The House of Strife II: Rebirth

By GQ and Zhak

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Chapter Five: Aerith

"Let's get the First Lady in the delivery room!" The doctors wheeling Tifa towards the delivery room were beginning to panic. The guards were having a hard time getting the paparazzi to leave the area. Samara was running along with Slate, watching their mother's face writhe in pain. Slate had just been disconnected from calling his father when he wasn't answering. "Samara… I can't contact father…"

Samara didn't say anything. She felt her throat dry.

"Sir, this is just her eighth month. The baby will be born prematurely. We should prepare the incubators and medicines…"

They reached the delivery room. Slate turned to his younger sister and held her by the shoulders. "Samzy, stay here, all right? Just hope that everything will be ok…" he then entered the delivery room with the frantic doctors and nurses.

Samara peeked through the glass of the door. The doctors were panicking very much—after all, it was the First Lady who was having a baby in their small-time hospital. But, she didn't notice them, or Slate, or her mother. She gasped and retreated a few steps when she saw him…

Sora. Sora was in the room, smiling happily. As if anticipating the return of somebody dear. Samara saw his mouth move…

"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy's coming back!"

"N… no…" The world suddenly turned quiet. Samara looked around. No doctors. No nurses. No other patients. No visitors. No paparazzi…

"Wh… what's going on?" she thought to herself. Frightened, she turned again to the delivery room. The curtains weren't closed…

She saw her older brother pale. "AAAAAH!" he screamed and fell over. The doctors were backing away from Tifa with frightened looks on their faces.

Samara craned her neck to look further in the delivery room. Failing to see anything, she closed her eyes and began to concentrate. "Slate? What's going on?" she asked him with the psychic link she had with him. All she heard was Slate screaming in agony. "Slate?!" she could not see anything. Finally, not being able to take it anymore, she barged in the room.

All the doctors were bloody and unmoving on the floor. Slate was with them. A scalpel covered with brown hair strands stuck out from his chest. "SLATE!!!" Samara cried, running over to him. Now she was behind the curtain…

She looked at her mother. "Mommy! Slate is—

Her mouth hung open. Her eyes widened in terror. For a woman started crawling out of Tifa's womb…

"OU-A-A-A-A-A-A-A"

"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy has come back!" Samara covered her ears upon hearing Sora's twisted chants echoing in the room.

"AIIEEEEEEE!" Her hands still over her ears, she ran out of the room.

Samara ShinRa ran out of the hospital, got lost in the city, and was never heard from again.

Tifa wearily woke up and found herself alone in some room. She wasn't so sure where she was; everything was blurry. She saw strips of red here and there, but she couldn't focus well enough to know what they are.

But she was sure of one thing: the small figure lying by her feet is her child.

She smiled slightly and she picked up the baby from the floor. She began chanting a lullaby to calm down her cries.

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Six years later…

"Come on, Aerith. I'm walking you to school."

The little brown-haired girl didn't look up at her mother. She continued walking and holding her mother's hand.

They reached the overpass. Tifa turned to her side and saw the city of Midgar… the city she did not own anymore. Ever since everybody's death, she found herself all alone… but she didn't let it stop her from taking care of her new child which she decided to name after Aerith. The little girl looked so much like her best friend…

As they continued to walk going to the stairs to go down from the overpass, Tifa saw a young girl about 16 years old walking towards them, climbing up the stairs and carrying a school bag. She was wearing the uniform of a school from a public school in Sector 7, and Tifa thought she knew the girl.

The girl, in return, stared back at Tifa as if she knew her… but before she could smile at the former First Lady, she noticed the little brown-haired girl holding the First Lady's hand.

The 16 year-old girl, who is Samara, turned her gaze to the little girl. The little girl's face was being shadowed by long brown bangs, so she could not really see the green eyes looking up at her.

Tifa just stared blankly at Samara, her own daughter, although it seemed to Samara that her mother was different… she looked dazed and there was a lost stare in her eyes. Samara just moved away and proceeded, feeling so hurt at the fact that she could not even greet her own mother because she doesn't seem to know her anymore. She read in Tifa's mind that the only daughter she knows that she has is the little girl whose hand she was holding.

As they went past each other, she sensed Tifa stop by the stairs. Slowly, Samara turned around to take one last look at her mother, but to her horror, she saw the little Aerith push Tifa down the long flight of stairs of the overpass.

"Mother!" Samara couldn't help it anymore. She screamed and attempted to go and see what happened to her mother… but she stopped in her tracks when little Aerith turned swiftly to face her with wide green eyes staring up at her. The little girl opened her mouth to say something, but all that came out from her mouth was a croaking sound, "Oua-a-a-a-a-a-a-a…."

Samara shivered while trying to stop the tears from falling from her eyes. She just turned and ran away, just wanting to forget everything.

The little girl closed her mouth, watching the black-haired young lady go down from the other side of the overpass. With that, she turned back to the woman that she pushed down the long flight of stairs. She slowly descended the stairs, keeping her eye on Tifa who was still lying on the ground with a broken neck. Blood was leaking out from her mouth and from a wound in her head. She smiled softly at her little Aerith.

Aerith just stood still, eyeing her blankly as she watched the life drain from Tifa's eyes. With that, she turned around and left, not caring if people started gathering around her dead mother…

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-end-?!

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