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erica swarvane ([personal profile] the) wrote in [community profile] crypt2012-05-02 10:29 am

meme #004 | slow-dancing ( think outside the boxstep )

slow dancing
┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈ a meme

┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈ the deal

more_than_words: (bonds like this)

Tifa Lockheart/Final Fantasy VII

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-05-02 06:38 pm (UTC)(link)
soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (Default)

and then I was like hey let's do a sad thread with them

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-05-03 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
[ It's more like falling than dancing, really - but he's gotten more practice at one than the other, over the past five years (give or take, for time spent deceased), and so maybe can be forgiven this poor excuse for a greeting.

He's more like a shadow of memory than a man, these days, anyway, insubstantial though he does seem solid enough, wrapped in the scent of earth and rain (and a distant hint of gunpowder, too) as he keeps her carefully in the circle of his arms.

The Lifestream is a dangerous place to tread alone, though, even if only along the very shore. Too eager to sweep away hearts and minds and all the other insignificant bits and parts of the people it swallows whole. Like trying to ford the most narrow, placid stream only to find it bottomless and full to the brim with ghostly, grasping currents woven so thoroughly about one another that they might as soon pull apart anything they can catch long enough to drag down toward those untold depths. ]

Sorry about this, but-

(It's me or them.)

[ No bitter twist would keep him from smiling. ]

Next time, you oughta watch your step.
more_than_words: (take my hand)

aw, and Zack's already a heartbreaker

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-05-04 09:23 am (UTC)(link)

{it's an instinctive response to the situation, the confused reaction to suddenly being lost and - held. She isn't used to being held - she's the one that does the holding - and her hands come up in instinctive warding against it stranger, touching, stronger, danger before her mind even kicks in, head coming up, eyes wide and panicked. The voice is vaguely familiar though, a tickling memory of a guarding presence, and it's the only thing that keeps her from attempting, as quickly and forcefully as necessary, to break out of the hold. She sees the face in front of her but, again, it's only a shadow and a shadow of a memory, unfamiliar in its familiarity and her head turns, trying to see enough to let things make sense.

The sight of too familiar eerie green sends the sick chill down into her stomach and, despite everything, there's a second where it's strong enough to make her huddle into the shadow circle of those arms, striped down to a child's instinctive need for a protector.

That green tried to pick her mind apart, snatching at loose thoughts like unraveling yarn, invading through those lost gaps with whispers that weren't hers and an emptiness that was terrifying.

It's still terrifying and it stalls out any thoughts of fighting her way free of what suddenly seems more safety than threat.}

What's - what's going on?
soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (take pictures of our planet seen)

you know it. if no one's crying, it just isn't Zack

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-05-05 12:26 am (UTC)(link)
I was kinda hoping you could tell me.

[ It takes more of him to hold her together (and to hold onto her) than he can spare to make himself look a little more presentable; but there's none of that dark pall cast over his brightest smile. Even the tracers of glowing green following them down seem to lighten as they draw near, racing away into the depths (or up above or - might as well be any way, with no ground or sky in sight, in the looming shadow of the afterlife).

He's really worried, for a second there, that she might actually fight him off (might still, if there's any of that ugly grudge lingering, if she manages to piece together who it is before he's seen her safely on). And it's no consolation, the way she hides against him, instead - but that cooler, practical soldier buried somewhere beneath all of his posturing and cheer appreciates this as the simplest answer to his own fears.

It's a little better than her turning away in disgust, even if it's only by mere circumstance that she shouldn't (or can't), this time.

The empty world around them drifts slowly past, and he turns again as if to lead, arms shifting carefully about her shoulders but never losing that strength of possessive protection. ]

(have to pry you from my cold, dead fingers. what a riot)

I guess you didn't come back just to get another good look at my pretty face?
more_than_words: (home is in a lover's arms)

so sad, so true

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-05-10 03:35 am (UTC)(link)
I - I don't -

{flares of eerie green, the ground under her breaking apart in a far too familiar pattern, the desperate, mad scramble because not again, oh god, not again, can't the closest she's ever come to screaming as she fell. Alone. She'd fallen alone this time. The memories are disjointed and she's not even sure where they fit inside her or her life, still too jumbled around inside her mind for her to piece them together in a strand one by one by one. What she does pick out of the fractures though is enough to keep her huddled close, not about to leave the unknown safety to risk that horrifying endlessness again.

Cloud's going to be upset with her.

He's going to be upset with himself.

She can't do that to him.

Mercifully, she's distracted before the panic can start its threatening circle again. She doesn't panic often and not for much but the memory of her very brief torture inside this same green once before is enough to threaten it. Instead she focuses on - }

Your pretty face?

{who talks like that? She lifts her head to finally concentrate, focusing on the shadows in front of her instead of her own situation and it calms her the way focusing on other people instead of her own problems always does. It's like trying to focus on mist caught in the wind though, hints more than real features coming and going. The smile hits her before she even remembers why though and - }

soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (beneath you is too much) :( even he knows...

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-05-10 08:58 am (UTC)(link)
The one and only.

[ Though it's hard to sound so jovial in the cold and dark and decidedly dead state of being which he currently finds himself, it's far from impossible, yet. In much the same way Tifa diverts any kind of concern for herself, he has always styled himself adept at assuaging the worries of others - and not least where he himself has been concerned, in the past.

When such things were, well, actually pertinent - to a measure.

A swift but still almost casual turn twists them out of the path of a blinding ray of green, swimming rapidly past out of the whispering, churning dark. It's been a long time since he's been the one doing the looking after (here it's mostly Aerith, who knows better how to keep herself together, who makes matters of the underworld effortless

who isn't here right now but won't have to be, because he can manage just fine, when he has to), but his penchant for taking care was always more innate than rehearsed. Small town loneliness combined with the ambition of the wannabe selfless, perhaps. There was a time when he'd gladly have marched out and met every last person on the planet, just to have done - and made a half million friends, in the process. ]

I'm flattered, really. There aren't many girls who'd go this far out of their way just to catch up. Actually not many guys, either.

...Well, except- You know the one.
more_than_words: (and starry skies;)

it just seemed so appropriate for the thread to follow this one somehow

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-05-17 10:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Cloud -

{it's her instinctive reaction, to focus on him first out of everything. Lost and found and lost and found and lost and found and - she's lost count of how many times he's been taken away from her only to reappear out of the blue in the most unexpected way. She's lost count but she knows it's been several times over the allotted limit that anyone's allowed to have and it' scares her each time he disappears because how many times can he find his way back to her before they both run out of chances?

She's not sure - but she knows she lost sight of him when her world fell apart.

It takes precedence over waking up in a dead man's arms.}

Is he here too? Is he safe?
soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (I'll pretend to see what you see)

ffffffffff now I'm going to try to fit this all together in perfect hideousness, yes

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-05-18 01:17 am (UTC)(link)
[ If he minds being more or less forgotten for a moment, it doesn't show in any discernible way. He'd be a hypocrite to blame her, anyway; of all the great and many matters there are to consider, in the waning days of living a memory, the things left behind are the ones that come back and back again.

He nods, and solidifies (and feels solid) just a little more - in presence, in mind. ]

Yeah. We're going to meet him.

[ But there's a weight in the words that seems to undermine his comforting intention, a heaviness that resonates with the heady scent of rain on him. ]

But there's something you've gotta know, first.
more_than_words: (of dark and bright)

let's do it! B)b

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-05-18 01:46 am (UTC)(link)
{the words don't reassure her the way they should and her eyes lift to search a face that's easier to make out now. Zack... She remembers him only vaguely, usually between dreams of fire and ash. There's so much from that time she only remembers through the veil of fire and ash, so much either hidden under it or pushed aside for that greater horror entirely. She remembers though. Her memories, clouded, are still sound.

And they were so young and unprepared...

She wasn't strong enough then, too inexperienced to know what to do or how to do it. She'd not anymore though and - Cloud needs her. He must or she wouldn't be here. Whatever's coming, whatever Zack's trying to warn her about, she'll be strong enough this time. She won't fall apart again.}

What is it?
soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (fine then I guess just pout)

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-05-18 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
[ He looks away as she looks toward him, turning instead to search the fathomless reaches of shadow surrounding them, pulsing with light and some distant roar of sound, barely held at bay. The voice of the Planet is like the faraway echo of whalesong, millions joined together into one rising sound that crests like a wave before falling back into silence. The surface of the water runs placid and they fall and he guides them, as if he knows where he's going.

Or where they'll end up. ]

He's not... All there, exactly.

[ And he lifts an arm from where it had settled, curled around her, to tap the first two fingers of that hand against his temple. ]

Most people can't handle the pressure, down here. It starts to take you apart, if you're not strong enough. He just- Couldn't hold on, anymore, I guess.
more_than_words: (I will eagerly fantasize)

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-05-18 05:07 am (UTC)(link)
{he looks elsewhere but her eyes stay steady on him. She doesn't dare look anywhere else, terrified that in doing so it will give it the power to pull her away, like a monster thwarted by a child hiding under the covers. Even her brief experience with that swallowing green was enough to last eternity and back and dying is suddenly, for the first time, a truly terrifying thing. She'd always thought it was peaceful, going back to the planet but now she knows that it's voracious and sanity breaking. It's cruel.

Yet here they both are - and Cloud too, somewhere lost in that screaming green. It's the first time she shifts restlessly in the safety of Zack's arms.}

Shouldn't you be with him then? Not me.
soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (been running to save my head)

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-05-19 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
[ He doesn't try to hold her still, widening his grasp, instead - his physical form, here, is merely a stand-in for his will, after all, the only part of him that's gone on surviving, still. And it won't matter, really, whether she wants to drift beside or before or behind, so long as she sticks with him in mind, too.

It would almost be a relief if she did break the closeness, then, if only for a moment. She could mean to accuse him, or merely to question his priorities - and he suspects the latter, but it doesn't help the way those words hurt, the painful twist it is to answer honestly. ]

I can't.

[ But not for lack of wanting- He doesn't know that he could expend the energy to have swept them both up into this relative safety without the risk of losing one or the other, but he would've tried, anyway. If it weren't for one minor detail. ]

If I went to him like this... What d'you think it'd do to him? No. He needs to remember on his own terms.

[ And with her help. ]

You're his anchor, now. It hasn't been me for a long time.
more_than_words: (and I hope)

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-05-19 06:22 am (UTC)(link)
{for the first time, her eyes do leave him, drifting with a great deal of trepidation toward the green and where they seem to be sinking. Searching despite the way that color scares her now. Lifestream. Mako.

Mako showers and injections...


Cloud's eyes.

All of this - is inside him?

Her eyes snap back to Zack though and she goes still, concentrating, entirely finally on just him. Because she can hear that pain in his voice and her heart recognizes the way it feels. I can't. He doesn't have to say that it hurts him or how much. She can hear it in his voice and she recognizes it because she knows that pain too.}

Zack... {whether it's her will or his in this place of vertigo and fractures, his cheek is there when she raises a hand to gently touch it. Hurting for him. Eyes dark, she listened to the rest of what he had to say, carefully trying to make sure she caught all of it because it was so important to both of them. Because he was so important to both of them...

Her eyes did flare larger once though.}

soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (been running to save my head)

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-05-21 08:36 am (UTC)(link)
[ Pretty trippy, ain't it?

There's a warm laugh in spite of the cold in every other facet of this uncertain, indistinct existence, and he nods into the hand resting against his cheek. The comfort is rare, and though not all of the bitter in him is so easily assuaged, it's more than overpowered by the sweet.

He's been dead long enough not to need anybody mourning him longer. ]

Isn't that why you're here?

[ He doesn't think his assumption too far off-base, considering - and, all right, so maybe he'd glimpsed a few things in the jumble of Cloud's presence, too, as he fell like a stone to the depths of the Lifestream, to where they're traveling, now. But he won't repeat any more than he already has, of those memories and unminded secrets.

His expression is clear, and the arch of his brow none too subtle. ]

Like I said, you've come a long way just to catch up.

[ Just not with him. ]
more_than_words: (of dark and bright)

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-05-22 04:25 am (UTC)(link)
{there's a different in being there because someone needs you... and because someone wants you and Tifa's still caught on the jagged edge of the uncertainty of the second. She'll follow Cloud anyway, even into a hell like this, refusing to leave his side because he needs her there and she needs to be there. It's not the same as being wanted at that side or being sought herself, of being wanted to be kept there though. Not the same at all. Sometimes he does something and her silly, stupid little girl's heart soars with hope and yet other times she's left trying not to feel abandoned over something she knows he hasn't done on purpose. She doesn't know how he feels about her and that uncertainty is starting to wear even her thin and vulnerable so that she's missing steps and stumbling about other things she knows deserve her concentration and determination. They're in the middle of the end of the world and she shouldn't even be thinking about something as personal and selfish as where his heart might be... and yet she does. Losing him at the Northern Crater, waking up without him in her world anymore... }

I lied to him. Zack - I... didn't tell him about you. It's my fault he fell apart. He trusted me and - I lied to him.
Edited 2012-05-22 04:27 (UTC)
soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (cut you like a knife)

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-05-25 07:32 am (UTC)(link)
[ With a decisive shake of his head, Zack rebuffs her self-recriminations as easily if he'd seen them coming miles off. And maybe he did - she and Cloud have that in common, at least, even if Tifa supposes nothing else. Or maybe that's just one more backwards thing they used to teach them, up there in that lonely mountain town.

Whatever the reason, though, he won't have any of it. ]

You don't know that. For all we know, it could've messed him up just as bad if you'd been upfront about it from the start.

[ And then they'd be no better off than they are, now - except he wouldn't have the slightest clue, floating useless in this queer shade of an afterlife, wasted on the nothingness therein. ]

All that matters now is where we're gonna go from here.
more_than_words: (and as a child)

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-06-04 03:38 am (UTC)(link)
[she doesn't know that she deserves forgiveness that easily and she knows it's not Zack's to give even if she does. He's right though and her chin firms, brows coming down in a quiet stubbornness that might have been isolated mountain town bred as well. Now isn't the time to waste on doubting and she can't let it distract her from what's most important. Now. Right now. Cloud needs her and there's a job to do. Recriminations can come later... if there's a later... but right now it's only about what needs to be done for the future and the past will have to wait. Her hands come up and tighten on the fabric of Zack's sweater and maybe those are ragged, blood stiffened holes under her palms or maybe it's smooth, freshly cleaned wool ribbing, brand new and stiff from first time wear but it's a way to hold on to him no matter what its shifting feels like. Perhaps they're a strange team up or perhaps they're the most sensible one on the Planet, but they're together in this and it's for someone they both love more than their own lives. Zack seems to know what they're doing and where they're going and Tifa will follow his lead down into the very depths of the green if that's where he says they need to go.]

You're right. What matters is now. What do I have to do?
soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (from weightless photographic scenes)

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-06-06 08:13 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Except it isn't all dark, fathomless depths below them, any longer. A point of light (pale and still brightly green, but not moving as the streamers that race past them do) lies on that bottomless horizon, now, invisible by distance, before, but quickly closing in.

Zack shakes his head, once again smiling through the shadow of uncertainty that obscures him. (And this time, he doesn't rise to resist, slowly sinking back behind the safety of that mask, all but his solid form and the thin overlay of her own memory's lingering impression staying behind.) ]

Sorry, but... I can't help you, there. I've never done this kind of thing before, either.

[ And he doesn't have more than a glimpse of the greater workings at play in this incredibly strange dilemma, to say. Even his pride won't let him lend her some potentially ill advice - though it isn't for not wanting to at least try to help.

From the dark, those eerily clear, sky-blue eyes crease at the corners, smile invisible and perhaps for the best, as he asks, ]

Hey. Do me a favor, when you see him, again?
more_than_words: (thus mellow'd)

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-06-14 02:03 am (UTC)(link)
[Her brows come down at his words but it doesn't deter her. Instead she seems to firm under the admission, growing steadier, surer. She understands. It's Zack's job to get her safely there and after that it's her job to do - whatever it is that needs to be done. Just because she doesn't know what that is yet doesn't change the fact that it's her part of the mission to handle that part. If Zack can pull himself together and save her in the maelstrom of lost souls and the very Planet trying to rip them apart, than she is just as determined to do her part and do whatever comes after that. He has faith in her and even if Zack's faith wasn't a hard thing to disappoint, she would still be determined. He's made this chance for her and she's not going to mess it up.


Her head does come up though from the dip that had been watching downward at that light, her fallen star who still glowed even buried and lost. Eyes of wine and garnet focus on Zack's, younger for a brief moment, almost fifteen and unstintingly helpful as if she hadn't learned to guarded against men asking for favors yet. A nod.]

Mm. What?
soldiernoclass: I didn't notice (the warrant's on my head)

[personal profile] soldiernoclass 2012-06-14 10:01 am (UTC)(link)
[ For one last time he breaks through the gloom, leaning in close as that painfully innocent expression permits, his hands on her shoulders again, though it seems they haven't moved at all. And solid ground collides with the soles of two sets of boots in the same instant he presses a kiss to her forehead, dark strands of hair swept aside by some errant spectral breeze.

There's more in the simple, chaste gesture than in the solid support he's been, so far, a glimpse of the kinder nature of the Lifestream. The very same souls it tears down and repurposes, it draws together and intermingles, as well, and though the brush of memory isn't all light or pleasant, there is a sense of overwhelmingly persistent hope threaded through it all. And he doesn't expect her to forgive him, but there's a hint of that in it, too, like some bittersweet aftertaste.

The gates of Nibelheim are still there when he opens his eyes, now nothing but a shadow in the shape of a SOLDIER. The world of darkness around them has opened up upon an island of glowing green and cobbled together fragments of the past, but somewhere beneath that enshrouding black, his gaze is still steady on her. ]

Pass it on.

[ And then his hands fall away, and he becomes somehow more insubstantial, reaching back to touch the shape of the sword on his back almost unconsciously. ]

...Well, I guess that's my cue. I'd better not keep you-know-who waiting any longer, anyway.
more_than_words: (and though at times)

[personal profile] more_than_words 2012-06-21 04:58 am (UTC)(link)
{the kiss is somehow more of a surprise than anything else that's happened to her so far and her eyes go wide and blink in response. She understands it's not just a kiss he wants her to pass on, feeling it all the way down to her toes even more than the jar of steady ground under her soles and her face goes up to look at him - not sure she can convey everything that single touch holds. Her brows come down though after that second, determined and stubborn and she nods, just once, firmly. She'll find a way to pass it on to Cloud and he'll understand if she has to pass it on a thousand times before she gets it right enough.

There's still a moment of panic though, sharp and hard down through her, when Zack's hands finally let go, the inward terror that the green will take her without ghostly protection. It's only there for a second though and it doesn't wipe out the stubbornness on her face or the hard darkening of her eyes as she mentally prepares for whatever's ahead she needs to do. It's not all battle warrior though and she hesitates before she turns, using up possibly precious seconds to focus on the SOLDIER shadow in front of her. Remembering him as clearly as she possibly can after smoke and flame, nightmares and hollow aches and five years of remaking herself from the sweeter, more open cowgirl that hadn't survived any more than her town had. Once he's as sharp in her mind's eye as she can see him, she firmly says:}

It wasn't your fault. Nibelheim. Any of it. Not for even a second. Not once.

{she's not free with them but, in that moment, as if it will seal the truth of her words for eternity, she leans up, quick, and presses a kiss to his insubstantial cheek, a brush of velvet and smoke. Her eyes mean it when she pulls back just as quick, red meeting what's left of blue and mako. Another quick nod and she's spinning around to head through the gates at a trot. Whatever's on the other side of them, wherever Cloud is, she'll find him and, together, they'll finally fix things. She's not alone - and neither is he. Not anymore.}