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Without Armor

Title: Without Armor
Part: 5/10
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Disclaimer: No implied ownership, no financial gain, only fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Ansem/Cloud, Sephiroth, Riku
Rating: MA
Summary: Ansem plans to catch a god. But he becomes the one to take the bait.
Notes: -

Ansem sat back, glancing upwards from where he sat in the library to see Cloud still watching him. Not so subtly this time. Not since the previous day...

Looking back to the book he'd been translating out of a language very much not his and hoping to perhaps glean some fragment of knowledge of darkness from, Ansem knew that taking the young warrior into his bed had been a mistake. But one that was necessary - one that was still necessary. The god... The blond's personally protective god with the power to transcend even death to be with him - that was the power that Ansem craved.

Where was the god? Why did he not come and be trapped, wanting to save that which was his? He couldn't possibly have decided to give up his prize after so many years. Ansem had done his research - he knew how tightly bound the pair were. He may not have had every detail right, but after being pulled to physical exhaustion by Cloud's very willing body after combined encounters lasted well into the night, Ansem really thought he'd gotten the gist.

All he could do was wait - Sora's party was still quite trapped in a maze of worlds that felt as though they took minutes to walk through but actually took weeks. Some things were easy to manipulate. But Cloud...

Looking up again, Ansem wasn't at all surprised to see that Cloud had vanished from his perch on the high railing, appearing again halfway across the room, sprawled on the top of a bookcase.

Still returning his gaze...

Knowing that he'd already gotten too deeply into the tangled web he'd woven in search of power, Ansem reached up and gestured for Cloud to come to him.

Cloud obeyed, perfectly, landing on one knee with his head down as though he was a knight returning to his lord.

"Would you like tea?" Ansem asked, curious about the almost-hurt frown that crossed Cloud's face. What was he supposed to do - reach to undo his pants and spend the rest of the day in a sweat-drenched embrace?

No - with luck, Cloud had already sent waves out like a homing beacon. Ansem knew he had to be ready now, no matter how tempting a trivial physical encounter threatened to be.

"Yes," Cloud replied softly. "But..."

"I am not displeased with you," Ansem said quickly as he strode towards the library door. Tea was a simple task; distracting. "On the contrary, I am very pleased. I regret that you've exhausted the allowable possibilities for this castle, however."

"Then..." Cloud's boot were loud on the stone as he ran to catch up in the hallway.

"I believe you've already met Riku," Ansem said. The lift started on its own, jumping a bit and causing Cloud to grab at one of the force-bars. "He will be a suitable sparring partner for you."

"Lord Ansem..."

Ansem wasn't entirely sure how he was supposed to react to Cloud's mouth against his, initiating contact that crept lower to where Cloud's hands wound around his waist.

The kiss wasn't bad, broken only when the lift stopped with a jarring bump.

Frowning, Ansem looked upward at the control for the lift, unsure if it would be better to curse it or bless it. He hadn't wanted this from Cloud. He had just wanted to use the blond and throw him back once the god was safely captured.

In the end, really, Ansem almost liked the idea of leaving them together - weak, but together.

Which is what made it so frustrating when Cloud slid out of the kitchen after not saying more than a handful of words, a cold and half-finished cup of tea the only reminder that he'd ever been there at all.

He could have had Cloud's heart at any time - that wasn't what interested him. No, Cloud was simply bait and it would be pointless to destroy him. If he hadn't already, that was.

Ansem couldn't help a smirk as a few of his heartless gathered around him, seemingly curious about just what their master was thinking. They knew not to hurt the blond that prowled around and occassionally threw a sword in their direction. They didn't seem to possess the intellegence to figure out just why certain people in the castle were allowed to keep their hearts, but if their master said so, that was enough.

Yes, Ansem found himself wondering if trying to take Cloud's heart would be the last little bit of pull that was necessary. The god would come - Ansem was sure of that.

The god would come.

But the moment Ansem wanted still needed to be timed. If the previous night hadn't been enough for the god to find his possession and come crashing into the castle to be snared in a powerful spell, Ansem was positive that he couldn't just rush in and throw the blond down.

No, he didn't want Cloud's heart. He wanted the struggle. He wanted fear.

Unless... Walking to the lift that would take him up to the high balconies, Ansem suddenly had another though - the sort that was more than a little disconcerting. What if the god had stopped caring? What if the god could live without Cloud?

What if... What if his prized Sephiroth did not come? What if Cloud was his now; his to keep?

Riku would come again, the next day, with news. Riku would give him an answer. All he had to do was bide a bit of time until then.

And only when he retired to his chambers did Ansem think again of just how many things had started to go wrong - naked and only half-covered by blankets, Cloud had returned to share his bed.

Memories - vivid intense snapshots of images and sensation from the day before danced into Ansem's head, trapping them in a spell of their own.

So this time, unlike earlier in the afternoon, his restraint crumbled. He reached to undo his pants.



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