The air was almost tangible with tension; the two players, seated on opposite sides of the small table, were both silent, eyes on the cards in their respective hands. Around them rose the sounds of the airship; engines a gentle purr intermingled with the shouts and cries of the crew above-deck. Within the small cabin, however, it was as if nothing existed but the two men, their cards, and the game they so fervently played.

One of the men sighed inaudibly, reorganizing his cards so all the suits were together. He was a tall man with an imperious nature; in days past he had been referred to as the greatest General to ever have lived. His outward appearance did nothing to express his inner anxiety; the pale, angular lines of his face gave him a definite air of arrogance, while his cold green eyes displayed only granite determination. His hair, a shade only slightly darker than snow, fell in a thick, straight mass well past his waist. Everything about him screamed warrior, and he hoped that his intimidating appearance would have some effect over the outcome of this game.

In this, however, he was to be disappointed. His opponent, studiously observing his own hand, was just as powerful in his own right. He was of slighter build than the other, slender and lean. His face was made of delicate structure, with large luminous eyes framed by long, curling lashes. All of this was surrounded by layers of shimmery silver hair. There was something in his features, however, that saved him from being too feminine and instead made him undeniably masculine. Swathed as he was in layers of colourful fabric which revealed large excesses of skin, he should have seemed incongruous next to the prime specimen of fierceness that was his opponent, but there was something in his demeanour that spoke of underlying malice and belligerence.

Minutes passed in terse silence. Each was aware that a move had to be made, and each was weighing the severity of the stakes. Finally the smaller of the two –Kuja- made his move, asking in a voice that was chill and emotionless, "Do you have a Queen?"

And his opponent, Sephiroth, replied in a tone just as wintry.

"Go fish."