I felt that Zack not being able to keep his promise to Aerith sucked. So I brought him back to life. :] YCRx owns nothing.

I'll be Waiting

"Zack?" No reply. "Zack, wake up." He didn't. "Frick. Frick. Frick." She began to shake him, tears forming in her eyes.

Was this really even Zack? Her brave, strong SOLDIER? Bloody, bruised and broken?

"Wake up Zack! C'mon…" She placed a hand on his thick, black spikes, and ran her fingers through his hair, searching for the wound that was guilty of sending so much blood pulsing over his face.

A deep bullet wound, on the left side of his skull. She tore a strip of white linen bandage and pressed it firmly onto the cut, slowing down the continuous blood flow. She wasn't gonna let him go just yet.

Cloud lay, exhausted, on the black sofa across the room in the confines of Aerith's living room.

As he had dragged his black haired friend through the backstreets of Midgar, he'd come across a church, and something inside of him had compelled him to go inside. There he had met the flower girl, who had immediately brought the pair of them to her house and begun tending to Zack's multiple wounds.

Zack was pretty sure he had died on the battlefield.

Aerith sighed regretfully. She pressed her forehead against his and closed her eyes. A tear slid down her cheek and landed on his lips. He moaned very quietly. Her eyes shot open the second she heard it and she felt a tiny smile pull on the corners of her mouth. "Come on Zack…" She whispered, urging him to open his eyes.

Suddenly he sat up, coughing and retching. Blood spurred out of his mouth and nose. He gasped for water, air… anything! Aerith spun around and picked up her own glass of water, handing it to her warrior. He took it, shaking.

"Lie back down. You've broken two of your ribs, and you've punctured your lung, I'm sure of it." Zack nodded, still coughing, and letting himself fall back into the soft – and once white – pillow on the black leather sofa.

Aerith took the glass from his quivering hand and placed it on the floor close to him. She squeezed his hand tightly in desperation to keep him awake.

His stunning blue eyes were staring, unfocused, at their hands. His mouth twitched up a little as he turned his head to the ceiling. "A- Aerith." He breathed, weakly.

Aerith nodded in delight. Then she suddenly was full of anger. "Why did they do this to you?" She spat in fury.

"I… huh? Oh yeah… Ow." He mumbled, he would tell her later. Right now… "Where's… where's Cloud?"

"Asleep." She answered. "He's okay, you can relax." She said pushing the low coffee table close to the sofa so she could sit down. She shoved a small home medical kit into her lap and whipped out some thread, bandages and needles.

"Zack,"

"Mhmm?" He mumbled dreamily, letting his head swing to face her.

"Zack, I'm gonna have to stitch you up a bit. It shouldn't hurt. It just—"

Zack was shaking his head and edging away from her. "N-no more needles. Please!" He begged her, his eyes wide.

Aerith stared at him in disbelief. She knew he didn't like them, but surely… surely they weren't enough to scare the man out of his wits. She reached out and touched a bullet hole near his heart.

"You're a wreck!" She half laughed. "I'm so sorry, but, Zack, you're gonna need to listen to me. I haven't got any cure materia in the house and for you to stop bleeding, I gotta sew those sores up, you got that? " Zack blinked and nodded slowly turning his head away from his arm as she gently stitched up the first wound in his right bicep. She snipped the end of the thread in no time at all and smiled down on him. "See? Wasn't so bad, was it?" Zack shook his head. "Just a couple left."

Aerith swiftly cut his shirt down the centre and as gently as she could, she drew the shirt from the drying blood. Zack winced as every now and again the fabric stuck to a sore point. Aerith shook her head and placed a hand on her forehead. "Save my soul, Zack what did they do to you?" There weren't just a couple left! There was something close to sixty.

Zack drew his hands from his eyes and looked down at his bare torso. He gasped, shocked himself. "Holy mother—" He began laughing very quietly. "Those guys have the worst aim ever."

Aerith smiled and began stitching at an unnatural pace. There he was, her great big boastful jerk. He began to recount the story of what had happened after he'd been sent on the mission to Niebelheim.

"And then I woke up, and some weird girl was crying hysterically on top of me. Can't blame her though." He winked. Aerith laughed aloud.

"Same old Zack!" She commented, wrapping a bandage around his chest as a temporary brace. He nodded gratefully. She turned around mumbling something about food, which he wanted desperately, but he grabbed her hand and told her to wait. She turned around and bent down next to him. "Aerith… I'm sorry I didn't write you back. I'm sorry I didn't call you… I'm sorry I… I thought about you. Every day, I promise. I really did." He wanted her to believe that, he truly did. She believed him, of course she did. "Screw it." He muttered to himself. "Aerith, I love you." He grinned sheepishly. She blushed and smiled "I love you too, Zack." She whispered. Zack's bandaged hand pulled her closer to him. Her face was once again bent over his own. He pushed his head up a little.

The very tips of their noses grazed one another. Then their mouths touched and connected. It was long, slow, and breathtaking. Eventually, Zack drew back and tilted his head. He smiled up at her with his beautifully straight teeth. She bit her lip and smiled back. She turned around and walked out of the room.

Now he could finally be at peace with himself. He'd kept his promise. He lay back into the pillow smiling. He closed his eyes with that same accomplished smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

*

Aerith backed into the room holding a tray of sliced fruit and a glass of her famous Banora White juice. She turned around and smiled, expecting to see Zack looking up at her but all she saw was his head hung back and the peaceful little smile on his mouth. She dropped the tray. It fell to the floor with a smash and a clatter and lots of little thuds.

He lay there, motionless.

A gasp escaped her lips; she put her hand over her mouth and shook her head. "No!" She cried out. She stepped over the coffee table and kneeled at his side. She cradled his lifeless body in her arms with tears streaming down her face. She didn't… couldn't believe this. She held his jaw in her hand. "Zack…" She whispered, half expecting him to jump up and yell that he was only joking. But he didn't. She pushed her head into his bare shoulder. He didn't budge. She kneeled up straight and kissed his cheek. She could blatantly feel people around her, shouting and calmly saying things to her, but she didn't care.

Zack was dead.

After a short while the people in the room left her alone. She had stopped crying; now she was just staring at his beautiful face. She wouldn't move.

"Aerith. Go live your life babe; I'll be waiting for you. I love you."

"I love you too, Zack." She mumbled. Grazing his cheek with the back of her hand. She leant over and kissed his forehead. She stood up and closed her eyes tightly, sending a prayer to the heavens.

"I'll be waiting for you. No matter what." His voice echoed through her mind. She smiled sadly. "Whatever you want, Zack Fair."

She turned and left the living room.

…..x