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The Devil's Own

by P L Nunn


Chapter 11


"I don't spook easy. You know I don't spook easy," Reno told Rude after they'd dropped off the truck full of armed ShinRa personnel that had ridden out to the bunker with Rude.

Rude grunted agreement, most of his attention on the road leading into the new city sector and merging into the scant traffic that was out this time of early morning. The sun was a faint promise of light out over the wasteland and the earliest of the early morning vendors and first shift workers were just getting out on the road. Rufus was probably already back at his penthouse, Tseng and Elena having gotten him out of there as soon as Diablo and his pack of mercenaries had quit the area. There were still ShinRa spotter troops out there, hidden amongst the rocks around the outskirts of the city. First alert if the gathered force of wastelanders out there made a move on the city.

"But that guy - - man, he creeped me out. Hell, you saw him close up and personal, didn't he freak you out?"

Rude grunted again, an affirmative sound that not just anyone could have deciphered. Reno had learned over the years to interpret Rude's grunts, nods and muscle twitches.

"I swear to God, it seemed like his eyes were shifting color while he was talking to the boss. And there was just this vibe coming off him - - I dunno what that was, but it was not good. Made me feel a little bad, handing Cloud over, y'know? I hope the boss knows what he's doing."

"Yeah." Rude cut the engine in the alley behind Chiv's, the best little all-nighter café this side of town. It was a Turk hangout, being a block down the street from the non-descript warehouse that the Turks used for equipment storage and training. They had a window of opportunity to catch a bite to eat and get a few minutes of shut-eye while the bastard out there in the wastelands figured out what he wanted to do and the boss got ready for whatever it was he was planning on doing. Reno hated all this pussy footing around a bad situation. He'd rather go in guns blazing and solve it once and for all. Diplomacy, he'd been informed on multiple occasions, had never been a strong point with him. Of course, he wasn't paid to be diplomatic. Which, come to think on it, was probably why he wasn't in the know about what the boss really had up his sleeve.

What would really be nice about now was a stiff drink or six. Which notion Rude frowned at, since they were still on the clock with a damned lot of shifty unknowns gathered in the wastes outside the city. Coffee would have to do.

Reno got out, and stretched, trying to relieve an itch underneath the body armor beneath his suit. It would be sheer pleasure to get out of that thing. He didn't like wearing it, because light as it was, it was still that little bit of extra something that hampered his movements. He heard Rude splash in a puddle that would have been hard to avoid in the pot-marked, shadows of the alley. There was a dilapidated delivery truck parked just down the way from Chiv's back door and criss crossed clotheslines stretching across overhead from building to building from the apartments above the street level businesses. Over those, the bulk of an overpass cast its shadow over the whole of the area.

Habit made him scan those dark places, the shelter of a building top, the hidey places within the recesses of fire escapes. He might have missed the flutter of movement otherwise. It separated from the high darknesses, and came bulleting down with a fluttering of what a creative mind might assume to be ragged wings with lack of more information to supply the reasoning side of the mind.

"Rude," he warned, automatically going for the gun in his jacket and Rude saw where he was looking and acted simultaneously, pulling his own gun and standing firm and solid while Reno ducked to the side, targeting the shadows. He saw a glint of metal and fired, his shot echoing in the alley, and the shadow bounced off a wall like a ricochet avoiding the bullet and made the ground with barely a sound other than the faint ripple of cloth and the telltale cocking of a gun.

Then the street level light crept in and revealed detail, red so dark it almost looked black, streaming hair that was black and damned unnerving red eyes in a face that did not have anything of forgivingness in it.

Fuck. Vincent Valentine, who might once have been a Turk and drawn a company paycheck, but who had no reason now to be anything but dispassionate towards them. Hell, he had a lot of damn good reasons to actively despise them. And then there was the Cloud thing . . .

"Goddamnit!" Maybe it was a guilty conscience on that score that made him go on the offensive when a wiser man might have paused to see what Valentine's intentions were.

He fired, two, three times and Rude didn't have a choice but to follow his lead and cover his back as he dove for the cover of ATV. Valentine wasn't there anymore; he was a blur of shadowy red cloak moving faster than even Reno's trained eye could easily follow. He might have scored a shot somewhere in the mix, he wasn't sure. Maybe Rude did in that hail of gunfire coming from them. Valentine hadn't fired once and then there was a crack of a shot with more power behind it than the ShinRa high-power automatics had to deliver. Reno saw Rude stagger from the corner of his eye, saw his legs give way as he collapsed in the filth of the alley.

Reno hissed, cursing and skidded out in a haze of fury, firing everything he had left in his clip and then coming up empty and reaching for the extendable billy club at his back. Valentine came to a stop between him and Rude, long barreled gun at his side, muzzle pointing ground-ward. Between hair, headband and collar his face was barely visible, but what Reno did see was grim and focused.

"Where is he?" Valentine asked softly. There didn't have to be threat in his voice, it was clinging to the rest of him like the stink of too much cologne. Reno opened his mouth to respond with something that would probably get him shot, then hesitated at movement beyond Valentine's shoulder. Rude, staggered to his feet, lifting his gun, about to give Valentine a nasty surprise.

"Get bent," Reno suggested, drawing attention to himself.

Without batting a lash, without taking his blood-red eyes off Reno, Valentine lifted his arm and swung that damned big gun of his around, the dull-grey muzzle dead on with Rude's forehead.

Reno took a breath, having a sickening flash of vision, of the back of Rude's head exploding in bits of grey matter that wasn't so grey after all, spattering the grimy wall of the building behind him. He didn't doubt for a moment that Valentine wasn't capable of cold-blooded murder. The man had been a Turk after all.

"All right, all right." He held up hands in surrender. "Ease up and I spill."

Valentine stood there, as unflinching as Rude, who might have been having visions similar to Reno's.

Might as well take the medicine and get it over with in one mouthful. "We traded him to Diablo."

Valentine's chin lowered marginally, those black-rimmed devil eyes of his narrowing unpleasantly. He didn't speak for a moment, turning over Reno's revelation in his head, then, "Traded him . . . for what?"

Reno half-laughed, but the wry humor of the situation - - or lack thereof - - caught in his throat. "Y'know, I'm not 100% sure about that."

"Reno . . ," Rude growled in warning. There was blood trailing down from under the white of his sleeve, dripping off his fingers.

"What the fuck?" Reno said, frustrated, no small bit scared to see the flash of gunfire from the muzzle of the gun pointed at Rude's head while Rude wanted to play company lapdog. Well, fuck the boss if he wanted to play head games with friend and foe alike. Maybe if Reno knew a Goddamned thing about what was going on, he'd be more inclined to keep his mouth shut.

"Rufus says he can help Diablo - - I dunno - - suppress Sephiroth. Says it's in everybody's best interests, which might be true, all things considered. If he's telling the truth . . . which is anybody's guess . . . he gave the bastard Cloud as a good-will gesture. Don't ask me where that inspiration came from."


And there was nothing to do really, but tell him . . .

Sickening, lurching movement interspaced by utter void of everything. Flashes of night black sky pierced by the blurred pinpoints of stars. The deafening sound of revved up engines. Heat against his back, the jolting impact of his head against a hard surface. Repeatedly, slapping him back into blackness again and again.

Until it stopped with a skidding grate of tires in dirt and lurch that liked to tear his arms from their sockets, but Cloud stayed put, and lay staring through black tinged vision at the curiously spinning sky. He might have sank under again, but for the sounds of other engines still approaching, of other vehicles braking to short stops, of voices in the night, loud, raucous, laughing, cursing. There were gunshots that echoed off rock towers and whoops and hollers in appreciation. Men gathered, silhouettes against the illumination of headlights.

He grayed out. Came back again with an ache in his back. Comprehension was an elusive thing, a moth flittering in and out of the darkness, tempted by the light, but not quite trusting of it. He couldn't understand why he couldn't shake the fog.

He tried to roll over and relieve the pressure, but his arm, attached at the wrist to something above and to the right of him prevented that motion. The same held true for the other arm.

A little surge of panic fed adrenaline served to clear his mind and he tilted his head to look up and backwards, catching a crazy swirl of star-dotted night sky past the overhang of a craggy tower of rock. Closer still was the roll bar of, from what details he could make out from his angle, a much battered, open-topped ATV. He was on his back on the hood, wrists chained to either side of the forward roll bar, legs secured by similarly by chains that disappeared down the grill to the bumper. The hood was still warm under him, which meant the vehicle had not long sat dormant.

He cursed under his breath, twisting his head about to find out what else lay in his line of vision. Lots of big rocks obscuring the landscape. Big rocks close together, which probably meant one of the thousand or so rocky grottos dotting the wastelands outside Midgar. God, please let it not be further than that. He was working with a lot of fathomless depths, blanks in his memory that seemed overwhelming and that shook him to the core, all too familiar and all too frightening. He couldn't place a finger on the last clear memory he had. Traveling to the city with Cid and Vincent - - no being in the new city at the edges of the old - - walking though new sectors - - the bar and Tifa, who was okay - - listening to Barret's stories - - and not much after that.

Something exploded sharply, like live ammunition going off without benefit of a weapon. There were startled cries and the jeer of laughter that he picked out past the low whine of wasteland wind. Now that his eyes were adjusting, now that his mind was shedding the fog, he could see the flicker of orange to his left. Could see the shapes of other vehicles in the darkness, and the milling shapes of men, standing in the shadows in groups, the murmur of their conversation more pronounced now, their faces lit occasionally by the lighting of a smoke, or the flicker of one of the low fires they'd started. There were a lot of them; ragged men who moved furtively, like nervous predators, just like the ones in the desert outside Gold Saucer.

God. What the hell had happened to him to land him back in their midst? He had a shuddery flashback of memory to those terrible hours in the bunker, in the pit, fighting off an inexhaustible supply of beasts, Diablo's followers leering down through the grate from above, waiting for his exhaustion to make him slip, wanting his death like they wanted a drug. Of Diablo and Diablo's mad/alien eyes bearing down upon him . . .

He drifted, caught in the miasma of that nightmare for a moment, and it took effort to shake free of it, which meant he wasn't whole. Wasn't free of whatever it was that had dragged him under to begin with. He could feel the leaden weight of it inside him, making muscles and thought sluggish still.

Someone staggered near the vehicle he lay upon - - several someones - - and a hand touched his leg. He flinched, jerking the knee up as much as he could within the restriction of chain.

"Gor, but he's nice to look at." A woman's slurred voice. A woman's half-clad body pushing past the men who accompanied her to climb up on the bumper of the ATV and lean over him with a knee on the hood between his legs. "I heard stories about you, boyo. You don't look as tough as they say." She leered, leaning closer still, one hand braced on the hood at his side, the other sliding up between his legs, squeezing his balls through the thick material of his trousers. The men behind her laughed.

"Get off me." He glared up into her hollow-cheeked, care-worn face and she sneered, superior in her freedom and his captivity.

"C'mon, Lin." One of the men, dragged her off him, arm around her waist, other hand fondling a breast. "What'cha want him for when you got us, huh?" The other man grunted in agreement and closed in on her, and she laughed low in her throat in appreciation of the attention, the three of them melting back into the darkness, falling against the side of a close parked truck to rut. Cloud could hear the sounds of their movements, their grunting breaths, could see the undulations of their silhouetted forms and he turned his head, trying to block it out.

Easy enough when he let the rest of the camp sink in. Dozens of dark vehicle shapes within his obstructed line of vision, probably more out there in the darkness beyond his scope. Fires spotted here and there, and the smell of roasting meat, the smell of fresh blood where they'd gutted whatever they'd hunted down and killed. A man in his position could only hope that prey had been animal and no higher species. The smell of booze was strong and of gunpowder. Somebody had a radio or a CD player further off from where he was that was emitting a tinny, caustic assault of Death-rock. Someone screamed, low and hoarse, but it could have been from sex as much as torture. Cloud shivered regardless, and tested the chains again in desperation. There was no leverage. No slack to work with. His hands were numb and his legs starting to get that way. His side throbbed. Diablo was somewhere out there in the darkness, he felt it in his bones, felt it in the nausea that curled in his belly.

He was scared. Foolish not to admit it. Terrified at his own lapse of memory as much as from anything. Not knowing how he'd gotten here was almost as bad as actually being here. Blank spaces and missing time brought back uncomfortable reminiscences of the past that he in no wise wanted to dwell on.

More men stalked past him, trailing a stink of cheap whisky and sweat, laughing amidst themselves, hollow boasting over imaginary prowess, casting him looks as they passed. He heard the word ShinRa in the mix and narrowed his eyes, some not too distant memory stirring under the fog.

"Those company bastards run with their tails between their legs once we put the fear o'the devil into them, didn't they?" one drunk cutthroat boasted and his friends jeeringly agreed, one of them pausing by Cloud's ATV to pee against the wheel. They laughed at that and one of them slapped him on the thigh, suggesting something appalling, before they staggered off, leaving the acrid smell of urine in their wake.

It got rowdier, as more wastelanders joined the gathering, the sounds of gunshots shattering the night too frequently, the rev of engines out there in the darkness, the cries and screams of ecstasy or pain, the cries of conflict as brawls burst out. Hands touched him sometimes, rough and hurtful as they passed, as groups of lean men, hard-faced and scarred gathered about, staring at him as if he'd given them some personal offense, making awful conjecture about the things they might do to a captive in their midst. He met eyes with cold stares of his own, because you never, ever backed down from beasts, even if you were sorely disadvantaged. Somebody clambered onto the hood of the ATV and forced the mouth of a bottle between his lips and he choked on the burn of bad whisky. The stuff tasted like it had been cut with gasoline and scorched its way all the way down to an empty stomach. The last thing he needed, foggy headed as he was. It spilled out of his mouth when he refused to swallow, so they pinched his nose until he hadn't a choice but gulp the foul stuff down and hope to get a breath of air in the process. Half of it seemed to go down the wrong way and he sputtered and gagged, bucking up in panic at impending suffocation, dislodging the bastard who sat on him. They thought that was hilarious, even the one who'd toppled off the hood, and somebody caught his jaw as he was wheezing and gasping after air and licked the spilled whisky off the side of his face.

"He don't like our fine brew," someone jeered.

"Give 'im a little 'eye of the snake' and see if that don't go down better." Someone else laughed. There was enough of a crowd around the ATV now that all he could see were bodies in patchwork clothing, heavy with weapons, dirty and scarred and merciless.

"Let's see his snake," a female voice slurred, and the woman from before, climbed up on the bumper to lean on the hood between his legs, working at the buckle to his belt, swift bony fingers sliding under his fly and finding flesh. He cringed at her touch. Ground his teeth and glared bloody murder as she pulled his limp cock out and lowered her mouth down upon it. Then a man was on his chest again, blocking what she was doing between his legs, prying his jaw open enough to jam the lip of another bottle between his teeth, while somebody else leaned in to pinch his nostrils closed to force the stuff down. This time it didn't taste like it had been cut with gasoline, it tasted of piss cut with liquor and he shuddered and gagged and swallowed out of necessity, eyes watering and balls wanting to crawl up into his body in revulsion.

He blinked skyward, the only angle available with hands on his face and hands on his body and chains stretching limbs taut, and blurrily saw the silhouette of a man high atop the rocky tower above this lurid gathering. A man who had been there god knew how long, silent and still and observant.

Maybe Cloud's discovery of the watcher spurred action out of him, or maybe Diablo was simply tired of playing voyeur and wanted participation of the fun. He stepped off the edge and plummeted the ninty feet to the ground, landing in a slight crouch amidst the startled ring of onlookers. Men gave him room, and the one's with hands on him backed off as they realized Diablo stalked among them. Cloud wondered with that idle sort of detachment that went hand in hand with way too much hard liquor if they knew what Diablo had done to his men in that bunker outside Gold Saucer. He wondered if they'd care, bloodthirsty bastards that they all were. In their world, it was survival of the strongest, and Diablo was most certainly at the top of the heap.

Diablo walked forward, stopping at the front of the ATV and staring down at Cloud dispassionately. His eyes lingered on Cloud's open fly and his exposed cock, wet from the woman's mouth and limp despite of it. Cloud couldn't see his eyes in the shadow, couldn't tell what dwelled there. Whether it was Diablo's own brand of madness or Sephiroth's influence that guided his actions.

"Tried to get him ready for you," the woman purred boldly sidling up to the edge of the ATV when the men were wise enough to give Diablo space. "But as you can see, there weren't no getting it up. Soft as a little boy, but maybe he don't like a woman's touch, huh? Maybe he needs cock to stiffen his prick? Pretty as he is, bet that's the case."

"Maybe." Diablo's lips curved a little in a smile. Cloud glared at him, breath coming hard, angry/scared/wanting to puke. Holding his head up was an effort.

"Let him go," Diablo suggested softly and men jumped to do his bidding, until the chains were loose and slid off Cloud's wrists and ankles. Even freed he lay there, world spinning, until Diablo reached down and caught a handful of sweater and dragged him off the hood. Cloud went down at Diablo's feet, legs having no strength to support him, trapped on his knees with the grill of the ATV at his back and Diablo's legs against his shoulders. Diablo pressed him back, and every instinct screamed make a move, take his feet out under him and roll to the left where there were fewer of the wastelanders, find a weapon and run for it. He couldn't make his body do it, all he could manage was to turn his face away to avoid Diablo's crotch.

Diablo's fingers wrapped around his throat, drawing him up, then flinging him backwards into the ring of onlookers. Men scattered, some avoiding him, others bowled over by the impact of his body. They sprawled in the dirt, men scrambling to get out of the tangle of limbs when Cloud hadn't the strength to extricate himself. Diablo pounced on him, and Cloud lay under the assault leaden limbed and helpless, a fresh wash of lethargy surging over him.

He saw it in Diablo's eyes then, that glint of ice blue that belonged to someone else, that bit of Sephiroth that came surging forward at the scent of him. Diablo opened his mouth, then shut it, hands trembling on Cloud's collar, fists tightening so hard that bones creaked. Fighting Sephiroth's wants/needs and hating Cloud because he brought it out. Diablo threw back his head, neck corded with tension, and when he looked back down his eyes were his own.

"You smell like piss," he hissed, close to Cloud's ear. "Fit for the likes of them. See how he likes that." Then he rose and stepped back and there was a look on his face that taunted something inward. He waved a hand towards Cloud, sprawled at his feet.

"Tonight, he's yours. Make the most of it." Then he turned his back and stalked off into the darkness to watch while his pack descended upon Cloud.

Diablo sat in the dark; in a nook in the rocks above the grotto the wastelanders used as camp this night. He stared down at the flow of dirty humanity, at the surge and ebb of the pack as they fed. Their victim made no sound, no cry of torment as they played with him, but then Diablo wouldn't expect it of a Soldier. He'd endure, and he'd lash back if he could, but it didn't seem as if he had the capacity now, thanks to whatever perversion Shinra had visited upon him.

Diablo could see flashes of pale skin amidst the dust-coated bodies of the trash that followed him. The laughter was shrill and excited over the exacting of pain.

There, he thought, there's what you wanted, degraded by the likes of them. Fuck with me, will you. And something coiled inside his head, tense and insistent. He felt pain in his palm and looked down at the dark balls of his fists, clenched so hard his nails had drawn blood. He curled his fingers around rock instead, furious, seeing the tinge of blood around the edges of his vision, feeling that all too frequent urge to shed actual blood. To feel his hands crush bone and flesh, to let his blades slice into meat and turn a living vessel into nothing more than a carcass. ShinRa hadn't given him those dark desires; he'd had them before they'd ever gotten their hands on him. And if nothing else they had given him legitimate reason to act on the impulses for a while. Before they'd turned on him.

There was a cry from down below, an aborted sound of pain, quickly swallowed as the wastelanders got past Cloud's defenses and Diablo's mind wondered, dwelling on the debauchery of that fine flesh. Dwelling for a moment too long and a moment too wistfully on what he would do to that body while it was still alive, before he let his blades sink in and steal the life. Dwelling on the all the things he would do to make Cloud scream.

And with his guard down, something swept in past the jagged walls of his defenses and he glared down at the crowd, the bolder ones inside the circle of onlookers, hands on something that was his. He remembered things from another lifetime. He remembered Cloud as a boy, on his knees between his legs, fine pink lips stretched around the base of his cock, thick, gold-tipped lashes fluttering on smooth cheeks as he worked to please him. He remembered the feel of his hair, sun-bright and soft in its disarray, the tension in the back of his neck as he rested his hand upon it, urging the boy to take his cock deeper, the sound of his own voice giving soft directions to a novice who so desperately wanted to please a man he worshipped. A boy so easy to manipulate into something he wasn't quite certain he wanted to do.

Swallow. He had instructed, when he'd come in that soft mouth, and being a company recruit and having learned to take orders as they came, and especially as they came from the great and the legendary high commander, Cloud had done as he was told. And he had patted him on the cheek like an obedient dog and sent him on his way, until the next time. Back to Zack who was never the wiser. Back to Zack who had been his friend and his contemporary and almost an equal and maybe that's why he'd been so intent on having Cloud. But then it hadn't been Zack who'd bested him. Not in the end. It had been that boy on his knees swallowing his come. That boy who'd had come back to his bed on his summons, whenever the urge had hit, who'd bent over at his instruction and spread his fine white ass for his pleasure.

He didn't mind them torturing Cloud. Didn't mind seeing Cloud degraded and hurt. Having Cloud turn to him and beg for release from the torment would have been sheer bliss. He had a problem with their filthy cocks contaminating the warm places inside Cloud's body, those places that were his and his alone, claimed long ago when innocence and naivety had still been at issue.

Something shattered in his hand. A rock, shards of it piercing his palm. He looked down, surprised, intrigued for a moment by the thickness of the fingers, the size of the callused palm. It was not his hand - - it was not his body- - yet. And that thought brought forth a miasmic eruption of fury from the other mind that shared this host. Get out. GetoutGetout! I'll kill him. I'll fucking kill him right now.

Will you? he asked, a rare two-sided exchange of ideas. Killing Cloud was not abhorrent to him, but Cloud's death - - that would be a private matter all his own, not to be shared, but not until his other needs had been sated, not until Cloud begged him for it and maybe not even then, if the mood struck, for it might be more satisfying to make him watch, broken and submissive, the appropriation of this world for greater things.

The other awareness balked at that, too, and it became a struggle to hold on to conscious thought. Rawer emotion filtered in. A need for violence that had no higher purpose.

There was meat down there, lots and lots of meat waiting to be dispatched. None of them from the tight-knit unit that had been family for the years of service working black-ops. All of his brothers-in-arms were dead. Slaughtered by the behemoth that had created them. All that was down there, writing in the firelight, glorying in their tiny cruelties, were worthless, squirming flesh packages for the taking.

Diablo rose, growling thoughts and memories that were not his own still echoing in his head. He jumped down from his niche, landing in silence at the edge of the gathering. With red-tinged vision he saw prey. A man taking a piss against the rocks. He was there before the last spatter hit ground, hand around the thick neck, fingers closing in tight enough to stifle the cry of surprise. He dug his nails in, piercing flesh and muscle, sliding into wet warm meat and ripping out, taking everything north of the spine with him. Warm blood spurted, coating his hands and forearms as he let the twitching man drop with none the wiser. He stood there, breathing deep, cock hard in his pants as he held mangled flesh and cartilage in his hand. He tossed it aside and it hit ground with a splat, then brought bloody fingers to his mouth.

He padded through the ranks of the vermin that dogged his heels, senses gone hyper, vision tunneled. He could smell the stink of accumulated sweat, could taste the acrid tang of their adrenaline, the flavor of their excitement, of violence, and blood, of sex and drugs that they partook of in their little niches, in the shadows of the rocks, in the small nomadic tents that they used when they weren't living out of their vehicles, or right out in the open. They weren't shy about it, having lost social standards long ago.

He came to where they'd dragged Cloud, where they'd bound him, elbows cruelly pulled together and bound behind his back, chain taut around his wrists; knees and ankles bound together and lying in blood soaked dirt. They'd hurt him in the subtle, insidious ways they knew, patient still with their pain giving because he hadn't broken yet and fueled their hungers with his screams. They hadn't gotten to the sex yet, still getting off on the torture, so he laid there half naked, torso bare, pants pushed down enough to reveal the curve of his ass and the shadow of cringing genitalia between his legs. There were the beginnings of bruises on his body, impacts of fists or boots, a myriad of tiny cuts in sensitive places and the dotting of burned flesh where they'd been at him with lit cigarettes or pieces of metal or sticks heated in the fire.

They cleared a space for Diablo when he came, backing away to see what he'd do and Cloud stared up at him, jaw clenched as tightly as his fists, back arched out of necessity from the position they'd bound him in, fine golden skin marred. The fight in his eyes was dulled, had been dulled since Shinra had given him over and Diablo canted his head, picking up a scent of something in the stench of Cloud's sweat that smelled of drugs. Something they'd done to him to make him placid and it hadn't worn off.

He reached down with a bloodstained hand and grasped Cloud's hair, dragging him to his knees, holding there steady there when he felt balance falter. There was a little blood at the side of his mouth, a bruise low on his jaw, but overall they'd practiced amazing restraint in damaging his face. Diablo could understand the need to preserve some part of the beauty of the thing he was destroying. It made the desecration all the more satisfying sometimes, to watch a pretty face tighten with pain while he sliced open the belly and pulled out the guts, to watch that same face go slack, perfect and untouched while he mangled warm, wet insides.

He shuddered a little, a spasm of excitement as the most cherished of his memories flashed behind his eyes. Of wetwork done for ShinRa in the dead of the night, of his own private pleasures, the ones he could take time with and savor. He knelt down, holding Cloud by the throat, fingers biting into the hollow places at the curve of his jaw. Blue eyes glared back at him. Defiant. Bruised. Diablo ran a thumb across a thin slice close enough to a nipple to cross pink flesh and brought the smear of blood to his lips. He ran his hand down the taut chest, the hard muscles of a stomach quivering a little with tension, to the soft package between Cloud's legs. They'd cut him down there a little too. Diablo felt the thick wetness of blood. If he pushed Cloud down and took that bruised flesh in his mouth, he'd devour it, tear off chunks of quivering meat with his teeth and that would end things too soon when the boy bled out. And when he did do it, it wouldn't be under the watchful eyes of his dogs. It needed privacy, Cloud's destruction.

But he did need some kind of release now, something to ease the rock hard tension that had his cock vibrating against his belly. He had always preferred women, always, but even without the demanding voice inside his head, he would have gotten off on Cloud Strife's domination. The strong were always so much more satisfying to destroy.

He rose, ripping his fly open, freeing his angry erection to slap against Cloud's face. Cloud tried to turn his head, but Diablo caught his face, fingers biting into the hinge of his jaw, forcing those pretty lips open, revealing a beckoning cavity of darkness inside that mouth. He jammed his cock inside, felt the tightness of an unprepared throat squeeze his cockhead, felt Cloud gag and choke around his thickness and drew in a hissing, exhaultant breath.

"C'mon," he leaned down a little to whisper. "I know you can deep throat. He taught you how, didn't he?"

He remembered what that damned superior bastard Sephiroth remembered; Cloud on his knees, swallowing his cock, a desperate kid out to please. But wasn't that always the way it had been for Sephiroth, having things fall into his lap. Promotions, the choice assignments, the choice recruits, while the rest of them had to break their backs to get company recognition and even then, the company paid them back with a bullet in the head from a long distance sniper. God, but he'd always hated the smug bastard, but the company never let the likes of the blackest of their black ops killers get close enough to test the limits of that hatred.

And now the bastard was in his head. Conniving, coiling snake wanting what was his, with plans too grandiose for a simple man with simple needs to comprehend. Only he had what Sephiroth wanted now, and if he skull-fucked Cloud to death, that would be okay too, if it pissed the entity in his head off.

He clenched his fist in Cloud's hair, pale tendrils of the stuff poking out between his fingers, gripping hard to hold the kid's head immobile while he drove his hips into his face, ramming his cock down his throat. Violent thrusts that scraped his cock against Cloud's teeth, fueled by the struggle to keep Sephiroth from surging to the surface, drawn like blood to the surface of torn skin by Cloud's subjugation.

When he spilled finally, he pressed Cloud's face hard against his belly, smashing the kid's nose into his pubes while he filled his throat with come that bubbled back up and out of the kid's nostrils as he choked on it. He kept him that way, fingers clawing into Cloud's head, arms tense with the effort to fight the kid's jerking efforts to avoid suffocation. It wasn't until his face turned red with lack of oxygen and the fight went out of him that Diablo shoved him backwards, where he lay gasping, Diablo's seed dribbling from mouth and nose. The come was red-tinged, from vessels ruptured a little along the way. Diablo stared down, feeling a tinge of satisfaction from within at the sight of Cloud curled there, shuddering. He frowned, not liking the idea that this hadn't been entirely his own notion.

He jerked his eyes away, wanting distance of a sudden. Wanting a dark, private place to be. He fixed his gaze on one of the wastelanders, an alpha above the rest.

"No mutilation," he said softly, because that pleasure was for him alone. "Don't mess with his face. I'll want him later."

The wastelander nodded, understanding the price he'd personally pay if Diablo's commands went unheeded.

Diablo flexed his muscles and leapt into the rocky darkness above to think about the offer the Shinra bastard had made him.




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