Title: Interlude – Breaking

Author: BluesyEyes

Disclaimer: I do not own FFVII, only the idea for this story.

She let out a yell as she kicked the punching bag in front of her. Stupid boy. Stupid father. Stupid mother. She would fend for herself. Stupid abuse, stupid drugs and damn stupid alcohol. She punched again, feeling the blood trickle down her knuckles. All her eyes could see was the black of the punch bag, resembling that of something different.

She saw her boyfriend, who she had caught making out with her best friend the night before. The pain seared through her arm as she punched the bag.

She saw her father, yelling at her, slapping her cheek in a violent manner. She could smell the alcohol on his breath. Another jolting sensation brought her back to her senses.

She saw her mother, sitting in a corner, nose bleeding, with a straw and cocaine in her nose. Her mouth bubbled over as a glazed look overcame her. Her voice screamed in her head as she slammed her shoulder into the bottom of the bag.

She saw the abuse. The way her boyfriend had yelled at her, swore at her and told her she had no right to talk to him the way she did. The way her father hit her. The way her mother ignored her.

And she saw the alcohol, searing down her throat and blinding her to the real truth.

She was in pain. She was cracking and she needed repair.

"Hey lady, the gym's closing. You need to get out of here." A voice came out of no where, a voice that she ignored. She kicked the bag again, only to hear his voice again. She yelled at him to shut up without even turning her attention away.

"Aerith," Another voice entered, slow, calming and aflame with fire. "Calm down."

"No." She hissed, bloody spit coming out of her mouth. Her eyes stung. The bag came to a still and she took advantage of it, throwing each hit into it with a venomous force. "You'll never stop me."

"If I have to." He said again. Aerith let down her guard just for a moment, and soon he was holding on to the sides of her arms, looking down at her. "See, I told you."

"Let me go." She said, voice low and hoarse. She wiped the blood off of her chin on her shirt. His hold did not release, holding her together.

But slowly, each thing she saw seemed to hit her again. Each blow directed straight at her stomach. It was hard to breath. Breathing was shallow, hallow, broken. He never let go of her.

"Please, let me go." She whispered, the sting in her eyes falling towards their feet.

"I told you I wouldn't." He said, "Besides, you'll fall and break if I let you go."

"No. No, I won't. Just please." She pleaded, eyes meeting Emerald ones. They cried out to her, and as his hands let go of her tiny arms, she found herself burrowing himself into his chest.

He smelled of fresh soap, newly showered and clean. He stood like a rock: solid and grounded. And as his arms tightened around her waist, she only wished he could hold on tighter.

"Don't let me go. Just… don't."

He chuckled. A sound like the beating in her heart.