Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Ephemeral Existence ❯ 09: Reflection-Refraction Mirror ( Chapter 9 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Ephemeral Existence
A C/S Story
Warnings: YAOI, kinda AU, drama, angst
Disclaimer: I don't own. Phooey.
Chapter 09: Reflection-Refraction Mirror
The next day, they were situated in the abyss again, preparing for Cloud's depart. Sephiroth was in front of the hidden computer as usual, double-checking the codes he had typed in the computer for the scene of the final battle. Cloud stood in the middle of the invisible floor, adorned in the same SOLDIER outfit he wore in his adventures. Zack was next to him, casually leaning on his friend, smiling mysteriously. He tilted his head to the side in question, baffled by his sly expression.
He whispered to him, “You won the game.”
“Huh?” Cloud inquired, facing him. He wondered if Sephiroth had heard his friend.
Zack shook his head, straightened, and stepped away; the scene was about to start. Cloud glanced at him and pondered, The game… Then it all came back to him. The game that he and Sephiroth had somewhat played—Zack was involved in it too. It wasn't as dangerous as he thought it would be but it was rather vague and confusing between Sephiroth and himself for many reasons. One reason was the hidden intentions they both had; when Cloud had been captured by Sephiroth, he felt like he had nothing to lose, but Sephiroth had many inquiries and had obviously tested them out by intentionally and unintentionally playing with Cloud's mind and emotions.
The experiments included the kiss, the doctors messing with his body and Sephiroth being his complex self. It could have been worse, Cloud thought, gazing at Sephiroth. He could have raped me - though I don't think he would sink that low - or had other people hurt me. Instead he dealt with me by himself, isolated me from everyone except Zack and I was stuck in his home, bored to death. And he remembered his foolish hopes, to see the sun again and his friends—
--yet he remembered the times he had spent with Sephiroth. It had been simplistic, just him bothering the warrior and messing with his head with his own questions because it was damn obvious that Sephiroth wasn't the only one who was playing the game. He succeeded in that area too since Sephiroth had been changing his mind like the unpredictable man he was.
And Zack… if it wasn't for him bringing up the Twilight Materia, then Cloud couldn't have managed to influence Sephiroth to set him free. Even so, it seemed that freedom in Sephiroth's point of view was different from Cloud's since he was still exerting his omnipotence over him. He didn't get that at all; maybe Sephiroth was possessive of his things though Cloud would never consider himself as one of Sephiroth's toys and such…
So then he wondered: which piece was he in this game if it was like chess?
Since he won, he was probably one of the offense pieces, maybe the horse, the castle or even the bishop, considering that those pieces have a lot privileges and could get across the board easily. And what of Zack? Was he one of the obstacles? Or one of the helpers? Cloud knew it was the latter; he could have been the queen or one of the other pieces to clear out a way for him. Sephiroth was most likely the king, for he always was a powerful figure in his own right, but the king could barely do anything to defend himself, unless he was using others for protection.
That was what he done to Cloud.
“Restarting the scene now,” Sephiroth declared, closing his hand around the Twilight Materia, snapping Cloud out of his musings. The three occupants of the room stepped back, allowing the final scene to materialize. It was practically a play since that Sephiroth had the power to restart it again and the people of the Promised Land would continue watching the scenes of the Planet like the tedious people they were. The process itself was fascinating to watch-- all of Cloud's friends started appearing one by one, much like the particles of data.
There was Vincent and Yuffie lying on the invisible floor as though struggling to get up from it. Seeing that alone made Cloud want to run over there and help them because he couldn't stand being weak and helpless, especially after being in Sephiroth's care for months. Then there was Red XIII and Cait Sith in their battle stances near Vincent and Yuffie; they were supposed to attack Sephiroth. Tifa was on her knees with an expression of pure fear on her face, and then on the far side were Cid and Barret, bruised and worn out, but all of them were frozen because Sephiroth had stopped the time in the abyss.
“Everyone…” Cloud trailed off, walking to his companions. He still couldn't believe that they were right in front of him, that he could finally see them again. It dawned to him now how much he missed Barret and Cid's sailor talk and Tifa's companionship and Vincent and Red XIII's thoughts regarding the places they had ventured into. He even missed Yuffie's rather crude remarks about the things that bothered them and even Cait Sith's upbeat personality. He felt like he was going to breakdown, but he wouldn't and couldn't because he needed to finish this.
He wanted to go home.
He stood next to Tifa and the computer vanished. Sephiroth stood in the opposing spot, becoming the One-Winged Angel yet again. Zack stretched and yawned, before ruffling Cloud's hair with a wink, smiling at him as if he knew some great secret that they didn't, before disappearing. Sometimes, Cloud would never know what Zack or even Sephiroth might be thinking because they were furtive people.
“Let it continue,“ Sephiroth declared.
Everything moved.
He blocked the many magic spells that were directed at him, sending a wave of electricity towards his opponents. About half of Cloud's group were thrown to the invisible wall of the abyss, but Cloud stood where he was, protecting himself and Tifa with a Reflect. Cloud caught Sephiroth's intense gaze and realized that at this point, they were true enemies.
His other friends instantly recovered from their bruises, helping out each other by healing one another. The fastest fighters, Yuffie, Red XIII, and Vincent ran towards the ex-General, incantations or weapons prepared. Sephiroth broke the gaze he had with Cloud momentarily and managed to throw them all off guard with his large black winged arm. His friends were like huge pests to Sephiroth and he kept pushing them away or electrifying them with his Bolt3 spells or Shadow Flares.
This was Cloud's second chance at life.
That Sephiroth had given to me…
And he wasn't going to screw it up again.
“Stop!” Cloud yelled, but nobody heard him. He growled and sprinted after his enemy, raising Ultima. He jumped, his weapon clashing against Sephiroth's large winged arm. Realization dawned upon him when he noticed that for the first time, he and Sephiroth were practically mirrors or reflections of each other if one ignored the different colors of their eyes, and their hair. It was something stupid, but he couldn't help notice it now because he supposed that when he was under Sephiroth care, they weren't too different to each other after all.
They had their own principles that they believed were right. They were both stubborn and they both held their ground if they were to be offended. They both never gave up on something hopeless and futile because they weren't raised that way. It was the way they were, but now they were on the opposite sides again. Even though they both have opinions that they believed were correct, no one was really evil until somebody killed people and in this case…
Nobody was really good or evil at all.
This was a matter of survival.
Uh, I had to cut it off there, my apologies. I decided to save the huge battle for next time. That, and I kind of have slight WB on how I'm going to go forward with it. ^-^;; Either way, I hope you enjoyed this chapter!