A/N: Yay! Chapter 2!

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, locations, vehicles, abilities, creatures, and such all belong to Square Enix. The gums belong to Wrigley's. In other words, I own nothing except for the plot.


Chapter 2: Turning to Dust

Some number of months later…

Cloud was standing in the ruins of the once proud city of Midgar with his sword in hand. He glared up at the silver-haired teen who was smirking down at him from a ledge of rumble.

"Brother, I'm with her at last," said the teen, Kadaj, as he clutched the black, police-tape-covered container tightly in his hands.

"So, what's gonna happen now?" Cloud questioned coldly. Oh, how he wanted to kill Kadaj after all he had done, bringing trouble back into his life and the lives of those around him. However, as Cloud knew from previous encounters with said remnant, this was easier said than done.

"Mother's going to tell me," Kadaj said with a chuckle while looking down at the box in a caring way.

Okay, now he's a complete loon, Cloud thought in distaste. As if Kadaj was not psychotic enough to begin with, now he thought whatever was in that box was going to talk to him.

Cloud opened his mouth to retort, but was interrupted by something he did not expect.

Doink.

Cloud blinked. Déjà vu, he thought while rubbing the back of his head. He turned around and found a black and yellow thing at his feet. As soon as he picked it up, he gave it an intense stare. The object was a slim, black box with a yellow sticky note stuck to it. The note read, 'Good luck!' This note also bore no signature just like the last one. Cloud peeled off the note and saw the word "Rain" printed in green capital letters on the front of the box. He flipped the box to the other side and found the box's opening flap. He flipped it open to find multiple pieces of green-wrapped gum split into three sections.

"Brother, what is that?" Kadaj asked suddenly standing behind Cloud and peering over the chocobo head's shoulder.

Cloud mentally jumped. He's a quick little bugger, Cloud thought. "It's gum," he answered still a bit taken aback. What am I supposed to do with this? I'm already cured, he thought. Then, he remembered the confrontation he had with Kadaj at Aerith's church.

Cloud had just burst through the wooden doors of the church only to see that one of the pillars was coming down. Kadaj jumped onto the falling pillar and used it as a make shift bridge to get to an upper part of the church's busted wall. Cloud just narrowly missed being squashed by the falling column and slid to a stop in the flower patch. The blonde looked up and saw the fire some mantra magic at him from his perch. Cloud leaped from off his motorcycle to avoid the blast and landed roughly on the ground. The beams of magic left a medium-sized hole in the ground. The chocobo head looked up from his position to see Kadaj poised to launch another while chuckling maliciously.

And then, water began rising from the mini-crater, causing both men to look at it wide-eyed. The water spiraled through the air until it joined all together and began pouring and spraying buckets upon buckets of water.

Cloud looked around in awe at the sight before him. Wow, he thought, it looks just like…her Great Gospel. He looked up at Kadaj and through the wall of water droplets he saw the remnant lashing his arms about to keep himself from getting drenched. Pussy, Cloud thought.

I guess it makes sense now, Cloud thought. She's the one who gave me the gum, but why? With a sudden realization, Cloud chuckled to himself. He had a scheme that could possibly work to his advantage. "Hey Kadaj, you want a piece?" he asked a little slyly while holding a piece out to Kadaj. Kadaj just stared at him with a what-have-you-been-smoking expression on his face. "What?" Cloud asked innocently. "It's not gonna kill you."

"What's the catch?" Kadaj asked while eyeing Cloud suspiciously and crossing his arms.

"No catch," Cloud said. "Just an innocent piece of gum." He waved the metallic green strip in front of the teen's face. "Well, do you want it or what?"

"Er…sure," Kadaj said in a skeptical manner. He took the stick of gum from Cloud hesitantly. He obviously did not trust the blonde. After unwrapping the gum, Kadaj examined it five times over before he was sure, in his own mind at least, that it was not lethal and stuck it in his mouth. Immediately after he started chewing it, Kadaj doubled over in pain and his body began dissolving into a dark mist. "It burns!" he shouted and faded away into nothing.

One down, two to go, Cloud thought.

"Hey!" shouted someone in fury from behind Cloud. Cloud turned to see an angry Loz running towards him with Yazoo a ways behind.

"Hey," Cloud said, "want some gum?"

Loz's mood immediately changed to one of satisfaction. "Why thank you, Brother," he said and popped the gum into his mouth childishly and swallowed it. Loz proceeded to scream in excruciating pain and faded away into dust.

Yazoo finally reached Cloud. He stopped and hunched over while placing his hands on his knees and stood there gasping for breath.

"Want some gum?" Cloud asked Yazoo as he pulled out another piece of gum from the pack.

Yazoo was still trying to compose himself as he said, "I'm not falling for-" Cloud interrupted him by shoving the piece of gum into Yazoo's mouth, which caused the remnant to disappear in a puff of mist.

I win, Cloud thought as something hit him on the end. He looked up and saw small, green metallic rectangles falling from the sky. "What the…?"

"Aerith, what are you doing?" Zack asked the flower girl. Said girl was shoveling green metallic rectangles down a hole.

"Help me!" she shouted urgently and tossed Zack a shovel.

"But, what're you-"

"Just do it!" Aerith shouted.

"Okay," he said in exasperation and proceeded to shovel the green stuff down the hole. She's officially lost her marbles, he thought.

Cloud stood there and stared at the sky. Thank you, Aerith, he thought silently.

The Shera flew over to his location and ran toward the already open hatch. He walked to the large cockpit area and heard his friends talking about the raining gum.

"Where's the logic gone?" Cid asked slightly agitated to nobody in particular.

Cloud decided to answer him. "I was just wondering the same thing," he said.

"Cloud!" his teammates exclaimed in unison. Barrett, Cid, Vincent, Nanaki, and Cait Sith all gave an approving nod at his job well done. Yuffie was cheering very loudly and bouncing up and down happily with her arms full of materia. Tifa ran to him and gave him a hug, causing Cloud to go stiff for a second, but he stroked her hair affectionately afterward.

"Three cheers for Cloud!" Yuffie piped up.

"Not now, brat," Cid said grumpily as he turned the aircraft toward the sunset, being careful not to make too sharp of a movement or else he would have clean up Yuffie's lunch later.

"Let's go home," Tifa said with her arms still wrapped around Cloud.

"Okay, jeez," Cid said while continuing the craft onward into the sunset. He realized something at that moment. "Hey! Wait a minute."

"What?" Barrett asked.

"When in the hell did this turn into one of those cheesy western movies?"

Fin