Author has written 6 stories for Naruto, X-Men: Evolution, Tales of Symphonia, and CSI.
Yo. It seems everyone else has one of these so...why not?
New: I...have a writing challenge. For other authors, because I've gone up from two stories to three and there's no way in hell I'm going to four when Post-Civil-War-History and Political Science are classes to be taken at the same time. My brain already hurts.
In either case.
Universe: Final Fantasy 7
Main characters: Zack, Cloud, Aeris/Aerith (It's been proven that her name was SUPPOSED to be Aerith, but that they switched 'th' to 's' due to the lack of a 'th' in Japanese language. Hence, just one of many translation errors from way back then. Regardless of translation errors, it was and is still an awesome game.)
Premise: Why did Hojo keep pumping Cloud full of mako and Jenova cells when he had regarded him as a 'failed experiment'? He's a scientist. Scientists know when to toss one plan out the window and use another. Hence, he was basically slamming his metaphorical forehead on a metaphorical brick wall and hoping for a different result. Sure, this is the textbook definition of 'clinically insane', but he's still a genius scientist, even if he has toed the line between genius and insanity. Oh, and amorality. Can't forget that. Supposedly he thinks Jenova is a Cetra. Now, bear with me for a moment. Ifalna and Aeris/th were in Shinra custody for quite some time, somewhere around seven years. Ifalna is a full Cetra. Perhaps Jenova herself was just...incompatible with Cloud? Why not try a different Cetra's cells?
Keep in mind this came to me at around 3 in the morning and my mind was somewhere between Colette Brunel-level of blondeness and believing that it would be a good idea to construct a pillow fort over my head for sleeping purposes.
Anyway. I am of the opinion that Cetras/Ancients are walking, talking tactical nuclear weapons when you give them Materia. Aeris/th's Magic stat testifies to this. They can listen to, talk to, and guide the planet's energy, the souls of the dead. Materia is condensed planet energy in a ball. Hence, tacnuke power.
While still half-asleep, this premise turned towards Ifalna's cells, instead of annihilating the Jenova cells (since Cloud is floating in mako which is concentrated Lifestream and therefore the advantage goes to the Real Cetra), the Ifalna cells basically intermingle with and pacify the Jenova cells. Because the idea of Cetra being genetically pacifistic is appealing when you wonder why Walking-Talking-Tacnuke-Aeris/th isn't more jaded or less-optimistic when she spent her whole life (after the age of seven) in the Slums.
Therefore, you get Walking-Talking-Tacnuke-Cloud who is now hearing the Lifestream, which, like an excited puppy, gladly drowns him in a deluge of voices while his body is enhanced by the Jenova-Ifalna cells. Mostly Ifalna cells. Not so many Jenova ones. Therefore, he's catatonic for a different reason entirely; he's gone from being the only voice in his head to hearing the voices of the dead. Cetras are born with this ability, and thus they likely don't get such a shock. This is compounded by Eager-Puppy-Dead-People wanting to talk to the new person capable of hearing them and basically suffocating his mind.
This premise comes down to Zack surviving because across the world, Aeris/th notices the disturbance in the Force/Lifestream and investigates. She then nudges the eager puppies away from the new person capable of hearing the dead, which awakens Cloud out of his catatonia in time to save Zack by tackling him off the cliff. And because Zack isn't shot full of lead, his Jenova enhanced body (I think Hojo's experiments on Zack were a success) allowing them both to survive the fall. Shinra thinks them dead, as even normal SOLDIERs can't survive that fall. Zack, knowing that something is very wrong with both he and Cloud, decides to go to Midgar and visit his girlfriend-that-he-hasn't-seen-in-years, because Shinra wouldn't think to send people to the Slums to find two supposedly dead lab experiments. It's just too smart for them. The Turks might, because they're paranoid like that, though.
To end my ranting, my more-than-half-asleep mind figured the pairing would be Cloud/Zack/Aeris-th. In exactly that formation. Because Neon Genesis Evangelion showed that unconditional acceptance and love for someone can bend supposedly straight teenagers. And if Cloud is catatonic for about five years, he's technically a sixteen year old in mind still. Plus, I figure Aeris/th is a closet perv who thinks it'd be cute for both spiky-headed men to 'get it on'. And I can't accept that Zack would go 'fully gay', instead simply being 'shared' between Cloud and Aeris/th. Lucky bastard.
Sadly, though, Cloud's 'changed experimentation' would have an adverse effect on his physical strength; when Hojo is forehead-bashing, he injects enough mako and Jenova cells into him to make him on par with Sephiroth. Thus, Sephiroth-like physical capabilities. If he notes Cloud's unresponsive state to Jenova cells, he would have only given him a few injections instead of five years' worth. So his physical capabilities, while above human norm, would not be on par with, say, Zack, who got the full five years'. Doesn't mean he has to be wimpy, though. He just can't lug around a Buster Sword, which is not only long, but it's also very wide and looks to be as thick as a human wrist. Very heavy. He could probably lug around a Claymore or other two handed sword, though.
However, mako+Cetra+materia... well, Aeris/th is an un-mako-modified Cetra. And she's a WTTN (Walking Talking TacNuke). Mako enhanced...well...who says you need to go to the Northern Crater to use Meteor?
Either way, if anyone wants to take this idea and roll with it (it doesn't have to strictly follow whatever I just wrote, since that was my interpretation of how things went, not solid concrete It-Must-Be-Done) please send a PM if you're interested.