More Than A Dream

It was days like this that made life worth living, Cloud thought as he cuddled back against the warm form besides him. He could hear the sound of two distinctly different laughs break the air as he made a face. "Not funny you two."

"Aw Spike, don't be like that!" Zack chastised, voice still trembling with suppressed laughter.

Cloud growled and hit the older man with a pillow they had knocked earlier from the bed. Zack promptly retaliated. "Enough you two," Sephiroth growled, quickly disarming the opponents. He leaned down and gently gave Cloud a kiss. "Good morning."

"Good morning!" Cloud cheerfully replied. The smile that crossed his face didn't seem to fit, almost as if the muscles weren't used to the motion, but he ignored the feeling. It was easy to do that here; ignore what you didn't want to face. Zack was here, and so was Sephiroth. It was like the events at Nibelheim had never happened. Well, except he too had mako eyes and could match the pair on swordsman ship. They had often practiced together, enjoying the simple pleasure that came from competition on the highest levels. Zack often backed out, claiming he'd rather watch Sephiroth and Cloud dance.

They did other things too, like visit the beach and go walking…. Cloud remembered baking the kitchen a few times. Still, he didn't remember everything that happened here. It seemed like parts of it were missing. The memories he did have were rather disjointed, almost as if the scenes were parts of a movie that had never been edited together. He didn't let it bother him much though; he had a long standing history with memory problems after all.

Truth be told he didn't even know where "here" was and didn't really care. He got to see his mother, Aeris and the two most important people in his life, so why should he worry about it? Stretching slightly sore muscles, Cloud looked up at his lovers and asked, "What shall we do today?"

"Don't tell me you want to get up," Zack mock whined. "I can think of plenty of things to do just staying in bed."

Cloud rolled his eyes. "You always want to stay in bed."

"Spend as many years as I did getting dragged out of bed for drills and the like before the crack of dawn and you'd never want to get up either."

The blond rolled his eyes and tried to settle back in. Sephiroth didn't look like he wanted to move yet either, and the two older men could easily keep him here if they worked together. Still, he couldn't shake the feeling that he had to get up and do something. Cloud hated that feeling. He made him shift uncomfortably on the bed. But why should he feel the need to do something? They never had to do anything here; they lived by their own whims. They had no responsibilities, no burdens, nothing that could tie them down. Everything had ended up okay in the end. They could stay here together forever; nothing was depending on them. Or on him. Nothing at all –

- except –

Marlene. Denzel.

Cloud blinked, surprised at the names that had abruptly appeared in his mind. That's right, he had been taking care of two children, Barret's adopted daughter and an orphan. He was supposed to go on a delivery tomorrow. Tifa would have his head if he didn't.

No, he didn't live with Tifa. He lived with Zack and Sephiroth. They were right here; what was he thinking? Cloud shook his head violently, trying to settle his thoughts. He glanced over at Zack, and noticed that his surroundings seemed to have faded, becoming insubstantial. "Oh no…"

Sephiroth gave him a slight smile and abruptly vanished. Zack managed to kiss Cloud on the forehead before he too faded. "I told you kid, it isn't time for you to be here yet."

"No!" Cloud cried, fighting to stay. He wanted to stay here, where things were peaceful. He didn't want to go back there, where every day was just another day spent waiting for life to be over, trapped by loneliness. "Seph! Zack! NO!" Cloud awoke, his shout echoing off the walls of the abandoned church Aeris had once visited so often. He sat up slowly, eyes traveling towards the flowers that were the only visible reminder of the Ancient's presence.

"I told you kid, it isn't time for you to be here yet."

"When will it be, Zack?" With that Cloud stood, gathered his sword and headed out. A ride might clear his mind of the dream. If it had been that. And maybe the cry of the wind in his ears would ease his loneliness for a while.