Author's Note: And here's the end of this journey. I have to thank all my reviewers, especially Eclipse Storywriter, Telya (my first reviewer for this story!), and Sephiroth One Winged God. Seriously, all the reviews made me happy and I'm glad everyone liked it! I also want to thank everyone who added this story to their favourites too! And a very special shout out to Shreddie J! She has been reading my unpublished and published fanfiction for a LONG time and she helped me by reading over all the chapters. So, enjoy the epilogue! :D
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I'm paid nothing, so please don't sue me! :)
Epilogue: Sephiroth, The Guardian Angel
Tifa smiled and waved to Denzel and Marlene as they both hurried on to the yellow school bus. She turned and looked up Loz, who was already smiling down at her.
"You have a good day today," she said with a smile as she leaned up and kissed his cheek.
"I will," he promised as he hugged her tightly. "I'll see you just after five and have fun shopping with Yuffie."
She nodded. "Oh, I always do," she said with a smile. She stood and watched him walk down the street until he disappeared around the corner.
Tifa turned and began walking back towards Seventh Heaven. As she walked, she smiled to herself noticing the smell of plant life in the air once more. Since Sephiroth's return to the Lifestream, vegetation began to crop up around the world…even in Edge and New Midgar. None of the cities had plates hanging above them precariously anymore so the sun, which was showing itself more frequently, was able to reach the lands that were once barren. Even the Wastelands had random spots of grass popping up.
She was pulled from her thoughts when he cell phone rang. She saw Yuffie's number and smiled. "I'm heading back to the bar as we speak."
"Thank the gods!" Yuffie complained. "Vinnie's gone to Banora to check up on Genesis and I am so bored!"
"Didn't he just leave this morning with Cloud?" Tifa asked with a smile.
"Yeah, but I miss him!" Yuffie whined. "Between the crappy errands he's been running between Reeve in New Midgar, Professor Howarth in Gongaga, and Genesis in Banora, I hardly ever see him! And on top of helping the WRO town restoration team rebuilding Banora, he and Genesis have gotten to know each other and he's found a fellow moper! I mean, you thought Cloud was bad, but those two are like moping champions!"
"Are you jealous of Genesis?" Tifa teased.
"Hell yeah!" Yuffie said fiercely. "He sees my boyfriend more than I do!"
Tifa chuckled and shook her head. "Well, you could always ask Reeve to assign you to the team that will be rebuilding Banora so you can go with Vincent on the trips that make you lose you mind like this."
"What? Are you crazy?" Yuffie exclaimed. "And have everyone think I'm some crazy-ass needy girlfriend?"
"Yuffie, I hate to tell you this, but you are a crazy-ass needy girlfriend," Tifa said with a smirk as she unlocked the front door of Seventh Heaven.
"Well, yeah, but that doesn't mean I want to advertise it!" she said before laughing.
Tifa shook her head. "Give me ten minutes and I'll be ready for shopping."
"I'll give you thirty minutes," Yuffie said happily. "I actually haven't even gotten dressed yet. I was too busy being a crazy-ass needy girlfriend. Later!"
Tifa shook her head and closed the phone before sliding it into her pocket. She closed and locked the door of the bar before turning around. She stopped suddenly when she saw a man sitting at the bar.
"Are you just going to stare at me or are you going to come in?" he asked, the rich baritone voice jarring her from her stupor.
She frowned as she slowly walked closer to the bar before walking around the other side and forcing herself to meet the familiar cat-like eyes of the silver-haired man before her.
"Sephiroth?" she whispered shakily. She took a moment to take in his appearance. His tall boots and black leather pants were still in place, but instead of his heavy leather coat, he was wearing a black button-up shirt with his wing resting on his shoulder. She did quirk an eyebrow when she noticed he still managed to show a borderline obscene amount of his chest as always.
"Don't worry," he assured her as he straightened his back. "I'm not here for any malicious purpose."
"Then why are you here?" she asked with a confused frown.
Sephiroth got to his feet and slowly walked around the bar until he was standing only inches away from her. His eyes narrowed as he took in her rigid posture and the fear she refused to acknowledge, yet radiated off her body.
"I'm…sorry," he said quietly.
Tifa's eyes widened as she looked at the one-winged angel in front of her. "What?"
"I'm sorry…for everything," he said before turning his head. "My words cannot give you the comfort you need and they cannot undo all the wrongs that I have committed, but after what you did for me…it was the least I could do." He turned and walked a few feet away from her. "My head is clear and my heart…I actually have a heart. My heart bears the burden of my mistakes, yet I am happy to bear it."
Tifa slowly approached Sephiroth and moved around him so she was again looking into his eyes. "I really am sorry for what happened to you at the hands of your father. My father was so kind and loving that I really can't understand how Hojo could do the things he did to you."
"I thought…because I was created from hundreds of failed monsters and experiments that I too was a monster," he said. "But I know the real monsters were Hollander, Hojo, and Jenova. What made me a monster was my own weakness and anger."
"I know that now too," Tifa said softly.
"Just how did you learn everything you did?" he asked as he narrowed his eyes and raised an eyebrow.
She blushed slightly and looked away. "Rufus gave me access to the research records of both Hollander and Hojo along with the field logs you kept…and some of your personal logs as well."
Sephiroth shook his head. "The Shinras really will keep anything of mine, won't they?" He reached out and gently turned her face towards his. "Don't be embarrassed…I'm not." He again stepped away from her and let his gaze travel around her empty bar. "They were written by a man I thought was dead, but it turns out he was just a prisoner of his own anger."
Tifa watched Sephiroth and tilted her head to the side. He was just like the man who had arrived in Nibelheim all those years ago and nothing like the man who had destroyed Nibelheim. It was strange…yet comforting to see him like that.
"What will you do now?" Tifa asked.
He smirked as he looked over his shoulder at her and flexed his wing. "Earn the title 'angel', of course."
"And how will you do that?" Tifa asked warily.
"The same way Aerith, Zack, and Angeal have," he said as he again stepped closer to her. "By being a guardian to those left here. If you or Loz ever need me…I'll be waiting."
"You're our guardian angel?" Tifa asked in disbelief.
Sephiroth smiled slightly. "It's the least I can do."
Tifa and Sephiroth both turned to find Aerith standing beside them, light radiating from behind her as she smiled at them both.
"Aerith?" Tifa asked in disbelief.
The brunette smiled happily. "You did a fantastic job, Tifa. I knew you could do it."
Tifa folded her arms across her chest and smirked. "I'm glad one of us had faith in me!"
"You have a heart like no other," Aerith said before looking at Sephiroth. "It's time to return."
He inclined his head before looking down at Tifa again. "I meant what I said. If you need me, just call." She nodded as she watched him turn and walk towards Aerith, but he stopped before turning and smirking at her. "And keep taking care Loz. He's my favorite parts of myself."
Tifa smiled slightly and nodded. "He'll be safe with me."
"I know," Sephiroth said before turning and following Aerith into the light.
Tifa looked up at the ceiling and smiled. "Take care of him Angeal and Zack…he missed you both."
She sighed before leaving the bar and walking up the stairs to the apartment above. The world was finally getting back on the right track and everything was going to be all right.