An Unlikely Alliance
Title: An Unlikely Alliance
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Sephiroth/Cloud, Ansem
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.
He couldn’t fault the blonde for wanting another hour or so to doze in the peaceful morning sun of the Coliseum. After watching the fascinating lord of the shadow creatures drop back into a self-created dark void, Sephiroth had been a little demanding once he arrived back in his room.
Cloud certainly was a vision while sleeping, anyway, so peaceful and completely opposite his usual overwrought and misery-seeking demeanor. It was very nearly laughable, how many random incidents Cloud had wanted to blame himself for. Cloud was loathe to forgiveness, something he would need to work through on his own, Sephiroth thought.
As he left their shared chambers in search of a morning meal, Sephiroth searched the Coliseum for the deliciously dark aura that he’d memorized the night before, but there was nothing. Save that he had never once seen a bird on the premises, Sephiroth found himself waiting to hear one chirping happily beneath the warming sun.
The kitchens, at least, were alive with activity when Sephiroth arrived. Never one to question any of the motley gang of lost souls for their continued residence in the Coliseum or for their desire to create large breakfasts, Sephiroth helped himself to something that looked quite a bit more like a dessert than a proper breakfast. After the crisp tartness of the apple he’d pilfered the night before, his sweet tooth was aching to be indulged.
He truly hadn’t meant to unleash such a potentially insulting bit of magic on Ansem, but cheap tricks did often lead to cheap tricks. It wasn’t as though that spell was his trump card or anything – there were other, more deadly things within his arsenal, but Sin Harvest was his preferred means to an end when he just wanted an opponent down, not out.
So he was well aware that he might have offended Ansem to the point where his mysterious offer may have been rescinded before being offered. Sephiroth knew he didn’t necessarily require any assistance at the moment anyway; he didn’t want these worlds any more than he his one black feathered wing, truth be told. Even if it was a prominent symbol of his godhood, without a mate physically attached to him, he couldn’t help feeling a little of Cloud’s angst at being aesthetically deformed.
But yes, his aspirations were beyond his surroundings, to say the least. However so long as Cloud had a contract securing their quarters and there was a reasonable amount of activity to keep his interest, there was little point in moving on, either.
Power was power, after all, Sephiroth thought suddenly between spoonfuls of strawberries and whipped cream. Ansem may well have something of quality to extend and certainly he would know better than to let himself be played.
Before his spoon so much as had settled in his empty bowl, one of the strange little creatures that inhabited the Coliseum had snatched it and marched off, grinning a little as it regarded Sephiroth.
Whatever it had been told about himself, Sephiroth did not know nor want to know. It was enough that these creatures seemed interested in his welfare, no matter how genuine it might be. They did their job and he did what he assumed his to be, act as an attraction for foolish heroes and cut them down before they know what’s happening.
Of course the contract did belong to his lover, but still, fate and a spell greater than any magic even he knew had decided that they were separate halves of the same whole.
He stood and turned, walking in the opposite direction and wrapping through shady hallways until he was back at the multi-leveled practice arena. Not sure what he had been expecting, he sighed at its vast emptiness. Waiting was something he didn’t mind doing, however, and since his body had been tended to, he took a seat on a low step.
Cloud would be up and looking for him before long, he thought, gazing at the dusty floor and wondering where the dust had come from. Likely it was all torn from the blocks and pillars of the arena, which, on further inspection, were crisscrossed with patterns of sword-hashes and other marks. The dust wasn’t quite enough to make footing an issue, anyway, and Sephiroth committed the thought to the back of his mind to be toyed with later.
When he had gotten back the night before, he hadn’t said a word to Cloud, only waking him from turning dreams and claiming his body. Sephiroth knew that Cloud would be angry at what he would dub ‘secrets’ even if they weren’t truly secret, just not yet told.
But perhaps, if Ansem knew enough of the paths between worlds, there was a way back to their world to be gained from all of this – or at least the pair could learn the true fate of their world and the others they’d stumbled blindly through. To Cloud, that would be worth information withheld, certainly. While there was but a small handful of souls Sephiroth had any interest in finding the whereabouts of, he knew Cloud had gathered a much larger circle of allies.
Before he could dwell longer on the strange group Cloud considered kin, Sephiroth felt a change in the air that quickly peaked into the heart-wrenching darkness that heralded Ansem’s arrival a moment later. Something about him felt different, Sephiroth noted, but not necessarily more powerful, just more guarded.
“My lord,” Sephiroth said, rising just to bow. He’d play it cool for now, at least, and act as though he was not capable of and had not knocked Ansem halfway into the next week just hours before.
“What would you gain from an alliance with me?” Ansem inquired once Sephiroth was standing again.
And despite being taught many years ago by a harried nursemaid that questions should never be answered with questions, Sephiroth couldn’t help himself.
“Why do you not fear one with me?”
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