Cloud stood with his head turned up into the sky, his body bloodied and broken. Relief washed through him at his victory against Sephiroth, but it was very muted. Throughout the whole battle, Sephiroth had tormented him, saying things to purposely hurt and distract him.

"On your knees. I want you to beg for forgiveness." The words danced around in Cloud's head. How dare Sephiroth ruin their time together by using those words again.

"What do you cherish most? Tell me, so I can take it away from you." Cloud had seen red at that. The first time, he hadn't known. But his answer to Sephiroth had been as true as anything else he'd said. There wasn't a thing he didn't cherish.

At one point, I cherished you. Cloud thought. A loud explosion sounded behind him, and there was a searing pain in Cloud's chest. Then he blacked out, and Cloud knew nothing more.