Author's Note: Okay, this will become a loooong fic. At least I hope it will -_-() The idea came to me a few months ago, but it needed a lot of research and background and other things *sigh* Anyway, I hope you all like it! :-D

Disclaimer: FF7. Not mine. Not mine. Belongs to Squaresoft ™

Dedication: Dedicated to my best friend Simone, who keeps visiting me although I annoy her ^_^b You go, girl!! :-D

Search For Life

Prologue: Gone

"Aw come on, where is he?" Tifa Lockheart called out frustrated, her gaze focused on the clock that stood on the desk. It was almost eleven PM, and Cloud should've been home six hours ago. Biting her nails, Tifa tried to concentrate on the newspaper again, when all of a sudden her phone rang. Tifa jumped, scared, before she hurried over to where the phone stood and answered it.

"Lockheart and Strife?" she spoke into the receiver.

"Tifa, it's Jen." Came the voice of Tifa's good friend Jen, who worked at Midgar City Hospital.

"Hey Jen." Tifa spoke, smiling. "What makes you call me in the middle of the night?" Jen's next words turned Tifas blood into ice water and her guts into jelly.

"I'm calling because of Cloud, Tifa." Jen gently spoke. "He got into an accident on his way home from work."

"No." Tifa whispered. "Oh dear God, no. No." Her vision started to become blurry, and she only heard a few of Jen's words…but she heard the ones which were most important.

"Severe head wounds…not long to live anymore…and he wants to see you." Jen spoke. Later on, Tifa was sure that her friend had said more…but she hadn't heard.

"I'll…I'll be right there." She now whispered, her vision blurring even more when her eyes filled with tears. "I'll be right there…" With that, she hung up the receiver, grabbed her coat and ran out of the house.

***

"Cloud…" Tifa whispered while she sat down next to the bed of her lover, taking his hand. "Oh God, Cloud…" Her lover looked up at her, smiling weakly. His head was completely bandaged, only a few strands of blonde hair peeking out.

"I love you." He now whispered. "I just…wanted to see you once more…before I go."

"No." Tifa sobbed. "No, you can't go. You can't leave me, Cloud. Do you hear? You can't. No. No." Tell him that you love him. Before it's too late. "I love you." Tifa whispered, finally accepting the harsh truth. Cloud was dying…and she couldn't help him. "I love you. I love you." The beeping of the ECG machine already became slower, and Tifa knew that it soon would turn into a long flat tone. "I love you." She repeated over and over again, tears streaming down her face. "I love you. I love…" Her voice cracked when Cloud smiled up at her once more before he closed his eyes. And then, the beeping stopped, turning into the tone Tifa had feared so much to her. The tone that showed that her lover's heart had stopped beating. Tifa broke down crying, the truth hitting her with the force of a sledgehammer. Cloud Strife, her lover, her soulmate, was gone. Gone.