I'm finally writing a proper fanfiction without OCs! Well, there might be some lame OCs in there to annoy Cloud, but you know, none as the main character! Yay...
This story focuses on Cloud Strife and his time in Shinra. It will completely ignore crisis core and the game, I've just used the characters and made them do stuff. o.o I didnt want to follow the plot and end up killing Zack and Sephiroth and all that crap. So yeah...

I hope you guys enjoy this anyway.
Note: Yes, this is a yaoi fic (boyxboy love), so if you dont like that then dont read. But there wont be yaoi until a few chapters later. I'm not up to that stage in the story yet.

Disclamier: I dont own anyone from Final Fantasy VII, If i did, i would be rich.


Chapter 1

The young recruit sighed as he stared his opponent in the eye. There was no way that he would be able to win this fight. The guy was huge. At least twice his size. And all muscle. Unlike himself.

"You ready or what?" The guy smirked, knowing exactly what the recruit was thinking.

"Yeah." He pushed a couple of stray blonde spikes out of his eyes and stood in a fighting stance. He might as well try his hardest, even though the outcome was already decided.

"Training...begin!"

At the instructors call, the older man rushed at the blonde, immediately driving him back into defence. He blocked all the hits that were thrown at him, continually dodging and circling his opponent, but was unable to land a blow. Every time the opportunity arose, the other would throw another punch at him, forcing him back into defence.

'I can't let it keep going like this...I've gotta do something.' He thought desperately while looking for a hole in the other's technique.

After a couple of minutes observation, he noticed that the other paused for a spilt second before each attack and stumbled a little when kicking.

'That's it...now, if only...'

He dropped his defence for a minute, encouraging the other to attack and when he did, he quickly moved behind him and sent a quick blow to his leg. However, he didn't move fast enough and the man was able to hit him in the stomach, sending him staggering back.

'Damn...not fast enough.'

He frowned before quickly trying the same thing again and successfully escaping another hit to the stomach. 'I just gotta keep going like this...' He thought to himself as he blocked another punch.

The battle continued and even though the recruit tried his hardest, he still fell behind. He lost the match, but not without injuring the other quite a bit first. The bigger man smiled down at the blonde. "Good fight man. Wasn't expecting it."

"Not good enough!" Another man barked. He walked up to the two recruits and glared at the blonde. "That was a horrible display. You shame the Shinra army!"

"Sir." The blonde bowed his head down.

"Not to be rude sir, but I don't understand why you would put someone of his build against someone like me. It was an unfair match." The taller recruit said to the instructor.

"Quiet you! In life you will never encounter fair matches! The opponents will always have an advantage over you and if you aren't strong enough to deal with that, then you don't belong here! The military will not accept weaklings and neither will SOLDIER! And you definitely don't belong here, Strife."

The blonde stiffened as his name was called and replied, "Yes sir. Understood sir."

"You are dismissed."

Cloud Strife walked out the room and the other recruit looked after him apologetically, mouthing a 'sorry dude'.

'Man, what a sucky training lesson...' He thought miserably. 'I can't blame the instructor for getting up me…I didn't do very well today, but why does he have to always pick on me?'

It was true. Every lesson, the instructor would always work Cloud the hardest, pairing him up against impossible opponents, making him demonstrate new moves in front of the other recruits without even explaining what to do, embarrassing him greatly and always yelling at him for making mistakes, but never telling him how to do it right. When he first came, Cloud thought that the instructor was getting up him for a good reason, but as time passed, he realised that the instructor just hated him for who he was. He didn't want him in the Shinra military. In his eyes, Cloud was too pathetic; he shamed all of them. But he wouldn't even give him a chance! That's all Cloud wanted. A chance to prove that he could do it, a chance to make them proud. But everyone just expected him to fail. They all believed he would. And he was starting to believe that too. It was hard to keep going, hard to try and succeed, when nobody believed in him. Every time he thought about giving up, he remembered why he first came here. He'd promised that girl, his family; left to prove it to everyone. To prove that he could achieve something. That he could be strong. He wondered if they doubted him as well. Did they truly believe that he could do it?

His mother had smiled as he left, telling him to come home soon. She didn't care if he was strong or weak, she loved him anyway. All she wanted was to see him safe.

The girl, Tifa Lockheart, had always smiled a little when the other boys humiliated him. You could see it that she tried not to laugh, but couldn't help it. And she was friends with them. Those assholes. But he told her he was leaving, to become strong and she made him promise to come and help her whenever she was in a pinch. He wondered if he could ever be strong enough to do that.

The boys didn't think so. They were the ones that always picked on him, humiliated him, because he was small and scrawny. They laughed when he said he was going to join SOLDIER. "Cloud Strife, a SOLDIER? No way!"

And they were right.

'I can't make it into SOLDIER. I can't even survive in the military and that's no where near SOLDIER level. If I want to be a SOLDIER, then I have to prove myself in the military. But my instructor hates me. He'll never give me the missions where I can prove myself. I just want a chance. One chance.' He thought miserably.

He sighed as he walked around the corner, not really bothering to pay attention to where his feet were taking him. It didn't matter. He didn't have any classes left today. And he couldn't be bothered heading back to the training room. The other recruits would just annoy and tease him some more. He'd had enough of that for today.

As he turned the corner, something heavy crashed into him, sending him crashing to the ground.

"Ah, I'm so sorry!" The person who crashed into him cried.

Cloud looked up and gasped when he saw the other. He was a SOLDIER. Trademark mako infused eyes and SOLDIER outfit. He looked again and realised that his outfit was black. That meant that he was a first class. A first class SOLDIER! What an honour!

"I-I'm so sorry sir…" He stuttered, quickly helping the other pick up the paper that had been scattered everywhere.

"Nah, it's cool. That was totally my fault. Sorry. Urgh…stupid paperwork…" He growled as if it would make it all disappear.

They picked up the papers again, now in a slightly messier state, and they both stood up, looking each other in the eye.

Cloud was taken in by the man's appearance. He had messy raven coloured hair that spiked up in every direction and his eyes were a brilliant blue. He had a confident smile that never seemed to leave his face and fair skin, with a cross-shaped scar that followed his cheekbone.

His smile widened as he looked back at Cloud. "Thanks for the help. You mind doing me a favour?"

"O-of course sir..."

"Cool. Would ya help me carry the rest of this paper to my office? It's a bit hard to see..." He frowned as he held the paper, unable to see over it.

Cloud took half the load and followed him along as they walked to his office. They entered the elevator and he turned to the blonde again and smiled widely. "I never introduced myself properly, did I? Name's Zack."

"Uh...Cloud." He nodded in Zacks direction. "...Nice to meet you sir."

"No need for the whole 'sir' thing, 'kay?" He paused and started at Cloud. "That's bugging me. You wanna take off your helmet so I can see your face?"

"Uh..." Feeling a little self conscious, he slowly removed his helmet and looked down at the ground, away from the other.

Zack grinned. "What? You shy?"

"...Not really." He turned to look back at Zack to make him think otherwise.

Zack's smile disappeared when he saw the huge bruise forming on the blonde's right cheek. "How'd that happen?"

"Um, training today." He quickly muttered and looked down again.

"Oh. Hard on ya?"

"Not really." He lied, not wanting to sound like a weakling in front of him.

"Hm. I remember the horrible days of being in the military...man I sucked back then." He laughed.

"Did you ever think that you would make it to where you are now? Did anyone else believe that you would?" He asked carefully, choosing the right words.

"Well, I was confident that someday I would, but I couldn't really imagine it at that time. But I was positive that I'd make it, because it was my dream to be a hero and being first class was the way to make that happen. My mentor, Angeal, saw that I had talent and trained me personally." He flashed a confident grin in Cloud's direction.

'Oh...well he's nothing like me. He had skill, even back then. It's obvious that I'll never make it.'

Zack's smile dropped as he studied the recruits change in mood. "Hey, what's up?"

"N-nothing..." He put his helmet back on as the elevator stopped and they walked out into the SOLDIER floor. He'd only been on this floor a couple of times before and every time it gave him the shivers. This is what he wanted, what he aspired to do. Have the right to be on this floor without supervision or guidance. To be a SOLDIER. The military personal were not meant to venture to this floor without good reason, so he never got to come here often.

His eyes widened as he stared at the SOLDIERs causally standing around, talking and laughing. Some of them even waved to Zack, who waved right back.

'I wonder if they know how lucky they are...'

"C'mon, this way." Zack said cheerfully as he led him through a couple of hallways until they reached a room. He unlocked the door and opened it, beckoning Cloud inside. "Thanks for the help! Just put them somewhere over there..."

He did as he was told and then just stood lamely by the door, not sure what he was supposed to do. Did Zack want him to leave now? Probably...

"Uh...I should be going now."

"Oh...uh...okay. Thanks anyway." The SOLDIER said, looking a little disappointed.

Feeling awkward, the recruit turned and walked out the room as fast as he could, but never made it because he bumped into someone in the door way and fell over backwards. His helmet flew off his head and he gasped in surprise when he saw who it was.


Oooh! Who could it possibly be? Lol, its so obvious.

I'd love some reveiws to tell me if you liked it or didnt, but no flaming please. Same as all my other fanfics, if i dont get reveiws, then I dont continue, cuase there's no point if no one is reading it.