Disclaimer. Don't own FF7. If I did, Zack wouldn't have died, Seph never would have gone insane. And we'd have all the Yaoi Three-somes we could handle.
Rated M. Yaoi in later parts.
Summary: Cloud gets sent back, when his Adult mind is suddenly slammed into his teenage body. Only this time is it really a second chance for Cloud to stop Nibelheim from happening, or will Cloud decide he's tired of it all and try a different path… one of Evil?
The call of the "TRAINING TIME OUT!" and the whistle blow stopped the forced run to stop. One of the recruits passed out. The small blond that half mistook for a female with that fluffy chocobo plumage style hair and the matching blue stormy eyes matches with a slim but taut physique.
He'd never be one of the big ones… or the brawny ones. Or, for that matter, the running ones. One of the medical trained recruits prop the slim body that seemed to have gone into shock from the forced merciless running they'd been doing.
However, after a bit of cold water and time and cheek slapping, the Recruit moans… mumbling something incoherent as he reaches to grasp his left arm. As his eyes blink and he sits up sharply, Cloud draws a hissing breath… then blinks… gazing about in no little confusion before peering to his arm… tugging up the sleeve and looking utterly baffled.
The group of jeering and training First, watching the years Cadets be run into the ground was...A cheap form of entertainment. Most could elbow jab and back thwap each other in friendly manners recalling their own times under the Harsh Drills and the few drill instructors that delighted in running their young charges ragged.
Among that group however one stood remotely apart, passive violet eyes watching the commotion. He'd seen the blond stumble and fall...but it hadn't been the same sort of fall he'd seen from others to have passed out under running. No the little blond kid had reacted first as if he'd been struck by something... Or had something slammed into him from behind. Still... sighing he dropped his crossed arms and went to jog over.
The nagging voice speaking about Honor, and Pride wouldn't leave him until he drew close enough to check on the boy himself. "All right All right. Shove off." He made vague shooing motions to the crowded Cadets. "OI... 10 more laps to the last one standing here gawking by the time I count to 3." Crouching down the raven haired First peers at the Blond.
Blinking slowly, the confused blond passes his hand over his unmarked arm before patting his chest down. However, as a taller figure suddenly steps forward to stand shadowing over him as the others go skittering past… though, a redhead watches with curiosity before turning to go.
The bold blue eyes stare up to the man above him as a sharp breath is drawn, Cloud leaning back with his eyes wide.
"You're…" He pauses… then reaches out to poke Zack's chest as if not believing it. Solid. Warm. Alive.
Glancing about in confusion he peers to the training hall as if recognizing yet not recognizing it. Turning his attention back to the very much alive person in front of him, Cloud realizes he must look like a lunatic. Reaching up to rub the back of his head, he manages a somewhat sheepish look. "Think I hit my head."
Zackary Fair.. The Demon of Wutai's Best Friend... blinked those pale and brilliant violet eyes at the poke to his chest. A single black eyebrow quarks up as the First cocks his body's weight to one hip and itches back behind his head. It's clear enough the Raven haired man is puzzled by the actions.
Still those eyes blink, and are then quickly follow by a bright smile. The low chuckled laugh showing he'd taken no offence for the showing of disrespect from a Cadet. The Larger First made a slight shooing motion towards the hovering medical staff; He'd take responsibility to making sure the Kid went to the med wing to be checked over. At hearing the soft exclamation from the Blond the larger first reached out and nabs the boy by the chin, turning his head up even as he lent down to peer into Cloud's eyes.
"Huh. Nope, they're not dilated. Bet you just dehydrated, and have a headache from it. Here... follow me and we'll get you checked over." Grinning Zack let go of the blonds chin and then... as if unable to help himself ruffled the blond's hair.
Nodding wordlessly, the cadet showing a surprising amount of thoughtful caution and study glances about before blinking, looking adorably flustered by the hand ruffling his hair. And pushing himself to his feet, he dusts himself off… then stumbles slightly. Looking somewhat perturbed, he glances at his hands then pats down his body as if feeling out of sorts, a soft thoughtful frown gracing his lips.
However, as one of the medics that leaves suggest Zack bring him to medical Cloud's head snaps up. "No!" He pauses… realizing the sharp conviction in his voice might be out of place… he softens his tone, as he speaks again. "I'm fine."
Zack rose to his feet with a smooth fluid motion, the ever present half grin-half smile never leaving his face, yet somehow it didn't reach the First's eyes. Just like the General hid his thought behind a blank expression, Zack hid his with a smile. He did reach out however to lay a steadying hand on the blonds shoulder.
Tightening his hand gave a small tug and unless the blond wanted to be drug along like some doll would have to walk. "Sorry kid. No and whatever fear you have isn't good enough to keep you from being checked over by the medical staff." Zack shifted his eyes to glance down at the Blond." Or do you find Ladies treating you Cadets so horrible." He winked then and continued to ramble on. "I think I'd die and be in haven, well at least they're prettier then the Doctors assigned to treating the Firsts."
Cloud seems to stubbornly attempt to hold his ground; however, it doesn't last long as he's tugged along after Zack. Stumbling slightly on heavy feeling legs, he reaches out to steady himself with a hand on the dark haired man's arm. Blushing slightly, he rolls his eyes up to look to the cockily grinning SOLDIER. "Hu… Female medics… aren't… too bad…" He pauses. How does he explain how the sight, sound, smell, feel of a lab unhinges him and rattles what marbles he has left?
"I'm fine, really. I don't like..." He pauses. "…doctors."
Zack gave a small playful push, seeing as he knew the kid would keep pace with him now. Shrugging a little the First shoved his hands into his pants pockets but continued none the less towards the medical building assigned for just treating Cadets. "Hell kid, you make it sound like I'm marching you off to your own execution, instead of just a check over." Zack didn't bother to look over at the Cadet, instead keeping his eyes forward.
"Look, all they're going to do is shin a light in your eyes, take a few vitals... maybe make you sit and drink an entire bottle of supplemental water... And have you rest the rest of that day. "
At Zack's mention of an execution, the young blond says something… eerie. As if he were much older, a weight of grim knowing fills his soft voice. "There are things far worse than death."
However, as he follows after Zack, he simply grunts softly at the mention of water and vitals. "I don't have time to be lazy. I have to get stronger."
Zack had been a little thankful the blond was a set behind him; otherwise he doubted he could have hidden his expression. He cocked his head however making sure none of what was turning around in his head showed on his face. No one Cloud's age should ever have had to sound like that. The Kid sounded like Seph did on some days, like they both knew the burden of a fate to unspeakable to name.
Still he shoved it tot he back of his mind, and flashed Cloud a grin. "Yah well... Believe me. Enjoy a break when you can get one. Pushing yourself to be better is well and good and all but push too hard and sometimes things break." Still... something inside the first made him feel like he just had to be close to this kid. 'Don't question Fate Zack; She's a right mean Bitch.'
"Tell you what Kid, You go in, get your clean bill. And if you still want to 'get stronger' come to the First's training gym. Ask for Fair." Zack paused just outside the double doors that would lead into the Cadets medical building. He turned and winked before reaching over and shoving Cloud inside. "Oh and say HI to the Doc for me, She's a real treat." The First waved as the doors continued to swing shut.
"Sometimes when you break…and you pick up your pieces, you come out stronger. But… things never fit together the same way as they had before." The blond states with a surprising maturity. However, as he's shoved inside the doors to the medical room, he yelps slightly in surprise, stumbling somewhat as he's taken in.
Unfortunately, about an hour later, Cloud finds himself sitting on a bed in one of the more isolated rooms, now handcuffed because he kept trying to sneak out. They just wanted to keep him for observation. He failed on his motor-skills tests… sensory… and worst of all; he bombed the question about the Date! Thinking he might have injured his head in his collapse, they decided to keep him overnight. The relevant information is passed to his training command; however, he glares silently to the wall, sitting eerily still and obviously indrawn to an eerie calm as he tugs now and then on the cuff about his wrist.
Inwardly, though… he was pissed. PISSED! Crawling forward, he stretches his arm to the best of his ability to try to reach the chart at the foot of his bed, muscles straining and wrist raw red from stretching to try to go beyond his limited reach.
The pair of muffled voices came floating down the hall, they where still to far away but while one could be hurd the other only guessed at.. unless of course the one speaking enjoyed talking to himself.
Zack mosyed along the hall way. When the blond hadn't shown up like the First thought he would, Zack had waited around until even he had to leave. Still he'd put his time finishing reports to good use, and had taken a look at the Kid's personal file. He'd had a small chuckle over the kid's name, but had to use a map to the kid's hometown.
He'd kept up an endless stream of gab to his companion, his mouth running off on auto while his mind worked over his thoughts. The kid had fair marks, at least in most of his subjects. Hand to hand needed to be worked on but with the kids size Zack could understand why. Reflexes where good from what instructors had left in their assessments. The kid just couldn't run...Zack was going to guess it had something to do with Air. Living that high up by a mountain was sure to cause the air to be thinner or colder. Midgar tended to be a bit thick and moist when it came to air.
'You're here stupid'... 'Huh..?'... 'The kid's room, you're here.' His brain finally caught up with the rest of him and Zack blinked as sure enough... he was standing outside the room they'd plunked Cloud in. Grinning like a loon the First dashed forward, hit the door and threw it open before practically bouncing into the room. "Spiky!"
The Handcuff rattled with a clang as Cloud is suddenly startled by the sound of the door slamming open. The chart he barely had goes falling to the ground as he lurches back into a defensive poise, his other arm up and rose to shield himself. Surprising reflexes and habit despite the clumsiness he's been showing.
Looking up to Zack in recognition, he sinks to sit calmly… looking a far cry different than the photo of him in the file that had been taken less than a week prior. It was… young, sullen, and stubborn. Now, those blue eyes were alert and more mature. However, he sighs as he sits back, glaring to his cuffed wrist. "I told you I shouldn't have come here."