Chapter 5

"I was running."

"Running?"

"Yes, away from something. But I never knew what. It was like a shadow that hid in every corner just waiting to spring at me." Tifa muttered. "Our dreams are different from yours. In your dreams, it clearly belongs to you; no one can intrude on it. But in our dreams, anyone can just walk right in and take over. And sometimes, it is not meant for that to happen, it just does. Sometimes two people's thoughts are so close to one another that they appear even in the subconscious."

"Tifa, whatever are you talking about?" Cloud asked raising and eyebrow in a teasing notion.

"I guess you, the feebleminded, wouldn't understand now would you, Cloud?"

He smirked at her and turned his head, again examining the room. It was gray with very little light coming in from that tiny window. Snow was still falling outside piling up against the wall. A gentle breeze was noticeable lifting the snow into a small funnel like forms. Yet still, a peaceful scene.

"It is peaceful, isn't it. Almost like a fantasy world. How I do miss the sun."

Cloud stared at her face. How pale she was. The black veil covering her face and eyes simply complicated the matter, not being able to see her facial expression. When she spoke sometimes it was though she wasn't moving her lips, or her eyes seemed not to blink at all. Strange things that all didn't add up and bothered him in an unexplainable way.

She spoke again, traveling back in time, as she would do many times in this one session.

Tifa was in her dream. Her very first vampire dream, and there would be more to follow. But none of them could quite compare to this one. She was back in Niebelhiem, and everything was restored to the way it was before the destruction began. Her father, her mother, everything was back. Everything but Tifa. She waved hello to everyone, but no one waved back. She greeted her old friends and family members, but it was though they did not acknowledge her presence and went about their usual business. She then realized that she did not exist. People didnít know who she was, let alone see her.

Another thing that bothered her was that wherever she looked, Cloud could not be found. Her mission now was to find him. She searched everywhere. In the blink of an eye she was at the top of the mountains calling his name, then blink, at his house. Blink, at her house. Blink, the mansion. He was not there. He did not exist. But then, he came. He walked into town as though he owned it. People rushed to him, greeting one of the heroes of the world.

'Cloud, we are so happy you came!'

'Welcome back, Cloud!'

'How's your wife and children, Cloud?'

"Wife? Children? It's not possible! It's been such a short time! There is no way he could have children, or be married for that matter!" she whispered.

Following him into town were two small beings, one very blonde and the other a light golden brown. Following them was a striking woman, equal to Tifa in height and beauty. The face even resembled Tifa to a certain extent until the face was no longer clear, and only a slight blur. So were the children's faces. The only thing that mattered was Cloud met them kissing both kids, and then his wife. He was a happy man, with everything his heart desired. And his heart desired to never see her face again.

"Me. He doesn't want me. He never did." She said aloud to herself, knowing it was true.

She sat down on that old familiar well and remembered so many nights spent up there, looking at those stars. That very same fake universe developed before her eyes and she relived those long forgotten memories.

There was an inscription on the well where she sat.

'Tifa Lockhart, 15 years old.'

She put that there on her fifteenth birthday remembering that she told herself one day she would come back to this very spot and write the one true love of her life. Because like that one inscription, it would be there forever, or as long as that well would be up. So she figured why shouldnít love be forever?

"Ah but I have no true love, Tifa" she told herself. "I've messed up. I spent so many years thinking that Cloud was the one when..he wasn't. Not even close. So I missed out on everything around me and all the happiness I could have had. I've wasted my life."

Then the shadow appeared. It slid its way across the buildings circling her like a vulture. A lump in her throat formed and something inside of her told her to run. She counted to five then made a mad dash out to the mountains at impeccable speed. Her legs were a blur as they moved so quickly, left right left right. Within seconds she was at the Mt. Nibel reactor. A clear view of the town was below her.

"This isn't right!" she yelled. "There was never a view like this here before!" she screamed.

Below her into the town she saw the very scene she experienced before sitting on the well. Cloud and his family walking into a house. People walked through the town extremely fast, daily business went on as usual but at warp speed. The sun rose and fell numerous amounts of time.

"What is going on?" she thought.

Then it struck her. Time was passing. This was the future. Finally, it all stopped. A very old man walked out of the house and sat in the center of town. Tifa blinked and at once was sitting next to him. Children gathered all around to here what this man had to say, like a storytime. She looked around to see the town had grown in twice its size and population. New buildings were set around the town with new faces she had never seen before.

"Before any of you were born," he said, "There was an evil that could have very well ended all of mankind." A gasp from his younger audience.

"A man named Sephiroth tried to summon a spell called Meteor to crash down on the earth, making him a ruler of the universe. There were only a few people out there that could stop him. These few people had only one motive, to protect the planet."

"Who were they! Who were they!" the children rang out in anxiety.

The old man smiled and chuckled to himself. Tifa walked around him bending her head to see his face. Those eyes, it was no mistake who it was. Those eyes, so crystal clear and blue shining out from under his sagging face. "Those men and women saved the planet you can say. Barret, Cid, Red, Vincent, Yuffie, Cait Sith, and me.." he hesitated on the last word.

"No. You're forgetting me. You can't not remember!"

"There was someone else. Someone we couldn't have done it without. She gave her life in order to help us. Her name was Aeris.-"

"No Cloud you're forgetting me!" she stamped her foot in protest. "You've all forgotten! Just like he said you would!" she burst into tears at this revelation and cried beside her beloved water well. When she opened her eyes again, everyone was gone. The buildings were gone, the people were gone, and all that stood was that one well. Desert land was all around and the well was old and looked as though it would collapse at any moment. She searched frantically for his inscription to find it had be scratched out and long ago faded away.

She looked around and further realized that this was the even more distant future. This was the end. And this was the only thing that stood as a monument to this town. A shadow stood alone in far away from her, watching her it seemed. She turned and ran again, into nothing, into the desert. Crying and pleading for her life. "It was then I woke up in a start, sweating profusely which was said to be impossible of a vampire. But I was, and it took a long while to calm down again. Seeing Vincent sleep beside me did help though, he looked so peaceful and absorbed into his own dreams."

"So thatís how it's to end? Nibelheim, a wasted desert land." Cloud added.

"And still through it all you mange to just think of yourself! Hasnít anything I said phased you in the least or have you ever even thought what that dream could have meant?"

He shook his head and shrugged his shoulders.

"You do disgust me so. I was afraid that I would be forgotten. That I was a face among the crowd that was easily lost and never again seen. My name would never be uttered by another soul and every memory of mine had gone to waste. The moments spent on this planet could never add up for my account of being there, as though I was never there at all. And you, with your charming looks and mind games, can just go on like you never knew who I was. Like I was an obstacle for you that you finally got around."

ĒDonít act for me, Tifa."

"You make me sick." She said.

"You make ma laugh."

And he chuckled loudly.

"What is your point to all this, Tif? What are you wasting your time on me for?"

She thought about this.

"Because for all this time I have remained silent. All this time I took your crap and kept you in my heart far longer than I should have. And I intent to let you know just how I feel and felt all these years. And I also intend for you not to pity me, but to regret all the years of your life you will learn you've wasted because of your insecurities and inablilty to feel what normal people feel. Compassion."

He kept silent and clasped his hands together smiling yet still.

"Then go ahead, make me regret my wonderful life. Make me feel that compassion I am missing. Go Tifa, continue."

Rage filled her mind and heart for this man.

"Oh I will, you bastard." She said without moving her lips.

Cloud fully understood every word, but did not see her lips move. He was scared. She continued, not once opening her mouth.

"If you choose not to listen with your ears, I'll make you listen with your mind. It's quite easy you see. I am very strong though I might not look it. Don't make me use anything else against you."

"How do you do that?" he said leaping up, blocking her from his mind.

She smiled greatly and laughed heartily.

"Sit down, dear one, and I shall tell you." Again penetrating through his mind and thoughts.

Cloud again took to his seat fearing what was in store for him. Agreeing to this meeting was the worst thing he could have done. And he felt that deep feeling or regret for the words he had just said and wished with all his heart he could take them back. He doesnít want to be hurt.

"Oh but you can't take them back now," she said reading his mind as she had done before, "It is too late for that. The damage was done."

"My god." He said under his breath.

Chapter 6