Most members of the Organization wondered why their Number XI even bothered investing in an alarm clock, as he was always up before the alarm sounded for him to wake. It never failed that the Assassin would be mostly dressed and ready to begin the day when the ring from the clock sounded, which he would instantly silence with a push of the button.
Today was different though. Today Number XI was nowhere to be found when the alarm sounded. He had gotten up far earlier than usual, dressed solemnly and silently, and left his room without a second thought of the alarm that would soon sound. Which it did, much to the annoyance of those who took up rooms near the Assassin, and the ringing continued until a very angry Nymph went to silence it forever.
Marluxia was long gone by this time, already making his way through the hallways of their large castle, an almost panicked expression on his face.
"This has to be my year
Oh, please let it be my year
Marluxia had to contain himself from clasping his hands and twisting them. He wasn't normally like this of course, but today was different. Today had him worried, he hated to admit. Today was
"Well hey there, Marly, what the hell has you terrified today?"
Marluxia's head snapped so quickly in the direction of the speaker that he appeared much more paranoid than he had intended too.
"Damnit, Axel, I don't have time for you today!"
Axel tilted his head slightly, until a vicious smile came to his lips.
"Oh yeah, that must mean that today is-"
"Silence, Axel, I don't have time for your taunting."
"Yeah, since you lost last year, and the year before that."
Marluxia glared at the Flurry, daring him to speak another word. Axel ignored his friend, smiling his best cocky grin.
"I'll see you later then, Marly, after the 'big event.'"
Axel laughed as he walked away, Marly raising an eyebrow in contemplation of what he would do to get the Flurry back.
He gave a very dignified, "Hmph!" and turned on his heels, continuing in the direction he had been going.
Damn Axel and his interruptions. Didn't he know how important today was!?
"Oh please, not again, not this year
What were the chances of losing three years in a row, right
? They were small, weren't they? Yes, yes of course. Marluxia resisted the urge to twist his hands again.
He walked into one of the castle's living rooms in this state, quickly glancing around the room and finding that while he wasn't alone, his enemy hadn't arrived yet
Saïx looked up from the book he had been reading, watching as Marluxia gave an uncharacteristic wave towards him before sitting on the couch next to Xigbar. Marluxia then turned to stare at the TV.
"Can I change it?"
Xigbar tilted his head slightly, trying not to smile at Marluxia's strange appearance.
"Since when have you liked TV?"
"I don't, but-"
"Ah yes." Saïx suddenly said, shaking his head. "It must be your favorite day of the year, then."
Xigbar smiled fully now, laughing a little.
"You gonna win this time, Marly?"
"Oh, I hope so
"Marluxia, I know that today is an important day and all that, but must you two act so childish every year?"
Marluxia looked towards Saïx, slight paranoia still in his eyes.
"You just don't understand, Saïx. Whatever happens today will grant bragging rights for the entire year, but only to one person. The other person is going to suffer for a year, and for the past two years that person's been me
But not this year! This year is my year, and then I will make him suffer!"
"Payback's a bitch." Xigbar intoned, while Saïx closed his eyes and rested his fingers against his temples.
"Indeed. Worse than that, when dealing with these two
Marluxia jumped up from the couch so fast that no one had seen him move. He stood straight and held his head high, trying his best to look like his usual self.
Saïx merely opened his eyes to greet the newcomer as Xigbar smiled at the scene.
Marluxia held his head a little higher.
Vexen nodded at everyone in the room, before coming in and smiling at Marluxia.
"So, are you ready for another year of torture?"
"Oh yes, but this time I'm ready to be the one inflicting the pain. You better watch yourself, Vexen. Watch your back..."
Saïx couldn't help holding his head in his hands.
Xigbar smiled at the display before him, happily standing up and putting his hand on Marluxia's shoulder.
"We'll just leave you two to your fun. I'll go get the bubbly ready to either celebrate your victory, or to soothe your defeat."
Marluxia nodded as Xigbar waved once to Vexen, before warping from the room.
Saïx closed his book and stood, shaking his head at them.
"Well, good luck to both of you."
Both nodded, Saïx shaking his head once more before leaving the room.
Vexen and Marluxia stared at each other, before they both nodded and sat beside each other on the couch, Marluxia changing the TV channel and both staring at it intently.
"This is my year, Vexen, you just watch."
"Oh Marluxia, I'm sorry to tell you that there's a chill in the air this morning; clearly a good sign for me."
"Please Vexen, that chill is your victory going cold, which must mean that this is my year to reign supreme."
"We'll see, Marluxia, we'll see."
"Come on, let me win
Please, oh please let me take it this year!"
Both leaned forward a slight bit, eyes gazing at the TV.
"You're going down this time, Vexen."
"I don't think so, Marluxia. I rather like my winning streak of the past couple of years. I don't think that I'm quite ready to give that up yet."
Marluxia laughed once, a cocky edge to his tone.
"It doesn't matter if you're ready or not, Vexen, because this is my year. My year, Vexen! You just watch, I can feel it!"
Vexen side-glanced the Assassin, a slight paranoia hidden in his eyes as well.
The newscaster suddenly changed broadcasts and a video began playing, both men leaning forward even more.
"This is it! You'll see now, Vexen!"
"Yeah, see that I'm the winner once more!"
The man in the video began talking, looming closer to the main event.
"Oh come on, come on, let it be me
" Marluxia mumbled, rocking back and forth slightly.
Beside him, Vexen actually had his fingers crossed.
"Come on, let it be me again
I've got this one like last year, just, come on
The man continued talking.
"Oh, announce it already!" Marluxia yelled, practically jumping up.
"And the prediction is
Both men held their breath.
"Shadow, there's a shadow!"
A scream of a prolonged "No!" echoed through the castle, intertwining with a cheer of "Yes!" that ended in a very happy victory laugh.
At the same time of the cries, Marluxia fell forward, hanging his head in shame, while beside him Vexen jumped up and threw his fists in the air, a smile on his face.
"Six more weeks of Winter! That means I win again!"
Marluxia looked up at the TV, shaking his head pitifully.
"There must be some kind of mistake
"Oh no, the groundhog has spoken. Six more weeks of Winter for me, and then Spring for you."
Marluxia looked at the groundhog on TV, wondering what he had done to anger the creature. This just wasn't fair
"Well Marluxia, this has been a very fun morning. Well, for me at least."
"Yes Vexen, it has been exciting, at the very least. So, next year?"
"Of course. Same time?"
Vexen smiled, turning and walking to the door.
"Well, I have work to get back to now. Better luck next year. Loser."
And with that he was gone, leaving Marluxia shaking his head in shame behind him.
Yes, better luck next year indeed
There was always next year. Next year would be his year. He could feel it. And when he did win again
Marluxia smiled evilly, laughing slightly. Next year, Vexen
Still smiling, he stood and turned off the TV, thoughts of next year swirling in his mind.
Damn, he loved Groundhog's Day.