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COI - Fic: Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice (1/2) (crack) - Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
COI - Fic: Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice (1/2) (crack)
Yes, yet another Fem!Zack story, in which Zack's a woman (thanks to a convenient gender-switching materia) and a smokin' hot woman in a stunning violet and green silk evening gown (courtesy of Aerith)

Previous Fem!Zack stories are: Guard Duty, followed by It Takes Two.

soloyuymaxwell, here's your reward fic for making me such a great Fem!Zack piccie! ^_^

Ummm... this is crack, so anything goes. Uh-huh, a perfect excuse for my probable mangling of poor Rufus's character. ^_^;;; As for where and how far things goes, who knows? ::nervously eyes lightly snoozing COI-het-plotbunny::

Title: Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice (1/2)
Author: MadamHydra
Beta: none, very rough draft
Fandom: FF7 AU (COIverse, maybe)
Type: ficlet
Pairing/Characters: Rufus/Fem!Zack
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: ~3800
Warnings: crack, genderswitching
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII and all related prequels and sequels belong to Square-Enix.

A/N: Inspired by icedark_elf's story Learning Curve.

Summary: Keep a low profile and stay out of trouble. How hard can that be? (Uh, Seph, you do realize that this is Zack you're talking to, right? ::sweatdrop::)

Cross-posted to soldiersmut and zackfans and ffvii_yaoi

-----------------

Shortly after General Sephiroth's abrupt departure from one of Shinra's famous corporate parties, the General's female escort quietly slipped away from the festivities. Her departure was mostly unnoticed, except for Rufus Shinra, who had developed an almost obsessive curiosity about the mysterious brunette, and one other individual.

Rufus caught up with the mysterious woman near the cloakroom just as she was retrieving a small purse.

"Leaving the party so soon?" Rufus inquired mildly.

The brunette woman in green and violet silk turned gracefully and gave him a rueful smile.

"I guess you caught me. Guilty as charged."

"Any particular reason?"

"My date ran off and dumped me, so now I'm sneaking away to cry my poor broken heart out," she said in a sad, woebegone tone.

Rufus blinked, then struggled to choke down an involuntary chuckle. If her previously displayed self-confidence and Sephiroth's obvious preference for her company weren't sufficient warning signs that something was up, there was the unmistakable gleam of playful mischief in her eyes....

They were fascinating, those eyes, with colors that shifted from violet-grey to blue-gray to violet-blue from instant to instant. It could just be an effect of the hallway lights, but he somehow didn't think so.

"Hmmm. Not buying that story, huh?" she murmured, thoughtfully tapping a finger against her chin.

Rufus silently shook his head.

She perked up. "Okay, how about this? I was bored because no one wanted to talk to me."

"Well, that's a little more believable," Rufus said graciously, his lips twitching.

Her shoulders sagged and she held up her hands in mock-surrender.

"All right, I confess. I ducked out of the party because I'm a sniveling coward."

Rufus raised a highly skeptical eyebrow and murmured, "I think we're seriously backsliding in the plausibility department." Someone who could cope as comfortably as she did with Sephiroth certainly didn't lack for courage.

"No, really! I'm trying to hide from a certain overly persistent rotund gentleman," she protested.

Rufus wondered just who would be bold enough -- and/or stupid enough -- to sexually harass Sephiroth's date. Only a few people fit both that criteria and the physical description. Perhaps Heidegger? Not likely. Although Heidegger certainly had an eye for pretty ladies and didn't mind antagonizing Sephiroth on occasion, the director wasn't brave enough to brazenly flirt right under the nose of his wife, a famous society beauty who gave Scarlet serious competition in the 'flashy but vicious' department. Quickly running through the list of attendees, there was only one possibility left....

"Are you talking about Palmer?" Rufus asked, in a tone of mingled amusement and sympathy.

"That's the guy, the one with the over-ripe cologne, tacky suit, and sweaty, grabby hands," she said with an eloquent shudder. "He first offered to massage my poor bruised feet, then said he wanted to give me a private showing of his etchings."

Rufus snorted and said, "I seriously doubt that Palmer even knows what on earth an etching is."

"I figured as much."

There was a hastily smothered giggle from the young woman working the cloakroom and the brunette flashed her a quick grin.

"Well, since I'm willing to bet gil that this Palmer guy won't be deterred by anything less than serious body harm, I decided that a tactical retreat was in order," she said cheerfully.

When Rufus had set out to follow and learn more about Sephiroth's mysterious female escort, he had expected... well, he wasn't entirely sure what he expected from her, but it certainly wasn't this utterly disarming combination of easy-going charm and playful good humor. Now he was beginning to understand those little glimmers of amusement in Sephiroth's eyes during the party that in any other person would be outright guffaws or laughter.

Her eyes abruptly widened as she glanced over Rufus's shoulder.

"Oh hell, he's coming this way."

Rufus quickly looked behind him. "I don't see...."

"Trust me, I can smell that fruity cologne of his from a mile away. He'll be turning the corner any minute now," she said with brisk assurance.

Realizing that she was about to bolt for it -- and if that happened, Rufus strongly suspected that he would never see her again -- he quickly stepped forward and offered her his arm.

"Would you be interested in a leisurely evening stroll around the new Southside Promenade?"

She looked at him, looked down the hallway, then back at him. Finally, she made an 'oh what the hell' sort of shrug and took his proffered arm.

"Sure, I'd love to."

Arm in arm, they smoothly headed out the door just as Palmer plodded around the corner, huffing and puffing, just as she had predicted.

Now they were so close, he noticed two more interesting things about the young woman. First, she was a few inches taller than he was, something that was not obvious when she was standing next to Sephiroth. Second, she was younger than he had first thought. Watching her with Sephiroth, her poise and confidence had led him to put her in her early twenties. He now realized that she couldn't be more than two or three years older than he was, which made her about seventeen or eighteen at the most.

Once outside, as they made their way down the steps of the building, he said, "We haven't even had the chance to introduce ourselves. I'm...."

"Rufus Shinra, only son of our illustrious President Shinra. Someone pointed you out to me earlier."

"Ah. And you are...?"

"Karen. Karen Fair. But call me Kary."

"It's a beautiful name, and it suits you."

She made a choked sound, then grinned back at him.

"Kary is a variant of Karen, which means 'pure'. A beautiful name it may be, but I have to be honest with you -- pure, I'm not. But you definitely get points for the attempt," she added in encouraging tones.

He looked at her, taken aback both by her candidness and the kindly, but firm way she had sliced right through the habitual social flattery. Once again, he couldn't help a rueful chuckle.

"You're right. When you put it that way, it sounds quite pretentious of me. I don't know anything about you."

But how he wanted to, even more than ever.

---------------------------

Sephiroth had told Zack to keep a low profile and stay out of trouble. Or try to, at least. Well, the first part of that semi-order was pretty much shot, considering that he was now parading around on Rufus Shinra's arm, of all people. And flirting, too.

But at least he was staying out of trouble. What could be safer and more harmless than a little evening stroll in a high class Upper Plate shopping area, especially with Rufus's contingent of Turks discretely in tow?

---------------------------

As they arrived at the recently opened promenade, the crowd was thinning out as the shows started in nearby theaters. With the loss of their potential customers, street vendors were beginning to pack up their carts. Kary took a few quick steps over to one of the remaining vendors and bought a cup of what looked like freshly baked dough nuggets, drowned with dark gooey cinnamon sugar and topped with sour cream frosting.

He watched as she chatted cheerfully with the elderly man, and when it came time to pay, the vendor waved away Kary's gil and with a wink, heaped on an extra serving of frosting. The older man got a smile and a bright burst of laughter in return, and Rufus thought that the vendor was well pleased with his end of the deal.

Kary pulled the first nugget free from the sticky mass and began eating with a blissful expression, clearly savoring each bite. In the absence of cutlery, there was simply no dignified way to eat the sugary concoction and Kary didn't even bother to try. She seemed to enjoy licking the gooey cinnamon and frosting off her fingers almost as much as eating the nuggets themselves.

Rufus had to admit that buying the snack was an ingenious way of controlling the flow of conversation. After all, social convention dictated that it was rude to talk when one's mouth was full. On the other hand, the aroma coming from the freshly baked nuggets was incredible.

He was so busy watching her, Rufus was caught off-guard when she suddenly held the cup out to him, clearly offering him a bite. He hesitated -- it was unwise for the heir to the world's most powerful corporation to accept food from complete strangers... especially from beautiful, charming, mysterious strangers.

As years of safety warnings and security lessons ran through his head, Rufus wondered how to decline her offer gracefully. By now she had surely noticed his hesitation. But when he looked into her magnificent violet-grey-blue eyes, he didn't see any sign of confusion or annoyance.

Instead, he sensed that she somehow knew why he didn't just reach out and take one of the sweet treats, as practically any normal person would do. But at the same time, he didn't see pity in her gaze for someone who had grown up in a world full of assassination attempts, hidden threats, and rampant paranoia.

Other women might have jerked the food away in an embarrassed flutter, or they might have brandished it like a challenge, as if taunting him for cowardice. Instead, Kary simply waited, offering without pushing. She left the decision -- yes or no -- entirely to him. And all he saw in her eyes was understanding, patience, and quiet encouragement. It was almost as if Kary had been in a similar situation before and knew just how to handle it.

In the back of Rufus's mind was the odd thought that Kary was probably marvelous with animals.

Although he didn't know anything about her, it was clear -- to Rufus, at least -- that Sephiroth trusted the woman to an extraordinary degree. That beautiful, soaring tango between her and the General never could have happened without a tremendous degree of mutual understanding and trust between the partners.

But did the fact that Sephiroth trusted Kary, and vice versa, mean that he, Rufus Shinra, could trust her? Hard experience and cold logic said 'of course not', but for once, Rufus felt the nearly overwhelming urge to chuck reason and logic out the window and go with his gut instincts.

And his instincts were telling him that Kary meant him no harm.

Almost defiantly, Rufus leisurely reached out and took the topmost nugget, which incidentally had the most frosting. The Turks following him were probably having a mild fit. Well, let them. He was going to enjoy himself for once, and to hell with the consequences.

Amazingly, the sugary nugget was as delicious as it smelled, all warm and buttery. It nearly melted on the tongue, the sweetness of the sugar countered by the spicy bite of the cinnamon and the rich mellow tang of the sour cream frosting.

---------------------------

Zack had to fight hard to not laugh aloud when he saw the almost rapturous look on Rufus' face as he ate. For Seph, it had been chocolates, especially the dark chocolate and raspberry truffles from the most exclusive chocolatier in Midgar.

"Don't hold back. They're best when they're hot," she murmured.

---------------------------

After taking the plunge with that first bite, Rufus found himself enthusiastically munching away as he and Kary strolled down the promenade. With the onset of dusk, many of the boutiques were starting to close, but others remained open.

As they conversed, Rufus could have pressed Kary for more personal details, but he was concerned that if he pushed too hard, she would slip right through his fingers. And so Rufus chose to keep things light and casual, listening carefully for any clues about her past.

He did discover that she was very familiar with Midgar, despite spending a lot of time 'out in the field', a comment that strengthened his suspicions that she either worked in some military or security capacity. Somehow, he just couldn't quite picture Kary as an engineer or scientist, although he didn't doubt that she had the brains for those occupations. Karen Fair struck him as a person who could succeed in practically anything she wanted to do. And while other people, men especially, might be intimidated by a woman of such obvious competence and talent, Rufus certainly wasn't one of them.

However, a niggling sense of familiarity led him to ask her directly if they had ever met before. Her response had been equally straightforward, as far as it went -- no, they hadn't met personally, but she did have a relative or two who worked for Shinra and physical resemblances tended to be strong in her family. When she didn't elaborate, he left the matter alone, although he fully intended to pursue it later.

And so they chatted on topics which ranged all over the place from sports to art to motorcycles to the latest movies. Sprinkled amid the casual talk would be the occasional question about Kary herself. She was perfectly aware that he was digging for information, of course, and with a grin would offer an intriguing tidbit, but nothing more.

But instead of becoming frustrated, he found himself enjoying Kary's particular combination of openness and canniness. He had always assumed that honesty and deviousness were inherently incompatible in a person, but Kary somehow managed to be both in a perfectly natural way.

Rufus couldn't remember having more fun with a woman in... well, in a long time. All too frequently, his encounters with women ended up as tense, wary exercises in evasion and deterrence. The young, unmarried ones were constantly trying to attract his attention and out for all they could get from him, including but certainly not limited to gifts, favors, a wedding ring, and/or sex. Not that the older women were much better. All too frequently, they were worse.

Practically the only women who weren't busy trying to crawl into his pockets and/or his pants were the female Turks. And people wondered why he tended to favor the Turks' company over his so-called social peers? Not that the heir of the Shinra Corporation really had any peers.

Kary, he realized suddenly, reminded him very much of the female Turks. Not only in her obvious confidence and self-assured competence, but in the way she managed to be female, but not excessively feminine, at least not in the sense he was used to. Perhaps that was part of the reason he felt so comfortable with her, even though he knew so little about her. Kary was no pushover, and would give as good as she got. Except, unlike Scarlet, she wouldn't try to gobble down huge chunks of a person in the process.

As they passed by one of the art galleries, they both stopped to look at the picture in the storefront window. Almost as one, they tilted their heads to the right, then tilted them to the left, all while continuing to stare at the incoherent mish-mash of clashing fluorescent colors. They then looked at each other.

"It's modern. I'll say that much," Kary said, squinting slightly as if she found the eye-searing painting painful to look at.

"And someone is going to buy that monstrosity, probably for at least six figures, and display it prominently just to bolster their reputation for being a collector of cutting edge art," Rufus said cynically.

They continued their stroll down the row of shops until they came across yet another gallery. In its window was a modernistic painting, although not nearly as bad as the earlier one. This particular painting was covered in large geometric shapes of black and white, mixed with slightly smaller circles of pure green, red, purple, and yellow. It wasn't horrible, but in Rufus's opinion, rather boring with its large areas of flat plain colors.

However, Kary seemed unusually interested in the picture. In fact, she was smiling, as if appreciating a private joke. Curious, Rufus took a closer look at the painting, but saw nothing unusual about its simple colors or its equally simplistic design.

Finally, he couldn't help asking, "What are you seeing?"

She glanced at him, a slight flicker of surprise in her violet eyes which shifted almost instantly to a sort of rueful comprehension.

"It's got an interesting use of colors," she said simply.

---------------------------

Zack couldn't explain it any better because Rufus, with his normal human eyesight, couldn't see what Zack could. Rufus was probably seeing a painting with seemingly random blobs of a few plain colors -- pleasant enough, but nothing exceptional.

But with his SOLDIER-enhanced vision, Zack was seeing something entirely different. The painting depicted a simple pottery bowl filled with glowing orbs of materia, much like the portraits of fruit one so frequently saw in artwork. However, a non-enhanced human couldn't see the incredibly subtle shadings which so wonderfully highlighted the shine, clarity, and three-dimensional shape of the materia orbs, nor could they see the tiny variations in black tones which accentuated the bowl's gracefully curved shape. Only a former or current SOLDIER could have painted that picture, and the sheer subtlety of the colors was something only his fellow SOLDIERs could truly appreciate.

Zack knew in an instant that Sephiroth would love it.

---------------------------

Even as they turned away from the picture and resumed their stroll, Rufus continued to wonder about Kary's reaction to the painting. He hadn't missed the way her eyes had taken note of the gallery's name. Obviously she saw something in the picture that he was missing and even though he burned with curiosity to know more, he let it go for the moment.

"You know, I've never seen Sephiroth dance like that. I never realized he could."

She smiled at him and shrugged. "The potential's always been there. But dance is one of those activities where the choice of partner can make all the difference."

It was not a boast about her own prowess. Her tango with Sephiroth made her statement an indisputable fact.

"And without the right partner, it's easy to end up simply going through the motions?" Rufus asked casually, taking the very last dough nugget and using it to sop up the final remains of the gooey cinnamon and frosting.

Kary gave him an oddly somber look and said, "Unfortunately, yes."

Rufus wondered about that look -- again, nothing as maudlin as pity, but rather that same eerily clear understanding as before. It was as if she was noticing things in him that no one else had ever noticed before. And for someone who had learned early in his life the need to conceal his thoughts and feelings from others, it was unnerving to have a complete stranger see him so clearly. But at the same time, it was also oddly relieving to be so exposed, to not have to struggle to hide or express things he barely understood himself.

Not only was Kary gorgeous, smart, charming, talented, good-humored, and sincere, she was damnably perceptive. Rufus no longer wondered why Sephiroth was interested in Kary. He was wondering why the hell Sephiroth hadn't already married her. Because if Sephiroth wasn't interested, he was certainly was. With someone like Kary by his side....

With a sharp mental jerk, Rufus brought his own wild fantasies up short. What the hell was he thinking? Recklessly going with one's gut instincts was fine and good for a casual evening's outing, but it was no way to live one's life. He barely knew anything about Karen Fair. He didn't even know if that was her real name. She was keeping secrets, she had something going with Sephiroth, of all people, and no one could possibly be as perfect as she appeared....

"Why are you blushing?"

Kary's amused voice interrupted his racing thoughts. To his acute chagrin, Rufus realized that he was indeed blushing furiously. Silently cursing the fair complex he had inherited from his mother, he groped for something to say that wouldn't make him look like a total idiot.

"It... I was...."

In the midst of his floundering, Rufus was vaguely aware that two storefronts away, another couple was arguing fiercely. The man, a senior member in one of Shinra's trade or economic development departments, was bellowing at his new trophy wife, a woman barely half his age. Their argument apparently involved the chunky jeweled necklace around the woman's throat, with her husband shouting for her to take it off while she clutched at it and shook her head in angry refusal.

A light tap on his flushed cheek brought Rufus's attention back to Kary, who was smiling, her eyes bright with mischief. And as she leaned down, he realized that she was going to kiss him. Which was perfectly fine.

He first felt her tongue lightly lick the corner of his mouth, but even as he wondered, her lips met his. And like the food they had so recently shared, her mouth was exquisitely soft, warm, and tasted of sugar, spice, cream, and something infinitely more delicious....

---------------------------

It's a tired old cliche for fireworks to go off when a couple shares a romantic evening kiss. Unfortunately, the thing that went off for Rufus and his female companion was a three-ton truck bomb tucked away in the underground garage of one of the buildings lining the Promenade.

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Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

55 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
Comments
kittychan1986 From: kittychan1986 Date: April 5th, 2007 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Fem!Zack had a serious moment! *Blinks* You know, I typicaly abhore genderswap fics, I think they're silly. But this, even as not being a humor piece ((though admitadly, there are alot fo amusing moments)) was charming and a delight to read.I have decided that I like your Rufus, he's so innocennt, yet so cautious. he's alot like Seph, which explains why Zack is able to handle him so deftly. I loved the scene with the Donut things, Iagree, the turks probably did have a heart attack. Zack is so good at taming wild things, eh? like Sephiroth's and Rufuss. Does this mean, I wonder, that Rufus has wiggled his way into Zack 'People I take Care of' circle? And, oo, are they gonna be alright?! Please tell me you're not going to leave us hanging with that, Madam, that would be far too cruel to us! Hope to see more soon! Anythig, anything at all!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, I typicaly abhore genderswap fics, I think they're silly.

I know what you mean. They frequently make me wince, although mpreg makes me twitch more. But I keep reminding myself that the implementation is the the important thing.

I have decided that I like your Rufus, he's so innocennt, yet so cautious. he's alot like Seph, which explains why Zack is able to handle him so deftly.

Whee, you like my young!Rufus! And yes, there are interesting similarities in COI-Sephiroth and COI-Rufus -- they both grew up in hostile, cold, paranoid, manipulative, and non-nuturing environments. While papa Shinra probably give Rufus all the necessary training and grooming to become a proper corporate heir, I don't see Shinra as being a particularly nice father. Of course, Hojo was much worse.

But they both had... well, if not nuturing, but at least relatively caring figures briefly and very early in their lives -- Ghast, for Sephiroth, and his mother, for Rufus. So somewhere in their subconscious, they both want more than they have. They know that there's more to life, but they're not sure what it is.

And indeed, Zack picks up on the similarity, which is why he's being so friendly to Rufus. Rufus doesn't need sex (that's easy to get) -- he needs someone he can relax with and talk to.

I loved the scene with the Donut things, Iagree, the turks probably did have a heart attack. Zack is so good at taming wild things, eh? like Sephiroth's and Rufuss.

Heh! Twitchy Turks. ^_- I really do think that Rufus bonds much more with the Turks than with his so-called social peers. And yes Zack is such a sweetie and relentlessly patient when he has to be. ::cuddle::

Does this mean, I wonder, that Rufus has wiggled his way into Zack 'People I take Care of' circle?

Unfortunately probably not into his innermost circle -- there's room for only one person and Sephiroth needs a lot of care and tending. But I think he probably does feel rather kindly toward Rufus. And if Nibelheim hadn't interfered, Zack probably could've really helped Rufus become a less... ruthlessly 'sharp' person.

So, sad to say, this encounter between Rufus and Zack is probably going to be a singular event. However, Zack does teach Rufus a valuable lesson, one that Rufus keeps in the back of his mind even as the devious and manipulative aspects of his personality gain ascendency. After all, if Sephiroth can find someone special.... ::cough!maybeTseng cough!maybeReno::

And, oo, are they gonna be alright?! Please tell me you're not going to leave us hanging with that, Madam, that would be far too cruel to us! Hope to see more soon! Anythig, anything at all!

Of course they're going to be all right in the end, although it might be a rather rough ride. Zack is quite the trouble-magnet and chaos-attractor, and half the time it's not his fault!

Sephiroth: "Meaning that half the time, it IS his fault."
artimusdin From: artimusdin Date: April 5th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC) (Link)
... You're evil. I hope you know that. *stares at the ending* Kick ass, but evil.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, thank you! ::sweeps flamboyant bow::
askaram27 From: askaram27 Date: April 5th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Zack/Kary, you bigamist! Shopping for Seph-presents even as you smooch-da-Rufus! Don't you know that's statutory?

:P

If I'm getting involved, it's because it's good. I enjoy this little story very much...
roughxdivide From: roughxdivide Date: April 5th, 2007 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Zack/Kary

Haha~ I SO didn't pick up on that until I read it in your comment (mainly because I don't really like giving Zack the full name of Zackary myself, just Zack suits him better IMO) but I headdesked after reading it xD

And to the author: I have to agree with the above comment about gender-swap fics usually being silly and unable to hold my interest, but this one is great and I really hope you write more soon! Zack is too good at pretending to be a woman xD And I swear he can talk his way out of anything...
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icedark_elf From: icedark_elf Date: April 5th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
*purrs*

This is wonderful. And Zack with the painting. That was awesome. Rufus's thoughts and his "um...." as soon as he realized them.

That's hilarious with the bomb. Why? Because I'm evil like that.

It's nice when my fic inspires pretty things.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
And Zack with the painting. That was awesome.

Yup, Zack's always thinking about Sephiroth. Which in other people might be somewhat creepy, but not when Zack's involved, of course. ^_-

Rufus's thoughts and his "um...." as soon as he realized them.

Poor Rufus is crushing on Zack so bad, even though at this age, he's already a sneaky, manipulative bastard (if you go by the Before Crisis plot). But unlike most teenagers, it's Rufus himself who's the one trying to be the cold, hard voice of reason. Then again, he's up against Zack, who can scramble one of the most coldly rational, emotionally repressed, and self-controlled people around (i.e., Sephiroth). Rufus doesn't have a chance.

Zack: "It's a gift!"
Sephiroth: ::tries to ignore::

That's hilarious with the bomb. Why? Because I'm evil like that.

Yes, let evil keep us all young!

It's nice when my fic inspires pretty things.

That fic was sweet and sad and made me wibble.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
forgottenlover From: forgottenlover Date: April 5th, 2007 09:05 am (UTC) (Link)
::laughs:: Exquisite touch.

And the eyesight... You've just niched in another facet of SOLDIER into my brain. Little details make everything.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
And the eyesight... You've just niched in another facet of SOLDIER into my brain. Little details make everything.

It was always my personal theory that the real difference between First Class SOLDIERs and lower ranks were cognitive. It seems pretty much confirmed by now (although I can't quite pin down the source) that not only are SOLDIERs (and Sephiroth) physically stronger and faster than normal humans, their mental processes are enhanced as well. And if you go with the COI theory that Jenova is some sort of hyper-predator, the cognitive enhancements would tend to favor those involved in hunting (e.g., improved senses, etc.)

SOLDIERs live in a world that non-enhanced humans really can't understand. Can you imagine how someone like Zack would perceive something like wine, which has extremely complex flavor even for normal people? The same thing goes for sight, hearing, smell, and touch. For SOLDIERs, sex must be incredible. ::leer::

Take that and multiply it by at least an order of magnitude for Sephiroth. It's hardly any wonder that he feels alienated from most humans because they simply can't perceive anything close to what he does. Only the SOLDIERs can begin to understand what it's like. And in COI, his senses are easily sharper than the best lie detectors. Can you imagine what it's like to know that people around you are constantly lying, either actively or by omission, even though you don't know exactly what they're lying about?

And yes, Sephiroth can often (but not always) pick up when Zack is lying to him. Except with Zack, Sephiroth's generally willing to let it go because he trusts Zack's judgment and motivations. ^_^
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
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madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
My COI-porn-bunny is still hibernating. -_-

As for happy endings to this particular ficlet, well.... >_>

The happiness will be there, only somewhat postponed for several years, perhaps. ::hastily slithers away::
ardwynna_m From: ardwynna_m Date: April 5th, 2007 10:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Work it, Kary! Girl, you rock! I love Rufus' picturing the Turks having a fit over him taking candy from practical strangers.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Rufus' picturing the Turks having a fit over him taking candy from practical strangers.

And you just know that Zack is so totally aware of the spazzing Turks, as well, and loving it! ^_-
keji_eternal From: keji_eternal Date: April 5th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh boy, H... I gotta give it to you. You are amazing! I LOVED this one, it was so... how can I put it... so perfect. I enjoyed it much, and I found myself still chuckling when I finished this. It's weird, cause this is what I wanted, a sequel!! And believe me, I let my imagination run wild after this... mwahahahahaha!! I wonder how Seph would react to this... ahem.. anyway, I really, really loved this. And I like the fact that Rufus didn't seem like most writers put him as... a total asshole. I love Rufus-sama!!!

Keep them coming Madam!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I enjoyed it much, and I found myself still chuckling when I finished this.

Yay!

I wonder how Seph would react to this...

Well, COI-Seph's going to be rubbing his head over this one. I mean, at times, Zack can be an rambuctious puppy who casually wanders back home in the morning muddy, but happy, with chaos in his wake.

And I like the fact that Rufus didn't seem like most writers put him as... a total asshole. I love Rufus-sama!!!

Well, after Advent Children, I really began to appreciate Rufus, which is why I wrote him (and the other Turks) into COI. But you do realize what I tend to do with characters that I like, right? ::sinister eyebrow waggle::
crack_fairy From: crack_fairy Date: April 5th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh... gawd. *dies laughing*

that was brilliant... i LOVED zack (or should i say, kary) in that.

He was wondering why the hell Sephiroth hadn't already married her.

like yes, omg, seph and zack are so married, i wonder if zack has progressed past the stage of washing seph's socks to making him wash them himself? XD

nicely done rufus there... glad that you didn't make him out to be as much of a brat as he's usually portrayed... and i really wonder how he's going to react when he realizes that he kissed a guy? *rotfl*

looking forward to the next part! *bounces eagerly in front of computer clutching a chocolate bar*
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
like yes, omg, seph and zack are so married, i wonder if zack has progressed past the stage of washing seph's socks to making him wash them himself? XD

Heh! Nope, some poor low-ranking shmuck gets to do it -- after all, Sephiroth and Zack are officers. Hmmm... maybe I should have poor young-Cloud pull some laundry duty. ::evil grin::

nicely done rufus there... glad that you didn't make him out to be as much of a brat as he's usually portrayed... and i really wonder how he's going to react when he realizes that he kissed a guy? *rotfl*

I really don't see him as much of a brat. He seems too used to playing the corporate/intrigue game, even at that age. If I recall correctly, in Before Crisis, he was already busy scheming.

I don't see him spazzing out at all. If anything, he'd be a bit thoughtful. Rufus certainly doesn't have a problem smooching guys later on. ::eyeing various Turks::
cateared_psycho From: cateared_psycho Date: April 5th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
you're just so damn good at writing! this was awesome!

hehehe, i do think that the Turk were having a fit when he ate that food. i love your Rufus too. can't wait for the next part!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I picture Rufus as being a handful to bodyguard, being rather set on getting his own way. ::pets Rufus:: Poor guy, his life and his views on life is going to be turned upside down and inside out once he wakes up in present-day COI. ^_-
soloyuymaxwell From: soloyuymaxwell Date: April 5th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to cry... T~T Such a beautiful reward... Thank you! My fanart is not worthy! *Bows*

Rufus' characterization is just splendid. I wonder how long this little crush of his will last. I did spot the similarities between him and Seph. Though, as for his social upbringing and pedigree - where Seph was more like a guard dog - Rufus seems to be more of a show dog, ya know like that Eukanuba competition on Animal Planet? o.O Let me know if I'm not making any sense... ^^;

Those nuggets sound pretty good... o.o And I'd love to see Seph's reaction to the painting. Perhaps Zack could buy it for him as an apology present for... conveniently roleplaying near an exploding truck! ^^ Who do you think would be the Cassinova, and who would be the Don Juan?

Again, thank you very much. ^^; *Bows* It means a lot to me. I'll try harder at pictures, and I hope to start my first FF7 one-shot soon.

*Has no other gifts to offer, other than the naked-Kary-cookies that came out of her Hentai-Master Easy-Bake Oven* Umm... *Offers?*
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Rufus' characterization is just splendid.

It's hard to hit the right balance of deviousness and innocence. On one hand, he's got plenty of experience growing up as the Shinra heir, but on the other hand, he's still a 15-16 year old kid on his first crush.

I wonder how long this little crush of his will last.

In some ways, it's over before it starts, in that Rufus knows in his heart that Zack/Kary is already taken. It's like a teenager having a crush on an older, happily married woman -- the very things that attracts him (Zack's loyalty, trustworthiness, sincerity, etc.) are the same things that ensure that she/he will never be his.

But in other ways ways, it has some long-lasting, even permanent effects. In present day COI, he's going to have some interesting reactions when Cloud goes into full-blown Zack-mode -- you know, a deja vu sort of feel. And certain individuals might feel a bit jealous about Rufus's fascination with Zack!Cloud. ::evil grin::

I did spot the similarities between him and Seph. Though, as for his social upbringing and pedigree - where Seph was more like a guard dog - Rufus seems to be more of a show dog, ya know like that Eukanuba competition on Animal Planet? o.O Let me know if I'm not making any sense... ^^;

Actually, it makes a lot of sense!

Those nuggets sound pretty good... o.o

There's a chain of mall stores called Cinnabon, which makes the most incredible cinnamon rolls. Yum-slobber! But they absolutely kill one's diet. ::sob::

And I'd love to see Seph's reaction to the painting. Perhaps Zack could buy it for him as an apology present for... conveniently roleplaying near an exploding truck! ^^

Oh, Zack definitely has his eye on getting that painting, which fortunately has survived the truck-bombing. Thankfully, the horrible fluorescent picture didn't.

Again, thank you very much. ^^; *Bows* It means a lot to me. I'll try harder at pictures, and I hope to start my first FF7 one-shot soon.

Good luck with that!

*Has no other gifts to offer, other than the naked-Kary-cookies that came out of her Hentai-Master Easy-Bake Oven* Umm... *Offers?*

::happily gobbles down kinky-kary-cookies::
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 5th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Not that you need anoother worshipper, but right now your wishes are my orders.

Just as a curiosity, do you answer questions on previous posts? (I know some authors don't...)
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just as a curiosity, do you answer questions on previous posts? (I know some authors don't...)

Please, ask away! ^_^
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
romyra From: romyra Date: April 5th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
ZOMG!!!How could end it there????? **flail spasms** **refreshes f-list** **and again, and again, and again** #_@ <-- Hit myself when I flailed oh well, can still read... **refreshes**......

Yeah....deranged....that's me.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
How could end it there?????

Umm... because I'm e-vil? ^_-

**flail spasms** **refreshes f-list** **and again, and again, and again** #_@ -- Hit myself when I flailed oh well, can still read... **refreshes**......

::patpatpat:: There, there, try to relax. ::offers white-frosted Rufus-cookies::
ladysephiroth From: ladysephiroth Date: April 5th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Squee! so melty and happy .. and so ..cliff-hanger-ey ...

Auggh!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 5th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
::waves "Evil keeps me young" banner::
55 hisses or Hiss in my ear....