Note: Still don't own this thing. Wish I did, but I don't know how to design games like this so it's not possible.

"Genesis, I want you to have something of mine," Cloud said, picking at a hole in his jacket pocket.

"You don't have to," Genesis replied, knowing that Cloud couldn't afford much. Cloud shook his head before shoving a materia in his hands. "Is this Ice? It looks like it, but it feels different. Like Cure or something.)

"It's my family tradition, to give that to one we one. It's said that they hold a life," Cloud said, folding Genesis's fingers over the materia. "It'll keep you safe like it's kept me."

"Aw, who knew you could be so shy!" laughed Genesis, stroking his hand over Cloud's flushed cheeks.

"Jerk!" cried Cloud, smiling as he punched Genesis's shoulders. "Here I am trying to be nice!"

Gen..

Genes...

Genesis...

GENESIS!

The black zoomed into white.

"Angeal," Genesis gasped, suprised to see his bestfriend looking so worn down, tears running down his face and covered in blood. "What's wrong?"

"Genesis?" gasped Angeal, staring down at him in surpise. "But you can't... Medic!"

"Who needs a medic, Angeal?" asked Genesis, looking around his team and relieved to see them well.

"You do!" barked Angeal.

"No, look I'm fine," protested Genesis.

"Just a moment ago, you were dead Gen! You weren't breathing and your heat had stopped. You were dead!" Angeal screeched.

"Dead," breathed Genesis, eyes flickering around in contemplation. That wasn't possible -

It's said they hold a life...

"What's going on?" asked Sephiroth, looking through the glass to see Genesis destroying the simulation room.

"He's been like that since we got back. He keeps checking his PHS to see if he's been cleared to leave base," Angeal murmured.

"He's fine, Angeal, he's alive. He's okay," Sepiroth reassurred.

"No it's not! He was in my arms and he was dying. He kept telling me to tell Cloud he loved him. Do you know how muc it hurt? He was dying and I couldn't promise to fulfill his wish, not without a full name! Now he's alive when he was dead-"

"I'm cleared!" Genesis shouted t them, making a dash to his room. He returned dressed in civies and hiding his hair with a black bandana.

"He looks so different," Angeal noted and indeed Genesis did. Without his red coat and SOLDIER uniform he looked less flashy. He looked like an ordinary man.

They followed him as he left the Shinra building and into the slums. It was strange, he was greeting people as he walked through the slums as if he had been here many times before. Enough times to become familiar with people and for them to recognize him. He arrived at a homey bungalo.

"Cloud?" called Genesis, pushing the door open. They heard a shout and rushed in. They found Genesis kneeling on the floor, a slender blond man in his arms. Angeal flinched, it was eerily similar to another scene, except it was Genesis in his arms that day. They watched as Genesis shook him frantically, sitting on the counter next to where Cloud had fallen was a small cake iced with an incomplete heart.

The next mission they went on was a disaster. Genesis was barely functional and he cradled a materia in his hands constantly. Angeal watched him sadly.

"This isn't how he would ha-"

"You didn't know him, Angeal! What would you know about what he wanted?" demanded Genesis, turning to flash a furious glare. The effect was ruined by the deep bags under Genesis's eyes and how his skin seemed stretched tight over his face. He looked tired, gaunt as if he had one foot in the grave.

"He would have wanted you to be happy Genesis," Angeal reached to place his hand on Genesis's shoulder and his eyes widened in surpise when Genesis shoved him away frantically.

"Get back!" Genesis screamed, tossing himself away from a blast of magic. It was too late, the fireball burnt into his arm giving off the smell of burnt human flesh. They watched as the scent attracted even more starving monsters. They both faced the crowd and watched as it got bigger, then as if time had stopped a butterfly flew lazy path between them and the monsters.

"What would you like?" it was like the voices of thousands of people asking at once, young and old, man and woman, all in one voice.

"What are you?" gasped Genesis, staring at the floating black cloaked figure in front of them. It resembled the depicted images of the grim reaper.

"Genesis, what would you like me to do?" asked the figure again. The monsters leap at them.

"Save us!" screamed Genesis, gripping Cloud's materia in his hands.

"As you command," replied the figure. There was a black breeze and nothing.

Genesis blinked and looked around. He was standing on the sky. He watched as clouds drifted below him. There was someone behind and he tensed, preparing to attack. A hand touched his arm.

"You came even though you're hurting. That's a good sign."

"Cloud," he breathed. He wanted to turn around, but he couldn't.

"Now I guess the question is, why did you come?" asked Cloud, you could hear the smile in his voice.

"I guess, I want to be forgiven," answered Genesis.

"For what?" laughed Cloud.

"I don't know. For your death, for everything," Genesis looked up and saw a winged person flying. He wanted to do that too. It looked liberating.

"Hm... That's no good. You seem to have a severe case of machoness!" teased Cloud. " I gave that orb to you Genesis. I chose to, it was my choirce. So there's nothing to be forgiven, but now it's time for you to choose."

"Choose what?" asked Genesis.

"To find a reason to live or to die," answered Cloud, his voice sad. "Don't Genesis, please don't..."

A feather drifted down and landed at their feet, causing a ripple.

Note: I wasn't sure where I was going with this fic, but incase it wasn't completely obvious. That grim reaper was Cloud, his is in the materia he gave Genesis and the reason Genesis is still alive. I was going to have it that until Genesis found a new reason to live, Cloud would only appear as the grim reaper when summoned.