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Beloved, Chapter 6

Title: Beloved

Rating: M, for violence, language, slash.

Summary: FFVII, post DoC. Genesis/Cloud, one-sided Tifa/Cloud. It all starts when Cloud tries to leave during the middle of a Loveless performance.

Author’s Note: Some Tifa POV this chapter.  In other news, have 'completed' Theatrhythm, but I know it is still withholding precious unlockable music from me because I have been playing them in the Dark Notes, you can't fool me Square.

Thanks to Little House in the Woods for the beta!


Previous chapter



____________________

Beloved

Chapter 6


____________________



“…And Heidegger?”

 

“Blew up with Scarlett on one of their war machines.” 

 

Genesis made a sound somewhere between a snort and a cough.  “Appropriate.” 

 

They were sitting outside in the hazy sunlight, a short distance from the church.  Cloud was checking Fenrir over for a rattle that had developed while they’d been traversing the ruins, looking for signs of the clone.  Genesis perched on a metal beam nearby.  The SOLDIER Commander, apparently having nothing better to do, had elected to keep him company and ‘guard him from monsters’ until he was done. 

 

Cloud had rolled his eyes – as though he needed guarding - but chose not to comment.  As grating as the implied insult might have been, he found himself not minding the SOLDIER’s conversation.  Maybe because Genesis didn’t appear to need his input all that much.

 

It was even enough to make him forget his misgivings, for a while.  He still couldn’t reason out what Genesis was hiding in regards to the clone, or why.  The former SOLDIER seemed genuinely interested in the search, but also seemed far too out of touch with modern events to have a hidden agenda.  It didn’t make any sense.

 

Cloud’s not-so-brilliant plan at this stage was to play dumb and see what he learned.  So far, it had been nothing but out-dated gossip about ShinRa executives and reams of trivia about Loveless.  Like right now.

 

“A waste of space, the both of them,” Genesis declared.  “And Heidegger couldn’t manage an army to save his life.  The only reason ShinRa’s armed forces lasted as long as they did was because we had enough competent lieutenants to offset his ridiculous orders.  And SOLDIER, of course.  Moronic orders matter a great deal less when you have superior weapons.” 

 

Cloud found a loose bolt and tightened it – the likely culprit.  He started checking the surrounding components, giving each bolt a gentle wrench to make sure none others had been shaken loose.

 

Genesis was still going.  “Really, the only reason the Wutai War was won at all was because nobody actually listened to Heidegger on the ground.  It was enough to drive a man to desertion.”  He smirked at something he found amusing about that, and abruptly turned his focus back on Cloud.  “And what about Sephiroth?  You said he didn’t actually die in the Nibelheim Reactor.”

 

Cloud paused in his tinkering – maybe a moment too long.  “He did.  But he came back.” 

 

“Yes, but how?” He tapped the edge of the metal beam with his fingers, impatient. 

 

That gave him pause.

 

How could Genesis have a connection with the clone, and not even know that much?

 

He explained briefly about the clones and Jenova, keeping a wary eye on the former SOLDIER’s reaction.  With each revelation, Genesis looked in turn fascinated and revolted, until Cloud finished the tale, where he shook his head in disbelief.

 

Such is... the fate of a monster.”  His lip upturned to a sneer.  “He was such a hypocrite.”

 

Cloud kept quiet.  It was probably better not to ask.  One thing that had become clear within the first day of clone-hunting was just how much water under the bridge there had been between Genesis and Sephiroth.  The tensions in their meetings were palpable enough without poking sleeping bombs.

 

Not that Genesis appeared to appreciate that.  He seemed like the sort who would just as soon set the bombs on fire.

 

“So?” the former Commander prodded.  “What happened to him then?”

 

Cloud shrugged, keeping his gaze firmly fixed on Fenrir this time.  “Like I told you before, AVALANCHE killed him.  Then the Planet was free to stop Meteor.”  He’d already shared the overall story behind Midgar’s destruction.

 

Genesis looked strangely unhappy about that, which also didn’t fit in with all the apparent water under the bridge with the General.  But then, they’d all been top brass together, hadn’t they? 

 

If he truly did want to know about Genesis and how he fit into the greater scheme of things, maybe he’d have to poke the bomb after all. “Were you friends?”

 

The result was electric.  “Friends?  With that arrogant, pompous-”  Genesis sputtered, rendered speechless with indignity.  “The world is a better place without him,” he declared hotly.

 

Weird.  Cloud remained silent, and added another mental note to the things he just didn’t get about Genesis. But then, who was he to question others’ twisted relationships with Sephiroth?

 

“I find it hard to believe, is all,” Genesis went on, waving a hand as though to clear away smoke.  “I’d heard of AVALANCHE, of course, but they were little more than a nuisance back when I was still above surface.  Oh, certainly they caused some of the lower ranks some trouble, but if the Turks could deal with them…”  He made a dismissive gesture.  “Zack Fair defeating him I could understand.  But if Sephiroth died as you say he did… that any mere civilians could kill him is frankly surprising.”

 

It took Cloud a minute to realise Genesis was talking about Nibelheim.  He thought Zack had…

 

It was only right.  Zack had done all the real fighting.  Cloud had landed one lucky hit when the General’s back was turned, and all he’d really managed after that was to get skewered.

 

He dusted off his knees and turned the ignition.  The engine roared to life, the rumble now a steady purr.  “That’s all for now,” he said.  Discussing Sephiroth could sour his mood faster than anything else.

 

Genesis crossed his arms with a huff – clearly matters of Sephiroth put him in a similar disposition.  His fault for bringing it up in the first place.  “You don’t have any questions for me?  In your quest for ‘understanding’?”

 

“Not today.”  He gunned the engine, and Fenrir peeled away.

 

 

…………………..

 

 

“Cloud,” Reno rasped.

 

Cloud paused warily, barely three steps through the door. 

 

The bar was quiet – it was a work night, so the usual crowd were already long gone and only a few off-duty WRO personnel were left, nursing their beers in a secluded corner. Tifa wasn’t immediately in sight, which meant she’d either disappeared upstairs to check on the kids or she’d stepped into the back for a moment.

 

The redhead staggered to his feet.  “Oi,” he slurred.  “You.  You get your broody ass over here.  We gotta talk, yo.”

 

Cloud frowned.  Orders weren’t something he reacted well with, especially not orders from the Turks.  But at the same time, he didn’t want to cause a scene.  His fingers touched the edge of his sunglasses briefly, checking they were still there.

 

In the end, he moved over to the Turk’s table, but remained standing.  Rude and Tseng were there, too – Rude staring into the bottom of his glass as though it held all the answers of the universe, and Tseng thumbing through messages on his phone, though he stopped when Cloud arrived.  He didn’t say anything, however. 

 

The dark bags under his eyes said enough.

 

“What do you want?” Cloud asked abruptly.

 

“I want to know what the hell you’re playing at,” Reno accused, his jabbing finger wavering as though every jerk put him off balance.  “We gotta find this bastard that killed Elena and lay him flat, yo.  Why the hell did you suddenly stop searching?”

 

The redhead was unquestionably drunk.  The stench of alcohol rolled off him in waves, and there was a glassy tint to his eyes that made him look downright crazy right then.

 

“I have other things to do.  I can’t just drop everything to go on a wild cactuar chase for weeks on end,” was his curt response.  They couldn’t know he was still looking – then they’d be calling in to find out his progress, and keeping track of his movements, and he wouldn’t be able to risk meeting with Genesis.

 

“Is it monetary compensation you need?” Tseng asked.  “If you’re concerned with your delivery business suffering, Neo-ShinRa can repay you for your time.”

 

How many times were they going to try to get him on their payroll?  Rufus could offer him a million gil a month and he still wouldn’t take it.  “Not interested.”

 

Reno made a sound that could have been a snarl.  “Is there anything that can convince you?” Tseng asked.

 

“Why does it matter so much?” Cloud grumbled.  “You’ve got the WRO helping.”

 

“It’s difficult for us, even with the chopper.  We simply cannot cover the inner regions of Midgar as easily as a SOLDIER.”

 

“I was never in SOLDIER.”

 

“Stop being so damn difficult!” Reno growled.  “You know what he means!”

 

“The monsters aren’t anything we can’t deal with,” Tseng continued mildly. “The terrain, however, proves more of a challenge.  And there is still a significant level of mako in the air.  For an unenhanced individual to remain for more than a few hours…”

 

“I can’t find the clone for you.  If I could, I would have found it back when I was still looking.”  Not the whole truth, but hopefully enough to get them off his back.  He spied Tifa coming down the stairs, and took it as an excuse to make his escape.  “We’re done here.”

 

Reno swore a blue streak at him, but Cloud ignored him, making a beeline for the stairs.

 

It was sad to see the Turks like that – like a limb had been cut from their body.  Maybe they had changed, somehow – he couldn’t remember them being that bothered when Jessie died.

 

“Cloud?” Tifa paused behind the counter, and sent a pointed look at the clock on the wall.  “You’re back late.”  The again hung unspoken in the air.

 

“Sorry,” was all he said in response, and drifted past to head upstairs.

 

He didn’t relax until the door to his room – his office, really – closed behind him, cloaking him in comforting darkness.  Finally he took off the sunglasses, folded them in his hand, and placed them carefully on his desk.  He didn’t bother with the lamp.  The moonlight seeping through the blinds was enough.

 

Cloud wondered how despite his best efforts to hold on to his identity and freedom, he had somehow still managed to lose control of his life.

 

All he’d wanted was to know more about the mystery SOLDIER he’d met at the Loveless performance.  But now he was keeping secrets, everyone was on his case about this elusive clone, Tifa kept giving him those searching looks, Rufus wouldn’t stop trying to recruit him, and he still didn’t know what he wanted even though he had found his mystery SOLDIER.

 

Too many questions.  Too many mysteries.  Too many things he didn’t understand.  And he didn’t have an answer for any of them.

 

 

…………………..

 

 

The bar was quiet - Marlene and Denzel were at one of the WRO’s newly opened schools.  Cloud was, as always, off to who-knew-where, and Seventh Heaven had been closed for the afternoon.

 

Tifa retreated to her bedroom.  Like Cloud’s it doubled as an office, where she would make phone calls and manage the bar’s invoices and keep track of all the paperwork.  She fussed about with her papers for a few minutes, not really achieving anything, before she sighed, and found her gaze wandering to the phone.

 

She picked it up off the cradle, and toyed with it for a long moment.  Should she call?  Wasn’t it kind of overreacting?  But if she didn’t talk to somebody

 

Holding her breath, she dialled.

 

The phone rang once, twice, three times.  She nearly hung up on the fourth, convinced she was being stupid, but as her finger reached for the cradle there was a click from the other end.

 

“Hello?”  The signal was full of crackle, but the voice unmistakeable.

 

“Hi Yuffie, it’s Tifa.” Yuffie was hardly anyone’s first choice for this kind of thing, but who else could she talk to?  Cid?  Barret?

 

“Gawd, Tifa, it’s like, the middle of the night here!”

 

She eyeballed the clock.  “Isn’t it 9am over there?”

 

“Whatever!”  The massive yawn that followed was enough to make even Tifa feel tired.  “What is it?  Is it materia?  It’s materia right?  You found some materia.”  The prospect was apparently enough to wake her up.

 

“It’s not- It’s Cloud,” she admitted.

 

“Shoulda guessed.  What’s the spiky-haired bozo done now?”

 

“I’m sorry,” she apologised.  “It’s just… he’s been acting a little strange, the past few weeks.  I wanted to talk to someone about it.”

 

“Just a few weeks?”

 

“Yuffie!”

 

“I know, I know, I’m sorry, geez!”  Another yawn.  “So what’s the problem?”

 

“He’s been away a lot.  I mean, I know he has his delivery business, but…” She worried her lower lip between her teeth.  “He gets home so late every night.  And he won’t talk to me about anything!” she burst out.  “It feels like he’s hiding something.”

 

“Maybe he’s cheating on you,” Yuffie quipped. 

 

“Yuffie!”

 

“Owww, okay!  Not so looooud.”

 

“What- Have you been drinking?” she demanded.

 

“So what if I was?!  I’m old enough!”

 

Right.  She was.  It was easy to forget – for all she’d matured, Yuffie still seemed sixteen in her eyes.  And she was the Princess of Wutai – who was going to tell her no? 

 

That didn’t mean Tifa would ever agree to serve her in Seventh Heaven.  If Yuffie were going to get drunk, better for everyone that she did it half a world away.

 

“So he’s not talking and he’s coming home late.  Riiiight.  And this is a problem why?”

 

Tifa sat on the edge of the bed, unhappy.  "It…”  She fished for the right words, but there didn’t seem to be any.  Tears prickled behind her eyes, but she blinked them away.  “It feels like he's drifting away from us again."


She hated it.  Everything was going backwards.  For a little while - that window after Geostigma, and before the Deep Ground uprising - it had been like old times again.  Everyone working together.  None of this distance, physical or otherwise.  She’d hoped…


Yuffie was quiet for a long moment.  Tifa had begun to suspect she’d fallen back asleep when she said, "But it's been kinda tough for him, yeah? After Deep Ground..."

 

“But that doesn’t affect Cloud,” she argued.  “He’s a hero!”

 

Yuffie grumbled something under her breath that got lost in the crackle and hiss of long-distance interference.  “So why are you talking to me about it then?  Bring it up with him!  Gawd!”

 

Maybe Yuffie had been a mistake.  She could have tried Shera instead – if anyone had a hope of understanding her, it would be Shera.  “I don’t want to drive him even further away!  It’s like every time I try he withdraws even more!”  Her fist clenched in frustration.  She would have driven it into the desk if it weren’t for the very real chance she might break the desk in the process.  She may have been out of practice, but her knuckles were still tough enough for that.

 

Consciously, she relaxed her fingers and took a deep breath.  Yuffie had pulled away to mutter at someone in the background – a royal retainer, by the sounds of it.  After a moment, she came clear again with a huff.  “You know the big dummy best, right?  Just kick him upside the head or something!  Or I’ll get Cid to fly me over to do it for you!  Heck, he’d probably help!”

 

Tifa sighed.  “Thanks, Yuffie.  But I’m probably just overreacting.  Don’t worry about it.  I guess I just wanted to vent.” 

 

“Go kick something.  It always helps me,” Yuffie offered.

 

“Right.  Thanks.  I’ll call again soon.”  Tifa hung up, resisting the urge to roll her eyes.  All she’d really managed in the end was to shift some of her exasperation with Cloud on to Yuffie.

 

She curled her hands back into fists again, eyeing her knuckles, slightly misshapen from the abuse they’d suffered over years of training.  They were the least feminine thing about her – her nails cut as short as possible, and her skin dry and papery from too much soap and detergent.  The calluses were fading at least, but were just as surely being replaced with new ones from working the taps and cleaning the bar. 

 

It was so easy to forget that strength they had when they fought for the Planet. 

 

But Cloud hadn't forgotten.  Neither had Vincent.  What was the difference?  Why couldn't they let go of the past, and move on?





Next chapter

 

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
caterfree10
Jul. 14th, 2012 06:28 am (UTC)
khsalfhjsldkfjhs I should be in bed rn because I have work in the morning, but I get the urge to check my email one last time before bed and this pops up in my inbox. I see how it is, Universe. xD

ANYWAY, why in the hell do I smell so much denial when Gen's asked about his friendship status with Seph? *gigglesnort* Though baww, I want to hug the Turks. ;; And Tifa's conversation with Yuffie was gold, stifled more giggles than I could keep track. x3

Also, I feel you on the Dark notes. Though I know there are a couple tracks that can't be unlocked - I die a little inside every time I realize the FMS version of Zanarkand isn't unlockable. ;A; Ah well, I can still abuse Dark Notes and farm for shards! MUAHAHAHA /has already unlocked Sephiroth, among others
sinnatious
Jul. 14th, 2012 12:55 pm (UTC)
Heh, your fic instincts are strong.

I wonder how many Dark Notes there are. Are they randomly generated? Is there a cap on their number? (Considering you have the ability to delete them?)

I hear you with the FMS/other versions. I'm not too fond of the EMS mode actually, the speed changes randomly and it's so distracting with all the pretty pictures!
caterfree10
Jul. 14th, 2012 01:27 pm (UTC)
They are randomly generated. The "No." part, which indicates how hard the Dark Note is, is determined by the average level of the party used to beat the previous note. "Mv." determines which songs are used. I just don't have a list offhand that says which number is what, though GameFAQs has it somewhere. :B And yeah, there's a limit at 99 Dark Notes, after that you have to delete old ones to get new ones.

lol, EMS is actually my favorite, particularly Waltz For the Moon on Ultimate. Then it's FMS followed by BMS, though BMS is growing on me because it's easy to get lots of EXP on those levels, especially if you find and beat a Magic Pot. Still trying to find a Dark Note with one since the enemies are fixed. x3 Though I also find it easier to concentrate after playing them a lot. Goodness knows I spammed several of them trying to get all S ranks on Basic (without Stoic bonus, but that's because I didn't want to unequip everyone, heh).
firedraygon97
Jul. 14th, 2012 07:12 am (UTC)
Haha, Gen asking about company gossip is gold. Luxiere was probably his main supplier, back in the day. XD

I feel bad for the Turks, but also a bit approving of the situation. They get to be more human here.

My favourite bit here is the analogy of Tifa's knuckles and new calluses. Wonderful imagery!

Have a great weekend~
sinnatious
Jul. 14th, 2012 12:57 pm (UTC)
Luxiere, not Kunsel? XD

And thanks, you too!
firedraygon97
Jul. 14th, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
Maybe both, but I dunno...I feel like Kunsel would be more loyal if Genesis were an email buddy. Does that make sense? :/

Gen subscribing to all the fan groups too now seems plausible, haha.
sinnatious
Jul. 14th, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
Ha, good point. Let us presume the gossip chain went something like Kunsel - Luxiere - Genesis.

LOL, almost certainly. Though he would fervently deny ever subscribing to the Silver Elite.
azardarkstar
Jul. 14th, 2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
Tifa, Tifa. Again, this isn't something that one just gets over. And Cloud sort of but not really is cheating on her. The part with Yuffie was comedy gold btw.

Anyway, I now have the strange urge to think the clone is Kunsel since everyone else from The Fifth Act has come up in some way. May I just miss him. :) There aren't enough Kunsel!fic either.

I do feel bad for the Turks. They aren't particularly good people, but they are human and do mourn.
sinnatious
Jul. 14th, 2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you for all of the comments. And I agree, there aren't enough Kunsel fics. It's something I plan to address after I finish this one.

And glad you enjoyed Yuffie, too. She is ridiculously fun to write always.
swyrel
Jul. 14th, 2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
Genesis is forcing Cloud to channel his inner Kunsel! And again you bring up his pyromania lol

Tifa, open your eyes. Of course Cloud is affected by all the Deep Ground crap. You just need to look outside once in a while when he comes to the Bar to see that...

I'm not fond of the Turks really, except for Vincent, but you're making me feel bad for them. T_T

Loved the Genesis and Cloud interaction! Not such much the Tifa. She just gets on my nerves sometimes. I mean, he's not interested, so why not just realize it and give up?

Sin! I finally got my PSP and starting CC! I'm so loving it right now~ <3 Although, I kind of thought we would get to see Genesis hanging around for a while before he left, instead of it jumping right into it... but man, have you made me into a Genesis fan girl. I joined all his fan clubs T_T
sinnatious
Jul. 14th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
Tifa suffers from being the obstacle in the slash fic. I kind of felt it would be too cliche to just write her off in that 'we decided against the romance thing and are just like family now' approach most fics take, which always struck me as a little too convenient. On the other hand, she does gum up the works considerably.

Yay! \o/ Yeah, we only really get to see non-crazy Genesis in flashbacks or through anecdotes. LOL, both Red Leather and Study Group? ;) It feels a little fourth-wall breaking when you join the fanclubs because you're actually a fan. XD
swyrel
Jul. 14th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
*sighs* Yeah, you're right. And too convenient in a story never feels right when reading it.

I felt kind of bad for Zack, making him join all those fan clubs so I went and waited for the Sector 5 train thinking maybe I could force a meeting with Aeris, but apparently it wasn't running yet T_T
skibalovesya
Jul. 15th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Ah, your writing is always so refreshing. I can't stand reading 99.9% of fics, especially in this fandom, because of the sheer badness. The Fifth Act is one my tiny list of amazing FFVII fics and it's the one I swear by. So I knew, going into this, I wouldn't be disappointed.

Genesis/Cloud as a pairing is one that TFA inspired but I've seen more of a chance to play with it through my RP partner. (We don't actually RP it but she writes it a lot and I've written some for her.) The thing is, prior to TFA, I hated Genesis. I still do, but that's only canon!Genesis since he's just a big mishmash of bad writing and one-dimensional characterization. And I still do not accept that he was present at the Nibelheim Reactor. *lives in a world of denial, DENIAL DAMMIT*

(Also I see what you did there... playing with LOVELESS with actual Loveless and Beloved, o hai dere Seimei how are you?)

On a more serious, critique-y note... which I feel a bit awkward doing because I place you on a level far, far above my own... but it's in my nature to do it x_x ...I really do like the content of this fic. Few people truly explore post-DoC, mainly because DoC is just a terrible, terrible game with a convoluted and poorly-strung-together storyline. You make the later elements of game canon feel a lot more believable than the games ever did—especially regarding Shelke's existence, the way that the general populace reacts to the now-pretty-much-civilian previous SOLDIER operatives, WRO as a true world power side-by-side with Neo-Shinra, oh, and especially the little news segment you slipped in—and, wow, long sentence is long, I appreciate that kind of fleshing out.

The only gripes I have with the story are technical details, and ones having to do with canon, because my brain is a canon encyclopedia that never shuts up. The double-spaced punctuation is driving me a little nuts because all I can see are the blank holes in the "page"—I know, I know, the debate has been raging for centuries (or so it seems), but the consensus I've seen from what I've read is that nowadays it is completely unnecessary to do so.

The rest is just my usual gripes with FFVII fandom (fanon, really) as a whole—Sephiroth was never a general, the Planet is not called Gaia, it's LOVELESS and not Loveless, Deepground is one word (at least in English), and I noticed you used Avalanche in previous chapters before switching to AVALANCHE. (Oh FFVII terminology, you're so full of capitals.) Final note is that the base sword of the Fusion Swords is First Ken (with "tsurugi" being a mistranslation); the big complete sword itself has no name, Fusion Swords is just the given one. Other than that you don't fall into many fanon traps, so I can enjoy the story a bit more fully in that sense.

I do like that you're mixing up the LOVELESS quotes with the official English and the translated Japanese, definitely gives it more of a blended and expanded feel. Though I'm kind of partial to the idea that Genesis doesn't quote LOVELESS quite as much as he does in canon, that he really did it in the first place to intentionally get on Sephiroth's nerves and then later it became a madness mantra. Water under the bridge, though, he at least says them at appropriate times rather than just verbally spooging them every time he appears.

I like where the story is headed, and was really quite shocked to see Elena die. I want to know who or what the clone is rather like burning, and can't wait to see where it goes next. And I appreciate your more tender treatment of Tifa, as compared to stories where it ranges from convenient write-outs (as you mentioned in the comments) to the abhorrent Die for Our Ship-level... *handwave, no clue what to call that* I even gave a little giggle at the attention to detail regarding her hands. That is something.

I'd probably leave some more specific comments about things in each chapter I was partial to, but my brain is a little addled at the moment. For now I hope this review suffices.

Edited at 2012-07-15 12:18 am (UTC)
sinnatious
Jul. 15th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
Thank you for the vote of confidence, though there is plenty of time yet for disappointment!

I think canon gave Genesis a pretty bad rap, especially when you consider he essentially did the whole AVALANCHE thing prior to AVALANCHE (even if for less altruistic reasons). And he was dying, which can justify a lot of craziness and bad behaviour. Thankfully, fandom is here to flesh him out? (Unless Square does another prequel-prequel). Although I kind of agree, his presence at the Reactor felt unnecessary and shoe-horned in.

Sorry about the double-space punctuation, I know there's little need for it in the digital realm these days but I learned to type on a typewriter and it's not a habit I've been able to bring myself to break. Kind of like eating lots of sugar even knowing you really shouldn't. I'll have to beg your forgiveness on that one.

And by all means, feel free to point out any technical gripes you have. (Although I'm not changing Loveless to all caps since that just struck me as silly - AVALANCHE and SOLDIER at least had some suggestion of maybe being acronyms at one point, even if no one knows what those acronyms stand for. I've tried to be good about all-capsing those two in this fic at least, so if I miss any please let me know.) And yeah, I know about the First Tsurugi/Fusion Swords thing too (I think we've had this discussion before, actually), but it works for a name so I didn't particularly feel like taking a stand against fanon for that one. I try to be accurate where possible, but there are some fanon tropes I actually like.

As for the Gaia thing, I agree, it's just plain old 'Planet'. I use 'Gaia' strictly as an oath, give me a slap on the knuckles if I ever use it in any other context. Only Tifa and Cloud use it too, at some point I decided it would be a Nibelheim-only thing.

Thanks for taking the time to leave such an exhaustive comment! :)
skibalovesya
Jul. 15th, 2012 02:26 am (UTC)
[rant ahead!]

I think the main reason I have a problem with canon!Genesis is that he's a Villain Black Hole Sue. I have a rant stored away about him, but the important parts I'll bring up are that he did a large number of completely reprehensible things, dying or not, that he was completely absolved of both in game and metafictionally. I could enumerate the laundry list, but I think anyone who's played CC knows what he's done and how terrible said things were.

But then came the end of the game where Zack has every reason to just be so furious with Genesis for basically ruining his and Cloud's lives quite permanently, and... even with the kind soul Zack is, it seemed very shoehorn-ish for him to just read a handful of things about Genesis and go, "Oh, forget about how much I hate you, I completely sympathize with you and want to help you!" ...When he went 90% of the game really hating on Genesis. If it had some more development and maybe Genesis getting a chance to redeem himself instead of having redemption handed to him on a silver platter, it would probably sit better with me.

Metafictionally, the creators just seem to be implying that oh, he only killed all those people and did so many terrible things because he wasn't in the proper emotional state, it was all the degradation's fault, whoopsie, bad Genesis, here have the Goddess who exists only to make your fanboyish fantasies come true cure you completely and absolve you of all guilt, tee hee hee.

...No I don't have a huge stinking vendetta against Genesis what are you talking about. :3c

The kind of Genesis I like to see is one who gets his proper hubris, a chance to atone and to express guilt. I also like ones who are self-aware of his tendency to be jealous and obsessive, and while he might not work that hard at trying to cure said tendencies, at least recognizes them as flaws. Otherwise, he just comes across as a massively flawed individual being presented as absolute perfection. *refers back to the various Sue monikers*

(As an aside, Genesis/Zack is one of my favorite pairings to play with, no thanks to my RP partner, mostly because Zack is one of the few people who really calls Genesis out on his attitude and they work as great foils in bringing out one another's different qualities.)

[Minor edit: regarding AVALANCHE and SOLDIER, I believe SOLDIER is capitalized because it's rendered as ソルジャー (SORUJAA) in the Japanese, and usually katakana terms like that are translated as such. Interestingly, if you pay attention to the dialogue in the games, no member of SOLDIER is expressly referred to as "a SOLDIER," it's normally rendered as "a SOLDIER operative" or "a member of SOLDIER," or, occasionally phrased as "I'm SOLDIER" or "He's SOLDIER." It's kind of a strange term. I don't know about AVALANCHE, and I suppose LOVELESS is left to personal interpretation since it's called Ai ni Nai or something in the Japanese. *will have to look more closely at it*]

[Edit No. 2: Nope, it's still ラブレス but the in-game Japanese subtitles spell it out L O V E L E S S. Complete with spaces. Weirdness. o_O]

Edited at 2012-07-15 02:34 am (UTC)
skibalovesya
Jul. 15th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
And because I'm being super chatty, to actually respond to things you said.

I have no real technical gripes so far, besides a little comment about possible overuse of italics. And I think at least four of the chapters began with a remark about Fenrir, but I figured it was a stylistic quirk. X3

If you want to rid yourself of the double-spacing thing, do what I told someone I used to beta for: When you're done with a chapter, CTRL+F "  " and replace all with " ".
darkbombayangel
Jul. 15th, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
I like seeing Genesis asking about company gossip. ^-^
ynyuki
Jul. 15th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
“Friends? With that arrogant, pompous-” Genesis sputtered, rendered speechless with indignity.

That had me Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off. XD

Yuffie is fun.
Drunk Yuffie is double fun. XD
sinnatious
Jul. 17th, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
LOL. <3

I did maybe enjoy writing Yuffie more than strictly necessary.
tomoehikage
Jul. 20th, 2012 12:40 am (UTC)
Ah I got a question if you don't mind answering...

•Have you unlocked Sephiroth yet in Theatrhythym?

•If you have, how?
•Which Dark Notes did you play to get him?
•Along what number were the ones that gave you tha black crystal shards?

I've been trying to acquire him but its been quite a challenge.
sinnatious
Jul. 20th, 2012 09:58 am (UTC)
Hey hey!

I haven't, I still only have about half the required number of black shards. All the ones I've received so far have been from Dark Notes. Dark Notes are randomly generated so... I can't exactly remember which ones they were anyway, but I've only played about twenty of them, and I only started picking up the black shards around the point my party average (i.e. note number) hit the mid-twenties. Possibly there are other ways to collect dark shards, but I haven't stumbled across them yet. I've been spending a lot of time unlocking the courses in Challenges.

The Theatrhythm endgame is looking quite long, so it may just be you have you slog your way there through random drops and rhythmia. If I find out more I will let you know!
tomoehikage
Jul. 22nd, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
Ah I see, thank so much for the info!

I actually kept playing in the Chaos Shrine and managed to finally find a boss that gave me a black shard, around on Dark Note #80+.

A little word of advice, once you find a boss that gives you the shard you're looking for, keep playing that stage and boss until he stops dropping the shard.

I got 5 black shards from one boss. Also the higher the lvl your characters are, the better chances, I've got 5 characters lvl 99 now and it really helps a lot.

I hope this helps you in some way, if you find anything else thanks in advance. :3
sunnepho
Aug. 10th, 2012 06:02 am (UTC)
Minor Theatrhythm ramble: I just maxed out my rhythmia a couple of days ago, so I guess I'm fully done unlocking any collectibles. Now it's just about grinding for trophies. Finding Sephiroth and Kain shards, though! I literally squealed at my 3DS when I first saw their silhouettes. Then I went and replayed the Dark Notes that got me their shards an unbelievable amount of times for the sake of unlocking them. To anyone still collecting shards, using the characters with the ability Libra, particularly FFIII Cid with his standalone Libra 3, makes things so much easier.

Right, fic-wise. I'm utterly impressed that you've managed to highlight everything I find irritating about Cloud (especially his tendency to drag his self-worth through the swamp bottom) and still make me root for him.

It's kind of sad, what Tifa's doing, fumbling around for someone to tell her she's doing the right thing when really, she doesn't know what to do.
sinnatious
Aug. 10th, 2012 02:07 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I'm still well behind on Kain shards, *sob*, I don't have the patience to replay the same notes, I rather just power through to find new ones. Just unlocked Rydia though which made me all kinds of psyched! \o/ I've found another useful trick for collecting shards is if you trick out your party with skills for BMS that mean you race through the monsters, and thus if you do fairly well you can beat the boss twice and usually get two shards for one song!
love_michiyuki
Aug. 19th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
Genesis must have been really bored before, with no one around to talk to xD
(Anonymous)
Dec. 29th, 2012 06:04 am (UTC)
Jessie? From AVALANCHE? Why would the Turks be or not be upset about her (as compared to Elena)?

Anyway, I liked Genesis and Cloud's interaction in the first part so much. Genesis's relationship with Sephiroth is probably not easy to explain, and certainly not by someone so proud and guarded with his feelings as Genesis. I like that Cloud can relate to the uneasiness, even if he doesn't know what it was all about. And the "guarding Cloud" part while he fixed his bike! :3 Eh heh heh.

And then in the bar, I couldn't help but think how ~scandalous~ their meetings would look from the outside. XD

"Where has Cloud been? He keeps coming home late, and I know he's been lying."

"Oh, he's been sneaking off to meet with this person ~~in secret~~!"

XD

...Oh, oh Tifa. :( Cloud and Vincent are not the type to settle down into the type of life you wish for. They might find some sort of stability in their lives, but they are both too restless for true domesticity, at least the way they are now.
sinnatious
Dec. 29th, 2012 06:22 am (UTC)
There used to be a sort of fanon in FFVII fandom that Jessie was a Turk gone rogue, originally sent to infiltrate AVALANCHE who was supposed to sabotage them - I've seen it painted that she genuinely joined them, and also that all of AVALANCHE's early problems (such as ID cards no longer working, and other tech things Jessie was in charge of) were her doing. There were suggestions that she was Elena's older sister who died, leaving that opening in the Turks.

That info isn't on any of the more popular wikis anymore so I guess it's been proven bogus, probably by Before Crisis. I should have used one of the other Turks who died! It remains my personal head!canon though. :)
(Anonymous)
Jan. 1st, 2013 01:33 am (UTC)
I always wondered what was up with Jessie messing up the ID cards! Too distracted thinking of Cloud? XD

That is an interesting fanon, but I had no idea it existed. This is what I get for not being in the actual fandom, I guess?

Thanks!
sinnatious
Jan. 1st, 2013 01:42 am (UTC)
Heh, well, it was back in the days prior to ACC, and maybe it was only in the small corner of fandom I was lurking in. It certainly made Jessie more interesting!

You're reading fic, how are you not in the actual fandom? :) Maybe you're not as deep into it as some, but it still totally counts!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 2nd, 2013 03:29 am (UTC)
Aww... C:
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