A/N: And so, welcome to the end! Thanks so much for sticking with this! I really hoped you all enjoyed reading it coz I enjoyed writing it! (If you don't already know I have written a sequel called Ningyo! Check it out!)
"And then it came; the chosen day. In the end, the planet itself had to make the battle stop for good. The planet used the lifestream as a weapon and when it burst out of the earth, all the fighting, all the greed and sadness, everything was washed away. Sadness was the price to see it end."
We made it into the northern Cave battling monsters all the way. Finally though we made it to the centre. We stood together, perhaps for the last time. I turned and looked around at everyone. Their eyes were hard, only one purpose in their minds. A greenish glow emanated from the drop behind me. The very lifestream it's self was only feet away. It was time to go.
"Alright everyone lets mosey." I said.
Every stared at me for a moment. Cid shook his head with a grin. "Damn! Again! Stop sayin' it like a wimp! Can't you say "Move Out" or somethin'?"
I chuckled slightly, "Move out!"
We all moved off from there, we found some strange floating rocks that took us down. They went on for a while. We reached a strange platform covered in square pieces of rock. The green glow was all around us now, the place was strange, ethereal. I looked around with a frown. "Where are we?"
Suddenly I heard that awful whining noise. I stared as a huge pink ball appeared over the edge of the platform. "Jenova...?" I said as it flew toward us.
We fought it and killed it.
The whole platform began to shake, the pillars of rock broke apart and shot upward. We fell. The green light rushed around us making my stomach churn slightly. We were engulfed in a bright white light that nearly blinded me, even covering my eyes didn't help.
I found myself alone. Everything was dark...except...
I was floating, drifting on unseen currents. The light pulsed, white in the centre with a strange aura of blue around its edge.
A...Light...Is this...Is this light Holy?
I tried to move toward it, but it was like swimming through syrup.
I opened my eyes to hear Barrett's voice drift through the darkness. I stand slowly and find myself stood on a red, rocklike formation. In the centre of which was a glowing light encased in the same red rock.
Then...he appeared. We all stared at the egg like structure as he stepped out of it. "Sephiroth!" I cried when I saw him. I felt a flood of confusing emotion...he was here in front of me...i didn't know what to think.
We were subjected to intense waves of power. Sephiroth said nothing as he stood in the centre of the glowing egg, his eyes never left me. Agony tore through my body, but this time I wasn't the only one feeling it. I felt as if I was going to be torn to shreds. Then I remembered. I had seen Holy. I had seen it glowing in the dark. I doubled over gasping and clutching my stomach. "Ugh...It's...there..." I tried to raise my voice so everyone could hear me. "Holy...Holy is...there...Holy is...shining...Aeris's prayer is shining..."
"Holy...Aeris..." Tifa muttered from my side. She, too, had been driven to her knees.
"It's not...over yet...This isn't the end!" I made sure my voice rose above the noise of the planet, the noise of everyone's pain. I had to make sure they all held firm. We were repelled once again as we tried to attack.
"Not only Aeris...Holy is the prayer of AVALANCHE...of Marlene and Dyne...everyone on the planet!" Barrett shouted.
"Maybe we were a little late in noticing the trouble we were getting into...but there's still time. We should be able to get out of it! Even if we can't get EVERYTHING back to normal." Cait Sith said. "We should be able to protect what's most important!"
I smiled. My hand touched the hilt of the Buster sword lightly and my eyes met Sephiroth's. "Aeris's memories...our memories...We came to tell you our memories...Come on planet, show us your answer! And Sephiroth...to the settling of everything!"
What we fought wasn't Sephiroth...It couldn't have been! They were...monsters! Mutations. We managed to kill two...before we were returned to the ledge we had started from. We all decided that there was nothing more we could do...we had only one choice. We had to leave the rest up to the planet. As everyone began to walk away I froze. I saw Tifa stop and stare at me. "I...feel it..." I muttered lifting a hand to my head. He was calling to me again. I could feel him.
"What...?" Tifa asked warily.
I shivered visibly and wrapped my arms around myself. "He's...still here..." I felt pain tear through my head and fall to my knees. It hurt. "Still..."
Tifa called me. I could barely hear her. That noise! I can't take much more of this! Make it stop! He was laughing...laughing as if he had won. I felt myself torn from the platform and pulled back into the lifestream. I was spinning...spinning through weird tunnels, occasionally I would see the lifestream with its green strands of living energy. The tunnels were sickening. The spinning colours made my head whirl. I closed my eyes tightly to shut out the awful rollercoaster trip. Then something made me open them...he was stood on a rock surrounded by darkness. His chest was bare and he held his sword in his hand. I fell and landed at his feet. Not very elegant...or very hero like...I looked up at him and saw his smile.
"So...we meet again." Sephiroth said. "And this time, I am whole. This time, there is no escape. I do wander how you managed to survive the lifestream...Although I doubt you came out of it unscathed." He crouched before me and took my face in his hand, his fingers were cold. "Hmmm...You have your memories back. It seems my plan to make you think you were created five years ago didn't quite go as planned. No matter...i must now destroy you. Shame really..." He slid his hand down my neck and I felt that all too familiar craving. "...You were such an obedient doll."
"Sephiroth..." I muttered pushing his hand away angrily. No, I wouldn't succumb to his will...ever again! "I will stop you!"
Sephiroth laughed, his hand returned to my neck and squeezed cutting off my air supply. I winced as he lifted me off my feet and held me in the air. "I would like to see how strong you've become. Show me this strength...show me everything so I can make your destruction all the more painful!" He threw me to the floor where I lay gasping and retching. My fingers closed over my sword again.
I turned and looked at him. I let all my anger and hatred smother all my other feelings. "I will be the one to do the destroying." I hissed.
"Hmmm, you have such fire in your eyes. I like it...then come. Show me what you have gained!" he lifted his sword.
I tightened my grip on my own and sent a brief prayer, to whatever gods or goddesses there were before launching myself at him with a cry. I leaped into the air and raised the buster sword above my head, I brought it down with a crash on his blade. He smiled up at me and threw me from him with a flick of his wrist.
"I do not call this strength, Cloud. I'm sure you can do better than this! Where is the boy who threw me into the reactor? Where is the boy who managed to kill a man while he was so near death himself? Where is the boy who spent his sixteenth year wanting me? Cloud, I know you have more strength than that...come!"
I knelt on one knee before him. Suddenly my head was filled with doubt. Could I do this? Could I kill a man I had become so close to? I swallowed nervously.
Come on, man! You can do this! Have faith in yourself and you can do anything! On your feet!
I saw a hand reach toward, a leather glove covering it. I smiled and took it. I was pulled onto my feet and stood staring at Sephiroth. "I can do this! I am stronger!" I muttered. "I will defeat you!" I felt a rush of energy fill my limbs, I found myself surrounded by a multicoloured aura. My sword was ignited by coloured flames. I felt power suffuse my very soul. Sephiroth smiled and took a ready stance...but I knew there was no defence for this. This attack would kill him. I took a slow, deep breath. My body tensed. It was now or never. I flew forward suddenly, I had a split second to see Sephiroth's eyes widen slightly before my sword smashed into his. There was a crack and the buster sword broke his in two smashing into his shoulder. I backed of slashing again and again until he was having difficulty standing. Then I jumped into the air and swung it down slicing through his body. I hit the ground and looked up before backing away panting slightly.
He looked down at me and I saw his smile. His huge black wing burst from his back as a tiny trickle of blood ran from the corner of his mouth. I could see his fingers begging to go green and turn into pure energy. He lifted his arm toward me. "Cloud..." his voice seemed to come from all around me as his body disintegrated slowly. He beckoned me and I took a step closer, he grabbed me tightly and pulled me roughly to his lips. I felt his tongue invade my mouth and the buster sword clattered to the floor. My hands grabbed his hair tightly but I could feel it slipping through my fingers. When I opened my eyes I was surrounded by ribbons of energy which surrounded me, it felt like a gentle warm breeze. His laughter echoed through my head and I looked up as it swirled and twisted into the vague shape of a man.
I will bind you to me forever, Cloud. We will meet again...I will make sure that we do. I will give you a gift...
I heard his voice in my head. His words confusing me slightly. Then he was gone, in an explosion of white and green.
A white light falls on me and I look up. A hand reaches for me, I reach back. Suddenly I feel rock shaking beneath me, my foot slips and I look down into a bright pool of greenish blue. I move onto the stable bit and look up to see a hand reaching for me. Tifa. The whole cave is collapsing! I shift my weight on the thin piece of rock feeling suddenly afraid, I didn't really fancy being dumped back in the lifestream...I don't think even my body could handle going in three times.
Suddenly Tifa falls. I run and jump, catching her in my arms and grabbing the cliff edge. I can't pull up both our weights. I try...but my arm begins to tremble.
"I think I'm begging to understand..." I mutter to Tifa as I grip her tightly around the waist.
"What?" She replied.
"An answer from the planet...the promised land...I think I can meet her there." I whisper. I try and heave our bodies up onto the stable bit of rock. I don't look into Tifa's eyes.
She snuggles her head into me. "Yeah, let's go meet her there."
I throw Tifa up onto the platform of rock. The pool below me glows brightly. I follow her onto it and sit still for a moment. "Hey, where is everyone?" I ask.
I look up and see the others sitting on a ledge just above us. Tifa smiled and waved, "I'm glad you're all safe!"
Suddenly the roof begins to tremble. Everyone looks up, I stand quickly. The Shera comes crashing down toward us followed by rocks and huge amounts of dust. We manage to climb on bored quickly, just as the lifestream rises up in a great blue fountain. We are caught in it. The ship is thrown around. Cid pulled an emergency lever and suddenly the ship changes...wings sprout from its sides and we fly up, free of the dangerous wave of energy.
Holy didn't work. It was too little, too late. Meteor began descending toward Midgar, crushing areas of buildings. All we could do was watch from the ship. Helplessly.
I stood at the front of the ship staring out the glass windows, my hands gripped the railing tightly. Suddenly Tifa spotted something. We all turn and see green energy bursting from the surface of the earth and twisting toward Meteor.
In the end, the planet had to save its self. We had done all we could by defeating Sephiroth. We went our separate ways, but with a promise to see each other again.
I moved in with Tifa, we started our very own delivery service and she re-opened Seventh Heaven in another district. I sometimes find myself wondering what had become of Sephiroth...had he gone into the lifestream? I don't know...but for now, I am happy. I will try and begin a new life, one I can live for myself...one where I will not become a failure. Although...there is something...in the back of my mind that makes me think of him. Sometimes, when I'm alone I hear his voice, faintly...as if he is calling to me from a great distance.
Will I ever truly be free of him?
Even if the morrow is barren of promises
Nothing shall forestall my return