It was the little things.
He'd see someone with her green eyes or hear her laugh on the wind when it blew in just the right direction.
People, places. It was blurry, it was sharp. It hurt to think about it. His past was still full of gaps and holes. He wondered if they'd ever fill themselves in sometimes.
Forgiveness helped. Knowing they still loved him, that they didn't hate him, that they were proud of him lifted a weight from his shoulders.
Flashes of knowledge and memories of adventures would sometimes come back to him. He'd walk by the motorcycle shop in Sector Five --
Zack, let me drive!
What do I get if I say yes?
Come on, just one little kiss.
-- and he remembered that the plateau hadn't always been Zack's grave. It was a frequent stop along their midnight drives, the perfect place to see the stars. He'd been kissed for the first time --
You're so cute when you blush. Wonder how far down it goes...
Zack! Hands! My sh-shirt! Dammit, that tickles!
-- but he'd also lost everything, all in one place. It was always like that, it seemed. A good memory tainted with the knowledge of a bad --
Just let me take care of these guys. I'll be right back.
-- and letting go was impossible because he needed to feel and hurt and ache to feel alive sometimes.
Zack used to send him postcards. The silliest, most groan inducing one he could hunt up from the shops in Junon and Wuati. Whenever he had a mission, Cloud could expect to get a postcard. The message was always short --
Wish you were here. Be home soon.
Need you. Be home soon.
Boring without you. Be home soon.
-- but it was the heart behind the words that Cloud had treasured.
He wondered if that was why he was in Costa de Sol, staring at the little row of postcards trying to decide which one he liked best. He sifted through the pile a bit, finally uncovering one that showed three large breasted women their bodies contorted to form the letters C-D-S. He smiled just a bit, and paid his gil. Cloud carefully placed it in his pocket, and picked up the imported frosty mix Tifa had ordered from the Icicle Village. The ride back over on the ferry was quiet, and he was thankful for that.
He asked to borrow a pen from someone he'd never see again, and stared at the back of the postcard for what felt like forever before scratching out a couple words. Cloud handed the pen back and smiled softly. He lifted his face to the sun and soaked it in. Maybe he'd call Cid and Vincent when he got back. Maybe he'd call up everyone and invite them for a get together. It would be nice to have the whole group around when the threat of death and Sephiroth wasn't looming over their heads. Maybe he'd go to the church and gather some flowers and place them by the rusted weapon jutting from the earth. Maybe.
He looked back at his treasure and pressed it to his forehead, imagining ghost lips brushing his brow softly.
Cloud dropped the postcard into the sea and watched it until it was just a tiny white speck slowly floating under the water. He could see the words etched clearly in his mind.
Miss you. Be home soon.
AN: I got to the Zack flashback in my game the other day. And this came out of my brain. I need happy fic... Comments are love, constructive criticism is appreciated, and if you find a typo for the love of god let me know.