Dinner

Author: Birddi

Beta: Filthy Mushi

Disclaimer: I don't own any FFVII Characters. I do wish I did though.

To my Readers: This was inspired by the lovely Filthy Mushi's story Green Dreams. An awesome story like none other, that you need to read. Yay! Fanfiction from a fanfiction. ::giggles:: Will wonder's never cease?

You can be expecting more Vincent and Zack fiction from me though. This holiday season

--- VINCENT'S SECRET FETISH IS REVEALED AND ZACK MUST FACE THE CONSEQUENCES! I adore this couple and fully support them. Good news, I'm writing again so you can expect more soon. A Xigbar x Tidus one is in the works too.

Please let me know what you think.

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Sometimes Zack felt that he had become a mother. It was an odd belief for a man to have. A man who hadn't been with a woman for years and probably made even odder by the fact that he was a soldier, a hardened warrior. He had thought he'd lead a bacherlor's life after Aeris.

But there were a lot of things in life he hadn't seen coming. For instance, now he was in a relationship with another man. He really hadn't seen that one coming. Not that he regretted it or wasn't okay with it. Far from it, it was the most fulfilling relationship he ever had. He personally thought they were awesome together, a yin-yang sort of thing.

But that was not the point.

The point was Zack felt he had become the mother to a very short, blonde cadet.

While he could attribute their first meeting as the starting point, the small cadet seemed to need someone. Zack felt for the kid. Zack came from a small town too. But honestly it was something else completely. The kid was just so, oh he didn't know, used to pain? Honestly he wasn't sure how to describe it. Hewas so alone, and just needed someone.

So, he had determined to keep an eye on the boy with the unusual name. Cloud, he knew, looked at the first meeting as when it all began. Maybe it did. However, for him, it was only truly the second in which his need to take the blonde under his wing grew.

The kid had looked at him, really looked at him. The blue eyes of were so old feeling as if they had seen so much; too much for a kid to have seen. They reminded him of Aeris' at times but it wasn't like that. It was like he had seen the end of the world. It was so bizarre and Zack felt like he was drifting, lost in an endless space of blue. And they were so lonely.

He liked Spike, the name he often referred to Cloud as. He was like a mini-Sephiroth at times, and others he was like, oh he didn't know. The kid was cool though. He could be witty and sarcastic like the other two men in Zack's life, but there was something else. Cloud just completely accepted Zack; whatever Zack did it was alright with the blonde. Zack was annoying him, well Cloud would get annoyed. He'd start to say something like a reprimand and then stop. He'd just smile then, like he was the luckiest person in the world and he'd smile at Zack like he was the best thing that ever happened to him.

It was weird.

At first it had freaked him the fuck out. I mean why would someone he barely knew think the world of him? But, it was also nice. Like it was a reminder how lucky they were to have each other, that they weren't alone anymore. That things would be okay.

Like the world could end, and it very well could with Hojo's new scheme, but it would all be okay. Cloud would make sure its okay. That he'd make sure everyone was okay, that everyone was okay and they were loved. At those moments, rare as they were, Zack believed him and it was like their roles had been switched. As if Cloud was the protector of Zack.

It was really weird.

But then he learned it was just how Cloud was and he got over it after the second time. People were people after all. They all come in different colors, right?

Zack liked to think of Cloud as having a nice Chocobo yellow.

It was three months, maybe, after they got to know each other real well, when he learned of Cloud's 'crush' on Sephiroth. It had been such a bad day; everything seemed to have gone wrongThe coffee was stale, the power went out, his files fried, and he could have sworn he felt like a truck had rolled over on him. He remembered walking down a corridor to do some training, possibly to call it off so he could go home and sleep. It was not just a bad day, it was a shitty-ass day, and he was making his way down a corridor to drop off some reports, when low and behold he spotted Cloud. And he remembered this oddly delighted feeling at seeing Cloud.

It was certainly a surprise, as Cloud was never on that floor. Leaning against the wall Cloud's gaze was looking further down the hall, around the corner where Zack couldn't yet see. He remembered he was about to call out to Cloud but something stopped him, fate probably.

Cloud's face had been beautiful.

Now, don't think he was falling in love or anything, dear god that would have been a mess, but it was just Cloud's face had to have been one of the most beautiful sights to have graced his eyes. He had seen his fair share with the traveling he had done, but it was so gracefully divine. As is a devout worshipper was feeling the hands of the divine, touched by grace. It was so open, and for the first time Zack remembered he felt like he was seeing Cloud.

Cloud was happy.

By the time he had walked up to the blonde and followed his gaze, Zack was startled to realize Cloud's gaze had been on Sephiroth. The general being conversing with a few other first cadets, and thankfully not looking upset enough to spell out the other's doom.

"Yo," he remembered saying.

"Hey," the blonde had responded.

Just like that it had ended, and Cloud seemed fine, but so much different. There, but not.

He was stupid for writing it off as a crush, but he couldn't think of what else it might have been, Cloud was young. Certainly he, being that much older than Cloud, would have had love first, right? Of course, the arrogance of that statement still made him rather sheepish. And now he could understand how ignorant he was.

There were still other times when Sephiroth was around, and Cloud had the opportunity to watch him undisturbed that Zack would see fleeting glimpses of that look. He'd seen it a few times when they were in battle and Cloud had a particularly tough match ahead of him, and he'd look to Zack and then to Sephiroth. It didn't seem to matter where the man was Cloud's just seemingly knew, with the core of his understanding where Sephiroth was. It was uncanny. It was then when the world was against him, Cloud would seem to find his strength with one brief glance at the pretty silver headed general.

Zack didn't like to discuss it often but he drew strength from those times, he had a feeling Vincent did too.

But that wasn't really the point either.

The point was that it was down right bizarreto know that his shy short blonde with weird hair had become such a truly ferocious companion in battle. I mean sure he always speculated on the blonde's abilities, and he was pretty sure the Cloud had been holding back, he always had.

It had to be the spiky hair.

You just never knew about guys like that, always the seemingly underdog of the pack, but they'd give hell, come look at his own spiked out rats nest for Christ's sake.

But, he had never seen in his wildest dreams expected anything like what happened.

After last week's dealing with another horde of Hojo's part-mechanic part-genetic beasts, Sephiroth, in one of his less than stellar moments, had missed one of Hojo's beast's surprise attacks. That horde of …things with sharp teeth had turned their attention on Sephiroth, trying to take out the bigger threat. Sephiroth had been dealing with two of them while a third had snuck up on his left. To be fair, both Vincent and Zack had missed it as well. Therefore, neither man had been able to warn Sephiroth of the oncoming threat. It wasn't a cataclysmic problem though. Sephiroth was built far too well for a mere pest of a creature to cause any lasting damage. Truly what they were dealing with now was only a warm up, they knew this. The triplets were on the loose, Jenova had yet been stopped.

What Zack had not known was Cloud's ferocity and possessiveness in regards to the other man. It was actually quiet startling. The four-legged beast had let out a roar as it leapt towards the silver haired man. It was without warning and how the blonde had known or had moved Zack would never know.

It was vicious.

The creature had been a few feet away yet, still mid air ready to tear into Sephiroth. But it never got the chance. Cloud simply plowed into the beast seemingly out of no where. It had seemed as if the entire field had frozen, Zack had turned to watch the ensuing fight, and he was pretty sure everything on that field did as well. Zack was unsure which of the two was growling.

Cloud just moved.

The pretty sword Spike had gotten himself just moved; its different parts split apart like some weird trick, but the blades just kept moving. Blindingly quick, even to Zack's enhanced eyes, the sword parts were moving horrifyingly fast.

The creature shrieked something awful and attempted to parry some of the blonde's attacks, reverting into just attempting to at least hurt the blonde. But Cloud couldn't have been bothered, rolling over a quick slash with the creature's tail. Using it to create himself an opening and Cloud attacked once more, drawing the blade into a wide arc spilling black blood.

The thing snapped itself around, ready to bite the blonde in half but Spike didn't even attempt to duck, just… kept moving. It was sickening even for a war-hardened veteran to see. It was just so fast, and Cloud just kept on going. Cloud flipped out one of the smaller blade and stabbed the things head away.

With a scream the thing struck out wildly with its remaining hind leg, the long talons stretched out, but Cloud didn't even block, didn't blink. Instead the blonde moved forward, wrapping a hand around the thing's leg of fused metal and enhanced reptilian skin, and ripped it off.

There was an agonized scream as the monster tried to buck underneath him. The larger blade just kept moving. It crushed the rest of the monster's limbs even as it severed them, the jagged serrated edges sliding up and down the long, thick arms. The sound of the flesh being shorn away could still be heard over the screams and growls.

Cloud didn't hesitate, didn't slow his attack, the blade came down again and again, until the thing crashed heavily to the earth. Andstill the blonde didn't quit, not until the sword dropped one final time, and severed the things head from the body.

There was a long moment, and much to Zack's own bewilderment they slowly disbanded and left. It was surreal. Cloud had stared down at the thing, heaving deeply to draw air into his small frame. He lifted his head after a moment and turned to the now still monsters. With three steps, the almost comically large sword at his side, Cloud reached the next monster. Cloud was covered in the runny black blood of the last thing, barely a scrape on him. Cloud reached not even to its shoulder, or what could have been considered its shoulder. After a long moment it turned and left.

In fact, all of them slowly disbanded and left.

Zack had been at that point completely blown away at the short man's tenacity and savageness in battle. Cloud had ripped the thing apart. He had still been trying to wrap his mind around it all, still was actually. He had seen Cloud fight before, and it had never been that brutal. Sephiroth had also never been that close to getting hurt before either. Cloud had ripped the things arm off. It was all quite overwhelming actually.

When Cloud slowly turned in their direction, Zack remembered freezing, unsure what to expect, but the blonde didn't even glance in his direction and instead Cloud's full attention was on Sephiroth. Zack missed the look that Sephiroth gave the blonde, as his own attention was on the blonde spiky-haired boy.

Cloud's eyes weren't right. It didn't even look like Cloud recognized them; his eyes were a cross between being dead and just being something else. All Zack knew was that they weren't alright. They couldn't have been after what Zack had just witnessed. Cloud dropped his sword, and it kicked up a small amount of dust as it landed on the dried desert ground with a resounding thud.

Zack remembered thinking then it was funny that they had been in the desert when not even a week ago they had been waist deep in snow; and if snow would have created the same effect. Zack wasn't sure what he felt, but Cloud still didn't stop.

Cloud started walking to the general, and Zack had a feeling the rest of the world disappeared for the blonde, and the only thing left was Sephiroth. It was only six steps to the silver headed man, before Cloud drew himself to a stop.

Sephiroth hadn't moved, and Zack could only really see a bit of the blonde now. Cloud's arms shook, and soon that trembling spread to the rest of him. It had taken him a minute before he realized Cloud was crying. He didn't make a sound as his body broke and he started to cry.

Horrified, Zack was about to take a step towards the blonde to comfort his small-boned friend, but he was beat to it. Zack watched as Sephiroth sheathed his own sword and wrapped his arms around the younger male, drawing him in to his embrace. The cadet had always been a bit distant, detached almost, in a way that reminded Zack of the General. To see them both so involved, brought a smile to his face.

Finally.

It was roughly two days later, when Sephiroth finally let Cloud out of the bedroom; that Cloud, red with a blush, had nervously and shyly informed him they were together. As if Zack and Vincent hadn't gathered that or had heard them for the past few days.

He remembered smiling and giving him a hug.

Sephiroth and Cloud were funny like that, he supposed. They were so radically different and yet so fundamentally the same.

Vincent had once said that fate had forged their bond together until there couldn't be one without the other. Zack thought it pretty profound at the time. Zack had also spent a good few hours during the down time of a mission and a good few bottles of liquor to reason it all out.

It went like this. Sephiroth and Cloud had really been tied together by fate, they were the core thread in each other's lives whether it was for the good or for the bad, and while he didn't understand how he knew this, he just did. Even if Cloud was someone else's, Zack wanted nothing but his happiness. Cloud had always been someone he looked out for. That he wanted to look out for. He felt personally responsible for the short blonde.

Looking over at a very ruined kitchen, this thought only grew.

"Damn it! I'm not cleaning this up!"

Why Sephiroth liked to have sex with Cloud in the kitchen, he hoped he'd never know. Sephiroth apparently had a thing for the marble counters, perhaps it was a weird fixation with them, or maybe it was popular for being the correct height for easier access, but Zack tried not to think about it. Cloud was always being pushed up onto them when the two were together in here, unmindful if there was an audience or not. He had more than once regretted not announcing his arrival.

Nodding at the half dirty bowls, and chocolate smudges on the floor and counters Zack sighed. He really didn't want to know why there were strawberry leaves on the ground. He especially, especially, didn't want to know if the white stuff on the ground, cupboards, and counters was whipped cream or something else.

Sighing he determined that he officially wasn't going back into that kitchen until Sephiroth or Cloud cleaned it up. He didn't think they'd be down soon if the noise from upstairs was anything to go by, rolling his eyes to look at the ceiling he could have sworn it moved. Faintly he could make out Sephiroth's name being called through the supposedly sound-proof walls and floor, looked like Spikey had another orgasm. He didn't think they wanted to be bothered, and Zack always tried very hard not to upset Cloud enough to rip off his arms. However, if he went up there to interrupt with only the excuse for wanting a clean kitchen…let's just say if one didn't kill him the other just might.

Although he had never seen the brunt end of Sephiroth's mildly psychotic jealousy tendencies, Zack still thought Cloud was the real demon. Boy wasn't even enhanced and he kept up with Sephiroth's sex drive.

But he wasn't going to touch that kitchen. Not until it was soaked in bleach.

Well, so much for making dinner. That kind of sucked, he had been thinking of having spaghetti. But maybe he could get his boyfriend to pay for dinner at the local diner. Maybe he could even get a movie out of the man as well. He was pretty sure the other wouldn't mind paying for a hotel if he threw in a pair of handcuffs with the deal. Smiling, Zack nodded to himself, he could make this work. "Oh, Vincent…."