Author's Notes: Just a few quick things…

I do not own any of the characters depicted below unless I explicitly state otherwise, Final Fantasy VII and all characters within it belong to SquareEnix. Before you read this, I suggest you give Noacat's Tranquillity a read. The story heavily inspired this, and you might notice that the flashbacks ahead refer to the story, if you've read it. They're not pivotal, and I think I've given enough detail that the story stands up on its own, but it might give you a better understanding of where I'm coming from if you do. Sorry about how short the first few chapters will be. I'm still not quite sure where I'm going with the story, so I'm just introducing the characters, how I've interpreted them, and they're reactions to their rather strange circumstances. Last, but not least, please, please, review me. Any indication of whether or not you like my work, suggestions for where I should take it and how long I should take to get there, or just comments on whether or not I should bother continuing would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Now… on with the show…

Chapter 1: Darkness.

Emerald green eyes drift open, light shone in, accompanied with a dull, throbbing feeling. Pain. A feeling long since forgotten. But how long? At first all that was known was that soft, constant agony, until memories began to return. Faces, names, events, friends, enemies, and others with whom the line between love and hatred was blurred, to what extent a Cetra could hate, at least. It took a while for all her memories to return. She was Aerith Gainsborough, the last Cetra, a martyr, and she could once again feel the cold, sharp pain of a sword piercing through her. Sephiroth. He was the one who had killed her, though it had been her own fault…

 A young girl awoke after a horrible dream. They said that you could never die in a dream, and she wished it was true, her dreams all the more disturbing for the fact that she knew they were true, a foretelling of things to come. The same dream had come to her many times before, enough that she knew, far better than she wanted, how she would die, who would kill her. Despair wasn't Aerith's way, however, so she took a moment to calm herself before preparing herself for the day ahead. A day that would be like the last, and the one that followed, selling flowers in the gloomy streets of the Midgar Slums.

Today, however, would not be the same as those that went before. As Aerith walked her way to the corner where she usually sold her flowers she passed someone that caught her eye. A young man clad in a black coat and boots contrasting with pale skin, and hair, white as death, that flowed straight back over his shoulders, down his back, aside from a pair of bangs, framing his face at the front. Entirely black and white, it seemed as if the only colour to be seen on him was his eyes – an unnaturally brilliant green, almost seeming to glow. Mako eyes. Her own eyes widened in recognition. It was him. The man who would murder her. She froze. Only able to continue on her way when she had gone. Thank god he had gone.

After that, however, the man, no older than herself, had taken an interest in her. For reason's she could only fully understand years later, he had almost obsessed over her, hunting her down, demanding her attention. And she, in her fear, had avoided him, sought protection from what few friends she had, friends in high places, who could protect her. After all, who would want the company of the man who would eventually kill them? Over time, though, she had learned from her protectors, Tseng amongst others, that the white-haired boy was Sephiroth, the youngest, most powerful of Soldier's generals. Worse, she had learned from the Planet, what Sephiroth was. Genetically altered to be the perfect warrior, was what they called him. He had been altered with DNA from Jenova, the… being that had killed her kind. What part of him was human would slowly succumb to the sickness that was Jenova, taking away his very soul, until he sought, under Her control to destroy the world – with her life as the sacrifice for averting the crisis.

It wasn't long after that that Sephiroth had managed to contact her, and Aerith had learned it was too late to help him. For her own fear, she had let herself fall into a series of events that would lead to Midgar's destruction and her own death.

She had failed. Oh, she had succeeded, at least, with the help of Cloud and the others, in stopping Meteor, saving the Planet, achieving the proverbial Greater Good, but that could hardly be considered success – thousands had died in the destruction of Midgar, her own death aside, and due to her cowardice, yet another soul had been utterly destroyed by Jenova, that of a silver-haired boy she had known five years ago. Or more… how long had it been? She looked quietly around. She was in the Ancient Forest, which didn't help at all, for this place never changed…

And then something dawned on her - she was alive. A quiet pause, as the reality of this settled in, and she began to cry, but they were not tears of joy...

-End Chapter 1-