Title: The Show Must Go On
Author: bnomiko
Rating: PG-13 / R to NC-17
Pairing(s): Zidane x Kuja
Spoilers: through the end of the game
Disclaimer: "The Show Must Go On" and "Don’t Stop Me Now" are performed and recorded by Queen. Final Fantasy IX is the creation and property of Square Co., Ltd. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: "Take care of Kuja." Zidane wondered if he’d misunderstood what Garland had meant by that. A canon inspired tumble through the events at the end of the game and beyond, hitting Kuja’s issues along the way.
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/

* * *

The Show Must Go On

Ch. 6: Don't Stop Me Now

* * *

Yeah, I'm a rocket ship on my way to Mars
On a collision course
I am a satellite, I'm out of control
I am a sex machine ready to reload
Like an atom bomb about to
Oh oh oh oh oh explode

Oh, I'm burnin' through the sky yeah!
Two hundred degrees
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
Trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic man out of you

Don't stop me now
I'm having such a good time
I'm having a ball
Don't stop me now
If you wanna have a good time
Just give me a call
Don't stop me now
Don't stop me now 'cause I'm having a good time
I don't want to stop at all

- "Don’t Stop Me Now," Queen

* * *

Despite his moniker of "Angel of Death," Kuja had never particularly relished killing. He’d done it because it was what was expected of him, and he was good at it. But as he stood over the body of his fallen foe, a foul smelling Gnoll, he felt a weird mix of pride and apprehension. Pride, because Zidane was clapping him on the shoulder and congratulating him on the improvement in his fighting ability that had allowed him, for the first time, to take down an enemy in melee combat, by himself. And apprehension, because now that he’d proven himself in combat, Zidane was that much closer to leaving.

As if reading his counterpart’s mind, Zidane cheerfully said, "Now I don’t have to worry about your safety when I’m not around!"

Kuja forced a smile onto his face, not wanting to ruin the mood. But his heart was pounding from more than the adrenaline of battle. It was clear the thief wanted to leave as soon as possible and now that the last barrier to his leaving had been disposed of, Kuja was betting he’d be gone by the end of the week.

After Zidane finished pushing the Gnoll’s body over the steep drop off a few yards beyond the path – it’d be pretty gross to have to step over a rotting carcass in the days to come – he motioned to Kuja to continue on up the mountain path. The silver-haired man picked up his pack of supplies and hefted it onto his shoulders, watched as Zidane did the same, and began walking again, leading the way back to the house.

"You’re used to this routine now, huh?" Zidane asked as Kuja easily picked his way past the loose rocks around the next bend.

The former mage frowned slightly, wondering if "Does Kuja know the way to the supply depot?" was just another thing for Zidane to check off on his list. "I suppose…"

"Hey now, what’s up?"

You’re leaving soon, aren’t you? Kuja thought, though he couldn’t make himself say it. He tried to think of something that would sound more acceptable in their current situation. "Of course I know the route; we’ve traveled it often enough."

"Yeah, you’re right. It’s hard to believe… we’ve been here almost a year."

Kuja thought about it. It didn’t sound right; it seemed like it had only been a few weeks since he’d awoken to find Zidane tending to his injuries, but logically he knew that was impossible. He lifted his chin a little. The air around them was hot and dry thanks to the late summer sun, but he could detect just the faintest hint of a cool breeze drifting by. "Hmm, it seems you are correct."

"I know I’m correct. I’ve been marking off the days on the post outside the front door," the thief revealed.

Kuja had wondered why there were scratches and notches and nails seemingly randomly driven into the wood. "Ah…"

"I wonder how everyone’s doing…" Zidane mused aloud. "I sure miss them. I can hardly wait to go home…"

Home. The older Genome used to think that that simply meant the city of one’s residence, or the building in which one would sleep, but now he understood… Zidane wasn’t looking to return to a place, but to the people he’d left behind.

Kuja supposed in some abstract way he’d always understood. He’d always been a voracious reader as well as a good observer, using everything around him to supplement the knowledge base Garland had programmed into him. But it was one thing to memorize the definition of a word and another to experience it and glean knowledge that way. He felt something tighten in his throat and he shook his head hard, as if that would clear it. It made no sense to wonder what it was like to have a "home"… how could he want something that would never exist, moreso now that Terra had been destroyed, and by his own hands? But maybe that was a desire built in to all living things, regardless of the hows and whys behind their creation.

He sighed, then caught Zidane looking at him oddly, and cocked his head a little in response. "What?" he croaked.

"I said… oh, never mind. It didn’t come out right anyhow," Zidane muttered. He chewed on his lower lip a little, then added, "…I’m not running away, you know. I’ll come back for you, once I find some place where you’ll be safe. I promise."

Now Kuja wondered what he’d missed while he’d been distracted by his own thoughts. It was inconvenient that Zidane, who was usually stupid as a bag of rocks, could be surprisingly astute as well. Kuja floundered for a way to push aside what Zidane had said, then gave up and muttered, "I don’t believe in promises. They’re just words. There’s nothing binding about them, regardless of what you may think."

"Then what do you believe in?" When Kuja didn’t answer, Zidane got a little louder. "I meant what I said. You can’t really think I was just planning to leave you here and that’s that?"

Kuja suddenly threw his head back and laughed. "Ah, and I was just starting to think you were capable of some modicum of intelligence. But you really are just a hopeless idiot, aren’t you?"

"If anyone’s an idiot, it’s you! What does it take to get through to you?"

Kuja’s eyes narrowed slightly at the insult. Then he smirked. His hand shot out to grab Zidane’s tie and he pulled until the blonde was flush against his body, then kissed him as forcefully as he could.

Zidane was so surprised that he just stood there slack jawed, which only made it that much easier for Kuja to slide his tongue in between the younger man’s lips. Zidane made a muffled sound but didn’t resist; in fact, by the time he regained his wits, his tongue had somehow found its way into Kuja’s mouth as well, and Kuja’s hands had migrated down to his hips.

With some effort, Zidane finally managed to push Kuja off to hold him at arm’s length. He wiped off his lips with the back of his hand. "Hey! What’s with that? One second you hate me and the next you wanna make out with me?!"

One of Kuja’s fine brows went up. "I never said I hated you."

"Right, because otherwise you wouldn’t keep kissing me..."

"Zidane… we already had this discussion. Kissing has nothing to do with liking or disliking someone. Though it’s easier if you don’t dislike them, I suppose. And at least it’s honest in that regard. After all, if you didn’t enjoy it at least a little bit, I’m sure you wouldn’t allow it. And… you wouldn’t react to it."

Zidane growled and stomped off on slightly stiff legs, trailed by the sound of Kuja’s mocking laughter.

It was a good thing Kuja could take care of himself now. Zidane needed to get out of the situation he was in, before… before… Dang, I don’t even know anymore! The whole thing was so confusing; it gave him a headache. He didn’t know why he felt any sort of attraction towards Kuja when they were both men. It just wasn’t normal. It wasn’t right. And the former mage wasn’t helping matters either, with all the touching and the kissing. It had been going on for months, and yet Zidane had no clue what it was that Kuja was expecting. Every time the blonde had asked, Kuja had danced around the issue until Zidane had given up in frustration. So what was going on with him? Surely he didn’t greet people by sticking his tongue into their mouths. So was he doing it simply to tease Zidane, just to see him red and flustered? Was he just really horny? Or was there something more to it, something that he wasn’t willing to admit to?

Zidane abruptly stopped and whirled around. Kuja was still grinning at him, which really set the thief off. He was tired of the games. "I think it’d be for the best if I left next week or so," Zidane finally snapped, watching with some satisfaction as the smile vanished from Kuja’s face.

"Sensible. I suppose travel would be more difficult once the weather gets bad," Kuja replied blandly, after a bit of a pause.

Zidane was a little surprised - Kuja was being agreeable, mostly. He’d been expecting something more along the lines of a tantrum. "Yeah, that’s right..."

The former mage pursed his lips. The word "stay" was on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t say it. He didn’t believe in begging, not that it had never worked anyhow. And he known for weeks, months even, that Zidane was eager to go home. It was inevitable, so what was the point in delaying it?

… Then again, Kuja wasn’t the type who’d go down without a fight, no matter how high the odds were stacked against him. He knew how to fight dirty, how to take advantage of any opening… he excelled at that. And that was what it’d take if there was any possibility of keeping Zidane around.

But just as he’d told the younger Genome earlier, he didn’t believe in words. He believed in action. And Zidane was in no mood for that right now. But Kuja wasn’t deterred. He’d already decided what he was going to do. He just had to be patient and wait until the right moment to carry out his plan.

* * *

Zidane regretted that he’d been so blunt about it, but by the end of the week, he was convinced that he’d made the right decision. He couldn’t stay there forever, away from everything he knew and loved, nor did he think he could fight off Kuja’s advances indefinitely. And what it would mean if he gave in, Zidane didn’t even want to consider. So it was better this way, even if it wasn’t easy to walk away. He’d gotten used to life here, for better or for worse.

He set a goal date for one week out. That’d give him time to get extra supplies for the both of them, and to plan out his route. And maybe that would buy him enough time to try and locate Choco’s tracks too; if he could find the friendly chocobo, he could save a lot of time and energy by riding instead of walking.

He figured he’d head to the Black Mage Village first. It was close by, and he wanted to see how his fellow Genomes were adjusting to life on Gaia. Plus there was a decent chance that he’d be able to convince them to take Kuja in. That would be the best possible scenario – he was certain Kuja would do pretty well amongst his own people. But he did have to consider the possibility that the Black Mages would refuse, and it was their village after all… he’d have to respect their decision on the matter.

After that, he’d need to find a way across the sea. Once he reached the Mist Continent, he figured he’d head to Lindblum, to Tantalus. As much as he wanted to be with Dagger again, he owed it to his brothers and Baku to let them know he was alive… and perhaps they could help him plan out a suitably dramatic proposal. And maybe Baku could be cajoled into taking Kuja into the gang if needed, so that was another reason to pay him a visit as well. If that didn’t work out, Zidane figured he’d check in on what was going on in Treno, since Kuja had lived there before and it had been one of the few places that had remained unscathed during his and Brahne’s campaign. And if that didn’t seem viable, as a last resort he’d ask – beg even, if it came down to it - Dagger to let Kuja come and live with them.

Zidane was pretty pleased with himself. He wasn’t one for planning things out so he thought he’d accomplished quite a feat by coming up with so many backup options in case one or the other fell through.

End goal now in sight, the days seemed to speed by. There was a lot to do and not much time to do it in. They went down to the Dwarven outpost several times to stock up and for Zidane to say goodbye – the Dwarves had literally been their sole lifeline and he wanted to thank them, and to ask them to take care of Kuja in his absence. Kuja offered to help with whatever else was needed to make the trip easier; Zidane had him patch up a tear in his cloak and asked him to help search for Choco as well, which proved to be a good decision as Kuja spotted the telltale tracks before Zidane did. Much to Zidane’s relief Choco remembered the sound of his whistle and came running. Even though he was just a bird it was great to reunite with an old friend, and even Kuja seemed to enjoy meeting the creature, though it got a little bit awkward when they realized that Choco had somehow become smitten with Kuja’s feathers. The poor chocobo actually looked depressed when they let him go again, but they promised they’d be back later and he perked up before running off, kicking up a cloud of dust behind him.

The former mage was being surprisingly nice and tolerant about everything Zidane asked of him actually. It made the younger man feel that much more guilty about leaving, though he stuck to his decision after thinking it through yet again. It was weird… he’d never had a problem making up his mind on things before, but Kuja had a way of throwing him for a loop, making everything topsy turvy.

Finally the last day arrived. Zidane slept in a bit before heading back out to where they’d last seen Choco and summoned the gold chocobo back to his side. The oversized bird was happy to see him again, kweh-ing and rubbing him affectionately with his beak while searching for his promised reward of gyshal greens. Once Zidane got back to the house, Kuja greeted him with a surprise: a late lunch of stewed rabbit and root vegetables. It was amazingly good, enough that Zidane proclaimed it one of the best things he’d ever eaten. Whether it was the company he was keeping or his excitement at the thought of going home that made it taste that much better, Zidane wasn’t sure, but either way, it was one of the most memorable meals he’d had in a long time.

After lunch Zidane did his final packing, triple checking to make sure he had everything he could possibly need, and divided up his remaining Gil, giving Kuja the lion’s share to make sure he’d be able to buy whatever supplies he’d need to survive. The blonde didn’t anticipate being gone for more than a month or two, but it was better to be safe than sorry in this case. As nice as the Dwarves were, they obviously weren’t going to give away their goods for free.

They had some more stew for supper, then Kuja suggested they sit outside to enjoy the rest of the evening. It was still summer after all, and while the midday temperatures could climb rather high, the nights were cool. It was really a beautiful, clear night; Zidane had never really noticed it before, but without city lights to obscure them, the stars in the sky were as dazzling as diamonds. He went to point it out to Kuja, but as soon as he turned to him he’d forgotten what he wanted to talk about.

Zidane had already admitted a hundred times over that Kuja was strikingly attractive, moreso than most women. But he’d never quite seen him like this before. The faint moonlight made Kuja’s pale skin and hair glow luminously against the soft darkness of the night. It set off the elegant lines of his cheekbones and nose and darkened his eyes into pools of ink in contrast. Night jasmine, Zidane’s brain blurted out. Pristinely white and fragrant with summer’s warmth. Zidane frowned; since when did he think of stuff like that? It didn’t make any sense. Then again, not much ever did when it came to Kuja. Zidane had the maddening urge to kiss him, but that was probably a bad idea, given that he’d be gone in a matter of hours to return to Dagger’s side.

"Is there something on my face?" Kuja asked in a low voice, looking at Zidane as Zidane stared at him in turn.

"No… I was just thinking. Er, remembering something, I guess."

"Remembering what?"

Zidane sighed to buy himself a few moments while trying to recall what it was he’d originally wanted to say, before he’d caught sight of Kuja in the moonlight. Now that he was on the verge of leaving, he knew he didn’t have much time left to get it all out. But that was easier said than done. He couldn’t think of anything to say other than what he’d already said before: that they were friends, that everything would be okay, that he’d return as soon as he could. He didn’t want to sound like a broken record, repeating those same things over and over. Still, he really was going to miss the other man. Even though Kuja was moody and difficult at times, he had his good points too. He was intelligent and witty, beautiful and brave. And there was a kindness in him that Zidane hadn’t expected. But despite his strengths there was a vulnerability to him as well, which really set off Zidane’s protective instincts, even though the former mage was definitely no damsel in distress.

"This past year," Zidane began slowly, "I enjoyed my time here with you. Even if we didn’t always get along, I don’t regret any of it. I’m glad I got to know you. I'm glad we’re friends now."

"Friends…" Kuja murmured, looking down for a moment. Then he lifted his head, reached a hand up, and lightly touched Zidane’s chin. Zidane stared back, blue eyes wide. "I enjoyed my time here with you as well," Kuja said, leaning in to capture the younger Genome’s lips in a soft, probing kiss.

Zidane allowed it for a few moments, then pulled away with some reluctance. "We… I can’t do this anymore. I’m going back to Dagger."

"Yes, you are. Tomorrow. But tonight, you’re still here with me," Kuja said, pushing Zidane’s hands away to kiss him again.

It was a cool summer’s night, yet Zidane felt like he was burning up. Kuja’s breath against his mouth was so warm, and the tongue that had slid back into his mouth was as hot as fire. There was no reason why it ought to feel good, but it did. Zidane moaned, only dimly aware that the sound had come from his own throat, before being shocked back to awareness by something hitting his back. He reflexively tried to push Kuja away again.

"Really, we aren’t going to get anywhere if you keep shoving me," Kuja complained. Zidane blinked up at him. Somehow the taller man had pushed him down onto his back, and he hadn’t even noticed the change in his verticality beyond the initial impact.

"What? Wait…" the thief began protesting weakly before his complaints were completely cut off by another feverish kiss that stole his breath. Some small part of his mind told him to fight against it, but the truth was, Zidane liked it. He didn’t really want to stop. Kuja always made him feel so amazing, waking up every nerve in his body like he’d never experienced before. It was almost like the adrenaline rush of combat, without the danger.

Finally seeing Zidane starting to give in, Kuja’s hands relaxed and released Zidane’s shoulders, then began making their way down the planes of Zidane’s chest. Kuja could feel the frantic beating of Zidane’s heart just under his palm. He smirked; he’d give the blonde something to be excited about, if he could just peel back a few layers of clothing…

"Ah!" Zidane gasped as Kuja slipped one hand under his shirt to stroke a nipple with his index finger.

"Never had someone touch you like this?" Kuja inquired, though he didn’t let up. But he wasn’t going to push the matter too hard either until he got his answer.

"No… when would I have?" Zidane groaned. He arched his back as Kuja began pinching the small nub, rolling it between his fingers.

Kuja smiled. Well, then Zidane wouldn’t have had anyone do anything like this either… He pulled the younger Genome’s shirt up completely, then lowered his head down and began kissing Zidane’s nipples, alternating between them a few times before adding some suction, along with a bit of tongue.

Zidane reacted wonderfully, gasping and squirming beneath Kuja. His hands floated up to knot in long silver hair, holding Kuja’s head in place, and Kuja rewarded all the tugging with a slight setting of teeth on sensitive flesh, which earned him an even louder cry.

After a minute more of nipping and licking and learning about what Zidane liked and disliked – he liked a lot of tongue, but was ticklish on his sides - Kuja finally lifted his head to murmur, "I’m not complaining, but there’s no need for us to be out here when there’s a warm bed inside."

Yes, he knew it was a risk to bring Zidane back to awareness of what they were doing, but for starters, a wooden porch wasn’t exactly the most forgiving of surfaces to have sex on…

The blonde blinked at the question. His pupils were dilated, his face flushed. The tenting in his pants was unmistakable. But instead of pressing his advantage, Kuja sat back to give Zidane some breathing room and to await his answer. He wasn’t going to force him. If Zidane firmly said no, Kuja would back off. He wasn’t going to let Zidane have the sort of experience he’d had his first time. Not that he’d been forced into it either, but he had been confused when it had happened. A man had offered him shelter for a night and he hadn’t understood the implication of those words. Although he’d known what copulation entailed in a clinical sense, he hadn’t realized it could happen between two men. It hadn’t been the most pleasant learning experience, but he’d gotten over it once his eyes were opened to the advantage his body had given him. An advantage he was grateful for, at times like this…

"I want this. And I think you do too. Think of it as… my thank you, for everything you’ve done for me," Kuja said.

"I don’t need that. Words are enough."

"No, they’re not," Kuja insisted. "You know I don’t believe that. So please… let me do this. Or else all I’ll think about is…" And he stopped to swallow, surprised at the strange feelings welling up, "…is what could’ve been. If I’d only tried…"

Zidane wasn’t sure what the silver-haired Genome was talking about anymore, but it didn’t matter. For some reason, this was that important to Kuja – and Zidane understood what it meant to not want to be in debt to someone. But more than that, he was feeling extremely guilty about leaving… If something like this would make Kuja feel a little better, then… maybe…. "I’m… I don’t know…"

"Zidane…"

"I mean, I don’t know what to do."

"Ah. I’ll show you then." Kuja leaned back in to kiss him on the lips, no tongue this time, just a sweet, simple kiss. "Thank you, Zidane." He stood up and offered his hand to his younger counterpart.

For a moment Zidane just stared at the hand, and it seemed perhaps he’d changed his mind, but then he reached up and accepted it.

The distance from the front door to the bedroom was short, but to Zidane it felt like it took forever to get from one to the other. He was excited, nervous, and a bit scared too. People spoke of sex as this miraculous, wondrous thing, an experience that would change your life. But he still wasn’t sure exactly how it worked, beyond the basics. Would it hurt at all? He’d heard his Tantalus brothers speak of an ache, of dizziness, of being gripped by a fever. They’d made it sound like some disease. He wasn’t sure if they’d just been trying to scare him into not doing it, because he was the "baby" of the family. But he wasn’t a kid anymore, so he wasn’t going to let those old fears stop him.

Once they got to the bedroom, the pace picked up dramatically. Kuja had been worried that Zidane would be a bit shy, but now that the blonde had made up his mind, he was recklessly throwing himself into it, as if running into battle. He threw off his shirt and pants and undergarments, then sat down on the bed, waiting for Kuja to do the same.

A little more confident that everything was going to plan, Kuja followed suit, albeit a bit more slowly.

Zidane looked Kuja up and down as the silver-haired Genome stripped. At first he told himself to focus on the feminine face, the creamy, smooth skin, the flare of the hips – a Genome trait to be sure, but one that Kuja had in abundance. With clothing on, Kuja could pass himself off as a woman if he so chose; naked, there was no doubt that he was male… and aroused. Zidane’s hand moved up to cover his mouth as he stared at the other’s engorged length, feeling his own starting to droop in response.

What had he been thinking? He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t get over it. He could overlook the lack of breasts and the masculine voice, but THAT… He wasn’t sure if he was scared of it or confused or disgusted or what. It was just… thick and twitching and swollen. "I… uh…" Zidane began stammering, not sure what he wanted to say.

Kuja figured it out pretty quickly, considering Zidane had been staring blatantly at his crotch before turning away, his face red. "You don’t have to do anything with it you know. Or even look at it. Here…" And Kuja quickly turned around to give Zidane a view of his rear instead. He even pulled his tail out of way. "Is that better?"

Zidane wasn’t sure. Though… Kuja sure did have one hell of an ass. "… Yeah, I guess."

Kuja frowned a little. "Well, if that didn’t do it, I know something that’s guaranteed to perk you right back up." And then he knelt on the floor, right in front of where Zidane was sitting, and looked up at the blonde with a pleading look. "May I?" he asked, lightly resting his hands on Zidane’s thighs.

"Uh…?"

The former mage figured that was about as much permission as he needed to get. He grasped Zidane’s faltering manhood, and began stroking it slowly yet firmly, watching as the tension on Zidane’s face melted away. Not a bad reaction, considering he hadn’t gotten to the good stuff yet…

Zidane’s eyes suddenly flew open in bewildered bliss. There was something incredibly hot and damp encircling his hard on, sending waves of pleasure radiating through every fiber of his body and making his feet twitch. He looked down, curious, and gasped. Kuja’s head was between his legs. One hand had formed an "O" around the base of his shaft. And Kuja’s mouth… was wide open, licking and sucking on his cock like it was a candy stick. Zidane had never seen anything so erotic in his life. He groaned helplessly. He didn’t know if he ought to be doing anything or just sitting still and enjoying it while he could but damn, it felt incredible!

Kuja suddenly pulled away with a pop. Zidane couldn’t stop himself from thrusting into the air a few times. The older man smiled at the reaction. It certainly was more honest than Zidane's attempts at mimicking a statue. "Well don’t just sit there. Or do I have to do everything?" he purred.

"What?"

"Just go with your instincts," Kuja advised, giving the now rigid member in his hand another sweeping lick, like a cat enjoying his new toy.

Instincts…? The only thing Zidane could think about was putting his cock back in Kuja’s mouth, and so he did. Once again, he was in heaven! But… he wondered if it could get even better… He hesitantly put one hand on the back of Kuja’s head while thrusting in a bit deeper, moaning at the sensation. It felt so good, so right… and Kuja was humming as if encouraging him to continue on, sending vibrations up Zidane’s spine. The blonde picked up the speed a little, pushing in a little more vigorously with each stroke, until suddenly Kuja pulled back again.

He’d had really been enjoying it, so why had Kuja stopped? "H… hey, what gives?"

The taller man delicately wiped off his mouth on the back of his wrist. "Sorry. But I didn’t think you’ll hold out for too much longer if we’d kept up with that." He stood up, climbed onto the bed, and sat on his left hip, draping an arm across his lap to camouflage his own aroused unit, knowing that Zidane didn’t want to see it. "Isn’t there something else you’d rather do?"

Zidane swallowed hard. He’d fantasized once or twice about what Kuja would look like naked, bent over, buttocks in the air, crying out his name… but it seemed wrong to ask for something like that. Or was that what Kuja wanted as well? Go with your instincts, wasn’t that what Kuja had said?

Once again Kuja wondered if Zidane had changed his mind, but then the younger Genome shifted forward and wordlessly took Kuja’s hands in his own. He guided them down onto the mattress, then grasped Kuja’s hips and pulled, until Kuja got the hint and got onto his knees. Why did it not surprise him that Zidane would chose this position? But he wasn’t complaining; it was fine with him, however Zidane wanted it.

All Zidane wanted to do at first was squeeze and fondle that fine ass. He really wasn’t sure what else he could do. But then Kuja produced a familiar looking jug from under the pillow – apparently he’d planned ahead – and dripped some thick, oily liquid onto a couple of fingers. Then, as Zidane watched on in fascination, he spread his legs wide, reached back, and began slipping those glistening fingers into his rear orifice. He arched his back as his digits rhythmically slid in and out, pausing every handful of strokes to make a scissoring motion, stretching the entrance. Wanting to get a better view of the show, Zidane parted Kuja’s asscheeks a little and just watched for a good minute or two. He’d never thought about doing anything like that to himself, not thinking of that spot as some place where anything should be going IN, but it wasn’t a turn off either. He wondered if it felt good. Certainly Kuja seemed to be enjoying it.

Dizzy with desire, Zidane was barely aware of how much his heart rate and breathing had picked up. He felt all hot inside, and his groin was starting to throb. He glanced down – he’d never seen his manhood get so hard, even when he’d indulged in pleasuring himself in the past. And it was pointing right at Kuja, as if it knew that’s where it wanted to be.

Kuja slipped his fingers out with a sigh. He was intending to slick them up a bit more, add a third one maybe, just to make sure he was really ready, as it had been a while since he’d had sex with a man, but then Zidane shocked him by grabbing a hold of his hips and pushing into him, and Kuja couldn’t even protest in time to stop him from forcing his way in.

"Wait… nnngh, slow down! Zidane!" Kuja yelped, but Zidane could only hear the blood rushing through his ears, making them buzz. He couldn’t believe the pleasurable sensations that were assaulting him as he pushed all the way in in a single motion, then as he began thrusting, each and every stroke building upon the last. If he’d thought he'd felt hot before, it was nothing compared to the intense inferno that raged in him now as he buried himself deeply in the body before him. Kuja was so right… sex was amazing. It was inflaming, velvety, moist. Addictive. He felt like he was being sucked in, like he needed more, like his body’s greed and lust were suddenly the only things that mattered.

Trying to delve in even deeper, Zidane pushed Kuja’s head down with one hand and grasped the base of his tail with the other – forgetting of course how much he hated it when his own tail got yanked - pulling up on it to open Kuja up more, to angle him just so.

"Mmnhhff!" Kuja cried out, the sound muffled by the pillow. It was too much. He needed more lubricant; he hadn’t prepared himself fully before Zidane had pounced. But as much as he wanted to stop it he didn’t. He told himself to relax, to just take it… it was hardly the worst thing that had ever happened to him. And pain was temporary - and well worth it – when it got the results he’d been after.

So instead of complaining or crying about it, Kuja gritted his teeth and concentrated on breathing – a bit of a struggle given that his face was being pushed into a pillow - and relaxing his muscles as best he could. His ass burned, his thighs were straining from all the pushing and pulling, his tail hurt - and when he tried to slide it out of Zidane’s grasp, the other man dug his nails into it, not wanting to let go.

And then, suddenly, mercifully, Zidane released both Kuja’s head and tail. Kuja lurched forward slightly and managed to lift his head to catch a few quick breaths before Zidane latched onto his hips and reeled him back in. He began ramming into Kuja even more vigorously than before, the pace growing increasingly frantic and uneven. The older man realized what was coming and choked back a cry of relief.

Zidane threw his head back and screamed as he came, not even recognizing the sound as his own voice. His body was jerking and he couldn’t stop it even if he wanted to. Not that he wanted it to end... It was the single most intense, pleasurable moment in his life. There were no words to adequately describe it… nothing could compare. But when he finally began coming down from that high of highs, he found himself sweaty and flopped onto Kuja’s back, sticking a little him, his spent length still inside the other man’s body. Kuja was shaking beneath him. They were both laboring for breath. Then Kuja reached back and lightly touched him on the arm, whispering his name.

… And it finally sank in; Zidane was struck with horror at what had transpired.

By the gods… what have I done? Dagger…

No matter how guilty he'd felt about leaving, this wasn’t the answer. He ended up doing exactly what he’d sworn he’d never do, what he'd thought he was incapable of doing… and betrayed the woman he loved in the process. Horrified, he pushed off Kuja and fell back on the bed, just staring at him. He wanted to blame Kuja for seducing him, manipulating him, just as he’d apparently done with so many others, but he knew it wasn’t fully Kuja’s fault. Still, Zidane couldn’t help but be angry, because regardless of where the blame lay, it had happened, and there was nothing he could do to take it back. How could he go home and face his family and friends now? How could he face Dagger??

Kuja suddenly shifted and turned a little towards him, a slight smile on his pale face. No matter how sore he was, he wasn’t going to do anything to spoil the mood for Zidane. But the smile faded when he saw Zidane’s expression...

Zidane was grimacing. He was already mad at himself and at the way his body had betrayed him. And now he couldn’t help but notice the semi erection the other Genome still sported, jutting out from between his legs. He quickly looked away. It was just as intimidating as before, an undeniable reminder of Kuja’s gender. Still averting his gaze, the thief scrambled off the bed, shaking his head briefly before staggering out of the room on shaky legs. He needed a bath, badly.

Kuja sighed once Zidane disappeared, wincing a bit as he sat up. His body ached badly but he knew the pain would fade after a night’s sleep, so it wasn’t much of a concern. He really had given it all he had. It just hadn’t been enough. He brushed his fingertips over his hard on and frowned. He couldn’t become a girl for Zidane any more than he could become queen of Alexandria.

Kuja wrapped his arms around his shoulders as the air temperature seemed to drop, making him shiver a little. Considering how hot and heavy things got during sex, it funny how the warmth never lasted longer than it took to complete the act. A hot bath would be welcome just about now, but he was pretty sure that’s what Zidane had in mind as well, and he probably didn’t want to see him right now. Left with few other options and suddenly feeling tired, Kuja crawled under the sheets, not caring that they stuck to him, and curled up on his side, ignoring the way his unfulfilled erection protested the action.

He told himself not to be disappointed. Zidane had always been very upfront and honest about his intention to return to Dagger. The best Kuja could have expected was a delay in the thief’s trip by a few days, a few weeks maybe. It would’ve been nice if that had happened. It would have made it all worth it. But it hadn’t worked out in his favor. And Kuja was okay with that. In the end, the result would’ve been the same, regardless.

He didn’t know why he was wasting time thinking about it. So he closed his eyes and told himself to go to sleep. Not that there really was a reason for it anymore, but he wanted to wake up early enough to see Zidane off the next morning.

* * *

Author’s Notes:

January 21, 2013