He’d gone downstairs for half an hour. He’d needed a break. Sophie was teething, and as much as he loved his baby girl, there was only so much he could handle. When Sephiroth had returned from work, Cloud had given him a long kiss, handed him the baby, and made his escape. She liked chewing on Sephiroth’s hair. He told himself firmly that his lover would be fine, and had gone to one of the many gyms in the building to work off some stress.
He’d received a single text message of ‘feel better’ from his child’s father, and hadn’t been able to help melting a little at the words. He must have worried Sephiroth, for him to send something like that. He sent him back an ‘I love you’ just to make sure his sometimes-distant lover knew that.
He’d intended on taking an hour for himself. After half an hour he’d worn down. He wanted to check on Sephiroth and Sophie. If she’d been crying the whole time, it would be wearing on Sephiroth’s tolerance. He had enhanced hearing, after all. If Cloud thought Sophie’s cries were piercing, it was nothing compared to how they must be for his General.
He walked quickly as he headed back upstairs, trying not to let himself worry too much. He knew his family was safe, after all. There was no doubt that they were both healthy and safe—Sephiroth would never let anything bad happen on his watch—but he worried what his sudden escape might have suggested. And he doubly worried that if he’d left Sephiroth with a crying baby he might not be quickly forgiven.
He opened the door quietly, just in case by some miracle his daughter was asleep. He was greeted with silence. He moved inside slowly, wondering if Sephiroth might have taken their baby out for a walk. Sophie did like taking strolls with her daddy. Something in the way he moved seemed to soothe her. He let out a breath, walking further into the apartment. If nothing else, while they were gone he could start dinner.
He froze when he entered the living room, and instantly felt a smile spring to his lips.
Sephiroth was laying on his back on their long sofa—one gotten specifically so it would be big enough to hold all of Sephiroth’s long legs. His eyes were closed lightly, his lips parted as he slept. On his chest was their little Sophie, bundled in her Pjs. She looked more peaceful than she had all day. She was splayed across him as though listening to his heartbeat like a lullaby. Her little hand was clenched in his shirt, anchoring herself to him. As Cloud watched, she gave a sleepy little kick, and Sephiroth let out a slow breath, shifting his head just a little before settling back into sleep still without moving enough to disturb their child. With every breath he took, Sophie rose and sank with his chest, like she was sailing on an ocean.
Cloud bit his lip in delight at the adorable picture they made, and pulled out his phone. He caught the charm dangling off it quickly to keep it from chiming and flipped open his camera option. He shifted ever so slightly closer, until he had Sephiroth’s sleeping face and his little daughter’s tiny form perfectly framed. The moment the automated shutter sound clicked, Sephiroth blinked a sleepy eye open at him.
“Go back to sleep,” Cloud soothed, sliding the phone back into his pocket, keeping his voice down to a whisper. “I’ll start on some dinner for us.”
“Mm…” Sephiroth murmured, closing his eye again and shifting just enough to lay his hand over Sophie’s sleeping back over his chest. “Welcome home.”
He was back asleep in moments. Despite his promise, Cloud stayed there for a long time, watching his little family rest and letting the love he felt for them settle any annoyance he might feel at Sophie’s little baby teeth.
Text by beloved boomchickfanfiction
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