SIGNS by Kiraya

Disclaimer: If FF7 were mine, Seph/Zack would be canon. Sigh...

Warnings: Implied sex of the m/m variety. Turn back now if this'll bother you, mmkay?


They say he feels nothing, that his expression remains unchanging because he's incapable of real emotion — but Zack knows that isn't true. Necessity has taught General Sephiroth to hide his feelings, but a shrewd observer, one familiar with the habits of the Hero of Wutai, can still see the signs.

The tiny crease between his brows shows anger or frustration, all too often evident after hours-long meetings and parties and press conferences with the merciless members of ShinRa's top brass (after all, the redheaded Turk tells Zack with a humorless grin, you gotta be a real vicious bastard to get that far in the company, unless you're unfortunate enough to just be lucky).

The shuttered, distant look in his eyes shows pain or unease, always there when he silently returns from his routine checkups with Hojo and barricades himself in his apartment for the rest of the day, refusing to let anyone, even Zack, see him (and it just makes Zack curse the bastard scientist that much more).

The barest upward twitch of his lips shows amusement, and Zack tries his damndest to incite it as often as possible, feeling inordinately proud for days afterwards whenever he actually manages to draw out one of those small but genuine smiles (sure, it's only happened half a dozen times in the years they've known each other, but still, it's progress).

That strange, almost hungry flare in his eyes shows desperation on those late nights he comes to Zack's room and pushes him down on the bed, and Zack sends up a silent prayer that if his girl in the slums ever finds out about this (slim chance), she'll forgive him (and he knows that if she could ever know Sephiroth as well as he does, she just might, because she understands people far better than he some days).

The way he remains silent the entire time shows his fear of opening up too much, of becoming too involved; the only sounds from him are quiet ragged breathing and that sudden hitch in it when he finds release, none of the velvety little moans that come from Zack and never, never his name (though Zack softly whispers Sephiroth as he reaches out to touch him, only in these moments allowed to do so without penalty, while in the darkness those hazy almost-glowing eyes remain fixed firmly on his face, waiting for him to disappear, almost resigned to it).

The way he reaches out across the space between them after to trace meaningless patterns on Zack's smooth warm back with feather-light fingers shows a fledgling affection he'll always deny, a sign that he's gotten in much deeper than he ever wanted to, and Zack keeps pretending to be asleep, praying that this rare and fragile trust, placed in him by a man who trusts no one, is something he'll always be worthy of.

He's afraid of what might happen if ever a time comes when he isn't.


10 July 2006.