Warnings: Language, torture, not-quite-necrophilia, NCS, semi-evil!Sephiroth, underage Cloud.
Note: Unbetaed because artimusdin refused to touch it. Originally meant to be a humorous retelling of Christ's Passion, but the emotional instability of the author promptly turned it dark. Fair warning for squick.
The villagers were fucking crazy.
Cloud wasn’t entirely certain how things had progressed at almost blinding speed to this point. So maybe no one had ever actually met his father, and his mother had a habit of talking to people that no one else could see, and perhaps Cloud was able to summon and banish incredible godlike beasts. And there may or may not have been an incident or three in which his knowledge of healing herbs seemed to cure someone miraculously, but seriously. That didn’t make him any more supernatural than any other person with a decent understanding of local flora and some common sense.
But then, the villagers were absolutely out of their minds anyway, so maybe he shouldn’t have expected any better from them. Although the nails in his wrists and ankles were starting to pain him something fierce, and the whole gravity thing was making it damn hard to breathe.
Fucking useless angels.
One day, you will be honored above any other mortal, the angel said to him irritably. Stop whining.
“’Whining’?” Cloud repeated breathlessly, voice strained. “I dare you to transubstantiate into a human and say that again, asshole.”
Chilly silence answered him.
Howls for violence and cries for blood consumed the mob of villagers grouped around the base of the small hill, atop which Cloud and two poor examples of canon fodder dangled precariously—and painfully—from wooden crossbars set above high poles. ShinRa SOLDIERs, in their short leather skirts and high boots (and people thought the prince was straight), patrolled the crowds to keep drunken idiots from killing one another with their brandished farming implements.
“Bet the bastards are thirsty!” cried a fat man waving a tankard. “Give ‘em something to drink!”
Three villagers whooped as they set up ladders at the base of the poles and climbed up. They held long sticks with sponges attached to the end, and as one such sponge came dangerously close to poking out his eye, Cloud caught the acidic stench of vinegar.
“Drink, bastards, drink!” roared the crowd, and the young man tried not to retch as his tongue burned with the vinegar. Behind him he could hear at least one of the others puking out his guts.
You are a puppet for the godhead, said the angel, sounding close even if Cloud couldn’t see him. Unable to speak around the vile taste in his mouth, Cloud managed to lift his third finger eloquently before the strain on the tendons nearly made him pass out with the agony. There was a distinct sensation of the angel huffing before its presence vanished entirely.
Goddamned fucking ass-reaming angels.
There were more calls to spice up the action a bit, maybe introducing fire-ants to the crucified criminals after covering them with honey, or perhaps slicing off strips of skin and force-feeding the grisly bits to their owners. Unfortunately for the bloodthirsty villagers, honey was too expensive a commodity to waste, and the height to which the criminals were suspended made it rather difficult to flay them with any level of skill.
It wouldn’t do for the knife to slip and end the action too quickly, after all.
Breathing was becoming almost impossible. Cloud could hear his own heartbeat pounding desperately in his ears, feel the numbing ache of his whipped and mutilated back pressed against the rough wood of the post. The blood dripping down his brow from the thorny crown was making things difficult as it colored his vision red and tried to clog up his nostrils. Muscle and sinew were stretched beyond their limits, bones popping out of their joints in his arms as exhaustion and blood-loss took their toll.
He was getting lightheaded. The world spun on its axis and trembled.
“Kill the fuckers!” someone cried, the rest quickly taking up the call. But Cloud slumped into darkness before he could learn what creative method of death the villagers could come up with.
Angels weren’t supposed to be able to lie.
Good thing he wasn’t quite an angel.
The body interred into the nondescript cave was small, bloodied, and broken, a sad little thing wrapped in gauzy shrouds on top of a roughly hewn slab. It was the haphazard tomb of a criminal, though at least it was step up from the outdoor-and-vulture style funeral of traitors to the state.
Sephiroth slowly transubstantiated by pulling molecules of matter into a single cohesive form, cloaking his divinity in the weak and useless body of a mortal. The stone was cold beneath his buttocks as he sat on the edge of the slab, the body nearly as cold beneath his fingertips. He tilted his head absently and let his eyes wander at their leisure up from bony feet to slender legs, across the flat planes of a young torso, past the gentle arch of a neck towards a cheekbone’s pale slope. Somehow the shroud made the sight more delicious, hiding details, allowing only suggestions to shadow the presence of lean muscle or the curve of bone.
He moved his hand to an exposed, bloodied ankle and gently pushed the cloth away, sliding his fingers up the same path that his eyes had taken. Cold white skin, only lightly haired—the boy couldn’t have been more than fourteen or fifteen when he died—was soft beneath his hand, like silk spread smoothly over marble. The body was finally just beginning to come out of rigor mortis, gradually loosening into a more natural position, and Sephiroth lazily drew his hand up a lean thigh, absently running a long nail against the hipbone.
The shroud fell away fairly easily since the boy had been wrapped hurriedly in secret, the thin material sticking to the dried blood streaking long limbs, and soon Sephiroth’s other hand joined the first in sliding sensuously up the narrow chest. He had to shift on the slab, rising to his knees to be able to drag his nails over the protruding clavicles. Having already fallen into livor mortis, no blood welled up from the parted skin.
Sephiroth’s single wing, black as the abyss and manifesting with his body, slowly stretched itself out to full length. It shivered slightly, the pinions rustling softly, before settling.
Moving carefully Sephiroth shifted again, this time with his knees on either side of a narrow waist, holding himself up with his thighs. Powerful hands braced his upper body over the corpse, allowing him to lean forward and run a long tongue up the cold, stone-like skin of a neck.
“Cloud,” he murmured, feeling his breath reflected back to him from the other’s jaw-line. “Cloud. It’s time to wake up.” His hair slid forward over his shoulder and pooled on the stone as he drew his lips across a smooth cheek to an ear. “Cloud,” Sephiroth whispered, putting his weight on one hand so he could lift the other and press his fingers against the hardened blue lips.
Sephiroth suddenly bit down, hard, against the junction of neck and shoulder. At the same time there was a harsh thumpthump in the ribcage under his own and his fingers slipped into a mouth that parted, gasping for breath. The boy coughed, gagged, body flailing fruitlessly beneath Sephiroth as his soul instinctively rebelled against the forced return to a body it had already fled. The blond’s head tossed and hit the slab harshly, and Sephiroth idly noted that it probably drove the thorns on the back of the cruel crown deeper into the flesh there.
“Good morning, Cloud,” whispered the fallen angel. Cloud choked again, tongue working furiously against the two fingers pressing down into his lower jaw, as Sephiroth lazily ran his tongue over the marks he’d torn into the delicate shoulder. The boy tasted like sweat and blood and pain, and it sent a pleased shiver down his spine.
“Nnn,” was all that Cloud could manage. Taking pity on him—or preferring instead to draw wet fingers down to the boy’s mangled hands—Sephiroth allowed him to speak. “W-wha…“
While Cloud tried to remember how to form words, the angel patiently waited, circling his thumb around the hole driven clear through the boy’s thin wrist. Humans were really quite ingenious, not only nailing through the narrow space between wrist bones but also using rope tied around the forearms to ensure the body’s own weight didn’t rip it off the cross. Cloud made a lovely groan of agony when Sephiroth pushed a fingernail into the wound and scraped pink bone.
“Se-Sephir—what h-happened?” the blond gasped, struggling weakly.
“You were crucified.”
The boy’s blue eyes were so wide that the angel idly wondered how easily they would pop out of their sockets. “H-how…?”
“You were in hell,” Sephiroth told him softly, lips brushing over the curves of Cloud’s ear as he watched blood well up around his fingernail and trickle over the edges of the boy’s wrist. The blood was thick, nearly black, but as the heart continued beating it would eventually regain its former healthy redness. “I called you back.”
“Get off me,” Cloud rasped, swallowing a few times to try and ease the dryness of his throat. He struggled weakly, muscles still strung taut by rigor mortis; the angel held him down easily. “Sephiroth, wha-what’re you doing? Stop…”
“Your kind has always amused me,” he breathed, moving down past Cloud’s collarbones, down towards the center of his sternum. “So gullible. So eager to believe a beautiful face.”
“You thought I was an angel of the Lord.” A slow smile, the slit pupils of his eyes widening briefly in amusement. “Silly child.”
“Sephiroth, I don’t,” Cloud coughed, still struggling to keep his lungs working properly, “I don’t understand.”
No. Humans rarely did. Sephiroth bit down on a pale nipple and then laved it with his tongue, watching the skin very slowly turn pink.
“Sephiroth,” the boy snarled, but the tone simply made him smile. Such a fragile fire, and that analogy was appropriate; so few realized how easily a human soul could be inflamed to dizzying heights of passion or smothered into something twisted and dark. Cloud had been a weak little thing cringing at shadows when Sephiroth was first drawn to him, and the boy had been so eager, so willing, to believe that Sephiroth had been sent to protect him. Guide him. Show him how to find his own strength in a world that despised his existence.
But what the boy hadn’t known was that he was already in the presence of the only God he would ever need.
“Sephiroth,” Cloud was growling, “get the fuck off me, stop being a son of a bitch just for once,” but Sephiroth was more interested in the way young skin felt beneath his material fingertips than the obscenities that the human was spewing. Oral shit from a body still pristine-white from recent death, straining beneath the false angel in anger and growing fear—
It was intoxicating.
“Get off me—!“
Cloud’s angry demand was cut off with a gasp when Sephiroth unceremoniously drew his tongue up the boy’s cock, running his tongue lazily over the tip while one hand grasped the base. The other hand wandered down a thigh, leaving long raised lines of red in its wake. Choking on his breath, the boy tried to wiggle away, but Sephiroth quickly grabbed his hips with a low chuckle in his throat that drew out an unwilling groan.
Keeping the boy’s pelvis pinned down, Sephiroth drew him deep into his mouth and swallowed, forcing another reluctant moan. Glancing up, he could see conflict on Cloud’s face as his emotions leapt from arousal to guilt to fury (and fear, the angel could taste the child’s fear) and short nails scrabbled audibly over the smooth stone. He pulled back slowly, as though to savor every centimeter of flesh that passed between his lips, and the boy choked again.
The lines that the angel’s nails had left on white thighs were turning red, beginning to bleed as the boy’s heart quickened and washed away the lethargy of death. The red tasted like heat and copper and life on the angel’s tongue.
“Gods damn it Sephiroth I swear—“
“What, Cloud?” Sephiroth was suddenly in Cloud’s face, noses separated by a bare breath, and his eyes narrowed cruelly. His wing was spread wide like a piece of midnight that hadn’t disappeared with the sunrise. “What do you swear? Tell me. Tell me what a helpless mortal boy will do to the angel that has given him everything, including the life in his body.”
“I don’t know!” Cloud cried, “Kick you in the balls?”
It wasn’t an answer worth replying to, so Sephiroth pressed his fingers once more into the boy’s mouth as he bit and licked at the thin neck. The boy’s tongue was warming with his steadily increasing pulse, trying to force the angel’s digits from his mouth once more. Sephiroth’s greater weight kept Cloud in place, and eventually he replaced the fingers with tongue and fangs to move the saliva-dampened hand downwards.
The boy was doing an admirable job of trying to break free; he managed a solid kick to Sephiroth’s ribs before the angel shifted into a more constricting hold. The wounds in his wrists and ankles were bleeding profusely now that livor mortis had passed and blood started flowing again, streaking the stone slab and occasionally spattering over them both as he struggled.
But when Sephiroth’s fingers forced their way into Cloud’s body, the boy froze. Why was the question in the arch of his spine and in the way his blue eyes went impossibly wide; why the pain, why the betrayal.
Because he was a game, and Sephiroth was determined to win. Because Sephiroth was God and Cloud was his puppet on earth. Because it amused him.
Because he could.
Sephiroth’s wing curved high into the incense-musky air of the cave as he took the boy, fucked him hard against the stone with the shroud tangled around their legs. Cloud screamed the way he hadn’t when he was crucified, all pride and self-righteousness lost in this act of betrayal. Sephiroth allowed himself to get lost in the blood and emotion and intensity, thriving on it all the way a dying man thrives on sustenance, carved himself so deep into the child’s mind and body that Cloud would never forget his God.