|The King Is Dead
Author: Travithian Axile PM
Pre-game. When Sephiroth first died five years ago, there were consequences. One-shot. Yes, another one.Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst - Sephiroth - Words: 1,033 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 6 - Published: 03-16-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4926930
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: If FFVII belonged to me I wouldn't be putting my fanfic for free on the 'Net, would I? Just kidding.
Title: The King Is Dead
Characters: Zack, Aeris, Cloud, Shinra, Hojo, and of course Sephiroth
Word Count: 888
Summary: Sephiroth dies, and there are consequences. Pregame.
Author's Notes: This was an experimental piece, but I was unable to maintain the tone—you can tell where I left off and began to write more conventionally. Please feel free to rip into this one =D I'd like to know what you think of it. I haven't finished Crisis Core, so no events from CC will be referenced.
edit 17/3: because FFN messed up my formatting. The different characters are now separated by lines for easier reading.
There was a man who went in, whey-faced, to tell them the news; after the exclamations of disbelief, the shouts and the anger they sat down and talked deep into the night.
It never happened said the one who had the lives of men in his hands, and who often crushed them. I will make sure it never happened.
There was a burned village, smoking blackened corpses calling the scavengers to feast, and public curiosity over a beloved hero. It was not easy. But he did it, because in his city he was God, and with a fist full of banknotes he smote the truth and made it his.
He died honorably, far away in a distant country, fighting for the good of his people, for his city. This is what happened. Nothing we made can go wrong, understand? Do you need the men in blue to go to your doorstep and make you understand?
His version of events was quickly accepted.
But the rumors spread, anyway, like ripples in a pool suddenly disturbed by a falling pebble. And the belief of the people was shaken…
They spoke of missing soldiers and top-secret reports, of secret rooms with scrupulously scrubbed floors behind locked doors. In the streets the merchants talked to their customers of the barricades in the mountains and after that the strangers with false, plastic smiles in the town that seemed too perfect to be true.
And then there were the madmen, wandering throughout the world, muttering and weeping, speaking in incomprehensible babble known only to themselves, and they were branded with numbers like animals and eyes that were slower and stupider than any animal's.
Only one man knew the absolute truth, the base from which the weaker truths had sprung from, like warped reflections in a house of mirrors. He had been waiting behind the throne for a long time. There were invisible strings wrapped around his fingers, and through them he made his puppets dance and caper through their routines and over the edge of cliffs.
He looked upon all the chaos he had made and was pleased.
And there was a church, its pews stained with colored light from the dusty windows, and in it a girl, who tended the only flowers in her polluted city and waited…
She held a letter in her hand, creased from much reading, and for the last few weeks it had been kept mostly in a pocket close to her heart. He hadn't left her, despite what her mother said. He wasn't that kind of man.
But she was afraid, because not long after he had gone she had sat bolt upright from a disturbed sleep with a hammering heart, and the Planet was weeping in her head like a frightened child, whispering over and over—
—the calamity the calamity rising from the deep awakened rage rage death—
The Planet told everything to its last guardian. It told her, also, in feelings stronger than words, what she had to do when the time came.
One day she put the letter away, in a box under her bed, because what time she had left was short, and she would not spend it all in mourning.
He remembered what it was like to kill him—like a series of little deaths, starting with that of the child who had tried to live entirely on dreams. He remembered the fall—that long, lean figure, disappearing beneath the green light, and perhaps somewhere deep in the heart of the world he was still falling, what a strangely appropriate end…
He remembered the sense of betrayal.
I believed in you.
It's not the thing that hurt the most—that's what they did to his body, until he lacked the breath to scream—but it was the thing that kept him going, afterward, during the long chase over the face of the Planet.
I'm not that little boy anymore. I'll finish you off for real this time!
But of course, by then he had learnt to live on lies instead on dreams.
He lay in the rain, riddled with bullets and still alive just not for long. Someone was shaking him, calling his name and he tried to smile, even when he felt blood leaking out of the corners of his mouth. Good old Cloud. They had gone through so much together, even the torture in that horrible dingy lab, they were going to get through this alive and in one piece, hadn't he promised the kid?
Who was he kidding?
There was rain running down the side of his face or they could be tears, he couldn't tell, because goddamnit they had been so close and there was a girl waiting for him back home—he had made a promise to her too…
He had failed to keep all his promises, in the end. Especially the most important one of all.
His sight was dimming, and he clutched at it—at the view of the gray smoggy sky, even the oily rain, because they were the least of everything he was leaving behind. But he was tired, so very tired, and it seemed easiest to close his eyes and let the flood of exhaustion wash him away.
Hey, here I come…and you better have a good explanation when I get there…