"If Everyone Cared"

Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children, Squeenix, or any affiliates thereof, nor do I own Nickleback or the song lyrics for "If Everyone Cared" which inspired this fic.

Three years since Meteor. A year since the Geostigma. Now Gaia was finally heading towards peace. A peace with no Sephiroth, no Kadaj, no Jenova, no Geostigma. Or so the inhabitants of Gaia hoped. They hoped and prayed with their very beings that peace had finally come. And the ones who hoped and prayed the hardest were the planet's defenders, that small group called AVALANCHE. They were tired of fighting, tired of having to fight for their continued existence and for that of the entire planet. So many died, including the sweet young Ancient, who had prayed for the safety of the planet.

Cid leaned back against the Tiny Bronco, looking up at the stars. Lost in thought, he didn't notice a certain red-cloaked figure until he sat beside him. Staring at the midnight blue sky a moment longer, he turned to his lover. The ex-Turk was gazing at the sky, the many stars reflecting their light in his crimson eyes. Cid was struck with the thought of how lucky he was. How lucky he was to have survived against Sephiroth, and again against the three brothers and the chaos they wrought.

Not knowing what moved him to do so, Cid brushed aside Vincent's bangs so he could better see the gunman's eyes. Vincent turned to him in confusion, which only increased when Cid spoke.

"I love you Vincent."

Brows furrowed, the gunman asked, "What brought this on?" The two lovers had exchanged the words before, but both felt that their actions spoke louder.

"I…I don really know," the pilot turned back to the sky before continuing, "I just thought of how lucky I am. Hell, how lucky we all are. I mean, we went against fuckin' Sephiroth and won! And again, last year with those damn remnant things and Sephiroth coming back."

Vincent nodded. "Gaia has suffered much the past few years."

"But we're alive. An' the planet ain't got nothin' to worry about now." Cid smiled and moved to press his lips gently against Vincent's. "Hopefully nothin' else'll come. I'm damn tired of savin' the world."

Pulling the pilot in for another kiss, Vincent murmured, "Me too," before locking lips again.

---

Cloud walked into '7th Heaven' and dropped his bag on the bar, before clomping upstairs. Peeking into the children's room, he smiled briefly to see Denzel fast asleep, Marlene off visiting her father. The blond walked to his own room looked in. Finding no one inside, he moved on to the stairs. He climbed them and came to the roof. Scanning it quickly, he found the person he was looking for.

"Tifa," he called out.

"Hello Cloud. Wanna come sit with me?" The brunette looked back at him hopefully. A smile tugged at the man's lips as he strode across the roof and seated himself beside Tifa.

"A little like old times, hmm?"

Tifa smiled, "Yeah it is. Hey Cloud, I was thinking." She stopped, appearing to be thinking on what to say next.

"About what?" Cloud asked.

"About how lucky we are. We survived more than many on Gaia will ever go through. I don't know how or why, but I know that I'm glad. I'm glad that we went through it too, because it helped shape all of us into who we are."

"Wow, that is a lot of thinking," the blond smirked until Tifa punched him lightly on the arm. Well maybe not so lightly. "Ow." Cloud rubbed his arm dramatically.

"You deserved it anyway." Tifa grinned. The grin quickly turned to surprise when the blond swordsman suddenly pulled the fighter to him. "My, my, feeling playful?" she teased.

"I love you, Tifa."

"Wha…?" The brunette blinked several times in wonder.

The blond frowned as he looked at her expression. "I don't say that enough, do I?" Before she could answer, he kissed her. When they finally pulled apart, Tifa smiled up at Cloud.

"I love you too, Cloud."

---

"Daddy!" Marlene rushed at her adopted father as he returned from the mines, having been called out for an emergency.

Picking up the girl in a long practiced move, the big man looked his daughter sternly in the eye. "Marlene, didn't I tell you ta be in bed before I got home?"

"But I wanted to wait on you," she pouted slightly as she spoke, hoping to avoid punishment. Barret sighed in defeat, never able to quite resist her cute face, even after many promises to be stricter. Marlene grinned and hugged her father. Glancing up at the star-studded sky, she became excited when she saw a star streak across the sky. "Daddy look! A shooting star!"

Barret looked up dutifully as he replied, "Hurry, and make a wish." The little girl's face contorted in what the man supposed was her thoughtful face, as she thought carefully of her wish.

"Ok, I've made my wish." She grinned as she proclaimed this.

"What did you wish for?" Barret questioned.

"I can't tell you. Otherwise it won't come true." He nodded at that, and turned to walk inside their home. Setting her down, he walked into the small kitchen only to be hugged again by his daughter. "I love you Daddy," she mumbled into his torso. Surprised, Barret hugged his daughter back, thinking all of a sudden how lucky he was that he had Marlene in his life. If not for the sweet little girl, he would be alone. Pulling away, Marlene smiled up at him before walking out. Hopefully her wish would come true, and her daddy would have someone special to care about, someone who could take the loneliness she sensed in his eyes sometimes when he thought she wasn't looking.

---

Nanaki stretched from where he was reading a book in the Wutaiin library. Standing on two human feet, he went in search of his friend Yuffie. Several months ago, while on a wild materia hunt with Yuffie in the depths of Cosmo Canyon, the two had discovered a strange necklace. Though it didn't look like anything special, when Nanaki put it on, he had transformed into a more human form. He still had his tail and sharp teeth, but otherwise looked human.

Nanaki spotted Yuffie lying on her back, staring at the stars. Treading softly, he walked up to stand beside her. "What are you doing?"

"Thinking."

"And you aren't in pain yet?"

"Hey!" the ninja playfully batted at his tail. "I'm serious."

Sitting down beside Yuffie, Nanaki waited for her to continue.

"I was just thinking about all we've done. We defeated Sephiroth twice. Saved Gaia. And we lived. Talk about luck." The ninja sat up and looked at her friend.

"Yeah. But a lot of people weren't so lucky." Silence descended upon the duo as they wandered in their own thoughts for a minute. "Of course, if none of it had happened, I would have never met you."

Yuffie blushed slightly. "Huh?"

"And never had my materia stolen."

"Not my fault. It was asking to be taken. I just answered its wishes." Yuffie grinned and Nanaki chose that moment to tentatively press his lips to hers. Blushing profusely, she hesitated before kissing him back.

"I…I think I love you, Yuffie."

"I think I love you, too, Nanaki."

---

A/N: For something written at 1-2 a.m. I think I did decently. Personally, I like the Barret and Marlene scene. She's just so cute. That seems to be the only time Erik, my muse, seems to wake up. Thanks to my beta reader, KremlinDusk. Love ya Batman-chan! I hope you enjoyed the fic.