Author's Note: If this story seems very different in style from most of Servant of SHEVAL's works, do not be alarmed. This was not written by Servant of SHEVAL, but by her friend, MellyDuckie. That's me. I don't have my own account, but this idea was too good to pass up. Tinni will send me any reviews or anything, so if you feel the need to comment, go ahead and do so. Thank you for your time.

Tinni: Enjoy the fic!

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Cloud was, to put it simply, very excited. He followed closely behind his superior – and he, supposed, now – his friend. Zack was surprisingly agile and stealthy for a SOLDIER, for his build. He was tall and strong, with lots of very dark hair, and bright, friendly eyes. His stealthiness was probably one of the reasons why he'd been so quickly promoted to First Class. Cloud admired that. No, it was more than that, he idolized Zack. He wished he could be just like him.

Hence why they were sneaking through a garden together.

They had just in the last week learned that they were getting some paid time off – a very rare occurrence for Cloud, seeing as he was just a cadet. He may have been one of the most recognizable members of SOLDIER, what with his natural blonde, naturally spiked hair (as far as anyone knew), characteristic name, and somewhat diminutive stature, but that didn't merit him any special treatment except by the other cadets, who more often than not used it against him rather than in his favor. That was probably another reason why Zack had singled him out. Zack liked to protect and feel useful. Cloud was a veritable damsel in distress and always getting into trouble. So they worked well together.

That was one reason, he guessed, why Zack had invited him on this ridiculous errand. To check and see how brave he could be. How manly. How perverse. Cloud let his sky-blue eyes rise to take in the large, brick building. They'd walked almost half an hour to reach the sorority. And now they were very close to their goal.

It felt like it had been just yesterday when Zack had caught him in his characteristic embrace – a headlock and violent noogie and said, "Hey, Cloud. I have an idea for Friday night."

The boy had looked up once he was released, "What? Is there a club you can actually sneak me into?"

He shook his head. "Nope. You look way too young and too different." His light eyes brightened excitedly, "I have an even better idea. Cloud, how much do you like underwear?"

So it was for underwear that they were here, crouching in the bushes, looking up at the second-floor windows. It seemed like there was a party going on downstairs, one with lots of drinking and dancing. The air was throbbing with music. Cloud's eyes shied away from it – drunken girls rubbing into guys, it was awfully gross. Zack seemed to like watching it, though. It was probably something you got into when you were older, he guessed. He poked the First Class Soldier.

"Zack," Cloud whispered, "Zack, we're not here to watch the party."

He blinked, "I know. But I'm just counting how many people are in there." He was obviously not counting anyone but a slim brunette right by the window.

Cloud poked him again. "Zack," he whined, "you were the one who said you'd kill me if we got caught!" He shuffled deeper into the cramped bush, already crammed against Zack in the tight hiding spot.

"That's 'cause your hair's effin' yellow," he answered, finally tearing his eyes away and looking at the cadet. He seemed star-eyed. "Come on, let's get to…" he glanced around, then pointed, "that window."

Cloud nodded, affirming that he'd heard the order. "Let's mosey, then."

"Cloud?" Zack's voice seemed almost strained.

"Yeah?"

"Don't ever say that again."

"Yes, sir." Now thoroughly shamed, they crept out of their hiding spot, darting around pools of light and sticking to the darkness. Cloud was painfully aware of how obvious his hair must have been. They rounded the corner of the building, into a very deep shadow, where Zack turned to Cloud.

"Awright," Zack whispered, grinning. "She left her window open! Come on, Cloud, lemme show you how it's done." The man unlooped a ShinRa-issue grappling hook (groping hook) and began to swing it slowly. He was waiting for something. Cloud noticed that he was glancing towards the party windows a lot. It was eerily silent. But the music had to start up again before Cloud realized it had paused in the first place. The music came back, and Zack let fly. His aim was perfect; the hook slid gracefully into the pastel room. He pulled it taut, checked the catch by jerking the rope, then held it out to Cloud.

"Ladies first," he added, obviously completely affectionate and friendly with this insult to Cloud's masculinity. "You're lighter. Go up there and make sure no one's coming. If there's someone outside, come to the window and unhook the grapple, then jump and I'll catch you and we'll run."

It struck Cloud how exceedingly overcomplicated and immature this plan was.

He nodded anyway. So up he went. The cadet had been trained how to climb a rope already, therefore the task was not overly difficult. He was soon in the window and tiptoeing to the door. He leaned against it, cupping his hands to try and block out much else. After a tense few minutes, Cloud moved back to the window and sent Zack an all-clear motion.

Zack was in the room faster than a horny chocobo gobbled down nuts. He pointed to the door for Cloud and headed to a pink dresser himself. Cloud did as he was bid and listened at the door. He waited for Zack to finish.

Zack was having a grand old time. He rummaged and shopped, picking out one lacy number or another, pocketing his favorites. He picked up probably ten or fifteen, but only took two – a black thong and some lacy pink panties. He picked up a powder-blue, barely-there strap and a totally sheer purple pair of panties.

Zack was grinning. "Which one you like more?" he asked, waggling the two, one in each hand.

Cloud swallowed hard, looking between the two. Neither covered much of anything. He eyed them both. The boy realized that he didn't get thongs. Why would someone bother wearing underwear if there was next to nothing there? Plus, wouldn't those little straps chafe?

"Why?" he asked, his voice as hushed as possible.

Zack gave him an incredulous look. "You think I'm keeping all the prizes? You get one. Which one do you like?"

He was still confused. "For me to wear?"

Zack had to cover his face with his elbow to keep from laughing out loud. He finally subsided to snickers once Cloud's face was thoroughly reddened in embarrassment. "No, ya fag, definitely not. I mean, unless you want to. You're probably skinny enough."

"I don't want to!" Cloud said too quickly. He was just curious, that was all.

Zack continued, "It's for… you know. Use. Isn't it sexy?" He waved the little blue thong, "aren't ya getting a hard on by just looking at it? Don't you want to touch it, imagine slipping it down some girl's thighs…."

No, Cloud wasn't. And he didn't want to imagine that. "The purple one," he decided quickly. The boy turned back to the door, sighing. This was, somehow, he felt… really wrong. But then he heard something.

"It's plum," Zack corrected him, placing the thong back and closing the drawer. "You wanna look for bras?"

"Shut up!" Cloud hissed, "Someone's coming!"

Zack was instantly in motion. He closed the drawer he'd begun to open and crossed the room lightly, getting out the window. "Unhook the grapple once I'm on the ground and jump, I'll probably be able to catch you," he hissed, disappearing a second later. He sounded real trustworthy right then.

Cloud ran away from the door which now had a laughing girl outside of it. He dove for the window, fumbling with the grappling hook before dropping it. Zack, down below, caught it expertly. This definitely made Cloud a little more confident in his catching ability. So he let go and let himself fall.

Zack was better at catching small things. Cloud landed on him, sure, but neither of them were all that graceful about it. The two soldiers hit the ground and lay still, absolutely still and silent. Then they heard the scream.

It was not a happy scream like in the haunted house. It was the kind of scream in those horror movies when the almost-topless female lead (not a heroine) was confronted by the scary monster that looked nothing like real-life monsters but was scary anyway. It was a terrified scream. It was an angry scream.

It made Cloud's teeth clench and his skin crawl. He decided to put his hands over his ears. Zack sent him a wild look before he rolled them over, hiding Cloud's bare arms and BRIGHT YELLOW hair under his own body. He sent Cloud a glare, a softly-lit glare from less than a foot away that warned him very plainly, "If you make ONE sound, I will tear your throat out." Or possibly he was saying, "Make a sound and I'll rip your bowels apart." Cloud wasn't sure which, but he definitely needed both his throat and his bowels, so he made sure to remain absolutely silent.

However, he could see past Zack's shoulder, and he saw the girl look down at them. He gasped. For a split second, it seemed like she did, too.

Zack jerked a little, his hand snapping to cover up Cloud's mouth. The boy squeaked in surprise, a sound muffled by the hand. Zack's face was closer still now, and his brilliant eyes were saying, "Okay, one more sound, and I swear, I'll tear your balls off." Seeing as his balls were very precious, Cloud tried to keep very, very quiet.

There was a very tense silence. Finally, the girl shouted from above, "Get a room!"

Zack got off Cloud, sensing that they might escape. Now, if only they could pretend to be some horny couple and escape without Cloud blowing their cover…

"Sorry!" Cloud shouted up.

Zack slapped his own forehead. Screwed! So totally screwed! Now she'd probably recognize Cloud and they'd get beaten by this chick's father's thugs! He assumed any girl that pretty must have a hell of a father to keep her safe. He probably had tons of thugs, hundreds!

Cloud was oblivious, staring up at the girl. He regretted taking her underwear. She was awfully pretty.

"You're… both guys?" she asked. They had just been making out, right? She figured those muffled whines meant that. The girl peered down below. Definitely both guys. A small, unconscious smile lit up her face. They were cute, too!

"Where are you guys from?" she asked, suddenly friendly.

"ShinRa!" Cloud called back. Was he actually flirting with a pretty girl? This was so exciting! "We're in SOLDIER!"

Zack was freaking out. He clapped a hand over Cloud's mouth, smiling shyly up at the girl. "And now we'll, uh, be going!" he provided nervously.

The girl giggled. Actually giggled at Zack. "Oh, the military, no wonder! I actually don't mind…."

Then Cloud understood. The innuendo, the sudden trust, the giggling, the way she eyed Zack's hand on his mouth, he got it! She thought they were gay! He could easily use this to his advantage. He put an arm around Zack's waist, surprising the man enough that his hand left Cloud's mouth. Zack was staring at him as if he was nuts. Cloud smiled up at him.

"We'll be going, then," he called up to the girl, waving. He turned his eyes to Zack and fluttered his eyelashes. "Find somewhere else, hm, Zachie?"

Zack still didn't get it.

"Go somewhere more private," Cloud continued, elbowing Zack's back hard. "I fool around," he added, trying to say something with his eyes like Zack did. "Go have some fun?"

"What, with the…" his eyes were suddenly very round. "OH!" His face flushed, but he grinned and threw an arm around Cloud. "Yeah! Let's go, so fuck somewhere else, huh, bitch?"

Cloud winced. "Don't call me that!" he whined.

The girl was really, really giggling. "You two are sooo cute!" she said excitedly. She looked over her shoulder as far too many female voices were emerging in her room, and shouted to them, "There're these two hot gay guys who were screwing on the lawn!"

A chorus of squeals later, Cloud and Zack were confronted by many, many young women who were all staring at them. Zack let go of Cloud and shoved his hands in his pockets, making sure the underwear was hidden. He was smiling in that distracted, terrified sort of way. Cloud clung to Zack, more out of fear of furious female retaliation than for their act.

"Were they kissing?" one girl asked.

The original girl who they'd stolen from nodded. "Yeah… earlier, they were totally making out!"

A slew of giggles. After a beat, one girl pointed out, "hey, they don't look gay. I mean, the blonde probably is, but the tall guy – I think he has a girlfriend!"

Zack's frozen smile stiffened. He hissed between his teeth, "ohhh shit."

The girls didn't want their fun to be over, but doubt was beginning to blossom. Zack began to lead Cloud away, one hand on his back, trying to keep up their image. Apparently, the first girl was telling her story and people were beginning to really guess the truth. Zack saw some starting to leave, as if they were going to follow. He and Cloud were almost to safety.

So he used his last-ditch idea.

Cloud was uncomfortable enough with Zack's hand on his back, leading him like a little girl. He was too nervous to do anything about it, though. But that was nothing compared to when he felt Zack's hand move. It went down.

Zack grabbed a shameless handful of Cloud's butt-cheek and squeezed. Cloud yelped in surprise and downright discomfort. The girls squealed. The two soldiers calmly turned the corner, into what was probably safety behind a tall hedge.

Immediately, Cloud felt Zack pull on him, smothering him. He smelled Zack, very close, the scent musky and filling his nostrils. It was dark, he couldn't see, but he felt Zack, too close for comfort, holding him tight, touching him….

And then he felt the knuckles grinding into his skull.

"Good one, Cloud!" Zack congratulated him as he addressed the boy caught in his armpit. "That was great!" He released the blonde and pulled out the small purple pair of women's underwear. "And here is your prize, cadet! Congratulations."

Cloud took it, staring at the panties in his hands. They were very, very soft. He again had the urge to try them on, but realized exactly how soft they were. They were probably worse than silk boxers. He knew what kinds of problems those created. With these, those sorts of problems were probably something like eightfold as bad. Were his new panties worth keeping? With a jerk, the boy re-realized that these weren't his, and weren't Zack's to give away. He looked around; the sorority had a communal mailbox nearby. He could return them.

Then the boy looked back down at his hands. How useful these could be, even if he couldn't wear them. He could see them and they'd remind him of tonight… of the excitement, the fear, the surprise, the closeness….

Oh, and that they belonged to a pretty girl he totally flirted with.

He pocketed the panties. It would be creepy to return them anyway, he told himself. It wasn't that he wanted them; there was just no graceful way to return them.

Sure.

"Come on," Zack said suddenly, "one down, three to go!" He grabbed the boy's shoulder and started to drag him, "the night is still young!"

Cloud really hoped they'd get distracted before they found any more sororities. He was tired of panty raids already. But he went along, if only for the knowledge that he had a true friend, a guy secure enough to grab another man's ass in order to fool girls into thinking that they weren't raiding their dressers.

He also really wanted to get back. One close call was one too many for one day. He wanted to get to his quarters. Since it was Friday, most of the other cadets would be out with girlfriends, boyfriends, or trying to pick up one or the other. Then he could put his prize to use in private.

No one would see him try it on.