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An Unlikely Alliance

Title: An Unlikely Alliance
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Part: 1
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Sephiroth/Cloud, Ansem
Rating: MA
Summary: What if... Ansem and Sephiroth teamed up to finish plunging all the worlds into darkness... Except, of course, they simply want to use the other's power... Or do they?
Notes: Originally this was a funhouse-mirror version of Without Armor, written under a different name to see if anyone could figure it out. However, it... never moved as quickly.

Sephiroth trailed his fingertips so gently down Cloud's bare chest that the sleeping blond barely stirred. The last thing Sephiroth wanted to do was wake Cloud, especially since Cloud seemed to be free so far of the nightmares that plagued him other nights.

Climbing from the bed, Sephiroth pondered why he was having such difficulty sleeping. Normally he was ready for rest after a day of physical exertion, but tonight he was just restless instead.

The Coliseum was far from the most exciting place even during the day, which left Sephiroth just about bored to tears as he walked through corridor after corridor, looking at least for someone to distract him.

Even the Coliseum kitchens were devoid of stragglers, leaving Sephiroth just a bit wary. Something just wasn't right, but he wasn't sure what it was. He just had a feeling that perhaps, perhaps he should stop wandering and head back to his room.

That, of course, was all the way across the small world, but for a small world, it was still a reasonable distance. Normally he would teleport, but that seemed too easy. Half of why he'd gone walking was to wear himself out so he could sleep.

Snagging an apple, Sephiroth turned to head back to the room he shared with his blond lover. The air outside was cooling off, but far from cold. A slight shiver wandered through Sephiroth's body a moment before he bit into his apple, reminding him that it was a very odd night.

As he walked, Sephiroth found himself being unusually aware of his surroundings. It was the sort of things he did unconsciously most of the time, only now he was spending double-time on each detail, each noise, each scent that drifted through the night.

Far be it from him to disregard what his intuition seemed to be kicking him upside the head with: Something was amiss.

With his apple just a core, Sephiroth flicked it into the air and cast a quick low-level flare spell at it. A little puff of air carried the ashes out into a deserted arena, and Sephiroth walked on, not tired one bit.

Whatever was out in the night, he was going to find it.

A tiny voice in his head nagged that if he was headed off in search of possible danger, he really should let Cloud know first. But still, what Cloud didn't know wouldn't torment him later. Sephiroth was very aware of Cloud's unstable mental health and didn't want to put any undue stress any place it didn't belong.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until Sephiroth found himself at the last of the arenas, the largest of the practice arenas and one of the few built with steps and columns to either aid or impede fighters. He and Cloud had trained here often, practicing new moves and using the uneven ground to the best of their abilities. It also worked well for each of them to test their negotiable flying skills. With one wing each, neither was the most competent, yet still they improved if slowly.

Sephiroth chuckled silently thinking back to the first time Cloud had attempted flight with his black leathery appendage. It had actually gone worse than Sephiroth had expected, leaving his prized solider face first on the ground and cursing violently.

However, getting to kiss all of Cloud's injuries at the end of the day had proven to be quite erotic, especially when it ended with them making love in that very arena. Despite being wounded, Cloud was all burning lust that night, arching and writhing at every touch and thrust. To Sephiroth, it had been heaven, a heaven repeated many times since.

And now a strange aura poured forth from that arena, the likes of which Sephiroth had never felt. It was amazingly strong, so strong that at first Sephiroth was unsure if he was actually a stronger force than whatever the source of the power was. And while it did seem close, Sephiroth knew he was stronger. He'd touched godhood and not looked back, which seemed to be exactly what the unknown visitor in the arena was trying for.

Whomever was in the arena seemed oblivious to Sephiroth's curious gaze and probably couldn't scan for any unexpected company.

It didn't matter.

Sephiroth walked around the perimeter of the arena until a man came into sight at the far edge from the entrance. He'd been hidden by the steps and columns and Sephiroth quickly wondered if he shouldn't have bothered disturbing the man's practice session.

But watching from the sidelines, Sephiroth's blood burned despite the chill in the air. The man he was watching was both a fighter and a mage, skilled but not quite godlike. He was midway through a series of complicated maneuvers with a spear-like weapon, oblivious to everything but his own motions.

The urge to summon Masamune and challenge the man tugged at Sephiroth, but he resisted. Instead he wanted to watch, undisturbed, just a bit longer. The man was definitely interesting enough. Despite the cool air, he was without a shirt, showing off deeply tanned and rather flawless skin. Sculpted muscle shone with a thin layer of sweat in the torchlight of the arena, causing Sephiroth to almost unconsciously lick his lips.

But the kicker was the long silver hair that spilled down the man's back, unbound even while he went through a series of movements that caused it to whip and tangle together.

Finally the man paused, panting only lightly from what Sephiroth could tell.

Taking the initiative, Sephiroth stepped forward and brought his hands together, his leather gloves muting most of his applause.

Still, the man heard it and snapped his head to the side, coolly regarding his unexpected audience of one.

Sephiroth blinked once when he noticed that the man's eyes burned the same color of the torches on the walls: orange.

"I've never seen you here before," Sephiroth said, letting his hands fall to his sides as he approached the man. He didn't want to seem hostile. After all, this man could make an excellent ally for the future.

"But you've seen my minions, my heartless," the man replied, smirking and crossing his arms, letting his weapon drop back to wherever it rested when not summoned.

Sephiroth couldn't help his slight shock. This man was the one who controlled the heartless. If he could become an ally, then yes, all would be well indeed.

"I have," Sephiroth said as quickly as he could. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sephiroth."

The other man stood there a minute, perhaps just finally attempting to gauge just what Sephiroth truly was.

"Lord Ansem," the man replied, offering a hand. "And I would like to make you an offer."

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