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Beloved, Chapter 24

Title: Beloved


Rating: , for violence, language, slash.

Summary: FVII, 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 First batch of Xmas giftfics have been posted.  I am terribly behind in writing the next chapter of this fic though, so don't expect any more fills for a while.  I've finally started playing FF13-2 as well, and as expected have become immediately addicted, which is not helping my writing schedule at all!

This chapter is monstrously long though, so hopefully that makes up for it!  Formatting was unusually nightmarish, so let me know if anything odd has cropped up in the paragraphing or punctuation.

As always, thanks to Little House for the beta.




Previous chapter


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Beloved Chapter 24

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Tifa gagged.  Her throat felt like it was lined with broken glass, and her vision still smeared and darkened around the edges.  She tried to force past it, to move, but her body responded with frustrating sluggishness as that black blur rose into the sky.


“Cloud,” she tried, but the word was a weak, rasping, hopeless little thing.  “Cloud!”


It wasn’t supposed to go like this.  It had been a calculated gamble, a desperate move in a desperate situation.  AVALANCHE’s speciality.


But she hadn’t expected anyone other than her to pay the price.


Why couldn’t she move?!  She made a frustrated sound in her throat, but it burned like acid, and exhaustion dragged at her limbs, accompanied by another wave of dizziness.  Blood loss, some distant part of her noted.  Healed, alive, but with all the hallmarks of a rushed and incomplete job.


A red blur stumbled towards her.  The stranger, she dimly remembered.  The man both Cloud and Sephiroth seemed to know, who’d cradled fire in his hands as though it were a plaything.


He dropped to knees nearby, scrabbled in the dirt for a moment.  Held aloft something green and glowing.


Then warmth and magic flowed across her, sinking into her skin like morning sunlight.  The dark edges receded from her vision, and when she drew breath, it was dry and full and easy.


She pulled herself up into a sitting position, and took her first proper look at the man… Genesis, wasn’t it?  There was something distantly familiar about the name, like that of a famous politician or actor


His entire left side was drenched in blood.


“You’re hurt!” she blurted.  “Quick, the materia-” She reached out to take it.


He scoffed and slipped the materia up his sleeve.  “Don’t think so highly of yourself.  I took care of that first.  But Cloud would hardly forgive me if I were to leave you on the ground gasping like a dying fish.”  His tone of voice conveyed perfectly how ridiculous he found that sentiment, and suggested that he would not have been at all sorry to have left her there.


She bristled – to think she’d been worried about this jerk for even half an instant – but pushed it aside and demanded, “Cloud?”  Because that was most urgent and everything else could wait.


Genesis made a noise of frustration, standing again in a snap of leather.  “Sephiroth took him.”  He glared.  “Because you were fool enough to get yourself captured and held hostage.”


A furious retort burned on Tifa’s lips.  Before she could give it voice, though, the erratic thump of staggering footsteps heralded the late arrival of the Turks.


“Was that fucking Sephiroth?” Reno rasped.  He was cradling his arm against his chest, electro-rod held awkwardly in the crook of his elbow.  Rude stumbled along behind him, missing his sunglasses and massaging his jaw.


“He took Cloud,” Tifa repeated numbly, still trying to process it herself.  “Why would he take Cloud?”  She’d been sure it had all been to kill him.  Revenge.  Making sure Cloud couldn’t fight back.  Why would he need to take him away for that?


“It hardly matters why.  The only thing that matters is getting him back,” Genesis snapped, striding back to the rubble of the Church


Tifa carefully pushed herself to herself the rest of the way to her feet, running a cautious hand across her throat.  It felt a little raw, the skin sensitive and fragile, but there were no other signs of the wound beyond the blood painting her shirt.


“And who the hell are you?” Reno demanded, squinting suspiciously.  “I’ve seen you somewhere before.”


Genesis eyed him haughtily and didn’t respond, kicking aside a shattered wooden beam and digging through the debris.  Tifa wandered to the edge of the rubble and knelt down, picking up and cradling the half-crushed remains of a flower.  Its edges were singed and torn.  Beyond saving.


“I’d like to know too,” she said.  “Sephiroth called you Genesis, right?”


Again, he didn’t reply.  He’d found something in the wreckage – with a tug and a rasp of metal, he pulled a crimson rapier free, and proceeded to inspect it critically for damage.  His face twisted with distaste, but he hung the blade on his hip and turned his attention back towards the centre of the destruction.


The name apparently meant something to the Turks, though, as they both immediately shifted into battle stances.  “Fucking Genesis Rhapsodos?” Reno spat.


“So the Turks do remember me,” he sneered.  “I had begun to wonder.”


“I remember you alright,” the Turk snarled, twirling his electro-rod in his left hand – the right still held awkwardly against his chest.  Next to him, Rude straightened, cracking his knuckles ominously.  “Except last time I saw you, you had white hair.  Oh, and you’re supposed to be dead.”


Genesis scoffed.  “Many times over, no doubt.  ShinRa seems to think that wishing for something often enough will make it true.”


“Yeah, well, maybe it’s time we do something about that,” remarked Reno darkly. 


Genesis finally paused, shifting his body slightly as though to move in front of something, presenting his dominant side to the Turks, rapier within reach of an easy draw.  “If you are so eager to lose, by all means, try your luck.”


“Wait,” Tifa interjected.  “Reno, what are you talking about?”


“This bastard’s a terrorist.”  He jabbed his electro-rod like a pointer.  “How many people died at the hands of your damn copies, yo?”


“How many people have died at the hands of ShinRa?” Genesis’s response was as icy as the steeps of Modeoheim.  “I am not proud of my actions in that period, but if we are going to compare crimes, Turk, then it is going to end poorly for you.”


Reno didn’t have an answer for that.  Tifa took the opportunity to step in.  “How do you know Sephiroth then?”  Everybody knew of Sephiroth, but the man had been dead for years.


He spared her a contemptuous glance, and replied, “I did say, repeatedly I might add, that I am a SOLDIER First Class.  Naturally we crossed paths.”


Reno found his voice again.  “Don’t give us that roundabout shit.  You were friends until you pulled your little desertion stunt.  Everybody knew that.  The damn famous trio of SOLDIERs.  There were fucking newsletters, yo.”


Friends?  With Sephiroth?


“I would hardly call us friends,” Genesis replied acidly.  “And it is immaterial now anyway.”


“I don’t think so.  Seems a bit too suspicious, if you ask me – not like Sephiroth can just come back by himself, can he?  And from I saw, it didn’t seem like you were fighting him too hard to me.  Holding back, weren’t you?”  Reno’s words were like black oil curling across the ocean, insidious and dangerously compelling.


“It says something for the Turks’ stupidity that even after all this time, they would seek to blame me rather than their precious fallen hero,” Genesis sniped.  He flexed his hand, as though he dearly wished to attack, but kept his position, not even shifting as Reno and Rude both moved forward, closing the gap.


Something about his stance struck Tifa as odd.  She frowned, examining his feet more carefully, searching for tells.  He was standing over… was that a bucket?


“How do we know you aren’t in cahoots?” Reno accused.  Rude nodded his agreement.  “Sephiroth shows up, you show up, and Red XIII’s back there half-dead, what the hell are we supposed to think, yo?”


“Wait, what? You mean you found Nanaki?” Tifa blurted.  “He’s okay?”  She’d been thinking the worst after coming face to face with Sephiroth.


“I wouldn’t say okay, yo.”  Reno scowled.  “And it’s more like he found us.  Stumbled up and passed out just after the Church blew.  We called in a med evac before-”


He cut himself off when Genesis suddenly pushed past them, jumping back into a defensive block.  The SOLDIER ignored them though, hurrying back the way the Turks came.


“Hey, where the hell do you think you’re going?!” Reno demanded, scrambling after him.


Tifa was faster.  “Hey, wait!”  He couldn’t just leave!  He was the only clue they had to making sense of this whole mess!


She jerked to a halt half a dozen steps away, though, when Genesis abruptly dropped to his knees, back to them and bucket carefully placed to the side.  What was he-?


Nanaki,” she breathed, and it looked even worse than she’d feared.  He lay prone on the ground, sides labouring with every breath.  Along his entire flank stretched an ugly gash, the fur surrounding it matted with blood.  “Get away from him!”


Genesis ignored her, though, hands fluttering over Nanaki’s prone form briefly in a fuss, before the light of a green materia shone once more and the wound shrunk.  It was easily over an hour old, almost certain to scar, but with another stubborn cast, the SOLDIER pushed it back to nothing more than a long, shallow scratch. 


Nanaki’s good eye fluttered, and then he was lifting his head and rolling onto his stomach.  “…Genesis?”


“Honestly,” he grumbled.  “Do none of you have the good sense to move out of the way of a sword?”


In response, Nanaki sent a questioning glance at the blood staining Genesis’s coat.  He frowned and waved it off.  “That’s an entirely different matter.  The consequences for evading were far worse.”


Restore.  It had been a Restore.  Tifa could have collapsed from the relief.


The Turks were close behind, though.  “Oi, Red, you okay?” Reno called, eyeing Genesis cautiously while palming his electro-rod.


Nanaki turned to face them, flaming tail flicking once in what Tifa recognised as silent annoyance.  “I am now.”


“Right,” Reno said.  “Good to know.  Now mind explaining how the hell you know fucking Genesis Rhapsodos too?”


Nanaki glanced first at Genesis, then her, then the Turks, and seemed to come to a decision.  “He is an ally.  He’s been working with Cloud for months now.  Vincent will vouch for him as well.”


Tifa’s mouth worked, but no words escaped.  Months?


Reno picked up the slack for her.  “The hell?”


“He wished to keep his existence a secret from ShinRa,” Nanaki explained patiently.  “Cloud agreed.”


“He told you, though,” Tifa said, and hated herself for how small her voice sounded.  Dear Odin, had Cloud trusted her that little?  And she’d known that Nanaki had been keeping secrets, but Vincent too?  Was she the only one not in the know?


Nanaki turned an apologetic gaze on her.  “Only because I tracked them down on my own. It was much the same with Vincent.  And given what happened later…”


He didn’t need to explain beyond that.  How they’d all doubted Cloud – even her, however briefly.  How much more suspicious would they have been of someone like Genesis?  Even now, mere minutes after he’d begrudgingly healed her, Tifa had been dubious of him. 


She felt like a fool now, of course.  He’d not hesitated at all to save Nanaki.  But when she heard he’d been a SOLDIER, and a friend of Sephiroth’s on top of that…


A chill ran through her like Diamond Dust.


That line of thinking suddenly felt uncomfortably familiar.  How the people of Edge had come to fear glowing eyes.  How even friends and allies had started to doubt, had been so quick to assume the worst…


Monsters like Sephiroth didn’t come out of nowhere.  They were created, once great heroes driven mad by circumstance.


How close had they come to doing the same to Cloud?  How many of their fears and doubts became self-fulfilling prophecies?


Who were the real monsters in that scenario?


The Turks weren’t quite as convinced.  “If he’s been hiding, as far as I’m concerned, that makes it even more suspicious.  How do we know he isn’t the one who killed Elena or those civilians, huh?” demanded Reno.


“Cloud can provide me an alibi for the night on which the civilians were killed,” Genesis replied impatiently, and that sent Tifa’s mind scattering back to that evening when Cloud had claimed he’d been stuck on the road.  “Your precious Elena, I can only assume, was unfortunate enough to stumble upon Sephiroth when he was still gathering his strength.”


Reno started to say something else, but Genesis turned away and busied himself by running his fingers lightly across Nanaki’s flank, giving one more critical inspection of the injury.  “Are you hurt elsewhere?  This injury is too old for me to do much more for it.”


Nanaki ducked his head, beads jangling from the movement. “Nothing that won’t heal on its own.  Save your strength.”  He eyed the blood coating Tifa’s shirt and Genesis’s coat.  “You’ve been casting a lot already.”


“A trifle for a SOLDIER First Class,” Genesis dismissed, but stood and shifted back again.


Tifa watched him retreat, and finally asked, “What’s with the bucket?”


In answer, Genesis snatched the bucket up, holding it close with one arm kept free for attack.  Guarding it as though it were more precious than rare materia.  “It is no concern of yours.”


She was right.  He was protecting it.  That was why he’d stood his ground – and had obviously been badly wounded for it.  “What’s so special about it?” she pressed.


He didn’t answer, but he didn’t need to.  Nanaki lifted his nose, recognition bright in his eye.  “It’s water from the Church’s spring.  But what could you need it for?”


That got the Turks’ attention again.  Reno scowled.  “So that’s why Cloud risked showing his mug here?  Must be pretty damn important.”


Genesis huffed.  “If you must know, Cloud theorised that it would drive Sephiroth out.”


“Out?” Tifa interrupted.  “Out of what?”


“The host,” Nanaki realised.  “You mean to free the clone.”


“Not a clone, specifically,” Genesis evaded.  “But in a word, yes.”


“Wait – is this the same fucker you’re claiming killed Elena?” Reno growled.  “And you’re saying you want to save him?”


“But if it wasn’t really him, if it was only because of Sephiroth’s influence…” Tifa murmured.


“Who cares?!  Even if you kick Sephiroth out, what the hell is stopping him coming back?  Bastards are better off dead!”


Genesis’s glare was as sharp as knives.  “I hardly need to explain myself to the likes of you.”  He spun on his heel, and picked his way out of the rubble, holding the bucket protectively close.  From what Tifa could see, it was less than a third full


“You think we’re just going to let you get away with that?”  Reno bristled.  “No way.  You’ve got questions to answer, yo.”  Rude stepped up beside him, having procured a second pair of sunglasses from somewhere and looking all the more imposing for it.


It wasn’t as though they really had any chance against Genesis – even they had to know that, especially since it seemed like Reno only had one functioning arm.  But Tifa stepped in anyway.  “Don’t,” she said.  “Don’t you get it?  That’s it.  That’s the last of the water from the Church’s spring.”


Reno hesitated.  “All the more reason to get it back, yo!  He’s just going to waste it trying to save the bastard who killed Elena!  And you really think he’s on our side?”


He stayed his hand, though, and Rude did too.


Genesis scoffed.  “Enough.  I have wasted too much precious time here already.”


“And where are you going?” Tifa demanded, whirling around.  “What about Cloud?”


“Where do you think I’m going?” he retorted.  “Foolish girl.”


“What are you talking about?” Nanaki interjected, suddenly alarmed.  “Where is Cloud?”


Tifa bit her lip in quiet frustration.  “Sephiroth took him.”  Because he’d let his guard down, trying to save her.


“Not for long,” Genesis muttered grimly.


But… “You don’t even know where he could be!”


He smiled then – a sharp, feral expression that spoke of grim amusement and dark memories.  “It is Sephiroth, and he thinks he’s won.  To anyone who knows him at all, he is terribly predictable.”


Then a single black wing unfurled from his back, a dark shadow that made her breath stutter and adrenaline spike.


“The damn feathers!” Reno muttered in the background.


Her brain had been frozen by the sight, and it took her far too long to make her voice work again.  “Wait!  Let us come with you!”


Nanaki was the one who answered, though.  “No.  If Cloud has truly been taken by Sephiroth, we’ll only slow him down.”  He gave Genesis a measured look.  “Even with all of AVALANCHE fighting, we were outclassed by Sephiroth.  In the end, it always came down to Cloud.”


Genesis inclined his head in silent acknowledgement of the trust Nanaki was placing in him, wing fluttering slightly in the wind gusting across the ruins.  He sent one last unreadable glance towards her, before striding a short distance from them, clear of the Church’s rubble.  The Turks made no move to intercept, Rude pulling out his phone and Reno watching with a surly expression.


He remained for a long moment, wing outstretched, eyes closed and expression oddly meditative.  His lips were moving, head bowed, as he murmured, as though in prayer.


In the sudden silence, Tifa caught snatches of words carried on the wind.


The morrow is robbed of hope

Yet still, you are beloved

Rising to the heavens on broken wings

So let it be my fate


Even if the morrow should not forgive me

I shall carry no regrets

Legend shall speak of my sacrifice

Of the story past the World’s End.”


Then with a gust of air, he took to the sky.  Winging his way to the heart of Midgar.


……………………


Cloud came to with cold wind stroking his face, threading its dry fingers through his hair and whispering in his ears.


His awareness crept back slowly – first his hearing, picking up on the subtle shift of tumbling grit and the groans of a settling building.  It all sounded wrong though, as though everything was too far away, distant and quiet.


Smell came next, the faint aroma of blood and steel and concrete, yet without the haze of dust and mako vapour so omnipresent in Midgar.


Then, crawling out of the hazy numbness, he felt the far too familiar pain of steel between his ribs.


He lurched back to full consciousness with a gasp, eyes snapping open and trying to take in his entire surroundings all at once.


Midgar spread out before him in all directions.  For one moment he was wildly disoriented – the view felt oddly familiar, but he couldn’t place it, couldn’t resolve the disconnect in altitude and angle.


Until he recognised the pattern of pillars around him, the crumbling edge of the building, and his mind flashed to battle after battle, waged against troopers, then SOLDIERs, then Sephiroth, then Tsviets.


ShinRa Headquarters.


He tried to shift forward, and stars burst behind his eyes.  He let out a hiss between his teeth, but clung to awareness with sheer determination, fighting back the shadows creeping across his vision.


Masamune was buried to its hilt between his right ribs.  Too carefully placed to be anything but accidental – lodged firmly between the bones, barely avoiding his lungs and aorta both.  Agonising, but not fatal.  At least, not to a SOLDIER.


Blood had pooled around his feet from the wound.  His hands were bound tightly behind his back, trapped between his body and the steel pylon Masamune had him pinned to.  Pulling against the bonds only made them bite deeper into his wrists, thin bright lines of cold pain that told him everything he needed to know.  Wire.  Forcing the issue would cut his tendons before he could break free.

“You’re finally awake.”

Cloud jerked at the voice, and was rewarded with another burst of agony from the movement.  “Sephiroth.”

His archenemy sidled into view, the very picture of casual superiority.  His chest was slightly reddened and the edges of his coat scorched, but he bore no other marks from taking Genesis’s spell point blank.

Shiva – Genesis.  Last he’d seen him, Sephiroth had run him through.  What happened?  Was he okay?  And Tifa.  He’d left her half-healed – out of the danger zone, but utterly defenceless.

The question rested on the tip of his tongue, but he bit down on it.  Sephiroth would never give him a straight answer.  He had to believe that they were both okay.  They were both survivors.  He clung to that knowledge, used it to bury the panic and fear.

"Isn't this familiar?" his archenemy drawled, drawing the words out as though to wrap him in them.

“What’s your game?” Cloud growled.  This setup didn’t make any sense at all.  “Why haven’t you just killed me already?”

“Kill you?”  He stepped closer, drifting his fingers across Masamune’s hilt.  Cloud braced for him to shift it, but his lips twitched in amusement and he left it be.  “You misunderstand.  I only want to help you.”

Cloud eyed him warily.  This was a trap, there was no way this wasn’t a trap, some sort of new twisted mind game his enemy had concocted to torture him.  “What are you talking about?"

"You need me, Cloud," Sephiroth told him.  "You can't make decisions without me."

"I don't need you," he snarled.  "And I definitely don't need you for that."

"Oh?" Sephiroth raised an eyebrow.  "So when I'm in the Lifestream, you don't run away, you don't avoid confrontation, you don't simply find yourself doing what others tell you to?"

Cloud shivered, and tried not to show how terrifyingly close to the mark those words hit.

He wasn't like that, not really.  He could be decisive.  AVALANCHE had made him their leader because of it, once upon a time.  And that didn't have anything to do with Sephiroth, it didn’t.

"You can't pretend, Cloud," Sephiroth purred.  "I saw all of it from the Lifestream.  After Meteor, falling into malaise, letting the girl make all of your decisions for you, running away.  Until I rose again, and forced your hand."  His mako-green eyes glittered with amused contempt.  "And as soon as I was gone, you fell back into the same pattern.  All that changed was that you found yourself torn between the girl and Genesis."  He paused, and leaned in even closer.  Long silver hair tickled Cloud's skin.  "Nothing but a pathetic puppet."

With a growl, Cloud jerked against his bonds.  A fresh wave of blood flowed from his chest.  It didn’t make a difference – Masamune held fast, and he didn’t have the strength or leverage to pull it free, not fast enough to do anything.

"Relax.  There's no need to struggle any longer, Cloud." Sephiroth sounded mockingly tender. "Your true master has returned."

“You’re not my master,” he hissed.  “You never have been.”

"I beg to differ. All along, you've been waiting for me. To give you purpose. To give you direction. To make all the hard choices for you."

"I chose," he said, and didn’t even know which of them he was convincing.  "I chose Genesis."

Sephiroth’s expression didn’t shift, though he did lean back and move away, to look out over Midgar.  “And how has that been working out for you?”

Bitter, Cloud held his tongue and averted his eyes.  After a long moment spent gathering himself, he replied, “Just because we disagreed on Weiss doesn’t mean it was a mistake.”

“You’ve only set yourself up for disappointment, Cloud.  Genesis Rhapsodos cares for no one but himself.  Besides…”  Sephiroth glanced back at him with a smirk.  “Any relationship with you, was never anything more than a substitution for me."

The tiny flame of doubt, flickering in his heart for weeks, rose to a roaring fire.

Cloud remained stubbornly silent.

“You don’t believe me?”  There was no mistaking the amusement in his expression now.  “We were friends, once.  And Genesis always was rather… promiscuous.”  He side-eyed him, gauging his reaction.  Cloud stayed carefully neutral.  “But more than that, we were rivals.  He was obsessed.  Would fight me at any opportunity.”  Sephiroth tilted his head.  “Sound familiar?”

“You can say anything you want,” Cloud said.  “That doesn’t mean it’s true.”  Without proof, it might as well have all been lies.  Sephiroth had lied to him plenty before, after all.  Back when his memories were too scrambled to know what was real and what was fantasy.

“No?”  Sephiroth approached again, drawing forward with deliberate slowness.  “But he was willing to put Weiss first, wasn’t he?”

Weiss,” Cloud retorted.  “Not you.”


“Are you so sure of that?”


The awful thing was, he wasn’t.  Even though every part of him insisted on ignoring those poisonous words, he couldn’t just dismiss them.  He’d nurtured those doubts himself, had harboured them even when he made his decision. 


It didn’t matter.  He could deal with it.  If Genesis were okay, if Genesis survived… nothing else mattered beyond that.


Static rose in his thoughts, a hazy background he’d come to recognise as his enemy plucking at his strings.  He tried to push it away, but he was bleeding, and tired, and still reeling from Sephiroth’s taunts.  It was like trying to hold back a river with nothing more than his fingers. 


“Of course, there’s Zack, too, isn’t there?” Sephiroth continued.  “The protégé of his old friend.  I wonder how much you remind him of him.  After all-” He paused, letting the words ripen in the air.  “You are so very alike.”


“That was a long time ago,” Cloud muttered.  “It has nothing to do with me and Genesis.”


Sephiroth merely regarded him through half-lidded eyes and repeated, “…Are you so sure of that?”


Cloud closed his eyes, and wished he could block his ears.


His archenemy was just playing with him.  They were empty taunts.  He repeated that to himself, trying in vain to drown out those insidious words.


“How heartbreaking,” Sephiroth murmured.  “Nobody wants Cloud Strife.  Not those weak sheep populating the Planet.  Not your precious little friends.  Not even another broken failure of a SOLDIER.”


Cloud clenched his jaw.  Shifted his wrists a little, trying to distract himself with the prickling pain of the wire biting into his arms.


“But you don’t have to worry anymore,” Sephiroth whispered – voice suddenly so close that he fought the urge to recoil.  “Now that I’ve returned, you won’t have to deal with it any longer.”


That was when, with a sickening lurch, Cloud finally realised what Sephiroth’s game was.


Genesis’s words echoed in his head, from so long ago.


“You know, Cloud Strife… ShinRa might be hunting down rogue clones, but you are the single greatest carrier of S-cells left around.”


They’d made a horrible mistake.  Death he could have faced.  This was something far worse.



Next chapter


Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
ladyazurith
Dec. 29th, 2012 04:06 am (UTC)
I love this chapter. Poor Cloud, he just get in all sorts of messes doesn't he? And I loved the way Genesis treated Tifa. The Turks still just don't get it though.

And I know what you mean about 13-2. I had absolutely no interest in it...then I saw Hope. It killed my writing for a good 2 weeks.

Anyway thank you for another lovely chapter.

P.S.
Though why am I starting to get the feeling that Genesis is going to have to choice between using the water on Cloud or Weiss?

Edited at 2012-12-29 05:03 am (UTC)
sinnatious
Dec. 29th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC)
I'm only a few gateways in so far, because I've been a little bit sucked into exploration and monster-levelling.

I did just meet Hope in 10AF though, and oh god, my heart broke for the poor kid. :( Left alone for so long while all of his friends go time-jumping! (He sure grew up well though~)
ladyazurith
Dec. 29th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC)
Extremely well. Yeah is story is a bit sad, which is probably why I enjoy it so much. I wont say much else because I'm really bad when it comes to spoilers however I am definitely looking forward to 13-3.
caterfree10
Dec. 29th, 2012 05:01 am (UTC)
Now I know you are hellbent on making me say "SHIT" really fucking loudly after every chapter this late in the game, jfc aslkfjhslkdhaslkfhsdhflhkajsf

Anyway, YAY NANAKI LIVES. Though damn at no one waking up in time to save Cloud before Sephiroth takes him away. >_< BUt then, things always have to get to that absolute low before victory so... xD creative writing minor shutting up on that now before I get carried away /brick'd.
Also, I really like everyone's reactions to Genesis here. The Turks have damn good reason to be suspicious or Genesis, all things considered, even with him disappearing... 8 years I believe? Then again, I can't remember how busy he was while Zack and Cloud were in Hojo's "care" so it could be just 4. And Tifa probably hadn't heard much about him but in passing seeing as it was mostly Sephiroth news that made it to Nibelheim after Wutai. Can't blame Genesis for not wanting to rehash his explanation to them either. Between his understandable distrust of Shinra and wanting to put saving Cloud and Weiss as priorities, he just sees it as a waste of time. Thank god Nanaki was able to recover enough to vouch for Genesis being trustworthy, though or the situation could've been much worse. :x

I don't think you understand how big my sigh of relief was when Tifa noticed the bucket of Aerith's Great Gospel water, by the way. Now we only need a way to soak Seph with the stuff. xD LE'S BRING OUT THE SUPER SOAKERS, MOTHERFUCKAS! >8D

Though oh god Cloud in Sephiroth's clutches. And if I'm reading that right, I hope to god Genesis can find him and fast askjfhlskajhalkjhds. And goddamn Seph knows exactly what buttons to hit as per usual. Cruel and brilliant at the same time. D:

Also, I'd have commented on the first batch of drabble fics by now if I hadn't, y'know, done it in a dream and then have to actually retype what coherent thoughts I think I might have said <<;;;;;
caterfree10
Dec. 29th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
...one day, I will stop writing novels in these comments. This day is not today. 8|||||||
sinnatious
Dec. 29th, 2012 05:39 am (UTC)
LOL, it's always a big compliment when someone cares enough to write a lot in response, so your 'novels' are welcome. ;)

It's not entirely intentional! I think I could end the chapter just about anywhere at this point and it would be cliffhanger-y.

As for Genesis, I got the impression he more or less just laid low at Banora after Sephiroth died, but he did also rear his head (and his copies) when Zack and Cloud escaped (chasing them for a cure). No idea if the Turks were aware of his movements around then, but yeah, it's been at least four years since they would have seen or heard anything of him.
lenine2
Dec. 30th, 2012 05:41 am (UTC)
he did also rear his head (and his copies) when Zack and Cloud escaped (chasing them for a cure).

That made me remember the scene in CC where the Genesis clone EATS ZACK'S HAIR. I think I laughed out loud when that happened.
aelathehuntress
Dec. 29th, 2012 11:58 am (UTC)
Sephiroth controlling Cloud and using him to toy with Genesis sends tingles up my spine.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 29th, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
They finally met Genesis! :3 How long I had waited for that.

Reno is so priceless, saying what we are all thinking.

Oh, yeah, and also, Cloud is in grave danger.
sinnatious
Dec. 31st, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)
XD LOL. 'And btw...'
ynyuki
Dec. 29th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
You are my Beloved FF writer :'D

Nanaki's the only level-headed one around *sigh* But I'm glad to see that Tifa got around at least the idea instead of shooting random stuff around like the Turks (Reno >.> that just killed all your cool points)

Oh no, Cloudy Q.Q <= Why do I feel that you love torturing him? Bring him to the highest point happy point and then slam him into Sephro-trouble.

Seph, Cloud's body is NOT a good place to be.

...

Why did that sound weird just now? >///>
sinnatious
Dec. 31st, 2012 05:19 am (UTC)
Awww. <3

Well, Vincent isn't handy to shoot sense into everybody so it's up to Nanaki I guess.

LOL.
swyrel
Dec. 29th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
Yay, not so bad a cliffhanger this time! And double yay for all the Genesis in this chapter~ I do so love him <3

Tifa, I still want to bitch slap you to hell and back and share all of Genesis' sentiments for you completely.

Genesis fussing over Nanaki was adorable <3 and being so protective over his little bucket. I mean, I know it's serious bizness b/c of what's in the bucket, but still cute lol

Damnit, I used to like Sephiroth, but here he's a huge ass and I just want him to hurry up and die T_T He needs to go back to where he belongs and let Genesis and Cloud live happily ever after with Weiss as their kid lol

And have fun playing 13-2! I wanted to play it sooo bad but don't have a PS3 anymore so I watched it all on Youtube lol
sinnatious
Dec. 31st, 2012 06:37 am (UTC)
A reprieve for you~ :)

I think making people dislike Sephiroth might be a bigger achievement than making people like Genesis. XD

Thanks! That's so sad about your PS3, but at least there's always youtube!
swyrel
Dec. 31st, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
True, especially since I completely shipped S/C before Fifth Act and now it's all G/C for me lol

Eh, not so sad. I never played it so sold it. But then this game came out right after and I spazzed b/c I wanted it back just to play that lol
signrain
Dec. 29th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
I love YOU!

xD

sinnatious
Dec. 31st, 2012 06:37 am (UTC)
<3
(Anonymous)
Dec. 29th, 2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
Aw shit. As much as I drool over Sephiroth, I'm reminded of how scary he is. Not just his power, his ability to mindfuck you in just a few words, and the more you say the more screwed over you'll be.

I think Genesis is the only one who's lasted in a verbal spar? Because he was smart enough to end it quickly? And Sephiroth didn't even bother trying to mindfuck anyone else, just ran them through Masamune. I think the sword name Muramasa would have fit better :/

These two week waits will be the end of me T__T
sinnatious
Dec. 31st, 2012 06:39 am (UTC)
He really was a fantastic villain. Guy just radiates menace.

Genesis lasts in verbal spars against Sephiroth because he's got enough (an unhealthy amount, even) of self-confidence to totally rebuff anything Sephiroth says. And probably a lot of experience in verbal sparring with Sephiroth in general.

LOL at Muramasa. Kinda true.
makkaka
Dec. 29th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Coulda sworn I'd logged in... That last comment about Sephiroth and mindfucks and Muramasa was me OTL
kleptomancy
Dec. 29th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
Wooo I haven't commented for a while! orz
I'm bad for stuff like that.

Anyway, another exciting chapter! Things seem to finally be building up to their climax and I'm liking where things are heading. :D I also love the interactions between Genesis and Tifa & the Turks here... though good job Nanaki's around to play mediator.
Also, only somewhat related to the chapter but I want to say how I -do- like your portrayal of Tifa here. She's flawed, but always has good intentions at heart and that's awesome.

& I can only hope Genesis gets there in time because ): poor Cloud.
(melts into a puddle of goo)
sinnatious
Dec. 31st, 2012 06:42 am (UTC)
That's totally ok! Thank you for commenting this time. :)

Yeah, we're pretty close to the end now. Three, maybe four chapters to go at a guess?

And thanks! Tifa's been a real struggle to write through this whole thing so I'm glad you like how she's been coming across.
kitty11chan
Dec. 30th, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
Oh dear. Totally agree with Gen on the Tifa front; she makes my skin crawl, & I'm not normally the bashing type.
lenine2
Dec. 30th, 2012 05:50 am (UTC)
I am feeling so much unhappiness for everyone, even Reno and Rude. But I adore Genesis in this chapter. Casting cures while making scathing comments about the ones he's saving. Being the drama queen while trying to hide his precious bucket from everyone.

I can't comment on the situation between Sephiroth and Cloud. Coherently, that is.
sinnatious
Dec. 31st, 2012 06:44 am (UTC)
Genesis was way too much fun to write in this chapter.

<3
darkbombayangel
Jan. 1st, 2013 01:37 am (UTC)
I love the chapter. ^-^
(Anonymous)
Jan. 3rd, 2013 05:49 am (UTC)
The other characters finally meeting Genesis! At last! It was everything I dreamed of and more! c:

And the bucket. XD

Cloud impaled by Masamune so casually is quite the image. O_O

Add to that Sephiroth's top-notch psychological warfare and... wow.

I really can't predict where you are going with this fic. At all. D: Like, I imagine some scenarios, but then I think "no way it would be that straightforward".
(Anonymous)
Jan. 7th, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC)
Ah... Author? I have a request.

I am getting this really bad feeling. Of Doom. And other dark and bad things like that. Bad.

Don't. Kill. Gen.

Maybe it was the poem that did it. You wouldn't. Of course you wouldn't. It's pure jumping to conclusions on my part. There will be a happily ever after. There WILL.

Legend shall speak of my sacrifice
Of the story past the World’s End...

Nonononono....

That, right there was my reaction.

I really don't think you would. Right? I really truly don't. There is just this little niggling feeling of doubt THAT. SHOULDN'T. EXIST.

Please.
sinnatious
Jan. 7th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
You're the very first person to comment on that anon!

I won't say anything more, lest it constitute spoilers.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 10th, 2013 07:11 am (UTC)
You know, ever since the story took a turn towards darker territories, I wondered if someone would die (Cloud, Genesis or Weiss), but I tried very hard not to think about it and just wait to see where the story goes. and then have my heart broken I guess

I just really really really didn't want to contemplate the possibility that things might not work out for the best, but the story does lend itself better to a sad or bittersweet ending than to a happy one...

What I'm trying to say is that THANK YOU VERY MUCH OMG ANON NOW WITH THAT POEM QUOTE/OBSERVATION OF YOURS I HAVE ENOUGH AMMO THAT THIS IS GOING TO HAUNT ME UNTIL WE SEE WHERE THIS GOES AHHHHHH D:> D:> D=:>

-the anon who commented above you
sinnatious
Jan. 10th, 2013 10:20 am (UTC)
Whoops, I didn't realise you guys were different anons, hence why I didn't reply to your comment, anon.

I'm actually a pretty predictable author after a while, I'm sure if you've been paying attention you can figure out where I'm going. :) I won't say anything more than that.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 10th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
anon you replied to
Maybe I should have stayed quiet and taken credit for the astute observation. XD

I'm glad you neither confirm nor deny our suspicions. It's cool, clutching the edge of our seats and frantically going through different scenarios in our minds is part of the fun. :D
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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