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Final Fantasy VII Fiction Recommendations: Sephiroth Habilitation Fics

Okay, in celebration of finally having enough spare time to be able to do some serious reading again (and having opened another box of books and re-stocked my "farewell re-read" shelves... should get to work on those, really) I present some recommendations for fiction favourites of mine in the Final Fantasy VII fandom. These fics are ones about what I call "Sephiroth Habilitated" - the ones where Sephiroth is "fixed" so he's not completely insane, obsessive, and psychotic, much less the nihilistic demi-god-wannabe we've all come to know and love. I call them "habilitation" fics, rather than "rehabilitation", because quite frankly given the upbringing we're led to suspect for canon Sephiroth (being raised in the laboratories of the Shinra Science Department by Professor Hojo, before being thrown out into the battlefields of Wutai before his voice had finished breaking), it's very much "this is the first chance he's had for any actual normality in his life".

Some of the defining characteristics of this sub-genre, for me, are the rather calm and gentle tone of them - they're about recovery, after all; and the various defining characteristics of the "real" Sephiroth everyone picks up from underneath the role of General, and the influence of Jenova. Most of them tend to be Sephiroth/Cloud slash, so if you see either Sephiroth or Cloud with another partner, you may want to avoid them

So, without any further ado:

the fight goes on series by jukeboxhound

Sephiroth winds up floating in the pool in the church, and Cloud is, once again, the one who's called on to deal with him. If you've read jukeboxhound's stuff before, and know her tone and tendency toward mixing both light and dark material, that carries through in this story, although it's certainly a lot lighter in tone than, for example, "Eir's Tomorrow". The series itself is a work in progress, but the various parts can be read as stand-alone pieces. There are three parts so far. Some explicit content, but of the "tasteful erotica" variety rather than the "plumbing manual" variety (insert tab A into slot B),

Tomowowowo & Boomchick's September 2015 30-Day-NSFW-Challenge

Now, this one is straight-up, largely plumbing-manual explicit content all the way through, complete with pictures which are explicit as well. You have been warned. It is, however, a well-crafted thirty-one piece story about the gradual building of a relationship between Cloud and Sephiroth after the discovery of Sephiroth's body floating (once again) in the pool in the church.

The mighty have fallen by Xenobia

Surprise, surprise, Seph isn't found in a pond in the church this time around. Mostly because I suspect this one was written around the same time Advent Children came out, with only the trailers to go on. In this case, he's been found in a forgotten/previously unknown lab of Hojo's, and again, Cloud is the one who is called on to deal with him. In this case, Sephiroth's release from an induced coma requires Cloud to take on the role of his "keeper" by means of an implanted chip in his (Cloud's) brain which can induce certain phenomena in Sephiroth. And, of course, the predictable relationship occurs, complete with explicit content. I like this one for the slightly different take on Cloud that results from the author not using Advent Children canon to inform his personality.

On Broken Wings by raisedbymoogles

Another which was started back before Advent Children came out, and hence in this one, Sephiroth returns to life after the events of the original game in the Northern Crater. It's been edited since the original writing, so there's bits and pieces of Advent Children canon in there. It's still a work in progress, but I love this one because it shows us a very broken, and very damaged Sephiroth, who really does need a lot of help and a lot of support to be able to make his way back from the person Hojo made him to be. It also gives us a Cloud who isn't exactly 100% himself, and who is still affected by the events mentioned in the original game. There's also two adorable kids, a highly protective and highly personable chocobo (feathered kind, not nickname for Cloud) and of course various mentions of the weird and wonderful wildlife of Gaia in all its diversity.

Infinite Possibilities series, by Kalloway

Another which ignores Advent Children and this time Sephiroth wakes up alone and naked on a beach in Mideel. Now, there's a lot of ways things could have gone after that line, but this fic takes a slightly different one. This is probably the most sedate of the fics I'm recommending, but it's worth it for the journey. While the author does warn for a Sephiroth/Cloud relationship, it's the least detailed of the lot - by the time the story ends, they've maybe got to the point of exchanging a single kiss - it's up the other end of the spectrum from the Boomowowowo challenge, that's for sure. No explicit content, unless you think a bloke waking up naked on a beach counts as explicit content.

Under the Wing of a Nibel Dragon series, by Gotham's_Only_Wolf

This series is very unusual when it comes to Sephiroth Habilitation stories, because it actually starts before the original game canon gets going. It starts as a spin-off of another writer's fic (there's a link to it in the first story, do have a read), and carries on from there, but basically things take an abrupt turn for the better in an eleven-year-old Sephiroth's life after he acquires in rapid succession, a younger brother (adoptive), an adoptive parent who is far better at actual parenting than Hojo, and a home which isn't in the Shinra Science Department. So far it's covering the years from when Sephiroth is eleven through about thirteen or fourteen, so there aren't any sexual relationships happening with Sephiroth involved in them (there may be some coming up later, but there isn't any explicit content in the story so far). Again, it's an ongoing series - there are actually two sub-stories currently in progress, so be warned, things may appear to drop out inconsistently, but it appears to be under active creation at present. But it's notable because the central force in Sephiroth's rehabilitation is not an overloaded, post-Jenova Cloud Strife.

So there you go - six of the best of the genre I've found so far. If you're a fan of this particular little sub-genre, and have any other fics I might have missed, leave a link in the comments.

This entry was originally posted at https://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/119253.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
New Work on AO3

Remember how I said I was writing a fanfic for a university assignment? Well, it's up on AO3 now.

Remediation

Comes complete with fandom disclaimer and copious author's notes. Let me know what you think!

This entry was originally posted at https://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/117769.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Chasing a couple of Beta-Readers

Hi all,

This one is a bit of a weird request, I suspect. I'm looking for at least two beta-readers for a fic I've written for a piece of university assessment (I'm studying a Literary & Cultural Studies/Creative Writing double major... this is the second assignment so far where I've been allowed to submit fanfic as assessable content. I love my degree). I need one beta-reader who is part of the relevant fandom (Final Fantasy VII - original game and Crisis Core, with references to the remake trailer), and at least one other beta-reader who isn't part of the Final Fantasy VII fandom.

This is what I'd be needing from each reader:

Non-fandom - Does the story make even the slightest bit of sense to you? Would you be interested in finding out more? Does it stand alone as a piece of fiction, or do you think you'd need to know the canon in order to make sense of it?

Fandom - Can you clearly recognise the incident(s) I'm referring to, and what happened in them? Can you clearly place the fic in the various canon timelines, and does it make sense in context?

Both - general grammar and spelling niggles (context: I write Commonwealth English, being based in Australia), overall plotting and polishing, what worked for you and why, what didn't work for you and why, overall impressions, etc.

The fic itself is 1500 words long, and I can supply it to potential readers in .doc, .docx, .odt, .pdf, .rtf, .txt and probably any other format Libre Office or Microsoft Word can understand.

There's a definite deadline on this request - the assessment itself is due by 11 MAY, so I'd like to have any comments and critique back by 01 MAY in order to be able to incorporate any necessary changes. If you're interested, please drop a comment with a means of getting into direct contact with you (so we can sort out appropriate format issues and so on), or drop me a private message via my DW account.

This entry was originally posted at https://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/116344.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
New on AO3

Reaction - Tifa's point of view for some of the early events of the game.

Warnings for canon-typical violence and major character death.

This was written for a university assignment last year, for Introduction to Writing. Have I mentioned I love my degree?

This entry was originally posted at https://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/115127.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: creative creative
New Stuff on AO3

I've been putting up some drabble collections from FFVII100 over the last couple of days. So the new stuff is:

Through Other People's Eyes - A series of 12 drabbles about Barret Wallace.

Journey Perspectives - A set of 5 drabbles set at the point where the party has just climbed down the cable and are outside the gates of Midgar.

New Beginnings / Promised Lands - Not all new beginnings are Promised Lands, but they're a step on the journey. A set of 11 drabbles.

This entry was originally posted at https://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/114188.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Fanfiction Recommendations - Final Fantasy VII Time Travel Stories

Final Fantasy VII has a long tradition (going back about twenty years now) of time-travel fix-it fics. These are some of the examples of the genre I've found, and enjoyed to the point of re-reading. (This isn't a comprehensive list, just a few favourites; and I'm leaving off works in progress).

Eir's Tomorrow by Jukeboxhound

This one is a serious version of the trope. Cloud Strife watches the world end, and is hauled back by the Planet to do it all over again from the very beginning. Be warned: this one gets very gritty and dark in places - there are warnings for torture, sexual assault, blood, gore, and psychological horror. Read the warnings first before you start the story, and have the tissue box handy if you choose to continue - this one keeps kicking you in the feels.

Deus Ex Machina by Guede Mazaka

Described by the author as a "Crackfic time-travel satire AU", with BDSM overtones and an NC-17 rating. This one is pretty much what you get after Cloud Strife has been travelling the time-stream repeatedly from AU to AU to AU for something like twenty or thirty years, and he's finally got "fixing the world's problems" down to the point of being a fine art. As well as reaching the point of exasperation with the whole thing.

Rock Bottom by esama

A forty-year-old Cloud Strife is pulled back to his fifteen-year-old self by the Planet, and decides "sod that for a game of SOLDIERs" when faced with the idea of doing everything over again. Then he and Aerith go on to save the world in the most fabulous fashion (in every sense of the term) possible. Pure crack!fic which always makes me laugh.

The Fifth Act by Sinnatious

Cloud Strife post-Advent Children has an accident with a Time materia in the Midgar wastes, and finds himself back in the Crisis Core era. A lovely exercise in how small things make big changes in the end. Be warned: there's a lot of angsting in this one, some fairly realistic corporate reactions to perceived suicidal behaviours, and a lot of non-consensual experimentation. Another one where you might want to keep the tissue box within reach for some parts.

The Little Guy by TokiMirage

Cloud Strife wakes up as a cadet, and decides, after failing out of SOLDIER, he's going to avoid the military altogether. He becomes a janitor for Shinra, which should have been the end of it. But fate is a tricksy bitch who will not be denied, and who also has a good line in broken appliances in a certain general's office. One of the rare dominant!Cloud fics in the fandom, so if you're wedded to the notion of Cloud Strife as uke, it possibly won't be to your taste; also there are some identity issues and such (related to known canon issues, so be warned).

If anyone else has any recommendations for FFVII time travel stories, drop them in the comments.

This entry was originally posted at https://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/113288.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
New Nesa-verse fic on AO3 - "Comfort Food"

Because it's the time of the year where I'm going through my "works in progress" folder and finding all the bits which are fit to publish.

Comfort Food

I've also updated my collection of Various FFVII Meta Pieces with a new chapter, detailing why I think Zack in Crisis Core isn't actually dumber than a box of hammers.

This entry was originally posted at https://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/110974.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: calm calm
New Fic on AO3: "Glass Houses"

I'm going through a stage of polishing up bits and pieces and putting them out for public view. It beats having them cluttering up my "works in progress" folder.

So, here's the latest:

Glass Houses

All feedback welcomed with open arms.

This entry was originally posted at https://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/110846.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: awake awake
New on AO3

I've just put up a consolidated post of various bits of Final Fantasy VII meta-fic and so on.

Available here: Various FFVII Meta Pieces

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/103543.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
New Fic up on AO3

So I was digging through my WIP files, and discovered this one sitting in there, all complete and ready to post.

Nesa Conway's Notes for New Staff.

Set in the Final Fantasy VII world, roughly at the time of Crisis Core. Part of my Nesa-verse. Because every workplace has its little quirks and oddities, and sometimes it helps to have these written down.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/58692.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
FFVII High-Definition Remake: A Wish List

Context: Australian, female, forties, fan since first seeing the game on my brother's Playstation back in 1997, own and have played the original Playstation version of the game (played on my PS2), Dirge of Cerberus (PS2) and Crisis Core (PSP), plus the PC re-vamp of FFVII with the MS-Paint mouths on the characters (on the PC, natch!). I also own both KH1 and KH2, as well as the original Dissidia, and a copy of Advent Children. I write Final Fantasy VII fanfiction (you can find them here on AO3). I don't currently own a PS4, but I'd certainly consider buying one (or a new gaming-quality PC) in order to play this remake if it's any good.

Dear Square Enix,

I have apparently been a very good girl this year, since you're planning to remake Final Fantasy VII with high definition graphics for the PS4. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Just the news alone is enough to make me squee and bounce in my chair making happy noises. As a long-time fan of the Final Fantasy franchise, and also of the Final Fantasy VII franchise itself, I offer the following suggestions. (Consider these a wish-list).

Details under the fold )

I can't full express how much I'm looking forward to this re-make, but it's currently a re-make I'm looking forward to with somewhat mixed feelings. Please, don't let the prevailing trends of 2015 affect the way you re-make a game which was brilliant in 1997, and which can still hold its own even today. The core of Final Fantasy VII for me was always the stories and the characters - never the visual effects. Please don't lose this core while you're adding in the visuals.

Sincerely,

Megpie71 (aka Meg).

PS: If you put Cloud in a pink wig in the Wall Market drag scene, I shall not be impressed. Please don't cheat and re-use your Lightning skins in that one, okay?

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/54527.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: indescribable indescribable
Pairing Meme

I snagged this particular meme from [personal profile] raisedbymoogles

You know that meme that goes around sometimes where you post your five favourite kinks and then five favourite couples, and it's like a wish into the universe to see if anybody will write it for you? Let's make it a little more interactive.

Comment here if you want to play, and I will give you 3-6 couples that I associate with you, and you make an entry in your journal talking about those couples and fics that you wish the universe would write for you.


She prompted me with three individuals, since, as she said, "I'm not sure what pairings you're into."

So here goes: )

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/51671.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
Drabble set: Grunt/ICBW

Grunt

Cloud looked dubiously at the outfit he was handed. It was skin-tight blue lycra, the helmet was more face-obscuring than the infantry mask, and the weird gun fitted around the end of his right hand. He was told it was "point and shoot - even a space-case like you couldn't fuck that up, Strife."

Okay, so it apparently contained shielding so they didn't wind up getting their balls zapped by whatever nasties came out of the mako reactors, but really...

He suspected the reason every unit got rotated to Reactor duty was to stop the grumbles about the infantry uniform.

ICBW

"It could be worse," Dawlish told him.

Cloud looked down at his scrawny form in the reactor Grunt uniform. He looked back up and raised his eyebrows.

Dawlish grinned. "Some of the other options? The stuff you have to wear if you're on tower security? Skin-suit like this, rollerskates for mobility. Then layer on big bulky armour. Or there's Aero Combatant gear - helipack in one hand, sword in the other. Nine times outta ten, you wind up hitting the target with the wrong one."

"So how do I avoid that?" Cloud asked.

"Practice your throwing arm, kid," Dawlish said.

Author's notes:

* Inspired by a day of playing FFVII, and thinking about the absolutely awful excuses for uniforms Shinra force a lot of the troops you wind up facing in the early stages of the game into (Grunts, Special Combatants, Aero Combatants and Mighty Grunts). I suspect someone in either Weapons Development or Public Safety was having a bit of a laugh at their expense.
* The last line of the second one is a pointer to the outfits worn by the Grenade Combatants - they wear the standard uniform, much like the MPs. Why yes, I do suspect there are a lot of decisions about military specialisation made in the Shinra military on grounds of "at least I won't look a complete dork in the uniform".
* Needless to say, I don't own FFVII - if I did, the uniforms would be far more practical, and there'd be at least one shrink on the SOLDIER payroll from the start.

(I'll post these over at AO3 tomorrow).

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/49770.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: content content
Fic up at AO3

This is the stuff I've posted since the last update. It's all FF7 for now, and most of it is reposts of old stuff from the archives (back-dated, which is why the majority of it probably hasn't shown up as new).

White Mutiny

A look at the way the Turks might have handled dealing with Hojo over the years. After all, taking over ten years to run a retrieval mission is... somewhat unusual, especially when you've known where the subject of said mission is hiding out for all of those ten years.

Purity: A Smutfic in Four Acts

A comedy of errors, wherein Sephiroth learns that going cow-eyed with lust over an attractive cadet doesn't have to be the end of things.

Biological Warfare

Part 9 of the Nesaverse stories. The one where Zack learns why Shinra doesn't do housekeeping for SOLDIERs.

Plus, chapters 11 - 15 of Murphy's Laws of Combat

I start back at uni on Tuesday, so expect the posting to slow down a bit.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/31430.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Life Imitates Art Imitating Life

Or something like that, anyway.

I saw this headline:

Rocket launch aborted at last second

Then I took a look at the first paragraph.

"A privately-owned rocket has aborted its launch toward the International Space Station (ISS) at the last second, after a computer detected a possible problem with one of the rocket's engines."

Now my brain is busy giving me audio of the conversation between the cockpit and the engine bay, and it goes something like this:

Pilot: Shera, what the #$%&!!? are you doin' down there? Get the #$%! out of there!
Engineer: Oh, don't mind me, I'll be done in a minute.

Now, really, we know how this goes. The rocket winds up not launching at all (being too damaged to take off) and the space program money gets taken away. The astronaut goes off into a colossal three year fit of the sulks which is only slightly mitigated by his being able to fly his small prop plane. The engineer, having received the fright of her life, settles down to keep house for the astronaut as a combined gesture of apology and self-immolation. Then three years later, just as there's a likelihood of space program funding being restored, a gang of terrorists on a mission to save the world comes along and steals the plane, and the astronaut winds up running off with them.

Well, that's how it went in Final Fantasy VII, anyway.

Look, just everyone keep an eye out for shortish male terrorists with spiky blond hair carrying around swords almost as large as they are, okay. Or failing that, we may all be flattened by falling rocks in three years time.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/28896.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: silly silly
Fanfic (FF7): Dreams

Title: Dreams
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Prompt: Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth/Cloud: “The dreams in which I’m dying / Are the best I’ve ever had”
Rating: Australian M
Warnings: Violence, alluded character death
Summary: The dreams feel so real when they happen. What could he have done to make someone so determined to destroy him?

He wakes, gasping )

Author's Notes )

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/25102.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: content content
Current Music: "Mad World", Tears for Fears
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