Final Fantasy VII

A Time and Place for Everything

By LuckyLadybug

Notes: The characters are not mine and this ficlit is! It was directly inspired by the prompt Comfortable silence at 30 Friends. Thanks to Kaze for the music idea!

Silence was a strange thing. With different people, it had different meanings.

Sometimes it was only practicing decorum to be quiet. Certain situations called for it, such as during military inspections. It would be unheard-of for the SOLDIERs to start speaking to each other when they were supposed to be at attention. And there were moments of silence at funerals, meant to honor the dead. If anyone spoke during those times, it would be considered highly rude.

Sometimes one had to be quiet for safety reasons. If an attack was being staged, or an escape being made, any noise at all could be disastrous. Not to mention potentially fatal.

Other times silence was awkward, brought on by ill feelings between parties or a general sense of inequality. One would not speak because of feeling that it would not be welcome for them to do so, or because there was nothing appropriate to say.

With close friends, words were not always necessary.

Sephiroth leaned forward, typing the remainder of the document. His glasses slid down his nose, reflecting the light from the computer monitor. Across from him, Zack was signing other documents that had been brought to them. The pen made an unobtrusive sound as it was guided through the motions of the letters which formed Zack's name.

There was nothing to say now because work needed to be done. But there was not any sort of awkward feeling at all. The silence, filled only by the keyboard and the pen, was pleasant. Comfortable, even.

Sephiroth quite enjoyed moments such as this. Zack was so fond of talking that it was strange to think of him ever willingly being silent. Yet he seemed to feel completely relaxed right now as well. He yawned, stretching as he closed the folder and set the pen on top of it. Then he looked to Seph, as if for confirmation that he had finished what needed to be done.

Sephiroth gave a slow and vague nod, his attention divided between his friend and the work he was doing. Once he was through, they would go to lunch. Zack had insisted, knowing that Seph would probably skip it instead to get more accomplished. And that had been Sephiroth's plan. It was hard to concentrate on the thought of food when there were other matters that needed his attention.

"All done!" Zack grinned, breaking the silence at last. "How far along are you, Seph?"

"I'm almost finished." Sephiroth leaned back, scanning over what had been currently written.

Zack stood, wrestling the kinks out of his back and shoulders before grabbing the nearby radio. Switching it on, he began to browse through the stations.

Sephiroth gave an inward sigh. Zack would probably decide on something that would be highly distracting. The quiet had been so pleasant, too. Oh well; he would manage to block out the noise. Or else tell Zack to turn it off until he was finished.

But a moment later he blinked in surprise. Zack had settled on a classical music station. Granted, the piece being played was more upbeat and energetic than some, but it was still classical music. Somehow Sephiroth had not pictured Zack to like anything of the kind.

"You like this?" he asked after a moment, once it was clear that Zack was not changing the station again.

Zack shrugged. "Sure!" he said. "It makes me think of somebody going on a big adventure."

Sephiroth was amused. "I suppose it could be interpreted that way," he said. "The actual piece was composed by a man imagining a fierce duel."

"Yeah?" Zack blinked. "Who won?"

"That was left up to the listeners' imaginations." Sephiroth typed up the rest of the document to the accompaniment of the new background music. It was an interesting experience, really. He rarely did any work with music playing. In general he preferred quiet. But he was able to get this done without being distracted, which was gratifying.

Zack crossed his arms on the top of the chair, watching him. "I didn't know you were a music buff, Seph," he commented.

"I'm not, really." Sephiroth leaned back, removing his glasses. "When I was allowed to listen to music, it was always the classics. They wanted me to grow up cultured and knowledgeable about the arts." He set his glasses on the desk. "Later, after I joined SOLDIER, it became necessary to attend the balls."

Zack gave a mock groan at the reminder. "There's one coming up soon, isn't there?" he said.

"There is," Sephiroth nodded, and a look of distaste passed over his features. He disliked them almost as much, or possibly moreso, than Zack. He was not a social person by any means, and wearing a tuxedo was never pleasing. He particularly abhorred ties, and more often than not, would outright refuse to wear them. Shinra had allowed him his freedom on that point.

"It's so boring!" Zack protested. "We have to stand around and make polite small talk, and when there's dancing, hardly anybody knows how to do it without stomping on feet!" Including himself. Well, he could do a mean jitterbug, but waltzes and other formal dances were lost on him. Of course, he did not have a desire to learn them, either.

Sephiroth gave a grim smirk. "It's tempting to not go," he said. "But that would look bad for Shinra. Our duty is to do all in our power to make the company look good."

"Even if we have to waltz, or cha-cha, or any of those other weird dances?" Zack gave Seph a mournful look.

"Even that." Sephiroth met Zack's look with a deadpan gaze. "And some people find your dances bizarre."

"Hey, the jitterbug is classy and fun!" Zack exclaimed. "I could teach you, Seph."

Sephiroth's look did not change. "No thank you."

"Have it your way!" Zack hopped up. "If you're done, let's go get some food!" His stomach gave a loud growl of assent.

Sephiroth smirked in amusement. "I doubt your stomach would forgive me if we didn't," he said. After saving the document to both the hard drive and a disk, he closed the computer and stood up.

It was enjoyable, to have someone with whom he could spend pleasant moments of silence. But he was finding that sometimes he even liked speaking. And that was a bit of a surprise.

Maybe that, also, mostly depended on the present company.