Howl at the Midgar Moon II: The plague of Midgar

AN- Hey guys! This is the opening to the next installment of the story! This chapter will probably be shorter mainly because I just wanted to provide a link for the next story. Again sorry for the long wait!

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Aerith opened her eyes as she laid in bed. It had been two years after the event which had been dubbed "Meteor". She smiled as she looked at the old photo on her night table. It was the old wrinkled photo of her and Zack. "I miss you everyday Zack…it hurts as if I lost you yesterday…Cloud said it would get better with time…but I don't think it will." Aerith said as she sat up. She instantly winced in pain and grabbed her arm.

Geostigma.

The planet had been plagued by the disease after Meteor. Many blamed Shinra for the new epidemic but others knew that they were not the cause. The planet had always had mako and Geostigma never seemed to be in any history books. Aerith and the others believed that it was caused by the collision between the holy/lifestream and the meteor.

But Aerith had a very bad case of Geostigma. Many doctors were confused on how she still was alive. The black ailment had run up Aerith's back and onto her left arm. What was worse was the Geostigma completely cut her connection with the planet.

Aerith was startled as Cloud opened the door. "I hope I didn't wake you…I thought I heard you moving around. Tifa's down stairs cooking breakfast…then I'll take you to your church."

Aerith smiled. She had not been back to the church in years. The flowers reminded her of Zack, so she pushed off going there as long as she could. "Ok…thank you Cloud."

Cloud nodded. His demeanor had greatly changed after the loss of Zack. He became very quiet and firm. Cloud had started a mercenary business, but it quickly ran dry after he and Barret slayed the last of the WEAPONS. Money had become tight so he started a delivery service to feed everyone and to pay off the mortgage of the new home in Edge. Aerith frowned as Cloud walked away. He spent nearly all his free time in the basement working on something. Cid had helped him transport something there, but no one knew what it was. Cloud had the basement locked at all times. Something Zack would have frowned upon.

Aerith let out a sigh and put on a pink knit sweater to cover her Geostigma. She walked down the stairs gingerly and walked into the kitchen. "Can I help?"

Tifa smiled as she heard her friend's voice. "Good morning. I hope you slept well."

"Yeah…Can I help?" Aerith asked quickly changing the subject. She had recurring nightmares of losing Zack. But the nightmare that disturbed her most was Sephiroth's image on top of the Shinra tower along with three other men with silver hair.

"You go rest. Everyone is waiting for you in the other room. Barret's getting ready to leave for a few months, so Marlene is a little emotional. She loves you so I'm sure you'll cheer her up!" Tifa said as she shoed Aerith out of the kitchen.

Aerith walked into the bar where everyone sat. She smiled and waved at the others as she sat down. "Hey guys…good morning."

"Morning darlin'" Barret said with a smile. He had been extremely nice to Aerith after the loss of Zack. Her screams still haunted the man.

Aerith did not say anything more and just sat at the table and waited for her meal. Cloud looked over at her with a heavy heart. He knew what was going through her mind. "Hey Aerith, why don't you and me go to the church early." Cloud asked with a smile.

"But what about breakfast…" Aerith said feeling guilty about leaving.

"I have some breakfast bars in the compartment of the bike…." Cloud said as he realized that the bike had once been Zack's.

"Ok…thank you Cloud." Aerith said as she stood up from the table. "I'll see you later everyone."

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Cloud cut the ignition of the bike outside the church. He helped Aerith off the bike and led the way to the door. He turned and looked at the girl as he place his hands on the large doors. "Are you sure you want to be here?"

"Yes I'm sure Cloud. Thank you for caring so much. But there's nothing in there that will upset me." Aerith said as she pushed the door open.

Both froze as they looked into the distance. The flowers were alive and healthy. But what disturbed them was what lay in the center of the flowers.

The Buster Sword.

The sword had been lost in the battle of Midgar. It had fallen from Zack's hands and seemingly so lost forever. But the sword had fallen in-between the places and crashed through roof of the church. Aerith had walked right up to the sword stepping on her precious flowers. Her hand touched the handle on the blade. Her eyes began to water as she looked at Cloud. "Cloud…are sins….ever forgiven…"

"What do you mean…" Cloud asked.

"I never told Zack that I loved him when he was dying…and all the things he went through…I wasn't good to him…" Aerith said as she began to cry.

"Aerith…he wouldn't blame you…you know that…" Cloud said as he placed a hand on the girls shoulder. Cloud's phone began to ring in his pocket. "Strife Delivery service…..ok….where to… you got it." Cloud shut his phone. "Aerith…"

"Go…I'll call Tifa for a ride when I'm done." Thank you Cloud.

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AN- actually that is all for now. Chapter one will be up later this week.