AN: I swear I am working on my other stories! I just get little brain farts in the middle and I find I can't continue on, Snow day currently has 5 chapters all in the works that are open, I'm about half way through each one when I hit a dead point and I move on the next. This is actually a rewrite of one I had two chapters done already of, for some reason they weren't turning out so I scrapped them and started this one.
Disclaimer: seriously if I owned FF you think I would be sitting here writing fanfiction and not remaking the damn game!
Summary: Over a hundred years have passed since Sephiroth's fall from grace, and the fall of Shinra. The world is thrown into chaos as powers fight to gain control of a world in turmoil, each power fighting to gain the upper hand by any means nessicary. As the world wars, the planet is dying.. Jenova is corroding the lifestream from within. Knowing the end is near the planet sends those of her children still alive from the age of Shinra back to correct all that has been done, to keep Sephiroth from becoming part of the life stream.
Time Travel / Post DOC Cloud / Vincent / Turks. Cloud xTseng / Sephiroth X Genesis / Zack x Areith / Reno X Rude Yaoi lemoness
A life long since forgotten -1
How long has It been now since you left this world? Forty, fifty years? I have long since lost count of the years as they pass by, it's hard to really tell the passage of time when you have no one. I'm sure if you were here now you would tell me to move on with my life, but… how can I?
You were always there for me even when the others gave up on me, even though I could never return the love you so desperately wanted from me. You were always the rock that kept me grounded through everything we went through.
A lone figure knelt down in front of a large gravestone the rain soaking the figure going unnoticed.
I hope Marline has found you and you are watching over her, I wasn't able to attend the funeral but I know she was surrounded by those that cared for her most. Please Tifa, watch over her family as we go through these turbulent times…
Pushing himself up the figure regarded the dual headstone in front of him, engraved alongside that of her husband's was Tifa's name. it had been nearly fifty years since she was placed into the ground in the large cemetery on the edge of the sprawling metropolis which was known as Edge.
She had died in her sleep at the ripe old age of ninety eight, her family surrounding her as her health failed. Tifa was one of the last of their group to subcome to death's cold embrace, Barret had been the first his death a tragic accident at one of his oil rigs; he was only forty three. The others had perished over time either from illness or old age, only two remained..
Shaking his head the silent figure pushed the dark memories of his long lost friends back into the recesses of his mind. They were gone, nothing would ever bring them back he truly was alone in the world now..
They had noticed it right around his forty fifth birthday, while everyone in their group was starting to gain lines in their faces and grey in their hair he had not aged a day since the battle of the remnants.
Passing a highly polished marble tomb the figure stopped, brilliant mako blue eyes staring back at his reflection. Blond unruly spiked hair was still as vibrant as the day he joined Shinra's SOLDIER cadet program, his skin a light sun kissed tan from years of traveling the continents in his bid to find peace.
It had been well over one hundred years since Sephiroth's fall from grace and the destruction of Midgar, yet here he stood looking as he did all those years ago. Cloud Strife had stopped aging..
Turning away from his reflection Cloud tried to ignore the bitter voice rising in the back of his mind. He avoided his reflection at all cost, as it served as nothing more than a bitter reminded that he was nothing more than a monster created by a depraved sick scientist.
Placing his glasses on he threw his leg over Fenrir, the engine purring under him. He could not remain here any longer, he was in danger here. Gunning Fenrir he shot out of the graveyard and back out into the slowly flourishing wastes. Now that Midgar and Shinra were no longer draining the earth of all its life force the planet was making a comeback, green now dotted the once barren land. The decaying skeleton of Midgar was slowly eroding away the plants reclaiming it as well.
The world was changing, though for the better he was uncertain. With the fall of Shinra and the death of Rufus Shinra and no heir the empire had fallen sending the world into a state of chaos. Though Shinra had been a global power the lands had prospered and were unified; now they were in a state of upheaval. Families and towns rebelling and trying to gain the ultimate power over everyone else.
Edge had become the new capital of the eastern continent, one of the many oil companies holding the power over the continent. Wutai under the rule of Yuffie had once more reclaimed their independence and was flourishing as it had before the Demon of Wutai brought them to their knees.
The western continent was currently under the control of what was left of the followers of Dio of the Golden Saucer. It had been many centuries since Cloud last stepped onto the continent of his birth, and frankly it was going to stay that way.
While Edge was a safe haven from the turbulent wars being raged between families for control there was not a single place that he could escape to where he would not be hunted for.
Just like in the days of Shinra those in power were always looking for ways to obtain even more power, SOLDIER while having been made obsolete during meteor fall the stories of their power continued on. Scientist were trying to recreate the legendary SOLDIERs of the day of Shinra but with little success.
Cloud had come under fire some seventy years ago when a scientist had recognized him as SOLDIER. Not only was he one of the last SOLDIER alive (though he never actually was SOLDIER) they also discovered that Cloud was no longer aging.
Now the scientists of the major powers were constantly chasing him trying to capture him to unlock the secret of his eternal youth and the secrets of SOLDIER.
Constantly hunted, Cloud was forced to move constantly, never was he allowed to remain in one place for more than a single night. For a few years he had found refuge in the old Geostigma lodge that had once housed Rufus Shinra, but even that was short lived.
He was grateful that Vincent was pretty well unknown, a few times over the past hundred years he had run into the ex-Turk. Like Cloud, Vincent had taken to wandering the world never staying in one place more than a few days to a few weeks before moving once more.
Just like Cloud the man was simply trying to exist away from becoming a science experiment once more. The last he had seen the man was down in the forgotten city where he lived for the most part in silence, though he never stayed there long in case people started to search the area. Like the changing times he too had even changed his appearance, gone was the long red cloak instead he now donned a light crimson duster similar to that which his son wore; instead of pauldrons two Kevlar wraps of identical colored fabric hung over his shoulders down to his mid biceps giving it a very old west type look. He still wore his normal leather outfit but had gotten rid of the golden boots in favor of black leather chocobo boy boots with gold accents. The red wrap around his head was now used as a tie for the jacket and his now waist length black hair was allowed to fall naturally around his face.
That had been nearly ten years ago, he silently had to wonder if Vincent was still alright. The scientist were starting to become desperate to catch him, hopefully those few visits and nights spent with the ex-Turk did not bring him into the spotlight.
Pushing rain soaked hair from his face Cloud silently parked Fenrir in the woods surrounding Kalm, it had been many years since he had last been here hopefully no one would recognize him and Florin oil would not be waiting for him here.
Pulling a camo mesh from the back compartment Cloud threw it over his precious bike knowing that it would afford it a little cover from those brave enough to step into the woods.
Pulling the sweatshirt hood over his head to hide his hair he pulled the over jacket closer around him. Thankfully the glasses he had specially made years and years ago hid the glow from his eyes. Though SOLDIER had faded into stories people would still point out his glowing eyes, he wanted to draw as little attention to himself as possible until he could reach his next destination.
If it were not for the fact his food supply was running low he never would have stopped this close to Edge. Kalm which had once been a beautiful village on the northern coast was now to Edge what Junon had been to Midgar.
Pulling his coat closer around his lower face Cloud silently slipped into the center of town, thankfully it was raining and so people would not find his behavior strange.
The new Florin Security forces could be seen walking down the streets, rifles slung over their shoulders. Though Kalm had grown in leaps and bounds this new darker security force had everyone living in fear. Snorting Cloud ducked into the nearest produce store, he used to think the Shinra security force was bad, those guys were tame compared to these morons.
Looking out the shop window he watched a pair walk by not even looking in. what he would give to have the comforting weight of First Tsurugi on his back once more.
Shortly after the rise of Florin oil, (once known as Wallace Oil) all weapons had been outlawed unless you were part of the security force. Think that stopped him? HA! No, he currently had several small daggers hidden on his person along with a .45 semi auto tucked into his belt, and let's not forget the bracer tucked under his jacket sleeve holding several different materia.
Moving away from the window he started to browse through the shop, his enhanced senses keen on that around him. It was only his enhanced hearing that allowed him to hear the quiet whispers from a shelf behind him that stopped him dead in his tracks.
"Rude, hurry up yo! Those damn security forces are crawling all around the damn city."
He knew that voice, hell how could he ever forget the brash tenor of the second in command Turk. Shaking his head violently Cloud inched to the edge of the isle, there was no way in hell Reno and Rude could still be alive!
Turning the corner he felt his heart stop dead in his chest for standing not 10 feet in front of him were two faces he never in his life would have ever dreamed of seeing again. His back slightly to him, brilliant red spiked hair with a waist length rat tail was none other than Reno. Standing next to him, normal shades perched on his nose was the dark skinned bald headed Rude.
From what little he could see of their faces just like him, it appeared neither had aged past their early twenties.
Instantly both men stiffened and whirled around. Seeing them both Cloud couldn't help the bright smile that crossed his face relief flooding his chest, he wasn't alone!
"Who the hell are you yo! How do you know who we are." Reno was watching him warily, even though neither had obvious weapons Cloud knew Rude himself was the weapon.
Taking a step forward Cloud watched the two of them, "Reno, you have been saying yo after every sentence since I first met you in sector seven." Rude tilted his head slightly as his partner gaped like a fish out of water. Even though you couldn't see his eyes he was looking over the figure in front of him, he recognized that voice.
"Holy shit! Are you kidding yo?" Reno raced forward his hands gripping onto Cloud's shoulders as he peered into the hood of the sweatshirt. Sure enough hidden under the black fabric was the trade mark yellow spikes and the little scar he knew Cloud had on his left eyebrow.
"Gaia be dammed, spike it is you!" excited aquamarine eyes were smiling up at him, "We've been searching for you yo, but we didn't know if you were still alive or had been captured by Florin."
Cloud shook his head, "Should know I'm not that easily caught." He reached out and grasped Reno's arms in return; he could not believe this he had to be dreaming. "How are you still alive?"
"It's a long story yo," Reno smiled brightly up at him, several years after the final battle with Sephiroth the three of them had come to terms with each other and even started a tentive friendship.
"A story that will be best explained back home, we've been here to long as it is." Rude cut in, his deep voice low as he glanced around the small shop, nodding Reno turned back to Cloud as Rude disappeared to perches their items.
"Spiky, come with us. Rufus built us a sanctuary before he passed on, we've been there undisturbed for almost seventy years now."
"Somewhere I don't have to run anymore?" Reno nodded smiling brightly and pulled him up to where Rude was waiting for them. "Thanks yo!" he called to the shop keeper and pulled Cloud out of the shop.
Thankfully as they left there was no sign of the security force. "How did you get here spike?" Reno kept his voice low knowing damn well the wanna be SOLDIER could hear him perfectly. "Fenrir is parked out in the woods just north of here."
" Reno, go with Cloud I'll meet you two up by the stream and we'll put his bike in the truck." Rude didn't wait for an answer instead heading off to where their large truck was parked.
"Aren't you worried about getting caught?" Cloud asked softly his eyes sweeping across the large city constantly. "I little yo, but we normally don't come down from the sanctuary. We come down every few years and scout the big towns trying to find others and get supplies that aren't delivered up to us if we run low."
"Others?" Cloud asked as they moved out of the town towards the forest. "Yeah, I'll explain once we're out of harms way yo." Nodding the two fell into silence their senses trained for any possible security forced that wandered out into the outlying forest. Thankfully they made it to where Fenrir was still hidden without incident.
"Reno, have you seen Vincent at all?" Cloud watched the young Turk judging his reaction as he folded up the cover and shoved it back into it's place.
"Yeah, he's up at the sanctuary, has been for about ten years now yo." Relief spread through Cloud's chest hearing that Vincent was safe.
Climbing on he felt the Turk jump on behind him, his lean fingers gripping into the shoulders of his jacket. "Thank gaia we're friend huh." Reno smirked behind him and laughed, "I wouldn't be doing this if we weren't yo! You know where the stream is north of here?"
"Thankfully yes." Pulling out of the forest Cloud steered the bike up towards the northern river. Thankfully this road was not as well traveled as say the highway leading from Kalm to Edge, security patrols would be few and far between at his point.
It was amazing how oppressive this new government was becoming. When Shinra had been in power only those that lived on the plate or worked for the company were forced to carry ID cards, now though, everyone was given a number and a ID card if they lived on the eastern continent.
Security patrols that roamed the streets could ask you at absolute random to see your ID card, if you forgot it or was like Cloud who didn't have one you were given over the government. Made getting through checkpoints very interesting.
Pulling up to the river he smiled seeing a old Shinra truck waiting just across the bridge, Rude standing next to the open back, a ramp already laid down for ease of access. Gunning Fenrir across the bridge Cloud expertly maneuvered the bike up into the back of the truck. It was similar in design to the ones the WRO used during the assault on Deepground.
Throwing down the kickstand Reno and Cloud quickly moved out of the back allowing Rude to lift the ramp and shut the door. Jumping into the front Reno took the middle seat being the skinniest of them and stretched out sighing happily as Cloud moved in next to him. "We never thought we would find you." He turned to watched Cloud as Rude got in and started up down the road.
"I didn't know anyone else was still alive other than Vincent and myself, you said there were others."
Leaning back in the seat like he didn't have a care in the world Reno smirked his aquamarine eyes watching the road in front of them. "15 now that we found you." Fifteen? Blinking slowly Cloud turned to regard the two, "Who all is still alive?"
"SOLDIER and Turks," Rude said keeping his eyes on the road, they had turned off the main road and were heading up into the mountains towards the chocobo farm. "Boss man thinks it's whatever they did to enhance us that is keeping us from aging, when we discovered that we weren't aging we started putting our amazing tracking skills to use finding as many remaining SOLDIER and Turks as we could."
"Turks are enhanced also?" he never knew this, though that would explain how Rude could take a street sign to the head and still function. "Yep, we're just not as enhanced as SOLDIER."
"Anyone up there that I will know? Other than Vincent." Reno smirked more and closed his eyes, "Just have to wait and find out yo!"
It was nearly three hours later when the truck pulled up to a massive waterfall tucked into the mountain side. Pulling his head off the window where he had been cat napping Cloud watched as Rude expertly drove the massive Shinra truck along a narrow rock wall and behind the waterfall. Eyes widening Cloud leaned out the window as they drove into a massive cave, but that wasn't what was causing the wide eyed reaction.
Situated around the massive cave were Shinra trucks and several Shinra helicopters, all in perfect working order by the looks of them. "Go ahead and pulled your bike out and park it over there with the rest." Rude pointed to where there was a lineup of other bikes against the far wall, nodding Cloud jumped out as soon as the van was parked.
Walking his bike over he made sure to have plenty of room he popped the wings open revealing his beloved First Tsurugi and Zack's buster sword.
When the world had started to turn he had removed the sword from its spot in Aerith's church, fitting a new rack on his bike to accommodate that massive sword.
"Still carting Angeal's sword around huh?" blinking Cloud turned seeing Reno standing behind him, his eyes looking over the buster sword still grasped in his hand. "Angeal? This is Zack's." something about the name Angeal stirred something with in him, something deep in Zack's repressed memories.
"That sword did not always belong to Zackary Fair." Rude was holding several bags as he moved up to them, "That sword once belonged to Zack's mentor, SOLDIER First Class, Angeal Hewley." Looking over the sword Cloud frowned slightly, he had not realized the sword had belonged to someone prior to Zack he had always believed it was his.
"Come on spike, we gotta check in with the big boss." Pushing thoughts of his long dead best friend back into the deepest recesses of him mind he lifted the giant buster sword over his back, feeling as the magnet in the hidden weapons harness he wore caught the metal and pulled the sword snug against his back.
Taking a deep breath Cloud followed the two now ex-Turks through the massive cavern. Honestly this felt like a dream, there was no way it could have been this easy. Shaking his head slightly he pulled the hood off allowing his now dry blond spikes free once more. The entire drive up he had kept the hood up in fear of a passing security detail recognizing him and pulling them over.
Following Reno and Rude through the winding tunnels he blinked as light assaulted his eyes, pulling his glasses down Cloud couldn't help but gape as the sight before him. A massive valley with rolling hills and trees sat surrounded on all sides by monstrous sheer cliffs, the grass here was green with the fallen multi colored leaves of autumn dotting the landscape. A smaller waterfall was against the far wall feeding into a small lake and river that ran along the landscape disappearing under their feet at the cave entrance.
All along the valley in between the tree's he could see small houses, some with smoke rising from the chimney's. this place was amazing, almost a … "The promised land.." Reno chuckled and looked back to Cloud. "That's what Rufus said to when we discovered this flying over head one day, after seeing it he had to have it. He had the cave built along with security measures so we wouldn't be found. Come on yo! I'm sure everyone is up at the warehouse."
Climbing down a small stone stair case along the wall the trio headed up a small dirt path. The village was peaceful, you could hear birds and insects as the buzzed around in the midday hours but there was no overly loud noises like you would find in Edge of Kalm. It almost reminded him of the quiet sereneness of Nibelheim.
Walking up among several of the houses they came up to a massive building situated deep within the trees towards the back western wall.
"The warehouse yo, well more like the warehouse/bar/restaurant/library/ hang out." Reno chuckled and moved up through the heavy metal doors. Pulling his glasses off Cloud silently followed behind him, moving through the door he instantly could make out several voices all laughing and talking deeper in the warehouse.
Stepping in fully he looked around, Reno was right it was kind of everything all in one. Over to his right was a huge gated off area which he could see mechanical parts stored on high shelves along with lumber and building supplies. In front of them was a large sitting area with several beat up but comfortable looking couches, one of which was currently occupied by a figure sprawled out across one nose stuck in a book.
"Set your swords up there on the wall, no one is gonna steal um here." Reno motioned towards a wall behind him. Turning slightly Cloud saw a whole slew of swords simply attached to the wall, it would seem there was a magnet built into the wall for the swords to just be hovering there. Moving up to the wall he gently set both the buster sword and First Tsurugi against the wall feeling that there was a magnet there. Stepping back he looked down the wall seeing many Shinra issued Buster Jr. swords along with a brilliant crimson blade with a wing guard.
Something about that sword was familiar, almost like he had seen it before. Figuring he would figure it out later he moved back over to where Reno was standing, Rude must have gone off to deposit what he had bought farther back in the warehouse.
"Hey bookworm you seen boss man?" Reno called out moving up to the figure lounging on the couch.
The figure pulled his book away, a dark glare evident in brilliant mako blue eyes rimmed with green. Cloud felt his blood run cold as he saw those eyes, only 1st class SOLDIER with Jenova cells had the green ring in their eyes.
"Maybe I have, maybe I haven't slum rat." The man fired back in a soft tenor that was almost melodic in quality. Sitting up the man pushed brilliant fiery auburn hair back behind his ear, mandarin collard crimson leather jacket crinkling slightly with his movements.
Reno rolled his eyes but was smirking still in good spirits. "Alright, Genesis, have you seen boss man? We got a new one for the fold." He stressed the name smirking more as Genesis glared darkly at him again. Sighing dramatically Genesis looked at the young blond standing next to the slum rat Turk, his head cocked to the side slightly seeing those brilliant mako blue eyes.
"Have we met before?" he asked confused, he could have sworn he had seen those tell tail golden spikes somewhere before.
"I don't think we have." Cloud was watching him warily, how was it this man had Jenova cells in him. Was he another experiment of Hojo's before the man finally fell?
"Cloud, This is Genesis Rhapsodos, ex- SOLDIER 1st class.." Genesis nodded his head slightly still holding his book. "Genesis, this is Cloud Strife.. he's not officially SOLDIER."
Cloud watched as those bright blue mako eyes steadily grew larger before a sad light passed through them. "I know who you are now.." his voice was almost sad as he regarded Cloud, "You were the comatose cadet Zackary was so admitted about saving.. and.. You're the one that finally allowed my beloved to rest."
"You knew Zack?" moving over Cloud sat down in one of the chairs, Reno seeing this moved off to go find the big man in charge.
Gently shutting his book Genesis set it on the large coffee table in front of him. "I knew Zackary from the minute Angeal took him on as his first ever pupil. Zack the puppy is what he was called lovingly by Angeal, because he was so hyper active and had the worst attention span in the world."
Chuckling softly Cloud looked away willing the tears to stay where they were. "Yeah, what I remember of Zack he was that way to.. even as Hojo used us for his experiments he was still smiling." Cloud found he was able to speak about those horrors now, guess they were right saying time heals all wounds.
Genesis smiled sadly, "I guess, I should be thanking you.. for finally allowing my lover to rest." Blinking Cloud looked back to Genesis. "You're lover?" chuckling sadly Genesis picked up the book that was sitting on the coffee table opening the cover he turned it so Cloud could see.
Leaning forward Cloud saw a picture taped to the inside cover, looking it over he felt his blood freeze and his jaw drop.
The picture was taken out on the beaches Costa del Sol, a shorter haired Genesis stood in nothing more than crimson swim shorts with a equally half naked Sephiroth standing behind him his arms wrapped around Genesis waist and head resting against the shorter man's.
"Yeah we used to get that reaction a lot, especially when our fan clubs found out." Smiling sadly Genesis sat back closing the book and holding it to his chest. It was his most precious possession, a rare limited first addition of loveless that Sephiroth had bought him on their first anniversary.
"Cloud.." snapping out of his stupor Cloud smiled recognizing that deep baritone and turned in his seat, his eyes meeting glowing crimson. "Vincent.." the barest of smiles crossed the undead ex-Turks face as he regarded the blond bellow him.
"It's good to see they finally found you," Cloud smiled wider, just like always Vincent was never one to waste words.
"He's so much like his son it's scary." Genesis grinned up at the ex-Turk seeing those crimson eyes slide over to him and smile slightly. "At least that was one good quality he kept even with the company he kept."
Laughing Genesis flipped his head almost arrogantly; it was obvious this was a old game between the two. Confused Cloud watched the two, it was strange seeing Vincent being half way playful with someone other than the two children.
"You know Vincent is Sephiroth's biological father?" Cloud asked making sure he was on the same page. Genesis nodded standing up and stretching, he almost reminded Cloud of a cat with the way he moved. "I found out a year or so after Vincent came to our little piece of heaven. I have several of Seph's old things and he saw those one day and we got talking… Is Rude back with the food yet Vincent?"
"Yes, Elena is starting lunch right now."
"Thank the goddess I'm starving, only drawback to these damn SOLDIER enhancements." Moving around the table Genesis flounced off with not a single word or glance back.
"You get used to him, he's very dramatic." Shaking his head slightly Cloud looked up at Vincent, this still honestly felt like a dream. "He's a Jenova project isn't he.." looking back towards the bar Vincent nodded, "Project G, the first Jenova project.. Genesis and Angeal were the failed products of Professor Hollander… it was also his cells that helped to created Deepground."
Flinching slightly Cloud sighed lowering his head, "This is so weird…"
"Hmm.. that is the general reaction when a new person is brought here… Come, you are no different than the other SOLDIER present you need food." Knowing Vincent was right he pushed himself up and followed the dark gunman towards the back of the warehouse.
Moving around a wall he stopped staring at what was in front of him. A long bar was set up with padded barstools, almost all of which were filled with men with glowing blue eyes, 'SOLDIER, I didn't believe Reno when he said there were other SOLDIER here.' It was shocking to see so many of them, granted there was only six besides Genesis but as far as he knew almost all SOLDIER had been wiped out.
"Well I don't believe it! They actually found you." Turning he smiled seeing familiar light blond hair and brown eyes. "Hello Elena." The young Turk smiled from her spot behind the counter, another young female stood beside her, this one with medium length wavy brown hair and bright brown eyes.
Feeling eyes on him Cloud shifted nervously seeing everyone that was sitting at the bar looking at him. Moving out from behind the bar Elena moved over and took his arm smiling up at him brightly. "Don't be shy, we're all family now, we gotta watch out for our own."
Unable to help it a bright smile crossed Cloud's face, for the first time in many years truly feeling happy. "Let's get everyone introduced so there are no strangers, you already know Reno, Rude and Vincent..the little one behind the counter is Cissnei, a fellow Turk." Cissnei waved from behind the counter smiling gently.
"The one pouting cause his food is not out yet is Genesis Rhapsodos, he was the commander just under Sephiroth."
"We already met.. now where is my damn food!" huffing Elena moved over and stuck a finger right in the ex-commanders face. "You will get your food when it's done, be grateful I'm even cooking for you after last night." Genesis turned away going back to his pouting and glaring at the wall, sticking her tongue out at him Elena moved back over to Cloud.
"Next to him is Kunsel, a 2nd class, he was the company gossiper you wanted dirt on anyone at anytime he had it.. he and Zack were joined at the hip." A young man with curly black hair and bright mako eyes leaned out and waved to Cloud, he was a pretty boy that was for sure.
"You knew Zack as well?" Cloud asked, the SOLDIER on the other side of Kunsel snorted leaning out to look around the ex-2nd class. "How could we not know Fair, boy was a menace across Shinra." Even though he said Zack was a menace there was a bright smile on his face. This man was more gruff looking, your typical SOLDIER. "That's James a 2nd class as well, and then you have Aaron, Brian and Scott all 3rd class. Everyone This is Cloud Strife."
The room fell instantly silent as the SOLDIER and even Cissnei were staring at him, Cissnei because she was seeing the man she was supposed to rescue all those years ago for the first time, the others because even they had heard of the SOLDIER 1st that had taken down Sephiroth.
"Come sit down, boss man will be in shortly Reno went out to collect him." Shifting nervously Cloud sat down between Vincent and the overly dramatic and still pouting Genesis.
"How long have you all been here?" fidgeting slightly Cloud looked down the bar seeing people were still watching him. Kunsel smiled brightly and leaned back in his chair /stool. "I've been here about sixty four years now, I saw Reno wandering around Edge at the start of the new regime."
"Us four were living out on the chocobo far till about 30 years ago, Cissnei found us and brought us here." James said looking down at Cloud before taking a sip of his drink. "Mr. Pouty here has been here almost since day one, he crash landed into one of the tree's while Rufus was building the warehouse." Cissnei giggled patting Genesis on the head. the crimson commander rolled his eyes but kept his head down muttering about needing his food.
"I am NOT pulling the damn thing out, the wound finally healed from the last time I had to pull it out." Cloud watched the crimson commander, something deep in his mind coming to the forefront. "You have one wing, just like Sephiroth did."
Lifting his head slightly Genesis regarded the young blond, "Yes… though I didn't know Sephiroth had one as well."
Taking the offered glass of water Cloud nodded his brow furrowing some. "I only saw it once, during the battle with the remnants. He had a single black feathered wing coming from his right shoulder, somehow he could fly with it.. Shocked me to hell and back… of course being impaled on Masamune didn't help any either." He took a drink of his water and shrugged, "I always figured it was something to do with the Jenova cells."
Genesis sat up a little more really looking at the boy. "It's a mutation from the cells, Angeal had white wings, I had black..you have Jenova cells in you as well."
Cloud stiffened slightly setting his cup down so he didn't accidently drop it. "Yes, Hojo tried to turn me into a Sephiroth clone.. I was deemed a failure because I still retained my sense of self, I wasn't a mindless doll."
The SOLDIERs all looked away, many absently rubbing their arms. All SOLDIER has some dealing with the sick doctor, even the Turks has mild dealings with him during their first enhancement.
And uneasy silence filled the room, the only noise the clinking of dishes as Elena and Cissnei were cooking behind the counter.
"RENO!" jumping slightly Cloud whipped around, his heart racing as that had scared the hell out of him. Reno charged in from one of the backrooms and streaked out past them grinning like an idiot. "Oh sweet goddess what did he do now?" Genesis lifted his head up again and looked over to where Reno had come from.
Looking over as well Cloud felt heat creeping up into his cheeks, hearing a snort he looked over to Genesis seeing the man shaking his head.
"Shoved you into the lake again huh Tseng?"
Looking back over Cloud willed the flush to disappear from his cheeks, he had always had a secret crush on the Turk director ever since he saw him walking the halls of Shinra during orientation.
Tseng, Director of the Turks didn't look a day over twenty five. His black hair which was plastered to his head soaked was now nearly down to his mid back and held up in a pony tail, his white shirt was sticking to him like a second skin and had gone completely see through showing off well defined muscles. Good lord the man was gorges, though other than that Cloud was relieved to see the man was still alive as well. He should have figured this was 'boss man' since Reno always called him that during the times of Shinra.
Grabbing his hair Tseng started to wring it out as he walked towards them, his sneakers squishing as he walked. "Yes, and I was nearly done fixing the pump too.." sighing he wrung more water out of his hair before throwing the sodden mass back over his shoulder. Rubbing water from his face he turned, dark amber almost black eyes meeting brilliant mako blue. He blinked slightly before a smile crawled across his face.
"Cloud, welcome to the sanctuary, allow me to get changed and I'll come down and speak with you properly."
"You better go get changed, we can't afford for you to get sick again." Elena said waving a spatula at her old boss. Chuckling softly Tseng rolled his eyes playfully and headed out, his shoes squishing the whole way.
"He's different, he doesn't seem as cold anymore." Cissnei turned to look at Cloud as she started to plate the food. "He's no longer as stressed anymore so he's loosened up quite a bit since our days at Shinra. Here you go sweet heart." She set a plate of delicious smelling food down in front of him.
"Hey! Why does he get fed first!" picking up his fork Cloud watched as crimson gloved hand was sneaking towards his food. Seeing this Elena smacked the offending hand her with spatula, "Because Mr. eats five meals a day, I don't think Cloud has had a proper meal in years. You can just hold your chocobo's for a few more minutes, or I'm going to send your happy LOVELESS loving ass back to your house with no food at all." Thoroughly chastised Genesis flumped back down into his pouting position.
The other SOLDIERs were laughing like hell on their side of the bar. "In all my years at Shinra I never dreamed of the dreaded Crimson Commander getting pushed around by a Turk." Aaron chuckled earning him a glare from the pouting commander. "yeah yeah laugh it up, I'm sure as hell Seph and Zack are just dying from the life stream right now."
Chuckling softly Cloud moaned having real home cooked food in his stomach for the first time in centuries. "This is really good!" the two female Turks smiled and started to dish out the rest of the food and set it down in front of Vincent and Genesis who more than happily accepted the plate.
"You start quoting LOVELESS I'm taking your food away." Elena threatened seeing the crimson commander opening his mouth before he even had a fork in his hand. The whole group chuckled seeing the horrified expression on Genesis face. The man seemed to think better of spouting off about his precious play and instead started to shovel food into his mouth.
"For being so well bred, you eat like a pig." Cissnei muttered moving out around the bar setting a plate down in front of Reno who had come back in since Tseng had left and sat down on the other side of Vincent.
"That's because I stopped caring about what people think of me years ago." He threw over to her before going back to his food.
"Vincent, how did you come to be here?" Cloud asked looking to his on again off again lover. The dark gunman looked over at him slightly setting his fork down. "Tseng and Elena both sought me out in the forgotten city. They convinced me to come here where it was safe, Florin had gotten word of my immortality as well and so I was now on the run as well."
"We've been looking for you since we found Vincent yo!" Reno was leaning over his food looking down the bar at Cloud. "He told us you were being hunted by Florin and had been for years already, we tried tracking you down but every time we got there you had already skipped town."
"As infuriating as it was, it was smart on his part not to stay in one spot for long." Tseng moved back into the room, completely dry and now in a pair of faded blue jeans and a dark green T-shirt. Cloud felt his cheeks heating up once more, he had never seen the man in anything but a Turk uniform the entire time he knew him. The man looked good in normal clothes, those jeans were tight in all the right places. 'STOP IT!' Cloud quickly turned back to his food but saw a Cheshire cat grin spreading rapidly across Genesis face. "What" he hissed lowly knowing the super enhanced first would hear him.
"Oh.. nothing.." Genesis turned back to his now empty plate his eyes glinting evilly.
Giving him a wary look Cloud turned back to his own food. Why did he had a feeling he was going to have to really watch out for Genesis Rhapsodos.
"Make yourself at home, I'm afraid we won't have supplies to build you a proper house of your own until winter is out."
Cloud was trying so hard not to flush like a giddy little school girl as he walked into the spare bedroom of Tseng's beautiful home.
Over the past hour after everyone had headed back to their respective homes after lunch Tseng had taken him up to his privet office and explained out how everything worked.
The village was bought when Rufus Shinra was still young, the land was handed down to Tseng when Rufus passed on and it was in a legal binding will that the land could be done with as Tseng saw fit. They weren't an official village so if they ever did get caught not even Florin could do anything about it, like demand taxes and such.
Several fail safes were put into place when they discovered not only the un-aging Genesis, but that the Turks were also not aging to protect them from the growing rebellions and government. The rocks leading up to the cave entrance were completely artificial along with the front of the cave, the rocks would leave no tire marks and there were heavy five foot thick steel doors hidden inside that would slam shut at the press of a button.
Along the top walls of the mountains surrounding the village were thousands of fully mastered barrier materia along with hundreds of fully mastered bolts. Rufus had brought some of the equipment from Shinra here including the ability to create materia. Thankfully for them they had managed to get a hold of a certain pyro materia master who was more than happy to play with his gift and power them all up to masters.
Genesis, being the one to master them all could engage them with little drain on his MP and could hold the barriers up for a very long time since the man was a never ending supply of MP it seemed like.
The houses were powered by a combination of means, wind turbines were hidden among the mountains to the east catching the window blowing off the grasslands. For times when the winds were low or in case the turbines were ever discovered a small water generator was hooked up along a rerouted river deep in the mountains. as a final fail safe, even though he personally didn't agree with it there was a small Mako reactor built into the side of the mountains. it was small and would pull enough mako to power their houses and the warehouse, for the most part the reactor was inactive, only turning on now and then to keep its stores up and power the vehicles which still ran off mako.
"Oil is too expensive, we don't have unlimited funds." Had been Tseng's explanation for it, the village was living off what was left of the Shinra empire's fortune, which mind you was still a shit ton of gil. But as Tseng said, it would not last forever, and it was pretty damn obvious they would.
Also because of this they didn't have an unlimited amount of supplies here and they didn't waste what they have, like building up a bunch of houses that may never be used. The houses were built as the SOLDIER or Turks were found and brought to the sanctuary, which is now why Cloud found himself standing in the spare bedroom of the ex- Directors modest two story house.
It would seem his house normally became the resting place for new refugees until their homes could be built.
"Since you move constantly I'm assuming you don't have much in the way of personal possessions." Tseng was moving about the room pulling spare blankets and sheets out of a linen closet in the corner of the room.
"No, a few sets of clothes, my materia, swords and a few small items." He moved over to help the Ex –Turk.
"Thank you, well in a few days once people have forgotten your face down in Kalm you can go out with Genesis and pick out some necessities you will need."
"Why Genesis?" he couldn't help but ask, frankly the guy was kind of a nut case and a child trapped in a man's body.
Chuckling softly Tseng looked back at the young blond; those beautiful amber black eyes sparkling like Cloud had never seen them before. "Genesis may act like a child now, but during our time at Shinra he was second only to Sephiroth in battle. He's a master materia wielder, and is deadly with Rapier, he is not easily recognized unlike Reno and Rude since he was pronounced dead shortly before Sephiroth's fall."
Tseng moved about setting out a few towels next to the second bathroom, " also, the biggest he can fly. With you and Vincent being hunted, I won't want to send you both out at the same time. Genesis can not only hold his own but if things get to bad he can easily evade the security patrols by taking flight."
Looking around the room Tseng ran a hand through his hair in an unconscious habit and blew a small raspberry. 'Oh sweet Gaia that was adorable! Wait what the fuck am I thinking?' Cloud mentally shook himself, god he was turning into a hormonal teenager all over again!
"I believe that is everything for the moment, if you need anything else let me know and I'll see what I can do. I'm afraid our newest shipment is running a day behind, but that's normal the companies are being watched."
"Companies?" Cloud asked, he wanted to know as much as possible; he didn't like being left in the dark.
Moving over Tseng sat down gracefully on the edge of the bed, "shortly after discovering his Turks were not aging Rufus started up several different companies with the sole purpose of helping us maintain the village and stay afloat after he would pass on. They range from lumber companies to food production and everything in between, there are twelve in total all stationed around the continent. While they supply us with the material we need and extra gil they also act as our eyes and ears to the outside world. It was through these companies that we learned of Vincent and the other four SOLDIER. All of the members are families of former Shinra employee's and are all loyal to the company still, though now it is loyalty to keeping us safe." Folding his arms loosely over his lap Tseng looked out the window. "Florin has become suspicious of the companies though, they know they were owned by Rufus Shinra and they see their books don't add up. Why it is not uncommon for our shipments to be late… I just pray to Gaia they arrive before the snow sets in."
Shaking his head slightly Tseng pushed himself up once more, "I'm sorry I am just dropping you off and running, the well pump broke and a certain slum rat kept me from fixing it. Your free to any place in the house.. I just ask that you do not enter my own personal room or office… if I am not back to retrieve you Dinner is at 7."
"Of course, thank you Tseng.. for everything." Cloud really was truly grateful; he had come to accept that he would spend the rest of his life on the run. Never had he dreamed that he would not only find people still alive that he knew from the days of Shinra, but a haven where he could finally rest and live his life.
"If anyone should be thankful, it's us," Tseng turned back and smiled softly to the young boy. "You saved all of us, this.. is the least we can do to help return the favor." Bowing slightly the Wutai man left the room gently shutting the door behind him.
AN: well what do you all think? I know time travel fic done to hell and back, but I'm not gonna jump into the time travel right away, I want a little bit of story line prior to explain exactly WHY the planet is sending them back and where all the previous relationships are coming into play. I know Genesis is pretty OOC but he's way older and still a little mentally unstable from the degradation.
Well REVIEW and tell me what you think! I love reviews the more I get the better I do ^^