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"Drop and gimme sixty-nine!" -- Logs
Closed to Cloud(and maybe Zack) 
22nd-Mar-2007 09:44 pm
Characters: Miranda twinguns23and Cloud cutoffmystrings and if Zack wants to help, he's welcome to.     
Where: Miranda's apartment.
Rating:G/PG, I don't think it'd be right of me to scar Cloud too much.
Summary: Miranda offered to help Cloud study for his SOLDIER tests. He takes her up on it.

She had spent all day working on this. Her only day off was spent going through the review books the Academy let her keep. Thankfully, Reeve let her use the printers on floor 65 so she could get this done. She made some snacks in case his mind wandered because he was hungry. She hoped it wouldn't get weird, like that last person she offered to help. She threw on a blazer over her white tank top and buttoned it for good measure. 

The doorbell rang. Taking a deep breath, she turned on her heel and opened the door.
26th-Mar-2007 02:56 am (UTC)
"It doesn't bite, you know." she said entering the living room with books and the mock test. "The couch." She motioned to it. "It's quite comfortable and I suggest you sit down."

She sat down on the chair across from him.

"And you'll have to speak up, I can hardly hear you. You seem unusally preoccupied with your surroundings. Is something wrong? You've been to a study session before, haven't you?"
26th-Mar-2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
That was a good point. Cloud hadn't been to study sessions like this, but he had gone over material with other people before. It was usually sparring or something like that, however, which seemed less awkward somehow. Maybe it was the fact that people tried to knock each other's brains out while sparring, but during a study session like this, they were meant to just sit quietly and talk.

"I just don't usually work like this," he said, to keep it simple. He usually studied alone. He didn't want to appear rude or ungrateful, naturally, so after another moment of hesitation, he sat down.

Miranda was right; it was pretty comfortable. The life of a Turk, he reminded himself. I bet she has good food, too. "So...what do you want me to do? Are you going to quiz me?"
26th-Mar-2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
"That's I what I was thinking, yeah," she laughed as Cloud made himself comfortable. "Lucky for you, the Academy let me keep all my review books."

She set them on the coffee table in front of her.

"But I figured we'd start at the beginning. You don't get into 1st Class by just knowing how to fight. You have to be smart too. Do you know the four rules of SOLDIER? We'll start with that and work our way through the basics."
27th-Mar-2007 02:03 am (UTC)
The toes of Cloud's boots suddenly became very intriguing, and he studied them closely, avoiding Miranda's eyes for the time being. A moment passed, and he looked up at her, then back at his boots, then back at her again. He blanked out. He felt his face heat up with embarrassment as he looked around for a way out of this; he was humiliating himself already.

"The four rules---could you repeat the question?" He stalled for time while he tried to clear his head. How could he have blanked out on Miranda's first question? Panic settled in, and his eyes darted around the room.

A (far-fetched) idea struck him, and he began to fake a coughing fit. If I can't talk, I can't answer her, he figured. "I think that---" A fake cough. "---the four---" Another cough. "---rules are---" A couple more in succession. "---excuse me? I think I need a drink." With any luck, she'd believe his horrible performance and let him off easy with a new question or a break. Before we even started. He winced at his own stupidity and cowardice. Still, he couldn't humiliate himself further.
27th-Mar-2007 04:05 am (UTC)
She knew he was faking, but it didn't bother her that much. She was expecting it. Her years of offering help to lower class SOLDIERS that wanted a stab at the good life prepared her for this.

"Go ahead and get a drink. Glasses are in the cabinet by the sink and there's some snacks on the table if you're a little hungry."

'He's never going to make it if he blanks this easily,' she thought as he made his way back into her living room.

"I'll go easy on you today because I can see you're nervous, but the next session I'll expect you to know it."

She placed the book in front of him. Opening to the first page, she pointed to it. Cloud hung his head in embarrassment.

"Let's try something new. What do you already know for this test?"
28th-Mar-2007 02:30 am (UTC)
Cloud bit his lip and gave a small nod as he thought it over. She guessed. Well, of course, she's a Turk; she wouldn't be stupid enough to fall for that. At least she was giving him another chance.

Since Miranda probably knew that the coughing fit was fake, Cloud figured he didn't actually have to get up and get a drink, so he stayed put and made a few attempts at eye-contact.

"I know...mostly drills. I'm used to physical practice." He tugged lightly on a spike of his hair that fell in his eyes as he looked downwards. "I know some things about materia and weapons, too." I know what was forced into my head during classes, and...whatever Zack taught me.

The blond found himself wishing that his friend was studying with him, considering that it would be much less awkward. Zack's presence would serve to lighten the mood as always, and the brunet would be good for moral support. This is pathetic. It's just a study session, he thought, mentally berating himself for his wishful thinking.

"Sorry, I'm not good at this sort of thing," he tried to explain, picking at a loose thread on one knee of his pants.
28th-Mar-2007 03:35 am (UTC)
"I know you're faking, but I was serious. If you want to nibble on something to keep your mind from wandering, you can feel free. I didn't buy snack food because I eat it."

He continued to pick at his knee threads.

Miranda sighed. He was going to be harder to teach than she previously thought and her patience was starting to disappear. She tried again, hoping he would be a little more cooperative.

"Drills are good. They're very important. They're what make the good from the mediocre. However, the 1st Class SOLDIERs are the one who patch up relations and interact with the people. Not many make it. That's what makes the great from the rest of them. The rules are very important. I saw you talking to another SOLDIER friend of yours? Could he help you? I'd like to teach you but you seem to be having trouble with the simplest things. Maybe you're uncomfortable because of my position?"
30th-Mar-2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
"Huh? No, that's not it. Seriously, I'm sorry." Cloud shook his head and offered her a small, cautious smile. "I like learning from Zack...my friend in SOLDIER...but I can't learn everything from him, and you know more about this than he does, right?" Truthfully, the fact that Miranda was so much higher than him in rank made him somewhat uncomfortable, but mostly because he felt he was inadequate compared to her.

Now feeling guilty as well as embarrassed, Cloud sat attentively with a straightened posture as if hanging on every word that Miranda might say. He knew he must have seemed rude, ungrateful, and immature, so all he could do now was act like an eager student for Miranda to teach.

"I'll listen. I mean, I'll try to cooperate. If I do something stupid, you can...kick me out. If you want to." Cloud shifted in place and sat up even farther, trying to seem as tall and alert as possible. "If I'm allowed to eat something, though...I'd like to have a snack if I could." He felt immediately very stupid for that request, but Miranda had offered, hadn't she? And he would work better on a not-so-empty stomach.
31st-Mar-2007 05:29 am (UTC)
As he filled his bowl with goodies, Miranda sat back, looking over her notes from her first semester at the Academy. They were still mostly legible. Maybe she'd type them out and send this to him later as a study guide.

He returned just as she set a notebook down on his end of the table. She tried to look as comfortable as possible so that he wouldn't lock up again.

"Good, you're back. I figured maybe notes will help so we'll start at the beginning of this book. The four rules of SOLDIER are these:
'React: Quick reaction time is crucial in battle, and the quicker reaction time, the tighter the scale; Respect: Respect your fellow SOLDIERs and they will respect you. In diplomatic missions, the politeness will help spread the wealth of Shin-Ra and Company; Protect: Protect those around you and everyone entrusted to your company; and Guard: In time of war or emergency, you will be the first to keep the peace'. OK, those are the four rules. Before we get any further, do you have any questions?"
1st-Apr-2007 04:29 am (UTC)
Shaking his head, Cloud muttered a quiet "no" and concentrated on remembering what Miranda was saying. if he could remember this now, he wouldn't have to completely humiliate himself if she quizzed him later.

"Actually...if I can ask...why is it so important to 'spread the wealth' of the company? Isn't ShinRa powerful enough already?" He semi-regretted the question, since it wasn't his business and it could have been taken as an insult. "I just mean...it shouldn't be a priority." He hoped she wouldn't be offended by that, since she was in such a powerful position and therefore she was probably very loyal to the company.

Cloud snacked on the food in the bowl in front of him and offered some to Miranda (since it was her food anyway). He felt sort of awkward being the only one eating. "That's my only question. It's stupid; you don't have to tell me."
1st-Apr-2007 04:50 am (UTC)
She declined the snack. Trail mix and potato chips really weren't what she usually ate.

"No. The only stupid question is the one left unasked," she chuckled. "Sorry, that was really corny. I apologize. You must realize first and foremost that ShinRa is an electric company. (At least, that's what they're still telling people.) As such, it is important to gain the most amount of money possible from its clients.(But not like there's any competition.) Any company wants to get as powerful as it can. Now stop looking like I'm going to shoot you. I checked my gun at the guard shack, like we'll supposed to."
1st-Apr-2007 04:58 am (UTC)
"You're...not going to shoot me?" Cloud already figured Miranda wouldn't shoot him; that would be beyond unconventional, and she probably had better things to do with her time. Still, after she said it, he realized he had been giving her every reason to think he was afraid of her. It seemed ridiculous, though he was anxious.

It was actually sort of funny. Cloud gave a muffled laugh, shoving a chip in his mouth and probably looking like he was choking instead of laughing. "Sorry," he said, once he finished chewing.

"You're right. So like you were saying...even though it's only an electric company, it still wants that much power? To the point where it needs to keep expanding?" He raised an eyebrow and asked skeptically, "We're not trying to take over the planet, right?"
1st-Apr-2007 05:12 am (UTC)
"Well, no, of course I'm not going to shoot you. It's just a job after all."

She took a chip, even though she didn't want one. Anything to make him feel more comfortable.

"Whether or not we are, I'm not told. I just do the missions they give me. I consider it a bit of a monopolistic tatic. If they're the only one there, they'll be the only one to make money. Does that make a bit more sense? I don't think you've taken the required business tactics course."

((I pulled the rules out of my butt. I don't know what half this stuff means.))
2nd-Apr-2007 02:35 am (UTC)
"I'm not really interested in business..." It was something he really couldn't imagine himself doing, just as he couldn't imagine himself being a Turk. He'd stop looking for promotions once he was a First-Class SOLDIER.

Which was another thing he was curious about. "What does it take to get to First-Class? My friend is almost there, and I'm just wondering how often he'll be around after that. I know First-Class SOLDIERs get sent out a lot." Uncomfortably, he shoved two more chips in his mouth.

"Sorry, I'm wasting your time with stupid questions. Just ask me to focus, and I will."

((OOC: Well then, your butt produces some good stuff for RPs. ^^ Uh, sorry if that sounds weird. >.<))
2nd-Apr-2007 03:04 am (UTC)
"Business Tactics is a required course. You have to understand how a business works," she said. She paused a minute, hoping that the pause would make him feel a little less intimidated.

"I'm not really that good at business either. Most of the time I fake it, but the higher up you go, the more you need to know how a business works.
All it takes to make it into SOLDIER is to be quick on the battlefield and quick in personal relations, and being well-read is one of those things that will help."

((I actually took a list from my work and tweaked it. A lot. I'm also a writer so it's not hard to wing it! ;p))
3rd-Apr-2007 04:12 am (UTC)
Making a mental checklist as Miranda spoke, Cloud made sure to remember each sentence after she said it. This wasn't as bad as he had imagined after all; it just took a while to get used to being in a room with someone so high above him in status.

"I'm okay on the battlefield...not that great, but I'm getting better." He had been spending more hours in the field than in his room lately in an attempt to balance out his study methods, and he was steadily improving. "I don't know if I'm well-read, and...I'm not too good with personal relations."

He tugged at his spiky bangs and stared at Miranda, concentrating as hard as he could manage. He knew it was impolite to stare at someone, but he didn't want her to think he was zoning out again. Another nagging question popped up in his mind. "Sorry to ask, but...why don't you teach classes or charge money for study sessions?"

((OOC: You're a writer? o___o Ohgeez, I'm so inadequate. >.<))
3rd-Apr-2007 04:16 am (UTC)
"I don't give study sessions...not after what happened in place of our SOLDIER study sessions. Plus, I really don't need THAT much income. I've just not been in the field lately, otherwise I'm never home. If you want, I could help you with personal relations, and maybe lend you a few books to help you become more well-read.

Now why are you staring at me?"

((Not a professional. I'm only writing fanfiction right now, working on ideas, but I'd like to be published in the future sometime.))
3rd-Apr-2007 04:24 am (UTC)
Cloud blinked, startled by the simple question. His first instinct was to look in some other direction, but then it would seem like he was guilty of something. He only wanted to appear attentive.

"I'm concentrating," he explained, then gave up and looked away anyway. He focused on the bowl in front of him instead. It wasn't very interesting, but he didn't want to make the situation awkward.

"Sorry. And I didn't mean to pry. You're making me curious, though. Something happened 'in place' of your study sessions?" He bit his lip. "You don't have to answer that. It's your personal business. Sorry." He bit down on three more chips at once, embarrassed at his nosiness.

((OOC: Do you have an account on fanfiction.net, or do you keep it somewhere else? CanIpleasereadit? ._.))
3rd-Apr-2007 04:42 am (UTC)
"No problems then!" she said smiling. "I thought maybe something was on my face."

She chuckled as Cloud tried to shove three chips in his mouth.

"It's no problem. I brought it up and now I have to tell you. The last study session I had, we ended up sleeping together. Remember that kid when the funny name?
Be careful eating all those chips; don't choke."

((I don't use that account anymore, but I have some FF themed stuff there: The Flower Girl.But I've graduated to adult fanfiction and I write for the Slayers fandom, if you're interested.)),/small>
4th-Apr-2007 03:55 am (UTC)
"You what?" Cloud very nearly did choke then, coughing and sputtering as his hand flew to cover his mouth. Once he recovered, he stared, stupefied, at Miranda.

He really shouldn't have been surprised; Miranda was a highly attractive woman, and it wasn't as if Cloud hadn't heard worse. Still, she had said it with such nonchalance that it caught him off-guard.

"Oh. I'm...sorry...I shouldn't have asked." With both of his eyebrows raised, he poked at the remaining chips in the bowl with a finger, not eating them just yet. "You...slept with him?" It was still Miranda's personal business, but she was already sharing, and Cloud was curious. "How did you wind up doing that, if you were only studying? I mean, we're studying now, but I'm not thinking about that while you're teaching me."

((OOC: Okay! I'll go look. Thank you for sharing. ^^))
4th-Apr-2007 04:27 am (UTC)
((I was going to finish this, with a pretty good backstory too. But I read the wiki article today and realized that my character is actually a guy. Thanks everybody for telling me this sooner! Since I've already done all the work for this lj, I'm keeping it, but changing the character back into what it's supposed to be. So I'm discontinuing this log because after tomorrow it will all be irrelevant. Sorry to do this to you like this.))
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