Title: Body Heat
Fandom: Final Fantasy VIII
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Zack/Squall, Squall/Cloud
Summary: The best way to warm up Estharian cyborgs is with body-heat.
Notes: 'Cold' from daily_fic + plotbunny card "Zack/Squall". 'Metal Saga' universe, more a fusion than a crossover.
"He just needs to rest," Zack said, giving Squall a firm and friendly thud to the back as they stepped out of the above-ground part of Shumi Village and into the bitter chill of unending winter.
Squall swore as the wind whipped at his face, bringing up his arm to shield himself. Zack's larger body also helped block a bit of the onslaught, but as their walking paces quickened to a run, they were so uneven that it did little good.
As they slipped into the small army plane borrowed from Esthar, Squall let out a long breath and paused, trying to at least mentally unfreeze himself. He'd thought that perhaps having Shiva as a junction would make him a little more tolerant to the chill, but after a certain point most likely passed in a heartbeat outside, it did little good.
Having not heard a sound from Zack since he'd closed the hatch, Squall finally looked over to his borrowed Colonel. Ever since being granted an army of three skilled cyborgs from Esthar, at least one of them was with him at all times.
And while usually that one was his lover, a needy blond named Cloud, this trip was a little different. Eager to learn more about the ways of other sentient races in the world, Zack had suggested the trip to visit the Shumi.
What he had not suggested was a slight diversion around the terrain in the midday, when the cold was not so brutal and strange creatures prowled the landscape.
Nor had he suggested that Cloud find himself on the receiving end of a creature five times his size with only enough time to react to keep him alive but not from getting injured. Even for being made from half metal with reflexes far beyond any normal human, Cloud hand't been expected to escape without injury. Squall even knew he would have gotten hurt against that thing. Anyone would have. And besides, he also knew Estharian cyborgs were far from demigods.
So with Cloud resting at the Shumi Village's inn with Selphie watching over him and tending to the one spot where his skin had torn, the rest of the party, Zack and Squall, needed to retrieve the luggage they'd packed not for Shumi Village but for a weekend at Trabia Garden.
"Zack?" Squall asked, a little surprised to see the colonel crouched in a ball just inside the hatch.
"Sorry," the Colonel said, visibly shivering. "Can't... handle the cold so well."
A strange feeling shot through Squall. He hadn't even thought to ask if being half metal made one particularly succeptable to the cold and certainly hadn't thought about the chill possibly lingering in Zack's body. Already, without the wind, the plane was bearable and shaking a bit of wetness from his hair, Squall felt otherwise unaffected.
"We just need to get our bags back down below," Squall said, walking over and crouching down beside Zack. He reached out to touch the metal that ran up Zack's neck to disappear at the hairline but realized his gloves wouldn't help him tell much. Zack didn't even have gloves... Zack's gloves had gotten covered in Cloud's blood and been taken by one of the Shumi to be washed...
Pulling off one of his own gloves, Squall thought about offering them to Zack. But Zack's hands were definitely larger and besides, Squall wasn't sure how comfortable it would be to have something more fitted against that metal. Both Zack and Cloud seemed prone to loose clothing, after all.
Squall pulled his hand away quickly after touching the metal on Zack's neck.
"I... I can't do much here," Squall admitted. "But there are blankets and heat back with the Shumi."
"I could take on a small army by myself," Zack said with a sigh. "But a little snow does me in..."
"Here," Squall offered, taking off his other glove and offering his hands to Zack. Wincing at the cold as Zack thrust his hands between the smaller heat of Squall's, Squall still didn't pull away. But Zack was pulling the heat from his body at a surprising speed.
"Until now, I have to admit that I wasn't impressed by you," Zack said, shifting a bit. "But your teams and your students spoke so highly of you. That deep inside, you cared."
"Hmph," Squall replied, not quite wanting to go into the philosophy behind any of his actions. Besides, if he had let something happen to Zack, he'd be going back to a strong, angry capable cyborg. And he certainly didn't want to fight.
"But now that my circuits have thawed and I can feel my fingers, I guess we should get back," Zack said. "It's probably only getting colder."
"Right." Squall pulled his hands away, rubbing them together once before slipping them back into his thankfully-warm gloves. "You can carry Selphie's bag. I'll carry the other three."
"Huh?" Zack followed Squall up into the cockpit area to grab their duffels. As Squall easily slung three bags on his back, he couldn't help but watch Zack attempt to do the the same and stagger under the weight of Selphie's purple bag.
"Selphie travels a little heavy when she goes to Trabia," Squall said nonchalantly. "Mostly gifts for her friends."
"Remember when I muttered something about understanding that you weren't just an ice-hearted prick?" Zack asked, barely able to contain a chuckle. "I take that back in full."
"Let's get back underground," Squall said firmly, making his way back to the hatch. "Are you ready?"
"I don't think I could ever be ready to go back out there," Zack replied. "But my orders were to obey your orders, sir."
Without replying, Squall opened the hatch and set it to auto-close in ten seconds. He didn't want to waste the time closing it from the outside. At least Estharian technology had a few good things about it, including the fact that most of it was simple enough that even Laguna would be able to work it.
Even with the weight of the bags, the pair ran back to the building enclosing the elevator, both collapsing once inside, gasping for the breath they hadn't been able to take while running in what was quickly turning into an all-out blizzard.
And Zack was shivering again.
"Elevator," Squall ordered, trying not to be impatient. He'd already learned so many of the little ticks and quirks about Cloud's body... He had to be respectful of Zack's own metal parts, after all.
But the elevator was usually home to a stale warmth, partially from the machinery and partially from heat rising from the village. That would be enough...
"Right," Zack said, getting to his feet and stumbling towards the elevator, purple duffel bag threatening to knock his right leg out from under him.
Once started onto their lengthy downward decent, Squall dumped the bags onto the ground and took off his gloves again, wanting to reach out to Zack. But his hands hadn't really recovered from Zack stealing his heat the last time.
"I..." Squall tried to think of some way to help the shivering Estharian. Wasn't one side of Esthar bordered by ice, after all? Shouldn't they have been engineered better? But that was a stagnant wasteland, not a haven for storms many dozens of degrees colder than even the worst testing ground Esthar could provide.
"Here..." There had been only one other thing he could think of to help the colonel out. Shrugging off his jacket, Squall lifted the hem of his shirt. "Go ahead. Steal the rest of my body heat."
Grateful blue eyes met his for a second before icy cold fingers stung at his skin, the metal sticking for a moment as Zack slid his hands to rest at Squall's sides, pressed awkwardly close as they stood in the middle of the shuddering elevator.
"I'm writing up a full report on this to send to your commander and the president," Squall said, shaking his head at even the thought of Laguna. "You simply need to be re-engineered."
"How about Esthar just doesn't make any plans to invade anywhere cold?" Zack suggested, pulling his hands away and rubbing them together, apparently as put off by the close contact as Squall was.
Before Squall knew it, he'd taken Zack's hands in his own and raised them to his mouth, blowing his warm breath over them. Zack was a good guy, really. Fun. Not quite what he'd expected after his first meeting with the man.
And then suddenly, Zack started laughing.
"What?" Squall demanded, letting Zack's hands drop.
"Just thinking that if I was Cloud, you would be sharing all the body heat possible," Zack said. "I noticed that the Shumi expect the three of us to share a room. You be careful with him tonight - he's hurt."
Squall didn't say anything as he went to finally sit down. Yes, he knew the Shumi expected them to stay in rooms segregated by gender. And even though he was hoping to pawn Zack off on Selphie, he was fairly sure Cloud wouldn't be up for much anyway. Not in the shape he was in. A few Cura spells left him sleeping peacefully, but that didn't do much for the things that would actually need to heal on their own.
"Sorry..." Zack said, moving to sit on the far side of the elevator. "Sometimes I just find myself talking..."
"Estharian trait," Squall mumbled before his brain correcting him that Laguna wasn't actually from Esthar, he just fit in much too well.
The elevator came to a jolting stop after a few more minutes of thick silence. But as the doors opened, a rush of heat greeted the men.
"Paradise!" Zack exclaimed, racing out into the village, ignoring the heavy purple duffel crashing against his backside with each step.
A little more restrained, Squall managed a thin smile before heading for the inn. He could just imagine the Shumi making a statue of Zack in the years to come, complete with that duffel. After they made him find the rocks to erect it.
"Hey!" Selphie's cheerful voice met him just inside the inn. "You made it! The Elder was getting worried about you, y'know, since it's nearly dark and the weather is getting bad."
"You would have come looking for us," Squall said, dumping the three light duffels into her arms. "Right?"
"You ordered me to stay here and guard your boyfriend," Selphie replied with a giggle. "And I wouldn't have wanted to disobey your orders. At least not without a bit more clothing."
Squall never did understand Selphie's obsession with wearing as little clothing as possible, even in the cold. But that seemed to be a female thing, or at least an airhead thing, he reminded himself as he thought of Zell and Zell's constant shorts.
"How is he?"
"Still asleep," Selphie replied. "But, um, that's half of the point of that spell, if not the entire point..."
And yet Selphie was the one carrying it. He wondered if she'd be willing to cast it on herself.
"Where's my bag?" Selphie continued, looking around. "And Zack? Oh, and the Elder wants us to have dinner with him and talk about Laguna! Oh, the Shumi are so cool, even if their village is kinda boring."
For a moment, Squall contemplated asking Selphie is she'd cast sleep on him, just to make the next few hours go by faster.
On his way back to the inn with a plate of food for Cloud, Squall was getting even more irritated at how Selphie and Zack were playing off of one another. For two trained soldiers whose very bodies were considered deadly weapons, they sure were acting like morons.
But it was late and they'd all had quite a bit of Shumi-made wine forced upon them in the name of revelry and hapiness that the Son of Laguna was visiting. As tempting as it was to joke that Squall was expecting a statue of his own, he didn't think the Shumi would have understood it as a joke and promptly started construction.
"Cloud?" Squall was happy to see that the bedside light was on and that Cloud was sitting up, looking through what must have been a book that had come with the room.
"You're back," Cloud said, sounding just a little worse for wear. "If I had any idea where we were, I would have gone looking for you. And if I didn't feel as if I have a dozen cracked ribs."
"You only have three cracked ribs," Zack said, sliding into the room and immediately plopping down at the foot of Cloud's bed. "That's one less than the time you told me not to hold back when you were still in training."
Cloud winced at the memory and Squall couldn't help a smirk. He certainly hadn't been told that particular story.
"Here," Squall said, setting the plate of food down beside the lamp. "We're in Shumi Village, by the way. We decided to stay after you decided to let the local wildlife sit on your chest."
"Ah..." Cloud's eyes lit up as he remembered a bit more. And then he winced again. "That was fairly embarrassing."
"That could have been any of us," Zack said. "So don't worry about it. The Shumi are willing to keep us and we really weren't on any set schedule anyway."
"We may be here for a few days, anyway," Squall said, frowning. "There's a blizzard raging on the surface and once it stops we may need to unbury the plane."
"And as our commander has learned, we aren't built for the cold," Zack said, finally reaching to unbutton the uniform jacket he hadn't removed all evening.
"Are you okay?" Cloud asked, gritting his teeth in pain as he sat up farther and took the plate of food.
"Squall shared a little body heat," Zack said, smirking.
"Whatever," Squall replied, depositing himself on the other bed, a little annoyed that Zack had claimed what should have been his spot on the bed with Cloud. He could just order Zack to move, after all, but that would have only added tension he didn't want.
"Share whatever you'd like," Cloud said, taking a forkful of food. "Call it keeping warm if you have to. I don't mind..."
Squall had always suspected that there was more than friendship in the cyborgs' past, but he hadn't ask. It wasn't his place to question things like that.
But Cloud had just suggested that he sleep with the colonel. Not that he would bother arguing the attractiveness of the colonel, just that he really preferred to keep one partner at a time, if that.
"What?" Squall replied, meeting the blue of Zack's eyes again, unnerved by what he saw.
"Don't deny an injured man his request for dinner and a show."
Before Squall could mutter anything about order or insubordination, Zack's mouth was over his, pressing him back against the bed. He'd forgotten that Zack could move that fast, really, and had his guard down.
And damned if Zack couldn't kiss, not that he'd meant to kiss Zack back, and not that he found himself lacing a hand up into Zack's long dark hair, working backwards to his hairline where metal sprung forth.
Zack's hands pulled at the leather of Squall's jacket, forcing it halfway down and awkward enough to pin one of Squall's hands at his side.
"Bastard," Squall swore when Zack finally moved, letting Zack pull his jacket away anyway before he pulled off his own. He glanced over at Cloud, who'd already finished off his dinner like the starving man he likely was.
"Go on," Cloud said, igniting their usual battle for dominance without even being physically involved. And this time, Cloud would win. But he couldn't be faulted for losing, not as hands already too familiar with his body trailed up his sides, pushing his tight, cotton shirt up and over his head, trapping his arms together as Zack held them, taking a kiss before tossing the shirt aside.
"So I'm a bastard," Zack said, smirking. "I know what you can do, Squall. You wouldn't be here if you didn't want to be."
The truth stung for a moment, but only until Zack's hands found his arousal and teased its length through the leather encasing it, making Squall overly aware that he wasn't entirely comfortable in his pants anymore. He reached for his own belts, undoing the buckles with the sort of urgency he found himself fighting embarrassment over.
With his pants at his knees, Zack descended, taking his arousal in his warm mouth. He knew there was metal there too - he could feel it as one of the strangest sensations his body was aware of. But it made the act no less delicious.
Looking over, Cloud was watching them intently, covers pushed down to reveal his bandaged chest and tented underwear. In a quick bit of fading coherency, Squall remembered a time that he'd cracked a rib and it had been fairly difficult to jerk-off properly.
Wanting to promise Cloud some sort of relief, he lost his voice instead to a moan as Zack's nose bumped his abdomen, effectively taking his entire erection into his mouth and down his throat. He couldn't keep his eyes on Cloud, as much as he wanted to. Not when...
"Not yet," Zack said, pulling back enough to remove his own clothing.
"Zack..." Squall didn't want to admit that he'd been curious about the patterns of metal on Zack's body. He knew they were different from Cloud's - each cyborg was unique, playing up traits the recruit already showed talent with. Zack had near-literal stripes of metal, connecting to muscle and strengthening flesh. Metal even threatened his arousal, stopping just at the base.
"Don't worry," Cloud said from across the room.
Squall wanted to retort that he hadn't even been intimidated by Zack's proportions, but truthfully he hadn't quite processed any of that. He was still looking at the metal, reaching to trail his fingers down Zack's hip.
"Kink," Zack whispered, climbing back onto the bed after retrieving something from his bag. "And be lucky I have plenty of this stuff with me. The General sent a whole box, actually. Works on any lingering irritation of metal-flesh interfaces and..."
"Zack, just do it." Squall could hear Cloud's voice but unable to turn to look as he squeezed his eyes shut when the first of Zack's slicked fingers teased around his opening, forcing his legs apart. He felt completely wanton, so spread on such a small bed, but thinking wasn't something he really wanted to be doing anyway.
Even after so many hours, Zack's hands were still cool, a contrast that send a shiver through his body. Metal fingertips pushed at him, spreading tight muscle easily. Squall moaned, grabbing at the blankets beneath him as those fingers twisted and searched within him.
"Not yet," Zack reminded him, seemingly surprised to be pulled into a kiss.
Squall trailed his fingers over the patterns of metal on Zack's back. Why he hadn't bothered to strip both Zack and the third Estharian granted to him, he didn't know. Perfectly formed over muscle... He almost pulled Zack into position himself, reaching to tease Zack's already slicked arousal and feeling his own jump at the hiss wrung from between Zack's mouth and his own.
There was pain with penetration, mainly a matter of size versus space at first. Squall winced, gritting his teeth but keeping his eyes open, locking them with glittering blue. They stayed still a moment longer, until Squall just felt filled, and then he motioned for Zack to thrust again, completely, wholly. There wasn't any reason for guilt, anyway.
"Okay?" Zack asked, getting a small nod of encouragement as he continued, starting an almost too-slow rhythm. Squall reached to touch himself. He was perilously close to orgasm anyway. And now he knew why Zack kept making him wait - to give Cloud a show. Zack started moving faster, batting Squall's hands away to replace them with his own. As soon as the first of Zack's metal smoothed fingers brushed against the head of his erection though, he couldn't help himself.
He could hear Cloud's aroused gasp from the next bed and realized he had his eyes closed. And that only made sensation so much stronger. Touch... Another couple thrusts and Zack grabbed at his hips, the only indicator Squall had before the deep, hard thrusts of Zack's own climax.
"Go take care of Cloud," Zack whispered, pulling away from Squall's body almost immediately to flop on the bed. "He's only been able to watch this whole time."
Nodding and trying to pull himself together, Squall tumbled off the bed, not at all modest about the semen dripping down the muscle of his stomach as he staggered the two steps to where Cloud lay.
Squall offered him a quick kiss, not wanting to press too much on injuries before dropping lower, pulling down Cloud's underwear just enough to take Cloud's pre-come slicked erection in his mouth. Knowing what Zack could do, Squall couldn't help but wonder why Cloud would prefer him, prefer to win a battle and demand to fuck his mouth. He couldn't do half the tricks...
But damn, he'd try. Cloud's arousal bumped the roof of his mouth, pressing back almost far enough to make Squall gag. But he rested a hand on Cloud's abdomen, feeling metal just below the bottom of the bandages, stopping the blond from demanding too much.
Not that it mattered. Cloud came quickly, not that Squall could blame him for being a bit overly stimulated.
Swallowing what he could of Cloud's seed, Squall suddenly felt a little embarrassed at his actions. He hadn't intended to... Certainly he... With one final kiss, he left Cloud's bed for the empty third one. They weren't big enough for two people anyway, especially not when one was injured.
"Is that going in the report, too?" Zack asked once Cloud had turned off the small beside lamp.
"What?" Squall wished he'd thought to grab some sort of clothing between Zack's bed and Cloud's bed and his own bed.
"Shared body heat to keep Estharian soldiers from further harm," Zack replied, shifting enough in his bed to make the blankets rustle.
"If that's what you want to consider it," Squall said, noting to himself that he would definitely have to ask his father... no, ask Kiros if all Estharians were so... friendly.
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