Title: Love, Love, Love

Author: Sorceress Fantasia

Pairings: Zack/Cloud

Warnings: AU, sap, romance, fluff

Word count: 1584

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: As much as I would love to lay claim to Cloud, I'm kinda scared of Zack's Buster Sword. So no, I don't own Final Fantasy 7 or any of its characters.

Summary: Zack likes Cloud's every smile. Cloud likes Zack's every grin.

Note: Written for meru_neko's birthday. Happy birthday, dear! :D


Zack likes to wake up 10 minutes early so he can wash up, eat breakfast and wait behind his apartment door for the exact moment to burst out when he hears the sound of keys clinking together next door. When he gets out of his apartment, he sees Cloud locking his door and since it's such a coincidence, Zack likes to suggest that they walk to school together.

Cloud likes to slot every key he has into the same key ring so they'll clink together loudly every time he locks his door in the morning when he leaves for school. Just as he finishes locking up his door, he sees Zack burst out of his apartment next door and in a voice that's too loud to be healthy at 7a.m., Zack suggests that they walk to school together. Cloud likes the idea.

Zack likes to bring an umbrella in his book bag so that if it rains on the way, he can fish it out and offer to share. The umbrella's size has been carefully chosen so that it is neither too big nor too small, and it's just nice that when both of them are under the umbrella, their shoulders touch.

Cloud likes to forget his umbrella at home so that when it rains on the way, he can gracefully accept Zack's offer to share. He likes that the umbrella's size is perfect for their shoulders to brush against each other's.

In school, Zack likes taking detailed notes during math because that's the class Cloud is weakest in. On the other hand, he barely listens to literature class, not just because he doesn't like the teacher but also because he knows Cloud will take his notes for him.

On the other side of the classroom, Cloud likes to take his literature notes with such details and precision that they are much sought after by his classmates, but he only prepares an extra copy for Zack. And he is always careful to keep his math test papers away from Zack so Zack won't see the near perfect scores he actually gets.

Zack likes to bring only a sandwich for lunch because it gives him an excuse to snitch food from Cloud's overflowing bento which he knows Cloud prepares himself. The prawn fritters Cloud makes are the best he's ever eaten.

Cloud likes to bring a bento large enough for two everyday and he always makes sure that he prepares prawns fritters even though he is allergic to seafood himself.

At 2 o'clock in the afternoon, Zack likes to glare a hole into the clock mounted right in front of the classroom and will it to move faster so he can walk home with Cloud.

At 2 o'clock in the afternoon, Cloud likes to stare at the teacher and will for him to stop droning on and on about history and dismiss the class on time so he can walk home with Zack.

Zack has basketball practice on some afternoons, and on those days, he likes to snatch the ball at about 10 minutes before practice ends and do a handsome slam dunk because he knows Cloud will come over to the basketball stadium at about that time, after he's done with his library duties. Zack's basketball teammates are understanding enough to always let him get the ball when they notice Cloud coming in.

Cloud has library duties on those afternoons Zack has basketball practice, and he likes to finish his tasks right on time so he can dash over to the basketball stadium 10 minutes before Zack is done and see Zack dunk the ball into the hoop. He barely notices that the other librarians simply wink at each other and offer to finish up for him every time he's running late.

In the evening, Zack likes to run over next door and whine to Cloud about how he has to eat dinner alone since his parents are still out for work and won't be home anytime soon. Sometimes they even do the graveyard shift. He knows exactly how long he has to whine before Cloud caves in and let himself be dragged over to share the dinner that Zack's mother prepares beforehand.

At about dinner time, Cloud likes to wait for the door bell because he knows Zack is on the other side, ready to whine to him about how he hates eating alone. He's thankful that Zack never explicitly states that he's inviting Cloud over for dinner because he knows Cloud eats alone too. It is a disadvantage of living alone, he knows, but it also gives him the chance to hear Zack whine and cajole. He's almost amused that Zack always feels the need to plead and wheedle like he thinks Cloud will reject him, but as mean as it is, Cloud likes to hear Zack whine.

Zack likes to see Cloud eat heartily at dinner, and when he thinks Cloud is not looking, he likes to sneak pieces of the best meat onto his plate because Cloud doesn't eat enough.

Cloud likes to see Zack eat because Zack always makes food look so delicious, and he has no questions about the pieces of meat that suddenly appear on his plate when he looks away for a second. On the other hand, he likes to sneak vegetables onto Zack's plate when Zack gets up to pour a glass of water because Zack doesn't eat enough vegetables.

One day, Zack doesn't hear the sound of the keys clinking together even though it is already time for school. It takes him a while to realize that maybe something is wrong with Cloud and he dashes over, pushing the door bell frantically. He feels a stab of pain strike him when the door opens to reveal Cloud's glassy eyes and burning face.

Cloud wakes up one day to a pounding headache and the feeling that the world is spinning out of orbit. It is only when he hears his door bell that he realizes he's fallen asleep after knocking his alarm clock to the floor earlier, and now he's going to be late for school. He stumbles to the door and Zack is on the other side.

When Zack sees Cloud like that, he knows that there is no way he can leave for school. Instead, he shoves past the door and gently leads Cloud back to bed, preparing a wet towel, a glass of water and an aspirin for the sick teen.

When Cloud sees Zack's lips twist downwards, he knows that there is no way that Zack will leave him alone that day. True enough, it isn't long before he feels Zack guiding him to bed and tucking him under the covers before walking away. Zack returns with a wet towel for his forehead and a glass of water and aspirin for his headache. He falls asleep again.

Zack likes to take care of Cloud and cook for him, but the sight of Cloud confined to bed, obviously ill and very uncomfortable, pains him. He tries to make Cloud as cozy as possible: he changes the wet towel very often; he wipes away Cloud's sweat; he makes sure Cloud is cool, and he prepares lunch for when the teen wakes up.

Cloud wakes up just in time for lunch, headache mostly gone, and the aroma wafting out of the kitchen startles him. This is the first time he's seen Zack cook, and Zack looks entirely too at ease with the task for this to be his first time. He likes the idea of Zack cooking and suddenly, despite his illness, he suddenly feels so hungry he could just eat a whole cow.

Zack thinks he'd really like cooking if Cloud would always make that face of contentment as he's eating.

Cloud thinks he'd like eating a lot more if Zack is the cook for the day.

Zack stays with Cloud the whole day. He watches TV and plays a little video game with Cloud before tucking him back into bed and leaving for the kitchen to fix their dinner. He likes the smile on Cloud's face when the blond praises his cooking.

Cloud lets Zack keep him company for the whole day. He gets to watch TV and play a little video game before Zack leads him back to bed. He wakes up again to the smell of food and he finds himself looking forward to dinner. He likes Zack's smile when he compliments the brunet's cooking.

At night, when it's time to leave, Zack doesn't want to go. He suddenly feels the need to turn back and grab Cloud's hands. He gives in.

When it's time for Zack to leave, Cloud feels the urge to ask Zack to stay. He's pleasantly surprised when Zack turns around to take his hands.

"Hey Cloud…"

"Yes?"

"Can I… Can I walk you to school every morning, share my umbrella with you every time it rains, tutor you in math and get tutored in return in literature, eat bentos you prepare, have dinner with you every night, and take care of you every time you fall ill? Can we… stay like this forever?"

"…"

"Cloud?"

"I…"

Zack likes Cloud's every smile, but he especially loves the one Cloud gives him when he looks up from between his long lashes and whispers, "Okay…"

Cloud likes Zack's every grin, but he especially loves the one Zack flashes at him when they break away after their first kiss.

-owari-


A/N: First of all, Happy Birthday, Meru-chan! :D I wish you're enjoying your day! I'll save the rest for the Free Talk section in your birthday book. XD

It's the first time I've written in this sort of odd(?) format, so if anything is not odd(?) about it, tell me! XD Lately, I've been getting into this 'no conversation' types of fics. It's just so adorable, I think.

And unfortunately, the other technique I used in this fic (the use of spacing between paragraphs) can't be used on this website, so part of the impact is lost. Oh well... That's why I have a LJ. XD