Once again, it is time for an update. First of all, I would like to say thanks to all of you who review/alert/favourite, you guys makes me want to write more of this!

I am so sorry for the delay! I meant to update on Friday, but schoolwork and my birthday-party (unimportant; it isn't before tomorrow though) kind of got in the way. . .

This chapter would take a look on what happened to Zack during his search in the last chapter and how he ended up meeting Aerith.

And to all of you who review; would you like me to reply? And if you want me to; in private or in the chapters? I love to reply, but because I'm not sure wherever others prefer not to get a reply for their reviews, I don't usually do so. . .

Anyway:

Disclaimer: I don't own anything besides the plot. And so sorry if the characters are OOC.

Chapter 4

Flower Girl

After closing the bardoor behind him, Zack once again found himself all alone on the streets of Midgar's living hell. This was the tenth place he had checked without any luck in finding his friends. Where could they have gone? The Slums of Midgar wasn't so big – sure, it was one of the biggest cities in the world, yet it didn't appear that huge from below –, and there was no way they had been able to go that far.

Eyes travelled to the plate above, his heart not able to get rid of the feeling that he was missing something important. Then, he started his search again, staring everywhere after a trace of red or blond.

The little children were back, running alongside him as they tried to track down their friends. What was the point in their little game anyway, besides being in the way for adults? They really didn't help him much either. Not unless Cloud or Vincent played with them, something he could hardly picture their oldest friend to do.

"Do you want a flower, Mister? Only one gil," it took a whole minute before Zack even understood that someone spoke to him. Mister? That was new. He turned a glowing look toward his right, and was surprised to find out that if he lowered his head a few inches, he would be staring right into emerald green eyes. A young flower girl, probably only a year younger than himself. Two bangs and braids travelled down her face, the braids falling to rest on her dark pink jacket, while the rest of her long, brown hair was fasten in a braid going down her back. Sweet, small hands held a basket full of yellow flowers, tightened the grip as a wind made her pink dress move softly.

She was the most perfect girl he had ever laid his eyes on, and before he could stop himself, he had opened his mouth and spoken.

"An angel?" she blushed, her cheeks matching her jacket quite well.

"Not quite. Do you want a flower? They're only gil." Zack put his hand in his pocket, hoping that he at least had one little gil to give her. The flowers were pretty, and coming from a girl like this, he would love to buy one. Stupid compass for taking most of their travelling-fond. Luckily, defeating a few enemies on the way into the city had given them a little, and hopefully he hadn't given everything to Vincent.

There! A tiny, little gil. Enough for a single flower. Though further down, he could feel at least three more.

He handed it over, gratefully accepting the beautiful flower he received in return.

"This is beautiful! You don't see flowers around often anymore," he complimented, grinning. For once, the worry about his dear friends put aside for this piece of the world.

The flower girl blushed even more, fairly touched by his kind words. Apparently, she didn't hear those too often.

"I'm Zack," he said, holding out his hand for her to take. She gave him a friendly smile before taking what was given her.

"Aerith," she answered. The black-haired boy grinned widely, letting go of her hand.

"Where do you grow such beauty? And how come you are selling them down here when you would have sold twice the among on the upper plate?" a friendly question asked between people who knew each other. The purpose of names. Aerith thought it over for a few seconds, wondering how to answer.

"The flowers grow in a church close to here," she said, her voice filled with weak pride. Obviously, she watched out for them herself. He didn't tell her, though, just let his smile say that he understood more than any words could explain.

To the second question, he never got an answer.

Silence ruled over them both, trapping them in a world where nothing else lived.

Zack could have sworn he saw something red disappear into the streets' darkness out of the corner of his eye, but for some reason it didn't matter. Aerith did.

"How about a date?" the black-haired teen grew tired of the silence and asked the first question he could think of. The brown-haired teen tipped her head to the side, emerald staring into glowing blue.

"Let's go to the market! I guess there's a lot of interesting things a girl like you would like to see there!" he grinned and grabbed a hold on her hand, dragging the young girl after him toward a distant market he had seen on his forgotten search.

*~^:^~*

"Do you not have anything else in that braid of yours? To shine it up a little, I mean." The two teens had walked alongside in the Slums' only market for hours, watching shop after shop.

"No."

Zack stopped, staring at one of the shops in front of them. A wagon filled with all sorts of ribbons, from the darkest colour you could find to the most cheering ones. Long and short, for hair and for dresses.

"Wait here a second!" he told the brunette, before running off in the direction of the wagon.

"Two gil for one, boy," the owner said, eyeing the flower girl behind him. The motive quite obvious. The boy fished up enough, handing it over as he picked up a ribbon.

"This one," he said, grinning. The owner gave him a sign that he had understood, and Zack walked back to his date.

"I bought you a gift," he said, turning her around. Before she knew what he was doing, the black-haired youth had tied a pink ribbon on top of her braid, matching her clothes perfectly.

"There, all finished," he said, turning the girl back to him. However, there he expected a smile and a thank you, he got a frightened look and a muttered word;

"Turks." The boy's eyes widen. Turks, Shin-ra's lapdogs. If they saw him, he would be as good as dead. For twelve years they had managed to escape from their hands.

He looked above the girl's shoulder, and sure enough, there they were. Those suits wasn't for mistakes.

"Do you know anywhere safe?" he whispered to the girl, once more his thoughts returned to his missing friends. Hopefully they knew to stay out of their reach.

At first, Aerith eyed him with suspicion, wondering why he would want to stay away from them, before the situation seem to fit with her own plan.

"Come with me," she answered, dragging him after her out on the main street again. They ran, made their way through playing children, down the road he had gone up looking for Cloud and Vincent.

Finally, she stopped, outside of a bar frightening familiar. He had been there before, searching.

Aerith opened the door, waving for him to follow as she rushed inside, yelling an unknown name. However, Zack's eyes were filled with something else. Not the black-haired barmaid who came to meet them, but the spiky-headed blond behind her.

*~^:^~*

A/N: Hope you liked it and that you didn't waste does minutes of your life^^ So sorry if the characters are very OOC.