Thank you to Valentine'sninja for doing the editing on this (I hope I managed to put all the corretctions in) I'd be lost without her!
Note: I read one of the forum posts…here's an off pairing for you, though I warn you it isn't a normal fic. Multiple character death, read at your own risk… It's Shera, Vincent, and Yuffie...dark and likely a little out of character for all involved.
Summary: Because in the end she truly was salvation...
He'd lost many things in his lifetime, as enhanced as it was. He had lost his first love, permanently entombed in mako and so achingly close to him. He had been murdered, and resurrection had brought with it horrors so wretched any lesser man would have been driven into blind madness. He persevered, strove to beat back his demons and have his revenge. Revenge for a life stolen, for a soul bound.
Thirty seven years later he lost his second love…she had been married off to a young warrior as was her countries custom.
'My heart will always be yours, no one shall ever touch me…no one but you.' He held back the flood, the memories that threatened to be the final test of his strength, to break him.
He had not listened, or he had listened and had misunderstood. He wanted to believe she would run away with him, he was a Turk, a demon…hiding was in him naturally, for he strongly disliked the contact and social neediness the others possessed. Secrets, secrets were all he knew. Keeping hers would have been easy, simple, and for the first time it would have been pleasant to keep her a secret.
He had misunderstood. She went through with the ceremony, kissing the newly crowned Emperor of Wutai as she smiled, big smiles full of false hope and forced excitement. She participated in the wedding games, which in retrospect now reminded him more of war games, a bon fire in the end had been her funeral pyre…because he had not listened to her.
That night, before her new lover could claim her she demanded a moment. "I'm nervous…I've never even touched a man before. Please, I just need…a…moment." Her voice was soft and sweet, yet it struck him down more viciously than any foe...
She stepped out onto the terrace, smiling at his shadow she'd come to know so well. He felt something heavy hit him right in the gut, silver orbs trailed down her cheeks, leaving silver trails beneath them. He moved closer, his limbs were so heavy, difficult to control as the horrific scene unfolded before him.
He was feet away…feet! The slip of something metal glinted viciously in the pale moonlight. His heart stopped, jarred painfully in his chest.
"Only you, only you…Vincent…I love you." She sunk the blade into her abdomen, crying out his name as she completed her ritualistic suicide, smiling as blood raced down her legs and pooled at her dainty feet. She stared until the light in her eyes was gone, he held her close to his chest then.
He died a second time, holding her bloodied corpse to him and wishing deep in his heart he had tears to shed, or even an emotion close to sorrow to express. Nothing came. He was eerily calm, gently stroking her cheek, drying her tears, he felt nothing. No pulse, no heat…absolute emptiness, absolute zero.
He knew why she'd done it. Wutai had a new Emperor, Wutai would continue on without her just as it had before she had even been conceived. She left Wutai to a man, a person, who was capable of leading a nation, no longer in her fathers greedy hands.
"Good night, my Princess…may you find sanctuary within Leviathans heavenly embrace." He kissed her eyes closed and gently handed her over to one of the few guards who'd heard the unholy scream. She would burn, they all burned. Her ashes would be cast out to the sea, a final offering to their God. The man she'd married, only hours ago had been merrily enjoying his company and affection, stood stock still. His features had turned pale and cold…as if he too somehow felt the great loss of the child like empress.
Vincent knew he could not fully comprehend his own sorrow, or know his loss…this man was young, and just a man. He'd never fought against Sephiroth, he did not save the children of Wutai, and he most certainly did not follow Vincent across the world, he did not fight off the darkness he'd so often sought refuge within. He would not understand how she had kissed him and in that instant touched his heart, as withered and black as it had become. No, this young man would never understand his loss, his Goddess forever gone.
Vincent did not return to Wutai again, there was nothing left for him there…nothing but misery. Instead he went north…he found solace within the crater and sought death. He slept, and as he slept he dreamt of her. Torture, unbearable, beautiful…gods she was beautiful in his dreams. She was alive, kissing him, touching him…they made love in his dream. His eternal dream.
For five years he slept, hidden in the deepest part of the cavernous tomb once belonging to the planets greatest enemy. He was asleep when Tseng and the other Turks found him…when he was returned to Cloud and the rest of Avalanche he still slept. Shera took care of him, for in her heart she knew…
Shera wept silently as he slept on, his breathing so slow she thought him lost more than once. In his dreams, on the nights it had been a particularly pleasant dream, his face would slacken and a single droplet of moisture would leak from the corner of one eye. During the other times, when he was reliving the nightmare, his muscles all tightened and he became a cold and frightening fortress of flesh and bone…and those nights Shera wept for him, for his loss, she wept when the magnitude and weight of his reality struck her and she swore she could not live through another moment with him…then he would smile, the corners of his lips quirking up only slightly. She knew then, this is what he needed. She would not pity him…she only wept because he no longer could. She held on to his hand and whispered a prayer to his God.
After another year of her tireless care, Shera offered up what little she could, five simple words that would change their lives forever.
"I can let him die…" Those words were the only she'd spoken in nearly eight months. Cid, he had calmed to the point that he only spoke when she spoke to him. The others had faded, suffered an insurmountable loss…they understood.
"Oh Holy…" Tifa clasped a hand over her mouth, her eyes were so dry by then she could have wept sand. "Please…please." Cloud nodded and held her close then.
"Yuffie needs him…what can you do?" He spoke slowly, afraid of his own voice then, afraid he was doing wrong, afraid for his friend, his brother in arms...afraid to face the loss of Vincent Valentine.
"Let him die, Shera…please give him peace. I cannot bear this any longer." Tifa's voice shuddered violently as she spoke. "Send him to her…"
"I will need access to-" Reeve stood suddenly, Rufus at his side.
"Whatever you need, we will provide. I have no limitations." Rufus spoke softly.
"I will offer what help I can give you…should you need it." Reeve's voice was small and weak, so like a child.
Shera nodded, turning to her husband she offered her first smile in what had seemed like an eternity. "I love you, Cid Highwind." She whispered breathlessly. He glanced up, the air knocked out of him by that smile and her gentle words.
He nodded slowly in understanding and agreement. His voice remained lost, however, and he returned his gaze to the ground.
Shera had reminded him of his first love, had been a friend and faithful confidant to his second, and now was offering him something neither could give. She was giving him true freedom. Something neither God nor Demon could have given him. He felt nothing, no pain, no cold void waiting to swallow him, and no demon there to greet him.
He saw light, heard her laugh, felt her lips against his own and felt the pulse of life ebbing away and in the back of his mind he was thanking them.
She stood there, more light and shimmer than actual girl, Vincent recognized her not by sight but the way she felt. He had never known something as powerful and all consuming as this young woman's love for him. If only…if only there had been a way for them to spend more time with the family they now left behind.
'We are together, forever…just like you promised.' He didn't see her speak, he felt it.
'Forever…' He never was a man of many words, he preferred his simple, demonstrative ways to her talkative, needless ramble and her flurry of arms, she spoke and awful lot with her hands.
'Yes…forever.' She had accepted him before this moment, she loved and cherished what few things he had said, as he was not oft to waste words as needlessly as she did. He said precisely what he meant to, she said whatever passed through her at any given moment. Together they were balanced and perfect, apart she was nothing but a waif of her former self and he a shadow in the darkness, if not the darkness itself. She was always the light to his dark and together they would out shine even the brightest star.
He held a hand out to the light, he imagined if he'd had a pulse at this point it would be racing, as it was the determined beat of his unholy heart struggled against him to beat again and again, though each beat grew weaker and weaker still.
Her hand emerged from the light, small and warm it fit perfectly in his much larger one. She tugged him, gently, toward the light.
'Do not be afraid.' He tightened his grip on her hand as he felt his heart slow and slow…
"Is it working? Is he really…dying?" Tifa hated that her voice sounded so hopeful, she should feel something other than joy as she watched Shera slowly pump more and more of some pinkish chemical into the IV's in each arm.
"Are you sure this will successfully end his life?" Reeve spoke in a sullen, worn out tone. They had been continuing the injections for twenty four hours now, Vincent's heart refused to stop beating…as though driven by some other force.
"Is it possible, Miss Rui, that Lucrecia's connection to Mr. Valentine is responsible for his continued struggle?" Shelke looked up from the pale gunman to the engineer turned scientist.
"It is, Mrs. Highwind." Her answer was simple, and the look indicated it was likely the very reason he still drew each ragged breath and his heart beat each empty beat.
"Cloud, Cid…" Both men nodded, solemn looks on their ashen faces. "Take everyone, she deserves to know why…" Shera never did much believe in ghosts or haunting until she'd heard of the bizarre love triangle that Lucrecia, Hojo, and Vincent had. Not until she'd seen the woman encased in mako in that cave, that prison. That had been the moment she first believed. She believed in Yuffie's Leviathan, believed in Minerva. She even prayed every once in a while, thanking these 'God's' for granting her such wisdom, the love of a man she'd never be able to live without, and a life she could have been proud of.
With a simple nod both men collected everyone and left for Lucrecia's cave, leaving Shera and Reeve alone with Vincent. Shera knelt beside him as Reeve watched in silent shock, Shera cupped Vincent's face tenderly. She whispered something against his cheek and placed a light kiss against his forehead before taking one hand in hers and kneeling beside him.
Now she prayed for forgiveness, forgiveness for her deed, forgiveness of his sins…for hers.
'Vincent, come away with me…we are free in this place, free to love one another for eternity.' She whispered, her voice seemed so far away. He wanted what she offered, the freedom, and for the first time eternity was not the daunting thing it had been when he had been awake.
'Am I dreaming? Is this a dream, Yuffie? Can I truly leave this world with you…?' Vincent's eyes remained trained emotionlessly on her hand, still clasped in his.
'You are asleep, asleep perchance to dream…you are struggling to find me, you look so hard and yet I'm right in front of you, behind you, within you, all around you…I've never left you, not for a second. I cannot exist even in memory without you, Vincent.'
He knew the play she was reciting, and with no small amount of pride he knew she had memorized it because he had enjoyed that particular piece.
'You have done so much for me…' He bowed his head, a smile peaking through. He remained silent then, he had already said more than he normally would have, and she understood that…
'Come away with me, come fly with me…Vincent…I can't leave this world without you.' This time it sounded as though she was pleading with him.
'I will follow you into Hell, Yuffie…I will go where ever you wish me to…' She glowed more brightly then, her figure becoming clearer and he could feel something jar painfully in his chest. The pain was all at once excruciating and enthralling. He longed to feel more of it, despite the knowledge that the pain signified him leaving the world, Avalanche, Marlene, and Shera…his salvation…behind. Some part of him felt a twinge at that. The greater part of him could hardly contain the rampaging emotions racing tumultuously within him.
'I know…my love, I know.' The light was blinding and yet he could clearly see her standing before him. Her smile radiated, her cheeks were rosy, and her hands were warm within his. She was full of true joy, mirth, love, and a resolute sort of peace he had never seen in her when they were alive…
"It is finished." Shelke announced quietly. "Time of death, 0256." She strode slowly toward Reeve, collapsing into his waiting arms. He held her like one would a child, stroking her hair gently and whispering soft encouragement.
Tifa let out a sigh of relief, she felt lighter…her guilt was gone now as she held his crimson headband firmly in her fist. "Good bye…Vincent." She hadn't had the chance to say good bye to Yuffie, she said good bye on the cliffs of Da Chao, where her ashes had been released…where she was set free. "Oh…Gods…Cloud," She turned to him, her walls, her carefully constructed walls, and her sanity crumbling all at once. "Oh, God's they're really gone…" She sobbed, she laughed, and she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"They are free…we will see them again one day." Cloud reminded gently. "This is what Vincent wanted, something he could not complete on his own…he is with Yuffie again, where he belongs." Tifa sobbed through a smile, nodding her agreement. She'd never heard him speak so much at once, she was shocked and thankful for his understanding. "It will only hurt for a short while. He would be proud…and grateful." She nodded again, her sobs quieted.
"Still, hurts like hell…" Barrett mumbled against Marlene's soft hair. Her eyes stared almost unseeing out the window, singing something Wutaian to herself.
"I never killed…anyone before." Shera whispered to Cid, her hands shaking violently. He stared a moment, his eyes dark and unreadable. Then he clung to her like she were air and he was drawing his last breath, he shook against her and whispered furiously in her ear.
"You gave a man 'is life back, Sheer…he weren't alive before…now, now he is. You aint killed no'ne." He kissed her temple, her eyes locked with Marlene's.
"They are dancing in the light, kissing the air, they sing to the beat of our hearts…the chimes, in the wind, it's them reminding us they still see us." Marlene closed her eyes. She had grown fond of the pair. At the tender age of 11 she had lost Yuffie…now, at 16 she lost Vincent, and yet she held together better than any of the others.
Tifa, Cloud, Barrett, Cid, and the Turks stared at her in silent surprise and agreement. She had always been wise beyond her years.
"How did you know that this," Reeve held up a chemical usually reserved for putting large animals down, as a more humane last resort than simply shooting them. "chemical euthanasia would work. We've seen him come through more than this."
"He was ready to let it work." She said simply. "I knew he was ready then…" She repeated more to herself than them. Cid held her tighter, afraid that somehow he'd lose her if he let go too soon, she was shaking so hard. He whispered his love against her cheek and softly into her ear. She slowly began to calm, her shaking eventually stilled, and by the fall of the next night they lit up a funeral pyre, bright and larger than any other. Large enough the whole world would know a great warrior, a hero, a lover and a man apart was passing this night. So that all could mourn and rejoice, he was at peace after a near century of hell, he was safe in the sanctuary of her arms once more…
I own nothing, it's all Square's. I don't know exactly where this came from, other than I read some forum talking about random pairings and typical Yuffentines...so here is something that is none of those things...