Kingdom Hearts-verse, humor, oneshot. Dina was talking about ninja!Zack while I listened to the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack.
Cloud wasn’t sure if he owed Sora the whole universe or a very messy, very agonizing death.
“THIS IS HALLOWEEN, THIS IS HALLOWEEN, PUMPKINS SCREAM IN THE DARK OF NIGHT~!”
“Zack,” he hissed, “shut the fuck up.”
But the ninja-dressed SOLDIER ignored him, entirely too amused in stomping around Halloween Town’s center square with the other dead and dying citizens. He whirled and shimmied with a skull-topped pole and a maniacal laugh that, despite their surroundings, rekindled a long-forgotten warmth in Cloud’s chest.
“Ninja are quiet, or weren’t you in Wutai?” the blond snarked when Zack passed close enough to brush his arm. Laughing, Zack grabbed his wrist and forcefully yanked him along in the strange communal dance.
“And I’m dead, but the last I heard zombies couldn’t do this,” and he did something with his hips that made all the blood rush to Cloud’s cheeks.
(…Huh. Apparently he did remember how to blush. Yuffie owed Aeris twenty gil now—but then, Zack had been capable of making Sephiroth laugh that rare, deep laugh, so having Cloud imitate a tomato probably wasn’t saying much.)
It took some effort, but Cloud finally managed to shake off Zack and retreat back to the shadows to watch. He could hear Sora’s laughter somewhere with the slightly deeper mumble of the newly found Riku (and wasn’t that a fucked up situation, not in the least because the kid could’ve been a Sephiroth clone himself. Cloud had already checked for a number tattoo). It was like standing on the bank of a quickly-moving river made of zombies, witches, and vampires all yelling and dancing in simple spooky joy. The chaotic party was making Cloud twitchy, so he took refuge behind the statue of a hanged man.
A shock of white in the crowd made him recognize a wheelchair-bound scientist, obviously of the ‘mad’ variety. The blond’s teeth were bared as he hunkered down in his red cloak.
The hair on the back of Cloud’s neck suddenly stood up.
Something with a spiky head of hair and an altered cat-suit barreled into him from above and slightly behind, knocking him forward. Cloud instinctively lashed out with his golden claw (the Buster sword was back on the Gummi ship in accordance with everyone else’s good sense) and flared out his wing for balance, managing to flip himself back over his attacker and pin him with claws at the throat.
Zack flailed under his hold. Cloud quickly released him, backing off as the SOLDIER gasped for breath. “What the fuck?” Cloud demanded angrily, heart racing.
“I’m a…ninja,” Zack managed with a small cough. He climbed to his feet, made a show of brushing himself off, then looked at the other man with his arms akimbo. “So I’m ninjaing.”
He pointed. Cloud turned to follow and found that the lamppost next to the statue had been dented from the force of Zack leaping off.
“Ooooh,” Zack squealed, dancing behind Cloud and lifting what looked like a wrinkled black curtain, “it’s a shiny. Why didn’t you tell me you had a shiny too?”
“Sephiroth and Angeal and Genesis all had shinies too, but they wouldn’t let me touch them.” He was happily stroking the scaly skin of Cloud’s demonic wing. “Hey, it’s all soft and velvety and shit on the bony parts. I want one. Can I have one? Where’d you get it? Can I get a neon one or do they only come in black or white?”
Cloud jerked away from Zack, ignoring the pout shot in his direction. “It’s not a—a shiny, don’t be stupid,” he hissed, tucking it back under the cloak and forcing himself not to squirm under Zack’s far-too-knowing gaze.
“Well, I like it. C’mon, whip it out and join the party, it’s not like anyone will notice. Hell, you’ll be the most conservatively dressed little number in this crazy bin.”
“Drop it, Zack.”
Cloud turned on his heel, ready to stake out some other dark and lonely corner to brood in. Unfortunately for his angst he was tackled again, although instead of nearly eating concrete he was yanked back into a taller, more solid body.
“Are you going to keep it wrapped up forever, silly?” Zack murmured into his ear. “I think if you really look around you, you’ll find you’re the only person who thinks of it as something to be ashamed of.”
Cloud couldn’t help leaning back a little, not even with that little voice in his head yelling about betrayal or imposing on others or a million other reasons for doubt.
“Besides, I think it’s kind of sexy.”
Then Zack was whirling away with a laugh, taking the red cloak with him and leaving Cloud gaping in all his black and winged glory. He shook the cloth at him tauntingly, his grin daring the blond to come take it back and his eyes begging Cloud to leave it.
Sora’s bright laughter and Riku’s quieter chuckling once more drifted in his direction.
“…I’m going to kill you, Zack,” Cloud said with a gradually growing smirk that was matched by the SOLDIER.
“Been there, done that, gorgeous!”
It seemed fighting Sephiroth for all those years had done wonders for Cloud’s speed. Zack very nearly found himself full of claw-holes again, but he managed to duck between a couple zombies and let them take the hit instead.
(He mentally patted himself on the back when a glance backwards showed Cloud hunting him down with confident focus and unashamedly using the wing to his advantage. Even though he was likely to get his ass kicked by this older, harder Cloud, Zack knew that a good ninja’s tactics were never seen by the target.)
Yeah. He rocked pretty hard.