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Legacy - Interlude

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Genesis came into the apartment that he shared with Angeal (and unofficially Sephiroth) weary and a little annoyed to find that the kitchen was dark and empty. He had hoped for some of Angeal’s cooking and a warm bath to soothe the aches of the day away before he collapsed in his big bed, happily sandwiched between his two sweethearts.

They were in the apartment. He could hear the low, peaceful hum of Sephiroth’s voice coming from the bathroom of all places. Genesis nearly growled. If the two of them were in the tub together already, he might light something on fire. It had been that kind of day.

He was surprised to find Angeal sprawled in an ungainly heap on the floor as Sephiroth’s long fingers ran through his dark hair. Angeal’s body was humming with tension, unsoothed by the way Sephiroth pet him. They both looked up as Genesis leaned against the doorway, “My dears, what are you doing?”

“I’m trying to convince Angeal not to shave his head.” Sephiroth said, the barest hint of amusement in his voice.

“What!?” Genesis cried, scowling at the very idea, “Of course you’re not shaving your head. What would possess you-“

“I have to be sure.” Angeal grit out at Sephiroth, picking up the end of an argument that had obviously been going on before he arrived, “That’s the only place on my body that I could think of where it might be hidden.”

Sephiroth leered down at him, “I still propose that Genesis and I give you a thorough going over first. We do have to be sure, after all.”

The fire gathering in his palm was accidental, a response to the obvious tension in the room, not to mention his own anger. As soon as he noticed it, Genesis dispelled the magic. Of course, he now had the undivided attention of his two lovers, so that alone was worth the dramatic reaction.

“I would appreciate it if one of you would begin at the beginning and fill me in, please.” Genesis said, stepping back into the hallway, “Preferably in the comfort of the living room, after we have ordered something for dinner because I am starved.”

Angeal let his head thump guiltily into Sephiroth’s knee, “Gen, I’m sorry. I forgot all about dinner.”

Genesis waved away his apology, “You’re obviously distraught. I would just like to know why and how I can help. Come on, now. Up.”

He let Sephiroth tend to Angeal while he called the dining hall to order a large meal. He offered to pay handsomely if someone brought it directly to the apartment. He had no intentions of leaving again until the morning if he could help it.

Stripping off his jacket and armor, Genesis herded Angeal and Sephiroth toward the living room, “There. Dinner will arrive in twenty minutes. Someone tell me what’s going on.”

“Angeal was approached by his soulmate tonight.” Sephiroth said, not bothering to hide his mirth, “A cadet came to him after his dreams and honor orientation speech-“

“You’re making it sound awful on purpose, you ass.” Angeal grumbled, pulling away from Genesis and Sephiroth to sit in an armchair on his own, “It isn’t something to laugh about!”

Sephiroth held his left hand up with a scowl. A small red “A” was harsh against his pale skin. Unlike so many others in the world, Sephiroth had no words marked on his body. His soulmate would never so much as speak to him. Soulmates were meant to change your life, but that did not always require love.   proof

As a young man, Sephiroth had been devastated when he realized the implications of his own mark. The heartbreak and sadness had become distain over the years, leaving Sephiroth with a poor opinion of the whole practice, “Pardon me if I don’t put much stock in the whole thing. It is a joke to me.”

Genesis felt a headache brewing behind his eyes. It was not often he had to play mediator in their relationship, Angeal had hardly any temper at all and Sephiroth was more likely to sulk than to argue. He could see that this was going to be a difficult night for all of them, “Enough. Sephiroth, dearest heart, we love you. Both of us. We did not need the Planet to tell us that and it will never change. It is your soulmate’s loss and our very remarkable gain. Angeal, sweetheart, why don’t you tell me what happened.”

Angeal let out a great sigh, sagging back against the chair, “Sephiroth was right.  After I got done with my usual greeting, there was this cadet. He was obviously upset, so I took him aside to talk to him. His mark’s on the back of his neck and it says, ‘You’ll be my living legacy. My honor, my dreams, they’re yours now.’”

“Well.” Genesis said with an uncomfortable chuckle, “Hm.”

“I laughed it off… told him about you… showed him my mark, because that makes it pretty clear.” Angeal ran his hands over his face and up through his hair, “I said that I must inspire the person he’s meant to be with.”

Genesis climbed to his feet and moved to stand behind Angeal. He gently untangled Angeal’s fingers from his hair and began smoothing it with his own, “You know that’s the most likely option. Of the three of us, you do the best with new recruits. You’ve already trained three cadets up to Second Class and one of them made First before that unfortunate mission in Icicle. Not to mention that very promising student you have now.”

Angeal melted under his touch, “I know. Something about it got under my skin. It’s happened before that someone had more than one mark. It’s rare, but that’s why no one gives the three of us a second look. What if he really is meant for us? What if I’m condemning him to a life alone because-”

“Because you have a mark hidden on your head?” Genesis’s smile was fond, not mocking, “Sephiroth is right on that account. You’re being ridiculous.”

“I found him in the bathroom with a pair of scissors and a razor. After I talked him out of cutting off all his hair, I spent an hour looking at his scalp, trying to appease him.” Sephiroth said, “There is nothing there. I would have been able to see something if there was anything to see.”

A knock at the door heralded the arrival of their dinner. Genesis gave Angeal a pointed look as he headed to answer it. His soulmate definitely owed Sephiroth an apology. He handed the boy at the door several hundred gil, whatever he had in his pocket, as he took the three covered dishes from him. The boy stammered a thank you that Genesis waved off before closing the door.

He was pleased to see the pair in the living room happily kissing as he moved into the kitchen. He could hear Angeal whisper apologies against Sephiroth’s lips and skin. Genesis did not bother waiting for them, digging into his meal alone. It was not Angeal’s home cooking, but he was too hungry to care. Sephiroth and Angeal joined him a few minutes later, Sephiroth looking less disgruntled and Angeal trying not to look sheepish.

“So tell me about this cadet, now that you’ve calmed down.” Genesis said, “I admit that I’m impressed by the nerve of him.”

“You’d be more impressed if you’d seen him.” Angeal said with a chuckle, “He’s maybe fourteen. I think he may have lied on his paperwork just to get in, but I can’t prove it. He’s barely five foot with the most unruly blonde hair I’ve ever seen.”

Genesis laughed, “He sounds adorable. Not necessarily good for a Soldier.”

“The worst part? His name is Cloud. I will say, he’s got steel for a spine though. How many people would come tell their C.O. that they might be soulmates?” Angeal shook his head at the memory, “It was a little heartbreaking though. He’s already accepted that he’s going to outlive his soulmate. He wants to be a Soldier so he can be worthy of being someone’s legacy.”

“He sounds just like you.” Genesis and Sephiroth said at once.

There was a moment of silence before all three laughed. Angeal jabbed his fork at each of them, “Neither of you made that sound complimentary.”

Genesis shook his head in amusement, “You have to admit that you can be a bit insufferable when you get yourself going.”

“When the war of the beasts causes the world’s suffering, the goddess… comes down from the sky…” Angeal gestured absently with his fork as he tried to remember the words to Loveless and failed miserably, “She loves some people and then there’s no honor left…”

“Butcher.” Genesis muttered, doing his best to bite back a grin, “That’s practically sacrilege. Enjoying a classic piece of literature does not make me insufferable. It makes me an intellectual.”

Angeal only laughed and stood, picking up both his and Genesis’s empty plates to put in the sink. He leaned down and pressed a kiss to Genesis’s forehead.

Sephiroth frowned into his baked potato, thoughts obviously still troubled after Angeal’s distress, “Have you considered that your student might be the mate to this cadet? The timing is a bit uncanny… if one were to believe in such things. It could have just as easily been myself or Genesis who met the cadets tonight.”

“It was Sephiroth’s turn, as a matter of fact.” Genesis pointed out, “Lazard pulled him into that meeting at the last minute.”

“I don’t know.” Angeal shook his head and rinsed off the plates, “Every time I say the word honor, Zack rolls his eyes. He’ll be an excellent Soldier… I can see him easily going to First Class, but I don’t think my words will ever really mean anything to him. Definitely not enough to be his last words to his soulmate. He’s got his own reasons for fighting.”

“I suppose you’re right.” Genesis leaned back in his chair with a sigh, “I do enjoy a good mystery. You’ve hooked me in… point this cadet out to me the next time you see him. We’ll find his mate, if a mate can be found here.”

Angeal turned the water off, wiping his hands on a nearby towel. He eyed his soulmates, one planet chosen and one that he had chosen for himself, “You know, I’m tired of talking about this.”

Sephiroth looked up from his plate with a smirk. Genesis leered at the heat in Angeal’s voice, “Did you have a new topic in mind, dearest?”

“I’ve always considered myself a man of action. I believe that Sephiroth promised me a thorough going over. We need to be sure, after all.” Angeal headed toward the hallway, pulling his shirt over his head, “Genesis, you should probably join us… I’m sure Sephiroth could use a hand.”

Genesis was out of his seat, following Angeal eagerly toward their shared bedroom. Sephiroth chuckled and set his plate in the sink. He could not quite shake the feeling of unease that had plagued him since he had found Angeal in the bathroom. Something was changing and he feared that it was something that would be beyond his control to change.

He hated losing control over his own life.

“Sephiroth, this whole day has left my patience worn thin.” Genesis called with mock-seriousness, “Get that shapely ass in here right now!”

Still, Sephiroth thought to himself with a smile, a night in the arms of his two loves would be just the thing to help him deal with it.