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Chapter Title:  January
FF7 Character:  Sephiroth
OCs:  Kass, Larissa and Ishtar's Touched.  Gods: Ares, Femos (his son) and Ishtar
Summary:  Sephiroth heads "out" and encounters another Touched in the process...
Setting:  Our world
FF7 Timeline:  After DoC
Status:  Multi-chapter, Complete
Rating and warning:M for violence and language
Pairing:  None romantic
Disclaimer:  The usual.  It's for fun and I don't own the FF7 stuff, Square Enix does.

The New Year had started out easily enough.  Sephiroth had honestly lost track of how many people he and Ares had killed.  After a while, the numbers and faces all started blurring together which was a pity.  Sephiroth sat at the breakfast table, watching the family come and go around him.  The kids accepted his presence easily enough and, after Christmas, Sean didn't stay alone with him.  That suited Sephiroth just fine.  But, for a reason Sephiroth couldn't place, he wanted to stay close.  However, he also wanted to continue his outings.  Attachments are dangerous, he reminded himself for what seemed like the hundredth time.  He picked at the waffle with his fork.  Perhaps I'm getting soft, now that I have killed so much….  Sephiroth sat and thought about that for a minute.  Was he getting soft?  The children ran through the halls and something in him curled in annoyance, like a cat confronted with an enemy.  No, he decided, I'm not getting soft.  His mind flashed over all the people that made up this strange family and he chuckled.  Each one had their own place and purpose.  Both of the adults went out to work and the children went to school.  No.  I am simply doing my job and coming home to my family.   Accepting this reasoning, he continued to eat the waffle, cutting it carefully with a knife while he thought things through.

He waited until the family was busy with things, whatever it was he really didn't care.  He went outside and grabbed the knife, a hungry smile on his face.

Ares showed up faster than usual, a young boy in tow.  "This is Femos, my son," he said with pride.  "He wants to come with us."

Sephiroth looked the boy up and down.  He had his father's reddish brown hair but he was still a youth so his face lacked any facial hair.  He was lithe enough, though somewhat bulky.  Again, expected considering his parent.  The youth had an attractive and dangerous air about him, something that could pull people in and they might find that they didn't like.  His blue eyes smoldered with a hint of his father's fire.  His clothes were modern, like his father's.  Something about the boy unnerved him, in some far off corner of what was left of his soul.  Still, he shrugged.  He didn't care who Ares brought with him as long as the person stayed out of Sephiroth's way.  "Stay out of my way," he told the boy.

The youth nodded.  "No problem," he said easily.  He jerked a thumb in the direction of his father.  "I'm used to workin' with Dad.  Normally, I just stay in the chariot anyway.  I work better from up there."

Ares clapped the boy on the shoulder, sending the youth forward a step or two.  "That's my boy!" he said happily.  He turned his attention to Sephiroth, "You ready?"

Sephiroth nodded.  "I want to go somewhere different," he said slowly.  "I want to go somewhere with a lot of people."

"Like a city?" the boy asked.  When Sephiroth nodded, he looked at his Dad and raised an eyebrow.

Ares nodded.  "If we do it right, there won't be that big of a deal.  Why don't we go somewhere in the Middle East for a day or so?"

Sephiroth considered his offer for a moment.  He'd learned that the Middle East meant sand.  He could deal with sand.  "That's fine.  Killing people one on one is getting old.  I want a change of pace."  He chuckled and stepped into the chariot.

This time things were different.  They weren't heading into the middle of some jungle encampment or some backwater town in some distant country.  No, today they were putting themselves in the middle of a war.

The chariot descended onto the caravan of trucks covered in some sort of camouflage and the boy in the chariot screamed as he clung to the edge.  Sephiroth raised an eyebrow.  Was this child of war scared?  Sephiroth wondered.  Then his blood ran cold.  The child's scream scared some part of him that still felt fear.  It was a small part and easily dwarfed by Sephiroth's battle-lust.

The drivers in the vehicles below swerved their cars before settling back onto their path.  For some though, it was enough and they ran over mines along the side of the road.  Femos laughed merrily and Ares smiled.  Sephiroth shrugged it off.  This was a caravan, this wasn't a battle.  "I thought you said this was going to be a war," he said idly.

Ares chuckled.  "This is just the beginning," he told his companion.

The chariot continued down the path and there was an encampment ahead.  It was made up of large sand colored tents and other things that Sephiroth had come to associate with an American encampment in the desert.  There were easily 5,000 men and women there.  Not a bad start.

The caravan continued onto its destination and Femos screamed again as they rode over the encampment.  In the distant hills, people began to stir and Sephiroth grinned.  The more the bloodier.  They rode over the encampment again as Sephiroth shifted his weight to jump out.  Ares grabbed his arm.  "Not yet," he said, jerking his head back toward his son.  "He can scare Zeus.  When you're in here, he won't affect you.  We're going to make a couple of other passes."  He nodded off into the horizon.  "See that shimmer out there?"

Sephiroth looked and saw the thing he was talking about.  It had the tinge of a god.  "Yes," he said softly.

Ares smiled.  "That's another battle god and they're riding out to meet us.  They'll bring their own mortal force with them."

Sephiroth smiled and chuckled.  "I see.  And is the battle going to be at the encampment?"

The fires in Ares eyes flickered to life. "Now you're getting it," he said with a smirk.

The other god ran onto the field.  Sephiroth didn't care.  He chuckled when he saw a woman running across the sky toward them.  She was beautiful, to be certain, but Sephiroth wasn't sure she would be at home on the battlefield.  Her long dark hair flowed behind her and her rich brown skin glistened in the sun.  Her clothes were brightly colored and tied tightly around her waist.  In one hand she carried a long straight stick with a pointed tip, though the tip curved up slightly.  In her other was a whip.

She clashed with Ares and the two began to battle.  Below them, their people met in a bloody clash that no one was expecting.  Inside the encampment, people were grabbing weapons and running into the battle in all states of dress.  Many were cut down before they even had the chance to slip on boots.  Outside the encampment, the people had a glaze to their eyes as they threw themselves into the fray, hoping to kill the infidels.

Whip cracks snapped and curses flew, the two of the gods seemingly evenly matched.  Sephiroth groaned.  He was bored.  The goddess attacked the god and not him.  He glanced over to Femos and watched the youth.  Like him, the boy seemed bored.  He stayed in the chariot, fiddling with the reigns.  Quickly and carefully, Sephiroth made his way over to the boy.  "Does your father have earplugs?"

The boy looked up at him.  "What?"

"Don't make me repeat the question," Sephiroth growled.

Femos nodded.  "Yeah, of a sort.  I'm his kid so it doesn't affect him as much as it does anyone else."  He shrugged.  "Why?"

With a grin, Sephiroth climbed back in the chariot and grabbed the reigns.  "Because I'm bored," he flashed a grin at the kid, "and so are you.  Let's have some fun, shall we?"

The boy grinned widely.  "Hell yeah!"  A fierce light came into his eyes.  "Let's do this!"

Snapping the reigns, Sephiroth started the chariot and kept the horses under decent control.  He wasn't Ares and they knew this but the animals still obeyed and let Sephiroth guide them to the battle of the gods.  Femos put a hand on his shoulder and Sephiroth glanced back at the boy.  His hair was wild and so were his eyes.  Sephiroth nodded, grinning.  "Have fun," he told the boy.

It was a long time since he'd seen a youth so happy.  Keeping a hand on Sephiroth's shoulder, the boy leaned over the edge of the chariot and screamed, throwing much of his power into it.  Humans quaked in fear, suddenly dropping what was in their hands and some just freezing in place.  As the chariot passed people rose and began to battle but there was more of a frenzied feel to it.  Femos screamed over and over, laughing between the screams.

Something in his scream cut past the discipline men and women on both sides possessed.  His scream cut through their resolve and tore at the primal part of their brain.  It triggered the desire to fight for their lives and the people did.  Unfortunately for them, by the time Femos was done, everyone was an enemy.  Each man or woman fought for their own life and every one of them was dehydrated and heavily injured, dying or dead by the end of it.  With a final scream, many of the people below who were injured attempted to flee.  Their attempted flight only aggravated their wounds and sent nearly all of them on the road to death.  The others wouldn't live past the battle of the gods.

Sephiroth turned the chariot one final time toward the dueling gods.  He was done here.  With a nudge in the ribs to Femos he passed the reigns to him and leapt into the fray.  Ares stumbled backwards, cursing a bit as he did so.  The woman startled and stood up straight, also backing away.  "You're taking too long," Sephiroth said to Ares.

"You think you could do any better hot shot, be my guest," he sneered and held out his sword.

"Humph," Sephiroth scoffed and gripped the handle of Masamune.  The woman lunged with the goad, cracking the whip overhead.  She may have been intimidating, Sephiroth really didn't know.  He'd fought dragons and gods before.  They all bled the same.  With a graceful pivot he danced out of the way of the whip and brought his sword around, feeling each muscle move in response.  Subtle shifts here and there kept him on balance and kept his swing smooth.  He couldn't have asked for more as Masamune slid smoothly into her flesh.

She let out a startled grunt as he pulled the sword out.  She was beginning to bleed a little now, her immortal essence showing through in the sheen of her blood.  Her whip fell to the ground and she used the goad to hold herself upright.  Still, when he swung again, she blocked it the best that she could.

It was a pitiful excuse for a defense.

Sephiroth smiled as she grunted and held off his blow.  His sword and her goad seemed evenly matched but she was tired and injured and he wasn't.  He felt some of the goddess' power flow off of her and off to his left and he smiled.  Good.  Let her bleed.  Their eyes met and Sephiroth chuckled at the fear beginning to take hold there.  He leaned in closer, inch by inch taking ground from her.

Air whistled just to his left and Sephiroth ducked, forcing the goddess onto her back.  She smiled and said something as more of her power drained away and into something else.  Her form began to shimmer and ripple like water and, on instinct, Sephiroth threw himself away from her, shutting his eyes and burying his head, shielding the back of his neck.  He felt the release of power as her physical form disintegrated, throwing out remnants to the world.  Still the bulk of her power was coming at him.

He rolled away, spitting out dust as he went.  Air whistled again as a weapon swung at his head.  Masamune came up, blocking the now very real goad.  Sephiroth glanced up, momentarily confused, and followed the goad to see who held it.  There was a woman, dressed as a man, weapon in hand.  Her gun hung at her side.

Guns.  I hate guns.  So brutish, lacking any skill or finesse.  Sephiroth's lip curled into a snarl and he pushed his way upright, forcing the woman back.  She uttered something to him, her words muffled by the scarf she wore around her mouth to block out the sand.  Not that he knew what she said, or cared for that matter.  No, he really didn't.

Back on his feet, he began circling the woman.  Something about the woman seemed different but he couldn't put his finger on it.  Then, as her eyes flashed and the wind died down, he understood.

She was a Gods-Touched, like Kassandra.

Sephiroth paused and lowered his sword.  Is she a Mother?  Killing a goddess is one thing.  There are so many of them here.  A Mother is different.  A Mother cannot be replaced. As the thoughts raced through his head, the battle raged around him.  Guns fired and bullets whizzed past the pair of them, neither one taking a blow.  People screamed and their hearts pounded, fear, blood, and dirt choking the air.  The woman opposite him paused when he did, stopping opposite him.

Then she pounced and Sephiroth's world narrowed to the battle at hand.  Her goad changed into a sword, smaller and bulkier than the one he had but still one that she wielded with skill.  It was well balanced to her and she used it like an extension of her arm.  It flowed with her the same way Masamune flowed with him.

She pivoted on her left foot, body whipping around, sword in hand.  Sephiroth blocked her blow, dancing backward through various people.  She pursued him through them, shoving them out of her way.  Her gun bounced uselessly at her side.  He still didn't know what to do about her so he gave ground, killing other people if they came too close to him.  One man tumbled into him and he shoved the man at her, wanting to see what she would do.

She acted like any man he'd ever fought in battle.  She caught him and threw him to the side, leaving him to be trampled by the fray around him.  With the other man out of the way, she was free to hunt Sephiroth.

Sephiroth, for his part, smiled.  Now he knew exactly how to treat her.  Like a worthy opponent.  He stopped backing away and began to advance, bringing Masamune up to fight.  He swung it around, cutting through nearby people who screamed and held their sides.  She blocked the blow, grunting as she did so.  Sephiroth leaned into it, smiling and eyes aglow.  "You are not going to live long," he told her as she grimaced up at him.

She responded with something, nothing he understood.  Her muscles strained as she tried to hold him off.  With a grunt, she fell backward.  Sephiroth took a step forward to keep himself from falling on her sword.  Her leg sprung up, kicking him square between the legs and landing solidly in his unprotected groin.

Lights flared across his vision and he grunted.  He fought the instinctual response of going to his knees and into a fetal position.  It was a long time since he'd been hit there and it still hurt.  He squeezed his eyes shut for a minute, willing the pain to pass.

She took the opportunity to force his sword back, pulling her legs to her chest and rolling away.  She got to her feet, sand in her free hand.  When he brought his head up she brought her hand to her mouth, whispering something into her palm.

He got his footing again and charged her.  She flung her free hand at him and sand peppered his eyes, nose and mouth.  Fortunately his mouth was closed and so none of it got in.  However, it stung his eyes and he cursed, stopping his advance.  He shook his head trying to get the sand out of his eyes but it wouldn't budge, no matter how many times he wiped his face.

With him so distracted, she held her sword and the ready and circled around.  There was plenty of noise so she hoped it would be hard for him to hear her.  She watched as he quit trying to remove the spelled sand from his face and started breathing through his mouth.  She grimaced.  She should have waited until his mouth was open, then there would have been no way for him to breathe, the filthy infidel who attacked her goddess.  Oh well.  Things happened that even Ishtar couldn't see.  This was one for her, Ishtar's faithful Touched.  When she was level with his left side she took a few more steps, placing herself slightly behind him.  While it was a shame that she couldn't kill him face to face, she was honestly going to be happy to kill him at all.

Sephiroth heard the pounding steps as they came closer, directly for him.  For a normal person, their death would have been at hand.  His lips curled into a smile.  He wasn't a normal person.  He was Sephiroth, the Devil of Wutai.  When there were only a few steps between the two of them, he pivoted sharply to the left so that he could face her.  Masamune came around and stopped, sticking on something.

There was a gurgling gasp and he could hear bubbling liquid.  He smelled blood.  A sword fell to the ground and she gasped again, trying to breathe.  The sand began to slowly fall out of his nose and eyes, running down his face is a steam.  When his eyes were clear, he blinked to get them used to light again.  She was standing very close to him, almost near enough to kiss.  Masamune was deep into her side, held firmly in between her ribs and stuck in her sternum.  She was still trying to pull it out, cursing him as blood leaked out of her mouth.

He chuckled and pulled his wing out.  Her eyes widened and she quit fighting.  She swallowed once as the last of the sand fell off Sephiroth's face.  He pulled his sword free.  She fell to the ground, hitting her knees and then falling to her side.

Sephiroth stood staring at her for a moment before he nodded his head.  "You fought well.  Die in peace."  He stood there as she drew her last breath and light faded from her eyes.  The power that was given to her by the goddess faded away with her life.

He stood there for several minutes, letting the battle around him finish.  As the last mutterings were heard, Sephiroth sighed.  The woman at his feet was a God's Touched.  He didn't want her coming back to life or something like that.  He severed her head from her body and cut away her womb.  Those were the two places he had felt the power seated.  Now, with nowhere for it to rest, the power of the goddess could not return to the woman.  Satisfied he had done what he could, Sephiroth straightened and looked at the sky.  Dark rain clouds began to roll in and heavy rain began to fall.  Sephiroth looked at the camp, scanning it and the battlefield.  No one was left alive, from either force.  He smiled and laughed as the rain fell, washing the battlefield in a goddess' tears.

As Sephiroth joined the battle, Ares used the time to regain his strength.  The goddess, Ishtar, wasn't usually one for battles.  Her area of expertise lay more in the direction of Aphrodite's, in the field of love.  However, she was one of the fiercest bitches Ares had ever fought.  She certainly knew how to wield that whip.

He knew as much as the next god.  No weapon made of anything other than celestial bronze (or one of its many other names) could cut a god.  So when Sephiroth cut through her skin, Ares raised an appreciative eyebrow.  Ishtar had to leave the battlefield and she knew it so she sent as much of her power to her Touched as she could.  Ares would have done the same thing if he was in her predicament.  However, Ares didn't expect Sephiroth to stand up to that, Foreign God or not.  With that much power, it was like fighting a person who was three-quarters god.  When he began to cut the woman to pieces, Ares was wondering how much he was going to be responsible for this since his powers could lead men to do some pretty nasty shit.

The worst of it for Ares was that Sephiroth didn't even seem to be trying.  It seemed like he was cutting into the butter for his toast instead of a goddess or her Touched.  Whatever the fuck his sword was made out of was some pretty impressive shit.

When it began to rain, Ares stood up.  Femos hadn't moved an inch since watching Sephiroth cut the Touched to pieces.  The boy probably didn't want to end up the same way.  Ares couldn't blame him.  Neither did he.  Sephiroth walked over, stepping around the bodies like they were nothing at all.  Ares waited until he came close.  "Uh," Ares began softly, "If you're ready?" he asked and motioned to the chariot.

Sephiroth nodded to Ares.  "Of course.  I apologize if I kept you," he said as he moved into the chariot.

Ares shook his head and stepped into the chariot alongside his son, blocking him from Sephiroth's direct reach.  "Don't worry about it.  So are you ready to go home?" he asked.  Part of him hoped that Sephiroth was and that Ares could head back to Kass' to talk to her about it.

Sephiroth laughed happily.  "Not in the least."  He tilted his head back and let the rain wash away the dust and blood from the battlefield.  "No," he looked at Ares, his eyes glowing.  "I want to continue."  He glanced between the two.  "Is that a problem?"

Femos and Ares looked at each other.  Ares was able to do this because they were bringing down the human population—quickly.  He'd lost count of how many people had died.  But that was okay.  He wasn't good with numbers.  Hades wasn't getting on his case and so that must mean that things were all right.  Ares arched an eyebrow at his son, "What do you think?"

The boy looked back out over the battlefield and shrugged.  "This was the most fun I've had in a long time.  I say we keep going for a few more hours."  The boy yawned widely.  "Or maybe one more," he said with a tired laugh.

Both men in the chariot laughed with him.  Sephiroth nodded and turned his attention to Ares.  "Another contest?" he asked darkly.

Ares flicked the reigns.  "Sure, why not," he said as they rode off over the battlefield.  He shrugged.  "China's good.  Haven't been there in a long time."

"In today's news, hostilities between American forces and Insurgents in the Middle East have exploded.  Casualties were high on both sides as Insurgent forces attacked an American base."  The newscaster said to brighten up my morning.  They went on talking about how things that were looking like they were calming down suddenly exploded into violence with over 10,000 people dying in a single morning with "no apparent reason for hostilities until now".

"If that newscaster was honest, they would have brought up the fact that people have been dropping like flies all across the globe," Larissa said around a bite of cake.  I glanced up from my needlework and laughed.  She had chocolate cake crumbs all along her upper lip and was trying to look so serious.  She wiped them away and looked at me.  "What?  You know it's true."

I nodded.  What else could I do?  "I know."  I sighed.  "Wars have been breaking out all over the place.  "I wonder how many people have died," I whispered.

Larissa shook her head.  "Don't know.  I read a report last night that estimated deaths are around 3 million, just in random people.  They say that it could be as many as 15 million or more though because of, like, all the people in the jungles and hard to reach areas.  You know, the ones where all the local wars are going on."  She shrugged and took a drink of milk.  "I'd bet that a certain someone had something to do with it though."  She looked pointedly at me.  "Where is he, anyway?"

I shook my head, "I honestly don't know."

She coughed and choked on her milk.  When she got her breath, she looked at me, shock dancing across her features.  "What do you mean you don't know?!  Isn't that kind of important?"

I focused on the needlework in front of me.  "It might be."

"'It might be'?" she echoed me.  Then she sat forward.  "Kass, if he's out there killing people you have to stop him.  Killing gods and monsters is one thing but—"

I brought my head up and looked at her, "Do I?  Do I really?"  She opened her mouth to say something and I set down my work.  "Because I really don't think I do.  Things happen for a reason, Larissa.  I may not like or understand it but they do.  Despite what the gods say, I don't think the Goddess would have let him come here on whim.  I think she knew what he was capable of and she let it happen."

Larissa shook her head.  "You can't mean that."

"I can and I do."  I relaxed a bit.  There was no use in making her think she was under attack.  "I don't have to agree with it, which I don't.  I think that having all the people die is a shame.  Every single person who died has a family.  Everyone is a son or daughter.  And knowing that he is probably the cause for it bothers me."  I shook my head.  "I know I can't stop him.  He's doing what he feels he must.  I know he's not starting the wars because too many of them are erupting.  I think the gods have taken the chance he's given them.  I don't know how he's getting out and around the world.  I don't want to know."

Larissa leaned back in the chair, her cake forgotten.  "But why would they do that?"

I let out my breath in something between a snort and a sigh.  "There are seven billion people on this planet and you have to ask that.  Look around, Larissa."  My voice became heavy.  "There are too many people for the planet to support."

"And you think the gods are letting him do it as a form of population control?"  Larissa asked with a doubtful look.

I fought the lump in my throat.  "Yes, I do.  I think they're using him to get around their own laws and humans are caught in the middle."

Larissa sat quietly eating her cake for a while and then whispered, "You sure you're not trying to come up with an excuse for him?"  Her eyes drilled into mine, stabbing me where I was vulnerable.

I shut my eyes and tried to keep the tears back.  How did she know?  How could she know?  She hadn't spent the past several months with him, watching him as he learned to laugh and smile at things that were so small to us.  The awkward pause, the unfinished sentence, the questioning look from a child with the hair still a mess from bed.  All these things made him smile, more and more as time wore on.

Granted, during his first few months here, he didn't.  He was far too guarded and serious, stuck in his old mindset of having to kill the humans.  Now, for whatever reason, he was relaxing.  Miniscule amounts to anyone who lived a normal life but for him they were milestones.  Did I know that he was out killing people?  No.  Not for certain.  Did I have my suspicions?  Of course I did.  It's a little obvious when he leaves for a time and then, somewhere in the world, people die.  But people die all the time, all over the world.  I have no idea how he gets around everywhere.  I honestly don't.  But I'm guessing he does.

These things that I'm guessing he is doing are having some very strange effects on the world.  Countries are slinging accusations at one another, preparing for war.  It's not going to be the nice, neat wars that we've had if it keeps going like this.  No…this could potentially end in another world war.  My throat tightens as I think about that.  Another world war.  With the weapons that we now have at our disposal.

A desperate, choked laugh escapes me and the tears suddenly have nothing to hold them back.  Nothing at all.

I don't know what to do or say.  What can I say to him to make it stop?  To make him stop?  He's honoring my request and leaving my family out of it.  How can I ask the man who's going around the world, killing humans so his mother can love him, to stop?

I set my needlework aside so that my tears won't damage it and hold my head in my hands.  Only Larissa is here right now.  The strain of the past few months, all the holidays, my mother's death, all the deaths, have finally caught up to me.  I can't take any more strain without releasing some of the pain I feel.

What am I supposed to think when the man who so delicately held my daughter so she could put the star on top of the tree kills another person's child?  What can I do when the same man will defend me and mine with his own life but take another's simply because they exist?  How can I tell my kids that the things their classmates are scared of happening to them is from the man who smiles at them and listens to their stories and helps them with their homework?  What would my husband say when he finds out that the man who has been so helpful around the house as of late is probably the reason wars are getting ready to start?  Wars that my husband, as a veteran and reservist, may be called to fight in.

What can I say?  What can I do?

Larissa has come forward and put her arm around me, holding me gently.  Lycoris is supporting me in her own way but she's staying out of it.  I don't blame her.  I'm not in any danger and my emotions are mine to deal with.  She can't shield me from everything…though right now I wish she could.  I cry for what seems like hours.  I don't know how long it is, not really.  But eventually the tears stop.  I feel hollow and worn out, but lighter.

Taking a deep, shaky breath, I sit up and answer her.  "Because I'm not."  My voice sounds weary and tired, even to me.

Larissa gives me a small and embarrassed smile.  "Yeah, kinda got that."  She glances to the floor and back to me.  "You okay?"

I smile at her and chuckle a little.  "Yeah…Well as okay as I'm gonna get for a while, I think.  I've got to pull myself back together before he comes home."  I take another deep breath and go into the kitchen for a drink of water.

"Which one?" Larissa asks as she follows me to the edge of the kitchen.

I take a deep drink and shrug.  "Does it matter?  Either one will have a fit, in their own way, if I'm too upset and they weren't here to fix it."  I chuckled.  "Gotta love 'em but sometimes…" I let my voice trail off.  Sometimes the guys are more alike than either one of them will ever admit.  And I certainly won't be the one to voice that sentiment to the rest of the world.

Larissa rolled her eyes.  "You're the one who lets them live with you," she chides me and we both laugh over the old jab.

This was -not- my favorite chapter to write. Parts of it were like pulling teeth until things finally settled into an easy rhythm. There was at least one complete rewrite but, overall, I'm happy with the way things turned out (even if I am a bit exhausted with it). I know it's not as happy as other chapters but it is necessary for the story.

I really wanted to wrap my arms around Kass here. It's hard to admit those things to yourself and even harder having to live with them everyday.

Chapter 9 is begging you to continue.

Thank you guys for reading, commenting and faving in advance. :heart:
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dylazuna Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hehe! I thought for a minute there that Sephiroth was starting to realise you can have too much of a good thing. I wouldn't let him hang out with Femos too much though, that kid doesn't need any encouragement!

Am I right in assuming that Ishtar isn't actually dead, but just dissipated to regroup and recover, meanwhile lending her energy to her gods touched, who definitely is now dead?

I really like the insight with Kass in the last section, looks like she might have to make some hard choices soon.

Well done :love:
Dragonia27 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
:D I thought for a minute there that Sephiroth was starting to realise you can have too much of a good thing. Now why would you say that? No, he's still himself. I don't think that Ares is going to let Sephiroth around his son anymore. Yes, Femos typically rode out with Ares but, with the world in the state it's in, he probably won't anymore.

You are correct my dear. When Ishtar knew she was going to have to leave the field, she fed most of her power to her Touched. Her Touched, however, didn't survive the battle. Now, Ishtar is without most of her power because it's going to take time for her power to return to her. Now the gods have a lot to think about.

:bow:Thank you. It is hard for her. I just hope she handles it well.

Whew. Thank you. It was hard for me to write so it means a lot that you think it's well done. :tighthug:
dylazuna Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh I don't know :shrug: Just something in his tone/thoughts. Like he was getting bored with the same old/same old killing spree. Guess you can get 'addicted' to anything but after a while it all starts to blur and you either have to find something more or move on.

Keep up the good work :glomp:
Dragonia27 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012
Ah, I see. Well...he is getting bored with doing it the way he has been. Unfortunately for the world, he isn't done yet and is probably going to get more gutsy, going into cities and the like. It's going to be a while before he moves on. And that is what is going to make everything so hard for the Caddock family.

Thanks! I will. :huggle:
AlexiatheHedgehog123 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012  Student Writer
Excellent chapter as always! :love:
Dragonia27 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012
:blush: Thanks. It was really hard to write at times. I am hoping the next chapter is going to be a lot better.
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