THE HAZARDS OF MASTERMINDING

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"With the aid of the Heartless, soon I will be ruler of all the oceans!" Ursula said, cackling in glee.

Jafar, stroking his goatee, looked down on the octopus-woman with a cool, superior eye. "Such foolishness," he stated, running his hands casually over the viper's head adorning his staff of office. "Surely you can go beyond such… petty ambitions. And to lower yourself to depending on such temporary tools as the Heartless…" Scorn dripped from his voice in sufficient quantities to form metaphorical puddles on the floor.

"Hey now, don't go sassing me around," Oogie-Boogie said, trundling straight through said metaphorical puddles. "We've all got our own plans…"

"And if any of you dare to interfere with mine, you're all walking the plank," Hook growled, eyeing them all suspiciously.

Hades laughed and held up his hands. "Hey, hey! I'm cool where I am, so don't go looking at me! Now, if you're looking to make a deal…"

Maleficent regarded them all coolly, and it was taking all of her formidable self-control to keep that damn right eyebrow from twitching. Mentally, she was going through the same mantra that she'd begun fifteen minutes ago, when this Council session was supposed to have ended.

'I will not bang my head on the wall. I will not bang my head on the wall. I will NOT…'

There was a dry, splintery crack. Fortunately, the others were so deeply involved in their 'discussion' (read: posturing) that they didn't hear it. With a purely internal sigh, Maleficent shifted her grip on the her staff so as to hide the fact that it was now in two pieces.

'…Dammit. That's the third staff this week. Will that thrice-damned Keybearer please hurry up and start killing these idiots off?'

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Riku was technically not privy to these Council sessions. But he had not spent several days in Hollow Bastion with very little to do without learning a few convenient hidey-holes and side passages. He'd slipped into this shadowy nook in order to eavesdrop. He didn't trust Maleficent any farther than he could throw her without getting zapped (and he knew better than to even try, which gives one an idea of how very short said distance would be), and he had no doubt that she was hiding something – or more likely, many things – from him. And when one was playing with fire, one should always make sure to find the hidden piles of tinder.

Unfortunately, he'd only arrived at the tail end of the discussion. The reason he was still here, meanwhile, was the fact that it was taking every ounce of willpower that he had, in addition to a knuckle shoved into his mouth (which made him very glad he was wearing gloves; otherwise he would probably be minus a finger by now) to keep from bursting out laughing. That would probably end up with him very, very dead.

Of course, at the rate he was going, given that his muscles were busy trying to laugh rather than getting on with the business of breathing, he was going to asphyxiate regardless, but…

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And, in the shadows on the other side of the chamber, Ansem's spirit was very grateful for his lack of physical body, and his big brown robe. It saved him from the indignity of having a gigantic sweatdrop hanging over his head from the spectacle before him.

'How… embarrassing.'

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A.N. ::rubs the back of her head sheepishly:: What? Don't tell me that it never occurred to you that running a group of egotistical villains, nearly all of whom are completely focused on being Top Dog, would probably result in some massive headaches…

This scene sprang from a discussion I was having with Ruaki-san regarding the probable frustration Maleficent had in dealing with a collection of diverse and rather snooty/zany/egomaniacal villains during the game. Then I got an image of this scene – Maleficent gripping her staff so hard it broke, with Riku hiding in the shadows holding both hands clapped over his mouth to keep from bursting out laughing, to Ansem hiding in the shadows behind him with a giant sweatdrop floating over his head. And since it's much faster for me to type up a quick scene than it is to draw it… ::shrugs:: A drawn version may show up somewhere eventually… but for now, you're going to have to settle for the written version. :-P

All apologies if characterizations are off. In part, it's because this is SUPPOSED to be ridiculous, and in part, that's because I don't know three of the villains very well, and it's been a long time since I've seen the movies associated with the other three. And I realize Maleficent's staff would probably be metal (classic evil villain look and all that), but snapped wood is easier to hide than accidentally bending an iron staff forty-five degrees. :-P

Commentary is, as always, welcome – and indeed, eagerly sought.

You know, one of these days I am going to write a non-silly story… Heh. Yeah. Riiiiight.