It had started off as a way to while away the time during meetings. Unsurprisingly, Xigbar and Xaldin had been the ones to create it; they were usually the root of the various nefarious goings-on around the place…but Kingdom Hearts above- they brought some light to it, at least. If only for a short while until Xemnas caught on…then there was usually hell to pay…
…and Two and Three were ever so good at waylaying the blame…
It was never, ever their fault- despite obvious evidence- but then again, who was going to question them? It was suicide. The popular vote was that Xemnas knew exactly who was behind the little uprisings, but would never try to enforce rules over his second and third in command, for whatever reason. It was damnably frustrating, certainly, but that was the way things were.
So when the last meeting had exceeded two and a half hours, with the majority of any vocalisations being those of the Superior, Xigbar and Xaldin had developed a strategy to cope.
It was, Luxord surmised mentally, actually a bloody effective system; they simply took notebooks and pens.
This pleased Xemnas; he believed that they were taking notes on the meeting and consequently, they were rewarded with less in the way of day-to-day tasks. Much less 'attentive' or 'committed' members, such as Eight, Nine or the ever-elusive Thirteen, were regularly lumbered with the soul-crushing tasks of "castle maintenance"- such as cleaning lavatories, scrubbing floors and whatnot.
Luxord himself had his own system of coping; he devised new strategies on how to play any game known to man or he created new concepts. This was not only something that he excelled at; he enjoyed forming the ideas. It was a delightful way to pass the time and more often than not he could pick up the occasional sentence from the Superior before returning to the inner machinations of his mind.
However, he had recently taken to watching Xigbar and Xaldin. At first, he hadn't fully understood what they were doing, until Xigbar accidentally dislodged a fragment of paper from his chair, which fluttered down past the other members- seemingly unnoticed- and came into his possession. Of course, it made little to no sense- it read only:
"Not if you're planning on walking."
Although it was certainly hard to decipher Xigbar's smudged scrawl, Luxord managed well enough. After he watched the beautifully subtle actions between Two and Three, he began to realise what the fragments were; they were, indeed, sections of written conversation between the two. A quick investigation of their chairs after the meeting had revealed that these notes made a full dialogue, which detailed most of their proposed plans and other such things.
Well…it had been fascinating to say the least; Luxord had been conveniently "out" when the Freeshooter had demanded that anyone with a rank that was not a prime number was to carry out patrol duty. This did not please Vexen, Zexion, Axel, Demyx or Larxene in the slightest.
However, it seemed that as Luxord began to choose his hours of operation more carefully, Xigbar became much less careless with his notes. Luxord hadn't received one in a long time, but he could tell from the fevered scribbling of notes to be passed through small portals to one another, that Xigbar and Xaldin were planning something diabolical.
He could only try to intercept; it seemed to concern him, if the occasional downwards glance from Xigbar was enough to go by.
"Superior?" He asked, breaking into
Xemnas' stream of words. The room fell silent; no one interrupted
with a rank as low as Luxord's was. Xemnas narrowed his eyes at
"Ten?" He asked crisply.
"Might I be allowed to leave for aught but a moment?" Luxord requested smoothly. All eyes were upon him.
"For what purpose?" Xemnas asked back. It was a rule that no one left meetings early…
"I'm afraid that I didn't quite follow you on the last section of instructions, Sir. I should like to have my orders quite carefully recorded- may I retrieve something to write them down with?" The Gambler replied. Xemnas seemed to consider this, then gave a curt nod.
"You will be monitored." He said simply. A snap of his gloved fingers called forth a Sorcerer nobody, which hovered by his side. Luxord nodded.
"But of course, my Lord." He conceded, portalling out.
A few minutes passed until the Gambler returned, notepad in hand an armed with a few pens. Xemnas' Sorcerer reported no incidents, so Luxord was not pressed upon his whereabouts. A few scratches of the pen later, and Luxord had a note of his own. Carefully, he attempted to tear a few of the pages as quietly as possible to make smaller sections of paper and thus was armed with his own supply of crisp, white sheets.
A gloved hand was carefully slid into a portal at the same time as Xigbar passed a note to Xaldin. With more luck than judgement, Luxord managed to retrieve it before the Lancer did and withdrew his hand, whilst Xaldin searched for the elusive message.
'So you're gonna hold him down this time? I don't want a fucking dice in the face or some shit again!'
Luxord grimaced inwardly and was glad that his chair was overshadowed by those of his superiors; he was carefully hidden from both Xigbar and Xaldin's views. He knew exactly what they were planning on doing to him; they'd done it once before and both had gotten away with it, despite Xemnas seeing the obvious battle scars upon all three. The memories were terribly unpleasant- the phrase 'Lie still and think of England' still played over and over…
However, he swiftly and skilfully slid the message back to Xaldin, who did not seem to notice the time lapse. Luxord had what he wanted- the shape of Xigbar's notes; rough tearing- certainly nothing that couldn't be simulated. He had already picked up on the Freeshooter's writing style (if it could even be called that) and handwriting patterns from the previous notes he had gathered up. Sadly, Xaldin was much more careful about where he left such incriminating evidence and removed all traces of his notes, save for two that Xigbar hadn't disposed of. Thus, Luxord had been able to copy both writing styles…but Xaldin's tearing was much harder to replicate; a slightly diagonal fold, then a few minor tears due to the notepad's battered status…
…It would be easier to use Xigbar's notes to begin with.
Once again, Luxord stole the note intended for Xaldin from Xigbar:
'Well, since I'm technically the next Superior, no one gets to question me, dude.'
However…this time, Luxord substituted his own replica in place of the purloined message.
Xaldin picked up his note and shared a smirk with Xigbar who grinned and nodded at the note. Xaldin opened it and furrowed his brow.
--Xaldin, you're a complete moron. You know that?--
He glanced up at the Freeshooter, who continued to beam at him. From his position, Luxord had a perfect view, despite being hidden from Xaldin and Xigbar's eyelines. The Lancer picked up his pen and wrote a note back, folding it carefully and moving it to Xigbar. Xigbar read it.
'Where the bloody hell did that come from?'
Xigbar glanced curiously at Xaldin and replied.
'The hell do you mean? I've been telling you that since I knew ya!'
Xigbar was slightly surprised when Xaldin sent him a note back that read:
'You're a fine one to talk. I've seen corpses with more wit and mental capacity than you.'
Xigbar looked affronted.
'What the fuck, dude?'
Luxord smirked and wrote another message, this time replicating Xaldin's curling cursive.
--Xigbar, the very thought of you being within six metres of me is enough to make me gag.--
Xigbar scowled at Xaldin, who looked equally annoyed.
'At least I don't have monsters on my cheeks.'
'Don't even start on that one, Two.'
'I'll do whatever the fuck I wanna do, Three.'
'Unsurprisingly, that rule seems to apply to all things in your life.'
'The hell does that mean?'
'You're hardly limiting yourself recently, are you?'
'Come out an' say it.'
'Oh, no- I wouldn't dream of it. After all, you're a busy man who can't afford even a few moments of his time to eat with us.'
'Oh fucking hell! You're picking now to get pissy because I skipped your fucking dinner once or twice!?'
'I cook for this Organisation and spend hours upon each meal. You ought to have the bloody decency to turn up occasionally instead of relying on me to leave things for you!'
Luxord fought hard not to laugh at the two of them; they'd gone from quietly amused and amiable to scowling and snarling at each other through words. He picked a few of the replies out every so often, just to keep himself updated. There was no longer any need to join in- being a spectator was much more fun.
…Unfortunately…the Superior had cottoned on.
and Three!" He snarled. Xigbar and Xaldin jerked back in their
seats and turned to look at the Superior. "Would you like to repeat
what I've just said?"
"Not particularly." Xaldin muttered under his breath.
"Perhaps you two can explain to me exactly what it is that is causing so much of a disturbance, in a time where I have explicitly stated that there are to be no interruptions?" Xemnas demanded. His voice was never raised beyond a loud tone- never a shout…but there was menace in it. Xigbar and Xaldin growled at each other from their opposite chairs and took up their sulking stances- Xaldin withdrew and became quiet and unresponsive, whilst Xigbar huffed loudly and kicked the backs of his heels against his chair, arms folded.
Luxord was nearly in tears from trying not to laugh. Larxene seemed to have realised what the Gambler had been doing, as she was also entertained. In his amusement, Ten leant back…
…and dislodged some of the notes he had kept.
the silence, the clattering of pens on the floor below and the
rustles of the fluttering notes was deafening. Quick as a flash,
Xemnas plucked the notes as they fell and read through them. He fixed
his unblinking gaze on Luxord, who suddenly became much less
"Ten. Perhaps you can explain what you think you are doing?" He enquired in a neutral tone, which carried so much threat that Luxord could almost taste it. "Or perhaps you would like to stay behind and explain?"
"Oh no, Superior." Xaldin cut in sharply. "You have far too much to do to bother with him. Let Xigbar and I deal with this issue."
"Sounds like a plan t' me." Xigbar replied nastily. Luxord's eyes widened; they had both seen through him. Lady Luck, for once, was not on his side…
considered this, then nodded.
"So be it. Two, I trust that you and Three can be trusted to deal with this indiscretion?"
"You better believe it." Xigbar smirked.
"The meeting is over. All organisation members, excepting Ten, are dismissed until further notice." Xemnas stated. There was a collective sigh of relief from the remaining members, who portalled out quickly along with their Superior.
Only Luxord, Xigbar and Xaldin were left.
"I say, I was only doing it in good humour, you know--" Luxord began. He had only a second to try and placate their combined malice. That second was over before it began; the two of them were upon him in an instant; Luxord found himself with his arms twisted up behind his back by Xaldin, whilst Xigbar called forth his guns and set them against Luxord's stomach, flipping the safety catch.
As Luxord screwed shut his eyes, Xaldin and Xigbar both murmured to him:
"Lie still, and think of England..."