A/N: A story not too unlike a previous fic of mine called Two Roses, but with a different twist to it. MarMar, 411 and implied ZexLex
Eulogy of a Toy Flower
In the beginning, there was light and darkness. Then nothingness came, and the beings of nothingness followed. Light was engulfed by nothingness, and no one could love any more. Some of these beings were more outstanding than others, yet as heartless as any. Ruling them was the Sun and the Moon, and they were flowers that hated the light. One was the most grand Rose with petals as red as the most vibrant blood, so magnificent, it challenged even the beauty of the Sun. One day, it reached so high, with petals spread so wide, that it extinguished the light of both the Sun and the Moon. The two died away together, and all the flowers were blinded.
Vexen was never told that Xemnas was no more, because he had been standing in the doorway, by chance, as Marluxia executed Xemnas and Saïx as they both lay sleeping in Xemnas' bed. He had even felt a few drops of blood landing on his cheek as the room was dyed red. Once Marluxia had noticed him looking, he had simply turned to face him, smiling that dangerously sweet smile of his as he spoke.
"You have a new Superior, Vexen, and he has a favour to ask of you."
Vexen found himself in some horrible subservient position where he couldn't tell if he was favoured or damned. Marluxia excused him from anything and everything to run errands. Create this, create that; Marluxia's greed never really ended. Not that he failed to abuse all the members of the Organization to the point where they were barely loyal, though he knew how to keep them just one step away from treason. He was a manipulator, and, somehow, he made the Organization run more efficiently.
"I wish for you to make me a replica," had been Marluxia's first order. "Make it subservient. Make it able to feel."
In its own image, the Rose created a toy. A second rose, that had its thorns clipped away, which was able to love, for it was the only flower that reached towards the light. But what to do when the world was engulfed with darkness, it did not know. The toy Rose; a confused, frail being that did not belong in our world, only existing to live in the shadow of what it learned to worship as its God.
It had been sickening when Vexen presented Marluxia with his replica. The replica was such a delicate being; so warm and pleasant, with rosy red cheeks and an innocent smile. Vexen had never believed he could think of Marluxia as beautiful, but the replica of him was. Even in a world as dark as Never Was, it seemed to be ever-so-cheerful and happy to be alive. It liked him, but Vexen hadn't had it in him to reap its virtue before handing it over, no matter how entranced he was by it. As he arrived at Marluxia's room, he realized what a shame it had been.
He had made it so innocent and pure, yet Marluxia could only see his own crude reflection in it. Standing watch by the door, as per Marluxia's demand, he tried not to vomit as Marluxia peeled its clothes off and screwed it into the mattress. It screamed and wept the entire time until Marluxia was done.
That self-loving bastard, Vexen thought as he took the Replica down to his laboratory and helped it scrub down. It shied away from his touches at first, but soon clung to him like a child clinging to its mother after a horrible nightmare. It was just like a child, Vexen decided. Again, he couldn't find it in him to violate it, even as it was sitting naked in the tub while he helped it clean. Afterwards, he dressed it and put it to bed.
This soon became a ritual. Marluxia would wear the poor replica down to shreds during the mornings, and Vexen would patch it back together in the afternoon. It would spend the nights huddled up in Vexen's laboratory, often too pained and horrified to sleep alone. Vexen would let it crawl into his bed, and, after many long nights, when he was feeling particularly generous, let it hold onto his arm while they slept. He rarely let it touch him, because every touch was a reminder that he, for the first time in his non-existence, had a responsibility over someone else. Surprising even himself, he appreciated it. He didn't feel like nothing anymore, because the replica would be sad should he pass away. The replica had a heart, and with it, it would remember him.
Marluxia was becoming aware of how his replica flinched at his touch and shied away. He couldn't understand how a replica made in his own image could not worship him, for he cared for nothing but himself.
An Ivy plant came along; insignificant, with no flowers or extravagant colours. It was just an evergreen, in no way interested in the vibrant beauty of the roses. Lurking in the shadow of the grand Rose, it came upon the toy Rose. Confined to the shadows of the ground, the Ivy had to climb one of them to see the light. But it did not matter how beautiful the grand rose was, for all the Ivy could see was its shadow and the poison thorns twisting their way up its stalk. It climbed the toy rose, and together they reached towards the heaven. The grand Rose, consumed by its own goals, did not see the two hiding in its shadow.
An arm to hug had soon become a body to confide and find comfort in. Vexen didn't know how it had happened, but soon he was letting the replica touch and hold as it felt the need to. With arms wrapped around him at night, he slept without worry, often with his fingers tangled up in pink hair. He tended to its bruises so often, he knew its body by heart now, and, eventually, the replica began noticing the lust that would occasionally flare up in Vexen's ever-so-cold eyes as it was naked with him. One afternoon, when Vexen had it sitting on the edge of his bed as he helped it with its nightwear, it took his hand and placed it on its bare chest.
Vexen could feel its heart beating. It gave him an almost pleading look, needing some assurance that it was worth more than a toy and that the heart it had been given was not a waste. But for a replica, a heart was a waste, and it would never be more than a toy to its real master. Yet, shortly after they were tumbling in the sheets together, more passionate than any Nobody had ever been; more loving than any replica should ever be. To Vexen, it was a relief, but to the replica, it was like being born anew. Heated and thrilled, they had both tasted a bit of life together, and they tasted it every evening from then on.
If not pained, Vexen was not happy to send the replica off to Marluxia every morning. He knew how cruel their Superior was, but he had yet to notice the affair taking place underneath his nose. The other members of the Organization did, but they knew not to tell. They would laugh at Marluxia behind his back, for he remained ignorant. Unlike him, Vexen left no visible marks, and the invisible ones went so much deeper.
The charade went on for quite a while. It was Zexion who eventually came to end it.
And I hope, through this analogy, you will see that it is time for the grand Rose to glance down at its own shadow and see what has spurred. Once it does, it will realize that it only grew so tall to lift the Ivy towards the heavens, but was too obsessed with itself. It grew thorns and turned blind. Soon it will wilt, alone.
Why he even cared, Zexion was not sure. He sealed a copy of the letter he had written and went to Marluxia with it. Perhaps he would stop being a tyrant, should he realize that there was a Nobody in the world foolish enough to like him. The replica was Marluxia. Just not as cruel. Perhaps there was a reason behind Marluxia's cruelty, but it was hard to tell. Though he didn't care for love, couldn't feel it, he would not be happy to see Marluxia slaughtering another couple.
"Tell me," Marluxia asked as he had finished reading the letter. His expression was unreadable. A bit amused, but very dangerous. Zexion decided to pick his words carefully. "Who is this 'Ivy' supposed to be?"
"Ivy is a rather simple plant," Zexion said, shrugging. "It's just an evergreen. It could be anyone. Anyone sleeping with your replica."
He turned on his heel and left. Marluxia considered this all until the next morning when Vexen arrived with the replica. It was like having a blindfold removed, realizing that the answer to the question was right in front of him the entire time. That morning, he told the replica to leave. Once it was gone, he approached Vexen, who could only worry that they had been caught, and that Marluxia wanted to kill him for it.
Laying his hands on Vexen's waist, Marluxia whispered to him in his sweetest voice. "Show me all that love you gave to my replica. Let me taste everything you tasted. This is the body that deserves it."
Faithfulness was not in the vocabulary of a Nobody. When presented to the real thing, more glorious than any copy, Vexen was not one to say no.
So the grand Rose bowed to its own shadow, allowing the Ivy to climb up to its bloom and hold it down in darkness forever. Forgotten and no longer needed, the toy Rose wilted.
Zexion was writing further on the original letter. Sitting in a living room with a large window overlooking the entire castle, he could easily recognize two figures on a bridge below him. It was Vexen and the replica. It was weeping as badly as the first time it had been violated, clinging onto Vexen with desperation. A Nobody was not meant to understand a broken heart, artificial or real. Within seconds it had become a statue of ice at Vexen's touch.
Despite his brief taste of life and love, he was as cold and unyielding as ever. Perhaps he had found a flavour that suited him better, or perhaps he had just gotten tired of the first one. The ice sculpture fell from the bridge and smashed against the roof. Vexen didn't hesitate before he turned away and went back to Marluxia's chambers.
Perhaps, together, the grand Rose and the Ivy found their light back. Or they will wilt just as the toy flower did. After all, a Nobody's tale is not a loving one, and, in the background, a young Thistle was wondering just what was so interesting about the concept of love, when it was nowhere to be found in their world of nothingness.
Zexion looked up from the letter he was writing, glancing across the living room where Lexaeus was sitting in a tall armchair, minding some business of his own. With a sigh and an ever-so-slight smile, Zexion scratched the back of his head with his pen before jotting down what he thought would be a good ending to his short-story.
Then again, maybe the Thistle was just a hypocrite.