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Once upon a time, in The World That Never Was, at an indeterminate time of day, Xaldin, Vexen, and Lexaeus encountered a monster that was destroying the Organization by taking their... you know. Immune thanks to them being "ugly" (a teenage fanbrat is in control and clearly doesn't realize that
these three Lexaeus is MANLY), these three nobodies embark on a world-hopping journey to save their comrades, battling the gutless and countless pop culture references, in an attempt to restore logic, sanity and good humor to the fanfiction universe, all while protecting their groins from assault by the Semes. Who are kind of like The Heartless, but instead of hearts, are disembodied, um... you know.
Those Lacking Spines is a Kingdom Hearts fanfiction written by Gexegee of Organization VI. As a Meta Fic, it parodies just about every aspect of bad fanfiction. Xaldin, Vexen, and Lexaeus race through alternate universes, and encounter a wide variety of Fanfic Tropes, including Slash Fics, High School AUs, Self Insert Fics, Song Fics, Cross Overs, Crack Fics, Wangst, and Canon Defilement, while keeping the plot of Gutless changing the remaining members of Organization XIII into shadows of themselves. Along the way, it viciously lampoons several other franchises, lovingly mocking everything under the sun in a brilliant, hilarious (and sometimes long-winded) romp through fanfiction itself.
Those Lacking Spines contains examples of:
- A Date with Rosie Palms - To a video of a bee pollinating a flower. It's Marly-dono, people.
- Added Alliterative Appeal - The V for Vendetta reference, anyone?
- Animate Inanimate Object - Xaldin's sideburns.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking - The heroes have landed on the City of OC, subverted the Mary Sue's intimidation power, easily destroyed Marly-dono's prospective army, and are about to storm his lair. "Agh! And they're throwing their unconscious bodies into my beautiful rosebushes! THOSE WERE RAISED BY HAND, YOU BASTARDS!"
- "Organization XIII was not a nice group of sort-of-kind-of-former people. They toyed with minds, they twisted relationships, they used lives as tools, they manipulated innocents, they spread chaos, they captured hearts, they lengthened the lines at the DMV and they commanded Heartless."
- Attack Pattern Alpha - “Let’s attempt Maneuver 35, shall we?”
- Author Avatar - Not just Gexegee, but the rest of the writers.
- Author/Character Filibuster - Forgivable on the basis of being awesome.
- Badass Boast - Jeffiroth's, though lampshaded by Xaldin and Lexaeus.
- Berserk Button - “Nobodies. Do not. Have. Hearts.”
- Big Damn Heroes - Xaldin, Vexen and Lexaeus are rescued from the Mary-Sue Gutless by the revived Larxene.
- Big No - Happens fairly often. Riku does this, not once but three times in the High School AU chapter.
- Big Red Button
- Bishonen - As a type of Gutless.
- Bold Inflation - Doubled, with Jeffiroth (JEFFIROTH). "He was so Badass his font was bolded."
- Bowdlerise - Parodied with the Gutless' name. Vexen "was going to call them the Nutless, but Disney put their foot down. Some nonsense about not scaring the children and lawsuits, something about a VHS cover or something."
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick - "The Saïx we recruited is stoic, collected, and mildly psychopathic with a sadistic twist."
- Breaking the Fourth Wall - Too many times to count.
- Brown Note - "I can't see. I cannot see. My retinas have committed suicide."
- Camp Gay - Marly-dono, and almost all of the Ukes.
- Catch Phrase: Oh hell.
- Chekhov's Gag - The time of day in The World That Never Was.
- Chekhov's Gun - Fishy crackers.
- Cliff Hanger
- Cloudcuckoolander - Demy-kins, who fittingly rules over the Crack Fic half of Vacillating Heights.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment - Vexen is tortured by listening to the LazyTown cake song. Originally they tried It's a Small World After All, but one of the Required Secondary Powers of a "Part-Disney" character includes an immunity to Disney songs.
- It may also qualify as a Mind Rape for Vexen.
- Curse Cut Short - “Oh shi-”
- Deadpan Snarker - Lexaeus takes this role, despite the fact that Vexen is one in canon. Then again, this fic isn't known for its adherence to canon...
- Deconstruction Fic - It's hard to wonder what this fic doesn't deconstruct.
- Department of Redundancy Department- Coupled with Purple Prose, descriptions of Copycat Sues describe colors as cornsilk yellow platinum amber blonde and sapphire cobalt aquamarine cornflower silk lily midnight blue.
- Designated Villain - In Inept Crossings, Lexaeus meets Inuyasha, who is baffled as to why Lexaeus doesn't want to antagonize him.
- Deus Ex Machina - The DEM engines.
- And later, the beta.
- To explain: Roxas and Xaldin were rescued by the Elite Beat Agents.
- And later, the beta.
- Dramatic Wind - Lampshaded in the text, describing it as improbably slow-falling and dramatic.
- Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo - 'You now have a vague inkling of Jeffiroth’s second form. Jeffiroth Squared. Jeffiroth Redux. Jeffiroth Two: Electric Boogaloo.'
- Emo Teen - Zexy-poo.
- Fauxlosophic Narration
- Gratuitous Japanese - Pence's lines, which deviates into Gratuitous Spanish.
- Great Big Book of Everything
- Groin Attack - The weakness of a Seme.
- Hypocrisy Nod
- Hypocritical Humor
- I Broke a Nail - Marly-dono, when he slams his fingers on a keyboard.
- In Medias Res - Chapter 10.
- I Need a Freaking Drink - “Vodka. Top-shelf. Straight. On the rocks.”
- It Was a Dark and Stormy Night at Castle Midnight Moonraven McGee. Then again, it usually was.
- Never Say "Die" - Xaldin actually states himself that "the Organization never says die!"
- Which makes it even more hilarious when Larxene appears and (literally) does say "die" just seconds later.
- Oh Crap There Are Fanfics of Us - Let's say it's the motif.
- Ominous Floating Castle
- Ominous Latin Chanting - Jeffiroth's 100-piece orchestra includes this in its music, followed by an echoed “JEFFIROTH!”
- One-Winged Angel - Jeffiroth, in his second form, turns into a seven-winged one (though he's easily beaten).
- Interestingly, the original One-Winged Angel, Sephiroth, had seven wings.
- Original Character
- Otaku - As a type of Gutless.
- Overly-Long Fighting Animation - As part of Jeffiroth's second form transformation.
- Overly Long Name - x-x-Marley-dono CrImSoNfLoWeR-x-x. (sic)
- Parody Sue - Sakura-Rose Sunblossom Orange Juice Annie-Marie McFate
- Also Xuxastell, who was created by putting Larxene in a machine that sueifies everyone and everything.
- Playing the Heart Strings - Coupled with Sorry I Left the BGM On.
- Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Inverted with Jeffiroth - Hair Makes Your Power Grow. And when one attacks said hair...
- Precision F-Strike - Vexen executes one in chapter 12.
- Prepare to Die - Against Xuxastell:
“Nevertheless,” Lexaeus still had his fierce gaze locked on the imposter Nobody as he pulled his tomahawk up out of the ground. “Larxene is our comrade-in-arms and we will not stand for what you have done to her. In the name of the real Organization XIII—prepare to die.”
- Reference Overdosed - It is impossible to list all of them.
- Riddle Me This
- Rule of Funny
- Running Gag - Vexen's phobia of cake.
- "Yes, I went there."
- Xaldin was wrong.
- The little known facts about Demyx the pizza boy.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness
“Don’t be so worried, gentlemen. We can utilize a Gelatinous Confectionary Transportation Vehicle.”
“You mean a gummi ship,” Lexaeus nudged him in the elbow.
- Seven Minute Lull - In Destiny Sanctuary Peak High School Academy Grammar School, Riku accidentally flubs and reveals his bet with Sora after a song finishes in a party. Melodrama ensues.
- Shaggy Dog Story
- Shout-Out: To Finding Nemo, of all things: Sora's ridiculous last name in Chapter 2 is "Wanahakaruugi".
- Shut UP, Hannibal - Several times.
[Sakura-Rose:]“You’ll never defeat me, you hideous beast, because I represent all that is pure and good and light in the world, and YOU are an evil creature with no heart and I have a heart and it holds nothing but love for ALL LIVING THINGS! And you’ll never be able to scare me, either! My will is as strong as stone!”
“Really?” Lexaeus asked lamely, and with the slightest movement of his hand, Sakura-Rose was crushed to death beneath two tons of Irony and a gigantic summoned slab of rock.
- Also twice with Jeffiroth: the first time with a 'get on with it' and the second by snapping his Badass Locks off.
- Significant Anagram - Xuxastell, which, as Xaldin quickly figures out, unscrambles to "Axel Slut," or "Axel Lust," if you insist.
- Solve the Soup Cans
“Of course, this object is not going to be anywhere nearby. Oh no. It’s going to be locked up on the complete other end of the tower, behind six other locked doors, also sealed by ridiculously complicated keys and puzzles. Maybe even pieces of keys and puzzles, which we will have to run off and fetch in the most ludicrous of places before we can even think about getting out of here.”
- Spell My Name with an "S" - Invoked to get a horde of Otaku Gutless to tear each other apart over whether to use Aeris or Aerith (or Vincent/Binsento).
- Sssssnaketalk - Sssssecks.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial - The Riku from Destiny Sanctuary Peak High School Academy Grammar School totally isn't gay or anything.
- Take That
- The Joy of X - Final Bossing For Fun and Profit
- Also, "Toadying For the Final Boss For Fun and Profit"
- The Long List - 
- The Man Behind the Man - Rather, the fangirl behind the seme.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon 
- Time Bomb
- Title Drop - “Nine Organization members, whole and lacking spines, shouted in unison.”
- Also (kinda) in chapter 10:
It was unfortunate for the Grand Master Fangirl that this sickly little idea was not any ordinary idea—it was a being that lacked a brain, a heart, a spine and most importantly, it lacked… you know.
- To Make a Long Story Short - Twelve chapters too late.
- Tradesnark - Overly Detailed Purple Description Mode™
- Traveling At the Speed of Plot
- Troll Fic - Originally intended to be one, but completely subverted after.
- Unusual Euphemism - "...you know" isn't very unusual, but its absolute pervasiveness throughout the fic makes it stand out.
- Viewer-Friendly Interface
- Wangst - Zexy-poo's trademark.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes? - Vexen is terrified of cake after being tortured with the LazyTown cake song.
- ↑ After what seemed like hours upon hours of encountering Care Bears, more whiny and hapless teenagers than Destiny Whatever High School could ever hope to house, obnoxious children wielding electric rats and card games and fighting tops and digital electric rats and phantasmal powers and magical planet powers and dinosaur fairies and magic sketchbooks and any number of silly things, Dean Koontz novels, Broadway musicals, television gourmet chefs, television lawyer shows, reality shows, CSI: Miami, fast food advertisement personalities, terrifying crack monsters with televisions in their stomachs, terrifying crack monsters with beady eyes and no mouths and hypnotic brainwashing dances, pop singers, boy bands, pop singers who solved mysteries, boy bands who solved mysteries, rappers, rappers who solved mysteries about pop singers and boy bands, and Lindsay Lohan, Vexen collapsed from exhaustion in the middle of nowhere, praying to any merciful deity of the Nobodies or any kind of merciful deity at all for the sweet deliverance of sudden death.
- ↑ "Let's go through the checklist," Xaldin suggested, one eyebrow raised high over the other as he examined their surroundings quizzically. "Dark skies?" "Check," Lexaeus nodded. "Foreboding, overly complicated architecture and/or some kind of ruins?" "Indeed," Vexen confirmed. "Epic-sounding technopop and/or metal music in the background?" "Yep." "Cryptic clues and references to the end of things, and/or excessively pretentious area names?" "We have stepped into the Haven of Wasted Epiphanies," Vexen announced, reading from a convenient nearby sign. "Up ahead is the Village of Twisted Thoughts and the Subdivision of Broken Endings. Triple check." "Yes. I thought so," Xaldin sighed. "This is a Final World if ever I saw one."