Looking for evidence that will hopefully get his nemesis, Professor Hojo, kicked out of Shinra, Professor Gast finds Vincent Valentine in the bowels of the Nibelheim mansion. Vincent then goes and steals away Shinra's most prized project, Sephiroth, and drops him with Gast and his wife. Already expecting a child of their own, the couple decides to take the boy in and raise him as their own.
Us and Them is an Alternate Universe version of Final Fantasy VII by Madcap Minstrel where Sephiroth is raised alongside Aeris as her older brother. Eventually circumstances come that cause him to face his true nature and decide who he truly desires to be.
Pairings are Aeris/Seph, Cloud/Tifa and Jessie/Rufus (no, seriously).
There are currently two completed stories in this continuity, collectively called The Ripples Saga, Us and Them (currently being rebooted) and Life Renewed, Love Renewed, with several one-shot side stories. A third story, Spark of Sedition was completed then removed due to the author not being satisfied with it.
This fic contains examples of:
- Adaptational Badass: Aeris is quite proficient with the sword, or staff in the reboot.
- Alternate Universe: Vincent is awoken twenty-two years earlier, goes and breaks Sephiroth out and leaves him with Aeris' family. Divergences from canon proceed.
- Ascended Extra: Jessie is a relatively minor character in canon, being killed off fairly early in the game, but here she's a major character and Aeris' friend.
- Bait-and-Switch: Us and Them ends with Seph talking to a grave, trying to express his feelings. At first it seems he's talking to Aeris but she walks up behind him shortly after. The grave belongs to Jenova.
- Cheerful Child: Aeris was, up until Shinra finally tracked her family down again.
- Berserk Button:
- Don't spell Aeris' name wrong, she really doesn't like it.
- Ifalna reacts rather strongly to being referred to as 'grandma'. I takes a few years for her to warm up to it.
- Whatever you do, do not bring up the Jenove Project around Sephiroth.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sephiroth usually has a dry comment or two.
- Gamer Chick: Jessie is really into video games, which she turns out to share with Rufus, much to her dismay.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Aeris, of course, is half-human/half-Cetra. Sephiroth turns out to be half-human/half Seraph.
- Happily Adopted: Sephiroth manages to have a fairly happy and normal childhood being raised by Gast and Ifalna.
- Happily Married: Prof. Gast and Ifalna are shown to have a very warm, loving relationship, even if his inner child gets on her nerves every now and then.
- Later extends to Aeris and Sephiroth as well.
- Heroic RRoD: Aeris' efforts to stop Jenova cause the Id's Death in her system to overwhelm her, leaving her technically dead.
- HeelFace Turn: Rufus slowly starts to realize exactly what Shinra's been doing to the planet.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Reading Life Renewed, Love Renewed or any of the side stories will spoiler Aeris and Sephiroth's fates.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Aeris and Seph can get a little frisky when they get worked up, such as in "Discipline", where they get into an argument that leads to them romping in the grass outside their home.
- More Than Mind Control: Jenova aims to make Aeris suffer, and intends to use Sephiroth to do it. Seph cares too much about Aeris to harm her directly, but Jenova keeps pushing the feelings he has for her to the edge, at times outright stripping away his inhibitions which leads to him nearly raping Aeris before Vincent manages to subdue him.
- Mythology Gag:
- At one point, Rufus finds Jessie, Aeris and Tifa playing a video game at or near tears. Rufus notes they must have finished the first disc.
- Some of the books Aeris likes to read are Wild Rose, Quest of the Paladin and Melodies of Life, which the author has said are Final Fantasies I, IV, and IX respectively.
- Power Incontinence: As a teenager, Sephiroth had a tendency to have his hands suddenly burst into flame. He took to wearing fire-proof gloves to prevent himself from burning the town down. On the occasion he gets sick, he worries the same thing will happen.
- Sarcasm Mode: Aeris really starts to lay it on when she's around Rufus.
- Sleepwalking: Pregnant Cetra are apparently prone to sleepwalking episodes, among other things. Gets to the point that by her fourth pregnancy, Aeris thinks she's having a lucid dream when she sees a book apparently based on her and Seph's romance.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Shinra never gets around to dropping the plate here, so Jessie and the rest of AVALANCHE don't meet grim fates trying to prevent it.
- Uneven Hybrid: Aeris and Seph's children are human/Cetra/Seraph mixes, known as Nephilim, which leads to some interesting features; Keter has gills, Remielle has a small white wing (until she has it removed), Malkut has retractable claws and Sera has a small horn on her forehead.
- Was Once a Man: Jenova was once a Seraph explorer names Resara Delrayo, until she came down with Id's Death and became the monster that fell to the planet two thousand years ago.
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: In "D-List Celebrities", Remi wonders why Aeris keeps getting calls from TV networks wanting to do a reality show about their family.