Hello, internet. So…this is a little number I wrote quite a while ago. I sent it to be beta'd by two of my friends, and neither ever got around to it. That being said, I figured there was no reason of beating around the bush and withholding this piece for any longer.

I've never written for the Excel Saga fandom before, so please bear with me. I give you:

Confessions of an Overcome Conqueror

"So this is what it is to fall." He had said it calmly, the sensation truly intriguing to him.

"But, Lord Il Palazzo – " For his most loyal agent, it was beyond appalling and unthinkable to believe the leader of her organization in such a servile, awkward position, right alongside her.

He nonchalantly explained it away as the pit being the only escape route left in the fortress. She responded with agreement to the use of such a last resort. It did befit her leader to escape accordingly if the situation proved desperate enough, as it was with the ideals of ACROSS.

They did continuously fall for the next several minutes, which prompted the leader of ACROSS to a bout of impatience. He awaited the final impact with frustration, ready to get it over with. He wondered how Excel could put up with the experience as regularly as she did.

"Lord Il Palazzo, sir! Excel would like to advise you wholeheartedly in the action of the removal of your armor and mantle, sir!" his agent very considerately exclaimed midair.

"For what reason do you place this request?" The armor and the mantle hardly ever came off, even in the most perilous of situations, as was suiting to the stature of a leader and conqueror.

Il Palazzo visibly winced at the thought of the latter title. The idea of conquest was rather painful at the moment and he would rather not dwell on these recent thoughts.

Excel caught his visible expression of pain, and thinking it was caused by her suggestion, she replied, "Excel apologizes from the bottom of her heart if it does bother Lord Il Palazzo, however, the armor and the mantle shall be an impediment if you are to swim, sir."

Understanding dawned upon the man at this statement. He personally wondered why he had not thought to shed it before following Excel down the hatch.

He immediately began to unfasten his finery, with added difficulty in that he was falling miles underground and the increasing velocity was becoming a handicap. He grunted with more frustration until petite hands encircled his and quickly worked at undoing the fastenings.

He looked up into loving eyes, her small form approaching him with a tenderness which he had never received from any other.

"Worry not, sir. Excel will assist you," she said with a small smile. She then returned to working vehemently at her task. Soon, the mantle was undone and his shoulders relieved of their burden.

He looked at her once again. "Thank you…Excel," he uttered briefly.

"I-it's no trouble, sir," she responded, a slight blush gracing her cheeks.

Suddenly, a wild roar erupted from below. The countless sea monsters that resided in the underground lake (and who to explain how these creatures got there in the first place would be none the wiser) had become hungered after a while of not being beaten out of their minds by a fiercely in-need-of-survival-for-the-next-mission Excel.

But under Excel's watch, no deep sea creature was going to make a meal of her beloved Il Palazzo, no matter how fucking cranky and starved the little bastards were. She turned her body to a diving position quite effortlessly as she exclaimed to her leader, "Excel will hold them off, sir!"

And with a skill and agility that only Excel Excel could possess, she dived down rapidly to the crazed monsters. An impact and then a splash resounded across the cavernous wall of the horizontal tunnel. Mere seconds later, an enraged Excel put the creatures to shame, beating them within an inch of their lives while hardly even taking a breath.

Il Palazzo had spent this time marveling at the work of his esteemed agent that it came an unparalleled shock to him as he himself made impact with the surface of the water.

He submerged and then resurfaced, gasping violently for air. He struggled to stay afloat, regretting his many afternoons wasted with no consideration to his own physical health. He supposed it made the top of his list of tasks to accomplish in his future attempts of conquest, right under making sure his overtly-villainous alternate personality never again saw the light of day.

But his main concern at the moment was to swim himself to the chunk of rocky land surrounding the unnaturally immense body of water. He strained himself against the water weighing him down.

Once again, he found a lithe arm about him. He looked to his side to see his agent in his support.

"Hold on…Il Palazzo, sir! Excel…will…not…let…you…drown!" she exclaimed with raging persistence. She swam one-armed with him in tow, furiously battling against the current and finally reaching their destination.

The both of them collapsed, dripping wet and breathing hard. Excel, though without a doubt overjoyed that she could finally be in such close proximity with her leader, needed to assess herself professionally, even in this particular situation.

She crouched upward slightly, arms both supporting the rest of her body. Her huffing breath heavily, she asked in between, "Not…injured, are you…sir?"

"No, Excel." He found himself reluctant to have her at such a distance. He sat upward, inching over more closely to her.

"Are you sure…?" Her concerned voice was coveted by exhaustion.

"Of course, Excel. You should know to trust my good judgment," he replied with authority.

"Oh…yes, Lord Il Palazzo. I don't doubt you, but I had to make sure…" She wobbled, her stance unsteady and her falling inevitable.

"Excel, come here." He demanded this in a soft voice, gathering her weakened form in his arms.

"No…sir. Excel will be…alright…"

"Come, Excel. Now." His voice and the order were firm.

"Yessir!" she exclaimed, jolting forward. It was obvious that she was at her final bout of energy, as she fell limp in the arms of her leader.

Lord Il Palazzo maintained exquisitely good hygiene was what Excel learned in her final few moments of consciousness. Inhaling his freshly showered and scented aura was the most heavenly thing in the world for her.

The leader looked to his follower. The sensation – the emotion – that he felt in holding her possessed him. He embraced her firmly, his precious agent his only source of comfort after all that had occurred.

She had saved him. From himself, at that. She was truly a wonder, a definite asset to the goals and ideals of ACROSS.

But she was more. To him, at least. She was persistent, she was loyal, she was caring…

She was his. Even when he had thought she was of no more use to him, he remained the most important thing to her.

And for that reason, he was alive. For that reason, he had not been overcome by his own insanity.

He took her in completely, held her against himself, as if she were the very source of his life.

After several minutes, he loosened his hold on her unconscious form. Observing her steady breathing and relaxed demeanor, he could tell that she was asleep.

A chunk of dirty white caught his eye. He pushed down and pulled off her turquoise polygonal bolero to look at the thick white bandaging that was wrapped around her chest.

He had done this. He had blown a whole through her heart.

"No! Not her!" he had exclaimed to his crazed alter ego.

There was one thing Il Palazzo could never do. Mission upon mission that he would assign his agents could and would often end in failure. He had to admit, his premeditation of such planning could be faulty. And his agents, the two so fiercely loyal and willing to follow his instructions to the last letter that it was downright impractical, unfortunately, were the cause of these failures. But, he could never say either of the two were failures themselves. Especially not Excel.

She had been right there with him from the start, ready and completely devoted to the tasks assigned to her. Her attitude was outrageously and obnoxiously optimistic, but it was her driving force. It had drawn him to her, her will to live and succeed. And as bemused as it made him, he couldn't say he really minded it.

After a while, the failure of missions began to crop up. It didn't seem they were getting anywhere. So he would scold her, he would admonish her, humiliate her, send her hurtling down the pit, and assign her sanitation duties (latrine orderly on most occasions). It wouldn't matter anyways, because she would always survive, rise up against the adversity. Her resolve was enough to get her through the day and take her to infinity.

And it was because of that, he had silently avowed himself, that he would never raise his hand to end her life.

But he had. He had tried. He had lost his resolve, and in a moment of minute impatience, he had done the deed. He had tried to erase her from the face of the earth.

And then, he had taken over. For once, Il Palazzo was out of control. He had no power to overtake this invader of his consciousness.

Yet, against all the odds, she had come back to life. She had returned from the dead, returned to him, and showed him her absolute loyalty – her love.

And even now, she had still tried. Just now, she had ensured, with all her might, that he reach safety, at no consideration of own well-being.

She was extraordinary, and he – he was less than deserving.

Right then, he was overcome by a great fatigue. He had not slept in days, spending the past several nights battling for control of his own mind, and he could hold out no longer.

He slumped downwards, lying down against the hard earth. It was by no means the proper sleeping abode for a would-be conqueror, but it would have to do.

He pulled the sleeping frame of his agent against him. Cradling her in his arms, he relaxed his tense form.

There was no need to think any longer. Sleep was the only thing on his mind right now. And he only wanted to be the first thing she saw when she awoke, if nothing else.

"Lord Il Palazzo, I love you." So she had told him as she delivered the final blow that had saved him from insanity. At the time, he had almost believed it would be his last order to her.

"Yes. As do I. I love you, Excel."

But now, he need not concern himself with such thoughts. He was once again the ambitious conqueror, and she, his most valued agent.

A slight grin formed upon his pallid features as he drifted off to dreams of conquest.

Say what you want. But I think underneath all that crap, Il Palazzo does have feelings for Excel. They're just as warped, crazy, confusing, and ridiculous as her feelings for him, but they're there.