QE: I apologise now for it being depressing. It includes ideas of mental illness, abandonment, emotional trauma and severe mutilation of the canon time line. Includes gay and straight relationships.
E.S.P:She's had this idea for four months and it wouldn't leave her.
QE:Yeah and unlike the rest of my recent stories I haven't finished the story yet so its subject to change.
Evestar:She owns nothing. Not even a chocobo.
QE: I want a chocobo.
Evestar: You also want a Genesis plushie.
He didn't know where it began but deep down he didn't care. They were content sneaking around in secret. He couldn't break they little arrangement. He only asked that they didn't leave him behind. His boyfriend and his best friend. He couldn't say that he knows and they would try and apologise and their happy little ending would turn sad. So he smiled and quoted. Played the role of boyfriend and best friend and tried not to feel alone and unwanted like he had his whole life and they unknowingly would dance around him further and further away until they were no longer in sight. Yet he was happy with this because he knew no difference. Always the different one, the fragile one, the annoying one but never the one that needed a shoulder or comfort.
They would never carry the bruises that he carries with him forever.
The table in front of him slammed. If anyone was around they would have looked.
"Fuck both of them." He looked slightly confused at his best friend's puppy. He never swore. "Do you know what your boyfriend and my mentor are doing right now in your office?"
"Damn his so called honour...wait what?" Puppy pause mid rant and tilted his head in the dog like way looking so confused. "You know?"
"I've always known." He sighed getting up and walking away. This was the last conversation he ever wanted. "And you never told me. Blackmail them as much as you want. I don't care that much." He walked towards the training rooms. He just needed to be alone.
He was aware the Puppy was following him and walked in after him. "Gen you deserve better than that." He would never know why the Puppy sounded so hurt.
"No I don't" He just stared at the Puppy unsure of what to do and it scared him.
"You can go on pretending it doesn't hurt you because I know if it didn't I was be ash right now." He could argue but he hadn't any energy to summon a fireball. "Why do you think you deserve it?"
He opened his mouth only to close it again and turn away. He had done talking to the Puppy.
"Gen please. I want to help."
"Everything is fine as it is." He sat in the corner and started reading LOVELESS.
Meet some cute girls Kunsel said. They like army guys Kunsel said. Cloud now knew why Zack told him to keep away from the pervert. He sighed and got dressed out of the pink fairy costume. He had a lot of papers to deliver to the most terrifying person in Shinra because he blacked out during training. If they hadn't made him do night duties every night for the last week he wouldn't have.
He tied the green scarf on that was required all weathers even stinking hot and picked up the huge pile of papers to be signed. He feared for his life but it was now or never. He even had a key card thanks to Zack, and directions thanks to Kunsel, the pervert. Although he couldn't complain no one would recognise him in those pictures, he wore a wig and mask and the money went to either his mother or towards books and clothes.
He sighed trying to manage the files and open Kunsel's door.
He flattened himself against the wall as Zack walked by pissed. It was not his place to say anything. He groaned in his head as the large pile of files started to attempt an escape from his arms. Now the attempt at closing the god damn door. He silently cursed Kunsel and walked down the corridor leaving the door wide open because A it was his fault he abandoned a cadet and B he would probably going to die if any of the rumours about him were true.
It beat being beaten up by his peers who have taken to bullying him. Not that any of the officers cared. If it wasn't for Zack and unfortunately Kunsel he didn't think he was going to be here and prove everyone right when he returned to Nibelheim.
Maybe if he was paying attention and not looking behind him in case some tried to trip him, again, he wouldn't have fallen flat on his ass and files flying everywhere when he walked into something solid. "Sorry." He said frantically piling all the files back together.
"It's ok." The deep voice asked. "Do you need help?"
He shook his head refusing to look at the guy. He was stressed out as it was. Exams which he had no idea about the theories, training which he was struggling to keep up and he was in punishment everyday meaning he wasn't able to catch up. If he looked at the guy he knew he would burst out crying.
Red gloved hands took the file he was about to grab.
"You have no choice cadet." He could tell the person was smiling at him through his voice.
"Thank you." He looked up and smiled. The guy was pretty with auburn hair and ocean blue eyes that stood out so beautifully against his pale skin and he was wearing a first class uniform with a red leather coat. 'What was the rule about someone in a red coat again?' He asked himself. He couldn't help but notice the guy looked a little sad. He so wasn't going to tell Zack his previous tough patterns about this guy. It was bad enough when he mentioned the general to him.
"Where to?" He asked holding the files up.
"Commander Rhapsodos." He huffed. "I'm being punished for falling asleep."
"Oh really." There was a bit of humour in the guy's voice.
Cloud nodded. "All the cadets are scared of him. Stories are told to keep us in line." He gave the guy a shy smile. "You don't have to help me." He said as they got to the god damn lifts.
"It's doesn't matter I'm heading that way. Zack collared me."
"I feel for you. He does that to me to."
They both shared a laugh.
"Do you know him?" Cloud asked after a while of silence.
"A little." There was a hint of humour in his voice.
"I'm just scared he's going to burn me for the amount of paper work." He couldn't stop himself from sounding sincerely scared.
The guy's voice softened. "I'm sure he wouldn't. He only fira dumbarses and idiots."
"But I am an Idiot." He had no idea why he was being open, maybe because this guy had been so nice to him and people who were kind to him were far and few between. Even Reno was underhandedly mean to him and Kunsel well he had the photos to prove it.
"I'm too stupid to pass the exam. I'm going to get kicked out for sure." He sighed and tried to hold back the tears. "If I can't do this then I can never become a SOLIDER."
They walked down the monotonous corridor in silence.
"Are you being mentored?"
"Zack's trying to get me in." He said quietly. Zack was determined to help him and he was so useless it made him feel bad for all the enough Zack was putting in was going to waste.
His companion nodded and they stopped outside a simple door. There was no marking to indicate it was the entrance to hell.
His companion beat him into opening the door. "He's not in right now so you just leave them on the desk."
Cloud nodded and placed them on the desk next to the really old looking computer.
It was sad how empty the room really was. It was simple and plain in colours and there was no life. A brown desk and office chair stood parallel to the window. There was a door to one side, a red sofa opposite it and a wardrobe hid the door but only just.
"Thanks. I'll get out of your hair." Cloud smiled at him before freezing. In the doorway stood the General in all his glory, his silver hair casted out the hallway light making him glow and Cloud stood there bricking himself. He knew something was going to go wrong.
"Can you meet me in the briefing room Genesis?" He asked his auburn hair companion.
Cloud started freaking out. His entire time he was with Commander Rhapsodos and he heard everything he had said about him. Oh crap he was dead.
"You had to go and ruin all my fun." He laughed. "The cadet didn't know who I was."
Cloud wished the ground opened up underneath him and swallow him whole or just enough to kill him.
Sephiroth just blinked at him.
"Yes about what time?"
"Meeting is about one." The General turned around and walked away.
Cloud tried edging his way to the door.
"I'm not going to fira you stop stressing." Genesis laughed. "Zack would kill me anyway."
"That really doesn't fill me with hope." Cloud said before gulping and closing his eyes. "Just make it quick."
He didn't know when he had crossed the room but he flicked his forehead. "Like I said I'm not going to fira you."
"Why not?" He asked concerned. He had bad mouthed the guy right? And to his face.
"My friend the fates are cruel; here are no dreams, no honour remains."
"Yeah LOVELESS is all well and good but that doesn't answer my question." Cloud really wished he had kept his mouth shut.
He flinched when his companion laughed then relaxed it was such a nice sound he couldn't help but smile. "It's been a while since someone had a go at me for that. People just except it and leave me too it." His features softened. "I take it they won't expect you back and you look like you need to sleep." Before he could argue the commander continued. "You can rest here I'll be in a meeting in half an hour and Zack would truly kill me if I let you go off on your own."
Cloud nodded unsure what to do.
"See you later Chocobo." He smiled before vanishing out the office door.
"IT'S CLOUD STRIFE." Cloud yelled after him.
"Whatever Chocobo." He heard the voice laugh.
"Bastard." Cloud mumbled and started to freak out again. What the hell was he to do? He pulled out the phone Reno had unknowingly lent him and phoned Zack. If anyone knew how to get out of this situation it would be him.
Zack stared at Kunsel who until a minute ago was laughing. He really wasn't in a good mood and Kunsel was starting to freak out.
"Erm Zack what's wrong?" Kunsel asked worried.
"Nothing." Zack spat while barely containing his emotions. He believed ever word his mentor had ever told him and in matter of seconds his whole crashed when he walked into Genesis office to collect papers.
"Do you want to be left alone?" Kunsel asked generally concerned and Zack couldn't blame him. He couldn't remember the last time he got this pissed off.
He nodded and the moment his friend left the door he punched the wall before shaking his hand and glaring at the new dent like it was the reason for all his anger. In truth he was more annoyed at Genesis than Angeal. Genesis had looked so defeated and distant and refused to let him help. "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck." He tried to vent as much as possible but it wasn't working he was just getting more worked up. He placed his face in his hands and slumped against the wall. He wanted to know why the red commander, the one that scared everyone more than the General, was so ... defeated.
He fumbled the phone out of his pocket to phone Aerith. If anyone knew what to do it was her. It was scary how much she knew but she only ever used it for good and not evil. She'd make one hell of an evil villain. He really didn't like his chances against her.
He let out an unmanly scream when his phone went off. He sighed when he looked at the caller ID. "What Reno."
"Hey. He doesn't know I'm borrowing his phone." The small voice of Cloud Strife came out of the speaker.
"He will do now." Zack smiled. Cloud was too fragile to vent at, however Reno was fair game.
"Yeah. I'm stuck in Commander Rhapsodos' room and I have no idea what to do." Admitting he needed help was not Cloud's strong point and he was whispering. He didn't trust Genesis that much to stay calm and not target Cadets.
"Stay there." Zack ordered before hanging up and flying out the room. How long could Cloud have against Genesis?
When he ran in through the door he didn't expect Cloud to be on his own looking bored.
"Hey." He said weakly.
Cloud nodded. "I think I've been given the day off."
Zack quickly gather his bearing. "You ok."
Cloud tried nodding but the tone Zack used just made him cry.
"Hey it's ok." Zack did what he normally ended up once a week doing and hug Cloud as he cried. It wasn't Cloud's fault he missed the last exam and got stuck in the god damn stupid army. He was trying so hard and it broke Zack's heart to see the goddess laugh at Cloud's misfortune. "If Gen's gave you the day off we'll go get ice cream later."
"I couldn't." Cloud tried to pull away.
"Hey I know I'll phone Gen up to see if I can get the day off as well. Then we can spend the day doing fuck all." Zack grinned. "I know lets go see Aerith I need to talk to her anyway." He started to phone Genesis and something buzzed in the desk. "Hey Gen. If I can't have the day off say something now...Ok see you later."
Cloud looked at him gone out.
"First we need to get you changed and me because under the plate don't like Shinra." Zack grabbed his arm and dragged him out the room. "They only deal with me because of Aerith."
Genesis sat in the meeting room waiting for Sephiroth. He was late. It was unlike him. He sat on the table swinging his legs back and forth unsure what to do. If he stayed Sephiroth still might not turn up and they was a ton of paperwork to get through and if he went Sephiroth might turn up and he'll be in trouble later.
He flopped back on the oval desk and stared at the off white ceiling. He closed his eyes and tried to catch some sleep. He couldn't remember when he had last slept properly.
He glanced at the clock. Two. An hour late.
He sat up and huffed. He sat there and just waited for his other half to turn up.
Lazard walked in and gave him a funny look. He didn't say anything and left him to it.