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Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
Feral-verse - Contagion 4/? (FF7 AU) (very VERY rough draft)
56 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
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jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: September 19th, 2007 09:37 am (UTC) (Link)
That is the clear implication from Crisis Core. Although CC isn't canon for Feral-verse, I suspect that I'll be incorporating some significant chunks in, especially Zack-wise.

Makes sense, as long as it doesn’t contradict anything you’ve got already why not use the additional info, for characterisation purposes if nothing else.

So it's hardly a stretch to think that Zack and Sephiroth can moderate their strength for unenhanced sexual partners.

No, I guess not. And Cloud probably has that sort of control as well, if he’s on a level with him.

That being said, sex is certainly going to be a lot more fun for OT4 once they don't have to worry about holding back for Cloud's and Aeris's safety.

I’ll bet.

One can also argue that even if she doesn't have 'priority', Tifa still has a valid reason for being somewhat upset and jealous, considering she's invested a fair bit of time and energy trying to form a deeper relationship with Cloud.

But I don’t get the impression she’s had any sort of ‘success’ in her efforts. Still, she can’t help how she feels, I know that, I just don’t really feel she has any claim on Cloud.

The more Cloud remembers about his relationship with Zack, it's inevitable that he will remember more about the sane Sephiroth, the person, complete with emotions and feelings (as opposed to just an idealized hero/idol). And as this happens, Cloud will gradually beginning to reconnect Sephiroth with the memories of his third beloved person.

That makes sense

I'm still trying to decide whether I'll have Cloud find out very soon or later on in the story.

Sounds good. The real question is which will stress him more, and how mean are you feeling. I’d kind of like to see a nice slow build up to it, possibly an instinctive denial at first, then Cloud ‘accepting’ it when he revisits the idea.

Tifa ran/runs a bar in the slums, so I doubt that she's that naive about sex, even its kinkier aspects. Just think of the ads for sex clubs and bordellos, etc. Where Tifa has problems is taking that abstract knowledge and applying to her personal life and acquaintances. As I mentioned before, I don't think Tifa's a virgin, but she definitely not sexually experienced. She probably had one or two short flings with lovers who were very much the vanilla, conventional sort -- in other words, bland and safe.

So it's one thing for total strangers to engage in weird erotic stuff, but a very different thing to imagine
her Cloud involved in something like that.

I think I mentioned something about her difficulty in connecting intellectual knowledge to emotional awareness later on, and I guess it would apply to this as well. But if she just assumes that none of her friends would be into stuff like that then she’s likely to avoid thinking about the question, the way she avoids thinking about the physical differences between her and Cloud, wouldn’t she?

One of the prime reasons is probably because Tifa subconsciously categorizes Cloud as one of the epic-fantasy-style romantic heroes from her childhood stories. That's not to say that she thinks he's perfect -- far from it -- but she clearly doesn't realize how badly Cloud's psyche has been damaged by all his traumatic experiences... well, because fantasy-epic-style heroes just don't have those sorts of weaknesses.

Sort of like the way Cloud subconsciously classifies sane!Sephiroth as ‘the General’, someone far above him at the time, without normal human weaknesses?
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: September 19th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, I guess not. And Cloud probably has that sort of control as well, if he's on a level with him.

He definitely does, even if he didn't go through the usual SOLDIER selection and process.

But I don't get the impression she's had any sort of 'success' in her efforts. Still, she can't help how she feels, I know that, I just don't really feel she has any claim on Cloud.

No, Tifa hasn't had any real success. But it's pretty natural for a person to feel upset and resentful when they work very hard to achieve something, only to have someone waltz in out of the blue and achieve that same goal (i.e., a close emotional bond) in such a seemingly casual, effortless manner.

Of course Zack's relationship with Cloud is actually the culmination of a lot of blood, sweat and tears -- literally, considering all the work, care, patience, and sacrifices Zack made -- but it probably looks effortless to Tifa.

[ I'm still trying to decide whether I'll have Cloud find out very soon or later on in the story.]

Sounds good. The real question is which will stress him more, and how mean are you feeling. I'd kind of like to see a nice slow build up to it, possibly an instinctive denial at first, then Cloud 'accepting' it when he revisits the idea.


Well, Cloud and Zack soon will be heading to Healin Lodge, so it's logical that they stop by Midgar/Edge together and visit Aeris's church -- Cloud wants answers about Aeris's warning and Zack's no doubt feeling really guilty about making both her and Sephiroth worry so much. That's an important decision point because it will be the first time in the story that all four of them are together (at least in spirit) and able to talk to each other.

Sephiroth's opinion on the matter is pretty clear -- he doesn't want to tell Cloud the truth, especially if Cloud is so traumatized that he can't remember it entirely on his own initiative. Naturally, Sephiroth is going to be decidedly annoyed with Zack when he finds out that Zack has already partially 'spilled the beans' by cluing Cloud in (via their private symbol) on the existance of a third lover.

On the other hand, both Zack and Aeris both think that Sephiroth and Cloud deserve to know the truth. The only real question for them is the matter of timing.

I don't want the story to get too drawn out, but the more I think about it, it really does make sense Zack and Aeris to NOT tell Cloud for a little longer at least, especially now Zack realizes the extent of Cloud's inability to identify Sephiroth as being one of his lovers. While the sight/scent/touch of Zack was enough to trigger Cloud's suppressed memories about Zack and Aeris, it clearly isn't enough to overcome Cloud's current case of 'hysterical blindness' with respect to Sephiroth.

madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: September 19th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
[ continued from above ]

I think I mentioned something about her difficulty in connecting intellectual knowledge to emotional awareness later on, and I guess it would apply to this as well. But if she just assumes that none of her friends would be into stuff like that then she's likely to avoid thinking about the question, the way she avoids thinking about the physical differences between her and Cloud, wouldn't she?

Yes, Tifa tends to avoid issues that bother her -- that much is clear from the original game, in which she avoids dealing with all the inconsistencies in Cloud's story (i.e., questioning Cloud) for as long as possible. While that's a fairly normal reaction to unpleasant things, the real problem lies in the way she avoids these sorts of issues in order to protect her dreams/fantasies and her particular view of the world. So with respect to situations that matter emotionally to her, she becomes rather self-absorbed and less sensitive to others' needs. In comparison, if she isn't emotionally involved, I can see Tifa as being fairly observant.

While Tifa's avoidance behavior wouldn't really cause problems in casual relationship with ordinary people, one can see how it can cause difficulties in building and maintaining more intimate relationships, even with normal men.

And that sort of behavior is a real relationship-killer when dealing with someone as complicated and psychologically damaged as Cloud. Cloud desperately needs someone who can understand him and read him, especially when so much of the time, Cloud barely understands or knows himself.

That's why I've always thought that in any relationship between Cloud and Sephiroth, or Cloud and Tifa, there really needs to be a third person (e.g., Zack and/or Aeris) who can translate and interprete 'Cloud' for the other partner. Both Sephiroth and Tifa (for very different reasons) just seem to lack a natural, intuitive gift in reading other people and their emotions.

Sort of like the way Cloud subconsciously classifies sane!Sephiroth as 'the General', someone far above him at the time, without normal human weaknesses?

Not really. Cloud's idealization has a decidedly vertical sort of dynamic -- i.e., a superior person (Sephiroth) and an inferior person (Cloud). Without Zack's interference, Cloud never would've presumed to bridge that gap and believe that Sephiroth could be interested in a nobody like him.

On the other hand, Tifa's idealization has a much more horizontal dynamic -- i.e., the brave handsome hero (Cloud) and his brave, beautiful lady (Tifa). In other words, Tifa doesn't really look up to Cloud as much as she looks toward. He's idealized, but also attainable.

Does that make sense? ^_^;
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: September 20th, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course Zack's relationship with Cloud is actually the culmination of a lot of blood, sweat and tears -- literally, considering all the work, care, patience, and sacrifices Zack made -- but it probably looks effortless to Tifa.

Especially since Cloud isn't likely to have said much to Tifa about how they got together.

That's an important decision point because it will be the first time in the story that all four of them are together (at least in spirit) and able to talk to each other.

Might be a bit of a hint for Cloud about how he was involved with Sephiroth, but he'd probably refuse to recognise it.

I don't want the story to get too drawn out, but the more I think about it, it really does make sense Zack and Aeris to NOT tell Cloud for a little longer at least, especially now Zack realizes the extent of Cloud's inability to identify Sephiroth as being one of his lovers. While the sight/scent/touch of Zack was enough to trigger Cloud's suppressed memories about Zack and Aeris, it clearly isn't enough to overcome Cloud's current case of 'hysterical blindness' with respect to Sephiroth.

So, they're more likely to give Cloud a bit more time to get past his 'blindness' by himself, the way Sephiroth wants them to, but they still fully intend to tell him before Sephiroth is brought back?

And that sort of behavior is a real relationship-killer when dealing with someone as complicated and psychologically damaged as Cloud. Cloud desperately needs someone who can understand him and read him, especially when so much of the time, Cloud barely understands or knows himself.

Yeah, I bet.

That's why I've always thought that in any relationship between Cloud and Sephiroth, or Cloud and Tifa, there really needs to be a third person (e.g., Zack and/or Aeris) who can translate and interprete 'Cloud' for the other partner. Both Sephiroth and Tifa (for very different reasons) just seem to lack a natural, intuitive gift in reading other people and their emotions.

I've only had Cloud and Sephiroth's relationship fall apart because of that once in my own fic, in my Chosen universe, and I think that pre-Nibelheim it might work. It would probably be sort of co-dependent, or very much based on the physical, but Cloud isn't quite that badly damaged before Nibelheim, and his main problem then is lack of confidence IMO.

Not really. Cloud's idealization has a decidedly vertical sort of dynamic -- i.e., a superior person (Sephiroth) and an inferior person (Cloud). Without Zack's interference, Cloud never would've presumed to bridge that gap and believe that Sephiroth could be interested in a nobody like him.

On the other hand, Tifa's idealization has a much more horizontal dynamic -- i.e., the brave handsome hero (Cloud) and his brave, beautiful lady (Tifa). In other words, Tifa doesn't really look
up to Cloud as much as she looks toward. He's idealized, but also attainable.

Does that make sense? ^_^;


Yes, it makes sense. But both apporaches are equally far from reality.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: September 20th, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Especially since Cloud isn't likely to have said much to Tifa about how they got together.

If he mentions anything about Zack to her (other than what the original game revealed) Cloud would probably do in the briefest and most superficial way, simply becaue of the painful emotional associations.

Might be a bit of a hint for Cloud about how he was involved with Sephiroth, but he'd probably refuse to recognise it.

Oh, there'll be hints. Not too obvious, but not terribly subtle, either.

So, they're more likely to give Cloud a bit more time to get past his 'blindness' by himself, the way Sephiroth wants them to, but they still fully intend to tell him before Sephiroth is brought back?

They will definitely want to give Cloud more time. Once he remembered about Zack and Aeris, it's inevitable that he'd remember about Sephiroth... eventually.

As for telling him, Zack and Aeris will probably end up being forced to tell him AFTER Sephiroth returns. Why? Because Sephiroth gets brought back prematurely by a human faction for their own selfish reasons.

I've only had Cloud and Sephiroth's relationship fall apart because of that once in my own fic, in my Chosen universe, and I think that pre-Nibelheim it might work. It would probably be sort of co-dependent, or very much based on the physical, but Cloud isn't quite that badly damaged before Nibelheim, and his main problem then is lack of confidence IMO.

A strictly Sephiroth-Cloud relationship (without significant sexual or non-sexual involvement from Zack) might be feasible pre-Nibelheim, but IMO, it would still be a rather tenuous and dysfunctional relationship. Neither of them are very good at communicating their emotional needs. So call me unimaginative, but I end up picturing bouts of hot sex, tense insecure silences, and not much else.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: September 21st, 2007 08:46 am (UTC) (Link)
They will definitely want to give Cloud more time. Once he remembered about Zack and Aeris, it's inevitable that he'd remember about Sephiroth... eventually.

Makes sense. And it's probably better for his mental health if he remembers it by himself.

As for telling him, Zack and Aeris will probably end up being forced to tell him AFTER Sephiroth returns. Why? Because Sephiroth gets brought back prematurely by a human faction for their own selfish reasons.

And that's not going to help the humans' case at all, is it?

A strictly Sephiroth-Cloud relationship (without significant sexual or non-sexual involvement from Zack) might be feasible pre-Nibelheim, but IMO, it would still be a rather tenuous and dysfunctional relationship. Neither of them are very good at communicating their emotional needs. So call me unimaginative, but I end up picturing bouts of hot sex, tense insecure silences, and not much else.

Hmmm. Guess it depends on the set up. Zack is involved in my Keeper-verse, but even if he wasn't I've given them a telepathic/empathic link to compensate for their reluctance to speak to each other. With Responsive I had a required teacher-student relationship beforehand, and Sephiroth has a strong enough sense of duty to make that work by force of will. In Chosen, pre-Nibelheim, you've just about nailed what sort of relationship Sephiroth and Cloud had, and in my Handler continuity Zack's still their friend, a fairly close friend.
56 hisses or Hiss in my ear....