Warnings: Very AU

Disclaimer: I do not own FFVII or its characters. I make no money from this fiction.

Summary: Opening night for Midgar Dance Company's newest show may be the beginning of something more than just a hot new act.

A/N: You may want to view the links that I have listed at the end to get the best experience out of this part.

"It's called culture, Zack."

"But, it's a theater and it doesn't play movies."

"It won't hurt you to see one performance."

"It's not a performance. It's the freaking ballet. That includes tutus and ruffles and-and-and ewwww…."

A perfect, silver eyebrow was raised. "And acting like a two year old will not get you out of it. Anyway, I picked one I thought you would like."

"See, that's the first thing you got wrong: thinking I would like the…ballet," the word was spit out like bad milk.

"It's a more modern rendition of the ballet. They use all those…" a pause to indicate slight distaste, "popular songs you listen to on the radio."

"Hey! Those songs are way better to listen to than that crap you bombard me with on a daily basis."

"Beethoven is classic!"

"Classically booooriiiing."

The limo stopped smoothly in front of the large, steel-and-glass building that was the theater. Zack heard Sephiroth sigh in relief, probably at no longer having to listen to his whining. They left the air-conditioned confines of the vehicle for the stuffy, chemical scented air of upper plate Midgar. Despite being above the plate, the crush of buildings and people made the area seem just as closed in as the bottom plate for Zack, who trailed after Sephiroth down the freaking red carpet and into the spot-lighted building.

It was opening night for Midgar Dance Company's newest production, 7th Heaven. Everyone who was anyone was there, strolling down the red carpet to the flash of a hundred cameras and screaming paparazzi. How Zack had gotten suckered into coming was a long story that involved the words, "Fine. Next time you pick what we do." Oh, how he regretted those words now. He liked being in the spotlight just fine, but this was a little much. Plus, fucking ballet.

But this was the one thing that Sephiroth had actually wanted to do. Why the General wanted to watch a bunch of anorexic chicks stuffed into taffeta and sparkles frolic around a stage was beyond him. Despite the promise of a good soundtrack, he was not looking forward to the next few hours. They did have a private box…maybe he could catch a nap when Seph wasn't looking.

He smiled and waved along with Sephiroth as they were made to stop at multiple points and get their picture taken. Zack glanced around the building as they made their way to the entrance from where the car dropped them off. Huge posters covered the windows of the complex, all of them long, skinny things that featured two beautiful blue eyes with the phrase, "7th Heaven" scribbled beneath them in some font that was suppose to be edgy and cool but really looked like someone had a blind two year old with a crayon do it.

Having finally entered the building, they were ushered along to their box and seated in the posh, comfortable seats waiting for them. Zack leaned back and sighed. These were definitely comfortable enough. He should be able to fall asleep in no time.

Sephiroth settle next to him, crossing his long legs clothed in something other than leather for once. The pinstripe suit looked pretty sharp on the silver haired man, but it kind of weirded Zack out to see anything other than battle gear on the General. His own suit felt hot and constricting since he was so use to the fatigues and ribbed turtle necks that was his daily uniform.

The hum of the audience as they filtered in and found their seats in the massive theater thrummed in Zack's ears. Knowing he'd get a fist upside the head if he fell asleep while Seph was paying attention to him, Zack decided to find some way to entertain himself until the lights were dimmed and sleep was an option. Sephiroth flipped open the program that had been shoved into their hands when they entered the building and began reading the articles. Booooriing.

…lacking anything else to do Zack flipped open the program and began reading the articles. He wished Genesis was here. They could heckle the audience together. If he did it by himself he'd get smacked by the irritable Sephiroth.

The program was one of those expensive ones you usually had to pay to get. Of course they'd give them to the 'stars' that showed up to watch the performance. Apparently, the pretty blue eyes from the banners belonged to the lead dancer, one…Cloud Strife? Cloud Strife the ballet dancer. Well, if that wasn't gayer than a rainbow colored unicorn shitting bubblegum ice-cream…

The dancer's picture was plastered all over the program, along with his name mentioned in several of the articles all shouting in bold and italics, "Astounding! Sixteen Year Old Prodigy! Perfection on stage!"


Not that the kid wasn't cute or anything. Zack would be the first to admit that his own gate swung both ways. No reason in limiting his sexual appetite, right? But…it was just…he liked his men to be…manly. If he wanted pretty and delicate he'd just go for a woman. He liked men like…Angeal or that Turk, Rude. Those were two hot pieces of man meat. Even Sephiroth, while stunning, was not exactly to his taste.


Said boobies belonged to the choreographer, featured in yet another photograph of Cloud Strife. They were standing next to each other with their arms over the other's shoulders. The caption read, "Friends since childhood, dancer Cloud Strife and choreographer Tifa Lockheart have taken Midgar Dance Company by storm."

Tifa Lockheart, eh? Now that was a fine woman. Not one of those stick skinny dancer types like in all the other photos. This was a woman with boobs, hips, and if the picture could be believed, an ass that just begged to be chewed on a little. According to the article she was, "Brilliant! A breath of fresh air!"

…which probably meant she was smarter than him.

He flipped to the set list.

Not a bad song selection. Mostly popular hits with a few rock classics thrown in. Disterbia, Swing Life Away, Higher Ground (the Red Hot Chili Peppers version), two songs by that Wutian pop singer he couldn't stand but Genesis was obsessed with, and a few others. He surveyed the stage area and saw the pit orchestra area was full of musicians tuning instruments and testing mikes. He hoped that whoever they had doing vocals didn't butcher any of his favorite songs. How Sephiroth was going to sit through the whole thing and not bitch the entire time was a mystery. He hated this kind of music.

The lighting started to dim and the hum of conversation quieted to the beginning of Voodoo by Godsmack. Their vocalists were actually pretty good. Bonus.

The curtains lifted quickly and silently to reveal two dancers, one female and the other Cloud Strife. Zack watched for a little while, not entirely convinced he was interested in paying attention.

Then Cloud did this thing with his hips, and suddenly Zack was way, way interested. Or at least, a part of his anatomy was way, way interested. Which, in turn, made the rest of him interested.

Other dancers joined in and faded into the background, but the focus was almost always on Strife. He only left the stage to change costume for the next number or what Zack assumed was a short break between one set and the next. Surprisingly, he was glued to the stage for the entire first half and was actually disappointed when the lights came up for intermission.

Sephiroth rose from his seat and quietly excused himself. Zack sighed and leaned back in his seat to stretch. He was pleasantly surprised with the performance. It wasn't what he had been expecting at all, and he was actually enjoying it…not that he would let Sephiroth know that. He planned on complaining about every last detail for the next two weeks at least. Guys like him should never have to go to the ballet…regardless of whether or not it was actually good.

Zack also allowed himself to be impressed with the athletic ability of the little Strife kid. The amount of air time he got on some of his jumps was incredible for a non-mako enhanced person. His sense of balance and speed was remarkable, and Zack couldn't help but think what the kid would look like with a sword in his hand. It would be beautiful.

The burnet stood and meandered into the main lobby of the complex, looking for refreshment. One Glenfiddich on the rocks and several Ohmygawd-are-you-really-Zack Fair's later he was back in his seat and scanning the program for the next part of the performance. Sephiroth returned not much later with a bottle of water in hand. The General regained his seat and relaxed back again with his long legs stretched out and crossed in front of him.

Lights dimmed again as the strains of the next number began. Two songs later, and Strife appeared on stage by himself this time. Dressed in a pair of old, torn jeans that were more hole than material and shirtless he looked very…young.

He looks his age, Zack thought.

This was obviously a solo, the spotlight was focused solely on the blond dancer as he gracefully moved through Everything by Michael Bublé (kind of cheesy, but whatever. Ballet). Zack realized a few measures in that the kid was wearing those pointy slippers that girls usually wore. He expected it to look funny on a guy, but Strife pulled it off really well.

Out of the corner of his eye, Zack caught the movement of the General shifting in his seat. He tilted his head so that he could watch both the dancer and Sephiroth. The silver haired man had leaned forward in his seat; his legs no longer stretched out but curled underneath him as if he was ready to leap out of the box at any moment. He had gripped the railing that lined the top of the wall surrounding their box. It almost looked like he had stopped breathing, so focused was he on the dancer on the stage below them.

That was when Zack realized why they had come here.

Sephiroth totally had it bad for Cloud.

Zack smiled deviously. Ammunition was had. He would use it repeatedly.



So for all the dances that I talked about above, I did a lot of searching on Youtube and came up with a few examples that if you tilt your head, squint, ignore the crappy photography and bad sound quality kind-of-sort-of look like what I envisioned in the story. Is that vague enough for you?

Here is the dance for Disterbia: .com/watch?v=3tgqaJoEVP4

For examples of the dance for Voodoo: .com/watch?v=Ln5UNWL1yGU and .com/watch?v=XvVhFlYGAUA&feature=related. Ever seen a male belly dancer? Go here: .com/watch?v=eM07ccZipbk and .com/watch?v=MgNqGBTTk98&feature=related to see a couple good ones. You can also look up anything about Rachel Brice or Amaru Sabat and watch them to get an idea of what's going through my little head.

Here is the dance for Swing Life Away: .com/watch?v=sEMEgB6uKqo&feature=related

Click here to see examples of the dance to Higher Ground: .com/watch?v=cQg-Joxu4EE and .com/watch?v=W-a8PpHDVRo&feature=related

Beautiful dance to Michael Buble's Everything: .com/watch?v=3sXR0J8lu44. Ok, so the dance wasn't originally for that song, but it IS really pretty.