Genres: Romance and General.

How the Idea was created: After an almost straight week of thunderstorms, I suddenly wondered about people who got hit by lightning. Then I got the prompt "Any joke in a storm" and I took off from there.

Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VII or the characters within it. I am gaining no profit from this work of fan-fiction.

Warnings: Lightning. Mild language. You have been warned.

._._._.

When Lightning Strikes

A Thunderous Final Fantasy VII Fan-Fiction

._._._.

Everything went to hell when Sephiroth's car got hit by lightning. Or maybe it'd been going to hell before; he couldn't remember, exactly. All he remembered was that Zack had seriously pissed him off (again) and then Angeal apologizing (again) and then he'd decided to take a "shortcut" home, to prove to Zack that there WAS another way outta there. Then the heavens had opened up, and he found himself on one of those back roads between the city and the suburbs; all grassy fields, no trees for miles.

And then the lightning had started.

It was like driving through soup, with just a few blinding flashes of white to illuminate the way. Cursing, Sephiroth ignored better judgment and flicked on the high beams. The driving manual probably didn't know what it was talking about, anyway. It made sense to turn up your lights when you couldn't see where you were going.

Then the tire had popped.

It was a moment from one of Zack's favorite movies; a dark, stormy night, an abandoned road, and a busted tire. Sephiroth was having a great night.

He pulled over with a short grumble, opening the door and ducking his head to avoid an angry wind. The storm was really picking up; the grasses were whipping around like crazy. So was Sephiroth's hair, nearly blinding him. He pulled up the hood over his hair and retrieved the spare tire from the back, rubbing his arms as he surveyed his surroundings. This was seriously the last time he was coming to visit Angeal and Zack; next time, they'd HAVE to come to the city. What they saw in this place was beyond him. There wasn't a person in sight.

Slamming the door, Sephiroth made a wide arc around the car, searching for the flat tire. It was hard to see; where was lightning when you needed it? His foot caught on a crevice in the road, and with a yelped curse, Sephiroth twisted around, pitching backwards into a grassy ditch.

That was when the lightning struck.

Sephiroth could see clearly upwards-and he SAW the lightning streak down, splitting the sky, and hitting his car, right above the windshield. He SAW the sparks fly, the impact, and the way the car gave a horrible popping screech like a dying beast. Smoke rose from the spot that had been hit.

Then, as quickly as that happened, it was over.

The rain picked up again, sizzling on the roof of the car.

Sephiroth just lay there, eyes wide, staring at his car. His car had just been hit by lightning. His car, hit by lightning-that was only something that happened to friggin' storm chasers; not ordinary guys who just wanted to get home and out of the stupid suburbs.

If he'd been standing next to the car-if he'd stayed there, if he hadn't tripped-he would've been dead.

That was way too friggin' close.

Sephiroth slowly sat up, wincing-apparently, if the shock of near-death hadn't been enough, his ankle was twisted too. Absolutely perfect.

The car looked innocent enough, but you never could tell. Sephiroth remembered watching a documentary on this before-it said that if you were in the car when it got hit by lightning, you were safe as long as you didn't touch anything metal or electric. But outside-Sephiroth had closed all the doors, so he couldn't just hide out in the car until the danger passed over. He didn't want to risk putting the key in, either. He wasn't in the mood to become a kebab, thank you very much.

With a wince, Sephiroth stood gingerly, backing away from the car. He had his cell phone, but he wasn't sure if he could use that either. Maybe he could head back to Zack and Angeal's-he hadn't drove THAT far, had he? Probably not. It was better than just sitting here by the potentially electrified husk of his car.

Almost tripping over the spare tire, Sephiroth made an about face and began hobbling away from the car. Remembering what Zack had told him once-some idle chatter about NOT being the tallest object around-he hunched over, trying to be level with the fence.

It was only a spark of luck that he looked up in the next instant, and that he happened to look out into the fields. And he was surprised.

Because, if he was correct, he could see a person running towards the road-a small sort of person tilting as they trudged through the wet grass. A flash of lightning lit up the sky as they grew closer-and Sephiroth could see a shock of blond hair and electric blue eyes. A boy. Sephiroth had just enough time to wonder what he was doing out in a thunder storm.

And then, in an impossible way-because this was the SECOND time-lightning struck.

It was white to start out, and impossibly fast, as it streaked down and hit the boy, point blank. The impact was an orange flash, like fire. For a moment, it was beautiful, in a horrific way-a figure ablaze in color. Then the boy went down like he'd been shot.

Sephiroth stared, eyes wide, for a moment. "Oh Gaia," he rasped, and then he was hobbling through the grass at a crouch, trying to find him without getting hit himself and OH MY GAIA, HE'D JUST SEEN SOMEONE HIT BY LIGHTNING…

The only way he knew that he found the boy was by tripping and landing heavily on top of him. With a curse, he scrambled off, crouching on his knees and gently turning his head to the side.

It wasn't the time to stare, but Sephiroth couldn't help but notice that the kid was really, really cute. Maybe in any other situation, the sort of kid who Sephiroth would stare at across a restaurant and never quite muster up the courage to smile or flirt with. Up close, he had a babyish sort of face, all soft and unguarded, and his blond hair-which stuck up in some wickedly nasty looking spikes-fell down in wispy bangs over his face…

…which was also completely white.

Crap.

"Hey," Sephiroth said urgently. Something-something that had absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that this kid was really, really freakin' cute, and more along the fact that he might be DEAD or DYING-told him to move the kid's head to his lap. All it did was loll loosely to the side like a rag doll. His eyes remained closed.

Sephiroth smacked his cheek. Probably not the best thing to do, considering the situation, but he didn't know what else to do. With no reaction, he slapped the other cheek as hard as he could. All that happened was that the boy now had two vivid red blotches on his face.

Then a small hand snaked out and got a fistful of Sephiroth's shoulder, pulling him down a bit. Two blue eyes were open halfway, and a pained sort of smile was on the boy's face.

"Hey," he rasped. "You…can hit a bit harder. Not…glass."

Sephiroth stared at him a long moment, before giving a short, relieved bark of a laugh. The kid had been hit by lightning, was possibly delusional, was out in the middle of a storm, and he was joking. Sephiroth carefully positioned him again, trying to lift his shoulders onto his lap too, but then he stopped when a look of agony crossed the kid's face.

"What's wrong?"

"My back feels like it's on fire." A small laugh. "At least my brain wasn't fried this time."

Sephiroth had almost completely transferred the boy to his lap-in a completely concerned way, of course-but froze and looked down at him. "This time?"

The boy gave a tight grin. "Cloud Strife, pleased to meet you. This is my fourth time being struck by lightning. I'd shake your hand, but I can't really move right now, so I'm sorry for that."

._._._.

As if all the weird things that had happened that evening weren't enough, a kid who was completely unfazed by being struck by lightning-four times, to say the least-really was the end of it. Especially by the fact that Cloud was now taking the time to explain it all to him, while obviously in a lot of pain.

"Guys get hit by lightning more than girls, anyway," Cloud explained. He seemed completely fine with lying on Sephiroth's lap-he hadn't protested yet, anyway. Sephiroth was hyper aware of it, though he hurriedly scolded himself. Cloud just couldn't move, was the thing-that was all.

"I first got struck when I was twelve," Cloud continued. He tried to move carefully, but ended up wincing. "It was on my birthday, and it was horrible. I was out playing soccer with one of my friends nearby here, and it went in through my shoulder and all the way down to my toes. The only reason that I didn't die was because I was wearing my rubber soled sneakers."

Curiously, Sephiroth looked at Cloud's feet. Both of his sneakers were blackened and torn, and he winced in sympathy.

"I don't leave home without rubber soled shoes anymore," Cloud said with a weak chuckle. "After that, I got a strike every year for four years, and I've survived every single time. Some people say you're supposed to get special powers or something after the lightning goes through your brain." He laughed. "My mum just thinks I got my brain fried, because I'm such a clown."

"So…why were you out tonight in a thunderstorm, if you knew you get hit?"

Cloud's smile faded, and he looked off to the side. "I was running away from home."

"Oh."

Sephiroth didn't pry, and Cloud didn't volunteer anymore information.

"I need to get you to a hospital," Sephiroth decided, gently rearranging Cloud as he slid his hands underneath him. He'd forgotten about his ankle, though, and the moment he put all of his AND Cloud's weight on it, it crumpled right from under him. Cloud landed with a sharp grunt of pain, Sephiroth on top of him yet again.

"Hey, I haven't been killed by lightning," Cloud said once he had his breath back,
"But I'm pretty sure you're going to be the death of me!"

Sephiroth, despite himself, grinned.

A moment later, Sephiroth was hobbling along, half carrying and half dragging Cloud in the direction of Angeal and Zack's place. He hadn't been driving for too long, but he'd forgotten how a car could make a long journey by foot seem a whole lot shorter.

"So," he grunted, shifting Cloud's weight. For a little guy, he sure was heavy. "Why were you running away from home?" It seemed the best time to make conversation, and plus, he couldn't remember the proper procedure for someone who had just been injured. Cloud wasn't supposed to go to sleep, right? Or was that just with someone who had banged their head?

Cloud hummed uncomfortably, squirming as he tried to alleviate the pain. "My mum and I had an argument. She worries about me a bit too much. I was planning to move to the city for school-you know, I don't really like the city, but I want to DO something with myself. But she's always so scared about me. She's like, 'Oh no, the city's FULL of metal. Maybe next time, if it happens in the city, rubber soled sneakers won't be enough!'" Cloud sighed. "If I'm always scared about being hit again, I'm not going to be able to do anything. I can't live life in a house, you know? So we started screaming at each other, and I finally just ran outside. I wanted to show her that I wouldn't necessarily get hit again, you know? But now look what happened."

Sephiroth grumbled thoughtfully, shifting Cloud yet again. "Your mother worries about you, and that's fine, but I know how you feel. But running out in the middle of a thunderstorm to show her up is not only completely irresponsible, but also just plain friggin' idiotic."

"I am idiotic," Cloud pointed out with a grin, hissing as Sephiroth tightened his grip a little.

Sephiroth tilted his head to smile at him. "I know. I know, and I think that's cute."

"Oh" was all Cloud said, and he turned his head to look over the field. If the lighting weren't so bad, Sephiroth could've sworn he was blushing.

While his head was turned, Sephiroth wasn't looking where he was going, and with a start, realized that his good foot was over air. With a mutual yelp, they both went tumbling down an incline.

"That was idiotic!" Cloud snapped when they'd finally come to a stop. "Are you trying to get rid of me?"

"I frickin' tripped," Sephiroth growled back. "It's not my fault I couldn't see ahead of me."

"Oh yeah? Then what were you looking at?"

Sephiroth looked down at Cloud's face, smiling and obviously playing. In a flash of lightning, he almost looked angelic.

"You," he breathed, and then before he could even think about what he was doing, he leaned down and pressed his lips to Cloud's.

He could feel by the way Cloud's lips slightly drew back that that hadn't been what he was expecting, but he pressed forward anyway. He was sweet-innocent-but slightly underneath that, he could taste something like smoke or singe-something burnt. It was absolutely intoxicating, and Sephiroth lifted the arm he still had under him, trying to pull him closer to get more. Unfortunately, he'd forgotten about the reasons that he was carting Cloud along in the first place, and when Cloud let out a squeak of pain, he quickly backed away with a murmured apology.

Cloud's face was flushed as he stared up at him, eyes unreadable. Then he gave a nervous smile, and Sephiroth completely melted, pressing his lips to Cloud's yet again.

After another moment and another protest of pain, Sephiroth backed off completely, tracing one finger over Cloud's cheek softly. "You could come with me," he blurted out suddenly. "I live in the city. You could stay with me and everything-I have a separate guest room, and I could proof my apartment, get one of Ben Franklin's frickin' lightning sticks or something…"

Cloud laughed out, turning his face into Sephiroth's touch. "Stay with you? I don't even know your name!"

That jolted Sephiroth, and he dropped his hand. "I never told you?"

"Nope," Cloud confirmed. "I told you mine, but you never told me yours. All I know is that you're a guy who saw my fourth lightning strike, and you've tried to kill me a couple of times, and that you kissed me." Cloud smiled at him, soft and sweet.

"Darn," Sephiroth mumbled. "I'm sorry, I…didn't mean it like that, or anything…"

Cloud laughed again, reaching out gingerly and touching Sephiroth's hand. "Hey…I didn't say that I minded."

Sephiroth looked down at him again, and very slowly smiled back at him. "My name is Sephiroth. You hardly even know me. I fell in something sort of like love when I saw you get hit by lightning, because I'm a freak and thought you were beautiful. I'm also a creep who just invited you to stay with him. And I'm hoping that you'll say yes."

Cloud smiled.

._._._.

When they finally reached Zack's house, it was to the sight of Zack and Angeal sitting together peaceably on the porch. Zack, of course, jumped up immediately and ran to see them, while Angeal just stood a little to the side, trying not to look like a mother hen and failing miserably.

"Cloud? What are you doing with him?" Zack's eyes darted suspiciously over to Sephiroth. "And where's your car, Seph?"

Sephiroth grunted. "The short story is that I'm hurt, he's hurt, and you need to call a doctor, quickly."

After a couple of moments and hurried phone calls, Sephiroth and Cloud sat out together on the porch. Sephiroth held the phone next to Cloud's ear for him, and Cloud was quietly talking with whoever was on the other end.

"She's crying," Cloud said, crestfallen. "Mum's crying, again, I could hear it. She does so much for me and I made her cry again."

Sephiroth gently brushed his hair back, his fingers lingering a little. It was apparently better than saying anything, because with a wheeze of pain, Cloud shifted so he could lean against Sephiroth's side.

After a moment, Cloud smacked his lips, his eyes nervously darting up. "S…Sephiroth?"

"Hm?" Sephiroth responded absently.

"I might need some time," Cloud said softly. "To think about coming with you, I mean. I mean, I don't know you well and everything…and I'd like to get to know you. A little bit more, I mean. Is…is that okay?"

Sephiroth hummed, looking out over the yard. A crack of lightning split the sky in the distance, and he stared at it thoughtfully.

"It's okay with me," he said finally. "I'm willing to wait." He smiled down at Cloud. "If you want, I'll wait for it. And I'll get to know you better, too."

Cloud didn't say anything, but his face was pink again, and he huddled closer to Sephiroth.

Sephiroth eased his arm over his shoulders, resuming staring out across the yard and at the road, where he could see the distant flashing lights of the ambulance.

Maybe some thought rain brought showers of blessings. For Sephiroth, though, as he nudged Cloud, lightning was the thing that had brought the biggest blessing of all.

fin.

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REVIEW, PLEASE! :)

A/N: I totally LOVED this idea, but I really feel like I botched it up. But, well…I wrote this in only an hour or so. It was for Taming the Muse weekly writing prompt community on LJ; prompts are rarely commented on, but I love writing something different weekly. :)

All right, the facts. If Cloud actually had gotten hit by lightning, he'd be in a heckuva lotta pain and in no condition to joke and kiss Sephiroth. One man said that he had trouble even thinking, and suffered brain damage. On the other hand, there was another man who was struck several times throughout his life. This is who Cloud is based after. Even though lightning strikes are rare, the statistics say that men are struck more than women. If you are in a car and it gets struck by lightning, you will be safe as long as you don't touch anything metal or electric. There's a really awesome video of a storm chaser who actually (accidentally) recorded his car being hit by lightning. It's cool, but scary.

So, anyway, thanks for reading, and sorry that you had to read it! xD Hope you guys have an awesome week of scattered thunderstorms, and please…DON'T GET HIT BY LIGHTNING.