And What of Alabaster Skin?

Who decides?

It hadn't gone right, I realized. In that breath, in that one moment...everything, everything had gone terribly, terribly wrong. I could only gape in shock and fear. I hadn't been surprised when Cloud moved to attack me, nor had I been surprised when Tifa reached out and grabbed his arms. Cloud had been though, and I could see it in his eyes as he slowly lowered his sword, a confused look upon his face. That was when he looked up at me, and our eyes made contact for a moment. I tried to let him know it was meant to be this way, as Tifa released Cloud's arms and turned her attention to me. I tried to tell them I knew, I knew what was suppose to happen. That I'd known from the very beginning, and I'm not afraid. Not anymore at least, now that I know that there are these people to take care of things on the planet. I know they'll do a good job, but oh how I hate leaving them like this. I don't know how any of them will react. I'm worried for them, afraid for them, because they didn't know, and I did. I knew my time had come, the planet told me so. I knew that man would appear sometime. I didn't blame him; I didn't blame anyone. This was how it was suppose to happen; this was how history would be made; this was how history would be told. How I died, how these people I've grown to know and love will save this planet. How they will do everything right, even when it seems terribly wrong. I know I can trust the planet in their hands.

I smile, my hands still clasped before me, and Cloud is still looking confused, and rather awed at the sight of everything. Tifa has a hand loosely on his shoulder, and she's eyeing me warily. She knows something is up, I can tell by the way she holds herself. Stiff and tense, ready to spring into action. I sigh, knowing she won't. The planet has told me so. I hate it though; I know I have to die, but I wish they didn't have to see. I wish they didn't have to witness this, but I have no choice. Cloud was meant to be led here, so was Tifa; this is the planet's will. I as an ancient must fufill my duty, must complete the task that has been laid before me. I, as the last of the surviving Cetra will make my stand today, even in death. I will save this planet; I will not allow it to be destroyed. I will not allow all those people to die. But most importantly, I won't allow them to die, I think as my eyes meet with Cloud's yet again. A bitter pang hits my heart. I'll miss them all so much. At least I'll see mother least I'll see Zack again.


I smile bigger. I'm coming, Zack...just wait a bit longer.

I feel him more than anything, like someone has dropped a black curtain over the entire room, stiffling the already dim light, and casting out all hope. But I know better, I will pray till my last breath. I will beg for the planet to be saved. I will do anything. I feel the air above me cut, as if it's been twisted in two, and I realize as the blade sinks through flesh, that I hadn't been paying attention to th present. Cloud...oh see me die...but oh...planet how could you? This is too much...this isn't what you told me! This is wrong! No! Everything is wrong...this isn't how it's supposed to happen! She's suppose to live! They're suppose to love each other! How could you, planet? How could you deny fate? How could you have her save me? Or was it Tifa alone...was she strong, bold enough, to challenge fate? No...You lied to me planet. To see me die is one thing for Cloud...

...But to see Tifa die?

That's just too much.

Was it fate of the planet?

I could see it in Aerith's eyes as she regarded us.

She's going to die, I thought to myself. Immediately though, I scolded myself for even thinking that. But oh how I fear it's true as I watch her smile. She's in another place, I realize. Thinking everything through, she knows she's going to die too. She know's she's going to pass on...but how? When? Why? How could she leave us like that, and know that she's going to?

Come on Tifa, she's still right her in front of you...don't give up hope now...

But how can I not? As I sit here and watch her, she's resigned to her her death. But she can't just die! She's the last Cetra! The only one who can save us! How can she die? If she dies, where will we be? What will we do? We'll all break; snap...everything will crushed. The planet will seem dimmer, the life less fufilling. She's the last one, how can she die?

No...she can't...not yet, I won't let her.

I know she knows he's there, and I can tell she's not going to move, do anything. She doesn't know when it'll hit, but she knows it will at sometime. I can't just stand here, as she's lost in her own world, making peace with herself...and Cloud is still so confused, I doubt he can barely make up from down right now. Just watching him...I will he react if Aerith dies? We haven't known her for very long, but she's made an impact on all of our lives. She saved Marlene, and she helped save me...she's more than just your average woman.

Well of course she is, she's the last Cetra.

So how can you steal her life from her, planet? When she's still got so much inside of her? How can you take that away when she still has so much to live for? So much to do? It isn't fair planet, it isn't fair at all...that the woman who will save us all has to die...that she won't be able to enjoy the peace I know she'll bring. I can't let that happen, even if it is the planet's will.

Still, I don't know how I actually made myself move, to fight the will of the planet. Or maybe...just maybe...this was the planet's will all along? For me to die in her stead? Or maybe I'm just fighting fate...or maybe there is no such thing as fate. There simply is. And now, is would be making a decision. I see him falling, slicing the air in two before he'll reach her. And I know Cloud can't choose right now.

There is no fate.

There simply is.

There's choice.

And my choice...

I feel like I'm flying when I dive forward, even though my feet never leave the ground. If only I had wings, though...maybe then I could've save us both.

Was it choice of the people?

It pins her body at such a strange angle it makes me sick. Had it been Aerith Masamune had pierced, it would've gone straight through her chest. Painless, I figure. Any other time I'd be scolding myself for even thinking of Aerith die, especially since I'm her 'bodyguard'. But it's Tifa Masamune is piercing, and it's so odd.

It won't be quick.

It won't be painless.

It isn't a death suited for an angel like Tifa.

As Tifa dives forward, she hits her shoulder against Aerith's, knocking her away at the last second. It grazes her left arm as it enters her side, slipping through her rib cage no doubt, and emerging out the other side. Tifa gasps as the sword embeds itself in the floor before her. She reaches down with a hand to touch the blood that is flowing freely from her side. She's gasping, as if it hurts her to breathe...and I know both lungs are probably sliced.

Oh...oh no...

Tifa's going to die.


I don't realize I breathe out this word softly, but it still causes Aerith to raise her shocked expression from Tifa to me. The room is frozen for a moment. I think all of us are shocked by the event that just partook. Even Sephiroth is looking baffled. I watch though, as he recovers, twisting Masamune once and making Tifa cry out in pain, before jerking it quickly and swiftly from her side. She falls down, her shoulder making contact with the floor first, and her eyes meet mine for what seems like an eternity, but I know is but a mere second.

The blood seeps out around her, staining the floor and soaking her hair. Her arm lands before her face, and she wants to speak, I can tell by how her mouth opens, and all that comes out is a whimper. What could she have to say, in her dying breath to me? Me, who just stood by and watched her die? Why would she want to even look at me?

Oh...this can't be happening.

"Ti...fa..."I hear Aerith whisper.

She sounds so far away, and Sephiroth sort of smirks as he gazes at Tifa's broken form.

Tifa reaches out for a moment, her hand bloodied, before she gives up, letting it fall to the floor limply. The gesture, though I realize, she was pointing at me. I watch though, as her bloodied finger moves around on the floor. She drags her hand away from the bloodied symbol she's drew on the ground, and I see tears in her eyes.

And she smiles.

She smiled.

An exhale, and the tear drops across her face, splashing to the ground, echoing in the untouched silence. There's such a contrast of colors. Her alabaster skin against the marble floor, and the blood that seeps from the corner of her mouth connecting the two in a swirling dance of death.



I don't even feel my legs give out. I'm aware of the dull thud it makes though, when my knees hit the ground. I'm aware of how Aerith raises her hand to her mouth and lets out a stiffled cry. She looks betrayed, hurt, and confused.

I can't move my legs, and I pull myself along the floor, Sephiroth watching in amusement. As I move closer, I ask for her one last time.

"Tifa?" I croak, my eyes alighting on the symbol.

A heart.

A bloody heart, drawn by a maiden in her last moment.

She pointed at me...she drew this heart with her own blood with her last breath, in her last moment...she told me she loved me.

She loved me.

Reaching out, I find her shoulders, dragging her lifeless body towards me. I cradle her into my lap, staring into unseeing eyes. I reach out, brushing hair coated with blood from her face.

"I didn't get to say it back." I croak.

I can feel it all building up inside of me so it can pour out and kill me in the same breath.

Tifa...I promised to protect you. I don't care if we were kids, I meant every word I said...and I let you die. I let you die before me. I betrayed your trust. I wouldn't even be alive today if it weren't for you. You found me in helped me, made me better. Why didn't I get to tell you I loved you? It isn't fair. If you got to say it, why not me? Oh this can't be right. None of this can be. You have to come back, Tifa, just for a second so I can tell you I love you. Please...someone...bring her back...give her back.

I don't realize I'm hugging this limp, lifeless body against my chest tightly, her blood staining me. I will have her blood on my hands forever. Even when I wash it from my hands, I'll still be able to see it, and I know this.

What happened to happy ever after? What happened to everyone having their love? What happened to that soul searing kiss you're suppose to get when you confess your love? How come all I got was death and tears? Where's my kiss? Where's my turn to see the happiness light up in her eyes when I say I love her? Why don't I get to see that?


"Why?" I croak, over and over again.

I can't move, I don't think I'll ever be able to again. I'll just die here, with her in my arms. A corpse. That's what I love now.

"Hmm...interesting...seems my puppet is too broken to play with anymore." I hear a masculine voice echo above my head.

"Cloud..." Another voice, feminine, and worried...anxious almost. "Cloud!"

I feel it pierce, burning my skin, and he twists it.

"You're no use anymore; might as well kill you."

Hmm...that's not so bad.

Maybe I'll get to tell you I love you sooner than I thought, Tifa.

Or was it merely a planet to tired to fight?

This is how the world ends. As the man Cloud Strife died, his head resting lightly atop Tifa Lockhart's. The last Cetra sitting in the corner, words of no meaning spilling from her mouth; warnings that fell too late. A man full of anger and hate walks away to commence the final stages of destruction.

A shattered team of broken warriors finds the three there. Two dead on the outside, the other dead on the inside, her mind shattered by the betrayal of fate, and the betrayal of her dearly beloved planet.

And what of the alabaster skin?

Lying dead in the night,

Eyes unseeing, going dim,

And breath so light;

Blood on her face,

Body on the floor,

An angel dying in grace.

A life ended once more.

A voice silenced.

A mind lost,

A woman left forsaken

And a planet destroyed with all cost.

A/N: Comeon, everyone has to do one of these fics...where Tifa dies in Aerith's place...I've read some before...and I've...I don't know...I just didn't like how everyone said it pierced Tifa dead on in the chest. While Sephiroth is good, I don't know if he's that good. I figure it probably would've pierced her in an odd angle, from side to side, instead of back to chest. I dunno, I'm weird. And I don't think Tifa would've had it in her to speak...I mean, not saying she's weak...I just like the bloody heart better. And I just wrote that poem a few minutes ago. Hopefully it's a bit original. I started out in third person, but Aerith was just begging me to write it in her POV...then Tifa was like oh hell no, I ain't getting left out...and then Cloud just gave me this puppy dog look like...what about mmmmeeeee? There's my attempt at humor at the end of this depressing fic. LATER LOVES!