DISCLAIMED: (07/06/09)

Characters: Cloud/Yuffie, Godo, mentions of Rufus and Tifa.
Rating: M – for the fun;) AKA inevitable sex and language
Genre: Action/Adventure/Romance, with a small dash of mystery
Summary: Cloud is on the road again, his inability to tell Tifa how he felt sending her into Reeve's arms. Now his only contact with the rest of the world was Rufus for a job and Yuffie, because she could. AC & DoC compliant.
Author Note:ALRIGHT!!! Lol. So this is a sneak preview of my latest Cloud/Yuffie story. Actually it's the first 10 chapters as I've finished Part I. In the meantime, I made a nifty trailer for it (for inspirational purposes only;P – and because I got new editing software XD) I thought I'd give you all a look-see of what is to come in this part and the next. Be warned this story is rated MATURE for a reason. If you don't like that sort of thing, please don't ruin it for those who do. Ruination may sound like a barrel of laughs, but no it isn't. =P


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- ЄөЦŕҐїŊģЭфΘμÐ-

Chapter 一

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Kalm – 4 Years After DoC (about 7 years after original game)

Cloud flipped closed his cell with a sigh and stepped off his bike. Rufus sent him a text about another delivery he needed. Some special client who was spiritual and such wanted him to take something to a shrine Gaia knows where. Ever since Shinra found out he was a delivery boy, he'd become the man's errand runner.

He leaned back against the seat of his bike, waiting. He didn't wait long before hearing a voice that caused his mouth to curve up.

"Gawd, stop trying to look cool. Haven't you learned yet that I'm the cool one of us two?"

Cloud straightened and turned to see Her Highness of Wutai standing on the sidewalk, resting her hand on a cocked hip with a large smile on her face.

"Sorry." His voice was dry. "I was actually just holding Fenrir up." He spoke as he moved towards her.

Yuffie made a disgusted noise and held up her hand. "Don't even get me started on you naming your bike," she said as she turned away. "I don't wanna think about what else you decided to name…"

Cloud bent his head to his chest to hide a smile. He shook his head and followed her into the restaurant.

They sat down and a waiter immediately took their orders – a chocoburger, fries, and two cokes.

"So you look gaunt," Yuffie said bluntly. "Haven't been eating?"

Cloud rolled his eyes. He half-hated, half-secretly enjoyed when she got all mother-like towards him. "Rufus has decided I'm his errand boy and has me running all over the damn continent."

Yuffie waved her hand. "I'll take care of that turkey. Just throw some red wine at him, he'll have an apoplectic fit and be in daze for weeks."

Cloud smirked. "If only we'd had you with us when I had to fight him pre-Meteor."

"Damn right."

" 'Course, you weren't old enough to be carrying wine on you, so…"

"Bite me."

"I would but then my ordering lunch would be redundant."

Yuffie shifted in her seat at this comment, and Cloud smiled as he watched her turn away and cover her face by resting her chin in her hand.

He'd realized that though she liked to talk big, he could shut her up with a well placed open innuendo. When he had thought more on it, he'd noticed she hadn't been involved with anyone since he'd known her, so maybe she was shy about stuff like that since she didn't know anything about it.

Cloud took pity on her and changed the subject. "So what have you been up to?"

"Oh, this and that," she replied normally. "Hey, did you say you had my hairpin from last time?"

Cloud sat forward, reaching into his pocket before pulling out a hair clip used to hold an ornate dagger when she put her hair up. It was a gift from Red for her last birthday, since she had returned home to start learning how to run her city when the time came. He said that way she could still be Yuffie when being a lady. Yuffie'd worn it the last time they met, since she was coming from yet another Wutainese ceremony.

Cloud commented on it and she'd rolled her eyes as she pulled it out, shaking her hair free. Cloud hadn't been able to look away. Since he'd spent so many years leaving people behind, Yuffie always made sure she left first and told him so. So she'd left behind her clip and he'd kept it with him the past month.

Yuffie grabbed the clip from him as she simultaneously pulled the matching dagger from her thigh. "Nice. I'm gonna wear it to the AVALANCHE con." She looked up from admiring her hair clip. "Are you coming this time?"

Cloud had sobered. He hadn't attended the past three 'conventions'. The group decided to have them yearly after the Omega incident and Cloud had gone to the first one, but then Tifa married Reeve and neither of them had seen Cloud since their wedding. He refused to attend the cons, and Yuffie didn't push him. But this time was different.

When he didn't say anything, Yuffie sighed.

"Cloud, she misses you. You guys were childhood friends, weren't you?"

Cloud became more stone-faced if possible. He'd loved Tifa but waited too long and then didn't have the guts to tell her so before the wedding. Reeve never rubbed it in his face or was standoffish towards him. He was a great guy really. But he knew the man knew he felt something for Tifa and Cloud just didn't want to face them and their pity.

Yuffie tried again. "It would mean a lot if you came… Oh, don't make me have something delivered there – I'd really like it if you came on your own."

Cloud glanced at her quickly before looking away and shifting uncomfortably.

"I'll think about it."

Yuffie smiled. That was the best she'd get out of him for now, but she'd be in contact with him during the next month so she'd wear him down.

Their food came and they ate, Cloud mostly in silence as Yuffie told silly anecdotes about her "servants" which made him smile.

He totally forgot about their earlier discussion. Yuffie had a way of doing that – making him forget about everything else. Probably why he felt light and free enough to smile and joke around with her. It even spilled over when dealing with others who had a rather large stick up their arse. The snarky comments, totally influenced by Yuffie's loud mouth, just flowed whenever faced with a sour attitude. He'd even astonished Reno with his quick wit last time they met.

"…and then I told her mother I would love to take her daughter under my wing, but she'd have to get used to my walking around the house naked."

Cloud lifted a brow. "Since when do you walk around naked?"

Yuffie shook her head. "I don't. But her daughter is insipid. Yes, there's no other word to describe her. All she wants is to marry a man so he can take care of her and she doesn't have to work. It's disgusting." She rolled her eyes.

Cloud smiled. "And what did the mother say?"

Yuffie placed a dainty hand to her chest and in an airy voice, said, "'Oh, dear. Well, maybe we should think on it a bit.'" Another roll of her eyes as her hand dropped. "She couldn't leave fast enough."

"Nice," Cloud added, shaking his head in disbelief.

"Yeah." Yuffie pushed her plate away and glanced at his plate. "You gonna eat those?" she asked as she grabbed a fry from his plate.

Cloud obligingly pushed his plate towards her. "Go ahead."

Yuffie grabbed another fry and looked at him considering. Though they were friends, Cloud still didn't like it when she looked at him like that and shifted uncomfortably.

"What?" he asked slowly.

Pointing the fry at him, she said, "I think you should take some time off from your little…delivery business."

Cloud's eyebrows lifted obligingly. "Oh?"

Yuffie nodded. "You like weapons, right? You could make them and sell them, yeah? Out of Wutai, of course, so I can make sure you don't slice off a limb or shoot your foot with one."

"A weaponsmith?"

"Yep."

Cloud frowned. "I only know about swords and the rifles Shinra issued in SOLDIER."

"Well, you could talk to Cid and Vincent and Red. Plus, we have some dealers in Wutai you could learn from."

"If you already have dealers there, why do you need me?"

Yuffie rolled her eyes. "Duh. You're a Jenova War Hero and you'd be selling the type of weapons that helped save the world. It'd be great for the economy."

Cloud smirked. "Becoming a real diplomat, aren't you?"

Yuffie blushed slightly. "Oh, shut it."

"Why the sudden interest in my profession?" he asked, half-teasing, half-serious.

Yuffie shrugged. "You can only drift for so long… Besides, it sucks that I have to be all mature and take up the family reigns while you're gallivanting all around the continents."

Cloud smiled, bowing his head to hide his amusement. He looked back up, "Is that all?"

Yuffie shifted. "Of course. What else would there be?"

Cloud shrugged.

"Well, then this was fun. I should get going and I'm guessing Rufus has another delivery for you?"

He rolled his eyes, causing Yuffie to smirk.

"How'd you guess?"

Yuffie snorted. "Actually, he told me about it."

Cloud looked at her, his eyebrows raised.

"What? Rufus and I talk…sometimes."

"Sometimes?" Cloud questioned. "Like, how often is 'sometimes'?"

"Just…when I can't avoid it, alright?" She dug around in her pocket and pulled out some gil. "I'll pay, alright? Save your money to buy yourself regular meals. Something with calcium – you look too much like Vincent." Throwing it down, she scooted out of the booth.

Cloud did as well, and they walked out of the restaurant. Outside, he paused as Yuffie stopped and turned to face him.

"So," she started. "Think about coming to the Con, 'kay? It's in Wutai. I promised Vincent last year that I'd beat his ass in chess."

Cloud sighed as he scratched the back of his head. "Yuffs, I don—" He was cut off as she suddenly stepped forward and on her tiptoes, pressed a kiss to his cheek. He froze and stared at her wide-eyed as she stepped back. Yuffie smiled back, her cheeks slightly red. Cloud felt his own face heat, but Yuffie was already moving away.

She waved to him. "Just think about it, ne?" And then she took off at a jog.

Cloud was still frozen, with his hand raised behind his head, as he watched her leave. Slowly, he let his arm drop as he frowned at her back. What was that about? And why did he feel so warm? Shaking his head, he rolled his shoulders a bit trying to shake off the odd feeling.

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- Day One

Cloud was on the road again. He'd stopped at a small store in Kalm where Rufus had said the package would be waiting. An ancient old man, reminding him strongly of Bugenhagen, smiled at him and Cloud wasn't even sure if the man understood a word he said as he had to say it several times before the man gave him what Cloud guessed was the package. Cloud took it and as he was stepping away, the old man gripped his arm in a death-grip. With perfect clarity, the man said, "Koi wa moumoku."

Cloud had no idea what it meant and asked, but all he got was a dopey smile from the man and another word he didn't know, "Yakusoku.(約束)" Aggravated, Cloud left in a huff. The next morning, he was heading towards the mountain range, looking for an opening as he didn't remember seeing one last time he went by.

Why the hell anyone would need anything delivered out here was beyond him. He was seriously thinking of letting Yuffie have at Rufus, just because the man seemed to abhor hitting women so he wouldn't be able to fight back. But then he'd have to go back to receiving messages from Tifa and he didn't know if he could handle that. She still called and left messages on his phone asking how he was. He never returned them.

His phone rang as if his thoughts summoned it. With his mind still on Tifa, he ignored it and let it go to his mail-box. A darkened spot along the mountainside caught his attention and he veered towards it. He stopped at what could be the entrance and killed his engine. Stepping off the bike, he frowned at the wall before him. It, and only this part, was covered in vines and twisting roots. He walked towards it, but jumped back when the vines trembled.

Frowning, Cloud scratched his head. Pulling out his sword, he tentatively poked at the door. The vines lashed out and grabbed at his sword. Cloud jerked his sword away from their strong grip. Before he could jump back, the end of one vine caught his arm, slicing a deep gash in his bicep.

He rested his sword on the ground while covering his wound with the other. Muttering the words, he cast a low level Cure on it, watching the skin seal back up.

His phone rang again. In annoyance and having nothing better to do, he took it and out and looked at the caller I.D. Your Favourite Ninja, it read. She'd messed around with it a few years back, programming her number in for him and he hadn't thought to change it. Answering, he said, "Hello?"

"Hey, you answered! Good. I just wanted to say that if you need any help this month, call me. My pops is being a jerk and saying I need to stop helping the patrol or teaching classes at my dojo and has my ladies maid guarding me."

Cloud could practically hear her rolling her eyes.

"So I'm entirely too bored and in need of a good adventure."

"What makes you think I'll need help?"

"Oh, Rufus mentioned the place he was sending you to and it sounded a little fishy to me. Are you already there?"

"Yeah," Cloud answered, looking back at the lethal wall. "It's sealed shut however."

"DGI me."

Cloud complied. Pulling the PHS from his ear, he pushed the right button and set the device down next to him. Yuffie's digital image popped up and since she bought him a rotating imager for his last birthday, she was able to look at him and turn to look at the wall as well. Her lithe curves flicked in and out, the mountainside probably messing with the reception.

Once she saw him, she smiled and waved. Cloud smiled back before nodding to the wall.

"It won't let me get near."

Yuffie's image frowned. "How so?"

Cloud picked up a rock and tossed it at the door. The vines sprang into action whipping the rock back at them. It sailed through Yuffie's image as she turned wide-eyed at him.

"What a pissy door."

Cloud nodded his agreement.

"What's the package?"

He pulled it out from the loop on his back. As it was wrapped in brown paper, Cloud shrugged.

"Well, did Rufus say anything when you picked it up?"

"I got it from this old man in Kalm. He said some things I didn't understand."

"What'd he say?"

Cloud shrugged. Yuffie rolled her eyes.

"Koi wa mo-something."

The door gave a lurch but did not open. Yuffie glanced at Cloud wide-eyed.

Then it turned into a frown. "Love also? Love also what?"

Cloud frowned back. "You know the language."

Yuffie nodded. "It's Wutainese."

Cloud looked away, thinking. "Koi wa mou…" he muttered. Frowning, he tried to remember the rest.

"Wait," Yuffie exclaimed, causing him to look up. "Did you say mo-u? Moumoku? Blind?"

Cloud blinked, before nodding. "That's it. Koi wa moumoku."

The door gave a great lurch as the vines retracted disappearing into the stone. Cloud stared at it as he walked forward cautiously. Yuffie watched wide-eyed.

"Love is blind…" she whispered. "Damn you, Godo."

"YUFFIE!"

Cloud turned around to see Yuffie look behind her at something he couldn't see. She whipped back around to him.

"Uh-oh. Gotta go. Be careful, Cloud."

And then she disappeared from sight as she cut the signal.

Cloud went back to his task and gripped the edge of the stone door, pulling it out with all his strength. He got it all the way open after much exertion and peered inside. It was too dark to see anything.

Turning, he walked over and picked up his phone, sliding it into his pocket before activating the flashlight on his bracer. Turning back to the cave, the small beam of light shone through the darkness. Sword in hand and package on his back, Cloud stepped inside.

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Wutai :: Lady Yuffie's Chambers

"Yuffie!" Godo exclaimed, glancing from the digital imager to her. "You were just talking to him, weren't you?!"

"Now I know why you wanted me on house arrest," Yuffie shot back. "You told Rufus to send Cloud on this crazy mission!"

"And you just helped him!" Godo replied. "You know it doesn't count if he doesn't do it on his own."

"The warrior also knows what is going on at the time! You can't just send him off blind! Ugh, this is why I told you not to do this. It's so archaic."

Godo puffed out his chest. "I did it for your mother. It's the honorable way."

"Yeah, well Cloud has saved the world twice now – I think he's proved he's honorable." Yuffie sighed as she sat on her bed. "I thought you were going to choose someone for me, anyway."

Godo lowered his gaze. "…I promised your mother."

Yuffie looked up at that.

"I promised her…I'd let you choose." He shifted uncomfortably. "Obviously, he is the one you want. Now he has to prove he wants you."

Yuffie shook her head. "I was going to talk to him. This isn't right."

"Well, you can talk to him when he gets here."

Yuffie glanced up at her father. "You're so sure he'll make it here?"

Godo gave her a stiff look. "He did save the world twice."

Yuffie glanced at him with a startling realization. "You want him to succeed. He's your pick, isn't he?"

Godo looked uncomfortable. "Honestly. That vagabond? I'd prefer Shinra, but you seem to be more of a man than that yuppy."

Yuffie gave him a less than amused look.

"Look, I'm doing what you want this time and you're still angry with me. What do expect me to do?"

Yuffie rolled her eyes. "Well, I didn't expect my own dad to court a guy for me." She crossed her arms. "He's not from here; he doesn't know the language. This whole thing is unfair."

"It's precisely because he's not from here than it has to be harder," Godo returned. "The people won't accept a gaijin so easily."

Yuffie snorted. "Our people are damned uppity if they won't accept the savior of Gaia and Da Chao."

Godo sighed. "I already told you. This quest renews the power of the Da Chao. If your suitor can save the world yet ignore a thousand centuries of tradition and power, then he is not worthy to lead at your side or sire the next heir to the throne. I do this for your own good."

Yuffie looked at him sharply. "So why didn't you just tell him what's going on?"

Godo sank back. His gaze dropped as he said. "You told me not to."

Yuffie snorted. "Since when do you listen to me?"

Godo sighed. "Since you suddenly became a woman and actually showed interest in a man." He shook his head. "I swear, I was afraid you were going to be one of those lesbians…"

Yuffie threw a slipper at his head.

"Ow! What was that for?"

"So what if I became a lesbian, huh? Think two women can't rule?"

"I think that two women can't produce an heir on their own!"

Yuffie made a dismissive noise. "Please. That's what sperm banks are for."

Godo's head spun. "That is all beside the point." He pointed at her. "You don't have much time before your coronation and though you talk big, I know you don't have the guts to confess to him outright. This way, he can finish the hard part while you work up the courage to tell him how you feel."

Yuffie's eyes looked sad then. "What if he doesn't return the feelings? What if it's all for nothing? I'll lose him as a friend as well…"

Godo sighed, looking very tired then. "Then he is a fool. And definitely not worthy of you."

Yuffie looked up at him, eyes big. "When did you stop being a rat-bastard," she whispered.

His smile was chagrined.

"We all have to grow up sometime."

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A/N: Alright, this is my newest action/adventure Cloud/Yuffie as I've done the pure fluffy romance one. I started this long before Whirlwindaga and I guess I just needed to get that outta my system to regain interest in this. This is currently done and Part II is in progress and my tentative finishing date is this winter *knock on wood* but since Part I is finished, I will post it whilst I work on the rest. As you can see, my Cloud has lightened up considerably from the cold-hearted "SOLDIER" of the game and the angst muffin of Advent Children. =P

Let me know if this perked your interest or better yet, what you thought of the accompanying trailer, for which the link is posted in my profile. Lol, I was just a video editor before I started dabbling with fanfiction XD