Ok, I tried to stay as faithful to the source material as possible. You can also probably see some parallels from other games in my story as well. Hope you guys enjoy! (BTW bold = Aeris italic = tifa and Caps = Sephiroth)
Five months after the thwarted destruction of the planet. Yuffie Kisaragi ventures to the City of the Ancients on her bi-monthly visit in hopes of reviving her fallen comrade: Aeris.
“Ok, this time it has to work. Phoenix down ... Phoenix down!” yells Yuffie as she peers into the lifeless face at the bottom of the ancient pond. “Alright Aeris, I’m gonna try one more thing” as Yuffie places a Summon Phoenix sphere into her Rising Sun’s material slot. Yuffie summons the once fallen beast, and instantly an intense light fills the otherwise dim surrounding trees and temporarily blinds Yuffie. Once Yuffie regained her vision, and the Phoenix fled back into the material sphere, she peered down at the now steaming pond and saw it empty.
“HHHURRRK!” escaped Yuffies lips. Her eyes slowly lowered and saw a large shell spike protruding from her midsection. Blood slowly crawled down her legs, her breath increasingly became harder to catch, and her lips slowly grew cold. Yuffie utters, “Why?” before collapsing into the pond.
One month later. Cloud rides to the City of the Ancients on his chocobo, Goldie, to pay tribute to the only casualty he felt responsible for.
Cloud hops off his chocobo and grabs a bouquet of church flowers along with some homemade fermented elixir. “Stay Goldie, I’ll be back in a bit.” Memories and regrets race through Cloud’s head as he enters Aeris’ resting place. If only he hadn’t crashed through that damn church’s roof, she would be alive … If only he struck Sephiroth before that blade struck her she would still be alive … If only she was in battle, she could have been revived and would still be alive. Cloud tosses the flowers into the water and takes a swig of his drink. The flowers start to scatter across the once still water. Cloud peers down into the water as he takes another drink. His eyes squint and doesn’t recognize the body at the bottom of the water. Cloud yells out, “GRAVITY!” as he utilizes his master magic materia in his armlet. The body rises out of the water. Water drops from the body. The head turns to face Cloud, revealing to be the fallen Yuffie. Cloud immediately snatches Yuffie out of the air and calls Tifa on his PHS.
“Seventh Heaven Bar. Guaranteed pleasure with every drink. How can I help you?”
“Yuffie’s dead. I need you to call AVALANCHE and see if they have heard anything about Sephiroth, Aeris, or Yuffie. Do it now. I’ll call you back after I get her back to Wutai.”
“You think it might be Sephiroth? We killed him. You destroyed him. There’s no way it can be him.”
“I know what we did to him, but Yuffie’s a god damned ninja, and not many things can get the drop on a ninja. She may have been an amateur, but she wasn’t stupid. Just do as I said, and I’ll call you back. Don’t call me.”
Cloud quickened his pace back to Goldie with Yuffie on his back and made for Wutai.
“Tifa, what have you learned?”
“You’re not gonna like this.”
“Dammit, tell me!”
“Cid, Barret, and Reeve aren’t answering their phones, and Red XIII has been off the map since the meteor.”
“What about Vincent!?”
“*deep breath* Vincent just came into contact not too long ago. Said he got a call about Lucrecia that told him to go to the Northern Crater to see her again. Once he got there he said he saw a female figure with bright mako eyes. After that, he says he was beaten, burned, and cut by something that must have had Haste cast upon it. He escaped by using Chaos. Says he could clearly see those eyes in the darkness of the crater while flying away”
“This has to be the work of Sephiroth. Aeris would never do this. It can’t be her. Whatever it is, we’re going to see what it is and take it down. You still got your Prem. Hearts?”
“Yeah, but I haven’t fought in a bit.”
“It’ll come back to you. Be ready to mosey when I arrive. I’ll be there within the hour.”
And with that, Cloud races back to Midgar, ever pushing Goldie to go faster. He approaches the dark city. “Hate this damn place.”
“Ummm Cloud. How are we gonna get over the ocean to the Northern Continent?”
“@#$%, we don’t have an airship … Think. How can we get there ASAP?”
The two sit at the outskirts of Midgar throwing ideas at each other. All useless ideas until cloud looks at his Master Summon materia.
“Eureka! We can use Typoon to create a strong updraft for Goldie and just glide to the crater.
“Isn’t that a bit dangerous?”
“We have to try. Cid, Barret, and Reeve may need our help. I only hope it’s not too late.”
The two childhood friends saddle up on Goldie and Summon Typoon. Goldie is a bit apprehensive at first, but then takes becomes accustomed to flight. Cloud leans forward hard, and away the three go.
Cloud lands in the crater. It looks like hell frozen over after the mako explosion after the last battle. The two dismount and begin descending into the darkness. They walk for five minutes before hearing three different ringtones cry out. Cloud rushes with Tifa alongside him to three phones lined up in a row, and all at once they give a “new message” notice. Each message has the same dark raspy voice.
“cOmE to tHe cRaTer iF yOu vaLue MArlEne’s lIfE. CoMe aLOne.”
“If yOu woUlD like tO sEe yOur wIFe, or yoUr BluEpriNts aGaiN. CoMe to thE crAtEr alONe.”
“YOu waNT tO saVe thE woRLd with yOUR liTTlE reJuvEnaTion soCiEty? coMe to the crAteR. I have soMetHing that can HeaL Gaia and Terra.”
“Whatever it was, it led them right into a trap. A trap we are now in ourselves.”
Just then, a voice chimed in from close by.
“sO fOoLiSh you ArE puPPeT.”
Aeris’ body steps into the dim light holding a sword much longer than she is.
“wHo DId you exPeCt? YoUr lITtle giRlFrieNd? NO, I dOn’T ThInk sHe woUld hAvE kiLLed her comRadeS liKe i HavE.” Aerioth gestures behind it to the bodies of Barret, Cid, and Reeve. Barret with gun wounds riddling his body, Cid propped up by a spear sticking out of his chest, and Reeve with a microphone shoved down his throat.
“You ^%#*ing lunatic! I’m gonna tear you limb from limb this time!”
“DoN’t yOu at lEaST waNt to hear hoW I dId It? WELl, ToO baD I’m goINg to tell you aNYway. Magic: wall! AnYwaY, yOu seE beForE I stRUck liTTle Aeris doWn, I laCed mY bladE with Jenova cells. Being the coMpaSSionate fOol you are, I knEw yoU woULd dresS up Aeris’ woUNds and therefORE seal the Jenova cells wiTHin her boDy to mANifest and aWakeN me within her. KiLLiNg that stupId little ninja was just iCinG on the cake and poor timing on her part.”
“How could you! I’m gonna $!ing beat the $#*! out of you!”
Cloud breathes heavily and stares intently at the monster in the shell of the woman he once loved.
“Die monster! You don’t belong in this world!”
“YOu’rE aLL thAt stAndS in my WaY Cloud. HAVE AT YOU!”
And with that, both Cloud and Tifa rush toward Aerioth. Tifa gets knocked out by a quick magic cast of Fire3 by Aerioth. Cloud makes it within feet of Aerioth, which is all he needs. He begins with a left slash, blocked, then makes his way into a cross slash, once again blocked. Aerioth brings the sword up into an offensive position, and makes a clumsy strike at Cloud.
“Not used to the body yet?”
“I wAs hOpIng it wAs stRonGer thAn iT lOokEd. ThEsE daMn chEsT woUndS arE veRy boTheRsoMe, I should reaLlY usE A shOrtEr swOrd.”
“This should be easy then.”
Cloud makes a futile second attempt at a lunging strike, narrowly averted by Aerioth, and then quickly pivots and focuses his strength into a downward attack. Aerioth, with little strength to withstand such an attack, is knocked down. Cloud moves ever closer for the finishing blow.
“I’m just a flower girl … Yeah, better leave it to Cloud … Cloud, wait for me”
Cloud’s eyes nearly pop out.
Aerioth then kicks cloud in the gut and sends him flying with a well placed comet.
“PreDiCtablE Cloud, aLwaYs hoPiNg foR tHe bEsT. YoU jUst kEep geTtIng sCRewed over dOn’t you? It woUlD sEem thAt yoU cAn’t kiLl yOur liTTle swEethEart aFteR seEiNg her dIe onCe alReaDy. I jUsT haVe tO do this little voice, anD yOu bEcOMe A dOUghy eYed ChiLD. WitH yOu oUt oF tHe pIcTurE, I wiLL dEstRoy aLl lIfe oN thIs pLaNet. I wiLL haVe soMe fuN wiTH your frIeNd oveR theRe fIRst thOUgh.”
“You’re right; I’ll never be able to kill you as long as you’re in that body … but she can!”
Cloud rolls back onto his feet and throws his sword to a Tifa in midair behind Aerioth. Cloud dashes forward and gives Aerioth a swift punch to the gut to stun it while Tifa plunges Cloud’s Buster Sword into the back of Aerioth.
“Deal with it mutha#@$#er”
“Nice channeling of Barret there”
“It’s how he would have wanted it”
Cloud pulls his sword out of the now lifeless Aeris. He stands silent next to his friend and his lost love for a moment, and takes a deep breath.
“I see it now. I can’t let her life be a regret of mine. I need to move on. C’mon, let’s go.”
With that, they gather up their fallen comrades, and head back to Midgar.