My eyes were starting to see orange blobs. Then my knees jellied, and I
was eating dirt when I breathed.
I squinted hard. I could barely make out Cloud's shape, and my neck
wouldn't turn right. But there. Over there. It must be him. Still
wearing that Shinra uniform...
Hot liquid pain shot through my gut. But Hojo's men must have run off,
because I couldn't make out any more blobs in the distance. So I dragged
myself up on my elbows, and crawled to Cloud's side.
"Cloud!" I tried to shake him, but he wasn't moving. I heaved him hard as
I could and flipped him on his back. My trembling hand felt for sticky wet
Thank God. They'd left Cloud alone.
Just a little further and I would've made it.
There's so much I still gotta say... and do...
I still have to...
"Zack, clean up your room."
"Naw, Mom... s'all right..."
"You know how your father gets."
"s' all right, Mom. He's ok with me now."
Yup. The old man's finally taken a shine to me, now that I've won a few
more trophies. Now that I'm the hottest catch in three towns and chicks are
all over me.
But I'm not like him, dammit. I'm not gonna knock up some girl and end up
stuck in a boring dump town.
Sorry, Mom. I'll make it up to you, somehow.
I shouldn't have left you, left home. But I had to join SOLDIER. Had to
run off to the big city.
"Hello? I'm Aeris. Weren't you going to say anything?"
"I was going to offer to go out with you, for saving me from those two
That was the first time a girl straight out asked me out. A damn fine girl,
too. I was a little nervous about leaving home, but Midgar looked like it
was gonna work out just fine.
It was fun, for a while.
"Zack! I waited for you all day."
"Sorry, Aeris. They sprung this training on us-"
"Don't lie to me! I saw you with that waitress from the Blue Diamond!"
Sorry, Aeris. You always could see right through me. You knew not to wait
Shit! Thought I heard something coming this way. Can't see very well
I tried to drag Cloud with me, but ended up just collapsing beside him.
"Come on, Cloud, they're comin' this way!"
"Just a little further, man."
Just like back then...
"Hey! Get up, Cloud! The sergeant said we had to be up there at 0700."
"Cloud! Come on! You wanna screw up before we even start?"
I had to throw him in the shower to get him up that morning; and he cussed
me out, because his sleep clothes got all drenched.
He never got used to that SOLDIER training crap. And the way he took care
"Come on, Cloud, eat something. You can't pick up chicks if you look all
"Take off your mask if it's making you sick, man!"
"What? Tifa? That's Tifa?"
"Excuse me, sir, do you know a Cloud?"
"Sir? Just call me Zack. You're Tifa, right?"
"You... know my name?"
" 'Course. Cloud told me about you."
Yup. It was like pulling teeth, but he told me. But he never said you were
so pretty, or so naive.
"Geez, you got a lot of mail, there, Tifa. Any of those letters from your
"N-no! I mean... I don't have a... boyfriend."
"Isn't Cloud your boyfriend?"
"Cloud and me... we're just friends, neighbors, really..."
"Then how come you were sitting out there waiting for him, heh?"
And then you told me how you fell from Mount Nibel. How you'd gone nuts
when your Mom died. How you'd asked Cloud to be your hero.
You told me more in half an hour than Cloud did in two years.
You always wear your heart on your sleeve like that, Tifa? No wonder Cloud
thinks he's gotta protect you.
"Wow! Aeris asked _you_ out?"
"You think Aeris would like these seeds? Mrs. Reed says they're
"I just started training with Zangan, but sure, I'll spar with you."
"You really want to see the well? It's not much, but the stars are pretty
"You don't have to use it, if you're not cold, but, sometimes, I like to
snuggle with a blanket when I come here."
"Did it hurt... when they put the Mako into you? Were you ever... scared?"
"I'm... scared... that the Mako will make Cloud sick, that he'll... forget
about me, or... he won't want to come home anymore."
"I just want to live here with Cloud... have a family, maybe. What about
"Do you ever wish on a star?"
"Sh-sssh... you can't tell me, or your wish won't come true."
I must have slipped and told you my wish, because, it doesn't look like I'll
ever see you again.
I wanted to show you Midgar. Get you real fighting gloves from the weapon
shop on the Plate. And I wanted to show you a sky full of stars, biggers
stars than you'd seen with Cloud, because... we'd be closer to the sky.
But then Sephiroth hurt you, and I couldn't do a damn thing, except wonder
what became of you.
But you're ok, I know it. I feel it, right here.
My chest hurts. Funny, I got shot in the gut, right? I can't even feel my
But it's gonna be ok, Tifa. Cloud's here. He's come back to you. I
made sure he got back to you.
I had to, because... he's a good friend. And it'd be too sad if you wasted
all that love, waiting your whole life for him.
That's all you've ever wanted, right, Tifa? To live your life with him?
I'm making your dreams come true, aren't I, Tifa?
Cloud's here. And he's gonna take care of you. I just wish I could be
around to help him out, sometimes.
I don't want to... go... just yet.
I can still make it.
I have to.
I have to... see you again... to tell you...