Disclaimer: I don't own FF7 or any of its characters. Which sucks because Zack is really hot.
Here's this one-shot I've been meaning to do for a few weeks now, it's first-person and it's Zack. I'm going to be writing another fic that goes with this one, in Cloud's POV, called Your Promise. So…here it is. Hope you enjoy it.
I remember when I first saw you. I was bored, and it was the day the newly-arrived cadets would all be outside, awaiting to be sorted into their classes and get their schedules. So I went outside to watch.
All the boys were gathered around in groups, chatting animatedly, about their new classes, and how cool Shinra was. I remember how excited I was my first day, too. Soon enough I had hated it, though. The teacher in charge of my cadet class was an ass, and seemed fond of picking me for demonstrations on what not to do because I wasn't up to par with the rest.
"Another antisocial one," I thought, remembering how I first saw you. You were just sitting there off to the side on a bench, arms on your knees and your head bowed. You had hair like mine, spiky and unruly, but it was shorter and blond. I expected your blue eyes to look sad, or lonely, but instead they just looked stubborn and content. Because of your appearance, the first thought that ran through my head was 'Chocobo' and I chuckled.
I decided to force my company on you, so I walked towards you and shouted, "Hey, Spiky!" Since there aren't that many people with spiky hair in the area, or the whole of Midgar actually, you looked up and glowered.
"Nothing personal, just wanted to get your attention," I grinned at you. You told me to go away, but something inside me didn't want to go away. I don't know what exactly is was about you, but I had the strongest desire to get to know you. To become your friend.
You ended up giving me this huge death-glare and stalking off, and I couldn't find you again. But since then, when I saw you in the hall, or at lunch, I always went over to talk to you. You were always by yourself.
Eventually my desire became so strong that I hacked into Shinra's computer to have a look at your profile. Your name was Cloud Strife, age sixteen, and you came from Nibelheim, and it listed your grades and classes. Your written test grades were average, but your teachers commented that you lack the skills to fight.
I used this information to go your class, since I had nothing better to do. Once I saw you there with the class, being paired off to fight fists only, I did notice you had a smaller frame, and were a bit shorter than the others. I wondered what motivated you to come here?
Some students saw me and instantly recognized me, and soon enough I started hearing 'Zack, First Class SOLDIER!' whispers. Hearing my name, I saw you turn to me and groan.
After class I had pulled you off the side, wrapping an arm around your waist so you couldn't run off. You did run pretty damn fast. "So Spiky, what made you come here?" I grinned down at you.
I guess I was starting to wear you down, because you looked at your feet and mumbled about a girl named Tifa and a bunch of other kids back in Nibelheim, and that you were here to prove something to them.
After you (finally) willingly told me your name, despite the fact I already knew it but you don't need to know that I hacked into your file and read about you, I head off to my room. The building had six floors.
The first floor held the cafeteria, the training rooms, the classrooms, the gym, all that shit. The second floor held the cadets' dorms, and they shared two to three in a room. Ah, the good old days. Third, Second, and First Class SOLDIERS got a room, which was bigger, to themselves.
The third floor for Third Class, fourth for Second Class, fifth for Third Class, and the sixth floor for employees and Really Special People. Like the President.
I remembered hearing some kids yelling after I was halfway down the hall. I turned to see some bigger kids shoving you around, and you? You did nothing, just took it. Like it happened everyday, which made me severely pissed off.
I'll just say…I took care of the little brats. I took you to my room to get your nose and other scrapes cleaned up, while saying that we'd be having training every morning at five. Of course you tried to refuse, but I'm your superior. I can tell you what to do, so ha.
I started boiling water for some tea, and while that was boiling I took care of your cuts with my Cure materia. Your eyes were huge and I thought you'd start drooling, and I laughed.
"You'll use these one day," I stated, and for the first time I saw you smile. The walls went down, and I glimpsed the real you. You were lonely, and hated yourself for being weak, and didn't have the most positive outlook on life. I planned to change all of those.
I'd have to say that was the day we actually started bonding. We sipped our tea and talked, but you still seemed withdrawn and shy. I guess that's just a part of you, naturally. You told me about Nibelheim, and that all you had there was your mother. About your crush Tifa, and the other kids that were assholes, and how you came here to prove to them you could be somebody.
We started training every morning, like I said, and after a few months I did see improvement. We became actual friends, and you stopped throwing fits and throwing girl punches at me for calling you Spiky. I also started getting feelings for you, as in more than friends. But I didn't want to scare you and throw away our carefully build friendship, so I kept quiet.
You were really a cute kid. I also found out soon enough that you were also mischievous, curious, and had a knack for drawing trouble. You still got beaten up often, I could tell, but I knew you had started to fight back. I witnessed it one day.
But I guess just losing and returning just a little of their medicine wasn't good enough for you, because I was walking to your room one day when I heard a huge shattering.
I rushed to your room and I couldn't help laughing at the sight. It still put me in fits of laughter when I thought about it later on. It turned out you had snuck some materia from the case down in the gym and tried practicing with it in your room.
It also turned out you didn't know it was a Mastered Shiva materia, and the result of attempting to use your first materia with no guide to help, was a huge hole in your wall (Good thing you were aiming towards the window) outlined by ice, and a path of ice leading from there to you. The temperature had dropped a few degrees.
Your roommate got a new room, and I said you could stay with me. I got permission, and you packed your stuff and moved in with me. Those were the good old days, us staying up late, despite early training followed by classes tomorrow, to wrestle, talk, or sneak out of the building.
I started letting you practice with a Buster Sword during training, since I noticed you constantly gawking at mine. You were starting to develop sinewy muscles, so I deemed you worthy of a sword.
You could barely lift it, but in time you started getting better at it. We started training morning and evenings when the SOLDIER exams were coming up, we both wanted you to pass. You needed to pass.
The day came of the exam, and I waited eagerly in our room for you to come back and give me the results. I instantly knew you didn't make it the moment you walked in, and I dragged you on the bed and gave you the hugest and longest hug. You didn't resist it, instead you broke down and sobbed.
I gently pulled us apart and looked you straight in your eyes. "You've gotten much better, Spiky. This isn't your fault, it's the examiner's. They don't see something good when it's right under their nose. You'll be a SOLDIER, you'll see. In the meantime, I'm here for you. I always will be."
You didn't say anything, and it seemed as if a puppeteer had suddenly gotten hold of me; I couldn't stop what I did next. I pulled you closer again and gently pressed our lips together, and a few seconds later I pushed you back again.
"I'm sorry." I expected you to punch me, kick me, or yell at me. Or all three, then run out like a bat out of hell. Instead you just blinked your surprised blue eyes at me and opened your mouth. I cringed inwardly, expecting the worst.
"You promise?" I didn't know quite what to say. Hell, I didn't know what you were talking about. You noticed my confusion, and elaborated. "You promise you'll always be here for me?"
I smiled. "Of course. I promise you that, Spiky." You returned my smile, and this time to my surprise, you grabbed my collar and pulled me forward until our lips met for the second time, confirming our feelings.
Sephiroth…I don't need to tell you who Sephiroth is, do I? Thought so. Anyway, Sephiroth and I were going to Nibelheim, your old town, to check out the reactor there. I guess your instructors finally noticed your improvement, because you were going to be one of the two guards that came along.
The ride there was boring, I felt bad for you most. I never knew you had motion sickness until..well…we were on the way there. When we got there, your self-confidence dropped like a rock and you refused to take your helmet off.
Things were going fine, but that was before Sephiroth went nuts and set the whole town on fire, killing your mom in the process. There were a lot of deaths that day, and we almost died as well, along with Tifa.
You were the one that ended up impaling Sephiroth on his own sword. That guy had a bad habit of just leaving his sword laying around after he stabs someone, but it's all good for you.
He turned and stabbed you right back, but you survived. We were both severely wounded, and the next thing I know is we're in the hands of some white-gray-skinned freak called Hojo, floating in a tube full of mako.
Even though I already had mako injected into me when I became a SOLDIER, floating in a tube full of it still had an affect. I was aware of being in a laboratory of some kind, but I couldn't process my thoughts that well and I felt confused and weak. I was also aware of you floating in a similar tube a few yards away.
I found out you weren't compatible with mako at all when they tested the cadets with it, so I was immediately worried when I saw your far-off gaze, seeing nothing at all. It looked like you were dead, but I knew you weren't, but it still scared the hell out of me.
I did know we were there in that lab for five years. Hojo had this weird habit of talking out loud when writing in his journal, or diary or whatever, including the date. That guy needs to get a life. And some friends.
One day, when Hojo was gone, I don't know. I've been floating there for five. Freaking. Years. Helpless, confused, and weak. I snapped, and with energy I haven't felt in a long time, I kicked the glass, shattering it, and the mako poured out.
A guard or somebody, I don't really care, ran in at the sound. My body was pumping with energy, and I felt a huge rush run through me. I'm free, and I'm not giving my freedom back.
I grabbed my sword, which was on the other side of the room propped up against the wall, and immediately ran it through the guy. After that I let you out of your tube, and you collapsed against me like a helpless rag doll.
I ran then, half-carrying half-dragging you along, until we found a guy in a truck that would give us a lift to Midgar. I'm sure Aeris would help us until we got the chance to get out of there.
When I asked the driver what we should do with our life, he said we should try many different things. That's when I thought we could be mercenaries, and I told you that. I don't know if you could hear me or not, but I didn't care, I talked to you anyway.
I told the driver to stop just outside Midgar and he didn't ask any questions, so I dragged you off the truck and through the woods outside Midgar. That's when I heard them; Shinra.
I was able to defeat some of them after I put you safely on the ground, but more came soon after them, aiming their guns right at us. It looked like their intent was to kill, but I thought Hojo would want us alive and brought back.
All I could think about was getting you out of harm's way, so I tossed you lightly to the side and got my Buster sword out. I remember taking out quite a few Shinra, but then I felt intense pain shoot through my stomach. That pain was followed by many others in many other areas of my body.
Before I fell flat on my back, Buster sword at my side, I saw that I was on a cliff overlooking Midgar. So close…but yet so far. I could hear them laughing, asking what to do with you. "Just leave him," one snickered, and they were gone.
So here I am now, my vision is fading fast and my body's numbing, blocking out the pain. I can still feel the pain inside, though. Not the physical kind. I'm dying, and right now all I can think about is you. Your voice, your laugh, your eyes, your hair. You…
To my surprise, your eyes, filled with grief, appear right in front of me. "Zack...," you say. I attempt to smile, but I don't know how that turned out. Not good, by the way tears were forming in your eyes.
"H-hey Spiky…," I choke out, and you choke back a sob and wrap your arms around my waist, lifting me up slightly. "I'm sorry…"
I can feel teardrops falling lightly on my neck, and you catch your breath. "You promised," you whisper. "You promised you'd always be here for me. So you can't leave, not before me."
Despite my current state, I can't stop a wave of chuckles coming out of my mouth. "I'll still be here. You just won't see me." I nudge him playfully, and I grin up at you. "Cloud…," I say, using your proper name probably for the first time ever, "live, okay?"
You finally let me go and stare down at me. You nod, smiling, and wipe away some of the tears from your cheek. "I will," you whisper. "I'll…live out both our lives. I promise. I love you, Zack."
My vision is pretty much gone now, and I can feel myself leaving. I thought I'd be scared, but I feel pretty calm. I'm ready. "I love you, Spiky." I grasp your hand in mine, and close my eyes forever.
Wow..this is the very first thing I've written that's this sad. So sorry if it's crappy. XD I'll be writing a companion fic, in Cloud's point of view, and an actual story later on. Please leave a review, hope you enjoyed this!