Note: Cloud's infantry days. Oh, joy. I always did like, weak, short, tiny, cute, laughing, Zack's best friend Cloud more than AC Cloud.

And I also forgot if Shinra is in Midgar, so uh…yeah. Excuse me while I make up half the stuff story.

Btw: This was on my LJ AND my deviantart for a while, so why not add it here? XD


The Puppy


It was a clear day. Cadet Cloud Strife, and all his infantry glory, had just finished his daily workout routine in Shinra and was currently coming back from the store (he had to blame his roommates). It wasn't easy being the youngest and the shortest in his dorm. He tends to stick out as well, oh joy.

Anyway, back to the story. Our Chocobo-headed blond was making his way back to the dorm when he heard a small noise. It wasn't a gunshot, no, it was quite the opposite. It came from a thing. A living, breathing thing, may I add.

Now usually, Cloud would just simply ignore it—whatever it may be—and continue his grand quest walking back to his dorm, but this time, something in the blond's head told him to check it out. Cloud sure hoped that the crazy being in his head wasn't leading him to some bloodthirsty monster intent on destroying the world or something of that sort.

The cadet walked down a small bend in the street, making sure no one was in the alley or was following him.

Yip. Yip.

There it was again—that strange noise. The noised bounced on the cold, bare walls, making an echo noise throughout the whole walk. Cloud walked on. No, he was not scared. He was certainly sure by now he knew what it was.

The cadet dashed forward, running as fast as his legs could let him. There, by the edge of the trash can. That's where the noise is coming from.

Yip! Yip!

It was a small dog—no, a puppy. Short black fur caked in mud and other debris of the city. It looked at the blond with curious black orbs.

Wuff! Yip! Save me, it seemed to be saying.

The puppy was stuck between a series of trash bins. Cloud concluded that it was probably stuck there under its own stupidity (or curiosity, but Cloud wasn't a nice boy so he didn't bother thinking the latter of the two.)

The man sighed and made an attempt to tug him out. Yes, attempt. It didn't mean he successfully pulled the dog out. No, that dog was stuck in there pretty tightly. No, Cloud had no idea why. He wouldn't even bother asking. The blond kept pulling.

Tug.

The puppy was slowly sliding out. Just barely, but Cloud kept pulling. He didn't know why he was helping the puppy, but hey, he didn't want to be known for as the man who wouldn't even help a pup in need. (No, he doesn't kick puppies, who do you think he is? Sephiroth? Kadaj? Genesis?)

No, he wasn't, and he positively sure those two (excluding poor Kadaj since he didn't exist yet) would gladly kick a puppy.

Anyway, the puppy slipped out without much harm. Cloud, on the other hand, tugged too hard. Okay, not just too hard, but very hard. The puppy was unscathed, but Cloud rammed into the other wall.

Cloud: 0 Puppy: 0 Wall: 1

Damn walls.

When he becomes a 1st class, he'll make sure he'll destroy this wall first. Or post a complaint.

The puppy barked a few times, and ran to "save" the man who freed him from the evil trash cans. He stumbled on his own four feet as he dashed to his savior. Hmm, he smells like…strangely enough, apples. There was also a faint scent of meat coming from his plastic bag. Ooh? Lunch as well? This man is so nice to him!! The puppy proceeded to lap the cadet's face as if he was the most delicious thing in the world.

"Alright, alright, I get it! You can stop licking at my face now!" The blond yelled out, pushing the hyperactive puppy away from him. Gosh, now how come this puppy sounded so familiar? It was like he knows something like this…Cloud just couldn't place his finger on that certain person.

Yip!! Ruff! Grr-ruf!! The dog pawed at Cloud's dusty pants, as if asking to take him with him.

"No. Stay." Cloud commanded the puppy as he walked back.

The dog whined and gnawed on Cloud's boot.

"STAY."

Whine.

Cloud sighed. He knew he shouldn't have saved that dog. Reaching in his bag, he pulled out…

A sausage. Yes, a sausage. You know, the edible type. Err—back to the story.

The puppy stared at it. Now, if you're asking why Cloud had a sausage, it was because he decided the food in grocery stores tasted better than the—no, it wasn't even called food—the stuff in Shinra's cafeteria.

"You're a smart dog, fetch." The blond cadet chucked the meat as far as he could. The dog, finally understanding Cloud, ran after the meat as if it was the only thing that mattered in the world.

"Thank Gaia," The blond sighed, "I thought I would have to take it back to the dorm or something…"


"Hey Chocobo-head!" The hyperactive 1st class SOLDIER, Zack Fair, greeted as he pounced on the blond. "How are ya?"

"Commander—"

"Zack, just Zack's fine, Cloudy."

"…Okay then, Com—Zack, will you explain why you're here?" The blond raised a thin eyebrow at the other man.

Zack face fell and gave the shorter man a pout. "Awww, can't the great, awesome, and oh-so sexy Zack visit his little cadet Cloudy anytime he wants to?"

Something in Cloud's head clicked. Now, he knew why the puppy sounded so familiar to him!

"Commander, must you visit me eight times a day?" Cloud asked, reverting back to "commander" just to tick the SOLDIER off. "And stop calling me Cloudy! People are watching us!"

It was true, people were staring. After all, it wasn't everyday the Zack Fair decides to drop in on the infantry men dorms. It also wasn't normal when said SOLDIER was talking to one of the newest cadets that had just recently joined Shinra Company.

Zack ruffled Cloud's head. "Don't worry Cloudy. It's not like anyone would try to kill you, I'd save ya, kiddo!"

The cadet grumbled something under his breath, hoping Zack's enhanced hearing didn't catch it.

"Wow, Chocobo-head, you sure have a colorful language for a kid your age!" The raven exclaimed, obviously failing at pretending to be surprised. "Kids these days…"

Cloud sighed. Oh great Gaia, why, WHY, did Zack Fair have to pick him out of all the people in Shinra to be his "best friend"? Hell, why would anyone pick him over the other thousands of men in the infantry dorms.

"Well, enough of the sighing. Let's get something to eat! I'm starved!" Zack, being the hyper puppy he was, pulled the younger boy (or was he technically old enough to be a man?) out of the dorms.

"I just got back, Commander! Hey! Watch where you're pulling me!" Cloud practically screamed at Zack, making sure he doesn't trip over his own two feet and down the stairs.

"Cloudy, would rather I carry you around town instead?" Zack raised a brow. An amused grin was plastered on his face.

"NO."

"Awwww…" The first class SOLDIER whined. "Why not?"

Cloud was certain by now. That puppy down the street reminded him none other than his commander.

Just because he got rid of that one didn't mean this one would run off that easily.

Perhaps keeping a dog would be pretty entertaining after all.