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Genesis held the ice pack against his nose, his disgusting zombie mask laying on the table next to him. Across the table, Sephiroth was helping the blonde kid hold a paper bag against his face. At least he got his head out from between his legs.  Angeal was standing at the head of the table between them, throwing glares at Genesis and concerned looks at the kid. 

“Are you sure you’re alright?” Angeal asked, “We’ve had to call paramedics for panic attacks more than once this week, it’s no big deal.” 

Blondie pushed away Sephiroth’s hand so he could reply. 

“No,” he gasped out, “I’m alright.” Sephiroth recovered his face. 

“Deeper breaths,” he directed. His care made a hilarious contrast to his costume; beheaded ghosts with barbed wire stitches weren’t typically seen as nurses. 

“Okay,” Angeal said, “Do you mind if we talk about what happened?” Blonde spikes shook as the blonde indicated the he didn’t mind. Sephiroth rubbed at his back supportively as the blonde pushed away the bag again. 

“I’m sorry for overreacting,” he said. 

“It’s alright,” Angeal said, “just start at the beginning.” 

“Well…I was with some friends and we had gone through a couple houses already,” the blonde said, “I don’t know why I overreacted in the forest…he just jumped out at me and…I’m so sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Angeal said, then paused to look at Genesis. 

“Just bruised I think,” Genesis said, removing the pack and poking at his nose, “The mask cushioned your punch a little.”

“Please don’t kick out the rest of my group because I punched one of your actors,” the blonde said. 

“In his defence,” Genesis said, “I was kind of picking on him earlier.” More like deliberately picking on him. He was an easy target to pick out with that hair. Angeal sent him a glare. 

“I’m not going to ban you or your friends,” Angeal said, “It was an accident.” 

“You looked like you were having fun earlier,” Sephiroth said, “back at the castle.” The blonde looked back at the pale ghost, still shaking a little. 

“I was fine then,” he said, “I don’t know what changed.” 

“Was it the mask?” Genesis asked, holding his up. The blonde shook his head. 

“N-no,” he said, “and it wasn’t the chainsaws either.”

“Humph, if you’re well enough to start cracking jokes then I think we can leave the bag,” Sephrioth said. 

“Thank you,” the blonde said, “I-”

“It’s fine,” Sephiroth laughed, “You aren’t the first panic attack I’ve taken care of.” The blonde blushed and Genesis felt a twinge of jealousy. Theyall fell for Sephiroth, even when he was being deliberately scary. 

Genesis supposed that’s what he deserved for following around and trying to scare the guy he thought was cute. 

“What’s your name?” Angeal asked. 

“Oh…C-Cloud,” the blonde said. 

“Cloud,” Angeal said, “I’m willing to let this whole thing just drop. I think both of you got the short end of the stick in this round.” Cloud was nodding. 

“Yeah, yeah,” he said, “I mean, you were just doing your job and I flipped out for no reason-” Genesis interrupted him by raising his hand. 

“It’s. Fine,” Genesis said, “I wasn’t trying to get you to pass out or anything.” 

“The old teacher in me is telling me to make you two shake hands, but if that’s cheesy-” Cloud stuck out a hand. Genesis took it in the one that wasn’t covered in fake blood. 

Oh…he was warm…

“No harm, no foul?” Genesis asked. 

“Yeah,” Cloud said, with a nod. He heaved a sigh and smiled at Genesis. 

“I’m good now.” 

“Great,” Angeal said, “I can offer you a refund for-”

“Oh no,” Cloud said, “you did what you advertised and I got my money’s worth. It’s all fine.” Sephiroth patted Cloud on the shoulder. 

“Get some cider or something from one of the stands,” he said, “just relax for a bit.”

“I’ll get you a voucher,” Angeal said, digging around in the cashier’s box, “here.” Cloud took the slip of paper and stood up. 

“Thank you,” he said, “and I’m still so sorry-” 

“No harm, no foul,” Genesis said with a small wave. As soon as the blonde head was out the door Angeal turned on Genesis. 

“Picking on him?” he said. 

“He thought it was funny earlier,” Genesis said, “He was laughing and pointing out that I was ‘that zombie guy.’ I didn’t think I was being that scary.” 

“No,” Sephiroth agreed, “he was doing the zombie thing as usual. I think it might have been the haunted house itself.” Angeal just sighed. 

“You sure you’re okay?” he asked, anger dissipating. 

“He packs one hell of a punch,” Genesis said, “but nothing’s broken.” 

“Good,” Angeal said. 

“…I’ll just run the food stand now,” Genesis said. 

“You read my mind.” 

Genesis stared straight ahead when he saw those blonde spikes sitting at a table surrounded by his friends. Some of the girls were fussing over him, but Cloud looked alright. 

Genesis did his best to ignore him, but stole looks here and there between tired and screamed out teenagers buying carameled apples and sodas. 

At one point he looked up and more than one person from Cloud’s group was staring at him. Cloud must have recognized him.

A few moments later a soft, “hey” was stated across the bar. 

Cloud was in front of him again. 

“I just wanted to say I’m really sorry about hitting you and-” 

“It’s not a big deal, Cloud,” Genesis said, “It’s not the first time I’ve been hit and…I was kind of ragging on you all night and probably deserved it anyway.” 

“Are you sure you’re not hurt?” Cloud asked. 

“It’s not broken,” Genesis said, “like I said, the mask helped.” 

“I just feel so stupid,” Cloud said, “you weren’t all that scary before and…I used to go in the woods all the time at home. I’m not scared of the woods. I don’t understand…” 

“Did you have a soda or something?” Genesis asked. 

“Hmm? Oh yeah,” Cloud said with a small blush, “first thing once I left the front booth.” 

“Good,” Genesis said, “Now, don’t be ashamed for freaking out. Maybe you’ll figure out what make you so frightened in the setup, maybe it will never happen again, but its done now and you and I are fine.”

“…I didn’t get you in trouble did I?” Cloud asked. 

“I would have gotten in trouble without your help, thank you very much,” Genesis said. That got a laugh. 

“Why were you ragging on me all night?” Cloud asked. 

“Full disclosure: it was the hair,” Genesis said, “It’s a little hard to miss.” Cloud scowled, but obviously in good nature. 

“I may have also had plans to ask for you number,” Genesis said, “then I got hit in the face and thought it would make me look like an asshole.” Cloud blushed again, and tried to hide a smile. 

“Y’know, some of the girls with us said that you looked kind of cute under your mask,” Cloud said. 

“What are you talking about?” Genesis asked, “I make that mask look like a movie star.” Cloud smiled again. Then he sighed. 

“Well…I’m glad you’re not hurt,” he said, “but I feel exhausted.” 

“Yeah,” Genesis said, “I recommend getting home soon. It is past midnight now.” 

“This is a weird question,” Cloud said, “do you have a pen?” Genesis pulled one from his back pocket. Cloud scribbled something on a napkin and slid it over. 

Nine numbers in a row with a “Cloud S.” labeled at the end. 

“I promise not to punch you if you call,” Cloud said. 

“I’ll do my best to look less terrifying then,” Genesis countered. They laughed.