thelectureroom: Mog! (Default)
[personal profile] thelectureroom
Title: The Nobody Virus
Author: hajikurazaki19 and DeadShut
Rating: One for the terrible-and-we-mean-Terrible writing, one for the horribly boring characters, one for the sexism (OMIGAWD THE SEXISM), one for the needless and graphic violence, and one just to let you know that this entire fic is devoid of any entertainment value whatsoever. You have been warned.
Full Name (including any titles): Ryan “Roxas” Hall, Sora O’Reily. (There's a million more, but they're not worth remembering.)
Full Species(es): Scum of the earth.
Hair Color (include adjectives): The quick summary for this part is to say that sometimes hair is same as canon, sometimes it’s something entirely different. There is never any good reason for either.
Eye Color (include adjectives): The most memorable colour is green. Why is it memorable? You’ll see.
Unusual Markings/Colorations/Physical Features: *shrugs*
Special Possessions (if any): Sora has a fancy stick masquerading as the Keyblade in one pocket and seemingly an Idiot Ball in the other, because incompetence like his has to be in tangible form. The story itself also has a weird love/hate relationship with Italy.

Origin: Frank Miller’s Guide to Fanfiction (with a foreword by Alan Moore)
Connections To Canon Characters: Stole their names. And then killed them to hide the evidence.
Special Abilities: Hallucinating others into believing anyone's had character development or changed in any way whatsoever.
Other Annoying Traits: Let’s save you some time and compress the answer down to “Everything not mentioned above.”

I Say/Notes: If you just keep telling yourself "Only three more parts", you might survive...

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven


Mog: *from notes* Last week on The Nobody Virus: Roxas freaked out over Marluxia. This week on The Nobody Virus: Roxas continues being freaked out over Marluxia. He calls Axel.

"What is it, Roxas?" Axel hissed softly. "I'm kind of busy."

Xion: (as Roxas) With what? Where are you?
Terra: (as Axel) Xehanort gave me a note that said "Go somewhere that isn't with Roxas." Don't get it, but orders are orders.

Roxas paused, not being able to think clearly. "Marluxia…"

"What about him?"

"He…" Roxas swallowed. Why was this so hard for him?

Marluxia: He has a contrivance stuck in his throat.

"Listen, Roxas," Axel huffed. "Whatever it is you're smoking, save some for me and chill out. I'm busy right now, and I can't afford to let you fuck me up. I'll talk to you later, okay?"

"But—"

It was too late. Axel had already hung up the phone, and Roxas was met with a cold dial tone.

Axel: WHAT? My quote unquote best friend calls me up only able to spout out the name of the most stab-happy guy we know and I just say he must be high and hang up? WHAT?
Lexaeus: In canon, Axel is a terrible friend because he's possessive. Here, he's a terrible friend because he's never around. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Mog: *from notes* With nothing better to do, let’s go to Marluxia’s bedroom!

He made his way back to Marluxia's room, covering his nose. The smell of the bodies was overpowering. They were beginning to rot, and the odor could drop anyone without a strong stomach.

Xion: (as Odor) YARGHHHH! *drop kicks Roxas*

Roxas kicked the freshly killed body out of his way as he opened Marluxia's numerous drawers and rifled through them.

Axel: (as Roxas) Smelling dead bodies makes me sick. Touching them is totally fine. I get to pick on something weaker than me, my favourite hobby!

There wasn't much. Knives, forks, spoons, and a whole host of common household items that Roxas was sure were used for torture.

Terra: Spoons? What does he do, play them on his knee to annoy his victims to death?

Papers with unintelligible script on them, possibly directions for their assassination.

Roxas: Maybe this will magically turn into Se7en.

And several prescriptions for Zoloft.

Lexaeus: Zoloft is used to treat Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder, usually in adults. Can also treat OCD in children aged 6-17 years.
Zexion: Of course the story is completely unaware of any of this and just says “He's crazy.”

Roxas looked at them and processed this information, trying to develop a better profile of the pink demon.

Larxene: And trying to figure out where these prescriptions even came from. (as pharmacist) Hey there, looking for a refill? What name is it under? Marla Shift, the same as that escaped serial killer? Sure it's just a coincidence, that'll be 26.50 after taxes.

Just like Zexion had of him during his studies.

Marluxia: (as Roxas) Better search up Marla Shift on Facebook.

The labels read Marla Shift, and they were all empty, save for one, which was half full.

Xion: Wow, Roxas’s mood must be improving, he didn’t say it was half empty.

Roxas pocketed the half full bottle

Axel: Because that's an action that can only end well.

and closed all the drawers behind him as he finished with them.

Zexion: (as Roxas) There. My fingerprints cover everything.

He moved around Marluxia's room, opening drawers and cabinets and taking anything that looked like it could be useful to him later.

Terra: (as Roxas) Aha! Here’s where the duct tape disappeared to!

He opened another drawer and found a folder in it. It was blood stained, and had several fingerprints trailing across it, and it was thick.

Roxas: Oh now you’re just handing the Se7en imagery to us.

Fat with piles of information in it. Roxas guessed that it was Marluxia's Organization file.

Terra: He liked making it looking like it was straight out of a horror game.
Mog: *from notes* Let's talk about all the stuff we know about Marluxia!

"I'm packing right now," came an unmistakable lofty voice.

Axel: (as Marluxia) So GTFO.

Roxas froze. He hadn't been paying attention to the sounds outside Marluxia's room while he was gathering the disgusting information he had. He hadn't heard the elevators clunking around, nor did he hear any other doors open, but he didn't have time to think. He had to hide.

Xion: Cling to the ceiling right above the door!

He had barely shoved himself into the back of Marluxia's closet and closed the door, when he heard the eccentric sounds of the pink demon's excitement.

Axel: Marluxia enters a room like Cosmo Kramer.

Something had happened.

"I'm going to Miami, you know."

Zexion: *barely contained frustration* As is everyone. Will someone just please get to Miami so we can stop talking about it?

Roxas's heart ripped out from his chest when he thought that Marluxia was talking to him,

Lexaeus: And then he became a Heartless.

but calmed slightly when he remembered that there were three other bodies in the room. Marluxia must have been talking to them.

Terra: (as Roxas) He’s just completely bonkers. Phew!

Roxas heard Marluxia opening drawers, and throwing things around hurriedly, all the while praying that he wouldn't need anything in his closet that day. Suddenly there was silence.

"You are awfully quiet today," Marluxia hummed. "Why are you not protesting? I am here aren't I? You should be threatening me. Why are you silent?"

Roxas stopped breathing. He had noticed that his breaths were heavy and coated in unnatural fear.

Roxas: Sometimes fear is an appropriate response, though.

It wasn't fair how terrified he was.

Marluxia: Life’s not fair, get used to it.

No one should ever be this afraid of another human being. But, Marluxia wasn't human; he was a monster wearing someone else's skin.

Axel: Okay story, we get it. You think Marluxia’s creepy. You can stop drilling it into our heads now.
Roxas: Yeah, it is sure is cruel how I'm terrified of death. I'm sure the hundreds of people I and my so-called "family" have slaughtered in the last week wouldn't know that feeling at all!

Marluxia muttered something to one of the bodies and a snarl ripped the silence with enough force to tear the very fabric of time.

Xion: He’s gone and created a time snarl to explain how we can’t keep track of how long this story’s been going.
Zexion: But is it a snarl of memories?
Roxas and Xion: *shiver*
Mog: *from notes* Insert every hiding scene from horror movies here.

The first thing Roxas saw were the pale fingers leafing through the clothing, then the swish of bloodstained pink hair. Then a single blue eye looking right at him, and a crooked smile that stole the last of Roxas's will.

"Boo."

Roxas: (as self) Punch! *clocks Marluxia and runs*
Marluxia: I might as well have been saying that for every scene prior.

Roxas panicked, and his body froze under that stare. It betrayed everything he believed in,

Larxene: Which is what exactly? If you get runner-up in one contest in high school, destroy the world?

and did not allow him to move, or fight back, when Marluxia grabbed his collar and lifted him off the floor and out of the closet. He looked excited.

"Well, what do we have here?" Marluxia laughed softly. "A little boy who is lost? My, my."

Roxas: If this wasn’t Ryan Hall, I might actually care about this. Honestly, this scene is a good setup to a tense sequence, there’s just no emotional connection for me to make to such a horrible person.

Roxas struggled against Marluxia's grip and kicked his feet out. "Come on, Marluxia." He was surprised that Marluxia could lift him up so easily. He couldn't determine if it was because he was strong, or if it was because he was just lightweight.

Marluxia: I think the more important question is why do you care right now?

"What are you doing in my room?" Marluxia sang. He noticed the bottle in Roxas's hand. "Stealing are you?"

"No!" Roxas blurted. "I was looking for my cell phone."

Xion: (as Marluxia) And you believe it ended up in my pill bottle?
Axel: (as Roxas) You never know. Aliens leave thumbdrives, cyborgs can be brought back from the dead. Cellphones COULD fit in a pill bottle.
Mog: *from notes* Marly himself points out this weak excuse by calling Roxas' phone in his pocket.

Roxas trembled, but kept himself as still as he could. Marluxia was watching him, even when he was moving slowly across the room,

Larxene: Which isn’t keeping yourself still, what the hell.

Marluxia watched him like a hungry dog. Roxas stepped over the dead bodies, which had been mutilated, and had almost made it to the door when it closed. Darkness kissed his eyes,

Roxas: (as darkness) Chu!

leaving nothing for him to see. He was blind with his eyes wide open.

Xion: Now walk the plank with your eyes wide open, Ryan.

"You didn't answer me, Roxas," Marluxia whispered. "What were you doing in here?"

Larxene: (as Roxas) Making an excuse for you to almost murder me. It's working real well so far.

"I was gathering information," Roxas said as confidently as he could fake. "I found your employee."

Marluxia paused. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Roxas's fight-or-flight response was kicking in. He had to keep Marluxia distracted until he could figure out what to do.

Zexion: It’s fight or flight. You either fight or you flee. You don’t stand there and think “Tum te tum, better figure out a plan.”

He didn't have Oblivion or Oathkeeper with him, so he was completely defenseless. He had to use his wit.

Marluxia: You’re doomed.

If only his brain would stop going numb.

"You're a traitor," Roxas said stupidly.

Roxas: Ahh, does that last word ever feel good.

Even through the darkness, Roxas could see the hatred in Marluxia's eyes, and he was swept off his feet and into what he was sure was blood, with a pink serial killer sitting on his chest.

Terra: He isn’t Princess Bubblegum, you can use something other than a colour to define him.

With his scythe at the ready, Marluxia spat in Roxas's face.

"Say that again!" Marluxia demanded. "Say that again and watch what happens to your pretty little face!"

Roxas: (as self) I thought ‘oh, I never considered myself pretty but OH MY GOD I'M GONNA DIE!’

Roxas howled in pain. He was crushed against something,

Xion: The floor and Marluxia?

and it was digging into his back.

Terra: Maybe it’s a Lego brick or Barbie shoe. Those are painful to accidentally step on.

"Open your mouth wider, Roxas," Marluxia crooned. "Don't be afraid. I only want your tongue."

Marluxia reached behind him for something. He grinned, and cut Roxas's face with an unknown object.

Zexion: Just say Roxas then felt the sting of a cut on his face. There are ways to be vague and make it work. Saying “something” and “unknown object” are not it.

Roxas cried out, but couldn't push Marluxia off of him. Marluxia licked the blood off his face. Roxas panicked.

Lexaeus: Which is an incredibly lackluster description. “Squirmed” or “flinched” or any other verb would let us know exactly how he’s reacting. He’s already panicking—rightfully so— so this just sounds repetitive.

"You taste so sweet, Roxas," Marluxia said. "Central Park will love you."

Larxene: Central Perk will use you as an artificial sweetener.

"Wait!"

Marluxia stopped. His phone rang,

Terra: And “Wait!” is his ringtone?

and he hissed as he opened it and put it on speaker. He placed it on the table behind him.

"What?" Marluxia whined. "I'm busy."

Axel: (as Marluxia, in whiny voice) I’m about to kill the kid who hasn’t done anything relating to chaos theory, call me back later.

Larxene's voice echoed off the blood-covered walls. "Where the fuck are you? I called you twenty minutes ago and you said you were packing. Why aren't you here yet?"

Larxene: (as Marluxia) STOP SUFFOCATING ME, WOMAN!

"I got distracted."

Axel: (as Larxene) Crap, is Demyx using the laser pointer again? I've told him not to do that around you!

"Xaldin is not going to wait forever," Larxene said. "You don't have to go to Miami with us. Superior

Terra: THE! THE Superior! It’s his title, not his name, you have to put a “the” before it!

only thought it would be a good idea to get you out of the city for a couple of days. He doesn't have to send you, you know."

Marluxia groaned. "Ugh, I'm on my way."

"What are you doing anyway?"

"Marking a target," Marluxia laughed.

"Whatever," Larxene huffed. "Just get here."

Larxene: I have too much faith in our cast’s ability to get anywhere quickly.

Marluxia rolled off of Roxas and hung up his phone. He grabbed the bottle of Zoloft Roxas had dropped, and headed out the door without another word.

Terra: (as Marluxia) Thanks for the scene, man, we should continue this misunderstanding of a misunderstanding once we've thought up an end to it.

Roxas sat up, shaking visibly.

Lexaeus: To whom? No one else is in the room for this to be visible to.

Marluxia was pissed at him, and he had marked him as a target. He was next. He just knew it.

Roxas: I always hated at weddings how the adults would poke me and say “You're next.” So I started doing the same to them at funerals.

And, it was at that point, that he decided he would never go anywhere, or do anything without Oblivion and Oathkeeper at his side.

Axel: Which is why he will spend the next few scenes with the Keyblades not at his side. Continuity gets another kick to the cherries.

"I hate Cuban food!"

Lexaeus: Always a fantastic scene-opener.

Aqua and Isa were standing next to a food truck, sampling the many different foods they served.

Terra: It's nice to see they've kept themselves busy while off-screen.

Isa was wearing a thin white T-shirt and a pair of shorts.

Zexion: The shorts don’t have a colour. They are a black hole that absorbs everything around them.

He ran his fingers through his hair, smiling and winking at a couple of girls that were sitting at a table across the parking lot.

Xion: (as girl 1) What's with that blue-haired punk that keeps getting something stuck in his eye?
Larxene: (as girl 2) He’s badly flirting.
Xion: (as girl1) Doesn't he realize we're a couple?
Larxene: (as girl 2) Pft, he probably doesn't even realize lesbians exist.

"Keep it in your pants," Aqua huffed. "And besides, no one said you had to eat it."

Isa laughed. "I'll keep it in my pants as soon as you give me some.

Terra: Are we still talking about the Cuban food?

Until then…those are two of the hottest girls I've ever seen. God damn."

Xion: (as girl 1) Nope. No such thing as lesbians in his little world.
Larxene: (as girl 2) Women being happy in a relationship without a MAN? BLASPHEMY and HERESY, I tell you!
Mog: *from notes* Aqua knows Miami means meeting her old boss.

Martin Estevez.

Zexion: ...Is that... a reference to Martin Sheen and Joe Estevez? ...Why?

Also known as Master Eraqus, and Aqua's former Captain.

Larxene: *points to Terra* HA-HA! I told you he would be her captain!
Terra: *ignores her and covers his ears, eyes shut*
Lexaeus: You aren’t honestly going to do this the entire time Eraqus is here?
Terra: Yes! At least one person in my family will make it out of this nightmare with their memory intact!

He had been stationed in Miami by Aqua after he had handed his whole empire to her.

Roxas: (as Eraqus) I’m retiring, sweetheart. I expect you to take care of the family business now.

He was a good distributor, and knew a thing or two about making a deal. And the only thing he had ever requested was

Terra: To only be mentioned in passing and never ever appear in this story?

complete privacy.

Terra: I liked my version better.
Mog: *from notes* The inner workings of a drug empire, yay!

"When are we moving?" Isa asked. "My guys are getting impatient."

Axel: Is he talking about us? Are we Isa's guys?

"We move when I say we do," Aqua said. She frowned.

Zexion: What was so hard about writing “Aqua said, frowning”? Though they did remember to have a comma before 'said' so I guess I should be grateful.

"What happened to you?" Isa said softly. "You used to be so fun.

Axel: This whole series used to be fun, then this fic got a hold of it.

Remember when we used to run Philly together? We were unstoppable."

Roxas: (as Isa) We painted the town red with cheese steaks!

"That was the past," Aqua warned. "Leave it there."

Isa laughed, "Yeah, but you and I would come down here when we could and get shitfaced, remember? Good times."

"Isa."

Isa frowned and furrowed his brow in annoyance.

Zexion: Which is part of frowning, so you could have just kept the furrowed brow and cut out the beginning of that sentence. And the end part, too.
Lexaeus: Your complaints of redundancy are starting to get repetitive.
Mog: *from notes* Isa and Aqua have a couple’s fight.

"What was that all about?"

Isa turned around. Another one of his men was standing behind him. They called him Dilan. And he looked concerned.

Axel: I looked around the Lecture Room. Other characters sat around me. They were annoyed by the clunky sentences. As was I. Looked like they wanted to punch me. Shut up.
Zexion: And who’s “they”? Just say “a man he recognized as Dilan stood behind him, looking concerned.” I don’t need some mythical third party joining in on this introduction.

He knew how much Aqua affected Isa's ability to make responsible decisions when it came to a job.

Xion: I don’t know if this is head hopping or if Isa can read Dilan’s thoughts.
Roxas: I call it head hopping. In one scene it switched between three characters so fast I feel dizzy.

He eyed Isa, choosing to not press it further if Isa declined to answer, as he undoubtedly would.

Isa frowned. "It's none of your fucking business."

Terra: (as Dilan) Who spit in your bean curd? I haven't even done anything.

Dilan retreated.

Roxas: (as Dilan) *leaps from seat* Cameo awaaaaay!

He knew he was going to have to punch Isa at least once before the day was out.

Axel: Could you go and punch Ryan in the face as well? We’d greatly appreciate it.
Xion: Not to say we think violence is the answer, we’re saying we’d like for Ryan to get a taste of his own medicine so he would learn that lesson for himself.

That the only thing Isa could respond to. Violence.

Larxene: Yeah, it’s almost like we’ve complained multiple times now of how much this writing sucks or somethin’.

It was because he was always trying to keep Aqua on her toes. His way of showing that he cared about her. But he came off a bit strong most of the time. That was probably why he had been confined to Philadelphia in the first place.

Lexaeus: It’s nice to see not only Lily sits around and psychoanalyzes characters these days.

Dilan followed Isa reluctantly.

Marluxia: Feeling the mass amounts of character history and analysis that were about to be shoved at him again.

He contemplated stopping the whole operation. He, too, cared about Aqua, hell, even considered her a friend of sorts. But he knew better than to attempt to breach that divider between friends and coworkers. They weren't even on the same level in organized crime. She was the boss, and he was someone who had been there to witness her climb to the top.

Xion: Wavy flashback transition time!

She had been a high-class prostitute for most of her upbringing since Master Eraqus had taken her in.

Zexion: You can’t be serious.
Terra: *tries to cover ears even more*
Zexion: You took this man who believed in goodness to such a degree that it was his fatal flaw—
Terra: La la la not listening—
Zexion: —and you made him a pimp?
Terra: STILL NOT LISTENING LA LA LA LA LA!

She did her job, and did it well, much to Isa's dismay.

Marluxia: Wouldn’t the only way he’d know this is to employ her?
Roxas: ...Ew.

She had begun to run drugs throughout New York, earning an intimate knowledge of the streets that only the lowest of scum were able to learn.

Zexion: Or city-planners.
Terra: Or even Google Maps.

She had risen quickly through the ranks, easily surpassing any other woman Master Eraqus had "adopted". Until she had stepped over what, to this date, was an invisible line between prostitute and pimp.

Xion: Red Rover, Red Rover...!

And she had been punished for it.

Roxas: Spoilers from the wiki (by the way, yeah this fic has an unhelpful wiki based around it): He raped her. Several times. I wish I were kidding.
Terra: LA LA LA LA CAN'T HEAR A WORD LA LA LA LA!
Xion: If you're going to use rape for nothing more than shock value, then stop writing about rape, plain and simple.
Mog: *from notes* Insert backstory on Dilan here even though he won't show up ever again. And then Lex finds a town from Fallout and meets a kid who will show up later.

Seaside Heights was bustling place during the summer and during the filming of Jersey Shore. But for the people who lived there year-round, it was a quiet place during the beginning of autumn. And when winter was at the door, it became a grey city.

Larxene: Winter had a problem with breaking and entering on Seaside’s house.

This is where Cloud and Namine chose to call their home. At least until they could make it Chicago.

Roxas: That city at least has awesome musicals as its claim to fame.

Cloud had enjoyed his new life.

Terra: I can’t help but notice the past tense.

He had sold the last of his weed, and moved Namine into a great starter house.

Zexion: They played many games of Life there.

He had given up his criminal enterprise, and got a job as a janitor at a nearby school. The pay was good, and the work was hard, but he was making a decent living, without Jerkbutt. Or Aqua.

Roxas: I know complaints about characterization go without saying by now, but I think this is a legitimate point to bring up: Why is a former prostitute leading other girls into the same lifestyle she’s so unhappy with instead of protecting them? I’m not saying it can’t ever happen, but it doesn’t fit to Aqua.

Namine had been spending a lot of time by herself lately, and Cloud thought it could have been depression, since she was having trouble getting a job, and her art wasn't selling very well.

Xion: Or maybe finally dealing with how she’d been a sex slave for who knows how long, but your interpretation works too.

He thought that he could surprise her by taking her to her favorite sandwich place.

Terra: The A&G Diner made a great cereal and jam sandwich.

As they sat across from each other, Cloud was digging into a classic Italian hoagie when he noticed that Namine hadn't touched her food.

Marluxia: We don't need to know what her food is, only Cloud gets that luxury.

He swallowed quickly and looked at her.

"What's wrong, babe?" Cloud asked. "You're not hungry?"

Roxas: They shared a dialogue!
Axel: It’s a Christmas miracle!

Namine smiled. "No, I love it, really I do. It's just I haven't been feeling very well lately. I don't want to eat anything. I'm sorry, Cloud."

Xion: Ignoring the Chris-pandemic for the moment, wouldn't ‘Cloud’ like to drop his nickname as a symbol of how he has dropped his past?

Cloud frowned, but felt that arbitrary flutter of giddiness. He loved it when Namine said his name, and that was the only reason he had kept his criminal nickname.

Terra: Then just tell her your real name is Christopher. If you really loved her, you'd like how she said any name you had.
Mog: *from notes* They go home and Namine feels sick.

Cloud tried to pull her back, but she wrenched her hand away and ran into the bathroom. Cloud heard the unmistakable sound of vomiting on the other side and forced the door open.

Roxas: A simple “you okay?” might have been a better start than busting the door off its hinges.

Namine was bent over the rim of the toilet, wiping her face. She tried to hide her face from Cloud, but another wave of vomiting made her stain the water green.

Larxene: Did she have food colouring for dinner? I’ve never seen my puke be neon green before.

"Namine!" Cloud cried. He bent next to her and tried his best to wipe her face. Namine grabbed him and cried openly, not being able to handle the stress of not telling him about her pregnancy.

Roxas: Why can’t she tell him? They’re having a kid, the miracle of life! Share the happiness!

Cloud hugged her. "What's wrong, Namine? Please, answer me."

Namine sobbed, and hugged Cloud back. She could barely speak. She was afraid that she would be left alone if she told Cloud that he was going to be a father.

Terra: Nice to know she loves a guy who she thinks will abandon her over something he helped create.
Zexion: Well, he did lead to the cold-blooded murder of someone who wasn’t bothering him, so this is a legitimate concern in my mind.

"I…"

Xion: (as Namine) ...am obviously doubting your love for me considering I think you'd leave me in a heartbeat.

Cloud was slowly putting two and two together on his own.

Axel: All four of his brain cells were working hard.

And that was the last thing he thought was going to happen. He guessed it was possible that she could be. They hadn't been very protected during their love-making.

Marluxia: He was too busy going on about how happy he was. For hours upon hours upon hours.

But, still it seemed so impossible.

Lexaeus: Likely because you haven't been together long enough for the sperm to reach the egg.

"How far along?"

Namine tried to stop her sobs, but it was so overwhelming. She was only eighteen and just out of high school. She didn't have enough life experience to take care of a child. She had no money, no job, and had just moved into her first starter house with her boyfriend.

Axel: Thanks for the recap of this scene, Namine. That was completely necessary.

But she muttered a weak response.

"Two months."

All: HOW?!
Roxas: Maybe Marluxia really did rip apart the fabric of space and time and this entire fic is the very universe caving in on itself as it completely loses its mind.

Cloud frowned. He didn't have the financial stability to take care of a child either. But, he wasn't going to leave her. He was going to pull through this, but Namine was going to need a lot of things now. New clothes, different foods, and vitamins. Doctor visits, a gynecologist, and dozens of other things that would suck at his wallet.

Zexion: And would suck out the semicolons that would have felt so at home in those sentences.

He curled up inside,

Larxene: Like the fetus inside his girlfriend.

thinking about how hard it was going to get soon.

"I love you, Namine."

Namine hugged Cloud harder. "I love you, too."

Terra: (as both) If we keep saying it over and over and over again, maybe we can delude the audience into believing it's true!
Mog: from notes* And then there's this scene where Vanitas plays with his tube!

Vexen sat in a cramped office with his one hand twisting around the other.

Zexion: He's trying to invent the solo arm-wrestling contest.

The gauntlet he had designed was finally finished, and he was going to show his handlers exactly what he spent their money on, though they didn't know that most of their funds were covering the costs of keeping Dusk alive. He wasn't too happy that they were demanding so many things from him at once. He requested that they back off, but they declined and only added to his frustrations.

Marluxia: Oh heaven forbid you do actual work!

In fact, if Zexion weren't there half the time, he would have never finished his creation.

Zexion: Helping in that process we’ve never heard about until now.

"Ah, Dr. Redman,

Terra: I presume.

nice of you to come."

Vexen stood up quickly, hiding his distain at being addressed by his former name. He cracked a smile and shook hands with the General. General Branston, the leader of the highest scientific department of the United States.

Xion: You’d think he’d be called a doctor considering he isn’t in charge of a military operation, but what do we know? We’re being written by Canadians with a limited knowledge of how US government works.

It was his job to make sure the United States stayed ahead of every other country when it came to cutting edge science.

Axel: He was also behind the “Russians just used a pencil” myth, just to screw with people.

And Dr. Redman was at the top of his roster.

Lexaeus: And yet Vexen is part of a group who say they aren’t appreciated by anyone. This story is so confused about itself.

"I hope you have something nice to show me."

Vexen paused. "I suppose I do."

"Come in, come in."

General Branston was obviously excited to see what Vexen had created. The last time they had spoken face to face, Vexen had a normal hand, and now, there was something light blue on his wrist.

Larxene: Which doesn’t change the relative state of his hand you stupid fucking narrative.

General Branston eyed it.

"Is that what you came to show me?"

Roxas: (as General) It looks like a tacky bracelet, I can’t wait to see more of it!

"Well, yes and no," Vexen said. "I first want to discuss the terms of my employment.

Marluxia: (as Vexen) I demand huge vacation pay, for one, and more days off than you can possibly count.

Then, I will show you what I have done. Agreed?"

General Branston sat at his desk. "Agreed, my good friend. What is it you want? A raise in pay? Better facilities?"

Vexen placed his hands on the desk and leaned in General Branston's face. "I no longer wish to work for you."

Terra: (as Vexen) I felt like saying that in the most dramatic way possible. I can cross that off my bucket list.

General Branston frowned, losing at once that friendly exterior. "What are you talking about? You want to quit? After everything I've given you?"

Vexen snorted. "You have given me nothing.

Larxene: Especially from the audience's perspective. Who is this guy and why should we care?

All you talk about is what you want. You never once asked what I am interested in."

Axel: (as Vexen) Why don't you ever care about MY emotions and MY needs? I'm starting to think this marriage was a mistake!

"Your ego is hurt?" General Branston asked lazily. "Okay, what is it that you like then?"

Roxas: (as Vexen) Ponies. Lots of ponies. Just fields congested with bright pink ponies!
Mog: *from notes* Vexen is that scientist that doesn't fear petty morality and then he kills the guy for some reason that I don't get and we go back to the labs like nothing ever happened.

He stopped in front of the tank in which he kept Dusk. He had named the tank itself the Womb.

Zexion: Other ideas for names included "I Have No Clue What I'm Doing", "Viruses are Legos", and "Rambling Waste of Time."

And the fetus inside was becoming less fetus, and more being. Vexen touched the tank, leaving tiny heated smudges on the glass.

"You're almost there, Dusk," Vexen said. He jotted down a couple of notes and looked in the tank again. "Just a few more weeks. I promise."

Terra: (as Vexen) Just a few more weeks of the Organization sitting on their butts doing nothing, I promise.
Mog: *from notes* Zexion phones in.

Zexion cleared his throat. "The eight-month-old died. Or rather, the mother died and the child went with her."

"That's a shame." Vexen clicked his teeth. "Was it the virus?"

"I don't think so," Zexion replied. "I believe the woman was so malnourished, that the virus took hold of her body before it had a chance to fight back. She died because she was weak. So I would consider eight months pregnant to be inconclusive."

Zexion: ...Or, you know, the malnourished mother.
Terra: That's not a constant. That was one mother out of several test subjects. This isn't science, not even close. Mythbusters does more in-depth experiments than you, and they're mostly for entertainment!
Roxas: Zexion being considered the smart guy in this group adds a certain twisted sense to this plot. Maybe all the characters are really that dumb.

"Shit."

Marluxia: Vexen broke two million dollars’ worth of equipment that evening.

"However, I had two subjects who were both a little less than three months along when I introduced the virus to their bloodstream." Zexion paused, and a slight tone of happiness could be heard under his monotone explanation. "They are still alive, and thriving. Unfortunately, they will not be alive much longer."

Zexion: (as self) Mwa. Ha. Ha.

"Oh?"

"Yes," Zexion confirmed. "They are exhibiting many of the same symptoms as our previous subjects had, only much slower, and less obvious.

Axel: They’re only exploding in bits and pieces this time around.

Though, their blood volume is decreasing drastically, and they can no longer walk without assistance.

Xion: You’d think one of the villagers would notice how all the women that mysterious doctor worked with now share the same poor health, but they’re no longer important and therefore completely useless.

But, this is something that I found interesting that may prove your ingenuity."

"Flattery," Vexen laughed. "Are you setting me up for a shortcoming, Zexion?"

"No."

Vexen stifled his laughter to a muffled chuckle. "You must loosen up, Zexion. You'll die young if you don't."

Zexion: Oh please say that’s true.

"I'm not concerned about that," Zexion retorted.

"My apologies, six."

Zexion ignored Vexen and continued. "The one woman told me that after I had left about a month ago,

Roxas: Seriously, how does this time line work! We can't excuse this for nitpicking anymore. If Zexion's been in Hawaii for a month then what, pray tell, have the rest of the cast been doing this entire time?
Xion: It is not good storytelling when you write yourself into a corner that has your characters standing around for days at a time accomplishing nothing.

her baby had not moved. Not once. I found that to be mildly alarming, but upon giving her an ultrasound, I found that her fetus was fine.

Larxene: (as Zexion) It seemed to be holding its middle finger up to me.

Healthy even, but it did not react to most of the stimuli I had presented.

Xion: (as mother) Doctor, I'm worried about my baby. Can you figure out what's wrong?
Roxas: (as Zexion) Of course, ma'am, I am a man of science. *pokes her tummy* I'm stumped. All my sciencey knowledge has completely failed me in my hour of need!
Xion: (as mother) ...I'm starting to think you're not a real doctor.

However, I found that it moved more often when I was explaining things to the locals.

Lexaeus: It did not react to anything. Except for that one major time it noticeably reacted to something.

This leads me to believe that your attempts at making the virus responsive to our voices successful."

Xion: (as Zexion) *squeeing* It thinks I'm its mommy!

Vexen smiled. "Really? This is fantastic! I must record this."

Terra: (as Vexen) Dear Diary...
Mog: *from notes* Zexion says he'll be home soon, sweety. *checks notes* Xion, Roxas. Can you do the skit I asked you about earlier? The one that sums up the next scene?
Xion: Sure thing!
Roxas: (as Marluxia) *sticks out tongue* Nnn!
Xion: (as Larxene) *also sticks out tongue* Nnnnn!
Roxas: (as Marluxia) Nnnnnnnnnnnn!
Xion: (as Larxene) Nnnnnnnnnnnnn!
Both: (as characters) NNNNNN—
Mog: (as Xaldin) If you two don't stop, I am turning this plane around!
Zexion: ...Mog, I can't help but notice you're skipping entire sequences. Don't you think this is a bit of an easy way out?
Mog: *concealed behind his notes* I'm giving myself time to prepare a secret ending.
Terra: Wha—
Mog: *from notes* NEW SCENE YAY!

Aqua stood in front of a freshly painted red door in an area that connected to a private beach in a gated community.

Larxene: (as Aqua) These snooty bastards painted over my black door!

She had gotten in easily enough, all she had to do was tease the security guard, and he let her in without a problem.

Zexion: Isn't there some loose fence board she could have used instead? The feeling of cliché would still get across.

But, she was stressing out. Not only because what she needed was detrimental to her fight with Diz, but meeting with her old Captain brought about memories she wished she could have left behind.

Terra: *plugs ears* TRA LA LA HAPPY PLACE LA LA LA!

But, she stood in front of this door, shaking slightly. She had to regain her composure before she approached this man, who had instilled so much fear in her before.

Zexion: It’s almost redundant to point out how out-of-character it is for her to think of Master Eraqus this way, but there you go.

Now she was in charge, and she had to get her message out.

"I can do this," Aqua mumbled. She knocked on the door briskly.

After a few minutes of waiting, the door opened, and a boy of about twelve years stared at her, bored out of his mind, and listening to an IPod. He looked her up and down and blushed.

Axel: And thus he became a man.

"Yeah?" He asked. "What do you want?"

Aqua smiled softly. "Is your father home?"

The boy paused, thinking for a second. He looked back into the house and yelled as loudly as he could. "Dad! There's a woman here for you!" He turned back to Aqua. "He'll be down in a second."

Aqua nodded as the boy closed the door. Her heart thumped in her chest, and she wished she didn't have to do this alone, but Isa was climbing in through an unguarded window, and the guys he brought with him where watching her through rifle scopes.

Roxas: Which to me means she's not alone but that's just my two cents.
Xion: Does this mean Isa also had to flirt with the guard in order to get in here?
Axel: Show some leg, buddy!

The door opened again.

"Yes, what can I help you…?"

The man at the door froze, and he calm face swirled into a pit of anger that Aqua hadn't seen coming.

"What the fuck are you doing here?"

Zexion: And there goes his character, running down the street, and will keep running until the ends of time. We bid it adieu.
Mog: *from notes* Which pretty much sums up how the interaction between Eraqus and Aqua go. I'll skip it so you guys don't have to listen to Terra singing anymore.
Terra: Whatever keeps me sane.
Mog: *looks through his notes when he suddenly turns giddy, hopping up and down in excitement* Ooh ooh ooh! Can I talk about this scene, pretty please? I'm actually super analytical and literary-like for this sequence! Pleeeeaaaase, kupos?
Roxas: This isn't going to turn into your summation of 'Whisked Away' is it?
Mog: No, because I have these! *puts on smarty glasses* Okay. So. After Aqua and Eraqus start throwing vases at one another, Isa sneaks into the house through a window but it turns out Moloch follows him and they fight quietly in a spare room, cuz they're very polite intruders like that. Then suddenly we cut to a flashback of Isa when he first joined up with Aqua, which is basically just stuuuuuff happened, and then just as suddenly we're out of the flashback and BAM! Marluxia, Xaldin, and Larxene are here (popular window, I guess, kupo). I'm thinking “This is kinda weird,” but I go with it. They're all like “Nyeh, see here, Isa, we need to know where Diz is, see?” Isa's like “NO!” and Larxene's like “Ew, you gave me split ends!” and then some people get hurt but then they get better. Isa goes downstairs, is all “Oh no, Aqua got hit by drugs!” but then she gets better and then everyone leaves. So now I'm thinking “Wowzers, that scene was so bored of itself that it kept changing what it wanted to be about.” First it wanted to be one thing, then this other thing, then one more thing, then back to the first thing. And then that's when I realized why this scene is so weird! Since it's always changing and bouncing around, it just kinda feels like there's none of that ‘theme’ stuff you guys always talk about. It's got no purpose. And that's how I was smart and figured out that this scene isn't good! *proud*
(No one wants to remind him they figured out most scenes were pointless long ago so they politely clap and tell him he did a good job.)

22. Concave Womb Reworded

Roxas: Did the writer try making a worse Word Salad than the game titles, what the heck does that all mean?

Felix Vanitas cooked himself up a nice lasagna with some spiced potatoes on the side, and ate at the kitchen table, alone as usual.

Axel: It's nice to know that, despite the occasional smuggling, he's just as boring as every other unemployed person.

He had never had much interest in other people, so it was natural for him to live alone.

Xion: But what about guinea pigs? Do you have an interest in guinea pigs? What about ferrets, or budgies, or koi in a cute little backyard pond?

His parents had never really taken care of him right,

Marluxia: The deck of “My Daddy Didn't Hug Me” cards is starting to look frayed by now.

and he knew this; it just fueled his fire to be the best smuggler he could be.

Roxas: (as Vanitas) Take that, Mom and Dad! Look what a great life I made for myself: alone, not much money, and I'll die completely forgotten. IN YO FACE!
Mog: *from notes* The Scapellis call up to tell him the police are after him, so he has to run off to NYC to bump into the other characters in this story.

Thing was, he needed money. He barely had enough to afford a train ticket, and he also needed to eat and pay for a taxi later when he got to the city…if he got to the city.

Terra: (as Panic) If... if is good.

And he knew exactly what he had to do.

In the closet was a baseball bat hat he had used to beat many "customers" of Scapelli's senseless.

Axel: With a baseball cap? At least cowboy hats have a precedent of beating people up. Baseball caps are like free t-shirts: no one really cares about them.

He hadn't used it in a while. Thankfully, Felix did not intend to use it for violence, but just for intimidation.

Roxas: (as Vanitas) Look out, people, my average is .230!

He left his house casually through the sliding back door, and walked across the freshly-mowed back yard,

Marluxia: He smuggled the grass into the lawnmower. He's just that damn good.

heading for his neighbors' place. He walked up to their sliding glass door, and smashed it open.

Larxene: It wasn't locked, he just wanted to be a douche to make himself feel better.

No alarms sounded. Good. He made his way through the broken glass and into their kitchen.

Nobody seemed to be home. Even better. Felix went through their cabinets and drawers in the kitchen, looking for any hidden cash they might have, when Namine came into the room, soaking wet and wrapped within a towel.

Xion: Boy, is she ever lucky she's a modest bath-taker. This would be one heck of an awkward time to be walking around your house naked.

"Felix!" she said, her mouth dropping into a gape. "What're you doing here?"

Zexion: (as Namine) And why couldn't you use the doorbell like everyone else?

"Where do you keep your money?" Vanitas demanded, lowering his voice to intimidate.

Xion: (as Namine) On a debit card.
Axel: (as Vanitas) Dammit! Why did I forget no one keep cash around anymore!

"I need all of it. Otherwise, I'm gonna beat you half to death with this." He raised the bat threateningly.

Roxas: (as bat) Squeak! Help me! I’m a threatened species, I don’t deserve this!
Mog: *from notes* Stop! Hammer time.

Cloud stood in the living room, fuming, with another tool in his hand, this one a screwdriver. To Felix, it looked very sharp.

Lexaeus: To me, it looks very obtuse.

"What are you doing in my house, you sonofabitch?"

Axel: (as Vanitas) Uhhhh... Would you like to buy a Watchtower?

Felix felt panic flutter in his chest, and decided it was time to retreat. He didn't have enough time to beat the shit out of both of them and search the house for cash.

Roxas: What if he ran around really, really fast and avoided them? Anyone that's played a survival horror game has had to use the "dash and grab at everything that's not trying to kill you" tactic at least once.

The police were coming, and they were coming fast.

Terra: Their motto this month is "quick response".

He turned and fled through the broken glass door, his neighbor giving chase with that dangerous-looking screwdriver. The two men ran across the lawn, Namine hurrying after, still wrapped in her towel but now holding a kitchen knife.

Larxene: (as Namine) I JUST WANTED YOU TO TRY MY BUBBLE BATH CHICKEN SURPRISE! COME BACK!

Vanitas ran into his home and would have closed the door had Cloud not been in the way; he decided to run inside and see if he could get his gun. He made his way into the kitchen, hurrying for the small cabinet where he stored his caliber, and once he had gotten it he would blow this motherfucker to Hell, fuck his girlfriend, then blow her head off too.

Zexion: It's moments like these that I can't help but imagine the characters look at the script, question "Why?", and then have contractual obligations thrown into their faces.

A little mess for the cops to clean up. Easy peasy, baby.

Roxas: Really annoying writing style, baby.
Larxene: If this story had a face I would punch it.

What Felix was not expecting was Cloud being so close. He felt the tip of the blade slice his back, and he yelped in horror. Thinking he could manage to make it if he jumped, he dove forward yet clumsily fell against the side of the kitchen counter, hitting it with teeth-rattling force.

Marluxia: And why did he do that? Jumping’s not going to get the gun in your hand any faster.

He looked up just in time to watch the glass tube of black fluid roll off from the counter and shatter on the tiled floor beside him. It began to bond with Vanitas yet again, only this time much more forcefully.

Axel: (as fluid) AHHHILOVEYOULOVELOVELOVELOVEHUGSANDKISSESHUGSANDKISSESSMOOCHSMOOCHSMOOCHSMOOCHSMOOCHMONCHERILOVEYOULOVEYOU!

It clutched at his chest tightly, reeling him in. Horrified, he screamed.

Xion: (as Vanitas) THESE STAINS WILL NEVER WASH OUT!

Cloud took a step back, then told his girlfriend, "C'mon. We're getting the fuck out of this place." But he did not move. He kept staring.

Axel: So that’s two lines that never needed to be here, THANKS FIC!

The black fluid wrapped around Felix's torso, his legs, his feet, his arms, and began to crawl up his neck. He reached a shadow-covered hand up at Cloud, asking desperately for help. The fluid went into his hair, and began to cover his face. He choked and gagged as it went into his mouth; it tasted a lot like burnt rubber. He put his arm down, the remaining fight in him evaporating, and the fluid covered his vision, went into his eyes, stinging every part of his body.

Roxas and Xion: *singing to the tune of Dschinghis Khan's Moskau* Rip-off, rip-off! Just another Venom clone, like every other Venom clone, not o-rig-i-nal HEY!
Mog: *from notes* *also singing* Riiiiip-oooooooooooofffff!

And an hour later, it was Cloud and Namine who had left Seaside Heights, and Vanitas who had stayed.

Marluxia: His dastardly plan all along.
Larxene: (as Vanitas) Now I have no neighbours at all! Yay! I hate those pesky people things.
Mog: *from notes* Zexion is still in Hawaii.

He walked along the beach in a bathing suit and T-shirt, both of which hung off his skinny body like drapes.

Axel: His computer-nerd-white skin blinded passers-by.

Usually in crowded places like this beach, he would walk amongst the many people and daydream about bringing a box of hand grenades and blowing everyone to hell and back.

Terra: They'd committed the atrocious sin of being happy. They must be punished!

He knew such thoughts were unhealthy, but they were comforting. In a way, they were much like fast food: people ate it all the time because it comforted them, despite bringing them into Death's embrace even quicker than usual.

Xion: Death sounds way nicer than every other character so far. At least he's offering free hugs.

It was only on days as miserable as this one did he actually go out solely just to think about mass-murder.

Lexaeus: Other days it was a pleasant accident.

He had been thinking about Kairi a lot more than usual these days. Part of it he blamed on the Xion-whore,

Roxas: Cuz sexism.

but also he blamed upon himself for dwelling on it. The more he dwelled, the more horrible he felt. It was hard to work past depression.

Axel: Especially when you misdiagnose yourself. This is not depression. This is clinical dickwadery. Lucky for you, there's no cure yet.
Mog: *from notes* Mope mope mope, now Xigbar’s called up, now that Moloch guy is out of the story.

Sora, Kairi, Donald, Goofy, and Demyx walked

Xion: ...into a bar.

down the dark hallway to the familiar door and knocked on it three times. Senator Mouse opened the door, beaming at all of them, then frowning when he looked at Demyx.

"Picard," he said. "Where is Picard?"

Roxas: Face palming on the Enterprise right now.

"Dead," muttered Sora. He felt sick saying it. The image of Luxord falling from his hotel room, story after story, screaming in terror and looking at Sora with white eyes as big as dinner plates, still haunted him.

Zexion: You remember the note? Good. You are able to remember better than the story itself can remember its own characters. These characters aren’t people, they’re just things that only have emotions when necessary for the plot right now, even if those emotions outright contradict what happened in the last chapter. This is not storytelling.

He tried and tried to push the thought from his mind, but it always resurfaced.

Axel: Except he didn't care.

It had been one of the most disturbing things he had ever seen,

Xion: Except he didn't care.

and ever since his parents had been kidnapped, he had seen a lot of bad stuff.

Roxas: Except he never cares. This paragraph does not count as an emotional reaction because he isn't physically reacting in a way the other characters can see and interact with. You could replace him with a Q-tip and I don't think anyone would notice the difference, he's that emotionally vacant.

On the plane ride home, he had wondered what kept him going, what kept him from quitting. And, so far, he didn't have an answer.

Zexion: I’m still going with the contractual obligations theory.
Mog: *from notes* They go inside.

"Sora, Kairi, Goofy, Donald," said Mickey. "This is Detective Judas Braig and Officer Daniel Everett. They've joined our little expedition in pursuit of the good of mankind."

Marluxia: (as Mick) Because, frankly, the rest of you are doing a horrible job.

Sora shook hands with both Braig and Everett. Braig was a kind, strong man who Sora took a liking to instantly. There was a fatherly air to him, protective and reassuring, the kind of guy you want on your side. Everett was by far much smaller than Braig, and although very friendly, did not give off the same vibe.

Axel: A truly compelling character description. He's like this other guy except not. Brilliant!
Mog: *from notes* Demyx is interrogated by having everyone stare at him awkwardly.

"You don't know what it's like!" Demyx screamed, alarming everyone in the penthouse. "You have NO IDEA what it's like to be one of us! To have to go through SHIT EVERYDAY from people like YOU! YOU HAVE NO IDEA!"

"No idea?" repeated Mick furiously. "No idea? We ALL have problems, Damien Taylor! Every last one of us! We've all been victimized, we've all been cheated on, lied to, abused, and hurt! But you want to know what really makes the man, Demyx? It's choosing to keep your head straight and keep right on trucking.

Zexion: Exactly. Now if only the other characters would learn—

There may be no God, no Devil, but there is a good and evil, and it's decided on how you react to the things that happen."

Zexion: ...What? Instead of characters examining the difficult morality of doing horrible acts in hopes of a profitable end, instead they say “No, we don't do bad things because we're the goody-good guys.” What?

Cheeks glazed, eyes bloodshot, Demyx snarled, "You're all the waste of the world, and we're going to blow through you like tissue paper."

Axel: (as Mick) I'm the Kleenex to your crybaby, crybaby!

"You try it," dared Mick through grit teeth. Sora had never seen the Senator so angry before. "You fucking try it! What is the Organization's plan?"

Lexaeus: I don't think they themselves know anymore.

"Did you not hear me? To kill you all! All of you! Everyone on the planet Earth besides us! Dead!

Roxas: (as Demyx) First Roxas didn’t get it, now you people don’t! Will someone remember our simple goal if I just spell it out for you!

They're breeding some biological weapon to strip people of their humanity, turn them into creatures, make them our slaves! They're working strenuously over it!"

Marluxia: Bit kind on the definition of “strenuously” there, aren't we?

Mick walked away from the musician and into the kitchen. He poured himself a shot of vodka,

Axel: SHARE!
Larxene: FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING, GIMME SOME OF THAT!

downed it, sighed, and then walked back.

"Is that it?"

Terra: The answer should be 'yes'. The fic keeps trying to say otherwise.

"Yes," said Demyx, but Sora saw something flash in the rock star's eyes as he said that. Sora frowned, troubled, but nobody else seemed to notice.

Xion: How come Sora is only observant when the writers need to point out the obvious?
Zexion: Yet he's still so dense he will never bring this observation up to another person.

"Where are these other twelve?" demanded Mick.

"Everywhere. Not in one location."

"Any ideas?"

Roxas: (as Demyx) Well, I’ve been thinking of how to turn this whole experience into a song…
Axel: (as Mick) Not that kind of idea!

"Just for one." Demyx's eyes darkened. They looked inhuman.

Marluxia: The Hollow Description Parade continues its endless downtown march.

"Lexaeus. He's in Pennsylvania, somewhere along the Delaware. That's all I know."

"What about Ryan Hall?" asked Sora.

"I don't know."

"Hall?" asked Braig. He exchanged a look with Everett. "He's a missing boy. His parents were found, dead, just little while ago."

All: ...wha...

"Around the time that fucker with the Keyblades attacked us," said Sora grimly.

All: WHA?
Roxas: I think the plot just threw up all over us.
Xion: Trust us, audience, we didn't skip over anything. This is the first time you hear about this, yet somehow Sora knew this before we did. I, personally, am offended.

Mick nodded slowly, then said to Don and Goofy, "Keep him locked in my room. It's quite a height, so he won't be able to leave…unless he wants to suffer the same fate as his friend Luxord."

Terra: To get dark for a moment, you shouldn't be putting ideas in his head.

Demyx shuddered, but let himself go with the two agents.

Braig whistled. "Well, that got hot."

Mick sighed, "Why, oh why, do people do these kinds of things?"

Larxene: Cuz writing M fics makes you cool.

"So the rest of us can enjoy being normal," said Braig sincerely. "C'mon, Senator. Have a drink. Hell, why don't we all have one?"

Axel: Yes please.

They sat down at the kitchen table, sipping wines and whiskeys, telling jokes and talking about what their next move was.

"Sora," said Mickey suddenly. "I had almost forgotten. You do realize that you no longer have to work for me anymore, correct? You found out what happened to your parents…you are free to leave."

Zexion: (as Mick) Have fun being an orphan and having nowhere to go.

Sora placed his glass down and looked around at everyone. Mick, Kairi, Don, Goofy, even Braig and Everett.

Xion: Everett, the greatest man to ever be born.
Roxas: (as Sora) I've only known him for a few minutes yet it feels like I've known him my whole life, we've grown so close during our time not talking to each other.

And, suddenly, he had an answer for his question on the plane. When his parents had been taken away from him forever, he had been welcomed into a new family, where the old familiar feeling of comfort was there.

Axel: OH GOD IT'S RYAN ALL OVER AGAIN!
Roxas: NOOOOOOOOO!

These people would die for him, and he would surely do the same, because in a world full of cruelty and death, when people had each other it was what inspired them to keep going.

Larxene: Okay there, Bella Swan. Any other thin poetry you want to wax while you're here?
Terra: ...The thought of sacrifice inspires you?

"Nah," said Sora, looking at Kairi. She was smiling. His heart leapt. "Nah, I'm in this for the long run. I'm in this with all of you."

Mick smiled, and there was something in that smile Sora had never seen before. Not on anyone's face, not even his father's. And that was pride.

Xion: Is this the first thing we’ve ever learned about Sora’s father? Because info on their relationship would have made this whole goose chase much more interesting.
Axel: And another relationship is waved away for being Not a Good Parent, informing us that the authors didn’t care so why should you?

Sora felt hot tears sting at the corner of his eyes, but he fought them with a blink and a swig of alcohol.

Larxene: Get used to drowning out your problems, it’s the only happy life you have ahead of you.

He was happy to know that whatever threats lay ahead, whatever monsters lurked in the corners for them, whatever troubles or losses they will have to face, they would push through it, courageously and all together.

Xion: (as Sora) Ooh boy, the constant threat of death and pain, I can’t wait!

This was the table where the soldiers of Good would eat and drink, where they wait to jump into action, where they would become heroes.

Lexaeus: At this particular table?
Terra: It’s not even a cool round one, either.
Zexion: I reiterate my “goody-good” complaint from earlier.
Mog: *from notes* So we’re at the beach with a little lifeguard named Drake who notices one guy wandering under the pier.

He put a hand on the man's shoulder, and the person whipped around to reveal that it wasn't a man, but a thing, a thing covered in shadows with a wicked, monstrous grin on its face full of long, yellow teeth.

Roxas: Hey, maybe we’re finally getting to that “creepy pictures” thing this story started out with.

It gave an inhuman shriek and with a quick motion of its hand, Drake was flying out from under the boardwalk

Terra: Like a startled duck or a paper plane.

and landing in the hot sand.

In remarkable pain,

Xion: (as Drake) OW OW OW SAND HOT I NEED MY SANDALS!

his eyes had been closed tight, but when he opened them he saw the tip of something black pointing directly between his eyes. The thing from under the boardwalk was holding some demonic blade to the hapless lifeguard.

The shadows of the humanoid's face pulled back to reveal a handsome yet brutish face of a man,

Marluxia: Because we can’t have a main character in this fic be ugly.

the tombstone teeth still grinning at Drake. Drake knew this guy-he was a local. Vanitas his name was.

Xion: (as Yoda) Training you must do!

He's not gonna- was all Drake could think before Felix Vanitas plunged the blade into his skull, killing him instantly.

Lexaeus: There went Drake. We sure did know his name.

Void

Roxas: *coughVENOMcough*

pulled itself back over Felix's face, making it the monstrosity it was a second ago, and he screeched in his newfound voice.

Axel: (as Vanitas) AHH! COD FISHING- SCREECHING IN- CABOT TOWER- GREAT BIG SEA AHHHH!
Xion: Because Newfoundland, in case no one got that.

He jumped; he could jump high now.

Roxas: (as Vanitas) I finally am like a video game character!

And not only that; he had found, within his house, that the Void-fluid was sticky enough at the base to allow him to walk on walls.

Terra: You know, you can just admit you like Spider-man. It’s okay, we like Spider-man too! We like Peter and MJ. We really like Miles. You can just say you’re a fan of the franchise and took inspiration from it.
Roxas: All the characters have got the “great power” part down, they’re still working out what “great responsibility” means.
Mog: *from notes* Hey, some more innocent bystanders to knock off HOORAY!

Sora sat on the bed with Kairi, the two staring into each other's eyes as the clock struck midnight.

Zexion: And thus the spell was broken and Kairi returned to her former pumpkin state.

Kairi was wearing absolutely nothing, and although her naked form was beautiful, there was a lively light in her eyes that had Sora transfixed. He was naked as well, and felt a little embarrassed.

"Kairi," he croaked, his heart thudding in his chest. "You sure you want to do this?"

"Of course," she replied with a laugh, and laid on top of him.

Xion: LADIES TOPPING IN FANFIC! HELL IS FREEZING OVER AS WE SPEAK!

When he came,

Larxene: Two seconds later.
Marluxia: And thus Kairi went to bed, feeling unfulfilled.

he threw his head back, looking up at the ceiling and almost yelling aloud; the climax was intense, and he heard and felt Kairi share it with him.

Axel: Ah, the good old reliable shared orgasm. It will feel at home with all the other badfic clichés.

They had not used protection, however Kairi had taken pills beforehand, so nothing could disturb their passion.

Zexion: Your parents are dead.
Lexaeus: You killed a man.
Marluxia: You have absolutely no future ahead of you.
Larxene: But at least Kairi took a birth control pill!

As Sora gasped for breath, sweat running down his body, Kairi dismounted and gave him a quick kiss on the lips.

"Wow…" he whispered. "Oh, wow."

Xion: You know your story has a problem when the lead couple's first love-making has less screen time than all the rape scenes combined, even after Mog's extensive editing.

She breathed, "I know. Same with me."

Roxas: (as Kairi) You were amazing in how you did absolutely nothing.
Axel: (as Sora) Hey, if it feels this good I can see why you do it all the time.

She rolled out of bed and went into the bathroom attached to the bedroom, where she put on a fuzzy bathrobe. Then she went back to the bed and cuddled up next to her lover. Sora instinctively hugged her tightly, and he suddenly felt very emotional being in this relationship that must be kept secret from others, for it could endanger their lives if made apparent.

Zexion: Considering that your lives are already in danger, I don’t see why PDA would affect anything. You’re not Peter Parker and Mary-Jane.
Roxas: This whole Venom rip-off deal has left us with a lot of Spider-man references.

"That was very interesting with Demyx earlier," she murmured as they both began to doze off.

Terra: These characters seem so bored of their own story.

"Mhmm," Sora agreed drowsily, his eyes closed.

"Mick got really angry."

Roxas: Uncharacteristically angry, you might say.

"I know. He seemed to really hate Demyx."

"Maybe Demyx is right, though," said Kairi. "Maybe we don't know what it's like. Maybe we don't know how his mind works."

Marluxia: Maybe Demyx's brain is filled with cobwebs instead of synapses.
Terra: Maybe we're in a reality where the only two alignments are Chaotic Evil and Lawful Evil, and to hell with anything in between.
Roxas: Maybe we're about to read some weak excuse for how the Organization (and by that I mean Zeke Fender) is just a poor little baby that needs a hug and a cupcake and then they'd stop killing people! It's our fault for not understanding them!

"There's good in the world, Kairi, but then there is also evil."

She looked at him harshly and said,

Axel: (as Kairi) Where the hell did that sentence come from?

"Not all the time, Sora. Not all the time."

"Hmm?"

"You'd be surprised to see what some monsters really are. Some may cause trouble just for laughs, yes, but others are covering up sensitivity."

"Same difference."

Terra: (as Sora) I refuse to see in anything other than black-and-white! Grayscale makes my brain shut down.

"No, it really isn't!" She turned her whole body to face him, her breasts pressing against his chest.

Larxene: (as Sora) Brain repowered. Continue.

He knew she was sincere at the moment, but a flush crept up on his face nonetheless. "You need to understand this, Sora…a lot of people who are considered 'bad' or 'evil'…they…they're just lonely."

Xion: To be fair, she does sort of have a point. There is more to people’s actions than just “I’m good/I’m bad” and an exploration of this idea could be really fascinating. The problem is that this story doesn’t support this idea. None of the Org. members are lonely, they’re just angry at petty problems, and so many conversations in this story lean towards the “good and evil does exist and the world is just that simple” ideal. It’s very unfocused and confusing.
Axel: Fic, you just bit yourself in your own ass.

Sora chewed it over for a bit

Roxas: (as Sora) Om nom nom.

before saying, "True. Very true. You're a smart girl, you know that?"

Larxene: (as Sora) Can we make the bed bounce up and down again?

She smiled at him and they kissed again before settling down to sleep.

Zexion: Maybe now that they’ve finally got their first intercourse out of the way, they can finally get their relationship started and learn about each other.
Axel: Haha, you must be new to amateur romance. Nope, now that they’ve got the whole “our relationship is based around on wanting whoopee” it’s now going to turn into “our relationship is based around wanting even more whoopee because the first time wasn’t good enough”.
Mog: *from notes* So we cut to Axel who finally asked “Hey Roxas, what’d ya wanna talk about?” He decides to help his buddy not get murdered.

He knocked on Marluxia's door twice. The pink-haired fiend opened it a crack and peered out.

"What do you want?" the killer demanded.

Axel: (as self) I want to know how you got back here so quick. You were in Miami just last chapter.
Marluxia: (as self) Time has no hold on stupid plot points, Hedgehog Head.

"To talk to you about Roxas," said Axel. "I heard he accused you of shit that wasn't too polite."

Marluxia opened the door all the way. "Traitor he called me!" he cried. "Traitor! I'll kill that little bastard, gut him alive, peel his skin off and make him eat it while I chop off his dick and feed it to rats! Lousy snoop, lousy snoop…"

Roxas: By now, I’m no longer shocked by the cartoonish violence. I am a little shocked that this unusually and likely impossible death is ended with calling me a ‘snoop’. Not a very good insult.

"Calm down, man," said Axel, putting a hand on the freak's shoulder. "I just wanna say…I hate the little piss-ant, too, and I want him to learn a fucking lesson."

Marluxia snarled, "Fuck you, Guido. I kill alone."

Terra: Because no one else can be bothered. I’m sorry, I can’t get over how out of fourteen people, they only make one ever do anything!

"But, my dude,

(Others try to smother their laughter as Axel looks unhappy about this speech decision.)

killing him won't do anything! You kill people, I know that, that's all fine and dandy, but, man, in order to leave an impact, you gotta do something worse! Much worse!"

"But…but what can I do?"

"The girl," said Axel. "Xion."

Marluxia's looked at the pyromaniac sharply. "What about her?"

"She's not a part of the Organization, remember?

Larxene: By violation of being a girl. She might get her cooties all over you and turn everything she touches to pink laces and frills.

She's just in because Roxas is in. Which means, technically, she's an open target."

Xion: I should just stuff myself in the fridge right now, take out all the hard work for them.

Marluxia stared at Axel warily.

Axel pressed on, "Vexen gave you an impregnation thing, right? It just so happens Xion is a woman who can get pregnant. I'm sure you know that. What would hurt Roxas more…a quick death from a scythe-wound, or the fact that his girl is with a child that isn't his?"

Roxas: ... The scythe-wound.
Axel: At least I hope it would, because if he hates Lily because she was impregnated with a demon-spawn against her will, we will need to make up a new word to describe the new levels of ASSHOLE he’s reached.

A slow smile spread on Marluxia's lips. "I like the way you think, Guido. But the whore's in Hawaii."

Marluxia: I feel I should personally apologize to for how bizarrely cruel that was.
Xion: At least we're all bonding over how bad the dialogue is.

"She's coming back with the Head Honcho in three days," said Axel, wagging a finger. "Got it memorized? Commit that shit to memory, man."

Axel: THEY'RE BOTH THERE! I CAN'T ESCAPE!

"But…but he wasn't on the plane! Neither was she!"

"They had business on the coast," said Axel. This was true; Xehanort had wanted to test some weapons he had gotten from Victor Vanitas, and he invited Xion to come along to play with the new toys on some desolate beach.

Roxas: (as Xion) Can I play too?
Xion: (as Xehanort) Nuh uh! These are boy toys! Go play with Barbies or something.

"Oh, I see…okay, fine!" Marluxia grinned. "Committed to memory. Three days."

"Okay, cool beans, dude.

Axel: *distraught* I sound like a tween!

But now you need a place to do it."

"What's wrong with here?"

Terra: (as Axel) What, you want some over-the-top plan to take place in a major location that’s been in the story this whole time? That’s not how we do things here, bud! We gotta find someplace that’s been barely relevant!

Axel frowned, "What if a superior sees you? Then they'll think you really are a traitor. I have a place you can go. I do believe it's a place of significance to you…it was where you finally got fully-initiated."

Marluxia breathed in sharply and said, "The hotel?"

Larxene: So is that why they make you do everything? Because you’re the newbie so everyone just picks on you?
Marluxia: Why was I only considered a full-fledged member after successfully kidnapping people? Everyone treats Roxas like he’s the secret to success when all he’s done is sit around and fail at the two jobs they gave him.

"The hotel. Where it all began for you, man. What would make a better statement?"

Zexion: ...Really? After everything else this story has gone through, this plot about Marluxia possibly killing Roxas is the only thing anyone’s concerned about?
Roxas: I’m more amazed that those random guys that were kidnapped ages ago that no one cared about suddenly became the catalyst that drives everything forward.
Mog: *from notes* Plaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaans.

Roxas was walking on the sidewalks of Manhattan amongst thousands of others, paranoid and afraid, as the sun rose. It was six AM; twelve hours after Felix's assault at Seaside Heights, and six hours after Sora and Kairi had made love.

Zexion: Roxas became omniscient to help us keep track of the timeline.
Axel: We hate to admit it, but we kind of appreciate it.

Marluxia had come back home, and as long as he stayed in Oblivion Labs, Roxas would be anywhere else.

Roxas: Oh sure. NOW he thinks up this ingenious plan.
Xion: (as Roxas) I could have just left this entire time! But that would ruin the story so I waited!

And, when Xion came back with the Superior, she would, too. Until Axel figured this all out. Marluxia was an enemy that had to be eliminated, or everyone's life would be at stake. But most importantly, Xion's.

Axel: Aw. He pretended to care. How sweet. Almost makes you forget he’s responsible for ruining her life.
Roxas: Xion’s sorta like those old knick-knacks you keep around because they might be useful later. The story shuffles her around because they don’t know what to do with her but can’t throw her out because MAYBE they can use her for ManPain™ later.

"Wake up, Sora!"

Sora awoke with a jolt; everyone was in his room, Mick, Donald, Goofy, Braig, and Everett. The sun was rising outside.

Xion: (as Sora) WHAT THE EFF ARE YOU DOING IN HERE? I'M NAKED!
Terra: (as Braig) You were right, Mick. His face was totally worth us standing here since four AM.

"What?" he asked irritably. Kairi was stirring next to him.

"We need you to get dressed," said Braig. "We've heard reports of a stranger lurking around the Delaware.

Larxene: Slowest. News day. Ever.

Looks like Demyx was telling the truth."

"Lexaeus?" asked Sora, mouth dropping open. "We've found him?"

"We've found him," said Mick, beaming. "Come in the kitchen and eat real quick, we'll tell you all about it."

They exited the bedroom, and when they saw what was in the living room, Mick audibly groaned.

"No…"

Xion: The real Mickey is breaking through the mind-control!
Roxas: Come on, your majesty! You can do it! You can become your true self again!

A man in the city was late for his job interview, and was speeding horribly down the street, blowing past lights dangerously during rush hour and cutting traffic.

Terra: Would six AM even be rush hour? Or has time skipped ahead a few hours after that small scene with Sora?

From his right, another car moved and startled him. He swerved, hitting the sidewalk.

Roxas heard the crushing of bones and the screams of agony as the people behind him were run over, and he turned just in time to see the front of the car coming towards him before he hit his head painfully on the hood of it and passed out cold.

All: ....
[FIVE MINUTES LATER]

Roxas: Nope. No words. None.
Axel: What about acronyms? Any acronyms more creative than variations of W, T, and F?

Sora, Mick, Donald, Goofy, Kairi, Braig, and Everett looked in horror as the furniture was tipped over messily and the apartment door was broken open, almost splintering off its hinges.

Larxene: OMIGAWD THINK OF THE MAID BILLS! THE UNIMAGINEABLE HORROR!

It must've had been done sometime through the night,

Terra: Really? Here I was thinking it was done four weeks ago and no one ever noticed!

for on the walls read a message: "I'M GOING TO KILL YOU ALL".

Roxas: (as Mick) Pluto, what have we said about prank mass-murder threats?
Xion: (as Pluto) Bark!
Roxas: (as Mick) That's right, we don't do them. Now apologize to the nice guests.
Xion: (as Pluto) ...bark.
Roxas: (as Mick) Like you mean it.

"Oh, no," cried Kairi. "Oh, no, no, no…"

Larxene: (as Kairi) For the love of crap, can nothing can go right in my life?! Half a dozen armed men in this apartment and not one of you can look after one stupid fucker! What is wrong with you people!

"Dammit," Mick swore.

Demyx had escaped.

Zexion: And decided that, while in his escape, he would knock over heavy objects to see if anyone would stop him.
Axel: (as Mick) ...It was Everett's idea to stand in your room for hours on end.
Roxas: (as Everett) I said one person keep watch! You're just blaming me cuz I'm the new guy!
[to be continued…]
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