Title: From, Zack
Author: Sorceress Fantasia
Pairings: Zack/Cloud, Genesis/Sephiroth?
Warnings: AU, romance, sap, fluff, humour
Word count: 10339
Disclaimer: As much as I would love to lay claim on Cloud, I'm kinda scared of Zack's Buster Sword. So well, I don't own Final Fantasy 7 or any of its characters.
Summary: It started when Zack looked up and saw Cloud walking by. Captivated, he followed him into class. That was when it all went downhill with a serial undergarment thief, a rumour, two very irate friends and a whole string of misunderstandings. ZxC
Note: Written for RainbowSerenity. Happy birthday, dear!
Subject: Just look at him!
Would you just look at the blond kid, third from the right, fifth row!? Do you know his name? Any idea what faculty he's from? I've never seen him around before!
Subject: You bastard
Whatever happened to class etiquette? If you still haven't noticed, we're actually in Professor Hojo's class right now! Hojo as in the psychopathic monster who's teaching us physics while under the guise of a human? So why the hell did you email me in the middle of his class!? Did you see the evil glare he shot me when my phone beeped? If I get anything less than an A for this class, you're responsible for calling up my dad.
Ha ha, sorry about that! But how was I supposed to know you don't have your phone on silent mode during class time? Still, it's lucky we're already in university and the professors are usually more lenient about stuff like cell phones. Your phone would so totally have been confiscated if we were still in high school, and you'd have been given detention on top of that! Come to think of it, I wouldn't have to email you if you were seated closer to me now!
So anyway, about that blond kid…
Subject: About that kid
Why do I get the feeling that you're blaming me for you coming into class late and hence had to sit by the door since all the good seats where I am were already taken?
In any case, that kid's from the journalism faculty. He's just here taking this class as an elective. Not too sure about his name though. Heard it's got something to do with the weather, but I can't remember. And mind you, despite what you think, I'm not our faculty's gossip collection center. I just happened to have heard it through some guys who've taken classes at the school of journalism.
Subject: Aww man
I was really hoping you'd know…
Subject: Need a little help
Hey treasure princess, could you do me a favour? You're from the school of journalism, aren't you? Would you happen to know a spiky-haired blond from your school?
Subject: Why so concerned about this?
Well, blame yourself for always skipping Hojo's classes. You'd probably have gotten to know the kid if you'd shown up more often. You always had a way to mix around in the first few classes and get to know almost everyone. But you know, I thought you were going to skip today too. What made you pop in anyway?
And what's so special about the kid that you'd email me in the middle of class?
Subject: Well, actually…
I wasn't planning on coming today, actually, since I haven't finished preparing for my presentation for our next class. But you know, things happen. While I was at the study area trying to finish my presentation slides, the blond kid just waltzed by and ducked into this lecture theatre. Figured I'd follow.
Subject: I hope you've prepared your shovels to dig your own grave
Should have guessed you'd rather wing your presentation later and risk your grade than lose sight of someone who peaks your interests. The kid was late too, but someone saved him a seat. I'm almost glad someone did. Otherwise, the kid would probably be stuck right next to you now.
By the way, isn't Genesis getting pissed yet? Doesn't he hate it when someone gets too noisy in class? And he's sitting right next to you now, isn't he?
Subject: Why would I need to dig my own grave?
C'mon. Genesis rains hell fire when his toothbrush isn't leaning against the inside of his mug at 45 degrees. Of course he'd get mad at me for emailing you in class. That is, if he's still inside now. He went out of the lecture theatre earlier to take a call. It's probably one of his modeling stints again.
Someone saved the kid a seat? Who's that?
And hey, what's so bad about sitting next to me? Luxiere would pay someone to exchange seats with him if it meant he could sit beside me.
Subject: Maybe it's because Prof Hollander hates slipshod presentations?
I wonder why Genesis still comes to school. His modeling career is paying him enough that he doesn't need a degree. And did you hear? Apparently, Loveless (that ultimate fashion magazine that everybody reads) wants him on their cover!
Not too sure who it was, but if it helps, the kid's sitting beside Tifa right now. You know Tifa, right?
You can't use Luxiere as a standard. Ever since you helped him pass his classes, he's been forever in your debt. Besides, everyone knows he has bad taste. I mean, he's in your fan club! And come to think of it, why do you even have one? I'd love to know who founded it. I can understand someone setting one up for Genesis. I can understand someone setting one up for Sephiroth and one for Angeal. But you? I wonder what you did to warrant you fans.
Subject: Hollander's not clever enough to figure it out
Must be for Sephiroth and Angeal. I mean, that's pretty much the only reason why Genesis would come to school, right? Considering he doesn't need the degree. So I guess he attends university to keep his two childhood friends company? And Genesis getting on Loveless' cover is old news already! Angeal told me that Genesis' management agency is thinking of getting him a record deal. Cool, isn't it?
Yeah, I know Tifa. She's the reigning beauty queen in Midgar University. Who doesn't know her? But to know her personally? Nope, not me. Argh, why does the blond kid know her well enough that she'd save him a seat? No rumours about them dating, right, Mister Rumour Collector?
Hey, that's unfair! Why can't I have a fanclub? I have the brains and the looks, you know? And compared to the three of them, of which Genesis has OCD, Sephiroth has the emotional range of a rock and Angeal has gotten himself driven nuts by the two of them, I'm Mister Personality! Ha ha. Don't tell them I said that. But anyway, almost all of the guys who've participated in the university's manhunt contest have their own fanclubs. Not too surprising I have one too, since I joined it last year when we were still freshmen.
Subject: That's what he'd like you to think
Genesis, a singer? Why can I actually see that happening?
I told you: I don't go around collecting rumours! I just tell you what I heard. I can't help it that I happen to be on the same planet when people like to speak so loudly around the university corridors! And when they were speaking, you happened to be in dreamland in your dorm room.
But in any case, I don't think so. The rumour mills are rife about Tifa. Everyone says she's got a boyfriend off-campus, that she's married, she's engaged, yada yada… but I haven't heard anything that ties her together with the blond. It's hard to say though. They could be in the same club. Something like the wine appreciation club, maybe?
By the way, stop bugging me for 'rumours'. I have your last email saved, and the next time you try to pull me to the Honeybee Inn despite my protests, I will send that email, which (if you've forgotten) you've so gracefully insulted Genesis, Sephiroth and Angeal, to their fanclubs. Maybe even to the three themselves. See if Angeal will save you a slice of the chocolate cake his mum always sends him then.
Subject: Hey, don't give that creep that much credit, alright?
Maybe because Genesis already has that superstar aura to him? And with his androgynous good looks, he'd sweep fans of both genders off their feet. He could probably just hold the mike and stand there, and you'd have people fawning over him. I heard from Angeal that was what happened when Genesis took the stage when he participated in the university's manhunt in their freshmen year, actually. Little wonder why he won the title that year.
You think the blond would be into wine appreciation? Well, he does look elegant enough for it, but I'm not even sure if we have such a club on campus. Man, I need more information on him. Think I can charm Tifa into telling me more about him?
Man, you are positively evil. You're more evil than Prof-Hojo-divorcing-his-science-lab plus Prof-Hollander-on-crack plus Prof-Scarlet-having-PMS, on top of Prof-Heidegger-forgetting-to-zip-his-fly-and-letting-everyone-see. How can you blackmail your best buddy?
Subject: That 'creep' happens to be Angeal's dad, you know?
Well, according to the rumours, I heard that the reason why Genesis won the manhunt title so easily that year was because Sephiroth had to pull out after the semi-finals. Supposedly, Sephiroth's mother wanted to come down with pom-poms and a whole cheerleading squad when she heard about it. Makes you wonder how she found out, huh, when the lady's living halfway across the world.
You know, when most guys on campus try to charm Tifa, it's because they want to get her into their rooms and preferably their beds. You must be the only guy I know who wants to charm information about someone else out of that woman. What's so special about that blond kid? I only see a mob of golden spikes from where I am. Come to think of it, he reminds me of my pet chocobo at home.
How can I blackmail you? Err, because I have that email you so nicely supplied? So stop dragging me to the Honeybee Inn, alright? I don't like to go clubbing and get wasted on alcohol and then wake up in a bed that's not mine. No matter what you say, waking up in your bed rather than a complete stranger's does not make me feel any better. So just as long as you don't do that, that email will be safe with me. Promise.
Subject: It's ok; Angeal doesn't like his dad. He likes me more than he likes his dad.
Oh hush. It's an open secret how Mrs. Valentine knew about Sephiroth's participation in the manhunt. If a quick text message wasn't enough, there's always the long distance telephone call, an email and even the traditional snail mail. Wanna bet you-know-who did all four?
Kunsel, you are either blind or you didn't see the blond's face. He's cuter than Tifa! Like I told you, I followed him into class! I'll have you know that I have great tastes. And well, you did call me chocobo-head when we first met. Wouldn't that make me a nice pair with the blond? I would totally take him under my wing in a chocobo heartbeat. Then we could go around warking together. I think that'd be fun. Come to think of it, he does look like the type of chocobo chick who'd gotten separated from his mum, so now he's got that vulnerable look. Really invokes protectiveness, you know?
Hey c'mon, that was just once! And how was I supposed to know you've got as much capacity for alcohol as a wading pool for a baby flea? At the very least, I didn't throw you to the wolves. There were some guys who looked like they'd be kids on a Christmas morning if they'd gotten their paws on you.
Subject: I suppose that says a lot?
I'm not stupid enough to take you up on that bet.
Say that to me again if I decide one day to bat for the other team. Right now, I'm more interested in Tifa's legs than that blond's face. And for gaia's sake, when I said that the blond reminds me of my pet chocobo, I didn't mean that he'd make a nice pair with you. Zack, have a little mercy in your heart and don't go warking to the kid, alright? Don't traumatize him so much that he withdraws from this class. It might be the only time you can see him around in university.
Remember: I still have that blackmail email. No more Honeybee Inn stories and visits.
Anyway, classes will be over in five minutes. Want to grab a quick bite before you go into our next class and wing that presentation of yours?
Subject: You totally ruined my plans of sneaking out of class
What? Are you asking for information from me, the infallible, gorgeous and totally awesome treasure princess? Whatever happened to your personal gossip collector from your engineering faculty? Our dear Kunsel doesn't have the information you want?
But in any case, if it's information you want on our resident blond chocobo, you've come to the right person.
I demand a reward, because your email made my phone beep right at the moment when I was trying to sneak out of class early. Now everyone in the journalism school knows the treasure princess tried to bail out of her class! I demand payment for information!
Subject: Why would you do that?
Keep Kunsel out of this. I'm the only one who can call him a gossip collector. It's a guy thing.
Okay, so fine, I owe you for this. What about I treat you to dinner? Just tell me about him! I don't even know his name now!
Subject: I forgot to set my DVD recorder, so I was gonna ninja off to do it
A guy thing? I think you mean a gay thing. You make it sound so gay, your relationship with Kunsel. But now you're asking me for information on another guy. Oh my god, Zack. Are you two-timing Kunsel!? Because you know, I won't help you two-time him. And just for your information, the last two-timer I met? The grass on his grave is currently at least 2-meters tall.
But ethics aside, I'm looking for a scoop. A big, big major scoop that will get into the headlines of our school papers. Aeris has been bugging me about a breaking story for ages! And I need to give her one before our sweet little editor decides she'll let someone else take my place as Midgar Chronicles' top journalist!
Let's see. I want an exclusive interview with Genesis and Sephiroth. Set it up for me, and I might just tell you everything you want to know about the blond chocobo.
Subject: You can always just download whatever show online later
NOOO!! Me and Kunsel? NO WAY! We're just friends, alright? And doing lovey-dovey things with your best bud is just revolting! You have any idea how long this conversation is going to haunt me? It's going to give me never-ending nightmares! Much as I love the guy, this is never gonna happen. Never. Mark my words. Never.
Besides, Kunsel insists that he's straight.
You want an interview with Genesis and Sephiroth? That's impossible! You know how those two hate interviews! Especially Sephiroth. That man would sooner take a katana and chop off all his hair before he'll agree to an interview. And Genesis has a manager, so he probably can't accept interviews without his manager and agency's approval.
What exactly do you want to know about them? Maybe I could just sneak the question in the next time I meet them? Or I could get Angeal to help?
And you keep calling him the blond chocobo, blond chocobo. Do you even know him? Prove it. Give me a photo and his name, at the very least.
Subject: But that's so troublesome!
Now that's insulting! Of course I know the blond chocobo! He's not just my coursemate; he's also my dorm mate! I mean, the guy lives one floor below me in the Nibelheim Hall! And just so you know, the nearest pantry from my room is right beside his room, so I hang out a lot with him while my pizza's heating up in the pantry's microwave. Cloud's got some really pretty and microwavable plates too.
When I told you I know him, I meant it. Do you know how infuriating it is when you implied I'd tried to cheat you? Still, I'll be magnanimous and give you that photo you wanted. It's attached to this email. Don't let him know I sent it. If anyone asks, you stalked Cloud for the photo.
What do I want to know about Genesis and Sephiroth? It the same thing that's been bothering their fan clubs for ages! And I mean AGES. I even have the headline in my head already! The truth about Generoth: are Genesis and Sephiroth involved? See? Perfect headline! It even rhymes! Now it's just a matter of getting the actual content for the story. Get me the interviews, and I'll give you the information you want.
Subject: Less troublesome than sneaking out of class and getting caught, I'd say
So his name is Cloud? It's a strange name, but it's oddly fitting. I can't even say why. Tell me more about him! Where does he usually hang out? Is he single? Does he know Tifa Lockhart very well? Where is he from? And I demand more photos! By the way, why do you have a photo of him sleeping? Are /you/ stalking him?
You know what? If that's the scoop you were looking for, I can tell you everything about those two. I bet I can answer any question you might have. Genesis is one smug fellow, I tell you, and he doesn't mind sharing his sordid stories when the bunch of us get together for booze.
Just tell me all you know about Cloud, and I'll give you the information you want. Fair trade, right?
Subject: If it weren't for your email, my awesome ninja skills would have gotten me out of class safely!
Zack, the last time you told me you had a story for me, it was that the portion of the fries served over at the café had gotten smaller by an average of three fries. Give me something believable about Generoth and I'll give you something in return. Isn't the photo enough for now? And of course I'm not stalking Cloud. The few of us had a slumber party a few weeks ago and I just managed to get that shot. Ha ha, you're not close enough to Cloud to attend a slumber party with him. Too bad, so sad.
Anyway, about Cloud, the only thing I'm telling you now at the moment is that he's just platonic childhood friends with Tifa. Totally platonic, Tifa says. That's what she told me the last time we met at our club activity. I'm not telling you anything else until you give me the scoop!
Subject: If it weren't for my email, you'd have skipped class and gotten reported
Hey, for your information, three fries are about 10 percent of the total amount! That's a huge deduction, alright?
Okay fine, if you want something about those two, you'll get it. Yes they are involved and they do all sorts of kinky stuff your head can probably think of. Good luck naming something they haven't done. If you do manage to, chances are they've got it scheduled somewhere. You can't beat them. You really can't. Happy?
Now tell me everything about Cloud.
Subject: No I wouldn't
Zack, that's not enough information! Whatever you've told me isn't enough to make a new article! Aeris would have my head if I tried to pass that off as a news article. I would kill myself if I passed that off as a news article. I need more bite. When did they start? How did they start? How's their relationship like now? Going well, on the rocks, halfway to the altar? Which one is it?
Not gonna tell you a thing until you get all my questions answered!
Subject: What are you doing?
Zack, what are you doing snooping around Nibelheim Hall? From what I remember, your dorm room is halfway across the campus. As the student representative of this hall, I have the responsibility of looking after the resident's welfare and I can't let anybody just come in and wander about. Lately there's been a pervert who's been sneaking around and stealing the girls' undergarments.
Subject: Something important, of course
Hey, if you're emailing me, that means you're around in your room right? Anyway, I just want to know something. Which floor does Yuffie live on in this place? I'm looking for the pantry that's closest to her room. That's one floor below her room, right? She left me something in the pantry. /insert smiley/
Subject: Define important
She left you something in the pantry? Why?
Subject: Important – Vital, significant; mattering very much
Yeah. It's some food stuff that she wanted to pass to me but forgot to take it with her today, so she asked me to come and take it myself. So, location of the pantry?
Subject: That wasn't quite what I had in mind
Fine. Her room's on the fifth floor, so the pantry you're talking about is on the fourth floor. Just climb up the stairway which is directly in front of you right now. Apart from taking what she's giving you, don't touch anything else inside the pantry.
Subject: Does it matter?
Thanks! /insert smiley/
Subject: Where are you?
Where are you? You were supposed to be here for dinner ten minutes ago! Don't tell me you're skipping out on me because you're really stalking out at Nibelheim Hall. That was just a joke right? Right?
…Oh gods, why do I have the feeling you're really doing that right now? How bad of a crush is this, anyway?
Subject: You really owe me big time
No wonder you didn't reply to my previous email! Honestly, what made you think it was a good idea to use me as an excuse for stalking Cloud at my dorm? Tseng even questioned me if I'd told you to come over here when I finally got back to my room after a long day of interviewing witnesses! And Cloud also asked me if I'd forgotten to leave you that tub of vanilla ice cream in the fridge because you two had spent an hour just turning the pantry upside down looking for it and never found it.
Seriously, Cloud's too nice to tell you to get real, but the only place I'd leave ice cream in is the fridge. I would never put it under the sink, okay? That was a really frigging lame excuse to talk to him.
Couldn't you have thought of a better excuse, especially when you're putting my reputation at stake?
Have you seen this cell phone anywhere? Deep purple cover, Shinra brand, with a really cool black chocobo phone accessory tied to it, and has the word 'Zack' etched to its side. If you have, please call this number and ask for Kunsel.
- Self-made notice stuck all over the school's notice boards and pillars
"Hey there! This is Zack! That's my cell phone you're talking into!"
"Oh. So you're the guy who dropped your phone?"
"Guess so… I kinda lost my phone a few days ago. Must have dropped it while I was running around campus. I've been calling it and hoping someone would pick it up for a while, but haven't gotten any luck until now."
"Ah. The battery was flat until I charged it earlier."
"That explains a lot! Thanks, man! For holding onto it for me. Wait, that voice! Are you… are you Cloud?"
"Ah yeah. I found the phone outside my dorm room."
"Oh! I guess I dropped it when I was at Nibelheim Hall, huh? By the way, it was really nice talking to you that day!"
"Erm, yeah… It was… really interesting."
"That so? I guess that means we could hang out together, huh?"
"I'm just curious about something. Really curious."
"I just want to know… why do you have a photo of me sleeping as your phone's wallpaper?"
"How did you even get that photo?"
"YUFFIE MADE ME DO IT!"
"SH-SHE EMAILED ME THE PHOTO, AND, AND, AND THEN I JUST…!"
"…Zack, I'll leave your phone with Yuffie. Pick it up from her."
I have a class now, so I passed your phone over to Tseng. He'll be around the whole day. Do not be surprised if he laughs at you. I would too.
- Written on a post-it pad and stuck onto Yuffie's door
If you're wondering why your phone is in an envelope, complete with this letter, don't wonder. I told Tseng to pass this whole package to you, because honestly? I've a bucket load of things to say to you, and I don't want to forget anything! Argh, I need to write this down before I explode!
First, the next time I see you, I'm going to tear your hair off and forge them into an armour so I'll be safe from Cloud! How could you!? How could you tell Cloud I gave you that photo when I was doing you a favour!? I was sympathetic enough to give you such a good photo and you told him! Do you have any idea how mad Cloud is at me right now? If I hadn't ducked behind Tifa just in the nick of time, Cloud would have skinned me alive!
Trust me; Cloud doesn't have a very good impression of you right now. Which is exactly the second thing I want to yell at you for. Gods, what made you think it'd be a good idea to stalk him all the way to Nibelheim Hall? Well, it wouldn't be such an insane thing to do if you'd been half as eloquent as you usually are, but from what I heard from Cloud, you sounded like a blabbering love-struck idiot. And then he saw the photo of himself as your cell phone's wallpaper. Brilliant, Zack. Real brilliant.
You'd better hope that the pervert who's been stalking around our building and stealing the girls' undergarment gets caught soon lest Cloud starts to think it's you.
P.S. Tseng wants you to know that he doesn't think you're the undergarment thief, but only because you're too careless to be the guy. And too idiotic.
Subject: My condolences
I just heard what happened from Yuffie. Wanna go down to the Honeybee Inn for a night of unwinding? You'll figure out a way to fix this mess with Cloud tomorrow. Today, we'll get drunk and you can hit on the ladies, if you want. I heard Cissnei, Reno and Rude will be there too, so we could go together.
5 September 2008 10.13pm
Subject: Tweets for the day
#01: Met up with Cissnei and Reno at the Inn. Rude called a round of beer for everyone. Hero.
#02: Lots of hot ladies at the dance floor. Feel like joining them.
#03: Zack is inhaling beer at the rate I breathe. Intervals between breaths get shorter as the girls' skirts go up. Not good.
#04: Tifa-miss-pretty-long-legs-Lockhart is in the dance floor. Strike!
#05: Cissnei is trying to get Zack to drink less. Doesn't seem to be working. Zack has an iron-grip on his mug when he's drunk.
#06: Joined the dance floor to get closer to Tifa. Wonder if it'll work?
#07: Got relegated to the fringes of the dance floor while Reno charmed the ladies and they're all dancing with him. Not fair. Why is Tifa dancing with him too?
#08: Zack seems completely wasted. Cissnei has apparently given up on him and is drinking with Rude.
#09: Tifa, dance this way! I'm only five people away from you!
#10: Got relegated again to the fringe of the fringe. Damn it.
#11: Woah, who is that hot blonde girl kissing Zack? Even when he's drunk, he's getting luckier than I am! Shit, is that girl pawing his crotch!?
#12: Tifa left the dance floor. Hey, Cloud's waiting for her at the side with her drink. I'd better get Zack away from that blonde girl before Cloud sees them making out and the misunderstanding gets worse.
- updated onto Kunsel's livejournal via his cell phone
Subject: Are you feeling alright?
Are you alright? You got really drunk last night at the Honeybee Inn. Getting hydrated with orange juice should help you with a hangover.
Subject: Yo, hot thing!
Hey, you hot thing! Never pinned you as the wild party animal type until last night at the Honeybee Inn! If I'd known any sooner, I'd extended an invitation to you for Rufus' pool party last Saturday. Then again, the amount of alcohol you downed last night could probably fill up half of Rufus' swimming pool, so I'm not sure if he'd appreciate that.
Anyway, did you get the number of that hot blonde babe who hit on you? Send it to me! You didn't seem all that interested after a while, so I guess she's free game?
Zack's personal commandments
1. Thou shalt enjoy life at Midgar University.
2. Thou shalt make friends at Midgar University.
3. Thou shalt pass all your classes but not at the expense of having no social life.
4. Thou shalt not eat instant noodles for every meal. – Mom insisted
5. Thou shalt exercise regularly to keep fit and stay healthy.
6. Thou shalt finish all your assignments. – Prof Hollander insisted
7. Thou shalt get to know Cloud. – underlined and highlighted
8. Thou shalt never get drunk out of your mind again and make out with random women in the club, especially not when Cloud is also there to see.
- pinned to the corkboard mounted on the wall in front of Zack's desk in his dorm room
"This is an automated message from the operator. The number you have called cannot be reached and you will be directed to the voice mail. Please leave a message after the beep."
"Zack? Yuffie here. I know you're upset right now, and you probably have every reason to be, but seriously, just because Cloud thinks you're a pervert, a lecher and a total flirt does not give you the right to become a complete hermit. Kunsel told me you haven't stepped out of your room in days. /I/ haven't been able to reach you on the phone for days.
"Come on. It's just a little misunderstanding on Cloud's part. If you'd just come out of your damn room, you'll get it cleared up with him in no time at all! You just need to talk to him!
"We're having a dorm party later this evening. I expect to see you shaved, bathed, preferably in clean clothes, and at my door at 8pm. Remember to bring a smile so you can charm the socks off of Cloud!
"By the way, I'm getting Kunsel here too, just to keep you company."
9 September 2008 8.53pm
Subject: Tweets for the day
#01: Nibelheim's dorm party is great. I think all the residents are down here at the common area partying away together. Why doesn't our dorm have this sort of activity?
#02: Oh, they're calling people to the front to play games now. The girls are supposed to do a pole-dance with the guys as the poles. Hope I get called.
#03: Darn it. They called Zack and missed me when I'm right beside him. Zack declined though. He's still peering around for Cloud, I think.
#04: Yuffie's 'pole' is completely red. She's having fun at his expense. Still wish I were up there.
#05: Cloud just arrived. He looks like he just took a shower. Zack is totally blushing. Wish I had a camera phone to snap a photo of him like this. It'd be perfect blackmail material to tease him with.
#06: Tifa is not here. Damn it.
#07: Wow, Zack managed to inch his way through the throng of people to get to Cloud. Wonder what they're talking about. Zack looks like he's going to blush himself to death, and Cloud looks wary. Poor Zack.
#08: Wait, is that the sound of a woman's scream upstairs?
- updated onto Kunsel's livejournal via his cell phone
Subject: It's perfect!
That was a great job from you, Zack! Not only did you help us nab that serial undergarment thief pervert, you did it in front of Cloud! I can tell he's impressed by you. Too bad for Elena though. She must be quite embarrassed and hopping mad for screaming like that earlier. But hey, I think it's perfectly understandable: that pervert was laying hands on that new lacy bra that she'd hung out to dry!
Tseng and I are now at the police station with the pervert, but we'll be done soon. Did the dorm party go on? And how're things going with Cloud now? He's probably slightly miffed at having lost the pervert to you, but I know he's impressed by how you managed to catch the guy by yourself too.
Subject: I hope so too
You think so? I didn't really get to talk with Cloud after the whole fiasco. Nobody wanted to party after that, so the thing just ended. And Cloud went back to his room. /insert downcast smiley/
Subject: Of course it is!
Of course I do! I never say things I don't mean. Now that Cloud's impressed by you, you just need to find an opportunity to chat up with him and clear up the other misunderstandings with him and things will be fine between you two. Work hard, and good luck!
Serial Undergarment Thief Nabbed at Nibelheim Hall
Yuffie Kisaragi, The Midgar Chronicles
Published: 15 September 2008
The serial undergarment thief who has been stalking the corridors of Nibelheim Hall for the past six weeks was finally apprehended a week ago by dorm residents.
Don Corneo, an unemployed vagrant, has been stealing the laundry of the residents regularly for the last few weeks but escaped apprehension repeatedly. One of his favourite items was the girls' undergarments, which they hang out to dry with the rest of their laundry, as per usual practice at the dormitories. Residents started to report missing laundry five weeks ago, but items like slippers and heels left outside the residents' rooms had started going missing since July.
"At first I thought it was just a stray animal fooling around, you know? It's happened before," said 19-year-old resident Priscilla Junon, who is also a business major at Midgar University. "It wasn't until my laundry went missing that I realized that hey, maybe it wasn't Nanaki after all." Nanaki is a wild cat that's been adopted as Nibelheim's mascot in recent months.
The 56-year-old Corneo was at his game again one week ago, taking advantage of Nibelhelm Hall's bi-monthly dorm party when most of the residents were down at the common area. He was eventually discovered by Elena Pierce, one of the few residents who had remained in her room, when he tried to steal the clothes she had just hung out to dry. Her scream alerted the other residents who then pursued Corneo and later cornered him in the dormitory's television lounge. The police arrived on scene after the capture and took Corneo away.
A student who'd been at the dormitory to participate at the dorm party, 22-year-old Zack Fair, was among those who caught Corneo. According to him, he ran into Corneo at a stairway when the man tried to make his escape after Pierce's scream.
"I wasn't sure what had happened, actually, but I'd heard that the Hall was having some problems with a thief, so I just nabbed the first guy who looked suspicious," said Fair.
Corneo had tried to run away with a few brassieresstuffed into his shirt.
"That sick pervert deserves to be put away for the next decade! He's just sick," said 21-year-old Pierce, who has been living in Nibelheim Hall for the past three years. This is the first time her clothes have been stolen.
Another resident and the student representative of the Nibelheim Hall, 22-year-old Tseng Aki said: "Nibelheim Hall has always been a safe place, and we all looked out for each other, so we've never had to really lock our doors or be afraid of leaving our things outside our rooms. The thief took advantage of our trust. We will be more careful from now on."
It is estimated that Corneo has stolen at least 30 sets of bras and panties, along with a few sets of clothes and shoes belonging to the female residents.
Congrats, Zack! I just read the article in The Midgar Chronicles, and you're such a hero! I always knew you were a great man, but I didn't think you'd catch a thief like that!
I'm going to be giving out copies of the papers later at our faculty so more of our students can learn about your heroic deed! And your fan club is currently going stark raving bonkers about the good news! Everyone's so happy for you!
From: Fanclub president - Randi
Congratulations, Zack! I've just managed to get a copy of The Midgar Chronicles and read all about your heroic feat! As your fan club president, I'm so proud and happy for you! I'm very honoured to be your fan club's founder and current president!
The papers are quickly running out as all the members of your fan club are doing whatever they can to get a copy, and you can be sure that your good deed will be celebrated at our next gathering. Hope you will be able to join us! I'll email you the details closer to the date.
Please continue to embrace your dreams and honour and be a hero's example! Your fan club will always love you! /insert hearts/
P.S. Please don't be alarmed if you get congratulating messages from strangers. It's probably your fan club members. /insert smiley/
Subject: You're the best!
From: Unknown number
WE'LL LOVE YOUR FOREVER! /insert hearts/
Subject: We love you!
From: Unknown number
Zack, you're our hero! We /insert hearts/ you!
Subject: Even more congratulations!
From: Fanclub president - Randi
Just wanted to drop you a message that we're seeing an unprecedented number of new applicants to your fan club! Everyone loves you! /insert hearts/
Subject: Thank you!
Zack, just wanted to send you a little thank you note here. We've never seen our papers fly off the shelves so quickly before! As editor-in-chief of The Midgar Chronicles, I think you might just win our next Mr. Midgar University popularity polls! Your fan club is amazing!
But of course, I know you're only interested if you can win the popularity polls with Cloud. Hee hee, Yuffie's told me about the whole thing. Good luck with nabbing Cloud! He's really cute! I would have asked him out on a date if I didn't know he doesn't like girls that way.
Anyway, I heard from a very reliable source that Cloud's going to be at the library this afternoon to find a few reference books. I'm sure that if someone would just help him carry those books back to his dorm room, he'd be very happy.
Subject: THANK YOU!
Aeris, you're the best, best, best friend anyone could ask for! Thanks! If you need me, you know where I'll be.
Subject: You're welcome!
Just remember to tell me all the juicy details later!
Subject: Where are you!?
I'm almost afraid to ask you, but where the hell are you? Didn't we agree to have dinner together today? I'm already at the cafeteria, and it's 30 minutes past our agreed time of 7pm.
Okay, so I just got a call from Yuffie while I was halfway through typing the email. She says that she saw you at the halfway across the campus where I am right now, having dinner with Cloud.
Zack, you lecher. At least have the decency to tell me before you leave me like this!
Oh god, I knew I was forgetting something. I'm really sorry!
It's just, after I met Cloud in the library and helped him out with some books, I couldn't just give up the chance to have dinner with him! Do you have any idea how cute he is!? And he doesn't just look cute; he's got a totally adorable personality too!
I'll talk to you later. I'm almost at the cash register and Cloud is waiting for me to get our dinner.
Subject: The clean-up crew is going to hate you
Seriously Zack, even if Cloud is totally delectable and sitting just across you, you need to control yourself. Start by cleaning up your drool, which I think is starting to drip onto the floor. And then stop staring at Cloud like you're mentally undressing him. You're so going to scare him off like how you are right now.
P.S. Do not even try to figure out where I am for I have awesome ninja skills and cannot be detected by the likes of you.
Subject: You're completely exaggerating
I never knew you were such a peeping Tom, Treasure Princess! Now go away, and don't you even think of ruining my first date with Cloud.
P.S. I know you're at the table at the corner that's closest to the fish and chips store.
Subject: No I'm not!
First date? Hah! You obviously need a 'Dummy's Guide to Dating'. A dinner where you go Dutch with your companion after doing some research in the library can hardly be called a date at all. You'll need to do better than that.
P.S. You're wrong!
Subject: Yes you are!
This is just a prequel to our first date, which will take place as soon as I ask him out to help me get a good book in journalism for my younger brother who's dreaming of becoming a journalist in the future.
P.S. That's only because you moved one table down after my previous email.
Subject: No I'm not! I insist!
What younger brother!? You're the only child! You never had any siblings!
P.S. I hate you.
Subject: Yes you are. And I insist.
And your point is?
P.S. But you love the BL fodder I'm providing you with right now so for both our sakes, don't even try to ruin what I have with Cloud. In fact, try to get him to date me.
At least be truthful with Cloud if you want to date him, jerk!
P.S. See if I'll help you again. And you'd better look out. Revenge is coming your way!
Generoth: the latest hip word?
Yuffie Kisaragi, The Midgar Chronicles
Published: 30 September 2008
Red Leather and Silver Elite, the fan clubs for popular students Genesis Rhapsodos and Sephiroth Valentine, have always dreamed of holding joint events together to boost their idols' popularity. Their dream might just be coming true after news of Genesis and Sephiroth dating has been circulating wildly in the university's online forums and notice boards. Fans of this news have dubbed the couple 'Generoth', which is a portmanteau of the two's names.
Said a Generoth fan who declined to be named: "Us fans have been waiting for this day since like, forever! It was so obvious Genesis and Sephiroth are in love but they just wouldn't admit it out loud."
Childhood friends who entered Midgar University together, Genesis and Sephiroth became immensely popular after participating in the university's manhunt contest in 2004 that's opened to freshmen every year. Genesis took the title while Sephiroth dropped out after the semi-finals due to personal reasons, but Sephiroth had been a fan favourite before he dropped out. Since the competition, rumours that the two are dating have been rife within the school community.
In recent weeks, an anonymous fan who only goes by the nickname ZF has been posting photos of the two together in their dorm rooms along with snippets of eye-witness stories. One of the stories talked about Sephiroth and Genesis, who is also a popular model, having an argument over the latter's decision to pose naked for a photo-shoot. The story was accompanied by photographs of the two "obviously sulking on their own" after said argument.
When questioned about the relationship, ZF commented online: "Yes they are involved and they do all sorts of kinky stuff your head can probably think of. Good luck naming something they haven't done. If you do manage to, chances are they've got it scheduled somewhere."
As many of the stories and photographs sound "very plausible and intimate", as online Generoth fans have said, many believe that ZF is a close friend of both Genesis and Sephiroth, hence adding credibility to the news.
The committee members of Red Leather and Silver Elite are ecstatic over the news.
"We're going to help them plan the wedding!" said Stella, president of Silver Elite and 23-year-old student, who has been a fan of Sephiroth since her freshman year and was recently promoted to president. "It's what we've all been waiting for!"
Subject: Flee if it's you
Zack, tell me that the ZF guy who has been leaving all those comments online is not you. For the sake of my sanity and your own personal safety, say it's not you. Because I cannot guarantee your safety otherwise. Genesis has been stomping around like a Godzilla on rampage for the entire day, and the last I saw of Sephiroth, he was sharpening his sword.
Subject: But where would I run?
Angeal, I swear it's not me. I SWEAR TO GOD THAT IT'S NOT ME! You know I never visit our school's online forums and notice boards! Isn't that why I always miss important announcements until you or Kunsel tell me about it? Someone must have done it on purpose to frame me.
Subject: Good question
Alright, I will trust you on this, because I know not even you would dare to do something as reckless as this. Genesis and Sephiroth are out for blood, so you'd better prove your innocence before I'm unable to stop them.
Subject: You're not very encouraging, are you?
I may have an idea who this ZF is. Just give me some time.
"Hello, Yuffie speaking!"
"Yuffie, this is Zack here."
"Oh, hi Zack! Anything wrong?"
"Anything wrong? How about everything?"
"Ouch. What happened?"
"Yuffie, be honest with me. Did you, or did you not, post all those rumours and photographs about Genesis and Sephiroth online under the nickname ZF?"
"Zaaaaaccccck! What makes you think I'd do that? I'm not so evil to post unfounded rumours, you know? I'm a journalist, not a paparazzi! I only write stories; I don't speculate! And why would I even do it under a tacky nickname like ZF?"
"Yuffie, are you trying to get me killed? Genesis and Sephiroth are out for my blood now! Whatever I told you before is not true, alright? I was just trying to get you to tell me everything about Cloud!"
"Really? How could you, Zack! I trusted you!"
"Okay okay, I'm sorry about that! Now will you clear my name?"
"Clear what name?"
"The whole thing about me posting those rumours online! You posted all that under my initials!"
"Oh come on, you're not the only one with ZF as your initials."
"But I'm the only ZF who knows both of them!"
"Oh, that's too bad. Anyway, it's not me. I didn't do all that. Really."
"I can hear your grin a hundred miles away!"
"Don't be ridiculous, Zack. Anyway, I'm busy! Gotta run!"
"SHE HUNG UP ON ME!"
Subject: Genesis sighting!
Zack, Genesis just went into the main library. You'd better not be within 10 meters of that place and set off his enemy-radar.
No worries; I'm heading for the rooftop garden now. That's very far from where you guys are.
Subject: Sephiroth sighting!
Zack, Sephiroth is currently at the entrance of the rooftop garden!
Thanks man! I was just about to go there!
Subject: Sephiroth sighting 2!
It seems that Sephiroth is meeting up with a blond guy, and he looks a lot like the Cloud you've been following around lately…
Subject: No way!
Cloud and Sephiroth know each other!? I didn't know that! What are they talking about?
Subject: Sephiroth is inside the rooftop garden now
I'm too far away from them to hear what they're talking, but it seems that they don't just know each other but are actually quite close friends. At least, they're sitting pretty close to each other and look kinda intimate to me.
But it's fine, right? I mean, Sephiroth's already dating Genesis, so he's probably not into Cloud like you are! And by the way, you were really courageous to reveal Genesis and Sephiroth's relationship like you did! Kudos!
Subject: And I'm miles away from that place now
I didn't do it! Why won't anybody believe me!?
Subject: A challenge for you
Have you repented on your decision to post all those things about Genesis and me online yet? I hope you haven't, because I just told Cloud a few things about you that might make a relationship between you and him… more trying. But you enjoy challenges, don't you? So just see that as a newly set up challenge that's meant exclusively for you.
And yes, I do know Cloud. Quite well, in fact. He's one of the committee members of my fan club, in case you wonder.
Subject: Can I have another type of challenge instead?
Sephiroth! You can't do this to me! I swear: I wasn't the one who posted all those things online! I don't even visit our school's online forums and notice boards! Angeal can vouch for me! Just ask him!
I know you're intelligent enough to not be taken in by this sort of deception! If I'd wanted to post anything damaging to you guys online, why would I do it with my initials? Come on! Don't be taken in!
Subject: One at a time, puppy
Don't worry. Unlike a certain someone, I play fair and only told Cloud the truth. Like the time you got drunk and woke up in Cissnei's bed. And the time you tore a girl's dress when you fell off the stairs and decided that the dress would keep you from falling, which didn't. Just things like that. And of course, I had to share with him about how you skip more classes than you attend, that you do your laundry only once a month and so you wear your underwear inside out when it comes down to it, and that your hair can actually stab someone. Just things about your personal life. Nothing too much.
And Zack, don't use reverse psychology on me. It doesn't work.
By the way, would you help me check on Genesis? He's at the main library photocopying some pamphlets about ZF which he intends to give out though his fan club.
Angeal, Sephiroth just told me that Genesis is at the main library photocopying pamphlets about me! And he's going to give them out! Help me stop him! You're his best friend, aren't you? Help me!
Subject: Already at it
Don't worry. Sephiroth's just playing with you. Genesis is photocopying pamphlets under ZF's name to clear everything up. It's a personal affidavit sort of thing written by him and Sephiroth which states that all of the rumours online were false and unfounded. We're not sure if it'll work, but it's the next best thing until we can get The Midgar Chronicles to publish an apology.
But Sephiroth is talking bad about me to Cloud now too? /insert confused smiley/
Subject: No buts about it
I don't know what Sephiroth told you, but he and Cloud are personal friends so they probably just met up for a chat.
As I said, don't worry. I've convinced Genesis and Sephiroth that you're not the perpetrator. It took a bit of time, but once they calmed down, they both thought it was too obvious that it couldn't be you.
Thanks a lot, Angeal! I love you! /insert hearts/ I could just glomp you!
Subject: Not so soon, puppy
Don't tempt me into misleading Cloud about you. Keep the glomps away from me.
Okay okay! I'll leave you alone! Just don't say anything bad about me to Cloud! If he has to find out about my flaws, I want him to learn it straight from me.
Subject: Woah is right
Despite how much you seem to like the boy, you don't seem to have gotten any closer to him yet, have you? If you're not aware, he's Sephiroth's fan, so it won't be difficult for Sephiroth to steal him away if he wants to.
Subject: No way
Hey, it's not my fault, you know? It's just my luck that Cloud keeps misunderstanding me. First he thought I was a stalker and pervert for having a photo of him sleeping as my phone's wallpaper, then he thought I was a flirt and player when I pawed this blond girl in the bar. I was drunk! And the girl was blond! I thought she was Cloud, alright!? Cloud does have a pretty face that's a little feminine, you know?
It was only after I nabbed that undergarment thief that he was willing to talk to me again, and then all of a sudden, this whole thing about ZF and Generoth happened. Argh, I haven't even had the time to really formulate a good plan to snag Cloud…
Subject: Dinner tonight?
Hey buddy, so aren't you a happy lark right now? It's been days since you had to run away from Sephiroth and Genesis, hasn't it? I'm glad you guys got it all cleared up in the end.
Anyway, we haven't had classes together in a while (or rather, you haven't been attending classes again), so I was thinking maybe we could have dinner together tonight? 7pm, at the new burger joint?
Ha ha, you know, it's a great feeling, to know that the misunderstanding's been resolved. I almost thought those two were going to kill me, honestly. As nice as they can be usually, they're really scary when they get mad.
And yeah sure! I'll see you there tonight!
Subject: Erm, hello?
Hi, this is Cloud. I was just wondering if you'd have a bit of time for dinner tonight? I just want to talk to you about Sephiroth. It's okay if you're not free.
Hi Cloud! Yes, I'm free for the entire night for whatever you want to talk about! Where would you like to go for dinner?
Subject: Ah yes
Thank you. I was thinking maybe we could meet at 7pm at the café by the pool? Would that be alright with you?
Subject: Of course!
Yeah sure! I'll meet you there at 7pm sharp! See you!
Subject: Hey sorry buddy
Kunsel? Sorry but I have a dinner appointment with Cloud. Could we have dinner another day instead?
Subject: Oh sure
Again? How many times have you blown me off to meet Cloud? Well, at least you had the decency to tell me in advance… Just don't botch up this opportunity with Cloud again, you hear me?
"What are you doing, calling me up at… …3 in the morning? I was /yawn/ sleeping like most normal people do, you know?"
"Sorry! I just couldn't sleep! Too excited."
"So you decided to keep me up too? Jerk. Wait. Excited? What's got you excited?"
"You can't guess?"
"Zack, it's 3 in the morning. It's amazing that my brain is even functioning well enough to be able to talk to you."
"Okay, okay! I swear it's going to be short. It's just… Cloud was so adorable at dinner earlier."
"Oh yeah, you blew me off to have dinner with him. So what happened?"
"Okay I'm sorry! Cloud just asked me out to dinner, and I couldn't possibly refuse! I mean, you and I, we have dinner together like three times a week anyway. And get this: Cloud asked me. Not the other way around. /He/ asked me out for dinner."
"Eh? But why?"
"He wanted to talk to me about some stuff. You remember the whole ZF fiasco, right?"
"It was only a few days ago! It may be… 3.10 in the morning, but I don't have short-term memory like a goldfish!"
"Okay, okay. So anyway, Cloud's actually in Sephiroth's fan club, and he wanted to know more about what really happened, if those things online were true, yada yada. You know, all those stuff."
"So you blew me off to have dinner with someone who wanted to gleam information about his idol off you? Is that it? Is that what's got you excited?"
"Hey, I gotta start somewhere, right? At least I had a nice chat with him over dinner. And this won't be the last time I have dinner with him! I just know it!"
"Yes, yes, it won't be the last time. Now is this all you were excited over, or do I have to stay up more and get excited with you?"
"Bah, you're such a wet blanket, Kunsel."
"I can be a bright-eyed princess in the morning. But wet blanket is my default mode at 3… …13 in the morning."
"Fine. Chat with you in the morning then. Night!"
"What now, Zack? I just got back under the covers and you're calling me again!"
"Well, it only occurred to me after we hung up that I should set the record straight."
"Was it even crooked in the first place?"
"Cloud didn't just talk to me about Sephiroth, alright? We talked a lot about ourselves too!"
"Is that all you called me up for?"
"Good night, Zack."
Subject: I spy a pair of chocobos on a date?
Wow, are you actually dating Cloud or something? This is the 3rd time I've seen you two eating together this week! And no, I'm not stalking you. I have a feeling that if I were stalking you, I'd have seen you two eating together for more than just 3 times. Besides, this is the cafeteria's that's closest to the School of Journalism. If anything, I'd say you're stalking Cloud. And me.
Subject: You know…
I really understand how exciting it must be for you to have dinner with Cloud almost every other day, especially when he doesn't seem to mind that you always appear right when he's about to have dinner. Talking about that, I'm surprised he hasn't accused you of stalking him yet.
But anyway, as excited as you no doubt are, could you tell me when you decide to stalk him there and leave me hanging here?
Subject: Good luck!
You know, I never realized how small Midgar U was until recently, because I seem to be seeing you and Cloud together everywhere I go! In any case, I'm glad things seem to be going so smoothly for you two.
Subject: Where are you?
I'm at the bus stop now. Are you going to be here soon?
Subject: Take a guess?
I'll be there in a minute, babe! Sorry! I was having some problems with the online booking system for our movie tickets.
Hey babe, I'm out of class early today, so shall we have lunch together?
I'm already at cafeteria A. Come look for me?
Subject: Dorm rules
Zack, I hope you're aware of the dorm rule that guests are not allowed to stay in a resident's room overnight. As you are not a resident of Nibelheim Hall, you're considered a guest and so get yourself out of Cloud's room within 10 minutes or I'll have to chase you out.
From: Unknown number
Hello, this is an email approving your application for our beloved Zack Fair's personal fan club. I'm Randi, the fan club's president, and welcome to the club, Cloud! Your membership number is 7777, and we look forward to seeing you in our club activities in the near future!
A/N: Ha ha, I can't help but write a whole lot when it's in epistolary format. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this! Please remember to leave a review if you did! Thanx!