The movie that we watched for this was Thor: Hammer of the Gods, on Syfy. (Except that I'm a couple hours behind the other two and so I got most of the MSTing before watching it.) Artimusdin started it with her OMG EIR'S!CLOUD WOULD BE HORRIFIED AT THIS and my LOL HE TOTALLY WOULD, and chofi got some input of her own.

Written for croixsouillees, because my promise of drabbles for her actually made me take notes during the movie. Unbetaed, set between chapter ten and the unfinished chapter eleven.

Minor Revision: 7 April 2010.
Word Count: 1,628
Note: Scheisse = 'shit' (corrected by someone more knowledgeable than I).

Eir's Tomorrow Sidestory:

Hades' Phoenix

"Zack, what are we doing?"

"Relaxing. Taking time off. You and Sephiroth are both so tightly wound it's a wonder your heads haven't exploded yet. High blood pressure kills, y'know."

"…Watching bad movies is supposed to make us relax?"

Zack put his hands on his hips and glared at Cloud. "Watching bad movies with friends is a time-honored tradition meant to bind us together with the ties of canned laughter, clichéd plots, and horrible acting. Are you going to deny me my horrible acting?"

"Of course not," Cloud huffed. "I just don't see why the rest of us have to be subjected to it."

"Told you. High blood pressure, bad for you. Bad movies are great for that and the sentimental bonding. Now sit."

Cloud made an 'oof' sound as he was pushed down forcefully onto the sofa. Sephiroth, content to remain silent and outside their bickering, sat down beside him with a little more dignity. Zack's quarters were the same basic, utilitarian design as the other SOLDIERs', but there were personal touches that made it feel like more than just military barracks. Cloud wondered if that was because Zack had so much enjoyment for life in him that he just couldn't keep it all contained.

…No, he was being ridiculous. Like the video disc in Zack's hands.

"Zack," he said slowly, "what movie are we watching?"

"Thor: Hammer of the Gods!" he declared, brandishing the disc. "Fearsome warriors must battle the forces of darkness trying to destroy their clan! And by forces of darkness, I mean werewolves."

Sephiroth quietly put a hand over his eyes.

"…Are you serious?"

Humming slightly, Zack popped the disc into the player, grabbed the remote, and then wedged himself on Cloud's other side so that the blond was in the middle. Zack wore a huge grin in contrast to Cloud's disbelief and Sephiroth's careful neutrality.

"Hey, I figured it'd be right up your alley, kiddo. It's got those gods you said your family was all about."

Cloud wasn't sure how to explain that those were just stories and his mum wasn't the most discriminating of people when it came to reality anyway. But Zack was all smiles as he wiggled beside Cloud to get comfortable on the small sofa, and instead of sneering and walking out of the room Sephiroth remained calm and warm on Cloud's other side, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all.

He scratched out that last thought at the opening credits.

"If a man were to stand on a mountain like that, the wind would throw him off and smash him against the rocks." Growing up in the Nibel mountains, he would know, too.

"Shh," Zack hushed him, "it's a movie, it's not gonna be perfect. Some suspension of disbelief is necessary for entertainment."

"But that's just asking for it," Cloud protested. "Winds like that would take down a freakin' oak."

"Sephiroth, sir, your subordinate is being insubordinate," Zack loudly declared over Cloud.

"Technically," said Sephiroth mildly, "he is a Regular and therefore under the command of Commander Gysahl through Sergeant Tokka. You, on the other hand, are a direct subordinate to me by virtue of being SOLDIER Second Class. In light of this, Lieutenant, would you like to amend your statement?"

Zack crossed his arms and pouted. Cloud had the urge to point and laugh, but then Sephiroth might find a way to bypass the technical chain of command and make Cloud feel guilty for being so immature, so he squashed it.

It was clear by the first few lines of dialogue that the writer had been laboring under the assumption that the ancient warriors that were Cloud's ancestors had spoken like particularly bad role-players.

"NO NORTHMAN HAS EVER SAILED THESE WATERS," Zack howled, striking a pose and narrowly missing Sephiroth's head with a flailing hand.

"We will claim it for our own," Cloud followed with deadpan seriousness, sending Zack into another round of loud amusement.

"Hey Cloud, does your family talk like this for real?"

"Fuck you, Zack."

"We don't reference our gods all the damn time," Cloud muttered sulkily. "And technically, Mjolnir is a one-handed hammer, not two."

"What? Why?"

"Loki messed it up when it was being forged."

"Huh. Thatsucks. No wonder you northerners feel like you have something to prove with all that macho bullshit."

"Lieutenant, what did I tell you about phallic jokes?"

"Er. Not at public functions?"

"Thor's a pussy."

"Yeah, my mum didn't make many offerings to him."

"…Alrighty then."

"You know it's bad when a movie's music literally goes DUN DUN DUN," Zack snickered.

Cloud thought about that for a moment. Then he leaned over to Sephiroth. "We need to get a music player for that. For the next time Zack gets one of his ideas."

The general nodded thoughtfully. "I'll speak with Reeve."

"Hey! Traitors!"

"Do you need the whole fucking tribe walking around in a group to figure out that the trail of blood belongs to the corpse lying ten feet away? It's like how girls have to hold each other's hands to go to the bathroom. Wait, these are the same guys who grunt more than they talk. Never mind."

"Hey Cloud, did your family ever make lots of bloodthirsty speeches, or only on the full moon?"

"Hey Zack, is your family inbred or did you just get beaten with the ugly stick?"

Sephiroth snerked.

"Ulfric's a pussy."

"If it makes you feel better," said Sephiroth, "the man's discontent will result in a dramatic argument with his tribe, which will then push him into the hold of the enemy and turn him into a traitor. And like most such traitors, he will die a horrible death, with none of the glory he sought."

Zack eyed him. "You sure you haven't seen this movie?"


"…For being a warrior, she's rather skinny," Sephiroth observed.

"She's blonde and pretty, the guys won't give a shit," Cloud muttered dryly.


"…You all right, Zack?"


"Hey Cloud, how come you don't invoke Odin like she does?"

"Because he's the lord of the Aesir. It's like using a chainsaw to snap a toothpick."

"And a death goddess is much better?"

"I already know I'm going to die. I'd rather it wasn't because I pissed off the wrong person."

"That's deep, man."

"See that dramatic pose right before they duel? Real people don't do that. Do real people do that, Sephiroth?"

"Genesis does."

"…Okay, do normal people do that?"

Cloud burst out laughing.

"Baldur's a pussy."

"He's associated with light and goodness and whatnot."

Zack nodded sagely. "That explains a lot."


Cloud looked at Zack strangely. "Well, no, would you give real weapons to actors who don't know what they're doing?"

"At this point, it might've been a fucking mercy," he grumbled.

"Oh, that's subtle. Traitor guy coming up behind the group and saying 'I could've stabbed you in the back just now.' I mean, really? And aren't these guys warriors? Where's their warrior-sense? Why isn't it tingling?"

"I think it broke under the weight of their awkward dialogue and bad acting."

"Or the armor they couldn't afford."

When Cloud and Zack both looked at him, Sephiroth explained, "Metal armor was difficult to produce in that time period and quite expensive. The average warrior would never have been able to afford it, especially the women. Of course, they might have stolen it, but the likelihood of plundering such complete and expensive armor for all of them is still rather low."

"With all due respect, sir, you're a serious geek."


"What?" Cloud asked quizzically, ducking to avoid Zack's flailing limbs and nearly falling into Sephiroth's lap.

"You see how that skinny blonde chick killed the guy? Pushed the sword really slowly into his heart– with one arm? You can't do that. There are ribs in the way and tendons and shit, and her arms are way too skinny."

"You're really stuck on that, aren't you?"


Cloud groaned and covered his face.

Zack nearly fell off the sofa, laughing. "HIS LUST FOR HIS HAMMER IS INSATIABLE."

Sephiroth sighed. "Phallic jokes, Zack."

"Hey, I didn't say it, the wolf-guy did!"

"So now you're doing to do whatever the wolf-guy says? Very mature."

"That's Fenrir, and they butchered him," Cloud suddenly snarled, and then he was the one flailing. "He's a giant wolf that terrified the gods, not this – this pufferfish-looking thing. And Hel is not a skank with an entirely inappropriate accent and she is not a werewolf enslaved by Fenrir and the original Nebel-volk did not talk like this, or so help me they would've died out long before they actually did. SCHEISSE."

Zack and Sephiroth watched his chest heave with emotion. After a moment Zack tried, "You all right, Cloud?"


"I think it was meant to be artistic interpretation," Sephiroth ventured, then paused. "Well, it might have worked if there had actually been a comprehensible script and multi-dimensional characters, but overall it wasn't as bad as it could've been."

Cloud scowled. "What do mean, not as bad as it could've been? It was a horrific piece of – "

"Having the entirety of LOVELESS quoted at you for over a decade puts a lot of things in perspective."

Cloud shut his mouth with a sharp click. Zack patted Sephiroth on the shoulder consolingly. "You've got us now, sir." Then he whispered in Cloud's ear, "See? Sentimental bonding."

The blond didn't have to look to be able to solidly thwap him upside the head.