Kuja (lividmemoire) wrote in x_nlogs_x,

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{Characters} Kuja, and whomever.
{Setting} The Macalania Forest
{Rating} Worksafe, for now.

The processes and complexities of the mind, the judgments, history, and most memorable of all, the deceptions before death rushed through the Genome’s body like a defectively rapid blood transfusion. The plasmas contained by the living enveloped his body, in order to renew him to this state as well, once again. It was an itching, and burning awareness that alerted him back to his physical senses, and opened his eyes with a fearful, and naïve expression. He was wrenched from the womb of the Farplane, and reborn, cradled fleetingly in flames that dissipated as he stepped out into the cool pebbles of some ethereal forest, which sparkled of unearthliness, and smelled immediately of the ash that followed him.

"Why should the world exist without me? That wouldn't be fair."

Taken from his past, were these words-- and they were spoken with a flowing elegance, and tender mischief. It was most like Kuja to ponder inexplicable theorems and states of life, but at the moment he was just grateful to be alive, to feel confused as new surroundings were taken in by his open amethyst eyes.

He stepped outward, the first graceful footfalls of his new beginning. The crystalline trees around him drooped and appeared to stretch toward him-- his first friends, that welcomed him into the world. So different it was, for this was not a place Kuja had ever acquainted himself with. Little did he know, he had appeared on the other side of the planet.

The smell of sulfur clung to his scant clothing; a tiny wrinkle of disgust formed on his porcelain skin, and to remedy this hindrance, Kuja crouched downward, the train of his ensemble splaying out across the cerulean carpet of the forest floor. Plucking a single flower from it’s bed of earth, the Genome clutched it in his hand for many seconds before standing straight once again, lacing the stem between his hair and ear.

With a light-hearted sigh, Kuja walked onward, very leisurely and slow, as if all the time in the world revolved along his schedule.
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There was nothing so spectacular about Zack's resurrection. He'd been asleep (or awake) in... in Someplace, in someplace nice; and just for a moment he'd blinked his eyes awake (or fallen asleep-- the brunet wasn't exactly sure) and he'd arrived Here.

Where Here was, Zack wasn't entirely certain. He was sure that he'd never been to such a place before. Like two delicate curtains, his black eyelashes fluttered open to reveal the stage: a forest of crystal formations and of sparkling blue trees.

It was unlike any dream the man had ever had before; yet, the setting was otherwise inexplicable to the baffled spiky-haired brunet.

He got up and brushed himself off. His baggy trousers were dusted with brown dirt; his boots muddy; his navy-blue, sleeveless top stained in crusted-over blood.

Well, that's pleasant, thought Zack. Thrusting his hands into his pockets, he began to walk, taking a gander at his surreal surroundings in the meantime.

Am I still dead? he wondered. The last thing he remembered was a yellow truck, the wind in his hair, a small smile at the thought of a better life in Midgar-- and then the whistle of a bullet, a brief panic, and a sharp, stabbing pain as his brains were blown out through the front of his skull. He looked down at his shirt again then tentatively touched his forehead, hoping that there wasn't some kind of horrendous hole there. It wasn't like Zack would've been afraid, but having one's gray matter ooze out from one's cranium wasn't exactly attractive. Zack couldn't say for certain, but he was relatively sure that, in the afterlife -- where he was meant to be -- one lost the ability to look hideous. It was one of the perks of being the restful dead.

So engrossed was the SOLDIER in his thoughts that he almost missed Kuja when he passed him. In fact, Zack literally passed right through Kuja, only stopping when he realized that the tail of the other man's outfit was flapping out from Zack's knees.

"Okay. That doesn't look good," Zack said. He turned to face the effeminately-dressed man. "Uh. Sorry."

“And you very well should be! You nearly walked directly through me.”

Kuja’s retaliation to Zack’s apology was both biting and cross, but the shrewd smirk on his feminine lips contradicted his words entirely. And, Zack had walked directly through him, this the Genome knew as well, but he decided to act oblivious and elegantly unruffled, as aloofly as were the careless steps he took. The daintier of the two had stepped away to allow them both breathing room-- though breathing was instantly deemed not necessary in their specter-like shapes.

“And what is your name, sir? Hopefully you remember as much as that-- for you seem to be a little…hm…what is the word I am thinking of… befuddled?”

The train of delicate fabrics brushed across Kuja’s pale legs while he strode about; between them, a fleshy colored tail swept across the sapphire carpet of the forest. In his first life, the appendage was something he rather not be noticed, but he had been reborn in an even more pensive mood, rather than a critical one, and the breeze it allowed him as he walked was actually refreshing.

In his lackadaisical wandering, Kuja had found his way back to where Zack stood now, but apart from his own body. Brushing a feathery strand of lavender that had drooped into his face away, Kuja stared at the male, solicitously calculating eyes roaming over his dirtied closed with a subdued look of disdain.
"It's Zack," Zack said. He blinked, finding himself being visually assessed and... well, not really minding, but it did make him cautious. The ones who sized up others on their first countenance were normally the ones to be wary of. Case in point: as Zack made the mental note to remember the Genome's face, he slouched back a bit, taking up a fallaciously casual pose, allowing his eyes to roam over Kuja's form much in the way of a sexual predator of its prey. It was a guise intended to cover the fact that the SOLDIER was making quick mental notes of the other man: looks kinda delicate; probably strong in the shoulder area; obviously not from a wintery town-- or perhaps immune to the cold.

Zack's amethyst eyes were drawn to Kuja's tail, taking a-- well, an unnecessarily slow time to trail his eyes up the curling appendage between the man's legs and up to the man's slender hips, knowing fully well that it looked rather perverted, but not caring in the least. Seeing Kuja's reaction would tell Zack what kind of a person he (or she-- Zack wasn't entirely sure) was. For the meantime, although he wasn't certain as to whether or not the tail was real, Zack added: Probably not human to his mental list.

Zack's eyes flicked back up to the Genome's face, and he offered Kuja a genuinely friendly grin. Zack could only imagine what he looked like: bloodied and dusty, yet still able to eyeball someone with all the grace of a horny teenager in an abandoned gas station in the middle of the night. It probably didn't help that Zack was also wielding a massive sword on his back as if it weighed absolutely nothing. Zack wasn't the best judge of character (his ex-friendship with Sephiroth had taught him that), but he reckoned that, if anyone could take that kind of blatant harrassment, they couldn't possibly be too bad.

Once that little thought was over, Zack walked to a nearby tree. He stretched a hand out with mild curiosity, and was surprised to see it go right through, as if engulfed by the bark.

"Great," he sighed quietly to himself. He probably was dreaming-- though he wasn't aware that he was able to dream in the afterlife. Perhaps he was alive. He wasn't sure. It was rather confusing.

The spiky-haired brunet turned to face Kuja.

"I am a bit lost," Zack admitted in belated response to the latter part of Kuja's questions. "I thought I died."

He stuck out a hand-- then, realizing the redundancy of that action, he lowered it again. "What's your name?" he asked.
Many people, if they had been so thoroughly and blatantly inspected, would have felt quite violated. Kuja, however, simply acknowledged it with an innocent look of curiosity, solid in his stance, though he did in fact, twitch his tale from side to side when Zack’s eyes touched on it. For, if the man wanted to look, he would get an eyeful.-- as there wasn’t much fabric to cover himself, anyway. When he appeared to have satiated his appetite for flawlessness, the Genome grinned back at him, though his lips were lighter, and the grin was altogether, more reserved.

A finger lifted to rest against his chin, and a serene expression washed over the Genome’s face, reflecting as he walked closer to Zack-- whom Kuja had since decided was some sort of soldier that had died during some war or another. According to his vibrant eyes and rather fresh(all bloodied clothing and battle scars aside) and lean anatomical structure, Zack must have died young.

“Names are trivial things. For what are we but dead and gone, when we have joined the other side?”

Kuja was, perhaps overusing his sphinx-like prattle, to answer such a simple question. You couldn’t exactly blame him... there had been many years since he could contemplate such thoughts and speak so whimsically to someone that would actually listen. He had noticed the way Zack fumbled in disbelief over passing through a nearby tree, and Kuja simply stared at it’s bark with intense, understanding eyes.

“Hmph. I think...that if you don’t think about being dead..it makes it easier to interact with the living. But...” The dainty Genome turned back to Zack, and flourished a hand in a half-bow. Modest, yet not at all showing weakness.

“... You and I, seemed to have stumbled into the world of the living again. But, we are still dead. And I, am Kuja. It is a pleasure to meet you Zack...I think.”
"Nice to meetcha too, Kuja," Zack said with a small shrug. He felt a bit awkward. It was a little rude not to bow when the other man had been so courteous, but bowing wasn't Zack's thing. Handshakes and pats on the back were-- but he wasn't really able to do those, either.

But, well. At least the bowing told Zack what gender the Genome was (the brunet hadn't been entirely sure to begin with). That, and the fact that Kuja was either very nice (having taken Zack's blatant eyeballing and all), or very dangerous.

"You think?" Zack added jokingly. He propped both hands behind his head. "Aww, I'm not that bad, am I?"

Zack treated Kuja to a grin. "You look pretty lively for someone who's dead," he said, referring to the fact that Kuja didn't seem to be walking through trees. The brunet took a look around.

"This... isn't the world of the living that I remember," he said.
The crystal encrusted vegetation that grew around them did not appear familiar to Kuja, either. And that had to be saying something, for the man had scoured thousands of miles of earth during his lifetime. Through all his evil-- now regrettable-- deeds during it, never had he come across the Macalania Forest. Kuja turned his back on Zack, who he had christened as no threat for the time being, and began to walk out, only to perceive far beyond, a vast pool of icy water, accentuated by a yawning willow tree.

“This forest seems to spread for ages, Zack,” The petite Genome commented; his gait was sinuous, and his handsome figure seemed to dance gracefully atop a carpet of azure pebbles.

His next words felt more contemplative than frank-- perhaps he had wanted to keep them to himself, then the last moment decided to ask Zack. “I wonder…would you like to accompany me whilst I try to wander into someplace a bit more…homely?”

Kuja turned back again, the only real distinct bit of Zack now, was his tufts of spiky black hair. The Genome smiled, though his cohort probably did not see but the outline of such a friendly gesture.

To Kuja…this was his chance to transform, begin a new life. He would not be reborn the same phoenix; he would be a new person altogether….more human that he ever had been before.
Zack looked around, spiky black hair cascading softly from his leanly-muscled shoulders to his back. He had no idea where he was, and still wasn't entirely certain as to whether he could trust the effeminately-dressed man in front of him or not. It wasn't a fear for his own safety -- he was incorporeal, and couldn't possibly get any deader -- but out of a hesitance to be betrayed again. Though Zack made friends easily, it didn't mean that all of the friends were good ones.

Case in point: the man who'd gored his other friend through with a hugeass fucking sword.

On the other hand... some company was better than none at all. Zack's eyes followed Kuja as the man turned, walking with more grace than he'd ever seen anyone of the male persuasion walk. He had to admit-- his interest toward Kuja wasn't entirely platonic, although Zack faulted that to both the other man's scanty apparel, and the fact that Kuja seemed to be one of those lucky people who could look good without their clothes on.

Zack smiled in a friendly manner back at Kuja, his thumbs hooked on his trouser pockets. "Might as well," he responded, "sure, why not. It's not like I've anything else to do."

He broke into a lope to catch up with Kuja, who'd walked a short while away. It was unnerving, in Zack's opinion, that his footsteps made no sound as he moved. There was no heavy clomping of clunky military boots on the floor, not even a miniscule crunch of gravel beneath his thick rubber soles. It was unnerving for someone who'd never really been quiet in life, had always been making some kind of noise with his feet or body even when his mouth was closed. With amethyst eyes widened slightly, Zack slowed to a walk beside the Genome, promptly phasing through a rock (and fully expecting to trip over it) as he did so.

"We going anywhere in particular?" Zack asked, making small talk. "I mean, I guess I don't need to rest, being a ghost and all, but I figure an inn would be nice for someone more... fleshy."

The SOLDIER spared a quick glance to Kuja's exposed abdomen.

"So..." he put his hands behind his head as he walked, sliding them easily beneath the handle of his sword. "What's your story?"
My story,” The waiflike Genome boomed, “…I accomplish nothing, nor do you benefit from anything, from hearing it.”

Kuja’s voice was final. But, as he began to walk alongside the stumbling, and sloppy gait of his new companion, he barely opened his mouth and continued. “…I was an experiment, from birth. I was destined to extinguish the world, Zack-- and for what? …Did I… truly and fairly trade chaos and destruction for my freedom alone? What would I have done with it, do tell me…when there would be no one left to share it with? Ahaha….”

His twisted and scattered words were alleged out in the open, in unearthly air of the forest, He ended it all off with such a coquettish laugh, that all of Kuja’s most feminine attributes were noticeable at once. When the derisive titter subsided, however, the Genome looked over to Zack, eyes settling upon the man who was very slowly growing accustomed to being a ghost. It was entertaining and cute to Kuja-- though the time being did not seem particularly good to Kuja, to tell him so.

The man sighed dramatically. “…There would be nothing! So--” He grew a bit louder, sounding much like a professor would when he begins to conclude a lecture. “It was my destiny, all along, to die…to allow the word to live on. But…look! Here I am again! And with a decent acquaintance at my disclosure.”

A reflective smile was perched on Kuja’s pretty face, and through the curtain of undulating, lilac hair, he stole a sideways, thorough glance at Zack.

“Surely you have a better reason to be back in the land of the living, than I do. Please-- share with me, your story.”

The sun was beginning to stretch over a icy blue horizon, one that appeared to melt as the fiery rays touched out across the trees. They were getting closer to what seemed like more urban soil, for the ground underneath them was damper and the bushes and flowers grew less populous.
Zack's brows were furrowed a bit as he tried to keep up with the Genome's flowery language. The corners of his lips were raised in a small smile, amused by his companion's theatrics. Zack was far from used to such lyrical prose and was more accustomed to friendly, casual language, and authoritative command-barking. It was... interesting, talking to Kuja.

"Nothing much to say, really." Zack casually kicked at a flower, his boot going right through the flora. "Grew up in a quiet town, moved to a bigger one -- typical hick boy in the city thing -- joined a military kinda thing, got infused with mako." Zack strummed the back of his head with callused, ghostly fingers, amethyst eyes glimmering with good humor. "It's... something that kinda gives you superhuman abilities. If I weren't dead, I could show you.

"But, yeah," Zack continued walking, grinning and stretching a little as he did so. He'd caught Kuja's sideways glance, and it pleased him to know that he'd gained the other man's interest. "The general -- one of my friends -- went insane. I fought him, lost, got experimented on for five years, escaped with another friend of mine -- he was a rookie, one of those really quiet types -- and was on my way back to Midgar when--"

Zack stuck the fingers of his right hand out into a faux gun, placed the tips to his forehead, and twitched his thumb.


"And the rest," Zack said, placing his hand back behind his head, "I guess, is history." He arched back a little, turned his head to look Kuja in the eye. "I don't know about that whole 'coming back to the living for a reason' thing. I don't really believe in all that raison d'être stuff." He pronounced it without an accent-- 'raisin deh-truh'. "I just go with what I'm given. If I can help a few people while I'm at it, try and stop the destruction of the world, then hey. All the better." Zack paused, realizing what Kuja had just said about the purpose of his creation. Doubtless, it was people like Zack who'd lain the final blow to the beautiful man. Zack looked sheepish as he added: "No offense.

And," his smile took on an apologetic look, "That's about it, really. Nothing as interesting as yours."
“I wish it were more interesting.”

Kuja replied disdainfully, sighing once again, but this time adding his signature hair flip to the gesture. Before his pitiful comment, though, the Genome had been watching Zack with great amusement, eyeing the pert lips that scowled as he talked about the general, and how he pulled a satirical smile when pulling the invisible trigger of a gun to his head. His dexterous feet moved over the earth without even himself thinking about it, but Kuja’s eyes remained fastened to every one of Zack’s gestures, even after he had commented at it’s end.

He was particularly interested in whatever ‘mako’ was-- It sounded quite familiar to the Mist that had plagued Gaia. When Zack had teasingly told him he would show it to him, the man did become intrigued by the suggestion; perhaps he was already making better decisions in this new life…better allies. Or was it his greed flaring up once more?

It had been this greed…this power he had obtained..that had led to his demise.
Kuja smiled softly to himself.

There was a dramatic change in scenery, however, and it appeared as an opportune moment for the Genome to stop and view their new layout, and ask his question in mind. The fringe of the Macalania forest was just behind them now, having stepped finally from it’s boughs. A looming, dark city was reflected in Kuja’s soft eyes, which was what he watched, quickly moving over to a large rock not too far off as he did so. When he reached it, the Genome sat down, daintily, feminine thighs crossed, his light-colored train of cloth rippling out over the smooth sandstone. Before Zack could protest to his sudden halt, the Kuja beckoned his companion over with a single finger, raised and wiggling impishly before his nose.

He certainly was not going to wait for Zack to comply, or even protest, so Kuja began to get comfortable, leaving a small space of room for the spiky male. In languid, curving movements, he leaned back onto the rock, palms outstretched against it’s surface while he shook his head, allowing his locks of lavender to roll down one bare shoulder. The Genome tail he had spent years of his life concealing, slithered mischievously across the sandstone.

Before seeing if Zack agreed, he looked back over to the city, sighing doubtfully, for it looked nothing like anything he had seen before. It was not Lindblum---and surely, not Alexandria. Kuja said loudly, “…So! What sort of superhuman powers do you mean, that this mako gave? Unlimited strength for conjuring Eidolons…magiks….the ability to consume even more power…?” The question may have sounded sarcastic, if it was not Kuja who had asked it. But he looked on at Zack with genuine curiosity, under heavy-lidded eyes and dark eyelashes, and smiling all the while.
When the pair had finally walked out of the forest, Zack had started at the sight of a familiar place. The city of Midgar called to him like an old friend, dirty and reeking of industrial waste.

The SOLDIER's exclamation had been stifled in his throat, however, by Kuja's silent request. Zack looked at the city. Then, he looked at Kuja, seated with elegant grace on the sandstone.

Zack walked over and sat himself down.

"The what and the huh?" Amethyst eyes followed the movement of Kuja's tail. With a mildly fascinated expression on his face, Zack reached out a hand and ran his fingers down the long appendage, following its curling movements with his fingertips. His fingers phased through the most of it -- though there were brief flickers when Zack was sure he felt a momentary physicality -- so that it was, to Kuja, as if there wasn't anything there at all.

"Nah, nothing like that. Enhanced strength, agility, sensory abilities... that kinda thing." Zack was leaning forward a little to account for the girth of his sword-- and then realized that he was non-corporeal. Duh. He grinned and leaned back, imitating Kuja's relaxed pose, the small amount of space on the rock meaning that their faces were only a short while apart. The Buster sword jutted out of the rock behind him.

"Sounds like you got something better, though!" Zack said jovially. Normally, he would've tried to be a little more sensitive, but he reckoned that they were pretty much on equal ground here. Both experiments, both people who were used, both dead. "I mean, end the world? How's that not interesting?"

He paused as something new occured to him. "Huh," Zack said, looking around him-- at the rock beneath him, at the rock beneath Kuja, and, inadvertently, at Kuja's lap. He then glanced at his feet, which were casually crossed at the ankles and resting on the soil in front of him. "That's weird. You'd think I wouldn't be able to sit on this thing." He shrugged. "Maybe that's another thing the mako gave me. Now I'm a ghost that can stand and sit."
Kuja and Zack sat so compactly together that when either one of them breathed, the other body bristled silently in response. More ghostly did his companion presence seem when Zack had swiped at Kuja’s tail; the playful Genome watched as Zack’s fingers simply passed through the appendage, with a devilish grin on his mouth, and even moved the thing teasingly. He felt like he was toying with an oversized cat for a few seconds, but their light banter moved to more somber topics-- like the city that lay before them.

Kuja especially, wished to remain on Zack, attracted by this ‘mako’ substance he had been infused with. The willowy tail slinked quickly away and out of sight, tucking itself once more behind the folds of the train-like garb he wore. It was a wonder how it was not seen under such… lacking, of clothing. Though his cohort appeared rather energetic and also perceptive on their current situation, Kuja did notice the transition when Zack sat down, and simply stared out at the nearby city, tensing, breathing in deeply.

“This place must hold some sort of importance to you, yes…?”

The Genome’s voice lingered fondly, the rhythmic lilt of his words his own way of trying to address some sort of sympathy. He leaned his head to the side, ringlets of lilac escaping from behind his shoulder, and swaying out in the dust--- to get a better view of Zack’s face. He was straight-jawed, not sad, but still looking pensively out into the distance. The Genome followed the blue, animated eyes till he was also looking at Midgar, then pulled both of his long legs up to lean against the edge of the rock, face fully turned to listen to Zack’s response.

Before he could respond, however, Kuja added to his question, carefully picking his words, and saying them tenderly, as not to touch on any negative emotions. You could never know what set people off, after all. Especially not dead people. “Is there someone you wish to visit again, in that place…? Or do you think It best we journey around it.”

There was nothing else for miles--- perhaps there were other cities, forests surrounding and farther off in the distance, but inwardly, Kuja was hoping Zack would continue forward with him, to Midgar. Nothing was familiar to him at the moment, but there was a hope in the Genome’s heart that if he followed Zack, he would absently lead him to someone he did know…maybe even, Zidane….

It was a foolish hope. But hopes were what Kuja was made of.
There was only one thought in Zack's mind when Kuja asked that question, and it was one that bubbled out of his throat and mouth in a quiet, distant, yearning tone of voice:


Of course, Zack didn't specify what he was talking about, so for all Kuja knew, Zack could've been suffering from temporary mental retardation as he gazed out at the sky. There was a wanting, though, for the brunet to meet with his old friend. Of course, there was also the thought of where Aeris was... but Zack was relatively sure that she was safe. After all, she was dead. It wasn't like she could come to any real harm when people couldn't touch her.

It was the ones he'd left behind that he desperately wanted to meet.

"Yeah," Zack said, with a his mouth curled into a small smile. "There is someone who I'd like to find. And..." he looked at Kuja, "I'm guessing that you're looking for someone too."

He shrugged. "Must be a dead guy thing, huh?"

Zack got to his feet and instantly extended a hand to Kuja before realizing what he was doing. "Uh... heh," he said, letting his hand fall back to his side. He put his hands behind his back, interlocking his fingers and grinning with a cheeky kind of look as Kuja stood. Zack began to walk, but leaned a little over to Kuja as he did so, practically eyefucking every gentle curve of the Genome's bared body and clothing with a teasing smile that just held the boundaries of friendship that the brunet was so blatantly pushing.

"So, uh..." he said, lips quirked and eyebrow raised in mischievous interest, "how d'you keep all that stuff from..." his eyes trailed around Kuja's slender waist, "falling off?"
Kuja had been watching Zack’s lips so closely that when he expelled the soft, somewhat coherent name, they shaped perfectly to form the word, “cloud.“ There was a brief flicker of confusion on the Genome’s steadily somber expression, but he soon connected the word with that someone Zack may have wanted to find. The petite man was enraptured by the silent emotions, the struggle Zack appeared to be having behind his eyes. So much life…so much yearning….

The Genome was envious of him. Kuja forced his eyes away as Zack moved out of his direct sight and stood--- and when he did so, Kuja realized he had been close to staring gawkily at him. Pursing his lips in thought, he followed Zack suit, albeit daintier in his movement of standing up. The calculable feet below his own feet and the ground was an ample amount of space, so he had to jump to some extent, landing on the tips of his toes.

Without missing a step, Kuja immediately caught up to next to Zack, commenting in afterthought of the SOLDIER’s past words, “You are also correct, to think that I am looking for someone…though I am in no means in any hur- ……hurry.

The brief pause in his sentence was caused by the silent in quality, but otherwise loud, deliberation of Zack’s roaming eyes which left no part of Kuja’s body disregarded. The dark pools of blue reflected the ghostly pale skin, and every inch of it that was displayed by the negligible amount of clothing the Genome wore. They were still walking, and though Kuja was transfixed on the way Zack seemed transfixed upon himself, Kuja could not help but want to show him something a little more interesting, as if his pretty body was not enough.

Zidane’s flirtatious manner was donned and fitted naturally by his older brother, who made sure with every new step that his lean thighs were exposed beneath the flowing ripples of fabric, and his hips and torso leisurely swayed while he walked pleasingly at Zack’s side. Kuja’s head was held high, and his locks bounced across the expanse of his bare back. Long, cavernous sleeves that hid his hands swung at his sides, and the soft feather perched on his head danced back and forth in the nonexistence breeze. There was no way he could suppress a delighted, almost criminal smirk--- and he did not. Kuja did, however, restrain the urge to look at Zack’s reaction to all this. He was most likely, appalled.

Instead, the magnificent Genome addressed Zack’s more relevant question, staring dreamily at Midgar.

“I was made to wear so…little. We Genomes are all lighter and more nimble than regular humes. However,… if I was compared to my brothers…one would still find me to be made much more….thoroughly than them all. When I was created, Garland had more beauty in mind…and thus…I became the most beautiful. And…by your curiousness, Zack, it would seem that you agree.” Amusement glistened in his eyes, but they still looked on at the larger shadow of the city.

“Do not feel ashamed--- I know this, and many others agree with you as well, I am sure.”
"Who's ashamed?" Zack grinned. The brunet was in fact not appalled in the least-- rather, his interest was only piqued by the gentle, almost inviting movements of Kuja's hips. Zack had no idea how it was possible for a man to look so effeminate, yet not seem completely womanly-- yet, the Genome was pulling it off with flawless ease. Zack felt incredibly clumsy next to this man, heavier and far more rough, even though he had yet to stumble and didn't make a sound as he moved.

Zack raised a hand and ran his fingers (quite literally) through Kuja's long hair. He stepped closer to Kuja so that their shoulder pads were side by side as he toyed with the Genome's lavender locks, making as if to twirl them around his fingers, and not feeling the slightest bit of surprise when the soft strands failed to do so.

"You're lucky, then," he commented, "getting all the pretty genes. Garland -- whoever he is -- sure gave you nice ones." Zack's eyes met with Kuja's when he said this. He smiled. "They didn't bother making me a beauty like you when they experimented on me. Just cut me up, jabbed things in, and sent me out to kill."

It was barely noticeable, but Zack's face blanched just a little on that last word. Even though it was his duty at times, it didn't mean that he had to like it. Not every mission he'd been sent out on had been fun.

The SOLDIER looked blatantly downward to the tiny strip of cloth covering the areas below Kuja's abdomen. Clearly, Zack was far from embarrassed-- and he was relatively sure, by this point, that Kuja was far too proud of his own beauty to mind Zack's open flirtations.

"So, when you say thoroughly..." Zack grinned at Kuja.
Through all the splendor, grace and the introspective personality that Garland had craftily poured into Kuja’s mold, modesty had definitely been deemed forgettable. “I meant precisely what I said: Garland created me to embody aspects of both beauty and power…and there is no part lacking in beauty and power on my body.”

It was not a stubborn statement, nor was it really that pompous in the tone of his voice; on the contrary, when Zack’s eyes had finally wrenched themselves from his hips and below (which he continued to work as he walked) and met his own, Kuja winked flirtatiously back. Though it was a subtle gesture, as Kuja spoke once more, his pale purple eyes roamed away from the outskirts of Midgar and down the length of Zack’s robust and dirtied body. As they crossed the threshold of the slums-- which was relatively nondescript and not even half as fascinating as his companion’s peculiar behavior-- Kuja commented airily, “But I must say, Zack, that apart from being sullied and bloodied, you’re rather attractive as well…” And, in counter to the gesture where Zack had attempted to touch his own hair, Kuja quickly extended a hand, fingers crawling adroitly around the width of the SOLDIER’s arm, and caressing in a downward motion…down…down….until the hand fell back at his side.

“It makes me think, however…”

The Genome then crossed to the topic of Zack’s own creation and the mingling thoughts of ‘destiny’ that once again clouded his mind-- but not before he paused before a looming gateway, post obliteration. The steel had welded itself to rocks nearest to its downfall, and plates that had marked it there cast Kuja and Zack’s shadows into the destroyed ground. In faded yellow letters, “SECTOR 06” was visible across it. Kuja hardly had to make an effort of maneuvering --while still doing it teasingly-- through the rubble, and his clothes whipped around him as he slipped through the entryway quickly, stepping off into what appeared to be an abandoned playground. A squat child’s slide was nearest them, the slide part of the contraption curving out to look like the tongue sticking out of the face of a large and now fouled, cat.

The simple apparatus mesmerized Kuja for mere seconds, a fleeting look of curiosity flashing upon his face; but soon after the urge to talk arrived back at his lips, and he turned to his companion. “…What was I saying? Oh yes. However now talking to you has made me question my own destiny. If Garland made me so carefully….how come I died so soon? Perhaps that’s why we’re both back on earth. To die so quickly would be a waste of nicely-made existences.”

Once again, Kuja had begun to ramble off unnecessary rants about life, and the meaning of it all; Zack would probably ignore it all, and truthfully, Kuja did not mind--- as vain as he was about his physical appearance, he also loved to hear his own words, even if no one answered. Still, he treaded lithely by Zack’s side, hair tossing unintentionally, and eyes wandering over the derelict playground with faint interest.
Not for the first time, Zack wished that there was a solidity to his form. As a ghost, he was incapable of feeling anything physical; thus, although he was amused (and definitely interested) by the flirtations of the other man, he was, sadly, unable to sense the other man's touch.

Curiosity spurred a yearning in the spiky-haired brunet. It certainly wasn't much fun having one of his senses robbed from him. What did Kuja feel like? Were his fingers as gentle and soft as the rest of him looked? Or were they as fight-callused as Zack's, displaying Kuja's reason for existence to the world?

Zack shook the thought from his mind. There was, at least, one advantage to being him: where Kuja had had to step around objects, Zack had been able to simply barge through them all.

"You can say that again," he said jokingly in response to Kuja's last statement, shooting a laviscious look at Kuja's ass before raising his hands. "Kidding, kidding!"

His right hand completed a semi-arc to land at the back of his head. Zack scratched his hair. "And... thanks, I guess. I don't think I've ever been told that I look good before. Not that I need people to tell me," this he said with confidence, not with arrogance, "I already know I look good. Nice to hear it, though." The brunet quirked an eyebrow and grinned. "You'd better leave the compliments there, though, 'else I'll think you're seriously coming on to me. I could fall for you, y'know. And I already have a girlfriend-- even though she's dead."

That much was true, for even though Zack deeply loved Aeris, he wasn't so conservative that he would stick to only one person, simply because it was 'the right thing to do'. The man was capable of harboring deep affections for a multitude of people, and wasn't afraid to show that love, romantic or platonic (or, as it so often was, a mix of both types of love, since the brunet did so love to toy with the line between the two).

"That thing about coming back because we died early, though?" Zack started. His face took on a solemn expression and his bows furrowed a little. He loved to kid around, but he was certainly able to think seriously if needed be. "I dunno. Maybe it's just someone jerking us around again. Using us.

"I mean," he continued, "think about it. They may not be made in laboratories, or at the end of years of research or," he waved a gloved hand, "whatever scientific crap, but... ordinary people are kinda made with the same kind of care and dedication. They're intricately weaved together; a product of a cocktail of genetics, like us. If everyone who's life went to waste 'cause they died young was coming back to life, there'd be babies floating around everywhere."

Zack paused, then smiled apologetically. "Sorry for the airy ramble. My girlfriend was religious."
The playground faded fast into their memories as Kuja and Zack left the grimy swings and teeter totters to walk upon a bit more interesting ground-- though it was not much of an improvement, to tell the truth. There were now neglected looking shops and houses scattered around them, and large billboards that seemed rather out of place dangled hazardously above their heads, shrouding out most of the sky. Although, in the small gaps where the sky could be seen, it was still masked faintly by the industrial exhaust of a city, attempting to regain it’s foundation.

Inhabitants stared obtrusively at the duo as they walked and talked, but Kuja ignored them only to observe Zack curiously as he practically raped him with his eyes. When he fell a little behind to get a view of his backside, Kuja simply stopped in his tracks, looking back with a tempting smile half-concealed by his raised shoulder. He laughed softly as Zack resumed his hulking pace by his side, and they crossed a dirt roadway, still, lines of people frozen as they pointed and gibbered about the two companions.

It was already known that apart from Kuja’s self-admiring actions, he was capable of putting on an air of thoughtfulness-- of course, it was always made him a tad wistful.

“You must remember though, Zack….that I am not human. And thus, I was made for a purpose, not birthed or created among individual people, with individual personalities.”

These words, though not spoken exceptionally loud, appeared to have caught a few passerby by surprise for an echo of gasps and noisy chatter followed them. The handsome Genome simply ignored them, either looking straight forward, or glancing occasionally over at Zack. “But I do understand and commend your logic--or, your girlfriend’s logic-- that is, were born with that intelligence…or did you acquire it from her?”

A harmonious chuckle came from Kuja, who had tilted his head to look up at a looming structure with flashing neon lights, many of which were in the shape of arrows pointing towards an Inn door. The most prominent sign of all, however, was the violently bright pink one that said: ‘The Honeybee Inn,’ just on the roof. He slowly came to a halt before it, looking to Zack, but not inquiring about what it was. Instead, he continued his previously held conversation.

“Only joking.” Kuja hummed out, harping on the fact Zack had done the same thing not too long ago. There was a group of devious individuals nearby, pointing evidently at the tail that swung like a pendulum between his long legs. Once again, Kuja ignored them, turning to the SOLDIER at his side-- did they not realize Zack was some sort of a freak of nature as well? I mean…the guy was transparent. Perhaps they did, and Kuja only noticed his own admirers.

“Could your friend be here, Zack?”
"In here?" Zack laughed, even though he knew that Kuja wouldn't get the joke. The brunet's death had been pretty restful, but, on the rare occasions that he'd bothered to look and check how the living were doing-- well. When he'd seen what had occurred to Cloud and his group in the Honeybee Inn (and Don Corneo's mansion shortly after), he'd laughed so hard that he'd almost cacked himself into a second death.

He tilted his head slightly, a grin twisting his lips. "Maybe." And wouldn't that have been a laugh, if he'd gone in to find Cloud in drag again? Hey Cloud, how're you, nice to see you, guess what: I'm not dead anymore! Gosh that's a nice dress you have on. "I seriously doubt it, but it'd be funny if he was. Maybe we should go check anyway?"

Zack paused, processed the rest of what Kuja had said, then exclaimed indignantly: "Hey!" He placed a hand on his hip, eyes twinkling in amusement as he feigned hurt. "I'm smart, you jerk. I can think of stuff." He mock-punched Kuja's arm, a very light, friendly blow that passed harmlessly through the Genome's arm anyway. "Just 'cause I'm a fighter and I've a pretty face doesn't mean that the 'all brawn and no brains' thing applies to me." He coughed, and added jokingly (obviously, as he didn't honestly intend to put himself down): "Most of the time."
Kuja had been eyeing Zack with a look of genial amusement, but not longer after did the expression change to something softer, and then adrift. The SOLDIER’s last pretentious words would have easily fallen from the mouth of his brother, Zidane. So easily and quickly did Kuja come to this recognition that he could not catch himself from driving out a soft sigh in Zack’s midst. However, Zack had already carried on to the building in question, so Kuja blinked the daze from his eyes, nodded solemnly, and extended an arm before Zack, halting him while he himself pushed open the doors to the hotel.

The Genome had thrust his arms wide, expecting the bowels of the building to contain, first and foremost, a large entrance hall. “This certainly does not look like any Inn I’ve stayed at…” He was quickly corrected by the reality of the place--- which was not even that. Zack and Kuja were instantly forced intimately side by side, confined within a narrow, but short hallway. Since Zack was not concrete flesh, half his body easily amalgamated into Kuja’s, dissolving without interruption. Kuja shivered at the odd feeling of… lifelessness pouring into his left side, but removed the problem by stepping forward, walking down the hall quickly, and stopping as the hallway opened up into a circular vestibule. By the sound of footsteps, he understood that Zack had been following him. Well, where else could he have gone?

Before them the bowl-shaped wall was spotted with various doors, each with its own number hinged upon it. It was not empty-- there were in fact, people bustling about in various numbers of groups. A large pack of burly, sweaty men wearing nothing but Speedos bustled past them to ‘Room 3’ on their right, jostling Kuja’s arm as they did so. A smaller, more underhanded group of two closed ‘Room 6’s door behind them furtively, the man of the couple flashing Zack an oily grin that so obviously said, “I’m getting laid to-night!”

“…What sort of Inn is this, exactly?”

Kuja posed, after also witnessing the expression on the man’s face. The cavernous sleeves brushing against his fingertips rippled as he twirled around on the spot, purple eyes flashing while wandering the lining of the walls. Before Zack could answer him, however, a rather ostentatious female’s voice piped up from the opposite side of the room.

“Must be a newbie. C’mon--- let’s get you into uniform before I get bitched at, as usual.”

A woman was slumped in the doorsill, staring down both Zack and Kuja with a look of exasperation. When she neared them, swiftly maneuvering around Zack to the Genome, her face was more clear, and it was obvious she was very attractive--- or…at least could be, if not such an ugly look was upon her face. Her hands were on Kuja’s shoulders, and she stood behind him, eyeing his rump the way Zack had, but more calculatingly, as if sizing his body up. She then looked over his shoulder, to the ex-SOLDIER.

“…How much you want for her? Now very big in the chest area but…she makes up for it everywhere else-- That, and she’s not even human. Hmm, good catch, babe.”

Her disgruntled grimace instantly turned into a coy smile as she winked at Zack, all the while taking a stunned Kuja by the arm, and jerking him towards the other end of the hall from which she had entered. It only occurred to Kuja now what she was doing, for he had been too interested in her attire: She was wearing a Honeybee costume, and the striped hump of the thing waggled brutally without her even trying as she walked. He opened his lips to speak, to protest, perhaps, but she cut him off again, swinging around, and beckoning to Zack with a finger.

“You can come too, I guess. I suppose you’ll want to be her first customer. Unless…you’ve already had a go?”


10 years ago


10 years ago


10 years ago

There were only two thoughts running through Zack's head. One was the thought that their previously amiable, relaxed conversation had just taken a turn for a worse. The other was was a loud, hyena-like laugh at the horrifying plight of his poor new friend.

It was the latter that was bubbling from Zack's mouth like a stream that refused to stop. He would've reached out and grabbed Kuja back, but his intangibility had stopped him from doing so. Briefly, as he stood and wondered what he could possibly do to rescue the Genome (who would, he had to admit, have made a very stunning woman). He certainly couldn't drag Kuja away, and swinging his sword around probably would've been both useless and inappropriate. He supposed that he could always distract the women with himself... but that was ridiculously pretentious.

Zack could hear the shushing, tumultuous sounds of females bustling around in the room, amidst loud titters (titters, for fuck's sake; these women were obviously either mindless, or totally off their rocker) and the indignant shouts from Kuja. (Good God, what were they doing to the poor man? He sounded as if he were being forcefully raped.)

Zack put his hand on the doorhandle, fully intending to walk in and get Kuja out somehow. When his hand went through the handle, however, he merely stuck his head (and only his head-- the rest of his body remained in the corridor) in through the wall. He looked past the costume-clad women, trying to find the unfortunate Genome. When he did, he wished he hadn't-- Kuja looked so utterly ridiculous out of his effeminate garb and in his clunky, silly honeybee outfit that Zack literally had to step back into the corridor to finish laughing again.

When he was done, the last of the chortles leaving his mirth-shaking body, Zack plastered on a straight face and stuck his head and shoulders back in through the wall. "Ladies," he called; then, "LADIES!" he hollered when no one paid him any heed.

That got everyone's attention. The room virtually fell into a momentary silence as everyone turned to stare at the unwelcome intruder. Zack grinned, then phased the rest of himself through the wall, making his inhuman-ness blatantly apparent. He walked over to poor Kuja, who was sitting in front of a large mirror, the laughable, unwieldy outfit hanging off his slim frame. Zack extended a gloved hand to Kuja, somehow managing (with a great amount of effort) to maintain a poker face. It was more of a gesture for Kuja to stand than an actual helping action-- after all, Zack wasn't able to touch the other man. When Kuja got up off the chair, Zack moved to stand beside him, wrapping an arm over the large, clumsy faux stinger, and placed a hand on Kuja's hip, as though they really were intimately close. He then smiled and mock-kissed Kuja on the cheekbone, his lips stopping just a few millimeters from the Genome's smooth skin. The small distance separating his mouth from Kuja's cheek was unnoticeable to the human eye.
I really hope Kuja won't want to kill me for this later, thought Zack amusedly. If he does, he's gonna be in for a lot of frustration.

Turning back to the women, Zack's lips melted into a lazy, yet possessive smirk. "I don't think you girls heard me and my partner correctly." He trailed circles on Kuja's hip flirtatiously with a hand. "He is with me, and he is not for sale." Zack ran a his fingers in a playful, fond manner over Kuja's flowing locks, doing a pretty damned good job of acting like he and Kuja were a genuine couple. "We were thinking of looking around."

Well, that much was true. Zack added one last thing in the hopes that it would convince the women to back off. He leaned in and fake-pecked the effeminate Genome on the jawbone. "Maybe getting a room," he said. Zack pointed to his blood-encrusted shirt. "I need to take this off, as you can see. And Kuja needs to get out of his... um..." Zack glanced at the man, "... outfit. It's been a really long, really tiring day, and with any luck, Kuja and I will be making it an even longer, even more tiring night, with the help of a good room and a nice bed."

Zack smirked and inclined his head toward Kuja's shoulder, his hand still circling the man's hip. He winked at the women. "So, what d'you ladies think? D'you reckon you can help us? Leave us to have a nice look around, maybe?" He paused, then added in a slightly louder voice: "And do you think you can give Kuja his clothes back and get him out of this outfit?"

Kuja had been saved once before, and even that time had he been treated like the cliché Damsel in Distress. Though the way Zack was going about it, well….acting like lovers seemed a stretch to say the least, from being whisked away in a man’s arms--- but perhaps not so much, since that man had been his brother. He did not know whether to be irritated as Zack mercilessly flaunted him as his own personal boy toy, or relieved; though ultimately disorientated at the course of action was Kuja, and as he looked over to the pack of ravenous girls listening on, he decided he would much rather hand himself over to the audacious man than sacrifice himself to the promiscuous, busty bees.

“Mademoiselles: If you truly have no sense in the matter, I can always just prove to you, that I am male, and we are indeed, a couple.” The Genome’s left hand dangled down towards his curvilinear hips, twiddling his fingertips over his frontal area as if threatening to whip out that something the girls disbelieved him to possess. One of the naughty digits in particular played with the bare strip of cloth that was covering his groin and threatened to tug it down. But in the last moment, with fanciful poise Kuja placed the finger and hand above Zack’s shoulder, flashing the man a faux, but of course convincing look of passion.

He awaited their response, though it did not take long at all before the girls exploded in laughter once more.

“God, give it up already!” The ‘Queen Bee’-- this was obvious, for she was definitely the most buxom of the women-- stated. The enjoyment within the crowd of females suddenly turned stale, and annoyance was quickly settling in as neither Zack, nor Kuja faltered. Their mammoth-chested leader strode forward, attempted to push Zack to the side, but her fingers fell right through him, colliding instead with the sharp corner of the dresser. In her annoyance, she instinctively blamed the SOLDIER, as if he had made himself see-through suddenly….or something.

“She’s not worth it--- and this man’s a nuisance!” She shrieked--- a torrent of Honey Bee Inn hostesses came to their boss’s aide, and slowly, but surely advanced upon the duo.

Kuja stood perfectly still, the tips of his mouth quirking upward into a wicked smile as the light bulb flickered on in his brain. In that moment, he very much outwardly resembled the old, more sinister Kuja--- and his Gaia were the pack of women who wished to wring their necks.

“…… Let us trap them.” He stated cheerfully to his side, where Zack was standing. Seeing no accidental outlet for them to slip through, the Genome decided to make one. A white and willowy arm was pointed to the left, nearest the door and to the edge of the bee-blockade, and with a small stretch of his fingers, Kuja invoked a deluge of flames, which lashed out at the nearest two girls. They screeched like dieing animals, and all the other girls were stunned as fire danced on their heads. Large chunks of multihued tresses accumulated upon the wood floor beneath them, and the smell of charred scalps and strands met Kuja’s nose.

Kuja hesitated to look on at his ‘minor’ destruction, not knowing whether to feel repulsed by the stench, or amused by the sight. Instead, he looked back to make sure Zack was following, uttering a tender giggle of delight, and darted towards the door, the rump of his Honeybee costume bouncing against the backs of his thighs.

If they could just make it to the entrance……Kuja’s plan could thrive. There was something outside that he so longed to see…so longed to escape to. But, he still stopped just a few feet away from the main chamber to make sure Zack was still behind him--- and get himself out of that whorish costume . It has to have been one of the most shortest lengths of time anyone has freed themselves of clothing. Kuja wiggled and shimmied on the spot, unwittingly working his body in the most suggestive of ways, but only so he could shed completely of his bee skin. He was left with the feather (they had a difficult time trying to get it off of him) smashed upon his brow, shrouding one eye, and the strange, delicate cloth hiding his privies. Now that made it much easier to see he was indeed, male.

Kuja blew the feather from his face with a large huff of exasperation, then looked from the room they had exited-- smoke billowed from its doorway, and the remaining girls were already trailing out of it--, to the one they needed to get to. Excitement breeding in his eyes, Kuja looked to Zack, crouching into an embellished bow, and then gesturing towards the exit.

“After you.”

(( NO PROBLEM, RACHEL, mah love. :3 ~~~:D I DID THE SAME THING. Dude...talk about bible-long post...IT WOULDN'T EVEN FIT! ))
If Zack's jaw could've dropped off his face, he was sure that it would've. There they were, standing in front of a room that was on fire, and Kuja was just watching these poor women pour out with more calmness than someone who was standing in virtually nothing and had just gotten his pyro on. Sure, these women were all complete, obnoxious airheads, but that didn't mean that they deserved to burn to death. If only Zack were corporeal-- the problem would've easily been solved by shoving all the women aside and dragging Kuja out. Now Zack was being treated to an eyeful of arsony.

Zack's mouth worked. He struggled to form a coherent sentence.

"Buh," he tried. Then, he turned from Kuja and rushed, without feeling either the flames or the heat, through the clouds of smoke and fire back into the room.

"Are you--" he paused as a woman ran screeching through him. Ignoring that one, he quickly scoured the room for anyone who was trapped. To his relief, he found that the place was vacant... just burning like a merry bonfire. The brunet considered finding a fire alarm and hitting it when shrieks of "Fire!" and "That chick was freakin' crazy!" made their way to his ears.

Zack dithered for a moment. It was in his nature to help, but there really wasn't anything he could do. Plus, everything seemed to be within control. Reluctantly, he phased back through everything and made his way back to Kuja.

"You really didn't need to do that," he said glumly. Sparing a worried glance back, Zack noticed various staff members hurrying to the rooms armed with pails of water. It was perhaps the commotion that made people fail to notice the oddly-dressed, guilty duo making their way out of the establishment. When he was convinced that the fire was, without a doubt, under control, he turned his attention back to Kuja.

There was a brief moment where he considered reprimanding his companion. Then, he recalled Titanic Tits and the obnoxious way she'd tried to get Zack to leave.

Zack nudged Kuja. "Quite a temper you got there, sweetie," he said teasingly.

(( I KNOW. GAWD. Mine didn't fit either. DX El-jay is a WUSSEH. ))