I must confess that I have a slight obsession with Genesis. I never thought anyone from any game/movie/anime/book etc could ever top my obsession with Sephiroth, but it seems he's been upstaged, and by someone from his own universe no less!
This will be YAOI Cloud x Genesis, eventually. It's going to be a slow build up and at this point in the story Cloud is underage. Don't expect anything except maybe a few unrequited feelings for a while.
One moment can change a life forever. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, but never doubt the impact one moment can have.
Edit Note : I have had some one graciously offer to go back and edit Serendipity for me and fix all the error's I've missed. You can all thank fenhuang :) I'll be posting the edited chapters as they get them too me.
Cloud was late, very late. He had forgotten his book for his Materia Basics course and knew that if he showed up without it he would just get further behind. He honestly didn't know why the teachers picked on him, or the other cadets. The only reason that would come to him was that he was a country boy. He didn't know his way around the city all that well.
He turned a corner without looking, just flying. If he was anything, he was fast. He slammed into someone and everything in his arms went flying. He hastily started to gather his books and papers back up, and muttered an apology.
"Shouldn't you be in class, Cadet?" He heard a smooth voice ask him.
Cloud's blood ran cold as he looked up into Mako eyes framed by cinnamon hair. "I'm sorry, sir!" He said as he almost dropped all his books again, snapping to attention.
"I know you're sorry Cadet, I asked if you should be in class." The man asked again, looking at him like he was an idiot.
"I-I-I forgot my materia book, sir." Cloud finally stuttered out.
"Well it looks like your forgetting something else too." The man said bending over to pick up an older worn book.
Cloud desperately wanted to ask for it back so he could be on his way, he was already horribly late.
Genesis's eyes widened in slight surprise. "You read Loveless, Cadet..?" he trailed off hinting that the boy should supply his name.
"Cadet Cloud Strife, Sir, and yes, I know it sounds silly, but I read it to relax." Cloud really wanted to reach out and take his book from the man, but knew better of it.
"I can tell you read it a lot, this book is well worn." Genesis said eying it over like it was the most interesting thing in the world. "I imagine you must know it by heart." His eyes were on the book still.
"Yes, sir." Cloud stammered. He was really going to be in hot water with his instructor now.
"Quote something for me then, Cloud." Genesis asked Cloud.
Cloud looked up surprised "What sir?" he asked.
"Quote something for me, your favorite passage, whatever you like. Or were you lying when you said you knew it by heart?" Genesis said finally looking at the blonde.
"Oh sir, no! I wasn't lying." Cloud panicked wishing his brain to work. Finally he put a sentence together. "Infinite in mystery is the gift of the Goddess. We seek it thus, and take to the sky. Ripples form on the water's surface. The wandering soul knows no rest." he said and the words did calm him a bit.
"Act 1, a very good choice." Genesis said seeming to look the boy over a bit more. "How far are you into the Cadet Program, Cloud?"
"6 months, sir." Cloud was calmed a bit but he very much wished this man would give him back his book and just let him go.
"Hmm, long enough I suppose, come with me." Genesis said and Cloud gaped at him a bit.
"I don't like repeating myself, you'd do well to learn that now. Don't worry about your class, you won't learn anything useful." Genesis snapped a bit.
Cloud's heart sunk, he was so dead now. He just made sure he had all his things and hurried to follow the man. He still didn't know his name, and he still had his book.
The cinnamon haired man led him to one of the spare training rooms, and threw off his red leather jacket. Red leather meant something, but Cloud's mind wouldn't process what. Finally he turned to Cloud, still holding his precious book. "Go retrieve one of the practice swords. I want to see how far you've come in training." Genesis ordered, and Cloud's mind couldn't do anything but follow. This was by far the weirdest day of his life, and damnit why wouldn't the man give him his book back.
Cloud took out one of the standard issue broadswords and came back to stand in front of Genesis. "Show me some of your practice maneuvers."
Cloud centered himself, he could do this at least. He started off slow, going through the motions, and thought he was doing well till Genesis yelled. "Stop."
"Is that what those idiots are teaching you!" Genesis growled. "You're not some big burly oaf, I imagine you are having trouble once you speed up a bit am I correct?"
Cloud just swallowed and nodded, how had this man known?
"Alright." Genesis said pinching the bridge of his nose, "Here, let me show you, a few of my personal practice maneuvers. Copy me as I go."
Cloud just nodded, still not sure what was going on, as Genesis took out the most amazing sword Cloud had ever seen.
Cloud did as he was told and copied Genesis's movements. He found the movements more graceful, and fluid, less clunky and harsh. And he realized he could perform them much easier as their speed increased.
"Alright that's two down." Genesis said with a smile, he really did look almost happy. "You do much better, just as I thought you would with those moves. Your strong points are agility and speed, not strength. You definitely have potential."
Cloud finally let himself smile a bit at the older man. No one had told him he had potential since he set foot in Shinra. Then what the man had said clicked with him. "Two what, sir?"
"I'll tell you later, if you pass." Genesis said just turning and pulling out a small blue crystal.
"Materia, sir?" Cloud recognized the small stone from his books, and what he had found in the Mako springs around Nibelhiem. Unfortunately any he had found were useless.
"Well the fact you at least recognize it is a plus." Genesis said before placing it in Cloud's hands.
Cloud just looked up at the man, and Genesis sighed. Materia Basics really was useless. "I want you try casting it on the practice dummy over there." Genesis gestured to the far side of the room. "Close your eyes, and reach as deep as you feel you can go, that is a natural mastered ice materia so don't overdo it."
Cloud just glanced up at him and couldn't believe that this man wanted him to try and use a piece of Materia. Cadets weren't even supposed to handle the stuff until they had been here at least a year. He decided just to go with it and humor the man. He closed his eyes and felt the warm presence in the orb and reached, he almost couldn't help himself and he pushed deeper and deeper. He was afraid he couldn't pull out and opened his eyes as the materia glowed and the far side of the room was covered in ice. He stumbled a bit, feeling exhausted. He was terrified. The man had told him not to push it. He looked up afraid of the man's reprimand, only to see the earlier smile had turned into a wide grin.
"You're perfect! Put the sword up and come with me." Genesis exclaimed, he turned and grabbed his coat, still carrying Cloud's book.
Cloud obeyed again, though he felt tired. When he reached the man again, he reached into his pocket and handed something to Cloud.
"Drink it, it will restore your energy levels. I'm kind of impressed you're still standing after that. That had to be a level 3 spell, uncontrolled, but we can work on that." Genesis told Cloud.
Cloud just looked at the vial, something else he was pretty sure Cadets weren't supposed to have, and downed it. He felt a warmth throughout his body, and he suddenly didn't feel so tired.
"We, sir?" Cloud asked, he was still so confused right now.
"Of course!" Genesis declared, "I'm not letting you go now that I found you."
Cloud just looked bewildered and the man hit the button to the elevator. As it dinged the man hurried on, and Cloud reluctantly followed. He really wished that the man would tell him what was going on. He didn't even know his name yet, and was only really following because of his book. He didn't know who this person was but he was pretty sure his instructors would be upset if he skipped anymore classes.
The man was seemingly speaking to himself a bit and looked thoughtful. Cloud thought it better than to ask any more questions at the moment. He doubted the man would actually answer anyway. Cloud looked up, level 69, he was pretty sure he wasn't supposed to go past lv 50. Did this man actually realize he was a cadet?
The doors opened and the man quickly exited and Cloud followed. He hoped this would all be over soon. He had defiantly missed Materia Basics but as long as this was over soon he could at least make it to his sword practice. The man hurriedly ran a keycard through a slot, and flung open a door.
"Angeal!" The man yelled. Why did Angeal sound so familiar?
A tall man with black hair and Mako eyes came around the corner. "You know, just because I gave you a keycard doesn't mean you still shouldn't knock first." The man said.
"Oh hush, don't be rude in front of your guest." Genesis motioned to Cloud.
"Genesis, what are you doing with that poor Cadet, he looks like you hit him with a confuse spell." Angeal said putting his hands on his hips and giving Genesis a stern look.
Genesis, the man's name was Genesis, and his friend was Angeal, and he wore red, and Loveless and "Oh Shit." Cloud said the last part of his thoughts out loud. "Commander Rhapsodos, sir" Cloud's eyes went wide, and his mouth went dry. What did he want with Cloud?
"Hmm, I wondered if you had any idea. Seems I need to get around the cadets more if you can't recognize me." Genesis said looking back at Cloud.
"Genesis, you're not supposed to go near the cadets, you give them heart attacks, like this one here. What are you doing with him?" Angeal asked again.
"I told you, I had 3 requirements in a Cadet, if I were to take on a student like you did." Genesis said with a grin.
"Student?" Cloud said shocked.
"Did you tell him anything? Obviously not your name. And you seriously found a cadet that likes Loveless?" Angeal said still staring at his friend.
"Oh he even quoted perfectly, without the book and all." Genesis said holding up Cloud's treasure.
Angeal just pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. "I wanted you to take a student Genesis, but seriously the poor boy is about to hyperventilate. Calm him down, get his consent, and only then will I help you fill out the paperwork."
"Fine! Like a cadet is going to say no to being mentored anyway." Genesis sighed theatrically and turned back to Cloud.
"Take a seat." He gestured to the couch and Cloud hesitated a moment before he sat. Angeal just leaned against the wall to watch." As you just figured out I am Commander Genesis Rhapsodos. My Friend, Commander Angeal Hewley, has started a mentorship program within the ranks of SOLDIER to help those who would make good SOLDIERS but don't fit within the confines of the regular training program. I told him I would agree only if I found someone I felt I could train. I only had three qualifications." Genesis started, passing in front of Cloud.
"The first was that they should have a similar fighting style to my own. I can't train someone who doesn't fight like me. You showed excellent potential in the training room. Rest assured, in the regular training I doubt you would have lasted the year. They don't know how to train anyone -"Genesis stopped his insult remembering his friend in the room. " who uses agility and speed. It's all brute force there."
"The second, was that the candidate had to have potential with Materia. I'm a Materia expert, and it would be a waste of my time and talents to train someone who couldn't use it properly." Genesis explained. "You have much more than just potential Cloud." Genesis, after saying this, turned to Angeal. "He froze the entire back half of the training room! And he was still standing."
"Really?" Angeal said surprised. "There are some 2nd's who couldn't do that." Maybe Genesis had made a good decision after all regarding this Cadet.
Genesis just turned back to Cloud and continued. "The last, was the hardest requirement to fulfill." Genesis said looking serious.
"I really thought he made it just so he would have an excuse not to take a student." Angeal acknowledged.
Cloud just looked up still confused. "Loveless, Cloud." Genesis said finally handing back Cloud's book. A look of pure relief washed over the boys face as his fingers touched the cover. "Who ever I trained had to love Loveless, not just like it, but truly deeply love it as much as I do. You're the only one else I've ever seen who looked at that book the way I do."
Cloud just hugged the book back in his possession. "It's how I learned to read. And then it become a comfort to me when nothing else could. Its words are beautiful, how could someone hear them and not love it."
"I told you Angeal, he's perfect." Genesis grinned at his friend.
"Cloud do you want Genesis to train you?" Angeal had to ask.
"If he promises to never take my book again." Cloud finally said gathering himself.
"I'm sorry, I had to make sure you'd follow me." Genesis admitted.
"Alright then." Cloud said. "If your right, it's my only chance at getting to SOLDIER anyway." Cloud hoped he wouldn't regret it.
"I knew you'd say yes." Genesis said. "So what do I have to do, Angeal?"
"I'll submit the paperwork to Lazard, knowing you you'd probably get someone else to do it anyway. You should go help him move his stuff." Angeal said.
"My stuff?" Cloud asked.
"As my student you'll be living with me. Angeal lives with Zack. Where is your puppy anyway?" Genesis asked.
"I'm moving in with you?" Cloud asked. "And Angeal's student is a puppy?"
"He's off having some kind of squatting completion with one of the other 3rds. And yes you need to move in with Genesis if he is going to train you. It makes things all around easier. And no he's not a puppy, Genesis and Sephiroth just call him that." Angeal said giving Genesis a glare.
"Sephiroth?" Cloud said alarmed.
"Oh yes, him I imagine you'd know." Genesis sounded slightly bitter and amused at the same time. "You'll get over the shock. Angeal, Sephiroth and myself2 work pretty close together, so you'll see him a lot by extension."
"Zack still flinches sometimes." Angeal said a slight hint of amusement in his voice.
"One more thing before we get your stuff." Genesis said, finally remembering one important detail. "You do have to pass a Mako Tolerance test, I should have mentioned it before. After that you'll be come a 3rd class SOLDIER. No exams needed. Since the purpose is to help those who don't follow the normal program it stands to reason that they likely wouldn't pass the normal testing, so it's by-passed all together."
"I only have to pass a Mako Tolerance test, and I'm a 3rd and your student?" Cloud recounted.
"Don't take the test lightly. It doesn't happen often but some have died from it, many others fall into a coma, and even still other just don't pass." Angeal pointed out.
"Oh I know Mako is dangerous. I grew up in Nibelhiem one of the oldest reactor towns. I fell into a Mako pool as a child, and I was fine. Doctor said I must have a natural tolerance for the stuff." Cloud explained.
"Excellent, let's go get your things." Genesis said clapping his hands together.
So that's the first chapter. Sorry if Genesis seems a bit OOC, but he's always struck me as a bit Theatrical, and this is sat about a year before he was sent to Wutai and his degradation started. As for Cloud and Loveless, well I'll admit I took some liberties, but it isn't exactly unbelievable. I picture Loveless being one of the few books Cloud actually had, and anyone who loves to read will tell you that you never forget your first book. Anyway please review.