Chapter 10: Joy before the Storm

            "CLOUD! When I get my hands on you you're going to be in So Much Trouble!"

            Sephiroth chuckled as he heard Zack's outraged cry. It had been nine months since the assassination attempt. They had increased security and no further incidents had occurred. Cloud had recovered emotionally though he rarely used that hallway if he could help it. Unfortunately, the boy had developed a mischievous streak. Zack had pulled several pranks to shake Cloud out of his depression. It had worked but had resulted in a prank war. Apparently Cloud had just gotten Zack back for the ice block in his bed two nights ago.

            "Where is he?" Zack demanded as he stomped into Sephiroth's office. The SOLDIER's usual gravity deifying hair was tied down by ….jingle bells? It was a good thing that Sephiroth had a great deal of practice hiding expressions. Or else he'd be laughing on the floor. Every time Zack moved the bells chimed.

            "You could take them out you know."

            "I tried! I'd have to cut my hair!"

            "*CLICK*"

            Cloud waved from the doorway, camera in his hands. "Having a good day Zack?"

            "You. Are. DEAD!" Zack lunged but Cloud had already started running.

            "You better hurry up!" Cloud teased. "You're almost out of time!" The unspoken rule said that retribution for pranks could only last for three hours after discovery of said prank. It kept them with only minor damage. Or at least Zack only got minor damage. The SOLDIER had yet to catch Cloud in time. Along with his increased physical abilities Cloud had another weapon: allies. There were quite a few people who enjoyed seeing Zack get tortured by a little kid after all the tricks the first class SOLDIER had pulled on them.

            The bells jangled madly as Zack put on a burst of speed. It had seemed that Cloud's luck had finally run out until the clock tolled ten. Zack had missed his chance. "Damm."

            Cloud whapped him on the leg. "You know what Seph thinks about using that sort of language!"

            Zack winced thinking of Sephiroth's response when (not if) he found out. "Could you at least help me with this?" He asked gesturing to his hair. Cloud nodded. They wandered into tone of the SOLDIER rec rooms. Zack sat on the floor while Cloud perched on a stool so he could reach Zack's head.

            "Oy Zack!" Andy greeted. "Did Cloud get you again?"

            Zack glared. "I should thin that would be obvious." Andy laughed. "How long do you think this will take?"

            "Not long," Cloud assured his guardian and passed him four jingle bells. "They're a lot easier to take out than put in."

            "You better watch your back kid. I'm gonna get you good."

*~*

            "Is there no other choice?"

            "The others can not handle it alone. Nor do they have the skills to accomplish this task."

            "I hate to destroy their happiness."

            "To not interfere will mean the death of your comrades."

            "Then we should begin."

Here ends A Little Twist in Time and begins A Little Shift in Space

Yes ladies and gentlemen, IT'S DONE! The sequel? That's in the writing. I don't post anything until the rough draft is written by hand. It keeps down the infamous "I have writers block and won't be posting anything so I'll start a new fic and not come back to this one for months or years" disease. *Fumes* I HATE that. Ahem, anyway…

I will be posting a FFVII fic that focuses around Cloud and eventually turns into a S/C fic in the mean time though. I still have to type it though so don't get your hopes up for as quick updates as this.

Thanks to one person today.

Katie 14:  You're my biggest reviewer! (6/13) I'm glad you liked them! I always thought it was a stretch for Cloud to only interact with Zack and Sephiroth.  And they have this compulsive lets-make-life-as-normal-as-possible attitude. I wanted Cloud to remind him he isn't normal and needs special treatment despite what they think. I liked Cloud's mental reaction to the assassination attempt, I wanted to show he's still vulnerable. However it seems to me that he got off too easily. I'll have to make him physically vulnerable later on. Overconfidence can kill you know.

Author of the Update: Flamedancer33 for Holidays, a FFVII fic with good original characters!