Rated M: language, sex, and violence

Timeline: takes place before Crisis Core/FFVII

Synopsis: Although controversial, mako injection is the first step toward becoming a SOLDIER. Cadet Cloud Strife is eager to receive his 'rite of passage', at whatever the cost. But when he finally obtains his wish, the side effects may prove fatal.

Author's note: Yaaay! It's my first time ever writing a Final Fantasy story. OuO A smutty one at that too, hah! But yep, I've been inspired to write something sexy between Cloud and Sephiroth for some time. Of course, sexy to me means having a good convincing story with solid characters that stay true to their personalities. I mention this because my story may not come to the sex scenes fast enough, so be warned, lol. However, if you stick with this I think you'll have a deeper appreciation for, not only the plot, but those naughty bits as well. OwO


Invictus

CHAPTER 1: ARRIVAL

Heavy sheets of rain poured by the time the train entered Midgar City limits. Every now and then the gray sky flashed white while the winds picked up and whistled loudly. Staring out through his window, a young man of only sixteen sat quietly in his cabin. Fidgeting with a silver pendant of a Fenrir in his hands, he observed the spectacle outside with intense ocean-blue eyes. Midgar City wasn't exactly the utopia he envisioned or saw advertised in the brochures and commercials. With tall skeletal-like skyscrapers that violated the heavens and various gases spewing from roof top chimneys and sewers, it was an indifferent environment formed by steel and mako energy. As the train passed over a bridge, a massive aerial flat screen flew across the thunderous sky and showcased the new line of Shinra luxury vehicles. More advertisements and flashy city lights littered the scenery.

The young man felt out of place and uncomfortable. He was nauseous from the train's nonstop movement but also from the clustered atmosphere. There were no trees, no flowers, no grass… Even the sky itself was nothing more than a blanket of gray, gloomy clouds. This industrial-driven location felt… so cold.

Almost immediately the young man scoffed to himself. Lord, was he feeling homesick already? Did he miss Nibelheim? Perhaps it was the country boy within him that was taken aback by this new setting. Or maybe he had second thoughts about change. Whatever it was, the young man gently pressed his forehead against the window and closed his eyes.

Granted, it was too late to go back home now. He had sworn not to return until his dream was actualized. It would've been embarrassing to come back with his tail between his legs. And it wasn't like there was much for him to go back to in the first place. His reckless behavior, constant fights, and mischief had effectively caused the townspeople to become indifferent of him. The job opportunities in Nibelheim were also limited. Either one labored at the local establishments with a lousy salary, or worked at the dangerous mako reactor high up in the mountains. He had every reason not to return.

Still. That didn't quiet the little doubts and questions that currently swarmed inside his head. Looking down at the silver Fenrir pendant his mother had given him prior to his departure, it originally once belonged to his late father. His mother wanted him to have it, feeling the gray wolf-like animal would give him strength. However, the young man could hear his mother urging him to come home through the pendant.

"Yo, Cloud! You have the look of a man who has seen a giant-ass Esper. Are you all right?"

Sitting across him in the same cabin was another man: Claudius Tyler. Currently, he wore dark-shaded glasses. He'd been watching a virtual-reality movie with them for awhile. Tall, lean, and handsome, Claudius was a year older than him and had bright orange hair. Like Cloud, Claudius was from Nibelheim and now came to the city to fulfill the same dream. They weren't best friends or anything, but they did know each other since childhood. Admittedly, Cloud did find Claudius to be very competitive and obnoxious at times. Each time they competed in any outdoor activity together Claudius made sure to come up on top, even if it meant taking a few cheap jabs in the process. Love, itself, was a sport for him too. Twice, he successfully stole the hearts of two girls Cloud confessed a liking to, just to prove a point that he was more handsome and charming.

Cloud could only attribute Claudius' personality to his estranged father. Mr. Tyler worked for Shinra as one of their leading architects and made good money from it. While he lived in the city and was divorced from Claudius' mother, he spoiled his son rotten with extravagant trips to Costa Del Solo and the like. Whatever Claudius wanted, he got. In an effort to teach humility to her son, his mother forced Claudius to stay with her and limited his time in the city with his father. That didn't take too well.

"Is it the motion sickness again?" Claudius pressed, breaking up Cloud's erratic thoughts. The man across temporarily lifted up his VR glasses and revealed auburn-colored eyes. "Or are you thinking about SOLDIER?"

Cloud hesitated before giving him an answer. The mere mention of that word, 'SOLDIER', was enough to send nervous knots swirling inside his stomach.

"I guess it's a bit of both." Cloud tried to smile but settled for a slight nod instead. "I don't know. It's just, well… All of this is… new."

"Ah, that's right. This is your first time out in the big city. Isn't it?"

"Yeah."

"Here, this should put you at ease."

With a smirk on his face, Claudius tossed his VR glasses to Cloud. Curious of what he'd been watching for the past hour, Cloud put them on. His eyes widened when he saw a virtual image of a busty woman finger herself again and again.

"What do you think of it?" Claudius asked offhand. "The city I mean."

"It's…" Cloud paused and blinked at the image. "…Big."

"It's not like home, huh?" the other man remarked. "Over here the food is great and the women practically throw themselves all over you. There are plenty of love shacks around the city so be ready to pop your cherry, kiddo."

Claudius guffawed and brushed back a few strands of orange hair from his face. Cloud's own cheeks flushed with color. He finally returned the VR glasses back to Claudius with a slight smile on his face.

Quite honestly, he was excited for these new prospects. He'd never had the opportunity to date a girl before, let alone, get laid. Sure, he had a huge crush on his neighbor, but nothing came of it. She was totally out of his league and her friends constantly teased him. Perhaps now that he lived in a big city he'd find a girl to call his own. And of course, pop his cherry. Yes, that would be nice too.

"It's incredible, you know," Claudius added later, "Both of us are actually here. I'm going to finally achieve my dream of becoming a SOLDIER."

Cloud slightly frowned at that statement.

The dream of becoming a SOLDIER had never been Claudius' dream to begin with. In fact, up until recently, Claudius was slated to attend a university this fall season instead. He was to become an architect like his father. Once he heard about Cloud's intentions of enlisting to SOLDIER, though, the competitive man couldn't help himself.

"I'm surprised your father is okay with you not going to school after all," Cloud remarked quietly. "Isn't he a bit upset that you're enlisting with me?"

Claudius shrugged his shoulders. "It's my life. I'll do whatever I damn well please. Besides, getting into SOLDIER will be a cinch. You've seen me in action, right?"

Cloud grew silent, feeling a bit offended. The path to becoming a SOLDIER was anything but a cinch. In fact, it was an elite military organization that required sheer brilliance and exceptional skills. Even more, SOLDIER was led by an extraordinary General named Sephiroth. He commanded the respect of both rank officials and civilians alike. In short: he was a legend. Cloud could only hope he'd meet him and, perhaps, become just like him someday. It was because of Sephiroth that he was here.

"Taking out those monsters is no big deal for me," continued Claudius. His lips stretched into a broad grin. "I was made to be a SOLDIER. I'm built for it. Although, I admit, I'm more worried about you. Are you sure you can handle it? It won't be a walk in the park, you know, especially since you're a bit slow and not too strong. I'm surprised you're actually shooting for it, quite honestly. I can see you more as an infantry man. No offense, Cloud."

Again, Cloud was speechless. Staring at his own reflection on the window, he could understand how Claudius jumped to that conclusion. On appearance, Cloud Strife had the look of a terrified yet curious teenager: large blue eyes, round cheeks, pale skin, and a few unwanted blemishes here and there. There wasn't anything worth of note, except that he was sixteen and had a dominantly youthful face. On several occasions, Claudius colorfully joked that he looked more feminine than masculine, especially since he sported a lean frame that was practically devoid of muscle mass. It was a sentiment other residents of Nibelheim unfortunately shared. And that wild, platinum blond hair of his… Oh heavens… Yes, he'd need to trim that if anyone was going to take him seriously.

"We are approximately fifteen minutes away from arrival," the train operator announced over the intercom. "Please collect your belongings now. The weather for Midgar City is a cool fifty-five degrees with heavy showers slated to continue throughout the day. For those needing an umbrella, they can be purchased at our concession stand for only one hundred Gil."

"Only one hundred gil?" Claudius muttered with a snort. In a louder voice, he said, "If there's one thing I hate about Midgar it's the weather. Either it's too damn cold or too damn hot. This is bipolar weather we're having, that's what this is. At least the people in the Slums don't have to worry about dealing with this shit."

Cloud tilted his head to the side. "Slums?"

"Yeah. Slums. It's down below."

Cloud stared at him, confused.

Claudius laughed. "This entire city is divided into eight sections that rest on top of a large plate. Didn't you know that, Cloud? My father was one of the main architects who designed it."

Cloud glanced outside the window again, trying to locate said plate. "Are you serious? A giant plate? Midgar was built on top of it?"

Claudius nodded.

Crossing his arms across his chest, Cloud sat further back in his seat. "I guess that explains why I don't see any grass out there. Or trees."

"Uh-huh. Anything below the plate is what we call 'the Slums'. It basically consists of low-life thieves, killers, and rapists. You know… the criminals."

"People actually live under the plate?" At this, Cloud turned to Claudius with eyes wide open. "How can people live under the plate? There's no sun."

Claudius shrugged. "I dunno. They just do."

Cloud's shoulders sagged. He shook his head and murmured, "Living without the sun above your head… without ever seeing the blue of the sky… or feeling the natural winds against your skin… That sounds depressing. Doesn't it?"

That sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach returned, but for a different reason. The idea that people actually lived underneath a giant plate was unsettling indeed. Up until now, he hadn't heard about this, not from the commercials or brochures. Hearing this for the first time… It sounded wrong, somehow.

"Well, like I said," Claudius said, "Only criminals live there. And honestly, if you ask me, they deserve to live in darkness. They've gotta pay for their crimes. Right?"

With eyes fixed on Claudius, Cloud wasn't sure how to react to his words.

"Now arriving at Midgar Station," the train operator abruptly notified. "Please remain seated until the train comes to a full stop. Due to heavy rain, the ground may be slippery. Please exit the train station with extreme caution."

"Well, that's us," Claudius declared out loud and gathered his belongings from below his seat. "We've got two hours to make it to our orientation. My dad already arranged a ride for us so we should arrive there in no time."

His throat dry, Cloud took a deep swallow and remained seated.

Sensing Cloud was still disturbed by the news he'd just heard, Claudius quickly added, "Don't forget why we're here, Cloud. SOLDIER, remember? Don't get too caught up with this city's politics, okay? It's none of our damn business anyway."

For a moment, Cloud considered Claudius' suggestion. It really wasn't any of his business. His eyes darted back to the window nonetheless. There was another aerial screen floating in the air. It advertised Shinra Inc, the masterminds behind Midgar City. They had been the ones to discover the power of mako energy. By tapping into the planet's energy source, the city was supplied with all the power it needed and then some. It was all in an effort to create a 'better world', or so the commercial advertised. When the commercial concluded with a family of four smiling and waving to the camera, Cloud finally looked away and began to collect his bags.

A better world, huh?