Mako is a strange thing. It can cure sickness that medicine could never touch or ravage the body, destroying it from the inside. Zack Fair had seen how it could help people, worked hard for it to help people, but now he couldn't stop his best friend from wasting away in front of him. Cloud's fair skin was paler than usual, far too pale to be healthy. His golden spikes hung limply, gravity finally beginning to pull on them. His breath came in short bursts, pained and labored. And his eyes, those perfectly blue eyes that were always so vibrant, that always brought a smile to the raven haired SOLDEIR's face, were vacant. It was only the mako swirling within them that stirred.
Zack kept moving, it was all he could do. If he rested for a moment he would look into Cloud's eyes and see how the life was slipping out of them. But movement wasn't enough, couldn't drive the pain and guilt from his mind. He should have been able to protect Cloud, should have been the one to bring Sephiroth down. Cloud wouldn't have been involved then, Hojo wouldn't have cared. Zack was a SOLDIER, he was supposed to protect his friends. His failure weighed heavily upon him.
As much as he wished it, the violet eyed man couldn't keep moving all the time. It was the mako, the cursed mako; that flowed within his veins. He would carry his friend for distances no other human would be able to, but it burned the mako. The stress on his system would catch up and he had to rest. When he did he would set Cloud close to him, spooning him against his body, so that he would feel if the blond stirred. He never did. Zack didn't expect him to, the mako was still burning bright within those once perfect eyes, he just wished the blond would sleep. The brunet wasn't sure what kind of sleep he wished for his friend though.
Zack would sleep, dreams troubled by Cloud's screams, and he would wake shaking and clinging to the blond desperately. Protecting him. At least that's what he told himself. The raven haired male would ignore how his fingers dug into the blonde's arms, ignore the bruises he left on the sensitive flesh, how he would grip his friend's hips. Cloud gave no sign that he felt any of it. Zack would try not to think of how Cloud's screams had sounded in his dreams, how sometimes they were pain, sometimes something entirely different. Even with sleep, Zack got no rest.
They ran into Shinra's lackeys, it was inevitable that Shinra wanted them back. It wasn't hard for Zack to fight them off, they weren't enhanced by both SOLDIER and a madman's games. But the mako burned, scorching his veins and wrapping him in its sickly green glow. Even when there were no more enemies to kill it burned, whispering violence and redemption. Zack was so tired, he could hardly see past the green glow, hardly fight it off, but he did.
The Turks found them next and Zack ran, barely losing them and only because the mako burned yet again. He knew he shouldn't have called on the mako, knew that those soft whispers would swarm him until there was nothing left to burn, but he did. It coursed through his veins and clouded his mind, but left his eyes untouched. That's the funny thing about mako, it seems to know how to make the pain even greater.
When there was not more reason to run, when the Turks were far behind, the burn continued. It flooded his mind and took control of his limbs. He felt it as a cruel smile twisted his lips, a smile so like the one Zack had seen on Sephiroth's face before he understood what a curse mako really was. He wanted to scream, to weep, to laugh, to…do something, but he couldn't, the mako held him the same way it held Cloud. As soon as the thought ran threw his mind Zack felt the mako delight in it and he wanted to die. Watching from the prison of the green glow, the SOLDIER saw and felt his own body move.
Gently, oh so gently, he laid Cloud down on the ground. Zack screamed for the blond to wake, for him to break through the mako and flee. But the blond simply laid there, vacant eyes staring into his own blazing violet ones. The mako cackled, its intentions clear to the SOLDIER. Zack watched as one of his hands trailed down Cloud's stomach, running along the blonde's waistband. With no kindness he gripped his friend's pants and pulled them down, exposing the helpless blond to the cold and mako.
Beautiful, it whispered, So innocent.
Zack railed against the glow, yet his hand still caressed Cloud. Screaming from the confines of his mind, Zack watched as Cloud was turned over. It was odd, how the mako let him feel. How he was aware of the cold night air against his skin as he was forced to expose himself. How he felt himself entering the other, blood spilling around him. How the blond shuddered, pain reaching him even in his distant state. He wanted to scream, wanted to vomit, wanted it to stop, yet the mako burned on. His body moved, violated, destroyed, and he found pleasure within it.
Mako is a strange thing. It can cause pain unlike any other. Force someone to shatter what they hold dear. Even the greatest protector cannot defend against it. And it can cure, wash away the pain that it causes. The mako burns and wipes away whatever it wishes. Memories, wounds, people, it matters not.