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 28

By Xenobia


At first, the dinner was uncomfortable. Zidane insisted on Kuja joining them, instead of being packed away as usual. People were just going to have to learn to accept the sorcerer. Hilda was gracious, as always. She chatted easily with Kuja, inquiring of his health and politely avoiding the subject of how he got here. Cid wasnít so tactful.

"So, have you kidnapped any other menís wives? How about small children? Iíd love to hear what youíve been up to since your return, sorcerer."

"Cid!" Hilda gasped with a blush, appalled by his lack of table manners.

"Itís perfectly all right, lady Hilda," Kuja said elegantly. "Iím not at all offended."

To Cid, he said; "I havenít been doing anything so thrilling as kidnapping. The excitement of it isnít there anymore, you see. Iíve been doing interior design, for the time being."

Cid sputtered and coughed, unsure of how to respond. "I...I see. Garnet told me that you were helping to fix some of the damage Alexandria still has thanks to your rampaging. I must admit, Iím surprised. You know that doesnít fix things, donít you?"

Kuja smiled. "Of course not. I also know youíre looking out for your niece, as any good uncle should. Donít fret so, Lady Hilda. I donít mind his blustering."

"Blustering! Why, I ought to-"

"Sit down, before you give yourself a nosebleed," Kuja suggested lightly as the nobleís face turned red. "My, that vein in your head really does stick out when youíre angry. You should wear your hair down to cover it."

Eiko giggled suddenly, then choked and covered her mouth with a napkin when Hilda stared at her in shock. The summoner that Cid and Hilda had adopted as their own was still young enough to get a chuckle at her "Papaís" expense. She tried to appear contrite, but despite Kujaís past, she found herself enjoying his witty comments far more than was considered proper. "Sorry, Mama," she whispered.

"Uh, look," Zidane interjected, "I think weíve gotten off on the wrong foot, here-"

"Is there any other way to get off with this fellow?" Growled Cid

Kuja saw an opening and took it, though Garnet was making desperate shushing motions at him. "Dozens. I could demonstrate some of them, if you like."

Eiko could no longer hold it in. She burst into laughter and excused herself quickly, before she ended up spitting her food out all over the table.

"Sir! That was hardly a proper thing to say in front of a young girl!" Hilda chastised, though she seemed to be having difficulty holding a straight face.

"What?" Kuja asked innocently, spreading his hands. "All I did was answer his question!"

Cidís mustache quivered, and he finally laughed. He turned to Zidane and tried to compose himself. "Is he always this bloody forward?"

"You havenít seen the half of it," Kuja promised with a wink.

"Well, heís a lot like me, sir," Zidane said lamely, trying to think of some excuse for Kujaís behavior.

"Enough said, then," Cid replied with a shake of his graying head. "Allow me to fetch my daughter. I trust youíll refrain from making any more lewd comments?" he raised a stern brow at the smiling sorcerer.

"So long as you donít provide me with another opening like that, of course." Kuja said.

Garnet winced and mouthed an apology to Hilda, who merely smiled at her in understanding.


Dinner progressed at a much more relaxed level, though Eiko kept glancing at Kuja from beneath lowered lashes. She had grown to be a pretty thing, and Kuja admitted to himself that if he were still the same person he once was, he might try seducing her. She obviously had some sort of interest in him, judging by the way she blushed.

Deciding that it would be best to dispel any forthcoming crush she might have on him, he remarked to Cid, "So, the two of you have adopted little Eiko. Has raising her been difficult?"

Cid smiled at his daughter, always pleased to brag about her. "Well, Eiko has her moments, like any other young person. Sheís a good lass, though."

"Iím a teenager, now," Eiko reminded everyone (especially Kuja), "Iím practically an adult."

Kuja smiled. "Ah, good. So youíve grown from a little pest into a big one. Well done."

That wiped the smile right off Eikoís pretty little face. Quick as lightning, she spooned up some mashed potatoes and flung it like a catapult. "Take that back!" she hollered, and Kuja got a face full of potatoes for his remark.

"Eiko!" Hilda gasped.

Kuja wiped the mess off his face, looked at his hand, then glared at the young summoner. "Youíre dead, little one."

Zidane started to stand up, for Kujaís tone was quite serious, and he knew that sorcerer had always found Eiko to be annoying. Kuja picked up a jelly roll and threw it at her.

"Kuja!" Garnet shouted in a tone equal to the one Hilda had just used on Eiko.

Eiko pulled bread crumbs and jelly out of her hair. "Oh, yeah?"

"Oh, shit," Zidane muttered, and he promptly slid down in his chair as Eiko retaliated with a piece of fish.

"Ha! You missed me!"

"Only once, pretty boy!"

Garnet and Hilda were shouting at both of them to stop this nonsense, and Zidane heard a wet "smack!" as one of them was hit by flying food in the crossfire. He risked a peek over the table to see Hilda standing there with a glob of pudding dripping from her hair down her face. Kuja was frozen in place, staring at the woman who had jumped in front of Eiko and caught the attack he meant for the summoner.

"A th-thousand apologies, dear lady," Kuja said when the womanís expression became uncharacteristically thunderous. Cid wisely stayed in his seat, too afraid to say anything.

"You threw pudding at me," Hilda said in a soft, lethal voice.

"Actually, I threw it at your daughter," Kuja explained nervously.

"Do you know how long it took for me to twist my hair this way?" Hilda said venomously. "Do you think I chose to go through such pains for my appearance for it to be wrecked by such childish behavior?"

"No, of course, let me fix-"

Kuja never finished his sentence, for Hilda had picked up a piece of pie and taken aim while he was blabbering. With classic comedic value, the dessert hit Kuja squarely in the face and muffled his apology. He slowly wiped the mess off, and he thought of retaliating. Hilda stared at him with raised eyebrows and had her hands on her hips. He knew that his next throw would be his last, if he did it. He bowed and smiled at her. "Good aim, lady."


Several chuckles and some cleaning up later, they again sat down to enjoy dessert. The mood had lightened considerably since the food fight, and Zidane had to silently applaud Kuja for breaking the tension...even if he hadnít meant to. He was halfway through his truffle when a messenger was announced.

Kuja watched as the man hurried to Zidaneís side and whispered something into his ear. Zidane looked at Kuja with a shocked expression on his face. Thinking that something was amiss and he was being blamed for it, Kuja spread his hands. "Whatever it is, I didnít do it. I was sitting right here with the rest of you."

Zidane blinked, then smiled at him. "Itís nothing like that, Kuja. Just relax and enjoy dessert." He kissed Garnet and rose from his seat. "Iíve got to go and take care of something. Sorry for taking off so abruptly, everyone."

They watched in puzzlement as the former thief hurried out of the dining hall. "What was that all about?" Eiko asked the question that was on all their minds.

"I havenít the slightest idea," Garnet said with a worried frown. "He didnít explain anything to me. I had better go and find out. Forgive me, everyone."

Kuja shrugged. Some peasant probably had their cow stuck in a ditch somewhere. Zidane always rushed off to help people with the most mundane things, so he wasnít overly concerned. "Ever theatric, those two," he said to the others as Garnet exited the room.


Night fell, and still Zidane and Garnet hadnít returned. Kuja assumed that whatever crisis they had gone to fix must be fairly far away. He entertained their guests as well as he was able to, conjuring small illusions and playing chess and cards with them. Finally, at the stroke of midnight, he was too exhausted to play host anymore. By the way Eikoís eyelids kept drooping and the yawns that Hilda kept covering up, they wouldnít be far behind him.

"I hope you donít mind, but I need my beauty sleep," Kuja informed them as he stretched languidly.

"Not at all. I believe we shall retire as well," Hilda said with a smile.

Cid scratched his head and struggled with his words. "Er...thank you for being host for us. It was an...interesting evening."

Kuja chuckled. "I aim to please. Good night, everybody."

They returned his goodnight wishes, and he turned and left the billiard room. Kujaís smile faded as he plodded up the stairs to his lonely bedroom. How many more nights like this could he endure? He had taken up the habit of hugging his pillow for comfort and pretending that it was Sephiroth. "What a wretched thing Iíve become," he mumbled as he made his way to his bedroom.

He heard Zidaneís voice downstairs, speaking to one of the guards. Kuja smiled. Well, at least he didnít have to worry about them anymore. He didnít like to admit it, but he had been getting concerned by the amount of time Zidane and Garnet were away. He could sleep easier knowing that they werenít lost somewhere. Strange, that he had begun to feel so protective of them.

He shrugged off his odd feelings and entered his bedroom, shutting the door behind him. Stripping his clothing off, he climbed into his large bed and hugged one of his pillows. He stared out the glass balcony doors, admiring the full moon that shone in the sky. Then, with a yawn, he closed his eyes and thought of Sephiroth.

He hadnít been asleep for very long when a bang startled him awake. Kujaís eyes snapped open, and he found his balcony doors to be hanging wide open. "Must not have locked them," he murmured sleepily as he got out of bed and closed them. This time, he made sure that the latch was down to avoid being woken up again, and he climbed back into bed.

Kuja frowned and went still, his eyes darting around the room. He thought he heard something...a breath being drawn, or a sigh. He stayed still for a few moments, waiting to hear it again. When he didnít, he assumed it was just a guard walking by in the hallway that he had heard. He started to close his eyes again when he heard footsteps approaching his bed.

Kuja froze and thought over his options. It could be that Zidane was just checking on him and thought he was asleep. That would account for the stealth of the unseen visitor. The last thing Kuja needed to do was conjure a fireball and blow his friendís face off. Deciding that he would wait and see what the intruder did, he lay very still.

He almost jerked when the mattress sank down with the weight of another body, right behind him. He smelled leather and earth, and his heartbeat picked up painfully. It couldnít be...but he knew those scents! Kuja didnít dare turn around, afraid of having his hopes dashed. Something feathery brushed his naked arm as the intruder settled in behind him. Kuja flicked his eyes down and saw a long, long strand of pale hair draping his arm. "Oh, gods," Kuja mouthed, afraid and hopeful at once.

A callused, long-fingered hand slid beneath the covers and caressed his hip, and lips brushed over his temple. The hard body that pressed against his back was known in every way to him. Finally, unable to bear it any longer, Kuja turned his head to look up at the person who lay behind him. Intense, slit pupiled green eyes stared down at him from a beautiful, masculine face. There were traces of dirt on that face, and some cuts. The sensual lips that smiled crookedly at him were chapped.

"W-What took you so long?" Kuja managed to gulp. He thought his heart was going to burst.

"I had something to take care of," Sephiroth replied softly. "I almost believed I had come to the wrong place, when I first arrived. Your friend Zidane showed up and convinced me otherwise."

"You didnít...kill anyone to get in here, did you?"

Sephiroth laughed. "Hardly. I was invited, after all."

Kuja turned and hugged Sephiroth tightly, burying his face against the gorgeous chest that he had missed so much. "Oh, you bastard," he said in a hitching voice, "I thought you were dead!"

Sephiroth stroked his hair smoothly. "No. Just reborn."

Kuja pulled back to look up at him. "What the hell does that mean?" He looked deeply into Sephirothís eyes, and he thought he saw the answer. There was no more confusion in those unearthly eyes, no more inner battles.

"I had to face myself before attempting to follow you," Sephiroth murmured. His pupils dilated as he remembered his struggle. "It wasnít a pleasant experience, but I made it."

" youíre both...I mean, the other you is..."

"Weíre both here, Kuja. Or should I say, Iím here."

Kuja sighed in relief and kissed his chest. "And youíre staying, right? No rushing off to be a hero, no mad escapades through the sky?"

Sephiroth laughed silently as he kissed the crown of the genomeís head. "Iím staying."

Kuja continued to kiss the velvety skin of his loverís chest as he began to work on the straps holding the jacket closed. "Weíll have to get you cleaned up tomorrow," he breathed, smiling as he got the jacket open.

"Not now?"

Kuja shook his head. "I donít want to let you out of my sight right now. Iím afraid if I do, youíll vanish on me."

Sephiroth understood, even though it was silly for Kuja to be so paranoid. He was exhausted right now, anyway, and though he didnít mention it aloud, he wasnít interested in letting go of the sorcerer just yet. He helped Kuja to remove his clothing, and once he was naked, he slid beneath the covers and hugged Kuja to his chest. He smiled as the genomeís mouth continued to worship his chest and neck, and he caressed the smooth curve of Kujaís hip.

Kuja curled his fingers around Sephirothís hardening manhood, and he grinned. "Gods, Iíve missed this."

Sephiroth gave him a look. "My dick is all that you missed?"

Kuja shrugged and tried to keep a straight face. "Well, the rest of you is all right too. I suppose I missed you a little. Did you miss me?"

Sephiroth chuckled and squeezed the genomeís hip as he nuzzled his hair. "Not one bit."

Kuja grinned. Then a thought came to him, and he frowned. "Sephiroth, did you ever discover who our jailers were, and why they did what they did? They never explained themselves to me."

"They call themselves the Watchers, for all good that does us," Sephiroth explained softly. "I couldnít learn precisely what their motivation was, but their overall intent seemed to be reforming villains. Not that Iím completely reformed." A wicked gleam shone in his eyes and he flashed a smile at his lover.

"I wouldnít want you to turn into a good boy," Kuja said with a smirk, and he made Sephiroth sigh by stroking his manhood again. "I happen to like your naughty side. So long as you arenít on a mad killing spree, that is."

"So long as nobody gives me a reason to, I donít think Iíll be slitting any throats soon," Sephiroth replied. He sighed again and undulated his hips, squeezing Kujaís bottom as the pleasure of his touch increased. "Youíre making it hard for me to concentrate on answering your questions, Kuja."

"I suppose the answers donít matter so much," responded the genome between the kisses he was pressing on the taller manís chest. "Iím just happy to have you back. Do you think you can adjust to life on my world?"

"If I canít, Iím out of luck. It should be an interesting challenge, at least." Sephiroth drew a ragged breath at the end of his sentence, for Kujaís thumb had stroked the moist tip of his erection and sent a little jolt through him. He stopped talking and kissed the genome heatedly as he allowed his hands to explore the sorcererís graceful body.

"Will you tell me about how you came here, sometime soon?" Kuja managed to gasp against his loverís mouth. "And how you became...well...whole?"

"Later," Sephiroth murmured against his neck, "I promise."

Kuja sighed and snuggled against the swordsman, leisurely re-aquatinting himself with his body. He practically purred as Sephirothís hands did the same. It was unhurried, with no particular motive other than to touch one another again. They fell into an easy sleep while caressing one another, and the last thought that went through Kujaís head before sleep took him was that it was worth going through hell to have an angel in his bed.


-The End

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