Because I love them, here it is. My own 'Cloud goes back in time', story. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Trust me, I WISH I owned it.
Chapter 1 Minerva
Rain poured down on Cloud as he rode Fenrir down an empty road. He paid no attention to how his clothes clung to his body or how is naturally spikey hair sagged under the downpour. He had long since stopped caring about such things. Ever since he had fought Sephiroth for a second time, he'd been living even further apart from his friends. He still felt that overwhelming sense of failure. It tore at his very soul. He was usless to everyone as he was now, unable to do much of anything anymore. As he slid to a stop at his destination, he recalled his words with Vincent after he had woken up in the church.
"Vincent, you said you never tried to forgive yourself. Why?"
"I failed Lucrecia, and I failed her son. Nothing can ever undo that, no matter what good I do now. I do not deserve forgiveness."
That was when he had known with absolute certainty that he had been right in his desire to stay away. Unlike Vincent, he could not lock himself away in a coffin for years and so he had left…again. This time he left his phone. He wasn't planning on coming back after all.
He looked around at his surroundings through the rain almost disinterestedly as he came to a stop. He was at was at the edges of what had once been Banora. The voices in his mind seemed to whisper restlessly at the sight. He winced at all the sudden racket, but he was used to it. He'd been hearing voices since he'd last fought Sephiroth. Memories that weren't really his own surfaced, directing him where he wanted to go. He picked his way through the ruins and down into the underground. He didn't even bate an eyelash at the powerful monsters he slew to reach the ends of the massive cave system.
At last, he stood before his destination, a recently recreated statue towered over him and marble headstones flanked both sides of it. He touched each headstone with reverence. Janet Strife, Genesis Rhapsodos, Angeal Hewley, Zachery Fair, Aerith Gainsborough, Kadaj, Yazoo, Loz and Sephiroth. All people who did not deserve their fate. All people whose death was his fault. The guilt for Angeal and Genesis might have been the memories from Zach, but he harbored the guilt none the less. It was a punishment he deserved, the torment of unending guilt. Finally, he sat before the statue of Minerva that he'd had commissioned and then pieced together himself.
He shivered from the cold as he closed his eyes tiredly.
'If only I could change it.' He thought, 'Save them, all of them.' This wasn't the first time he had deseperatly wished he could change the past. It was a wish that nearly drove him mad. He slumped to the side, his energy drained.
The next thing he became aware of was a soft voice calling his name. He groaned groggily and sat up. Light assaulted his eyes and he had to wait a moment to adjust. He was still in the cave, but everything was glowing with a bright white light. He turned his eyes to the statue of Minvera and couldn't help his gasp.
A woman bearing a strong resemblance to the statue stood before him. She was dressed in elaborate armor, a massive shield at her side. Her blonde hair seemed to sway gently in a nonexistence wind. She smiled kindly down at him.
"Hello Cloud." She said, and her voice was like a thousand people speaking all at once.
"H-hello." Cloud stumbled over his words. What was this? A hallucination? Or a dream? It certainly felt real.
"We heard your call from the depths of your soul." Minerva said.
"I didn't mean to call anything." Cloud hastened to say, getting to his feet.
"But you did." Minerva continued. "And so We answered the call of our champion."
"I'm nobodies champion."
"You may not wish it, but it is what was meant to be." Minervas echoing voice remained calm and gentle, even when faced with Cloud anger.
"Well what do you want now?" Cloud growled.
"You called Us. And We came. But We also came because We needed to."
"What are you talking about?"
Suddenly the majestic woman hunched over, clutching her side. A huge crack appeared in her armor and blood poured from a fresh wound. The crimson blood dripped down and onto the ground. She straightened again and a trickle of blood flowed from the corner of her mouth.
"We are dying. Our WEAPONS can not stop it. We need Our champion."
"But who is we?" Cloud felt like shouting but refrained.
"We are the true Mother, the one that gives life." She replied calmly as if she wasn't gushing blood.
"The Planet." Cloud whispered, "You're the Planet."
Minerva inclined her head.
"We are, in part. And also those that join at the end."
"So what the hell do you want with me? I already fought for you. I'm done with that." He was tired of fighting battles to save the Planet.
"We are granting your wish." Minerva said, gesturing to the headstones around them. "The one you wish for with all your soul."
Cloud stared for a while in silence.
"How…how can I change what has already happened?" He asked quietly.
"By going back." The woman replied. "But you must be sure to destroy the Dark One before it can destroy Us."
"You mean JENOVA?" Cloud questioned. "You're sending me back so I can destroy JENOVA again?"
Minerva nodded ever so slightly.
"Its destruction did not come soon enough. But you, as Our champion, can change this. You hold a strength not even the WEAPONS possess. Do you accept, Cloud? Know that, if you do, it will not be the same as it was last time."
"What do you mean by that?" Cloud asked warily.
"Your scars are tied to your soul. They can not be taken from you. And, as our champion, you will wield our power in a way no other can. You will know what you have learned here, even though you return to the time before."
"I accept." Cloud said firmly. "Do it."
Minerva placed a hand on his head.
"Very well." And then her voice changed into one single voice, one he recongized all to well. "Good luck, Cloud." Aeriths voice whispered
Cloud closed his eyes tightly as the brightness became too much. And then he was falling. Falling and falling into darkness. And he couldn't breath. He screamed, but no sound came out. And suddenly the falling stopped and he opened his eyes, only to meet the worried gaze of Zachary Fair.
So what do you think? Yes? No? Let me know!