Disclaimer: I don't own FFVII or any of the characters or the movie or anything. Which sucks.
A/N: Yes…I was supposed to write this about a month ago, but I got too attached to my Naruto fics. But I want to start on my FFVII multi-chapter story, but before that I wanted to do this. So here it is; Cloud's version of My Promise.
It was my first day in Shinra; I was outside, along with all the other newly-arrived cadets, waiting for my schedule so I could get the hell out of there. Not wanting to talk to anyone, I separated myself and sat on a bench, slouched down, hoping to not get any attention.
I glared at the ground when I felt a pair of eyes on me. They'll look away. But the pair of eyes never left, and I was starting to feel irritated. "Hey Spiky!" a voice called out, quite obviously to me. I looked up to see you, handsome with spiky dark-hair, only shorter. You were First Rank by the looks of your uniform, but I gave you my best glare anyway.
"Nothing personal," you chuckled, "just wanted to get your attention." You smiled at me, but I just frowned.
"Screw off," I muttered, looking back at the ground. But when you just stood there, making it clear you weren't going anywhere, I stood up, glared at you one last time, and walked off.
The next time I saw you, it was in my class. We were being paired off with partners to fight, fists only, me being taunted and insulted as usual. I knew I had a small frame and practically no muscles; I was trying to work on that.
I heard whispers about a First Class SOLDIER by the name of Zack in the class, and I turned and saw you, letting out a small groan in annoyance. Thankfully you didn't talk to me, but I could feel your eyes on me all during class.
After class had ended, I thought I got away from you, but the moment I stepped out the door you appeared. I was about to run when you encircled my waist with your arm, and you chuckled. "So Spiky, what made you come here?"
I sighed, thinking maybe if I told you and got it over it, you'd leave me alone. So I spilled about Tifa, and my hometown. How the kids thought I was worthless, how I was here to prove them all wrong.
"What's your name, Spiky?" you asked, and I clenched my jaw, closing my eyes for a few seconds.
"Cloud Strife, sir," I muttered, letting some venom leak into my voice.
You ignored my apparent hatred and patted my shoulder. "Great, my name is Zack. I must be off, I'll be talking to you later, Spiky." Why did you even ask for my name if you weren't going to use it?
The next time we ran into each other was embarrassing; I was being shoved around by some other cadets. I was used to it though, so I just waited it out. Then I saw you; you didn't say anything, just beat the shit out of my tormentors and dragged me off to your room.
"Meet me in the training rooms at five every morning," you said, cleaning my minor scrapes. I scowled, and just shook my head, but you just grinned at me. "I'm First Class SOLDIER, your superior. You have to listen to what I say." With that you stuck your tongue out at me. How mature you were.
You put some water on to boil for tea, and came back with a Cure materia. I was pretty sure my eyes were bigger than plates, but I couldn't help it; I always wanted to use materia, but our class hadn't gotten to those yet.
"You'll use these one day," you stated, and I couldn't help but smile. You grinned, and after you healed the cuts, we spent the rest of the day talking. I admit you weren't so bad once I got to know you, but I still wasn't ready to trust you fully. I told you all about Nibelheim anyway, ready to take this jump.
I was starting to get fit from all the training we did every morning, and I got used to your idiotic nickname for me. Slowly but surely, I started thinking less and less of Tifa, my old crush. Slowly and surely, I started think more and more of you as not just a friend. I didn't say anything though; you were my first friend.
I was getting stronger, and I fought back now when I got beaten up. But a few other cadets still attacked me, and I wanted to stop them once and for all. So one day after practice, I was putting my training sword up when I saw the materia case unlocked. Without thinking about it, I took the nearest one and left.
Later on the evening, after supper, I faced the window and held the materia in my fist. I closed my eyes, concentration, and sure enough the materia started to get hot, but not hot enough to burn my hand.
There was a bright-blue flash, and when I opened my eyes I saw the summon, Shiva. I heard materia-users say she was hot, but I just thought she was pretty. Then again, I was falling in love with another guy so what do I know?
She started to glow, and before I could mutter 'Oh shit' she sent a blast of ice at my wall, leaving a trail of ice from me to the now gaping hold in my wall. I stood there shocked, and I turned around when I heard laughing. I saw you standing there, bent over in laughter. I smiled slightly, embarrassed.
You pulled some strings, and I got to pack my things and move in with you. We really had the chance to bond then, and we wrestled, talked, stayed up late watching television. Made me wish I blasted a hole through my wall sooner.
A few weeks of training later, you surprised me when you handed over your Buster sword to me. I always liked looking at it; it was a huge sword, powerful. "I think you might be ready to start with this," you said, grinning.
At first I could barely lift it, but with determination and practice, I was soon able to fight with it a little, slowly getting better. SOLDIER exams came up, and I thought I had a good chance. I guess I choked or something, because I failed. All those days training were for nothing.
You instantly knew I didn't make it, because when I entered our room you pulled me on the bed and hugged me, stroking my hair. I couldn't help it; I wrapped my arms around you and cried, unable to stop.
After a while, you gently pulled us apart and looked at me, stroking tears off my cheek. "You've gotten much better, Spiky. This isn't your fault, it's the examiner's. They don't see something good when it's right under their nose. You'll be a SOLDIER, you'll see. In the meantime, I'm here for you. I always will be."
I was unable to reply, I was too filled with gratitude. An odd look passed through your eyes, and you slowly leaned down and kissed me. I didn't want this to stop, but you backed away again. "I'm sorry," you said, for the first time looking nervous.
"You promise?" I asked, but you looked up at me, confused. I smiled softly. "You promise you'll always be here for me?"
You smiled, looking relieved. "Of course. I promise you that, Spiky." I smiled back at you, and decided I really wanted to kiss you again. So I grabbed you collar and dragged you down to my level, placing my lips on yours.
About a month after that happened, I was assigned to go be one of the two guards on a mission to Nibelheim. I beat down my nervousness, and it helped that you were going to be there. So was Sephiroth, the greatest SOLDIER ever.
The ride there sucked, since I had motion sickness. When we got there, my nervousness came back in full-force and no matter how much you pleaded, I didn't take my helmet off.
Other than that, things were good. But something in Sephiroth snapped, and he ended up killing a ton of people when he set the entire town on fire, along with my mother. He left his sword on the ground after stabbing Tifa, and I got to impale him with it while we were inside the reactor.
He impaled my right shoulder, and after that everything became hazy. I remember being in a lab, floating in a tube of mako. Pain racked my entire body non-stop, it seemed to go on forever. I could sense your presence nearby, and for that I was glad. At least I wasn't alone.
I was aware of some things, but other times it was like I was asleep, being attacked with nightmares over and over. I remember something shattering, and I had a falling sensation until I was caught. Something inside told me it was you, but I couldn't move my body, do anything.
I was aware of you talking to me, but I couldn't recognize the words. I just wanted your voice. I felt you dragging me along, and a little of my senses came back, and I knew we were in a forest. You had rescued us both.
You tossed me to the side, and I heard fighting. Gunshots. Laughing. Then nothing. Something inside me told me to wake up before it was too late, and for the first time in what seemed like years, I was aware of everything. I could move, talk.
All those memories rush back to me, and I sigh in relief that I was alive. That was when I saw your prone body on a cliff, overlooking Midgar. I crawled over to you as fast as I could, feeling tears building up.
"Zack," I whisper, my voice hoarse from not being used in so long. You attempt to smile, but it just came out weak.
"H-Hey Spiky..," you manage to get out, and I wrap my arms around your waist and lift you up, so that you were resting on my lap. "I'm sorry…"
I try hard not to cry, to show that my heart was breaking into a million pieces, but a few tears escape and land on your neck. "You promised…," I whisper. "You promised you'd always be here for me. So you can't leave, not before me."
You chuckle slightly, and I can't help but cling tighter to you, desperate. I would do anything to have you stay with me. "I'll still be here," you insist. "You just won't see me." You nudge me lightly with your elbow, grinning. "Cloud," you say, for the first time allowing my true name to pass your lips, "live, okay?"
I rest you back on the ground again and nod, trying to smile. Getting rid of the tears on my cheeks, I whisper, "I will. I'll…live out both our lives. I promise." I pause here, staring hard at you. "I love you, Zack."
Your hand clasps mine weakly, and I know it's time to let you go. I'll try to be strong; it'll be hard. "I love you, Spiky." After that, your hand in mine goes limp and your eyes close forever.
I don't know how long I sit there, hunched over your body crying. Eventually I sit up, my eyes landing on your Buster sword that was lying on the ground next to you. I grab it and stand up, resting it on my shoulder.
Looking out over the city of Midgar, I feel determination rise up within me, once again. It was time to move on. I'll start a new life. Forget SOLDIER, forget Shinra, forget Sephiroth. I'll live out both our lives, I can do it. I'm Cloud, First Class SOLDIER after all.
Sorry for the long wait for those who read My Promise and were waiting for this. I'll soon be starting on the FFVII multi-chapter fic, titled The Weak, Strong, and Insane. Zack x Cloud of course. R/R, appreciate it!