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

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

I Say/Notes:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

WARNING FOR domestic abuse. Because we all know everyone wants to read more violence against women, there wasn't enough already.

13: Monday

Roxas: It's gonna be another manic Monday.
Mog: *from notes* Some more author's notes.

I hope you feel the terror and fear about to be unleashed. I hope you feel the twinge of excitement that makes you imagine just what horrors await the unsuspecting public.

Axel: It's seventeen more chapters of this fic!
Roxas: Badum-ksh!

And I hope you feel Aqua's presence as you read this.

Terra: Is the real her going to show up?

For the world is about to experience the most unbelieveable act of controlled chaos since the beginning of World War II.

Zexion: Thank you, authors. You've now flippantly compared your urban, science fiction drama based on a children's video game franchise to the hostile takeover of several countries and mass genocide. Thank you for putting into your own words how truly abhorrent this entire story is.

As for my partner...

DeadShut here. The worlds are entwining.

Xion: A piece of the world is missing.
Roxas: Huge apologies to Linkara for referencing your good plotlines during this.

This War is ours. Enjoy.

Terra: Too late for that.

Angelina "Aqua" Godfrey was indeed the most powerful woman on the East Coast. Her reign in all things drug and black-market related extended much farther than people could even begin to speculate.

Roxas: She owned a small piece of Jupiter.
Axel: Saix is jealous.

Everyone referred to her as "Someone". Even when small facets of her empire would crumble in on themselves, the news could only report that "Someone" was behind it.

Zexion: Those days were pretty slow for the news so they reported whatever was going on. Her story followed the cupcake sale the elementary school was planning.

Aqua, like every other eighteen to thirty-five year old American female,

Lexaeus: Even she doesn't know her exact age.

had a job, and an apartment, and had some sort of affinity for expensive things.

Terra: Sooo... Only 18-35 year old women residing in America like expensive things?

However, Aqua's job was normally that of a messenger, traveling throughout New York, delivering messages, and collecting things for her company, Male Inc., an internet dating website—which she just happen to own.

Marluxia: Which is probably why she referred to it as her company.
Zexion: Don't you mean she “refer” to it as her company, to keep in style of that sentence's grammar?

And though she submerged herself in illicit activities, she was not so far above everyone that she could not do things legitimately. Though, in actuality, she was above everyone.

Axel: God was her assistant.

Every morning, she checked her messages, made mental notes of who to call, and who to contact for handling any other "business" she had to attend to.

Xion: Other people could go to the bathroom for her.

She would drink her morning coffee, and then get ready for work and hop on the subway.

Terra: She'd been noticing lately how these strange, worm-like holes were appearing in the tunnels but decided to ignore it.

She led a very average life to the outside eye, and did a damn good job of keeping her private life private.

Zexion: Otherwise she'd have to call it her obvious life.
Mog: *from notes* Aqua sure is a hard to catch Someone!

Aqua sat on the train, frowning deeply.

Terra: (as Aqua) This seat isn't comfy! I'll have to have the entire train redone someday to my liking.

The person in front of her bobbed their head back and forth, listening to some kind of IPod. She thought she recognized the blond hair. The way it was spiked upwards, but then reminded herself that Valentin "Ven" Claus was dead.

Roxas: Y'know, sometimes parents are just mean when they name their kids. You don't need to explain away every odd name by making it a nickname. Just “Ven” was working fine up until now.

Jerkbutt had arrogantly killed him. Over a petty dispute.

Xion: Jerkbutt had dramatically killed him over a dramatic drama.

And he had not had any clearance from her, or any of her closest subordinates.

Larxene: If he'd just asked first, she would have gladly said yes!

When she first heard about it, she was absolutely livid.

Xion: (as Aqua) What? You killed a character who had only four lines and who did nothing? Who does that anymore?

She had to leave work early, claiming that she had had a massive headache, which was partially true. The first thing she did was call Jerkbutt, and utterly humiliate him as badly as one could over the phone with a little less than few hundred miles between her and her target.

Axel: (as Aqua) —AND YOUR PANTS ARE TOO BIG AND YOUR HAIR MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A ROOSTER! GOOD DAY, SIR!

Jerkbutt had explained himself effortlessly, as usual,

Roxas: And then Aqua fixed him his drink, as usual.
Xion: Y'know, some guys just can't hold their arsenic.

and told her that he wanted to recruit Riku. Aqua Okayed it warily.

Lexaeus: So based off this new information and previous chapters, in the span of one morning: someone died, she discovered this, called Terra, yelled at him, listened to his argument, then made the trip from New York to Maryland, where she then stopped at an adult movie set, changed outfits, then sat around waiting for Riku to walk by the National Mall.
Zexion: This timeline has pretzelled in on itself so many times by now, it looks like a broken DNA strand.

Even though she had known about Riku when he was coming up, and had fucked him once before,

Terra: Oh, look at that, I do still have some soul left to wither and die.

she was still untrusting of anyone recruited by anyone but her. Her trip to D.C was about establishing a relationship. And that was beside the fact that she had fucked him only a few days prior.

Terra: Aaaaand there's the last of it gone.
Mog: *from notes* Hi-ho, hi-ho! It's off to work we go!

"Morning!" Aqua responded. "Any calls?"

"Just one," the woman said, handing her an envelope. "They want you to take this to some glass-blowing place in Harlem.

Terra: Why do I have a horrible feeling that they meant "Harem"?
Mog: Be nice, you know Harlem is a real place.

They said it's really important. Something about the owner wanting some dick."

Axel: Send in Dick van Dyke.

Aqua took the envelope. "Thanks, but you know what the higher ups said about talking about clients that way."

Roxas: (as Aqua) They said “Do it!” because this dialogue is oh-so-realistic and important to the plot.

The woman shrieked a laugh. "And I told those cocksuckers what would happen if they fired me. Suddenly, people wouldn't be getting important phone calls if you know what I mean. I'm sure the wives would love to know what color the underwear of the mistress is."

Zexion: It's impressive how well the story is able to make every character void of any likeable trait. That takes a certain amount of dedication.
Mog: *from notes* There's a message from Jerkbutt so Aqua gets in a taxi cab to call him back.

The phone rang several times before a tired sounding Jerkbutt answered the phone. "Hullo?"

"Jerkbutt?"

"Oh, shit!" Jerkbutt was suddenly wide awake. "Aqua! I—"

Xion: —'m being written completely out-of-character! Don't believe anything I say or do! I'm still your best friend!
Terra: Thanks.
Xion: I do what I can.

"I don't want to hear it."

Jerkbutt was silent.

"What happened?"

Zexion: We are now switching point-of-view for this answer. Please keep your head low and hands and feet inside the paragraph at all times.

Jerkbutt huffed as he thought of a lie. If Aqua knew he had been forced into working for Senator Mouse, he was better off taking it in the ass for a Big Mac. "I…had a dispute with a former employee."

Zexion: Now back to our original point-of-view.

Aqua trembled. The gangster in her was itching to blow Jerkbutt's fucking head all over the sidewalk.

Terra: Because violence is the answer to all problems.
Larxene: Natch.
Mog: *from notes* Aqua knows he's lying.

"You're beginning to run out of excuses, hon.,"

Xion: And you overused punctuation, darling;.~

Aqua clicked her teeth. "I'm getting a little bit pissed off with you."

Jerkbutt sounded panicked. "Wait…I've got this."

Roxas: (as Jerkbutt) Um... See, I was crossing the street when, out of nowhere, a herd of hippies riding hippos tore through downtown and—

"Did you brand Riku yet?"

Jerkbutt paused. "No, but…"

Larxene: Brand, as in give him a name? We have a few suggestions for you. Some of 'em are quite colourful.

"He gets a red letter."

Jerkbutt's paling face was audible, even over the phone.

Lexaeus: The man has talent.

"Please…Aqua."

"I can not deal with failure, Jerkbutt."

Axel: (as Aqua) It makes my hips big and then I couldn't go on about how smokin' I am.

Aqua said slowly. "We used to be friends,

Terra: Throwaway lines don't make it true!

but I'm tired of having to cover for you."

Axel: (as Aqua) Sing your own damn songs.
Mog: *from notes* The phone call ends and the cab driver has a suggestion for Aqua's new employee. Namely, his son.

"Hello?"

Aqua paused, thinking carefully. "Ian?"

"Y-Yes?"

"I'm someone who would like you to take Washington D.C."

The voice on the other end sputtered. "R-Really?"

Roxas: (as Ian) I get the whole city all to myself? Just for me? Cooooooool!

"Yes, you start now," Aqua said. "Whatever it is you're doing, you're done. Call this number when you have arrived. Your crew will be waiting for you. I expect complete control."

"Understood."

"You are now, Ienzo."

Zexion: *splutters* Wha- bu- But I'm Ienzo!
Terra: You seem really concerned about this.
Axel: It means his character can be screwed up twice.
Zexion: *still flabbergasted*
Lexaeus: I'll take over your original intent to point out the unneeded comma. The statement should have been “You are now Ienzo.”

Aqua breathed. "And I have a message for your predecessor."

As the taxi dropped Aqua off in front of the glass-blowing place in Harlem, a small grin played about her lips. Now that she had to fix her teetering empire, she realized that she really was a Godfrey.

A free God.

Axel: And THAT'S why she was in a run-down building, dressed in a sheet, and talking about aliens!
Mog: *from notes* Jerkbutt is not having a good day.

Jerkbutt
's scheming weasel of a mind

Xion: Was being chased around the mulberry bush by a monkey.
Zexion: Him being on a hit list gives a whole new meaning to “pop goes the weasel”.

was hatching a grand plot even as he packed his things for New York. Leon couldn't go. He had to stay in D.C until his gunshot wounds had healed and the story blew over.

Marluxia: Is it this story that blows over?
Larxene: Where's Xaldin when you need him?

And in a city up to its eyes in politics, not one person knew how long that would take.

Lexaeus: About one more chapter, if my judgment on Mog's notes are correct.

A roughly kicked the door

Terra: A roughly nothing kicked the door.

to Riku's room open and stormed in.

Roxas: WHAT?! They went back there?! Why would they ever go back there? They have a car! Why couldn't they just drive to a cheap motel, pay for it with the wad of money Aqua gave him, then call her or Mick to ask where to go next?!
Xion: But then poor Jerkbutt would have no one to yell at for this scene.

He had to keep his tough exterior in tact, or his whole plan would be ruined.

"Get the fuck up," Jerkbutt roared.

Riku opened his eyes slowly. He had had a strange dream, and Jerkbutt's banter was already getting on his nerves. "Go fuck yourself."

Larxene: He's gonna have to now that Namine's gone.
Roxas: *glare*

Jerkbutt pulled him out of bed and onto the floor, "I'm going back to New York with you."

Zexion: An action is not the same as a dialogue tag. Why can't thirteen chapters teach proper comma usage?

Sora stood up. "Why?" He didn't like Jerkbutt,

Axel: NAH REALLY?

so it was natural to be apprehensive about his accompanying them.

Xion: Sleeping in his house, on the other hand, is totally all right.

Jerkbutt turned to him. "Because, I have business to take care of. And you are being a nosy bitch. Shut the fuck up."

Riku stretched and glared at him. "You have no business with us.

Terra: (as Jerkbutt) Listen to me, young man, as long as you're under my roof, you have to follow my rules.

I'm sure you have plenty to do here." He paused.

Axel: Reflecting on how he's stupider than a Goldfish cracker for sleeping under the same roof as a murderer and bringing his friends along.
Terra: *determined face* There will be vengeance someday soon.

"If this is about my initiation, I already called Aqua about it."

Jerkbutt froze. "You did?"

Roxas: (as Riku) Yeah, I used your phone, like, an hour ago.

Riku nodded. "She didn't sound too good. I think she might be sick."

Axel: We like to call that disease OOC Syndrome.
Zexion: Unfortunately, there is no known cure and it's highly contagious.

Jerkbutt smirked, trying to roll his fear off his back. "That's too bad."

Riku gathered the pile of papers that they had taken from the Library of Congress. Jerkbutt ignored him,

Xion: And apparently everyone's ignoring Kairi because she's nowhere to be seen.

wishing he could go back to the night before. Mick had fucked him. His whole operation. He had nothing now.

Terra: The three of them must have snuck in while that scene was going on.
Roxas: (as Sora) Hey, Riku, isn't that your boss in there?
Xion: (as Riku) Nah, you're just imagining things. C'mon, I know where Leon stashed the Oreos!

Except for Riku.

Larxene: Except for stupid, stupid, officially Too Dumb to Live Riku.

Riku packed the papers into a bag and slung it over his shoulder. "We have to go meet someone. If you want to go to New York, go right ahead. I may be your second in command, but I sure as hell don't work for you."

Xion: (as Riku) Geez, Dad, just let me do what I want for once.

Jerkbutt sucked in a heated breath.

Roxas: His furnace is up full blast.

"I'll see you in New York then."

"Fuck you."

Axel: (as Jerkbutt) Fuck you times infinity plus two!

Jerkbutt pushed past Riku, feeling defeated, but not letting it show.

Lexaeus: He saw everyone else was telling so he went along for the ride.
Mog: *from notes* Away to the bus station.

"Are you Jerkbutt?"

Jerkbutt flicked the cigarette he was smoking away.

Marluxia: Right into a puddle of gasoline by his feet.

"Who wants to know?"

"I'm Ienzo," the man said.

Zexion: No you’re not, your name is Ian. Don’t go stealing my identity for your own fun.
Roxas: Now you know how I feel towards Ryan.

He blinked slowly. He looked extremely intelligent.

Terra: His head was huge from the Cerebral-o-hance-atron.

"I'll be watching your city until you return."

Jerkbutt scoffed. "Says who?"

"Someone."

Jerkbutt flinched inside.

Zexion: That's just his appendicitis.
Terra: I wish.
Mog: *from notes* Not-Ienzo says Jerkbutt's in big, big trouble.

Jerkbutt panicked. "I'm not running. I'm heading to New York right now, you shithead. You tell her that she's a fucking dead bitch."

Marluxia: Yes, insulting her will really help your situation.

Ienzo looked behind him, at two men who were holding a sign with his name on it.

Xion: Lookit that, Zexion, you do have a fan club!

"You have twenty four hours to go before a hit's been put on you. Six of those hours will be spent traveling. So, you really have eighteen."

Terra: (as Ienzo) But then there's the time we spent talking so, really, you have 17 hours, 52 minutes, and 25 seconds.

Jerkbutt trembled.

"I suggest you pick a religion." Ienzo finished.

Roxas: But that's me in the spotlight, losing my religion.

And, with that, he turned on his heals and left.

Xion: Aw, stomping on the cure spells is just mean!

Jerkbutt was reeling. His fate was sealed. Aqua wanted him gone.

Axel: At first she wanted you dead but now she only wants you gone.

And he was now wanted by everyone under her command. He pulled his hair out

Roxas: And threw it at people, just to be violent in any way possible.

and ruffled it, hiding the small 'A' just below his ear.

He got on the bus thinking of only one thing. His survival. He knew that if he even made it to Aqua alive, he was going to have to kill the bitch. That would ensure his survival. If he killed her, he would gain control of her kingdom. Simple.

Xion: *singing* AND CLEAN LIKE THE WAY YOU ARE MAKING ME FEEL TONIGHT!
Roxas: Well... At least this fic doesn't shove in the theme songs.
Axel: Nah, that would be too much like the games and that would make the universe explode.

As the bus pulled away, Jerkbutt noticed Ienzo standing at the gate. He made a hand gesture that sank Jerkbutt's heart further. A gunshot to the head.

The clock had started.

Xion: Huh, gunshots and clocks. Suddenly I want to play Persona 3 but I can't figure out why.

Mick's Washington house was much grander than the penthouse in New York. The lawn was perfectly manicured, the hedges were clean cut, and the door looked like it had just been painted red.

Xion: I see a red door but I want to paint it black. Again, can't figure out why.

Riku and Sora were dressed sharply. In dress shirts and ties.

Zexion: In sentences that could have easily been combined together.
Axel: The fic knows you've been complaining too much about commas. Back to fragmented sentences we go!

Riku had put Aqua's payment to good use. They all looked like they lived in the neighborhood, or at least were rich enough to visit.

Terra: That money could have been spent on gas, food, or other necessities, but they decided fancy clothes were the most important thing. Not like they could put the money towards the plot.

Kairi held onto Sora's hand. She was wearing a dress that was flowing in the slight wind.

Roxas: Now the descriptions aren't even describing anything!
Xion: Give us a colour or fabric at least! Anything that doesn't make it sound like Sora's amazed that loose clothing flaps in the breeze.

"Did he say it was okay to come here?"

Riku nodded. "Wife is at work. Kid at school. We don't have much time."

Axel: (as Riku) We have to keep those characters a secret for as long as possible! There's no reason why, it's just fun that way!

Riku led them to the door and knocked four times. It was opened instantly by Don, who looked impossibly tired.

"Mornin." He greeted gruffly. His accent was still thick.

"Moring, Don." Riku said. "We need to talk to Mick. Now."

Zexion: I want every single person reading through this to take a long look at this line. Examine it. Study it. Never ever do this.

Don opened the door wider and let them in. "He's in his office. Upstairs to the left."

Riku thanked him and jumped up the stairs.

Roxas: In a single bound!

Goofy was lying on the couch, snoring softly. Sora looked around the house as he made his way up the immaculate staircase. The tiles were perfectly aligned, the furniture, the latest in modern art, and paintings that were worth ten times as much as his parent's house.

"So this is how a Senator lives." Sora mumbled to himself.

Zexion: He lives surrounded by expensive frivolities despite claiming he wants to help other people.

He followed Riku into an office that was just as stylish as the rest of the house, though the walls were strangely devoid of family photos and vacations.

Xion: Those adorable pictures of he and his wife that Mickey had on his desk? Too happy, needs to be cut.
Mog: *from notes* Riku shows Mick what they found and asks Sora for the Keyblade.

Sora pulled the Keyblade out, and Riku took it. "It has a button on the side. When you push it—" He pushed the button and dropped the alien baton, for a liquid fire struck his veins.

Roxas: (as Sora) Oops! Sorry, I should've told you earlier. While you and Kairi were in the changing rooms, I was playing with the Keyblade and seeing what I could put inside it. Do you know the mall has a lava dispenser?

Sora picked the Keyblade up, but Riku didn't stop.

Marluxia: I'm sure he stopped dropping the baton. It's a one-time occurrence unless he picks it up again.

He merely sucked on his thumb until the pain subsided. "Anyway,

Axel: (as Riku) Just stabbed myself in the thumb with an alien device, no biggie. Moving on.

it's supposed to unlock encrypted files that can build a machine that leads to…

Axel: Pause for build-up...

a place called Kingdom Hearts."

Terra: (as Riku) Which I've heard can fill you with the POWER OF DARKNESS!!!
Mog: *from notes* Sora feels weird while Riku keeps on talking.

"The Heartless want it."

Mick looked at him and stood. "Riku…please."

Larxene: (as Mouse) Shut up.

"Diz wants it." Riku continued.

Lexaeus: Is anyone going to question who this “Diz” is and what Riku's relation to him is?
Mog: Nope.
Lexaeus: I see I expected too much from these characters.
Mog: *from notes* Mouse finally gets Riku to stop talking.

There was silence for a long time. Mick sighed, wanting to keep his bearings. "I've been thinking about the kidnapping of Sora's parents.

Roxas: At least someone on this half of the story has.

There is just something not right about how it happened. The amount of carnage. It's very unlike the Heartless. They don't usually kill on such a large scale."

Zexion: They're actually discreet, whereas the Organization can't resist making a scene everywhere they go.

Sora winced as the memories of that fateful night flooded back to him. The two men. Seeing Riku for the first time. And the way they took his parents.

Axel: Now that that's outta the way, back to staring at Kairi's ass.

"I remember Sora saying he saw someone who looked like Demyx driving the van that left the hotel."

Terra: Again, why is this man in your group? Didn't you consider the possibility of anyone recognizing a semi-famous musician?
Axel: Xehanort thinks he's cool so we have to put up with him.

Mick continued. His voice was barely breaking through Sora's fogging mind. "I want you to find him. Question him."

Xion: (as Mouse) Tickle him if need be.

"But…" Sora started, but he thought better of it.

"It might not be him." Mick warned. "But that's all we have to go on right now. He's the first step."

Terra: That's one small step for the plot, one huge step for... Well, nothing, really.

Riku nodded, and upon another strong wave of spontaneous speculation, departed abruptly.

Zexion: The thesaurus can now be put away.

Sora stayed behind as Kairi rushed after him.

Xion: And out of the scene she goes!
Roxas: Almost as if she was never there.

He couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy. And he hated himself for feeling something so spiteful. After all, Kairi and Riku had known each other much longer than he knew them, so it was probably natural for her to run after him.

Zexion: Maybe they'll share another line of dialogue since the third chapter. No, seriously, they haven’t talked to each other for about ten chapters, we’re not joking.
Mog: *from notes* Mick offers Sora the chance to back out.

"We would still find your parents," Mick continued. "Of course, and we would bring them back to you. I just want to know if you're going to stay or leave. That determines how we will move forward."

"I'm staying," Sora said finally.

Axel: (as Sora) I'm the main character. It's in my contract.

He knew the dangers. He knew that if he were to continue, he would have to hurt and possibly kill more people. But, he had formed this unbreakable bond with Kairi.

Roxas: YOU'VE BARELY TALKED TO HER AND ONLY LIKE HER ON A PHYSICAL LEVEL! GO BACK TO BEING CHILDHOOD FRIENDS AND THEN TELL US ABOUT UNBREAKABLE BONDS!
Axel: Hey, you lasted longer than I thought you would. Good ranting willpower there.

And he wanted to stay with Riku, even if it was just to prove that they weren't alone. He had friends now. Friends that would risk everything they had to help him.

Terra: Like that one time they risked nothing to not help you.

And he had to return the favor.

Xion: He'll be abandoning Riku in nightclubs and blaming Kairi for innocent mistakes by nightfall!

Mick smiled and nodded. "Excellent. I wish you the best of luck."

Mick turned away, which was an obvious dismissal, but Sora had a question burning his soul. "Sir?"

Mick looked at him. "Yes, Sora?"

"Do you think my parents are still alive?" Sora asked hesitantly. "Honestly."

"No," Mick said.

Larxene: (as Sora) Oh. Forget what I said, then. I'm leaving.

"I believe that whoever took them killed them quickly afterwards. But, I may be wrong. There is still hope."

Axel: Not for this fic, there isn't.

Sora looked down.

Marluxia: Looking for the hope on the floor.

He didn't say anything, though the first thing he wanted to do was cry. Mick had been after the Heartless for years, and he knew what kind of evil was out there. If he thought that they killed his parents, then his parents were dead.

Axel: (as Sora) Whew, what a load off my mind! Gotta tell ya, I'm so happy I could cry right now. I don't have to waste time mentioning my parents anymore and can get back to my girl again!

Sora shuffled out of the room and left the house without another word. Riku and Kairi were standing by the CTS, waiting for him.

Roxas: They'd locked the keys inside and needed the Keyblade to open the doors.
Mog: *from notes* The plan is to head to Demyx's next concert in Queens so off to New York they go! Speaking of New York...

Roxas had woken up that morning with a bubble forming in his chest.

Roxas: (as self) Too much Pepsi last night. Ugh.

Xion had gone with Zexion. He had told her to.

Xion: And I followed because—
Larxene: We get it, Dolly! You're as smart as a paper cup here! Start making real jokes!

He didn't want to risk anyone associating her with what he was about to do.

Roxas: Which would be what? Reminding everyone what a jerk you are? Your girlfriend of one week left you for a family trip and we’re meant to believe it’s one of the worst things to happen in your sorry little life. Yet she sees her parents murdered in front of her eyes, was almost murdered herself, and you just punt her off to an island the next morning after barely talking to her. I- just- I wanna- I can’t even think up a word to describe how I feel about you! To say you’re awful incarnate would be too kind!

He stayed in bed for a good hour before he got out and prepared for the chaos he was going to cause.

Axel: CUZ HE'S A CHAOS THEORIST LOL!

He had woken up extremely early. As he entered the kitchen, he noticed Axel leaning over the table, snoring.

How early did he get up?

"Hey, Axel." Roxas nudged his friend.

Axel groaned and sat up. "Jesus, what fucking time is it?"

"Time to wreak havoc."

Larxene: (as Axel) I wasn't asking you, I was asking Jesus.

Roxas said slyly. "Why were you down here?"

Axel: (as self) Why are you down here? For food, stupid!

"I was talking to Xehanort last night." He looked around. "Fucker left me here."

Axel: He talked for so long I did fall asleep in the middle of it.
Lexaeus: But then apparently expected him to carry you back to your room like a parent does to a child after a long car trip.

Roxas opened the fridge and moved some stuff around.

Xion: (as Roxas) Let's see... Rotten stuff, sour stuff, melting stuff, soggy stuff, stuffing, brown stuff that's supposed to be green stuff, stuff that's growing new stuff...

"We needed to get an early start. I was thinking we could hit the first place together. Just to send some kind of message. I dunno, like—Here we are motherfuckers! Run! —Or something like that."

Axel nodded, not really paying attention. "Sounds good. You remember the rules?"

Roxas: Yep. Can’t kill anybody, can’t make anybody fall in love with someone else, and can’t bring people back from the dead. It’s not a pretty picture, I don’t like doing it.

Roxas ran through them in his mind. "Yeah."

Axel left the table and headed to the front foyer. He was smiling. "Then let's get this motherfucking show on the road."

Axel: That's not nearly as badass as “Now give me one hell of a show.” My clone is broken.

As they sat on the subway—far away from each other of course, they each delved into the sickest, most twisted parts of their minds in order to prepare themselves for their task.

Zexion: Step one: do not close em-dash contained phrases.

Roxas put on a pair of headphones that Demyx had given him especially for his mission. The music that played was sinister, and the screaming reminded Roxas of hatred and spite.

Axel: Roxas/Ryan in two words.

The perfect set of emotions to force New York to its knees.

Xion: (as New York) Ahhh, cruddy music! We surrender! Please bring back Vienna Teng!

Axel fingered his favorite toy as he watched Roxas from behind.

Larxene: Can't resist even in public, eh?

He knew he could blow New York off the face of the Earth, but he was interested in how Roxas was going to use his weapons. Just then, he noticed a woman, with blue highlights laced through black hair. She looked completely normal, just like any other woman, not special in the least.

Marluxia: But he had to notice her anyway so we could be reminded that Aqua's subplot isn't barely holding on by a string.
Mog: *from notes* Moving on to the next chapter!


14: Black and Blue

As Jerkbutt drove back to his place to get his things, heart hammering away, he thought about graveyards.

Terra: He thought about how he'd soon be in one.

Being the ruler of an underground empire so vast and intimidating that people feared the mere utterance of its name,

Roxas: The Eggman Empire!

Jerkbutt had never been so close to his own death, so he seldom had time to reflect upon it. However, ever since his fall-from-grace just an hour ago, death was all he could think about. He was bleeding in a pool full of sharks, and that concept was so unknown to him that it seemed impossible, unreal. He had never been acquainted to this world before, a world where all the eye could see was rotting corpses full of worms and maggots, dusty wooden coffins, dirt and fire, judgment day coming over the horizon.

Axel: This world is filled with heavy metal album covers.
Roxas: Isn't that just Halloweentown?

Being an aggressive man, used to arrogance and getting whatever he wanted when he wanted it,

Terra: ...is the most opposite description of me you could ever get.

Jerkbutt had twice stopped to turn his car around and cut off that motherfucker Ienzo's head.

Roxas: I'll give him some points for the originality in not opting for shooting him.

But common sense thankfully revealed itself to him,

Lexaeus: That, and he realized killing a ten-year-old was too low even for him.

and he continued driving home, realizing that going to Ienzo would mean going to Aqua; and going to Aqua would mean going to death.

Terra: *fingers crossed* Is it someday soon today?
Mog: *from notes* Home not sweet home.

He ran instantly to his bedroom and packed all the clothes he could into a suitcase. He shoved in a couple personal hygiene-products, and shoved his iPod into his pocket.

Marluxia: Every fugitive needs some musical accompaniment.
Roxas: What he doesn't know is that Leon replaced his entire iTunes with songs he hates. He'll have to run away with “Barbie Girl” blaring in his ears.

He hurried to the kitchen to see what he had food-wise, and dismally found it empty. He shut the refrigerator door and turned to see Leon, standing straight up, teeth clenched, a gun pointing at his former boss.

Terra: *fist pump* Yes!

Jerkbutt opened his mouth, but no words came out. This betrayal was apart

Zexion: If I had a cent for every time that word is spelled correctly, I would be in negative pennies by now.

of the Deathworld, and he knew nothing of it. He was not used to having guns pointed at him, but in the past couple of hours he had gotten it a lot. First the fucking Senator, now Leon.

Larxene: *sarcasm* Oh, wow! Two times! You're an expert now!

They say fate runs the world,

Marluxia: Who keeps saying this?
Zexion: The narrative, of course. It's recycled the same phrase about three times.
Mog: *from notes* Basic gist is that Riku has lots of fate.

Expecting to go out into a flurry of curses, Jerkbutt found himself incapable of saying anything except one word, one word that surprised him as much as it did Leon.

"Okay."

Bam.

Roxas: Bam-bam!
Xion: *singing* Flintstones! Meet the Flintstones!

Leon pulled the trigger,

Axel: Holy crap, the bullet fired before the mallet hit!
Xion: I'd like a time warping gun.

and Jerkbutt felt the impact of the bullet hit him in the stomach.

Terra: THANK YOU LEON, WHOEVER YOU ARE!

His hands flew to his gut, and felt the moisture of his own blood seeping through his fingers. The pain was so immense that he pressed his back against the refrigerator and slid down to sit on the tiled floor.

Roxas: (as Leon) Aw, man, we just finished putting those tiles in and now you've got blood all over them. Even in death you're a jerk.

He spoke his last words through an overwhelming flood of blood, "No, take me to the Kingdom, don't leave me…" Jerkbutt went limp.

Terra: Celebration time! *Confetti and Fireworks commands*

Leon watched his victim die with grim pleasure until he said those final words. Now he felt chilled to the bone.

Larxene: (as Leon) Vague foreshadowy bull that doesn’t actually mean anything BRRR!

Shuddering, he turned and walked to the living room-

Marluxia: And turned the furnace back up.

-don't leave me-

-and saw a figure move, then heard another gunshot that did not come from he himself,

Larxene: Spontaneous trigger pulling a bad habit of yours?

and he was lifted off his feet and spiraling towards the floor, sticky blood running down his neck. He looked up and saw Ienzo kick the gun away from his hands with a pistol of his own, and immediately felt a rush of betrayal and fear.

Lexaeus: This household has a problem with betrayals lately.

"You sonofabitch!" Leon screamed. "I promised you I'd kill him! I promised!"

Xion: He made the promise because he was sick of a living in squallor. Get it? Get it?
Axel: Ow, Xion. Ow.

"Yeah," said Ienzo coolly, little smirk playing on his face. "Well, I'm not one for promises.

Zexion: I'm not one for talking much. Oh, wait, that was the real Ienzo. Never mind.

You know how it is, Leon; you betrayed Aqua, too."

Ienzo raised the gun again. This time, the bullet made a home within Leon's temple. The best bagger gave another jerk and lay still.

Axel: *sarcastically solemn* And so... a subplot more superfluous than the romance in My Sister's Keeper finally draws... to a close.

Ienzo left hurriedly, thinking that if he could so easily get the first two, then killing the other couple would be just as simplistic. The two who had left last night: the blonde girl and…what was that other guy's name?

Something about the sky…?

Lexaeus: So how have Cloud and Namine betrayed Aqua?
Axel: Insulted her boobs on Facebook.

Cloud woke up to a beautiful sunrise, and looked over at Namine, who slept beside him. He smiled and stared at her for a while, recalling how last night they had made love in this motel room. Not had sex. That was Jerkbutt's thing, God knew. This act had been passionate, something out of a cheap-ass romance novel. And Cloud had never been happier.

Xion: (as Cloud) I just had sex with a girl who's been abused for who knows how long! I'm so happy I'm disrespectful!

They hadn't taken the train to Chicago, instead driving out to Seaside Heights, New Jersey in Namine's car.

Terra: She can barely afford art school, but can afford a car in a major city that has transit.

Cloud had a couple more small bags of marijuana, and Namine had quickly gotten her secret stash from her apartment in D.C.

Axel: And can afford her own apartment.
Xion: Namine, did you even try part-time jobs or residency before you jumped to "sex slave"? Your major issue just sounds like bad writing.

If Cloud could sell the pot today, they would have enough to perhaps buy one of those small homes near the canal/bay

Roxas: You have to make up your mind, fic! You can't keep throwing in both words you wanted!

that lead out into the ocean. Right now, however, they were staying at the Surfside Motel. And it was the happiest day of Cloud's life.

Marluxia: We heard you the first time.

He quietly got out of bed and walked outside to enjoy the rising sun. Before he did that, however, he looked at Namine's face as she slept.

She was smiling.

Xion: She was dreaming of a lovely place called Destiny Islands.

He kissed her on the cheek and headed through the door. There were a couple vending machines on this "floor" of hotel rooms,

Marluxia: Yes, story, hotels have floors. You can get some confidence for yourself from the vending machines now and stop with the constant air quotes.

and he bought himself a cherry Mountain Dew.

Roxas: I'm suddenly in the mood for something.
Axel: Cherry Mountain Dew?
Roxas: How did you know!

With the soft drink in hand, Cloud walked down the street and up to the boardwalk. The ocean was beautiful in the morning…or, at least, mornings during which you were in love.

Larxene: We get it! You boinked! Cut this sappy crap already!

Cloud wouldn't have minded living here with Namine for the rest of his life and dying beside her. Used to a world of violence, betrayal, and sick loyalty, Jerkbutt's best bagger

Zexion: Instead of best cutter, hence his name. *writes*

had found something no narcotic could ever match: pure human emotion.

He had never been so happy in his entire life.

Lexaeus: We would join you in that happiness if you and Namine had shared a single line of dialogue by now.

"Riku, if you just go where I told you to go the first fucking time, we wouldn't be doing this," said Sora impatiently as Riku drove the CTS around one of the many garages that filled Manhattan.

Marluxia: Oh, joy. From Cloud's repetition to petty traffic problems.
Zexion: The plot has been enjoying its week off.

Sora had spotted an open space near the entrance, but Riku had insisted that he saw one near the back and would prefer being further from the entrance in case some stupid thieves came in.

Terra: There's a little thing called locked doors that could help with that.

Through grit teeth, Riku replied, "Look, Sora, who failed their permit test twice and still can't go out driving since turning sixteen?

Roxas: Look! An age! We now know something about Sora!
Axel: Maybe in another two hundred thousand words we could find out where he actually lived before vacationing in New York!

You. Don't you tell me what to do."

Grumbling, Sora muttered, "If you'd just listen…"

Riku punched him in the arm. Sora muttered again and massages his aching shoulder.

Zexion: Moments the "qwerty" keyboard is a hindrance on non-revising writers.

Kairi laughed from the backseat.

Xion: Where she's figuratively sat this entire time.
Mog: We've still got a long way to go, you know. You may wanna move on to a different niche before you run out of riffs.
Xion: No problem, I've got plenty! The fic practically hands them to me now.

They eventually found a parking space (in the middle, so both boys were satisfied) and walked out of the underground garage and into the city. Like every time he stepped out into this place, Sora was overcome by a feeling of vertigo; there was too much to see, too much to take in, as always. Lights shone brightly like portals to heaven,

Roxas: Or portals to the moon.

taxis and cars honked their horns with insatiable impatience, people walked in every direction possible,

Terra: Even upwards!

and the magical architecture of this wondrous city reached for the skies.

Larxene: So everyone else bitches about New York but when Sora looks at it he sees rainbows and unicorns. I'm not all that surprised.

Once everything had stopped spinning, Sora blinked heavily and followed his two friends down the street.

"What's first?" he asked, checking his wristwatch. 12:34 in the afternoon. Not bad timing. They had made it here in three and a half hours.

Terra: It's amazing what you can accomplish when you finally use your car!
Roxas: They could have talked for those three and a half hours, enriching their relationship, but shortly after Sora said how old he was, arguments broke out over the radio station. The rest of the drive was sullen silence.

"First," said Riku as they walked. "We find someplace to stay overnight.

Axel: (as Riku) I know another drug dealer we can bunk with! He'll be even more fun than the last one!
Mog: *from notes* In the hotel room, Riku counts their money.

"So, what do we do?" asked Kairi as she looked at herself in the mirror. Sora stared at her instinctively.

Larxene: Sora's instincts involve oggling Kairi. Again, not surprised.

Riku said, "Mick told me he's sending Don and Goofy to stay with us for this mission, and possibly just join us from now on overall.

Roxas: (as Riku) But they have to be happy, because our car runs on smiles!

Plus, I've gotten us some other protection, street-style. Nobody wants to pop us, unless they want to get popped themselves."

"Pop?" said Kairi, a sick grin on her face. Riku laughed.

Xion: ...
Roxas: Something wrong?
Xion: No. No, I'm just thinking about how my next break will be spent hoping that the first action Kairi takes in this story will not be to murder someone. I'll be fine. I think.

They headed out of the hotel and went to eat lunch at Susie's Diner.

Xion: *relieved* Oh, thank goodness, she was talking about sodapop.
Axel: You can never be too careful here.

Sora ordered himself a burger and fries, Riku a basket of chicken fingers, and Kairi a salad.

Axel: THIS FOOD IS SUPER IMPORTANT! REMEMBER THIS FOOD! IT WILL DECIDE THE FATE OF THE VERY UNIVERSE!

They munched on their meals in silence, their minds racing with the possible outcomes of this attempted kidnapping of Demyx. Sora was so utterly frightened of this situation that the man he had killed in Club Heartless meant nothing now.

Roxas: Thanks for the honesty, fic.

His heart sinking, he realized this was probably a bad thought to be thinking; what if the murdered man had a family somewhere?

Terra: His parents ignored him, so it's okay.

What if he had been drunk and wasn't thinking clearly when he had come up to Kairi?

Xion: Drunkenness is a cause, not an excuse.

Exactly who was the person that was supposed to die?

Zexion: ...No one. No one had to die that night because the man you killed was an accident.
Axel: You’re not gonna make a joke about how stupid he is?
Zexion: I can’t because I don’t even know how he arrived at this conclusion.

You only live once…and Sora had taken everything from that man, everything.

Roxas: Sora has now officially given an NPC more brain time than his own parents. His priorities are now screwed.

Was he becoming as nonchalant as Senator Mouse, seeing people as disposable whilst considering the greater good?

Axel: The way things are going, I'm waiting for the reveal that Mouse is the mastermind behind everything and ends up slaughtering countless people. Just to punch childhood in the face a few more times.

Or was he becoming as ruthless as the notorious Marla Shift, who killed for pleasure?

Marluxia: Precisely. That character is the cartoon villain. I, on the other hand, prefer to manipulate others' emotions to suit my personal gain.

Did Sora feel pleasure when he had killed the stranger?

No! he thought defensively. I felt horrible! I still do!

Larxene: That's what they all say. Face it, Sora, you're a loony like the rest of us.

All of a sudden, he was not hungry. In fact, he felt sick. He put his face in his hands and realized he was trembling…wait, no. It wasn't he that was trembling, but something was vibrating.

Sora took out the Keyblade and saw that it was shaking incredibly, at great velocities, jerking his arm one way and another.

Terra: (as Sora) Jane, how do you stop this crazy thing?!

"Oh, no," groaned Kairi. "Don't tell me something's happening here…"

Larxene: (as Kairi) Geez Louise, I haven't even finished my salad yet. Gawsh.
Mog: *from notes* Nap time!

The visions began.

shift…

Lexaeus: ...key.

Mark Wallsburg, age thirty-four, was sitting in his pitifully-small house, watching his television set and drinking a warm bottle of beer.

Zexion: The other twenty-seven main characters— oh, yes, I counted— weren't enough so let's add a few more in to take up time.

Mark absolutely hated his beer cold, so he made sure to let it sit in the sun all day to enjoy it once the night came. He had worked hard down at Foster's homestead near the town of Corona today,

Xion: Where they were celebrating the return of their princess, Rapunzel.
Mog: *from notes* Story time! Mark's son, Jesse, comes home. Jesse is a homosexual sixteen-year-old who was at his boyfriend, Max's house. Mark is being mean because the town teases him about his son.

At the mention of the name "Max", Mark just gave a grunt of assent.

"You di'nt fuck 'im up the ass, didja?" he asked his son. Jesse's mouth fell open in a gape. Mark continued, "'Cause if ya' did, and ya' gettin' sick from all this shit, I ain't takin' ya' to no doctor. Doc Halps don't take kindly to queers."

Axel: (as Doc) We don't take kindly to token minorities 'round these parts, boy.

"Well, fuck him, then," growled Jesse as he sat at the kitchen table and pulled out a couple of heavy-looking books. "It's 1947, pa.

Xion: Wow, Jesse's got guts to openly announce his sexual orientation to the entire town.
Terra: Jesse is now my favorite character of this entire fic!

Time's have changed, so you best be changing with 'em. Also, no, I haven't had sex with Max. Jesus…"

"Don't be usin' that name in vain," Mark warned. Another sip of beer.

Axel: Whoa, we just hit four Stephen King clichés at once!

"Whatever," muttered Jesse. To make conversation while he did his homework,

Zexion: Time's sure have changed. They've changed to a modern day high school AU by the sounds of it.
Axel: He said "pa". Only 40's people say that!

he asked (as politely as he possibly could), "How'd things go down at Foster's today?"

Xion: (as Mark) I played with Mac and Bloo today, it was lots of fun.

"Purty good. Ol' Mac

Xion: Holy crow! My random reference was right!

Brazel found some weird rocks today in the fields."

"Ya' don't say?" asked Jesse, bending over his homework. "Jeremy Skips found some rocks by the creek th'other day, too. Really weird ones. Did you see 'em?"

"Yuh. They were black, lined with silver. Di'nt touch 'em myself, but all the same…They was pretty weird."

Jesse frowned, "That's what Jeremy found the other day. Black rocks, like coal? But with a tad bit a'silver…yeah, it was really weird."

Roxas: Rocks. Weird. Rocks. Weird. Weird. Rocks. Brain. Melting. Rocks. Weird.

"Mhm."

The two didn't exchange another word for around maybe an hour. By then, Jesse was almost done with his homework, and Mark was drunker than a sack of assholes.

Lexaeus: There's a mental image.
Axel: He's drunk from ONE beer? Get some whiskey, ya weakling.
Larxene: Hell, even a cider would be stronger than a puny beer.
Terra: If the writers wanted a drunken dad, they could have easily had him drinking vodka or rum. Heck, take a bottle of wine and guzzle it down like juice.

He was about to doze off, when a humongous crash came from the kitchen. Mark stood up and roared, "The hell ya' doin', boy?"

Xion: (as Jesse) I'm cleanin' the dishes by breakin' 'em!

The table was on the floor, homework and writing utensils scattered about.

Terra: They eat their dinners with Sharpie pens.

Jesse sat on the chair, notebook on his lap and pencil writing vigorously upon it. He was twitching horribly, and Mark saw with horror that a flood of foam was coming out of his son's mouth. From Jesse's throat came gargling noises, and his eyes were going bloodshot.

Axel: Crap, it's Knowing all over again!
Terra: At least this time we know upfront aliens are behind it all.
Mog: *from notes* Jesse starts reading from the "I Am Making A Foreshadowing Premonition" handbook, so I have a game for you all!
Axel: Seriously?
Mog: Yup! Decipher the premonitions and get a point! Whoever wins... Well, you don't get anything, but you get to win!
Axel: ... *shrugs* Hell, why not? Bring it on.

"…because then he will come, oh god yes, and he will use the hurt and ambitious

Roxas: That's Xehanort and Organization XIII! Two points for me!

and they will follow him and soon, soon, soon their minds will be corrupted with false hopes and dreams of power and success,

Axel: There's our bullshit logic right there.

and only ONE can stop them

Xion: Sora! My point!

but he will give up everything

Larxene: Five munny says that's his virginity.

and watch as those he loves most

Xion: Riku and Kairi!
Zexion: They barely count as loved ones.
Xion: Premonitions don't need to make sense. Point still mine!

die at the hands of the OTHERS

Terra: Otters Testing Huge Eared Rhino Showers!

and the OTHERS

Roxas: Obnoxious Trees Helping Earthworms Ruin Swamps!

will soon die themselves and we will be further from the truth than we ever were before

Axel: The X-files theme song!
Mog: Now you're all just getting silly.

because fighting does nothing, nothing, so soon, so sooooooooooooooooo-"

Xion: -oooklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain!
Lexaeus: Did he flat line in the middle of that premonition?
Mog: *from notes* And then Jesse blacks out and there's an actual sweet moment as his dad takes him to the hospital so I'm not letting any of you ruin it.

shift…

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Hon, c'mon…"

"No, Max, I mean it," said Jesse firmly as he laid in the bed he shared with his boyfriend. He was pretending to read a paperback. "I don't want to go back to that time, not when we were sixteen…and the whole UFO-thing…it was just fucked up, okay? I don't want to ever, ever bring up what happened in Roswell of 1947 again."

Roxas: (as Jesse) So let me exposit the entire thing back to you in great detail!
Axel: We may as well stop right here because nothing we say can possibly beat the comedy in that paragraph right there. Just try to read all that with a straight face, I dare you.

Max sighed and said, "Fine…Just cheer up, okay? I was just curious, and that was ten years ago! That little boy at the orphanage…he wanted to know so much about it, and he was just so precious…

Terra: (as Max) I will exposit back to you, boyfriend!

Nothing, nothing at all comes to mind about that one night?"

"Stop it, now, Max."

"Okay, okay!" Max paused and stared at Jesse for a little bit before saying, "I love you."

Xion: (as Max) I looooooove you! Pretty please forgive me for heckling you for painful memories?

"I love you, too."

Roxas: (as Jesse) Forgiven, honeybunch!

"Do you think I should adopt him?"

"Who? Anthony Hall? No, babe;

Axel: That'll do, gay lover. That'll do.

it's a bad idea. Let's just enjoy our own company, okay? We don't need some fuckin' four-year-old kid running around.

Marluxia: His genes will eventually spawn some teenager named Ryan and no one wants that.
Terra: ...First he's precious and now you don't want anything to do with him, what?

You're all I need."

Xion: (as Max) So let me not even consider the fact you may want to be the loving father to an orphaned child. Nighty night!
Mog: *from notes* Max goes to sleep while Jesse exposits to himself again.

shift….

Anthony Hall hated to see his father like this; crying and weeping and mourning and whatever other words came to mind.

Roxas: Jumping! Bouncing! Painting! Listening! Eating! Breathing! Sweeping! Icing! Stuffing!

As creative of a writer that Hall was, he could never in a million years describe the utter pain and agony he saw within his father's face as they stared at the tombstone of Jesse Wallsburg, his other father.

Marluxia: “Utter pain and agony” worked rather well.

Hall had never minded being raised by two fathers, but others constantly nagged him throughout his childhood and adult life. He didn't see why; it wasn't like he was gay.

Axel: It's almost like they have old fashioned views or something!
Mog: *from notes* Anthony has two sons.

On the tombstone of Jesse were the words: "IN LOVING MEMORY OF JESSE WALLSBURG: A HUSBAND, A FATHER". Underneath were the dates: "1931-1978".

Terra: Aww. My favourite characters always die.

"Not a day goes by," croaked Max. "That I don't miss him."

"I know," said Anthony, putting an arm around his father. "Same here, dad. He was very young…at only age forty-seven.

Larxene: Only just figured out the mental math on those dates, did ya?
Zexion: That or the story thinks we're too dumb to fill in the blanks ourselves.

And he was a good guy. But I can't stand to see you like this. You've gotta go out and see other people…"

Axel: Screw the healing process! Screw people instead!
Mog: *from notes* More Hall family talk!

"I am very happy for you, Anthony," said Max, putting an arm around his adopted son as they made their way out of the cemetery. "You deserve a good family."

shift…

Axel: Cue dramatic irony!

"What do you mean you're PREGNANT?" roared Lucien Hall, age thirty-five, as he threw his wife across their apartment's living room and into his favorite chair.

Terra: Like, face-first into the chair? Or—
Roxas: I'm imagining her sitting in it as well. I don't think that's quite what they intended.

She sobbed and said, "I'm sorry, Lucien, I'm so sorry, I forgot the pill…"

"You dumb fucking bitch," snarled Hall. "You stupid fucking cunt. I cannot believe this…."

Zexion: Why is it that the evil, abusive father and our supposed heroes all sound the same?
Axel: CHARACTER VOICE WHAT'S THAT?

shift…

The boy with blond hair sat on the small bed in his room, crying his eyes red as his parents fought with one another in the other room. At only three years-old, he clutched his stuffed Barney-toy closely to his chest.

Larxene: *holds knife to paper ball* Feel sorry now or Barney gets it!

"Ryan!" screamed Lucien Hall. "Get in here!"

The little boy hopped off his bed, Barney still in hand, and went into the living room. His mother was on the floor, tears running down her cheeks in small salty streams. Ryan Hall looked up at his father.

"Ryan," said Lucien Hall menacingly. "Have there been any strangers seeing your mommy lately?"

"N-no, daddy."

"Are you lying to me? Little liars go to Hell, Ryan. They go to Hell and burn."

"I'm not luh-lying, d-daddy."

Lucien frowned and said, "Okay. Go to bed, kiddo. Don't leave your room, or you're gonna get a whuppin'. You hear me?"

"Yes, daddy…"

Roxas: Hey, fic. Yeah, you. Come here a second. You listening? You listening? You listening real good? Okay, then listen to this: You fail at sympathy forever. Wanna know why you fail at sympathy forever? Because not only is this domestic abuse obviously taking over for the fact that, with McLean gone, Ryan has nothing to gripe for attention about, but let's take a look back at what little Ryan has told us from the very beginning of all this. Do you know what he told us? That he hates his parents. Do you remember why he hates his parents? Because they ignore him. This includes his mother. Now— call me crazy here!— but I think the verbal and physical abuse you just showed us is plenty food for thought on her part, so Ryan can kindly go jump up his own butt for being the same self-centered, arrogant, and downright despicable person we know him as. That! Is! All!
Xion and Axel: *golf clap* Good job, good job. Nice rant.
Marluxia: On a positive note, we haven’t had to hear him talk about that essay for some time.

shift…

Little Ryan Hall was playing with Play-Doh at age five when some bigger kid came and took it from him, not before punching him in the arm a couple times…

shift…

Ryan Hall sat in his Geometry class in high school, trying to ignore the group of football players throwing things at him. He was close to tears…

Larxene: Oh noes, they're throwing paper balls at him! Join the club, Ryan.
Zexion: These emotions are cheaper than beer bought in a dollar store.
Mog: *from notes* And then there's visions of stuff we already read.

Sora woke up, screaming.

Axel: (as Sora) IS KAIRI'S SALAD SAFE?!

Riku and Kairi were kneeling down beside him as he breathed heavily. He was covered in cold sweat, feeling like he had just woken up from a nightmare. He shuddered, and was dimly aware that many people in the store were watching him.

Zexion: That vision sequence was so long the restaurant turned into a store. *writes*

Seeing the frantic look on Riku's face at the sight of all these strangers, Sora stood up instantly.

"I'm fine," he assured the people of the restaurant.

Zexion: Back to a restaurant it is. *writes*

"Just not getting enough sleep, I guess. Thank you."

Roxas: Now explain away the sparkly baton that kills.

They returned to their tables, and he sat back down with his friends."How long was I out?"

"Three minutes," whispered Kairi. Her eyes were wide with concern. "What happened?"

Sora relayed to them what the Keyblade had shown him, from the homosexual lovers to the last male of the Hall family.

Lexaeus: It’s at this point in time I would like to remind everyone that Sora found this universally sought, incredibly powerful item in an unused, unlocked computer shop with a working sign outside, where the Keyblade sat in plain sight with a card describing what it was, and he only picked it up and kept it by chance.
Roxas: Stretches the willing suspension of disbelief just a bit. Just a teeny, tiny bit.

"And," said Sora. "This guy, Ryan Hall, is with the guy who took my parents. Guys, he's with Marla Shift. There are others, too…and Demyx is one of them, I think. I don't know who they are or what they're doing to my parents, but they met Hall in a basement and they live in some place that looks like a hotel."

"Jesus," said Riku. "We need to tell Don and Goofy when they get here. If the Keyblade is giving you visions…then Mick will need to know. Let's get the Christly fuck out of here in the meantime."

Xion: I love how they immediately believe that Sora is right. I would have at least considered him being bonkers for a second.

The trio walked out of Susie's Diner and down the sidewalk.

Axel: But did they pay for their food?! What was the exact cost of the chicken fingers, salad, and the burger with fries? THERE ARE HUGE GAPS, FIC!

The streets were full of honking and beeping traffic, the usual New York-arguments going on about who drives shittier.

Lexaeus: That was an anti-climactic paragraph to end a somewhat interesting scene.
Roxas: Meh, enough of the visions and aliens. Cars go vroom vroom!
Xion: And people go yell-yell!
Mog: *from notes* We're going back to Roxas and Axel who're checking out their disguise masks.

The masks were cotton ski masks, a style frequently donned by burglars.

Terra: It was a very popular style this year; many burglars were showing their individuality by hand-sewing their masks. Striped, plaid, and Hawaiian print were especially liked.

However, burglars usually wore black or dark blue masks; Axel's was all-red, while Roxas' was white and black. It reminded him of the comic book assassin Deadpool's mask, which made him ecstatic; may the world watch out for the killer nerd.

Axel: Ryan, I will pay you a thousand munny up front if you make a single Deadpool allusion right now.
Zexion: Considering a quick Google search will tell you Deadpool's mask is not white and black but red, I can assure you your munny is safe.
Larxene: I guess saying he looks like the psychos from Borderlands is too accurate.

He took Oblivion and Oathkeeper out of the pack, and a vast amount of electrical equipment out with it.

Axel whistled. "Woah. Vexen really hooked you up, didn't he?"

Roxas nodded. Yes, Vexen had hooked him up. The weapon manufacturer had at first seemed to be in the same mold as Zexion, but he was much more friendlier

Marluxia: “More friendlier?” Are you two?

than the mind-studier. Happy to help the newest member of the Organization,

Axel: Yeah, Vexen just adores the new members. Marluxia in particular's his favorite.
Mog: *from notes* Techno talk about the electricity Roxas can now use before Axel says buh-bye.

Axel ran off. Roxas watched him go, surprised at how fast his friend could sprint when under the Organization's pressure.

Roxas: But mainly he noticed that Axel runs like Phoebe Buffay.

Feeling a bit left-behind,

Marluxia: Because he's still desperately trying to make the audience like him.
Larxene: That's why we're here. We hate everyone so we're perfect judges of character!

Roxas hurriedly strapped the battery pack onto his lower back. He holstered the two Keyblades into the two sheaths Vexen had added onto it, and put on a large hoodie, pulling the hood up over his masked face; the Keyblades were concealed for now. He just looked a little bigger than he actually was; Vexen had done wonders for him.

Larxene: Boy, does that line sound like something from a porn fic.

Anxious, Roxas walked out of the alley and onto the street from which he had come.

Roxas walked down the sidewalk, looking for potential targets to start off with. Many people looked at him funny, but nobody said a word;

Zexion: You do not need this many semicolons in one solitary scene. The writing is pretentious enough without them.
Axel: Ooooh, throwing in the P word. You must really be hating this fic by now.

there were so many freaks in Manhattan, that it was almost impossible not to walk the streets and see some asshole in a white-and-black ski mask.

Axel: The assholes in the purple and neon-green masks were stealing all his attention.

He looked across the street and what he saw made his heart skip a beat.

Xion: "Buy two, get one free" sale? MUST DO!

Across the street, with two others beside him, was the Keyblade-wielder Axel had met…the boy called Sora.

Xion: Speaking of which, I've been thinking. Remember how Roxas was basically born from Sora and I'm basically a clone of Sora? Do you think that's going to come into play soon?
Axel: Silly woman! We have no need of interesting ideas here. Off to Hawaii with you!

With him was some other boy, a bit older, and a pretty redheaded broad.

Xion: ...sword.
Roxas: A redheaded broadsw—
Xion: Yes, a redheaded broadsword! It was skipping alongside them and enjoying the day!

Roxas stalked them from across the street, contemplating an attack. If he were to rid the world of this troublesome kid…how would Xehanort react? Pretty well, Roxas figured. Furthermore, Roxas wanted to prove to himself that these weapons were perfect for him. He wanted to test himself. A good servant of chaos, of anarchy, needed to test himself, wasn't that right? And he would still be doing his job…wouldn't he?

Axel: LET'S GET READY TO ANTI-CLIMAAAAX!
Marluxia: You can actually see the fic trying to rationalize why there should be a random fight scene here.

He crossed the street, sneaking past the metal maze of cars and other vehicles as slick and silent as a hunting jungle cat.

Terra: And then was fined for jaywalking.

Sora was completely unaware of his enemy's presence until he felt a hand grab him by the collar.

Wha-FUCK? he thought, and then he was being thrown on the hood of a yellow taxi, painfully smacking against the metal.

Lexaeus: And for the very first time a main character is harmed.

Groaning, he rolled over on the other side, but forced himself to recover to look at his assailant.

The man was wearing a black-and-white mask that was partly covered by his hood. The assailant's mouth was clear as day, however, and it was smirking mockingly.

Axel: Once again, not anything like Wade's mask. You failed the same reference twice.

"Who are you?" demanded Sora from the street.

Roxas: (as Sora) Tell me, street, what's your name!
Xion: (as street) But I'm the street that has no name.

Many horns were blazing, but he ignored them. Riku and Kairi turned, staring at the attacker with surprise and confusion.

Terra: Only when Sora speaks up do they notice he's been attacked. What great friends!

The assailant responded with a gloating laugh and walked forward slowly, with much confidence. Sora watched in utter astonishment as the man's hoodie burned away from some form of hot energy.

Roxas: That's what happens when you make 372844 pancakes.

Strapped to this person's lower torso was a strange type of belt, with a battery resting in it on his back.

Zexion: Roxas momentarily turned transparent so Sora could see what was on his back.
Mog: *from notes* OMG, there's an attacker!

Sora turned to him and called, "Riku! Get Kairi out of here! Head back to the place we're staying! I'll hold him off!"

Riku broke out of his trance and nodded, understanding that this was Sora's fight and Sora's fight alone.

Terra: Again: risked nothing to not help you. Dump these people, Sora, find your real friends.

He ushered a worried-looking Kairi out of the battlefield.

Xion: (as Kairi) Oh, golly, Sora looks like he's in trouble! I should say something to, gee, help him, or express my so-called love for him! Nah, I'd rather go stare at myself in the mirror.

The attacker paid them no notice.

Zexion: Because the writers couldn't think up a way for them to be involved in this scene. Couldn't have the trio of friends working together, no, that would be showing us what good friends they are.

He kept that confident, sardonic smile playing on his lips as he approached slowly, swinging the wired-Blades around. The tips cuts into the pavement. Many onlookers gasped at this.

Xion: (as onlookers) Our taxdollars, no!

Sora unsheathed his own Keyblade,

Roxas: From his pocket.
Axel: Not as badass as the scene thinks it is.

and felt it grow hot…though it was not nearly as scorching as his attacker's. He wielded it with both hands on the hilt and rushed forward.

Terra: But then tripped on a penny. The fight ended before it could even start.

The two Keyblade warriors clanged their weapons together for the first time, otherworldly metal-on-metal. The force shook them both, and they paused for a moment after that first strike.

Roxas: (as both) Wait, shouldn’t this long awaited meeting have more of an impact? Eh, screw it, let's just fight for the purpose of having a fight scene here.

Then, they ran for each other again, and began dueling more quickly, now both intent on killing the other.

Marluxia: I'm hoping the impossible happens and they both succeed.

The attacker was a sufficient fighter. He could nimbly dodge and jump over various strikes Sora sent his way,

Roxas: (as self) *jumps up* Aha! Should have sent those with FedEx instead, loser!

and with two blades he could attack much more quickly than Sora could. This man had been training; Sora had not. However, the thought of this man trying to take his life, and therefore taking him away from Kairi, pumped adrenaline into Sora's veins.

Larxene: (as Sora) Fuck you once more, Mom and Dad, I'm not dyin' a virgin!

He gave many hard strikes, taking his foe aback a couple of times, but the attacker would always respond with violent swings himself.

Terra: For a street fight to the death, this is really boring. They could be jumping off of cars, buildings, swinging around lamp posts, using people as human shields... Wouldn't that actually be cool and creative? We like cool and creative!

People were exiting their cars and running away from the battlers,

Lexeaus: The vehicles would only slow them down.

yet civilians crowded around the street, watching in awe as the two fighters went at each other venomously.

Xion: A giant concentrated vat of the Bystander Effect was dumped on this entire city a week before the story began.

Roxas himself was surprised by Sora's capabilities.

Axel: Wildly swinging like a newb is bound to hit once in a while.

Many times he had felt as though Sora could get the best of him, but he always kept steady, and retaliated as hard as he could to remind himself that he was in control.

Marluxia: I don't feel that either boy is matched in strength. I think they're more equally weak.

Sora swung again, horizontally and powerfully. Roxas almost lost his grip on his weapons, felt his hands loosen at the hit.

Xion: That's what losing your grip means, yep.

Suddenly frightened, he raised Oathkeeper and aimed it at his opponent. Roxas clicked the button.

Roxas: Click the button, Frank.

The clips shot out, leaving a trail of black wire behind them. There were at least four, and they hit Sora right in the torso. Sora went flying back, smashing against the side of a taxi and crumbling to the pavement.

Terra: He'd been turned to stone and shattered on the impact.
Xion: He's got the Medusa virus!

Roxas quickly pressed another button on the hilt of Oathkeeper.

Roxas: (as self) CLEAR!

The sounds of the electric volts came, and Roxas smiled with satisfaction.

Sora jerked and twitched with the voltage of the clips. Roxas moved forward, sure this was his enemy's end, but Sora raised a hand up to the black wires and yanked the clip-ons out of him.

Xion: (as Sora) Screw it, I want real earrings!

A stream of saliva and blood ran down Sora's cheek, a humongous gash had opened on his forehead,

Terra: Which... had saliva in it?

yet he stood and raised his Keyblade again, not faltering even a little bit.

He struck powerfully

Zexion: Used twice and it's still underwhelming.
Roxas: Could have said “jabbed”, or “thrust”, or “stabbed”. Just a hint.

once, twice, and then smashed the hilt of the Keyblade into his attacker's face.

Roxas: *cheers*
Xion: (as Roxas) Ow.
Marluxia: Again, it's a stick. There's no hilt. If you wanted a Keyblade, write a Keyblade.

Roxas felt his nose break instantly, and he raised his arm to the flow of blood that was spewing from his nostrils.

Lexaeus: Instead of soaking into the mask he has directly over his nose.

He backed out of the road and onto the sidewalk, mind a haze, face in white hot pain. Sora walked towards him slowly, raising his Keyblade threateningly.

Terra: It's hard to choose a good guy in this scenario because I'm cheering for them both to off the other. I can't stand either of them.

"This," said Roxas through grit teeth. "Is not over."

"No," said Sora, glowering. "Not by a longshot."

Zexion: That is sadly too true. 14 chapters down, 16 chapters to go.

They stared each other down for what felt like forever.

"Get out of here," ordered Sora coldly.

The attacker sprinted down an alleyway and out of sight.

Lexaeus: Well, that scene was contrived.

Putting away his own Keyblade, Sora ran away from the oncoming crowd of admirers,

Larxene: (as admirers) Oooooh, two kids just tried to kill each other with weird weapons. Drooool.

and down another alley. When he was sure he was clear of the crowd, he bent over and vomited on the pavement.

Zexion: So a short-lived brawl where no one was seriously injured leads to him vomiting from disgust, but slicing someone in half only leads to slight fretting.

It came out in burning strings, and suddenly he wanted to be with his mother very badly. It pained him to remember that his parents were gone,

Axel: Only when he realizes “Wait, I'm supposed to be likeable. Oh, how I miss my parents. There! Now I don't have to actually work at getting sympathy from the audience. This is easy!”

but his spirits were lifted when he realized that Riku and Kairi were waiting at the hotel for either him to return or to hear the report of his death.

Xion: Roxas would've been polite enough to inform them of that one.
Axel: (as Sora) I coulda died! That lifts my spirits!
Mog: *from notes* He heads back to the hotel and we head off to the next scene.

Zexion sat on the plane to Hawaii, listening to his iPod (riddled with classical music by various composers throughout history),

Zexion: When in doubt for character traits, add non-named classical music to imply intelligence.

and thinking about Kairi O'Cooper.

Roxas: So... it's Sora O'Reily and Kairi O'Cooper?
Axel: She's a redhead, she must be Irish!

Whenever he rested his eyes on Xion, the youngest member's little girlfriend who had accompanied him on this expedition to the tropics, Kairi was all he could think about.

Xion: Sora's memories affecting my outward appearance might have something to do with that.

A man of logic, Zexion rarely showed emotion.

Roxas: Because logic bans emotion.
Xion: You think he would know not to keep your feelings bottled up inside.
Zexion: I am so smart I can fully control my amygdala.

He had always figured emotions is what lead people to their deaths…or, at least in his case, to misery.

Terra: Emotions also led to you being born. But, knowing you, you'll take that as a bad thing too.

And he had been right. He felt love, but love hurt him horribly.

Roxas: *deadpan* Because love hurts. Ooh ooh, love hurts.

As both Zeke and Zexion, this researcher of the mind had been unable to figure out what was wrong with him time and time again. He considered so many possibilities that nothing seemed to make sense anymore within the context of the situation. Love was extreme attraction, a chemical reaction in the brain, nothing more. Just like other chemical reactions in the brain, the "love"-reaction could be undone. So why wasn't it? Why, why, why was he in love with Kairi O'Cooper?

Zexion: I'm sorry, I'm too busy being an orphan to care about this inconsequential problem.

If Zexion could remember correctly, he and Kairi had next to nothing in common. He was a much deeper, a more complex person than she was…wasn't he?

Marluxia: Everyone is more complex than Kairi. Socks are more complex than Kairi.

Of course he was…he was a much more successful being than all of those who attended his high school…wasn't he?

Dammit! he cursed to himself. You're a damn fool! Narcissism is not a healthy way to think!

But that's not true. I am highly intelligent, am I not? Otherwise I wouldn't be in the Organization. I'm one of the best. One of the best of the best around.


Axel: So, in other words... Take it away, Roxas.
Roxas: (as Zexion) I wanna be the very best! Like no one ever was! To catch them is my real test! To train them is my cause! I will travel across the land! Each terrorist to understand! The power! That's! Inside!

But not good enough to get Kairi.

Xion: That's what you get for wasting your Master ball on a Magicarp.

In high school, Zexion had conjured up many fantasies involving he and his crush, planning out romantic things to do with her, places they would go, things they would accomplish…

Larxene: The box he would bury her in...

meanwhile, she was always unaware he liked her so much. And he had mustered up the courage to tell her, once, but he did not reveal everything.

Larxene: The cats he'd killed in her name would be their wedding present.

Much of it had been kept away from her knowledge, kept away from everyone's knowledge.

Larxene: He stole her panties and slept on them at night.

And she had thought he had gotten over her, while here he was, nineteen-years-old and still madly in love with a girl he barely knew.

Roxas: Does Kairi have some kind of aura around her? Why do people keep instantly falling in love with her?!
Axel: And you thought she was a Mary Sue in the games.

Perhaps, he thought. I should try and find her once I get back.

Larxene: (to Zexion) *fuming* And what am I?! Just a pair of boobs for you to play with whenever you want? Huh? HUH?
Zexion: I… what?
Larxene: Yeah, you just keep telling yourself you’re the victim here. While you’re busy being delusional, I’ll be busy building an army of your ex-girlfriends that’ll kick your ass!
(Larxene slumps in her seat, arms folded, as everyone else decides it’s best for their health not to comment.)
Zexion: (wondering what the heck just happened)

A stewardess walked passed him and turned around, thinking he was rather good-looking. The guy's face was blank, expressionless and impassive, and boring. She hated boring.

Axel: Boy, did she walk into the wrong fic.

The stewardess turned, wondering how someone could be so dull and lifeless, unaware that a constant firework display of emotions was going on inside Zexion's head.

Terra: Meanwhile, Persepolis was the in-flight movie, but Zexion was too busy complaining about himself to ever think about the rest of the world.
[to be continued…]
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