Quiet: I'm starting the new year by finishing a fic! Hooray!

Thanks to my beta for being so diligent and speedy. =3

Sin #7- Pride

It was the kind of night built for silence and moonlit confessions, but Zack had never been the type to believe in that kind of thing. Hell, he was never the type to think of anything more than having fun and living to see the next day, but how could he do that when the world and his place in it were no longer making much sense?

His mind went back to the incident in Junon, where Genesis clones had been wreaking havoc, all for the sake of recovering Hollander. Could Sephiroth be right? Was Genesis still alive? He'd thought he'd seen him fall to his death that day in Modeoheim, but all the signs pointed to Genesis still being out there somewhere, waiting in the shadows.

The worst part of all though, was the thought that somehow, someway, Angeal could still be out there as well, convinced he was a monster that the world needed to be protected from. If Angeal had somehow survived…then why hadn't he come to talk to him? What was he after? Was he still helping Genesis?

"Zack?" a sleepy voice called, and he glanced down at the figure snuggled into his side as weary blue eyes peered up at him. "What're you doing up?

"I'm sorry kid," he muttered, lightly running a hand through soft blond hair. "Didn't mean to wake you; go back to sleep."

"M'fine," Cloud mumbled, slipping his arms around Zack's lean waist. The yawn that followed contradicted his reassurance, and Zack felt a small smirk tugging at his lips as the younger man leaned his head harder on Zack's hip.

"What're you thinking of?" Cloud suddenly asked, and he found himself blurting the truth before he could think not to.

"Hollander, Genesis…and Angeal…"

"You two were…really close before he died, weren't you?" What was he supposed to say to something like that? Angeal had been a lot of things for him; his teacher, his mentor, his rock…and looking into those oh-so sincere blue eyes, he found himself slowly nodding.

"I…yeah, we were."

There was silence as Cloud seemed to think about that. "I never got to be under his direct command, but I'd heard a lot about his speeches on honor, pride, and dreams and how he used it to motivate his troops. It makes sense that you'd follow in his footsteps and inspire us all in the same way."

Here, the blond blushed, his eyes briefly averting from those of Zack's. "It may not be much coming from me, but…I really think that Commander Hewley would be proud of who you are and what you do, Zack."

Unbelievably touched, Zack leaned down to press his lips against Cloud's forehead. "What'd I ever do to deserve someone like you?"

Cloud gave him a cheeky grin. "I don't know. Maybe you just got really lucky."

"Yeah," he agreed, pinning the smaller man beneath himself so that he could show Cloud just how lucky they both could get.

Quiet: Finally! Quiet ends something for once! =O

And just so you know, Wrath is getting a second part, so don't forget to watch for a final story alert =3