Disclaimer: not my characters.

Warning: in case you cant work it out from the fact the pairing is SephxCloud, there will be guys kissing.

This is a Christmas present for LastTrojanNight as a thankyou for her lovely reviews! (I hope you like it! I was struggling with the pairing)

"I'm sorry sir. It was an accident." Cloud sighed, muttering his third false apology of the day to the silver haired general. This was stupid, he knew he hadn't been the one to unmake his bed, or leave his armour in a mess. He knew who had: Zack, in another one of his hair-brained schemes. But to accuse a first-class SOLDIER of such would be suicide.

Sephiroth sighed, gazing into the turquoise eyes of the younger man. He had had such high hopes for him. He might not have any particular skill, but he had a stubborn determination which had made the general think he would go far. Now though, he seemed determined just to cause trouble.

Cloud sighed to himself. Nothing was going right today. He wondered if the girl he was doing this for still remembered him. He realised with surprise he could no longer picture her whole face, remember the length of her chestnut hair across her shoulders. He could remember the eyes though, hazel pools of emotion. He had thought they were the most beautiful eyes in the world. But that was before he met Sephiroth.

He raised his head to look at the other man, staring into his eyes. He forced himself to focus on what was being said before he was absorbed by the emerald shine. "I want you to stop this foolishness Cloud." The boy nodded in agreement. Sephiroth sighed. Maybe Cloud was just bored, didn't feel challenged by his training. Over the last few fights, Cloud had definitely been improving. "Meet me in the training area in ten minutes. I want to see if you have learnt anything."

Cloud ran to grab his armour and put it on, fumbling with the fastenings. He gave up on finding the other shoulder pad, deciding that Zack had probably borrowed it. Again. He raced back to the training arena, reaching it a few minutes before he needed to. He propped his sword against the wall and started to stretch, wondering how much longer Sephiroth would take.

He only realised his mistake when he was kicked onto the ground, and spun up to face his own sword being held across his throat.
"Cloud. You shouldn't let your guard down." The general removed the sword and helped him to his feet.
Cloud looked down awkwardly. He knew that, they had been through it enough times, and yet he still forgot. Mistakes like this couldn't be made any more, if he ever wanted to achieve his aim.

"Forget it. Just don't do it again soldier." Sephiroth's calm baritone soothed Cloud, restoring his confidence to try again. Cloud picked up his sword and spun to face Sephiroth. The sound of their swords clashing echoed around the arena, which was thankfully otherwise empty. The match went reasonably well for the first ten minutes. Though Sephiroth was winning, he could sense the improvement in Cloud. The blond was getting stronger day by day.

Cloud's attention span was still too short for him to be an effective fighter and it didn't take much time before he was again distracted, leaving easy openings for Sephiroth. The silver-haired General decided there and then that the younger soldier needed to learn a lesson he would not easily forget.

The next time Cloud's concentration dropped and he failed to block one of Sephiroth's movements, the general disarmed and embraced him in one simple movement, brushing his lips against that of the younger man's. When Cloud opened his mouth to protest, Sephiroth took the opportunity to slip his tongue into the lower ranks mouth, before withdrawing again like a snake.
"Never let your guard down." He threw the sword back at the stunned soldier's feet. Cloud was about to yell at him, but knew there was little point. Instead, he picked up his sword and fought on, a stream of profanities whispered under his breath. He had learnt his lesson though. For the rest of the fight, his focus was total.

At the end of the fight he got his revenge. Sephiroth had turned away to put his sword away. Cloud was lacking in strength, size and weight, but had the advantage of surprise. He used it quickly, jumping on Sephiroth's back. He hooked his legs around the General's waist, his arms across his shoulders. He nuzzled against Sephiroth's face for a second, then jumped down and backed away, his sword safely back in his hand.
"Shouldn't let your guard down."

Sephiroth spun to face him angrily, but when he saw the look on Cloud's face he started to laugh. The young soldier had a good point.
"I deserved that." Cloud started to laugh with him, relieved that the General hadn't been angry. "Just don't ever do that again." Cloud smirked slightly.
"Like I would want to!" Although he could easily appreciate the General's unusual, almost feline beauty, Zack's teasing alone was a good reason not to kiss him.

The two of them walked back in amicable silence. It wasn't until they returned to the General's office that the silver haired man suggested they made such training sessions regular practise. Cloud agreed, wanting to improve his skills. Spending extra time with Sephiroth wasn't a bad thing either.

That day would stick in Cloud's thoughts forever. It had been one of those moments which changed everything. With Sephiroth's coaching he had grown stronger, learnt to be a true fighter. He had finally become strong enough to defeat the General, preventing the destruction that otherwise would have ruined the world. Six years later, in their final fight, Sephiroth made his last and greatest mistake. He underestimated the young soldier.

"I will never be a memory."

He was wrong. In Cloud's mind and heart, for the rest of the man's life, he would always be a memory.