Title: It Takes Two
Beta: none, very rough draft
Fandom: FF7 AU (COIverse, maybe)
Pairing/Characters: Sephiroth, Fem!Zack, Rufus
Warnings: crack, genderswitching
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII and all related prequels and sequels belong to Square-Enix.
Summary: Total crack on the dance floor.
A/N: This was written with Groove Coverage's "Poison" pounding in the background. Not your usual tango music, but I can SO picture our sexy duo dancing to this. So call me crazy..... ^_^;;;
Cross-posted to soldiersmut and zackfans and ffvii_yaoi
As he watched Sephiroth and his mysterious brunette companion, Rufus Shinra thought it was the first time he could ever remember the famous general acting as if he actually wanted to be in his escort's company, instead of treating her with utter indifference or thinly veiled distaste. It wasn't anything obvious, but the intimidating air of chilly aloofness and wariness that Sephiroth typically displayed in social settings seemed oddly muted, almost as if the man was contemplating the remote possibility that an official Shinra Company function could actually be somewhat enjoyable instead of deliberate torture.
The young woman was intriguingly different from the current crop of Midgar debutantes. Petite willowy blonds were in vogue, not tall brunettes with the well-toned body of a trained athlete. The current preference for delicate blonds was the lasting legacy of Rufus' mother, who had ruled Midgar's Upper Plate society with a dainty iron fist while she was alive. Even years after her death, her influence still governed many aspects of Midgar and Shinra social life.
But even more than her striking looks, it was the brunette's attitude toward the general that was the most fascinating. Sephiroth's female escorts tended to behave in two ways -- either they clung possessively to the general's arm, flaunting him like a trophy, or they hovered nervously, trying their best to avoid any contact and flinching at Sephiroth's every movement.
This woman was different in that she did neither. She didn't clutch at Sephiroth, but she certainly wasn't avoiding him out of fear or nervousness. Instead, she appeared utterly at ease in the general's company, quite unruffled by Sephiroth's formidable reputation or his exotic -- and many said, blatantly unnatural -- appearance. While standing close to each other, physical contact between the two was fairly minimal, usually consisting only of a brief brush of shoulders or a quick touch of elbows. Strangely, that very sparseness of contact made them seem more of a couple than any other pair at the party, at least to Rufus. It was as if Sephiroth and his companion didn't -need- to make any overt demonstrations of their mutual affinity for each other.
Occasionally, he would see the woman murmur something to Sephiroth. And while Sephiroth's facial expression seemed as cold and distant as usual, Rufus was willing to swear that there was usually a responding glimmer of genuine amusement in the general's exotic glowing green eyes. The woman's reactions to Sephiroth's comments were considerably less restrained, often ending with a soft chuckle and a smile, but the woman's openness didn't seem to bother the general very much, if at all.
To Rufus, they looked so remarkably -comfortable- with each other, although no one else seemed to notice this anomaly in Sephiroth's behavior.
His initial fascination now bordering on mild obsession, Rufus continued to observe as one of the most aggressive of Midgar's debutantes -- one of several who had recently taken to relentlessly hounding Sephiroth -- slinked over toward the general and began to flirt brazenly with the him while completely ignoring his companion. But instead of attempting to stoically ignore the assault as he had done before, Sephiroth smiled coldly at her, raked the debutante with a dispassionate stare, then glanced over to his female companion, who was clearly amused by the other woman's antics. The general then looked back at the debutante and skewered her with the disdainful gaze awarded to a piece of furniture of blatantly inferior quality.
Rufus fought the desire to laugh aloud as the debutante visibly wilted under Sephiroth's silent, withering contempt and hastily departed the scene. The same thing happened three more times as the debutante's cronies tried their own luck, only to retreat with their tails between their designer gown-covered legs as Sephiroth made his preference for his current companion abundantly clear.
Yes, it would be a bit difficult to play the sultry sexual predator when your target makes it clear that that he thinks of you as indescribably worthless trash, especially when compared to the gorgeous, charming woman in his present company.
Rufus was now even more curious about Sephiroth's female companion. The young woman's steady self-confidence, along with her obvious grace and athleticism, made him strongly suspect that the she was either military or worked in the private security field. That would certainly go a long way toward explaining how she and Sephiroth became acquainted and why Sephiroth would select her as an escort. All he knew was that she definitely wasn't a Turk or a Turk candidate, which was somewhat of a pity. He thought that she would fit in nicely with that crew. Perhaps he should bring her to Tseng's attention....
Even as Rufus wondered about Sephiroth's mysterious brunette, he found himself hastily taking evasive action as Scarlet barreled past him, her newest executive boytoy in tow. No doubt she was headed to the dance floor. Scarlet considered herself an expert dancer and took every opportunity to show off. And the more sultry the dance, the better, at least in Scarlet's eyes.
During that brief moment of distraction, Rufus had lost sight of Sephiroth and his companion. When a quick glance failed to locate them, Rufus began circling the crowd, wondering if they had gone out onto the balcony to avoid the growing crowd around the dance floor. But when the fast-paced tango music began pumping out of discretely hidden speakers, the shocked gasps, disbelieving murmurs, and the mention of Sephiroth's name had him nudging his way through the crowd clustered around the dance area. Along the way, the occasional complaint was instantly squelched as soon as they recognized who was so rudely elbowing them aside.
A final shove rewarded him with a clear view of the dance floor. To his disappointment, the first couple he saw was Scarlet and her boytoy. As usual, their tango was just as gaudy and overdone as her sequined gown. The head of Shinra's Weapon Development division had a smug smirk plastered on her face as she took a series of flashy steps with her dance partner. And as usual, there was no question as to who was leading this tango....
.... then Sephiroth and his companion glided into view in a swirl of black leather and multi-colored silk. Arm in arm, cheek to cheek, bodies lightly touching in the tango's traditional embrace, they flowed effortlessly across the floor in a dazzling sequence of elegantly intricate footwork.
It wasn't the sight of Sephiroth dancing that left Rufus so dumbfounded -- he had seen Sephiroth on the dance floor on other occasions, but he had never seen the general actually -dance-. Technically, the general was an excellent dancer who could execute the required steps perfectly in time with music. But as one of the general's escorts had stridently complained, Sephiroth's dancing definitely lacked something vital -- 'soul', 'passion', 'fire', call it what you like, but it was that mysterious spark that people claimed differentiated dance from a mere exercise in physical movement. Rufus himself was frequently scolded for the same fault by his instructors.
But whatever critical element had been missing before, there was no question that it was now present for Sephiroth, with this particular dance partner in his arms. Rufus and the crowd watch in breathless silence as Sephiroth spun the brunette out, then reeled her back into his arms without missing a beat of the hard pulsing music. The other couples began to desert the dance area, too clearly aware of their inability to compete in either skill or intensity. And although she tried hard, Scarlet eventually gave up as well, leaving Sephiroth and his companion as undisputed rulers of the dance floor.
Unlike with Scarlet and her partner, the communication between Sephiroth and his companion was so subtle, so flawless, that it was impossible tell who was leading and when. Their movements were perfection, feet and legs interweaving in seemingly impossibly complex patterns, but at the same time, moving so effortlessly that the steps seemed almost leisurely.
As they stepped, turned, glided, and spun, Sephiroth's face remained as expressionless and coolly controlled as ever. But there was a gleam in those ice green eyes that could have been many things, but was most definitely -not- indifference. And in his arms, the brunette smiled almost dreamily, her eyes half-closed as she and the general swept across the floor. Without even looking, she went wherever he took her. Even the sudden heartstopping floor-brushing dip did nothing to make her smile falter. If anything, her smile widened and once back up on her feet, she whipped into a series of dizzying spins that ended with her sleekly muscled leg hooked high around the general's waist. Staring into his eyes, their lips almost touching, she gave Sephiroth a dazzling smile as the music faded to silence.
The silence lasted for a few more seconds, then was broken by thunderous applause. And while Sephiroth declined to respond with the traditional bow, settling for the barest nod of acknowledgment, the brunette made up for her partner's deficiency by sweeping a deep curtsey to the appreciative crowd.
Feeling strangely dazed, Rufus vaguely noticed that neither Sephiroth nor his companion were sweating or even breathing hard as they walked off the dance floor hand in hand. But before he could wonder about that oddity, he was distracted by the sight of a regular army captain hastily making his way toward Sephiroth. A quick verbal exchange ended with Sephiroth's curt nod to the captain. The general turned to his companion and murmured something to her. Her violet eyes narrowed slightly, then she murmured something back before shrugging. And with that, Sephiroth headed for the exit, the captain scurrying to keep up with the General's long purposeful strides.
Normally at one of these receptions, a single woman, especially one as attractive as the brunette, would be quickly swarmed by men, both single and married. However, even with the general's unexpected departure, the male attendees were clearly too intimidated by Sephiroth's reputation to speak more than a few words with her, much less flirt. Clearly, no one wanted to be accused of trying to poach Sephiroth's date.
As the dancing gradually resumed, only one person saw the young woman in green and violet silk discretely slip away from the party. And just as discretely, Rufus followed.