Setting- This is a reincarnation story, so the setting is in the Final Fantasy VII-verse, but there are some AU elements not present in canon. This is a Supernatural/Romance/Adventure.
Pairings- This fanic features a polyamorous relationship between Sephiroth, Angeal, Genesis, Zack and Cloud. This progresses over the course of the fanfic, but there are established relationships already, AngealxZack and RenoxRude being the two. I will try not to rush it too much. ^_^
Rating/Warnings- This fanfic contains Yaoi, AU, Supernatural Elements, Lemon/Lime, Violence, Language, Torture, among other things. It is not intended for minors.
Summary- Cloud Strife is an improverised commoner with a sheltered life. When Hojo's Army invades his hometown, he is thrust into a conflict where memories of a past life effect his outlook, relationships, and power. Will his decision he made with Sephiroth at the end of the world come back to haunt him? Or is this the history that Gaia intended for everyone?
Author's Note- After years of laying untouched, I have come back to Reawakening (formerly Fleeting Moon) and revamped the first three chapters. After that, everything is all new content. I hope that you enjoy the extended and revamped chapters and continue to follow the story as it progresses.
Nibelhiem was a relatively quiet village with quaint people and meager daily routines. Small and isolated, one would think this would be the ideal place to live. A decently small population, mountainous views and a friendly country welcome all around.
Not for Cloud Strife.
The seventeen year old didn't know what it was about him that made everyone despise him, but it was days like this that he wished he knew. If he knew, he would change it immediately. Just to stop this… He winced at a call of his name but he didn't budge from his hiding place. The blond was crouched behind a keg of whiskey hidden in the shadow of Nibelhiem's tavern. The teenager rubbed a fisted hand across his mouth, the back of it immediately wet with fresh blood.
It wasn't as if he was a coward. When those boys came for him, spitting nasty words and throwing fists, the malnourished youth felt a spike in his adrenaline that made him want to make them bleed. But his mother… Cloud lowered his bloodied fist to his lap and remained still. She constantly warned him not to raise his hand in anger, even when he was a small child…
"Cloud! Cloud Strife! Come out and take a beating like a man!" Unnaturally glowing blue eyes rolled in exasperation. He would come out as soon as the large brute picked on someone his own size. Becoming muscular and appearing strong had been one of Cloud's aspirations, but as food had dwindled in Nibelhiem it seemed as though muscle refused to build on his lithe frame. He had adapted sinewy muscle straining just underneath pale skin, but since there wasn't much fat; the youth appeared more starved than strong.
"Such a pussy, you should have been born a woman, Strife!" The local bully seethed and his voice faded as he moved further away from where Cloud was hidden, still spitting curses with every breath.
Insulting his slightly effeminate looks was a favorite of the bullies. It used to bother him because he had wanted to fit in and even possibly attract the young Tifa Lockhart but as he grew older, his interest in Tifa faded and the insults didn't phase him. Perhaps it was just a part of growing up but he felt that he was years ahead of the other's in maturity. It hadn't happened overnight, but the sudden notice of it had been a shock.
The small blonde stayed put, as quiet as a mouse. Someone came out of the tavern and grabbed a nearby case of wine only to return to whence he came and still Cloud waited. He waited until his mouth stopped seeping blood and clotted quickly. Too quickly. He waited until another keg was taken by the same man from before.
Only until the sky darkened and uttered a threatening rumble did the boy shift and rise to his feet, casting a weary look at his surroundings. His muscles ached from the abuse of sitting still nearly all day but Cloud quickly made his way to his house, using the back door instead of the front entrance.
"Cloud? Is that you?" The spiky haired youth froze under his mother's gentle gaze which quickly became horrified. Soft hands ran through his hair and touched his cheek. Elimae Strife watched her son flinch as she moved his head to better look at his newest abrasion. Her eyes moved to peer into her son's exhausted gaze and Cloud lowered his focus to the floor. He didn't know why she made such a fuss; they both knew it would be healed before morning. It was just another reason that people hated him probably, he was a freak. People just didn't heal that fast, it was abnormal.
"I bet you cringe less when taking a blow in a fight…" Her own eyes saddened when Cloud stepped back from her soft touch. Such a beautiful boy, a brave soul, but preferring being hit over a gentle touch because he wasn't used to it… Elimae turned from her only child and gestured to the table.
"Sit down, dear. Dinner will be ready shortly." She moved back to the simmering pot, relieved to hear Cloud take his seat at the table behind her. She had learned a long time ago that too many questions would cause him to lash out like a cornered animal or run away or… Her stirring paused briefly and she shook the thought away. No, her son was getting better. It had almost been three months since his last episode.
She sighed and looked down at the meager supper she was about to serve. Contrary to Cloud's views on himself there wasn't a bit on fat on his body, only muscle trying desperately to build on nothing but bones and a beggar's diet. They were poor and falling further.
"Mom…?" Cloud questioned hesitantly. Elimae smiled sadly. That voice was soft and wavering, reflecting the mental anguish her only child had suffered through out his life since birth. Her son had always been different, alienated for one reason or another. Perhaps his unique glowing eyes drove other's to act out in jealousy. Elimae never knew why her newborn had glowing eyes. It wasn't something anyone in her village had ever heard of. And those same eye flared Lifestream green when Cloud was having one of his fits. Why can't I make you better? It's what a mother is supposed to do…
"You want to hear another story, don't you?" The blond woman asked. This was almost a daily ritual and probably the only thing keeping her son from losing himself.
"Yes." Was the quiet answer from behind her.
"What theme tonight? The kingdom of Midgar? Your father? … Sephiroth?" Elimae stirred the thin stew and waited patiently through the long pause that followed.
"Sephiroth." Cloud murmured softly, laying his head down on the roughened table. His mother smiled. It wasn't surprising because it was her son's favorite choice, especially after he had been through a trying day.
"Okay then…" She ladled the soup into two clay bowls and sat down. Cloud barely touched his, but what he did eat was a valiant attempt. It always had to be a careful balance for someone that was starving but knew that there was only so much. His shining eyes fixed on something to the side, but Elimae knew he was waiting to hear about his idol.
"There are many that say that Sephiroth is descended from Gods, others say he killed a God for immortality and glory. No one knows for certain but Sephiroth has always been here, since the beginning of time. His power has been described as frightening. Your father said he has only one wing, as dark as midnight."
Cloud kept his eyes adverted and seemed to be far away from this quaint town.
"His sword is called Masumune and is legendary. It's an enchanted blade and longer than a man stands tall. It can cut through armies and come out as pristine as if it were just cleaned and sharpened. I hear tell that it absorbs the blood of Sephiroth's enemies to grow in power. A living blade, an extension of Sephiroth himself."
"He has won many wars and sits on an eternal throne in Midgar. No one would dare challenge him. Why do you think that they don't, dear?" Elimae looked up and frowned when she discovered that her son has dozed off. Cloud loved this story, so the possibility that he had fallen asleep because he was bored was out of the question. He was weakened and she couldn't do a thing about it. A small smile forced its way onto her face.
"Goodnight, Cloud." She whispered and stood, taking the remainder of his food and storing it away for later. It wouldn't do to waste any food with how things were going these days. Contrary to her tales, there was a lot that she withheld from Cloud, playing naivety. Sure there was a lot of things that she didn't understand, couldn't understand, but she knew how to listen quietly and what she heard was troubling.
The Planet was in upheaval and men that were rich grew richer and the poor were left to fade away. Things had been good when Sephiroth had reigned but now those were only sweet memories. Cloud's father had been a soldier, serving Sephiroth faithfully in Midgar and caring for his family from afar. All she had left now were letters and tears. Her son had only been five then, when his father had fallen in battle defending his Lord from a usurper calling himself Hojo.
"Sorry my visits have been further apart, sweetheart. It's hard to pull away from Milord. There have been rumors that someone would actually face him. Do you believe that?"
The ghost of the laugh she loved so well echoed through the silent kitchen, but did not rouse her son, because Elimae knew that only she could hear it. She looked to the corner of the room where she had last seen her husband and found him there with a lop-sided grin on his face.
"I guess you'd have to be in his presence to know what it feels like. But I know no one can defeat him, deep down." He murmured, blue eyes twinkling in amusement. They didn't glow like Cloud's, but that hair was a shorter version of her son's and just as wild.
"Did you miss me, kiddo?" The deep voice asked and Elimae turned around to spot her late husband picking up a five year old toddler from the seat she could see her current son sleeping in. The boy smiled shyly at his father, admiration for the soldier clear in the young glowing eyes. Virion turned to look at her.
"He's been okay… Right?" He asked; concern for the small boy in his arms evident as he looked to Elimae.
"I wish… Oh I wish." Cloud's mother whispered softly, looking brokenly at the man she loved with her healthy son in his arms. He shot her a confused look before fading away, taking the toddler with him and leaving the one who desperately needed him sleeping and unaware.
"Do you know what Sephiroth asked me today?"
Elimae didn't turn around; tears of agony sliding down her cheeks in silence. He wasn't actually there; she was only reliving her last memories. There was nothing she could do for the ghost of her husband, but listen.
"He called me in because of my last name! Do you believe that? Sephiroth drew me right out of the frontlines to take a look at me and ask where I was from." Her husband walked about the room behind her, pacing as he talked, gesturing animatedly with his hands.
"When I said I was from Nibelhiem… He asked if I had a son. And… I lied. I lied to a God!"
"I never knew it was for something other than military enlistment."
Elimae gasped and whirled around to find her husband looking directly at her, with comprehension. This… What was this?
"I'm sorry, Elimae. But you have to send him away. He has to wake Sephiroth up."
"I don't understand." She told him, unaware of Cloud stirring tiredly behind her and looking at her in confusion.
"He has to take it to Sephiroth. He has to go now."
"Now!" The ghost of Cloud's father insisted with an almost wild expression.
"He's not in any condition to travel! I have to look after him." Elimae insisted, still unsure if she was halutionating or if he was actually there. It looked so much like it was actually him.
"Mom… Who are you talking to?" Cloud asked softly. Elimae whirled around in a panic, wondering if her son could see the ghost or hear his words.
"They're here. He has to leave now!"
Screams and cries of alarm erupted from afar, near the gate of the city and Elimae's blue eyes widened. It really was her husband!
"Elimae! Let him go or they'll kill him!" Cloud's father pleaded, eyes fierce.
The small blonde woman whirled around and grabbed her son's arm, yanking him to his feet and pulling him towards the back door.
"Mom?! What's going on?" Cloud demanded, glowing eyes frantic with fear and worry. She placed her hands on his shoulders to steady him and looked calmly into the fearful glowing orbs.
"Cloud. I want you to listen carefully. Disobeying me now will cost you your life. Run and don't look back. Go to Midgar." She commanded.
"But what about you?!" The spiky haired boy asked, confusion and fear warring in his expression. And something else she didn't like to see. He was about to have another episode if he didn't keep a hold of himself. By the looks of it, Cloud was losing, the glow turning into a violent green. She squeezed his shoulders as hard as she could and it lessened that unnatural glow.
"Never mind that, Cloud. I'm giving you something to do, don't disobey me. Run from here and don't look back. Go to Midgar. Take this with you." Elimae spoke quickly and yanked the ever present chain from her neck, the thing her husband entrusted her with before he had gone to his death. She made Cloud fist the black orb and pushed him through the back door just as the strong odor of smoke overtook her.
They were burning Nibelhiem.
"Cloud! Run!" Elimae yelled at him and glared forcefully with stubborn blue eyes when her son stopped and looked back at her with hesitation.
"What did I tell you? Don't look back! Run, Damnit!" Elimae screamed. Cloud's eyes widened and he sprinted towards the mountainous forest surrounding their town. The blonde mother smiled sadly and she closed the back door in a calm the village didn't reflect. She went about erasing all traces of a second person living in the small home and sat down at the table in the seat that was her son's.
The door was kicked in and the rank stench of smoke and burning flesh scorched her nose. She looked at the armored creature standing in her doorway, frowning. It seemed like the gossip around town wasn't completely false. The humanoid abomination stood there in armor, its red eyes flicking around the house, looking for someone and then what features she could see twisted in frustration. If it could speak it didn't bother talking to her; it only reached for a green colored Materia and whispered a spell. Flames consumed her vision, but Elimae Strife didn't fight it. In fact, she was smiling as everything she knew was turned to ash.
They didn't know about Cloud.
She felt her husband's fingers lace with hers and she smiled, her body bursting into hundreds of green tendrils as she returned to the Planet.
Cloud ran faster than he had ever before in his young life, fleeing from the ash and flames in a panicked frenzy. His mind was in tatters and fraying dangerously, blue eyes glowing a poisonous green in the stormy night.
-Cloud Run! - His mother's angry face flashed through his head. She hadn't been angry, just scared. He was panicked and scared. The way his mother had spoken, it was like she didn't expect to see him again. Which meant... His glowing eyes flared up and he gasped out as his legs carried him even faster.
Was she dead? Had her left her to die? But he didn't want anyone that he loved to pass into the Lifestream protecting him. Why protect him at all? He was an abnormal nobody.
-C…l…O…u…d Run! –
A flash of dark hair and the smell of gunpowder... The world phased white and Cloud was aware that he was still running. Who...?
-We're friends, right? –
A warm smile and arms around him, making him feel safe...
The blonde collapsed suddenly onto the forest floor, weakened limbs giving out. Brilliant blue eyes closed and then opened a moment later to stare into nothing, the unnatural green glow absent. His mother was the first voice, then who…? Who was the second voice sounding so urgent and tender? The motionless youth blinked slowly noticing how quiet the forest was. How far had he run for it to be peaceful with no sign of the chaos he had left behind? How much time had he lost while in that peaceful in-between place?
Slim fingers flexed around the treasure his mother had entrusted him with and the teen brought it close to his face to examine it in the darkness. The orb was darker than the night itself, but it glowed and pulsed with ominous power. It was beautiful and dangerous, just like he imagined Sephiroth being. Was he supposed to take this to Sephiroth...?
"Go to Midgar…" The spiky haired youth breathed, conviction lacing his tired voice. Exhaustion, it wasn't an unfamiliar concept to him, but was it safe to sleep in the forest alone?
Hardly... have to…keep moving…
Cloud listened to the silence that greeted his ears to his relief, but then there was a noise, far too close but it belonged to the forest. It came again, a soft pleading whine of something decidedly canine. A dog? This far into the forest?
He lifted his head and stared at the animal not three feet away in shock. The large wolf lifted it's head slightly, glowing blue eyes surrounded by dark fur fixed on his face and stayed there; as if the creature was mezmorized. Cloud found that he could not move. Wolves did not have blue eyes when adults and they were glowing just like his. There was recognition and something else in that almost human gaze.
The spell was broken when the wolf whined for a third time and it hesitantly took it's eyes off of Cloud to bite at his hind seventeen year old frowned and looked the creature over, gaze stopping at the frightening amount of blood flow oozing over a silver snare.
"Poor thing… I can… I can try to free you if you promise not to harm me." Cloud told it hesitantly. This creature was not a monster but it could still kill him regardless. A thump of the bushy tail was all he received. It brought a sad smile to his face and the blonde slipped the Black Materia into the pocket of his tattered blue trousers before he moved slowly towards the black wolf.
"I'm going to touch your leg now and try to loosen the snare. It's going to hurt, so as soon as it's loose enough, I want you to pull your leg out immediately." He didn't understand why he was talking to the wounded animal like it was human but it was giving him the courage to help this creature. Those sharp blue eyes followed his slow movements intently and as soon as Cloud was in reach, it laid its head in the boy's lap. Cloud looked down at those shining blue eyes and cringed in sympathy.
"I'm sorry. Just hold on." Cloud murmured, touching a soft ear briefly and then leaning over the large dark body to reach the source of the problem. It looked horrible, metallic teeth dug into raw and bloody flesh, almost clamped right down to the bone. Cloud winced and began whispering soft encouragement to the hurt wolf, small fingers clutching opposing jaws and pulling hard. The wolf yelped and whined, writhing painfully on the ground. It never made a move to hurt Cloud in anyway though.
"Hold on, almost there. It's okay." He told the animal. The trap was resisting and Cloud gritted his teeth. The pained sounds the creature was making fueled something inside him and his blue eyes flared green, the trap suddenly opening easily and snapping in two from the force. The blonde blinked in surprise, the glow fading. Had he…? No, the snare must have been faulty. The wolf stood to its full height and limped into Cloud arms slowly.
The seventeen year old accepted that weight, too shocked to do anything else. The wolf inhaled deeply, over and over, as if trying to remember how to breathe or maybe taking in his scent to memorize it. There was a feeling of melancholic déjà vu and connection, like they knew each other and something like this had happened before, but that was impossible…
"Come with me." Cloud whispered suddenly, he felt vulnerable out in the wild and for some reason, he didn't want the creature to leave. The wolf nuzzled into his chest before pulling away and limping in the direction of Nibelhiem. The blond shot to his feet and stood in front of the injured animal, drawing a soft surprised growl.
"Don't go that way! They're… Someone is burning …my town. They'll kill you." He insisted. The wolf stared at him for a long moment and then side stepped him, rubbing dark fur against the shivering boy reassuringly as it continued its unwavering path. Cloud stared at it in shock and concern, but then figured that it's home was that way. As dangerous as it was, an animal would always return to the familiar if injured and needed to recover. The wolf glanced back at him for a long moment and then disappeared into the foliage.
The blonde youth stared at where the wolf had disappeared forlornly and then started walking away on his previous course. Away from the ashes of all he had ever known and into his new life.
The black wolf limped past shadowed trees and dark undergrowth towards his goal. He stopped and nosed underneath a log and tugged a heavy bundle from the hollowed crevice, sitting it carefully nearby. Ears perked and swerved, mako blue eyes scanning his surroundings diligently. Finding nothing but the traces of his blond savior walking through the undergrowth two miles to the west, the wolf sat down on his haunches carefully and closed his shining eyes.
Green tendrils burst from the core of the furred body and engulfed the wolf swiftly, reshaping the canine into a human form. The eyes opened slowly from a different face. The face of a nineteen year old human with honey-kissed skin, unruly black spikes, glowing blue orbs, and an easy smile. But that smile was absent now to give way to a pained expression. The wolfish features that carried over to his human form were the soft pointed ears and a full long tail, all black like his hair. Those ears were pressed back and the young werewolf hissed through his teeth as his fingers assessed the damage. Even the mako running through his veins wouldn't heal this. A werewolf was weak against silver and it prevented his healing ability even if he was mako infused right out of the womb.
"Damnit," the pale eyed boy cursed, reaching into the bundle nearby and pulling it to him. He opened the folds and found his PHS. He flipped it open and dialed a number he knew by heart. It rang once and a precious voice answered, causing the boy's tail to wag slightly.
"Zack? Is something wrong?" The deep voice asked; the concern evident. Zack smiled through his pain, love of his mate over-riding everything.
"Angeal, I got into a bit of trouble and it seems like Hojo's forces are burning the mountainous town nearby. I need you." He forced out, clutching his wound to stifle the blood. A beat passed and then Angeal spoke.
"Zack, I need more information than that. What sort of trouble and which village? I know you are in the forest west of Cosmo Canyon running, but I need a location." Zack frowned and drew the cell phone away to activate his beacon. His lover made a soft sound of approval but waited still for more information so he could help his puppy efficiently.
"I need something to negate the effects of silver so I can heal. I was trapped in a snare." He informed, feeling sort of stupid for his blunder. A string of curses filled the other line for a few seconds, making Zack smile. Angeal rarely cursed, but when he did he sounded worse than the pilot named Cid could do on his best days. His eyes widened softly, remembering the blond in the clearing.
"Angeal! I found...ugh..." He sat back as the silver ran through a new vein, on the verge of paralyzing him.
"Shhh, puppy. Tell me after I've gotten to you and healed you. You are my first priority." Angeal said stubbornly. Zack smiled, tail wagging in earnest now.
"I love you, Angeal." He murmured.
"And I you. Just stay where you are, I'm on my way." The line went dead and Zack closed the phone, slipping it into his SOLDIER uniform, not even bothering to get dressed. It would be easier to cure him with no obstacles and it wasn't like he was cold in this frigid air, the mako took care of that. The black haired werewolf sighed and laid against a tree, focusing on his breathing. But his thoughts were on the blond that had aided him. He had found him. Zack hadn't known that he was looking for the teenager specifically before he had laid eyes on him. But as soon as they had met, Zack could feel the connection. The boy didn't even need mako eyes for Zack to know they had met in the previous life. Not only had they met but...
Zack Fair flushed suddenly, a feeling that had only happened when he had met Angeal resurfacing. But not for just Angeal, but for the blond boy.
Oh fuck... How do I tell him...? I must have loved him like Angeal. This complicates things. I don't even know Spiky's name, but I know that I was in love. I can still feel it now, just as strong. Jeeze, Angeal is going to be so jealous and mad...and would he leave me?
Lost in his thoughts, Zack didn't notice the passing of time until a sudden breeze pulled him out of his musings and his ears laid back against soft spikes to lessen the harsh roar assaulting his keen hearing. His lover didn't even wait for the helicopter to land, jumping twenty feet from the air to land deftly on the ground.
"Zack!" Angeal called and he rushed to the injured werewolf, assessing the deep wound with a scowl. At the soft whimper, the hard expression softened and the older man met the sky blue eyes of his mate. Zack reached out a gentle hand touched the nearest shoulder blade of the long haired man.
"You've hidden your wing?" The youth asked, disapproval written into the pained expression. Angeal smiled sadly and reached into his pocket for the anti-silver potion made especially for these occasions. Zack adverted his eyes guiltily when his thoughts returned to the blond who had saved him. Angeal wouldn't really leave him would he?
No...he had a feeling that maybe Angeal would understand...somehow. Everything was so vague. Zack returned his attention to his lover, deciding to bring it out into the open later.
"Hojo's forces are more organized and aggressive. They are targeting everyone with special abilities and...features. We need to retreat to the head quarters of the rebellion." Large fingers gently ran down Zack's thigh and rubbed soothing circles near the aggravated wound. The younger boy winced.
"Hence the silver snare." He growled out painfully, clutching Angeal's shoulder guards for purchase. The older SOLDIER frowned, uncorking the vial.
"Yes, you are one of their prime targets. You'll have to be extra careful from now on, puppy." It was a gentle reprimand that made the boy smile but it was followed by a sharp whine as the yellow antidote was poured over his lower leg. Angeal caught him by the mouth and suckled on his lower lip to distract him, before ravaging his lover desperately. Zack made a soft sound, returning it with just as much vigor. The message was clear to them both. They would stay close together from now on and take care of one another. Even with Cloud in the mix, Zack didn't doubt that.
"Well, isn't this sweet?" A voice teased from nearby.
"Reno…" A deeper tone chastised and it was followed by a yelp.
"Ouch! Leggo of my tail, yo!" Angeal broke the kiss to allow Zack to peer over his shoulder as he healed the wound. A musical laugh tore from Zack as he looked at the other couple. Reno was glaring at the dark skinned man who had his fluffy red tail in hand.
"Hey Reno, Rude." Zack acknowledged and the red haired kitsune perked up and smiled. Rude huffed and released the tail now that he knew his fiery lover would behave.
"My apologies." Rude murmured, addressing Angeal who was whispering a cure spell, green materia in hand. Zack sighed in relief as the angry injury knitted itself shut, leaving no trace behind. A white wing burst from the larger man's back and it spread to full length to allow Zack some privacy as he dressed and equipped himself. The winged man glanced over his shoulder at Rude with a small smile.
"No need to apologize, Rude. I'm accustomed to Reno's mischief." Angeal returned his attention to Zack and smiled tenderly when seeing the boy sheath his broad sword with a flourish. The black SOLDIER uniform had a small slit in its seat to allow the wolf tail to wave freely behind the boy. Angeal quirked his head to the side at the worried expression on his puppy's face.
"Angeal, I need to tell you something. Please don't be mad, okay?" Zack pleaded. The older man's face turned serious but he nodded nonetheless, wondering what his younger lover could possibly say to make him angry.
"What is it, pup?" He replied. Zack fidgeted.
"Remember when I told you I was missing something? Well, I didn't get out of that snare on my own. Someone helped me. I found him, the thing that was missing and...he feels as important to me as you are." Zack lifted his eyes to Angeal's face. At first there was confusion, but then understanding dawned in those eyes followed by slight hurt.
"You...took another lover, Zack?" Angeal questioned, his words hesitant. The ebony haired werewolf frowned.
"I don't know if we were lovers, but I do know that I loved him. But we need to go get him. Hojo must have burnt his hometown looking for him!" Zack looked desperately in the direction he had seen the blond go. At the mention of Hojo, all three men bore somber expressions, Angeal's earlier bout of jealousy fading. When Hojo was concerned, he couldn't think of something so petty.
"How do you know this, Zack?" Rude demanded, placing a hand between Reno's ears.
"Yeah, buddy. Mr. Creepy could've been looking for anything, yo." The red haired kitsune leaned back into the petting hand. Zack frowned.
"He had… His eyes were mako eyes." There was a brief pause and all three men were in action. The two Turks ran to the chopper and began radioing headquarters and Angeal placed a hand on the shorter man's shoulder.
"Lead the way, puppy. And...we'll work this out." That was all the black haired werewolf needed and they both took off at a dead run. Angeal hid his wing with a wince and remained grounded, running swiftly alongside his smaller mate.
"Well, look at what we have here!" Cloud spun around and eyed the armored creature in panic. He usually could sense anyone who drew near, but that ability had abandoned him when food become scarce and the village grew poor. He was weakened, tired, and malnourished. There was a hum of appreciation and there was something about that voice that unsettled him. It was garbled and definitely not human.
"You are a pretty thing, but orders are orders and those are definitely mako eyes." The black clad creature stated, drawing a curved blade. Mako…eyes? The blonde frantically grabbed the first thing nearby that might serve as a weapon, coming up with a semi-sharp branch. The solider chuckled in amusement and shook its head.
"You going to fight me? Fine then, but you'll lose." The large creature charged and Cloud frantically dodged the wicked looking blade, trying desperately to find an opening in that heavy armor. He ducked another two blows, thanking Gaia that he was agile and the armor was slowing this thing down.
"I'm getting tired of these games, boy. Stand still!" There was the glow of Materia at the soldier's wrist and Cloud's eyes flared mako green as he lunged desperately for the chain link on the creature's neck. To his utter surprise, the branch penetrated the metal and sank deep into the flesh.
The creature groaned and groped for the branch at its neck, but it was falling and dying as the blackened blood sprayed from the wound. Cloud watch this with wide glowing eyes and stayed absolutely still until the soldier twitched his last.
Cloud collapsed on the forest floor, eyes closing. His entire body was screaming in pain and he was too weak to even lift his head. How was he supposed to get to Midgar if he couldn't even get up? Movement nearby startled him, his blue eyes flared green and he jumped up when he couldn't before, crouching defensively behind a tree.
A spiky haired man halted his sprint and stared wide-eyed right at him, inhuman ears tilted in his direction. Cloud froze as familiararity and a warmth he hadn't felt before blossomed in his chest at the sight of the other youth. Another man with long hair, dark blue eyes and a ridiculously huge sword stopped. Angeal followed his lover's gaze and unsheathed his Buster Sword. The spiky haired boy tensed but then stayed put when the sword was plunged deep into the earth.
Angeal surveyed the fallen soldier, finding Hojo's crest. Just who was this boy that his puppy found? He had taken a Eitret soldier down with a branch. Even though he was jealous of his puppy holding love for this youth in another life, possibly even now, Angeal couldn't deny the respect that the strength the other showed brought out in him.
Zack smiled and didn't touch his weapon, kneeling on the ground a few yards away from Cloud.
Those words carried tensely in the air and Cloud's face twisted in confusion, green fading a bit and he had to lean more fully against the tree. Should he answer? He was sure he knew this man, but could he trust him? And why was he thanking him? Too many unanswered questions and that was what prompted the blue eyed blonde to speak.
"For what?" He asked softly, taking in the man's odd features and looking at his tall companion worriedly. These men could kill him within a blink of an eye if the way the older man wielded that sword was any indication. The spiky haired werewolf smiled softly.
"For freeing me from the snare, thank you." Zack reiterated a gentle look in the blue eyes. Cloud blinked and fell back onto the ground in shock. This man was familiar in many ways and one had just become apparent. The wolf he had freed was standing before him as a human with a beautiful smile.
"It was a very honorable thing to do." His taller partner put in, offering a small wary smile. Cloud looked from one to the other, taking in their outlandish looks and battle hardened features.
"Who are you?" He asked softly, "you feel familiar, but I can't place it. I am sure I haven't met you before, but I know you."
"We can talk about it later. For now, my name is Zack Fair. And this is my lover, Angeal Hewley." Zack was eying him cautiously. Cloud frowned slightly when the warmth turned into something he recogized. Jealousy and hurt. Why would he be jealous if Zack had a lover?
"L…lover?" He questioned and the other boy pouted, his eyes guarded.
"You disapprove?" Angeal asked with a hard edge to his voice.
"N…no, it's just that," Cloud blushed, "no one in my town had a preference like that. That's all." Both men sort of gaped at him and Zack chuckled, edging a bit closer to the spiky haired blonde with an easygoing smile, his tail sending a soft breeze on the back on his legs.
"And who are you?" Zack asked. Cloud frowned suddenly.
"You aren't with the things who are burning Nibelhiem, are you?" His voice bordered on hostile. Zack shook his head frantically.
"No! We're part of the rebellion, its Hojo's men that did that. This creature right there? It's a Eitret. That's what Hojo's men look like." He replied.
"Hojo?" The small boy questioned with a confused expression. Angeal made a soft noise.
"Here isn't a safe place to discuss this, Zack. We need to get to headquarters." Angeal yanked his sword from the ground and sheathed it. Cloud tensed when Zack approached him slowly.
"You still haven't told us your name…" The werewolf pointed out with a small smile. The one on the ground eyed the other boy warily and then relaxed fully. Something about that voice and smile made him want to trust the man with his life. And the warmth was back. It was similar to what he felt for his mother, but much, much stronger.
"Cloud Strife." He answered and Zack grinned. Angeal froze at that. Strife…? No, now was not the time to bring the subject matter up.
"Okay, Cloud. I can't say much here, but we need to take you someplace safe, warm, and attend to your needs. Looks like you haven't had a decent meal in forever. We can exchange stories there. Do you trust me?" Zack held out his hand to the smaller boy and smiled. Cloud timidly returned it and clasped his hand with Zack's, allowing himself to be pulled to his feet. Once upright, he leaned heavily on the strong body for purchase. Zack shot his lover a worried look and pulled one of the boy's arms around his neck, helping him slowly back to the helicopter. Angeal sighed and wondered how he and Zack were going to handle this. It was obvious his feelings from his past life had carried over.
To be continued
Author's Note: Chapter One of the revised Reawakening. If you noticed, I added some things, fixed some errors, and lengthened the chapter. Hope you enjoy the come back and please leave a review below! It really encourages my writing to hear back from you. Also, if you noticed, I added more to the Zack, Cloud, and Angeal triangle to make things a bit more interesting.