proudsoldier: (I really hate this city.)
Zack Fair ([personal profile] proudsoldier) wrote2008-07-25 10:23 pm

Wherein our hero finds the city. Or it finds him.

[is sprawled out on one of the pews in the church, turning his head to one side and groaning before blinking his eyes open and slowly trying to sit up, one hand pressed to his head] I've really gotta stop entering buildings through the roof . . .

[blinks again and frowns, studying the church interior] Hang on a sec. This isn't Aeris' church . . . [carefully stands up and looks around, hands on his hips and starting to look warier by the second]

Where am I?

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 05:34 am (UTC)(link)
[Aerith just dropped her flowerbasket. It feels like her heart just stopped. She knew, logically, that this could possibly happen. She knew that. But seeing it in person... She's afraid to speak for a moment. Doesn't want to know what his reaction will be. Not after the last time...but...she can't help it.]


[identity profile] 2008-07-26 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
Aerith. It's...Aerith, Zack. [As if in a trance, she steps closer, one hand lifting as if to touch him, like he's just a dream and will fade like mist after a sunrise. He's so tall. She'd forgotten how tall he was.]

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 06:23 am (UTC)(link)
Shh, Zack. Shhh, liebe, stille. Ich bin hier jetzt. It's all right. [She holds him, rocking him gently as she whispers words of comfort, the language she's speaking in long gone.]

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 06:42 am (UTC)(link)
[She pets his hair, being able to really touch him is like a new experience all over again. But it can't last, and Aerith knows it.]

Zack...this place... [She closes her eyes and breathes deeply] There is no Lifestream here. This place isn't even on Gaia. I'm...I'm not sure where it is, I can't hear the Planet here, but...

This city is called Template. No one knows how they get pulled here, and no one knows how they get out. People have successfully left, and some have been pulled back after their first disappearance from the city. Those that have returned can't say how. There's...also another thing. People can be pulled from a world at any point in time on their world, or they can be pulled from an alternate version of their world. One of the doubles knows of a place on their world called Template, and the other one doesn't.

On my died protecting Cloud when you were escaping from ShinRa. I...I'm sorry...I'm not...I'm not your Aeris. [She tries not to feel so crushed when she says it, but the words feel like a physical blow, and she rests her forehead on his shoulder.]

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 06:58 am (UTC)(link)
My name is Aerith, Zack. I'm not...I'm not the flower girl you knew. I'm different. Although by how much I don't know. In my world you died years ago, although...I've...been dead for several as well.

I know it's hard to understand, but please, you have to trust me. This place doesn't make much sense to anyone as it is. There's a barrier around the city that keeps us from leaving. The locals aren't affected by it, just those of us who've been pulled here from somewhere else. Once you're in, you can't find a way out if you're trying. Some people just end up disappearing without warning, probably back to their own worlds.

I'm...I'm sorry, Zack.

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 07:20 am (UTC)(link)
I'm here because Template pulled me here from my place in the Lifestream. As for you... [She presses a hand to his chest, feeling his heartbeat. Her eyes close, and she just listens. When she pulls her hand away, she's smiling as she looks up at him.]

No, Zack, you're not dead. And for that, I'm thankful.

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 07:53 am (UTC)(link)
As lucky as anyone can be, although there are dangers here that I'd never run across before coming here, and none of them have been physical. There is something here that has power over things that I never would've imagined. Sudden blindness, loss of hearing, or the inability to speak that no remedy or magic could cure. People suddenly turning into children over the course of a night. And now...there's a series of nightmares plaguing people about a manor in the snow, and how they have these bruise-like marks that no one can see except for those that have them. I've never run across ailments that my powers couldn't cure before I came here.'s very unsettling.

[The touch makes her heart skip, and her eyes fall shut. For a moment she seems to be leaning into his touch, but she smiles sadly and looks up at him.] Must be a part of who we are, despite our name differences. Aerith. With a 'th' sound.

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 08:39 am (UTC)(link)
[Her smile widens and she almost laughs.] Maybe! You can never tell with these things.

That's..that's okay. Apparently the Zack from my world found me to be much too different from my teenage self. But then again, it'd been seven years since I'd been that age, and for him it must've been only a few months at the most. Things...didn't go so well when he and I first talked after he arrived.

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 08:52 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, a lot of people say that. Although usually much more colorfully.

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 09:06 am (UTC)(link)
I missed you too. [Her voice was soft, and she'd squeezed her eyes shut. This was so confusing. He looked like Zack, the voice, the smell of his clothes, the spiritual presence was a little different but otherwise she would have never known had he not mentioned the Template City where he was from.]

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 09:18 am (UTC)(link)
Mm. [She nods] Once I joined the Lifestream, you were there,'s different somehow. This is different.

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 09:32 am (UTC)(link)
Sometimes personal sacrifice is necessary in order to save something greater. Besides, trust me when I say I knew what I was doing when I left for the City of the Ancients on my own. I was the last person that knew how to summon Holy, and I didn't want any of you in danger.

And I've had enough trouble with Cloud beating himself over it for years, so I would prefer it if you didn't start that either. [She manages a small smile]

[identity profile] 2008-07-26 04:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Please don't blame yourself Zack, I didn't even know that would happen, there was no way anyone could've prepared for that.

Yes. [She nods, one hand moving to cover where the scar lay hidden beneath her clothes.] It was Sephiroth.