(Ok it's been ages since I've uploaded to . Be aware that I mostly post on AO3 and on my livejournal - as enmuse)
I've decided I need to get my act together and just write. How could I resist this when I had a Zack muse streak through my head?
Warnings: Some swearing. Kind of cracky... just look at the summary/prompt!
They'd been sparring in the gym, training like they did every Sunday morning when many others were sleeping off the various indiscretions of the night before. It hadn't been anything unusual, by this point Zack and Cloud were using materia in their training sessions, no problem. The only thing that was a little different - a little - was that Zack was able to hold himself back a little less. Cloud was getting better at holding his own.
That still didn't explain what followed.
Zack and Cloud had worked up a good sweat by the time Zack found an opening he couldn't resist; he'd pointed out the weakness to the guy enough times, why wasn't Cloud covering himself? So Zack took a swipe with his broadsword (no Buster while they practiced, though they'd moved onto the real weapons) and knew he'd slice through the cloth of the blond's shirt. Cloud seemed to realize his mistake, but his reflexes were slower than that of the SOLDIER's and his reaction only allowed the blade to better reach him.
"Oh, shit!" Zack pulled back as soon as he realized his blade had snagged more than the shirt. With a grimace, he apologized, "Sorry, man. You okay?"
Cloud didn't respond as he abruptly wrapped one arm around his torso. Zack stared at the blond in confusion as blue eyes widened in something akin to horror. Confusion turned to serious worry when the blond dropped his sword and ran for the door to the locker room.
"Wh-what? Hey! Cloud!" Zack's surprised hesitation was enough to place him far enough behind that Cloud managed to lock the door between them. "Dude, did I hurt you? Aw man, I'm so sorry! Let me help, okay?" He knocked his fist against the door.
When he still didn't get a response, Zack frowned and pressed his ear to the door. It didn't sound like Cloud had gone far, he could hear the blond breathing heavily just on the other side and a shaky stream of mumbled curses.
"Cloud...?" Zack tried again, carefully keeping his voice calm. "Please let me see if you're okay?"
A clearer "Oh fuck" preceded the sound of the lock turning. Zack waited until he heard Cloud step away from the door before he went inside.
"Okay, dude, what's going on?" Zack asked after running a worried gaze over his friend. Cloud seemed okay - there was no blood; the guy was just hugging his arms across his chest. "Cloud?"
Groaning softly, the blond bowed his head low. "Damn it, Zack... I..." He sighed and let his arms fall to his sides.
At first glance the only thing Zack noticed was that he'd sliced a major gash along the side of Cloud's shirt and that some additional layer of fabric seemed to have come undone beneath it. It took a minute longer to realize that the patch of exposed skin wasn't proportioned correctly.
What the... is that... Zack cocked his head to the side and blinked. "Side boob?" he muttered to himself. His gaze moved and he took in curvature of cloth sticking to sweaty skin.
Cloud's arms crossed again and Zack jerked his gaze up to the blond's face to see a scowl.
"Why do you suddenly have breasts?" Zack asked, brain absolutely failing to come up with an answer. (Had there been some weird materia in their equipment? He'd never heard of such a status effect, but he couldn't know everything.)
Cloud's eyes closed for a few moments and he looked like he might have been counting backwards in his head. Eventually he returned Zack's stare and said, "I don't 'suddenly' have breasts."
Wrinkling his nose at that statement, Zack scratched the back of his head and smartly asked for clarification, "Huh?"
Cloud's arms dropped again and he gestured wildly with one hand. "These are not new!" His almost frantic motions caused the sides of the cut fabric to gape open wider and provide a fuller view of a rather perfectly curved breast. "Zack!" Cloud snapped, suddenly gripping the fabric together with one hand. (That didn't really help, it just made the shirt pull tight over the breasts.)
Zack didn't bother struggling to tear his gaze away as his mind slowly tried to process what the hell Cloud meant. "Not new...?" His brow furrowed and he suddenly glanced down at his friend's groin, back to the breasts, then to the blond's face. "But..."
Cloud's eyebrows rose in a silent, "Yeeeaah? Go on..." expression.
"You're a guy!" Zack sputtered.
Cloud winced and covered his face with his free hand. "Well..."
Deciding that this conversation was going to get way too serious very soon, Zack leaned closer and whispered loudly, "Can I touch them?" He raised a hand, index finger extended to poke.
It was totally worth the slap to his face for the embarrassed, half-horrified/half-amused expression Cloud gave in response.
Zack grinned as he absently rubbed his smarting cheek. "So d'you want to change and have this conversation elsewhere?" he prompted.
The blond glanced down and nodded briefly, expression suddenly shy. "You're not mad?"
"Hell, I still don't know what's going on, but I really don't think I'm gonna be angry, du-er, kid?" Zack scratched the back of his neck nervously. "Anyway. Um, yeah."
Cloud rolled his eyes and lightly punched Zack's arm. "I have another shirt. Let me change and I'll tell you all about it," he said in a familiar tone of long-suffering at dealing with Zack.
"Then can I touch them?" Zack prompted, wanting to see that embarrassed flush again.
He was stunned when Cloud gave him a clear once over and smirked (though he still flushed); "We'll see."
So this is a short, cracky take on the recent "what if..." going through my mind. Yes, I've been wondering about female!Cloud stories and what if the only difference (well, it would lead to all sorts of other tweaks) to the original character was biological gender. (If I do FF7 for NaNoWriMo... I may attempt to tackle that story, I've been pondering attempting to write a genderbent story for about a year now.)
Update: I inspired someone! The lovely Scarecrowqueen requested to post a continuation. If you're interested in seeing one possibility of how the story might continue, go and check out "Wound Up" / s / 8624912 / 1 / Wound-Up (Obviously delete the spaces... because ffnet is a bitch about freaking links, even internally.)