Hello whats left of my wonderful readers =). There is not enough apologies in this world to make up for my long absence. Life in general has got me down and I lost my drive to write for a while. I've also been stuck on writers block for forever. Still struggling with it on chapter ten but I am working through it.

*IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT* My wonderful cousin, whoes Pen name is PoeticShadows, has accepted a challenge I issued to him during Christmas. Because of how much difficulty I've had with witters block on this story I dared my cousin to see what he could do with my general plot line. I am happy to say he has accepted my challenge and has the first chapter of that story up with a second soon on the way! So if you like my story please go check out SOLDIERs of Regeneration under the pen name PoeticShadows! My cousin, despite what he says, is a better writer than me so I promise its worth checking out his take on this story.

Big thank you to DragonGirl323 for putting up with me and being a amazing beta reader! So big box of cookies for her =). (P.S. she is also the beta reader for SOLDIERs of Regeneration)


Something soft brushed over my arms and Zack shifted from on top of me. He groaned and then yawned deeply. I wanted to open my eyes and look at Zack, but sleepiness still held my eyes shut. The soft feeling of his lips kissing my eyelids, brushing against my cheeks, and slowly making their way down to my lips made me smile.

While my eyelids didn't want to move, my lips had no problem saying good morning to Zack. The kiss was brief, but wonderful. Zack's slightly chapped lips moved eagerly against mine, reminding me of the hyper puppy he was. Pulling back slightly, I moaned and finally opened my eyes, watching Zack as he carefully stretched and put away his wings, making sure not to break anything in the room.

Slowly I sat up, pushing him back a bit, and nuzzled into his chest. "You know, I hope to see more of those now."

Laughing,Zack gave me one more quick kiss before moving off the couch and stretching the rest of him his body, then he did some squats to warm up. "Don't worry, you'll see them every time we are alone or with Sora. Oh, does he know that you have feelings me? Or is this going to come as a big shock?"

"Oh, yeah, he knows. I guess you never told him how you felt about me?"

"Yeah, it really never came up... We where kinda busy with the whole Angel thing. How did your feelings for me come up with Sora? I didn't think you were that close."

Bursting out laughing, I shook my head. "I must have an Angel attraction magnet or something because he actually wanted to court me. Don't worry, he knows I'm only interested in you."

"I am so glad I've marked you. Wait, was this before or after I marked you?"

"It was before, and he has not made any moves since, so really, Zack, don't worry. I'm yours and always will be."

"Good..." Zack, who was checking his PHS for emails, suddenly looked over at me. "Hey, Chocobo."

"What?"

"Do you have training with the recruits today?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Ummm…if you don't leave now you're gonna be late."

Staggering to my feet, I ran to get ready, grabbing a fresh uniform and making my way to the small bathroom. I had fifteen minutes to get to the training rooms and it took the elevators three to get down there. I would have time to grab some toast then go.

When I entered the kitchen, Zack handed me some toast and ruffled my spikes. "There you go. Now get down there and teach those cadets the meaning of honor and pride!"

Shaking my head with a grin, I took a bite of the toast then kissed Zack goodbye. "I'll be off around six. Do you have any more missions?"

"Nope, just a meeting with Reeve at noon. Meet me on the roof at seven?"

Remembering that I needed to talk with Sephiroth, I sadly shook my head. "I have to meet with Sephiroth, but I should be available by eight."

"Alright, I'll see you at eight then, love."

Warmth flooded through me and I had to force myself towards the door. I wanted nothing more than to spend the morning in Zack's arms, but I had other obligations and Reeve would not be happy if I rejected them.

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Walking down to the 1st Class floor, I looked out one of the hallway windows to see what the weather was like. The blizzard was still going strong with no signs of letting up. No laps would be happening today, however there was plenty to keep the cadets busy and in shape for the whole week if I had to. Half way down the hall I met the last person I wanted to deal with while running late. Herald, his back to me, was talking with three other SOLDIERs. Two I recognized from his original bully band.

As I got near them Herald looked over at me and smiled. I knew what was coming. "Hey, if it isn't little boy fluff come to grace us with his presence."

Walking past them I didn't even look up. "Aw, looks like the sheep is in a bad mood. Guess the wolf who visited last night didn't give someone enough satisfaction in bed."

Great, the last thing I needed was for Herald to know about Zack and me. However, I learned long ago Herald only gets worse the more you pay attention to him. So once the elevator doors opened at the end of the hall, I quickly made my way inside.

Lost in thought I almost did not recognize when another person got in the elevator. A youthful voice brought me back to attention. "Commander...are you alright, sir?"

"What?" Looking up, I saw Riku standing there, helmet in hand, looking at me with a worried expression. "I'm fine, just lost in thought. What are you doing on the SOLDIER floor?"

"I stayed with Storm last night to celebrate Christmas." Seeing the still confused look on my face Riku elaborated, "Storm told me that you two had met. He seems very fond of you, ya know, and it's odd for my brother to take to someone that quick."

Shaking my head, I gave Riku a bemused smile. "I seem to get along with every Angel I meet. I somehow make them comfortable."

"I see, but in that case, Commander, I beg you please don't let your chat yesterday be the last one. The emotional fear Storm has from being an Angel is loss. I feel the failure to be friends with you will be seen as a loss to him."

The elevator dinged and we walked out into the hall,making our way to the training room. Confused and a little worried, I looked down and mumbled to myself. "Emotional fear…what is that?"

Riku must have heard me because he began to explain,"It's kinda like an anxiety that each Angel has. Once an Angel has experienced enough of their emotional fear the dark reversal happens on one event or one trigger. Each Angel has a different limit as to how many times they can experience their emotional fear before it triggers the dark reversal or DR."

Comprehension dawned and I nodded slowly. Zack's had been loss as well. First losing Angeal, then Sephiroth, then me mentally to mako poisoning, and finally my supposed death after he was brought back. "Is loss a common fear for Angels?"

"Yes, it is the most common one for males, and for females it's rejection. With loss, depending on how emotionally strong the angel is, they can sometimes experience it up to ten times without triggering the DR. However, my brother only had to lose his parents and then his twin for the dark reversal to trigger."

We had stopped outside the training room doors while Riku finished his explanation. My phone buzzed in my pocket, telling me we had two more minutes till class started. Nodding at Riku I gave him a reassuring smile. "Don't worry, Riku, I'm not going to abandon Storm. I actually hope to help him find his biological family."

"Thank you, Commander."

"Call me Cloud outside of class, Riku."

"Alright then. Thank you...Cloud."

Nodding again, I turned and entered the training room.

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It was chaos inside. Yelling and shouting came from almost everyone in the room. The cadets had formed a circle around three boys. Two of them where fighting and one was on the floor, knocked out cold.

Disappointment filled me as I raised my voice. "All of you forum a line, and you two!" I pointed at the now still pair of previously fighting boys. "You two, follow me. Denzel, Riku take your injured fellow to the infirmary."

A helmeted figure from against the wall ran to the boy and along with Riku made the way out towards the WRO infirmary. "The rest of you start doing pushups now!"

As the cadets dropped and started I walked over to a wall with the two roustabouts following me. Crossing my arms, I turned to the boys and gave them both a very disappointed look. Tifa had once told me that a look of disappointment from me could be worse than any amount of punishment or yelling. From the boys' flinching and cowed postures, she was right.

With a voice full of disappointment I said what needed to be said, "You know that fighting between cadets is grounds for expulsion from the WRO Army. You knew that, yet you fought anyway. Is that correct?"

They both looked down and nodded. "Yes, sir," they said in unison.

"I want each of you to give me one good reason not to send you packing right now. Starting with you, Losolas."

The long black haired youth shook his head a bit, but looked up to meet my eyes. "Commander Strife, I was protecting the one I love from further harm and protecting his honor, sir."

A little shocked, I quickly hid it and turned to the auburn haired boy. "What is your reason, Desten?"

"I was protecting the honor of SOLDIER, by removing the scum that seek to give it a bad name."

"What grounds did Gabriel give you for knocking him out and fighting Losolas when he tried to protect him?"

A look of confusion crossed Desten's face, his green eyes widening. "Sir, you heard Losolas. He was protecting the one he loves! As in they are together. SOLDIER needs strong men, not gays who are looking for a little attention and to give SOLDIER a bad name."

Anger burned deep in the pit of my stomach,but I tried to keep it out of my voice. "Losolas, go join the others in pushups, but I want twenty extra after everyone stops. You can visit Gabriel after training."

Joy filled those blue eyes as he realized he was not going to be leaving and at the thought of being allowed to visit Gabriel later. Giving a crisp salute he said in a relieved tone,"Yes, Commander Strife, thank you, sir."

As Losolas left I turned to Desten. Extremely disappointed would be a good word for how I was feeling towards him. However, perhaps there was still hope for him. "Desten, do you realize that most of the WRO's 1st Class SOLDIERs are ether gay or bisexual? Including myself?"

"You, wait, what...? Even general Sephiroth?"

"Sephiroth is in love with 1st Class Genesis and I am in love with Zackary Fair. The WRO does not give a damn what sexuality you are as long as you have the makings of a SOLDIER. That is, you have to be strong, honorable, accepting of your brothers at arms, and level headed. As you are now, you do not have what it takes to be a SOLDIER."

"I understand, sir..." Looking down at the floor, he let out a resigned sigh.

"If you think you can learn to keep a level head and accept all of your fellows no matter what, then apologize to Gabriel and Losolas. You have a second chance. If not, however then go pack your bags. You are dismissed."

The cadet looked up to meet my eyes and I saw determination and understanding reflected within them. "I'll try to see past and not judge my fellows, Commander Strife. I admit I was wrong and I'll prove to you that I have a level head."

"Then go get in line. I want fifty pushups extra from you."

"Yes, sir"

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Desten was a fast learner. I had asked the boys to pair up and practice a few basic strikes and blocks with the practice swords. At first, I had worried when Desten sought Losolas out as a sparring partner. However, I soon realized that Desten had not only apologized, but was doing everything he could to help and make friends with Losolas. I was glad that he had taken my words to heart and that it was ignorance and not true hatred that had spawned the fight. It did however bring to my attention that I needed to talk with the group after practice was over.

Practice with the swords was going to prove the most time consuming, and I inwardly wished the original commander overseeing these cadets the best of luck next week. Half of them had already forgotten the positions I had shown them and the other half were struggling to wield the unruly practice swords. End result was that only four of the cadets could perform the strikes and blocks with any sort of skill. Desten, Losolas, Denzel, and Riku all showed competence and some grace. Calling a small break, I walked around the group of cadets giving pointers and reminders.

Denzel and Riku had paired up together and where now sitting and talking quietly. As I passed by them I noticed that Denzel was watching Riku intently ,a bright flush filling his face. Riku was equally flushed and did not meet Denzel's eyes. I could discount the flush as a result of hard training. But their body language told me that they both had feelings for one another.

I was not ready to deal with that thought, so I passed by them and put it out of my mind for the moment. Not to say I was not happy, but this was class and I needed to return to cadets who actually needed the help. Calling that the break was over I lost my self in teaching once again. As the hour hit six I called a stop to the swinging and blocking and told them to forum two lines in front of me.

"You all did well for your first try. Keep up the good work and the WRO will be glad to have you. However, skill with the sword and an ability to take orders are not all it takes to be in SOLDIER. Desten, what does it mean to be a member of SOLDIER?"

Stepping forward,he saluted me and said, "It takes having honor on and off the battle field! Having pride and loyalty to the WRO, yourself, the planet, and your fellow cadets, sir!"

"Can any of you tell me why?" The room was silent; no one came forward or said anything.

Letting out a sigh, I began to explain, "Without honor both on and off the battle field, you are no better than your enemies and the WRO cannot trust you. Always keep that in mind. In the WRO, you cannot afford to be an outcast to your fellow cadets for any reason. In the future you will depend on them to keep you alive and no grudge needs to come into play at a wrong moment. The people beside you are your brothers, your new family. I want all of you getting to know and accepting everyone for who they are.

"Yes, sir!"

"Then you all are dismissed. Losolas, tell the nurses I told you it was okay for you to visit Gabriel after visiting hours. They should let you see him."

Losolas nodded and I smiled as both he and Desten left together.

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My supposed meeting with Sephiroth was next and I quickly made way to his office. With all the paper work he had I knew he would still be there at this hour. Sure enough, when I reached the office floor and knocked on his door, I was told to enter. Sephiroth was sitting behind his desk working on a fair sized stack of papers. Probably another hour of work, but nothing compared with what he had that morning, for sure.

Looking up from his work, Sephiroth's eyebrows raised. "Cloud, can I help you with something?"

I silently rolled my eyes. "No, I don't need help. I have some information for you about the twins, or a suspicion really."

Standing up from his chair, Sephiroth motioned me into a small sitting room next to his office. Choosing two plush chairs we sat down and Sephiroth motioned me to continue. "What have you learned?"

"First,I have two questions for you. I know that Hezera was an Angel, but you are not. What are the abilities of a half Angel?"

Sephiroth was shaking his head. "There are no such things as half Angels. When an Angel has intercourse with a human and an infant is created, the Lifestream intervenes. Sometimes if it is not a welcome union, the child is terminated before it takes root or is still born, like we thought Squall was. However, if it is welcome, the Lifestream will change the genetics and the child becomes a pure Angel."

"So, both your boys would be Angels then?"

"Yes, that is correct. I should have told you before. I apologize, it really did slip my mind. You should find more in that book you got for Christmas. Now, you said you had another question?"

"Yes, I do. Have you have seen the new SOLDIER, Storm?"

"I have in a way. He was dressed as a cadet at the time and the helmet made sure I did not see his face. He also only spoke twice and gave quick, single worded answers. So yes, I have met him, but not face to face. Why do you ask?"

"Because I met Storm face to face yesterday morning in the hallway. Genesis and Storm had come to a misunderstanding and I was needed to fix it. Sephiroth... Storm looks almost exactly like me, but with silver hair. He was an orphan at the RTO and has a twin with long blond hair who was adopted without him at the age of two. And Sephiroth, he is an Angel."

Sephiroth's irises had dilated and his breath was coming out fast. "Do you mean that?"

"I'm not completely sure, but you might want to go talk to Storm, face to face. He looks too much like a grown up Squall and acts a little too much like you for me to ignore the signs. He said he joined the WRO because as an Angel it's his duty to protect the planet. But he also hopes that the WRO will be able to help him find both his biological parents and his twin brother."

"Then he would be open to seeing for sure with a genetics test. Thank you,Cloud. I'll go to him as soon as I am done here."

"Alright, let him know I've sent you."

"I will... Has Zackary arrived back from his mission?"

"...He arrived home last night"

"He found transportation then."

"Yes..."

"That is good. Well, I will see you later, Cloud. Give Zack my best regards."

With a nod I turned, leaving a clearly suspicious Sephiroth behind.

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It was only 7:15 when I left Sephiroth's office. Zack would not be on the roof for another forty-five minutes. However, the blizzard had died down to a moderate snow fall over the day and I needed to clear my head. Everything had been turned upside down since arriving at the WRO and knowing my luck, it could only get worse. The snow would do me some good.

As I made my way to the roof's access stairs I noticed Storm leaning against a wall deep in thought. A set of what looked like Turk documents was in his hand, clearly waiting to be delivered. So why was he leaning on a wall instead of delivering them? As I got nearer to him I cleared my throat to get his attention.

"Storm."

With a jump, he jerked his eyes up to meet mine. "Oh, Cloud, sorry. I was deep in thought."

"Are you going to be alright?"

"Yes...Actually, I have a couple of questions to ask you."

A little taken aback, I nodded "What is it?"

"Yesterday Sora called you Angel. Is that a nick name?"

"No, it was my name before I was adopted. My mother preferred Cloud, so that became my name. She told me my birth name before she died, though."

"I see... Cloud, this next question is very important."

Straitening a bit I nodded again to show that he had my full attention. "Do you style your hair into spikes?"

A little confused and bewildered now, I shook my head. "No, it's just the way I was born. Yours is the same, right?"

Storm nodded his head slowly. "Yes, I am sorry. It must seem an odd question to ask. But I had to know... All the other facts fit."

"Fit what exactly?"

"My brother's name was Angel. He was adopted at the age of two, from the RTO, and by a lone woman. Just the same as you, Cloud. However, my brother's hair was as straight and smooth as general Sephiroth's hair."

All doubts that this was Sephiroth's son vanished; I was glad for them both. "There is also the fact that the orphanage was adamant that I had no siblings and that it was the one thing they could tell me. I doubt they lied to me."

Storm nodded and gave me a small smile. "I doubt they lied either. If you find someone who matches Angel's description,would you let me know?"

"I will... And, Storm, just because I am not your real brother does not mean we can't be SOLDIER brothers. After all, most of the 1st Class SOLDIERs are kinda like one large family. We all look out for one another."

A large smile brightened Storm's face. "Thank you, Cloud... I look forward to getting to know you more and meeting the rest of our SOLDIER family."

"I'll introduce you to the others soon enough. Actually, you can meet Sephiroth in about an hour. He thinks he might know who your biological parents are."

Storm's eyes widened and he said in an excited voice, "Really! Thank you, Cloud! I will be sure to make time for that."

I nodded and turned to leave. When I was half way down the hall I heard him call out to me. "Oh, did you find out who marked you?"

Looking over my shoulder, I nodded. "It was Zack."

Continuing to the stairs, I breathed in deeply. After today I needed to hold Zack, kiss him, and tell him how much I loved him. Maybe play with those beautiful wings of his as well.


Thats all for now my wonderful readers sorry its kinda a filler chapter. Chapter ten will be worth waiting for once I get passed writers block as a lot of important stuff happens in that one.

Once again before I leave please give my cousin (PoeticShadows) fanfiction, SOLDIERs of Regeneration, a chance. Just from the first chapter I can tell he is going to do something epic with it!