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Shoot the Messenger

Title: Shoot the Messenger
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts 1
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Ansem/Cloud
Rating: MA
Summary: In which Cloud delivers a message. And then another message. And then gets dragged to bed.
Notes: for someone I lost.

Cloud shivered as he stepped into the castle, despite the air being warm and not entirely damp. In all, it was a beautiful day. He glanced up, wondering how high he'd have to go - from the outside, the place seemed unlimited.

As he walked, he tried to remind himself that his choices were much more limited. But being an errand boy was certainly better than being an assassin. Reaching back to check that the letter was indeed still in his back pocket, Cloud started up the first set of stairs. There weren't any signs of life in the castle, and since the heartless really weren't drawn to him, he didn't even have their company.

And since the letter was quite likely expected, Cloud wasn't going to question whether he would eventually have someone meet him.

What he wasn't expecting, however, were hands on both his shoulders, grabbing him and stopping him from behind.

Cloud froze.

"I have a letter," he said firmly, not sure if he should reach back to try to remove those hands. A quick glance to his right told him that they were human, gloved hands.

"Do you?" his captor's voice asked. "Who sent you?"

"Hades," Cloud replied. "The letter is in my back pocket."

He reached down to retrieve it, but one of the hands that held him was already there. The much-too-friendly contact caused Cloud to gasp, but he didn't dare complain. Whomever Hades was taking the time to send a letter to, of all things, was likely worthy of obeying completely. He wanted to live just a little longer.

There was a pause as both hands left him and he could hear the sound of the envelope opening and the paper inside being unfolded.

"Relax," he was told. "I have no intentions of shooting the messenger, even in a figurative way. While this does derail a few plans, it is nothing that was not anticipated in some capacity and since your master is too caught up in his own mechanations to speak with either Maleficent or myself directly, I shall have to compose a response to return with you."

Cloud nodded, turning slowly to look at his host. He swallowed hard, wondering if there was some sort of universal style guide for villains, before looking downward.

"I can wait," he said quickly. "I..."

His host smiled, and for some reason Cloud didn't really feel any better.

"You should rest. Traveling between worlds can be quite difficult - enough that I am rarely capable of it and must generally carry out everything from this realm."

Cloud didn't flinch at the hand on his back, guiding him along.

"Sure..." He'd been told to do whatever was asked of him, after all. And he was in no position to anger Hades or...

"You are the lord of the castle," Cloud said as they walked. "Lord Ansem? I am..."

"Cloud Strife," Ansem replied with another unnerving smile. "I know."

"Oh." Cloud wasn't quite sure what to say to that. Maybe the letter had mentioned him. He could certainly see Hades putting a line in to not do anything that might be a breach of their ridiculous contract.

In silence, Ansem led him to a room quite a bit nicer than the one Hades allowed him.

"Rest," Ansem ordered. "When twilight falls, I will bring the return response."

The door slammed shut just behind him, and though Cloud wanted to reach to see if the door was locked, he didn't dare. He'd been told to rest. The bed didn't look wholly uncomfortable - just a little frilly and containing a few more blankets than he was sure what to do with.

He kicked off his boots before giving them a second glance and walking over to set them neatly in line by the door. His armor was next, and his socks. Wiggling his toes, he pulled his cloak off and let it hang on a chair.

It was only mid-afternoon - if he had til twilight, he could actually get a fair bit of sleep.

He stretched and gazed around the room once. Everything was perfectly normal looking.

Not bothering to attempt to figure out which blankets were to go above him and which below, he settled on the bed and closed his eyes.

When he opened his eyes again, the room was quite a bit darker.

"I was just about to wake you."

Cloud rolled over, a little disturbed that his host hadn't just taken the time to knock. Unless he had. Cloud knew he could oversleep. Someone had once teased him about it being a 'hero' thing. But he was no hero.

"Did you sleep well?"

That, Cloud couldn't deny. He was still half-trapped in it, if the fact that his body just didn't want to move was any indication. Much better sleep than he'd managed while working for Hades.

"Yes," he said softly, trying not to stare at Ansem. Somehow, every bit of cultured elegance had vanished from the man when the sun set. Instead, the creature regarding him was terrifying, barely differentiated from the shadows lingering in the room.

And then Cloud saw them, heartless, descending. He scrambled to a sitting position, against the headboard.

"What are..."

"Do they scare you?" Ansem stepped closer, producing an envelope in one hand. "I brought your letter and I apologize - certain things seem to come out after dark around here."

"Startled," Cloud corrected. "Just startled."

"I put in a good word for you, to Hades," Ansem continued. "It isn't often that he manages to find wholly competent help that isn't an absolute eyesore."

"Th...thank you," Cloud said as he swung his legs over the edge of the bed just as Ansem set the letter down on top of the bedside table and promptly lit the hurricane lamp that was sitting on it.

Light... Didn't look quite so scary in the light...

Rushing to get dressed, Cloud still escaped as quickly as he could, hearing only a soft chuckle as he headed back to the Coliseum.

Three days later he was back, cursing his luck for showing up mid-evening. He held out the letter bearing Hades' seal, hoping that one of the heartless escorting him would just take it and handle the entire matter.

"He certainly takes his time."

Cloud looked up to see Ansem walking down the left staircase, looking very much like someone not to make angry.

Meeting him midway, Cloud handed over the letter, not paying much attention as Ansem gave the heartless a dismissive wave.

"Are you tired?" Ansem asked as he plucked the envelope away and reached to slip a guiding hand against Cloud's back.

"No," Cloud said, wondering just what would happen next. Still, Ansem led him up the stairs and towards the lifts.


What Cloud was not expecting was a kiss that quickly managed to break down every bit of resolve he might have had. Obviously there was a rather in-depth course in seduction offered at Villain School and obviously he happened to continually find those who'd decided to go with that elective.

As hands slid up, further beneath his cloak, Cloud opened his mouth to the kiss and found himself clinging to Ansem once it was over.

He didn't really need to hurry back. And he couldn't really do anything dumber than get into the mess he was already in.

"I told your master that if he sent you again, I wouldn't be so quick to return you," Ansem said as he looked down at Cloud. One of the hands on his back slid up to rest against the base of his sole wing and Cloud shivered. "You're... quite interesting."

Cloud nodded. He didn't really have much of a choice but he certainly saw no reason for protest. Ansem kissed him again, keeping him distracted until the lift came to a stop far in the upper levels of the castle.

And by then he wanted the distraction. He wanted whatever Ansem was planning to do. He was the one making their mouths meet and linger until he was guided into a very different bedroom than the guest bedroom he'd used before.

Equally dark, and without benefit of a hurricane lamp, Cloud surveyed what he could. Everything was a lush red or black, curtains, bedding, even the uppers walls seemed to have a velvety appearance around unlit sconces. And every corner faded to shadows.

Carefully, he moved to one side, to beside a dark wooden dresser that seemed dusty enough to suggest that still, this wasn't the master's true chamber. Ansem's hands were on him a moment later.

"Is it too dark?" Ansem questioned softly. Cloud shook his head as his cloak was removed. He closed his eyes, waited... He didn't have to wait long. Curious hands toyed with his wing, testing its structure in a way that made Cloud shiver and want more contact than just that.

Ansem obliged that, too, pulling at Cloud's clothing between kisses and undressing him almost too quickly. There was a chill for a moment, but not enough to dampen Cloud's arousal, nor enough to dissuade him from peeking and watching as Ansem undressed as well.

In the shadowy light, he wasn't sure what all he saw. Cloud blinked, and while the twilight crept in the window, as Ansem moved closer, he looked normal - handsome and quite a bit more impressive than even Cloud was expecting.

The bed was canopied with thick red curtains, drawn back until they were resting on blankets that put the guest bedroom to shame. Cloud closed his eyes and moaned a bit when Ansem's hand moved to find his erection. It had been ages since he'd been touched like that, and in his bliss, he didn't realize what the thick muffling sound was until he opened his eyes again and could see nothing at all.

Perfect darkness. The world was black. But Ansem was against him, aroused and touching him, kissing him. Each sensation was a bit more overwhelming.

"It's dark..." he managed, which was met only by a chuckle.

"Yes, it is," Ansem said a moment later, just before Cloud managed to shift enough in the dark to get his mouth to Ansem's erection. He thought he should have also found the end of the bed, but it wasn't there. Not even heavy fabric against the foot he kicked out. It didn't matter.

Ansem sucked in breath when Cloud started sucking on him. Each lick and bob of his head earned a little pleased noise. And in turn, that made him a little harder. Anticipation did good things to him. But before he could work Ansem to the very best part, Ansem's hands were on him, pulling him off and settling him onto the bed on his stomach, careful of his wing. He wanted to protest -- they had time. But they would have time. Coherent thought wasn't much of a concern for him once a pair of Ansem's slick fingers started toying between his legs anyway, tracing from the base of his scrotum back to the tight muscle that made Cloud moan when they pressed against.

He felt the cool wetness of the lubricant, scentless still in the dark. Ansem chuckled again as Cloud squirmed back a bit against those fingers, urging them to go ahead.

Grabbing at the blankets beneath him, Cloud hissed when Ansem finally penetrated him. It wasn't bad - just a bit much. But he adjusted quickly. Then the thorough - and necessary, considering - preparation began to feel amazing. He needed more, though, and tried to articulate as much. His voice seemed to get lost in process, muffled by the darkness. Ansem pulled his fingers back, shifted Cloud up and onto his knees and without pause, thrust. Cloud braced himself on his elbows and forearms, moaning. The sensation was nearly overwhelming and this time he was going to get the contact he needed.

They were both still for a moment, Ansem's hand wrapped around Cloud's erection while his own was fully inside Cloud. Cloud thought he heard Ansem chuckle. He couldn't tell. Everything else was just too much. He couldn't do anything but hold on once Ansem started to move, thrusting fast and moving his hand to match. Cloud gave in much faster than he'd intended, not even trying to hold off his orgasm. There was no point - he just couldn't. Not when he was being nearly overstimulated and held right at the edge.

He came hard, crying out and clutching and blankets and pillows. Ansem paused his motions, except for a last few strokes of his hand. Cloud felt his semen hot against his stomach somewhere in the mix of pleasure. And then Ansem started to move again, harder, more urgent. Cloud met his motions, riding the little after-ripples of his orgasm to try to help Ansem along. It didn't take much. And while sure his own voice was lost amongst the deep red fabric surrounding him, Ansem's voice was not. It seemed strange, but not enough to dwell on. Not when Ansem was still touching him and kissing him afterward, threatening to pull him right back to arousal before he could even really breathe properly again.

The night was both very long and yet somehow not long enough.

When Cloud woke in the morning - the canopy curtains had been pulled back at some point overnight - light streamed in to illuminate the room. It didn't look a thing like Cloud had thought it had. But his boots were there, and his clothing. The dresser was far dustier, and there wasn't even as much red... And surely the bed was far too small for half of what they'd done, because he'd never found the edge, even when he was sure he was too close.

Folded and sealed, a return letter to his own master sat on the dresser, Cloud realized as he moved to gather his clothing. He paused and stretched, surprised to only be achy in a few, good ways.

He wondered how long the correspondence would last.


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