Summary: Zack, Cloud, a free evening, and some psychedelics. Planet, whatever shall they do?
Written 23 May 2006, edited 11 November 2007. Maybe one day, I'll actually be satisfied with what I write. Ha.
"…Run this by me one more time."
"Cloud," Zack sighed, "relax, will you? Nothing could possibly go wrong."
"You know, the last time you said that, I ended up in Sector Five in a slutty dress and no idea how I got there."
"Well, it was a nice dress." Zack leered disarmingly at the cadet, whose arms were crossed defensively over a skinny chest. "And you have nice legs."
The SOLDIER ran a hand through his hair, wincing when his fingers caught on a tangle, and sighed. "Look, kiddo. You only live once. You won't even get in trouble! A free evening—and tell me, how often does that happen—and a hot guy like me offering to get smashed right along with you! What more could you want?"
"A bullet to the head."
"Aw, kid, don't be like that."
"Don't call me that."
"Stud-muffin sugar-pie, come on, please? For me?" Zack adopted the 'kill-me-I'm-unbearably-cute' face, which made Cloud's fingers itch for his rifle.
"I thought you were trying to teach me to resist peer pressure," Cloud pointed out.
"Well, yeah, but not when it's me."
Cloud gave him a long look, and eventually said, "Fine, but with conditions."
"No dressing me up."
"But you look so adorable—"
"And for fuck's sake, if Sephiroth comes in then you're taking all the blame."
"Now, let's not be too hasty," Zack said hurriedly, raising his hands in placation.
"Take it or leave it. I don't want to spend the next week sleeping in the landing bays because Sephiroth's pissed at me."
Zack weighed Cloud's stubborn wishes with his own entertainment value and gave in to another long-suffering sigh. "All right, fine, you've got your amnesty from Sephiroth's wrath-of-a-thousand-fiery-suns. Now shut up and get over here."
Cloud hesitantly sat down alongside Zack on the military cot, looking he was expecting to get a hand bitten off or a slinky dress thrown at him. Both possibilities elicited similar amounts of horror.
"What is all this?" He waved a hand at the...implements lying between them on the bland comforter.
Later, Cloud would curse himself for not listening to his gut when it told him run far, far away at the sight of Zack's smile. It was the sort of smile that'd preceded situations in which the cadet had very narrowly avoided a court-martial.
"Let me show you, my dear, unsuspecting little virgin…"
"Don't call me that!"
"Ooooooh, Zack, look…look, Zack…"
Cloud leaned very close to the edge of the carpet, where its frayed edge revealed the cement floor beneath. "Look, Zack…it's like, like the carpet is a part of the floor. That's so romantic. I wish I could hug it."
Zack's snort of laughter turned into a fit that sent him crashing to the floor. He groaned through his giggles--and it was a good thing they were both stoned out of their minds, or Cloud would've never let him forget that he could giggle--and almost asphyxiated in his hilarity when Cloud managed to stand on noodly legs.
"Whoa, dude, don't go floating away like that. Heh, Cloud, cloud, get it? Get it?"
Cloud broke into very unmanly giggles himself and then clapped his hands over his mouth, suddenly looking horrified. "Oh, oh, that's not good! Shush, Zack, someone will hear us!"
Tears poured down Zack's face.
"Zack!" Cloud hissed, "Shut up! We're gonna get caught!"
It might've been a good warning if he hadn't been yelling loudly enough to be heard from the elevator at the end of the hallway. Or if Zack hadn't decided that the world was a boring mundane thing and so turned up his radio to bring back the music and the love and the world peace.
"Zack, no…" the cadet moaned. "If we get caught the atoms will stop spinning and we'll fall through the world! And all the electrons'll stop and…and oh fuck, Zack, we don't actually exist, do we? Because atoms are mostly space, like the brain, and little neurons firing are emotion and Zack, I'm scared, I don't want to be electrons—"
Strange how those physics classes could come back to haunt you at the worst possible times, though of course the author of this would have no idea about that at all.
Before he could truly work himself up into an existential crisis Cloud paused and ran his fingers over his lips again with wide-eyed fascination. They tingled and it felt so good, it was like his fingers were kissing his lips and wow but that was a fucked-up thought. But since it felt so good he kept running the pads of his fingers over his bottom lip, again and again, and wondered if mouths could have orgasms too. He didn't think Sephiroth would mind testing that theory, though Cloud couldn't explain why the thought of Sephiroth right now filled his head with a sense of foreboding.
"Cloud!" Zack suddenly yelled, and Cloud belatedly wondered when the music Zack was blasting had started crawling inside his skin, "I've got the best idea ever in the history of bestest ideas!"
Cloud just stared blankly at him as he rubbed his lips, and hoped that the atoms wouldn't stop spinning long enough for him to ask Sephiroth's opinion about mouth-gasms.
it wasn't easy being the General of the ShinRa Corporation. There were business meetings in which he tried to figure out what the hell SOLDIER had to do with urban development, the filing of reports that dealt with departments he'd never heard of and still somehow saddled him with their paperwork, and contemplation over whether ShinRa himself was really as stupid as he looked. So far, he hadn't seen any evidence to the contrary, and perhaps that was why Sephiroth's thinly veiled hints to Hojo hadn't resulted in the man being suspended in a mako tank and scientifically labeled.
Pity. Hojo tried so hard to wipe away his specimens' humanity that in President ShinRa his work would've already been half-done.
So having fulfilled his quota of being inundated with the sheer irrationality that was par for the course in the company, Sephiroth was in search of two wayward persons with the help of a pounding migraine. He dimly remembered that it was Friday, and since Sephiroth hadn't been around to amuse them, they were likely in Zack's quarters doing whatever it was that children did when mommy left the house. The movements of the elevator made him nauseous, so his scowl was truly infernal when he finally made it to the SOLDIER First barracks.
Unfortunately, his mako-enhanced hearing had picked up the sound of loud music before he'd even stepped off the lift, and it only got louder as he neared the dorm. It wasn't enough to fully rouse his suspicion, given that Zack had been written up several times before for disturbing the peace, but it wasn't very promising for his state of mind either.
At about a meter from the door, Sephiroth was able to pick out the sounds of yelling (Cloud) and mad laughter (Zack), and the death-cries of his own tentative hope that things weren't as bad as they could be.
"Hold still, kiddo, or you'll poke out an eye!"
"It hurts! That thing's fucking huge!"
"Don't be such a pussy, the pain'll go away and then you'll enjoy it."
"No! Once was enough, I'm not letting you put anything else in me!"
Sephiroth felt himself go very still.
"Shit, I told you to hold still! You're gonna break it!"
"Hey, you're the one trying to stick things in me!"
"You're the one that can't stop touching himself!"
Never let it be said that the General was a jealous man. It was universally understood that anyone with the audacity to touch something that was his would die. Simple logic, made simpler by the fact that he'd a long day and a merciless headache to show for it, so it shouldn't have been a surprise that he kicked open the door with the Masamune in hand and murder in his eyes.
"What--"He stopped. Blinked. Blinked again to make sure his head was still functioning. Zack and Cloud blinked back, both surprised into silence.
Zack took it upon himself, as usual, to break the stillness. He grinned—since when had his eyes been so dark?—and yanked Cloud forward, looking as inordinately proud of himself as the cat that convinced the canary that suicide was the best thing since sliced bread.
The General's eye twitched at the slaughtering of his name.
Cloud looked up at him with big blue eyes, also darker than usual, that were rimmed with eyeliner, and his long lashes had been darkened with mascara. He suddenly looked shy and coy, blushing like a virgin (though he certainly wasn't, thank you very much) and appearing as vulnerable.
"Do you think I'm pretty?"
Sephiroth realized that he could smell something smoky-sweet and what the pretty pink pills on the cot meant. No wonder that Zack and Cloud's puils were so dilated, then. Maybe the stuff could be taken through osmosis, Sephiroth thought, because his headache told him it wasn't a dream and the vision that Cloud made in a blue dress with lip-gloss and heels couldn't be explained otherwise. He vaguely wondered which was more disturbing; the knowledge that Cloud looked fucking hot in drag, or the question of how Zack had gotten so skilled in the application of women's cosmetics.
The the cadet turned his head and something in his ear glittered. "…You pierced your ear."
At least it was coherent.
Cloud wavered a little as he pouted and turned sulky eyes on Zack, who was using the wall as a brace against his breathless laughter. The waver demonstrated what heels did for his posture and the length of his legs, and now was not the time to be thinking like that. "No, Zack made me do it. He wouldn't stop poking me."
Ah. That explained the odd conversation that'd sent Sephiroth into a nice little momentary rage. And if Zack didn't calm down he was going to break something.
"Stop it! I'm pretty, right, Seph?"
Mournful eyes turned to him in a petulant, beseeching gaze and Sephiroth could only nod, too afraid to speak and distantly irritated by the blatant abuse of his given name. Of all the military scenarios he'd been trained to handle, he didn't think Hojo could've conceived of this one.
"Oh," Cloud suddenly breathed. He moved to press himself against the General, who was uncomfortably aware that the unconscious little gasp had gone straight to his groin and was cheering on the fact that Cloud's hard little body was very close, and it wouldn't be all that hard to get that dress off him, now would it?
The cadet's hand snaked over his shoulder and tugged lightly at the long silver hair. "It's so pretty," he whispered, "it's like, all white and stuff, like mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes."
Inexplicably, that sent a flicker of wounded pride through Sephiroth, but it quickly drowned as his natural pragmatism took over. It would be a terrible waste of resources not to turn this situation to his own advantage, and what else was a general expected to do?
At the very least, he'd forgotten about that migraine.
"Sh't up, C'oud. S'hurts."
"Congratulations to the both of you. You took enough drugs to lay out an entire herd of chocobos. The fact that either of you can remember your names is a testament to your thick-headed grasp of common sense."
"Sh't up, Seph."
"…I can't believe I did it again."
"Is there something you've been meaning to tell me, Cloud?" The smirk was almost audible. "The skill in which you carried your change in identity spoke of previous experience. And naturally, as your superior officer and your lover, you'll have been prepared to explain to me the circumstances of this...deviance."
"Zack, I fucking hate you with the power of those thousand fiery suns. Just so you know."
"Sh't up, princess."