How to Train Your Dragoon

"You are telling me," Golbez was telling Baigan, "you are telling me that the soul-stained dark knight that you and the Archfiend of Water have been grooming for years on end has gone missing in the Valley of Mist, and you intend to replace him with this...mangled heap of a former Dragoon captain here, who was nearly killed by a seven-year-old girl." Golbez gestured at the infirmary bed, where a mangled heap of a former Dragoon captain was trying not to die from wounds inflicted by a seven-year-old girl (and her pet summoned Titan).

Baigan's right arm hissed. "He is the best we have left." His left arm hissed too. "There is no one else."

"Perhaps you should not have allowed all the other candidates for Supreme Lackey to the Dark Lord to be eaten by those arms of yours," Golbez, Clad in the Dark, suggested darkly.

Baigan cringed. "It was Kainazzo who ate them, my lord. He is a voracious eater, that turtle."

"Kainazzo? Don't you mean Cagnazzo?"

"I'm pretty sure it's Kainazzo," Baigan said with a surprised look. "That's what I've been calling him, and he comes when I call his name."

In the bed, Kain coughed, then wheezed out a horrible lungs-full-of-blood sound. Baigan's arms growled hungrily and he gave his lord/master/creator a guilty look.

Golbez sighed. It was just so hard to get good help nowadays. Especially when the help kept eating the other help. No wonder Baron Castle was looking so empty.

"If there is truly no one else, I suppose this Dragoon will have to do."

Baigan's snout split open in a huge toothy grin. "So we can keep him?"

"Yes, but you have to take care of him."

"Oh, we will." Baigan tried to rub his hands together in a sinister manner, except the snakes kept hissing and Baigan didn't really have any hands to speak of anymore anyway. "We will begin his 'training' immediately. It will be well done, my lord. I am looking forward to it. Kain and Kainazzo - they will make a lovely pair in their matching armour of deepest blue."

"I could have sworn it was Cagnazzo." Golbez gave his underling a perturbed look. "The Archfiends are all Italian, aren't they?"

"What?"

"Nevermind."

"I will make him bow to you willingly, my lord. Your spell will be all the more powerful for that."

Golbez nodded. "Just don't break him too much."

"Yeeeeeessss."

Kain coughed up a gout of blood all over the sheets.

"And bring in a white mage, for the moon's sake."

"Yeeeeeessss, a white mage."

As Golbez, Clad in the Dark, took his leave, Baigan hissed gleefully. A white mage indeed.

- 0 - 0 -

When Kain woke up there was a naked Rosa in his bed.

Also, he wasn't dead.

"Hello!" said Rosa. "Last night was wonderful, wasn't it?"

"It was - what?" Kain goggled at her for a bit (the goggles did nothing), pretty sure he was dreaming. He'd had plenty of dreams like this before, after all. "Did we...?"

"We did," she giggled. Giggled! Rosa did not giggle.

He patted his chest, which he was sure had had a gaping gory ghastly hole in it the last time he'd checked. What on earth had happened to it? You didn't just lose that kind of thing.

"You were in a pretty bad way, so I fixed you right up," Rosa explained brightly. She was wearing a lot of make-up today, he noticed. And she was still naked.

"Eeeeeerrrr," said Kain. "Eeerrrr."

She blinked at him prettily and leaned toward him until her face was right next to his. Lot of perfume today too, he noticed. It made him feel odd, almost dizzy, and Dragoons were not easily dizzed. But he did not have much time to think about that, because Rosa suddenly threw her arms around his neck and declared, "I have an idea! I love you so much and I know you love me, so let's do it."

"Let's what?" He was under the impression they'd already done it?

"Let's get married!"

Kain wasn't sure he'd heard right. "What?"

"That's your favourite word today, isn't it?" she giggled again, this time into his ear. "You must be channelling the spirit of Cecil. I do love airheads."

"Cecil?" Kain felt a stab of worry and guilt at that name. "Where is he? Is he all right?"

Rosa burst into tears.

It was so unlike her that Kain didn't even feel too self-conscious about her breasts pressing against his chest as he hugged her close.

"That's why I said you must be channelling his spirit," she sobbed. "He's dead."

"Dead?" Kain was already tired of hearing himself repeat everything she said, but he couldn't help it. "Dead?"

What a terrible sense of grief he felt at this news. His best friend and his rival in all things. Kain had always loved Cecil and resented him too. To hear he was so ignobly dead - it was like a lance through his heart, a completely platonic lance mind you. How could he possibly learn to love again, to fight again, after losing his Cecil?

Well, a naked Rosa in his arms sure helped.

"Yes, dead," she said solemnly. "In Mist. When he was with you. You were both caught in the same rockslide, yet you somehow lived - not that it's your fault. I wouldn't dream of blaming you. Even though you were together at the time and you somehow lived. And now he's left me all alone, except you're still here, aren't you, Kain? So you have to take his place. In my bed. Or yours, if you prefer."

"I..." Her words filled him with grief and elation both, oh how it filled him! But most of all what he felt was a terrible sense of guilt, waves and waves of it, like a fiendish tsunami of guilt, even an Archfiendish tsunami of guilt, this. "Rosa," he said reluctantly, "do you not think it too soon? You...know how I feel about you (apparently I haven't been hiding it very well), but Cecil..."

Rosa waved a hand. Hand-waving was all the rage in Baron nowadays. "If we loved him, and he is gone, we should love each other. It makes such sense, doesn't it? Oh, and the Red Wings want you as their commander, by the way."

"The Red Wings!" Kain was starting to get repetitive stress disorder from all the repeating he was doing. "But I would not dishonour Cecil by taking his post so soon after his passing. Besides, I am already the commander of the Dragoons."

Rosa waved her hand again. "You can do both. You need not live in his shadow any longer. I know your feelings on the matter."

"How did you - "

"It's pretty obvious when you consider how he got a party thrown for him just about every week since he was five and you all you ever got was spear-polishing duty. Anyway, the more important thing is that I have asked you to marry me and you have not yet given me an answer. I am hurt, Kain."

She removed her arms from his shoulders and moved away from him, taking her intoxicating perfume with her. Worst of all, her lower lip was wibbling and wobbling and he was afraid she was going to burst into tears again. There was nothing more terrifying to Kain than a crying Rosa. How could he possibly turn her down?

"I...then I will marry with you," he said, heart strangely heavy.

"You will not change your mind, right?" she asked. "Do you swear on your honour to marry me?"

"I do."

Her smile turned as rosy as her name. It blossomed across her face like a flower simile, because she was Rosa. "Wonderful. How does tomorrow sound?"

"Tomorrow?" At this point he had resigned himself to repeating everything she would ever say, forever and ever, indeed 'til death did them part. "Isn't tomorrow a little soon? Don't you need to, erm, send out invitations and arrange the food and so on?"

"My minions will take care of everything. There's hardly anyone left in the castle to invite anyway."

"You have minions?"

"I meant handmaidens. Now, what shall we do until then?" Her smile turned coy.

"Well..." He tried not to look below. "Despite having already...had conjugal relations last night, apparently, I think we should abstain from doing so again until - "

Rosa flung her arms around him again. "Let's have sex! Lots of it!" Her skin was soft, her eyes dark with promise, and her perfume wrapped its heady enchantment around him enticingly. Plus she was naked.

Who was Kain to say no to that?

- 0 - 0 -

The next day.

When Kain woke up there was a giant blue naked turtle in his bed.

Also, there was a giant blue naked turtle in his bed.

"Hello!" it said. Or rather he said, because the turtle's voice was definitively masculine. In fact it was a fearsome sound like a deep ocean roar. "How are we this morning?" When the monster smiled he showed a row of knife-like teeth.

"Gah!" Kain jumped out of bed, wishing he had his spear and maybe some clothes to hide his other...spear. "Get back, monster!"

"What's wrong?" the turtle giggled. Giggled! Turtles did not giggle. "Last night was wonderful, wasn't it?"

"It was - what?" Kain goggled. (The goggles did nothing.) (He really wished they would do something.)

Wait. Hadn't he had this exact same conversation with Rosa yesterday?

Meanwhile, the turtle was wriggling forward on all fours in a disturbingly seductive manner. "Why are you so surprised to see your future wife in bed with you?"

"Future wife?" Kain croaked, not even caring about the redundancy of his redundance because he had a horrible suspicion brewing suspiciously in his mind. "What have you done with Rosa?"

"What do you mean? I am - " the monster paused, blinking its pupil-less eyes. "Oh dear. Do I not have my glamour on? This is what I get for sleeping on the job. Or rather sleeping with someone on the job."

"Oh hells."

"Yes, that's where I'm from."

"Do you mean to say I slept with you?" Kain felt sick at the thought. "You fiend!"

"Hey! We fiends are people too. Well," the fiend considered, "sort of people. When we bother. The Archfiend of Earth never bothers though. He is just a rotting shambling mess. Consider yourself lucky you didn't sleep with him. Anyway, if you already know my true nature I suppose I needn't bother putting on my glamour for the wedding."

"There will be no wedding!" Kain cried indignantly and started searching for his spear to kill this thing because oh god what if it was pregnant? Could the turtle get pregnant? Where was Kain's spear, damn it?

A dreadful grinding laugh issued forth from the maw of the bald blue beast. "Don't bother. My armour is impenetrable to all but the most powerful magics. Although," the turtle leered toothily, "you did penetrate it quite thoroughly last night."

"Aaaaaauuuggghhh," Kain aaaauuuuggghhed.

"Maybe this time we'll try it without the glamour."

"Aaaaaauuuggghhh," Kain aaaauuuuggghhed again.

It was too much. Too much horror all at once. Horrible, horrible horror.

He blacked out.

(Or perhaps the author got lazy. Either way, the scene transitioned to another scene.)

- 0 - 0 -

When Kain came to, he was lying face-down on a red carpet and King Baron was looking down at him with a look unfathomable sadness.

Also, the turtle was there and it was wearing a wedding dress.

Kain started hitting his head repeatedly against the stone floor.

"Stop him!" someone hiss-yelled in an oddly familiar voice. The sound was weird enough that Kain had to stop trying to murder himself to see who it was. He looked to his left and saw -

"Baigan? What happened to you?"

The captain of the guard - if that was truly who this monstrosity was - shrugged his snakey shoulders - his arms were literally snakes - and said, "We all make different life choices."

"Indeed," said the king gravely. His voice echoed in the dank dungeonous air and torchlight flicked over his face ominously. Kain guessed they were in the basement of the castle. The king was sitting on a golden throne that seemed to be an exact replica of the throne upstairs. Red carpet spilled down from his kingly dais. "Kain, you know I have always thought of you as my son, and have loved you just as well as I love Cecil, or nearly so. If you wish to live this...alternative life-style, then I shall respect your 'life choices,' as they are called nowadays - "

Kain started hitting his head on the floor again.

"Now, dear." The turtle used its teeth to grasp the back of Kain's armour to force him to stop hurting himself. Thank the moon that Kain at least had armour now and wasn't lying in front of the king naked. But the turtle's actions just reminded Kain that his future "wife" didn't even have hands, just four oddly muscular legs, plus a long wily tail. And the monster was bald! Kain was too young to marry anyone who was bald.

"Let go of me!"

"You can just stay down if you're going to act like that," the turtle admonished, then plunked itself down on top of Kain to keep him from moving. Unsurprisingly, the massive monster was really heavy.

"Kainazzo tops Kain!" Baigan cackled. "So much blue, so much blue. I knew this was a good idea."

"Why are you doing this?" Kain groaned from beneath the plated shell. "Why do you wish us to marry? Why shame me before my king?"

"But didn't we promise to love each other always?" The turtle tittered. The sound was not unlike being sucked into a fathomless whirlpool of dread. "And we summoned your father-king to the ceremony because we need two witnesses, dearest. Baigan is the other. Now we only need the minister..."

"And he is here," said a new voice. A voice deeper even than the fiendish turtle's, if that was possible.

From behind him, Kain heard the heavy clank of armoured steps and was filled with an earnest sense of oh god I am fucked. It wasn't just that he was lying on the floor of a dirty Baron basement with all these perverted monsters around him. It was more than that. A haze of purple evil seemed to cover his sight, and it had to be purple because purple was the colour of evil. (Kain had seen Cecil use his Soul Eater often enough to know.) Clang, clang, clang, the footsteps approached as if the bells of destiny were ringing a dark and terrible tune. It was a stride laden with darkness. Everything about this man was dark. He was -

"Golbez, Clad in the Dark," said Baigan grandly.

"It is an honour to be married by none other than you, Lord Golbez," the turtle snickered.

Kain had the distinct impression that Golbez, Clad in the Dark, was rolling his eyes under that cavernous pit of a helmet of his.

"Let us do this quickly," said the man, if indeed he was a man and not yet another monster. He took out a piece of paper and brought it close to his face. "Do you, Cagnazzo the Drowned King - "

"Kainazzo," corrected Baigan.

"Do you, Kaignazzo the Drowned King and Archfiend of Water," Golbez said loudly, "take this man, Kain, to be your lawfully wedded husband?"

"I do," the confusingly-named turtle declared with a lusty grin.

"And do you, Kain, Captain of the Dragoons and Captain of the Red Wings - "

"When did that happen?" King Baron demanded. "Where is Cecil?"

"And DO YOU, Kain, Captain of the Dragoons and SOON-TO-BE-INSTATED Captain of the Red Wings, take this fiend to be your lawfully wedded...fiend? Is that right? It is difficult to see anything with this helmet on."

"More like sex fiend," said Baigan.

"I do not deny it," Kainazzo/Cagnazzo/whatever guffawed. "We will have lots of fun together, the Dragoon and I. We already had fun several times yesterday."

"No," Kain moaned. "That's a lie!"

"Search your feelings. You know it to be true."

"Nooooo!"

"Kain," the king (not the drowned one, the other one) implored. "Kain, I know you have a raging inferiority complex, but surely you do not want to marry this...thing."

"Of course I don't!" Kain exploded. "I would rather be thrown in the dungeons! I would rather die! I would rather do anything than marry that monster!"

"Anything?" Golbez intoned.

The world suddenly seemed to go dark and cold, or rather darker and colder because they were already in the basement and the aforementioned purple miasma was not making things any better. But as Kain looked up from his prone position and stared into Golbez's eyes - or, well, his helmet hole - his shivers became something more than a temperature-related involuntary reaction. Kain felt as if his soul was literally being sucked into that helmet hole. (In a completely platonic way of course.) It was hypnotizing, mesmerizing, magnetizing, and all other manner of words ending with -izing. It was also scary as fuck. Who was this man?

"Allow me to cast my magics on your mind, Kain of the Dragoons," Golbez decreed, voice dripping with dark promise. "Become my loyal servant and you shall be rewarded with all you have ever desired. You will be honoured by all, never to live in Cecil's shadow again. You will be Captain of the Red Wings. You will be the greatest of Baron's lords."

"Not that there are many left," Baigan muttered.

"And you shall be my lieutenant," Golbez went on as if Baigan had said nothing, "the one I shall trust to carry out my most important commands. In all things you will stand at my right hand."

Kain was left-handed and had frankly gotten tired of all the right-hand-is-right metaphors years ago. "What sort of commands?" he asked suspiciously.

"Only things you have always wanted to do," Golbez answered smoothly. "Such as having Rosa to yourself." He paused for a moment. "The real one, not the turtle sitting on your back. Your other option is to choose not to enter my service, in which case you must marry the turtle."

"You swore on your honour that you would," Kaignazzo reminded him sweetly. "'Til death do us part."

"Maybe sometimes you will let me join you in bed," added Baigan. "I'll bring snacks." His arms hissed in joyful agreement.

"Nooooo," Kain went back to moaning. He really couldn't think of any better way to express his feelings. "Nooooo."

King Baron was looking at him with such pity in his eyes - pity! Kain could not stand to be looked at with such eyes. And that's how everyone would look at him for the rest of his days if he married Kaignazzo. And he would have to have sex with not only the turtle but also the snake-man and his arms. The alternative was sounding better and better.

"If..." Kain's throat was dry, "if I let you cast your spell upon me, what will happen to me?"

"You will forget," Golbez promised. "You will forget everything of kindness and mercy and love. You will only know honour to your lord and country, and the desire to fulfill my wishes and yours."

"And can I forget that I ever slept with a turtle?"

"Yes, you can forget that too."

"And can we annul my marriage promise without dishonouring my honour?"

"We can."

"Then I agree."

"Awwww," said Kaignazzo.

Baigan patted the turtle on the back and made him get off Kain's back. He even pulled Kain to his feet. "It never would have worked out anyway. Your colours and names are just too similar."

Kaignazzo sighed. "Well, I guess we should make it official." He turned to his master. "Do you, Golbez, take Kain to be your loyal servant?"

"I do."

"And do you, Kain, take Golbez to be your lord and master?"

"I...do."

"Then by the power invested in me by the state of Baron, I now pronounce you master and servant."

"This is so beautiful!" said Baigan as he wiped a tear away.

"This is so fucked up," said King Baron as he watched Golbez start casting his spell.

- 0 - 0 -

EPILOGUE

King Baron sat on his basement throne, bored as heck.

Until one day Cecil and his crew showed up to ask him to become an Eidolon lackey.

"Your Majesty..." Cecil began with his usual trailing ellipsis points.

With him were Rosa (of course), the summoner he would be lackey to, a ninja moron of Eblan...and Kain, still wearing that blue armour and looking as clueless as ever.

"It has been a long time, my liege." Kain knelt before the throne in his ever-so-honourable way.

King Baron burst into hysterical laughter.

No one understood why.

- END -

Author's notes:

I am almost, but not quite, completely incapable of writing a serious FF4 fic.

When I first conceived of this fic, it was in a serious vein - torture, hallucinations, Cagnazzo alternatively pretending to be Rosa and Cecil, messed-up sex, etc. But it kept turning silly! Plus seventhe on dreamwidth recently mentioned she was working on a Kain mindfuck fic of her own, so that really gave me an excuse to just write crack the way I was born to. Because I am crack baby.

Actually, it's all Kain's fault. He is just an easy guy to make fun of.

The goggles thing is based on the "goggles do nothing" internet joke. As a side note, in the original version of FF6 (not FF4) the goggles relic literally did nothing due to a glitch with the evasion stat.

Cagnazzo was called Kainazzo in the original translation of FF4. My interpretation of his personality and voice mainly comes from an awesome Japanese fan remix video of the battle theme with the Four Fiends. It is hilarious and awesome and I highly recommend watching it (google "four fiends song" and it's the first hit).