How It All Began

Summery: A destiny of Unity Bound by Love. This is how Our Two top SOLDIERs, a rising Second Class Hero and a lonely cadet Became locked in a serenade of romance... Genesis, you better not be talking about how we got together with Reno again! Part of The Foursome Saga. How Angeal and Genesis fell in love with their Ukes.

Chapter three

The Gift of Four

The Three ate in silence, well, Cloud was. Reno and Zack scoffed their food down, like animals starved. Each time he would look at their plates Cloud would notice another drink appearing before the two, another batch of fries and swore the burger kept growing back. Cloud had told them to slow down, Angeal wouldn't be pleased Zack had gain weight and would undoubtedly train him ten times harder. But the pair waved him off, more than once getting indigestion problems and having difficulty swallowing.

"So Zack." Reno asked around a mouthful of burger. "How did you introduce Cloud to Angeal and Genesis? did they take him in an instance, or had to gradually take him in slowly?"

"Genesis practically wanted to snog me senseless..." Cloud mumbled, popping another fry into his mouth. Reno laughed, loud enough to distract a couple just a few tables away, the man sending a glare to the three of them.

"Seriously?!"

Zack nodded, grinning at the small memory, remembering it clearly as if it was yesterday...

---

The VR Training room on the 49th floor was in use, the large spacious training room was, as usual, occupied like every Friday. A Student and Mentor eagerly fighting, in some vain attempt to overcome the other and knock them to the floor. The heat in the room rising rapidly as Cloud, dressed in light clothing similar to a SOLDIERs outfit, began to sweat from the exercise. Zack, dressed in his usual SOLDIER attire, wasn't even breaking a sweat, smirking as Cloud began to grow sluggish.

Cloud had exceeded his normal limit of an hour, Zack was impressed, he would have collapsed to the floor by now and admitted defeat. But he just kept going, his stamina had obviously increased with the regular training. The sweat didn't even seem to bother Cloud. His tail, that usually got in the way and he would step on often, wasn't in the way at all. Close to his body and up high, exactly how Zack had been trying to teach him.

The swings, though becoming weaker from the strains of exhaustion, were still powerful and brought enough force to even sometimes stumble him. His puppy tail wagged in eagerness, but his ears flipped back in concentration. He had a distinct feeling of someone watching them, and he didn't think his pride could handle being beaten by a kitten cadet much younger than him. But his contrasting emotions wanted Cloud to beat him, he wanted it to be a fair fight with both fighting to their limits.

But as the swings kept coming, Zack didn't think he could last long; either Cloud was venting his anger and stresses from the week or he had really trained harder and taken in what Zack and his instructors had taught him.

With a final swing from the Cadet, Zack stumbled back, giving the chance for a swift kick and a quick chance to be knocked down.

Zack could hardly believe it.

Staring up at the panting blond, who had hovered above him, the blunt training sword pointing down at his throat; Zack could finally say he was truly proud. His wide smile, wagging tail and perked ears could be seen in his delight. Cloud would make an excellent first class.

Cloud looked down at him with some interest, expecting some smart ass comment from Zack or him to knock him off his feet. But nothing came, the proud smile on Zack's face bewildered him and he honestly didn't have any words to say. He had beaten Zack, a highly trained First Class SOLDIER. He had knocked him to the floor!

The blond tail flicked and Zack began to chuckle, then his chuckle grew into a laugh, echoing the entire room and causing Cloud to frown in confusion. But when he was dragged down into a warm hug he knew that Zack wasn't laughing at him. The tight arms around him and the glorious laugh made Cloud blush lightly. The oncoming praise finally hitting him that he had taken down a first Class SOLDIER.

"Shit Spike, What did you eat?!" Zack said chirpily, finally letting him go and watching Cloud sit back. "That's the first time someone knocked me down in a while! The Last time was with Sephiroth, even Angeal and Genesis even have a hard time getting me flat out on my back!"

Cloud blushed, feeling the arms wrap around him again as the Zack brought him to stand up swaying his tired body from side to side.

"Come on," Zack said as he finally let go of the disorientated and slightly dizzy cadet. "I'm sure you've worked up an appetite, I have. We'll head back to mine and order out. Sound good?"

Cloud smiled and nodded, following the first class and putting his sword in the small rack of Shinra standard training blades. Stepping out of the room and watching the doors close, he didn't expect to smack right up against Zack's firm back. Confused, he peaked around, his eyes widening as he noticed two the first Class SOLDIERs that Zack roomed with standing before him. Staring at him with some interest.

Zack grinned as he watched the shy cadet step out and salute, putting his hand back at his side and lowering his head, a sort of Cloud salute that he did with all officers. Turning his attention back to the two before him, one dressed in red, the other wearing the same as himself. "I thought you two were on a mission?"

"We arrived early," Genesis said, his eyes honed in on the blond who refused to look up. "Thought we would see what a certain puppy and his student were doing."

"Not only were you both looking slightly exhausted," Angeal spoke, nudging Genesis to stop him staring at the already embarrassed Cloud. "But we see him knocking you to the ground. Something not many could do."

Zack bashfully turned his head away from his lovers, scratching the back of head as he became embarrassed. His own lovers had been watching them, and that dented his pride. "So this is the fateful first class to be, Cloud Strife?" Genesis asked politely, the Zack sort of noticed some hint of lust, knocking him off a bit. Did... Did Genesis like Cloud?

"Y-Yes Sir." Cloud said, finally lifting his eyes off the ground and up at the pair. Genesis grinned, both Angeal and Zack noticing the growing lust.

"Kind of cute," Genesis murmured, only his lover's hearing his words. "Why don't we head back to the apartment? I much need a shower and I'm not having anyone else reeking the place."

Cloud blushed bright red and Zack sputtered as Genesis turned and left. Angeal just sighed and shook his head.

---

"Doesn't say he wanted to practically wanted to snog you." Reno said with a mumble, finally having his fill and leaning back. "I was hoping for some action..."

"You had to be there to see the look," Zack said, taking a fry of his lover's plate, Cloud barely noticing. "His eyes were like, Sephiroth's 'I would eat you now but I'm working.'"

"Dude, how do you know that look?"

"I'm with you most of the time at Shinra, and you normally have to visit Sephiroth when he doesn't exactly want to be at the office." Reno quietly spoke an 'Oh', realizing that Zack was in true sense right and that look Sephiroth gave him wasn't easily disguised. Sephiroth really needed to hide that emotion...

"So how did you guys get together?" Reno said, changing the topic. His green eyes landed on Cloud who shrugged, his tail wrapping around and resting on his leg as he quickly finished his meal, before Zack did.

"Well, It was shortly after... and I was just hanging out with Zack and Genesis after training." He murmured, his voice quiet as he thought hard.

"Ah, so you got to know them?" Cloud nodded. "Did he snog you then?"

Cloud blushed, shaking his head, his ears tilting back as he shifted in discomfort. "It's hard to explain..."

"Then tell me what happened, instead of explaining."

"That's for another day." A deep voice interrupted, the trio looked up and gulped at the stern looks their lover's had. Angeal looked at the empty plates scattered around the table. "How much have you eaten?"

"Uh... Well..." Zack muttered, looking at the pair for back up. Reno ducked his head, trying not to laugh at Zack's nervous look, and Cloud just leaned back and gave a "I Told you so" look.

Angeal grunted and rolled his eyes, "Give you a inch and you take a mile. I said you shouldn't eat anything fatty if you didn't want to do training when we get back. Here you are not only having eaten a burger, but eaten by looks of it, three."

Genesis smirked and winked at Cloud, who chuckled behind his hand. Angeal and his worries were more than a little comical. Especially if it involved a certain puppy and his black hole for a stomach.

"Hey!" Zack exclaimed a little too loudly, pouting too cutely and knowing he would get somewhere with it. "That's hardly fair Angeal! It's my holiday I deserve the right to pig out."

"Angeal's Right." Sephiroth Spoke up, looking down at Reno, smirking at the tucked ears and the downward face. "You too should be in top form in case of emergency. Yes Angeal takes it a little far sometimes, but I do believe that for this time, you deserve the proper punishment."

"The Cadet proves the right way of doing things." Genesis said, still smirking as he planted a soft kiss. "Yet again."

---

Cloud smiled warmly as he snuggled up against Genesis' side, the six of them heading towards the empty beach, a bonus for working for Shinra. The sky above was littered with fluffy white clouds, streaks of white from helicopters and jets flying over head. Small black dots appearing every now and again, the sounds of their engines accompanying them.

His thoughts drifted as he felt the large hand on his shoulder, another placed on the small of his back, Angeal leaning closer and giving him a short kiss to his lips. His golden tail swished and bolted up, the end flicking from side to side as his older lovers held him in their arms.

The adoration he was showered with every day made him wonder why they picked him, but didn't deny that they loved him any less, just as much as they loved each other and they loved Zack. His moments alone with them before they got together was something Cloud kept close to his heart, in a small place along with the cherished memories he shared with Zack before the four of them started dating.

---

The young cadet sat quietly on the bench in the courtyard, a small pathway from one class to the next in an open area. It was also a nice place to study, to sit and catch up and a meeting point, somewhere everyone including SOLDIERs knew. Once in a while even Turks use it as a spot to join up with another, whether in emergencies or just before they did a shift looking after the president.

At that moment, Cloud was waiting for Zack, also getting the chance of silence to complete the textbook he had to read through about Shinra tactics. It was the only book he was behind in, the reason being that Zack had taken the book away and never returned it. He had to go and demand it back when his Instructor yelled at him for not having it for a third lesson.

His ears flipped back, he had a feeling Zack would be late today, recently returning from a mission it was likely he was still in debriefing with Tseng and Lazard. But Cloud knew the mission needed every detail, and being in the main squad he was most likely being pestered for every tiny bit of detail. Not that Cloud minded, he just missed having Zack around.

A shadow blocked the light, stopping him from reading his book as he looked up to see who had interrupted him. He immediately jumped to his feet and saluted, eyes wide, ears high up and tails stretched up along his spine. There was a melodious chuckle and a wave of the hand, Genesis began to talk.

"Zack sends me with a message. He apologizes for not being on time but the debriefing is starting to take a while, Angeal has been locked in a separate room with the same problem."

"So he sent you, sir?" Cloud asked, letting his hand to drop to his side. His blue eyes were still wide with shock that First Class SOLDIER Genesis, followed orders from a new First class. But then again, Cloud already knew about the connection the three shared. Genesis laughed and nodded, leaning against the tree nearest to the kitten.

"He seemed desperate, and when he gets like that it's hard to not resist his pleas. I'm sure you already know?" Cloud nodded slowly, turned his head away and onto the discarded book on the floor next to him. He knew he was blushing, he had just eyed up a man, not just any man but Genesis! His legs felt unstable as his thoughts turned a little down south. He sat, or more flopped, to the ground as he picked up his book and put it in his bag.

Genesis must have sensed the atmosphere turning sour, for he sat down, not too close, to Cloud. "You seem upset about something."

Cloud shook his head, he didn't want to seem weak against the- Sexy, good looking, stunning?- Older male. He barely knew Genesis anyway, how was he suppose to talk to him? He couldn't even talk to Zack sometimes, it felt like he was about to pass out and his throat would usually tighten when he tried to discuss something deep and painful.

"I may not be like Zack," Genesis spoke softly, trying to open him up. "But I can listen, You are Zack's student and friend, and a very good one at that. I've never seen Zack so attached to someone like he is with you."

"Really?" Cloud asked, slightly shocked from the revelation. Was Zack so different around him than everyone else? Did he seem weak? Remembering who he was talking to, he stuttered a quick Sir.

Genesis nodded, smiling ever so softly, seeming pleased he had gotten Cloud to start talking to him. "Mhmm, he seems more... affectionate with you. Like I said it was rather strange he always seems slightly more detached with his friends, but he opens up with you."

Genesis leaned against the tree, his back against the rough bark and his legs over one another, the relaxed posture something strange to see, if not alluring.

Out of the blue Cloud told Genesis, "You should relax a bit more." Which turned into stuttering and apologies. Genesis just smiled at the stuttering though the look of confusion was evident.

"What do you mean?" Genesis asked, the encouraging smile edging Cloud on to explain further. It took a bit of time and hesitation before Cloud spoke up.

"Well..." He started slowly. "Zack always says you're more relaxed in speech when out of the public eye, and you tend to seem more approachable, and you were less intimidating..."

"Slow down." Genesis said with a small chuckle. "You thought I was intimidating?"

Cloud nodded. It was quiet for a moment, Cloud worried he had offended his superior, but Genesis spoke up. "How about we come to an agreement?"

Cloud's tail and ears perked up, thoroughly intrigued at the proposal. "I'll relax around you, treat you as an equal and try to ease my intimidation over you. But, you must open up to me, Ever have a problem you can't tell Zack but you need to tell someone come to me, Okay?"

Cloud smiled and nodded, feeling he had gained another friend... and another crush.

---

Taking the steps to the white sandy beaches Cloud smiled as Genesis gently led him away to some shade in a slightly hurried pace. Angeal had handle Zack less lightly, dragging him into the scorching sun and grabbing the training swords that had been made available for them before they arrived. He chuckled quietly, sitting down on the beach towel next to Genesis, hearing Zack groan loudly, protesting he would most likely get stitch.

Cloud just smiled and watched Angeal return with the swords and handing on to Zack. Though Angeal was rarely seen showing his affection to Cloud, he had no doubt it was there. Shinra, and Angeal himself, had to keep up the status he was still Zack's mentor, even if he reached First class. Angeal was Zack's mentor till the end, and still had to keep training him. Though when the four were alone, Angeal made sure to make his love known to all three of them, keeping them together and holding them close when they needed to.

Angeal was better at comfort than showing his love, but Cloud had no doubt it was there...

From the first meeting, he had no doubt, Angeal loved him.

---

Cloud was never good at making friends, he had difficulty opening his mouth to another. So when Zack offered to be his friend he was cautious, a heart wrenching made up his mind in the end, and his loneliness vanished as soon as his agreement passed his lips. But as he sat under the lonely tree in the training ground, the feeling of being lonely haunted him,taunted him. The tiny, dark voice whispered words in his ears, putting him down further and further. His ears flipped back, curling tighter into the ball.

He didn't understand what he did to upset people, hell, he just walked in the room and he got glares from the rest of the cadets. Was it his looks? his hair? Maybe they knew something about him, maybe he looked weak, maybe it was because of his kitten traits. His blue eyes glanced at the still tail and a snarl erupted deep in his throat, and he grabbed the offending appendage. Why did he have to be a Uke, why was it always him? Why, Why?!

A gentle touch on his shoulder, and Cloud leaped into the air with a startled cry. It was late at night, no one was supposed to be awake, no one wasn't supposed to know where he was! He recognized the voice, deep and commanding, reassuring. He tried to stand to attention, giving respect to his superior, but the hand held on, keeping him sitting on the ground.

"What is wrong?" Cloud looked up again, staring into Angeal's worried eyes. He hadn't the chance to get to know Angeal well, but he was slowly getting used to the idea of having two General like SOLDIERs keeping an eye out for him.

But he didn't want them to see him in this state.

Cloud didn't reply, only letting go of his tail and shifting to get comfortable. He didn't expect Angeal to sit next to him, but was thankful for the removal of the hand. "It's nothing, Sir."

"You grabbing your tail like that is not nothing." Angeal said sternly, but as calmly and as warm as he could. Zack had grabbed his tail in the same manner once or twice, and Angeal had a feeling it was the same reasons. Hearing the quiet sigh, Angeal took it as an invitation, sitting down opposite the blond he waited patiently, knowing from experience that it takes time for people to spill something hurtful to them.

When Cloud spoke, Angeal remained silent and still, only nodding to encourage the blond to carry on. Cloud seemed to spill all his fears out, like a gush of water over a cliff edge, every small problem he couldn't tell Zack or Genesis seemed to slip through his fingers and into the cold damp air... And Angeal listened, he didn't start threatening those who harmed him like Zack did, he didn't question about every small detail so he could make a complaint like Genesis did. Angeal was quiet, calm collected, absorbing the information like a sponge.

It made Cloud feel relaxed, the weight lifting off his shoulders as he explained his loneliness, his fear and explained the small reason why all this had started.

He and Zack had, had a fight.

When He was finished, he waited for some reaction for Angeal, a quote, a scream of anger, something. He didn't expect Angeal to get up, but he expected him to walk away, leave him in the unbearable dark where the voice could harm him again. Instead an outstretched hand was offered, Cloud looked up into the gentle giants warm Mako eyes. No Angeal wasn't like Zack or Genesis, but Cloud started to feel the same love for him grow.

Angeal wanted to protect him, so excepting the hand and following Angeal slowly back to the apartment. Walking back into the imaginary embrace of Zack and Genesis, all the while being held by Angeal too.

---

After a vigorous workout on the beach, Angeal was satisfied Zack had burned off a little of his lunch. Though the puppy complained of stitch as soon as they stopped. Cloud had stayed under the umbrella, book to one side as he lounged back on the brightly colored towel. the book in his hand was something he had to study before the next week, and he hadn't been able to after Zack had hidden it behind the mini fridge.

A Large hand rested on his side, and Cloud smiled as he snuggled back against the warm body, the calm voice whispering across his ear. "Zack would take that book away as soon as he sees you reading it."

Cloud didn't say a word, simply ignoring the comment as he tried to finish the last chapter. His instructors knew He had to deal with Zack on a daily basis, and knew his antics. Cloud simply had to mention one word and knew that he had been unable to complete certain tasks. But he liked to attempt and get most of it done.

A soft pat and suddenly a certain fox appeared before the blond, he tilted his head and frowned at the sudden appearance. Genesis behind him sighed, and seemed to know what Reno had wanted. "No."

"Why not?"

"Because it's late, I'm tired and I'm not in the mood to reveal how we got together." Ah, Cloud thought That's what Reno wanted.

"I think you should." Zack said with a smirk, sitting down and snatching the textbook. Cloud whined and made an attempt to grab it back, only to realize Genesis was holding him. Too tired to care the blond flopped back, grumbling under his breath and allowing his tail to hit the man behind him.

"No, I don't think I should." Genesis grumbled, looking at Angeal for support, eyes widening when he noticed he wasn't going to get any.

"Think of it as payback for yesterday." Angeal said, showing his small grin as he and Sephiroth sat down, waiting patiently for Genesis to do his small sigh, showing he gave up.

---

Modeohiem was well known for it's sudden changes in weather and it's tall mountains. What Zack didn't realize was that sudden weather changes really were sudden. The bright light above that guided them through the twists and turns of the mountains vanished behind the thick clouds. The covering gray quickly showered them with white flakes, forcing Zack, Tseng, Kain and Cloud to take shelter in a small hidden alcove on the side of the mountain.

Night quickly arrived, however, the four of them soon realized that they will undoubtedly be staying the night. The cold weather biting the younger two of the group as they huddled closer for warmth in front of the fire. Zack stood at the entrance, his eyes focusing on one of the millions of flakes that floated down, when Tseng approached him. The calm Turk, though didn't seem the least bit bothered about the sudden onslaught of cold, shivered, unnoticed by the Cadets.

"Looks like we're stuck here for a bit." Zack proclaimed without prompt. Tseng hummed in agreement next to him, before turning his head to look over his shoulder, at the two dozing cadets. Zack also turned his attention to them, but more so to Cloud, who in his sleeping state, had unconsciously wrapped his thin tail around Kain. The flash of jealousy flared up within him, he tried to hide it, but Tseng noticed all too quickly.

"You should try to contact Angeal and Genesis," Tseng said quietly, not to disturb the cadets but also to make sure the conversation stays between them. "You need to see how they feel about this interest of yours. You can't let it build up."

Zack nodded in reply, his tail wrapping around him to try and keep some body warmth. As Tseng left to tend to the fire, Zack whipped out his phone from his pocket. The puppy had promised he would phone his lovers that evening to tell them how everything was going.

The mission to Modeohiem was out of the blue, suddenly announced by Lazard. It was a simple clear out mission, one which he would think benefit the two top Cadets. Zack thought he was just going to assess them, he didn't know A) Cloud was going, and B) that he would be having to kill the source of the infestation. Angeal Wasn't impressed as usual, but he knew Zack would have to start doing dangerous missions now he was a 1st class.

The phone rang on the other end, and Zack began to worry the signal might have been too weak to keep a sturdy conversation. Just as he was about to give up he heard a deep worried voice on the other end, and he hoped the other could hear him. "Angeal?"

There was silence on the other end for a few moments then Angeal's deep voice returned with a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness... yu-... -kay. How's... Mission?"

The signal was bad, hearing only glimpses of the sentence, but Zack still tried. He wandered around the front of the cave, shivering and asking Angeal to say something for the poor signal. When he got the closes he knew he would get to having a decent signal in the horrible area. "Yeah mission is going okay, we've been hit by a snow storm and we have to stay in a small cave Tseng found."

"How is every-...-ne?" Well the signal is getting there... Zack thought as he remained standing in one place. No doubt Genesis was already asleep and Angeal had been sitting up waiting for him to call as promised.

"They're okay." Zack spoke softly turning his head to the sleeping angelic Cadet. It warmed Zack's heart and finally brought the courage to ask Angeal the nagging question. "hey Angeal?"

"Yes Zack?" Angeal answered immediately, the tone of worry growing through the two short words.

"I-I..." Zack stuttered, turning to Cloud once more and Tseng, who was staring at him patiently, his eyes giving some small reassurance which made Zack nod and smile in thanks. Turning his attention back to the snow outside he thought on how he could explain the dilemma to his lover. "Can I ask you something?"

"Of course Z-..-k, anything." Angeal said, his voice seemingly calm but Zack understood the underlying fear and worry in the question.

"How do you feel about Cloud?" Zack blurted out, shocked at himself he had said that but knew it was a good starting point better than any.

There was silence and Zack started to think Angeal knew where he was going and he was angry, but Angeal soon replied. "He's quiet, but seems to understand everything that is said to him, he's eager to learn and is desperate for company."

"That's not what I asked..." Zack murmured softly. "I asked how you FELT about him."

The silence was back, this time for longer, and Angeal ask a question of his own towards Zack. "What is this about Zack?"

Zack turned his head and smiled, hearing the gentle sigh from the blond as he shifted to lie down on the cold ground in front of the fire. "I think I've fallen in love with him Angeal..." He spoke softly turning his attention to the small crevices on the wall opposite him. "But I love you guys as well. Is that wrong?"

"There is now wrong with falling in love Zack," Angeal explained, knowing it was a similar conversation Genesis and himself had gone through before they introduced Zack to the relationship. "Genesis and I often talked about Cloud, he's quite a sweet character."

"Yeah but... I want to remain with you two. I LOVE you with everything I have, but it leads to Cloud now as well. I don't want to bring him into a relationship if you guys don't like him that way but I don't want to leave you two..."

"Who said we didn't like him that way?" Angeal said quietly, his voice filled with love and affection which Zack knew was directed towards Cloud as well. That made his smile return. "Like I said before, Genesis and I often talked about Cloud about how we felt about him, but we felt you two were more like brothers than anything else so didn't pursue the matter further. Genesis said he would have a quiet chat with him at some point, he's the more romantic out of the two of us, but that meant explaining our feelings to you."

"But you didn't think I liked him that way?" Zack asked in confusion. "Damn, and I thought I was being too obvious..."

Angeal laughed loudly, but he knew it wouldn't wake Genesis, who was snoring louder than ever. "Sephiroth is right, we are blinded." Angeal said in a humorous tone, causing Zack to chuckle. "You sound tired. Get some sleep puppy, I shall speak more when you get back."

Zack hadn't noticed, but now the weight had been lifted he realized that he felt drained, physically and mentally. So he wished his goodnight and sent his love before ending the call and curling up on the floor near Cloud. Both not realizing till morning that they had unconsciously moved closer and had held each other tight through the cold and blustery night.

---

The weather was bad, too bad to continue the mission. But even though the mission was cut short it brought up another dilemma for the team. Because of the dramatic turn of weather they couldn't send out a helicopter, the winds too strong. Their supplies were wearing thin and Zack was starting to worry about Cloud, who was the youngest and also because of his vulnerable state as a kitten. But that wasn't his only concern.

Kain had started become... flirtatious towards him, Cloud was oblivious to it all. Kain had tried a number of things and Zack had knew instantly what the cadet was trying to do. He wasn't liking the idea taking an interest in HIS cadet. Kain was a Dom however, and it was possible he was Cloud's, but that thought ripped Zack apart. He didn't want Cloud to belong to anyone else, but if he tried to explain the idea to Angeal he would say it's out of their hands. He knew that it was a hard fact of life...

"So what's Nibelhiem like?" The deep, sour voice asked, making Zack cringed as he looked over his shoulder at the two Cadets.

"Cold..." Cloud mumbled quietly. "Not much else to say, we're not a community, just live by our own rules and never talk to one another."

"Harsh." Kain said, turning his attention to Zack. "Hey, how long till we can get going, Sir?"

Disrespectful jerk... Zack thought, turning his head to the snowy mountains, the blizzard was still around, not as bad as the first day but still bad enough. Tseng had gone out to see if he could get a signal on his phone, as the reception in their hideout had crashed on them.

"Not for a long time." Zack spat out, hoping Tseng would get back so he could keep an eye on the cadets while Zack let off some steam. Mako eyes darted from left to right, looking out for any signs of life; either a search party, Tseng or a monster or two.

He frowned as he felt someone standing next to him, clenching his fist in case it was Kain he looked down to see worried blue eyes staring back at him. He smiled, his hand unclenched and ruffled the blond spikes. "Hey kid."

"Sir?" Cloud asked quietly once having Zack's full attention. "Permission to speak freely?"

Zack nodded, turning his attention back to the snow and seeing Tseng's dark jacket. The Wutai returned, with nothing but a few pieces of wood for the fire. He looked at the pair without emotion, but Zack knew it was bad news. "Nothing?"

Tseng shook his head, chucking the pieces of wood near the fire so they could dry before being burnt. "I caught glimpses of the conversation, but it sounds like no helicopter can get through so not for a while. I'll need you and this cadet," pointing to Cloud. "To get us some food. Preferably something that might last us for at least another week."

Zack nodded, glad to be taking Cloud away from Kain who seemed pissed off about the plan. Cloud smiled up at Zack, who gave him the go ahead to grab his gun. They were going to need it if they wanted to hunt down something of a reasonable size.

Zack dared to glance at Kain as Cloud quickly grabbed enough clothing to keep him warm, some bullets and his standard Shinra Rifle. Kain didn't look at all impressed, like a teenager denied of his release. The SOLDIER was angered, realizing that the sweet and innocent Kain Zack thought he could trust was looking for a good time. Even if it was at the expense of it being a vulnerable person such as Cloud. They never change.

Giving Tseng a final nod, he placed a hand lightly on Cloud's back and winked at Kain, his ears perked and tail wagged the the angered look which grew ever more.

The pair stepped out into the blizzard and Zack guided them in what he thought was the general direction of the forest. Zack hoping he could get at least something to bring back to show Kain just how triumphant he was.

---

"Isn't that Kain guy the prick who attacked Cloud? You know, when Angeal and Zack Were pissed off with each other. " Reno asked, the name familiar on his lips. Genesis nodded, holding Cloud close, feeling the anger well up in Zack and Angeal as well.

"Jealousy won out," Genesis said softly. "Couldn't have what we had, couldn't have Cloud. That in the end is the price we, and him, had to pay."

"You make me seem like a god..." Cloud grumbled, earning a hearty chuckle from all his lovers.

"Cloud," Angeal said softly. "You don't know how admired you are."

---

Days passed and finally the wind let up to allow them to go back to the Compound. Zack had contacted Genesis, who was having a lazy day, and told them the what had happened. Genesis had spoke of the mission being postponed, until the threat was reported again, to see if the blizzard had wiped the problem out.

For now however, was a time to relax. Angeal and Genesis had duties so it left the younger two to entertain themselves. Zack's entertainment however was getting lost in the woods just outside the training grounds. Though, if Zack was ever asked if he wanted to get lost he would say no, but it was the best moment of his life.

"Zack, it's this way." Cloud, was not enjoying this idea whatsoever. Whatever had provoked Zack to get this crazy idea he was going to make sure it didn't happen again. "Zack, where are you going?"

"This way!" Zack exclaimed, setting off in the opposite direction to what Cloud had said. "I'm part puppy, I should know these things!"

"Well you obviously don't!" Cloud shouted back, chasing him to make sure they didn't split up, that would be the last thing Cloud wanted. "You're part puppy anyway, you're not an adult yet."

"That doesn't change a thing." Zack said, looking down at his companion. "You're younger than me Kitten, so how do we know you're way is the right way anyway?"

"Because, I've been keeping track of where we're going. And to get back is obviously not that way." Cloud argued, noting that Zack wasn't going to give up that he was right. He seemed completely oblivious to what he was saying, and they were heading further away from the compound grounds. Great, if I don't get eaten by a monster, I'll get killed by Angeal for letting Zack walk us off Compound.

Cloud knew Angeal wouldn't kill him, he was the sensible one after all, but the thought was still there in his mind. Zack carried on walking, and Cloud knew nothing he could say would get him to turn back. We're so dead.

"Wow Cloudy--"

"Don't call me that." Cloud grumbled, looking up as Zack stopped. "What?"

Zack just grinned, ruffling soft golden spikes as he strode past, Cloud was curious, his ears flipping back in annoyance as he stared at where Zack was heading, his eyes widened and he followed gobsmacked behind the SOLDIER.

A small, circular opening, surrounded by the dense forest, was filled wild flowers. Butterflies, fluttered from one yellow flower to another white one, each butterfly and firefly lighting the area in a small glow.

"Well, we didn't come across this did we? Wow we must be off track."

"I told you," Cloud mumbled, too entranced as he sat down and admired the flowers, smiling as a butterfly fluttered gently around him. Zack smiled as he watched him reach up and tried to touch the butterfly, giving s small 'meow' as it flew away from his hand. His heart thudded against his chest with warmth and love. He wanted so much to hold and kiss him softly, place him amongst the flowers and kiss him tenderly.

He stepped forward, not noticing the rock hidden amongst the flowers, and stumbled forward. He crashed into Cloud, who gave a yowl as he landed on his back. Zack was in shock, staring wide eye down at his best friend, and crush, who was only millimeters away. His eyes flicked to Cloud's own blue eyes, then to the soft pliant lips that were slightly open and panting. This is too tempting... Zack thought as he lowered his lips a little, smiling a little as Cloud lifted his head so their lips were only a short distance away. You tease.

Their lips touched.

Shy tentative movements from both made them blush, Zack's tail wagged happily, in slow but sure movements. They pulled apart, both smiling, both blushing, but happy. They didn't notice a certain presence, until a small cough and stifled snickering drew them out of their romantic moment.

Turning their heads sharply to the left, their cheeks reddening and this time not from the mind numbing kiss. Genesis and Angeal had been watching them, finally finishing their paperwork they were on the search for their puppy and his Kitten student, neither expecting the sight before them, as tempting as it was.

"Uhh..." Zack mumbled, completely gobsmacked and embarrassed he had been caught. He didn't even want to contemplate how bright red Cloud had gone.

"See?" Genesis spoke turning his head to their older lover. "Kittens and puppies like to play adult games too."

Cloud choked in surprised and Zack turned a deeper shade of red. Angeal rolled his eyes at Genesis, stepping towards the pair as they scrambled up. Cloud was standing slightly behind Zack, fearful of the first class. He had heard about times when they had gotten angry, and they've have been rumored to kill people. I'm going to die, I'm going to die...

Gloved fingers touched his skin, just under his chin. The grip wasn't hard, but Cloud was still unable to move, waiting for a certain strike. But instead, his head was lifted up, and he was ordered to open his eyes. He did so, only slightly, and could see the bright Mako eyes filled with warmth and love staring down at him. "I can still see the same attraction I found when I first saw you..."

Lips descended and Cloud was still too stunned to move, there was a slightly amount of movement and soon he was pulled away from the tender kiss and pulled into another, this time by Genesis. When he was released from the last kiss he finally felt the warmth of love overwhelm him. Genesis, Angeal and Zack who looked at him with a small lovingly smile. Cloud didn't feel like he deserved it, and voiced his concern. But Genesis just shook his head, pulling him close.

"You deserve nothing less little kitten. "

---

The day came the five of them had to return, but they weren't sad about it. It has been a chance for friends and lovers to relax in the sun together, reminiscence about the past and look forward to the future. Cloud's final exams before he proceeded onto SOLDIER were approaching, Zack was due to be promoted again and reach his final stage in First Class SOLDIER.

Genesis smiled to his older lover, Angeal sitting on the other side of Zack as the four of them sat on plane heading steadily back towards the doom and gloom of Midgar. Zack and Cloud's heads rested on his chest and he had an arm around the pair of them. The quiet mumblings going on between Angeal and Sephiroth, who had Reno curled up on his lap, were just a blur to him.

As he sat back, relaxed and let himself lull into sleep, he couldn't help but feel content with the world. Knowing that when he returned he would have many more memories to make with his three lovers.

Besides, Christmas is coming.

End.

I haven't started the Christmas story yet, but i shall be starting it today. It's possibly going to be called "The Christmas Party" or "12 Things of Christmas". But it shall hopefully arrive on christmas eve or crimbo.

Hope you liked the story! see you soon!