The Evils of AU

By Artikgato

Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy 7. I've also lost what little shreds of sanity I had while trying to read some of the monstrosities you people call 'fanfiction'.

Author's Notes: Okay, so it's not KH2, or Advent Children. In fact, I'm amazed that I even managed to write a chapter four, after my 'three chapter curse' on all my humor fics. It seems that I've managed to bump it up to a 'FOUR chapter curse' now…oh well.

Anyway, this pretty much came out of nowhere. I've been reading too many fics that parody those awfully written 'Aeris Resurrection fics', and thus I've sort of come up with my own parody of them. Sort of, in that I've managed to twist it in my own, odd way. (evil grin)

Oh, and as a temporary (read: lazy) fix for the problem with removing all curse symbols, I've replaced all the curses in this story with this: (bleep). Sometimes I add more e's, denoting that the curse is longer and/or stronger than a normal curse word. Just go with it. (rolls eyes)

Also, words cannot describe how much I LOVE the word 'effervescent'. Hee hee hee…

Oh, and that's not a typo. It's supposed to read "Aeristh" or "Aeriths", I promise. Why? Because I'm crazy like that, that's why. I usually spell her name with an 's', as the 'th' bugs me.

Chapter Four: Resurrection!

It was a glacially cold winter day, glacially cold as the soul of one who has lost everything and yet continues to slog along in their miserable existence of a life. Icicles decorated the miserable countenance of Ajit, the Forgotten Capital, and frigid winds howled across the barren landscape and icy rain pelted the ground, tears of pain and anger from the heavens above.

It was on this frozen, deplorable day that Cloud Strife trudged forward through the cold winds and icy rain, making slow but steady progress toward the largest of the shell-like buildings decorating the piteous landscape of the Forgotten Capital. The once-healthy leader of Avalanche had taken a turn for the worse since the end of Chapter Three, or so it seemed. Before the start of this fateful chapter, he had been youthful, powerful and handsome, with rippling muscles and all that good, masculine stuff. Now his body was thin and emaciated, his skin pale, and his haggard clothing hung loosely from his body as he plodded along the path that would lead him to That Fateful Place. His once porcupine-like blonde hair was now limp across his face, as he no longer saw the need to use half a gallon of hair gel every morning. His once-handsome face was now gaunt, his blue eyes haunted. Yes, Cloud Strife was but a shell of the former man that had been until the beginning of this disastrous fourth chapter.

"Aeristh..." he whispered, a single, crystalline, effervescent, and poignant tear sliding down his pale, skeletal, but still tragically beautiful, cheek, to hit the ground beneath him and mingle with the cold tears from the heavens.

The swordsman continued to wearily slog through the rain toward his destination, that single utterance and lonesome tear lost to the world of cold and rain forever.

Eventually, he made it to the large structure, and inside he found a staircase, blessedly unblocked by mysterious, glowing fish of any sort. Down he went, spiraling into the darkness as black as his wintry heart. Eventually he made it to the achingly familiar alter in the center of the pond that was, now and forever, the grave of the one woman he had ever loved. Yes, despite the fact that Cloud hadn't turned into an angst-muffin for discs 2 and 3, and he seemed to be completely over the death of the flower girl, Cloud was still tragically depressed over her death. He couldn't eat, he couldn't sleep, and he was beginning to think that he could no longer live with Aeris there with him. But, a few days ago in a random bar that most definitely wasn't Tifa's, because of course he could have absolutely no friendly or romantic interaction with another woman if this was to become an Aeris Resurrection Fic, he'd met a mysterious stranger.

"Go to the pond below the biggest building in the Forgotten Capital. Drop 99 Tissues into the pond, and press down, up, triangle, x, square, circle, down, down, left, right, R1, R2, square, circle, triangle, L1, L2, L3, right, left, up, x, down, square, triangle, triangle, circle, down, down, left, right, up, square, R4, left, down, circle, triangle, select, R2, L1, down, x, square, triangle, circle, square and x, all while holding down select, and your beloved will return to you," the mysterious stranger had told him, before running off into the night, cackling. And so, the swordsman's journey had begun right then and there.

And now, he stood in the very pond that held the lifeless body of his beloved flower girl deep in its watery womb. And, despite the fact that I haven't mentioned it until now, he is holding a rather large white sack and a Playstation controller, though where he got it is beyond me. In any case, he up-ended the sack, emptying the contents, 99 tissues, into the perfect, glassy, scintillating, hydrolyzing, implicating, shimmery water that he was standing in. Then, he proceeded to press the buttons of the controller in the precise order that the mysterious, if crazy, stranger in the bar told him.

Upon the pressing of the final 'x' button, there was a blinding flash of light, and the water began to stir, swirling rapidly into a whirlpool. Then, as suddenly as they appeared, the light and the whirlpool both vanished, leaving the pond as effervescent and tranquil as it had been. With a dejected sigh, Cloud stepped out of the pond, reflecting that he would have to buy a new pair of boots once he made it back to civilization.

A sudden splashing of water and a cacophony of choking gasps made their way to the swordsman's ears, and he whipped around, hope blooming in his frozen soul, to see...

...Zack, clawing his way to the surface of the pool, desperately trying to rid his lungs of the cold water of the pond.

Cloud found himself only capable of staring in equal parts horror and equal parts wonder at the dark-headed Soldier as he finally made it to the edge of the pond, wheezing and gasping for breath.

"Z-zack! What the hell! You're supposed to be Aeris!" Cloud suddenly roared, sending a quick glare at the ceiling. "This had better not be a CloudxZack yaoi story, or so help me God, I'll-"

"Relax, Strife," Zack wheezed, climbing out of the pool. "You just pressed the wrong button combination. Y'see, you were supposed to press down, up, triangle, x, square, circle, down, down, left, right, R1, R2, square, circle, triangle, L1, L2, L3, right, left, up, x, down, square, triangle, triangle, circle, down, down, left, right, up, square, R4, left, down, circle, triangle, select, R2, L1, down, x, square, triangle, circle, square and x, but you pushed down, up, triangle, x, square, circle, down, down, left, right, R1, R2, square, circle, triangle, L1, L2, L3, right, left, up, x, down, square, triangle, square, circle, down, down, left, right, up, square, R4, left, down, circle, triangle, select, R2, L1, down, x, square, triangle, circle, square and x."

Cloud fell to the ground, twitching, as the amazingly cheerful Zack wrung twenty or so gallons of water out of his long, black hair.

"So hey, what's happened since I died? Nobody ever resurrects me, so I really have no clue," the cheerful Soldier asked. Cloud just glared and stomped back to the staircase, muttering curses and death threats under his breath the entire way. Zack shrugged and followed behind him.

"Is Tifa still available? Or what about that cute little ninja girl you were running around with?" Zack called after his former best friend. Cloud just continued to stomp and mutter, trying his hardest to ignore the newly resurrected man.

On their way out of the shell-like building and back into the freezing rain, as frozen as Cloud's soul and every bit as bitter, they passed the Turks.

"He-ey! It's the Turks! What's happening?" Zack greeted. As one the three Turks blinked, looked from the furious Cloud to the cheerful Zack, and back to the furious Cloud.

"...this isn't one of those CloudxZack yaoi stories, is it?" Reno asked. Zack rolled his eyes.

"Naw, the idiot just pressed the wrong button combination. You're here to revive Tseng?" Zack replied. Elena nodded, her arms full of Tissues.

"Well, good luck with that. Just don't push the wrong button combination, or you could end up with Palmer..." Zack warned. All three Turks blanched in horror.

"Don't joke about things like that! (bleep)!" Reno swore. Elena just sighed.

"Don't worry about it, Reno. Rude's the one that's got the controller, remember? He won't make a mistake, will ya Rude?" Elena asked. The bald-headed Turk nodded, and the three of them continued into the building, Elena smiling at Zack, Rude nodding, and Reno giving the Soldier a handshake and a pat on the back.

"Hey, Cloud! Wait up!" Zack called, running to catch up with the furious ex-Soldier. Or, rather, fake ex-Soldier, but who's counting?

A few months later, a twitching Cloud emptied the contents of the White Sack, which was predictably enough 99 Tissues, and began to enter the Fateful Button Combination onto the Playstation controller.

As Cloud busied himself with the ridiculously long button combination, a rather large group of people talked amongst themselves. Predictably enough, all of Avalanche was there to witness the miraculous Resurrection of their beloved Aeristh, especially since this was the tenth attempt on Cloud's part. As such, six other people stood with them.

The first was Zack, who was of course the first of Cloud's failed Aeris Ressurrection Attempts. He was telling a joke, with his arm companionably around Tifa's shoulders. Next to Zack was the ever-wise Bugenhagen, who had been resurrected second, much to Cloud's dismay. He was listening to Nanaki, who was explaining to Yuffie, Cid, Reeve, Cait Sith and Barret his theory on the Resurrection process, which we won't go into since it's long, boring, and has a lot of big words like "antidisestablishmentarianism" and "effervescent" in it.

Biggs, Wedge and Jesse were standing beside Barret. Jesse had been resurrected third, and Cloud had nearly kissed her before realizing that she wasn't Aerith...Aeris...whatever. After her, Biggs had been resurrected, followed by Wedge. Barret and Tifa had been more than thrilled to see their old friends alive, but Cloud was becoming rapidly more annoyed. Just how many dead friends was he going to have to bring back before he got the (bleeeeeep) combination right!

Try number six had looked promising, but had only resulted in the resurrection of Hojo, who was immediately and brutally murdered by an irate Cloud. Aeris Resurrection Attempt Number Seven had also looked promising, but had only brought back Lucrecia. However, before her joyful reunion with Vincent and the subsequent angst-fest from herself, Vincent, and strangely enough Yuffie, an even more irate Cloud had accidentally killed her as well.

Try number eight resulted in the resurrection of the always annoying President Shinra, who immediately met his death at the end of Cloud's sword. By try number 9, the Golden Saucer was just giving the poor blonde-haired swordsman the 99 tissues, without making him lose painfully in battle to the monsters of the battle square. The result of try number nine was a strange, purple-haired woman that, upon closer inspection, was actually a man, who said his name was "Nuriko". This man-woman was laughing with Yuffie at Zack's joke at the moment.

And so, we have made our way to Aeris Resurrection Attempt Number Ten, which Cloud really really hoped would be the last. He was just glad that he hadn't somehow managed to resurrect Sephiroth.

In any case, the pond flashed and whirled when the final 'x' button was pressed, and the large group of people, both alive and resurrected, turned to look. As usual, the pond was all effervescent and still and stuff for a brief moment, before a brown-haired woman wearing pink clawed her way to the surface, hacking and coughing. It took Cloud a couple of seconds to realize that, finally, he'd managed to revive his darling Aeristh. Once he did, though, he gallantly dashed to her aid.

"Aeris, my love! You have returned!" he emitted passionately.

"(bleep)!" the flower-girl cursed, still wheezing for breath.

Everybody turned to look at her in shock.

"Aeris?" Yuffie asked, timidly.

"Once minute I'm in the middle of a nice, peaceful dream with unicorns and doves and kittens, and the next minute, I'm breathing in a gallon of cold (bleep)ing water!" the demure, fragile girl fumed. Cloud backed away from her, afraid.

"Er...sorry?" he apologized. Aeris sighed.

"Forget it. You'd think I'd be used to it after the other 14,567,135 resurrections," she deflated.

"Heya Aeris! Long time no see!" Zack exclaimed, waving at her cheerily. She waved back.

"Hi Zack! I was wondering why I couldn't find you in the Lifestream,"

"So, um..." Cloud started, getting Aerith's attention, "Since this is an Aeris Resurrection Fic, shouldn't we be all snuggly and cute, so that Tifa can run up and try to break our loving happiness apart?"

"Screw that, Cloud! You know I'm totally in love with Barret!" Aeris exclaimed, climbing out of the pool of her own volition and running joyfully into the black man's arms. Cloud just looked after her, a dazed expression on his face.

Cloud woke with a start, blue eyes looking wildly around the room in fear. Seeing no formerly dead flower girls lovingly embracing large, black men, he calmed down quite a bit, taking a few deep breaths, and realized that he was in a hotel room in the Rocket Town inn.

"What a disturbing dream," he whispered into the night air, flopping back down on his mattress with a sigh.

"You okay, Cloud?" Tifa called from the other side of the room.

"Yeah, Tifa. I just had this weird dream that I was being all emo over Aeristh's death, and I tried to resurrect her but I kept resurrecting weird people like Zack and Bugenhagen, and when I finally managed to resurrect Aeris, she declared that she was in love with Barret and ran over to him all lovey-dovey like," the blonde-haired man replied.

"Umm...Cloud? That actually happened," replied someone who was distinctly not Tifa. Cloud started, and looked over in shock to see Zack behind Tifa, propped up on one elbow.

"Zack!" he demanded, stunned. Any other questions were sharply cut off, as he suddenly heard something that made his blood turn to ice.

"Oh! Barret!" Aeris called, from the room next to theirs. Cloud just twitched, burying his face in his pillow.

"Cloud?" Tifa asked, concerned.

"I'm going back to sleep. When I wake up, this had better have been just a dream," he growled.


...effervescently. XD

Seriously, though. Point me at a good ZRF (Zack Resurrection Fic) and I'll love you forever. XD