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The Fifth Act, Chapter 17

Title: The Fifth Act

Rating:
T for violence.

Summary: FFVII Time-travel. Gen. Cloud has an accident with a Time Materia.

Author's Note:  AT LAST, I AM ON HOLIDAYS.  The best thing about Christmas has become time off!  :D


Previous Chapter  


 

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The Fifth Act Chapter 17

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Remarkably, Tseng managed to also pilot the helicopter back to ShinRa without crashing, forcing Cloud to reassess his long-standing opinion of the Turk’s aviation skills. They headed down in the same elevator, with Tseng stopping off to a dark hallway several floors earlier.

 

Filling in the paperwork for the mission only took a couple of minutes. Cloud rolled his shoulders as he signed out of the database, wondering if there was any point in stopping by the Training Room. Probably not. If Hojo had requisitioned the facilities, he would have vacated it by this time of day.

 

"Strife," Angeal called, just before he could head off to the barracks.  He jerked his head towards the executive elevator.  "Come on, Lazard wants us to report in to his office."


Cloud frowned at the change of routine.  "Was there a problem with the reports?"  He couldn't think of any other reason Lazard might summon them, especially right at the end of the day. Through the tall windows edging the common area, a sea of lights from bars and clubs and apartment complexes had begun to twinkle to life.


Angeal didn't seem worried, though, so it couldn't have been anything too serious.  "I think he just wants to talk in person."  He held the button to call the elevator, and after a short wait, the door opened with a hiss and clunk.

 

Nevertheless, paranoia clung to him like a wet cloak as they rode the elevator to the Director’s office. Had he done something wrong?  Seen something he shouldn’t have? Did Lazard realise he’d sent him on a mission too sensitive to be trusted to someone whose loyalties to ShinRa were so suspect?

 

“Strife. Strife!”

 

Cloud jerked, turning his gaze to the First standing by the open elevator door. He looked amused. “Morning. Did you have a nice dream?”

 

Embarrased, he ducked past Angeal, heading to Lazard’s office. Sure enough, even though the sun had long sunk below the horizon, the Director sat behind his desk. “Director Lazard?”

 

He glanced up, glasses briefly blinding as they caught the fluorescent light. “Strife! And Angeal. I’ve been expecting you. Come in.”

 

He shuffled through the truly impressive pile of papers on his desk, before apparently finding the right ones and handing them over. At Angeal’s prompt, Cloud took the bundle and scanned the topmost paper quickly, eyes widening as he did so. “This is-”

 

“Your promotion to Second Class,” Lazard agreed. “The paperwork went through when you completed today’s mission.”


"You've set a new record," Angeal pointed out.


Cloud frowned, not really comfortable with making any more waves than he already had.


"It's unorthodox," Lazard granted.  "But as Angeal pointed out, it was a waste of resources to keep you in Third Class.  The last few missions you've done would normally be assigned to a Second Class, and you completed them just as easily as you did the others."

 

“Congratulations,” Angeal offered, grinning broadly.

 

Cloud shuffled his feet awkwardly, not certain where to look.  Getting into SOLDIER itself had been a bit of trip, but realistically, he was only here to find some way to take out Hojo and Jenova. Under such circumstances, he had a hard time feeling excited about his promotion, and struggled to find the appropriate response. “I, uh…. Thanks?”

 

How tragic, to realise the dream after he’d lost it.

 

Angeal and Lazard shared a short laugh at his confusion, blissfully unaware of the dark turn of his thoughts. The Director regarded him warmly. “It’s a little sudden, true, but you probably should have been inducted directly into Second Class. Normally this would be a more formal affair, but I didn’t think you’d appreciate it while you were still settling in to ShinRa.”

 

Definitely not. “This is fine, really. I’m…” he spent a moment searching for the right adjective. “…honoured.” Uncomfortable. Ashamed. “Does this change anything?”

 

“You’ve already been doing mission assignments we normally reserve for Second Class SOLDIERs already, so not much will change on that front,” Lazard explained. “You should stop by the Equipment Room when you leave to pick up your new uniform, and you get to choose a new materia if you want. Otherwise, continue as you have been doing.”


"One new thing - you won't need anyone to monitor your missions anymore," Angeal informed him.  "I have to say, I'll miss it.  You were an easy rookie to watch out for."


Cloud finally managed a small smile, slightly embarrassed by the praise. 

 

“I understand you’ve been working with Second Class Kunsel a lot since your arrival,” Lazard added. “He’ll be able to fill you in on anything I’ve missed. And of course, feel free to come see me if you have any problems.” He cast an apprehensive glance at the precarious tower of paperwork on his desk. “Though if you do, maybe you should call ahead.”

 

“Should we leave you to it, Director?” Angeal asked.

 

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Lazard admitted, “Yes, I should be getting back to it. Thank you for coming to see me in person. I thought it would be better than delivering your promotion over the phone.”

 

Angeal chuckled. “Sounds like you need an assistant.” He clapped Cloud on the back. “Come on, let’s not take up any more of the Director’s time.”

 

Cloud nodded farewell to the Director, following the stocky First back out into the hallway. As soon as they were out of earshot, Angeal observed, “You didn’t seem so excited in there.”

 

Shrugging, Cloud confessed, “I hadn’t really thought about getting promoted.” Kunsel had warned him, but he never really believed it.

 

“No? You’re an odd one. Most guys who get into SOLDIER think of nothing other than making it to First Class. You don’t have any career goals or long term plans?” 

 

"Long term plans?" he echoed.

 

What would he do once the threats to the planet were neutralised?  He'd never even considered his future.  He'd been so busy outrunning ShinRa, then fighting Sephiroth and Jenova, then helping the rebuilding efforts in Edge, the Deep Ground fiasco, Kadaj’s Reunion... He'd barely gone a year without some emergency requiring his attention.  His delivery service was just a simple way to keep busy and earn gil.  He'd been too busy stuck in the present... and when not stuck in the present, he was trapped in the past.

 

Turning his eyes to the ground while they waited for the elevator, he murmured, “No… no plans.”

 

“Didn’t think past killing Sephiroth?”

 

Cloud flinched. Angeal sighed.

 

“…Sorry, that was unfair. I’m just trying to understand.” The elevator arrived. It was empty. They entered and the door hissed shut.

 

Cloud watched the numbers tick down, painfully slowly, to the SOLDIER barracks.

 

“Listen, Strife, I don’t mean to pry, but if you’ve got problems, you should talk to somebody. If not me, then Zack, or Kunsel, or Lazard. ShinRa even have counsellors available.”

 

“I’m not crazy,” he muttered. “Why promote me to Second Class if you’re worried about it?” Questions in regards to his sanity still left him defensive.

 

“It’s not that, it’s just-” Angeal shook his head, as though to chase out nagging thoughts. “Sorry. Genesis must be rubbing off on me. He’s been like a mother chocobo lately.” He offered a reassuring smile. “You looked really rattled when I woke you up this morning. It bothered me, is all. But you’re right – none of my business.” The elevator slowed to a stop and pinged open. “Go get some sleep. Can’t have our newest Second Class looking like he’s dead on his feet.”

 

“I can go on less than this,” he mumbled.

 

“Sure you can.” Angeal rolled his eyes in a gesture that felt vaguely reminiscent of Zack. Considering the similarity in hairstyles, it left him unsettled. Maybe in some way, Zack had become a living legacy, too. What did that make him? A legacy of a legacy? “Celebrate your promotion and sleep in for a change. There aren’t any urgent missions scheduled. I don’t want to see you in Briefing Room before 1200 hours.”

 

Cloud nodded, and escaped from the elevator before Angeal could ask him any more awkward questions. He took a deep breath. Between the First’s intrusive – though well-meaning – queries, the unusual monsters, and then this whole promotion he didn’t know how to feel about… even if he didn’t intend to sleep, the idea of locking himself in his room for the rest of the day held a lot of appeal.

 

So of course right when his nerves were on edge, right when he wanted nothing more than to go unbothered for the rest of the day, did the very last person he wanted to see show up.

 

"Cloud."


He bristled at the name.  Nobody else spoke it in quite the same way.  "Don't call me that."


"Why not?  It is your name, isn't it, Cloud?"

 

He wanted to throttle Zack for spreading his first name around, even if he knew it was his own fault for slipping up in the first place.  Sephiroth used his name like a weapon - he'd forgotten how the man could layer so much meaning, so much derision into the word, in a far more subtle fashion than the bullies in Nibelheim ever managed. 

 

“You have no right to use it,” he replied stiffly, turning around to face his opponent properly. Sephiroth could so rarely be found walking the halls of the residential floors that he’d grown lax, and had forgotten to keep track of the General’s movements. “What do you want?”

 

“To congratulate you on your promotion.”

 

“News travels fast.”

 

“I was informed earlier.”

 

Cloud glared. “What are you playing at?”

 

Sephiroth sighed. The gesture looked out of place on the General. “It occurs to me that as a Second Class, you and I may be called upon to work together in the future.” He spoke slowly, as though talking to a particularly restless child. 

 

“Lazard would know better than to assign us to the same mission.”

 

Regardless, unexpected circumstances can occur where we have no choice,” Sephiroth stressed. “Do you really think we can continue with this animosity forever?”

 

Yes. Yes he did. Right up until he killed him. 

 

Cloud didn’t say that aloud.

 

“Seeing as you won’t tell me what heinous crime I committed, I cannot make amends.” Sephiroth folded his arms. “So you leave me no choice but to seek you out until you are willing to tolerate my presence.”

 

Impossible. “You want to be friends?”

 

"That’s up to you, Cloud."

 

His head spun from the very notion. He’d once idolised Sephiroth, once dreamed of the man acknowledging his existence, of becoming friends… and what a fool he’d been. He wasn’t stupid enough to fall into that trap again. Zack had been friends of a sort with Sephiroth, and it hadn’t slowed the General down in the Nibelheim reactor at all.

 

“I’ll never be buddies with you. Don’t waste your time.”

 

“Why are you so afraid of trying?”

 

“I’m not. Don’t put words into my mouth.”

 

“You’re running away. Are you so worried that I’ll find out the reason why you harbour such hate? Or are you afraid of discovering that your hate is based on a lie, that your existence has become meaningless?”

 

The words hit far too close to home. “I have nothing to hide from you,” he lied through gritted teeth.

 

“If that were true, you wouldn’t be so defensive over a simple conversation, would you?” Sephiroth challenged.

 

He had a point, but Cloud refused to acknowledge it. “Why do you want to talk so badly anyway?”


"…I'm curious about your sword."


"My sword," Cloud repeated dubiously, still unsettled by the very notion of having a civil conversation with Sephiroth.  It set his nerves on edge - every 'conversation' they'd had in the past had left him conflicted, confused, and feeling like a puppet dancing on strings, just as he so often insinuated.


"It's... unusual." Sephiroth appeared to be choosing his words carefully.  "Where did you get it?"


His reflex was to refuse to answer, but as much as it grated him to admit it, Sephiroth was right.  He needed to develop tolerance – just so he could hold out long enough to take care of Hojo.  And the topic was safe enough.  "It's custom-made.  My own design."


The General looked vaguely impressed. "And what made you choose such an unconventional design?"

 

The idea came from his more advanced sword manoeuvres, when he realised he could move faster than even Sephiroth if he wasn't weighed down by a sword in-between strikes.  And given the variety of blades he'd tried out during his time in Avalanche, he wanted to find a way to maintain that versatility, without having to find somewhere to store an arsenal of weapons.  Yet he didn't want to reveal either skill to his enemy - that trick might be needed when the time came to fight again.  "It's a long story."


For a moment, it looked as though Sephiroth wanted to pursue the line of questioning anyway, but almost visibly pulled himself back.  Cloud's fingers twitched, but he managed to avoid reaching for First Tsurugi.  It helped that this Sephiroth reminded him more of the cold, aloof General who accompanied them to Nibelheim, rather than the callous, sadistic madman who taunted him as he destroyed everything Cloud held dear.  "What is it made of?"


Another question he couldn't answer.  First Tsurugi had been forged out of the remains of the Weapons.  Instead, he brought out something he'd always wanted to ask in the past. If he was going to be forced to converse with the General, he might as well satisfy some old curiosities.  "What about Masamune?"


"Damascus Steel.  Forged in Wutai, well before relations with ShinRa went bad."  He partially drew the sword, which had Cloud reaching for First Tsurugi again, but he merely angled the blade, letting the hallway lights dance off it.  "I favoured the katana, but as time passed, found the average blade too light, and its reach too short."
 

Cloud knew all about Masamune's reach - well in excess of even the Buster Sword.  His fingers gripped the front of his uniform again.

 

Sephiroth observed the gesture with a curious eye. “Were you injured on your mission?”

 

“I’m fine,” he replied, voice dull. “Just tired.”

 

“It was a difficult mission?”

 

“No, just a long day. If that’s all you wanted to talk about, I’m going back to my room now.” He couldn’t be sure how much longer he could hold on to his self-control. Sephiroth might be trying to make an attempt at civility, but it instead resembled a romp through a dragon’s nest. 

 

Thankfully, the General didn’t object to his abrupt departure. The few SOLDIERs nearby relaxed at the lack of fallout, and returned their attention to other matters. Cloud continued past without acknowledging them, heading down the hallway that would lead to the sanctuary of his quarters.

 

Absurd. Friends. With Sephiroth.

 

He’d sooner die.

 

……………………

 

 

“Lazard.” No response. Tseng sighed. He should have given this case to another one of his Turks – it was proving far too time consuming. “Director Lazard!”

 

The blond-haired man jerked awake, rocking back in his chair. He hurriedly adjusted his glasses, blinking the sleep from his eyes, but the hasty reorientation did not fix his mussed blond hair or the red lines on his face. “Tseng?”

 

“Fell asleep at the office again?” he asked. Heidegger had never worked this hard, he noted. Then again, Heidegger had an entourage of sycophants who did all of his work for him.

 

“End of month reports,” he explained, voice slightly slurred from tiredness. “I must have crashed as soon as I finished them. I’ll go home to get some sleep as soon as I’ve sent out today’s missions.”

 

Tseng nodded. “Strife’s paperwork went through yesterday?”

 

“Yes. He’s officially Second Class now.”

 

“We have a formal request that you limit the number of solo missions you send him on. He doesn’t need any more supervision from Angeal, but we’d feel better if at least another SOLDIER or Turk were present on any missions that take him outside of Midgar, or into any sensitive areas.”

 

It took a minute for Lazard to catch up – behind his hazy gaze Tseng could almost see the wheels in his brain slowly chugging to life. “You’re still suspicious?”

 

“Just a precaution. Apparently he encountered Sephiroth last night without coming to blows, but two weeks is not long enough to make a judgement.”

 

Lazard rubbed his forehead, eyes closed against the glare of bright morning sunlight creeping across his desk. “You’re right. Don’t worry, I’ll try and find missions that are either neutral or require multiple personnel. Did you find out anything else I should know?”

 

“I checked his PHS.”

 

“And?” Lazard prompted.

 

Tseng shook his head. “It’s confusing. He does have my number, and Rude’s, and Reeve Tuesti’s. Also Cid Highwind’s – he’s part of the space program. Reno’s, however, connects to one of the secretaries on the lower floors. Most of the others don’t call anywhere at all.”

 

“Is that bad?”

 

“You don’t think a PHS with mostly disconnected numbers is suspicious? Especially when it looks brand new?” Tseng asked dryly. 

 

Lazard thought on that. “I suppose not. What does it mean?”

 

Tseng paused, letting the question hang in the air for a long moment, before replying, “I spoke to the telecommunications department. The most common cause for disconnected numbers is the death of the account holder.”

 

A heavy silence filled the office, pooling into the corners, seeming to mute everything beyond the walls.

 

“…Do you suppose it’s related to why he tried to kill Sephiroth?”

 

“We still haven’t found any connection there,” Tseng reminded him. “But it’s one of many probabilities. Strife appears to… have very few people left in the world. Regardless, this still doesn’t explain some of the numbers he does have. I’m favouring caution in this instance.”

 

“I understand.” Lazard sighed, shifting through his mission updates. “Naturally, it is in my interest to cooperate fully with the Turks on this matter. Though honestly, I hope such cooperation won’t be required for much longer.”

 

“We all hope for that outcome, Director,” Tseng assured him. “But it’s the Turks’ job to always be ready for the worst.”

 

“Hm,” Lazard agreed distractedly, brow creasing as he glanced over a mission request. “That’s odd.”

 

“Director?” Tseng asked.

 

He shook his head briefly, and offered a small smile. “Sorry. I was just distracted – a mission request from a small town called Nibelheim was cancelled. I suppose the locals must have found a solution to the dragons themselves.” His lip twitched. “If only all mission requests could be resolved so easily.” 

 

“Indeed. You seem quite busy, Director. I won’t keep you any longer,” Tseng excused himself. 

 

Something about Nibelheim itched at the back of his memory, but then Tseng’s PHS trilled, derailing his train of thought. 

 

Investigating suspicious SOLDIERs was only a small part of a Turk’s job, after all.

 

 

………………………

 

 

Genesis palmed open the door to the Training Room. As he entered, Cloud turned his head sharply, expression severe enough to give the SOLDIER First pause. 

 

“Expecting someone?” he drawled.

 

Cloud relaxed, though the tension didn’t completely leave his shoulders. It never did. “No, you just surprised me.”

 

A lie, but an unimportant one. "So, Strife," he began, and then paused.  "Or would you prefer Cloud?"
 

"Whichever." 

 

Genesis considered for a moment, then nodded to himself.  "Cloud it is."  He'd thought the name absurd on first hearing; far too soft and whimsical for such a hardened warrior, but it had a sort of poetry to it. 


Besides, if Sephiroth was going to use first names with the blond, he could hardly let his rival get ahead.


"I heard Sephiroth tried making conversation yesterday."
 

Cloud groaned. “Is nothing secret in this company?”

 

“Not for long. You restrained yourself, I hear. Impressive,” he replied tartly.

 

Cloud crossed his arms and looked away. Genesis didn’t let it even slow him down. “And congratulations on making Second Class. Though it’s no surprise.”

 

The newly minted Second didn’t seem particularly enthralled with his promotion. The usual signs of pride and excitement were conspicuously absent. Then again, Cloud Strife never seemed particularly excited about anything. “What do you want?”

 

“Is it a crime to make simple conversation with a fellow SOLDIER?” For some reason, that earned him a glare. Genesis smiled. The blond always provided an entertaining reaction. Taking pity on him – for he owed the SOLDIER an incredible debt, a notion he still grappled with daily – he said, “I wanted to know if there had been any progress on the other matter.”

 

Cloud tensed. “I haven’t forgotten about it. I just haven’t been able to get into contact yet.” He shifted awkwardly, and continued in a softer voice, “Don’t get your hopes up too much. I don’t even know how to explain it that well to them. It might be impossible.”

 

It took a great deal of self-restraint for Genesis to remain calm. He refused to accept any other outcome. Would not even allow himself to entertain the possibility that Angeal might suffer a fate he had escaped. “Have you even tried?” he hissed, stepping in close. “Or have you become so enamoured by your success in ShinRa that you seek battlefield promotions from others falling before you?”

 

A flicker of emotion passed over the blond’s face, and Genesis almost recoiled when he recognised it to be hurt. “Don’t presume to know me,” Cloud snapped, voice colder than the frigid air of Modeoheim. 

 

A mistake.  He hadn’t intended to lash out. This man had saved him. The thought was never far from Genesis’s mind. His brush with mortality left an indelible mark, made all the more acute by the knowledge that Cloud had shared a truly priceless cure with him, not even moments after they had crossed swords. 

 

Genesis retreated a little, giving the blond back the space he’d unconsciously invaded. He took a deep breath. “My apologies. I didn't mean to cast doubt on your sincerity. Angeal is a very dear friend to me. I’m just concerned you might not grasp the situation.” That perhaps because Angeal looked healthy, Cloud thought there wasn’t any rush. “You don’t appear to share the same urgency.”

 

“Rushing won’t help him any. It’ll just make bad things happen faster,” Cloud muttered to his feet. 

 

An impasse. He couldn’t push matters here, couldn’t risk a temper tantrum, no matter how badly he wanted to draw his rapier and force the blond to act faster. Never mind that Cloud would hardly be intimidated by the gesture - it would just be counterproductive. And he would never draw his sword on Cloud. Never.

 

So he did what he always did when he needed peace. He quoted Loveless.

 

My Friend, the fates are cruel
There are no dreams, no honour remains.
The arrow has left the bow of the goddess.

My Soul corrupted by vengeance,
Hath endured torment,
To find the end of the journey in my own salvation.
And Your eternal slumber.

Now what I want most...
is the 'Gift of the Goddess'...

 

The words rolled lyrically from his tongue. He knew them by heart – had recited them a thousand times in a hundred different ways. It worked, and calmed his temper. He needed to trust that Cloud would keep to his word. He should be able to have that much faith in the man who saved him.

 

For his part, Cloud didn’t appear at all confused by his left-fielded recital. “You really like that play, don’t you?”

 

“It is the pinnacle our culture’s literary achievements, even incomplete. No, perhaps especially because it is incomplete.” At the lack of recognition from the blond, he informed him, “The fifth act is lost, you know.”

 

“That’s why the ending is always different?”

 

Genesis waved a hand airily. “There’s plenty of disagreement in both popular and academic circles as to the correct conclusion, along with no shortage of imitations claiming to be the ‘true’ ending. Of course, they’re all proven to be frauds in the end. But maybe that is the appeal. If you can have one, wouldn’t you want a different ending?” His words appeared to strike some chord with Cloud, so he pressed the conversation onward. “An ending of your choice?”

 

“You can choose which ending you want?” he murmured, blue eyes glazed in contemplation.

 

“Nothing to limit you but your own imagination. Perhaps the play was even designed this way – open-ended, so that the audience might select the outcome they most strongly desired.” One of many theories, but with the author of Loveless long dead, they would remain just that – theories. Genesis privately relished the opportunity to discuss this matter with a new ear – his friends had long tired of the topic. “Tell me, Cloud – how would you end it?”

 

The blond mulled it over for a minute, brow tight with thought, before answering slowly and carefully, as though every word weighed heavily on his lips. “The monster dies, and the three friends fulfil their oath. The lovers meet again, as promised.”

 

Genesis snorted. “How… unexpectedly naïve.” After such careful consideration, he hadn’t expected such a cliché response.

 

Cloud didn’t appear offended. “How would you end it, then?”

 

He tapped a finger to his chin, mostly for dramatic effect. “Once, I had been fond of the world falling into destruction at the hands of the hero. A classic tragedy, the likes of which most modern re-enactments shy away from.” He let the words hang in the air for extra impact, before continuing, “Another of my favourites was for the world to avoid destruction, but the three friends break their oath. The lovers are torn apart, their lives cut short mere moments before they could meet again.”

 

“…You really like the tragedies.” 

 

“I do,” Genesis agreed. “But lately…” He swept a hand out, to encompass an imaginary audience. “I find myself thinking.”

 

Cloud raised an eyebrow, waiting out his theatrics with a patience his friends had long abandoned. Genesis couldn’t help but smile, and drew his hand in close, hovering over his heart, and lowered his voice to a stage whisper.

 

“Lately, I find myself thinking that perhaps that the naïve ending the masses so adore… just maybe… has a certain charm of its own.”





Next chapter 



 


Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
ixtey
Dec. 23rd, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
SO THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED FIFTH ACT!... and to think I just wiki'd loveless a while ago, and thought nothing of it!


akshdhjasgdkj incoherent nao will comment decently-er after a good three minutes of verbal keysmash.
ixtey
Dec. 23rd, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
Oh Genesis you poetic bastard you ♥ Cloud'll make his own Fifth Act, then... yes, I actually understand something! *dances* For some reason I can't come up with a decent review because all the words are turning blurry. Maybe I should get up from the computer once in a while. XD

Cloud finally reaching Second Class, and not wanting it... how sad. And what the hell is Tseng thinking?! I think he's thinking that Cloud's a serial killer that picked up somebody's PHS and plans to kill everybody whose number is written there. *hums twilight zone theme song*

I love how Sephiroth still manages to sound imposing even though he's doing "friendly talk". Non-scary wouldn't be the general's style, after all. :PP
sinnatious
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm a pretentious git of a writer, you've figured it out. :P Ahaha, it was worth it for your reaction.

Perhaps not for this fic, but you've just stumbled across a potentially awesome idea for a mystery novel! :O

And I can't write Sephiroth without him being imposing. I tried it, but it wasn't Sephiroth anymore. >.o
searisme
Dec. 23rd, 2009 08:54 am (UTC)
I see someone had an eureka! moment (ixtey)... *heh* Mine was like that too, though maybe not so very bolded and large...

For today I am all out of adjectives - this chapter was, was too... yeah...

I see Seph still has a ways to go. Did nobody explain to him the use of given names? ...who would have, though...

And GenGen. So dramatic! And he would never draw his sword on Cloud. Never.
That last part was very shippy, though! And so very good, so very Genesis. I agree with him, somehow I don't think the watch the world burn thing really fits this saner, not quite so bitter Genesis.
ixtey
Dec. 23rd, 2009 09:20 am (UTC)
It wasn't supposed to be just big and bolded, it was also supposed to be sparkly. I has no sparkles no more, though. D: do you know of any site that generates sparkly text for LJ?

oh, and by the way, may I friend you? :D??
searisme
Dec. 23rd, 2009 09:35 am (UTC)
No sparkles? Well, that is simply shocking! Sadly I don't know of such a site... the only "enhancement" I regularily use is, after all, the ever useful cursive. (Unless ecessive exclamation points count.)

Go ahead. I'll friend you back. Though don't go waiting for actual journal updates, because, despite the annual attempt at resurrection, my journal remains well and truly dead.
ixtey
Dec. 23rd, 2009 09:43 am (UTC)
Yay, Thanks! It's alright with me, even if you don't update your journal. :PP
firedraygon97
Dec. 23rd, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
Did nobody explain to him the use of given names? ...who would have, though...



Friends: How to Make Them
Book 1 of a Series of 5
Written by Z. Fair
Edited by A. Gainsborough
Box set (includes all 5 books and a CD): 499 Gil, 50% off sale on eMidgar for the holiday season!

It was an investment, Sephiroth told himself, but really it was just that he couldn't resist a good deal.
ixtey
Dec. 23rd, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
dfgsdhj seph looks so cute there. ♥___♥ he should have read everything 'till the end, though. :))
searisme
Dec. 23rd, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)
Awesome! *laughs so hard* Sinnatious should totally make a referencce to this in 5th Act! *nudge nudge*

...but apparently Sephy didn't reach the addendum that applies to people as er-... intensely private (paranoid.. murderous...) as Cloud, about asking permission of adressing someone so informally.

Volume 1, eh? What does the final chapter of Vol. 5 touch on, then?
firedraygon97
Dec. 23rd, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
When Aeris edited that chapter, she made Zack add in the part about social standing and all that jazz, otherwise it would've read: "...so they should always be used. Step 12..."

Book 1 - Friends: How to Make Them
Book 2 - Friends: Your Role
Book 3 - Friends: Through Thick and Thin
Book 4 - Friends: Breaking and Making up
Book 5 - Friends: When There's That 'Something More'
searisme
Dec. 23rd, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
Oh god. Save Cloud from that last volume. Seph would be like Hmmm. Indications of strong emotions? Love often starts with fighting? Well, he did try to kill me...
sinnatious
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
OH MY GOODNESS, IT KEEPS GOING, WHY ARE YOU MADE OF SO MUCH WIN? XD This is great.

firedraygon97
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:31 am (UTC)
What can I say? You inspire me. ;P I feel kinda bad, jumping into your verse that you so lovingly created and cracking things up.
sinnatious
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
By all means, go right ahead! XD I enjoy it as much as everyone else. Almost makes me regret not heading down the cracky route!
fateofshadow
Dec. 23rd, 2009 09:06 am (UTC)
I haven't slept in over 30 hours so I'm afraid my brain and typing speed are not up to par at the moment. Allow my icon to get my feelings across instead. (My god, this took my like 3 minutes to type...hands sooo slooowww.... u_u)
sinnatious
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
30 hours? Why are you here reading this and commenting! Go sleep! (Amazing icon, by the way, it's very eloquent. XD)
aori_tsuki
Dec. 23rd, 2009 09:45 am (UTC)
I can only give you a measly heart for now. So here!



Haha, I find it horrible that I pay more attention to the little details in here, like Lazard sleeping after work, instead of enjoying the Sephiroth/Genesis interaction scenes.
firedraygon97
Dec. 23rd, 2009 10:25 am (UTC)
“This is fine, really. I’m…” he spent a moment searching for the right adjective. “…honoured.” Uncomfortable. Ashamed.

CLOUD. So modest. ♥ I also love how he and Angeal have a talk about future plans. Angeal does seem the type to counsel others on their longterm goals. He's so...fatherly, hahaha.

Sephiroth might be trying to make an attempt at civility, but it instead resembled a romp through a dragon’s nest.

SEPH. He's like a bull in a china store. Clearly he's read Zack's friendship manual -- subtlety is not emphasized anywhere in it. XP Like the analogy, too!

The most common cause for disconnected numbers is the death of the account holder.

Interesting. And how ironic, that the angsty reasoning in this case is wrong. (I just had to look up if I used ironic correct here, and I still don't understand, so I'm just going to blame it on the fact that it's 3 in the morning for me. =___=) Anyway, I adore it when logical, but outrageous, theories are made that are nowhere close to the truth. And guhh, I think I'm always weak for when people go, "What IS he?" Not that you have it here yet, but think Hikago. XP

Besides, if Sephiroth was going to use first names with the blond, he could hardly let his rival get ahead.

GEN! This rivalry is so going to get you in trouble one of these days, haha. I like how Cloud's never far from his thoughts. ♥ Are you purposely trying to create more Gen/Cloud fans through this? XD;

Quoting Loveless as an anger management tactic! I'm glad we get to hear his reasoning for being annoying with his poetry. ;P

“…You really like the tragedies.”

Cloud's response to what really happened is lovely. I'm sure he was internally cringing over that last ending interpretation, but he played it cool. Very smooth. And Gen is so CUTE, getting influenced by Cloud and giving the happy ending a second look. :3 And being practically giddy about discussing Loveless with another person who won't shut him down immediately~! Oh Genesis. This is why Cloud is a perfect match for you.

And, um, I guess I also had the same reaction as everyone else, but only after [Unknown LJ tag] bold and caps'd it, haha (3:30am now!!). The title = GENIUS. ♥♥♥ Very clever. ^^
firedraygon97
Dec. 23rd, 2009 10:28 am (UTC)
*headdesk* Ixtey's the user, if it wasn't obvious. Don't know why my tag didn't work. ixtey?
ixtey
Dec. 23rd, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
lol, maybe lj's just being wonky. XD
searisme
Dec. 23rd, 2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
*hah* It's a conspiracy. My LJ is very tempramental tonight.
sinnatious
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:18 am (UTC)
Gosh, I think we share that Hikago weakness. o__o This may actually be the root of my fascination with time travel stories in general.

I wrote these chapters loooong before the Gen/Cloud hype train started up, it's totally accidental, I swear! XD You're just looking for the subtext now!

Aha, I'm glad you picked up that little reference to what really happened. ^_^ Thought it might get lost in the metaphor. Astute as always (all the more impressive at 3am!).
kiriana
Dec. 23rd, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
I love the new chapter! Love it! <3

Now I'm just waiting for Zack and Cloud to start doing missions together. XD Oh, the nostalgia.
sinnatious
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:18 am (UTC)
I want to reply, but I'm so mesmerised by the endlessly looping Ponyo. *___*
phamalama
Dec. 23rd, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
Ah, so the title of the fic is explained through Genesis and Cloud. I like their take on the endings, especially the impact of Loveless on the timetravel genre. Plus, the scene with Seph trying to be friends with Cloud is so awkward... which I think would happen because of their personalities! In your next chapter, I would love to see some other minor characters that I've grown to love like Aerith and Yuffie. Maybe the people Angeal tried to call will investigate who Cloud Strife really is! Keep up the great work!!!
sinnatious
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC)
Thanks! Should be able to honour at least one of the requests. ;)
ixtey
Dec. 24th, 2009 07:22 am (UTC)
love your icon, btw. ♥
(Anonymous)
Dec. 24th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
O_O!
I discovered this fic through Lizeth on her DeviantArt page (how does that woman find this stuff??) and I <3 it. I couldn't stop reading! The story so far is thought out, pretty well balanced (this can be a hard thing to do in the time-travel genre >_>), and deliciously filled with little nougats of wit with chocolate sprinkles of sheer Awesome.

I look forward to reading more, especially some dealing with the other characters. I wonder what Hojo has been up to in the Science Dept. (were the monsters purposefully being set loose?); and where has Vincent Valentine gone? I hope he's not still in Lucretia's Cave. -_-u

Anyway, thank you for sharing your talent! :D

--Morncreek

(I should probably go to sleep now, eheheh...)
demon_vampirate
Dec. 27th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Haha, I feel smart... (new ending thing.)

Amazing, I now go to read the next installment...
caterfree10
Jan. 5th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
LOL the reactions to the understanding of the title of the fic are priceless, omg. X'D And now I'm curious as to how people reacted on FF.net pfft. As is the art. Debating on whether I want to scare more than just you right now by commenting on stuff that's over two years old now. X)

And I'm just. Going to giggle like a madwoman at Cloud's reaction to hearing how Seph wants to be friends. Not that I didn't the first time I read this, but still. x3

...fairly sure this is the first time I've changed my icon here, lol
(Anonymous)
Jan. 6th, 2013 06:56 pm (UTC)
Angeal rolled his eyes in a gesture that felt vaguely reminiscent of Zack. Considering the similarity in hairstyles, it left him unsettled. Maybe in some way, Zack had become a living legacy, too. What did that make him? A legacy of a legacy?

I like Cloud's running commentary. It's the little details that make this story stand out, instead of just going through the perfunctory bare minimum to advance the story.

And he would never draw his sword on Cloud. Never.

Oh, Genesis. :3 You don't do things half-heartedly, do you.

And Cloud having infinite patience with absolutely everything except Sephiroth, ha.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 6th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC)
also, I bet Genesis doesn't apologize often

Genesis retreated a little, giving the blond back the space he’d unconsciously invaded. He took a deep breath. “My apologies.

and I totally missed that Genesis predicted the other future in his first preferred Loveless ending until someone pointed it out above in the comments :0
sinnatious
Jan. 7th, 2013 12:33 am (UTC)
Heh, nobody noticed until their re-reads anyway, so don't feel bad! I think everyone was too busy going 'ooohhh, meaning of title moment!' to pay attention to everything else.
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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