Formerly: TO HELL AND BACK AND BACK AGAIN. This is a Yu-Gi-Oh! Final Fantasy VII fiction. That means it is not mine. Also, be warned that this has slight Advent Children spoilers.
A special thank-you to my readers, who reminded me people are still there in this tiny room known as the internet ;).
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! or Final Fantasy VII. This is also a remake of the original THABABA. Warning for Advent Children (English Subtitled Edition) spoilers, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Alternate Universe. Thank you to Jodine16 ( my beta). Also: Yaoi warning.
Angel from Above
Cloud landed breathlessly on the top of one of the surrounding Midgar buildings, barely noticing when his knees hit the ground in sheer exhaustion. He knew his reprieve would be short, and he found himself not disappointed as he rolled precariously out of the way of the sleek, deadly Masamune. Dodging a few close attacks, he forced his tired arms to make his own attack, one which the taller man caught with his blade easily. Sephiroth twisted his blade, and shoulder checked the blond, who found himself dodging a few very quick strikes before the boot of his previous general found itself in his face. Cloud groaned as he slid down the wall, and almost got up before he felt his eyes widen at the sharp pain in his shoulder.
Almost dream-like, he let his head roll softly onto his own shoulder, seeing his pained eyes reflected back in the shine of the Masamune, before following the blade to the black gloved hand of it's master.
"Tell me what you cherish most…" Sephiroth asked as the blond hissed in pain, placing his hand on the less deadly side of the dai-katana. "Give me the pleasure of taking it away."
At the sound of the deadly whisper, Cloud saw flashes before his open eyes, a trick of his mind, or his memories because he was dying, he didn't know. There was Zack: the goofy soldier who was always kind to him, Aerith: who gave her life for all of them, Tifa: his first and only crush, the kids: sweet Marlene and brave Denzel. The list went on, the flashes continued.
Ignoring the pain, he jerked the Masamune out of his chest and into the wall as he dodged the blade, grabbing his own. He swung the broad-sword around in a great ark, unsurprised when Sephiroth put a wide distance between them easily "I pity you. You just don't get it at all." Sephiroth moved forward in attack, Cloud countering with his own. Sephiroth jumped, and his opponent followed. He could feel his anger, his hate, his desire to protect, reach the limit. "There's not a thing I don't cherish!"
Spinning his sword, he aimed the tip towards the older man, hitting the quick release, causing the swords to shoot forward, surrounding Sephiroth. The ex-general was shocked, he had prepared for a direct attack. Smirking, Cloud allowed his energy to propel him forward with enough speed to grab a single blade and slice through Sephiroth in an alternate version of Omnislash. Leaving the last blade in another's place, he sped for the next, slashing through his enemy, again and again, drawing an after-image of himself after each attack. Slamming downwards, he felt his enemy's flesh tear, and the energy that kept the pieces of his swords airborne vanished, and the fell to earth.
Glancing up, Cloud caught one sword easily. "Stay where you belong…in my memories."
As the skies cleared a black wing slid out of underneath Sephiroth's shoulder armour. "I will never be a memory." The elder promised, his wing wrapping around him as he vanished, leaving Kadaj in his wake. The young remnant fell to the ground, gasping for air. Cloud moved into an attack position, tensing when Kadaj charged, but moving his sword away when the younger tripped on his own two feet and fell into his arms.
"Nii-san..." Kadaj moaned, looking up into Cloud's eyes, who could only watch in pity as Kadaj jerked to look at something only he could hear. The cleansing rain began to fall. "Kaa-san...is that…? Un." Kadaj muttered, raising his hand to grasp at the rain, laughing slightly. Cloud smiled as he saw Kadaj's body lift from his arms, the remnant nodding at something only he could hear, and turning into a batch of pyre flies as he returned to the life stream.
The blond ex-mercenary smiled at the calm that the rain brought, tipping his head up and smiling at the Sierra airship. Suddenly, his peace was broke as pain ripped through him once more with the sound of a gunshot.
"We'll go together..." He heard Yazoo mutter from behind him, his arm glowing from the vast materia slammed into him.
"Together, we'll play..." Loz continued, his body in the same shape as his brother's from the materia and the cleansing rain. Ignoring the sluggishly bleeding wound, Cloud hauled himself to his feet, and turned to charge at the brother remnants, who raised their hands and cast an enormous amount of spells all at once. The blinking flash was the last thing Cloud saw...
"Kaa-san...?" His voice echoed.
"Again? Why is everyone calling me their mother lately?" Arieth's voice wondered aloud. Cloud felt his hair move softly.
"I guess they must be fond of you." Zack's baritone teased.
"This ones a little to big to adopt."
"Tough luck, friend, sounds like you don't have a place here." The harsh words were playful.
"You're journey isn't done yet."
"We need you to do a favour..."
Growling, Seth shook his head at the stupidity of this 'mission'. As the most powerful High Priests, he and Karim had been given the mission of investigating a small cliff, where there had been a large flash of light the night before. It was pure idiocy, in his opinion, There had been storm clouds in the sky, and he had prayed for rain to stop the most recent drought, but no rain had come. That didn't mean that there wasn't lightning, which is what the flash probably was.
"Stop brooding." Karim said with a kind smile, glancing at the more powerful duellist to his side. "What do you suppose it is, Seth?" He asked idly, spurring his horse to keep up with the other priest's who was in a hurry to get the job done.
"I don't know and I don't particularly care." The brunet replied, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "It's probably just lightning, but if it's dangerous we should deal with it...quickly."
There was a hint, but Karim continued at his pace, enjoying the warm, but not excruciatingly hot, day. "You make worry about Pharaoh too much, even though if given the need he could defend you and I."
"We're at war, Karim." Seth paused. They were almost at the top of the cliff but something had caught his ear. "Karim, Does something sound like its...dripping?"
Stopping as well, the other priest listened, shrugging. "Maybe you were right and it was just lightning. It could have rained up here, but since it's still morning, it wouldn't have dried up." The broader man offered.
Now, not so sure of himself, Seth jumped off of his horse, creeping along the slope, his Millennium rod at the ready with the dagger out of it's sheathe. Peering over, the high priest felt himself pale as he jumped over the edge, shouting for Karim to hurry.
"He's bleeding!" Seth muttered urgently, hoping that the odd man's assailant wasn't anywhere near. "Karim!"
"I'm here." The man said as he climbed over the small ledge, looking around carefully.
"Grab his swords." Seth commanded, nodding to the six swords lying in the sand as he gently turned the man over, gasping at the pale skin as the man's armour caused him to roll completely over. "Oh, Ra." He muttered, noticing the man was taking shallow quick breaths, blood dried to the front of his soot-covered shirt from a small almost surgeon-like incision just over his heart and a small hole just below his lungs.
Wincing as he noticed the small stream of blood that had come from the man's chest and was leaking down into a small puddle of water, not mixing properly, he shook his head and carefully lifted the blond.
"Zack?" The blond muttered, both Seth and Karim pausing to look at him as his pale eyelashes fluttered. "Aerith?" his eyes opened, and Seth gasped. Though there was no difference in colour between his and the strangers, but there was no denying how the other's eyes glowed strangely in the morning sun. Groaning softly, the blonds' eyes dropped closed still to weak to keep open.
"What is he?" Karim asked, panting under the weight of the awkward swords. "Is he even a he?"
Seth shook his head "Of corpse he's a man." The brunet snapped, gently propping the man on his horse so he could swing on, pulling the man with him.
"Let's go." He ordered, Karim nodding and spurring his horse forward, now wishing to get back with great speed. Seth's mind travelled to the stranger. The man was thin, but well muscled. It was odd to find someone this pale anywhere near Kemet, even though it had happened few times before. The man's abnormalities didn't stop there, as he had the unusual bright golden hair and outrageous clothes.
"Tifa..." the man whimpered, twisting in Seth's grip slightly, but not enough to throw him. "Gomen..." The man stilled, nuzzling into the soft linen of Seth's white and blue robe. Climbing off his horse when they reached the palace, he and Karim hefted the man and his swords into the council chamber of the Pharaoh, who turned towards them.
"Did you find out what was...oh Ra!" The Pharaoh hurried over to Seth and the blond, helping the brunet carry him to the door. "Get him into a room and get healers in here, now!" Men and women rushed around to follow Pharaoh's orders.
"Lay him down!" The healer waved to a bed, looking at the incision closely. "He is too pale. He should have some colour." The man looked him over, assessing the situation. "High Priest, was he worse of better when you found him?"
Said high priest rolled his eyes. "I see no need to panic. The outsider has already awaken once, and he was much worse when we found him. His bleeding has slowed much."
"What do you suppose this is?" Pharaoh asked, tracing his finger along the outsider's left arm gently, taking away an ash-like substance that had only started to appear, the outsider hissing.
Seth shook his head and pushed the incompetent healer to the side, checking the outsider's pulse, breathing, and how badly he was bleeding. Finding the man was regular in everything and his bleeding had almost completely stopped, he straightened.
"He just seems to have a bad infection." Seth said. "His bleeding has almost stopped, he has a slight fever, and his breathing is slightly erratic, but he's otherwise in perfect condition."
"I knew that!" The healer said with a glare at the smirking priest. "I could tell all that when he was brought in."
"Which is why you were running around like a chicken in harvest season?" The high priest laughed as the healer left in a hurry.
"You know," Maha'ado began, having followed the pharaoh, "even though you are better then the whole team of healers, you don't have to torment them all the time."
"I don't. Just the time that I'm around to torment them." His duties usually took up most of his time, but he studied everything, and was better then most of the palace architects, healers, alchemists, and scholars.
"Tifa..." The high priests and pharaoh, who were crowded around the man's bed watched as his eyes blinked open slowly. "Where, who...?"
"What's your name?" Pharaoh asked softly, amazed by the glowing quality of the outsider's eyes. "Where are you from?"
The man shook his head, seeming confused. Pharaoh sighed as the man groaned in pain, his hand going to his arm. "Nan'…?" he muttered, drifting into sleep.
"But Pharaoh!" One of the council men shouted, seeming offended. "He could be with the 'Black Rulers'!"
"And if we throw him out only to find out he's innocent?" Pharaoh Argued, his priests surrounding him with Seth at his left. "What if this was the help we were looking for?" Everyone knew that Pharaoh was too kind a king to send the injured out into battle, but the times were growing desperate.
"The 'Black Rulers' do not use anything but shadow monsters." Seth shouted to the council. Pharaoh had better sense of character then all of them put together. He would trust Pharaoh's judgement. "This man hauls around not one but six swords that out strongest warrior would have little chance at wielding." Karim nodded at the truth.
"But if he is! If he is then we're just keeping the lion in the middle of the sheep! If the man is as strong as you say, high priest, then we will all surely die under his wrath."
"Enough!" Pharaoh shouted, causing the room to fall silent. "Shadi will check his ka. If we find anything we will put him in the dungeons for trial. If there is nothing any with doubts will hold their tongue."
"Pharaoh." The whole room muttered in union and bowed as the young king left, the high priests following shortly after.
"Is this wise?" Seth asked. "I do not think he is evil, but even a brush from the rod in his mind and I can tell he's not all stable. His mind has been in torment for long years, from what I can tell."
The Pharaoh sighed, pausing outside the door. "I know, cousin. I can sense he has had his mind shattered and repaired only to be broken again. From what I can find," Pharaoh entered the room and bode everyone to leave he and his priests alone with the man. "this 'stigma' he seems to have and a man named Sephiroth are connected." At hearing the name, Cloud moaned, his eyebrows twitching together slightly. "Although he has spoken many names, none of them have made him react in such a way. Shadi?"
The bald priest moved forward, holding his Millennium item out to the man's heart, turning the key and falling into the mind.
There was nothing but darkness, a sense of oppression, but nothing evil. Out of the gloom, one could see the flickering of a large fire and screams to one side, but to the other, there was an ominously large door. Shadi paused as he watched the blond run pass, shorter and less muscled then the man in the bed in the real world.
"A nightmare…" Shadi wondered idly, following what seemed to be a younger Cloud, "or a memory?"
Cloud ran into the place just as the black haired man was blown from the room at the top of the stairs, crashing through the metal pods only to land in a heap.
"Cloud!" The man rasped. "You...you have to stop him...the General's gone insane..."
"General Sephiroth?" Cloud asked quietly, before noticing the young brown haired girl lying in a corner, a slice across her shoulders and chest. "Tifa!" Cloud ran over to her, gently picking her up. "Tifa? Tifa!"
The girl opened her eyes softly, and even though they were filled with pain there was also soft adoration. "You came...just like you promised."
"Yea." The blond nodded, but paused when he heard muttering from inside the large door at the top of the stairs. "Stay here, I'll be back for you in a few." Getting up, the blond took the other man's large broadsword, and stalked to the door even though the blade was almost impossible for his lithe form to lift. Entering the room, Shadi watched as the blond snuck up to the man with long silver hair, who had the palms of his hands and the hilt of his six foot long sword pressed against the glass container holding an armless woman with similar pale hair.
"Mother. You shall have your place as queen of all, mother." The blond ran forward, sinking the blade through the middle of the taller man's back, said silver haired man gasping as he was pinned to the glass by the broadsword.
"How could you, Sephiroth? My mother, my friends. How do you think I feel? What about my pain?!" With a quick jerk , Cloud pulled the sword out and watched Sephiroth crumble to the ground. "Tifa..."He turned, meaning to go help his friend, but the sound of a sword made him turn. Gasping, the blond dropped the broadsword as he was swung around by the steel in his stomach. Sephiroth held him over the gap in the floor, which was over green liquid.
"You feel nothing, traitor." Sephiroth hissed. Shadi watched in amazement as the blond gasped for breath and grabbed the flat edge of the sword. "Mother will rule the world, and I will become a god."
"You...you...BASTARD!" Pulling himself along the sword until his feet touched the ground, Cloud threw the sword and it's owner into the wall, panting as an orange light surrounded him.
"Limit break." A voice said behind Shadi, causing him to whirl around to face the older version of Cloud. "That's when you get so angry your strength, your physical limit, expands and explodes. What are you doing here?" Older Cloud raised one of the broadswords Karim had brought in in his hand, pointing it at Shadi. "Better yet, how did you get here?"
"My Millennium Item allows me to see into a person's mind and soul." Shadi informed. "The council wanted reassurance that you were not our enemy."
"And if I am?" Cloud asked, his hold not quivering in the slightest. "What would you do then, kill me?"
"More then likely." Shadi said with a nod. "But so far, you are not."
Cloud laughed and the scene around them vanished to complete blackness. "Have you found what you are looking for?" Cloud asked, a small scene of a house full of bustling kids and an older version of Tifa and Cloud laughing around a bar at some of the children's antics appeared then vanished. Another scene appeared, a slightly younger Cloud and a woman with long braided brown hair wearing a pink dress sitting on top of a playground animal in the slums, talking away. Cloud feeling the power of the black stone in his hand flowing up his arm, invading his mind with an evil chuckle- "Give me the black materia, Puppet."-and his body without his mind handing it to Sephiroth. Cloud struggling with himself, sword raised over his head, about to strike the brown haired girl down. He and the black haired man in a truck, him not being able to move- "Well be friends forever, right?"- and the firing of guns taking down the older man.
Shadi shook his head, landing back in his own body gently. "He has been through much, but I don't see any evil in him that wasn't put there by force." Shadi nodded "I say: innocent."
Pharaoh nodded, looking relieved "Good. Then it's decided." The priests filled out, but Pharaoh remained for a few seconds, brushing some of the blond strands back with a smile. "Pharaoh?"
He glanced up, nodding at the only woman in his entire council. "Yes, Isis? Tell me, is he the one of your vision?"
"The man in my vision was surrounded in green lights and rain, handed to us by my namesake, Isis herself (1). This man came to us in a flash of light, and Karim said there were water puddles on the cliff they found him. I believe he is indeed the one we are waiting for."
Cloud felt his eyes flutter at the sound of people talking, but he couldn't focus on the words specifically.
"When he wakes up," Pharaoh said, straightening and heading towards the door. "We wont tell him anything, just yet. I'm not going to make a person into a sacrifice." Isis bowed, and followed her Pharaoh out the door.
1- I am a Wiccan under the branch of Tameran, which means I practice spells and magick, but I worship the Egyptian gods and goddesses (my own personal worship involves about 20 gods and goddesses). Just to keep it easy, I'll be using their Greek names, but Isis' true Egyptian name is Eset, so if I type that I'll apologise ahead of time.