A/N: Hey guys. Sorry it took so long to update…I had trouble getting this chapter right. Sorry again if it's a bit dull. FINAL CHAPTER here so I hope you like it. And I'm glad you liked the last chapter, if you did. Well…read on.
NOTE – If you want questions about this fic answered, email me or put them in a review and I'll post up a FAQ (frequently asked questions). Questions about anything related to this fic are welcome, okay? If there's enough I'll post one up.
Summary – Squall fought Sephiroth alone but was in danger. Until Cloud helped, by controlling Sephiroth. The others showed up and they finished Sephiroth and Ultimecia once and for all. They all managed to escape from the building when it started to collapse. It was over.
Chapter 29 – A Way Home
Cloud stood on the highest hill, watching the sea.
So much had happened. So many things, which could have been prevented. So many things he blamed himself for.
It hadn't been long since he had come back…but it had felt like months. He was happier than he had ever been before. He knew that Sephiroth was finished, and his shadow no longer hung over him. The Mako-mutants had, somehow, all been destroyed when Sephiroth and Ultimecia had been killed. Both Kalm and Costa del Sol had gotten back on their feet. He and Tifa were together, plus they were expecting a child.
And it was all thanks to Squall. The one person, who hated him, had helped him so much. Cloud could only think of one way to repay him.
Get him and his friend's home. But it was going to be difficult. The first problem was figuring out how they had gotten here in the first place.
He looked towards the shore and something in his memory came zooming back into his head.
Their ship had crashed in the sea and sunk. Somewhere out there, it was lying in the ocean. Maybe he could…
Cloud smiled and stood up. He put two finders in his mouth and blew. His whistle was loud and could be heard by the one he was calling. Bahamut flew out of a forest and landed beside him. The Bahamut lowered his head and Cloud stroked it, before climbing onto its back. The Bahamut flapped its huge wings and took off.
They landed next to the shore, and Cloud slipped off. He walked forward until he was in the water. He drew out a materia from his pocket and slotted it into his armour. He then concentrated onto the materia next to it. Soon, his Leviathan patiently waited at his feet. He climbed on and they swam out.
Leviathan continued to swim but stopped a distance out. It turned its head towards Cloud, requesting to dive. Cloud nodded and it dived down. The water was cool and thanks to his materia, he could breathe. At the sea bed, he saw a large red construction. They swam down to it and Cloud surveyed it carefully. It looked like a large red dragon. It had cannons at its mouth and, what looked like, moveable claws.
'So…this is the Ragnarok, huh?' Cloud thought, 'Impressive!'
He looked closer and noticed, on the right hand side of the ship, was a large hole. The metal looked as if it had been melted or scorched off.
'That's obviously where the lightning struck it.'
Cloud let go of his summon and swam to the hole. It was big enough for him to fit through. He carefully slid into it and swam through the corridor. Several rooms were on either side of the hall and an automatic gate was at the end of the hall. Cloud stepped onto the metallic floor. Thanks to his materia, he could walk on the floor like he cloud when he was out of the water. He quickly walked forward and examined the gate. It was slightly ajar. Cloud wondered if he could open it with his sword. He decided to try and poked his Ultima Weapon into the gap. He pulled the sword to the right. The gate slowly pulled apart and eventually opened enough for him to get through.
Inside, was empty. There was another door, and an elevator. The electricity was offline, so Cloud swam up instead. He had reached the bridge. The controls, weapon system and pilot seats were all up here. The large window had been destroyed and one of the chairs had been ripped from the floor. He walked up to the control panel and pulled off the metal covering the wires. He looked inside carefully and saw that one of the wires had snapped in two.
'That was what probably caused Selphie to lose control. It must have taken too much strain from the electricity and broke. Maybe…'
Cloud took out his underwater materia and placed it in between the wires. He was careful to keep hold of it. If he let go, he would drown. He wrapped the two wires around the materia and pulled them together. Holding the two ends, he used 'Bolt3' to charge the electricity. The room suddenly filled with light and the water level started to drop. The water rushed out of the window and none came back in. Soon the room was empty, as was the rest of the ship. The materia stopped the water from getting inside the ship. Cloud then concentrated on his 'Cure3.' The glass then started to repair. The broken wire started to meld together, so Cloud took out the materia and let go. Within seconds, everything was repaired.
The water barrier still surrounded the ship as the flying controls went online. Cloud sat down on the pilot's seat and looked at the controls surrounding him. He used his Sense materia to analyse each one. He finally found the one that allowed the ship to fly and pressed it. The ship jolted to life and Cloud smiled. He brought the control handles down and the ship began to rise. Holding the controls down, he pressed the button the start the engines. The ship began to move forward and fly upwards. Cloud smiled again.
* * * * *
"Cloud!" Tifa shouted.
She, Squall and Rinoa walked across the plains looking for Cloud. He had been gone for hours.
"Cloud!" Rinoa shouted.
Squall looked around. They could see nothing but hills, cliffs and the sea. There was no one here. Except…
"Hey, what's that?" he asked, noticing a large black figure in the distance. Tifa walked up beside him and squinted to see what it was. She recognised it almost instantly.
"It's Cloud's Bahamut. C'mon, he's near the shore." she yelled running off. The two followed her.
Tifa reached Bahamut first.
"Where's Cloud, Bahamut?" she asked it.
The Bahamut nodded its head towards the sea. Squall was confused. How could he be down there? They then saw Leviathan's head pop out of the water.
"Is Cloud down there, Leviathan?" Rinoa asked it. The summon nodded its head and swam to the shore.
They had gotten a surprise with Leviathan, but nothing prepared them for what happened next.
Squall stepped back, stunned, as he saw the Ragnarok shoot out of the water. Instantly, what felt like, thousands of questions flowed into his head. When the Ragnarok landed softly on the land near them, Squall and Rinoa rushed over. Squall's eyes widened when he saw Cloud step out of the ship. He saw them coming and smiled.
"Not a bad ship you have!" he commented, "At least it was easy to fix with materia."
Rinoa ran up to him, almost tackling him. She hugged him tightly as he stood in shock.
"Thank you so much Cloud!" she said excitedly, "We might be able to get home now!"
"No problem," he said nervously, but felt more comfortable when she finally let go.
She ran inside the ship to look around. It was exactly the same. Squall noticed something else.
"It's totally repaired!" he said, bewildered, "But how?" he asked Cloud.
Cloud walked up to Tifa and put an arm around her waist.
"You can use materia for more than just fighting, you know." he said simply. Squall nodded and turned to look at the Ragnarok again. It was impressive. There wasn't one scratch on it.
He felt excitement surge through his body, but it was soon replaced with disappointment. They had been here for half a year. The place felt like home now, but it wasn't. He still felt the longing to be back at Balamb Garden. That was his home. But beside all that…
He was going to miss this place.
* * * * *
"Wow, that's brilliant!" Selphie squealed. The SeeD's, Cloud and Tifa were all back at the bar. Everyone else had gone back to their homes. Squall had just told them about the Ragnarok. Saying that they were excited would be putting it lightly.
"We can finally go home!" Quistis said happily, as Selphie hugged her.
"After what you guys have done here, you deserve to be able to go back." Cloud said.
Squall looked at him and saw that he meant it. After all that had happened, he had gained a new found respect for Cloud. There was still a bit of rivalry but not the same way as Seifer. They didn't want to practically kill each other. And Cloud had told them all about his past and about his JENOVA cells. Squall knew that it must have been hard for him to tell them, but he respected him more for that.
Then another problem came up.
"Question is…" he started and everyone turned to him, "How did we get here? What actually happened?"
"I think I might know." Cloud said. Everyone looked at him in surprise. He stood up from beside Tifa and walked to a window. He looked outside. He saw the dark, grey clouds heading towards Kalm. Signs of a storm.
"When I was controlled…it wasn't just Sephiroth, it was that women too. Because my will was strong enough to resist Sephiroth's powers, he had to use her powers too. And there were side affects. One was my eyes. They never used to change colour. Another…was that I was able to read their minds. According to Ultimecia, there was a small part of something…what was it?" he started to think hard, "Time…time something. I can't remember but it was something that happened in your time." he told them.
"Time Compression?" Zell asked.
"Yeah…that's it. There was a small area of the planet still affected by it. Apparently, you flew straight through it. Also…it looks as if it only appears during a storm."
There was an uncomfortable silence between them. Irvine looked out side the window where Cloud stood.
"Looks like we could be leaving here very soon."
* * * * *
The storm outside was more like a hurricane than anything. The group of eight practically shoved themselves through the wind to the Ragnarok. Cloud and Squall had left it there earlier.
The SeeD's walked up to their ship and opened it. They had never been so relieved to see it again. Everyone started to board while Rinoa and Squall went over to Cloud and Tifa.
"Bye, Tifa." Rinoa said hugging her. Tears had begun to flow out of her eyes. She and Tifa had become very good friends and Rinoa didn't want to part from her, maybe never to see her again.
"Don't cry Rinoa. I won't forget you." she told her. She hugged her back and they let go. Rinoa turned to Cloud and hugged him too. He felt slightly more comfortable this time.
"Bye Cloud," she said, "Be a good dad, okay."
He laughed, "Don't worry…I'll do my best."
With that Rinoa let him go, waved goodbye and ran onto the Ragnarok. Squall turned to Cloud.
"No…I should be thanking you. You've done more here than we first thought. Thanks."
Squall nodded and Cloud held his hand out. Squall shook it and they smiled.
"I'm gonna kick your ass next time." Cloud said, jokingly, as they let go.
"Yeah…you wish!" Squall laughed and he walked towards the Ragnarok.
"Oh Squall!" Cloud shouted, getting his attention. "Here." He pressed his Ultima materia into Squall's hand.
Squall looked at it in surprise. "Cloud…this is your favourite materia, I can't take it."
Cloud smiled and lifted up another Ultima. Squall stared at it.
"Thanks to you, the materia was mastered. I'll train this up in no time." Cloud said.
"Thanks," Squall said before running into the ship.
As the door shut, he rushed to the bridge. Everyone else was there. The group all turned to their leader and he nodded, understanding what they wanted. Selphie grinned and started the engine. She grabbed the controls and the ship slowly started to rise from the ground. Everyone grinned, and then they heard a familiar sound of engines. They all looked out of the window to see the Sentinel flying a short distance away from them. Everyone, including Cloud and Tifa, were on the deck. The two groups exchanged waves before the Ragnarok headed in the direction Cloud had given them.
Squall looked back and smiled again.
He had a feeling that they would see each other again.
* * * * *
"Commander! There's more paperwork here for you." said Xu's voice over the intercom.
Squall sighed. It had been two weeks since they had returned, and already everything was back to normal.
When they had arrived back, they had told Cid their bizarre story. At first, Cid suggested the lot go to a psychiatrist but he finally began to believe them. Everyone had been going frantic over the loss over their finest SeeD's, but they settled down eventually.
Squall stood up and walked to his window. He would always remember AVALANCHE. He smiled as he lifted the Ultima materia.
'Yeah…' Squall thought, 'I'm definitely gonna kick his ass…next time.'
Well, that's it. Bye-bye fic. I'd like to thank all of my reviewers and all your positive opinions. I enjoyed writing this and I'm glad you all liked it. The sequel will be coming, but it may take a while. I still need to get the story right. I'll hope that you pass the time by reading my others fic if you want. And I'll be very pleased if you read the next fic in the 'Final Fantasy United' series, 'The GF's Peril.' See ya.
cloudude55 – I'm happy you're looking forward to the next one. Makes me happy, :D Thanks for all your reviews cause you've read this, almost, from the beginning.
Jessica Holmes – You, Jess, are one of my best reviewers. You review every two chapters and they're always positive. I'm very happy that you've liked all my CloTi scenes, I'm not usually good with mushy stuff, but…oh well. Ta for all your reviews and good luck with your fic. CloTi 4eva.
Ric Leonhart – You're one of newer reviewers so I can't say much. But thanks and I'll try and do the description of Squall's limit better next time. Cheers. Oh and I'll try and put Bahamut Zero in the next fic, okay.
bobtheevilchocobo – I'm pleased you liked this. I know that there are three; I just couldn't find anywhere to put in Bahamut Zero. I'll try to next time.
And everyone else…THANK YOU!!!!!!