Summary: A newbie at Avalanche Delivery Services, Cloud expected to suffer through many things. The lecherous, obsessive customers of Floor 42 weren't one of them. AGSCZ
Chapter Three: Bachelor(s) Pad
The Goddess had cursed Cloud from the very moment he was conceived.
He was sure of it.
For circumstances never revealed, Cloud Strife was born a premature five weeks early and this unfortunate circumstance has haunted him all his life. He was a tiny baby, a tiny kid, a tiny tween, a tiny teen. It wasn't until he hit his twenty-first birthday that Cloud could be considered a decent size. Sure, he was still relatively short for his age but after many years of self-esteem issues and being dragged to the gym by a one-armed, burly black man, Cloud had toughened up.
He was sure of it.
But somehow, all of those push-ups, bicep curls, sprinted miles, and racial slurs spat by a one-armed, burly black man seemed entirely inconsequential as the blond gaped wide-eyed at the two men looming over him.
The Goddess was one fucked-up bitch.
"Who the hell is this, Angeal?"
"Be nice, Genesis."
"Be nice, don't tell me to be nice you lumbering buffoon! Now answer my question: what the hell is this brat doing here?"
"That wasn't your question, though."
"I will kill you."
"Then you wouldn't have your question answered."
"You little—Fine, answer my question…then I shall kill you."
At the particular moment, Cloud really wished that some kind soul would put him out of his misery. He felt ready to heave his guts through his esophagus and strangle his wretched self with the loop of his small intestine. His head hurt, his heart hurt, his soul had long been discarded to some far corner of the cosmos. Why, why, why did this have to happen to him? What could he have possibly done to deserve this?
He'd been a good boy, he swore. Sure, there was that time he purple-nurpled his huge breasted best friend, but he was drunk! Besides, that was an accident—a big, terrible, terrible, accident that landed him in the ER with a three broken fingers and a punctured lung. But that's beside the point! Cloud Strife lived his life in all simple goodness. So what if there were times where he messed up and crossed some lines that should never have been crossed (purple nurple), for the most part, he lived civilly and was most gracious for what was given to him. No matter what sins he may have committed in the past, Cloud was certain that none of it deserved this.
Though, in all honesty, Cloud wasn't even sure what this was or how this had happened. All he knew was that this made him mighty, mighty uncomfortable.
Through big, bright, blue eyes Cloud watched the two men above him squabble—or rather one was squabbling like a chicken with Ebola while the other simply watched him foam at the mouth, obviously amused. Cloud decided the Ebola chicken, or Genesis, as Angeal called him, was the biggest diva he'd ever lay eyes on. With some horrid mix between mirth, annoyance, and utmost terror, Cloud gaped as the red-haired man brought it upon himself to assault the black-haired one with a frying pan and genuine bloodlust. The blonde only continued to gawk as Angeal deflected the flying pan with one hand as if he were used to such raging attempts at his life and Genesis went flying across the room—cooking ware and Ebola and everything.
What the hell was wrong with these people?
Cloud's stomach lurched viciously when Angeal's darker blue eyes turned to him. Good lord, he was smiling at him. That had to mean either death by suffocation or heated man-rape. Or both.
"Sorry about that Cloud. Now let's get to treating that ankle of yours, shall we?"
"You know, I actually am feeling much better," Cloud rambled, desperate to get away. Fuck, if he was going to stay in this godforsaken place with these man-raping homicidal lunatics for another minute. "In fact I feel just jolly, good peachy fine. So I'll just get up and go and—"
The blond was swinging his legs off the couch and about to stand but stopped instantly as a broad hand gripped his shoulder. Gulping, the smaller man looked up that hand, up the forearm, up the bulging biceps, and into Angeal's ever-smiling eyes that hid a menacing somberness that quite frankly, scared Cloud shitless.
Cloud swung his legs back on to the couch, cross his arms stiffly across his chest, and laid back on that couch, ready to accept whatever hell the Goddess deemed necessary to thrust upon him. If this gorgeous leather couch was to be his deathbed, then so be it. At twenty-three years old, Cloud Strife had given up on life.
"Good," Angeal's intimidating arm removed itself from Cloud's shoulder and the large man looked around the room. "Genesis, be nice and keep Cloud company while I go get some ointment and ice for his ankle."
"Again with your damned preaching, Angeal! Don't think that just because you're some oversized primate that you can order me around. Do you not know who I am? I am Genesis Rhapsodos and I—"
"Genesis." Cloud trembled at the sudden menace that came from Angeal's usually quaint voice. "Be nice, unless you want a repeat of last night."
Last night? Last night? Last night? What the fuck happened last night? Cloud's eyes frantically looked between the two men, mind racing a thousand miles a minute. Someone tell him what the fuck happened last night! The delivery boy's anxiety only escalated detrimentally as the Genesis the raving, proud, Ebola chicken diva waddled towards him in defeat and—oh Goddess, was he blushing? Someone tell him what the hell happened last night! Please!
Cloud jerked vehemently as Genesis, still muttering beneath his breath, settled on the floor next to where his head lay against the armrest. Angeal had long disappeared to lord knows where.
After a good few seconds of, no doubt, casting curses, Genesis suddenly looked up into Cloud's eyes, throwing the blonde into a twitching fit.
"Cloud, is it?" Goddess, why was the man always sneering?
"Nghumm." Cloud had tried to say yes, but all he could manage was a strangled, gurgling noise. But Genesis seemed to get the message—that or he just liked to hear himself talk.
"And you what? Strained your ankle on the stairs? What kind of incompetent moron are you to have accomplished such a pathetic feat? Now you're here in my apartment, in my living room, taking up my time, breathing my air. What a nuisance."
Well, Cloud thought wryly, someone's full of himself.
But Cloud didn't mind so much. He merely watched doe-eyed as the red-haired man continued to rant nonsensically. Cloud was simply glad that the man seemed so enamored by his own voice to almost ignore Cloud's existence altogether.
The ill-fated delivery boy took this time to tune out the male diva as much as possible, straighten himself a little on the couch, and look around the apartment in which he was currently being held prisoner. As Genesis had so kindly pointed out, they were situated in the living room. The couch where Cloud lay forlorn was across from a huge flat-screen TV that devoured the opposite wall. There was a floor-to-ceiling window covered by navy blue curtains, a glass coffee table, and dark gray carpeting. If he angled his head just right, Cloud could make out the alcove behind him where Angeal had disappeared into—that must have been the kitchen—and a long, dark hallway where he could see a row of closed doors. And, alas! To the right of that enormous HDTV, which Cloud knew he could never afford, was the front door: his one hope of freedom and retaining his anal virginity.
Cloud gazed longingly at the door, dreaming that by sheer mental energy and puppy dog eyes, it would swing open and he'd be long-gone from this wretched hell of a bachelor pad.
While concocting fantastical modes of his heroic escape, however, Cloud was suddenly dragged back to his dire situation when his ears caught words from Genesis's spewing mouth.
"—I mean look at you. You're nothing but a scrawny brat from some hick-town, no doubt. I honest don't see what Zack sees in you. Sure, your eyes are rather pretty and your freckles might be considered adorable but—"
Zack? Zack…where had Cloud heard that name before?
Oh. That Zack—the Zack Fair who ogled him and leered at him and molested him and had brought upon him this wretched, cruel fate. Zack, how Cloud loathed him.
"I don't understand why Zack would need anybody else anyway. I mean if he wants pretty eyes and gorgeous hair he already has Sephiroth, doesn't he? Besides, it's not like you could possibly compare to Sephiroth in any sort of way. Though you do look like you'd be considerably more submissive than that green-eyed bastard. I wonder what kind of delicious sounds you would—"
Oh. That Sephiroth—the Sephiroth who looked down at him from the corner of his eyes like he was some insignificant insect and humiliated him as easy as breathing and had instilled into Cloud a deadly fear of elevators. Sephiroth, how Cloud loathed him.
Cloud was busy fermenting in his rage when Angeal finally returned to the living room, ice pack in one hand, suspicious tube of something in the other.
"Sorry that took so long," he said. "I couldn't find the rubbing ointment among all the lubric—stuff."
Luckily, however, Angeal had no reason to worry about his little verbal slip-up because obviously, no one was paying attention to him. Genesis, as usual, was rambling madly to himself and Cloud, the poor boy, was eyeing the front door intensely, blues eyes bulging and glazed over.
Cloud only jolted out of his fantasies of choking Zack Fair with the heel of his boot and strangling Sephiroth with his own hair before feeding their mangled bodies to rabid chocobos and then presenting the ensuing excrement as fertilzer to that cute flower girl down the road when Angeal kneeled next to the couch, on the end where his feet lay.
"What are you doing!" Cloud yelped when Angeal began tugging on one of his boots.
The older man eyed him quizzically. "I'm taking off your shoes so I can take care of your sprained ankle."
Many thoughts ran through Cloud's head—the most unimportant flashed across his mind in glaringly neon-cerulean: What if his feet smelled? How humiliating would that be?
"Ahaha. You know, it really is not that bad. Resting here has been more than enough."
"Oh? Laying here for ten minutes has been enough to complete heal the sprained ankle that had you whimpering in agony? I find that rather hard to believe—unless your ankle is not, in fact, sprained. Which would mean you lied to me and betrayed my trust and good-will. Which would make me very, very upset. And who knows what I'd do if I were upset. Right, Genesis?"
The blonde snapped his head to look at the aforementioned man and watched in horror as the red-haired man nodded solemnly.
"Good." Angeal smiled. "Now be a good boy and let me take care of this exasperating ankle of yours."
If before Cloud had given up on life, now he'd forsaken his existence entirely. Damn if the Goddess enjoyed watching him squirm, damn if Genesis wouldn't shut the hell up, damn if Angeal had some hell-bent martyr syndrome. If Cloud Strife was damned to a life of sexy, frightening, looming men and twenty-four hours of embarrassment, he'd take it.
Vaguely, Cloud registered Angeal tugging off his boots and slipping off his shoes, rolling up his pants, and massaging his supposedly devastated ankle. There was a warm tingle and Cloud had to admit that Angeal's large calloused hands felt rather nice. The warmth quickly subsided and was replaced with a stinging coldness as Angeal placed the icepack. The sudden drastic change made Cloud hiss and groan.
It took a good number of seconds for Cloud to stop glaring and moaning at the freezing icepack on his ankle to realize that Genesis was, for the lack of a better word, leering at him. It reminded him of the one time he'd gone to the Midgar Zoo for his tenth birthday. Cloud had been standing at the Behemoth exhibit, watching Cupcake, the zoo's famed fifteen-year-old behemoth. A chocobo had somehow escaped its pen that day and had found its way into Cupcake's den. It was all so exciting! As a boy, he watched Cupcake circle around the chocobo, looking at it the way Genesis was now looking at him. Cupcake had watched the chocobo, even jabbed out its hand to play with it—how cute, they're playing, Cloud had thought—until Cupcake ate the chocobo. Ate it. Ate it. Ate it. Like a hamburger. Or apple pie. Or something really yummy tasting and chewy. Yeah.
Cloud looked at Genesis from the corner of his eye—the man was still giving him that all-too-familiar look with the narrowed eyes, the smirking lips.
Oh, Cloud realized, he's a cannibal.
The blonde felt his gut rise into his already parched throat and frantically looked at Angeal for help. But to his horror, the black-haired man was also giving him the same look, although somewhat more subdued than Genesis.
Oh fuck, Cloud realized, they're all cannibals.
It had all been a ploy, all of it! Cloud was certain now. Every instant, every moment, it had all been planned from the very beginning. Zack Fair would lure Cloud to the apartment under the guise of a customer, Sephiroth would humiliate him to extreme extents which would force him use the stairs and then they knew that Cloud would be so exhausted from climbing tens of flights of stairs that he would spill water on himself and be embarrassed and then Angeal would appear and Cloud would pretend to have a sprained ankle to avoid embarrassment and then he'd lug Cloud to his apartment and then they'd distract him by having Genesis never shut up and then and then and then…they'd eat him.
How foolish he'd been!
And now, now he was trapped, trapped like a mouse, trapped like a fly to honey, trapped like a thong between a one-armed, burly, black man's asscheeks. It was over; his pitiful twenty-three year old life was over.
As the men continued to stare at him, Cloud forlornly tossed himself into the abyss of his groveling mind.
First they would nibble on his unveiled toes for an appetizer and then gnaw on his calves as an entrée. They'd fry his nails and rub him over in grease and oil, paying particular attention to his buttcheeks, before impaling him on a metal pipe and roasting him over a low fire until he was nice and tender and juicy and medium rare. They'd eat as much of him as they could on the first night and then cut up the rest of him and stick him in plastic Tupperware and into the freezer. On Friday nights, their designated leftovers day, they would take him out and fry him on a warm skillet and make delicious Cloud sandwiches for dinner. Some mayo, a piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato, maybe some mustard or thousand island if they were feeling exotic.
Oh woe, he mourned, oh woe is Cloud Strife.
Unbeknownst to him, Cloud's mental analysis of his impending demise took up several minutes. When he finally returned to his cruel reality, the ice was gone and Angeal's hands were on him again, wrapping a bandage around the damned ankle that got him here in the first place.
The blonde truly wished that these men would simply throw the charades and get it over with. The fear and anticipation were making him feel sicker than he already did.
"Alright, Cloud." Angeal finished tying the bandage and sat on his heels. "That should do it, just some more rest and you should be good to go."
"Stop it." Cloud growled.
"I said stop it, I know what you are! What you all are! Don't think you can fool me."
Angeal gave him a puzzled look, exchanged glances with Genesis who shrugged nonchalantly and then returned his gaze back to Cloud. "You know…what we are?"
"Yeah, that's right." Cloud tried his best to sound imposing. "I know."
"And what, exactly, are we?"
"You're—you're," Cloud attempted to steel himself. "You're man-eaters."
Cloud only continued to glare defiantly as they burst out laughing: Angeal chuckled softly to himself and Genesis threw his head back and guffawed. Their laughing fit lasted for a while before finally subsiding.
Genesis snorted. "I guess that's one way of putting it."
"I know, so enough of this buttering me up already." Cloud's voice strained, he was close to sobbing hysterics—but tried to sound confident. "Just do it already. Stop playing games with me and get it over with."
Suddenly the smile was gone from both Genesis and Angeal's faces. They were both staring intently at him and Cloud began to doubt whether putting on a brave front was a good idea after all.
"You sure about that, brat?" For some reason Genesis' voice had deepened, his voice a breathy whisper that sent chills down Cloud's spine.
Angeal's voice was similarly hushed, but not as unsettling. "Genesis, no."
"You heard him, Angeal. The boy wants it."
"No, Genesis, he—"
But Angeal's voice was lost on Cloud's ears when he abruptly felt hands gripping his hair tightly and a pair of lips forcing themselves onto his own. The blonde gasped at the sudden impact and all of a sudden, a tongue was pushing its way into his mouth.
Oh damn, Cloud mentally screamed, I was wrong! I was so wrong—he's going to eat my tongue first!
Cloud wheezed for air when Genesis finally released him, lack of air making his eyes water and cheeks flush. One of Genesis' hands was still gripping his hair and the man was now on his knees, staring down at Cloud in some way the blond couldn't comprehend. Angeal was also staring at him but did not move. Instead, the large man seemed to stiffen, his hands fisted in his lap so tightly that he was trembling all over.
"Goddess," Genesis murmured over him, warm breath gliding over Cloud's swollen lips. "You're delicious."
Cloud only stared up at him, wide-eyed and frightened out of his wits.
Genesis raised his other hand that wasn't tangled in his Cloud's hair and pressed his thumb against the poor boy's wet, red lips. "I could just eat. You. Up."
Cloud was sure he just peed himself a little.
Certainly, certainly, things couldn't' get worse than this.
But hell, was he wrong.
A sudden click echoed throughout the apartment's heavy silence.
Agonizing horror numbed Cloud's mind as the front door suddenly swung open to reveal the two masterminds who started all this in the first place.
Well, a chapter three…wow. That's an amazing feat for me. Like, seriously, seriously amazing. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Feedback is much appreciated and encouraging.
Hell, my laptop broke the other day and I lost a lot of work for my other stories so encouragement is really much needed. But hopefully this update streak will continue.
Thanks for reading,