Harder Than It Looks
Zack gets more than he bargained for when he gets a job training some new recruits and finds himself attracted to one. ZxC smut, Yaoi. All characters other than my own belong to their respective owners. First FanFic, Rating will later change.
He ran down the corridor with such speed that people in his way only had milli-seconds to get out of his way. Shoving his gloves on, he burst through the door and collapsed onto his knees and took in the much needed air into his lungs.
"Ang- Angeal!" he gasped to the floor "I slept in, I hope I'm not late"
"No Zack" said the older male who was sat at his desk shuffling through papers "You're not late, on time actually"
"Great!" Zack beamed jumping to his feet and forgetting the cramp he had in his ribs till he felt the muscles grind together and scream out in pain. He gripped his side and grit his teeth together in the hope that his old mentor didn't notice. It had only been two months ago since he was upgraded to First Class with Angeals' help, he didn't want to let him down.
"Are you sure you still want to do this?" Angeal asked, slipping the papers together with a bright green paper clip "Sure you don't want to do your missions instead?"
"One hundred per cent" Zack smiled "It's not every day new cadets come in is it?"
"No" Angeal agreed "Just every year. You can hold off for another year you know?"
He walked over to the teenager and handed him the papers and clasped him on the shoulder.
"But I want to do this now" Zack whined "That reminds me, why aren't you doing it this year?"
"Me?" Angeal chuckled running a hand through his dark hair "Fancied a break from teaching, now that you're all sorted and doing your own thing"
"But you and Seph are the best with the cadets" Zack praised "What if I muck this up? It'll be my entire fault if the ones I train don't get the best out of Shinra"
"Calm down Pup" Angeal laughed "It's your first time, so the General and I thought to give you only ten cadets"
"Ten?" Zack yelped "C'mon, don't mock me; I can do better than that!"
"It's harder than it looks you know" Angeal said "I think ten is plenty to start you off with"
"Fine" Zack huffed quickly flicking through the papers and eyeing up each picture of the cadets now in his care "Man, half of these don't look a day over twelve let alone sixteen. Are you sure all of these are over the legal age?"
"Yes" Angeal sighed, going back over to his cluttered desk "We gave you a mixture of cadets who have potential and ones who will give up after a week"
"The first place I'm taking these is the canteen; they look like they need a decent meal" Zack tutted "Especially these three: Collins, Morris and Strife"
"Your job is to train them Zack, not criticize" Angeal said tapping away at his computer "Remember how small you were?"
"Not this small. It also didn't help that you, Seph and Gen were all huge"
"You do realise you're needed in the Hall in ten minutes right?"
"Oh crap, really?"
Angeal nodded while keeping his eyes on the screen of the monitor and quickly skimming over a report. Zack quickly mock saluted him, tucked the papers under his arm and left the office. He scratched the back of his head nervously and headed left towards where he was needed. He looked over the documents again and wished he had time to read through each of his trainees' profiles before he met them all. He also checked his back pocket to make sure his key card was still there, thankfully it was, without it, his cadets wouldn't be able to get into their rooms – and that would be annoying. Laughing silently at the thought, he entered through the large red doors of the Main Hall and saw around about a hundred newbies stood in their normal clothes, looking awkward and lost. Around the edges were other First Class SOLDIERS like him. He recognised one and walked over to him.
"Zack" Marcus Glint grinned "Nervous yet?"
"Like you couldn't imagine" Zack panted.
"Normal" Marcus smiled, his floppy brown hair flapping as he turned his face back to the cadets "You'll be fine. Just don't let them take advantage and you show them who is boss. You know, the alpha male"
"Yeah" Zack breathed as he recognised a few faces from the pictures in his hand "How many did you get?"
"Me? I got twenty-four. You?"
"Ten? Even on my first try I got fifteen" he stopped and thought for moment, rubbing his chin with his gloved hand "Then again, they did all quit not long afterwards" he shrugged then remained silent as he lent against the pale green wall with his arms crossed over his chest.
Zack gazed around the room again and took in some of the faces; some looked too young to even be here. Some looked scared and others just looked plain arrogant. There was one lad at the back of the hall who was at least six feet tall and the size of a bulldozer. Zack checked his files and sighed with relief when he saw that this guy wasn't one of his. While he was waiting he tried to match the pictures with the faces. He instantly recognised one named Cloud Strife as he was one of the few blond ones out of the whole Hall, and the only blond soon to be in Zacks care. His eyes lingered on the small lad for a moment, he was fascinated over the hair style the kid had taken on – wild spikes in all directions – kinda like his own but his were more controlled and slicked back. The kid was small but he didn't seem shy at all, speaking heartily with the boys closest to him. Zack noticed that the blond was talking to another one of his own recruits Tobias Morris, a lad taller than Strife but just as slim. He was in complete contrast as well, with pure black crew cut hair and dark brown eyes.
He flicked to the other page and looked around for a Kyle Bonsley. He had a harder time finding him as he was in the middle of a large crowd with even larger guys. He shook his head at the sight of the boy – small, visibly shivering and looking shifty – he wouldn't last long. He was cute too, easy target for sexual predators, he would have to keep a close eye on him and the company he kept.
Before he could try and target anyone else a deep cough rang around the Hall and everyone went quiet immediately and looked in awe at the stage, where the high and mighty General Sephiroth stood, wearing his full black attire and his silky silver hair trailing down to his hips. His cat like green eyes surveyed the new meat in front of him, his mouth thin lipped and tightly worn in a frown.
"Sex on fucking legs" Marcus whispered at Zack who wasn't really listening and waiting for Sephiroth to begin speaking. But he guessed Marcus was right, Sephiroth was just how Marcus had labelled him. Zack himself had fantasied about the General once or twice but he soon forgot about it when he got attached to Angeal (not as lovers, just the whole mentor and student thing).
Sephiroth placed his arms around his back and stood with his legs slightly apart, making him look strong and noble.
"Cadets" he finally said, his voice filtering to all corners of the large room without the aid of a microphone "Welcome. You have all made the right choice in choosing Shinra as your future careers'. But, the road to success will not be an easy one, and if you came here seeking a simple life then I suggest you leave now, we train men, not girl scouts. While you are here, you will be under the supervision of an allocated SOLDIER First Class who you see standing around the edges of this Hall"
Heads turned in all directions, eyes seeking out these named SOLDIERS, Zack felt like he was on display in a glass cabinet as many eyes raked across him at the same time. He kept his cool and held his chin up high, making himself look worthy of being there.
Sephiroth carried on his speech, trying to keep it small as he wanted to leave as soon as possible. "Your superiors will advise you of the rules we keep here, and if these are not met, consequences will be severe" he gave them all a hard stare then ended with "Now, will SOLDIERS get all of their cadets and take them to their rooms"
He left the stage quickly to silence. Genesis Rhapsodos, the one SOLDIER ranked right under Sephiroth stepped forwards and started announcing names off his list. Little squeaks or 'Sir' and 'Yes' followed after each name. Genesis smugly looked over his cadets once he got them all and made them all follow him out of the Hall. Zack noticed that the red head left with his papers and a little black book, LOVELESS no doubt, under his arm. Two more SOLDIERS stepped forwards and collected their appointed cadets then Marcus picked up his twenty-four and left Zack with ten others. Trying to be professional about it, although the numbers matched up, he decided to call the names out anyway.
"I'm Zack Fair" he announced firstly "You're probably wondering why you lot are in such a smaller group than the others but don't worry, you're all honoured to be my first cadets ever, isn't that great?"
"So you're saying" said the largest in the group "You've never done this before?"
"Erm" Zack stuttered "Yes, but isn't it good you have a mentor who is fresh as well?"
"Not . . . really" the boy said.
"Well-" Zack said determined, flicking through the photos and getting the right one "-Anthony Higgins, you have no choice in the matter. You're gunna have to like it or lump it, and if you lump it, see if I care, it's not my future you'll be messing up. I'll still get paid the same"
He mentally cursed himself for that last little bit 'I sound like my old school teacher'.
It seemed to do the trick as no one questioned him further about it. Smiling inwardly he took the pen he had stuck behind his ear and got ready to tick names off his list.
"Sir" a tall lad with a skin head piped up, he looked like a real bruiser, his biceps were well developed for his stated age of seventeen. He looked older however; Gaia knew how many new recruits lied about their ages to get into Shinra. He ticked the name.
"Francis Down?" he continued.
In five minutes he managed to get all names ticked and everything was going well – so far. He placed the small blue pen back onto his ear, reminding himself to not forget that it was there, and tucked the papers under his arm, like a Corporal would do with his stick. He clicked his fingers and mentally did a back flip as all ten youngsters followed him like lost sheep. He took them down to the barracks at the end of a long corridor. The newbies were 'oohing' at nearly everything they saw on the way, and the first lad almost got smacked in the face by the door Zack held out for him and let go when he thought the cadet was going to grab it, but he was too busy staring at something, that when he turned around it was too late. It was all good humour as everyone (even the one hit) laughed, Zack immediately apologised through his own giggles.
They reached the rooms and Zack used his key card and opened the first door.
"Your own key cards should be in here already along with your luggage" he explained "So in here will be Array and Down"
The two lads stepped forwards and went into their room and checked it out.
"Before you get comfortable" Zack said "I want you up at six hundred hours tomorrow alright?"
"Sir!" they all chorused together giving him an up-tight salute. He smiled and shook his head.
"Just call me Zack" he insisted "But not in front of the other Commanders mind"
"Sir!" they repeated together then all looked a little guilty and looked anywhere other than Zack who just shook his head again and closed Daniel and Francis' door. He moved to the next one and spoke two other names "Morris and Strife"
The blond and the crew cut kid moved forwards and entered their room.
"Night lads" Zack grinned as he closed the door.
"Man" Morris sighed loudly, falling onto the nearest bed to him and stretching "Crazy day huh?"
"I guess" Cloud replied putting his coat onto the hook near the wall next to him "Be worst tomorrow"
"I'm sure we can handle it, Tobias by the way" he held out his hand which Cloud shook instantly.
"Cloud" he introduced.
"Cool name, different. Where you from?"
"Nibleheim" he answered "You?"
"Me? Edge. Ever been there?"
"Nope, this is the first place I've been outside my home town"
"Well don't worry mountain boy" Tobias grinned "I'll look out for you. A cutie like you is a perfect target for the perverts around here. And looking around the Hall today, I can pin point quite a few of them"
"Thanks?" Cloud shrugged sitting on the end of his bed "But I'm sure I can handle myself"