Epilogue.

I learned after months of trying I just simply couldn't tap into her thoughts anymore. I'm kinda glad about that because some of her thoughts were just absolutely pointless…Some of them included me…Okay, most of them included me after that one dream I caused…

Except those fantasies of hers were weird…They scared me…

Kids?

Now that's just weird.

As you probably have figured out, I'm not really the patient type of guy either. Waiting on her to come back was hard…The only person to talk to down here is Angeal, he just goes on and on and on…, and the topics of choice for him really suck. The man was probably emo growing up or something…

I started watching Cloud as soon as he made the cliché entrance of falling through the roof…I think I should've repaired that instead of making that cart…she doesn't even use the thing, I don't think that's too fair to me

I wish I could've told her ahead of time that she'd be seeing me a lot sooner than she expected…

If only I did what I considered to do…

After I met Aerith, I thought about quitting SOLDIER and being just Zack for once. I wanted to take her out of Midgar and maybe somewhere where there'd be lots of flowers for her…I always wanted to pilot something…maybe that would've been the best shot for me…that was a bad choice of words...

Cloud still would be Cloud. I'd still be alive. Sephiroth wouldn't have gone nuts. Nibelheim would still exist! In addition, Aerith…

…I wouldn't be feeling that draining feeling right now…

Aer and I... we kinda come as a 'package deal.' I feel what's been happening to her and she…she feels the same for me. You've heard about guardian angels right? I am Aerith's self-proclaimed guardian angel. I guess that's not really necessary now, is it?

It just seems… everything that has happened for everyone seems to fall on my shoulders. If it weren't for me…there'd be no problems with the Planet now.

When you put it in that context, it all seems very bad.

It took her a half hour to find me! I mean, she could've just calledfor me and I would've found her…but no…

She had to look for me.

Wow, do I feel special. Yeah right.

I know this isn't really necessary for us to do, but its habit, I guess… She was worried about how Cloud is doing…she noticed when she was…well…Cloud's not acting like himself or me.

We're both watching him now; I suppose we're both Cloud's guardian angels now.

She's been so worried latey that she once fell asleep on my shoes. My shoes. I doubt that my feet are really that comfortable but she's really that tired. (I'm glad she's not heavy.) I pulled her head up to my chest so that she didn't have to bother with my boots. She didn't even move. It was as if she were dead.

Wow. That was an ironic simile.

Y'know, being in the Lifestream and all...

I smiled a bit. She turned her head up at me and stared at me for a minute then she smiled.

"Morning?" She asked, unsure of timing here.

"Yeah."

She sat up and scratched her head, "Zack, I've been curious…what do you see here?"

"Huh?"

"I see…lots of flowers…what do you see? Here, in the Lifestream?"

Actually, I'd never really thought about it, but the Lifestream looks like Gongaga and Midgar crossed together to me, I'd never actually thought it looked different to anyone else.

"It looks like my home," I told her, shrugging.

"Do you see any relatives of yours?" She asked with a sigh.

"No, you and me…we're the only ones here right now."

"I don't see my mother either…" she paused in thought "…but I want to be with you…" she paused again, "sometimes I wonder what it'd be like if you were a Cetra too…"

That triggered a twinge of guilt…what if…what if I were an Ancient? Aer would see her mom and then we would all live happily ever after…end of story.

"Zack, I often wonder what it's really like to be normal…" She mumbled as she half-buried herself under my arm.

It made me think, she had always wanted to be normal, hadn't she? She once even thought…I was normal…

I sometimes think she still does…

I think she was sleep talking because she was soon out like a light. I kept my face forward and continued skimming my thoughts until I found my shirt was damp.

"Aer," I asked in a hushed voice, "you crying?"

No response

No, she wasn't crying she was drooling. So I propped my half-comatose, leaking girlfriend up and let her sleep on my shoulder…she was really quiet, hardly making a noise at all.

I eyed the ribbon in her hair for a few seconds and it all became clear to me…what's always been most important to Aerith was…her memories.

I gave the bow a sharp tug and it came out freely into my hand. Without trying to wake her I turned it over and inspected it. Faded from the bright pink it once was on one side and just as good as new on the other.

I shook my head; she must have never taken it off…

As gently as I could, I relived the moment of giving her that ribbon. Flipping it over to the brighter side, I tied it very tightly around her braid so it would never fall off again…I knew that that ribbon doesn't actually exist but I know…for the both of us…we can both see it.

That ribbon…it wasn't just a ribbon after wearing it for all those years…it was special, it… did absolutely nothing…it… I dunno really. I guess it had some...sentimental value.

Great…five minutes with the woman and I'm talking like her…

I noticed she was being abnormally still… "Aer, you alive?" After a short pause I thought better to rephrase that, "Are you faking, Aerith?"

I looked straight at her face; she managed to keep it straight for three-point-five seconds before a wide grin spread across her face.

"Aerith!" I yelled as she burst out laughing.

So, that's how our story began


Yessss! The final chapter is up! I'm sorry it took so long, but I didn't really want to see this story die (sad face) I'm planning on writing another one about Zack and Aerith's misadventures and it should be posted soon (and I mean soon. Like in the next two minutes of me typing this.) Anyway, I don't own the main characters or else...Zack would've made more than four face-plants in Crisis Core...yes! I counted... trip-ups too!