I wrote this in a half hour, so forgive it's complete randomness. Go me. :D

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII is property of Square Enix. I am making no money off of this nor do I intend infrigment.

Bystander
By: SilverKnight

Goddammit, Highwind, how the fuck do you get into this shit?

Here I am, mindin' my own business, plannin' my whole goddamn life around an off-chance that some goddamned pencil-necked pretty boy of a President is gonna give a rat's ass about the Space Program and start it up again out of the goodness of his wallet, and what do I get instead? A goddamn crusade.

Shit. They say variety's the spice of life. I think it's givin' me heartburn.

Why am I so pissed off now? I'm confused as all hell at least, and when I don't know what the hell's goin' on, I have a tendency to get testy with people. Specially people that try to swipe my shit. Specially people that try to swipe my goddamn plane. Oh yeah, now I remember why I'm so pissed. Goddammit.

Of couse, I was kinda pissy before these nutjobs tried stealin' my baby, what with that little shithead Shinra shootin' down the Space Program, and then havin' the gall to try and take my Bronco with it. Really, I'm kinda glad that SOLDIER and his gang of fruit-loops decided to take my plane before that prick got a hold of it. For all the good it did. I stare at the sea around me, laying dismally on the battered wing of my baby. My poor baby. Shot down by those bastards. I hope none of these guys are itchin' for a piece of the pretty boy, 'cause I'm gonna kick that little punk's ass when I see him next.

Hey. Who the hell are these guys, anyway? With a grunt, I sit up. "So, what's your dysfunction, Spike?" Goddamn I'm eloquent.

Blondie doesn't answer. Some cute little number wearing a pink dress nudges him with her elbow. "Cloud, I think he means you."

He jerks to life like he's drunk, turning in my direction. "Huh?"

Heh. He's eloquent, too. "What's the deal with you people, anyway? If I'm comin' along -"

"Who the hell said you comin' along?" some guy as big as a mountain squawks.

"Does it look like I can fuckin' go anywhere right now?" I snap, holdin' my arms out. He's stupid as a mountain, too. "Look pal, this is my goddamn plane yer usin' as yer lifeboat right now, so like it or not, I'm comin' with ya!"

He grumbles under his breath, slamming that mean lookin' gun arm onto the hull next to him. I almost yell at him for dentin' the hull, but I ain't about to push my luck. Yet. "So, like I said," I continue, "the hell's the deal with you people, anyway?"

"Have you ever heard of AVALANCHE?" another lady asks. Of course, I barely hear it, focusin' a little bit too much on her body. Damn, she's got a rack on her. I'm surprised she's sittin' upright. (Look, big boobs might be nice for most guys, but they ain't my thing. They're not what I'm usually aimin' for, anyway. Ahem.)

I shrug. "Yeah, the crazies based out of Midgar that blow up shit, right? What about 'em?" Wonder why the hell - Oh, I'm so fuckin' stupid. "Wait. You guys are AVALANCHE?"

She nods.

I shake my head and laugh. And the Highwind luck strikes again. Lady Luck likes to piss on my head sometimes, I swear. "You're after Shinra, right?"

"We're after Shinra," Spike says, "but we're also after Sephiroth."

I stare blankly. Ain't no way he can be serious. "Sephiroth."

"Yes."

"General Sephiroth," I clarify.

Spike hesitates for a split second. "Yes."

I start to laugh. Everyone gives me the evil eye. I laugh harder. "Oh, yeah fuckin' right! The guy's been dead for years, maybe you haven't heard."

Spike glares harder at me, that weird Mako tint giving me the creeps. "I know," he says, "because I was there when it happened."

...Yeah, okay, now we just crossed the border into Weirdsville. "Do what?" Eloquent. I'm tellin' ya.

"It's a long story," he sighs wearily, his round face showing a lot more age than it should at his age. Like I know his age, but y'know what I mean. "Sufficed to say, if Sephiroth died at all...I think I might have been the direct cause of it."

And now we just hit the greater metropolitian area of What-the-Fuck City. "I don't even wanna know," I mutter, holdin' up my hand. "Okay, so, Sephiroth's alive?" A curt nod. "And why are we chasin' him?"

"Because he wants to destroy the world," some brat with a shuriken states bluntly.

I snort. "Oh, is that all?" Goddamn, Highwind. You got all the luck. I shake my head, throwing my hands up in the air. "Alright, look. You guys are anti-Shinra, right?"

"Goddamn right, foo!" the mountain shouts.

I nod appreciatively. Now that's a mindset I can relate to. "Ah, what the hell? Sign me up!" The fuck're you gettin' yerself into, Highwind?

Spike looks at me skeptically. "Are you sure?"

"Why the hell wouldn't I be?" I retort, holdin' out my hand. "I got nothin' better to do, anyway. We got a deal?"

He thinks for a second, and then returns the handshake. "Okay. Welcome aboard, Cid."

I smile, takin' a puff of my cigarette. "Glad to be aboard...er, the hell's yer name?"

"Cloud," he replies.

"'Cloud'?" I snicker, earnin' another one of those death glares from him. "I think I'll just stick with 'Spike'."

The mountain laughs with me. "'Spike'. I like that. Yo, Spike!" Another glare. We both laugh. He reaches out with his hand and swats me on the arm. Hurts like a bitch, really, but I ain't gonna let him know that. "I think we gonna really get along, man."

Ah, fuck it. Variety's the spice of life, after all. "Y'know somethin', I think we just might."

The End