First Time for Everything

Shizuka Usagi

Chapter 1

"I never had ice cream before." Zexion stated emotionlessly, staring at the unusually perky, teenage ninja.

She gaped at him in disbelief. How could you have not had ice cream before? Unless you were lactose intolerant. Wait a second—sea salt ice cream didn't have lactose. "You've got to be kidding me! Why not? No wonder you seem so emotionally deprived…"

Zexion raised an eyebrow. Who was this girl? He was just sitting on a bench in the Radiant Garden, minding his own business. When this girl—who called herself the Great Ninja Yuffie—came bouncing toward him, telling him that she has never seen him before.

He didn't look up from his book, thinking that if he ignored her she would leave. Unfortunately for number VI this wasn't the case.

"Hey, earth to uh…what's your name? You didn't answer my question." Yuffie informed, placing her hands on her hips. She bent close to his face, making him fidget uncomfortably.

Zexion supposed that if he responded to her silly questions, she would leave him alone. He didn't think it was a good idea to give her his Organization name, for the ninja might blurt it out to the keyblade bearer. Though, he decided against giving his real name. "My name is… Zexion."

"Zex…e…on?" Yuffie enunciated each syllable. "I never heard of that name before."

"I never head of the name, Yuffie, before." Zexion retorted. Unconsciously, a smirk tugged at the corner of his lips when Yuffie glared at him.

"Well, now you have!" Yuffie informed. "Mr. I've-never-ate-ice-cream-before! Speaking of which—" Yuffie bounded off, not giving an explanation as to where she went.

Zexion shrugged and went back to leisurely reading. However, no matter how hard he tried, his thoughts kept drifting towards the ninja. She intrigued him. Yuffie was one of the few people who ever spoke to him out of their own will. She was the most cheerful and carefree person he ever met…the polar opposite of himself.

He could tell she was a tomboy of about sixteen. The black clothes she wore contrasted immensely with her personality. Her shoulder height layered hair accented her cute face. Her dusk colored eyes held mystery and mischief.

Wait… did he just call her cute?

Unexpectedly, Yuffie dropped down from the ledge in the borough, causing Zexion to nearly drop his book. She held two blue popsicles. She smiled brightly and plopped down on the bench next to him. Then she held out a sea-salt ice cream stick to his face.

"This is sea-salt ice cream. It's the best in the world. Mr. Scrooge gets a lot of money out of these." Yuffie notified, taking a lick of hers.

He took the popsicle from her hand and looked at it as if it were a foreign object. It smelled of unrefined sea salt from the ocean and sugary blueberries, forming a strange salty-sweet scent.

"Take a bite. It tastes better than it looks or… smells in your case." Yuffie laughed.

Zexion gave her an apprehensive glance before taking a small bite of the ice cream. His mouth felt immediately chilled and his taste buds were overcome with saltiness before a surge of sweetness took over. It was the strangest sensation he ever felt. (Nobodies could feel to some extent—but not as strong as a human. However, they did have the five basic senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching…)

"How was it?" Yuffie inquired, her eyes held a glint of curiosity.

"It was…strange but good." A barely noticeable smile tugged on the edge of his lips.

"Glad to hear it. There's a first time for everything, ya know." Yuffie paused for a minute, seemingly in need of something. "I could go for seconds. How about you?

Zexion nodded slightly, contemplating her 'first time for everything' phrase. He decided he knew why they called this place the Radiant Garden as Yuffie skipped towards the sea-salt ice cream stall with a bounce in her step.

When she returned she only held one popsicle in her grasp. Her face was a bit crestfallen. "Sorry, Zex, Mr. Scrooge only had one left. These things sell like hotcakes. Here, you can have it." As she handed him the ice cream stick, he took her wrist gently and pulled her on the bench next to him.

"I don't mind sharing." Zexion said with a Riku-like smirk on his normally stoic face.