RISE OF THE SILVER PHOENIX

BY : SabreTooth
Category: Final Fantasy VII > Crossovers
Dragon prints: 1578
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.

Tainted life

 

Three weeks had passed by and the nightmares had ceased, but Cloud Strife found no peace of mind. Tifa was relentless in her pursuit of answers regarding what had deteriorated their relationship in such a short period of time. She was determinedly pacing in the wake of Clouds steps, following him from room to room.

“Just tell me what in the name of the Gods it was that has changed you this much!”

Her voice was the opposite of that delicate softness she often spoke with. Her words were hailing over Cloud and it made him respond with anger.

“I don’t know!”

“Don’t lie to me, Cloud!” she yelled and grabbed him by the arm as he entered the hall from their living room.

As he turned with eyes rolling in a disrespectful manner, she shook him steadily by the shoulders and forced him to focus, piercing him with her burning gaze.

“You’ve been twisting and turning in the bed for months, asking me to leave you to your thoughts. I respected your wishes and I accepted the fact that you didn’t even want to touch me. But now that you claim to have had weeks of no disturbance… you still don’t care to hold me at night!”

Cloud freed himself from her grip by gently removing her hands from his shoulders and leaned forward with a somewhat patronizing tone saying; “And after months of sleepless nights I have to compensate for it. I am exhausted, Tifa!”

“Fine!” she shouted frowning and cheeks flushing with anger.

She said nothing more, but stepped past him and headed straight towards the bedroom. She ripped her suitcase out of the closet and threw it on top of the bed. Cloud entered shortly thereafter and began talking in a new, more subtle tone.

“C’mon, Tifa. Leaving is not going to solve our problems…”

“Oh yeah?” she voiced as she threw her clothes into the suitcase. “It certainly doesn’t help staying here, ‘cause you’re not talking to me about anything anymore.”

“What am I supposed to say, Tifa? I’m out of answers myself,” Cloud explained and raked his fingers through his blond, tousled hair. “I…ME…I’m not sure what to think about what’s happened… you tell me how the fuck I’m supposed to tell you!”

“Watch your mouth,” Tifa snapped warningly like a strict teacher.

Cloud nodded dejectedly and apologized. Tifa was right, swearing wouldn’t solve anything. Nothing could solve their problems now; neither swearing nor sweet words. Deep sighs were oscillating between the couple and finally Tifa broke the silence.

“Look, Cloud…” she began, but the blond cut in with a mere whimper.

“You don’t have to leave.”

Tifa shook her head as a response. “No I don’t,” she agreed tying her black hair in a ponytail and arranged the green cardigan that she buttoned all the way up to the neck. “But I want to.”

Cloud lifted his head with surprise, eyes narrowing as the bitter truth hit his mind. He shook his head in denial.

“Yes,” Tifa emphasized, hands digging into her back pocket.Her feet dragging slightly as she stepped up to Cloud, approaching him with insecure steps.

“Look.” she continued. “I haven’t told you because you seemed to be heavily burdened… but I don’t have any desire to save this relationship any longer.”

Cloud was silent, but strangely, he felt no aversion or anger towards this statement and he knew more was to come. Indeed, although he had been keeping a distance from Tifa, he had noticed the change within her and it somehow made him feel relieved that there was one thing less for him to brood on. It was an awful thing to think perhaps, but he needed solitude and an opportunity to clear his mind. Besides, Tifa was right. Why should she to waste years, months or even weeks with someone who wasn’t taking advantage of the spark of youth? She was wasting time with him, time that would not return. It was better to move on.

“Have you met someone?” Cloud’s voice was weak, but he wasn’t sad at all and Tifa took no notice of that, but rather grasped the opportunity to speak freely.

“Two week’s ago Rude entered the bar and we ended up spending some time together after closing time… just talking. But I really appreciated it. He has asked me out for a date, and I am going to say yes, Cloud.” She looked around and shrugged with a faint smile adding; “I need that in my life. I can’t wait for you for ages.”

The blond smiled and cupped his hands around the girl’s face, giving her an encouraging kiss.

“I’m glad for you, Tifa,” Cloud whispered and held her tight. “I really need some time alone.”

She nodded into the curve of his neck in understanding and following a few hours of clearing the air of anguish and replacing it with pleasant memories and feelings of mutual respect, the two parted.

Tifa would stay with Dïta, a girl she had recently employed to help out in the bar, and befriended soon after. The two had mutual interests and had many common denominators that united them as friends; hence it was of no consequence or trouble for Dïta to have Tifa living with her for as long as she needed for the situation to clear. In fact, both girls agreed that a little company and opportunity to have late night girl-talks were rather appealing and perhaps what they all needed.

Greybone was lying next to Cloud, unusually affectionate and refusing to leave the master out of sight for a single second. He even followed Cloud to the shower and waited patiently for him to get out, get dressed and finish his evening meal in front of the TV before going to bed. Greybone followed Cloud’s every step almost as if he knew Cloud would be in need of some company that demanded nothing but a little warmth and an occasional gentle stroke on the back.

The TV was on and the faint radiance from it lit the room with dancing shadows of blue light. The pillows were piled under Cloud’s head, supporting his torso and head in a comfortable position whilst Greybone pressed his slender little body close to the young man’s waist. The cat was purring with every endearing caress that smoothed his fur. He was content and to the sound of this gentle purr, Cloud was slipping into the wasteland near to the borders of the dream world.

The dead of the night had settled upon the day and nocturnal creatures were greeting the darkness with a chorus of ghostly sounds. Cloud opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. At some point he must have turned off the TV; the house was dark and quiet as was his head. The blond was submerged in thoughts of his past, although he had hoped to be able to dwell on the issues regarding the nightmares in order to solve them. Instead of providing his soul with the answers he was desperately seeking, his mind kept on slipping back into the past. But strangely, the memories of his past were like little flights of dreams that slipped like water through his fingers once he tried to grasp them. The images fluttered about like butterflies and as he attempted to capture them, the holes in the net of his mind were too big and the butterflies slipped through, leaving him unable to either focus on the past or the future.

He shut his eyes tightly and tried to concentrate, until he was sweating from all the strenuous effort; but it was what his brain had demanded. For once his powers faded, the mind became receptive to marvellous details that emerged from his mind.

He slipped back to the time when all this began, the time when Cloud joined Avalanche on a raid on one of the eight Mako reactors that surrounded the city of Midgar. The Mako reactor was successfully destroyed but during their next mission at another reactor, the group was trapped and confronted by President ShinRa. Although they assumed victory, the reactor exploded and threw Cloud into the slums below Midgar. Falling through the roof of a derelict church, he landed on a flower bed, where he got to know Aeris Gainsborough the flower girl, who was merely a fragile disguise of the last Cetra; ancient creatures that were closely associated with the planets and their powers. Through her immense charm she had convinced Cloud to be her bodyguard, an agreement prompted by the arrival of operatives of the ShinRa Electric Company's Turks organization, who had been ordered to capture Aeris. Indeed, she had powers they hungered for, assuming that Aeris could lead him to a mythical land of fertility known as the "Promised Land", which President ShinRa expected to be ripe with Mako energy that could be easily harvested. But Aeris was well protected, at least for a little while.

Cloud subconsciously smiled at the thought of their discussion while getting to know each other more closely. Along the way, she claimed that her first boyfriend had been a First Class Soldier, and though Cloud had his suspicions about who it was, he had never mentioned it. But on the few occasions he had spent with Aeris, he was most certain he had seen the image of Sephiroth reflect in her eyes. She claimed it had been Zack, and it may have been the truth, but the blond was almost certain that the General had been in the picture as well. Everyone knew that after Angeal’s death and Genesis’ disappearance, Zack and Sephiroth had been very close. However, no matter how much he tried probing for the truth, Aeris, who more or less grew up with Sephiroth as her big brother, denied the affections as nothing other than purely platonic. Cloud frowned and twitched his head as if he wished to shake the thought of that fiend out of his mind. Fighting against the image, he slowly returned to the memories of Aeris.

Eventually, ShinRa destroyed Sector 7 and many of the rebel group members, whilst the Turks retrieved Aeris at a careless moment. The remaining members of the opposition infiltrated ShinRa's headquarters to rescue the flower girl. After a difficult but successful mission Aeris was free and the group befriended Nanaki who joined them as a loyal warrior. They managed to escape whilst most of the personnel in the building, including President ShinRa, were killed. Later though, ShinRa’s body as well as the remains of Jenova were lost and Cloud suspected Sephiroth had returned from his presumed death. The unmistakable form of Masamune impaled through the President’s back had been enough to make him seriously worry that they had been wrong in assuming he was dead. Once again the fiend was invading his life.

And to think that the blond had once idolized the great General. Well, not only that… he had even been touched by the grace of Kadaj, Sephiroth’s sharp intelligence encased in an appealing shell of flesh. Oh yes, that slim body, swaying and teasing with the movements of a cat. Cloud released a deep sigh and a hardly noticeable moan as he licked his lips at the thoughts of those greyish-blue feline eyes, framed with long, black lashes, those thin but shapely lips frozen in an eternal shadow of a smile, the tiny nose, the pointy chin, the swanlike neck merging with pronounced collarbones above a desirable torso; a torso that narrowed towards those firm hips and muscular, slim thighs. Kadaj possessed all the ‘S’s that made him so irresistible; he was a smooth, slick, sadistic, sexy, silver and sizzling hot little sneering bastard. A wave of arousal washed over the blond, but it was received with disgust and rejection.

Cloud sat up in the bed with a sudden jerk, listening to the darkness around him. His unexpected rush of anger made Greybone jump from the bed and hide under the chair next to it. He hissed and exposed his sharp little fangs, clearly demonstrating his disapproval of such scare tactics, but Cloud was bothered by other things and paid no attention. Where did those thoughts come from? What made him think about Kadaj now and why with such a warm current of emotions washing through him?

“Insane!” Cloud bellowed from within, but his words floated into his vicinity, arguing with himself.

“No! You can’t think like that about any of the brothers. They were the very reason for all this pain and they deserve what pain torments them now!”

He jumped out of bed, pacing back and forth in his dark bedroom whilst nervously biting his nails and continuously mumbling to himself. Words were flowing fast and seemingly senselessly out of his mind and through his mouth.

“Sephiroth said he intended to use a powerful spell to fatally injure the planet. Yes, he did. He did. He said he did so that he could merge with all the energy of Gaea. He wanted POWER! Granting him god-like powers. He killed Aeris! I had to place her body to rest! I had to BURY her. I had to bury HER! The last of her species. Jenova had killed all of her people and then he did... he killed HER.”

Cloud turned to the window, howling towards the silver moon; “You DESERVED to die you bastard. Burn with all the agony you caused others!”

But as the memories came rushing back, his voice softened.

“You made me doubt my memories, my powers and claimed… you claimed…” the blond sunk down on the bed. “You said I was a part of the same shameful past as you. I hate you… I hate all you are. You deserved this…”

Suddenly, the image of Aeris burst into his inner canvas and seeded a tremendous headache that brought him to his knees in front of the toilet vomiting. Cramps in his stomach were emptying him of his rage and fatigue settled in his limbs, making them heavy like rocks as he, with a trembling body, entered the bedroom yet again. He had brushed his teeth and rinsed his mouth properly to be rid of the foul sour taste of acid. The strong taste of the mouthwash was still lingering on his breath as he sighed, sinking down between the sheets.

Cloud had no idea when he had drifted into sleep, but from the corners of his mind he heard Greybone call for him, meowing and scratching the side of the bed. The blond smiled in his half dormant state; he knew that the cat was asking for permission to jump on the bed and join the master. Without even opening his eyes, Cloud patted the surface of the mattress and called for the cat.

“But only for tonight.” he added. “I’m too tired to argue with you.”

Cloud felt his body bobbing like a buoy in water as Greybone jumped up at his feet. It felt oddly heavy and unusual and thus the flaxen lifted his head a little to inspect the situation. Cloud saw the shimmering grey fur disappear underneath the blanket at the end of the bed and smilingly relished the warmth from the small body brushing against his legs. Whiskers and a wet little nose, exuding hot puffs of air, was probing Cloud’s sensitive skin; tickling and sending delightful impulses through his body. A raspy, naughty little tongue began tasting his thighs and Cloud smiled in his sleepy state, moaning for the kitten to stop playing, but Greybone only responded by disobediently pressing his little body against the master. The fur was silky smooth and soft and tingled deliciously against his skin as it advanced up; almost like a gentle touch, almost like the softest kiss, almost like a breath…

The notion of the lips that teased and tasted his skin tore the sleep from his eyes and with his heart pounding in the throat, Cloud lifted the blanket ever so cautiously. There was something moving deep inside the darkness underneath that private world and young Strife tried to focus to take the silvery shape into view, though he lacked the courage to reach down. There was something cosseting him with tender pleasure, turning his entire body into a fervent erogenous zone and he found no will to be able to resist. It wasn’t until he discerned his erect, throbbing member disappearing into Kadaj’s mouth that he ripped the blanket off his body, horrified at the trap he was in.

Cloud tried to fend off the invader, but it was far too late for Kadaj’s exquisite seduction conquered the hostility of the blond. The silver fiend sought out every sensitive spot and etched his presence into Cloud’s consciousness as he kept on playing, licking and sucking. Witnessing Kadaj nibbling on the sensitive foreskin before completely devouring Cloud’s offering, generated a tremendous burst of elation and the floodgates within crumbled as the blond inadvertently locked the silvery head against his thrusting hips; moans and encouraging gasps escaping him without restraint. Kadaj’s mouth was rhythmically sucking and milking every single drop out of Cloud, and as befitted his feline resemblance, the deviant fiend licked his lips with great satisfaction like a kitten that has fed on cream.

Shame replaced ecstasy, and once the climax had ebbed enough for Cloud to regain control over his senses, he threw himself at the silver boy and pushed him out of bed. Humiliated and disgusted, the blond allowed his fury to rain down on Kadaj, never reflecting over the fact that the remnant of Sephiroth didn’t pose any resistance.

“You son-of-a-bitch!” Cloud growled through clenched teeth. “I defeated you once, I’ll destroy you again.”

His anger sparked through the eyes and hatred fumed through his breath.

“How did you get into my life again?”

The blow directed at Kadaj, drew blood from the silent mouth. Cloud roared; “I’d rather you had stayed in my memories. I fucking despise you, you depraved puppet. Die once ‘n for all! Die, you debauched piece of shit!”

The kick in Kadaj’s stomach made the pale, silvery boy curl up on the floor, protecting his sore and tender body against the fury that was ravaging him. Cloud kept on pummelling the body until his strength almost broke. Beaten to the floor and defeated by Cloud’s rage, Kadaj whispered through bruised, swollen lips; “I can’t help what I am. I was created from a source more ancient than human kind and my mind was tampered with to be all that noble people such as YOURSELF, wanted me to be. I was created by the likes of you to be your tool,” he spat with repulsion to emphasize the hypocrisy in Cloud’s reasoning before he continued. “And when you no longer needed spawns like me, you discarded us like we meant nothing; like you did with my brother. So who are you to pass judgement on me?”

No answers or even the slightest response, and the boy went on.

“As for being debauched… I don’t regret anything. I may not have my powers to pose a threat to you, but beware, dear brother, there will come a time when the tables will turn once again…”

At that instant his body dissolved into a halo of glowing mist and reassumed the shape of Greybone, who cowered away from the angry master, hissing with the little dignity that he had left. Cloud felt the urge to deliver the final blow to that fragile frame, but couldn’t bring himself to be so sadistic; not even when knowing that the spirit of Kadaj was harboured inside it.

Through a lightning bolt of grief, Aeris possessed Cloud’s mind and he sunk to the ground screaming as a shattering headache overwhelmed him. The Cetra was angry and the hurt in her eyes was undeniable. Her voice grew strong from the great beyond, washing over Strife in waves of shivering ether.

“You called for him through your dreams, Cloud…”

Cloud rolled onto his back; audibly announcing to the world the suffering he had to endure. He felt as if his brain was being ripped from the grail of the skull, overloading every neuron with impulses of pain. But Aeris was relentless.

“You called for him… You refuse to listen…”

“I’m sorry!” Cloud hollered into the night, eyes screwed shut and teeth tightly clenched with ache.

“Help him! Help… me…”

He was no longer listening to the guilt wrapping around him, he just longed for freedom, to be set free from this haunting madness. He panted heavily, whilst sweat broke through every pore on his body, making him shiver with cold and exhaustion. His tears were held back by unrelenting perseverance, but the images of the hurt reflecting off that tormented face of the silver haired boy made him release the words that set him free from this immobilizing agony.

“Forgive me, Kadaj!”

In an instant the world stopped spinning and the night quieted like the calmness ascending after violent thunder. With great effort and aching joints, the soldier got up on his feet, and stumbled into the hall and out to the back yard, calling for his beloved pet; to no avail. No matter how hard he pushed his voice the cat was nowhere to be found. Cloud searched tirelessly around the vicinity of his home for hours until the chill of the night forced him back into the comfort of his modest house. The night had won this battle.

Dejected and sad, Cloud reconciled with the thought of his stupidity and locked the door behind himself when a meek sound like the delicate vibration of a finely tuned violin string, hit his ears. He listened and followed the sound as it appeared again. The beautiful strike of a crisp note led him to a bundle of silver fur hiding in the back of his hall closet. The blond smiled with a sigh of relief as he reached out to pick up the frightened cat. He snuggled it all the way to the bedroom and placed it next to himself on the spare pillow.

“I’m sorry,” the blond whispered regretfully and re-established their friendship by delicately scratching the smooth tomcat behind the ears. As a response, Greybone scent-marked his master with obsessions of ownership, disguised in the gesture of benevolence as it rubbed his head against Cloud’s palms. Watching the cat purring soothingly in safety, the blond uttered the words that lingered on in confusion, but veiled in the fatigue that lured him into sleep; “I like you a lot, you silly, little shit… I don't regret… anything…”

Whether Cloud said that to Greybone or to Kadaj was never revealed even to himself, for shortly thereafter he fell asleep and through the entire night until the midday thereafter, he dreamt of nothing.



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