Proof that the remaining 10% is worth entering the Lifestream for here:
These are recommendations made by Tropers for Final Fantasy VII, all of which have been signed. After a few samples, you will be able to judge whether you might be interested in the 'fic, based on who recommended it. No-name recommendations will be zapped. Nobody would back up the rec. Discussion of the recommendation is welcome on the discussion page. As such discussion is important, do remember to add the discussion page to the watchlist, if need be.
Do warn when a fanfic may head into homosexual or non-canon territory. Some people just don't like it, and as we all know, Shipping is Serious Business.
Frank Verderosa's Final Fantasy VII Internet Series has more or less set the standard for all FFVII fan fiction. The first story is quite rough, particularly the action sequences which seem to be drawn directly from the game, and a somewhat cliched storyline. But somewhere in the second or third stories he really begins to hit his stride; all of a sudden the characters cease to be borrowed video game guest stars as he makes them his own with in-depth characterization and increasingly impressive storylines. As far as shipping goes, there's only one major one, Cloud/Tifa. that comes about after wagonloads of fan input and weighing of pros and cons. Two others, Elena/Vincent and Aeris/Reeve might throw more traditional fans off a bit, but they turn out to be quite well written.
Scifantasy: The copy of the stories linked above, though, cuts off early, halfway through the eighth (yes, eighth) story. A mirror of the original site has been made here (lots of popup ads, though)—it finishes story eight, and mentions a ninth story, which seems to have never been written.
Through sheer awesomeness bordering on prophetic foresight, the final story ends with Cloud infected with a genetic disease that make it impossible for him to come in contact with anybody with Cetra DNA, which includes Aeris and his own son. There is also the chance that contact with Tifa would infect her also, which wouldn't harm her but would make her a carrier, so he chooses to Walk The Earth in search of a cure, though not with a great deal of hope. For having been written several years before it's release, it's an almost perfect lead-in for the Advent Children OVA.
A comedy re-telling of the plot of FFVII which uses the characters and dialogue to make fun of the original game's mistranslations, out of character moments and weird plot threads.
Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.Let's Do the Time Warp Again by dogmatix
Recommended by Soulseller
Synopsis: Cloud gets a chance to save the world.
Comments: This is not the standard Cloud-goes-back-in-time-to-fix-things-fic. It is perfectly canon-compatible with the Original Game and Crisis Core as much as anything can be. And shocking and depressing if you think about it too hard.
Synopsis: Cloud's first thought on waking in the Shinra training grounds... "Where's the hidden camera?". What is one supposed to do when they find themselves inexplicably in the past? Become a terrorist four years early, of course. And look up a few old friends.
Comments: Another fic that sends Cloud back into the past to prevent the Planet's catastrophe's caused by Sephiroth. However, rather than try and relive his soldier days, Cloud decides that it's better to do what worked before and becomes a terrorist.
Synopsis: It's ten years after Meteor and Cloud still has Jenova in him. Sephiroth returns looking for Cloud and tries to get the Turks to help. The Turks disbanded but are trying to get back together to fight Sephiroth. But should they be worried about Sephiroth, or about Cloud?
Comments: There is angst in this fic but not a lot of wangst. And it is justified. The story starts off like she doesn't know where she's going with it, but it really hits a stride. This fic hits the spot. This has great characterization, especially of the Turks. Especially if you like Elena.
This fic was published before Advent Children so if there's no mention of AC, that's why.
Synopsis: In Writing of Wrongs, God's own Literary Task Force (they write the book of Life) is blackmailed into saving Aeris, of Final Fantasy VII fame so that a malevolent ex-writer relegated to sub-text can use her to tap into the collective minds of fan-fiction writers and write himself back into existence—as a god, to boot!
Comments: Rarely takes itself too seriously, and has some brilliant individual scenes. It is also quite lengthy.
Synopsis: AU, set game-time. Given the opportunity to become the will behind their favorite video game characters, no one hesitated. Little did they know that the 'game' was more than anyone thought or that it would spiral so far off course. NO OCs. Cloud/Tifa.
Comments: A fun story that follows the game and keeps characters "in character", while adding a second layer of the game world to the story, with real life attached, but without a gajillion angsty details (just enough to keep us hooked). Became addicted to this story after one chapter, and new one's release pretty often. Plenty of fourth wall smatterings while remaining in character. Any description I give won't do it justice; just go read it.
Note: This is a CloudxTifa story, however it also has smatterings of CloudxAerith and even CloudxJessie if you squint.
Synopsis: An utterly hilarious retelling of the game.
Comments: Any story where Cloud is renamed Trent because his father thinks that 'Cloud' is a pussy name, Shinra gets taken over by the Hair Club for Men (the president of which isn't just the president - he's also a client), and the Midgar Zolom subdues its prey using a bunch of children that sing 'Every Sperm is Sacred' has to be worth at least a look.
Synopsis: "Cloud Strife is just a typical first year University student trying to make it on his own. Throw in two attractive female students, crazy demanding professors, psychotic classmates, along with other challenges and you've got yourself a story."
Comments: Absolutely hilarious story- at first- with the game characters in a college setting. Notable for the funniest Internal Monologue I've ever seen on the part of Cloud's conscience, beating even Harry Dresden or J.D from Scrubs. The story takes a turn for the emotional later on, and does so superbly. Possibly my favorite FF7 fanfiction ever. Take a serious look at it — you won't regret it. If one of you has already read it, please feel free to chime in after me — my persuasive writing is hardly my strong suit.
Warning, this story gets fucking DARK and the ending was just... I don't even know if tragic is the proper word to describe it. I haven't been this emotionally affected by a story in a long time. Easily one of the best I've read.
Agreed. The story is tragedy in every sense of the word, even the most stonehearted of Tropers will find themselves affected. The swerving emotions of the story hit like a car crash, to such a degree that I was left staggering from it for days afterwards. Any story that can convey such vast and powerful emotions as this story can deserves a recommendation.
I have to disagree. While I'm fairly sure that I understand what the author wanted to convey with the ending, the writing led me to believe an entirely different conclusion.Cloud's decision to leave at the end, which the reader is supposed to conclude as his 'wanting to be his own man' felt tainted because of his display of cowardice with the whole thing. The whole not bothering to even tell Tifa leads us to conclude that Cloud was still a selfish coward and never grew up even a little (Sephiroth's advice to him about your actions having consequences was all lost on Cloud apparently) or is simply a ploy for cheap emotion. It wouldn't have been so bad if the story actually showed why he chose to leave over staying though. Cloud's departure then seems ultimately hollow because the context to support that development wasn't there. It was simply shocking and tragic for the sake of it (IMO).
I like that the author didn't make it about the shipping. There were much bigger things to deal with, and in that respect, I felt like the ending was right on. The motivations of particular characters were well plotted and their actions had certain inevitable consequences. Many of his "friends" eventually all showed themselves to be a bit untrustworthy. Why WOULD he stick around? By not ending the story with some contrived romantic hookup to make everything better, the author was truer to the spirit of the work.
Synopsis: The Fifth Act is a Set Right What Once Went Wrong fic, which brilliantly defies the ‘formula’ set by other fics. After being returned to the past through an accident with a time travel material, Cloud is not placed into his old body, and instead of trying to save Sephiroth, he sets off to kill him.
Comments: Wonderfully written, with haunting parallels to the original game. Fifth Act is my favorite of the FFVII time travel genre. Complete at 38 chapters, this story is lengthy, suspenseful, and extremely epic.
Note by Haustere Just recently finished reading through this. I've gotta say it was a great read and things really heated up towards the end.
Note by Hiatus: The fight scenes are written very well, and the characterizations, Cloud's in particular, are fantastic.
Note by Jesajew: Ditto all of the above comments. I'm having trouble describing The Fifth Act, so I'm just going to go with So Cool It's Awesome and leave it at that.
Note by Nobody Famous: By far, perhaps one of, if not THE best time travel fic I've seen. It keeps close to the original canon interpretations of most of the characters while studying what possible differences in their actions and relationships could come with the sudden appearance of another player. Here, Cloud is attempting the fairly sensible thing of trying to kill Sephiroth and avoid Shinra altogether. And while he does have his adult body, full use of his abilities, and foreknowledge to aid him in his goal of stopping Sephiorth before he can go insane and try to destroy the world, it turns out to be little things he didn't plan on that end up making the most difference, resulting in several characters switching places in a reversal of roles that few honestly would have seen coming. And as Cloud keeps changing things and as whatever he does attempt to change seems to go wrong, he doesn't realize just how much of a difference he's made in the smallest of ways simply by being there, to the point that the defeat of the real Big Bad itself may seem anticlimactic up until Fridge Brilliance kicks in and you realize just HOW they got there.
Note by Ninasnum: There is a sequel written by another author named Eriol-sama with Sinnatious' permission. After The 5th Act is a collection of stories that picks up right after the epilogue of The Fifth Act.
After the Fifth Act has hints of yaoi thus far, hasn't been updated in a while.
The Fifth Act is currently being translated into Spanish on Fanfiction.Net.
Synopsis: The party reaches the Northern Cave only to discover that Meteor's threatening the Planet is all just due to a bad call— Sephiroth wanted to order a "Meaty Zor" pizza from Zor's Pizzeria but they screwed up and sent him a Meteor instead. Now allies with Sephiroth, the group bands together to fight a new threat: a strange man named Bob who wants to close down Zor's Pizzeria.
Comments: An extremely comedic fanfic filled with pop-cultural gags and various bits of Lamp Shading. Highly entertaining. Definitely not canon.
Synposis: Sephiroth (pronounced Seephiroth) attempts to destroy the world and Cloud (pronounced Clood) gathers a bizarre party of OCs (and Tifa) in order to stop him. And kill Mark.
Comments: One review puts it this way: "Revenge of the Fishglobe is not intelligent, nor sophisticated, nor cleverly crafted. But silly and stupid as it is, I have seldom laughed more in any given 5 minutes than when I was reading this fic." The author himself puts it this way: "If this story makes any sense to you, you need serious professional help." This is a Crack Fic of no particular quality per se, save that its extreme and unabashed silliness will definitely appeal to some readers—the more you value the ridiculous, the random, and the nonsensical in humor, the more you'll probably enjoy this.
Synopsis: Shortly after the events of Advent Children, the WEAPONs suddenly reappear, signaling a new crisis for the Planet. A resurrected Hojo soon shows up, and he's up to no good, of course. As Cloud and his friends join forces with Rufus and the Turks to stop Hojo and save the Planet yet again, they soon discover that Cloud and Zack endured a lot more than Hojo's Sephiroth Clone experiments during those four years in Nibelheim.
Comments: A semi-dark AU fic that explores what happens if Cloud manages to be even more completely screwed up than he is in canon, along with plenty of other interesting 'what-ifs' about his parentage, etc. Some of the side stories ("SOLDIERs Just Wanna Have Fun") are pretty funny, however. The Redux version is a major reboot of an earlier fic "Conflicts of Interest" that went on hiatus sometime in 2000. Started in May 2010, the new version incorporates lots of new material and characters from the Compilation, especially from Advent Children, Crisis Core, and Before Crisis.
Synopsis: One year has passed since the defeat of Sephiroth, and everything seems fine. But then Reeve, the President of Neo-Shinra, is being kidnapped from his office...
Comments: Written before Advent Children, so Rufus is dead and Reeve has taken control of the Shinra company. The characterization is dead on, and there are many genuinely chilling moments. Within the main plot are two sub-plots: one concentrating on Vincent and his demons, the other on Reno's past. An amazing work. You can find an ongoing comic of it here.
Synopsis: Enough was enough. He'd looked at all the possible courses of action and their consequences. He'd researched it intensively. It was time to cut the damn hair.
Comments: In spite of being complete crack, a surprisingly canon compliant look at the events of the game. Sephiroth and Jenova stumble around on a (literally) insane quest to conquer the world, annoy Chocobo Head er Cloud, stomp on each other's last nerve, and finally get a haircut. Hilarious, with special mention going to the scissors... Complete, with an equally funny oneshot Kingdom Hearts crossover sequel.
Synopsis: Zack has returned, not from the dead, but from hiding. Cloud is relieved to see the old friend he had to keep swearing was dead, but Tifa and the others don't quite get what's going on… No slash.
Comments: Hilarious from start to finish. Zack returns, alive and well despite what Cloud believed - and series of misleading situations between them leads to Zack showing off just how much of a Magnificent Bastard he can be. No slash, not that you can convince Tifa of that!
Synopsis: Denzel stumbles into the past, Cloud follows to protect his son. The Crisis is beginning again, but as head of the science department Cloud can change it. Before, the world was saved by the lives of millions. This time, can he save those lives as well?
Comments: Totally got hooked on it by the first chapter. Story goes back and forth between what's happening to Cloud and Denzel in the past and what's happening with the others back in the original timeline. Unlike most time-travel fics, instead of Soldier, Cloud joins Shinra's science department as their top scientist. Three guesses on what happens to Hojo. :)
Synopsis: When a little blond boy awakens an old Turk from his long sleep, no one could've guessed how things would change.
Comments: If The Fifth Act shows one one unexpected change can have all the difference, then Butterfly Effect creates a whole other universe in which a multitude of things shift from changing when Vincent awakens and expands so wonderfully. Cloud and Vincent's interactions are lovely and seeing Cloud and his life shift as it does is very intriguing.
Note by Mr Magi: The first half of the Butterfly Effect is really good. The interactions between characters, especially Vincent and Cloud are great. It actually gets better in some ways when Cloud goes to Midgar and plays off of other characters (Zack comes to mind). However, I dislike the second half due to its shift in relations that are more... intimate I may say. I just felt that the more friendlike atmosphere of the prior half was ruined by the latter half. Plus I got less engaged with the characters later on and it felt like more of a chore reading it. This fic still has a lot of good points, and despite my complaints, it's still at least worth a look.
Note by Lustheron: This troper recommends reading until the group confronts Hojo in Nibelheim then making up an ending to suit your needs. After that, the story becomes more Slice of Life with almost all of the plot's focus shifting towards relationships and romance
Synopsis: Disciplinary duty takes a turn for the surreal when General Sephiroth uses Cadet Strife for his personal errand boy. However, when Cloud starts to notice something wrong with the General, he takes it upon himself to do more than just scrub the ceilings.
Synopsis: She's wild, they say. A chocobo who attacks everyone who comes to her. No one can ride her anymore. But the General sees something different in her, something familiar. Maybe, out of all the others, Sephiroth can understand why she acts this way.
Synopsis: While digging through an old chest, Tifa's grandchildren unearth a 60 year old photo of their Grandmother, Aunt Aeris, and some beautiful nameless woman. And poor Tifa can't stop the laughter.
Pairings: minor Zack/Aerith, Reno/Cissnei, Rufus/Tseng
Synopsis: An epic re-telling combining Crisis Core and Before Crisis from the POV of the Turks. Stars Reno, Tseng, Rude, Cissnei, Zack, Aerith, Veld, Rufus, and all the BC Turks; cameo appearances by entire VII cast. Drama, Romance, Action, Comedy, and more.
Comments: A work of extraordinary quality. At over 441,185 words and going, it's a long read, but completely worth it. One of the best pieces of fan fiction I have ever had the privilege to read, it not only makes each and every one of its characters feel tangibly human, but portrays the world they inhabit with realism and honesty. A must-read for any fan of the Turks or Shinra in general.
Synopsis: Many stories tell of how Cloud goes back in time and tries to save everyone and change things for the better by fulfilling his dream of becoming SOLDIER. "Cloud? Where are you going? Midgar's the other way. Cloud? CLOUD!" This isn't one of them. CRACK.
Comments: Fourth wall? We have that? Includes tropes mentioned by name, a Cloud fully aware of his woobie-powers, and a lot of chocobos.
Status: Ongoing as part ii is now up (As of the 12th of May, 2013)
Synopsis: An AU in which Tseng manages to get Rufus and Tifa to meet up pre-game, Rufus is trying to figure out what exactly happened to Sephiroth, and Tseng does his best to keep things relatively sane. Contains Rufus/Tseng and Tseng/Tifa.
comments: Probably one of THE best FFVII fics I've ever read. The world building in this fic has made itself my head cannon without me realizing it. This troper is a firm believer that this fic needs more love.
Synopsis: Feeling low, left behind and a disappointment, it came time for Luxiere to hit the turning point. Choosing which direction to take was not going to be easy when reaching his goal would take the confidence he was so sorely lacking.
Synopsis: At first it was about preventing tragedy. For Cloud it soon becomes a fight to protect new bonds, tread untrod paths and find happy endings. Second chances aren't always easy in a time where ghosts live and heroes are human.
Comments: Yes, it's a Time Travel fic, but seeing how a common theme is done differently is always fun, especially if it's well written. I debated whether to put this under shipping or general, but decided on general because I don't feel that the romance is a central focus. The writing is great, the changes in POV help you understand the different characters and I especially enjoyed the few parts that are in Sephiroth's POV. Plus, there is a very adorable black chocobo and his "mother".
Synopsis: An altered flight path causes the Turks to find Zack and Cloud before the army does, but don't think things'll be perfect just because Zack's still alive. The Turks have their own problems to contend with, and let's not forget about Sephiroth and Deepground. Runs from the end of CC to where AC would have ended. Pairings mostly canon. Everything changed when Reno sneezed...
Synopsis: Zack's biggest dream is to become a hero like his childhood idol. But when Sephiroth completely loses his mind and begins to have an identity crisis, Zack actually feels compelled to help the poor guy. Is there an easier answer than death and destruction?
Comments: The author somehow makes this crossover work, with increasingly hilarious oneshots after the The Edge of the Map, the fic that detailed Tohru's first encounter with a Final Fantasy VII character. Passing familiarity with the fandoms involved is required for understanding this piece, although more in-depth knowledge is better for catching all the in-jokes. Tohru uses her skill of Talking the Monster to Death very well, leading to several Crowning Moment of Funny and Crowning Moment of Awesome. For a Crack Fic series everyone is surprisingly in character.
Recommended by Meteor, moooomoooo, Landscape, carzla
Pairings: Seifer/Squall, Sephiroth/Cloud
Synopsis: Jenova's legacy, living on through the Sorceresses, is forcing Squall to face an unstable Seifer, Cloud Strife, and yet another potential end of the world. Maybe paperwork really wasn't so bad.
Comments: This is a revision of a previous completed fic. I would recommend only reading this one, though, because minor plot elements have been changed and it's generally much more streamlined. That said, characterization is excellent, parallels between the series abound, and the writing is phenomenal.
Synopsis: It wasn't like Hojo had left clear instructions on how to reverse a sacrifice to the Gate. Fullmetal Alchemist crossover/fusion.
Comments: A series of dramatic one-shots centered entirely around the relationship of Sephiroth, Cloud and Zack, with a few other references to other FFVII characters. The interesting premise is a bit mitigated in that it's still in its beginning stages. The one-shots, however, are quite stand-alone — enough so that it doesn't really matter. The interaction with Roy is gloriously in character — I didn't expect him to be written half so well.
Synopsis: A crossover with VIII. When Cloud Strife is taken to Galbadia, he is forced into a job he swore never to do again. His mission? To assassinate Sorceress Rinoa. Squall won't be pleased about that…
Comments: A very good story with an engrossing plot. The characterization is mostly good, though Seifer gets the leather pants treatment.
Synopsis: With war brewing in Wutai, Vincent is given the task of hunting down Yuffie and bringing her back to the throne she abandoned- before someone else finds her first. Bounty hunters, Chocobos, conversational demons, sarcastic ninjas, manic depression, topped off with a generous helping of Vincent/Yuffie fluff.
Synopsis: Tifa, Aerith, and the warmth of the Promised Land.
Comments: The summary may give you the impression of a silly little PWP. But this couldn't be farther from the truth. Well, maybe it is a bit of a PWP, but it's certainly not silly. The whole story carries a bit of a cold, bittersweet tone to it. The characters (particularly the heroines) are a bit more bitter about their respective fates: Aerith is a ghost who can only watch over her friends, and Tifa keeps getting left behind by Cloud. The lemon that follows is very, very tastefully well done, and the end gives you a sense of things getting better. All in all, a good story.
Synopsis: Jenova's control over Sephiroth broke with his death. Now, he is sent back to protect Tifa and save the planet from the entity that threatens it. The problem: how to convince her of his good intentions?
Comments: A beautifully written fic, with a believable, logical reason for Sephiroth's descent into madness, and his attempt for redemption in protecting Tifa. The fic is also very diverse, with some chapters focusing on the antagonists of the story, as well as the POV of other characters like Cloud, Vincent, Yuffie, Cid etc.
Synopsis: Five years after the end of the game, Cloud Strife is fighting a losing battle against the dark forces of Hojo and Jenova. What will happen when the decision is made to resurrect the very man who nearly destroyed them all?
An incredibly dark, dramatic, beautifully written fic. Fluff and humor bits are few and far between, but there are just enough to keep the audience from completely drowning in the angst, and they're all the more rewarding after the characters (especially Cloud) are put through hell again and again. Occasionally borders on Wangst and Purple Prose, but still a very good read.
Pairings: Seph/Cloud, small Zack/Aerith, Seph/Zack/Cloud
Synopsis: Zack knows the Nibelheim mission isn't going well. Taking Cloud along to dig the General out of the basement is a gamble, but his only hope. There's no way he could've foreseen everything that would result from it.
Comments: A Zack fixes it fic in a different manner, with Zack fixing things from the part where things really did go wrong. The plot and writing is fascinating and the characters fun - I especially liked the hyper Zack portrayed here. The pairing is only thing that can drive off people, that and the M rating, but despite that it is a very good fic. It also includes one the more... interesting methods of getting rid of Jenova.
Synopsis: Sephiroth returned from the Lifestream determined to find the two who saved him. Hojo and Deepground control half the planet. Shinra is in shambles. That's not going to stop him. Saving them is only half the battle, now he has to save the planet.
Comments: This story takes Making It Work and adjusts some of the timing, thus pushing the ending to something much darker. The story starts with Sephiroth saving Zack and Cloud from Hojo's abandoned lab, with Cloud comatose like in cannon. It quickly dives into an aspect of Making It Work and expands on it to save Cloud, then follows with a plot that combines the originally FFVII with Dirge of Cerberus, plus a little from Advent Children. Like Making It Work it holds the M rating, though also for certain graphics and greater mention of Hojo's "science" than just sex scenes. There are quite a bit of shout outs, to both the original games and pop culture. If you have no problem with the above, I seriously recommend it.
Synopsis: Cloud Strife finds it hard to deal with what he had to do to save his world, but now the Planet will give him a chance to change things for himself and for General Sephiroth.
Comments: This premise is well-trodden ground in this fandom, but Knowing Shadows does it justice, and Fusion is very well-written and well-thought-out despite not being completely original. Definitely one of the better FFVII Peggy Sue fics, and very enjoyable despite being unfinished, especially if you're into slash.
Recommended by mintfresh, seconded by Chizu, Caterfree10
Synopsis: Sephiroth is offered a chance by the planet; he may return to life. But strings are attached. Aerith will return with him, and if she dies, so does he. He also loses the power of Jenova, and, he later finds, his voice.
Comments: While clearly not in the least bit canon, this fic is well written, with good writing from the start that only improves as the fic goes on. The focus is on character growth and interaction, with a unique plot that introduces interesting complications. The reviews for this fic often contain people saying that until they read this they didn't like the pairing, and the fic is a wonderful example as to why people should read fics for the quality of the writing and plot, not just the names on either side of the slash. Also, the fic is complete, always a bonus.
Synopsis: 20 years after Meteor, the world is finally at peace and the heroes (and villains) of Final Fantasy VII are living out somewhat normal lives. However, all is not well with the Planet.
Comments: Obviously, this fic is non-canon *points at the first pairing*. Part Gen Fic, part Shipping Fic, it takes the Aeriseph pairing and examines it, taking it to its logical conclusion. The fic attempts to look at what would really happen if you combined Jenova and the Cetra by giving us three cases to look at: Zephyr, Ciel, and Faye. It starts off light and funny but becomes gradually darker over time, although it still employs some comedic elements. Aside from Aeriseph, it also looks at the children of the popular Yuffentine pairing, and throws in Cloud and Tifa's sons and Cid's son as a side character. And Genesis. And Rufus. Despite having quite a few OCs, this fic is thankfully devoid of Mary Sues.
Synopsis: Yuffie Kisaragi fears very few things, and to the Galian Beast's surprise, it isn't one of them.
Comments: An interesting oneshot depicting Yuffie and Vincent's relationship through Galian's point of view, as well as giving a bit of insight on how Vincent's feelings might affect the demons in his head. While there is some direct Yuffie/Vincent romance, the primary focus actually turns out to be the interaction between Yuffie and Galian, which is not only written well, but is also very touching.
Pairings: Sephiroth/Aeris with Cloud/Tifa, Rufus/Jessie (yes, you are reading that right), and one sided Zack/Aeris
Synopsis: "Sephiroth was given the chance for a happy childhood when he was rescued from the Shinra labs and taken in by Professor Gast. Now eighteen years later, he is forced to face his past, and his own personal demons."
Comments: Oh my goodness, where do I even start with this fic? A few small things causing one hell of a change in the course of events. One of my favorite parts besides the whole Sephiroth and Aeris growing up together thing was the exploration of the relationship between the Cetra and Jenova's race of aliens (known as Seraph in this AU). I'd say more on the subject, but it'd be spoiling far too much. All in all, a wonderful exploration of a timeline that could have been and one that's more than fueled my own personal headcanon. There are also a couple of sequels and some oneshots within the same AU on the author's profile worth reading.
Pairings: Zack/Aerith with Cloud/Tifa on the side.
Synopsis: "Aerith is part Cetra, a 1st Class Mage, and most importantly, Shinra's secret weapon. Zack Fair is a country boy from Gongaga, living with an incurable, life-altering condition, and a hatred for Shinra. Can they save each other?"
Comments: Role reversal at its best. While there are some parts that make me side eye, especially in relation to Aerith's growing up in Shinra, it's still a well done fic that explores both the alternate possibilities opened up by the shift as well as the altered relationship between the main couple.
Synopsis: "We've all gone through some awkward times at some point in our lives. Now those problems are put on our favorite guys in SOLDIER."
Comments: Alternating between the downright hilarious (often sexual in content) and emotionally turbulent relationship issues, this fic is rather different than other Sephisis fics I've picked up in that it's Sephiroth doing most of the pursuing rather than Genesis. The humorous parts make up for some damn dark stuff in the fic but it's the balance between the two moods that really works its magic. WARNING: THERE IS NON-CON IN THIS FIC, DO NOT READ IF THAT IS NOT YOUR CUPPA.
Synopsis: When Angeal abandons them for his puppy, Sephiroth and Genesis find something else to keep themselves entertained. Something small, cute and blond.
Comments: A series of explicit ficlets, this story is one of the more entertaining ones out there. It's both serious and humorous; the dialogue is witty, and some moments will send you into fits of laughter from the sheer absurdity of them. The smutty scenes aren't cheesy either. And, of course, I have to put my favorite quote here also:
"Fifty push-ups, you pansies! And then fifty more! God, I can't believe I've got to man up such a bunch of sissies! And quit your whining! The way you girls carry on it's like you expect the Generals themselves to come down here and rescue you! Well I got news for you, dollfaces. You might be as queer as a duck in a g-string, but ain't a one of you pretty enough for that! Not even you, Strife, so get that smirk off your face and give me fifty more!
Synopsis: "There is a mysterious new SOLDIER at Shin Ra. Sephiroth searches for the truth about Cloud Strife, Shin Ra, and himself, while being haunted by the possibilities of darker futures."
Comments: Yet another entry into the realm of time travel fics in FF7 fandom, but this one takes a different approach: rather than being from the Time Traveler's POV (Cloud in this case and others hinted at, but not confirmed at this time), it's from young!Sephiroth's. This originated as a prompt at one of the FF7 kink memes, but it filled out into a wonderful AU.
Pairings: Cloud/Sephiroth, although it's platonic until the epilogue of the sequel.
Synopsis: "Cloud had no idea how his life would change on the day he was sent to deliver some papers to the former general Sephiroth's office. A mistaken identity turns his world upside down."
Comments: Handle With Care and its sequel Mislabelled are a pair of Final Fantasy VII fics that manage to be both mind-bendingly hilarious and gut-wrenchingly sad. In this fic, instead of burning down Nibelheim, Sephiroth destroyed Jenova and in doing so basically gave himself a psychic lobotomy. Severely brain-damaged and mentally ill, one day he mistakes a small trooper (Cloud Strife) for a chocobo toy. What follows is a hilarious and heartwarming account of how Cloud does his best to help Sephiroth heal. Despite the number of times you have to say it's better than it sounds, it's a brilliant fic, which will toy with your emotions like a yo-yo. The alternate ending to the sequel, in particular, will have you tearing up a box of tissues. One of the best (and most unique) FF7 fics out there.
Synopsis: Free will is but an illusion to him, an ideal that taunts him endlessly and eats away at his sanity. But a single flower, blooming despite the darkness, may just be enough to pull him from the brink of ruin, even if he plucked it for the wrong reasons.
Comments: Written by the same author as Unspoken, this is honestly one of the best FFVII shipping fics out there. Don't let the pairing scare you off; the quality of the writing will keep you reading, even if you the pairing is not to your liking. Sephiroth and Aerith are quite well written and developed. As for Hojo... well, by the first chapter, you will hate him. By chapter 10, you will loathe him as much as you can possibly loathe a fictional character. Be warned, this fic is not light and fluffy in the slightest, and the author seems to be a fan of From Bad to Worse.
Synopsis: Although controversial, mako injection is the first step toward becoming a SOLDIER. Fresh out of the country, Cadet Cloud Strife is eager to receive his 'rite of passage', at whatever the cost. But when he finally obtains his wish and is injected the mysterious cells, the side effects prove deadly and threaten his sanity and life.
Comments: Although a bit, AU-ish, this story taks characterization very seriously, and takes time to explore the the people involved. The quality of writing, too, is great.