July 2020

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Fic: Becoming Gods

Title: Becoming Gods
Author: GW Katrina aka [info]icedark_elf
Beta: [info]skeren
Prompt bits:Final Fantasy VII - Evil!AU: the heroes are the "bad guys"
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1,579
Pairing: Sephiroth/Zack/Cloud
Summary: How a God and his ravens are made.

A/N: Prequel to Ravens, though it's not required to read that fic first. This has been in my notebook forever, and this was the prompt that just got me to write it.



Nobody knew the cause. Nobody was even aware of it, not for a while. He killed all of those who were in the lab, and by the time someone came to investigate why nobody was responding, it didn't matter anymore.

No, by then, Sephiroth had perfected his use of the body, crushing the frail mind that had still flickered deep in the form as he had taken it. It was so close to being right, almost a perfect fit. Of course, it was the best of the clones, and belonged to him in any case.

So he had taken it, and, with the body, moved away from the labs. He had prizes to claim, Mother murmuring in the back of his mind. She did not understand, but was willing to let him do as he wished. Not that it mattered. He would have anyway, but it was a comfort to not have to fight her on this.

He did have things to do, after all, and no time to waste arguing over something that would happen, will she, nil she.

It was far too easy to track the feelings, to find out what Hojo had done with them. Even if he hadn't been focused on them before, Strife's echoes of pain would have drawn his attention. Somehow, the blond was becoming more and more in line with Sephiroth himself, and he was curious on why.

The fact that Zack was there as well.... It was a pleasing benefit.

Right now, though, he had to deal with those between him and those he claimed.

It would be a futile defense, but it would also be a delaying one.

He could feel the pain throbbing behind his eye, and he knew what they had done. Anger blossomed in his chest, and he did not wait any longer. Coldly cutting through the personal, doctors and soldiers alike, he soon found where they had been keeping his people, and he frowned slightly.

There was Strife, strapped down, one eye gone. In its place was just a gaping, angry hollow, still bleeding. Sephiroth could feel the pain, feel it throb in time with Cloud's heart, but it did not seem as if the blond himself had noticed it.

Near by, still in the mako cell, was Zack. Hazy eyes stared through the green, locked on him, and Sephiroth could feel Zack's anger. That wasn't right at all, and he reached out, smoothing away the memories that caused Zack to be mad at him. His friend thrashed, eyes shutting and red staining the green glow. The removal had been harsher than Sephiroth had intended, but, hopefully, it would keep Zack from being angry with him later.

First, though, he needed to remove them from this place, take them somewhere they could rest, recover.

But Cloud would need to have his issue dealt with. The man could not grow things back like Sephiroth could, and Sephiroth would not have one of his people damaged permanently like that.

It hurt. Badly. That got a small sound from the still form on the table, which had surprised him. So the feed went both ways, did it? He would have to experiment with that later. For now, though, he simply settled the freed eye into place and fed the boy a potion. That would hold for now, until he could fully meld it with Cloud's system.

Willing his own bleeding to stop, he undid the straps on Cloud, and then collected Zack from the mako. Burdened with both forms, he was pleased that he had already dealt with any inconveniences in the labs. Now he would be able to take them away and get everyone healed, including regrowing his own eye.

Then....

Then he would talk to Mother again and decide where to go from there.

///


Zack didn't remember things right for the longest time. He knew he had asked Seph things, and the man had told him answers, but things would just fade from his mind after a while. Seph had said it was due to the mako that he had pulled Zack from, but Zack wasn't sure if that was quite it.

He remembered pretty well up to a point. Well, parts of it. Anything before he started his SOLDIER shots was kinda hazy, but that had been an accepted potential side effect. It wasn't gone. But it was a bit harder to pull things from his memory than it was after he had joined SOLDIER. Then it was fine, and clear up till just before.... Something.

He didn't really remember what.

A mission of some sort. Seph said as much, but refused to mention where to, or what had happened. All Zack knew was that it ended up with him and Cloud in the labs, and Seph had been hurt. Bad. Bad enough that he had been forced to take a new body.

Zack really didn't get how that worked, just that it did. He still remembered a man in a black cloak bringing Seph a materia that wasn't like anything else he had ever seen, and Seph had taken them both north. It had been strange to see another Seph there, even if it was only half of Seph. The whole idea made his head hurt a bit, but he had dealt with it.

Seph had taken off his glove, revealing a number tattooed there, and he had looked at them both. Zack remembered Cloud nodding, mismatched eyes fixed on Seph before turning and walking away. Zack himself had hesitated, unsure of what had just happened, but Seph could take care of himself, while Cloud was still a bit vacant at times. Between the two, he had to keep a closer eye on his younger friend. Sort of like before, if Cloud hadn't been strong enough to tear a dragon apart by himself.

He knew Cloud was plenty strong. It was just if the kid was -aware- enough to know he had to protect himself.

The surge of power had him twitching, but that was mostly due to the fact that it made the mako in his blood roil, making him feel nauseated. He was sure Seph was okay, and just went after Cloud, not even glancing back.

It wasn't till they got to the edge of the crater that he saw the coils of green ripping through the earth.

He didn't know what Seph was doing, but he knew it was global. He could feel it, even as walls of power went up, cutting them off from the outside world.

But that was okay. It was Seph.

Zack would trust Seph with anything.

///


Cloud remembered everything.

He remembered Nibelheim. He remembered the labs. He remembered Sephiroth pulling out his own eye so Cloud could see clearly again.

He remembered the taunts in Nibelheim. He remembered the planet's cries. He remembered Sephiroth making the planet scream before everything went mercifully silent.

Cloud remembered what Zack could not.

Cloud knew what the black feathers on Sephiroth's back meant, and he knew how many new voices joined the Lifestream when Sephiroth gained those feathers.

Cloud remembered how full of -life- Midgar had been. Before.

Zack didn't. He had gotten angry at Sephiroth once he had found out what the green coils had been, when he found out that every reactor and lifestream pool close to the surface had gone up, tearing at Meteor, which Sephiroth had summoned. Tearing it up so that destruction would still rain down, but not destroy the entire planet. He had been so furious when he found that that Midgar, with its eight reactors, had been wiped from the face of the map, as far as Kalm and Junon.

Zack had been so angry that he and Sephiroth had been fighting over it. Yelling.

Then Zack had gone quiet.

Cloud remembered Zack from before. Zack before Sephiroth had changed him.

He remembered he had been different himself, before, and that Sephiroth changing Zack like that, -hurting- Zack like that, would have made him angry for his friend.

He didn't get angry like that anymore.

Lots of things were different. Sephiroth had taken over the world. Not like Shin-Ra had. He had simply wiped out most of the human population and told the rest of it they belonged to him.

There had been some fighting, but not much. Sephiroth was a god, and Cloud and Zack stood beside him. There were no other SOLDIERs, Sephiroth had already dealt with them, and the last real threats to his control had vanished when Midgar had been removed from existence.

Once he had solidified his power, Sephiroth had turned his attentions to them. Cloud already knew that they belonged to the man, but now it was even more intense. He trained them, made them into what he wanted them to be. His assassins, his lovers, anything he needed them to be.

Cloud remembered the legends when people began to whisper them, and found a strange pleasure in being called Muninn. Zack they understood best. Cloud was the one they feared more.

It was fitting.

He never forgot. Never forgave. For all that he was Sephiroth's, he hated the man as much as he worshiped and loved him.

It was simply the way things were.

They ruled the world with an iron fist. Till everyone forgot what it had been like before. Even Zack. Even Sephiroth.

Everyone forgot.

Except Cloud, who never could.

Comments

Ahhhh... I so do love a good evil!AU fic. ::purrrrr::

But poor Zack... 'fixed' by Sephiroth. And poor Cloud, who remembers and understands, but can do anything about it. ::sniffle::

::scowls at god!Sephiroth::
*pets Zack* As Art put it when I was teasing her over the contents of this fic, "Some things are worse than death"

And Cloud, ooooh, Cloud. He hates Sephiroth so much for that, but he can't help but love him all the same. So much fun, twisted goodness.
...
...
... ...
*cuddles poor woob!Cloud* *and Seph* *and Zack* *hell, cuddles everybody*
*grins* Whee?

Yeah, it's strange, but they are happy. Sort of.
Because they don't have a choice but to be thanks to a certain someone's manipulations.
So? *innocent look, ignoring the smirking Sephiroth muse*
... there had to be a point to this? I was just stating the obvious here. *grins*
*purrs hard* So very shiny. I like so much the obsessiveness and love/hate feeling of this.
It was fun to write. Had the idea forever, and now it's finally down.
*hides in a corner from the fic* D: DDDD:

That would really be worse than death... you just hit my worst fear/squick/nightmare - the loss of willpower and control over your own life.

I support Cloud as the new god. :/ Kick Seph out of the throne and make the world as it was!!
*pats and offers cookies*

Well, then I guess it does it's job as the Evil AU. *grins*

And, you know, after all this time, I don't know if Cloud would do a better job. Just because he remembers doesn't mean he cares.
D: D: D:

But... I need hope! Cloud always gives me hope. Stories need hopeful endings!

D: D: D:
:purrrrs: Oh this was the kind of thing I had in mind when I suggested that prompt. ^_^
Yes. Glad you like it. Hard to believe this entire universe was just inspired by the mental image of Cloud with one blue eye, one green one, isn't it?

Thanks for suggesting it. It got my ass in gear to get the Ravens prequel written.
I wondered how Ravens started, and now I know, and now I am scared shitless of your evil Cloud. Seph I get being evil and I can see the brainwashing of Zack and I understand the dichotomy in Cloud, but yes, of all three he is the one I would run from so fast. The sheer level of hate and pain that must come from living like that... I'm amazed Seph can keep him sane at all. I love reading you're stuff.
*grins* I'm glad you like. Now you know how they got to be the way they were, and Cloud kinda freaks me out as well. He's bitter, and he remembers, but I don't think he really cares anymore. It takes too much to care for things people will forget anyway.

And I'm not so sure Seph -did- keep him sane.
That is a deeply scary world.
It's a fun one to write, as well. The orignal story came from a single mental image, of Cloud with one blue eye, and one green, Sephiroth like eye. From that, I got this.

Are bunnies fun? And distubred?
It's the silent Zack part that just sets me shivering. Quiet. Zack. Two words that don't belong together. I can understand Cloud completely just from that. I love Seph immensely for setting them free. But to do that to Zack... that monster.
Your icon is evil. *nods*

Yeah. When Zack goes quiet like that, Cloud knows Seph has just twisted his friends mind again. Every. Single. Time. *pats the poor boy*

I had fun with this verse.

(Anonymous)

*LOVES*

...I-

Wow. This is a simply -amazing- fic *__* It left me breathless in awe/shock/empathy and I - wow. Seriously, I can't get over this *bows* You're amazing *__* *gushes*

~Tekko

Re: *LOVES*

*grins* I don't know if you'll ever see this, but thank you. It's always nice to hear when someone likes a fic, and speechless is just neat.

Glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you enjoy anything else of mine you might read.
*Fails all sorts of flailing that is good and woobish*

And that leaves me incoherent, except for the fact I'm deeply pleased to see this as I had loved Ravens.

I now take this as ample opportunity to ask you if you have heard the Crisis Core dub? :3
COUNT! *molests the man*

*coughs* Okay, now that it's out of my system, thank you. I'm glad you like this. Ravens was fun, and this just explains a bit more about the world.

And now, I haven't. You intrigue me, and I beg you to share.
I have a ridiculously large supply of awesome random icons. :)

Now... on your knees. I want to see you beg for... uh, Crisis Core.

I've actually got something to admit. YouTube has increased it's slew of subtitled things and Crisis Core dub work popped up last night, totally out of the blue for me. Now: list to ZACK VOICE!

This is where I fess up: I was so excited about the possibility of dub work that I totally missed at first that it's unofficial, but damn well done and incredibly spiffy. The RPGNetwork did it and it's quite nice.
...this reminds me of every single reason why I lurk around your journals. There's a decent number of ffvii writers who can write good z/s/c+/-a fics. But you're able to write the characters in broken, fractured situations the way very few writers can. This was worth waiting more than a year for, or even longer. Sephiroth, past any form of sanity or really even kindness- even when he takes out his eye to give to Cloud, he's doing it because 'his' things shouldn't be broken. And he does see them as possessions- his most valuable ones, but because they're possessions when they do things they shouldn't he sees nothing wrong with 'fixing' them. Like he keeps 'fixing' Zack. Cloud, knowing everything but not being able to act on any of it or even being able to tell if he'd want to or could. And Zack, still fighting and arguing and wanting to do what he believes is right but not being able to and never knowing the why or even that he can't.
The whole thing reminds me of shattered glass in bright sunlight- beautiful, shiny, but ultimately broken.
...if you didn't run the com for evil fans, I'd be frightened of the person who did.
*grins* I'm glad you like it. This is a horribly broken world, but it's an interest broken world, and Seph is so possessive of those things he deems his.

Cloud is the most broken of the bunch, I think. He knows, and he remembers, but he can't do anything about it, and it just causes more issues than he would have had otherwise.

Zack not knowing...well, that just is the worst thing Sephiroth could do to the man, but he doesn't see anything wrong with it, as it makes Zack like Zack's supposed to be, right by Sephiroth's side.

Glad you enjoyed it so much, and that you liked how the shiny broken came out.

And I learned evil fan thing from ELFs. Fear them.
Hmm...*Evil Smirk* So thats why Cloud is so vengful when he is sent to kill. I love it.
*nods* Cloud's got issues. Major, major issues.

(Anonymous)

I need to get an IJ for the soul purpose of allowing you poor dears to know who is stalking you. But it's positive stalking, so I suppose I can be forgiven.

Anywho, I like this in a weird twisted way. Cloud's the evil one here, because of something I remember hearing once.

"The cruelest thing you can do to someone is not to hate them, but to treat them with indifference."
Stalkers are fun. I enjoy having them.

I'm glad you like this. Poor Cloud is twisted in so many directions in this story, he's not sure what to do. *pats the little sociopathic set*