jdee_gurl: (Zack lean)

Title: Return of the Departed
Author: J’dee
Series: Final Fantasy VII
Chapter Rating: G
Pairs: None

AN: Sorry for the kinda filler chapter, and yes Rufus vacates during this chapter I think I'm finally over the Rufus kick ;p


Chapter Seven


Sephiroth had only got up to walk away from the table to move away from Zack and Genesis' arguing. Zack was trying Sephiroth gave the younger man that much, but Genesis over time had become bitter, resenting that Zack had been spared death not once or twice but three times yet Angeal, Angeal remained dead. Obviously not hearing Angeal from the lifestream was causing the red head some distress, enough to take it out on Zack. Zack was on the defensive, this alien had targeted him, his family his friends so he wasn't putting up with Genesis' tormenting. That left him in the middle between the two. So he decided to currently let them have their rants and get their frustrations off their chests.

Walking away from the two Sephiroth was bemused that this being had indeed chosen Zack, when all the information that he could have learned by now would have told the alien that Jenova was essentially inside his head first, not Zack.

Reno was lying on the couch Rude sitting in front of the red head's legs, Tseng stood in front of the window looking outside obviously watching Rufus. Elena was by the door leading to where Angel and Cloud were under the watchful eye of the fangirl doctor.
The dark skinned Turk and Vincent had vanished.

Sephiroth frowned the human nature of curiosity had never been a weakness in his old body, but this body needed to know everyone was accounted for and that there were no surprises. He walked past Elena the brown eyes just glaring as he strode pass her. Sure enough the dark skinned Turk was in a lab. The former Vampire leaning up against the wall. Red eyes just looked at him, but no words were said.
The Turk was looking down a microscope.

“Anything?” Sephiroth asked.
“It seems what he did to Cloud, he did to Angel. The kid isn't a fighter. So we have to find something and fast. Someway of beating it.” The Turk sighed. “I'm a scientist sure, but this is above anything I've ever done and I've done some strange stuff.”
Sephiroth noticed Vincent pull out his phone and flip it open. “I'll be back.”
Vincent dialed a number walking out of the lab and shutting the door. Sephiroth looked onward, for a moment before looking to the Turk.
“Did you need a hand with anything?”

~*~*~*~

Reno held up a small pieces of paper his mouth round a couple of fortune cookies. Swallowing his mouthful he glared at the piece of paper.
“What the fuck is 'keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see shadows'? supposed to mean?”
Reno heard Tseng let out a breath from where he stood.
“Hey Tseng you know these things. Translate yo.”
“Not now Reno.” Tseng stated.
Reno sat up and lent on Rude looking at Tseng. “Is he still going all skitzo out there?”
“Fraid so.” Tseng replied.
“I wish he would tell us what's wrong.” Elena sighed.

Zack was sitting at the table and he let out a breath Genesis had left to make more tea leaving Zack to fume over the last word Genesis got in.
He glanced to the Turks realizing then and there Sephiroth had vacated.
“Something up with Rufus?” He stood up walking up to the door and looking out. Zack had expected to see Rufus just moping but it looked like he was in a full scale discussion with... no-one.
“Creepy.” Zack remarked. He saw Tseng glare at him.
Zack held up his hands. “Hey maybe that alien dude got to him like he did me.”
Tseng raised a brow. “Got to him?”
“The guys inside my head.” Zack tapped the side of his head. “I can hear him, it's not like when Seph and Jenova were using my body, but different.”
Tseng let out a breath. “You want to talk to him don't you?”
Zack nodded. “Yeah I can't explain it. I feel like I have to talk to him. It's weird.”
“We all know you have a weakness for blondes.”
Zack's eyes went flat as she shot Genesis a look. The red head in the doorway with his cup of tea.
“Go.” Tseng stated. “I don't want to listen to you two argue any longer.”
Zack slipped past Tseng to the door and outside quickly before Genesis could get another shot in.

~*~*~*~

Rufus let out a breath as he heard the door open, he glanced at Aerith as she stood there she was looking onward and he knew who it was by her saddened expression.
“Zack.” Rufus stated. He heard the footsteps stop. “To what do I owe this honor?”
“Uh...” Zack sounded confused. “How did you know it was me?”
Aerith nodded her head Rufus. “You can tell him. He would not think less of you.
“A little bird told me. In a pink dress.” Rufus glanced over his shoulder to see Zack's expression.
His mouth moved slowly. “Y-You see them?”
“You missed Angeal giving me a lecture. I think he went to see how Sephiroth was holding up.”
Zack walked up to Rufus and sat next to him. “I heard about Clover...”
“His parting gift to me.” Rufus stated.
Zack nodded his head slowly. “They're worried about you in there.”
Rufus sighed. “I figured they would be. You know I can't say anything... not yet.”
“Your secret is safe with me sir.” He looked down. “I want to thank you for your support though, for helping take care of myself and Cissnei and our kids... You didn't have to ya know.”
“I did Zack, ShinRa owed you, for what you had to endure.”
Zack chucked. “Cloud didn't accept any pay outs did he?”
Rufus shook his head. “No. He managed on his own and turned us down each time.”
Zack smiled. “He makes me look bad half the time. I would have too if Cissnei hadn't said it was okay.” He looked down. “So has Aerith said if Cissnei's okay? I know her soul is damaged but they didn't say how bad it was.”

Rufus looked to Aerith and she looked down before taking a step up to Zack.
She'll be okay in time if we do this right, but right now she's in recovery.
Rufus let out a breath. “And if we do this wrong?” He looked to Aerith.
You won't.” She smiled. “You know you can help Cloud. If he was awake they could-
Rufus saw Zack looking at him. “Hold that thought.” He remarked to Aerith. “Your wife is still recovering.”
Zack nodded. “You can continue your conversation, I don't mind. I've never seen what it looks like from the outside, this is a first for me.”
Rufus sighed and he nodded at Aerith. “You were saying.”
The ability Clover gave you, it's not like mine, but he knew how to wake Cloud up, that, our voices the voice of planet he gave it all to you.

Zack sat there silent and he watched Rufus having a conversation with Aerith, even though he couldn't hear her or see her, part of him felt comforted just to feel her there.
“You know I'm not used to taking orders from anyone.” Rufus stated.
Zack glanced to where Rufus was looking. To know she was standing right there, so close. Yet he could do nothing because he couldn't see her or hear her.
“I will try, I understand Cloud is needed.”
Zack blinked. “She said you can wake Cloud didn't she?”
Rufus nodded. “I believe it's time to wake Cloud and your son up.”
“What about the infections or whatever those things are?” Zack asked.
“I'll need somewhere to dispense them so get your doctor friend.”
“Uuuuh she's not my friend. She's more the epitome of Seph's rabbid fangirls.” Zack pointed out.

~*~*~*~

Sephiroth lent in the doorway, he watched Rufus sitting over Cloud.
“Perhaps you should not be there when he wakes up.” Vincent stated.
Sephiroth raised a brow at Vincent but didn't move from the spot. “He needs to know sooner or later.”
“Well you have kinda traumatized him in the past Seph.” Zack pointed out.
“He'll get over it.” Genesis stated.
“Seph tried to kill him.” Zack exclaimed.
El stepped between the two fractions just in time as Sephiroth spoke.
“I don't like puppets with no mind of their own.”
Zack's eyes went flat. “With what Hojo did to him no both of us Seph, doesn't that make me a puppet too?”
Genesis nodded. “A failed puppet, but a puppet none-the-less.”
Zack glared at Genesis. “I wasn't asking you.”
Sephiroth sighed. Before his insanity he had been fond of Angeal's student, the hyper active puppy, he knew Zack personally before he became a puppet. Cloud he had only met once or twice, he had never paid the grunts no mind.
“Do you mind?” Rufus growled. “You want me to wake him up then you all need to shut up.”
“How are you going to do this when Clover didn't tell you how?” Ezekiel asked.
Rufus sighed. “Do you really need to know?”
Ezekiel blinked looking to the bloodied hand prints on the sleeves. He shook his head glancing back at Tseng then turning back to Rufus.
Sephiroth looked at Zack who glanced at him from where he sat on the other side of Cloud. Zack looked to his friend.

Rufus waited til the room was silent and he stood up over Cloud and laid a hand on Cloud's bare arm. He closed his eyes and he could feel the sensation of movement gathering towards his hand.
“Doctor Kinshaw. Draw them out from here.” Rufus stated.
The woman rushed to his side and she quickly found one of Cloud's veins and set the needle up before injecting the blonde's arm and drawing the plunger out, drawing the blood out hooking the tube into place she stepped back looking at the purple colored blood.
“Oh gross.” Reno remarked from behind Tseng. “Why is it purple yo?!”
“RENO!” Tseng turned round pushing the red head away and leading him away from the open door.
“Those not needed should vacate the area.” Vincent stated and walked past Sephiroth and Genesis shooting them both a look, but both seemed to ignore him. Ezekiel took his leave though.

Rufus let out a breath, it left the unconscious Cloud and Angel on the two beds, himself, the doctor and the three former 1st class SOLDIER's.
Rufus let his eyes close, he didn't understand these new thoughts that popped into his head, but it was those thoughts that appeared there that guided him in what he was doing.
“Zack we will need some of your blood to replace what Cloud is going to loose.” The doctor spoke.
“Uh yeah sure. Anything you need.”
“Anything I need?” The doctor grinned at him.
“To help Cloud.” Zack sighed.
Rufus pushed the conversation away. He was searching for his mental link to the planet or the lifestream, he was trying to locate it, his hand moved to Cloud's chest, his eyes still closed and he tried to locate the mental link to help guide him through the next stage.

Zack felt the needle jab his arm and he watched the female doctor setting up to transfer the blood to Cloud, she moved round Rufus almost like the president wasn't even there.
“Wouldn't my blood taint Cloud's with whatever it was that he put in me?” Zack asked.
“Maybe, but I doubt he would let his cells transfer, being that you're the one he wants to torment. Not this one.” She tapped Cloud on the cheek.
Zack looked to Cloud watching as Rufus mouth moved and Zack raised a brow seeing the flow of green beginning to form around him. He looked to Sephiroth who seemed to watch with intrigue.

Rufus had only managed to find the link to the planet just, he couldn't explain it, but Clover's voice had lead him to the mental link of the planet. His own mental ties to the planet weak. He couldn't seem to hold the link long enough, his mind was definitely untrained for this.
He recalled Clover saying he was hiding in the depth of the lifestream. Now he understood why. His link to the planet was Clover, Clover had given him his ability and then re-linked himself to his abilities that Rufus now held.
Letting out a breath Rufus could feel the heat forming in his hands as they moved over Cloud's body.
He became aware of the quick intake of breath and eyes opened, Rufus pulled his hands back.
Cloud's eyes were open and staring at him in shock.
“R-Rufus?” His voice came out hoarse. “Zack?”
“Yeah we're here buddy. Rufus that was pretty mental, think you can teach me how to do that?” Zack asked.
Rufus glanced at Zack. “There is no way I could teach anyone to do that.”
“I'll teach you my version of healing wave.” The teasing that came out in Zack's voice made Rufus want to shoot him. But he refrained such actions in front of Cloud.

Cloud tried to move but found every inch of his body hurt.
“Okay my turn.” Zack grinned at Rufus clapping his hands together.
Cloud raised a brow then he felt the cooling sensation swirl round his body, he was aware Zack was able to adapt to others abilities. But he had no idea Zack still used some of them to this day.
“How do you feel Cloud?”
Cloud froze at the familiar smooth voice and he glanced to the other side of the room. Looking at him with absolute contempt was Sephiroth. Genesis standing next to him.
Cloud looked round the room quick he had to protect them from Sephiroth.
“Easy.” Zack's hands went to his shoulders. “He's not going to hurt you...” Mako blue eyes looked at Sephiroth. “Are you Seph?”
“Hmph, I'm beyond wasting my time on puppets.” Sephiroth looked to Zack. “Well some puppets.” Cloud watched Sephiroth turn round and walk out. He looked at Zack and Rufus. The ShinRa exec didn't look too pleased with Sephiroth being around as Cloud did.
“Zack... whose body is he possessing?”
“Quinn. Turns out he listened to my request. The issue isn't Seph anymore though Cloud.” Zack looked at him seriously. “He's the Seph we used to know. A bit more remorseful, but still Seph. The issue is that Hloskova guy.”
Cloud watched Rufus walk up to Angel then place his hands over the body and he saw the glow of green round Rufus making his eyes widen.
“Z-Zack.” He began.
“Seems his Cetra employee thought it would be best if Rufus was our connection to the planet. Nuts huh?” Zack chuckled quietly.
“Poetic Justice is more like it.” Cloud stated in a whisper watching Rufus as he 'healed' Angel.
Rufus cleared his throat before looking at the two of them. “I can still hear you two.”

~*~*~*~

Sephiroth sat at the table with Genesis as Cloud and Zack finally emerged from the room.
“We're done here.” Rufus stated following them then nodded at Tseng.
“So we're leaving yo?”
“Best not to crowd the good doctor.” Rufus looked at Zack. “I'll be in contact.”
Zack nodded at Rufus. “No prob. Thanks again Rufus.”
Sephiroth watched as the Turks walked to the door and Rufus stopped at the table looking at him.
“His spirit may trust you, but I will not.”
Sephiroth raised a brow as Rufus walked out. “That is interesting.”
Genesis sighed. “Great. I don't want to deal with ShinRa.”
Zack chuckled. “Get used to it you two, they're not so bad now.”
Sephiroth looked to Zack. “He mentioned his spirit am I to assume this means we have our connection to the planet that we need?”
Zack sat at the table. “Yeah.” He turned round in the seat. “Cloud you should sit down.”
“You want me to sit with you?” Cloud asked.
“Well Aerith told me I couldn't do this without you. We gotta work together.” Zack stated.
Sephiroth watched as Cloud eyed him wearily before walking up to the table and sitting down. Sephiroth sipped at his tea while Genesis seemed to smirk in amusement.

Cloud moved to the table sitting down next to Zack on the other side of the table from Sephiroth his eyes narrowed at the silver haired man.
Never did he ever think he would sit at a table with the man, if he was his old youthful cadet self then this would have been a dream come true.
Those days were long gone.
“Well don't all talk at once.” Genesis rolled his eyes. “This couldn't get anymore awkward.”
Zack's eyes went flat.
Cloud watched as Sephiroth slid several files across the table towards him. Sephiroth ignoring Genesis's comment.
“Genesis has been following your friend. It's best you're updated on this. The moment he realizes you are alive I'm sure he'll come back to finish the job.”
“I'm sure you'd love that.” Cloud drawled the sarcasm obvious.

~*~*~*~

Zack sat in the room where Angel was still sleeping, he had stirred once and opened his eyes and acknowledged Zack with a horse 'dad' before he had fallen asleep again. Rufus has said Angel's body wasn't like Cloud or his. It would take him a bit longer to fully return to consciousness. But he would survive. The planet, Aerith told Rufus that much to pass on.

Zack looked up to see Cloud on the phone.
“I swear I'm okay Tifa.” Cloud looked to Zack. “Yeah we're just waiting on Angel to wake up then I promise I'll come back home.”
Zack watch Cloud as the blonde left the room his voice going soft as he spoke to Tifa. Cloud shot Sephiroth a glare as he passed him.

Zack let out a breath it was going to take Cloud some getting used to that Sephiroth wasn't going to be impaling him again anytime to soon. Least Zack hoped not.
“Hey Seph.” Zack nodded at Sephiroth before brushing the hair from his son's face.
“Vincent and Ezekiel are leaving soon. I believe they need to get back to the WRO. We can not stay here. The longer we do the more Dr. Kinshaw becomes a target.”
Zack nodded. “Yeah I know, I just don't know anywhere that will be safe from him. He'll come back for Angel again, this time to kill him, I can feel it.”

Sephiroth looked to Zack, his head falling into his hands. The man was at a loss a complete loss, he was hurting and Sephiroth could feel it.
“He's still in my head I can't control what he takes from there anymore. I don't like it Seph. He knows things, things that could hurt you, that could hurt Cloud. Hell even Genesis, not that I really care what happens to him right now, he's just being a real jerk.”
Sephiroth chuckled. “He'll adjust, Genesis is not used used to having to work with others, but he will have to get over that.”
“He worked fine with Angeal.” Zack huffed.
Sephiroth looked at Zack. “That's because it's Angeal.”

Zack felt Sephiroth's hand on his shoulder and he saw the look, a look that told Zack everything without saying nothing and his brow quirked up.
“Wait... no?” Zack asked. Sephiroth just nodded his head. “Really?” He asked. Sephiroth gave him another nod and Zack was sure he felt the blush on his face.
“So Angeal and Genesis? How come I never saw?”
Sephiroth gave him a flat eyed look. “What happened between them stayed between them.”
“Then why? Why did Angeal make me kill him?! Why didn't he just get-?”
Sephiroth's hand covered Zack's mouth. “Genesis was already insane, if Angeal asked him to kill him, Genesis wouldn't to prove a point.”
Zack pulled Sephiroth's hand from his mouth. “How come I'm only finding out about this now?” He hissed.
“I believe it would have hurt you too much then.”
“It hurts me now Seph. Geeze.” Zack ran a hand through his hair. “Damnit Angeal.”

Sephiroth looked up seeing Cloud standing in the door way glaring at him. “Vincent is leaving.”
Sephiroth raised a brow as Zack nodded. “Okay. Well when Angel's awake we'll take him to the WRO and then I'll go get Freedom and you can take Tifa and the kids there too.”
“Zack it's too many people under one roof, you'll give him an easy target.” Cloud stated.
Zack shook his head. “I'm not saying for us to stay there. Just Reeve might have somewhere for us to go. Then somewhere where the kids and Tifa can be safe.”
Sephiroth watched as Cloud walked into the room. He raised a brow as Cloud walked right up to Zack.
“Shelke is going to net dive for us, see what she can find out. Vincent will call us when she gets the results then we'll move from here.” Cloud stated.
Sephiroth saw those blue eyes glare at him.
“Okay I guess we can wait for a bit. It would be unwise to move Angel before he wakes up.” Zack mused.
Cloud nodded.
Sephiroth could only stay silent watching the blonde, mentally noting how close to Zack he stood. Zack seemingly oblivious to the protective nature of Cloud.
Sephiroth was amused none the less by Cloud, the blonde wanted to get a point across to him personally.
Cloud couldn't have made it more clearer than if he grabbed Zack and laid claim to him right then and there.
“Well we should all get some sleep then.” Zack noted.
“You included Zack.”
“I'll sleep in here with Angel.” Zack replied.
Sephiroth watched as Cloud turned and left.

Zack moved back to his seat and sat down, he looked to Sephiroth. “Are you two going to continue being all grrr at each other through this entire thing?”
“If he continues to treat you like his personal property, then maybe I have a right to be.” Sephiroth stated before walking to the door.
“Wait what?” Zack asked.
Sephiroth stood in the doorway. “You've recently slept with him, that much is obvious by his protective nature.”
Zack felt his cheeks heat up. “I... well... it...” He ran a hand through his hair. “It kinda just happened okay, I wasn't expecting a jar of dirt to control my libido okay?” He hissed.
“Good night Zack.” Sephiroth shut the door after he left.
Zack let out a breath and he looked to Angel. “Well kiddo I hope you don't get my bad luck with maintaining relationships.”

~*~*~*~

Cloud lay on the couch, trying to sleep, he was aware of Genesis sitting on the window ledge in the moon light he could see the pink book in Genesis' hands the red head reading with the aid of the moonlight.
Cloud was just glad he was reading that book silently. He hadn't heard a single loveless quote from Genesis but he suspected Sephiroth had made some kind of threat or comment about if Genesis even uttered a quote he'd probably loose a limb. Cloud felt the same way and he was sure Zack was in the same boat. It was probably one of the few things the three of them would ever agree to that and 2nd Calamity having to be taken down being the other.

Cloud rolled over and he saw Genesis pause in reading to look out the window at the moon. The red head seemed to be aware of him watching.
“Your inability to sleep my friend, I would gather it is to do with your thoughts on Zack.”
“It's really none of your business.” Cloud stated.
Genesis seemed to smirk in triumph as if he'd stabbed Cloud and had him right where he wanted him.
“You both want him, but he is still grieving to act or not to act before he is consumed by guilt.”
“I wouldn't do that to him.” Cloud stated. “Not now.”
Genesis chuckled. “Yet Sephiroth my good friend has already started.” The red head turned to look at him. “Which I'm sure you are aware of.”
“Sephiroth just needs to keep his distance.”
Genesis smirked. “I think I preferred you when you were idol worshiping, this angst is truly something of another planet.”
Cloud just huffed. “Whatever.”

~*~*~*~

Zack was stirred from his sleep when he felt something crawl under his covers. He opened on eye in time to see the small body of his son vanish under the blanket. Zack felt the arms go round his waist.
He lifted the covers up to look down at Angel.
“You okay kiddo?”
The amber eyes looked up at him and nodded. “I just... feel safer here. That's okay right?”
“It's perfectly fine. Normal even. I did the same thing to my parents when I was your age.”
Angel smiled at him. “I could feel mommy while I was sleeping. She's tired. Really tired.”
Zack pulled Angel into his arms. “I know she is. She'll get to rest soon I promise. When the bad man is gone, she'll be able to get the rest she needs.”
“You'll get him right dad?”
“With some help I will.”
“Cloud?”
“Yeah.”
Angel smiled. “Denzel said he was like wicked strong and stuff.”
Zack laughed. “He is kiddo.”
Angel curled into him. “He likes you a lot too.”
Zack could feel his face flush for a moment and he looked down at Angel. “Uh yeah. I like him too kiddo.”
“I know. Mommy said you did.”
Zack inwardly groaned. “When did she say this?”
“When I was sleeping before. She said she knew, she understands.” Angel looked up at him.
Zack pulled a pillow down for Angel to rest his head on. The five year old taking the hint let his head roll into the pillow.
“I didn't want to hurt her.” Zack whispered, he let his eyes closed.
“She wants you to beat him dad, then be happy. She doesn't want you sad like Cloud is. It doesn't suit you.” Angel let his eyes close.
Zack looked to the door and he saw Genesis standing in the doorway. He watched the red head before Genesis walked off.
Zack wondered why Genesis was there unless Cloud had kicked him out of the lounge.

~*~*~*~

Sephiroth sat at the kitchen table, everyone minus Zack's son and Dr Kinsahw looked like they hadn't had much sleep. Sephiroth was sure Zack was going to face plant his cereal, Cloud didn't seem to have slept at all which put an even bigger frown on the blonde's face. Genesis was just intolerable when he couldn't find the right tea to have.
“Wow is that your real hair?!” The kid seemed to exclaim.
Sephiroth looked at the boy, he didn't seem the least bit intimidated.
“Yes.”
The boy frowned. “Why are you grey? Are you old?”
Zack's hand went over Angel's mouth quickly. “No don't say that.” He hissed.
Sephiroth's brow quirked up. “Well any questions of the kids genealogy just went out the window.” He stated. “He has your mouth.”
Sephiroth saw Genesis snerk at the comment and he shot the red head a look.

Zack sighed. “Sorry Seph. Look thanks again for saving him and everything.”
Angel pulled Zack's hand down. “He has longer hair than you dad? Did mommy make him grow it out too?”
Zack sighed. “No she didn't. That was Seph's choice.”
“So Cissnei made you grow your hair?” Cloud looked at Zack. “You never told me that.”
“She didn't make me. I just kinda got lazy and she kinda grew attached to it.” Zack replied.
“Can I grow my hair long too?”
“How about you eat your breakfast and we'll talk about it when you're older.” Zack stated.
“Can my breakfast be cake?” Angel asked.
Zack shook his head. “Not this morning kiddo I don't think I'd like to leave you under Reeve's care when you're in that state. It's just cruel inhumane punishment that Reeve doesn't deserve. Not yet anyway.”
The five year old seemed to pout. “Awwww. Tomorrow then?”

Cloud raised a brow. “Who gives a five year old cake for breakfast?”
“My parents did. Cake and fruit loops then they lovingly gave him back to me and Cissnei.”
Genesis smirked. “I think I like your parents idea of torture.”
Zack sighed. “You would.”
Cloud raised a brow. “Zack what did you do to your parents growing up?”
Zack rubbed behind his head. “Alot of things...”
“A lot of hyper active things. I'm guessing.” Cloud frowned.
Cloud remembered how hyper active Zack used to be in ShinRa, if Angel's hyperactivity was any indication of what Zack used to be like as a kid, he actually felt sorry for Zack's parents, and understood why they did what they did.
Sephiroth scoffed. “Even Angeal had trouble winding you in half the time.”
“It's a good taste of Karma if I may say so.” Genesis stated.
Zack looked at them. “What is this? Pick on me day.”
“I believe so.” Cloud stated. “But we should really head to the WRO soon.”
“Right.” Zack looked at him. “You okay to travel kiddo?”
“Can you fly me there?” Angel's arms flailed.
Cloud saw Zack's eyes go flat. “I was thinking about a helicopter.”
“Why?” Genesis stated. “Only blondie over there can't fly but I'm sure he can get a lift.” He grinned at Sephiroth.
“Not happening. I'm not letting anyone of you assholes fly me to WRO.” Cloud stated and glared at Zack. “You especially after last time.”

Zack laughed. “Hey c'mon it wasn't that bad Cloud, it was actually kinda funny.”
“For you. I'll call up Cid and I can take Angel and meet you there.” Cloud got up flipping out his phone and walking into the hallway.
“But I wanna fly with them.” Angel protested.
Zack shook his head. “Maybe when the world isn't in danger I'll fly you somewhere kiddo, but for now it's probably best you go with Cloud. It would be safer.”
“He's right.” Sephiroth stated.
“Awwww.” Angel sighed. “Okay. Next time though when the bad guy is gone.”
“Promise.” Zack smiled at Angel ruffling his hand through his son's hair.



~*~To Be Continued...~*~

jdee_gurl: (Havoc)

Title: Return of the Departed
Author: J’dee
Series: Final Fantasy VII
Chapter Rating: M+ (mild Yaoi)
Pairs: Seph x Zack light

AN: Sorry I was on a Rufus kick this chapter >.>;

Chapter Five


The red-headed doctor looked at the two new patients as Sephiroth lent against the wall.
She was looking at the results on her clipboard. At Sephiroth's request she reluctantly had restrained Zack's unconscious form to the bed.
Cloud had not stirred, he was alive but in some kind of comatose state.
Sephiroth or part of him wanted Cloud restrained in case the blonde awoke to find him there and reacted before asking any questions. He would never expect the blonde to forgive him, nor would he ask for it. He deserved the hatred.
“Well whatever this guy did to them, both results are completely different from each other. His cells, this alien's they're merging with the remainder of the other foreign cells in Zack's body. But Cloud... whatever it is inside him, it's slowly deteriorating his internal organs. It's like Geostigma if it was a form of internal cancer.” El looked to him. “This is above my expertise. I will admit that. I like that you have faith in me, but I'm not sure-”
“These infections are they organic?” Sephiroth interrupted her.
She stopped looking at the board to turn to him. “Organic in a metallic structure.”

Sephiroth looked thoughtful for a moment before he walked up beside Cloud. “Do what you can to keep him alive.” He glanced to Zack's unconscious form restrained. “Zack would never forgive me if Cloud died.”
She looked from Zack to Cloud then back again. “Are they... you know?”
Sephiroth let out a breath. “Once upon a time I suppose they were, despite the circumstances.”

~*~*~*~

“To what do I owe this honor Tuesti?” Rufus looked over his steepled fingers at the WRO director.
The other man for once instead of the hideous blue uniform was dressed in a suit, except as if to torment him wore a very colorful tie.
“I'm afraid we got some news regarding Jenova's unfriendly visitor or more or less a very unsettling visual.” Reeve replied.
Rufus frowned, he was annoyed at the creature for killing one of his own, even if she was retired, Reno had said it best when he said 'once a Turk always a Turk'.
“And what news would this be?”
“The alien attempted to kill Cloud this morning.” Reeve replied.

Rufus quirked a blonde brow. “Really now and how did he fair?”
“I've been informed Cloud is now in a coma, where as Zack started to show signs of insanity. Before Sephiroth showed up and took them both away.” Reeve replied.
Rufus shot Reeve a look. “Sephiroth.”
Reeve nodded. “It appears so. Ezekiel knows where Sephiroth took them and he has informed me that he knew of Sephiroth existence since Quinn's death. I was wondering if he ever divulged any of this to you?”

Rufus knew an accusation when he heard it and he shook his head. “I can say in all honesty Tuesti that this is news to me. My own don't normally keep secrets from me.”
Reeve nodded his head slowly. “Sephiroth is currently located in Mideel, in a small medical clinic out that way.” The WRO director paused for a moment. “This leads me to the reason behind this visit Rufus. I would like a favor.”
Rufus nodded. “The use of the ShinRa satellites based over that part of the continent?” He looked at Reeve, the man was even more so predictable in his concern for his friends than he had ever been while working under the ShinRa name. “I will get Elena to give you the access codes.”
“Thank you Rufus.”

~*~*~*~

Sephiroth stood over Zack waiting for the dark haired fighter to wake up, but he could see the inner battle as Zack remained in a state of unconsciousness. Perhaps it was a wrong move on his part to knock Zack out but the man had started attacking him in a blind fury of rage. Luckily the infection from the alien had not had time to sync with Zack's body to use the full strength of a 1st Class SOLDIER. But the longer Zack remained like this Sephiroth new the more likely the infection or virus would sync with him and that strength of a former 1st Class would be at the alien's disposal.

Part of him wanted to wake Zack, he was restrained, but that could mean nothing if they had properly synced by now.
Sephiroth glanced to Cloud, the blonde seemed feverish and he stared at Zack's friend and the one who had defeated him not once or twice but three times. In the past he would have heard her voice by now telling him to run the comatose blonde through so they could destroy this planet and use it as a vessel to start the galaxy take over.
She had implanted that thought into his head for so long, but now that he was of sane mind, he could not see the logic in it. He understood he was different from the others, he knew he was special. But Quinn's body the mortal weakness had seemed to humble him. He had been ready to continue on with Jenova's goal when he obtained this body, but the vow to protect and watch over the woman Quinn had loved came first, so he had told himself for a few months he would watch the female Turk.

What he hadn't expected was her to be pregnant, with the child from his host body. She had retired from active Turk duty and just carried out her days doing mindless paperwork for ShinRa then returning home to her child a young girl that would grow up fatherless.

Sephiroth paused in the thought of that child. Quinn had forced Jenova out, Clover and Walker had been there close by but protected the only other place her spirit could jump to that held her cells-
“It's not Angel... is it... it's her.”
Sephiroth wondered if Hloskova had figured out that the child he held in his possession was not his beloved Jenova but a normal child. A human child who had one enhanced parent and a former Turk for a mother.
He turned round ready to leave the room. But found himself face to face with Vincent.
“Sephiroth.” Those red eyes were on him narrowed.
“I see Ezekiel gave you this location.”
Vincent looked beyond him to where Cloud lay, then to Zack satisfied they both seemed unharmed he stepped aside.
“You're leaving.”
“I need some air.” Sephiroth stated.
Vincent merely watched him walk past. “And what do you expect this woman to do if Zack were to awaken in his crazed state.”
“I expect her to stay clear.” Came his reply.
Vincent raised a brow. “You save him, to leave him.”
“I need to confirm something. I trust you to watch them.” Sephiroth walked outside before letting his wing out and leaping into the air and taking off in direction of that woman's house.

It made sense to him now. Sylvie, he believed her name to be, the daughter Celeste. Quinn had formerly held one of Jenova's eyes as his own, it would make sense even though he denied his mother's wishes, that the eye made her link for creating a host body stronger. She had used Quinn like she had used Zack hoping either of them would have spread their seed like a disease in order for her to have a new host body. Obviously she had picked the one less under ShinRa and the WRO eye. Zack's child was nothing but a decoy. He knew the child would not live when the alien figured that out.
It would be the final nail in Zack's coffin, to drive the man into complete madness.

~*~*~*~

It was hard to explain why he was running through ShinRa doors when he had been told to stay at the WRO. But Ezekiel had left early that morning to go and assist this doctor out in Mideel. Zack and Cloud were both out that way and with no body guard he had no choice but to return to what he knew.
The planet had spoken to him the first time ever, normally he would get just Aerith's voice, but the planet spoke using the voice of his dead sister.
He had to go and he had to leave, this second calamity knew what he was descended from.
But it had urged him to pass on a very unusual gift, to hide the ability in a human of non-Cetra descent.

Clover pushed open the door to the president's office without knocking. Rufus was where he normally sat at this hour in the morning.
Dark Nation was curled up in front of the desk.
“I heard the planet!”
Rufus blonde brow quirked up at him. “Did you inform Reeve?”
“I tried to but he was busy and I do not have time sir. That... that thing knows what I am. So I gotta go.”
Rufus frowned. “Where exactly are you going?”
Clover bit his bottom lip. “I have to merge with the planet sir.”
Rufus didn't look impressed. “How do you intend to do that?”
“You don't want to know. But hopefully it won't require impalement or having my spine ripped out of my ass.” Clover replied.

Rufus pinched the bridge of his nose. He didn't need to be told why this guy was one of Reno's favorite working partners.
“Then take Reno and Rude with you.” Rufus stated.
Clover shook his head. “Can't. But I'm going to leave behind a link for you, I just can't tell you who yet.”
“A link to the planet?” Rufus looked at Clover. “Can you do that?”
“I didn't think I could do much, apart from look crazy hearing voices and seeing dead people. But according to Aerith I can.”
The blonde Turk looked ready to bound away in a rush at that moment.
“Who are you going to give it to?”
“Cloud, or Zack I guess, so I'm going to Mideel I can tell Zeik what's happening then vacate the area.” Clover let out a breath. “So gotta go.”
“They're both unconscious Clover.”
“Best time to do it.” The blonde saluted before running out the door.

Rufus pushed the intercom button. “Tseng can you get Elena to ready the car and Tell Reno to get the chopper ready.”
“Sir.” Tseng's voice came through the intercom.

~*~*~*~

Since the fall of ShinRa, Rufus had kept a count on the people he lost in various missions, from the Turks he had stationed in Wutai during the war to those killed by Geostigma and even long after.
It had irritated him to know he had a Cetra descendant in his ranks. But when he had found that out it had only been a matter of weeks after Clover had found out himself.
Rufus' father had hired the blonde under the guise that the kid was an excellent sniper. Turned out he was a much better hacker than he was at firing a gun. Another secret his father had kept from him, they just kept popping up everywhere. Regardless the kid knew mechanics. If Reeve's report on this alien being mechanical, Clover was what they needed to figure out how to hack this alien's data base and find a weakness to shut it down.
If Clover was going to run because it knew of him, then perhaps the real reason was it knew what he could do as a hacker and as a Cetra, even if he had only ten percent left of the Cetra bloodline in him.
Clover couldn't do anything fancy like Aerith, there was no Holy, no life or healing wind. He was more human, more in tune with technology and alcohol than he was with his ancestors. Rufus hoped it was the technology savvy side of Clover the alien wanted to destroy not the last living ancient. Even if he was trained by Reno giving Rufus twice the headaches, Rufus was not ready to lose another of his Turks to this creature. He needed to put a stop to it before it became personal.

Standing up and moving to the door Rufus looked to the panther sticking it's head up.
“Not this time. Stay here.” He informed his feline friend named after the original Dark Nation Cloud had killed.
The panther gave him a very expressive worried look.

~*~*~*~

Hloskova landed and he glanced to the child over his shoulder the small boy silent and unconscious to thanks to the virus he had injected into the boy's system.
He was hoping that it would connect him to the essence of Jenova but so far all was silent. All he had managed to pick up was the disconcerting feeling of a race out there. One he had learned from the file hacking that his beloved had wiped out, or thought she had. That meant she saw that race as a threat. He was using the systems of this world to track this being movements, he found it intriguing that the last of this kind would carry so much technology on his person.
But he felt the general direction it was heading and that meant it was in communication with his deceased race of this world.
“This will cease.” He spoke before leaping into the air taking flight.

~*~*~*~

Ezekiel stood in the room looking at Zack, the raven haired fighter was awake and fighting, thrashing against the binds that held him in place, Ezekiel had only just reinforced the bind to hold a SOLDIER's strength. He was glad he had when he watched.
He had no clue what was going on in the SOLDIER's mind, but he could tell it was painful. He looked to Vincent who stood by.

Vincent looked to the Turk, the dark skinned doctor or scientist was silent as he watched Zack thrash, obviously he was trying to analyze this situation and compare visible symptoms.
But he looked at a loss as much as Vincent was.
The Turk's phone warbled out and he pulled it out seeing the name flash on the screen he flipped it open.
“Clover what's going on?”
Vincent saw the expression and the blue bangs fell over his eyes.
“Are you sure?” The Turk sighed.
“Okay if that's what she wants I'll see you when you get here. Just becareful.” He flipped the phone shut.
Vincent wondered if the Turk would tell him what was going on.
“My friend has a plan. Hopefully what he does will either wake Cloud or calm Zack down.” The Turk spoke.

~*~*~*~

Clover was on his bike and heading out of Edge and beyond Midgar. But he could feel it, he could hear Aerith's voice as he traveled. He wouldn't make it to Mideel, it was mean of him to give Ezekiel false hope.

The ground in front of him burst skyward in the form of an explosion. Clover knew it Aerith had told him. The Cetra were never really given a break. But the planet had a plan and for it to work he had to pass it on to another. It wanted Cloud as a choice being that Aerith had communicated with Cloud in the past.

He swerved the debris and round them moving onward each time the ground exploded outward and up he managed to move the bike in time, glad that between Reno and Rod he had learned how to effectively NOT get killed while on a bike in the middle of a war zone.

The next hit missed but the debris covered the entire road. It forced him to skid to a halt. His expression frowned and he stepped off the bike. Yanking the fur collared navy blue jacket off he pulled the staff from the compartment. It wasn't a sword but it did the trick in the past, he reached in and pulled out a chain with his other hand and clutched on the end spinning the chain round his hand and clutching his fingers round it.

Clover looked up seeing the metallic golden armored figure drop to the ground.
“Yes hi to you to.” Clover commented.
The being merely glared at him. “My Jenova terminated your kind.”
“Yeah yeah, well she missed a couple obviously.” Clover huffed, he spun the staff round and looked at the alien.
'It'll be alright.' He could hear Aerith's encouragement.
“I hope you're right couz.” He whispered.

~*~*~*~

For someone who had been able to control his thought pattern and process in the past, he had no control over what his mind seemed to filter through. It was like it was being downloaded from his very mind. Each incident, each movement, each moment of happiness and each moment of complete and utter grief.
Everything was surfacing through his mind's eye. Not bit by bit, but more than that.
It was everything, all in an instant. He was unable to focus, unable to comprehend or control his reactions.

The pain, throbbing through his head, causing him to let out an agonized cry. He was aware somewhere that he was being restrained, but his eyes could not focus as he thrashed against the restraints. He wanted to strike out, he wanted to scream, he wanted to cry, he wanted it gone.
“Zack can you hear me?” The deep voice asked.
He knew it and he was greeted with the image of Vincent in his head, the things Sephiroth had done to this man using his body.
Zack shook his head gasping for air.
“M-make... it... stop.” It was all he could do as if Hloskova was instantly downloading that information.

He felt stupid, like an idiot. Angeal had told him, he had tried to warn him. As if the thought of Angeal alone triggered several more memories, their first meeting, the mentor-ship and then the death. It was more pain, more grief and he never realized how much he had lost until Hloskova was downloading each moment.
“Clover is on his way Zack.” Vincent spoke. “Ezekiel believes he can fix you up.”
“S-Seph...” Zack gasped.
“He left I don't know where he's gone.”

Zack clutched at the restraints hissing as each memory of his interactions with Sephiroth were brought to the surface, from his days in SOLDIER to Sephiroth going mad, to the possession of his body. The mental torment, and even the sexual torment, while Sephiroth's mental form had been trapped in Zack's physical body. All of it he knew it was being downloaded. It was the only way he could describe it, Hloskova treated his mind like it was some kind of streaming download source of information that Zack could not stop.

“The data is being transferred... loading information.” Hloskova's voice was inside his head.

Zack's eyes flew open and for the first time he could focus on something solid. Ezekiel was leaning over him drawing blood. The scientist pulled back.
Zack had heard that voice as clear as back in the day when he had heard Sephiroth in his head along with Jenova.
He shook his head. “Get out of there! GET OUT OF THERE!”

~*~*~*~

Rufus left Elena and Tseng with the chopper and they were now in a new car following Clover's GPS. The blonde had managed to travel some distance.
“There's a road block ahead sir!” Reno called out from behind the wheel. “I can see Clover's bike. But I can't see him.”
“Remove the block.” Rufus stated.
Rude grabbed the bazooka and wound the window down leaning out it with the oversized weapon before he fired it.

The explosion making a path for the car to pass through.

Rufus saw Clover blink in shock at the car as Reno pulled in front of the blonde.
“Get in!” Reno shouted.
Clover shook his head. “I... can't.”
“Why the fuck not yo?!” Reno shouted.
Rufus caught the sympathetic look, and he saw it, their was some kind of synthetic metal corded round one of the blonde's legs the metal was embedded in to Clover's thigh. The cord lead to the ground and into the depths of concrete underneath the blonde's feet.
“Reno, Rude.” Rufus stated.
The two were out of the vehicle and Reno twirled the EMR round. Rude pulled his gloves on. They moved quickly, as they should have, both headed straight towards the enemy.

Rufus moved up to the blonde and he flicked out a blade and began to cut at the metal cord at the base.
“Sir.” Clover looked at him.
“If you had just waited I could have arranged transport.” Rufus cut through the cord.
He watched as the blonde dropped to his knees suddenly.
“I understand.” He whispered. He looked up at Rufus. “I'm sorry sir.”
Rufus let out an irritated breath. “This will just come out of your next pay check.”
“How about not worrying about the next pay check sir.” Clover stood up slowly.
Rufus felt the hand on his arm then he saw it the smear of red and Clover just smiled. “I'll be back when it's safe, but I can't stay here. I couldn't reach Cloud in time either. So I apologize for what I'm about to do.”
Rufus felt the other hand grab his other arm. There was a sudden flash of green and he felt the jolt go through his body, he fell back landing against the car. He heard Reno's 'oof' as the red head skidding past the car on the ground. Before Rude was slammed into said vehicle.
“Save Angel.” Clover whispered.

Rufus watched as Clover dropped to his knees and his hands clasped together then there was a giant green flash and the blonde was gone, the particles of the lifestream floating where he had been.
Rufus turned round in time to dodge the fist as it embedded into the side of the car. The being looked at him the purple tinted visor flicking up.
Rufus looked beyond the alien to see the child lying unconscious in the middle of the damaged street.
Pulling out his shot gun he pointed it between the beings eyes. Not wavering, not caring for the life of this thing that had taken the life of one of his own.

The bang echoed through the area, the several pellets bursting out through the back of the alien's skull.
Rufus moved past the collapsed heap and up to the child and he crouched down. It wasn't that he really cared for children but this one, was the child of one of his own people. He picked the boy up before looking to the car.

He could see it already the being was reconstructing it's own skull.
“Interesting.”
He moved quick.
“Reno! Rude! We leave now!” Rufus shouted.
Reno limped towards the car and opened the driver's side. “Heeeey Rude. That's one hell of a dent you made.”
Rude was pulling himself out of the side of the car.

Rufus saw the being suddenly stand up, he could still see through the hole in the head as gears began to digitize out of nothing and reform the skull. He could see Reno turn to look at him and he could see the red head through the giant gaping hole in the alien's head as the pieces began to reform.
“Oh that is fucken gross yo!” Reno shouted.
It dawned on him at that moment that the only way to kill this thing was to blow it to pieces and destroy every single microchip.

“Yeild to me the childe.” The alien spoke mechanically.
Rufus raised a brow. “Why? Have you not realized this child isn't the one you're after.”
The alien frowned. The visor snapped down and a purple streak flashed through the middle of the visor, as if he was accessing data.
Rufus checked the side of the child's neck, there was a pulse... at least, but the boy did not stir, not in the slightest. It was then he noticed the small puncture hole in the child's neck obviously from where the alien had either taken blood or given the child a dose of something.
“Data corroborates that you are positive... Data error, my Jenova was located within the SOLDIER is this not his son?”
“Jenova was housed within many in my company.” Rufus stated. “Who said the first host had to be the sole provider for her new vessel?” He smirked at the alien.
Rufus held the child in one arm the shot gun pointed at Hloskova before he fired another round through the alien's skull.

~*~*~*~

Sylvie stood at her door as she watched the long silver haired figure fly off, her hand moved to her mouth slowly.
Quinn's body it was now Sephiroth's and she sunk to her knees. He had come to tell her of news he thought she deserved to hear as a mother. Her child the last piece of Quinn was tainted, possibly housing the spirit of Jenova herself.

Standing up she moved into her house and she looked to her daughter the five year old lying on the ground coloring in a paint by colors book.
She crouched by her daughter's side, her hand moving to the girl's soft hair, fingers sifting through the brunette strands.
“Mommy?” Her daughter looked up at her with vivid blue eyes, devoid of evil, the innocence behind them did not scream Jenova to her. But now she had to know she had to prove Sephiroth wrong.
She pulled out her cellphone. “I need to call someone sweetie and we might have to go out for a while, but I'll get you some cake on the way home okay?”
“Okay. Can I bring my book?”
Sylvie smiled. “Of course you can.”
“YAY!” The little girl cheered.
She did not act evil, Sylvie hoped she indeed wasn't.

~*~*~*~

Sephiroth could not fly fast enough he knew that now. He was trying to head back to Zack. When he felt it. He could feel Angeal near him.
“What is it?” He sighed in irritation.
Then he felt it shown to him where he needed to go without seeing Angeal, he knew his old friend was guiding him.

Sephiroth found himself heading towards Midgar, except he never really made it. He stopped in the air in time to see Zack's child in the arms of the president of ShinRa, Reno and Rude on one side near a damaged car the alien between them.
Sephiroth let out a breath.
“So be it old friend.”
Sephiroth summoned the masumune and he swooped down the blade passing through the armour and he picked the alien up on the blade watching as the hole in it's head finished reconstructing.

The visor flickered as the purple light streamed across the middle as if taking him in.
“Sephiroth.” The mechanical voice spoke.
Even though he was impaled on the end of Sephiroth's blade he did not react like he was injured or near death at all.
Sephiroth glanced to Rufus holding the child. “I would advise you to take the child and go.”
“Quick Rufus get the fuck in the car yo!” Reno shouted.
Rufus moved past Sephiroth his blue eyes narrowed at Sephiroth as he passed.
Sephiroth did not care for the glare behind the blonde's eyes. He did not care for anything ShinRa at all, but if it meant that child would be safe, then that was all that mattered.
If the child was alive and safe then perhaps Zack's crazed fits could be controlled.
“If this is some kind of redemption I believe you are far past your used by date.” Rufus commented from behind Sephiroth now by the car.
Sephiroth raised a brow not even glancing at Rufus as he spoke to him. “Hmph, you are one to talk... President ShinRa.”

The car door slammed, before it pulled off in a squeal of tires. Reno obviously behind the wheel. He drove as crazy as he flew.

Sephiroth flung the alien off the blade and moved quick.
“Cut!” The blade swiftly moving several times through the alien and severing limbs in the process. Jumping up the blade then struck downward in the middle of Hloskova's torso.
“To the promised land.”
The torso was sent out exploding in to parts.
He knew it wasn't enough to finish this alien off. He could feel it, but he had bought Rufus time to escape with the child. For now the child would be safe with them.

“Hmph.” He jumped up into the air and watched as the pieces slowly began to digitize pulling each part back together slowly. The more pieces the longer it would take, that was the point of this attack.
Letting his wing flap for a moment he then took off he had been away from Zack for too long. It was time to wake him up from his nightmare.

~*~*~*~

Sephiroth arrived back in time to see the scientist Turk staring at a message on his phone, his expression one of shock, perhaps grief was a better emotion. Sephiroth had only really grieved Angeal's loss when his good friend had died. But even he had kept his emotions in check, unlike Zack, but the Turk's expression reminded him of Zack's after Angeal's death.
“Is something wrong?” Vincent asked the Turk.
“He... he's gone. Rufus said that... that thing got to him.”
Vincent looked to Sephiroth. The former turk remained quiet.
“Lets leave them.” Vincent guided the shocked Turk from the room.

Sephiroth moved up to Zack's side the Mako blue eyes looking to him, dazed and he could see the pain.
“Zack.”
There was the twitch as Zack gasped.
“Get him out...” It was a low hiss, before he began to thrash against the binds.
The scream of agony followed.
Sephiroth glanced to Cloud, the blonde not even stirring. His hand slapped beside Zack's head.
“Concentrate Zack.”
“I'm trying! I'm trying!” There was a flash of purple behind Zack's eyes.
Sephiroth's hand moved to Zack's face touching it lightly. “You son is safe. He is in the custody of ShinRa.”
The mouth moved and Zack let out a breath, soft and slow, it was relief.

Zack remained still trying to control his body, but he could feel Hloskova there bringing those strange emotions to the surface. It was dizzying. His throat felt sore, his head spun and his eyes hurt. His body was not his own right now. He could feel it, with each memory, the alien's mentality, his memories were becoming buried inside his subconscious as if it was an exchange of digital data.
“He wants you dead.” Zack whispered.
Sephiroth smirked. “I did just slice him up into pieces.”
“Oh. You're really not the step-parent type are you?” Zack quipped.

Sephiroth felt relief with those words, it was a piece of the old Zack the one he knew and remembered. Even if somewhat matured over time. He would always be Zack.
“How do you feel?”
“That I will probably kill you or try to if you untie me.” Zack replied, it was flat out honest. “Well not me me, but my body.”
“He's controlling your body. Interesting.” Sephiroth mused. “You will need to realign your body.”
Zack gave him a flat eyed look. “I can't even feel my freaken pinky move Seph, how the hell do you propose I do that huh?”
Sephiroth's hand moved along Zack's arm slow. “Can you feel that?”
“Yeah.”
“Then concentrate on it.”

Zack blinked and he let out a breath, he felt Sephiroth's hand move up his arm, the hand moving over his palm, the a single digit tracing around the edges of each of his fingers. Zack felt the shiver hit him and he held in the sudden breath. Sephiroth shot him a look.
“Zack.” The former General warned, scolding him.
“Sorry.” He mumbled embarrassed.
His body was definitely acknowledging Sephiroth's touch and he really wish it wasn't at this stage. He felt guilt at it, even remorse for the love he lost.

Sephiroth raised a brow and Zack could feel the flush on his face as those eyes seemed to stare into his soul.
“Something the matter?”
“Nothing.” Zack squeaked before clearing his throat. “Nothing at all.”

“You let him yield this response with intent, after her death?”

Zack's eyes widened at the sound of the alien's voice in his head.
He felt Sephiroth flick at his forehead.
“Zack focus.”
“Right sorry.”
Sephiroth let out a breath. “What do I have to do to get you to concentrate?”
“Can I get back to you on that?” Zack asked.
Sephiroth's hand slammed by his head and those green eyes glared at him, like they had back in the day, before the whole Nibelheim incident.
It was Sephiroth's 'Shut your mouth and focus glare' not his 'I'm going to destroy everything you love glare'. Luckily Zack had worked with Sephiroth long enough to know the difference.

Zack felt the other hand move over his stomach lower, Zack's breath hitched his face flushed, but he could not tear his eyes away from Sephiroth's face trying to read that poker face. But there wasn't even a smirk, he was dead serious.
Then he felt it the hand on his lower abdomen resting the fingers pushing up his shirt, the bare hand touching his flesh.
Zack felt his mouth open his body shivered in reaction and he shook his head trying to push those thoughts and memories away. He didn't need this not now.
“W-What are you doing?” Zack dropped his voice glancing worriedly towards where Cloud's unconscious form lay in the other bed.
“Keeping your attention here instead of the voice in your head.” Sephiroth stated.
Zack nodded. “Ohhh kay then. It's working.”
Sephiroth huffed. “Of course it is. Because you have a one track mind.”
“Heeey!”
Zack saw the smirk then and he blew up at his bangs trying to get them out of his face.

Fingers moved along his skin. They grazed downward making Zack's back arch as his breath caught.
“I-It's probably not a good idea-” He was cut off as the mouth moved over his suddenly, the tongue pressing past his lips.
The physical sensation of Sephiroth's real lips over his made his breath catch as he felt the tongue curl round his drawing it out from his mouth to suck on.
Zack responded letting Sephiroth's tongue toy with his. His hands clutched at the restraints. That hand moved downward sliding into his pants and he felt fingers move into his boxers and graze his forming arousal.

“Loathsome creatures you humans are.”

Zack didn't care for the voice anymore, let him see and hear everything, his hips bucking into Sephiroth's hand his lips responding to Sephiroth's kiss with a moan.
It felt so much different in reality. Sephiroth wasn't forcing himself upon Zack he was taking it slow careful.
Those fingers gingerly moving round his length, Zack could only buck with impatience. He hated how guilty he felt for it, he hated thinking about Cissnei's soul suffering poisoned in the lifestream with his parents, but he couldn't stop his body and it's reactions to Sephiroth. Fingers started to stroke him off and Sephiroth's mouth moved down his neck. Zack could only gasp, he glanced to Cloud's unconscious body, his face heating up. His friend's state he hoped Cloud couldn't sense or hear this because Zack would be in for a world of hurt when Cloud woke up.

“D-Damn you Seph...” Zack breathed. “Not right... so not right.”
“Can you think of another way to keep you focused?” Sephiroth asked.
Zack closed his eyes. “It's wrong. Cissnei... Cloud... I-” He was cut off as Sephiroth's free hand placed a finger to his lips.



~*~*~To Be Continued... ~*~*~
jdee_gurl: (Durarara!!!SxI)

Title: Return of the Departed
Author: J’dee
Series: Final Fantasy VII
Chapter Rating: PG (due to graphic violence)
Pairs: None

AN: Cloud will be okay I promise! I'm not THAT heartless cause I luff the chocobo head!


Chapter Four


Cloud carried Angel who had fallen asleep in the car, towards the entrance of the WRO. He saw Denzel wave to him before his adoptive son headed into the staff entrance.

Shifting the child in his arms. Cloud moved towards the entrance. It had been a long drive, but they were here, once Angel was okay Cloud would bring Freedom here to be with her brother. The young infant had reminded Cloud why he didn't want a second child. The middle of the night wake up calls and the crib bouncing.

A crash sounded behind him. Cloud stopped and looked over his shoulder.
The second Calamity landed in the middle of the road.
The long golden blonde hair whipped about him wildly and Cloud let out a curse looking to Angel in his arms.
The boy was stirring slowly waking up from his nap.
“Yield the childe to me and you shall survive the epitaph.”
Cloud shook his head. “Not happening.” He stated.
“Then decease.”
Angel's voice was quiet as he spoke tiredly. “C-cloud?”
Cloud looked down to the amber eyed child in his arms and he set Angel down. His hand ruffling up Angel's hair and smiling. “Run inside okay get them to hide you.”
Angel nodded and he took off inside through the revolving doors and vanished from sight.

Cloud stood up and he turned round looking to the alien.
“Who are you?”
“Hloskova.” The visor snapped up and Cloud saw those familiar purple eyes.
“What do you want with Jenova?” Cloud demanded.
The smile was cold, heartless. “To persevere our domination of the stars. Initiating with this one.” His hand flicked up skyward.
Cloud saw the sky begin to darken, clouds swirling around above them. Cloud's hand moved to his sword at his side and he drew the blade out.
“Find another planet.” He snapped.

Cloud saw Hloskova phase out of sight and he spun the blade behind himself, he felt the force of the blow. Cloud glanced over his shoulder seeing the taller blonde look down at him, the pupiless purple eyes flashed, before narrowing and the visor snapped down.
Cloud saw the spikes coming out from the alien's arm. The same arm that he had used to crush Cissnei's spine.

Cloud could feel his heart clench. The woman who had given Zack a reason to smile after all the torment Sephiroth and Jenova put him through. This creature took that from him.
The alien's arm blocked the blade like it was a sword itself. The hair moved on it's own accord and Cloud lept out of the way as the ends stretched out and they spiked the ground where he had just been.
Several holes and cracks remained in the concrete where he had stood mere seconds ago.
The hair moved like some weird mechanical tentacle creature. He had not fought anything like this man ever before. Even with the Weapons none of them... were like this.

Not a single emotion flashed across the alien's face as he phased out again in a puff of smoke. Cloud jumped up the ground beneath him cracking and he unclipped the second blade from his sword and blocked the several tentacle spikes flying up at him.
His blades moved about him preventing any direct hits, the sound of metal against metal reverberating in the air.

'Metal hair... If Jenova lived... would she have this kind of power?' He felt himself wonder worried.
This alien believed she was indeed out there.
'Stay hidden Angel. Please stay hidden.'
Cloud saw Hloskova vanish from sight again. He turned himself round and landed on a ledge outside the WRO and he looked behind himself and smirked. Reeve's office.
The luck of the draw.
Reeve was asleep on the couch underneath the window. Cloud pressed his back to the glass and watched as Hloskova appeared on the ledge on the building opposite the WRO.
Cloud tapped on the window.

It slid open and he saw Reeve half asleep look at him in confusion sitting up on his couch.
“Cloud... what in Gaia's name?” He sighed. “You could use the door you know.” The half asleep director commented.
“Angel is in the foyer. Get him to safety.”
Reeve blinked. “Cloud...”
Cloud just let out a breath. “This could take some time. He's not like anything we've ever faced before.”
Cloud heard the gasp of Reeve as the director stared beyond him. “That's him. Isn't it?”
“Yes, get everyone away from the windows and make sure Angel is safe.” Cloud jumped off the window ledge.

Reeve watched as the blades spun around the fighter but none of them seemed to pass the barrier of spikes on the alien's arms. Hair shooting out like a million needles Cloud deflected them.
The two spinning round in battle in mid air outside the WRO.
Reeve picked up his phone and dialed down to reception.
“Pania. Is there a young boy there with you?” He waited for the receptionist to give him an affirmative answer, she sounded confused but confirmed that the boy was there hiding under her desk. “Okay please inform all workers on any and all the levels that are near the windows to stay away. I will explain later. Also let Vincent know his assistance is required as soon as possible.”

Reeve moved to the window and he watched as the hair shot out. Cloud deflected the spikes again before the alien seemed to get frustrated and his leg swung round and kicking Cloud in the side of the ribs sending the blonde back into the building across the road.

Cloud didn't have the chance to move when the hair struck him in the shoulder pinning him to the building before it lifted him up. Pain coursed through his shoulder. Cloud felt the hair break though the other side of his body before it curled round his arm and looping back through the hole in his shoulder.

They were both lowered to the ground. Well almost. Cloud left hoovering a few feet in the air. Trapped by the hair.
“You are essential to his sanity.” Hloskova commented.
Cloud glared at the golden blonde alien. “So?” He snapped.
“To remove you... from existence, will cause his deterioration.”
More hair shot out and Cloud felt his skin punctured over and over again by a thousand needles.
He gripped his sword in his right hand then brought it slicing through all the hair.

Cloud hit the ground and he saw the blood dripping from his body. He glared up at the alien.
“I'm not that easy to kill.”
Hloskova merely smirked at him. “I bid your endeavor. Jenova's childe was defeated by your hand, however I conclude times of tranquility have dulled your skills. You are not my concern.”
“I won't let you hurt Zack.” Cloud pushed himself up picking up a blade in each hand before snapping them back into place together. He could feel the blood dripping down his arms as he pulled the blade back and spun it round dropping it in front of himself as he fell into a stance.

“You can not control the inevitable. He will discover your degrading corpse and I will terminate whatever sanity he has left.” Hloskova merely commented.
“Not happening.” Cloud growled.
Hloskova just seemed to smirk at him and before Cloud knew it the alien had vanished from his line of sight again.
Cloud moved to the side and he barely avoided the fist that appeared out of nowhere the smoke forming after Hloskova's body.
Cloud jumped back a couple of feet. He glanced up seeing Reeve looking down on him. The concern on the director's face visible even from this far away.
Cloud looked to the alien again and then he noticed the alien was holding out his left hand.

Purple energy seemed to formed around Hloskova's hand. A soft sound of unseen gears moved, the noise seemed to resonate in the air.
Cloud's eye twitched as the Alien's hand began to separate, bands of data forming a circle in a straight line from his forearm to several inches down encasing something that seemed invisible.
Metal of some description began to become visible, between the bands data forming from nothing.
Cloud blinked and when he looked at the Alien again. Hloskova held a sword, it was a cross between Sephiroth's Masamune and a gunblade, gold plated like his mechanical wings.
Cloud frowned. “What are you?”
This was not something he was aware Jenova's race could do. It just wasn't possible. She was organic like a virus last he heard, not mechanical based.
Hloskova's visor flicked up and the purple eyes flickered over Cloud. The smirk that tainted the alien's lips was enough to make Cloud's skin crawl.
“Reconstructed by cataclysmal design. I am their synthetic intention.”
Cloud frowned the way this alien spoke was like he had been programmed.

~*~*~*~

Zack could hear his phone ringing as he flew along side Seph. It wasn't a willing truce, he just had to reach Cloud and Angel before Hloskova did. For some reason Sephiroth decided to follow him.
Cursing Zack pulled out his phone and answered as he flew. “Vincent what's going on?”
Zack listened to the former Turk and he saw Sephiroth watching his expression he must have seen the look.
“Obviously we need to hurry.” Sephiroth commented.
“On my way I'll meet you there, Vincent distract him, make sure Cloud and Angel are alright.” Zack snapped the phone shut, he glanced to Sephiroth who flew beside him.
“Why...” Zack looked at former General beside him.
Sephiroth looked at Zack. “Because I will not let him drive you insane.”

Zack looked down at the ground beneath them. “It takes a lot to drive me insane Seph.” He stopped realizing he had reverted back to using his nick for Sephiroth's name.
Sephiroth did not seem to notice that or he ignored it. “He is my mother's life partner, I can feel that much.”
“So that would make him what your step-dad?” Zack scoffed. “Doesn't mean you have to help me.”
“I betrayed you, therefor I owe you this, perhaps more.”
Zack felt his face flush he looked away nodding. “You don't just owe me Seph. There are others out there that you hurt as well.”
Sephiroth sighed. “I hurt you the most. Mentally the damage I caused will take time to atone for.”

Zack nodded understanding. “Okay... but you don't have to start now.”
“Do you think you can fight him alone in your grief? If you recall after Angeal died.” Sephiroth stated.
Zack let out a breath. “Okay you made your point, but I'm not helping you if Cloud runs you through with a sword.”
“Fair enough.” Sephiroth replied.

~*~*~*~

Words became pointless now, all he had was the will to live to protect Angel like he had promised Zack. Another promise to keep, there was more at stake in this promise to Zack than the last one.
Cloud followed Hloskova's movements with his eyes and he blocked the sword blows, but he could feel the vibration rock through the blade pushing him back a few feet. Almost but not quite knocking him off his feet.
Drawing the second blade from his sword, the metallic hair shot out from around the alien and using the blade he sliced through the hair.

Each swing of the sword blocked more and more of the hair as it flew at him in a constant flow.
Hloskova's pointed the blade at Cloud and several bullets fired from the sword. Cloud flicked his wrist deflecting the bullets.
Hloskova flew at him and Cloud blocked the blade of the sword with his own. The fist struck the other blade the impact sending Cloud backwards several feet.
The alien phased behind him and Cloud felt it as the sword burst through his stomach.
The hair wrapping around his neck. Cloud gasped as he felt the blade twist round before. The mechanical gears began to turn and the sword was digitized to have several mini spikes on the edge of the blade each point directed back towards Cloud's stomach.
Cloud's hand gripped the blade and he growled fighting Hloskova's motion to pull the blade free and probably rip half of Cloud's stomach contents out through his back.
Lifting the taller alien up he spun round bringing the blonde alien's body slamming into a post not once but twice.

Holding one hand firmly on the blade Cloud sucked in a breath and he swung his sword down behind him and he could feel it pass through the metal.
Hloskova fell back and looked at the stump that had been his left arm.
Cloud jumped forward a few feet and he pulled the blade out through the front before tossing it at the alien's feet.
His hand moving to the hole and he looked at the blood that came gushing out of the wound.
He activated the materia on his bracelet letting the mastered Cura heal his wound.
Cloud watched as the alien picked up his blooded weapon that had once been his left arm and he held it to the stump.
Cloud watched as the digitized lights formed round the joint and the gears began clicking, the alien let go of his arm.
Just like that, his severed limb was reattached with not even a trace that it had ever been severed.
The left hand pointed at him and Cloud dropped back into a stance one sword in front the other resting by his leg. He could feel his body wasn't going to last much longer, not without proper medical attention.
'Cloud... hang on...'
He heard the soft familiar female voice on the wind.
'Good luck...'
The gentle breeze drifted around him, the light scent of flowers filled the air around him.
He smirked. “Thanks...”
'Zack's on his way...'

It was the news he needed to hear. He only had to hold this alien off until Zack arrived. He just hoped Zack wasn't too far away.

~*~*~*~

Reeve had been just watching the scene below, he had been ready to send some of his men out there to help when Cloud got impaled. But once again the blonde had proved harder to kill.
Reeve opened the drawer to his desk and he rummaged through it. He had a spare one lying around somewhere. He just had to find it.
He made a mental note to really organize his notes better before the day was out.

The door to his office opened. The red cape billowing behind his old friend.
“Vincent. Thank Gaia.” Reeve exclaimed. It was as if that was the moment the missing item decided to peek it's head out and say 'here I am'.
Reeve picked up the yellow feather. Walking up to Vincent he placed the golden feather in the gunman's hand.
“Take this to Cloud outside. He will need it.”
Vincent looked at Reeve. “What is going on?”
“Take a look for yourself.” Reeve opened the window up again.

The gunman stepped up to the window looking at the spectacle below. Red eyes followed the battle raging below. The frown on the gunman's face was obvious, he knew this. Cloud did not look like he was fearing too well against the alien.
“He returned...”
Reeve looked to him. “To take Angel I'm afraid. Cloud is doing his best. Do you think-?”
Vincent placed a golden boot onto the ledge stepping up onto it.
“You do not need to ask.” He stated. The breeze blew the cape back into the office as the gunman lept from the ledge free falling towards the ground.

Reeve ran up to the window and watched as Vincent landed on a balcony on one of the lower levels. Stepping onto the railing Death Penalty was loaded and pointed in the direction of the alien and the shots rang out.
The visor of the alien flicked down as the head tilted to look in Vincent's direction.
“Vincent be careful!” Reeve shouted out to his friend.

~*~*~*~

Cloud was glad for the distraction Vincent gave. It would ease the battle a bit on his body. He knew his energy was running on low.
The gunman landed next to him the cape flapping out behind him as he stepped in front of Cloud.
Cloud was aware of the feather thrown at him.
It landed on his shoulder and activated.
“From Reeve.” He stated.
“Thanks. I just got a boost from Aerith too.”
Vincent's red eyes narrowed at the alien. “Then she obviously knows the outcome of this battle.”
“Zack's on his way.” Cloud stated.
“Can you hold out till then?” Vincent asked.
Cloud just smirked grateful for his friend's company. “I can now.”
Vincent nodded.

A purple stream of light flashed across the middle of the alien's visor, it flickered like a loading screen. Vincent quirked a dark eyebrow.
“He's completely mechanical.” Cloud stated.
“Unusual.” Vincent stated.
Cloud nodded. “I don't think bullets will work on him.”
“Then we have to just get in close.” Vincent lept off the ground and flipped over Hloskova Cloud charging the alien from the front.
The golden claw struck through the golden alloy breast plate and the claw ripped at the plate, drawing it from the alien's body. Cloud moving in stabbing Hloskova through the chest and lifting the alien up on the sword he flung him to the side and down the street.

The alien's right hand grabbed the ground, the claws on the edge of his fingers tearing long scratches down and breaking through the concrete.
The head looked up at them as the visor flipped up and purple eyes glared at them. The wires exposed in the alien's chest seemed to 'bleed' red. But the smell was like that of an oil leak.
The echo of gears turning, then the purple digitized lights appeared over the chest of the alien as he digitally repaired himself on the spot.
“His abilities would intrigue Reeve.” Vincent stated.
“Well if we can kill him, we can give him the parts to study later.” Cloud huffed, he was getting more than annoyed with this alien.

The more Cloud fought him and saw his abilities, he understood. If this golden alien had originally been of Jenova's race and they had parted ways to meet up later. It was quite possible like Jenova Hloskova's abilities came from another planet that 'tested' on him like Hojo had on Jenova.
“You look like you figured something out.” Vincent commented.
Cloud nodded. “He said something to me before you arrived. 'Reconstructed by cataclysmal design. I am their synthetic intention.' I believe he meant he was experimented on like Jenova, but not here, somewhere else.”
“That world probably doesn't exist now either.” Vincent added.
“Probably not. They could have given him an expiry button though.” Cloud looked to Vincent. “When we get out of this I need you to see if Shelke can net dive for us.”
“I will ask her.” Vincent glanced to the alien in time to see the visor snap down and the alien phased out of their sight.

~*~*~*~

Zack could see the WRO in the distance and he could hear the sound of a metal based battle and he frowned.
“Not a good sign.” Zack growled, trying to kick up the speed of his flight.
Sephiroth seemed to hang back and Zack looked back understanding. Sephiroth would not show himself to Cloud, not yet.
Zack did not mind.

Flying over the area Zack saw Hlsokova vanish from sight and he growled. He knew what was going to happen next.
“CLOUD WATCH OUT!” Zack shouted.
The blonde looked up at him, before he spun round and blocked the sword of the alien.
Zack saw the flash of digitized light.
And the sword passed through Cloud's sword through his chest bursting out the back the hair shot out like blades one through Cloud's leg, the other through his stomach and the last through his neck. All of it in one single motion.
“CLOUD!” Zack swooped in landing.
Hlsokova looked at him.
The sword and hair retracting from the blonde's body, Cloud falling over backwards.
Zack dashed in catching Cloud and he saw the flash of yellow and let out a breath of relief as the phoenix down brought a moan from Cloud's lips.
Blue eyes looked up at him, tired, weak.
Zack growled glaring up at the alien.
The metal clinked as the alien walked up to him.
Metal and blood glistened together along the blade of the alien and he brought it up to his lips licking the edge of the blade, tasting Cloud's blood.
“Human blood taints her essence.” He seemed to purr.
Zack saw Vincent, the gunman suddenly behind the alien, death penalty pressed against the back of Hlsokova's head.
There was a flash as the gun went off. Metal, blood, oil, brain, sparks flew as the body dropped to the ground.

Zack pulled Cloud up to him. “Hey buddy... you did good, you can hear me right?”
Cloud nodded. “Y-yeah... but...” The gloved hand moved to his own chest as he sucked in air. “Something... else is inside... me.”
Zack's eyes went wide. “Something else? What something else?” He asked worriedly.
“Don't know.” Cloud's eyes closed.
Zack pulled out his materia activating trying his best to use the cura to heal whatever it was inside his friend.
'It's the infection Zack, it's touched his soul...'
Zack could hear Angeal's voice behind him and he pulled Cloud even closer shaking his head.
“Is he-?”
“No.” Vincent stated. “The Phoenix down worked fine. But something else is preventing him from returning to consciousness.”
Zack heard the revolving doors turn and he saw Denzel stepping outside walking up to them slowly, his expression one of shock.
“C-Cloud.” The teenager spoke his voice shaking.
“DAD!” Zack saw Angel race past Denzel and up to him, clinging to his side.
A woman was close behind. “Please Angel the director said to stay indoors!”
“Is Cloud sleeping?” Angel asked hanging onto Zack's arm.
Zack nodded. “Yes.”
Angel looked up at him. “Like mommy?”
“No... luckily.” Zack was relieved at that.

Zack smiled as Angel ran his hand through the feathers in one of his wings. “You look good with wings daddy.” He smiled. “Like an angel.”
Zack rested his forehead on his son's head. He looked to the woman standing over them.
“I can take him back inside sir.” She looked to the wings blinking.
Angel shook his head. “I wanna stay with you.”
“Angel it's just for a few moments we have to get Cloud looked at okay.” Zack looked to the wings. He reached into them and pulled out a loose feather before placing it in Angel's hands. “Since I can't come inside with you just yet. Take a part of me instead. Is that okay?”
Angel looked at the feather and grinned. “Okay!”
Zack smiled at the woman. “Thank you- uh.”
“Pania. I don't expect you to remember. It's okay.” She took Angel's hand and walked back to the door with the child.
Vincent moved to Zack side and crouched down picking up Cloud and draping him over his shoulder. “I'll take him to the medic.”
Denzel moved up to Vincent, his hand moving to touch Cloud on the back of the head.
“They'll make sure he's okay right?”
“They will do their best.” Vincent stated to the youth.
“Okay... thanks Vincent.” Zack stood up and he walked past Hlsokova's body.

The sound of gears shifting and changing made Zack stop before he saw the hand of the body twitch, the gears in the back of the skull moved and Zack saw it. Hlsokova's body was reconstructing itself.
“Shit! EVERYONE MOVE!” He shouted.

The alien stood up suddenly then phased out.
“No! GET AWAY!” Zack shouted.
Pania pulled Angel away and Zack saw the blade pass through the left side of her chest. Her body falling limp on the blade. It was obvious Hlsokova had pierced her heart making her death instant. He flung her body to the side before grabbing Angel by the arm.
“NO! LET GO OF HIM!” Zack growled drawing his sword and charging at the alien.
The sword arm digitized and returned to an arm with a hand and it caught the buster sword like it was nothing. Zack pushed against the blade driving it through mixture of bone, metal and tissue.
The left arm was sliced vertically up the arm in half.
Angel looked up at him and Zack froze seeing those amber eyes looking at him.
“Angel.”

That noise formed again and Zack heard the gears turning. He saw the two halves of the arm move independently of each other.
“Zack get away!”
Zack could hear Sephiroth's shout and then one half of the arm twirled round his body locking him in place, crushing him like a snake to prey.
The other half of the arm twirled round by his neck and Zack saw the needles forming.
“Program initiating.”
Zack felt the needles pierce the side of his neck, it wasn't just one needle. It felt like at least twenty.
Hlsokova's visor flashed, the line flashed across the middle before jumping up like a pulse. Then the lines started moving faster, the pulse falling into a steady beat matching with Zack's racing heart.
“Instillation in progress.”
Zack could feel something passing through the needles into his skin and he let out a cry trying to break free.
“Stop it!” Angel screamed. “You're hurting him!”
Zack's body felt stiff, like whatever this infection was froze him to the spot, his eyes moved to look at Angel's tear stricken face.
“Due to complete system update in three minutes.” Hlsokova's needles retracted and Zack was let go. He felt his body dropped to the ground before the two halves of the alien's arm began to digitize back together.

Zack saw the metal wings activate and the alien pulled Angel to him before jumping up and shooting off into the sky.
Zack felt his body pulled up and he gasped for air.

Sephiroth.

The former general held him like how Zack had held Cloud only moments ago.
“S-Seph...”
The hand touched the side of his face. “I know a doctor, let me take you and Cloud to her.” Sephiroth's voice sounded calmer than his own frantic heart jumping a million miles a minute.
“Zack...” Vincent moved up to him, glancing to Sephiroth.
“Trust him Vin...cent. If he- wanted us, dead, we- would be... already.” Zack spoke through gasping breaths.
“Zack are you sure?” Vincent asked.
“Y-yeah...” Eyes closed.
He didn't want to think what was going to happen when this 'program' had fully been 'installed' into his body.

Sephiroth looked to Cloud over Vincent's shoulder.
“This doctor is a friend of Ezekiel's, currently she is located in Mideel. You can get the address from the Turk, but they both need to be tended to.”

Vincent frowned glancing to Zack, Sephiroth was about to sling Zack over his shoulder, when Zack let out an agonized cry, pulling free from Seph, his hands going to his ears.
The raven haired fighter falling to his knees doubling over.
“It's begun.” Sephiroth looked to Vincent. “I do not trust the WRO, for they are funded by ShinRa, I do not trust ShinRa. Not with his life.” He shot Vincent a challenging look. “What do you think Cloud's first question will be when he wakes up?”
“Zack.” Vincent stated and sighed.
He did not want to do this, he did not trust Sephiroth, but what Zack said held truth. If this was the Sephiroth of old then they would all be close to death, all of them.
Vincent reluctantly handed Cloud over, the scowl never leaving his face.
“Forgive me Cloud.” Vincent whispered.
Sephiroth flung the blonde over his shoulder before walking up to Zack.
“Zack.”
Vincent saw the flash of the blade. Sephiroth did too obviously and dodged with ease. Zack lunged at him in some weird possessed rage. The buster sword flying past Sephiroth as he dodged the next swing and the third. Each movement fluid like water, he didn't even quirk a brow at the crazed Zack.

Sephiroth frowned he dodged and phased behind Zack.
“Your movements are slow in comparison to how you normally fight.” His hand striking out to clip the raven haired fighter across the back of the neck.
Zack slumped forward instantly unconscious and Sephiroth caught him over his arm before he flung Zack over his shoulder.
He looked over his shoulder to Vincent.
“Remember Ezekiel knows the location. If you do not believe me I will get her to call Reeve when we arrive.” Sephiroth lept up into the air, his wing shooting out and using the wind to glide away from where Vincent stood.

Vincent looked up at Reeve, who had just witnessed the entire thing. He let out a breath before looking to Denzel who was looking at him.
“Go find Ezekiel. We need to have a talk with him.” Vincent stated.
Denzel nodded before running inside the WRO building.



~*~*~To Be Continued...~*~*~
jdee_gurl: (fangurls)

Title: Return of the Departed
Author: J’dee
Series: Final Fantasy VII
Chapter Rating: M
Pairs: None

AN:
The OC's that feature are merely for plot purposes nothing further. Ellie, Ezekiel, Hloskova are all © of Purgatorium, Clover and Walker are my creations (but I try to limit their interactions to the bare minimum).
Just note: Italics are for the dead addressing the living that can see and hear them, but when the POV is them talking amongst each other it won't be there...


Chapter Three


Reno stood in the doorway of the room, he was just looking at Zack, the former SOLDIER's back facing the door. Half curled up in the spot where Cissnei earlier that day had lain.
The red head's fist clenched at his side, this... thing took one of their own. It took a friend of his. He was not going to let that go lightly. He didn't blame Zack for her death he knew if he could have, he would have saved her, he had that power, the strength. But one minute to late, that's all it was.
“Zack we're all downstairs yo. Reeve's even here.” Reno spoke.
He saw the head nod. “Fill me in later Reno.” Zack stated.

Reno nodded. “Will do.” He let out a breath and walked down the hall descending the stairs.
He stopped seeing the flashing lights and media buzzing round outside. Rude was by the door preventing anyone from entering the bar.
The alien had attracted the media. The arrival of Rufus and Reeve had made everyone three times more curious than they needed to be.
Reno looked to where Rufus and Tseng sat in a booth with Reeve. He moved across the bar and crouched down. Elena sitting on the ground leaning against the base of the bar just staring at a dried up pool of blood.
“Hey... she wouldn't want you cryin' over her too long you know that right?” He set a hand on her shoulder.
Elena looked up at him and he caught her as she flung herself in his arms. He felt the petite blond's body rack with sobs. Reno glanced to Tseng and he saw Tseng look to her for the moment. Reno knew tonight was going to be a night where Elena would probably be staying with Tseng or the other way round.
Grief did weird things to people.
It had been a good two years since Elena and Tseng had separated on the guise that work and relations were probably not the best.
Reno saw Cloud walk up to the table he seemed to set the drinks down for Rufus, Reeve, and Tseng automatically. He was in autopilot mode. Reno wondered how close Cloud had actually gotten to Cissnei since she left the Turks and got hitched with Zack. That or the blonde didn't care and it was Zack he was grieving for.
Rubbing Elena's back Reno sat with her on the ground. He just watched the five year old boy bouncing on one of the seats in the booth behind the corporate trio.

The three men in suits ignored the media at the window snapping photos and making reports. The police moved them back from the window before any lip readers could interpret the conversation.
“The media won't leave this place alone.” Reeve spoke. “We have to report something to tide them over.” His fingers tapped the side of the cup softly.
“Someone's grief is anothers entertainment. Seems to be a theme with them.” Rufus stated before taking a sip of the coffee.
“Reeve.” Tseng looked at him. “You would be the better choice. It would be unwise to bring to their attention that she was an ex-ShinRa employee.
Reeve nodded. “I understand. I just don't know... what to say.”
“Zack is under a contract with you, is he not?” Vincent questioned from the corner staying away from any spots where the media could get any photos of him.
“Tell them...” Zack's voice drifted down the stairs. “Everyone needs to stay away from me. Anyone who means anything to me, they have to stay away.”

Cloud looked to Zack staring at the skintight black top, the black pants one shoulder plate strapped to his left shoulder there was an elbow band strapped round his right elbow and belts criss crossed at his waist, the buster sword strapped to his back.
“Z-Zack?”
He felt the hand touch him on the shoulder. Cloud looked to the black leather fingerless gloves, his gaze moving to Zack's face.
“Please watch over my kids for me.”
Cloud spun round. “Zack... where are-?”
“I'm going to find him Cloud. I'm going to kill him.”
Reeve stood up. “Zack... I must urge you not to go off in your current state.”
Zack looked at Reeve. “I'll always be SOLDIER... I can't deny that. The only thing I could do to quell my grief after Angeal was throw myself into mission after mission.” He looked to Rufus. “Say what you will to the media. I don't care. Just keep my kids out of the spotlight.” He walked to the door.
Cloud looked to Tifa and he saw her nod in understanding.
“We'll be here Zack, for when your ready to come home.”
Cloud watched as Zack looked over his shoulder. “Stay alive while I'm gone.” he walked out the door.
“Daaad!” Cloud watched Rude catch Angel before he ran out the door. “Dad!”
Zack smiled at him. “Be good for Cloud and Tifa okay I'll be back soon.”
“Dad...” Angel stretched for him.

Zack saw the flashing of lights, the media buzzing around him, he could feel where he needed to go.
'Northern Crater. He's there I don't know how I know, but I know.' Zack thought and he looked up to the sky letting the wings shoot from his back he lept skyward flying away from the stunned onlookers.

Angel knelt in the booth and he looked up seeing the feathers float to the ground.
“That was cool.” He pointed. “Did you see?”
Tifa smiled walking up to him. “We saw, it was neat huh?”
“Yeah I want them too one day!” He exclaimed. “Mommy was right they are angel's wings.”
Tifa placed a hand on his shoulder. “They are aren't they? But shouldn't you be in bed mister.”
“I couldn't sleep, I kept feeling her all around me and hugging me. Mommy she's really sad.” Angel slipped from the seat as Tifa took his hand.
“What's she sad about?”
“That she had to leave.”
Tifa nodded. “I imagine she wants to make sure your okay before she starts her new life.”

Reeve watched Tifa lead the boy up the stairs. “He's after that child.” He looked to Cloud. “He will probably return for him. I have a place we can keep him safe.”
Cloud let out a breath. “We'll think on it.”
“Don't think to long yo.” Reno stated. “He killed Zack's parent's yesterday and came after Cissnei today, tomorrow... you could be dead.” The red head stated from where he sat next to Elena, his arm still around her. The female Turk's head resting on his shoulder, brown eyes not really focusing on anything.
“Reno has a point Cloud.” Tseng stated.
“Tomorrow. We'll move them tomorrow.” Cloud sighed.
Reeve stood up. “I'll send a car. For now let me try to ease the media outside your door.”
“I can take Angel there, the less chance of innocent people getting hurt. Just in case.” Cloud stated.

~*~*~*~

Sephiroth sat in the room the television was going in the background. Ellie the woman's name was, was letting him stay in her home. So for the first night in the longest time he'd slept in a bed, used her shower.
It only unnerved him slightly to see she used his old brand of shampoo and that she had a replica masumune on the wall, along with the blown up photo of himself and Zack from before he went mad.
The binder on the table had clip outs, research probing into his sudden 'demise' at Nibelheim. Sephiroth had forgotten that normal people had always been kept in the dark. He saw she had researched into the likes of Zack's first fake 'death' at the hands of ShinRa also at Nibelheim. He wondered how much this woman had figured out about the events in Nibelheim.
Sephiroth closed the folder.

El as she preferred to be called had said she needed to check his bloods since this body was not his original it was a host body. There were a million things that could go wrong and she didn't want a single one of them to happen. He did not complain only complied with the woman. She was obsessive over him, but the attraction was only one sided- her side.
Sephiroth let out a breath leaning into the back of the couch, this woman's decor even matched his own from his days back in ShinRa. It made him feel comfortable, but he didn't feel safe, fangirls could be very obsessive.
Sephiroth had not felt safe in a long time, but he felt safer than he had in the past. His eyes drifted closed, the television going softly in the background.

“An then he just sprouted wings an flew off inta the sky!” The voice made Sephiroth's eyes open.
He looked to the screen at the hysterical woman.
Sephiroth watched the footage played and he saw Zack stepping out from Seventh heaven. He looked different. The tell tale scar, his solitary bang gone replaced with several loose ones that hung round his face, like the man didn't care to style it anymore. The back of his hair pulled into a long pony tail that stopped at his waist. Angeal's sword, the single shoulder plate.
The wings sprouted out before Zack jumped and was gone.

Sephiroth stood up he walked up to the screen. He saw the news report cut to Reeve onscreen the director of WRO looked nervous as reporters were quizzing him.
Questions flew at the leader of the WRO.
“That man what was he?”
“Is he even human?”
“Was he responsible for the Gongaga slaughter?”

Reeve held his hand up. “He is an old friend. I assure you he is human. He's-” The director of WRO was stopped mid sentence as Rufus stepped up covering the mic.
“Reeve I will take care of this.”
“Sir!” Tseng seemed to protest behind.
Rufus looked out. “I take full responsibility for the tests my father's company ran on that man. We have been making sure he could live his life as comfortably as possible. But he insists that you keep your distance if you see him. Do not approach him, do not try to initiate any form of contact. He is not dangerous but what he's about to do and where he's heading is.” Rufus stepped away from the podium and was flanked by Reno, Rude, and Tseng before he was ushered into the limo, before the reporters could even question Rufus anymore.

Reeve cleared his throat as the bombardment of questions hit him, the director of the WRO ignored all questions. Lights flashing about him for the newspaper articles for the morning.
“That man is one of the WRO's best operatives. He is on a mission for us. So please do stay clear.” Reeve stated.
“Is it true he's ex-SOLDIER?”
“We heard he worked along side Sephiroth!”
“What is ShinRa really hiding from the public?!”

Sephiroth heard the door open and he looked to El as she stepped out of her room.
The purple eyed woman looked at him.
“I just saw. Your friend...”
Sephiroth nodded. “He's not my friend. Not anymore.”
He raised a brow as she stalked up to him and the angry red head jabbed him in the chest.
“I know that look on his face. I've seen it before. He's lost someone dear to him. As a friend you should help.”
Sephiroth quirked a silver brow. “Your tests?”
“It takes longer than this to wait for the results. Just go.” She pointed to the door.
Sephiroth let out a breath. “It's not that easy. I did things to him. Unforgivable things.”
El looked at him. “Unforgivable things?”
Sephiroth looked at her. He moved to the couch and sat down.
El moved to sit on the seat near him. But gave him his space. “What sort of unforgivable things?” She asked.
Sephiroth tapped her folder on the table in front of them, fingers drummed with irritation at the questioning.
“Things that caused me to hurt the one who called me friend and forever fought to return my sanity to me.”
“You're avoiding the question.” El raised a brow.
Sephiroth gave her a look. “It's best you do not know what I put that man through. Things that a man shouldn't do to another man.”
She blinked and shook her head. “You didn't-?” She then got this weird look in her eyes. “That's so hot!”
Sephiroth's glanced at the woman.
“I mean bad... that's really bad.” She nodded her head her cheeks heating up.
Sephiroth raised a silver brow. 'So she's one of THOSE fangirls. No wonder she hasn't made a move.' He let out a breath. At least now he knew there would be no bedroom advances from this woman.
She was the only one who could remove this chip from his brain. So he had no choice.
“The chip...”
“It seems to suppress your influential part of the brain that prevents others from controlling your thought and actions.” El remarked.
Sephiroth stopped. “Controlling my thoughts.” He understood now. If that chip was removed, there was a likelihood he could hear Jenova again... If she was still alive.

The sanity he had when waking in Quinn's body was an odd one, then that other Turk, that dark skinned one was there just waiting for him. The need and thirst to destroy the planet was gone, instead he had felt remorse and guilt for the pain he had put Zack through.
Now he understood why he had not heard her. This chip had prevented him from hearing her. Jenova's eye long gone from Quinn's body when he took control. It had been discarded like nothing. Jenova had no means to contact this body anymore. He had been left alone and in peace to realize the truth of his actions and wallow in the pain he had caused those he cared about.

~*~*~*~

It was nightfall by the time Zack landed on the ground he had hoped to reach the northern crater before nightfall, but the change in wind direction pushing against his flight pattern slowed his travel down.

Landing in Icicle, Zack just wandered the area and he stopped seeing the door and windows shut as he walked past. He raised a curious brow and guessed Reeve or Rufus had told the media the public to stay away from him.
“Good call. Keep them safe.” Zack let out a breath.
The only thing it hindered him in was a place to stay for the night.
The breeze brushed his cheek in a familiar touch one he hadn't felt in years. His gaze looked up as if the touch urged him too.

It was then Zack stopped at the edge of the village and he blinked. The glowing green light of the lifestream, standing amongst it in humanoid form on the outskirt of town.
The back of a familiar pink dress, the pink ribbon. He watched the honey brown braid sway against her back.
Zack walked up to where her figure was manifesting.
He stopped behind her and he could smell on the wind the scent of flowers.
“I haven't seen you in a while.” He whispered. “Thought you abandoned me.”
She looked over her shoulder at him. That smile, it always warmed his heart.
You need to rest.” She stated.
He saw her smile it had a lair of concern underneath it. She always had trouble hiding her true concerns for him. He always saw through them.
“Aerith.” His hand moved to her shoulder.
Her hand moved over his. “Cissnei is worried about you. Please go back Zack, if you don't I'm afraid Cloud will-.” She stopped.
Zack raised a brow. “Cloud will what?” Zack pressed.
He's next Zack.” Aerith's voice sounded worried. “First thing tomorrow morning. He's going after Cloud.” She whispered. “If he keeps up this rate. Then the lifestream won't be able to adjust or take the souls of the departed in.” She turned round to look at him. “Return to Cloud Zack. He needs you.” Her hand moved to touch the side of his face. “You can't win this alone. You will need help. Cloud's help.

Zack frowned. This second Calamity was going after Cloud next. Zack should have figured. He would just get to the alien first that was it.
“He's at the northern crater now isn't he?” Zack asked.
She looked to the side he saw the frown. “Thought so.” He walked past.
If you go down this path you'll end up like Sephiroth!” She shouted after him. “That's what he wants!
“Yeah maybe but I'm different from Sephiroth. I won't let him consume me.”
Zack looked over his shoulder and he saw the figure manifesting behind Aerith.
He was thrown for six, at the sight.

Angeal was stalking up to him that long stride, that annoyed expression he always got when Zack had done something impulsive. Each step Angeal took with purpose in his stride and then Zack felt it. The hard slap over the back of the head.
Zack! Concentrate!
Zack rubbed the spot, he was sure he felt a bump forming.
“Owww... for a dead guy you hit pretty hard.”
Snap out of it!” Angeal sounded mad.
Zack was still rubbing the back of his head looking at Angeal blinking.
“Oh so NOW you show up. How many times have I asked for you to guide me and you choose now!” Zack growled. He could feel his eye twitching in annoyance.
“I always knew you were going to be fine. But this time. Even I can see you're falling apart.” Angeal placed his hands on Zack's shoulders. “Your wife if she had the strength would be here too, but her spirit needs to heal from the damage he caused.
Zack looked down instantly. “He damaged her spirit?” He couldn't believe it, that asshole had not only killed her in front of his eyes but he had damaged her soul.
Aerith walked up to him and Zack felt her arms wrap around him. “He infected her spirit, your parent's too.
It's like Geostigma for the dead. If he keeps this up on everyone he kills...” Angeal let out a breath.
Zack looked to Aerith his eyes widening. “It'll destroy the lifestream and in turn the entire planet.” Zack finished. “He really meant it didn't he? When he said it would be me and him for eternity if I didn't... give him my son.”
Cloud is next. Turn around you could still get to him in time.” Aerith urged him.
Zack shook his head. “I'll take him down tonight.” With that he shook Aerith's arms off him before he tore off to the sky.

Aerith let out a breath. She looked at Angeal.
He crossed his arms. “Guess I have no choice but to ask him to step in.”
Aerith bit her bottom lip. “Let him know I don't blame him,” she began. “I know it wasn't him, I know it was Jenova using his form.”
Angeal looked to where Zack took off and he sighed.
“I will if he doesn't think he's going crazy... again.”

~*~*~*~

Sephiroth moved to the spare room. He hadn't realized she had been one of those kind of fans. That read in to appearances together in the past as something more.
In those days there had been nothing but friendship between Zack and himself. But he was noticing it now. Round her apartment the photos of him, or Zack with him. Sephiroth never realized there were that many images out there of them together. It was mostly after missions they attended together where the 1st Class strength was needed after Angeal's death and Genesis's desertion from ShinRa.

The pictures didn't seem to offend him, but they were completely inaccurate. It wasn't until after he possessed his friends body, that he realized he had mentally broken Zack into a victim of Stockholm syndrome. Taken advantage of him in his mental breakdown.

Letting out a breath Sephiroth sat on the edge of the bed. His head falling into his hands. El was long gone to bed, thankfully. He could not tell the strange woman everything. In fact after her little outburst he had fallen silent. Fearful she would probably misunderstand the possession of Zack's body to mean something else. They had touched on the chip briefly and he knew now if it was removed he could return to his former easily influenced self. If it stayed, he would die and his redemption and his promise to Quinn would not reach full fruition.

Something bugging you old friend?
Sephiroth stopped, he looked up and he had not expected to see Angeal there leaning against the wall casually, still in that accursed uniform.
He blinked a couple of times before realizing, the lifestream had released Angeal from it's grasp to talk to him. It must have meant something bad was about to happen and he was required to continue down this weird path of attempted redemption.
“You know what.” Sephiroth let out a breath.
Guilt. You can help him you know. The way he's going he's going to be the next you. No one will be able to snap him out of it.
“Get Cloud to.”
That's going to be a bit hard when it involves Cloud getting hurt. You will know what he's going through, only you will be able to reach him.

Sephiroth frowned. “Why are you sticking your nose in this now?”
He's grieving badly Sephiroth.” Angeal stated. The concern in Zack's deceased mentor's voice was obvious. “His hometown was destroyed. His parent's and his wife killed, tomorrow if something doesn't change Cloud will die. Zack's son will be captured. That second coming... he will tear everything from Zack and force him to live through all of his past torments in a single moment. He'll go insane. One you was enough. He does not need to become like that.
Sephiroth let out a dry laugh. “What makes you think I can prevent it?”
I don't but I think you could reach him while he's in that state. You're the only one whose been through it and eventually returned to sanity.” Angeal spoke with certainty.
Sephiroth ran a hand through his hair. “I killed him.”
Because you were still insane.” Angeal pointed out.
Sephiroth shot his old friend a glare. “How do you know I'm not now?”
Six years and you've managed to hide from ShinRa and the WRO without detection, you could have just taken them down. Why hide?
Sephiroth looked to the side and let out a breath. “I owe this world redemption of some sort...”
That doesn't sound like a crazy man talking to me.
Sephiroth let out a breath. “Where is he?”
Heading towards the Northern Crater.” Angeal replied.
Sephiroth stood up he looked down at the clothes El had lent him. They weren't exactly combat ready. But he didn't have his old uniform available at that moment. El had take the coat and pants to be dry cleaned and she had hand cleaned the shoulder plates, which were sitting outside to dry over night.
“If I can't reach him.” Sephiroth began.
He reached for you, he kept trying, you owe him the same.” Angeal gave him that look. The one Sephiroth hated, the one that normally came before the pride and honor lecture. Sephiroth decided he had no choice but to go before he was forced to listen to it... again, from beyond the grave.

~*~*~*~

Cloud moved through Seventh heaven, he was up early making breakfast. He saw Angel sitting in the booth looking out the window up at the sky.
The kid was obsessed with the sky.
“Eggs okay?” Cloud asked.
The blonde glanced at the clock reading 4:15am. They had to be at WRO by six am.
“Yup!”
“Scrambled, poached, fried... how do you have them?” Cloud asked.
Angel thought for a moment. “Mom used to do me scrambled she didn't like using oil for frying them. I've never had poached before.”
“Really you don't know what you're missing. I'll throw some cheese on top for you just in case plain is too bland.” Cloud smiled as he continued cooking.

It was early morning. He had got Angel up to take him to Reeve's hiding point early. He had no idea what woke him this morning.
He was still waking up himself.

When the food was cooked he brought over the poached eggs on toast with some cheese on top he placed it in front of Angel and set the mug of hot chocolate down for the boy.
He sat opposite him with his own breakfast.
“You're having cereal... why?”
“I need to leave enough eggs for Denzel to have breakfast.”
“He sleeps a lot.” Angel mused.
Cloud laughed. “He's at that age.”
“So he's not grumpy anymore?” The five year old asked.
“The teenage angst is over.” Cloud chuckled.

It had been a messy six years of Denzel complaining that he wanted to join the WRO but they weren't letting him become stronger to protect Marlene and everyone else.
Finally Tifa had cracked first. She taught him some moves that Zangan had taught her and then Cloud had been double teamed into teaching Denzel how to use a sword. Not that Cloud thought he would ever need to. But he realized Denzel had gone behind his back and sought out Zack in the holiday times to get training from. Zack had assumed Cloud had sent him and so became the beginning of trying to control that teenage anger.

Angel continued to ask Cloud all kinds of questions as they had their breakfast. Cloud looked up as he saw a half asleep Denzel descend the stairs.
“Morning.”
The eighteen year old just moaned something incoherent before walking into the kitchen.
Angel looked at Cloud. “Will I get that big one day?”
Cloud nodded. “I'm sure of it.”

Denzel walked out of the kitchen and he then he felt it attach to his waist and he looked down before he shook his head.
“Morning!” The chirpy five year old commented.
“Uh yeah.” He looked to Cloud sitting there.
Cloud looked confused. “School isn't for another five hours.”
“Before school job.” Denzel let out a breath.
“So you got the job then. Congratulations.” Cloud smiled.
Denzel shrugged. “Just mail room stuff at WRO. It's a start.” He walked to the booth and sat down. Angel crawled over him to sit by the window and look out it.
“Do you think dad is there yet?” The dark haired kid asked.
Denzel looked at Cloud. He had been filled in briefly when he got home from Barrett and Marlene's, but they had all seen it on the news.
Cloud shrugged. “Probably, if he kept going all night. But I don't know where he was headed so who knows.”

~*~*~*~

Zack landed on the bottom of the Northern Crater. He landed in the middle of the crater before looking up and letting his wings retract.
He could feel that thing's essence everywhere. Like it was corrupting the very atmosphere of the place.
Zack felt the uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach he could feel the essence, but he could not sense the person behind the essence. That meant this thing had been hiding in this very crater not long after it impacted with Gaia.
“Hey get out here!” Zack shouted.
He was rewarded with just the echo of his voice.
Zack frowned it was silent. Too silent. That meant this thing wasn't here.
If he wasn't here... then that meant one thing.

Cloud!

Zack pulled out his phone and he hit the number 1 on his speed dial for Cloud's cellphone.
He heard it ringing and the phone was answered pretty quickly.
“Hey Zack, Cloud can't talk he's dropping me off to work and we're taking Angel to Reeve's hiding place.” Denzel's voice on the other end.
Zack let out a breath of relief. “Oh that's good. Tell Cloud he's not here. I must have missed him. He needs to becareful okay. This guy is dangerous.”
He heard Denzel swallow. “Um yeah sure... look Zack I'm sorry. I heard about... Cissnei. I want to help okay. I'll do what I can.”
Zack smiled. “Just keep my kids safe I'll be back as soon as I can.”
“Okay! Cloud says he will text you once we have Angel in the safe location.”
Zack nodded. “Thanks Denzel. I'll call later to check.”
“Right take care.” Denzel added.
Zack flipped the phone closed and he looked up, something he found he did a lot when he was thinking, like the sky held all the answers for him.

There was a figure perched on the edge of the crater. Zack blinked. That figure had not been there when he got here, so it was a recent arrival. He frowned who knew where he was going apart from Angeal and Aerith and it wasn't either of them.
Zack felt the wind whip about him, his bangs brushed his cheek and then he saw the long flowing silver hair the black wing move in the breeze. Even from this far away Zack knew those Mako green eyes were watching him.
His breath caught in his throat.
“Another dream...” He whispered.

It had to be.

Sephiroth was dead. He died, when he killed Zack, Sephiroth had died inside him. Zack was sure of it. So this had to be a dream.

The figure lept off the edge of the crater and landed in front of him. The long silver hair floated around him and Zack's breath caught. He was frozen in shock.

“Zack.” Sephiroth's smooth voice spoke.
“Sephiroth.” Zack replied and he felt the wind blow his hair over his shoulder. The bangs brushing his face.

The silence that fell between them was awkward, like that of two lovers meeting again after a long period of absence after a nasty break up.

“What do you think you're doing here?” Sephiroth asked.
“I think I should be asking you that...” Zack blinked still stunned by his presence.

Sephiroth smirked at Zack. He waited to see if the dark haired fighter would draw his sword. But he didn't so Sephiroth didn't bother to summon the masumune.

“Angeal sent me.” Sephiroth stated.
Zack's expression was so readable and the younger man pinched the bridge of his nose.
“I get it. So you're dead too and telling me to turn round go back.”
“I didn't die. Quinn took me and Jenova into his body. But he expelled Jenova and kept me inside.” Sephiroth stated.

“Quinn...” Zack swallowed. The brunette Turk actually did as he asked after all. “Are you... ya know?” he made a small circle motion next to his head with his finger to symbolize the crazy motion.
Sephiroth's brow quirked at him. “The chip I believe prevents me from doing anything of that sort.”
Zack nodded his head. “I don't believe you. You know that?”
“I know. I will eventually die again if it is not removed.”
“Who knows?” Zack asked. “You know, about the you not being dead thing?”
“Ezekiel only and now you.”
Zack looked up to the sky. “So what now?”
“That I don't know. Angeal made me believe you would go insane.”
Zack scoffed. “Yeah I'm not insane. I'm pissed off, but I'm not insane.”


~*~*~To Be Continued...~*~*~
jdee_gurl: (SephZack)
Title: Return of the Departed
Author: J’dee
Series: Final Fantasy VII
Chapter Rating: M
Pairs: Seph x Zack (light yaoi)

AN: This is a sequel fic to Revival of the Departed. It is based 5/6 years after the end in the last fic. (so this is about 7/8years after the end of DoC)

Revival of the Departed- Original fiction brief:
For those who don't want the long ass read. The basis plot was Hojo intervened in Zack's death, drawing him out of the lifestream before he was fully merged. Hojo wanting to finish his S clone experiments on Zack infused Zack with more enhanced Jenova cells before submerging him for three years in a tank of enhance Jenova cells milked from the body of Jenova. In the end Zack was left forgotten in an abandoned reactor. Only to be stumbled upon a year after the end of Dirge of Cerebus by the Turks doing a reactor sweep. Only Cloud was able to free him through, Zack was still Zack but with two mental house guests, Sephiroth and Jenova. To top it off the experiments gave him a pair of fluffy white wings.
You can read said fic here: http://ff.adultfanfiction.net/story.php?no=600081521
It's about 40 chapters long including a prologue and epilogue... my one and only truly complete fic to date save that it needs to be beta'd... BAD

Prologue


He sat stupidly looking at the blaze of fire. Lost in his own world. The winters were always cold and filled with snow in Gongaga, but it was home. Zack lent forward in his chair, hair that had once sat just below his shoulder blades, tumbled over his shoulder to his waist, his Mako blue eyes flickering over the fire.
The buster sword sat in the corner of the room untouched since his last mission for Reeve.

Cissnei was out with his son, Angel at his parents place and he lent back in the chair. The fire lit up the darkened room the sound of snow crunching under boots outside brought his attention to someone walking up to his house.
Zack lazily looked over his shoulder as he heard the knock at the door. The fire seemed to roar in response.
Then he heard the rain begin to pelt down. Hopefully the rain would clear up the last of the snow.

The knock came again.

Zack stood up glancing to the buster sword the urge to grab it suddenly forming in his chest, he ignored it.

There were no more enemies to fight.

There was just normalcy a life to live, a son and a small daughter to raise, who he was watching, the baby girl tucked away in her crib sleeping soundly, his son and his wife at his parents place they wouldn't knock. Part of him was apprehensive to his guest the other curious.
Walking to the door he could feel the ends of his long unkempt hair brush against his waist. The single bang brushed against his right cheek.

Zack opened the door.

He paused his eyes flickering to the familiar open jacket, the straps going across a pale and well defined chest.

Looking up Zack found himself staring into pools of the brightest Mako green.
His heart clutched in his chest, he stepped back as the figure stood over him that sardonic smile, he could never forget nor would he ever. The green eyes burned with the light of the fire going behind him.

Zack felt his heart pound and he did the only thing he could think of doing he ran for the buster sword and grabbed it as Sephiroth stepped into his humble abode.

“Zack.” The voice was so smooth, it drove a chill up his spine, the memories of that man inside his head controlling him... Controlling his emotions.
“Sephiroth.” Zack held the sword out in front of himself. “It's over between us you know that right?”
That all to familiar smirk on cruel hard lips. “It's never over...”
Zack blocked the blow of the Masumune. “Why are you here?!”
“To take back what is rightfully mine.” Sephiroth pushed up against the blade.
Zack growled trying to push back against the blade. But there was an unprecedented strength that seemed to overpower him.
“And what per say is that?”
Sephiroth laughed. “Don't be a fool Zack.” The blade shoved against his.
Zack fell back against the couch and he was pinned to it by Sephiroth's weight.
“It's you.”

Zack felt the mouth hot against his neck, the breath on his neck so real, it felt so genuine and he gasped.
“Don't do this... Seph.”
He let out an involuntary shudder, he couldn't do anything but gasp as that mouth seared his neck like a flame, his face blushing.
Zack couldn't move he couldn't breathe.

The blades pressed dangerously between them threatening to slice them both open at any given moment.
Regardless the hand moved between thighs. Zack felt the friction of the hand rubbing up against his length.
Zack could only gasp his hips thrusting into the hand and he could feel the flush on his face as he pushed back against the sword. He shoved Sephiroth off him and he ran, he had to get the man out of his house away from his daughter.

Bolting out the door and into the snow filled area, the rain pelted against his skin. He just ran, glancing back at Sephiroth following.
'Good follow me...' He thought running into the forest.
Zack kept moving and he found the same clearing he used to train in as a child. He stopped looking round, the sword in his hand, he clutched at the hilt of the sword his hand trembling.
“So I see you've stopped running.”
“I wasn't running.” Zack stated not turning round to look at the man.
“Leading me away from the civilians, you don't want another Nibelheim.” Sephiroth stated. “How foolish.” He lifted his hand up and Zack saw the fire in the background.
“No!” Zack spun round charging at Sephiroth. “You bastard!”
“You will become a part of me.”
“No not again! Never!” Zack shouted his blade clanging with Sephiroth's.
The silver haired figure took to the sky and Zack jumped up letting his wings emerge as he shot up after his former idol and friend.

Their blades meet again above the burning village, the metal reverberating through the sky and hit after hit, neither one passed the others guarded threshold.

Zack then felt the leg to his stomach crushing one of his wings. He let out a gasp as Sephiroth held out his hand and the burst of energy shot into his chest.
He felt himself falling.

Zack hit something hard and metal and he groaned letting his wings retract he looked down and frowned a metal bar or several pipes leading from one side of the room to the other.

To fall below would be going into the unknown, an abyss of pitch blackness.

Zack glanced up as Sephiroth landed on the other end of the pipes, It was nothing more than a light tap of his boots. His wing retracting. Those piercing eyes of insanity staring into his very soul.

It wasn't until then that Zack noticed they were on the inside of the busted Mako reactor in his village.

Zack stood up slowing his hand still on Angeal's sword. It felt all to familiar. A repeat of Nibelheim?
“Why?!” Zack shouted.
Sephiroth smirked. “Memory, free will, all that which you possess. I will take from you.”
Zack froze he saw the figure standing behind Sephiroth.

Cloud.

He shook his head. “Illusion?”
Sephiroth laughed as Cloud lept over him drawing his sword.
“If you hadn't been with me from the beginning, I'd still be me!” The blonde shouted at him.
The accusation felt like a blade into his heart.
“CLOUD!” Zack blocked with the buster sword spinning round carefully not to knock Cloud over the edge, or fall himself. “Sephiroth what did you do to him?!”
“He's nothing but an empty shell, a pawn. My own personal puppet. Return to me and I will release him, and he will remember nothing of this.” Sephiroth held out his hand.

Zack let his head drop, his hand loosened on the sword and he set it down.
“You win. Leave Cloud out of this.” His voice soft as he looked to his friend, then he glared at Sephiroth. “Hasn't he been through enough already?!” Zack shouted.
That smirk again, it was like ice. “A wise choice.” Sephiroth stated.
Zack looked down into the abyss below them. “I followed you blindly, I believed in you! Then when you went mad... I- I averted my eyes like a child waking from a nightmare. I should have- saved you then and there released you from your own pain! Your own personal nightmare.”

Sephiroth walked up to him and Zack felt the gloved hand tilt his chin up the smirk that haunted his dreams, the mouth that had tormented him, moved lower and Zack felt his knees buckle as it covered his, lips moving against his.

Zack felt his hands shaking as they moved round Sephiroth's waist.

“To the promised land... together.”

Zack felt Sephiroth pull him close and then over the edge.



~*~To Be Continued~*~

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jdee_gurl

May 2012

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