Wings of an Angel
By Henrika

Henrika- I know, I know, no excuse. However, I do have a few of them! Like helping with my sorority's recruitment. And then a raft trip. And then horrible, unexplained pain for two weeks off and on until Henrika finally had enough and went to a doctor. They told me that my entire back was in spasm and gave me muscle relaxers, which helped.

Not much I can say beyond that. I'm sorry though, for making you all wait that long.

As for the story itself, it is drawing to a close. I'm positive I will have an epilogue, and maybe another chapter or two. Either way they will contain the explanations that so many of you vehemently demanded from the last chapter. (And line breaks are malfunctioning for some reason. Just so you know.)

On another note, my apologies to Terry McElrath and Nentikobe. I am working on your fics ( I have ideas and outlines and everything) but they will be coming later than I had planned. My sincerest apologies.

That being said, enjoy the chapter. Review if you would be so kind. And thanks for sticking around and giving me all the support you have. All of you guys are awesome!

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Black blood began to ooze onto the silver floor as Jenova's screams echoed around the crumbling space. "You'll die with me!" She threatened, struggling to flee Cloud's sword.

The blonde man simply hefted the heavy white blade and twirled it above his head a few times before he brought it down, the sheer force of the movement sending Jenova sprawling. "If I take you with me, if I can finally protect my family and friends, if I can save this Planet, I don't see that as being such a bad thing."

The Buster Blade descended again, this time striking Jenova across the chest. "My cells will live on!" She raged at him, desperation thinly veiled as pain and the realization of her fate began to dawn on her. "I'll infect your friends when they come to mourn you! I'll drive them mad and I will destroy this Planet and any other I can find!"

"You honestly believe that any of them would let that happen?"

"They'll become my puppets!" She was screeching now; using her weak, tiny arms to try to stem the flow of rushing black blood. "You will never be rid of me!"

Cloud thought about that for a moment before breaking into a grin that he knew belonged to Zack. "I think you're wrong." He moved to swing the sword again, though this time he struck the silver chains that had surrounded his mind. They snapped and clattered to the floor, causing Jenova to scream again. "I take that back. You are wrong. All the crimes you've committed, all the lives you've destroyed, everything ends right here and now."

It was as his lips closed around the last word that he felt something ghostly brush against them. "Tifa?" Her image sprang to his mind, her smile already giving him strength before he felt and saw the greenish-white light surging through his body. He felt the torn white wing re-knit to his body, the crimson stain disappearing from the white feathers.

He turned to Jenova, watched her glowing eyes widen in horror as the light traveled down the length of the Buster Blade. He drew the sword back before pivoting on his feet and driving it into Jenova's head. She let out a final howl as she felt the purifying light rupture each and every last one of her cells. "Goodbye." Cloud murmured before the light burst before his eyes in a brilliant white before fading to black.

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An impressive crater had formed in front of the bar known as Seventh Heaven. The impact that had formed it had drawn the attention of many of the residents of Edge, who began to carefully and slowly move in to see what had caused it.

Their caution however, was not employed by two men who knew exactly what had caused the disturbance, albeit lacking details of why.

Upon arriving at the lip of the hole, the man with long red hair scrambled down into it, while his bald partner pulled out a cell phone, ready to make any of the necessary calls, for good or ill.

Both of them were forced to stop though, as a blindingly beautiful light surrounded the two figures lying entwined at the bottom of the crater.

"Holy…" Reno was tempted to finish with an expletive before he realized that was indeed what the light was.

A terrible, animal scream ripped through the tranquility, causing everyone to shudder. But once the scream had died, the light grew even brighter, threading through the two bodies it had encompassed. It disappeared after that in a final blaze, but everyone who had a clear vision of the event swore that in that flash, three people had stood beside the fallen pair. A woman and two men.

As Reno would later omit from the report he and Rude were forced to file on the incident, he saw Sephiroth, a SOLDIER named Zack who had been part of the Nibelheim incident, and the Ancient that he had gone to so much work to help kidnap once, Aeris. And he saw them all smiling.

Then they were gone and there was nothing left but a bloodied woman with long brown hair and a man with blond hair and tattered wings.

Perhaps it was a strange thing to notice first, out of all the things in this situation the Turk should have noticed first, that the pair still had their lips locked together and their arms wrapped around one another.

He looked back up at Rude for some sort of confirmation and his partner nodded, encouraging him to get the most unseemly part of this job over.

Reno moved closer to Cloud and Tifa, kneeling by their heads as he reached out his fingers and checked first one pulse, than the other. Another thing omitted from his report was the sigh of relief he released upon finding that both of them actually had pulses.

He gave Rude a thumbs-up and the man began dialing a number as Reno climbed up to join him. "They're alive. You're welcome. No, we're used to getting threats. The President still has Elena and Tseng at his command at this moment. He can live without us for a few hours." Reno was certain he saw the faintest glimmer of a smirk on his partner's face before it disappeared. "It would be wise for you to send medical assistance. We're not qualified to evaluate their condition. Yes sir. Good-bye." He snapped the phone shut.

"Reeve apologized for threatening to make us chocobo muckers for the rest of our miserable lives if we didn't help?" The redhead asked, bemused.

"He was upset at the time."

"Had to have been. First he gets a call from the guy with the gun for an arm…"

"Barret." Rude supplied.

"Yeah, him. Gets a call from him telling him that Cloud's gone psycho again and is trying to kill another one of his friends and some kids. Sounds like he had grounds, yo?

"Hn."

"C'mon and help me with these two." He jerked his thumb behind him, seeing Rude's eyes go wide behind his sunglasses. "What?" The man simply pointed and Reno whipped around, nearly knocking said man over in the process. "Holy shit." Reno managed to complete the phrase this time upon seeing what Rude had.

The wings, black and white, had risen in tandem and surrounded Cloud and Tifa. Both of who were still unconscious. "How did…?" Rude never got the chance to finish his question as the explosion knocked everyone in the general vicinity off his or her feet.

When Reno managed to open his eyes again, wondering if he wasn't going to be blind from all the explosions he had been involved in lately, not to mention his hearing, he saw that Cloud's wings were gone.

And that Tifa was no longer bloody.

And that the sky was raining feathers.

And that Cloud was awake, his brilliant blue eyes visible even from a distance.

Cloud stared up into the sky, Tifa's body warm against his. He watched as a single feather descended with purpose towards him, one he recognized. It was an ethereal white, the one that represented her pure light and love. The one that had saved him. He watched it float gently down next to them and he was reminded of a black feather doing the same thing. Tears pooled in his eyes once again, but for once in his life, Cloud Strife was crying with joy. And when Tifa opened her eyes and leaned down to kiss him again, he felt hope for the first time since the days when he had sat on the well with her and dreamt of their future.

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Henrika- And we come full circle. Thanks again! Review please!