Summary: When Sephiroth doesn't die as expected, there's only one hope that the rest of the world will live: Cloud. And he's surprised at how easily they give him up to save themselves. dark [SephxCloud]
I'll probably hear all about how 'Cloud's friends would never do that! Mrw!'. I only have one sentence for you then: Too bad. :D
"What were you expecting, Cloud?"
The blond haired man only stared, shock on his face. This...wasn't right. He watched as the once proud General stood up straight, smirking at the younger male. No, this wasn't right at all! Why was Sephiroth alive? They had used Holy, they had fought and fought, and they even had the world fight with them, so why wasn't he dead? Why wasn't the very nemesis of the Lifestream dead yet? Was it not enough? Were they not strong enough? Was the world? Did they wait too long and this was revenge?
"Did you think I'd roll over and die?" Sephiroth chuckled, his eyes darker than ever. "That you were stronger than me?"
"It's not over." Cloud hissed, raising First Tsuguri and preparing to continue the fact, despite how tired he was. "I won't stop until I make you pay for what you did to my home."
"Revenge, Cloud?" The silvered haired man chuckled darkly, grinning. "That doesn't sound very hero-like."
"Then I guess I'm not a hero." was the simple response, causing the other to glance at his foe's companions.
They were all tired, and they were all weary. Well, except for the ex-Turk, but that was expected. The man wasn't human anymore, just like himself. The Wutai girl had fallen from her feet and panting, the pilot trying to get enough strength to use a Cure materia on himself, seeing how his arm was gushing blood. The Gi and the little cat were standing on alert, but both were wounded. The man known as Barret was cursing as he hurriedly fixed his gun-arm, seeing how Sephiroth had put Masamune through it. And Tifa was standing slightly behind Cloud, hiding her exhaustion despite the blood and cuts all along her arms and legs. Cloud was mostly untouched, but then again, Sephiroth had made sure of that.
"I don't think your companions share your enthusiasm, Cloud."
Cloud glared at him, knowing very well that no one could fight with him at this point. "Then I'll fight for them."
It was an odd statement. Cloud didn't really fight for anyone. They knew it was revenge on his part. The rest cared about the planet and the Lifestream, but Cloud was guided by the dark hatred in his soul of watching Sephiroth burning Niebelheim and killing his mother. Then, on top of that, for killing Aeris, his best friend's one love. So, upon hearing this, most of his comrades stared at hearing the personal sentence.
"I thought you weren't a hero, Cloud." Sephiroth then did something very, very odd. He put his sword away. "I have a deal for you."
"We're not interested." Tifa snapped, tensing and keeping her fists up.
The Silver General just gave her a look. "I'm not talking to the vermin. I'm talking to Cloud."
They all tensed then. Cloud especially. He hated that upon hearing the older man's voice, he immediately felt like he was back at the academy and he should be saluting him, listening to him. He felt like a small child, being berated for doing something stupid. But he wasn't. Cloud knew that this was important, and that he would avenge his mother, his people, and Aeris.
Still, he waited, listening to what Sephiroth would say.
"We can stop this right here, Cloud. We can stop fighting." They stared in shock. "I'll even allow this planet to live. No meteor, no need to use Holy again. All I want now is to get back at Shinra for their disrespect and imprisoning my mother."
"...And?" Cloud slowly got out of his stance, but didn't take his eyes off of the other. "You obviously want something in return."
"Of course." Sephiroth smirked, making Cloud shudder. "I want you."
A pause. Then they heard Barret say, "What the fuck was that?"
"You and I will take down Shinra, and you'll be with me. Forever." Sephiroth didn't bother looking to see anyone else's expressions, only the utter shock and fear on the blond's face. Yes, he finally made Cloud fear him. "I'll let your friends and their families live. They can all go back to their lives. Except you."
"Now, wait here." Cid spoke up, spiting out his cigarette. "You can't be serious, ya loon. Ya won't really let us leave."
"What reason do I have to kill you all when it means I get Cloud's total cooperation?"
"Cloud..." Yuffie stood back up. "Is...is he serious?"
Cloud looked back at them, his hands shaking. "I...I don't know."
"No way!" Tifa yelled. "Why give up all your hatred for Cloud?"
"You love him." Vincent said, staring at the tall man.
Everyone suddenly looked uncomfortable, giving looks to each other. It was Barret that spoke first, and he kept shifting his glances around anywhere but at Cloud's face.
"Look, man...Spiky...I have a little girl to look after..."
Cloud's eyes widened. "You...You don't really think that he's serious, do you?"
"I can't take that chance with Marlene!" he snapped, hand clenched in a fist. "He's offering to take down fucking Shinra, and he won't destroy us all! You're one of my best...b-best comrades, but...Fuck, Cloud! It's Marlene!"
"I-I'm too young for this..." Yuffie muttered, eyes wide. "I...I'm suppose to take over Wutai, I...I can't..."
"You're actually buying into this loon? What the fuck, you bunch of pussies?" Cid yelled, swinging his spear around. "Why let us live when he can kill us and take the damn kid! Use your brains!"
"Cloud." Vincent looked at the blond man, eyes passive. "What do you think?"
Cloud didn't say anything, but they all knew. They saw it in his eyes, in how badly his hands were shaking. His sword was trembling with them, and suddenly, Cloud realized something. These people...hadn't known him very long. He was barely twenty-one, he'd spent most of his life either being stepped on as a country boy from a backwater town no one cared about, or being ordered by Shinra as their lapdog. That was his life...straightforward and clean cut. And hadn't he put up with all the suffering that the world had given him? Hadn't he watched Zack die, then Aeris? Hadn't he seen his town burning, heard the screaming?
"...No." Cloud said, backing away slightly from the General. "I don't...You can't expect me..."
"Face it, Cloud." Sephiroth cut in, taking a couple steps forward. "You have nothing to offer them. What could you bargain for?"
Cloud nearly tripped, trying to back away from him. "Please...you guys..."
"Cloud..." He turned to his last hope, his once best friend. Tifa stared at him. "You know...I hate Shinra."
"And...you've got...a part of that monster, Jenova, in you...right?" Tifa shook her head. "We can finally make the world a better place. No Shinra, no more mako...no SOLDIER..."
"You..." Cloud turned to the rest of them, eyes glowing slightly and making them all flinch. "You really expect me to sit back and allow you all to be happy while I get thrown to the side and have to suffer? You wouldn't have made it anywhere without me! You all expected me, the ex-SOLDIER, to beat him and save the planet! Now you're all willing to hand me over because things aren't looking good?"
"NO!" Cloud shouted, glaring at each of them. "I won't do it! Fuck you, and fuck the planet!"
"Cloud," Sephiroth cut in, still smirking. "I believe they've made their decision."
"This isn't right..." Nanaki muttered, frowning. "We can't really ask him to do this, can we?"
"We have to..." Yuffie answered, shaking. "Cloud...we're sorry..."
They couldn't look at him. None of them. Cloud began feeling panic well up inside of him. This...was really happening. They were going to let Sephiroth take off with him, and do unspeakable things because they wanted assurance that they would be okay. He could understand Barret a little...Marlene had already lost her parents and losing another would devastate her. But this was Sephiroth. He was cruel, cold and Cloud hated him more than hating anyone ever in his entire life. The thought of him touching him made him feel ill. What would Zack say? What would Aeris?
"I can't..." he whispered, backing away from his once Idol, feeling all rational thought leave him. "No, I won't. I'd rather fight you. I'll make you kill me before I let you come near me."
"Very well, then. We'll do this the hard way."
One second, Sephiroth was smirking at him. The next, Cloud felt something jab at his stomach and he blacked out. The silver haired man chuckled slightly, picking up Cloud and holding him bridal-style. Everyone else could only stare. Obviously, they had no chance fighting the General. He had been playing with them all until he could make his offer...and they all fell for it.
"I sincerely hope you don't regret your decision." Sephiroth sneered then flew away with his one black wing.
Yuffie fell to her knees. "Did that...really happen?"
"We...we had no choice." Barret answered, though his voice wavered. "Spike...he understands, right?"
"We had a choice." Vincent said, not looking at them. "We could've fought. Instead, we just gave Sephiroth everything he needs to either take over or destroy our planet."
"W-what do you mean?" Tifa asked, eyes wide.
Cid scuffed, pulling out a new cigarette. "I think I'm gettin' what ya sayin'."
"Think about it." Vincent went on, his claw clenching slightly. "Who will stop Sephiroth if he comes back?"
Silence. Vincent closed his eyes.
"And what says Cloud won't join him now that we've all betrayed him?"
Still silence. Though this time, everyone seemingly realized just what they had done by letting Sephiroth take Cloud away.
"We...we fucked up." Barret finally muttered.
"Oh Gaia..." Tifa turned to the remains of their battlefield. "What are we suppose to do now?"
Cid rolled his shoulders, and began walking back towards civilization. "We hope that don't happen...and pretend this was all a nightmare."
Slowly, they all followed after him, each thinking about what had happened...and deciding if they could deal with the guilt or not.
I think that's enough for one chapter, right? I'm just seeing if this will be something people want to read before I get any further. So please review and let me know. Also, I don't have a beta, and I don't have a spell checker, so I can use either help or suggestions. Thanks!