Author Never Shuts Up

Li: Who wrote that?

VoR: (snickers)

Li: Roy, go hit him with your sword some. (Roy goes. Screams are heard) Well then, here's the second songfic of the two-shot. This one didn't turn out as well, I think... And yes, I know the part with Aerith is wrong. Gimme a break! I hadn't seen Last Order yet! My friend only showed me the beginning of the flashback and said Zack got shot. Period. Anyway, as the last one was Zackcentric, this is Cloudcentric. I still don't own FFVII or Bon Jovi. (Wow, if I could own them...)

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Cloud sat alone in the room, beside the bed where Zack's body lay. The Shin-Ra SOLDIERS had gunned him down unmercifully. They had come over, looked at Cloud, and determined that he would probably die anyway. He must have looked a lot sicker than he was.

He had pulled Zack's bleeding form upright, helping his friend along, ignoring the older SOLDIER's protests to leave him and escape. He had dragged Zack's bloody self along, wandering Midgar's streets, since the passed-out Zack couldn't give him directions. Finally, he had run into a pretty girl in a pink dress. She recognized Zack, and introduced herself as Aerith Gainsborough. It was her house they were at now.

Aerith had tried every healing spell she had, but it hadn't been enough. And now Zack was gone. Cloud had never gotten to tell him thank you, for everything he'd done.

It's hard for me to say the things

I want to say sometimes

Cloud got up and closed the door. He didn't want Aerith to walk in on him. Tears formed in his eyes as he took Zack's cold, lifeless hand.

There's no one here but you and me

And that broken old street light

Lock the doors

We'll leave the world outside

"Zack..." Cloud's voice shook. "You didn't have to... You reckless idiot... Why did you die? You were the only one I had left..."

All I've got to give to you

Are these five words when I

Tears began to fall. "I miss you, Zack..." He thought back on all the times that Zack had helped him, over the years. From his first day at Shin-Ra, Zack had been there looking out for him.

Thank you for loving me

For being my eyes

When I couldn't see

He remembered when he had gotten hit on the head during practice, and had woken up blinded. He had been in a panic, but Zack had been there, helping him get through. That was when Zack had insisted he move out of the barracks and into his apartment. As Zack had said, "I need to look after you, chocobo-head." Zack had taken care of him.

For parting my lips

When I couldn't breathe

Thank you for loving me

Thank you for loving me

Or when Cloud had had an allergic reaction to something Zack had cooked. Cloud normally cooked, because Zack burned nearly everything, but the one time Zack cooked, he reacted to it. Hives were all over him. Itchy, yucky hives. Zack had sat there with him, holding his wrists so he couldn't scratch the hives. He had been sitting there, humming tunelessly, when Cloud had swayed and passed out. Zack had panicked, recalling from a Shin-Ra health manual that said hives could form in your throat, closing your air passage. Zack had given him CPR until the swelling went down. Cloud owed him his life several times over, and yet here Zack had died for him. He cursed his weakness, that he couldn't help Zack like Zack had helped him.

I never knew I had a dream

Until that dream was you

When I look into your eyes

The sky's a different blue

Zack had been special. It had taken one glance into his Mako-violet eyes to see that. He understood Cloud like no one else. He cared. No matter what kind of problem Cloud had been having, Zack's cheerful personality could have it seem a lot better.

Cross my heart

I wear no disguise

If I tried, you'd make believe

That you believed my lies

Zack always asked after him. When he asked if Cloud was okay about not making it into the SOLDIER exams, Cloud had lied, saying it was okay and didn't matter. Zack had pretended to believe him, even though he knew that Cloud was hurting. But in time, it wasn't a lie anymore. Cloud was okay with it, because he got to stay with Zack. He loved Zack like a brother.

Thank you for loving me

For being my eyes

When I couldn't see

For parting my lips

When I couldn't breathe

Thank you for loving me

You pick me up when I fall down

You ring the bell before they count me out

If I was drowning you would part the sea

And risk your own life to rescue me

"You didn't have to die for me! Why did you leave me here?..." Cloud sobbed, clutching Zack's hand like it could bring him back. If he shed enough tears, Zack would come back. He'd sit up, and laugh, and say it was all a giant joke. But Cloud knew that that was a dream. Zack was gone, and could never come back.

Lock the doors

We'll leave the world outside

All I've got to give to you

Are these five words when I

The door opened slowly, and Aerith slipped inside. She pried Cloud's numb fingers from Zack's hand, hugging the blonde boy tight.

"It's okay to cry, Cloud. It doesn't mean you're weak. It means you're human." she whispered. Cloud sobbed into her shirt, not seeming like he was twenty-one anymore, but the sixteen-year-old he had been when Hojo captured them.

"He was my best friend... My only friend..."

"I know, Cloud. I loved him too. He thought of you as a brother. Always remember that. Live, for him. He gave his life for you to live yours. Don't waste it."

Thank you for loving me

For being my eyes

When I couldn't see

You parted my lips

When I couldn't breathe

Thank you for loving me

When I couldn't fly

Oh, you gave me wings

You parted my lips

When I couldn't breathe

Thank you for loving me

Cloud knew Aerith was right. He decided he needed to live. It was what Zack would have wanted. He'd live their dream of being mercenaries, and hold on to the memories of the one he called his brother. Forever.

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VoR: God, that ending sucked.

Li: For the last time, shut up! (smiles innocently at readers) Review? Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaase?