbrush. Gripping a handle above him, Cloud twisted his head as he heard a quick slam of the reactor door behind him.
More than anything, Cloud wanted to run up the ladder as quick as possible, but claws forced themselves deep into his left shoulder. Tightening his jaw and clinging to the ladder, his fingers were slowly pried away until he lost his grip completely. Without a moment’s hesitation, Zack leaped into the pit and dug his sword into the creature’s abdomen. In the darkness, he could see very little of the large creature, but felt its firm, wet skin and knew it was nowhere close to being human.
Cloud could feel the monster’s warm breath on his back, and smacked its mouth away with his rifle before landing hard onto his chest. With the monster swinging its arms back and hurling its fists rapidly onto the damp soil in Cloud’s direction, Zack struggled to pull the sword from its bloody abdomen. When he finally freed the large weapon, he swung it forward and around the monster’s face and relentlessly hacked through the front of its jaw to the base of its skull.
Thinking the monster to be finished, Cloud rolled onto his back to feel the monster’s thick claw scrape across his face. Effortlessly, Zack shoved the monster to the ground of the deep pit and returned his sword to its sheath.
“Hey…can you get up?”
When Cloud opened his eyes again to see Zack already patching up the bloody gash across his cheek, he felt his muscles tighten near his waist. His heart was beating faster than he thought was possible, so much so that it ached in his chest.
“Say something before I drop you off at home in Nibelheim, young lad…”
“Yeah…my legs are okay, but I think he got me in the shoulder.”
“I’ve got you; don’t move an inch.”
Hoisting Cloud upwards from underneath his arms, he met the other man eye to eye.
“Don’t worry, Cloud, it’s nothing serious, but let me get us back to the truck.”
Although he was tempted to completely deny Zack’s offer, Cloud ignored his ego for a moment and hopped onto the back of his superior. After reaching the top of the pit again, Zack chuckled.
“How much do you weigh, fourty-five kilos?”
“…Fifty-five,” Cloud answered.
In the truck, Zack regained his strength and sit in silence for a short time before deciding to prepare the bedding for both of them. At below temperature, the floor of the truck’s cabin was less than homely, but a soldier’s life was rarely comfortable. Sitting on one of the benches in the cabin across from Zack, Cloud was no less afraid than he had been when his body was torn from the ladder in that pit. Would he have been alive if Zack hadn’t been there to help him? Having someone so strong around made him feel safe and threatened at the same time; he wondered if he would ever learn to defend himself.
When Zack left the cabin to relieve himself, Cloud began to disrobe until he was stripped down to his boxers. When he was about to crawl underneath the linen blankets, he heard the loud clang of the back doors opening and closing. For a moment, he swore that Zack was staring down at him, but he removed the thought from his head.
“Hm, so you don’t mind sleeping next to a big guy like me?” Zack bragged.
Without a response to go on, he tried to recover his awkward question by saying, “Well, to be honest, you look like you’ve been hitting the gym, too.”
As Cloud’s face began to turn red, he watched the other soldier undress. Zack seemed unfazed and didn’t leave a single item of clothing clinging to his body. After placing his clothes in a neat pile on the bench, he was the first to climb into the makeshift bed on the stiff floor. Wondering why the other man was still standing with his arms folded across his chest, Zack folded the covers back for the blonde.
“…If you want tomorrow to happen any time soon, you might as well come lay down.”
“I was just thinking,” Cloud stated.
“What the hell was that thing? What if it poisoned me? If I go to sleep now, I might not even wake up.”
Although Zack knew that there was almost no likelihood of Cloud’s fears being true, considering he would have been convulsing or at the very least ill, he kept quiet. Again, he suggested the young soldier to rest his head.
“I’ll stay up and make sure nothing’s wrong…if you drive tomorrow, I mean. I brought enough games to keep me up all night.”
“…Games? You’re telling me someone from SOLDIER at the top of his class, plays video games in his spare time?”
“Well, no. Just when I can’t sleep. Doesn’t constitute as spare time.”
Laughing, Cloud finally lowered onto his knees and in moments found himself lying next to his new friend and fellow soldier. Cloud glanced over to see Zack, his soft and buoyant black hair resting on the pillow above his forehead. His deep eyes darted back and forth towards the ceiling aimlessly until he turned his head to meet eyes with the blonde. In Zack’s eyes, Cloud was youthful and fragile, a victim of a harsh world that wanted to leave nothing left of Cloud’s dreams and memories but black dust. When Zack thought of his own fate, he pictures worse things. He imagined that one day, someone would want a famous soldier like him to feel all the pain he had caused others; to feel slow and agonizing revenge.
At the same time, Zack feared that he would never act on his own burning desires before the time came when he was to pay his dues. His feelings of lust paralleled any bloodlust he felt on the battle field. Were he to act on his feelings, he wondered if he would reach a similar level of success. If touch and sensation was to pain as it was pleasure, would he be able to deliver? For someone who had handed more than a few men killing blows, Zack didn’t know that he could be careful enough to handle someone’s emotions and body with a gentle approach.
Having been lost in thought for some time, Zack was startled by a familiar feeling below his waist. Reaching under the blanket, he smothered his erection with his hands and quietly twisted his head to see if Cloud had noticed. Thankfully, the blonde’s eyes were closed, his head against his pillow and his mouth hanging slightly open in what appeared to be sleep. Seeing this, Zack admired the young man and his eyes passed along Cloud’s soft pink lips.
First, Zack slowly grazed the base of his cock, unsure of his own actions. Of all the men Zack had fought alongside and seen in just the same vulnerable state as Cloud, none had struck him as so tempting.
‘What could be wrong about looking?’ Zack thought to himself. He had known Cloud for some time, but the event of them being alone together was rare. Remembering the time Zack had first shook hands with the new recruit, he continued to stroke the length of his cock.
Instantly, he was drawn to Cloud, making it his personal responsibility to hand the new soldier his belongings and show him to his room. At Cloud’s request, he even introduced the potential soldier to the head office, something Zack couldn’t picture himself doing for just anyone.
A couple of weeks before the two found themselves in the mountains together, Zack had returned to Midgar on one of his rare days off and found himself heading to the room he recalled Cloud staying in. Although he wasn’t one to pry, his curiosity got the best of him, and he opened the door to find the young man with a towel loosely wrapped around his waist.
“I thought I heard someone coming,” Cloud said. “Close the door, or…something,” he muttered.
Having seen nothing but hardened, sculpted bodies when he had the chance, the new one’s soft features were fresh and appealing to Zack’s eyes. Whenever Cloud was turned away, Zack feasted his eyes on the blonde’s dripping body. Cloud’s body was soft, but Zack could tell that he had been working out to catch up to the others. His upper back was muscular, his lower back hardened and water finding its way down to be sopped up by the towel at his waist. On his front side, small glistening indents on his abdomen were the beginnings of formed abs. Zack’s jaw may have even lowered at the sight of Cloud’s tender flesh.
“Don’t let me interrupt! I really just came by to see if you wanted to hang out, but I have a lot of errands to run today. So, should I just come by again next week?” Zack asked.
“Uh, no, actually. I haven’t had a chance to relax since I got here. Sounds kind of nice.”
Watching intently as the younger soldier began to disrobe, Zack caught a brief glimpse of Cloud’s soft, dimpled ass cheeks before pulling up his close-fitting boxers. When Cloud was fully clothed again, Zack was finally able to calm himself down enough to breathe again.
Feeling his hardened shaft in the truck was no different than the other times Zack had fantasized about Cloud, aside from the fact that he was now alone with the blonde. The brief encounter in Cloud’s room found its way into Zack’s thoughts any time he had a night alone to relieve himself of such pent up frustrations. As the pressure began to build in his throbbing dick, Zack released a heavy sigh and his hands shifted faster along his shaft underneath the blankets.
Zack nearly jumped up from his place on the floor of the truck. Cloud’s eyes had fluttered open, and the two were locked in a torturous gaze. With his hands paused underneath the blanket, Zack knew that his boner was still visible and prayed that Cloud wouldn’t look down.
“It’s all right,” Cloud said. “You don’t have to stop…y-you probably don’t get any time alone.”
Hearing the slight quiver in Cloud’s voice, Zack felt his dick twitch and his piercing eyes wouldn’t leave the young man beside him.
Still, Cloud’s gaze hadn’t left Zack’s, and if he didn’t finish, he was going to become even more frustrated than before. “Look, if it’s scaring you, I’ll step out.”
“No…I mean, it’s hard to explain, but I don’t mind. I like it.”
Leaning onto his side, Zack pulled the covers beneath Cloud’s waist to reveal his own erect cock. Unlike Zack, Cloud’s hands lay tensely at his sides. When Zack hastily climbed on top of Cloud, the blonde could barely bring himself to react. The muscular, dark-haired beauty above him gripped Cloud’s hair tightly with one hand and stroked himself with the other.
“What the hell is wrong with me?” He asked aloud. “This is fucked up, but my cock has this crazy hard on for you, and it’s not the first time, Cloud. There’ve been other times…”
“Is it wrong? You can’t tell me you don’t have women you think about.”
Shaking his head, Zack released Cloud’s soft blonde hair from his tight grip and found himself jacking off against the man who was only a few years younger, but still looked like an innocent boy with his bright blue eyes and small body.
“Not lately…you’ve been the only one. Nothing else does it for me. If I could just have a little taste…”
Leaning forward, Zack was face to face with Cloud’s nervous expression, and nearly brought his lips to those soft pink ones. As he pulled away, Cloud closed his eyes gently and decided that if anything was to happen now, he wasn’t going to resist. Although Cloud hesitated to admit it to the professional soldier now gripping either side of his hips, he had fantasized about the soldier enough to be carrying his own sheets to the laundry every other day.
“Have you been with anyone?” Zack asked.
“I’ve messed around with girls, but nothing…”
“Like this? I’ll bet,” Zack chuckled. “I want to be the first to make you feel the way you deserve…”
As the first-class soldier lowered himself into Cloud’s lap, Cloud’s nerves nearly disappeared aside from the tingling in his spine. Zack’s ideas sounded promising, and he stared into the soldier’s bright blue eyes as his hand wrapped around Cloud’s cock. For a moment, he shifted uncomfortably, not out of nervousness but the lust welling up in his body for Zack’s touch.
“Do you want me, too, Cloud?” Zack asked.
Hearing the question fall from Zack’s lips was strange; his new friend appeared so collected and confident in every instance until now.
“Yes, I want you. I want to touch you, too.”
Before Cloud could advance to find his hands over his partner’s body, Zack firmly pushed Cloud onto his back again with one hand and his mouth descended onto the tip of Cloud’s growing hard-on. When Zack’s lips folded over his entire tip and his tongue explored underneath his shaft, Cloud released faint moans from his soft lips. Continuing to pleasure Cloud for a few more moments, Zack paused to lift the blonde’s legs up, much to his surprise. When Zack spat on his clean, tight asshole, he had to grip the blankets at his sides. The moisture felt good against his hole, and Zack leaned in, still holding Cloud’s legs open. Gently, he began to lick Cloud’s small hole, reveling in the smell and taste of his virgin body. He knew Cloud had never been explored before, and he wanted to be the first, even if he couldn’t have bragging rights afterwards.
As Zack pushed the tip of his tongue inside Cloud’s tiny hole, the blonde groaned ecstatically and squirmed in the other soldier’s firm grip.
“Ah, Cloud…you taste amazing.”
Feeling the hot sensation of Zack’s breath on his opening, Cloud felt his cock throbbing in the air and lowered his hand to relieve the unbearable tension. While he enjoyed Zack’s wet tongue sliding against his asshole, he pulled at his erection and breathed heavily. Cloud had never imagined that such strange things would feel so good, but he trusted his counterpart enough to let him try. As he watched the dark-haired man between his legs, a feeling began to build at his waistline and his heart continued to beat faster. Although he didn’t want Zack to stop, his cock was craving attention, and just as the thought entered his mind, Zack lowered him gently onto the blankets again.
Zack grinned at Cloud. Without hesitation, he returned his hot mouth to Cloud’s bulging dick and this time slid his tongue underneath. His lips gliding all the way down Cloud’s moist hard-on, Zack grabbed the small one’s balls with a free hand, massaging them. Pulling at Cloud’s cock with his moist mouth, he sent waves of pleasure through the blonde’s body, enough to make him whimper and buck his hips against Zack. Every languid, smooth motion made Cloud’s erection throb until his face was a pinkish red. When he attempted to return to a sitting position, Zack pushed him down with great force and shot him a glance that said ‘stay put.’ Covering Cloud’s dick with spit, Zack swallowed the younger boy’s entire length, nearly choking on it. His cock wasn’t big enough to make Zack gag, but in his fully erect state, displayed an impressive size that Zack figured to be around six inches.
As Cloud uttered that he might be about to come, Zack pulled his mouth away from the blonde and switched positions so that he was kneeling beside Cloud. In a moment, he grabbed Cloud’s hand and positioned it at his own cock before once again descending onto Cloud.
“Oh, fuck,” Cloud cried out.
Bouncing Cloud’s balls up and down in a slight motion with his hand, Zack sucked him off slowly and gently, causing his cock to swell to its full potential. As Cloud’s moans grew out of control, Zack was fuelled by the other soldier’s pleasure enough to feel himself close to coming in Cloud’s hands. Cloud quickened the pace of his hands around Zack’s large shaft and felt the tension build until cum began to slide from his own tip.
“Zack…” he moaned.
At Cloud’s expression, Zack opened his mouth against the small man’s tip and allowed cum to shoot inside, letting the white gel fall onto his tongue and milking the rest of it out with his hands. When finished, he swallowed Cloud’s hot cum, the unfamiliar taste thrilling his senses. Grabbing his own cock in his hands, he kneeled above the virgin beneath him and thrust his hand back and forth roughly around his dick. He knew he was close, and continued to warm his eyes with the sight of Cloud’s open mouth. When Cloud reached for Zack’s balls just as he had, carefully tightening and loosening his hold on them, Zack grunted loudly and felt himself lose control.
“Ahhh…you’re gonna make me cum,” he sighed.
Finally, the heavy load of cum building up in Zack’s shaft shot out of his tip and coursed all over Cloud’s soft features; his chest, face, and into his open mouth. The blonde closed his eyes as he received a shower of Zack’s satisfaction on his body, his chest moving up and down gently.
When both young men were resting in the mess of cum and sheets, they felt a sense of relief that caused all thoughts of work, or other stresses to cease existence. Cloud could barely believe he had just experienced one of his first intimate and sexual experiences, replaying stills of Zack’s gestures in his mind. Finally able to catch his breath, Zack grabbed a spare blanket and wiped the cum from Cloud’s small but defined body. He stared at the smooth lines across Cloud’s abdomen, the beginning of muscular abs. Most of his restrained feelings were gone, having smelled, tasted, touched and enjoyed the majority of Cloud’s body.
Still, in Zack’s enveloping sense of relief, he felt a small pang of desire. After meeting Cloud, he wasn’t sure of himself or what he wanted. Now that he had a taste of who Cloud was, and enjoyed it so much, he wanted to take things even further. The only thing stopping him was both his sense of pride and his doubts that their behavior would go unnoticed by the other members of SOLDIER.