This had been written last May as a present for my Best Friend's Birthday right after I beat Crisis Core for the first time (and spent the next three hours crying). Mostly it was written as an excuse for fluff.

Disclaimer: Not mine (though how i wish)

Warnings: yaoi of the Zangeal kind

Not connected to "Zack's Initiation," though there is a link to a picture of my oc from that stroy on my profile.

Missing You

The safest place in all of the world was, without a single doubt, in Angeal's arms.

No matter what position they finally fell asleep in, they always woke to find themselves in the same position every single morning. Zack's back would be to the wall the bed was pushed against, his face buried into Angeal's strong chest and arms locked around his waist. Angeal's back would be to the room, his nose in the sweet-smelling softness of Zack's spiky, black hair. One hand would be cradling the back of Zack's head as the other arm would be hooked around Zack's lower back, pulling his young lover closer to himself. It was almost like they were subconsciously seeking what their instincts demanded: for Zack, the protective embrace of Angeal, and Angeal, to protect Zack.

Sometimes, they would wake to find they were still connected as one. On such mornings Zack would smile so wide it almost hurt and snuggle closer to Angeal so every inch of their torso touched. In Zack's mind there was no greater feeling than Angeal inside him, stretching him and filling him. Several hours later would leave Zack slightly sore, bow-legged, and unable to sit comfortably for a few hours and Angeal late to an important meeting, anxious to get back to his Zack. Some of Zack's favorite memories were made in their bed on mornings just like that.

But right now the bed was too big, too cold, and too lonely without Angeal to keep him warm. Zack sighed and hugged Angeal's pillow tighter to his chest, desperately taking in his mentor and lover's scent, fearing he'd go crazy if he couldn't sense at least part of Angeal.

"Stupid mission," he mumbled.

It had been over a week since Angeal had been sent to Wutai on a mission, along with Sephiroth. It had been over a week since he had last heard Angeal's voice.

"Stupid Director," Zack mumbled next.

Director Lazard had forbidden Zack to call Angeal during the course of his mission, and vice-versa, labeling the mission as "high priority, high security." Zack had heard nothing of or from Angeal, and he had no idea when he'd be coming home.

Zack sighed again and glanced over at the glowing numbers of the alarm clock across the room. 03:37. With a groan he let his head fall back onto his (rarely used) pillow. In almost three hours he would be expected in the training room for some group drills with other SOLDIER 2nd Classes, and he hadn't gotten a single solid hour of sleep in over seventy-two hours. He was exhausted to the point where he was too tired to sleep and too busy thinking about Angeal to contemplate using a tranquilizer.

Knowing sleep wouldn't come this night (just like all the others), Zack let himself think about the day Angeal had gotten the orders. A smile tugged as he recalled just how late he had made Angeal to the meeting. Zack had still been trying to find the energy to get out of bed when Angeal had returned, his face even more stern than the norm.

"I'm being deployed to Wutai," he said without ceremony.

"Uh, what?" Zack blinked, the smile gone from his face that was oh-so-pretty in a boyish sort of way.

"I've been assigned in Wutai," he said again, taking off his Buster Sword and leaning it against the wall before joining Zack in their bad.

Zack grabbed onto the straps of Angeal's shoulder armor, giving the elder man no slack to escape. He didn't bother asking if Angeal could turn down the mission—the elder's honor wouldn't let him. Instead, Zack asked, "When do you leave?"

"Three hours."

Two of the three hours were spent in utter bliss before Angeal pulled away to pack. He left Zack with a kiss before leaving their apartment and going to the helipad, where the bird that would take him to his mission waited.

Zack sighed once more. He had been doing that a lot lately. Now he was exhausted, lonely, and uncomfortably hot, nor was he in the mood to take care of his latest condition. By Odin, he missed Angeal. Subconsciously, he hugged the pillow tighter.

Zack continued to fruitlessly try to get some much needed sleep. For how long he laid staring at the ceiling was anyone's guess.

At 05:17, his phone started beeping, informing him he had received a new mail message. Figuring it was just Kunsel, he let the mail alone. After all, he could read it later anyway.

Two minutes later his phone rang, a little ditty his mother use to hum called "Guardian Angel" playing. He gasped, sitting upright and frantically reaching for the discarded pair of pants his phone was left in.

"Angeal!" he cried when he answered, completely bliss-ed out.

The man on the other end chuckled. "Hello, Puppy," he greeted, using his pet name for Zack. "I've missed you."

Those three words brought so much joy to the teen his stomach did cartwheels. "I'm missing you, too," he answered. "How's the mission?"

"Complete," Angeal answered, a smile in his voice. "We're on our way back to Midgar now. We've just flown over the Golden Saucer."

Zack's smile returned full force. Angeal was on his way how, and he be there in a matter of hours! Despite how happy he was, Zack couldn't stop the yawn from escaping. "Sorry!: he offered. "I haven't gotten much sleep."

"My poor Puppy," Angeal said sympathetically. "Try and get some rest. You'll need it. I'll deal with Sergeant Kino."

"Thanks, man," Zack smiled again.

Zack could practically hear Angeal's nod. "And Zack," he started, "I…"

"Yeah?" Zack asked, trying to check his eagerness. He so badly wanted to hear three more teeny-tiny word. If he heard those three little words, the whole of the world could end and he wouldn't care.

"Ill see you soon," Angeal finished, though Zack could tell that wasn't what Angeal was originally going to say.

"Can't wait!" Zack responded, his winning smile spread across his face.

There was some noise in the background, like someone speaking softly to Angeal. "I have to go."

"All right. See you soon!"

Silence met Zack's ear as Angeal hung up. He fell back onto the bed, a goofy grin on his face. In just a matter of hours, Angeal would be home. Finally, his body slipped into an easy sleep, relaxed and refreshing.

Angeal hung up the phone with a sigh, a little angry with himself for not being able to tell Zack what he really wanted to say.

"Who were you talking to?" Sephiroth asked, coming up behind him in narrow isle of the jet. There was an element of possessiveness in his voice showing his jealousy.

"My Puppy," Angeal answered.

"You and those damn dogs," Sephiroth said, his face relaxing. "How is Zack?"

"Exhausted," Angeal answered. He quickly texted Sergeant Kino a message to excuse Zack from group drill.

Sephiroth glanced over his shoulder at the message and remarked, "What would the puppy do without his Mama Bear?"

Angeal smiled at that as he chuckled deep in his gut. Zack had immediately dismissed the nickname and expressed his dislike of the title multiple times. He declared Angeal was more like a wolf than a mama bear (though he could be just as grumpy as a bear in the very early morning). Angeal was naturally protective of everyone in his life, not just a select few, and a fierce fighter. Zack would often remark he was like a wolf in defense of his pack. He would also say Angeal was an animal in bed, and it made more sense for a wolf and a puppy to be together rather than a puppy and a bear.

"We land in three hours," Sephiroth informed him.

Angeal nodded, suddenly anxious to get home.

Angeal finally arrived back at his apartment at 08:57. Quietly, he opened the front door and snuck inside, hoping Zack was either resting or he could sneak up on him.

He set his bag and the Buster Sword on his couch. Most of the apartment was dark and quiet, showing Zack was either not home or asleep.

A smirk formed as he snuck through the apartment to the bedroom he shared with Zack. From in the room he could hear the soft sounds of deep, even breathing of a sleeping Zack. The door was open just enough for him to see Zack sprawled on the bed in the corner. Zack hugged a pillow to his chest tightly and laid twisted in the sheets.

"Angeal," Zack whispered in his sleep.

A soft smile formed on Angeal's lips as he watched Zack sleep. His Puppy was just so cute when he slept. He felt warm and happy just watching his Puppy.

"I love you, Zack," he said quickly, silently closing the door and treading down the hall.

Zack had heard him.