((Author's Note: I do not own any of the "Final Fantasy VII" characters or anything associated with that. All rights belong to Square-Enix! I hope that I accomplish the goal of keeping true to the "Final Fantasy VII" story and its characters' personalities as close as possible, even as I have fun with and implement my "what if" ideas. As an author, this is my greatest worry for my first Fan Fiction. It is a difficult balance, one I hope that I carry out well in the end. This is purely a fan-based Sephiroth x OC story. Thusly, there is no truth to it. It is all written for fun! So, have fun reading it~ Let your imagination run wild.))
Notably, for the majority of Elisa Sapphire's life, daydreams and false hopes of a beautiful and distant world different from Earth always filled Elisa's wandering mind. But what was once a mere daydream became, somewhere along the way, an earnest and heartfelt wish. And it is this wish that grew louder, when Elisa's eyes first beheld the notorious Sephiroth in the Play Station 2 game "Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core" and in all other related movies and additions. This wish transformed into a different and deeper wish of the heart: a desire to help Sephiroth out of the love she found her heart held for him.
Elisa despondently sighed, before tossing another raspberry into her small mouth. Elisa's sky blue eyes were fixed upon her slim cell phone's screen that displayed an episode of "Log Horizon", a Medieval-Fantasy Anime where 30,000 Japanese gamers, including Shiroe and his friends, logged onto the MMORPG called "Elder Tale" and were mysteriously transported into the game's world. That world became their new home, their new life, and their new reality.
"I wish I could transport into a game," mumbled Elisa as she tossed another raspberry into her mouth. "That would be absolutely wonderful!" It certainly beats this world any day, Elisa thought. Her eyes regained its focus and her attention returned to the Anime, watching it with immense intent.
Tuesday in the year 0001 outside Shin-Ra Electric Power Company:
Under a bombardment of heavy fire from the enemy, Zack Fair dove behind a stone wall, taking cover.
"Geez! They're a persistent bunch... Tch!" Zack slowly peeked out from behind the wall. "Ah!" Zack recoiled when a bullet ricocheted off the wall. He sighed in relief as his shoulders slumped. He ran a hand through his raven-colored hair, brushing aside a lock that hung in front of the left half of his cute face. "That...was a little too close. Heh, heh!" Zack crouched with alacrity as he confidently smirked. "All right! It's time to get this show on the road." Zack removed his sword from his back and gripped it with both hands. "It's my turn, guys!"
Zack dashed out into the open and ran toward the cluster of enemies, dodging bullets as he moved along. Zack cartwheeled, jumped, and sliced his way through the enemies, seemingly with ease. Zack skid to a halt as steam from the train nearby billowed out from beneath, a thin layer spilling onto the platform. Absolute silence, thereafter, hung heavily in the cool night air. Zack raised his sky blue eyes toward the towering headquarters not far from his position. Drawn to the strange and beautiful cyan glow of the Mako reactors reflecting off the clouds, a sense of tranquility briefly filled Zack's heart. It shattered when his cell phone range.
Zack flipped his phone open, pressing it against his ear. "Hello! Zack here. Did ya miss me?"
"Hmph! In your dreams," joked a low, serious voice.
"Ouch! You're harsh, Angeal."
"Focus. This is serious business, Zack. Don't fool around or it will cost us. Is that understood?"
"Yeah, I understand." Zack sighed in acquiescence. "Hey, I don't understand something."
"When do you understand anything?"
"Hey~ I am being serious here, Angeal! C'mon; at least give me a break," whined Zack.
"Only babies earn breaks, Puppy."
"Sheesh~" Zack rubbed the back of his neck. "Okay. Fine! I need your opinion on something. Is that better for you?"
Angeal smirked. "What is it?"
"What do you think about the Shin-Ra troops attacking us? Aren't we on the same side?"
"They're not Shin-Ra troops."
"...What?" Zack furrowed his eyebrows.
"They're Wutai troops disguised as Shin-Ra's."
"Well, that explains it..." Zack scratched the side of his nose.
"Be on your guard, Zack. Stay focused. If you want to be a SOLDIER 1st Class, you need to learn to focus and have a clear head in battle. Got it?"
"Yeah, I got it. No sweat!" Zack grinned.
"Don't get cocky. I see more heading your way."
"That's fine with me! I was getting bored, anyway." Zack turned his head to see a group of enemy reinforcements taking cover behind crates and containers, aiming at him. "I'll call ya back, Angeal. I need to clean the house." Zack hung up, tucking his cell phone into a pocket of his pants. He removed his sword hung on his back. Zack dashed at the enemy as they began to fire at will. "Just you watch. I will become SOLDIER 1st Class!" With his gaze firm and his eyebrows furrowed in self-confidence, Zack jumped high into the air, grinning from ear to ear, and lunged at the enemy.
Tuesday, June 15, 2460 outside Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan:
Until now, Elisa was occupied with "Log Horizon" as she patiently waited for her friend. But her interest faded away as her mind, again, wandered into thoughts about Sephiroth.
"I wonder if I could help him," she muttered. "I'd like to help him." Elisa took out a sage-colored stainless steel water bottle from her vintage leather messenger bag. She flipped the straw up and drank from it.
Elisa was resting upon a Minimalist bench made from bamboo. Behind her was a botanical garden with a waterfall and a pond filled with Koi and other fish native to Japan. Wearing a flowing, tantalizing teal frock, Elisa seemingly popped out from the earthy tones that formed her background. The knit, chevron-striped bodice complimented the solid teal, breezy skirt. It certainly drew attention from some of the passing males as Elisa's sky blue eyes briefly scanned their faces. Clad in a pair of pastel yellow flats that matched her necklace, Elisa tapped her feet as she waited.
"You wish you could help who?" inquired a female voice.
"Ah!" Elisa instantly stood up, clutching her heart. "Geez! Did you really have to do that, Michaela? You scared me!"
Michaela chuckled. "Of course I had to! Your reaction is, as always, priceless, my friend." Michaela sat down and scooted closer to Elisa as she, also, sat down. "That's what friends and roommates are for, no?" Michaela smirked as she poked Elisa's cheek.
"Seriously, though, who do you wish to help?"
Sephiroth. Elisa felt her temple and heart pulse. Elisa glanced away to hide her blushing cheeks as she fiddled with her pastel yellow beaded necklace. "It's nothing." Elisa looked at Michaela. "So, where did you run off to while I took a break?"
"I wanted to see the 'Final Fantasy Twelve' and 'Final Fantasy Thirteen' sections!" Michaela could barely conceal her excitement. Her voice was laced with it and her gleaming eyes showed it, too.
"Oh, my gosh!" Michaela took Elisa's hands in hers. "It...was...freakin' awesome!" Michaela squealed in delight.
Elisa observed her friend with amusement, arching an eyebrow. She laughed. "That's good to hear. And your boyfriend...?"
"...My boyfriend?" repeated Michaela as if the words were foreign to her. Confusion pinched her face.
"Oh. Right. My apologies," Elisa sarcastically spoke. "I meant to say 'your Balthier'." Elisa snickered.
Michaela blushed. "O-Oh! That's... Hush, you!" Michaela struck Elisa on the arm with the back of her hand.
Elisa laughed. "Well, did you see Balthier?"
"I did, yes," answered Michaela with pride. "And I saw an awesome Balthier cos-player. Like, he was absolutely perfect in every detail! ...And he was hot."
"Naturally. That's what's important, right?" Elisa said haphazardly, sticking her tongue out a little as she leaned forward, resting her chin on the palm of her right hand.
Well, that was decided quickly. Elisa laughed.
"What? Why are you laughing?"
"Just don't run off being a creeper, okay?"
"I-I was not! He was hot. That's all." Michaela blushed, her lips pouting. "I just looked..."
"Oh, sure~ You just looked. Next thing you'll know, you'll be flirting with him and locking arms."
"Oh, I don't think I could handle that." Michaela blushed further.
Elisa playfully patted her friend's back. "It is all right. I believe you."
There was a moment of silence before the two erupted into laughter.
"All right!" Michaela quickly stood on her feet.
"Let's see your boyfriend." Michaela grabbed Elisa's wrist, pulling her along with her.
"W-What?" Elisa nearly chocked on her water. "Wait; that's not necessary. We don't have to."
"It'll be good for you."
"Really, we don't need to do this. I'm perfectly fine doing other things here."
"...Which includes seeing your boyfriend Sephiroth."
Elisa winced as her temple and heart throbbed again. What is this? It happened again. "Well, yes, but-"
"C'mon," goaded Michaela as she continued dragging Elisa with her. "There's no need to be embarrassed or shy."
"I'm not embarrassed or shy," Elisa protested as she tried not to blush. "I just don't see why the sudden urgency."
"Right. Deny it, if it makes you feel better, Elisa. But I know you're too embarrassed to see your Sephiroth. Ooo~"
Elisa's temple throbbed again. There it is again! Maybe a migraine is coming... "Of course. We're in Shibuya. It's the place where the famed realistic, life-size Sephiroth display resides. Who wouldn't be shy, embarrassed, or fan girl-ing over that?"
"True. There is nothing hotter than a shirtless Sephiroth..." Michaela dreamily sighed. "Those sexy abs of his and those intense green eyes of his..."
Yeah, I know. I know that too well. He is quite handsome... "You should probably get that drooling of yours checked, friend," jested Elisa as she poked Michaela's cheek.
Michaela snapped out of her daze. "That settles it, then!"
"Huh?" Elisa blinked. "That settles...what?"
Michaela pushed Elisa toward the escalator leading up to the second floor where the "Final Fantasy Seven" section presided.
"H-Hey! What are you doing?"
"What do you think? I'm helping you get up there."
"Ah, no, no, no! That's unnecessary." Elisa tried to turn around, but Michaela knew her too well. She wouldn't allow this.
"It's definitely necessary."
"We're not going to-
"We are." Michaela stopped, much to the relief of Elisa. "Well, you are."
Michaela shoved Elisa onto the escalator. "Bye-bye~" Michaela ran off, giggling to herself.
"W-Wait! Michaela!" Elisa tried to get off the escalator, but people had blocked her away. It was crowded and Michaela was already gone from view. Elisa turned back around and heavily sighed in defeat. "Some friend you are," Elisa muttered, "leaving me alone like this"-she paused and looked up, thinking to herself-"and to see Sephiroth, no less." Elisa's temple throbbed again. Again! Why does that keep happening? Elisa massaged her temple. She turned her gaze over to her side. Her expression perked up at the lit up sign that read "Final Fantasy Seven" with its famed meteor logo in the background. Its entrance was bold, eye-catching, yet eerie. Elisa found her hands inadvertently clutching the leather strap of her messenger bag as the escalator smoothly, slowly moved upward. It's getting closer...
Elisa watched her tiny feet step off the escalator, being mindful not to scuff her cute pastel yellow ballet flats. Her sapphire eyes darted from one person to the next as she tentatively walked through the crowd, trying her best not to bump into them. And before Elisa knew it, she was standing at the entrance of "Final Fantasy Seven".
"Wow~ This is...incredible!" Elisa stared agape at the entrance, before passing its threshold with a deep inhale to steady her nerves. The sheer amount of people here was not a surprise to Elisa. Yet, to see the number with her own naked eyes astounded her.
Glancing at all the magnificent, finely-crafted figurines and other merchandise, Elisa was on the lookout for one thing in particular. Elisa's heart knew it, too, as her clenched hand inadvertently rested over her heart. It was beating loudly as Elisa's eyes eagerly searched each isle for him. Elisa's balmy hand could feel every pulse. She swallowed hard. Where is he? He has to be somewhere here... Where are you, Sephiroth? Elisa's temple throbbed again, briefly stopping her in her tracks. But Elisa pressed onward, refusing to let it deter her. I won't leave here till I see him at least once. Another throb on her temple appeared.
Suddenly, Elisa halted as a group of Japanese teenage boys halted in their tracks, looking at some photos on someone's touchscreen watch as they talked amongst each other. Elisa quietly released a sigh of relief, feeling thankful she didn't run into them. Well, there's no going this way. Elisa shifted her body to her right and froze. Her body tensed as her eyes widened. Her breath shortened, heat growing rapidly in her body. She felt a strong throb on her temple. It grew faster, doubled and came in succession, matching her racing heart. Elisa could hear her heart beat loudly in her ears. Sephiroth! Another throb appeared on her temple, louder than previous ones.
Pinching the bridge of her nose, shutting her eyes, Elisa shook her head as she managed to pull herself free from a strange daze. It was at this precise moment, as Elisa raised her head and looked around, Elisa noted that the room, suddenly, fell silent. The flashing lights and other visual effects in the room were still. Everyone around her were frozen. Elisa blinked, eyebrows furrowing in concern and confusion. She slowly walked down the corridor where Sephiroth rested. She observed each person she passed by. She paused in front of a girl blowing bubblegum. Raising a tentative hand, Elisa poke the bubble. She jolted as it popped, but to her surprise, the girl remained frozen, unflinching. Even the girl's face was devoid of expression.
"Konnichiwa...?" Elisa waved a hand in front of the girl's face. There was no response. Elisa frowned in disappointment. "This is...weird." Elisa slowly turned full-circle, looking around. "It's almost like...Time stopped."
"That is because Time has ceased," interrupted an ethereal, feminine voice that seemed to echo in the room.
Elisa sharply turned around on her heel. "Who said that? Who's there?" The voice was familiar to Elisa. Yet, Elisa couldn't recall who it belonged to or from where she heard it. Her mind was drawing blanks. Her sapphire eyes darted around, searching for the source of the voice. Nothing was in front of her or behind her, except for the frozen tourists and visitors. "...Is this your doing?"
"Where are you?"
"I am within. I am without. I am everywhere."
Elisa frowned as her eyes continued to look around. "I don't quite enjoy riddles. I'm awful at them."
"'Tisn't a riddle. 'Tis truth."
"It's the truth to...what?"
"'Tis the truth that will lead you to your truth."
"...My truth?" Elisa's eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "I don't understand. What do you mean by that? What is my truth?"
"That is for you to discover yourself."
Without warning, there was a bright cyan glow coming from behind Elisa. Inhaling deeply to calm her pounding heart, Elisa slowly turned around to face it. There in front of her floated a cyan-colored wisp glowing brightly. It was instantly recognizable. A spirit... But what is it doing here? This is... Isn't this suppose to be in the game? Elisa watched it swirl and twirl about as if swimming in the air as it swayed left to right, remaining stationary. It hovered directly above the encased Sephiroth in the floor, which Elisa's eyes instantly looked upon.
"Follow," commanded the ethereal female voice.
Elisa felt quite uncertain and hesitant, but her curiosity won her over. Her feet were already moving on their own. Elisa followed the spirit, but she kept a safe distance between it and herself.
"How do I know I can trust you?"
"All right. What if this is a dream?"
"It could be...and it could not be a dream."
"You won't tell me anything, will you?"
"Will I know what is going on, then?"
"You will, soon."
Elisa heavily sighed. She was starting to think this was an elaborate, horrid prank. "This is insane!" she muttered to herself. "I'm talking a spirit from the video game..." Elisa sighed. "All right. I will believe you and I will follow you. Just...what will happen?"
"Even that I cannot answer, for I cannot predict what happens. The threads of Life are intricately woven, each endlessly running onward and each connected to another and another. Many things can occur...or, conversely, nothing can occur. Even the bearer of a string cannot tell where it will lead, if he or she follows it."
Is this another riddle? And why is it...I'm thinking of Lady Galadriel, right now? She speaks like her, acts like her...
"I am not 'Lady Galadriel'."
"Huh?" Elisa blinked, stopping in her tracks. She was, now, standing in a hallway that seems to be located at the back of the main room. It was entirely white and tiled. "You can read my mind?"
"If I wish to do so, yes."
"So, that would explain those strange throbs in my head, then," muttered Elisa as she thought aloud. It was at this moment Elisa realized the throbs had ceased for a while.
"Yes. I was tapping into your mind."
"I see." Elisa was surprised at herself. She expected to panic or feel scared, but she felt rather calm, unafraid. She touched the temple of her head. "Why were you tapping into my mind?"
"I did this to know an answer to a question: is she fit for this mission I chose for her?"
"A mission for...what?" Elisa was intrigued, curious. She arched an eyebrow.
"Follow me and you shalt have all your questions answered."
Elisa partly turned around to glance behind at the floor where Sephiroth rested. The cyan glow of the Mako energy filling the "tube" he was in mesmerized her. Sephiroth's long silver hair seemed to wave behind him, matching the flow of the Mako. The way his face appeared, how he seemed to be in a deep sleep drew her heart in. She softly smiled. I will see you again...I hope. Elisa turned back around and continued follow the spirit.
Suddenly, the spirit disappeared behind a white door that had cyan word scrolling over it that read, "no admittance. Employees only!"
"H-Hey! Wait! I can't go through here! Didn't you read the sign? 'Employees only!' I am not an employee. I'm..." She paused for a moment as she thought. "I'm just Me."
"You may pass through, for Time has ceased. You are safe and unseen. You will be fine."
"How do I know I will be fine? How can I trust you?"
"You do not know and you cannot."
Elisa pursed her lips. "I...suppose I don't have a choice than to trust you."
"The power of choice...lies in the hands of all. It lies in yours as well. The answer one seeks lies in the person's heart. One needs but only listen to it to hear it, know it. What does your heart whisper to you?"
Elisa closed her eyes and took a moment to listen to it, to feel her heart. She slowly opened her eyes. The fear and caution that reigned over her briefly had disappeared from her eyes and heart. She slowly, deeply inhaled. She gripped placed her right hand flat upon a square device. It scanned her hand. This isn't going to work. The alarm's going to go off. And if that happens... I don't even want to think of what'll happen then! But to Elisa's dismay, the scan beeped and turned green and the white door slid open. Elisa stood frozen in front of the entrance, blinking in disbelief. "H-How is that possible?"
"Nothing is impossible. Impossible is merely the form of fear and of doubt. If your heart wishes to pass, you will have begun the waves of what will inevitably bring you to that goal."
"Hm. And you're magical."
Elisa laughed, shaking her head. "You could have simply said that at the beginning, you know."
"Yes, I could have done as you say. But what I spoke is, also, true. Come. Your answers shall be fulfilled."
A bright white light suddenly enveloped the place, growing brighter to the point Elisa shielded her eyes from it and recoiled. But it was over just as quickly as it had begun. And when Elisa opened her eyes, she found herself in another different place.
"How did I end up here?! Why am I in a cave?" She looked around, picking up herself off the ground.
"This is where I dwell. This is my realm."
Elisa followed the voice, which was noticeable, clearer, now. It sounded closer. Her eyes fell upon a fair lady clad in white. She had golden hair. A golden staff was in her hand. Elisa blinked in awe, her lips unconsciously muttering, "...The Goddess."
"Yes." The lady politely nodded her head. "That is one name people call me. But my true name is Minerva. This you may call me."
Minerva! Yes! That's why she sounded familiar to me. That voice was hers in the game. "But...this cannot be real. You cannot be real. You're from a video game I played called 'Final Fantasy Seven'."
"I have heard of this, when I read your mind. Yet, here I stand before you." She held out her staff. "Touch it and tell me what you feel."
Elisa looked upon the staff. She blinked, clutching her heart. She felt curious, excited, yet cautious. But her hand was already moving on its own, tentatively and slowly reaching out to touch the staff. She gasped upon making contact with her fingertips. "It's...cold and feels like metal. This feels...real." Her eyes widened, staring at it in disbelief. She looked up at Minerva. "But...how?"
"The Universe is unending, just as Time and dimensions are unending. Mysteries and possibilities will forever exist. The unexplained will always reign. Discovery never ends. There is much to know, to see than the human mind can comprehend and believe. This...is one of them. What you call 'Final Fantasy Seven' is my world, a dimension different from yours. It is where I come from. It is where you are now."
"What?" Elisa staggered. She stared at Minerva, searching her eyes and reading her expression for any hint of falter or lie. There were none to be found.
Minerva waved gently her staff as if horizontally slicing the air. And with that single sweep, the scenery disappeared and they were floating in the azure sky. White clouds passed by them. "Look below," said Minerva as she pointed downward with her staff. "What do you see?"
"I see...a dark cloud. It looks like a dark spot. What is it?" Elisa looked at Minerva.
"That is Midgar."
"...Midgar?!" Elisa's gaze snapped back to the dark spot below. That's right. That must be the pollution I'm seeing. "Why am I here? Why did you take me here?"
"This is where your fate is intricately intertwined. Your destiny lies here. It waits for you, Elisa Sapphire of Earth This is where you begin your journey of discovery and finding truths. This is where you will find your mission."
"My mission... But what is my mission? I don't know what that is."
"You shalt know." Minerva sliced the air again with her golden staff and Elisa found herself falling.
"W-What?! Wait!" Elisa flailed, her gaze fixed upon Midgar. "Why am I falling? I'm not going to die, am I?"
"You will not. You will find your mission, your destiny." The voice echoed and faded away. And when Elisa looked downward, Minerva was nowhere to be seen.
"O-Okay." I'll believe your words. Elisa swallowed hard as she looked upward, the ground increasingly approaching her with every passing second. I don't have any options, anyway. Elisa's brow furrowed as she watched the scenery before her, groaning in displeasure at the forced idea of falling into Midgar. She felt the wind coarse through her long golden hair, felt her limbs grow powerless against an unavoidable situation. The closer the land became, the more she began to feel uncertain. Elisa covered her eyes with her small hands, refusing to see herself splat against the surface. She fought to breathe deeply and steadily, but she could feel her breaths quiver in fear and uncertainty. But if everything Minerva said was true and if everything that happened wasn't a dream, then, in a small region of her heart, Elisa knew that somehow, she would be all right. It was a magical world, after all. I won't die. I can't. What would have been the purpose of all this, then? If I am to save Sephiroth, then, I will be fine. I have to. I will live! I can't leave him alone!