Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Pairing: Cloud/Sephiroth (also Zack/Tifa, Yuffie/Vincent, Rude/Reno/Elena, Jenova/OC)
Category: Angst, action, post-game
Warnings: self-harm, attempted suicide, partner betrayal (as a ruse, though)
Author on LJ: twigcollins
Website: Eukaryotic Cell Division - Divide and Conquer
Author's Summary: Five years after the end of the game, Hojo is in an all-out war against the Planet and the ShinRa armies, led by now-general Cloud Strife. What will happen, when ShinRa makes a desperate decision to resurrect the very person who nearly killed them all?
I seriously debated for a long time whether or not to rec this fic. It's much darker than what I normally prefer (so much so that I had to take breaks while reading) and I have a few issues with the characterization of Cloud - while he is still bad-ass in a fight his self-worth issues and utter devotion to Sephiroth are rather... extreme.
It is, however, the fic that got me into this fandom and is often considered THE fic for this pairing - with that sort of impact, I can't not rec it. Although focused on the Cloud/Seph pairing, this fic is truly an ensemble piece and one of the best features of the story. Despite having a huge cast to work with, Twig manages to devote attention to all of them as well as her OCs, who are seamlessly integrated into the story. Her plot is also very strong - the war feels real and gritty and she has one of the most interesting takes on the Cetra that I've ever seen in fanfiction where they are "good guys" simply by default because they oppose the villain not because they deserve that title.
It's a deeply moving and emotional rollercoaster with enough substance packed into the story that you're guaranteed to find something about it to love.
A Long Hard Road