Disclaimer: I don't own the game nor the franchise. I'm just playing around with the characters and the setting. That's all.
"I'm so sorry but you couldn't be allowed to join SOLDIER."
It was like the heavens fell on top of him when the secretary said it as she handed him his papers. The medical papers, his birth certificate, his credentials and other necessary documents for enlisting SOLDIER. Cloud received his papers with a dumbfounded expression. The secretary noticed his reaction which she then gave him a small smile, as if it was that easy to make things okay.
"Why?" Cloud voiced out after standing at the front of the lady in the reception desk of the ShinRa's SOLDIER Recruitment Room at the HQ Building. There was no one else in that room except for him and the lady, making him the last person to be told of his Entrance Examination Results.
"Um," the secretary spoke shamefully. "I think it was right at your Medical Exam part you failed. Something about the, uh, unfavorable, reaction of your blood tests to the Mako Serum for SOLDIER. I think that just it, actually." She then gave him a weak smile. "Sorry if I made you the last one to be called."
"…" Cloud had nothing to say to her except for his silence. He was still shocked to know that his own body doesn't agree with his dream of becoming a SOLDIER.
"It's really rare to be honest of having an, uh, incompatible, uh, what do they call it again, um… D-DNA make-up, yeah, that's right!" the secretary exclaimed. "You're just unlucky to have an incompatible DNA make-up with Mako, sweetie. I think they added the Medical Exam recently because of some accidents that happened when they went to treat the SOLDIER Cadets. And let me tell you, sweetie, it isn't a beautiful sight to behold. Trust me."
Well, he heard from rumors during the Exam Week that the Mako Treatments could cause severe complications to the body which was why they had the Medical Exams, in order to 'personalize' every shot of Mako to the successful cadet. They certainly weren't wrong about the main idea, though the reason behind was really way off from the truth.
"You actually passed in all of the other exams. Really. Psych Profile: Stable. Physical Parameters: Acceptable. Mental Capabilities: Acceptable. I mean, you were really on your way to become a SOLDIER 3rd Class, sweetie, but I guess life doesn't want you to be a SOLDIER, huh." The way the secretary said it was like she was expecting him to make a tantrum about it. Which was actually so tempting to do so.
"…Thank you." But he digressed. There wouldn't be any sense in getting worked over the result. Unlike some of the other hopefuls before him that were given a 'Sorry, but we couldn't accept you right now. Try again next year.', Cloud was given with a 'Nope. You couldn't even if you tried.'. Leaving the room with his papers in an envelope tucked under his armpit and left the probably-concerned secretary a quiet farewell, Cloud made his way out of the ShinRa HQ Building.
"'The spirit is willing but the body isn't.' The old proverb really suited his situation," Cloud spoke to himself as he walked down the streets of Midgar to the nearest train station. His savings were almost gone, spent on his food and lodging during the Exam Week of SOLDIER, that even taking a ride to Junon would cost him his entire wallet and both of his arms just to pay. Cloud wondered how would he be able to survive in Midgar now that he couldn't join SOLDIER, all because his own body have an unfavorable reaction to the Mako Serums.
Sitting down on a bench on the train station, Cloud opened the small envelope containing several documents. His birth certificate, his graduation diplomas (only middle school for Nibelheim doesn't even have a high school), some of the photocopied forms of his home in Nibelheim and his mother's credentials. He searched for ones used and given to him by ShinRa and there he found his ShinRa's Medical Department-certified Medical Records.
'An adverse concentration of diluted Mako in the patient's blood that the special Mako Serum constructed specially for SOLDIERs react badly in the presence of the diluted Mako of the patient. 5 repeats and the chances of it being an isolated incident went from 50% to 0%. Recommendation: Reject patient's application for the reason SOLDIER Mako Serums won't be accepted by the patient's blood, thus saving the company in investing on an assured failure.'
… It must be the water back at Nibelheim. Cloud always noticed how the water in Nibelheim seemed to have a green tinge once and he thought it was natural for their water to be that green. They also had a Mako Reactor at the Mt. Nibel where their water really came from. The paper said he had a concentration of Mako in his blood so the tiny doses of Mako he had ever since he was born must have entered his body and decided to make a home.
No wonder people at Nibelheim seemed to be strong and doesn't mind the cold! Everyone in his hometown had actually been 'enhanced' by the small amounts of Mako in their food and water! But… maybe he's thinking it too much? Just because his blood has already Mako doesn't mean all of Nibelheim has it, right? Maybe it has something to do with what he ate on the way to Midgar?
Cloud had gone through a lot of hoops, hitchhiked countless of trucks and rode on the Bahamut-damned ship and the super-expensive but also super-fast bullet train to Midgar. On the way he had eaten, and also vomited, suspicious looking food and drinks from caring old ladies to the rude and plain disgusting old men. He doesn't know what went into those except for the fact that it kept his stomach full and gave him enough energy to complete his journey.
"It's a Friday, man! We have the week off and we just got our paycheck! No more grueling paperwork for 2 days!"
"Yeah, no boss that would hound our tails for 2 days! Let's celebrate!"
What should he do? He couldn't afford to go home at his current situation. Even if Cloud could bullshit his way back to Nibelheim, he would only be ridiculed by the people there. Not to mention that he already had a very bad reputation there, not even his mother's good graces could affect the opinion of others. Cloud has only a few skills on his repertoire: a few mechanical skills from the few years of working in his mother's workplace, some katas he learned from Tifa when he went with her to train at Master Zangan's place in the Nibel Mountains, a couple of authentic Nibelheim recipes, and a mediocre affinity in Materia.
The last one was something he picked up on the way to Costa del Sol from a very kind peddler who gave him some Materia to fight the monsters that were chasing him. It was only Cloud's luck that he was dumped by the grumpy lady on the outskirts of the Resort City and he stumbled on the merchant, exhausted from casting magic and was slumping behind a tree with a couple of monsters only a few meters away. Needless to say, Cloud discovered that even if was young and all, he could only cast a few Elemental Spells before exhausting himself. Thankfully the merchant gave it to him for free, seeing it was Cloud that saved from being a monster snack.
He could maybe join the rumored Mage Corps of the Infantry? Then again, it was only a rumor and most likely does not exist. And if they do exist, Cloud surmised they would only accept those who have spectacular affinity in Materia, which Cloud isn't. For now, that is.
"Let go to the bar! We must celebrate Summer's demotion!"
"Yeah! Let's get drunk until we couldn't walk straight!"
Turning around to the two office workers behind him, the ones who were apparently celebrating for some job-related event, Cloud realized that he should loosen up. He was so worked up - something that he mentally told himself a moment ago but he evidently didn't follow – over his failed SOLDIER Entrance Exam that it wasn't funny. He couldn't think straight on what he should do for his future, thinking on the negatives already even if it was all just a thought, thinking on the potential failures that he couldn't think of anything that would be helpful for him.
Looking towards the two guys who just bought a ticket at the nearby ticket office, Cloud decided on one thing. He would do the same thing as the two guys that passed by him. He would get drunk - so what if he's 15 – until he will pass out. Maybe that will shake his head straight the next day with the headache being drunk will bring. He just need something to do that isn't related to his failed SOLDIER Exams and getting shitfaced, so to say, could be just what he need.
The first thing Cloud felt when he woke up was a terrible headache. Cloud rose up from whatever position he was in and took in his surroundings. He was on some stairs, quite a long and dark row of stairs, and he just saw vomit nearby. Most likely his. Standing up, he checked his personal belongings and found them on his person. He still had his backpack, which contained only two shirts and pants, some underwear and his bathroom essentials, his papers, and a week-old lunchbag. Probably from Junon.
Thank Shiva that he wasn't robbed because he also found his wallet on the bottom portion of his backpack and inside contained money that were a bit fewer than he remembered. He discovered he only had a thousand Gil left before the headache returned with a vengeance.
Slumping his body on the wall of the dimly lit staircase(?), he gripped his head and checked his body. A few stains on his jacket, a ripped pocket on his pants and his hat was gone. Good thing his shoes were a couple of hiking boots that he bartered from the old man at the Travelling Store at Junon, they were a mass of obscenely tied shoelaces that it took Cloud exactly 15 minutes to get them on and another 15 minutes to get them off. And that's only because he was taught exactly how to unwound them.
Best investment ever.
The headache returned again, a throb to his head every minute. Cloud grimaced at the pain but not on the situation. Whatever he did the night before, or probably the day before as he was somewhere in a dark staircase(?) with no windows and only a vent bringing air in, clearly made him so drunk that he was now hungover. Or something similar to it.
He doesn't have an idea what an actual hangover is but Cloud felt it was close to what he was experiencing now.
Standing up from his position and leaning on the wall, Cloud slowly walked up the staircase(?). It wasn't really that dark, the electrical lights gave enough light for him not to stumble on the steps. Cloud decided to go up, since he was probably on the rumored steps that connects Midgar to the Slums, the exact opposite of Midgar: dark, crowded, and dirty. Well, that's what the rumors were saying so Cloud doesn't have an idea what the Slums actually was but he doesn't want to test his luck on exploring the place, especially when he has a headache that throbs every minute.
Odin be damned, he really need to get some painkillers. Just enough to lessen the pain, slightly, because he wants to feel the pain to ward of the thoughts of his failure. But not too much that he couldn't move.
The trek through the dimly lit staircase(?) was long, he met a couple of people going down and all of them have grim expressions on their faces, some rushed by him with a haggard look. Soon enough, he finally reached the entrance, or in his case the exit, of the dark place. The sun was up in the sky and the bustle of the city he came to yesterday reached to his ears.
Cloud closed his eyes and inhaled the air, only to choke when he inhaled a wad of paper that flew by at his mouth the exact moment. Coughing it out, he moved out of the entrance and leaned on the metal railings surrounding the entrance of the underground stairs.
Looking up, he noticed the sign on above the stairs: [Midgar Sector 8 Stairs - Old Midgar Sector 8-7]
So he was really on the steps to the Sector 8 Slums. Thank Shiva that he didn't fully went with going to the Slums in his plastered state. He wouldn't want to climb up the wretched stairs in its full glory. His legs were shaky from the brief climb. How much more if he was to climb the full length stairs, since Midgar was more than a kilometer above the ground when he saw it on the bullet-train window. How could these people climb the stairs without getting exhausted?
"Hey! You! You're that guy on the video, right?! Hey!"
A shout in front of him made Cloud look up. There was a man, suit and tie and all the things one would say look right on a businessman, pointing to him. He had a briefcase on his hand and the other hand that was pointing to him had a phone.
Cloud titled his head, in confusion, because why would someone point at him. Did he do something…
He immediately blanched in realization. He must have done something that the man called out to him. Cloud stared at the man with wide eyes as he approached him with a manic grin on his face. The blond tried to stand up but the trek he made on the stairs turned his legs into a Slime.
"Oh boy! Oh boy! Serah really didn't made a mistake on saying you resembled a chocobo! But then again, it could be your trademark if you get to be successful, am I right?! Hey! Are you okay?!"
The headache, Cloud wondered where it went for a while, came back that he almost passed out in front of the man. He also vomited, good thing he managed to turn his head sideways to an empty space and avoiding the man. The man saved Cloud from slumping over his own vomit by catching him before he could collapse.
"Heh. Thank Minerva that I had decided to wait here since you were last seen walking down the stairs a few hours ago."
Cloud couldn't hear a thing after that. Darkness embraced him that he thought getting drunk was now a really bad idea.
The second time he woke up, Cloud first saw a ceiling. A white ceiling with a rotating fan above him. He had a wet towel over his forehead and somehow he doesn't fell sticky anymore. Cloud slowly rose up from his position and noticed he was on a sofa. He looked around and saw he was inside an office of sorts.
There were windows showing the sight of high rising buildings, which meant he was somewhere inside a building on Midgar proper. There were cubicles, most likely for whatever job those office-worker he saw at the train station, and tables. He noticed that there was an air conditioning unit blasting cold air directly at him, making Cloud sit up. Cold was something he was accustomed to, since he was from Nibelheim. It was familiar, unlike the environment he was in.
His backpack and jacket was on a small table in front of him, with two armchairs at the side. There was a large television screen in front of him, not currently on, and about a meter away, the door to the room was found. The light shining from the floor-to-ceiling windows wasn't shining directly, meaning it was already noon. He must have slept a couple of hours after he passed out on the streets.
A click and the door opened. The man that he saw earlier went in the door with a steaming mug on his hand and a folder in the other. The man gasped at the sight of him sitting up and he turned around, shouting: "Hey! Serah! He's awake! Get in here girl!"
He then left the door wide open, allowing Cloud to see a hallway outside. There was a young woman sprinting through and went through the opened door. She then closed it as she entered, slightly panting at the sprint she made.
"Thanks a lot Mike! I want to see his face when he saw it. Do you think he would accept the offer?"
"You're the one who found him, girl. I'm your manager. What do you think?"
Cloud had no idea what they were talking but the young woman titled her head slightly and propped her chin on her hand with her arm supporting her other arm. "Maybe? He has the voice Mike. It's the perfect voice for our male lead in the company and… Oh! He there!"
The girl who had pink hair then walked to the nearby armchair and sat on it. "Hey, you okay? Michael found you on the Slum Stairs all passed out. Did the meds worked? What are you feeling?" she asked, smiling.
"Uh…" Cloud had no idea what to say to her. Well, aside from saying she's cute with her the attire she's wearing. She was wearing something white and pink and a skirt with boots on her feet. Her hair was also tied in a ponytail on the side that Cloud saw as strange but it also made her look cute. Cute as fuck.
"I apologize for her, she can be so excited on something she found… well, interesting. Name's Michael. She's Serah. You?" the man said as he sat down on the other armchair. He handed the steaming mug to him, to which Cloud accepted it with a small 'thanks' to the man.
"Um, uh, I'm Cloud. N-nice to meet you?" Cloud stuttered. "Um, thanks for the save, uh, Mr. Michael. D-Did I do something that you, uh, searched f-for me earlier?" He had no know what he did the last day, or last night, that warranted Michael's and Serah's attention.
"Well…" the pink haired girl – she was way too young to be a woman, now that Cloud could look at her closely – said. "Do you have any idea what you did last night at some bar here in Sector 8?"
"Uh, sorry." Technically he had but he won't admit it. "I have no idea. W-What did do Ma'am? D-Did I do something bag l-like stealing or v-vandalism?" Or worse, he actually sang in front of a crowd and caused a lot of people trouble. It was much better to be caught stealing than being ridiculed for his talent.
"Oh please, call me Serah, kiddo. And call him Mike. Calling us Mister and Ma'am make us waaaay too old," she explained as she rose up. Serah fiddled with a remote in front of the television, which was hanging on the wall by some magnet, and a video began to play on the turned on television.
Cloud blanched again for the second time that day, only that he went much whiter than his natural color. It was a video of him singing in a duet with the girl in front of him. With Serah! And what was he singing? Oh Shiva. They were singing If I Never See Your Face Again.
Covering his face with his hands, Serah changed the video. Peeking through his fingers, he saw she just changed the video into another video where he was singing Between the Raindrops with Serah.
"Kill me," he muffled through his hands. It was so embarrassing and why would they even show it to him? Why were they so excited to show it to him when people are actually booing…?
Cloud removed his hands and watched the video more closely. It was a low quality video, with how dark the bar must have been at that time, but the audio was clear as day. The people were… cheering for them…?
"What on Gaia?"
"And that's only when we were doing the duet. Now see when you were doing it solo!" Serah almost shouted, pressing a button on the remote and the screen changed into a video of him swaying slightly on the stage with a microphone on his hand. Cloud watched the video with an intense glare and he saw how smashed he must have been because his eyes in the video was unfocused. He had a bottle on one hand and boy the drink must be so strong that it allowed him to sing.
"This is for me because I just failed my exams! Here's to those who had experienced heartache on things they were in!"
Gaia, he certainly let loose that night. No doubt he was released all his anger and feelings of injustice by singing out his heart at the bar. He was now singing Breakeven. And the crowd was cheering loudly when he got to the chorus and they even sang along with him.
A cough made by the man in the room and he gestured Serah with the folder he had. The girl turned the video off, cutting off the scene where Cloud was really feeling the song. "Serah, maybe you should be the one to talk to him. I'll be getting a brand new cup of coffee for me. You?"
"Oh, bring me tea. Strawberry tea, if there is some, but if there isn't then get me Milk tea, okay?" Michael nodded and left the room, leaving the folder on the small table in front of Cloud and Serah.
"So, you saw how the people went gaga on your performance, right? That was the first song you did that night out of almost 20 songs," Serah said as she sat back on her seat. "Yeah, 20. 2-0. Whatever drink you had that night really gave you the push to rock it all out at that stage. Heck, the bar was jam-packed around your 5th song because people thought there was an actual concert being held there. Good thing I was there and immediately claimed you as part of our company or else someone could have abducted you to be their new toy." She said the last part with disgust evident in her tone.
Cloud was still shocked that people liked his singing, even if it was a result of him being a drunk, and that the man who gave him the drink actually gave him a drink. He was underage, still 15.
Taking his silence as confusion, Serah continued on. "I was taking a break that nigh. Icognito and all because of my status… Wait, why aren't you going gaga over meeting me? Normally my fans would go crazy when they meet me."
Prompted by a strange question, Cloud answered with a strange answer as well. "I'm from Nibelheim and just arrived at Midgar about… 2 days ago, I think? Sorry." Technically it was 3 but a day at the train station's clinic for a day because the bullet-train made him queasy.
"Ahhh. So you're really new in Midgar. That makes it easier or worse depends on the situation. Could I ask why you're here?"
"To join SOLDIER, Ma'am. But I failed so I, uh, well… That happened so…"
Serah nodded at his answer. "My older sister tried that too, except she was rejected because she's a girl. Like what did gender have to do with joining that army anyway?" She stood up and made a pose, like the one Lagune did in Laguna and the Hidden Temple Cloud saw in television once. "So she joined a private agency and became a security agent. Not a guard. An agent because she's too cool being a guard. She's part of PSICOM. Have you heard them yet?"
Cloud shook his head. Serah slumped back to her seat.
"Oh well, I guess I'll have to convert you to being a PSICOM fan later. With how you got rejected by SOLDIER, I guess you won't be a fan of theirs now. Right?" She shook her head. "Anyway, Cloudy, I heard last night you were saying you are 'broke as vase right now' as you sang Price Tag, it was awesome by the way, so we, NORA that is, want to make a proposition for you."
"Huh?" Just what was Ms. Serah was saying? Was she…?
"NORA wants you to be our new male lead singing! Our new male idol!"
"…What?" And what's an idol anyway?
"You know, teenage singers who sang and perform to the public. Fits that you are still 15, you said last night you were a '15-year-old so I'm jailbait, sue me', so we can't really give you a contract for a singer but an idol, well, it fits! And Hope already graduated with being our male idol since he's now 21. I think he's courting my sister but meh, Claire really need a love life recently."
Was she saying she wants to hire him to sing? For teenagers? Singing and performing teenagers like him?
"Oh don't worry. I'm the designated female idol right now so I can help you with it. But I think it's already a given since there are now lots of videos of us singing on the Worldwide Network. The higher ups are having fits on how to deal with the surge of attention NORA got overnight. Ms. Lebreau was grumpy about how reporters were knocking on her apartment about the new male idol we had."
She took the folder from the table and opened it. Cloud saw then she had a couple of official looking documents on the table, he still couldn't believe what was happening, and all he did was stare at it.
"Well, to be honest, we still need to have your guardian's permission about this thing. Hope was a special case because he was an orphan and Ms. Edea of the Balamb Orphanage was too happy to sign for the papers of having Hope work for us. But you just said you tried to join SOLDIER, right? I'm pretty sure you got your parents' consent letter there. We will use that or if you prefer we could call your parents later."
Hearing he could call his mother, Cloud looked up to the pink-haired girl with wide eyes. "R-Really? You guys would do that? I-I mean…" He paused, thinking that maybe he was being too straightforward with them. "If you don't mind that is." Well, maybe he was really being too straightforward. These guys already saw him plastered at a bar and most likely tracked him down to the Slum Stairs. And they also claimed…
Wait a minute.
"Um, what do you mean you claimed me last night?" He had to ask it, really. What would happen to him if he denied this… contract? Hypothetically, that is. They already saved him, so to speak, from the streets by bringing him here at their place and had fed him meds while he was knocked out.
"Hmm? Oh." The pink-haired girl turned to him from her inspection of the several documents she had placed on the small table. "Well, we are rivals with COCOON. They do the most underhanded ways just so to topple our audience, either sabotaging our merchandise and personnel or outright competing us on the performance area. I can speak personally that they are a nasty bunch." She kept on reading the documents she had on her hands while speaking. "Hope told me that he was almost caught by some men in a black van one time he was out on the streets, and that was on the day he had finished his contract with NORA. Good thing he managed to escape and got the plate number of the van. So it was not really a shock to us when we checked the plate number from the records at the LTO and the van belonged to an employee of COCOON."
Serah placed down the document, Cloud noticed it was a Terms of Agreement paper, and rose from her seat. "So, you wanna call your parents?"
"Y-yeah." He apparently attracted a lot of attention during his plastered state last night and it was only by Serah's quick thinking that he was saved from a potential awful situation. "What does COCOON do to the ones they caught?" he asked as he stood up from the sofa and followed Serah, who had opened already the door for him and was waiting for Cloud to go through.
"Maqui, you really have to meet him 'cause he's really nice, said he was forced to sign contracts that he had to give almost all of his pay to the company on the instance he left it without any 'go-signal' from the higher ups. SO he stayed there for almost 3 years as a back-up dancer for their main artist Lumina. Minerva, I hate her guts." She gasped momentarily before shaking her head. "Oh stop it Serah, you know you're much better than that second-rate hack!"
"Well, after the contract ended and he was supposed to sign it again, Maqui escaped from the COCOON HQ with some of the people he had met and ran here. I guess they heard we are a much better company than COCOON. Hah!"
Cloud followed the girl, nodding to her every once in a while, as she then went on how she was discovered by both two companies after a singing contest in Sector 5. There was something of small scale conflict that was resolved by her sister and her super-secret-but-mostly-everyone-knew-boyfriend. He was also working for NORA as a bodyguard for Serah and an all-around mechanic in the company.
The blond listened to the girl rant out her complaints on how her sister was a 'stick on mud' for not getting a boyfriend, Cloud giving appropriate remarks of agreement as he was led by Serah to where a working phone was located. Apparently there was a malfunction on the phone lines at the floor they were in and they have to go to a lower floor to get a working phone.
"Tada! Here we are! You have your parents' number right? Go! Call them. We really don't have to ask them to send another consent form cause this one you got-" Serah produced his mother's consent form from her skirt pocket. "wasn't used by ShinRa, so rest assured we aren't going to have them cost more than a standard rate on call fees."
"Well, if they plan on calling back, we couldn't really have our phone lines toll free, right? NORA subscribes to the ShinRa Telecommunications Service so the standard calling rates apply to them. Wait, your parents don't have a phone?"
Okay, he had to make a call immediately. Serah was being too confusing for him now and Cloud wondered if this was the reason why Mr. Michael ran away. That man must have bought a drink from Sector 3 based on how long he was away.
Taking the receiver from the its handset, Cloud dialed the town hall phone. Serah left him at the corridor, leaving him for a private talk with his mother. She may be a talkative person but she must have sensed how serious his upcoming talk with his mother. Or maybe she just got tired of waiting for her strawberry tea or something. It was one of her complaints to him as they walked the aisles down to their current floor.
A couple of rings and someone answered it. "Hello? This is the Nibelheim Town Hall; how could I help you?" It sounded so familiar that Cloud forgot to answer immediately. "Excuse me? Is this a prank call?"
"T-Tifa? Is that you?" Cloud asked on the phone. Since it was almost noon, no it was already 2 in the afternoon according to the wall clock above his head, the time at his hometown must be around 6 or 7 in the morning. "It's me, Cloud."
"Cloud?! Yes, it's me, Tifa. How did you- Nah, you wouldn't. You're actually in Midgar right now?" Her girlish voice is so different that the quite mature sounding tone but still had the slight girlish tone Serah has. It was… comforting. "You passed the SOLDIER Exams?"
And his mood immediately went sour. "Uh, could I ask for my mom? It's something important." The small grunt of shock and the sigh of annoyance Tifa made could be heard from his receiver that it made Cloud wince at the sound. It hurt to hear Tifa's disappointment in him. "…Fine. I'll get Ms. Claudia. She probably in her shop right now so wait, okay. And, hey Cloud, you made a promise to me, right?"
"…Yeah, I did."
"Okay, I'll be going. Wait for us, alright?"
"Yeah." Cloud could hear shuffling from the receiver. He then said to the absent person on the phone, "Sorry, Tifa."
Signing the documents in front of him, Cloud smiled at Serah, who was beside him, Mr. Michael, who was sitting behind the lady at the table, and Ms. Lebreau, the lady who was in front of Mr. Michael and the CEO of NORA. The talk with his mother went okay as far they were concerned. His mother agreed for Cloud to go under a contract with NORA to become their next male idol, a performer for the company and be used as an investment for the next 5 years of his life.
What he didn't told to the three people in the room was that his mother was really so disappointed in him. Good thing Serah wasn't there at the corridor when it happened because she would have cringed at the volume her mother used.
"I didn't give you my hard-earned Gil for you to become a performer at Midgar! I agreed to let you travel to Midgar to join this.. SOLDER thing you so wanted because, honestly, I never really expected you to pass that exam of yours! I know you won't even pass that, with your lanky body and all, you skinny kid! The money I gave you was enough for a complete two-way trip back here in Nibelheim so you could return immediately!"
"Thank you very much for joining us kiddo! You'll be a great asset to us all! Now that Hope has left our male idol position empty for almost 3 years, we could now release the piled songs our composers made for a male idol! The staff will love this news!"
"I would have consented for you to join the Midgar Infantry! But no, you tell me that you got scouted to be a performer in Midgar because they liked your VOICE?! Fuck you, Cloud! FUCK YOU!"
"Yes! Hope will love to hear someone got his old place running again! Hope left a very high standard for his supposedly successors but I know you kiddo will match it. Maybe you could even raise it higher, right?!"
"Could your sissy sounding voice feed your mouth when you get hungry, huh? Could you sing to keep you full and warm at night? I slaved for almost a decade, raising you, and this is how you repay me, you COMPLETE WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT!"
"Cloud, I have to say, you really had the courage to join our company after reading the potential disadvantages it would bring. But again I must thank you for joining us, being your manager will be something I will enjoy for sure."
"If I had known you will leave me here in Nibelheim all alone after I raised you for almost a decade, I would have thrown you at the Nibel Mountain Range when you father left me. Like father, like son! Hope you meet that stinking piece of Chocobo shit because I don't have a son like you now! I won't stand to have a son like you!"
"Once again, Cloud, thank you very much for joining NORA."
"The townspeople were correct in calling you a sissy, chocobo shit! I… My son had died on the way to Midgar to become a SOLDIER, fighting monsters. The person that called me that told me he will become a performer isn't my son. Goodbye."
"Thank you for having me here." Cloud said with a bright smile on his face. These three people with him in the room had wanted him for his talent and his skill. They were even willing to invest on training on his voice and how to dance during the future performances.
Serah, Mr. Michael, and Ms. Lebreau want him to be successful and are willing to help him be one. And he will accept their help. Gladly.
It's the only thing he have now.
Blame that one Tangled-fusion fic here on the FF7 Fandom. There was a comment there how Sakurai (Cloud's JP CV) sang I See The Light of Tangled and it grew from there.
Not to mention my aunt went to binge on a Korean Drama revolving around Korea's Music Industry where boy and girl groups run amok.
I guess now people will now why I was delayed on my updates. This plot bug bit me HARD.