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When You're Evil and Dead
By: Sforzie

Chapter 15: Lady Palazzo

"Kefka, I think now would be a good time to leave," Kuja said. He make a faint moan of reply before slumping further. His head landed on her thigh. Kuja sweatdropped, her brow twitching. "Kefka!"

"I don't wanna go to school, mommy..." Kefka muttered into her leg.

Kuja growled and pulled him up by the ponytail. "Kefka Palazzo, get up or they're gonna lock you up!"

His eyes popped open. "Oww! But Kuja, you said you wouldn't let them lock me up!"

"I didn't expect my relative to be a psycho," Kuja said, eyeing Azera as she pulled a whistle out from somewhere.

"Then maybe we should get the hell out of here?" Kefka said, wincing as Kuja released her grip on his hair. She nodded curtly.

Azera blew the whistle loudly, causing both villains to cringe. "Guards! We have two residents attempting to escape!"

Kuja and Kefka fled for the cafeteria's exit, but were intercepted by two big ugly demon guards.

"And where do you think you're going?" the guards sneered down at them.

"We were just leaving!" Kuja said with a nervous laugh.

"Lock them up!" Azera shouted, not very far behind.

The guards looked down at Kuja and Kefka again, then shook their heads. "But we can't, Ms. Tribel."

"What?! Why not?!"

"She's got a visitor's pass, and he's Mr. Palazzo," one of the guards said.

"Yeah, he hasn't been admitted yet, so we can't lock him up," the other guard said.

"You have to be kidding me!" Azera stomped her foot.

"Sorry, ma'am..."

"Then I'll just have to deal with her myself...." Azera looked to where they'd been standing. "Hey, where'd they go?!"

 

Kefka and Kuja gasped for breath when they finally came to a stop several blocks away from Hell's Bells.

"That was close," Kefka wheezed. Kuja nodded in agreement.

"I'm starting to wish I didn't have any relatives," Kuja said, sitting down for a moment. "They all seem to be really really short tempered.."

"Even Zidane?"

She nodded. "Even Zidane. Well, maybe not quite as bad as the others..."

"You're lucky though, you have a brother," Kefka said after a moment. Kuja looked at him doubtfully.

"I really don't see how that's lucky."

Kefka shrugged. "I was an only child."

Kuja considered this, getting back to her feet. "I have a brother but no parents..."

"You've got a creator."

"True... But what about you, Kefka? You had parents, didn't you?" Kuja wondered. Kefka shifted uncomfortably.

"I don't remember them," he said. "The infusion I got wiped most of my childhood memories..."

"Oh, I'm sure you at least know what happened to them," she persisted.

"Well.." Kefka hesistated.

"Come on, Keffy, you've met the closest thing I have to family. You could at least tell me what you remember about yours."

He shuffled his feet. "Well.. okay..." Kefka looked at a burning column of flame as they started an aimless walk. "My dad was the lord of an estate give to him by the emperor. That's why I was able to get into the royal troops so easily."

"Where are they now?"

"My dad's in heaven, my mom's down here in hell," Kefka said quickly. "The emperor killed them off a little while after I got the infusion... They were both going to go to hell, but my mom took the blame for my father, so that he'd be able to get into heaven."

"The blame for what?"

A tiny frown crept across Kefka's lips. "For me. For being my parents."

"That's pretty harsh punishment just for being your parents," Kuja said in surprise. "They weren't responsible for what happened to you."

Kefka shrugged. "That's just the way things are. But my mom was a saint during life, she should've been the one to get into heaven."

"Do you ever see her?"

"I've visited her a few times," Kefka said. "She lives in a condo down by the lake of fire... quite a scenic location."

"Is she mad at you?"

He blinked. "What for?"

Kuja shrugged. "I dunno. Seems my relatives were none too pleased with my world-destroying habits."

Kefka smiled thinly. "My mom doesn't hold it against me. To her I'm still the innocent, ignorant little teenager I was when I went to join the royal military. She doesn't blame me for what I did."

"That's awfully nice of her."

He looked wistful for a moment. "Yeah, she was always nice."

"Hey, why don't you go pay her a visit?" Kuja suggested. "She might like to see you."

"Maybe..." Kefka absently twirled a finger in the tip of his ponytail. "It has been a while..."

"I'll go with you, if you want," she offered. Kefka perked.

"Uwee! Really?"

"Sure. You've had to put up with Zidane, Garland, and Azera. I should return the favor."

Kefka giggled. "Okay! We'll go visit my mom!" He took her by the arm and led her off in the direction of the lake of fire.

"Kefka, are you sure you're not still the innocent, ignorant little teenager that your mother remembers?" Kuja laughed as she was nearly dragged by Kefka.

"Nonsense!" Kefka smiled brightly. "I'm neither innocent nor ignorant anymore! And I'm not a teenager either."

"How old were you when you died?" Kuja wondered.

"Let's see... um... thirty-something. I don't remember exactly." At Kuja's doubtful look he laughed. "Honest! The magitek stuff slowed my aging process down, so I don't look much older than I did when I first got the infusion."

"Hence your mother's general confusion."

"Maybe," he giggled. "You rhymed."

"How observant of you..."

 

It took a while to walk to where Kefka's mother lived, but neither really seemed to mind. Kefka hopped along with a strangely boyish enthusiasm, and Kuja watched on in amusement. (Author's note: If that had been a musical, there would have been some cheesy number right here...)

Their path eventually became blocked by a large gate. There was a guard manning the gate, and he glared down at the pair as they approached.

"None shall pass," the guard growled.

"Oh, come on Larry, let me in! I'm here to see my mom!" Kefka shouted up at the guard.

"None shall pass," the guard droned again.

"I wanna see my mom! Lady Palazzo! Now let me in!" Kefka hopped a few times. The guard pulled off his sunglasses and peered down at Kefka.

"Oh, it's you, Kefka. I thought some other nut was trying to get in."

"Very funny. I'm one of a kind!"

"And for that the universe is thankful," the guard snickered. "All right, just a second."

"What was that all about?" Kuja wondered as the guard disappeared.

"It's a very exclusive place to live," Kefka explained, taking her by the arm. "They don't let non-relatives in."

"Then what about me?"

"You're my guest," Kefka grinned.

"Oh..."

The guard appeared down at the foot of the gates. "Sorry about the confusion, Mr. Palazzo. Have a nice stay."

"No problem, Larry."

"Mr. Palazzo, eh? How upper-class."

"I know," Kefka scrunched his nose up. "Isn't it horrible?"

"Just dreadful," Kuja laughed.

Kefka looked around. "C'mon, this way!"

Kefka led the way up to the third floor of one of the condos.

"Mom lives in 213C," Kefka said chipperly.

"You seem awfully excited to see her," Kuja noted.

"Uwee hee hee," Kefka giggled, but didn't comment. He stopped in front of the door to 213C and rang the doorbell.

There was a pause, but eventually Kuja heard footsteps approaching on the other side of the door.

The door flew open, revealing an angry looking black-haired woman standing behind it.

"Get off the porch, you cad! I just swept!" the woman whacked Kefka over the head with a broom, ignoring Kuja.

"Ow! Ow! Stop it! Mo-om!!" Kefka covered his head, trying to defend himself.

"Is that my darling Keffy I hear?" another voice lilted from inside the doorway.

"Gah! Stoppit!" Kefka continued his ducking.

"You stupid little creep, how dare you come back here again and bug the Lady!" the black-haired woman stopped hitting him, but held the broom ready.

"She's my mother, I can bug her if I want!"

"Not while I'm here!"

"All right, Koura, you've had you fun, now leave Kefka alone," another woman said as she appeared. She was best described as a female version of Kefka. She was a bit shorter, but had the same blonde hair, pale skin, and freaky blue eyes. She was wearing a violet colored housecoat. Her eyes glimmered with a warped enthusiasm as she shooed the black haired woman away.

"I can't believe you still have her as a housekeeper, Mom," Kefka whined faintly, rubbing his forehead.

"She's your cousin, Keffy," Lady Palazzo said dismissively. "And she can clean. Why should I get rid of her?"

"'Cause she's mean to me!"

The Lady chuckled, pulling Kefka into a bear hug. "Aw, but she's just jealous that our side of the family is better looking."

Kefka sweatdropped. "Yeah."

"Oh, well, I shouldn't keep you standing outside! Come in, my dear boy, come in!"

"Uh, but Mom...." Kefka resisted his mother's tug on his arm.

"What is it, Kefka?" she blinked at him curiously.

"Uh... I brought a friend..." Kefka pointed at Kuja, who was partially hidden behind him.

Lady Palazzo pulled out a pair of delicate glasses and perched them on her nose. "Hm? Oh! So you did!" She looked at Kuja critically, apparently noticing her for the first time. "She can come in too."

"Thank you," Kuja said softly.

For living in a condo in hell, Lady Palazzo was fairly well off. Koura grumbled as she went off into the kitchen. Lady Palazzo led Kefka and Kuja to the sitting room, which happened to have a nice view of the lake of fire.

"Now, let's have a look at you," the Lady said, adjusting her glasses. Kefka gave an embarassed 'uwee', and turned to look out the window. Lady Palazzo circled around Kuja.

Kuja recognized the keen look the Lady was giving her. Kefka had used it on her many times when they first met.

"Ooh, a tail..." the Lady hummed to herself as she peered at the appendage. The tip of Kuja's tail had anxiously curled out from under her skirt. It ducked back into hiding when Lady Palazzo poked at it.

The Lady finally concluded her inspection of Kuja, and stood in front of her. She took her glasses off and put them away.

"Well, young lady, what's your story?" she pointed to a chair, and Kuja sat obediently.

"I...uh...sit at Kefka's table?" Kuja offered, unsure what else to say.

"Hmm..." Lady Palazzo peered at her thoughtfully. "The real story."

Kuja blushed and glanced at Kefka's backside. He shrugged.

"Well... I...." Kuja looked at her hands. "I was an evil mass-murderer, blew up my home planet, tried to destroy all of existence, got killed, was sent to hell where I became a woman..." Kuja looked at Kefka again. "...I was sent to the same place where Kefka is condemned. I sat at his table--or at least, he let me because he thought I was hot. And that's about it."

"Much better," Lady Palazzo nodded. Kuja blinked. "So, are you his girlfriend or a stalking victim?"

Kuja blushed again.

"She's...something in between," Kefka said, finally turning away from the window.

"The girl has a tongue, she can speak for herself," Lady Palazzo snapped at her son. He made an apologetic noise and plunked himself into the chair adjacent to Kuja. "Well?"

".... voluntary stalking victim?" Kuja offered. Kefka giggled.

"Works for me," Lady Palazzo smiled. She turned her attention back to Kefka. "So what brings you here today?"

"I just wanted to see how you were," Kefka said. "After all, I haven't visited in a while."

"She guilted you into it, didn't she," the Lady said, indicating Kuja.

"A little bit."

Lady Palazzo smirked at Kuja. "Good work."

"Thank you..." Kuja tilted her head, flushing slightly. "Pardon me for asking, but do you have a bathroom?"

"Of course!" Lady Palazzo pointed down the hallway. "Third door on the right."

"Excuse me for a minute," Kuja said, hurrying off to the bathroom. Mother and son watched her depart.

"So what's wrong with her?" Koura's voice called from the other side of the room.

"There's nothing wrong with her!" Kefka said defensively.

"Oh please," Koura laughed. "If enough of the voices in your head could agree that they like her, then there must be something wrong with her."

Kefka snorted in annoyance. "Nonsense. They all agree."

"Like I said."

"There's nothing wrong with her!" Kefka pouted for a moment. "She's a lot nicer than you, at least."

"Very funny."

"Why don't you two grow up?" Lady Palazzo sighed.

"Yeah, why don't you quit picking on me?" Kefka said, hands on his hips.

"You killed me, you feather-headed freak!" Koura hissed. "I'm going to pick on you for the rest of eternity!"

"Oh, that's right," he gave her a self-satisfied smirk. "I did kill you."

"Now, now, it might have been an accident," Lady Palazzo said.

"He tied me up, had me tarred and feathered, and then fed my remains to his pet chocobos!!"

"I had to make sure she was really dead," Kefka said. "But then, I did that to a lot of people."

"I hate being one of your sadistic statistics."

Kefka smirked. "Not like you can do anything about it now."

Koura reached for her broom. "I'm sure I'll think of something eventually."

"Uwee..." Kefka looked at the broom nervously. "I'm going to go see what's keeping Kuja so long."

Lady Palazzo looked on curiously as Kefka scurried off down the hall.

"Why does he get so nervous around brooms?"

"Bad experience when he was in the royal military," Koura smirked.

"Kuja-doll, are you okay?" Kefka adjusted his cloak as he arrived outside the bathroom door. It was cracked open, but no response came. "Kuja-doll?"

Still no response. He poked his head in the door. Kuja was standing at the sink, staring raptly in the mirror.

"Whatcha looking at?" Kefka wondered, looking between Kuja and her reflection.

Her voice was detatched when she finally spoke. "I'd forgotten how much fun it was to just stare at myself in the mirror..."

"Hmm?" Kefka looked at her with an amused expression.

"It's hard to be a narcissist when you don't have mirrors around you," Kuja smirked, breaking her stare as she looked at him.

"That's what you've got me for," Kefka grinned. "And Sephiroth too, unfortunately."

"Who needs mirrors when you've got people to tell you that you look good, eh?" Kuja laughed, looking back at the mirror for a moment and running her fingers through her hair.

Kefka cringed as he heard Koura shouting something in the other room. "You want to go for a drink?"

She looked back at him. "I thought you don't drink."

He heard his name come up in whatever Koura was bitching about. "I feel like a drink all the sudden...."

----

end chapter 15