No Wish To Be Alone Chapter 17
It's A Nice Day For A
By Chocobo Goddess
They ran, three blurs of movement across the snowy wasteland, faster than a chocobo could have carried them. The leader, all black and silver, cradled his precious burden close as he leapt over the deeper drifts. He shielded her face from the stinging ice even as he bore the pain himself with the stoicism of a man with a mission. His two companions, the dark man with the golden claw arm, and the brilliant red catlike beast, had kept up with him admirably, much to his surprise. They had run with him, for the rest of the day before and all through the following night, uncomplaining, unspeaking as the miles flew beneath their feet.
Now the horizon behind them was beginning to lighten, the second day of travel. They were all growing weary, but still they pushed their bodies to the limits. They knew that to stop and sleep could spell her death.
The girl stirred suddenly, and he began to slow as the warning hit him again: another attack! As before, the initial pain of Jenovas onslaught made her scream in agony, her writhing body threatening to fall from her lovers grasp. This had happened twice more since the start of their mad dash to Icicle Inn. The silver-haired man was beginning to truly fear for her; each attack lasted longer, grew fiercer, hurt her more. His shields were barely holding in place around her mind. He knew they needed to reach the town very soon.
Nanaki lashed his tail, the only outward sign of his worry. "Its not getting any easier, is it?"
"No, if anything, its getting worse." His handsome face tried to maintain the old unreadable mask, but it failed. He hugged her fiercely, ignoring the prick of tears in his eyes. "Love, please keep fighting. Were almost there."
Emerald eyes smiled up at him, even as they filled with pain. "I...trust you...love...," she said, voice reduced to the barest whisper. Another cry tore through her, the evil creature screeching in fury at the tender moment. Another shield dropped, shattered by Jenovas psychological battering. A triumphant, malevolent laugh echoed in the girls head.
I will kill you soon, you pathetic little creature! He will be mine again and I will get my revenge on you in such a sweet way...Ill have him hurt you just as I tried to do before! No matter what you do, I will get him back and I will kill you... With that, the loathesome presence fled her mind, retreating for now, but leaving her with the knowledge that it would return.
The girl lay gasping for breath, tasting blood from when shed bitten her lip to keep from giving in. "She...she knows Im weakening," she said miserably, "I think next time she wont give up until the end."
The other man, a shadow of black and red, moved forward, gently smoothing her brow with his human hand. "We will do all we can to help you. Were not far from the town now. Try to sleep, all will be well."
His words were comforting to the others, and the girl snuggled closer to her love. He raised his green Mako eyes to the others blood-red ones. "Thank you, Vincent. And you, Nanaki." He kissed the girls pale cheek. "I had thought I could do this alone, but...it is good to know that youre here." He looked up at the expanse before them, peering through the fog that shrouded the mountain. "Lets go."
The other two joined him as he began to run again.
A mile outside of town, Jenova attacked once again, this time, drawing out the torture. The men put on an extra burst of speed. They tried to ignore the pitiful whimpers from the girl as she fought with her entire being.
"I hope this plan of yours works," shouted Vincent over the sound of the wind.
"It will," came the answer. Silently, he begged, Please, Planet, I hope this works.
Suddenly, they were in the town itself, and the silver-haired man ran not to the hospital, as his companions expected, but to a small temple. The others shared a glance and a raised eyebrow before he kicked the door open with one foot.
"A church?" murmured Nanaki thoughtfully. Vincent nodded, following inside.
The room had erupted into chaos. They had unwittingly interrupted the morning religious service, and the room was filled with people. Sephiroth was in full General mode now, sweeping down the center of the room with the girl in his arms, bellowing for a cleric as people dodged out of his way. A teenager wearing the robes of an altar boy stood frozen in fear at the sight. The sacred relic he had been about to place on the altar was gripped tightly between his trembling hands. He gulped when the man strode up to him and asked, very quietly, very threateningly, "Where is the cleric?"
The boy stumbled backward, tripping on the hem of his robe. The relic flew from his grasp, twirled in the air once, and fell to the stone floor. The congregation gasped, realizing that it would shatter when it hit the ground. Many turned their heads, wincing.
A swift hand caught the tumbling relic just before it landed. "Kamis tears, Yev, why didnt you put it down first?" The speaker hefted the item, then extended a hand to help the boy up. "Here, put it back. Ill deal with this."
He faced the man who had barged in and so rudely interruped the mornings religious service. "I am Eron. What, may I ask, is the meaning of this?"
Sephiroth glared at him, then pulled the hood away from Aeriss face. "I want you to marry us. Now."
Vincent and Nanaki looked at each other. Neither of them had seen this coming.
The cleric drew himself up. He was roughly the same height as Sephiroth, with brown eyes in a handsome face. He looked as if he smiled often. His dark brown hair was pulled back with a ribbon to form a club at the base of his neck. He wore the robes of his office with natural ease, and right now, he radiated all the authority of that went along with the position. "You want me to what?"
"I want you to marry us," he repeated, "Right now."
"I will not! You abduct some poor girl and expect me to,"
"This is not a request! She needs to marry me, or she will die!" The mask was cracking again as desperation began creeping back into his voice.
The girl moaned. "L-let me stand, love."
His attention was suddenly completely focused upon her. "But youre too weak!" he protested.
"Just let me s-stand," she gasped. Reluctantly he lowered her legs to the floor, keeping a firm arm about her shoulders. Eron watched them with interest. Could it be the girl agreed? Was the man telling the truth?
"Sephiroth, whats going on?" asked Vincent softly, appearing at his elbow. Nanaki wound around Aeriss legs, whining.
"There is a bond between us that connects our minds. The Planet says that if we marry, the bond becomes permanent, and Jenova can no longer harm us that way." He paused at a small cry from the fragile woman. He enveloped her in his arms, nearly giving in to the icy fear that had gripped him since the first attack. "Love, Im here...,"
He felt a hand upon his arm. "Let me ask one question." Eron moved closer to the girl. "Child, do you wish to wed this man of your own free will?"
She smiled, blocking out the screaming monster in her mind. "Yes." The assault doubled, and she drew a ragged breath, digging her nails into her lovers arms.
Eron glanced up at the Generals face. He was shocked to his core to see such naked emotion there. Stepping back, he cleared his throat. "Ah, um, right. Everyone!" The congregation sat up and paid attention. "This couple has requested that I join them in marriage. This is an emergency. Please remain, and when we are done, I will continue the service."
The people seemed to react to his words with trust. If Eron said it was all right, then it must be.
Sephiroth indicated his companions. "These two will be our official witnesses. Vincent for me, Nanaki for her." One look at his face told them not to argue. They would sort it all out later.
Eron took a deep breath and began. He kept his eyes on the couple before him. He saw the careful way in which Sephiroth held her, one arm firmly about her waist, the other behind her back, supporting her head with his hand. She seemed to be fighting something inside, and she would stiffen or cry out from time to time. He raced through the ceremony, knowing somehow that by joining these two people, he truly would help to save her life.
Each time she made a sound, Sephiroth held her tighter. He could hear Jenova screeching, felt his last weakened shield beginning to break. Hurry, cleric, she wont be able to stand it when it all comes crashing down...
After what seemed an eternity, it was time for the most binding words of the ritual. "Sephiroth, you must repeat these words to me. This is the most important part." Eron caught the other mans gaze. He began speaking the ancient vows, pausing for the response.
"I, Sephiroth, love thee with all my heart."
"I will keep thee,"
"And cherish thee,"
I have you.
"For all my days,"
I need you!
"Until my death."
"Of my love be certain."
I love you.
"Now, Aeris? You must hold on. Please repeat these words as well."
"I, Aeris, love thee with all my heart."
NO!! HE IS MINE!!
"I will keep thee,"
CETRA NUISANCE!!! DIE ALREADY!!!
"And cherish thee,"
Love, help me!
"For all my days,"
I need you!
"Until my death."
"Of my love, be certain."
I love you.
Jenova redoubled, furiously launching against the last shield and crashing through it. Aeris threw her arms about her love, weeping with pain as she forced the final words past her lips. "I am thine, and thou art mine."
He replied, stroking her hair, "I am thine, and thou art mine."
The attack continued, unabated. He thought wildly, PLANET?? Nothings happening!!
Must be more! Not finished! Needs something else! So close!! It sounded as frantic as he.
Eron saw him break from a trance, looking desperate. "Whats next? There must be more!"
"No! Thats the end!" Eron cried. "Only thing left is the kiss!"
Thats it!! They all thought in unison.
He tilted her chin up, and very, very gently pressed his lips to hers.
Jenovas shriek cut off abruptly as the Bond solidified, threads of molten gold sliding around the two figures, encasing them in a protective shield of thought. They both felt healed as a refreshing, blinding light burst forth, repelling the hated invader before fading into silvery, glittering motes that landed over the assembled people. The tiny flecks shimmered upon contact with anything, skin, hair, chair, floor, flame...then disappeared, like snowflakes of light.
Sephiroth felt her respond with more strength, felt her fingers tracing through his hair. He deepened the kiss, turning them both a little as he did so. It was enough.
Outside, the sun had come out, dispelling the fog and shining defiantly in the sky. A few beams found their way through the stained glass windows, highlighting the people at the altar in myriad colours. When the General turned, the people could all see the girl clearly. She moved against him, wholeheartedly returning his kiss, when she stepped into a patch of golden yellow.
Her hair flared into glorious radiance, freed from its braid at last and hanging as like a curtain of flame about her. When she moved again, a white patch caught something behind her...was it a trick of the light? The result of the light reflecting itself in the room? Magic? No one knew, but they all swore later that they had seen a pair of massive, feathered wings spring from her back. Then the man moved as well, gathering her more securely in his arms, and a bit of blue light caressed a single, silvery wing over his own right shoulder.
Vincent, Nanaki, and Eron looked on in awe as they saw wisps of luminous Lifestream spring up out of the ground at their feet. It began spiraling up, around, over the two lovers, twining in their hair, the wings, anything. It became a column, a windstorm, an inundation of otherworldly green.
Finally, when they pulled apart, the Lifestream seemed to splash lightly down, back to earth, disappearing. The wings were nowhere to be seen. People blinked, rubbed their eyes, tried to find some logical explanation for what theyd witnessed. No one made a sound, save for the ecstatic couple that held everyones attention. They were clinging to each other, laughing and crying at once. He held her face in his hands, not believing that she was truly all right.
She, meanwhile, was blessing the silence in her head. When the Bond became permanent, she had felt it curing her tattered consciousness. The last day and night had been agony, broken only by the knowledge that her love was doing all he could to shelter her. Now she stood before him, safe within his fierce embrace, and they were married! She turned that joyful thought around and around in her mind. Married...
Good! Good! Together! The Planets reaction was a dizzying assortment of brightly-coloured streamers, waving madly in a breeze. Good!
Aeris kissed her husband gleefully. A slight cough from behind them reminded her that her friends were standing there. She grinned at them.
Eron was struck by the change in the girl; where there had been a weak, pitiable thing, there was now a healthy, vital woman whose eyes sparkled. She was probably the loveliest bride hed ever seen.
Vincent and Nanaki, who had remained silent and still the whole time, seemed to come out of their shock. Nanaki bounded forward, rubbing his face on her skirt. Vincent, whose face was a mask to rival Sephiroths best, placed his claw hand on the other mans shoulder. Smiling faintly, he nodded. "I see why you told Cloud hed probably be angry with you."
"Hmph. As if I care if hes angry or not." He hugged her closer. "Especially now."
Vincent smiled, for real this time. "I thought youd say that. Why dont we go leave these people in peace?"
Sephiroth looked down at his new wife, eyes crinkling at the corners as he grinned. "Agreed."
The Planet hummed.
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic