Title: Guard Duty
Beta: none, very rough draft
Fandom: FF7 AU (COIverse, maybe)
Pairing/Characters: Sephiroth, Zack
Warnings: crack, genderswitching
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII and all related prequels and sequels belong to Square-Enix.
Summary: Total crack. No, total crack in silk and high heels.
Cross-posted to soldiersmut and zackfans and ffvii_yaoi
Sephiroth glanced up at the large ornate clock in the entrance hall and wondered what was taking Zack so long. While it was fashionable to be late, Shinra upper management preferred to have their most formidable warrior and pet killer promptly on display for receptions.
He turned and froze, staring blankly as his second-in-command sauntered across the entrance hall toward him.
"Zack....?" Sephiroth was vaguely pleased that he managed to keep the squawk out of his voice. A commanding officer should never squawk.
For the first time he could remember, Zack's normally spiky dark brown hair was actually lying in a neat semi-flat manner. But the anomalous hair was absolutely -nothing- compared to Zack's outfit.....
"What the hell are you doing wearing a dress!?" he hissed sharply.
"Shhhhh. Call me Kary or you'll blow my cover," Zack murmured as he moved in close and started to adjust the collar of his commander's black leather coat.
Sephiroth grabbed Zack by the arm and hustled him away from the entrance to the reception hall. Once they moved into the dubious shelter of a nearby pillar, he released Zack's arm and stepped back, letting his gaze to slowly travel down Zack's body, then just as slowly back up again.
Zack smiled smugly and said, "Like what you see?" as he turned a graceful pirouette.
Sephiroth was certainly no expert with respect to feminine clothing, but even with his limited experience from official functions, Zack was dressed to stunningly tasteful perfection. The full-sleeved evening gown consisted of shimmering green and violet silk that fitted snugly over Zack's torso and hips, then fell to a complex swirl of iridencent folds. Small sprays of sequins and beads helped to accentuate the curving lines of gown and body. Zack's accessories, jewelry, and makeup were also similarly tasteful and perfectly coordinated.
But what grabbed Sephiroth's attention was the evidence that the body encased in that gown was indisputably -female-.
Thoughts of impostors, sinister schemes, and bizarre practical jokes danced through his head. Although certain senses were easy to fool, other senses were much harder to deceive. Sephiroth leaned in close and -sniffed-. Once. Twice.
Well, this person certainly smelled like....
"Satisfied that it's me?" Zack said, lips curving into that familiar grin. The voice was a rich, definitely feminine contralto, but the tone and words was Zack, through and through.
"What the hell are you doing? And how did you...?" He gestured vaguely in the direction of Zack's breasts. "Are they...?"
"Are they real? Yup. Wanna check them out for yourself?" Zack leaned forward, a provocative grin on his... her?... face.
"Zack...," he said, his voice rising ominously.
"Okay, okay. As for how, materia, of course. You'd be amazed at the odd types they've got lurking around the research labs. And as for why, I'm here to watch your back, just like any good second-in-command should do."
"What?" he said, totally baffled.
"Well, you've been whining...."
"I do not whine!" he snapped.
"....whining about how this pack of predatory young women have been relentlessly stalking you at these parties recently. And at the last reception, didn't three of them manage to corner you in a side-room and tried to give you a private striptease show and lap dance? You ended up jumping out a tenth story window to get away from them."
"And you think that showing up with a female companion will deter them?" he said dubiously.
"Why not give it a try? It can't hurt," Zack said, the very picture of reason.
"Unless someone finds out what you're doing!" he hissed back.
"Don't worry. The genderswitch materia works like a charm."
"And how would you know?" he demanded in exasperation.
"Apparently the scientists have been doing quite a lot of private research with the rare materia they've got squirreled away in the lab," Zack said with a sly wink. "The materia's effects are pretty specific -- it changes the target's sex, but things like height, weight, and physical abilities remain pretty much the same."
Sephiroth eyed his SiC, now a tall statuesque brunette... Well, actually, a rather strikingly attractive statuesque brunette. He frowned suddenly.
"You've gotten taller."
"It's the shoes." Zack said with a chuckle, kicking up a foot to show off the violet high heels. "I can't really take credit for the ensemble, though. I had lots of help."
"Don't tell me that you managed to drag one of your girlfriends into this mess!"
"Hey, she volunteered with -way- too much enthusiasm, okay? Especially when she found out that I was actually going to -be- a woman...."
Zack slipped his... her?... hand through his arm and started to pull him back toward the reception area.
"Trust me, Seph. I know what I'm doing," Zack said in a calm voice that was devoid of teasing.
Faced with that steady violet gaze, he realized that despite the ridiculousness and obvious pitfalls of the current situation, he did indeed trust Zack. So he sighed and gave in with as much grace as he could.
"Fine. Let's go," he muttered, tucking Zack's arm more firmly against his.
He was promptly rewarded with a brilliant Zack-smile.
Glancing down at the feminine, yet reassuring strong hand resting on his black leather-clad arm, he was unexpectedly pleased to note that Zack's fingernails, while long and painted, didn't look anything like Scarlet's gaudy raptor talons, thank god.
"How did you get your nails to grow out in only a few hours?" he asked with genuine curiosity.
"Apparently there's a materia for everything. It's amazing what you can find in the beauty sections of upper Plate department stores, Seph."
"But your eyes..."
"Contacts. Neat, huh? Good thing, too. Can't have mako eyes giving away the show."
Despite Zack's confidence, he couldn't help tensing as they made their way toward the reception's entrance and were met by a wall of stares. But he soon began to relax as he realized that the other attendees were not staring out of suspicion, but out of admiration. They obviously saw only what Zack intended them to see -- the famous General Sephiroth in black leather and his undeniably gorgeous female companion.
Scarlet going to have an absolute fit and he was going to enjoy every moment of it.
"Forget about you watching my back. I think I'm going to end up protecting yours from all the women who'll want to kill you on sight," he said softly as he escorted Zack past Heidegger's glaring wife.
Zack chuckled, a low ripple of laughter that drew even more admiring looks.
"Uh-uh. We watch each other's back, Seph. Haven't you learned that by now?"
"I suppose I'm a slow learner."
"Good thing that I'm a stubborn teacher."
"By the way, why violet and green?" he murmured in Zack's ear as they approached the doorway.
"Aerith insisted. She claimed that it would bring out the colors of our eyes."
Some time later, in a brief pause between the mandatory social chit-chat, Zack caught him staring at him... her.
"What's wrong, Seph?"
"I was just thinking that you look awfully comfortable in those high heels."
"I'm a SOLDIER, First Class. I can function effectively in the presence of considerable discomfort and I can balance on damn well anything," Zack retorted with a smug look, then held out her hand.
"Wanna dance, boss? They're playing a tango."
There was a unmistakable glint of challenge in Zack's violet eyes. And Sephiroth was never one to back down from a challenge.
"Why not?" he murmured, borrowing one of Zack's favorite replies.
Hand in hand, they walked out to take the dance floor.