A Promise Kept Chapter 15
A Promise Kept
"Looks like our prayer is answered." (Red XIII)
From a place where time ceased to exist, a women watched the battle that was going to decide the fate of a planet. She bit her lower lip anxiously as the battle raged on. Her eyes seemed to be glued to a particular figure with long, flowing silver hair.
'Aeris, you really love him that much, huh?' A gentle voice entered her mind, as a vision of her mother appeared in the shimmering flow of the Lifestream..
'I do ' She replied sadly, 'It pains me so much, to watch him like this, not able to be with him '
'I'm sorry, my daughter.' Ifalna bowed her head, 'You were needed here you must be here when Holy is set free.'
'I know, and I accept that fully.' Aeris turned her gaze toward the battle again, watching as Sephiroth took a swing at Jenova with his Masamune. He showed no fear, only determination burned in his Mako eyes.
Ifalna seemed to be studying him as well. She softly remarked: 'He is a strong warrior.'
'He is but he is burdened by that." Aeris' gaze was locked on Sephiroth as she continued, "He was born with Jenova's cells, his power exceeded normal human capabilities, and he must control that power which even he did not understand fully '
'No one else on the face of the planet is exactly like him, therefore he has no one to consult with, all he could do is try to face everything on his own, try to solve all the problems on his own And Jenova did not help by continuously attacking his soul!'
Tears welled up in Aeris' eyes: 'He is so lonely mother That's why I want to be there for him, to ease the burden and the loneliness he felt, even just a little I want to be with him because because I understand the feeling, as he understands mine I really don't want to leave him '
'Then don't.' Ifalna spoke gently, 'If that's what your heart desires, then go back my daughter, go back to him.'
Aeris lifted her head then: 'Mother are you sure?'
Ifalna saw the conflict in her eyes and laughed gently: 'Oh my dear silly girl! Don't worry about me. I'll be waiting for you in the Promised Land, we have an eternity to be together What's a hundred years compare to an eternity, huh?'
She turned her eyes to the shiny globe that showed the battle at Northern Crater: 'Besides, you are right. He is an honorable man, and he tries hard to repent for his mistakes. He deserves your companionship my daughter, and I think I can trust him to look after you.'
Ifalna smiled at her daughter lovingly: 'All I want is for you to be happy. If he can give you that, then I give you both my dearest wishes.' Her image slowly faded, 'I have to leave now. Soon you will be needed by the planet. Goodbye Aeris, and don't be afraid of anything '
'Follow your heart Aeris, and you will find your way ' With that, Ifalna was gone.
Aeris bowed her head for several minutes and then lifted it again. Looking at the raging battle for one last time, she closed her eyes, and began to pray.
"Ultimate End!" Yuffie cast her strongest summon and smiled viciously when thirteen legendary knights appeared and roamed toward Jenova. However, her smile soon faltered when the knights vanished and Jenova still stood, grinning at her in mocking.
"%$#@$#%!" Cid cursed as he did his limit break, "What does it take to get rid of the &^%$ bitch?"
"A lot more than this, apparently!" Cloud's eyes seemed to be glowing brighter than usual as he cast a Demi3 on the alien. Tifa and Red XIII quickly cast Wall and Reflect on the party as Jenova retaliated with a Comet.
"We can't hold it much longer!" Shera fired at the alien and shouted, noticing several people were injured and they hardly had any time to cast curative spells.
"Neither can she." Sephiroth replied calmly. Indeed, Jenova's movements were slowing down.
"Are you about to hit limit break?" He asked Cloud.
Cloud nodded, taking a brief moment to look at Sephiroth and immediately understood what the older man wanted to do. He turned to shout at Yuffie: "Use that spell again!"
"Alright alright!" Yuffie was staggering but managed to concentrate and shouted, "Ultimate End!"
"Mime!" Vincent growled, giving Jenova a double dose of it.
"Now." Sephiroth said quietly, narrowing his eyes.
"Omni Slash!" Cloud leapt high into the air and performed his final limit break.
Halfway through it, Sephiroth took a step forward whispered something.
Cloud jumped away and lowered his sword, glaring at the creature who was apparently weakened.
Jenova hissed: "You think that was enough to defeat me? You "
Suddenly, a bright, fiery star appeared overhead. Not giving her any time to react, a tidal wave of energy slammed into the creature full force, burning with all the fury of hell. Jenova's terrible screams can be heard but it soon died down. When the spell was finished, the alien was burnt into charcoal dust and a rubbish smell filled the air.
"That," Sephiroth said quietly, "was Supernova."
"Damn! &^%$^&!" Cid used his rich vocabulary in awe.
Tifa slowly walked up to the two ex-SOLDIERS. "Is she gone?" She asked quietly.
Cloud nodded: "I think she is How about you?"
Sephiroth glared at the remains of the alien for a moment longer, and then turned to walk away.
"I don't feel her anymore" was all he said.
Barret wiped his head with his good hand: "Alright, we better get outta here fast!"
The team rushed out of the crater. Reeve already had Highwind hovering overhead. He threw down a rope ladder and they hastily climbed onboard. The Highwind took off with an incredible speed.
The reddish Meteor now covered half of the sky. Avalanche, Reeve and Shera watched in awe as a white light began to emerge from the horizon, like a rising sun.
"That must be Holy!" Red XIII's voice was barely audible above the chaotic winds around them, "Aeris' prayer had been set free "
"@#*&^%! The plane can't hold against the wind anymore, we must land!" Cid fiddled with the controls and brought Highwind down near Midgar.
Above them, Meteor became closer and closer, Holy rose and pushed against it, the whirlwind created by the clash of the two forces nearly swept everyone off their feet. The earth beneath them rumbled angrily.
"Damn! Looks like we are a bit too late!" Tifa squinted hard against the dust being blown harshly into her face, a hint of desperation crept into her voice, "If this continues on, Midgar is gonna be destroyed before Holy get rid of the Meteor! What do we do?"
"Pray." Sephiroth's voice was barely audible as he looked at the scene before him. His hair danced wildly in the wind, but strangely, he looked complete at peace, oblivious to the chaos all around him.
"Pray? PRAY?!" Barret stared at him as if he suddenly grew horns, "We are about to be &^%$ killed and you out of all people want to pray?!"
"This is the result of your friend's prayer, isn't it?" Surprisingly, it was Reeve who spoke up next, pointing at Holy. Barret turned to stare at him in surprise as he continued to speak, "He's right. Right now there is nothing for us to do but to pray."
Red XIII nodded: "Grandpa once told me No matter how hopeless we think the situation is, we must never give up hope. No matter how insignificant we think we are, if we all wish for the same thing, and pray for it to happen It will."
Silence fell among the group. Cid stopped his string of profanity. Instead, he lit a cigarette and put it to his mouth, inhaling deeply. Barret lowered his gun arm and thought of Marlene. Vincent stared at the ground. Reeve and Shera looked at each other, then both bowed their heads. Reeve actually closed his eyes as if in prayer.
Yuffie knelt down beside Red XIII: "Do you honestly think we can survive this?"
"Yes." His voice was steady.
"Ok. If you are wrong, I get to take all your materias with me to the grave." The teenage girl said, burying her face into his fur.
Tifa reached for Cloud's hand. He turned to her and flashed her a small smile, then linked his hand with hers.
Sephiroth stood like a statue, unflinching as the wind whipped at his trench coat violently. He steadily gazed into the horizon, his lips barely moving as he whispered a name into the wind.
Suddenly, wisps of green started to seep from the ground, soon a green mist covered the land for as far as one's eyes could see, raising higher and higher.
Cid's jaw dropped, his cigarette fell unnoticed: "What "
"That's Lifestream." Red XIII said quietly, "Looks like our prayer is answered."
The team watched in awe as thin, shining threads and firefly balls of energy wove a net around everything. Like a shield, it absorbed the impact of Meteor clashing into Holy, leaving everyone unharmed.
As if sensing another force coming to its aid, Holy grew even brighter, until it was blinding as the sun. For three or four minutes, no one was able to see a thing. All they could hear was the roaring of the Meteor, becoming fainter and fainter
Finally, it was gone.
Tifa cautiously opened her eyes. All around her, she found her teammates doing the same. Except for Sephiroth and Vincent, everyone had a disoriented look on their face. She looked at Cloud. He met her gaze steadily, but did not let go of her hand. Tifa smiled and blushed a little. Together, they looked at the dissipating Lifestream.
Sephiroth shuddered involuntarily as he suddenly felt a warm, familiar presence. Unable to explain why, he strode forward and called hoarsely: " Aeris?"
Barret raised an eyebrow, thinking to himself that the silver-hair man was indeed a nutcase. But then, his eyes widened to near comical proportions, not believing what he was seeing.
Threads of the Lifestream slowly gathered in front of Sephiroth, changing shape, slowly becoming a column of energy. The light pulsated as a melodic voice rang through the air: "Sephiroth "
"Aeris " He dared not to speak any louder than a whisper.
"I promised you that we would meet again and that I would always be here for you " The column of light shimmered, as if it was her conscious. In a somewhat timid voice, she whispered: "Do you want me back?"
Sephiroth nodded, feeling like his heart was going to burst. With all his efforts he choked out a response: "Yes ! With all my heart "
As soon as he said that, the column flashed, as if she was breathing a sigh of relief. Then, in front of everyone's unbelieving eyes, a small, white hand appeared through the Lifestream: "Take my hand then Lead me to my future "
Sephiroth immediately reached for her hand, as a memory flashed before his mind's eye. The memory of him on his knees, holding his mother's hand, trying to fight Jenova. And then, the young Cetra extended her hand to him. The same small hand, soft, warm and delicate
That time, he escaped hell when their fingers touched.
This time, he found life itself.
As soon as he clasped her hand with his, the column of Lifestream started to dissipate, revealing a peaceful heart-shaped face framed by bangs of chestnut hair. She was wearing the same white dress which they laid her to rest with. Her hair was unbraided and tumbled down her back. Her head was bowed and her eyes were closed, looking exactly the way she looked, when he watched her sank to the depth of that crystal lake. But this time her hand was warm, and he could feel a pulse at his fingertip.
"Aeris " He whispered tenderly, the emotions were plainly written on his face and in his voice.
She stirred at the call of her name and slowly lifted her head, opening her eyes. Eyes more beautiful than the most exquisite emeralds gazed into his soul, breaking the chains, melting the ice, and shattering the darkness.
A smile formed on his lips, which she returned sincerely, as she whispered lovingly to him:
"I kept my promise."
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