A series of humor drabbles about Zack and the group. No specific pairings. Contains Crisis Core characters (Kunsel, Cissnei, Angeal, Genesis, Hollander) and locations but no spoilers.

Sephiroth's and Zack's Musings

Meeting Aerith

Important note: There will be references to chapter 9 so be sure to check it out before you read this one.

Sephiroth and Cloud looked into each other eyes. Cloud had a cup of coffee in his hands and Sephiroth sipped his tea delicately. They were in a coffe shop in a little alley in Sector 8, waiting for Zack. The black haired man had left for the slums in the morning, promising both of them he would return in just a few minutes. They had been sitting in there for five hours and no sign of the first class soldier. They had already tried to play cards, dice, board games and every other entertainment that the small and idilic coffee shop could provide. Sephiroth even managed to spend an entire hour sharpening Masamune while Cloud played Snake on his cellphone. They read every newspaper and magazine, watched the news and the 3 o'clock football game. They tried every juice on the juice bar and even organized a cake-eating competition, which ended with Sephiroth begging the old lady behind the counter for more cake.

Nonetheless, they were tired. They wanted to see Zack. Damn, they wanted to meet Aerith!

"There he is" said Cloud suddenly, startling Sephiroth.

The silver haired man looked at the girl entering the coffee shop. Aerith's braided hair was held by a pink ribbon but her dress was white and blue. Her face was beautiful, with piercing emerald eyes. She was young but even if the soft curves of her face showed her young age, there was maturity and experience in her eyes, as well as pain. That was not a girl you could forget, he thought absently.

"Hi guys. I'm sorry if I'm late. Some of the kids in the slums were in trouble and Aerith offered to take care of them. It appears that one of the kid's fascination with wallets was disturbing the peace on wall market."

"I'm sorry!"

Her voice was beautiful. Sephiroth smiled when he thought that some months ago he had told Zack that Aerith, at some point would say: "This guy are sick!" The girl would never say such a thing, she was too pretty to commit awful English mistakes. However, Zack didn't need to know that.

She sat and ordered some orange juice. Zack held her hand above the table and something inside Sephiroth twisted. The way that her eyes sparkled when Zack's eyes met hers and the way that her fingers curled in delight below Zack's touch made something shift in his heart. Perhaps because he never felt something like that. Perhaps because no woman ever looked at him wanting protection or companionship. All they wanted was Sephiroth, was Sephiroth's body and Sephiroth's power. Nothing besides that.

"So.. Aerith, Zack has told us a lot about you" started Cloud, leaning forward. He too was delighted by the girl's charm. "Do you sell flowers?"

"Yes, I do. The flowers in my church are quite resilient because it is a sacred place. They say you can't grow grass and flowers in Midgar... But for some reason, the flowers have no trouble blooming there"

"Yeah, Aerith is a big success on the slums. Providing hope and happiness where there's none. After all that's what flowers symbolize, isn't it?"

"Sure is" she agreed, smiling at him.

Cloud leaned forward again.

"So... If I were ever to take you out on a date, should I give you flowers?"

The question was completely off the record. Sephiroth smiled devilishly at Cloud and felt Zack's foot nudging his ankle to end up kicking Cloud's knee. The blond covered up the pain and kept smiling at Aerith, who seemed surprised.

"Well... I guess. After all, every girl loves flowers."

"Cloud, are you crazy?" said Zack, his mouth-ajar. "She is my girlfriend, man!"

"Zack, don't be jealous."

Sephiroth's insides were melting with joy. He felt the urge to kiss Cloud just by seeing Zack's angry expression. Aerith was Zack's weak point, that was obvious. Even Sephiroth didn't have the guts or the evilness to play with that. Cloud had the courage to. However...

"Aerith, do you have a bodyguard?"

She blinked, surprised "A bodyguard?"

"Yes" continued Sephiroth, playing his game "After all, you live in the slums. Monsters lurk there, as well as thieves and robbers. And you are just a girl, imagine if someone tried to hurt you while you sold your flowers on the streets?"

Cloud nodded "I don't know how Zack didn't even think about that."

"You're a cruel boyfriend, Zack" said Sephiroth, eyes wide open.

"Reckless, completely reckless" agreed Cloud with a serious expression.

"I can protect Aerith" said Zack, angry. "I'm always there for her, if she needs anything she can call me and I'll be right on my way."

Sephiroth pointed a finger at Zack "Yes, Zack, if she calls you... however what if she doesn't even have the time to call you? What if they steal her phone? What if they abduct her? How will you help her? How can you leave you girlfriend in the slums without a man's protection or company?"

"Yeah, how can you live with yourself!" Cloud punched the table, nodding.

Sephiroth looked at Aerith. She was smiling faintly in a polite way. That girl was tough. She wasn't going to flee at the tinniest complication.

"I think you need to assign Aerith a bodyguard" said Cloud.

"What? She doesn't need a bodyguard"

"Of course she does. And it's gonna be one of us: Me or Sephiroth."

Zack looked at them, mouth full open.

"I am NOT assigning one of you as Aerith's bodyguards, that's the end of the discussion!"

"Zack" just saying his name brought a halt to his anger. Aerith smiled again. "If you do it you'll probably stop being so worried whenever you are on a mission. You call me dozens of times per day."

He blushed.

"I do that because, as I said before, I'm constantly worried about you."

"Well, if you find someone to protect me, and perhaps even help me selling flowers, you won't be so concerned. After all, I know you trust your friends."

Zack sighed.

"Well, I can't trust Sephiroth."

The general smiled. "Why not?"

"Well, all girls fall at your feet! You just walk by and every woman on the ShinRa HQ bursts in a explosion of sighing!"

"You're exaggerating"

"I'm not. You're just too popular. One day I was talking to a girl in Sector 8 and she said that just imagining you stripped to the waist made her dizzy. At least no one notices Cloud."

Cloud opened his mouth in protest "That's just cool, Zack, that's just cool!"

"Cloud, you're wearing purple!"

"It's my uniform, I can't help it! Too bad you say it's gay pride."

"Gay pride is rainbow" said Sephiroth, frowning.

"Officially, but admit that everytime you think of purple, you think of gays."

"I don't. You're being a homophobe"

Zack opened his mouth wide again.

"What? Sephiroth, you were the one who assigned purple to rookies and 3rd classes!"

Cloud gasped "I don't believe it! You're the reason I'm wearing this stupid color right now?"

"Well, my life is incredibly boring. I don't care if my definition of fun is making men wearing purple. If I laugh about it, then its doing its job."

"You've ruined lives with that decision!"

"Cloud, you're overreacting"

"I'm not overreacting! Yesterday Kunsel's girlfriend broke up with him because she thought he was turning gay!"

"Well, she was not a keeper. Who breaks up with a guy just considering what he wears?"

"Having in consideration that he had to wear purple seven days per week, 365 days per year, a woman starts to have doubts, I guess" said Zack.

"I agree to that" said Aerith, sipping her orange juice.

"See? Even Aerith thinks it's just awkward for a guy to wear purple every day. At least our trousers are baggy, just imagine if they were tight."

"I guess the girls would be thrilled to see your sexy legs" mocked Sephiroth with a smirk.

"Not when in purple."

"Did you know that purple enhances your eyes?" joked Sephiroth again, defending himself from a well placed kick. "Tell me, Aerith, how good is your English?"

The girl blinked. "It's fine, I believe."

"So tell me: What would you say if you ever saw a man mumbling inside a tube?"

"Sephiroth you're being a douchebag."

"I...I...I don't know" she said, puzzled.

"Look sweetie" Zack held Aerith's hand "Don't listen to Sephiroth. A month ago he invented some crappy story and you were one of the characters. He said that.."

"Aerith would want to save the world, because she is somewhat connected to the planet and knows the villain is evil, and would sacrifice herself to save the world from the claws of the devil." completed Sephiroth with a faint smile.

"That's quite a role" she retorted "But how did you know I'm connected to the planet?"

"You are?" exclaimed the three men.

"Well... yes. It's just because of this strange materia my mother gave me. It's useless but I think it's what gives me the power to talk to the planet."

Sephiroth raised an eyebrow. He had to check that. Being a materia expert as he was, a materia that made the user talk to the planet was rare enough to caught his attention. However, he would have time to dig into that later.

"See, Zack? I believe my story will be real. You say it's impossible but I still have hope."

"Sephiroth, you are completely out of your mind. And in that story, Cloud dates Aerith! It's never going to happen!"

"Well, you'll probably be dead by then."

"You asshole. I will not."

"If you step in the way of my story, I'll just kill you in the process. There will be no hope for you, Zack."

"Sephiroth, your story is never going to happen. Stop living in fantasy!"

The general smiled "I don't care. My fantasy will be the final fantasy for all of you, common mortals. I've already started the process and the fiction is becoming reality."

Zack frowned "How so?"

"Well, just look at Cloud."

"What about him?"

"He's already flirting with your girlfriend. And, the most important thing, he's wearing purple, just like I predicted."

"You didn't predict anything. You changed the soldier's uniform to your heart's content."

"And I won't stop doing so, until all the plot elements in my masterpiece are completed."

Some years later...

Cloud stopped near a metal tube. A man lurked inside, mumbling and waving restlessly. Aerith looked inside and her emerald eyes opened wide.



"This guy are sick!"

Cloud closed his eyes and slapped his forehead.

And so it begins.

Author's notes: I'm sorry if it seemed that Sephiroth developed a crush on Aerith, it was just the avid Aeriseph fangirl rising due to the opportunity. SZM still doesn't have specific pairing with the exception of the cannon ZackxAerith so don't worry because I'm not starting inventing pairings.

And well, all the puns in this story were, in fact, intended.

I hope you enjoyed it