Disclaimer: We do not own Final Fantasy VII, nor any of the characters from it. We do not make any money from writing this story.


Sapphy: Firstly, I want to let everyone know that this is a collaboration between Frizz (frizzycrls on DA) and myself. I had originally started this and meant it to be short. But then I realized no way in hell that was happening. VCR was supposed to be short and it was over 50 pages! Anyway, the idea of this pair is rather tough, if I do say so myself. It's a rarity among rarity to see around. I showed Frizz what I had had so far and, like me, she had became hooked. So we have been playing around with this for a bit, and decided it would be multi-chap'd.

This story takes place around 16 BG in the Final Fantasy time. It is obviously an AU but we have tried to keep it…semi on the right track for the most part. The pairing is…*drum roll please*

Cid Highwind and Sephiroth

le gasp!

That's right folks! A Cid and Seph fic! It is still undecided whether or not it will be a serious relationship or just a lot of tension between the too. Either way, reviews help fuel us! Frizz and I are review whores (her more then myself ;) ) and if you review, not only will you get a reply, but it'll fuel our muses with pride and they will want to write more! Meaning that you will get chapters faster.

In addition…Drake Skylark was created by me and I soooo claim ownership of him ;) He is my sexy beast.

Frizz: This is turning out WAY too much fun and my muses cackle madly at the ideas they have been cranking out. I would be scared but I love them also so I suppose I will just have to show them to Sapphy-san. I must thank Sapph dearly for showing me this and allowing me to get my claws into it. Please review and show we aren't the only insane ones out there!

Both: Enjoyyyyyy~!

Combat Training for the Stubborn

"Fuck this!" Shouted a young, blond male.

"Pardon me, Mister Highwind, but those are now the requirements."

"I don't give a rat's ass! Combat training has nothin' to do with the fucking space program OR piloting program!"

Cid Highwind, 19 years of age, was furious, face turning red as his anger built to the point where there was almost steam flying from his ears. The young cadet had been in a grump of a mood before, but now? Now he was down right in a foul, nasty mood, no thanks to his teacher and Captain.

Apparently, a new law was issued that one had to have at least 2 years of combat and tactic training to graduate in both Air Piloting and Mechanics AND for the fucking SPACE program!

"What? Will we have a fucking run in with space Malboro's?! Or hell! Air pirates?!"

And no matter how much he bitched and complained, Captain Drake Skylark would not give in. It was a sealed deal and was final. Cid would just have to deal and take it like a man. The women were taking it better!

"You gotta be shitting me! When the hell did this rule pop into the manual?!"

Skylark sighed, gloved fingers moving up to massage the bridge of his nose, hoping to ward of the oncoming headache. The blond male crossed his arms; foot tapping impatiently against as cyan orbs glared heatedly into the elder mans dark green.

"Cid, this was issued by President Shinra himself. With the trouble that is brewing in Wutai at the moment, he wants all members of ShinRa to have some fighting skills, just to be on the guard."

"Why two years?! It's not like I have any plans to do any fightin'! Our program shouldn't have to!"

Skylark stood from his desk, walking over to the small, office window to glaze down into the air hanger. A large metal structure sat in the middle of the wide building, its frame resting on it round side. It was meant to stand vertical, but it would have to be built on its side till it was almost finished. When the Gelnika's would be needed to haul the rocket over to the base that was being built over in a little town past Nibelheim and Mt. Nibel.

This would make history. This would be a magnificent piece of machinery when completed.

And Cid played his cards right, he would be the first man in space with his design to carry him there.

The brunette turned back to the young pilot-in-training.

"Cid, honestly, it isn't that long. It's not like they are trying to turn you lot into SOLID-"

"No way in hell! They ain't puttin' no damn Mako into my fucking body!"

"-ER'S. It's minimal training, Cid, just the basics. And no, you won't have to be Mako for this. Besides, do you want to be defenseless; should you be attacked in an air raid? Strategy is important, even in flight."

"Strategy? I'll just fly in the opposite direction then! There's strategy for ya!"

"It isn't as simple as that Highwind! Now shut your trap Cadet, before I force it shut for you!"

Cid froze, all comebacks dying on his lips and slipping from his mind. Sky eyes widened at his Captain's outburst. It was rare for Capt. D. Skylark to raise his voice to his class, and practically a myth to have him yell at a student. People respected the 43 year-old male, always listening and always paying attention to every word he spoke.

So when the taller, bulkier frame of Drake Skylark was suddenly towering over Cid…the blond audibly gulped. Dark evergreen orbs bore down into liquid sky, large hands clasped behind a broad back.

"4th year Senior Cadet, Cidney Highwind."

The boy flinched. Damn he hated his full name…

"Y-yes sir?"

The captain rocked on his heels with a grin, pearl white teeth gleaming brightly against his tanned flesh.

"You, Highwind, along with the rest of you classmates will be participating in this training starting next week and for the next 2 years. You will work your ass off, if you wish to pass this course. Miss even one class, Cid, and I will be locking you out of the hanger till the missed time has been made up and your temporary piloting permit."

The blond stammered in shock, "B-b-but Captain Skylark-!"

Green eyes twinkled, voice coming out as a eerie high pitched sound, "No 'ifs, ands or buts', Cid~ney."

The young man's shoulders slumped in defeat. Under his breath, Cid muttered "Fine…but I ain't gonna like it."

Skylark laughed aloud, swinging an arm around Cid's neck as his fist descended on unruly bright strands. The pilot to be grunted under the assault, reaching up to push at the thick arm and squirming to end the painful head scrambling he was receiving.

"Never said ya had ta, boy!"


And so it began…one week after Cid had confronted his Chief in the hanger, the SPACE program had been put on hold for a few months, till it's members where able to coincide with both training and daily lessons.

And Cid couldn't hate it anymore than he already did.

That and these damn pants they were forced to wear. They made his ass itch with their scratchy, camo print material.

His class was in a training arena on one of the ShinRa bases near Junon, not too far from the airship hangers. The arena was huge, making his class of 34 seem like ants. The day was bright, a dusting of clouds painting the sky in little wispy puffs.

Blue eyes studied the sky, the 19 year old speaking to himself as he named the type. "Altocumulus…above 6500 AGL…"

"What a beautiful day!"

Cid turned his head, glaring at the brunette that had bounded up to his side. Her thick glasses framed sparkling brown orbs. She was a petite little thing, head only reaching his shoulder. Hmm…who was she? He was sure he recognized her…Ah! 2nd year, Junior Cadet Shera Kelly. The brilliant yet klutzy scientist who had a knack for fixing the most complicated of wiring or finding the problem that causes the smallest of ticking noises.

Also the girl that said there was a flaw in his blue prints for the oxygen and pressurizing system of the rocket.

Pft. What did she know?

"Ya…too bad we're stuck in this shit hole. Damn perfect day for flyin' too!"

Shera giggled in to her hand "So is that what you were muttering to yourself about earlier? How much you wish you could go flying?"

Cid shrugged, crossing his arms and turning his attention back to the sky. "Nah, was just namin' the cloud type, height, what not. Stuff a pilot should know, ya know?"

Shera nodded, clasping her hands in front of her and turning her glaze upwards. She studied the puffs, eyes tracing ever detail. "Hmm…I say Cirrocumulus. Maybe about 21…22000 AGL?"

"Tch. Altocumulus. 65-6700 AGL. They look too low to be Cirro but not low enough to be Strato."

"So…though it would look like a good day for flying, really, it would be bit of a hazard. High clouds form only in stable air. They are made up of ice crystals and pose no real threat of turbulence or aircraft icing where as mild level clouds, altocumulus, are composed of water, ice crystals, and super cooled water droplets. Altostratus clouds can produce turbulence and may contain moderate icing."

Cid's jaw dropped. 'Son of a…'

A whistle sounded from the groups' side, and 5 figures walked through the gates.

It was easy to spot Captain Skylark, being one of the tallest of the five that walk towards them. The group of men and women turned and stood at attention, as they should when superiors graced them with their presence.

Cid laughed inwardly at this. 'Tch, ain't we all suppose to be equals?' What irked him the most was that he knew without a doubt that all of these bastards, except for Skylark, would not hesitate to stab their own mother in the back to have a chance at being promoted. They didn't mean the respect they were pretending to show. 'Egotistical, arrogant, pieces of - woah!'

Cerulean eyes widened as a flash of silver white caught the attention of the young cadet. An imposing figure strode into the gates, long strands free-flowing much to the displeasure of the portly man behind him. The five standing at attention seemed to go a little straighter, true admiration lighting the eyes of the ones Cid had been criticizing a moment before. 'Just who in the hell is he?'

"Sir," Captain Skylark called, "We didn't realize you would be coming, sir!"

The silver-haired man nodded to the man, signaling for him to relax, "I would have been here earlier to inspect the grounds but there were other matters requiring my attention."

"Pretty boy probably had to fuckin' wash that ridiculous hair of his," Cid muttered under his breath.

Though he knew that no one could have heard him, the way the man's head turned and strange colored eyes landed on him, a silver eyebrow raising slightly, made the blond nervous. The overweight figure finally huffed, his nasally voice grating the ears of all within hearing, "Well we haven't got all day and I certainly have places to be, so let's get this over with."

Cid ground his teeth, wanting to hit him more than anything right now, even if he was the head of the military and the Turks. Heidegger had never been on his good list and the way the man was looking at them now, as though they were nothing more than scum he had found on his shoe, was making the cadet's blood boil.

All the while, green, cat-slit eyes eyed the young blond. 'Amusing. Most people are too easily blinded by other's positions. This should be interesting.' "Captain Skylark?"

The older man snapped back to attention, "Sir!"

"Who is that cadet?"

Skylark smirked as he found the General's attention on the young Highwind, "That would be 4th year Senior Cadet Cidney Highwind, Sir, the man to pilot our launch. But if I might make a request, call him Cid. To call him anything else would just land you a headache, General."

Sephiroth noted the fondness with which the Captain spoke of the young man and nodded, "Duly noted. Have him come to the center of the arena, he will be my sparring partner and an example as to why they are here."

"Yes Sir!" Skylark saluted and moved away though inwardly he was worried. His prized pupil was about to go against the greatest military mind the world had ever scene and if he knew one thing about Cid it was that he didn't know when to surrender. "Cadet Highwind!"

Cid straightened automatically, "Yeah Chief?"

"You're first in the arena. General Sephiroth has decided to grace us with his presence and even help us with this lesson. Apparently, you're to be his partner today."

Awed whispers came from the other cadets and Cid paled slightly, "That pretty boy is THE General fuckin' Sephiroth?!"

Skylark raised a brow, "You didn't know?"

"Nah. I mean I've heard the name and all but I never seen his picture. Why does he want me, sir?"

"No idea, but you better get over there Cid. He's not one known for his patience."

Grudgingly the blond cadent walked over to the weapons rack. Since this was for training purposes and they were only just starting, the rack held wooden swords rather than real ones. Cid frowned, he had never been one much for swords. Casting a glance at the silver-haired General, he noticed that rather than picking the replica for his famous Masamune, Sephiroth had opted for a standard katana-style sword. Eyeing the tall, wooden Masamune, the cadet suddenly had an idea.

Whispers and mocking laughter broke out as the blond picked up the blade that was far taller than his own frame, studying it intently. Even a silver brow rose, 'Surely he is not that stupid.'

A wooden crack silenced the hushed murmurs, everyone watching with shock as Cid broke off the hilt, tossing it away. The blond looked up at the sudden silence, "What? The damned thing was off balance anyway. I'll make a better one ta replace it later."

Several eyes glanced over at the General, who gave a smooth shrug, "He's correct."

Cid smirked, a small amount of respect growing for the man since he didn't berate him for damaging company property like he had expected. Pulling out a pocket knife, he quickly cut away the splintered ends before twirling the broken blade, testing the balance, "I've never been much of a sword man, no offense Mr. General. Jus' always preferred a spear, myself."

"None taken, cadet. To each their own. Now come, let's see if you have any skill worth mentioning," Sephiroth's eyes glinted darkly as the cadet entered the training ring, "And I'll try not to let my 'ridiculous hair' get in the way."

Outwardly, Cid pretended to be unaware of the comment but inwardly he was squirming. 'Oh shit! He DID hear that!' Finally he pushed down his nerves and brought the makeshift pole arm in front of him, "Alright, I'll try to make sure not to chip one of yer nails, pretty boy."

A rumbling chuckle rolled from Sephiroth, "You have more backbone than most. I like that. Let's see if you still talk that way when you're beaten."

Before the blond could retaliate verbally, a blur of black and silver rushed for him. Cid barely caught sight of the wooden blade arching toward his neck and automatically brought the wooden staff up for defense, his arms and the wood straining dangerously under the pressure as the katana landed. Sephiroth never hesitated, dropping to sweep the cadet's legs from under him. The blond cursed as he leapt away, "Fuckin' speedy bastard!"

A chilling smirk grew, the General nodding with approval as he calmly stood, "Good reflexes. Now lets see if you can handle me at full speed."

'Full speed!!! That was slow?!' For the next few moments, Cid was not allowed the chance to breathe as he attempted to block the silver-haired man's furious attacks. Then what little air he had was knocked out of him by a harsh blow to his gut, "Oomph!"

The blond's back hit the dirt hard as he was easily tripped and a katana blade pointed at his neck, "Do you concede your defeat?"

Cerulean eyes lit with anger and determination at smooth voice's mocking tone, "Hell no!" Whipping the makeshift spear around, he thought he could catch the man's ankles but cursed as the leather-clad figure leapt with an unnatural grace, landing a few feet away. Standing on shaky legs, the cadet readied himself again.

Instead of attacking, Sephiroth turned his attention to the silent audience, "This cadet has shown he already knows one of the many lessons this training is meant to teach you. Surrender is never an option. When fighting an enemy, surrender means weakness. Weakness is not allowed in any man or woman under my command and I will not allow it here." Nodding to Skylark, he turned to walk away, "I will return once a week to oversee their progress."

Cid was stunned as he watched the General walk away, "Hey, we ain't done yet, ya girly bastard!"

"Cidney Highwind!"

The cadet flinched and turned to his Captain, "Yes, Sir?"

"That is not the proper way to address the General. I order you to go apologize this instant!"

Cid opened his mouth to argue but was interrupted by an amused voice, "It's quite alright, Captain Skylark. His attitude is rather refreshing to be honest."

Another male cadet walked over to Cid, "Hey there Highwind, guess you're more bark than bite after all! You got knocked on your ass in less than five minutes. Just goes to show why YOU need to be here."

The blond growled, ready to knock the man down when suddenly he was beaten to it, the silver-haired General standing over the fallen cadet, "And you were knocked down in less than two seconds. What does that say about you, cadet?"

Cid's respect for the man tripled.

At the end of class, the group of trainees found themselves let out for the evening to shower and prep for tomorrow's chaotic schedule.

A blond male pushed open the door to his small dorm that was by the airfield, a duffle bag being dropped to the ground beside the door's frame.

Cid groaned as he trudged through his home, feet dragging across the brown carpet till he reached the futon that served as his couch and bed. Plopping down with little grace, the pilot in training let out a sigh of relief, shoulders visibly draining of all tension as his head hit the back of the mattress.

"Damn...this is gonna be hell..."

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