Author's Note: This was written ages ago. Don't judge my writing by this. Also, this was a songfic, inspired by Goo Goo Dolls Iris, but since is silly, I took the song snippets out. Didn't hurt the story too much.
The swirling lights of the lifestreams ethereal void shrouded around the former great and mighty warriors prostrate form. Bloodied clumps of long silver hair matted around his entire broken body; pain wracked every limb. Death had overtaken him, yet his body and soul were in the flowing mass of the lifestream. His essence still lived, but not on the planet, it was now a part of the lifestream.
The lifestream. Where the souls of all that lived on the planet went after death to be recycled back into existence, but his soul remained. Why? Because of the atrocities and pain he caused in life. This was the consequence of his traitorous actions. He was paying for his sins, the sins committed against all of humanity. He tried to destroy all life and now forever damnation in the lifestream was his punishment. His very soul and body would forever watch people go on to live again. He was abandoned here, never to find blessed happiness or forgiveness.
A light groan rose up in Sephiroth's throat, escaping his bloodied lips as consciousness and awareness flooded through his mind and soul. He coughed once and blood spilled from his open mouth. Feeling the warm liquid rush from his body, he opened his luminous green eyes and surprise shot through his essence as he felt...tears. Never before in his life had he cried, but now wet and salty drops of liquid ran down his pale cheeks. He blinked and as he reopened the bright green orbs, more tears spilled over.
Then he felt the pain. Intense anguish unlike anything else ever experienced in his life wracked through his body. All at once he couldn't breathe or move as the pain was too violent. Using all of his willpower he turned his head, causing even more tears to flow down his already wet cheeks as the sight of himself met his gaze. He was half-naked and blood gushed from a huge gaping wound in his stomach. The death blow. Anguish and agony almost to the point of panic rose up as bile mixed with blood spewed from his mouth. The warm crimson liquid, his lifeblood, his very essence poured in small streams down his bloodied and broken form. Never before had the warrior felt something so intense.
Every sense was magnified, serving only to heighten his pain. The only sound that met his ears was his own tortured gasps for breath. All his vivid green eyes could see was his blood rushing form his body. The only flavor on his tongue was the bitter taste of bile and blood, magnified to the brink of human endurance. Yet strangely enough, no smell wafted through the swirling fog, not even the metallic scent of his own blood.
With another groan of anguish the silver haired warrior lifted himself from the cold hard ground. A wave of dizziness met him and he quickly dropped back to the floor, images swirling around his head. A howl of agony broke from his lips as the fall aggravated already grievous injuries. More tears cascaded down his face as he curled up into the fetal position, surrendering to the intense pain.
Sephiroth truly was a fallen one winged angel.
For what seemed an eternity Sephiroth lay there, his soul consumed with pain and suffering. However, the true length of time could not be understood as time stood still within the lifestream. But to the fallen warrior, it seemed to be forever that he lay wallowing in pain and grief. He knew it to be his punishment.
His memories were coming back to him now. his childhood -or what passed as such- in Hojo's lab. The rise to become the great General, a first-class SOLDIER. Then his fall. When he let the wicked and vile demon Jenova get inside his head, it was then that he went crazy. Senseless killings meant nothing to him, they were just what he did. Jenova used him, made him call her 'mother' and created the monster that he would be remembered for. It pained him to recall his crimes. While he was alive he was not knowledgeable of his wrong, he found that blessed bliss in ignorance, but now he knew that pure evil had been his name. He killed so many and then tried to kill even more by calling down meteor.
Then Cloud Strife, the pitiful shadow, the puppet, killed him. Sephiroth remembered that group next. Cloud, with his ever-present buster sword dealt the killing blow. Then there was Barret with the gun arm, Nanaki the lion dog creature, Tifa Lockheart with her fists of steel. There was Cid, the foul-mouthed pilot, and Yuffie, the annoying materia 'hunter.' Cait Sith, the Shinra spy, as well as Vincent, the man he found out to be his true mothers lover. They killed him. They caused his present anguish. But there was one more. The silver haired man thought for another moment. Ah yes, Aeris, the beautiful flower sellers. The woman he loved with all his soul before Jenova possessed him.
One more single tear fell from Sephiroth's right eye as his thoughts went to Aeris. For the longest time he watched her from afar, too afraid of rejection to go to her. After all, who could love someone who worked as ShinRa's most powerful warrior? Then there was that fateful night in Neibelhiem. He allowed Jenova to take over, losing his free will, his sanity, his emotions, his love. A time later...he killed her. In some temple or another -he didn't remember which- he plunged Masamune through her spine as she prayed for the planet he was trying to destroy. At that thought the mighty Sephiroth cried out in sadness. He killed the only one he ever loved. He killed her while she was helpless. Shame engulfed his soul. He was truly a monster.
No Sephiroth, you are not a monster.
The mighty warrior blinked once, his expression one of confusion. The voice was clearly heard but he couldn't sense anyone. And no one else had done deeds even remotely close to matching his atrocities, so no one else could be sharing in his damnation. He should be alone. He should be alone in this prison as part of his punishment. But he did hear that voice. There was someone else in here with him.
Then suddenly the pain was gone. A gasp broke from his lips as the agony in his body quickly fled away into the night. He looked down and blinked again in astonishment. The wounds that ravaged his body were closing right before his eyes. He could feel strength returning. And with that strength came a blessed peace that he could not understand. What he felt was forgiveness. Someone who loved him also forgave him. However, that idea was simply overwhelming. Sephiroth didn't feel as though anyone could either love or forgive him.
With the look of confusion still on his pale face, Sephiroth lifted himself to his feet. He turned around as the silky strands of his long silver hair gently caressed his bare back. Yet again he blinked, as his hair was no longer matted with blood and dirt; it felt as thought it had been freshly washed, dried, and conditioned. His body also felt clean and soft, so unlike how it was when Cloud killed him and he first entered the lifestream. His black leather pants were also clean again, and the leather trench coat he favored suddenly appeared at his feet.
As he picked up his coat, Sephiroth's brilliantly hued green eyes narrowed in cynicism. Someone had to be nearby, interceding on his behalf. There was no other explanation. As his mind dwelled upon that musing and he pulled his coat up from the ground, a violet wind arose around him, buffeting his body. Even with his regained strength he couldn't stand against it. The great general bowed to the wind.
Sephiroth...Sephiroth...Sephiroth...an ethereal voice called out, rising upon the wind. Must you always try to analyze every gift? Be happy with what you have. Do not dwell upon what you do not know, child. All will be revealed in time.
Thoroughly chastised, Sephiroth bowed his head, strands of long silver hair spilling over his face. It was normally an insult to call him 'child' but he knew that the entity speaking to him was far more ancient than he could imagine. The winds force lessened and gently, with a mother-like gesture, seemed to materialize as a hand to gently blow away the silver tresses from Sephiroth's tear stained face. The one winged angel blinked, and as his eyes re-opened, the wind died away completely. Once more there was silence. Sephiroth was left alone again.
Another pair of bright green eyes gazed into the swirling darkness, though no tears fell from them. Too many tears had already been shed and no more would flow. Her heart had been broken in two. One half rested with the ever-confused Cloud Strife, but the other half rested with the broken spirit of her murderer. No, she didn't love the person who killed her; she loved the person he once was.
What Sephiroth didn't know was that she loved him too. Every time she sat praying in her little church, or quietly tending her flower garden, Aeris could feel his eyes on her. It was impossible not to grow to love him in return. Even though they never actually spoke, their love blossomed into a beautiful thing. Every day they would spend and hour or so together, seemingly oblivious to the other's presence. Those moments were treasured. In her heart and soul Aeris loved that SOLDIER, even though Zack was nearby, but she never could bring herself to go to him. She was afraid to know the real him. She didn't want to unmask that enigma, that mystery, for fear of what she might find. And then it became too late.
As she tucked a strand of her long brown hair behind an ear, the young woman gracefully lowered her form to the hard ground. What so many didn't know was that she was being punished for a crime as well. Aside from herself, no one really knew the crimes she had committed. She was the only one who knew that it was really she that caused Sephiroth's descent into madness. If only she had listened to her heart when the reports of his 'death' came in. If she had done what she felt was right and searched for her far off lover, the destiny of them both would have changed. She could have helped him repress Jenova, and neither would be exiled to the lifestream.
But no. Aeris had to give into her mind. Her mind told her that her heart was insane and too hopeful. So she stayed with her adopted mother and little church, content to love a calm and peaceful life. Oh, how she wished now that she followed her heart and soul rather than the fallible mind. But alas, Aeris was human in nature, Cetra, yet still incredibly human.
A light sigh escaped her lips as a wind blew up around her, rustling her pink dress and causing her unbound hair to sway wildly. Just what I need, she thought, grimacing.
Dear child, do not think of this as punishment. You are the guardian of the Planet now. An honor given to none but the best.
"I'm sick of listening to you," Aeris replied, burying her face in her slender hands. "I hate being alone!"
Then stop being lonely, dear child. Go to him.
"What?" At that statement, Aeris blinked, sitting completely still. It was sheer madness to try and seek out Sephiroth in the swirling mass. She could see him in the distance, but from experience she knew that the lifestream was not exactly as it seemed. "There's no way I can find him!"
Let your heart guide you. It is not too late for either of you.
And what does the lifestream mean by that? Aeris asked herself as she removed her hands from her pale face. Something in the way the lifestream said those words caused hope to spring up within her. Could I actually get out of this place?
Dear child, hope is never dead. All you must do is let your heart guide you. Do not let your mind tell you that it can not be done. No go, before it is too late.
At the word 'go' Aeris jumped to her feet, a wild expression in her clear green eyes. She had the chance to gain freedom from this prison as well as the change to unite with her one true love. The young Cetra woman smiled happily and let the light breeze gently caress her skin. It was time.
Without any hesitation Aeris closed her eyes and started to run, her heart, as well as the wind, guiding her into the abyss.
Boredom was setting in. Sephiroth sat silently in the shadows, merely twirling his hair around. He was used to being alone, but he hated having nothing to do. To him inactivity was the worst thing, so he always did something. But here, there really wasn't anything to do. Only the swirls of the mass changed. Everything else stayed the same. The color, the light, everything.
He sighed and lay down on the ground, facing the general direction of up. The mass was threatening to put him to sleep. He closed his luminous emerald eyes and stretched out, his hands going up behind his head as a pillow. Yes, he was bored, but there was a strange peace that somehow fulfilled him. He wasn't even close to evil anymore, it was as though he was reborn.
A contented sigh escaped his lips. Bored but happy, that was Sephiroth. The memories of the atrocities he committed were slowly fading away, leaving him only with happy memories, few as they may be. The lifestream knew that if he recalled his evil deeds, Sephiroth would never be ready for what was planned. He needed to be shaped. With luck, it would work.
A sound in the distance lifted Sephiroth's eyelids. As far as he knew, no other human being shared this confinement. But the sound...footsteps...running footsteps...Someone was in here. As fast as lightning the warrior jumped to his feet, instinctively going for Masamune. But it wasn't there. He blinked, remembering where he was. In here he wouldn't need it.
Aeris kept running, her eyes still closed. Never before in her life -or afterlife- had she run so hard and fast. She wanted to find her love. She wanted freedom was the prison. The Cetra wanted to be free. She wanted to once more feel the sun on her back. She wanted to smell her flowers. And she wanted to be held.
She opened her eyes and abruptly stopped. She could feel him near. Quietly Aeris started walking again, suddenly conscious of herself. She had to look like a mess after running for so long. Quickly she straightened out her skirt and tucked a few loose strands of hair away from her face and sighed. There, that was as good as it got. If Sephiroth didn't like her for who she was it wasn't worth it. But in her soul she knew that he wouldn't care about what she looked like.
His bright green eyes looked around the swirling darkness. Someone familiar was around, but he couldn't quite recognize the presence. Then he saw her. Sephiroth's mouth dropped. The vision of beauty in front of him was just...just...he just couldn't believe it. She was the one sharing his prison. But how? How can she be exiled here too?
Unconsciously Sephiroth started to race toward her. His long silver hair streamed behind him and he closed his eyes, wondering exactly what was bringing the two of them together. Surely she wasn't here to talk to him. She had to be here just to mock him for his wrongs...though at the moment he couldn't remember exactly what he had done.
Aeris blinked. Was she crazy? How could she run toward the monster that killed her? That forced her hear in the first place? Because I love him. I love who he was. I love who he is now. But...he's scared of me. She wasn't quite sure what to do. But then a gentle rush of wind blew her hair forward and she knew.
Go child. Time is running short.
Aeris blinked one more time and then started off at a dead run again. She trusted the lifestream to get them both through this.
He kept running, unsure as to what this was all about. But he felt in his very soul that this was meant to be. Somehow he knew that this would be his way out. he would find his love, and he would find his life. Perhaps it wasn't too late. Maybe death wasn't the end for him.
Yes Sephiroth. You have another chance at happiness. Take it
There it was. Somehow his happiness and his life rested with Aeris, the same woman he killed. But he loved her. It was Jenova's fault that Masamune plunged through her spine, taking away her life. He had been possessed. There was nothing he could do. But it looked as though she forgave him. That knowledge pierced his cold heart.
They met in the middle. Without any words spoken, Sephiroth pulled the young cetra close to him, his gloved hands wrapping around her slender waist. In turn, Aeris lifted her small hands and gently ran her fingers through Sephiroth's hair, their green eyes locking with each others. Happiness poured through both of thier souls and minds as they stood there in each others arms, oblivious to the lifestream around them. Pure bliss, for the first time in both of thier lives. Together.