Chapter Thirteen-Worse

Zack paced his room nervously. What could have possibly been thinking? Kadaj was young, much to young and he...he drug his fingers through his hair with a sigh. He was just a fucking mess. Such a fucking mess. Kadaj didn't need someone like him in his life. Zack Fair would screw his life up just like he had screwed up his whole family's life. From day one Zack Fair had been nothing but trouble. He had always been the extra burden, the extra weight. How could he have ever thought that he would be worthy of someone like Kadaj? He laughed bitterly to himself.

The room seemed to get smaller and smaller as the tall man paced and finally, fists clenched, he feel to his knees in front of his dresser. He stared at the bottom drawer for a few minutes before opening it and pulling two things out. Two things that would make this all disappear. Make this all ok. It would be ok. The first, he unscrewed and took a long drink of, relishing the burn down his throat even as he coughed on it. The second he put into his pocket. Saved it for later. Because later always came and later was always too much for Zack too handle.

Zack was just too much too handle.

But then, he always had been, hadn't he? Laying back on the bed, he took another long drink, eager for the dull sensation that accompanied the harsh liquid. Eager for the nothingness that consumed him. It was only then he was happy. Only when he was empty. Sneering, Zack thought about Kadaj. The way the young man had taken him in, took care of him and made him think that maybe, just maybe, he could be better than he was. A stranger had made Zack feel like no drink ever could. But Kadaj was not for Zack. That perfection was too far out of Zack's reach, to perfect to be held in such broken hands. Kadaj was a stranger. He was a passing thought. Soon enough Kadaj would find out what everyone else already knew. Zack was worthless. He was flawed. Fuck, he was just fucking pathetic. Zack stood, the buzz finally hitting him as he pulled on a jacket and thundered down the stairs. Isn't that what Axel had said?

"God you are a drunken loser, aren't you? Too drunk to stand up for yourself?"

Scowling, Zack ignored Cloud's inquiry and slammed the front door shut, taking another drink only when he was safely out of sight of the house. This was better, he thought. It was better that he just forget. Forget about Kadaj, forget about his parents, forget about ruining his brothers whole life. Forget about being anything other than what he truly was.

Nothing.


The box in Leon's hands was plain. Ordinary. But he couldn't bring himself to open it just yet. Not just yet. Because however it looked, that box was no ordinary box. It held his whole life. Or what used to be his life. Taking a single long breathe, he took the lid off and carefully, gently, began to sort through its contents. Photos, clippings, ribbons, tokens...all waiting to be looked at, touched, held, remembered even for just one moment began to pile up on the bed beside him. Letters from Yuffie while he was away, postcards from his mother, awful yearbook pictures of his brothers, art supplies and gift cards his father would send. Guitar picks and coasters from dive bars no one had ever heard off. Photos of the family playing together. Everything that had been dear to him filled one shoebox. The newspaper clippings were at the very bottom, the worst for last as it were.

Leon fought the overwhelming sweep of emotion as he picked up those yellowed pieces of paper. Headlines of the crash, photos of the wreckage, the families before...the funerals. That had been the hardest for Leon. He, the sole survivor,the up and coming star, had not been able to keep the press out. Had not saved his siblings from the swarms of news hungry press. Not one single tear had been sacred enough to keep from the public eye. The caskets, the headstones, the weeping siblings that had been left behind. Leon's emotionless face as he realized once again he was the reason they were all dead. He was the reason his siblings were looked upon with pity when they went about town. It was all his fault. The media had torn his lack of emotion apart but his family had never once questioned his love. Not even when he had disappeared inside himself for three years, killing himself slowly with guilt and memories.

A tear fell onto the last clipping in the box before Leon could stop it and Leon stared at the photo for a good long time before he picked it up. Once, long ago, Leon had found the details about the driver of the black pickup. Had wondered if he had left someone behind as well. That was before Leon just wanted to forget it all. But now there was no forgetting. There was no going back when you opened up the past. Because there on that old yellowed page were pictures. One of a happy, smiling couple and the other of a casket, while a blonde stared at it vacantly.

Leon blinked once slowly. There was no going back now. None at all. Because it was Cloud smiling next to the driver of the black pickup. It was Cloud staring at the casket like an empty shell of what used to be.

It was Cloud.


A.n: small update but I hope all enjoy ^^

Ulti-