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FF7 AU Fanfic - Stolen Property

Stolen Property

Pairings: CloudxSephxCloud (eventually), ZackxAeris, and friendship for all
Rating: PG-13/R for swearing
jessara40K's plotbunny toss free for all idea: 2) Legally Sephiroth isn't human, he's the property of the ShinRa corporation. Expand.
This might end up more of a ficlet series - nothing grand expansive plot heavy, just a look into the universe and something to kind of experiment on.

Zack sighed. He was bored. There was nothing more pressing to do other than having his feet planted on the only clean corner of his messy desk and stare at the burn mark Cloud made on the ceiling. Aeris was out having some hairdo manicure girl day thing that he didn't want any part of. He wasn't that bored. The other time he accompanied Aeris into such a realm of femaledom some little old lady kept commenting about how much he reminded her of her grandson and telling stories about Benny, and three different women tried to hit on him. Aeris only laughed and egged them on. Nope, wasn't that bored yet.

Business was slow at the moment. Zack was pretty sure there was paperwork that he could do to whittle the hours away, but it wasn't nearly as much fun without Cloud there to comment about his apparent sloppiness and how he was always amazed that Zack could find whatever he was looking for on his desk within a matter of seconds. The sudden idea of leaving an easily cleaned up mess over on Cloud's desk warred with the reception of Cloud's reaction to that and the bored lazy feeling of having to get up and create the mess. It seems he wasn't that bored yet, either.

He hoped that by the time he did make such a mess, Cloud would still come back to see the mess and yell at him for it. Cloud had decided to take an assignment from Wutai, and had been gone now for some months. At the time Zack hadn't voiced too many protests - Cloud's plan had played to his greatest strengths, and if things went sour he could find or fight his way out of a bad situation. Wutai wanted it done within six months, and Cloud thought that would be plenty of time to work out exactly how he'd complete the mission. At the time, everything looked good on the planning board. Four months later when the waiting gets to you and you know that the person inside can't send a message for fear of breaking their cover --

Zack righted himself in his chair and snatched an old bill from one of his piles. Grabbing a pen, he wrote down the thought while he had it, and was going to staple it to Cloud's chair: Buy some type of communicators, like the really cool spy shit they have in the movies

The front door opened. Zack immediately perked up. Aeris's girl thing wasn't anywhere near being done, and not many people know the location of their HQ base for safety reasons. Quickly thinking of and dismissing the people it could be, Zack reached for his Buster Sword. At the end of his mental list, he could only call out tentatively, "Cloud? Are you back?"

The figure that entered only made Zack grip his sword tighter and hold it at the ready. The one thing, the only doubt of Cloud's ability to handle his mission was standing before him. Sephiroth, Shinra's greatest possession, their living weapon, and Cloud's assassination target, was here. He stopped just inside the room, glancing around quickly and finally settling his strange inhuman eyes on Zack. He stepped back so he was more in the corner of the room, and held his sword, still sheathed, closer to his chest. A pair of keys with a chocobo keychain was also held in his grasp.

"So you're obviously still alive!" Zack snarled. He was angry, frustrated, scared, and fearful all at the same time. For Sephiroth to be here meant Cloud failed, and worse, they probably tortured him to get the location of their base out of the blond. He wanted to attack Shinra's dog, but still remembered that even the best in SOLDIER hadn't been able to beat Sephiroth. Zack knew it was a battle he wouldn't win. The only idea he could come up with was to get information, escape, and rescue Cloud if such an attempt was still possible. "What did you do with Cloud?"

Sephiroth cocked his head. "Still alive? What an odd statement. Yes, I am alive. Respiratory functions are normal, physical sensations and responses are normal, and mental processes are in check." Zack blinked. It was all he could do. All those statements did was make him think of Hojo, of how Hojo talked when it related to science and biology, and how much he wanted to gut that fucker to make him stop talking. "Cloud... Cloud Strife? Is that who you are asking about?"

"Yes, now what did you do with him?!?"

"Cloud Strife, SOLDIER 1st, Cadet #4739026. He has not been heard of since he quit SOLDIER four years ago. Same can be said for you, Zachary Coyotal, SOLDIER 1st, Cadet #3818350."

"Cut the bullshit! What are you here for? Revenge? Information on the hit? Past activities we might've participated in against the almighty Shinra?"

Shinra's killer stood calm in the face of a man trying to threaten him with a sword. He bowed, bringing his forehead down to meet the pommel of his sword. Sephiroth softly declared, "I am here because my new owner told me to wait in the office."

Anything Zack would have said to that was lost as the front door opened again. "Hey, ZACK!" Cloud's voice yelled. "I'm back!" Cloud stepped into the room, and took in the scene between Zack and Sephiroth. "Oh, good, you didn't destroy the office while I was gone." He walked over to Sephiroth. "Or in the few minutes it took me to secure Fenrir. Keys, please."

While the silver-haired man handed the chocobo keys to Cloud, Zack's mind did a quick abort, retry, fail, reboot and the Buster Sword finally lowered. Zack always figured that a quick turnaround of thinking helped in daily life and the profession of a mercenary. "Oi, Cloud, what the hell did you do to your hair?" Cloud turned around, and he got his first good view of the blond's eyes. His eyes were nicely framed by a pair of small glasses, that fairly screamed "if scientist was the new fashion statement, these are the glasses everybody would be wearing." It was odd to think they looked good on him as well. His pupils themselves were now a grey color, without much hint of the bright gleam mako gives to those who'd been in SOLDIER. The most freaky thing, though, was that Cloud's hair was flat and straight and pulled into a short pony tail that rested on the back of his neck.

"Cloud?" Sephiroth seemed surprised. "You do not resemble your SOLDIER file identification photograph."

Looking back and forth between them jarred the glasses resting on his nose, so Cloud straightened them in a most natural motion that awed Zack. "It's been about six years since that photo was taken," he told Sephiroth, "and it's called hair gel, you porcupine," he told Zack. "I'm sure if you asked nicely, Aeris would be thrilled to introduce you to the world of hair care."

"Ugh, just go change back already. You're reminding me of one of Hojo's toadies."

Cloud lifted his glasses up to rest on the top of his head and smiled. "Well, that was the idea."

"And him? I thought you were supposed to--"

"Oh yeah!" Cloud darted behind Sephiroth, and started to push him towards Zack. When the three of them were closer together, Cloud peeked around Sephiroth's shoulder. "Sephiroth, this is Zack. Zack, this is Sephiroth. He followed me home. Can I keep him?"

"You told me to follow you, and then we took your Fenrir here..."

"See, isn't he cute? What a nice almost puzzled frown."

Zack's eyebrow twitched. "New owner?"

Cloud actually looked embarrassed about that, and stopped fawning over Sephiroth. "Uh, yeah, that's kinda a story in itself, and better left for another time. Right now, though, I think I should show Sephiroth to his new room." He quickly grabbed Sephiroth's right hand, and pulled him deeper into the office area, heading towards the personal rooms beyond.

"Yeah, yeah, make your clever escape now; I'll drag the story out of you later. Or Aeris will." He leaned his sword back against his desk again, and plopped back down onto the chair. Zack cracked a grin. "Well, it won't be boring around here anymore..." He looked around the office, trying to imagine the newcomer mingling in with him, Cloud, and Aeris. He spied Cloud's desk, his nice clean tidy desk, and started swearing. "Dammit!"

By the time the office closed for the day, an old bill envelope with Zack's handwriting was stapled to Cloud's desk chair -- then stapled seven more times for pure spite.

On Zack's last name: Until the new Crisis Core game perhaps gives an official name, I always experiment with last names for Zack. Wikipedia is my new friend for quick-type reference look ups, and I decided to look for some mythological inspired meaning for a last name. I was going to see if there was anything Norse to fit in with FF7's main myth theme, but started to look at tricksters in mythology and finally came across Coyote from Native American tales. So from Wiki "The word "coyote" derives from the Náhuatl (Aztec) word cóyotl" I just took coyotl and added an a. And coyotes so resemble a wolf, too.......



Jun. 8th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)
I love how Cloud's all like "Can I keep him?"
Jun. 9th, 2006 05:11 am (UTC)
And Sephiroth just doing what he is told to do! (Holding a chocobo keychain! >XD )
Jun. 9th, 2006 06:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, about the keychain - it's appearance was totally random. I was all like, sitting at my desk, typing the story, and was already in the middle of Zack and Seph talking when I realised that even though it's a business to them, Zack and Cloud don't leave the front door open to anyone. So how does Seph get in without breaking down the door and making Zack think it's still Cloud? He uses Cloud's keys. And then I added the chocobo keychain.
I'd have to look at it again, but perhaps it looks like the chocobo keychain from Kingdom Hearts...
Jun. 9th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
Yes, but since you've put the image in my mind...

Just...talk, dark maybe broody Sephiroth looking over (at Zack) and what's in his "relaxed" <--Sephiroth doesn't "relax"

hand?? Why it's a yellow chibi-head of a chocobo attached to keys.

Can you seeeee it? XD Of course you did
Jun. 9th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
That line's been there since I started the Cloud brings Seph home scene. Then I added a quick "Shinra's dog" comment. Or I just like those parts of FMA too much when they talk about military dogs.


FF7 SxC so cold

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