Ladies and gentlemen I present...(drumroll) THE FINAL CHAPTER OF GUARDIAN ANGEL II AT LONG LAST!
My thanks goes to Omegaxis1 for inspiring and motivating me with this chapter

Chapter 11


The night was almost over and I haven't seen Tifa or Cloud yet, thank goodness. There is no possible way I could ever talk to either of them after the events that occurred this year. I stood by myself in the gazebo outside the Grand Ballroom, listening to the cheerful, laughing voices of the students and the loud drumbeats of the music flowing from the DJ's massive speakers. Splashes of light bounced off the disco ball around the room and just outside the gazebo, as if they wanted to leave my thoughts and I alone.

I would've gone home long ago, but my apartment was a good half hour away and Fang was my only ride home; I was probably going to be here all night by myself, having gotten dressed up for absolutely nothing. Serah even straightened my hair for me and lent me her favorite bracelets to go with my dress, the dress SHE bought for this one night. This was the night every upperclassman had been looking forward to since the beginning of the year, the night where they could just have fun; I was defiantly in the wrong place right now.

A couple emerged from the ballroom and into the night, probably trying to find a private place to make out. I continued to stare into the cool night making myself invisible. Footsteps tapped against the wooden gazebo floor and something warm landed on my shoulder.

"Hey Lightning, it's nice to see you here."

I turned only to meet the compassionate emerald eyes of Aerith. She donned a delicate pink strapless dress with a small white sash tied around the bust line. The asymmetrical skirt reached her claves in the front and caressed the floor in the back. Her curled hair was now a smooth curtain that fell past her shoulders and a simple silver necklace with a diamond charm hung off the chain and rested on her collarbone. A rose corsage was on her wrist, provided by Zack most likely.

Zack stood beside her in a handsome tuxedo and a tie that matched his girlfriend's dress. His hair was still in its normal spiky style and a single rose was pinned to his tuxedo, again matching Aerith like any sweet Prom couple would.

"Hi Aerith," I responded quietly. "You look really pretty."

"So do you, why are you out here all by yourself?" She asked with her always-gentle voice.

I tapped my black kitten heels against the wooden floor. "Serah forced me into going with Snow and Fang because I've been locked up in my room a lot lately. I just feel…out of place."

"Lightning…this is about Cloud and Tifa, right?" I always forgot how good Aerith was at figuring out the source of people's sadness.

"Lightning, that incident is long over. Tifa's pretty cool now and so is Cloud, I'm sure they'd be perfectly fine talking to you." Zack reassured and pat my shoulder.

"And enjoy yourself a little, it's Prom." Aerith smiled and flicked her head towards the ballroom. "Come sit with all of us, don't spend the whole night alone."

I nodded and followed the couple into the multi-colored ballroom. We weaved our way through the sea of students clad in tuxedos and dresses, some reaching the floor and others that promised too much. The back of the ballroom was where all the tables were set up and students were either taking a break from dancing or socializing. I could feel my heart quicken a little bit when I saw Cloud and Tifa sitting at a table in the corner along with Vincent, Yuffie, and Fang.

Fang looked better than most celebrities on the red carpet. She was cloaked in a floor-length dark blue dress that faded into lighter shades of blue as the fabric inched towards the floor. A trail of beaded swirls coiled around her smooth olive-colored shoulder. Her hair was a little more tousled then it usually was and she only wore dark blue eye shadow, damn her and her natural beauty.

It was odd seeing Yuffie in a dress, but her selection suited her. It was a simple, cute black strapless dress covered with a layer of lace that flared out above her knees and a black sash with a silver buckle was around her hips.

Tifa was basically glowing in her black strapless ball gown with a glittery dusting at the bust and intricate silver designs crawled up the hem and around the skirt, like snowflakes chained together. Tiny silver hearts were in her ears and black bracelets jingled on her wrist. Her hair was swept up in a bun and tiny curls framed her face. I gulped as Fang looked up and waved at me.

"There you are, Lightning!" She moved over a seat and patted the one between her and Tifa. "C'mere, be social!"

I hesitated for a moment but when Aerith and Zack's words came back to my head, I took my seat. Tifa smiled brightly at me; I didn't see any sign of her forcing it. Even if there was no sign, I'm sure she hated my guts on the inside.

"Hi Lightning, I really like your hair tonight. Who did it?" She asked, trying to make conversation.

"Serah," I replied. "You look great tonight, too."

"Thank you, I actually got this two days ago." Tifa laughed a bit and I smiled faintly.

"Serah bought this for me." I gestured to my dress.

"Okay, wait a second!" Fang stopped us. "You're both walking in the center of awkward city and you know it. Why bother scooting around it? Just talk, communicate, and use sign language if you need too! Just get it off both your chests!"

Damn, another person in the group who had X-ray vision when it came to problems. The music was suddenly blocked out and the background until it seemed like it was just Tifa and I in the ballroom by. I tapped the tip of my shoes against the floor repeatedly and Tifa fiddled with her bracelets, both of us avoiding eye contact. I forced my anxious foot to hold still and lifted my chin up; I was horrible at these kinds of conversations and I hoped I wouldn't screw up.

"Lightning, I know you're sorry; you apologized when you visited me in the hospital." Tifa began and our eyes were on each other. "I haven't said a word to you since, because for a while I was still angry at you. I was angry because of…you know. But then over time, I realized that it was pointless holding a grudge against you; you admitted you made a mistake and you truly meant you were sorry." Her voice had never sounded softer and forgiving, it was a tone I would've never expected her to use on me.

"You and Cloud were almost torn apart for good all because of me and I was sure you'd be mad, so I avoided you. I thought we would always be on unstable ground and could never talk to each other." I explained. "In my mind, I had this idea that I ruined your life and my thoughts just fell downhill from there. I even went so far as contemplating suicide and Serah came in, basically ordering me to come here because she didn't want me moping for the rest of the year."

"You didn't have to beat yourself up that badly over this! Thank god Serah came in when she did…" Tifa gasped, placing a hand over her heart.

"I was actually scared of running into because I thought you would still be mad; if it wasn't for Aerith I wouldn't even be sitting here right now." I said.

Tifa drew in a deep breath and placed a hand on my shoulder. "I don't ever want you to be afraid of talking to me. I just want you to know that I forgive you and we can both throw this massive weight somewhere and never look at it again. I always thought you were pretty cool and I hope we can still be friends." She smiled.

"I'm sorry for what happened, and I'm happy we've both decided moved on," I couldn't help but smile back. "And we can still be friends; you, Cloud, and I."

"Just be more careful walking down stairs." Cloud teased as he walked over to us. "We're getting a group picture taken now."

Tifa stood up and she and Cloud began to walk away, but Cloud looked over his shoulder at me and flicked his head towards the photo booth. "Come on Lightning, you're part of the group too."

My smiled grew a little as we all walked towards the photo booth where Aerith, Zack, Yuffie, Vincent, Reno, Rude, and Fang were already positioned. Tifa got down on her knees between Aerith and Yuffie in front of Cloud and I took the end next to Fang. She nodded and gently pat my shoulder, smiling. Everyone adjusted their hair and outfits as the photographer grabbed his camera and stood a couple feet away from us. We all put our arms around each other, smiling and laughing like the way friends should.

"That's perfect! Hold it…" He held the camera up to his face. "Smile!"

I've gone for too long, living like I'm not alive
So I'm gonna start over tonight, beginning with you and I
When this memory fades, I'm gonna make sure it's replaced
With chances taken, hope embraced, and have I told you?

I'm not going, cause I've been waiting for a miracle
And I'm not leaving
I won't let you, let you give up on a miracle
When it might save you

We've learned to run from anything uncomfortable
We've tied our pain below and no one ever has to know
That inside, we're broken
I try to patch things up again, to kill my tears and kill these fears
But have I told you, have I?

I'm not going, cause I've been waiting for a miracle
And I'm not leaving
I won't let you, let you give up on a miracle
When it might save you

It's not faith if you use your eyes, oh why?
We'll get it right this time, this time
Let's leave this all behind, you know why?
We'll get it right this time!
It's not faith if you're using your eyes, oh why?

I've gone for too long, living like I'm not alive
So I'm gonna start over tonight, beginning with you and I
And I don't want to run from anything uncomfortable
I just want, no, I just need this pain to end right here…

I'm not going, cause I've been waiting for a miracle
And I'm not leaving
I won't let you, let you give up on a miracle
Cause it might save you

Yeah, it might save you

Oh, it might save you
It's not faith if you use eyes

If you use your eyes
If you use your eyes…

Miracle by Paramore

Author: There you have it, I apologize for such a long wait. My life has been INSANE over the last year, but I'm back on my feet again!
Thank you to everyone who has reviewed and stuck with this since the beginning, being patient and putting up with my horrible inconsistency with updating; you guys are the best!
I hope you enjoyed!
PS All the girls' dresses are on my profile, I love them all but Fang's is my favorite ;)