Title: Happily Ever After
Author: Sorceress Fantasia
Word count: 1120
Disclaimer: As much as I would love to lay claim to Cloud, I'm kinda scared of Zack's Buster Sword. So no, I don't own Final Fantasy 7 or any of its characters. And I obviously don't own Square-Enix (aka Sqenix) either.
Summary: The goddess Gaia really isn't too happy that Zack's in the lifestream with her.
So this is how death feels like.
That was Zack's first thought as he lied supine in the lifestream, drifting along like a fallen leaf on water. It actually didn't feel like he was dead; the warm, lapping watery substance surrounding him certainly didn't seem like something meant for dead souls to float on. In fact, it reminded Zack more of his vacation in Costa del Sol and the gorgeous beaches there rather than River Styx.
The lifestream actually… felt pretty good. If it were possible, Zack would ask for a few bikini-clad babes and a beer and he'd be completely set to enjoy his vacation in the lifestream. Vaguely, he wondered if Angeal, Sephiroth and Lazard were around. Playing a game of poker seemed nice, though it might be pretty tough to find gambling chips.
Suddenly, he felt himself bumping into something and that something let out a surprised yet very indignant yelp. His thoughts of poker scurried away from his mind immediately, only to be replaced by thoughts of if there were traffic rules in the lifestream and he'd flout one of them, like changing lanes without turning his signal on, unknowingly.
When he forced himself to sit upright, he gaped at the blonde woman who was glaring at him with cold blue eyes. He recognized her. She had been one of the many people he had to defeat for his missions in SOLDIER, but now she was lacking the armour and helmet she'd worn that day. In fact, she looked like Zack had interrupted her on her day off, if the French manicure set, towels, facial cream and hair curler on the table next to her were anything to go by.
She narrowed her eyes. "You're lucky I wasn't clipping my nails. If you'd knocked into me when I was clipping my nails and one of my nails broke because of that, I'd make you die a second time."
"Erm, but I'm already dead, right? So how would you kill me a second time?"
"I have my ways, for I am the goddess Gaia and this world bows to my whims," Gaia replied nonchalantly, giving her nails an once-over. Suddenly, she sneezed. Reaching out for a tissue paper, she grumbled under her breath, "I should condemn the man who wrote 'Loveless'. Thanks to that idiot, people are quoting the play and mentioning me much too often…"
A name that shall be unnamed but starts with a 'G' anyway popped up in Zack's mind, but he thought it was better to stay out of trouble so he kept his mouth shut. Speaking of staying out of trouble, Zack felt a second more and he might be overstaying his welcome and so he quickly tried to dive back into the lifestream and float away. Unfortunately, that was when Gaia's eyes lit up in recognition.
"Hey wait a minute! You're the one who beat me up and broke my nails on my last foray out of the lifestream! I remember that black, spiky mob of hair!" she yelled, pointing a finger at Zack. "What are you doing here!?"
Zack chuckled nervously. "Erm, I died? And dead people are supposed to return to the lifestream? Speaking of that, am I headed towards the right direction? I seem to be floating around in circles ever since arriving…"
"…Blasphemy! If you were able to fight me and survive, how did some mortal kill you? This is insulting! How did you die?"
"Oh, that. Erm, I kinda got shot into a beehive when I was escaping with a friend…" Actually, Cloud was more than just a friend, but Zack didn't think that was something Gaia would be concerned about it like Aeris did.
"Blasphemy! You survived my sword and my magic! How could some guns and bullets kill you!?" Gaia yelled, the aura surrounding her getting darker and darker.
Zack swallowed. "Erm... I dunno. Sqenix made it happen."
She blinked. "Sqenix? Who's Sqenix?"
"Not too sure myself, but I think it's the higher ups. You know, the creators? Not sure who they are myself, but they seem to have complete control over this world, myself included. And they seem to have this thing with hairstyling. I mean, they changed my hairstyle like, 6 times in the past 10 years!"
Zack would have whined more about how they made the SOLDIER Second Classes change their uniform colour from red to purple just for him when they knew he preferred red, but that was when Gaia exploded.
"What higher ups? I'm the goddess! Who's higher than me? BLASPHEMY. Get out of my lifestream!"
In an instant, much like how a strand of white hair trying to lie low in a mob of black hair felt when faced with a tweezer, Zack felt himself plucked up by his collar and thrown into a portal of light.
"And that, Spike, is how I managed to come back! Now we can have forever together like I promised you!"
Looking at the brunet ex-SOLDIER who looked as vibrant and lively as he'd always been back when they first met some 7 years ago, Cloud tried to shake away the hallucination. Surely, he had drunk too much the night before at Tifa's bar. Zack was dead. And if he really wasn't, Cloud was pretty sure he would be when Zack finally learnt that he'd stupidly left his precious Buster Sword to rust in the Midgar outskirts.
"Aww, Spike! Are you mad that I didn't tell Gaia we're lovers? Is that why you're ignoring me?" Zack asked, but it wasn't like he was really waiting for an answer, for he immediately followed up his question with a tight embrace and a shower of kisses. "Don't be mad! Promise I'll make it up to you!"
As Cloud continued to mull over how to break the news of Zack's beloved weapon to the man, Zack had already reintegrated himself into Cloud's life by greeting all of the blond's friends and neighbours and introducing himself as his husband ("Oh, we just got married on a sudden impulse so we haven't had time to get our wedding bands and plan the wedding party yet."), moving in and making himself absolutely comfortable in Cloud's house ("Hey, do you think we should get a new bed? I think a king-sized one should give us plenty of space! And then we can stow our toys underneath."), and working together with Cloud on their delivery services ("Cloud, you are not allowed to deliver that package to Don Corneo's mansion! Neither are you allowed to visit the Honey Bee Inn, even if it's for work!").
All in all, they lived happily, if not a little confusedly, ever after.
Moral of the story: The way to attain immortality is not by attaining the way or by seeking immortality pills. The real (and fastest) way to get to it is to piss off the goddess reigning over your world.
A/N: This just came to me one day during a conversation with a friend, and it seemed too funny to not write into a complete ficlet. XD Please review if you liked it!
Anyway, my LeonxCloud fic Vanilla was recently updated, so go read! :D
Now I shall be slinking off to write something else.