A/N: On May 24, 2010, the first Teenage Wasteland was released. Today, exactly five years later, I am excited to release a new and hopefully condensed version of what I promised to finish years ago for reasons that will become clearer at the end of the chapter. I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope you enjoy!
And if you're a new reader hopping aboard the Teenage Wasteland train, a very warm welcome to you! Before every chapter, I like to introduce some "background information" that may help with understanding the text. I hope you enjoy this bumpy ride!
Disclaimer: The following story if a work of fan fiction. The author does not, in any way, own Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, or any other Squenix game of the sort. Other names, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events, other stories, locale, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Rated T for later themes and language.
World: Alternate Universe (AU)
Genre(s): Romance, Humor, Adventure, Friendship
Pairings: Sora/Kairi, Roxas/Naminé, Hayner/Olette, Riku/Xion, Axel/Larxene
Plot: Eight unique sweepstake winners spend the entire summer on a lavish island resort built exclusively for teenagers only and partake in all sorts of drama.
Kingdom Hearts Resort: An island resort built exclusively for teenagers only.
Destiny Islands: A luscious island with picturesque white sands and crystal waters that is home to Sora, Kairi, and Riku.
Twilight Town: A peaceful sunset-painted suburb/town where Hayner, Pence, Axel, and Xion reside.
New Twilight: The heart of Twilight Town's downtown area that is home to both Roxas and Naminé.
Radiant Garden Academy: A prestigious boarding school attended by Kairi and Olette.
Fuqboi: A fuck boy. The lowest possible form of asshole.
[ REC o ]
"Is the camera on? Are we on? Yes? Are you getting my good angle, 'cause my hair looks so much better on the—oh, we're on right now? Okay. Ahem. Good morning Teenage Wasteland viewers! It's your favourite TV personality, Selphie Tilmitt, coming to you live from the newly built Disney Castle of Kingdom Hearts Island Resort: the hottest summer resort built exclusively for teenagers only!
I am very excited to announce that in honour of the castle's completion, the Dr. Scrooge Sea Salt Ice Cream Company has agreed to give four lucky winners the opportunity to live in the lavishly decorated castle for the entire summer! And on top of staying in the island's most prestigious suites with royal treatment, winners are allowed to bring one guest, will have access to fast passes to all resort attractions, and will win two thousand munny as a welcoming gift.
All you have to do is purchase a sea salt ice cream bar at the nearest store near you, and if your popsicle stick reads winner, prepare yourself for an incredible summer to come! Who will be our lucky winners this year? Wherever you all may be, we can't wait to give you one hell of a vacation. This is Selphie Tilmitt, signing off!"
PROJECT: TEENAGE WASTELAND
I | the summer of our lives
Destiny Islands, 7:28AM
"Bag of M&M's?"
"Two packs of bacon?"
"Nerf Raider CS-35?"
"Nerf Maverick REV-6?"
"Extra pack of Nerf bullets?"
Riku shakes his head disapprovingly as he lowers his best friend's crumpled and poorly written list.
"Sora, do you really need to pack all this stuff?" he asks. He observes the list once again, noting that they're not even halfway through the Super Important! section. "We'll be working like ninety percent of the time. You'll barely have time to even use this crap."
"It's an island full of teenagers, Riku," Sora reminds while snatching the paper from his hands. "I'm not wasting any chances for safety."
"I hardly consider Nerf guns a reliable form of defense," Riku admits with a chuckle.
"Okay one, these things are deadly if you have my killer precision," Sora argues. "And two, these are the only weapons I'm allowed to bring without security questioning me at the airport. It's not like I can just pack my keyblade and be on my merry way."
"Whatever," Riku says while making his way to the door. "Just meet me in the car once you're done packing your five packs of paopu juice."
"You're right, it should be six," Sora ultimately decides as he reaches for his mini fridge and tosses another pack into his luggage. Riku shakes his head once again.
"Just hurry up. We need to be at the airport in half an hour," he reminds. Sora only sends him a knowing grin.
"You just can't wait to lay your eyes on some eye candy," he says.
"Well it's as you said, Sora," Riku starts as he exits the bedroom with a similar grin. "It's an island full of teenagers, and I'm not wasting any chances."
When his skirt chasing best friend is out of sight, it is Sora's turn to shake his head in mock disapproval. After gracing the contents of his messily organized luggage with one final glance, he then checks the last thing on his list and pulls open the drawer on his nightstand. Inside lies a pink envelope addressed to someone named Kairi in poor calligraphy.
He stares at the name for quite some time and it stares back, pleading to be taken with him. He briefly wonders if he'd have the opportunity to use it over the course of the entire summer, but on the slight chance that he did, he didn't want to waste any chances.
Without further hesitation, he takes the envelope and tosses it into his luggage.
Twilight Town, 8:45AM
"Attention all passengers. Flight 109 to Kingdom Hearts Island Resort is now boarding rows one through ten. I repeat, flight 109 to Kingdom Hearts Island Resort is now boarding rows one through ten…"
As the same message was repeated in Japanese, a blonde-haired, brown-eyed teen keeps his eyes fixated on his portable video game console while everyone within a five-meter radius scrambles to their feet.
"Hayner," a voice calls.
"Hmm?" the blonde-haired boy responds, refusing to tear his bloodshot eyes off his little screen.
"Hayner," the voice calls again. The Hayner character only proceeds in button mashing like no tomorrow.
"Hayner!" the voice calls urgently. The gamer moves his headphones to uncover one ear with irritation.
"What?" Hayner asks, clearly annoyed.
"We're boarding," his companion responds calmly. Without losing focus on his game, Hayner gets up from his seat and languidly drags his luggage to the lineup. He doesn't even bother to react when his companion snaps yet another picture of him.
"You know, I'm not going to get much of a variety for my photography blog on this vacation if you're just going to play video games the whole time."
"Quit worrying, Pence. I'm not going to," Hayner assures, although his inability to look up from his screen bears little to no promise. "I'm sure you can capture me doing some pretty interesting stuff during my breaks—like when I take a dump or something."
"Hayner," Pence starts tiredly.
"I'm just kidding, man."
"I also advise you dress less like a fuqboi and more like a normal person," Pence suggests.
"What's wrong with my getup?" Hayner asks when he admires his camo pants and crewneck.
"Nothing," Pence replies. "It just isn't suitable for where we're going. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure it's hot on an island resort."
"Only because I'll be there," Hayner says while popping his collar in a fuqboi-like fashion.
"You know, despite all the fun things this vacation has to offer, I hope that you'll find that there's a world beyond fun and games," Pence says. "You need to stop playing someone else's story and look at yourself as the player in your own."
"So you want me to have a summer of meaningless hookups?" Hayner jokes.
"Not that kind of player," Pence says mid-sigh. "And let's face it: you're not nearly smooth enough to pick up so many girls."
"Are you kidding me? I'm so smooth I bet people would want to wipe their asses with me." Hayner then twitches at his choice of words. "Okay, that came out wrong—"he says while turning away from Pence in embarrassment, but instead his knees collide with the luggage in front of him, effectively causing him to trip and fall.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry," the young woman in front of him apologizes. Hayner's first instinct is to grab his video game console five feet away, but a rather pale hand beats him to it.
"Excuse me, that's mi—"Hayner starts, but his words are cut short when he looks up at the owner of said hand. For the first time since his arrival at the airport, his full attention was given to someone other than his video game.
The young woman in front of him had one of the sweetest faces he'd ever seen. Her eyes were a vibrant green, her brown hair was tied into two neat braids, and her petite but curvy body was covered in nothing but an orange sundress that left much to the imagination.
"I believe this is yours," she says while giving him what was rightfully his.
"I, uh, gerblah," is what escapes Hayner's mouth. For a moment his hand grazes hers while retrieving his gaming console, so he drops it again at the warm and foreign sensation. He quickly picks it up and turns around. Despite her laughter, he was far too shameful to look the girl in the eye again.
"Smooth," Pence comments.
New Twilight Airport, 9:12AM
"Roxas, I'm scared. I-it's my first time."
"I know it is. That's why we're going to do this nice and easy, okay?"
"O-okay. Will you promise me that everything will be fine?"
"You might experience some minor discomfort, but I promise you that everything will be completely fine and that this will only bring us closer together."
"Are you ready, Nams?"
A deep breath. "Ready."
"On the count of three then. One, two, three!"
On the third count, Roxas lifts his girlfriend off the ground by the waist and carries her into the airplane. A few seated passengers offer their applause while teenagers still waiting in line behind the entrance send him irritated glances. The one directly behind him rudely pops her bubblegum right in front of his face.
"Sorry," Roxas says sheepishly. "My girlfriend Naminé is agoraphobic and it's her first time on a plane."
"Tell it to someone who cares," says the young woman. As she shoves Roxas and Naminé aside, Roxas inwardly nicknames her Bubblegum Bitch. He takes his girlfriend's hand and protectively leads her down the aisle.
"Are you sure it's a good idea for me to go on an island full of teenagers?" Naminé timidly asks as she gets a good look at the variety of teens on display.
A teen with far too many tattoos and piercings to properly make out their face bobs their head to heavy metal music leaking from their headphones, another with an obnoxious looking horse mask shakes their head with their buddy in a unicorn mask, effectively bashing their noses together, and another… well, she didn't want to know what was going on behind that special magazine of his that covered his crotch.
"This will be good for you, Nams," Roxas assures. "Don't approach it with a negative attitude. This is the final step towards curing your agoraphobia. If you can make it this far, you can make it anywhere!"
When the couple reaches their designated window seats, Roxas finds that Bubblegum Bitch has taken the seat directly in the middle.
"Um, excuse me, we're actually supposed to take 16B and 16C," Roxas informs as he shows her the tickets. Bubblegum Bitch slowly turns to look at him with her sunglasses still on and pops another bubble in his face.
"Oh, Roxas, you don't need to—"Naminé starts, wanting to avoid conflict as much as possible.
"No, hun, she needs to understand that we booked these seats ahead of time," Roxas argues. "Could you kindly move, please?"
"I want this seat," Bubblegum Bitch decides.
"But you can't—"Roxas starts, but Naminé holds him back with a soft embrace.
"Roxas, it's fine," she assures with her cheek pressed against his chest. "Just let her have the seat. I don't mind."
"But…" Roxas pushes, but the pleading look in her eyes is enough for him to stop arguing.
He allows Naminé to take the seat closest to the window, as he wants her to have the most out of her first plane ride, and offers to lift her carry on and his guitar case into their appropriate cubby. When he plops down into his seat, he notices his girlfriend looking outside the window with a stiff posture. She nervously bites her lip and clenches her hands into two fists.
"Hey," he says softly, sensing her obvious discomfort. He reaches for one of her hands across Bubblegum Bitch, and if she was somewhat bothered by this gesture, she showed no indication.
"We're going to have the greatest summer ever," Roxas promises when Naminé turns to face him. "And I'm going to be with you every step of the way."
Naminé smiles and tightens her grip on his hand. "I love you."
"I love you too," Roxas whispers, and as he leans over for a kiss, Bubblegum Bitch decides that this is an appropriate time to blow another one of her bubbles.
Irritated, Roxas pops the bubble himself and pulls the string of gum from her lips and tosses it onto the floor.
Kingdom Hearts Resort Airport, 10:28AM
"Did you really have to order all those drinks on the plane?" Xion asks as she and her lanky red-haired companion wait for their belongings at the baggage claim area. The redhead decides to remove his sunglasses, only to be overwhelmed by the amount of sunlight seeping through the glass windows.
"What time is it?" he asks groggily.
"Ten thirty in the morning," Xion answers with a chuckle.
"Well my philosophy is that somewhere in the galaxy—"
"—it's party time," Xion finishes knowingly. "I know, Axel. I've got it memorized."
"Then you've learned well," Axel says with a proud smile. "I just think it's only right to take advantage of the resort's drinking age."
"You know, sometimes I feel like I'm more of an adult than you are," Xion says while retrieving her first luggage from the carousel.
"Excuse me?" Axel asks, feigning offense. "I'm nineteen and you're like, what… seventeen? You're practically a baby."
"And you barely met the age requirement," Xion counters. "You're practically ancient."
Axel acknowledges her comeback with a grin. "Touché, but who's the one who actually gets to drink?"
"I hardly consider that an advantage," Xion says. "And here I thought two semesters in college would help you mature a bit. What do you major in again?"
"The Ups," Axel answers while slipping on his duffel bag. "You know, turning up, hooking up…"
"Fucking up," Xion adds cheekily.
"Hey!" Axel yells. "You know, I didn't have to ask you to come on this trip. I could've been a sore little winner all on my own."
"Aww Axel, don't be like that," Xion pleads with a pout. "And let's be real: you didn't have anyone better to take this summer."
"You're right," Axel quickly admits while throwing an arm around Xion's petite shoulders. "Now let's go cause all sorts of trouble."
Kingdom Hearts Resort: Disney Castle, 11:48AM
When Kairi and Olette exit the limousine sent for them at the airport, they find themselves standing before their new temporary home. They stop dead in their tracks, mesmerized by the Disney castle's grandeur and elaborate architecture. It looked just like the stunning animations played at the beginning of the most recent Disney movies, minus the shiny logo and the Mickey Mouse shaped fireworks in the background.
"Whoa…" is all Kairi can manage.
"This place has roofs on roofs," Olette observes with awe. The brick foundation was light peach in colour, the roofs a royal blue, and the waving flags a deep, regal red. "And I totally wasn't expecting the moat."
"And the best part is that it's all ours for the entire summer," Kairi reminds excitedly. "Come on, let's go see what's inside! I bet we can see the entire island from up there!"
"Oh I hope there's a huge library inside," Olette confesses as they walk across the bridge towards the archway that granted access into the castle through a set of large double doors. "I really want to do well on the essay we were assigned for the summer."
"You're going to bring up homework? Seriously? We're on vacation, Olette. Live a little! Hug a palm tree, live the thug life, eat some ice cream on the beach, and maybe get yourself a short-lived but undoubtedly hot summer love that you'll probably eat buckets of ice cream for after we leave," Kairi suggests with enthusiasm.
"Okay one, I have an issue with the amount of ice cream that this plan implies, and two, I find the latter very unlikely," Olette presumes. "If I was on a pH scale, I'd be level fourteen because I'm about as basic as they come."
Kairi immediately disagrees. "No you're not. That blond guy at the stop over at Twilight Town was totally checking you out."
"He was not!" Olette argues with a subtle pink tint to her cheeks.
"Let's agree to disagree," Kairi offers. "But you seriously need to cut it out with the chemistry jokes. We're at Kingdom Hearts Island Resort. This is going to be the summer of our lives! Let's not ruin it by living in the past, okay?"
"You're right," Olette admits. "We've worked hard this past semester. We can let loose a little."
"Exactly!" Kairi exclaims with an enthusiastic fist pump. With each step towards the entrance, she was getting closer and closer to getting through to her workaholic roommate.
"We deserve this trip. It's exactly what we need," Kairi insists when she begins walking backwards to face Olette. "Luxury suites with incredible views, fast passes to countless attractions, over the top parties and events, unlimited food, and most importantly, no—"
Kairi's words are cut short when her back collides with something—or, more accurately, someone dressed in a Mickey Mouse mascot costume—that doesn't see her coming. The weight of the large head causes he or she to lose balance and eventually forces them to topple over the bridge and into the moat. Kairi and Olette both share a wide-eyed look before rushing over to the railings of the bridge with racing hearts.
From the dark below, a Mickey Mouse head floats to the surface, and just before Kairi places a hand over her heart as a sign of respect, another head—a human head—forces itself onto the surface with a loud gasp. Kairi's heart stops, but not because of relief—in fact, it's quite the opposite.
An unruly mess of brown hair that already appears to be defying gravity sits atop the human head, and Kairi knew only one person with such hair.
"Kairi?" asks the familiar—albeit childlike—voice. The Mickey Mouse impersonator tilts his head upward to look at her, but she no longer needs to see his face for confirmation.
"Drama," she greets.
Fun fact: I am a proud owner of all of Sora's Nerf guns.
A/N: Well that was certainly familiar, wasn't it? However, I'm hoping that it was slightly different (if not simpler) in terms of writing and characterization; otherwise this redo would have been pointless lol. While my change in writing style was a major factor in this redo, organization and changed views were another.
The first Teenage Wasteland was admittedly a clusterfuck of ideas mashed together into one story. There was no knowing what could happen next, and that didn't exclude the writer. There was so much going on that I completely lost control of the wheel and drove the story to places I could no longer understand. It had no structure—something I now value, but am trying to work on with this story. I guess in a way it kind of works, since teenage behavior is so spontaneous and random.
Furthermore, because I started writing Teenage Wasteland when I was fifteen, my characters, although entertaining, behaved in a different manner, so I eventually stopped finding myself within them and could no longer bring them justice. I am now nineteen, and although society thinks I'm an adult now (LOL), I'll always be young at heart. With that said, some adult themes might emerge later. Just kidding. Maybe.
You'll find that this Teenage Wasteland is much similar to the first, but hopefully with more structure. My fear is that I lack the imagination I had when I was younger, so I can't promise that it will be entirely better, but it's something I can work with. It's something that I hope you'll enjoy just as much as the first, if not more.
My writing style is still a little wonky from the condense scriptwriting I have to adhere to in university, so please be patient with my writing mojo!
Now a few things about this chapter:
Background information is still here! However, it's greatly condensed. I'd rather have readers reflect upon and interpret the personality and/or story of my characters rather than spoonfeeding all the information this time round.
Most of the characters have retained their original personalities from before, but with some exceptions. Sora is no longer, as Redeeming Endeavor put it, "Teenage Jesus", Riku isn't a total emo, and Xion will no longer be the factor that broke Sora and Kairi apart. When I looked back at my work, I thought that was a tad immature. I hope to make this variety of personalities fresh again, and that they'll still move you throughout their journey.
I hope you enjoyed the first installment of TW 2.0! Please kindly leave a review to share your thoughts and/or feels, I apologize for any grammar errors that I might have missed, and I'll see you all in the next chapter!