[fic] Bricks at the Devil

Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Rating: worksafe
Warnings: ...Yuffie. GAH.
Word count: 1,240
Summary: Don't show your tears to your oppressors; don't show your tears.
A/N: Before I even begin, let me make it perfectly clear: I. HATE. YUFFIE. No, really. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate. I can not stand Yuffie. I even hate her more than I hate Gacktesis. I'm not even kidding. Which is why I hate my brain for this.

This is inspired by the song by Sami Yusuf featuring Outlandish, "Try Not to Cry." It refers to "the Stoning of the Devil," part of the Hajj Pilgrimage. I love this song and on some level it kind of hurts me deeply to have frickin' Yuffie tied to it. ...yeah. Anyway, the title comes from the verse "I throw bricks at the devil, so I'll be sure to hit him."

"Rotten cotton" refers to a Chinese idiom, 金玉其外,败絮其中 (jin1 yu4 qi2 wai4, bai4 xu4 qi2 zhong1) - "Gold and jade on the outside, but rotten cotton on the inside." If you've seen the Zhang Yimou movie "The Curse of the Golden Flower," this is the idiom he had in mind when he made the movie. Likewise, "treaty at the wall" comes from the four-character compound 城下之盟 (cheng2 xia4 zhi1 meng) - "A treaty signed at the city wall," which means "accepting humiliating terms of peace under duress"--because the enemy is right there at the walls of the city about to sack you like whoa.

Oh, and Yuffie's 'name' I'm taking from the Chinese version of her name. Yes, I tracked it down, nerd points for me. XD Because, you know, I needed more or something.

For those of you who read TTYNKAP, the places Yuffie mentions--the Temple of the Silver Dragon and the Homeviewing Pavilion, show up. in the next chapter. Only, I used the 'Wutai' names (The Yin Long Temple and Wangxiang Pavilion) there because it's Rude's POV and he doesn't grok Wutai, but the names via the meanings here because Yuffie, of course, does. I, um, really am going somewhere with all these, I promise. ^^;;

--

My name is Yuffie Kisaragi now.

It's because it's ShinRa's world now, and my name is one of the things that had to change--we have to adapt, have to follow ShinRa's rules, have to speak ShinRa's language even in our homes. In the Imperial Court, where my father sits like their puppet and nothing more, shaming our ancestors, I have to speak ShinRa's words and be Yuffie Kisaragi. My people have lost so much; all I have to lose is my name and my language, and so I'll throw them away and wear this new name and speak these flat words until the day Wutai stands again.

I stood in the Great Hall of our ancestors before I decided what to do. I looked at the painting of the first Kisaragi emperor, Kisaragi no Takenobu. We wouldn't have spoken the same language; we're Yamatan by blood but when he overthrew the Kanagawa dynasty and established ours hundreds of years ago, he moved us from the rot of Nankyo and made a new city in the homeland of the Silver Dragon, up here in Beizhou.

I never read the Annals of the Silver Dragon. I never saw any reason to; who cares about tales in dusty old scrolls? I know enough; I know Kisaragi no Takenobu, after the death of the great Silver Dragon, returned to Wutai and routed out the rotten cotton that the emperor had become, and moved the capital. I know all of the tales, know what he did. He was a great man, pushed into greatness by the cruelty of the Kanagawa. He was said to have been really compassionate, sometimes dropping the purples and blues of the royalty and donning the green and yellow clothes of people to leave the palace. He often, it's said, went to the Temple of the Silver Dragon and to the Homeviewing Pavilion and prayed to the Silver Dragon.

But I won't. I don't see any point. The Silver Dragon didn't come to our aid, after all. I heard the whispers, that He'd abandoned Wutai, that His avatar had been seen on ShinRa's side...I don't need gods anyway, especially not ones that abandon us when we need them the most. I've never seen the Silver Dragon and no one's ever summoned him; what kind of god is that?

Not one Wutai needs, no matter what my father says.

My father's useless; he doesn't do anything but sigh and say we lost and that's it. And that ShinRa is rotten from the inside and will fall on her own, and we must simply bide our time and wait.

Wait, he says. Be patient, he says. The Silver Dragon moves, read the Annals and I will see. Patience. We are Wutai and Wutai is eternal. Wait, he says. Accept and wait. Wait!

It's easy for him to say; he never donned the green and yellow clothes to see what had happened to Wutai with his own eyes.

That's why I did it.

I've spoken the language of ShinRa since I was little--almost as long as I've spoken Wutai. As soon as I could talk, it seemed, lessons for me began. So I speak it...but I hate speaking it at court, to my father...but I don't have a choice; ShinRa's word is law, and their law is to use their words. I was really little when Wutai fell...but I'll never forget the bitterness of that day, of the treaty signed at the castle walls. I was there. I was there and they told me, everyone told me, "Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't show them your tears."

I didn't cry that day. I watched my father, the emperor, bow to them, bow to ShinRa, and then I had to swallow everything and bow to them, too. My head had to touch the floor. I had to bow to them. Me, a daughter of Shinobu! To them! And my father...I hated ShinRa so much that day. As long as I live, I will never forget the shame of that day. I don't deserve my real name, not until I've gotten face back for that.

I hate ShinRa.

And I hated them more after I told my father I was leaving. He couldn't object to me following the footsteps of Kisaragi no Takenobu, going out and seeing the people for myself.

It's been four years since the war ended, and it's terrible. ShinRa won't do anything to help us; ShinRa wants us to wallow in our shame and punishes us for having opposed it. So many places are still in ruins; there are towns and villages that were razed to the ground and are nothing but little burnt bits of earth, even now, years later. Everyone outside of the cities looks...they all look like I felt, when my father made me bow to ShinRa.

This is ShinRa's fault.

I see pictures of the rest of the world. Everyone seems happy, they seem to have everything...and we don't have anything and none of them care. We are Wutai and they hate us, so no one cares that our faces have been rubbed into the dirt and we are nothing now; that even our pride is gone.

I wandered around Wutai, seeing everything for myself and hating ShinRa more and more every day when I saw how miserable everyone was, how much they're all suffering because ShinRa took everything from us, all of our materia, and gave us nothing in return, not even one stinking power plant. But I didn't know what to do, how to fix things. I'm a Daughter of Shinobu and of the house of Kisaragi; it's my responsibility to fix this, and I felt more helpless than I did when I was that little girl in her finest, about to be sent out to bow to the conquerors.

So I went to the Homeviewing Pavilion and just sat there for a while. They offered me the hall Kisaragi-no-Takenobu used whenever he was troubled. Supposedly Kisaragi-no-Takenobu would sit there and gaze out into the forest, but I'm not him; I don't need to look at trees. No, I took another place on the other side and looked out the other way, at the cities and towns that hid and protected the Homeviewing Pavilion and her secrets from ShinRa. I looked out towards the people and just thought, as hard as I could.

It was materia that built the Kanagawa and the Kisaragi Dynasties. The Kanagawa used the raw magic stones and forced the children of the Old Ones to war until they were all dead; the Kisaragi used materia.

I'm a Kisaragi to my core, and sometimes you've just got to go backwards to go forwards.

ShinRa is rotten. ShinRa's the rotten cotton, and I've got to remove it from Wutai, same as Kisaragi no Takenobu did. I've got to overthrow them and bring glory and honor back to my people.

Until I do that, I'll do this their way. Speak their words, use their name. And I'll get in the inside, somehow, and take what I need to build us up to burn away the rotten cotton.

I need materia, all the materia ShinRa stole from us. ShinRa stole from us; I'll steal it right back.

So for now I'm Yuffie Kisaragi.

But one day, I will be Kisaragi You Fei again.
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Comments

...you might hate her with the passion of a thousand suns, but damn if you can't write her well. ♥
Thanks!

...God, I hate Yuffie. I really do. and I also hate Genesis, but everyone says I write him well. What is up with this. *eyetwitch* There is something deeply wrong with this; as wrong as with your icon of the cat cheerfully swimming.

Only I'm not cheerful 'bout this turn of events, so the kitty has one up on me.
Maybe, because you dislike them so much, it lets you look at them without the happy fandom glasses so that you can really get a good sense of the character? Dunno. At least you don't bash them in fic (which I thank you for).

Is this icon more appropriate? *grin* *loves her collection of kitty icons*
I've always thought character bashing to be bad form. If you can't write a character fairly, you shouldn't write them at all. Sloppy writing is sloppy, after all.

And the icon is quite appropriate. >XD
Awesome writting as always. I think when your brain forces you to write someone you hate, that passion comes through in excellent writing. I did have one question for you though- Where the heck did the term 'rotten cotton' come from? I know you, there's got to be a story behind it! Please to be telling story now?
*Headdesk*
Or I could have just looked at the authors notes to find out. But that would have been smart and sensible, and we can't have that now can we? *headdesk*
lol, occasionally, I actually put useful info in the notes. Occasionally. XD
Apropo of nothing, had another "you know you do too my FF7 when-" moment.

You know you read too much ff7 fic when you see someone on campus with pretty, long pale hair, wearing black and riding a badass scooter vehicle and go 'What's Yazoo doing on campus?'
*splort* Yeah. XD
you have any? 8D
I think it's more my brain willfully tormenting me, but hey.

And thanks!
You might hate Yuffie, but this is goooorrrrrgeous!
Thanks!

...still hate Yuffie.
You should write people you hate more often.
*whimper* But I'd rather write characters that don't send me into frothing paroxysms of haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate.

Ahh, well. I can now say in all fairness I gave Yuffie some screen time, and now never put her in my fic parties ever again. XD
The last line gave me chills. Thank you - I've had a pretty crappy day, and this gave me room to breathe.
Thanks! And glad to know this in some way helped smooth a bad day over even a tiny bit.
Oh, Yuffie. ♥♥♥♥
Thank you, that was. Brilliant.
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!