It's All Relative

Chapter One; Can you say: Sleep Obsession?

As Cloud entered his house after an exhausting day of forcing Leon to help him find Zack a birthday gift (which was by no means an easy task), only one thought was on his mind.

And that one thought most certainly did not involve a rather worried looking Ms. Strife as he passed through his livingroom. Cloud gave her an apologetic look, knowing good and well that it was past his curfew of 11pm.

What kind of curfew is eleven-o-clock anyway? And I'm only an hour late.. Cloud thought, praying his mother would let it slide, just this once. Of course, this was the third time this week he had come home late, so the odds weren't in Cloud's favor.

As she opened her mouth, Cloud knew he was going to have to endure a mouthful before he got any sleep tonight.

Cloud's POV

Well that took longer than expected...apparently she had been very worried and had spent the last 2 hours watching the news to hear about any reported muggings or rapes...My mom may be a little paranoid.

Oh well, I made it home safe and unviolated, so all that matters now is sweet, beautiful, glorious sleep.

Slowly I manage to cross the room and close the gap between me and my bed, swinging my door shut behind me. I don't remember the bed being this far away. That, or I am just suffering sleep deprivation. Probably the second one.

Regardless, should the situation ever come up again in the future, I made a mental note to slide my bed closer to the door the next morning.

Sleep, finally. I have been on my feet All. Damn. DaySeriously. Who knew that Zack was so hard to shop for? Leon didn't seem to have too hard a time. Then again, he has always had better luck with this type of thing anyway. We were there for barely 15 minutes and he had already found what he was going to get for Zack! Stupid Leon..If he weren't my best friend, I would have smothered him in his sleep long ago. The same can be said for Zack.

Speaking of sleep...Now there was an idea to rock the ages. I happily threw back the sheets and stared down at the bed admiringly.

"Now before I lay down." I said to noone in particular, "I would like to thank God for bestowing upon me the greatness that can only be the Pillow-Top Mattress."

With that being said, I wasted no time sliding into my heap of blankets and snuggling into the dip in my mattress that had gotten progressively larger over the last few years. I didn't mind. I like to think of it as my mattress hugging me after a long, hard day without me. It fit me perfectly. Like a glove. I let myself smile at the thought.

I was in heaven as I felt relaxation overtake my body, and began to reflect on my day. I hope Zack likes the gift I got him. He probably won't, my idea was stupid. Leon had the right idea, going to Toys-R-Us. Why couldn't I have thought of that? Maybe Leon will let me sign my name on his gift, too. After all, if you can't pick up each other's slack, what were friends for?

..Within six seconds I am out like a light. Yes, I use the 'out like a light' saying.

Mmm...wonderful, glorious sleep...


I'm awake...something is wrong here. I distinctly remember falling asleep...okay I don't remember actually falling asleep, but I know I did it, okay?

WHY IS MY PHONE RINGING! Who would dare call me at...3 AM!

Yes...three AM...this was a travesty.

Sighing heavily I shrug my way out of my little sanctuary and answer the phone.

"Hello?" I mutter out weakly. Wow...that sounded pathetic. But can you blame me? It's three-fucking-AM. My mental rant was cut off when the voice on the other end made it's self known.

"Gooooood Morning!" the sleep offender sang out cheerily. "IT'S MY BRITH DAY!"

I think my ears are bleeding...I should have known. Who else would call me at three in the morning...well, other than that guy who really REALLY wants to sell me that new kitchen appliance, but he doesn't count.

Remind me to one day teach Zack proper phone user courtesy.

"Happy Bi-" I break for a yawn, "-rth day, Zack. It's 3 am."

"I know! In 28 seconds I will officially be 17!" He said, in a way too happy to be 3-goddamn-in-the-morning voice. It's amazing how a person can be so optimistic at all times of the day.

Despite my loss of sleep, I couldn't help but smile. Zack WOULD be the kind of baby to be born in the middle of the night. Just to be difficult and keep everyone up. It comforted me to know that I wasn't his mother all those years ago, and that I was just the one on the phone with him. Have I ever mentioned that the birthing process disgusts me?

As Zack began his enthusiastic count down for the next 28 seconds, I hear a moan of sheer agony in the background. A moan that could have only come from Zack's older half brother, and short-term 'room mate', Tseng. After some incident( whom of which the details were never made know to me), it was some sort of punishment their parents had handed Tseng, in which he would be forced to share a room with his little brother for the next handful of months. Suddenly I didn't feel so annoyed at being woken up by Zack to "celebrate" his exact time of birth since I knew Tseng was there, taking it in person, full force. I also knew he had to be up in about 2 hours to get to work. My heart went out to him, it really did.

Just as Zack was about to exclaim the last number of the countdown, I heard a shift of movement through the phone, followed by a surprised yelp, and aggravated growl, some ruffling, and a smug chuckle followed by a dial tone. It didn't take much guess work, even in my sleepy state, to know that Zack just had his happy ass handed to him by his very irritable older brother.

As good as Tseng and Zack could, COULD being key here, get along, (because even though he wasn't the nicest guy around, Tseng was pretty cool), you didn't test Tseng. You just didn't. Especially when he was forced to share the confines of a not-too-terribly large room with you...And you woke him up at random intervals during the night yelling about your birth second...

And the fact that he was best friends with one of the most intimidating people on the planet just added to the reasons why you didn't want to get on his bad side. Yea, the friendship shared between Tseng and Sephiroth was enough to make anyone pretty much stay hell away. But I digress from the topic at hand.

Realizing that I could now put down the phone, since I was pretty sure Zack wouldn't be calling back tonight, I dropped it on its cradle (it was like a little Phone-bed, if you thought about it..) and made my way back to the bed.

Laying down, still slightly smiling from the walking, crazed distraction that was one of my two best friends, I thought briefly just how insane tomorrow would be. After all, Zack's birthday was bound to be interesting.