Title: Bleeding Skies: Threshold 01
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Pairing: Sephiroth/Cloud mainly and many, many others along the way including many-somes:)
Rating: R for violence
Disclaimer: None of the recognizable characters belongs to me; I’m not making any profit from writing this. Just fun.
Warnings: violence, angst. Slash – male/male relationships. Spoilers – be prepared for everything.
Summary: When is it that a human loses his humanity? How many lives does he have to take to reach that threshold? Cloud has already been staring into the abyss for too long; it didn’t even hurt to finally let himself fall. Post AC
A/N: this one I’m not really pleased with, hopefully the next ones in the series will be better.
The blood splattered the green, green grass in a wide arc as his sword cut through magic and flesh as if it wasn’t even there.
A hero, they called him.
He turned around, feeling the incoming blow more by instinct than any true senses, First Tsurugi blocked the firaga as if it wasn’t anything more than a harmless illusion. Even before the flames cleared from the air, he was already in motion, crossing the distance between himself and another of his enemies in a fraction of a second.
A glorified killer, that was what he called it.
The wide blade cut through armor and flesh, separating skin, muscle and bone as if it was paper. He watched as the girl, a child really, coughed up blood and folded down, sliding off his sword like a broken doll. She was dead long before she hit the ground.
With a practiced flick of his wrist, he cleaned the blood from his sword and turned towards the last of the surviving enemies.
They told him he had to kill the monsters. To protect the Planet.
It sickened him, that he felt nothing. That girl wasn’t more than sixteen years old and he didn’t even bother with talking to her. He just killed her as quickly and efficiently as he killed her companions. There was a time he would have felt guilt, sadness even, at having to kill. This time he felt only mild irritation. He was supposed to make some adjustments on Fenrir today…
No one told him he would become the very monster he hunted.
He wasn’t aware of the fierce ache in his eyes or the fact that his pupils elongated and turned vertical, cat slits that were eerily reminiscent of somebody else.
Even as he turned towards the child in the wheelchair, the green kept creeping into the blue of his eyes.
He was so tired, so very tired of killing, of hurting… so damn bitter.
The child was androgynous, pretty and much too young for Cloud to discern its gender at first glance. But he wasn’t there to understand, was he? Just to kill the enemies showed to him. Like a dog, a monster on a leash that murdered but only at the order of its masters.
The child all but glowed with power; spells swelling and blooming in a rapid succession far outstripping anything the humans were capable of casting. The air itself burned and the ground boiled, sky bleeding red and purple as the child let the charge go.
... no more…
He could feel the way the Jenova cells inside him activated, the way the mako and the Planet‘s power sang through him. The magic was nothing against him, a child’s play to rip through all the offensive spells, to force the enemy to defend.
He could no longer stand the pain. What good did having a conscience do, a soul, if the pain never ended.
He didn’t even pause, didn’t even slow down as the small, obviously frail body of the child buckled under the strain. The small frame curled over the wheelchair, retching blood, as he kept closing the distance between them in gravity defying leaps.
It was no use pitying this child because surely there would be another and then another villain for him to kill and he was just too damn tired to care anymore. He felt the last of what he was shrivel and die inside as he gathered energy for the last blow.
He just wanted it to stop hurting. He wanted to be numb since he truly doubted that he would ever be granted peace. He was just the planet’s guard dog and guard dogs weren’t granted retirement. They served until they dropped and then another dog would be picked in his place.
Zack, Sephiroth, Aeris, Nibleheim… and so many others... he just couldn’t, wouldn’t, stand it any more.
Cloud felt himself slipping away; oddly aware of what was happening even as his emotions were slipping away from him.
He felt nothing as he landed lightly in front of the tiny figure, dwarfed by the automated wheelchair. His hand didn’t shake as he raised the First Tsurugi for the final strike. His eyes never flinched from the small form as the power of the Planet curled around him setting the world ablaze in a light so bright it hurt to watch.
What Sephiroth tried to destroy, what Zack died trying to protect, what Tifa and Aeris struggled to keep safe was no longer there. He felt nothing because his heart was finally dead. There was no mercy in him as he swung the huge sword downward, uncaring of the shouts from somewhere below, where his companions were struggling to fight off the minor beasties summoned by this time’s enemy.
He would kill this child and, with it, the last of Cloud Strife that ever lived, leaving only the tireless shell of a human that once was. A memory. It felt a little like dying as he watched the movement of his sword through the air, as if in slow motion.
* * *
Vincent knew that something wasn’t right. Could smell it in the air, now so saturated with power it was making his demons restless.
Cloud didn’t have trouble fight off this particular group, the magic users that wiped out everyone else in their way. As a matter of fact, Cloud was almost too efficient in his fighting, disposing with the two strongest users in barely minutes and going, with unnerving focus, for the last one. The powerful child in the wheelchair.
He reloaded the Death Penalty and abandoned the battle at his friend‘s side to follow Cloud up into the ruins. Something inside him, an old and primitive instinct screamed at him, urged him to go faster, to borrow from his demon‘s power and rise through the air at a breathless speed.
And he could see it, feel it when something in Cloud snapped. The boy was pushed way too hard for too long and did what Vincent feared he would do for such a long time.
He slipped away.
Vincent saw no remorse, no hesitation as Cloud raised his sword to the incapacitated child and prepared for the final, killing blow. It was there in his body language. So still and cold, he seemed familiar to Vincent, yet different. Until he saw the way Cloud’s eyes, now almost green, caught light and the slit pupils almost glowed with power.
“Cloud, no!” He yelled, but his voice could not penetrate the haze of magic that surrounded the blond warrior in a nimbus of frightening power. He sighted Death Penalty, willing to take out the Child before the sword connected because he knew, with the very core of his being, that if Cloud killed this time… he would no longer be the Cloud Strife they all knew.
The rapport of his shotgun had never felt this heavy as he fired, all three barrels at the same time, racing against time, praying that the bullets were faster.
The sudden change was so powerful it rocked him, even as far as he was from the site. It seemed that the very fabric of reality tore apart with the most deafening sound he had ever heard. Everything quieted suddenly. The fires roaring all around them suddenly died, the vague sounds of battle coming from below quieted and the very air seemed to stand still as a mass of darkness appeared over Cloud.
Vincent watched in a kind of terrified amazement as the darkness solidified into a horrifically familiar figure. He watched as a black feather drifted slowly, almost gently to the ground and long, silver hair moved in a nonexistent breeze.
Sephiroth was just as imposing and powerful as Vincent remembered him. The black leather of his coat moving on the same currents of darkness as his hair. One of the General’s hands was clenched around Cloud’s wrist from behind, keeping the deadly blade from finishing the blow while his second hand curled around the blond fighter’s face, gently covering his eyes.
* * *
Time seemed to stretch into infinity as the only thing Cloud was aware of was the incredibly powerful presence so close behind him. He could feel the heat of the hand covering his eyes and smell the unique scent of worn leather. The hand curled around his wrist was incredibly strong yet careful not to break bones. Careful, in ways Cloud hasn’t seen Sephiroth be since... Nibleheim.
He could feel the man behind him shifting closer, soundlessly, making him feel the press of that larger, harder body all along his back, making him feel the way the lapels of that long black coat brushed over his legs. He stilled so completely, even his lungs refused to work.
The voice, so close to his ear, made him shiver. The voice was as smooth as he remembered. Just as low and perfect, a purr almost, that got him thinking about things one shouldn’t about his best friend’s lover. Things he shouldn’t be thinking about his enemy, the man he killed three times already.
But something was different this time. While Sephiroth felt just as powerful and dangerous as always, he didn’t raise any alarms. The almost unconscious threat the man exuded wasn’t directed at him this time.
Cloud stayed frozen, unable to move, to comprehend just what was going on. If it was the same man that tried to destroy the Planet and took huge amounts of pleasure in ripping Cloud‘s heart and mind apart, Cloud would have no problem fighting him off. However Sephiroth seemed oddly passive, contained, in a way that was totally unfamiliar to the blond.
“Calm down.” The low purr shivered against his skin, making him inhale sharply as he felt the familiar mental pressure urging him to let go, to give in to the demand of the silver haired man. Before he had the time to comprehend it, to resist, Sephiroth already pushed his hand down, making First Tsurugi clang as the tip hit the ground, carving deep gouges in the concrete while its weight wasn’t supported by Cloud.
“Let me take care of this.” The low voice commanded and Cloud found himself obeying just as he did all those years ago, when Sephiroth first used his ability to force all the Jenova cells to cooperate, making Cloud into a puppet.
Even knowing that, remembering the previous terror, Cloud stayed still. He didn’t even flinch as the familiar thrum filled his ears and the tingle of magic prickled his skin when the general summoned his blade – The Masamune.
For years, being this close to the ancient weapon meant imminent danger for Cloud and those around him. Yet this time something felt different. He didn’t try to dislodge the hand covering his eyes so gently, even as he felt the other man draw his arm back, preparing to strike. Briefly he wondered if Sephiroth would kill him this time, but it didn’t really matter to him any more. Beneath the gloved hand covering his eyes, Cloud closed his eyes and waited for whatever was going to happen, his fight abandoning him at last.
He never flinched; the metal of the wheelchair screeched horribly and warm blood splattered him, choking him with the coppery smell.
He did nothing, said nothing as the darkness swallowed him up; the last sound he was aware of was the rustle of feather, when a huge black wing folded around him, separating him from the world.
About the Bleeding skies (some spoilers for the upcoming stories):
AN: the idea was that Sephiroth comes back after AC, free of Jenova influence but still more than a little insane and even more powerful than ever before, now that he can use that brain of his. He lack something, feels incomplete, his memories are all but shadows of what has been. Sephiroth is searching for himself, trying to heal on his own. Guided by some vague memories and clues from beyond he knows Cloud is the key. But before the blond can help him heal, Sephiroth needs to make sure that there’s at least something left of Cloud Strife that used to be. The Great General will use many and different, often even more damaging ways to bind Cloud to himself.
There will be lot’s of sex, Sephiroth/Cloud, Sephiroth/The remnants, Seph/Cloud/Remnants and and there might be some Zack thrown in too (in any permutation possible – I sometimes like to write pron, so shoot me. Also There’s going to be some Vincent and the remnants. Others – maybe.
The stories don’t won’t always be in chronological order and may come far apart (job takes up a lot of my time). The fics will range from barely drabbles, ficelets, longer stories.
Bleeding Skies is basically an universe and I intend to have a lot of fun with it. If somebody wants to have fun with the concept – be my guest.
Also – I watched Advent Children (oh so many times he he) but did not play the game. Anything beyond AC is pure fiction.
All stories will be posted in a few FF7 communities and in my journal, the archive post will have everything organized. NC-17 Livejournal entries on my lj may be friends-locked, but I’m working on an insanejournal account that will have everything open. Sorry for the huge ramble, but it will be done only once and then just the fics.