Author: Hecate's Brat & firstname.lastname@example.org
Webjournal: http://hecatesbrat.livejournal.com/ (everything will be moved there instead of eroticgoddess)
On Going (WIP)/One-off/Series Name: see title?
Classification(s): AU (after game and ac), drabble epic,
Warnings: light angst, um...think thats it.
Pairing(s): sephiroth/cloud implied
Author's Notes: this was done originally for the various MLs that i was on to liven them up. it was like a 10 days of halloween thing. people asked for a lj community, which is created and if you want to try seasonal writing challenges, come on over. seasonalcrack is what you'll be looking for... but i thought that i'd share the stuff i wrote with you all. its all unbeta'ed, so... um yeah! and this is cross posted to a couple places... so, if you see it more than once.. sorry!
Summary: a yearly tradition leads to something from the past.
The two men walked side by side, while children played, screamed, and laughed around them. They'd peer up at them, smile, then run off, the light trailing from their Jack O'Lanterns in the dark night.
It was a yearly event that they did. Walk the length of the town, listening to the whispers between the dead tree branches, and the breathy sighs of the winds. Who could say why they started; perhaps it was something about the time of year when things happened, or when death came easiest, whatever the reason, it was a tradition of sorts that wasn't going to die easily.
Cloud looked behind them for a moment, a fleeting second he swore they were being followed, but the moment passed as soon as it came.
A bright red leaf caught in Sephiroth's hair caught his attention, which caused him to pluck it out and twirl it between his fingers.
"Does tonight feel different?" Cloud asked, pulling his cloak around him a bit tighter.
The tall silver haired man looked at the leaf briefly, then stopped closing his eyes.
The blonde watched the children's Jack O'Lanterns weave and create fairy lighted patterns in the dark, it was pretty, but at the same time, a bit unsettling, as if there was something more in the Lanterns, something sinister.
"Its different. I'm not sure as to what, but its just...different."
Cloud glanced at the tall man, realizing that his answer wasn't much help.
Well, the night was still young.
They stood at the outskirts of Nibelheim looking towards the mountains, towards the location of the reactor. It was where everything started, essentially.
One could tell by the stance of the men that they didn’t want to entertain the idea of going through the mountain walkway. They didn’t want to, but of course, they would.
Twin sets of mako coloured eyes met and sighs of slight disgust and annoyance could be heard from the lips of both men.
"Why not. the town's not holding any interests at the moment."
"Off we go then."
A trek to the mountain was normally boring and uneventful; the winding walkways forked off and doubled back so often they would leave a person feeling frustrated and insane after a short amount of time.
However, this time, deadly things walked those walkways, they held huge spiders that held themselves aloft on long spiked legs and chattered and hissed with venomous fangs.
Another sigh from the men’s lips escaped, swords were released from their sheaths with the sound of ringing metal.
Spiders hissed and lunged and were cut through quickly with a slash of the one winged angel’s masamune blade. Cloud attacked the spiders from the back, his large remodelled buster swords swung through the sleek bodies just as fast as his one time mentor.
Many walkways later and far more spider bodies than the trek should have held, they came to the old reactor.
Mt. Nibel, its pathways and its reactor was still operational, and probably always would be, from now till their bones became dust unless something tremendously destructive happened to it. The sight of the old, weather beaten, battle scarred metallic building usually drew a person to a halt, but that wasn’t what stopped the two warriors in their tracks.
Amongst the rusted scrap metal, nuts and bolts, laying in the dirt and dust before the stairs of the reactor was a huge metal pot, a cauldron of sorts. It was tipped over, as if someone knocked it to the ground, or as if something escaped leaving the ground around it’s mouth wet with liquid, like drool from a large beast.
Sephiroth eyed and sneered at the liquid, then gazed and raised an eyebrow at Cloud who just tilted his head.
“I think whomever was with the cauldron, was conducting experiments of sorts.”
Cloud barked a laugh, “Trying to bring you back?”
Sephiroth smirked, harsh and cold. “Perhaps. But you can’t bring back something that never left.”
Cloud bowed his head in silent thoughtful agreement, thinking that one couldn’t bring back something that never left, even if you tried your damned hardest.
“Should we find out who was doing the experiments, or should we chalk it up to kids being stupid?”
Sephiroth toed at the dirt. “I think we should make sure that there isn’t anyone inside. Shin-Ra hasn’t rebuilt itself yet. Hopefully they haven’t found another Hojo to help assist with anything else they might have up their sleeves.”
“Hojo used to do lots of experiments, why wouldn’t he have tried to clone himself. A form of self preservation.”
Sephiroth stared at the opening of the reactor, “Whose to say that he didn’t.”
A shudder ran through Cloud. The thought that Hojo might have made clones of himself. Just the one mad scientist was crazy enough, there was no other need for more. Thoughts of a reunion of Hojo’s made his stomach crawl.
“That’s just creepy. He was one weird man.”
“After Kadaj was able to turn into a version of you a couple of times, everyone was really worried. He brought on an aspect of you that was terrible.”
Sephiroth stepped onto the stairwell and started an ascent. “I am terrible.”
“Well, you are, but he brought your terrible side to something much worse.”
Sephiroth paused, chuckled and started toward the areas that contained the maze of ladders and catwalks. The sound of water dripping and an odd metal on metal ringing sound was the only thing that broke the silence of the lobby and outer rooms.
The duo walked with bold caution, listening for telltale signs of others that might be in the area. The sound of the reactor humming and whirring greeted their ears, and the sight of the pods glowing softly made them squint their eyes.
The two quickly searched the main hub of the reactor, leaving one area untouched. They stared at the door where Jenova was once housed.
“Well, there is nowhere else to look.” Sephiroth whispered.
“Do you want me to do it? I don’t need you going crazy again.”
A look of annoyance flitted over Sephiroth’s face as he watched Cloud walk up the stairs. “Fine”
The tall silvered hair man watched as the blonde walked up the stairs and disappear out of sight, he knew he was so close to Jenova’s door.
Cloud’s voice could be heard over the generator’s hum, “I found a pile of bones. I didn’t even get inside…”
Sephiroth stood next to Cloud, shoulder to shoulder they stood staring at the pile of bones in front of Jenova’s door.
Sephiroth squatted down, black leather jacket pooling around his feet. Slowly he picked up one of the bones, rolled it around in his gloved hands, looking at it. Slowly and cautiously he brought it to his nose and sniffed at it. “It smells sweet. Sickly sweet.”
Cloud kneeled down beside Sephiroth and grabbed a bone, sniffed it a couple of times, then quickly licked it. “It tastes like candy. It’s got a sweet taste. I don’t know what the hell is going on.”
“As far as I know, there is no medical reason as to why a bone would taste sweet.”
Cloud played with the bones in his hands, shrugging, “Maybe something was spilt on it. Like whatever was in the cauldron outside?”
“And you licked it.”
Cloud pulled a face and dropped the bones on the pile. “Well, if it doesn’t kill me, it’ll only make me stronger…”
The tall silver haired man pushed open Jenova’s door; the room was bathed in a soft glow from a chamber tube and a soft bubbling could be heard.
The soft glow of the chamber lent to shadows and weird shapes that surrounded them.
“Where should we start?”
Sephiroth didn’t answer. Cloud had a moment where he feared the non-responsiveness of Sephiroth; this room held the breaking point for the once famous SOLIDER.
“Sorry. I was just getting…I really did go stark raving mad didn’t I? Having Hojo as a father didn’t help any either. I just…” The taller man went quiet again, staring at the now bodiless cylinder.
Cloud didn’t know what to do for the man, instead he started searching the immediate areas, trying to make himself useful. There was small piles of junk and debris from the original moment of Sephiroth’s breakdown, but there was nothing new where he was standing.
Cloud moved his way around the tall silver haired man to continue his search.
“She wasn’t a Cetra, Hojo was wrong about that. She wasn’t of this planet…”
“I figured something like that. You going to continue standing there, sliding back into the dark abyss of your mind, or you going to help me out?”
Again, Sephiroth was silent. Cloud rolled his eyes and kept searching. Moments later, his voice was heard, disembodied, coming from the back of the chamber.
“I’ve got something. It looks like clothes…and a mask of sorts.”
“What? Like a costume?”
“Yeah, looks that way.”
Sephiroth wandered over and looked at the pile of rags. He turned the mask over with his toe. It was bloodied and tattered.
“It reminds me of the face coverings the clones used to wear.”
“You’re telling me a clone did all this? I thought that they were all destroyed during the Reunion…”
Sephiroth looked at the rags. “I don’t know. All this is just too much for a clone to do. They were, well, stupid. Once the Reunion started if they had any normal thoughts, the Calling put a stop to that.”
With those words the men searched through the rest of the chamber. Hidden behind the farthest column lay a helmet. Cloud bit his lower lip for a moment, reached down and picked it up, slowly turning it over.
Cloud called to Sephiroth, letting him know what he had found.
The tall leather clad man dropped the rags he was searching and slowly glanced over. “I thought that Kadaj would have had that.”
Cloud shrugged and held it out to him, “You want it?”
A flurry of emotions ran gamut over his face, then settled on impassive. “No. I don’t want anything that belonged to that witch.”
“What happened wasn’t your fault.”
With those words hurled at his partner, Sephiroth turned and left the chamber. Cloud looked after his partner’s shadow, unsure of what to do. There wasn’t anything here except for rags and a helmet of a being who caused insanity in a man. He glanced at the fallen pipes and tubes that once sustained the life of Jenova.
He dropped the helmet on the rags and stared at the glass tube which once held the mysterious being. For a moment, the blonde man swore he could see something floating inside the tube.
Cloud turned and left the chamber, sealing it after him.
The tubes and the chamber continued its hum, waiting. Always waiting.