HEROES

HEROES

By: Flower Girl FF7

This is my first attempt at writing fanfiction. Please R&R!

I'd like to dedicate this to Stormguy71 for just writing really well and inspiring me to write!

I do not own Final Fantasy and the characters; those are under the license of Squaresoft.

Here's the story! Enjoy!

Aeris sat looking at two figures sitting on the other end of the Tiny Bronco. She watched the two laugh, smile and poke each other playfully. The two figures were Tifa and Cloud. Two childhood friends who had grown up with each other and were very close.

Aeris sighed and gazed at the sun setting over the ocean.

She knew that Tifa had strong feelings for Cloud…and seeing them together laughing like that hurt Aeris a lot, for she secretly had feelings for him too.

"I love Cloud, but Tifa and him seem so suited. They've known each other since they were kids and they've been through so much…"

A tear fell from Aeris' eyes.

"He would never want someone like me…"

She stared at her reflection in the water.

"All I want is to have a normal conversation with him… to have him smile at me the way he's smiling at Tifa now…but it'll never happen…I'm just a flower girl…weak…helpless….with no one I can really talk to."

More tears welled from her eyes, which she quickly wiped away. She didn't want the others to know she felt this way.

She turned on the little radio sitting next to her. As she turned the dials, a song came on…

"..How I love your peaceful eyes on me, and did you ever know? That I had mine on you…"

Aeris gazed longingly at Cloud and silently whispered to herself. "He'll never know the way I feel…I can't tell him. Tifa and him are meant to be and he probably loves her too. I just can't tear them apart."

She sighed and looked at Cloud once more…wishing it could be different…and continued to gaze at the sunset.

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The party decided to rest at Gold Saucer for the night. As Aeris climbed the stairs, she thought to herself.

"Maybe I could take him on that date now. After all, I do owe him."

She flushed at the memory of Cloud crashing through the church roof, almost landing on her. She asked him to be her bodyguard for the price of a date and he agreed. They've been through so much since then…

She knocked on Cloud's door. She tried to appear confident but inside her heart was leaping.

"Come in, it's open."

She calmed herself and walked through the door.

Cloud looked startled and a little surprised. "Aeris?"

Aeris thought "oh my gosh…I wonder if this is a good time…"then she spoke, "Hey! Do you want to go on a date?"

Cloud just looked at her dumbfounded…did he just hear what he thought he heard? He finally spoke "..What?"

Aeris giggled. " A D-A-T-E! Or have you ever been on one before?"

Cloud just looked at the floor… "Well not a real one"

"Oh just a mixed up kid," Aeris kidded. "Well come on!" She pushed a squirmy Cloud out the door.

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Cloud and Aeris jumped through the Event tube. As they walked through the door, the doorman announced, "YOU TWO ARE THE 100th COUPLE AND YOU TWO GET TO PLAY THE LEADS IN TONIGHT'S PLAY!!!!

"Wha..?" exclaimed Cloud, "Now just a minute..!"

"C'mon Cloud!" giggled Aeris. "It'll be fun!"

Cloud looked at her beautiful green eyes and smiled. "Okay! Let's do it!"

The doorman led them backstage for makeup and costuming.

The next thing Cloud knew was that he was onstage in front of several couples. A knight twirled onstage and cried out: "Oh! You must be the legendary knight, Alfred."

Cloud just stared at the knight in the paper armour.

"Hey! It's your line!" whispered the knight. Realizing Cloud wasn't going to say anything the knight bellowed " You have come to save our Princess Rosa from the Evil Dragon King Valvados…and now please TALK TO THE KING!"

A rolly polly looking king twirled onstage and cried out joyously " You have come to save my Princess Rosa…Talk to one who can help you!"

Right at that moment a wizard twirled onstage. Cloud ran up to the wizard and asked for the Evil Dragon King's weakness.

"The weakness of the Evil Dragon King is…Love…and now save your love from the clutches of the Evil Dragon King!"

Just then The Evil Dragon King came onstage holding a giggling Aeris. The Evil Dragon King roared " I have been expecting you…I have not harmed the princess oh legendary knight Alfred…I already know your name!"

Aeris cried out almost laughing, " Oh save me oh legendary hero!" she turned to face the Dragon King and whispered "Like that?"

The Dragon King Roared. And the king cried out " Oh what will become of my dear Princess Rosa!"

"A kiss of true love will destroy the power of the Evil Dragon King!" cried out the wizard.

Cloud turned to face Aeris. Then he slowly walked up to her, bent down on one knee, took her hand and kissed it gently.

"Oh Cloud…I mean…Alfred!" Aeris blushed.

"CURSES! The power of love!" roared the Dragon. The Evil Dragon King leaped into the air and disappeared (not really the dragon's feet were actually hanging from the ceiling)

"Now we can return the castle and celebrate!" the king said happily.

"Yes, let's!" cheered the knight and the wizard.

One by one the cast twirled offstage. Cloud and Aeris looked each other and smiled. Then they both twirled gracefully offstage.

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Cloud and Aeris met outside the Event tube after the show. They were both laughing hysterically.

He's laughing with me. Something I never thought he would do around me.

Aeris giggled, "That was fun! Let's go on the Gondola!"

Cloud smiled and took her hand and jumped into the Round tube.

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Aeris and Cloud walked up to the ticket girl.

"Two tickets please" Aeris said politely.

"Here you are, two tickets…enjoy the sights of Gold Saucer!" said the ticket girl.

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"Wow how beautiful!" exclaimed Aeris.

The sights at gold saucer were one of the best sights in the world. The racing chocobos, the bright lights and Cloud was with her. It was perfect.

It's now or never Aeris…he'll never know the way you feel unless you tell him now.

Aeris turned from the window and looked at Cloud.

I wonder what he'll say…

Aeris looked longingly into Cloud's eyes.

It's now or never.

"First off," said Aeris. "It bothered me how you two looked exactly alike…the way you talk, walk and gesture…"she trailed off. (She remembered her old boyfriend Zack. Zack who was a first class SOLDIER, just like Cloud. He also looked like Cloud. She remembered how she loved Zack so much and one day him leaving her for a job and never coming back)

But Cloud's different…and those feelings for Zack are gone.

"But you're different…things are different…"she continued.

Cloud just looked into her eyes. She stared lovingly at him. There was silence for a while.

And then Aeris whispered, "Cloud…I want to meet you."

Cloud was puzzled and looked into her eyes again wondering what she meant by that. Finally he responded, "But I'm right here."

"I know. But what I mean is…" Aeris whispered.

It's now or never. I have to let him know.

"… I want to meet…you…"she whispered.

She stared at him. His handsome features and his Mako blue eyes. She leaned forward and so did he. But before their lips could meet…

Bang! Crash!

A beautiful display of fireworks was heard and Aeris pulled back and turned to the window.

Great Aeris. You almost did it…you're so weak…you can't even tell him how you feel…but what about Tifa? What would she say? She's my best friend. I can't do this.

Aeris stared at the dazzling display of colour.

Interrupted by fireworks. At least I think he knows how I feel.

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Cloud took her hand and escorted her out of the Gondola. Aeris turned to face him and said ' I had a wonderful time tonight… only next time lets take our time and go on more rides."

Cloud smiled. "We should go back now. It's getting late. I had a great time tonight."

Aeris blushed " I'm glad…well we should go back now…"

Cloud and Aeris walked back to the Hotel and wished each other good night.

As Aeris' door closed, Cloud stood their watching where she had been standing and thought to himself…

I love you Aeris Gainsborough. Why can't I say that to her face?

He sighed and cursed at himself for letting opportunity slip away.

There will be another time…then I will tell her how I feel and she'll know. I just hope she feels the same.

He turned around and walked into his room and closed the door.

If only he knew the tragedy that was to come.

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Some time later… (After the temple of the ancients) in the village of Gongaga. After midnight.

It's time Aeris…

"Planet?"

Cloud can't control himself anymore. Sephiroth has the Black Materia now. You must summon Holy to stop him. You must leave now. Alone.

"Holy?"

Go to the Lost City of the Ancients…There you can summon Holy from your white materia…

"White Materia? I don't have a White Materia."

It's the little white bauble you have tied up in your hair. Hurry there's not much time.

The Planet stopped talking. Aeris got up from her bed. She packed her staff, materia, the few gil she had and a little food. She strapped her load onto her back and walked towards the door. Before leaving she gave Cloud one last look and then left for the Ancient City.

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Cloud…

Cloud…

"Someone's calling…sounds familiar…"

Cloud it's me.

"Aeris!!??"

Aeris and Cloud were in a Forest. Everything seemed so fuzzy looking.

This is a dream Cloud.

"What is this place?" Cloud asked

This is the Sleeping Forest. North of the town of Bone Village. I have something I must do.

"Why are you going alone? You might need backup."

Cloud, why don't you take it easy for a while? I'll handle Sephiroth. Only I the last surviving Cetra can do it.

Aeris walked up to Cloud, kissed Cloud on the cheek and took a step back.

Goodbye Cloud…I'll come back after it's all over.

With those as her last words, she turned and ran into the light at the end of the forest.

"No! Wait!" Cloud cried. He tried running after her. But something wouldn't let him. It was like he was suspended in one place.

"We must stop that girl soon"

That voice!

"She'll be a difficult one don't you think?"

SEPHIROTH!

Sephiroth looked at Cloud coldly. He laughed like a madman and disappeared.

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"NO!" screamed Cloud as he woke.

"Cloud are you alright?" asked Tifa worriedly.

"Pull yourself together man…" said Barret.

Cloud held his head in pain. Maybe it was just a dream that Aeris was alright, sleeping in her bed on the other end of the inn. At least that's what he hoped.

"You know what Cloud? Aeris is missing." Tifa said worriedly.

Cloud's face turned white.

"Yo! What's the matter man?" asked Barret.

"Aeris is in the City of the Ancients." Cloud said.

"By herself? Why the hell did she go by herself…Barret shouted. "We have to go after her!"

"Only the Cetra, only Aeris can save us from Meteor…" Cloud held his head.

"What if Sephiroth finds her? We have to find her." said Tifa.

"Sephiroth already knows…"whispered Cloud.

"&*^*&(^@*!!! We have to go after her. If Sephiroth gets hold of her…" Barret trailed off.

"I'm afraid. If Sephiroth gets near me, I don't know what I can do. He can control me. I'm afraid…" Cloud cried.

"Look if it happens, it happens….don't worry about it…we'll be there to snap you back." said Barret.

"He's right isn't he?' Cloud asked Tifa.

"C'mon Cloud. Let's go find Aeris…"said Tifa.

And with that. They left Gongaga.

"I'll find you Aeris…"whispered Cloud.

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Aeris looked at the City of the Ancients.

It's so beautiful. I have to hurry. I don't have much time.

Aeris walked among the crystal buildings until she reached a shell like structure. Slowly, she went down the stairs until she reached an altar.

It is here. Pray, Aeris. For holy, for your friends…said the planet.

Aeris kneeled, closed her eyes and prayed. She prayed for Holy, she prayed for her mother, she prayed for the people who died in Sector 7, she prayed for her friends and she prayed for …Cloud.

A white aura surrounded Aeris as she prayed. The white materia in her hair glowed a mysterious glow. She knew she was the only one who could do this…she wasn't weak. And that….a hero lied in her. No matter how physically weak she was…in spirit she was whole. That's why she was chosen…to save the planet.

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Cloud, Tifa and Barret had been searching for a long time. None of them have had any rest. Cloud kept on persisting that they continue without stopping. They were tired.

"He loves her…"thought Tifa. "No matter how hard I try, I can never compare to Aeris…he only sees me as a friend.

She remembered the night on the Tiny Bronco. She was laughing with Cloud…but she noticed Cloud looking at Aeris on the other side of the plane. Him watching her with a smile on his face. She lost Cloud to Aeris. She didn't hate Aeris. She knew as much as she loved Cloud…he loved Aeris. And she couldn't change that. No matter what she did. Love is a funny thing. It had to be natural for both sides and she knew that's what Cloud and Aeris had.

Those two are truly meant to be.

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Cloud and the party finally reached the City of the Ancients. Tifa and Barret wanted to collapse. They explored each crystal building until they reached one with three beds. Tifa and Barret convinced Cloud to take a break.

As Cloud slept, he heard voices.

Cloud…

"Aeris?"

Come to me puppet…

And Sephiroth!

Cloud help me.

"Aeris I'm coming!" cried Cloud.

Cloud got Tifa and Barret out of bed quickly. They strapped on their armour and weapons. And they quickly headed out.

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Cloud, Tifa and Barret approached the shell-like structure. A lake surrounded the structure. They went inside.

They descended the crystal stairs, walking into the Forgotten city. There, on an altar across 5 thin marble pillars surrounded by water, was Aeris praying.

Cloud signalled for the others to wait while he went on alone. The others nodded as Cloud jumped onto the first thin pillar. Pillar to pillar he jumped as fast as he could without falling into the waters below.

He reached the altar.

She's so beautiful.

And then it came…

He couldn't think. His head afire with pain set with one purpose…Slowly he walked up to where Aeris was kneeling and unsheathed his sword.

Kill her…

But I love her…


YOU MUST KILL HER…

Yes…master Sephiroth…

The voices in his head fought one another…He slowly brought up his sword towards Aeris' neck. Before he could slash it down to complete his purpose he heard Tifa and Barret shouting..

"CLOUD!" screamed Tifa

"Stupid @&$*!*!"shouted Barret.

"Ughh! What are you making me do?" Cloud cried.

Aeris slowly opened her eyes…her hands still clasped in prayer. A smile on her face…

He came for me…

Cloud looked at her emerald green eyes. He could hear her though she wasn't speaking.

His eyes are on me…

I love you Cloud…

Cloud wanted to walk up to her, to tell her how he felt…but he was frozen in one place.

It all seemed happened slowly…Sephiroth coming from above, with his sword aimed at the one person Cloud had ever truly loved. Aeris unknowing of what was to happen.

She just kneeled there smiling at Cloud.

Cloud eyes were full of horror as Sephiroth's sword pierced Aeris through the stomach.

Her hands fell to her sides as death embraced her. But after a while, there was no more pain.

I'm dying…but at least Cloud knows how I feel…Holy is coming…the Planet will be safe…I know…because Cloud will protect it…

She smiled. Her part of the mission was over… and she was going home to her Promised Land.

Cloud ran up to Aeris and gathered her in his arms. He looked at her wound in her stomach and wept. He stared at her angelic face, into her caring green eyes.

"Cloud…don't cry…"Aeris whispered. She reached out her hand and caressed his face.

Cloud wept even more…the love of his life was dying and there was nothing he could do. He held her hand to comfort her.

"Aeris…I…" Cloud stuttered. " I love you Aeris…"

She smiled.

He loves me…I want it to be like this forever…me in his arms the way I always dreamed about…but I only have this moment of my life left…

She stared into his Mako blue eyes and stroked his face once more…and 22-year-old Aeris Gainsborough of the Cetra closed her eyes and returned home to her Promised Land.

Tifa walked up to Aeris' body and cried. She knelt down and caressed her best friend's face. She knew Aeris loved Cloud as much as she tried to hide it. She was so much to Tifa…like an older sister…and now she was gone. Tifa ran out of the building with tear filled eyes.

Barret just stood over Aeris and wept. Aeris had always supported them all. The beacon of hope when everything was hopeless…and now she would support them too…only from a place where they couldn't see her. Barret put his hand on Cloud's shoulder trying to comfort him…but he found no words to do so…He left the altar to leave Cloud and Aeris alone.

"Aeris…"whispered Cloud. He became even more grief-stricken. She was gone…the love of his life was gone… "I will avenge you Aeris… and someday we will be together…I promise. He gently kissed her lips and caressed her brown hair.

And with that, Cloud carried Aeris in his arms and walked out of the building to the lake outside. The pool was a strange green with peaceful waters. Slowly he walked into the middle of the pool and laid Aeris down to rest.

"I wish I could have done more…"he whispered into her ear.

And he let go.

He watched Aeris' body float there for a second and submerge to the calm, emerald waters below.

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The Final Battle

It is time…So many people have died because of this madman…the people of Nibelheim, my mother, Tifa's father…Aeris…

Anger and hatred filled Cloud's eyes, as he stood there in his battle stance, ready to end this adventure once and for all. In front of him was one person in the world Cloud hated most…Sephiroth.

Sephiroth, First Class Soldier…

Sephiroth, the monster who destroyed Nibelheim

Sephiroth, the man who killed Aeris!

"You are a mindless puppet…you'll never defeat me. Here you are trying to avenge that Ancient. She was weak…just like you." Sephiroth taunted.

"She was not weak! She saved us all…whenever we were down…whenever we wanted to give up….she stood tall and supported us. And YOU JUST HAD TO TAKE HER AWAY FROM US!!!!!

As Cloud's anger grew, so did his power. Slowly his limit had reached its peak…

I promised her…I'll end this once and for all…

OMISLASH!!!!!!!!

Sephiroth was caught in surprise. He couldn't parry any of the attacks. He only knew death between each powerful slash that Cloud surged forward.

"This is for my mother!" screamed Cloud, slashing Sephiroth.

"This is for Nibelheim!" Cloud slashed Sephiroth again.

A white aura surrounded Cloud, concentrating into his sword….

"AND THIS ONE IS FOR AERIS!!!!!!!" Cloud screamed slashing Sephiroth right through his black, uncaring heart.

Sephiroth fell back covered in blood.

A puppet...? A puppet defeated me?

Cloud stood over Sephiroth. "In each of us, there is a hero. Everyday we strive, fight, hope and love…these emotions make us strong. Aeris showed us that we don't have to be strong physically to triumph over evil, that we had to faith in our memories and remember those who we loved and those who loved us…"

Sephiroth's eyes widened in realization. This was the power Cloud had that he didn't. And that power was the one that had destroyed him.

Sephiroth's eyes closed and died.

Cloud looked up…Lifestream was surrounding him. In front of him was a hand…a delicate female hand reaching out to him.

He reached out…

His hand brushed hers…

Cloud I'm taking you home…

"Aeris what?" whispered Cloud.

His spirit joined his body once more as he soon escaped the Crater as it begun to crumble. He and the party managed to get on the Highwind before the Crater collapsed. Holy was coming and the planet was going to be saved…but…

"&^!@#!" cursed Cid.

Holy was having an opposite effect. It was sinking Meteor deeper into the planet.

"What are we going to do Cloud?" Tifa screamed.

"I don't know." replied Cloud.

Just then Lifestream came. It came from everywhere. The ground, the trees…everywhere. It swirled around Meteor and crumbled it to tiny pebbles…

"Lifestream…"whispered Cloud.

Just then Cloud saw Aeris in the energy. She smiled at him. Before she disappeared, Cloud whispered to her…

I will wait for you always Aeris…

She smiled and disappeared.

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From that day on…Cloud, Aeris and the party were known as the Heroes who saved the Planet. Each of them was given gifts of gold and jewels; gifts usually given to Heroes. However the gifts of the Hero were nothing of worth to Cloud and Aeris. Two lovers in two different worlds. One in the world of the living and one in the Promised Land.

They would both wait for the day when they would receive the gift truly worthy of them both…

…The day when they would see each other again…

The End

Author's Note: This is my first fanfiction ever. Please Review!