No Wish To Be Alone Chapter 11
Aeris Explains A Few Things
By Chocobo Goddess
AN: "Home, Sweet Home" is actually from FFV. This scene popped into my head when I heard the group Angelin Tyot perform it on one of Squares CDs of arranged music. I changed the words a bit to fit the moment. Hope you like! *wark*
The two men walked in silence. The taller of the two led the way, as if he knew exactly where to go. He probably does, Cloud thought bitterly, He spent the better part of a week alone with her. I shudder to think of what happened between them. He nearly snorted in disgust. We found him sleeping with her! Oh, gods, I hope he didntno, he wouldnt have, would he?
The silver-haired General ignored the boys expression. Let him think what he wishes about us. I just want to make sure shes all right. A pain went through his heart when he remembered her expression, just as she stormed out of the camp. I never wanted to hurt her. I never willwhy cant they understand?
Because of your past, he answered himself, you destroyed any reason they once had to trust you.
But I regret it! I repented!
Do you think it matters? They hate you, with good reason. She is the only one who doesnt. She is the only one who understands.
"Sephiroth," the boys voice interrupted his thoughts, "I need to ask you a question."
He grunted in response, annoyed. I have a feeling I know what you are about to ask. He wasnt disappointed.
"I need to know if you and Aeris," Cloud began.
"If we what? Fell in love? Slept together? Yes. Have we actually made love? No." At the surprise on the blonds face, he retorted, "Im not the beast you think I am." At least, she tells me Im not a beast. I want so much to believe her. He quickened his pace. "Anything else you need to know?"
Cloud hurried after him. "Dammit, I wouldnt have asked you that!" At the others raised brow, his face coloured. "All right, so I did want to know."
"Not that its any of your business."
"It is my business! Aeris is special. I dont want you hurting her."
The other man stopped moving and turned to glare at him. His eyes narrowed in anger, the glowing irises the only spots of light in an otherwise shadowed face. "I will never hurt her." Each word was enunciated carefully in his clipped, clear speech. "I will never hurt her."
Something in his tone made Cloud pause. Could it be this man was actually telling the truth? He studied his rival. Gods, the man actually is in love! The Great Sephiroth! In love with Aeris, of all people! Come to think about it, though, if it was going to be anyone, she would be the only likely person. Everybody loves her. Even Vincent, who barely gives the time of day to most people, opens up and actually chats with her. He laughed out loud. "I would never have believed it if I hadnt seen it with my own eyes."
"Shut up, Strife." Frustrated at not being able to wring the boys scrawny neck, he set off again toward the willow by the stream.
Cloud followed him, still laughing.
Trying to ignore the obnoxious boy, he thought, Maybe if I just chop off a limb or two I could claim that Masamune slipped by accident hmmm
They reached the edge of the wooded path. Cloud hadnt been here before, and he looked around with great interest. A slope of grass led down to the streambank, where the water babbled past in a constant, undulating ribbon. On the opposite side of the stream was another hill, leading to more woods. It curved around and under the stream, creating small rapids of smooth stone and rushing waterfalls. A willow tree leaned by one of the curves in the water, its long leafy strands trailing in the shallows. At the same time, the two men spotted the object of their search sitting beneath it.
She didnt appear to notice them. She wore only her pink strapless dress, the red jacket and boots neatly folded and stacked off to her left. Her wrap was spread beneath her like a blanket. She had tucked her legs under her to one side, her right hand resting on her ankle and her left toying with the end of her braid. Her back rested against the smooth bark of the tree, nestled in a small hollow that made a natural seat among the trees roots. Her eyes were closed.
The plaintive notes of a song reached their ears as they stood, transfixed by the beauty before them. She sang the simple melody with an untrained voice, but the music was all the sweeter for it:
So far away from my home sweet home
Day by day from land to land I roam
Though told by the wind which way to go;
Oh, how I long for my home sweet home
So far Ive come in my travels home
There will come a time when my travails are gone
And then I shall not by all alone
Till then I dream of my home sweet home
For a long time, no one moved. Then, she opened her eyes and looked straight at them. "I wondered if you would make it here without killing each other." She motioned for both of them to sit by her, one on either side, under the tree. They did, neither speaking, waiting for her to talk first.
It appeared she didnt want to. She merely smiled slightly at each of them, then contemplated the rushing water before them. Just as Cloud opened his mouth to speak, she raised her hand and he fell silent. After another long while, she sighed and rose, stretching. She walked a few steps away. Then, without facing them, she finally spoke.
"Isnt it nice here? The peace, the solitude? The feeling like youre the only person in the world?" She looked over her shoulder at them, then turned back to the water. "I have spent a lot of time sitting here in the past few days, just thinking. I would imagine that there was no need to save the world, that I could stay here forever, in peace." Her words were measured, as though she had spent time thinking about them beforehand. She sighed again. "I know that tomorrow, I will leave this place, perhaps never to return. This is something I think every time I find a place I love; that I may never get the chance to visit it again, or that something will happen there, and even if I do come back, it will never be the same.
"I think about my friends the same way. Maybe it comes from the time when I thought I would die in the Forgotten City. Every person I met, every word I spoke to them, every laugh we shared, its all in my heart. I love the frantic noise of the busiest city as much as I cherish the silence of the darkest night in the woods. The water, the grass, the people, the animals, its all part of the Planets movement. I feel the dance of the sun as it rises and falls among the stars, the stars moving in tune with the moon, the moon following the slow, graceful steps the Planet takes through space." She turned to them, eyes shining.
"I hear the Planet when it speaks to me, and I love the voices, the colours, the music. There is power in it, and love. I know that, when I die, I will become part of the Lifestream that is the blood flowing through the Planets veins. I was prepared for that to happen a week ago.
"But in all this time, I had never sought the one thing that would cause all the pieces of my existence to make sense. I thought that I had no right to fall in love." She met the green eyes. "After all, the person I loved was the very man who had been sent to destroy me. He was the mortal enemy of my friends, a terrible man, hated and feared around the world. How could I prove to my friends, my only friends, that he was not a monster? That he, though more powerful than any human in history, was still human?
"For years this question ate at my insides. When I became involved in AVALANCHE, it tormented me even more. I heard the stories of the families torn apart, the towns ruined, the people who gave their lives to stop him, and still I could not reveal what I knew to be the truth. I had dreamed of the day he discovered the awful secrets surrounding his birth. I was there the moment the Calamity from the Sky first spoke in his mind, trying to convince him that he was Cetra, and had to reclaim his heritage. I knew the pain in his heart when he dreamed of what he never had; unconditional love, touch without pain, the missing piece of his soul.
"Soon after Jenova took his mind, she found a tiny thread of his consciousness running from him to me. She could not break it, so she set about to warp and twist it into hatred, or fear, or loathing. But the bond remained. Something always connected us; thats why I always seemed to know where he was.
"Enter the Planet. I am the last of my kind, and it wasnt ready to give up the only person who could hear it. It knew I was ready to die praying for Holy. I was waiting for Masamunes length to sever my ties to life, and thus make me a sacrifice to protect my friends. The Planet took that thread of thought between us and created a true Bond, shocking Jenova out of her puppets mind just long enough for him to realize what was happening. Looking for an alternative, Jenova seized my friends mind that same instant, trying to make him kill me instead. I was rescued in time, however, by the very man who would have killed my otherwise. Once more, Jenova was thwarted."
She knelt before them, holding out her hands. As if in a dream, Cloud took the left one and clasped it to his heart, while Sephiroth brought her right one to his lips.
"I love both of you, so very much. Of all the people in the world, you are the two dearest in my life. I cannot bear to see you fighting. I wont ask for you to become friends, for that is a personal decision that one makes for oneself. But I wish very much for you to help each other. Promise me," She met and held first green, then blue eyes, "Promise me that you will work together. You will not harm each other, and you will protect each other from harm."
The two men looked across at each other warily. Sephiroth turned back to her first. "Love, I cannot deny you anything, even this. I will do as you ask, though it pains me to do so."
She kissed his mouth lightly. "Then it is all the more precious to me."
Cloud nodded his assent. "Ill do this, too. And for once, I agree with him. There are a hundred things Id rather do, but I could never defy your wishes, either."
She withdrew her hand from his and cupped his face. "Thank you, my friend." She saw the disappointment in his expression. "I have never been yours, Cloud. The one for whom you were made sits by the fire, back down the path you followed here. Tifa needs you."
She nodded. "Go on, go talk to her." She looked up at his erstwhile rival. "I need to discuss some things with this one, alone."
Suddenly feeling awkward, Cloud got to his feet, blinking and shaking his head. For a moment, he had thought her voice was beginning to echo, as though there were other people repeating her words as she spoke. He headed back down the path to the campfire, but turned back to ask her about it.
He decided to ask later when he realized they had already fallen into each others arms. Neither one noticed him blush, and leave the second time.
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic