Soda

by Court and Erin

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A/N:

Court: Five-hundred and one Spanish verbs.

Erin: ...I wish Zack and Cid would partake in a certain Spanish verb about now.

P.S.: (Yes, your eyes are not deceived. A new chapter. Hoo-hah!)

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Why'd you run? Did you hide?
Why'd you leave?
No good bye.
When the clouds take the sky,
Does the storm give you life?

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12: Bedfellows

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Zack took a quick look around as they piled out of the now-fixed jeep. He rubbed at his forearms with a huff; he had heard that airbags could give you burns and usually people were grateful that they had gotten away with just that and not some serious injury, but they hadn't even been in a car accident. Cid needed to learn how to take a joke; scratch that—he needed a fucking sense of humor.

Man, I've never been to this place before; not even when I was in S— He forcefully cut himself off, grinning brightly and rubbing at the back of his head. Ah ha ha! I mean

Cid wasn't even paying attention, too busy dealing with the suitcases. Zack walked over to the blonde, interjecting. Cid, I'm gonna go to the little store they have here to get some Coke. Could I, uh— he winced, —have some gil? He felt somewhat bad for asking, but Cid never let him carry any money. He probably figured he was some irresponsible kid—maybe that was where the nickname came from—and so he always had to ask him for money as if Cid was his caretaker or something. Which maybe he was.

And do you want anything? The town was basically just an inn, a bar (they wouldn't be going there), and the store, so he wasn't sure how well-stocked they'd be.

Cid mumbled back, absentmindedly fishing in a pocket for a few gil. He finally found some change and began to dole the stuff out. Seventy, eight—ninety. Sound be He put his hands in said pockets and looked towards the money that he had deposited in Zack's palm rather hesitantly. Well, uh— He started, then stopped. Finally, he shook his head and turned back around towards the entrance to the inn. Get me some, uh— He picked up their overnight luggage. cigarettes please.

He had by now tucked his head into his shoulders as he began to hurry forward. He seemed rather embarrassed about his request

Zack grinned as he pocketed the gil and walked over to Cid, slinging an arm around him as he laughed lightly and pulled their faces in close proximity of each other. What happened to the one day thing, m'friend? Before Cid could even answer, he removed himself from the man, waving him off so that he knew he was simply messing around, just like he had been with that earlier comment in the car. You're gonna get the room, right? I'll handle the Coke and smokes. Giving him a salute, he made his way to the store.

Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, Cid sighed, cursing that drunken night and following day for the umpteenth time. Just one more pack Then it'd be cold turkey. Damn fucking hangover He staggered inside. Dammit dammit dammit, and then he resolved to brush his teeth very hard that night.

He winced, dropping a bag and rubbing his head. Hangover might've been cured, but now he had earned himself a right to withdrawal symptoms

Dammit! The realization that there weren't any cancer sticks in his pockets caused him to collapse to the floor under the pain and hold his head in his hands. He knew from warnings and/or encouragement from his buddies in the air force that the things were addictive, but he never knew that just one day of getting used to them would make him this dependent.

He slumped down into the floor. Maybe he could just pretend he'd been waiting for Zack when he finally came back with his fix. That would be good Kinda weird, but good.

I don't want him to see me like this again Dammit, why's HE always taking care of ME!

He curled up a little more, chuckling a bit to himself in a morbid tone.

S'long as I don't start pukin' again. What's with me? Damn I hate puking He mumbled inanely. Inwardly, he didn't want to admit that the freak-show scientist had been right in ordering him to bring a friend. Shit. He hated scientists.

Looking up, he saw his traveling companion waltz in through the double doors, chugging some of that fucking toilet cleaner—but he had cigarettes with him, too. He jumped to his feet and took a few quick steps over to the raven-haired boy, needy hands extended for the cancer sticks. Zack gave that cocky smile and shook his head; Cid felt his eye twitching in withdrawal. What! Give it!

Zack expertly opened the pack with his forefinger and slipped a single cigarette out. Just stealing one. And ask nicely, will ya? Fucking kid.

Cid visibly twitched, snatching the pack and pulling one out with his teeth. He grabbed the lighter in his pocket that he had stolen from Zack and lit it, taking a drag and sighing as his headache was gradually relieved. Y'know, I really need to stop on these damn things

Zack just shrugged. You're the one that asked me to get them. Light me? Cid fumbled with the lighter and awkwardly lit the cigarette Zack now had pressed between his lips. Zack gave a nod. Thanks, man. Shall we? And with that the boy walked off for the check-in counter.

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What do you mean, no vacancies! Cid had both hands planted on the counter, newly acquired cigarette dangling from his mouth as he glared murder at the clerk. This place is the middle-o'-fucking-nowhere! How the hell do you have all your rooms filled up?

The man shifted nervously, obviously not used to such a verbal barrage. Well, it is good traveling season

Cid was taking a deep breath in preparation for bursting into more yelling---good thing that Zack found this to be a good time to step forward. He grasped Cid's upper arm and felt him tense—his touch proved sufficient to shut him up. With that done, the younger one glanced at the clerk. Do you have any single-bed rooms?

The man flipped through his notebook (the place was so primitive it didn't even have a computer set up), and he eventually gave a slow nod. Yes, we have one.

Zack smiled. Great! We'll take it.

Cid faltered and rounded on his friend.

Zack gave a shrug of his shoulders. One of us will sleep on the floor. butThere's nothing else we can do, unless you want to sleep in the car, and even the floor is more comfortable than that. He gave Cid a practical look, knowing what he said made the most sense. Come on, he urged, digging his hand into one of Cid's pockets in search of his gil-filled wallet.

Cid yelped and jumped away. Jesus! Okay, okay! He obtained his own wallet and forked over the proper amount of cash to the man. When that was done, he turned to Zack, sighing. There. Y'happy?Okay, kid, then you take up the He took the key from the attendant and headed for the elevators.

Zack blinked in astonishment. Wh-what? No—wait—huh? He stood there for a few seconds.

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Cid took a shower immediately as they got into the room, and took a surprisingly long time with it. He emerged in his pajama pants and a bare chest a good forty-five minutes later; Zack had by then sprawled himself over the bed. The pilot glared at him and then at the pile of pillows and sheets that the other had laid out on the floor for him.

I am NOT sleeping down there, he growled, raising his eyebrows angrily. He whipped the towel that hung around his shoulder to his head, where he began rubbing it through his wet blonde hair vigorously.

Zack looked up from the bed. Oh, well, I could sleep on the floor if you're that much of a wuss about it. I had to do it in S— He stopped himself, wincing at the awkward silence that followed. Or we could just both sleep on the bed! Cid grated, stopping from rubbing his hair and throwing his towel at Zack. He stood, arms across his chest. That's just you talkin'.I'm not denying anything, but then what do you want to do? The younger of the two tossed the wet towel off of himself and then moved to slide off the bed. He believed this was the only way it could be resolved—that is, if he slept on the floor.

Cid growled, tossing himself into the bed as Zack pulled himself off of it. He began to pull the covers up to his chin. Sleep on the damn floor—whaddo I care!Yeah, yeah, whatever. Zack grabbed the one blanket he had and pulled it over himself, curling his legs up as he normally did while he slept. As he attempted to doze off, he found it was colder on the floor than he thought it was. His shivering, unfortunately, was hard to suppress.

Y'okay down there? Cid's voice suddenly came, tired and exhausted from a day of driving. He rustled the sheets and leaned over the side of the mattress, blinking.

Zack stared up, canting his head to the side. Huh? Oh y-yeah, I'm fine, he assured him, rolling over away from Cid again.

Cid grumbled as he rolled back over, trying to sleep but finding he was unable to with the sound of Zack tossing and turning and, consequently, with the knowledge that the boy was in extreme discomfort. He began pulling away the covers, sidling off the side of the bed opposite his friend and walking around towards him.

Get in the damn bed, Cid growled threateningly.

Zack twitched slightly at the sound of Cid's voice, horribly prying. He looked over his shoulder at the blonde through sleepy eyes. Dammit, I was almost asleep he mumbled. It's fine, I've done this tons of times before good for your backOh, shut up. Cid stepped forward unexpectedly, grabbing Zack and slinging his arms underneath the other's, pulling him up under his shoulders and attempting to drag him up onto the bed. Stop—bein'—such—a damn—MARTYR—ya damn kid!

Zack wriggled in the uncomfortable grasp, Cid holding him under his arms from behind. what're agh wait He had been yanked up on the bed by now, but with too much flailing he ended up with Cid laying beneath him on the bed. Cid yelled, trying to throw him off once more but instead receiving another, more unexpected feeling.

Cid was positively hysterical as he threw Zack to the floor. D-DAMMIT! Fucktard--fucker!

Zack grumbled, burying himself under the covers he had been thrown onto. See, that accomplished nothing. Good night, Cid. He curled into himself and tried to prevent his teeth from chattering.

Cid started, pointing at Zack and visibly shaking, but for a different reason than that of the boy. He shifted his weight, crossing his legs.

You're an idiot, he growled, running a hand through his short hair as he looked away.

Zack grunted, sighing and turning away farther from the pest. Will you let me sleep now?

Cid continued looking away until he finally grit his teeth and looked back to Zack, standing up as he grabbed a pillow and a couple of sheets.

Zack stared at him for a few seconds. Whoa, Cid, are those some cigarettes in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? He couldn't help letting a grin light up his face.

Sh-shut the fuck up The blonde stuttered for a moment, looking away with a somewhat reddened face as he walked forward and collapsed on the floor a couple of feet to the right of Zack and attempted to make himself comfortable under the covers.

Zack was forced to stifle laughter at the man's embarrassed state and his rogue cheeks. You know---this is stupid. FINE. He grabbed all of his covers and moved onto the bed. You can have fun down there. Cid rolled over towards the other, growling dangerously, and Zack couldn't help but notice that he tucked his legs up to his chest underneath the covers as he did so. What the fuck is that supposed to mean?Whatever you want it to, m'dear, he said, yawning in a rather childlike manner as he curled further under the warm bed he was nestled in now.

Little punk, Cid grumbled in resignation, sighing as he curled up under his own sheet. You sure you don't wanna take a shower or somethin'? Zack looked to him, smirking. I mean, I do tend to have that ef—If you can't keep yer damn piehole closed, I'll staple it shut, Cid growled, not bothering to open his eyes. His knees moved up even further under the sheets.

Okay, okay, the lips are sealed, Zack assured him, giving a smug smile as he let his glowing eyes shut.

Good NIGHT, Zack, Cid mumbled up from his spot on the floor with a tone of disgruntled finality.

'Night, he chirped almost cheerfully, inwardly wondering why Cid had seemed so excited' lately.

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It was hard for Cid to fall asleep, to say the least. Trying to pay attention to rest and not the lump in your boxers was rather difficult, especially under the circumstances of trying to get some beauty rest on the floor. He slowly raised unbearably tired eyes towards his friend, who was sleeping soundly on the bed. Why had he done that, anyway, and with such—he cringed, closing his eyes and attempting to curl up even further—humiliating circumstances.

Zack let out a soft, gentle sigh and rolled onto his side so he was facing in Cid's direction. He shifted his arm up above his head so it was resting in his spikes of hair, and then mumbled in his sleep. Coke mrr car bed Ci

The pilot's head perked up instinctively at the sound of his half-pronounced name, too tired to force himself to act otherwise. He mumbled, leaning upwards. God, he needed to sleep

Zack shifted himself to the edge of the bed closer to where Cid was, and his hand ended up falling and dangling off the side. He clenched into himself and suddenly started to shiver, even though he had a good amount of blankets covering him. mhh

He's cold! Cid yelled at himself inwardly. He's fucking cold and—Jesus Christ, after all that he's still cold, dammit

As the other was having an inner monologue, Zack wrenched his arm up suddenly and pulled it into his chest, letting out a cry of It was obvious that he was having some sort of bad dream. He then moved to the other side of the bed. He found a pillow which he grabbed and clung to, holding it extremely close. He buried his head into the pillow and continued his whimpering. Se Cl Jenov a. please It almost sounded like he was going to start crying.

Cid blinked a few times, an inner struggle writhing inside him until he finally got up from his self-made bed, grumbling to himself.

Stupid kid, he growled, stumbling forward and finally reaching the bed, falling to his knees and putting a hand on Zack's shoulder. He shook him lightly. Stupid, stupid—hey, you okay?

Zack gasped, eyes snapping open as he stared up at Cid, breathing hard. Wh-what is it? Morning already? Cid swallowed hard, finding that his right hand had come up to rub his own left arm. You—y'looked like y'were havin' a He looked away, feeling almost as embarrassed and stupid as earlier. Never mind yeah Zack's eyes averted to the side. nightmare It seemed some memories of the dream were jolting through him; he lifted both hands up to his head and clutched at his hair. He forced his breathing to slow down and his hands eventually fell back to his sides. I'll be all right in a few minutes. His eyes, which cast a small light in the darkened room, looked up to the ceiling as he calmed himself down.

Cid asked, moving his eyes back to his friend. I mean—um—I could— Shit, man, what the hell is wrong with you!

Zack gave him a warm, if shaky, smile. Yeah. It wasonly a dream. Anyways, we should both be getting back to sleep long drive tomorrow, right? Despite his reassurances, he pulled the pillow near to his chest again.

Cid finally said after a few moments of silence, rubbing his eyes with his fingers, do you always pretend you're okay when you're obviously not He looked up. And don't bullshit me—you said I could ask you crap like this and you'd give me a straight answer, all right...?

Zack heaved a sigh, nodding. I'll keep to my word. What do you want to know, exactly? He lowered his gaze to look straight into those sky blue eyes with a curious expression. An inner confession in the middle of the night wasn't Zack's idea of a fun time, but he knew it would take him a while to fall back into slumber anyway. He had to slow the beating of his heart first.

Cid shrugged, averting his eyes as if he couldn't decide whether to keep on looking at his friend or to avoid him altogether. Just—you okay? What's botherin' you?

Zack gave a shrug of his shoulders. Nightmares kind of shake you up, you know? He smiled weakly. And then you just have to lay there and get together and allow yourself to realize that it was just a dream He closed his eyes for a moment. A dream He opened twin oculars and grinned. And so you wait until you feel safe enough to fall asleep again. If you don't then you just stay up and try not to think.Nice, but I said a straight answer. Cid looked up dryly. Not some philosophical bullcrap. Just— He paused. Be honest, all right? I mean You trust me, right?

What the fuck, now I sound sentimental

Zack blinked at him owlishly. You mean you want to know what I dreamt about? he squeaked.

Sure, sure Cid sighed, groping behind him for the room's one chair, pulling it forward and then easing himself onto it. That's a start

Zack sighed, rolling his eyes. Okay, okay, but you're the last person I would have thought I'd be coughing up to. He shifted up into something more akin to a sitting position, still clinging protectively to the pillow. Well, I was dreaming about two friends of mine. They're the two people I've ever been the closest to. They're gone nowI'm sorry, Cid responded awkwardly, cringing when he realized how stupid it sounded. I mean—There was a fire people died and were killed two of us made it out, but I lost Cl—I lost him on the way to Midgar. Sometimes He lifted his head skywards and sighed again. When he spoke next, his voice was low, a ghost of a whisper. I regret that I made it out alive. Though, technically, Zack, you aren't completely alive He started shaking.

When Zack looked over at Cid, he saw that he had a strange, glassy look in his eyes, completely unreadable. The other was still, hands dangling motionlessly.

Zack nibbled lightly on his lip, somehow feeling guilty even though he had merely done what Cid had asked. What's wrong? Did I say too much? Cid seemed to come back to reality, looking towards Zack with blank eyes. For some reason, his tired eyes and subdued body language seemed so sad. What was that?

Zack shook his head and brushed it off. You know what? Forget it. Regardless, he was still shaking.

Cid seemed to notice and leaned forward, putting his hand on Zack's shoulder and rubbing back and forth as if to comfort the boy. Hey, hey, kid—its okay

As if on cue, suddenly the shaking stopped and Zack felt the warmth returning to his skin, the unsettling tingling sensation leaving. A body was a lot better than just a pillow, after all. I know I'm okay, I'm okay. Zack, Zack, you're okay

Cid continued rubbing, surprised that he didn't feel especially awkward—more like he was helping a friend out than anything else.

Like what else? He felt a weird shudder run down his spine and something get caught in his throat and paused from the motion for a moment, slowly pulling his hand away. Maybe Zack was okay now In any case, he was beginning to feel a little strange. Cid brought the same hand to his chest and rubbed it a little.

Zack's eyes had closed against the warm touch and he had been beginning to feel himself calm down, but when it was yanked away suddenly all the fear and pain rushed back and he was shaking again. You're making things difficult for him. Stop being such a bother He forced his shivers back and hid under the covers, hoping Cid wouldn't notice.

But he did anyway.

Cid had been in the process of turning around towards his own makeshift bed, holding his arms to each other. However, the pathetic look of the sheets on the ground coupled with the pitiful aura that his friend was emanating caused him to turn around, closing his eyes in disbelief of what he was about to do.

Cid sighed, gesturing upwards with the palms of his hands. Move over!

Zack had by this time pulled the covers over his face and so when the other started talking to him he couldn't hear him very well. Grumbling to himself, he yanked the covers down so he could glance up with Mako-eyes. I said, Cid growled, pulling the covers up and roughly making his way under them. Move. Over!

Zack stared up at him, blinking awkwardly. He shifted himself over yet again, making quite enough room for the blonde to slip in next to him.

Cid grunted, pulling the covers up to his chin and closing his eyes as he rolled over onto his side towards his friend. He tried to make himself as comfortable as possible, but it was a little hard given the situation at hand. He felt a little warmer now, and the fact that it wasn't bothering him was perturbing in and of itself.

Zack laughed warmly and shook his head. You know, Cid, this could be considered a little fruity? He shrugged. I really don't care either way, though. You learn to make some sacrifices when you need body warmth to survive, so He smirked. Then again, I've had sex with guys, but—you know, I should just shut up.

Cid opened his eyes, glaring murder. I would've never done this if I hadn't felt sorry for your pathetic ass. He pulled the covers up tighter.

Hey, I told you not to worry about me, but you seemed to insist on me spilling my heart. I'd rather no one felt sorry for me. Zack turned his head away, ignoring the chattering of his teeth. I don't deserve it

Cid's hand was suddenly on Zack's shoulder, grabbing him and pulling him closer.

he grated with a hard stare. I hate it when you get like this—sayin' you're worthless and shit. You—you're not, okay? Don't ever start saying crap like that, He trailed off, blinking as he let go, bringing the hand back slowly and flexing it. He looked away, cringing slightly. Fuck, I sound like an idiot

Zack gave him a perplexed look. Never thought I'd hear that from you He looked contemplative for a few moments, thinking over what he had said. I've let so many people down, caused people so much better than me so much trouble, and somehow I'm the one that's still here. It makes no sense.

He started shaking his head in disbelief and dismay. Look, Cid, I appreciate your concern, but He placed a hand on his forehead and sighed, sinking lower into the sheets. It doesn't erase all that happened. They say forgive and forget, but I can't even do that. I almost want to, but I owe them more than that. He closed his eyes and tugged at some of the covers, hugging them closer in his search for warmth. It was as if he was temporarily cold-blooded; he just wouldn't heat up. he whimpered.

Fuck that, just Don't have such damn big mood swings Cid grumbled, closing his eyes and absentmindedly rubbing his friend's shoulder again. Seemed he didn't have enough energy to deal with any more of the kid's depression, not that night anyway.

Zack gave a quick nod and turned back to look at him. Yeah, I've been really moody lately, he agreed, rolling his eyes at himself. I don't usually do this since I know people don't like dealing with me, so He awarded Cid with a nice, if slightly solemn smile. Thanks for putting up with me. He inched a little closer to the blonde, but not by much.

Yeah, sure Cid mumbled, half-asleep as his body instinctively reacted to Zack's movement by pulling him a little bit closer.

Zack gawked in amazement for a few seconds before he decided he would make the best of the touch that quelled his shivers when the blankets wouldn't, and clung tightly to his friend, face buried in the other's chest, arms linking loosely around him. Hey, if this meant he'd be able to sleep well, he had no problem with it.

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Everything went on as usual the next morning.

They both woke up around the same time, Zack more warily than Cid, fearing that the other would throw himself into a fit at the sight of his arms around his friend, (in a bed, no less!), but somehow, it didn't happen. Instead, the pilot simply snaked out from under the sheets, stretched, yawned, and calmly walked into the bathroom to take a shower. The boy himself didn't feel too weird either, waiting for the other to come back out into the room before he took his turn, clothed himself, and they were ready to hit the road.

And things were normal.

Cid turned on a random radio station----they had gone through so many local channels during their trip that Zack couldn't even count any more----and they went onto their normal subjects of conversation; just the small stuff, interrupted now and then with stops at gas stations and diners... And then they were at another inn, another room, except this time, Zack was sure to specify that they wanted two beds, and fortunately, they got them.

Settled up in the room, Zack started to explore the room as he usually did whenever they checked into an inn of some sort. For the most part they were the same; different sheets, different pillow covers, different paintings hung on the walls, different lamps, but still pretty much the same. Then again, not much other than that could be expected. Zack passed by the required table they usually had off to the side in case someone needed to do some desktop work and he saw a menu laying on it casually. Picking it up, he read it over. "Wow, they have room service here," he commented, then looking over at Cid. "Can we get something to eat?" he asked, one hand moving to the bottom hem of his shirt so that he could push it up and rub at his torso.

"Whuh!" Cid blinked upwards, in the middle of rummaging through his pack. He frowned. "Prob'ly costs a fuckin' arm and a fuckin' leg... Forget it..." He turned his gaze away, continuing with his inane task.

Zack frowned and then pouted, sticking his bottom lip out. "What! But I'm hungry! I didn't eat anything all day." He failed to mention the fact that this was only because he kept saying 'no' when Cid asked him if he wanted to stop to get some grub.

Cid stood up, teeth grit and hands on his hips as he scowled down at his friend. "Are you really that damn hungry?"

Zack's brows knit in grim determination. "Why yes, I am. I do get hungry sometimes, you know."

A standoff. The two men glared long and hard at each other.

"...Fine!" Cid finally threw his arms up in exasperation, digging a hand in his pocket for his wallet and pulling it out, flipping through his cash. "FINE, whatever, kid-------weird------stupid-----fucktard..."

Zack grinned in utter victory, snatching away the money and winking at the blonde rather cutely, actually. "Thanks, hun!" he chirped, cuffing the man on the shoulder before bounding over to the phone and punching in the number for the room service at a mile a minute. He then held the phone in the crook between his shoulder and his ear as he glanced over at Cid. "Want anything?"

Cid blinked dumbly, fingers flexing jerkily where his wallet used to be.

"...I...just... I dunno..." His voice disintegrated into a grumble as he fell into the inn room's chair, slouching over. "A hot dog or... somethin'... iced tea..."

Zack gave a quick nod and then perked up to attention as the woman on the other line picked up. "Um, yeah! I'd like to order a hot dog and some iced tea..." He paused for a few seconds, a concentrating look on his face. "Yeah, that's right! And then a Coke and some of the angel hair pasta, please..." Another pause. "Yeah, that's all. Twenty minutes? All right, thank you." He then hung up and sat down on the bed closest to him. He started humming for a bit, obviously in a good mood, before he decided to bother Cid again. "We've been making good time, huh?"

"Huh?" Cid looked up; he had obviously spaced out for a little while. Zack noticed he was tapping his sock-garbed foot on the floor repeatedly. "Oh, yeah, sure, sure..." And then he looked away again.

Zack blinked, getting to his feet (seemed he was hyper as well since he always had to be moving) and walking over so that he was standing in front of the man. He clasped both hands behind his back and then leaned forward so he could look him in the face. "You okay?"

Cid leaned back a bit, eyes wide. "Yeah, yeah, I'm... fine..." Memories of another time in which he had been sitting down and the other had leaned in towards him came to mind and he shoved the boy away, standing up and pacing back and forth. He groped for something in his coat pocket but his itching hand was forced to retreat when it realized that there was nothing there.

"Dammit," he growled under his breath.

Zack staggered back a bit, confusion covering his face as he gave the man an abashed look. What was that for? It was obvious Cid was edgy for some reason or another, and then it dawned upon him. Grinning toothily, he paced carefully over to him again and started walking in a stalking circle around the pilot. "Oh, I get it. Cid has no more cigarettes, right?" he questioned in a rather mocking tone.

"Shut up." Cid would have whimpered had his normal voice been capable of such a pitiful tone. He ran a hand through his hair and sat down, this time on the edge of Zack's bed. "Jesus Christ... fuckin'..." He shut his eyes, using his hand to rub his left temple. "JESUS."

Zack raised an eyebrow dubiously. "Is it that big of a deal? Man, you've got it bad..." he commented, rocking back onto his heels with his arms crossed over his stomach, (which was still growling, unfortunately). "Well, I need to get out some energy after sitting around in a car all day, so I can run down to the lobby and get you some if you want," he suggested, doing his best to be helpful despite his jesting mood.

Cid's head snapped up, eyes ablaze. "This is your fucking fault."

Zack rolled his eyes and heaved a sigh. "Is that so? Well, I'm not the one shoving the fucking things down your throat, so if you don't want any, then stop complaining."

The pilot, about to say something, closed his eyes again, holding his head in his hands and leaning forward. His body was tensed as his furious voice came through clenched teeth. "Dammit, how's it possible to get hooked this fuckin' FAST!" A pause. "And why the hell am I always the one gettin' sick!"

Zack chuckled just slightly before answering. "Well, you obviously must have a really addictive personality." He grimaced for a second, shuddering. "I don't wanna know what other things you might be addicted to... Ugh... And you're not sick, you've just got some bad withdrawal symptoms." He gave Cid's aching head a flick with his thumb and forefinger.

"Fuck you!" The blonde growled, slapping the offending hand away. "Virus, hangover, withdrawals... all the fuckin' same pain..." A blink. "I should try some of those gum... patch... things... I mean-------" He looked up a bit pleadingly. "I've only been smoking for a fucking day or two!"

Zack snickered and gave a nod. "Yeah, it might work. Nicotine patches and gum?" He shrugged. "You never know. It'll take a bit of will power to quit, though. I knew quite a few guys--" he refrained from saying 'back in SOLDIER' "--who were trying to quit and just couldn't. Once you're addicted, you're probably gonna stay that way unless you really wanna get off the stuff." He threw his arms up in the air as if to say 'oh well.' "Anyways, I could get some of that stuff for ya'. Want me to?"

"FUCK NO!" Cid yelled, just before collapsing onto the bed, groaning and holding his head as if in immense pain.

Zack winced, slowly backing off towards the door. "I'll take that as a yes..."

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The youth licked his lips as he slurped up the last of his spaghetti, clicking his tongue against his palette in approval. "Mmm, that was some good stuff!" he exclaimed, taking the last few swigs of his soda and then setting it down on the little table they had wheeled in for them to dine off of. Glancing at Cid, who was munching on his hot dog in a very disgruntled fashion and who by now had at least three or four patches plastered on his upper arms, he gave an inquisitive stare. "You done? 'Cause then I'll take it outside. Might wanna chew some of that gum while you're at it, too..."

Cid looked up dubiously, swallowing a bit of his food before he spoke dryly. "Does it look like I'm done, Zack?" He snatched up his glass of iced tea rather rebelliously, taking a long swig. Soon after putting it down, he paused, using the same hand to rub one of the aforementioned white rectangles that now adorned his skin. "...Fuck. I can't believe I'm doing this..."

Zack shrugged his shoulders, then getting up and pacing around. God, he was hyper sometimes. "At least you're making some sort of effort, right?" he asked, canting his head to the side. "You can at least say you tried to quit, even if you fail miserably." Such faith in his friends, Zack had.

"How the hell can I quit if I've barely even been addicted!" Cid exclaimed in indignance, frustrated by the situation in its entirety. One of his eyes twitched slightly.

Zack started swinging his arms in circles out of boredom. "Well, it's obvious you are addicted, tapping your foot like a hummingbird on crack or something," he grumbled.

"A hummingbird on crack?" Cid echoed slowly, arching an eyebrow.

Zack flipped a hand through his hair and placed a hand on his hip. Yes, a hummingbird on crack. He then fell onto one of the beds, letting out a soft sigh. Mm, that food is settling makes me sleepy He rubbed at one of his eyes with the back of his hand and yawned.

Cid looked away, rubbing one of the patches on his arm as he swallowed the last of his hot dog. I hope these things fuckin' work...I have no idea if it will or not, but I guess all you can do is wait. Zack smiled, lifting his legs up and crossing them Indian-style. he said, frowning scrutiningly as he stared at Cid's face. Hey, what is that thing, anyways? he questioned, pointing at the patch on Cid's temple that closely resembled the ones he had slapped onto his arms. He had never seen him take it off, after all...

Cid blinked upwards, stopping the rubbing motion for a moment as he stared at his friend. What thing?The thing you have right here, Zack said, placing a finger on his own temple to indicate what he meant.

Cid echoed slowly, mirroring Zack's actions as he brought his fingers to his temple, where they soon met the small, square bandage that his friend had been referring to. He paused for a moment, rubbing it pensively. He stood up slowly, walking towards the inn's window. ...What do you care?

Zack just sort of shook his head. I was just curious, that's all, he said. If it's that big of a deal, forget about it, he grumbled, waving him off as he got up and rolled the cart with the now-eaten food out into the hallway. Walking back into their room, he sat back down on the bed, lying down after a bit and staring at the ceiling.

Cid grumbled, making his way to the space between the two beds and stretching. Slowly, he eased himself into a sitting position on the nearer mattress.

Zack's mattress.

Fuckin' tired... the pilot sighed, rubbing his eyes with his fingers.

Zack glanced over at him and stared. Yeah, I know... he commented slowly. He wasn't quite sure why Cid was sitting on his bed, the one he had claimed, but he figured he was just resting for a second or whatever.

Of course, this was proved differently when the pilot eased himself into a laying position, pulling up the covers slightly and making himself comfortable in the bed beside his friend.

Zack faltered, gaping at the man in puzzlement. Wait... uh... Cid?

The mechanic cast him a groggy side-glance. Well, there's... He lifted his hand with the idea of gesturing to the other bed. ...There's another... He lowered it again. With that, he worked himself under the covers, remaining detached from Cid out of a fear that the other might shriek bloody murder. But if that was true, then how had they ended up in the same bed again?

The pilot opened his eyes, a little miffed but moreso tired. Listen, kid. He leaned his head in a little closer, as if to make a point. I ain't gonna let you get all gloomy and death-'n'-doom on me again. It's fucking stupid, the way you beat yourself up about crap in the past. He buried himself in the covers. Better to forget...

Zack huffed, expelling some of his warm breath and grunting. You might be right, but how can I forget the only people I cared for? He shook his head in exasperation. I want to and I feel as if I can't at the same time. And if I forget,' it isn't really forgetting, just filing it away. It's going to come back to haunt me at some point, no matter what. He closed his eyes and sighed. I'll try, though...There we go! Cid smiled, ruffling the other's hair with a hand. That's what I wanna hear from you---less of that depressed shit... He looked away. ...I hate depressed shit...

Zack nodded. Yeah, I don't like it, either. I'll shut up. He grinned brightly and then pushed himself further under the covers. No one wants to listen to angsty bitching, after all.Yeah, damn straight, Cid mumbled, leaving his hand on the other's head.

Zack pushed his head up into the other's hand much like a dog would, smiling happily. he said, also inching his body slightly closer to the other. Why are you always so concerned about people when they're all upset, huh?Usually don't give a fuck, Cid sighed. He opened his eyes, blue irises slightly confused as he peered into the other's face. I dunno, I guess you remind me of... He trailed off, grinning as he ruffled the other's hair once more. Don't worry bout it... And then he closed his eyes again, obviously craving sleep.

And Zack was craving more information. It was pretty obvious Cid didn't want to talk about it, though, and so he would let it slide for now. He pulled his arms up to his own chest and curled inwards, feeling his legs brush just slightly against Cid's. He nuzzled a bit more into the hand that rested in his hair as he got into a comfortable position to ensure that sleep would come.

Sleep well, he murmured.

Cid replied.

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Let's see if I can find something good here, Zack said to himself, tongue stuck out in deep concentration as he sifted through his suitcase. All overcast today. After a bit more searching, he recovered that comfy blue flight jacket. Hey! I forgot about this! he exclaimed, quickly standing up and pulling it on. Once that was done, he looked down and examined himself, nodding in approval. That looks about right. Except-- he rolled the sleeves of the jacket down to his wrists. he grinned.

Glancing warily at the bathroom, Zack frowned. He sure is taking a while, he mumbled, then deciding to look through his wallet out of boredom as he waited. Under all those membership cards he discovered...

My driver's license? He blinked, smirking at the fact that he looked good, even in the mug shot picture. Hmm... eh? Hey, it's expired. Eh well. Tucking his wallet into his pocket, he stalked over to the bathroom door, knocking sternly upon it. Hey! Hurry up, will ya?Yeah, yeah! Cid shouted back indignantly, and so went the normal--completely, utterly normal--routine of the morning.

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Night. Another inn.

Zack didn't even bother to get two beds this time.

The normal events took place; showering, clothing, brushing teeth, etc., (Cid seemed to wash out his mouth more feverously than usual), and the pilot came out, sitting on one of the chairs and sighing, leaning back and closing his eyes.

Those patches ain't workin', he mumbled.

Zack was laying atop the single bed, head poked into a book--it didn't look like the best piece of literature, some murder mystery or something, but at least it wasn't a cheesy romance novel. Setting the book down on his pajama-outfitted chest, he glanced up at Cid. Ehh... the gum probably won't work, either, then... he mused. Eh well! You're just going to have to give in or something, then. It's not that bad. May hack a couple years off of your life, but those are the years you don't want! He smiled supportively. So don't worry. the pilot shot back, gritting his teeth. After a pause, he announced: I'm going cold turkey.

Zack blinked in surprise and then scoffed, looking back down at his book. Sure, Cid. You're welcome to try, he commented. I doubt it'll work, but you can try. With that, he went back to reading. He had to figure out how the killer had used a lamp to perform the murder.

Dammit. Now he wanted to play Clue.

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Three o'clock. Fuck.

Cid's bloodshot eyes stared at the wall as he scratched his left elbow with his right hand. Although his body was half-submerged in bedsheets, his back was propped up against the vertically aligned pillow on the headboard and he hadn't yet gotten one wink of sleep.

Not to mention he was now the victim of yet another headache from hell.

he muttered, bringing his hands to his throbbing forehead. He turned his face slightly to blink blandly at the porcupine beside him, who by now was getting plenty of beauty rest, arms wrapped around the pillow he had fallen asleep on.

Least I don't need to deal with him an' his damn nightmares... He sighed, absentmindedly bringing a hand to Zack's head and running his fingers through the other's hair as he looked away.

Unfortunately, Zack was a very light sleeper. He shifted a bit, clutching at the pillow as his eyes fluttered open. Glowing blue oculars were cast upon Cid and the hand resting in his sable strands. He blinked back the sleep in his eyes drearily. Mmf... whut is it? Why y' keep wakin' me up... His eyes threatened to close as he hugged the pillow ever tighter, dragging all of the warmth out of it that he could. Go t' sleep, Cid... He was about sick of being jerked awake every thirty minutes, especially since his dreams were being favorable for once.

Huh? Oh... oh, right... Cid mumbled to himself, attempting to lay back down in the bed and bury himself under the covers. However, even after settling himself down and hearing the steady breaths of Zack's sleep once more, he was still wide awake.

he mumbled, attempting to close his eyes even though he knew that it was beyond hope at the moment.

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With an exaggerated sigh, Zack dragged his gaze away from the window to give the driver a look. That is, the driver who appeared as if he had just been hit by a truck. The blonde had dark marks under his eyes, and Zack wouldn't be very surprised if he started to veer off of the road because he was half-asleep. He remembered all too well how the man had had a difficult time sleeping the night before, most likely thanks to his cold turkey method.

When his eyes did in fact close a little and the wheel turned slightly to the right, Zack frowned and grabbed for it, steadying it so that they didn't go driving off into the landscape surrounding the country road. he remarked, glaring at Cid. Why don't you just let me drive? That made a good amount of sense, didn't it?

Need t'drive, Cid mumbled with something like exhausted determination in his tone. He grit his teeth and held his chin a little higher, trying to discern whether the lightish blobs in the middle of the road were street signs or pedestrians. He didn't have the brain capacity to care either way, though strangely enough, he was lucid enough to know that he did not trust Zack behind the wheel of his brand-new jeep.

The thought of Zack led to more bleary, less tangible images, and as the aforementioned youth blinked over a few moments later, he was a tad alarmed to see that the pilot's eyes were slowly closing as his face drooped back down.

the porcupine yelped, reaching over, grasping Cid's shoulder, and give him a hard shake. You're falling asleep. This is ridiculous! Do you want to wreck the car again? This would be an even stupider way to do it than last---Last what! Cid barked, yanking himself--and the wheel--away from the proverbial backseat driver. Don't think I'm gonna hand over this brand new baby to you.

Zack stared for a moment and then rolled his eyes and gave a dramatized sigh. I'm not a child, you know. I can smoke, I can drink booze, I can kill people, and I can drive just fine. So get out of that seat before you hurt yourself.

He gave the blonde a forced grin for good measure, though he only garnered a grumpy grunt in response.

...Hey, hey, listen, Zack protested, gritting his teeth as he dug around in his pockets. Soon, he found what he was after and brought it up with a stubborn motion.

Cid blinked, turning his head to the side and squinting at the procured item.

No, no, NO! Zack yelled in a slight panic, grabbing the wheel as non-threateningly as he could and bringing the car back to the right side of the road. Just---pull over first.

Cid glared murder for a second, then sighed and shrugged, as if too exhausted to put up much of a fight anymore. He scanned the road lightly, finding that pretty much all the space around them was clear plains and fields. He veered off the road, gently, and then, with a slight grunt, pulled the shift into park.

What were you saying...? He crossed his arms, letting out a breath as he leaned back in his seat, closed his eyes, and rubbed his face as he let his body relax.

Look at this, Zack said, shoving a card into the close proximity of Cid's face despite the fact that the man's eyes were closed for the moment. It was his driver's license--the one he had found a little earlier. He took a quick moment to place his thumb over the expiration date just in case Cid happened to catch sight of that upon his inspection. I'm a fully certified driver and given your current state, I'm a lot more qualified to be behind the wheel at the moment. We have a better chance of wrecking the car if you're driving it right now than if I am.

Cid didn't open his eyes for a while, instead deciding to take his sweet time and hold his friend in some kind of suspense. He finally lifted one lid and frowned, yawning as he waved Zack's hand away dismissively.

Fine, fine... He grumbled, not much in a mood for arguing anymore. S'pose it'd be nice to get some damn shut-eye...

Slowly, and with a bit of help from the other, he opened the door to his left and eased himself out of the car. He took the opportunity to stretch slightly, like a cramped-up cat, smacking his lips and shaking himself out as he finally got to the passenger's side. He pulled on the handle and peered into the cabin. Zack blinked back, questioningly.

...Remind me never to try that again...? the pilot finally posed after a few moments of silence.

Try who to the whatnow?

Cid frowned.

Y'know. The not-smoking... thing. Zack responded thoughtfully, gazing out the windshield for a moment. ...Get in the damn car.

The pilot narrowed his eyes for three long seconds and then obliged, begrudgefully.

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Well, it hadn't been too hard to convince the captain to let Zack take the driver's seat, which he was rather grateful for since he wasn't much in the mood to get in another car accident. Besides, it had been far too long since he had driven at all and it was a nice feeling to be behind the wheel again. As much as others hated it, Zack much liked driving. It was a bit of a hassle in the cities, sure, but open country roads like this were just perfect for it...

He blinked, hit by an epiphany, and took a quick glance around. Open... country... road. There was no one in sight and the road appeared to go straight for miles. He smirked slightly as he looked over at his partner (soon to be partner-in-crime), only to find the man had conked out, completely fast asleep. Good. There would be no protests, then.

Without a second thought or any lingering message from his conscience, he grinned widely and slammed his foot down onto the accelerator, sending the car shooting off and capping near its top speed--some ninety miles per hour. He let one hand drift away from the wheel to roll down both windows, allowing the huge draft to blast in and blow his spiked hair back refreshingly. He let out a small whoop, turned on the radio, and just laughed to himself; he hadn't had this much fun in a while.

It would have been a perfectly executed operation, in fact, if he hadn't suddenly heard the sound of sirens behind him along with the muffled noises of Cid waking up.

Zack blinked as he saw Cid open his eyes, yawn, look around a little, and then settle back into sleep.

...Right before snapping back up into his seat.

Cid's eyes darted this way and that as he jolted up and stared first at the blazing countryside and then at the rearview mirror, which, at the moment, held the form of a very stubborn cop car. -------WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING! PULL THE FUCK OVER!

Oh right. Pull over. That. That was what you were supposed to do when you had a cop on your tail, wasn't it? Zack was somewhat panicked as he began to slow down and pull to the side of the road. Eventually the car pulled to a complete stop and he put it into park. Then, as calmly as he could, he turned with a sober look to face the man in the passenger's seat.

We need to switch seats. Now. Cid couldn't even voice his shock in words as he stared his friend in the face. What---but----I thought----

As the police sirens grew in volume and then shut down just as quickly, Cid's eyes narrowed as he grit his teeth, hard.

...Zack...? You didn't... pull a fast one on me, didja...?

Shit. They were running out of time. Zack explained quickly. Look, my driver's license is expired, so we have to switch seats so that they think you were driving and you can show your license, which has not expired--we'll be paying a lot more money if they get that extra count--so stop asking questions and just switch. His seatbelt was already unfastened and he was moving to slide across the car into the passenger's seat. The idea was the Cid would do the same thing and they would be able to make a smooth transition.

Things are never that easy, though.

Cid exclaimed just in time to give out an as Zack attempted to push past him over the divider between the two seats. He sat up a little but resisted against the force, too stubborn, (and too angry), to give in just yet. What do you mean EXPIRED? The only reason I even let you drive the fuckin' thing was because----Cid, you can chew me out later--just move, goddammit! Zack hissed, then lifting one arm in an attempt to shove Cid into the driver's seat. A quick glance back showed him that the door to the police car was opening. They didn't have much time left.

Why should I have to take the heat for YOUR damn mista----Cid, it's your license plate number he's copying down!THAT'S BECAUSE---------- Cid gave out one last, impudent outcry before scrambling for his seatbelt and undoing it. He paused suddenly. He jerked. He grit his teeth and jerked it again.

FUCK! It's jammed!Oh, for the love of-- Zack growled half-impatiently, half-nervously. Nothing was going right. He had an angry, disgruntled, stubborn pilot with a screwy seatbelt on one hand and an approaching cop who would probably love to give a delinquent like himself a hard time on the other. He was starting to run out of ideas. Without really thinking, he leaned over to try and help him with it, which caused some tangling of limbs and uncomfortable twisting of appendages. After struggling with the seatbelt for long enough, however, he managed to free Cid from it's clutches.

Okay! Now move! he ordered sternly.

Cid did as he was told for once, grumbling something about those damn safety regulations as he clambered towards the other side, only to be ensnared and stopped by---

DAMMIT, ZACK, MOVE YOUR FUCKING LEGS, WILL YA!

Shit. They were completely knotted up, sprawled across both seats. Zack gritted his teeth and squirmed in a valiant attempt to give Cid the freedom to get across, but it wasn't working--they were completely stuck and try as he might, nothing was budging. Being so panicked wasn't helping things, either. He could hear the crunch of approaching footsteps.

They needed to think of something.

Cid summarized the situation verbally as he squirmed over the dashboard in an effort to get away, though all he managed to do was dig the parking break into his spine.

Zack winced as the pilot's movements pulled his leg into the tight space between his seat and the divider. They were just making things worse and there was no way they were going to be unraveled in time. What explanation was he supposed to give the policeman for being in this sort of strange position? His mind starting buzzing with a ton of different reasons that two men on a road trip might be speeding at one moment and tangled up in each other the next, and he finally settled on one that wasn't too unbelievable or too farfetched--and it might scare the man away on top of it.

The pilot yelled back, not in much of a mood for banter.

Zack bit his lip and looked up with apologetic eyes.

I'm sorry. The strength of Cid's voice dropped as he blinked back.

I'm so sorry.

The mechanic arched an eyebrow and then widened his eyes as he realized that something was very, very wrong.

Zack, what're you---?I'm really, really, really----

The porcupine smiled up at his friend's panic a little sadly.

Just... promise you'll forgive me..?

And without wating for confirmation, his free arm slinked down to Cid's crotch and he gave a tight squeeze.

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Officer Wayne Barney had been part of the Shin-Ra roadway patrol for a long time now, and was used to burglars, speeders, self-righteous pedestrians and all the like. However, as he chewed on his gum and exited his car into the calm sun, he heard something louder than anything he'd ever heard before.

He turned his head sharply and ducked instinctively behind the open door of his vehicle, one hand on his gun and the other on his head.

After a minute or so of inactivity, he tentatively stood back up, though his hand hadn't left his holster.

What the hell...?

He slowly walked forward, adjusting his sunglasses as he looked over the jeep; then he bent down slightly as he peered through the window.

...Well.

While he had pulled over his assortment of weirdoes, the man had to admit he'd never stumbled across something like this before. Upon first glance he hadn't even been sure what was going on, seeing only a foot here, a bunch of hair there, and a general image of chaos. Leaning in closer, he finally picked apart the picture. The black-haired one had his hand on a rather promiscuous area of the blonde one's pants and was rubbing vigorously. The blonde one had a look of panic, surprise, disgust, and a hint of pleasure on his face.

Well, a job was a job, he supposed. Biting on his lower lip, the officer tapped on the window, indicating that he'd like it to be rolled down. After a moment, the black-haired one dared to remove his hand from its spot to comply to the order.

He begrudingly stuck his head inside. "...What is going on here?" he asked lamely.

The younger one gave a goofy grin. "Well, you see, me and Cid here are very close and so sometimes we get carried away. I decided to give him a little treat--" emphasized by squeezing harder "-- while he was driving, and his reaction caused him to press down a little too hard on the acceleration, you see..." He chuckled nervously. "We didn't intend for that to happen, officer..."

The blonde, of course, backed up the other's claims with a couple of indiscernible noises.

Officer Barney stared only as long as his mind would allow him, then pulled back, closed his eyes, and rubbed his face as if extremely tired. He wouldn't be able to get this image out of his mind for a while now, would he? He made an inner vow to be especially kind to the wife tonight.

he voiced levelly as he chewed steadily on his gum, you're saying that things got a little out of hand...?

A second later, he wanted to slap himself in the face.

"That's right!" the black-haired one said, as he seemed to be the only one of the two that could speak at that point. "We're terribly sorry, and I'll make sure never to try anything like that to make sure it doesn't happen again."

"Right... right..." Wayne said, continuing to rub his eyes. He couldn't take much more of this. "Look, kid--just--be more careful next time, all right? You shouldn't be doing stuff like that on the road, no matter how uninhabited it is."

"Sure thing, officer!" the perpetrator replied, sounding a little sing-songy.

"All right, then," Officer Barney replied a little weakly. He then turned without taking another look at the two and headed back to his own car.

Good Lord.

He had a horrible migraine as he walked back and sat down heavily. He turned the ignition and looked up long enough to pull back out onto the road.

Forget the wife. He needed a drink.

As the car sped off, someone unfortunate enough to lack both a wife and a drink stared stolidly at the car roof above him.

Don't panic. Don't panic. Don't fucking panic. This is perfectly normal, allperfuckfectly logical...

He breathed a little harder.

Perfect..ly... unf.

And Zack's quick mind saves the day yet again, the younger of the two boasted as he watched the cop car speed off. How was that for quick thinking, huh? He glanced over at his companion with a look on his face that indicated that he was hankering for some sort of praise from the blonde, but said blonde seemed incapable of such at the moment.

It was then that Zack realized he was still petting over Cid's cargo pants. He immediately yanked his hand away as if he had been shocked. Oh, sorry about that! Forgot. Force of habit, or, err, something. It was about time for them to get untangled, wasn't it? He fished one arm free and opened the passenger's door, giving him ample space to slide out of the car and give Cid the freedom to straighten out as well.

Don't... panic...

He laid there a moment, a little woozy in light of the events that had just taken place. That was weird. That was way too weird for words. That was the kind of thing that made you stay away from a person, that made you make pacts about silence and things that never happened.

Unfortunately, he himself knew better.

Slowly--so very slowly--he gripped said parking break that had dug into his spine, (he needed a massage---no wait, not a good thing to think about), and eased himself into the passenger's seat.

From there, his mind went blank and he blinked out the windshield.

Zack took the moment he spent out of the car to stretch (totally cramped from the car ride and previous twisting of limbs), but was taken aback when he realized that Cid was sitting in the passenger's seat, not the driver's seat. He also looked as if his eyes were going to roll into the back of his head. Zack scoffed; he had apologized beforehand, so he didn't see what the big deal was.

He bent down and leaned forward to stick his head through the open door and regard Cid curiously. Am I driving, then? Cid regarded his friend with a confused look before his eyebrows shot up. Whuh--uh---no. No. Absofuckinglutely not. Er.

Rather jerkily, he stepped out of the car, pushed Zack into the seat, and walked around to the driver's side, entering rather awkwardly before he shut the door.

Cid wanted to yell like he usually did. He wanted to condemn Zack, the universe, and everything in Zack's perverted little head. Instead, however, he put the car into drive, looked over his shoulder, and pulled into the open road.

Said troublemaker looked over, blinking owlishly.

Cid took a deep breath, gripped the steering wheel, and pushed down on the accelerator very cautiously.

...You're not going to tell anyone about--? Zack regarded him momentarily, not quite sure what exactly the pilot was referring to. He figured it out in due time, however, and gave an enthusiastic nod. Oh, course not! I mean, I just did that to avoid the cops. We've got hardly any money, and it was the first thing I thought of... the pilot nodded. He checked his rearview mirror.

Zack sighed, leaning his head against the window.

They rode in silence for about thirty seconds.

You know that you're never going to drive a damned thing I own ever again on penalty of death, right?Oh, yeah. Yeah, I figured. Cid grunted. Saves me some trouble.

He hit the radio. Love song.

He turned it off again.