Final Battle: Cloud v Sephiroth
This is what you've waited for,
The chance to even up the score.
If you've got something to say,
Say it to me now
Say it to me now
-Glen Hansard, Once.
Part Two: Dialogue
There was a short pause, before Cloud said "What?"
Sephiroth, facing Cloud across the narrow stone ridge, blinked. "What?"
"What have you done with the place?"
Sephiroth rolled his eyes. "The rain?"
"I see." Cloud's brow furrowed. "Why? That just makes it more slippery for both of us. What advantage does that bring you?"
A bolt of lightning hit the tip of his drawn sword, knocking him to his knees. Regaining his feet, he nodded. "Ah."
"It's also more dramatic" Sephiroth added helpfully.
There was a pause, as both realised that the wind preventing them from attacking each other was not slackening any time soon. The lightning was draining, so Sephiroth decided to rely on his sword from now on. With nothing better to do, he resumed speaking, feeling that the conversation had gotten away from him in the last few moments.
"Shall I assume we will shortly engage in yet another fight to the 'death'."
"I think so, yes."
Can I invite you to reconsider?"
"And let you go? Why would I do that?"
"Because I've given up trying to destroy the world. The Planet's a resilient bitch, and Jenova's out of my reach. I just want my body back, and my life."
"...I'm not really inclined to trust your word."
"Okay, then, consider this. You've killed me three times. First, in Nibel reactor, when you oh so bravely played dead while I massacred the village and then snuck up and stabbed me in the back. Secondly, at the North Cave, when you flung everything you had at me, and still needed lifestream enhancements and the influence of your dead not-quite-girlfriend to finish me, along with the White Materia and a large portion of the Lifestream. The Planet itself had to fight to beat me. That's how good I was. Thirdly, in Edge, when even with Lifestream enhancements again supplied by that helpful Cetra girl, I had you at my mercy. If I hadn't wasted time with pointless posturing, that sword would've gone through your skull instead of your shoulder. Now, this time, I don't intend to destroy the world, so you have to fight me off your own bat. The Planet's a selfish bitch –she won't waste Lifestream enhancements on you if she's not in danger. Statistically speaking, you've killed me in close run affairs three times. The odds were against you every time, even with all your help. On your own, you're pretty much doomed."
Cloud paused. He had an uneasy feeling that Sephiroth was making sense. But he wouldn't be Cloud without a penchant for pointless heroism.
"I'm not letting you leave."
"Okay then, time for the battle." But the wind still barred their way, and while it had slackened slightly, it did not look like it was stopping any time soon. They waited.
"Oh, by the way Cloud, this is also my body, not some Clone I'm possessing. I spent years building it, and I'll be able to use the full extent of my abilities."
"Why're you so eager to convince me not to fight? Feeling threatened, Sephiroth?"
Taken aback himself, Sephiroth hesitated. "Maybe. But that also means no more posturing, no more games. I'm not about to get caught off guard again."
"I bet you said that the second time too. Even if you win, the W.R.O. will hunt you down. You might as well just return to the Lifestream and accept your fate."
"Jenova doesn't let you die easily, Cloud. You of all people should know that."
"So you would die if you could. I'll be happy to help."
"Not quite. I wonder if I could convince you to leave me alone once I get free. The Planet's in no danger. I've given up." He didn't like to admit it, but Jenova was now beyond him.
"So you said. But I don't trust you. You tried to destroy the world."
"Not exactly. I tried to hurt it. And I failed. You and the Planet caused more deaths than me."
"Yes, Cloud, you heard me. I butchered my way through the Shinra building and the Cargo Ship. You killed thousands of people in reactors and butchered your way through the Shinra building. I used the Black Materia...but you were the one who handed it to me. The actual Materia didn't do as much damage, but the Weapons that were released by the Planet after your conscious decision to hand it to me killed thousands of people. I massacred Nibelheim...but you killed all those purple things in the Temple of the Ancients. Not to mention all the Shinra soldiers. So which of us has done more damage, Cloud? Who knows, maybe the planet will hand Lifestream enhancements to me."
"I don't think so!"
"Well, you're probably right there. I don't have a helpful not–quite-girlfriend speaking on my behalf. But...I don't think you'll be granted them either."
"So, Sephiroth, assume you beat me. What then? Back to Shinra?"
"Shinra? Hah! I don't think so! Twelve years of loyal service I gave them, and what do I have to show for it? An Oedipus complex and an effeminate hairdo. I'm through with them."
"So you can hunt me down? Sorry."
The wind began to fade.
"Time's ticking on, Cloud. If you've got something to say, say it now."
"No matter how many times you return, I'll find you and beat you every single time."
"Schoolboy heroics, Cloud? For some strange reason I expected better. Well, let me spare you some worry. Today is my last throw of the dice. If you win today, you win. I'm finished."
"And I'm supposed to believe you?"
"Believe what you like, Puppet."
The wind slackened. They drew the swords they had for some reason decided to sheathe during the conversation.
"So...here we are. It's been...well, not an honour, and certainly not a pleasure, but...an interesting association Cloud. Good luck." Sephiroth saluted. The odd display of humanity struck Cloud as odd, but before he could respond, the wind died.
This isn't quite the quality work I'd envisioned, but it'll have to do. Enjoy.