roku-chan says: Hello all, and welcome to another chapter of Organization XIII Goes Disney?. You guys have been so good to me so far, with all the great comments and everything. I really appreciate all the support. Keep it up! Also, be sure to check out my new website and join my mailing list! The link to my new homepage can be found on my profile page. Also, if you're concerned about the length of this chapter (or lack thereof, I should say), worry not! This chapter is short because I had to divide it from the next chapter...otherwise, it would have been way longer than the others!
UPDATED 7/29/08 - Hey, just notifying everyone of a slight change of plans! Writing the Haunted Mansion chapter proved to be much harder than I expected. I myself have never been on the ride, so it was especially hard to capture some of what goes on just from viewing YouTube videos and reading online walkthroughs. I also anticipated the ride to be absolutely horrifying, which would allow for a lot of comedic activity based on the characters' reactions...but it turned out that the ride isn't very scary at all. So, I'm saving that opportunity for another ride - one that I have been on - The Tower of Terror! Look forward to that in a later chapter, once our heroes reach the MGM park. For now, look forward to the new Chapter 11, featuring Splash Mountain!
Note: the ending of this chapter has also changed slightly to accomodate the change in subject for the upcoming chapter.
"Ugh...where am I...Roxas?"
Axel had just begun stirring awake after previously volunteering himself to be punched unconcious. Unsure of his surroundings, which seemed to be nothing but empty blackness, he roughly nudged Roxas, who was slumped over beside him. "Roxas, wake up! C'mon, you idiot! Where the heck are we?" Roxas didn't budge. Sighing impatiently, Axel grabbed his friend by the shoulders and began rocking back and forth, pulling Roxas with him. "Waaaaaake uuuuuuuup!" he yelled. Unbeknownst to him, the two friends were back on the "It's a Small World" ride, sitting in the same boat they had sat in the first time through. Due to Axel's continued shaking of Roxas, and the momentum he had built up as a result, the boat had begun to sway dangerously. Finally, and without warning, it tipped far enough to one side that both Axel and Roxas were dumped out of it into waist-deep, lukewarm water. The shock of the fall and the sudden state of wetness was what woke Roxas up. Screaming and flailing, he floundered blindly for a moment before realizing he wasn't in any danger. Looking up at Axel with wide, confused eyes, he asked the now redundant question: "Where are we?"'
"I don't know," Axel said shortly, "I was hoping you would."
"Where's everyone else?" Roxas continued, looking around anxiously.
"I don't know."
"Why are we in water?"
"I don't know."
Roxas groaned. "Some help you are!"
"Like you're any better!" Axel shouted back. The two boys glared at each other for a moment before Roxas suddenly turned his head away, staring off into the distance.
"Axel...do you hear that?"
"I don't hear any noise."
His friend rolled his eyes. "Well maybe if you'd shut your mouth for a second, you would." Axel scowled, but obeyed. Silencing for a moment, he listened carefully to try and pick up on what Roxas was hearing. After a moment, it became clearer: a soft, barely recognizable tune, one that seemed to be repeating itself every few seconds. Curious, Axel walked in the direction of the sound. Not wanting to be left behind in the dark, watery passage, Roxas followed.
"It sounds familiar," he said quietly, "but I can't put my finger on it."
"You know, maybe we're dreaming, or something," Axel suggested. "Maybe I'm dreaming, and you just happen to be in my dream. Trapped with me in a dark tunnel filled with water."
Roxas grimaced. "Cause that's not a creepy thought, or anything."
Mere seconds later, a light clicked on, illuminating the area. There was a split second of complete silence, and in that moment, suspended in time before the unfolding of the inevitable events to come, Roxas and Axel both noticed the same thing: the dolls.
"Oh...my god..." Roxas whispered. Axel shook his head in disbelief.
"But I don't wanna be in a small world again..."
"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears, it's a world of hopes and a world of fears..." the dolls began to sing. After being frozen in fear for a moment, Axel grabbed his friend by the arm and bolted towards the entrance to the adjacent room in the ride's sequence, screaming at the top of his lungs.
"WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP!" he chanted, slapping himself with his free hand.
"Axel! Axel, what are you doing?" Roxas shrieked, coughing and sputtering as he was dragged under the water a bit. Wiggling himself free from Axel's grasp, he stumbled after him as they passed through yet another room filled with singing, dancing dolls.
"THIS IS MY WORST NIGHTMARE, ROXAS! I GOTTA GET OUT OF IT!"
"Axel, I don't think this is a nightmare! It's real!"
"...it's a small world after all..."
"Well in that case," Axel snapped back, "run faster!"
The two struggled onward, splashing madly through the murky water as they desperately tried to escape the ever-present din of the "It's a Small World" song. After about ten minutes of continuous running, Roxas suddenly flopped against the dolls' platform, panting. Axel spun around, noticed his friend falling behind, and boldly ran back towards him.
"No, Axel, keep going! I'll catch up! Save yourself!" Roxas yelled, pointing towards the next room. "Go!" Axel shook his head, indignantly approaching and lifting Roxas off of the platform. Throwing him over his shoulder, he continued towards the next room, sloshing through the water. Roxas began punching Axel's back and shoulders in anger, kicking his feet wildly. "Hey, stop! Put me down!"
"No can do, private! A soldier never leaves a man behind!"
"Axel, you moron, we're not in the army! I mean it; let go of me now!"
Before Roxas could say any more, however, the music ended abruptly as pure sunlight broke around them. The dolls and darkness were gone, replaced by a crowd of confused and horrified-looking tourists and shocked ride attendants; their eyes widened slowly as they all took in this scene of two soaked, frantic-looking boys in black cloaks standing in the waist-deep water, their abandoned ride-boat silently gliding onwards behind them.
"Oh...um...hi," Axel said quietly.
The girl at the controls (who Zexion had previously seduced) only raised an eyebrow as she replied. "Hello..."
There was a long, awkward pause to follow. Axel cleared his throat after a few moments to break the building tension. "Well, uh...I guess...we'll be going then," he said calmly, climbing out of the small waterway. Countless sets of eyes still followed them as he walked away from the "It's a Small World" attraction, still carrying a horrified Roxas over one shoulder. Finally, when they had reached a small convienence area nearby, Axel put him down. The two soggy, bewildered Nobodies stood still for a moment, ignoring the stares they got as puddles of water gathered at their feet. "Where do you think the rest of them went off to?"
"Oh, who?" Roxas said sarcastically, suddenly seeming very angry. "You mean our horrible excuses for friends who left us unconcious on a demonic children's ride?"
"Talking about us?" a voice asked from behind him. Turning around to see who it was, Roxas could only glare when he noticed that it was Larxene, followed by the other five Nobodies. Demyx waved as Saix and Luxord stifled their laughter. "So boys," she said, giggling, "was it even better the second time?"
"Why I oughta..." Axel growled, winding up to punch her. In a split second, Larxene's entire demeanor shifted from amused to violent. Snapping her fingers, she thrust her hand out until it was just in front of Axel's face, so close that he could see the building spark twitching between her fingertips. He froze.
"I dare you to try and lay a finger on me," she hissed. Axel paused, watching the spark for a moment, before apparently deciding that this battle was not worth fighting. Lowering his fist, he resorted to mumbling angrily to himself and kicking a nearby wall dejectedly.
"I can't believe you guys just left us there," Roxas snapped. "And now we're completely soaked. That was low."
"Eh, at least we didn't leave the park entirely," Marluxia said with a shrug. "We could have, but we didn't."
"Yeah," Demyx added, "all we did was go and leave Zexion at that 3-D movie..."
"Because someone gave him a candy bar..." Luxord explained, glaring pointedly at Larxene. She rolled her eyes and went back to conjuring up more tiny sparks.
"A candy bar? And then you left him alone in public?!" Roxas shrieked, staring at them all incredulously. "What were you thinking?!"
"Uh, well, we really weren't thinking much," Marluxia pointed out, "we just wanted him off our hands."
"Yeah, it's not like we can't go back and get him," Saix grumbled. "He's probably too disoriented to even find his way out of the theater."
Roxas sighed loudly, shaking his head. "Well, we probably should go get him."
Marluxia nodded. "All right, fine, fine, don't have a moment or anything. Come on, let's go pick him up." He lead the way towards the 3-D movie theater, with Roxas and the others in pursuit. Larxene was at the back of the group, so she was the one to notice that Axel wasn't following. He had remained in place, scuffing his shoe across the ground, still dripping wet. Watching him for a moment, she groaned.
"Oh come on, Axel, suck it up. We'll get you some therapy or whatever. Let's just catch up with them."
"No amount of therapy will ever make that experience okay," Axel argued.
"No amount of therapy will ever make you okay, in general. You're a lost cause. Get over it. Now let's go."
Without any further arguement, Axel walked off with her. After a few moments, he looked over at her. "Hey, Lar?"
"What do you have to say now?"
"...am I really a lost cause?"
"Yes," she said impatiently, "you're absolutely hopeless, I promise."
"Lost causes are sexy," Axel said matter-of-factly, his proud, stupid grin stretching from ear to ear. Larxene just stared at him, scowling in complete disgust.
"Really, Axel...I sometimes wonder if you ever hear yourself talking."
About ten minutes later, the Nobodies reached the "Philarmagic" 3-D theater. The movie had apparently not ended yet, so the seven of them stood expectantly by the exit, not wanting to let Zexion leave without being recovered by the group. A few moments passed before the double doors swung open and people began to pour out of them. As they all scanned the slow-moving crowd for their blue-haired comrade, a few startling comments were overheard.
"Mommy, wasn't that movie cool? I think it was," gushed one little girl as she tugged excitedly on her mother's sleeve. Her mother nodded and smiled at her.
"Yes, I thought so too," she said nicely. However, she then turned to her husband with a disgusted expression. "Would have been better if that guy a few rows ahead of us had kept his mouth shut..." she grumbled.
"Mmm, I know," the man muttered, "that was pretty bad...what was that one thing he said, at that part with the Little Mermaid?"
"Oh god," the woman whispered, shaking her head, "I don't even want to repeat it. That was horrible."
A few more people walked by, bringing along even more suspicious chatter.
"Who on earth would come to a children's theme park in such a state? It's obscene, that kind of behavior..." one woman complained aloud.
Two teenage girls came walking out together. One turned to the other, giggling. "Haha, that guy near us was hilarious, don't you think?"
"Nuh-uh, he was like, really drunk, or something."
"But he was sooo hot, besides that."
"...yeah, but still, he was, like...high. It was like, really weird."
"Whatever. He was hot anyway."
"Oh crap," Roxas said, listening to all of this with horror. "Are you hearing what they're saying?" he asked as he turned to look at Marluxia. The older Nobody nodded slowly, looking slightly concerned.
"Yes, I'm beginning to regret leaving him here..."
"Beginning to?" Roxas snapped incredulously.
"I'm just glad he didn't directly offend anyone."
"I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT DRUNK GUY SPIT ON ME," a man screamed suddenly, flailing angrily as he stormed away from the area. All of the Nobodies watched him go, wide-eyed.
"...Well, looks like you spoke too soon on that one," Saix said, sneering. Marluxia went pale.
"Hey, I see him!" Demyx called, waving his arms to get the attention of the others. Once he had, he pointed towards the back of the crowd. Sure enough, there was Zexion, staggering after the mass of people and screaming at them randomly. Luxord sighed loudly, rubbing at his forehead.
"Just grab him then, Demyx..." Following these instructions, Demyx reached out and plucked Zexion from the crowd, pulling him into the tight circle that the Nobodies had now created. Sputtering in confusion and surprise, Zexion wobbled amongst them for a moment before fixing his eyes on Larxene and grinning.
"Hey there sexy," he muttered, "I just been everywhere and back again..."
"Sure you have, Zexion, sure you have," she grumbled, clenching her fists as miniscule bolts of lightning jumped out of them.
"I was there, and they were here, and we were nowhere together, and the colors, guys, the colors..."
Roxas, watching Zexion rant about his "experience", could only grimace. "It kind of sickens me that he managed to trip out to a Disney movie."
"Eh, it's been done," Axel said calmly. Roxas' eyes widened as he took a step away from his friend.
"I swear," Larxene hissed as Zexion continued rambling, "if he doesn't stop right now..."
"You asked for it by giving him the chocolate in the first place," Saix snapped, glaring at her. "Don't you go getting all pissy."
"Wow, Saix, that's an interesting choice of words for a man such as yourself," Axel said loudly.
"WHO'S GETTING PISSY?!" Larxene shrieked as the lightning bolts in her hands grew frighteningly larger.
Noticing the rising tension in the group, Marluxia thrust the park map into their midst, eagerly pointing towards a particular nearby attraction. "Here, here, what do you guys think about this ride? Want to go on this one now?"
"...Splash Mountain?" Luxord raised an eyebrow. "That sounds rather...wet."
"I DON'T LIKE WET," Axel snapped, his voice rising an octave in obvious distress. Saix rolled his eyes.
"Oh please; it's a children's ride. You mean to say you can't handle that?"
Axel paused a moment to stare at him. "...I can too handle that."
"Good then, off we go!" Marluxia shouted, shooing the others away from the theater. "We're walking, we're walking, we're walking..."
"Geez, what's the rush?" Roxas asked suddenly, dodging a shove from him.
"Security was looking at Zexion funny."
"I'M RIGHT HERE!"
"We know, Zexion," they all shouted back in unison.