Secret Santa for Shaxyel- Merry Christmas Shax! :]
AN: Title of story was in honor of the song that got me through this fic :] Its the final boss song to FF13-2- Invisible Depths. I think it oddly fits.. somewhat D:
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy 7 and Kingdom Hearts, nor it's characters and stuff- Square does!
Up above within the shattered sky that The Planet was front stage view to, a war raged between light and darkness- Minerva and JENOVA.
A victory had been had at the death of The Planet's only remaining savior, Cloud Strife, and the Calamity of the Skies took full advantage of it, throwing to the way side her 'son' like yesterdays garbage in preparation to make her own, final, move against The Planet.
The lines between reality and dreams were frayed at the seams at the Calamity's first stroke, throwing The Planet into splintered chaos. Teeming shadows slipped through the cracks and swiftly swept through the world like a plague, consuming all life in its wake. Balls of oddly colored red and orange lights in the shape of hearts were the only thing that could be seen as the darkness took its prey, the curious objects floating upwards toward the shattered sky where two forces meet, blow to blow- shaking the world and breaking the sky even further with each attack.
There he sat.
Atop a large field of radiant flowers, a lone man lounged in the middle of an isle that served as the only eye of the raging storm all around- the shadows that took part in consuming the life of The Planet slowly eroding the simple paradise piece by precious piece. One hand rested on a single upturned knee while the other sat behind him, his eyes closed and face turned upwards as he basked in the calmness of mind that he had finally found himself in, after so long.
Sephiroth, the 'son' JENOVA so freely tossed aside, was finally free.
No longer were his thoughts someone else's- the throbbing pain within his head that accompanied the foreign entity that had been there as far as he could remember, gone. No more could he hear the inane whispers of that of his 'mother'- the blanket of insanity that clouded his mind but a mere unsavory memory.
He was finally his own man.
Every slow even breath he took as he sat there was a calming benediction that even fate could give one such as himself a small mercy, even as the world slowly died.
Never had one felt so hollow to him now.
How could it not?
He had finally managed to kill Cloud after what felt like a war that had seen many battles, and he the victor of only the last. Yet, what satisfaction could there be in killing a warrior that had aged to the point of Death practically only days of being at his front door? The man had put up as good a fight as he had always had, that same energy that always seemed to baffle Sephiroth as to how such an 'insignificant speck of humanity' could procure such resolve and stamina to stand up to the 'god' that he was; but age quickly made battle go Sephiroth's way. Quickly turned what he thought was his birthright that had long been denied him, into a swift procession of being left to die as his 'mother' took what had been promised to him for hers.
A foolish pawn in an even bigger game than anyone had realized.
Taking a deep breath in, and letting it out, Sephiroth slowly opened his eyes to look at the scene before him.
The splintered sky, partly shrouded with clouds of blackest night and brilliant white, flashed with every clash of the powers above- their forms showing for those split seconds each time within the billows. Pieces of the shattered sky started to fall bit by bit, a hidden realm of twilight slowly being revealed- the shadows growing more and more restless. The balls of oddly colored red and orange lights in the shape of hearts started to dissipate as they reached the stratosphere, leaving a sense of underlying horror at a world that was surely dying before his eyes.
Yet, here he sat- on a field of flowers.
Shaking his head slightly, Sephiroth closed his eyes from the chaos around him.
"The Door…" a soft melodious voice said somewhere close behind him, "it will open soon."
Turing his head towards the noise, Sephiroth peered curiously at the newcomer with one eye.
The Cetra woman sat casually within the bed of flowers, cradling one tenderly with both hands as if it were her child. The flashes from above, and the light that radiated from the blooms around them, illuminated a face that showed no hint of acknowledgement to the surrounding chaos. A woman he had killed once upon a time.
Sephiroth simply nodded in confirmation as he continued to watch the woman, Aerith if he remembered correctly, "and so will the world cease to be."
"Mhm," Aerith simply said, still cradling the flower within her hands- the clashes above the only sounds that broke the ambient silence that followed.
Sephiroth found himself bothered by that silence.
The scene of her death kept playing in his mind, as well as other moments that his newly cleared mind found appalling.
"I apologize," Sephiroth said, breaking the silence.
Aerith look towards him, confusion evident in her eyes for a few moments, before it clicked. She shook her head, "there's no need. What's done is done. We can't change the past, now can we?"
"Hmm…" Sephiroth said, "… still, it remains the same. My apologies."
They locked stares for just a moment, before she nodded; closing her eyes for a few seconds before returning her gaze back to the cradled flower. "I am slightly peeved though."
Sephiroth crooked an eyebrow at that.
"The least you could have done was give me some time to make some snappy remark, like 'if you strike me down, I'll become more powerful then you can ever imagine!' before you did the deed." She laughed softly at that, like it was some inside joke.
"…what?" Sephiroth asked blankly.
"Zack took me to a movie once, once upon time," Aerith whispered, a soft smile lighting her face, "the quote seemed like it would have been a most wonderful, and adequate, thing to say at such a time. Wouldn't you agree?"
Sephiroth stared blankly at her before the implications set in; her interference being a hindrance to his plans time and again, despite being dead. He chuckled softly before returning his gaze back to a world that looked worse than it had only moments ago, "I suppose it would have."
… Zack. Another one his actions had hurt. What would they say to him now, if they were able? Would they be as forgiving as this woman was? Somehow, the thought made him feel… anxious. He tried not to show it on his face as he looked at the broken sky before him.
Sensing, perhaps, where his thought may have gone, Aerith whispered, "They don't blame you, you know."
Sephiroth looked towards her at that, locking his gaze with hers for a long while, the war still raging on above, searching those eyes for any hint that would say she was lying. All he saw was sincerity.
He closed his eyes, and turned his head slightly away, peering at her with one eye yet again, "That is… good to hear."
She simply smiled and nodded.
"So," Sephiroth said, "why are you here?" He was hoping she would admit to the fact that he was here in no part thanks to her, but somehow, he thought it better that she never did.
Still, the reason for it all intrigued him greatly.
"Hmm?" She said, curious as to what he could mean.
Sephiroth simply lifted his hand from where it rested on his knee and waved it around casually, watching her expression as he did so. "Why are you here? Should you not be out there, helping your protector? I would think she could use all the help she could get right about now."
The face that had, until now, refused to acknowledge the chaos around her, showed it then. Quiet sadness washed over her. "Even she knows that the fight is futile."
"And yet fight she still does."
A great boom, one fiercer then before, sounded at the end of that statement, rocking the world to its core. Shards of the sky fell off in abundance, revealing the silhouette of an ominous rectangular object in distance, twilight surrounding it- the shadows teemed violently at its presence, as if reaching for it. Small gusts of wind broke its way into the calm stillness of their solemn paradise.
He could see panic start to swell in her eyes as the events unfolded, but the woman before him refused to give into that emotion and instead pulled herself together.
"She doesn't the word 'quit'. She will fight till The Planet's dying breath. Such is her nature. And so will I, in my own way," Aerith said.
Sephiroth turned to look at her fully, "surely you must know there is nothing that can be done to save this world now. Why then would you try to hold out hope, when no such thing can be had?"
Aerith looked at him for a long while before she turned back towards the flower in her hands. She caressed it, whispering to it in a language he would never understand, before she laid it back down in the field. The radiant flower flashed in color, and he could have sworn that he had seen the ghost of a face he knew all too well, before it rejoined with the radiant blooms. The Cetra whispered yet again in the language of The Planet to the flowers, and a movement swept through the isle, as flashes of color just like the one she had held met his eyes.
This time he was sure he saw faces.
"What's going on," Sephiroth asked.
Aerith set her hands in her lap, and looked away, refusing to meet his gaze.
With one final clash of power, the clouds above shifted as the black shroud overcame the other in victory and the remaining shards of the shattered sky fell- leaving access to the Door completely unhindered. Screams of the Lifestream, suppressed till now due to the fight against the Calamity, ripped through the serenity of the lone isle. JENOVA, her prize only reaches away, started its decent towards the Door unhindered. The pace at which the shadows ate away at the sanctuary increased ten-fold, the screams of the Lifestream lessening with every bloom that faded into the blackness.
"It's true" Aerith said, " there's nothing that can be done to save this world now." She shook her head. "But there is hope for us in the Light of the future. Hope for this world. Hope for them all."
"Light of the future? You can't be-" Sephiroth said, but cut off as visions assaulted his mind's eye.
A boy of wild spiky brown hair and energetic smiles, an aloof-looking boy of silver hair who held the balance between his Light and Darkness, and a red-haired girl that radiated pure Light, flashed before him. They beheld a curious blade, with which they used to slice through the creatures of Darkness and Nothingness that came their way and seal the many Doors of the World. Sephiroth saw of the battles these children would face and of the trials and tribulations that would pave the way towards the final battle for the World- Kingdom Hearts.
Sephiroth looked towards Aerith, "Truly?"
Aerith nodded, "Yes. They hold the key to the hope of all worlds."
"Hmm, " Sephiroth said, looking down for a moment in thought, before he looked back, "and what would you have me do?"
He had a feeling it was for something like this that she gave him this small mercy of his own mind.
Something bigger then himself. Then them all.
He didn't quite know what to think of it yet.
Aerith looked into his eyes for the longest time, searching his soul, and then steadily stood. Keeping their gaze intact, she extended her hand.
Sephiroth's eyes narrowed slightly at the pronouncement, doing his own eye soul searching, well aware that time was quickly escaping them.
The woman that he had killed so long ago? The one who had been, until the very moment he was left to die by the hands of his 'mother', as equally a bitter enemy that Cloud had been? Was she mad?
The panic that he had seen start to grow within her earlier, was merely a subdued shadow within her eyes now. She was pulling herself together in the case that he might refuse to take part in whatever she had planned- a woman who had prepared herself for the death to come if he denied her.
He broke their gaze, and looked out towards the blackening sky.
Finally within reach of the Door, the Calamity stretched its way forward, swallowing the twilight whole as it reached its goal. The shadows that ate away at the isle were quickly closing in, reaching up towards the Door as it did- the Lifestream but a feeble cry to the night as the radiant blooms faded away. Losing what will that drove them upwards, the Hearts (for that is what he knew they were called) of this world fell downwards into the dark abyss that shrouded what was left of The Planet.
'Mother' had finally gotten what she had wanted, the Door would finally be opened, and the world would be no more. The very 'mother' that threw him away, showing him his true worth to her eyes.
His eyes lit up in anger.
Sephiroth looked back towards the Cetra, the woman who was giving him a choice; despite the consequences should he choose wrong. A choice he found himself willing to take.
Standing up, Sephiroth locked gazes with Aerith as he took her offered hand and raised it to his lips. "With my Body, Heart, and Soul."
Relief flooded through Aerith at his acceptance. Whispering "thank you," she took his hand in both, as he did with hers, and she closed her eyes. The language of a dying world soon sounded from her lips in chant as Sephiroth closed his own eyes, feeling the tug on his strength, letting her use all she needed. A gust of power radiated from the two, stirring the reaming blooms to the air in whirlwind that closed in around them. Souls of The Planet gave their own strength to the two, creating a light that kept the surrounding darkness at bay.
The Door creaked slowly open and the world shuddered to stillness as the sound of a single heartbeat was the only thing standing between that of existence and oblivion.
The light that surrounded Aerith and Sephiroth intensified, as the souls of The Planet found refuge within their hearts, transforming their bodies into a brilliant ball of light that floated upwards just as the shadows consumed the field. After a moments lingering, the ball of light shot upwards, breaking through the outer Wall that separated the worlds.
Shooting open, nothingness spilled forth from the Door, wiping the world out of existence.
Across the World, Radiant Garden sat in the calm stillness of night, the pale light of the moon shining down upon the grand city, and the world very much whole.
To those that were fortunate to still be up at that hour, they bared witness to the falling of stars that shot across the sky aplenty- unknowing that this signified an end to a world.