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Born from the Shadows (My Aervin fic)

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Author Topic: Born from the Shadows (My Aervin fic)  (Read 479 times)
Rhoey
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« on: August 28, 2007, 09:00:18 am »

I thought I'd post it here as well, since I did on Livejournal.
I'm still not sure what title it will have, so I just used the old one.


Title: Born from the Shadows - chapter 1
Song used: "Frozen" by Within Temptation
Genre: General/romance
Rating: G
Warning: Cloud and Tifa have a kid :O
Summary: Aeris is mysteriously back in the land of the living against her will, but she's not the same person she used to be. The dramatic changes in her scare everyone, however Vincent realizes how much they have in common.
Other: Post-game (5 years after). Don't know what else to add.

I can't feel my senses
I just feel the cold
All colours seem to fade away
I can't reach my soul

I would stop running
If I knew there was a chance
It tears me apart to sacrifice it all
But I'm forced to let go


Born from the Shadows - Chapter I

Often times, Vincent wondered how or why fate had brought him to befriend Aeris. He assumed he could connect to her, and understand her loneliness. He knew what that self-induced seclusion and isolation from people was like. Indeed, the man found that her being brought back to the surface against her will had eaten away on her emotions, her cheerful, vivacious personality and everything that she once stood for. No more mirth, no more smiles. She wasn’t the same ‘Aeris’ she had once been.

Despite Cloud and Tifa's efforts to make her feel comfortable and continue living her life like she had always, she seemed distant, and spurned their well-intentioned approaches. She treated especially Cloud with such coldness, that he found it hard to be close, or in the same room as her.

Instead, she preferred to wander off on her own and sit under a tree, just staring for hours at the scenery before her. At night, she'd sit around outside and watch the stars all by herself. But usually, she sat in her room, gazing out the window or read a book. When she did neither, she slept. Nor did she seem keen on company. She scarcely spoke to anyone, and she never smiled.

Of course, everyone noticed the dramatic changes Aeris had underwent. But nobody knew why or how.
As much as it shocked Vincent, it also intrigued him. He wanted to try his luck, perhaps he could actually get her to speak? Everyone else had tried, except for him, and they had all failed. Aeris showed no interest whatsoever in their company, and never engaged in a conversation with any of them. If they spoke to her, she never responded, only when absolutely necessary. Even then, she'd give them curt replies like "yes", "no", "maybe" or the callous "I don't care".

Aeris lived with Cloud and Tifa in their house in Midgar. Cloud had insisted despite Tifa's protests, to have her live with them because Aeris had nowhere else to go. Tifa had a restaurant to take care of, and her two-year-old son Claude.
Much to Tifa's surprise, however, not only did Aeris not show any interest in Cloud like she had used to, but she didn't care for their company. On the contrary: she didn’t seem to notice their presence. Or so it seemed. But Tifa also detected deep, mental anguish in Aeris’ green eyes, very well-concealed behind a stoic facade.

At times, it wrangled and frustrated Cloud, not being able to understand why Aeris treated him with such coldness.
Tifa thought that perhaps the girl just needed some space and a chance to get her life back together. Maybe they would have to take her away from the hectic city for a while.

Therefore, she had asked Cid for the permission to use the Highwind, maybe then they could all spend sometime away from Midgar, camping somewhere on the countryside. Everyone seemed delighted with the idea. Much to Tifa's disappointment, however, Aeris was indifferent and apathetic as always.

Tifa had to work twice as hard to pack Aeris' belongings as well in a bag, and help Cloud load everything into the Highwind on the day of their departure.

"We're ready, then." Cloud announced and nodded his head at Aeris. She dutifully obeyed his silent command, and followed him into the Highwind without a word.

Inside the airship, everyone else waited, always watching Aeris’s reaction. Unfortunately, however, none came.

"So, how does it feel?" asked Tifa, turning to Aeris, "Isn't this your first time in the Highwind? It's your first time flying, right?" she tried her best to sound cheerful.
Aeris looked away, but replied with a curt, "yes".

Her attempt of starting a conversation had been spurned, and soon, Tifa gave up. During the entire trip to the countryside, no one dared speaking a word to Aeris. They simply lacked the courage to do so; her coldness discouraged it.

After what seemed like an eternity, Cid finally landed the airship. It was a grassy field near a forest, the beach, and a small river. The instant she climbed out of the airship, Aeris wandered off by herself towards the river.

"I thought she’d like to spend time with everyone," Cloud complained. Tifa tried to reassure him that maybe she just needed time to "loosen up", and that her walking off like that could mean that she was actually interested in exploring her surroundings.

By the evening, there was still no sign of her. Cloud began to worry. Perhaps something happened to her, or maybe she got lost? He wanted to go look for her, but Tifa talked him out of it. Cloud, growing more frustrated with every passing minute, decided he'd better send somebody else to look for her, especially since he doubted that Aeris would want to listen to him or Tifa. He turned to face Vincent.

"Vincent, you're the only one left who hasn't tried talking to her. Please, do your best and give it a try. 'Cause frankly, I have no idea what I can do anymore." he concluded in a whisper.

Vincent nodded his head once and conceded, "Very well."

******

Alone. Am I all alone?
I have nothing anymore.
I am nothing anymore.
It’s useless. It’s pathetic and meaningless.

Did you really think he would want you? Look at you! You’re a mess.
Besides, he already chose *her* over you. Her. Not you. Just like Zack before him. And now...

Now? Now I’m...

Alone. So alone. So...hopelessly lost in the dark. Nobody there to pull you out. Nobody to guide you out of this bottomless pit.
They don’t care. They don’t know, because they can’t see who you are. And they can’t hear you cry...


Aeris discerned a presence near her. She looked around herself, and found a dark figure with a brilliant pair of crimson eyes staring straight back at her. She recognized the figure immediately, and frowned.

"What do you want?" she asked bitterly, and kept her gaze fixed on the man. She was obviously irritated with her discovery and the unwelcome interruption.

"Cloud is worried about you," Vincent stated in a calm tone, "It is very unwise to wander off alone in the forest this time of night."

"I don't care." She answered simply.

"Everyone else does."

"I don't want it. Just leave me alone." she muttered.

Vincent gazed upon this girl. She rested her chin on her knees, her arms encircled her legs which she had drawn against her body. She sat thus, huddled up against the weeping willow, eyes cast down on the ground. He seemed intrigued by the changes in her. What happened to her and why. Why her whole personality, the Aeris he had known had become so shattered. What was the reason to her seclusion?

Vincent, however shoved these many questions aside, then conceded, “Alright,” he looked around himself, until he spotted a tree some distance away, then concluded, “I’ll be over there if you need me. I’ll keep watch.” Vincent then marched off towards another tree by the river. It was out of hearing range, but close enough for Vincent to watch her so that no harm would befall her.

He hopped onto a thick branch and perched himself there. Aeris slowly lifted her head up and saw the man had left her there all alone.

For another few minutes, she lingered in that position. She then slowly rose to her feet, and made her way towards the tree which Vincent sat on. She felt very awkward as she made her way towards him, especially with him scrutinizing her intently. When she finally reached there, she looked up at the man, who returned her look with a stoic expression. Hesitantly, the lifted her hands to grab a branch, then another, and pulled herself up. He still watched her as she sat down beside him on the large branch.

Neither spoke a word to the other for several minutes.

“It’s pathetic, isn’t it?” Aeris asked all of a sudden.

Vincent regarded her quizzically. He remained quiet, careful not to discourage her from talking. After all, this was the first time since her return that Vincent heard her take the initiative to speak.

“All of this. My ‘life’,” She knew not why she was talking to this man, or how she blurted that out. All she knew was that she could feel that somehow this man would understand her.

“And the fact that I keep losing the one I love...the one I care for the most...I feel I’m never quite good enough...for anyone,” a tone of bitter resentment played on her voice as she added, “Oh, see...I made the same mistake twice. First Zack and now...” Vincent listened to the girl’s confession. “But all this time, I’ve been deluding myself! Now I realize that it was never meant for me. To be...loved. None of this is meant for me. And yet, here I am, alive and well. Same body, same face...but no...not quite the same ‘life’,” She smiled a small, whistful smile. Soon, however, it faded, and a frown replaced it as she whispered bitterly, “It’s a curse, Vincent.”

Not the same...a curse...

He understood only too well what she meant. Just like him, she was chained to a body and a life that should have perished long ago. Here they were, however, forced to live a life they never chose to live.
Aeris looked down at her hands, then declared in anguish, “And the loneliness! I feel I have nothing...absolutely nothing in this world! And nobody at all...to live for.” 

I’m so alone...
I have nothing...nobody...


Miraculously, in less than an hour, Vincent had managed to do what the others hadn’t succeeded doing for weeks. Aeris confided in him. She told him about what happened before he discovered her on that cold, dark night, and before he snitched to Cloud about seeing her on the streets of Midgar, dressed in a hooded cloak to hide her face.

She told him about a man who had happened to live in seclusion in the forgotten capital. The man was a hermit, and with ingredients he could only find in the capital, he developed a special Phoenix Down, which could save the dying and restore them to their previous state. The man had witnessed Aeris being killed, then thrown into the lake, and decided to use his special potion on her.

Much to the man’s relief, and Aeris’ misery, the potion fulfilled its purpose and saved her life. In return, she decided she would dedicate her life (and her second chance) to saving ill, dying children and people’s loved ones from a sure death with help of this potion. So she had been doing for the past 5 years, wandering the planet, helping people, and decided that Midgar was the place where most people had been suffering from illness and damage due to the meteor. Therefore, she would stay in Midgar for a longer period of time.

She also decided, however, that she would never see Cloud and the others again. Until one night, when Vincent spotted her leaving a house, and happened to see her face. He then revealed it to Cloud, who went out looking for her, and forced her to return and come live with him and Tifa.

“Still...I never wanted to come back to Cloud and the others. I felt that our roads have separated. But then you told them, and...”

“I don’t regret it. I’m glad to have you back, Aeris.” Vincent concluded softly.

To his surprise, Aeris smiled back at him. This time, it was a happy smile. To be sure, his strange tone surprised her. It warmed her heart to hear it from this man in particular, that he appreciated her presence.
 
“Thank you.” She whispered.

They sat there for another moment, just looking at each other, until Vincent decided at length, “It’s late. We should be heading back now.” Aeris nodded her head once, then began her journey down from the branch.

Upon reaching their camp site, they saw Cloud, Tifa, Barret and Cid sitting around the bonfire talking to each other in low voices. They immediately spotted Aeris and Vincent. Cloud got to his feet when he noticed Aeris, but she payed no heed to him.

Vincent bade Aeris goodnight, then disappeared into his tent. Tifa watched Aeris, then asked, “So...what happened?”

Aeris merely walked past her with an enigmatic smile. She would not reveal anything. She then turned around too look over her shoulder to glance at the tent which Vincent had gone into, before disappearing into her own tent.
 
Tifa was certainly stunned.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 08:20:08 am by Rhoey » Report Spam   Logged

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ChibiKinesis
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007, 08:50:02 pm »

I want chapter two xD
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Rhoey
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2007, 08:19:36 am »

Chapter 3 is in the works...

Title: Born from the Shadows - chapter 2
Song used: "Soul mate" by Natasha Bedingfield
Genre: General/romance
Rating: T
Warning: Lots of angst?
Summary: Aeris' loneliness grows all the more obvious. Vincent tries his best to comfort her, yet has a foreboding feeling that Aeris keeps some dark intention hidden within.
Other: Post-game (5 years after). Don't know what else to add.


Chapter 2

Who doesn't long for someone to hold

Who knows how to love you without being told

Somebody tell me why I'm on my own

If there's a soul mate for everyone

(Soul mate by Natasha Bedingfield)


------------------------------------------------

The days rolled by slowly. Cloud and Tifa busied themselves with Claude and other tasks around the camp site. Claude required the most attention. Being the lively two-year-old that he was, he would often run off by himself, having his mother worry out of her wits. Shera had been generous to look after him at times. After all, since she had married Cid, she too had experience with children, because she had three.

Both of them noticed quite keenly, how Aeris’ spirits slowly uplifted again. It was a mystery, but it didn’t escape their notice either, that she spent more time than the others, with Vincent.

She would often smile at him, and only him, and sometimes giggle for some reason when they talked. The way she acted made it seem like Vincent was her only friend in the world (and the best one too).

One evening, a little more than a week after the first night they arrived, Aeris decided to go for a stroll in the forest and Vincent joined her. The air was calm and warm, and not a cloud obscured the starry sky.

“Are you feeling better now?” Vincent asked her sincerely as they made their way through the forest.

Indeed, even though her mood uplifted over the past few days, there was still an aura of sadness around her. The girl looked at him, and in response, a smile lit up her lovely face.

“Yes. Thanks to you.”

“I’m glad.” He acknowledged with a nod.

An awkward silence followed. Neither knew what to say to the other. Instead, they continued walking down the path which led to the river, and the weeping willow by the water. Under which Aeris sat for long hours on the first night, crying, remembering her past, mourning her own death, and the death of many others, especially...her mother. But the instant that she caught a thought of Elmyra, Aeris shook it off.

Vincent sensed the girl’s turmoil and the troublesome thoughts battering her brain, yet said nothing. He kept his eyes fixed on the tree ahead.

Upon reaching the tree again, Aeris touched the rough bark and ran her fingers along it in silent wonder. She looked up, beholding the thousands of long, thin branches curling and hanging like ropes, some so long they touched the surface of the river’s water. Together, the rope-like branches made an amazing curtain around the main tree trunk and obscured almost everything under it. Aeris liked it here. This small sanctuary, away from the others, and out of sight. Here, she liked to lounge in the shade for hours on her own. Nobody would disturb her.

“Cloud seems so busy,” she remarked suddenly. Though her voice was calm, the strange tone caught Vincent’s attention. However, he had no comment to offer.

“He’s with Tifa, though. And it’s understandable, I mean, I wasn’t there. And besides...he and Tifa knew each other since they were young...almost like me and Zack. Now, he has a son to look after, too, so I understand. I’m not expecting him to pay attention to me...when he’s married, with a child.”

From the way she spoke, Vincent could tell she was unhappy with the situation.

“Are you jealous?” Vincent broke the silence at last.

“W-what?” The unexpected question startled her. She instantly shot her eyes up, only to meet his calm, crimson eyes lingering on her lovely face.

“Are you jealous of Tifa?”

Aeris fell silent for a moment, then looked down at her feet. She nodded her head slowly.

“I see.”

“Why? Is that a bad thing?” Aeris asked under her breath. She seemed ashamed of herself. Vincent pondered her question for a moment.

“Personally, I’d like to think that...if Cloud has found happiness with that woman, maybe you too should be happy...for him.”

“I am...in a way,” she declared, turning to face him, then sighed, “But honestly, I...I just wish things would have been different, that’s all.”

“I understand. But you must realize, Aeris, that you cannot change the past. Even though it pains you, there is nothing you can do about it.”

“Y-yes, that’s...”

“Perhaps now it is time you let go of the past, and start looking ahead, to the person you are today, this second chance, and start anew. After all, you are still young, you have your whole life ahead of you...and with this “second chance”...maybe there is a purpose for you here. A purpose you have yet to discover.”

At the conclusion of his speech, Aeris smiled at him, then looked away from him again, this time avoiding his eyes.

“You’re a paradox, Vincent. I mean, here I am, being comforted by you...the one who, after 35 years, still clings to Lucrecia, and your past!”

“I do not wish to see you pursue the same path as I have. You have a good heart, Aeris, and you are a good person. I cannot predict the future, and I have no hope to offer...but I would rather see you happy than end up like me.”

“What about you? Shouldn’t you do the same? Or maybe you just don’t practice what you preach?” Aeris replied, almost angrily. But she then managed to check her feelings in time, and forced out calmly, “I thank you for your concern, I really do. But I’m fine. Really, I’ll pull through this. It’s just a phase.”

They beheld each other in silence for a long moment.

“I just sincerely hope that you won’t try anything foolish.” Vincent stated gently.

“’Try anything...foolish’?” Aeris echoed, sounding confused.

“Yes.”

“H-how do you mean?”

Vincent pondered. Aeris waited patiently, always watching him.

“You may claim that I exaggerate, but I believe I have caught a glimpse of...death-wish...in your eyes the other day.”

Aeris wrenched her eyes off him and stared down at her feet for several minutes.

“...d-death-wish...”, she echoed, slowly sitting herself down onto the grass. Her reaction certainly baffled Vincent. He too, sat down onto the grassy ground right beside her.

“Aeris...”

Aeris remained silent. She had nothing more to say, because she knew that he was right. Recently, even though she tried to put her worries and sorrow to rest, there was still something in the back of her head, a dark thought so tempting. What it was, however, she didn’t know. All she knew was that at times, it grew so intense that it burned her sanity blind. That must have been what Vincent had seen and it concerned him.

But would she really go as far as to call those thoughts a ‘death-wish’?

Was that it? Secretly, did she really want to die? Had she been giving up all hope on life? Aeris didn’t want to think about it. She didn’t want to tap into it. But still, she...

“You mistook whatever you saw in my eyes for something else. I feel lonely, that’s all,” Aeris said, growing more irritated with every word. Intense bitterness poured out of her bosom, “I don’t want to be here, can’t you see that it’s painful for me? I don’t want to be around Cloud...and Tifa, and their kid! I just want to run away and never, ever look back again! Why are you torturing me? Can’t you all just leave me alone!?”

In the end, she was practically shouting in Vincent’s face. The man, however, did not flinch a muscle. In fact, he somehow managed to maintain a stoic expression as he watched the woman struggle with her own frustration.

It took her several minutes to soothe her temper.

“Aeris...I want you to know that I never had any intentions of upsetting you,” Vincent stated clearly for her to hear, “If you want me to leave, I’ll go away. If you want me to stay, say so and I will. So, tell me: do you feel better if I leave?”

It took him by surprise.

The instant he uttered those last seven words, he felt something crash into him. He realized it was Aeris. Baffled by such odd behaviour, he wanted to open his mouth to speak, but Aeris hugged him even tighter against herself and silenced him.

“Please...don’t,” she begged in desperation.

Vincent felt awkward in her tight embrace, but gently patted her back, silently reassuring her of his presence. The distraught woman couldn’t control her emotions any longer. They all burst forth, spilled out from her bosom through heart-wrenching moans and sobs. She clutched the collar of Vincent’s crimson cloak as she wept.

Vincent understood her only too well. He also felt so angry at his own helplessness. He found no words to comfort this poor soul. He understood how she was in need of understanding, and a friend who would be there to console her. She had nobody who would hold her, nobody to embrace her away from the pain...

And every time she had somebody, she always lost them. They either died, or forgot about her. The one person she had wanted to be with had chosen somebody else.

Vincent could relate only too well. When he had loved Lucrecia, she had chosen Hojo over him. She chose her own path, not wanting Vincent to interfere. No matter how he tried to reach out for her, how many times he cried for her, she belonged to someone else.

Cloud belonged to Tifa. And Aeris...

For a long time, Vincent held her in that embrace, letting her pour it all out.

All the while Vincent held the young woman like that, a foreboding feeling clung to his heart.

So many ‘what ifs’ raced through his mind. So many questions, suspicions...and dread.

He dreaded that some harm may befall her. He couldn’t explain it, but the more he thought of it, the stronger this feeling grew in his heart that Aeris was withholding something from him. From all of them. And she didn’t let him guess it.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 08:26:13 am by Rhoey » Report Spam   Logged



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