"We shouldn't just leave him there.."
"I don't think it will matter in a moment, there's nothing we can do. Cure won't even work now."
"We should at least get him out of here, let his comrades find him.. tell them he's here.."
The voices were dim as I lay against the pillar in the foyer. Pain took most of my focus from anything else. I knew I was dying. They knew I was dying. What did it matter?
"I.. am still alive.." I murmured, but I think she and I both knew I wouldn't last much longer. I felt her hand touch my cheek.
"Cloud.. we should at least..." Her words trailed off.
It was too late.
I regained consciousness again.. only to find the walls around me were caving in. I closed my eyes, wishing I had a chance, wishing the others had brought me outside. I felt the walls closing against my body. And I was afraid.
I can't describe the pain, there are no words in any language that could possibly cover it. I heard the sounds.. and I thought they were the walls but it was the noise of my own body being crushed. In pain, confusion, fear, and anger, I screamed until I no longer had a voice, lungs, or a mouth to scream with. For several deafening moments.. there was silence.. the kind of silence that makes you feel deaf.
The screams were deafening, then. The cries of the Planet, I think I heard someone say once. The innocents I had killed, the residents of Sector Seven, anyone that cursed Wutai or the Tarx.
I curled into a tiny ball, hoping that it would be over soon, and I could just fall into eternity somewhere and be forgotten.
But I wasn't forgotten. I didn't fall into eternity.
Questions asked of me, that I couldn't answer.. Did I feel guilt, did I understand the pain of those around me, those I killed for my Company. Did I feel their pain now, being ripped from my life, my loved ones, in an uncontrollable arc.
I didn't hear my screams until they had died in the silence.
And I was alone.
I regained a kind of consciousness some time later. There is no Time in the Lifestream. I found myself in some kind of a physical form of myself, dressed in a formal black kimono something like what I used to wear when I lived in Wutai.
Was this a sign that /they/ forgave me?
I opened my eyes, and looked around.
It was odd. I expected to see green, the pale glowing green of makou, but all I saw was a darkened 'room', furnished with a mirrored wall, the 'bed' I lay upon, and a screen.
My old room.
The mirrored wall shimmered, and I realized I could see the other side through it.
I blinked, and watched in horror as Sephiroth killed Aerith.
Another person ruthlessly murdered.
She was one of the Cetra.. Surely she would be spared.. right?
I found out later, this was not the case. She sought me out, and apologized for not convincing Cloud and Cait Sidhe to bring me out of the temple where I might have lived long enough to get help.
Then she taught me how to get around, how to listen, and how to send myself places.
I began watching over Reno, Rude and Elena, watching them become better Tarx.. learning from my mistakes. I watched Rufus carefully, and watched him learn from Avalanche. I watched Reeve keep tabs on both Avalanche and Shinra.. and keep them from suspecting further.
I won't say it isn't lonely here. I miss my family. No.. not my family from Wutai.. the family that is my true family.
Without consulting anyone, not even Aerith, I have sworn that I will watch over them. I will watch over them, and I will guide them if I can, in any way I can. There must be a way. Maybe Aerith can teach me how. I wonder if it is possible that a Tarx.. a murderer of innocents.. a traitor, and a selfish brat could become a Guardian Angel.
Because that's what I think I want to be.