(The Power) Behind The Throne

The Superior’s quarters are spare and cold — a bed, a desk, a chair, and nothing else; there’s only a single white sheet on the bed, which never appears rumpled. The smell of darkness is so strong that it coats the back of the throat, and clings to the skin closer than clothing. The Superior himself appears untroubled by this, and he is often sunk so deeply in brooding over Kingdom Hearts that he seems hardly aware of the world around him at all. Even when he deigns to notice another’s presence, his gold eyes are narrow and distant, looking through his surroundings and into something else.

He’s less of a Nobody than the rest of them — or perhaps he is more, because he is more of nothing. A strong enough light would shrivel his darkness completely, but there’s nothing of the sort in the World That Never Was. When he can be bothered, there is an undeniable mangetism that entices both the eye and the attention, but very little can actually draw him out in turn. Even when Marluxia brushes questioning fingers over his throat and presses down, there is no flicker of anything in the Superior’s eyes. Like a doll he sits there and passively accepts contact, his expression utterly disinterested.

It’s the sort of thing that would bore Larxene, lovely fierce Larxene whose smile is sharper than her knives and giggles like a schoolgirl when she draws blood. Marluxia sees the challenge, though, in drawing that firefly spark of intelligence out to a place where it can grow and flourish, tendered and tempered by the minute adjustments of his hands. He stays on his feet and leans against the Superior’s chair, one hand curled at the shoulder and his other fingers pressed to the base of the throat, as though to measure the absent pulse.

When he moves his hand down, he sees the Superior’s eyelids flicker, but there’s no argument, no protest, no obstruction to his path. Marluxia allows himself a smile. He slides down the coat’s heavy zipper and presses his palm flat to the Superior’s chest, where no heart beats.

Finally there’s a response: a slow head turn and a sigh. “… Did you need something?”

“I’m just looking,” Marluxia purrs. He slides his hand down further, stops when his fingers brush the jut of hipbone. “My own experiment, perhaps.” He leans further down, pressing his cheek to the Superior’s temple. “There’s nothing wrong with that, right?”

Someone else might tense — Larxene would laugh and give him her throat long enough for her to get a knife to his back — but the Superior just sits passively, allowing the touch without protest. His gold eyes are don’t blink before they slide closed.

In a lot of ways, he’s like that cute little doll-witch that’s been picked up, that fragile little thing who would snap if pressed too hard. She cannot fight, and so she doesn’t, and the Superior could fight, but doesn’t — and they both yield to his direction, never once fighting. They have the power, but they do nothing with it, never fighting back, hardly able to handle themselves. Without someone’s guiding hand, they remain passive, all their lovely potential going to waste.

Marluxia smiles when the Superior’s breath hitches, just subtly, and again when those strange gold eyes slide shut for just a moment..

After, he pulls his hand back and uses paints a damp line across the arch of the Superior’s cheekbone. He presses his lips to that mark — not really a kiss, more a mocking parody thereof.

“I’ll be going, then,” he purrs, and saunters out, taking the actual door as he goes.

+++

Xemnas blinks like a sleeper waking. He lifts a hand and produces a handkerchief, wipes his cheek down with it.

He makes a note, in the margin of his current report, to have Axel watch Marluxia — and Larxene too, for that matter; they spend too much time whispering together, as though they expect to not be noticed.

Pest control dealt with, he returns to work.

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