I am so sorry, this was meant to be out last weekend, but I went to my sister's place and stayed the night there and stuff happened…
Also, a lot of people seem to be asking me about Clouds father and whether or not he's going to show up at some point… Let's go with maybe. Insert evil laughter here.
Disclaimer: I don't own FFVII nor its characters. I also don't own the ideas taken from Love Monster.
Rufus honestly didn't know what to expect when Zack dragged him out of his apartment, down the elevator, and into one of the training rooms where a familiar blond cadet was sitting on the floor with six swords sitting in front of him. Cloud almost immediately looked up with a smile when Zack burst into the room, but seemed to pale at the sight of Rufus. "Vice president Shinra sir!" The Halfling stood up and saluted him. Rufus smirked a little. At least he knew that he had this kind of effect on people despite the fact that he was being dragged around by Zack.
"At ease cadet." He finally managed to yank his arm out of Zack's grip. "I'm only here to observe and make sure that Zack doesn't do anything stupid."
"And because I didn't want him to just sit in his apartment brooding all day." Zack added.
The spider glared at him for a moment before turning his attention back on Cloud. "What's with the swords?"
"They're Spikey's. I'm going to train him on some sword basics first before working on some hand to hand later on."
Rufus raised an eyebrow. "You sure that's a good idea? Wouldn't it be better if you focused on hand to hand first and get him competent enough to defend himself before you let him swing those things around?"
"Angeal said that he was going to come later to gauge Cloud's abilities. See what he's doing wrong first before he tells me how I can train him properly in that area, since I'm apparently good enough to know what I myself am doing wrong, but I'm not good enough to be able to tell what someone else is doing wrong."
Rufus shook his head. "And yet Sephiroth allowed you to become his mentor. I'll admit you're good at beating up other people, but training someone else to do the same thing is an entirely different story."
Zack sighed before he pointed in the direction of the observatory box above the training area. "Seph's up there."
"I knew there was a catch… So, beside your idiotic excuse of wanting to get me out of my apartment. What's the point of me being here if the general's supervising you?"
Zack seemed to think over Rufus' words for a few moments. "Moral support?"
Rufus just sighed at Zack's meek reply. "Whatever Zachary. Let's just get this over and done with."
Zack grinned and picked up one of Cloud's smaller swords before handing it over to the Cadet. "Alright Spikey. We'll start with how you hold a sword first. We'll change when you can dual wield, but that won't be for a while…"
Rufus took a seat a little away from the two and watched as the cadet fumbled around in an attempt to follow Zack's instructions. About an hour of watching later Rufus could feel his mind drifting off and his thoughts went to his situation with Tseng. The two hadn't talked that much since that argument they had in Tseng's office. Of course, the Turk had messaged him about the situation with Reno. The newest Turk was now living with Rude, but that hadn't changed anything between them. Rufus only left his apartment for work or to take dark nation for a walk. The only interaction he had with the fox were awkward meetings where even Scarlet knew it wasn't a good idea to piss either of them off.
The sound of a door opening jumped Rufus out of his thoughts and he lifted his hand in greeting as Angeal walked in. Angeal nodded his head in return as he made his way over to Zack and Cloud. The cadet seemed to freeze at the sight of the SOLDIER, but relaxed a little with a little coaxing from Zack and the three started on their hand to hand training.
About another half an hour later the doors opened again and Tseng stepped into the training room. Rufus' body tensed as the leader of the Turks approached him.
"We need to talk."
"I thought we already did enough talking last time."
Tseng ran a hand through his hair, sighing in a somewhat exasperated fashion. "How many times are we going to go through this?"
The three on the other side of the training room seemed to have stopped to watch their conversation and Zack had moved over to cover Cloud's ears.
"You've been ignoring me. Only seeing me in situations where you know we can't talk and by the time I go searching for you after, you're already in your apartment with your pet watching the door. Really, what do you think you're going to accomplish by doing this all over again?"
"At least it makes me feel better. Just looking at you now is pissing me off. Don't tell me that you're the reason that Zack got me out of my apartment." Rufus turned his glare over to the wolf, who smiled back sheepishly, seemingly hearing what he was saying despite the distance. Rufus made a mental note to murder his best friend later.
"The only reason I had to resort to that was because you're acting like a child and not facing up to our problems like we're supposed to in a relationship."
"Excuse me, but I'm not the one with the problem. You're the one that's chasing after someone else while you're meant to be with me."
Tseng glanced over to where the other three were watching them before grabbing Rufus by the arm.
"What do you think you're doing" Let me go Tseng!" It seemed that today was just one of those days where everyone thought it was a good idea to drag him around everywhere.
"I'm not about to discuss this here." Without another word, he dragged Rufus out of the training room.
Over on the other side of the room, Zack pulled his hands away from Cloud's ears, while the cadet just looked at him confused. "What was that all about? And why did you block my ears?"
"Err…" Zack scratched the back of his head awkwardly.
"That's probably something you don't want to hear about." Angeal cut in. "Let's just say that Rufus and Tseng aren't on the best of terms right now and we'll leave it at that."