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Convolutions of an Evil Mind
COI - Random COI drabble
A short random COI drabble, probably taking place soon after Strife fully rears his psycho head. Sephiroth and Tifa have a nasty little confrontation about Strife.


Sephiroth eyed her coldly before responding to her question.

"Strife hates. He hates Zack for being everything he couldn't be. He hates Cloud for being too weak to protect himself. He hates you for being everything he couldn't have."

"And what about YOU!?" Tifa spat, her face pale with rage.

"Strife hates me for torturing and raping him in body, mind, and soul. I'm the one who saw every dirty little secret he wanted to hide. I'm the one who forced him to confront every weakness and flaw he possessed. I made him revisit his most painful memories, his darkest fears, his foulest sins, his deepest regrets. That's how I broke him, over and over again. I made him loathe me and worship me at the same time. Oh yes, Strife -definitely- hates me, perhaps most of all."

"....no kidding. That'll do it," Yuffie whispered in a small voice.

Sephiroth's voice was devoid of emotion or pride during this merciless recitation, but he spared Yuffie the faintest nod of acknowledgement.

Tifa's voice quavered with rage. "You.... YOU....!!!!" She searched wildly for a fitting epithet.

"Monster? Freak? Abomination? Demon? I've heard it all before, Lockheart."

"I BET you enjoyed every minute of it, did you!?"

"At the time, yes, I did."

"How... how can you stand there, boasting about it!?"

"I'm not proud of what I've done. The 'why' isn't important. The cold hard fact is that I hurt and abused him, and nothing I say or do now will change that. All I can do is deal with the consequences of my own actions. And that's exactly what I'm going to do. So despise me all you want, Lockheart, but DON'T get in my way."

"You think I'm going to let you go off on your merry way after what you've told us you've done!?"

"I admit that I was instrumental in creating Strife, and in creating the present situation." Sephiroth took a step toward Tifa, who tensed. "But I'm not the only one responsible. The seeds of Strife were planted in Cloud long before he crossed my path.

"I wasn't the first to damage him. Your precious hometown treated him like shit -- physically, emotionally, and yes, sexually. Your father used him as a scapegoat and whipping boy at the slightest excuse."

"How... DARE... you accuse my father...!"

But Sephiroth ruthlessly overrode her outraged protests.

"No wonder he was so desperate to leave Nibelheim. But in Midgar, instead of things getting better, he only found more of the same treatment. More pain, more abuse. Fallow ground for insanity. So face it, Lockheart. He was broken and going crazy long before we ever met."

Sephiroth gave Tifa one last scathing stare, then turned to leave. But before stepping through the door, he paused.

"I've done my own share of unforgivable things, but I'm not the only source of evil on this damn Planet."


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Current Mood: amused amused

41 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
artimusdin From: artimusdin Date: February 21st, 2007 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
*whimper* *paws at* So. Good. Must have more. *___*
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 21st, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
::pat pat:: Here, have a Sephi-cookie. ^_^
kittychan1986 From: kittychan1986 Date: February 21st, 2007 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
You tell her, Seph! I have never liked Tifa, because Tifa, Unlike Cloud or even Seph, had full control of her memory and sanity. It was her choice to stand back and let Cloud belive he had the right of it. She made him beelive that they were best friends when she was just as much a bithc to him as everyone else in his home town. Yuffie keeps suprising me though, i want to see what leads up to this scene badly! Amazing Job, Madam!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 21st, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really trying hard to keep Tifa from being the cliche 'dog in the manger' yaoi-fanfic-bitch. Unfortunately, it can be rather hard at times. -_-;;;

::slithers onto character soapbox::

As I see it, Tifa's main fault is not really pure selfishness, but more of ignorance and unrealistic expectations. At least in COI, she was basically the town princess -- spoiled by her father, fawned over by the town's adults, admired by the other kids, etc. While growing up, she didn't treat Cloud badly herself, but she repeatedly ignores clear evidence that others were doing so.

More importantly, never having suffered the sort of abuse Cloud does, COI-Tifa simply doesn't 'get' just how damaging and devestating such treatment can be, especially to a child.

After the first Nibelheim massacre, Tifa no doubt started to learn about the seedier and unpleasant aspects of life, especially when living in the Slums and running a bar. However, she's still hasn't experienced such things herself. Intellectually, she knows that things like physical abuse and rape happen, but she still doesn't quite grasp the psychological implications. For example, in chapter 7, Tifa tells Yuffie that she knows Cloud was mistreated in Nibelheim, but again, she doesn't really grasp the potential consequences of that mistreatment.

Howeer, Tifa's not stupid, nor is she unsympathetic. Once someone clearly spells things out for her, she gets the idea. But she's not the sort to understand it instinctively.

Second, COI-Tifa has issues about unrealistic and idealized expectations. Her relatively pampered and sheltered childhood leaves her with a tendency to view life rather like a romantic fairytale -- a brave hero riding to her rescue, a quest to save the world, etc.

Again, a lot of that got knocked out of her after Nibelheim, but it's still there and it colors how she views the world. Subconsciously she sees Cloud as her 'heroic brave knight', so when he exhibits behavior that doesn't fit into that image, she's at a loss how to handle it. Fairytale heroes aren't supposed to be mentally unstable or suffer nervous breakdowns, etc. So instead of trying to resolve the issue about Cloud's inconsistent memories, she dances around it and/or pretends that the problem doesn't exist.

Growing up as Nibel's 'princess' and later as the gorgeous bar owner of Sector 7, she's used to men being interested in her. She's not really a stuck up bitch, but she expects people to do the work and pursue her. Also, both as a fighter and a woman, she's used to winning and being the first pick. So you can imagine how frustrating it is when Cloud doesn't behave as she expects.

That explains why COI-Tifa gets so defensive when she sees Cloud being friendly with Sephiroth, when he's still fairly reserved with her.

Again, Tifa isn't willfully selfish or stupid. Unfortunately, she doesn't think outside her usual 'box' unless someone bluntly explains things to her.

Whooh! ::slithers off of soapbox::
From: fontech Date: February 21st, 2007 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
ROCK. ON. SEPHIROTH. Hee. Y'know, I like Tifa, but she probably really needed to hear that. Hopefully she'll come around eventually, O.o;;
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 21st, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
See my above soapboxing on COI-Tifa's personality. She's not a selfish bitch, but rather just emotionally and mentally complacent.

Umm... does that make sense? o_o;;;
aphelion_orion From: aphelion_orion Date: February 21st, 2007 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoo! I loved Sephiroth in that scene (naturally), and I like how he threw in Tifa's face what she refuses to admit (and apologize for) during the entire game. As much as she was redeemed from 'complete twit' in AC, it irked me that she never once said 'sorry' to Cloud.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 21st, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
See my above soapboxing on COI-Tifa's personality. ^_^;;

Unfortunately, she sometimes needs a good strong verbal kick to get her outside of her somewhat shallow mental 'box'.
icedark_elf From: icedark_elf Date: February 21st, 2007 11:41 am (UTC) (Link)

More, now, please?

Go, Seph. He puts up with so much attitude you -know- he's going to lose his temper, even just the smallest bit of it, eventually. At least maybe it'll do a bit of good here. *glees and sits on your journal, willing it to produce more*
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 21st, 2007 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
::LJ squeaks and wiggles::

For COI-Sephiroth, this is about as close as he comes to an explosive near-rant. His use of expletives like 'shit' and 'damn' show how just fed up he is with Tifa's stupidly naive and simplistic attitude (in his opinion).

He's desperately worried about Zack/Cloud. He has an idea of a solution of the 'out of the frying pan and into the fire' variety. And instead of doing something constructive, Tifa is constantly hounding and hindering him.

It infuriates Tifa that Sephiroth doesn't show what she considers the appropriate degree of visible remorse -- which shows she obviously doesn't understand Sephiroth's personality at all. Sephiroth KNOWS that he's greatly to blame, but his response to is to do what he can, not waste energy on futile emo breastbeating.

And yes, after this conversation, she finally begins to see what the other guys picked up on long before.
keji_eternal From: keji_eternal Date: February 21st, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
YAY!! You seem to be in a great mood to give us two gifts one after another. And believe me, I will forever be grateful. An escape like this is always great.

Oh boy... things look pretty heated. In what chapter will you plan to present a complete Strife?

To tell you the truth... not that I don't like Tifa... well... I like her more than Aerith. Though when I played the games, I only had them in my Party when I had no other choice lol... I'm more into an all man Party...er... imagination runs wild... let me stop. But anyway, like I was saying, not that I don't like Tifa, but I can't wait for someone to give her a real lesson lol...er... let me stop.

This is really cool of you Lady, I hope you stay in the same mood and keep supplying us with more!!! ^_^

mimi_sardinia From: mimi_sardinia Date: February 21st, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cloud/Vin/Cid OT3. :)
darkatropos From: darkatropos Date: February 21st, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)


*has fallen over in fangirlish shock on the ground*

....a few minutes later....

Man, oh man. You are SO evil, dangling all this lovely COI goodness. XD But I still love this nonetheless - I cackled (ahem) at the last sentence. And I definitely agree with your interpretation of Tifa - she can be uber-naive sometimes (sometimes, eh?).

Thank you for making my day!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 23rd, 2007 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)
My COI-muses are on a roll, so I'm trying to advantage of it before ::nervous sideways look:: other plotbunnies ambush me.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 22nd, 2007 12:04 am (UTC) (Link)


I've never seen so many updates in a row! This must be some sort of dream, but none-the-less, a very good one. ^_^
I already read your soap-box speech about COI-Tifa, but I still say she had it coming. Despite the naiivety, she kind of needs to...you know. Step down. Not every guy can simply be stamped "TIFA'S" in big red letters.

Then again, I don't really think she's a bad persoon. Just...slightly ignorant of situations at times. Then again, the readers ARE kind of looking from the outside in, so it's kind of like the soap opera moment, when all the watchers scream "NOOOOoooO" when whats-his-face agrees to marrying the evil sister of the hot but nice chick. You know what I mean. xD May look ignorant to us, but really, Tifa's just completely oblivious. And kind of selfish. >>

I can't wait for more! Dangling all these COI goodies in front of us, I can't help but take the bait. ;3 Caught me hook, line, and sinker.

madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 23rd, 2007 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: From:WolfishSerenity

Even after Nibelheim, I suspect that she was still relatively protected, first by her martial arts teacher, and then by Barret. So in a way, I can easily picture her as still being a little bit of a 'princess'.

She's going to have a hard time in COI. Cloud's relationship-skittish, Strife hates her guts, and Zack... well, to be frank COI-Zack is just not interested in her. When they first meet in Nibelheim, Zack easily recognizes that younger Tifa is spoiled, overprotected, naive, and far too used to getting her way -- you can see it in the long Nibelheim Redux teaser.

No, she's not a bad person, but you're right. Tifa can be annoyingly oblivious and somewhat insensitive to other people's emotions at times. She has a lot of preconcieved notions and clings to them stubbornly, especially when Cloud's involved.
shadow_chaser09 From: shadow_chaser09 Date: February 22nd, 2007 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Meeeep.... I want more COI. *rabidly searches the area* Meeep.... I want more drabbles, chapters, whatever!!!!!!

On another note: I love it. It fits perfectly with the mood of the story. As much as I *cough*hate*cough* Sephiroth (seriously I do...) I had found that your story made me turn the other way. Of course, the rest of the time I hate his guts, but your story seriously makes me like him in ways...

*huggles Cloud* How is my little insane nutshell? ^_^

-Shadow Chaser
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 23rd, 2007 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Sephiroth's cynical, arrogant, suspicious, aloof, and probably doesn't really give a damn if humanity killed itself off.

But he cares profoundly about Zack, and is ready to challenge Jenova and Planet to protect him. It's hard to dislike a guy who's willing to do and sacrifice so much for the one he loves. *_*

Ummm... be careful. Strife BITES. ::offers bandage::
soloyuymaxwell From: soloyuymaxwell Date: February 22nd, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder... As neurotically unsound and emo Strife might be, is there anyone he isn't mad at? Hmm... The inner-workings of Cloud's darker half. I feel so compelled to understand Strife a little more. Tifa's characterization is great and all, and how you describe her is perfectly equal to what I thought of her in the game, but since her personality is so obvious, it doesn't really interest me. And while I kinda have an image as to how Strife was seeded, I'm still at a lost of what triggers his... moods, for lack of a better word. I wonder, just how dark and sinister his mind will have to get to achieve his goals?

Come to think of it, what are his goals? ... Aside from raping the hell out of Tife's dead body, chopping Yuffie into sandwich-baggy pieces, torturing Seph in mind and body and soul like he had, destroying what is left of Zack inside of Cloud's head, and wanting Cloud's body for his own? That can't be it. There just has to be more to him, far more complicating than my puny brain can comprehend... XD

Listen to me trying to sound all smart and stuff... XD I probably didn't make any sense.

Oh! And the question I'd forgot to ask you: Will Cloud be at all able to speak to Aeris like in AC? How does Strife feel toward her...?
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 23rd, 2007 01:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Strife. COI's resident nutcase! ::evil cackle::

Yes, he's essentially mad at the whole world, thinks the whole world is out to get him, so he's going to get 'em first. Strife hates EVERYBODY.

Are you ready for spoilers? Good. ^_-

As you may have guess, COI-Cloud had an absolutely wretched childhood. Nibelheim is a parochial backwater town and its inhabitants are close-minded and suspicious of strangers. So when a snooty city woman from Midgar (Cloud's mother Bliss) waltzes into town, without a husband and pregnant, and starts putting on airs, it's no surprise that the townfolk don't like her, and their contempt gets transferred to her child.

The townfolk consider Cloud the bastard child of a city-slut-mother and treat him accordingly -- in other words, like complete and utter dirt. The kids naturally mimic their parents' attitudes, and everything goes downhill from there. Cloud's mother is of no help -- she's off in her own little narcissistic world and mostly spends her time thinking of ways to get back into President Shinra's good graces.

Cloud's physically small, not that strong, and quickly learns that trying to fight back only makes things much worse (e.g., if he tries to defend himself from bullies, the adults in town naturally blame him for causing trouble and punish him). Remember how Cloud got blamed for Tifa's injury when they were children, even though it was clearly her idea to go running off into the mountains -- Cloud followed because he wanted to protect her and fine thanks he got for that. -_- Obviously, Cloud's got a lot of suppressed anger, resentment, etc. So in an effort to cope with his horrible life, he creates the personality of Strife, a sort of distillation of all his negative feelings that he's too scared to express. And between that incident with Tifa and his mother's behavior, Cloud has particularly bad issues with women.

Cloud eventually goes to Midgar, but his obvious insecurity (and his cute looks) makes him a vulnerable and easy target for all sorts of bullying and abuse. This is when Cloud really starts having rage attacks (e.g., going berserk when a prostitute jokes at the size of his penis; ambushing a bully who taunted him about failing to get into SOLDIER, etc.).

If you want an objective look at the train wreck that's Cloud Strife, pre-Nibelheim, check out my Nibelheim Redux excerpt.

Throw heavy dosages of Mako and Jenova cells, years of sadistic medical experimentation and torture, and other nice stuff like that, and it's no wonder that Strife is a complete and utter psycho. ^_^

What triggers Strife? To put it simply, fear and hatred. Fear, like when he encounters something that brings back terrifying memories (e.g., people and places that remind him of medical torture). Hatred, like when he encounters people who remind him too much of earlier abuse events.

What are Strife's general goals? Basically, to show everyone that he's the best and the strongest, that he's in control, and that he can do whatever he fucking well wants to do. In other words, to be as different as possible from the scared, victimized Cloud he used to be. All the violence and viciousness are just his way of trying to show everyone that he's someone to be respected and feared the way that the younger Cloud never was.

Strife's both constantly scared and horribly insecure. It's a nasty combination that causes him react viciously to both real and imagined threats (or insults).

Ummm... does that help?

As for Cloud speaking to Aeris... that's a secret. Or in other words, I haven't decided. ^_-

How would Strife feel about Aeris? She's female, which practically guarantees that he'll consider her to be a sly, conniving, stupid, slutty bitch, fit only to be used, fucked, or killed as the mood hits him.

Uh, I DID mention that Strife has real issues with women. -_-
Squaresoft comparisons - (Anonymous) - Expand
croix_souillees From: croix_souillees Date: May 17th, 2007 09:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Somehow, Tifa in the COI universe grates on my nerves. Badly.

I'm so very HAPPY that Sephiroth's finally making a dent in her delusions.
41 hisses or Hiss in my ear....