A Little Shift in Space

"Yeah! Yeah! YEAH!" Cloud yelled as he ran around their quarters.

"Calm down Cloud," Sephiroth commanded.

Cloud obeyed him. Slightly. "I'm so excited."

"We couldn't tell," Zack teased him. "Why don't you say your good byes while we finish packing?"

"Alright!" Cloud bounced out the door.

"If I knew he was going to be this hyper I never would have suggested this," Sephiroth told his friend.

"Its good for him Seph," Zack replied. He began packing Cloud's clothing. They had decided to bring their charge with them on their annual training trip. The young nine year old was understandably excited. The years before Cloud had stayed behind with friends. Zack had been slightly annoyed when Sephiroth mentioned it because Cloud's presence would cut down one their love play. Sephiroth merely pointed out Cloud mysteriously vanished when ever they got involved. Looking back Zack agreed. It was scary how observant the boy was at times.

The main point of the trip was to get Cloud some actual experience in a setting they could reasonably control. Cloud had gotten into several small fights after the Swartz incident. He hadn't killed anyone but it still worried his guardians. The boy refused to be coddled (rightly so since he could spell cast better than anyone but Sephiroth) so they were forced to accept the fights that came.

Sephiroth tossed the last of their provisions in the bag. "There, done." He turned to Zack. "Cloud won't be back for quite a while I suspect." He advanced on the other SOLDIER. "I do believe you had some complaints about lack of exercise?" Zack's laugh was cut off by Sephiroth's kiss.

Cloud grinned as he felt Sephiroth's aura flare. Forcing up his mental shields so he didn't eavesdrop, he continued his search for Reno. He'd become a lot closer to the rowdy Turk over the last year. It helped to have a friend who respected his ability to fight and didn't try to pull the wool over his eyes. Reno had grown up wiser and older than most though his knowledge came form his experience on the street while Cloud's came from the materia. And Reno knew what Hojo was doing to him so Cloud didn't have to hide his magical abilities.

"Reno?" he knocked on the Turk's office door then opened it. The red head lazily waved his hands from his place on the coach. "Bad night?"

"Awesome night. Awful morning." The words were routine. Cloud shook his head and gestured with his hands. The alcohol poisons vanished from Reno's system. "God kid, you're a life saver."

"And you're going to kill yourself if you keep this up," Cloud replied. He tossed a cure spell on for good measure. "Try not to die before I get back."

Reno blinked. "Going somewhere?"

"Zack and Sephiroth are taking me on their training trip."

Reno frowned. He knew damm well that training equated to make out session. "Sure that's a good idea?"

Cloud crossed his arms in annoyance. "Don't you start Reno. I though you understood I need practical experience."

"That wasn't what I meant."

"Oh, that," Cloud shrugged. "No biggie. Not like I can't handle it now." Reno's eyebrows rose at that comment. Cloud grinned. "I can be very quiet. They don't hear me most days when I come home. Sometimes I leave rather quickly."

Reno chuckles. "Damm kid. If they ever figure out half the stuff you pull..."

"I'll be kicked from here to the crater," Cloud finished. "Anyway. I wanted to say goodbye. Make sure you take care of yourself, okay?"

"Will do," Reno tossed him a lazy salute. "Keep the General and Zack in one piece, will ya? When are you due back?"

"A week from tomorrow. One day travel each way, five days there."

"I'll see you in a week then."

Cloud sat behind Zack on the SOLDIER's chocobo. Zack chattered cheerfully to the blond as they covered the plains outside of Midgar. "...Then Andy went and got Randle involved."

"That might have made things even worse."

"You have no idea."

Ahead Sephiroth abruptly pulled his chocobo to a stop. "Do you feel that?"

"I do," Cloud said softly. A faint pressure built in his mind. "It feels like a storm."

"I don't think so," Zack said warily. He reached for his buster sword.

And the sky exploded.

End Chapter 1

ducks projectiles from annoyed readers Yay! Chapter 1 is done! I'm really sorry this hasn't been updated but I'm in multivariable calculus (That's 2/3 of calc 3 and all of calc 4), linear algebra and Japanese 1 so my life's been a little hectic lately. Thank you for your encouragement Rei, Demon and Katie 14. As it stands now most of A Little Shift in Space is handwritten minus a few battles I have to tweak. About two thirds of the last part of the trilogy, A Little Return to Reality is handwritten. Unfortunately my FFVII interest has dimmed down lately due to Full Metal Alchemist (which I recommend to everyone.) which has three fics currently pounding in my head on a regular basis. sigh

Important note: I'm looking for a beta reader as both this arc and the following arc have rather confusing sections that make perfect sense to me but might not to anyone else. Preferably someone who can at least tell me what I need to do with battle scenes as I'm really bad at them. Character development: good. Battles and romance: bad.

Author of the Update: Quela for the story Bound. That thing is bloody incredible!