commander-tseng replied to your post:
Honestly when I first saw that scene in just a clip, it did seem like he could see them but was staying silent about them.
[ooc] Well, two Tsengs have thought the same thing, therefore it must be truth.
Truly though, it makes no sense for a man that’s cheated death that many times to be unable to see these beings. I think it’s a far more plausible argument that he’s simply gotten used to their presence after years of prolonged exposure to them.
commander-tseng replied to your photoset:
where in the world did you find hard back versions? I have on the way to smile but I need the kids are alright.
[ooc] I have both the hard backs and the soft covers in the picture. The soft covers are the English translations, and the hard backs towards the center are the Japanese versions. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ve brought the novels out in hard back form in English. Unless I’m mistaken. Absolutely let me know if that’s the case.
However, if you’re missing the hard back versions for the Japanese translation, I can point you to both that I found online. Hopefully that’ll help! I figured I’d list both, just in case you’ve gotten your hands on a version of On the Way to a Smile that I wasn’t aware of.
Final Fantasy VII - On the Way to a Smile (Japanese Hard Back): Click Here
Final Fantasy VII - The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story (Japanese Hard Back): Click Here
Originally, when I purchased the hard back version of The Kids Are Alright, I was only able to find it on ebay. But it appears like that’s changed since then and that it’s available through the Japanese Amazon now.
All the best to you, Tseng-mun. I hope this helps fill that gap in your collection!
commander-tseng replied to your link:
I literally just got onto tumblr to see if you has seen this yet. I am just sitting here gushing over how damn amazing he looks! I just wanna *glomps and hugs and loves* no! no temple for you! that scene is going to fucking destroy me.
[ooc] Oh, there are so many things that are already eating away at my soul about Tseng. I keep thinking about how Square is going to convey the scene where Tseng kidnaps Aerith and slaps her in front of all of Avalanche, since that’s the first really big scene we’ll get of Tseng that we know of, and... I just... don’t know how they’re going to do it, and it’s gnawing away inside of me. Will we see it in his face? In his eyes? In the quirk of his mouth? Right before he hits her? Is he going to be portrayed as the villain, the coldest of all the Turks you encounter, all the way to the end when he’s bleeding out and ravaged by Sephiroth’s blade at the Temple? ......I don’t know. All I keep thinking is that I held out for years, saying there was more to him than what we got to see in FFVII, and then we got Before Crisis... and Crisis Core... and all those things I had been saying must be true were confirmed. And I keep telling myself, “Why would they give him all those moments? In Before Crisis, Last Order, Crisis Core... if they weren’t going to make those moments of complexity show when it mattered the most?”
I’m just... *Shuts eyes and exhales heavily*
...I’ve spent a lifetime bonding with this character, never knowing if we were all going to have this moment. A day when we would revisit everything, everything all over again. “What would his face look like?” “What words would they give him to say?” “Will he get the chance to be seen more?” “Will everything that’s developed him and around him finally get the chance to be seen and felt and understood?”
We’ve all thought these things, about each of our favorite characters... that’s why this is so big. Why the Remake is... everything, in some ways. We’ll always have the original Final Fantasy VII. Nothing can replace that, not even the Remake. But... maybe we’ll get a new way of looking at this world that we know and love so well. And maybe... we’ll get gifts we never expected, even if they come with so many pains we know we likely aren’t going to be able to avoid.
commander-tseng replied to your post:
Very well worded and thought out. A lot of this I missed during my play through. Some of it I don’t know if it is just my game but the dialog is over powered by the sound track and SFX even if i lower them.
[ooc] My first playthrough I adjusted the volume only slightly, but when I went through the demo the next couple of times, I dropped the Music down to 1, and the Sound Effects to 2, and kept the Dialogue at 10 so I could hear everything distinctly. I wanted to pay attention to what the enemies said so I could hear the non-subtitled dialogue. I’m not sure if this advice will work for you, but that’s how I’ve gotten the best results for hearing the dialogue without anything else distracting from it. It does make some scenes sound a little more silly because you can barely hear the other effects and music, but anything for knowledge. *Chuckles*
Ash of the Turks doing dumb things on dumb missions. Lots of swearing, slight violence, slight blood and murder.
Ash rushed up the stairs as fast as she could, Materia spheres by her side clacking against each other with each step. She’s nearly tripping over the stairs, but is quick to grab the railing and regain her footing. Behind her, loud footsteps echoed against stone walls.
“Ah, crap. Crap. Crap crap crap. Crap crap crap crap. He’s got a gun... Fuck”
Tseng’s voice was just as calm and deep as it usually was, static and broken down in her earpiece, “A very eloquent addition. Thank you, Ash.”
“Dude,” She pants, “I am being chased by a fucking bitch with a fucking gun up a huge ass skyscraper in Sector fucking 8, this is not a laughing matter.”
“I wasn’t laughing, and you’re more than well equipped to handle one soldier. Stay safe.”
She smirks. “Hey, I always am, we know that. After all, it’s thanks to me that their whole squad is gone.”
She heard a snort over her earpiece which was quick to burst into laughter, “Ya sure about that, Ash? You? Careful?” Asked Reno.
“Oh, shut up, Reno. I don’t wanna hear that coming from you.”
Ash had taken out the whole team of anti-Shinra soldiers with her magical expertise, but was currently being tailed by their most skilled commander. There’s no way she could take him on alone, so she decided to take a run for it. She rushed towards the first door she had found and ran up the stairwell.
“You can run, little Turk. But you can’t hide.” Her pursuer yelled.
“There’s no good hiding spots here, dumbass. Of course I can’t. Who the hell would hide on a staircase? I’m stupid, but not that stupid.” She spat back. She looked up, the door to the roof. Where else could she go but out? Ash shoved the door open and rushed out to the flat rooftop.
Beneath her was the bustling topside LOVELESS Avenue, all preparing for the night’s showing of the play. But Ash didn’t have the time to care.
“You dug yourself into quite the hole here, little Turk.” The enemy general said, pulling out their gun and pointing it straight at Ash’s head. Ash was panting, covered in her own sweat and some blood. She wasn’t quite sure whose, and she didn’t exactly care at that moment.
“Hey, maybe we can talk this out, huh?” Ash panted, raising her hands.
“It’s too late for negotiations.”
Yeah, I figured.
Ash backed away, trying to stay calm. But he kept coming closer.
Ash was going to take a step back, but her boot hit a ledge. She looked over her shoulder, and saw that she was backed against the short ledge off the edge of the building. She looks down at the fall onto the city streets and gulps. Fuck. I’m really high up. ...Fuck.
“Any last words, Shinra lapdog?”
“Hm...” Ash was scanning the area around her for any escape, any way that she could outsmart then and escape.
But then it hit her.
“Yep!” She grinned, but her heart was pounding in her chest. She was afraid. He glared.
“You fuck with Shinra, and you fuck with the Turks. You know that, right?”
His grip tightens on his gun.
I have an idea. I hope this works. I don’t want to die. Not yet. The new season of that new fantasy show about the three kingdoms airs tomorrow. I’m not fucking this up.
Ash right hand goes for the gun strapped to her thigh, while her other one grips one of the Materia on her belt. Gravity.
“Fuck you!” She yells, jumping onto the ledge.
Shooting her gun at the man, she jumps off the building.
In an instant, she’s screaming.
“Why did I think this was a good idea?!” She screams, her hair flapping wildly through the air.
Gloved hands rummage around her side for her gravity Materia. She holds it tight and casts it.
Within seconds, she’s running down the side of the building. She laughs.
She wasn’t quite sure if using Gravity on herself would be a good idea, but what other choice did she have? She stops running for a second, and grins at the fact that she stays there.
Ash keeps running till the ground was only a few steps away, but she trips, and nearly falls flat on her face.
Instead of landing on the ground, she’s steadied to her feet by a warm, firm chest. “That was pretty damn cool, I’ll give you that.” Reno grinned.
Rude walks over to his red-headed partner, giving Ash a small nod, “Good job.”
Ash adjusts her now-messy hair, giving them a big smile. “And expert Materia specialist Ash strikes again!”
Rushed footsteps approach, and Ash’s attention snaps upwards. Elena.
“Sorry I’m late, guys!” She gives them a small wave as she runs.
Elena tackles Ash in a tight bear hug once she gets close enough, “I’m so glad you’re safe, Ash! I saw that! When you were running down the side of the building! That was so cool!”
Ash chuckles, hugging her back, “I’m glad to see you too. You’re just, uh, squeezing the life out of me.”
“Heh, sorry.” She giggles, taking a step back from Ash, “You’ve gotta teach me how to do that sometime!”
Ash’s PHS rang, and she flipped it open, “Hey, Tseng.”
“An impressive display, Ash. Good work. You guys can head back to HQ, I can take care of the mess.”
@blitzrod inquired : “ what aren’t you telling me? ” ( angst prompts // no longer accepting ! )
“from what position are you asking?” the Turk inquired, “Are you asking as my partner or as the second-in-command?” It was usual for Rude to be seemingly the more quiet one between the two of them, but, this wasn’t the usual sort of silence. The more being loyal to the mission demanded of them, the less he liked that. Still, there was a feeling it was too late to start questioning everything now. Choices had been made. Choices had consequences. Some of those consequences only happened to be unpleasant, nasty, even.
Someone had to press that button, after all. Someone would’ve done it anyway. Said someone would’ve lived with the burden of a guilty conscience. Part of Rude was still revolted upon having heard these very words uttered by Tseng, still wondering whether or not their leader truly believed the words that had come out of his mouth.
“If you’re asking as my partner,” Rude spoke after a long period of time when he had let silence settle in, “It still doesn’t feel right. None of that. Come to think about it, Reno, what are we even doing at this point?” Rude believed the answer was clear to the both of them. Then, shouldn’t they already have grown familiar with the price of asking the wrong kind of questions?
Tseng does not enter the church; choosing simply to wait outside it. He's sure the location wasn't picked maliciously, mostly because he doubts Weiss would know the significance it held for him. He waits patiently, hands clasped behind his back. @lifedxbt
Weiss looked down upon the commander who took the knee before him to inform him of their ‘contact’’s arrival, slothfully rising to his feet from the comfort he had found on the old church bench. Respect paid in a bow of his head, the soldier added a salute and disappeared from sight. A wave of the emperor’s hand dismissed some troopers and summoned others. “Making me walk...” He complained in a murmur and made his way to the entrance area of the church past long-crumbled marble and memories.
The trained posture and appearance was inseparable from last time’s, almost like it’s been a mere hours ago they first encountered each other. From suit to even the way the other’s hair draped behind, a picture unchanged. “Lets skip the formalities this time.” Was his first decree, the second a lift of his head at the troopers in the back. Two trunks carried by two soldiers, they set each down in the distance between the Turk and the Immaculate. “The proof you wanted is inside these. Your turn.”
Anon asked | Do you like being the boss, Tseng? You like ordering people around? And having them call you boss?
“My position isn’t a novelty - I was second in command for years before I took this role. I’m used to being in charge. It’s not a case of liking or disliking it, it’s my job.”
It was a brisk La Noscean morning, the kind where the bitter chill winds coming off the seas wrestled with the warm sun reflecting off the mountain slopes. Most mornings the sun won out, but in the height of winter, the wind was such that it could slip under your clothes and shake hands with your bones. Hannah knew from experience (as most of her knowledge was prone to spring from these days) that it wasn’t as bad as the ongoing frosts of Ishgard, still one needed to bundle up against it, lest they found themselves making friends with a fever. She had just finished gathering up the last of the winter peas from the fields, and had set her basket aside to rub a little life back into her chilled knobbly fingers.
Age had been kind to her, she reflected as she sat her bony ass down on one of the smooth stones that marked the borders of her son’s fields. Most women who had seen as many seasons as she had needed the assistance of a cane to walk, and that was if they could leave their rocking chairs at all. However she was still able to bend at her waist, and carry a basket that was half her weight in stone. True, her joints ached terribly before the coming of a storm, and she’d no longer had a tooth in her mouth that wasn’t porcelain or silver, but to expect nothing from time but a head full of grey hair was folly if ever she heard it.
It was a subject of some debate back on her son Sigmund’s farm. His wife, a pretty little midlander named Sarah who didn’t have so much as two foul thoughts in her head to rub together for fire, was opposed to the idea of her aging mother-in-law working in the fields. She insisted that if Hannah kept it up, then one day they would find her out there, dead amongst the stones and weeds. The girl, and she was still a girl in Hannah’s eyes, never even contemplated the possibility that Hannah would have it no other way. After all it was probably the bull headed need for physical labor that kept her in such fine shape for her autumn years. During her years on the salt, Hannah had never met a job she didn’t prefer to do for herself. In fact, one of her hardest lessons aboard a ship had been to trust in the work of others.
Hannah shivered, and rose off the rock, tugging her basket to her shoulder. Near on twenty years had passed since she had set foot on a deck, and still every fourth thought out of her head was about her life on the waves. It was what every sailor meant when they said “The Siren’s Call.”, since most were too chickenshit to call it their own stupidity, blaming a pretty woman seemed the next best thing. Still they were right about one thing, there wasn’t any sense to be had in it. She had a good life now, Sigmund shared her own love of steady physical labor, and between the two of them they had made his farm one of the best producers on the coastline. Sigmund and his little wife hadn’t been coy in their marriage, and now they had a fifth grandchild on the way to swell the household even further. Hannah had made the offer a while back to have a cottage built for herself on the edge of the property, giving them the space every married couple needed. However they wouldn’t hear of it, bless their amorous little hearts, the pair insisted having their family under one roof, all of their family.
So here Hannah was, with no need for coin, or a roof over her head, besieged on all sides by love from gangly grandchildren and moon-eyed betrothed. All of these things rested neatly in the palm of her hand...and there was still space for something else. It made her feel like shit, but there was no denying it, some part of her longed for the feel of the rolling deck beneath her feet and the anticipation of the great unknown. Rationally, she knew the reason she would never return to the waves, it was the same reason she’d fought so viciously with Sarah about planting the fig trees behind the house. Not because Hannah had any particular inclinations about figs as a fruit, but because of how the trees looked when they were denuded of their leaves in the winter. They looked like skeletal fingers clutching up through the sea water, always reaching for the sky.
It was staring at those trees that her son found her. She had walked the pebbled path home without realizing it, as mired in her thoughts as a cart stuck in the peat moors. It wasn’t until he rested a cautious hand on one of her shoulders that she realized where she was with a little start.
“Someone once told me staring at a tree won’t cause it t’grow fruit.” He rumbled through a chest now broader than hers had ever been, when had he grown taller than she? She smirked up at him, handing off her basket without needing to ask that he take it.
“Depends on what ye came out t’pick, not all fruit grows green.”
“Mmmm” he set off on a slow plod towards the front of the homestead. “Sounds like bitter fruit indeed.”
“Tis at that.” She said out the side of her mouth, following at his side..
“Ye know…” he said, plowing on into the conversation like an ox “Ye need not be the only one t’eat this fruit.”
She smiled up at him fondly. The trouble was he meant it too, he would patiently listen to everything she had to say about her past life, and forgive her for it to boot. Trouble was some things weren’t for him to forgive, and she wasn’t deserving of forgiveness anyhow.
“Some mistakes are jest that lad...bitter fruit only ye can eat in yer old age. Now hush, n’let me be an old woman in peace.”
“Salty old bitch.” he said, without a hint of malice.
“Green little shit.” she spat, with all a mother’s love. “Thought ye would be out still pickin stones in the western fields, not herding old goats.”
“I was headed that way, but someone claimin t’be a friend oh yourn showed up on our doorstep.”
Hannah stopped as soon as he said it, her foot on the first of the sensible stone steps leading up to the porch of their home. She eyed the door above them as though it was a serpent rearing to strike. “That makes them either an idiot or a liar...what’d ye make them t’be?”
Sigmund set down the basket of peas, and as he bent over Hannah noticed a cudgel was tucked into the back of his belt. It was a plain and heavy affair carved from one of the thick branches of the oaks that dotted the path to the house; Sigmund said he kept it around for wolves and men in need of manners. Hannah had only seen him use it twice, and that was all she needed to suspect he’d inherited more from her than a need for physical labor. Nodding towards the house, he gave his mother a knowing look. “He looked like someone who could be trouble iffin he wanted t’be, don’t think he wanted t’be though. Said he jest wanted t’talk to ye, so I left Sarah t’entertain whilst I fetched ye.”
Fetched me and that there cudgel, Hannah thought as she sucked on one of the silver teeth at the front of her mouth. She supposed she could have berated him for leaving his family alone with a strange man, but there was time enough for that after she dealt with this. She went to the wide stump near the front of the house, where they all took turns splitting firewood for chill evenings. There embedded in the stump was a well worn hatchet no longer than her forearm. It was hardly a weapon for most folks, but it was a tool she was intimately familiar with. With a quick yank she freed it, and it slid easily enough into the apron straps behind her back. Thusly armed, she stomped her way up the steps good and loud so whoever was in there heard her coming.
Hannah had to admit, with the one exception seated at the kitchen table, she had walked into the picture of farmer’s hospitality. Sarah had been an inn keeper’s daughter before Sigmund had offered her a life on his homestead, and thusly she had kept his hearth with the same inflexible sensibility that had commanded the line of innkeepers before her. Everything was where it should be; from the fragrant cooking herbs hung to dry along one wall; to the color coordinated rows of jams and preserves they had sealed in the spring. Every pot, every pan, every humble clay cup was precisely in the location it needed to be to convey a sense of welcome and warmth to those who were either returning home, or simply temporarily visiting. It was this way, not because Hannah, or Sigmund, or any of his multitudinous get were particularly neat, but because Sarah Commanded It Be So. The family bore it with good natured cheer, partly because they loved the small woman, and partly because they enjoyed their home being so. Even crusty old Hannah enjoyed it; Which was why, when Hannah saw one of Tseng’s things seated at the table amidst everything she considered home, her blood ran colder than any Ishgard winter.
It didn’t help that Juniper, the eldest of her grandchildren, was seated next to the lean salt haired outline of a man. Juniper’s innocent grey green eyes were as wide as the tea saucers her mother was setting out, as the little girl of eight tapped one of the many ostentatious gold and silver rings on the thing’s spidery sea worn fingers. “What about...that one?”
It opened its mouth, showing very white teeth in a wolfish grin, and a raucous laugh tailored to titillate rolled around the kitchen. “I got that one from a princess of the Ananta, she dared me t’try dancin on one foot afore all her clan, as her people do. I fell flat on my arse, but she claimed I should have aught t’show fer it anyhow.”
Juniper’s eyes narrowed, and her tiny mouth puckered in the inherent shrewdness of all eight year olds “Wot’s an..Antnata?”
“Oh they’re a sight t’be seen..” It winked (...or was it blinked?) to her and laid a finger along the side of it’s slightly crooked nose, as though the two of them in this bit of information had a precious secret to share. “Serpent women whose beauty tis beyond compare, they live in the outer Fringes outside Gyr Abania.”
“Liar.” Shot back Juniper with no hesitation whatsoever. “No one’s prettier than Mum.”
This spurred a fierce blush from Sarah’s pale cheeks, and a second, even louder round of laughter from the thing. “How fool oh me t’ferget her” it said between guffaws. “Yer daughter does ye credit madam, she’ll have her pick oh the crews when she comes oh age.”
Hannah saw the spark in Juniper’s eyes as soon as the thing said it, and she knew, she KNEW somewhere in that little sprat’s mind, a life at sea was already painting itself. It was that stupid, disregarding, need for adventure that still called to her as an old woman, and she would be damned it she let it claim one of hers.
“She’ll have her pick oh the fields till then.” Hannah said archly from the doorway. Before she had a chance to seat herself at the table, she was nearly bowled over by her granddaughter who flung herself into Hannah’s stained apron to hug her waist and then tug on the same strings that held the hatchet behind her back.
“Nana! Nana! Guess what??” With all the energy of a hummingbird in its prime, Juniper bounced up and down before her. Hannah couldn’t help but run a gnarled hand through those curling brown locks and ask the expected question.
“What, my cherub?”
Sparing a suspicious glance behind her at their guest, Juniper went to her tiptoes and whispered in a voice that all present could hear. “He’s a pirate.”
Hannah smiled at that, how could she do anything but? Still the important thing was to get Juniper as far away from the trouble at their table as fast as she could, if she had to lie to the child to do so, so be it. “Taint nice t’call someone a pirate, even iffin they do look like one. Asides, there’s no such things as pirates any more, the Admiral’s sweepin em all back out t’sea. Now yer father’s out on the porch about t’start shellin peas, why don’t ye go help him?”
“Now child.” Hannah cut the babe off with a clipped tone that brooked no backtalk, a tone she hated using, but nonetheless had the desired effect. With a bit of a wounded look, Juniper shot around her, and out the front door. Hannah looked to Sarah, and for a moment, she thought she would have to ask the woman to leave as well. However Sarah seemed to pick up from the look that this was neither a conversation for her or tea, and with a sigh set the pot off the stove. Turning to leave for the door, Hannah’s prim and proper daughter-in-law paused to eye them both and then spoke. “If you two are planning to kill one another, please do it outside. If I come back and find anything in here broken, we’ll be digging two graves instead of just the one.” That said, she turned on a heel and followed her daughter out.
“Some men rescue the damsel from the dragon…” It said, watching Sarah’s flouncing departure. “Other’s jest marry the dragon.”
She stared at the man-like thing for a moment, carefully considering her words, diplomacy after all was the bedrock of civilization. “Shut the feck up.”
The one yellow eye narrowed to a slit as she said it, and for a moment she thought they really would just kill one another in her family’s cozy little kitchen. Instead the thing that looked like a man eased back into it’s chair, and with a lazy hand motion, admitted the floor was hers. So she licked her lips and pressed on. “No jokes, no fables, no amusing anecdotes...jest plain speech. I know ye get somat from that other stuff...yer like her in that respect, but whatever that tis ye ent gettin it from this house, not from these people. Not while I’m still alive and kickin.”
It looked slightly affronted by that, keeping its eye on her as it reached for the bowl in the middle of the table, and selecting one of the pears that sat there. She blinked and there was a knife in its hand, cutting off the rind of the fruit into a neat little curl off to the side. A small rueful smile curled its way across that face, not unlike the peel. “Ye sit there, talkin about me like I’m some terror from the deeps come t’visit horror upon ye and yer family.” it said.
Hannah kept her eyes steady and forward, not daring to look away. She’d warned Argus Stormwater another lifetime ago never to take his eyes off this one, he’d ignored her advice, and had paid for it with his life. With the same steady calm as her stare, she pulled out a chair at the table, and then rested her bones upon it. “Convince me that yer otherwise Kail.”
“Oh come now.” Kail said as it continued undressing the pear. “M’a lawful citizen oh Limsa Lominsa just as yerself, aught that not warrant me a little faith?”
Hannah didn’t let her expression alter one jot. “I was there the night ye gave Jehige a second grin then tossed him off the docks, I’m well familiar with what ye are cutter.”
There followed a silence thick enough to spread on toast after she laid that out between them, Kail’s knife paused in mid slice, and that yellow eye eased up to lock on with her gaze. “Look me in the eye and tell me he didn’t have that comin.” It said, and there wasn’t a hint of regret in that voice.
It had been as if the act had been cut wood, drawn water, or any one of a dozen chores that Kail had needed to do that day, and it would probably never see the murder as anything else. Oh it was true that Jehige would have sold his mother to the slaving guilds for spare change, but the utter casual nature that Kail had discarded him was a stark reminder to Hannah. It was a reminder that if Kail was ever doing figures in it’s head, and reached the answer of one dead Hannah, then that is what her grandchildren would find in her bed.
“I don’t think either oh us are in any position t’sit in judgement.” She said, and even as she said it, she realized it was true. With an effort of will she drew her finger tips from the handle of the hatchet, where they had unconsciously come to rest as her mind had wound her up even further during the conversation. She set her hands upon the table, and left them there. “What is it ye want Kail?”
It grinned wide and white, not unlike a shark ready to take a bite. “As it so happens, I want t’do ye a favor.” It said, and then it did bite, right into the peeled pear with no shortage of vigor and relish. As it chewed with juice dribbling down it’s chin, Hannah sat there staring, unsure as how to respond to that. She found her voice after it took yet another bite of the fruit, seemingly content to wait and watch for her reaction. “Ye say that, but somehow I’m convinced this ‘favor’ oh yourn tis goin t’look more like barter.”
Kail favored her with a deceptively casual shrug, she had seen it used more than a few times when this thing was a younger boy. It meant simply that the can of worms went deeper than you thought, Kail was only showing you the surface. Still she found herself listening to what it had to say. “Tis an opportunity, and we elder salts know there ent no pay without a little pain.” It said, then it leaned in close. “But what pain wouldn’t be worth bein able t’have a night’s kip without havin nightmares oh Tseng?”
Hannah had known this would concern the old man, had prepared herself for it when she had seen Kail sitting at her family’s table. Yet still when she heard his name spoken aloud, she felt the small hairs on her arm try to crawl skyward. She wasn’t as superstitious as the rest of her peers, but she was almost certain that was one of those names that echoed back to the ears of its owner. “Twenty years tis a long time t’hold a grudge boy, what makes ye even think he’s still about?”
For the first time, Hannah saw the cheer on Kail’s face roll back like the tides, leaving behind a very naked and raw anger still as fresh as that night so long ago. It’s words were clipped and under control, but only clearly from a small lifetime of tempering them to be so. “This tisn’t about a grudge, this tis about finishin what we started. N’iffin yer old bones ent tellin ye that he’s still out there, then yer a better liar than I am.”
She couldn’t help but snort at the hypocrisy, and made to rise from the table. “There ye are callin me a liar, but yer about t’split down the middle fer a chance t’get at him. Not about a grudge my arse. Yer about t’get a whole bunch oh folk killed chasin a ghost, n”I fer one ain’t…”
Something landed on the table between the two of them, dropping with a strange permanence that suggested nothing but someone picking it up would ever move it from that spot. Kail had fished it out a pocket and tossed it on the table, Hannah stared as the world seemed to twist about the small thing. At first glance it was a gemstone, a tear drop of a strange opalescence, without a single facet to suggest a jeweler’s tools had ever touched it. It was in her hand before she told herself to pick it up, and she was drawing it closer for her old eyes to see. She had to be sure. She dimly heard Kail’s slow growl of a voice somewhere in the distance, but she simply didn’t have the room in her head to listen as she slowly became lost in the folds of light beneath the gem’s surface. There it was...that oily sheen was as sure a signature of Tseng’s hand as any lord’s seal. Steeling herself, she tore the gem from her gaze and set it back on the table. She turned her weary eyes upon Kail, and asked it...asked him, she would have to get used to that idea now if they would be working together. “Where?”
He took a flask out one of those many pockets and passed it across the table to her, she gratefully took it and availed herself of the burning contents. “I took it from a gunship I had t’scuttle back in Ala Mhigo.” He said “ Twas with a bit oh correspondence that suggests the captain was one oh Tseng’s.”
Hannah froze in mid sip, a horrible thought occurring to her. “He ent workin with the Imperials is he?”
To her relief, Kail shook his head. “He eats and breathes hate fer them, he’d slit his own throat afore it came to that. Slipping a few pawns in their ranks and absconding with some of their resources though?”
She nodded in reply, it was a move that was just as much a signature of the old man as the sheen in the stone. Kail was right, Tseng wasn’t just alive, he had a hand in the world stage. Despite all the time that had passed, all the good she had done in the years between, she had helped him do so. There was only one reply to that. “What do ye need from me?”
Kail removed the gem from the table, reaching for it with all the care one handles a snake. “I know how t’get Tseng’s attention. To do that though...I’ll need t’sail into the Teeth.”
Hannah winced at the thought. Far out to the east in the Sea of Glass were a set of islands known to sailors as the Seven Maws. As sailors were both poetic and original, they called the barrier of razor sharp obsidian glass that surrounded the islands the Teeth. It was inaccessible from the air as the obsidian apparently carried trace amounts of aether, this aether caused a perpetual lightning storm to crackle over the islands. Any airship that tried to pass through it was ripped apart by enough bolts to give even Raiden the Storm Father pause. On the flip side however, to try and sail through the Teeth by way of the water was no task for the faint of heart. Hannah could count on one hand the number of Captains who had told her they had sailed through the Teeth and that she believed. Kail wasn’t one of them. “So what are ye talkin t’me fer? Ye need the best navigator ye can lay hands on. That ent me.”
“Well..” he said, rubbing the back of his neck. “I’ve a navigator already in mind, but I think he’s not of the mind t’accept iffin I’m the one doin the offerin.”
Hannah felt her mouth set into a grimace, here it came. “Why?”
“I sort of ...broke his leg and killed half his crew.”
In the swollen, pregnant, and morning sick silence that followed; Hannah wondered if she could break one of Sarah’s clay jars over Kail’s head without giving her daughter-in-law cause to carry out her earlier threat. In the end she eschewed the fantasy to continue the conversation. “So yer the bastard Toumgara is swearing up and down the docks he’s going to murder at his earliest opportunity.”
“T’be fair, he started it, and I ent the only one t’thank fer given him a black eye.” If Hannah didn’t know any better, there was a fond tone in his voice as he said it.
“Regardless how the feck do ye expect me t’smooth things oer?” She asked “Toum’s young enough t’still be floatin on his pride, he wouldn’t sail fer ye without a good reason.”
Kail took a sip from his flask, which she never remembered handing back to him. “He also loves the old stories, and by extension the old crews that helped make them. I don’t think ye could smooth things oer, but I think Hatchet Hannah could.” He said, giving her a significant glance that seemed to pierce straight through what she had been building the past twenty years, and to the solid steel tool thrust through the strings of her apron. She had to put effort into not flinching away from that. With a smirk sharp enough to cut oneself on he added. “Iffin that doesn’t work, tell him there’s treasure involved, that allus works.”
Hannah blinked as he started to rise from her table, not even waiting for her answer. She didn’t want to ask...but there was still that small part of her that roared for rolling waves, and sheets full of the southern winds, so she did. “Is there?”
Kail’s face didn’t shift an iota beyond that smirk as he rose, when he stood straight however...he winked at her...or was it a blink? He left without another word. She sat there staring at the bowl of pears in the middle of the table, not really sure what she would do now. After a few moments Sigmund came into the kitchen, herding Juniper and telling her that no she couldn’t have a fox of her own, he didn’t care how cute the other one had been. Hannah watched them, and knew, sure as spring was coming, that if she didn’t fix this, Sigmund would find out...and he would take it upon himself to do what she couldn’t. So when her son sat down in the seat that her past had been warming, and asked her what had happened. She didn’t answer, she just grabbed a pear from the bowl, and took a bite.
I have no words...
Warnings: Major Character Death, Stress and angst, Mentions of surgery.
Character Pairing: Reno x Reader
“RENO!” You screamed.
One moment he was laughing, joking, and kissing you before work, the next you were being told he was fatally injured in a mission gone wrong. A mission to stop Avalanche. At one point you’d gone from being sympathetic to their cause, thinking they were just echo activists who wanted to protect the planet. Now to you they were nothing more the terrorists.
Rude held you back as you fought to get out of his arms, Reno had been wheeled away out of A&E, where you’d barely had five minuets to comprehend what had happened.
“Let me go Rude! I… I have to see him!” You shouted trying to push the stronger man off of you.
“No, Y/N we have to let the doctors do their job,” His words were kind and had brought a fresh wave of tears to your face.
You flopped in his arms and he half carried you to the family room where Tseng was waiting. Rude plonked you down in a seat and turned to Tseng.
“Rude, I’m promoting you to Second in command… The company should allow us to high new-”
“Your acting as if he’s already dead!” You snapped standing on wobblily legs.
Tseng and Rude looked at you. You saw pain behind the sunglasses on your boyfriends partner. 10% chance… Tseng just shook his head and turned back to Rude “We can discuss this later.”
Time was moving too slowly; you couldn’t help but watch the clock between crying and rocking on your chair. You hoped deep down that things would be the same again as before. You’d even planned in your head to care for Reno has he recovered. Almost laughing at the idea, he would be an awful patient. You twisted the necklace he’d gotten you, feeling the metal bite into your skin a little.
A doctor stepped through the door and asked for Tseng. Tseng nodded a little and stepped out the door. They were gone for a while before Tseng opened the door. Rude went to move but Tseng shook his head and motioned for you. You stood, feeling sick, and followed the man.
He passed you over to a Nurse. You looked back at Tseng who sighed and turned back into the family room. You looked back to wards the Nurse who’s smile seemed sympathetic. She stopped you outside a room.
“He’s awake, and we’ve made him as comfortable as possible but, he hasn’t got long left, I’m sorry.”
10% chance of Living…
The world around you tilted. Sound suddenly became strange, your vision swam a little. Something touched your arm, you looked down and saw a hand. Looking back up you saw the nurse was wearing her sympathetic smile again.
She lead you inside. Reno was hooked up to, too many machines and drips. Bandages and padding covering large patches of his body. You slowly walked over and sat down beside him. He slowly opened his eyes and looked at you with a small smile.
“Hey, I’m sorry I got banged up pretty bad,” he muttered barely above a whisper.
“Was this your idea of getting out of chores?” You asked, unable to hold back your tears.
Reno frowned a little, “Please don’t cry, it’s going to be fine. I’ll be out in no time.”
You could see by the look on his face, this wasn’t true, but you smiled for him anyway. Reno reached over, hand shaking to brush hair from your face. He sighed a little, “Your so beautiful you know that. Don’t ever say otherwise alright.”
You nod, biting you lip waiting for other instructions. He sighed and gestured for you to come closer. Which you did, he pulled you in tight and hugged you, hissing a little from pulling his stitches.
“Do me a favour, whilst I’m in here, can you keep an eye on Rude. He might seem cold, but he has a good heart. He fancies that chick in 7th Heaven I know it, but he’s never had the guts to ask her out. He needs someone to watch out for him,” he said.
You nodded slowly but couldn’t hold back a sob. Reno gently stroked your cheek. He took a shaky breath.
“Hey, it’ll be fine,” he whispered again, “I’m pretty tired so I’m going to take a quick nap. You’ll stay?”
You nodded again and nestled your head close to his as he shut his eyes and slept.
Reno didn’t wake again.
A month later you sat at your kitchen table wrapped in a blanket. A positive pregnancy test in front of you and your phone in your hand. You sighed and clicked the number for Rude.
Small ridiculously soft thing for @turkleader, because well, tis the season and all that. 💕
It’s been a lifetime since last she saw him; the once frequent serenade of half amused banter now little more than a fond memory, faded and cherished like a scarcely remembered dream. It’s supposed to be easier this way. Distance is better for both of them; two lives that were once nigh on inseparable, now so distinctly detached, forever running parallel, never destined to ever more intersect. Or at least, that had been the theory when they’d gone their separate ways. It was more a way of explaining away the absence; of rationalising the lingering ache that sat deep within the pit of her stomach to no longer have a confidant at her beck and call. To no longer have the safety of suited arms to soothe her nightmares, nor the warmth of familiar hands to brush away her tears.
There was no denying that she missed him. She missed his laughter, missed the good natured humour he’d always greeted her whimsy with. She’d never had a deeper conversation. Never had the need to wax philosophical with anyone but him - but Tseng was a law unto himself these days - and while obligation may have demanded his presence elsewhere, Aerith would make the time to commandeer his company. To steal little more than minutes if need be, to remind him of his promise.
They’re a far cry from the beaten floorboards of the church when last they’d parted ways. She’s older now, though perhaps no wiser, still an ardent optimist tangled up in a hope that may never truly come to pass. Her smile is the same though; that cheeky upturned curve of rosy pink spreading warmth and wry amusement into the apples of her cheeks as she leant so precariously against the frame of his office door. He should know by now, that she’s only here to confirm her existence; and to check on his, if truth be told. It’s a visit that comes from a place of overriding affection; an underpinning concern that no amount of distance was ever going to shake.
She’s too content to watch him half leant over that desk, sleeves rolled up to his elbows as he perused paper after paper of some pressing concern or other. He’s in his element, and perhaps that’s the best part. There’s no blood left on those battle hardened palms, no traces of violence or cold heartless detachment. He looks human; exhausted maybe but certainly happier than she’s seen him in years. It’s a visual that warms her heart; the fluttering butterflies of recognition sparking to life within the hollows of her ribcage, reigniting an ache that would better have been laid to rest.
Still, there isn’t a word for what she feels when at last he looks up; when that split second of recognition chases away all signs of fatigue to replace it with fond nostalgia. Aerith knows that smile better than she knows her own, that unforgettable tilt of narrow lips once her constant companion, yet now confined only to memory. To see it again is a gift in itself, but she’s not nearly so bold as to say so. If anything, there’s sanctity in the silence. Messages and sentiments carved in the words left unspoken; a cypher for which lay only in the hidden consistencies of their past.
❝It’s been a while little flower. To what do I owe the pleasure?❞
❝Tis the season, so I came bearing gifts. ❞
Her hand raised the basket within her grasp enticingly, the subtle to and fro of an opportunistic wiggle betraying the mirth and mischief behind such a gesture. She could hardly argue that Tseng was the overtly romantic type, or indeed had much need for roses or sugared candies to gift to the world, but it didn’t mean he couldn’t still receive them. Plucking loose a small bag of marbled meringue kisses, with little ceremony, the cetra set them atop his desk, the leisurely tug of a smile bleeding pink into the apples of her cheeks.
❝Happy Valentine’s, Tseng. ❞ Without an ounce of hesitation she rose to her tiptoes, the half hearted graze of a kiss to his cheek, unmistakably tender and perhaps undeniably overdue. It wasn’t meant to last; just a fleeting touch of something long since dormant, an ambiguous caress to tell him she hadn’t forgotten.
Eyes meet in the glow of the aftermath, the snake of stronger digits around her own to halt her retreat. He doesn’t need to say anything, and yet he still does. ❝Aerith…❞ Her name falls from his mouth as if it belongs there, the beckoning lure of his arms drawing her into the same sanctuary of an embrace she’d always considered a home from home. ❝Thank you.❞
What comes next is years in the making, the bow of that ebony haired head bestowing the sentiment of a lifetime on pink tinged lips. It’s neither rushed nor lingering, not carnal or chaste - yet it says what needs to be said. The words left unspoken in the long lull of time that continues to keep them apart. Her hands raised of their own volition, the winding drape of slender arms around his shoulders, relaxed and content in their oddly natural exchange.
He’d asked her once if she could live with being second best. If she could stand the years of playing second fiddle as his loyalties and devotion demanded him elsewhere. She hadn’t been so sure back then; but in the here and now, with the taste of him fresh upon her tongue? No matter how fleeting - she was inclined to think she could.
Director: Patrick Kuang-Hui Liu
Stars: Edward Chen, Tseng Jing-Hua, Leon Dai...
As martial law ends in 1980s Taiwan, two male students, Chang Jia-han (A-han) and Wang Bo Te (Birdy), fall in love amid family pressure, homophobia, and broader social change.
This was an interesting love story, but I just couldn't deal with the melodrama... There were so many tears in the movie, bullying, homophobia and oppression coming from all the possible angles - from family, from school, from broader society that it wasn't at all enjoyable for me to watch, to say the least... One thing this movie is good about is that it makes me realize how happy I am to be living in this day and age, as far as LGBT+ matters are concerned. It was so much more difficult for older queer generations and some of them carry such bigger scars than my generation probably ever will. All of that being said, I still feel like the main characters of this movie just made it all the more complicated by constantly playing mind games with each other, which was mostly unnecessary from my point of view.
The ending was bitter-sweet and it remains pretty open, but my guess is that they never actually unite because the fear/oppression that they grew up in is too deep within them by now so they still feel afraid to come out and confess to each other openly even though the society has progressed so much. The only scene I actually liked in the movie was when Birdy and Banban stood up to that commander in the class when he tried to enforce sex segregation at their school. That was pretty cool.
Pairing: Cloud x Reader, Zack x Reader, Vincent x Reader, Angeal x Reader, Genesis x Reader, Sephiroth x Reader, Rufus x Reader, Reno x Reader
A/N: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
You and Cloud accidentally ended up under the mistletoe, but when Cloud heard people cheering you two on, he got nervous.
His heart was racing, and he was tempted to walk away, but when he saw your smile, he couldn't bring himself to leave.
Cloud ended up giving you a shy, sweet peck on the lips while blushing.
You didn't realize that you were under a mistletoe until Zack pointed upwards and told you to look up.
Even before you could say anything, Zack lifted you by your waist and kissed you playfully.
He whispered a Merry Christmas and rested his forehead against yours.
You bumped into Vincent, and when you looked up to apologize, you saw the mistletoe.
He followed your gaze, and you swore you saw a hint of amusement in his eyes.
Vincent waited to see what you would do. When he saw that you were too shy, he pushed your chin up with one finger and pressed his lips to your forehead before walking away.
You pulled Angeal under the mistletoe and told him to look up.
The commander didn't know where to run as he felt odd kissing in a public place.
But seeing your upset expression, he gave up and pressed his lips firmly on yours.
The two of you end up under the mistletoe on accident, and Genesis teased you and asked if you did this on purpose.
He teased you further by asking if you wanted a kiss from him.
When you got flustered, he pulled you closer by the waist and kissed you passionately.
Things would've gotten a lot more heated had Sephiroth not reminded Genesis that he was in a public place.
The two of you ended up under the mistletoe on accident, or so you thought.
When Sephiroth saw you being shy, he grew impatient and gently took hold of your chin.
Looking straight into your eyes, he kissed you deeply.
Without waiting for your reaction, he walked away with a triumphant smile.
After seeing the mistletoe above, Rufus asked if you were impatient.
He tilted your chin up and kissed you passionately, only realizing you after you were completely out of breath.
Before leaving, Rufus warned you to be careful and not come under the mistletoe with any other man.
Reno carried your bridal style and brought you under the mistletoe.
Without waiting, he kissed you and started to make out with you.
He had no plans of stopping either, but Tseng pried him away for you and gave him a lecture about showing decency in public.
Meanwhile, you were too busy to even register Tseng's lecture.
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