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Disclaimer: Square owns all its Final Fantasy characters. The rest is mine! Mwahahaha... (All flames shall be met with a mocking scornful laugh, because my armor has Flameproof on it. :P)
(This one's a bit serious. But...um...yeah! Part of it was actually written way back when Chapter 27 was written, so...we'll see if it still works. ^^; )

When You're Evil and Dead
By: Sforzie

Chapter 30: Reconstruction of the Gods

"Spill it, blondie."

"I don't really remember much from the beginning," Kefka said. "Those things are thought to be bad, and locked away in a leeeeetle part of the memory, never to be re-examined. Those who unlock the memory and dwell on it too long end up right back where they started. In Hell's Bells...."

 

*past*

When he had first arrived in Hell, he’d been in pieces. Literally. With a mind as shattered as his mortal form, he’d been sent straight to Hell’s Bells. And that’s where he stayed for a very long time, even though he would never quite remember it all…

“Alright, let’s take a look at him…”

“Damn, is he supposed to look that horrible?”

“Based on the files, yes, he’s supposed to look like that.”

“Poor pathetic son-of-a-bitch.”

“Yeah…”

Two workers stared through the glass at the figure in the observation room.

“We need to do something about the wings though, he keeps knocking the aides away with ‘em.”

“We could clip them.”

“Very funny, Azera.”

“Yeah, I know I am… either way, I think Dr. Demios said he was working on it.”

“Good.” The worker looked a clipboard. “Whose turn is it to get laughed at?”

“Yours.”

“Sure it is…”

 

He was nude, except for a long red and black blanket that was coiled around his legs. The workers at Hell’s Bells were still trying to find the right files for what he was supposed to be wearing. So for now, the blanket sufficed. It wasn’t like he was going to be going anywhere anytime soon anyways…

His blonde hair was a long mess, falling limply down his back and ending just short of his tailbone. Except for a flush on his cheeks, he was very pale. Even his icy blue eyes seemed to lack any real substance. The aforementioned wings were golden and massive, but were currently curled up around the man in a protective manner.

“Alright…how are we doing today, Mr. Palazzo?”

“Fuck off!” his voice was strained, weakened by an excessive amount of deranged laughter.

The worker noted something down on the clipboard. “Are we thirsty, Mr. Palazzo?”

The cold blue eyes struggled to focus, and the worker cringed when the man finally looked his way.

“…..”

“Still not thirsty, I see,” the worker said, tapping a pen on the clipboard. The man flinched.

“Quit being so harsh with him,” Azera’s voice came chidingly from behind the worker. “The sod deserves a medal for being so quiet.”

Kefka Palazzo had spent much of the last few millennia locked away in a padded room, laughing his head off. Any tenuous grip on reality that the man had had before dying had slipped away, leaving behind a crumbled shell.

First there had been the screaming. Something horrible and deep, shredding a mass of carefully rendered golden feathers as he clawed blindly at the padding on the floor. Then the screams had been punctuated by crying. It had been a pitiful thing to watch, really… a broken god laying of the floor of his cell at a mental institution in Hell. The crying and screaming had only lasted a short time—maybe a hundred years.

But then, the sobs had begun to break differently from his throat. It was a weak change at first, but then the faint giggles became stronger. Eventually the tears had stopped altogether, and only the laughter flowed freely. His laugh was distinct, and made most of the workers at the asylum cringe. A few had actually quit because of it.

Kefka laughed and laughed and laughed… for days, weeks, months, years at a time… He laughed until his useless lungs failed to keep up, and he collapsed back to the floor in a choking heap. He had laughed, now, until his throat had worn dry.

The workers were reluctant to refuel the madness.

Kefka’s body still frequently shook, wracked by muted laughter. True, his initial hysteria had faded, but only slightly. He had yet to improve to the level of insanity that had breached his mind just before death.

The worker stepped aside as Azera moved into the room. She was holding a glass of orange juice. Kefka glared at her as she entered, a wing twitching. The white haired woman was one of his least favorite aides.

“Now, Mr. Palazzo, why don’t you be a good boy and have something to drink?” Azera said in a sweet tone, holding up the glass in offering. Kefka wheezed angrily in response. She clucked her tongue. “Now now, why don’t you behave for once?”

“No!”

“Kef, if you just drink the damn juice, she’ll go away faster,” the other worker said. He ignored the glare sent from Azera.

Kefka didn’t say anything, but his wings curled back. They knew it was his way of saying ‘take your best shot’. Azera carefully crossed the room, still holding out the glass. Kefka glared at her before snatching the glass from her hand. She made a dash back for the door as Kefka gulped down the drink, shooing the worker back outside.

They made it out just in time—the glass shattered against the door as it was pulled shut.

There was a pause, then:

“Uwee hee hee hee hee hee hee ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!”

“You just had to get him started again, didn’t you,” the worker sighed. Azera shrugged.

“Not for long.”

They looked through the observation glass again. Kefka hooted with his usual insane laughter for several minutes, before suddenly going still and collapsing on the floor.

“Tranquilizers,” Azera said needlessly. She waved a hand. “Dr. Demios wants Mr. Palazzo sent down to exam room 9… and have a clean up team sent in, alright?”

“Anything else?” the worker asked, looking down at his clipboard.

“Yeah,” Azera said, looking at the set of narrow gashes that graced her palm. “Get his damn nails trimmed!”

 

“Study session for patient 321945632K,” Dr. Demios’ voice droned. “Session number.. hell, what number is it now?”

“Number 95d,” the aide standing next to Dr. Demios replied. She was holding a tranquilizer gun.

“Ah, nearing the magic number 100, I see, Kefka…” Dr. Demios sighed. “And still no better than the first session.”

“Maybe a little better,” the aide said under her breath. “I haven’t had to use the tranq gun on him since session 83.”

“Lucky us,” Demios said. He flipped through a few pages in a notebook, glancing up at Kefka. The blonde was in a straight jacket (fat lot of good it did though), and his wings were carefully bound back. Kefka was silent, the muscle relaxer that they’d started using a few sessions back rendering him less annoying for a short while.

“Let’s get started.” Demios flipped to a new blank sheet in the notebook. “How are you feeling today, Kefka?”

“I like goldfish!” Kefka chirped brightly, his eyes focused about a foot over the doctor’s head.

“I see. And what kind of goldfish do you like best, Kefka?”

Dead ones,” Kefka said, nodding faintly.

“That’s good.” Demios took his notes as usual. “Still a laughing fool, I see?”

“I like hamsters too,” Kefka added. “They’re sooooft.”

Dr. Demios blinked a few times, surprise briefly registering on the demon’s face.

“Yes, Kefka, they are soft.”

“Uwee hee hee—“ Kefka’s eyes widened and he clamped his jaw shut when he noticed the aide adjusting the controls on the tranquilizer gun. A few muffled laughs still managed to escape.

“Alright, Kefka. Today we’re going to play the word association game again. You like that one, don’t you?”

“Uwe---yah yah yah yah!” He squirmed a bit.

“Good. Alright, we’ll start now.” It had taken three sessions before Kefka had gotten the hang of the word association game, however slippery his hold on the concept was.

“Yah!”

“First word… happiness.”

A pause, then: “Pain.”

“Pain.”

Existence.”

“Beauty.”

Blood!” A giggle.

“Death.”

Never.”

“Life.”

Empty.”

“Hate.”

Pure.”

Dr. Demios looked down at the list again, curious. A few of Kefka’s answers had changed from the previous time he’d played that game.

“Love.”

A blank look from Kefka. The man seemed to have a word, but his mouth hung open.

Dr. Demios tapped the notebook. Kefka closed his mouth, swallowing a few times.

"I'm afraid I'm drawing a blank.”

The therapist blinked again in surprise. "Two nearly coherent sentences in one session? My my..."

The blonde's expression contorted a bit, as if he were trying to be cute. "Do I get a cookie?"

"Ah...maybe so, Mr. Palazzo."

 

Kefka had been locked back up in his little padded room after the therapy session. He whined about this for several hours, which was different from the usual muttering that followed a session. He continued giggling sometime during the night, but it was quieter than normal. Several months passed like this.

One morning, Azera found herself staring into the little window, watching Kefka. The little blonde was glaring back at her. The two aides standing behind her shifted uneasily.

"He's awfully quiet today, ma'am," one of the aides said.

"I'm aware of that," Azera frowned. "Tranq him."

"Ma'am?"

"Demios wants to talk to him again."

"Yes, ma'am!"

 

Kefka was drugged and bound, as usual, before being deposited in Dr. Demios' office. The therapist waved a hand at one of the aides, having the demon remove the binds from Kefka's hands. The villain blinked a few times as he came to, lifting his hands and staring at them in surprise.

"Uwee he-" he started, but stopped, looking over his shoulder at the aide with the tranq gun, then back at Dr. Demios. "Is this a trick?"

"No, it's not, Mr. Palazzo." Dr. Demios set a pad of paper and a box of crayons on the little table next to Kefka's seat. "I'm afraid that the office has been unable to locate your previous wardrobe files. So they need you to draw what you used to wear."

There was a long pause while Kefka stared at the therapist with a blank look. When his brain caught up, he giggled. "Oooh, I get to draw!" He reached for the box of crayons but stopped. "I'm guessing you don't mean the bedsheet?"

"Ah, no, preferably something you wore before the bedsheet."

"Uwee hee hee!" Kefka giggled, grabbing the drawing supplies and starting. Dr. Demios watched curiously. Kefka's brow wrinkled as he tried to remember, but the look in his eyes was sharp and intense.

Maybe Kefka had wallowed in his madness for so long....because no one made him do something else? He'd been locked in his cell for ages with nothing to do, nothing to refocus his badly fractured mind. His mind had grabbed eagerly at all the silly little 'games' Dr. Demios had put him through during study sessions.

"Should have tried something different sooner," Demios muttered under his breath.

Kefka went through a few sheets of paper before drawing something that pleased him. "Uwee! There! It's all perfect and wonderful!" He held up the pad of paper, clearly pleased with himself. "Lookie lookie lookie!"

Dr. Demios hesitated for a moment before crossing the room and taking the pad from Kefka. He looked at it, and tried not to laugh. "Kefka, this makes you look like a clown."

"Uweehehehe! I know!" Kefka grinned.

"And your wings aren't on this."

"Wings? What wings?" Kefka blinked. Dr. Demios pointed at the wings on Kefka's back. "Oh, those. No, I didn't have wings."

"I...see. I suppose a concealment spell could be put on the cloak."

"Did I do good?"

"You...really dressed like this?"

A vigorous nod.

"Then you were already a lost cause before you died," Dr. Demios sighed.

 

*present*

"...I don't really remember anything until the last few sessions," Kefka said. He twirled his pinky in the end of his ponytail. "I do remember the therapist once saying that when we first arrive in Hell, something is done to us, as punishment. Something that we dreaded or hated more than anything in the world when we were alive."

"Like what?"

"Well, I...lost my edge, so to speak. I used to be a lot nastier, uwee hee hee. But I just can't seem to manage it anymore. Sephiroth didn't have his Masamune, and he's a big fucking pouty whiny crybaby without his sword." They both looked down at Sephiroth for a moment. "And you...well..."

"I hated being mistaken for a girl when I was alive," Kuja said softly. "I guess that was my punishment. Though I don't understand why...why it...reverted."

"Well, not all the punishments are permanent," Kefka said. "It depends on the person. Sephiroth found his Masamune when he arrived at our room."

"True." Kuja glanced down again. "And Sephiroth...did the same thing happen to him? When he got here?"

The blonde looked at Sephiroth again, his nose wrinkling as if he'd just discovered that a moogle was humping his leg.

"From what I've been told, Sephiroth wasn't any better off than me when he arrived in Hell." Kefka wiggled his pinky finger. "Went straight to Hell's Bells. He wasn't a laugher though. Very quiet. Just sat in his little cell and sulked for a few hundred years before ever uttering a word. I think they released him sooner than me because...well, they didn't think there wasn't much of anything to be done with him. He started drinking after being released, and well..." Kefka pointed down at the silver haired bishounen, who was still sprawled on the floor. "That's what's become of him."

"And you didn't drink."

"Nope. Uwee, well, not as much."

Sephiroth made a small whiny noise from the floor, but didn't wake up.

"I don't remember with perfect clarity, but I'm pretty sure I met Sephiroth at Hell's Bells." Kefka pursed his lips. "I just didn't get to...get to know him better until later..."

-------

end chapter 30