First of all, I prefer the spelling 'Aerith' over 'Aeris'.
Second, Nibelheim means 'Fog-home' in German. 'Nibel' is an old-fashioned way of reading 'Nebel' which means 'fog' that could also be translated as 'cloud', so that's why I chose it as fem!Cloud's name instead of Cloude, Cloudia, Cloudette, etc.
Third, 'Wolke' means 'cloud' in German.
Fourth, this (and 2 other FF7 stories) have been sitting in my files for so long. I had to empty them someday.
Fifth, this was inspired by esama's GUARD and Rock Bottom. There shall be bouts of OOC-ness and a few pinches of crack. And jabs on the death of a person.
Last, I like time-travel stories.
R & R.
Cloud didn't know why he agreed to it in the first place. Sure, the whole time-travel thing was giving him a chance to save all those that died and change the destructive future, but he had to pay a price—a big one, mind you—and there was a big risk that comes with it. Come on, if you were given a choice to decide between time traveling and giving up everything you've ever sacrificed for, and the other choice was not time traveling and being contented with what you have now, which would be the obvious answer?
Hell, he did not want to go and throw away everything he had now—his friends; his adopted son, Denzel; his job; his life without Sephiroth, Meteor, or Shinra to threaten the world—but he couldn't exactly say no when Aerith told him that the Planet was dying, fast.
Honest to God, he didn't understand why that would happen; he and the others had already stopped Mako usage and the like. The Geostigma plague had been subdued, too. Aerith says it's because the Planet was too far gone to heal by the time Jenova was done with it. He actually thinks it's some kind of overused cliche plot by bored game fanatics out there, but he dare not raise his opinion to the Cetra. Dead or not, you do not mess with Aerith. Or Tifa. Or Yuffie. Or any women in general, but mostly Aerith.
(He vaguely remembered Zack telling him, back in his cadet days, about a guy who crossed his girlfriend. The poor sap was never the same again.)
After he finally agreed to the Cetra's request, he bid farewell to Tifa (and goddamn, her punches hurt), Marlene (Barret punched him for her), Denzel (who begged for Fenrir), Barret (and got punched by the man again), Yuffie (who tried to steal his materia because she said he didn't need them anymore), Cid (tried to burn him with a cigarette butt), Nanaki (almost got his hand bitten), Vincent (aimed a gun at him for his stupidity), and Reeve (who he is quite thankful that did not do anything unlike the others. He did not need more abuse, thank you very much).
When he and Aerith started the whole process, things started to look bad. First, the Lifestream flowing through his veins hurt like a bitch. Second, he felt his whole body morphing and changing unnecessarily. Third, Aerith had said "Oops! Oh, well. That could work, too." before giggling at him. Whatever it was that happen, it was not good. At least for him.
And his unspoken questions were answered when he became aware of his surroundings.
He was in a hospital. That's 'Fuck my life!' number one, check.
He could only speak baby talk. That's 'Fuck my life!' number two, check.
And the worst of all…
"Congratulations, Mrs. Fair. You've given birth to a healthy young girl!"
…he was a girl, who may or may not have been born into Zack's family.
At age of 3, Cloud… or should she say, Nibel, learned that she was not born into Zack's family. Rather, she was born into Zack's dad's family. The thought did not comfort her in any way, especially since she and her brother were left orphaned just a year ago after an accident. Aerith severely miscalculated (because she told her that she was being sent back to her childhood days in Nibelheim) and just winged it, because it was too late to take anything back.
On the other hand, she also didn't miscalculate, because she said Cloud's childhood in Nibelheim. How was Cloud (wait… it's Nibel now. He— she had to get used to that) supposed to know that Zack's dad's family used to live in Nibelheim? Although, she had the inkling feeling that Aerith knew about it.
Damn it, the brunette Cetra was making things work in her favor again.
At least it gave her a lot of time to change things, unlike if she was born 15 years later. Like destroying Jenova who she was not very sure if said alien was placed inside the Nibelheim reactor. And preventing Vincent's 'slumber', as she was sure that it would happen a year from now based from the ex-Turk's stories.
She had a year until Sephiroth and the other members of the elite trinity (whose names she couldn't remember) were born and experimented on. However, until Vincent arrives in Nibelheim and goes into 'slumber', she can't do anything about it. The blonde had no choice but to suck it up and just enjoy her days with her older brother (who was 6 years older than her, and Zack's future dad). She waited and waited and waited…
…until the day finally arrived.
Granted, she had to wait another year before the Shinra scientists fully evacuated the mansion.
The ex-Turk feigned sleeping while she crouched and continued to poke the man's cheek (he couldn't fool her; not when his eyebrows twitched when she poked him). It was a hundred pokes and a few minutes later that the black-haired man opened his eyes to glare at her. It did not faze her one bit, mainly when he did not look anything like a vampire yet.
"Leave," was the first thing he said, while trying to bore holes into her head. She tried to match his glare, but a girl with wild chocobo hair glaring at you wouldn't be intimidating, no matter what.
His glare grew in intensity. Though no matter how hard he glared, he can't faze Nibel. After all, he's got nothing on his future self's glare. The future Vincent's glare could make you shit in your pants, kill you, revive you, make you pee, then kill you again. The blonde wondered if the man had been practicing his glare all those years trapped in a coffin.
"…so, I'm Nibel Fair, and I think you're stupid for letting the creepy old man get away with the baby and the pretty lady." She started, standing up from her position and dusting off her dress. At this point, when you've survived an apocalypse orchestrated by a virus-emitting alien who wants to take over the world, you could really care less about tact.
"Wanna come with me and get rid of Hojo?"
And that, my friends, was the start of a beautiful partnership.
And a reluctant parenthood for Vincent who had to care for Nibel and her big brother who were orphans.
But mostly partnership.
Nibel planned it out with Vincent. It was ingenious. It was fool-proof. It was perfect. There was no way their plans could fail, not when two great minds thought it up.
Scratch that, it was completely impossible.
How in the name of nine hells was Nibel going to infiltrate Midgar and be some sort of influential figure?
"You're wiser years beyond your age, correct?" Vincent once inquired as he continued to stack his pancakes without leaving anything for her. Freeloader. "Why not attend school and use that to your advantage? You could be an engineer or a scientist working for Shinra. And since you are a supposedly 'prodigious' young girl, they would take notice of you and you can climb your way up in the company."
"That's the thing— I may be more knowledgeable than my younger self, but that doesn't mean I'm on Hojo's level of intellect. I don't have an innate high intelligence like him."
He sent her an amused glance before rummaging in his cloak. He brought up a stack of papers and placed them on the table as her eyes widened at the names on top of the documents, Prof. Hojo and Prof. Lucrecia Crescent. "Oh, I didn't think of that. I think I could work with these." She scratched her cheek sheepishly. As she skimmed the madman's works, she noticed some information were familiar— while others were completely unknown to her. Hojo must've scrapped them in the future.
As she continued to study Hojo and Lucrecia's researches, Vincent trained her and her brother in the art of combat: hand to hand, marksmanship, archery, staves, you name it. Unfortunately, he could not teach them about blade works as he was no swordsman. And while she continued to prove herself as a 'prodigy', it wasn't long until she finished the education offered in Nibelheim.
Nibel sighed as she packed her things. Four years had passed since she started her education, and now, she's finished with middle school-level curriculum. With Vincent around, they had arranged the official adoption of the Fair siblings and were on their way to move to the newly built Gongaga reactor. Since it was just new, Shinra was still abuzz there and they could make the company (or any influential person, really) to take notice of Nibel's 'genius'.
"Ready to go, sis?" Wolke Fair (their mother also liked the whole weather leitmotif, it seemed), her older brother, had asked. God bless the blond-haired boy for not asking any questions about the sudden interest in her studies and the move to Gongaga. He was very understanding for his age, and he hadn't ostracized Vincent, either. He took everything at ease.
"Yeah," She nodded at him before they went downstairs to see their 'father'.
When Wolke went ahead to wave goodbye to his friends—her younger self's future mother and the young Mayor Lockhart—the girl looked inquisitively at the gunner. "Once we get to Gongaga, are you going to rejoin the Turks? I'm gonna need all the inside help I can get once I join Shinra."
"Perhaps," He replied. "But I am not yet sure if I can simply up and leave you and your brother alone. Saintly or not, there is a limit to Wolke's patience. If we suddenly bombard him with ideas such as joining the Turks and whatnot, I don't think he'd take it well."
"True. I mean, I'm pretty much screwed because I've already made plans on taking up Mako science." She winced at the memory of her brother snapping once. What was it with nice people and hidden scary temperaments? "Wolke is one enemy I wouldn't want to face."
Oh, Aerith. Why have you forsaken this poor, little chocobo?
"We're just gonna have to wing it, don't we?" The blond-haired girl mused.
"I'm afraid so."
When Nibel first arrived in Midgar, she hadn't expected anything like the future; but she hadn't expected something like a prototype version of the plate, either. It couldn't even be considered a proper structure— there were too many metal frameworks that littered the plate's underside. Some parts weren't even stable-looking.
The upper plate could hardly be considered a city. There were no skyscrapers yet, mostly because the whole structure wasn't completed yet. Instead, there were only a few luxurious-looking houses and a few low-leveled buildings; like her school and the dorms.
Midgar life was also kinda dull. All she had to do was stay inside the dorms, go out to eat or attend classes, and continue her training. The blond-haired girl was hardworking, sure, but no one could blame her for being bored and acting like a kid because she was one.
She decided to explore Midgar, searching for escape routes and possible hideouts. She'd never know when she'll need them, so it was best to go around the city as much as possible.
The upper plate sectors weren't really much of a hideout— there were a lot of infantrymen lurking around. And if there was something she was very sure of, many Turks were probably hiding in the shadows, too, watching over the city.
Eventually, it was inevitable for her to explore under the plate. The slums had, by far, a higher number of places to hide in. And planning escape routes are going to be more complicated there. Besides, she also had to update herself with the geographical changes. Surely, many people from below would gradually move above the plate.
Honestly, she hadn't thought up of socializing with anyone. I mean, here she was in the slums, currently plotting for her getaways once she commence Hojo's assassination. But no… Fate made sure she would 'create bonds' with other people.
Like Reeve Tuesti.
What he was doing below the plate, she had no idea.
He was obviously from above, judging by his neat, pristine attire that only the well-off could wear. He also didn't possess the ragged look that slum kids had.
Currently, she was listening to him babble about 'how great the mechanical resources in the slums were' or 'how Shinra's been wasting perfectly fine metalworks with all the junk he found'. In other words, he and Nibel would get along well; seeing as she had been invested into enginering in the future.
Now, if he would only lessen his prattles like his older self…
"I was thinking along the lines of a machine that could think and move on its own, without looking like a machine. Like a dog… or a cat!" The younger, adolescent Reeve nodded to himself. "Yeah, a cat! That would be good. And he'd have built-in cameras and recorders, too."
Reeve continued to elaborate on his creations such as the mechanized bird-slash-music box; and some of his few ideas, like the future Cait Sith and other things that she recognized as gadgets from the future.
Nibel's lips quirked upward.
It was good to know that some things would never change.
The blonde was slightly reluctant to return home, not after what happened a year ago. Wolke raised hell when he learned that his dear precious little sister ran away from home to study under Shinra and that his wayward father did not do anything to stop her. She was forever grateful that she was not around during his fit.
Nibel gulped as she tried to knock on the door. What would her brother say once he saw her? She was just here for an annual visit home—which the company and her school permitted—and Wolke would be very surprised to see her.
When she managed to collect her wits to knock, a black-haired woman with pretty purple eyes greeted her. She was roughly around her brother's age, and wore a simple cotton dress that was common among Gongagans. Though now that Nibel looked at her closely, there was something familiar about her. Who the hell was this lady?
"Um, hello." She waved at the lady. "Who are you?"
"I'm the girlfriend of the house's owner," She glowered at the younger girl, giving her a sweet—fake, so fake—smile. And who did she take her brother (obviously not Vincent's girlfriend) for? A lowlife who'd hit on ten year-old girls? "And who are you?"
Oh, it was on, bitch.
Nibel had a smug smile on her lips. "Well, I'm the owner's sister. Nibel Fair," She stuck her hand out. The black-haired female went gobsmack at the revelation before taking the little girl's hand. "Natalia."
After their not-so-pleasant meeting, Wolke showed up. "Tallie, what are you doing standing there at t— Nibel?!" He immediately zoomed in on his runaway sister.
"Uh, hi?" And the older blond swept her in a hug, sobbing pathetically into her dress like an overgrown puppy deprived of his master. Definitely Zack's father.
Vincent had also approached them. "Ah, Nibel. How was Midgar?"
"It was fine, Wolke," She awkwardly answered, still in her brother's arms. "So… can I put my bags in, now?"
Suffice to say, meeting Natalia and learning that her brother was truly in love with the manipulative hag was not a happy welcome for her. And now that she realized it, the lady had a vague resemblance to Zack. Holy crap, how did her best friend endure having the woman as his mother?
Her question was answered three years after.
She didn't know exactly what happened, but she knew enough to figure it out.
Three years into the relationship, she got pregnant. By Wolke.
Three years into the relationship, she broke up with her brother.
Three years into the relationship, she left Zachary—hush, baby, don't cry—in their care without a word.
She learned that Zack's mother truly was a bitch, and just upped and left him in his father's care. Wasn't it supposed to be the other way around?
And with all the plans of changing the future, she had to juggle emotional counseling with Wolke, too. It was hard, but her brother did come out a stronger man from his teenage parenthood crisis.
Nibel immediately rushed to their house after receiving a message from Vincent. Her brother was diagnosed with a tumor brought about by Mako— a side effect from overexposure to the Mako in the reactor after hours of daily labor. Her brother had to stop working and now both he and his son are under Vincent's care.
She took up odd jobs at the side while continuing her studies; since she was in college now, it was easier to squeeze in her part-time work in her schedule. From fastfood chain clerk to cashier to repairwoman to delivery girl to an intern, she managed them all to get sufficient money for her brother's treatment.
Nibel made sure that Vincent wouldn't work— someone had to watch Zack and her sickly brother. He's the only one available. Their plans were temporarily held up and the pair continued to struggle for a year until her brother couldn't hold onto his life anymore.
"Live on," He told his sister. "My honor and dreams… they're yours now."
No… not the same damn lines…
"Take care of Zack, okay? You and he… are my living legacies." At that moment, the light in his eyes was extinguished.
He was dead.
Her best friend's father was dead. Early. And pulled a Zack. It was an inappropriate time to have such thoughts but you couldn't blame Nibel for thinking about them. She, never in her whole life, had expected to hear the same words— especially from Wolke. When she barely hit puberty. Dammit, she hadn't even had her first period yet!
Was it her fault? Maybe.
If she hadn't interfered with the course of events, her brother (who would've been an only child then) wouldn't leave Nibelheim until years later when he's older. And he would definitely live longer, seeing as Zack used to tell her stories about his parents and how fun his time with them was.
It was too late to change anything, though.
Vincent laid a hand on her shoulder as she stared at her brother's tombstone with empty eyes, cradling the crying Zack in her arms, shielding him from the heavy downpour. With a silent reassurance from the gunner, the pair could only stand in the graveyard, rain pouring down on them.
As cruel as it may sound, with Wolke gone, it was time to commence their plans.
It was time to pay AVALANCHE a visit.
Raising Zack was a bit tricky— from balancing her studies for her Master's degree to taking turns with Vincent. The Planet knows that though the ex-Turk was used to caring for the black-haired tyke, he remained awkward with partaking in human interaction.
And Hell shall freeze over before Nibel would let him influence Zack with his brooding personality. She won't change Zack's nature like that, so she made sure that he'd grow up to be that hyperactive adorkable manchild they all know and love. He'll still be the puppy who'd pull pranks in Shinra, like that one time with the spaghetti and a malboro—
…Okay, maybe she would teach him a thing or two about maturity.
(It wouldn't be hard. She had already mastered The Look from her experience of raising Denzel and Marlene. It was also easier to incorporate said secret parental technique when her own nephew considered her as his mom—Hah, in your face, Natalia!—and wouldn't dare cross her.)
Zack, though more energetic than her in her childhood, was also surprisingly similar. His eyes shone at the mention of SOLDIER; he even had a plethora of thoughts about its grandeur and glory; such as being a hero. Like the elite trinity (whom she and Vincent will rescue in the future). He also had a thing for swords, just like Nibel back when she had been Cloud. He wasn't as proficient in materia, though— that was something she'd definitely help him improve on.
He was a handful to watch, that's for sure. He got along with children around his age, but got into scuffles with the older pre-teens. Zack once got stuck in a mudpit that hardened, and don't even get her started on that one time he became a frog. How he even turned into one without leaving their house would forever remain a mystery of the Zachary Fair.
After Nibel graduated college and finished her Master's degree (with flying colors, ha!), she offered to be assigned to the Gongaga reactor where she could take care of Zack and build a reputation for herself as the sole scientist in the damn town.
(Of course, she made sure to boot out anyone else on the project. They wouldn't ruin her chances of becoming the next Head of the Science Department once they kill Hojo.)
Unfortunately, parenthood wasn't that simple, not to mention the fact that Vincent (still hasn't aged a year since their meeting) finally moved to Midgar and rejoined the Turks, so she and Zack were pretty much alone together.
At the age of 13 (she was 26), Zack ran away from home to join SOLDIER. She forbade him from joining, knowing the horrors of Shinra—and damn, redoing the plan would be a bitch—but he had inherited the Strife-Fair-Valentine-whatever stubbornness that ran in their family. And so, he left.
(Vincent was thoroughly amused by this, seeing as she did the same thing back when she was a wee little kid. Nibel was not. She almost had a heart attack when she didn't find Zack in his room.)
The Planet better make sure Zack would end up fine lest she want a PMS-ing blonde wrecking havoc across the globe.
"Well… that was easy," Nibel commented.
Here she and Vincent were, plotting Hojo's demise (and Hollander death by extension), carrying out their plans, and… succeeding. Just like that. The guards stationed at the laboratory hadn't suspected them one bit. One, because she wore a lab coat. Two, Vincent was a Turk. And three, the guards were idiots. But mostly the plan worked because they were incompetent morons.
Nevertheless, it was fun to watch the scientists writhe and die from Vincent's clutches. The old coot seriously thought he was untouchable; without fucking weapons or protective gear to defend himself with. After disabling the cameras and making it look like a mad experiment gone wrong, the pair quickly left the scene— but not before kicking Hojo's corpse one last time.
Hollander was a peace of cake, too. The man tried to make a run for it, though he didn't get very far; not when he was a walking mass of blubber in a white coat. The guy was seriously overweight, it wasn't even funny watching him pathetically escape for his life. That was just sad.
"It's too early to celebrate." They still had to cure the two what's-his-face's degradation, reuniting Veld and his daughter Elfé, kill Fuhito, destroy Jenova and Deepground, and usurp the throne that is known as the Science Department Head position. They had to secure it and make sure no madman would claim said power.
"I know, I know. You don't have to be so glum."
Their latter goals were accomplished with one slip-up from Fuhito himself. They confronted the guy, he fessed up about his plans thinking of himself triumphant, and revealing him for the fraud he is after they recorded the conversation for all of AVALANCHE to hear. The whole 'let's use the Ravens to kill people' thing hadn't helped his case, either. The man was immediately disposed of.
Who the hell in their right mind would let a man who worships Hojo of all people walk freely?
As for Elfé, Nibel didn't know the details, but she was sure that Vincent took care of things. The gunner said something about owing Veld and being buddies (Vincent said 'partners', Nibel thought otherwise) with the man, so she let him be to do his thing. She even heard that he got acquainted to not just one, but two foul-mouthed men during his journey (probably Barret and Cid). Then he encountered a materia thief lurking in the forest, but what were the odds of the thief being Yuffie?
Hopefully, Vincent did not dispose of her (if it was her). Annoying or not, Yuffie was a friend— or at least her future self was.
(Counting the last three encounters, only Nanaki and Tifa have yet to meet them. Nibel didn't think they'll meet the pair anytime soon.)
For Jenova, whom they (happily) learned to know was mutilated in two: some of her limbs in the Shinra mansion and the rest of her body in the Nibelheim reactor. They have a perfect excuse to get rid of the two structures in one fell swoop.
They first raided the mansion, which was conveniently set to fire on accident. And by accident, I meant that they scattered the papers in and out of the mansion, burning them with a simple Fire spell, and making it look like as if the monsters went rampant. Which they did after burning the mansion, but nobody needed to know that.
Navigating inside the reactor was surprisingly easy; the reactor had an old design—the original design—so it was kind of akin to a quaint two-story building or so. The traps weren't a hassle, either. They haven't been touched in years plus the fact that the Turk could disarm them without breaking a sweat enabled them to enter the place.
"No matter how many years have passed, Jenova is still… a sight to behold," Vincent commented.
"More like 'ugly as fuck'," Nibel offhandedly said. "So, who shall have the honor of destroying said alien into teeny tiny pieces?"
Wordlessly, the gunner aimed his gun and fired. Multiple times.
If Nibel had the slightest ounce of pity for the alien life form, she would've winced. She didn't have any, though, so that's no skin off her nose. Meanwhile, Vincent's eyes were shining with malevolent glee like a kid in a candy store as he continued to annihilate Jenova. Sheesh.
Talk about a grudge, people.
And even after shooting the alien continuously, Vincent set her on fire before cutting her into many, many pieces, then setting fire to her shredded carcasses. The blonde gladly took a step back from the sight. Revenge or not, it was scary as hell.
Then Vincent blew up the reactor.
They left the premises with a slightly miffed scientist and a happy Turk.
No one asked or investigated further about the incident— not when Vincent exposed Hojo's supposedly ulterior motives to the president, along with the lies about the Promised Land.
President Shinra was, first and foremost, a businessman. When he learned about the scientist's blasphemies, he instantly ordered to shut down the man's facilities and erase his research, claiming it to be a big hoax and a bigger waste of money. The Deepground project was completely scrapped, too. Vincent and she made sure to get Rosso, Azul, Weiss, Nero, and Shelke out of there.
Now, all that's left was curing the degradation. That would be solved once she gets admitted back to Midgar.
It was a good day, indeed.
Zack was cheerfully doing his squats as he waited for his mentor and his friends to be finished with their conference. Director Lazard said something about a replacement for Hojo—whom he hadn't met since he never got treated by the man—as the new Head of the Science Department. Hollander was supposed to be the next in line, but he was killed in the monster rampage, too.
(Actually, the Firsts really didn't need to know who's replacing the guy. However, their Mako treatments had been suspended until they've delegated a proper Head to take the ropes, so they wanted to be informed on the new Head right away. Gaia knows that there was no need for another Hojo or Hollander.)
Though having not seen the infamous late scientists, he heard a bucketful of rumors from the higher-ups and the other SOLDIERs. Apparently, the guy was a big creepshow who experimented on people and had been conducting illegal activities outside of Midgar. And he was a bastard without moral ethics. While Hollander, though not as imposing as Hojo, was just as bad.
He shuddered. Good thing he was never given the chance to meet and greet the men.
His musings were interrupted when the door opened and out came the elite trinity of SOLDIER. The black-haired teen perked up and zoomed in on his mentor. "Oh, Angeal! How was the meeting? Who's gonna take care of the shots? Where's the new Head? When is he coming?"
"Whoa, there. Slow down, pup," Angeal reprimanded. Zack pouted and gave a small whining noise at the nickname. Why did they have to call him that? He already had enough of it from his mother and Vincent. "Lazard said that the new Head would be coming. And he's a she."
The black-haired manchild blinked. A she? Not, that he had anything against women—his mother would kill him for that—he simply assumed it was a guy who's replacing the creeper.
"Even if the morrow is barren of promises, nothing shall forestall my return," Genesis recited. "The executives don't really care much for gender, as long as they can get the job done, puppy." He earned a growl from the Second. "Anyone with half a brain knows that. Oh, wait. You don't possess the proper anatomical organ to process such thoughts."
Zack looked a bit lost at that. The red-haired SOLDIER mock sighed and explained it in cruder terms. "In other words, it's too complicated for an idiot like you." Now that, the other understood.
He glared at him. "Why you—"
Sephiroth interjected, "Wasn't the saying, 'it takes one to know one'?" This time, Genesis glared at the silver-haired man. On the sidelines, Zack grinned and cheered on the General. "Yeah, you're the man, Sephy!"
Angeal pinched the bridge of his nose. Here we go again.
"I so can be smart!"
"My friend, your desire is the bringer of life, the gift of the goddess," Genesis waved his finger mockingly. "And you and I both know that no goddess shall make herself known to you. You being smart? Simply impossible."
"As if you're any better, Genesis. The last time we sparred, you kept on quoting that stupid play and fell flat on your face because of—"
"Children, children. Settle down." The argument didn't need to go on, especially since the new Head was coming today. "Zack, you know better than to let Gen's taunts get to you. Sephiroth, I thought I told you not to mock Gen's LOVELESS. And Genesis, play nice."
Akin to aforementioned children, Genesis all but stuck out his tongue at the man and simply harrumphed, Zack's lower lip stuck out even more in a pout, and Sephiroth backed down, but resembled a child who was deprived of a cookie.
They all stood up in attention when the door opened to reveal Lazard.
"At ease, men," The blond-haired man told his subordinates. "The professor just arrived." He stepped aside to reveal somebody eerily familiar to Zack. Someone that he knew he should've recognized.
Blonde locks framed a heart-shaped face of smooth porcelain skin. Her big, blue, innocent-looking eyes blinked at them continuously; as if her gaze was inviting them to come closer. She wasn't skinny, but she wasn't chubby, either. It was a goddess-sent gift from above, they were sure.
Her beauty was simply breathtaking.
Or at least that's what it looked like to the three older SOLDIERs. As for Zack, his jaw dropped when he finally recognized her. I guess three years of not seeing that particular person does that to you.
The director carried on with the pleasantries, oblivious to the awe from the men's faces and the tension from the black-haired Second. "I'd like you to meet Professor Nibel Fair, our new Head of the Science Department and Lieutenant Fair's mother."
Zack let out a loud outburst along with the other three.
"You're a mother?!"
Said blond-haired woman only laughed.
Kunsel sighed as Professor Fair walked down the hallway, while Zack elbowed his friend who was obviously one-upping his mom.
"I still can't believe you're her son, Zack. She looks really, really young."
"She's not exactly my real mother, ya know. Rather, she's my aunt, but that doesn't mean you can just look at her like that."
The Second Class grinned. "You have to admit, though. The professor's hot."
Zack gave him a flat stare. "She's my mom."
"Mom, I'd like you to meet my boyfriend, Cloud Strife," The black-haired teen started, pushing a teen with spiky blond hair into her view. "Spike, this is my mom, Professor Nibel Fair."
The blond-haired woman only stared blankly at the two. And here she thought Zack would end up dating someone normal (because as sweet as Aerith may be, she was a special case; and she ended up with Tseng for some reason). She never accounted for the fact that her son was bisexual, and that he would date her younger self.
She has never been more gobsmacked in her life.
However, as much as she wanted to say a lot of things about the whole thing, the first thing that she said was:
"I don't have any problems with it but you're 18, Zack. Is he even legal?"
The couple spluttered in reply.
And that's pretty much it, people.
Ciao ciao~! -Flonne.