CHAPTER 2: Disaster Duo

Nightshroud: Well, our next chapter is in. I forgot to mention last time, but I'll probably get up one chapter a week (two if you're lucky, but don't place any bets on it). On a side note, I hope everyone got the pun in the story name (corporal punishment). Not much else to add, so enjoy!

"So, a date with Luxord?" Marluxia asked, setting down two cups of tea on the table. Larxene reached for hers and took a large sip, in a notably less refined manner than Marluxia.

"Yeah, it was kind of unexpected," Larxene admitted, pondering over the event. "I mean, it's not like it's the first time I've seen him looking at me, but he must have known there wasn't any point in approaching me while I was with Axel."

Axel. The name brought a renewed wave of anger. Marluxia pursed his lips, watching her expression darkening before his eyes.

"And I'm guessing Axel didn't take it well?" he offered, prompting Larxene to continue. The blonde slammed her cup down, baring her teeth in a truly frightening look.

"He had the nerve to tell me Luxord would just make me another notch on his bedpost," she fumed, gripping her cup so hard Marluxia thought it would break. "And then insinuate that maybe being a cheap slut was my style!"

Marluxia frowned and patted Larxene's hand comfortingly.

"You're too frigid and abrasive to be easy," he said soothingly. Larxene arched a brow, retracting her hand from Marluxia's grip.

"You always know just what to say to make me feel better," she said sarcastically, giving him a moody look. Marluxia stuck his tongue out and moved over to the sink to start on the dishes while Larxened brooded over her tea.

"So, you said some new guy showed up to take over the company?" Marluxia asked, deciding it was best to move the conversation on to a different topic. Larxene looked up, seeming thoughtful.

"Yeah.. Xemnas said he was from our parent company DTD Enterprises. His name is Xehanort. Creepy old guy.. had these eyes that stared right through you," she said, biting her lip. Marluxia set aside the plate he'd been scrubbing and turned to face her.

"You think he's troubled?" he inquired, reading her expression. She nodded reluctantly, taking another swig of her tea.

"Axel thought so too.." she said, trailing off. Marluxia sighed and went back to the dishes as Larxene began to brood again.

"Just be careful, Larx. If he's looking to get rid of people and take over, your cold war with Axel will be a perfect excuse," Marluxia warned.

"Can you believe her?" Axel demanded, munching on a hamburger more vigorously than necessary. "I don't owe her anything and just decide to warn her out of the goodness of my expansive heart, and she acts like a total bitch!"

Xion and Roxas exchanged looks. There was no stopping Axel when he was on one of his fiery tirades.

"She is a total bitch," Roxas said, chewing on a French fry. "I mean last week she was walking by and threw a pen at my head! It was one of those really heavy, fancy ones too. Left a giant bump. And then she had the nerve to ask for it back!"

This time, Xion and Axel exchanged looks. Axel couldn't help but snicker as he watched Roxas pick out another fry.

"Did you?" he asked, smirking. Roxas looked up, an adorable innocent pout on his face.

"Maybe.." he answered evasively, causing Axel and Xion to laugh. Once the laughter had died down, Xion looked at Axel and bit her lip. Axel raised an eyebrow, knowing that was her sign that she wanted to ask a question.

"Spill it, Xion," he said, sipping on his soda. Xion looked surprised, apparently unaware of her call sign.

"Well.. I was wondering how you guys broke up," she said timidly. When she'd been first hired, the pair had already split ways. Roxas looked uneasy, glancing at Axel, who sighed and shifted his gaze away.

"It's a long story..." the redhead said quietly, emerald green eyes looking downcast. Xion felt guilty for broaching such an obviously tender subject, but she'd noticed something in Axel's eyes she couldn't ignore.

"Axel.. you still like her, don't you?" she asked softly. Axel looked stunned by Xion's words, but quickly give a small, melancholic laugh.

"Yeah, I guess I still haven't quite gotten over her," he said, smiling sadly. "We were like fire and lightning, you know? When we were together it was just.. explosive."

"Maybe that's the problem," Xion said, resting a hand on his own. "You're both too hotheaded and emotional. If you just sat down and.. talked things out.."

"It's too late for that," Axel snapped, eyes flashing angrily. Xion shrank back, hanging her head apologetically.

"Axel.." Roxas said reprovingly, rubbing Xion's shoulder. He knew how tender the girl could be. Axel ran a hand through his hair before heading to the counter and returning with three ice cream bars in hand.

"Three sea salt ice creams," he said, smiling like his old self. Xion and Roxas could see that it was somewhat forced, but they weren't about to press the matter.

"Want to eat them from the old station clocktower?" Roxas asked, beaming excitedly. Axel laughed and reached over to mess up the blonde's hair.

"You're such a kid, you know that?" he laughed, standing up. "All right, the clocktower it is."

The next morning, Larxene swept her antennae away from her face as she huffed frustratedly at her computer. Someone had decided to come in early that day and loosen the screws on her chair. As a result, she'd yanked her keyboard off the desk in her fall, and now it seemed half the keys weren't working.

"A_el, y_u s_n _f a b_tc_!" she typed furiously. She glanced up to see him strolling to the bathroom, looking mightly pleased with himself. A sly smile crept onto Larxene's face, and she slid out of her office and into Axel's.

"Yeah, Xigbar, I've got it right here on my desk," Axel said, walking into his office with the co-head of advertisement. The two moved over to the desk, where Axel sat down and logged himself into his computer.

There was a moment's silence before Xigbar broke in with a well-timed, "Dude.."

There as Axel's background was a naked man, laying on his stomach on a bearskin rug, looking seductively up at the camera. Axel flushed several shades of red as Xigbar began to laugh loudly.

"This.. is not what it looks like," Axel protested, looking at Xigbar with mingled horror and fury. Xigbar laughed and backed away toward the door, shaking his head.

"Whatever you say, dude. This sure explains the breakup.."

With that, he left the room, still snickering to himself. Xion peeked her head in, looking curiously at Axel's furious expression, like a strawberry about to explode.


It would have been nice to say the day got better after that, but it didn't. After several more malicious pranks, they had a rather disastrous meeting with Xemnas and Xehanort. Larxene managed to make Axel late by setting his clocks back ten minutes before excusing his lateness on his sensitive bladder issues, and Axel managed to interrupt her every other sentence to interject a "you" or "I" for "we" before she gave him a look that said she'd tear out his trachea if he so much as breathed before she was done. Larxene could almost have excused that - almost - until she'd handed Xemnas the list of papers from their report and found an order for a black lace thong in her name mixed among the papers. Xemnas' look of cold disapproval haunted her all the way back to her office.

"How did it go, Larxene?" Namine asked timidly. Larxene made no reply, but marched quietly into her office, reappearing a few moments later with a small bottle of nail-polish remover. Namine watched her stalk into Axel's empty office before jumping up and running after her.

"Larxene, no!" she pleaded, latching onto the taller woman's arms as Larxene furiously struggled to empty the bottle of toxic chemicals into Axel's coffee.

"I'll kill him! I'll kill that son of a bitch!" she roared, trying to shake poor Namine loose.

"Well, well, what's this?" Axel said, waltzing through the door. Namine squeaked and scampered out of the room as Larxene threw her off and marched up to Axel, so close their faces were almost touching.

"You listen to me, you giant sack of steaming crap," she hissed, poking him hard in the chest with every insulting word. "I have worked way too hard for this job to have you ruin it to me. Screw with me all you like, but bring it into a meeting like that again and so help me God some jogger will find you floating in a river the next day."

Axel glared down at her, but before he could respond there was a clearing of a throat by the door.

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything?" Xehanort said, eyes flashing malevolently. This was bad. Very bad. Larxene quickly pretended to dust something of Axel's shirt to excuse the proximity and move back, smiling disarmingly at the old man.

"No, of course not," she responded pleasantly. "Did you need something, Mr. Xehanort?"

The old man clasped his hands behind his back, appearing businesslike.

"Yes, I rather enjoyed your presentation today. From what I understand from Xemnas, the two of you did an excellent job at a convention in Tokyo he had you attend some time ago. There's a marketing convention of several businesses in the area over in London and we were hoping you two oculd attend again."

If Larxene had been expecting anything, it certainly hadn't been that. She nearly choked on her saliva, and Axel shot her a warning look.

"Yes, we'd love the opportunity," he said quickly, and Larxene had to give him some grudging credit for having an award-winning poker face. Xehanort smiled a warm smile that did not travel to his eyes.

"That's good to hear. We'll make the arrangements then," he said. "Have a good day."

With an ominous look, he left the office, leaving a stunned Larxene and silent Axel. After a moment, Larxene turned on Axel, looking furious.

"What the hell did you say yes for?" she demanded, seething. He gave her a scathing look, moving back to his desk.

"What are you daft?" he said, folding his arms. "I'm telling you, he's aiming to get rid of people, and we're prime targets. Turning down this opportunity or screwing it up is a perfect excuse. If you're so determined to hang onto your job, you're going to have to deal with it."

She hated to admit that he was right. She shook furiously for a moment before stomping back to her office, ignoring the squeak of fright from Namine as she passed.

It would seem the universe was determined to royally screw her over.

Nightshroud: Well, I hope you all enjoyed it. ^^ Yes, another business trip in the works. We know how well those work out for our couple, don't we? :P Please review and let me know what you think!