The Beginning of Awareness
One day, I just got a really, really weird idea in my head, and couldn't shake it, hence this fanfic. Anyway, it's a Roxas/Larxene fanfic, semi-dark Roxas, and consequently, very, very AU.
Saïx asked, "So then, Lord Xemnas, who shall… teach Roxas until he becomes useful?"
Xemnas thought for a few moments, carefully thinking before he answered. "Axel would be best, but we sent him out on a long-term reconnaissance mission just the other day, didn't we?"
Nodding, the Luna Diviner confirmed that Axel had left merely the day before, and wasn't expected for another two weeks. "Sir, we cannot simply waste two weeks waiting for Axel's return. Therefore, someone else must be chosen to deal with Roxas."
Closing his eyes in contemplation, Xemnas had to admit that it was quite a difficult decision. "Hm… Beyond Axel, the ideal tutors would've been either you or one of the original six members, excluding Xaldin, who simply wouldn't allow himself to be bothered with it. Vexen would be willing, but I don't think any of us could stand it if Roxas took after him in anything other than dedication. You, I, Zexion, Lexaeus, and Xigbar are too busy dealing with logistics and administration duties, however. Therefore, it falls to either Vexen, or one of our newer members – Demyx, Luxord, Marluxia, or Larxene. Who would you recommend, if it were up to you?"
Saïx's response was immediate. "Of those choices, Luxord. Or, failing that, Vexen. We can't risk Demyx's laziness infecting Roxas. Marluxia would certainly be willing to help, but would most likely turn him into a weapon to be used against us, rather than to be used by the Organization. And Larxene would almost certainly try to kill him, something we also cannot risk."
Xemnas replied, "You have some excellent points, Saïx, although I feel I need more than just your input on this matter. Go to the Grey Area, and inform our comrades that there will be no missions today. Instead, we shall focus on choosing a new mentor for our newest recruit, Roxas."
"By your will, Superior."
With those four words, the Luna Diviner opened a Corridor of Darkness and vanished from the Round Room to carry out his orders. In his ten years as a Nobody, Xemnas had gained not only his incredible power, but also a great deal of patience. 'But then again,' he mused to himself, 'it isn't even as though I can feel boredom in the first place.'
It took nearly five minutes for Saïx to return, a full two of which could be reasonably assumed to involve kicking Demyx out of bed, a minute and a half to locate and find the various other members, and around a minute to get Roxas on his feet and moving in the proper direction.
Once the entirety of Organization XIII (sans Axel) had assembled in the Round Room, Xemnas cleared his throat to instantly end any discussion amongst his 'employees'.
"As you are well aware, yesterday we inducted a new member into our group, a boy blessed with the power of the Keyblade. However – perhaps due to his age or another factor in his previous life – he will require help becoming a productive member of our Organization. In short, Roxas shall require a mentor. Ideally, I would assign this task to Axel, as it seems like something he'd be rather skilled at. Due to a lack of foresight on my part, however, he was given a mission two days previous, and will not likely return for at least another week. Which means that the duty will fall to someone else."
Smirking a little on the inside, Xemnas found himself somehow amused by the squirming of his various subordinates, many of whom clearly dislike the idea of – from their perspective – becoming part-time to full-time babysitter.
And, exactly as predicted, Demyx and Marluxia were the only two candidates being seriously considered who showed no sign of discomfort at the prospect of being chosen for Roxas's mentor, though each for a different reason.
Marluxia saw a potential weapon to use against Xemnas or anyone else who stood in his way, while Demyx was merely jumping at the chance to avoid more strenuous work.
Xemnas thoroughly understood each of those who served beneath him – it, along with his extraordinary power – was why he led Organization XIII. "However, due to myself and the other senior members – barring Vexen – being occupied with administrative duties, that means that there are only four real candidates for the job: Demyx, Luxord, Marluxia, and Larxene. And today, just for a change of pace, I'm not going to decide for you. Instead, everyone present – myself excluded – will state whom they believe best suited for the task at hand, and at the end, Roxas's mentor will be chosen by popular consensus. And do not expect such democracy to be a common occurrence, I might add. Beginning with Xigbar, we will work our way down."
The one-eyed gunslinger thought for a few moments, before he said, "I say Luxord. He's arguably the best worker out of the four newbies, and I really don't think the rest of us can take another Vexen."
Demyx and Larxene laughed out loud at the Freeshooter's jab towards the Chilly Academic (who spluttered in indignation), the lone woman of the Organization clutching her sides in hysterics before she shouted, "You got that right, old man!" Marluxia chuckled in agreement, while Luxord and even Zexion each grinned a little.
Xaldin, as ruthless as they come, and by no means as reasonable as Number II, grinned sadistically as he said, "I say that if anyone should suffer putting up with the brat until he's useful, make it Larxene. And if Number XIII should die on her watch – let alone she kills him – then let me mete out the punishment."
Now it was Larxene's turn to boil in rage, as Vexen smirked with equally unpleasant sentiment as he said, "I agree with Xaldin on this point. While Luxord or myself would be much more suited to making certain that Roxas becomes productive, this is an opportunity for Larxene to mature as a side effect, so that she might actually prove to be of some use as well."
The Savage Nymph was nearly red-faced in her fury, and was about to give the senior citizen a good verbal lashing, but one look from Xemnas instantly convinced her to hold her tongue, at least for the time being.
Lexaeus, Earth manipulator, declared, "Number X is clearly the best choice here. He and Vexen are the only two who can be trusted completely, and Vexen is too easily sidetracked. Despite his eccentricities, I put my faith more in Luxord than the others."
Zexion remained silent for a full three minutes before casting his vote. "While compelling cases have been made for Luxord and Larxene each, I believe I must speak on behalf of Marluxia. Number XI has proven himself to be just as capable and diligent in his assignments as Luxord, perhaps more. Marluxia takes his work just as seriously as any of the rest of us do, and much more seriously than a few of us… and by 'a few of us', I suppose I really just mean Demyx. Even if she doesn't throw herself into her work as much as Luxord, Marluxia, or I do, at least Larxene gets the job done passably. Demyx doesn't even do that much."
Everyone with even a moderate sense of humor shared a few good chuckles at the Melodious Nocturne's expense, and Marluxia good-naturedly called out, "I honestly thank you for your confidence, Zexion. It's quite good to hear that at the very least, one of our esteemed senior members thinks me capable of such a worthy task." Listening to Marluxia's tone and the way the words were spoken, it sounded much less like kissing up to Zexion, and much more like an attack against the other five founding members.
Saïx, nearly as cold as Xemnas and as brutally honest as Xaldin, cast his vote. "I disagree with Zexion. Marluxia and Larxene cannot be trusted, Demyx is unreliable at best, and Vexen is obsessed with his experimentation. Therefore, Luxord is the only sensible choice."
Luxord didn't seem to care that things were going in his 'favor', though he would be a bit irritated if he wound up having to watch some rookie's back all the time.
Due to Axel's absence, the next vote came to Demyx. Before doing so, however, he asked, "Just out of curiosity, can I vote for myself?"
Xemnas, almost amazed that Demyx hadn't picked up on the fact that he was doomed not to such an 'easy job', decided to ruthlessly quell his subordinate's instinct by saying, "No. You may not. You're not going to be chosen in the first place, so you may as well put your vote somewhere that actually makes a difference."
Borderline crushed, Demyx showed a bit of his mean streak by declaring, "Then I say Larxene! Mostly because I agree with what Vexen said, and whenever we're in the same room, all she ever does is bitch at me for no good reason! It's not my fault she can't appreciate my musical genius!"
Xigbar, Zexion, and Luxord facepalmed, while Larxene shouted, "You little twerp! I swear to Kingdom Hearts, if they pick me because of you, I'll put you in so much pain you won't be able to play that goddamned sitar of yours for a fucking week, do you hear me?"
Xemnas, becoming irritated with the woman's outbursts, was about to silence her, but Marluxia beat him to it. "Relax, Larxene. Threatening him with torture isn't going to help you right now. If worst comes to worst and you are chosen as Roxas's mentor, then I will do anything in my power to make it easier on you. Is that agreeable?"
Grumbling to herself a string of profanities among which could be heard numerous "fuck you"-type remarks directed at Demyx, Xemnas, Xaldin, Vexen, and Saïx, the Savage Nymph eventually replied, "Thanks, Marluxia. Worst case scenario, I'll need all the fucking help I can get."
Luxord had begun shuffling his deck of cards while patiently waiting for his chance to speak. He was the Gambler of Fate, after all – all the time in the world was at his disposal.
"I am not able to vote for myself, nor would I want to in the first place. Taking into account what I know of my fellow players, I suppose that Marluxia has the best hand for this particular game. I was loosely acquainted with him when he had hearts, and he'd been somewhat well-known as a mentor for the younger generation. And he's more patient when teaching a newcomer the rules of the game than I am."
Marluxia was slightly irritated that he was unable to vote for himself, but realized that he and Larxene were the only two with votes to be cast. As Luxord and Larxene were tied at three apiece, and he only had two, he knew that despite Larxene's inevitable support, he was pretty much out of the running; in truth, Number XI realized, it was a choice between those on either side of him – Numbers X and XII.
Knowing quite well that she'd be extremely pissed off at him later, he still couldn't help but smile a bit as he said, "Demyx, if you value your life or your self-proclaimed musical talent to any degree at all, then I suggest that you start running now, and that you go into hiding for a few months until Larxene expends most of her frustration. If you're lucky, maybe you can squirm your way into some third-rate band in Twilight Town for a while. Larxene, go ahead and cast your vote. I believe I've made where I stand clear. It's quite a shame that our wise leader wouldn't permit me to vote for myself; I'd much rather be able to spare both Luxord and Larxene the frustration of looking after someone inexperienced, but alas, Xemnas's word is law."
Larxene spluttered for a second in rage at Marluxia, but moreso at Demyx and Xemnas, and then at all the other assholes that wanted to torture her so badly. Then realizing that all was not lost, she said, "Well in that case, I vote Luxord, which makes it a tie."
Xemnas couldn't help but sigh a bit as he said, "And in the end, 'twould seem it's come to be my decision after all. After listening to all of your opinions, I must choose Larxene. While Luxord is admittedly the better choice, he has proven himself to be quite productive already. Number XII has not. This meeting is now over, and the decision is final. Larxene, you may not try to change my mind, nor ask for a recounting of the votes, nor any other tactic in a desperate attempt at avoiding the responsibility I have given you. If anything, you should look forward to it. After all, you will be the Keybearer's role model. Roxas will almost certainly become what you turn him into. Think of it not as a punishment, but as an opportunity to prove that we did not make an error in judgment when we inducted you into this Organization."
Larxene knew that, lacking a heart, she couldn't technically feel emotion, but if she hadn't known that, then she'd have considered herself absolutely terrified at the way Xemnas spoke his final command.
Swearing to herself, Larxene observed her various colleagues exit one after another until only she, Marluxia, Luxord, and Roxas remained.
The Gambler of Fate calmly remarked, "If I had a heart, this is the part where I would almost feel sorry for you, Larxene. From one neophyte to another, I can only recommend that you do what you can to keep Roxas alive and well, and get him running under his own power as quickly as you can without breaking him. The sooner you manage that, the sooner he should be out of your hair."
Luxord vanished then, and Marluxia added, "If you should need my help to a reasonable degree, then ask and I shall provide," before he too disappeared.
Larxene, still grumbling, teleported over to where Roxas stood on the ground, grabbed him by the shoulder, and then enveloped them both in a Corridor of Darkness, heading off to the City That Never Was, where she planned to have a little chat with Roxas. And also, quite possibly, get him used to holding a weapon – one way, or another.
Tell me what you think, so I know whether or not this is worth continuing.