Fields of Gold
Title: Fields of Gold
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Sephiroth, Zack, Ansem, OCs
Summary: A party, Sephiroth, and nobody playing fair.
Notes: KHYML Lyric-fic.
Sting - "Fields of Gold"
You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in the fields of gold
There was something about the way that the man flirted. And he flirted with everyone, too. That wasn't, however, to say that he was a flirt. That would have been incorrect. He was not a flirt. He was scheming. And if he would snag hearts and bed partners along the way, it seemed to be little more than a bonus.
Wine glass in hand, he was charming and debonair. There was absolutely nothing about the Lord of the Castle to dislike, unless, of course, you knew him.
Sephiroth leaned back against the small, rose colored sofa he'd chosen to occupy. It was the sort made of wood with barely-stuffed cushions somehow attached - the sort that was never very comfortable. It was a sofa not made for sitting long periods of time, if for sitting at all. Truly it was a mere decoration along with statues, lamps, and other artistry that speckled the castle hallways.
He wasn't very happy. Nothing was very different from the usual bits of entertaining that occurred frequently, save for one thing - for reasons not explained and definitely not apparent, his lover had decided to play along with Ansem's flirtation, perhaps not taking it as the game it was and instead as something more. It hurt. For someone who seemed to lack emotion and rarely let his mood be known, Sephiroth was most definitely hurt.
After the first half-hour of watching his lover be led from noble to noble at Ansem's side, he had left and retreated to rest upon the rose-colored sofa.
Normally he and Ansem shared a vision - Ansem was a mentor, in a way. But then again, he had noticed some things different in Ansem, things more secretive, mood changes, and more.
"Of all the things I never thought to see..."
Sephiroth looked up at the voice, coming eye to eye with the lady of the castle. She was beautiful, yet slightly unpolished. She cared more for stargazing than revelry and while she enjoyed her status, social gatherings were not her forte.
"I don't suppose you were sent to find me," Sephiroth replied, gesturing for the woman he considered his second mother to sit beside him.
"And who would send me? Something is not right with my lord, I fear..."
"You've never been concerned before."
"We live our own lives; you know that," she said, wringing her hands for just a moment before snapping back into her usual self. "Still, I cannot cease to care for him. He is my partner in other ways."
"I know," Sephiroth said.
"You will be the next lord of this castle - do not be afraid of showing up my husband." Sephiroth could see fatigue in her eyes as she spoke. She obviously knew more than she dared let on. "Take what is yours."
"I've always believed it was a choice to be made by each person," Sephiroth replied. "He has his will."
"You would let him make a fool of you?"
Sephiroth looked away, up at a painting of scenery unlike anything he had ever witnessed with his own eyes. It was a foreign land, filled with lush vegetation and water. When he had first arrived at the castle, he had secretly dreamed of finding such a place.
"Let them both have the night," Sephiroth said, finally. "And see where they sleep in a week."
"You are too generous."
"It isn't as though I can't play their game right back," Sephiroth replied as he knocked away a bit of stray hair.
"Don't play their game! Make them play yours!" And with that, the lady of the castle bustled off, leaving Sephiroth in semi-stunned silence. He was still a minute, wondering what had set her off.
He realized it then, that he had insinuated that he would defy her. And since she'd become a foster mother of sorts, doing a favor for her dearest friend, he had never, ever gone against her word.
With firm resolve, Sephiroth stood. The Lady did have a point - he was certainly being too calm about his assumed dismissal.
People were gathered about the main hall of the castle, mingling amongst the statues and other miscellanea. Lord Ansem was nowhere to be seen, but his current rival's presence was no longer an issue once his eyes found someone he had definitely not expected to see.
"Sephiroth," Darshan replied, pulling Sephiroth into a slightly infringing embrace instead of taking the hand Sephiroth offered to the General.
After a sound rap on the back, Darshan let Sephiroth free, smiling as he did so.
"You look well, kid," Darshan said, shaking his head ever so slightly. His long, dark hair spilled over his shoulders to partially cover the decorations of his dress uniform.
"I haven't been a kid for some time, Darshan," Sephiroth replied, chuckling. He was half tempted to drag the older man away for a quick spar, but he knew it was not the time or place to battle his former mentor, master, and teacher. Darshan had been... everything Ansem currently was not.
"You'll always be that innocent-eyed hellion to me." Darshan laughed after speaking, slight lines forming at the corners of his eyes as he did so. Sephiroth couldn't help but notice - he had never thought of Darshan as old. He never really thought of the passage of time.
Sephiroth looked down, holding back a chuckle at the sight of his blond protégé dressed formally as a waiter. Cloud awkwardly held a tray with both hands, only nominally holding it out towards the men. The two glasses that sat upon it shook ever so slightly, but enough for both to notice.
Darshan took a glass first, smiling as he did so.
"Thank you, Cloud," Sephiroth said, quite tempted just to down the entire glass and suggest just about anything to Darshan.
"You're very welcome," Cloud replied, sounding like he was repeating poorly rehearsed lines.
Darshan raised an eyebrow, looking at Sephiroth and then back at Cloud, who was just turning to go.
"Cloud," Sephiroth said quickly, causing the blond to turn back instantly. "This is General Darshan. And Darshan, this is Cloud, one of the young ones I've been teaching a few things to."
"It's very nice to meet you," Cloud said, his voice wavering a bit.
"You don't need to be so formal," Darshan said, switching his glass to his other hand in order to offer his right to Cloud. "Neither of us is much of a dignitary."
"Er... thanks," Cloud replied, hitching the tray under his left arm. "I kinda regret getting talked into this."
"The ability to adapt to your situation is a very important thing to develop," Darshan said, smiling at Cloud before glancing over to Sephiroth.
Sephiroth was distracted at that moment as Ansem came strolling into the hall, a blur of black following him a second later. What miserable timing, as usual.
And the tension in the air was certainly visible to Darshan, who reached a hand to rest on Sephiroth's shoulder. Darshan was quite aware of Sephiroth's tastes and relationships, making him keenly aware of what seemed to be currently happening.
"Oh no!" Cloud exclaimed as he waved himself away. "I don't want to get caught talking."
Once Cloud was out of earshot, Sephiroth turned to Darshan, not bothering to meet the curious gaze that Zack had offered in his direction. It did have to look rather suspicious though - Darshan standing behind Sephiroth, a hand resting comfortably on a man who usually shook such gestures away.
In truth, it was just what needed to happen. Zack was most definitely the jealous sort, and even if it wasn't Sephiroth taking the initiative, he certainly could run with it. The evening was a game, and Sephiroth was going to win one way or another, even if it meant that he had to change the definition of just what winning involved. The thought of an evening with Darshan - intimacy optional - was definitely appealing. The two of them could certainly talk, and drink, the night away with no problems.
Sephiroth turned to face Darshan.
"Farce," Darshan finished, a grin light on his face. "I'm quite tempted to tell the lieutenant who accompanied me here to act as my agent. I have no urge to stay amongst this mess of dignitaries and clowns."
"I promised the lady that I wouldn't leave without him," Sephiroth said.
Darshan chuckled. "Then why are you standing around talking to an old man like me?"
Sephiroth drew his former teacher into a hug of camaraderie before leaving. He would see Darshan later in the night, long after what was his was exhausted and sleeping.
It almost looked like Zack had thought about leaving, the way he took a step away when he saw Sephiroth approaching. But he didn't leave. And Lord Ansem seemed to realize his intrusion before words were exchanged.
"Come with me," Sephiroth said. "Meet Darshan."
Zack paused, glancing at Ansem before smiling. "Sure thing. He looks more interesting than the rest of this lot anyway."
"Have a good evening, gentlemen," Ansem said coldly. "Sephiroth, I expect your help early in the morning."
Ah yes, whatever it was that was making Ansem so secretive. Despite attempting help, Sephiroth never felt that he was accomplishing much, since he never was allowed to see results.
Still, as Sephiroth and Zack walked quickly away, Sephiroth noticed the lady of the castle watching from a doorway. Once they were over by Darshan, she stepped forward, guiding someone Sephiroth didn't recognize over to meet Ansem.
It seemed that all was to end well enough, but as with anything in that place, it would be an ill eased peace, lasting only long enough to suit whichever party was ceding temporarily.
That night, with warm bodies to either side of his, a feeling of dread sunk into Sephiroth's mind. Things were amiss, and not so much in the normal rival-esque way.
The sun would bring many things, both welcome and not.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!