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mercverse

FIC: Hunting Party 3/?

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Apr. 18th, 2007 | 05:51 pm
posted by: madamhydra in mercverse

Title: Hunting Party 3/?
Author: MadamHydra
Fandom: FF7 AU (Mercverse)
Rating: PG
Wordcount: ~1900
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, and all related prequels and sequels belong to Square-Enix.

Summary: Some old acquaintances drop in for a visit, looking for stolen... Pokemon!?

-------------------

Cloud took a deep breath, let it out, then took another one before gritting his teeth and speaking in a voice that started out low, but rapidly grew louder until it reached a near-roar.

"Let me make sure that I've got this straight, Zidane. You're trying to tell me that someone in Midgar is currently in possession of over SEVEN HUNDRED magical orbs, each of which can be used by any -idiot- off the street to summon a uncontrolled POKEMON!?!?"

Zidane flung up his hands defensively. "Hey, it's NOT my fault! I'm not the one who went graverobbing in someone else's tomb!"

"I need a drink," Cloud snarled, turning on his heel and stalking off toward the parlor. He headed straight for the most potent stuff in the house and prepared to pour himself a glassful.

Clustered around the doorway, Zack and Sephiroth watched in shocked amazement as Cloud abruptly froze just as he was about to pour and frowned at the glass. Then, obviously thinking that the glass wasn't big enough, he put the glass down, then went straight to the bottle, knocking back its contents in a few impressive glugs.

"I told you that he wouldn't take it well," Kuja said in his cool, smooth voice.

"I know, I know, but it's not like I planned for this to happen, okay? If you think he's upset now, can you imagine how spazzed out Cloud would get if I -hadn't- told him?"

Somehow, Zack never would have associated the word 'spazzed out' with Cloud, who seemed to take so many things with a jaded, world-weary sort of calm, even nonchalance. But this time, to call him 'spazzed' was a pretty darn accurate way to put it.

Zack felt a slight tug on his pant leg. Glancing down, he saw the small yellow summoned creature -- a pokemon, Cloud called it? -- looking up at him, its brow furrowed in obvious concern. Unable to resist the worried look on the cute little beast's face, Zack bent down and picked it up. As soon as he did, he felt the hairs on his body tingle. It wasn't a painful sensation, but a bit unnerving, as if he was a mass of static electricity just waiting for an excuse to discharge.

"Hey, cool! I think he likes you!" Zidane said cheerfully. "Pikachu usually doesn't take to strangers."

Sephiroth, who was eyeing the yellow creature with a mage's academic interest, snorted and said, "Zack has a way with all sorts of creatures. Small children and animals follow him around at the slightest excuse."

"That thing with the ghost kitten wasn't my fault, okay?" Zack immediately protested.

"Yes, it was," Sephiroth retorted. "You just had to go and pick up its body."

"Well, I couldn't just leave that poor little scrap of bones and fur rotting in the gutter, could I?"

"Yes, you could, the same way that 99.9% of the people in this city would have. But you didn't. You had to pick up, then carefully bury its corpse. No surprise then that its ghost decided to haunt you and this house," said Sephiroth, sounding mildly exasperated. "And now you won't let me banish it!"

Zack hunched his shoulders defensively and muttered that Cloud didn't seem to mind the new addition to the household.

Practically on cue, a soft, eerie meow echoed in the entrance hall.

"Pika?" the Pokemon said, looking around curiously.

"I think the kitten wants to play," Zack told Pikachu with a cheerful grin.

"And how do you get that from a simple meow?" Sephiroth said acerbically.

Zack gave him a 'well, duh, ain't it obvious?' expression and put Pikachu back on the ground. The pokemon scampered up the stairs, following a playful feline trill.

"So you understand cat?" Zidane said, bouncing on his toes.

Zack looked a little surprised, then shrugged. "I never thought about it that way."

Zidane glanced at Sephiroth and said, "I see what you mean about him having a way with creatures." He reached into his jacket and pulled out another of the red and white balls. "Want to give it a shot?"

As Zack hesitated -- probably thinking about the huge monstrous creatures he had seen earlier -- Sephiroth said, "I would be interested in getting a look at another of these pokemon. From what you said, these summons are supposed to be very powerful, but that one called Pikachu doesn't exactly seem to fit that description."

Zidane shrugged and held out the ball to the mage, but before Sephiroth could take it, Cloud grabbed both Sephiroth and Zack by the arm and pulled them away. Shooting Zidane a baleful look, he dragged the two of them into the parlor and sat them firmly down on the sofa.

Looming over Zack and Sephiroth, his hands planted on his hips, Cloud sternly said, "No, you do -NOT- want to get interested in pokemon. They're like an addictive drug. Yes, you start out with only one, but the next thing you know, you've got to get them all. They ultimately caused their keepers' destruction because the mages became so totally obsessed with capturing, training, breeding, and fighting pokemon, they allowed the rest of their civilization to fall to pieces!"

Zack stared wide-eyed at Cloud. He could count the times that his adoptive father had outright lectured him on one hand. And Cloud had never, EVER done the cliche 'father knows best' rant.

Zidane sauntered up behind Cloud, peered around him at Zack and Sephiroth who were scrunched together on the sofa like a pair of schoolboys in the principal's office, and said, "I guess you better listen to him because he knows all about the dire effects of Pokemon." He winked slyly. "From first-hand experience, no less."

Cloud turned and glowered at Zidane. "I was young and incredibly stupid back then."

Kuja entered the parlor and said, "Don't be fooled by their cute appearance. They only look that harmless when they're properly handled. And Zidane here has a particular talent for befriending all sorts of entities." He made an odd, self-deprecating shrug that was quite at odds with his earlier aloof arrogance. "What Zack saw in the alleyway was their battle forms, which appears in serious combat or when they go feral."

"Feral?" Sephiroth asked curiously.

"When they revert back to their wild, untamed state, typically by escaping or rejecting the summoner's control. The term 'pokemon' actually refers to a 'mon' -- a wild monster or spirit beast -- which was captured and tamed by an ancient race of wizards who then used these pokemon as familiars, pets, and eventually combatants."

Zidane added, "You see, there are two main problems when pokemon fall into the wrong hands. First, they're powerful tools for ruthless and/or evil individuals. Second, without a proper handler, there's a good chance that they'll go feral and start a rampage. Oh, and one more thing -- under the right conditions, pokemon can breed."

"Breed! You mean that we could end up with more of them?" Zack said, jumping up from the sofa.

Zidane quickly waved him back down. "Hopefully we can round up all the pokemon before breeding becomes an issue."

There was a loud crash from upstairs, followed by a startled "PIKA PIKA!". That was immediately followed by a loud crackling sound, which sounded almost exactly like a bolt spell going off.

"ME-OWW!!!"

In the parlor, Cloud massaged his forehead and muttered, "Zidane, why is it that whenever you show up, my life becomes really, really crazy?"

"It's a gift," Kuja said with a long-suffering sigh. "Chaotic change with two legs and a tail."

Zidane opened his mouth to retort, then froze for a second before saying, "Uh, guys. I think I smell smoke."

"Oh, hell!"

Zack immediately dashed out of the parlor, followed by Sephiroth. Kuja also followed at a considerably more leisurely pace, probably out of curiosity.

Alone in the parlor, Cloud quietly said, "Thanks."

"For not telling them what happens when pokemon fall into the right hands?" Zidane replied, cocking his head slightly.

"Yes." Cloud closed his eyes briefly. Even after centuries, the loss of those he had raised, nurtured, and loved, both pokemon and mortals, still ached.

"They would all tell you that saving not just a city, but a whole country, was well worth the price they paid."

"I know that."

But sacrifices, no matter how willing, still hurt, especially for those left behind. Being immortals, being the ones always left behind, Zidane and Cloud both knew that inescapable fact all too well.

"So how's it working out with you and Kuja?"

"Great, even though he still sometimes acts like he's got a stick up his ass," Zidane said with a quick grin.

Pairing up with another immortal was always an iffy proposition. Interpersonal dynamics between mortals were tricky enough, but removing the natural constraints of time and death on a relationship had unexpected and sometimes nasty results.

Despite his vocal complaints, Cloud considered Zidane one of his most trusted friends. However, spending extended time with each other usually turned out to be a bloody disaster -- not so much for themselves, but rather for the hapless mortals around them. For unknown reasons, there was a dark synergy between them that always led to an ever-escalating reckless disregard for not only their own safety, but the safety of others.

Fortunately, the relationship between Zidane and Kuja, Zidane's long lost brother and once deadly nemesis, was working out much better. Kuja, with his cool, critical, analytical personality, seemed to provide a much needed balance to Zidane's passionate and impulsive nature

"Good."

While Cloud was very glad for his old friend, he also couldn't suppress a twinge of envy. This pack, like so many others he had gathered around him, would eventually crumble with the relentless passage of time. It was inevitable, given both their chosen profession and their inescapable mortality. Even the twins, with their half-demon nature, wouldn't live forever.

But almost as he'd read Cloud's mind, Zidane murmured in an eerily dreamy voice, "Don't write them off just yet."

Cloud turned sharply to stare at the other immortal. Although Zidane's blue eyes didn't glow like his own, they were brighter than mere orbs of organic tissue had any right to be. And every so often, those brilliant eyes -saw- things.

No. He wouldn't hope. He wouldn't dream. There was no reason for this time, for this particular pack, to be special, different. No reason at all.

And yet, with Zidane standing there, smiling serenely as he gazed at/through Cloud and saw... what? Cloud couldn't help but wonder at the possibilities....

.... even as mundane reality reasserted itself with a crash.

"OUCH!!!"
"PIKA!!!"
"MEOW!!!"

But the loudest and most outraged voice of all was Sephiroth's.

"WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO MY WORKROOM!!!"

-------------------

Link | Hire a merc |

Comments {28}

All's Fair in Love and War...

(no subject)

from: artimusdin
date: Apr. 18th, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)
Link

Okay. The thought of Sephiroth yelling like that makes me laugh so hard. *amused* Kinda feel for poor Cloud, though. Not only is he being hit with pokemon, of all things, now Zack wants some! *snickers*

Reply | Thread

MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)
Link

Cloud's trying to nip any pokemon-addiction in the bud. Don't know how successful it will be, though.

Zack. Cute critters. You just KNOW that Zack would be a terrific trainer, right?

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All's Fair in Love and War...

(no subject)

from: artimusdin
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
Link

That's the terrifying part. He would make a good one. <33 But then again, it's Zack with potentially dangerous creatures.

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MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 20th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
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Zack with potentially dangerous creatures

Whaddya mean "potentially dangerous"? Don't you mean "definitely dangerous"? ^_-

::sticks "DEADLY HAZARD" sign on Seph::

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Icedark_elf

(no subject)

from: icedark_elf
date: Apr. 18th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
Link

*snickers* Zack has a ghost cat. That's hilarious.

Poor Seph. Doesn't he understand the chaos that seems drawn to this household?

Reply | Thread

MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
Link

Yup. And that's not the only entity that's followed Zack home. For all we know, there might be a cute zombie puppy lurking around the premises. ^_-

Seph understands, but despite his intelligence, he still fails to fully comprehend the chaos attractor (aka trouble magnet) which is Zack.

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pegunicent

(no subject)

from: pegunicent
date: Apr. 18th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
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Two words Seph: Better Locks


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MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
Link

He did try. Really he did. With seals and barriers, no less. But that darn ghost kitten seems to always find a way inside!

Reply | Parent | Thread

askaram27

(no subject)

from: askaram27
date: Apr. 18th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
Link

Zack has a ghost kitten? That's just...so cute... Like, beyond words! Is there a written chapter about it someplace?

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MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Link

::snicker::

No, no chapter or ficlet about it... yet. But I'll think about it. ^_-

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(Deleted comment)

MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 20th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
Link

Poor Seph. A mage's workroom is sacred... unless you have a curious, playful ghost cat and an equally curious, playful living bolt spell (i.e., Pikachu) running around. ::rolling eyes::

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Merryweather Kyla Sardinia

(no subject)

from: mimi_sardinia
date: Apr. 21st, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
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curious, playful living bolt spell (i.e., Pikachu)

I suddenly had this crazy image of Ramuh breeding Pikachu. XD

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askaram27

(no subject)

from: askaram27
date: Apr. 26th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
Link

Your AeriSeph icon is so disturbing.

But AWESOME.

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Merryweather Kyla Sardinia

(no subject)

from: mimi_sardinia
date: Apr. 26th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
Link

And it's always one that gets plenty of comment - which is a very good reason for why I keep it.

Don't know who made it, don't recall who did the original manip either but I do recall that one of the reasons why they did it was to hit back a bit at the Aeris/Sephiroth pairing, which they didn't like. Not that agree on that part, but I do acknowledge the point that it's not a very easy pairing to excuse outside AU.

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Sofia

(no subject)

from: chofi
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
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Yeah, Seph, it's time for Mordenkainen's Faithful Watchdog.

And of course Pikachu would go after Zack. He's the one that looks most like Ash, after all.

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MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 20th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
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Seph, he tries. He really does. But even a powerful mage like him can't cope with Zack's chaos attracting abilities. ^_-

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Raven

(no subject)

from: yuenoclow
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 12:48 am (UTC)
Link

*dies laughing* Ohhh GOD! Poor Seph. *snerk* And do I ever know what Cloud means about the Pokemon addiction! *sigh* Even after all these years, and all the various versions they've put out of the game... I'm still gonna end up getting the new one when it comes out. *hangs head in shame* It *never* lets you go...

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MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 20th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC)
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Pokemon are out to take over the world. ::solemn nod::

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Raven

(no subject)

from: yuenoclow
date: Apr. 21st, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
Link

*nods* And they'll succeed.

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adorable!

from: mitzumaru
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
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aww this is awesome! so adorable i can picture it, hehe there's only 493 pokemon up to date if you cared to know. But I can see a zack and blastoise, or seph with a mewtwo or lugia... -snickers- this is funny. But I wonder, are you ever going to finish your gundam wing fics? I like them alot and just cruios if that they're gona be updated. I can tell you already have a work load and you have a lot of things to finish right? just not the time to finish them all? Well anyways this so totally adorable.

Reply | Thread

MadamHydra

Re: adorable!

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 20th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Link

But I wonder, are you ever going to finish your gundam wing fics? I like them alot and just cruios if that they're gona be updated. I can tell you already have a work load and you have a lot of things to finish right? just not the time to finish them all?

Yes, unfortunately, my writing time is rather limited. So at the moment, all my non-FF7 fics are way down on the priority list. I'm trying to stay focused.

Well anyways this so totally adorable

Thanks!

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crack_fairy

(no subject)

from: crack_fairy
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
Link

*snorts*

oh god, cloud and pokemon... *dies laughing*

and cloud lecturing zack and seph? *dies again* daddy cloud knows best! XDXD

i hail the brilliant crack that is your writing... you've just brightened up my night/early morning and have inspired me to go imbibe some sugar before continuing with work. *showers you with cookies and plushies*

Reply | Thread

MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 20th, 2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
Link

and cloud lecturing zack and seph? *dies again* daddy cloud knows best! XDXD

And the thing that really weirds Zack out is that Cloud NEVER does the "Father knows best" routine. So in his mind, Pokemon must be really, horribly dangerous. O_o

i hail the brilliant crack that is your writing... you've just brightened up my night/early morning and have inspired me to go imbibe some sugar before continuing with work. *showers you with cookies and plushies*

::giggle:: Thanks! ::wolfs down cookies, runs off with plushies::

Speaking of plushies, there's gotta be a future scene of Zidane and plushies. ^_-

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Romyra

(no subject)

from: romyra
date: Apr. 19th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
Link

LOL LOL LOL This is funny all by itself but the killer is this

Cloud sternly said, "No, you do -NOT- want to get interested in pokemon. They're like an addictive drug. Yes, you start out with only one, but the next thing you know, you've got to get them all. <-- lord....

Reply | Thread

MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 20th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
Link

As Zidane notes, Cloud knows this from experience. ::snerk::

And there REALLY is an evil Pokemon conspiracy to take over all of reality.

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Little Kaori

(no subject)

from: soloyuymaxwell
date: Apr. 20th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC)
Link

Woo~! Pokemon! XD I haven't seen that show in... a while... o.O I remember when Ash stole Misty's bike for the first time... XP That also started my long-dormant Gary/Ash/(and another name I can't remember... Richie?) Fangirlism, along with my Brock obsession... *_* I. Want. That. NineTails! -In denial about Naruto's suspicious involvement with her dusty, diminutive fox collection-

Will any FF8 people be in here? Like Squall? *_* -melts-

And your porn plotbunny needs a wake-up thwack. -Gets out her super awsome hentai master frying pan of death, doom and destruction-

Reply | Thread

MadamHydra

(no subject)

from: madamhydra
date: Apr. 20th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
Link

Will any FF8 people be in here? Like Squall? *_* -melts-

No plans at the moment, but who knows?

And your porn plotbunny needs a wake-up thwack. -Gets out her super awsome hentai master frying pan of death, doom and destruction-

::panicked squeak:: Well, as I mentioned to someone else, other writers have made mercverse unabashedly yaoi, with the various members of the Pack (Cloud, Zack, Seph, and the twins) boinking each other in various delightful combinations.

So if my porn-plotbunny won't wake up for COI, perhaps it will wake up for this fic. ^_^;;;;;

Reply | Parent | Thread

Little Kaori

(no subject)

from: soloyuymaxwell
date: Apr. 21st, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Link

No plans at the moment, but who knows?

Sweet. ^^ I'll look forward to it.

::panicked squeak::

Heh heh... XD -Makes a poke-ball pancake (complete with strawberry syrup on one side, whip cream on the other and a big banana piece in the middle) and gives-

So if my porn-plotbunny won't wake up for COI, perhaps it will wake up for this fic. ^_^;;;;;

Sweet! XD Thanks to you and this site, I'll be dead before I'm 23... o.O Nosebleed deaths are the worst. XD -Keeps some tissue nearby in case her nose erratically erupts with blood before the 26th- o.o

Omigawd *_*.... And isn't it ironic that as I type this, I've grown dense. Why? Because I've just caught two guys kissing outside my apartment... I never knew I lived with gay people... o.O Must resist stalking.... Excuse me while I go reiterate the English language into my vocabulary... -Goes to sit down in front of CSI season 4-

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