sucks by itself, but college work plus mono is just the pits. I apologize profusely for the time it took to get this chapter out. But here it is, ladies and gents, the finale. And I know that things will contradict the game and Last Order...but I tried to keep at least some of the things accurate. Hehe, and as usual I couldn't decide where to put the final it spans the parts I think are important. I hope you have all had as fun a ride as I have...oh and keep an eye on my art account, I have a feeling there will be some ZackxCloud and ZackxSephiroth stuff coming soon.


Sephiroth was jolted awake by his head lightly connecting with the steel wall he was leaning against. His eyes opened and scanned the dim corner of the train car he was in. Stretching out his sore back he shifted on the wooden crate he had chosen as a makeshift bed and immediately wondered where his second in command had gone. Then he heard heavy breathing and assumed that Zack was somewhere with Cloud.

You'd think they'd at least have some patience.

Thoughts of when he had been with the raven haired Soldier came to him then, and he decided that perhaps patience was a little too much to ask for sometimes.

As the train exited the tunnel they had been in, moonlight filled up the small car. It was mostly filled with crates and barrels carrying supplies to the towns along its route. Spread out on these were two low class Shinra troopers and the General. Sephiroth finally caught sight of Zack and Cloud, hunched over each other by the open door. Cloud's Shinra mask was discarded on the floor near his feet and Zack was kneeling next to him, rubbing the blond's back as he sat cross legged with his head out the door.


The Soldier heard the command in his friend's voice and gave Cloud a comforting pat before walking over. His eyes glowed a fierce amber as they went from the bright silver light to the pitch black of the corner that Sephiroth sat in.

"What's wrong with Cloud?" Sephiroth spoke quietly, his being on a first name basis with a mere trooper something he'd prefer to keep private.

"He gets motion sick. Really bad. Poor kid was gonna chuck if he kept that mask on any longer," he said as he looked over at the small boy. "We aren't far from the town, so he should be okay."

"Why did he come if he knew we'd be on a train for so long?"

Zack just grinned and Sephiroth shifted his head to a more comfortable position against the unyeilding wall. With a quick nod to his superior, he walked shakily back to where Cloud sat near the door.


As soon as he sat down, Zack heard the quiet mumble from under the blond fringe. He just reached out and ruffled the mass of hair.

"Don't apologize. You'll prove your worth, just as soon as we're back on solid ground."

He carefully looked at the other two soldiers, both of whom still wore their standard issue masks, but judging by their slumping positions theywere soundly asleep.

"Plus Cloud, I would have missed you..." The Soldier leaned forward and brought the younger man's face up in one smooth motion, kissing him softly.

For a second, Cloud completely forgot his motion sickness.

Then the train took a sharp turn and it came back with a vengeance.

As Zack rubbed Cloud's back and held back his hair, he heard a distinctively low laugh that still gave him shivers up his spine.

"Ah, poorZack, his kisses now induce vomiting..."

"Shut up Sephiroth."


"Stop it Sephiroth!"

Zack hated the tremble that cut through his voice as he called out to the silver haired man. But Sephiroth just stroked his hand along the glass, behind which the monstrosity floated. As he turned around, Zack saw nothing of his old lover in those poisoned yellow eyes. Maybe it was the green light emanating from Jenova's tank, or the mako in the area, but it gave Sephiroth an other worldly glow.

He shifted the buster in his hands, gripping it tightly and shifting his weight into a fighting stance.

"You killed all those people. Set fire to the town. Why!"

He had so hoped that it would come out sounding like an accusation. A justification for what he knew had to be done. Less like the pathetic plea for an explanation that came out instead.

Sephiroth was now coming down the stairs to where Zack stood in the doorway. Cloud was tending to the mayor's daughter at the foot of the staircase. Zack knew he couldn't let Sephiroth get past him. He had to protect him.

The sound of the masamune being drawn caused the hair on Zack's neck to stand up. Then Sephiroth stopped, about ten feet from him, bringing the sword up to eye level and pointing it directly at Zack.

"Mother told me to."

The first attacks went by so fast that only the sound of metal grating against metal told Zack that he had blocked the deadly lunge. His feet knew what to do, even on the perilously thin platforms and he found himself pressing back against the masamune as his eyes met Sephiroth's. Nothing.

I should have known something was wrong. All that time in the library in the mansion. Why didn't I get him away from that?

"Sephiroth snap out of it!"

The General grinned and slashed down, forced Zack to back up along the platform. His eyes strayed to his buster, and the thin scratch running parallel to the blade. Sephiroth though took advantage of the distraction and gained the high ground. But neither Soldier pretended that this was the end of things.

With two more jumps they were back at each other's throats, slashing and parrying as they danced along the pipes, gradually moving higher and higher. Zack didn't mind, as long as they got farther from Cloud. If only there was some way he could warn him. Tell him to take the girl and run before he couldn't keep Sephiroth back anymore.

That thought alone made his stomach clench as he lunged forward and found his sword buried not into the soft flesh of his ex but the wall of the reactor. He would lose this battle. There was no way he could win against his mentor. His life boiled down to how much time he could buy for his own protege.

"Give up. You know you can't win."

"I didn't need you to tell me that."

With one last swipe Zack was amazed at how quickly Sephiroth slipped under his attack and the last thing he noticed was the swish of the long silver hair before the General slashed him across the stomach. He rolled down the stairs, trying to wrap an arm around his gut and keep the blood from flowing quite so freely. The solid metal wall of the reactor met his back, and ignoring his wound he pulled himself up so that he was sitting.

Before he could even bring his legs up under him to stand, the masamune slid cleanly home through his arm and his stomach in one slice. The feel of the blade ripping through his back and impaling the wall caused him to finally cry out in shock. As he looked up, he saw no remorse or recognition in Sephiroth's dialated eyes.

"Such a waste."

With just that one lingering sentiment, Sephiroth withdrew his blade and spun on his heel, ignoring the cry that followed it. Zack noticed that everything was becoming fuzzier.

Of course it is. Blood loss will do that to you. Oh God Seph, why...

His arm remained where it had been skewered to his body, the blood cementing his skin to the wider wound across his midsection. He knew that if he ever had the strength to seperate the two, the burning would be terrible. Maybe the two would just stay that way forever. Too bad, it was his sword arm afterall.

Zack blinked and in a moment of clarity realized that he wasn't making sense anymore. It wouldn't be long now.

Then he saw a glint of metal and heard the cracking of glass. Somehow he managed to roll his head far enough over to see Cloud, his eyes glowing almost as brightly as Sephiroth's, with the buster sword embedded in the middle of the Soldier's back. The blond panted erratically, and the hands holding the buster's hilt slipped as the blood running down the blade reached them. Sephiroth just leaned forward, his head landing lightly against the glass tube, as he uttered a broken "Mother?".

Zack wondered when he had dropped his sword, and wished he could see the end of this battle. He knew Cloud was special. He just knew it.


As the truck hit a small dip in the road, Zack felt his body lift up and slam back into the bed. Out of habit he reached out and grabbed the cloak that was wrapped around the young man next to him and pulled him closer. Judging by the way Cloud had been acting since their escape from the lab, he was likely to fly out of the truck if they hit another pothole.

"You awake Cloud?"

The blond just looked up at him with empty blue eyes. He had been wearing the same expression since they had broken out of Hojo's lab. Zack didn't want to know what they had done to the boy for those years. He rarely saw Cloud, and when he did the boy was curled up, his body covered in the blue green veins that showed he had been pumped full of Mako.

"Cloud?" Casting a quick glance at the driver who was off in his own world, Zack leaned forward, taking Cloud's face in his hands. He kissed him lightly on the lips, leaning his forehead against the other. They stuck together with the sweat from driving around in the desert for two days.

Cloud didn't even blink.

He keeps calling me Cloud. I guess that's my name. But...who is he?

Cloud tried to reach up, tried to return the motion to not alienate this man who had saved him from so many horrors. But his body wouldn't move. It barely twitched under his control. The Mako felt like cement in his veins, burning its way through his body as if it were warmed by the sun.

The dark haired man leaned his shoulder against Cloud's, despite the heat that was rolling off both of them in the midday sun. His younger companion was still trying to place him, but all that came to mind was intense blue eyes in the night, fighting with Shinra troops as he sat behind the gigantic sword, protected. That's right. This man kept protecting him. They must know each other. How?

Who are you...

Zack seemed to decide that they had sat still long enough and stood shakily in the truck bed. He wobbled his way forward to speak to the driver, his soft voice frequently breaking into loud laughter. The driver seemed equally entertained and Cloud barely heard him say that they were nearing Midgar.

Midgar, sounds familiar too. Wait, I went there to join Soldier. Thats right, I became a Soldier there.

His eyes were drawn again to his savior. He was wearing a Soldier uniform that had seen its fair amount of action.Rips and unknown stains covered it, some heassumed had to be from their daring escape three nights ago.

He tried to reach up, to pull his hair out of his eyes, it was giving him a headache. But again, his body refused. He tried to call out to the man in front of him, but even that seemed to be too much. God he was tired. Then his eyes caught a flicker of something off to the side. Though he couldn't move his head, he could see out of the corner of his eye. Someone was up higher than them on the cliff.

A sniper.

Cloud started to move. He could finally do it. His arm was shakily coming up. He had to warn them.


And then the black haired man was coming at him, arms outstretched. He never heard the gunshot.

Cloud only felt a sudden warm weight against his chest. A hand clenched painfully tight on his shoulder, and he felt blood splatter on his neck from a mouth that continued trying to breath, even as the rest of the body had already given up.

What's your name?


The end. I wish I had more inspiration for this fic, I would have continued it a bit longer. Sorry readers, hope you're cool with the ending. Gimme a review. I think I'm gonna do a one-shot about Zack and Sephiroth as a prequel to this fic. Tell me if I should or not.