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If you missed the first half, go here.


Cloud and Namine sat inside Aqua's apartment, snuggled up on the couch and watching TV. Riku looked at them, jealousy stabbing every nerve within his heart. Although he liked the couple very much, despite Cloud's past history with Jerkbutt,

Roxas: Something Riku never had to deal with, end sarcasm.
Zexion: Terra Hopsfield is less a character and more an origin story for other members of the cast, a living excuse of "At least I’m not as bad as that guy."

Riku still felt a sort of contempt for their love…perhaps because he was never given a direct answer at his proposal. And so he watched them, studied them carefully from the kitchen, taking note of every mannerism Cloud acted out and imagining himself doing so with Aqua.

Terra: That’s super creepy of you, Riku.
Xion: Can you really blame him? The fic treats Cloud and Namine as a goal that the other couples only wish they could reach someday, so it’s no surprise Riku is vicariously living through them. It’s the only reason they’re here.

"I can't get over how much shit Aqua has here," Cloud called to Riku.

"I know, man, it's crazy. You should see the back rooms."

Roxas: (as Cloud) Maybe you should so you can stop creeping on us. You’re skeeving Namine out.

"Maybe I'll take a look."

"No," said Riku. "Don't do that. She'd get pissed."

"Something's telling me we won't be seeing her for a long time, actually," said Cloud casually.

Axel: (as Cloud) So let’s root through her personal belongings and pawn them off for cash!

"But until she comes back, we have to stick together. She's given me protection, and you…what did she give you?"

Riku turned and looked out the apartment's window, and said, "Her. She gave me herself."

Terra: (as Cloud) That sounds like the kind of plot point that would make a feminist burst into flames, good buddy.

"Then I'd be quivering in your boots if I were you, man."

"I need time alone, I think. Stay out here, please. I want to look around the back rooms."

"Okey dokey, artichoke."

Xion: (as Cloud) Monkey, donkey, Don Quixote—hm, that one’s a bit of a stretch—and, last but certainly not least, Mickey!

Riku laughed as he walked back, "No wonder you hated being a dealer, you're too fucking nice."

"I'd rather not have my son have an outlaw of a father."

"Daughter," corrected Namine.

"Son," said Cloud, smiling but with less conviction.

"Daughter," said Namine firmly.

Roxas: Hey, that dialogue was actually kind of cute. I'd daresay even call it a good example of small-talk.
Axel: It's a weird lead-in to domestic fluff, but it didn't make me want to punch either character in the face, so I guess I like it.
Mog: *from notes* He finds a storage room.

Riku turned to leave the room, but tripped on something and fell over himself.

Terra: (as vengeful stiletto) I HAVE RETURNED! The internalized misogyny has called me forth and it's even worse than before! I may not be the hero this fic deserves, but I am the one it needs. Now I must lie in wait some more so I can out-annoy these characters and make the world a better place one step at a time.

"Fuck!" he cried. He picked up what he had fallen over to throw it away, but saw, to his amazement, that it was a well-crafted piece of metal. It had been painted dark-red and dark-blue and the two colors entwined with one another through the metal rod, meeting at its hilt. The handle to it looked as though it were made of crystal.

It was a Keyblade.

(Everyone can only hold their heads and groan for a bit.)
Lexaeus: This barely counts as a story anymore, it’s more a series of happenstances.

"Holy God…" he whispered.

He felt a stinging in his hand as the Keyblade became one with him, pricking his palm and drawing blood. He swore again at the pain, but also because suddenly he was afraid.

Engraved on the hilt were letters carved into the Keyblade. They read "Soul Eater".

Roxas: Which is so not a Keyblade, but at this point who should be surprised.

Riku swung the blade, liking the feel of it.

Larxene: (as Riku) Oh my god another Keyblade, this is horrible, it’s sucking out my blood and is going to give me even more visions to ruin my life—oh, wait, it feels kinda comfy. Okay, over the fear.
Zexion: How do we expect characters to stay consistent in conjunctive scenes if they can’t even stay consistent in conjunctive paragraphs?

Oh, this was much more marvelous than wielding a pistol. He also noted the differences between this Keyblade and Sora's; Sora's was something wrapped in enigma, while this had its intentions put obvious:

Axel: Yeah, blatant fucking convenience! You tripped— you literally stumbled onto an otherworldly powerful weapon!

violence, bloodshed, life-taking. It was much sharper than Sora's as well, and resembled a sword more than a key in appearance.

Roxas: It's a baton! Lex, you remember details like this, what was the first description of the Keyblade?
Lexaeus: It was a slender metal rod.
Roxas: Exactly! If you wanted it to look a key, it should have been a key from the beginning.
Mog: *from notes* Oh look, Sora’s outside!

"Sora!" cried Riku. "What're you doing here, man?"

Xion: (as Riku) Don’t you have to hunt down Demyx again like you told me last time we talked?
Roxas: (as Sora) Honey, no one cares about Demyx anymore. Just drop it and run with this new plot point.

"Two…Organization…members…I'm…outnumbered…help…"

Larxene: (as Sora) One of them’s bleeding profusely from his stomach, there’s no way I can possibly take ’em!

Riku looked up through the glass doors and saw the two making their way to the apartment building. He looked at Sora and said, "Sure thing, man. Two seconds ago I was hoping for some action."

Terra: (as Riku) Do I have a surprise for you!

Sora and Riku walked side-by-side outside into the gray city atmosphere, approaching the two Members who were also walking next to one another.

"Ah, we'll be killing two birds with one stone!" Axel cried happily. "I'm so flattered you did us such a favor, Sora."

Roxas: (as Axel) I’m gonna keep saying those three words until they fit into the proper context.

Sora shook with hatred, but kept quiet. He readied his Keyblade for a fight. To his immense shock, however, Riku did the same with another, darker-looking Keyblade.

"Where the hell did you…?"

Marluxia: For once Sora asks a completely appropriate question.

"Aqua's apartment," Riku explained. "She must've had it over the years, never realizing what it was. It bonded with me, though."

Sora shook his head, "No. I don't believe Aqua had that in her apartment any longer than an hour. Something put it there for you."

All: THE PLOT?
Mog: *from notes* A short scuffle ensues, Axel’s knocked outta the scene for a bit.

Although Roxas had proved himself in battle before, Sora rarely saw Riku in action. Riku swung the Keyblade around like it was a practicing art he had years of experience in instead of happening to pick it up just a moment ago.

Axel: Why doesn’t the fic just print out a personalized banner for us that hangs over every single page of this atrocity saying "Fuck you for thinking." If the writers didn't care when they wrote this, then why should we while reading it?

Roxas was clearly overwhelmed by his opponent and eventually called it quits when Riku hit one of the blades out of the Member's hand, and then did so with the other.

Xion: It’s not really showing off what a super-awesome fighter Riku has become if he wins simply because his opponent gave up.
Larxene: Also, gotta love how the fic went through the trouble of explaining Roxas can duel-wield his weapons because he went through hours of training, and yet he keeps getting his ass handed to him in fights.

Roxas yelped and fell to the ground, crawling backwards, arm shielding his face.

"How?" he yelled at Riku. "How did you get the Keyblade?"

"Shut up," muttered Riku,

Axel: (as Riku) Fuck you for thinking!

raising Soul Eater to end the Chaos Theorist once and for all.

"NO!" roared Sora, and pushed Riku aside, sparing Roxas' life.

"Sora, what the-?"

"They know where Kairi is!"

"What're you talking about?"

Terra: Now that they bring it up, Riku sure has been absent from most of the main plot these last chapters, hasn’t he?
Lexaeus: But he has scenes that contain all the fantastical elements that fans of a fantasy game would probably enjoy more. It evens out in the end.

"The redhead kidnapped Kairi! They're a part of the Organization! If we kill them, we'll never find her!"

"Got that last part right," spat Axel; he was bleeding from the mouth and looked absolutely furious.

Sora raised the Keyblade at him again, "You tell us now, Axel. If you think I'm above killing you…" Suddenly, he had a chilling inspiration.

Xion: (as Sora) *pulls out cellphone* Everett? It's your time to shine!

Instead of pointing the Keyblade at Axel, he aimed it down at the hapless Roxas.

"Sora…" Axel breathed threateningly. "Think about this…"

"Tell me where Kairi is, or I will kill him," said Sora calmly.

"Sora…"

"I mean it, Axel. He means nothing to me at the moment. I might regret it later, but that's until I get the girl I love, dead or alive. WHERE IS SHE?"

Roxas: Not that I want Ryan to survive this scene but… why hasn’t he gotten up by now?

"C'mon, Sora! Think about this! It's just a girl, man!"

"It's not just a girl.

Larxene: (as Sora) It’s MY girl!

I wouldn't expect people like you to understand. You're monsters, all of you, and she wanted to believe there was still some good."

"The world is cruel, Sora, you either admit that now or it will come crashin' on ya' when you least expect it. Got that memorized?"

Axel: No, I DON’T got it memorized! I will NEVER have it memorized because your vague IT doesn’t DESERVE to be memorized, you unoriginal TWAT! What catchphrase you gonna pull out and shove down my throat NOW?!

"No," said Sora, and echoed his employer from the interrogation of Demyx. "That was never an excuse. Cruel the world might sometimes be, but it's how you react to it that makes the man, Axel. Which is why your Organization fails."

Axel gaped at him for a moment, as if his entire world had been turned upside-down at this remark…and perhaps it had.

Axel: Because I just found out that, much like his little speech there, the world is in fact incredibly hollow.
Xion: Sora himself freely admitted it wasn't even his speech to make, so if the story tried to create a counter-argument to its premise it didn't work very well.
Marluxia: Then again, the true shocker would be to find out Sora had any original thought in his head.

"Where is Kairi?" demanded Sora again.

"I can't tell you," Axel said.

"Then Roxas here dies."

Roxas: YES!

Sora turned his face back down to his hapless victim to find he was no longer there.

Roxas: NO!

Startled, Sora looked around only to be punched in the face and knocked down by Roxas, who was up and ready to fight again.

Zexion: Why didn’t he do that before all that useless chatter?
Larxene: I assume you’re looking for an answer more elaborate than “Because this fic hates you, that’s why.”

"No!" yelled Axel. "Roxas! It's time to go! Let's move, man!"

Roxas barked back, "I can take him!"

Roxas: So is Riku just cleaning his nails while his best friend is getting beat up?
Axel: (as Riku) Keeyyyblaade… shiiiiinyyyyy…

"Not now! Come on!"

The two made a break for it across the busy city street. Sora ran after them, ignoring Riku's screaming protests. The two Members had almost made it across the street without incident until Roxas tripped and fell over onto the sidewalk.

Marluxia: The best member the Organization thinks they have and he trips over his shoelace.
Terra: Or maybe he tripped over another Keyblade. I wouldn’t put it past them.

Axel picked him up and they ran into a nearby alleyway.

Larxene: (as Axel) Do I have to do everything around here? When we’re trying to haul ass away I didn’t think I’d literally have to haul your ass away.

Sora began to run after when a truck, honking madly, drove right in front of him, almost hitting him.

Xion: (as truck) Beep beep! Age old trope comin’ through!

When it had passed, Sora ran forward to the alleyway, only to find the two were no longer there.

Zexion: Maybe Roxas got run over again. Still wouldn’t put it past them.

"FUCK!" he screamed and punched the wall of the building in front of him, furious.

Lexaeus: He broke his knuckles in several places.

He turned back, fuming, to find that Roxas had left something on the ground when he fell.

It was a small cell phone.

And it was ringing.

Roxas: So that’s the only reason I tripped? What, did the vibration mess up my rhythm?

Frowning, Sora picked it up.

"Yes?"

"Roxas?"

"Who's this?"

"Who is this?"

"A friend of Roxas'."

Lexaeus: He has no friends, it's the one fact we've well-established.

The voice on the other end of the phone sounded amused. "A friend of Roxas'?"

Terra: They sound like they’re reciting a musical number they repeat each other so much.

"Yes. Can I take a message?"

"Sure."

"Alright, go ahead; shoot."

"My message is: 'You are a fool to keep pestering us, Sora O'Reilly.

Larxene: *practically lunges out of her seat to point at the screen* THEY SPELLED HIS NAME WRONG!
Terra: What?
Larxene: They spelled Sora’s last name wrong! It’s supposed to be one L, not two!
Terra: Urm, okay, but is that really such a big deal in comparison to everything else?
Larxene: I had to read a stupid tangent about Riku thinking he was so cool for hating on Bill O’Reilly, you bet your buttcheeks I’m going to hold a grudge.

And you will lose.' Did you get that?"

Sora's hands shook with a mixture of fear and fury. Which was more dominant, however, he was not sure.

"Friend of Roxas? Did you get that?" Xehanort persisted mockingly.

Lexaeus: For once and once only, Xehanort manages to be successfully threatening.
Roxas: Maybe he got himself a How To book.

Sora said, surprisingly calmly, "We're going to stop you. All of you."

"They squealed like pigs when they died, y'know. Your parents. And your mother was with child. You were going to be a big brother."

Zexion: (as Xehanort) We're making you care now because we never bothered to actually show this earlier.
Marluxia: (as Xehanort) Why have things happen on-screen, no one's interested in that.
Zexion: (as Xehanort) By the by, I’m assuming the Dusk that Vexen has in a tank is technically your brother. This would be a fascinating idea to explore, so we will never bring it up again.

"I'm either going to put you in jail or kill you, but either way…your end is coming. Soon. I assure you. I'm going to track the rest of you down, and get rid of them one by one until you're by yourself. Do you hear me?"

Xion: (as Xehanort) I’ll have to practice my Eric Carmen until then. A-hem. *singing* All byy myyyseeeeelf... Don’t wanna be...

Silence.

"I said do you hear me, Christopher?"

Axel: (as Sora) Do you hear me, Christopher Sillyname Xehanort?

"Of course I hear you, m'boy."

Terra: (as Xehanort) Mah boi, this peace is what all true warriors strive for!

"Anything to say to that?"

"Just one thing."

"And that is?"

Roxas: (as Xehanort) I thought you should know that the only reason you're still alive is because I find your stupidity mildly amusing.
Xion: (as Sora) Whatdoyaknow, I was just thinking to myself that I find your evilness extremely annoying!
Roxas: (as Xehanort) Boy, we sure had to crowbar that reference in, didn't we?
Xion: (as Sora) Yeah, but doesn't it accurately sum up our characters and factions so well?

Xehanort chuckled mildly and said, "Good luck."

Dialtone.

Lexaeus: Did this conversation switch to being on a landline telephone?
Zexion: No, just the story once again making small mistakes that could very easily be avoided.

Angered, teeth clenched, Sora threw the cell phone onto the ground and smashed it into bits and pieces. Onlookers avoided him, walked around him.

Xion: (as onlookers) Aww, no castle today. Maybe tomorrow.

Riku caught up and grabbed onto Sora's shoulder.

"Where'd they go?"

"Gone. Both of 'em."

"They have her?"

"Yes."

"What're we gonna do?"

Lexaeus: Find another scene that results in nothing gained?
Zexion: This has not been yet another pointless moment. Oho, no, this has been two pointless moments braided together.

Sora walked down the sidewalk, holstering his Keyblade.

"What do you think?" he called back to Riku.

Marluxia: (as Sora) Because I honestly don't know. I have zero leads for where these people are.

"Find the girl I love."

Terra: (as Sora) My loving her is more important than her being her own person, so I'm not even going to refer to her by name.

Appalled, Riku watched his friend walk away. Then, he turned back to Aqua's apartment building; he had to talk to Cloud.

Roxas: (as Riku) Cloud, Sora’s stealing my thunder! I'm the one that's focused on getting the girl!
Xion: Most of the guys party on the My Defining Characteristic Is I'm A Boyfriend bus. It tends to go more places, though, so we don't comment on it as much.

Kairi was one-fourth of a way from freeing her right hand from the cuff that had been placed on her.

Larxene: Being held hostage is pretty boring, even fractions are more entertaining.

Her heart racing with the fear of Axel returning to find her freeing herself slightly in some way, she struggled quickly.

The imbecile had left his phone on the dresser near the bed. If she could free one hand, she could reach the phone and call Sora.

Terra: Or the police? A SWAT team would be really useful right now.

She worked tirelessly, thinking about him, his bravery and kindness, the modesty of the person she loved…and the pleasures they had shared. Oh, God, if she were to ever escape from this prison she would make love to Sora so hard that he would feel like he'd been thrown off of a cliff into a pool of paradise.

Xion: At least it’s nice to know they’re both in this relationship for the same reason: Sora having sex with Kairi.

There was a small clock above the door. It read 3:44 PM.

Kairi worked harder.

Roxas: (as Kairi) My favourite show comes on at four, I can’t miss it!

4:32 PM

Terra: Whoa, that’s quite the time skip.
Roxas: (as Kairi) No, my fave show!

Cloud was standing in the doorway to the bathroom when Riku reentered Aqua's apartment.

Xion: (as Cloud) I am the bathroom’s bouncer, no one gets by me!

Namine was bent over the toilet, vomiting as quietly as she could. Riku stared at Cloud for a long time, feeling that longing rise in his chest again as he thought about being able to do the exact same thing with Aqua.

Axel: Really? REALLY? You’re so desperate for us to agree Riku and Aqua have to bang that you’ve started romanticizing morning sickness? You’re gross, fic! You made me realize emetophilia is a thing!
Mog: *from notes* Now Riku finds out he’s been the opposite of engaged.

"Riku…"

Riku looked up at Cloud in a daze. He blinked slowly, feeling a wave of urgency wash over him. "Where is she?"

"Dude," Cloud said. "Aqua was taken by the cops. I don't know if they arrested her or what, but she's gone. I don't know where she is."

Marluxia: Looking at the precinct or jail isn’t an option at all.

Riku tensed. "Where did you see her last?"

Cloud frowned. "Come on, man, just let her be. She'll find you when she's ready."

Riku growled at him. "I don't want to hear that!

Terra: (as Riku) I don’t want to leave women to their own devices!

Tell me where she is!"

Cloud took a deep breath. "I saw her in the subway, but that was yesterday. I have no idea where she is now. There's no telling where she is.

Xion: (as Cloud) She could be at a helicopter pad or a ferry port by now.

It's fucking New York City. She could be anywhere.

Axel: It’s not like characters have thrice now bumped into exactly who they needed to bump into. She could be anywhere!

And she could have just left the country."

Marluxia: And go someplace with no Second Amendment? Inconceivable!

Riku felt so lost, not being able to think clearly anymore. He could feel numbers starting to surface again, but he was so angry with himself, he forced the numbers to the back of his mind with enough fervor to rip them from his skull. And he was just about to run, but then something peculiar happened.

Shift…

Zexion: Well that scene was going nowhere, time for a new one to distract us.

There was fog. Lots of fog. It was white, and it felt heavy, like it had suddenly come from some far away land that didn't belong.

Axel: Thank you for the first grade explanation on what fog is, fic.

He was standing on the corner of two roads, neither of which was in New York City, and he was alone.

Lexaeus: "I’m all alone," he stated out loud.

It felt far too real to be such a surreal environment. Almost like he didn't quite belong yet. Like he was too early for something. Riku looked around, but couldn't hear or see anybody. He could just barely make out the faint outline of a bridge above him, and he could hear the faint rumbling of a train in the distance.

"Hello?" Riku called.

"Shut up!"

Marluxia: I like this voice already.

Riku spun around. In a nearby tree, a young man was sitting on one of the higher branches, carrying a gun. He was wrapped in white fabric, like a modern ninja, but he looked panicked and scared.

Xion: Is he secretly delivering milk, what ninja dresses in bright white?
Terra: Mummies aren’t popular enough to get a mention.

"Do you want them to hear us?"

Riku frowned. "Where am I?"

Axel: Good question. Along with "Who are you?"; "What’s going on?"; and "How da fuck did I get a Keyblade?"

The man frowned and gently lowered himself to the ground. Other than the slight puffs of his exertion and the rumble of a distant train, it was silent. The man looked around constantly, searching for something. A sign that they had been heard or seen.

"We're in Jersey," the man whispered.

Larxene: The home state of the Milkman Ninjas.

"But keep it down. They'll hear us, and then there'll be Hell to pay."

Riku started. "Who's out there?"

The man put his finger to his lips. "Not who. What."

Zexion: (as milkman ninja) I’m fearing for my life but I’m still going to argue semantics.

Riku blinked stupidly. "What's out there?"

Xion: He’s taking being inside one of his visions quite well.
Roxas: Unrealistically well, you might say.

"I've heard only stories about what they actually are," the man said. "I've only heard that they are faster than us, smarter than us, bigger than us. But, I've never seen them."

Riku tensed. "Then how can you know?"

The man paused. "Have you ever just felt something so powerful that you know it to be true?"

Marluxia: (as milkman ninja) Search your feelings.
Mog: *from notes* Panic starts so he takes off runin’.

He crashed to the pavement once again, but he had landed on something soft. He paled when he saw the darker markings of some creature he had never seen before, and he nearly died right there when it swiveled its head around and opened its mouth. Jagged teeth protruded from its flesh, and Riku could see that the darker markings was actually blood, and he did not for one second believe that it wasn't human.

Terra: Why does this story change its genre at the drop of a hat? Sometimes it’s a gritty crime drama, other times its science fiction, or straight up film noir, and now... I think it could be classified as horror, but I don’t know.

The first thing that came to him was blind panic. He had never been so scared before, and he jumped to his feet and ran in whatever direction his mind told him to. He collided with a glass door, and it shattered without resistance. Riku didn't think as he climbed through the new hole and ran up the stairs. He didn't even look back to see if the creature had been following him. He just ran.

Roxas: The fic sure is putting a lot of work into a scene none us care about because we already know it’s not real. The effort’s not worth it, but we do respect it.

As soon as he reached the top of the stairs and barreled through a second set of glass doors, he found himself on a platform.

Xion: By this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw Walpurgis Nacht and Homura battling in the distance.

There was a metal bench in the middle of the platform, and sitting in one of the seats was a man wearing a tuxedo.

Axel: Oh good, Tuxedo Mask here returns.

Riku instantly recognized him, but didn't have the same feeling as he had last time. Last time, he had been preoccupied with thinking, but now he felt nothing but fear.

Marluxia: So he won’t question who the hell this man is or what he could possibly contribute to this already overblown plot.

The man looked up at him.

"Oh, you are here."

Larxene: (as tuxedo man) That’s… odd.

Riku looked behind him. "What happened?"

Xion: We have no idea. This is just a random dream sequence.

"I see you have a Keyblade now."

Riku pulled out Soul Eater. The man clicked his teeth disapprovingly.

Roxas: (as tuxedo man) You could have actually earned that but instead you just tripped over it. That is dumb.

Riku frowned. "What is this?"

The man stood and brushed himself off. "You were fine the way you were. Why would you interfere? Has our last conversation taught you nothing?"

Lexaeus: No, because Mog simply went on about food he liked.
Mog: It’s not my fault I love baloney so much.

Riku heard glass shatter from downstairs and he instantly turned around, wielding his Keyblade, terrified. He couldn't hear anything past the thudding of his heart. Even the tuxedoed man's voice wasn't really getting through to him.

"Acknowledge and move on," the man said. "Acknowledge and move on. You still haven't done anything."

Zexion: While true, he’s still done more to get events going than many other cast members. Something is still better than nothing.

Riku nearly fainted as he saw the creatures make their way up the steps. They seemed to be messing around with one another, sniping at each other's feet in grotesque play.

Roxas: (as Dusk 1) I wanna eat him!
Axel: (as Dusk 2) You ate a protagonist last week, wait your turn!

"This is not how it's supposed to happen."

"What are you talking about?" Riku cried.

The tuxedoed man sighed. "I suppose this is what must happen then." He looked down. "So be it."

Xion: I can see what you’re trying to do, fic, and I’m sorry to say it is so not working. Creating enigmatic characters is fun and leaving their true nature open to interpretation can make some truly memorable scenes—in fact, if I had to pick out what I think you’re ripping off it would the mysterious stranger from Red Dead Redemption—but they still have to be, you know, characters. We need to know at least one small fact about him, that’s what helps create intrigue to where his story is going. Having this guy show up, relate to no one, do nothing, talk about nothing, then leave is not mysterious. It’s boring, very very very boring to the point I don’t have a witty punchline for this ramble.

"What's going on?"

The tuxedoed man stepped to Riku's side and clasped his shoulder. He looked very troubled, and seemed to be saddened by what he was seeing, though he did not show any signs of fear. Riku trembled.

"Some things are better off forgotten."

Terra: (as tuxedo man) Oh, and before I forget to ask… Have you seen a little girl? Turned seven just last month?

Shift…

Lexaeus: And yet another sequence that was entirely unhelpful to anything going on.
Mog: *from notes* Tux-man tells Riku to stop pining over one girl.

Shift…

"Riku? Riku!"

Cloud had panicked when Riku had first fallen to the floor. He had rushed to his side, and picked him up while Namine gathered some water and towels.

Larxene: (as Namine) Don’t worry, hubby, I got this. Rat tails always wake people up.

Cloud panicked, for he thought Riku had died right there.

Zexion: Did you check his breathing or his pulse? Because if Riku was legally dead for a few minutes, that could lead into an exploration on the nature of these Keyblades and possibly examine a darker side to them.

"Riku!" Cloud yelled. "Please, answer me."

Riku remained still. He was floating in his strange new world, being instructed by the voice of the tuxedoed man.

Axel: Do tuxedoes cost a million dollars a stitch in this world? How’s he the only person Riku’s ever met wearing one?
Roxas: Give the guy a monocle at the very least.

He couldn't hear Cloud's desperate attempts to wake him, and this made Cloud more and more desperate.

Xion: (as Cloud) If I yell at him more he’ll magically wake up!
Mog: *from notes* Then Aqua steps in and wisely decides to ignore that weird scene going on and starts organizing boxes.

"Why are you leaving him?"

Aqua stopped her rifling and looked up. "That's none of your business. I paid you to protect him. You don't ask questions."

Larxene: (as Aqua) I'm paying you— for a job you're clearly not doing well, judging by Riku's current state— and you're in my apartment. I tell you to shut up, you shut the hell up.

"You're making a big mistake," Cloud said bristling. "He's never going to forgive you."

Axel: (as Aqua) Is this just a long way to ask me for more money? Cuz I will gladly pay you to stop talking.

Aqua smiled briefly. "Well, I guess I'll have to deal with that later then. I have things I need to take care of right now, and they didn't involve babysitting a child. That's what I hired you for."

"So, you don't care about him at all?"

Xion: (as Aqua) You know what I care about? Being your boss. When I say "Jump" you ask "How high?" You don’t ask "Why are you not happy being defined solely by a man?"

Aqua tensed. "Cloud, don't you patronize me.

Roxas: (as Namine) Honey, what are you doing?
Axel: (as Cloud) Judging a woman based on her love life.
Roxas: (as Namine) Oh that's so cute, perfect boyfriend with absolutely no faults and emotional issues whatsoever.

You have no idea what it is I do. I do not think Riku is just a child, but he is. That's what he is, and you know as well as I do that he'll do something stupid to prove a point. I'll come back one day maybe, but for now, I need to worry about other things besides the feelings of a stupid teenager."

Terra: I think the fic wants us to agree with everyone else that Aqua’s so mean for refusing Riku’s advances but… I totally agree with her here. It’s a rocky relationship right off the bat and he isn’t even marrying because "I love you lots!" He’s marrying her to basically project his fantasies onto and make decisions for her. He doesn’t really care about her so why should she care about him?

Cloud was silent. "There are people who truly care about him."

Larxene: (as Aqua) Neato. He can go marry one of those people. Now where’d you put my blender, I swear it was back here somewhere.

"Did you know he tried to propose to me?" Aqua said. "Did you know that he was willing to throw his whole life away to stay with me? Do you have any idea how hard it would be on him to be my husband?"

Zexion: I doubt either one of you are going to live to see the next five years, so at the very least he wouldn’t have to deal with you for very long.

Cloud frowned. "You're selfish."

Xion: (as Aqua) Well slap a medal on my breast and call me Susie McSelfishpants. Still won’t solve anything. Where’s my ipod charger, that thing always manages to go missing.

Aqua glanced at him. "I know. In so many more ways than you think. But, I can't let everything I worked so hard for slip away so easily. Call it karma. I already know I'll never have a normal life."

Terra: How would getting married solve their problems? Would she flash the diamond ring at her enemies and escape in the midst of their bedazzlement?

Cloud puffed out his chest. "I'm not going to let you destroy him."

Axel: (as Aqua) Don’t you have a pregnant girlfriend you could be sickeningly sweet to? Is me and Riku being married before the sight of God really your biggest concern right now?

Aqua frowned. "Fine. Do what you want, but don't get mad when the consequences catch up with you."

"Is that a threat?"

"That's a promise."

Roxas: (as Cloud) Hey, before you leave, can you answer what the second set of keys is for? I haven’t figured that out yet.

Aqua stood up after gathering several files and stuffing them into her messenger bag. Cloud didn't stop her as she passed him and left her apartment. He had been hired to protect Riku, and he intended to do just that, even if it meant betraying the woman who was going to give him everything he needed. He sat on the couch with Riku, hoping that he would wake soon. He was going to help him get away from Aqua.

No matter what.

Terra: Then why did we just read an entire scene of "You two should be together"? Cloud, you make no sense.
Mog: *from notes* Aqua’s hanging out in the airport.

"Angelina Godfrey?"

She shouldn't have answered. She should have looked confused; she should have been insulted, or scared. Anything other than what she did.

Aqua frowned.

Lexaeus: Why have all those other emotions when you can simply frown.

"Yes?"

Before her stood Mick and Officer Everett. They both had their arms crossed, faces scrunched in tight scowls.

Terra: (as both) Grrr look how threatening we are!

Aqua realized her mistake a soon as she made it, but knew it was far too late to change her mind.

Mick cracked a smile. "I finally found you."

Marluxia: (as Mick) After all this time of not looking for you.

Aqua narrowed her eyes. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Mick arched eyebrow. "You don't? Angelina Godfrey? The Free God? Aqua? You don't recognize any of those titles?"

Roxas: (as Aqua) Oh I don’t know, King Micky and/or Keyblade Master Mickey. Do you recognize any of those titles?

Officer Everett opened his mouth, but Mick stopped him.

Xion: (as Mick) Don’t speak, Everett. The world is not prepared for whatever amazing comeback you have planned.

Aqua was tempted to run, but she knew she wasn't going to make it.

Axel: There’s no way she could overpower Everett, may as well give up in the face of that powerhouse.
Mog: *from notes* They sidestep into a side room.

"So, let's get down to business," Mick said. "I wanna make a deal with you. Off the books."

Aqua laughed. "I have no idea what you're talking about, former Senator."

Mick motioned for Aqua to sit down, but she refused and he leaned in her face.

Xion: He had to stand on his tippy-toes to do it, but he made the effort.

"I can pay whatever your price is." He smirked briefly. "Name it."

Aqua laughed again. "Michael? If I may be blunt. If I was the person you were looking for, I wouldn't be interested."

Mick frowned. "Why not?"

Aqua suddenly became serious. More serious than Mick had been expecting and he gasped softly at her twist in demeanor.

Zexion: I’m just amazed she didn’t frown! There was actually an attempt at word crafting!

"Because you don't have anything I want."

"I can get whatever you need," Mick assured. "So long as you are willing to trade."

Roxas: (as Mick) I’ve got Darkrai. Everyone wants Darkrai!

Aqua took a seat and smoothed her hair back nonchalantly. This motion alone made Mick very ticked off.

Marluxia: He was jealous because he can never do anything nonchalantly. Like every male in this fic, his only emotions are to overreact.

He hated her arrogance, and her air of superiority, even though he knew she could have him killed if he didn't play his cards right. He was instantly reminded of Jerkbutt and wanted so badly to end her.

Roxas: I like how that’s the only reason to justify Jerkbutt ever existing, people occasionally mention "Bee-tee-dubs, he was here at one point."
Axel: Yeah, and Vexen was part of this sporking crew at one point but I bet no one remembers that either.

But, he couldn't. She was a big fish. One that could not get away.

Terra: Throw a wedding ring at her!

Aqua folded her hands together and rested her chin on her fingers. "I'll think about it. But, I'm not in the mood to deal with you right now. I'm a little busy."

Mick groaned audibly. "I don't want this to turn violent now."

Zexion: Why change now, we’ve sat through nothing but violence this whole time.
Roxas: Two seconds ago you were bemoaning not being able to kill her, don’t try to play the nice one now.

"Neither do I," Aqua said. "But, you could not have come at a more inconvenient time, Michael. I would be more than willing to shoulder your debt, but I'm busy."

Lexaeus: Doing what, no one yet knows.
Mog: *from notes* Mick pins her to the table and she just points out ‘you really suck at this negotiation stuff’.

Mick pushed away from Aqua as Everett pulled him slightly. He looked concerned. "Sir, we need her alive. Just take it easy, okay? We got this."

Roxas: And Everett once again solves everything, like the magnificent master of all situations that he has proven himself to be! I can’t wait to see him do things again! It’s always so exciting!

Aqua stood up again, though slightly weakened, and grinned. "Good cop? Bad cop?"

Terra: (as Everett) *thumps chest proudly* Best cop.

Mick forced himself to calm down. Aqua watched him with mild interest, and her attitude got under his skin. He furrowed his brow. "I want two things from you."

Larxene: There’s a boob joke in there somewhere but I’m too tired by now to make one.

"That's a little better," Aqua said, folding her arms. "We'll see. Maybe you do have something I want."

Mick relaxed a little more, but he could sense something was amiss, though what it was he couldn't quite tell.

Marluxia: I’m sure the narrative will point-blank remind you several times later, assuming Mog doesn’t skip it for being boring and repetitive.
Mog: *from notes* His choices are finding Lea or getting Riku back.

"Well," Aqua pursed her lips in mock innocence. "Which one is more important to you right now?"

"That's not fair," Mick whispered.

"I don't deal with what's fair." Aqua smiled. "But, choose one now, and maybe we can work something out for the future."

Axel: What’s this? Aqua is smug and in-charge of a situation like in her introductory scene? That’s clearly not what her character is, fic! She has to be dragged around by the whims of others and not do any actions of her own choosing. That’s what makes for a thought-provoking character!

Mick frowned. "Lea…where is he?"

Xion: Somewhere, Riku trips again and almost falls under a bus. His only question upon getting up and brushing the dust off his clothes is "Who threw me under there?"

Aqua shrugged. "I haven't seen Lea in years. Honestly, I have no idea. But, I guarantee that he's somewhere in the city. Give me an hour, and you'll have his exact location."

Terra: Try subways, people meet each other by chance in those a lot these days.

Mick nodded. "What do you want in return?"

Aqua smiled briefly. "I'll let that one slide for now."

"Why?" Mick frowned. "I'm not going to be in debt to you."

Zexion: (as Mick) I left my job, I have no income to pay you with.

Aqua laughed. "Because, the payment for your second request will not be what you think. You might not like me afterwards."

Axel: (as Mick) You gonna take Everett away from me? You can never take my Everett away from me.

Mick looked at her, but didn't do anything. He was going to bide his time, even though it was running out at record speeds. "And?"

Aqua sniffed, feeling emotion bubble into her words. Mick could hear it as well, but a sudden, angry, business-geared person emerged from Aqua's soul, once again throwing Mick off guard.

Terra: (as Mick) Wowzers, and I thought I had allergies bad.

"You can have him back," Aqua said. "I would only get him killed eventually anyway, but you won't have him until I break him down."

"What? Break him?" Mick sputtered.

Roxas: (as Mick) But he’s mine! You can’t break my toys!

Aqua nodded. "You came here for my help, and now I'm going to give it to you. You do not get to decide how it gets done." She paused. "You will get him back as soon as I make him completely disconnected from his feelings for me. You won't like how he turns out,

Larxene: We don’t like him now, how can you make him any worse?

but what you want is an agent who will work to the best of his ability for you. Someone who can detach from the hardships of life."

"You can't hurt him…"

"I assure you I will not hurt him," Aqua said. "I'm only going to break his heart.

Roxas: Remember when the Washington Monument blew up? Remember when we thought national crises would bear any significance to the plot and foolishly believed people would care about them for more than five minutes?
Terra: The only thing this story cares about anymore is who’s going to hook up with who and who’s complaining about how they didn’t hook up with another who.
Xion: When I volunteered to stay for this fic, I thought "Sure that all sounds bad, but at least it's not another pairing fic, at least it's something different." But, nope, welcome to the Lecture Room where nothing ever changes.

I don't want do. But…then you owe me. And that's worth a whole Hell of a lot more than anything you would have offered. Now, if I may leave now?"

Mick stepped to the side, as did Everett, and Aqua glided past them with a renewed confidence in her step. Mick couldn't believe he had made such a deal, but he couldn't afford not to. Time was running out, and they were not any closer to finding Kairi on their own.

Axel: Okay, I get it, you all suck! Go somewhere with it!

This was a necessary sacrifice, one that Mick alone would pay dearly for. Aqua stopped briefly.

Roxas: (as Aqua) I just have to ask… why are you even here, Everett? You never do anything.
Xion: (as Everett) Yeah, but I’m a complete blank slate so I’m fun to work with.
Mog: *from notes* Riku’s young, he’ll get over a broken heart.

Mick frowned as Aqua left the room. Everett remained silent, feeling like if he had spoken he would have made things worse.

Larxene: Most useless son of a gun I ever seen and I love him for it.

Mick dwelled on Aqua's last words. Riku really was young. Would he get over losing Aqua after working so hard to get her? Would he really get over it?

Mick wasn't so sure.

Axel: Precedence to how men take women’s refusals is going to say "Noooo."

27. Re: The Hotel

This is it. It all ends here. But, in wake of an ending comes a new beginning, and a new beginning is full of countless possibilities.

Enjoy the ride.

Roxas: Yes, let’s! We’re almost done guys, almost there! The nightmare is almost over!
Terra: Wait, what did they mean by begin—
Mog: Onto the chapter!

8:13 PM

Xion: It’s Akuroku time!

The music of Club 69 (the pun was very much intended in this case)

Axel: Because nothing says "end of an epic" like a joke about mutual oral sex. Way to continue the maturity, fic! I won’t miss it!

pounded loudly in Xigbar's ears as he sat at the bar and drank from a glass bottle of Bud.

Marluxia: Maybe he’ll finally have the chance to do something more exciting than bowling, cooking, and talking to other characters via the phone.

He was there by himself which had succeeded him in getting numerous strange glances, some of them unwary and others seductive. He wondered, amused, if girls found freaky assassins wearing eye patches "sexy" these days. It wouldn't surprise him one bit.

Larxene: Just stick a hook on one hand and you could probably make more money as a pirate than a bioterrorist. Or a stripper, your choice.
Mog: *from notes* One girl does find him attractive and talks to him. Which Xigbar of course treats with the utmost respect and esteem. That’s why you kupos aren’t reading about an entire page worth of content :)
Terra: That is the most strained smiley face I have ever seen.

Amongst the dancers of Club 69 was a man in a black suit with a red tie. His hair was graying, yet he was dancing with possibly two of the prettiest (and equally sluttiest) girls in the club.

Xion: Fic, I don’t know who told you girls’ heads would implode if you were nice to them, but I have to inform you it’s not true.

This was the current District Attorney, Eddie Gargan.

Roxas: *bangs face off desk* YET ANOTHER random has-been we won’t care about! Mog, just skip it, skip all the things. We’re tired, we want to go home.
Mog: Sounds good to me, kupo! *from notes* So here’s a DA who might get Xehanort caught, let’s snip that potential conflict before it gets started. Boy, Xigbar’s return to the fic is super relevant so far, huh?

Xigbar followed his target into the darkness like he was the man's shadow, using the dark surroundings as his tools for the kill. From its holster, he pulled out the grand architect.

Larxene: Do that before you leave home, Xigbar.

"Mr. Gargan!"

Axel: (as Xigbar) Do you have a moment to talk about Jesus?!

Gargan turned and Xigbar shot him three times in the torso, each shot accompanied with a loud retort that echoed in the dark alley.

Terra: Isn’t Xigbar supposed to be a sniper? You know, involving stealth and tactics and leaving no trace of yourself behind? Because I don’t think this new 'loudly declare to anyone around you you’re about to kill someone' type of sniping will catch on.

The District Attorney looked at his killer, wide-eyed. He opened his mouth to say something,

Marluxia: Probably "the hell was that for?"

but all that spilled out was blood. The D.A. gave one last choke and fell backwards onto the pavement.

Xigbar walked forward and shot the man again in the chest, just to make sure he was over with. Gargan did not jerk at the bullet's impact.

The job had been done.

Zexion: I do love how our final chapter opened with a diatribe of nothingness. Feels appropriate.
Mog: *from notes* Let’s go hang out with my work friends!

"Xigbar!" called Xehanort happily. "Over here, m'friend!"

The assassin grinned and walked over. The place was half-empty, and he admired the Boss' ability to find enigmatic places to go to when in public.

Lexaeus: 50% of the time, anyway. The other half he’s either causing massive public disturbances or ordering others to cause massive public disturbances.

"Hello, Sir. Saix." Xigbar rarely referred to Saix as "Superior". In Xigbar's humble opinion, Member II did not deserve to be looked down upon by some control freak with a planet fetish.

"Hi Xigbar," said Saix, grinning. "I guess we're the only three today, huh?"

"Indeed."

"Actually," said Xehanort sadly. "That's why I've brought you two here. I've just been informed that not only has Xaldin perished, but also Luxord and Lexaeus.

Terra: Last time he mentioned Xaldin was in the context of "I’ll call him about the Hawaii news", did it really take a week to realize why he wasn’t returning your calls?

Each one has been, in a way, killed by former-Senator Mick Mouse, the Keyblader, and their alliances. At first I thought they were just a minor nuisance, but it seems they've greatly damaged the Organization."

Roxas: I’d just like to point out Luxord died drunkenly stumbling out a window and Lexaeus fell on his own weapon. Oh, and Ryan getting into a fight was his own doing. The only ones dealing any damage to the Organization are themselves. These guys are the worst villains ever, no one ever gets in their way and they still manage to screw it all up.

"Lexaeus and Luxord?" asked Xigbar sharply.

"I'm afraid so. I'm sorry, Two. But you must have known that there would be some sacrifices in our ventures. Did you truly believe that all thirteen of us would make it out alive?"

Xion: (as Xigbar) No, but I pictured us having a bit more dignity while doing it.

"No. But it seems that the agents took out two important factors of us: our finance and our muscle."

"My friend, any one of us having been killed would've been the loss of an important factor! That's why this is all very risky."

"Three dead," Saix worried. "That leaves ten of us. Do we change our titles?"

Marluxia: Truly the biggest concern at this point in your operations.

"Nonsense. It shall always be Organization XIII;

Axel: (as Xehanort) That’s why Xion wasn’t allowed in our club. Who can possibly take over the world and look good doing it going by Organization Fourteen?

Luxord and Lexaeus and Xaldin shall always be with us in spirit. I cannot bear to imagine what it would be like to forget them or, worse, replace them."

Xion: (as Xehanort) And let’s unironically raise a glass to Victor Vanitas!

"Hear, hear," muttered Xigbar, taking the champagne bottle and pouring himself some.

Xehanort continued: "But this isn't about just the mourning of the deaths of our friends. This is about what to do with their killers. Sora O'Reilly,

Larxene: WRONG!

Kairi O'Cooper, Don Basilicata, Gerald Sicily, and occasionally Angelina Godfrey's lapdog, Riku Hannon.

Roxas: Look at all those last names we just made up! Look at how not Japanese they are!
Marluxia: That would get in the way of making everyone Italian because this story assumes all Italians are part of the mafia. They’re just born into crime.
Mog: *from notes* We go over some brief backstory of all those names that doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know.

"Okay, so…any questions?"

Xigbar cleared his throat loudly. Both men looked at him, eyebrows raised.

"Yes, Two?" asked Xehanort politely. "You have a concern?"

Xion: (as Xigbar) Where’s the bathroom?

"I do, sir. Forgive me, but what the fuck are we doing?

Roxas: We’ve been asking the same thing for what feels like years now.

Have either of you actually assessed the situation we're in right now currently? The Organization shouldn't have time to play tag with a bunch of fucking children. However, so far, these morons Mick's employed have killed three of us. THREE of us. Three valued members of the Organization. But that's not necessarily what baffles me.

Marluxia: (as Xigbar) See, I’m baffled for how this story plans to end all its barely started subplots within only one chapter.

"What baffles me is the fact that all of this could have been avoided,

Axel: Preaching to the effing choir, man.

we could have had those three friends back, if you and those two numbfuck scientists you employed had merely returned O'Reilly's parents. You took a mother and father from a child, a severe act of unnecessary cruelty,

Roxas: Did the writers even look at the games let alone play them? They keep trying to make Xigbar-slash-Braig the hero, and all the heroes turn into 'for the evulz' types. No one fits to who they originally were.

and you know what? I think, ever since then, we've deserved the problems that we are encountering.

Zexion: (as Xigbar) All those other acts of unnecessary cruelty were totally okay, but this one time when we targeted a main character, that's where the Powers That Be drew the line.

With our overconfidence we have wrongly believed that we can do whatever we want in this period of time, when we cannot.

"Furthermore, why are we dedicating our lives to destroying these people? Why not just live and let live?"

Axel: I FIGURED IT OUT!
Xion: Tell us what you’ve figured out, O wise Axel!
Axel: The reason this story is so bad! The reason why the plotting and pacing is terrible, why the characters are all over the place, why you get the feeling that nothing ever freaking happens— This entire story has just been Act One! We’ve been reading the build-up to a payoff that will never come!
Roxas: *thinks about it* That would definitely explain a lot.
Axel: *staring into the distance* I feel like I can unravel the secrets of the universe now.
Mog: *from notes* So, yeah, we just talk about how much the story stinks. I’m glad that took eight pages to get through. It makes the rest of the chapter shorter now!

9:02 PM

Although Sora was currently unaware of it, he was dreaming.


Xion: In a dream, the upward spiky hair boy was alone.

In the dream he was older and with Kairi. Both of them were holding one another on a cruise ship. His subconscious laughed at this cliché, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

Lexaeus: That’s very lucid for not being aware he’s dreaming.

They hugged and watched the sun set over the blue horizon of the endless sea they were upon. Riku came over, and he was older as well. He was with the nameless girl he "loved", who for once in her life looked happy.

Roxas: A few problems we found with that sentence. One: You already know her name; super useful visions, remember?
Xion: Two: What’s with the air quotes? Are you like us and also doubting their relationship?
Terra: Three: Aqua being turned into the “stone cold bitch” archetype is not only an insult to her character, but an insult to any story trying to be happy and uplifting because these writers don’t think that’s deep enough.

They stood together, two couples, finding peace and happiness at last. The "camera" (the position from which the dreaming Sora watched)

Marluxia: Why did you not go back and edit this scene to make that sound better? Did you honestly think that was well written? Why not just go all-out weird: say that Lakitu moved closer to better frame this romantic moment. Go all the way in making sure I am completely disconnected from this story.

of the dream zoomed in on Sora and Kairi as they smiled at each other. Kairi leaned in for a kiss…

All Hell broke loose.


Axel: (as Kairi) I am the dark lord Satan!

From the waters came a man clothed in black. He was walking on the water, the perfect Anti-Christ.

Terra: That all sounds impressive, until you find out he's doing it because he doesn't know how to swim.
Xion: (as Anti-Christ) Whatever! I'll walk!

Although no one said a word, Sora felt that the stranger was incredibly intelligent, cold and calculating, a creature.

Lexaeus: He’s not an abstract or inanimate, so I would assume he was a creature.

The man hopped onto the ship, and went straight for Kairi, vicious glee in his eyes…

Sora awoke with a yelp in Mick's penthouse.

Axel: (as Sora) IS KAIRI’S SALAD STILL SAFE?
Mog: *from notes* None of that’s getting Kairi saved so let’s move on.

9:30 PM

Weary and frustrated, Zexion opened the door to Oblivion Labs.

Zexion: *places his forehead on the desk again*
Larxene: I know you aren’t going to keep this up.
Zexion: You can watch me try.
Mog: *from notes* He finds Axel looking troubled and asks if he’s alright.

"No, Zexion," said Axel, voice quavering. "Something horrible has happened.

Roxas: (as Axel) You hear stories of it all the time but you never think it’ll happen to you. The red ring of death… *shudder* Never saw it coming…
Axel: The Xbox will have a Viking funeral in the bathtub later this evening. As the only thing in this household we didn’t hate, it deserves all our respect.

I didn't know who to call or what to do, so I waited here for a superior…"

"What happened?"

"Marluxia," whispered Axel. Zexion felt a chill run up his spine as his underling spoke the name.

Terra: If no one likes this guy, why keep him around? He isn’t even useful, just kick him out and get back to work.

"It was Marluxia, Zexion. He's gone rampant. Apparently the Superior took him off of his meds, and he's gone and kidnapped Xion. Zexion I…I think he's going to kill her. Her and Roxas."

Zexion stared at him, lips pursed, saying nothing.

Xion: (as Zexion) If Marluxia’s stopped his medication cold turkey, wouldn’t he just veg out on the couch for a week marathoning ‘My Cat From Hell’ on Netflix?
Axel: (as self) No, that’s what he did last time his prescription ran out. He wants to do something different this time.

Both men were of equal cunning and deceit, and neither was giving any sort of impression towards the other. They both studied one another for a long time.

Then, Zexion said, rather haughtily, "What do you want me to do about it?"

Larxene: Dying would be nice, but a doubt the fic would take that risk on you.

"Please, just go talk some sense into him!" Axel yelled.

Roxas: Axel must have been sitting here and thinking to himself "My plan to blow up Marly in a hotel with Xion inside just isn’t convoluted enough! I should throw one more person into the mix for funsies!"

"He's gonna kill them both! He told me! That pink-haired fuck took her to the Hotel, the one where he was initiated fully!"

Terra: Making it a proper noun does not make this more exciting. Nice effort, though.

"Then so be it," said Zexion darkly. He turned for the elevator. "Things have been going downhill since those two lovebirds showed up."

Marluxia: From what we’ve seen, things could have only improved with their arrival.

Axel screamed, "YOU CAN'T JUST LET THEM DIE!"

Axel: (as self) THINK RATIONALLY AND JOIN MY SCREAMING CONTEST!

"I can do whatever the fuck I want, Eight!" the Schemer yelled right back.

Xion: If he goes out to sea would he then be the Schooner?

"And you can't say a damn thing about it! Want to know why? Because I outrank you. Hell, you all should treat me with the same respect you do the Superior! I am of equal intelligence, and you should all be my pawns! You are lucky you aren't!"

Roxas: (as Zexion) You should treat me with respect and ignore all my bad traits to sympathize with my humble nature and pamper and baby me the same as the story does because I am better than everyone around me and have I mentioned humble yet?!
Mog: *from notes* Bickering continues for a bit.

"We're all in the Organization, Zeke. Or did you forget what the thirteen stood for?"

Marluxia: The only age group that would find this fic new and engaging?

Both men stared daggers at one another from across the room.

Then, Axel spoke up, "What if you could better your rank from it? This can benefit you, too, if that's all you truly care about."

"What?"

"What if I told you that, if you reason with him, you might be able to kill off one of Mick's agents?"

Zexion took a step forward, frowning.

Lexaeus: We now know his attention has been grabbed. Frowning conveys the most intricate of emotions.

"What do you mean?" the intellect asked slowly, heart racing.

Axel grinned like the devil himself. A malicious glee gleamed in his eyes, one of triumph, but Zexion's heart was pumping blood into his head so swiftly that he hardly noticed.

The pyro said, "He has the redheaded one. Kairi. Marluxia has Kairi."

Axel: Okay. So three informants go to meet Riku at a restaurant Marluxia happens to frequent, the three happen to get their sorry butts kidnapped and then killed a dozen chapters later, Roxas happens to believe Marluxia’s a traitor because of this, Marluxia happens to decide he wants to kill two other random people afterwards, AxelLeaLuca happens to find Kairi on the streets of a city with an eight million population, Zexion happens to be obsessed with that same girl, and your boss happens to decide to cease your one murder’s meds that happens to add credence to your obvious lie, and this will all happen to result in the story’s finale. TRULY THIS IS A MAGNUM OPUS AMONST FANFICTION AND WE SHOULD ALL BOW DOWN BEFORE ITS MASTERPIECE!
Mog: *from notes* Zexion is so excited to hang out with Kairi that he takes off fast enough that Axel forgets to even tell himself Xion’s hiding place, so how she’s getting saved is sure a puzzler. In the meantime, Sora gets a phone call.

"Sora!"

"Kairi!" Sora sat up, now instantly awake, his heart racing. "Oh my God…Kairi…I can't believe it…are you okay?"

Roxas: (as Kairi) More than okay, I’m the only one contributing to my own rescue right now.

"I'm fine, I'm fine!" she cried on the other end of the line. "I'm so sorry, Sora, I'm so sorry I let them take me-"

Terra: (as Kairi) I’m so sorry I LET myself be beat up and held against my will!

"Where are you?" he demanded, standing up. "Where did Axel take you?"

"To the Hotel! The Hotel where your parents got kidnapped!

Xion: Do they keep calling it "the Hotel" because that’s literally its name? Did Sora’s parents decide to vacation in the Hotel hotel?

The entire place is empty. I think the Organization's responsible. I managed to get my one hand free to grab this phone, the idiot must've forgotten it…"

Axel: So she doesn’t use that free hand to free her other hand, it’s immediate phone!
Xion: Teenage girls, amiright fellers?

Sora laughed shakily. "My God, I fucking love you, O'Cooper.

Lexaeus: (as Sora) Which is why I’m using your last name, a social convention usually reserved for people you aren’t very intimate with.

Okay, I'll come get you right now. Is he there? Is Axel in the building?"

Roxas: If he was, you already know you can kick his butt. As far as we can tell, that’s the only point those fight scenes served.
Mog: *from notes* But it turns out Marly’s coming soon, oh noes! So Sora has to look deep within himself to find his courage… but decides, nah, he’ll just let the Keyblade do all the solvin’.

His hand was on the door when he heard the first sob.

Alarmed, he turned to the bedroom beside the entrance door to see Don sitting on the bed in the guestroom, back to Sora, head bent down low. Sora felt a moment of shock; he had never seen nor heard either Don or Goofy cry before. Yet here the agent was, bawling his eyes out on the bed.

"D-Don?" Sora walked into the room slowly.

Axel: (as Sora) Are you looking for attention?

Don looked up, eyes red, tears streaming down his cheeks in rivers. In his hand he held the photo of a beautiful brunette woman and a lovely little girl with wide, brown eyes. The girl was sitting on the shoulders of a younger and smiling Don, who the woman was wrapping herself around in a loving hug.

Larxene: (as Sora) So your family’s dead, too bad, so sad, BYE!

"Are…are you okay?"

Don laughed and sniffed. "Do I look alright?"

"Is that your wife? And your daughter?"

Don looked at Sora straight in the eye and said, "Yes, son. That is my wife and daughter."

"I didn't know you were a father. None of us knew, I think."

Xion: Why doesn’t Goofy get to be a father?

Don looked back at the photo, tears splashing onto it. For a minute, all was quiet.

Roxas: And then Sora took off because his girlfriend’s life is in danger.

Then, Don said, with much effort,

Roxas: Or he stayed there to listen to Don’s sobstory.
Axel: I hope Kairi’s already working on getting her other hand free, because her boyfriend’s of no use like always.

"When I was around thirty-two, my wife and child were killed by a couple of Heartless thugs. I had…spoken openly against them at a bar that night. The fucks followed me home, tied me to a chair, and made me watch as they stabbed both of 'em to death."

Terra: Look, Don, I’m sorry to hear that, I really am but… You’re telling this story in the middle of the last chapter and what should be in the middle of saving Kairi’s life. While I appreciate you having the only sympathetic tragic backstory, it’s too little too late.
Mog: *from notes* It was that Coy guy that did it.

"My wife," said Don, tearfully smiling. "She was a nurse. She dedicated her life to the hospital she worked at. Why? Because she wanted to fucking help this world.

Zexion: At least someone in this story did.

And my daughter…my daughter was a beautiful girl. Very smart and very funny. She was six. C-can you believe th-that? T-to this d-d-day I stay up at n-night wondering what kind of a muh-monster can kill a six year-old.

Larxene: Cruddy writers do it all the time, Don, this is nothing new.

"And the worst part of it was…was that it was my f-fault. All of ih-it. I was a h-husband to Moira

Roxas: …Why not Daisy? Y’know? Daisy? Created to be the female counterpart to Donald plus his girlfriend, and whose first appearance was "Mr Duck Steps Out" which debuted June 7, 1940? That Daisy?! I know it’s obvious, but it’s obvious for a reason.

and a d-daddy to C-Courtney,

Terra: Is Mick going to introduce us to his wife Delilah later?

and I failed at both. I let those three fuh-fucks take their lives. A nurse and a six year-old.

"Gone. G-gone forever."

Xion: And Moira never even got a chance to finish her Wasteland Survival Guide.

Sora did not know what to say. He had nothing to say.

Axel: If this story doesn’t end with "I really had you going with that wife and child bit" I will be sorely disappointed.

Don continued, now talking through tears, "A-and that s-six year-old could've grown up to be the f-fucking P-President.

Lexaeus: In this misogynistic world? I doubt it.

And she was never given a chance. Not even a chance, Sora."

Xion: I guess this at least explains my earlier question of why Max can’t exist in this story. Because it’s so sad when more females are killed off to further a man’s story.

Again, Sora remained silent, his mouth open in a gape of concern and sorrow. Suddenly, he understood it all. All of those private talks about love and dedication…Don saw a part of himself within Sora, and wanted to make sure that this boy he hardly knew would act out in protection the way he, Don, had not.

Axel: (as Don) Yeah, that girl you've barely known for a month is EXACTLY like what I felt for the woman I married and had a child with!
Terra: So that’s what he is now? Not a faithful companion with a comedic short temper, just... Cupid to every other pairing in this fic?
Roxas: I feel annoyed on your behalf, Donald.
Mog: *from notes* So the main reason for that whole scene was so Don could give Sora a gun he named Moira. Finally, Sora’s ready to save Kairi!
(He spends some time looking over his notes.)
Mog: …Actually… I’ve been thinking… Since this story’s so repetitive and it makes us really repetitive, do you all wanna skip some of the really long scenes so we can get to the end faster?

Marluxia: Those are the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard you say, Mog.
Xion: Summarize, you magnificent moogle! Summarize like you never have before!
Mog: I’ll do my best for you, kupos! *from lengthier than usual notes* In this Big Skip was Marluxia finding Kairi in the hotel and doing what he does best: which is to say, not much. Now cut to Axel in an apartment a few buildings down scoping everything out.

Lounging like a man in a movie theater, Axel picked up his walkie-talkie and dialed it to the other receiver that didn't belong to Zexion.

"Lily?" he asked.

From the other end, Xion whispered, "Oh, good! I was wondering if you were gonna start talking or not."

Xion: (as self) We’re supposed to be best friends yet we’ve spoken all of never.

"You alright there?"

"Yes, Axel," said Xion sarcastically. "I just love the fact that I'm in a fucking panic room in the basement of a hotel I know nothing about.

Zexion: Mm, clunky exposition. It’s been a while since we had such vanilla bad writing.

Tell me, though: who's my rescuer?"

Axel: (as Xion) Along with: why’d I agree to this plan? What even is your plan? And how da fuck did Riku get a Keyblade?

"Zexion."

"Zexion?"

Marluxia: She immediately stands up and leaves. While she trusts Zexion could rescue her, her pride would never recover.

"Yes, ma'am. Looks like you two lovebirds will be reunited at last."

"Fuck you, fire-crotch. Where's Ryan?"

"Um, right here beside me," Axel lied.

Lexaeus: Ryan may as well been in a coma after the car accident for all he’s added to the story since.

"Can I speak to him?"

"He just went to the crapper."

"Ugh…boys."

Roxas: (as Xion) Ugh, boys and their terribly unbelievable fibs that I for some reason believe.
Axel: It’s real easy being an awesome liar when the plot slipped everyone else stupid pills on my behalf.

"Love ya' too, shweetheart."

"Again: fuck you, fire-crotch."

Terra: (as Axel) My, aren’t you surly.
Larxene: (as Xion) The writers only know how to use me when my pain and suffering is wanted. I can be as surly as I damn well please!

"Sayonara."

Axel: (as self) Sayonara, Xion the Expendable.

"Bye."

Axel switched off the walkie-talkie, satisfied that his plan was working.

Roxas: What plan? We keep saying this because it’s true that we honestly have no idea what’s going on right now. It’s like trying to make a joke about quantum physics: how can I laugh at something I don’t understand?!
Terra: Not to mention where in this timeframe did anyone ever inform Xion they were using her as bait? Last time we saw her she was being kidnapped on a beach. Now she’s in a basement. Why? Even she doesn’t know!

Behind the chair he was lounging in were three duffel bags. Once Xion was safe and Marluxia was dead, the three of them were gonna get the Christly fuck outta here. Move to the beach or at least near the fucking ocean somewhere; Axel had wondered about buying an island or something of the sort.

Marluxia: He couldn’t do that now, of course. He gets a "Sacrifice Best Friends" discount after this.

If the Organization were to succeed, they could watch the world crumble from their own, private life somewhere. If not, then they could live out their lives together somewhere.

All will be well, he thought.

Axel: Munch munch munch, that’s some delicious irony I’m chewing on right now.
Zexion: You could not telegraph "Xion's going to die" more if you used smoke signals and semaphore flags.
Mog: *from notes* Another Big Skip as Marluxia threatens to burn Kairi.

The pink-haired demon was tackled by another figure in black robes, this one with a head full of hair that was going prematurely gray…or was it white?

Zexion: *puts head on desk again*

It did not matter, for this man was now shoving Kairi's would-be killer against the wall of the room and pummeling him in the face. Marluxia fell to the floor, knocked out cold, nose bleeding.

Larxene: Oh yeah. I’m sure Zexion’s scrawny limbs put up an amazing fight.

In front of him, breathing heavily over his fallen foe, stood Zeke Fender.

He had aged tremendously since she had last seen him. It was mostly his eyes; they seemed to hold an eternal and forsaken knowledge, a knowledge that most others would never want on their mind…a knowledge that he had constantly on his mind.

Marluxia: Shame we never get to see that.

"Zeke…" she breathed. "Zeke…Fender? Is that really you?"

Roxas: (as Kairi) That guy I talked to all of once and if he’s not letting it go neither will we?

Although it seemed impossible for an individual as pale as he to blush, Zeke did so, and incredibly brightly.


Axel: Great Darkside’s crotch, what is that monstrosity?
Terra: *elated* It’s Moe Girl! And she’s updated!

He could hardly look her in the eye, she noticed, and suddenly she was blushing as well.

"Y-yeah," he said, somewhat sheepishly. "Hello, Kairi."

She said nothing, just stared at him, wide-eyed.

He cleared his throat and said, "Let's get you out of those handcuffs, okay? Did you hurt your wrist?"

"Um…what? Oh. Yeah, I did. But it doesn't matter. Th-thank you."

Larxene: (as Kairi) Nothing else matters now that YOU’RE here because YOU’RE the most amazing person that ever lived, YOU’RE the only man I’ve ever loved!

Fender's blush reddened as he moved towards Marluxia and searched him. After a moment or two, Zeke found the tiny silver key and used it to free Kairi's other hand.

Lexaeus: It’s good he had those keys to the handcuffs Axel put on her.

As soon as she was freed, the redhead sat up and hugged Zeke, tightly.

Axel: And then she bit him in the ear and took off running to freedom!

Zexion tensed up as if he had touched a live wire. Her flesh upon his…it was almost unbearable. But he hugged her back nevertheless. When the embracing was finished, they stared at each other for what seemed like forever.

Marluxia: All of that was just a poetic way of saying he has a raging hard-on right now.
Xion: I hope Kairi isn't hugging him too tightly or else things are about to get awkward.

"Let's get you the Hell out of h-"

Roxas: Allow me to finish his sentence for him. "Let’s get you the Hell out of heinously gross scenes that justify his obsession with her by having him be the knight in shining armour."

Marluxia was back up and attacking like a ravenous carnivore, scratching and screeching as he flung himself at the hapless Zexion. The men rolled onto the floor, each fighting desperately.

Larxene: Woot, catfight!

"Flee!" yelled Zexion to his crush. "I'll hold him off!"

But Kairi was paying him no attention, for a third man had just entered the room, making his way towards her by carefully running around the two brawlers who took no notice of him.

Xion: (as Sora) KAIRI I’M HERE TO—huh that looks weird just going to tiptoe around those guys—KAIRI I’M HERE TO SAVE YOU!

Sora, her lover, was here in the flesh, his Keyblade wielded, his face full of such concern and love that Kairi's sorrow and fear had been swept away by its presence.

Zexion: Almost makes you forget he was completely inconsequential in her rescue.

He walked towards her and kissed her full on the mouth, then grabbed her hand and they made their way out of the room together.

"Wait!" cried Kairi. "What about Zeke?"

Axel: What about him? Guy’s a douchecanoe, leave him be.

"We have no time!" said Sora. "Shift's going to be after us any second!"

"He saved me!" Kairi replied firmly, yanking her hand away from him. "I'm not going to-"

Roxas: (as Sora) We can have this fight outside, Kairi! Away from the two murderers!
Xion: Maybe Sora’s the reason she never gets to do anything. She was a fully competent person for every second of her kidnapping, but now he shows up and she’s back to being a damsel.
Terra: To be fair, it's not like the games treat her much better.
Mog: *from notes* Another Big Skip as we briefly cut to Axel who is getting confused as to what’s going on. Not because these scenes are hard to follow, but because he can’t see anything.

Marla Shift turned and swung his scythe. Zexion yelped as the tip of the blade tore open his shirt and the skin of his belly. He grasped the wound, doubled-over, as the serial killer made his way back to the two teenagers.

Axel: Psshaw! He’ll be fine!

Warm blood gushing between his fingers, Zexion ran forward and kneed Marluxia right in his rear. Marluxia screamed in agony and Zexion brought him down the floor, crowning him over the head with his fists together.

Axel: See? Getting your stomach sliced open never hinders anyone, because that part of your body contains no vital organs and doesn’t move enough to cause crippling pain. Look at all that realism in how he just walks it off.
Marluxia: By the by, thank you for turning me into a joke here, fic. I appreciate being ridiculed to make your—for some reason—personal favourite character an even bigger Gary Stu than he already was.

"Quickly!" he yelled to the two, pointing down the hall as he got up. "The elevator! Run!"

The three of them scrambled for the metal doors and Sora quickly pressed the button with a small arrow pointing down on it. The elevator slowly made its way up.

Roxas: (as Sora) Sooooo… While we wait, how’s everyone been?
Xion: (as Zexion) I made your dad explode.
Roxas: (as Sora) Water under the bridge, buddy.

Kairi screamed, "No!"

Both men looked around to see Shift rushing forward, his scythe raised above his head, his face a bruised and bloodied monstrosity.

Bullshit with fear,

(Everyone just shrugs in confusion over that one because what do you say to that?)

Sora tugged Moira out of his pocket and fired.

Zexion: Because why would we want to see the Keyblade defeat anyone in a Kingdom Hearts fic? It’s much more satisfying to have a gun that was introduced halfway through the final chapter solve everything.

The bullet tore the side of Marluxia's hip

Roxas: Why couldn't Axel do that instead of this whatever-it-is plan? Being crazy doesn't make you invincible to bullets, just shoot the sucker!

and the serial killer fell on the floor, howling in pain, blood spurting on the nice carpets of the Hotel's hallways.

Larxene: On the bright side, they won’t have to have that steam-cleaned after its reduced to rubble.
Axel: I’ll let the manager know I did some redecorating while he was gone. I had the walls and ceiling removed.
Mog: *from notes* They take the elevator while Marluxia takes the stairs. Oh, yeah, and Zexion’s a good guy now. Cuz… cuz.

Something buzzed within Zexion's robes. He took out the walkie-talkie Axel had given him, and turned it on.

"…exion, are you there? You there, man?"

"Yes. I am here. You were right about Marluxia, he's gone rampant."

"No fucking shit. Are you in the elevator?"

"Yeah."

"He's coming downstairs to the lobby. Do you…av…ion…w…y…?"

Axel: (as self) Dammit, the cashier promised me these things would work at least five feet apart! I’m going back to the dollar store to get my refund.

"You're breaking up!" yelled Zexion sharply. "Are you there? Hello?"

"Do…have…girl?"

"Yes!" he cried. "Yes, I have the girl!"

"O…ay…be…caref…"

Static.

Zexion swore, then looked at the two. "You heard him, right?"

"Hardly," said Sora.

Terra: (as Sora) He did say "Throw Xion to the wolves" right?

"Okay. Well, Marluxia's going to meet us at the lobby, so we have to hurry."

"What the fuck is wrong with him? I knew he was insane, but if you're on the same side and he attacked you…"

"Any animal will respond violently if you interrupt something it loves. Furthermore, I do believe he's stopped taking his Zoloft…"

Axel: Shove your Zoloft up your ass, fic. You obviously don’t know anything about it so maybe you think medicine is taken rectally.
Roxas: We already looked up what Zoloft is prescribed for, and not a one of those diagnoses lead to ‘homicidal crazyhead’. The only way this fic could get more insultingly wrong is if they said "Marluxia kills people because of an evil split personality. Y’know, like schizophrenia!"

"We're at the lobby," Kairi croaked, staring at the meter above the metal doors with a nervous expression on her face. "Get ready."

The elevator rang and the doors opened behind him.

Axel: And then Sora and Kairi thrust Zexion out as bait and took off running!
Xion: Guys, we already know Zeke doesn’t die, stop your wishful thinking.
Mog: *from notes* That fight scene sure is fun, let’s interrupt it for another long talky scene. Mick’s gang is hanging out at the airport waitin’ for the chipmunks.

Everett lazily looked outside his window out into the dark runway, his breath fogging up the window as his mind slowly began to drift into a drowsy-like state, and suddenly he was dreaming of his days with his wife eating ice cream and he thought to himself Boy, I can't wait to go home so I can see Celia again and he dreamed of his kids and her on Christmas morning last winter and soon he was hallucinating someone walking towards the car and knocking on its window, a tall intimidating man…

Larxene: (as Everett) I can't wait to get back to my Stepford wife and eat ice cream that's more vanilla than we are and celebrate popular holidays with our 1.2 kids and dog and white picket fence and show off what an immensely interesting character I am! I've had so much work put into me!
Roxas: As much fun as it is to mock what a not character Everett is, I'm starting to question why he's here. I mean, the story could easily rewrite him to just be Goofy, since he also never does anything, or if the story really wanted Mickey to have a sidekick just make him one of the Disney characters. Like Horace, Horace Horsecollar deserves some love these days!

A tall intimidating man was knocking on the car window. All four agents in the car gasped in surprise.

Mick rolled down his window and called out, "Yeah?"

"Former Senator Mick Mouse?"

Marluxia: Contrary to what you may think, story, this man's one trait of being voted into the Senate doesn't make him interesting.

"Who's this?"

"My name is Xigbar. I was sent to talk to you about a possible deal between yourself and my boss."

Larxene: (as Mick) Hey, if you rearrange the letters of your name around it’s almost like my friend Braig. What are the chances of that?

"Who is your boss?"

"You know who."

Terra: (as Mick) Voldemort?!

Mick felt a chill creep up his spine at that. He cleared his throat and pulled his small revolver from his inside coat-pocket. He checked the rounds; full. Good. The gun went silently into his front pocket, where his right hand rested on it. Then he stepped out of the car.

"Member of Organization XIII?" he asked politely.

"Yeah, that'd be me," laughed the man in the darkness.

Mick shot at him through his pocket.

Lexaeus: He must go through a lot of suits with that aiming habit.

The retort echoed throughout the open landing strip and the bullet tore through the air. Unfortunately for the former Senator, the bullet did not tear the Member. In fact, it didn't even hit him.

Roxas: …you missed? How could you miss he was three feet in front of you!

The man laughed and said, "Listen, sir, I did not come to fight. Just to negotiate."

"Fuck you!" growled Mick.

Marluxia: (as Xigbar) Ooh, that hurt as much as that bullet that came nowhere near me.
Mog: *from notes* Brief description of Xigbar’s appearance.

"Please," said Xigbar. "All I want is to talk. The airport has a cafeteria. Can I buy you and your friends some coffee, and we can wait for whoever it is you're waiting for together?"

Terra: (as Mick) Fine, but just buy a large for Everett and the rest of us will steal it from him. I don’t drink my own coffee!
Xion: (as Everett) Aw.

"How the hell can I trust you?" snarled Mick. "I oughta shoot you dead right here and right now."

Larxene: I’d like to see you try. Oh wait, I just did.

"But you haven't yet. You suspect I have something to offer, which I truly do. I am currently unarmed, and all four of you must have guns."

"I don't have to kill you, but what's stopping me from arresting you and beating the shit out of you for information?"

Axel: I’d say your own self-respect, but no one in this fic has any of that.

Xigbar said rather lazily, "Because I'm about to tell you everything anyways. It's rather chilly out here, so can we get inside, please?"

Mick frowned at him. "Fine. Daniel, Don, Goof'. You heard the man."

"Coffee's on me," Xigbar promised.

Terra: Are we in a Coleman Francis movie? Why’s everyone so suddenly obsessed with coffee?
Larxene: Only those vile Jesus lovers drink tea!
Mog: *from notes* Another Big Skip, and I do mean Big. There was a lot of talking about nothin' important. Just more "Wowee hasn’t the entire story thus far been entirely pointless?" and… not much else, honestly. No jokes, kupo, when they bring up the virus Mick just goes "It doesn't matter." This last chapter's weeeiiiirrrd.

The doors to the elevator opened, and the three crept out of the small metal box warily, their eyes darting to all of the dark corners of the lobby. Sora remembered walking through this very same lobby what felt like a century ago.

Axel: At least you didn’t have to somehow make that century funny!

He had just put on some fresh clothing to see the computer store across the street, a simple task for a simpler cause, an act which threw him into a world of war and wonder.

Terra: Yeah, all that brutal murder and death and torture was so WONDERFUL!
Marluxia: I’m sure Sora will look back on this past month with much nostalgia when he’s old and grey.

As he passed the desk he could almost hear the concierge ask, Is there anything I can get for you, sir?. Sora briefly wondered whether or not that man had survived Marla's previous assault in this Hotel, wondered if anyone besides himself did-

Xion: Thanks for the cliffsnotes version of the first chapter, I guess?
Zexion: I’m now questioning if this was the first time the writers reread their own story.

The oncoming blade of the scythe swooshing through the air interrupted Sora's thoughts, and he pushed Zexion out of the way of the blow.

Larxene: Goddamit Sora, you ruin everything! The world was almost saved from whiny bullcrap.

Marla Shift growled in frustration and kicked Sora in the stomach. The boy doubled over in pain, only to be knocked backwards by a powerful knee to the face. Sora hit the floor hard enough to make his teeth rattle. His vision darkened as his consciousness left him.

Marluxia: That makes him black out, but Roxas electrocuting him and getting one of Axel’s chakrams to the face he just rolls off his shoulders.
Mog: *from notes* Some yucky writing towards Kairi.

The madman swung the scythe again, this time tearing Kairi's jeans. Her pant legs fell to the floor and blood gushed out of her upper legs in the thin yet deep cut Marluxia had made. Zexion cried out, indignant.

Axel: Probably indignant because to cut off her jeans would mean cutting off her legs. A giant-ass scythe is not going to make precision cuts!
Mog: *from notes* More yucky writing that no one wants to read.

Screaming, she flung himself at him, scratching and biting anything she could. Marluxia hissed and fought right back, but his clumsy swings were nothing compared to Kairi's swift jabs and bites.

Roxas: The fact she can do verbs is losing its charm. This is inverting back to sexism again because you think ‘strong women’ means ‘physical strength’.
Xion: Although this is adding lots of credence to my theory of Sora being her personal idiot ball since he’s out of commission again.

"Gerroffme!" he roared as she wrapped her arms around his neck. Still furious and desperate to live, Kairi O'Cooper bit hard on the side of the serial killer's head with all her might. She felt flesh rip from fresh and warm blood pour down her chin in streams. Marluxia sank down to his knees as Kairi spat his severed right ear out of her mouth, letting it land with a bloody splash at his knees.

Axel: You Lieutenant Dan her, she van Gogh’s you!
Mog: *from notes* Sora wakes up just in time to shoo Marluxia away.

"Zexion?" spoke Zexion's communicator. "Ever…y…a…right?"

Lexaeus: Why isn’t anyone calling Xion on her communicator? It can’t possibly have worse reception than these.

"Sora!" cried Zexion. "You have a gun! Shoot the fucking glass doors!"

Zexion: …why?

He talked into his communicator. "We're coming out of the Hotel!"

"O…ay…" Static.

Roxas: They must be using Skype on those walkie-talkies.

Sora raised Moira and fired at the glass doors from their position across the lobby. They shattered and the alarms of the building began to ring.

Around them, the pounds of C-4 that none of the three had known about exploded.

Axel: THEN WHY WAS XION PUT IN THE BASEy’know, I already know the answer—ADAHFAWE—so why bother asking?

When Axel had received his latest message from Zexion, he had been standing with half of his body out of the window, trying to get a good look down into the lobby of the Hotel. It was hard to see, but he certainly saw three figures running. Zexion, Xion, and Kairi.

Roxas: I know they only met the one time, but Axel is aware Xion doesn’t look like a teenage boy, right? Except under very specific circumstances.

He had personally seen a Marluxia-shaped figure run away from the three.

Marluxia: …with his tail between his legs, I’m assuming this fic wanted to add.

Now was the time to act. Zexion and the other two were close to the front doors. Once the first C-4 detonated, they would have a chance to get away.

Larxene: (as Axel) If I blow 'em all up, it's their own fault for not runnin' fast enough. Smile and say "kablooie", kiddies!

Whatever, Axel thought bitterly. Last time pays for all. Don't it, Marluxia?

Marluxia: I may be an insult to every minority outside race, but at least I get to be the final boss fight.
Axel: But where is the sudden transition into space?!
Mog: *from notes* As the building starts going down, Sora punches Marly in the nose for the sole purpose of making sure he dies with no dignity whatsoever.

Sora turned and made a break for the door. The room detonated around him.

Roxas: This hotel won’t be flying into any more frenzies now, I can tell you that!

Pillars and rubble flew in chunks all over the place, shattered glass littered the floor, and running around the Hotel's lobby was a figure that looked human…but no…it couldn't be…could it? It looked like a girl. For a split second, Sora and the girl made eye contact, and then she was consumed by the hungry flames with a small "Oh!".

Xion: *excitedly slams her palms down on the desk* I bet you thought I was going to do something eventually but nope! This was my true secret identity all along: I was entirely pointless! Away, Stupendously Superfluous Girl! Ka-pwing! *leaps out of seat*
Terra: Your life as nothing but a plot tool is now complete. I hope you enjoy Fanfiction Heaven, because you're the only character going there.

Hallucination, Sora though. You've finally lost your damn mind.

Lexaeus: His last glimpse of this vision girl was of her lifting her hands to the sky, rolling her eyes, and muttering "Of course."
Mog: *from notes* And boom! bam! goes the Hotel Hotel. And Zexion’s a bad guy now. Cuz cuz.

Teeth bared, Fender bent down and picked up Moira, and cocked the pistol.

Sora and Kairi turned.

"Zexion?" asked Sora. "You okay?"

Roxas: STOMACH WOUND!

Sora wanted to believe that he was, but the malice in the man's eyes said otherwise. Suddenly, looking at those eyes, Sora was now aware that although they had avoided death at the hands of one psychopath, their survival had brought them into the clutches of another.

Zexion: They must have been frowning all over the place with this turn of events!
Mog: *from notes* There was a long scene of Marla Shift finally dying here. It’s gone now.

4:53 AM

Xion: I guess now is a good time as any to finally wonder why the story added in these timestamps so late.
Terra: It started off as a Majora’s Mask style countdown to the climax, the hotel exploding, but that doesn’t fit very well since we never knew when this major event was going to happen. Even the characters went out of their way near the end here to make sure they didn’t know what was happening, so it wasn’t really a countdown and it certainly wasn’t useful in adding suspense.
Axel: Yeah, I know. And I know how this fic thinks by now so I’m darn sure if it was written nowadays they’d make it a five day countdown instead because something used a five day gimmick and got popular, so if they just copied it they’d get popular too.

"Are…are you alright?" asked Sora, taking a step back. Incredibly, he heard himself add, "Sir?"

Roxas: (as Zexion) WHAT? SORRY TO YELL, BUT I CAN’T HEAR YOU SINCE I WAS TWO FEET AWAY FROM A MASSIVE SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS. THERE’S SO MUCH RINGING IN MY EARS IT’S TO THE TUNE OF ‘CAROL OF THE BELLS’.

"Am I alright?" repeated Zexion. "Am I? Ha! Haha! Hahahahahahahaaaa!" He lowered Moira to laugh, laugh until his face turned as red as his calculating eyes.

Marluxia: The two kids could have easily ran up and kicked him down in the midst of his giggle fit, but then that would ruin Zexion’s little Moment he’s trying to have.

"That's funny! That's a real laugh, Sora! Are you alright, Sir? Bahahahaha!" Zexion sobered up so suddenly it took both agents aback. He raised the gun menacingly and, through grit teeth, spoke, "No, you stupid fuck. I am most certainly not 'alright'. I'm anything fucking but."

Roxas: (as Sora) There’s no need for the pottymouth, Zeke.

Kairi firmly said, "Zeke, put down the gun."

"Shut up, slut."

Zexion: Do you really want to insult the girl you saw tear someone’s ear off?

"Zeke-!"

"IT'S ZEXION!"

The correction was a roar that echoed in this dark alleyway. Sora's heart sank; what the hell was happening next? Whatever it was, he figured it was going to end in violence. As much as he did not want it to happen, he just instinctively knew.

Marluxia: We would make another fickle joke, but we know the answer to why this time. Even Sora can see that Zeke is the authors’ precious little baby that can do no wrong.

He reached in his pocket for the Keyblade, only to find it not there.

Zexion noticed the gesture and laughed. He held the Keyblade up himself and asked its wielder: "Looking for something?"

Xion: Now do the coin-behind-the-ear trick!

"G-give that back, Zexion," said Sora. "Please."

Axel: He could just hold his hand out and have the Keyblade return to him, but that wouldn’t be realistic.
Roxas: Keyblades are cool, why do you refuse to write about them?!

"Oh, shut the fuck up already. Haven't you whined enough throughout your entire fucking quest? Oh no, they took my mommy and daddy! Oh no, they took my girlfriend! Oh no, they're killing people because they're so terrible and awful and we have to stop them!

Larxene: (as Zexion) Go out and get real problems, like losing essay contests and being rejected by one girl once!

No. You fucking buffoon, you're fighting the inevitable; the world is a terrible and awful place, and we are the representatives of this planet's truer, darker nature.

Roxas: Why does everyone keep saying that to explain away everything and then never back it up with examples? It’s not like the world is empty of anything horrible happening in it. He could mention child soldiers, sex trafficking, racial profiling, police brutality, government censorship, rock and roller cola wars I can’t take it anymore! Quote some Billy Joel at me, at least it’d be something!
Axel: It’s pretty full of themselves for everyone in Organization "Masters of Underwhelming Backstories" XIII to say they embody the tragic underbelly of humanity.

Does that frighten you? Does it frighten you to believe you're doing all this without a cause, that your very existence is without a cause?

Xion: (as Sora) No, because I’m not some nihilistic buttwad like you.

You truly think that you, a pittance of imbeciles working for a resigned senator, can stop our ploys? Even if you kill more of us, you're fucked. It's too late. We've already begun."

Marluxia: 22 minutes ago and all that.

Kairi whispered, "Zekey…Zeke…"

Roxas: That Y better be a typo, because otherwise what the heck did she just say?
Terra: Maybe this is her revenge. She'll annoy him to death.

Zexion turned Moira to her. Sora cried in outrage.

"You." His voice trembled slightly but he caught himself quickly. "You are the biggest fraud to ever exist. You are exactly the reason why I joined the Organization in the first place. You are hollow, nothing but ash inside a heap of flesh, incapable of feeling anything, any sort of remorse. I come to this fucking Hotel, I go on a suicide-mission to save you, and you're mating with THIS fucking idiot? I put it all on the line for you, and this is what I get?"

Roxas: (as Kairi) YES! I never asked for you to become some creepy Mister Nice Guy for me! You don't get a cookie for being as much as a jerk as everybody else! I owe you NOTHING.
Mog: *from notes* So he whines and he moans and he whines and he moans…

"I can't b-believe this," he said miserably. "You luh-love him?"

"I do."

"And you don't love me?"

Axel: Mog should not have to skip any of this! This entire conversation should be two lines. "Why don’t you love me, Kairi?" "Because I don’t." There! Done! End of story!

She breathed, hoping for the best reaction from her response: "No, Zeke. I am not in love with you like you are in love with me. For any sort of ways I've ever lead you on, intentional or not, I apologize with all my heart. I understand you're in pain." She smiled sadly. "But we were kids. We're not now, are we?"

(Everyone turns to Xion, expecting the grandest of all tirades, only to see horror dawn on her as looks down at her hands and realizes…)
Xion: I… have nothing left to say. The story... has sucked me dry of anything I could do to combat it. I'm empty.
Larxene: If you're done with your niche, I'll go to mine and call this guy out for the sanctimonious shitstain that he is.
Xion: (still looking at her open palms, says quietly) They look like good, strong feminist hands, don’t they?

Tears dripping off of his nose, Zexion shook his head slowly.

Kairi continued, "But, although I do not love you, I can never thank you enough for saving me and Sora. I thank you for giving me the chance to love, even though it was not with you. I owe my very life to you."

Larxene: Is this seriously the only subplot we’re taking the time to resolve? Who cares that Hayner is going to die abandoned and alone on the streets, Brony Friendzoney over here needs to hear how ~special~ he is.

That hit Zexion hard. He laughed tearfully and said, "Dammit. Maybe I'm not as smart as everyone makes me out to be."

"Yes, you are. You're as smart as they come. Which makes me even feel worse. You could have done some amazing things."

Marluxia: We have covered two Mary Sue fics here at the Lecture Room and this is the most blatant self-insert we have ever seen.

"Oh, I am." Now Zexion's voice had returned to its coldness, the way he would speak to fellow Members, almost devoid of all emotion. "I am doing some amazing things.

Roxas: Cool. So whatever happened to that whole Jesse-and-Max-Roswell-Ryan Hall’s ancestor thing? It’s not once ever been brought back up again.
Axel: That needs to be repeated. Our heroes found out the Roswell conspiracies were right and chose to ignore it because that wasn’t sexy enough!

As much as you feel sorry for me, O'Cooper, I do not want your pity.

Xion: Cool. So whatever happened to Braig and Vanitas? We were actually about to drop the Venom jokes and move on to Carnage ones! It’s like the fic knew we were having too much fun and had to put a stop to that right away.

Yes…I shall spare you two in returns for the apology, but the damage you have done to me is permanent.

Zexion: I say, those Heartless buggers are beginning to be a pain in the arse. Why, just the other day I was down at the pub eating fish and chips and watching a rugby game on the telly when this bloke came out of the loo going on about murders. So I popped out to talk to a bobby who told me to run along home. Then my flatmates called me up on my mobile and asked if I wanted to play cricket to which I said "Bloody hell no, I don't want to get stuffed in the boot of a car." So I took the roundabout home, had a spot of tea, locked the door at half-nine, and had a good ol' rest on the chesterfield.
Everyone: *stares at him in rapt confusion*
Zexion: In other words: Cool. So what ever happened to you being from Britain?

I shan't be changed, even under your…beautiful…gaze."

Terra: Cool. So what ever happened to that Nobody Virus, the whole point of this entire fic that we haven’t seen hide nor hair of this entire final chapter?!

Sora and Kairi said nothing; they just stared at the sociopath with a mixture of horror and confusion. This man truly was a puzzle nobody in their right mind could figure out. If anything, he was the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Larxene: Bite me, fic. Bite me so I can turn into a vampire and suck just as much as you.

Zexion laughed cruelly and said, "What? You thought you struck more nerves than one? We are pawns on the opposite sides of the field.

Xion: (as Sora) So if I’m, like, foiling your guys’ plans then I’m, like, on your end of the board and doesn’t that mean I can have the same move set as a queen piece now?
Roxas: (as Zexion) Don’t challenge my chess analogies, they’re all I have to prove I’m smarter than you!

You've killed three of my colleagues. For now, you live, but as soon as we meet again, I will not hesitate to kill you. Either of you."

Lexaeus: Meaning that the conclusion for this character arc is deciding to continue the arc long after it’s chance for resolution has passed.
Zexion: I know it’s hard to believe but this story might not end in a satisfactory manner.

He looked at Kairi. "You now know my darkest secret. You now know what makes me, me. I very much hope that you remember all of this in our next encounter.

"For, if I perish in this struggle of ours, there is not another person in this world that I would rather die at the hands of than yours, Kairi O'Cooper."

Axel: (as Kairi) Thanks for the permission. *raises fist* Now hold still!

Car brakes screeched from the street and the sounds of car doors opening and closing came next.

"Sora!" cried Don's voice.

Mick's came after: "Kairi! Where are you two?"

Xion: (as Mick) Are you underneath this giant pile of brick and concrete we’re standing in front of? If so, stay silent! *pause* Get digging, Don!

"Go," demanded Zexion. "Go to them. I need to stay here…and see something. Organization-business with traitors and such."

"Come with us," whispered Kairi. "We can get you help."

"The sweetest fucking thing," the intellect grunted, and pulled her towards him, kissing her full on the lips. She kissed back, ran her fingers through his hair, enjoying the delicious passion he was giving her.

(There would be commentary here but everyone took one look at that and wisely decided to shield their eyes.)
Roxas: Tell us when the neverending ew is over, Mog!
Mog: Give it a minute.

Then they broke apart, both breathing heavily.

Zexion turned and limped down the alleyway.

Halfway through his walk, he turned back to the two again and said, "Goodbye. I love you, Kairi. Good luck."

Mog: You can look again.
Axel: We hated Ryan because he was badly written, but Zeke chafes my very soul.
Terra: "Chafes" is too lenient. "Attacks it with a shredded steel wool" is how I feel.

The two watched him return to the rubble of the building, both silent. Although Kairi did not see it, Sora's face was absolutely rigid. Intense jealousy and hatred burned in his chest. How could she? How could she kiss him like that? The only ever person she kissed like that was…well, Sora himself! Or…or was it? Was he the only one for her?

Marluxia: Seems that Sora borrowed Kairi’s One Emotion sticker. They truly are meant for one another.

Don and Mick ran into the alleyway, fatherly concerns over both their faces.

"Are you two okay?" asked Mick, hugging both of them.

"Fuck you, Mick," Sora managed to laugh. "We could've used you a couple hours ago."

Roxas: It is strange that Mick’s entirely useless. If anyone should jump in to solve problems at the last second, it’s Mickey. It was even a gameplay mechanic at one point.

"I'm so, so sorry. But I had to talk to Chip and Dale."

"Those pilot twins?"

Terra: (as Mick) I never said they were twins, but sure! They are now simply because you said so.

"Yes. They have information on my other group of agents. Important information."

"Which is…?"

"Classified."

"I hate you, Senator."

"Are you shot?"

"Shot, cut, burned, slightly maimed, but otherwise I'm good."

Xion: It’d be nice if Sora actually reacted to any of the trauma he experiences.
Axel: Nah, pain and suffering just makes you COOL and GROWN UP.

"And you, Kairi?"

"I'm banged up a little, too," she said, forcing a chuckle. Sora shot her a dark look that again she did not see.

Roxas: *discombobulated* What’s his damage? He didn’t read that gross part, as far as he saw Zexion forced a kiss on Kairi after she talked him out of killing the both of them. She didn't turn around and announce "I'm not your girlfriend anymore," Sora's being a petty little man just to be a petty little man!
Xion: We were supposed to view them as true love incarnate, and now we’re ending on this sour note? Mog was right, this last chapter is really weird.

"But I'll live."

Zexion: (as Kairi) No thanks to any of you.

"What happened here?"

"It's a whole story," said Sora gravely.

Roxas: A really really bad story that no one with any decency could ever enjoy.

"And it began at this exact fucking place around a month or so ago."

Mick laughed heartily, "Yes, I understand that."

Larxene: (as Mick) I find the ruination of your life hilarious!

"Oh, you meant the up-to-date part? That's classified."

"Smart-ass. Let's get back to my penthouse. The fight can wait for a while; let's just relax today. Sound good?"

Lexaeus: Where’s Everett during all this?
Roxas: Inside saving Xion like the true hero we’ve all come to know and love so dearly.

"But the Organization…they're getting more violent…"

"The Organization can wait another day. Dammit, Sora, you really are still a kid, huh? Can't even acknowledge that even heroes don't fight ceaselessly. Let's get some damn breakfast at Susie's. I'm dying for some strawberry pancakes.

Axel: (as Mick) Yeah, you dumbass child, we deserve a holiday! Why you so worried about more people dying violent deaths when we can have flapjacks!
Larxene: (as Mick) All this bloodshed has put me in the mood for juicy red strawberries, yum yum!

That's all you should be dying for, too, at the moment. Don't worry about the Organization. We'll face them again eventually, yes, but I can assure you Sora. The next time we do…

"…we'll all do it together."

Xion: They certainly put the break in breakfast.

Sora grinned and nodded. Then, with his friends' help, he walked out of the alleyway, turning his back on the life-changing vacation that had brought him into all of this;

Roxas: (as Sora) Hey, Mick, do you know where Riku is?
Terra: (as Mick) Still out cold on Aqua’s couch for all I care. Why should we bring our supposed friend to the fun breakfast? He can buy his own waffles.

it would have seemed like something awful, like a mess, but very much like the world, this entire adventure had had ups and downs, and although he would be troubled by his recent past, he would also be thankful for the wonderful friend with whom he had shared it.

Marluxia: Right, this whole trip is definitely the best thing that’s ever happened to you. Sora should go out and murder some kid’s parents in front of them and then try to convince the newly made orphan "Don’t worry, you’ll thank me for this someday."

Axel stared at the body in disbelief. No, this could not be happening. It just…couldn't…no…

Axel: But it was such a well-formulated plan! How could it POSSIBLY have gone wrong!

The girl was laying in the rubble, her throat torn open, her pale skin splattered with red. Xion's pretty-lashed eyes were closed, as if she were sleeping. The rising sun shone its rays upon her, as if she were an angel.

Xion: Gag me with a spoon and then shove it through my brain so I can forget I ever read that.

She looked like one before, certainly, but now she was a mess. An absolute mess.

Terra: How is he even seeing her? She was in the lobby when an entire building collapsed on her head. Did the hotel realize "wait, someone wants to write some tragedy porn, let’s shove her into the street so people can make creepy comments about her dead body!"
Mog: *from notes* Oops.

When he looked up, he saw Zexion limping towards him. He looked a lot older than usual, and his eyes were red and puffy.

Marluxia: We’d hope simply from all the dust and debris still floating down from the collapsed building, but that’s not as good as Zeke being saaaaad.

"Zexion!" he choked. "Zexion! What…what happened?"

Zexion's cold, calculating eyes went down to Axel's right hand. Slowly, Axel raised what was in it to his face: the detonator. He looked back at Zexion, and saw that his superior had drawn a pistol. Realization came over the pyro, and he stammered, "Oh, sh-shit. L-look, I can eh-explain-"

Bam!

Zexion: And, for one brief moment, it was all almost worth it.

The first bullet from Moira's barrel collided into Axel's left lung, disintegrating it.

Bam!

The second planted itself within his stomach. He doubled over.

Bam!

The third and last bullet hit Axel directly in the heart. The impact of all three made him jag backwards. His back hit a piece of concrete wall sticking up from the ground amongst the rubble, and he slid down it, leaving a trail of dark blood above him.

Larxene: …huh.
Lexaeus: Please elaborate on what "huh" entails.
Larxene: I’ve been thinking… Whenever the NPCs die, they get these elaborate deaths like disembowelment, combustion, or being completely cut in two. Like, they’re only there to die in gory ways but at least the deaths are creative. Yet every time a main character dies, the people we’ve been following for a freakin’ month of wasted time… they just get shot and fall down. If I had a little flag on me I’d be waving it around as I said "Whoo."

His eyes wide in shock, Axel looked up at the pink morning sky and spat a quart of blood. It landed right back into his face.

He was vaguely aware of someone approaching him. Perhaps it was his good friend coming to tell him everything was okay, that all was forgiven, and that more great times were about to be had.

"Roxas?" croaked Axel.

Roxas: Hi. Everything you just thought ain’t ever gonna happen. Bye.

Zexion fired again. Axel's blood showered him. It felt rather delightful, rather cooling after so much heat. It doused his inner fire.

Xion: So what’s the moral here? If you do bad deeds you reap bad rewards… unless your name is Zeke Fender, in which case you get away with everything.

A strong hand grasped his shoulder. He turned to see Vexen, looking horrified.

Terra: Wound! In the stomach! He has one! The guy should have keeled over from blood loss five minutes ago!
Zexion: No, he’s fine and dandy. No time for injuries when there’s chit-chat to be had.

"He's the traitor," spat Zexion. "Lured me into the Hotel and blew the entire thing sky high. I dunno why

Lexaeus: Do you really need to know the rest of that sentence, readers?

he wanted me dead, but I'm guessing it was him and Marluxia."

Sadly, Vexen said, "We'll ask Roxas about it. Such a damn shame."

Roxas: (as Axel) Uh, guys? I’m not dead yet. You could bandage me up and ask me yourself.

"I guess so. How'd you get here?"

Axel: (as self) What, you’re just gonna stand over me and play catch-up?

"Xigbar drove me. He told me Axel had the O'Cooper girl."

Marluxia: (as Vexen) By the way, Larxene hopped in for the ride. I’d suggest you start running now.
Terra: Why is it I’ve only read two fics and both of them feature a major female character disappearing into her room never to be seen again? This should not be a recurring theme for me.

"She escaped. I had her and the Keyblader."

"What happened?"

"Let's just say I got overpowered."

Zexion: By all those horrible icky emotions you weak humans have.

Vexen stared at Zexion hard. Then, he said, rather excitedly, "No matter. No matter my friend! There's been an extraordinary turn of events. I've come into contact with someone called the Proxy. He's a very helpful…something."

Larxene: (as Axel) Come on, people survive greater than four bullets all the time in this fic! Help me up, you jerks!

"Something?"

"Yes. There's big, big news for us, Zexion."

"What is it?"

Xion: (as Vexen) If we start scavenging the hotel’s ruins now before any emergency services arrive, we can have a lifetime supply of those teeny shampoos and conditioners! I call dibs on any mini fridges we find!

Vexen grinned and shook with exhilaration as Xigbar walked up the pile of rubble, looking absolutely traumatized at Axel's body.

Roxas: (as Axel) Xigbar, take me to a hospital! Do something useful for once!
Terra: One upside to this is he can't demand everyone get everything memorized anymore.
Axel: Watch Roxas take it up in loving memory of me.

He knelt down beside it, then looked up and saw the gun in Zexion's hand. He bit his lip and stared at Axel again, like he was putting together some puzzle.

Marluxia: (as Xigbar) Hmmmmm. Three bullet wounds… gun in hands of the only other guy here… What could this possibly mean?

Zexion watched this process with disdain, but then also with some fear; what was the assassin thinking?

Axel: (as self) You know what, if I’m dying, I’m going out quoting the Beatles: Come together right now over me. Dicks.

It did not matter, for what Vexen next whispered into Zexion's ear made the cold-hearted intellect forget all other matters, from Kairi to Axel to Xigbar.

Seven words. Seven words was all it took to sweep Zexion's breath away.

Into his friend's ear, Vexen whispered them:

"We found it. We found Kingdom Hearts."

...
...
...

THE END

...
...
...

[[We don’t really know what exactly happened inside the Lecture Room at that moment, as all we have are Mog’s transcriptions. We hope the following event still makes sense despite the dramatics.]]

(A hush fell over the room after that last line. Everyone sat still as… something that doesn’t move a lot. The tragedy hadn’t set in yet. No one realized that the fic had ended—suddenly, abruptly, cliffhangerly. I waited for the reaction to finally occur.)
(-pause-)
(Waited a long time.)
(-pause-)
(A long, long, long, long time spent sittin’ in silence.)
(-pause-)
(A deep silence. A trepidating silence. A kind of silence that seemed like it could go on forever and five more evers.)
(-pause-)
(Until…)
Larxene: …whaaaaAAAT!
(Of course, by then I’d moved my way over to the censor button. Buttoning included, this is what happened…)
Larxene: ARE YOU [BLEEP]ING ME? WE SAT THROUGH ALL THAT [BLEEP] [BLEEP] AND THAT'S WHERE IT ALL [BLEEP]ING ENDS? ALL THAT PAIN, ALL THAT MISERY, ALL THAT SORRY AS [BLEEP] EXCUSE FOR A TRAGEDY, ALL THE [BLEEP] HATE[BLEEP]ING TOWARDS GIRLS AND HOW THEY’RE NOTHING MORE THAN [BLEEP]S AND [BLEEP]S, ALL THOSE PLOTHOLES BIG ENOUGH TO FLY GREAT [BLEEP]ING A'TUIN THROUGH, ALL THE HOURS IT TOOK TO READ THIS [BLEEP] THING, AND IN THE END THE WRITERS JUST THROW UP THEIR MIDDLE FINGERS AND SAY "No, you don't deserve an ending because we're better than you." WHAT THE [BLEEP]? [BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEP]
Terra: Wow. That was... wow.
Axel: I’ll give it this: I didn’t see where the story was going. Then again, neither did the authors.
Roxas: ...Guys...
Lexaeus: It befits this entire plot that the ending was actually a ‘to be continued’ that was too embarrassed to go by the proper name.
Zexion: *rubbing his forehead to remove the mark left from too much desk*
Roxas: ...Guys...
Marluxia: Any final words, Larxene?
Larxene: And you ran out of ink too, didn’t you, ya bastards!
Roxas: GUYS!
Everyone else: WHAT?
Roxas: I… am so happy right now! We’ve finally done it, we conquered the fic! The dragon has finally been slayed!
(There is a moment between everyone where it seems all past grievances will no longer matter, where it seems they will leave this room with a bond forged by the fires of Hell that could never be broken…)
Mog: So who wants to look over the added on epilogue?
(…but the moment doesn’t last long enough for them to forget they can now leave and Mog is left all by his lonesome.)
Mog: *sigh* Yeah, I thought so. Guess I’ll hafta do the not ending by myself.
(He notices Xion is the only one that remained seated. She gives him a little wave.)
Mog: You’re not gonna leave like everybody else did?
Xion: I said I had to see how this all turned out. I can’t go back on my word.
Mog: Hooray, reading buddy! *flys over and sits on desk beside her*
Xion: So what’s this epilogue about? Do we get some sort of send-off to all our major characters or get a glimpse of what happens next time?
Mog: Nope. We have Mr. Fair boss Aqua around some more, Zexion being grumpy, and Roxas trying to make us feel bad for him because he accidentally caused his friends’ deaths.
Xion: Sounds perfect! Let’s go.

Sunday: The Day of Rest

Aqua frowned

Xion: Two words in and we're already back to familiar territory.

as she started at the headline of the day's newspaper. In bold, across the top of the page read: GRAND HOTEL BOMBED!

Xion: It’s written in a newspaper, that means it’s important.

"It is sad, Angelina."

Mog: Yup, really really sad how the story suddenly changed you from being super-awesome-leader type who has the answer to everything to being bossed around by guys that have never been in the whole story. Sad sad sad.

Aqua looked up. She was once again sitting in the office of Julian Fair, but beside her sat a man who was only a few years older. He had dazzling blue eyes, and it was obvious that he normally wore a laid-back smile, but it was pulled into a frown. For some reason, it looked wrong.

Mog: OH NO NOT A FROWN!

Aqua folded the paper and threw it across the room. "Is this some kind of joke to you?" She stood slowly. "You think this is some kind of game?"

Xion: (as Julian) I just said it was sad, don’t go putting words in my mouth.

Julian frowned deeply and shook his head. "I had nothing to do with this I assure you."

Xion: (as Julian) That would require me having any impact on the story whatsoever. I probably won’t be important until that sequel that’s suddenly happening.

Aqua folded her arms and glanced at the man who had sit beside her. The man glanced back, and when he realized Aqua had been staring at him, he blushed and looked away. Though he still kept the frown that did not suit him.

Aqua turned back to Julian. "It doesn't matter. This complicates things."

"Please, darling," Julian retorted lightly. "When is it ever not complicated?

Mog: (as Julian) That's what the sporking crew said over and over and over again, remember?

I am displeased that that hotel has been destroyed, but that can't be your primary concern right now, can it? Don't you have more important things to focus on?"

Xion: (as Julian) Like, for example, why Yuffie Kisaragi is now going around with a German name.

The change in his tone made Aqua flush angrily.

"I've been thinking about it, yes." She paused. "But, I have no intention of making that deal with you. It's far too risky on my part."

"I take it you two don't like each other." Julian chuckled. "I figured as much."

The man cleared his throat and stood up. "This isn't entirely true."

Mog: (as Obviously Zack) I'm a boy and she's a girl, so by this fic's understanding of people I'm attracted to her like magnets to a fridge. Zwoop!

Julian smirked. "Oh? Well, tell me. How are you warming up to Miss Angelina Godfrey?"

The man sighed and glanced at Aqua. He was nervous, and it wasn't quite clear why.

Xion: Might have something to do with his dad coming up to him and saying "Go fornicate with somebody so I can have a better next of kin than you. And don’t ask any questions because I won’t give any answers."

He seemed to have a firm grasp on who he was, but he faltered a little. It had to be Julian's abrasive demeanor that made him so inwardly shaky.

"We…don't exactly see eye to eye."

Xion: (as Julian) Well stoop down a bit, son, there’s your problem solved!
Mog: *from notes* Dad and kid have a conversation about past family strifes. (Oho, see what I did there? Strife? Cuz he’s friends with Cloud?)

"So, now you have to stay here until I can figure out what to do about our situation. Angelina will stay with you."

Aqua puffed her chest out. "I will do no such thing. I have my own matters to attend to. He's your responsibility."

Julian slammed his fists on his desk. "He will not be my responsibility until he gets between your legs, you ungrateful cunt!"

Xion: (as Aqua) The only time anyone’s getting "between my legs" is when I crush their skull like a sparrow’s egg between my god-like thighs.

Aqua approached Julian with as much spite and anger she could. "You know, I'm getting really tired of people calling me that.

Xion: So are we, baby. So are we.

Get off your high horse, Julian, or you're going to regret it."

Mog: Full House also had an amnesia story that got solved super easily. I don’t think Full House is what this story was going for.

"Are you threatening me?"

That's not a threat." Aqua leaned back and turned around. "That's a promise."

Xion: Is this her new 'thing'? It’s not a very good catchphrase, especially not when she needs a certain lead-in to make it work.

Julian sputtered, trying to get his words out fast enough. It seemed almost unreal how tense the room had grown. Zack remained silent, not wanting to step into the fire that had been ignited. He couldn't tell who was angrier, Julian or Aqua.

Mog: I dunno, Larxene seemed to become anger itself for a bit there. Woo-ee, she didn’t take that end good at all!

Julian wheezed. "Okay, let's work this out. Angelina, please. Be reasonable. We can make a deal, can't we?"

"Julian, the only reason you're still breathing, is because I don't go back on my word." Aqua headed towards the door. "But, you are wearing my patience thin. If you have anything important to say, say it now."

Julian folded his arms. "You're not going to win."

Mog: (as Julian) I’ll tell teacher on you and then you’ll be sorry!

"Wanna bet?"

Julian followed Aqua anxiously. "I mean it. You don't know what kind of people are out there. Please, Angelina. Reconsider. I'll be good, I promise."

Xion: If you want to take a moment to embarrass your bad guys, dear writers, go ahead, that can be lots of fun. But please make sure to not make them embarrassing if you still want to keep them as a threat.

Aqua smiled. "I feel like I've been saying this too much lately. It's too late for me already. Name your price."

Julian paused. "We already discussed this. You know what I want."

Mog: (as Aqua) Well I want a puppy but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get one!

Aqua laughed. "I assure you that I'll be dead long before I get that kind of time. Whatever your number, I'll triple it. I don't wish to work with you anymore, Julian. I'm getting out."

Xion: (as Aqua) Your subplot failed from the start, I’m getting out before you can take me down with you.

"You can't leave." Julian said defiantly. "I have more power, more resources."

Aqua hummed. "I think I'll manage. Name your price."

Julian was about to protest, but then he hummed with the same arrogance. "Everything."

Aqua nodded. "So be it. You better be prepared for the shitstorm that'll follow."

"I'm not worried."

Mog: (as Julian) The Lecture Room has a "no double-dipping" rule, so they’re not going to make fun of our silly plans no more! *from notes* Aqua’s off. Zach follows after cuz he doesn’t wanna be around his dad anymore. Can’t blame him.

Zack hurried to her side. "Angelina, hold on."

Aqua pulled her arm out of Zack's reach. "Look, I don't know why I even agreed to pick you up.

Xion: (as Aqua) I mean, I totally could. Bridal style? No problem. Buuut…

It was stupid and conniving, and I'm sorry, but I have to go."

"What's going on here?" Zack asked. "I don't understand."

Xion: Hey, you’re already caught up on current events!

Aqua stepped into the elevator and pushed Zack away. "It's not your place to understand. Just leave me alone."

Zack stopped the doors from closing, and edged in. "I'm not like him. I'm not bad."

Mog: (as Zack) I’m just drawn that way.

Aqua poked her tongue in the side of her cheek. "All you Fairs are the same. You just haven't been given the resources yet."

Zack leaned on the opposite side of the elevator from Aqua. "I can prove it. I can be a good guy. I won't be like that. I promise."

Aqua frowned. "I'm not interested."

Mog: For fun during one of the breaks, I CTRL+F’ed "frown" in Word and found two hundred and three examples of it being used throughout the whole story. I found that sorta funny so I thought I’d share.

"Oh, come on," Zack said. "One date."

Aqua blushed. "I…"

Xion: (as Aqua) I don’t really wanna reference that game scene right now. That was cute, and "cute" doesn’t belong anywhere near "The Nobody Virus".

"If I can prove I'm not like him, would you go on a date with me?"

When the elevator doors opened, Aqua rushed out and left the building, Zack trying his best to keep up. By the time Zack had made it outside, Aqua was nowhere to be seen, and he silently cursed himself for being so persistent.

I shouldn't have been so eager. Damnit.

Xion: You actually tried to be a caring, decent person. You really should have known better.

Zexion twitched impatiently.

Mog: (as Zexion) I went a whole scene without talking about myself. Must! Com! Plaaaiiiiin!

Vexen had taken care of his wounds, stitching them up perfectly. And now, Zexion was staring at a computer screen, face tinged blue, teeth grit. He was hunched over in pain, but his excitement was building as his eyes darted across the sea of ones and zeros.

"It's laid out completely," Vexen whispered. "All the formulas, all the charts. All the pieces are there."

Xion: So this is less an epilogue and more the actual end of the story proper?

"This truly is exciting," Zexion muttered. He groaned softly. "When do we start?"

Xion: We would have hoped Chapter One but, eh, I can’t judge people for procrastinating.
Mog: *proudly* Avoiding work is what the Lecture Room is built on.

Vexen swept about his lab and rifled through numerous desks. Files were all over his room, and the only distinguishable light source was the blue from the computer, and the muted green from The Womb. Dusk moved around impatiently.

Mog: (as Dusk) I wanna go outside and play with my friends!
Xion: (as Vexen) Not until you finish your homework, Hanna!

"As soon as Xehanort has devised the proper plan, we will leave."

"Where is it?" Zexion. "Kingdom Hearts. Does it say?"

Vexen shook his head. "It only says that the most powerful among us will know."

Xion: (as Zexion) So you lied to me, is what you’re saying.
Mog: (as Vexen) But imagine if we were fictional! Wouldn’t "We found Kingdom Hearts" be the best cliffhanger ever?

He paused. "I'm assuming that means Xehanort, but I haven't had the chance to speak with him yet."

Zexion frowned. "He's not going to be happy when he finds out what happened."

Vexen chuckled. "Of course not. You killed Axel, Axel killed Marluxia, and Roxas and Xion are missing. To him, that death toll is far too high."

Zexion blinked slowly and sighed. "I've already written my report. It's sitting on his desk."

Mog: (as Zexion) I handed it in late so I’m gonna lose 10% off my final marks.

Vexen bent over one of his desks and scribbled a formula on a spare sheet of paper. He seemed slightly preoccupied, and he kept glancing at Dusk. "Well, we'll just have to wait until someone shows up. Hopefully it'll be soon, or I'll have to call Xehanort to deliver him the bad news. He's gonna be pissed."

Xion: (as Xehanort) Oh dear, I'll have to break out the sad champagne instead of the happy champagne tonight.

Zexion folded his arms and continued to stare at the ones and zeros flashing across the screen. "They were traitors."

Xion: (as Zexion) Therefore I’m blameless!

Vexen hummed. "That may be true, Six. But you certainly overstepped your line of authority. You should have let Xehanort or Saix deal with it. It wasn't your place."

"Shut up," Zexion whispered. "I did what was right. You know it. I know it."

Mog: (as Zexion) Stop tryna make me have repercussions and junk. I’m ZEXION, I’m too cooly-cool for that stuff.

Vexen laughed. "My apologies, Six. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.

Mog: (as Vexen) Your precious FEELINGS!

I'm sure you were doing what was best for the Organization, but facts are facts, and you overstepped your authority."

Zexion glared at Vexen. He knew Vexen was right, but wasn't about to freely admit it. The Organization had been betrayed. It wasn't his fault that Axel was a traitor.

Xion: But he wasn’t a traitor. This was a concept the story introduced quite a while ago, the idea that someone was working within the Organization to foil their plans, and yet the conclusion seems to be that it had to be Marluxia or Axel despite the only evidence being the actions they did in retaliation to Roxas making a mistake. That doesn’t actually answer who the real traitor was way back when Zexion and Saix were discussing the possibility.
Mog: *thinking* Maybe it was Lily. I mean, nobody paid attention to her so she coulda easily snuck around and foiled their plans.
Xion: *mulls it over* I like the idea of being the unsung hero. But I’m not sure if it makes a lot of sense in the grand scheme—
Mog: Wait! Didn’t that dinner scene have a missing member so that would make Lily the thirteenth person to sit at the table?
Xion: And give us a Last Supper analogy, I think you’re right! Maybe that scene made Lily realize how no one cared about her and she decided she would use her apathetic peers’ viewpoints against them and secretly tried to stop them because she was willing to make the world a better place.
Mog: Someone needs to get on that fix it fic right away.

He had taken care of it, not once thinking about the consequences that may have come afterward.

Xion: Seems like a good summary for how this whole plot worked. "Well, that part’s all done with." 'But what happens afterwards?' "We’ll think about that later."

"He'll be most displeased," Vexen said after a short bout of silence. "But, I'm sure he'll go easy on you."

Zexion scoffed.

"You are his favorite," Vexen added jokingly.

Xion: That may be so but why this character out of the twelve others?
Mog: Yeah, he wasn’t too bad at the beginning. He was smart in a productive way and the whole Kairi thing was supposed to be this "ooh look at how the plots are intersecting" thingy. Then he just stopped doin’ his job so the story had to tell us all the time what a super duper awesome possum he was.

They were once again enveloped in silence. Dusk pressed itself to the glass of The Womb, making strangled hisses and dull clicks. Zexion stared at it for a while. Truly one of the greatest creations of all time, and he couldn't figure out why Vexen was keeping it in a tank still.

"I can see you're curious."

Zexion nodded, but did not respond.

Xion: (as Zexion) Why bother saying anything when he’ll take any opportunity to talk about himself. Any second now…

"Allow me," Vexen said.

Xion: (as Zexion) Yup, like clockwork.
Mog: (as Dusk) Why do ya think he likes me so much? I got no mouth, I couldn’t interrupt even if I tried.

He pulled out a file. "Dusk has shown amazing growth. In fact, he is fully developed and ready to go. But, I want to take him further."

Zexion smirked. "Already taking the next step? Our first test run isn't even finished."

Xion: By the way, Mog, whatever did happen to the Hawaiian Dusks? You skipped what happened after they got onto the mainland.
Mog: Their destructive programming is taking effect. Soon they will be irresistibly drawn to large cities where they will back-up sewers, reverse street signs, and steal everyone’s left shoe.
Xion: Really?
Mog: *fluffs fur in accommodation of a shrug* I dunno. They just went away to have a picnic or somethin’ because even they knew the story wasn’t actually gonna end.

"Science waits for no one, as we will all soon learn," Vexen said.

Xion: But quack science, as we've already seen, waits patiently at the corner for everyone else to catch up.

"Anyway, I want to begin to transform him, but I don't know exactly how to go about doing that. I believe that by keeping him in water, he will be accustomed to wet environments, and the lack of visible light will teach him to adjust to darkness."

"Do you have a plan?"

Vexen shrugged. "I don't know yet.

Mog: (as Vexen) I’ll need 300 thousand more words to figure stuff out.

I've been steadily introducing other types of DNA to him, but he rejects them all. I fear he may be too human."

Zexion looked away. "Perhaps he just needs to be simplified. Sit on it for a little bit."

Xion: Where would a sequel even go? Half of the game cast has been killed off and we’ve overly discussed how the plot swips and swerves all over the place.
Mog: It’s less a sequel hook and more like a short hiatus.

The loud slam of the front door drew Zexion's attention.

"It seems we have a visitor. I'll see who it is."

Xion: (as Zexion) Cosmo Kramer, is that you?
Mog: Maybe he’ll suggest they move on from Dusks and instead create a whole army of pig warriors.

"Please, let me know if it's Xehanort." Vexen said. "I must speak with him before he deals with you. It's important."

Xion: (as Vexen) I would like to ask him why the name Ansem has been completely absent from this entire story. I mean, you’d think it would be mentioned once.

Zexion left Vexen's lab and made his way to the lounge. He had half expected Xehanort to be there, and felt a tiny glimmer of apprehension as got closer, but muffled sobs stopped him.

"This can't be happening…this can't be happening."

It didn't take Zexion long to recognize Roxas's voice. It sounded scared and slightly unaware.

Mog: ??? What does a "slighty unaware" voice sound like?

"Come on, Axel," Roxas muttered. "Pick up."

Xion: For the second time Roxas calls Axel over something important and gets no answer. But at least Axel has a good excuse this time.

Zexion edged away from the lounge. Roxas grew more and more scared as he tried repeatedly to call his best friend to no avail. Even Xion had refused to pick up her phone.

Mog: Wowie, you know things are bad when he actually remembers he has a girlfriend!

"Where are you guys?"

Zexion furrowed his brow. Was Roxas part of all this, too? There was only one way to find out.

"They're dead."

Xion: Jim.

He growled as he stepped from his hiding place.

Mog: (as Zexion) Oooh, look how dramatical I am!

Roxas spun around. "Zexion? What are you talking about?"

Xion: (as Roxas) And how was that the "only one way to find out" if I was part of Axel's literally overblown plan?

"Axel is dead," Zexion said finally. "And if Xion had anything to do with this, I'd say she is too."

Roxas faltered. "What are you talking about? If she had something to do with what?"

Xion: Kind of nothing, once you think about it. She didn’t have connections to anything within the main plot. Really, what did the story lose with her gone?
Mog: I kept thinkin’ if anyone would die for tragedy’s sake it woulda been Kairi. She seemed to be going a Too Good For This Sinful Earth route and since Sora didn’t care his parents died I figured she’d become his new motivation for revenge. But instead he just got mad at her after she saved his life. It’s a befuddlin’ ending all around.

"Axel betrayed the Organization, and I hope you had nothing to do with it, or you'll never live to see another day."

Roxas breathed heavily, feeling that hopelessness he had been steeping in his whole life before Xehanort had taken him in. Axel was dead? Xion too? How could that be? The fire crotch had just spoken to him yesterday morning.

Xion: Thanks for ruining the drama, silly phrase.
Mog: 'sides, we know he’s actually a natural brunette down there.

How could he be gone?

"Xehanort will want to speak with you," Zexion muttered. "He'll want to know if you had a part in this. He'll want to know why I had to shoot that motherfucker."

Xion: I know I should be sad my supposed best friend died, but I’m too happy that he can’t make "your mom" jokes anymore. Trying to wring humour out of bad humour is always the most challenging part of riffing.

Roxas froze.

It was a horrible feeling as the words Zexion spoke curdled his blood and threw his heart into a tempo that could not be matched. Roxas couldn't hear anything as he stared at the intellect, wishing to God he could kill him. He had killed Axel, his only friend, his only anybody.

Xion: Love you too, boyfriend.
Mog: Why’s he always so mean to you? You’re the bestest best friend ever!

He couldn't quite tell if he was angry or sad anymore, and he had only been dimly aware that Zexion had even left him alone to simmer in his own agony. He had to be lying. He had to be. That flamboyant asshole couldn't be gone forever, it just could not be true.

Mog: Maybe he'll come back as a zombie cyborg. It happened once, nothing says it can't happen again.

He had to be lying. And there was only one person he could ask to find the truth.

"Hello, Roxas," Xehanort said solemnly.

"Zexion is a lying fuck!" Roxas roared.

Xion: Ah, more screaming. I'm glad the epilogue didn't change up the cast's one reaction to hardship.

"He is a motherfucking liar, and I know it."

Mog: (as Roxas) Zexion is a lying liar who lies!

"I assure you, your anger is misplaced, Roxas," Xehanort answered. Roxas could just imagine his face. It was unblinking, calm, thoughtful, and very worried.

Xion: So as emotionally vacant as usual, it's nice to see he’s remained static throughout the whole story.

"Please, tell me why you believe this."

"Axel is not dead!" Roxas blurted. "He is a fucking psychopathic liar!

Mog: Axel or Zexion?

He's just mind-fucking me."

Xehanort was quiet for a long time. Roxas could hear newspaper shuffling in the background, and the tone of Xehanort's voice had changed drastically when he spoke again.

"I'm sorry…"

Xion: (as Xehanort) …but I have to get back to my funnies. Can we save this for after I read today’s Dilbert strip?

Roxas growled viciously and threw his cell phone across the room.

Xion: (as phone) KALUNK!
Mog: (as Xehanort) Owwie my ears!

Oathkeeper and Oblivion radiated heat, singing the leather of his Organization robes. He was furious. Mountains could tremble before him.

Xion: They could but they won’t.
Mog: Roxie’s building himself up to a good big "Nuuuuuuuuu—!"

"FUCK!"

Mog: Or that. That works too.

But, he wasn't answered. He was met with the grim silence of how much he was really cared for. He fell to his knees, sobbing uncontrollably, feeling completely lost. There was no one for him anymore.

I've gotta get out of here…there's nothing left…

Xion: Mog, sweetie, I know you’re the most perfect creature ever but I have to make sure… You didn’t accidentally skip anything to do with Ryan’s parents dying?
Mog: *upset* Why does everyone keep asking that? I’m a good note-taker! They said the parents died in the midst of Roxas and Axel creating chaos on the streets, and we saw that start with Roxie’s and Sora’s first fight then we cut to Roxas back at the Labs being all "Boy, taking the lives of innocent people sure is exhaustin’!" In fact, I’m such a good note-taker I rea—I skimmed that sequel and when we finally catch up with him in chapter four he says in his own thoughts that he was the one that killed them so HA!
Xion: But couldn’t this story have shown that? Not saying I want to see a scene where an abused housewife is murdered by her own son, but it would have made a good symbol for Ryan leaving his ‘old’ family and fully embracing his new life in the Organization, and by now could have turned into an interesting look at a self-destructive character’s actions and how he’s responsible for ruining his own life.
Mog: Could’ve. Didn’t.
Xion: You don’t think about these stories much when they’re done, do you?
Mog: Goes in one big ear and out the other to make room for more sugar.

Roxas jumped to his feet and ran out the front door, still crying, but now seething with an ungodly hatred. A hatred of Zexion, of Xehanort, of everything. And he didn't stop running until his legs gave from fatigue and crashed into the pavement. A police officer saw him, and helped him to his feet.

"You okay, son?"

Roxas wrenched his arm away. "Fuck you."

Mog: (as Roxas) Gross, you got your human kindness on me!

The officer, who had been friendly before, frowned.

Xion: Frowning. He is the epitome of the devil.

"You can't go any farther. This is a crime scene."

Roxas readied himself. "Try and stop me." And he pushed past.

The police officer grabbed him to stop him, but an instant later, he was watching his own arm twitch on the pavement. Roxas kicked him back, Oathkeeper and Oblivion drawn, their blades dripping red.

Mog: Y’know, it’s times like these I think of Watchmen. And I know for some folks it’s not their thing, but I think everyone can see that one of the things that makes it so memorable is that all the characters are unique. Like, Jon looks at things different than Laurie and Laurie looks at things differently than Daniel. No matter what, everybody stands out as being their own person. And I think this fic tries to do the same thing but it just wants to make everybody Rorschach cuz they think he’s cool, but if everybody’s Rorschach then suddenly Rorschach isn’t as interesting anymore, y’know?
Xion: I like that throughout this misadventure of a spork I’ve found out you’re a fan of Knowing and Watchmen. It seems so unlike you.
Mog: I am a bundle of mysteries wrapped up in a huggable exterior.

He didn't wait for a plea before he killed the police officer and made his way down the block.

Xion: For a story that complains no one’s doing anything good in the world, people sure kill a lot of police officers just doing their jobs of protecting the public.
Mog: Self-fulfilling prophecy, kupo?

He hadn't been able to see why he had been denied further entry until he saw the first huge pile of brick and dust. It was an intricate statue, though it was smashed and sad looking.

Mog: It must have a big ol’ frown on its granite face.

As he came closer and closer to the ruins of a destroyed hotel. Roxas felt this sense of forbearing. Like he was an uninvited guest to a funeral.

Mog: So... Did Roxas forget about their whole blow up the hotel plan? Cuz that wording makes it seem like he forgot about the plan.
Xion: Maybe he should have been in a coma. If that was true and he woke up with amnesia again, this entire ending could have been him forced to view the consequences of his actions without remembering what his justifications for them were. I'm curious how that would change his perception on events.
Mog: Me 'n you should write our own fic about this fic.

Firefighters and policemen alike were removing bricks from alleyways, sifting through the rubble they could move themselves, pulling items from the wreckage.

"What's going on?" Roxas said to himself.

Xion: (as Roxas) Maybe things would make sense if I commented aloud to myself how alone I feel.
Mog: *from notes* What a mess. Ooh bodies! The perfect place to be overdramatic!

He sobbed again and pinched the edge of the white sheet. He squeezed his eyes shut and held the sheet up for a full minute before he willed himself to open his eyes.

Xion: (as officer) Captain Moogle, shouldn’t we do something about that civilian over there? He’s already tampered with a crime scene and looks to be two seconds away from traumatizing himself.
Mog: (as captain) Nah, we got Bill covering the whole area to make sure no one gets in. It’ll be fine. Where is Bill anyway? I got so many uses for his arms today!

The first thing he did was vomit, but he made sure to turn away from the dead green stare of Axel. Even in death he looked like a smartass.

Xion: (as Axel) …thanks…?

A tiny smirk permanently etched on his lips, near flawless stony skin. It was a form of beauty that was untouched by many, and so fleeting, for it wouldn't be long before his flesh caved in, and the decomposition process would begin.

Mog: Do ya think this is all trying to be like the end of 358/2 Days having Roxas get mad at how he's lost everything he's cared for?
Xion: Probably, but it doesn't work here since he's been in the same mode since his first sentence. Not to mention most of this is his own fault. I love Roxas like a brother, but I’m certain I wouldn’t want to be friends with him here, no one wants to hang out with a Gloomy Gus that’s obsessed with themselves all the time.

And, right next to him, in just as equal a beauty, lay Xion. She was more like an angel, body crushed and slightly charred, but still maintaining the resilience it had in life.

Mog: She’s burned like a badly barbecued hot dog BUT SHE WAS ONCE SO PRETTY!

Her face was forever in shock. There was no muted emotion, for her eyes were closed for all eternity, and the slight parting of her lips made her look like a startled little girl. She was gone.

Xion: Sure is nice how they tried to sex appeal my corpse.
Mog: EwewewEWEW!
Xion: That’s the appropriate reaction to have, little buddy.

And, this is what made Roxas unreachable.

Xion: Oh no, he’s bluescreened!
Mog: Quick, where’s his restart button? Maybe if we start him in safemode he’ll be his adorable self again!

He couldn't think straight at all. He was too busy trying to figure out how to pull himself together long enough to make a plan. Any plan. Any plan that could get him to safety, for he had only one thought in his head.

Only one true thought.

Mog: JUST SAY THE FINAL LINE ALREADY! I’M TIRED AND HUNGRY AND COLD AND I WANNA GO HOME!

God help the world.

Xion: See, why couldn’t the story officially end there? That’s a good final line. Not up there with "And they walked into another world" but it gets the job done.
Mog: Any final words of wisdom, Miss Lily Ion?
Xion: I feel like we’ve said everything that needed to be said, and yet haven’t managed to cover even half of what makes this story awful. So instead of focusing on any of that, let me say this: While there are undeniable cruelties in the world, this story’s answer to how to deal with all that was to ignore it all because apparently advocating change leads nowhere or, worse, you should emulate those cruelties because that’s what makes you the stronger person. The only message I take from this journey is “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” and it doesn’t have to be like that. There are so many small ways you can make the world a better place: donate to credible charities or food banks, volunteer within your community, heck, even something as small as speaking out against bigoted or slanderous opinions on social media can make a difference. No matter what anyone tells you, you do have the power to change the world.
Mog: After this, we should read some good old Mary Sue fics and remember how even bad stories can be fun.
Xion: Not for a while though.
Mog: Oh, we’re not comin’ back to this room for a looooooong time, we all need a break and lots of ice cream to recover from this one.

[THE ACTUAL END]
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