By Serena Gainsborough
Staring at his sleeping form that was bathed in moonbeams filtering in from the large window adjacent their bed Aerith Gainsborough smiled softly. Was it true? Was Avalanche's one-time nemesis actually laying beside her, looking as innocent as a newborn babe? Her aquamarine eyes took in his rippled bare chest which rose and fell as he slept. Long silver hair illuminated with moonlight lay spread out on his pillow, his long bangs draped lazily to the right. Aerith brought her knees up and held them, resting her head on her arms. She turned from Sephiroth's sleeping form to stare out the window, the stars glittering in her eyes as she remembered.
It had been about a month and half since Aerith had gone to the Forgotten City to pray for the Planet and to help Sephiroth reach his human side. During the encounter she, Vincent Valentine and Cloud Strife had had at the Temple of the Ancients Aerith glimpsed Sephiroth's struggling humanity even as he boasted about summoning Meteor. Though small and barely visible, Aerith's keen perceptions saw that part of him trying to push past Jenova's influence for freedom. It had touched Aerith's heart, driving her toward freeing him even more. Stealing away from her friends' campsite near Gongaga Village she had set out on her journey after telling Vincent of her plans. It had all come to a climax in a matter of moments.
Aerith, with her hands clasped before her, had looked up into the Mako-enhanced eyes of Cloud, the young man whom she had deemed her bodyguard back when they first met in her special church. She could tell by the look in his eyes that he had been immensely worried for her. Then a shadow fell upon them from above, blocking the sunlight which had previously bathed Aerith in its rays. Vincent and Cloud's childhood friend Tifa Lockhart, who had accompanied Cloud, stood transfixed as Sephiroth landed beside Aerith on bent knee, his dreaded Masamune sword at his side. Confusion replaced fear as the three watched in silence. Aerith had shown no fear as she reached for Sephiroth's hand and took it before they embraced. Cloud, though reluctant to leave Aerith and Sephiroth alone, had kissed Aerith goodbye before leaving with Tifa's hand in his. Alone at last Aerith and Sephiroth had shared a tender kiss upon the altar.
Upon hearing the rustling of Sephiroth moving onto his side Aerith turned her attention back to him. His hair had fallen over his left eye, shadowing his handsome features. Tentatively reaching for him, she gently brushed his bangs away from his face to allow the moonlight free reign. Scooting closer to him Aerith kept her eyes on his face as she molded her small frame against his, feeling warm inside at their contact. She still couldn't believe that the man sleeping before her once went on a murder spree through the Shinra Building to retrieve Jenova, had killed Tseng, the leader of the Turks and at one time Aerith's closest friend, and had fought and won against Jenova's wishes for Aerith to die. As much as none of it made sense it was all true. Aerith had lost her friend because of him, Cloud and Tifa so much more, but that hardly mattered now. She had no reservations about her choice to stay with him, to help him understand what it was like to feel wonderful emotions. Aerith laid her head on her pillow, inches from his face as she sighed softly. She already knew he had strong feelings for her, but right now she determined them to be deeply felt gratitude for her selflessness. Sephiroth in turn had fascinated her in the past month and she even dared to entertain the idea of her and him in love.
Sephiroth's arm snaking from beneath the covers and around her upper body to bring her closer surprised Aerith slightly, her hands splayed across his chest. She looked up to see his blue eyes staring deeply into her soul. He regarded her with mixed emotions, as if he were unsure how to act while they were so close. Aerith swallowed a bit, suddenly feeling nervous.
"I'm sorry if I woke you," she said softly. Sephiroth kept his eyes locked with hers. The way he continued to gaze at her made her breathless.
"It wasn't you," Sephiroth replied, his voice soft and low. He fell silent after that, as if words would ruin the moment. Aerith could feel her cheeks grow hot as she remembered the kiss they had shared on the altar. It had been immediate and urgent, unlike any kiss Aerith had ever experienced. Since then they haven't kissed again. The same tension settled between them, both wanting the same thing but afraid to act upon it. Sephiroth broke their embrace as well as their eye contact by turning away and sliding out of bed. Aerith remained on her side, her eyes downcast. She resisted the urge to look up at him as he dressed, knowing he preferred to sleep in the nude. When he had first done that Aerith had been so embarrassed to say a word. She had slipped underneath the covers on her side, her back to him the whole night. The knowledge of his being nude excited her but also made her feel very shy. If Sephiroth had any feelings of shyness he didn't show it.
"I'm going to get some air," Sephiroth said as he donned his black leather cape and attached his silver shoulder pads. Aerith wrinkled her brow in confusion. The way he had said that so quickly made her feel as if he were hiding something. Knowing that Sephiroth was at best a private man she chose not to question him.
"All right. It's a lovely night," Aerith said, sitting up and holding her knees once more. Sephiroth reached for his Masamune, staring at Aerith's distorted reflection on the blade. Seeing that made him feel uneasy as he remembered what Jenova had wanted him to do and sheathed the sword with a whoosh under his arm. He slowly turned to stare at her sitting on the bed, moonlight streaming through her hair. Aerith had yet to fail in fascinating Sephiroth.
"Thank you again, Aerith. I am in your debt," he said softly. Aerith smiled at him, not the least bit curious why he suddenly thanked her. After another moment Sephiroth strolled out, leaving Aerith alone. She stood and headed for the window, holding herself as she stared out into the night. She saw Sephiroth walking down the pathway, his white hair shining in the moonlight. Sighing, Aerith turned away from the window to return to bed. As she settled her head on her pillow her last thoughts were of Sephiroth before sleep claimed her.
Walking silently through the Sleeping Forest, Sephiroth kept his gaze to the ground, absently watching it pass beneath his booted feet. In his right hand rested the Masamune, its presence Sephiroth's only comfort. It wasn't the first time Sephiroth's nights were interrupted by nightmares and the taunting voice of Jenova. He had first started having nightmares a week after he and Aerith started living together, two weeks later Jenova's voice was with the nightmares. Tonight Sephiroth had dreamt of seeing Aerith locked in a cold room, her appearance ragged. Sephiroth had been unable to help her when she cried out for help, his dream form held at bay by an invisible force. Suddenly Aerith had started coughing up blood and collapsed, which was what made Sephiroth wake himself up. But he couldn't forget Jenova's voice laughing as he awoke. He didn't want to tell Aerith of the dreams. She had done so much for him already, he would not give her reason to worry for him because of nightmares.
Coming to a stop before a group of trees encircled with mist Sephiroth looked up into the starry sky. They twinkled at him, almost as if they were telling him things would be all right.
All right, Sephiroth? Things are just going to collapse from here on in... Sephiroth turned to the right sharply at Jenova's voice. The Masamune was in his hands in an eyeblink, ready to strike.
"Show yourself, Jenova," he demanded in an icy tone, blue eyes narrowed. Jenova laughed.
That is truly amusing. Show myself? All you need do is look at your reflection. I am you. Sephiroth did an about-face, teeth clenched in anger.
"What? I am not you, Jenova! How dare you be so presumptuous?" Sephiroth yelled into the night. Jenova's laugh echoed throughout the forest, making Sephiroth turn in every direction in case she were to suddenly appear before him. His mind suddenly filled with screams of anguish and pain, causing him to stagger backward as if he had been struck.
Do you honestly think staying in your little hideaway with that Cetra girl will ease your mind? Only I can give you peace, Sephiroth. Embrace me once more lest you wish to be haunted by your past for eternity! Sephiroth screamed his rage at the heavens and in one swift movement had the tip of the Masamune speared into a tree a few feet away from him.
"Nothing...you say will ever...make me come back, Jenova. To go back to you...is going into madness!" Sephiroth said, ripping the sword from the tree and doing a round-a-bout. He listened intently, waiting for Jenova's reply. Her voice sounded once again.
We shall see, Sephiroth. Your Ancient cannot protect you forever. Enjoy the time you have left with her. Then her voice was gone. Silence followed before Sephiroth was overcome with intense pain within his abdomen. Biting his bottom lip to keep from crying out Sephiroth concentrated. The pain subsided, leaving Sephiroth's brow drenched in perspiration. Leaning against the same tree he had stabbed earlier, Sephiroth closed his eyes and exhaled. He found himself wondering where that pain had come from but chose not to linger on it. The Masamune nearly slipped from his grasp. I am not you, Jenova. If I have to extract every Jenova cell from my body to be rid of you so be it!, Sephiroth thought angrily. Gathering his strength he proceeded back for the Forgotten City when he suddenly sensed danger. Aerith. With that thought Sephiroth broke into a run, hoping against hope she was all right.
When Sephiroth reached the conch shell-shaped house he and Aerith had chosen near the entrance to the altar he froze. The door looked as if it had been kicked in, indicating a forced entry. Even the small flower bed was trampled. Growing furious Sephiroth stepped over the door and into the house. The front hall was in shambles, bullet holes lining the walls in irregular patterns. What little furniture they had was overturned and scattered all over the floor. Broken dishes cracked beneath his boots. Sephiroth looked up to where the bedrooms were and saw that the bullets hadn't stopped. Gripping the rope ladder which led to the second level with one hand, his Masamune in the other, Sephiroth climbed up quickly. Upon reaching the landing he rose to his full height, sword pointed straight ahead.
Noticing the two doors on either side of the hallway looked unharmed Sephiroth made his way to the third door- the main bedroom and where Aerith should be. As he neared the door bullet holes, too, marred it. Kicking it off its hinges Sephiroth entered the room and readied himself. Three men in uniform were suddenly upon him. Furious Sephiroth sliced through the first two easily, their blood splattering against his slightly revealed chest and black attire. The third, obviously terrified by what Sephiroth could do, stumbled back, falling onto the bed. Kicking a body aside Sephiroth advanced, grabbing the man by the collar and pinning the Masamune against his Adam's apple.
"Where is the girl?" Sephiroth demanded. The man began to stutter, making Sephiroth angrier.
"Answer me!!" The guard nearly relieved all over himself at Sephiroth's blazing eyes and icy voice.
"Sh-she was taken! Our or-orders were to capture the last Ancient!" the guard stammered. Sephiroth narrowed his eyes.
"And who gave that order?" The man nearly fainted from terror but Sephiroth shook him violently.
"Ho-Hojo!! It was Hojo!" Sephiroth was so stunned by the man's response that he pressed the Masamune into the tender flesh of his neck and nearly decapitated him. Hojo? What does Hojo want with Aerith? Sephiroth, in his days in SOLDIER, barely knew the man. His opinion of the skinny scientist had been that he was a mass of complexes trying to follow in the footsteps of the late Professor Gast. Turning away Sephiroth let the bleeding man slide to the floor. As he proceeded for the doorway something white and shiny caught his eye. Sephiroth reached for the white ball on the bed and held it up between his thumb and forefinger. It was undoubtedly Aerith's materia. During the fray it must have been loosened from its usual place on her ribbon. Tenderly pocketing it Sephiroth left the house, wondering about Hojo's intentions. He certainly went through a lot of trouble to get Aerith and then have the nerve to abduct her. Driven by fury and his need to know why, Sephiroth left the Forgotten City and headed south.
The threat of Sephiroth being over did not allow the members of Avalanche any rest. Shinra still sucked life from the Planet and times were rough in Midgar. Upon their return from the Forgotten City, Cloud and the others set up a new hideout in Sector 5, near Aerith's church. He felt compelled to carry out their task of undoing the Shinra Corporation and wasn't afraid to foil any of the company's plans. After two Mako reactor bombings, Cloud had suggested they switch tactics to avoid innocent people getting killed. Cloud, Tifa and Barret remembered too well how many perished when Shinra brought the Sector 7 plate down. Avalanche's old hideout went with it. Tifa had yet to establish another bar but worked in the Wall Market one when they weren't off on a mission.
As of now Tifa stood behind the bar, wiping down a glass as her partner prepared some martinis for a seated couple. Tifa couldn't help but frown as a pair of Shinra soldiers strolled in, laughing. Their helmets were off, indicating they were off duty. Tifa forced a smile as they sat before her.
"Hi fellas. What would you like today?" she asked. The one on the right, a young man slightly older than Cloud with brown hair and eyes, leaned forward and eyed Tifa up and down.
"If you're on the menu give me a double," he said, winking. Tifa laughed a bit. Stupid Shinra pig, she thought. After finally getting their eyes off her and minds on their drinks, Tifa went to prepare them. Being an undercover Avalanche member made her listen to their conversation as she prepared their Godfathers.
"Yeah, did you see that girl? She was so cute but when I looked at her that skinny old scientist shouted at me. He then started rambling about having me shipped to some remote corner of the world if I looked at the girl again. Old man's crazy," the brunette commented as he leaned his rifle against the stool he sat on. His companion nodded.
"You know what's even stranger? I overheard him say that Sephiroth was no longer a threat! Do you think that girl has something to do with it?" Tifa stiffened at the mention of Sephiroth's name. To believe he was no longer a threat was hard for her to swallow but she trusted Aerith. Setting their drinks before them, Tifa busied herself so she could eavesdrop some more.
"Hell, I don't know. He's a weird one, that Hojo. I think he spends too much time confined on the science floor. By the way didn't he resign?" The other shrugged.
"That's what I've been told but that's probably some cover-up. You know, if Sephiroth is no longer a threat, I'd like to thank him for stabbing that fat bastard Shinra!" Tifa closed her eyes, remembering when she, Cloud, Barret, Red XIII and Aerith had come upon the speared body of President Shinra. The Masamune, Sephiroth's calling card so to speak, stood erect and proud, the overhead lights gleaming off its bloodied blade.
"Yeah, too bad we gotta listen to his pretty boy son. Why does the President want us escort Hojo to Nibelheim? That's an out of the way spot if I ever heard one." The second soldier downed what was left of his drink, beckoned Tifa for another before replying.
"My thoughts exactly but who are we to question our orders? Maybe there's something about Nibelheim Hojo likes." Tifa wrinkled her brow in confusion as she made the drink. Why would Rufus send scientists to Nibelheim? Was it to gather Mako energy from the rundown reactor on Mt. Nibel? Or was it to start experimenting on humans again? Tifa couldn't bear the thought of that happening and suddenly was overcome with the need to get home. The soldiers finished their drinks, placed a tip under the glass before leaving. Tifa gathered the glasses, her three gil tip and tossed the napkin which bore the brunette's name and number into the trash. Turning to her boss and putting on her best tired expression, Tifa requested she be allowed to leave early.
Avalanche's new hideout resided in a good-sized two story house at a secluded area in Sector 5. The surrounding neighbors were piles of junk long forgotten by the sector's clean up crews. Being the slum that is was, cleaning up would be more than a waste of time. There was activity outside and in the house as the members went about his or her business. As Tifa hurried down the twisting dirt pathway she could see little Marlene chasing a dirtied pink rubber ball in the front yard, giggling with glee as Red XIII sat lazily on the small porch, his fire-tipped tail curled away from him. Distant gunshots could be heard, Tifa knowing Vincent was honing his skills as an expert marksman behind the house. Marlene looked away from her ball and jumped up and down excitedly when she spotted Tifa.
"Tifa's home!" she shouted happily, running to Tifa who had already knelt down to embrace the little girl. Red sat up, wiped down his face with his right paw and nodded toward Tifa.
"Welcome home." Tifa smiled at Red as she carried Marlene toward the front door. The aroma of simmering beef soup caught Tifa's attention, reminding her how hungry she was.
Poking into the kitchen doorway adjacent the front door, Tifa smiled at Elmyra Gainsborough, who stood before a black stove cooking.
"Hello dear! I hope you're hungry!" Elmyra said, her face all smiles. Tifa placed Marlene down and asked her to gather the others. Marlene eagerly agreed and raced out, nearly knocking over poor Elmyra. After Aerith had chosen to stay with Sephiroth in the Forgotten City, Cloud had invited Elmyra to stay with them, for her home was no longer safe. Elmyra had almost instantly agreed, having been so lonely without Aerith and her late husband.
"What brings you home early, Tifa?" Elmyra asked as she spooned Tifa a helping of beef soup and set the bowl before the girl. Tifa breathed in the aroma, smiling her approval.
"It was a slow day and I asked if I could leave early. I found out something strange today," Tifa said as she stirred the soup with her spoon. Elmyra handed Tifa a tin cup filled with water as she asked what the news was. Tifa blew on the soup in her spoon before answering.
"That's why I need everyone here. This is big." Just then Marlene came rushing back in, giggling. In her hand she held a shiny red orb. Tifa suppressed a laugh as an enraged Yuffie came in soon after, her face beet red.
"Give that back to me! I went through alotta trouble gettin' that!! Gimme!" the ninja girl ordered, reaching for Marlene. Marlene laughed and ducked behind Tifa, who held up her hand at Yuffie.
"Hold it, Yuffie. Marlene, let me have the materia." Marlene gave it to Tifa, but remained where she was. Yuffie impatiently grabbed for it but Tifa held her at bay.
"How does it feel, Yuffie?" Tifa smiled wryly. Yuffie grumbled and managed to snatch the materia away before hiding it on her person.
"What's that supposed ta mean?" she asked irritably. Tifa smiled and shook her head. Yuffie slumped into a chair, muttering to herself.
"Marlene, why did you take Yuffie's materia?" Tifa asked. Marlene beamed proudly.
"I took it when she was tryin' to take Papa's and I knew she'd come after me right 'way." Tifa was impressed by Marlene's quick thinking to bring Yuffie, who sometimes was more aloof from the group than Vincent was, to a meeting.
"Well, I had my guard down otherwise I woulda seen ya comin' miles away!" Yuffie stated, then grinned as Elmyra set a bowl of soup before her. Loud footsteps sounded and Barret's large form engulfed the doorway. His eyes, which were always so hard, softened when he saw Marlene.
"Hey Marlene!" he said, leaning over to toss the little girl onto his shoulder and smile. Marlene boasted about how she cleverly took some of Yuffie's materia. Barret laughed and said 'Is that so?' as he eyed Yuffie, who turned away. Taking a seat with Marlene still on his shoulder, he nodded his thanks to Elmyra as she gave him his dinner.
"Where's the food I'm starvin'!!!" announced Cid as he strolled in, a lit cigarette in one hand and spear in the other.
"Cid, the cigarette," Elmyra said, pointing at it. She had always told Cid how she didn't like him smoking in her kitchen. Cid looked a little flushed, but dropped the cigarette onto the floor and stomped it out with his right foot. He then took his place at the table, laying his spear next to him. He dug in heartily after Elmyra gave him his dinner, which he finished in mere moments and asked for seconds. Cait Sith and Red came in at the same time, sitting at the end of the table. Elmyra, when she had first made dinner for everyone, wasn't sure if Red would be insulted if she placed his helping on the floor. Red had been very polite about it and since then has had no qualms about eating on the floor.
"Thank you, Elmyra," Red said as she gave him his two bowls. Elmyra still found his ability to talk a bit unsettling but she nodded and smiled. Cait Sith had no need to eat. He was still a strange character to the others, but no one ever asked him many questions, simply accepted him for what he was.
"Too bad ya can't eat there, Cait Sith. You're missin' out!" Cid said after he finished his second helping. Cait Sith shrugged, his Moogle imitating it.
"I'll take your word for it." Vincent was next to appear in the room, his red eyes casting glances all around. He felt out of place here. Seeing the others seated at the table like a family filled him with unease and he often took his meals in a far corner of the kitchen despite Tifa's encouragements. Vincent said nigh a word, merely accepted his dinner and cup before taking his usual seat by the back door. Finally Cloud sauntered in, his Rune Blade strapped to his back. Everyone said hello to him, Vincent mumbling a greeting. Cloud leaned his sword against the wall, smiled at Elmyra as she placed his helping at his usual seat- the head of the table. As Cloud slid into his seat Tifa could see a thin layer of sweat gleaming off his arms and face, probably due to his workouts he liked to undergo in the afternoon.
"Why is it yer always the last one here?" Barret asked, pointing his spoon at Cloud. The blonde young man shrugged and smiled.
"I like to make an entrance," he replied. Barret eyed him for a moment longer then continued eating. Cloud then looked to Tifa, who sat directly across from him as Cid asked for another helping.
"You wanted to tell us something?" Tifa met his eyes, momentarily lost in them. His Mako-enhanced eyes were gorgeous and Tifa found herself staring at them every chance she had.
"Two Shinra soldiers came into the bar today," she began.. No sooner had the word 'Shinra' come out of her mouth Barret banged his fist on the table, causing everything to rattle. Yuffie spilled some of her soup on her lap, wincing as it burned her bare skin.
"Damned Shinra, what the hell do they want now??" Barret asked, ignoring Yuffie's glare. Tifa sighed and shrugged.
"According to what I overheard, Rufus has enlisted several men to accompany Hojo to Nibelheim. They also mentioned a young girl Hojo had with him. She wasn't described though, except for the guards calling her 'cute'," Tifa explained. Vincent stiffened at the mention of both Hojo and Nibelheim. He placed his dinner down, unable to eat.
"Hojo. What more can that man do?" Vincent said, half to himself even though he had the room's attention riveted on him. His voice was tinged with anger even as he spoke softly.
"What do they want there?" Red asked. Tifa shrugged.
"I don't know. But the guard also said Hojo mentioned how Sephiroth wasn't a threat anymore. Maybe that has something to do with it." Vincent slowly got to his feet.
"If it is Hojo I insist we go. I have something to settle with him." Cloud leaned back in his chair, the color gone from his face.
"If Hojo knows Sephiroth is no longer a threat, that means Aerith may be in danger too. We have to see if she's all right," he said. Barret shook his head.
"Aerith's all right, Cloud. She's got Sephiroth as her bodyguard now. Shinra soldiers ain't nothing to him." Tifa could see the hurt in Cloud's eyes as Barret mentioned Sephiroth being Aerith's bodyguard. To this day Cloud felt he had somehow failed Aerith even though she had asked them to trust her after freeing Sephiroth from Jenova's control.
"Maybe, but what if something happened to Sephiroth and Aerith was hurt? I need to know if she's all right." Tifa stood and placed both hands on the table.
"Cloud, I'll go to the Forgotten City. I've been worried about her too." Everyone looked up at Tifa in surprise. Cloud also got to his feet.
"Tifa...thank you." Tifa nodded and smiled. Red opted to go with her. Tifa patted Red's nose, giggling slightly as he shook his head.
"It's settled then. Vincent, Cid and I will go to Nibelheim. Tifa, you and Red be careful. Expect anything," Cloud said. Cid got out of his chair and picked up his spear.
"Awright let's get this show on the road! It's been too quiet 'round here for my tastes!" he announced. Cloud turned to the old pilot.
"Is that plane ready?"
"Sheet you kiddin'? Tiny Bronco 2's been waiting to get off the ground!" Cid said, smiling. Vincent checked his gun for bullets, made sure his materia was in place before he said he was ready to go. Cloud took his Rune Blade, strapped it to his back once more and nodded to his two friends. Cid went out first to start up the plane, Vincent following. As the remaining members dispatched, Cloud went up to Tifa. He motioned for her to follow him into another room. Tifa asked Red to gather her things and meet her out back before she went to Cloud.
The two stood face to face in the living room, Cloud smiling at her.
"It's bad enough I have to worry about Aerith, now I have to worry about you too." Tifa blushed a bit at his sentiment and took his hands.
"I'll be all right. Don't let anything happen to yourself okay?" Tifa said. Cloud wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly. Tifa closed her eyes and lay her head against his shoulder. They held onto each other a moment more before Cloud lifted her chin to kiss her.
"Keep in touch," Cloud whispered when they parted. Tifa agreed, trying hard to fight her tears. Kissing once again the two turned and left hand in hand.
"Someone, anyone get me a frickin' wrench!!!" demanded an irritated Cid as he hovered over the Tiny Bronco 2's exposed engine. Vincent, who had been leaning against the side of the gray plane, reached into the messy tool box and retrieved a wrench. He tossed it up to Cid before resuming his position against the plane. Red sat near the plane, sneezing as the dust kicked up from the twisting propellers assaulted his senses. Cid threw the wrench onto the ground and continued fussing with the engine, all the while mumbling curses to himself.
When Tifa and Cloud emerged from the house, Tifa went around the side to get her and Red's mode of transportation. Cloud surveyed the scene, chuckling as Cid hit his head on the open hood. For weeks Cid had been gathering materials from Sectors 5. 6 and what was left of 7 to make the plane. He even managed to persuade the Weapons Shop owner in Wall Market to help him.
"Is she ready?" Cloud called. Cid finally nodded, wiped his brow and shut the hood.
"Yep. Had to loosen something but she's all right." Cid then slid off the nose of the plane and popped open the small cargo hold in the belly of the plane. As Vincent and Cid loaded their weapons, satchels and tents an engine's roar sounded followed by Tifa coming out from the side of the house on the bike Cloud had taken from the Shinra Building. Attached to it was a sidecar, one Cid had installed. Red bounded over to Tifa and loaded their things into the car before he hopped in. Tifa looked up at Cloud and smiled. When Cloud returned her smile she turned the bike around and sped off, leaving a trail of dust in her wake. Cid climbed up toward the pilot's seat and settled in, calling for the other two to join them. Cloud took the second one, Vincent the third. Cid started the engine, turned the plane and thrust forward onto the small runway he had made well before the plane was done. Cloud held on tight as the plane lifted and soared for the upper plate, narrowly missing it. Cid gave a loud whoop as the plane flew above the plate and out into the open sky. As Midgar slowly faded into the background Cloud began to think about how Aerith was doing. I hope you're all right. And Tifa...please be careful.
On to Part 2.
Back to Fear.