Chapter 15: It Always Ends With A Kiss

Location: Seventh Heaven

Time: 5:00 am Friday

Cloud's POV:

Inhaling the cold icy air into my body never felt as good as it did right then. I was alive. I was going to save Tifa and rid the planet of the evil that had taken her only a short time ago.

Right now however, I had no idea where they were, so I had to get to Vincent. I had just found out something that would help me make sense of things finally.

Running outside into the freezing cold, I felt a sharp pang of fear. Something that I had not felt in such a long time. Taking in my surroundings it was then that I noticed just how strange the sky looked for any time of the day. It was not the weathers' doing either I realised. It looked as though something was afoot within the blood-coloured clouds. The silence of it all disturbed me, so snapping out of my reverie I started running as fast as I could towards SOLDIER base in order to find some kind of transport and hopefully some back-up.


Time: 5:00 am Friday

Vincent's POV:

"Drink it all before you go silly again." I ordered, eyeing the young ninja angrily.

Watching as she drank the last of the remedy I couldn't help but think of what trouble she had most likely caused. She had not been herself for the past few hours and may have very well been under Kadaj's influence.

"Do you remember anything at all?" I asked.

Placing the glass onto the table she rubbed at her temple with her left hand as if trying to force her mind to remember what happened. Looking dazed and confused she shook her head and replied, "The only thing I can think of is walking back here."

Sighing I stared out at the sky outside. It looked like things were going Kadaj's way. Cloud was missing. Tifa was missing. The planet looked as though it was slowly coming to an end. Years of trying to find out what had happened to Lockheart had not paid off. It seemed that while looking for someone who most of us knew was gone for good had gotten in the way of fighting our enemy.

"Is Reno okay?" a quiet voice asked from behind.

Shrugging I mumbled, "Don't know."

Location: Northern Crater

Time: 5:05 am Friday

Kadaj's POV: relaying the events of the story behind it all:

Feeling the power of the materia was the most invigorating thing I had ever felt. It was slowly seeping into my body, causing slight pain to my bones and muscles. However, it was all part of the process. Soon I would be able to fight without even moving. All I would have to do is look at them and they would be forced to grovel at my feet.

So long I had waited for this moment. It was ridiculous, the lengths I had to go to in order to find this precious stone. Everything had been worked out so precisely beforehand that I was furious when my father decided to be smart and break the pattern. I was named after my biological grandfather…the one who intended to do 'good' with the materia. He feared that after Sephiroth's incident that he too might be tempted by the power it held.

Therefore he passed it on to his son…my father. In hopes that it would be my turn I reincarnated as the new Kadaj. However my father being the superstitious man he was handed it over to Lockheart to protect. Why wouldn't he though? I mean… the man was in charge of the elite group SOLDIER. The very people who were ridding the planet of evil. Of course Lockheart would do the right thing and keep the materia as safe as possible, away from power-hungry eyes.

Little did my father know at the time but Lockheart's wife was the daughter of Aeris and Sephiroth. She was also the mother of Tifa and had been the mother of Reno before running off. So really, my father handed the materia back into the family whose ancestor started it all.

Killing Lockheart did benefit me in some ways but it didn't help me find the materia any sooner. I had to go into hiding for a while. That was until I came across a fun little fact.

Visiting a mental institute one day, I came across one person in particular. Reno. Finding out that his childhood had been nothing short of anguish due to his own mother leaving for another man…(Lockheart), was just what I needed. He was willing to do anything for me in order to avenge those who hurt him. I promised him that if he would help me I would help him. He opened many doors for me that one.

Then there was Reeve. Yet again another heartbroken soul. Although no longer alive, he served his purpose. With the promise of helping him find his wife's murderer he affiliated with me…handing over information on the whereabouts of the materia, while also covering up the truth about me from his fellow SOLDIERS.

Now here I am…after three long years of searching for it. Here it lies in the palm of my hand, fading from its sickly pale white colour into a dark shade of ebony.

"UNLEASH YOUR FURY!" I screamed to my master…the real master.

Sephiroth was not me completely yet. However when he was, he would be the one who would finish this once and for all.

Location: Northern Crater

Time: 5:07 am Friday

Tifa's POV:

It was killing me. Whatever it was, it was sending sharp electrifying shockwaves throughout my body. The pain was unbearable and I was useless to do anything to stop it.

Eyes shut tight and teeth clenched together I writhed against the board I was strapped against. I could feel the skin on my wrists start to rub off like rubber shavings against the rough ropes used to tie me down.

"Let me out! It won't stop!" I begged Reno in hopes that he might snap out of his trance.

There was no reply and I could only assume that once again he didn't care in the slightest about my wellbeing. However upon opening my eyes I noticed that he was not where he'd been sitting for the last hour or so. His chair was overturned and that's when I saw his body impaled against a foreign object on the wall, far across the other side of the room way up high.

"OH MY GOD!!!" I screamed looking away, now seeing Kadaj through a window, standing outside whilst shouting up at the darkening sky as if it were listening to him.

That's when the excruciating pain came back again. It felt like lightening was constantly striking me, making it hard for me to breathe, which was already hard considering the position I was in; arms above my head, causing my chest to make extra efforts to take in air.

I had to get out of this mess and stop this from happening. I would not let the planet die because of one selfish heart.

Location: SOLDIER Base

Time: 5:10 am Friday

Yuffie's POV:

Standing in the weapons and transportation part of SOLDIER'S building I made my way over to a certain bike that had been stolen…by me.

That bit I remember.

I didn't do it on purpose, I just…I wasn't myself.

Sighing I mumbled, "Now Cloud's dead and it's all my fault.

With one last look at the dead mans pride and joy I turned to head back to Vincent's office when I suddenly collided with something.

Shocked, I looked up and saw that it was none other then an out of breath Cloud looking down at me with a curious gaze fixed upon his face. His clothes were bloody and cut up from a fight he had been in only a short time ago.

"So you stole my bike." He observed while stepping past me in order to get closer to the Fenrir and then mounting it.

Giving me no time to reply he continued, "Go tell Vincent that Kadaj has taken Tifa to the Northern Crater. Tell him we'll need all the backup we can get."

With that he kick-started his bike, revved it a little and then sped off out of the building and onto the street heading towards the darkening sky.

Location: Midgar Streets

Time: 5:14 am

Cloud's POV:

It had only been a short time after leaving Tifa's that I figured out where Kadaj must be. I noticed that the clouds were coming from the North. The Northern Crater had been where the last attempt to destroy the planet had taken place and I could only hope that I was right about Kadaj being there.

Speeding through the empty streets of Midgar I thought about the vision I had back at Tifa's. The boy who had spoken to me looked exactly like me in every way, save for his eyes. I couldn't help but think that he was the child Tifa had lost three years ago, assuming he'd taken a much older form.

As I stared up at the skies I couldn't help but feel my time was limited. I should have died back there and yet here I was. It wasn't possible for me to be this way. One minute I was coughing up blood and the next all I have to show for it is the bloodstains on my clothes. I was given a second chance…that I could be certain of.


Time: 5:14 am Friday

Vincent's POV:

Racing out after the ninja down into the mercenaries' weaponry area, I mounted a motorbike and felt Yuffie jump on and wrap her arms around my waist firmly.

Looking back I asked, "Can you not find a vehicle of your own?"

Frowning she replied, "I think it's best we stick together considering the circumstances."

Nodding in agreement I drove out of the building hoping to catch up to Cloud as soon as possible. I had alerted Cid of the situation but had not heard back from him. His whereabouts were unknown at the moment. I feared that because I hadn't had any contact with him, that perhaps he had become a casualty of war.

Behind me I heard several other motorbikes following steadily. I had sent them to all areas known on the map in order to find our enemy. Cloud may be right about heading North but I couldn't risk asking all of my men to follow a man who was only basing his knowledge on instincts.

Location: Northern Crater

Time: 5:15 am Friday

Kadaj's POV:

I could feel the transformation as I knelt down on my knees and closed my eyes shut, allowing Sephiroth to overtake my body for eternity.

Smiling I mumbled, "This time no one can stop us."

Suddenly I came face to face with the ground below. Knowing that something had interfered considering I was still here in my body I scrambled to my knees and wiped the dirt from my face.

"Who's interfering with my plans?" I shouted to no one in particular as I stared around at the vacant field before me.

There was nothing in sight that would seem even remotely threatening I concluded. Squinting my eyes shut again I cried out in pain as I collapsed onto one knee, holding onto my ribs, unable to breath properly.

Gasping for air I cried, "Master…I don't know what's happening. Why aren't you here yet…arghh!"

Falling down onto my side I faced the small cabin that was dimly lit only a few metres away. There was no sign of movement and I couldn't muster the energy to call for Reno.

What's going on? I was almost there a few moments ago. Why am I lying on the ground in pain I shouldn't be able to feel??? Why am I hurting and not being able to do anything about it?

Suddenly everything seemed to go still. It was as if I was in the eye of the storm and at any minute all hell would break loose. That was when I saw a lone figure make their way out of the cabin and halt at the doorway.

It was the girl, standing there in a long white night dress. It was then that it started to pour down rain, which didn't seem to deter her at all. She simply continued to walk out and make her way in my direction.

Clenching onto the materia within my palm, the chain wrapped firmly around my fingers, I scrambled to my feet and attempted to use my power to get rid of her once and for all. However, just as I attempted to hex her I felt the chain the materia was attached to rip threw my index finger and I watched as it flew towards her.

Holding out her hand she caught it effortlessly and gazed down at it with eyes I instantly recognized. It was then that I felt a sharp pain run up my right arm. Frowning, I glanced down at my right hand and noticed blood running down my glove…the source was the base of where my index finger had once been.

Eyes wide open I howled out in pain. My master had let me down. He had chosen his granddaughter over me, even though I was the one he had created specifically for this job. Why would he decide at the last minute to use his granddaughter, simply because they shared the same genes?

Then in the blink of an eye she disappeared and then just as quickly she reappeared in front of me.

Staring at me lifelessly she thrust her fist forward into my stomach. For a moment we both just stood there while I tried to figure out what just happened.

Had she simply punched me or…

Glancing down I saw that within her hand was the handle of a blade. She'd stabbed me just like that. Looking up at her once again I went to ask my master why he'd done this to me, only to have her yank out the knife and thrust it into me several more times, faster then lightening and then quickly kneel beside me.

Staring down at me she answered my thoughts out loud but it was Sephiroth's voice that spoke, "You were weak. You were known to them. They'll never suspect me of doing anything other then saving myself. In a few months I'll give birth and then I will once again reign."

"TIFA!!!" a voice called for her in the distance. They could not be seen yet, only heard.

Watching her eyes glisten down at me she wiped the blade off with the ends of her dress and then slit the flesh of her left arm. Without even a wince at the newly created wound she continued on and stabbed her right thigh. Then slowly she lay down next to me and pulled a finger to her lips as she slowly closed her eyes, "Shhh."

She was trying to make out she'd just been in a struggle with me.

Location: Northern Crater

Time: 5:20 am Friday

Cloud's POV:

"Tifa!" I panted as I rushed up behind her, pulling her away from the man she was laying next too.

Groaning in pain she whimpered and pointed at Kadaj, "He killed Reno and then…he tried to kill me." She cried, now turning her face away from him.

Looking down at the wounded man I saw that he'd definitely come off a lot worse then Tifa. He couldn't even get out whatever it was he was trying to say.

All I heard was a faint, "Sephiroth…alive."

Shaking my head I unsheathed my sword and replied, "Not anymore." And finished him off.

"Oh my God." I cried looking down at her wounded arm and battered body.

Holding her close I stared down at the now deceased Kadaj. I was so close to losing her again and couldn't believe that I had let it go this far. She shouldn't have even been taken away in the first place and I let it happen.

Pulling away from her I stared into her eyes and it was then that I felt a slight pain in the left side of my chest. Wincing I hung my head and tried to take a deep breath.

In order to make everything seem okay I said, "I'm going to take you home."

Nodding she stood and then pulled me up to my feet, flashing me a smile that I hardly recognized. She seemed a little odd considering the circumstances and…maybe I wasn't seeing right. As it was I could hardly stand up. I was probably seeing things wrong.

Location: Northern Crater

Time: 5:21 am Friday

Sephiroth's POV:

The war was over…to them.

Smiling I stared up at Cloud and saw that his wounds were once again forming and his time was running out. He was given a second chance to help Tifa…but he wasn't quick enough.

He would die, his girlfriend would return to her normal self and I would hide away in her womb…waiting to be born once again unknown to anyone.

Watching as his eyes slowly flickered and as his body became limp, I helped him lay down on the ground. Yes, this was going to be a long journey but I would not be suspected. I would not be considered even remotely harmful. I would be Tifa's child…protected by his mother for a long, long time.

Deciding now was the best time to leave, I allowed Tifa to revert back to her normal self and to finish off whatever business she needed.

Location: Northern Crater

Time: 5:23 am Friday

Tifa's POV:

Feeling as though I had just woken up, the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was Cloud. Smiling I cried, "Cloud I thought you were dead."

Hugging him tightly I heard a stifled groan. Frowning I sat up and stared down at him carefully. His eyes were flickering open and shut slowly…and his breathing was out of rhythm.

"Cloud what happened?" I asked now a lot more alarmed.

When he didn't answer I shook him a little and felt a wet substance on my hands. Looking down at his chest more closely I saw that there was a huge gaping wound beneath his shirt.

"Cloud how did this happen?" I asked once more now starting to cry.

Reaching over with his right hand he grabbed onto my own and coughed out, "I…I'm sorry I stuffed up. But you're alright…that's all that matters."

His breathing was slowly coming to a halt and knowing that this was it I leant down to his lips and tried to kiss him, however I was not blessed enough to receive anything from his end as his breathing ceased and his eyes stared up at the sky half shut.

Searching his face for any sign of movement I watched as tears fell onto his cheeks and couldn't help but scream out in anguish as I clutched onto him.

It was then that two arms from behind pulled me away and all I remember was being shoved into the back of a car…watching out the back window as the Northern Crater disappeared into the distance.

"You'll be alright." A voice said from the front.

Turning around I saw that it was Cid, staring at me in the rear-view mirror. Staring blankly ahead I gave no answer.

I'll never love anything again…I'll make sure of it.

A/N: Man where do I start?

More than a year of no updates it seems. I dunno. I guess I was concentrating on having a life, but come to think of it…it wasn't all that great. So much stuff has happened. I hit so many highs but of course they all just plummeted one after the other and now I find that I've lost most of my imagination and am totally amazed at how well my vocabulary was in my stories before all the shit that's happened.

Anyway I am back for a bit it seems. Only because I have a bit more time for the Internet and have been wanting to finish my stories for a while. Some of which I had already typed up the chapters for ages ago and just didn't post them.

Anyway to all my reviewers, thank you. Even though this story is so old there are still people reading and asking me to update.

I hope I haven't lost my touch.

Anyway this is the final chapter for this story. I hope it finished off okay. If not…well I can't please everyone sorry.

Disclaimer: I own nothing except for the plot. The characters and everything associated with this story all belong to Square Enix.

Yunie Tidus