Into Thin Air drabble (2015-02-10) [2]

“There’s something off about that Strife kid,” Kunsel muttered, narrow eyed glare hidden behind his helmet’s visor. Next to him, Zack turned, SOLDIER hearing easily picking up his friend’s words.

They both watched the cadets milling around the cafeteria, in particular, a pair of blonde cadets. One who was easily chatting with his peers, the other passively eating his allotted pile of mush.

“Who–Spike? Nah, he’s just a little shy, you know? I mean… yeah, he’s kind small, but he’s got heart.” Zack rambled, meaning well. Cloud Strife was a good kid, a nice one. If that were the criteria SOLDIER chose their candidates, he’d be shoe in. Unfortunately…

“No, the other one. His brother.”

“Oh. You think? He seems pretty friendly. And Cloudy said he was top of the class, I think.” Wind Strife, on the other hand, would make a decent Second Class in no time at all. Maybe even First Class in four or five years.

“Yeah, that’s what’s so suspicious,” The two Second Classes took a seat, their own food much more appetizing than the slop given to cadets. They were three tables away, but they could still pick up on what was being said–SOLDIER senses and all that. Not that cadets were good at moderating their voices. Most cadets, anyway.

“Wind, man, I can’t believe we actually won that last trial!” One of the cadets–Gregson, Greyson–something like that, whooped. Two other cadets at their table cheered in agreement.

“What? So little faith in me, Jake. Maybe next time I’ll pick someone else for my fireteam.” Wind joked, smiling to take the edge out of the words.

“He’s just saying we’re all surprised at how well we recovered after that idio– your brother fumbled the package,” said a different cadet, on the opposite side of the table. He was Smith or Jones, one of those ridiculously common names. He winced at his own verbal slip, knowing what was to come…

“I think my brother did pretty well, considering he didn’t have proper cover fire. We haven’t gotten to the higher level infiltration course yet, and Cloud still made it passed two of the enemies despite his distraction being two minutes late.”

… or not. That was pretty mild. Still obvious who was supposed to be in charge of Cloud’s cover fire and the distraction, though.

“Thanks Windy,” the smaller twin murmured, arm nudging into his brother’s side in gratitude.

“Y-yeah, Cloud. That was pretty cool,” The other cadet tried to backtrack, as others around the table also chimed in tentatively.

“I’m thinking about switching up our fireteam, though. Hey Stephen, you did pretty well on our last demolitions exam, didn’t you?”

A cadet at the very end of the table, Krantz, nearly falling off the bench seat, perked up at the sound of his name. “Yeah, uh, not as good as you though.”

“Don’t be so modest, Stephen. Better than Mitch, right?”

… and there it was.

While the rest of the table didn’t quite freeze, they were hesitant to interrupt. And Mitch Jones–the cadet who might as well have been eating his own foot for lunch–just gripped his utensils and accepted his fall from grace.

Wind, seemingly oblivious to the rest of the table’s silence, continued on, “How about next trial you join my fireteam? We’re all one squad anyway, we should get used to working with each other before the trials become squad versus squad.”

“Sounds great,” Krantz enthused, moving in to the space unconsciously made for him by the other cadets.

“Man, Wind, that’s a great idea” Gregson said, back to his previous volume, “You’d make a great squad leader,”

The rest of the boys around the table nodded and agreed, ingratiating.

“Ha, no way, but thanks. And plus, it’s the instructors that choose squad leaders isn’t it?” Wind demurred, though he waited a bit before switching topics, “Okay, hands up, who did not understand the strategy reading from yesterday? That textbook is so bad,”

The cadets then devolved into whining about their coursework, their classes, and their instructors for ten minutes, until the chime which signaled every half hour went off. As a herd they rushed through clearing the table and leaving the cafeteria.

When they were gone, Kunsel just made a face at Zack who, despite SOLDIER senses not including the ability to see through solids, could somehow still tell. Zack grimaced in return, “I see what you mean,”

Except for two words, Cloud hadn’t said a thing the entire lunch break. And that was to his brother. In contrast, Wind had held court over their table–his squad mates practically bowing down and swearing fealty. Zack himself had been just as popular during their time as cadets, but he hadn’t been that…

“The word you’re looking for is manipulative,” Kunsel chimed in, reading his friend’s shifting expressions.

“… Yeah. But, well. He’s not bad. He totally stood up for his brother, a good brother can’t be a horrible person, right?”

~

A/N: Uh… don’t know if I quite conveyed what I wanted to… but that’s what you have so… Also, I have a fondness for Windy Strife. I was gonna do another part about how people think Cloud calling Windy by hir birth name is an effeminate speech pattern on his part, when in fact it’s because Windy’s name is actually feminine. And Zack, trying to be friendly and stuff just calls Cloud Cloudy because of it.

Also, wrote two today for some reason… so check out the other one.

Into Thin Air drabble (2015-01-11)

Zie is Windy. She is Wendy. He is Wind.

Zie is the sister, sibling, brother. The protector, student, destroyer. He is the best candidate for the job, she is kicked out before she can graduate. They are told to carve their own place in the world, to find a niche; zie does not settle for just one.

Windy is from the cold, harsh mountains. Named for the storms that trump even dragons and wolves in the race for most deadly. Zie does not like the people, and they do not like hir. Worse, they do not like hir brother. Zie learns to shoot, to kill, to feed, to clothe, to shelter. When hir brother leaves, zie does not follow, because zie is already gone.

Wendy is a soft, sweet girl; naive like all country girls are in the city. She lets strange men buy her meals, drape her in all the newest fashions, all luxurious fabrics and sparkling gems. She shies away from too much touch, but she is warm and her skin so smooth, and every chaste kiss convinces these men that they have been paid in turn. They never notice the scrawny boy with matching features hiding in the shadows.

Wind is the best and brightest of his squad. He makes the funniest jokes and knows all the tricks to keeping uniforms neat and inspection ready. He’s friends with everyone, can kick anyone’s ass, and is a shoe in for the  elite special forces program. It’s unfortunate about his less-talented, hanger on brother–sometimes family is a burden that can’t be escaped–but he bears it well enough. There’s talk of an apprenticeship, if he can pass the medical exam.

She is kicked out of the program–they don’t accept girls. And she can’t say that she isn’t one. Especially now, after her breasts and lack of a penis have been brought to the forefront of her mind. And while she still seethes, her rage whipping around inside of her stupidly female chest, she accepts that she won’t ever achieve what so many people thought Wind would.

But zie can do so much more. There’s another organization, more flexible, more accepting, more fulfilling. Zie is Windy, she is Wendy, he is Wind. He is Wayne with the broad shoulders and slim hips, a minimal arm movement turned into a light caress. She is Wednesday with distracting blue eyes and shining golden hair, a neat pivot turned into a dance of either death or desire. Zie is the striker in the dark, a dragon destroying evil, flying free from hir cage with the apocalypse on hir tail. They are the soldiers that serve the people, the heroes that save the world.

~

A/N: … uh, so technically, this is fanfiction but vague enough that you don’t need to know anything about the fandom (or even which fandom) in order to hopefully enjoy it. But for those that are curious, it’s sort of FFVII fanfiction of a genderfluid twin!sibling of Cloud Strife who ended up becoming a Turk after getting kicked out of the SOLDIER trials. Zie’s supposed to be the Nidhoggr to Cloud’s Fenrir, basically–since the three most dangerous things in Nibelheim are the storms, the dragons, and the wolves. And Windy is definitely more dangerous than hir brother.