A Final Fantasy 7/ Lord of the Rings crossover
Standard disclaimers apply.
Once again, ("blah") denotes things said in Sindarin. 'Blah' is the Advents and Cloud sharing thoughts.
OMAKE! Or rather, scenes that my muse and I thought up and then decided had no place in the story because…just…no. I'm going to try to move the omake to the last chapter every time I update so that the chapter numbers will stop being one number off.
-On the road to Lorien-
The horse rolled under Cloud who struggled to contain a yawn. Traveling by horseback across the country was positively the most boring thing he'd ever done. The others were quiet, plodding along at a steady pace and listening to Lasthas sing softly in elvish. Cloud sent a tendril of thought out towards Kadaj, just looking for him. The wisp of thought caressed the outer barriers of Kadaj's mind, just enough to alert him and for Cloud to pin-point his location. Kadaj brushed back with a hint of curiosity.
The scent of flowers hit the blonde strongly in the face and he sat upright abruptly.
'Aerith?' he thought, eyes scanning their surroundings, even though he knew he wouldn't see anything.
'Sorry Cloud! She made me!' cried the Cetra, the scent of her flowers fading. Cloud had a moment to be utterly confused before he heard a distinct, but impossible sound.
"Duh dadada, da-da, Duh dada!"* Loz's ring tone blared out across the startled party. Spooked, the elves drew weapons and formed a defensive circle, urging their horses to stand with their rumps together. Silent and tense, they searched for a target.
"Duh dadada, da-da, Duh dada!"
"What the…?" said Loz as he dug his phone out of his pocket. He looked at the screen with suspicion before he flipped it open with a practiced flick of his wrist and brought it up to his ear.
"Hello?" he said, looking more and more confused by the second. Blinking rapidly, he urged his horse over to Cloud and held the phone out for him to take.
"It's for you." He said, smirking just a little. With a suspicious frown on his face, Cloud carefully took the offered device and brought it up to his ear.
"Yes?" he said, knowing somehow just who would be on the other end.
"Cloud! Are you ok? Are they ok? Where are you now? You just disappeared!" shrieked a familiar, panicked voice.
"Tifa! Tifa, calm down! Stop shouting at me!" growled Cloud, holding the phone a little ways away from his ear to cut the volume of Tifa's frightened demands.
"Sorry, sorry. But are you? Ok, I mean? Aerith said-."
"I'm fine Tif. We all are. No gaping holes in our chests I promise."
"What is...? Why is he doing that?" asked Elrohir curiously, the elves, having determined by now that the strange device that had startled them was not going to attack them. Kadaj happily explained the inner workings of a phone to him. The elf listened intently, the idea amazing him. People could communicate effectively over such long distances? Instantly? The ramifications of such a thing were mindboggling. Think of all the things they could do! They could send advance warning of attacks, saving thousands of lives! They could coordinate efforts between nations without risking the lives of their messengers! Things would get done more quickly and efficiently! Elrohir watched with awe and a bit of amusement as his charge argued with the strange device, sounding as if he were having a conversation with his overprotective mother. If it weren't so utterly astounding, it would have been quite funny.
"We'll be back when we get back and not a second sooner Tifa. I don't control that. Will you-. Tifa, just let me-. Didn't Aerith already explain all this to you? Tifa-. No. Look, I can't-. Tifa-. This is why I never picked up my phone before. Leave me a message!" Barked Cloud before he snapped the phone shut and wordlessly handed it back to Loz, who accepted with a giant smirk. Cloud coolly ignored him. Kadaj giggled at him, eyes bright.
"How do we have reception here?" asked Yazoo with a frown, doing his best to ignore his brother's idiocy.
"How did she get my number?" asked Loz back, giggling along with Kadaj, with a dopey grin on his face.
"Aerith. This is all Aerith's fault." Deadpanned Cloud, arms crossed over his chest and glaring fiercely at the foliage. The Cetra in question didn't reply, having made herself very scarce.
The elves blinked at them in confusion, shared a look between them and then quietly urged them to continue on.
"At least make an effort Gimli. They are our allies and my brother's friends. The Valar themselves have vouched for them, surely you can but give them a chance?" persuaded Aragorn, a reasonable expression on his face, saying without words how silly he thought the dwarf was being. Gimli ground his teeth together as he considered, large hands wrapped around his foaming mug of good Rohiric ale.
"Well. Alright. But just this once, mind. I still have my reservations." Said the dwarf gruffly, before he picked up his tankard and slowly approached the four outlandish brothers who were seated, hunched together, at the end of the long table, clearly separate from all other parties.
"Have ye tried the ale lads? Rohan is famous for its brew you know. Fancy a drinking game?" said the Dwarf, all in one breath. He was trying to be civil, but the strain of the attempt was obvious.
"A drinking game Gimli-san? What is that?" asked Kadaj, his large eyes glowing down at the dwarf as the lithe young man leaned over the table to speak to him.
"We all drink and the last one standing wins." Said Gimli, raising his tankard as evidence. The dwarf was frowning harshly, how could anyone with any sense not know what a drinking game was?
"Last one standing? Are we going to fight also?" asked Loz, looking to Yazoo for confirmation.
Cloud put a hand over his mouth to cover his smirk, then cleared his throat loudly.
'He's trying to be friendly. We should drink with him.' He sent to all of this brothers. Kadaj turned his luminous eyes on his blonde brother in delight, nodding happily. Anything to please his Ni-san.
'All of us together?' asked Kadaj to Cloud, just to be sure. Cloud nodded, his face was serious, but his gleeful anticipation bubbled just beneath the surface, and he knew Kadaj could feel it.
"Ok Gimli-san! We'll have a drinking game with you!" declared the youngest, speaking for all of them.
"I didn't agree to this…" grumbled Yazoo, arms over his chest and a scowl on his face, but he stayed put, waiting for orders from his youngest brother.
"Come along then lads, the rules are simple enough. We'll go easy on you since it's your first time and all. Don't be too disappointed if ye loose. Dwarves are legendary drinkers, we can hold the stuff like no other. In fact, many a dispute between dwarves had been settled with drinking contests, so we've lots of practice, even at a young age. And Rohan's brew is especially fine for such a thing, you'll see." Rambled Gimli to them hurriedly.
"Are we fighting?" asked Loz again, confused. They couldn't possibly just be drinking right? There wasn't any challenge in that at all.
"No Loz, no fighting. Just drinking. Most people pass out when they consume too much alcohol." Cloud explained patiently.
'They don't have to know that Mako eats up alcohol faster than we could ever possibly drink it.' The blond added silently with a smirk.
Loz smiled and winked at him, humming cheerfully as the four of them got up and followed the dwarf over to the head of the table, where Legolas was already setting up. Several Rohiric soldiers and the twins were also participating. Aragorn looked on from the hearth, pipe between his teeth and a highly amused expression on his face. He exchanged a look with Legolas, clearly thinking that the blonde elf had the best chance to win, even against his twin brothers. It took all of Cloud's considerable resolve to suppress the Zack-like urge to tell them all that they didn't stand a chance.
Three hours later, all the men and one dwarf were passed out on the floor and even the elves were swaying in their seats dangerously. Only the four SOLDIERS, their eyes glowing like stars remained upright, bored out of their minds, and still completely sober. The vicious amounts of Mako in their bodies made it all but impossible for them to become intoxicated with anything short of the specially designed SOLDIER tranquilizers that Dr. Hojo had preferred.
"This drinking game thing is no fun at all Ni-san. Let's do something else." Said Loz, putting his empty tankard down on the table and bouncing out of his seat.
"Yeah ok. Training?" said the blonde, also rising.
"Wanna do teams this time? You and me against Yazoo and Loz?" asked Kadaj, practically bouncing.
"Sure." Agreed Cloud. The four of them stood and walked out of the room, their gait steady and their steps sure. Aragorn stared after them in disbelief. If he hadn't seen it for himself, he would have never have believed they'd drunk so much. The ranger sighed and took another puff on his pipe as he gazed down at his passed out friends. This was only going to make Gimli like the SOLDIERS even less.
-somewhere on the road-
"Cloud?" asked Elrohir, eyeing the blonde with a look of frustrated confusion. Cloud looked at him, an eyebrow slightly raised.
"Something has been bothering me since the day we met. Please forgive me if it seems a rude question, but…I simply cannot fathom for myself how such a thing is possible. Cloud, how do you get your hair to stand up like that?"
"It does this on its own." Answered Cloud with a perfectly straight face, his slight annoyance only given away by the minute twitching of his eyebrow.
"It cannot be natural." Argued Elrohir, arms crossed over his chest.
Instead of responding, Cloud yanked a strand of hair out of his head and gave it to the elf. Elrohir held it before his eyes, a look of absolute shock on his face as the hair between his fingers stood straight up, not bending or swaying at all.
"Ridiculous, isn't it?" said Cloud, faintly amused at the elf's expression.
'Like chocobo feathers!' exclaimed Kadaj joyfully in his mind, having been eavesdropping the whole time. Cloud glared at him.
-just after the battle of Helm's Deep-
Kadaj sat on the bottom most step of the long stairs that lead up to the Hornburg and scrubbed at a speck of dried blood that stubbornly refused to come off his precious Souba with a scrap of cloth he'd gotten from Èowyn. The smallest of the Advents had overhead the quiet comparison that Cloud had mentally made between the blonde princess of Rohan and his future sister Tifa and had decided to practice being friendly with her. He heard the hesitant footsteps of a person much too small to be any of his brothers and looked up, his hands stilling over his blade.
"Um…your name was…?" asked a young woman, hip length pale blonde hair slightly matted with dirt. Her plain clothes were stained and a little ripped up at the hems, but her face was quite pretty.
"I'm Kadaj." The smallest of the Advents answered, a polite smile on his face. The four SOLDIERS were dressed in borrowed clothes; loose white linen shirts with grey tunics in the Rohiric style over them and dark cloth pants that didn't fit very well at all. The whole ensemble smelled slightly of horse.
"Kadaj. An unusual name." Said the girl, a blush dusting her cheeks as she glanced around in embarrassment.
"I guess it is." Answered the Advent, not really caring either way. He searched with his mind for his brothers and found them all scattered across the fortress. Loz and Yazoo were helping a group of Rohiric soldiers sort through the remaining supplies they'd hauled in from Edoras. Cloud was pacing restlessly along the wall, waiting for word of their next move with growing agitation.
"Was there something you needed?" he asked, wondering idly when his clothes would be dry.
"Well, um, my Lord. There is to be a feast tonight, to celebrate our victory. I'd, ah. That is, I'd like very much to go with you." She said in a rush, eyes glued to her feet.
Kadaj cocked his head to the side in confusion.
"Are you not invited also?" he asked curiously.
"What? No, um, everyone is going. I just. Ah. What I mean is, I'd like to go with you. Um, as an escort." The blushing girl babbled, still refusing to meet his eyes.
Kadaj frowned at her. 'Ni-san? What's an escort?'
'She wants to spend the feast attached to your side, talking to you and eating and stuff together.' Answered Cloud from the wall, having had absently listened to his conversation with the girl. He was really getting better at splitting his focus between what he was doing and what his three wayward brothers were doing.
'She's asking you out on a date! Is she cute?' chirped Loz eagerly. Kadaj obligingly sent him an image of the girl, knowing that if he didn't, his burly brother would pester him until he did.
'She's cute! Go for it.' Said Loz.
The girl began to fidget nervously watching the silver haired warrior, who was clearly not paying her any attention at all, through her lashes.
'What's the point? Are you going to sleep with her?' asked Yazoo lazily, having gotten the image of the girl from Loz.
'Hmm…I'm not sure.' Answered Kadaj, eyeing her critically. He felt a silent wave of disapproval from Cloud at the thought.
'I won't sleep with her.' He thought firmly, and felt Cloud relax.
'You should still go to the feast with her. But make her take a bath or something. She's got dirt in her hair.' Said Loz.
"Alright, I'll go with you. You've got a bit of dirt in your hair though, so you should probably take a bath." Said Kadaj with a serene smile before he turned back to his sword in a clear dismissal. He completely ignored her look of startled embarrassment as she reached for her hair.
It wasn't until just before the feast, dressed in new, better fitting and more elaborate, clothes that he realized he'd never asked her name.
See why they didn't make it into the story? Too silly. Still, I had a request for omake. So, uh, here ya go!
*For all of you non-FFVII fans or for people who haven't seen Advent Children, Loz's ring tone is the victory music from the original game that plays whenever you win a battle. For FFVII fans watching the movie, it was a funny inside joke. I just thought I'd tip my hat at it, since I enjoyed it too.