Author's Note: Hello everyone! Nice to meet you all! Welcome to my first KH fic that I've been planning on for weeks, but finally got around to posting. I hope you all will receive it warmly and review. Some background info: Takes place after KH2, I am not adding in Unbirths from Birth by Sleep since I don't know where they came from and stuff, and there will be no OCs. Sorry, but I just don't like them in the KH universe. . . I don't know why . . . hmmm. Also, this my first time writing as Cloud so he may seem a little out of character, but I'll improve as the chapters keep coming. Now, please enjoy!

"To run away from danger, instead of facing it, is to deny one's faith in man and God, even one's own self. It were better for one to drown oneself than live to declare such bankruptcy of faith."

-Mahatma Gandhi, November 24, 1946

He was gone.

Again.

The one that embodied the darkness me, my mortal enemy, Sephiroth was gone.

Sephiroth.

That name instantly brought anger coursing through my veins. He was everything I hated and once he was gone so would all of my problems. But, Sephiroth was gone. We had been locked in battle for days—no, months and then we both reached our breaking points.

More rage built up inside of me thinking about it.

He had smirked and simply put his sword away; I had charged at him. But, he vanished. And his words continued to echo in my mind,

"It's been fun, but I've had my fill. After all, there's only so much chaos that you can let happen without you. I'll see you again. Soon."

Soon, he had said. I knew that wouldn't be a good thing. Sephiroth never gave up, never was satisfied till he got the upper hand on someone. And with help from Tifa—

Oh, God.

Tifa, Leon, Sora, Aerith—everyone. How long had I been away from them? It couldn't have been days, could it? I had been tracking Sephiroth here for at least two months, eating when I could and doing everything else I needed to do where I could. And then I had found Sephiroth on the outskirts of town.

Waiting for me.

So, we had begun to fight. We fought all day and all night pushing our bodies to the limit, each determined to best the other. And with help from Tifa, I had managed to get the upper hand.

No, it wasn't just Tifa.

It was everyone.

Tifa had given me strength. After all, she was strong both physically and mentally. She could break a cliffside and endure the worst pain ever imaginable. Tifa was . . . Tifa. There was no other way to describe her.

Leon had given me perseverance. He embodied that word. Leon had knocked me to the ground countless times in training sessions. Sometimes, I would bounce back up with a sarcastic comment. But sometimes, I wouldn't want to get up. Sometimes, it would seem too hard for me. Then, Leon would tell me what he had told me all the countless times before:

"How are you going to beat your darkness if you just lie there? Are you giving up? Cause if you are then you'll never be free. Do you hear me Cloud? Never. Now, get up and prove me wrong. Prove that you can win against it. C'mon get up!"

And that was that. I would get up and fight.

Sora was another story completely. The kid was an idiot sometimes. He was so happy and so completely trusting of people that I sometimes wondered if his enemies exploited that. Sora was also a klutz. He could be staring at something off in the distance and bump into a wall or a person.

But Sora was also a fighter. He had fought to save the worlds and his friends. He had died to save Kairi and he had fought his best friend, Riku. He had also saved Riku from the Dark. Sora took on other people's problems too and would protect strangers. He had saved me after I nearly killed him in Olympus.

To me, Sora was light shining on those around him.

And I used the light that he knew I had inside of me.

And Aerith . . . gave me a reason to fight.

Her.

I fought to protect her, to keep a smile on her face and to never see her sad. I fought to make her proud of me. She was the one person that was always waiting for me to come back when I left.

She knew me. I mean really knew me. Those green eyes of her could see straight through me any day. They could see all the darkness and yet still find the light. And that smile . . . it was full of pure light.

Aerith was my light—my guiding star.

And what had I done? Left her—left all of them to fight my own battle alone.

But, it was to protect them—or was it? Was I afraid to let them help me because I couldn't live with the guilt if one of them got hurt? Was it for a selfish reason?

Yeah, it probably was.

But, whatever reason it was for, I had made a choice.

And now, I had to live with the consequences like I had done in the past.

I looked up at the setting sun and wiped some sweat away from my brow.

But one thing I knew for sure.

I lifted my buster sword and placed on my shoulder and began to walk forward.

Yuffie was going to kill me.

And my gut told me she wasn't going to be the only one.

Author's Note: Well? Did it you guys hooked? I hope y'all liked it . . . please review!