Note: Zack & Cloud come on heat every season including autumn and winter.

Sorry for errors! Enjoy!

SOLDIER pride

This time of the season was the worse time for both Angeal and Genesis. It was even worse for Zack, he dreaded this time of the year, even though he had had great fun with Angeal and Genesis. Cloud was almost entirely new to this all. The young Uke's knew the strains and stresses the two endured through this, and even though they tried to help lighten it, it sometimes made it worse.

Zack sat glaring on the sofa, his usual stance of sitting with his arms folded, on leg over the other meant many things. At that point though, he was pissed off, thoroughly. The constant angry swishes of the black tail and slightly tilted ears, twitching in small jolty movements to show his annoyance.

Cloud was sitting on the floor, legs crossed and staring up at the three SOLDIERs, his tail trying to tuck between his legs, ears flat in fear. He didn't have much understanding what was going on, he knew what he was going through at the moment, but not why the three were so... angry about it. The sparks were flying and he was scared by it slightly, he had never seen Angeal, a normally calm person, with angered Mako eyes before. Or even Zack for that matter, his always bouncy fun loving blue eyes were tinged heavily with aqua green and burning with so much fury.

First Class SOLDIERs are scary when angry, Cloud thought, No wonder nobody dares going anyway near them in that state.

Genesis just sighed; he knew not to get involved with these two when they were in a heavy argument. They would make up in the end, but at the moment the small amounts of terror flashing in their youngest Uke's eyes was upsetting for him.

Genesis always had a soft side when it came to Cloud.

He knelt next to Cloud and smiled at the blond, taking his hand and leading him towards the kitchen. Cloud followed willingly, slightly fearing that the two would start shouting at each other in the next few minutes. Neither SOLDIER noticed their disappearance.

The blond sat up on the counter and tilted his head as Genesis got two cups out and filled one with blackcurrant and the other with coffee. Cloud smiled warmly, instantly knowing the warm blackcurrant being made was for him. He watched Genesis flick the kettle on before turning and walking to stand in between the blonds thighs, leaning up and kissing the blond. "They're always like this at this time of year."

"Why though? I don't understand why Angeal gets so upset by it, and why Zack starts resenting him so." Cloud asked, resting his head on the dominants shoulder, his legs kicking slightly and hitting the cupboard underneath him, which held plates and bowls. He knew he had an effect on all three SOLDIERs, somehow sapping the concentration from them with a small touch or a simple kiss. He was naive to the small fact that his innocence was so much of a distraction that it could potentially ruin a fight.

"Angeal isn't upset with Zack as such," Genesis stated, lifting the blonds' head from his shoulder and smiling at the curious blues staring back at him. He pecked the soft cheek once before turning to find the sugar. "And Zack isn't resenting him. It's the SOLDIERs, more Thirds and seconds than First which are the problem. You see the thirds and seconds still have this massive problem with their... sex drive." Cloud blinked, but he quickly got the idea, blushing.

"The thirds and seconds think they can have whoever they want, when they want and how they want. It's a terrible time for The Ukes that are in or around Shinra because they become sex crazed animals to put it bluntly. They don't care who they get, as long as the claim a Uke for themselves." The Usually fiery red head stated his grip on the spoon a little more than necessary. "Angeal doesn't want either of you to get in trouble with them. Sephiroth also has to conceal Reno for the same reason." Genesis explained, putting the sugar away, turning around a pouring the hot water into the mugs.

"There's something else isn't there?"

Genesis sighed, shoulders slouching; he knew Cloud was too smart. The blond was top of all his classes, of course he was bound to catch on to the small hint of secrecy. "You've really got to tell me where you got your smarts from." He grumbled, handing the small blue mug to Cloud before sipping his coffee slightly. "It happened around last year, maybe, anyway, it was when Zack first came into heat." Cloud nodded, Heat was a side affect for having the adorable fluffy ears and tails. They adapt the animal traits such as going into heat, sometimes protectiveness and very rarely, pregnancy.

"We didn't have a clue what was going on." Genesis continued, "I mean, it was our first time dealing with a Uke. We let him go out one night with some of his friends, and they happened to be third classes he had just met. We didn't think of it as anything, we wanted him to make friends." Genesis sighed, shaking his head lightly.

"How could we have been stupid?" Genesis took another deep breath, feeling the rare wave of guilt wash over him. "Anyway, they went out. They had spiked Zack's drink and attempted to take advantage. If it wasn't for the fact Sephiroth had Turks guarding all three of us at that moment, he would have been raped." Cloud blinked, realization hitting him instantly, Zack was a second class when that had happened. Cloud was a lowly cadet, he wouldn't have been able to defend himself at all especially against second and third class SOLDIERs.

"I want you to listen to me for once! For fuck sake Angeal I'm not a fucking baby!" Cloud winced slightly, Genesis spotted it in an instance and rushed to the blond's side, taking the cooling mugs away and holding the blond tight. Cloud had hated people shouting, he hated people fighting. His parents used to fight all the time when he was younger before his father vanished into thin air.

"I don't give a fuck Zackary Fair! You are my responsibility and I will look after you no matter what!"

"Why don't you trust me for once Angeal!?"

"Because you were almost raped Zack! I don't want that happening to you again and nor do I want Cloud going through it!"

"I wouldn't let Cloud anywhere near those fucking bastards!"

"That's the whole fucking point! I don't want EITHER of you out of this apartment!"

"I've grown up Angeal! Cloud is still young and as much as I don't want to say it he's still vulnerable! I'm NOT!"

"YES YOU FUCKING WELL ARE!"

"FUCK YOU! FUCK THE LOT OF YOU! I FUCKING HATE YOU ANGEAL!"

"Where the hell are you going?"

"Well away from here! Maybe you would grow up a little and see I'm not a baby anymore!"

"Fucking stay where you are Zack!"

"FUCK. OFF!" Cloud's shoulder started to shake when the two heard the door slam shut, opening again with Angeal chasing after Zack and then slamming. Genesis also had to wince, his sensitive hearing following the pair down the corridor. He rubbed Cloud's back gently, trying to ease the sobs. He needed to distract the blond, without traumatising him even more.

"They like that this time of the year?" Cloud asked timidly, peeking at the older male who sighed sadly and nodded.

"Yeah, they're always like this at this time of year."


Zack didn't return until a few hours later, refusing to talk to Angeal or Genesis and hugging Cloud for most of the evening. He rarely let the blond out of his sight for longer than ten minutes, making the blond sit on the floor in front of him while he did his essays. The blond Uke didn't mind, but he didn't want Zack to be angry at Angeal and Genesis. He didn't want to have to choose if they... "No that won't happen..."

"Hmm? You say something Spike?" Cloud looked up, eyes wide like a Chocobo caught in the headlights.

"O-Oh... nothing Zack, Just..." Zack frowned, watching the blond bow his head almost in shame. Had the blond been upset by today's events? It was the most likely thing, Genesis had told him when he was sitting outside on the bench in the dark quiet corner that Cloud had been scared and upset by the argument. Zack didn't want the blond to ever feel scared, and the guilt crept back as he just realized he had caused the one thing he had tried to protect the blond from.

"Spike-"

"Don't be mad at Angeal..." He whimpered softly, ears flat against his skull. His hands clasped tightly together until his knuckles turned white, tail still and unmoving. "He just wants us safe..."

Zack winced physically. He had caused Cloud to feel insecure at that moment, and so did Angeal. He crawled onto the floor, pulling the blond Uke onto his lap and holding him tightly, rocking slightly as a mother would a child. "I'm sorry Spike."

"Zack-"

"I know, I know. Apologize to Angeal, but..."

Cloud frowned, small amount of anger flaring up inside of his chest as he stared up at Zack. "Soldier pride?"

Zack turned away, Cloud was right. Zack had been brought up in SOLDIER pride, not be sorry for his own actions. It affected life at home as much as it did on the battlefield, on a mission. That's why relationships were difficult in Shinra, none of the SOLDIERs apologized for their own actions and the pain they caused to their lovers.

"Should have guessed." Cloud growled out, crawling out of Zack's arms and standing up, he picked up his scattered notes and papers before wandering over to the empty desk. He plopped down in front of the wooden desk, flicked the small lamp on and carried on with his work silently, not even giving Zack a second glance to see the pure look of devastation on the usually bouncy face.