You Were Meant For Me

Italics are for the past

-Italics- with a '-' are Aeris' thoughts.

Anything between **** are song lyrics

Tick tock, tick tock…
That sound… so much like her life. So consistent.
Tick tock, tick tock…
So predictable…
Tick tock, tick tock…
… so comforting…

The figure lying in bed didn't move. She refused to. Why should she? Why should she disregard all her security, her refuge, just because of a disruption. Just for something that meant change. Something that could mean harm.

And yet, the alarm was intrusive, shredding away the blissful layers of sleep to expose her true, harsh reality. Like always, no matter how much she resisted, in the end she always yielded.

He knew that. Oh, how he knew. How many times had he spun her around, manipulated her to do things that she would never have ordinarily done. Done it to her so many times that she didn't know where she had been, what she had done.

-In the end, we're all puppets-.

Wasn't that the truth? Wasn't she merely a puppet of his? To be picked up, played with then thrown away?

-But you know that's not true. You loved it. You loved him. He loved you.-

Sooty lashes parted to reveal emerald green eyes. She knew, without looking, that they would be puffy, reddish, glinting with unshed tears.

That aggravating sound… she reached to the side, picking up the offending appliance and regarding it carefully. Six am.
In a sudden motion she hurled the clock across the room, watching as it shattered most satisfyingly against the wall to fall as miserable silver debris.



Feeling weary, Aeris made her way downstairs. Her small figure cast a diminutive shadow on the wall, looking for all the world as though it was trying to shied away from the shadows threatening to engulf it.

Strangely enough, the thought amused her.

Once in the kitchen she wasn't surprised to find a heap of pancakes sitting on the dining table. Elmyra had arrived the next day after the… incident… insisting that Aeris would appreciate the company and that 'her little baby needed someone to take care of her'.

Looking at the steaming breakfast, she reflected that she didn't need that much care.

Not really in the mood for sweet foods, she headed over to the pantry looking for some eggs.

She felt as though she was moving in a dream. Nothing felt real, everything felt alien to her.

I hear the clock, it's six a.m.
I feel so far from where I've been
Got my eggs and my pancakes too
Got my maple syrup, everything but you

-It's been so long.-

Cracking the egg open on the pan, she picked up her fork and absent-mindedly began to draw little patterns with the yolk. How long had it been? Six, no. Eight years since she's seen her step-mother.

-So many fond memories here.-

In her mind's eye, she saw the whole world as it had been. A silver-haired angel, his features impeccable as always, his expression one of indifference. She remembered, staring out of the same window, seeing him waiting outside. No, he never came to the doorway to knock. He never called out even once.

She'd always know if he was out there. Waiting. Watching. And she'd always come to him, smiling, laughing, happy.


She sighed, slim shoulders shrugging as though trying to rid a huge weight off them, a little toss of her head to rid her face of her long chestnut bangs. -The past is just that. The past. Leave it be.-

With that thought in her mind, she began clearing up her breakfast.

Break the yolks, make a smiley face
I kinda like it in my brand new place
I wipe the spots off of the mirror
Don't leave the keys in the door
Never put wet towels on the floor anymore 'cause


She turned around, a sparkle in her bright emerald eyes, the relief in her features evident. "Seph!", she cried, grabbing the tall warrior and burying her face into his chest. Tears running down her face, she sobbed, clinging to him as though he was her last chance.

-Last chance for what?-

The coldly handsome man made no move to step away from her embrace, nor did he attempt to return it.

Aeris didn't seem to notice though, as her sobs gradually lessened to hiccups and finally silence. Only then did the tall man sigh, the only sound besides his initial call. "Aeris", he muttered, tipping her tear-streaked face up, his own mako-green eyes burning with intensity.

"Seph-", she started, but her words were cut off as he claimed her lips with his, forcing them open, determined to savour her taste. His arms snaked behind her, crushing her fragile form against his powerful one. Sensing his hunger, and knowing she could not withstand his demands, she relented.


"Seph…". Her voice was hesitant, as though she was afraid to even voice the question.

He made no acknowledgement that he heard her, his eyes half-shut as though content, his slender fingers tracing the curves of her bare back. But she knew he heard her.

Gathering her courage, she took his wandering hand in hers and turned to face him, "Is it true Seph? Is it true you're going to join SOLDIER?".

His voice, so deep and so wonderfully husky, muttered, "Of course".

"But why Seph? You don't have to! Why go and kill?!".

He chuckled then, drawing her closer. His lips brushed her earlobe, the tone of his voice amused, "You know why. The only way to escape Hojo is to place myself in a position of power, and what better way then to be the general of Shin-Ra's entire army? The leader of elites?".

She pushed him away, determined to not let his touch distract her, "But what about me, Seph?!", she demanded, "If you join SOLDIER, you'll have to leave me!".

He propped himself up on his elbows, and with the moonlight shining through the hole in the roof to surround him with a silvery halo, she couldn't help but appreciate just how gorgeously beautiful this man was. His long silver hair spilled out onto the floor of the church they were in, save for the two bangs that peaked high above his forehead, framing his cat-like cunning features. His broad, chiselled chest, narrow hips, long powerful legs… it all spoke of power. Power and grace, compressed into a living statue of detached perfection.

"That's not what you're most afraid of, flower-girl". Gods, but his voice. Low, non-demanding, sensual. He beckoned her to come by his side once again, eyes glinting with the knowledge that she would not refuse. Could not refuse.

And yet she did. She was unaware that the same light that shone and illuminated her dark angel did the same to her. And it was evident he liked what he saw.

"You're afraid Hojo will send me after you".

Aeris stared at that, and he chuckled once again. The flower girl, his flower girl, had a look of such shock and horror on her beautifully angelic features that it amused him. "Come here", he ordered, wanting to take the picture of perfection back into his arms, where she belonged.

"You… you wouldn't, Seph".

A smirk crossed his thin lips, "Hojo will never make me hurt you, Cetra. You should know that".

Satisfied with his answer, she inched closer, only to shriek in surprise and laughter as he growled and grabbed for her.

Her laughter tinkled in the cool night air, and it never occurred to her that he had never answered her question.

Dreams last so long
Even after you're gone
I know you love me
And soon you will see
You were meant for me
And I was meant for you

"Mom?". Aeris ducked her head into the living room. No one. Raising her voice, she called out, "Mom? Where are you?". No answer.
Aeris sighed, Elmyra must have gone out for her early morning grocery shopping again. She could almost hear her foster mother telling her, 'Better get out early if you want fresh food, otherwise you'll be left with all the stale ones!'.

Feeling slightly lonely, Aeris poured herself a cup of coffee. She let the smooth scent set her at ease as she settled on the sofa. Noticing the newspaper open on the coffee-table, she skimmed over the headlines. She could feel her depression sink several notches as one caught her eye; 'Shin-Ra promises more power after Lyte Inc. takeover'.

"No…", she whispered.

Yet another electricity company snuffed out, and along with it hopes of an alternative power source. More people to come under the influence of Shin-Ra, more people for the company to control and manipulate. Mind whirling, she could almost hear the Planet's cry as the power-hungry company drained more of its precious life-blood.

Called my momma, she was out for a walk
Consoled a cup of coffee but it didn't wanna talk
Picked up a paper, it was more bad news
More hearts being broken or people being used

Suddenly feeling sick of being cooped up in the dark house, Aeris grabbed her coat and ran out, barely remembering to lock the door as she did. Only once she was halfway down the street did she realise it was raining.

-The whole world's out to get me.-

Shaking herself mentally, she reprimanded herself for thinking melancholy thoughts. -This isn't like you!- But then again, since when had she been herself? Who was she, exactly? Was she supposed to be the bubbly, optimistic naïve girl she had been? Or was she who she was now? Dark, depressed, broken?

-No! Not broken. Never. I'll never forgive him if I was.-

… did that mean she had already forgiven him?

Desperate to turn her thoughts away from him, anything but him! she hurried to the nearest shelter.

-It's all this rain. It's making everything so gloomy-

Glad to be out of the drizzle, she smoothened her hair and straightened her jacket. A sign caught her eye.

-A movie! What better distraction could there be?-

Rummaging through her pockets, Aeris handed several shining coins to the ticket vender. "One, please", she said softly.

"For which movie, miss?", the girl behind the counter gestured to the movie list in front of her.

Aeris shook her head, "Are there any showing now?".

"Sure. Here ya go. Theatre 4. It'll start in 5 minutes". Noticing the dispirited look in Aeris' eyes, she added with a bright smile, "I hope you'll have a nice day miss".

Aeris managed a small smile back, thanked her and headed off.


-Oh gods, whatever possessed me to do this?-

Sickened, Aeris could only watch soundlessly as the two figures on the screen laugh. The hero, tall, striking, reached out to the heroine, draping his arm casually around her shoulders.

"You are cold".

Aeris started, dropping the basket of flowers she had been carrying. "No…", she whispered, dismayed as the crowd around her gave no thought to the precious blossoms being trampled underfoot. Falling to her knees to save them, she found a hand clamping down hard on her shoulder.

Looking up, she saw him. He had started to become a regular in the market square. She couldn't help but notice him the first time he appeared; the gleaming silver of his hair was enough to attract attention. After that, one's gaze would travel to his gorgeously chiselled features, as though he was a work of art come alive. Two leather straps adorned his broad chest, criss-crossing, a silver emblem holding the two together. A long leather coat hid his chest from plain view though, but from what could be seen it was evident that he looked after his body well.

"You startled me", Aeris said softly. She was painfully aware of how unneeded that remark was, but she couldn't think of anything to say.

This was the first time she had seen him so close up. Usually he was standing across the square, or just milling around, hounded by the skimpy dressed girls who judged that such a handsome man who obviously could afford much was not a prize to be relinquished so easily. Now, seeing his face but 5 inches away from hers, she could feel her cheeks turning hot.

He shrugged at her remark, the motion sending waves through-out the whole length of his hair. Aeris couldn't help but be fascinated. Tearing her gaze away from him, she glanced at the petals scattered on the ground. A sweet scent drifted from the crushed petals, for a moment masking the dank, musty, sour odour normally associated with the slums.

-All my hard work… all my loving care. And people just… just-

He made no attempt at apology, merely handing the basket to her. Finally locking eyes with her, he simply said, "Fragrance is the forgiveness a flower gives after being crushed". He paused a moment, letting the words sink in, before continuing, "Are you cold?".

Feeling slightly uneasy and embarrassed, she could only nod.

Not noticing her silence, or simply choosing to ignore it, he shrugged out of his leather cape and draped it over her shoulders. With that, he simply left.

The young man shyly reached out to the girl's hand. Giggling, she gladly accepted it.

Aeris' back was tense as she rounded the corner. She knew this street, knew it and hated it, what with its dark reaching shadows and grey atmosphere. Trash littered the whole street, the smell of decay much stronger than elsewhere. There was hardly a sound, save for the steady dripping of an unseen pipe, but the feeling of eyes watching her from every shadow was hard to shake off. And if that was not enough to make her loathe taking this route, its shady characters, who would not hesitate to rob, rape and kill, did.

But she had no choice. Her alternate route had been blocked off when a huge block of concrete fell from the plate above, where construction people were busy repairing the overhead city. Now the route was overrun with monsters, having been mutated by the deadly touch of mako.

"Hey, sweetheart!".

"I could do other things with your flowers, babe!".

Cringing, trying to calm her pounding heart, Aeris tried to ignore the catcalls and whistles.

-If I ignore them, they won't bother with me. Don't show any weakness, don't show your fear.- She knew how their minds worked. Just the tiny whiff, just give them that small chance…

She tried to keep her steps steady and unhurried. A small sound came from her right, and the moment her eyes flickered to that direction, she knew it was a big mistake.

"H-hey!", she yelped as a hand reached out to grab her around the waist. She felt the dampness of a tongue running up her neck, felt the hotness of breath as a hoarse voice said, "How 'bout you and me have some fun?".

"Let me go!". Twisting around and letting her fear finally get a hold of her, she swung the basket hard to catch him on his kneecap. More surprised than hurt, his grasp loosened and she broke free.

Only to crash into another man's chest. Hands grabbed her arms, twisting them painfully behind her back. "Let me go!", she screamed, struggling, only to find the grip tighten so much that her arm fell numb.

"Hey, Slick, looks like some little girl's looking for some fun", he leered.

"Ooh, been keeping me eye on that one", another appeared, licking his lips and very obviously enjoying the petite girl's discomfort. Looking around desperately, she could only see more figures starting to congregate around them. And none looked as though helping her was foremost in their thoughts.

"Yea… we're all in for a good time here, aren't we boys?". There was a round of laughter and sniggering at the comment. There were hands touching her then, hands…

"Let her go", a voice said quietly. There was no demand in the tone, just the silent promise of death. Heart thumping wildly, she realised she recognised the voice. It was him.

"Oh?", sneered one of her assailants, moving forwards, "We got her fair an' square. Who're you to say otherwise, pretty boy?".

"Aeris, close your eyes".

Fear left her then, replaced by dread burrowing through her chest. She obeyed his request though, turning her face away. A moment later, finding her arms free, she covered her ears.


"This is my home". Her voice was hardly a whisper, so nervous was she that she refused to meet his eyes, opting instead to stare at the light brown of her boots.

-Those screams…- She shuddered inwardly.

Silence dominated.

She didn't understand what was going on. Wasn't this where they were supposed to say goodbye? Say goodbye and leave it at that?
"Aeris, look at me". He said it softly, the gentleness surprising her. From his looks alone, she would never have thought he was capable of such an emotion. She did, however, sense the command behind the statement and hesitantly did so.

Their eyes locked. Her frightened, wide emerald eyes with his cold, calculating, cunning ones. Cunning, demanding, intense.

"Th-thank you. For saving me". As those words left her lips, she tried to look away. His eyes frightened her… frightened and fascinated her.

The strange unnatural glow of mako in his eyes flickered momentarily, as though amused while his lips twitched in what may have been a brief smirk. "I had to", he said smoothly, his fingers brushing against her cheeks, tracing her jaw-line to cup her chin and tilt her face upwards. His voice turned husky then, sending shivers down her spine, "I'm always protective of my possessions".

Even now, his words chilled and thrilled her.

-But he never wanted me. He never cared for me the way I cared for him. Did he?-

She gazed at the screen, hardly registering the music lacing through the theatre as the crowd sighed as the hero and heroine leaned in for a kiss.

She felt him. Or rather, she could feel his presence calling to her, demanding her attention. Moving over to the living room window, she peeked through the curtains, trying to see where he was.

A hand casually combed through her wet locks.

Caught off-guard, she spun around to face Sephiroth standing before her, arms crossed, a lazy smile gracing his normally set lips.
"You… How did you come in?!".

A devilish look crossed his face then, "Nothing can keep me away from what's mine". As he said it, his eyes drank in the sight of her, clad in her short fluffy white bathrobe. A blush crept up her cheeks as she realised it. He chuckled, "So embarrassed? Don't worry pretty one, you have nothing to be ashamed about".

His words struck her dumbfounded. Unbidden, his words from their first meeting floated into mind.
-…protective of my possessions…-
-…keep me away from what's mine…-

A rare spark of defiance in her eyes, her hand suddenly swept up in a vicious arc, fingers curved to bring her nails into play…
His hand shot out, faster than she expected, seizing her wrist and pinning it above her. At the same time, his other hand grabbed the back of her head to tilt it backwards…
…and his lips found hers.

The shock of his daring and the passion in the kiss rendered her motionless, a full second passing before she even realized she was kissing him back. A faint whimper escaped her lips as he paused for a breather, her eyes bright with confusion and desire.

She saw lust in his face, could see how much he wanted to take her. It made it all the more shocking when he suddenly shoved her away roughly. She cried out as her back slammed against the wall, slumping down into a crumpled heap on the floor.

Sephiroth was breathing heavily, glaring at her as though she had done him wrong, before sweeping past to exit the house.
The last thing she saw through pain-blurred vision was the confusion in his normally apathetic eyes.

Unable to take it anymore, Aeris stood up, muttered apologies to people frowning at her, and hurriedly left the theatre.

Put on my coat in the pouring rain
Saw a movie it just wasn't the same
'Cause it was happy and I was sad
It made me miss you oh so bad

Dreams last so long
Even after you're gone
I know you love me
And soon you will see
You were meant for me
And I was meant for you

"Flowers for sale! One gil a stalk!".

Most people ignored her, shoving her aside roughly as they went about their own business. Usually this unfazed her, but right now in her current emotional state, it made the spiral of depression worsen. Oh, how she wanted to just go home and crawl back under the covers. Bask in the safety of the familiar. Hidden away from reality.

"Excuse me, miss?".

The voice snapped her out of her reverie, and for a second she saw the gleam of mako eyes. Not for a moment did she think it was him. This young man was too different. Silver was replaced with golden-blonde, and even then did not fall down to the hips but instead stuck up in random spiked directions. And he was a great deal shorter, with a kinder expression.


Recovering from her thoughts, she plastered on a cheery smile, asking sweetly, "Hello! Would you like to buy a flower? It's only one gil".

He regarded her strangely before gently asking, "Are you ok? You looked a bit… out there".

Looking at him blankly, she cocked her head to the side, her smile turning into one of sheepishness, "Oh, sorry. I was thinking of how slow business has been today".

Had he seen through her act? Her lie? For a moment, she thought he had for a look of concern crossed his face. However, he smiled then, "Well, looks like your luck's turned. I was looking for some flowers myself".

She laughed, a light carefree sound, "Really? And you're not just saying that?".

Her laughter was infectious, for his smile grew wider, "No, I'm not". Looking over her basket carefully, he sighed, "I can't seem to pick one, so I'm going to buy the whole bunch".

Hiding her surprise, she accepted the handful of gleaming coins that he handed over, "Thank you". -He knew.-

His smile turned soft, "You're welcome".


Aeris rubbed one of the coins between her fingers. A hundred and fifty gil was a lot of money, and she couldn't be more grateful to the golden-haired stranger who had disappeared into the crowd before she realised he had intentionally given her more than what was necessary.

Spying a payphone around the corner, she suddenly wondered whether she should give Sephiroth a call. She admonished the thought instantly though, chiding herself for forgetting what had happened the last few times she had tried. The first few he had always been too busy to talk.

And when she finally managed to get through…

Ring… ring…


"… may I please speak to Sephiroth, please?".

"The General? Who's speaking?".

-So he really did it.- He's the General now, out of the clutches of that mad scientist Hojo. So why wasn't she glad for him? "Aeris". She deliberately left out her last name, and after a moment's pause, the receptionist continued.
"Please hold".

The tinny music playing in the background did nothing to calm her fears. What should she say? Hi Sephy, I've missed you? Seph, why did you leave without even telling me? Sephiroth, you bastard, how could you just push me aside like that?


She had forgotten how deep his voice was, how much it reminded her of those long nights they spent together. How much she had loved it. "S-seph?".

"Yes?". His tone gave nothing away. Not even a hint that he recognised her.

"Seph, it's me. I… I just wanted to tell you… I-".

"Make it fast. I'm busy".

Curt. Cold. Irritated. The combination of the three shocked her into speechlessness. What had happened? What happened between them to cause this? Before she could even voice these thoughts though, a sultry voice piped up in his end, faint in the background but most certainly there, "Seph, honey, who's that on the phone?".


Her mind was reeling. Who was that in the background? Why did she call Sephiroth 'honey'? What was going on? Shocked, hurt, horrified, she could only choke back on the tears threatening to overwhelm her.

-He's cheating on me. He was never serious about us. I was just a toy for him!.-
Before she had any chance to say anything, Sephiroth interrupted her, "I'll call you back".

And the phone went dead

Go about my business, I'm doing fine
Besides, what would I say if I had you on the line
Same old story, not much to say
Hearts are broken every day

-He never cared for me-

Finally home, Aeris waved hello to the figure bustling in the kitchen, "Mom, I'm home!".

Her foster mother poked her head outside the kitchen doorway, the twinkle in her eyes fading as she noticed her daughter's expression, "What's wrong dear? You look exhausted!".

Aeris smiled tiredly, "I am. I'm going to turn in early tonight, if that's ok with you".

"Of course it is, sweetheart".

Giving Elmyra a kiss on the cheek, Aeris turned to climb the stairs.


-I'm so tired…-

Splashing water on her face, Aeris couldn't help but stare at the reflection in the mirror.

Gods, but it was a wonder Elmyra still recognised her! Her skin was paler than normal, weariness where there used to be happiness etched in her expression. Her long chestnut hair, which she normally was at pains to keep in a braid, was held in a simple loose ponytail. Her eyes were still slightly reddish, still slightly puffy.
She smiled wryly to herself. -It's no wonder that guy felt sorry for me.-

Her room was dark as she entered. Not bothering with the main switch, she knelt by her bed, groping for the switch for her nightlight. Weak, orange light illuminated the corner of her room.
For the first time in the whole day, a genuine smile graced her coral lips.

"Why are you so frightened of the dark?".

Aeris shook her head, trying to hide her embarrassment at such a childish thing. How cowardly it must seem! She could almost hear his thoughts. That she, a young woman of 21, was still afraid of the dark.

She could almost see him shaking his head at her childishness.

"Just get in". He sounded annoyed, and wordlessly she did as she was told, burrowing under the blankets and making herself as comfortable as she could. She could hardly contain her nervousness as he reached over to the light switch, still expressionless, and flicked it off.

The room plunged into darkness.

-Gods… he thinks I'm a coward now…-

At the same time though, she couldn't help but cringe at every sound, hating it, hating the way her heartbeat thumping madly. The sound was deafening in her ears. Where was Sephiroth? Why couldn't she even see a hint of him?

-Why am I so scared?!-

A touch on her arm; she screamed, eyes darting wildly around the room. What wraith had touched her? What demon had frightened her so? It was then that she was seized into a rough embrace, strong arms comforting her, the familiar scent of leather and musk calming her nerves.

Lips pressed against her forehead briefly, and in the darkness she saw a hint of iridescent eyes. A gleam of silver.

"Not all shadows mean to harm you, pretty one".

Brush my teeth and put the cap back on
I know you hate it when I leave the light on
I pick a book up
Turn the sheets down
Take a deep breath and a good look around

Sighing at the memory, Aeris slipped into a loose t-shirt and shorts before heading over to the bed. She could feel a surge of relief through her as she lay back on the mattress, enjoying the softness of the pillow under her head, relishing the comforting warmth of the quilt hugging her limber figure.

She closed her eyes wearily.

-I just want to sleep. Forever.-

-Face it Aeris, it's over. It doesn't matter whether or not you still love him. He obviously doesn't love you.-


-What buts? You know he loves manipulating people, how he glorifies in controlling others. You were nothing but a conquest to him-

-He loved me!-

-Would someone who loved you leave you without even saying goodbye? Letting you wait for weeks without a word, leaving you to hear the news from the television. You should have been the first person to know he joined SOLDIER-

-…stop it-

-Would someone who loved you not even attempt to contact you? Not a phone call, not a letter, nothing-


-Not a week's gone by since you first called him. And he's always busy isn't he?-

-Please, stop-

-Doing what, I wonder? Not a week. And when you finally managed to get through…-

-Stop it! Stop!-

She clutched her head, all the emotions building up throughout the day finally wearing down her mental resolve. Tears started to stream down her face, and she couldn't stop sobbing, wanting to stop thinking. Wanting the hurtful thoughts to stop.

Seconds passed, minutes passed. Sleep crouching over her from the shadows, she finally gave in to her exhaustion. The last, treacherous thought to frit through her consciousness before she fell into oblivion…

-He never even told you he loves you-

Put on my pj's and hop into bed
I'm half alive but I feel mostly dead
I try and tell myself it'll be all right
I just shouldn't think anymore tonight

A sharp ringing roused her from her sleep. Looking around fuzzily, her half-conscious mind tried to pinpoint the source of the infuriating sound. Her gaze finally settled onto the phone. A brief glance to the clock revealed the time. 2:13 am.

-Who could be calling at this time of the night?-

Tempted as she was to ignore it and sink back into the soothing nothingness of sleep, the ringing was too insistent. Resigned to it, she leaned over to pick up the receiver.


Her eyes snapped wide-open. Suddenly, all thoughts of sleep fled her mind.

Dreams last so long
Even after you're gone
I know you love me
And soon you will see
You were meant for me
And I was meant for you