Hell and Combat Mecha
Title: Hell and Combat Mecha
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Summary: A strange little bit of oddness. In which Sephiroth's eternal punishment involves attending business meetings in full dress uniform, during which he likes to doodle in the margins and molest young, blond cadets who might be trying to tell him something. (I'm so sorry.)
Notes: This was originally prefaced with "What. The. Shit. Is. This?"
At 8am on a rainy Monday morning, Sephiroth found himself sitting down for what had to be the most detestable and boring briefing of his life. Normally he managed to skip out of such trivial things or sent one lackey or another in his place, but this was the annual and it would run for the better part of days.
Each day would be more tedious than the last, he knew, and his patience had already faded to the same bare existance of the dust particles that scattered when the first executive pulled down the overhead projector screen by the time the clock had ticked past 9am.
Their first break was at 10am and the second the clock ticked into position, he flipped his notebook closed and excused himself. He didn't care that the executive was still talking - his itinerary said 'Break'.
Sephiroth knew that he was the only one who could get away with such blatant disrespect, even without a weapon. For the day - or the week - he was neutered into his dress uniform, a hideous concoction of grey that was just as binding as the suits his contemporaries were stuck in. A suit, truthfully, would be more interesting.
Sliding into the men's room to relieve himself of the four cups of coffee he'd poured into himself several hours previous (at a time proper for waking up), Sephiroth was fairly sure that he was in hell.
He wasn't even sure why he had to sit in on all of this. Sure, some of the financials for the military were interesting, but he really didn't have any say in the lot of it. He just signed his name on things, sometimes. Meetings weren't his thing. The field was.
By 10.15am, he was back in his seat and ready to write down any non-sequitor possible to keep from flat out drawing. Years back, he'd taken a series of art and drafting classes as part of a recommended curriculum, so he actually could draw decently, but he didn't quite want someone looking over his shoulder as he designed interesting things like combat mecha or dual-purposed torture devices.
He wondered if there was room in the budget for combat mecha.
A few minutes later, Sephiroth pulled at his collar - definitely a torture device.
12pm arrived after what felt like the better part of an eternity and might well have been one. He had made a list of things to take care of during the rest of the week. And had started a basic paragraph on the uses of combat mecha before scrapping it to actually design the blasted thing. Puzzling out the exact power requirements had taken up the better part of the last hour, which was heavenly.
Especially since he was still quite in hell, and lunch confirmed that.
Nothing good could ever be said about a meal delivered in a small, neatly folded cardboard box.
Sephiroth hid over near the windows of the space alotted as a cafeteria and tried to put off an aura that would keep everyone at a distance. At least for as long as he ate what seemed to be thinly sliced dehydrated, rehydrated and otherwise barely-edible chocobo on slightly soggy white bread with limp lettuce and something that wasn't sure if it was mustard, mayonaise or otherwise. There was also a bag of chips, but they'd been beneath the sandwich and can of generic, ShinRa brand soda and were therefore probably in tiny smashed pieces.
By 2pm, Sephiroth had ironed out all of the designs for his prototype combat mecha, though he now had the problem of trying to find someone to build it. Most of ShinRa's science department focused on the biological, which he'd never thought was quite as interesting as mechanical things. Of course, ShinRa's science department found him absolutely fascinating, so he was perhaps strongly biased against them anyway.
As he pretended to listen to a report on something he knew he'd never need for his actual job, which mostly involved killing things and/or people, conquering small island nations and generally being the poster boy for army recruiting, Sephiroth began to glance around the room for something to give him another viable idea.
What he saw was a handful of young trainees, cleaning up the remnants of their lunches, discarded coffee cups, and other debris. Normally, he didn't do weird things, but, after all, he was in hell. And his itinerary said 'Break'.
Walking up to one of them, a young blond who seemed strangely familiar, Sephiroth cleared his throat and waited for the teen to turn around and look at him.
Their eyes met with a spark of recognition that was downright eerie. Gone was the thought to ask what the trainee thought of combat mecha, replaced with something akin to dread. And a burning...
"Aerith," he heard the blond hiss, "this isn't funny."
The name seemed familiar. Everything seemed familiar. And then it struck Sephiroth quite clearly - he was in hell, or at least a version of it. Yet for some reason, the Cloud in front of him seemed to be the real thing.
What had he wanted to do, anyway? Ask about combat mecha, find a way to get his own uniform off, generally misbehave because it wasn't like they were going to throw him out of the military he'd pretty much helped create.
"Excuse me," he said, trying to smile. "What would a young man like yourself think about combat mecha?"
Cloud was obviously stunned. Maybe he'd expected violence or something else impossible - Sephiroth didn't know. He didn't know how he'd gotten the real Cloud trapped in one of his unending nightmares. Maybe they were both being punished. It didn't matter.
"Combat mecha?" Cloud asked after a moment. "Well..."
"I'm not entirely sure how feasable they'd be," Sephiroth continued. "So I thought I would get another opinion."
Frowning, Cloud looked around at the other men in suits who were ignoring the pair, as were the other cadets.
"Is something wrong?" Sephiroth asked. He wondered if somewhere, Cloud was dreaming. "Why don't we go for a walk? Some fresh air should clear your mind."
Cloud nodded dumbly, allowing Sephiroth to put a hand on his back and escort him along, out of the meeting room, past the cafeteria lounge and towards a courtyard that had definitely never existed in real life but got to exist now that Sephiroth had realized what was going on.
It was filled with flowers and the rain had thankfully stopped.
"I think this is a mistake," Cloud stammered once they stopped, but Sephiroth shook his head.
"Other things have been mistakes," Sephiroth commented as he reached up to undo the top buttons of his uniform jacket. Medals jingled against one another. He smirked. "That's why I'm here, after all."
Cloud's eyes grew wide, as he realized they were both perfectly aware of what was happening to them, even if neither was exactly sure of the means.
"Sephiroth?" he questioned, reaching for Sephiroth's arm. "Really?"
"At least for the time being," Sephiroth replied. "Though I'm somewhat disappointed. I was getting quite a bit done during that meeting, even if the food was apalling."
It took a moment, but Cloud laughed. "You were drafting plans for combat mecha?"
"I really need to tell you about what's been going on since you, well... died," Cloud commented, almost chuckling.
"Later," Sephiroth said as he pulled the rather old Cloud in the rather young body to him. "Later. This is only a fifteen minute break... And I don't know when you'll be back."
Sephiroth supposed that Cloud did have some sort of important message to deliver, something that had waited until his mind had been cleared by unending boring meetings and other strange nightmares. But Cloud could not possibly tell him a thing if Cloud's mouth was otherwise endeavoured - which is exactly why he kissed the blond and held him tight, delaying the future for a minute longer.
Though, he considered immediately after grabbing a firm handful of Cloud's ass, perhaps, somehow and for some reason, Cloud might be in need of combat mecha.
It was worth asking about...
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!