Hey everyone! I'm back. The siren song of fanfiction has lured me into yet another Final Fantasy VII story, and this one has OCs! ^_^ I've had this idea knocking around in my head for a while, but I was never really sure how I could end it. So, I thought up an ending, tweaked a few things, and started writing. Tada!

I don't own the entire compilation of FFVII, so if some things are different, write them off as creative twists. ^_^

Just so you know, there are plenty of Yaoi and Yuri stories out there. This is not one of them. If that's what you wanted, look elsewhere.

I don't own Final Fantasy VII. I don't own Advent Children. I'm not making a penny off this; it's just for fun, so please don't sue me. You'd be a lot better off going after someone that actually has money, trust me.

"Stay where you belong…in my memories."

His sword burst into a storm of separate, glowing blades. They flew through the air, singing with energy, before they impaled their target, and a bright explosion of crackling magic blocked him from view.

Cloud heard his foe's roar split the sky; he couldn't distinguish if it was from pain, or anger, or a combination of the two. The blinding light faded, and he found himself starring up into the enraged eyes of Sephiroth himself.

There wasn't a single scratch on his body.

Cloud felt his heart drop. That was impossible. The Omnislash couldn't have missed. He'd seen it hit him. And yet…not a drop of blood.

Could he even bleed?

Panic had just begun to rise up his throat, when he noticed a flash of pain cross Sephiroth's eyes, and realized that the blades had hit their mark. Face contorted in fury, eyes burning in rage, he glared down at him.

"I will…never…be a memory," Sephiroth hissed. A promise and a threat.

Then, his single wing cocooned itself around him, black feathers scattering on the wind, and dissolving into nothingness. Cloud watched as the dark wing itself evaporated, and revealed Kadaj.

The blond soon saw why Sephiroth had been free of injuries. He had let the attacks hit his host instead.

The young man's black suit was torn apart, his body riddled with stab wounds and slashes. Streams of blood flowed down his limbs and dripped onto the ground. Kadaj's eyes jerked open, and he gasped, his face twisting in agony as he regained control of his shredded body. His legs shuddered, threatening to buckle. For a few seconds, the Remnant simply stood there, fighting to keep on his feet, trying to comprehend what had happened.

It ended when he caught sight of Cloud. Kadaj tensed, and tightened his grasp on his double-bladed katana. Letting out a pained, angry cry, he tried to charge at Cloud. But he didn't get far; his muscles couldn't handle the strain, and he simply stumbled forward a few steps, before his knees gave out completely, and he collapsed, his sword clattering to the ground.

Acting on instinct, the blond caught the young man in his arms, and lowered him to the cement. Even without a close inspection, Cloud knew that the wounds were fatal. He was dying; that was why Sephiroth had left him. Sephiroth had used his host until he could no longer fight, then abandoned his broken, mutilated body and left the young man to his fate.

Blue-green eyes gaped up at him, and Cloud froze. The anger and bitterness that had always possessed Kadaj's eyes was gone. Instead, they were filled with confusion, and pain, and fear. They looked like the eyes of hurt child. Just like Denzel's eyes.

Pools of emerald and sapphire, silently pleading for someone to make the pain stop, for someone to save him.

Blood trickled down the corner of his mouth, and the Remnant choked as he struggled to breathe. One, if not both, of his lungs were punctured. His trembling lips parted.


The word was weak, gurgled through the blood filling his throat. Even though he said nothing else, the expression on his face made his meaning clear: help me. Another wave of pain crashed over him, and Kadaj stiffened, his eyes squeezing shut. He whimpered.

And suddenly, Cloud felt a sharp, searing sensation fill his heart with such intensity it startled him. He wanted to save him. No, he realized. He needed to save him.

He didn't know why, why letting the young man he tried to kill mere hours ago die suddenly seemed like an unforgiveable sin. But it did, and the thought that he might be haunted by it for the rest of his life made him all the more desperate.

Kadaj's breathing was becoming more and more strained. The blond could feel his blood running down his arms as he held him. His eyes had opened slightly, and had grown hazy and unfocused. If he was going to save him, he had to do it now.

Cloud pulled back a hand, shifting Kadaj's weight onto his chest. With his free hand, he dug into the folds of his jacket, silently praying it hadn't fallen out in the fight with Sephiroth. His fingers closed around a small glass vial, and pulled it out. It was a Potion. He'd been all but guzzling them to keep his Geostigma symptoms in check; this was his last one.

Cloud pulled off the top with his teeth and put the vial to the Remnant's lips. Carefully, he forced the sparkling liquid down his throat. Kadaj choked and sputtered, but somehow managed to swallow.

The effects were nearly instant. His body glowed lightly as it spread through his veins, patching his ruptured lungs, knitting together his torn organs, mending his shattered ribs. Soon, the glow disappeared, and Kadaj was left gasping, still injured and bleeding, but no longer mortally wounded.

Kadaj blinked, his eyes clearing. He stared up wordlessly at Cloud, his face painted with shock, before his eyes closed, and his tense body relaxed, and went limp. For a few moments, the blond simply gazed down at the unconscious young man in his arms, not knowing what to do next, or if he had even made the right decision.

There was a footstep, and Cloud whirled around.

Yazoo and Loz stood not ten feet away. Both were streaked with dirt and dust, and even from a distance he could see the tell-tale crimson of blood against their pale skin. Yazoo was aiming the Velvet Nightmare at Cloud's heart. The gun was damaged, yes, but there was little doubt it would still shoot. Cloud went rigid, bracing himself for a bullet to rip through his chest.

But the Remnant didn't fire.

Confusion had taken over his normally impassive face. Yazoo stared hard into Cloud's eyes. An uneasy silence followed. The Remnant's eyes trailed down to the unconscious young man in his arms, then back again. Slowly, Yazoo lowered his weapon.

"You…h-helped him…"

His weakened voice took Cloud by surprise. Abruptly, he realized that steam had begun to rise from their bodies. The blessed water from Aerith's church was raining down, and it was burning their contaminated skin like acid. He looked down, and saw that the same thing was happening to Kadaj. Suddenly, Loz crumpled to the ground. Yazoo grimaced in pain; even as far away as he was, it was no longer difficult to tell he was barely standing. The Velvet Nightmare slipped from his limp fingers, and the Remnant fell to his knees. He fought to reach one hand out towards Kadaj's limp form.

"B-Brother…" he whispered.

Then the last of his strength left him, and he too collapsed to the ground.


He turned to see Yuffie and Vincent running towards him. Yuffie reached him first.

"You're not dead!" she exclaimed happily, "I'm so glad! We couldn't see what happened! I thought you were a gonner for sure, since it took all…"

Suddenly, she noticed the unconscious Kadaj on his lap.

"…w-what is going on?" The ninja yelped, jumping backward. "And why are they all smoking?"

Vincent, who had gotten there seconds before, looked at Cloud in bewilderment. The man's crimson eyes flitted over Kadaj, before settling on his friend's shoulder.

"You're bleeding," he said, stooping down beside him.

Cloud suddenly remembered Sephiroth impaling him with Masamune, and with the memories came a flood of pain. He winced, but did his best to ignore it.

"I'm fine," Cloud replied, "Vincent, I need you and Yuffie to get those two inside. The water will kill them otherwise."

A look of shock passed over Vincent's face, but he quickly resumed his calm demeanor, and nodded. Yuffie was a different matter.

"What?" She cried out, "But these guys tried to kill you! They tried to kill all of us! Why would you…?"

"Yuffie," Cloud interrupted, staring up at her, "Please."

The ninja hesitated, before giving in, and running off towards the other Remnants. Vincent had already lifted Loz onto his back.

Cloud pulled himself to his feet, sliding Kadaj's arm around his good shoulder. Shifting his weight to a more comfortable position, he began the trek down the ruined building, with Vincent and Yuffie, carrying their charges, following behind. He could already see most of the others waiting for them on the ground. He didn't know what he was going to tell them, what reason he'd give.

Aerith…please don't let this be a mistake.