Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Rage of the Wolf-Lord ❯ Spying ( Chapter 3 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Disclaimer: I own everything but the characters and some places/ideas…dammit…
Cloud woke to noises and scents he wasn't used to. Why he could scent the base smell of each wolf, or hear Vincent breathing from the other side of the den, he didn't know. It was just awkward and different, and now that he noticed, his eyes were hurting.
Squinting, he looked around, then outside. He almost shrieked out loud when he was able to see a beetle scurrying around a rock on the other side of the gorge.
Grabbing his chest above his hyper'd heart, he tried to calm himself down.
“Are you okay?”
Vincent's abrupt question did startle a shriek out of him this time. Vincent stood and walked over to him, concern in his eyes.
“Are you okay, Cloud?”
Taking a deep breath, Cloud nodded in response. “Yeah, just a little worried.”
Vincent tilted his head, then crouched down in front of him. “Anything I can help with?”
Cloud observed him closely, taking in what his new enhancements were telling him, subconsciously translating everything they told him. He could trust Vincent.
Nodding, Cloud responded with a little hesitance, “My hearing, sight, and smell are suddenly going haywire.”
Vincent studied him and nodded. “Everything you've been taking in has been understood by you, correct?” At Cloud's nod, he continued, “Then these are natural, and most likely would have happened sooner or later. If they were something someone had done to you, you wouldn't have understood anything they've been saying to you. You would have to learn everything from the beginning.”
Cloud slowly nodded in acceptance.
“What are they telling you now, Cloud?”
“To trust you, that you're not lying to me.”
Vincent nodded. “Good. Trust those. They will tell you what you need when facing an enemy.”
Cloud stared at him pensively, then broke out in a bright smile. “Thanks Vincent! I'm not scared anymore.”
Standing, Vincent stooped a little to exit the den, leaving Cloud to his thoughts.
Cloud didn't take too long, running out behind Vincent only a few minutes later, bag and gleipner in hands. “Ready to go?”
Vincent `hmph'd' in response, moving to take the lead.
In a flash, Cloud was beside Vincent, Myrkr in front of them, keeping an ear out for danger. Thytr was behind them, telling the others of their pack they would be back with their new home soon, before trailing behind Cloud and Vincent to take rear guard.
She watched through deadened eyes, intent on the odd little group going through her mountains. The wolves were normal, though they didn't really come up this far very often, but the tall demon and the little one were not. The demon was one made by her old lover, but the little one, she couldn't place.
She studied him further. Spiky blond hair, blue eyes, and jumping around the demon in an excitable manner.
These were the ones that were going to stop her?! She almost laughed, it was so ridiculous. A child and a demon, with only a couple of Nifl wolves for protection.
She paused in thought and gasped. The blond child was staring directly at her.
Hurriedly stopping the vision in her mirror, she frowned at her reflection. How was the child able to sense her? Or was it a mere fluke, the child only looking in the direction she had been viewing from? Better to be safe than sorry. She would visit then again, later.
Cloud paused in the middle of his step. Looking directly to the East, he stared at a spot towards the top of the nearest mountain.
Vincent paused in his walking as well. “What is it, Cloud?”
“I don't know,” Cloud said, shaking his head in confusion. “For a minute there, I thought we were being watched. But it's gone now.”
Vincent and the wolves also looked to where Cloud had been staring, but saw nothing but mountain and sky.
“Whatever you saw, or felt, we must take caution now,” Vincent said after a moment of silence. “But why would someone want to watch us?”
“It's because of me,” came the soft reply from behind him.
Vincent turned and stared at Cloud's lowered head. “What makes you say that?”
“Because I'm going to kill Loki.” Cloud's reply not only startled Vincent, but also shocked him down to his core.
“Loki? You know Loki?!” Vincent's incredulous question jolted Cloud from his thoughts.
“Huh?” was the lackluster reply.
“Loki. You said his name as if it were a curse! Loki!”
Cloud's eyes widened, then narrowed. “You mean my stupid, ill-mannered, self-centered, egotistical, Hel-damned, mad scientist cluster-fuck of a great-great-nephew? Yeah, I know Loki.” Cloud looked straight at Vincent, not once blinking through his tirade, the apathetic expression on his face not betraying anything he felt. “Yeah, I know the fucktarded asshat. I can never seem to get away from the damn bastard.”
Vincent's eyes widened in shock, while Myrkr and Thytr both laughing in the back of his head.
“The stupid git had the nerve to try and take me away from my parents when I was around six. Of course, Mom and Dad never agreed to it. He even changed his name. It's Hojo now, and he works at some company called Shinra.”
Vincent closed off his expression, tumbling through his thoughts, trying to put his suddenly broken brain back together again. Clearing his throat, he managed only two questions before his voice box decided it hated him and stopped working.
Cloud groaned. “Please don't mention any of this to anyone else. I have enough problems trying to keep that damn Molboro out of my own thoughts. I don't like to think about it. All I know is that it has something to do with my Dad's side of the family tree.”
Shaking his head, Vincent nodded. “Loki did this to me,” he said, lifting his claw. “Decided that he didn't like it that I loved his assistant at the time, that I was distracting her, so when he found out she was pregnant, I was his newest experiment. I never did find out what happened to her, or my child.”
Cloud shuddered. “Loki's a bastard, and deserves everything I'm gonna give him!”
Taking a deep breath, Cloud cleared his expression and smiled at Vincent. “No more depressing talk! Let's get moving.”
Vincent nodded, saving any more questions for later thought. “We should be in Rocket Town by mid-afternoon if we keep walking this direction.”
Cloud nodded. Rocket Town sounded nice.
As soon as they left the forests and mountains behind, the first thing they saw was a giant metal pillar sticking out of the ground. The next thing they saw was a little town surrounding said metal pillar. Upon closer inspection, it was a rocket.
“Now I know why they named it `Rocket Town'.” Vincent dryly stated.
Cloud nodded in agreement.
Their trip to the Inn left them disappointed and wanting for a place to lodge at for the night. The suggestion of a `Cid' was the only thing given to them. Yet the sound of over-dramatic cursing and metal meeting metal improved their mood.
Upon coming to an open garage, they sighted a blond man with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, cursing at the engine of what looked to be an airplane as a wrench was flung across the room.
Looking up from the engine, the man gave them both a hard stare and grunted at them. “Whaddya want?”
Cloud quickly moved to the back of Vincent, not quite sure how to handle the gruff man. Vincent merely nodded at him.
“Well, ya broody bastard, whaddya want?” he asked again.
Vincent quirked a brow, lips pursed. “My name is Vincent, and he is Cloud. We were told to find a `Cid', that he would give us a place to stay for the night.”
“Well, ya found me.” Cid replied. “It's forty gil a night, an extra ten for meals and a bath.”
“We'll take it.” Cloud piped in from behind Vincent. “Anything is better than the rocky ground again. But it's a couple more than just me and him.”
Cid nodded. “Who?”
Cloud make an arm movement to the side, and `Cid watched in amazement as two Nifl wolves bled out of the shadows to sit next to Cloud.
Cid's cigarette fell to the floor, and he blew a hard breath out. “Well I'll be damned.” He bent his head down to Cloud, an almost bow. “I've waited for you for years, Fen-I mean, Cloud. Skad-Drifa was always writin' me letters `bout you. Said you were the cutest little kid in the world. I'm Cid, and I'm to be your navigator.”
Cloud smiled at his mother's name, then frowned. “Uncle Cid? The one who always wrote letters about Wutai for my mom, and always sending us the `good tea'?”
Cid laughed, then reached forward to rub Cloud's spikes. “Yep, that's me! Ain't nuthin better than Wutaian Jasmine!”
Cloud giggled. “This is my guardian, Vincent, and my companions Myrkr and Thytr. The rest of the pack had to stay behind for now, but they'll join us when things settle down.” He frowned then. “Loki's on the move. I'm pretty sure Angrboda was the one I felt scrying us today.”
Cid nodded. “well, since I'm pretty sure you young'uns haven't had a decent bed in a while, go on inside and sleep for a while. Last door on the left at the end of the hallway.”
Cloud nodded and entered the house, followed by Thytr and Myrkr, Vincent staying behind to discuss current affairs with Cid.
Laying down on the first bed he saw, he was out for the night.
Aeris had felt her movement, and responded as soon as her morbid presence had withdrawn. Casting a camouflage spell onto Cloud and his group, she pushed as much energy as she could into it. No one would be able to break it, or see the little one and his group.
Gathering what little power she had left, she sent a lif-lauss to Sephiroth and Zack, to inform them of what was happening. Then she passed out.
“Seph, why is there a dead guy looking at me? No, why is there a dead guy following me would be the better question.”
Sephiroth looked at the spectre floating behind Zack, and eyebrow raised in amusement. “It seems that Aeris has sent one of her lif-lauss to us with a message.”
Zack crinkled his eyes. “What's a lif-lauss?”
“One of the lifeless.” At Zack's blank look, Sephiroth sighed. “One of the souls she guards. He seems to have a message for us.”
Sephiroth motioned for the poor dead soul to speak.
“She has made her first move. I have taken all precautions I can, but it might not be enough. Be on guard.” With that, the lif-lauss vanished into thin air.
Sephiroth narrowed his eyes in anger, and Zack scowled.
“It's time to find our fourth, and rid the world of the pesky disease trying to take what is ours.”
When Vincent awoke, it was to a Cloud that was blindly staring nowhere out a window, a thoughtful expression on his face.
“We should go to the Northern Continent.”
The sudden proclamation finished the task of waking Vincent. “The Northern Continent? Why?”
“It's cold, no one would think to look for us there, and we could use the place for training.”
Vincent blinked. “How would we get there? And what about the pack?” Vincent blinked again. Since when had he started thinking like a pack-mate?
“Uncle Cid. He has an airship we could use! We could pick up the rest of the pack, and then he could fly us all the way to the Northern Continent!”
Vincent mulled the thought over. It was a relatively good plan, and Cloud could certainly use some training. He could also use a little time to remove the rust from any technique he might have forgotten. “Very well. The idea has merit, and I could use a little time myself.”
Cloud jumped up from his chair in glee, hugging Vincent tight at the waist. “Thank you so much, Vincent!”
Not quite used to open displays of affection just yet, Vincent raised his right hand to run it through Cloud's hair, and then asked if he had asked Cid this yet.
Cloud looked up at Vincent, then let go and tore off to the dining room. “UNCLE CID!”
Vincent followed Cloud sedately, walking into the dining room to a giant face-eating grin from Cloud, and one almost as big on Cid.
I only have one condition,” he said, patting Cloud on the head. “You gotta call me Cid. None o' this `uncle' crap yer spewin' out!”
“Kay!” Cloud replied excitedly. “What's for breakfast?”