Categories > Games > Disgaea

Missing Pieces to a Difficult Puzzle

by Yati 0 reviews

Laharl, Etna, Flonne. A quick look into their thoughts as they struggle for understanding of themselves and each other.

Category: Disgaea - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama - Characters: Etna, Flonne, Laharl - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2005-05-30 - Updated: 2005-05-30 - 1425 words - Complete

What, Laharl asks, a trace of alarm in his voice making him sound less obnoxious than always, do you think you're doing?

She isn't trying to ignore him when she thinks that the flowers are unusually beautiful at this time of the year. She's not trying to tell him he's insignificant, even though she refuses to look him in the eye as she addresses the group.

She is trying to tell him she is sorry, and she doesn't know of any other way of doing so.

Perhaps it is because that she is an angel that she understands pain so much. She feels it, sometimes even more acutely than the ones who are suffering; enough, sometimes, to feel the whole weight of the worlds on her shoulders. Her superiors had looked down on her with some amount of disparagement. Don't empathise too much, they told her in their crisp, emotionless tones. Don't care too deeply. You wouldn't be able to get your job done.

She didn't understand them then; she still doesn't understand them now. How can she heal if she doesn't know how it feels to be hurt?

Her superiors, in turn, didn't understand what the Seraph saw in the too-gentle, too-naive angel trainee. He listened when they complained about her, yet he had done nothing except watch over her even more fondly than ever. One of his little quirks, they summarised, like the way he liked to walk among the flowerbeds or the way that he sometimes talked to himself, carrying conversations with the air.

Even though she feels it acutely, she doesn't know how to cause pain -- she is too kind to ever hurt anyone who has no intent of harming her. Even in battle, she is hesitant. It comes to her as a surprise that she was learning to do that now, at the end of all things, while she is stepping towards the Seraph's throne to apologise and to receive retribution for all she has done.

Laharl sounds angry as he speaks to her, and there is a curious, almost pleading note in his voice as he orders her to stay.

- - - - -

Etna doesn't claim that she understands love, but she does understand what loyalty is.

Loyalty is what makes her follow Laharl, and in turn, that is what makes him follow Flonne. Loyalty is what makes her try to keep the prince in line while he figures out there's more to being an overlord than just a title to his name and a crown on his head, and practicing to perfect his so-called evil laughter throughout the hours of the night.

Loyalty is trying to make the prince the man his father had wanted him to be.

She tries not to confuse to whom her loyalties lie, but most days, when Laharl pretends not to listen to Flonne but in the end follows her advice anyway, she thinks it does not matter, because they are all working towards the same goal after all.

- - - - -

"We're just going to talk to him, right, Flonne?" Jennifer says with a cheerfulness that sounds completely artificial, and Flonne smiles at her and agrees. "And after we've sorted things out, we'll just go back to the Netherworld."

"Back to Earth!" Gordon protests, but no one pays him any attention. "The Earth needs her defender!" Kurtis gives his one-time rival a sceptical look, but keeps his comments to himself.

"I don't know how the Earth survives with you as the Defender," Etna says, mostly to herself, and Thursday supports her observation by offering a set of statistics. This sparks another argument in the background and Flonne half-listens to all of them, and is startled when Laharl speaks to her.

"Right," Laharl says, baring his teeth. "After this, we're going straight home."

Flonne doesn't tell him that she doesn't expect to see home ever again.

- - - - -

He is a demon, and demons do not feel pain.

He had been untouched when he had awoken from his long sleep to discover that his father had died. A brief sensation of surprise (a tinge of loss, perhaps, one that was barely even noticeable), but no real sorrow that he was gone. His expression never changes when he walks past the portrait of his mother in the grand hallway (though he never really throws any glances its way) and he never spends time thinking about her at all. He doesn't care when Flonne lectures him, her voice still enthusiastic despite his attempts to ignore her, and he pretends not to notice (or care) that she is slowly making a better impression on his vassals than he is managing to.

But he follows her when she tells them of her plan of going back to Celestia, and he is fighting for her cause. If asked why, he replies with a harrumph that Flonne is too much of an idiot to get things done on her own and will probably end up getting killed, and the angel gives him a brilliant smile in return. Thank you, Laharl, is all she says, and he stomps after her, calling out that he is not doing this for her words of thanks.

He doesn't abandon her because she believes in him. She believes in him, and in their mismatched group as a team, and of course she believes in love, that damn love freak. She cares about things no one cares about and gets hurt trying to set wrong things right, yet she still smiles, her eyes bright and her cheeks flushed, and continues to do what she sees as her duties.

Demons do not feel pain because demons do not have hearts. That is what he tells himself, and it's getting harder and harder for him to believe that.

Especially when Etna's voice is too subdued when she calls Flonne's name and asks her if she knows what she's doing, and the way she is much too agitated as she reaches forward and tries to catch Flonne by her sleeves. He doesn't quite understand what is disturbing Etna, since all they are doing here is trying to get answers from the Seraph, and if he gives one that is dissatisfactory, they'll just pound his holy ass into the ground and bring Flonne home with them.

When Flonne tells him not to worry because this is her punishment, he feels like throttling her and tells her that she has to stay.

- - - - -

Demons could not love, because demons do not have hearts.

That is what everyone says, and that is what Laharl thinks, but when Etna watches him she knows that he is wrong.

Laharl is staring at the pendant that Flonne has given him, his expression almost comical as he realises that it's not burning his skin away. Flonne talks over his protests, her words too gentle and too complaisant to be ignored, and tells him to keep it, to remember her by.

Demons should not love, just like angels should not become too attached to their charges, just like vassals should not pry into the personal affairs of their masters. Laharl has made many mistakes, and letting Flonne stay is perhaps the worst of them all, yet that is the one mistake that Etna does not at all regret for letting him make.

And afterwards, when Laharl doesn't deliver the final blow, Etna watches as her prince just stands there, his head bowed as he grasps the pendant in one hand, his sword clattering from the other to the ground. She suspects he is hiding his tears.

It's a pity Flonne isn't here, she thinks, because she surely would have been proud.

Something is causing her eyes to sting. When she wipes at her face, her hand comes away wet.

- - - - -

When they talk about it afterwards, Laharl vehemently denies everything. It's all lies, he declares, cape flapping behind him in a huff of fury. Lies! Don't you dare tell untruths about your Overlord!

Ah, but you were going to sacrifice yourself for Flonne, weren't you, Prince?

Laharl stammers and goes red. Flonne giggles, and she sounds content. Etna grins and Laharl growls at them, looking both mortified and outraged at the same time.

If letting Flonne stay was a mistake on her part, Etna doesn't regret making it. If being punished meant getting sent to the Netherworld, Flonne doesn't regret her sins either.

They both watch and laugh as Laharl launches into another explosive tirade, and miss the genuine smile that tugs at his lips as he stalks away with the remnants of his injured pride.
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