Summary: Zack dies, Cloud breaks.
"No," his breath hitched, blood bubbling at the corner of his mouth, "it's not supposed to end this way..."
Zack stared up, no longer able to turn his head. His chest felt like it was on fire, he could barely breathe. They'd used what, four rounds? Typical Shinra overkill. Four machine gun rounds to bring down one man.
"Zack," questioned a voice to his left, "...Zack?"
He focused, and blond spikes and blank blue eyes came into sight. "Cloud," he sighed, "how did you-?"
Cloud dragged a hesitant finger down the curve of Zack's cheek, smearing the blood onto his own hands.
"Zack..." Cloud's blank, glowing eyes flickered, "we're going to get out, Cloud. Soon. Soon. And we'll be free. Right, Zack? Free?"
"How did you get over here?" Zack coughed, feeling like he was drowning for a minute, struggling to breathe through red, "You can barely move."
Cloud looked down at his muddied hands, now spattered red, and the earth and ooze caked on his clothes from crawling. He blinked, hands idly splashing in Zack's blood. "Run from Hojo, and i'll take you to Midgar. We can hide there... I'm in SOLDIER, you know." Cloud cocked his head to the side, "Won't that be nice, Cloud? Zack- find him, and-" He shook his head, confused.
Zack half-smiled, not much able to see. "Sorry, Cloud," he rasped, "I... don't think I'll be taking you to Midgar."
"Zack?" asked Cloud quietly, putting his dirt-streaked hands on the older man's chest, "...Zack...?"
Zack didn't move. There was no rise and fall of breath, no heartbeat.
Cloud panicked. "Don't leave me!" he screamed, "Don't leave me alone!" His hands closed convulsively, tearing clumps of grass from the ground. "Don't leave me here!"
Suddenly, as if all the life had been drained from him in a moment, Cloud sat still, hands no longer gripping the ground, eyes glowing and empty. "We'll be free, right, Cloud?" he whispered, staring at nothing, "Right? Free?"
Rain began to patter down, going from a trickle to a downpour in no time at all. Cloud looked down at his own hands, black and red and white in streaks, running off with the rain. If he was crying, he couldn't tell.
The rain splashed in the bloody puddle, diluting it, feeding the plants with Zack's life. He put his hands to the ground.
"Beautiful," he crooned, "beautiful..." His smeared fingertips made such nice patterns on the wet grass, and he steadfastly ignored the cooling body of his only friend. "It's nice, isn't it Cloud? Isn't it? We have to get out, Zack. Yes Cloud, yes, soon, hold on a little longer..."
Cloud giggled, an insane shriek of laughter, and pressed a bloody hand to his face.