Set in an Alternate Universe.
For my teacher, Sir John.
He helped make sense of everything whenever I felt lost.
The years under his tutelage were the most enlightening ones of my life.
DISCLAIMER [I do not own Kingdom Hearts] DISCLAIMER
IN NEED OF GUIDANCE
We will finish faster if you cooperate.
"Why are you so angry?"
"Why?" Could he really be any more dense? "I should be out there training!"
"Calm down, Vanitas. I am only trying to help you."
"Then let me out of here!"
This guy was an idiot, I swear. And if he taps that pen one more time on that pad I'll strangle him. Thank God, he set them aside.
"Vanitas, you need to learn to control your anger, not the other way around. What is causing all this hostility? What is the problem?"
Oh, for the love of hell! They are all idiots! Are they blind, every single one of them? Blind, deaf, and just downright brainless! Did I have to spell it out?
"Aqua!" He looked startled when I banged my fists against his desk. He should be grateful that it's just his desk.
"You mean Master Aqua?"
"Yes! You know anyone else here named Aqua?" I spat out.
He blinked once, picked up the pen and pad, and began to write. The scratching of the pen on paper made my eye twitch.
"And how is Aqua a problem?" he asked slowly.
I wanted to punch his face! Wasn't he listening at all? "She's not a problem! She is the problem!"
Who came up with Guidance Counselors anyway? They're useless; a horrendous waste of time and money. He could be out there wallowing in mud or getting drunk, and he'd still be of more help to society. This academy didn't need blockheads like him.
"Are you having trouble in her class?"
Me having trouble in her class? Does he have a death wish?
"I am at the top of her class, you moron!" I started pacing back and forth, knowing that there will be some serious consequences if I break his nose. Just a bit more, though, and those consequences are going to be so worth it.
"Vanitas, sit down."
I glared at him. He didn't falter; an unwise move in my opinion.
"Sit down. We will finish faster if you cooperate." He pointed to one of the chairs in front of his desk, and I – not so calmly – sat down.
"Why don't you tell me what you think of Master Aqua," he said.
I wanted to laugh. "Master. Yeah, as if."
"You don't like referring to her as Master."
"She has no right to be."
He wrote on that damned pad again. "Why would you say that?"
"Just look at her for a second! Does she look like a Master to you?"
Again, he wrote. I couldn't stop my eye from twitching. "What should a Master look like?"
"Old, really old," I crossed my arms over my chest.
"You have issues with her being a Master at her age?"
"She was a student just last year!"
"You don't need to shout, Vanitas."
"I do, if I want to get through that thick skull of yours!"
He blinked once and my eye twitched again. "Yes, she was a student just last year," he said as he stood up. He crossed the room to some file cases. It took him a minute to sift through the folders in some of the drawers, but he eventually withdrew two of them and then he sat back down. "If I remember correctly, you shared many classes with her."
"Yeah, she had a brain, unlike the other dimwits here," I said.
"She was an honor student, always a notch above you."
I clenched my fists. "She was not smarter than me."
"Master Aqua was always in advanced classes. Most of these classes were with you, I see. But a quarter of them, she did not share with a single classmate. Ah, with the exception of Hand-to-Hand Combat; which she shared with Terra."
"Terra is just a brute with no brain! And, I already told you, Aqua was not smarter than me!"
He flipped through the contents of the folders. "The records say otherwise."
"Shut up! Aqua is not better than me!" I slammed my fists on the desk again. He was sick and mental, I'm sure. He's just trying to piss me off! Is he allowed to mock me like this? Isn't there some rule he's breaking? My hands were starting to shake.
He smiled and I wanted to knock his teeth out.
"You have issues with her being better than you."
"What? No, you idiot!"
"Now, Vanitas, after all the time you have spent in this office, you still find it wise to lie to me?" he asked, his arms resting on the table. "What I want to know is why this bothers you."
"It doesn't bother me!" I said. "She isn't better than me, so why would I be bothered?"
"But you would be, then, if she is better than you?"
"I didn't say that!"
"You didn't have to." He started scribbling on his pad again and my eye was starting to hurt from the twitching. If I could just grab that pen and poke his eyes out!
He looked at me as soon as he stopped writing, and I just stared at him. "Just let me out of here," I said, resisting the urge to throw whatever was in reach at his head. Right now, the phone on the desk looked promising.
"Vanitas, you do know why you are here, yes?"
Oh God! "Seriously, are you a moron? I punched Ventus!"
"Yes, you did. Why did you do that?"
I had to speak through clenched teeth. "He was making Aqua look like an idiot."
"In what way?"
"Ventus is a dunce, a loser. And, just because his empty skull couldn't seem to grasp the lesson, he dared to question her teaching abilities! He insulted her!"
"He asked her to repeat the entire lecture!"
"I don't see how that is an insult to her or her teaching abilities."
"Well you weren't there! You didn't see how hurt she was that stupid little Ventus didn't understand! In my opinion, Aqua is just wasting her time trying to teach him! And if he can't keep up, he should just get out of her class because she shouldn't be wasting her time on idiots like Ventus and Terra!"
He made notes again and I was busy catching my breath. This guy is such a moron. Ventus insulted her! He deserved more than a punch to the face, if you ask me. And I think this Guidance Counselor could use a good black-eye, too.
"How does Terra fit into this picture?"
What the hell is he talking about? "Terra isn't in the picture, you dimwit."
"You mentioned Terra, Vanitas. You said," he consulted that stupid pad of his, "that Master Aqua should not be wasting her time on Ventus and Terra."
"Well, she shouldn't!"
"Terra is not in her class, not as far as I'm aware," he said.
I ignored him. So, I slipped, and mentioned Terra. But that doesn't mean I'm going to tell him just what I think of that brainless lump of protein.
"Master Aqua and Terra are quite close, aren't they? They were, after all, best friends when she was still a student here," he said.
I laughed. "Yeah, well, he isn't going to get anywhere with her now."
"What do you mean by that?"
"How dense are you, really? Terra asked her out! The whole academy knows! Of course she'd say no, she's a Master now, and Masters don't date their students."
"She won't date her students," he repeated.
He was really testing my patience! I was halfway up the wall! "I just said that! And that's a testament to how stupid Terra really is, because even I know better than to ask her!"
He smiled again, and I swear I really wanted to knock his teeth out. And maybe knock him unconscious – or dead – while I'm at it.
"You were thinking of asking her?"
"It's a good thing you didn't," he said. "It would be very indecent of a Master to date a student. She would have said no to you as well."
"I am aware she'd say no, I said that already! God, you really are such a moron!"
"So you did want to ask her?"
"I didn't say that!"
"Again, Vanitas, you didn't have to."
I stood up from my seat. I can't take any more of this nonsense.
"Sit down!" he shouted. Odd, a shout from him.
He picked up the phone and dialed a number. I could faintly hear the voice on the other end; he had contacted the faculty room. Geez, what now, he was going to call for back-up? I walked to the door, not wanting to stay another minute in this damned office.
"Vanitas, if you step out of that door, you will regret it," he said as he put down the phone.
I closed my hand around the doorknob. "This is a waste of time."
"The next few minutes won't be, trust me."
I turned around to face him and we just stared at each other for a couple of minutes. I still wanted to poke his eyes out, maybe with a flaming fork this time. So much better than just a pen. "As if anything can make this hellhole better," I muttered.
"One thing can," he said, holding up a finger for emphasis. "Aqua."
I would be lying if I said I was still breathing, or that the eye-twitching had stopped. "What, you're going to tell on me?"
Despite myself, I sat down.
"Vanitas, all your problems have one solution."
I narrowed my eyes at him. "And what's that?"
"You need to become a Master."
Before I could ask him what he meant – or insult him, which is what I really wanted to do – there were knocks on the door.
"Come in," he called, and I felt a cold sweat bead my forehead. Great. The Guidance Counselor was going to rat me out! I'll get his address, and I'll slit his throat tonight, I swear!
I heard the door open, and then I heard her footsteps. Yes, I can tell the sound of her footsteps from all others; there's just a rhythm to the way she walks. Aqua took the seat beside me at a gesture from the moron in front of us, and I saw her smile at me from the corner of my eye. Seriously, Aqua, your smile is gorgeous, but is this the right time?
"Is everything alright?" she asked.
"Vanitas is in need of a tutor."
He said what?
"Oh, but Vanitas is doing quite well in my class."
"Yes, he has been bragging about that," the idiot smirked when he said this, "but it is not your class he needs tutoring with. He needs to excel in Elemental Magic. He is trying to get placement in more advanced classes."
Aqua turned to face me, and I just couldn't stop myself from looking at her, too. Thank God my eye had stopped twitching. "You could have just asked me. I would be happy to help you," she said. She faced the moron again – or maybe he isn't such a moron. "Is that all?"
"Yes." He turned to me. "You may go now, Vanitas."
Aqua placed a hand on my shoulder. "Why don't we go work out a schedule, okay?"
She stood up and I did, too. As she walked out the door, I paused for a minute. I looked at the Guidance Counselor. Maybe – just maybe – he wasn't such a useless guy after all.
"I, you know… Thanks," I mumbled.
"My door is always open," he said, smiling.
"Vanitas?" Aqua called. I hurried out of the office and ran a bit to catch up to her. I walked beside her to the faculty room. I have to admit, his idea was genius, setting her up as my tutor. I would have hours and hours alone with her! Why didn't I think of that?
As soon as Vanitas left with Aqua, I opened her folder again. She was here once last year, and my notes from that memorable session are still clipped with the rest of her file.
"I know how he feels about me, but his pride is in the way."
"And what of your feelings?"
"I have always liked Vanitas… I just wish he would grow up and admit his."
I closed her folder. Kids. Keyblade Wielders or not, they still need a little bit of guidance.