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COI - my "wonderful, awful idea" snippet (aka Seph-angst) - Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
COI - my "wonderful, awful idea" snippet (aka Seph-angst)
I've been struggling for a while to figure out exactly what happened between Sephiroth and Zack back in Nibelheim, especially with the strong bond between them in COI. Then this "wonderful, awful idea" hit me....

I hope this snippet is understandable -- it's riddled with flashbacks, so I've included time cues to keep things relatively straight. ^_^;;

Ummm... enjoy? Comment? Throw stale pocky at me? ::runs for cover::

EDIT: Eep! I just realized that ciceqi used a somewhat similar setup with respect to Sephiroth in her excellent Doomverse stories. O_o Hopefully my COI-version will turn out to be sufficiently different. ::grovel::

--------------------

[ present ]

Compared to the others, Sephiroth reached the safety of the canyon rim with ridiculous ease as a particularly large wave/slosh deposited him almost gently on the rocky shore of the newly created lake.

The first thing he did on dry land was plant Masamune in the ground, lean over, and vomit. However, ingested water had nothing to do with the retching, although it would make a convenient excuse if anyone should find him in such a ignominious position. If only it was that simple to rid himself of the source of his nausea and disgust.

"It just gets worse and worse, doesn't it?" he murmured, his lips curling into a bitter smile. He couldn't help wondering if Aerith's restoration of his sanity had been partially motivated by revenge because if she wanted to watch him suffer, it was definitely working.

His memories were far from complete, but they -were- slowly coming back. And now he remembered the details of the Nibelheim slaughter... remembered them too perfectly.

Because even though hundreds of innocent people had died that night, the pointless waste of life had merely been the backdrop for the true atrocity amid the blood and flames.

>----->----->----->

[ Nibelheim, six years ago ]

As charred fragments of wood crunched beneath his booted feet, he admired the growing inferno surrounding him. There was a mesmerizing beauty in the play of firelight off bloody steel... the hiss of razor-edged metal slicing effortlessly through flesh and bone.... But all that paled in comparison to the pleasure of a born predator gracefully and efficiently bringing down its hapless prey.

And that's why he remained where he was, an amused and appreciative observer, as his loyal second-in-command systematically decimated Nibelheim with both materia and sword, all at his General's bidding.

Man, woman, or child -- it made no difference. Zack had his orders and was carrying them out with his particular combination of enthusiasm and precision. After all, wasn't Zack wearing that same fierce, yet cheerful grin that he so often wore in combat?

When the two halves of the last body hit the ground with a sodden thud, Zack flicked the blood off his sword and sheathed his blade with his characteristic flourish.

Only then did he move forward to examine Zack's handiwork.

"Well done, as always."

Zack did not reply, but continued methodically scanning the area, searching for any remaining survivors to eliminate.

He had ordered Zack to destroy Nibelheim. And when he set his mind to it, Zack was very good at following orders. Not that the task presented any sort of a challenge to someone of Zack's ability. He wasn't even breathing hard, and the only trace of Zack's recent activities was a single tiny splatter of blood along one cheekbone.

He raised his hand to Zack's face and carefully wiped that smear of blood away with a gloved finger. Following the slight pressure of his hand, Zack turned to look at his General, still smiling.

<-----<-----<-----<

[ present ]

Sephiroth shuddered and clenched his teeth to stop himself from another futile round of retching.

Nibelheim had died, but not by Sephiroth's own hand.

And yes, standing in the burning ruins of Nibelheim, Zack had worn his usual carelessly cheerful grin. But it was the eyes that revealed the horrible truth. Zack's eyes, usually so bright and alert, so full of vibrant life, had been nothing more than chips of glowing blue-violet glass.

Blank. Empty. The eyes of a soulless, mindless puppet.

Zack was a SOLDIER. A SOLDIER's body contained Jenova cells.
That which contained Jenova cells was Sephiroth's to command.

He had commanded and Zack had obeyed.

As soon as he had began to recall fragments of the events from the last six years, Sephiroth had asked himself the same question over and over again -- what had caused him to turn against Zack all those years ago in Nibelheim? Now, standing alone on this ravaged, desolate landscape of rock and water, Sephiroth now knew the truth and it sickened him to his core.

The answer was simple. Nothing had caused him to turn against Zack. He hadn't viewed Zack as his enemy at all. Far from it. In fact, he'd had every intention of taking Zack with him when he left Nibelheim.

And Jenova had not objected.

No, his crime was infinitely worse than simply attacking or trying to kill his best friend. He had betrayed Zack in the most fundamental way possible. Sephiroth never expected, never imagined, that he could have done something so vile and horrific. And to Zack of all people, the one person in this world that he would have given anything or done anything to protect....

>----->----->----->

[ Nibelheim, six years ago ]

With his thumb still absently stroking Zack's cheekbone, he murmured, "True, I called you an ignorant traitor. Forgive me. I got somewhat carried away by righteous anger when I discovered what humanity did to Mother.

"But Mother reminded me that ignorance can be remedied. And even traitors can be... rehabilitated." He smiled slowly. "Don't worry, Zack. I don't hate you for not understanding. It's not your fault. I won't cast you aside because of few minor issues that are so easily... fixed."

Zack said nothing, but simply gazed unblinkingly at him.

"Trust me. You won't feel a thing. And when it's done, you'll be all mine. Forever by my side as a loyal shadow should be."

He frowned, then cocked his head slightly. Mother was calling him.

<-----<-----<-----<

[ present ]

Zack 'fixed', by god.

To any sane mind, the idea of tampering with a person's mind, of turning one's best friend into little more than a blindly obedient puppet-slave could only be utterly revolting.

The massacre of the townsfolk had been nothing more than a test to see if he could manipulate Zack's mind without causing undue distress or damage. As it turned out, the very strength of the connection between Zack and himself enabled Sephiroth to slip into Zack's mind undetected and circumvent its formidable natural defenses. Between the subversion of that mental bond and the influence of the Jenova cells in his body, Zack never stood a chance of resisting Sephiroth's control.

And yet in his obsessive rush to free 'Mother', Sephiroth had carelessly allowed his control over Zack to slip, just as he had carelessly allowed a few remaining survivors to see him.

But had it been mere carelessness on his part? Or had it been the act of the few remaining flickers of sanity in his mind, a last desperate attempt to spare Zack from his madness?

Whatever the reason, Zack had regained control of himself. Faced with a bloody massacre, completely unaware of his own involvement, and with Sephiroth identified as the only culprit by the last surviving witnesses, Zack had naturally pursued him to the Nibel Reactor, grimly determined to stop him from carrying out his crazed scheme, and if necessary, carry out his promise to Sephiroth.

>----->----->----->

[ Nibel Reactor, six years ago ]

Zack could turn stubborn at the most inconvenient times.

This was one of those times. Just as he was about to free Mother from her prison, Zack had appeared clearly upset about... something trivial.

He had tried patiently explaining his actions, but Zack was apparently in no mood to listen to reason. So in the end, he had resorted to forcibly incapacitating Zack, simply to keep him out of trouble.

"It's all right now, Mother."

.... suddenly a searing pain tore through his stomach....

<-----<-----<-----<

[ present ]

If things had gone as planned back at the Nibel Reactor, Sephiroth would have retrieved both Jenova and Zack, and then with both at his side, proceeded with his plan to rid the Planet of the pathetic human race.

But Cloud -- Cloud, the incompetent bungling troublemaker -- had managed to interfere with that plan. And because of that interference, he had been forced to leave Zack behind....

Six years ago in Nibelheim, Sephiroth had convinced himself that he was acting to protect Zack from Hojo and his ilk. But the plain, brutal truth was that HE was the one Zack really needed protection from.

But even as another harsh bitter laugh bubbled up in his throat, somewhere in the depths of Sephiroth's mind came a dark whisper....

A dark -hungry- -possessive- whisper that said three simple words.

{ Zack is MINE. }

---------

Tags: , , , ,
Current Mood: crazy crazy

21 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
Comments
artimusdin From: artimusdin Date: March 2nd, 2007 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
OMGZACK! *stuffs fist in mouth to stifle squeak* *flails with other hand* ;_________________; EVIL.

... though wouldn't Tifa remember that it was Zack that took out the town and not Sephiroth?
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 2nd, 2007 11:08 am (UTC) (Link)
... though wouldn't Tifa remember that it was Zack that took out the town and not Sephiroth?

Nope! Because no one who saw Zack survived. ^_^ From Last Order, it appears that Tifa missed most of the action. It was Zangan who told her Sephiroth was responsible and that her father was at the Reactor.

Sephiroth killed off a few more people on his way to the Nibel Reactor, but he wasn't as tidy as Zack was, so a few survivors saw him. ^_-
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 2nd, 2007 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay. I did a little editing that hopefully clarifies that point that the survivors only saw Sephiroth and that no one saw Zack. ^_^;;
forgottenlover From: forgottenlover Date: March 2nd, 2007 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Such a pretty idea ::sits on the Seph in her head who is making noises now::

That was cool~
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 2nd, 2007 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)
COI-Seph, who tries to be so cool and aloof, is rather possessive of his Zack, isn't he? Hopefully he can keep those possessive impulses under control... but you never know.

And this snippet contains a hint why Strife is so scared of Sephiroth.

::nudge nudge wink wink elbow elbow::
forgottenlover From: forgottenlover Date: March 2nd, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
::snickers:: be afeared for your happy~
forgottenlover From: forgottenlover Date: April 6th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh! ::headdesk:: I even replied to it and everything. Don't mind me, for I am oblivious!
icedark_elf From: icedark_elf Date: March 2nd, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
....

*hides and cuddles her Zack muse*

Oh, wow, that's harsh. Makes me wonder if Zack ever remembered any of it. *pets the boy*

Just...damn.

*settles in and waits for more* Damn this tasty, tasty fic. Why is it so like crack?
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 3rd, 2007 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Makes me wonder if Zack ever remembered any of it.

Probably not. It all depends on how Sephiroth exactly manipulated Zack into killing everyone. Zack might've thought he was back in Wutai fighting guerilla ninjas or something like that. And remember, crazy Sephiroth certainly didn't want to mentally hurt or traumatize Zack in any way. ^_^
crack_fairy From: crack_fairy Date: March 2nd, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
oooooooh...

nice. very nice.

*paws at sephy and zach*

can i keep them after you're done playing with them? i promise to lock them in my closet. ^_______________________^

and yay for sephy-angst! anything to do with sephiroth is good for the fangirl soul. XDXD
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 3rd, 2007 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Nope! Mine! All mine!

Will you take some nekkid Seph and Zack cookies instead?
crack_fairy From: crack_fairy Date: March 3rd, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
*rofl*

hmm... cookies... cookies have sugar, sugar is good for the soul, therefore cookies are good for the soul! XDXD

that said, looking forward to more angst/action/whatever you have up your sleeve.

and i hope vincent appears soon... i'm suddenly having mental images of him turning chibi and going head over heels underwater in the tunnels before flying thru the air thanks to the mini-tsunami during their escape. *smothers laughs* how... uncool. *dies of laughter*

ahem. ignore me. too much blue cheese. my brain is fermenting.
kittychan1986 From: kittychan1986 Date: March 2nd, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eep! O.O Ok, that I wasn't expecting! Wow. Very impressive! Poor Zack! Do you think in the lab he came to this understanding of what had happened? *Shivers* That is just...delightfully dark and sadistic, Madam! Sephiorth was willing to take him along, and Jenova was going to let him. That sorta implies that Zack was very very useful to JENOVA if Seph was going to be allowed to keep his friend. One would think that that would be an incerdeiably dangrous thing for her to do, considering if Zack was left alone, in his right mind, with Sephiroth long enough, there is the very distict posibilty that Zack could have fixed him. Seph is very possive of his Zack, I think he's going to be a little upset when they come face to face again, no?

Still no Vicent! *Waiting eagerly for the reapperence of her favriot character*
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 3rd, 2007 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
The whole problem I was having with the Nibelheim incident was that I couldn't find a plausible (to me) way to have Jenova manipulate Sephiroth into turning on Zack, especially in view of their closeness in COI.

This way, instead of breaking the bond between them, that bond becomes corrupted and twisted... but it's still there.

That sorta implies that Zack was very very useful to JENOVA if Seph was going to be allowed to keep his friend.

Yup, this way, Jenova gets a two-for-one bargain.

One would think that that would be an incerdeiably dangrous thing for her to do, considering if Zack was left alone, in his right mind, with Sephiroth long enough, there is the very distict posibilty that Zack could have fixed him.

Ah, but I seriously doubt that Sephiroth would've left Zack in his 'right mind' for any length of time. He knows all too well what sort of mischief and chaos Zack can cause when upset. Sephiroth would want to 'fix' him ASAP, just to keep Zack out of trouble.

Seph is very possive of his Zack, I think he's going to be a little upset when they come face to face again, no?

Well, it's clear from the snippet that those insanely possessive instincts are still floating around in Sephiroth's head. He's going to have to keep them under control. Those impulses might also explain why he keeps provoking Tifa.

Still no Vicent!

He's being stubborn and stoic, like usual. -_- So at the moment, I'm working on Cid and Cait Sith -- they're having a very amusing conversation going on. ::snicker::

kittychan1986 From: kittychan1986 Date: March 5th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Does Zack know what happened? Or is it completely blanked from his mind? I agree, it makes it makes sense. To Seph, he was protecting Zack and taking care of him. It was keeping his very dear friendship intact.

Oh, hell yeah, she gets number 1 SOLDIER and number 2 SOLDIER! Only an idiot would turn that down. It also explains a lot of the trying to twist Cloud. Do you think, as insane Seph, he realized who Cloud really was?

Oh yeah, but Seph is the type of person who would eventually get board and might let him go just to see what happened. He's protecting Zack, so of course Zack couldn't possibly be angry with him. In Seph's mind the entire thing made perfect sense.

That and she irritates him because she's a rival for Zack's attention. Tifa is also a very easy target to take out all his frustration on. Of which he probably has a lot, considering the current state of things.

How do you think Seph will react to the others of Cloud's team?

I mean, I suspect that he will treat Barret and Tifa with very thinly veiled (if at all) contempt.

But how will he react to and treat people like Red and Yuffie? Or even Reeve? Vincent and He are of course going to butt heads over a lot of things, but I am curious to see what he does in regards to the other players on the team, when they finally meet up again.

Vincent, be stubborn! Say it isn't so! *Gasp* That's just...Mind boggling. *Grins* I'm glad that Cid and Cait are having a good conversation. I must say, Cait always irritated me in the game, though I liked Reeve, but you've actually made both him and Reeve very interesting! Hope to see more soon!
plotbunnydoom From: plotbunnydoom Date: March 3rd, 2007 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
... You know, this in its own twisted way is an oddly sweet story. It shows just how deeply Sephiroth cared for Zack, even underneath Jenova's control. And why should Jenova object to having another powerful fighter under her/Sepiroth's control?

In the end, I don't think Sephiroth would have fully wiped Zac's mind. Part of what makes somebody a great fighter is their individual personality, after all. He indicates that when he says... "minor issues that are so easily... fixed."

But damn, Sephiroth is possessive. Zac need to find him soon and say "down, boy!"

I liked this snippet muchly. &hearts Thank you for all this wonderful writing!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 3rd, 2007 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, this in its own twisted way is an oddly sweet story. It shows just how deeply Sephiroth cared for Zack, even underneath Jenova's control.

Now that you mention it, it is, isn't it? I think that Jenova quickly realized that given a choice between her and Zack, Sephiroth would have chosen Zack. This way, Sephiroth wasn't nearly so resistant to her manipulations as he would've been if she had insisted on trying to break his bond with Zack.

And why should Jenova object to having another powerful fighter under her/Sepiroth's control?

Actually, it would've been a two-for-one bargain for her. ^_-

In the end, I don't think Sephiroth would have fully wiped Zac's mind. Part of what makes somebody a great fighter is their individual personality, after all. He indicates that when he says... "minor issues that are so easily... fixed."

Oh, insane Sephiroth had no intention of Zack to a mindless puppet, even if insane. He wants Zack as a companion, not slave.

Present-day sane Sephiroth is just over-reacting out of revulsion -- it's his equivalent of hysterically spazzing out.

But damn, Sephiroth is possessive. Zac need to find him soon and say "down, boy!"

Because of the Jenova cells in his body, Sephiroth's predatory and feral instincts are hyper-developed. When he's sane, those possessive and territorial impulses are tightly controlled. For example, Zack's little side affairs don't bother Sephiroth because he understands that Zack isn't his personal property and because he trusts in Zack and Zack's feelings for him. But when insane, those feral instincts dominate Sephiroth's behavior and it becomes a matter of 'mine, mine, MINE!'

I liked this snippet muchly. ♥ Thank you for all this wonderful writing!

Glad you liked it! I was a bit worried that I was getting a wee bit too sadistically evil. ^_^;;;;
soloyuymaxwell From: soloyuymaxwell Date: March 3rd, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn, woman. Sounds like Sephiroth might have a little trouble keeping his head together in future chapters.

I'm still waiting for that rough sephy-zackie smex.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 3rd, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn, woman. Sounds like Sephiroth might have a little trouble keeping his head together in future chapters.

Well, it's going to be a balancing act for poor Sephiroth. He wants to keep his distance to protect Zack-in-Cloud, but at the same time, he wants to return to that old closeness.

I'm still waiting for that rough sephy-zackie smex.

::shifty-eyed look:: That plot bunny is being cantankerous. It popped into view, but ducked into hiding. Don't worry. It'll probably jump up and bite me in the ass at the most inconvenient moment possible. -_-;;
firehedgehog From: firehedgehog Date: March 3rd, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

holy kewl kick assness

i love your work.. i only wish you updated on ffnet more often. ahh well, i just have to hunt down any fics and drabbles on livejournal *sighs*

but still *squeals* totally kewl thing here hon
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 3rd, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: holy kewl kick assness

Just use the "coi" tag to find all the COI snippets I've posted.

I do need to go back and finish cross-tagging stuff and compiling memories, etc. ::sigh::
21 hisses or Hiss in my ear....