By the Chance I Still Have

By Anithin

It was late in the evening. The dusk sky was covered with fog, as well as most of the city of Junon.

I sat beside the window, looking out to the street outside. The streets of Junon were not very crowded in the evening, especially in this foggy evening. I could barely see even the streetlights in this deep fog.

I couldn't help but think how much time had passed since Aeris had died. It was almost four months now. But I couldn't make myself believe it was that long. To tell you the truth I couldn't make myself believe that she had gone from this world forever. I couldn't make myself believe that she was killed within my sight, unexpectedly and unbelievably. I could not endure the truth that I would never see her beautiful emerald eyes, hear her sweet voice and see the smile she always had on her lips anymore. I didn't want to believe that I was the one who let her lifeless body rest for eternity in the small lake in the City of Ancients. I could not think of her as a dead person.

I knew I was not the only one who was hurt. None of us mourned her death less than me. We all had scars in our hearts. Yes, we had gained victory against Sephiroth, but what good did it do to us since Sephiroth had already taken her away?

I never considered myself as a 'hero'. Even though the other AVALANCHE members and I had saved the world from Meteor and defeated Sephiroth. I didn't kill him because I cared about the planet. I just killed him because I wanted to revenge him, for what he had taken from me. My village, my mother, my friend's life and my love, all were destroyed by the same man who was born from hatred and resentment. And after I killed him I also derived hatred and resentment from him.

Maybe I was nothing more than a murderer- killing by hatred, revenging by resentment. Nothing more and no better than the man I had killed.

I thought I heard someone speaking something behind me, but I wasn't sure and I didn't want to pay any attention. It seemed like there was a voice disturbing inside my mind recently since I had received that...

"Cloud, are you all right?"

I suddenly turned my face towards the voice.


I saw Tifa standing behind me, looking at me with her brown eyes filled with concern.

"Are you all right, Cloud? You don't look well," she said worriedly.

I managed to give her a faint smile.

"I'm fine."

Tifa leaned closer to me and touched my forehead softly.

"No fever," she remarked. "That's better. I was afraid you were sick."

I shrugged my shoulders.

"No, Tifa. I'm really fine," I repeated. "I'm just thinking."

She raised one brow up.

"About that letter again?" she asked. "Cloud, you shouldn't be worried about that nonsense."

"No," I told her. "It's not like that."

"Oh," she responded.

Then we both heard Windy, the waitress Tifa hired to help her take care of her bar, calling Tifa from the kitchen.

"I'll be there right away," Tifa answered her, then looked at me. "Don't be so serious, Cloud. I'll call you again when dinner is ready."

I watched her walk away until she had gone outside the room, then I turned to look outside the window again.

I felt ashamed that I lied to her. I couldn't help but think that I had told her lies many times. Yes, I was worried because of the letter in black envelope I had received a few days ago.

But if I didn't tell her like that she would become more worried. I knew Tifa had always cared for me all the time. But what could I repay her? I had given her nothing but troubles and heartaches. I didn't deserve her love and trust, as well as I didn't deserve Aeris' love.

I had betrayed both of them.

I couldn't save them when they needed my help. When Tifa fell over the bridge I wasn't able to save her. When Sephiroth slashed her I wasn't able to do anything. And when Aeris was run through I wasn't able to save her life.

But now I'm still alive and living happily with Tifa. How could I force myself not to think that I was blameworthy? How could I leave Aeris and all memories of her behind and go on with my life anew like this without any grieving?

I still remembered the words I had spoken myself. I told everyone before we went to the North Crater that she was still with us, all the time along the way. I still remembered the soft hand that I saw and tried to touch in the Lifestream. I believed that it was her hand.

But was it real or just my imagination?

I looked at the paper I was holding in my hands. It was an old, almost-worn-out paper with a strange smell. It was the 'letter' in black envelope that had been sent to me a few days ago. Yes, the letter that Tifa mentioned.

This letter was written in an old language I couldn't read at all. But I could sense by myself that it had something to do with Aeris. After I had received that I always had the same nightmare every night. It was the nightmare of walking alone in the darkness, searching for something but finding nothing, over and over. I didn't tell Tifa about this, I was afraid of what she would think if I did tell her.


I was standing alone, somewhere in the realm of darkness, with not even a soul to accompany me, with not even a sound I could hear.

First I stepped forward, turning around but I saw nothing.

I walked further and further into its depth, looking for someone or something. But the only thing I could see was blackness. I spotted only nothingness. There was not even a glimpse of light. Yet I still continued my search, with only a little hope that kept my remaining strength.

I thought I had walked for hours, but I wasn't sure. There was nothing that could help me keep track of time. Only my instinct told me that it was a very long walk, a very long hopeless search.

But, as before, I found nothing.

I collapsed on my knees in despair. How could I endure this? How could I find anything in this darkness? I was lost and exhausted. I couldn't put up with this anymore.

Then, suddenly, the realm of darkness changed into a place I knew. I looked down and saw that I was standing on a sandy beach. Before me was the great ocean and behind me were many resorts and buildings. This place was meant to be a crowded, travelling place for travelers, but now everything was in the dead silence of the night.

I remembered that this was Costa Del Sol.

Then I saw the one I was searching for standing not far away from me, her long brown hair flowing in the sea breeze. The pink dress she was wearing remained the same as I remembered. She was looking at the ocean, to the faraway horizon. It seemed as if she hadn't noticed my presence yet.

I called and ran to her.


I suddenly woke up, confused, but soon I realized that I had had that same dream again. But this time it was longer and finally revealed whom I was searching for.

Haven't you known where you should go yet? I heard a voice asking inside my mind. It was the same voice that I had heard many times in the past.

It couldn't be real, I thought, shaking my head slowly. Aeris is dead.

She is not dead
, the voice objected. She is waiting for you.

How could I be sure?

Look at the materia beside your bed. It can prove my words.

I took a glance at the White Materia, which I had retrieved back from the City of Ancient shortly after I had defeated Sephiroth, on the chest of drawers beside my bed. To my surprise I saw it glowing with faint, green light. Could it be?

That night, I made my decision at last.


"Cloud, what's the matter? You're not eating much," Tifa asked.

I shook my head.

"It's nothing."

This was the next morning after I had that dream. Both of us were at the table having breakfast.

"Really?" she said doubtfully. "You've been acting strangely lately. I feel a bit worried."

I drank my coffee, silently listening to her words. Deep inside my heart I felt guilty. I was too afraid to tell her the decision I had made. I had hurt her so much that I wouldn't want to do that again. But I knew I had to continue on my own way, I had to go. The paths of our lives were now joining to each other, but they would have to separate, sooner or later.

"Tifa," I called her name, placing my cup back on the table.

"Yes?" she answered, looking straight at me with her brown eyes. I turned away from her. I could not bear seeing her innocent eyes looking at me expectantly if I knew that I was going to betray her again.

"I'm thinking," I started, then suddenly changed my words. "How did you feel when I was away?"

"Why do you ask me such a thing?" Tifa asked. She looked somewhat puzzled.

"I just want to know," I said quietly. "There were so many times in the past that we were apart. I want to know how you felt in those times."

She slowly nodded in understanding.

"I see," she said. "Well, of course I felt lonely. But I always kept hoping that you would come back. I knew you would come back to me for sure."

"How could you be sure?" I couldn't help but asked. I thought I was extremely lucky to have survived such many risks in my life. But this time I might not be so lucky. Somehow I knew if I went on this search, at the same time I was walking to my grave.

"Because," I saw her smiling sadly. "Because I understand you, Cloud. If you said you would come back, you would always come back. Even if you didn't say likewise, your spirit would say it to me."

"My spirit?"

"Yes, your spirit. When we were in the Lifestream, I heard you calling my name. So I searched for the voice of your spirit and I finally found you. Didn't I tell you that?"

"You did," I answered. I remembered she said that to me in the night before we went to the North Crater. So that was why she believed in me, in my spirit.

But I still had to betray her.

"Tifa,I..." I swallowed. Why were just a few words so hard to speak out? All I had to do was forcing myself to say the words, I'm leaving. Only saying those words and I would be free to walk on the path I had chosen.

Yet I could not say it out. I bowed my head, dropping my gaze on the table. I might as well just give up, forget about that dream and continue living my life with this one here who loved me. It was certainly better than going on a hopeless search for a dead person.

Then I felt a tender hand touch my hand. I looked up to see Tifa's face looming just a few inches away from mine. The sad smile still was on her face.

"It's all right, Cloud," she spoke softly. "Why don't you just say it. Of course I will be lonely without you. But I know you will come back."

"Tifa," I was surprised. " did you know? I didn't tell you anything."

"You didn't," she replied. "But your spirit did."

My eyes widened.


"Yes, really."

I turned my face away.

"I'm sorry," I apologized.

"You don't need to apologize me," she said. "I understand. I'll wait for you, no matter how long. I have believed in you up to this day and I'll believe in you until the end of this world."

"Tifa," that was the only thing I could say before I hugged her as tightly as I could. It was a hug between friends who both believed in each other with all their hearts. It was a promise we made without speaking a word. No words could adequately describe what each of us had in mind- hope, faith, feeling of betrayal or love.

The only thing we both felt sure of was our spirits' connection to each other.


That evening I left Seventh Heaven in Junon, getting on a ship to Costa Del Sol, to where I had decided to go on a search for what I should search for.

I held the White Materia tightly in my hand as I looked back to the harbor. I saw Tifa still standing there in the heavy rain, fixing her gaze at me. Most of the people on the ship had gone inside the cabin. But I decided to stay here, even though it was raining hard. I wanted to see Tifa until the last moments. At first I felt surprised that she let me go without any protests and without wanting to come with me.

But now I knew why. She didn't want to trouble me. It was dangerous. She knew that I would be more worried if she came with me.

And she knew surely that I would come back.

Was it wrong if someone didn't love the person who was willing to sacrifice everything for him? If it were before I would have laughed at that fool man as loudly as I could. But now I just couldn't laugh, not because I did not think I was the fool, but because I wasn't in the mood to do so.

I would thank her gratefully for the chance she had given to me, if I could return to her after I had accomplished what I should have done a long time ago. Or even if I couldn't make it back alive, my spirit would return to thank her for me.

"Goodbye, Tifa," I whispered in the rain. "Goodbye, till we meet again."




Author's note

I would like to thank Marill (a.k.a. The Kalm Chocobo) for giving me influence in writing this. You can read his story, Aeris' New Beginning, at I know I've still got a lot to learn and gain experience, but I'll try as best as I can.
If you have any comment or suggestion, feel free contact me at

Anithin's Fanfiction