A/N: Please read. So this story will take place before either game and is based, very, very loosely, on the Ansem reports, having said that all theories and speculations I make in this fic are unfounded and should not be taken seriously. I just wanted to write a story about these two because I love them together

Paring: Ansem/Xehanort

Rating: M (overall)

Warning: Spoilers for both games, I think. Based loosely on the Ansem reports from both games.

Disclaimer: Not mine

The beginning, Part I

It was cold, so cold, and dark. The ground beneath him was hard and equally cold; a cold breeze penetrated through his clothes and made him shiver. His eyes were tightly shut as he curled around himself. He had been conscious of his surroundings for some time; he was in a forest, for how long exactly, he did not know.

In fact he knew nothing. He wasn't sure where he was or what had happened, he couldn't remember anything. How long had he been there on the ground shivering from the cold? He had no idea and his lack of any real knowledge about his situation was what kept him immobile, frightened.

Was anyone looking for him? Would anyone want to look for him? Had he been abandoned? Or had he been cast out as an abomination? Why had no one found him? Maybe, maybe he had done something terrible and as punishment he was cast out; to be forever alone in this darkness.

He felt hot tears sliding past his tightly closed eyelids. What was worse, than being lost, was not knowing what he had done, he couldn't remember anything. He had been trying so hard to remember something anything, but his mind was blank. Perhaps if he remembered something he could make things right.

"Hello" He froze as he heard a voice, laced with curiosity, call out. Someone had found him.

The relief that brought him was so up lifting he opened his eyes. The first thing he realized was that it wasn't so dark. Slowly a man came to kneel by his side. The man had long blond hair and soft amber eyes that were looking at him kindly.

"Are you hurt?" The stranger's voice was a deep soothing tone. Overwhelmed with feelings he pushed himself from the ground and threw his arms around the stranger.

Without any will power he cried into the man's shoulder, when he felt the man return the embrace he cried even more. This man was going to help him and with that thought he gave into exhaustion and let his body find rest.

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The next thing he was aware of was warmth and lying on something comfortable, like a bed. Slowly opening his eyes he took in the room he found himself in. He noticed he was not lying on a bed, but a rather large chaise bed.

And the room, it was a library or some type of study area; he assumed due to the books all around. There was also a fire place nearby; he could hear the crackling of burning wood. Across from him on the end of the room there were floor to ceiling windows in the reflection he could see the warm glow of the fire place beyond that it was dark; he shivered.

"Are you alright?" He heard the voice of the kind man and quickly sat up to locate him.

"I, I think so." He replied his throat feeling scratchy.

As if reading his mind, the kind man approached him with a steaming mug. He took it without question knowing somehow this man would not hurt him. Taking a gulp of the sweet liquid, he licked his lips and turned to look at the man.

"Thank you." He whispered. The man smiled in return.

"Who are you? Where am I?" The young man questioned.

"My name is Ansem and we are currently in my library; it was easier than carrying you to one of the guest rooms in the second floor. " Ansem explained and the boy smiled back his eyes beginning to droop listening to the soft voice of the man talking to him.

"And who might you be?" That question made his eyes open wide and panic began to settle back in his body.

The boy looked around startled as if expecting his memories to rush back to him. When that didn't happen he looked at the man, Ansem, with panicked eyes. "I don't remember."

Seeing the fear in the young man's eyes Ansem put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry. It's late and you're tired. Get some rest tonight and tomorrow you'll feel better. I'll show you where you may rest."

Ansem helped the young man stand and as if he had no will of his own the boy allowed himself to be pulled along. Ansem frowned and hoped this memory loss was only temporary.

Arriving at an empty guest room, Ansem led the young man inside.

"You may rest here and we'll speak in the morning."

"But I don't remember anything," The boy said turning panicked eyes to Ansem.

"Rest tonight, tomorrow things may, yet, look better." The boy nodded, this man had found him, brought him to shelter. Around him, he felt protected and safe.

"Okay." He whispered. Ansem left. With some effort, the tired youth crawled onto the spacious bed; he was asleep before his head touched the pillow.

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Nothing. The boy could remember absolutely nothing. No one in Radiant Garden knew him and no news of anyone looking for him was heard. Ansem didn't know what to do. He could not, very well, leave this young man to his own device. His consciousness would not allow him. He wanted to help him, but he also wanted to have him productive.

At least the boy had a name now, Xehanort. Xehanort had merely explained he had had a dream and the only thing he could remember about it was the name Xehanort, which he had taken for himself, though it was clear that he was unsure if the name was truly his.

"Ansem?" Xehanort's voice interrupted his train of thoughts. He looked up to see Xehanort standing on the threshold of the library.

"Come in." He motioned for Xehanort to sit in one of the chairs before his desk.

"There is a Captain Squall Leaonhart and Lt. Cloud Strife who wish to speak with you. They wait in the sitting room."

Regardless of his memory loss, Ansem found it intriguing how Xehanort's body seemed to remember his past or at least his past upbringing. He carried himself with the air of a person born to wield power, his presence demanded attention and not to mention his regal facial features spoke loudly of aristocrat blood.

"Thank you." Ansem stood from his chair and made his way around the desk stopping near Xehanort.

"And Xehanort..." The young man turned to look up at him

"Let the help answer doors and deliver messages. You do not have to; you are a guest in my home."

"But I feel as if I should be doing something to repay your kindness" Xehanort explained with a small frown creasing his forehead.

Ansem smiled. "Kindness comes from the goodness of one's heart and it is neither bought nor sold but freely given."

The words made Xehanort's heart flutter as a warm feeling spread through his body. His frown turned to a smile as he looked at Ansem.

"I'll be back shortly. Feel free to finish the tome you were reading yesterday."

Ansem turned to leave but Xehanort's voice stopped him. "I already have."

Turning, Ansem looks curiously at Xehanort, "Really?" He questioned. "What did you think of it?"

The book Xehanort had been reading was a renowned book on rather controversial theories. He was eager to know what Xehanort thought, especially since he had finished the book so quickly.

"I feel the author is," he paused, "mistaken in his assumption that because things stop growing they remain unchanged, that they reach a plateau and remain forever the same. His error lies in ignoring the subtleties in change opting to report solely on results which favor his theory." Xehanort answered carefully hoping Ansem would not think his answer was unfounded and foolish.

Ansem smiled, "You sound quite convinced yet you say he is mistaken, but not wrong why?"

"To be wrong implies a finality; that leaves no room for further expansion. To be mistaken means errors can be corrected." Xehanort explained and seeing Ansem smile made him feel as he had answered correctly that in turn made him feel proud of his answer.

Perhaps it was due to Ansem's kindness but Xehanort felt that having Ansem's approval was very important. And pleasing his benefactor took priority second only to finding out who he was. And although, he wanted, very much, to know the reason for his current state, he saw no reason why he should want to return to his place of origin.

Why should he want to go back to a place where he was clearly not wanted? He was not dense; he knew Ansem was searching for his past. So far no one knew of him or of anyone looking for him. And if he had indeed been exiled, like he originally thought, no one would be looking for him. However, that was alright with him, for he was starting evermore to enjoy Ansem's knowledge and hospitality

Maybe he too had been a scholar wherever he had been from and that was the reason he took great pleasure in learning new things. And perhaps that was the reason why his thirst for knowledge seemed almost insatiable. What gave him great joy was seeing Ansem was the same.

Ansem's voice broke his silent musing.

"I shall take great pleasure discussing this with you further but for now I have visitors that I need to tend to." Ansem gave Xehanort a final nod and was out of the library. With the smile still in place he walked towards the sitting room.

There was no doubt in his mind, Xehanort had had a rich up bringing by people who valued art, literature, philosophy and science greatly. Ansem could not wait to learn what other aspects of his upbringing were still so embedded in Xehanort's being that even memory loss could not erase.

Entering the sitting room Ansem look at the guards, after a quick discussion of increasing the cities security since the appearance of the creature, they moved on to more other matters.

"Any news?" Ansem asked without further elaboration. Knowing his guards would understand what he was referring to. Ansem crossed his legs and waited for Squall or Cloud to talk.

"No, nothing, no one knows of him, no one is looking for him." Squall answered with a troubled expression. Squall had been a guard for years and was confident in his abilities but this request from Ansem had led him nowhere but to dead ends and left him with nothing but a feeling of failure he did not appreciate.

"It's as if he came from nowhere and merely began existing." Cloud continued equally troubled by Xehanort's appearance.

"Very well then I'm afraid to say that is that." Ansem spoke with a finality that had the two men in the room looking at him with twin frowns.

"That's it?" Squall asked trying not to sound personally offended by the mission being discontinued.

"What else can I do?" Ansem questioned his face turned to look out the window. "If he regains his memories then I will help him return home, if he so wishes. Until then he may stay here."

"What will you do with him?" Cloud asked already standing from his seat.

"Take him under my tutelage; he shows promising potential."

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I had forgotten how annoying it is to update and post here. Oh well, so tell me what you think and thanks for reading.

If anyone wants to read the Ansem reports, I put up links in my profile, just in case anyone wants to read them. You don't really need to read them for this story to make sense, but it helps a little.

Though remember the Ansem reports in KH I are written by Xehanort's heartless. The Ansem reports in KH II are written by the real Ansem (a.k.a Ansem the Wise)