melbagirl



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  1. Rec 5

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    Summary

    It’s hard to keep it together when you’re on the run carrying your unconscious friend across the country.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    1,060
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Kudos:
    22
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    5
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    213

    05 Dec 2022

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  2. Rec 2

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    Artwork — Set during Cloud’s time in captivity at the mercy of an unhinged madman. The scenario is open to your interpretation but there are definite consent issues no matter what way you slice it. No explicit sexual content, but there are implications.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    0
    Chapters:
    2/2
    Comments:
    3
    Kudos:
    17
    Bookmarks:
    2
    Hits:
    299

    05 Dec 2022

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  3. Rec 18

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    Trapped in the Shinra Mansion, Zack and Cloud form a psychic connection as a result of Hojo's experiments. Enduring together, they deepen this bond into a powerful force that will change the future of Avalanche, Shinra, and the Planet itself.

    This is the first part of an ongoing trilogy. Canon death and other ships will appear in later installments. Begins slightly AU and then gradually diverges to a full reimagining of the OG game and Dirge.

    Updates weekly. Final chapter by Dec 13.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    42,252
    Chapters:
    13/15
    Collections:
    1
    Comments:
    82
    Kudos:
    72
    Bookmarks:
    18
    Hits:
    1487

    01 Dec 2022

    Bookmarker's Notes

    2: “Can you sit?”

    Before he can answer, she pulls him upright. The bandages around his chest loosen, and it feels like his guts might spill out. The gauze is stiff, caked in dry blood. It unwinds, a bit at a time, to reveal a crater down the center of his chest. Staples and stitches hold the halves together like a child's craft project. He almost faints.

    “Looks better today,” the doctor hums.

    “Should be smaller,” he says.

    There’s no thought precipitating the statement, no memory to validate it. It comes out like a radio broadcast, like someone else speaking through him.

    She nods, pouring clear liquid onto a gauze pad from a brown bottle. “The stab wound grazed your heart. An operation was necessary to stop the internal bleeding. You're looking at the entrance incision.”
    ~
    It drags him into wakefulness like a fish in a net, eyes wide and gasping. Murky images cling to him, lingering wisps of his dreaming. Tendrils of soft magic had flowed around him, emitting strange orbs of light. Inhuman screams had rung out from them in a harrowing siren song, puncturing his psyche until he thought he might be the one screaming. It was like drowning, like a prolonged, undying death.

    3: Pacing the walls like a caged animal, he can’t escape the truth that his life's goal had been a big lie. They'd been lab rats all along, just dressed up to look like warriors and celled in the Shinra building where they could convince themselves they were free.

    4: Reality becomes fragile, easily fractured. One stray thought can pull him out of his body and trap him in the void. It can take days to come back, or weeks. He learns to step around the cracks.
    ~
    He wants to fight so badly, but the message is clear. Hojo is in control here. He can do whatever he pleases with his test subjects. Food, clothing, warmth, none of these things are guaranteed. C’s choice is no choice at all.

    5: Cruelty is familiar to him. It slots into his understanding of the situation with ease, like armor molded to his shoulders. It's neither surprising or upsetting. It's how bullies operate.
    6: “Together, or not at all,” he says, muffled by the fabric of the shirt. Cloud feels the words in his skin.

  4. Rec 13

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    16-year-old Rufus Shinra has many reasons to hate his father, but being an overbearing parent isn't one of them. Left to amuse himself in the Shinra building while the president works, Rufus stumbles across a failed experiment scheduled for destruction, only to discover that he may have more in common with the beast than he first thought.

    "A boy and his dog" story about how Rufus met Darkstar.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    7,253
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    10
    Kudos:
    78
    Bookmarks:
    13
    Hits:
    465
  5. Rec 4

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    The rain continues to fall. Tifa throws herself into the song, determined to drown it out. But the feeling of smooth ivory beneath her fingers is enough to remind her of her mother—and the notes, and the pedals beneath her feet, and the music sheets, yellowed with age, still bearing the little notes that Thea had written in the margins, marking Tifa’s favourite songs. Her mother’s memory is the very dust Tifa breathes, and there’s simply no escaping something so persistently painful and so heart-wrenchingly beloved.


    Thea's immaculate instrument becomes a symbol of Tifa's grief. And yet, years later, when Tifa finds a half-broken piano in a scavenger's shop in Edge, she discovers that grief is an ever-evolving being—and that broken things can still be beautiful.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    2,279
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    18
    Kudos:
    20
    Bookmarks:
    4
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    73

    21 Nov 2022

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    Bookmarker's Notes

    Tifa broaches the topic with her father every Saturday. She hopes, in vain, that the rye will convince him. It never does.

    “I want to quit.”

    Her father, deep in his cups, looks up at her and shakes his head. The sheen in his eyes is impossible to miss; it grows thicker every time he looks at her. Dear little Tifa, the very picture of Thea, so much her mother’s daughter and not very much her father’s.

    “No.” He lifts the glass to his lips. “You like it, don’t you? You play all the time.”

    Tifa hasn’t played the piano solo in months. Only with the instructor. Mrs. Bee is trying to continue her mother’s lessons—but who could ever possibly replace her? Tifa wants to learn from nobody else but Thea, and Thea is dead.

    Another week passes. “I want to quit,” Tifa says.

    “No.” His eyes are brighter; there’s less in his cup. Still, he persists. “You can’t give up just because it’s hard. Do you want extra tutoring?”

    Another instructor can’t solve the issues that make Tifa’s hands shake. She wants to tell him that the grief is too much, that it’s all just too much—but the way he looks at her makes her pause. Hearing the rumble throughout the house is helping him as much as it’s harming her.

    Another week passes. “I want to quit,” Tifa says.

    “No.” His voice is firmer now. “Do you remember what the doctor said?” he asks, knowing all too well that there is a lot—too much—that Tifa doesn’t remember. Mt. Nibel had robbed her blind. The past still lingers, but the present is much more difficult to grasp. “It might help you with your—”

    “Memory,” she mumbles. It wasn’t a guarantee, the doctor said; Tifa remembers that much. But she would do anything to remember what day it is without having to mark the past down on a calendar. “Alright,” she says, rubbing idly at the dent beneath her thick hair. “I’ll keep going.”

    Is it rote? Is it obligation? Is it the call of her past, despite how painful it is? Tifa doesn’t know.

    The piano is terribly out of tune. Tifa tries her best to tune it herself, knowing that finding a piano tuner in Edge is a tall order. She lifts the cover, inspects the strings, and finds a screwdriver that works—somewhat—as a tuning lever. By the time she’s done, the notes sound far better than they once did. Not perfect, but better.

    Her mother’s piano had been a perfect specimen of an instrument; passed down through Tifa’s family, meticulously cared for, the treasure of a half-dozen generations. This piano is anything but. But when Tifa’s hands finally flow over the keys, tapping out the first few bars of a fire-scorched song, the sound that plays is brilliant, exhilirating, beautiful, despite the odd twangs and off-tune notes—because the fact that it exists at all, despite the horrors it has endured, is what makes it glorious above all others. Perfection isn’t necessary; quality isn’t the be-all-to-end-all; an imperfection is not akin to irreparable ruin. A hastily-repaired instrument can be more beautiful than its perfect sibling, because beauty is not found in a smooth, untouched surface—it is found in resilience, endurance, and a life well lived.