Disclaimer: Final Fantasy Dissidia belongs not to me, of course.

Summary: Cloud of Darkness pondered on recent events, as Sephiroth came along and interrogated her.

The Beauty That Deceives

Out of all the things that she could be doing reminiscing wasn't one of them. It was at that moment, when she dangled above a pillar, her feet hanging in the air, that she recollected her first meeting with her fellow warriors in the grand halls of the Old Chaos Shrine. What brought a trivial matter to suffice? Perhaps, it was the jester's doing for capering his way in her domain.

He left behind a trail of destruction, while singing, "The world is falling down by my hands, and there is no one in sight to stop me, Kefka, the great, or superb, whatever."

She looked away from his capering and paid attention to the mess he left in the World of Darkness. Pillars were destroyed, leaving one to stand in the rubble. It made no difference if he ended up destroying the last one, since this world, like the rest, produce what has fallen, like the manikins. Falling down from above, her feet tapped against the tiles, hearing the realm shift and bring forth the fallen pillars. She impassively took in her clean domain, until her attention was caught by her pet, seeking for a scratch underneath its chin. Her finger trailed underneath and scratched, as it smiled in content before she withdrew her hand to a side.

Slowly, she shut her eyes, and pattered idly down an aisle. The decision to glide crossed her mind, but she stubbornly chose to walk, to understand why humans enjoy it. Though, she would admit the human body is quite fascinating. The bare, cold, ground underneath her feet brought chills to her form, like the wind that blew softly in the air at night in the Lunar Suberterrane. It was a sensation that she enjoyed, feeling her skin prickle at the sharp cold.

Humans were peculiar to her – not only in body, but mind. They fight intently to survive and to save the ones they love – well, that is what she conjured up from the Warriors of Cosmos. They were curious beings, like her comrades. A side of her lip curled into a smirk.

Her first encounter with her comrades filled her mind with memories that she, herself, couldn't stop and gaze into them. Garland would stare at her for a brief moment, look around, and forget that she existed. Then, there was the Emperor. He was a charming man at first, but he had his intentions, which she could care less of what grand scheme he pulled up his sleeve. The man carved power, to control people like bugs under his heels. Yet, she contradicted him once, stating how power is a feeble cause that any man who carves it dies at the hand of the hero.

His response: "It seems that your kind does not understand the concept of power. If one can manage to control it, then there is no need for heroes to exist. They would be executed by the time I reign. But, of course, your kind cannot comprehend what we, beings, are capable of."

She laughed at his response, letting him believe what he wanted. The man was blind to realize that he was killed by a hero, like the rest of their kind. He is an interesting fellow, but too stupid to stop his main threat.

And then there was Golbez, a man who was confused upon life since the first day she met him. Choosing light or dark, his mind will always be turning if he does not make up his mind. She could already see it now when insanity shall govern his senses and all that will be left behind is an empty vessel ready to be consumed by the Void.

The only man (or rather tree) that can see her view was Exdeath. He understood her, and she knew he would be a great ally when she fist laid her eyes on him. And, of course, there was Kefka as well. However, Kefka was a rather odd fellow. When he first arrived, he would always shout and try to gain everyone's attention. Cloud of Darkness would merely eye him impassively, wondering why humans act that way. But, it was his point of view that caught her attention.

As for Sephiroth, he would always be an enigma - remembering how he would simply walk away, not being interested on who his comrades were or why he was here. He only had one objective – to defeat his rival.

She let out a sigh, recalling the woman among the warriors, Ultimecia. She glared upon them like insects needing to be wiped out. She never really cared much about them, until The Emperor caught her attention with his schemes. Cloud of Darkness knew that woman would only fall along with him.

Kuja was the needle in the haystack that didn't belong. Everyone looked down on him, since he first arrived. Perhaps it was his age, or his mere intentions weren't as evil as theirs. No matter. Cloud of Darkness didn't care what he did, as long he was out of her way.

Now the last character of the bunch was Jecht. He, unlike everyone else, did not have a reason to destroy or have power. Since the day she met him, his main concern was on his son, plus a little ogling towards her and Ultimecia.

Yet, encountering them all made no difference to her. They would all die and be reborn, no matter the outcome of the battle. It didn't matter what cycle she may be in, her main objective will always be to return life to the Void.

Immediately, her senses went on alert, informing her that a guest had arrived. She narrowed her eyes and twist to face the intruder, only to find Sephiroth gracefully striding towards her. His hair swift side-to-side, while his glowing (mako) eyes stared at her. He slowly halted in his steps, taking in the area that he couldn't recollect entering before.

Cloud of Darkness turned her head away and began to walk. Her hips swayed to the violation of her cape, hearing her feet tap against the ground. Sephiroth smirked, raising a fine brow.

"Your place… It's different among the others," he began, causing her to stop. "It reeks purely of darkness - with no trace of light."

"Did you come here to talk to us of our domain?" she inquired.

Sephiroth chuckled. "That obvious. Hmph." He shut his eyes for a moment, before catching afar the trailing lights that roam the area. He sighed and turned his head to her. "Tell me. What is your reason of fighting?"

Cloud of Darkness laughed. She turned her body fully to his direction, while disappearing in a whisk of dusk and red.

"To fill this world of darkness," her voice echoed throughout the arena, as she appeared in front of him, clasping his face with her soft hands. Casually, he pushed her hands away.

"Must you seduce your prey?" he asked, a smirk gracing his features.

She shut her eyes and faced towards a pillar. "Perhaps, it is best for you to remain silent."

"Oh, why is that?"

Her red eyes met intensely with his. "For aren't you playing with your enemy?"

"My rival needs my guidance. Without me, he is nothing." He looked away. "What about you? Did you not play with that girl's mind so she may become your puppet?"

"She was weak. Kefka was the one after her. We were merely toying with her, until the poor thing broke."

"In other words, you weren't interested in her, but her hidden power." His eyes met with hers, seeing a smile grace his lips. "Now, why use someone if you will merely cast them aside?"

A moment of silence interceded between them. She let out a sigh and revealed a smile. "We thought that she would help us by killing off Cosmos's warriors. But like we said, she was weak."

Sephiroth shook his head. "A petty lie."

"Pardon us -"

"You wanted her so this world can meet its end quickly," Sephiroth cut off, staring intently into her eyes.

She smirked and looked down a hollow path. Touching the ground, she walked away from his presence, not answering if what he said hold the truth. It didn't matter, however, for he didn't care.

"I have one more question for you before you go," he said, stopping her in her tracks. And seeing how she wasn't going to turn her body or inclined her head towards his direction, he merely looked at her back, as he took a few steps.

"Why clad yourself in a woman's body? Are you trying to deceive the enemy with your beauty?"

Cloud of Darkness chuckled. "We merely used this body as a vessel to complete our deeds." She turned her body half-way to finish saying, "And perhaps you are right. Maybe we did use this body to deceive the enemy with her looks." She took one step forward. "Humans are…rather interesting. They have reasons to live; reasons to die. They even have reasons to fight."

"So, what is your reason?" Sephiroth asked once more, a smirk tainting his lips.

"You already know the answer, so why ask again?" answered she.

His smirk never faltered when he passed her form, watching his hair sway to the rhythm of his tapping feet. Cloud of Darkness took a final glance as she continued to walk, enjoying the cool sensation before the child came to play.

Revision: Mar. 24, 2011