I, quite frankly, have no idea on what spawned this. The idea amused me greatly.
This is a one shot.
This story takes place pre-psychopathic Sephiroth.
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy 7 does not belong to me.
On with the fic!
It's amazing how much hell a tiny, insignificant, inanimate object can cause when in the right conditions.
Supposedly there are three types of inanimate objects. They fall into the categories of those that do not work (these objects, even if you get them brand new, have a tendency of not functioning even though all scientific logic states that there's nothing wrong with them and they should be working fine), those that get lost (these objects have a habit of teleporting themselves from the places their owners placed them into odd places. Most frequently in couch crevices), and those that constantly break down (and they always do it when you need them the most. Go figure). These inanimate objects do these things in order to shorten the lives of their masters, or at least make their blood pressure levels skyrocket.
Sephiroth currently had the pleasure of dealing with the kinds that simply do not work.
He should have known from the beginning the problems it would cause. He should've known from the beginning when he first laid his acid green eyes on it that it would be trouble. It was a foolish lack of judgment.
It looked innocent enough. It was a materia, one that his men had found on a scouting mission in the outskirts of Junon. The men thought it was an interesting find, and reported it back to headquarters. As soon as the Shinra electrical company took an interest to the odd stone, he should've known it would cause problems.
For starters, it was sort of a brownish color, like coffee with cream in it that had been sitting in the sun to long. Due to its odd coloring, it could not be classified as a magic, summon, independent, support or command materia with out seeing it's effects first hand.
This is where the second problem came in. There was a large crack running through the small, dully glowing orb. This made everyone wary on testing it out. Who wanted to be the one that tried the wonky materia only to find out that it caused a rip in space and time or something? None of the wusses that worked under him, that was for sure.
So what do they do? They dump it on him.
Sephiroth simply did not care about the, as he dubbed it, reject materia. If it was up to him, he'd just toss it into the Corel Sea and be done with it. He had other things to worry about…Like the mound of paperwork eclipsing his desk.
But no. The higher ups were all, "Don't know what it's capable of blah, blah, blah, Could be new kind of materia, blah, blah… Can't let it fall into wrong hands blah, blah...You find out what it does blah, blah, blah, Could you please point your sword somewhere else, please?"
And so they left it in charge of Sephiroth, much to his dismay. It was another weight added to the already heavy burdens he had to worry about.
This was the catalyst for the set of unfortunate events that were to occur.
Sephiroth did not have time to figure out the small orb. He was tired, irritated and was running on black coffee and sheer will power alone. His regular duties as General were already consuming his schedule as it was. He had soldiers to oversee, forms that he needed to sign and file, strategies and plans that needed to be discussed… He simply did not have the time (nor the motivation) to worry about a stupid broken materia.
So, in an effort to remove the busted orb from his list of problems to deal with, he did what he would refer to as later the single dumbest lapse of judgment he ever had.
He left the materia to his right hand man; 1st class soldier the Moronic Idiot… AKA Zack.
The events unfolded soon after when said idiot contacted him a week later.
Sephiroth hated paper work.
How he, General of the Shinra army, got stuck doing the job of a secretary was beyond him. Didn't they have people to do this? People that were not him? He was a military leader! What business did they have signing… what was it (he looked down at the document) permission form s to open a light bulb store?! What the hell?
Growling he marked his name at the bottom and tossed it into the finished paper work pile. To his dismay, this pile was dwarfed by the uncompleted work pile. The whole top of his desk was covered in the evil confetti that was the documents.
A ring sounded from under his work. After digging through the papers, he was able to unearth his phone.
"Hello?" he picked up the receiver.
"Zack?" Sephiroth said in surprise, "Why are you calling me. It's 8:30 am. I wasn't aware you were even able to function at this hour."
"Thank Shiva I got a hold of you. I'm in a bit of a jam. I really need your help!" There was panic underlying his voice.
"Where you flirting with the Whistling Pig Tavern owners daughter again?"
"Yes, I... What? No!"
"You glued our head to the desk again?"
"Hey! That only happened once...That's not the problem. I…"
"You lit your neighbor's chocobo on fire, then."
"It's not my fault it thought my hair was feed." there was an indignant huff. "But Seph, now is not the time. I need you to get to come to my apartment now. This is an emergency." Sephiroth pinched the bridge of his nose an sighed in exasperation in hearing Zack's serious tone.
He was going to regret this
"I'll be there. Give me a moment." He was really, really going to regret this.
On the other side of the line he heard Zack sigh in relief, "Thanks Seph! You're a lifesaver! And please bring your heal materia... I lost mine," the line went dead with a click.
The silver haired man swiftly stood up staring down at his desk and the stacks of paper that sat upon it. At least this whole deal would give him a break from his duties. It wasn't like anyone would question him if he left his work for a little while. It was one of the perks of being the "second" most powerful man in the world. (He would humor the president into thinking he was the strongest. Only in influence, bastard, only in influence…)
Anyway, the one problem with taking a break, no matter how short, was that his work would accumulate and snowball into an even bigger list of things to do that he'd have to untangle when he got back.
"Zack, when I get there, you had better be on your death bed."
"You called me here," there was a tic forming underneath Sephiroth's right eye, "because of what?" He calmly seethed.
Zack was holding the green materia Sephiroth had brought to his hand, healing the cut that ran across several of his fingers.
"I need you to help me cook dinner," he replied, flexing his newly healed fingers.
"Zack…" Sephiroth fumed.
"Please, you've got to help! It's not for me. It's for a good cause."
"I'll give you five seconds before I impale you with your own hair to explain the situation."
Seemingly undeterred by the threat, Zack happily replied, "It's for Spikes birthday! I wanna do something special so I figured I'd make him birthday dinner."
Sephiroth had to pause for a brief moment to figure out what "Spike" was. "You mean Strife." Sephiroth raised an eyebrow. Zack nodded. "Short, scrawny, gravity defying blond haired, blue eyed kid that kind of looks like a girl, Strife?
"That's the one!" Zack grinned.
The file of said recruit flashed through the emerald eyed man's head.
Cloud Strife. Age: 15. Home town: Nibelheim. Rank: Private in training. Class: 9B at the academy. Stats: strength; poor, speed; above average, agility; awkward but with potential, intelligence; relatively clever… Current state: Under Zack's wing and gripped tightly in the man's conniving, sinister clutches.
Poor kid. Zack would end up corrupting him to be a loud obnoxious, pranking, bastard.
Zack had taken to the Private some three months ago. The kid reminded him a lot of how he was when he himself started out as a grunt, and quickly shoved himself into the quiet blond's life (Strife really had no choice in the matter). However, he was aware that the two had become friends slowly but surely, and he could see that Cloud looked up to the lavender eyed man.
Sephiroth himself had taken a liking to the boy that shadowed his second in command. He seemed to be the type that appreciated silences, much like him self. Although, he always acted intimidated in Sephiroth's presence. Zack had told him it was out of admiration.
However, there were other matters on hand that needed attention.
"You, a man that lives off of Wutanese takeout, frozen waffles and microwavable soup wants to cook?"
"Obviously I'm no top chef. I can't do it on my own. Look what I did trying to open a can!" Zack pointed to the serrated can lid he had managed to slice his fingers open with. Spilt cream corn leaked out of the lidless container and mixed with a small puddle of Zack's own blood.
Zack, soldier first class, buster blade master, untouchable in battle Zack, was incapacitated by a can lid he had been stupid enough to try to pry off half opened.
"I can't cook." Zack frowned. "Remember last time?"
Sephiroth groaned as the memory surface his mind.
"Here's the tea." Zack set down a tray holding two steaming, liquid filled cups. Sephiroth took one of the white porcelain glasses and sipped on the dark liquid it contained. Zack took his own cup and leaned back on one of his arms. "It's an old family recipe… I could never quite remember the whole thing though. I think it was something like three table spoons of ginger, Naga Jolokia pepper flakes, some cumin…or was it cinnamon? That part always threw me off …"
A now empty white tea cup rolled on the floor as its contents were absorbed into the pale blue carpet leaving a reddish brown stain.
Sephiroth's hand remained in the air in the same position it had when he was holding the cup. His fingers twitched every few moments as did the rest of his body shake occasionally, "Seph?" He looked over to the man's face.
His brows were knitted in a pained fashion, his mouth partially open, and liquid was drizzling from both of his Mako green eyes.
"Sephiroth! Was it too hot?"
"Oh come on! It was good for your sinuses! Besides I think you get the point anyway."
"What in that deranged mind of yours made you think I can cook?" Sephiroth questioned steadily while keeping his irritation in check.
"Oh come on. You can do everything! Besides you know what they say in the military. Team work is essential."
"In the military, that's only because it gives the enemy someone else to shoot at," Sephiroth stated dully. "Why don't you just call a catering company and order something."
"What? No way! Then it would be meaningless. It has to come from the heart showing how much his friendship means to me. Besides, you've been burning the candle at both ends for a while." It was true. Sephiroth had been working overtime a lot. Perhaps a small break would be ok, "It's unhealthy to be cooped up in your office all of the time! Look at how pale your skin is! You look like the living dead."
"I always look like this." Sephiroth was getting aggravated.
"That is beside the point. Spiky has double classes until roughly 5 today so we don't have much time."
"That's hours away. What do you mean we don't have much time?" aggravation was melting into anger.
"Hey, ya never know. I'd rather be safe then sorry on time." He shrugged.
"I'm leaving." Sephiroth turned heal to exit the apartment, but Zack managed to teleport himself across the room and barred himself in front of the door.
Damn his SOLDIER speed (although Sephiroth himself was much faster…)
"Oh come on Seph! You owe me anyways!" Zack cried.
"And what do I owe you for?"
"A little reject materia you dumped on me a week ago." Zack grinned evilly.
"This is so stupid," Sephiroth growled.
"Hey. If it's stupid and it works, then it's not stupid!" Zack grinned broadly. "C'mon. Think of the kid. It's his first year away from home, away from his family…All alone in a strange, cold city," he started overly dramatic, "And we have the opportunity to brighten an otherwise lonely special day of his," If Zack ever retired the military, he could consider theatrics. "'Side's, you owe me."
'Stupid reject materia.', "Fine," Sephiroth gave in. He needed a break anyways. Also, this way, he could keep an eye on Zack making sure the lethally, spiky haired man did not blow up half of Midgar (not that he cared about what happened to Midgar, really, but then that would cause a heck of a lot of paper work he'd have to deal with.), "What did you do with that materia anyway?"
"That is not the worry now! Off to the kitchen!"
"You lost it didn't you."
Zack pranced happily away from the General, selectively choosing to ignore the blatant statement.
"You know we have to go in the kitchen to do this right?" Sephiroth stated at Zack's hesitance.
"Eventually." Both sighed in defeat and took careful steps through the kitchen door as if they were treading on a mine field.
"See! That wasn't so hard!" Zack exclaimed. Both stood.
"Now what?" Sephiroth asked dully.
"Oh yeah, I remember!" Zack dove for one of the bottom drawers and pulled out a lacy, pastel pink cloth. He fluffed it out revealing it to be an apron then put it on.
"Should I even ask?"
"What? About my apron! I've got to keep my clothes as clean as possible until my monthly laundry raid. Besides, I think I look rather good in lace." The dark haired man huffed as he tightened the bow of his apron and tried to smooth out wrinkles caused by years of being stuffed in a forgotten drawer. "I have another. Ya want it?" He pulled out a baby blue apron of the same style.
"Suit yourself. But don't blame me if you get food on that leather of yours. Okay let's see. What was it that mom used when she was cooking? Oh cook book. Right. And we also need ingredients don't we?" He opened the fridge. Both men peered inside sifting through various jars and tuppers of unidentifiable food and takeout.
"…Zack," Sephiroth started in monotone.
"What is this?"
"Oh that's!… Wait I think it's…huh…Ya know I don't know. It kind of looks like green Jell-O with fuzzy gray blobs in it." Sephiroth slowly turned the jar in his hand to read the label.
"Cherry preserve jelly."
"How long was this in there?"
Suddenly, Zack grabbed the jar and chucked it out the open window watching the jar fly down the edge of the building.
"Why did you do that?"
"Spur of the moment?"
"Do you even have any clue on what you want to make?"
"None what so ever!" Zack moved toward the cabinets. He began rummaging through the shelves shoving aside various things like spices and herbs until finally, "Ahah!" He pulled out a box of spaghetti. "This is failsafe! Pasta, a meat, salad and dessert. That sounds good doesn't it?"
Zack bolted to the cabinets under his shelf, clattered around for a moment, then emerged holding a pot, "I knew I'd have a use for this one day!" He filled it with water, placed the glass lid on it, and then placed it on the stove. He proceeded to watch.
"You need to turn the stove on first." Sephiroth stated simply, turning the knob. At least he knew the basic functions of a stove to some extent. He had seen the Academy's cooks do it before. It couldn't be that hard.
They watched. Nothing seemed to be happening to the water.
"Is it on? How do you tell if it's on?" Zack questioned, gazing down at the water at different angles.
"It's on," Sephiroth growled. Why wasn't the water boiling?
Blasted inanimate objects. It must be a conspiracy.
"You must've done something wrong." Zack stated tapping the pot.
"Don't they say that a watch pot never boils, or something of the sort?"
"That doesn't make sense. If you keep watching it it's sure to start boiling at some point."
"It's an expression you imbecile."
The two bickered, but stopped arguing when they heard the rattling of metal. They looked to see the pot of water boiling which caused the lid to vibrate from the growing pressure of the steam. Both men felt immensely proud seeing the heated water.
"YES! We did it! We boiled water! We boiled...water...huh. You know that actually sounds really lame when you say it out loud." Zack said slowly falling out of his excitement.
Sephiroth cleared his throat. "Ah yes. Err, what does it say to do now?"
"Put in the spaghetti." Zack shrugged and dumped the boxes contents in. A few moments later Zack began to whine. "It's taking Sooooo freakin loooooong! Why?"
"Zack it's only been five minutes."
"It looks done. Doesn't it look done? I think it looks done."
"It's not done."
"Why don't we check? If you throw a noodle against something it'll stick. That's what mom always did."
'Zack it's not…" splat. A handful of noodles went up in the air, only to ricochet off the ceiling and land in Sephiroth's hair. Sephiroth took a deep breath, "I am going to get aspirin. When I get back I'm going to impale you." He wiped the noodles off of his head.
Sephiroth walked away leaving a disappointed Zack behind. The lavender eyed man looked at the bubbling pasta forlornly more disappointed that they weren't done than worried of impalement.
"I think they look done. I guess I should test them!"
'It says take two.' Sephiroth popped the bottled open and dropped two of the white pills in his mouth, almost choking as Zack's voice carried into the bathroom.
"SEPHIROTH! They're done! The noodles are done!"
Pinching the bridge of his nose with his fore finger and thumb, he walked to the kitchen and blanched on entry. The ceiling looked like it had hair growing out of it. Limp, yellow rubbery hair.
"Zack… What did you do?" He said in disbelief staring at the noodles that were hanging from the ceiling.
"The pasta stuck! That means it's done!" He grinned broadly. Sephiroth walked over to the pot and looked in. An annoyed look crossed his face.
"There seems to be one problem, however," He started dryly. The spiky hair man stared at him.
"What?" Sephiroth pointed into the water. Zack walked over and looked.
There were only three noodles left floating in the water.
"Whoops." Zack stared.
"So pasta was a dud." Zack's tone of voice was undeterred of its enthusiasm.
"It wouldn't have been if you had been more patient."
"Okay, let's forget dinner for a second. We probably should've started with dessert anyways. It does take the longest." Zack started flipping through an old tattered cook book he located.
"Chocolate cake with cream cheese icing. That's simple and a classic. At least it has a recipe we can follow. We're SOLDIERS. Taking orders is what we do best, even if it's from a book. It's failsafe."
He left the open book on the counter and began gathering ingredients from around the kitchen. Sephiroth merely stood unmoving,."Don't just stand there like a rock in the stream. Help me."
Sephiroth sighed, and assisted the smaller man.
It was simple enough at first. Sephiroth mix the dry ingredients. Zack mixed the wet ingredients. They combined the two and poured the batter into a buttered pan then placed that into the oven. They baked it for thirty minutes and took it out to cool. Everything was surprisingly formulaic, simple enough for two grown men to figure out at least.
It looked like it would be an actual success.
Looks are often deceiving, however.
After letting it cool, Zack sliced of the jagged sides of the cake off. He put one of the scraps on a plate. "Might as well see how it tastes," he said optimistically.
Zack delicately cut a small bite sized piece of the pastry and stuck it in his mouth. He chewed with an indifferent look on his face, his eyes closed in concentration.
"So how does it taste?" Sephiroth asked with mild curiosity.
Zack stopped mid chew, opened his eyes half way then set his fork on the edge of the plate resulting in a soft clink. He handed the plate to Sephiroth then proceeded to run to the bathroom. Retching noises followed. A few moments later Zack returned.
"Yeah…no." he coughed, "What went wrong… Seph what did you put in that?"
"I did what it said," Sephiroth stated resentfully, grabbing the cook book, tapping the page where the recipe was with his finger, "Four cups flour, three eggs, and a quarter cup of salt..."
Zack snatched the book from the General's hands and skimmed the recipe, "It says a quarter teaspoon of salt! No wonder it tasted like it was dropped into the Dead Sea!"
"Well I apologize that learning the difference between abbreviated symbols of measurement never came up at the academy."
"No matter! We can make another."
Ah, optimism: Waiting for a ship to come in when you haven't sent one out.
"No we can't. You had the bare minimum of ingredients for the first one," Sephiroth said flatly.
Zack's enthusiasm took a nose dive.
"Oh. Well…Uhhh…hrm. Bah, Spike never really was a person for sweets. Let's try something else."
Oh well. You could still make a wonderful dinner with just meat and salad.
After some searching, they were able to locate a piece of meat that looked like it didn't have gangrene.
"Zack, Preheat the oven," Sephiroth ordered as he readied the slab of meat and placed it in a pan that had found.
Zack walked up to the oven and stared. What temperature were you supposed to cook meat at, anyway? He didn't want it to end up raw. The last thing he wanted to do was poison Cloud with raw flesh. Who new the kind of bacteria it could have! He'd have to make sure it would cook really thoroughly so it wouldn't be rare.
He looked over the settings on the ovens dial. Warm, several numbers, Broil… Clean? That was an odd setting. Did it mean it would clean the food? Perfect! That would get rid of all of the bacteria. He flipped the switch to the setting.
Unfortunately, Zack did not use his oven enough to know that the 'Clean' setting was used to clean the oven and not the food. It would do so by reaching an absurdly, nuclear heat to vaporize any leftover food that may have fallen in to the stove.
Oblivious to the wave of continually rising heat that bellowed from inside the oven when he opened the oven door, he slid the pan of meat in. He punched in the timer, 20 minutes, and walked away.
No more than seven minutes later, a blood chilling, metallic shriek resonated through the apartment, thoroughly alarming the two men.
"What is that ungodly noise?!" Sephiroth yelled, clamping his hands over his highly acute, sensitive ears in attempt to drown out wailing shriek that pierced the air.
"I don't know! I've never heard it before! Are we under attack? It sounds like an alarm!" Zack, yelled over the metallic screech. He looked frantically around. Was there an enemy?
Sephiroth grit his teeth. The sound was causing him to get a splitting headache. Just then, he noticed a strange unpleasant smell carried into the room. He also noticed, dully, that the room was getting foggy. Was it an attack? Was the enemy going after their senses, sight, smell and hearing to incapacitate them?
Then he recognized the sent that floated through the air.
Smoke… Oh, it was just a fire…
"ZACK! That's the fire alarm!" Sephiroth called.
Zack looked up to see smoke billowing out of the kitchen door. He tore off into a run toward the room in a panicked haste, "The meat!" he cried.
When he entered, he gagged on the billowing black smoke that dove down his throat and entered his nostrils. Though his eyes were watering, he forced himself to look up, and he gasped. The stove was on fire. Flames rose and engulfed the entire appliance in there red and gold clutches. The ceiling above the machine was beginning to blacken.
Forget the meat. He was going to burn down the whole apartment complex!
'Gotta put it out! Gotta put it out! Damn, the military only taught us how to burn stuff not to fix it! Gotta put it out!' his mind droned this mantra. Suddenly, a thought hit him. "Materia!" he snapped his fingers.
Man, he was a genius sometimes.
Searching one of the many pockets of his cargos, he yanked a small glowing green orb out. "Water materia!" he held it front of himself and activated it expecting a steady stream of cool liquid to emerge.
He got a stream of something alright, but it sure as hell wasn't water.
Apparently, it was a fire materia he had grabbed.
Forget the genius thing…
"ZACK! The old adage 'Fight fire with fire' does not apply to non-metaphorical fires!" Sephiroth shouted over the fire alarms wail. He had entered just in time to see Zack feed the hungry flames with more flames only increasing the size of the inferno. The fire began to spread to the other appliances, "Get out of the way." He snatched the materia from the soot covered purple eyed man, and unsheathed Masume. Zack skittered away from the oven.
Narrowing his mako green eyes, Sephiroth swung the sword causing a gale force wind that effectively, and easily, extinguished the flames.
The oven was a blackened scrap of steaming, charred metal.
"I can not believe you made such a rookie mistake! Confusing materia? You nearly burned the whole place down!" Sephiroth was mad, and the fire alarm that was still going off did not help at all.
Zack was not listening, but was instead prying open the corroded, blackened oven door. It snapped off its burnt hinges, but Zack took no notice as he pulled a pan from the wrack.
"I think it's done." The once large, supple, red piece of meat was now shriveled half it's size as a mummified black rock that resembled coal, "Maybe it's a little too done. Perhaps we can chip away the outer crust and it'll be fine."
"You have got to be joking." The look on Zack's face clearly stated he wasn't.
Sephiroth quickly located the fire alarm; it was sited in the corner of the kitchen's ceiling, and rammed Masume through it. The machine sputtered and sparked pitifully for a moment before its whistle came to a halt. There was silence. Sephiroth smirked in satisfaction.
The black Spiky haired man slid the charred, deck sized entrée onto a plate on his table, and began his attempts at chipping away the charred edges with a large butcher knife.
"It's not cutting," Zack concluded after hacking away furiously at the meat. In frustration he slammed the butcher knife on the overcooked meat. There was a clink as the knives blade snapped off and embedded itself in the wall behind the two men. They stared flabbergasted.
"One moment," Sephiroth walked in front of the table with his 7ft long legendary blade in tow.
"You realize that's like cracking a nut open with a jackhammer right?" Sephiroth glared in his direction and Zack quickly averted his gaze muttering, 'overkill.' Under his breath. Sephiroth turned his attention back at the task at hand.
The general lifted the sword above his head and swung it down on to the meat with flawless, technical precision. There was a shockwave and the table and plate underneath the overcooked flesh split cleanly in two. The meat, however, remained unscathed.
The two looked back and forth between the flesh and the sword dumbly. Silently, Sephiroth picked the organic brick and soundlessly dropped it in the trash.
"We don't speak of this." He said flatly.
"Salad. We can make salad," Zack was slowly but surely loosing his enthusiasm.
"No we can't. The fridge was lit on fire," Sephiroth held up a head of charred lettuce. The paper fragile, burnt leaves crumbled at the slightest movements.
"Seeeephiroooooth...What am I going to doooo! Cloud will be back in a few hours and we even managed to burn the salad." He sniffed pitifully.
"Well let's see. We destroyed half of the kitchen, used everything in the fridge and caused the oven to explode. Don't you have a plan B?"
"There's always oatmeal." Zack said dejectedly as he pulled out an emergency single unit burner, plugged it in, and set a pot of water to boil on. When bubbles began to form and the water began to boil, he emptied a bag of instant oatmeal in it.
"Well they do say it's the thought that counts." Sephiroth sighed. He felt slightly bad for his flighty friend. He really put his all into this meal. It seemed to mean a lot to him.
"I guess I could take Spike out for food. Maybe for Wutanese takeout. Do you think I can get them to stick a candle in a fortune cookie?" he sniffled dejectedly.
Sephiroth didn't know what to say. He hadn't exactly helped in the matter at all.
"This is so frustrating!" Zack slammed his head into the cabinet overhead of the oatmeal. There was a clink and that was followed by what sounded like a marble rolling. Curious, he opened the cabinet to see a small clear, glowing brown ball rolling along the edge of the shelf. "Ah. So this is where it went."
Sephiroth recognized the rolling orb to be the reject materia he left in Zack's care. How he managed to lose it in the kitchen cabinet when it was clear the man obviously never ventured into the kitchen that much,was a mystery in itself.
The ball was rolling closer to the edge of the shelf, and actually rolled off.
Such a small insignificant orb would lead back to where the story originally began.
Perhaps it was the lack of rest from his work catching up to him, or the stress the past few hours had that made Sephiroth not react with his normal reflexes. Zack didn't move either as he watched the broken orb. Both seemed to be unable to register what was happening as the cracked materia landed with a plop into the oatmeal.
Perhaps it was karma. Perhaps Sod's law. Maybe even a bored higher power was at work and needed some entertainment. For whatever reason, the broken cracked materia decided at that moment to activate.
Damn inanimate objects.
They stared at the pot for a moment, watching in morbid curiosity as the mushy contents began to swirl and wiggle like Jell-O in a bizarre fashion, almost like it was trying to escape the pot. Apprehension settled in as the oatmeal began to expand and leak over the edge of the pot. The thick substance began emit a dull yellow glow.
"Zack…" the silver haired general spoke in a flat tone.
"You just dropped an unknown, cracked materia into the oatmeal."
"I do believe I did."
"I can see that."
"It seems to be crawling toward us."
Both men backed away from the growing mass as it got to big to fit in the pot and rolled off the counter with a splat.
The blob of oatmeal had grown to be around 20 feet in diameter and was pulling itself through toward the window. With a mighty lurch it pulled itself through completely leaving behind a trail of sickly tan sludge. Both men stared dumbly for a moment until Zack broke into a run, sliding in the oatmeal residue from the blob, and stopped at the window before peering down. They winced as they watched the blob roll over itself to pull itself through the street. People began screaming and fleeing in all directions to get away from the giant khaki colored globule.
"Well, at least we know what it does now!" Zack commented as both men jumped out the window, falling several stories, before landing gracefully onto the street. The second there feet made contact with the ground; they began chasing after the blob of oatmeal.
"Damn it, this is not what I need!" Sephiroth cursed under his breath as he chased after the growing blob as it rolled down the road entrapping cars, trash and even people into its sticky grasp.
"It's kind of like Katamari Dynasty," Zack referenced to one of his bizarre videogames.
It was total utter chaos. People were screaming in a blind panic running every which way in no general direction (there were even a few morons that were running toward the blob), and the two Soldiers had to avoid the moving obstacles.
Right now they had a job to do. It was their duty as military to keep the city safe. That was there job as SOLDIERS.
The purple eyed man was still wearing the lacy, pink apron Sephiroth noted.
Had the man no dignity?
Well, duh. Of course not.
The two stopped running as they realized they lost the blob from sight. How does one lose track of a fifty foot tall blob of oatmeal anyway?
"We can follow the trail of bread crumbs." Zack waved to the tan sludge the mushy ball left behind.
"No need." Sephiroth was glaring skyward. Zack followed his gaze and gaped.
The blob was rolling up a building. Liquid dripped off it and ran down the edge, pooling at the buildings base.
"Damn, is that thing adhesive," Zack whistled.
The blob stopped moving and began to wiggle. Suddenly, it began spewing blobs of oatmeal from its body into a sticky rain.
"HOLY HELL!" Zack jumped narrowly evading the sticky projectile. "You've got to be kidding me!" Despite his evasive maneuvering, every time a blob crashed to the ground, it exploded into a sticky, spray of hot cereal that showered on Zack, covering him and Sephiroth with the gunk.
One thought was running through Sephiroth's mind as he evaded the blobs raining down upon them. 'The paper work this is all going to cause...'
This had to end.
Sephiroth ran up to building and jumped. With technical perfection, he sliced downward on the blob with a powerful strike…
Masamune stuck into the blob's body. "What the hell!" Sephiroth screamed as his sword was sucked from his hands and sunk quickly into the tan blob before disappearing.
"It just…It just." He was at a loss for words.
Something in Sephiroth snapped.
It was probably the lack of sleep. Or perhaps it was the fact he was running on caffeine and sheer will power alone. But out of all the crap he had been put through today that was the last straw.
A thoroughly pissed of Sephiroth clutching the fire materia he had confiscated from Zack earlier actually dove into the blob of oatmeal.
"SEPHIROTH!" Zack called in horror as he watched his friend disappear into the mass, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING! Do you want your obituary to read 'death by oatmeal'?!"
The blob wobbled and shivered. A light was forming.
From inside of the oatmeal, Sephiroth released the most powerful Firaga spell he had ever produced.
Zack watched in awe as the sky was lit up in flames.
When the light cleared, he could see the oatmeal, charred, on the edge of the building. The fire had fried it to be a solid crusting mass. Slowly, it began to crack apart and it dropped of the edge of the building splitting into millions of crusty chunks when it crashed into the ground.
Sephiroth stood aloof over the remains of the blob, covered in dry crusty oatmeal. He was wielding his sword and was holding two materia in his hands. One was Zack's fire materia while the other was the cracked brown one.
"I bet you wish you wore the apron I offered you earlier."
Sephiroth did not even bother to glare.
He walked silently to Zack. "We're dumping this materia into the Corel Sea as soon as we get the chance." Zack nodded.
The two men quickly disappeared from the scene before to many spectators showed up.
The two had gone back to Zack's apartment where they both sat on the couch unmoving.
Sephiroth was completely out of energy. He decided he would take the rest of the day off and sleep. Whatever pile of paperwork that accumulated on his desk could just screw itself until he was rested.
Zack was depressed. Everything had gone wrong. They hadn't achieved cooking a single thing or accomplished any of their goals. He failed. He failed Cloud…
Zack's eyes snapped up as he heard his front door open
"Uh Zack?" a timid voice called
"Oh! Spiky! You're here rather early. It's only 2:30," Zack noted weakly.
Cloud entered the room, sporting a few bruises and scrapes from his Academy training, and dropped his book bag in the corner before looking up, "We were released early. Apparently there was an incident downtown Midgar and…"
He froze and his eyes widened upon seeing Sephiroth in the room. He scrambled to his feet in alarm, "Ah, Sir!" He snapped into a salute upon seeing general Sephiroth before him. However he let his hand drop ever so slightly in confusion at the sight.
First off, from what he could see from his point of view, The kitchen looked like it ate itself and then threw up. Noodles were hanging from the ceiling like hair, half of the kitchen was ashy and blackened, and there was a tan sludge trailing out toward the kitchens window.
Zack was wearing a frilly pink apron. He was covered in soot and oatmeal, and his clothes were disheveled. Also, Zack's overall posture seemed depressed, completely unlike the man's normal state.
Sephiroth was in no better of a condition. His gravity defying bangs seemed to be plastered down by oatmeal and the rest of his hair was slicked in the stuff. Crusted oatmeal was sticking out sharply against his black leather. Yet, somehow in such a state, the general was able to retain a dignified air about him.
Cloud bit back a snigger that was welling in his throat.
"At ease," Sephiroth said in a tone that demanded in respect despite his condition. Cloud dropped his hand.
"Um, sir… May I be as bold as to ask… what happened?"
"No. No cadet, you may not." Sephiroth stated firmly.
"Cloud. I'm sorry. I wanted to do something special." Zack moaned.
"You did?" Cloud blinked turning his gaze to his dark haired friend, "What for?"
"Such a selfless boy!" Zack cried dramatically bringing out the theatrics. Had it been any one other than general Sephiroth watching, they would have rolled their eyes at the display, "I tried to do something special for your special day but things just did not go my way." He yanked Cloud into a suffocating tight hug, getting oatmeal gunk all over the poor boys front.
The boy was obviously confused, Sephiroth noted as the boy scrunched up his face.
"I'm sorry I couldn't execute the special Birthday dinner I had planned." Zack sniffled.
"Ummmm, Zack?" Cloud started cautiously pulling himself out of Zack's grip, "its July..."
"My birthday's in August."
"You have five seconds..." The silver haired general said monotonously calm.
"Wait, what!?" Zack was startled.
"Aw, come on Seph!"
It was an honest mistake."
"I think I'll start running now..."
And Zack took off like the devil was at his heels and avoided a long sharp blade swung in his direction by a hairs breath as the General took off after him yelling obscenities. Zack however managed to do a U turn quickly popping in front of Cloud, "Happy early birthday spike." And then he took off again as Sephiroth chasing fervently after him.
The small, cracked, brown Materia, the catalyst for such a strange turn of events, merely gleamed on the sofa forgotten.
I have no explanations for this, but it was really fun to write.
Reviews are appreciated. Flames will be used to burn oatmeal.