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Xmas Drabbles 2010 Part 4

The next five (late) Christmas giftfics.  Now we’re moving on to the ones I really struggled with.

Also, I'll be heading back to work this week, and it's also TENNIS SEASON (\o/) so, um, if I haven't done yours yet (the late posters and the anons), don't be holding your breath.  ^_^;  I did twenty of these in six weeks, I am severely running out of steam.
 

For teekoness 
Fandom: FFVII - Fifth Act verse
Characters:
Rufus, Little Cloud (with Dark Nation and Angeal!Wolf possibly?)
Prompt: Cloud felt it was necessary to defend his pet's honour. Interpret this as you may.
(AN: After your amazing Kunsel fic, I really feel as though this little offering falls woefully short, but I hope you like it anyway.)

 

 

……………………….

 

“What is that?”

 

Cloud was bristling at the tone even before he turned around.  “None of your business.”

 

A burst of wind buffeted the rooftop of ShinRa tower, but shifted not a hair on the newcomer’s head.  Cloud had absolutely no idea who he was, but dressed like that, he guessed he must have been important.  Some rich kid – the son of one of the executives, probably, if he had clearance to be up here. 

 

Cloud immediately decided he didn’t like him.

 

They were almost the same age, but there might as well have been decades between them – the other boy held himself apart, wearing a suit far too mature for him, blond hair slicked back, his very countenance proclaiming that he didn’t have time for childish endeavours.

 

Cloud didn’t think there was anything particularly childish about playing with the chimera on the roof – Zack and Kunsel did it all the time – but felt embarrassed at being caught out all the same.  He fell silent, hoping the other boy would just go away.  He’d figured out how to interact with SOLDIERs and his fellow cadets, but people outside of that spectrum were still a mystery to him.

 

“I think it is my business,” he drawled, “Since this is ShinRa property and you don’t have clearance to be up here.”

 

“I have clearance,” Cloud replied.  There were benefits to having a SOLDIER First Class for an uncle, and a bunch of Turks eager to keep said uncle onside.  “And I’m not doing anything wrong.”  He didn’t like feeling defensive, so shot back, “Why are you up here?  There aren’t any flights scheduled for today.”

 

The boy sniffed, and clicked his fingers.  A dark hound – one at least as tall as his waist – sidled out from behind him to sit by his side.  “Training Dark Nation.  A real pet.”

 

The dog was rather marvellous, as far as dogs went.  Sleek black fur with grey highlights, it reminded him more of a Nibel wolf than a domesticated hound.  Certainly, sitting across from him, the chimera looked short and stocky and rather awkwardly proportioned.

 

Cloud remained stubbornly loyal to his companion, though.  The chimera had stuck with him throughout that harrowing cross-continental journey to Midgar, chasing away monsters when they were hitch-hiking, helping him carry Kunsel, warding off thieves and muggers in the slums, and providing a comforting presence while he struggled not to throw up in the ferry to Junon.  He might not have been the prettiest of companions, but that didn’t make him inferior!  “My chimera’s better than any hound,” he asserted. 

 

The chimera stuck out its chest a little more, and gave its snakelike tail a small flick, but it didn’t otherwise react.

 

“What’s its name?” The other boy’s lip curled, as though even referring to the creature might dirty his designer white suit. 

 

He actually didn’t have a name for the chimera, but for some reason Loveless popped into his head right then, and he blurted, “Hero.”

 

The chimera flicked an ear at him, shuffling its wings in what looked suspiciously like laughter.  He sent it an apologetic glance.

 

The other boy smirked.  “And yours?”

 

“Cloud.”  The smirk grew, but people making fun of his name was at least familiar territory. “You?”

 

“Rufus.”

 

Cloud nodded in acknowledgement and turned back to the chimera, hoping the other boy would take the hint and leave them alone.

 

“You don’t know who I am, do you, Cloud?” Rufus asked. 

 

Cloud tensed, but didn’t take the bait.  So what if he didn’t know?  More people lived in the barracks than the entire of Nibelheim.  He considered it a victory he remembered his dorm mates’ names.  “Does it matter?”

 

“I guess not.”  Rufus stuck his hands in his pockets.  The amiability of the response surprised him, and Cloud gave him a suspicious glance. 

 

Rufus pulled a small red ball out of his pocket and tossed it to the other side of the roof.  Dark Nation took off like a shot, long limbs a blur as it raced after it.  Powerful jaws snatched up the small squeaky ball moments before it hit the ground, and just as quickly, Dark Nation returned to its owner and deposited it at his feet.

 

He picked up the ball and held it out to Cloud.  “Can yours do that?”

 

Cloud stared at him.  What was so impressive about fetching a ball?

 

“What’s the matter?” Rufus asked when he didn’t take it.  “Afraid of getting your hands dirty?”  That seemed a bit rich coming from a guy dressed completely in white.  “Or-” His smile stretched.  “-do you mean to say ‘Hero’ can’t even fetch a ball?”

 

Glaring mutinously, Cloud accepted it.  He looked at the chimera.  It stared back.

 

Hesitantly, he tossed the ball.

 

The chimera watched it bounce away, then turned to him and flicked an ear.

 

Rufus laughed.  “Some pet.  Is it retarded?”  He snapped his fingers.  “Dark Nation!”  The hound dashed over to the ball and snatched it up in its jaws.

 

“He just doesn’t want to play a stupid game of fetch, is all,” Cloud muttered.  He almost wished Rufus would go back to mocking him – Hero didn’t deserve it!  “He’s still way better than a hound!”

 

“Please, when it can’t even fetch?”

 

“He can so fetch!”  Impulsively, Cloud ran over to the building’s edge.  The wind howled, and his shirt and pants flapped and rippled in the updraft.  The sheer wall of windows dropping away below him was dizzying – from up here, Midgar looked like a child’s playhouse.  “Hero!”

 

The chimera stood up, ears pricked in concern.

 

“Cloud!”  Rufus’s voice held a note of alarm.  “You’re not going to-”

 

Cloud screwed his eyes shut, gathered all of his courage, and stepped off into empty space.

 

The air roared in his ears as he fell, floors whipping past in a blur.  Then there was a burst of air, the sound of flapping wings, hot breath on his neck, then suddenly teeth scraping his back and clamping around his belt.

 

His fall slowed, his body swung, and with several powerful flaps of wings, Cloud was dragged back onto the roof. 

 

Cloud grinned, spikes and clothes askew, and rubbed his hand through the soft black fur of the chimera’s neck.  “Can your hound fly?”

 

Rufus stared at him in wonder.  “You’re crazy.”

 

Hero flared his wings and stared imperiously at him, rather as though he agreed.  Somewhat petulantly, the chimera took off from the roof, wheeling out of a sight a moment later.

 

“I knew he’d save me,” Cloud stated matter-of-factly, still giddy from the adrenaline rush.  “I’d rather that than some pet that just plays fetch.”

 

“…It was rather impressive,” Rufus begrudged, giving a leery glance over the edge.  “I wouldn’t have thought it large enough to slow your fall, much less haul you back up here.”

 

“He’s strong, too,” Cloud said, and felt very satisfied.  See if any rich kid ever dared make fun of his friends again!

 

His grin faltered when the door to the stairs suddenly burst open and Angeal, followed by Zack and his very irate Uncle, stormed out, chimera at their heels.

 

Rufus raised an eyebrow.  “But at least Dark Nation doesn’t tell on me.”

 

……………………….

 


 

For umarekawareru 
Fandom: Gintama
Characters: Katsura, Shinsengumi
Prompt:  Link to the prompt, because honestly, it's better than the fic. XD 
(AN: Kind of think I should have ended this at the halfway point, but there wasn’t any Shinsengumi yet!)

 

……………………….

 

Katsura had decided.  Tokyo had to go.

 

“There’s no other way, Elizabeth,” he said.  Elizabeth sat next to him, her silent agreement all the confirmation he needed.

 

“We didn’t manage to blow up the terminal.  But that’s no reason to give up.”

 

Elizabeth stared vacantly ahead.  Katsura lowered his hat, watching warily as a group of civilians wandered past.

 

“It’s very logical.  If there’s no Tokyo, there’s no reason for the Amanto to come here anymore.”

 

It was ambitious, of course, but thinking small wouldn’t win the rebellion.  He hadn’t been thinking large enough.  The vast terminal stretching above the skyline?  Too obvious a target.  The Shinsengumi Headquarters?  Surprisingly resilient against explosions.  Tokyo itself?

Proof that Katsura was the brains of the outfit.

 

“I didn’t mean any offence, Elizabeth,” he stated seriously.  “Of course, you deserve credit for the plan too.”

 

Elizabeth stared at a butterfly flitting past the park bench.

 

“That’s true.  It will be a lot of work.  But I don’t necessarily need to blow it all up at once.  I could do half one day, and do the other half the next.”

 

The butterfly landed on Elizabeth’s head.  Its wings fluttered faintly in the warm spring breeze.

 

“…We’re going to need more bombs.”

 

……………………

 

Hijikata slammed the receiver down.  “Yamazaki!”

 

“Vice-Commander!”

 

The vice-commander of the Shinsengumi lit a cigarette – his third that hour.  “We’ve got another suspicious package report over near Kabuki-cho!  Go check it out!”

 

“But-”

 

The phone trilled again.  “Screw it.  You man the phones.  I’ll go check it out.”  He picked up his katana and stormed out of Headquarters….

 

…Straight into a pile twine-wrapped packages.

 

No matter how you looked at it, they were questionable.  Who the hell wrapped twine around their packages anymore?

 

“YAMAZAKI!  What’s all this crap?”

 

“It came in the mail, Vice-Commander!” was the muffled response, followed by more mumbling on the phone.

 

He glared at the package, bringing it close to his face, inspecting it more carefully.  “Oi oi oi, this thing is definitely… ticking?”

 

Then the ash from his cigarette caught the edge of the twine.

 

Thunder and fire tore through the Shinsengumi compound. 

 

Hijikata hacked and coughed his way through the billowing clouds of black smoke, ash streaking his face and uniform.  “SOUGO!” he yelled.

 

“That’s not one of mine, Hijikata-san,” he called back from the safety of the other side of the yard, followed by a mumbled, “Unfortunately.”

 

“You liar!  Then who-”  His gaze was caught the edge of a white haori, peeking out from behind the compound gates.

 

“Tch.”  The owner of the haori gave him a look of utter loathing and disappointment, before turning on his heel and running away.

 

“Oi!  You!  Katsura!  It’s Katsura!”  He drew his katana and dashed after him, leaving the rest of the Shinsengumi still fumbling for their swords.

 

The slap of running sandals and flapping cloth drew away, but Hijikata put on a burst of speed.  See that slippery ferret who dared blow him up get away?  This was Shinsengumi territory!

 

He skidded around the corner.  Katsura whirled, backed up against a dead end wall. 

 

“You’re cornered now, Joui scum.”  Hijikata spat out the remains of his cigarette and raised his sword. 

 

“Tch.  You Shinsengumi are annoyingly resilient.  Didn’t anyone teach you to die politely when you’ve been blown up?” 

 

“So you’re the one behind all those packages being mailed out around town.  What are you planning?  Are you trying to blow up all of Tokyo, you bastard?!”

 

Katsura said nothing.  His hand crept inside his haori.

 

Hijikata paused at the lack of response.  “You’re serious.” 

 

“The monsters and you Shinsengumi tratiors will be rid from Japan, one way or another.”  He delivered it in the same tone of voice one might discuss the fate of their local sports team.

 

The bastard had gone totally insane.  Just what the city needed – another megalomaniac.   “Oi, what about all the innocent people, huh?  Are you even thinking about the casualties?”  The paperwork?  “And you call us traitors?!  You’re blowing up the same people you’re trying to liberate!”

 

“Alas,” Katsura said regretfully, “There must be sacrifices.”  He whipped the detonator out from his haori, and rested his thumb against the trigger.  “Now, Shinsengumi scum, please lay down quietly and die.”

 

And Tokyo was treated the most spectacular and widespread fireworks display of all time.

 

……………………….

 

 

 

For demon_vampirate 
Fandom: Bleach
Characters: Ulquiorra, Grimmjow
Prompt: The two get into a fight over Aizen-sama and his grandiose plans, and it escalates. As dark as possible, because I am sadistic and I love seeing my favorite characters (that won't break) in pain.  fff what happy holiday spirit?

 

.......................

“It’s disgusting.  Have you all forgotten what it means to be a Hollow?”

Ulquiorra doesn’t react to his taunt.  The bastard never reacts.


“Running after that guy like a bunch of lapdogs.  It makes me sick.”

 

Grimmjow scowls and kicks at a stray pebble – a bit of rubble from the last time Nnoitra got put in his place by Nel, probably.  “Hey, are you fucking listening?”

 

Ulquiorra stops and turns.  “Aizen-sama is worthy of our respect.”

 

“Hell, he might be strong, but he ain’t a Hollow.”  He slams his fists together a few times, relishing the smack of skin and bone, imagining his opponent’s mask crushing between them.  “All this crap about making Arrancar and sitting in here not fighting – why the hell are we putting up with all this shit?”

 

All these damn newcomers, who don’t even deserve to be Numeros, much less Espada.  None of them earned it, none of them clawed their way to the top from Gillian to Adjucas to Vasto Lorde.  Now there’s a damn farce of a city in the middle of Hueco Mondo, with white buildings and a fake sky and actual paths instead of endless dunes of sand.

 

“You have your orders,” is all Ulquiorra says. 

 

Grimmjow growls, and punches the wall.  It fractures beneath his fist. “Don’t you pull rank on me!  I’m as strong as you are, and I’ll prove it!”

 

The familiar form of Pantera settles around him, and his body thrums with energy and power and he can practically feel a cero crackling at his claw tips.  He slashes, angrily, shredding the very air, burying his fingers in chips of rock.

 

Ulquiorra appears behind him, utterly nonplussed.  “Keep overstepping your boundaries, and you’ll find yourself no longer an Espada.”  He can’t tell if it’s a threat or a warning.  Knowing Ulquiorra, it’s probably both.

 

“Keep bowing down to some damn Shinigami, and you’ll forget what it means to be one!”  He rips his claws through the wall, tearing towards his opponent.  Ulquiorra vanishes again, and again, evading each strike by a hair’s width.

 

Grimmjow laughs maniacally.  “Running away, Ulquiorra?  Oh, that’s right – Espada cuarta and above are forbidden from releasing their resurreccion now, aren’t they?” he taunts.  “Well then, this is gonna be easy!” 

He lets loose a cero, and the hallway bleeds with crimson light.  The resulting explosion cracks like thunder, and the ground shudders under their feet.

 

This is fighting.  This is what being an Espada should be about!

 

Ulquiorra emerges from the smoke, two fingers extended – countering cero with cero.  Grimmjow lunges towards him, nothing but a blur to any watching eyes.

 

His claws catch fabric, and skin, and tear.

 

He roars with victory at the slash – three bleeding stripes across the cuarta Espada’s abdomen.  First blood!

 

The more rational part of his mind, not yet caught up in bloodlust, recognises the strike had been too easy – that Ulquiorra hadn’t bothered dodging.

 

And when he sees the slashes closing, almost as fast as he inflicted them, he realises why.

 

“Worthless trash,” Ulquiorra says, then disappears.

 

The first blow slams against his back, makes him stumble.  The next comes from the side, and leaves him reeling.  One smashes into his stomach, and he nearly bites through his tongue.  His hierro holds, but he’s tossed back and forth, bones shuddering under each strike, barely able to catch sight of his assailant in time to register his presence, much less react. 

 

Until the glow of a cero grows in his face, and Grimmjow is blasted into the wall.

 

Rock and plaster cracks and falls around him, and a slender, pale hand presses against his throat, pinning him to the wall.  Dull, bored green eyes stare up at him.

 

“Do you have a problem with Aizen-sama’s plans?”

 

“It’s not fucking fair,” he snarls – his words wet with his own blood, his bruised ribs shuddering painfully with every breath.  “You’re this strong, even without releasing your resurreccion, and you bow down to that?”

 

“Do you have a problem with Aizen-sama’s plans?” Ulquiorra repeats, as monotonous as always.

 

Threats and taunts and arguments balance on the tip of his bleeding tongue, but Grimmjow shakes his head, and Pantera recedes, leaving him bruised and tattered and humanoid once more.  The cuarta Espada lets him drop to the ground, sends him one last chilling glance in reproof, and strides away through the charred and crumbling hallway.

 

Ulquiorra is one damn cagey bastard.  He was surprised, is all.  How many Espada keep that kind of regeneration and speed – all the sensible ones funnel that power into strength and new weapons as early as possible.  After all, who needs to regenerate, if you’re too powerful to even touch?

 

Next time, it’ll go differently.  He’ll get stronger.  He’ll get stronger and stronger and stronger, and then he’ll remind them all what it means to truly be Espada.

 

……………………….

 

 

 

For ojuzu 
Fandom: Natsume Yuujinchou. 
Characters: Natsume, Natori.
Prompt:  Funtimez with Natori.
(AN: Probably a bit more angsty than what you were after, sorry, most of my fluffy Natsume ideas were already used on the first ficlet.  Hope this satisfies!)
 

 

……………………….

  

The carriage wheeled ever so slowly into the sky.  Natsume sat, hands gripping his knees, warily eyeing the other occupant in the softly swaying compartment.

 

“Are you scared of heights, Natsume?” Natori asked with a kind smile.

 

“No,” he replied shortly.  Flying on Nyanko’s back when he transformed was always a thrill.  “This is just weird.”

 

“What’s weird about it?”  Natori’s smile didn’t falter.  His lizard tattoo scuttled across his forehead.

 

“Two guys on a Ferris wheel is kind of…”  Even having Nyanko or Hiiragi along for the ride would have been better, but Nyanko hadn’t been interested and Hiiragi too stubborn to admit she was.

 

“I told you, my agent won’t let me bring a girlfriend.  And I had the free tickets and it seemed like such a waste!” He delivered the usual excuse in a singsong voice Natsume had learned to distrust.

 

“Even then… shouldn’t you at least sit on the other side?” he asked, deadpan.  They sat side-by-side, knees and shoulders almost touching.  It was, in a word, cosy.

 

Natori just laughed.  Jerk.  Laughter wasn’t an answer.

 

The wheel rose higher, and the wind whistled outside.  Natori’s whole being seemed to radiate warmth, and his entire left side felt uncomfortably hot. 

 

He eyed the exorcist warily.  “This isn’t some trick to bait an ayakashi, is it?”

 

“Natsume!  I’m hurt.  Can’t we hang out just for the sake of it?  I had the tickets, you weren’t doing anything, and it keeps you out of trouble.”

 

Out of trouble? 

 

“You’re planning something,” he accused.

 

Natori held up his hands in defence.  “I’m not.  Really.  Trust me.”  The tattoo slithered down his neck, disappearing beneath his collar.

 

Liar.

 

The word didn’t quite escape.  Natsume stared out the window.  They rose higher into the sky.  It was stunningly blue, and the clouds were round and puffy.

 

There had to be a reason.  He’d agreed to come the theme park because Touko had looked so delighted when Natori turned up at the door inviting him, and he could hardly turn him down by explaining the last time the part-time actor took him an on outing he’d been haunted and nearly strangled by a spirit sealed in the inn.  But why…

 

Natsume gripped his lap bag a little tighter, the edges of the hidden Book of Friends digging into his thighs.

 

Natori didn’t know.  He couldn’t know.  He’d kept the Book of Friends secret.  But maybe, if an ayakashi told him… Hiiragi might have heard, from one of the others…

 

“Have you ever been on a Ferris wheel before, Natsume?”

 

The question jerked him out of his anxious wonderings.  “Huh?”

 

Natori slung a friendly arm over his shoulders – it felt heavy and warm and he was so surprised by the casualness of the touch that he couldn’t figure out how he was supposed to react to it.  He settled for not reacting at all, and the exorcist steered his attention outside.  “It’s not the most exciting ride, but there’s something special about it, isn’t there?”

 

Natsume looked out the window.  The people below were like brightly coloured pebbles on the tiny, creek-like paths in the estuary of the theme park.  The sky seemed closer, somehow, even though the fluffy clouds still floated far overhead.  There was a giant ayakashi in the distance, too, crouched among the trees, staring at the sun.  It looked like the same one that had been blocking his view from the fireworks.  This high up, though, it didn’t look so intimidating.  It was an entirely new perspective, safely delivered in the comforting confines of a cosy carriage, suspended in the sky.

 

“Yeah,” he found himself saying.  “I hadn’t…” 

 

Ferris wheels, theme parks, holidays… they were things meant for couples and families.  He hadn’t even been on a proper hot springs trip until Natori took him.

 

He didn’t voice those thoughts, but a small smile grew on his lips as the wheel reached its apex.  “Thanks,” he eventually muttered.

 

Natori just smiled back.  “You know what’s customary, at the top of a Ferris wheel, Natsume?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“How about I show you?”  Natori’s movie-star looks and designer glasses glowed in the warm sunlight, and he leaned in closer, and…

 

Natsume punched him in the jaw.

 

Just because he’d never been on a Ferris wheel before, didn’t make him stupid.

 

……………………….

 


For signrain 
Fandom:
FFVII
Characters:
Sephiroth,Cloud,Genesis
Prompt:
AU. Cloud is Hojo's real son. Little Cloud came to midgar clause his mom didn't want him after she married Mr Lockhart. She sent him to his sweet Daddy who had never met him before. After little Cloud came to Shinra, he met Young Genesis. Hojo put S cell and J cell in little Cloud with love.. and he began to hear Jenova's voice. PS. Vincent is Sephiroth's real father.
(AN: Your prompt was a bit too detailed for a shortfic, so I couldn’t match it exactly, sorry, but it’s a cool idea.  Hope this satisfies.)

 

 

……………………….

 

Midgar is huge and frightening.  ShinRa even more so.

 

Cloud rides in the company car quietly, legs barely long enough to reach the floor, swinging with every bump on the road, blond spikes waving in the blasting, frigid air conditioning that reminds him of chilly winds whipping off Nibel’s peak.  The man driving is quiet – he looks like a teenager, but he wears a suit, so Cloud guesses he must be an adult, and he wonders whether he came from the country too, and whereabouts in the world it’s customary to mark your forehead like that.

 

He doesn’t dare ask.

 

The skyscraper grows in the windows, looming overhead like a dark monolith.

 

His mother doesn’t want him anymore.  Tifa’s mother passed away, and less than twelve months later his mother is married to Mr Lockhart and Tifa won’t talk to him and Cloud’s shipped off to a father he’s never met – didn’t even know he had.  All he knows about him is that his mother had some brief affair with him years ago, when he came to Nibelheim for work, flush with money and short on female companionship.

 

The city disappears into shadow, and the car dips as it rumbles down a tunnel into the underground parking lot.  Darkness is replaced by bright fluorescent lights, and the car pulls to a stop next to a string of other black cars exactly like it.

 

Cloud can’t tell if the churn in his gut is nerves or motion sickness anymore.  He gets out and follows the man-in-a-suit to an elevator, and doesn’t ask any questions.  If this father-he’s-never-met doesn’t want him either, he doesn’t know what he’ll do.  Midgar’s not like Nibelheim – chopping wood and hunting fowl and all the other skills he’s learned won’t do him any good here.  He’s just smart enough to know what little education he’s scraped from his mother’s books won’t help.

 

His gut lurches again as the elevator rises.  The man-in-a-suit keeps looking at him, the shadow of an expression flitting over his face.  Cloud thinks it might be regret, or maybe pity.

 

He stares at the door, and tries to imagine a brighter future.

 

Maybe, he tries to tell himself, things will be better here.  Midgar’s supposed to be the land of opportunity.  Maybe this father-he’s-never-met will want him, and they’ll live in an apartment together and go to movies – Nibelheim doesn’t have a cinema, but they sound interesting – and play sports and he can learn his father’s trade like a normal family.  Maybe Cloud will go to a proper school with other children on the Plate, and they’ll have dinner together at night after his father comes home from work, and he’ll pry him out of bed on the cold mornings like his mother used to when she still cared.

 

The elevator dings, and the doors open.

 

It’s a laboratory.  The man-in-a-suit steps off, looking back expectantly.  Cloud hurries to catch up, staying a step behind, trying to take in all the scientists in their white coats and blinking lights and computer monitors without looking like he’s looking.

 

“Wait here,” the man-in-a-suit tells him, and strides off towards one of the doors ringing the workspace. 

 

There’s another boy there, sitting on one of the cold metal operating tables – a teenager with flaming red hair and sharp blue eyes that almost seem to glow.  His shirt is cast aside, revealing a finely toned chest and abdomen that fills Cloud with jealousy with his stick-like arms and sunken stomach and thin shoulders.  The boy studies him for a moment, then smirks at something he finds amusing.  He turns his attention away, opening a book to pass the boredom as he waits. 

 

After a while, another scientist enters the room – with thick glasses and curly, mousy brown hair and moustache.  Cloud’s heart leaps into his throat – is this his father? – but the scientist just walks up to the teenager, throwing him a curious glance but nothing more.  The two of them head off for a different part of the laboratory, and Cloud is left alone, still waiting.

 

After what seems like an eternity, the man-in-a-suit comes back.  “This way, Cloud,” he says, and gently guides him along, through the laboratory with its tubes and tables and vials of glowing green, to a non-descript office stuffed full of computer screens and filing cabinets and charts plastered on every spare piece of wall.

 

A stooped scientist, with long black hair tied back and thin glasses and cold, dead eyes, looks up at the sound of their entrance.  He’s sorting through syringes on a tray, their sharp silver points glinting in the artificial light.

 

“Professor, your son is here.”

 

“Thank you, Tseng,” he says in a way that suggests he doesn’t mean it.  He holds out a tapered, bony hand, and Cloud steps forward at the implied summons.

 

His wrists are picked up, examined, his fingers prodded and measured, his chin tilted from side to side as his father – this is his father, right? – inspects his face.  “Hmph.  Recessive genes.  Takes after his mother, if memory serves.”  His fingers flick his blond hair, and the man-in-a-suit takes the opportunity to leave the room.

 

It’s just him and his father now. 

 

“Cloud, is it?” he asks, but by the tone of his voice it doesn’t sound like he’s paying attention, or even cares.  He grips his arm and pushes up his sleeve, fingering the veins.

 

“Yes sir,” he replies softly anyway.

 

Cloud’s hopes of a brighter future begin to dim.

 

The Professor selects a syringe with more care and delicacy than he holds his arm.  It glows faintly, like the eyes of the redheaded teenager outside.  “We’d better get started.  We have a lot of catching up to do.”

 

Then they die completely.

 


 

Comments

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killiara
Jan. 2nd, 2011 09:15 am (UTC)
*CRACKS UP!!*
"At least my pet dosen't tell on me."
WIN. DYING OF LAUGHTER.
sinnatious
Jan. 2nd, 2011 09:53 am (UTC)
Unrelated but that's the best. icon. everrrrr.
(no subject) - killiara - Jan. 2nd, 2011 09:54 am (UTC) - Expand
i_make_rain
Jan. 2nd, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)
Totally in love with the Rufus & Little Cloud fic. Their interactions are just childish and too adorable. And lovelovelove the chimera. It's become a character on its own in this fic. =DDD
sinnatious
Jan. 2nd, 2011 09:52 am (UTC)
Thanks! XD He has! Even has a name, now finally.
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firedraygon97
Jan. 2nd, 2011 09:34 am (UTC)
Happy New Year~~

I don't know why, but until a couple days ago I kept thinking of chibi!Cloud as 10 or 11, and not 14. *shakes head* That he ends up fanboying Genesis makes me even happier now.

Rufus~! If Lazard showed up, too, that'd be a nice little reunion. And I remember parodying the suicide-watch Cloud gets put under during TFA, so this is highly amusing for me.

Angeal: *sipping coffee at his desk*
Little Cloud: *falls past Angeal's office window*
Angeal: *spit-take*

Natsume fic!! Haha, Natori, trying to pull some not-so-smooth moves. Likely he bribed Nyanko-sensei with fish to stay away for the night. >D Oh well, better luck next time.

And the last fic, gaah. D: Poor Cloud. How old is he supposed to be in this?
sinnatious
Jan. 2nd, 2011 09:52 am (UTC)
Well, he would have been 11, almost 12, when he first turned up in Fifth Act, so that makes sense. But he'd be comfortably 14 by now in this one.

What an awkward family reunion that would make. How fortunate they are all in the dark. (Though it's certainly fun to imagine them all as real brothers).

XD Poor Angeal. Maybe his hair didn't white just from degradation...

Ha ha, did you see the doujin of the hot springs trip, where Nyanko made sure to sleep between the two futons? A savvy guardian indeed! Natori~

Since it was set about twelve months after Tifa's mother died... about eight or nine at a guess. I'm not sure exactly how old they were at that point.
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silver_lined
Jan. 2nd, 2011 10:16 am (UTC)
I REALLY REALLY REALLY LOVE YOUR NATORI. :'D AND NATSUME. AND YOUR EVERYONE, REALLY. *SPARKLES AT YOU*

IF KAORI DRAGS ME INTO FF7 FANDOM BY FLINGING ME AT YOUR FIC, I WILL MAKE SAD EYES AT YOU FOREVER. SAD, PLEADING-FOR-FIC EYES. BECAUSE YOU ARE FABULOUS. ♥

(Also, god, Natsume khkajwke and his habit of punching people in the face when threatened. AHH, HE MAKES ME HAPPY.)
sinnatious
Jan. 2nd, 2011 10:29 am (UTC)
Jooooooiiiin us, Karen! FF7 is amazing fandom full of sparkly wonder! :D

Thank you! Ahahaha, Natsume's amazing super punch solves so many problems. THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH CHARACTERS WHOSE FIRST REFLEX TO SOLVING PROBLEMS IS TO PUNCH IT. ♥
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kaorismash
Jan. 2nd, 2011 10:40 am (UTC)
SADLY WAS ONLY IN THE MOOD TO READ THE FIRST ONE. BECAUSE UM. TRAUMA, LAST PROMPT. ;A;

JASHJGKAJSHKGKL AAH THEY ARE SO ADORABLE AAAAAH SIIIIN. I adore everything about it to pieces. I ABSOLUTELY ROLLED WHEN CLOUD WAS ALL, I WILL PROVE TO YOU JUST YOU WAIT and then does stupid suicidal things kajhsg. *_* HIS OLDER SELF MUST BE SO APPALLED. And yet, resigned. *_* Aaah, THAT THE PUPPY GOES AND TELLS ON HIM. ♥ NVM HOW IT WOULD TELL THEM UNLESS YOU MEAN ANGEAL CAN UNDERSTAND IT BUT I WOULD SADFACE AT THAT BUT WELL, CAN IGNORE. *_*

Aaaah, I wish you'd drabble in this world forever, but well, chapterfics from you, I want more of those too. *_*

and a bunch of Turks eager to keep said uncle on side -> I have never seen the "on side" used like this before, so I am unsure if you meant it like that or not. *_* Just in case. ♥

Edited at 2011-01-02 10:41 am (UTC)
sinnatious
Jan. 2nd, 2011 11:17 am (UTC)
D: SINCE WHEN DID MY TRAGEDY STALWART ALLY SHY FROM TRAUMATIC FIC? I feel lost. ;___; LOST.

XD TEENAGERS. Cloud will miss Denzel 10000 times more when faced with himself.

Ah, thanks, I believe 'on side' is meant to be one word there, oops. Will go fix that now! ♥
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swyrel
Jan. 2nd, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
...well, no one can ever call Chibi!Cloud a coward. lol And Hero telling on him~ <3 Does he have a telepathy thing w/ Angeal? I guess that would really suck for Chibi, especially when Cloud rips into him.

Ah, Bleach, I loved you, but then I stopped keeping up with you. At least I read enough of the manga to get the drabble. Great one. =) Grimmjow and Ulquiorra are two of my fav characters in it, and you wrote them beautifully.

With the final FFVII prompt, I have to admit that if it wasn't you writing it, I wouldn't have read it. But it was very surprising. A prompt like that can lead to a lot of badfic. I liked it though~ And poor Cloud *sobs* Come back and rescue him Genesis! T_T

Don't know the fandom of the other two, but didn't read them. T_T
sinnatious
Jan. 2nd, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
I would assume Angeal would be able to exchange information with him on some level, considering Genesis could do the same with his clones. What he deserves, for pulling such daredevil stunts.

Yes, I've fallen behind with Bleach too. -__- Luckily, far enough along for these two. Thanks!

I think you could do a fair bit with the prompt! (Though I agree, it could become badfic very easily. But then, so can anything.) Thanks for giving it a chance~ A lot of people seem to have skipped that one. ^_^;
bubblefairy03
Jan. 2nd, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Hero told on him!! XD I bet (big) Cloud is about to let him mother-chocobo side loose! ("What were you thinking? You could have been hurt! Did you even consider how that would make me feel? Do you LIKE making me worry!? I thought you'd have more sense than that. I'm disappointed in you, young man! *cluck cluck cluck*)
sinnatious
Jan. 3rd, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
XD It would kind of be like being angry at yourself, which Cloud is very good at.
qem_chibati
Jan. 2nd, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
Natsume! ♥ I really loved the line about how he wasn't stupid and his straight forward way of dealing with creepers. (XD also Natori! You always crack me up)


I also really enjoyed the first drabble - chibi!Cloud is amazingly adorable. XD
sinnatious
Jan. 3rd, 2011 04:14 am (UTC)
Thanks!
teekoness
Jan. 2nd, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)
Considering you are writing a massive amount of drabbles, I amazed and thrilled that mine is as long and awesome as it is. There's nothing to worry about, okay?

Young Cloud and Rufus are so screwed up cute. I love that the relationship between Hero and Cloud isn't a simple pet and master one. I get the impression that Cloud is as much Hero's pet as vice versa. And Rufus' 'training' of Dark Nation? I get the impression that Rufus is making excuses for wanting to play with his puppy. He needs to seem dignified all the time after all... Two boys and their pets indeed

One way or another I think little Cloud is in for a hell of time. His 'uncle' and friends are all going to be worried that he's suicidal too and be obsessively protective. Meanwhile Rufus is never going to let such an interesting person out of his sight, whether he wants it or not Cloud's got a new 'friend'. I sort of wonder what big brother Lazard would make of their relationship.

Loved it!

-

I stopped reading Bleach when after two zillion chapters, they still hadn't rescued Rukia, but I am passively familiar with the plot after that. It really makes sense that there would be a lot of tension among the Hollows about Aizen's plan as well as the fact that he's a Soul Reaper.

I really wonder how you got so good with writing action scenes.

-

Eep. Poor Cloud. I do kind of feel sorry for Tifa too. Having your dad (who seems to be a bit of an asshole as it is) recover that quickly is jarring to say to the least. Admittedly it's nowhere as bad as what Cloud's going to go through with *Hojo* as his father.

I like how you build the tension by having some but not too much description. The reader already knows that what's going on is NOT good and by not over stimulating us, the innate horror builds just fine by itself.

*is sadistic enough to kind of want to see more* Hey, it's not me.
sinnatious
Jan. 3rd, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
It was a cool prompt, once I got going. Very happy you liked it!

I figured Hero can't really be considered a pet, he's more a guardian, or as Cloud put it, 'a guard dog'. Ha ha, and you read through Rufus easily, that was very much the intention. Poor Lazard, being left out.

I can't blame you, the 'rescue Rukia' arc really did drag (though the 'rescue Orihime' arc was probably even worse). The cast is getting oppressively big.

As for action scenes, practice, practice, practice. I used to really suck at them (still do, sometimes), but they seem to get easier every time. You know, I don't think I remember reading any action scenes from you, have you written any? You're awesome at the political kind of action, I'm curious how you'd write the physical sort.

Ha ha, it's a tempting AU to develop, certainly. Hojo's special brand of horror takes care of itself, the associations are so strong in fandom by now that it seems like precious little effort is required on the author's part.
(no subject) - teekoness - Jan. 3rd, 2011 06:06 am (UTC) - Expand
demon_vampirate
Jan. 3rd, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
[SOLDIERs First Class are worried out of their skulls about Chibi!Cloud, dammit!]
Aww. I think he's cute.

Heehee-- "Hero."
FFF SO CUTE AAA~

Aw, poor Hero. Stupid Rufus.

That is crazy. Poor Hero.
XD PERFECT!! I love the response. It's true, too-- I don't blame the chimera for telling on him. That's just psychotic.
I can see Zack being the concerned one, Angeal being frustrated, and Cloud being worried and angry. Dearie me, Li'l Cloud's in trouble.

* * * * *

Yay mine!

I love how crass Grimmjow is. All the damn time.

A threat or a warning-- or a promise.

Ha-- silly Grimmkitty. Ulqui has high speed regeneration.

Owie. ♥

Ooh, I loved it~! Chillingly appropriate.
(One small correction because I'm also a Spanish geek: third paragraph from the end, cuatro Espada should actually be cuarta Espada, because the former is "four Espada (sword)", and the latter is "fourth Espada (sword)". But that's a small thing. I love it♥)

* * * * *

D'aww, young Tseng is driving. I love Tseng.

Poor Cloud. Why won't Tifa talk to him? Damn her. I'd be ignoring my dad, personally, not taking it out on my ex-BFF, now-stepbrother.

Woah, was Cloud's mom a prostitute or something? Creepy thought. (Ignore me if I'm wrong.)

Aww, poor little Cloud... *needs to hug*
Oof, country kid goes to Nibelheim... shit. I know that feeling. Every time I visit a big city I get a little overwhelmed.

Psh, mean, Genesis. (I'd've thought it was Reno if not for the blue eyes-- Genesis' hair is more auburn than flaming red. *shrug*)

Aw. Tseng is so nice to him.

Eugh, needles... *shudders*
(Also, ew, Hojo.)

AUGH-- GUAH-- HOLY-- WHAT? Stupid Hojo!! I can't even-- he's screwed up enough in the original timeline, poor thing!

Oh my gawd, I'd throw up if I met him. I have the feeling he'd smell like grease and chemicals-- two smells I can't stand. (Especially because my nose is super-sensitive.)

* * * * *

I don't know the others. However, mine made me wicked happy ^_^
sinnatious
Jan. 3rd, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
Re: [SOLDIERs First Class are worried out of their skulls about Chibi!Cloud, dammit!]
You sure about the cuarta? I checked that one online before I posted and 'cuatro' was the version being used by all the wikis. Unless it's one of those mistranslations that happened all the way back when Kubo wrote it in Japanese. -___- Still, happy you liked it otherwise! Sorry it took so long.

Aww, come on, Tifa's like eight years old and just lost her mother. She's probably blaming the 'newcomers' instead of the last blood family she has left in the world.

Could take it that way, or you could also take it that the eligible women in town were drawn to rich bachelor scientists. (Seeing as Lucrecia would have been long gone by then.) Both work.

Yeah, I did actually stop and think about that with Genesis, but I figured being younger his hair was probably also brighter, and Cloud would be all overwhelmed and seeing everything in hypercolour at this point. Also, 'auburn' just plain didn't sound right there.

Tseng's not that nice! He's bringing the poor defenceless little tyke to Hojo! He's just feeling bad about it. Also, LOL, why did you sound so surprised with Hojo's reaction? XD
croix_souillees
Jan. 3rd, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)
@Rufus, Little Cloud
I... I think I just about died happily with laughter. It's interesting, the by-play between two teenagers and their pets and the comparison.

It must have been a big shock to Rufus, though, that this trooper wasn't at all intimidated by him or even know him. It's refreshing, and he can have bragging battles over their pets.

If they can argue about their pets and bond over it, they can do it with just about everything else, can't they? Then Hero and Dark Nation just sit to the side as they try to out-brag each other. Like good friends.

And the ending! XD Please write more about this? Please?
sinnatious
Jan. 3rd, 2011 01:18 pm (UTC)
XD I'm pleased you liked it that much, but then I'd be trapped in a never-ending loop of sequels!
signrain
Jan. 3rd, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
Midgar is huge and frightening. ShinRa even more so.
I'm satisfied with your story. ;)

Thank you so much, I know this prompt is hard to make a short fic but I think you can make it after I've read "Dear Kunsel" [and I don't know why I think that] and you done it so well. I think I'll see some scene in the Rector when Cloud gone mad but this fic better than that.

"Cloud’s hopes of a brighter future begin to dim....Then they die completely." <= Gold sentence


PS. I know this prompt is a little sadism for poor Cloud but I also have a weird imagine about a cute Hojo. :P


sinnatious
Jan. 4th, 2011 12:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Midgar is huge and frightening. ShinRa even more so.
Yay!

XD A cute Hojo... while I think it would be interesting, I'm not sure if the collective fandom consciousness could be convinced, so steeped are they in their opinion of Hojo.
ojuzu
Jan. 4th, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
“How about I show you?” Natori’s movie-star looks and designer glasses glowed in the warm sunlight, and he leaned in closer, and…

Natsume punched him in the jaw.


I love Natsume and his direct resolutions to problems. ♥ (No, seriously, how many characters' instinctive reaction to being in any way threatened is to PUNCH THE PROBLEM IN THE FACE? Not enough of them!)

And Natori, I am sorry. Natsume's warm and fuzzy feelings will never stop him from being ROMANCE DO NOT WANT.


Mini-Cloud and mini-Rufus! If they ever really become friends they will be the most unholy terrors when together. Though Tseng will almost certainly be wanting a Talk with mini-Cloud first about not killing yourself. ("If your uncle managed it this far, I'm sure you can too.")


Cloud’s hopes of a brighter future begin to dim.

The Professor selects a syringe with more care and delicacy than he holds his arm. It glows faintly, like the eyes of the redheaded teenager outside. “We’d better get started. We have a lot of catching up to do.”

Then they die completely.



Nooooooo, not little Cloud! *weeps*
sinnatious
Jan. 4th, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
It is easily one of the best things about him. Ha ha, the great thing is, no one is ever expecting it, since he's so quiet and mild-mannered the rest of the time. XD DON'T UNDERESTIMATE A LIFETIME OF ESCAPING-AYAKASHI REFLEXES.

Tseng: ShinRa's unofficial counsellor for individuals who possess the ability to single-handedly destroy the company (future and present).

I am not happy with these drabbles unless I can cause anguish in at least one of them. :3
kitty11chan
Jan. 14th, 2011 05:49 am (UTC)
Oh, I do believe that Rufus & mini-Cloud will be very good friends. Now we just need to add mini-Yuffie into the mix & watch the ensuing mayhem.
reighost
Jan. 16th, 2011 05:39 am (UTC)
dear god that would be the funniest thing to read XD
(no subject) - kitty11chan - Jan. 18th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC) - Expand
aschenhimmel
Jan. 31st, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
Your stories deserve an altar. XD

The FFVII fics are made of absolute win XDDD And I can't help but chuckle at the little family drama that would inevitably ensue.

Cloud: *that was dangerous! you could've been hurt! what were you thinking blah blah blah*
Little Cloud: *cutely contrite. Because he can't be anything else. you know it*
Zack: *hey man, calm down, it's alright, nothing bad really happened...*
Angeal: *raises eyebrow at Hero*
Hero: *blinks as cutely as possible*
Rufus: *is amused*
Dark Nation: *is hungry.*
...then Genesis shows up. XDDDDDDDDD Loveless ensues. XDD

The last fic though...wow, its mood is so different. The contrast is jarring...I guess it's a good thing I read the prompt fic first then I switched to the lighthearted TFA fic, because the morbid sadness of the last fic would've haunted my sleep. XP Excellent mood-setting and I really, really want to reach out and grab young!Cloud out of Hojo's deranged grasp. D:
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