A/N: First fic ever. Was supposed to be a one-shot but it's coming along too slowly so I split it. Slightly AU, since Cloud was probably already in that testtube at this age. The rest should be coming up in awhile. Read and review please :)

Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII nor any of their characters.

Best friends sucked.

Okay, maybe not all best friends sucked. Cloud was probably just unlucky getting Zack Fair as one. Setting him up on another blind date of all things. It wasn't even really a blind date anymore. Not when it was a second date with the same girl. Hadn't he learned his lesson from the last time? He was suprised she had even agreed, with the way he had walked out on her.

Zack was persistent though. He couldn't count the number of times he had told Zack he wasn't going to date anyone. At least not until he got into the SOLDIER programme. That was his priority right now. He was waiting for someone anyway.

Zack never really listened though, nor gave up. Apparently eighteen was too old to have never had a girlfriend before.

That was bullshit.

There were probably many other guys out there who never had a girlfriend before eighteen. Like... like those geeks who never left their homes. Or maybe one of those social outcasts.


Okay, fine, maybe eighteen was kinda late, but he had a reason! A very valid one. He needed to focus on getting into the SOLDIER programme. He didn't have time for dating. And... well... he was waiting for her.

"Hey Cloud, ya coming for a drink with us?" Cloud had been hunched up on his bed, sulking over the dreaded "blind" date. Looking up, he saw it was one of his bunkmates who had asked him the question.

Shaking his head, Cloud let his head drop once more, resuming his sulking. He had better things to do. Like think of a way to foil Zack's plan. He didn't like going down to the slums much anyway. Visiting them always made him feel guilty for living above the plate.

It was absurd to think that way. He knew that. He should be thankful that he got to live above it rather than under. But none of the people really lived in the slums because they wanted to did they? Was it really fair for him to live above it then?

"Come on, it's our day off tomorrow. Don't be skulking around here alone. Be a sport!" Cloud looked up with a jerk. He hadn't realised his mind had drifted. This had been occuring quite often, recently. Perhaps it had to do with –

There it was! His mind had just drifted again! Maybe he really needed a drink. He had been feeling so tensed recently.

"How bout this, 2nd Class Kunsel is coming with us today. It's not everyday ya get ta go drinking with a SOLDIER." Cloud sighed heavily this time. This persistent man was starting to get on his nerves. Didn't he understand the meaning of no?

"Didn't he just go with you guys last week?" He finally replied, arching an eyebrow.

"That ain't the point here. Just relax a lil' and come drink with us."

"What's this? Cloud's not going?" Kunsel had just entered the dorm and was already striding towards Cloud's bunk. "You know, if you're on punishment duty tomorrow just tell me. I can sort that out for you."

"Oh. Perfect timing," Cloud said, a grin now replacing his earlier irked expression. "Zack set me up on a date tomorrow afternoon."

"Woah. I can't get you out of something Zack gave you. And it isn't a punishment anyway. He's just showing he cares."

"Cares? He probably rigged the whole restaurant so he can watch me suffer in there." Damm. And he had thought he got away with it. A night surrounded by drunk, rowdy men would definitely have been preferable to one of Zack's matchmaking sessions.

Kunsel laughed, shaking his head. "Eighteen is a little old."

"Don't you start on that," he growled, glaring at Kunsel, instantly shutting him up.

"We're going to the 7th Heaven tonight. It's a new bar in Sector 7," Kunsel said, still attempting to convince him.

"I know it. Been there a couple of times with Zack already," Cloud replied, now feigning disinterest. Kunsel had caught his attention. He had actually already been there thrice this past month and that was two more times than he usually went out drinking.

"Well, you could claim a hangover and skip the date tomorrow," Kunsel offered, sensing Cloud giving way. "Zack will be too pumped over you getting smashed that he'll probably even forget it."

"Fine. I'll go this time. But you gotta cover for me tomorrow," he warned, watching with amusement as Kunsel whooped and ran off to tell the others. He didn't really mind going to the 7th Heaven. In fact, he wanted to go. The place was nice. The drinks were good and cheap.

The hot bartender there, whom he'd know all his life, had nothing to do with it of course.

A/N: That reference to geeks, social outcasts and whatnot is in no way intended to offend :p