While Sephiroth is struggling to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing to fight for any more, Cloud refuses to believe in the world where Sephiroth is a God.
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy. I only love the character Sephiroth.
It has been forty days since Sephiroth finally fulfilled his self-imposed destiny and became a God. More accurately, forty days - or was it forty months, even years? Time carried little meaning in the scale of infinity - have passed since he accepted the Planet's proposal and embarked on his final journey to the Godhood. And after creating forty guardian angels together, Sephiroth's transformation was finally complete.
He should be feeling euphoric really, knowing the goal of his human/Jenova life has been realised without a shadow of doubt. So, why is he feeling that he has been cheated out of something, when the Planet completed her side of the bargain and gave him the full power of a God, befitting his status as her consort? A power that even she cannot take away from him without destroying herself at the same time. Even his Mother grew content, no longer plaguing his mind with contradictory visions when he looked into hers. Everyone is sickeningly content and at peace, as the Planet plunged into deep slumber, sated and feeling safe as the torturous dreams of Life Stream finally dissolved away into the unknown corner of the Universe.
That is, nauseating complacency filled the entire Planet and all its creatures except Sephiroth. His willpower was far too strong to be swept away by the hypnotising feeling that the Planet's untroubled sleep has been effortlessly inducing in herself and all that depended on her. But why couldn't he feel fulfilled and for once happy on his own account? After all, his dream has been achieved, and no one can dispute – since he is a God and the chosen consort of the Planet - he has earned his rightful place.
It's true that the sense of his triumph has been slightly dampened by the Planet's welcoming embrace. But then Sephiroth was just as good at a negotiating table as he was at a battlefield, and the Planet would not have given him what he had fought for, had his willpower been less tenacious. She would have taken what she wanted without returning any favour. In fact, she wouldn't have needed him at all.
All things considered, the hollow feeling inside him is probably not justifiable. Then again, justification or no, when was he ever willing to allow feelings to affect him? He has been only happy to lock any feelings away deep inside him, as soon as they scratched the surface of his consciousness. The one time he lost control under their influence nearly got him killed – so unlike him failing to ensure that his target is indisputably dead - and resulted in the burning town of Nibelheim, which delayed his plans and united his enemies. Only, he no longer needs to do away with his feelings since nothing can make him vulnerable.
With a soft sigh, Sephiroth stretches his glossy silver wings that have been covering his torso and looks down at the unmoving form next to him. His consort, the personification of Planet's core energy, lies on the bed of clouds in the shape of a beautiful woman. Her face sculptured and her skin flawless and soft, she looks human and feels like one too. Sephiroth, however, knows better than to believe this appearance is her true form.
Unlike Sephiroth who can still experience all too human sensations through his own human/Jenova body, immortalised and form shifting it may be, she has no real body to begin with. It is only through borrowed consciousness, experiences of the Dead, she understands at all any of the physical sensations as humans, animals, and Sephiroth have experienced. His touch brings her none of the desired effects that would have affected her creatures. Now that he has completed his side of the bargain and given her the guardian angels she wanted, he has no desire to touch her form. It is rather like playing with a badly designed toy.
Angels dream of becoming a human.
He didn't believe the words when Zack related a part of his conversation with Angeal to him. Why would a being superior to a human ever wish that? He had always known humans were weak and traitorous. Even when he believed himself a part of the human race, he wanted to be something more than a hero for a hero was still a mere human. The only time he despaired at the possibility of not being a human was when he suspected himself nothing more than a demented scientist's experiment.
When he jokingly told Genesis that the red head could have the role of a hero all to himself, it wasn't meant to be patronising. He genuinely preferred to fly away and become more than a mere mortal. After he had found out the secret of his origin, he wished nothing other than the total destruction for their kind, to take away the Planet from their greedy grip and return her to her rightful owner – himself, of course. Humans did nothing but try to manipulate and use him. Even Zack – one of the supposed-to-be loyal few among the species - in the end took the side with his betrayers and stabbed him while his back was turned.
He ponders idly now that he can afford feeling a little generous.
Was there some truth in Angeal's words?
He concedes with justified arrogance.
Gods take pleasure in playing with humans.
Cloud hates this particular dream with all his shattered heart. It simply has to be a dream, even though it is hard to dismiss as mere illusion – a fanciful working of his own exhausted mind - the familiar flowery scent that surrounds the pretty slender figure which looks remarkably like Aerith.
True, his archenemy too has defied death and returned to haunt his waking moments, no less than twice. But being a half-Cetra doesn't mean she could survive the death he witnessed firsthand. She is no Sephiroth; she is no Jenova cell-induced monster who stubbornly refuses to find peace with death.
At first though he nearly believed her. He thought it was a miracle, a gift from the Planet to her greatest Champion. He has suffered so much, though he is never certain whether it has been to save the Planet from a madman's clutches or to avenge his mother's death. He would do anything to bring her back to life, knowing how much Zack loved her and knowing that he is to blame for her demise.
This thing in front of her, however, is not Aerith. The said thing is telling him she never died in the first place. Worse, it is telling him that he never beat Sephiroth, that all AVALANCHE members are dead except Cloud and herself, and that the only reason Cloud survived was because the deranged ex-General willed it so.
Nothing in the world would make him fall for a lie of that magnitude.
"You really don't remember, do you?"
The concerned tone in that thing's voice is disturbing. It almost makes him feel guilty.
"Go away, whatever you are," Cloud finally snaps, closing his eyes and willing himself to wake up and face his grim reality.
The suffocating guilt and emptiness that is sure to await him is better than this shameless lie. Because in his reality, his friends are very much alive, even though they spend little time with each other. In that reality, he has defeated Sephiroth and will continue to do so till the silver-haired menace is nothing but a distant memory. In the real world, Zack didn't die in vain, and the good were destined to triumph over the evil in the end. But most of all, humanity means more to the Planet than an overpopulated virus that sucked her energy dry and needed to be wiped out. The Planet sees the good in human beings. They are simply more special to her than the rest of her creation. The Planet has a heart, especially for those who risk their lives to protect her. Right?
"Cloud, you cannot waste your life in sleep. I know it is hard to face the reality, but I was desperately worried for you. I thought you would never wake up. You promised Zack you would live for the both of you. Remember?"
The blonde warrior submerges himself deeper into the creamy white sheet that covers and warms his naked form, palms covering his ears. He refuses to converse with a devil disguised as a sweet, caring girl. If only he didn't feel so weak, he would strangle the life out of that imposter. Maybe then, he can wake up from this nightmare, no doubt another sick mind game Sephiroth is playing. He can survive this unscathed; he has grown stronger and learned to block out the influence of the cursed Jenova cell in his body, abused in the name of science.
Silence. And much to his relief, the imposter makes no move to get herself heard. The feeling of relief at his small triumph is, however, short lived. His stomach growls loudly and his throat feels unbearably dry. If only he can wake up from this dream and fix himself something edible. He shouldn't feel like this anyway; he is hardly a human after all Hojo's genetic experiments. He doesn't have to drink or eat for a few days. He can even go on without sleep for a few weeks. And he is certain that he didn't suffer for long the lack of food or water in his waking moments. Nevertheless, his body's craving for nutritional substance is getting worse by the minute.
Would I wake up if I die in this dream?
An imperceptible smile forms at the comforting thought, only to be replaced by a grimace. Panic creeps into his dizzy mind at an alarming speed, nearly causing him to hyperventilate.
People sometimes die in their dreams.
Perhaps, that is what Sephiroth planned all along, plaguing his dream with perverted scenarios till he cannot stand it any longer and perish in his sleep. The evil plan, however, has been discovered and therefore is as good as foiled. He will not hide behind the meager protection of the bed sheets. With clenched fists and deathly glare, Cloud stands on his somewhat wobbly legs, paying no attention to the nearby brunette who has quickly averted her eyes and is now blushing furiously. He shouts as loudly and as menacingly as his apathetic throat will allow
"I will not die in this nightmare of yours, Sephiroth. Do you hear me? You are nothing but a crazed psychopath who should burn in hell for eternity. And I will make sure that you do."
And that is when, for the first time since his rise to the Godhood, Sephiroth hears the desperate cries of his former puppet whom he has nearly forgotten.