|Reviews for The Smallest Things|
| Chaos66 chapter 1 . 7/6/2013
Nearly made cry, where's chapter 2?
| Ephemeral Everlast chapter 1 . 7/9/2011
At last, here is my promised review. This will be a review divided into segments for what I really liked, the themes and symbols you used, as well as a small ‘rant’ on why this evoked such emotion in me.
First of all, I really like the way that you write. The style itself is smooth and fluid, and it could easily inspire anyone in this fandom to put forth a collection of drabbles or inspire them to write as you do in general. Also, I like the way you use descriptions without layering it on too thick. It is the perfect blend of a description and an image. The way you described Seph’s office as well as the winter outside the window had me especially taken, for you put the word choice in such a way that I could see it so clearly, almost as if it was right in front of me. Also, the way that you told the story. You have it from third person narrative, from Seph’s POV as well as some stories that are entwined from the truth of the Solstice and Angeal’s story about how he and Genesis became the best of friends. That is genius story-telling. ;)
Next, my favorite subject: symbolism. There are four main things that stuck out to me in that genre as I read, and I felt that I had to say them. First, the snow. Winter is cold, dreary, and sometimes, lifeless. It can sap the life from Spring, from Midgar which is a place that isn’t too cheerful to begin with. I see the office so well, painted white from the outside in with the snowflakes as Sephiroth looks out the window. Also, snow can be purity from a Literature symbolism POV, a time to wipe the dirty slate clean and start over, almost as if a rainstorm came along to cleanse the Planet. Since this piece ends in such a beautiful way, it’s as if things are starting over and beginning anew, for the better.
Next, we have the theme of logic/order. Sephiroth has always struck me as the type of person who is a neat-freak and enjoys to be clean and to have his living area reflect that notion. I pretended that this symbol was his life in a metaphorical way: Sephiroth’s life before he knew teenage Angeal and Genesis. It was clean, immaculate...but there was undoubtedly something missing. To me, Sephiroth needs someone to stir things up to make his life worth living, to give purpose to his motives and morals. These two give him that purpose, and though he reacts in obvious annoyance when Genesis knocks his papers over, deep down, in a place he can’t see, he was glad Genesis stirred things up for him. Also, this theme is prevalent in the holiday. He couldn’t for the life of him understand WHY this holiday was such a big deal, was something that Genesis got so excited about, or anyone for that matter. Logically, why should a green tree with tinsel be anything to smile about, or think a miracle or impossible feat as Genesis puts it? However, deep down, he wants to know WHY this small and seemingly insignificant thing has any worth whatsoever. He will put order aside for now, just so that he can have fun.
Thirdly, the star. That was genius as a gift for Sephiroth by the way, an origami star that was crafted in such a way that it took some craft-manship to do so. Genesis gave this to him in his own little way, to show him that on this long night, this dark time in a literal sense, he’ll share with him some of the light that he found from his inner-epiphany. It was also a gift, something fragile-paper, not iron or a real star-but still something that will be cherished. Stars light the night, the darkness. Also, there was something hidden in the star, hidden meanings and hidden words that Sephiroth had to unveil and get out of it for himself, which was the poem and invite to the party. That was genius of you once again, all of these hidden meanings and things that Sephiroth has to figure out in this drabble.
Lastly, the theme of light/darkness. Genesis’s epiphany about darkness really got me thinking, and I was sitting at my desk, shaking my head at how his character is so deep and insightful about things that normal people wouldn’t have the mental thought process to think of. He’s quite the poet with words and an artist in his acts. He came to a conclusion, shared it with Sephiroth, and Sephiroth seemed to absorb it and seriously consider it, instead of just casting it aside. That right there shows light to me: the ability to take ones words seriously, the goodness. Also, for an image, you speak of how the snow is highlighted in a green light, something that Sephiroth thinks is pretty, but nothing to really enjoy. Light on this dark night is still tinted in the mako-glow of the Reactors and the company buildings, a tainted thing, adding to a darker element of this piece. However, I also think it could be a miracle, something impossible on the darkest night of the year.
And at last, why I about bawled my eyes out to this piece. I don’t mean to be dramatic in my words or anything, but this piece really, really got me for some reason. There was something happy and inspiring about it with the images it provoked. I pictured so vividly Sephiroth opening the package with the red ribbon and seeing the star, as well as the party that he will surely enjoy with Genesis and Angeal...and I lost it. I was at my desk for a good two-three minutes losing myself in your words. This piece will be forever remembered in my mind, of that I am certain.
Keep up your beautiful, beautiful craft. _
| tookkia chapter 1 . 12/28/2010
Spot on lol as usual.
I was so caught up in Sephiroths fascination with Genesis way of being. I say fascination because despite his constant indifference, with Genesis its different.
"As if I ever know why he does what he does..."
"As if this boy needs a reason for anything..."
"As hard as Genesis was to figure out sometimes, his dislike was always impossible to ignore."
idk, maybe I'm totally off but for me Sephiroth noticing and showing curiosity/surprise with anything IS Sephiroths way of being fascinated. Gaia knows the man is too stoic for his own good lol. I think we would all agree on how well you portrayed his logic and factual perspective.
I REALLY liked Genesis response here: A green plant should not exist at this time of year...impossible is possible.
Reminds me of the whole diamond in the rough idea, and it just makes Genesis gesture in the end so much sweeter.
Oh! And-dare I say it? dare I even think it?-this had me jumping up and down because it reminded me of a passage you told me I did well in my ch. 2 with Genesis(where he's packing carefully)
"He got up as well and pretended to be concentrating..."
I never thought about it, but Sephiroth and Genesis really are alike, aren't they? Which is kind of weird considering their vast differences (Sephiroth has his logic, Genesis has his words and spontaneity) In a way they both fail at the same things though (like : No one should face it alone.) I wonder, could loneliness be the marker that turns them both in the end of CC?
Whoa, don't know if I'm making any sense(especially with all these top dollar reviews *hides under blanket of ignorance*) but I'm making my own little connections, hopefully they're somewhat right, lol!
And of course, I absolutely loved this: "don't insult my intelligence. if this is about you and Genesis, just say so." Heehee, so funny.
I did get a bit confused here, though: Mostly outdoors, on his parents ground, so they would not notice.
Does that mean it was safer close to home since his parents were never home?
I'm not sure what line to quote in Angeals tale because it was all just so sweet and amazing. Hmmm, perhaps my favorite line of them all ;-)
"We were friends before that night, but we have been best friends ever since."
Just astounding and moving and Oh! I just love it :-)
I also remember how you told me Angeal refers to Genesis as 'precious', you do a really good job with alluding to your other stories.
This was a perfect oneshot, I'm only sorry I'm incapable of analysing and glorifying it as well as it should be done. I'm not worthy! But finally, the last line:
Contrasts beautifully with his character and makes Genesis gift more meaningful. Bravo, Cookie, you are jusy so, so, so, SO good! We are all blessed to have such art like yours at the tips of our fingers :-)
| Sara chapter 1 . 12/28/2010
Thank you for sharing this beautiful gem!
| Amarissia chapter 1 . 12/27/2010
AW. Sometimes Genesis is just adorable, and Sephy...oh, that was so touching.
You capture the spirit of the holiday so well, dear. Thank you.
| LittleLamperouge chapter 1 . 12/25/2010
Well - it's 2 in the morning, I've just finished watching the film of Stephen King's Carrie, and decided to write a review for this before I go to bed.
First off - your ending - I'm sorry, but that is a huge 'AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!' moment. Put a big smile on my face :)
Second - the characterisations in this were really good, and I'll be honest and say I was a tad cautious when I saw that it would be almost entirely about Sephiroth - but that you pulled it off in my opinion _. Especially loved the interactions - said and unsaid - between Genesis and Sephiroth.
'As if this boy needs a reason for anything…' -I really like this bit, and there is a reason why I do, but I'm sorry to say that, at this moment in time, my brain is working about as fast as a snail on crutches. Metaphorical of course :) Good quote anyways.
Oh (random brainwave) - 'Of course… I should have known he's not here for me. That's only logical, after all.''Why is he doing this? Sure, he would help Angeal in such a situation, but me? He can't stand me after all…' I love the almost tangible sense of sadness and resignation here. Shows that Sephiroth is human and can feel emotions and connections to those around him. And also that Genesis really was important to him, Sephiroth not being known for his wanting to connect to people and how he therefore sees Genesis as worthy of his time and attention _
I could go on for ages about this fic, but it seems I'm currently able to express (did I spell that right?) what I'm trying to say.
The only thing I would say, was a couple of bits of speech Sephiroth said - I get what he's trying to put across when he says it, but some of the wording seems doesn't seem like the kind of thin he'd say.
And that there are a couple of times when Angeal almost seems a bit condescending to Sephiroth during their convo. But maybe that's just me being really petty now and I'm most likely making a fuss about nothing. Bah. I'll shuup and leave you be now.
Blessed Yule Cookie! .
| Gismo1 chapter 1 . 12/25/2010
Oh, this was a lovely piece of work you provided here. I am deeply touched by Genesis' present. I most certainly think the little poem is very profound and beautiful.
Thanks so much for sharing this.
Merry Christmas to you!
| OnexLostxSoul chapter 1 . 12/24/2010
Aw, Cookie. *major-squish-hugs* Never before have I been faced with a friendship fic such as this gem here.
The decision to base the story from Sephiroth's perspective was an excellent one. You take the reader on a journey through Sephiroth's mind as he struggles with the idea of season-centric sentiments. Only to discover that the earth's positioning isn't really the core of it at all. ;) The way you handled Sephiroth was absolutely masterful. His inner musings, focusing on the logical and the practical, contributed so much to the piece. His dialogue was spot-on, if I may quote:
"Or trying to, at least, unless some ignorant fool comes around and spreads chaos."
The dynamics between Genesis and Sephiroth were incredibly well written. Their dialogue left me positively breathless. There's an underlying clash between them of the rational and the emotional, which you depict with finesse. And then of course, the striking similarity between them that Angeal illustrates. The friction you portray is complemented by Genesis' ending note (with a dash snarky-Gen just to top your incredible characterization consistencies. ;D)
Angeal's story touched me on an incredibly personal level. It doesn't surprise me that you portrayed the theme of friendship so proficiently. Your emphasis on surpassing materialistic values was exquisitely carried out to the very end.
"I had no idea what it was, but suddenly the expression in his eyes changed again. It was doubt at first, almost hurt, and then a deep, honest joy, the joy of a child that has just received the greatest present imaginable."
This passage is nothing short of miraculous. Trust Cookiecat to capture the essence of concepts beyond words.
You ended the fic on a fantastic note. There's so much power in this story, I can't even begin to put its significance into comprehensible words. Know that this is a piece of art, and it's nestled snug inside of my heart.
(I blushed seeing my name; I'm all star-struck now! XD)
In the light of friendship... I just wanted to thank you for being an amazing friend yourself. Only someone like you, a true friend, could write a fanfiction such as this. You've given me a most valuable gift, one I'll forever treasure: confidence, a belief in my capacity to strive toward bettering myself as a writer and a person. You mean so much to me, Cookie. I'm blessed to have come to know you. *hugs*
You couldn't have come out with this story at a more fitting time.
| NoLongerActive11111 chapter 1 . 12/24/2010
I am to blame? Thank you very much, dear. And when you need a partner in crime - I am always there to join. :)
Anyways... I was expecting this oneshot and excited to read it! I can't help but love the rational Sephiroth vs. irrational Genesis face-off, for each and every situation is amusingly delicious. So I am expecting a full parade.
Um, the first scene... I can relate to Sephiroth so much. I was brought up in mild isolation myself and most traditions I still and always will deem overdone. *No matter how people called it, this specific day had never been different or extraordinary to him.* I can relate to it so well (not that I ever have a problem relating to an amazing, IC written Sephiroth ;D).
*Or trying to, at least, unless some ignorant fool comes around and spreads chaos*
I was laughing so hard. Priceless. In this aspect I don't see Seph truly understanding Genesis on an emotional level. XD
*A waste of space. And either time or money, whichever the noble contributor invested in it*
Let me applaud Seph for being so precise with thoughts. If holidays is something I (and I bet eventually he) will come to accept, decorations - no. Wrapping paper, decorative lights, trees - always thought it was such a waste. The even looks silly more than anything I can call pretty. (Yeah, I know I am such a romantic, lol).
So Seph wants to know how things look from Genesis' POV. How interesting.
Loved how powerful their conversation turned out in the end. Loved the canon detail of Sephiroth being annoyed with Angeal's lectures, but this part most of all.
*"It's a dark world, Sephiroth. No one should face it all alone."
"Believe it or not, this is something I figured out on my own."
And just in the very moment he left, he decided to answer nevertheless: "I just wonder why you never did."*
What can I tell you besides I loved it.
*Ok, I'll listen, but under one condition: don't insult my intelligence. If this is about you and Genesis, just say so*
Oh, yes, someone irritated Seph a lot that day. XD I can see it so well.
Angeal's story was very touching. Indeed, that wasn't about a material present, but an act itself, which is why I love all your stories. XD You show, not say or present it in a cliche way. Disobeying strict parents was something much more valuable than a material present. Now to see how Sephiroth will interpret it and use with Genesis.
*A child without friends… that sounds strangely familiar…*
With but a difference. You don't see the difference until something changes. After all, that is normal what you perceive every day and cannot compare to anything else.
*Ok, let's see this as a riddle. An exercise in strategic thinking. *
This made me grin madly. Yeah, good job, Seph. It's a present. XD Not a lesson in warfare... lol.
*Of course. This is not just a paper star. This is –
his eyes narrow in surprise
-something of no material value*
This would be my favorite part. Undoubtedly. XD I am not certain if these are the things between lines you talked about, but this is my favorite conclusion of this story. :D And the message that followed. XD
Thank you so much for such an awesome story! I enjoyed it throughly and characterization always proves such a relief. :)
And I with him!
Merry Christmas and Blessed Yule!
| Account Is Inactive 750 chapter 1 . 12/24/2010
Well from the very beginning this has a nicer flow to it then the last chapter of Fragile Bonds :) It doesn't feel forced or plodding. It's quite nice I really liked these lines, not because they meant anything, but just because they were pretty. "An immaculate white blanket had swallowed the surrounding landscape, and created a special kind of faint glow in the dim light of the late afternoon. Looking at it felt almost like going blind, still Sephiroth couldn't resist doing so. Growing up in Midgar, the teenager had only rarely had a chance to witness the change of seasons. The snow of the metropolis was thin and watery, never enough to cover up the eternal grey, and the only glow visible there was a faint greenish-white." I appreciate poetic prose for it's simple beauty :) When done well it's like looking at a painting, and it just makes you feel something, alive?
*Of course… I should have known he's not here for me. That's only logical, after all. "No, as a matter of fact, I haven't. Not since this morning. If I do, I let him know you were looking for him."*
You know, sometimes when I feel hurt, I try and use logic to reason things out. Of course, Sephiroth sounds better at it than I ;)
*Or trying to, at least, unless some ignorant fool comes around and spreads chaos.*
Awwww! Sephiroth can never get any work done XD
*He nodded towards the decoration above the door that someone had put up in honour of the holiday, a garland made out of holly and other evergreen boughs. "What do you see when you look at this?"*
I know what I see XD You sure there's no smut in this? You could have easily gone down that road :P Lol, perfect lead in right there.
I love the philosophical conversation between Genesis and Sephiroth towards the end in the first part :D
*"Great, now you start as well. What's up with you people tonight? One could think the missing light causes a serious lack of intelligence…"*
This part had my laughing out loud. It's just so Sephiroth ;)
*Ever since Angeal had started to try and befriend him, he had gradually extended his protective and caring attitude, even though Sephiroth felt it was an odd thing to do, because if anyone didn't really need protection, it was him. Teenager or not, he was a SOLDIER, already labelled a strategic prodigy by most members of the Military Department.*
Lol! Once again, this is just how Sephiroth would think ;)
*"If you see it from his perspective, I did. Something very precious even. I called him not only my friend, but my best friend." Angeal's glance was intense, as if he really wanted his opposite to get the message this time. "He never had a friend before, Seph."*
Awwww! I actually go goosebumps reading this :D
Awwww! The ending was lovely. Sephiroth smiling is such a rare occurrence, just like Cloud smiling, which makes it even more beautiful! Lovely story, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but not like I ate a bunch of fluff ;) Oh, I surprised to see my name mentioned in the beginning. . . you didn't have to do that! I didn't realize I was encouraging you specifically, but I guess that's what friends do ;)
| The124C41 chapter 1 . 12/24/2010
AWWW. I must admit that I didn't read the story in a single breath - there were so many familiar elements that I just couldn't stop myself from reminiscing, or just smiling to myself, or bursting out laughing at the cardboard box for no apparent reason... Well, I guess the mental equivalent of being drunk doesn't count as an excuse to babble meaninglessly, so I better pull myself together and write a seemingly coherent review.
First, I never thought I could honestly compare myself to Sephiroth, but I absolutely agree with him and his thoughts about it. With his thorough education, he knows what happens during Midwinter and probably could logically justify why people chose this date for the celebration, but he lacks personal input so he doesn't consider this date really special and is irritated by the people making so much fuss over that. I have to admit, even for the people with some personal link and understanding, all this mess must be really irritating, for even the best thing in the world can be spoiled by foolish and mindless people. And the foolish and mindless people can most often be found in the large groups and rabble. No wonder he doesn't want to join any of the Shin-Ra Special Celebrations.
'For a second, he actually evaluated the option of thoughts being able to attract the person you were thinking of, like an odd form of calling, but he knew it wasn't possible.' - SO like Sephiroth. I love to see the same events, or the same notions from different points of view of different characters, as it is the wonderful tool to point out the differences between them. Neither Genesis nor Angeal I think would ever think of looking from scientific point of view, especially not Genesis. I'd say something about Seph's rational point of view being both the result of his upbringing and genes, but I want to live to see another day, so I won't risk his wrath by writing it down.
'Genesis smiled and reached out for the desired object in a fluent, almost theatrical movement that reminded Sephiroth of the odd and overdone way some people expressed excitement with. A totally inappropriate gesture for a practical purpose, and it showed. The small elegant hand collided with a pile of notes in the process, and - due to the sheer force of the movement - sent them flying all over the room.' - *giggle* Poor Gennie. Same thing happens to me all the time, as every time I finally tear myself away from my computer, I'm so excited by what I've just read/played/watched/wrote/etc that I just cannot contain this all inside me. My father complains about this all the time.
'"What does it look like to you? Of course I'm working. Or trying to, at least, unless some ignorant fool comes around and spreads chaos." He was annoyed now, and determined to show it.' - *another giggle* There is a trope for that, I believe it's called 'That Makes Me Feel Angry', but it's really good for characterising Sephiroth who is so rational that he even makes reports to himself about his own emotions! And this line... well, Seph, you talk this way to Genesis and wonder why does he dislike you? I am disappoint. Most disappoint.
'Arguing is Gen's way of showing that he cares. He would just ignore you if it was otherwise' - Oh dear Cookie, if you got a cookie (Incredibly Lame Pun intended) for every time one of my muses felt a sudden connection for Sephiroth when I read the line, you'd be in serious danger of developing diabetes! Tell your Seph-muse that if he ever was out-of-character enough to want to share his problems with total strangers, my muses are willing to share their experiences with other tsundere (yes, that's a trope, quite popular one, I thought you know it but if you don't that's why I write this is a trope).
'True, he recalled Professor Gast trying to introduce him to those traditions, but he had never seen much sense in them. Those get-togethers meant spending time with lots of strangers, eating fancy food, making pointless small talk and pretending politeness and interest. None of that seemed the least bit attractive to him, so he had spent the last years far away from anything that resembled a Yule celebration.' - Another thing I agree with Sephiroth about. No wonder, he grew up in Shin-Ra, so it's obvious that he'd see it this way: nothing more than another unimportant meeting like one these he was forced to participate in in the last chapter of Fragile Bonds. A reasonable choice: avoid it. I wish I could do the same.
And Angeal's story, the most familiar element of all of them... I remember you've told me this one before, so I, unlike Sephiroth, knew the ending. Yet, as I've already mentioned, what is important is the perspective - one story witnessed from the perspective of another can be a completely different one.
I must admit, 'cardboard box sitting innocently on his doorstep, as if it had been expecting him' caused me to burst out laughing and babbling some nonsense that wouldn't probably make sense to anyone here (curse of another fandom *sigh* I have to deal with it...) so I shall spare you that and concentrate on reviewing.
'Ok, let's see this as a riddle. An exercise in strategic thinking. The thought made it easier, and a bit less confusing, an accepted challenge rather than something that caught him completely off guard.' - The perspective again: Sephiroth is confused so he decides to switch perspective and look at it as at something familiar, something he knows how to deal with. I could rant all the time about the 'one fears what is alien and unknown' thing, but I know you know all about it and I believe this might be the first time I am in danger of not having enough place to write a review if I ranted too much. Wow, that would be something. Anyway, I believe the perspective is here the second most important theme (the most important I left for the end of the review).
'It took him just a moment to figure out how to get to the source of this without destroying the delicate paper object in the process' - Lol, that's absolutely Sephiroth. The man so perfect that elaborate puzzle takes him but a minute to solve. I guess if he was the recipient of a certain love letter, he would have deciphered it in no time.
'What exactly does the world look like through your eyes? Worse? Better?' - Different. This is the answer to his question: different. People make friends because they want to share the point of view, way of thinking, of seeing the world. They want to share the same view on some things, to experience roughly the same fell of notions, ideas, views. And this, I believe, is the most important theme here: understanding and seeing the world through a friend's eyes. It starts with Sephiroth not being able to understand Genesis, proceeds with him trying to do so, then the scene with Angeal, who shares some understanding with Sephiroth and sees Genesis differently so he tries to explain it to Sephiroth. The whole Yule is just a pretext, a disguise to show the differences in their thinking, and, that despite their differences, they still can understand each other. And there is evidence to prove that! 'Hopefully you figured this out fast enough, so there is still some time left to come down to our room for some pointless yet very traditional celebrating in honour of an astronomical phenomenon that only lasts a few seconds.' - It not only shows Genesis adapting Sephiroth's point of view, but also the fact that he knows him, knows that he'll be able to solve the puzzle in time. Well, this was really some overinterpretation, you know how it is - an author writes something, then a humanist comes and tries to interpret it and author is all like 'WHAT? I never meant something like that, I just wanted to write xxx', but I hope that you and I share at least that much understanding that I got this right.
Oh. Just one more thing. Were these MacGuffin scissors Genesis borrowed from Sephiroth used in making this paper star? I just thought about it.