THE CRAVE GAMING CHANNEL
V'lanna
 

Rebirth 

By: Amber Michelle K.

elahayym@hotmail.com

Introduction:

This story takes place just a year after the last battle between Sephiroth and Cloud in Final Fantasy VII. Sephiroth has always been my favorite villain so this is for all those unsatisfied Sephiroth fans out there who want to see more of their favorite guy! This story proves that you just can't keep a good villain down! (Note -- when I use Sephiroth's point of view, I usually refer to people with their last names -- Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockheart, Professor Gast, etc. -- so be prepared.) If you have any questions, see the "Explanations" section after the end of the story or e-mail me at the above address (no flames please!!). ( Legal stuff: all Final Fantasy characters and locations are the property of Squaresoft. Please ask me if you want to use any of the ideas or characters I created!!) ^_^

 

Lifestream......

The Lifestream flowed peacefully, endlessly, filled with voices. A dead end for a would-be god. The planet was peaceful, and time flowed by without a care for the Lifestream=s prisoners. Sephiroth clenched his fists, screaming in frustration and rage. All of this power was right at his fingertips, and he could do nothing! Even if he could harness the Planet's energy and absorb it's magic, he would still be stranded here, where that bastard Strife had imprisoned him.

And whose fault was that? Jenova had tried to take over, but he'd destroyed her influence over him and had then been too weak to fight off Cloud and his friends as they cut him down.

He would show them. With a little time, he could get out of his prison and finish the business of becoming god. Strife would not escape him then. But how would he get out? He'd already spent a year trying and failing. He tried to focus; what could give him freedom......?

The Lifestream swirled. Sephiroth looked up. Instead of the endless green waves he was used to, an opening into the world was there, showing him the town of Nibelheim. Nothing out of the ordinary was there, nothing he saw that could help him. Then he knew. He closed his eyes and concentrated on his desire to get out. Everything shifted, and he opened his eyes.

He saw a small, eight year old boy playing near a mako fountain, bouncing bright colored balls against a wall and catching them. The boy's hair was black with a white streak in the front that fell over his eyes which were a deep blue-green...... mako eyes. Sephiroth knew that face. He was looking at his son. An idea began to form.

"Nathan!" a familiar voice called.

So the boy's mother had named him Nathan; gift of the spirits. Sephiroth smiled. She didn't know how right she was!

Kielle glided into the scene. He stared for a minute, captivated by her beauty just as he had been so many years ago, before the Nibelheim disaster. His gift had served her well; the Jenova cells he'd fused with her body had stopped the aging process. There were no gray streaks in her raven black hair or wrinkles around her vibrant green eyes. She still resembled her niece Aerith in many ways, with alabaster skin and dark fringed eyes, and the way she stood made her seem so shy......

"But Mom--"

"I want you inside by sunset or you'll be grounded again." She left. The boy sullenly gathered up his toys, still standing near the mako fountain.

Now was his chance. With the last of his power he could harness the spiritual power of the Lifestream and touch his son's soul, displace it, and take the empty shell as his own body. The boy was too young to resist his will. Sephiroth would merge with his son and be reborn! In a body descended from both Jenova and the Cetra, he would be unstoppable!

Gathering his will, Sephiroth channeled the last of his power through the Lifestream and reached for his son......

Nibelheim: Thirteen Years Later......

 

Nibelheim. He still detested the town. Thirteen years of childhood memories definitely didn't give him any warm feelings about it. Worse, those thirteen years living just a street away from Strife and Lockheart, his wife. Not that it mattered, really; he spent most of his time fighting at Mt. Nibel or in the basement of the Shinra mansion anyway. Whenever Strife's children got within a hundred feet of him he usually attacked them with the coveted blade, Masamune, and they would run crying to their parents. He caused Kielle some trouble that way, but she didn't seem to mind.

He had long ago absorbed his son's remaining spiritual energy and become completely himself. Nathan was gone; he no longer existed on the mortal plane. Not only was he stronger than before, but he also seemed to have a natural gift for magic, something Kielle said hadn't happened to any but the Cetra for thousands of years. That, coupled with the knowledge locked away in the Shinra library, would help him accomplish his goal: draining the Planet's energy into him. He would be god over every living thing...... all he had to do was find a way to fuse the Black and White Materia.

Sephiroth slammed the book shut, tossed it onto a tall pile of discarded books and reached for a new one. He knew it was there, somewhere. He remembered reading the paragraph that awful night when he'd found out he wasn't really human, at least not in the normal sense of the word. He wasn't crazy anymore, though. He was quite sane. Just frustrated. He threw the book to the floor and leaned back in his chair, clutching the hilt of his sword.

"Nathan.....?"

He placed his sword on the table and stood. Kielle entered the library.

"I came to see if you're feeling well. You've been here all night."

He saw his reflection in her eyes. His face no longer bore any resemblance to hers. The white streak stood out among the mass of his dark hair. Why hadn't she figured it out yet? She was the most intelligent being on the Planet with the exception of himself and the red-furred creature in Cosmo Canyon.

The most intelligent being......

"Mother," he said softly, moving around the table. "Do you know anything about mako fusion?" Why hadn't he thought of asking her sooner?

"Mako fusion?" She sounded surprised. "Not much. But there is a book in here, if I can remember...... Here it is!" She reached up, stood on her toes to reach the tome, and needed both hands to bring it down. She dropped it on the table, causing a cloud of dust to rise into the air. "It should be in here, somewhere after page nine hundred."

"Thank you." He covered her hand with his.

Kielle smiled. "No need to thank me. That's what I'm here for." She kissed his cheek and turned away. "Just try to get some sleep this time, okay? I don't want you working yourself too hard."

He watched her walk away, his smile fading. You just take care of yourself, okay? Aerith's last words to his mortal enemy before she died in the ancient city. Kielle's green eyes stared through him in his mind's eye, and Sephiroth saw Aerith instead. Why did they look so much alike? Aerith had died at his hands. He clutched his head. No! He would not kill Kielle. He still needed her. Killing her wouldn't help him destroy Strife. And if she was to bear him more children, she must be alive. But how would he tell her? Their memories together weren't all good ones.

 

 

 

Kalm: Seventeen Years Earlier......

He crept silently through her home, knowing she would not hear or see him. His real body was encased in a materia crystal of her making; but even a projection of his true self was enough for this mission. She deserved a reward for saving his life after the traitor Strife had almost killed him. She wouldn't be expecting him, not like this.

Her humming led him to the kitchen, where she was setting a table for dinner with their daughter, born just before the Nibelheim incident. A child called from the front yard, asking if her friend could play.

"Go ahead Shara," Kielle said before their daughter opened her mouth, and the little girl grinned and dashed outside.

Now was the time. "Kielle." He solidified his projection.

She spun around, knife extended before her. "Sephiroth?" Her eyes registered confusion.

"Yes. No need for the knife." Sephiroth plucked the blade out of her fingers, slipping it up his sleeve. "It's been too long, Kielle." He cupped her chin with his other hand, preparing to kiss her.

"Impossible!" She pulled away. "You shouldn't be awake yet. The healing isn't complete! How did you escape the materia crystal?"

"Your words called me back. Don't you remember?" I loved you, but did you ever really love me? Her exact words. She had saved him, given him a new purpose. She deserved something great in return.

"No! Why are you here?"

He smiled to cover up his anger. Time to try the direct approach. With a slight flick of his wrist, the knife dropped back into his hand. She gasped, her beautiful green eyes widening.

"You murderous bastard!" She made a break for the door.

So cold...... His smile deepened and he lunged for her, stabbing viciously with the knife. She was fast, but not fast enough. He felt the blade slide into her body. Kielle didn't even scream-- she simply stiffened and fell to the floor......

 

Nibelheim......

Such a shame she had felt betrayed by that; he had meant well, and her >death' had not been painful. He had given her the gift of the Jenova cells-- to live forever without fear of age or injury. It was simply her misfortune that the treatment could not be administered to a live subject. Now, how would she react to his possession of their son? But then, their son didn't really exist anymore. Only Sephiroth remained.

He wasn't sure he wanted to tell her. Being...... mothered was a new experience for him. A childhood in the lab of Professor Gast, and then in Hojo's was not a childhood at all. They were the cause of his madness. After all, if his mother had been there for him......

Enough. He opened the leather-bound tome to the nine-hundredth page and began reading the faded handwriting:

Materia is a condensed version of mako energy, otherwise known as the Lifestream, engraved with the ancient wisdom of--

He skipped a few pages:

The holder of the White Materia and the Black must combine Holy and Shadow energy within the chosen vessel to release the power of Chaos--

Holder of the White Materia? Why was it necessary to have a holder? He had mastered the Black Materia, but only Aerith knew the secret of Holy, and she resided in the Lifestream. He knew, for he had spoken with her on many occasions. He regretted killing her. She was almost as interesting as her father. If he had known she was the daughter of Professor Gast, he wouldn't have taken her life.

-- The vessel will then channel the gray elemental, sacrificing its own life force to the greater force of the Planet. The gray elemental will smother the will of the Lifestream to allow the materia holders access to its infinite power--

The White Materia would not accept just anyone. Holy wouldn't heed his call. Kielle might be able to summon it, still half Cetra as she was, but that would mean revealing his plans to her. The materia had belonged to Aerith, but he was fairly sure it would respond to anyone in the family line.

Sephiroth scanned the rest of the passage on materia fusion, found nothing else of any use, then turned his back to the book. If he expected to finish this before being discovered he had no time to lose. Strife was beginning to get suspicious; for a common soldier formerly under his command, the man knew too much of him for his own good. He couldn't kill Strife without arousing suspicion, though. The thought irritated him.

Behind him, the book slammed shut of its own accord and a ghostly smile graced his face, his eyes pure crystal ice. On to business.

* * *

Kielle leaned over the kitchen table, polishing the cherrywood surface lovingly. Her back was turned to him, just as it had been seventeen years earlier when he'd come to reveal himself to her. How ironic. But things were different this time. She wouldn't reject him -- he held the body of their son, though technically he was no longer her flesh and blood.

He dropped the act he'd been playing for the last thirteen years, and for the first time in over a decade used his true voice. "Kielle...."

She froze. The polishing cloth dropped from her hands. "Sephiroth.....? No, that's impossible...... You were gone--" Her whisper cut off sharply.

"I am always by your side." Sephiroth walked into the kitchen, using his sword as a staff, and stopped behind her. She was shaking.

Slowly Kielle turned around to meet his eyes. "This is a cruel trick, Nathan-"

"Not Nathan!" His eyes flashed with the power and anger he held in check. His fist clenched around the sword, but as he coiled to strike her, cold reason washed his anger away. It would not be logical to kill her. Yet. She was still too valuble. "Nathan is gone! I sent him on his journey to the prison of the Lifestream thirteen years ago!"

Her eyes were terrified. "No...... Sephiroth......" She drew herself up, backing up against the table. "Have you come to kill me too? Don't think it will be easy!"

"Would you kill your own son?" he asked mockingly, seizing her shoulders. She struggled but he held his grip firmly and she gave in to his superior strength, staring at him with eyes that could kill. "I didn't come to kill you...... Mother." He smirked. "I like the sound of that, don't you?"

Kielle flinched. "Get to the point. I'm sure you didn't come here just to chat."

He almost laughed. She really didn't want to confront him. He could see it in her eyes. She knew he was stronger. "Will you cooperate? You know what I want."

"You've got to be joking!" She shook her head. "I don't want to get caught up in your plans again! Aren't two children enough?"

"Who said anything about children? Shara is doing quite well on her own." His rare laughter was gone, leaving cold steel behind his eyes. "I want Holy."

"Holy?!" She exclaimed. "I won't help you get it --"

"You have no choice." He stroked her cheek. "There is more to the Planet than Holy and the Lifestream. Power beyond imagining can be...... ours. My plan doesn't endanger the Planet. In fact, I will be helping it recover from Aerith." He just needed to distract her for a few more moments.

"Aerith has done nothing."

"She led the Lifestream to destroy my summoning when she saw Holy could not avert disaster. The Planet was drained." His ghostly smile returned and he released his biting grip on her shoulder. "I can restore it by offering my living energy to the Lifestream."

"...... And becoming its god, no doubt." Kielle stood transfixed by his eyes.

It was working. He could still control her using the secret of the Jenova cells that were a part of them. "Once I feel the Lifestream flow through me I can take direct control." He moved closer. "Then we can have our son back."

Kielle shook her head. "I can't control Holy. Only Aerith can do that. The White Materia was passed down to her, and you killed her before she could pass it on to anyone else." She had as much as agreed to cooperate.

"You will find a way. I seem to remember you casting a spell to revive a dead villager in Mideel. Perhaps you can resurrect Aerith."

"It isn't that easy! When we Cetra die our spirits travel to the Promised Land, through the Lifestream, not within it. She isn't here anymore. The best I could do would be to summon her shade."

"That's all I want." Sephiroth cupped her chin in the same gesture he had used before, keeping his face devoid of emotion, but victory burned in his eyes when he kissed her, and he knew he would triumph over all the odds. And Strife would be made to pay at last.

* * *

Tifa sat bolt upright in bed, listening to the night. Cloud tossed in his sleep, turning on his side and pulling most of the blankets with him, but she didn't care. Something had woken her up.

Someone pounded on the front door downstairs. She slipped out of bed and ran down the stairs, wondering who would disturb anyone so late at night.

"Tifa......?" she heard Cloud mumble, but she didn't have time to stop. The person knocked again more insistently, and Tifa flung the door open.

"Tifa! I'm so glad you're okay! I was afraid something was wrong." Kielle leaned on the lance that was her chosen weapon and stopped to take a breath.

"Why would anything be wrong?" She heard Cloud breathing behind her and reached back to hold his hand. He squeezed it reassuringly.

"Nathan is gone. He's going to get the Black Materia from the crater! He killed Jonai and her husband when they tried to stop him." Kielle grabbed Tifa's arm and pulled her out the door. "We have to stop him! We can't allow the black magic to be loose on the world, or you'll have to deal with Sephiroth all over again. If I can get the White Materia before he does, I can stop him, but I need your help! Please?"

"Cloud?" Tifa looked back at him. His face was stony, and he stared coldly at Kielle. "Cloud, she needs our help......"

"Sephiroth.....?" His voice made her shiver inside. She thought he had gotten over that hatred.

She turned back to Kielle. "We'll help you. Just give us a minute." Kielle nodded and Tifa closed the door softly, pulling Cloud back upstairs.

"It's happening all over again," he said, shaking free.

"No it isn't. Not if we help. Now shut up and get dressed. I have a feeling this is going to take a while." Tifa stuffed a travel bag with a few potions and a change of clothes, then fastened Premium Heart to her right hand, making sure all her materia were still in place.

There was a blinding flash outside, and a deafening explosion sent her flying across the room into the wall. She shook her head, trying to clear it, and raised her eyes. Everything in the room looked normal, except for a few loose objects lying on the floor. Cloud was hanging at the window sill, staring outside.

"The Shinra mansion is on fire." Cloud beckoned for her to see. "Most of it's gone. Look!" Tifa peeked through the curtains. Only the charred frame of the house was still standing; the rest of the property was engulfed in flames. The rest of Nibelheim stood untouched. Villagers were running out to see the fire, crowding around the gate.

"How stupid." She picked herself up and grabbed her bag. Why would anybody waste energy burning that place? "Come on! Kielle's waiting."

"Why did the explosion shake everything up like that? Something else must be going on. It felt like the entire planet screamed."

"Then we should hurry!" Tifa shouted, dragging him downstairs and outside. Kielle was waiting for them at the edge of their house furthest from the explosion, her back turned to her former home.

"Come on, we have to hurry! He already has the Black Materia. Now he'll be heading to the Ancient City. We must get there before him!" She ran for Mount Nibel, not even sparing a glance for the burning mansion.

Tifa exchanged looks with Cloud, but shrugged and ran after Kielle.

* * *

Forgotten City......

"It hasn't changed much."

Tifa had to agree with Cloud's comment. The city looked just like it had fourteen years ago, when they'd followed Aerith to save her from Sephiroth. Kielle was already halfway down the glass stairway leading to the place Aerith had died, and Tifa followed her. Cloud was slower.

"There. Stop there." Tifa stopped where Kielle pointed. Her friend nodded and turned back to the columns leading to the platform on which Aerith had prayed. Cloud halted behind Tifa, not even daring to breathe as he watched Kielle jump to the platform, trying to keep her skirt from flying up while she was in the air. Tifa understood; she felt a little teary-eyed herself. Kielle looked so much like Aerith that Tifa almost thought it was her old friend she was watching instead.

Kielle knelt down in the center of the platform, directly under a sun beam, and her hair and blue dress shimmered as she bowed her head to pray. Her whispers did not reach Tifa's ears, but she felt the Planet answering Kielle's call. The lake began to pulse in time to the movement of Kielle's lips, and a white glow suffused everything. The sun beam darkened and faded away.

"Cloud!" she whispered, pointing at the water. The White Materia was rising, shining bright as the sun. Tifa couldn't look at it directly. Kielle extended her hands, palms up, and the materia settled into them, lighting up her face and enveloping her in a heavenly glow.

As soon as the White Materia touched her hands Kielle spoke, her voice resonating in the tense silence of the Ancient shrine. "Spirits of death, restore to us once more the lives of those departed! Sheath thy form in holy light and clothe your soul once more with mortal flesh!"

Stardust showered Tifa and Cloud, and a still human form materialized at her feet, coated in shimmering silver powder.

"Revitalizing energy, grant our lost soul life unending! Revive!" The glow of Holy pierced Tifa's eyes and she was forced to close them and clap her hands over her face to shut out the light. Kielle's last call echoed unendingly through the vast chamber and in her mind.

"Aerith!" Cloud's agonizing cry was almost as loud as Kielle's prayer.

Tifa opened her eyes. "Aerith!" She dropped to her knees next to the girl's sleeping body, touching her hand to see if it was real. Aerith's vivid green eyes opened and focused on her, her mouth opening to say something.

Movement caught her eye and she glanced up, above the platform Kielle was jumping away from. A lithe form dropped from the heights of the inner-city dome and descended on the party like a black angel of death, long-bladed sword glinting in the light of the White Materia. Kielle joined her next to Aerith, and Tifa opened her mouth to yell--

The black coated figure landed, and all hell broke loose.

* * *

Strife's eyes rose from the resurrected form of Aerith and rested on the figure standing over him, first surprised and then filled with hatred. A sidelong glance at Kielle revealed her shock as well; he was fully himself now, no longe Sephiroth in Nathan's body'. His short black hair was now flowing white, and his eyes pure emerald green. He smirked, dropping the sword sheath and extending the long blade to Strife's throat.

"To the settling of everything," he whispered, mimicking Strife's words at the eve of their last battle. He ran the sword along his captive's throat, end to end, and watched droplets of blood trickle from the shallow scratch down the leather straps of his armor to dot the glass floor.

He saw Aerith rise unsteadily to her feet and start to reach shakily for his sword to push it away from Strife's throat, but Kielle seized her wrist and pulled her away from the confrontation. The resemblance between the two was amazing at that moment, but the expressions on their faces were different-- Kielle had no expression, controlled by Sephiroth's will, but Aerith had a strange, panicked look. She tried again to go to Strife but Kielle yanked back, shoving her niece against a column and forcing her to sit down at the edge of the platform. A glow emanating from the lake bathed them in green light. The Lifestream was revealing itself, according to plan.

"Kielle?" Lockheart called, scrambling away from Sephiroth. "Kielle, what are you doing? Kielle!"

"You were with him all along!" Strife turned his gaze to Kielle. Sephiroth put himself on guard-- he could not allow anything to happen to her yet. "You planned this together, didn't you!" He brushed Sephiroth's sword away and started advancing on her. Kielle turned her expressionless eyes to him.

"Cloud--"

Sephiroth rounded on Tifa Lockheart, seeing vividly the little girl who had tried to attack him with his own weapon on the night he died. He smiled. In one swift movement he flowed through his ready stance and slashed her across the chest, then turned again and sliced the tender skin of her abdomen, reveling in her scream of pure agony as she flew back onto the staircase from the strength of his blows to land face down on the first step.

"Tifa!!" She didn't move. Her hair and clothes were soaked in blood. Strife started to run to her.

Sephiroth laughed. His taunting, cutting laughter reverberated throughout the temple, hitting Strife like physical blows. This was a sight he had been waiting to see for years. Strife would pay.

Cloud looked back. The pain in his eyes was absolutely unbearable. Sephiroth laughed harder, unable to contain the joy his enemy's suffering brought him, but his sword never wavered. His opponent loosened his own weapon, slowly taking it in both shaking hands.

"Sephiroth.....!"

Sephiroth turned. Aerith was grappling with Kielle, pushing her struggling aunt to the edge of the platform. Intense green light washed out their features, but Kielle was losing. Her feet balanced on the very edge of the glass, and she was holding on to Aerith for dear life. With a mighty shove, Aerith threw Kielle into the vortex of the Lifestream and dove in after her.

"Sephiroth!!"

He spun around, but too late. Strife leapt up into the air and came down, dealing a blow that sent him reeling.

"You never did reach your full potential," he gasped, staggering. In a moment the weakness was past, and Strife's attack useless. Kielle was gone. Strife was here, and Sephiroth wanted his blood. "Now it's just you and me, Strife. The way it should be."

They stood for what seemed like an eternity, staring at each other, refusing to look away, waiting for the other to attack. Motion near the Lifestream whirlpool caught Sephiroth's eye and he saw Kielle climb out onto the glass platform. He ignored her. Strife's grip tightened on his sword indecisively, and Sephiroth brought his blade up slightly.

A warm breeze sifted through his hair, blowing the long white strands into his eyes. In that moment he moved, leaping with lightning speed into the air and raising his sword high above his head. "Remember this, Cloud?" He hacked into Strife with all of his strength and momentum from the fall, stabbing and slashing, blue sheet lightning flashing every time his sword connected with Strife's flesh. "Everything you gave me I shall return!" He jumped again and dealt his final blow, striking down with lethal force and springing away, holding his sword in the traditional ready position.

Strife staggered and collapsed, dropping his sword. Blood streamed down his face and his body. His armor was scattered in pieces across the glass platform, his clothing shredded almost to a bloody pulp.

Sephiroth laughed victoriously, mocking his opponent. Strife twitched but couldn't even raise his head. Watching his worthless victim clench his hands in impotent fury, he almost felt sorry for him. His laughter died down to a simple smile when Strife finally managed to raise his head and lock eyes with him.

Fury burned in Strife's eyes. Sephiroth laughed again, grounding the tip of his sword into the floor and leaning on it. His could see everything that went through his opponent's mind-- he saw himself plummeting from the sky and stabbing Aerith as she prayed, Strife's own cry of anguish...... Lockheart sprawled on the stairs, dying from the wounds Sephiroth had inflicted.

With a howl of rage Strife grabbed his sword, leaped up and charged, vaulting into the air above Sephiroth, who raised his own weapon to defend against the omnislash.

He felt the impact of the two blades meeting, Strife's just a bit off, and Masamune shattered. A pillar of fire thrust up from below, searing his skin, the sparks morphing to ice and cleaving through his armor, piercing his skin. Frost curled around him and a bolt of lightning struck from the sky, sending him reeling. The glass platform shook and shards of rock speared through the rime of ice, shattering it and burrowing into him.

He and Strife fell as one, Sephiroth on his knees clutching his broken sword and Cloud in a twisted heap, unconscious, an almost blissful smile on his face. A victorious smile.

No...... How could Strife possibly think he had won? Sephiroth leaned on his broken sword, using it to rise unsteadily to his feet. "You will have no peace, Strife! In the end, it will always be the same-- Victory will be mine!" He raised his sword for the final, killing blow......

"Bearer of Light," Aerith's strong voice filled the shrine. Sephiroth's head snapped up in surprise. "Heed my call, that we may vanquish this evil and glorify your name! Holy!"

White light engulfed him. The pain was unbearable. Holy delved into his body, searing his soul until he knew he couldn't take any more. Then, through the haze, he felt a hand grab his coat and pull...... Green light replaced the white, pulsing in familiar waves.

"Here, you will stay, dear one." Kielle's beloved voice faded away, leaving only the Planet's whispering song.

Sephiroth's entire body shook. Not again, not after all his effort! The blood, the pain, the rage...... "NO!!!!" His cry was lost in the ever-changing pattern of the Lifestream.

* * *

Aerith knelt down next to Cloud, gazing sadly first to him, then to Tifa. Sephiroth was defeated again, she hoped permanently this time, but what a price to pay.

She sighed. Kielle was gone, too. The Lifestream had cleansed the Ancient of Jenova cells as it had done for Cloud, and her aunt had made the ultimate sacrifice to balance her evil deeds with Sephiroth and the good she had done before. She wouldn't even be granted existence in the Lifestream; she was lost forever, sleeping in her dark place.

Aerith took Cloud's hand and Tifa's and brought them together. They deserved that much. Slowly she stood, and walked over to the fading pool of the Lifestream.

The Lifestream surged and she disappeared, leaving only stardust behind.

* * *

"Tifa......" Cloud tightened his hand around hers. Tifa smiled at Cloud with her beautiful brown eyes. "I'll save you, Tifa......"

The End


Explanations:

(These are answers to questions that have already been asked (duh), so if you have one I don't answer here, e-mail me at elahayym@hotmail.com. Please, no complaints or flames. ^_^)

1.) Sephiroth's relationship with Kielle: Well...... So many people have asked me for details that I might just write a fan fic on that one too. Here's a short, undetailed explanation-- They met a couple of years before Sephiroth went to Nibelheim, and I'm sure you can guess where their relationship went, since we know they have two kids. After Nibelheim, Kielle found him in the Lifestream and encased his body in materia.

2.) Kielle: Yes, she is an Ancient. (that's another long story.) She is the (much) younger sister of Ifalna, Aerith's mom.

3.) I did not bring Aerith back to life (sigh). It was just her shade, as mentioned by Kielle in Nibelheim.

4.) Sephiroth's return to his own body is really only an illusion. As I mentioned earlier in the story, as the years passed he looked less and less like Kielle, his "Mother", until finally he looked like his old self again. The Black Materia could have given him the power to do that I suppose. Either way, I leave it to your imagination.

5.) Tifa and Cloud are not dead (yet), and I didn't plan for them to be. Cloud had to have some motivation to hurt Sephiroth after Seph pulled that Omnislash maneuver. That's how he used the Cherry Blossom skill. Don't worry-- there's still hope for them.

6.) Sephiroth's end: (sob) I didn't really want him to lose, but I had to be realistic. So I compromised-- he isn't dead, but he is trapped in the Lifestream again, and for the story I'm assuming it will be harder to get out because the Planet will have a stronger hold on him. In other words, his body might die if he left, and he'd be right back where he started! But he always has Kielle. She's there too (kind of).

Well, that's it! And here's a special thanks to my editor and good friend, Zach Knoles!!!!! Thanks for the support! ^_^

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