Author's Notes: These two villains are poetry in motion, and I don't think there are enough fics out there with them as a pairing. I decided to write one, as they have some things in common (both of them had a "father" that used them and experimented on them), I thought they might make an interesting pairing.


Sympathy for the Damned

Part 15

By Xenobia

       

This time, Sephiroth carried Kuja to his own room. The genome sighed as his lover gently lowered him onto the large bed. Sephiroth rolled him onto his stomach, and Kuja fought a whimper as the swordsman pushed his buttocks apart to determine the damage.

"Iím somewhat ignorant of what to do about situations like this," Sephiroth murmured apologetically. "I should probably clean you up."

"Itís healing already, Sephy," Kuja responded in a tired voice. He was still aching in several places, especially down there, but he really just wanted to close his eyes and go to sleep.

"I can see that, but I want to do something to make it feel better." This was said in an almost petulant tone.

Kuja turned his head and looked over his shoulder at Sephiroth, grinning with amusement. "Youíre really worried about me, arenít you?" His heart leapt when he saw the expression on his loverís face. There was sincere concern in Sephyís jade eyes, and they gazed at him helplessly.

"Youíve been a friend to me when most others would have done their best to get away," the swordsman whispered, bowing his head with a sigh, "and once again, Iíve repaid kindness with cruelty."

"Donít be stupid, Sephy. I donít sleep with you out of Ďkindnessí; I do it for the purely selfish reason of enjoying that gorgeous body of yours. I even made your clothes for selfish reasons. I wanted to dress you up in my own designs. I love you because I damned well feel like it, okay?" He regretted admitting that he loved him the moment the words left his mouth, but there was no taking them back. It wasnít as though it was the first time he had said it, at least.

Sephiroth raised his head and stared at him for a moment. Then, the swordsman shook his head. "Iím going to dampen a washcloth with warm water. Donít move."

Kuja chuckled. "As if I could. Hurry back, Sephy."

"I donít understand you," the swordsman said with another shake of his head.

"You arenít alone in that."

       

Kuja couldnít stop the soft moan of pain that escaped his lips as Sephiroth returned and carefully wiped the blood clean. He apologized to the genome and laid the other warm washcloth over the sore place, stroking the smooth buttocks soothingly. Kuja smirked as he felt Sephyís lips against his left butt cheek for a moment. "I could get used to being pampered," the genome sighed as Sephiroth stretched out beside him and rubbed his back.

Sephiroth pulled Kujaís hair aside and frowned at the fading mark around his loverís neck, left by the belt he had used as a collar. "I knew what I was doing the entire time, but I couldnít stop myself," he whispered, and he bent down and kissed the chafed skin.

"Maybe you should stop fighting your darker urges and try to reach a compromise, instead," Kuja suggested sleepily.

Sephiroth laughed bitterly. "A compromise. It sounds easier than it is, Kuja. The part of me thatís human is at war with the part of me thatís...whatever the hell my Mother really was. Even my human side is cold and cruel...how can I possibly settle the Jenova half?"

Kuja turned his head and winked up at Sephiroth. "Youíll find a way. I think if you completely lapsed out when the Jenova half comes forward, you might have hurt me much worse...or even killed me. You were controlling it, Sephiroth. I know you donít believe you were, but I could feel it. Itís a part of you, and you need to accept it."

Sephiroth lowered his eyes and thought on this as he continued to rub the genomeís back. He wanted to be free of the influence inside of him, not embrace it! Being here had given him time to reflect, and for the first time in his life, he envied "normal" people. What would it be like if he had been created naturally? Sure, he wouldnít be nearly as powerful as he was now, but his mind would be whole. He watched as his gentle caress slowly eased Kuja to sleep.

Sephiroth had indeed grown fond of his unusual companion. Kuja accepted him for what he was, even when the monster inside came out and hurt him. Guilt was something that the swordsman wasnít accustomed to feeling often, and he puzzled over his own reactions to Kujaís behavior. The sorcererís personality was oddly innocent, despite the crimes he had committed. Sephiroth wondered what might have become of the genome if he hadnít felt the need to do whatever it took to free himself from Garland.

"It seems that thereís always some other party helping us become what we are," Sephiroth whispered, stroking the petal-soft skin of the genomeís back. Kuja sighed in his sleep and stretched comfortably, his tail flicking lazily to one side. Sephiroth couldnít fight the grin that curved his lips. Yes, he was getting attached to his little sorcerer, despite his efforts not to. It would be hard to let him go, but he vowed to help Kuja find a way home. He was convinced that this ethereal creature didnít deserve to spend an eternity in limbo. Unlike Sephiroth, Kuja could be redeemed.

Sighing softly, Sephiroth lay down beside his lover and continued to rub his back until he followed Kuja into sleep.

       

He was in an empty, dome-shaped room. A single beam of light shone down from the high ceiling above, enveloping him in a lunar glow. Sephiroth turned in slow circles, taking in his surroundings carefully. His eyes narrowed as he spotted figures closing in around him from the shadows. He was surrounded. The figures were of varying heights and shapes, but most were taller than the average human. Shrouds of loose cloth concealed their features. He reached for his Masamune, only to find that it was not there.

"No matter. The loss of my sword is merely an inconvenience," he murmured, and he began to prepare a spell attack.

"Stop, Sephiroth," commanded a familiar, gentle voice. "We mean you no harm."

"Then what do you want?" His glowing eyes shifted from one figure to another, counting them. It seemed that there were six in all, slowly closing in around him. He kept his guard up, not trusting them in the slightest as they moved in on him.

"We want to offer you and your companion a reward," one of them said softly.

He narrowed his eyes. "What trick is this? A reward for what? I take it youíre the ones who put us in that purgatory?"

 

"Yes, we are. No trickery, Sephiroth. The compassion you have shown for another, and his answering compassion for you, has given us hope. We know what is in your heart. We know that you feel you are not ready to return to the world you left. That you care whether you pose a danger to others is proof that you have learned something in your time away."

"Pretty words, but what are you really saying?" He didnít trust them. He could feel how powerful these beings were, and he was inclined to believe that they were setting him up for their own amusement.

"We will give you the knowledge to escape your prison," the more gentle voice said coolly, "but the penalty is that you cannot return to your own world. The grievous wounds that you caused to the Planet are still raw, and you could be influenced again by outside sources, if you were to return. Instead, we offer you the chance to open the portal to Kujaís home world. Should you choose to go with him through it, you can never return here or to your own world."

Sephiroth crossed his arms over his chest and smirked wryly. "You would just let me loose on a strange world, with all of my powers intact and madness eating at my brain?"

"We did not say that. Should you decide to accompany your friend back to his world, you must pass a test. You must overcome yourself, if you wish to go through the portal unscathed."

"What do you mean, Ďunscathedí?"

"If you do not pass your trial or refuse to take it, you will be stripped of all powers when you enter the portal. If you pass, then it will not matter, for you will have made a conscious decision to leave madness behind you."

Sephiroth ran his fingers through his flowing, silver hair and laughed darkly. "Youíre speaking in riddles. Let me get this straight; I canít go home. I can only go with Kuja to his world, or I can choose to stay here forever. If I go with Kuja, I have to take some sort of test and fight myself? And if I fail or refuse to take your test, I canít cross through the portal with my abilities intact. Is this right?"

"Yes."

Sephiroth snorted. "Brilliant. Castration, eternal boredom, or complete insanity. Thatís a wonderful choice youíve given me."

The figures turned to one another, appearing confused. "We did not speak of castration..."

Sephiroth rolled his eyes. "I meant it figuratively. You castrate some farm animals to make them tame...youíre proposing to do roughly the same thing to me, by stealing my powers."

"Perhaps, but that depends on you, Sephiroth. Your choices are your own to make. You could take none of these choices that we have proposed to you. Instead, you could choose not to tell Kuja that you know how to reach freedom, and you could remain here with him forever at your side."

Sephirothís brows forked. "Then, Kuja isnít having a similar experience to this right now? You havenít even told him?"

"That is correct."

"Why? Why tell me, and not him? Of the two of us, heís the only one worth saving."

"Perhaps. But it is up to you to save him, Sephiroth."

Sephiroth glared. "So thatís it, huh? Test the lunatic, see what he does in the little maze weíve built for him. Which path is he going to take? I donít know who or what you are, but I can see this is all some kind of sick game for you."

All of them shook their heads in protest, and the one with the gentle voice said, "No game. A test, perhaps, to be sure that you are worthy of this gift. Will your feelings for your companions win out over your own selfish desires? Simply letting you both go would be folly. This way, we will not be loosing unspeakable evil upon a world." The shrouded people began to slowly fade, from sight, and the voice spoke once more. "The choice is yours."

"Wait! What are you?" Sephiroth cried.

"We are the Watchers."

 

-To be continued


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