Giftfic for Reading Chick, written to and inspired by The Veronicas' Someone Wake Me Up.

Shelke tries to realize something significant after DoC.

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII and its subsidiaries are the property of Square Enix. Someone Wake Me Up is the property of The Veronicas.

Shelke sat idly just inside the door to Tifa's Seventh Heaven. It had been a week since she and her new-found friends? she supposed so, had retrieved Vincent. Lucrecia's neural data was busily decompiling in her mind, and something was trying to gain her attention, some truth she had overlooked. She couldn't pin it down; it was slipping right out of her reach, and she had no idea what it was. The only thing she knew was that, whatever it was, it was incredibly important.

Unable to focus on anything else but her mind, Shelke decided to aid the decompiling process by reviewing memories that she knew without a doubt of certainty to be hers. She reasoned that perhaps her mind would be able to grasp the truth she had not realized if she thought about something closely related.

Leaning against the door-frame, Shelke closed her eyes and let her conscious mind drift.

The first things that her mental eyes saw were blocks of data. After so many years performing Synaptic Net Dives, her inner eye perceived every thought as a piece of computerized data. It made it very easy for her to sift through her own thoughts. Currently in her mind, there were blocks of data dissolving and disappearing, and others shimmering and coalescing into view. Shifting her view, Shelke caught sight of a block of data partially hidden and walled off by a slowly fragmenting net-like structure. Whatever it was, it had to be the piece of information she couldn't yet grasp. There were several blocks of data waiting to be integrated into the one behind the wall, so Shelke mentally approached them and began to sift through them in the hopes of determining what it was they were waiting to join.

The first memory she looked into she quickly removed from her active mind and laid back to rest. Her first days in Deepground. Shuddering, she realized that, while important, what was trying to gain her attention was going to be extremely unpleasant.

The next memory she chose was confusing. It was more of a still snapshot than an actual memory of an event. The "picture" was of her first meeting with the other Tsviets after her initiation into their ranks. Most of the image was blurred. She knew Rosso had been there, though she could not see her, and her mind was still so traumatized at that point that she could not even recall if Azul was there. She didn't think he was. Argent's presence was indeterminate. There were only two people she could clearly recall: Weiss and Nero. Weiss had been in the forefront, warm and yet cold at the same time. She recalled that he had puzzled her. Nero was in the background, leaning against a wall. He didn't have his wings yet, and he had stared at her, unblinking, for the longest time. Yet she remembered it had not scared her; she had actually felt comforted by the intense stare. After so many days of being told she was the Transparent, and having to become the Transparent, it was a relief to know she could still be seen.

Handling the image carefully, Shelke reconsidered the information trapped before her. Important, unpleasant, and comforting at the same time. That did not make sense. She set the image down where it belonged and chose another piece of data, hoping it would yield more information about what it was waiting to join.

This block of data was an actual memory. Shelke mentally stepped into herself and passed through the surrounding haze to relive what it contained.

"Nero?" So this memory focused on him.

Shelke got no response, and so repeated her previous actions and opened the door.

The moment she did, the circumstances of this memory rushed into the forefront of her mind. Nero was lying face down on a bed, breathing labored, Oblivion angrily swirling into the corners of the room, reaching out to lick at her feet. The wings. This was right after the Researchers had given Nero those horrible wings.

Shelke watched and felt the memory of Oblivion kissing her body, retracting once her voice registered in Nero's mind. She remembered and felt herself walking towards Nero, placing a hand on his head, the only place she could think of that wouldn't hurt further, and whispering something even she couldn't understand. The rest of the memory blurred past as Shelke tried to relive it and figure out its significance at the same time. She had stayed with him for three days, alternating shifts watching him with Weiss and Argent. They had had to leave, but she had managed to stay. She didn't know how.

The memory faded, and Shelke felt her senses register a slight breeze on her skin in reality cool her burning eyes. This hidden memory would be painful. Painful, unpleasant, comforting, important, was there anything else she could glean from it? Casting her mind back over the three memories she had reviewed thus far, in actuality two, she determined the constant factors to be Nero and Weiss. She recalled their presence when she had arrived in Deepground without having to actively relive that memory. So her mind was trying to tell her something important about either Nero or Weiss. Shelke felt a sickening feeling overtake her, and hoped what she was trying to remember did not involve Nero. The emotions she had already encountered were more indicative of her relationship with him, not Weiss.

Steeling herself, Shelke turned to regard the blocks of data, and realized there were only two left. Choosing the smaller of the two, she was not swept up into a memory, but rather a feeling.

Shelke felt annoyance, confusion, humor, a slight happiness, acceptance, companionship, and a deep, deep friendship she knew she had not allowed herself to ever explore.

Turning rapidly away from the net, she witnessed the last bits of Lucrecia's neural data fragment, dissolve, and disappear, and she jerked herself out of her reverie as she felt the net shatter and the memories she had relived join the knowledge behind the screen; the knowledge that Nero had died.

She felt someone shake her slightly, and opened her eyes to see Tifa's concerned face asking her something she could not hear and looking deep into her eyes. Raising her hands to shield herself from the woman's view, she found Tifa was not concerned because she had been still so long, but because she had cried enough to soak the collar of her shirt, and the tears were still streaming from her eyes. No matter how much she tried to control the tears, she could not manage stop her mind from screaming for someone to wake her up.