He's The One
A/N: I'm hoping people have stuck around to see this new story, I've been in shock the past couple of months trying to get around the fact that 'Memories Remain' was finished after over a year and a half of work and towards the end consistent updates. However, I am back and I have a new story with some familiar characters. So old readers and new, please enjoy.
A/N: Last Fic had Albus Dumbledore quotes on every chapter. This shall have a song lyric reflecting the mood or action of the chapter.
"Tranquil as a forest, but on fire within. Once you find your center, you are sure to win."-I'll make a Man out of you (Mulan)
It was sweltering within the cadet-training center. One would think that a billion gil company could afford suitable air-conditioning; even it was for a bunch of children, so that days like the current one didn't end in tragedy.
Genesis Rhapsodos, Commander and First Class Soldier of the ShinRa Electric Company, grimaced in distaste. He could almost see the stink lines rising from the cadets' bodies as they finished their run and lined up for sword training and he was up in the observation room.
It wasn't real swordplay, not yet. It was only footwork and motions. That pissed off Genesis more than anything. Why in the seven hells did he have to be here if they weren't even going to see a good show? Now Third Classes, they were amusing to see, stabbing each other by accident, setting each other on fire, what more entertainment could anyone want. However, Genesis was here, stuck watching useless, boring, not to mention stupid cadets going through their motions. Somebody hand him a gun and be done with it.
At least he wasn't alone. Oh no, the great General Sephiroth, the honourable Commander Angeal Hewley and the…Lieutenant Zackary, call-me-Zack, Fair.
So, at least he wasn't suffering alone. Genesis glanced at his friends. Actually, he was alone. Sephiroth was the one who dragged them down here, Zack was nattering about something 'spiky,' and Angeal had that genial smile on his face that said 'aren't they cute,' the way females do with small children and dogs.
So obviously he was the only the only one who didn't want to be here, aside from the tired cadets and the poor little one puking his guts up in the corner, but that's what you get for eating cafeteria food before training.
This rabble of uneducated baboons was supposed to be the next batch of Thirds, provided they passed the exam in some months time, and not one of them could get the footwork right. Even Zack was better as a cadet and his attention span went from work to Shiny! in the space of three seconds.
"Oh Seph, I'm gonna kill you," he muttered under his breathe and represses the eye twitch that he knows is coming, along with a killer migraine that he can tell he'll develop just by watching the imbeciles attempt the motions. At least he could be glad stupidity wasn't contagious, otherwise Zack would've infected them all long ago.
"Aw, Spiky's doing well today. Angeal, isn't he cute, don't you just want to squish him?"
Zack's nattering had finally broken through Genesis' condescending and slightly murderous thought pattern and thrown the red-leather wearing man into a conversation that he could not follow and he was ever so slightly was glad of that.
"He looks very young. Are you sure he's sixteen?"
"He's seventeen now and, yep, I'm positive. He's just huggable."
Sephiroth's gaze broke away from the group of cadets to find their resting place on his bouncing Lieutenant.
"Zackary, am I understanding correctly that your relationship with the boy is simply friendship?"
Zack looked aghast. "Seph, I would never violate my extremely lovable friend in such a way. I can't believe you could consider such a thing…besides, I think he has a thing for redheads, he's been spending a lot of time with Reno and while I'm happy for him, did he have to choose a Turk?"
Zack opened his mouth to keep talking but Genesis sent him a withering look, which shut him up quickly.
"Doing well, Zack? Not one of them is doing well," Genesis said in distaste, grimacing as yet another cadet butchered a very simple lunge movement.
Angeal glared at Genesis but Zack just pouted petulantly.
"I'm glad none of them could hear you, you might just be mobbed by enraged cadets and I would let them. I thought Sephiroth told you to be nicer to people."
Genesis huffed but relaxed. "Which one is your friend?"
Zack perked up, and waved a hand at the class in the training room.
"Because is not an answer, Zack!"
"Just guess already. I called him Spiky, what more of a clue could you want?"
Genesis sighed and surveyed the class. He really had no idea what he was looking for. Spiky shoes, spiky jewellery, spiky hair? Lots of things could be spiky. Gaze sweeping over the cadets below he took note of them for the first time. He could identify which were well born and which were hoping to escape the slums. He could see features which born and raised Midgardians didn't posses, like the Wutainian colouring or the backwater big-city-wonderment. He noticed one cadet stood out among the others, the familiar features standing out starkly against the many plain cadets.
Very familiar blonde hair that looked like sunshine had been caught in the strands and stood up from the owner's head in a very spiky and gravity defying way, clear blue eyes and pale, milky skin. He was a very pretty boy.
"Rufus?" Genesis muttered under his breath, but quickly shook his head. The boy was too young and besides Rufus' hair was more silvery blonde and his eyes grey-blue. But for a split second Genesis thought he was seeing the young ShinRa Vice President. Not that Genesis thought that Tseng would ever let Rufus join in on Soldier training, even with cadets.
"Zack," Genesis called, "Your Spiky, is that one."
Genesis pointed to the pretty cadet.
Zack smirked and quirked his eyebrow, gaze drifting to pretty cadet and back to Genesis, "Are you sure?"
Genesis looked at Zack in shock, he was so sure it was the pretty one. He did a quick survey of all the other cadets and none of them stood out to him.
"I'm just joking, you got it right."
Genesis quickly whacked Zack over the back of the head in payment, which made Zack laugh and scoot closer to Angeal.
They all watched the training continue, though Genesis' eyes continued to stray over to 'Spiky.' Genesis noticed the focused, determined gaze of the boy as he fumbled through the movement. The boy would start fine and then make a mess just before he completed the motion, it was like his brain turned on towards the end and caused him to rely upon his thoughts, not his instincts. It happened over and over again, a perfect beginning but a chaotic ending. It wasn't hard motions, it was meant for cadets to be able to perfect quickly, just a few simple footwork kata and a lunge at the end and not one could do it properly. Hell, Zack's friend was probably the only one vaguely good at it and he couldn't complete it either.
Genesis was getting more and more annoyed that the cadet's mistakes continued to repeat, and the class couldn't complete a simple lunge movement or any other simple movement.
"What is their instructor doing while they butcher the art of swordplay?" Genesis muttered.
"He is instructing them," Angeal replied with a disapproving look.
Genesis craned his neck out the window and found the instructor teaching the class below.
"Oh it's Smyth, no wonder they're all fumbling about like baboons, he couldn't tell which end of the sword is the sharp one," Genesis said, striding purposefully out of the room.
He hurried down the small, secluded set of stairs that led to the observation room and swiped his card to enter the cadet training room. As soon as the doors slid open, he strode into the room and approached Instructor Smyth. They had a brief conversation, in low tones.
Instructor Smyth stopped the class and Genesis smirked as every cadet's eyes swivelled to him.
"All right, toy soldiers, Commander Rhapsodos is here to show you how to wield a sword 'unlike oafs with porridge for brains."
Instructor Smyth took a seat against the wall at the front of the training room. Genesis smirked, a little cruelly at the cadets, and pointed to one of the unfortunate boys.
The crowd parted and left the boy standing alone. Zack's Spiky was casting glances to the boys on either side of them before he locked eyes with Genesis. He pointed to himself and mouthed 'me.'
Genesis nodded and Spiky hesitantly walked up to stand in front of Genesis.
Zack watched Genesis pick out his Spiky from the class of cadets. He pressed himself closer to the glass.
"Guys, he's not gonna hurt Spiky, is he?"
Sephiroth and Angeal shared a glance and turned back to the window.
Zack looked at Sephiroth, a slight murderous tint to his gaze.
"I'm giving you fair warning that I will hurt him, if he does."
Genesis surveyed the boy awaiting his instruction before him and found him lacking in both height and muscles of every other teenaged boy in the room. He was very slender and held an innocent look, with his big blue eyes and feminine features.
"Stand back there and stay still," Genesis instructed.
The cadet backed up a number of steps and stood waiting for his next instruction.
"Now, I promise I will pull myself short before I hit it, but if I don't just dodge," Genesis instructed, smirking just a little as the boy's eyes widened.
The blonde took a deep breath, apparently steeling his nerves for Genesis' demonstration. Genesis liked that; it meant he was at least trying to be brave despite his demure and innocent appearance.
Genesis readied himself and the crap practise sword that the cadets were given. In the back of his mind, he made a note to watch out for the practise sword lying on the ground near the boy, Zack wouldn't be happy if he hurt his 'Spiky.'
Genesis made eye contact with the blonde and the boy nodded back, looking pale and nervous but determined. He smirked and completed the footwork swiftly and with strength and grace. It may be basic but even basics can save your life in a fight, Zack proved that when he was Third Class and made Second by passing his combat exams using only his basic structures, even if it was to win a bet. Smirking at the cadet, he lunged quickly at the still boy intending to pull himself short as he said he would, but as he drew close the boy moved.
The kid ducked under his sword, and snatched up the sword lying on the ground. He darted to the side, away from Genesis. Genesis started but recovered quickly enough to block the swipe the blonde made towards his leg. The blonde retreated again; he was quick, and then he attacked again. Genesis was still reeling inside from the sudden change in the cadet, but he wouldn't pass up the chance to spar and understand the odd cadet just a little more.
Genesis followed the cadet and saw him falter slightly and stop. Genesis stopped to. The boy blinked and seemed to come back to reality, and Genesis realised something interesting about the blonde cadet. He tightened his grip on the wooden practise sword and the cadet looked up at him in fear.
"I'm s-sorry, sir, I don't know wh–"
Genesis swung his sword towards the cadet's ribs, watching in interest as the blonde froze and at the last moment dove out of the way. He rolled across the floor and jumped back up, shifting into an instinctual fighting stance.
Genesis made no move to attack again and the cadet slowly shifted back into his demure stance.
The class was staring at the blonde in silent shock, and the instructor looked no better.
The cadet refused to meet Genesis' eyes, clenching his fists tightly at his side. This time he didn't try to offer an explanation for what happened.
"I'm sorry, sir," the cadet said, trying very hard to dissolve into the crowd.
It wasn't working out for him as his classmates continued to give him space around him.
"It's all right, cadet, I provoked you."
Genesis knew that his excuse wasn't strictly true as he had explained the exercise to the cadet beforehand, but he didn't think that the cadet should be punished for something he couldn't control.
"Get back to work," he called out to the class and nodded at the instructor.
He handed the sword he was holding to the blonde and left the room.
They were waiting for him outside the door, having seen him leave the training from the observation room.
Zack barrelled up to him, fury in his eyes.
"What the hell was that?"
Genesis raised an eyebrow, "I was teaching cadets how to fight."
"You attacked a cadet, a cadet who's my friend, and you could've hurt him."
"I didn't attack him, I explained that I would stop but he reacted. I think you're upset because you never realised he could fight like that."
Zack opened his mouth but quickly shut it again.
"You're right, but I still don't like that you continued the fight just to test him."
Genesis shrugged. "Someone had to."
Zack nodded in assent, knowing that in the end his friend wasn't hurt and he couldn't blame Genesis for being curious. However, he did need to speak to his friend about any former training, but that would have to wait as he and Angeal had to lave for their own training session. They promised to see the others at dinner per usual.
Sephiroth had been watching Genesis with a calculating look since the start of the conversation but had waited for the others to leave before he said anything.
Genesis and he walked side by side away from the training room.
"You noticed it too," Genesis stated, knowing that Seph would've seen that same thing he did.
"Of course," he replied.
"What I wonder is how it came to be?"
A/N: I have returned and this is my first chapter for my new story, and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as you enjoyed my last chaptered story.