Genesis was at a point in his life that he would admit there were some things he wasn’t an expert in. Magic, however, was something he would still go toe-to-toe with anyone who dared to use it against him.
So when Sephiroth’s remaining remnants came up onto the ruins loaded with active materia, he rounded on the pair with his wing spread and his sword glowing ready once more. “Little brothers, you do not want to start this fight.”
Loz squinted at him, panting under the strain of injury and the constant rain. “You’re not… our brother…”
“I’m more your brother than the boy you’ve been harassing.” Genesis’ wing flicked back towards one very baffled Cloud Strife, a quick glance showing he was glaring at him. It wasn’t his current concern, however, so he looked back to the two silver haired boys. “I grew up with Sephiroth, friend, foe and more. So believe me, I’m the closest thing walking this planet to kin these days that you’ll get to talk to.”
“Who are you?” Cloud was apparently not content to be ignored, boots heavy on the wreckage behind him. “And who was that other man? What did he do with Sephiroth?”
“My name is Genesis Rhapsodos, former SOLDIER First Class, the first of three children from the Jenova Project. The man with the white wings was Angeal Hewley, my best friend and mentor to Zack Fair.” Genesis turned to keep an eye on the blond, not missing the way his eyes narrowed at Zack’s name. “The three of us were friends, as best how we knew to be.”
“He wasn’t happy to see you.”
“He doesn’t know more than his own name anymore, Strife, let alone who I am beyond an interference.” Genesis shrugged, waving his sword towards Sephiroth’s remnants. “Let those spells go, boys, you don’t want to play this game. You will lose, and you won’t like the outcome.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Yazoo said. “We’ll all be together again.”
“You can be together again without having to die.” Angeal returned, Kadaj’s body laying limp in his arms. “Here.”
“Kadaj!” The glow of their materia faded, attacks abandoned as they hurried forward.
“He’ll need to rest a while, but he should be okay.” Angeal coaxed them to kneel, giving over the unconscious remnant before rejoining Genesis. “I’ll take care of Sephiroth. You be careful, alright?”
“Oh I think I’m going to be quite busy minding those three.” Genesis rolled his eyes. “Consider it my penance, I suppose. The Planet may not like it, but they probably should have thought about that before repurposing me. Sentient weapons never do exactly what you want.”
Angeal laughed quietly, resting a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “If anyone can manage them, it’s you. I have to go, but if you need me, just call.”
Genesis nodded, smiling fondly and watching as Angeal turned, going back to Cloud and handing over the restored Buster Sword. Whatever he said was quiet enough that it stayed between them, but Genesis didn’t miss the way Cloud’s shoulders relaxed, a tentative smile on his face. It blossomed into genuine warmth as the shimmering figure of Zack Fair returned to give him a hug, clapping him on the shoulder before he vanished with Angeal.
After a moment of silence, Cloud looked up and met his eyes, staring a long moment before coming over. He stopped when Yazoo and Loz shifted protectively over Kadaj, but was still less surprised than they were when Genesis opened his wing in a protective gesture. “You’re gonna take care of them, huh?”
“I plan to.” Genesis shrugged. “If they’re a problem, they’ll be my problem. But they deserve a chance.”
Cloud nodded slowly. “People saw them, you won’t be able to stay here. They’d be hunted down. If Rufus and the Turks find out, they still will.”
Cloud nodded again, sheathing his sword. “Alright. I’m holding you to it.”
“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Genesis assured him. “Quite the protector you’ve become, even if you didn’t choose the path. Perhaps the blade suits you more than I’d thought.”
Cloud glanced at the Buster Sword, frowning slightly. “You knew all of them, before? Zack and Sephiroth?”
“I did.” Genesis considered his expression. “Perhaps one day I’ll tell you stories.”
Cloud smiled faintly. “I’d like that. Later.”
“Later,” he agreed. For now, there were three boys who needed him, a mirror of three young men who had desperately needed guidance years ago. This time, Genesis would make sure everything turned out alright.