Final Fantasy VII


By LuckyLadybug

Notes: The characters are not mine, and this little thing is! It was directly inspired by the prompt "Bang" at the Mako Reactor community at Livejournal.


He had not realized a gunshot could be so loud. The sound ricocheted hauntingly through the building, and as it echoed again and again, softer each time, he could only watch as his comrade toppled sideways off the ledge. He heard the other yelp in both pain and surprise, not having expected either the injury or to lose his balance. And there was nothing that could be done to stop his descent.

The observer gripped his sword tightly, his knuckles going white underneath the dark gloves. In a moment he would hear the impact, a sickening thud, and if the brunet was not killed by the wound, he probably would be by the fall. Yes, he was a SOLDIER, and a good, strong one, but SOLDIERs died too. And this had been a completely unannounced attack. It could not have been prevented.

The clang of metal against metal brought him sharply back to his own situation. His opponent glared at him, expectant, throwing his weight into his blade. He did not speak, but his eyes and stance conveyed perfectly what he was thinking. Are you going to surrender? Are you going to let yourself be distracted by your compatriot's death? I'll be more than happy to finish you off.

Fire burned in the green eyes. No, he would not allow it. He would never allow it! Zack's demise would be meaningless if he himself lost this battle. And in any case, his pride would not allow him to consider defeat. He would win.

He threw his own weight into the duel. His rival was sharp and intelligent, but that would not save him. At last the man was forced back, and the other immediately lunged, fatally plunging his long katana into his opponent's chest. The eyes widened in shock and surprise at the sudden action, and the hands reached up desperately to clutch at the blade, in the process abandoning the weapon that had been held only seconds earlier. But the sword could not be extracted, and the mouth fell open in pain as the eyes deadened.

Sephiroth watched the other fall to his knees, as he began to pull out the Masamune. When it was entirely removed, the corpse fell forward onto its stomach, the blood pooling underneath and spreading across the floor like a crimson plague.

The silver-haired man turned, briskly making his way toward the metal stairs at the end of the open hallway and to the left. This was an unfinished building, and while he had been on a part of the second floor that was complete, his comrade had been on the other side, on only a thin beam just below a railing. From this angle, it could not be seen what the brunet's fate was, but he had heard more than one crash a moment ago. Zack must have hit at least one other object on his way down.

Without warning another figure dropped into his path, smiling in a sadistic manner as he raised the gun in his hand. From his smug eyes, it was obvious that he was the sniper who had opened fire on Zack. And Sephiroth did not have time to deal with him. Perhaps the SOLDIER was also about to attack from hatred; he did not stop to think about it.

He swung the Masamune, striking the other weapon and sending it spinning into the gaping hole that comprised the majority of the second story. It fired harmlessly, the bullet embedding itself into the wood near where the first man had been felled.

With lightning speed, he turned his attention back to the gunner and cut him down before the other had the chance to react. Then he swiftly went past, reaching the steps and descending them to the first level. "Zack?" he called, though he did not expect an answer.

But he received one, in the form of a groan.

"Oww . . . oh man, I'm gonna feel this tomorrow. . . ."

Relief washed over the warrior. He went to his right, moving around several towers of crates. Sprawled atop one of the lower stacks was his friend, bleeding from the wound in his back and being too pained to move. He looked up, trying to weakly smile at the other.

"Hey, Seph. . . . Come to join the party?"

Sephiroth grunted, walking over to the other. He quickly cleaned and sheathed the Masamune before bending down to examine the injury. "I'll pass. The present casualties are more than enough. Did the bullet go through you?"

"Don't think so. . . ." Zack hissed as the silver-haired man pressed something over the hole, attempting to quell the bleeding. "Might've cracked a rib or two in the fall. . . ." He jerked as Sephiroth's hands came down harder. "Hey! Go easy on a wounded guy, will ya?" The dizziness was increasing, but while on the one hand he felt at the point of passing out, on the other, the fire shooting through his body was enough to keep him conscious for now. And if Sephiroth kept talking to him, he might be able to manage it even longer.

"Better wounded than dead." But Sephiroth eased the pressure.

Zack tried to turn to look over his shoulder, but the effort was too much. "Did you think I was dead, Seph?"

Sephiroth hesitated, his hands poised above the bullet wound. There was no need to tell him. Especially when he probably knew, anyway. "I was sure you'd find some way to survive," he replied at last.

Zack grinned, but it was filled with pain. "Darn straight," he said. "I just wish I could've found a less achy way."

"It could have been worse," Sephiroth pointed out in a matter-of-fact tone. "It could have been a bed of spikes."

Zack snickered under his breath. "Seph, your way of looking on the bright side needs some improvement."

Sephiroth was silent, tying a strip of cloth around the wound as a makeshift bandage. Zack would not be able to stand, not with such an injury, and it would take too long to call for backup. So, the green-eyed man decided, he would have to take matters into his own hands and get the other outside to their vehicle. He turned around and bent down further, gathering Zack's wrists with one hand and wrapping his other arm around the brunet's legs. Slowly and carefully, he eased Zack's body onto his shoulders before attempting to stand.

"You can teach me about it while you're recovering," he said now.

Zack winced as the injuries were jostled, but clenched a fist and said nothing. Sephiroth was being as gentle as he could. The brunet tried to relax, the vertigo sweeping over him with force as the other straightened up.

"Sure," Zack replied with his last conscious breath, "anything for my best buddy."

Sephiroth paused when he felt the form go slack. For the briefest moment, a definite twinge of concern pricked him. But then he felt soft breath against his skin. He nodded slightly, and carefully headed for the exit.