A/N: I LIVE! And I'M SORRY! Real life steps in and kicks my butt sometimes. Anyway, this particularly cracky couple is courtesy of the amazing kikofreako, who won my contest a while (coughforeveragocough) ago, and this is one of her prizes. May I just say that I had a bit of trouble with this one, and that I'm still not thrilled with where it ended up, but the ending is open for interpretation, because the commercial that happened to come on tv when I was brainstorming invaded the plot. Please let the centering work, ff, please! Ahem. (also, I'm too tired to edit right now. So it's probably riddled with mistakes. Feel free to point them out.) Pretend the timeline is canon compatible.
Even Larxene realizes that people are not perfect, and therefore has decided that everyone has a certain amount of stupidity which they are permitted to use from time to time in their otherwise-intelligent life.
Some people, like Demyx, use up their daily allowance of stupid by breakfast; other people, like Lexeaus, probably hadn't cashed in his stupid points in years. Larxene was of the opinion that these few moments of stupidity were to be used sparingly and only when all other senses of intelligence failed. However, if a person was to go a great deal of time without using any of their allowed stupid moments, the points could add up, and they would be permitted to do one enormous, ridiculous, completely unreasonable, unexplainable, irrational, insane thing to make up for all their good behavior.
This was hers.
There is one force in the universe capable of bringing the most unlikely of persons together: boredom. Cid was the only member of the Restoration Committee who was not allowed out to help with the rebuilding ("Oh, you can come, as long as you leave the cigarettes at home.") and found himself quite busy with busywork and boredom. Frequently he would wander about the town just to take it all in and escape from the cranky old wizard with whom he was forced to share a workspace.
He was just wondering through the town when a noise in a back alley caught his attention. He doubled back at the sound of a crash, wanting to make sure no more rascally kids were causing trouble. When he looked down the alleyway he saw a tall blonde woman in a black coat cleaning garbage off of herself and angrily muttering what sounded like death threats to the tipped-over garbage can lying on the ground beside her.
Cid watched her, absently twirling the cigarette lodged in between his lips. Finally the blonde woman looked up and glared at him.
"Can I help you?" she snapped, placing her hands on rather bony hips.
Apparently he'd caught her in a bad mood.
While he could have no way of knowing that Larxene was always in a bad mood, the truth of it was that her mood was even more sour today than usual. She detested recon; she was a deadly killer and capable of so much more than this. Still, it was better than babysitting the new kids. Honestly, were they completely incompetent?
Cid smirked. "Well, darlin' I can think of several things you could do for me."
She raised an eyebrow. "Not even if we were the last human beings in the universe, Grandpa." She trotted to the end of the alleyway and with a single hand motion, shoved him to the ground.
It was meant to be.
She didn't seem like the best news, so he followed her around to make sure she didn't cause any trouble. After about two hours she paused in the middle of the street leading to a main section of town. He watched her place her hands on her hips and sigh, her shoulders shrugging dramatically. Finally she spun around to give him a tiredly disdainful look, like talking to him was a last resort.
"I'm starving. Where's a restaurant around here that's least likely to give me rabies?"
Cid contemplated this woman's request. He was almost certain she was trouble, but if she was asking directions, then perhaps she couldn't be that bad. Still, probably best not to let her out of his sight (not that keeping her in his sight caused any pain to the eyes.)
"If I show you, you have to eat lunch with me, darlin'," he shouted. The woman quirked an exquisitely plucked eyebrow. She stared at him in silence for a few more moments, probably weighing her options. Either that, or she was hoping her acidic stare might frighten him into retracting his demand.
"Yeah, alright," she said casually. She waltzed over to him and when she arrived fixed him with a disgruntled stare. "But you're gonna pay, sit across a long table from me, and if you bug me I'll make you wish you'd died of lung cancer years ago. Which reminds me," she reached out and yanked the cigarette out of his mouth, "No smoking around me. Even if I'm gonna fade eventually I'd prefer it not to be because of second-hand smoke." She turned and started walking. "Now, there's nothing back that way, so I'm assuming we're going this way."
Cid stared after her, not quite sure what to make of her or her intentions. He took a toothpick out of his pocket and clamped it in his teeth. He looked up at the sky.
"You know, when I asked you for a hot tall blonde girl, this wasn't what I had in mind."
What Larxene would have liked more than anything would have been to tell the dirty old man to shove it and leave her the choice expletive alone. However, she needed food, and more than that, she needed intel about the city, and it seemed to her that the old man might be useful in procuring it.
As she discovered, the old man was not that bad to talk to. Cid was a bit like Xigbar in the respect that he had no idea that he was really a hundred years old, and whose vocabulary was a mix of that of a fifteen-year-old punk and that of a fifty-year-old sailor. Thankfully, unlike Xigbar, he did not seem to be under the delusion that he was a 21 year old surfer dude.
It was almost nice to talk to him. It was certainly a vast change from what she was used to. All the men in the Organization had long since given up any serious attempt at wooing her and had settled for making sexual remarks just to annoy her. Cid was at least showing some manners.
From the sound of it, he was as annoyed by his co-workers as she was by hers. Leon sounded a bit like Zexion; always brooding; smart, capable, but silent and not particularly prone to interaction with any other living being. Yuffie seemed to be the Demyx of their committee; the one who always ended up in the way. She certainly sounded as hyper as he did. Put them together and they'd probably demolish a building, if Yuffie didn't kill Demyx first. Maybe that maniac could teach him a thing or two about nerves.
Aerith sounded like the only sane one, but Cid also made her out to be so perfectly angelically sweet that Larxene had to fight the urge to vomit. Just like Roxas, then. Too good for their own good.
When the conversation took a turn towards her own employment, Larxene found that she actually wanted to talk, even if she knew she had to be careful with what she said. But she never had anyone to complain to, and this man didn't seem to be going anywhere.
"At least you've got some of your own species around to talk to. I'm the only woman where I work. Well, there's Xion, but she never says anything. So it's mostly just me and twelve men. Well," she looked off to the side, her perpetually annoyed expression complemented by something thoughtful, "Roxas is like, twelve, so eleven men and one boy. Well," she smirked, "Ten men, one boy and Marluxia."
The rest of the surprisingly good lunch was filled mostly with conversation about annoying co-workers, and when it drew to a close, Larxene had decided that she actually did not mind this. Cid seemed interested in her, and she was certainly keen to keep him spewing information about this city as well as its security system, and she had found it surprisingly easy to complain about her job without compromising secrecy.
And somewhere along the way, she'd actually agreed to have lunch with him again.
Larxene sent word back to the Organization that she'd found a steady source of good information about the town and its complex and potentially problematic defense system, and that she would need more time to pump her source for intel.
Apparently preparations on Castle Oblivion were not going as well as had been hoped for, so she had a week in which to finish her mission before they needed her back. It was plenty of time. Each day she and Cid met for lunch, and each day, after venting about whatever stupid thing Axel had done to frustrate her that morning, he would let off steam and information.
Larxene couldn't help but wonder how she might feel about these lunches if she still had a heart and emotions. This man was old enough to be her father; would she have perhaps come to see him as such a figure? As it was, she didn't, but neither did she find him altogether unpleasant. He was hardly a top-model human being, but compared to what she was used to putting up with, he was practically a prince.
It was her final day in Hollow Bastion, and Larxene actually felt the ghost of sadness at leaving it. No more ranting sessions with Cid. Who was going to be her soundboard?
She took a look around the square where the small café where they'd been eating lunch was located. "I'm actually gonna miss this place."
She nodded. "Work relocation. I was never supposed to be here very long at all."
"Well, too bad. It's been nice having you."
Larxene merely hummed in reply.
"Not lookin' to do something crazy before you go, are you?" He took a bottle of small blue pills out of his pocket and gave it a shake. "I got me a prescription!"
Larxene merely stared. Because he was serious. Dead serious.
And if that wasn't scary enough, Larxene's first thought was that she wouldn't have to feel regret, or humiliation, or guilt unless she wanted to. Larxene tried to think of the last time she had done something reckless, stupid, impulsive, or potentially detrimental to her reputation. She couldn't think of anything.
Larxene flexed the hand not holding her book, preparing to summon her knives as her head was engulfed in a cloud of the most nauseating cologne ever concocted. She didn't even have to look up to know that Axel had just sat down on the couch beside her.
"Well, look who's in a good mood today," he drawled. "I'm not here to annoy, I just wanted to ask if you'd had your coat cleaned lately, because it looks particularly good on you today." Larxene continued to ignore him, hoping that he'd eventually get bored and leave. "You what else would look good on you?" Larxene turned and fixed Axel's self-confident smirk with a blank stare. His smirk turned into a mischievous grin. "Me."
Larxene raised an eyebrow. "Sorry, but I don't wear accessories that belong on men."
Axel laughed. "Oh, Sparxene, how are you ever gonna get a man with that kind of attitude? When was the last time you got laid, anyway?"
Larxene smirked, knowing that even though Axel would wonder for the rest of his days whether or not she was telling the truth, he was never going to inquire about her personal life ever again.
"A couple days ago. I met this cool old guy. I'd never been with a man who needed Viagra before."
Oh yes, Larxene plans her stupid points usage with incredible care.
A.N: I was brainstorming and a commercial for Cialis came on tv. After that, the idea would not leave my head. It just wouldn't. That last scene came into my mind, and the thought of Axel's face was too priceless. "Did Larxene really...?" You decide. I'd rather not think about it.