Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts.
A/N: See it as you will.
It was a strange feeling, almost fleeting, hardly even existent. Perhaps it wasn't existent at all and the reality of it was that nothing was actually being felt. It was a quiet whisper of a turn in her gut, a silent warning that drew her in closer every single time. The briefness of it suggested that it was a trick of the light; all it could have been was her eyes playing tricks on her or her body reacting badly with the atmosphere.
Regardless of the reasons – and the possibility she was fooling herself – Larxene was most definitely certain that every time she wandered (it was never an intentional seeking out, she determined) into that girl's presence, she felt calm. It wasn't a relaxing calm; in no way was it exhilarating. Those too-dead eyes of an abandoned half, the eyes of a tiny girl craving any form of compassion or comfort – they were eyes that would always place Larxene on edge and stir a strange yet real rage within her. It was a screaming rage, a searing pain which clawed its way through her body and up her throat, demolishing any words she might have been attempting to speak at the time. But amidst the rage would always be that quiet; there would always be that soft and tinkling voice at her ears, a sound only she could hear, and one which only appeared in her mind. A feeling would always wash over her – only briefly, mind you – and it wasn't so much a sense of belonging as it was a voice telling her that she was okay and there was no need to feel so afraid.
In hindsight, Larxene always scoffed at that voice, that feeling. She was never afraid, and there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place. She had power and a thin existence, and that was really all she needed. She couldn't be bothered by "fear" or "rage"; for a Nobody, those things did not and would never exist. For Larxene, emotions were a part of the detested "why", a word she loathed with all of her non-being, and she wanted them no more than she needed them. The strange occurrences constantly jumping at her and nibbling on her thoughts were only nostalgia, she knew, a remembering of a quiet time, a soft time, and very white and alive existence filled with raw heart. But it was only that; a memory. The time she was so often being forced to remember was gone, and she neither had a use for it nor missed it.
Much to her confusion, Larxene discovered that these strange bursts of emotion remnants were forced upon her only in the presence of that girl. When she was first brought to the Organization, Larxene did not bother with any of the other members, less out of apprehension and more out of a strong distaste for the empty shells walking the blazing white halls. She herself was a shell, and she knew it, and perhaps it was an escape to avoid those who only served to remind her of her own incompletion.
However, Larxene was eventually introduced to the fact that antisocial tendencies would get her nowhere and the only way to truly secure herself was to establish a certain position. If she wished to dominate the other shells, she first had to accept her own emptiness and in turn use it to provide a place of belonging that no one else could ever hope to touch. And she had created this place for herself, a reputation, so to speak, and those who did not fear her gradually came to accept her and realize where she stood. Larxene found a place to start her climb to the top merely by accepting her own place in life.
Of course, there was that girl. The others of the Organization often referred to her – she was something of a momentary trump card, a fragile plan to test. Larxene never bothered to listen to the basics; her lack of attentiveness during extensive explanations was simply due to the fact that she only wanted to carry out orders and never to know the meaning of them. If she was required to perform a task in order to hold her place on the feeble ladder, she would do so, and she would not pay mind to anything that would not give her opportunity to climb higher. The point of this, naturally, lied in that girl, the one who made Larxene remember painful things like unease, fear, and compassion.
The reason for Larxene ever having to enter that girl's realm was one known as Marluxia; the wishy-washy arrogance of the man led him to seek out some form of solace in that girl. Marluxia was only barely her senior, but Larxene knew that he was her senior nonetheless. He seemed to be establishing some sort of routine with that girl; he had something planned, and Larxene recognized it as the anxious watching for an opportunity that she herself practiced to give her existence meaning. The first time she ever witnessed the way he swung between a mild inferiority complex and that unrivaled regality gave her an indication that he was not very different from her; he was afraid, and in order to subdue this "fear", he was busying himself with climbing, envisioning a future of domination over the emptiness and all who it had ensnared. He wanted the Organization, and as she placed great thought into it, Larxene realized that it was exactly what she wanted, too. It was somehow comforting to think that one could control the very thing that had been ruling absolutely for far too long.
It was because Larxene had approached Marluxia and relayed their similarities that she herself was dragged into the kind and delicate presence of that girl. She was uncertain that someone so weak and feeling could ever be useful to such a listless gathering of shells. Marluxia had explained the importance of a doll like that girl, her powers, and her relevance to "Sora" – another factor she had not cared to pay attention to until Marluxia deemed it important – but although Larxene listened this time, she could not find herself entirely set on using that girl.
That girl only brought out the things Larxene had worked so hard to repress. She only highlighted that which Larxene dared not remember or lose her acceptance of the hollowness she possessed. She seemed to have a white light within her, a white light which whispered to Larxene and slithered through her empty chest, calling out to those memories of another half, a dead half, a forsaken half.
Larxene refused to visit that girl any longer. The rage filled her completely and threatened to spill over should she attempt to contain any more. That very rage screamed louder and louder, twisting inside her, throwing everything off balance. Soon, Larxene began to feel a semblance of hate. Real hate could not exist within her, of course, and only the memory remained where there once was a heart with which to feel the actual feeling. The memory soon began to grow so uncontrollable that Larxene started to fear having a heart. In the instant she realized how powerful simply a memory of emotion could be, Larxene both feared and craved that thing called a heart.
Her hatred, she decided, was irreplaceable. So she relished that hatred, savored the memory of a feeling because it allowed her to find amusement in the emptiness of the white halls. She loved hatred, because she would never have to feel regret. And so Larxene clung to her hate with all of her non-being. In the presence of that girl, it was all she had to make her feel like she could win.
Larxene's hatred became cruelty, and that cruelty bordered sadism. She knew Marluxia felt it, too, because he began to change as rapidly as she had. They both gained something in the hollow of their existence, and it expressed itself in the form of brutality.
And it was all because of that girl.
All too soon did the time of Castle Oblivion come about, and it was an obvious display of Larxene and Marluxia's "opportunity". While some of the members of the Organization were dismayed at having to submit to a lower-rank, Larxene found that having Marluxia in control suited her just fine. After all, they did share the same objective, and it was far too soon for Larxene to mistrust the flighty "leader".
But Marluxia soon lost much of his responsibility. He attached himself to that girl, and with his bizarre obsession came the ability to infuriate everyone around him. Larxene found herself coming to hate the man simply because she knew his thoughts were always on that girl, who was nothing more than a pawn like the rest of them. There was nothing about that girl that made her any more important than anyone else. So why did Marluxia waste his time away pretending to romance a pathetic doll?
Larxene decided she was the only one at the castle who could maintain a level head. Axel was impossible to manage and perhaps never had enough sense to begin with, and the elder members were a danger to the "opportunity" and were thus kept in the lower levels. Marluxia was losing his edge and so Larxene was left to loathe that ridiculously angelic little doll.
Larxene hated that girl. Hated that she made memories resurface, hated that she made her feel, hated that she had more innocence and purity than should be allowed, hated that that girl seemed more at ease with herself than anyone else. What gave her the right? She was only a doll, a tool, something that would be immediately discarded once Larxene and Marluxia held the Organization in their hands. That girl was nothing.
But that didn't stop Marluxia from visiting her whenever he possibly could.
Was it really that comforting to be around her? Was it really satisfying to have that feeling of acceptance? It was ridiculous. Larxene just hated that girl more. The more Larxene hated that girl, the more cruelty she aimed at the other members of Castle Oblivion. The more cruelty she expressed, the colder she felt. Was it even possible to disintegrate into something emptier than she was before?
She started to approach that room. At first, she didn't get far; she would stop abruptly and turn around. Little by little, however, Larxene made the progress of standing before the door, the door that that girl was behind. Maybe she took it for granted that that girl would always be behind the door, but it took a very long time for her to start sitting outside it.
And so Larxene made it almost habitual to secretly sit outside that girl's door, as though perhaps she was waiting, waiting for something to happen, waiting for something to change just by her being there. Something did change. Just like the times before, Larxene felt her memories of emotions resurfacing, trying to be felt but having no luck in holding any kind of meaning. But Larxene didn't chase them away; not while she sat outside the door. If only for a little while, Larxene pretended she could feel, pretended she might still be a Somebody deep inside. She found that it truly was comforting, in a hollow sort of way. She found that she could understand Marluxia's strange behavior (related to that girl, anyway).
Naminé wasn't just a doll. Naminé wasn't at ease with herself. Naminé was as scared as everyone else. Naminé was as important as anyone else could claim to be. Naminé was beautiful in ways that Larxene knew she would never be able to grasp.
So Larxene directed the vast majority of her hatred toward Naminé. Everything was Naminé's fault. Naminé had ruined everything. She would not allow Naminé to be anything more than beneath her. She hated Naminé.
She found that it was relatively easy to approach the defenseless girl and hurt her. It was only physical pain, but for all the things Naminé made her feel, she decided that it was enough. She would never directly touch her – in the silent fear that Naminé might have some strange effect – but she would always do what she could to make Naminé miserable. Larxene wanted to traumatize that girl. She wanted Naminé to feel the semblance of pain that Larxene felt constantly. But no matter what she did, Naminé would not yield.
Naminé was always beautiful. Naminé was always kind. Naminé was always feeling something that Larxene could not feel.
"I know you were outside the door," said Naminé. Larxene guessed that the words did not hold the same hollow bitter taste that her own did. "You don't need to be afraid."
But Larxene didn't care what she said. She raised her hand to hit her.
And it was then that Larxene realized why she would never allow herself to come in direct skin-to-skin contact with Naminé.
Naminé grabbed Larxene's wrist, not really out of self defense; it was almost like she was trying to comfort Larxene, to absorb all of Larxene's pain into herself. Naminé was weak. She was weak and Larxene knew it. But Larxene couldn't pull her hand away.
There was that same white light she had always envied. But this time, she wasn't looking at it in someone else. She could feel it inside her. For the first time in her meager existence, Larxene felt warm. She felt whole. She felt like…like she had a heart. She was a Somebody, somewhere inside her.
She couldn't understand it, but she felt herself cling to Naminé. She felt herself holding Naminé as tight as she could, begging her to never let go. She felt Naminé hold her, and she felt herself cry. At least, she thought it was crying. There was something there, on her face, something wet and burning, and even though it was empty and born only from released memories, Larxene held onto it. Naminé did not pull away. Naminé did not remind her that she was empty inside; Naminé let her believe, if only for awhile, that she was complete.
It had to end. They both knew it. Larxene clutched the moment, milked it for all it was worth, took everything there was to take. She knew she would never feel it again. She knew she wasn't really feeling anything at all. Everything had to end, and it did. But even after it was over, Larxene couldn't bring herself to harm Naminé. Not after that.
Hiding behind a white door, Larxene bathed in an imaginary white light. Secretly, Larxene allowed herself to be fooled into thinking she could be worth something. Behind a door, Larxene waited to feel complete. Only Naminé could make her feel that way.
It was a strange feeling, almost fleeting, hardly even existent. Perhaps it wasn't existent at all and the reality of it was that nothing was actually being felt. It was a quiet whisper of a turn in her gut, a silent warning that drew her in closer every single time.
When she felt herself fading into nothingness at the hands of the one called Sora, finally losing the battle she had clung to for meaning, for that one final moment, Larxene – just as she had when she was sitting outside a door – sought completion in Naminé.
And just like every other time before, Larxene found it.