Disclaimers: Final Fantasy VII © Square-Enix, as well all other Final Fantasy references. Everything else under their respective owners.
Jason M. Lee
"Tell me you're joking."
"No crossed-fingers or toes?"
"Now why would I do that?"
"I dunno. Maybe he rubbed off on you."
"More like each other."
"If you're that worried, come with me then."
"Good, because I'm having a hard time envisioning it."
"You two have got to show me it when you come back. I've heard of crazy weapons but this one would probably take the cake."
"Trust me, I'm not kidding."
x x x x x x x
"Ah, you've returned. Your wife?"
"She wouldn't believe me."
"So sue me for wondering on how you're going to handle it."
"Peace on your mind, ma'am. Your husband has been practicing."
"Easy, easy! Weighted wood and bamboo."
"Hmph, let's see it already."
The weapon smith went behind his curtain, sounds of rustling for a moment, then a loud crash, before he returned. Apparently, whatever it was, the large case was heavy enough to force him and one of his apprentices to push/drag on the floor. Once in front of both people outside the counter, both craftsmen stopped for a breather.
"Not entirely my design, mind you, ma'am." He jabbed a thumb at his customer, still panting. The younger Wutaian had returned to the back, muttering about crazy foreigners. "He came up with the crazy ass idea and I couldn't resist trying something so different. I suppose that this'll be its only kind, next to the Masamune and other weapons, due to the complexity. Much less anybody else using this thing."
Tifa spared the shopkeeper a wry glance as Cloud, trying not to look too eager, snapped the locks open. What was revealed would certainly make any SOLDIER of all three Classes be sick with envy and wet their pants, that much she was sure of.
Six swords lay amongst the black velvet, gleaming brightly under the shop lights. Two looked similar to a bread knife, despite their oddly designed serrated edges and lack of sword guards. One was short of the traditional handle, the grip instead placed on the back and partially hollow, as if able to be slotted against another sword. Two more resembled smaller versions of the Buster Sword, although Tifa was able to make out some sort of gear near where blade met handle. The last was the largest and appeared symmetrical, yet closer examination revealed that it had some inner workings in the guard and within the length of the sword itself.
She shot Cloud a look. "What, in Gaia's name, is this?"
"First Tsurugi," he returned proudly. "'Tsurugi' is another way of saying 'sword' in Wutaiese; the name just popped up."
"That doesn't explain how you work it."
"I'll let your husband handle that." One calloused hand paused over the curtained frame. "I'll be back with something for that weapon. Quite the masterpieces, if I do say so myself."
"Simple to explain, but difficult to use entirely. This one is the main sword. I can use this in its current mode or I can twist here--" He promptly twisted the red-wrapped handle and the blade popped open into two segments, as well the guard expanding from its diamond outline into the familiar rectangle shape. "--to give a little intimidation and for battle."
"As if the size alone wasn't enough," Tifa noted dryly. Most smart people immediately avoided Cloud during their grand adventure at first sight. Nobody in their right mind would mess with someone who had glowing eyes and carried a sword about the size of an adult man on their back with no problem.
Although the other party members had their own ways of avoiding a confrontation.
Barret had his body mass, multiple attachments for his gunarm and a colorful vocabulary. Cid's repertoire of words could rival his black friend, plus his ease of spear wielding and way with tools. Nanaki was fairly obvious due to his fangs and claws, not to mention some of his headdresses. Aerith may have appeared the weakest with her staves, yet it was her kind nature that diffused most situations, leading her to being the group's negotiator. Cait was second to the flower seller in looking harmless but getting pummeled by a mechanical moogle after being distracted by a flashy megaphone is quite humiliating. Yuffie carried the air that screamed "thief" and "ninja," complimented by her various throwing weapons and smaller ones. Any type of firearm was no problem for Vincent, along with the dark aura he emitted constantly and his claw certainly set some people on edge. Tifa herself was no slouch with her gloves, some of which had wicked looking implements and steel-plated boots that allowed extra damage.
Mako blue sparkled even brighter. "Ah, there's a reason for this madness. I can fold the handles back on these two--" Both switchblade types were promptly folded. "--and slot them onto the main one like this." Each were placed on opposite sides of the opened blade in a mirrored fashion at the guard.
"Okay, then the ones that look like exaggerated bread knives?"
"These go at the top." Again, both were slotted over the main sword and above the smallest ones with fluid ease. "This way, they give extra range and form the back."
"And the last one?" Curiosity was starting to overrun her caution.
"It becomes the front." The hollow sword was slipped into place like a sleeve, Cloud shifting the handle down that made a clicking sound as it sprang back up. "This holds everything in place, although I can pull them out almost any time I want, as well nearly putting them together in whatever order I need. And voila, six swords as one. First Tsurugi as a whole."
Tifa had to be impressed with her husband's idea and the weapon smith's ingenuity, though she did had to shake her head. Assembled in place, the entire weapon was about the same length as his Ultima Weapon and resembled a complex version of the Buster Sword, if not probably heavier. To think up such a thing, much less create it, must have taken a lot of arguing and compromising between the two men.
"Zidane was right. This definitely takes the cake."
"Had you been anyone else," the smith spoke when he emerged from the back, "I've would called you foolhardy and insane. Seeing you with that, however, makes the effort worth while. Here."
From his hands appeared to be a complicated mess of black leather straps at first glance.
"It's a holster, designed to hold all six swords when separate," he explained at the couple's curious looks, pointing at the new weapon. "Though I wouldn't recommend sitting down with all holstered as it may become difficult getting up. You may still carry it the way SOLDIERs used to but it's up to you, sir."
Cloud was pleasantly surprised. "Thank you."
A smile. "No need. You've made me a happy man on creating something that could rival my weapon making colleagues else where, save Masamune's namesake."
"What about payment?" Tifa asked. She knew that this wouldn't be cheap.
"Your husband has already paid most it off by gathering the necessary materials and helping me with the forging. There were times where his great strength was needed when neither my students nor my own power were enough. This holster, though, will be a gift."
Another smile. "I remembered that both you and your friends had bought out most of my stock before the coming of Meteo, saving me from an overdue debt while being in yours. That, and Yuffie-hime would clear out my collection if she knew I charged extra on her family members."
Chuckles from the couple, knowing their ninja relative would do exactly that. After paying the remainding fee, both bid the shopkeeper farewell, all six swords in his new holster.
Tifa pointed at the numerous blades. "How are you going to carry that while on Fenrir?"
He smiled. "Cid and I actually built that with sword compartments on mind, so it'll hold three each on both sides of the bike, even though the foils can hold a total of eight. I might get attacked on the road, so a push of a switch and they'll pop open for easy access."
"Who knew that you're such a tinkerer like Cid or Reeve." She had always wondered how did half the appliances got back working when they broke down.
"Hey, how else do you think I kept that Daytona in working condition? Although I'll admit, I'm below their level when it comes to the more complex stuff."
"One more thing."
She placed her hands on her hips. "Why another?"
A pause, then a sheepish smile. "I like swords."
A/N: Something random during class breaks. While First Tsurugi and Fenrir is seen in AC, I kinda wanted to integrate them into my TFG world for some reason. Describing how the sword is put together was touch-and-go, namely after multiple viewings. FF:AC Movie Home has an excellent article which describe the workings of First Tsurugi, which I found quite helpul. It's makes a lot more sense to see it done, so, go watch AC if you haven't. ff7acmovie (dot) com under the Articles/Analyses section.
The last line referencing Brian Clevinger's "8-Bit Theater". -snickers-