Disclaimer: See the first chapter, it should all be there, but just in case... well I don't own anything contained within.
Author's Notes: I was actually kinda shocked with how many people wanted me to continue this. It took me awhile to figure out exactly how I should continue, considering this was originally intended to be a one-shot, but I figured it out! Tell you the truth, I'm rather proud of how this is turning out. So, anyway, I am dedicating this to all the wonderful people who reviewed and let me know that they wanted to see more. Thank you!
It was astounding, really, how quickly Sephiroth's assistant had managed to find replacements for Zack. Angeal had awoken that morning, not even four days after he'd been charged with this "mission," to find a large box sitting outside his door. Feeling slightly curious and concerned he'd carted the monstrous cardboard cube back into his quarters and cut open the seal. It was quite a shock to lift the flaps and reveal a large pile of material a sort of navy-blue purple mix beneath several pairs of standard-issue SOLDIER boots. Immediately recognizing what the items were, he'd stood and hefted the box off the floor before leaving his apartment.
Now, approximately a half hour later, he stood outside a different door, nearly identical to his own, holding an ungainly cardboard box in his arms and kicking at the door impatiently. "Zack," he shouted in irritation, "get out of bed and open this door!" There was no response and he shifted in an effort to get a better grasp upon the smooth cardboard as he lashed out at the unmoving door once more. "Zack," he called in a desperate attempt to coax the boy out from the confines of his new living space, "you have a present."
It was something of a miracle that Zack didn't crash into the door if the rapid patter of his running feet was any indication. The black-haired boy eased the door open, putting on a rather convincing show of having just woken up, rubbing his eyes and yawning in an exaggerated manner. "Angeal," he said in a weary voice gazing blearily up at his mentor, "you're here awful early today."
"Nice try," the elder man said as he gently pushed Zack to the side, balancing the box's entire weight on one arm as he passed into the apartment.
"Oh, alright," he heard the youth say just over the click of a closing door, "so I'm not the greatest actor."
"True enough." Angeal smirked as he settled his cargo upon the floor and began digging through its contents, imagining the scowl he was sure the boy had upon his features at that comment.
"No one ever said you had to have any sort of acting skills to join SOLDIER," Zack stated defensively before his tone softened into one of excitement. "So," he began hesitantly as Angeal kept his back to the boy, "you said I get a present?"
He could barely keep the smile from his face when he turned to face his charge, the item in his hands clinking gently against the great blade upon his back. "Sit down and I'll give it to you." The younger brunette bounded across the room, practically throwing himself onto the couch and holding out his hands expectantly as he smiled brightly. "So eager. Then here, catch!" His hand whipped out, tossing the metallic object to his student, not waiting to see his reaction before his was scrounging through the box once more. He listened carefully, though, as the boy fumbled with the item momentarily before getting a secure hold on it.
"To hide your identity until we can fix you, I assume," Angeal replied as he faced Zack once more, grinning faintly at the disappointed frown on the boy's face as he stared at the metal in his hands. "That's not all either."
"There's more?" There was a faint glimmer of hope in the brunette's tone, and Angeal almost felt bad about smashing that hope to bits…almost.
"Of course! Here you are." He tossed a pair of boots and the rest of Zack's new uniform into the boy's lap, still marveling at how tiny each article was. He hadn't known they made anything that small.
His charge was glaring at the items now piled in his lap, most likely wishing for their utter and instantaneous annihilation. After a moment he looked up at Angeal with pleading blue eyes. "Does this mean I have to start training again?"
"No no, of course not Zack," and there was that shine of hope in bright eyes again, "this means you get to start training again!" The hope was gone, and the boy let out a despondent wail as he threw himself, face first, into the cushions of his new couch.
"Angeal! That's not fair!" he cried.
"Oh, Zack" was the response he received as his mentor himself next to the boy and patted his head comfortingly, "of course it's fair! Now go get changed, we have a lot of work to catch up on."