Darkness Falls Chapter 45
Several years passed. Already, the events after Meteor began to fade into
history. The Drahk were a tool now, used by mothers to scare naughty children.
But the warriors who had fought in the Great War would never forget.
Into the despair that followed the Drahk war came a ray of hope. The members of Avalanche and the Turks joined together, forming a new alliance. Together, they helped to usher in a new era of peace into the world. Contact was made with other races from outside the solar system, and Cid, appropriately, was foreign ambassador for space relations.
Vincent and Yuffie had made a family, true to the ex-Turks dreams, above Lucretias cave. Reeve and Elena married, forming a new banner to which others flocked, finally unifying the disparate peoples and governments around the world. Barret became mayor of North Corel, trading his gun arm for a hand of peace. Marlene grew into quite the speaker, it was said, and beautiful too. Red succeeded his parents as elder of Cosmo Canyon, retaking the mantle he had given up when they returned, and retired to a quiet life with his family.
Aeris and Cloud grew closer, and no one was surprised when they finally married. All their friends congratulated them, and the world was in jubilation. Finally, justice was served, as two more of the Planets greatest protectors found joy at last.
Months more passed, all seemed right in the world...but the happiness was not to last...
Cloud had become a major power in the New Shinra Corporation, helping to decide its foreign policies. Surprisingly, the ex-Soldier found he had a knack for political and social life.
As was usual, he preferred to drive himself home in his own car. It was sleek, worth every penny he paid for it. He was thinking about what he would buy for Aeris...tomorrow was their anniversary, after all...
He never saw the truck that ran a red light...until it was too late.
Aeris was working in her garden, humming happily to herself. Then Elmyra came outside, solemn and silent.
Hi mom! shouted Aeris, want to help me out here? Clouds coming home soon, and I cant decide which flowers to set on the dinner table.
The old woman looked frail indeed now, he face pale as a ghost.
Aeris saw her hands trembling, and knew something was wrong. Despite her age, Elmyra Gainsborough was as fit as they came. She looked and felt half her age, which was why Aeris was so frightened.
The older woman opened her mouth to speak, forcing the words out...and Aeris felt her world crash down around her...
...For Cloud Strife, her husband, the great warrior, the Planets savior, had died...not in battle, not too some weapon...he had died...because of a drunk driver...
...He had died instantly...
Aeris screamed what was left of her sanity into the evening skies. Elmyra tried to comfort her, but Aeris ran away, as fast as her feet would take her, trying to outrun the pain she felt burning in her soul. She ran and ran...not knowing where she was going, until she ended up THERE...
Aeris slowly walked to the cliffs edge. Time and pressure had worn away as the beach, until it was now at the bottom of the cliffs she now stood upon. It was still as beautiful a place as it had ever been.
Aeris heard voices from the past, old memories resurfacing. It happened sometimes, she was a Cetra, after all, and she had always shared a special bond with her world.
Its been so long...Kaede.
It has... replied the voice.
Aeris brought her hands to her face, its happening again Kaede...Ive lost another that I love...
The voice could not answer her, or didnt understand, all it could do was make comforting noises.
I cant do this again Kaede, cried Aeris, you were everything in my life...everything. And then Cloud came, and I...hes gone. You both left me...and now all that remains inside is emptiness.
She felt a soothing feeling caress her body, trying to comfort her...Kaedes spirit. But she was beyond help now. She had lost everything she had cared about, everything important in her life.
What about the others? asked the voice, they will miss you...
Theyll get over me, said Aeris to the winds, no one needs me anymore anyway...
The winds reply was drowned out by a huge roar from above. Aeris looked up, to see a great beast land before her. It was a great dragon, but it was not Bahumet, or his brothers. The monster had been enraged by something...and the blood lust was in its eyes.
It was a renegade monster, a few had cropped up here and there. That was the Turks department, they had been hunting down the last rogue beasts, trying to make it safe for normal people again. It looks like they had missed some...
Aeris had no weapons, had no materia. She had nothing, nothing at all. The healer tried to draw the power from deep inside, but there was nothing to draw from. It was as if her power had left her, and she knew why. She was a healer, she was supposed to save people. But so many of her friends had perished, while she had been powerless to do anything about it...she was a failure.
And slowly...it dawned on Aeris...she wanted to die...
She laughed cruelly at the beast, spreading her hands, waiting for it to attack. It merely grunted, sensing something amiss, and flew away. Aeris blinked after it, wondering why it hadnt attacked...the answer came immediately...
The ground beneath her cracked, falling away from the weight of the Cetra and the dragon. With nothing left to support her, Aeris plummeted into the ravine, heading towards the rocky waters below. She fell without a sound, welcoming her demise.
I love you mom, farewell... she whispered
I loved Cloud, but I was always for you Kaede...
I hope you rested well Kaede, for now I come to join you...
She bid farewell to her old life, and died on the rocks below without another sound...
Kaede woke up with a start, kicking and screaming.
No! Aeris...dont die, NNNOOO!!!
Two powerful sets of arms held him down tightly.
Calm down Kaede! shouted a voice, CALM DOWN!
The Planeswalker was disoriented, WHERE IS SHE? SHES DEAD!!! TAKE ME TO HER!!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
KAEDE! shouted the voice, KAEDE!!!!
He felt a needle plunging into his neck, hitting a major vein, and his thoughts slowed down again, as reality came crashing down around him.
Slowly, he came to realize he was in a room. It looked familiar...semi-rustic atmosphere, mixed in with new age technology. Lights softly gleamed down...where was this place...?
Youre in Villa Cloud...
Kaedes eyes cleared, and he could see several other shapes materialize around him. The central image sharpened, resolving into...
Shera, breathed Kaede, what...how....?
You were out for a long time, said the woman, its been weeks since you and Tifa fell unconscious.
Then everything came rushing back to him. He wasnt dead, he had survived.
...He was alive...
And Tifa? asked the Planeswalker.
She snapped out of it a few hours ago, came another voice, if we didnt know better, wed say you two timed it...
Kaede turned around, Barret...
The giant man pulled a grin, slapping Kaede on the shoulder.
Kaede winced, ugh, not too hard...
Barret laughed, sorry.
Kaede heard more laughter, and looked around the room. Almost everyone was there. Kaede squinted his eyes into focus once more, and saw more old friends.
Bahumet! shouted Kaede.
The King of Dragons flashed a toothy grin, it is indeed good to see you well again sire.
Kaede groaned, Zero, doesnt he ever let up?
Bahumet Zero chuckled slightly, never.
The Planeswalker grinned at them, but he was looking for someone else.
Where is Aeris? asked the Kaede.
The others grew silent and sober.
Shera nodded, shes outside Kaede.
Wouldnt leave your side this whole time, continued Cid, for the whole week.
We forced her out eventually, said Elena, the girl hasnt breathed fresh air for far too long.
Kaede nodded, feeling light headed, can I...?
Shera nodded, go ahead, just dont overdo it.
The Planeswalker nodded his thanks before getting to his feet.
One more thing before you go, voiced Cid.
Kaede turned around.
We contacted the Council, he continued.
Indeed? asked the Planeswalker, with an arched eyebrow.
Cid nodded, Bahumet helped us out...you have friends that want to see you Kaede.
Such as? he asked.
Such as... started Bahumet, Talos, and Kyra.
Kaedes features changed, turning into an odd mix of surprise and delight. They hadnt seen it on him before, but it didnt look out of place.
I couldnt believe it man, said Reno, that Kyra looks like Shivas sister.
Shiva? asked Kaede.
An ice elemental, offered Vincent.
Kaede laughed, when is your next contact?
End of the day, answered Zero.
I expect to be invited, said Kaede.
Oh of course, replied Reeve, we couldnt very well meet the leaders of the Planeswalkers without our own ambassador, could we?
Kaede nodded, then backtracked, hold on...Talos is coming HERE?
Reeve laughed, sorry Kaede, we couldnt wait for you to come around. But yes, he should be here before nightfall.
The Planeswalker shook his head, smiling, you should make Cid your ambassador.
Oh we did, said Elena, you are the designate ambassador of the Planeswalkers.
Courtesy of Kyra, offered Neo Bahumet.
Kaede shook his head, not believing it.
It seems the Drahk are being pushed back on all fronts with the fall of the Emperor, explained Zero, you are becoming popular among the ranks again.
The Planeswalker laughed, must be Talos and Kyras fault, the Council never likes to admit that its wrong.
The three Bahumets chuckled.
If youll excuse me? requested Kaede.
Cloud and Tifa were embracing in the garden, grateful to be in each others arms once again.
Oh Planet , whispered Cloud, I thought Id lost you.
Tifa hushed Cloud, caressing her hands along his hair, its alright Cloud, Im here now.
Cloud drew back, cracking a smile, dont you ever do that to me again.
Tifa grinned back, at least you know how it feels now...to be sidelined, waiting for anothers recovery.
Cloud held back his tears, I wont do it again if you wont.
Deal... replied Tifa.
Once more they drowned themselves in each other, oblivious to the world.
Elmyra stood a respectful distance away, merely waiting. Then the waiting stopped...
...Kaede Knight stepped out of the front door, blinking, and shading his eyes against the first sunlight he had seen in days.
The older woman turned, her eyes beaming.
Kaede! shouted Tifa.
The Planeswalker waved hello, and was caught unawares by Tifa and Clouds fierce grip.
Ugh...air, breathed Kaede.
The two backed away, laughing.
Elmyra walked up to him, then slapped him on the shoulder.
Kaede looked at her askance, until Elmyra started smiling.
Dont you ever scare me or my daughter like that ever again, grinned the older woman.
Kaede smiled back, speaking of which.
Ah, young love, said Elmyra.
If you call a hundred years young, quipped Cloud.
Stop torturing him guys, said Tifa, Aeris is on the beach.
The Planeswalker sobered, hows she been?
Honestly, answered Elmyra, not good. The poor dears been sick with worry. Hasnt eaten right for days.
Go talk to her Kaede, said Cloud, shes waiting for you.
And remember, Im the brides maid at your wedding, said Tifa.
What about Kyra? asked Cloud.
...She can throw the rice... said Tifa, a slightly combative tone in her voice
Kaede blushed slightly, causing Elmyra to laugh.
Im sorry to cut this short, said Kaede, but patience is one of my stronger virtues today.
He smiled at them, then walked brusquely away in the direction of the beach.
Elmyra turned to the couple by her side.
Now that, she said, is the way things should be.
Authors Note: One last epilogue, then Im done, I promise. Keep reading! Thanks.
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic