Final Fantasy VII

Not Good Enough

By LuckyLadybug

Notes: The characters aren't mine and this ficlit is! It was partially inspired by the prompt Our swords shall play the orators for us at 31 Days. There are some mild Crisis Core spoilers here, but nothing beyond what is shown in chapter four. It just occurred to me to wonder about the question of blood types; in order for Sephiroth to have not considered that a reason for rejection, he, Angeal, and Genesis must have all had the same blood type. (I realize the Jenova's cell thing must have been the actual reason behind the rejection, but Seph wouldn't know about that to consider it.) And I have added some dialogue between Seph and Zack that was not in the scene in the game, but I imagine it taking place between scenes nine and ten in chapter four.

"You won't do."

Sephiroth was standing, gazing off into the distance, lost in the memories he had just revealed to Zack.

Even now, after so long, those words still stung. Why had Sephiroth been rejected when he had only wanted to help Genesis? Why was his blood any different than Angeal's? It was the same type. A strange coincidence, but true. There should not have been a problem.

Had Genesis been angry at him? Had Genesis blamed him for his own injury and not wanted anything to do with him? What if he had told that to Hollander?

It should have been a friendly competition. They had engaged in such things often. They had enjoyed setting up challenges, each giving his all to come out the victor. Angeal had always worried that something would go wrong, especially during their swordfights. Both of them unleashed so much power that there was always a good chance of something going amiss and them hurting each other or themselves. They had rarely heeded Angeal's warnings.

This time Genesis had paid for it.

"I want to have a duel with Sephiroth."

It was a harsh choice of words, perhaps. But Genesis had not meant for either of them to die. At least . . . Sephiroth did not think he had. For his part, he had not wanted harm to come to Genesis. They had been friends then, or they had been supposed to be. The way Sephiroth saw it, their battles had been one way they demonstrated their closeness.

But maybe Genesis had not felt the same.

He knew of Genesis's longing to be a hero. He had for some time. Genesis had mentioned it again before they had begun their fight. Had he believed that to triumph over Sephiroth would make him strong enough to be a hero?

Genesis was a troubled soul. Sephiroth knew that, too. There was such a desperation about him, a driving need to be the best. When he had left SOLDIER, he had insisted it was the right thing and that the organization was corrupt. He had convinced a good number of lower-ranked SOLDIERs of that as well. But he had not left for purely noble reasons. He had been angry, too. About what, Sephiroth was not certain.

Which brought him back to his original train of thought. Maybe he had been to blame, at least partially. If he and Genesis had stopped their fight, he would not have been hurt. Yet . . . it was really Genesis's own fault it had happened. Angeal had interrupted them, telling them to stop, and in frustration Genesis had lashed out, causing the weapon to break and slice into his shoulder.

And now, what Sephiroth had just learned from these reports was adding a new layer to his feelings of being overwhelmed. Genesis was deteriorating? What did that mean? His mind, and his body, were giving out? Angeal's too?

Did they know? Was that even part of the reason why they had left? Maybe they were seeking a cure. Maybe they thought Hollander had it.

He felt so helpless. He, the one esteemed as Shinra's greatest warrior and hero! But with all of his knowledge and expertise, he was not good enough to save his own friends. His title of hero was so hollow.


He turned, looking to Zack. The newly-promoted SOLDIER First Class was watching him with a mixture of confusion and helplessness of his own. It was obvious from his eyes that he wanted to help Sephiroth, but he did not know how.

And Sephiroth did not know, either.

Awkwardly Zack placed a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry," he said, his voice quieting.

Sephiroth gave a wry smirk. "So am I."

Ordinarily he might have recoiled from the physical contact. But it felt comforting now.

". . . What will you do if you have to fight Genesis?"

A shrug. "Then I will have to fight him." The ache in his voice was apparent even to him. He would let Genesis go free if he could, but what if Genesis himself would force a fight? There was no telling what he might do, especially in his condition. His jealousy had assisted in warping his soul.

". . . I'll be here for you, Seph."

Both of them were stunned by that. As Sephiroth turned, shock written on his face, Zack suddenly looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He had not meant to say that last part aloud.

"What did you call me?" Sephiroth said at last.

Zack gave a weak grin. "I feel a lot closer to you than to call you by your full name all the time," he said, rubbing the back of his neck. "It just kinda slipped."

Sephiroth frowned, shaking his head as he turned away. No one would have ever dared to give him a nickname before. And why was he not scolding Zack for doing so? Maybe he just felt too weary. Or maybe he did not feel like berating the already-embarrassed boy. It was so hard to be aggravated with him.

". . . Are you mad?"

"No." Sephiroth knew he meant it. "Just don't call me that again."

"Okay, Seph." Zack's tone turned instantaneously to sheepish alarm. "Man, I'm sorry!"

Why did Sephiroth feel like smirking in genuine amusement for the first time in months?

"Nevermind," was all he said. "Let's finish searching this floor."

He walked off, Zack hurrying to catch up.

It was a nice sound, really---the sound of knowing he was not alone.