Hey readers! I don't own any of these characters....duh....

This fic will eventually contain shonen-ai hinting!! If you don't like yaoi/shounen-ai then stop reading right now.

People's thoughts are gonna be italicized.


Cloud slammed into the thick slimy mud face first, his hands slipping out from under him as he tried to catch himself. He wiped away at the black mud till he could open his eyes. The sheets of rain pelting his back quickly washed most of the mud from his face, but the rest clung stubbornly to his ShinRa uniform.

The sound of laughter behind him caused Cloud to scramble quickly to his feet.

I'll teach those cocky bastards to mess with me.

But as he stood and began to rush at his fellow troopers, Cloud's boots gave way in the puddle he had fallen in, and he slipped and fell on his back. His tormentor's laughter increased tenfold as Cloud shuddered as the cold mud slid under his collar and down his back.

"Aw, poor baby doesn't like to play in the mud." A sneer was thrown out the door to the teenager lying in the rain.

"Shut the fuck up!" Cloud stood up and as he did his expression fell further. The door to the barracks was slowly closing, the crowd of bullies deciding to prolong their victim's suffering some more.

Scrambling through the slippery mud and trying to keep his balance, Cloud managed to reach the door as it closed completely. He slammed his fists furiously at the unforgiving metal, but he knew no one would answer him.

Looking at the small key card box next to the door, Cloud now understood why the older troopers had decided against yelling more insults at him. He had left his key card on his desk in his room. The small red light on the box seemed to mock him.

Brushing back his drooping blond hair, Cloud leaned his forehead on the cold slick metal door. Something in him wanted to cry. But instead he screamed. He cursed and looked up towards the dark windows of the upper floors of the barracks. The rain streamed into his mouth as he threatened unseen faces, choking him and making him stop his tirade in order to cough and hack his lungs clean.

Why do they pick on me?

Cloud didn't think it was because he was the weakest of the troop. In fact he knew that couldn't be the case because single handedly he could take on any one of the bullies. That's why they always busted their way into his room as a group.

Well I know they're not jealous of my skills. Half of the bastards made it past the preliminary testing for Soldier.

Before Cloud could continue to wallow in his pity, the rain suddenly stopped. And a shadow fell over his body.

Please don't let it be someone important. Oh please let it be a trooper out late. Oh please oh please oh...shit.

Cloud looked up to see a tall man in a black raincoat, with a blue umbrella that was currently keeping him from becoming any more drenched. Through the pounding rain he couldn't see the man's face under the hood, but he could see the tip of a huge sword poking out from under his raincoat.

"C-Commander?!" Cloud immediately stood at attention and saluted the first class Soldier in front of him.

"At ease kid. What are you doing out here in the deluge?" Zack stepped close enough to Cloud that they could both fit under the umbrella and pulled down his hood, revealing his long spiky black hair.

"Nothing sir. I was just...uh...locked out by accident." Cloud could just feel himself blushing beet red. He put his head down and was thankful for his soaked blond spikes for covering most of his face. As if he didn't look bad enough in the commander's eyes, what with his less than exemplary record, now he also looked like a forgetful fool.

"Well, I'm guessing that no one came to help you despite that racket you were making?" Zack said playfully, but still Cloud flinched at the word "racket".

"Yes sir. They must all be asleep." Cloud lied through his teeth and continued to stare at the belt buckle Zack wore. The symbol of a Soldier.

"Well, cadet...uh....what did you say your name was?"

"Cloud Strife," he said, quickly adding a "sir!"

"Well cadet Strife, I don't want to be held responsible for a case of pneumonia in one of our troopers. Do you have someone you can contact tomorrow who can get you back in your room?"

Cloud didn't quite understand what was going on here, or what the commander was planning, but quickly shook his head yes.

"Good. Come with me then cadet." Zack pulled his raincoat back over his head and handed the umbrella to Cloud, who had finally looked up and met his face. Zack smiled at the poor boy and motioned for him to follow a path that led towards the edge of the military complex where the city began.

Before following the blond into the battering rain, Zack took a long look at the dents made in the metal door by the boy's fists.


Well? I'm in college now and my spare time is precious, should I continue this fic?