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An Unlikely Alliance

Title: An Unlikely Alliance
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Part: 2
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 frowned. This was not quite what he was after. Or, more correctly, not quite what he was expecting.

He'd thought that the man, Lord Ansem, would put up some sort of resistance, be it physical or verbal.

"And what would that be?" Sephiroth asked, wondering if he was perchance reading too much into the terms of the unstated offer.

Ansem tilted his head ever so slightly, as if taking in just a slightly different angle of the man standing before him. Sephiroth didn't miss the tiny movement, he was expecting Ansem to strike at any moment. He would not get caught off guard.

This was his arena, his game, after all. And he was stronger than Ansem, even if Ansem had yet to figure that little fact out.

"A spar, and then perhaps we can discuss future plans," Ansem said, free of inflection.

Sephiroth suddenly wasn't so sure he wanted in on this particular game, but both his curiosity and his urge for power pulled him forward. He found himself nodding before he realized what he was doing.

As Sephiroth watched Ansem pull his weapon from its summon-space, Sephiroth found himself struck by a new idea. He would most definitely play along, find out Ansem's plans, and then crush the man if his ambitions were foolish or shortsighted. Sephiroth already knew he didn't want any of the worlds he'd seen lately. There was something better out there, and that was what he aspired to. He wanted his promised land and he wanted to take Cloud there with him.

With Masamune in hand, Sephiroth stepped forward, waiting for Ansem to make the first move. Without knowing Ansem's full abilities, he didn't want to underestimate his opponent. Still, if the exercise just completed was any indication, Ansem was powerful, but not powerful enough nor refined enough with his technique to be more than a minor annoyance as an opponent. Sephiroth did not anticipate breaking a sweat.

Ansem faked a move to the left while unleashing what Sephiroth considered a mid-level magic spell. But the spell had no effect on Sephiroth - he’d long ago become just about immune to any sort of magic attack. And what touching godhood had not granted him, he still had a few little accessories within his attire that took care of the rest. Obviously Ansem hadn't figured that little detail out in advance, as he paused a second to see what his attempted casting had accomplished. That was just enough time for Sephiroth to half-heartedly teleport himself behind the man and slide a hand up Ansem's chest to grasp loosely at Ansem's throat.

Though Sephiroth was holding Ansem with just that hand, the amount of pressure he was using quickly convinced Ansem that perhaps he had better not draw any conclusions about who he was up against.

"Again," Ansem said hoarsely, gasping for breath as Sephiroth released him. Apparently that was a minor trick from the bag and Ansem had something better to unleash.

Stepping to the side, Sephiroth looked at Ansem, silver-hair just a bit messy as it stuck slightly to the sweat on Ansem’s back.

Nodding agreement to another round, Sephiroth realized only then that he hadn't even managed to find an opportunity to swing Masamune just yet. The last round hadn’t touched on challenging.

And this time Ansem wouldn't be so lucky.

It was then that Sephiroth almost stumbled, momentarily startled by the summon spell Ansem cast, bringing forth a dark guardian. It was a cheap move, Sephiroth decided. He was never quick to use creatures to do his bidding in the past and hoped to never need to rely on such a measure.

The guardian kept sweeping at him, keeping him back from Ansem just enough that Masamune didn't have the range. All that Sephiroth could think to do was cast the first spell that came to mind. He didn't even need to scream the words, all it took was a slight whisper.

And no one ever saw that little spell coming. It was a favorite trick to pull on Cloud, especially when the day was growing long and there were better things to do than endlessly spar. There was just something about the expression on Cloud’s face when he realized what has happening. Time after time, the blond never seemed to have time to keep the spell from coming to fruition, time after time he would fall from a spell so simple he was being taught to use it himself.

It was only afterward that Cloud would be a little grouchy, touchy about the fact that he’d basically had any chance of continued practice taken from him just by the needs and wants of his lover. But Sephiroth knew that it would take something much more grandiose than losing to tear Cloud from his side now.

"Sin Harvest..."

All it took after that was a swoop through the air and a tap to the chest of the rather confused Lord Ansem.

Sephiroth carried Ansem through the arena and out to the hallway so the man could be healed properly. While Sephiroth had never bothered honing his healing magic to the degree of his offensive spells, what he could do was more than enough to bring Ansem coughing back to consciousness.

Looking up into Sephiroth's green eyes, Ansem seemed to come upon a realization. He had been outmatched yet again.

"Somewhere to rest?" Sephiroth asked, offering Ansem a hand that was quickly refused.

"What was that?" Ansem demanded.

"Something to discuss in the morning, perhaps," Sephiroth replied coolly. "You should rest, and I should be getting back to my room and the bed warmed by my lover."

Ansem narrowed his eyes. "For a realm not yours and for one not already allied to me, you are..."

"Commanding," Sephiroth supplied, watching as Ansem retrieved a coat and slid it onto his body. It didn't hide all of the muscles Sephiroth found himself appreciating, which was a pleasant treat. But despite his guest's looks, what he really desired was what was waiting in his bed.

Surely Cloud wouldn't mind being woken up just this once.

Either way, the morning was bound to bring excitement, a welcome change if ever Sephiroth could think of one.

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