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Dissidia: Final Fantasy and all associated characters are property of Square Enix. This is a nonprofit work.
A/N: Inspired by Chaos's dream in Shade Impulse. I finally finished the game, and like many others, found the storyline wanting. Therefore, onwards with the story!
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Springtime in Sephiroth's austere mountain domain was marked only by the appearance of small yellow flowers that dotted the tundra leading up to Sephiroth's cave of residence. Unlike the other major denizens of the Black Palace, Sephiroth had no particular affection for lush textures or rich colors-he was no peacock like Kuja, no poseur like Mateus, and definitely not colorblind and on acid, like Kefka. In fact, there was very little about his demesne that was not completely natural: inside his sleeping cave, there was a feather mattress covered with furs, a low table with some stone lamps, and a chest of clothes up on a few stones to prevent the bottom from being damp. It looked like a caveman's dwelling, which suited Sephiroth just fine. As long as the place didn't leak, attract pests, and was eminently unwelcome to visitors, it suited his purposes.
So it was with some dismay and not a bit of annoyance that Sephiroth found a visitor waiting for him when he rematerialized on the rough path to his cave. He would have tolerated a raven, but this visitor was a human.
"I do not believe we've been introduced," said Sephiroth as the man (who'd been sitting on a rock and picking his teeth) rose to his feet. Though it was cool, the man was shirtless and barefoot. His only concession to the cool weather was the massive feather-ruffed cape that hung like a frame around his powerfully muscled figure; he made no concessions to rank, as his hair was unkempt, his beard was untrimmed, and he had a huge, gangster-like tattoo tracing a jagged target path over his vitals.
"Nah, we haven't," said the man, rolling his shoulder in an insultingly casual manner. His voice rasped like a smoker's, but Sephiroth got the impression that the hoarseness was natural. He seemed too fit to be inhaling substances. Sephiroth suddenly wondered if the man would agree to spar.
"But I know you," said the man, which made Sephiroth blink a bit. "They call you the Silver Hermit, you know that?"
"You speak as though I care what people think of me," said Sephiroth dryly.
The man laughed uproariously. Sephiroth's sensitive ears made him flinch away from the sound.
"I like yer style," said the man, putting his hands on his hips. The easy motion drew subtle attention to the sword hilt at his side, but Sephiroth was not so rampantly paranoid as to read any threat in the man's movements. Not purposeful threat, anyway. Obviously this man emanated threat of physical violence as a matter of course, otherwise he would not be in the Black Palace and so bold as to intrude on his demense without invitation.
"Well, I just came to say hello," said the man, rather unexpectedly. Reaching behind the rock he'd been sitting on, he picked up a ceramic jug and held it up for Sephiroth to see. "And I come bearing gifts. Got a minute to talk?"
Unconsciously Sephiroth leaned back and looked the man up and down. Generals, governors, and other denizens of the Black Palace were not the friendly sort. What did this man want?
"I might," said Sephiroth, eyeing the jug. He did like a good stiff drink, and he recognized the ceramic jug as being a Spiran vintage, which he'd tried a few years before and had liked. On the other hand, it could also have poison, mind-controlling substances, or a hallucinogen. The man did have a sort of "sex offender" feel to him thanks to his harsh voice. "If I knew who I was talking to, of course."
"The current Governor of Spira, at your service," said the man with a mocking little bow. "M'name's Jecht."
"You're a Governor?" Sephiroth exclaimed before he could stop himself.
Jecht grinned. "Don't look smart enough for the job, do I?" As Sephiroth coughed uncomfortably, Jecht laughed and said, "It's alright. I used to be a General before I cut Yu Yevon's head off. Strictly speaking, I'm a Governor Pro Tempore until I find someone who can do the job better than me, and who doesn't piss me off. But no one wants to step forward. Ain't that funny?"
Without waiting for Sephiroth's reply, Jecht uncorked the jug and sloshed it in what was supposed to be an inviting manner.
"I won't lie, I could drink all this alone," said Jecht. "But then I'd have to sleep over, and I don't think yer place is made fer guests."
Sephiroth weighed his options. It had been a rather up and down sort of day, what with enraging Cosmos's warriors, goading Garland, and tolerating Jecht in his demesne when he really just wanted to... To...
"It isn't as though I had plans..."
"There ya go," said Jecht encouragingly as Sephiroth walked up to him and took a seat on the ground. Jecht offered him the rock. Sephiroth shook his head. Then they got to drinking. Jecht took the first drink to prove it wasn't poisoned, and from then on, Sephiroth's perception of time blurred pleasantly as the liquid level in the jug steadily dropped. The Spiran vintage burned pleasantly in his stomach and mimicked an emotional warmth he hadn't felt in a long time.
"So," said Jecht. "How was yer trip to the Ordered Lands?"
"That's interesting that you know about that," Sephiroth said.
"Hah! We all do," said Jecht with a grin. "Chaos had the Witch's Mirror moved to the Throne Room and we could all pop in and take a peek at whatever you were doing."
"I'm going to have to kill Ultimecia," Sephiroth thought absently. "I never agreed to have my privacy violated."
"Gotta say, the roses were hilarious," said Jecht, shaking the jug at him a little. "Exdeath blew a gasket of course, and he's put his gardens on alert."
"Guardians don't bother me."
"I said 'gardens', Sephiroth-he's got every bush and tree spelled so they come alive and destroy intruders. Yeah, even the roses."
"Stupid tree," Sephiroth grumbled. He hadn't meant to say that aloud, but when Jecht started laughing, Sephiroth just sighed and chuckled. The chuckles turned to giggles. That was when Sephiroth knew he was really drunk and should be concerned, but he also just drunk enough not to care.
"Too bad we lost everything after you got discovered," said Jecht absently. "Though you came back alive, so those Champions must not be as good as they think they are."
If Jecht didn't know about four of the Champions ganging up on him and beating him into unconsciousness, Sephiroth wasn't going to tell him. But he wasn't going to brag either. So instead he said, "It would be nevertheless be wise not to underestimate them."
Jecht made a noise that sounded like "meh" and "argh" and "I don't really give a fuck".
"Anyway, while we was watching," said Jecht. "I saw a kid that I think might be an escapee from my district."
"Oh?" Sephiroth took a gulp from the jug and passed it back, looking at Jecht speculatively. "And were you planning to chase him down or some such?"
"If that kid is who I think he is, he's part of an important family," said Jecht, lacing his hands together and looking unexpectedly contemplative. "And I'll need him to cement my claim to the Governorship."
"I won't kidnap anyone for you, no matter how good your spirits are."
"Hah! No." Jecht reached into the depths of his cloak and pulled out a roll of parchment. As Sephiroth frowned, Jecht said, "Hey, as long as you're going back anyway, right?"
Sephiroth grumbled and took the parchment, stowing it in his inner breast pocket. "I expect at least another jug of this stuff."
"Of course," said Jecht with a mocking little nod. "The least I could do for a favor."
"So who's supposed to get this?" Sephiroth asked, taking the jug from Jecht. It was getting rather light. "The Champions are all rather young, and there's more than a few 'kids' among them."
"He's blonde," said Jecht. "Late teens. Tan. Swims like a fish."
"Oh, that one." Sephiroth chuckled. He remembered that particular champion, mostly because of his desperate heroics to save Cloud. "I'll do my best."
"Thanks much," said Jecht. He stood up and brushed imaginary dirt off his knees, saying, "It's time for me to be heading back to my area. I'll see you around."
"See you around," said Sephiroth, waving at him. Jecht swaggered off, looking like he'd won something. Sephiroth waited until he'd left his demesne-all major denizens had a sixth sense that let them know about intruders-before taking the parchment out of his pocket and reading it. For a Governor Pro Tempore, Jecht was amazingly careless about security. There wasn't even a string to keep the parchment closed.
"It's time to come back," said the note.
Sephiroth's brows rose. Silently he rolled up the parchment and put it back into his breast pocket. Jecht's note was interesting, very interesting indeed. The idea that there might be a traitor amongst Cosmos's ranks was rather delicious. Chuckling, Sephiroth picked up the jug of spirits and went inside to muse, plot, and take a nap. All of a sudden, he could not wait to go back to the Ordered Lands.
A/N: Sephiroth is definitely OOC in this chapter, but he's also drunk. I envision a tipsy Sephiroth as being a slightly-easier-to-get-along-with version of his normal self, and there's a bit of slowness on the uptake that also comes with drunkeness.
As for Sephiroth's take on Jecht's voice, I 100% agree with it. Somehow between FFX and Dissidia, Jecht apparently turned into a raging lust demon. As my friend put it, he went from a "good ol' boy" to "what a pretty mouth you got there" and even though I am really dense when it comes to subtext and what, I screamed and almost dropped the PSP the first time he spoke to Tidus. Fathers should not sound like that when talking to their sons. I mean, damn. I played it for my friend and she had the exact same reaction. Guh. GUUHHHHHH!