When Cloud turned thirteen he had begun to have vivid dreams. He would dream of far off lands or sometimes very real places that he knew well. But what stood out most in his dreams was a young boy who accompanied him in all of his dream adventures.
He soon came to learn that this boy, whomever he was, actually was a real person in the waking world. This other boy was his soulmate, the one he was destined to be with one day. He started sharing his dreams with his soulmate at only thirteen years old!
It was a little shocking to hear at first, to know that he was able to share his dreams with his significant other at such a young age. It was almost crazy to believe it, but his mother explained that sometimes it happens. Usually most people started their connective dreams when they were a bit older, but fate sometimes has expectations. Whatever the reason was, Cloud and his soulmate were meant to meet at a younger age.
On top of that, most people still wouldn't meet their soulmates in person until years later. It takes many years before they would ever cross paths or furthermore actually remember them clearly outside of the dreams. It was a little sad at first, knowing that he would dream of this other boy, but forget most things about him when he woke. It was the way of the dreams however, most details forgotten when someone begins to wake.
There were only a few things that stuck with him, and one of them was that his soulmate was a rather cheerful guy. Even if Cloud couldn't remember his face clearly in the morning, he knew that he had a warm and cheerful face.
"When will I get to meet my soulmate?" Cloud asked one day during dinner.
Cloud's mother reached over and placed her hand on top of his. "One day. I can't say when, but there will be a time when the two of you cross paths."
"But I want to meet him now!"
His mother smiled. "I am glad you are excited, Cloud. These things don't work that easily. They take a lot of time."
Cloud sighed, flopping back in his chair. "But I don't wanna keep waiting!"
"That's enough 'buts' from you tonight," his mother laughed. "You just keep enjoying those dreams of yours. When the time is right, you'll know it, and I can't wait to hear about him then."
Cloud thought about what his mom was trying to tell him. He knew that she was right, she was his mother after all and mothers always knew best. So he sat back up straight and smiled at her with the widest smile he could. "Thanks mom!"
That night he fell asleep and when he awoke in the dreamscape he first looked around to take in the view. Tonight's dreamscape seemed to be a vast field that was full of trees and flowers. Currently he was standing on a large hill above the field below him, but it still looked like it was quite the location. It was going to be a great one to run around and play in for sure. Now, there was only one thing left that he had to do, and that was find his soulmate.
Eventually, his soulmate would show up and they would spend their entire dream goofing off and having a great time. It was like this every night, adventures and just a whole lot of playing. It was probably the most fun Cloud ever had in his dreams and he felt the excitement run through his mind and body.
"Hey!" a voice called suddenly.
Cloud turned around to see that a boy around his age was running towards him. He sported spiky black hair, messier than his own, and blue eyes. The two of them ran towards each other until they were wrapped around in each other's arms.
"Hey Spike!" his soulmate cheerfully replied as he squeezed Cloud tightly.
"H-Hey!" Cloud laughed. "Come on! It's not Spike and you know that!"
"Yeah, but we don't remember our names outside of the dream and gotta remember each night. So until then we agreed I'd call you Spike!"
Cloud pushed away from his soulmate, still laughing. "I didn't agree! You just made that up!"
"Guilty as charged! But come on! Let's do introductions again. I'm your one and only soulmate, Zack!"
"And I'm Cloud," Cloud replied once his laughter died down.
Zack reached forward and held on to Cloud again. "I missed you all day! I couldn't wait to see you again! So what should we do today?"
"I thought we would go check out the valley below. Maybe there'll be something cool down there."
"Alright!" Zack shouted as he grabbed Cloud's hand as they headed to the edge of the hill. "Wanna roll down and see who makes it down first?"
The two boys laid down on the top of the hill, Zack gave a count and then they were off. They started to roll down the hill. It started okay at the start, but soon enough they changed their angle they were rolling and bumped into each other.
They broke into laughter, holding on to each other once more. It was hard to explain at first, but Cloud never felt more comforted than when he was around Zack. It was probably because they were soulmates, they were meant to be together and so they felt so happy around one another. Cloud was sure though, even if they were soulmates, they would still be good friends. Zack was just that type of friendly guy that could make anyone feel happy.
After they finished their rolling, they ran down the hill all the way until they reached the bottom. There they stood before the large open field that had many amazing trees that looked perfect for climbing. All the two of them had to do was look at one another, they grinned with a nod and charged towards the biggest tree that they saw.
They were climbing it as soon as they got there, racing each other up to the top. When they got as high as they could they finally stopped to catch their breaths. Even if it was a dream, it felt so real to them and they needed a moment to relax.
"So Cloud," Zack started as he sat down on one of the branches. "Do you remember anything else outside of the dream yet? Anything we've talked about?"
Cloud shook his head. "No not really… I keep trying though."
"Well good! Cause I got more for you to try on! I got some big news to share!"
"I've made it into SOLDIER!"
"Wait! You're serious?"
"Yeah! Did you forget I told you I was in tryouts and stuff?"
"I um… kind of? I remember it was important but I couldn't remember what," Cloud replied as he looked down. He felt a little disappointed he couldn't remember something like that. A key element like that was really important if he was going to find Zack one day.
"Well that's okay cause I forgot if I ever told you before," Zack chuckled.
"Zaaaack," Cloud pouted at him. "Come on, I thought you were being serious."
"I am serious though!" Zack replied. "I actually really have made it into SOLDIER. So now we just need you to remember that."
"I'll try! Cause then I can go to Midgar and I can find you!"
"Yeah then we can be together finally!" Zack said as he leaned over to ruffle Cloud's hair.
"Hey quit it!" Cloud laughed as he tried to push Zack's hand away from him.
"No way! You know I'll be doing this all the time once we are together in person!"
"Not if I can help it!" Cloud tried to push him back when the tree started to shake.
The two boys looked and saw that the tree was warping and changing. Deciding it was best to get away from it, the two jumped off and tumbled to the ground. When they got back up, they saw that the tree had changed into a strange looking doorway with the frame woven from tree branches.
"Whoa…" Cloud muttered.
"Whoa is right, but let's go! The dream is just getting started!"
The two ran off together through the strange new doorway that led them off on the craziest dream adventure of the night, All of it was fun and they barely even realized how much time went by before they were starting to wake up. They knew it was happening though, the world around them was fading away and ground white.
"Looks like someone is waking up," Zack replied. "I wonder who'll wake up first."
"Is everything a competition with you?" Cloud snorted.
"WIth you it is, cause it's fun. But oh! Oh! Don't forget what I said! I'm in SOLDIER and I'm in Midgar! You gotta come and find me!"
"Right! I'll try!"
"You better cause I'm waiting here for you!"
Cloud grinned before the entire dreamscape was white, blinding his vision.
When Cloud opened his eyes again he was in his bed, just starting to wake up. He rubbed his eyes as he let his mind start to clear up and properly get his mind going. Right away he tried to think back on what he had been dreaming. Sadly he had forgotten his soulmate's name already as well as his face, with the exception of that smile. That cheerful and warm smile always stuck with him every time he woke up, and it was honestly nice to have that over nothing.
"Okay… so what do I remember…" Cloud thought as he tried to pull anything else he could out from the dream.
"I remember we were going through that door… running, climbing… he told me something…"
Cloud stretched out on his bed as he did what he could to recall the words that had been said to him. His soulmate had told him something important. Something important about where he was so he could find him eventually.
"He was somewhere. Somewhere important… but where!?"
Cloud sighed loudly, running his hand over his face. He rolled on to his side, staring at the calendar on his wall. Suddenly, his eyes widened as he looked at the image on the calendar. On the top of the calendar was a picture of men standing proudly with the worlds SOLDIER and Shinra at the bottom.
"Wait!" Cloud nearly stumbled out of his bed as he ran over to the calendar to stare at it closely.
Cloud felt his heart racing, pounding heavily against his chest. "He's… he's in SOLDIER!"
"Cloud?" his mother called. "Did you say something?"
Cloud ran out of the bedroom, almost tripping down the stairs. He ran into her in the kitchen and hugged her tightly. "Mom! I remembered something!"
"What? Remember what, dear?"
"I remembered something about my soulmate!"
"Oh honey," Cloud's mother replied, patting his head gently. "What did you remember?"
"He's in Midgar! He just made it into SOLDIER!"
His mother's expressions soften. "Oh… I see."
"It's just that SOLDIER can be very dangerous. You'll no doubt want to go, right?"
"He's my soulmate!" Cloud protested. "I've got to go."
"Ah my little Cloud, so strong and brave at such a young age. There's no stopping you, is there?"
"No, I gotta see him! I don't want to have to wait! This is my chance mom, so please? Can I go?"
His mother stared at him, a smile crossing her face. Deep down he knew that his mother trusted him, but they were all they had. It had been just the two of them for years, so sometimes she was a bit over protective towards him. "Okay, I'll let you go. But you better write to me okay? I want to hear all about this boy when you meet him. You got that?"
"Course mom. I'll do that."
After that, Cloud spent the rest of the day filled with excitement. He was going to not only get out to travel to the other side of the world, but he was going to find his soulmate. Nothing could stand in his way, and he was going to find his soulmate as soon as he could.