(A.N.) So this is my newest creation in my surge of FFVII fanfic ideas and is notably darker and more angsty than any of my other stories. I'm not totally sure how this one is going to turn out, but I decided to post the prologue and see what kind of reaction I got, so here it is. This may be slightly edited later when I get the rest of the chapters up. I got the idea for the title from one of Utada Hikaru's songs called "Devil Inside" but the theme is a bit different from that of the song. IMPORTANT: This chapter (the prologue) is all done in Cloud's point of view, but the other chapters may end up being in third person. I'm not sure yet. Anyway, enjoy!
Note: "Speech" 'Thoughts'
There's darkness everywhere. So pitch black that I can't see anything around me. Then I realize that it's because my eyes are squeezed shut. I try to open them, but my eyelids feel heavy. I finally get them to open, but the world around me is almost as dark as it had been when my eyes were closed. Small droplets of water are falling all around me, though I'm sure I am inside. I look up to confirm that the rain is coming from a massive hole in the ceiling.
The rain is cold, stinging the skin of my exposed arms and face as it pours down from the heavens, making me shiver. The acrid smell of metal and rust assaults my senses, burning my nose. It's so strong that I begin to feel sick and slightly dizzy. I realize for the first time that I have been on my hands and knees, so I sit up, still kneeling. I notice that my hands feel wet and sticky, so I raise them up close enough so I can see them in the immense darkness. My stomach lurches as I realize where the horrible smell was coming from: My hands are covered in blood.
I quickly try to wipe them off on my shirt, noticing that my clothes are soaking wet. I silently pray that it's from the rain. I am suddenly aware that the puddle I'm kneeling in is not from the rain, but a pool of blood, collected on the wooden floor boards beneath me.
I feel surreally calm as I wonder about my own safety. 'I don't feel hurt anywhere, so why…?'
A flash of lightning suddenly rips through the dark sky, illuminating the church's interior. The gruesome scene before me answers my question. Even as the bright light fades I can see the figure of a woman lying a few yards from me. Dark hair frames her face and falls around her shoulders, wet from the rain. She is sitting and leaning up against the wall; head tilted downward, eyes closed and arms lying limp at her sides. Realization hits me and I feel sicker. The blood is not mine, it's hers.
Quickly getting to my feet, I rush over to her, kneeling in front of her and putting my hands on her shoulders. Her name passes my lips as I shake her slightly, trying to rouse her but receiving no response. I beg her to open her eyes as I shake her again, but still she lies motionless except for a pitiful little moan that escapes her lips. I look down to see that she is clutching her chest, and upon moving her hand I understand what is wrong with her.
There is a large slanted gash that goes from the area above her heart all the way down almost reaching her abdomen, and it's gushing massive quantities of blood with every beat of her fragile heart. I realize instantly that a wound that size and shape could only have come from one weapon. My hands are still on her shoulders as I look to my right, a glint of silver catching my eye. A few feet away my sword is lying on the wooden floor, the tip of it dripping with blood. Her blood.
My heart begins to beat rapidly within my chest as the horrible truth sets in: Tifa is dying, and I'm the one who killed her.
I turn back to her, shaking her shoulders more urgently and shouting her name, my voice cracking in fear. With one hand I reach down and touch her cheek, noticing that her skin lacks its usual warmth. I try to tell myself that the rain is what's making her feel so cold, but I know the truth. My hand remains there but my vision suddenly becomes blurry and it takes me a moment to realize that it's because tears are filling my eyes. I can feel my whole body beginning to tremble as I squeeze my eyes shut, warm droplets streaking down my face and mixing with the cool rain.
Suddenly I feel her move beneath my touch, tilting her head up slightly to look up at me as her eyes slowly slide open. I blink rapidly to clear my vision so I can look at her, softly stroking her cheek with my thumb. I try to choke out her name, but my voice is gone, like the sparkle that once lit up her almond colored eyes. I am unable to look away from her face even as I feel her hand weakly touch my own cheek before falling back down to her side.
More tears fill my eyes and run down my cheeks as I embrace her, pulling her into my chest and tucking her head underneath my chin. With her in my arms, I can feel her heart beating weakly, the warm crimson fluid flowing from her chest now soaking into my shirt.
"Cloud…" she whispers, so softly that it is almost carried away by the wind.
"Tifa, please…" I manage to choke out before my voice fails me again; begging her not to leave me though I know it is inevitable.
I pull her closer to me, holding her tightly though she cannot return my embrace. A moment later I feel her body go completely limp in my arms, her life and all her warmth leaving her forever. Her eyes close for the last time as she breathes her very last breath in my arms. The only woman that I ever loved…dead…because of me…
To Be Continued…
(A.N.) So…yeah. This is just the prologue (notice the very short length) but more chapters should be posted soon. Despite what it may sound like, this IS a Cloud&Tifa romance fic…all will all be explained in later chapters. It may be a while before I post any more just because I want to figure out how I'm going to write it. I have the basic storyline in mind, but I just need to decide if it will be all in Cloud's point of view. I do realize that when people die in the FFVII world that their bodies dissolve into the Lifestream, I just didn't write that part in because I figure it would have to take a few minutes to happen after their death…and the chapter ends right after she dies. (Plus all the light and sparkles would take away from the sadness…) Anyway, I'd really like to see what everyone's reaction to this is, simply because I have never written a story like this before. So all reviews are greatly appreciated!