It goes ding when there's stuff (cleflink) wrote,
It goes ding when there's stuff

Fic - The New Black [FFVII]

I live! Mostly. Only two more weeks of school! (And then exams but we won't go there).

Fic for you! Written for fictunes   's March challenge (yeah I know, but it's almost still March!)

If anyone's interested, the lyrics it's based on are here:
I got home this morning
With the sun right in my eyes
And there was no warning
Yes, it took me by surprise
As it hit me like an act of God
Causing my alarm
That I had not become a cephalopod
I still had legs and arms
Yes, I still had legs and arms

And today was supposed to be the day
Molecules decide to change their form
Laws of physics lose their sway
And youthful indiscretion now is suddenly the norm
With the good kids sprouting horns
Yeah, yeah

And today was supposed to be
Not just another day
Today was supposed to be
Not just another day
Was supposed to be
Today was supposed to be opposite day

Those who can't quite function
In society at large
They're going to wake up on this morning
And find that they're in charge
While those the world's set up for
Who are really doing quite well
They're gonna wake up in institutions
In prison or in hell
In prison or in hell

And today was supposed to be the day
Molecules decide to change their form
Laws of physics lose their sway
And youthful indiscretion now is suddenly the norm
With the good kids sprouting horns
Yeah, yeah

And today was supposed to be
Not just another day
Today was supposed to be
Not just another day
Today was supposed to be
Not just another day
Today was supposed to be
Not just another day
Was supposed to be
Today was supposed to be opposite day

But if you think there's something else
Well, you're right
There is, there's something else
But if you think I'm gonna tell you, think again
Why should I even think of telling you what there is
Yeah, 'cause silence is knowledge and knowledge is power
I'm under explicit orders to dare not speak its name
Listen up, I just work here, oh, I dare not speak its name
I can't keep talking about it, oh, I dare not speak its name

Title: The New Black
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Pairing: Zack/Cloud
Rating: G (with a side bonus of Zack in leather pants)
Warnings: None really. Sorry.
Music: Andrew Bird - Opposite Day
Word count:1619

Summary: There are some mornings that even coffee can't fix.

Waking up to people screaming was very rarely a good way to start the day.

Cloud flailed, scrabbling blindly for his uniform before his brain woke up enough to point out that screaming rarely, if ever, related to him being late for cadence drills. And besides, it added sulkily, he was off duty today, remember?

Ngh,” Cloud managed blearily, not particularly interested in debating with himself this early in the morning. He slumped back to the mattress with a weary yawn, seriously contemplating going back to sleep for another few hours. He didn’t actually need to get up today, after all, and surely someone else would look into whatever was going on.

Provided, of course, there was anyone else around to care.

Which there apparently wasn’t.

“Huh,” Cloud observed, blinking around the empty barracks. “That’s weird.”

On a normal day, the absence of his entire squad would’ve been more than enough to send Cloud tumbling out of bed in a panic, struggling into pants and shirt in his hurry to get to the practice field. Only most of the guys’ uniforms were still hanging beside their beds, pressed and ready, and Cloud had never yet met a Sergeant who made his troops do drills without their boots on.

Not to mention that Cloud sincerely hoped that someone would’ve woken him up if they’d been assigned extra duty.

The screaming was fainter now at least, tinny and thin, and it faded away entirely as Cloud listened. Silence echoed in its wake, far deeper than it ought to, and Cloud frowned, glancing over to see the barracks door hanging wide open, the once-sturdy latch swinging drunkenly from a few bent screws. There wasn’t anybody in the hallway.

This was starting to get bizarre.

The sudden sound of boots came tromping down the hall towards him, sharp as gunshots in the heavy quiet. Cloud shoved himself instinctively backwards, fingers skittering over the blankets and looking for something, anything, he could use as a weapon. He didn’t come up with much.

Then boots stopped outside the door and a very familiar shock of spiky hair poked around the corner.


Cloud blinked. “Zack?” he demanded, and Zack brightened like he’d just been handed the keys to the President’s favourite sports car.

“Here you are!” Zack shouldered the door open wider and strode towards Cloud’s bed. “Ramuh, I’ve been looking everywhere!”

There was likely a very good response to that, Cloud knew, but was a bit too busy gaping to think of it, wondering when ‘floor length black leather cape’ had become something that appeared in Zack’s wardrobe. Along with the tight black pants that Zack would’ve practically have had to pour himself into. And a hairdo that looked like it came from being on the receiving end of a third level bolt spell.

“What?” Zack asked when he didn’t say anything, as casual as ever. His head cocked in Cloud’s direction with a wary sort of concern. “You feeling alright, Spike?”

“I’m fine,” Cloud answered automatically, brain still trying to catch up with what his eyes were telling him. “Um, Zack? Aren’t you supposed to be in Junon this week? With the General?”

“Eh,” Zack shrugged, one leather-draped shoulder arching lazily. “It was kind of a special occasion.” His grin quirked. “And at least we made good time on the way back. But now’s not really the time.” He beckoned with a tilt of his head, half-turning back towards the door. “Come on. You can help me finish sweeping the barracks before we go find Seph.”

“Sweeping?” Cloud asked, brow furrowing in confusion. “What for?”

Zack shrugged again. “Terrified lurkers, mostly. Most of the mad ones are busy shambling around the administrative buildings scaring the spit out of the secretarial staff.”

Cloud was starting to get a headache. “Zack, what are you talking about? Mad what? And where is everybody any-…um.”

Zack turned, the sudden stark chagrin etched on his face not enough to pull Cloud’s attention away from the curve of long, whip-thin cartilage tracing the underside of the black leather cape. It flexed as Cloud watched, flaring briefly before settling languidly about Zack’s shoulders again.

His face felt very pale all of a sudden.

“Well shit.” Zack’s voice distracted him from his staring and Cloud dragged his eyes up to find Zack watching him like he was a startled chocobo. “You have absolutely no idea what’s going on, do you?”

Cloud blinked. “You have wings,” he observed stupidly.

Which made Zack’s eyes crinkle even as his mouth twisted ruefully. “Yep.”

“…How long have you had wings?”

“Ohhh, about six hours or so.” Zack grinned, but Cloud could see the strain spidering in the corners of Zack’s eyes. “How long have you been awake?”

“Before you came in?” Cloud shrugged. “Maybe ten minutes? Why? What’s going on?”

A rapid series of expressions flashed across Zack’s face, too fast to catch, before settling on an amused sort of frustration. “You know? It’s kind of hard to explain.” He came carefully closer, squatting down a few steps away from Cloud’s bed. “The short answer is that Hojo’s a bastard,” he said, eyes nearly on a level with Cloud’s as he looked at him. “And his latest experiment has the whole Shinra army a little bit… preoccupied with the side-effects.”

Cloud raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t know being preoccupied gave you wings.”

“Smartass.” Zack’s arm twitched like he was going to ruffle a hand through Cloud’s hair but changed his mind at the last minute. He settled for a grin instead. “I should know better than to give you vague answers before you’ve had coffee.”
Cloud sighed wistfully at the thought. “Would coffee make things better?”

“Probably not,” Zack admitted cheerfully. “Especially not when I tell you that Hojo’s changes to the standard mako injections has outfitted all members of the Shinra Army with a brand new set of extraneous appendages.” He shrugged his shoulders and the wings uncurled, fanning out and up and scattering thin shadows across Cloud’s face. “Wings seem to be pretty standard among the SOLDIERs,” Zack remarked, voice deceptively light. “Though they’re the least of the strange things you’re going to see people walking around with today.”

Zack was still a good foot away, Cloud noticed, the sober calm in his eyes making it clear that he wouldn’t take it personally if Cloud decided to bolt, or run around in circles screaming for a while.

As if Cloud ever would.

“Better than tentacles or fins or something I guess,” he observed, trying out a Zack tone of voice. “Take me for a ride later?”

Zack’s eyes shone. “I’m sure we can work something out,” he said, warm and unreasonably fond, and Cloud’s colour returned in a rush, his cheeks flaming hotly.

He coughed, failing miserably at ignoring the pleased glow in Zack’s smile. “So, it isn’t erm, reversible?”

Zack sighed, a weary sort of sound. “We don’t know yet. Right now I’m more concerned about the three-fourths of the regular troopers who’ve just had their brains scrambled from the mako rush and are shambling around Midgar like they’re extras in a bad horror movie.”

“Oh.” Cloud thought about that for a moment. “Zack?”


“Why hasn’t anything happened to me? I mean, I’ve had the standard booster too – shouldn’t I be out terrorizing civilians with the rest of my squad?”

Zack’s answering chuckle was wry and faintly apologetic. “Oh, you’ve changed too, babe – you’re just taking to it a lot better than the rest of ‘em.” He reached out with one hand. “May I?”

His fingers had claws at the end. Cloud wondered if it made him weird that that didn’t bother him.


Warm, calloused fingers threaded lightly through his bangs, careful of the tangles. Then Zack’s thumb brushed over a raised lump in the middle of his forehead and Cloud hissed, surprised at the sensation. Zack kept his touch light, tracing the curved contours of bone under stretched skin until Cloud realized what it had to be.

“I’ve got two,” Zack told him, gesturing with his free hand towards the curling horns that Cloud hadn’t noticed amidst the chaotic mess of black hair. Zack leered campily. “I always knew I was a sexy devil.”

“Modest too,” Cloud deadpanned, though he couldn’t help smiling. He leaned into the warmth of Zack’s palm with a sigh, soothed by the touch. “So what now?”

“Well first, I’d say you might want to put on something other than pajamas,” Zack grinned. “Then we’ll sweep the barracks and go find Seph. Knowing him he’s probably busy putting the fear of him in everyone within a ten mile radius, so we’ll need to run interference for a while until he calms down.”

“Sounds fair,” Cloud said, shifting reluctantly away from Zack’s hand so he could dig under the bed for his footlocker. “A question for you, though.”

“Shoot,” Zack offered, watching with unabashed appreciation as Cloud shrugged off his pajama top and tossed it aside.

It took a considerable amount of effort not to fidget under that steady regard. “What’s with the pants?” Cloud asked, trying not to stare at the way they molded to Zack’s thighs as he crouched. “I mean, they’re helping the sexy devil thing, but I didn’t even know you owned any leather.”

“Didn’t have much of a choice,” Zack shrugged, not even trying to hide his grin. “The guys with tails got first dibs on baggy pants and Seph refused to trade with anyone else.”

Cloud’s head whipped up so fast it made Zack laugh, but he couldn’t find it in himself to care, suddenly much more interested in getting out of bed after all.

This he had to see.


EDIT: So the lj-cut on the story seems screwed six ways to Sunday despite my best efforts to fix it - you may need to scroll up a few lines to get to the beginning of the story. *heavy sigh*
Tags: challenge: fictunes, fandom: ffvii, pairing: zack/cloud, verse: new black
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