Wow, okay so it's been like four years since I last updated this, but hopefully now I will finish it.
There was nothing worse then waking up to an empty bed Zack decided, except maybe waking up to an empty bed and a quite house. Blind panic rushed through him as he tossed the covers away and raced out of the room.
'Where's Cloud oh Gaia Cloud's gone What if they took him-' The litany of words followed him as he rushed through every room, looking, listening, needing. Aerith wasn't here either, no one was and the fear was almost worse then anything he'd felt in the labs. The sound of a door opening had him across the house in a moment, panic still tight, choking him. Only with the sight of messy blond hair was he able to breath again.
"Zack?" The light tenor was barely out of that tiny mouth before Zack had him engulfed him in his arms, held tight -maybe too tight, but fuck it- as he struggled to get his fear under control. Cloud grunted at the strong grip but otherwise didn't move.
"Where were you!?" He hadn't meant to sounds so harsh, really he hadn't but damn if he could find a reason to care right now.
"I was looking at the flowers and-"
"Flowers, you risked your life for flowers!?" Flowers! "ShinRa is everywhere and-"
"Zack stop!" Pulling away for the punishing grip, Cloud clasped Zack's hands between his own. "Zack, we're safe. ShinRa's not looking for us, not yet. Please Zack... Just calm down." Blue eyes meeting his own violet ones, Zack forced the fear down before taking Cloud back into his arms. He was safe. They were safe. Swallowing thickly, he stood there willing away the tears that threatened to fall. It was too much, too soon.
"Cloud... don't leave like that again..." They had come so far, he couldn't lose Cloud. Not now, not ever. As the panic ebbed away, clarity came back full force. Of course Aerith wasn't here, she told him last night that she would be gone early, trying to make enough for them to escape; and Cloud... Cloud was just relishing the freedom he hadn't had in years. They were safe, at least for now.
Cloud's arms wound around his waist, returning the hug "I won't. I'm sorry Zack, I wasn't thinking."
"No, I just... reacted badly." He had but to be fair, it was the first time in almost a year that he had woken up without Cloud at his side. He just needed to adjust.
Or not. He couldn't imagine not having Cloud beside him in bed. Except, suddenly that image was a little too specific and Cloud was awfully close and he should probably stop thinking right now before this turned awkward. Yeah that would be good.
Pulling apart he found himself standing in the kitchen, and suddenly really hungry. Cloud must have read his mind because he started rummaging through the fridge and pulling out ingredients. Taking a seat at the wooden table, he watched as the blond started cracking eggs into a big bowl.
It was quite for a while, nothing but the sound of Cloud chopping peppers to fill the air. It was too quite in his opinion, he'd had more then enough of silence to last a lifetime. Opening his mouth to undoubtedly say something stupid, Cloud beat him to the punch.
"I was thinking," Zack watched as Cloud tapped his fingers against the counter in a familiar nervous gesture.
Okay, so this could be bad...
Or really, really good.
But probably bad.
Like really bad.
It seemed to take forever as Zack waited with baited breath..
"I think we should go to Wutai."
...and let it all out in a confused puff. "That's bad?"
"What? I never said it was going to be bad news. How did you even get that?" Cloud shot him a confused look from across the kitchen.
"Well, your fingers were... moving." Okay, that sounded a lot better in his head. He blamed his mouth. It was always messing things up.
Cloud was staring at him with something akin to concern now though maybe that had something to do with the fact that he'd been glaring at nothing for a while now. Clearing his throat he motioned for Cloud to continue.
Giving him one last suspicious look, the blond turned back to his cooking. "Um, yeah. So, Wutai. We should go to Wutai."
"Why, I thought maybe you would want to go up north. You know, because Nib-" Zack snapped his mouth shut. That was definitely not something he should not be bringing up right now. Or ever. "Because... you like snow?"
Crisis averted. Probably.
"Zack, I don't like snow. Growing up surrounded by it and actually liking it are two different things." Rolling his eyes he shot Zack a look. A I know what you were about to say and I'm not mad at you for almost saying it look. "Besides, I was thinking about Aerith. She um, she likes to garden and since she's going to be, uh, coming with us eventually I thought... Up North, things don't grow so well and I think she'd be happier in Wutai."
A light blush decorated the back of Cloud's neck and it made Zack want to shout in triumph. Cloud was worried about Aerith, Cloud liked Aerith enough to be worried about her, and it gave him hope to know that one day maybe Cloud would love Aerith, and maybe one day she would love him back.
One day, maybe everything will be perfect.
But first, lunch.