Author: SkyFire (LJ link in my profile)
Summary: Pre-Nibelheim. Sephiroth gives in to Zack's force of nature. Or stubbornness, in this case. ;oP
Length: Exactly 600 words. oO
Notes: I've noticed that in all the fic I've read, when Zack shortens Sephiroth's name, it's always written 'Seph', and not 'Sef' even though it would sound the same. Then the insane, rabid plotbunnies bit and here's the fic they spawned. Enjoy! ;oP
Disclaimer: FFVII and all characters therein belong to Square Enix and not me. The insane plotbunnies are mine, though.
"Hiya, Seph!" Zack greeted as he bounced into the SOLDIER-General's office. He took his usual seat sprawled sideways in one of the chairs across from Sephiroth's desk with a grin and waited for the usual irritated glare, followed quickly by the long-since memorized 'Must you insist on massacring my name...?' speech.
Waited some more, grin fading into a confused frown. "Seph?"
"I... uh... called you 'Seph'."
A quick glance up, one silver brow slightly quirked, then back down to the reports the General was going over. "I noticed," was all he said.
Zack shifted in his seat. This was new. In all the time he'd known the other man, he'd come to see that for all his seeming random moods, he was really quite predictable. He would react a certain way to certain things, and once he found something that worked he stuck to it like glue.
He'd always given Zack The Speech whenever the SOLDIER-First called him by anything other than a full 'Sephiroth'.
"And you aren't saying anything because...?"
A small sigh, then the reports were laid down neatly on the desk, ready to go back to at any time. Long, gloved fingers interlaced on the desk in front of him as he sat back slightly. Blue-green eyes lifted to meet violet. "How long have you been coming to see me, Zack?" he asked.
"Huh?" Zack blinked at the seeming abrupt change in topic. "I don't know. Years...?"
"And has my telling you ever stopped you from massacring my name?"
Zack waited, but Sephiroth said nothing more, simply staring at him as if he'd said all that needed to be said. Which he hadn't. Not really. "So, no more Speech?"
"No more Speech," the silver-haired man agreed. "I have resigned myself to your calling me 'Seph'."
"Really." A small pause. "However, I feel I must ask you to correct your pronunciation of it. It's 'Seph' with a 'ph', not an 'f'. Please try to remember that."
Zack blinked, shaking his head in confusion even as he shifted once more in his seat. "Uh, Seph? 'Ph' and 'f' are the same sound."
"Not quite. Listen. Seph. Sef. Seph. Sef. See?"
"Uh... I heard a bunch of the same thing. Seph."
"Not an 'f', Zack. A 'ph'."
"I said 'ph'. I definitely said 'ph'."
"It was an 'f', Zack. A 'ph' is slightly softer and longer."
"Sefffff." It was almost a whisper.
"And what exactly was that supposed to be?"
"Seph. How about that?"
"Still an 'f'."
"Argh! I'm thinking 'ph', I really am!"
"Try again. Seph. Sef. Can't you hear it? Try. Seph."
"Oh, for-! Sephiroth! There! How about I call you 'Sephiroth'?! Did I say that right?"
"Yes. Now just think that you're going to say the whole word and-"
"No! I won't do it! I can't tell the difference, and obviously I can't say the difference, so I'm just going to stick with 'Sephiroth'. Sorry. I tried. I really did, but that's that."
"If you're sure..."
"I am." Zack stood, went to the door. "Well, I'll see you around, hey, Sephiroth?"
A small, rare smile. "Yes."
The door closed behind the spiky-haired brunet with a quiet click. The silver-haired SOLDIER-General waited a few moments, then let that small smile make a reappearance even as he settled back into his paperwork.
Finally - finally - he'd gotten Zack to stop mangling his name.
Life was good.