This is just a series of little blurbs throughout Cloud's life from his POV that do go in order. Hope you enjoy, and even if you don't, please reveiw. :)

Mom never told me what happened to Dad. It was weird, going out to play with all the kids, and I wasn't only rejected, but I was also the only boy who didn't have a father with him. I once asked Mom about him. She said she'd tell me when I was older. She never did.

She tried. She tried really hard just to raise me. I think she was depressed, and I was really little, so I didn't know what was wrong...I once saw her just sitting alone in a corner, crying. I was maybe five or six. I asked her if she was okay. She told me she was fine. I didn't believe her at all, but she wanted to be alone, so I left her.

She never dated anybody. I realized this when I got older. She was always alone, and sure, I was around, but I wasn't enough to care for her. She had something really wrong with her, but she was so kind. Gentle. Supportive. I wanted to believe she was really okay.

All the kids taunted me for every aspect of my appearance and my social life, but they especially loved to criticize me for living with my mother. I remember all of their words. "She's probably the only girl you'll ever kiss!", or, "What a mama's boy. What a sissy." I learned to tune them out. Until it turned physical.


I stare at my arms. Bruises. I look at my eye. Ugly and black. Healing, but still pretty bad. I've been jumped by those same boys who never failed to call me small and weak and incompetent every day. Worthless. These marks prove it. Maybe I'm really not cut out to be a SOLDIER.


I'm underfed. I'm overworked. My body can't handle all this stress. I'm homesick. I miss Mom. I miss Tifa. Even though she never gave a damn if I died in a hole the next day, she somehow made me smile. Now, I had nothing.

Nothing but a funny-smelling uniform and a reputation for being a sissy. I'm small and thin and frail, while all the other cadets were big and bulky and freakishly strong. I'm the runt. Every day, the instructor screams at me, spitting in my face just because I didn't meet a certain weight or height requirement, while some of the cadets blatantly cheat or cut corners on their workouts. I know the instructor notices. I know he knows I notice. That's why he lets it be.

Why am I even here? What do I have left to prove?


He's probably the first decent guy I've met here. He's strong, he's kind, he's talkative, he's funny, he has a mind of his own (unlike everyone else in ShinRa who's brains turned to jelly when they got pumped with mako), he's a country boy, and he's a 1st Class SOLDIER! I loved listening to him speak. The confidence and charisma he possess are almost tangible whenever he's around. He can make the most boring and uninformative of stories sound exciting and worthwhile, just because it's him speaking, not some cadet instructor with a voice that drones so much that he can barely even be heard.

His name's Zack. Zack Fair. It's an unrealistic thought, but I wish he'd come along on all of my missions. He makes me want to stay here.


Zack's upset. He won't tell me why. But he got a new sword today. He comes into Headquarters late, and he looks like he's about to cry. I've never seen Zack cry. Had I ever even seen a grown man cry at all? Had I known only my own tears?

I don't know what to do, but I want to help him. He's already late, but I ask him out to dinner. He thanks me, but says he'd rather be alone for a while. Once he's gone, I remember a report from earlier today about a 1st Class SOLDIER dying in action. Angeal Hewley. Wasn't he a friend of Zack's?


Zack is probably the only guy I'll ever know who carries a mirror in his pocket. What if it breaks if he's on a mission? What if he gets ambushed while he's checking his complexion? I then kick myself for underestimating a 1st Class SOLDIER.

He's changed his hair. It's longer now; spikier. Not like mine, though; it's more like a porcupine. It would look stupid on someone else, but on him, it looks right. Much to his dismay, however, there are a few strands that keep refusing to be brushed back. They stick in his face. I tell him to ignore it; it looks fine. He worries about his appearance too much sometimes. Maybe he's got a girlfriend.

Like I would know.


We're going back to Nibelheim? And General Sephiroth and Zack are both coming? I don't know what to feel. It'll be nice to see Mom again, if I see her, but something tells me that something is really, really wrong.

Something's bothering Zack. He saw something in that reactor. He's not a man of secrets, but he doesn't want to spill any details. I let it go.

I wish I hadn't.


Smoke and ashes are everywhere. I see people I grew up with falling at my feet. I can't find Mom.

Up ahead of me, I notice General Sephiroth. Good, I think. He'll know what to do. But...He has his Massamune. He stares back at me with devilish eyes, like he wants to look through me; sieze my heart. Overpower me. He's gone in a flash.

I text Zack. Everything after that is pretty fuzzy. I never found Mom. I assume the worst.


I remember bubbles and needles and cold, bony fingers. I think I saw Zack, and he looked like he wanted to help me, but he could do nothing but watch as I was constantly probed and prodded and observed. I remember breaking glass, an arm around my shoulder, and being dragged around like a teddy bear. I could hear people talking, but I heard no words. I remember a lot of gunshots. Especially when I woke up.


Rain mixes with blood, and my muscles ache. All I care about is finding Zack. He's always been there for me. Now, it's my turn.

But I'm too late.

He smiles that gorgeous "everything-will-be-okay" smile, but I just can't fully grasp the situation yet. I don't quite realize that everything won't be okay. The realization comes to me in stages. His chest is torn open. He's got a couple of bullets in his head. Blood is everywhere. His face is dirty, his voice is hoarse, and Midgar is so close, yet so far away. It is only now,as he thrusts the sword he held so dear to him into my hands and whispers his final wishes and promises that I realize what is happening.

His eye close.

I cry out.

And the rest is a blur.