[fic] Beating the Heat

Title: Beating the Heat
Fandom: Final Fantasy 7: CC
Rating: G
Word count: @900
Summary: Angeal really hates summer in Midgar.
Author's Notes: Tee-hee, ficlet time! This is based of something I did on [info]raisedbymoogles's journal, but greatly expanded because, heh, why not? >XD

Oh, and 34 degrees is about 93F. I think in Celsius now, so. ^^;;


It was, to put it bluntly, too damned hot.

Angeal had been in Midgar for a while now--Hel's realm, he'd even been in Wutai in summer, where if the heat didn't desiccate you the mosquitoes would--but he didn't think he'd ever get used to the Midgar heat.

He never would have guessed somewhere as far north as Midgar would be as unbearably hot in summer; it was only after he had moved there that he had learned about things like "humidity" and "urban heat island effects." Which meant summer in Midgar was bloody awful. Banora had been pretty cool, since it was close to the poles, plus full of trees and with very low humidity most of the time; this Midgar heat was going to be the death of him.

Which was why he sitting in his room in just a pair of boxer shorts and his hair pulled back off his neck in a ponytail so he wouldn't shave his head to try and cool off, a pathetic little electric fan going full blast and him twitching occasionally to fan himself with a folding fan from time to time.

It just wasn't right, he thought as a bead of sweat ran down his stomach, that an electric company couldn't manage to keep their air conditioners working in the middle of summer.

He was in the process to trying to contemplate getting up and jumping in a cold shower when there was a loud banging on his door.

"Come in, Zack," he yelled with a lopsided grin. The only one who would knock at his door that enthusiastically was that boy.

The door all but flew open and Zack flew in right along with it, and Angeal boggled. The kid was in full uniform and looked like the heat wasn't touching him at all. In fact, he was all but glowing, bouncing around same as always, maybe even more so. Everyone else in the entire building had looked ready to wilt, but Zack looked more hyper than Angeal had seen him.

And Zack had stopped short and was staring at him. "...You hot or something?" the kid said, tilting his head like he was confused.

Angeal stared right back at him, wondering if the heat had finally fried his brain. "You're not?!"

Zack blinked. "Why would I be?"

The heat had finally gotten to him. Or gotten to Zack, he wasn't sure which. "...Zack, it's 34 degrees today. You did see all the health warnings blaring on the news and the signs ShinRa put up about heat stroke, right?"

"But it's only 34!" Zack said, looking surprised. "And I can't believe how there's no humidity here! It's amazing!"

Angeal stared more. The humidity was up to 60%, and Zack was saying there wasn't any? Angeal felt like he could barely breathe, and this was nothing?!

He was never going to Gongaga. Never.

"Zack, you're letting the tiny bit of cool air there is left over from before the AC went bust out. Shut the door or leave," Angeal finally said, wiping at some sweat that was running uncomfortably down the back of his neck. He felt disgusting; wet and sticky from the sheen of sweat covering him.

Zack looked him over, then seemed to wilt. "I guess this means today's sword practice is out?"

All Angeal could do was blink. It was so hot he wanted to melt into a puddle, and Zack wanted to run around playing with swords. "Yeah. Canceled. VR is out because the energy grid is maxed out because everyone is trying to cool off, and I'm not about to risk heat stroke right now."

Zack put his hands on his hips. "But it's easy to not get heat stroke. All you need to drink lots and lots," he finally said. "That's what we do back home all the time. And when it gets really hot, we hit the hot springs in the forest."

Angeal felt something in his brain break. "Wait...wait, hot springs?! In summer!?"

Zack grinned. "Ten minutes in one, and it sure feels cooler outside," he said, and suddenly Zack himself made a whole lot more sense to Angeal.

Coming from a town that crazy, no wonder the kid was spastic. The place had boiled his brains away long ago.

"I'll stick with fans and popsicles," Angeal finally said. "Once it's cool enough to move, that is," he said, and stared at his fridge longingly. He was pretty sure he still had popsicles in there, since even though Genesis was a dirty, rotten, stinking popsicle thief, Angeal had gone shopping the day before, so there had to at least be a couple still left.

And if there wasn't, he was going on a stealth mission and raiding Gen's fridge later to take all his Banora Apple Ale and replace it with apple cider.

"Popsicles?" Zack said, perking up, and Angeal chuckled. If the boy had a tail, it'd be wagging, he figured, and Angeal suddenly decided to take advantage of the situation.

"You can have one if you bring me one," Angeal said, fanning his neck quickly to dry it off some, then slumping even more in his chair. "Fetch," Angeal said with a muffled grin under his breath, so quietly he knew Zack couldn't hear him, then couldn't keep the grin off his face when Zack bounced off for the kitchen.
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Oh Gods, you have to write the stealth mission.

And someone needs to draw Angeal lounging in boxers. Because, um.... yeah, now I'm hot for other reasons. :-p
That would be the stealth mission of awesome. Especially since Gen boobytraps everything.

...and now I'm imaging Angeal trying to rope Sephiroth into helping him, and Seph just going, "You want me to what?"

And Angeal lounging around in his boxers and covered in sweat is just such a nice mental image. >XD
Also a think of epic beauty will be when Gen goes for a bottle of Banora Apple Ale and when he takes a swig it's...completely non-alcoholic apple cider. Every single bottle.
... ...
... *stomps on brain* *scowls at you* You're evil, you know that right? ... *stops on it again when it twitches*
Yup. :D
And just think--as hot as it is, Angeal isn't going to want any skin to be touching anything else, so he's not just sprawled in the chair, he is sprawled in that chair. Just take a moment to imagine that.

...you're welcome. XDDDD
... Really, really evil. And I'm with Zack, btw. Only 60% humidity? At just 93 degrees? Pffft. Big baby.
And now imagine him with a popsicle. >XD

I know, right? Baby.
... *TWITCH* *resigns herself* *pulls open photoshop to rid herself of that image*

... so, who thinks Zack pounces him as he watches him suck that phallic symbol? A show of hands here? *raises her own*

You'd think a Soldier First would be better than that, really...
AHAHAHA, my work here is done.

Well, almost. Because I have an image in my head of Sephiroth showing up one day while Angeal is hating his life, heat, and clothing and so is slumping in his chair in boxers and eating a popsicle, and...Seph has never had a popsicle before, so Angeal is generous and shares one. So Angeal in his boxers sucking on a popsicle and Sephiroth licking at one because it's melting so fast and he has no idea how to really eat one. >XD

Enjoy! >XD

Well, it's not as if Angeal wouldn't be like that again. There's had to be many a day where Angeal's been left in that condition. So obviously the Angeal and Seph scene is before Zack showed up. And really, Sephiroth would likely be in the same boat if he weren't so dignified. After all, he's originally from Nibelheim. Cloud too, for that matter. To go from Nibelheim to Midgar? Oh yeah. They'd melt.
Hee--Sephiroth discovers a heretofore unknown liking of popsicles, and figures Angeal knows what he's doing. And Angeal would definitely stare at Seph and go, "Shiva's breath, Seph, aren't you dying in that leather coat? You can take it off, it won't kill you and no one is going to give you a demerit for being out of uniform," and flops more in his chair.

And Sephiroth decides that clearly, Angeal is a genius, and off go the coat and the gloves and in his mouth goes the popsicle. XD
... Zack wouldn't be able to stop himself from asking if he'd jumped into a porno without knowing it. Because he's Zack.

Angeal IS a genius, come to think of it!
And Zack is trying very hard not to look in their direction, because if he does his uniform pants become uncomfortable. Meanwhile, Cloud (who's showed up because Zack's told him Angeal has a fan, which is more than anyone in the barracks has, and he's melting) is busy trying not to look at *anything* and is combining being red from the heat with being all hot and flustered and blushing.

Then Angeal notices how uncomfortable Cloud seems, and Cloud gets a popsicle too.

So now Zack's as uncomfortable in his own way as each of the others are in theirs, and everyone's happy...
...until Genesis runs in ranting about how Angeal is a low-down, dirty alcohol-thieving asshole, and he wants his booze back NOW.

Or a popsicle. Angeal owes him for stealing his booze, after all. >XD
Given the scene painted in earlier comments, I think even Genesis would stop mid-rant when he realised what he was looking at. Then Angeal would tell him to stop getting all worked up, as it just makes him (Angeal) feel even *more* overheated, and Genesis' brain would derail for a second or two. I have a strong suspicion the lick Sephiroth gives his popsicle at that point is purely coincidental, although knowing Sephiroth, it may well be strategic. The way Cloud sucks on his *is* coincidence, even if it does make Zack squirm.
And Genesis whirls on Angeal and goes, "Where the fuck is my booze, Angeal, because right now I need it."

And then ditches his coat, because he is NOT going to be the one overdressed here. XD

"Nah," says Zack. "Booze is all wrong in this weather. It just dries you out more. Water or juice is the best thing."

...And Genesis glares at Zack, says, "Maybe for kids, little puppy. You'll understand when you grow up," stomps over to Angeal's fridge, pulls out one of his pilfered bottles of ale, and drinks it all in one long swig.

And Sephiroth smirks and takes another lick of his popsicle.

Meanwhile, Angeal is wondering when it turned into party in his room, and is thinking the fan just isn't going to cut it much longer with that many people and their body heat upping the temperature. And that if Gen doesn't shut the fridge door instead of standing in front of it and guzzling ale, his electric bill is going to be sky high. But...that's really OK, given the way Gen has his mouth on that bottle. >XD
Oh dear. Now Zack is planning to prove to Genesis that he's not a kid any more, and yes, he *has* grown up, thank you very much. His determination is *not* helped by the things Seph, Angeal and Cloud have been doing to those popsicles, and the way Genesis is drinking that ale, either.

So I think the next thing we all discover is that the reason Genesis hasn't stripped down to his boxers is that he wasn't wearing any in the first place. Much to Zack's delight.
*giggles delightedly* What I have spawned! ^_^
Hee hee hee, you know you love it. >XD
Of course I do! :DDDD
I'm with Zack - 34C isn't hot. I'm also with Angeal to a point - 34C with 60% humidity is uncomfortable. But I don't start personally counting anything as "hot" until it's at least 37C, possibly 38C. Which means that summers here in Perth (where a really hot day is something like 40C plus, but the humidity is low and there's almost always some relief by around 4pm from the sea breeze) are perfect for me. Canbrrra, which to my mind has the same "heat island" effect as Midgar, and compounded it by being 300km inland on the side of the continent where the summers are humid and muggy, has summers from hell. The temperature never gets above about 35 - 38 is rare - but the humidity is always high. If it finally reaches 100% humidity and rains, this doesn't help at all - instead the place becomes even *more* humid, which doesn't seem possible until you've been there and felt the extra fug from all the water evaporating almost as soon as it hits the ground.

The experience is useful, however. I write Midgar as Canbrrra with knobs on (because you just *know* that the folks under the Plate get the worst of both worlds - no light, all the heat and all the humidity, and no rain either); the Costa del Sol region is a bit like the southern areas of Western Australia (Nesa's family lives somewhere comparable to the area I was born in, which is stone fruit and dairy country).
Heh--I'm from Atlanta, which is stupidly hot (according to wiki the average in summer is around 32, to which I say YOU LIE, because there are long stretches of 38; there is a reason why as a kid I used to watch the news and scoff at the yankees in New York and Chicago complaining about and warning about people dying from the "heat wave" when it was only 32 for them.) And not only is is stupidly hot, but it's humid as all else--70-100% humidity (it's considered a "humid subtropical climate" for a reason).

*snicker* Coming from a place that hot and humid means I break people's brains in Japan. They're used to foreigners not being able to take Japan's hot and humid summer. When I lived in Maebashi, people were like, "Oh, summer in Japan must be so terrible for you! It's so hot and humid!" And I just blinked and had Zack's reaction, and as soon as I said, "Summer in Atlanta's around 33 or 34, sometimes up to 38 or so, and at least 75% humidity, sometimes 100%. This is nice!" And people boggled and shut up as they tried to process it. XD I'm in Kyoto now, which is about the same level as Atlanta, and finally it feels like REAL summer to me.
Meanwhile, a day later Nesa is busy thinking "okay, given the fridge here in the office has a freezer smaller than a pocket handkerchief, and the way power supply is prioritised means it loses power just before the computer systems but after the airconditioning, how do I keep a supply of popsicles cold for the General?"

She came up with a solution, too - it involves keeping a chilly-brick in the freezer alongside the popsicles, and a small esky in the same cupboard as the desk-fan she brings out when the airconditioning goes off. When the fan comes out, the esky goes into the fridge (lid off) so the inside of it can cool down. When the power to the fan cuts out, she puts the chilly brick into the esky along with the popsicles, and slaps on the lid. Voila! Popsicles safe until close of business. After that, they go into the freezer in the catering section along with the rest of the supply (the freezers in catering are about the fifth-last things to lose power; absolute last is the President's apartment, of course).
What's an esky? I'm so blanking.
Oh, sorry - lapsed into Aussie there for a bit. An esky is what we call an insulated portable cooler box. I believe it comes from the original brand which was sold here - "Eskimo coolers". Given the way Aussies shorten names for the fun of it, "Eskimo" became "esky".

I am sooo with Angeal on heat. I'm such a wimp. I seriously envy people who can go out in the heat and be just fine. I sweat buckets, lol!!!

*giggles at the ending of the story* "Fetch." LOL!!

even though Genesis was a dirty, rotten, stinking popsicle thief

*giggles even more*
*giggles* See, I'm in the Zack group--I love the heat and summer (Hotlanta, yo) and am boggled by people that wilt in the heat.

Mind, winter comes and I hate my life, so it all evens out. ^^;;

And glad you liked the extended version! :D

And Genesis would so totally be a popsicle thief. He and Angeal have known each other for so long that in his head "Angeal's" = "mine". Angeal's sort of the same way, but he usually has the courtesy to ask first. ;) Which is why Genesis keeps eating Angeal's popsicles, and why pretty soon, Gen is going to go to get some apple ale and find a nasty surprise. >XDDDD
*giggles* I'm more acclimated to the cold, living near Buffalo and dealing with all the blizzards. Then again, I don't do well in the cold either, but that's usually when the wind chill goes into the negatives and there's wind, maybe some ice to tread over without falling on my ass, lol!

I totally love the extended version!!!

*is still giggling over the nasty surprise Gen would get from Angeal* There totally needs to be fanart of Popsicle!thief!Genesis!

*snicker* And me, being from Atlanta, considers 40F to be too damned cold to be out, and six inches of snow is a "blizzard."

*snickering more* Now I have this image of Gen dressed up like a cartoon villain, complete with striped shirt and mask over his eyes, sneaking into Angeal's kitchen with a devious look on his face. :p
*laughs* In my area, 40F means people are still in shorts (they're crazy) and people usually stop driving after the snow piles up to around 4 or 5 feet.

*snickering with you* Naturally, all cartoon villains have that trademark cackle as well, LOL!! I can totally see him tapping his fingers together with glee and cackling in that outfit.
My brain absolutely shuts down at the thought of 4-5' piles of snow. It just does. Same with "hail"--to me, hail is golf ball sized hunks of ice that sometimes fall in thunderstorms in summer. First time I lived in a place where tiny balls of ice were falling from the sky like rain, I was like, "WTF is wrong with this part of the country?!" and decided that the North "just ain't right." XD

Genesis would be so smooth--or so convinced he was smooth--with his thievery. Meanwhile, everyone around him is wondering when he lost his mind. XD
Funnily enough we got some golf-ball sized hail several months back and everyone went, 'bwuh?' at it, lol! The days where it snows, rains, wet snows, hails, gets sunny, snows, freezing rains, and sleets are special.

Genesis would be so smooth--or so convinced he was smooth--with his thievery. Meanwhile, everyone around him is wondering when he lost his mind. XD

I wonder how he smuggles it out without having the popsicle melt or if he just like sucks on it & noms it while Angeal is out. Oh!! Something tells me that he wouldn't just toss the popsicle sticks out either, that he'd do something special with them.