Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy or any of its series.

AN: This isn't my first time writing an FF fanfic but it is my first time writing a yaoi one…or even an implied yaoi one. I normally don't write yaoi. Actually, I do not write yaoi. However, a friend of mine asked me to write her two (one was angst and the other was light-hearted), and she's one of my closest friends, so I thought "Hey! Why not? There's a first for everything, right?" So this is probably gonna suck. LOL.

Warning: Yaoi; Implied sexual interaction; mild swearing

"A man who loves and is loved by the one he loves is blessed. But a man who is loved by one from afar and in secret is beyond blessed."

Cloud Strife was an expressive young man. He found it hard to hide his emotions, to cover up a broken heart with a joyful young smile. And he found it intensely hard and almost impossible to cover up a broken heart with a smile in front of Zack Fair, of all people.


Cloud had no idea. Perhaps it was because Cloud was hopelessly and mindlessly in love with him. Perhaps it was that Zack was a guy and that a relationship between two guys was humiliating at best, deadly at worst. Perhaps it was that Zack Fair was in love with Aerith, that small, smiling and kind girl from the slums.

Perhaps it was a mixture of the three.

And what made it more difficult was that Cloud couldn't find it in him to hate him or Aerith.

Aerith was too nice to hate. She was a little angel in this damned world. As much as Cloud wanted to hate her, to despise her…he just couldn't. How could you hate someone who treated you with nothing but respect and kindness?

On the other hand, Zack was just…impossible to describe in words. He was everything a woman or Cloud wanted in a partner. He was strong, kind, handsome and never turned his back on anyone who needed his help. He was also a bit reckless but Cloud found it endearing. Too endearing, even.

He recalled moments where it was just him and Zack, whether they were training or just having fun in the cafeteria of Shin-ra's military base, it did not matter to Cloud, just as long as Zack was in it.

Images popped inside his head. Memories of Zack smiling at him with that wide cheeky grin or looking at him across the table with that mischievous gleam in his eyes and a wicked smirk that sent signals to his heart and to something between his legs passed through his mind, eliciting a whimper from the blond infantryman.

It was pathetic, really; fucking stupid, if you ask Cloud. To love someone who doesn't love you the way you want to be loved.

Cloud knew that Zack regarded him as someone important. That was clear enough when the SOLDIER's concerned and worried face appeared in his vision whenever he got hit by a monster or got injured because of a stray spell. And when the medic at hand announces to the distressed SOLDIER that his infantryman was alright, Cloud's heart always skips a beat at the beautiful smile Zack gives him.

Cloud Strife was important to Zack Fair. But, that couldn't compare to the importance of Zack Fair to Cloud Strife.

Zack was more than a man to Cloud. He was a hero, a symbol, a legend. He was someone Cloud wanted to be. Cloud wanted to be as kind as Zack was, as brave as Zack was, as joyous and optimistic as Zack was.

He not only loved Zack, but also the man beneath the face, the soul beneath the body.

Sometimes, late at night, when Cloud lays down to sleep, dreadfully alone and in need, he ends up groping himself, trying to imagine that it was Zack's hand that was holding him, that it was Zack's teeth that was pinching his nipples, that it was Zack whispering words of love into his ears and not the quiet and painful cries of a young man who wanted to be loved by the man he loves with everything.

This would then end in misery as Cloud would realize what he had done and feel disgusted with himself. No sooner will that thought cross his mind, the tears would then come anew.

Cloud Strife was an expressive man. Every time Zack placed an arm around him in a friendly manner, or patted him on the back for a job well done or even so much as wink at his direction, Cloud would be a bundle of blushes. Every time he saw Zack so much as smile as someone else, especially if it's a girl, a look of displeasure would pass by his face. It was so clear and so full of emotion that his friends, the few he has, would ask why he was grimacing.

But for every time that Zack would land a peck on Aerith's cheek or grab her by the middle and twirl her around the way a prince would to his princess or lie on her lap and make faces at her until she laughed, Cloud's heart would clench like something cold and hard had swallowed it and his throat would go dry. If someone were to look at him at that painful moment, you'd see a pale young man with trembling lips and eyes ready to overflow.

Cloud hated being this pathetic and this miserable but, most of all, he hated that he couldn't stop making himself fall more in love with Zack as each day passes by. It was a bittersweet purgatory that he had to live.

Cloud would give anything to have Zack love him the way the infantryman loved the SOLDIER. Sometimes, all he wanted was to grab the man and kiss him until his lips turn blue and they both die from oxygen deprivation. Sometimes, he just wanted to lie in his arms until time stops and the world implodes on itself.

Sometimes, he just wants to feel what it's like to not be alone.

But, looking at his situation, those things were beyond his reach. Many a time he was tempted to tear the two apart, but what would that give him? Broken trust, endless pain and a miserable existence was what. Even if he was given the chance, Cloud would never do that to the man he loves and the girl who is nothing short but a saint.

So, Cloud is left to love Zack from afar, to hide his feelings behind a weak smile and hope that one day, one sweet joyful day, Zack would realize that there will always be someone who is ready to jump across worlds for him.

One day, Cloud would know how it feels to love somebody…and to be loved in return.

AN: I…don't like the way it turned out. Oh well, what do you guys think for a first-timer? Criticize it or flame it, I don't give a fuck. You read my shit, anyway.