Firstclasshewley's secretsanta fic

BY : Madisuzy
Category: Final Fantasy VII > Crossovers
Dragon prints: 603
Disclaimer: I do not own FF7 or FF8 and do not make any money from this story.

Chapter 3

Genesis hugged his coffee in his hands as he stared out across the city of Esthar. He was reliving last night’s interlude with Cloud over and over in his mind, savouring the sight of the blond in his boxer shorts. Genesis had been more than surprised that the object of his desire had reacted to him in obvious attraction. The warmth that spread forth from that hope filled him with optimism for the future that he grasped on to with both hands.

Add that to the solitude of his own room, giving him the opportunity to take the edge of his frustration and he finally could concentrate on the job before him. Cloud wandered out of the hall, hair mussed and face dopey. Genesis smiled at the young man’s cuteness, even on waking.

“Good morning, Cloud,” he said happily. “Did you sleep well?” The blond jumped at his voice and stared wide eyed at him until his brain seemed to snap into gear.

“Oh…um…Good morning, Sir,” he mumbled out. Cloud’s eyes darted around the room until they found the clock and widened at the time. “Sorry to wake up so late, Sir. I’ll be ready in five minutes.” He turned back towards his bedroom with a look full of panic.

“Cloud, wait,” Genesis called after him. Cloud stopped in his tracks and turned back towards him. “The meeting has been pushed back to 11 o’clock, so there is no hurry. Please sit down, eat something and relax.” He moved back to the dinner table and sat down, holding Cloud’s eyes and pulling out his friendliest smile, hoping that the soldier would accept.

“Thank you, Sir,” Cloud replied, blushing as he come back and sat down across from Genesis. Breaking eye contact, Cloud looked over the food before him.

“These Estharians certainly know how to make their guests feel welcome. I believe there is enough food here to feed a small army,” the redhead joked. Cloud looked back at him and smiled brightly, causing butterflies to take flight in the General’s stomach.

“I’ve never seen so much food for just three people. Then again, Zack could probably eat it all in one go,” Cloud replied causing Genesis to widen his smile. If what Angeal had told him was true, Zack was an unrefined boar when it came to food.

“Angeal told me that once he let Zack stay in his apartment for three days when he was away on a mission. When he came back, the boy had completely emptied his fridge and cupboards and judging by the rubbish bin full of take away containers, it still had not been enough,” Genesis chuckled out. Cloud began to laugh too, the sound tickled along the General’s spine in the most pleasant way.

“Hey, nobody told me breakfast was here,” Zack’s sleepy voice called out from down the hall and both the men at the table began to laugh harder. The dark haired soldier appeared at the entrance to the hall looking sleepy and frowning at both of them.

“What’s so funny?”

“Zack, just sit down and eat,” Cloud said, not bothering to explain. The blond wiped his eyes and smiled across the table at Genesis.

So this is that feeling Angeal had tried to explain to him. It was like a warmth that spread through him and made him feel happy, excited and more alive than he had in years. The realization that his obsession was morphing into love hit him hard and he struggled to keep his expression blank. Looking over he saw that neither of his subordinates had noticed.

Zack was babbling on at Cloud and the blond listened intently to his every word. Seeing the closeness between the two made Genesis’ temper flare. How could he ever develop anything with Cloud if that childish oaf kept getting in the way?

Pushing all his emotions down, he slowly stood. Cloud looked up at the movement, smiling at him again and Genesis thought he saw affection in those blue eyes.

“I am going to prepare for the meeting. Kiros should be here to collect us in around two hours,” he stated flatly. Genesis headed for his room, trying to control the urge to permanently remove Zack from between Cloud and himself.

**.**

Zack stood in the bathroom looking at his reflection critically. He’d been in here trying to get his hair just right but for some reason it still looked wrong.

“Zack, what are you doing? You’ve been in there for twenty minutes and it’s time to go. Genesis is pissed at you and Kiros just turned up,” Cloud whispered from the other side of the door. He opened it to find Cloud frowning at him. “Come on, it’s not like there’s going to be any girls there for you to impress.”

“You never know, Cloud. Besides, I noticed you took your time doing your own hair this morning,” he teased back with a grin. Cloud blushed at his words and mumbled something before turning and walking back to the lounge with Zack following.

Genesis was standing in the doorway with Kiros when they walked out of the hall. The President’s assistant greeted Cloud, shaking his hand before turning to Zack and doing the same. As Zack looked at the President’s Assistant he saw Kiros’ smile disappear when their eyes met. It only lasted a few seconds and then they were walking out the door, Zack taken back at the hostility he had sensed from the other man.

He was still trying to process possible reasons behind it when they arrived at the meeting and was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn’t notice that Genesis and Cloud had already entered, leaving him alone in the hallway with Kiros. When he looked up, the President’s assistant was blocking the entry and glaring at him.

“I will be watching you, Zackary Fair,” he growled softly, turning and entering the room. What the hell was that about? Obviously Laguna had told his assistant about Zack’s late night visit but it wasn’t like he’d threatened the President. Maybe he’d said something insulting and offended the leader without realizing it.

He hurried into the room avoiding a questioning look from the General to take his seat beside him. Cloud sat on the other side of Genesis and seemed nervous as he fiddled with his shirt while they waited for the President to arrive.

“One moment please,” Kiros announced, leaving through a door on the far side of the room.

“Zackary, what the hell is going on?” Genesis hissed in his ear. Fuck. He hadn’t even considered that the General would have heard Kiros’ threat due to his enhanced hearing.

“I have no idea, Sir,” Zack answered flatly, keeping his eyes fixed on the door that Kiros had disappeared into. He was saved from further questioning by Kiros’ return and the three soldiers stood up. The President followed behind his assistant, long black hair tied up in a ponytail and his black suit making him look regal and untouchable. Zack couldn’t tear his eyes away from him.

“Gentlemen, I present Laguna Loire, President of Esthar,” Kiros stated before introducing each of them to Laguna. As he was told their names, Laguna smiled and shook their hands, starting with Genesis and ending with Zack. The President didn’t seem to recognize him at all and gave him the same generic greeting that he’d given the other two soldiers. Zack felt a stab of disappointment at being ignored before he reminded himself that it was just Laguna keeping his promise to not let the General find out about last night.

They all took their seats, the President across from Genesis with Kiros beside him facing Zack. He tuned out when the discussions turned to trade agreements and tried to entertain himself by watching Laguna. The older man was charming and sharp, far from the pushover that the Shinra briefing had made him out to be. Zack really wanted to spend more time alone with Laguna but he realized it was nothing but a dream. He was sure the President had far more important things to do than spend his free time with a nobody like him who broke intercoms and snuck into people’s rooms in the middle of the night.

Genesis was busy reading some information on a printout when Laguna turned his eyes on Zack, winking at him with a grin which Zack automatically returned. The President’s professional mask fell back in place and he turned back to the General. It was only once but it made Zack feel better instantly because it showed that the President wasn’t angry at him. He glanced over at Kiros and found the man still glaring at him and he sighed in frustration.

It was three o’clock when the meeting wrapped up for the day. Zack stood slowly, stiff from spending four hours in the same position. His ass was completely numb and he had to resist the urge to rub it. Laguna excused himself and exited back out the door he had come in, leaving Kiros to finish off the formalities.

“General Rhapsodos, may I have a word with you?” Kiros asked with a smile. Genesis’ eyebrow went up but he nodded and followed the man over to the windows at the far side of the room. Zack swallowed nervously and prayed that Kiros wasn’t about to tell Genesis about his late night adventures. He really didn’t feel like being screamed at by the redhead right now. Cloud nudged him gently, looking up at him in concern.

“What’s wrong, Zack? You’ve spent the whole meeting pouting like a two year old. I thought getting a wink and a smile from the President would’ve cheered you up,” Cloud whispered. Zack pulled back to gape at his friend.

“You saw that?” he whispered back.

“Yeah and I saw Kiros glaring at you the whole time too. You gonna fill me in or what?” Zack was trying to come up with some kind of explanation when Genesis appeared beside them.

“Back to our rooms, now,” the General hissed, walking past them and glaring at him. Zack seriously considered throwing himself out the nearest window. Instead he sighed and put his head down, following the General and Cloud down the hallway.

**.**

Cloud could feel the anger radiating off the General in waves as he followed him down the hall. He glanced at Zack beside him and saw his friend with his head down, not taking his eyes off his feet as he walked. What was going on? They’d only been here twenty four hours and somehow Zack had managed to get himself into shit already. He hadn’t even been out of their rooms...realization hit Cloud like a smack to the head. Last night during the intercom fiasco, Zack hadn’t come back for about an hour. What the hell had he done during that time?

Genesis threw the doors to their rooms open with a bang and stalked inside. Zack dragged his feet as he trudged past Cloud who stopped to close the doors. The blond turned around just in time to see the General punch Zack in the face, sending the smaller man flying back onto his ass. He froze in fear, staring open mouthed at Genesis as he stalked forward, grabbing the front of Zack’s shirt and lifting him off the ground with one arm to slam him into the doors.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?!” the General screamed in his face. “You broke into the President’s bedroom and tried to steal something. Have you totally lost your fucking mind?” Zack’s nose was bleeding and he struggled to breathe but his arms stayed down at his sides despite everything. He didn’t even attempt to defend himself from his superior’s assault. Genesis’ face twisted in rage and as the General lifted his fist once more Cloud panicked. He jumped forward and grabbed the fist, hanging off it in his attempt to save his friend.

“Please stop!” he yelled, staring up at Genesis with a look of complete terror. The General flung his arm to the side, sending Cloud flying. The last thing he remembered was excruciating pain before everything went black.

**.**


Zack sat in the hospital chair, staring at the still form of his best friend with tears running down his face. This was all his fault, every last bit of it. Because of him Cloud was lying here with a cracked skull. Worst of all, there was no possible way he could ever fix this. He’d finally managed to fuck up everything with his immature bullshit. It should be him lying in a hospital bed, not Cloud whose only crime was trusting his best friend and trying to protect him.

He heard the door behind him open but he didn’t turn around. Frozen in his seat, he really couldn’t bring himself to care who was there. All he could do was stare at Cloud. A part of him hoped that it was Genesis returning to finish him off.

“Zack?” a soft voice called, but he paid it no mind, continuing to ignore the person, even when a warm hand came down to rest on his shoulder. “Zack, please look at me.”

How could this happen? Gods, he knew Genesis would be pissed off but he never thought the General would explode like he did. If he’d thought for a minute that Genesis would ever hurt Cloud…fuck…what he thought didn’t matter now. What mattered was Cloud getting better. What mattered was him somehow finding the General and making him come back, even if he had to take another beating from the man. If he returned to Midgar without the redhead, President Shinra would either have him and Cloud shot or give them to professor Hojo…funny how that choice made being shot sound attractive.

“Please, Zack,” the voice called again and he could hear desperation clinging to the words. The hand moved from his shoulder to join with another and cup his face as someone moved to kneel in front of him and block his view. His eyes focused on the face before him and he flinched back when recognition hit. Laguna looked like someone had ripped his heart out. Great…another victim to his stupidity.

“Zack, I’m so sorry. I…I never thought for a second that Kiros would ever tell Genesis. He swore he would tell no one and if I thought for a second that he would, I would have never told him. I…” The President’s voice caught and he struggled to continue. “In Shiva’s name, please just say something,” he begged.

“It’s all my fault,” Zack whispered, staring into that handsome face that was so full of hurt. Hurt that he had put there.

“No, this is not all your fault. Don’t you, even for a second think that this is your fault,” Laguna said, a spark of anger in his eyes catching hold of Zack’s wondering mind and making him focus.

“Of course it’s my fault. It was me who broke into your room in the middle of the night.” His voice began to rise in volume them, anger at himself rising up to burn in his throat.
“If I’d just acted like the soldier I’m supposed to fucking be, none of this would have happened!” Before he could continue Laguna’s arms flew around him, pulling him down off the chair and onto the floor into a firm embrace.

That was when something broke deep inside of him. It was like a floodgate being opened and he couldn’t stop the sobs that burst forward as he fell apart in the President’s arms.

**.**.**.**.**

tbc


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