Title: You'll Be My...
Characters: Cloud, Zack
Genre: Angst - Hurt/Comfort.
Summary: ...Living Legacy. Zack's death from a more descriptive POV - Cloud. One-Shot. In honour of Zack Fair - A true Hero.
Author's Note: I've been wanting to write this for a long time, but I wanted to wait until I was more confident in my writing. I realise that there are other fics describing Zack's death, and this is my shot at it.
Hope you enjoy - If you have the chance to review then do so, but I'm not begging for reviews or anything like that.
Hope you enjoy! :).
The sound of a battered and rusted engine driving away plagues my mind as I try to muster what strength I have left. I know I don't have much but I still try. He ruffles my hair as he crouches down to my level, smiling his trademark roguish smile as he gets up again and turns his back to me. What is he doing? He knows I hate it when he ruffles my hair.
His black trousers, and equally black spiky hair wave in the cool breeze that rolls around this rocky plateau, unsettling the dust, causing it to twirl graciously in the air. That catches my wavering attention, if only for a fleeting second, until I turn my gaze back to Zack again, who is slowly walking away.
The strength I mustered, I use it now to steadily lift my arm in the hopes that he will turn around, and notice my silent cry for help.
Please Zack, please turn around. Don't leave me here. Don't go…
My arm twitches slightly as my strength ebbs away. It descends, crashing down onto the dry, cracked soil like dead weight. My strength is null. I want to help him, to stop him, but my damn body just will not allow it.
There is only silence now; agonising, painful silence. Where has he gone? Perhaps he has gone to check the perimeters. Yeah, that has to be it…right?
And that's when I hear it. The cocking of an army of guns, helicopters shattering the galling silence with their gargantuan rotary blades, slicing the air as they turn. In my mind I hope, I pray, that the ShinRa army has not caught up with us after all this time, but, my gut tells me otherwise.
Silence again now. What is happening? I hope Zack is okay.
I can hear open gunfire now. Oh God. Zack, please, please be okay. I'll try and move. Just hold on, please.
Okay, I can move my arms. That's a start at least. I can partially move my legs too. Can I lift myself up? Well, its worth a try at least.
Okay. Here goes…
Oh God. Was that a scream? It was horrible; blood curdling, bone chilling. I hope that wasn't…
I can move my legs more steadily now. I'm searching for Zack, my eyes desperately scanning the surroundings, but all I can see is dust clouds and rocks. What happened here?
Zack. Please be okay.
I try to call out his name, but it's all in vain. My dry, sticky throat won't allow it, and as the words I want to say are lost before I even try to say them. I give up, instead, carrying on my hurried search.
Zack. Where are you?
It's starting to rain now, the crystalline rain drops catch the light of the sun as they fall to earth, spattering delicately on the ground below. It isn't cold, harsh, brutal rain, the kind that makes you extremely wet and cold; It is warm rain. Gentle and soothing on my aching skin. So I press on, and take a quick glance at the muddy floor beneath my feet. I can see a trail of red. Is that…is that blood? Where's it coming from?
I follow it for a short while, and then I notice something. What is that? The trail of blood seems to be coming from…
Oh God. No!
My stomach cramps and lurches as I realise what I am looking at. Zack is lying there, motionless, blood seeping through the bullet wounds in his chest. I creep closer, trying to tread silently so that I don't alarm him. I see his arm move slightly and rush to his side, grabbing his hand as he turns his head to look at me.
I manage a hoarse whisper as my closest friend smiles up at me, blood streaming down his face. He doesn't say anything, he just pulls his hand slowly out of my gentle grip and reaches for his buster sword, which is laying on the sodden ground next to him, surrounded by a pool of crimson. I glance at the bullet wounds in his chest, and realise they are numerous, oozing with congealed blood as his heart beat gets slower and slower. I run my hand down his face, wiping the blood away, and realise that his skin is cold. Not from the soothing rain, but from blood loss. Maybe, if I could just pick him up and take him to Midgar, someone would be able to save him. Wouldn't they?
He winces in pain as he tries to speak. I try to tell him not to but the words escape his lips before I have the chance.
'For the…both of us…'
'Both of us?'
I don't quite understand what he's trying to say, but I let him carry on.
'That's right. You're gonna…'
He slowly reaches his arm towards the nape of my neck, and pulls me down. My head rests on his heavily bleeding chest, and I can hear the weakness of his heart, desperately trying to cling to what life it has left. I'm glad it's raining, in honesty. He won't be able to see my tears.
He speaks again, softly, as I keep my head resting upon his chest. I don't want him to go. I don't want him to leave. He's everything I ever aspired to be. He's my best friend.
'You'll be…my living legacy.'
He releases the gentle grip on my neck, as his arm slumps down and comes to rest by the side of his chest.
Zack. Please hang on. Please don't leave me alone…
His hand grips onto the hilt of his sword, and with the last ounce of strength he has left in his muscles, he places the sword into my outstretched hand and smiles at me again.
'My honour. My dreams. They're yours now.'
I can feel the blood on my forehead, but I don't want to wipe it clean. I can feel my hot, salty tears burning my skin as I look softly at Zack. He can't go. Not now. He just can't…
'I'm your living…legacy,' I whisper again, letting Zack know I understood what he was trying to say. The rain comes down harder now, water fills the air as it races towards land, filling the atmosphere with sounds of dripping. Zack nods slightly at me as he closes his eyes, and takes one, final deep breath before…
Tears begin to stream down my face as I look at his peaceful expression ; smiling slightly, reflecting his very personality. I will take that image to the grave, I swear. I begin to cry. What else can I do? I was so useless, so…helpless. I couldn't save him even though he did everything to save me.
He died with a smile on his face…
Zack, I can only hope you will hear me. I want you to know that you were always a hero to me. Always. It shouldn't have ended like this. Not like this.
Always a hero to me.
I look into the sky, into the heavens above. They are weeping for Zack, just like me. I let out a cry. A cry of anger, frustration, sorrow, lament…
The sun shines brightly as I bring my head back down. The rays kiss my skin as I look down at the body of my best friend.
'Thank you, Zack.'
What can I do?
I failed him.
After everything he did for me.
Slowly, I drag myself to my feet. I can barely stand from shock but, I have to keep moving. I won't let ShinRa catch me now. Tears are still fighting their way from the corners of my eyes but, I have to keep moving.
I take one last look at the man I aspired to be, my tutor, my friend, my hero; and I slowly walk away. Slowly. One step at a time. Bewildered by what has just happened.
But I know that, for his sake, I must keep on living…
For the both of us.
You'll be my living legacy...
~Embrace your dreams.
~Embrace your dreams.
If you want to be a hero,
You need to have dreams,