The order celebrates the Lunar New Year. Spoilers for KH2.
Gifts of Fortune
"I don't get it," sighed Demyx, reluctantly pushing the envelope across the table.
His companion chortled in amusement, picking up the offering. "It's seniority of a sort, you realize. Nothing to do with the age of our originals."
"I know, but, I mean, look at you. Me. Us. Do I look older to you?"
"I should hope not, dear lad."
"That's just it! You're always calling me a kid and ruffling my hair and stuff, but I have to give you money? It's not fair!"
"Now now, calm down. I'll be a sporting man and let you have a chance at winning it back. Triple Triad?"
While she didn't normally associate much with the brat, Larxene didn't really have anything against her one and only junior. After all, having to hand over only one envelope while receiving eleven was a pretty good deal even by her standards.
The three of them sat around one end of the huge, polished dining table. A pile of coins had already accumulated by Larxene's seat, neatly stacked and counted as she went through envelope after envelope with a meticulous efficiency. She had to admit, there was a certain amount of excitement to it. There really wasn't any way to properly flatten coins, but then the normal rules of time and space weren't much of a consideration to them anyway. It was impossible to judge the contents of any one packet prior to opening it.
Across the table, Marluxia idly cut paper flowers from the leftover empty envelopes, pausing every now and then to open a new one and collect the money. Roxas, ever his too-serious self, simply watched Larxene's fingers race over the abacus.
"Well, whatcha staring at? Let's see what you got, kid."
Roxas shrugged, selected one envelope from his stack, and carefully spilled the contents onto his corner of the table. Not only was there a very respectable pile of coins, there were a couple of bars of chocolate, a sack of strawberry hard candy, and what turned out to be a pale blue popsicle.
"My, someone's certainly feeling generous." Grabbing the empty container, Marluxia turned it over until he found the signature number tucked away in one corner. Quickly shuffling through his own stack of spoils, he found a corresponding envelope, broke the seal and upended it onto the table.
Instinct told Larxene to duck, so she was safely out of the way as Marluxia jumped over the table and dashed for the door, swarm of butterflies and bees in hot pursuit. Several seconds later, a quite generous pile of coins spilled onto the table from the abandoned envelope.
Larxene stared down at the similarly marked pouch in her hand, and pondered her options.
As he handed over his dues to the berserker, Xaldin couldn't help but notice the sealed gift envelopes sitting on the shelf, neatly marked with the number seven. There appeared to be five left untouched.
"How do you do it? The boss told us to give the packets to any of the younger ones who asked."
"That is the trick, Xaldin," replied Saix, turning the full force of his cold amber eyes towards his visitor. "They have only to ask."
Vexen knew it was going to be trouble as soon as he heard the quick, light clicks of running footsteps outside his lab, and hastily lifted the delicate retort off the table before the door slammed open with an enthusiasm that shook the walls.
"Hey Vic! Happy New Year!"
". . . my name is NOT Vic." Vexen set his experiment back down onto the table and glared icily at the intruder, attempting to achieve with sheer willpower what a powerful magical ward could not.
Axel simply stood in the doorway and grinned like a Cheshire cat. And waited, expectantly. The silence stretched on.
It was not as if he were unprepared for the occasion. The superior had made his expectations quite clear. Vexen fished an envelope out of the neat stack in his drawer, and flipped it towards the fiend invading the sanctity of his lab. "There, satisfied? And do not, under any circumstances, ever set foot upon these premises again."
"Love you too." The redhead caught the packet and winked with a delighted smirk before dashing off in pursuit of new victims.
Vexen sighed, and was about to resume his work when he noticed the light from the open door revealing a container he did not remember placing at the back of his lab. Walking over, he found it to be not one of his glass beakers but a solid mug crammed with packets of instant coffee. Beneath the mug were tucked three red envelopes.
They relaxed within the serenity of one of the smaller rooms of the castle, having discharged their obligations with methodical care. Lexaeus passed his final envelope over to his companion, and settled back into the couch. "Done."
Zexion chuckled, a soft, dry sound. "They celebrated this in the garden, you remember? Some foreign custom we read about in an old tome, and it had been enough to fill the courtyard with confetti. And the ridiculous dance, with the chain of people beneath that garishly tacky drape." He turned the envelope over in his hands, running gloved fingers over the waxed surface of the paper. "I used to be youngest, then."
"Ien- I'm sorry. Zexion." Lexaeus was not entirely certain what to say, at times like this.
Xemnas shook his wallet a few more times, hoping to catch something he'd missed. No dice. The small pink pouch remained depressingly empty. "Oh why, by the dark wisdom of the abyss of oblivion, did I ever consider this to be a good idea?"
Patting the distraught man on the back, Xigbar dug around in his pockets for the one envelope that he did receive, upended the coins into his hand, and shoved them back at Xemnas.
"Xigbar . . . ?"
"I'm too old for this sort of thing," said the sniper by way of explanation. "Besides, there's still a couple of repairs for the castle and the kitchen needs restocking."
Xemnas' eyes literally shone with gratitude as he carefully accepted the coins and poured them back into the money pouch. To forestall the embarrassing outbreak of either tears or theatrics that he could see looming on the horizon, Xigbar grabbed for the first question that came to mind. "Er, boss, where'd you pick up this habit, anyway?"
"The Land of Dragons."
". . . figured."