Enemy Skill

For Ph43r T3h Qu33n.

GirlCloud & Labs & Hojo

"Oh," he says in the middle of his tirade, and his eyes suddenly narrow. "Oh, I see."

Sephiroth's back stiffens, because two seconds ago Hojo was dismissive and edging on irritated, and now he's not, he's something else, and it's always a bad idea not to know what's coming with him. What does he see? wants, needs to know Zack, and Sephiroth hates it that his only answer is I don't know.

The human is silent to him, but on the edge of Zack's thoughts is an echo that only comes across as faint whispers of no no no no no no.

"Fine, fine, if you must."

Hojo shrugs, and steps toward Zack like he doesn't see/doesn't care he's on the edge of explosion, only holding himself together because Sephiroth has his mind claw digging in to keep him still. Hojo brushes past Zack who shudders and steps back, and only Sephiroth knows how much of a toss-up it was between that and a beheading strike, a mad, panicked rending to pieces.

The tube opens with a woosh. Zack yanks the occupant out by the arm thank the goddess thank the skies never again mineminemine, love and terror and insane relief. The only way Sephiroth can tell Zack still knows he's here is when he drags his burden behind Sephiroth, to use as a wall. Safe there, safe.

It's bittersweet.

But Zack trusts him for protection, so he'll protect.

Hojo is already turned away. He waves them off; he's lost interest, muttering half under his breath, "I was planning on -- but the natural method needs to be tested as well... Oh well, I'll shuffle it onto the equipment list for project Malkuth." And over his shoulder, as he passes the threshold, "Don't forget to bring it back once you get it pregnant."

He leaves, and they're alone in the middle of glowing tubes and vials, chemical stink and muted green lights, Sephiroth and his packmate and...

"Get me the fuck out of here," says the girl in Zack's arms, and she's trembling but it sounds a little like a growl, too.