Tifa vs. Aeris Chapter 2
A Dark Shadow
By Chris Homer
What's happened: Everyone that is anyone is at the party to celebrate Tseng and Elena's wedding. But you can bet your ass that something is going to go wrong......
Vincent was the only person outside, just as the last ray of light descended on Rocket Town. His sensitive ears could hear a hubbub inside Cid's house and in the nearby bar. All of his friends from Avalanche, plus his former comrades, the Turks, plus other friends such as Jessie and Heici, and many people that he didn't know. But then, that had always been his nature.
Vincent Valentine had never been involved with the ways of the world. Always to himself, his emotions rarely spread, cold as ice, many said. But one time, he did let his emotions come free.
Lucresia. His love. But that twisted maniac Hojo screwed her and screwed him, resulting in him sleeping off his anguish in a coffin in Nibelheim, and she giving birth to the bastard formerly known as Sephiroth. (Sorry, I hate Prince, that gag had to come in somewhere)
Vincent sighed. He hadn't seen Lucresia all day, since when she had ran off from her. She had a huge burden to kill, and couldn't let go of it. But Vincent couldn't help but think it was his fault.
'Snap out of it!' he thought. Love's spell was affecting him in ways he wished he didn't have. Had his emotionless state been destroyed, and he was acting....well.....human?
Without another word, he entered Cid's house, ready to use his trace of humanity to the best possible use....getting drunk. (Well, if you've read Jen's fics you will know that this is true...sorry, Jen, couldn't resist.....)
Just before he enters, he felt a twinge of fear in his soul. A sense of evil.....and coming from this house. He entered cautiously, like the silent wind against the leaves of an autumn fall.
It had only been a hour since the last person entered and already the party was in full swing. The soon to become newlyweds were the centre of attention, many friends talking to them, old and new, and many forgivenesses had been made. The mistrust between the Turks and Avalanche had seemingly been straightened out by Reeve, and hopefully, things between them all would be running much smoother.
Some of these alliances were working rather well. Jessie and Rude had formed a real bond and were talking near the bar. It was a bit weird as Jessie was a real chatterbox from her old Avalanche days, and Rude hardly seemed to say a word. But seeing them together seemed to see a good bond between them.
It had been a while since Jessie had had some liqour as well (Well how many bars do you think there are in the afterlife?), but Rude was a pure master of it. After his third, he seemed as fine as ever, whilst Jessie was still struggling with her first, a gin and orange, something fairly weak.
Jessie was trying to hold it straight when Rude held his hand up and held the glass, raising it. Jessie took a large sip before Rude set it down, and held her hand.
"Listen, Jessie, we've been enemies for a long time......our group even affectively killed you.....but, I'm s..."
Jessie put a finger to his mouth.
"Forget it." Jessie leaned over to the tall man.
"HEY, RUDE!" (You knew that was going to happen, come on, I've read enough of Frank Verdosa's fics to pick up with the 'waiting game' trick)
Rude, his face bright red, like Jessie, quickly regained composure, as Reno walked towards him. Surprisingly, in an hour, he wasn't drunk, but he did look happy, so it wouldn't be too long.
Rude gave Jessie a nod and Jessie returned it with a smile and walked off to talk to Elymra, whilst Reno and Rude had a good session of endless chatter.
Jessie Halberd, falling in love with a member of the organization who killed her? What the hell was wrong with her?
But she knew she couldn't be angry. It was Shinra who did it, and Rude was a charming man, who was very quiet and shy, but was a good person once you knew him well. She couldn't help blushing.
Now she knew she had a reason to talk to Elymra. The key word being advice.
The newlyweds were quietly kissing when they saw the incident at the bar. Tseng gave Elena a warm smile.
"Reno...always has to but in." said Tseng.
"He's been doing it since he joined." said Elena. "Or rather, since I've joined anyway."
Tseng looked at the beautiful blonde woman in front of him. He fell in love with her after seeing her bravery during the Temple of the Ancients. Unfortunately, he died before the 'date' they had scheduled. However, when he was brought back to life, his first real sight was her, and he couldn't forget her. Now, he would be spending the rest of his life with the young woman.
He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't know that Elena was asking him a question.
"Well, do you think so?" she said.
"Uh.....think what?" said Tseng.
Elena slapped herself on the head. "Doy! Haven't you been listening?" Tseng shook his head.
"Men." Elena muttered. "I said, do you think, we'll work out together?"
Tseng didn't answer. All he did was caress her hair and bend down in a deep and passionate kiss. Elena felt her eyes close and her arms wrap round him.
They were so engrossed in the moment that they didn't notice Aeris and Tifa come up behind them.
Elena opened one eye and if possible, groaned.
"Heh! Heh! Sorry for disturbing the peace." said Tifa, quite evilly.
Elena and Tseng broke up, groaning at each other, giving the two girls a giggle before Tseng and Elena had to laugh at the situation. Tifa and Aeris sat by them. It was funny, as long as 4 months ago, they had been bitter enemies. But now, both of them felt safe and friendly with the two females opposite them.
Tseng winked to Elena and started to talk to them. "So, how's life in the terrorist arrangements....YAAH!" Approximately all of that last phrase he meant to say except for YAAH, which was supplied by Tifa who 'accidentally' kicked Tseng chair from under him, resulting in a sore ass and helpless laughter from the female contigent around the table.
"Ahem." Tseng said as he got up, although it was still visible that they were giggling.
Tseng turned to Aeris. "Aeris, we haven't spoke since.....well...since...."
Aeris nodded. Tseng was at death's door at the temple when Aeris came at him, in turn, Tseng gave her the Keystone.
Whilst Tseng and Aeris were in deep conversation, Elean turned to Tifa.
"Not jealous are you?" said Tifa.
This time Tifa found herself on the floor, with Elena giving her a 'Don't try it.' look, to which Tifa innoncentily raised her hands. She got back up, and Elena said;
"We may have lost our natural hatred at each other, but that doesn't mean that I don't wanna kick your ass every now and again!"
To Elena's surprise, excepting a smart remark, Tifa said, in a slightly deeper voice than usual; "Yeah, like you can stop my dark power."
Elena was a bit stunned, and admittingly, so was Tifa. However, she quickly recovered from whatever happened there, and continued to talk.
Tseng was trying to apologise to Aeris for almost 15 years of torment since he was a Turk. Aeris' usually kind nature was trying to make him see that everything he did was for the best, when she gave up and told him to shut up. Tseng was surprised, and then laughed. Aeris looked confused.
"What was that in aid for?" said Aeris.
"No..nothing. It's just, that's the first time I've seen you even remotely angry. Well done!" He raised his drink. "Still friends?"
Aeris got hers. "Of course." And they clinked.
It was at that moment, Aeris felt a twinge of pain, there was a force of evil somewhere nearby, and she felt cold. She wondered if anyone else felt the fear?
Yuffie and Heici were busy arguing over who could drink the most in the alloted time without collasping into a heap of vomit. By them, Red was watching the two youngsters bicker. He smiled. Really, he was their age, but didn't feel their energy, he had so much responsibility, he had so much knowledge, he couldn't have the time that these youngsters had.
Again, like before, a feel of loneliness spread amongst him. The feeling that he may be alone for the rest of his life, which is a very long time. There was no-one of his kind left (supposedly...hint, hint.), and his feeling grew larger when he felt people were making connections with others.
In this room, there were many, his friends and former enemies, plus people that he didn't know. The feelings spread inside of him even more. He felt he was being selfish, but really, it was only natural. He sighed.
Suddenly, a scream from Yuffie followed by laughter as Heici was ticking her sides endlesslessy. Red smiled at this. What was he complaining about? His friends were with him, and he enjoyed being with them. And that was what mattered at this present time.
Red curled up by the fire and watched over the events as they unfolded over his eyes.
Two couples were arguing over each other in mock-seriousness. The two couples were Barret and Elymra, and Cid and Shera. They were arguing over who had the better wife, to the embarassment of the two women. At various instances, the two women had to hit their other's counterpart to shut them up about certain things, but better not get involved with.
Barret had little Marlene over his lap. He didn't think it was a brill idea with many foul-mouthed smoking idiots (one opposite him...sorry to all you Cid fans, didn't mean it...) and few children to play with it, but Marlene was well accustomed to this environment, having been a 'worker' at Tifa's bar, besides, with her new found family, she wouldn't want to leave ever.
Barret was about to say something else at the hapless couple (covering Marlene's ears just in case), but stopped as Cid and Shera were involved with a passionate kiss, holding each other, eyes closed, and their bodies as close to each other as is an overcrowded lift.
"Say, now that's one argument I could agree with!" said Barret, looking at Elymra.
"Me too." said Elymra, and they too kissed, passionately. It hadn't been long since they got married and despite their age, were handling it quite well.
Marlene made a face and looked like she was going to be sick, but quickly recovered as Jessie came to the table. Marlene hopped from her father's lap into her 'aunt'. Jessie smiled at Barret's daughter. Her once fearless leader, was really an old softie at heart.
"How are you Aunt Jessie?" said Marlene, politely.
"O.K, sugar." she said, cuddling the little girl on her lap, something she thought she would never do after the Midgar slums incident, hold children. She thought of Rude, reminding herself about the reason why she came here.
But she felt she shouldn't interrupt what was going on.
A cold wind entered the room, circling the many dimensions of the house of Highwind. But the wind was felt cold by many, it was felt increasing cold in Tifa Lockheart.
Since the battle with Lelin, she had recurring pains in her chest. At first, she shrugged it off, as perhaps tiredness from her recent battles. However, recently the pains had been stronger, and when she spoke to Elena earlier today, she knew something was wrong.
Suddenly, an extreme throbbing in her head made her scream in agony, and a commosion started around the guests.
Aeris immediately went to her to see what was wrong, followed very quickly by cloud, who had been talking to Reeve and Chromer at the time.
"What the hell was that?" screamed Cid and Barret, almost together.
"I don't know." said a very worried Cloud, as Tifa was kneeling on the ground, panting hard, almost hyperventalating. Cloud was trying to snap her out of it.
"Aeris, can you help her?" said Cloud.
"I don't know. It may just be a big headache, but...." She looked directly into the eyes of Tifa Lockheart, the eyes filled with tears from the pain which was coming from her head along with her chest.
"O.K." she whispered.
Kneeling down, Aeris put her hands on Tifa's shoulders. She concerntrated, hoping to find a trace of how the pain was coming about. To be honest, Aeris thought it was just something trivial, like a migrain or a headache. A tuma perhaps....
Then, a cold shine of fear shone over Aeris. The feeling of evil.....had returned to her....and it was coming from Tifa?
Aeris froze. What the hell was going on? Why would the feeling of evil come fr.....
Before she could react, Tifa backhanded Aeris in the chest, flinging her into a pile of chairs.
"AERIS!" screamed Cloud, rushing over to her. After checking she was O.K, he glared at Tifa. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT?"
To his surprise, a deeper voice said; "DOING MY JOB, TO KILL THE ANCIENT. THE BODY I'VE POSSESSED IS PERFECT FOR THIS DUTY."
Cloud froze. It couldn't be.....not again.....
Tifa ran, smashing items to get to Aeris. The small twitch of jealously that had been inside of her since Cloud and Aeris had met was the spark needed to ignite the Dark Emerald's powers, brought into Tifa by Chromer (see Chrome Spark), and now Sephiroth is back, once more, taking on the body of someone who Cloud couldn't possibly kill. It was too beautiful.
Cloud's eyes filled with tears. His harshness at Tifa was bad enough, but now his childhood friend, was being controlled by the mad powers of Sephiroth and the Dark Emerald. He turned and glared at Chromer, feeling a hatred wash over him towards the young warrior. Chromer was just as much in shock and tears however, as everyone else was.
Tifa was almost upon Aeris when Tseng jumped up.
"I don't know what's going on, but no-one stops my party and get's away with it!" said Tseng.
Tseng swung, but it was poorly aimed. Tifa countered with a kick to the hip. Tseng screamed, the kick was very, very, strong. It seemed that this evil had given her aided strength.
Tifa swung, Tseng ducked, but Tifa spun back and hit Tseng full in the face with an elbow. Tseng was dizzy, and Tifa hit a full elbow directly at the neck, knocking Tseng unconscious.
As you will probably guess, Elena was enraged. She ran, swinging karate chops, knees and low kicks, but Tifa expertly blocked them all. She countered a chop with a fist to the stomach, followed by a knee. Winded, Tifa grabbed Elena's neck, and started to choke her out with a Dragon Sleeper. She finished the move by falling back, smashing her neck in a reverse DDT. Elena was out like a light.
Many of the others were hesistant to attack Tifa, not just because of friendship, but because of this new power she had seemed to get. She seemed to know the moves of everyone and deliver blows with fiercesome power.
Cloud stayed in front of Aeris, as Cid stepped forward, armed with a long wooden pole.
"Shit, Tifa. I don't wanna kill you, lay off the evil juice babe!" he screamed.
Tifa (or should I say Seph) laughed evilly. Cid swung the pole (not spear, in case of killing her) expertly, but 'Tifa' kept jumping round avoiding them. A kick to the stomach later, she brought her elbow through the pole, smashing it at the middle. Cid swung with his fist, it was caught and a judo o-goshi throw was executed, throwing Cid via his hip through a table. Cid clutching his side, passed out.
Yuffie and Vincent looked set to grab their weapons, but then Tifa held out a materia.
"DO YOU REALLY WANT ME TO USE THIS?" she screamed, holding out the Neo Bahamut materia.
Cloud took a step forward, but Tifa grinned.
"It would be a shame to kill you all now!" she smirked.
Suddenly, Yuffie's shuriken flew out of her hand, knocking the materia to a corner safe. Tifa, enraged ran at Yuffie, but Heici was ready for this moment. As she neared Yuffie, Heici jumped and in a fluid moment, swept Tifa's legs. Tifa normally would have blocked it, but at the same time, Yuffie had aimed a spinning roundhouse kick at her head. She couldn't block both, and as it turned out, both hit's connected. Tifa looked at the ceiling, mouthing out 'What the hell...' before momentarilly passing out.
Tifa came too fairly quickly. As she did, she found herself in a bed. Outside it, there were murmurs. She was alone, and most likely guarded.
After Tifa had passed out, Barret had cured Cid, whilst Reeve cured both Tseng and Elena, making sure they didn't die before their wedding. Yuffie and Heici were busy cleaning up, along with the rest of the enterage, whilst Cloud was having a war of words with Chromer.
"WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE TO HER?" screamed Cloud, he had been doing this for the last 10 minutes.
"I...I...don't know. I said she was strong enough. Maybe to survive, but to contain?" he pondered.
"WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" he screamed. Chromer was in tears now. Cloud would have berated him even more, if not for an intervention from Red and Zack.
"What Chromer means, what he told me during the rebuilding of Cosmo, is that Tifa was powerful of mind, body and soul, to take the power of the darkness inside her, but it doesn't mean she could contain it. He thought she could, but it turns out Sephiroth is more powerful than we thought. He has controlled her mind and body, and again, it looks like Aeris is his target, so he can draw her power, and once again, rehabit on this earth, in his quest of random destruction." said Red.
"Listen, man. I know you care for Tifa, but that doesn't mean you have to berate Chrome boy like this. I mean, he's tried his hardest to undo his wronging....hell, I was part of that and y'all forgave me. Why can't we all just get along?"
Cloud looked up, his anger starting to subside. The safety of both Tifa and Aeris was his highest motive in stopping all this pain. If either of them suffered, god help the mother *%$!*& who caused it.
He turned to Chromer. In a way, he caused Tifa's suffering, but it was not him who made him it was Sephiroth. That bastard would not get away with this.
"Sorry." was all Cloud said. Chromer nodded in acknowledgement.
Tifa awoke in a bed, in a closed room. One window, and a door. She walked to it. Locked, and voices were outside. It was almost inevitable that it would be guarded after she freaked out.
The pain in her head and in her chest was still there. She screamed, trying to ignore what Sephiroth was trying to make her do. She now knew what Chromer must have been feeling.
Tifa was stronger than Chromer, so found it easier to try and block out anything that came her way. However, the pain ws coming thick and fast and the noises in her head wouldn't stop buzzing. The voices returned to the beautiful brunette.
"AERIS WANTS TO TAKE YOUR CLOUD TO THE HEAVENS. SHE WANTS HIM TIFA. CAN YOU POSSIBLY ALLOW THAT. NO YOU CAN'T. YOU CAN'T ALLOW HER TO TAKE HIM, CAN YOU? DESTROY HER!"
"NO!" she screamed. "Aeris is my friend. Even if she does have feelings for Cloud, it's not going to stop our friendship!"
"FRIENDSHIP? THAT WILL BE LOST IF THAT HAPPENS. YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR HIM FOR 5 YEARS AND YOU WERE HAPPY. THEN, SHE CAME ALONG AND RUINED EVERYTHING. EVEN WHEN SHE DIED, HE COULDN'T LET HER GO. YOU COULD HAVE HAD A CHANCE, BUT SHE PLAGUED HIS MIND. BUT YOU CAN END IT. DESTROY THE ANCIENT AND ENDURE YOUR MOMENT OF HAPPINESS!"
"NOOOOOOO!" she screamed, refusing to be rattled by the madness exploring her mind.
Tifa couldn't take it any more. The voices were practically telling her to destroy her friends, particularly Aeris. She knew she wouldn't do that, so she had to do something. She had to get out of her, far, far, away, so that she wouldn't harm anyone again.
She turned to the window. Locked.
"Soon fix that." she thought.
Elymra was comforting a crying Marlene, upset by Tifa's violent actions. Elymra controlled her now young daughter, holding her tight, whilst her husband, Barret, along with Cid, Reno and Cait were trying to hold the door so that Tifa wouldn't escape.
Whilst she was pondering over these thoughts, Jessie came walking round.
"Hi, Elymra. Is she all right?" Jessie asked, looking at Marlene.
"She'll be fine." said Elymra.
Jessie looked around at the damage caused by Tifa. Although Cid, Elena and Tseng had recovered and have been cured, they were a little worse for wear dress wise. It wasn't how they wanted to end their wedding party.
"Things have gone to parts, haven't they?" she commented. Elymra nodded.
"Say Elymra, I've been meaning to talk to you." she said.
"Yes?" Elymra stated, all interested.
"I'm 28 years old, and in love. What the hell do I do?" said Jessie being very blunt at the situation.
Elymra stiffled a giggle. At least she didn't beat around the bush. Elymra knew that she had fallen in love with Rude, the 36 year old veteran Turk. They had so much in common despite their former backgrounds it was unreal. Their speech, their knowledge in electronics, their skills in weaponry, and their kindness towards society.
"Well, Jessie. I would thought at your age you would know by now what to do." she giggled. Jessie blushed. She didn't mean that!
"I'm just toying with you dear. You should go for the chance. That's what Barret did when he proposed to me. He was nervous, sure, but you like him, he likes you, you go for it." said Elymra, in a teenager way rather than her near 40's status.
Jessie was about to reply when a string of curse words fluttering from the upstairs where Tifa was sleeping. It was Cid and Barret, trying to outdo each others vocabulary.
Upstairs, Cid, Barret, Reno and Cait entered the room when they heard a crash. Within a minute, everyone had crowded round the area and surveyed what happened. Cloud was the last to arrive.
"What happened?" Looked round the room. "Where's Tifa?"
"Done a runner." said Barret. "And look."
From where the window was, a smashing of glass lay upon the floor, and a trail of blood was visible, heading for nowhere and anywhere.
"Tifa...." whispered Cloud. "....please come back. I'll never forgive myself, or you Sephiroth, if she dies."
Aeris just looked ahead, and tears filled her eyes.
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