Fandom: Final Fantasy
Pairing: Cloud Strife / Squall Leonhart
Links: PG version on FF.Net (27,831 words) || Explicit version on AO3 (28,491 words)
Summary: With Chaos defeated and the dimensions put to right again, Cloud didn’t ever expect to see Squall again. But then the Heartless came.
Warnings: Canon-appropriate violence, the occasional videogame-standard crack
Characters: Cloud Strife, Squall Leonhart, Rinoa Heartilly, Irvine Kinneas, Selphie Tilmitt, Zell Dincht, Quistis Trepe, Angelo, assorted mentions of ensemble cast, are monsters considered characters I should list but there's far too many of them
How this fulfils Pool Party requirements: First Final Fantasy fanwork. First Kingdom Hearts fanwork. First Dissidia fanwork. First video game fanwork. First crossover fanwork (involving 3 separate continuities and somewhere around a dozen fandoms all in total, never let it be said that I start small). First big bang entry. First explicit sex scene. First completed epic (because it is really short compared to my other epics). First time writing twelve action scenes in one "chapter" (had to split the fic into four chapters for easier reading). First time choreographing multiple simultaneous battles of this scale (but not the last, I'm actually starting small with this one).
How this doesn't fulfil Pool Party requirements: Not first time doing battle choreography. Not first time doing world-building. Seriously I think that's it.
Full list of fandoms for Collision: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete. Final Fantasy VIII. Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Kingdom Hearts I. Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. Dissidia Duodecim: Final Fantasy. Dead Fantasy II. Parts 2-3 in the trilogy will include the rest of the Compilation of FFVII fandoms and the rest of the Kingdom Hearts continuity.
Fanart by assigned big bang artist, stormbrite, can be found here.
The following is copied from original post over at the WIP Big Bang:
When I Started:
So, it's a long story, like pretty much everyone else. In August 2011 I had this crazy idea: hey, why don't I write a Cloud/Leon PWP for my good friend's birthday in November, since she utterly adores this pairing? So I went and got hold of a copy of the Advent Children movie to figure out Cloud Strife. Then, I ran into issues - namely, I knew nothing about Squall's characterisation.
I spoke to my partner (an avid Final Fantasy fan) about this issue, and he said, well I have the PC version of FFVIII, want to try it? and I said, yeah why not. Thus begins my first attempt at trying to figure out a video game, armed with the amazing Final Fantasy Wikia and the highest rated walkthrough I could dig up. Of course, this was fraught with its own issues:
["What's the equivalent of this square button thingy on the keyboard???"
"Wait I can't work this Limit Break thing, what am I supposed to press?"
"P, help me, I'm lost. Like, hopelessly lost -" "How do you get lost in an FF game??" "- whatever, I really can't find the next quest marker and I've been going around in circles for the last three days, heeeeelp."
(And after he came over to my house to play it for me) "Wait, you mean, you can press a button while Squall is hitting something to increase his damage? The walkthrough never mentioned this!"
(And the usual world-building gripes) "THIS MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER IN REAL LIFE!"]
I abjectly refuse to touch another video game with a ten foot pole after this disaster, but that's another story...
How I Lost My Stuff:
Life, mostly, and also my writing style was undergoing a period of evolution to reach its current state - most noticeable in the Chaos battle (written in 2011) vs every other battle. So for four years 9k words of this languished in my hard drive.
How I Finished My Stuff:
In April this year, that same friend went for heart surgery, and although she's recovering really well it's a long uphill struggle (she had a stroke halfway through the surgery that further complicated matters). And I honestly just looked at this WIP, and thought, well it's about time I actually give it to her.
["Hey, do you still like Cleon?" "Yeah, of course!"]
Then, naturally, I took offense to the writing style, so I ripped up the entire introduction and half of the remaining scenes - everything except for the Chaos fight scene has been heavily modified from the original. And then the world-building ideas descended like a horde of demented Energizer bunnies, so somehow a PWP turned into a trilogy filled with plot and almost no smut. But, eh, I tried to preserve a lot of the flirting and crackish humour that I know she would appreciate, and even managed to force myself into writing the smut scenes in the end because she deserves the effort.