|Nothing more than a Puppet
Author: Maxie42 PM
Cloud is sent back in time with Sephiroth after the final battle in ACC. Under Sephiroth's control and back in a younger body can Cloud make a better ending for the Planet? timetravel.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure - Cloud S. & Sephiroth - Chapters: 7 - Words: 26,950 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 47 - Follows: 82 - Updated: 08-28-12 - Published: 10-25-11 - id: 7493853
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Cloud was having a bad day, his Shinra history class hard dragged on. Insert of daydreaming of being a SOLDIER first class or catching up on most needed sleep like the rest of his peers. It had taken all of his willpower to not to take hold of the nearest sword and tear the whole building down piece by piece.
Cloud had been tankful for the distraction that Reno had given him. Cloud knew that before the Turks, Reno had no one. And by giving him someone to rely on, the blonde knew that it would only benefit him. Reno was a lot of things he was reckless, careless, juvenile but most of all he loyal. If Reno found a friend in someone he would remain at his or hers side no matter what.
And right now Cloud needed a friend.
He had come to realize that all that time he had spent away from Tifa and the kids had been a huge mistake. At the time he had no idea how much he had, he had taken his life for granted. Even with his geostigma he knew he could have looked for a cure and still remained living with his family.
The reason why he had not stayed with Tifa was because there was a chance she would have found out about the illness. He had failure her once before by being too weak to catch her when the bridge snapped in Nibelheim all those years ago. But he knew now, that it was no excuse to have left them. Exhaling a breath he did not realize he had been holding, he had a lot to do if he was going to make up for his mistakes.
Cloud turned his attention back to the trainer, at the moment there were all waiting in one of the class rooms for the use of the gym, another cadet class was in progress.
The trainer had taken it as a chance to explain in graphic detail on how a monster could tear a man in half. It was one of the many things that the higher ups did, to scare the cadets into following orders. As all of the stories told were always about a SOLIDER or a cadet who had not obeyed an order.
Rolling his eyes, Cloud looked at his fellow cadets. Most were pale, eyes wide with fear. While the rest were doing their best to win an internal battle to keep their lunch.
The older SOLIDER looked around the small room, and smiled in amusement at the reaction of his students, then continued with his story.
"-the next thing I knew it had its jaws around my mate's arm. I could see its teeth digging into his flesh, the shape fangs caused a waterfall of blood that stained the wastelands, he was crying hard. At that point I didn't blame him because I could hear the sound of his bones crushing under the force of the monster's jaw"
The SOLIDER stopped talking letting his story sink into the minds of the young cadets.
"At that moment, I could not reach him. I was occupied with another monster. And I knew that my mate was as good as dead at this point. You see one bite from a Zolkalter and you're as good as a dead man walking, the monster carries many different types' of bacteria in its mouth. It's better for the Zolkalter to eat you alive then the bacteria being in your bloodstream, at least then it's not a slow and painful death that decays your body from the inside out." Cloud was getting somewhat bored of this story, as it did not take him long to work out that the SOLIDER was now making stuff up. He knew from memory that a Zolkalter was not a difficult monster to kill, a SOLIDER should have no problem with one. In fact Cloud could remember Tifa killing one in his travels and she did not have mako in her blood what so ever.
"I could see the monster beginning to pull, my mate to its den, a river of blood was left behind, as the Zolkalter dragged him across the jagged rocks and the second Zolkalter was-"
Cloud had had enough of this, and before he knew it he was speaking his mind.
"Your friend was dragged by only one Zolkalter?" Cloud asked
"You bet" the SOLDIER replied
"Really? Because I know that a Zolkalter exoskeleton is not strong enough to drag a full gown SOLDIER to his death. Also you said before you were trying to fight the monster for a full half an hour? Which is somewhat impossible. You see to defeat a Zolkalter in battle the unusual method only takes ten minutes at the most this method included the use of a physically attack. After this the monster will use Toxic Barf on any unit on the battlefield, including its allies. This can be useful in eliminating them quickly if the SOLIDER can manipulate its victims. The Zolkalter will also use its Bite attack on any poisoned unit, including its allies and itself. Since Toxic Barf is certain to cause Poison, it will destroy its own party as a result. This should be common knowledge to experienced fighters like yourself, and if not know it does not take long to work out. Making victory for a SOLDIER an easy one."
At that point the room was noiseless and Cloud just realized his mistake.
It seems that he still had a small part of Zack in him. As Cloud knew that Zack loved to share any and all knowledge that involved killing monsters and saving the day.
Over the years Cloud had done his best to overpower that part of him, but now and again, it just came out.
Damn it Zack!
The SOLIDER's helmet was covering the majority of his teacher's face, however Cloud could tell that he was clearly upset with the fact he had stopped his story. The man snorted and crossed his arms.
"Is that so Strife?"
Cloud had no choice now but to answer.
Cloud had no idea what the SOLIDER was thinking as he could not see the instructor's face.
"Very well" The SOLIDIER walked over to the bookshelf determined to prove the cadet wrong. A few moments later the older man found the book he wanted. He quickly scanned the pages and found what he had been looking for, and froze. As the book had read the same information as what the cadet had said.
Humiliated and embarrassed, by a mere child. The SOLIDER looked around the room for something to try and distracted the class.
Looking at the clock above the door, the man quickly put the book back on the shelf.
"The training room should be available now." The SOLIDER said while gritting his teeth.
"What's up sir? Was Blondie right?" Reno asked a smug smile on his face.
The whole class apart from Cloud and the SOLIDER had broken out into laughed. It was unusual thing for a SOLIDER to get things wrong.
"To the training room!" The SOLIDER said pointing to the door. "I want you all to do me 35 laps for your warms ups NOW!"
The recruits let out a groan as they got to their feet to go and start their laps.
Vincent awoke to the sound of crackling, and a light smell of smock that reached his nose. His eyes lids lifted open to see what looked like the roof of a cave dimly lighted by a soft orange glow. His eyes scanned his soundings only to find the source of both the light and noise came from a small campfire about two feet away from where he lay on the floor.
The ex-Turk sat up to examine the rest of the cave, and came to the conclusion that he must be still in the Nibel mountains. But how did he get here? Did that girl bring him here?
Vincent was confused, when he came across the girl in mountains, he had seen many different images in his mind, which none of them had made sense who was that women? Why did she look so much like that little girl? And that man who had that large sword on his back, he must have been SOLDIER. Since no average human one could lift that amount of steel without mako.
He tried to reach the demon in his mind for a response, and to his delight and annoyance the devilish being did reply, but not with the answers Vincent desperately wanted.
-Do not try and reach me for answers mortal, you are going to have to find them yourself. I have already told you more then I should- the demon did not offer anything else to him, and remained soundless.
The sound of feet pattering against rock made him look up, but he wasn't alarmed. It was that girl.
Tifa had left her safe haven behind one of the many boulders in the cave. Tifa had watched the man in his sleep and fled to a good hiding spot as the man woke up. She had no idea why she had chosen to drag the red eyed man to a cave. He just looked so familiar.
There were light scratches on her arms, fine trickles of blood staining her white skin, which were also freckled with dust and grit, she had not noticed until now. The marks must have been from her dragging him for a mile and a half, his claw kept getting in the way.
Making eye contact with the stranger Tifa asked. "Well?"
The man blinked at her and did not say a word, his face remained unchanging.
"I just dragged your body for a mile and probably saved your life, and all you can do is sit there and stare at me. Did your mother never teach you any manners?" Tifa covered her mouth with both her hands after she said this, where had that come from? Lately she had been acting so differently, like she had just woken up an adult and no longer knew how to be a teenager.
"My apologizes, I am thankful. But also curious, tell me how did you manage to carry someone more than twice you size for a mile, child?"
Tifa stared at the stranger and crossed he arms, ignoring his question she asked.
"What would you be doing out in the mountains with no climbing gear or a guide? Were you trying to get yourself killed Vincent? Even someone like you can die here you know!"
"Tifa, I am more than capable t-" Vincent eyes grew wide as he looked at the girl, Tifa was it? How did she know his name? And how did he know hers.
"How did you..?" Tifa stared unblinking at Vincent, Yes she knew this man but could not place where she had met him.
Reno was tired, hot and sweaty. Long distance running was really not his thing.
In the past Reno had done a fair amount of running, as in his younger years he had to become a thief so that he was able to pay for basic needs, and even though he would never admit it he did occasionally get caught in the act and had no other option but to run.
Running in the slums was completely different, from the running he now doing. As it was always full out sprinting while dodging upcoming objects that were in his way, these chases would always last less than 15 minutes and sometimes He would not even break a sweat.
Reno was somewhere in the middle of his peers, which had begun to slow down after the seventeenth lap. The boys in the group all had flushed faces, there were all clearly struggling to run, while wearing the heavy cadet uniform.
To help cope with the laps, all of the boys had removed their helmets before there had begun, all boys apart from Cloud.
This shocked Reno, as the helmet was heavy and similar to the one that was designed for the infantry, in fact now that Reno thought about it the uniforms were almost identical, with the only different being that the cadet's uniforms, was actually heavier than the regular army's uniforms. It was probably that way on purpose, so that the weak cadets were easily spotted and thrown out more quickly, so that less time was wasted on them.
Even with the heavy helmet Cloud , was not doing that bad, in fact he was running better than Reno had ever saw him run. Instead of being half a lap behind with the other intelligent cadets, Cloud was just behind the group of boys leading the class around the track and was keeping a steady pace, he looked almost like a professional runner.
The other boys had not noticed Cloud what so ever, all of them had their mind focused on finishing their laps.
Thinking of the other cadets, Reno knew that there were all going to blame Cloud for the extra laps. And with Cloud being an easy target already, he was going to get his arse kicked. Frowning Reno made a mental note to do something about that.
Cloud had been kind to him, he had not judged him on his past, and the other night when Cloud had finished helping Charlie with his studies. Cloud had offered to help him as well, which lead to Cloud helping him finish his homework. The blonde had not laughed at how messy his hand wittering and spelling was, but instead stayed up with him and helped to re-write the whole essay.
In just a matter of days Reno had gained something he had never believed possible.
He had gained a friend.
Grinning, Reno began to think of ways to harm the cadets who were planning to hurt his friend.
Vincent was annoyed. All that he had done in the past few hours was ask endless questions that only got more and more confusing as time passed.
This small town girl knew him. She knew his name, she had expressed concern for his own health, and she had no problem pointing out that he was an idiot for traveling alone.
Not only did the child know him, he had known about her. Tifa, was what he had called her, and with her confirmation he shorty found out that it was indeed her name.
How was this possible? Had he come across this girl before? Or maybe he had met a relative of hers?
At the back of his mind he could feel the smirk on the demon's face. Chaos seemed to be amused at how clueless Vincent really was. Which was odd behaved for Chaos, as the creature had never expressed any other reaction then bloodlust and hatred.
Vincent was pulled away from his thoughts buy the girl's voice, who was now sat on the other side of the fire.
"I feel like I know you. How can you feel like that about someone who you just met? You're a stranger to my eyes, yet something is telling me that you're not."
From what Vincent could tell about Tifa, it was that even if she looked like a teenager, she seemed to act, talk and thinks like an adult, she was strange for someone of her age.
"I cannot give you the answers that we both want at this time Tifa, However I do have business to attend to. Maybe when that is done, I will search for the cause of this."
"Wait, you're leaving?" Tifa asked.
Vincent got to his feet and begun to make his way to the exit.
"Yes" Wan all the gun man said.
Tifa quickly ran in front of Vincent, blocking the exit of the cave.
"You cannot just get up and go!"
Vincent crossed his arms and stared at the girl, face still unchanging.
"Vincent." Was all Tifa said, her hazel brown eyes, were staring right back up at his.
The ex-Turk was just about to brush passed the teenager, when he heard Chaos, deep in his mind.
-Let her come with us Vincent-
The red eyed man was just about to begin tell the demon, how inappropriate it would be to take a child with him, who would have both a home and a family to go back to, when Tifa voice stopped him.
"I am going with you."
"No" was Vincent's reply.
"Don't be ridicules child, where I am going is likely to be dangerous."
"I am not a child, Vincent. And if you are worried about monsters, then I have you know that I am a black belt in martial arts."
"Be that as it may Tifa, you are not joining me." Vincent found it odd that, he did not even have the need to question the girl, if the statement was true. It was like he already knew that about her.
Vincent stepped around her, still walk towards the exit.
"Why? Are you afraid about finding out what happened between us? Are you afraid of not knowing who I am and what I mean to you?"
Vincent kept walking, he did not have time for this and did not owe anything to this girl. Even if she did drag him a mile to the safety of a cave. He would have survived even if he was left in the snow for days on end, the dead to not feel the cold.
He had little reason to do anything about the images he saw, as well as for this so called link in-between them. The images could be nothing more than hallucinations, a side effect from being in the good Doctors care. And this want he was feeling to know the young girl, could be nothing more than a small part of him wanting to communicate with someone that is human.
"Dilly Dally Shilly Shally."
The gunner froze in mid step. He remained unmoving, as to listen Tifa's next question
"Do you know what that means Vincent?"
He knew the answer, to that question
"It's what you say to those that are trapped in the past and need help moving on."
Vincent's back was to Tifa, it stopped him from seeing the small smile on her face.
"And how do you know that?"
"I…" Vincent stopped and turned to face her, honesty he had no idea where he would have heard that saying.
"You know, I looked that saying up in countless books, I asked my dad and everyone in the town what it meant, and not one of them could tell me. Instead I was told I must of made it up, but you know it. You know me."
Vincent remained silent.
"I made that saying up for a friend."
"Vincent, I am the mayor's only child. Everyone only likes because of that. I did have one friend who liked me for me. But after what happened, I did nothing and he got the blame. That pushed him away, and now he's gone, living the dream." Looking at her feet. Tifa continued her story. "I knew that he felt it was his fault. He was trapped in that memory."
Vincent looked at the girl, for some reason he wanted to know more.
"Where is your friend now?"
Tifa looked up at Vincent and got to her feet. "Midgar, he's going to be a SOLIDER. He said that he will be as strong as the General."
"As luck would have it, that is my destination." Vincent caved, maybe there was something there, but what?
Tifa looked up, at him with hopeful eyes. "You mean?"
"I will take you to Midgar. However I am not your parent, I will not tolerate childish behavior. You will also do as you're told." For some reason, Vincent had a feeling that Tifa would try to following him anyway.
"Vincent, Thank you"
"I just have one question, for you child and if you are not honest I will reconsider my decision"
"And what would that be?" Tifa asked.
"Am I the only reason that you want to leave your home?"
"No, I need to get out of here. I was actually in the middle of running away from home, when we met." Tifa bushed some of her hair behind her ear, no longer meeting Vincent' eyes.
"You ran away from home?" Vincent questioned
"I left a letter for my dad, I don't belong there anymore Vincent"
"Very well child." Vincent walked towards the exit of the cave with Tifa at his heels. There had a big journey head of them.
A few moments passed before Tifa broke the silent in-between them.
"If you call me a child again, I will forever address you as Vinnie"
Vincent glared at her. He hated that name, and by the look of the smirk on the girl's face she knew that too.
At least Chaos found it amusing, the Ex-Turk could hear the demon's laughter echo in the back of his mind.
Genesis fell back on the hard concrete floor. Thick black fluid was seeping throw the bandagers. Making his clothing damp and heavily, it may be just a small interference however it had had a negative effect on his fighting skills.
For the past hour, Genesis had been fighting off countess monsters. It had showed him how weak he really was, as now a simply fire spell had the power to make him a SOLIDIER first off his feet.
The monster was nothing but ash now, Genesis had won the short battle. However he did not feel like it. Not all of the glory could stop the simply fact that his body was still slowly dying.
In a week he would be sent to Wutai were he would leave the company, taking many SOLIDERS with him. After this, it was more than likely that he would never be a part of Shinra again. He would be a traitor and a wanted man.
Shinra had to pay for what it had done. It was them that made him like this. It was them who had crushed his dreams.
As a child Shinra had promised so much to him fame, money and the chance to become a hero. But now it meant nothing, it had only left a bad taste in his mouth.
Yes he would make Shinra pay.
"When the war of the beasts bring the world's end, the goddess descends from the sky. Wings of light and dark spread afar, she guides us to bliss her gift everlasting."