. We can't ever be sure what is going in our own head when writing them, but if the readers
The Familiar of Zero
- The Final Fantasy IX fanfic "Go Not Gently".
- Summoning Courage, a Final Fantasy X fanfic featuring a very uncommon pairing (Baralai/Isaaru). It's not so much the first three chapters, but the last one.
- 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. Although both stories are generally sweet and heartwarming, they are peppered with many heartbreaking scenes (Sephiroth confronting Genesis and Angeal after they abandoned him, Cloud's desperation during Sephiroth's freak out in the sequel, the interlude with Genesis telling Angeal why he left in the first place), the sequel takes the cake when Cloud is kidnapped. Sephiroth's breakdown without Cloud there to help him through day-to-day life is HEARTBREAKING and then when Cloud is rescued he gets the courage to finally ask if Cloud is really a toy. And that's not even looking at the alternate ending to the sequel, where Cloud is killed before Sephiroth can rescue him and Sephiroth kills himself because he can't face life without Cloud. At least they can be together in the Lifestream - only NOT, because Cloud is absorbed into it and Sephiroth is not, leaving him alone and waiting forever for any tiny bits of Cloud that remain... *sob*
First Encounter Assault Recon
- The Firefly story Everything Burns. Basic premise: Serenity's crew didn't make it back in time to save the Tams during "Safe."
- Tabula Rasa is a First Encounter Assault Recon fic taking place in a AU post Project Origin. After getting some new team members, one of which is Alma Wade, the FEAR teams see videos and listen to audio recordings concerning Alma as a child. You know that she is a monster in-game, but to see evidence that Alma was a child ( She wanted to be a singer! ) makes you feel much more pity for her.
- The Video and Audio logs include Alma's first word ("Papa!") which is quickly followed by "Help," which causes a young Harlan genuine horror. Then he describes Alma's nightmares, how the room shakes as she screams, how she is suffering, and how he wants to study her abilities to let her sleep peacefully. Then it cuts away to a light conversation with Alma in the car about how she wants to be a singer and a good mother and fix the world. [[spoiler: little did he know, Alma did more than that. She took it to an entirely new level.
Alma continued to stare out the window for a few moments, before talking quietly, exhibiting the exhaustion that was visible in her eyes. It was a fatigue that no child should know, Becket realized. This was something that wasn't a result of drinking too much soda, eating too much candy, and staying up all night. This was something much more sinister.
"It's all in ruins, Papa." She shook her head, her little hand reaching over, and gripping Harlans lab coat, little fingernails painted a bright pink. She threw her head around, to look at him, a sudden wide panic in her eyes. "You don't see, Papa? You don't see all the burning? You don't see all the blood? The people need help, Papa, I want to help them." Alma gazed into the camera, trying to reflect what she was seeing into the camera.
"At school, in our Kindergarten class, everyone shoves me away when I get near them. They say that I'm unlucky, they say that I'm bad! Everyone is playing on the slide at recess, and they are all laughing, and telling stories about their pets and things-and when I walk over to them, they all stop, at once. They look so sad, they say that I hurt them! I don't want to hurt anyone, I want to make everyone happy! I don't…" She clenched her eyes shut for a moment, before tossing them open, biting her lip, and letting out a pained yelp.
"Alma!" The camera was put on the seat, as Harlan wrapped his arms around the girl, who had her eyes open wide.
"You're sad, daddy…You and Mama, you are both so sad! Do I make you sad?" The little girl spoke softly. "Everyone is so sad…Why isn't anyone happy? There are so many things to be happy about, but everyone is hurting! They won't stop screaming!" Alma looked like a five year old, dressed like one, laughed like one. But speaking the way she was now, she sounded more like a jaded war veteran than a playful child.]]
Then they start with the experiments, beginning with electroshock therapy, and the first time Alma kills someone, followed by her horror at the deed
[[spoiler: and yet, as quickly as that demon had appeared, it was done. A blink, and the green eyes had returned, as innocent as they had been before. The little girl looked around, confused, and as she saw what was left of the man before her, a look of realization, of guilt, shone on her face. Her mouth opened in a silent scream, her eyes filled with tears, and she let out a sob, a loud sob, as she weakly fought against her binds.
"Let me out…" She spoke softly, voice tired, scared. "Let me out…Daddy, I'm sorry. I want to help…" She shook her head, screaming, but it cut off in another sob, breathing with difficulty. "Am I hurting everyone, daddy? Is that why everyone pushes me away? Why do you all hurt so much?" Her head fell down, naked body trembling. The man had been murdered, before their very eyes, obliterated—Yet, this girl showed remorse. This still wasn't the monster they knew so well.
"Help me." Louder. "Help me!" The little girl began screaming, uncontrollable, fighting against her binds, but finally going limp, crying loudly. Her body was too thin, even then, even before she was left to die, alone, in the tank, no one to hold her, to rescue her. What had this girl done, besides yield to the power inside? It couldn't be expected of a little girl, to fight against something bigger than herself. To prevail.]]
Finally, it ends with the birth of the First Prototype. Alma is happy to see her father again, asking why she didn't get to play last time, and when she goes into labor, Harlan tells her to imagine the story of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ she loved hearing from him.