Activities Chapter 1
A Little Surprise for You
Pulling the shopping cart to a stop, Tifa inspected the shelf in front of her. Damn it, why does it always has to be me buying all the birthday presents? She knew the answer. She was too nice, that had always been her problem. For the billionth time, Tifa considered telling her companions to do something themselves for a change. Yeah, as if thats gonna happen this millennium...I should be happy Midgar is rebuilt, though. This way I wont have to go all around the Planet to look for a present.
Anyway, Cloud wanted a video game. He had read about some beatemup called Ehrgeiz in a gaming magazine, and now he couldnt cease talking about it. Tifa suspected that her friend wanted to relive the glorious moment when Sephiroth finally fell by his sword. Or perhaps he just wanted to slap Yuffie around. She giggled, oddly inspired by the images forming in her mind. Who wouldnt. Ehrgeiz it is then. After paying for the game, Tifa started walking towards the parking lot. Maybe she should try the game herself... err... Just to make sure it functioned properly. Yeah.
Tifa was brutally awakened from her daydreams when a pack of black-clad teen-aged girls chanting something incomprehensible bumped into her, almost causing her to drop her bag. The girls continued ahead without even glancing at her. Tifa frowned, her eyes narrowing. There was something unpleasantly familiar about the way they looked... almost like...
She didnt have time to finish the thought. A gloved hand suddenly clasped her mouth while the other locked her arms painfully behind her back. She tried to break loose, but her attacker was simply too strong. Accepting the inevitable, Tifa let herself be dragged into an alley. The assailant would have to release her arms eventually. He might be stronger then her, but she had a surprise for him. I wonder what hell think about Final Heaven, she thought, smiling inwardly.
When she finally was set free, she turned around to kick his most sensitive spot. Her legs failed her though, when she recognized the person ahead of her. She sank down to the ground, fear and surprise obvious in her eyes. Fighting was the last thing on her mind right now. What the..?
"B-b-but..." she stuttered, desperately attempting to make her paralyzed limbs work again. "I... I saw you... Cloud... Arent you... dead?" Thats really intelligent, Teef.
Sephiroth smiled bitterly. "Obviously not." He helped the frightened woman up. "Dont worry, Im not gonna hurt you."
By now, Tifa had regained some of her composure. She crossed her arms under her breasts and examined her former adversary. Aside from the obvious fact that he shouldnt even be alive, something certainly seemed to be bothering him. The grip on his Masamune was too tight, as if he wanted to be able to draw the sword quickly. His aquamarine eyes were darting back and forth, trying to inspect everything around the pair at once. Something is definitely bothering him. She waited.
Clearly satisfied by Tifas reaction, the silver-haired man gradually relaxed. "I know we havent been the best of friends", he started. Really? Thats a slight understatement. Tifa opened her mouth, but Sephiroth held up his hand to prevent her from talking.
"I need your help. I need a place to hide for a while."
* * * * *
Sephiroth refused to explain why he needed Tifas help. Clearly impatient he finally promised to tell more about his situation once hed get to a safer place. Tifa didnt really trust him, but she agreed to go somewhere more private to discuss. Otherwise hell drive that thing right through me, I guess. Shifting slightly away from Sephiroth, she glanced at the enormous weapon. Gods, that sword is huge. He didnt seem to notice. They sneaked through the darkness ever so slowly.
Abruptly grabbing her arm, he forced her to a halt. "Silence!" he hissed through clenched teeth. His pale face had turned even whiter, matching his silver hair. Tifa promptly obeyed, discreetly looking around. She couldnt see anything that would frighten the mighty soldier. On the other side of the road, the chanting girls just stepped out from a doorway. They seemed to pursuit something. Wait a minute... What is it theyre singing? Something that sounds like... Sephiroth?
She turned around to look at the man in question again. He was chewing his lower lip while his eyes followed the teenagers. Hes afraid of them? I cant believe this!
Finally the girls seemed satisfied that there wasnt anything interesting here. One of them still appeared to doubt. She started towards the alley where Tifa were standing, but the rest of the group stopped her. Whatever it was they were hunting, they would have to look for it someplace else. They turned towards the shopping center and rapidly marched away, their black cloaks flapping after them. Behind her, Sephiroth started breathing again, finally releasing the death-grip on her arm. She shook it a few seconds to help the blood start circulating again.
"Well, lets continue", Tifa told him, quickly following her own instruction. She heard Sephiroths careful steps trailing her.
* * * * *
They had finally reached Tifas car. Sephiroth collapsed in the backseat after carefully finding a place for the sword. Tifa raised an eyebrow but didnt say anything. She turned the key and drove out from the parking place, heading towards the highway leading out from Midgar. After a while the would-be-god sat up, his arrogant mien returning as if nothing had happened. Tifa didnt buy it. She had, after all, seen his strange behavior just minutes ago.
"Weve gotten away from those girls now, " she said, outwardly disinterested. With a satisfied grin she noted that Sephiroths smile faltered a microsecond. "Who are they? You promised you would explain, and this is a safe enough place. "
Reluctantly he started telling his story. "I dont remember anything of what happened after my death. One moment, I felt my heart being pierced by that half-witted SOLDIER reject." Irritation shone in his eyes, which made Tifa smirk. Cloud wouldnt be too happy to hear that.
"The next thing I knew, I was lying on a seashore surrounded by those children. When I opened my eyes, they screamed. One of them, presumably the leader, held a huge, white sphere above my head. Some kind of Materia I believe, but Ive never seen a white one before. She almost dropped it when I stirred. Apparently, they hadnt really believed that their magic would achieve its purpose. When they realized that they had indeed accomplished to resurrect me, order was slowly restored. The leader introduced herself and her little assemblage. They call themselves Sephiroths Priestesses." He sighed deeply, shaking his head at their foolishness.
"They said that they would help me become a god. That it was my destiny to rule the universe. I cant understand why, since I acted pretty stupid when Jenova controlled me..." He frowned, a faint disgust surfacing in his eyes. "Anyway, each one of them is positively sure that she is the woman of my dreams, the one who would be my queen. They never let me be alone; there was always someone with me, trying to manipulate me into promising her a place by my side. "
With a faint smile on his lips, he continued, refusing to look at Tifa.
"You know, I feel utterly absurd saying things like this, but you shouldve heard them."
Tifa had a hard time remaining calm. "Please continue", she said, hiding her laughter with a cough. All those kids who admired him so long ago... Even though theyve grown up, they still idolize him.
He nodded. "They said that they completely understood why I had acted the way I did, and that it was alright. Since I am a descendent of Jenova, I have every right to rule the Planet. As long as they would be allowed to rule under me, I presume. Fortunately, Mothers influence over me is... gone. I have no wish becoming a god, or a ruler. And why do they think Id be interested in teenagers half my age?"
Jenovas influence is gone? So thats why his behavior has changed so dramatically... "I still havent learned why youre afraid of them. Theyre just children, what could they do? I mean, you can handle Materia better than anyone alive, and youve got that big sword of yours too. " She glanced at the Masamune and shivered.
"Well... Eh... One of those girls... Not the leader, but they were very close. I couldnt seem to think straight around her." Noting Tifas big grin, he quickly continued with a faint blush on his face. "No, no, its not like that. When she was near, I started having these bizarre ideas. And I can almost swear I heard Mother speaking to me. I think... I think that girl also, was one of Hojos creations. I felt a strange connection to her, and it made me very... susceptible to her inclinations. Took me a while to find out, though. Thats when I started planning my escape." He shifted uncomfortably. "You probably dont see me as the right person to judge, but those kids are totally insane. I dont know what they could have made me do, but I dont think theyre harmless without me either."
She was beginning to feel sorry for the man. His mother was a dead alien who wanted to take over the world, and his father an insane scientist with the same plans. It was a wonder he had managed to stay lucid as long is he had. And those girls... If Sephiroth is telling the truth, they need to be stopped before they harm anyone. The story had made her a trifle uncomfortable, to be honest. One maniac controlled by Jenova was quite enough, now there was a whole batch of them - with the power to command Sephiroth.
Damn it, Ive almost decided to help him. This is just crazy. Im going to help the man that killed my father and burned my hometown hide from a bunch of girls. But... this isnt the same Sephiroth that did all those awful things. Jenova was controlling him. I mean, Cloud tried to kill Aeris when he was possessed, but no one is blaming him for that now. Well, no one except himself, but thats not the point. I... damn, what should I do?
"Alright. Ill help you," she said hastily, crossing her fingers hoping this was the right decision. Sephiroth smiled gratefully.
I wish he wouldnt smile like that. Hes too pretty... hey, what am I thinking? She closed her eyes, trying to project the image of Cloud on the inside of her eyelids. It didnt quite succeed. What she saw was Cloud and Aeris heading out from the Golden Saucer inn on their first date. Damn. However, the unpleasant thought had made her realize something important.
"Oh. I think Ill postpone telling the others about you. Somehow I dont think Cloudd appreciate seeing you. Especially since its his birthday tomorrow. Luckily I have a place of my own where you can stay for a while. Ill try to prepare them for the... er... surprise."
At that, they entered Junon.
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