A/N: Clerith! FEAR THE CLERITH GOODNESS!

It's kinda post-KHII, and, well, read the story.

Also: there's a reference to Leon not wanting to involve Yuffie in battles and such, and while I know that she is pretty involved, I've noticed that in some places in the game, he seems hesitant to get her involved, so…yeah…

-sigh- Also, I know, Aerith is freakin' OOC in this…GAH! But, you know, if you can get past the OOC-ness, this is actually one of my better one-shots, so…yeah.

ANYWAY…ONTO THE STORY!

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That's where I found her. Sad, staring out the window to town of Hollow Bastion, tears running down her face. I knew why, too. But I couldn't help her. It wasn't my place to tell her what was really going on, why he had left her, without giving any warning. Why he had deserted her. Damn you, you idiot, you've put her through so much already, why make her go through more? She was like the older sister I never had. I'd kill him if I saw him again. I sighed.

It sucked to know that you could make someone feel better, but also knew that it wasn't your place to do so. Damn you. I supposed I shouldn't really blame him for it. After all, I'd probably do the same thing if it was Kairi, Roxas would do it too, if Namine was her. But seeing her, green eyes empty and lifeless, the way they always were when he left, I promised never to leave Kairi again, and I could feel Roxas agree with me wholeheartedly. I put my hand on her shoulder in a comforting manner, and she looked up, first excited, then sad when she saw that I wasn't him. I sat down next to her, smiling apologetically. She turned her head back to look out the window. We just sat like that for some time, until she finally broke the silence.

"It…it hurts."

This confused me. When I asked, she explained.

"It hurts to…to know that he doesn't trust me enough; that I can't be his light. It hurts that I'm not enough."

I smiled at her misunderstanding, and resisted the urge to tell her the truth; to tell her the real reason he hadn't told her he was leaving. She continued on as I brooded over my choices.

"I know that he's got Tifa…that he doesn't really need me…but he took her with him, and he couldn't even tell me where he was going, or what he was doing…or even just say goodbye…"

She was getting teary now. I didn't know what to do. She needed to be comforted, but I wasn't the one who should do the comforting. He was. I sighed, staring at the ceiling. But then, she broke.

"I don't expect him to love me; I'm not stupid! All I want is to be someone important to him…that's all I want…no, that's all I need! What's wrong with me?! I can fight, I'm not ugly, I'm intelligent, and yet he can't even bother to tell me goodbye…Does he hate me or something—"

I interrupted her, saying her name forcefully. She looked at me, shocked. I smiled and told her that she had it wrong. That she had his feelings wrong.

"Why…why won't he tell me then? Why won't he involve me? There must be a reason!"

I sighed, running my fingers through my spiky brown hair. She deserved so much better than this. I smiled. To Hell with this. He should tell her, but he's obviously not going to, so I will. "You know, he's probably doing it for the same reason I wouldn't involve Kairi, and Roxas wouldn't tell Namine, and Leon wouldn't wanna tell Yuffie."

"Why…why is that?"

"Because. They're our light. And we're terrified of letting them get snuffed out. The fact that he's so hesitant to involve you doesn't show that you aren't important, it shows that you're the most important."

"But—"

"Think about it. I wouldn't want to tell Kairi, because I'd be scared that she'd try to come and help me, and would get hurt in the process. You would die for Cloud, right?"

"Of course!"

"And Cloud knows it. He doesn't want to risk that."

She mulled over this for a moment, and then smiled. I stood up and laughed. "My work here is done. See ya."

As I was walking away, she yelled to me, waving.

"Thanks, Sora. Even if you're wrong, it made me feel much better."

"I'm not wrong, Aerith. But you're welcome, anyway."

I smiled as I put my hands behind my head and continued walking. You so owe me for this, Cloud.

The End