Chapter 24 – Simple Gifts

<<–Preamble/Prelude

<–Chapter 23                                                                                               Chapter 25–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer: I did not create and therefore own no rights to the featured artwork. The link to the source is located here; however, I was unable find a way to contact the artist for permission. If you are the creator of this piece and if you do not approve of me using it for my fanfiction, please let me know and I will remove it immediately from this site and all others where it is used.

Warning: Brief discussion of rape.

“…here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children… But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are magi.”
-O. Henry “The Gift of the Magi”

Aeris Comforting Seph

The Whispers welcomed them always with dusk shadows soft and the ocean itself once again. Sephiroth had brought them back to the beach right in front of her house. Our house, he thought with eyes bleeding light. The fallen can truly dream. He put Aeris down but drew the maid close where the sea spray joined salt on her face.

“You heard what I said, didn’t you, Seph?”

He shut his eyes so beset by torn heart.

“The Planet told me.” She glared quite annoyed down, digging a boot into damp sand. “It was keeping the secret like a spoiled child. My petulant, stubborn friend.” The world laughed gently like a wise mother who knows the right time to divulge.

“I did, Aeris. How could I not? But you need some time to rest. If you would…” His hair tumbled over blessing her face and he cared not that it tangled with salt. “If you wished, I’d…want you to come.”

“Of course I will, Sephiroth! You don’t even have to ask.”

“How shall I request it then, little flower?” The smile played gentle with his perfect lips, and she blushed as he squeezed her soft waist.

Their house was gleaming in the end of day, catching the last streaks of sun. She inhaled a scent untouched by the slums, vanilla and frost wreathed around. Her slumber in Midgar had really done nothing, and Aeris yawned as he scooped her back up. This is how it’ll be. She curled into his chest where the sound of his heart was less heavy. Forever and always. The Planet soft chuckled as Aeris slept safe in Sephiroth’s arms.

She awoke to a better dream in his embrace and kissed his eyes to close. The ribbon was first and her soft hair fell down, teasing his marble flesh. He steadied his hands to not tear her dress as ashen locks tickled her throat. Aeris’s fingers still couldn’t believe that he was whole again, but not even a scar marked the place where death had torn full through. Just like me. Then her thoughts were scattered, as his brow locked to hers.

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Cosplay Confessional – The My Little Pony Edition

I was on the fence today about what post to draft: this one or an article about the five fictional characters I most connect with.  I finally figured out the last one yesterday, but…only one of the five is a character  who doesn’t present the missing mother/lost child motif, and right now I can’t take any more of that despair.  So I decided to work on my much neglected Cosplay Confessional series, which I haven’t touched in some months (Part 1 and Part 2 so linked).  This time it’s nothing but My Little Pony and I talk about my hoped for Halloween costume this year (I also hope it turns out better than last…)

MLP is one of the few fandoms I’m a part of that doesn’t resonate with sadness.  Oh it has its sorrowful moments, but that’s not its general mien.  My favorite episode of season 5 so far is the latest with Princess Luna, and it’s a sad redemptive/remorseful motif where your past deeds so haunt you that they destroy the present’s peace.  It’s a good lesson, but by far, the episodes are far more upbeat instead of dire.

There are several cosplays I’ve garnered from MLP and thus I begin with…

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Chapter 23 – Judgment

<<–Preamble/Prelude

<–Chapter 22                                                                                               Chapter 24–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer: I did not create and therefore do not own the rights to the featured artwork, which is located here I was unable find a way to contact the artist for permission. If you are the creator of this piece and if you do not approve of me using it for my fanfiction, please let me know and I will remove it immediately from this site and all others where it is used.
“Justice can sleep for years and awaken when it is least expected. A miracle is nothing more than dormant justice from another time arriving to compensate those it has cruelly abandoned. Whoever knows this is willing to suffer, for he knows that nothing is in vain.”- Mark Helprin, “Winter’s Tale”

Sephiroth Chained in the Garden

Aeris was broken, curled in a ball against her guardian’s body. His head was turned sharp to one side, darkened eyes dull through their slits. Salt shimmered on his face like a starlight mask in beauty dead as a fallen flower. Near her feet was the oak staff, useless and grey as old wood. Why hadn’t it worked? He’d still been alive. Had her powers failed her at last? Maybe the Planet wasn’t now mute. Maybe she was forsaken. Her tears were trapped in his many wounds, the mortal and grim, and moonlight spilled in sorrow tangled deep in blood and ash.

A scrape and a clatter lifted her head, eyes dull as a year without rain. If darkness was rising once more for her blood, the Cetra did not even care. She’d beg it for moments alone with her grief before completing the sacrifice. And before her sight was the changed girl, though that was no longer right. Phaedra crept to his other side careful around the broken wing. Her lips were parted and dry to her tongue. The tremble rode her skin like a wave.

“Is it…it is really him?” Her voice was high and shy. She was only a child as Aeris had been merely century ago. The Cetra stared blankly forgotten the moments where they’d faced the world’s true foe. This had been its vessel, but now she was blank like a water jug ever unfilled.

“Yes.” The word was croaked like a crow, and Aeris laid a hand to his belt. That strange insignia was now rimmed in blood still warm beneath her fingers.

Phaedra stretched a hand slowly forth, but pulled it back as though struck a sharp blow.

“He was beautiful…”

“He still is,” Aeris said, meeting her gaze at his face. “Death can’t tarnish that truth.”

Phaedra lurched up, pushing tipped hair away from her hollow face. She took in the vestiges of torture strewn about the deep room, forcing her eyes avoid the inevitable if they ever wanted to see something else. The stairway was crumbled too far up to reach without the power of flight. She picked at the tattered lace on her hands staring into that yawning maw. The scratching was ceased, but horror still lingered. Memory to make nightmares real.

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Black Feathers and Bitter Blood

The lovely Ferasha (Isidora), both gorgeous and sweet, cosplays my favorite character of all time, the infamous and beautiful Sephiroth.  Because there was no way I could just choose one, I had to showcase several.

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The best wing I’ve ever seen.

She has offered little old me succor in my own cosplay adventures, and I would be a fool to not accept such aid.

It is a mark of master craftsmanship that the wing looks just as good from the back.

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Black feathers and bitter blood…

The beautifully formed and dark scenery behind her just adds to the ambiance and chill.

The oncoming storm...

“The oncoming storm…”

The work and detail that went into both the costume and the photo editing is glorious, and Ferasha is not only a mistress of the costume craft, but she puts equal weight on the “play” part of the word.  If I saw her stage performance of Sephiroth, I’m sure I would die joyfully and in tears.

Into the nothing...

“Into the nothing…”

And the wing folds up.  There is a mechanism in it to do so.  Though I believe she’s at least a level 70 wizard, she is willing to divulge some of these sweet secrets.  The smirk below is the one she uses for Cersei who I always thought grinned like a cat in the cream…more than appropriate for Sephiroth with his catty eyes and ability to appear anywhere at anytime.

"Death shall open up its grave..."

“Death shall open up its grave…”

Her facebook page can be found here and I am not ashamed to be a follower of this Seph.

Porcelain, Ivory, Steel

Whilst organizing my favorites on Deviant Art (linked for the curious), I came across this glory of a cosplay.  The eyes alone send a delicious chill down my spine, and the moment I saw it, Sansa’s words popped into my head.

Earlier that day I’d come across a Sephiroth RP blog that was called “Ivory and Steel.”  His skin is like ivory and his hair could match steel, and as for porcelain, how easily does it shatter?  When he broke, the two others became a veneer for the horror that did invade.

Sephiroth - Porcelain, Ivory, and Steel

Neither the quote nor the picture are mine.

The original (and clearer) image can be found here and is from the stunning NanjoKoji.

The quote source is linked above.  It is from George R R Martin’s A Storm of Swords.

Chapter 22 – Blood of the Ancients

<<–Preamble/Prelude

<–Chapter 21                                                                                               Chapter 23–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer: I did not create and therefore own no rights to the featured artwork. I was unable to locate any source or artist for the work seen below, so was therefore unable to request permission or even give credit. If you are the creator of this phenomenal piece and you do not approve of me using it for my fanfiction, please let me know and I will remove it immediately from this site and all others. If you are the artist and are fine with me using it, please give me your information, and I will gladly give credit. I apologize that I was unable to locate the source in order to request permission prior.
“…your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.”
-George RR Martin “A Clash of Kings”

Sephiroth in AgonyWith near open arms the flower girl flew where the only light was virulent green. Alabaster skin mocked a still statue save for the sword at his side. In the space of a breath it was waiting in darkness, and Aeris’s rush was too swift. A tiny sound escaped her throat as her heart thrummed to memory’s pain.   True steel pierced the straps at his chest, and both shadow and pale dissolved. Her guardian stepped forward washed over with darkness to come out so pure in the gloom, while the sensors so ancient were reactive enough to show what was real in their sight. Wane light still paled to sorrow filled eyes as he banished the sword to between. Aeris froze in place, swallowing the horror for what had almost occurred. He wanted her warm and soft in his arms, but could not move for fear she would run. That sight would break him, but he wouldn’t die, and the pain would go on and on.

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Sea of Stars

The Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives inspired the line that bid me create this macro.  It is a bioluminescence without corruption (something the Sephiroth in my story can only dream of), caused by a micro-organism in the water being disturbed by oxygen (per the website linked above).

Sea of StarsAs per usual a clearer picture is available on my tumblr blog.

Picture Source is here.
The words are mine from Northern Lights Chapter 17 – Dutiful Daughter.