Chapter 1


I'm in the fight of my life. I can feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins as I fight to stay alive. My opponent tried to slash at me with his sword, but I easily blocked it. I pushed his sword back and tried to slash at him like he did to me. My opponent jumped back and swung his sword at me again. I sidestepped and nicked him in his shoulder. My opponent winced in pain before he charged at me, sword raised. I held my sword above my head, trying to block it. My opponent was stronger than me and he knocked my sword out of my hands. My opponent swung his sword at me again, I tried to jump back but I stumbled and fell hard onto my back.

My opponent raised his sword and prepared to take my life. I shut my eyes and waited for…

"Uh, Cloud? We're not actually fighting to the death," A voice tells me, snapping me back into reality.

Okay, maybe I wasn't actually fighting to the death. I look up and my best friend, Zack, is holding his hand out to me. None of that was true, well except for the part when I stumbled and fell over my own feet. Zack pulls me to my feet before I take off my mask, letting my blonde hair spike up again.

"Cloud, why do you have to pretend that every fight you're in is a battle to the death?" Yuffie joked as she pulls on her dark green hoodie.

"Because I have to work hard if I'm going to beat our captain. I need to bulid my confidence so I know I'll beat Sephiroth," I smile at that thought, me captain of the fencing team. That would be so awesome. "Plus if I'm in a sword fight when I'm older I won't get killed,"

"The only thing that it'll kill is your ego," Yuffie cracks a smile at that as she walks to the gym doors and leaves Zack and I alone.

After Zack and I change out of our fencing clothes we begin to head back to my house. Rain sweeps over the town, drenching everything. I pull my hood over my head and run through the waterlogged streets. Zack's, normally spiky, black hair is stuck to his head. As we walk past the convenience store, I can't but notice my favorite group of silver-haired jerks-Loz, Kadaj, and Yazoo.

They're crowed in the alley next to the store, smoking and huddled around someone. I can't see who it is very well, but all I see is straight black hair.

For a second I thought it was Tseng, but nobody, and I mean nobody, EVER picks and Tseng. If you insult him, you're heading straight for hell. I don't who it is, but I can't let Kadaj and his gang pick on someone like that.

"You go on, Zack. I'll catch up later," I tell him as I splash through the streets.

"Cloud? Where are you…" The rain drowns out his voice from my ears.

I head to the alley, holding my head up high. Now I can see what they're up to: they're all huddled around a girl. She's kinda pretty with her long black hair, now dripping wet, and dark brown eyes. She's wearing a soaked black hoodie and the cuffs of her jeans are drenched. She's backed up against the wall as Loz smirks at her.

"Man…its been years since we've had a d*mn hottie like her around her, wouldn't you agree Yazoo?" Loz smirked towards Yazoo.

"Wh-What do you want with me?" The girl stammered.

Yazoo smiled towards her. "Nothing at all my dear, I would-"

"Leave her alone!" I yelled as I step into the alley.

Kadaj snorts. "Well look it's rain," He muttered.

"Cloud," I corrected.

"Whatever," Kadaj turned towards Loz. "Loz, take care of rain for me,"

Loz pulls out a bat and smirked. I growled under my breath as he tried to swing it at me, but I sidestepped and tried to punch him. Loz grabbed my fist forced my arm to punch my shoulder. I jumped away and tried to kick him but he hit my leg with his bat, making me wince in pain. I jumped and landed a roundhouse kick on his side. Loz muttered a curse under his breath and swung his bat as my legs, making me fall flat on my face.

I climb to my feet and I feel my cheek sting. I must have scrapped it against the pavement. Yazoo stood guard next the girl as she watched me with fearful eyes. I let my guard down as Loz hit me with the handle of his bat, knocking the breath outta me. I fall to the ground trying to catch my breath as Loz swing his bat at me again.

"Stop!" The girl darted forward and tried to grab from Loz.

Loz growled and elbowed the girl in the stomach, making her slammed against the wall, dazed and shocked. While he was distracted, I kicked the bat out of his hands; the bat flew across the street and landed in a patch of mud. Loz grabbed me by the collar of my hoodie and slammed me against a wall.

"You brat! You're gonna pay for that!" He snarled and he drew back his fist and attempted to punch me.

I slid out of my hoodie and Loz punched the brick wall. Loz cursed under his breath and tried to kick me. Surprisingly, Kadaj grabs his leg, stopping his kick. Yazoo stood beside Kadaj a defeated look in his eyes.

"Its not worth it Loz, you've already humiliated rain and yourself in front of the new girl. Let's go," Kadaj lets go of Loz's leg and walks out of the alley and onto the sidewalk boarding main street.

Loz sneered at me. "This isn't the end, rain. You'll pay for this," He narrowed his eyes at me before he followed Yazoo out of the alley.

"Are you okay?" I turn around and the girl is holding my soaked hoodie towards me.

"Yeah, thanks," I reply, throwing my ruined hoodie over my shoulder. Nothing a little time in the dyer couldn't fix.

"Who were those guys anyway?" The girl asked as she pulls out an umbrella.

"Well…" I try to find the right words as we begin to walk down Main Street, her umbrella protecting us from the pouring rain. "They're the class jerks-Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz. They pick on EVERYONE, well except for Rufus and his gang, no one messes with them," I explained. "And are you really new here?"

"Yeah, I moved in last week, a small white house on Edge Avenue," The girl replied.

"That's my street! What house number?" I felt my heart beginning to hammer in my ribs.


"That's across the street from my house! My house is the pale blue one with the black door," I described.

The girl laughed to herself. "I guess we're neighbors then! My name is Tifa, Tifa Lockhart. What's yours?" She asked, her beautiful brown eyes twinkling.

"Cloud Strife," I replied as she closed her umbrella.

I was so caught up in talking to Tifa; I didn't realize we were at my house. I smiled at Tifa she darted across the street to get out of the pouring rain.

"See ya tomorrow!" I called.

"You too!" Tifa called back.

I knew I had just met an angel sent from heaven itself.