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(Disclaimer: The concept of the PPC belongs to Jay and Acacia. “Axel’s Secret” (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6571145/1/Axels_Secret) belongs to Firey-Nii-Wolf. Kingdom Hearts and its associated characters belong to Square Enix and Disney Interactive. Danny, Laura, and Cornelius belong to me. Thanks to doctorlit for betaing. The following contains bad language, violence, and mature themes. Potentially NSFB.)

“Come on, Laura!” Danny shouted through the hovering portal. “The badfic’s already started! We’re burning time here!”

There was no response from the other side, only that odd electronic humming that accompanied any open portal. Danny sighed and rolled his eyes. This was a mistake, as the sky in this universe was a rather ghastly bright shade of orange. He winced before quickly looking away. “Both Cornelius and I are perfectly fine!” he shouted again. “No sudden transformations, no breasts where there were none before! It’s safe!”

“Ah, but these gender-bender fics can take you by surprise,” Laura’s voice echoed out of the portal. “Maybe only one of us will be affected, just like how Axel was the only Org member to be flipped. You gotta think about these things!”

“This isn’t even a gender-bender fic! It’s a gender-flip AU! Weren’t you listening!”

“Yeah, yeah, ‘an alternative universe where Axel is and always has been female,’ whatever. I know that, you know that, and Cornelius knows that. Does the fic know that?”

Danny buried his face in his hands. “Laura, please! This is our last punishment mission. Stalling like this is only going to drag it out further!”

“All right, all right, I’m coming!” Laura emerged from the portal and immediately began patting herself down. “Wait… hang on… okay! Everything’s where it’s supposed to be!”

“What a relief. My heart was in my throat, let me tell you.” He waved for Laura to follow him to the end of the alley they had portalled into.

“Hey, you know what? Screw you! You weren’t there during that whole HQ gender-swap incident! Let’s see you make wisecracks after you wake up with a completely different set of reproductive organs!”

Danny snorted, which quickly led into a full blown snigger. “Wow. I’m sorry, but that is an interesting mental picture!”

“Go to hell, Danny.”

“What happened? You run into Lux or something? Did she have a thing for greasy red-headed nerdy boys?”

“I’m carrying weapons, you know.”

“All right, all right. Consider the matter dropped.”

Laura nodded before quickly cocking an elbow into Danny’s ribs. “That was for the ‘greasy’ remark,” she said as he collapsed against one of the nearest Generic Walls in a coughing fit.

The two assassins drew near the mouth of the alleyway. Cornelius was already there, peering around the corner at a trio of ice-cream-eating Nobodies. “Good timing,” he said without bothering to look up. “Fem!Axel, Roxas, and Xion are about to return to The Castle That Never Was. I took the liberty of beginning the charge list in your absence, Agent Richardson.”

“Fem!Axel!Sue,” Laura corrected.

Cornelius paused. “You are most likely correct in that regard, but I would prefer to gather more evidence first.”

“More evidence? Come on! Has there been any mention of her ‘emotions’ yet?”

“Not as of yet.”

The redheaded assassin nodded. “There will be. It’s a certainty.”

“Anything really odious on the charge list?” Danny wheezed. Laura smirked at him.

“I suppose that would depend on your definition of odious.” Cornelius tilted his head to one side. “So far the major offenses have been making Reno and Axel blood relatives; turning what I believe is supposed to be Twilight Town into a Generic Town with an abnormally orange sky; giving Axel Xigbar’s quirk of using nicknames; causing Xion to menstruate; and run-on paragraphs.”

“I think you forgot the whole making Axel a woman thing,” Laura said.

“That one was already quite obvious.”

“Ah, quick question,” Danny chimed in. “How is making Xion menstruate a charge?”

Laura let out a short scornful laugh. “Sounds like somebody hasn’t been doing his research!” she exclaimed. “Xion is a manifestation of Sora’s memories and has no clear identity. It depends on the observer; she appears as male to Xemnas and Xigbar and as a faceless puppet in a coat to Saïx. No concrete physical identity means no concrete gender identity.”

“Very good, Agent Dukes,” Cornelius said as he peered back around the corner. “Heads up. Impending scene change in three, two, one!”

The scenery shuddered and blurred around the agents. After a moment of physical uncertainty, they found themselves in a non-descript corridor.

Danny ran his hand over one of the walls and sighed. “Charge for creating a Generic Castle That Never Was.” He turned his attention to the four Nobodies standing a few meters away. The black-clad newcomer was staring blankly at Fem!Axel and her friends.

"Late as always, you three." Axel shivered, Saix's voice striking fear straight to the core of her non-existing Heart.

“Oh joy!” Laura said. “Another badfic that ignores the idea that Nobodies can’t feel emotions. Goodness knows we haven’t seen enough of those!” She poked Cornelius in the shoulder. “Told you so!”

“That is compelling proof,” Cornelius replied. “Perhaps a CAD reading would be in order here. Agent Richardson? Oh, and measure Saïx first, in case the CAD does not survive.”

Danny reached into his satchel and pulled out both a CAD and a pair of welder’s gloves. He slipped on the gloves before carefully pointing the device at the Luna Diviner. It gave a momentary rumble, but was otherwise unharmed. “He’s about forty percent OOC. Not as bad as I thought it would’ve been, but we should keep an eye on that.”

“Very well. And now the Sue.”

Danny closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and pointed the CAD at Fem!Axel. There was a loud beep, followed by silence. Danny opened his eyes and looked down at the screen. “Uh… she’s a Mary Sue character replacement.” He shook the CAD experimentally. “It still works. I’ve never seen that happen before.”

“Sometimes those things can surprise you,” Laura said. “It never lasts, though.” She leaned over and grabbed the mini-Darkside Saix so as to keep him from running towards his namesake.

The agents returned their attention to the scene at hand. Xion and Roxas had taken off, leaving Axel and Saïx to stumble their way through an awkward conversation about their past.

Lea had been in love with Isa for so long, but one faithfull night had turned everything into confusion and fear. The night Isa took Lea's virginity.

There was a muffled explosion from Danny’s satchel. Smoke began to leak out of the seams.

“Told you so,” Laura remarked.

Funny, how Isa AND Saix still didn't know of Axel & Lea's true gender.

Were the adventures of the PPC rendered in an animated format, this particular scene would have had some impressive wild takes. Cornelius’s jaw drop in particular would have probably stretched all the way to the floor. Unfortunately, due to their being constrained by reality the agents were forced to react with ordinary confused looks.

“I can’t…” Laura began. She shook her head and tried again. “I don’t… how would… what?!”

“My thoughts exactly,” Danny said with a groan. “You all right, Cornelius? You look a bit pained.”

“What? Ah… yes. I’m fine.” The AI rubbed the bridge of his nose. “I had to shut down some of my logic circuits in self-defense, but I think I’ll be all right. What is happening now?”

Laura glanced over at the two Nobodies. “Marty!Saïx is flirting with Fem!Axel, even though he still thinks she’s a he.”

“Bisexuality?” Danny asked. “In a badfic? I don’t buy it.”

The scene violently shifted again. Now they were in Fem!Axel!Sue’s room. Fem!Axel!Sue herself was brushing the gel out of her hair while trying to keep from crying.

When her hair was finally flowing freely around her shoulders, Axel slipped off her Orgnaization Robe and laied on her bed.

“Coat! It’s a frigging coat! Robes don’t open up in the front!” Laura facepalmed. “Add another charge.”

“As well as another mini,” Danny said. He picked up the new mini-Darkside. “I guess this must be Orgnaization Robe.” It squeaked at him.

Suddenly there was another violent scene shift. All three agents, as well as the two minis, were thrown to the ground in a rather painful display.

Danny pushed himself up, ignoring the twinges in his back. “Thanks for the warning, Cornelius. Laura and I really appreciate it.”

“My apologies, Agent Richardson,” Cornelius said from his position on the floor. “Cutting out those logic circuits seems to have also disabled my Fic Location Follower.”

“So we can expect this to happen again?”

“I’m afraid so.” There was a muffled curse from underneath the still-recumbent Cornelius. “Oh, Agent Dukes! My apologies again!” The redhead lashed out with fists, feet, and more curses until Cornelius got up.

Danny looked around. This wasn’t much help, considering that they were in another Generic Room. There was an open door in one wall through which a babbling TV could be heard.

Cornelius tilted his head to one side as he examined the Words. “We are currently flashing back to when Fem!Axel!Sue and Marty!Saïx were sixteen-year-olds. They are alone in the house aside from each other and Marty!Saïx – uh, I mean Isa – has been drinking something alcoholic.”

Isa finally just stopped talking and began staring at her. "What? Lea asked, worried. Instead of answering, Isa jumped on Lea and kissed her.

“Boy, I sure did not expect that,” Laura deadpanned. “What a shocking surprise twist.”

"Your a girl!" Isa gasped, his words slightly slurred.

Danny gritted his teeth. “Why-oh-you-apostrophe-are-eee! It’s not that hard!”

“To be fair, he’s pretty drunk right now,” Laura replied.

“Even at my most plastered I can correctly parse my sentences.” He grinned. “I was completely unable to stand when I edited my Master’s thesis.”

“Nobody likes a braggart.” Laura looked back over at the entangled teens. It looked as if Marty!Isa was approaching climax.

Soon, white she felt something singing rush deeper inside her.

Danny raised an eyebrow in disbelief. “Singing?” The first eyebrow was quickly followed by the second. “That doesn’t mean—”

He was cut off by a chorus of muffled high-pitched voices. His gaze ever so slowly focused on the source - Fem!Axel!Lea!Sue’s midsection.

Voices hum, crooning over Moonlight Bay...
Banjos strum, tuning while the moonbeams play...


There are many different types of silences. Flavors, if you will. One can have awkward pauses, romantic lulls, bewildered beats, and so on. In this case, however, the silence was most definitely horrified.

Laura clapped her hands over her ears. “Make it stop make it stop make it stop MAKE IT STOP!”

Danny began tearing through what remained of his satchel. He made a small, strangled noise as he pulled out a burnt packet of Bleepettes and a melted bottle of Bleeprin. His hands began to shake.

“Make it stop make it stop make it stop—”

“Initiating emergency scene jump!” Cornelius said. The scenery blurred around them. The two teenagers faded into the darkness, as did the sound of old barbershop quartet tunes.

Laura carefully lowered her hands. “Is it – oh thank Jebus.”

Cornelius opened his mouth to reply when he was suddenly snatched up in Danny’s embrace. “You’re a saint among demons, Cornelius,” he said. “Thank you!”

After a moment of hesitation, Cornelius returned Danny’s hug. “You’re very welcome, Agent Richardson,” he said. “The sanity of the agent must come above all else, after all.”

“Are you two done?” Laura asked. “Only we’ve still got a story to deal with and I have no idea where we are. Everything’s still all generic.”

“We’re back at The Castle That Never Was. Fem!Axel!Sue’s room is right around the corner.”

Danny cleared his throat. “You can let go of me now, Cornelius.”

* * *


"W-What do you want?" Axel snapped, as she pulled the coat zipper up, hiding the small lumps that got through her bindings. Instead of aswering, Saix turned around and closed the door, locking it.

There was a snort from the non-bedroom side of the door. “Didn’t we just see this?” Laura grumbled.
“Ah, but this time we get to see them confess their love for each other or something,” Danny said. “It’s traditional in these kinds of scenes.”

“That’s actually completely correct, Agent Richardson,” Cornelius interjected. “I’ve determined that we should have enough offenses to charge them both once they have exchanged their feelings of love.”

The redheaded assassin growled. She began pacing back and forth in front of the door.

"Not again," Axel sobbed, tears running down her face for the millionth time that day, "Please Saix, not again."

“The Sue is certainly doing her best to ruin Axel’s reputation,” Danny said.

Laura snorted, but never stopped pacing. “You mean his reputation as a snarky back-stabbing prick?”

“Got it in one.”

"Do you love me Axel?" Saix asked sudddenly. "Yes," Axel whispered, her sobs giving away to hicups, "Yes. I did before, I do now, and no matter how much you hurt me, I always will."

Laura reached around to her back holster and pulled out an M1911 pistol. She took careful aim at the lock. “Say it, you creepy bastard, say it!”

Saix smiled, and bit her neck. Axel moaned. "Good, because I love you too,"

“FINALLY!”

BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM

Laura emptied the entire clip into the door. She followed it up with a shoulder charge, which tore the shredded lock out of the frame.

A fact that Bad Slashers are always quick to take advantage of is that it’s difficult for most people to transition directly from coitus to combat. Fem!Axel!Sue and Marty!Saïx proved to be no exceptions. A few quick well-placed fists and gun butts resulted in two incapacitated Nobodies.

“Any ideas what we should do with them, Agent Dukes?” Cornelius asked as he finished taping Marty!Saïx’s ankles together. “You seem to have the best ideas for Sue disposal.”

Laura rubbed her chin in thought. “What about the Grecian Underworld? We could toss them into that River of the Dead that Hercules dives into.”

“That sounds workable to me. Opening a portal now.”

Danny and Cornelius dragged the semi-conscious Sue and Stu through the portal into a huge dark cave. The only source of light was the greenish glow from a river dozens of feet below them. Vaguely humanoid shapes could be seen writhing just under the surface – the souls of the departed.

“You think Hades will mind?” Danny asked as he looked over the edge of the cliff down at the river.

“He’s probably got other things on his plate at the moment, what with trying to take over the world and all,” Laura replied. She gave Fem!Axel!Sue a kick in the ribs. “Cornelius, if you’d read the charge list please.”

The AI looked off into the middle distance as he accessed his recent memory. “Saïx, also known as Marty!Saïx, you are charged with the following offenses against canon: replacing the canonical character of Saïx, the Number VII of Organization XIII; rape as an act of love; violating the laws of grammar; suffering convenient and poorly explained amnesia in order to follow the plot; feeling actual emotions despite being a Nobody; and having singing semen.” The human agents winced. “You are sentenced to death. There is no appeal.”

“Bon Voyage!” Danny said cheerfully as he kicked the bound and gagged Nobody!Stu over the edge of the cliff. There was a splash. The spirits swarmed around the black-clad figure and quickly pulled him below the surface.

“Axel, also known as Fem!Axel!Sue,” Cornelius continued. “You are charged with the following crimes against canon: replacing the canonical character of Axel, the Number VIII of Organization XIII; turning Twilight Town, The Castle Than Never Was, and Radiant Garden into Generic Locations; committing high crimes against spelling and grammar; creating minis; stealing character traits from other members of Organization XIII; causing Xion to menstruate; feeling actual emotions despite being a Nobody; and constantly crying instead of having an actual personality. You are sentenced to death. There is no appeal.”

Laura cackled as she prodded the Sue towards her own watery fate. She sunk just as fast as her compatriot did.

“Excellent,” Cornelius said. “A job well done. All that remains is to find and neuralyze the real Axel and Saïx, as well as Roxas and Xion.”

“Yep,” Danny said. “Huh. That pretty much means our reassignment is over.”

“Indeed.” The AI shuffled his feet. “Let me… I…” He shook his head and held out his hand. “It has been a pleasure working with you both.”

Danny took his hand and gave it a vigorous shake. “Same here, Cornelius.”

“What’s the matter, Corny, getting tongue tied?” Laura said as she stepped up to shake Cornelius’s hand herself.

“I seem to be. It must be my offline logic circuits again.”

Laura smiled and winked. “Just keep telling yourself that, you old softie.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This might seem to some like I’m rushing the end of the whole DIAU crew arc. Where’s the buildup, the tension? Well, the truth of the matter is that it’s very hard to find interesting AU fics. Most of the ones out there are cookie cutter high school stories using the same damn plot points over and over. Mary Sue stories are so much more in abundance! That’s not to say that this is the actual end of the DIAU arc. If I find more eye-catching AU stories, I’ll probably go back and write some more missions with Danny/Laura/Cornelius. I’ve allowed myself enough HQ time to permit that. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little excursion into the world of AUs. I know I did… occasionally.

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October 2016

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