Chocolate Bars and Pointy Rocks
Title: Chocolate Bars and Pointy Rocks
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Summary: So this one time, Zack gets sent to Wutai and Sephiroth is there. Sephiroth apparently has a secret weakness. Things get real funny.
Notes: Prompt - Sephiroth x Zack: During the Wutai War, when Sephiroth and Zack are first learning to work together and different personalities clash. I’d like Zack to still have rural/hick mannerisms and joking and a little in awe of Sephiroth while still being able to stand up to him and needing to stand up to him (author's choice of why, I'm guessing for the trooper’s sake, but that's just me) and cold polite arrogant lab-baby Sephiroth not really knowing how to interact with people. Smut not necessary. Bonus points for nicknames, junk food, misuse of drugs or pets, and explosions (of any kind, be it temper, fire, mako, water, people, trees, whatever). [Request by gelfling8604] (yaoi_challenge 2006) I wandered away from the prompt a bit, and I apologize. As much as this should qualify as 'Sequels? What Sequels?', I've fallen hard for Angeal from Crisis Core and had to squeeze him in. Zack flat out told me that I couldn't write a normal story, either. *sigh* Many thanks to Kitty(Schala) for giving it the once over.
Even though he'd never paid much attention to the issue before, Zack had decided halfway through the trip that ShinRa really needed to push large-capacity air-carriers to the top of their priority list.
Well, after the war was over.
At least Angeal had given him a pen to go with the notebook that had been thrust into his hands.
"In case you learn something," Angeal had said.
So far, all Zack had bothered to do was draw stick-people in the margins. With a pencil, he was fairly sure that he could have made them a little more like people and a little less like sticks.
But Angeal had given him a pen.
Of course, the damned truck was so bumpy that even trying to sketch little breasts onto the sticks he deemed hot girls was a wasted effort. Same for the boy-sticks who should have had nice, detailed swords.
Weapons, he meant. Too many evenings with too many recruits while patrolling Midgar had loaned an entirely new set of euphemisms to his brain - filling out his own set nicely.
Finally... a month out of Midgar that wasn't just a month in Junon. Other than the fact that Angeal was trying to teach him everything, Zack had no clue why he hadn't been sent out to any of the special Wutai missions yet.
'Really sick of boats,' Zack wrote in the notebook, on the second page. The first page was still blank - he hated writing on the first page of any notebook. Even when his mother had been teaching him how to write, he always skipped a page.
Zack had met Sephiroth before - had dealt with Sephiroth before, albeit very briefly. Yet somehow, when the truck pulled to a final stop to unload the last two people onboard (the other being a replacement cook, of all things), Zack wasn't especially surprised to see Sephiroth standing there, looking characteristically bored.
But thankfully, for the replacement cook's sake, not hungry.
Jumping down from the back of the truck, sword on his back and duffel in hand, Zack made sure his little notebook was tucked into a back pocket before circling the vehicle to where Sephiroth was talking softly to the driver.
It took a second, mainly because he was holding his bag in that hand, for Zack to snap to attention when Sephiroth looked his way. Sephiroth was the general in charge of the entire operation in Wutai now, probably capable of singlehandedly finishing off the small factions that were the only holdouts yet still keeping the final surrender negotiations from being completed.
And Angeal had told him that Sephiroth would handle the explanation of details for his mission.
The truck was pulling away. The replacement cook had vanished. While the fairly robust looking camp/base had plenty of soldiers and even a few SOLDIERS milling around outside low buildings, only he and Sephiroth stood in the dusty arrival area, staring nervously at one another.
Zack was nervous at least, but only a little. Because Sephiroth was staring at him, appraising him. And this mission did mean quite a bit -- it may not have been his first mission as a SOLDIER or even his most difficult but Angeal had picked this one. Handpicked this one. For him.
"Yes, Sir," Zack replied, heaving his duffel onto his back to rest opposite his sword. "I'm..."
"I know who you are," Sephiroth interrupted, turning and motioning for Zack to follow him into the camp.
Zack wrote one thing in his notebook that evening.
'Sephiroth is an utter prick.'
At least the replacement cook was skilled at making the otherwise inedible ShinRa rations into something resembling food, thanks to the herbs and spices likely confiscated from the nearby conquered villages.
They were waiting for a scout team to come back before raiding one of the small cells of holdouts - a small cell but holding the highest number of weapons, Sephiroth believed. And Zack wasn't going to doubt that whatever Sephiroth believed was the truth.
"Hey!" Zack waved to Sephiroth from halfway across the mess hall. After all, the place was still fairly empty for the day. And it was only polite to get to know teammates - especially if the team happened to consist of just two people.
The responding glare didn't seem so much offended as absolutely confused. Yet Sephiroth did join him, saying all of three words for the entire duration of their meal.
'Fifty pushups,' Zack wrote that night, 'with him standing on my back.'
"You don't need to take it out on other people," Zack said, not realizing he'd even spoke out loud until green mako eyes were staring angrily at him. So much for being invited along for a routine inspection of the camp.
At least they were alone between buildings. At least he hadn't said that in front of anyone.
"What was that?"
Pushups really didn't bother him. And as far as he could tell, until the scouts came back, the entire day consisted of twice the necessary amount of grunts doing busywork between patrols. Everything in the camp was clean and shining, including the fieldstones that cropped up at irregular intervals.
"Your impatience," Zack said. So much for Angeal's warning to watch his mouth. "Take it out on me, why don't you?"
'Utter prick who can throw me fifty feet. That saying -- liking someone as far as they can be thrown. Don't think it's true.'
Years before, Zack had decided that 4am was the hour of all evil. That's how he knew what time it was when Sephiroth dragged him out of bed.
"The scouts are back," Sephiroth said. He was fully dressed and frowning at Zack's bare chest and torn fatigue sleep pants.
"Scouts?" Zack asked, a bit confused before the last fog of sleep lifted. "Right..."
And then Sephiroth stood there, waiting. Proper etiquette said that even when sharing a barrack with 49 other men, the polite thing to do was look away. After about ten seconds of Sephiroth frowning, again, Zack stripped down and grabbed the uniform he'd laid out for the morning. Sephiroth could look at his ass. And frown, more than likely.
Short a sock, Zack plunged a hand down into his duffel to retrieve one. He'd never been much good at rolling his socks well enough for them to stay together through a voyage in a truck and a boat and another truck and another boat and...
He also found a candy bar, shoved down far enough to not be noticed during any inspections but waiting happily for a moment when chocolate and sugar were the only saving grace available.
Zack hated to waste it.
"Here!" he said, turning and still naked, to hand it to Sephiroth. "No more than half though."
'Scouts brought both good news and bad. Sephiroth took the bigger half of my candy bar. Finally, a weak spot!'
Going over the details with one of the scouts of exactly what weapons the rebels had, Zack figured that one wrong move and he would be shot by three different kinds of guns, blown up with four different types of explosives, and turned into thinly sliced steaks by five different varieties of swords. Not to mention the spears and poles and very pointy rocks that had also been gathered.
But Sephiroth had asked for everything in writing, so that it might be transmitted back to Midgar.
Zack hadn't even heard anyone approaching, but as soon as he felt a firm hand on his shoulder, he knew that wonderful declaration hadn't been aimed his way. The scout nodded, saluted, and wearily stumbled off.
"Sir?" Zack inquired, looking over as Sephiroth sat down next to him and glanced over at the rough draft of his report.
"Pointy rocks?" Sephiroth questioned.
"Like the ones I landed on when you threw me the other day, Sir," Zack replied. "Two scouts reported large piles of them. They're quite painful."
Something strange happened.
'World ending. Would like to get laid one last time.'
Staring at the variety of destruction-causing impliments being offered to him, Zack really wanted to grab all of the materia offered and jump up and down like a child being given chocolate.
He also did want some chocolate, but that wasn't being offered.
Still, his sword had a limited number of slots, as did his armor.
"Anything?" he asked, looking back to where Sephiroth was appraising his every move.
"Whatever you require to be the most efficient," Sephiroth replied. "I'll trust your judgment."
He realized later that he might still have seemed a little too excited when fondling the materia.
'Mission tomorrow. At least three days alone with Sephiroth. Materia!'
Zack knew it was the hour of all evil again, because he was being pulled out of bed. But Sephiroth was dressed down this time, looking almost human in a uniform matching the one that Zack scrambled to get into, hopping up and down as he tried to get the steps to take-off-nightclothes-put-on-uniform in the right order.
Not surprised only because he'd already overloaded on 'surprised' for the day, Zack found himself holding half a chocolate bar.
"You woke me up for a chocolate bar?" Zack asked, yawning as he tried to juggle the chocolate and his belt. Since his mouth was already open, he popped the candy in.
"I want to spar," Sephiroth said, smirking. "Angeal said you were the best he had to send me."
Zack nodded. He had the feeling that he'd be reaquainted with the pointy rocks quite shortly.
Though given the chance to fight back, loudly, just outside the camp in the pitch dark with only his sword and the two pieces of materia he'd thankfully slotted, the pointy rocks had yet to make an appearance.
"Not bad," Sephiroth said hours later, when the sun had risen to peek above the trees and illuminate the destruction they'd left in the field. Zack slumped onto one of the nearby fieldstones and laughed.
"You're a god," he replied, wondering how many more years would have to pass before he could even dream of matching the skill and grace of the general.
"No," Sephiroth commented, shaking his head. "We're going to use the night to our advantage. I'd suggest a shower and rest."
'Always would have thought big swords were compensation. Not so.'
Zack hadn't realized that Sephiroth was using the stars to navigate their path until they'd already been walking for an hour. Sure, he knew the stars too - but not from Wutai.
The plan wasn't too difficult - they'd annihilate the opposition and hold the location until backup arrived to take all the weapons, pointy rocks, food, items, etc. back to the camp. And it would be one more nail in the coffin of the resistance.
Only three days alone with Sephiroth. Who somehow didn't need to spend a good hour each day on his hair. Zack didn't understand that at all, nor did he understand how Sephiroth had managed to bind it all up under a trooper cap to keep it from glittering in the light of the waxing moon.
"We should get there just before dawn," Sephiroth said. No wonder he'd been dragging Zack out of bed at 4am. It was practice.
"And I'll go after neutralizing the explosives," Zack said, grinning. "I've got the plan totally memorized."
There was a bit of silence.
"Conversation isn't so hard," Zack said a moment later. "You just talk. Except that you don't, do you?"
"Angeal and I went on a mission similar to this, once."
Dragon scales worked quite well at causing proper water damage to explosives to render them a non-threat. Swords working in unpracticed but easily matched unison took care of the men who tried more to escape than attack once they realized who had come invading on such a crisp morning.
And after another couple of hours of sorting supplies and lookng for stragglers in the small mountainside hideout, when bodies were already ablaze and rending a sickening stench to the west wind, Zack found himself sitting on a crate of soaked dynamite. Enough dynamite to destroy the entire ShinRa camp.
He considered it a victory.
'"Good" is a relative word.'
Sephiroth snatched the PHS the second it started ringing its low, warbly tone. Zack would otherwise have been sure that the man was finally asleep.
He couldn't hear all of the soft conversation, but he could tell by Sephiroth's posture that nothing good was coming from it.
Finally Sephiroth shoved the PHS back against the dirt and looked over at Zack.
"Tomorrow. One more day here."
"There's food," Zack said, leaning back against one of the rock walls. Already the pair had taken care of two more insurgents who had thought they were amongst friends. "And... short of sweeping the floor again..."
"Really, throwing rocks at other rocks..."
Zack shrugged. "Small town. Was either that or jack off all day."
At that moment, he truly knew why Angeal had told him to watch his mouth.
'Sephiroth can throw rocks farther, too.'
At least they didn't have to walk back, Zack thought as he lay on the floor of the truck, between crates. Sephiroth had already started on the report write-up, asking him questions every few minutes from the top of a stack of crates that shuddered every time the truck hit a bump. But Sephiroth seemed perfectly content up there with his sword resting at his side, mirroring Zack's position.
"After we get cleaned up, you're going to need to write your own report," Sephiroth commented downward. He'd long ago given up on keeping his hair tucked up and even though it was fairly dirty, it still kept its ethereal appearance. The temptation to pull at a few strands was nearly more than Zack could handle.
"Right," Zack replied, trying to settle his arms across his chest so that he wouldn't grab Sephiroth's hair.
"And until you're supposed to go back to Junon..."
"Midgar," Zack corrected. Junon would kill him. With boredom.
"...Midgar," Sephiroth repeated, "you're assigned to the same duties as everyone else."
That wasn't exactly bothersome. He preferred to keep busy, even if it was doing literal gruntwork.
'Is his natural color, by the way.'
The supply captain had stepped out to get a few missing forms, leaving Zack alone with the cache of weapons that had been retrieved. The swords were fun - light and easy to play with. He twirled one around for a minute as something to do. Without the rest of the forms, he wasn't even really supposed to be toying with anything in the 'to-be-sorted' pile.
And then he hit something. Or more correctly, the sword stopped half over his head. Following the blade with his eyes, he realized that a black-gloved hand was holding it. Sephiroth had grabbed the thin blade, holding it tightly with his fingers.
"Sir..." He hadn't even heard the door.
Sephiroth didn't reply, confusing Zack at first until he'd managed to slip the sword back away from Sephiroth and turn. And there, between Sephiroth's lips, was half of a chocolate bar that the general had been eating before needing to grab a katana mid-swing.
Insanity struck Zack - he was going to get the bigger piece.
He was rather amused by surprises. His mouth crashed against Sephiroth's, teeth sinking into the chocolate and breaking off a chunk before he could rethink his action. Neither one spoke.
Zack nervously chewed at the melting chocolate, wondering if that had qualified as a kiss. If it had, he'd just kissed Sephiroth. The General. He was going to die.
A moment later he had his answer - that had not been a kiss. With his back against a crate and the katana dropped to the floor, his lips being pressed apart by Sephiroth's tongue - now he was being kissed.
'Life did not flash before eyes. Much. Wish the Supply Captain wouldn't have come back so quickly.'
'Don't hate 4am as much. Thank Angeal.'
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