|When Life Gives You Lemons
Author: Tyson FoxFlame PM
[DemZex] I didn't expect my last week of summer to be spent running my little sister's lemonade stand. Then again, I didn't expect to meet him either. It's an odd place to meet someone, a lemonade stand, but it started there and definitely didn't end.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Demyx & Zexion - Words: 4,608 - Reviews: 61 - Favs: 55 - Follows: 90 - Published: 07-21-06 - id: 3057436
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I love my little sister.
I'm pretty sure that that was the most random statement I could have possibly made, but it's true, I really do. Thanks to her, I got exactly what I've wanted for the past few years. Usually younger siblings try to ruin everything and most of the time, she does try. I think those were her intentions from the start; bet she never thought that I'd find a way to turn things around in my favor. But that's just because I'm cool. But who am I exactly?
My name is Demyx Tilmitt, nearly 19 years old with dirty blond hair and green eyes and living with my parents and my younger sister, Selphie. Oh yeah, and I'm currently getting ready for a date. I'm supposed to be at the restaurant in about two hours, but I guess I have time to tell one story. Selphie says I tell good stories, even if I do tend to mix up the details and plot points. But this is one story that I wouldn't be able to mess up even if I tried (not that I would try, mind you). Question is, how do I start?
Oh, wait, I think I got it! Yeah, this is the perfect start! Okay, let's see…it all started about…two months ago? Something like that. I guess it doesn't matter, just know that it was the last week of summer okay? Good.
Apparently, my sister didn't think so since she came barging into my room, slamming the door behind her.
"Dem!" she exclaimed, standing near the door. I groaned quietly and rolled over, burying my head under a pillow. As much as I love Selphie for waking me up that morning, nothing can change the fact that her voice is kind of whiny and high-pitched. I heard her shuffle her way through my disaster zone known as my bedroom toward my bed, stopping by my head.
"Dem!" she called again, yanking the pillow off of me.
"Ngh…what?" I asked, blearily opening my eyes and squinting at her. She towered over me and smiled widely, bouncing on the balls of her feet.
"Good morning, my dear older brother," she said in a tone that she only used when she wanted something. Rubbing my eyes a bit, I allowed my vision to clear before I started talking.
"What's going on?" I murmured through a yawn. Her grin grew larger and she suddenly jumped onto the foot of my bed, bouncing still.
"Well, I kinda have a favor to ask you," she said innocently.
"…such as?" I raised an eyebrow, sitting up slightly to keep an eye on her.
"I need you to run my lemonade stand today." She looked at me expectantly while I sat there trying to figure out what she was getting at.
"I need you to run my lemonade stand today please," she added the please this time.
Selphie's been running a lemonade stand in front of our house the entire summer and even I have to say, she makes wicked lemonade. She's been getting quite a few regular customers that pay her nicely too. That still didn't explain why I had to suddenly run it.
"Can I ask why?"
"Because Mom's making me go grocery shopping with her today, that's why. And then after that I have a dentist appointment because Mom's convinced that I've got cavities somewhere," she gave me her long-winded explanation. It made sense really; Mom hated shopping by herself because that meant she had to carry everything by herself and Selphie's well-known for her sweet tooth. She thinks I don't know about her hidden stash of candy in her sock drawer. But that still didn't explain why I had to run it.
"Selphie, why can't you just go one day without having your lemonade stand up?" I asked her, already laying back down to sleep for a few more minutes…hours…whatever. She gave me an exasperated sigh and kicked me lightly.
"Because it's Monday! Monday is one of my best business days and it's the last week I'm running it! Besides, I need that money for school shopping; Kairi's taking me on Saturday!" she ranted and continued kicking me. I couldn't help but roll my eyes slightly at her dramatization.
Selphie was going to be a freshman at Gateway High that year. Myself, I was going to be a senior so that meant plenty of advantages for her already. But apparently it was a big deal for her; she had been talking about starting high school since the end of her seventh grade year at the junior high. I partially blame Kairi though.
Kairi is Selphie's best friend, even though she's a year and a half older than her and a sophomore in high school. She's a pretty awesome girl though for an underclassman, awesome enough for me to consider her a friend. Actually, if I stop to think about it, I have quite a few underclassmen friends. It's mostly because of Axel and Selphie though. Axel's my best friend, a senior like myself and flaming as all hell. He's dating this little blond kid named Roxas. Sweet kid really if you can get past his tough exterior. He's a sophomore like Kairi.
Through Roxas I met Sora, his cousin, although they might as well be twins they look so much alike, other than Sora's got cinnamon-colored hair instead of the sunny blond Roxas has. And then of course through Sora I met Riku, his best friend who's a junior. I have a feeling that they're more than best friends though and that they just haven't gotten around to telling anybody. Or maybe they have and I just didn't notice. Either way, they're all people I hang out with from time to time. Then there are always my friends that are my own age, but I'll get to that later. I guess you can say that I'm a pretty friendly person.
"Selph, don't you think you have enough money already though? I mean you've been running that stand since the beginning of June and…" I trailed off when I caught sight of her face. She was using her infamous puppy-eyes on me, my only weakness against her. She knows that I can never resist them no matter how hard I try or how mad I am at her. I could feel my resolve crumbling as she threw in the pouting lip for effect.
"Please?" she all but whimpered, still looking at me sadly. I fought back a groan and nodded slowly, sitting up again.
"All right fine, I'll run your stupid stand," I mumbled and all signs of despair disappeared from Selphie's face as she bounced off of my bed, clapping excitedly.
"Thank you, Demyx!" she exclaimed and practically choked me with a tight hug.
"Uh-huh. What time do you want me out there?" I asked as I discreetly peeled her off of me.
"Right now." My eyes shifted to the right where my radio clock sat on the bedside table, its little red letters boldly declaring that it was almost ten in the morning.
"Are you kidding? It's still really early!" I whined, attempting to give Selphie my own pathetic look. Unfortunately, she's pretty immune to it and blew me off.
"Yeah, but everything's already set up. I usually start business at seven when people are going to work."
"And they buy it?"
"I sell coffee too." She shrugged and placed a hand on her small jutted-out hip. "So please? I even made three extra pitchers of lemonade this morning. They're sitting in the fridge and plus, I have a surprise for you on the kitchen counter."
"Are they cookies? Cause I'm kinda hungry," I told her as I stretched, knowing I wasn't going to get to sleep again for quite a while.
"No not exactly, but they'll keep you from getting bored. Now hurry, Mom and I are leaving and I want you out there as soon as possible," she said and all but pushed me out of my bed.
"Okay, all right, I'm going! Jeeze." I stood up on my own and headed over to my dresser, yanking open one of the drawers looking for a t-shirt of some kind while Selphie left the room, shutting the door behind her. I didn't even really care what I grabbed from my bedroom floor; I mean, I was going to be stuck behind a little wooden stand for who knew how long? I didn't feel the need to look that good, hence the dirty shorts. I eventually made my way downstairs where my mom was busy gathering up her purse and car keys and Selphie was just heading out to the car.
"Dem, thank you for watching Selphie's stand. You know how much that thing means to her," my mom said and looked up with a calm smile.
"Yeah, tell me about it," I yawned again and leaned against the counter. She glanced at her watch and threw her shopping list into her purses, picking up her keys from the counter.
"Well don't worry, we shouldn't be gone for that long. Selphie's appointment is at one, so hopefully we'll be back around two."
"Okay, that's fine. I might head over to Axel's later today. We need to start planning stuff for this year." I allowed my gaze to drift to the left and I suddenly stopped talking. Sitting next to me was a small pile of books, about five or so and not just any books.
"Those are yours. Selphie bought them yesterday to bribe you into running the stand today," my mom informed me as I picked up one of the little books, thumbing through it. So that was Selphie's little surprise.
I guess running a lemonade stand for four hours in exchange for five volumes of Fruits Basket was a good exchange. With that, my mom left and soon I heard the car pull out of the driveway. Picking up the manga and grabbing a box of cookies from the cabinet, I headed out the front door and down to the sidewalk in front of our house, dropping myself down in the lawn chair behind Selphie's little wooden stand. Propping my feet up on the stand and opening one of the manga, I leaned back and enjoyed myself, munching on one of the cookies and reading quietly.
And that's how it stayed for quite a while. Nothing exciting really happened; the only changes I made were getting up to grab a popsicle when my cookies were gone and grabbing my cell phone in case anybody called. No customers came by, nobody bought lemonade, and I pretty much sat on my ass for three hours. By the time one o'clock rolled around, I was on my last manga and had an orange popsicle dangling from my mouth. It was pretty quiet, save for the small amount of music that I was playing from my one working headphone attached to my mp3 player. Suddenly I heard footsteps and a shadow cast over me, blocking my reading light. I looked up from my manga and came eye-to-eye with another boy. He looked to be about my age with like, bluish-silverish hair and a dark blue eye. Yes, just one eye. Maybe he didn't have another eye, I wasn't sure, his bangs were covering the right side of his face. He was wearing a black t-shirt and dark jeans with a wallet chain hanging on his side.
"Where's Selphie?" he asked me quietly, staring at me with his one eye. I set down my manga, pulled out the popsicle, and kept my eyes locked onto him.
"She went shopping with my mom and then she had a dentist appointment. Why?" I demanded. The guy shrugged and reached into his back pocket, pulling out his wallet. He soon plunked down a five dollar bill and grabbed a cup that was sitting on the stand, pouring himself some lemonade. I couldn't believe my eyes.
"You give my sister five dollars for a stupid little cup of lemonade?" He stopped drinking from the little paper cup and looked at me over the brim of it.
"Yeah. I've been giving her a five every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the last month or so."
"Why?" He merely shrugged and downed the rest of the cup, crumpling it up and throwing it in the flowery garbage can Selphie set up next to the stand.
"Why not? She's a good girl, she deserves it. Besides, she's a sweet kid, good to talk to, although she never mentioned that she had a brother," he told me, refocusing on me. I nodded slightly.
"Demyx," I introduced myself and leaned back in my chair. He didn't answer me right away, giving me the once-over before turning on his heel and waving.
"Tell Selphie I'll see her on Wednesday," he called over his shoulder as he walked away.
"Hey wait a second! What's your name?" I yelled back, leaning forward to watch him.
"It's Zexion!" he answered back before turning the corner and disappearing from my sight. I flopped back in my chair, feeling rather put-off and puzzled by what had just happened. Fortunately, I didn't have to think about it for very long before I heard the sound of a skateboard coming down the street in my direction. Looking up from my manga again, I was actually surprised to see that it wasn't who I thought it was.
"Should I even ask why you're selling lemonade?" the tall redhead in front of me asked with a quirked eyebrow, stealing a cup of the cool drink and downing it in one gulp.
"Selphie made me. She's still on her kick about needing money to buy school stuff," I replied and leaned forward, propping my elbows on the little stand. Axel stayed on the skateboard, rolling himself back and forward and watching me.
"Why didn't you just tell her no?"
"She bribed me with manga."
"Oh." Axel knew about my somewhat secret obsession and nodded in understanding. "How long are you stuck babysitting the twerp's stand?"
"About another half-hour or so," I replied after a quick look at my cell phone. "What's with the skateboard? I didn't even know you knew how."
"Well, I know how to stay on, but I can't do all of the fancy shit. It's actually an early birthday present for Rox," he remarked, still rolling back and forward in front of the lemonade stand.
"I thought Roxas' birthday wasn't until like, the end of October."
"It is." It was my turn to raise an eyebrow.
"So…why'd you buy it now?" I couldn't help but ask. Axel drank another cup of the lemonade that was sitting on the stand and continued rolling back and forward.
"Because he called me last night and told me that his old one got ran over by a car."
"Well actually, apparently he almost got ran over by a car but he managed to get out of the way. The skateboard got trashed though and he sounded so sad when he told me about it that I had to stop yelling at him. Besides, I can't give him a ride home everyday after school this year since I got a job and you know how much he loves his skateboard."
"Right…whipped," I faked a cough, earning me a disapproving glare.
"Hey shut up. Just because you're single doesn't mean that the rest of us are whipped," he declared.
"I didn't say the rest of you guys, I just said you. Admit it, Ax, the kid's got you wrapped around his little finger," I pointed out, folding my arms on the counter.
"So? That doesn't mean I don't enjoy it. I actually like doing things for him. You wouldn't understand."
"Why do you say that? I understand plenty. I like doing stuff for people too sometimes," I argued. Axel stopped rolling and looked at me thoughtfully.
"…it's…different, Dem. Doing things for somebody you like or even love is different than doing things for a friend. It's like, you try your hardest to make little things seem special and to make a big deal out of the big things just because your happiness relies solely on the other person's happiness you know? Did that make any sense?"
"Truthfully? No," I said flatly, resting my chin on my arms and looking up at him through my bangs.
"Trust me, when you get a girlfriend, you'll understand exactly what I'm saying," he assured me, going back to rolling the board back and forward. I nodded to show that I heard what he was saying and traced random patterns on the countertop with my index finger.
"Hey Axel, can I ask you something?"
"You'd ask me even if I said no." That pretty much meant yes.
"Kay so this guy was here just before you were and the first thing he says to me is asking where Selphie was. This guy was like, our age and he was asking for my sister. Should I be a little concerned about that?" Axel shrugged and took a third cup of lemonade.
"Well, it is Selphie's stand," he started out.
"Yeah and I hope you're going to pay for the lemonade you're drinking, you bum."
"Just tell Selph I'll take her out for ice cream later. Anyway, no, I don't think you should be concerned. Why, do you think you should be concerned?"
"Axel! I'm asking you, you're not supposed to be asking me!"
"Well I'm saying no. Who was he?"
"I don't know…he just said that his name was Zexion and that he's been buying lemonade for five bucks every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since the middle of July from Selphie. I'm just assuming that Selphie knows him pretty well." I shrugged and poured myself a cup of lemonade as well.
"Well like I said, don't worry about it. But if you're really curious, why don't you just ask Selphie yourself? I'm sure she'd love to tell you," Axel chuckled. He also knew how much my sister loved to talk.
"Yeah, I probably will." Axel looked up suddenly and down the street that led toward town.
"Your mom's home," he announced, throwing away the paper cup he was drinking from and dropping two dollars onto the counter.
"What, no she's not," I retorted, looking in the direction Axel was.
"Yes she is," he replied. Just as I was about to argue again, my mom's car pulled up and into the driveway with Selphie in the passenger's seat.
Maybe I should mention that Axel has supersonic hearing. He skated up to my mom and opened the door for her, hopping off of the board for a moment.
"Need some help carrying stuff inside, Mrs. Tilmitt?" he asked politely, letting my mom step out of the car. She laughed slightly and directed him to the trunk where a number of bags sat and Axel got to work taking them into the house. I think he likes pretending he lives with us; he's over at my house enough as it is. Selphie jumped out of the car and all but skipped over to me, standing next to me.
"How was the dentist?" I asked her, shoving the two dollars Axel left behind into Selphie's little money jar.
"Great. Mom was wrong, no cavities," she gloated, smiling brightly at me. "How was business?"
"How the hell can you do this every day? I was so bored all day, I only got two customers and one of them was Axel." I got out of the chair and stretched, allowing Selphie to have her spot back.
"Oh? And who was the other?"
"Who's Zexion?" I countered back. Selphie stopped counting the seven dollars into her total amount and looked up at me from her chair.
"Zex stopped by? Aw, I was hoping he'd hold off until I came back," she said with a pout, going back to her money.
"Selphie, who is he?" I repeated myself.
"Oh, he's a friend of mine who's been buying lemonade since July. He's a senior like you and Axel," she explained without looking up from her money or miscounting.
"So why haven't I seen him around before?"
"He used to go to school at Destiny."
"That prep school on the other side of town?" I didn't even peg the guy to be the type to go to a prep school.
"Yep, but he didn't like it so he flunked out so his parents would enroll him into Gateway." Oh, that's why.
"…what else do you know about him?" I asked, leaning against the stand.
"Just the basics. You know, name, birth date, age, address, phone number, blood type," she listed on her fingers.
"Wait, you know his blood type?" I gave her a skeptical look.
"We talk about everything."
"Apparently," I mumbled and picked up my manga. "Well, I'm going inside. Good luck selling more lemonade." I turned around and walked away, heading up the driveway and into the front door. Looking out the window behind me, I was pretty much shocked to see three people in line for Selphie's lemonade now that she was back.
I swear it's because she's still young enough to be cute but old enough to have breasts.
I hadn't walked into my house very far before Axel came into the front hall from the kitchen.
"So did you ask her about the guy?" he asked me right away, biting into an apple.
"Did you take that out of our fridge?"
"…don't change the subject," he said and swallowed what was in his mouth. "So did you?"
"Yeah. Apparently, she's pretty good friends with him and he's enrolled into Gateway to be in our graduating class. I guess he lives around here since Selphie knows where. And he used to go to Destiny Prep but he flunked out because he didn't like it or something. Either way, he's going to Gateway so you can see who he is," I rambled while Axel chewed on his apple.
"Uh…huh." He nodded. "Look Dem, it's just one kid. Let it go," he advised me.
"Didn't I tell you the same thing about Roxas?"
"Probably, but that was different because I liked him. And I mean, it's not like you have a crush on this kid right?"
"No, of course not. I'm not really interested in boys first of all and secondly, I just met him. You just don't crush on people you just met." I nodded firmly. He swallowed the fruit again and shrugged.
"All right, if you insist. I should get going though, I want to catch Roxas before he leaves his house. I'll talk to you later though okay?" He tossed the apple core to me and winked, heading to the front door.
"Yeah, sure. I'll probably call you later to plan for the year? You know, like we were supposed to?" I reminded him. He opened the door and grabbed the skateboard that was sitting in the dirt, dusting it off gently.
"Yeah okay. I should be home at like, eight…maybe later if Roxas and I go somewhere. I think we were supposed to go to the movies tonight or something. How about I just call you okay?"
"…right. See ya later," I replied and watched him skate down the driveway, waving goodbye to Selphie and taking off down toward town where Roxas lived.
Was it bad that I felt a little disappointed that Axel wanted to spend more time with his boyfriend than with me? I mean, it wasn't just Axel either, it was all of my friends that were my age. My other best friend, Marluxia, he was dating jailbait. Okay actually, her name's Naminé but she's Selphie's age and Lux is my age. You do the math. Either way, they still spent tons of time together.
Two of my other close friends are actually dating each other; Luxord and Larxene. Talk about the odd couple, but they've been together since the beginning of the summer. And then everybody else, I just don't feel like hanging out with. They're either scary or boring or just flat-out weird. No matter what though, it always ended up the same way.
Demyx is alone with his manga. La-dee-freakin-da. I closed the front door and wandered into the kitchen to throw away Axel's stupid apple core. By the time I was heading up the stairs to my room, I came to the conclusion that I wasn't mad at Axel or anything and that I wasn't really that unhappy being single.
I was just trying to avoid the fact that I wanted to know more about this Zexion guy. I wanted to know where he lived, why he flunked out of Destiny Prep, if he really had a right eye, hell, even finding out his last name would be good! I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I was going to find out everything I could about him until I was satisfied enough to leave him alone.
"Hey Demyx, do you have a bigger jar for my money?" Selphie stuck her head into my room, holding up her overflowing glass jar.
She was going to be the key to getting to Zexion, I just knew it. Now, to find a way to do it. And I had to find that jar for her too; Selphie was sometimes a hard person to please and I figured I would have to suck up as much as possible. It wouldn't be easy and it might not be fun, but I was determined to get what I wanted.
That lemonade stand was the starting point and it was going to be the ending point, even if it killed me.
And always, thanks to April for betaing this even though her computer's being a butthead -loves on April-