Author: Fathoms_Deep (or ME!)
Rating: R (For swearing)
Characters: Sephiroth, Original Character (Aya)
Warnings: Nothing, really... just cursing from an angry woman, suggestive situation, etc
Summary: Life is hard as the only woman in SOLDIER, who must overcome her latent fear of the male persuasion. Her superior gives some helpful advice...
In the greasy confines of Junon's SOLDIER quarters, the mess hall was rarely a sight to behold. It was quiet and boring, for a majority of the Soldiers there took their meals outside the quarters in the fashionable bistros of the sea port. The confining metal atmosphere of SOLDIER bases never did grant them a big feeling of their own humanity.
Aya sat alone; it wasn't like her to be here, but by this time she no longer stayed by her own choice. Senior officer, who was barely older than she was, had ordered her never to leave the base again under any condition at all unless specifically ordered to do so.
Her eyes watered, but it was anger that bristled in her veins, gave her the energy to sit up and almost push her dinner tray off the table. She picked it up and dumped it unceremoniously onto the edge of the sink area and straightened her blue uniform, calloused fingers brushing over the fabric, clenching with the full intent to rip it all off.
It was anger that had dumped her into so much trouble in the first place. Being the only woman, it had become instinct to become cruel and protective of her status despite the occasional harassment. Sure, there were a handful of nice folks. But nobody ever remembered smiles in this place; she remembered the looks, the crude remarks behind hands, and the heightening sense of being followed all the time. It was a psychotic disorder, she thought, and perhaps she was overreacting to her surroundings.
It was not overreaction when she had heard one comment too many, and gave three or four guys from the Turk division a few broken limbs and noses. I think at least one of them got a tooth knocked out. Those fucking shit bags. Get a couple of drinks in them and they can say whatever they want these days. There's no respect for SOLDIER... especially for me.
She had recieved a slightly informal reprimand and was essentially grounded from going outside by the lieutenant in command. He was general during times of war... but that didn't give him the right to take sides. Apparently he did not know the impact of insults, the precarious nature of her position and how fragile it was. It pissed her off. Everything seemed to piss her off.
When Aya walked to return to her bedroom, she seemed to float with a haze of indiscrimant dislike clinging to her. She avoided looking at anyone, if only to stare at the floors. At some point she found herself in front of her room number, A12 and looked up. There was a piece of paper stuck in between the closed door and the wall. She tugged it loose and read the stiff print there, the sort an elitist bastard would write who thought he was better than everyone else.
"Sephiroth," she mumbled. "What's he want?"
It was more or less an order - not a request - to go to the training room. For what, the paper didn't say. But it had a time on it, and when she checked the clock in her bunkroom--
"SHIT! I'm late!" She cursed, and swung her sword across her back, stuffing the note in her pants pocket as she more or less sprinted through the halls, narrowly avoiding knocking a man carrying a box of electronic parts into a wall fountain.
And in the next instant, she threw open the doors and walked quickly the rest of the way across the scuffed up matted floors. The room was huge... it was maybe ten times the size of any apartment in this building, and there was another room like it with exercise machines and a small deli.
She had never once seen Sephiroth before, so as she stood in the silence, she realized she was the only one here. But she felt like she was being watched, and that feeling never made her feel good at all.
Almost fearfully she pivoted around, brushing back her shortened mouse brown-grey locks out of her stark steel eyes which in turn glowed with Mako. A rising lump in her throat choked off any words she might have called out with. She turned sharply, feeling a presence, but it was gone. THe longer she stayed, the more exposed she felt, as if someone were peeling away the layers of her soul and she was helpless to stop it.
"You are late."
She stiffened. Her back bristled and she looked around for the voice but it snapped, "Stand at attention!"
Automatically her legs and arms worked as if someone had pressed a button on her. She straightened her back, clapped her feet straight together and stared straight ahead despite that every nerve wanted to hear that voice that seemed deep, deep like the cold sea.
Hard boots clicked on the floor before they reached the mat. She heard leather creaking; the soft jangle of metal. The sound of motion gave her the impression that something large and powerful was approaching her, a monster of some fairytale. The woman steadily began to shake, a bead of sweat forming on her temple.
There was a flicker of silver, and the presence remained at her side. She twisted her eyes to look at him. The great Sephiroth. He hadn't even come to review her when she was enlisted into the program. She heard stories, monstrous things, and even some ridiculous romances he'd had with various people in the Shinra Corporation. But none of them seemed remotely true, except for maybe something monstrous behind those liquid Mako eyes, as if he'd been bottle-fed it since he was a child.
His arms were long and languid, hanging at his sides, and his chest seemed to expand quietly without resistence as he breathed. His nose well-formed, his mouth tight as if it had never known a single smile. She traced the curving lines of his jacket over his body and waist, a creature made of black, made of leather and muscle and toil; down to the very ends of his boots, but by then her eyes began to ache from straining them, and she quickly looked straight ahead again.
"At ease," he ordered at last.
She expelled her breath slowly, her feet moving a polite distance apart and her hands clasped behind her back. He stepped in front of her. He was a full head taller than she was, and Aya's first reaction was to step backwards.
"Begging your pardon--"
"Am I bothering you?" The eyes flashed with humor.
"Yes!" She blurted, her eyes widening at her boldness. "You're standing too close."
"What?" He stepped forward, once again invading her space, and her nerves prickled. Irritation became annoyance.
"Sir!" She jerked her head away to avoid looking into those liquid eyes, the ones that made her feel like she was choking and drowning. His fingers crawled up to grip her throat and pull her chin directly toward him again.
She gasped, and immediately struggled, resisting ever so much the temptation to bitchslap the somewhat disconcerting smile that had formed on his lips. He was staring into her soul, her goddamned soul, and she didn't like it. She didn't like how that gaze seemed to assert the typical male dominance she absolutely couldn't stand.
"Don't touch me," she hissed.
His other hand raised slowly. Before it could come within six inches of her cheek her arm moved for her. She threw her weight backwards as she struck out at his arm, and she staggered out of his grasp and presence. "Don't fucking touch me again!"
"Nobody here is going to hurt you, you know," the lieutenant said calmly. "You've got a problem. A problem that my overseers don't like. They've made it clear to me that you need discipline."
"Discipline?" The word hissed around in her mouth like a little snake. "What fucking discipline?"
"Watch your mouth, please," Sephiroth corrected sternly. "You're no good to me if you're always angry. I can see it in your eyes."
"I got my reasons," she said stiffly. "Nobody messes with me."
"And nobody will. You're a SOLDIER. You should act like one."
That stung more than she had accounted for. She jerked her chin downwards, staring over her chest to the floor, and her palms began to sweat gratuitously. She felt his gaze burning into the top of her head, and it was at this time that he finally expressed why he was truly here.
"I want to see you fight me. Test yourself. Perhaps this will show you that you are self-reliant. If you can stand the test, you can stand anything, can't you?"
Aya was too shocked to respond. She looked at him, looked at the tightly packed muscles on his chest and stomach with a flush of discomfort. Fight Sephiroth? The Great Sephiroth? She'd probably sooner get her limbs chopped off like she was a statue and he was a stoneworker.
He tipped his head back slightly, disturbing the quiet mane of silver that had been resting against his cheeks. "Do you accept?"
Aya stared at him.
"Or are you afraid?" That smirk again. That "I'm cool and strong, and you're not" look. But it was not an intentional look, or else maybe he would have known how much it pissed her off.
"I'm not afraid," she muttered through clenched teeth.
Sephiroth watched her coolly. Almost casually, he pivoted and stepped backwards and drew the insanely longish sword. The ceiling was high, lots of room... the odds played in no one's favor here, except that Sephiroth's immense strength would be hard-pressed to be restrained.
However, he was pleasantly shocked at the level of reaction when the small woman took her sword and lunged with an Amazon's shriek. Her sword streaked like lightning, the steel crashing against his.
He sidestepped during his deflection, graceful and calm as a dance recital. With decieving ease he struck back. Her shoulders ached and her face grimaced with pain, but she steeled herself through it, and fueled by anger, kept on the attack - which Sephiroth endured painlessly, sometimes with one hand on the Masamune, mostly with two.
She was strong, but consequently wild and without any tact, that blazing sword striking hard every time, and eventually it made his hands clench with numbness. Every move she made was unpredictable and the challenge became greater when he found he couldn't hold back, and he struck hard, and suddenly, disrupting her flight of one attack and sending her careening onto the floor on one shoulder. She rolled once and skidded across the mat, moaning against the floor.
Sephiroth abandoned the idea of going easy on her. She apparently wanted to prove she didn't need to be gentled like a little girl. He would give her that much, at least - she deserved that much.
"Your anger is making you stupid," he said, walking purposefully in her direction. Aya struggled to raise herself, but her shoulder was a knot of screaming, blazing nerves that told her something might have been broken maybe. "Get up."
Aya strained to blink back the tears. She saw his boots only as they approached. Her urgency heightened, unknowing what would happen when they came close enough, only knowing that it couldn't have been good. She staggered to her feet, switching the sword to the other hand.
Sephiroth attacked. No, he flew toward her. The sword gave its song only as warning. She deflected with a ringing lurch that left her bones humming. Anger melted away, dissolving into her true emotion: fear. Because it wasn't just some asshole she was fighting, but someone she felt was fully capable of killing her. She fought for survival, which is what she had done all of her life: to survive in the dirty slums of Midgar, narrowly avoiding rape and prostitution by the skin of her teeth.
She put such instinct to use now. Her enemy was the silver devil and his dancing sword, that seemed to come from everywhere at once. It whipped like a steel snake. She felt it bite into her arms more than once, but she flicked aside the pain in her mind in order to focus upon the task at hand.
He was pressing her toward the corner of the room; that much was obvious. She could feel the walls closing behind her, and each footstep backwards was a point lost. The woman's ragged breath turned into a grunt of effort as she pushed against his sword, struggling to push him back, but she was too small. Panic gripped her when she realized she had been battered off of the training mats. He pushed back with a soft chuckle, and her feet scraped on the hard floor with a rubber shriek.
The corded muscles on her arms strained. They burned, swords veritably sparking. His shoulder was almost near her ear, his eyes flashing with obvious pleasure. "Oho... I think you should change your tactics before the rubber comes off your soles."
Teeth-clenching, she broke away quickly. He straightened quickly, but she backed up against the wall, pushed her foot against it, and lunged past him, rolling back onto the mat and setting herself up on both feet again... the lieutenant cutting it close as he caught up with her.
A hair-raising move later, and she almost had him. Her eyes widened, and chilling cold seeped into her veins at the prospect that she had defeated him... but in that moment, he surprised her, struck out with his elbow, and knocked her flat on her back with a promise of a migraine to come.
He jerked upright again, lifted the Masamune and turned the point downards. She cried out as it descended. The anticipation of pain was almost as painful as though he had really impaled her, driven that serpent steel into her flesh and ripped her life away in one cold breath. Her heart pounded in her throat, mildly nauseated at the proximity of the sword.
She raised her eyes along the length of the weapon, past it as the slowly clarifying face of her would-be killer. Her chest heaved with each breath. He did not look particularly pleased, but somewhat mildly disappointed.
Her focus returned... and knowing that in a real battle, she would have been dead, but it didn't matter. She wanted to get back at him. She wanted revenge, and it was bittersweet - she grabbed the sword, twisting out of the way as she slammed it into the floor. Then, raising herself up on her hands, her legs locked around his and she threw with all her might to topple him to the ground.
He fell with a surprised look, and let go of the Masamune to break his fall. He landed roughly on his side; her legs tensed, and she rolled him properly onto his back, and pinned him fluidly with her hands on his shoulders.
Sephiroth's back was pulsating with discomfort. His chest heaved in time with hers, panting, and for a moment they were both relatively shocked with numbness and exhaustion. Aya was half-blinded by her hair, which, at such an angle, had divided her vision by falling across her left eye. She stared down at him, exhiliration flooding through her, empowered by their position, her blood singing by the closeness of their bodies.
Sephiroth took a final, steadying breath, and lifted his hand. She did not flinch away; his fingers delicately brushed aside the offending strands of hair from her face. His fingertips grazed her cheek like a lover expressing sadness that they must part so soon.
"Do you feel better?" She felt his voice hum through his body, through her legs where she touched him.
It was perhaps that moment that she thought she loved him - more like it was a peculiar lust. More disconcerting was the fact that he could sense it, and that mouth curved like a scythe that now secretly delighted and excited in her a sort of peaceful acceptence of what he had represented.
In answer to his question, she slowly drew his face closer to hers, sliding her fingers under the back of his head, loving the feel of the silver, silken locks. Skin whispered against skin, cheeks touching as she held him like that and smiled.
Can anyone tell that I hate writing fight scenes but I have to anyway? XP