RISE OF THE SILVER PHOENIX

BY : SabreTooth
Category: Final Fantasy VII > Crossovers
Dragon prints: 1531
Disclaimer: I do not own the original story line and characters of the canon FF7 genre. I do own the original plot sprung from my deviant mind and some new characters. No money/profit is made from this.

Memories of Torment

 

Tseng turned on the lights to his apartment and sighed deeply as if he attempted to exhale all the anguish overtaking him, feeding off his sanity for weeks. He hung up his jacket on the clothes-hanger and cast a disconcerted look towards the bedroom as he passed it by on his way to the kitchen. Not another night. He hated the nights; they were filled with nightmares and perverted desires that slithered through the barriers of the subconscious to gain access to realism.

After filling his glass with a hot cup of strong coffee, Tseng entered his living room, which was usually very light and welcoming, but now, it was dressed in obscurity and shadows. He walked up to the piano and put the cup on the lid whilst taking his seat. He placed his hands over the keys and started playing. Key after key gave its own modest distinctive note and gave birth to a soothing little tune, but as the banging of annoyed neighbors hammered through the walls, Tseng closed the cover over the keys.

To delay his approaching dreams, Tseng turned on the TV and sunk into the depth of the aubergine coloured corner sofa. But the blue rays on the screen hitting against his retina only sprinkled his eyes with invisible dust and sand, making Tseng drift unnoticed into sleep.

From the bottom of the dark well reaching deep inside his mind, a faint sound broke through; a promise of a living world outside. His waking consciousness followed the path of the faint sound to the source way above the mouth of the well; like a child reaching for the hand of a mother and letting it guide to safety. Except, this wasn’t safety and it wasn’t until the eerie glow in a set of feline eyes focused on him, accompanied by a vicious grin, that the chill turned his blood into ice. Kadaj’s voice was unmistakable and the Turk found himself bound and immobilized on a table, body exposed to the cruelty of an insane mind.

Arms and legs were fettered by iron shackles, stretching the limbs far from the torso. Tseng was in torn clothes, lips bruised and throat hurting to the point where he couldn’t speak. There wasn’t anything other than meager whimpers hoarsely escaping him when trying to figure out how he had ended up in this situation, but the sharp ache in his swollen throat prevented him from raising his voice. Each slight vibration of his vocal cords felt like a madman grating every word into the inflamed flesh and giving rise to the taste of blood in his mouth. Or was it? No… the taste originated from further up in the cavity… from his bruised, split lips bleeding into his mouth and coagulating in his gullet.

 “Soooo…” A demon in the shape of Kadaj veered in the damp crypt, turning towards the Turk leader and Tseng jolted at the horrific notion of the faceless fiend now taking him into focus.

Kadaj looked as if his face had been eroded away like that on a limestone statue, yet the words he spoke vibrated through the ether. The walls of the crypt were covered with mould and gave off a stinging, pungent odor that nestled into a bruised head along with malicious words promising more pain. With a blood stained, double edged blade threateningly gliding over a tense torso, Kadaj kept on forcing confessions from Tseng who continuously spewed defiance and hatred in return. The torture went on for hours. Elena was the one to lose consciousness first. She lay quiet and motionless on an adjacent grave pedestal, but her shallow breaths told of the life still lingering inside her battered body.

“Have you ever danced with the silver Serpent?”

The question was enigmatic and strange, and different from what was asked every single night. This was a new feature in his dreams and Tseng battled his fears on what he had to endure until the sunlight in the waking world would save him from this hell.

Both Kadaj and Loz were faceless, pale shadows of Sephiroth, whereas Yazoo who stood at the head end of the pedestal, holding Tseng’s head in a steady grip, was more human-like but with a stale expression. He was staring into the void, not responding to any commands. It was almost as if his being was dwelling in trance, only reacting to the harsh commands from his mad, younger brother.

The delicate chink of vibrating metal called for Tseng’s attention for it was carried on the breeze of alarm, foretelling of danger. The Turk made an effort to move his head, but was firmly locked to the stone bed by Yazoo. The world started spinning. From the shadows of light dancing on the walls, Tseng could discern the silhouette of Loz, skipping around like an insane child overtaken by Moon fever. He was jovial and hysterically laughing at the gruesome tortures Kadaj was suggesting; sprightly repeating the terrifying words of what was to come.

“Disembowelment… disembowelment… disembowelment… disembowelment…”

Loz would not stop saying it over and over, and danced around the pedestal holding a cage with a few hungry rats. The animals were agitated and starved and eagerly chewing on the pale fingers sticking inside the cage until bits of bone would pierce the flesh. But Loz didn’t seem to feel a thing. Tseng started shivering; a physical manifestation of fear, which only boosted the malicious joy of the faceless brothers. Yazoo was just staring ahead and didn’t even twitch a muscle as the first incision ran across Tseng’s stomach and opened up his belly. The Turk swallowed his pride and writhed with agony, screaming and begging for mercy. He could vividly sense the resistance of the muscles as Kadaj forcefully had to saw his way through the tissue with the blunt knife. Loz bent over the gaping, bleeding wound and audibly inhaled the steam released from the eviscerated, shivering body of Tseng. The Turk foamed at the mouth with suffering but was held down by Yazoo, not being able to move as much as his head. His eyes were wide and milky, like those on a corpse, sweat covering his cold skin, and teeth cracking under the pressure of his clenched jaws.

As the first rat dug its way through the open wound and nestled in between the bowels, ravaging and chewing at the tissues, Tseng’s inhuman groaning filled the air with sweet honey for the ears of the devils of this forsaken world. Then the rest of the animals were released.

Though not able to move, Tseng felt every inch the rats were advancing inside him. The snap of the bowels, the stench of the colon as the bacteria and faeces flooded his cavities, the sour, pungent odour of stomach contents escaping when the acidic environment poured out. He was being consumed alive to the chanting and dancing of the insane executioners; except for Yazoo. His eyes were still fixed ahead, not moving or even blinking.

Tseng was silently praying to the God Titan, hoping his life would end quickly; the God that had once given him life could perhaps take it now, but his prayers were denied. He was alone and dying by the hands of his greatest enemies; that was the most painful part to accept. That they had won! He was staring with ache and misery at the man above his head and when the Gods had abandoned him in this never-ending nightmare, he called out to the only person he hoped to reach.

“Ya… Ya-zoo… Yazoo,” Tseng panted in uneven, cut words of desperation, but he received no reactions. “Ya-zoo…pleh… please… I-I-I’m beg-ging you…”

At long last, there was only one thing to say to break the vicious curse that spellbound the silver haired young man into apathy. Tseng gathered his strength, and with nails digging into the flesh of his palms to control the galloping misery just enough to be able to speak, he brought forth what he never thought was inside his heart.

“I-I for-give... you.”

A single teardrop fell from Yazoo’s feline eyes and landed on the face of the Turk, leaving a trail of soothing oil on his skin and the rats abruptly stopped moving inside the ravaged body. The harsh grip around Tseng’s face was eased slightly, only enough for the Turk to feel the heat from the palms dissipate and he added short of breath; “Pl-ease… forgive… me too…”

Yazoo broke his hypnosis and gazed down on Tseng, slowly bending over the frightened, battered warrior and whispered softly into his ears.

“Can… can you save me?”

Tseng stared up into the glowing eyes of the silver-haired brother and nodded frantically, face distorted by the pain from his gut as a rat chewed his spleen in half.

“By the Gods, Yazoo, please… kill me!” Tseng begged. “I’ll drag you back from the mouth of hell if I have to, just kill me. Kill me!”

Yazoo nodded and let go of Tseng. With determined steps he walked up to the hidden shadow-like remnants of Kadaj’s evil and twisted the dagger out of his hands. Continuing with fluent movements, Yazoo swerved around his vicious brother, circling smoothly behind him and effortlessly severing the head from the torso with one clean strike. The body of the demon collapsed and was left convulsing on the floor, whilst the other, Loz’s eroded shadow, angered by the obvious betrayal, attacked with full force. But Yazoo’s desperation to escape the shadow lands knew no boundaries, and thus he clashed with his own blood to defeat it.

Tseng was beyond himself with pain and he hardly noticed being lifted from the pedestal. The words ‘Stay with me’ lingered on in his ears, but the growing darkness around him promised release, and thus he gave into slipping away.

The white noise brought Tseng to the real world. It was dark out and there was nothing on the TV anymore; not even the commercials that boasted about superior products for low prices. As Tseng leaned forward, supporting his elbows on his knees, he noticed sweat pearling down his face and chest. His shirt was wet and the fabric was cooling his armpits. It made him feel dirty and despite the fact that it was late night, Tseng decided to take a shower to wash away the disgust and cleanse away the nightmares.

Water was pearling down his body like a blessing from heaven, caressing and soothing every inch of the frozen skin. Tseng leaned against the wall, sighing deeply and eyes slowly drifting shut. His hair was sticking to his face, neck and shoulders, but the lovely Turk made no attempts to remove the web of strands framing his appealing features. He just enjoyed the heat; enjoyed it for a long time.

The steam rose around him, filling his nose cavity and moisturising the sore throat and dry eyes. Mr. Sandman had paid him a visit earlier, leaving his brown gaze grainy and tired, but the steam eased the discomfort. Tseng had no idea how long he had been in the shower, but his wrinkled fingertips suggested it was time to get out. With a towel wrapped around his slim waist, Tseng prepared for some final grooming before going to bed. He brushed his long, sable hair that smelled of cinnamon and Gaiac wood, a perfect fragrance matching his persona. From the glass shelves under the oval mirror, Tseng picked up his favorite eau de toilet and spoiled his senses with a few puffs of spray.

Pleased with his appearance and evening toilette, Tseng entered the kitchen to have a glass of water. The kitchen was partly lit by the moonlight curiously sneaking through the window and playfully bouncing off every shiny surface it could dance on. The night was beautiful despite the frightful dreams it brought about from the other side, but those were over now and Tseng allowed for the cool water to trickle down his throat and pour delight into his body. The large gulps soared into the night and filled his vicinity, but the guttural sounds were suddenly intercepted by the softest voice followed by the gentlest touch on his shoulder. The glass shattered on the floor and Tseng jolted with fear; swirling around to defend himself with the knife he grabbed from the knife-stand next to the sink.

As a bodyguard, his mind and body was trained to react on reflex and hence he didn’t even take notice of who was standing there, before he went to attack. The intruder, however, was a skilled warrior, knowing precisely how to avoid the assault. Tseng threw himself towards the pale skinned invader, but the stranger was smooth and evasive in his movements, almost like a snake. Tseng realized he needed to rethink his attack-strategies, for blunt force was not an option against such a skilful opponent. He stopped for a swift moment at a respectable distance, knife still ready to strike, and asked:

“Who the hell are you, and how did you get in?”

“I’ve come to collect your promise,” came the response.

The voice was gentle and kind and soothing to the mind. Tseng brushed his wet strands aside and eased the grip on his knife a little, but never to the point of letting go. With the determined command ‘lights!’ the kitchen was lit and the stranger took the form of a well-known face.

“Yazoo?!”

The silver haired spawn of beauty moved cautiously towards a chair with the graceful subtlety of a geisha. His slender body seemingly hovered over the floor, face kept in the staleness of a delicate porcelain doll as he assumed his position at the table. With both hands placed on the wooden surface, Yazoo cast a glance at Tseng, eyes asking for permission to bring about a conversation.

“What…” Tseng began with an exhale, but then stole a breath as he tried again. “What are you doing here?”

Yazoo produced a faint smile that only manifested in the mere shadow of a movement on the lips, and explained that his purpose was to warn of an approaching danger of dark bodies emerging from darkness; a vast army of pain and horror that would sweep the lands like locus and leave devastation to seed fear in order to bring about power that would reach across the stars. The explanation was enigmatic and lacked logic that could be anchored to a sane reality, but he made no effort to dismiss it as a fantasy-fetus formed inside the damaged womb of a deranged mind.

Whilst the horrific events of a possible future were painted before his eyes, Tseng lost himself in the gentle character of the young man at the opposite side of the table. They were sitting in front of one another, separated only by the curtain of light emitted down on them above the table. The white Crystal Snow roses on the table marvelled in the vase with sturdy stems and rich dark-green velvety leaves, completing the perfect image of a captivating beauty as Yazoo’s delicate features merged with Nature’s masterpiece. It was a snapshot of excellence that spread into Tseng’s mind like a nourishing flavor; Yazoo on a bed of snow-white roses, surrounded by petals as delicate and as fragile as each crystalline flake of the frozen water.

Noticing the distant scrutiny of his being, Yazoo lowered his gaze, displaying resolute shyness in the presence of the man he had come to develop feelings for. The sensations were alien and bewildering for him as well. As a spawn of Jenova, and like his brothers, he was created to destroy and to scar all that Nature had intended. Jenova was the alternative God; the ancient, untamed power and the other extreme to the Lifestream. It was a power coexisting with the light, but keeping the balance by the feeding off the brightness to expand the obscurity that was intimately intertwined in the creation of life itself. One could not exist without the other; never emancipated or life would never exist. Two powers constantly conflicting and shifting in a delicate dance to provide for such marvellous events like a caterpillar extracting the very life out of a sturdy leaf, sucking the essence through its green veins, only to die in a cocoon and be reborn in the splendour of a butterfly. Living only for one day, but such a marvellous day it was. Life and death, light and obscurity equally needed for the fragile cycle of existence of simple beauties such as Yazoo.

Tseng smiled at the thought, watching Yazoo’s complexion through a bed of roses; his heart was melting like the spring snow. There was something magical in the air that night as Tseng greeted the early sun in the eyes of Yazoo who slowly dissipated like the morning mist. The Turk held the pale hands in his own, clutching them in a desperate attempt to fight the inevitable, but deep inside he knew the battle was won by the darkness before it even began. Yazoo was not meant to stay among the living. As the first rays cut through the body, Tseng leaned over the table, but the kiss was swallowed by the warm air as if it had never existed. There was no one there to receive it and when he opened his hands, there was nothing but emptiness in his palms.

The night had demonstrated its powers and unless the gates to the underworld could be opened, the creatures of the night would be shielded from the desires of the light; always with that mockery of the pain of loss it brought about. For the first time, Tseng was not welcoming the morning. For the first time in his life, he felt something warm beating gently in his chest, but it was a faint beat from the great beyond and not his own to keep. He had to find a way to reunite with a feeling that with each waking hour was becoming a consuming obsession. He had to be reunited with Yazoo.



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