Disclaimer: I own nothing. If I did, Zack and Cloud would've gotten married and had twelve beautiful children! And Aerith would be a yaoi fangirl .
It had been three years since that rainy day. And still, nightmares of the scene flashed through his head. Sephiroth, who had been possessing Kadaj, had been defeated. The Geostigma had been cured, and peace was beginning to spread throughout Midgar. So why…? Why did he still wake up with fresh tears on his face after seeing the final breath leave that SOLDIER's body? He'd come to terms with it, hadn't he? He'd imagined them both walking away smiling together. He'd smiled, hadn't he?
The blonde-haired man sat up from his bed and blinked away another rain-soaked dream. Grow up, Cloud. You're 24 now. It's time to move on. This was his morning ritual: Wake up, pull away from the dream, convince himself to let it go, continue living. Maybe make a few deliveries. Looking around the room, he saw that Tifa's bed was already made. Anyone thinking that the two of them were together would only have to see this room to know the opposite. They never touched, they slept in separate beds: yes, they owned a delivery service, but that was all. Even though Tifa had feelings for him, he wouldn't- couldn't- return them. His heart was shattered, and the only one who could repair it was…
He put on his normal clothes, seeing a note from Tifa that he had some deliveries to make. A light sigh escaped from his lips. Life had become so routine… It was more of a hassle than anything else… Sometimes he just wanted… He brushed away the thought and got on his bike, the list in his pocket.
How did I end up here? Wasn't I just in the room? he wondered once he realized he was back at that spot. His glowing eyes rested on the rusting buster sword he'd stuck in the ground. Zack… I miss you still. It's never going to go away… he thought sadly. He kept the stoic look on his face, resting his hand on top of the sword's hilt. He couldn't look at the ground, couldn't afford another flashback. He was still too fragile to see that scene again. As it was, he could almost hear the rain that had been constantly falling that fateful day. Each imaginary drop bruised his heart almost unnoticeably.
"Zack…" he breathed, the name no more substantial than the wind it was spoken into. Cloud closed his eyes, lightly biting his lower lip as memories threatened to leak through the mental walls he'd built. "I wish you were here…" he added. He knew he thought this almost every day, but somehow being at the place where he'd watched Zack die gave it more meaning. He sighed, tired of the weight on his shoulders, and blinked a couple of times to put the world back in focus.
He could've sworn his heart stopped at that moment. Spikey? But only he… Mako-blue eyes closed. He'd gotten to the point where he was imagining his voice even when he was awake? He caressed his suddenly-throbbing forehead with a gloved hand. "Maybe Tifa's right… Maybe I should get some help…" he muttered, his voice barely audible even for him. But he didn't want help. He just wanted him. Still wanted him. After all this time, the desire hadn't ebbed in the slightest. Even though his feelings only brought him pain, he couldn't bring himself to let them go.
"I don't see you for three years, and this is the treatment I get?" a familiar voice laughed as gloved hands clasped his upper arms and spun him around. The blonde barely felt anything though. His inner 'bad guy' radar hadn't gone off, so he wasn't on edge. That was until he saw the face that was now in front of him.
Those mako-eyes, somehow different than any other glowing eyes he'd ever seen. That wild mane of ebony hair, sharp to the eyes but soft to the skin. That small, x-shaped scar that he'd kissed so many times. It was the face he'd dreamed of for three years, the face he never thought he'd see again. Zack? His eyes were wide and almost… disbelieving.
If he had been a younger, less world-weary man, he might have cried. As it was, seeing the face brought up a hurt too deep for him to even muster up the energy to break down. Instead, his eyes glossed over, a way of defense, and he stiffened. Though un-focusing his eyes blurred the face in front of him, in no way did it disappear. Now I'm hallucinating. Fantastic.
"Cloud?" The blurry mouth moved, creating a small dark hole. "Cloud, why aren't you saying anything?" It was definitely his voice. Zack Fair's voice. Zack Fair, whom Cloud had watched die three years ago.
He didn't even realize that the dark hole was expanding-covering the man's face, then the sky, then everything else. Everything was black. The only sound he heard was the rushing of blood behind his ears as his knees buckled.