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Xmas Giftfics 2011 Part 5

Last one!

For peangallery

Fandom: The Fifth Act/Fallacious Deity crossover
Character: Cloud & ensemble
Prompt: Either the Cloud from FD finds closure (a home) with Tifa in the timeline that Act V's Cloud couldn't return to, this is assuming that Act V & FD are different universes... or... assuming FD's group are trying inter-dimensional travel to go home, they land in Act V, the survivors of FD finds Act V's Cloud, and was /very confused/ on why he isn't killing Sephiroth.

AN:  This is weird, I am writing crossovers for my own fics now.  I went for the latter.

Zack’s attention was torn from the spectacle of Genesis fighting Sephiroth by a bright flash of light to the east.  He squinted, trying to see through the heat haze rising from the Midgar Wastes.

“Something wrong?” Cloud asked from next to him.

“Just thought I saw something.  Want to go check it out?”

Cloud eyed the two sparring SOLDIERs.  It didn’t look like either of them would notice – or care – if they lost their audience.  Never mind this wasn’t what they’d come out onto the Wastes for in the first place anyway.  “Sure.”

Zack led the way across the scorched earth and brittle shrubbery. As they got closer, he could definitely see a group of figures through the heat haze ahead.  But who else would be out on the Wastes, especially off the main roads?

As they got closer, the blurry figures resolved into the oddest mix of people Zack had ever seen. A man with white hair - not silver, like Sephiroth's - dressed in ornate, medieval armour that looked like something right out of one of Loveless’ many stage plays. A kid dressed in a bright red version of a similar style.  The girl, at least, looked like a fairly ordinary civilian. The leather-clad teenager with the scar on his face could have fit in with SOLDIER, or some of the edgier crowds in Sector 6.  There was a bleach blond guy too, looked like he could have come from Costa De Sol, even if his clothes were a bit eccentric.

They were accompanied by - Zack squinted - was that a moogle?  He’d never seen one in real life.  He’d always assumed they were just made-up creatures from children’s books!

The weirdest part of all, though, was that Cloud was with them.

Which shouldn't have been possible, because Cloud was standing right next to him.  Zack checked.  Still there.  Dressed in different clothes, too.

"Hey Cloud, how many times, exactly, have you time travelled?"

Cloud shook his head, looking confused and more than a little wary.  "It's not - that's not me.  I mean, it is, but he's younger I think.”

Zack peered.  “How can you tell?”

“The sword.”

Right.  That Cloud was carrying the Buster Sword.  The sight of it sent an odd shiver down Zack’s back, especially since he carried that very blade on his shoulders.

It was then that the strangers noticed them.  “Cloud!” the kid warned.

Zack had a weird moment of disconnect, not sure exactly which Cloud the kid was talking to.  Weird.  Was this what it was like for Cloud and Spike all the time?

The Other Cloud turned, and froze.

“...Zack?" he whispered, eyes wide.

Now that they were closer, he could see the differences between them beyond the sword.  This one wore an outfit closer to that of a SOLDIER First Class – belt included - though his shoulder guard was an odd design, with blue gemstones set into the metal, and his shoes were a bone-white leather to match the studded collar his outfit sported in lieu of a turtleneck.

But the greatest difference lay in the eyes.  He’d thought their Cloud had looked burdened by the world on his shoulders, but never had he looked that... weary.  That old.

“That’s me!” Zack replied cheerfully – the guy looked like he could use some extra cheer in his life.  And being cheerful, he’d found, made people a lot less quick to draw their swords on him.  “Who are these guys?”

The Other Cloud just stared, apparently rendered mute by shock.  Zack leaned around him slightly to quirk an eyebrow at his companions, who were all watching his Cloud in confusion, but were quick to rally at his attention.

“Cecil,” the knight in white introduced himself.  He nodded at the one Zack had mentally dubbed the beachcomber.  “This is Tidus.”

“Hey!” the bleached blond gave him a cheerful wave.  Zack grinned and waved back.  He had a feeling he could get to like that guy. 

Cecil gestured to the kid in red next.  “This is Onion Knight.”

The kid nodding in greeting, though his eyes were busy flitting between the two different Clouds, bright with curiosity.  Zack scratched his head.  “That’s your name?  Seriously?”

“Title,” the kid explained succinctly.

Right.  Like a Doctor or a Professor maybe.  Some of the eggheads in the science department – some of them in the infirmary, even – could get a bit tetchy if you didn’t use their title with their name.  Zack decided to humour him, and glanced at the girl next.

“Terra,” she said softly, turning away slightly.  Shy.  He gave her a bright grin, and looked at the last of their party.

The teen scoffed and folded his arms, looking away in deliberate disinterest.  “The grumpy one is Squall,” Tidus provided, and earned a scowl for his efforts.

“Great!”  Zack clapped his hands and rubbed them together.  This was exciting.  “So, where exactly did you guys come from?”

The group as a collective glanced at their Cloud.  Who had moved from numb shock to simply looking lost.  “How…?”

“I’m guessing I’m not still around where you’re from, huh?  The answer is-” Here Zack paused for dramatic effect, “-Time travel!”

That received less of response than he’d expected.  Zack had been waiting for gasps, or denials, or even laughter.  Instead, there was only a brief pause. 

“…Squall?” Onion Knight eventually asked.

The leather-clad teenager looked irritated.  “What makes you assume I know anything about it?”

“You are kinda the expert in time travel here,” Tidus pointed out.

The Other Cloud, though, had finally turned his frankly unnerving stare on his opposite.  “Cid,” he said in a low voice.  “Does this mean that we’re…”

“Copies?” the girl finished softly.  There was a sort of horrified, dawning suspicion breaking over the ranks of the group.  They all started talking at once, growing visibly agitated.  Kind of the reaction Zack had been expecting to the time travel quip, actually.

“You mean we could never-”

“What are the manikins then?  Are we just like-”

“Where can we go if-”

The moogle flitted to the front.  “No!  This is something else entirely!  You’re not copies - we’ve made a mistake in the jump somewhere!”  He started flying in a restless loop, the aerial equivalent of pacing.  "The difficulty is that we do not have to travel through just dimensions, but also time.  Our first attempt to return Squall to his world has destroyed my calculations - the time compression we stumbled upon must have thrown everything off!"

Squall folded his arms, face twisted with a scowl.  "Excuse me for saving the world from an evil time witch."

This was a really weird group of people.  “Soooo,” Zack ventured, “You are time travellers?”

“We were summoned from our worlds to fight in the battle between Chaos and Cosmos,” Cecil explained.  “We are attempting to return home.”

“But it’s not as simple as just finding the right world,” Onion Knight cut in.  “Since we’ve been there… kind of a long time.”

Which incidentally, didn’t explain anything at all.

“We’re in the wrong time branch,” Cid-the-moogle finally concluded, and turned his beady black gaze on them.  “And far too early, but that doesn’t explain your counterpart’s age…”

Cloud finally spoke up.  “Like Zack said.  Time travel.”

“I see, I see,” the moogle nodded to himself thoughtfully, muttering about dimensional branching and energy output and wormholes.

The Other Cloud stepped forward, oddly hesitant.  "Tifa?" he asked, voice almost hoarse.

Cloud shook his head.  "Just a teenager, back in Nibelheim."

The Other Cloud closed his eyes, a mixture of pain and relief shadowing his features.  Cecil placed a sympathetic hand on his back.

The sound of approaching footsteps broke the strained silence that had fallen.  “What is this, then?” Genesis demanded, then abruptly halted when he caught sight of two Clouds – two adult Clouds, at that.  He whirled on Cloud, and demanded, “Exactly how many times have you time travelled?!”

“I haven’t.”  Cloud looked like he was on the verge of developing a headache.

The travellers, however, had tensed as a unit, laying their hands on their weapons.  Genesis, Zack and Cloud all responded by tensing in turn, but their gazes weren’t focused on them, but on a point behind them.

Tidus all but snarled as he drew an odd sword that looked almost as though it were made of water.  “Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth paused in his approach, immediately wary.

Before anyone could say anything, the Other Cloud leapt into action, all but a blur.  Their Cloud moved to counter, but one vicious swipe of the Buster sword had sent him stumbling out of the way – and Ifrit that was scary, nobody could counter Cloud like that – and it was all Sephiroth could do to draw Masamune in time to save his life.

Then Squall was rushing in, and Sephiroth was retreating, trying – and failing – to fend off two swordsmen at once.  The girl had started gathering magic – where was her materia?! – and Genesis rushed to pull up a Magic Barrier, and the kid had suddenly pulled a knife and was running for Sephiroth too, and damn he was fast, Zack tried to block him but he just darted around him like it was nothing-

Then he took a deep breath, and yelled, “EVERYBODY CALM THE HELL DOWN!”

The battle abruptly stilled.

“What are you guys doing?” he demanded.  “You can’t just barge into someone else’s dimension and starting killing people!”

“But it’s him,” Tidus seethed – every trace of the cheerful beachcomber of earlier gone.  “He killed the rest of our comrades!  He killed my dad!”

Zack gaped, and turned to the General.  “Wow Sephiroth, you’re a dick in all dimensions, aren’t you?”

“Except this one, apparently,” Sephiroth replied dryly.  Genesis made an unsavoury remark under his breath that in the spirit of the situation, everyone ignored.

The group of strangers were all looking to the Other Cloud.  Zack guessed he was de facto leader – although there seemed to be as much fear as there was respect in their eyes.  Consequently, the rest of them looked to him as well, awaiting his decision.

The Other Cloud stared at his counterpart for a torturously long moment.  After what felt like an eternity, he uttered only one word.  “Why?”

Zack didn’t need to be a genius like the General to hear the rest of that sentence.  Why aren’t you trying to kill him too?

Sephiroth – with both a Buster sword and some weird sort of gun and sword hybrid pointed at his neck, began to look vaguely concerned at his character reference being provided by a man who had, in the past, done his utmost best to do just that.

Fortunately, Cloud just sighed and shook his head.  “It’s a long story.  But you don’t have to worry, I promise.”  When the rest of the strangers didn’t shift their stances, he added, “I’ll take responsibility.”

Reluctantly, the Other Cloud withdrew, slowly lowering his Buster Sword and stepping away.  After a beat, the others did too, though Squall and Tidus both wore stormy frowns over it.

The two groups faced off, previous curiosity and camaraderie replaced by wariness.  Zack, for his part, couldn’t decide who bore the closest watching.  The kid was impossibly quick for someone who definitely wasn’t mako-enhanced, and the girl had been cooking up some serious magic if Genesis’s reaction was anything to go by, not to mention that Other Cloud who was apparently more than a match for their Cloud…

The tension was broken when the moogle suddenly did a somersault in the air.  “That’s it!  I think I’ve figured it out!  I’m fairly certain I can lock onto Tidus or Terra’s world from here!”

“Do Terra’s first,” Tidus said, breaking his glare from Sephiroth.  “I’m not in any big rush to get home.”

Zack wondered if anyone else heard the odd undertones to those words.

“Okay, then, if everyone’s ready, gather around,” Cid ordered.  Onion Knight and Terra shuffled over next to the moogle.  Squall scowled, but joined them, keeping a wary eye on Sephiroth all the while.

Cecil – who had been pretty well-behaved, compared to the rest – hesitated, then asked, “What about you, Cloud?  Are you going to stay?”

The Other Cloud glanced over at him.  Zack kept still under the heavy gaze – it felt a hundred years old, a terrifying kind of weight to it, a yearning that felt as ancient and unmoveable as the earth. 

In the end, though, he shook his head.  “This place… this isn’t home.”  His stare moved to his counterpart.  “I’m going to find Tifa.”

Those words seemed to serve as a signal, as the Other Cloud went to join his comrades, and a bright light began to grow.  With a flash that left him blinking, and the barest crack of displaced air, the travellers disappeared.

Silence settled back over the wastes.  A mandragora scuttled across the ground, seeking cover in the tiny gaps of shade between the rocks.  The four SOLDIERs stood in the middle of empty space, the only sign it had been occupied mere moments before remaining in the scuffs in the dirt.

“Well!” Zack declared brightly.  “That was interesting.”


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2012 09:04 am (UTC)
Brain lebroken. Hahahaha. You know there's too many canon AUs already when..
Feb. 12th, 2012 10:08 am (UTC)
I still maintain the most brain-hurting crossover of all time would be a Super Smash Brothers/Dissidia Duodecim/Kingdom Hearts crossover.
Feb. 12th, 2012 11:06 am (UTC)


Feb. 12th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
My brain hurts just from thinking about that.

And then it helpfully added Tales of the World and Marvel Vs. Capcom to the mix.



Edited at 2012-02-15 05:06 pm (UTC)
Feb. 14th, 2012 11:33 am (UTC)
My head hurts... Yet I wish for this to happen. Along with Tales of the World and the various Marvel vs. games, as mentioned by yukitsukihana asdf;lkj
Feb. 15th, 2012 09:49 am (UTC)
I used to scoff at those super everyfandomever crossovers, but now I am beginning to see the allure.
Feb. 19th, 2012 04:43 am (UTC)
I still maintain the most brain-hurting crossover of all time would be a Super Smash Brothers/Dissidia Duodecim/Kingdom Hearts crossover.

Please do this. T____T
Feb. 13th, 2012 08:23 am (UTC)
Hee! That was interesting indeed!
Mar. 11th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
Just saw this now! Woohoo! I read it once and could. Not. Stop. Laughing. So. Hard! My god! For some reason, even expecting it, seeing Dissentia!Cloud honing on to Sephiroth with Squall tagging on, and the rest of the group charging up just made me starting cracking up, and I could not stop for the rest of the fic! Oh man! Something about Cloud's persistence in offing Sephiroth in Act V's universe just... just somethings to me! Thanks so much for writing it. XD

Also, crossovers are AWESOME, and FD totally deserves a crossover! Bwahaha, just a thought that suddenly occurred to me, what happened here reminds me of Tsubasa!
Mar. 12th, 2012 11:26 am (UTC)
XD Glad you enjoyed it!

Haha, I didn't realise but it was a bit of a Tsubasa moment, wasn't it? They even had a Mokona!
Aug. 25th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
Zack always seems to be an anchor to any well written Cloud's sanity.

Which always makes me ache in the timetravel stories when Cloud comes back to save Zack first and foremost, to realize very soon that this is not his Zack.

His Zack is he guy who dragged him comatose across the world and gave his life for him, entrusted his dreams for him. His Zack will never be if Cloud can do something about it.

It's poignant.

But Man. Awesome Cloud meet Awesomer Cloud. Now fight.

You are an awesome writer, and the Fifth Act is a work of art. Don't stop, please.

(Beloved is very cool, but waiting weeks for it makes me ache... It's something to look forward to, though.)
Aug. 26th, 2012 07:07 am (UTC)
Sorry for the waiting! I'm afraid I've just spread myself far too thin this year and can't commit to the same kind of update schedules I had in the past.

But no worries, I'm unlikely to ever stop writing. It might not all be great, and it might be in different fandoms, but writing is a lifelong hobby I'll never give up. :) <3
Jan. 18th, 2013 04:57 am (UTC)
This was absolutely wonderful. It had humor and angst and poignant moments and everything. Nobody felt like just an extra weight, and everything played a role in the story. Good work. c:
May. 1st, 2014 08:53 am (UTC)
"Zack gaped, and turned to the General. “Wow Sephiroth, you’re a dick in all dimensions, aren’t you?”"

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )