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Xmas Giftfics 2014 Part 1

First set of Xmas Giftfics! We all knew there wouldn't be any before Xmas, so Happy New Year!


For isa_lyxces
A: Magic Kaitou
B: Whatever you please
C: The dangers of pretending to be someone else.
AN:
Ahhh thank you for giving me the chance to write in this fandom a bit! I’ve been wanting to play in it for a while now! This might not be what you had in mind for your prompt but it’s what spilled out so hope you like it.



Hakuba burst onto the roof, blond hair still frizzed from the burst of static electricity Kaitou Kid had used to disrupt the security system. One leg of his pants was missing half of its fabric – torn off to escape the glue trap on the stairs – and his right side was spattered with bright pink paint from another barely-dodged trap, but he’d made it. The sky was still clear. For the first time a dozen heists, he’d made it before Kaitou Kid could leave.

“Kid!” he called out.

That familiar figure, clad in white tuxedo and cape and top hat, emerged from the shadows, a wraith in the pale light of a full moon. The power was still off for the blocks around them – a weird pocket of darkness in Ryougoku.

“Tantei-san,” that pleasant voice greeted him, so similar to one he knew but still so alien, far too smooth, far too controlled.

It infuriated him. He wanted to seize the thief by his shirt and shake him until the mask finally dropped.

But even Hakuba had to admit that he wouldn’t be fast enough – Kaitou Kid always stood just out of reach, a ghost you couldn’t ever quite touch. You were lucky if a finger brushed some fabric, proof that he was actually there and not merely an illusion.

“What happened to Kuroba Kaito?” Hakuba demanded, without preamble. He’d finally, at last, caught the thief long enough to ask that. He couldn’t waste any words.

Kaitou Kid merely tilted his head – his monocle caught the moonlight, flashing a blinding silver. “I don’t know what you mean, tantei-san.”

Fury and fear and anxiety and frustration roiled in him, threatening to spill out and destroy all in its path. “Don’t feed me that line now, after six months!” he shouted.

The words echoed across the roof, stark and confronting. Hissing through his teeth, Hakuba reined himself in and continued in a more controlled tone, “You disappeared without a word. Do you have any idea how worried Aoko – how worried everyone has been? And then you have the gall to keep doing this?”

“I’m sorry about whatever is going on with your friend, tantei-san,” was Kaitou Kid’s mild response, as he sauntered towards the edge of the roof. “But I can’t do anything about that. I’m sure, wherever he is, that he’s fine and must have a good reason for making you all worry.”

It was the closest he’d received to an acknowledgement over the past six months. Normally Kid was in and out so fast, each heist far too chaotic for Hakuba to even be heard over the ruckus, much less get any sort of answer. No doubt an intentional effort to avoid him. Edogawa was still afforded banter, after all, but then, the child had never met Kuroba.

Is he fine?” Hakuba demanded. “Then tell me this, Kid: When was the last time you were Kuroba Kaito?”

The slightest hitch in Kid’s step was the only hint that he might have caught him off guard. “Really, tantei-san, you must stop accusing me of being your friend. It’s getting unoriginal, people might start thinking you’re a bad detective!”

Hakuba, as always, ignored his protest. “The best magicians never drop the act. They carry their stage personas everywhere to hide their secrets. The feeble old man who’s as strong as an ox. A pair of twins sharing the same identity.” Hakuba watched him like a hawk, waiting for the barest slip in that poker face.

Kid, naturally, did not oblige. “Your point, tantei-san?”

“It’s one thing for a celebrity or a stage magician. But the psychological toll is enormous. It happens with method actors all the time, who can’t let go of a role. And those are people who aren’t being shot at or breaking the law. So forgive me for being more than a little worried, Kuroba, and just tell me – when was the last time you dropped the act?”

Kid just smiled. It was all teeth and sharp edges and strangely haunting. “What do you want me to say, tantei-san? Six months?” He laughed, the sound as carefree as always. As fake as always. “I’d say it’s been at least eight years.”

Hakuba froze in place, mind whirring with the hundreds of possible implications of that statement. Eight years? But that went all the way back to when…

Nakamori chose that moment to burst onto the roof with half of the bedraggled taskforce, shouting obscenities as they rushed to dogpile the thief. Kaitou Kid simply spun away and leapt into the sky, glider unfolding under his cape. “My apologies, Inspector, I can’t play tonight! Next time, perhaps!”

No personal farewell for Hakuba, that time. No taunting ‘tantei-san’, or last-second prank.

Kaitou Kid was avoiding him.

“I’m not giving up, Kid!” he shouted into the sky. “You can’t hide behind that mask forever!”

The Taskforce were giving him odd looks, but the sight of the usually unruffled Hakuba Sagaru shouting angrily after Kid was hardly a new one. Nakamori patted him on the shoulder. “That’s the spirit! Downstairs, men! Squad cars, take chase! He’d heading east!”

The roof emptied as quickly as it filled. Hakuba didn’t follow.

It wasn’t even about catching the thief anymore. If Kuroba thought he would give up after a statement like that, he was tragically mistaken. No matter how hard he avoided him, Hakuba would be at every heist, calling his name, reminding him of the life he’d left behind.

Reminding him that Kaitou Kid was supposed to be the mask, not the other way around.



For Anon
A Dissidia/Fallacious Deity
B Squall Cloud any other
C Squall finally gets back to Garden
AN:
I thought I’d finally squared away these prompts last year but what the hell, why not. Tis pretty pedestrian though.



The vast structure sat on the lakeshore, swathes of pearl white curves and pale blue contours that made up the building, crowned with the elaborate spoked halo that inspired its logo. Balamb Garden.

Home.

Squall didn’t dare hope just yet – there had been others worlds they’d stumbled upon, where Garden sat deserted or defunct, where he was a stranger supposedly native to Esthar, where Seifer had never come under Ultimecia’s thrall… things that were never quite apparent until they actually met some people.

But the rush of memories flooding through his head at the sight made him suspect that this might finally be the one. Onion Knight had been sure when they’d found his home – so had Terra, and Cecil. That same certainty stirred in his chest. The air tasted right. Everything just fit.

He’d obviously been still for too long, as Cloud quietly offered, “Want to take a closer look?”

Squall nodded curtly, and led the way without another word.

They didn’t have to go far. They were barely halfway across Garden’s court when they were spotted.

“Squall!” a familiar cry echoed across the courtyard, followed by excited barking, and then suddenly she was there. Rinoa, throwing himself towards him.

He caught her in his arms. Closed his eyes, for just a second, and breathed deep.

He’d remembered her earlier, of course. Glimpses, snatches of knowledge, all carefully buried in the interest of focusing on the mission. But he’d never remembered enough to realise how much he’d come to miss her.

Then somewhere to the side, he heard Selphie’s surprised exclamation, “A sorceress?!”

“Don’t worry Squall, we got this!” Zell charged in, fists raised.

Cloud, being Cloud, side-stepped with unnatural swiftness, leaving Zell stumbling and swearing. A whip snapped at his feet, winding around his ankle. The crack of a gunshot rent the air, and he leapt sideways, leaving Quistis staggering as her whip was wrenched out of her hands.

“What?” It took Squall a few second too long to process. The glowing eyes thing. He’d forgotten about it – it had been quite a few worlds since it had been an issue. “He’s a guy.”

“Adel looked like a guy!” Zell protested.

“He’s not a sorceress! Stand down and stop overreacting,” he ordered. Reluctantly, his friends lowered their weapons. Rinoa clutched his arm a little tighter, squinting at Cloud in a mixture of curiosity and suspicion. Angelo sat growling by their feet. Cloud, for his part, stood at a wary distance and said nothing.

Overreact? We thought you’d been kidnapped and then this stranger turns up with glowing eyes and what’s with that, if he’s not a sorceress what is he?” Selphie berated him.

They thought he’d been kidnapped. Him?

“I wasn’t kidnapped. It was a mission,” he said. “Classified.”

“There’s no mission so classified you can’t at least warn your friends and colleagues that you’re going disappear for a month. Laguna had half of Esthar’s forces out looking for you.” Quistis informed him with a smile that was pure ice. “That’s irresponsible, Squall. I thought I taught you better.”

A month? He glanced at Cid, who shrugged, as much as a moogle could shrug, as though to say ‘close enough’.

“Yeah, back to the point, if he’s not a sorceress, who or what are these guys?” Zell demanded.

“Part of the mission,” he said, and didn’t bother introducing them. He carefully extracted his arm from Rinoa’s hold, unable to restrain the quirk of his lips at her pout. “Give us a minute.”

He stalked to the other end of the courtyard – not out of sight, but enough to be out of earshot. Cloud trailed him, keeping a careful eye on the SeeDs watching his every move like unnaturally attentive moombas.

“This is your world then?” Cloud asked.

Squall nodded. “As sure as I can be.”

There were still gaps in his memories. It was impossible to tell if they were due to the Guardian Forces, though, or still lost to that world. But Selphie’s grinning face, the softness of Rinoa’s hands, Irvine tilting his hat in greeting as his gaze passed over them – it felt right. It fit.

Cloud stared past him, at his fellow SeeDs gathered in the courtyard, and the growing crowd of students looking on from the fringes. The faintest of smiles graced his face. “Looks like you were missed. The others would have liked to see this. Might have ruined your image a bit, though.”

Squall scowled. Nobody ever expected it from him, so it always caught him off-guard when he realised Cloud would tease them. “Very funny.”

Cloud shrugged it off. “We’ll be on our way then. Seems like we could cause trouble if we hang around.”

It wasn’t any of his business. But they’d been comrades, of a sort, for a long while now. And… despite their beginnings, Cloud hadn’t been terrible company. Less irritating than some of the others, for sure.

Tidus’s grin still haunted him.

So he asked, as an aside, “You going to be okay, on your own?”

“He’s got me, you know,” Cid pointed out, wings fluttering in indignation.

Squall eyed the moogle dubiously. He and Cloud weren’t exactly bosom buddies, after all. “But it could be…” Weeks? Months? Years? There was no way of knowing. It had been long enough, just to find his place in the messed up timeline of his world.

Even he thought it unfair that the rest of them had returned, when the one who had been waiting decades had further yet to travel.

“It’ll be fine,” Cloud said quietly. “…You should go. No long goodbyes, right? We’ll head out before we leave so you don’t have to answer any awkward questions.”

Squall nodded. “Good luck.”

It was a strangely uneasy feeling, though, watching him walk away, that enormously heavy sword slung on his back. Not knowing how long he’d be wandering alone, in any number of dangerous worlds, without backup.

For the first time, he thought he might understand, just a little, how Rinoa, and Zell, and all his other friends in Garden felt when he took off on his own. How his comrades back in that world must have felt, too.

Squall scoffed at the thought. Cloud was more than capable. If he’d lasted this long, he’d trust he’d last long enough to find home.

That’s what comrades were supposed to do, after all. Trust each other to come through.



For rafira
A: FFVII
B: SephCloud
C: FFXIV

AN: Probably not SephCloud enough for you but I hope it satisfies! (I got kinda caught up in setting, also I had no idea what I was doing, just, wordspew, ahahaha).



Cloud had seen many, many worlds in his multi-dimensional misadventures.

This one started out not that different to the others. He’d awoken in a lush, strange forest. The flora wasn’t immediately identifiable, but the sheer size of the some of the trees was enough to inform him that this was Not Home. A quick glance around showed no sign of Sephiroth either.

No real cause for alarm – Sephiroth could take care of himself, and would turn up eventually, whether he’d been brought along for this particular dimensional ride or not. The first order of business would be to pinpoint some kind of civilisation and figure out precisely what kind of world he’d landed in, and what kind of crisis he would need to avoid, because there was always some sort of crisis.

With that in mind, he chose a random direction and set off.

As was typical with strange forests, it didn’t take long until his presence earned the ire of the local fauna. For the most part he could dispatch them with ease, though the further he wandered the more effort he found himself exerting. He spied an ornate archway and what looked like might be a network of hanging treehouses, so veered in that direction.

That was when he’d been set upon what seemed to be a legion of what looked an awful lot like treants and ochuus and giant toads. Cloud stepped out of range of some wildly swinging tree branches, considered the mob before him, then pulled out a summon materia. R amuh quickly put them all to rest.

That had, apparently, been a mistake.

“Walking One can summon Ramuh even without sparklies!”

He turned to see a small crowd of onlookers had gathered. The little creatures were not quite like anything he’d ever encountered before. They seemed to hover somewhere between plant and fairy, with large black eyes and twig-like arms and legs, and skirts made of leaves.

They set up on him in a flurry, fluttering around his face and plucking at his hair and clothes. “Walking One’s garments are strange!”

“Walking One’s eyes glow like lamptrees!”

“Walking One must be Holy One! Holy One must come with these Ones!”

They seemed friendly, at least, and the first sign of intelligent life Cloud had seen yet, so he didn’t protest as they herded him deeper into the forest.

In their chatter he soon learned that they were called sylphs by the ‘Walking Ones’, and that Walking Ones were usually persona non-grata in the Sylphlands, but that Ramuh was apparently super important to them and Cloud’s association with Ramuh made him a very special exception.

Needless to say, there was promptly a feast.

Some part of him registered that these little creatures might be, to some people, extremely dangerous, and they also struck him as a touch deranged. But Cloud couldn’t quite shake the feeling that he was the special guest at sort of mad, back-to-nature tea party.

“Holy One will summon Ramuh to protect us,” the nearest sylph declared. “Holy One will drive the Walking Ones out! The forest will be peaceful again!”

“What is bad about the Walking Ones?” Cloud asked carefully – it seemed like it could be a touchy question.

“Walking Ones bring fighting! Big Stompy Ones destroy everything. Walking Ones fight their battles in these Ones’ homes!” they exclaimed.

“These Ones tried to summon R amuh with sparklies, but Bright One came and made Ramuh leave! And these Ones have no more sparklies to call Ramuh back, until Holy One arrived,” a second lamented.

“Does Holy One care for this One’s milkroot?” another one offered him up a bundle of plant matter in a way that suggested it was a vast personal sacrifice.

Tifa’s voice in the back of his head, and a long, hard road of learned diplomacy had him taking a small sample in compromise. It seemed to make the little creature inordinately pleased to have both offered hospitality and kept the coeurl’s share of her stash.

Cloud chewed on it pensively, mimicking the partying sylphs around him. It tasted like dirt. He didn’t see the appeal.

It did seem to have some effect on the little creatures, though. Cloud wasn’t any sort of expert on other-dimension biology, but he’d worked in a bar long enough to recognise drunkenness when he saw it.

So he said, “This milkroot’s good, everyone should have some. Can we get some more of it?”

A couple of them teetered on indecision, but for the rest – well, it was as though he’d given them a personal invitation to the party of the year. “If Holy One thinks so!”

“This One knows where to get more milkroot! Come with this One!”

“But if these Ones have too much milkroot-” one tried to protest.

“It’s to celebrate the arrival of the Holy One! If the Holy One says it’s okay-”

They worked with stunning speed, all things told. The feast being held in Cloud’s honour starting going south – or rapidly improving, depending on one’s point of view – fast.

Of course, being the only sober one at a party wasn’t much fun, but Cloud was hoping they would eventually all drift off to sleep or become pliable enough that he could slip away no questions asked before they turned into him a weapon for their cause. It was ultimately unnecessary, though, when a new visitor made it into the clearing.

“There you are.” That voice never failed to send a shiver down his spine – although the reasoning had shifted somewhat over the years. “I’ve been looking all over for you.”

“Sephiroth,” Cloud breathed in relief. He seemed to be his usual self – sometimes one or both of them could run into trouble in dimensional jumps, be it from lost memories or being caught off guard by new varieties of magic, or how their unique physiologies reacted to the laws of magic in that universe. Cloud had spent an unfortunate amount of time sporting a giant bat wing once, and sometimes it felt like his memories were sand being constantly scooped with a sieve.

“I see you’ve discovered the Sylphs,” Sephiroth noted as he moved closer.

“Walking One shall not touch Holy One!” the nearest sylph – possibly the only sober one left of the lot - exclaimed angrily, lightning crackling around her tiny fists as she zoomed between them.

Sephiroth raised an eyebrow at him. “I have apparently been made High Priest,” Cloud explained plaintively.

“It’s an interesting look for you,” was his only response.

As though it was Cloud’s idea to have a crown of flowers threaded through his hair by drunken sylphs, never mind the even more elaborate wreath of vines and flora around his neck. Luckily they’d been too high on the milkroot to make much progress on his ‘ceremonial robes’.

“I just need to go talk to this One- to Sephiroth here,” Cloud assured the sylph, carefully stepped around her. Their way of speech rubbed off awfully quickly. “I’ll be perfectly fine. You should, um, enjoy some milkroot while I’m gone.”

The sober one regarded him suspiciously, but the rest were giggling and burping and didn’t pay him much mind. Cloud grasped Sephiroth by the arm and murmured, “Walk with me, quickly.”

And so they made their escape from the heart of the Sylphlands.

“Your cunning escape plan was to get them high?” Sephiroth asked.

“It worked, didn’t it?” Plus using the Buster Sword seemed like overkill, and the deeper he got the lower the chance it seemed he would have otherwise peacefully extracted himself without becoming yet another mass-murdering ‘Walking One’.

“Hm. Hopefully they will not pursue once they recover and realise you are not returning. You summoned Ramuh, I take it?”

“Yeah. How did you know?”

“I encountered some of the local law enforcement, who filled me in on the pertinent details of the area.” He plucked a flower out of Cloud’s hair, inspecting it intently.

Sephiroth had been luckier than he on arrival this time then. “Thank Odin, I was worried those things were going to be the dominant form of intelligent life here. So what’s the game plan?”

“Apparently they are not strangers to dimensional travel. That said, the community is not particularly open-minded to outsiders. There is a sort of regulated gypsy class, though, which appear to be the backbone of the economy. Largely mercenaries and craftsmen. We should sign up for the duration.”

Cloud nodded. That sounded easy enough, provided the sylphs didn’t make too much an issue of him.

It didn’t take long until they approached a large wooden hut and a collection of tents. The entrance was guarded by a series of lookouts with their faces hidden behind flat, carved masks. They were human at first glance, but their pointed ears were a stark reminder that this was Not Home.

“You found your friend, then?” one of them greeted. “Good news indeed – the Sylphlands are not to be traversed lightly. Although by the looks of him it seems you encountered the sylph regardless.”

“I found him on the outskirts of Little Solace,” Sephiroth lied, twisting their hands together and squeezing his fingers in silent censure. “They were… most hospitable.”

Two camps of sylphs, then. Cloud filed the knowledge away and carefully kept his mouth shut.

As Sephiroth led him past towards a pen of what appeared to be this world’s version of chocobos, he leaned in and whispered in his ear, “Ah yes, before I forget – I would not recommend summoning Bahamut in this world under any circumstances.”

Cloud just nodded. He had learned not to ask.







Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
killiara
Jan. 11th, 2015 07:53 am (UTC)
The thought of Cloud wandering around in one of my favorite MMOs (and, let's be honest, one of my favorite of the Final Fantasy series) makes me squeal happily. This fills me with much joy, and I know what I'll be daydreaming about tonight.

Yeah. My catgirl arcanist bugging Sephiroth for hair care tips. Because Reasons. And as an arcanist, her logical mind will see that someone with hair that long MUST know the proper upkeep thereof! With Cloud in the background, trying not to laugh.
sinnatious
Jan. 11th, 2015 04:31 pm (UTC)
I know right? I was so happy to get that prompt. <3 I love that game so much but haven't really been bitten by the fic bug for it until that prompt came along. So many different things you could explore!

Where are you at with it these days?
killiara
Jan. 11th, 2015 06:55 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I took a tiny break from it as World of Warcraft hit me with some time sensitive things. As in, a mount that you could only get by running a raid that would stop being available once the ten year anniversary event was over.

And that you needed to be at level cap to run. And that went live with a new expansion a week before the anniversary event started... @.@

So now that that's done, I can breathe and poke at FFXIV again. My bard, level 42, is trying to talk all those various elf towns into letting me find Cid's old ship, the Enterprise. My catgirl arcanist/conjurer (level 28 on both) is poking at Sylphs. ^_^
isa_lyxces
Jan. 13th, 2015 05:30 am (UTC)
Ah! All of them were excellent. I was actually watching a Magic Kaito episode the day you asked for prompts, so when you listed it, it seemed appropriate. The way you hinted at the psychological toll of Toichi's death on Kaito and keeping up his poker face for so long was excellent. Though, all things considered, dumping his mundane responsibilities might mean less pressure on him. I especially liked the way that you emphasized Kid's ghostly nature; it's something we see a lot in Conan and fits the way that Kid is metaphorically a ghost of Kaito's dad, but isn't touched on so much in-series.
sinnatious
Jan. 14th, 2015 03:38 am (UTC)
Thank you for the prompt! I'm pleased you like it. Yeah I think I find Kid's portrayal in Conan a little more interesting than the series, so I find myself leaning that way when writing him. Going to write some more in that fandom for sure.
isa_lyxces
Jan. 14th, 2015 07:01 pm (UTC)
I think the difference is in that we get to see the behind the scenes maneuvering in MK as opposed to Conan. Kid is supposed to be this phantom that just glides through heists with a smile on his face, but it takes Kaito a lot of work to manage that. Conan gets to see the finished product.
qem_chibati
Jan. 13th, 2015 05:39 am (UTC)
Kaito! ;_____________________; I'm glad Hakuba doesn't give up!


Love the disidea one where Squall finally gets home (and have to laugh about Cloud being mistaken as a sorceress. XD )
sinnatious
Jan. 14th, 2015 03:43 am (UTC)
Thanks! Ahaha a little off topic, but for years I thought Adel was a guy, and at the end of the game I was so sure Ultimecia was going to pass her sorceress powers to Squall but Edea intervened. Then later while re-reading some of the lore I discovered that apparently sorcereresses were exclusively female, which kinda sucks and ruined so many fun plot ideas!
rafira
Jan. 14th, 2015 06:30 am (UTC)
SIIIN I LIKED IT A LOT THANNNK YOUUU

you are still evil for putting Cloud in the sylhplands...

i love the sort of... military tenderness you wrote them with :)
sinnatious
Jan. 14th, 2015 08:15 am (UTC)
You're welcome I'm happy you liked it! <3
(Anonymous)
Jan. 16th, 2015 10:17 pm (UTC)
So did Cloud never get home?
Did Cloud never get to his home world or do I just need to re-read that snippet? I mean, Squall says that everyone got this feeling of belonging or something when they reached their home world, but I don't really remember if Cloud felt that feeling (I think he didn't) so...

Also, I love your ff7xff14 fic.
sinnatious
Jan. 17th, 2015 04:06 am (UTC)
Re: So did Cloud never get home?
The intention in that other snippet is to say yes, but there's a lingering note of uncertainty about that, isn't there? It's been long enough for Cloud that he doubts himself.
(Anonymous)
May. 27th, 2015 11:36 am (UTC)
Hey, im just a lurker here. Just wondering, did you die or something? :/
sinnatious
May. 27th, 2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
Offsetting that the event of my death would render me unable to reply, no, I just got stuck and a bit uninspired on the giftfics this year and haven't been writing much as a result. Sorry.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 4th, 2015 08:02 pm (UTC)
Another lurker here to say thank god!
(Anonymous)
Jun. 16th, 2015 02:20 am (UTC)
omg... remake!!
.... FFVII Remake for playstation has been Announced!! For reals!!


hope it doesn't suck...hope it doesn't suck... !!

Anyways, hope you are doing OK, and get back to writing fics one of these days. You are too awesome at it to give it up for good :)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )