Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII, VII, X and VI.

Author's note: This story just popped into my head, while thinking how Square has done so great with character designs, especially when they came up with Cloud and Squall. I thought that they're pretty much equal with everything. Of course, they have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they stand on the same level. That's what I think of them anyway. So I thought, why not make them rivals in a story instead? I hope this will work out well in the end, but most of all, I hope you would enjoy reading my work. :3

Also, the first chapters of the story are more focused on character introductions and development of relationships. No Squinoa until chapter 4, though I suggest you still read the first chapters so you can keep yourselves on track with the plot. ;)

Please review. Thanks!

The alley was empty, with only the rustling sound of papers filling the already drowning air. The sun has hidden itself behind the clouds to give them way and the perfect signal. People who were passing by coincidentally stopped appearing, as if fate has stopped them from coming.

The empty alley was perfectly reserved for them. They picked the perfect place and the perfect time for the perfect enemy with the perfect reason; settling business.

Nobody was first to appear, they both arrived at the exact same hour, same minute, same second.

The taller one with brunette hair and recognizable scar crossed between his eyes came from the front side of the cursed place. He walked slowly and calmly with his hands inside his pockets, wearing a smirk that wasn't usually there. Cooly, he walked towards the middle, while the others he brought with him followed. His whole gang came with him like they always have everytime an event like this ensues. It strangely constituted of two girls and three boys, but they are never to be underestimated.

The other one, with his signature blonde, spiky hair came from the other side. Unlike his enemy, he wore a plain, expressionless look on his face, even when his eyes were concealed by his black shades. He walked as slowly and relaxed as the other one towards his meeting point with the brunette. He has also brought his own army, which was fairly as equal as with his enemy; two girls and three guys.

The blonde one was the first to speak. "You know why we're here, Leonhart." Of course he does, the idiot that sits next to him grabbed one girl from the yellow head's class, in which she overreacted with by not coming to class for the next three days. Today was the third day, and the final straw in Cloud's countdown.

Squall shrugged. "She had it coming. At least that's what he said."

"Yeah?" Cloud replied. "Did he also see my fist coming to his face that lunch break?"

"Tch." Squall let out a grin. "If it wasn't for her skimpy skirt anyway, he wouldn't do it."

"Then again, he did it." Cloud stated, with conclusiveness in his voice.

There was a long pause, with nothing but deafening silence between the two hostile parties. Of course, everyone knew Cloud was right. He did it, he grabbed the girl in the end and that was exactly why they're here. They are to defend each other's classmate by settling who's right with their fists. That was their main reason anyway, but it was really just their perfect excuse to settle with their deep rivalry. Squall and Cloud have despised each other's guts ever since they stepped into Deling High. Competitiveness has always gotten the better of them, never admitting that they are on the same level in everything. They always resolve in fighting, which they were both good at as well. Both were too proud to say he's wrong, and both were too arrogant to initiate a fight. They find their only excuse through the simplest of things such as this. But no matter how many fights they've gone through, the upper hand was yet to be declared.

"Just admit it!" The petite girl with short, black hair from Cloud's gang shouted. "Your class has done it again because of that maniac friend of yours!"

"No way! It's your fault! You should start telling your slut friend to wear a real skirt and proper panties!" The red haired girl from Squall's gang blurted in reply.

"Luckily I wasn't him. Wouldn't help it myself, I might have done her." The tallest one from Squall's group with short blonde hair said.

"Easy now Seifer, you're provoking them even more." The girl with long blonde hair with a tint of red color beside Seifer voiced in smartly.

"No need, you've done enough. Long before you know it." The girl with long black hair and distinguishable large chest from the other group said with a hint of deep hatred in her voice.

"Boy oh boy. You guys just wouldn't give it up." Cloud's best friend with black, spiky hair followed, as if enjoying this moment.

"We can argue through this our way, if you know what I mean." Said with suavity by another of Squall's tall friends with a long, brown hair tied in a ponytail.

"And end up getting our way." Smirked Cloud's red-haired (and literally RED in color) friend who seemed to be having even more fun than the black haired guy. The tall, bald one standing beside him grimaced and nodded in agreement.

"Ha! We'll see about that!" Another spiky head in Squall's gang with tattoo on his face shouted while punching the air.

While they let their friends argue, Squall and Cloud have never stopped glaring at each other's eyes, planting obvious detestation to each other's souls. They have gone through this same thing several times for years, but the feeling of loathing has not been completely gone, not a single percent of it.

"Well Cloud..." Squall started.

"Looks like we can never agree on anything..." Cloud continued as he removed his shades and threw them away, revealing his piercing sky blue eyes.

"Fuck it! Let's settle this!" The tattoo-faced declared and began to charge towards his enemy.

"Ha!" The red-haired yelled and began to charge from the other side.

Cloud and Squall let all their allies assault each other, until none was left out. Then, the two mortal rivals fought.

Leaving a place she called home has never been an easy task for Rinoa Heartily. But moving to her dad's place because her mom passed away has only made this particular moment of her life even more difficult to bear with. She loves her mom most dearly, she has been her only family for thirteen years. She loves her dad too... well, she isn't exactly sure about that. Yes, he never forgot to give her and her mom everything they need, they were well supported. Nevertheless, he was never present, and he will always be a stranger to her. In fact, she hasn't seen her dad ever since her mom left him when she was four years old and went to the peaceful town of Winhill with her.

But she's gone, and she'll be under the care of no one if she stays. The only person she can live with right now is her father who lives in Deling City.

She doesn't know much about her father, except that he held some decent position in the Deling government. And it was only natural that she wasn't surprised when she found out that she will be staying at her father's huge mansion the moment she arrived.

Butlers and maids in uniforms were lined up to greet the limousine that brought Rinoa to her new home. She was overwhelmed, of course, with the grand welcome she received from people. But sadness was quickly realized when she found out that her father is not present as she searched through; their master doesn't seem to be here. She asked one of the maids who remained smiling and replied "Master Caraway is out for a business trip Ma'am. He wishes to apologize for not being here tonight."

"Please, call me Rinoa." She replied, embarrassed with the new title she acquired in this gloomy house.

"Yes Ma'am."

In her room, she could only do nothing but think. She wished to unpack the luggages herself, but the maids insisted that they do it instead. Her room was as large as her house back in Winhill, and this has only made her even lonelier. Such a big room for one person. She has always felt more comfortable in smaller rooms, she thought they felt warmer.

Everything in this room was extravagant too, from wallpaers, to furnitures, curtains and doors, as if a royalty occupies it. Her marbled bathroom is filled with floral aroma which relaxes her. She has always liked flowers, they always make her happy, and they remind her of the happiest days she had back in Winhill.

By the large window, she stood up and watched the overlooking city of Deling that shone beautifully in the night. This will take some getting used to, she thought. Being the country girl she was, living in the city was completely new to her. She has, of course, gone to some commercial places such as Esthar and Balamb, but this one was completely different from all others. There's a touch of class in this place that demands at least some sophistication from its residents. This thought made Rinoa a bit uncomfortable. Being sophisticated was not something she grew up with. Back in Winhill, she could do anything, and she meant ANYTHING. She can scream, jump, move around as much as she likes. Here dwells a stiff air that felt as if strangling her to act like a real lady. What makes it worse is the fact that her father seems to be one of the well-known rich people around here. But no backing out now, she doesn't have a choice anyway. She has to push through.

"Yeah, this will take some getting used to." She giggled to herself.

Rinoa's first day at Deling High School went, well, how it usually goes for first days. Nobody talked to her except the personnels that she asked regarding the location of her classroom. Unlike the school she had back in Winhill, everyone here had to wear uniforms. Guys wore white button-up shirts with short sleeves and black long pants, while girls wear white blouses with navy blue ribbons matched with the same colored knee-high skirts. She also noticed how she stays with one same class for the rest of the year, as was indicated in her class schedules.

After some searching, she finally found her classroom, which section is apparently called '3-B'. As usual, everyone was standing, chatting with their friends, filling the room with much noise, completely ignoring the newcomer. Classes start at 9:00, and it's only 8:45. No wonder they were taking their time slacking off. Shyly, Rinoa walked through the side of the room and took a sit somewhere near the back. As soon as she sat though, someone has already greeted her arrival.

"You must be the new student." A soft female voice called out to her.

She turned to the friendly person that sits next to her. She has a short brown hair with a dangling blue beads on the left side of her face that flowed with her hair. Her eyes were noticeably strange, because her one eye is blue, while the other is colored green. "Hello!" She beamed at Rinoa with a smile.

"Hi." Rinoa smiled back.

"I'm Yuna by the way." said her new friend.

"Rinoa." Rinoa nodded and gave her a wider smile.

"Where are you from?"

"Winhill. But my mom died and nobody will take care of me, so I moved here with my dad." Rinoa elaborated with no mournfulness, to her surprise.

"Oh... I'm so sorry..." Yuna apologized, who sounded even more saddened than Rinoa was.

"That's okay."

"How do you find this school so far?" Yuna quickly attempted to change the subject.

"Well, it seems different from where I came from, but pretty interesting." Rinoa admitted. She actually enjoyed talking to Yuna, her first friend. For the first time in a while, she felt comfortable in someone else's company.

Yuna let out a giggle at Rinoa's reply. "Well, it gets better."

Right after she said that, the whole room fell silent. At first, Rinoa though their teacher has already arrived, but everyone was not facing the front, they're all staring at the back of the classroom, including Yuna. Rinoa turned to what they were all looking at and saw a guy with spiky blonde hair with black shades entered their classroom. He, whoever he was, did not even glance at everyone and walked straight to his chair at the far back corner of the room, opposite to Rinoa's side. He was followed by another guy with as much spiky black hair, beaming at everyone as he passed by. He took a seat right next to the blonde one.

Rinoa knew instantly that Yuna's "it gets better" meant having something to do about those two. She turned to her friend and asked, "Why?"

"You'll see." Yuna winked.