Hey, hey! Im back, now with a new fanfic! This one is not a theme challenge and will hopefully make more sense and be chronological. I really hope for more reviews and readers.

"Some members are away. Including you." Saïx looked over at Axel. The redhead was leaning against a wall in that casual way of his. Saïx frowned. He never understood Axel's need to be or look cool, not even when they were Somebodies. "As of right now, Zexion is away on a mission with Xaldin. And you're supposed to be on a full-week mission to the Land of Dragons."

"Yeah, thanks for sending me to a cold place," Axel said sourly, glaring slightly at the other Nobody.

Saïx didn't comment, but leaned slightly at Xemnas' desk. They were the only two in the office, however. "It was the only thing that made sense. I wouldn't expect you to think about these things. You have to think about the long run, Axel."

"I get it, I get it," Axel said and scratched his neck. "But couldn't you just have sent me to Castle Oblivion or Hollow Bastion?"

"I don't think Xemnas would like to know that you're snooping around there. He's supposed to think you're elsewhere," Saïx almost snapped, and his brow seemed to furrow a bit. "Now, you're supposed to figure out what he's looking for in either Castle Oblivion or Hollow Bastion."

"I know," Axel sighed. "So far, I can't really find anything myself. Hollow Bastion is practically overrun with that Restoration Committee, and Castle Oblivion is as good as empty if you ask me."

Saïx nodded. "Keep seaching," he said simply. "And if you find something, report it."

Axel nodded and let a portal swallow him up. Before he was completely gone, he said, "You be careful. Isa."

Saïx nodded to the empty room, before he pushed away from the desk. He looked around, making sure everything was in place. Perhaps he was just getting paranoid.

In the hallway outside the office, Xigbar teleported away just before Saïx opened the door to leave.

"I could easily win Demyx over with fear alone," Marluxia said thoughtfully. "That's too easy. I don't know if I even have any use for someone like him. Roxas... Roxas has a certain dislike for the Superior and Saïx. Just with that, I could persuade him."

"What about Axel?" Larxene said, folding her arms. "The brat's always going wherever the pyro goes. I bet you have to win over Axel first."

Marluxia looked over at the Nymph. She had a point. "That may be true," Marluxia said. "But perhaps it could work the other way around too. He's rather... overprotective." He grinned.

Larxene nodded. "But then again, Axel seems to really have a problem with Saïx, who's pretty loyal to Xemnas, right? He could be persuaded too."

"Precisely," Marluxia said. "All we have to do, is to turn up the heat, so to speak. Don't worry, Larxene, I'm sure Number VIII will come around. However, the original members will be... difficult. They seem to have a past with Xemnas."

"What about Luxord?" Larxene asked, already furrowing her brow at the answer.

"He's for you to take," Marluxia drawled, before a small grin found its way to his face. "I can tell he's being careful around me, not to mention that he hangs around Xigbar to boot."

"Do we even need him?" Larxene groaned, not wanting to deal with the Gambler of Fate. If Marluxia couldn't do it, then what were her chances.

"We'll need everyone who's useful," Marluxia said sternly. "They're either with us or against us. If Luxord doesn't want to go with us willingly, then we have other methods. Find something on him, that would make him... cooperate. Luxord might not know it, but he wants power. They all do. And if they can't realize that we don't need Xemnas for that, they can die with him."

Larxene chuckled. "No need for the evil monologue..." She mumbled, knowing very well that Marluxia could hear her clearly. "I'll see what I can do with the nut-job. Maybe Xigbar knows something."

"Good," Marluxia put a hand on her shoulder. Larxene was, perhaps, the only one in the world who wouldn't get creeped out by that. "But do not underestimate Xigbar nor Luxord. Xigbar has a habit of knowing things he shouldn't, and Luxord... He's hard to understand."

"Tell me about it," Larxene said. "I told you he was nuts, didn't I?"

Luxord let out a strangled yell as his back collided with the tree. He fell to the ground with a pained gasp, but managed to somewhat cushion his fall with his arms. All the air had been knocked out of him, and he was seeing black spots in front of his eyes. He could feel the Large Body stamping its feet, ready to charge. Sucking in what little air he could get, he struggled to his feet and supported himself against the tree, making sure to keep his eyes on the Heartless. He hadn't expected the punch that sent him flying earlier. He was sure he could feel something snap.

"Bloody hell..." He mumbled, through gritted teeth. "He got me good..." He found himself chuckling like a madman. The Large Body charged, and Luxord had to throw himself out of the way – to his great chagrin – before the big Heartless collided with the tree just like he had done himself. But Luxord didn't give it time to get its bearings before he swung at it with an almost human sized card. The card and the adversary disappeared into darkness shortly after.

All the smaller Heartless that had surrounded them lingered slightly before fleeing, and Luxord sunk to the ground, clutching his side. His breathing was troubled. He squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the pain, and the dark spots, to pass. After some time, he was finally able to once again fight his way to his feet, before he opened a portal. Correcting his clothes and hair, he stepped through it, and stepped out in the Grey Area of the Castle That Never Was, where Saïx was looking awaitingly over at him.

"Well?" Saïx said in a dull tone.

"Mission mostly accomplished," Luxord mumbled tiredly and handed Saïx the files. "A few of the smaller ones got away."

"That's too bad," Saïx said, not looking at Luxord but shifting through all the sheets of paper he was holding on to. "At least you didn't fail completely. You may go."

Luxord nodded, feeling himself cheer on the inside. He really just wanted to lie down. He could feel how tender his left side was, and how it was spinning and throbbing like mad. Even the slightest touch, or jarring set it on fire.

Besides, Saïx didn't look like he needed more interruptions. Ever since Xemnas left the Castle he had left almost everything to his second in command. Saïx was hardly the type to be overwhelmed with any type of job, but Luxord did not want to make it anymore difficult. At least Xemnas had also told his original member to keep things under control. Not like Xigbar would even try, unless it bothered him. And Xaldin and Zexion were away, if he recalled correctly. That left Vexen and Lexaeus.

When Luxord finally reached his room, he was just about ready to collapse in the hallway. However, he was lucky to find strenght enough to get inside his room, get rid of the coat – he just left it on the floor, even though he would have hated that – and opening his shirt. The moment he got rid of the shirt too and looked at his side in the mirrior, he cringed visibly. The area around and on his ribs was bruised black and blue and probably many more colors than that. He slowly tried feeling the area, checking if the pain had settled the slightest. It hadn't. He withdrew his hand as if he had burnt it, and let out a hiss.

'Bandages,' he though idly, and went to his closet to find a first-aid kit. God, even walking hurt like hell. At least the small box was easy to find, since his closet was tidy and clean. He felt himself shivering slightly from the cold of only being partly dressed, and perhaps the shock of being hit that badly. He had the bandages in his hands now, but then he realized his stupidty...

There was no way he would be able apply those bandages himself without jarring his injuries too much, and that would hurt. A lot. More than it already did. And he was so tired. Maybe he should just lie down for a few minutes to calm down. Yes...

Somehow, Luxord managed to kick off his boots without the use of his hands, and he slowly and carefully sat down on the edge of his bed. It was nice to finally sit on something soft. He lay back slowly, feeling the cool fabric against his tender skin. His last thought was that he would find some help with the bandages later, and that he should perhaps cover himself up with the comfort, before he just went out cold, as darkness took over.

And it was one of those dreams again. It was raining cats and dogs, and the wind and water was whipping his face in a merciless attempt to keep him almost blind in that storm. It was also dark and cold. There was no solid ground under his feet, like standing on a ship on wild waves. Screams and thunder filled the air, only adding layers upon layers of panic and confusion. Something hit him in the back, and he was sent rolling onto wooden boards, before the storm seemed to pick up and a dark laughter boomed above the thunder itself. Then a sharp pain in his chest, bringing a sharp, cold feeling into his body...

... And yes, the Luxord angst will prevail! I hope you enjoyed the first chapter, more to come!