This is alternate universe, written for the challenge community 10_hiddenrealms.
Title: Tempt Not the Scavengers
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Theme: 1. Ne'er shall the couple meet.
Rating: R for sexual implications and gore.
Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts and all related characters and content belong to Square Enix and Disney.
Summary: Taking this fascination with books into consideration, it was only understandable that Marluxia would eventually develop a fascination with one of the characters as well. Of course, he never realized that by doing so, he would relinquish his sanity...
Ever since Marluxia had been a child, he had possessed a fascination with literature. Learning to read had opened endless worlds to him, and from then on, he was rarely found without a book nearby. When he was a young boy, he would commonly find a secluded spot during recess, divesting the hour of play-time to devouring another book. The habit never diminished; even in high school, he would take his lunch and a novel out into the courtyard to read in a quiet place.
As Marluxia grew, so did the books he read. Fables compiled of nothing but pictures and the occasional sentence became easy-to-read short stories. Those short stories quickly progressed into complete tales, and from there developed into detailed, intricate epics. By the time he had entered his first year of secondary school, he was reading books intended for adults twice his age.
After graduating from the university he had enrolled at, having majored in English, Marluxia found a job with a local newspaper. Though he dealt with the continuous drama that was the entertainment industry on a daily basis, he was never too exhausted to forego curling up in bed with a new novel with which to indulge himself. It was a sanctuary he had made for himself since he had been young, and he was loathe to ever leave it.
Taking this fascination with books into consideration, it was only understandable that he would eventually develop a fascination with one of the characters as well.
It began as a mere interest, a simple diagnostic of the character’s role and motivations. Somehow, that had caught his attention, and he went on to analyze the character’s personality, his reactions, the way he interacted with others. He built a private file in his mind entirely for this single character.
Zexion, an illusionist’s apprentice. Manipulative, conniving, scheming. Alluring, elusive, tempting. Intelligent beyond measure, weaving an intricate web of lies and plots around both his superiors and subordinates, one that eventually crippled them and left their reign to Zexion alone.
Somehow, Marluxia too had been trapped in the web, though it was never intended for him. He wasn’t sure how he became so enamored with the character, why he was so obsessed with someone who did not in fact exist. It was unnatural, unintended, and - most of all - unwelcome.
At least, that is what he told himself when he wasn’t moaning and twisting on his bed. His imagination had concocted tantalizing images for him, and before long, they had begun to plague him as he drifted off to sleep. No normal images were these, of course. All he could see was Zexion; bucking and crying out on this same bed, backed up against a wall, bent over a desk, braced against the shower stall. It no longer mattered. He only needed to catch a glimpse of the character’s flushed features and pale limbs to be enraptured by his own imagination.
It became somewhat of a habit to lose himself to these fantasies for hours upon end every night. At first, it had been just as awkward as reading was when he was a small child, but as the indulgence continued, he soon forgot that it was his hand, the comforter, anything that would provide him some semblance of sensation. He let his mind succumb to the noises that his imaginary lover would make, the tight heat of this body. The illusion became so strong that he could barely tell the boundary between what was real and what was not.
He drifted away from his acquaintances, as he preferred the erotic company he had created for himself. When they stopped calling, he couldn’t bring himself to care. He had Zexion; why would he ever need anyone else?
His articles became unfocused and disjointed, his talent dwindling. When the newspaper fired him, Marluxia barely noticed. He simply had more time to spend with his fantasy.
He didn’t bother to find another job. When he was thrown out of his well-furnished apartment and forced to locate a room in a cheap, rundown complex in a dirtier part of the city, he did so without a qualm. He consoled himself by reading excerpts from the novel itself out loud, testing Zexion’s name on his lips in a low, murmured purr. He reveled in the sound of it.
The fictional character became Marluxia’s life, his whole purpose for living. Everything he did revolved around Zexion. He paid no heed to how he would stay in bed for days on end, doing nothing but letting this dream, this game of pretend wash over him and drag him under. He saw nothing wrong with it. In fact, he loved the act of giving in to the illusion even more than he loved what the illusion contained.
This isn’t such a terrible way to live one’s life, he thought to himself countless times, all the while picturing Zexion as the smaller man would arch against him, nails digging into his back.
Quite some time passed before Marluxia read the final chapter of the book. A part of him had been delaying it, not wanting the inevitable to happen. However, the inevitable proved to be more horrid than he had ever imagined.
Zexion, who had become a powerful sorcerer, was slaughtered brutally by the townspeople. His corpse was tied to a stake in the center of the village, left to be eaten by the crows he had befriended and raised. Even as Marluxia devoured the descriptions of Zexion’s entrails being picked at, he could feel himself fracturing. His sanity was breaking apart just as easily as Zexion’s ribs were being split, blood spilling to the cobblestone ground of the market square. His eyes were plucked out, sockets torn open by the ravens. They ripped his skin off in spiraling tendrils of flesh, flinging it from their beaks in a frenzy.
But oh, if the new images weren’t so lovely...
The illusion was shattered, and Marluxia’s mind was quick to follow.