Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy XIII.

Summary: Puppets of the fal'Cie remain puppets and disputes with the all mighty lead to ones despair and another's grief as a l'Cie is forever cursed when both dead and alive, but nothing hurts more than to have your lover wish you an eternal goodnight. Yaag/Cid

Author's Note: It's a three-part story everyone. Well, I guess I'll be the first Yaag/Cid shipper on here. It's an obvious pairing to me, and one without a dominant/submissive in the relationship (or guy and girl), but I don't know about everyone else. Also, I personally think that Yaag's eye colour is a pale violet (lilac) and Cid's is golden.

The Art of Puppetry

Eden: the capital of Cocoon, a place of immense economic and civilian income and populace. All perimeters and land of Eden are packed with tight security and a fal'Cie so powerful all threats from Pulse are turned away and abolished before their hides even peak over the horizon. Eden is a sanctuary, protected from Pulse, home of Orphan and the heart of the Sanctum – rulers of Cocoon.

Outside the walls of the Sanctum building, city life is bustling and building up the strong world. Children and the rest of the general population are safe, all threats eliminated and without a way to enter the large city. Here, l'Cie cannot call this place home or even part of their world. Eden is forged with strict laws and a utopian society – a place no l'Cie can live, let alone dream of residing as the welcome mat is charred beneath their feet.

The Sanctum's military units are scattered throughout the city, on patrol for all hours of every day with eyes that never shut and artillery forever loaded. PSICOM and the Guardian Corps fight this war for the people and for their loyalty to the Sanctum, risking their lives for the protection of Cocoon and operating Purges.

But, are they fighting for Cocoon or against Cocoon? For the fal'Cie, or against the fal'Cie? The soldiers just run blindly, dodging bullets and detonating bombs of those that rebel against the Sanctum – people who lost their families to the fal'Cie and the ongoing cycle of the Purge.

Within the building, the haze becomes foggier, every line is disfigured, and the Primarch's words are law, no matter how much of a lie they may seem, it is the only reassurance that the world will receive. The executives would fill a large room thrice a month with the disguised fal'Cie seated at the head of the long mahogany table and from there it all decreases in rank with the Guardian Corps on one side and PSICOM on the other.

Freshly painted nails would glide over the old man's shoulder, hushed words laced in provocative temptations would whisper in his ears. A wrinkled smile would curl his lips as his prized Lieutenant Colonel plants her crimson stained lips lightly against his sagging cheek, leaving behind a fine trace of colour. She straightens when she feels the eyes of many unchanged to their adjustment to her lowly act fixed on the man and she no longer feels like the wear of a dirty woman who charges a dollar for every thrust and fleeting touch. She stands beside him, her hands clasped behind her back and a mask of superiority falls over her face as she stares through her glasses, up and down the length of the table.

Dysley, the Primarch of Cocoon, slouches forward in his throne-like seat and steeples his fingers producing the image of a wise man deep in thought.

"As I am very much sure that you are all quite aware of, a Pulse Vestige has been found in the location of Bodhum." He began, his cold, monotonous voice snarling in the ears of the occupants of the room, "I know that during this time, tourism and holiday makers frequent the place and that just adds to the tragedy." They all sat motionless like statues, the lace of ironic sarcasm in his voice mistaken for pity, but beneath a white cloak, immaculate gloved hands tightened and golden eyes left the bitterness of Dysley's to gaze at a spot on the Primarch's seat, "I am positive you all know what I mean."

He could feel those thin lips curling wider at those words and he turned his head away to the man directly across from him. His right-hand man tapped his foot against his and he nodded in slight at the soldier standing behind him, understanding his meaning.

"A Purge, your honour?" asked a PSICOM officer, ranked high enough to be seated at the table.

"Hmph." was Dysley's response, his eyes staring down the officer's bravery to ask such a dense question and Raines bore holes into the table, already knowing the answer before he stepped foot into the meeting room, "Infection by Pulse leads them to be sent to Pulse. Is there a fault in there?"

Hushed whispers all bearing a resemblance to "No sire" broke around the room. He said nothing, but buried his face in the collar of his cloak and Rygdea behind him stood unmoving. Golden eyes caught onto the man before him, nodding that silver-locked head, agreeing with Dysley's plans and never had he felt so bitter to the director of PSICOM. Puppets of the fal'Cie he thought as his eyes roamed over every PSICOM official in the room and a surge of pity hit him upon the sight of Jihl Nabaat's glassy eyes – how very distinct her use as a puppet is. When his eyes fell on the elderly monster, his body acted instinctively and he glared with intense fury at him and his unjust conclusions.

"You look contemplative, Raines. Care to share?" asked Dysley and he smirked sickeningly at him, knowing exactly what was on his mind and that only disgusted him more.

"Is that all that we can do. Purge those civilians?" he replied, and he could see out of the corner of his eyes the frown creasing Rosch's brows, but no matter, Cid continued to raise his perspective, "Isn't that what Pulse would want us to do? What for Cocoon? We Purge these people, then the cycle will go on and it will spread like wildfire all through Cocoon. Is Purging really the answer?"

"You've put a lot of thought into that." Spoke Dysley, his smirk slipping and Cid stared hard at him.

"It's common sense."

The Primarch erased his face of emotion and the room dropped in temperature with the distasteful look in his eyes.

"With an attitude like that, it's no wonder you're only working under the Guardian Corps as Commander of the Cavalry."

Cid clenched his fists tightly, but held back his glower despite the beating on his pride, "I'll have you know that that is the largest military unit of the Guardian Corps."

"Of course Brigadier General, you are the most loyal."

He twitched at those words and Dysley smirked, knowing fully how the thrashing of Cid's pride and loyalty to him and the Sanctum violently struck a nerve inside of the Cavalry commander. He was expecting the man to get up and leave with the rest of the Guardian Corps tailing behind him, but more importantly, the Cavalry – that group of inconsiderate traitors of the Sanctum. Instead, Cid sat poised in his chair, not barking orders at his men to leave or point guns at Dysley, if not for the hurt in his eyes due to the stab at his morals as a Sanctum leader, the man would have appeared unaffected by such harsh treatment. He had to hand it to him, the man had patience.

Dysley turned his head, a head encompassed with age and a selfish wisdom to the director of PSICOM – the man easier to turn to and manipulate. "Lieutenant Colonel Rosch, could you possibly sway Raines' mind in the right direction. Tell him what we think of l'Cie and those infected by Pulse fal'Cie."

Yaag dipped his head in acknowledgement and again, akin to so many times before and will be played so many times after, he agreed to Dysley's wishes and in an almost robotic manner he stared hollowly at Cid and addressed him with the fal'Cie's words and not his own, "They deserve nothing, but death. They will strive to accomplish their focus and with that, destroy the world for they are under Pulse and Pulse only wants one thing to happen – Cocoon's destruction. Our job is to save Cocoon, not have pity on the l'Cie."

Cid cocked a brow. It was the exact same words as last time and the time before – a tradition to be long repeated, following out of Rosch's mouth, "What about the ones that aren't under Pulse?" he asked, his face solid.

"We can't afford that risk."

"So you could kill an innocent child and gladly say 'I just helped to save Cocoon'?"

Yaag frowned, indifferent to the proposed situation, "We are not executing them, and we are simply sending them back to Pulse where they are called."

Raines scoffed, "In Pulse there is no chance for survival for those infected or not."

Nabaat twisted her face in a fierce grimace, "Whose side are you even on?" she shrieked with aversion.

Calmly, Cid replied, without taking his eyes away from the composed Lieutenant Colonel, "The people's side." He said proudly and Rygdea nodded behind him, backing up his superior as Jihl did Dysley.

The woman laughed bitterly, her feminine assets bouncing and Cid immediately regretted the moment he felt pity for her playing the madman's sex puppet and she tutted and hissed, "Guardian Corps language."

Her statement went unnoticed and Yaag did not break the connection between lilac and golden eyes, "Don't the people want Purges to help them feel safe?" he spoke, turning Sanctum's law for the Guardian Corps onto the man.

"Not if the Purge reaches them."

"Enough." Demanded Dysley, his eyes fixed firmly on the side of Cid's face, with a sour expression staining his own, "Raines, the fal'Cie's orders are inevitable. L'Cie have no place in this world because they plan to overthrow the fal'Cie, the makers of this world."

Again, Rosch nodded and Cid knew that it was the puppeteer doing the talking as puppets cannot speak for themselves, "L'Cie are nothing, but threats who poison Cocoon."

A hand fell on the Cavalry leader's shoulder and he acknowledged it with a faint nod. He got up abruptly and bowed his head in a polite farewell. All PSICOM and Dysley's eyes followed the man's actions as he tucked in his chair and the rest of his men did so too, swiftly with their backs straight and facing their leader's path with one hand in a firm salute, each soldier tailing behind Raines when he passed them with practised and true respect. He would not be a slave to the fal'Cie and never speak such words. As he left, Raines knew that with Rygdea's arm now circling his waist, a pair of lavender eyes stared confused at the door.

Golden eyes flitted over the tops of civilians walking unhurriedly to their destinations. Their minds were void of what to them will be meaningless prattles of the fal'Cie and l'Cie threats from Pulse and that thought alone made Cid scowl in both disgust and pity. Those millions of people, able to wrap their arms around their lovers and sing their children to sleep depended and placed every ounce of their trust within him and the others of the Sanctum. Every declaration he made, every word he spoke to those people we're tape recorded and never lost through time as student's would forever copy them into their workbooks, but the issue that made it worse was the idolising of Dysley, the man he always fell one step behind and wished that the imposter would one day suffer the horrid fate in which every corrupt fal'Cie should gain. Dysley was a form of god in those people's eyes and that repulsed the Brigadier General with trying to protect a deceived populace from their faux messiah. Such a feat is impossible and for the people of Cocoon, he had once tried to save them, but a scorching mark burned on the back of his right hand marked the consequence.

Never once did he forget it. Even less did he never forget thinking of his lover's most likely reaction.

He continued to watch those happy, smiling people, his forehead only millimetres away from the glass window, wishing that he was that man able to kiss his lover, or that woman sipping coffee at a bus stop. What a pleasure it would be to simply be human. Dysley's words in the meeting room had stung Raines to the very core, but they did not hurt him as much as the malicious stab from a rusty knife that PSICOM leader had impaled in his chest.

Cid felt guilty and knew that he had failed his people – the people of Cocoon, by acting so irrationally.

The door to his office clicked open and footsteps followed after along with the door snapping shut behind the visitor. He did not turn around, or demand a name or how they had the keys to his office – there was no justified point in doing so. He knew those footsteps all too well, the distribution of the weight from one foot to another – a transition made smoothly and efficiently. The clunking of the boots on the floor became louder and the figure came closer. Gloved hands struck out and grasped Cid's hips securely, but the man did not lose his fixation on the people below. A skilful tongue finely traced the delicate line of the man's jaw, spilling hot breath down a slender neck and Raines remained unaffected. Those hands left his hips and in their place, warm arms embraced him from behind; that tongue committing sinful deeds as hot, moistened lips plastered onto his neck – teeth initiating scrapes and gentle nips. Those firm lips set to planting a plethora of kisses along that sweetly sensitive stretch of skin. Silky black hair smelling so intoxicatingly of Cid Raines – the man could not help, but inhale deeply, savouring the scent that utilises his senses, igniting them in a burning flame.

He chuckled low in his throat and Cid tossed his head to the side, earning a chaste pressing of those godly lips on his own. It ended quickly, only a mere way of greeting and nothing more as they had always been. Shimmering lilac eyes met Cid's golden and the man's platinum hair glowed from the midday sunlight filtering in through the roughly wall-sized window. The man was smiling at him and Cid turned his head away, still pained and angered by the words that passed through those very same lips.

Yaag, oblivious to the effect his words had on his lover, held the man tighter and whispered in his ear, "You put on quite a show during the meeting, Cid."

The man's brows creased slightly as repulse and repugnance flared within him from the behaviour and the ignorant manners of the silver haired soldier. White gloves clamped onto Yaag's wrists and thrust those arms away from around his waist harshly.

"Have respect and call me Raines." Snapped Cid, coldly, golden eyes a light with a smouldering fury.

Yaag frowned in a confused manner from both the unexpected act and those words, but for some reason he was humoured and his low, baritone laughter rang in Cid's ears.

"You're awfully sensitive on that topic." He murmured, ghosting a finger along a pale cheek, caressing the hardened features of soft skin that he could not feel through the leather of his glove.

Before the man could indulge himself, the item of his affections turned away and this time, the PSICOM commander sensed something odd in the air and his brow puckered deeply. Cid's face was fixed in a blank, stone-like expression with a faint almost transparent scowl.

"L'Cie disgust you don't they?" he questioned, knowing the following words all too well no matter how surprised Rosch would be from such a question, which optimally and most likely would be close to not at all.

The PSICOM soldier was in the slight at least a little shocked, but not surprised, though he was puzzled, wondering why this question would rise after his intentions were denied, but his thoughts drifted back to the meeting room and he understood.

Lately, Cid had become further perceptive and fragile on the subject of Cocoon, Pulse and the l'Cie and all fal'Cie. "I live to protect Cocoon and the l'Cie you talk of are threats." He replied sternly, unmoving from his position.

White gloves twitched and Raines felt a sickness rise within the pits of his stomach, "So they should die?" he asked, voice stiff and betraying and Yaag noticed the pained tone in that usually smooth, lyrical voice.

"It keeps the people happy. Don't you work for the people?"

Cid scoffed at the last sentence, "I don't ever want to be a puppet to the fal'Cie." his head turned to the window and Yaag allowed himself a glimpse of that marble face, with the sun reflecting in golden eyes as Raines watched the horizon, dreamily, "I can believe as I wish, Rosch."

Bemused by those words, yet mystified by his lover that his eyes dared not to leave, "What do you mean by that?" he asked and the Brigadier General tore his lips into a wry, veiled smile a foreboding air swirling around him and Rosch knew nought of the reason.

"You know. For a utopia, a world without war, where between Pulse and Cocoon there is no conflict. Where the fal'Cie does not determine our fate. We are not brainless and with loss on how to die. Even children know how." His hands balled into fists a scowl tainting his face.

"You know that this Cocoon you dream of could never happen. You don't want to follow Dysley's orders, do you?" Yaag asked, with helplessness, and impatience lurked inside of him – he wanted Cid, not a debate on world issues, "Then why are you working for the Sanctum? Your rank is the highest. Or is it simply because you do not like to conform to laws?"

"I'll be happy to trade rank."

"Why is that?"

Cid turned away from the window, with the notion of his gaze as a poison ruining the world, "Barthandelus..." he whispered, a name that angered him to the very bone, "I'm only a pawn in this game of his. He's using us...that cursed fal'Cie."

Lilac eyes left the Guardian Corps official and Yaag twisted to the window, his eyes following the people swarming through the streets like bees would a hive, but the image never reached him as his thoughts settled on his lover only, "I know how you feel about the fal'Cie, but I don't see you acting on it. You're all talk Raines. Confiding in me is not going to help. I stand firm in my ground. I fight to protect Cocoon and that is what the Purge is for."

"What about those innocent people that are not infected?"

Yaag shook his head, always disagreeing to Cid, "That's just life. Pulse and Cocoon will always suffer, and there is nothing that we can do about it."

"I want to save Cocoon, to abolish the cycle and Purges are not the answer. What if Pulse is not the threat? I see us doing more harm than a group of lost l'Cie who are to leave behind their hopes, dreams, families, friends and lovers." He emphasised that last word and a sorrow-ridden pain throbbed in his chest.

Rosch at first said nothing, though he was not thinking of how to respond, but more how to explain it simply to Raines, "Then they are without purpose to live, so we put them out of their misery."

"They are pained from their losses and do not want ill to come to their loved ones, so why would they harm Cocoon?"

"Greed, selfishness and self-pity. We are a very self centred race."

"Say, what if someone you knew or loved became a l'Cie?"

"Cocoon is far greater than one life."

To Cid, that statement came out simple and cold – as if fallen out of the mouth of a person who had never had loved, not even once. That thought made him feel enraged at himself for devoting himself not only to Cocoon, but for the man who nods to Dysley and shakes his head at him. Yaag remained oblivious and Raines was tempted to call the Cavalry in to take the PSICOM leader out of his office.

He remained patient for this day would be the last and though he regretted having to deny his lover's intentions; he knew that he would regret it even more if he allowed himself to be engaged with intimate activities. Yaag was loyal and that trait had become a flaw, one that made Cid dislike the man despite how much he adored him. He was blind even though those lilac eyes could catch him from over a mile away. However, the fal'Cie had crafted his lover into something else, something that could not say those three words to Cid.

A sting of pain hit his right hand and he lay his other over the back of his palm, rubbing the sore mark that marred his skin, "Fal'Cie are able to create l'Cie. What if Dysley were to curse someone?" he asked, eager to know the answer.

"Dysley is for Cocoon. That is no curse for that l'Cie, but an honour with working to protect our world."

"Puppets of the fal'Cie." hissed Cid.

Rosch merely lowered his head, eyes fixed on the horizon, "And so they are."

"No. You are." The PSICOM soldier frowned and turned to Cid, "You and the rest of PSICOM and the Guardian Corps not under my command. You are all so narrow minded, brainwashed by the fal'Cie."

"Dysley does not mean ill to Cocoon." Yaag stated flatly.

"And you would know." Cid pivoted on his heel, golden eyes locking with lavender and this time, Rosch knew that something was not right, but entirely wrong. Raines raised his right hand to his eyes, inspecting the white glove and the biological mechanics beneath, "I was wrong to try and overthrow the fal'Cie." He stripped the glove off, discarding the leather item onto the floor, an emotionless mask melded to his face, as he began tracing the patterns on his hand with his eyes, "As for l'Cie...you should learn the hard way." Yaag's eyes narrowed and Cid's own met his.
"My Focus: to aid in the destruction of Cocoon." He twisted his wrist, the designs on his hand visible to lilac eyes and before one moment had passed Cid was staring down the barrel of his lover's gun.

"Go. Shoot me." He said, dropping his arms to hang limply by his sides.

Yaag's breaths were fast and ragged, seething through his bared white teeth that clenched together tightly. His chest rose with his heavy breaths and his eyes glowered darkly at the man he called his lover. His forefinger pulled the trigger, but not hard enough to release a shot. He wanted to kill this man, see his blood spill onto the floor and turn that neat pile of white papers resting on that polished desk into an art of red splatters. He could not kill him, despite the urge, the need to save his people from the l'Cie whose Focus was to help in destroying Cocoon.

He could not do it, he stiffly let down his weapon, his breathing slowing down, and his bloodlust and anger slipped away from him.

"No." He replied, feeling torn in two different directions.

Cid raised a brow, "No?"

Yaag shook his weary head, "No, I...you're..." he raised his gun again, his face etched with pain, guilt and betrayal as the last light for the Sanctum flickered, "You won't destroy Cocoon." He demanded and Cid found it difficult to tear his eyes away from the horrid emotions broiling within his lover reflected in the man who had once stood as a proud soldier and cold-hearted Lieutenant Colonel of PSICOM.

Cid turned away from him, not wanting to get lost in a sea of emotions and feel pity for this man, however, it hurt him also to know that he is the reason the light left Yaag's lilac eyes. He acted indifferent to Rosch's pain, but it was merely false, "Of course I won't destroy Cocoon, Dysley cursed me."

"Dysley..." repeated Yaag, feeling a mixture of hatred and sorrow for being betrayed by the fal'Cie that he entrusted his life with.

"Yes, your god of a fal'Cie. He turned me into a l'Cie, damned for eternal life of pain and solitude." Golden eyes locked onto the black pattern on his hand, that symbol marking the end of his everything, "Cie'th or crystal, in the end it's still the same."

"Cid..." Yaag whispered, holstering his gun and quickly pacing to his lover, but was stopped by the raising of Cid's right hand.

The brand was in plain view for him and he hated the sight of it, how it laughed at him, making him seem as a living joke. It pained Rosch knowing that further more beliefs in society were dragging him away from the one most beautiful being that he so intensely yearned for. It was silly to think that as their relationship never was built up around romance, but on a system of personal laws and similarities. They debated, discussed and understood each other, but they were always alone, solitary icons and such attracted one another from friends to enamoured lovers. Their relationship was hidden from all

"What's your complete Focus?" he murmured, not closing the distance between them.

Cid did not move, nor did he speak. He only stood, rigid, with the desire to exit his office, but he knew, the man would only follow. So he waited for the heavens to send him a miracle – an interruption concerning either one of them.

Silence filled the void.

"Cid?"

His brow creased, "Have you no respect? I'm Raines to you, now." Spat the man and Yaag frowned.

"You're hiding something and it's not just your Focus."

The Guardian Corps leader sighed, feeling stripped and barren of all promises of the new day. His Focus was simple, though important; indirectly linking him to the end of Cocoon, but that was enough for him. A small drop leads to ripples and those ripples travel through the world committing the works of tidal waves – absolute abolition. His role was minor and major.

The result – he despised.

"The Maker." he said, and he could sense Rosch stiffen behind him as he listened, "Barthandelus wants to call the Maker and Ragnarok will destroy Cocoon." Two steps, the silver haired man crept closer, "Where do I come in all of this? During the time I tried to overthrow the fal'Cie, Anima, the Pulse Vestige cursed five civilians and he believes that their Focus is to bring back Ragnarok to destroy Cocoon and he would do anything for it to happen. My Focus is to help steer these people into completing their Focus as much. As much as I am against it, I have no say."

Yaag paled. He stopped in his tracks. His mouth ran dry, all moisture evaporating and sticking to his skin. Blood chilled.

The light in his eyes darkened to a mist of rage and heartache. His own lover, fated to betray the Sanctum, the people, Cocoon and Rosch himself – the whole concept frightened him that the man he loved was a monster let alone one that guided others to resurrect Raganarok – an indestructible beast of immense obliteration.

Golden eyes caught the pitiful sight of Yaag in the polish of his desk and he laughed darkly – Rosch's silver head snapping up to his attention with an unimpressed and disgusted frown.

Cid cocked a brow, "You seem shocked, without anything to say. Why is that? Someone you care about now your enemy?" Yaag's eyes diverted from the back of Cid's head and he turned his glower to the carpet, such an action made Raines shake his head in amusement, "Rosch, there is no sugar in the vile peaks of bitter remorse."

That head rose up regally, "Remorse, for what?" sneered Yaag and Cid's glee died.

"You know you still care. Don't be afraid of it Yaag, you're only human." His voice, still strong and confident, though lost its sheen.

Rosch crossed his arms and spun on his heel, ready to take his leave. He skirted past Cid and replied coldly, "You're not."

Cid's eyes closed, "Of course not. I have no heart to break."

"It's your own fault, Raines,"

When golden eyes opened, his vision was clouded with the sight of platinum hair. Strong warm arms wrapped tightly around him. Rosch sighed in both ache and helplessness.

'What more could I possibly do?' was a question that plagued his mind in that moment. He was surprised of the ordeal, but not shocked; in fact, he had a prickling feeling that a l'Cie brand would one day flaw his lover's moonlit skin. It was a thought he despised, though having Cid encased in the deep realms of a Sanctum library – so restricted that only governing officials could enter, let alone touch the door itself. Books on the fal'Cie and legends of the l'Cie would be cleaved with the desired page fanned out on display on a large desk with piles more yet to be opened. It was unhealthy, but now Rosch knew the horrible truth and for a long time it seems that Raines had tried to detach himself from the man only to make things easier.

However, it only became harder. How could Yaag resist the man? He was branded a l'Cie, though one for Cocoon, aiding in the destruction of the world – his enemy, what he fought against. Even still, Cid was a man he grew to love over time and throwing everything away for something out of Cid's control seemed...abominable.

So he held him close, sharing a warmth that soured with conflicting thoughts. His hold was tight, but not comforting – stiff. The image of that brand on the back of Cid's hand taunted him. He squeezed his eyes shut and buried his face in soft ebony locks, inhaling deeply the sweet, familiar scent just to give himself composure.

Yaag calmed, in the heart, but not in his mind – his hands began to shake. He brushed his lips against Raines' cheek, planting one kiss and then another, before he dipped his weary head and rested it on Cid's shoulder, the cold metal armour biting his skin.

"For trying to overthrow Dysley."

Cid wanted to embrace the man himself, but his limbs stayed firmly by his sides, seeking no urge to move. He wanted to have a moment of bliss with his lover, one that would last for eternity, and there was a need to pry those arms from his waist yet again.

"Don't you feel dirty, being so close to the enemy?" He whispered, his voice hollow, and Yaag pushed himself way from the man, just enough to see that porcelain face suffering from inner hurt and tire, "I am what is meant to be Purged. Dysley made me this way. For me to complete my focus and turn to crystal or for me not to and become a Cie'th – one of your so called threats to Cocoon."

A small smile flitted onto Yaag's lips. His leather-clad hands reaching up to hold the fragile face, features hardened with time and wisdom. His fingers traced aimless patterns on the white-marble skin, caressing. Their foreheads pressed together and their noses touched minutely. Cid's arms refused to hold him and instinctively he tried to remove himself from an undeserving presence, but the man held his face in his palms. Gold drowned in lilac, his eyes unable to fix elsewhere.

A simple pleasure.

Rosch leant closer. His lips barely brushing against his lover's – his smile faltered, the light in his lavender eyes dimmed, never to be unnoticed by golden ones. Yaag closed his eyes and inhaled sharply – he was distressed.

He turned his head to the side and shook it – always denying matters with Raines. His hands slipped to Cid's shoulders and Yaag felt ashamed of himself for letting down the one being he would desired with his heart, yet as a Sanctum official, he learnt to live with his head.

"I can't do this." He whispered.

Cid brought his arms up to Yaag's and pulled them down, away from him at last, "You don't have to."

It hurt to hear such a thing from Cid because he knew how very wrong it was for him to be unable in being Cid's only glimmer of hope and motivation, "I want to, but..." Yaag took his right hand in his, his thumb rubbing over the horrid death sentence branded into Cid's skin. "You're not for Pulse."

"How many of them aren't?"

"Dysley..." Rosch paused. It did not make sense. Dysley was the Primarch of Cocoon and the head of the Sanctum. He was a man working for the safety and protection of Cocoon seeking to eliminate all threats from Pulse. The elder was not in actuality a man, but a Cocoon fal'Cie. Why would a Cocoon fal'Cie brand his lover a l'Cie to embark him on a quest to guide six Pulse l'Cie to complete their Focus – the annihilation of Cocoon through Ragnarok?

"You're lying." He hissed, backing away from the revolting monster he once saw as his lover – one he held, cherished, and slept with, "Dysley would not do this. He wants to save Cocoon."

The doubt, it was what Cid had expected to be the man's initial response and was not taken aback by the sudden transition. Puppets of the fal'Cie are only puppets after all, unable to think and act for themselves. He stretched an arm towards the other man, tenderly, wanting to provide sympathies.

"Yaag..."

Masamune swung into a firm grip, the end of the barrel only inches away from between his brows. Golden eyes drifted from the end, to the trigger and finally into lilac eyes, all emotions concealed behind an iron curtain of distrust.

"We're enemies from here on."

The Brigadier General took a step forward, the cold metal of the gun connecting with his warm skin, begging to turn cold. Yaag's scowl deepened, his head tilting slightly – confused.

Cid lowered his head, eyelids closing shut over gold, "Put me out of my misery."

His pledge was sincere. The great leader of the Cavalry, admitted to defeat.

The Lieutenant Colonel's mask slipped. Request for death, from the man he once loved. He appeared pitiful and infamy towards his Focus, however, Raines was an enemy – a target, no longer a human. He lowered his gun, running down Cid's face and torso with the end of the weapon.

He did not holster his gun. He only twisted on the balls of his feet in a fluid matter, not seeing gold eyes open – however, it no longer mattered. He walked briskly, but regally – that air of nobility never once having left Yaag, though beneath his guarded, stony-faced facade he was crackling flames and only showed such with cold indifference towards the man.

"I'd rather you suffer, l'Cie." he scorned, acidly and opened the door.

"I won't complete my Focus." Stated Cid and Yaag stopped, willing to hear what more was to come, "but set up my own path, my own Focus. Following what I believe is right." The ebony haired man sighed, his eyes roving the back of his hand – it seemed far too surreal, like a dream. Then again, he gained a role in a fal'Cie dream, "I knew you wouldn't support me, Yaag."

He turned around at the statement, guilt falling heavily onto him. Of course, PSICOM was never supposed to aid the Guardian Corps in the first place, so why complicate matters more with one branded a fiend?

"Rosch." He corrected, lines were drawn now – no walls and defences were to be let down when in each other's presence, lack of trust lingered.

The spark had died. Cid flinched before he restarted with delay, as if contemplating the use or absorbing the fact that the end had come.

"Rosch...so I've moved on. Besides, PSICOM and the Guardian Corps don't mix. Despite the fact that I am branded a Cocoon l'Cie you still don't believe me. All I ask is that you help me prevent the l'Cie from accomplishing their Focus, deter them from destroying Cocoon. Forget the Sanctum, for once the fal'Cie should get a taste of what civilians undergo."

Rage flared within Yaag – outraged, "I won't betray the Sanctum or the fal'Cie!" he exclaimed.

Cid turned his back to him, 'typical', he thought, though he must admit, puppets of the fa'Cie – the Sanctum in particular, were very predictable beings, "Of course, you can't stand up for yourself, so you'll just lose everything that you no longer deserve, need or want from here on."

The full force of those words shot Yaag in the chest.

Was he truly that blind, that dependable on the fal'Cie?

His thoughts and emotions fought a conflicting war within him and no appropriate response was able to slip through his lips.

He left. The door closed.

Cid sat in his chair and opened his drawer. An assignment from Dysley.

The paper shredder gained a hearty meal.

He pulled out his phone and dialled a number from memory.

"We're ready when you are Raines."

"Good."

"Did you brief him on your status yet?"

"Yes."

"Are you sure about this?"

"I will be no puppet to the fal'Cie."

Even if that included being the enemy of the one he loved.

As Rosch had said, "Cocoon is far greater than one life."

This is very...random, I'd say. I really did enjoy writing this even though I think it lacks, but this is just the beginning, gets better (I promise!). Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it! :D