Warnings: Hmm... A bit of violence and refernced self-mutilation. Nothing too serious.

Rating: PG-13, violence/blood.

Summary: In his struggle with both control and sanity, Sephiroth finds himself slowly slipping into an insanity of which he knows not the causes or influence. He is only urged by a 'voice' and his own desires for violence, which he desperately tries to deny and fight. Yet, in his denial, he finds he will need to submit to his sane side, or slowly deteriorating one. He can only deny them, though, for so long...

DISCLAIMER: Ok, so I owneth not Sephiroth nor Zackary, nor anyone else mentioned within this story/chapter/prologue. Nor do I own anything from the Final Fantasy series. They are all respectively copyrighted to their owners, Squeenix. Just using them for the hell of it to give into my perverse infatuations. No profit (that I know of >_>) is being made from this.

Into Temptation


By Lulu Nobody


And lead us not, into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.


Can't remember a time when it ever snowed heavy in Midgar, always light and fluffy, never anything to severely impede the masses from their daily schedules. Never even grows in the night into a massive storm to hide the humongous city, its towering buildings, its grunginess. It's always that pleasant snow that even, on rare occasions, he could enjoy himself, perhaps offer a smile to in a good mood. Besides, it needed a white cover.

White, such a pure colour indeed, but it never remained white long in Midgar, always trashed and turned brown to die a horrible, screaming death. Cars, people, the homeless, always trashing the beauty of such a seemingly holy substance, no right to. Ok, so he was guilty, too... Well, the snow beneath him isn't very brown right now, it looks more red than anything, but his vision isn't working well right now, and it's too dark out, too night, to really recognize much. Not that colour matters at this point in time, more of a haven of salvation and freedom from the depths of his mind, somewhere he can go to escape it all, to escape her.

Once again, the small knife is lifted and gouged into beautifully coloured flesh, marring its essence of purity as a deep, crimson line begins to flow from the wound oh so gracefully. A sharp gasp as he falls to the ground, in the snow below him, not even aware of its coldness, eyes slipping shut in both ecstasy and pain. The knife slips from his grasp, falling silently into the crimson-stained snow at his knees. Oh how the feel of torture running through his veins could calm him so, to keep him somehow in the fight for control. For now, the voices are calmed, the soft whispers promising death and destruction are subdued to a silent humming, enough for him to realize what needs to be done. He needs to get out of here, but she won't leave him alone.

Quickly, the knife is snatched from the red-stained snow as he stands, stumbling a few feet and nearly falling before setting his pace. No stumbling, that was good, perhaps he is gaining the upper hand again? His arms hurt, bruised and bleeding from his self-inflicted abuse, can feel the warmth slipping down his arm right now; it's both a comfort and a worry. Oh, he needs to get somewhere, somewhere he can ditch her, escape the torment of his mind. The only place he has currently found that in was pain, and it appeared to be doing something of a good job.

A groan escapes his lips as he falls heavily against a nearby brick wall, silver locks slipping into sight as he is not even sure where the hell he is anymore. Midgar, yes, he knows the city, but is this an alleyway, a street, sidewalk? He can't tell, too confused, too worried, depressed, frightened, too unaware. How did he wind up here? Where was he going in the first place? His mind is a jumbled pathway of forking thoughts and processes, too mixed up to even form coherent structures. The whispers are acting up again, urging him into impulses he's never had before, and he refuses to give in. Even the gentle caresses to ease his mind and troubles don't do any good. His eyes still dart around the darkness in fear of this unknown presence.

Which, also explains why he never sees the other approach him. This new person, in an obvious concern, reaches out with one hand as he bends down, patting this troubled man on the shoulder. "Sir, are you..."

There is no time for the concerned man to react, nor does he finish his sentence as he struck across the face rather brutally by the one against the wall. "Don't touch me!" he snarls, deep and guttural as blood splatters the silver haired man's cheeks and face. He strikes again, once more a blow to the face as the audible cracking of bone resonates throughout the concrete alleyway. Once the man is on the ground, the silver haired man begins to assault him with his feet, kicing unmercifully at his ribs and chest, ignoring the screams of sheer terror and the protests that come out as wet gurgles. He doesn't stop, even when the sounds of protest recede quickly and he is left to abuse a limp figure.

Yet, despite his violent outbreak, something urges him to stop, and he follows its command abruptly, all motions ceasing, hands and feet falling back to normal place. For a moment, he remains still, eyes unfocused as gentle whispers resonate throughout his mind. After they slip away, into the deep corners of his thoughts, his jade eyes flick back down to the very much dead body at his feet, eyeing the damage with a carefully, scrutinizing gaze. His face is broken and smashed beyond any recognition, too damaged even for repair. There are broken ribs, one or two poking at the flesh and ready to penetrate. The arms and legs are twisted at such awkward angles that it seems almost inhumanly possible for even a corpse. And the blood soaked clothing, of which matched his own.

And somehow, this death subdues him. He is calm, relaxed, his thoughts straightening out quickly as he continues to survery damage. For his amusement, he works out quickly in his mind when each stage of death will occur; algor, pallor, livor, and rigor mortis, and when final decomposition will begin to actually occur. He doubts highly he will be around long enough to even begin to see the signs or even tell. Pity, it is. But he does take enjoyment in somehow managing to relive each moment of the attack, each hit he landed on the dead man's flesh, and the cries of pain that echoed oh so beautifully within the confines of his mind. He sighs softly, the thought of a dead body and its full decomposition has always somehow intruiged him in the strangest of ways. He would have other opportunities, though, to see this process. The only thing that invades his senses right now is the scent of fresh death and the crisp winter air. He inhales deeply, and a small, eerie smile twists his lips.

He begins to take a step away from his fresh kill, those sweet caressing tendrils in the back of his head soothing his mind, encouraging his actions and praising him for a job well done. He accepts it, still smiling as he makes it at least halfway down the sidewalk without stumbling, without flipping out. He feels better, the murder having calmed him enough to return to his quarters and get a wonderful nights sleep. Of course, after he carefully removed the blood from his limbs and face.

His walking, though, is stopped in mid stride, the smile quickly fading from his lips as the whispers in his mind turn harsh and demanding. Someone is here. Someone has been following him this entire night. He turns swiftly, jade gaze locking on a figure approaching him in the darkness. A matching pair of glowing, mako eyes meets his, and yet he feels no sort of hatred, no sort of threat from his person, whoever they may be. Somehow, he feels he knows them...

"... Sephiroth."

The voice is a familiar one, and Sephiroth cocks his head to one side as he tries to register it with a face. He is successful in his thoughts when this person comes close enough for recognition, and a strange smile pulls at the silver-haired man's lips. "Zackary."

Zack remains indifferent to the smile, and only steps close to place a hand on his comrade's shoulder. "Seph, you ok?" he asks, voice and words filled with a deep concern for the General.

Sephiroth once again tilts his head to one side, eyeing Zack strangely for a moment before a quirky smile crosses his features. He laughs softly, yet hints of malice seep into his laughter despite his opposite intentions. "I'm quite fine, why do you ask?"

Zack eyes his partner for a long moment, searching his face for any sign of something wrong, any sign of what caused such unprovoked violence. This wasn't Sephiroth, or at least the one he knew. He has never seen the older man, not even in the Wutain war, act with such rage and attack with such wildness. The sheer savagery and beastiality used told Zack that something was wrong, yet the raven haired SOLDIER has a hard time trying to pin any sort of blame on a cause. This is the second senseless murder from him that Zack has seen. And that in itself bothers him greatly.

He does, though, make the wise decision to not make any mention or inquiry of the murder, or the gashes on his comrade's arms. He doesn't want to incure any wrath from the man at this point in time. He sighs softly, and looks back up at Sephiroth, meeting the older man's gaze evenly and as neutral as possible. "Sephiroth, are you absolutely sure you're ok?"

Sephiroth simply continues to smile as his gaze breaks away from Zack's, trailing over to the very much dead body on the sidewalk. He remains silent for his own share of time as he once again replays the entire murder in his head. How it seemed each hit was planned beforehand, a perfectly coordinated dance. And such a beautiful dance is was. "... It was her fault, Zackary," he says softly. Jade orbs flick back to the younger man, a smile still lighting his features, almost childishly innocent in a disturbing way.

Zack chooses not to ask about who this woman is, despite the way it triggered something uneasy in his mind. As far as he could tell, there were no others around here. Is Sephiroth seeing things? If that is case... Zack fears for his General, his once partner who appeared at least vaguely sane last time they had talked. What had happened between then and now, Zack wanted to know. Something horrible had gone wrong, something snapped somewhere.

"Alright, Seph..." He urges the silver-haired General in the direction of the Shin-Ra building, keeping his grip tight in both his fear of the man's sanity and fear of him go. "Let's just go back, ok?"

Without much protest, Sephiroth follows, still smiling in the presence of such a familiar face. He nods his approval and even drapes his own arm over Zack's shoulders, not pulling away when the raven haired man tenses a bit. "Ok, Zackary."

The rest of the journey back is made in complete silence.




As usual, comments/feedback/opinions are very much appreciated. Or anything you may want to suggest.

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