Hey there boys and gals!

I'm being dared into writing an Aku/Jack fic (hears gasps of horror) yes, yes I was shocked too. -_- But, silly me, I never back down from a challenge. So, here we are with the first chappie. Oh, and given the...erm, inevitable situations between Jack and Aku, I'll put warnings in place so that if ya dont' wanna see it, ya don't have ta. Shouldn't be too graphic though, I'm aiming for PG-13.

Don't worry, the majority of the first few chapters is Aku bugging the bejesus out of Jack. ^-~

Any extra insight into the characters, such as Jack's REAL name (-_-;) would be much appreciated as I would like them within the set parameters as much as possible.

Thanks. ;)

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Warning, this story has:

The Occult (demons, pagan gods, etc.)

Aku and Jack's blasphemous language (mostly directed at each other)

Yaoi (m x m relationships)

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Dancing with the Devil

The night sky twinkled in a dazzling, gem-encrusted carpet above the earth: a thousand diamonds snuggling in a dark blanket of navy velvet, hanging in a silken weaving above the frozen land slumbering below. The moon illuminated the cool, icy panorama with an unblinking gaze, spilling its ivory incandescence upon the snow. Its single ogre eye provided a ghostly light that revealed the neglected path meandering its way through the frozen wood like an aimlessly wondering snake. It was lined with a frosting of snow, which gleamed like a thousand diamonds in the haunted illumination of the moon's crisp iris hovering silently in the sky above. A master of the twinkling jewels that resided there up in the cool night firmament.

Jack paused, his sandals ceasing their rhythmic clacking against the beaten, frozen dirt of the clandestine path he had been following, to gaze up at the woods' canopy that arched above him. Their skeletal branches filtered the ghostly light of the moon into pearl-like shafts of milk that poured downwards to set his pathway aglow with a soft, surreal illumination of ivory and diamond-studded snow. The samurai exhaled a long, breathy sigh, noting with a faint, gentle smile of amusement at how it condescend before his face. Every exhalation made him appear to blow out puffs of smoke as if he were a dragon with a belly full of fire.

He wasn't used to the chill of the early winters in this mysterious land of snow and ice, but he found it difficult to dislike its glacier character with its poetic face and cheshire weather. It was...charming in an odd, cold sort of way. A beautiful land that one did not trifle with--

"A little chilly to be dallying in the snow, eh samurai?" The voice was lined with a foreboding far more sinister than the morose, fleshless fingers of the trees surrounding Jack on all sides.

Ebony eyes narrowed into shrewd slits as the warrior calmly reached for his sword, his face locking itself into a frown. "Aku," the name sprang from his lips with their own volition, seething with the hatred which spawns from long, unfulfilled vendettas. His mind began to clear itself as it usually did before battle, picturing every piece of his surroundings he could use or could be used against him. However, if he could keep the demon talking, he could pinpoint exactly where the fiend hid in the frozen recesses of the forest. Then...perhaps if any of the old gods were with him, he could avenge his people. "What brings you here, demon?"

A deep, rumbling laugh shook the woods, making the snow shiver and plunge from its precarious perch on the trees. "Why...you, samurai. What else brings me out into the miserable weather but your equally miserable hide?"

The sword was out of its sheath, appearing frozen and lethal in the pale light of the moon. "You have come to fight me then, Aku?"

There was a long, long, tense silence after that. Jack frowned at the uncharacteristic lull in conversation and finally allowed himself to admit that the chills running up his spine were not all from the cold of the night alone. Something was...different about Aku this night. Less arrogant and gleeful as the demon always tended to be, growing soft and lazy during the centuries of his unchallenged rule, but this was not the same. Jack didn't know what had set off the alarm bells in the back of his skull, but there was a real sense of...death emanating from the demon. A feral aggression that set him on edge--a wildness in the usually thick, accented brogue Aku usually bantered with, which made him uneasy. An unpredictable opponent was a deadly one.

"Why the change of heart, Aku?" Jack finally demanded to break the silence. "Your cowardice has usually kept you within the boundaries of your fortress."

Suddenly, the shadows twisted and lunged as a snake would uncoil and strike its intended victim. Startled, the samurai leapt backwards as the tendrils of oily darkness retracted once more, their target out of reach, to twist and bend into a grotesque shape towering as tall as the highest tree in the wood. The demon seemed as emaciated and starved as the twisted, abused trunks surrounding him.

"Cowardice?" There was a loud, booming laugh from the starved frame towering above the warrior. "Or...perhaps it was merely common sense, hmm?"

Jack frowned, his sword raised before him in the opening stance of ken-jutsu. "Explain yourself, demon."

"Despite all your skills, despite your magic sword, despite all the damage you have wrought to this world of mine...you will still have to taste the bitterness of mortality." Aku suddenly bent forward so that his face was splashed with the pale, bone-white moonlight and his fanged grin became apparent on his inhuman visage. In the darkness of the night he appeared more sinister than usual. "I will live forever samurai, while your limbs all ready grow heavy with the first hints of age. You will become as feeble and as hapless as this forest and after you are gone I will still live on, able to wipe away the stain you left upon history."

Well, this was certainly an odd conversation. Jack grit his teeth in annoyance, knowing it was true that he was beginning to feel the first tendrils of age sneak into his limbs when he was resting after his normal kata. He was getting old, while Aku stayed ageless--as immortal as the sun--but why did the demon muse about such things? Surly it was far too philosophical for him to find amusement in. The shape-shifter never held a true love for any thing other than himself, his greed for power, and domination over others. This talk about mortality and the 'bittersweetness' of age was far too...romantic a concept to possibly appeal to Aku in all his dark, idle pursuits.

"What is wrong with you?" Jack couldn't help the impertinent manner his words managed to tumble out of his mouth. Despite having met with many sophisticated, if eccentric personalities in this strange future of Aku's, he still managed to meet many more who rubbed their crude, slang-filled tongue on him. Despite Jack's wish for otherwise, he was even loosing his accent and the regal way in which his people had always spoken.

"Nothing!!?" The word came out more as a half-question as if the demon were trying to convince himself and ask Jack at the same time. The ferocity of the word was tinged with a dark, malignant tumour of confusion, as if the demon himself didn't know what he was saying. A stringless puppet who didn't know how to end the play. "Impudent wretch! You dare to insult the powers of Aku??"

Jack blinked in bewilderment, his eyes widening in confusion at the strange, senseless, erratic behaviour. What was this? Some new plot to befuddle him to death? Aku was about as endearing as a snake to Jack, but he did have a wily, suave character that had the potential to lull one into complacency before bearing his demonic fangs and springing his finely-tuned trap. Tonight, however, that was not so. Even as the samurai readied himself for another attack, he could perceive a senseless rage within the demon.

The entire sky seemed to be eaten up as Aku rose out of the shadows, his agile, elegant form arching with both glee and malice. "I will deal out your death personally this night, samurai."

Suddenly, the winter night's air seemed to provide a startling, frightening clarity that only seemed available when one sees their death upon them. Jack froze, watching Aku's frame dance in the air like ink weaving in water as the winter around them both seemed to blur and become hazy. The shock trilled through the samurai's body; his sword seemed to weigh a thousand tons as his heart hammered madly in his chest with both dread and a youthful, exuberant excitement.

"You were...beaten." The words seemed to enhance the surrealism of the entire encounter. "You have been dethroned--someone has defeated you!"

All clandestine movement ceased within the shadows of the wood. The convicted silence assured Jack that he was right and he nearly dropped his enchanted blade in disbelief. This was truly a blessed night!!

"Do not look so pleased, samurai." The words resonated with a sullen bitterness that arises from knowing one was utterly futile. "I doubt she will treat this world any more kindly than I."

Jack's brows forked. "She?"

"Gaia." There was a rumbling sigh that seemed almost...wistful?

If Aku had spoken anything else Jack was deaf to his words. That one word, that name drove a chill down his spine. He had heard it before when he had met a Holy Man, one dedicated to the forbidden religion of Christianity. The odd man had claimed all other religions were blasphemy and had even went as far as to try and convert Jack, much to the samurai's bewilderment, but the monk's mention of that name rang a bell.

Gaia....

Jack's frown deepened, a sense of forbidding chilling the victory in his heart.

....Mother of the Titans.

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Ooooooooooooh, this is hard. T-T This is my first Samurai Jack fic ever and I'm basically dipping my toe in the ocean. Any feedback on OOCness or just the plot in general would be much appreciated, given my lack of experience in this section.

Damn you and your dares, Happee! *Shakes fist.*

Well, good? Bad? Too traumatized by the pairing to really know? :)

Ha ha, wait until Jack and Aku really start talking. Oh, you can feel the animosity! ^-^