Title: Soldier's Remedy
Author: Enide Dear
Summary: The First Class Soldiers find them selves in a tricky situation that only Cloud's special powers can remedy.
The sudden crackling, static sound from the speakers that spread out over the ShinRa building made all employees freeze from what they were doing and look up. The speakers were only used for important messages of the kind that affected everyone to some degree. If there were a certain thrill going through the Soldier floor, then perhaps that wasn't so strange. You never knew if it was another terrorist attack or something else that would require them to spring into action, swords and guns blazing. The Turks, on the other hand, all seemed to blend in with the shadows and disappear, even though it was bright daylight.
A strangely long pause, interrupted only by a weird croaking sound, made people look around with a frown, meeting equally confused glances. What was going on?
"Ah." Even over the tinny sound of the speakers, the announcer's acute embarrassment could be heard. "Um. An behalf of the First Class Soldiers, ShinRa would like to make the following proclamation: Would any employee who happens to be a, uh, virgin, please report to the apartment of General Angeal? Um. For a special kind of mission in which this person's…special prerequisites will be vital."
*Croak.* Sounded the loudspeaker sadly.
Stunned silence fell all over ShinRa Tower, followed quickly after by howls of laughter that was probably audible all the way to Kalm.
There was a hideous sound of tortured metal when the microphone was snapped from the poor announcer and moments after the most famous, dark voice on Gaia curbed all laughter as quickly as if he'd personally entered the room.
"This is General Sephiroth," the annoyed voice said, rather redundantly. All of ShinRa held its breath, which meant they got another earful of *croak* before the general could continue. "I would like to clarify that the acceptable person for this mission will in no way be…changed….from his or her current social disposition. It is however of uttermost relevance that the person for this mission has not yet had sexual intercourse with another person. The first person to fulfil this requirement and assist us in this mission will be given a week of personal sword training from me."
Another *croak* and a tinny sound as the abused microphone once more changed hands.
"And," a refined and poetically inclined voice only marginally less famous than Sephiroth's purred, "this person will also receive the *fullest* and *longest* gratitude of myself, Sephiroth and Angeal…."
"Genesis!" The third famous voice, shouted appalled in the background, "are you pimping us out?"
"Look, do you want this solved or not? Besides, what better motivation could there be for some poor virgin soul out there?"
Fortunately the last argument was completely drowned by the sound of hundreds of combat-booted feet running towards the elevators.
Sometimes being small had its advantages; Cloud managed to squeeze in on the first elevator ride up to the First Class Apartments in the cramped space between Second and Third Class Soldiers as the only trooper amongst them.
"Sword lessons by General Sephiroth!" One of the Second Classers - Cloud thought it might be Kunsel - exclaimed. "That has got to be worth whatever this is about."
"I can't wait to learn his Octoslash! I know I can do it!" A Third Classer was almost jumping up and down.
Cloud couldn't help but glance down at the tenting midsections around him and wonder who they thought they were kidding here.
A long line formed in the corridor leading to Angeal's apartment, but Cloud was pleased to see that he was only around number 20 in the quickly growing line. The door to the apartment opened, but just enough for a russet man to squeeze out, giving the line a hard glance and putting his hands on his hips.
"Kunsel? What are you doing here?" The general asked the third man in line. "Didn't we make it clear that this mission was for virgins only? You showed me that home made video of you and Director Lazard as late as yesterday!"
"Butts, exactly. Get out, we don't' have time for this!" Genesis turned his piercing mako stare a bit further down the line. "Luxiere, you to."
"What? Why, sir?"
"Because you were on that damn video, I do recognize a person even if they're dressed up as a ShinRa receptionist, you know!"
Five more Second and Third Class Soldiers were thrown out because the general seemed to have extensive and slightly suspicious knowledge of their sex lives. Finally Genesis was satisfied and there were only about ten people before Cloud in line.
"Alright, let's see if we can solve this, then." The dramatic man grabbed the first man in line and pulled him inside the apartment, careful not to open the door too much. A few, breathless seconds rolled by and the door was opened, the Soldier kicked out and the next drawn inside. The second man in line suffered the same treatment as did the third and Cloud's hands were starting to sweat. What was going on in there? Whatever it was, it didn't take more than a few seconds for the Generals to conclude the Soldiers uselessness to the task. No one of the kicked out Soldiers said anything either, they just ran green faced towards the elevators and hurried away, spitting and gasping.
After the fifth reject, the door opened and a collective gasp went through the long corridor as the Demon of Wutai stepped out, an annoyed frown marring his perfect forehead. The strange croaking sound could be heard before he shut the door.
"I will personally see to it that anyone else who wants to waste mine or the other generals' time with blatant lies about their sexual statues will spend the rest of their military career performing latrine services on field conditions. Now go!"
Almost two thirds of the line melted away under the cold green stare, leaving behind only those with, perhaps, some claim to virginity and those blatantly naive and hopeful. Cloud was now third in line, but suddenly the reptile eyes fixed on him and narrowed.
"You, trooper." He grabbed Cloud's arm, almost pulling him off the ground. "Come with me."
The last thing Cloud heard before he was enveloped in black leather, silver hair and a scent of vanilla and roses was another sad croaking. Then the door was slammed shut after him.
Cloud blinked in surprise, regaining his feet from where Sephiroth had dropped him on a hall mat and looked around. The apartment was light and airy, slightly luxurious but not fancy and there were flowers and plants by all the windows. Three pairs of mako stares fell on him – Genesis' suspicious, Sephiroth's judging and Angeal's rather sad and distraught. He gulped and tried to stay calm, for all that he felt like a chocobo that had wandered into a nest of Hell Hounds.
"You are a virgin?" Angeal asked, with some strange hope in his voice. He was cradling something in his hands, and the question was a bit dejected.
"Um, yes sir. I only enlisted about two months ago." And I moved here from a small rural town where I was the town outcast weirdo, he thought but didn't say out loud.
"Alright, let's try this then." Sephiroth made a quick move to retrieve something from Angeal and then thrust it at Cloud's face.
It couldn't be denied; the number of times Cloud had dreamt of having the silver-haired general *thrusting things at his face* was probably beyond count. Of course, sometimes it was Masamune he had nightmares of getting shoved in his face, and then he woke up sweating and shivering for completely different reasons.
But whether erotic fantasy or horrible nightmare, he'd most certainly never dreamt of General Sephiroth thrusting rather big, violently green and sad eyed frog at him. He took a step back.
Sephiroth followed, pinning him between the door and two meters of amphibian wielding general.
"Kiss it." The General insisted, holding to frog up to Cloud's face. Behind him, Genesis and Angeal stared equally intensely.
For a second, Cloud just stared, wondering if they'd all snapped. Everyone knew the First Classers were nuts; beautiful, lethal nutcases. But this….this was a bit beyond even the normal ShinRa madness.
Still, who was he to argue with these brilliant if cracked people? He looked down at the croaking frog and very gently pressed his lips on his forehead. He hoped to Shiva he wouldn't have to give it a tongue kiss.
There was a 'poff' and suddenly Sephiroth struggled, slightly off balance, as he went from holding two hands full of dancing frog to trying to support a very groggy and wild haired Zack Fair who almost fell right over Cloud before he managed to find his feet.
"Puppy!" Angeal came to his feet and rushed over, helping Sephiroth to stabilize the youngster. Genesis was only one step behind.
It was, Cloud thought, rather touching to see them so fuss and dote upon one of their own. He supposed for all their cold and hard demeanour, the generals were only human but for the sake of image they couldn't' only show that softer side amongst themselves.
"Are you alright, Zack? Are you thirsty? Hungry? Tired?"
"My mouth tastes like flies," Zack's normal voice was almost a croak in itself and he still seemed very confused.
"Here, drink this. How does an almost First Class Solider manage to get affected by a transformation spell anyway? Have I not told you repeatedly - accessorize, accessorize, accessorize?"
"Leave him alone, Gen, he is still affected." Angeal scowled, stroking the wild hair. "ShinRa was out of Maiden's Kiss, puppy. We had to do it the old-fashioned way. Took us sometime to find a virgin, though."
"So you owe your re-evolution to the mammal kingdom to…what is your name, trooper? ," Sephiroth was still holding the youngster up by a grip under his arms and suddenly all eyes where on Cloud again, who felt like melting through the floor out of some kind of embarrassment he couldn't quite put his finger on. After all, he had helped them, hadn't he? They owed him a bit now, and they had promised….had promised…
"Cloud," he croaked out, sounding pretty frog-like himself.
Zack gave him a dizzy but dazzling smile, reaching out to ruffle his hair.
"Cloud. I'll remember that. Hopeful next time we meet I'll taste a bit better." A sudden green-ness came over his face. "But right now I think I'd better lie down for a bit."
Angeal took over and helped Zack in on the couch in another room, pulling up the covers as Zack's eyes started to cross and he sank into sleep.
Leaving Cloud alone with the other two Generals. Sephiroth gave him a glance.
"I expect you to meet me at the Training Room at 7 am every day next week. I will clear your schedule with your Arms Sergeant." He started to walk away, but Genesis grabbed his arm.
"Oh no, you don't. That was only half of the bargain we promised." He glanced down slyly at Cloud who blushed so hard his head felt in danger of exploding.
"Yes, but it was the part of the bargain that *I* promised!" The Demon of Wutai argued, but didn't exactly make an effort of breaking loose from the grip as emerald eyes slid up and down the trooper.
"Don't be ridiculous Seph," Angeal closed the door to the living room where Zack now snored. "We have an honour-bound duty to uphold our pledge. Besides, you were the one who chose him and probably not based completely on objective reasons."
Was that just the tiniest hint of blush on pale cheeks? Cloud thought it might be and his head felt light. If it hadn't been for the taste of frog on his lips, he'd been quite sure he was dreaming, especially when he was gently pushed into a large bedroom, Sephiroth by his back, Genesis hoisting up his shirt and Angeal fluffing up the pillows.
Needless to say, the next time a careless Second Class Solider got hit by a transformation spell, it was even harder to find the correct remedy.