Thanks to calvi_sama for the awesome betaing and to Chephren, Zilldk and purefoysgirl/jaded_grin for the support and ideas (though in the end I was too lazy to change it anyways *sigh*)!


OTC Cid

Dr. F. Reud leaned back in his high chair, legs crossed and generally giving a relaxed impression, which was no big wonder really, because right now he was enjoying his perfectly quiet, well-deserved lunch break. No lunatics were to be seen far and wide, his (slaughtered) couch was blissfully empty, and life was good and liveworthy again until the moment when his door decided to spontaneously burst apart and scare the living shit out of the poor psychologist.

"You can´t just go in there, Dr. Reud is having his lunch break right now! You will have to make an appointment like everyone else!" was the indignant, slightly shrill voice of his secretary that followed after the crash.

*Panting, the therapist decided that it had to be relatively safe again as he warily peeked from behind his chair into the room, but was not quite brave enough to leave his defence just yet. Quickly adjusting his glasses with a nervous movement he took in the intruder Martha had been huffing at and was very tempted to hide behind his chair again, when he lay eyes on the rough looking blond who growled back, "Shuddup an´ get off´ mah back, woman! I ain´t 'anyone'! Yer talkin´ ta Cid Highwind, HIGHWIND, the first man in space, an´ this 's a bloody emergency, ya hear me?!"

Before Martha could curtly enlighten him that she didn't give a damn who he was, and that there was a doctor on duty for emergencies that certainly was not Doctor F. Reud, the man in question crawled out from behind his desk and stood up, panting, "It's all right Martha, all right, I was finished anyway."

"Heh." Cid grinned triumphantly at the sceptic woman, who threw an unsure look to her employer, but then just shrugged and took her leave. "An´ don' ferget ma gawddamn tea, will ya!" the blond shouted after her.

Stone-faced, the therapist straightened his vest and then wordlessly gestured towards the couch, which Mr Highwind fell heavily onto, dirty boots smearing the expensive carpet and adding a light, muddy tone to the slimy alien-green that already stained it since General Sephiroth's visit. Feeling very much at home without the invitation to do so, Cid fumbled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and put one in his mouth, throwing the empty package on the table.

"You can't smoke in he-" the therapist started politely, but then just shut up as the smoke already circled around his client. Morosely he pushed an empty vase towards his guest so he at least wouldn't ash on the floor.

"Well then, how can I help you?" Dr. F. Reud asked, his gaze wandering from the smoking ruffian to the new sheet of paper on his clipboard. He was very tempted to write 'pathologically impolite' on it, if that had been an actual disorder at all. Maybe he could somehow make it up…

"Yeah, we´ll see ´bout dat helpin´ thing, " Cid snorted derisively. "Was with four other shrinks so far an´ none o´ those quacks could do nuthin´, ´cept squeezin ma gawddamn hard earned cash outta me." The cig flared up in irritation as Cid took another deep drag, and forcefully pushed it out in the 'ashtray' and instantly summoned a new package.

"Maybe you could tell me first, what exactly the problem is we are dealing with here?" Any other man would have detected the slightly peeved look that accompanied the coolly spoken words, but Cid was, obviously, not 'anyone' and therefore he just lit his new cig, rather unimpressed, shaking out the match and flicking it into the vase.

"Ma prob?" he repeated, grey smoke crawling out of his mouth and nostrils. "I´m a friggin´ addict," he enlightened his therapist gruffly and was instantly back to sucking at his cancer stick.

"I see," Dr. Reud said non-committally, and wrote down on his paper 'nicotine-addict', before looking up at his client with a neutral expression again. "Could you please describe the course of the disease for me? I take it you have no medical record with you today?"

"Nah," Cid affirmed, blinking, before he shrugged and explained between repeated drags. "Don' need dat shit, I know what´s wrong wit' me a´right, don need no stupid paper ta tell me. What'd'you wanna know?"

"You could begin from where your addiction started, for instance, " the doctor remarked with a lifted brow, scribbling down 'probably analphabetic'.

"Yeah, ´kay… Where ta begin…" Cid scratched his unshaved, stubbled chin and lifted his hands behind his head, gracing his therapist with the attractive sight of two dark sweat stains under his armpits and burning his already abused couch with a brand new mark as the tip of his cig sank into the soft leather.

"Dunno, done it since I c'n remember… I mean ma mom diddit, ma dad, ma sis… We´d always have it t'gether at least three times a day, mornin, afternoon, evenin', right after breakfast, lunch an´dinner, ya know. Was maybe… don' wanna lie… hm… two maybe?" He frowned, leaning forward and holding his hands a few inches over the ground to indicate how tall he must have been then.

Dr. F. Reud stared at the man with big eyes, aghast, but then he cleared his throat, adjusted his glasses and said sympathetically,

"I see. Your childhood must have been difficult…" No parents that let their two-year-old child smoke cigarettes could be caring, responsible or even sane! This seemed like a classical case of overwhelmed, undereducated parenthood, probably mixed with drug abuse and neglect of the children. At least they must have managed to get three meals a day on the table, which didn't really compensate for the smoking of course.

Cid seemed to think otherwise though, because instantly he narrowed his eyes and flared up, brandishing with his cig through the smoke contaminated air,

"What'd'ya mean with 'at, huh?! Ma childhood´s been friggin fine, don' ya bloody dare badmouth ma mom an´ dad!!! Ya damn shrinks think ya know everythin´ but it ain´t their gawddamn fault I ended up this way, ya hear me?!" He pointed his burning stick at the therapist in an almost threatening manner, clearly insulted.

Although Dr. F. Reud highly doubted that the man´s childhood had been nearly as awesome as Cid claimed it to be, he didn´t argue. This maybe was a can of worms they could open later. Right now he wanted to focus on getting the picture, so he answered in a soothing tone,

"Of course, my apologies."

"Hrmph." Cid smashed his cig into the vase, a new one already dangling from his lips and crossed his arms over his chest in a dismissive manner.

"Please, could you tell me about the symptoms?" the therapist asked with a small, pleading smile to get back on the good side of his patient, while at the same time sneakily scribbling down 'suffers from high repression'.

The blond huffed some more, before he finally gave in and pulled the cause of his addiction out of his mouth, a bit maliciously blowing the smoke into his doctor´s direction.

"Can´t friggin be a minute without it, see?" He held up his hand, nodding at the visible trembling. "Can´t think ´bout anythin´ else all day. When I can´t have it, ma brain starts hurtin´, can´t concentrate an´ that's bad, cuz ya know I´m in th' rocket business. An´ pilotn´, ´m prolly th' friggin best pilot in all damn history! That´s Cid Highwind for ya." He motioned with his thumb at himself and bared his razor sharp, pearly teeth at the man in a proud grin, making the therapist unconsciously flinch away. To him the blond man looked more like a dangerous animal, a hyena maybe, than a renowned astronaut… And god help him should he ever step into the man´s plane, he´d rather just jump from a skyscraper right away with most certainly the very same effect!

Cid´s enthusiasm got a bit quelled by the alienated look he received, so he relaxed his facial stretching and continued, looking at the half full vase in slight melancholy,

"But I almost can´t do ma job right anymore… I love ma damn job more than anythin´-apart from this, ya know- I luv ta fly high in th' skies, but it ain´t easy with that problem o´mine. It ain´t safe, ya see. Need ta be concentratin' on it an´ not constantly thinkin´ ´bout ma problem or when I can have th' next one."

"I understand. Do you have any health problems because of this?"

"Nah, no probs," Cid denied, shaking his head before his frame was shaken by a sudden, violent coughing fit. He was leaning over the carpet, choking his lungs out to a point where the doctor got seriously worried and was about to stand up and run to the door to ask for help, but then the attack ceased.

"No probs," the blond repeated, panting, and then turned his head to spit a thick lump of snot into the vase. Doctor F. Reud was really glad that he didn´t have time for lunch and that his stomach was empty.

"… I see," was the expressionless comment. The word 'high' got cancelled and replaced by 'INSANE!!!'.

"What measures were taken so far to deal with it?" he then asked, frowning.

Cid shrugged again, summoning his next package. "Was with th' other shrinks an´ they couldn´t help me. Nuthin´ could so far. Hell, I even went ta one o´ those ridiculous group meetn's, ya know, where ya get this bloody nametag stuck ta yer chest an´ then it´s all 'Hi my name´s Harald, an´ I have a problem'- 'Hi Harry'." He gave a high-pitched imitation of the cliché procedure that was typical for these kinds of group therapies, but then his shoulders slumped and he continued, sighing.

"I was desperate, an´ still am. I´d do anythin´ ta get rid o´ it, ya know? Couldn´t help me at all though, they didn´t even understand ma problem! See, th' bad thing is that people don' even see it´s a problem! It´s part o´ daily life, most people do it. There´re no warnings whatsoever ´bout th' dangers an´ how it can ruin ya life. They're jus' starin´ atcha as if yer bonkers when ya tell 'em, cus it ain´t like, dunno, alcoholism or heroin addiction. Ya don' even really have symptoms at all. An ya can buy it in every friggin store for almost nuthin! So, I didn´t tell ma friends, coz they´d only laugh at me er be disgusted… Ma wife knows though, couldn´t hide it from that damn nosy brat. It´s a secret, a damn hard one, I tell ya!"

Dr. F. Reud nodded his head in genuine sympathy and understanding. He himself was strictly abstinent, because he knew about the fatalism of cigarettes and sometimes he was wondering, how any remotely sane person could give in to that stupidity. But it was a fashion, a part of daily life and not really questioned…

Before he could say something to comfort the man though, the door opened and Martha entered with a tray of two steaming cups of tea that she left on the table, not deigning to spare the intruder a glance even when he hollered,

"´bout gawddamn time!"

The cig joined its dead comrades in the vase as Cid instead bestowed his attention to his tea cup, greedily slurping the hot liquid and then sitting back with a comfortable sigh. "But'cha see, once I'm over it, I'll write a book or sumthin´. Ta share ma experiences ta help others with the same problems, an´ ta finally name an´ shame that wretched, damn tea lobby! They ain´t as all mighty as they think, oh no! Haven´t met Cid Highwind yet!"

"Well, this might be a good idea, it could help you to get it out of your system. There are a few options for therapy that are very successful and I am sure we can cure your addiction in no tim-" Dr. Reud halted in his encouraging speech and blinked. "Did you just say 'tea'?"

"Yeah, sure," Cid affirmed with a shrug, taking another sip with a blissful expression. "That´s what ´m talkin´ ´bout."

"What… we are talking about?" the therapist repeated blank-faced, holding his own cup frozen midway.

"My tea-addiction?" the blond 'reminded' a bit unnerved, and as if he was talking to an imbecile, before his eyes narrowed and he asked, suspicious, "What were you talkin' about?"

"I-I…" Blinking, Dr. F. Reud tried to wrap his mind around this… unexpected development, and quickly set down his cup, spilling half the contents. "I was talking about the same thing of course, your… tea addiction…" he trailed off, blinking again at the mere thought of it, but then pulled himself together again when Cid relaxed and asked, new hope shining in his pale blue eyes,

"An´… ya really think ya c'n help me?"

"Of course," the therapist replied mechanically, frantically searching his mind (to see) if he had ever heard of such a ridiculous 'addiction', let alone about a way to cure it!

"Great, thanks doc!" Deeply moved, the man suddenly pulled the poor therapist into a bone crushing bear hug, not able to hold on to himself after years of disappointed hopes and relapses.

"Don´t… It´s all right, it´s all right," Dr. Reud squeaked, gasping for air and thinking of his beloved tranquilizer gun, but the pilot had let go already, sneakily wiping a small tear out of his eye and sniffling a bit, before he went back to his hard he-man attitude. Tucking a new cig into the corner of his mouth, he gave the man a good slap on the shoulder.

"Ya ain´t as dumb as th' other shrinks, doc, I appreciate that. I´ll get´n appointment fer ma next session an´ we can work on ma therapy then. Can´t wait ta get started."

He cracked his knuckles, his impressive biceps flexing, and fished out his pack of cigarettes from under the stumps and ash that had fallen onto the table from the overflowing ashtray.

"Thanks," mumbled the psychologist quietly, guiding his new patient to the door.

"See ya soon then," Cid grunted with a last conspiratorial wink, and then he was out of the room.

"…I can´t wait." Thunderstruck the doctor stood by the door, staring into his empty waiting room and tried to estimate how long it would take him to move his office undercover.

.end


Since I don´t have time and the motivation to write new chapters for this fic I declare it finished. Sorry guys. Maybe after the semester is done and the stress subsides a bit I´ll give it another try, but for now it´s done.

Thank you for your support and feedback!

*waves*