All missions for the Organization were thought out thoroughly, every detail observed and planned. Even the trip to the grocery story was laid out to the precise cent. Because of this need for perfection, Xaldin was currently looking through one of Marluxia's books, a frown deepening on his face.
The kitchen was currently empty, save for Luxord. The Gambler had lost interest in his game of Forty Thieves, and had just laid down a game of Canfield. Another snort echoed across the table from Xaldin, which gently scooted Luxord's Heart stack into the others. Luxord sighed gently, a small frown forming on his face. "I must say, Xaldin. You are a very interesting individual." Xaldin looked up, his concentration interrupted, "Excuse me?" Luxord slowly corrected his stacks before turning towards the Lancer. "I find it unique that, as a master of wind, you must exalt it in everything you do, even reading."
Xaldin took off his reading glasses to stare at Luxord. "I don't see the point you trying to make, Number Ten." Luxord gently laughed, causing Xaldin to raise an eyebrow. Luxord smiled at Xaldin before motioning to the book. "You have been hmph-ing and ha-ing over that book for the last hour. If it bothers you that much, you might as well not read it." Xaldin glared at the blonde, before staring at the book with distaste. "Sadly, I don't have that option. I need to get information for my current assignment."
Luxord got up and walked over to Xaldin, "Mission work? Intriguing." Sitting on the edge of the table, Luxord lifted up the book enough to read the spine. "Pray tell, what does the 'Purpose of Flowers' have to do with you next mission?" Xaldin rubbed the bridge of his nose before exhaling yet again. "I am supposed to scout out some beast lord. Rumors in the world say he has an obsession with a particular rose. I was hoping to use it to my advantage. However, I haven't found anything on roses that is worthwhile."
Interested, Luxord gently shuffled through the book, "Roses? Well, what have you learned so far?" Xaldin opened a folder, quietly searching his notes. "Well, most are edible; however, they don't contain an attractive taste. They have a specific smell, but the scents don't produce any active effects." Luxord stopped scanning the book as he noticed Xaldin's voice slowly rising. The brunette continued, "They have thorns, but they aren't poisonous, nor do they cause fatal damage." The further down the list he read, the more frustrated he got, until he was near screaming. "They are in almost every civilazations as significant, rare objects, yet they are as common as dandelions. What good are they? They don't even cure anything!" With a huff, he threw his notes into the air.
Luxord sat back, taking in the outburst. This had to be the first time he saw one of his superiors show emotion, simulated or not. Once Xaldin had composed himself, Luxord leaned forward. "Xaldin?" The Lancer slowly looked at Luxord, slightly panting from his rage. "Yes, Number Ten?" Luxord smiled gently, "Xaldin, you were once a Somebody, correct?" Xaldin snorted at the ridiculous question, however, Luxord wasn't finished. "And Xaldin, you had a heart then, yes?" Xaldin glared at Luxord, "Yes, I had a heart then." Luxord tried not to smile at the bitter tone. He gently sat back, shaking his head. "And yet, you don't know what a rose represents?"
Xaldin looked like he was just about to jump the smaller blonde and throttle him. Luxord didn't seem to notice as he picked up his deck. "Xaldin. You were a scientist studying hearts with Ansem, correct? You should know the real affects that roses have on people." Frowning, Xaldin turned back to his notes, in hope of finding some answers. Luxord gently waved him off. "No, no. Not physically. When a young girl sees a rose, she doesn't think about the taste of them, nor the feel. She doesn't even think about the rose itself. As you said before, she could be looking at a bloody dandelion, for all that matters."
Luxord noticed the confusion on Xaldin's face, and tried to clarify, "Xaldin, if you were to get me a gift, what would you get me?" Xaldin's face scrunched up in thought, "A… deck of cards?" Luxord nodded, gently shuffling the one currently in his hands. "Even though I have fifty two sets of them?" Xaldin frowned, a light blush spreading on his face. "Well, it's just..It is what you use, and it kind of stands for who you are." Xaldin looked down, expected to be scolded for a wrong answer. "And I would expect nothing less." Once again, Xaldin's face was crossed with confusion.
Luxord continued to shuffle his deck, looking Xaldin in the eyes. "Getting me cards shows me that you know what I like. You know that luck, cards, and fate are my life. It shows that you understand who I am." Xaldin slowly nodded his head, but he still looked a little lost on the topic. Luxord sighed, "What if I were to get you a hairclip? Or maybe a stopwatch? What would that say to you?" Xaldin looked down in thought. "Well, I have quite a few hairclips because I don't like my hair in my face. It bothers me. And a stopwatch would make my time trial exercises easier. It means you are paying attention to me and my habits." Luxord nodded, "Exactly, and why would I do that?"
Xaldin frowned, "You are scoping me out. Maybe a challenge?" Xaldin slouched in his chair, his frown increasing. "But then why would you give me gifts that would benefit me? I don't think I am getting where this is going, Luxord." Luxord looked down at Xaldin, mirth spreading across his face. "But you are so close to guessing." Xaldin glared accusingly at Luxord, "This is just another game to you, isn't it?" Luxord pretended to look thoughtful, but he eventually just shrugged. "Yes, it is, but back to the topic. Now, as a scientist, what is the fourth need of an animal?"
Xaldin counted on his fingers, "Food, water, shelter-" Frown in place once again, Xaldin looked to Luxord for confirmation. "Reproduction?" As Luxord gently nodded, realization dawned on Xaldin. "So, a stopwatch means you like me?" Luxord pulled the ten of Hearts out of his deck. "Correct. A stopwatch means I like you." Xaldin gently took the card, confusion on his face. "And what does this have to do with roses? Roses have no useful value."
Luxord sighed, staring at the Lancer. "Now, Xaldin. Think in perspective. What do girls like?" Xaldin stared at Luxord like he was crazy. Seeing that he wasn't going to get an answer, Luxord filled in the blank, "Girls like pretty things." Xaldin tried to fight the urge to groan, however, the sound eventually escaped his lips. Luxord grinned at him, "See, you even knew that. Now, if a girl is presented with a rose it means…" Without waiting for an answer this time, Luxord continued. "It means that this man was willing to risk life and limb to fetch her this gorgeous flower from it thorny grave just to show he cares."
Xaldin stared disbelieving at Luxord, "Thorny grave?" Luxord shrugged, really not impressed with his own words. "They like poetry also." Xaldin fell into thought, "So, the only value roses have are mentally? What they represent?" Luxord nodded an affirmative, "It's all in the head, or the heart, as they say." Another sigh echoed from Xaldin, but he began to gather his notes, "Well, I guess that does explain a couple things." As Xaldin went back to his book, Luxord started fiddling with his cards. Silence sweep across the room, no humph's or ha's in sight.
Sometime later, Demyx pocked his head into the room. "Hey, Lux. Xemnas wants to see you about pirates or something." Luxord stood up, but turned to Xaldin. He handed the brunette his now manipulated deck. "This is for you." Once delivered, he quickly exited the room. Xaldin frowned, feeling more confused than he had all day. Demyx seemed just as confused, "You know, sometimes, I just don't get that guy. I mean, really, what is up with the clock?" Xaldin looked at the card-made stop watch, the paper spindle actually keeping time. Watching the seconds tick away, he gently grinned. "If you only knew what it represents."