Kadaj was clueless, he decided as he crossed swords with the boy.

They had always been enemies. Always. It was always Kadaj and his brothers did this, Kadaj's gang did that, Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo were responsible for the torture and near-death of Elena and Tseng as well as the corruption of Wutai's children, not forgetting the theft and misuse of materia and the Summoning of Bahamut SIN.

The boy's list of misdemeanors went on and on.

But as the avatar's Souba glinted in the afternoon sun, Cloud couldn't help but think that Kadaj had no idea what effect the teen had on him. Yet still, as metal clashed metal, every strike was laced with a tension that sent shivers of something down his spine that he hadn't felt since before Aerith had clasped her hands in prayer. Just looking at him, his body twisting and contorting in an effort to strike and counter-strike set Cloud's blood on fire and made running very difficult.

Kadaj was like no one he'd ever seen. He was masculine in a feminine way, his voice carrying a soft, childlike quality that dripped with a dangerous, sensual venom. It drew Cloud to him, the way his eyes glinted in sick excitement or twisted pride, the way he carried himself with such determination. The way he moved in battle, the way he spoke—he haunted you, making you want to believe every word that came out of his mouth. The teen was enchanting—he longed to hold the avatar in his arms and take him with a ferocity that matched the very basis of this battle. Ached to be inside of him, pounding into him, hearing the teen call him by name as he sent them both over the edge. I don't want to be your nii-san anymore, Kadaj, he thought as the two landed on opposite sides of the building. I want to be more than that. I want to mean as much to you as Jenova does. Why can't you see that?

What they had was like a game of cat and mouse, with the roles never clear. They never knew who was chasing after the other, it was a vicious cycle of cunning and dominance that never seemed to end. Cloud couldn't decide of he loved it or hated it—the way he felt when he was going after Kadaj with a fire that warmed the unceasing cold, the way he felt when the teen was after him, a single-minded determination in those cat-like eyes.

And even as the silver-haired minx fought on, even as he wielded his weapon with an expertise that was beyond his years, he wanted him. Even as he absorbed that harbinger's essence, he wanted him. Even as the Souba melted into a single blade and extended to seven feet long, he wanted him, which was sick and wrong in so many ways that Cloud didn't want to fathom.

And still, even as he collapsed into Cloud's arms, tired and wounded and breaking, he wanted him. Yes, Kadaj was clueless, he thought as the boy cried, reaching out for a mother that was never there and dissipating into green mist.

He would never know the ache he left behind.