It was night. Sector 7 was plunged in silence and darkness as the only light that could be seen were that of the street lamps and the only sound that could

be heard was that of the fountain's gushing water.

Zack was sitting alone in a bench, gazing at the night sky, almost starless due to the light pollution.

I don't even know why I'm here. He thought. It's already ten o'clock. I should probably go to bed or do something el-

"Who is here?" said a familiar voice. "Huh? Fair, is that you?"

Without turning to face him, Zack said, "That's me, Reno." and then he added, "You should stop calling me Fair, by the way."

"You look rather grumpy today." said Reno, grinning.

"And you look...Never mind. Where's Rude? Aren't you two always together?" said the 1st class SOLDIER, a bit surprised.

"Rude's having a drink at the Goblin's Bar." said the redhead.

"Oh, I see...Wait, what?" said Zack, realizing what Reno had just said.

"Yup. You know the quiet, taciturn, and even more quiet Rude, but you don't know that side of him, do you? Actually, even Cissnei and Tseng are

drinking."

Zack stared at him from a minute before saying :" TSENG? Tseng is a drinker?"

"Yup, buddy. One day he was so drunk he started to strip-tease. Sephiroth loved it, by the way."

"Sephiroth? Sephiroth?" Zack had chills just imagining the scene. "Stop joking, Reno. Please."

"But this is no joke! Even Angeal here can tell you!"

"What are you talking ab-WHAT THE FUCK? ANGEAL?" shouted Zack, seeing his normally deceased mentor.

"Hi, Zack." said Angeal. "Stop shouting, you will wake up the whole city."

"An...Angeal...Weren't you supposed to be...like...DEAD?"

"I have come back from life." Angeal said, the scenery changing from Midgar to the place where Zack killed him.

"What? How did y-

"I have come back to take revenge." said Angeal, now angry. "To take revenge on YOU "

"What? No..ANGEAL! FORGIVE ME! PLEAS-

Zack was interrupted as he was stabbed in the chest. "Why...Angeal..why..."


"Hello!"

Zack found himself in a bed, sweating bullets. He looked up and saw Aerith looking at him.

"Aerith..? What happened..? Where am I?" he asked, visibly troubled.

"After you got back from your mission, you came here. You were in a really bad state so I put you in my bed and you immediately fell asleep. Just now

you had a nightmare. Are you okay?" she said, with concerned eyes.

"Don't worry about me." He said, trying his best to smile.

"Who is Angeal?" the flower girl asked.

"Huh? Why do you ask?" he asked, surprised.

"You kept shouting his name during your nightmare."

"Oh...I see. Angeal was my mentor, and he was like a big brother to me. When I first came to SOLDIER, I knew nobody and I had difficulties when fulfilling

my missions. Angeal helped me getting through them and taught me pretty much everything I know about being a soldier."

"I understand now... But why do you speak in past tense?"

"Because he's dead...And I am the one who killed him!" Zack said, suddenly breaking out, crying.

Aerith, seeing him in this state, immediately went and hugged him warmly and started whispering to his ear. "Cry all your tears out. Don't worry about

anything. I won't leave your side." she hugged him tightly.

Zack then stopped crying, but he was still sobbing. "How...how could I do that to him...sniff..."

"You didn't do anything bad, Zack. It wasn't your fault." she said, kissing him on the cheek. He then stopped sobbing.

"Now, tell me your story with Angeal. I want to hear it all. We have the time."

Zack then related his story to Aerith. Throughout all of it, she just kept nodding.

"Do you understand now? Do you understand the sin I have commited? You regret going out with a guy like me, don't you?"

"Zack, you didn't commit any sin. Angeal walked a path he and only he chose. You did the best thing in ending his life. Angeal would not have liked living

as a monster. He didn't give you his sword just like that. He gave it to you because he believed in you. He gave you his dreams and his honor because

he considered you a frien-no, a brother."

"Do you...really...think that way?" said Zack, looking at Aerith with sad eyes.

"Of course I do." she said, her smile totally melting away all of Zack's sadness and replacing it with a warm feeling Zack couldn't describe.

"Thank you, Aerith...And I am sorry for letting you see me in this state.."

"It's okay, don't apologize. And one more thing, don't ever say again that I regret going out with you. I love you, Zack. And that will not change. Never."

They kissed for the first time that night.


Thank you for reading! It's been a long time since I last played Crisis Core, so please tell me if I got any facts wrong!