Pieces of Us

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters, nor the FF7-verse. They're Squaresoft's. (If they're for sale though, somebody tip me in time!!) The lyrics to the song "Amen" belong to Jewel.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is the beginning of my epic A/S shipper!! Whoo-hoo!! I think Aeris and Sephiroth are truly meant for each other. I never let that one-killed-the-other business bother my creativity. I also think there's a good chance they've met at Shin-Ra headquarters as children. (OK, it's not exactly an original idea, but it works.) This one actually has a plot ( in case you were wondering), but don't expect quality. English is not my mother tongue, and this the first story I've ever published.. Sorry for any weird language.


PROLOGUE

You're mothers' child, but night lays you down
Hair awflame, wild look in your eyes, naked belly to the ground
A forest fire nibbles at your veins
Crawls up your arm, runs away with your mind
and burns dry thoughts like leaves

"What's up Sephy?" Aeris Gainsborough greeted her best friend with a sad shiver in her voice. He was standing at the farmost corner of a balcany, his arms casually thrown over the railing. "Are we going to go to the Library today?" She asked, as the silver haired boy didn't turn his eyes from the horizon.

"Aren't you leaving soon?" Sephiroth asked bluntly. He knew today Aeris and her mother had planned to escape.. Aeris had told him about it a long time ago. She had told him about everything..

"Yes. But how could I just leave without seeing you." Aeris whispered her answer, tilting her head to the right. She felt horribly nervous, and sad as well. A part of her didn't want to leave, despite everything.

"Maybe it would have been easier for everybody, that way.." Sephiroth sighed, throwing back his long silvery hair. He turned around slowly, crossing his arms over his chest. "I'm sure your mother doesn't want you hanging around me at a time like this."

"Why wouldn't she? She knows you're important to me.." Aeris smiled sweetly.

"I am?" Sephiroth blinked, and turned his back at Aeris. He never figured this would be quite this difficult. He'd gone over this conversation in his mind a thousand times, repeated his goodbyes so many times he felt numb. Yet.. In spite of all those hours of careful planning and preparation he didn't feel ready for this. Clenching the cold metal railing with his fingers, Sephiroth hoped this could be postponed with a week, a day-- He just needed a few more hours to brace himself.. But at the same time, he thought, would any amount of time be enough?

"What? Is something wrong?" Aeris' light-hearted voice chirped.

"Nothing." Sephiroth lied, lowering his gaze down to the ground. This was something he simply couldn't discuss, and especially not with her. His pride wouldn't allow him to confess how much he would miss her company and friendship. It was best to keep quiet.. spare Aeris' feelings as well as his own. There was no need to rub in their inevetable break-up.

"You can tell me.. Please." Aeris pleaded, and walked over to Sephiroth, already knowing he wouldn't tell her. He was pigheaded, that way. She stopped next to him, and took in the scenery that spread around them. The cool night breeze lifted dry leaves from below, and they both watched as they soared to the sky.

"The stars are really pretty tonight.." Aeris said, breaking the awkward silence between the two.

"You know, it takes light millions of years to travel to the stars from here.." Sephiroth smirked at Aeris. He continued looking at her, as a blinking star caught Aeris' attention on the blackened night sky. When she tilted her head slightly back, the starlight that fell on the delicate contours of her face created the perfect combination of light and shadow on her pale, flawless skin.

"That long?" Aeris' lips curled up to a smile, as she glanced at Sephiroth. He stared back at her silently, just for a second too long perhaps, because she blushed bright red and turned her face away. It was biculiar.. Sephiroth found himself fazing out like that often in her company. He would just stare at her - feeling almost compelled to doing so - and loose all track of thought in her emerald gaze.

"I wonder how long does it take for a wish to reach them?" Aeris looked at Sephiroth quizzically, her eyes expecting him to know the answer.

"I guess that depends on who's wishing.." Sephiroth smiled wistfully, his face still turned to the horizon. It embarrassed him, that someone could get to him like that. Make him behave so.. stupidly. "For you.. maybe not that long." He continued, with a faraway voice. It felt strange.. but not entirely unpleasant.

Aeris bit her lip, wondering what he was thinking so hard. She loved the look of concentration on Sephiroth's face, but on their last night together, Aeris had so much to say. "What do you mean?" She asked quietly, almost ashamed of interrupting Sephiroth's thoughts. "God's always favour the pure of heart.." Sephiroth whispered back, while gazing at the sky. Aeris turned her face towards the stars, smiling at the beautifully eluminated night sky. "In that case, Sephy.." she giggled, her spirits lifted by all the flickering lights above, "I think I'm going to make a wish right now."

A bright shooting star flew over the Shin-Ra building, burning for mere fractions of a second before vanishing into oblivion. "I wish I will meet you again soon." Aeris said, with such maturity in her voice she seemed years older her true age.

"Me too." Sephiroth nodded inexpressively, wondering if her wish would burn out like the shooting star they had just seen.

"Don't be sad." Aeris tried to cheer up her friend. Sephiroth turned his eyes over to Aeris, and looked at her for the longest while. Just like many times before, it was difficult for him to break the contact between their eyes. "I'm not sad - I guess I just.. miss you already." Sephiroth grinned awkwardly, facing Aeris. Saying those words made him feel weak, and he loathed himself for it, but for some reason he couldn't bring himself to care too much about that right now. Aeris would leave soon. She'd be gone. They might never see each other again.

"I'm not going to say goodbye, you know. It's too hard." Aeris whispered, staring back at Sephiroth, loosing herself within the eery glow of his eyes. She watched in shock, as the older boy suddenly leaned closer to her lips.

"Sephiroth?" Aeris protested weakly, her voice shivering with anticipation.

She whimpered quietly as Sephiroth's nose gently brushed against her flushed cheeks, only moments before he claimed her lips unto a kiss. Aeris held her breath, as she returned her first kiss, overwhelmed by the storm of emotions in mind. As Sephiroth pulled back, and opened his eyes, Aeris was stunned by the intensity of his gaze. There was such a yerning for contact and love, she thought she could see his very soul reaching out through them, pleading for help. Aeris rested her palm to cup the side of Sephiroth's face. She watched as he closed his eyes again, bowing his head down. She nearly gasped at the older boy's beauty, as a few loose strands of silvery hair landed to shadow his delicate features. There was no other word for his appearance than beautiful..

Aeris caressed his cool skin with her thumb, with an irrational fear she was hurting him. Her mind conveyed him as the most fragile, precious thing, that she'd have to handle with care. "Sephiroth.." Aeris sighed as she finally pulled her hand back. She felt miserable, for she knew Hojo would punish him later, for not telling about her mother's escape plans. She also knew there was nothing she could do to relieve his sufferings. A single tear rolled down Aeris' cheek.

"I'll save you.. I promise." Aeris smiled reassuringly.

Sephiroth raised his eyes to meet hers, and they shared a heartbreakingly sad, desperate smile. "I.." He began, just as Ifalna, Aeris' mother, rushed through the balcany door.

"Aeris, honey, we have to go now." Ifalna spoke, a bit breathless, as she ran to her daughter. She seemed relieved to have finally found Aeris. "Come on, now." Ifalna's voice was scared, filled with anxioty, and Sephiroth could sence trouble in the air. Everything had probably not went as planned with Ifalna's escape-plan.. Ever since Professor Gast's death, Ifalna had always appeared nervous and afraid around Sephiroth. Maybe she wasn't sure if she could trust him.. It was as though she was living a nightmare, Sephiroth realized: she could never outrun the monster who was chasing her. Hojo always found her, eventually. Sephiroth shook his head gently, deep in his thoughts. He had much in common with Ifalna..

Something told him it would be different this time though. Everything would change.

"Sephy!" Aeris gave Sephiroth one last desperate look, as if trying to hold on to the boy with her mind. Ifalna pulled her away, practically carrying her towards the stairway. Sephiroth listened to Ifalna's footsteps, as they quickly faded unhearable. With one consentrated thought, Sephiroth blacked out the survaillance cameras nearby, knowing it meant practically nothing as far as the success of Aeris' escape was concearned. Still, maybe such a gesture was his way of saying goodbye.. Not only to his best friend, but to the best era of his life. Alone on the balcany, Sephiroth sat patiently in his place, mentally preparing himself for the punishment to come.

Eyes stare up, but something's in the way
In the Bibble only angels have wings
and the rest must wait to be saved
A dry tongue screams at the sky
But the wind just breathes words in
as a strange bird tries to fly

"You foolish boy!" Professor Hojo slapped Sephiroth. He fell to the ground, holding the side of his face where Hojo had hit him.

"Do you really think she liked you? Such a weakling? Hah!" Hojo spat at the boy, who was still lying down next to his feet. For a passing moment, Hojo considered kicking him to relieve his anger. How dared the boy betray his trust, after all that he had done for him!

"Your so called friend only used your insight of this place to escape! Had she really cared for you, do you think she would have left you behind?!" Hojo shouted, with an expression that was a mixture of rage and amusement.

"You know nothing of her!" Sephiroth's eyes flashed with defiance. Hojo always knew how to hurt him the most.. But this time, he wouldn't allow himself to listen. Sephiroth had to believe his relationship with Aeris had been genuine.. He needed to. If he lost sight of such a bright beacon in this endless darkness, what would become of him?

"You dare oppose me, boy?" Hojo laughed cruelly, as though Sephiroth's protest was nothing but a joke to him. Sephiroth wondered, why he always felt like Hojo knew more than he was letting on. That feeling made it difficult for Sephiroth to block out the mans venomous words. He knew Hojo only wanted to hurt him.. but.. What if he was right?

"You probably believe she'll help you escape too?" Hojo continued, mocking Sephiroth's trust in Aeris. "How old is she, anyway? Eight?" Hojo looked at Sephiroth, quizzically. The boy was clenching his fists in anger, fighting against the rage building up inside of him. What a feeble creature he still was.. so dependant of a little girl..

"Do you think she'll want anything to do with you after a few years? I doubt she'll even remember you!" Hojo smirked spitefully.

Sephiroth bowed his head down. He couldn't be right, he couldn't.. Aeris wasn't the kind of person to lie to him. She was always so sincere and sweet. So completely different than his caretakers. Of course, that was all the more reason for Sephiroth to doubt her. If everyone else treated him so badly.. Why would that one person behave so completely different? ..Unless she wanted something from him. What if she was just using him, like everybody else? Taking him for a fool?

"Not that I can blame her? What's there to remember?" Hojo burst into an insane laughter.

"She promised to help me, and I believe her." Sephiroth said with a calm voice, silencing Hojo's outburst. But the seed of doubt wouldn't let Sephiroth neither forget or deny Hojo's insunuations.

"Shut your mouth!" The black-haired scientist snapped at Sephiroth, kicking him powerfully to the side. Pain was something he was far too used to, and all though the kick sent him rolling on the floor, he didn't make a sound. Feeling a bizarre energy floating within his veins, Sephiroth smirked evilly at Hojo, an expression which would soon become his traidemark.

Pieces of us die everyday, as though our flesh were hell
Such injustice, as children we are told
that from God we fell
Where are my angels? Where's my golden one?
Where's my hope now that my heroes have gone?
Some are being beaten, some are being born
and some can't tell the difference anymore

A guard dressed in a blue SOLDIER-uniform shoved Sephiroth into his cell. He battled to maintain his balance, since he had sworen to never fall down before them again. He just refused to give them the satisfaction. Sephiroth glared at the guard who was closing the heavy metallic door of his room, his Mako-green eyes burning with hatred.

"Ooo, I'm so scared." The guard laughed in a mocking tone, slamming the door shut. Sephiroth listened to the sound echoing of the thick concrete walls of his room. Behind it, the familiar oppressing silence entered the empty space, making every footstep seem like a small earthquake. Sephiroth loved the silence though, because at least when he lied in the dark listening to his breathing, he felt alive. He had a chance to think.. Think about how dead he was usually feeling. Sephiroth sighed heavily, and walked to the small mirror next to his bed.

He glanced at his reflection, loathing his frailty. He quickly wiped away the few tears burning at his eyes, turning his attention away from the mirror. His hair had grown long enough for him to tie it unto a ponytail, but Sephiroth preferred to let it hang loosely. He loved the way the wind pulled his silvery hair back, as though he were worthy of holding onto. These days, that was as close as he got to a loving touch.

The lights went out a moment later, but the brightly glowing full moon lit the room with it's blue shimmer. Sephiroth had always had perfect night vision aswell, thanks to his cat-like eyes that shone in the dark like nightlamps. He paced fast towards the only window in the room, and looked out through the bars. There weren't that many stars out yet, since it wasn't very late, but Sephiroth didn't really care to look at them anymore anyway. It seemed to him they were mocking him, laughing at his pitiful life and his pitiful problems. Maybe they knew that anyone wishing upon them was doing so in vain: the stars didn't really care. People wished for such silly things, probably they were just sick and tired of hearing selfish people wish for more.

Below the brightly eluminated upper plate of Midgar seemed very inviting to Sephiroth, but he knew it was nothing but a facade. Maybe there wasn't a place on this earth he'd ever feel at home. He sat down on the floor in front of the window, folding his legs beneath him. Alone on the concretes unforgiving surface, he felt a strange pain twisting his heart. It was like a string wrapped around his finger, an aching reminder of something he had forgotten. It was as if a piece of him was missing, taken from him. Drawing in a calming breath, Sephiroth wondered would he ever feel whole again. Someday, he decided, all of this confusion would make sence to him. All the pieces would fall into place, he mused, not realizing how horribly right he was.

Amen


Quite a teaser eh? *smirks* More sappy romance-stuff coming up!! ..Just gimme a while to write it. Anyways, I saw this lil' episode in a dream, it was really realistic.. So weird I have dreams of videogames.. I guess one can expect as much - I was totally addicted to FF7 a few years back. Guess who was my favourite character? *smiles exhilerated* I felt so empty after the ending.. I've always hated it! Uh, sorry for the rambling. ^_^