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The Fifth Act, Chapter 20

Title: The Fifth Act

T for violence.

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

Author's Note:  First chapter of 2010, yay!

Previous Chapter  



The Fifth Act Chapter 20


“Strife!” Cloud paused as he left the briefing room. Angeal came down the hallway towards him, followed closely by Genesis.

One look at their faces, and he was suddenly struck by a terrible feeling that his afternoon plans of haunting the Training Room were about to change.


“What is it?”


“You finished your missions for the day?”


“Yes,” he answered guardedly. “But-”


They didn’t give him a chance to finish. “In that case, come with us.” Then Genesis had a hand on his shoulder and Angeal flanked him from the other side and Cloud found himself being steered towards the elevator. 


“Where to?” He gave in to the gentle pressure, mostly out of confusion.


“It’s a surprise,” Genesis declared.


“It’s not a Loveless play, is it?” He’d been treated to more than a few impromptu recitals during his time at ShinRa.


“At this time of day? Don’t be absurd. Just be patient and you’ll see.”


Ominous words. But then, he’d become used to Zack dragging him around at his whim, so he followed along quietly as Angeal jammed the button for the parking garages. His stomach lurched as the elevator dropped.


“How far are we going?” ShinRa didn’t usually deploy vehicles for anything less than either the top brass or a journey more than half a day’s march from Midgar. Thinking on it, though, Angeal and Genesis probably counted as top brass. 


“It won’t take long,” was Genesis’s non-answer. The elevator dinged open, and the two SOLDIERs corralled him towards one of the sleek black vans. “We should be back before dark.  Probably.”


Which could mean as far as Kalm, in a van. 


Wait. The van.


He stopped short. “Why is Sephiroth in there?”


Genesis stared at him as though he’d sprouted tentacles. “How the hell do you know that? Can you smell him?”


“Genesis!” Angeal warned. “You’ll give it away!”


Too late – Cloud already knew. Paranoia gripped him. Had ShinRa cottoned on to his plans? Were they going to spirit him out into the wastes and finally do away with him?


“He’s going to bolt! Plan B!”


Just as he turned to flee, Genesis caught his shoulder, Angeal quickly manoeuvring to block his escape. His hand reached for his sword, but Angeal caught his wrist, and tugged the blade free before he could. “Genesis!” 


The slender First enveloped him in a bear hug from behind, pinning his arms to his sides, while the black-haired Commander retreated with First Tsurugi in hand. Cloud snarled, kicking out wildly, but his captor tugged him back before his boots could connect with anything. “Angeal, you’re going to have to drive!”


“Got it!” 


“Sephiroth, the door!”


The van door rolled open, and Cloud panicked. Genesis swore under his breath as his struggles grew violent, and tightened his grasp to the point where Cloud started to have trouble breathing. Still he wrenched from side to side, trying to throw the taller SOLDIER off, but Genesis had technique, grabbing him in such a way that he couldn’t get the leverage to break away with strength alone. For the first time in a long while, he cursed his average height. It had been some time since brute force alone hadn’t been enough.


“A little help here!” Genesis grunted as the van engine roared to life. 


Sephiroth grabbed his kicking ankles, his grip crushing. Between the two of them, they hauled him into the back of the van, the door slammed shut, and it lurched forward, heading for the exit tunnel Cloud faintly remembered from his mental blueprint of ShinRa headquarters. 


With the leverage provided by Genesis at his back, his kicked again, trying to dislodge Sephiroth’s hands from his legs. A wave of magic washed over him, leaving his skin tingling and Ribbon warm. “Sleep doesn’t work either?” Genesis complained.


“This is ridiculous,” Sephiroth scoffed, released his ankles, and then Cloud abruptly stilled, terrifyingly aware of the edge of cold steel hovering just above his throat.


“Sephiroth!” Genesis hissed.


“He refuses to calm down,” he said by explanation. Cloud didn’t dare breathe, chin tilted towards the ceiling and eyes darting about, looking for something, anything, he could use as a weapon. “He’s going to make us crash.”


“And you think holding him at sword-point will make him calm down?” Genesis snarled, but Cloud didn’t make a sound, keeping his breathing shallow and steady, even as he inwardly cursed his weakness. 


“What the hell is going on back there?” Angeal yelled from the front.


“I advise you to drive carefully, Angeal,” Sephiroth purred. “We wouldn’t want my sword to slip due to any unexpected bumps.”


“And then you wonder why Cloud attacks you at every opportunity,” Genesis snapped, “When your solution to every difficulty is to hold it at sword point. How typically Third Class of you.”


“Sephiroth, this van isn’t big enough for that thing! Put it away!” Angeal ordered from the front.


Genesis pulled Cloud even further back, his grip so tight the blond felt his ribs might crack. He developed a sudden an appreciation for Nanaki’s grumbling over Yuffie’s sometimes-overenthusiastic hugs.


They remained at an impasse for a long moment, Cloud’s shallow breaths echoing harshly in the interior, before Sephiroth lowered Masamune and reclined in his seat, sword held flat across his knees. “It was just a little joke.”


“You have a bad sense of humour,” Genesis growled. He still didn’t release Cloud from his stranglehold, and the blond squirmed in place uncomfortably.


“Let me go,” he murmured.


Genesis hummed low in his throat. “I don’t know. Are you capable of sitting quietly?”


“We’re already moving, aren’t we?” The van had picked up speed once Angeal saw Masamune removed from the picture.


Sephiroth regarded him with a dry smirk. “With you, Cloud, I sometimes wonder if you wouldn’t throw yourself from a moving vehicle to get away from me.”


Cloud had been considering just that. He glowered, even as his heart jumped in his chest. Sephiroth couldn’t read his mind, he couldn’t. The best he could make were clever guesses. 


Yet still the paranoia clung to him. Moments when he nearly broke down, asking for a number, clamouring for Reunion. The weight of black materia resting in his palm. 


“You have his sword up there, Angeal?” Genesis asked.


“Right here!” Cloud couldn’t see well enough to make sure, but the reassurance that First Tsurugi was still in the vicinity, even if not immediately in reach, went some distance in calming the adrenaline rush in his veins.


“In that case…” The death grip pinning his arms to his sides loosened. Cloud shifted onto the seat next to Genesis, rubbing his neck self-consciously, and very deliberately avoiding looking at Sephiroth. His palms itched, throbbing in time with the phantom pain in his chest. 


“I figure you’re not likely to jump out of the van if it means leaving your sword behind,” Genesis explained airily, though nobody asked.


“Are you going to tell me what this is all about yet?” Cloud grumbled. While he had plenty of experience with Sephiroth skewering him quite casually, thinking rationally, he doubted Genesis and Angeal would be so relaxed if they had anything truly dire planned. 


“I wanted to apologise,” Sephiroth said.


He finally raised his gaze to risk looking the General in the eyes. His face was the most neutral Cloud could remember it being, and for one moment, he could almost hear the echo of a question, asking him about his hometown.


No. He couldn’t start thinking like that. His fingers curled into fists on his knees. “This is your idea of an apology?”


“Not at all. This is just the first time I’ve had you as a captive audience long enough to offer one,” Sephiroth stated plainly. “While I do not understand, my last comment appeared to cause you distress. It was not my intention.”


Cloud could only stare at him, unable to comprehend the notion of Sephiroth saying sorry. Sephiroth, who took pleasure in destroying anything he cherished. Sephiroth, who taunted him for his weakness every time they met.


“I’m not a puppet,” he mumbled, mostly to himself. 


Genesis sighed. “As I keep saying, this would all go so much more smoothly if you would simply tell us what your problem with Sephiroth is, you know.”


Cloud glowered at his feet. He could never explain. They’d just react the same as Vincent. They didn’t know Sephiroth the way he did. They didn’t know what he could become.


He envied them for it.


“I’m sure Cloud will share his thoughts with us eventually,” Sephiroth remarked, still cradling Masamune in his lap. “I am willing to be patient.”


“As if. You’re the most anxious to know of all of us,” Genesis scoffed. “Angeal, how long until we get there?”


“Are you kidding me? We only just got onto the highway!”


“Now who is the impatient one?” Sephiroth asked.


The trio bantered back and forth for several minutes while Cloud remained silent, watching the exchange with bright eyes. These men had been legends in his youth, and to see them talk about trivial matters in the same manner as the boys in his troop used to… it left him with a weird feeling. He hunched in on himself, wishing for at least a window so he could occupy his attention with the scenery instead. How could they talk normally like that, when Sephiroth had been holding him at sword-point mere moments before?


It must have been a common scenario. And somehow that didn’t tip ShinRa off to how dangerous their star SOLDIER was?


Although Cloud had to begrudgingly admit that he’d pointed First Tsurugi at the Turks that way before… and Rufus… and sometimes the odd rowdy bar patron… and Barrett, that one time he’d been firing his gun arm off for no reason at all. But everybody knew he wouldn’t kill anyone in cold blood. Sephiroth, on the other hand, had made sport of it.


Eventually, the conversation died off, and Genesis took out a beaten leather-bound book and began reciting Loveless


When the war of the beasts brings about the world's end,
The goddess descends from the sky
Wings of light and dark spread afar,
She guides us to bliss, her gift everlasting...


Cloud let the familiar words roll over him. Idly, he noted that this was the longest amount of time he’d managed to stay in Sephiroth’s presence since he found himself in the past. 


Probably the longest time he’d endured Sephiroth’s presence since that ill-fated mission to Nibelheim, actually.


Gaia, he hated travelling by car. It wasn’t even the memory of motion sickness anymore – it just gave him too much time to think.


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


“Here should be far enough,” Angeal interrupted. The van lurched to a halt.


“What a relief,” Sephiroth drawled. “If we reached the fifth act, we may have been forced into a discussion.”


Genesis tossed his head in a practiced act of disregard. “I wonder, Sephiroth, what ending you would choose.”


“I wonder,” Sephiroth echoed, then opened the door, flooding the van with harsh light.


Cloud blinked. They were in the wastes. Not that far from Midgar – still close enough that they couldn’t see the far edges of the city walls. He clambered out, anxious to get into the open where he could manoeuvre more freely. 


Angeal hauled First Tsurugi from the front of the van with him, bereft of materia, and handed it to him. “I left the materia on the passenger seat,” he explained. “Swords only. Odin knows you two do enough damage just with those.” 


Uncomprehending, he grasped the proffered hilt. “What…?”


Experimentally, Sephiroth swished Masamune in the air a few times, catching the sunlight with the tip. Satisfied, he lowered it to his side, not brandished, but at the ready none-the-less. “Let us begin.”


Were they really suggesting what he thought they were? “I signed a contract…” he began haltingly.


Genesis rolled his eyes. “We’re here to fight, not kill.”


“Out here, you two can swing swords at each other for as long as you want. You know how to spar, Strife. Sephiroth wants a good challenge, and you get a chance to work out your frustrations,” Angeal explained.


“A challenge?” He didn’t get it. What a pointless reason to fight. He’d stopped caring about that sort of thing when Nibelheim burned and his dreams went with it.


He stopped caring about a lot of things after Nibelheim.


“You want to fight, don’t you?” Genesis asked bluntly.


Cloud frowned. “Not really.” Wanting to kill Sephiroth before he could commit atrocities and fighting the man were two separate issues in his mind. Fighting was only a means to an end. 


Angeal rolled his eyes and gave him a little push. “Just do it as a personal favour then. But remember – no killing!”


Miffed, he raised First Tsurugi into a guard.  Sephiroth brandished Masamune in turn, and Genesis and Angeal retreated a safe distance.


A spar, huh? He supposed he could use the practice.






The air shivered with the ringing clash of swords. Masamune swung in a wide arc, Strife ducked, struck back, and Sephiroth practically floated away. They flew across the barren wastes, kicking up dust and leaving gouged earth in their wake.


“Do you really think we’ll be able to react quickly enough if it turns deadly?” Angeal asked, watching the swords flashing with interest. Strife had switched to two blades again. Must be nice to be ambidextrous.


“Nothing short of a beheading will kill either of them fast enough. I brought a FullCure.” Genesis held aloft the materia as proof.


Angeal grunted in acknowledgement, attention fixed on the battle. They covered an impressive amount of distance as they dodged and parried – he felt tired just watching. Hopefully their path would bring them back their way soon, otherwise they’d be too far out to act, even with a FullCure on hand. 


They watched in silence for a little longer.  "His movements are becoming more fluid."

"He's stopped being afraid," Genesis noted.  "Whenever he fought before, his movements were jerky and desperate."

"Confidence can make a big difference," Angeal agreed.  "People do amazing things when they overcome their fear and stop thinking." Not that Strife needed to be any more amazing. The blond struck down against Sephiroth’s block. His friend didn’t budge an inch, but the sound of the impact made his teeth hurt. They sprang apart again. 


Strife’s movements were definitely growing more natural – his attention didn’t dart all over the place, and he retreated less often. One opening kept appearing, though – his unprotected shoulder. He normally covered it too quickly for Sephiroth to take advantage, but its repeated appearance made Angeal wonder. A flaw in his fighting style, or something else? Why did Strife only ever wear the one shoulder guard? His suspicions were beginning to buzz again in the back of his brain.


He rolled his neck, checking the position of the sun crawling across the sky. They’d been at it for nearly an hour already. Didn’t look like the ruckus had drawn anyone’s attention, thankfully – Midgar’s walls in the distance remained empty of visible observers, and no helicopters wheeled through the vast open blue. 


"This doesn't look good," Genesis said suddenly.


Angeal refocused.  He’d missed something. Sephiroth crashed to the ground, landing off-balance.  Strife followed, striking down. Masamune parried, but the force of the blow rung in their ears. The tip of the katana gouged into the dirt, knocked askew.


In that instant, Sephiroth was left wide open. 


His feet pounded across the ground before his thoughts had the chance to catch up. “Genesis!”


He could hear his friend, fumbling with his materia, following several steps behind. Ifrit, why did they have to be so far away? They should have kept pace, stayed closer to the fight! 


Strife’s sword flashed in the afternoon sunlight. Closer. He drew his broadsword.


The angle was wrong – he wasn’t going to get there in time! "Stop!" Desperately, he threw himself between them, sword raised high to catch First Tsurugi’s blow.

Pain blossomed in his side.

Strife stared at him, bright blue eyes wide.  Angeal dropped to a knee.  The Buster-style sword swam in the edge of his vision, silvery surface clean of blood.

"Angeal."  Sephiroth whispered from behind.

He understood then.  Strife had done what they never expected, and pulled back from what would have been a deadly strike.

Sephiroth hadn't believed he would, and swung blindly to save his own life.


“Angeal!” Genesis caught up.


"Just a scratch," he announced, pushing himself to his feet, arm pressed hard against his side.  "Nothing to worry about." Not entirely a lie - it was just a flesh wound, but why wasn’t the mako taking care of it? His entire body felt like it was burning. He forced a chuckle. “We have to stop ending our spars this way.”


Genesis and Strife exchanged a significant glance, some silent communication passing between them in that instant, before Strife shook his head. His friend’s face darkened, and he turned to him, FullCure brandished. “At least let me heal it. You’re bleeding.”


“Don’t-” Too late. The green wash of curative magic flowed over him. The bleeding slowed, but didn’t stop. “-waste your energy. I’ll just wrap it in the van. Mako will take care of the rest.” Except the usual tingling he felt around his scratches and bruises remained curiously absent. He straightened, and started walking to the van parked some distance away, being careful to resist the urge to limp to ease the tug on his side. 


“Angeal, I-” Sephiroth began.


“Save it!” He called back. “Accidents happen.” Then, with forced cheer that would have made even Zack the Puppy proud, remarked, “That fight was really something! Better not let the higher-ups get a wind of it, or you might get stuck doing exhibition matches for the rest of your careers.” Unfortunately, the effort at humour fell flat, as Sephiroth and Genesis remained still, the flapping of their leather coats in the dry wind his only response.


The stalemate broke. “I’ll drive.” Strife glided past him like a purple wraith. For a second, they’d almost forgotten he was still there. 


Sephiroth and Genesis fell into step behind him then, neither commenting on his slow gait back to their transport. Strife had retrieved his materia and settled into the driver’s seat by the time they got there. The engine roared to life as the trio clambered into the back, and was already moving by the time Sephiroth slammed the door closed.


Angeal settled in for the long, silent ride back, and did his best to ignore his friends’ concerned stares.

Next chapter


( 69 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2010 06:13 am (UTC)
Ohhhhhhhhh noooooo, Angeeeeeeeeeeal... *sniffle cry*

That was totally and completely sketchy. I have to wonder what the hell Genesis and Angeal were thinking (or if they were thinking). I was waiting for it to be one of Cloud's nightmares.

I love Genesis' reading of Loveless to fill the silence ^_^
Now I really wanna know, though-- what would Sephiroth choose...? Now I'm gonna be debating with myself all night.

For the first time ever, I think I wanna hug Sephiroth. ;_;

(Wonderful chapter as usual, still can't wait to read more. This one seemed shorter than usual... maybe because everything was fast-paced. Quite well-done, I wish my fight scenes were that skilled.)
Jan. 3rd, 2010 07:59 am (UTC)
It was a teeny bit shorter than average - most chapters are around 10 or 11 pages, this one was 9.

What would he choose indeed? :D Careful hugging Sephiroth, he comes with pointy bits.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Jan. 4th, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - demon_vampirate - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 3rd, 2010 06:28 am (UTC)
...what's the connection between Kalm and a van? *clueless* Genesis' reaction, however, was awesome. Genesis stared at him as though he’d sprouted tentacles. “How the hell do you know that? Can you smell him?” Guhh, I'm having mental images of wolf!Cloud sniffing around ShinRa for Seph, now. XD Tsk, Cloud, you and your paranoia.

HDSGFHSDKF GENESIS GIVING CLOUD A BEARHUG HEEEEE~ I even squee'd so loud my sister thought I was having a seizure. :PP

The fight scene was epic win. A-a-and Angeal! ;___; so this is where the ugly part of his degredation starts, I hope Aeris can make a cure in time...

Awesome first chapter for 2010! Can't wait to read the next one. :DD
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:01 am (UTC)
No connection, Kalm was just a gauge of distance. ^_^

Heee, Wolf!Cloud! I'm pretty sure I saw a fic about that somewhere on FFnet once upon a time!

XD I'd feel bad fostering Genesis/Cloud love out of a gen fic, but you seem completely capable of finding moments to feed the vice on your own. <3
Fangirl squees - searisme - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Fangirl squees - ixtey - Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:23 am (UTC) - Expand
This is my fangirl-*glee* icon - searisme - Jan. 3rd, 2010 10:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: This is my fangirl-*glee* icon - ixtey - Jan. 3rd, 2010 11:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Your new icons are pretty sweet, too - searisme - Jan. 3rd, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Why thank you~ :D - ixtey - Jan. 3rd, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Why thank you~ :D - searisme - Jan. 3rd, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Why thank you~ :D - ixtey - Jan. 3rd, 2010 12:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oh noes! - searisme - Jan. 3rd, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: This is my fangirl-*glee* icon - demon_vampirate - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: This is my fangirl-*glee* icon - searisme - Jan. 4th, 2010 04:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: This is my fangirl-*glee* icon - sinnatious - Jan. 4th, 2010 11:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: This is my fangirl-*glee* icon - searisme - Jan. 4th, 2010 12:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: This is my fangirl-*glee* icon - demon_vampirate - Jan. 4th, 2010 02:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 3rd, 2010 07:40 am (UTC)
I was grinning through most of this~~ *flails* I love how Cloud can sense Sephiroth (and how Genesis is scandalized by it) and that Angeal and Genesis had a Plan B. I wonder what someone would've thought if they saw that little abduction scene? The three generals carting off a Second. SO bizzare, but so awesome!

GEN. Hahaha, I'm sure he volunteered for the position of grabbing Cloud. >D Imagine if Sephiroth did it? Cloud would've flipped out. Well, even moreso than he did.

SEPHIROTH. Pulling the Masamune on poor, defenseless Cloud. ;__; Hahaha, and then I love how Cloud recalls all the times he's done the same. XP

RIBBON. YES. At first I was thinking Stop wasn't working on Cloud because the Time materia exploded in his face, but now it makes so much sense! *facepalms* I'm such a noob.

Hee, I like how Cloud's so astounded by the three friends bantering. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: man do I love being a turtle developing their relationship is one of my favourite parts of this fic. ♥

Angeal!! D: Now I'm looking forward to hearing Aeris' 'secret code' next chapter!
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
Three Generals carting off a Second in a dark underground carpark, at that! XD Dodgy dodgy. Heee, I do like your 'what if' scenarios.

Oh dear, I have a terrible feeling the secret code is going to be such a huge disappointment for everyone now. ^_^;

Turtles are awesome.
(no subject) - firedraygon97 - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firedraygon97 - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
...I love you, draygon. - demon_vampirate - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ...I love you, draygon. - firedraygon97 - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ...I love you, draygon. - demon_vampirate - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Jan. 4th, 2010 11:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firedraygon97 - Jan. 4th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
lol - reighost - Jun. 22nd, 2012 07:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:45 am (UTC)
*laughs at self* I am so clumsy! Managed to click on the "previous chapter" link instead of the ch 20 and went like *huh guess she didn't post after all... But I could've sworn!*

Wow. That was every bit as good as I imagined and also, wow - unexpected.

He glowered, even as his heart jumped in his chest. Sephiroth couldn’t read his mind, he couldn’t. That was funny. As was Cloud's initial assuption that he would be dragged to a Loveless play and his Seph-sense going off. Didn't they think? Of course Cloud was going to know!

“And you think holding him at sword-point will make him calm down?” GenGen so upset when one threatens Cloud. And of course he would be the one to restrain Cloud. *fangirl cackling*

Loveless again. Firstly it's fun that GenGen is reciting it as alway, then Seph's snark about having to discuss it: funny - leading to the million-gil question, how would Seph have it end?

Again Cloud's reluctance to fight. "Not really."
What's up with his shoulder though?

...and Angeal. That was the ending I did not expect him being hurt - and it brought back the seriousness of his situation. If not even his usual "non-natural" Healing was working. Good for him he has Cloud and GenGen (and was that not a sweet moment they shared) looking out for him even if he doesn't know it yet.
Jan. 3rd, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
I think his shoulder's a 'weak point' because he's got habits from his geostigma days...
(no subject) - searisme - Jan. 4th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Jan. 4th, 2010 11:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - searisme - Jan. 4th, 2010 12:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firedraygon97 - Jan. 4th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:36 am (UTC)
Awesome First chapter of the year 2010!

I LOL'd at how Cloud got 'kidnapped'. (mental images! NUU!!)

RIBBON IS OSM!!! Nothing can beat its POWER! (just wanted to say that :D Ribbon is my favorite accessory in the game XP)

Angeal, Oh Noes! DX I hope Aeris is able to make the water thingy and heal Angeal in time.

All in all, this chapter is amaaaazing! I'm excited for the next ^_^
Jan. 4th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
Ribbon is crazy useful! I only ever managed to find three of them though...

Thanks! ^_^ Hope you enjoy the next one as much!
(no subject) - kotoshin - Aug. 25th, 2012 05:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 3rd, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
Oh my...
I found this just then after looking through Lizeth's stuff on dA. And damn, am I ever glad that I did.

This series is /fantastic/. This chapter in particular had me giggling insanely at the monitor in random parts (particularly at the mental image I received from Cloud's Seph!Senses tingling, and from Cloud's little petulant "I'm not a puppet". I can just imagine him slouching down in the seat, shoulders up around his ears, glowering at the floor... so childish after all these years Cloudy~).

I love the way you write fight scenes, they seem fast paced, but natural, flowing like they should (I say this like I’ve got any experience besides school yard fights and ones on TV…). But what I really like is the sense of quick, frantic movement that you get – that’s what a fight is after all, and if all the bad fiction has convinced me of anything, it’s that a fight is very hard to convey in a paper medium (and also that my slashgoggles are welded with titanium force to my skull, but that’s neither here nor there).

The cliff that this ends on … Angeal slowly becoming concerned when he can’t heal, and Genesis starting to get really scared … I can’t wait for the week to end now.
Jan. 3rd, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh my...
Greeting stranger and welcome to the fold of 5th Act followers! *cackles* (We will take over the world. Yeees, we will...)

The cliff that this ends on … /.../… I can’t wait for the week to end now.

But that is the beauty of this fic (aside from its ...well, beauty and general awesomeness) - you don't have to wait a whole week for the next installment. Check in the middle of the week.

... the rest of the replying I'll leave for the actual authoress. Ciao.
Re: Oh my... - firedraygon97 - Jan. 3rd, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Oh my... - demon_vampirate - Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Oh my... - sinnatious - Jan. 4th, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Oh, oh poor Angeal. Getting between those two is never a good idea - but then again, Cloud was the one who went for the killing blow :/ The bad part is that Cloud is going to feel guilty about the whole thing because he's the one who injured Angeal.

Pfft, and for some reason I'm half expecting the cast from Dissidia to pop up.
Jan. 4th, 2010 12:03 pm (UTC)
Actually, it was Sephiroth's sword that got Angeal from behind - as Angeal was angling to catch Cloud's sword, not Masamune. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough:

Strife had done what they never expected, and pulled back from what would have been a deadly strike.

Sephiroth hadn't believed he would, and swung blindly to save his own life.

Does that clear it up? Should I make it more obvious perhaps? (Mulls it over.)
(no subject) - kaorismash - Jan. 4th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)

brb need to hand computer over to a little kid but akjshf SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN.
Jan. 4th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, are you back? :D And caught up, by the sounds of it?
(no subject) - kaorismash - Jan. 4th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Jan. 5th, 2010 11:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ksmash - Jan. 5th, 2010 11:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Jan. 5th, 2010 11:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 5th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
you really need to write Younger!Cloud into this! and then have everybody fawn over him! Zack would adopt him and so would genesis and Angeal would feed him and Sephiroth would requit him to help with becoming friends with the older cloud!
I also have this image of Cloud comenting to zack by accident that he was exactly like little!cloud at his age LOL! and then have everybody try to imagine it!
Jan. 5th, 2010 11:31 am (UTC)
Well, there are plenty of chapters still to come - those things may happen. :D
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 6th, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
Sorry? :D Well, no, I'm not really sorry. But impressive that you're reading even without the FF7 background! :O Hope it's making sense!
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jan. 9th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 6th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
T_T Angeal...I always end up feeling sorry for someone in every chapter, and it seems to be him more and more these days. I don't like him that much just b/c of how suspicious he's acting of Cloud (though with very good reason), but I don't want him to die. Oh, Aeris, please make your magic juice again. T_T

Lovely chapter, especially the fight scene. And I loved the whole kidnapping as well. Poor Cloud almost had a panic attack. And Genesis was so adorable being all protective and possessive like that. lol
Jun. 12th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
“Sephiroth, this van isn’t big enough for that thing! Put it away!” Angeal ordered from the front.

My mind totally went somewhere else with that part. I know that it's gen, but this fic sets off my gaydar like nothing else. Sephiroth is an obsessed stalker, and Genesis... well, you can probably see where I'm going with that one. Angeal is the only one of the three who doesn't seem like he wants his wicked way with Cloud, which of course means something weird will happen on that angle, right? Kidnapping? Terrorist attack? Something else?

Jun. 13th, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)
XD That's a hilariously lewd mind you have there.

You have no idea how often I stared at sentences involving swords and wondering if they were all going to be horribly misintepreted as some kind of innuendo. Until I decided that it really didn't matter, because the people looking for innuendo would enjoy it, and the people who weren't wouldn't even notice. :)
(no subject) - azardarkstar - Jun. 13th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 5th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
So many things I love about this chapter aklsjfhsdlk Angeal and Gen kidnapping Cloud is pure gold oh my goodness. x3 I also love the hell out of the fight scene in general. Though that may stem from my lack of ability in writing them, heh. ^^;

Though I think my favorite is Cloud's reaction to seeing the trio just acting normal because I had a similar reaction seeing Sephiroth in Crisis Core. It's odd seeing people who you only think of as a top tier hero or vilest villain act like you, so seeing small things like the conversation here in the car or seeing Seph pull his PHS away from his ear when Zack yelled in it in Crisis Core is a little jarring. I love the hell out of the little humanizing elements, oh my gosh. <3
Jan. 7th, 2013 08:45 am (UTC)
please don't tirple post please don't triple post
“I advise you to drive carefully, Angeal,” Sephiroth purred. “We wouldn’t want my sword to slip due to any unexpected bumps.”

lmao Sephiroth, you are not doing any favors to the defense of your sanity

“And then you wonder why Cloud attacks you at every opportunity,” Genesis snapped, “When your solution to every difficulty is to hold it at sword point. How typically Third Class of you.”

...I enjoyed the trip in the van with Genesis holding Cloud and defending him against having Masamune pointed at his throat more than I probably should have.

And of course he would read Loveless. And it actually calms Cloud down! c:

“Sephiroth, this van isn’t big enough for that thing! Put it away!” Angeal ordered from the front.

lmao just like traveling with children

"Jamie, put that toy away! I'm trying to drive here! :V"

Although Cloud had to begrudgingly admit that he’d pointed First Tsurugi at the Turks that way before… and Rufus… and sometimes the odd rowdy bar patron… and Barrett, that one time he’d been firing his gun arm off for no reason at all. But everybody knew he wouldn’t kill anyone in cold blood. Sephiroth, on the other hand, had made sport of it.

Oh, Cloud! So close to realizing that Sephiroth isn't crazy now, and yet so far!

“A challenge?” He didn’t get it. What a pointless reason to fight.

Ha ha, goodness, Cloud, you're like the opposite of everyone els--

He’d stopped caring about that sort of thing when Nibelheim burned and his dreams went with it.

Oh, right. :(

He stopped caring about a lot of things after Nibelheim.

Cloud really does need to see a therapist.

Ah, the tipping point. Things were just too cheerful, Cloud's inner thoughts aside.

(sorry if this shows up twice, lj is wonky)

(...it's not posting? D:)
Jan. 7th, 2013 01:01 pm (UTC)
Re: please don't tirple post please don't triple post
Cloud's a bit of a downer. :(

Don't panic if your posts don't show up straight away! I get a fair bit of spam on my LJ so anonymous posts are set to screened by default - I still get the comments, but I have to go mark them as unscreened for them to show up to anyone else. When I'm not at work or otherwise occupied I get to this pretty quick (it only takes a second), but some days I don't get the chance to log on. (In this case, I just deleted your previous post since it was a double post.)
Sep. 22nd, 2016 07:23 pm (UTC)
I really like how you balanced out Cloud's incredible fighting skills & materia skills with him being physically weaker than the other 3 firsts. It shows that he's powerful but not invincible.

Like, yes he's stronger than the average person, but against someone else with similar augmentation things start to equal out. So while he might be faster and a better swordsman, he's f***ed if he's pinned by someone larger than he is. It's a really smart way of handling an "over-powered" character.
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