***EDIT***

So I made a few corrections here and there, added a few sentences to make some things make more sense. Also took a way a sentence or two that made less sense. I can't believe some of the things I missed in there! Sorry if the correction here makes it seem like a chapter update when it's not!

Okay, editing again here. Apparently none of my page breaks have been working, Sorry for all of the confusion that caused! D:

AN: Hello there!

Thanks for choosing to read my fiction! XD Hopefully you're familiar with FF7 and Skyrim if you're reading this. I won't say this is my first fanfiction, 'cause it's not, but I write terribly so it's almost as if that's true. I'm really not liking the way I wrote it, but hopefully it gets the point across and someone out there likes it. I've had this idea in my head forever, pretty much since Skyrim came out. There's so many places, factions and things that fit so nicely with FF7 characters. I'm not sure if I should have made an introductory chapter for each character before going into the story or just to keep it like this, and have you meet the characters as the story progresses. Let me know when you're done what you think, maybe? Okay anyway, onward!

-I don't own any of the characters, places or names in this story. They belong to their respective owners, Bethesda and Square Enix.

Darkness and burning. It was always darkness and burning. Cloud found himself standing on a ledge of rock. A cliff overlooking all of Skyrim. He even thought he could see southward into Cyrodiil, but it was getting dark, so very dark. The sky was the color of an inferno, with flicks of flame coming down to lick at the tops of the mountains encased in snow. He could see no one else as he continued to look out over the land.

Suddenly the sky was ripped apart by a thunderous noise. Not thunder, but something just as loud, just as shaking. The heavens themselves seemed to cry at the noise. Cloud found himself shaking, not from the noise, but from fear. It wasn't weather making the racket. Something far more sinister. He looked to the ground as a shadow of something very large played out before him. It was huge. And it had wings, that was clear enough. There it was again, that terrible noise, a roar.

Shaking off his fear, Cloud looked back into the sky determinedly. Meeting his gaze was a dragon, black as night yet bright as the sun. He felt a rumbling in his chest, but the dragon was making no sound. His mouth felt suddenly hot as if lava would start pouring out of it at any moment. He felt as if his body would explode, something inside him was begging to get out. The presence of the dragon made it worse. He felt his skin ripping, his blood running, but his heart swelled. His very soul seemed to sing with a rising resonance.

The dragon cocked its head as it stared at him, seeming to question him.

"Will you not embrace your destiny?"

Cloud didn't know how to answer the question asked of him. He never knew how to answer this question. Something in him seemed to know the answer, but the words never formed. As quickly as the dragon appeared it dissipated. All that was left was blackness and rubble. All the cities, towns and villages of Skyrim were reduced to nothing but ruins. Blackened by fire not made by mortal hands.

He never knew what to think of this part. It always ended here. His dreams, they always ended in destruction. "What do you want from me? What am I supposed to do?!"

Cloud screamed and screamed, but only the desolate wind would answer. His vision faded the blackness and ruins turned into faded white, followed by a dark, wooden brown. It was in that moment that Cloud Strife awoke from his dreams. He shook his head. Twelve times he'd had that dream now. Twelve. Did he know what it meant yet? No, no he did not. He let out a heavy, disappointed sigh and started his day like any other day. Roll out of his bed, slowly blink the sleep from eyes and change from his sleeping clothes to his work ones. Hiding a yawn behind his fist, he slipped into his boots and walked out of his room.

Cloud lived in an Inn that his family owned, his mother running the business after his father left for to fight for the Stormcloaks and never returned home. His mother, Avera, ran the inn well in his absence. She was already up and cleaning around the main hall of the inn, her simple green dress flowing about her ankles as she moved.

"Good morning dear, come, sit down and we'll have some breakfast before we start the day." Cloud smiled as his mother called to him, waving him over to the long table on the far side of the inn. His boots made soft clunks on the wooden floor as he passed the large, oval hearth in the center of the inn. Briefly pausing to warm his hands by the fire, he sniffed and sighed happily.

Every morning was more or less the same, he would wake, and his mother would have a meal ready or still be preparing it. It always smelled delicious, every time. He made his way over to his seat, opposite his mother and sat down. Two eggs, four slices of apple and a strip of bacon were already waiting for him on a wooden plate.

"Smells great mom." Cloud spoke as he scooted his chair in.

"Thank you, Cloud, only the best for my baby.''

"Only I'm not a baby!" Cloud whined, Avera smiled at him,

"When I'm old and withered, and you're a man with a family of your own running this Inn, you'll still be my baby." Cloud shook his head with a small laugh,

"A baby that keeps all the nasty skeevers away?"

Avera laughed softly and nodded, "Yes, my brave Baby. Now, let us thank Talos for the food on our table and eat if before it gets cold." They talked about the chores for the day, Avera reminding Cloud of the list of supplies she needed from the caravans and the trade store.

"Now, Cloud, did you sleep well?"

Cloud looked up almost instantly, but nodded, "Yeah. Well, I maybe woke up to cough a few times, but..." The look of disbelief on his mother's face made him stop and sigh before continuing, "Was I talking again? Okay, no. I had that dream again. And I still don't know what it means." Finishing his food, he sat back in his chair, taking a sip of water.

"I wish I could help you know what it means. They say that if you have a dream more than once, it's a message from the divines."

"You really think so?"

"Who knows? I'll bet it will be important, so always remember it, okay?"

Cloud nodded, moving to take his mother's plate and his own, but stopped by Avera's hand on his, "I'll take care of the dishes, Cloud. Grab your coat and let's get started on chores."

After getting his wolf pelt coat, he went outside. Nibelheim was covered in snow, as always. Delicate little flakes falling as the morning sun peaked just over the mountains the town was built on. Nestled in the rocky crags not too far north from Windhelm, he looked as far past the mountains as he could. Off in the distance he could see the dark patch that represented the capital of the Eastmarch, Windhelm the City of Kings. Farther past that if he squinted, he could see the Throat of the World rising up, seeming to melt into the sky. The highest mountain in Skyrim, home of High Hrothgar, the monastery of the Greybeards. On a clear day, he could see almost the entire mountain, save for the very top which seemed to be in the constant grip of a snowstorm, dark clouds with wispy, finger-like tendrils snaking down the mountain side towards Ivarstead.

The blonde had always wanted to visit the home of the Greybeards, see what they did. They supposedly knew how to speak Draconic. For whatever reason, Cloud had always found himself drawn to that fact. Curious about the language itself, despite never hearing or seeing a word of it his entire life. He'd brought up wanting to travel there to his mother many times, but the result was always the same.

"The seven thousand steps are too dangerous!" She would say. "You don't have the training, the skills or a weapon to fend off the creatures you would find on the way up. Stay home where it's safe, honey, please?" And stay home he would. But that didn't stop him from wanting to explore and have adventures of his own. But his mother was here, and he would take care of her as long as he needed to.

As much as he wanted to be like his father, and join the fight against the Imperials, he would stay in Nibelheim. He loved his mother and she loved him and that was all that mattered.

Cloud walked into the stables, grabbing a pail as he went. He stopped at the last stall where a lone cow was. He smiled as she lowed at him, seeming impatient with him.

"I know girl, I know. You can go outside when I'm done milking, and then you can eat all the grass you want. Or can find for that matter." She let out a snort and turned away as he stepped into her stall, pulling up a stool and sitting down. He pet her side, her long shaggy fur sticking out between his fingers. Giving her a last pat, Cloud set about milking her, saying soft words when she got restless.

After he was done, setting the pail down, he led the cow out of the stables, and into a small make shift pasture behind the small structure. The wind picked up a little bit, whistling softly in his ears, the cow simply shaking her bulky head back and forth to get the newly added snowflakes off of her.

The morning passed as any other morning would, Cloud tending to his chores around the house. Chopping wood for the fire, helping his mother clean the inn, buying or trading for supplies at the traders down the street. As the day grew on, the inn filled with people, coming and going. Some of the towns regulars would be there drinking their mead, travelers would stop in for an hour's rest from the road, others would rent one of the five rooms available, but that usually only happened towards the late afternoon or evening.

Cloud's mind wandered frequently, wondering what stories and adventures the people in the inn had to tell. Sometimes he asked them, most of the time they shared happily. He often pictured himself as an adventurer, slaying trolls and proving to everyone in Nibelheim that they were wrong about him. He wasn't too small to do anything. Sure he wasn't as tall as some of the others, but he could be just as strong as they were. He just needed a chance to prove it.

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Zack loved the crisp air of the mountains, the feel of the biting cold on his fingertips. It was a nice change from the weather in Whiterun. Not that he liked being cold per say, just the feel of being alive, to know that throughout everything he'd done, he was still alive to feel cold. The snow crunched under his iron and leather boots as he walked along the well beaten path. Despite the snow falling, the sun was warm on his face, reflecting off the tundra in front of him in bright, almost blinding patches.

He couldn't wait to get back home. Back to Jorrvaskr, home of the Companions. He caught himself smiling widely. He was so bragging at Farkas about this trip. He was dispatched out to a small community just north of Fort Kestav in the Winterhold Hold. The small village was being constantly raided by bandits; most of them just surrendered what goods the bandits demanded, not wanting any more trouble than necessary. They finally appealed to the Companions for help when a few of the women in the town had been abducted.

Zack relived the recent memories of fighting the bandits. After learning the location of the bandit's camp, he and his shield-Brother, Angeal, had run the whole way there. It was a small, unremarkable cave. Angeal laid out a plan of invasion, sneaking quietly in first, assessing how many enemies there was, where the women were being kept, what their weapons were. Angeal had always been the best tactician Zack knew. Although that may have been because he was the only person he knew that planned out an entire battle before rushing into it. Well, Vilkas planned too, but Vilkas didn't take him as a Shield-Brother very often. Angeal usually snapped him up for missions as soon as Zack said he was ready to go.

The lively youth had to hold back a grin as he thought of his mentor. Angeal didn't really say he was his teacher, every member of the Circle taught everyone what they knew, but Angeal took it a step further. He'd take him out for one-on-one practice sessions in the yard, always telling him his footwork wasn't right for the weapon he was holding.

The bandits had put up a decent fight, Zack almost losing an arm to one's battleaxe. Luckily, Angeal had stepped in to block the strike with his own blade.

"Don't lose your focus! Do that again and you'll lose your head!" Angeal yelled to Zack after a particularly close swing from a bandit's blade. He nodded before quickly shifting his stance to meet an orc wielding a great sword. His own blade rose to meet the other in a clash of steel and strength. The orc was stronger than he was, Zack wouldn't deny that. He was; however, much slower than Zack and that was what he was going to take advantage of. Side-stepping out of the sword lock, Zack bounced backwards a few feet, forcing his opponent to meet him again, swinging the sword up above his head before bringing his crashing down on Zack. Only Zack had already moved again. Their skirmish went on for a bit in that fashion, Orc swinging and Zack dodging just in time. Soon the bandit was tired out and Zack was able to finish him off with a slice across the chest.

Angeal had already finished his opponents and was watching Zack's battle with rapt interest. Yelling the occasional "Don't get cocky!" when Zack looked a little too sure of himself. After his shield-brother had finished the orc he gave him a slow round of applause.

"Very good, using your opponent's weaknesses and disadvantages against them is a very important skill. Assessing his speed against your own was very practical. You're getting better and better." As Angeal smiled at him, Zack couldn't help but beam back at his mentor.

"Ow!" Zack was brought out of his thoughts as he felt someone flick the side of his head rather hard. He rubbed at the offended spot momentarily while turning his gaze to his companion, "What was that for?"

"You weren't paying attention. Again." At Zack's sigh and small pout Angeal had to laugh, "I said, we're coming up on a village."

Hurts forgotten, Zack perked up immediately, "Really? What's the name of it?"

Angeal chuckled again, "If you'd been paying attention you'd already know the name. It's called Nibelheim. It's a small place but it has an Inn. We'll get some food, rest there and head back to Whiterun. Sound good?"

"Sound good? I'm starving! How far ahead is it? Let's go Angeal!" And with that, Zack was running ahead down the beaten path. Shaking his head Angeal jogged after him, his armor clinking as he went.

The people of Nibelheim first regarded Zack warily, recent bandit activity made them all suspicious of free walking warriors. At the sight of Angeal though, they put their fears at rest. His armor bore the wolf, the symbol of the Companions. Both Zack and Angeal walked though the wide road that went through the middle of Nibelheim, nodding at the few stationed guards and the townspeople.

"Hail, Companions!" The two waved back, a slight incline of the head towards those that called out to them. Zack loved this part of being in the Companions. The recognition. People thought of him as a fighter, a warrior of honor, as a hero. It was his dream his whole child life, now at the age of nineteen he was exactly where he wanted to be. He shot a smile at two very pretty girls by the door of the trade store; they broke into a fit of giggles as he threw in a wink too.

He all but heard the tired sigh behind him, "Oh Angeal, come on. Live a little! The people love us!"

"Yes, they do. But there's no reason to make a spectacle of ourselves. It's not very-"

"Honorable, I know. Oh hey! I see the Inn! Let's go get something to eat!"

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The inn was warm and inviting, the fire bringing warmth to the two Companions almost as soon as they entered. Both of them shook their heads, sending the snow that was in their hair and on their shoulders fluttering to the floor. Then simultaneously they both kicked the toes of their boots against the floor to knock off the caked on snow and ice.

Avera was behind the counter as they entered, wiping down its surface with one hand, waving them over with the other. "Welcome! Have a seat where ever you'd like, be with you in a moment!" Angeal nodded his thanks to her before grabbing a seat at one of the elongated tables, Zack soon followed suit after grinning back at the Inn owner. She had a winning smile; that was for sure. Her blonde hair made her blue eyes stand out and shine. He briefly wondered if Angeal would get mad at him if let a few flirtatious words slip towards the young beauty.

"So how long are we staying here for, Angeal?"

"Not very long. Just to warm up, eat some food and head back out."

"Aw man, that quick?" Zack was a little put out. As much as he wanted to get back to Jorrvaskr and brag to Farkas, he loved sight-seeing. Not that every town and village looked completely different, most of them looked very much the same. He loved seeing the people and talking to them. Kids were his favourite. They would hang on every word of every story Zack could tell them. Being a hero in their eyes was the best feeling in the world.

Not long after they sat down, Avera hustled over to them, two tankards of mead in hand. "Not very often we get Companions out here. What can I get for you? I've got some beef on the spit and some chicken breasts are almost done. Needless to say I got plenty of bread, fruit and other drinks if you want them."

Zack was salivating at the word beef, he really was hungry. Angeal ordered them for them both, large portions of beef with some bread on the side. Their hostess nodded and with a smile walked away to talk with a smaller blonde boy who, after letting out an okay to her, went out to the back room of the inn.

The two of them sat together for a moment more, Zack sipping his mead timidly. It wasn't often Angeal let him have the stuff while they were away from Jorrvaskr. Not that he outright forbade it, it was fairly commonplace that the two would drink together. Angeal just knew what Zack was like when he was drunk, loud, brazen, cocky, and always looking for a monster to fight or a damsel to save. The older man almost pinched the bridge of his nose in remembrance of the first time he'd witnessed that.

Angeal quirked an eyebrow at the scene before him. Zack and Farkas were up on one of the tables in Jorrvaskr's Mead Hall, having a mock sword fight. At least, he hoped it was mocked. They were swinging rather close to each other. Drinks, food and plates were knocked over and scattered to the floor as they side-stepped and lunged at one another.

"I'm gonna defeat you, evil-doer! And take the fair lady back to her home!" Zack was beyond drunk as he shouted his words at the "evil-doer" Farkas.

"You think you can get through me? Hah, tough chance, whelp!" Apparently not minding being labeled the bad guy, Farkas and Zack continued their duel until Farkas ended up missing a step backwards and falling off the table and onto some, now broken, chairs.

The whole of the Companion's Hall cheered as Zack threw his hands in the air in victory. Angeal shook his head at the whole thing, but smiled none the less. The whole affair started as a promotion of Farkas and Vilkas being inducted into the Circle. Angeal had been a part of the Circle for a little over three months when the twins were brought in. Even Skjor, with his normally serious attitude, was laughing heartedly at the little victory dance Zack was doing.

Aela, another member of the Circle spoke up from her seat, "So whelp, where exactly is this "Fair Lady" you so daringly rescued?" Her arms were crossed across her chest, her own eyebrow quirking, waiting for the 'Hero's answer.

Stopping mid dance, Zack looked around, his eyes settling on the newest Companion, Ria. She seemed to understand what was going through Zack's head and began to back away,

"No Zack! Stay where you are!"

With a giant smile and open arms, Zack leapt off the table, running over and scooping the annoyed girl up in his arms with a laugh. "Right here, Aela, my lucky Lady Fair. Did you miss me?" He made to nuzzle his nose against Ria's cheek, but soon found himself on the floor sporting a bloody nose.

"Don't ever pick me up again Zack!" the apparently not so fair lady shouted, but she had the hint of a smile on her face. When Zack decided to try his luck with Aela, that's when Angeal stepped in, pulling an arm around the teen's chest.

"And that's enough mead for you, Puppy." The group roared with laughter at the nickname, even the leader of the legendary group, Kodlak chuckled.

That night had ended in Angeal dragging and putting Zack to bed himself. The next day it had seemed the nickname Puppy, had stuck; much to Zack's dismay. Angeal had kept an eye on him after that, seeing so much promise and potential in the kid, he wanted to bring it all to the surface. So he helped train him one on one, worked with him on his weapon stances and different tactics. Although, tactics proved to be one of Zack's weak points, hopefully, with time, that would change.

Angeal was brought out of his musings by a young blonde teen with two plates of still steaming food.

"H-Here you go. Beef roast, right?" He set the plates down in front of them after Zack nodded enthusiastically. "Can I ask you guys a question?"

Angeal nodded, taking a bite of his food. Sweet gods, the roast was delicious. It nearly reminded him of his mother's cooking.

The blonde seemed to be nervous, biting his lower lip, wringing his hands, eyes darting about the room as he spoke, "You're in the Companions, right? What's it like there? In Jorrvaskr?"

Angeal made to speak, but Zack cut him off, "Oh the Companions are great! You get to fight bandits, monsters! And everyone knows who you are! You get to be remembered and become a hero!"

Zack fist pumped into the air as he explained excitedly. The blonde was intrigued to say the least,

"So you really like there, huh?"

"Like it there? I love it there! It's everything I've ever dreamed of!" Zack watched as the other teen looked away again, "Hey, what's your name anyway? I'm Zack!" he held out a hand for the blonde to shake,

"O-oh, me? My name's Cloud... Nice to meet you." He gingerly took Zack's hand, blushing as Zack shook it heartily.

"Cloud? That's a cool name! This here is Angeal." He jerked a thumb at the man next to him, "He's my shield-brother. But he's more a mentor than anything. Taught me everything I know!"

Cloud's eyes traveled between the two before speaking again, "Wow... What's it's take to become a Companion?"

"What's it take?" Zack pondered that for a moment. "Well, it takes determination and skill and dedication." He shot a look over at his partner, looking for confirmation to which Angeal nodded before speaking,

"Yes, all those things, but there's more than just that. You need to have dreams and most of all, honor. The Companions are about fighting for Glory and Honor above all things. Showing your prowess in battle, that you fear nothing, never backing down from a challenge." As he spoke, he saw Cloud almost withering. Well, making him unhappy wasn't his original plan.

"But most of all, what you need to be a Companion, is heart. You have to throw your whole self into it. You don't have to be the best at what you do. You don't have to be the best swordsman out there. All you need is yourself, your dreams and your honor. Those will get you though anything the gods can throw at you. If you're interested in joining, you'd have to talk to Kodlak Whitemane. He's the Harbinger of the Companions. He has a good eye for recruits."

Cloud nodded, 'I'll never make it as a Companion... After listening to that, the only thing I have going for me is dreams. I'll never amount to anything but stupid kid that helps run his mother's inn. I wish I was more than this..'

"Think you could tell me about some of your adventures? If that's okay, that is." He looked hopeful as he asked.

He loved hearing all the stories about fighting bandits, trolls and other wildlife that different travelers had told him. He'd never been able to talk to a Companion before. They were rarely in this area of Skyrim. He'd heard so many stories about them. They were the kind his mother read him when he was small. When he was little he'd had a stick that he'd dubbed his "Companion Sword" and went around "slaying" this and that. Most of the townsfolk in Nibelheim ignored him when he'd done that. One girl though, Tifa, had played with him few times. The two of them spending hours playing "Heroes and Bandits". Cloud's mother had watched them with warm eyes and a small laugh. After they'd killed whatever invisible enemy that had threatened the town, she would usher them into the inn where they would have their 'Victory Feast'. But Tifa's father never approved of her playing with Cloud. Nibelheim wasn't big enough to warrant a town hall or mayor or anything of the sort, but Tifa's father was easily the richest man in the village, and he would report to Windhelm with the different needs and such of the town. Having his daughter parade around with the lowly Strife woman's son was almost an insult to him.

"Of course we can tell you some stories!" Zack's enthusiasm brought a smile to Cloud's face; he glanced at his mother for a moment. She smiled and nodded to him, giving him the okay to sit down and listen.

The three sat together for a few hours, Zack and Angeal trading off narrating different adventures they had. Through it all, Cloud was beaming. The three got along very well. Angeal figured Cloud wanted to join, but didn't think himself worth the time of day. Angeal worked to change his mind though the whole night, reassuring Cloud that he didn't need brute strength to make it in their faction.

After a bit, Angeal stood, "Well Zack, I think it's time we took our leave."

Zack pouted, "Aww, already? It seems really late, you sure we wanna go now?"

Angeal looked puzzled for a moment. Had they really sat here this long? He walked to the inn's main door, opening it and peaking outside. A fresh bought of snow was falling, rather heavily and it was indeed late. The sun was almost hidden behind the horizon. He let out a sigh and closed the door, making his way back over to his seat.

"It appears we'll be need to rent a room from you and your mother, Cloud. I didn't realize we'd stayed for so long."

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AN: Well, this isn't my first fanfiction, but it's my first attempt at an FF7 one. Not to mention a crossover FF7/Skyrim story. The whole flow of this is bothering me, and I don't have a beta or anything like that. I have the whole story planned out in my head, but getting it onto paper is the hardest thing when I'm constantly erasing everything I've written because it sounds bad to me.

Any thoughts relayed to me about it would be wonderful! Constructive criticism, Likes, dislikes, flames. I really don't care. But if you have an idea on how this could be better, please share! Sorry this seems to cut off in such an awkward place, but I'm still not sure I like how I wrote it.

Anyway, hope you like it or whatever, see ya later!