A/N: Oh, this is so far out in left field, I don't even think AU will do it justice. But I couldn't resist. You see, I have this terrible love of Sephiroth, and I love him with Aeris (the spelling I will use). So I found a way to put them together. Don't worry about the how or the why, just take it in. So sit back, relax, and enjoy something a little different. And be easy on me, as this is my first time with either of these characters. This is out of the box for me, but I couldn't resist.
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth, or Aeris. And no one pays me to waste my time writing this stuff. Pathetic, yes, probably. Who cares?
The field was littered with the bodies of Shinra's soldiers, her eyesight taking in nothing but continued grief and agony on the faces of the fallen. They groaned, twisting and writhing on the ground, and even though they were the ones who were chasing her, trying to destroy her, some part of her cringed at the mass of human suffering. She had never been the type of person to delight in another's pain, no matter what they had done to her.
It was barbaric.
He had slaughtered those who lay in front of him as is they were weeds, nothing more important than the miniscule organisms he killed with every step, every turn, every breath. And the despair in her chest deepened, widened, not only because she knew her time would soon come. She could feel the darkness closing in on him, Jenova trying to take over his soul. How could anyone fight something so strong?
She could hear Cloud and the others approaching, gasping as the full force of the gory scene hit their senses. What could she say? What argument would be enough to cast this out of their minds? There was no way, it was hopeless. After this, she would lose any chance of being able to get close to him, to save him from himself.
She didn't want to turn, she didn't want to see the condemnation in Cloud's eyes when he finally realized who she was chasing down, the monster he had become.
"Aeris, did he…did he do this? All by himself?"
She only nodded, keeping her head turned and her eyes anywhere but on her friends. They had put so much faith in her, and here she was, letting them down, leading them into a slaughter. She could feel the tears, right behind her eyes, pooling and pushing against her resolve. She would not cry, not this time. It was too much, too horrible.
"Aeris," Cloud muttered, reaching a hand out toward her jerking shoulder. She flinched away, and he sighed. "Well, I guess, maybe…hell, I don't know what to do. We can't help this many people."
She nodded, the tears finally escaping with her movement. Her breathing was harsh, but she managed to choke out a reply, telling him to scout for those who were able to be saved. They would have to decide who would live and who would die, and she didn't think she had the strength for it this time.
She was just tired. Too tired of cleaning up after him, too tired of all the things he had put her through.
She couldn't handle it right now, and thankfully, everyone seemed to realize it. She wandered off, no direction in mind, but somehow, she knew where he would be waiting for her. He had picked the only spot that allowed him a view of his destruction without being seen, and her own capacity for finding such a spot worried her, gnawed at the pit of her stomach.
He stood, regal as always, surveying his scene. His hair flowed with the breeze, silver strands intertwining with the warm breeze that brought a sickening smell of blood and death to her nose. Only he could look like this, so ethereal and wondrous, with carnage at his feet. It was how she had always imagined the heroes of myth, the great men that she grew up listening to stories about. They were otherworldly in their stature, beings not meant to be on a planet that could be harmed by their awing power.
He was always her mythic hero, the man trapped by space and time in a world that wasn't ready for him, never could handle all the passion and conflict in a mortal body. He had seen too much, been through more than any one person could handle. Mere mortals weren't made from the steel he harnessed. And even though there were chinks in his armor, chinks that Jenova slipped through, it only made it that much more fairy tale instead of real life.
After all, every hero had hubris, and every hero fell eventually. He would be no different, and it twisted her heart sharply to see that he would be brought down in such a low manner.
"Do you see?"
His voice was smooth, lilting, attracting her in a way that always turned her stomach inside out before sending it straight to her feet. But she didn't move closer, just stood there, far behind, always far behind him.
"Do you see what I have created?"
The pride in his voice was unmistakable.
She nodded, even though he couldn't see it. He turned on one foot, gracefully leaning his body toward her own. His eyes fell on the matted brown hair, tangled from the running and the fighting and the hunting, on the tattered clothing that barely counted anymore. She could see his chest hitch just a fraction of an inch, his eyes widen a minute amount.
"Have I done this to you, Aeris?"
She swallowed, hard, trying to force the lump in her throat down.
"Have I made you one of my masterpieces?"
"Yes, you have." She stopped, stuttering, her words breaking over her tears and her sadness. "You—do you even realize what you're doing to me?"
He looked at her shining green eyes, for once letting some remorse shine in his own.
"I cannot be sorry. I must do what I am meant to. You know this."
"I am tired of it. I almost hate it."
He stepped forward, once, twice, until he stood only a breath away from her. A small hand fisted before landing on his chest, the scrapes and bruises standing out against the black of his clothing and the pale white of his chest. He sucked in a breath, and she delighted in the feel of him being alive, being human, even if just for a moment.
"Why can't you be the man you were then?"
"Because that man does not exist. He never did, and never will again."
"I loved that man. I want that man back."
His hand, so large, came up to her cheek, finger running down one dusty tear track on milky skin. She could feel the tremors running through his body as the soul of the man she once knew fought with the destiny of the dark being in front of her. He crushed her to him suddenly, pulling her against his chest, large arms wrapping around her small frame. She could feel his heat enveloping her own cold heart, could hear as he took a deep breath to inhale her, see the goose bumps running across his chest.
"I wish that, in some life, we could have the ending you wished for."
"Me, too," she sighed, wrapping her own small arms around him.
"I never meant for it to be this. You were not to be subjected to my wrath."
"I am prepared to do what I must. But I dream—I dream your end will be mine," he said, hushed, in awe of his own foreboding.
She looked up at him, the porcelain god that was, at last, admitting that they would always be intertwined.
"I told you our fates were together."
His arms came down, resting at the shallow of her back, holding her in his embrace. His hair whipped around them, cascading light into the darkness that was slowly gathering around each of them. Only she could find comfort in being right on a subject in such a wrong, wrong way.
"Perhaps we will be together then, in a world of shimmering translucence, where we won't feel destiny forcing our hands any longer." He sighed, placing a chaste kiss on her forehead, softly and all too reverently for the prevailing creature he was. Then, as if the moment has slipped between the cracks of their lives, lives slowly falling apart, he stepped away and back toward his hiding spot. "I will not relish taking your life. You know this. No matter what I may say."
She nodded. The tears were threatening to return, the lump reforming, her stomach once again doing skydives.
"Our time here is over. You must return."
The steel was was back.
He turned back to the field, watching as Cloud and Tifa scanned the perimeter, no doubt looking to see where she had went. She knew they were worried, that they didn't understand why events had to play out the way they were. She tried to rest easy in the fact that they would understand before it was all over, but the reassurance was hollow and bittersweet.
"You must go."
He was once again the mythic hero, the legend she could not touch. She sighed, turning around and heading back toward the little split in the trees that would let her back out into the open, but she stopped right before she left, turning once more to take a final look at him.
"I think I will always love you, Sephiroth," she whispered, almost silent as the wind.
But he was the wind, the mythical legend that danced upon the nightmares of nature, and he heard the words echoing around his mind long after she had left his senses. He closed his eyes, taking a final breath of the air that she had touched, picturing her before fate had led them down this path. He could smell the sorrow, smell the salt, smell the stars in their future.
Like it, hate it, want more little one-shots? For once, I'm going to ask for some feedback. Like I said, this is definitely new territory, but I have tons of sephiroth ideas floating around.