Title: Something About Shopping Lists
Series: Kingdom Hearts II
Main Characters: Axel, Roxas, Sora, Riku
Warnings: Language and boys loving boys :)
Pairings: AkuRoku, SoraRiku later on
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts II or the characters in it.
Something About Shopping Lists
(insert random grocery store chain)
There is nothing, and I mean nothing more boring than working at a grocery store. Stock this, stock that, blah blah blah. The only thing that is even remotely amusing is checking out customers' shopping carts. I'm always amazed at the assortment of items people will buy. It's ridiculous.
What was it… oh yeah. Yesterday, this weird chick with brown hair that flipped out at the ends in a short yellow dress came in. She ended up buying some cereal, lettuce, tomato juice, a box of tissues, and frosting. Strawberry frosting.
But no cake mix. Strange.
And then this there was this guy with super long silvery white hair, down to his freaking knees or something, and he bought condoms and pineapples. I don't even want to think about what he was going to do. Gives me the damn heebie jeebies. He comes in all the time and always buys condoms and some random piece of fruit.
Then there's the vegetarian kid. He's hilarious. Sometimes I just follow him around to see what he's gonna buy because I'm pretty sure he's the only one around here that's a vegetarian. The kid won't even look at meat. He usually avoids the deli and takes the long way through the aisles and backtracks.
The spikey-headed brunet walks in, as per usual on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with the occasional Saturday thrown in. He grabs one of the mini shopping carts since he doesn't buy too much at once and starts down aisle one. The discount aisle. Woot.
I watch him from a distance. This kid is ridiculous. Let's see….
I follow him down the aisles as he picks up some tea, rice, and fake cheese crumbles. Yeah, fake. He's so amusing! What else… a watermelon, lettuce, and peas… some weird sauce that's probably vegan or whatever they call it… and egg substitute.
Then another boy runs over to him. His hair is past his shoulders and silver, with long bangs covering his face. I lean against the shelves in the aisle and watch them. His aqua eyes meet mine and I wink at him. He isn't phased at all. He starts pushing the spikey-headed kid down the aisle and the kid waves at me. As usual I wave back and this time I get an annoyed look from silver-haired kid.
They check out and I can't help but watch them. The silver-haired kid says something about uniforms, and I assume he's talking about me. The spikey-headed kid laughs and says they're nice. Nice? Only not.
Our uniforms are boring. They're white and red, with the shirts being short-sleeved white button-ups with either khaki of black slacks—I opt for black—and a long, too big red apron. Woo-hoo. Yay. NOT.
Actually, the most surprising thing about this job is that they didn't care about my facial tattoos. Which was great, because it meant I didn't have to turn the job down or attempt to cover it up with make-up. I don't wear make-up. Everything on my face is tattooed.
So another boring day at the store winds down—
"Clean up, Aisle 12!"
I head to work as usual, hands shoved in my pockets while I try not to trip over my unlaced chucks. I'm too tall for my own good and bending down that far this early in the morning doesn't seem like such a good idea. Plus, I'm in the middle of the street.
"I'm not… I don't wanna get the groceries! Why do I have to?" someone whines while talking on a cell phone. I glance over, half-amused. The kid looks familiar, although I can't place him. He has dirty blond hair that's a little all over the place and big blue eyes that he tries to hide with his bangs.
"But Sora… Fine, fine. Yeah… whatever. I'll go, I'll go! … Yeah, bye."
He starts following me toward the store, as I assumed. Groceries? Yeah, we're the only one for a square mile. Ya think there'd be some competition or something….
I tie my apron around my neck, being that it's already tied around my waist, then head to the backroom to clock in. When I walk out the blue-eyed kid is pushing a cart around with what I assume is a list in his hand. "Dammit," he curses.
Aww. "Need some help there, kiddo?" I ask as I come up behind him. He jumps and turns around, then nods his head eagerly. "What've we got here…" I take the list out of his hands, towering over him, and lean against the cart with one leg crossed at my ankles.
… And organic chips…
… egg substitute and sea salt…
… and soy pudding?
Oh Jesus. This is that spikey-headed brunet's shopping list. "So you're friends with the spikey-headed kid and the silver-haired kid?" I ask as I arch a brow and grab his cart from him.
"Yeah…. How did you know?" he asks as he follows me.
"I have a thing."
He gives me a funny look and I smirk. "A thing?"
I nod. "I have a thing with shopping lists." I say it very matter-of-factly. He seems intrigued, which is more than I can say for most people. It's a little weird to say you like shopping lists. Which I know is kinda strange, but I can't help it. I like them. They're fun.
First thing we do is grab all the vegetables that the kid wants. Then pasta-esque stuffs. Then organic chips and vegetable puff thingies… and finally his soy milk, soy pudding, egg substitute and tofu. I don't even want to imagine what this kid is going to make with all this crap.
"Okay, you're done," I say as I hand him the list back and the shopping cart. He blinks his eyes rapidly. He was staring at me the whole time, maybe because of the whole shopping list thing, but I'm used to it so I just ignored him. He smiles and thanks me softly, then heads off with the cart.
And that was my good deed of the week.
As I begin to wander off to some unknown aisle to clean up some unknown mess I feel someone tug on the back of my apron. When I turn around it's the blond-ish kid. "Yeah?" I say, arching a brow.
"Uh huh. Axel, A-X-E-L," I say, pointing to my name tag and spelling it out for him. "Got it memorized." He seems to like this and nods his head, mouthing the words back to me. "Ya need somethin' else?"
He hands me the shopping list and turns to run away. "Be there at 7:00 tonight!" he shouts over his shoulder.
I look down at the shopping list and its new additions. A picture of a deformed Roxas – I assume – smiling with a phone number and an address.
"Don't be late!" he adds.
Huh. Go figure.
I change out of my work clothes before going; nothing fancy, just jeans, a white tee, and my favorite oversized black zip-up hoodie. I knock on the front door of the building, a small and cramped looking red brick house squished between a million other ones just like it. That's the way city housing works. But it's in a nice area, close to my job. Unlike my apartment, which is scary and evil as hell.
But who am I to complain? Beggars can't be choosers.
The silver-haired kid opens the door. Up close, he's a real looker. I mean, his eyes and the hair are one thing, but he's a snappy dresser too. Fitted dark washed jeans, black studded belt, and an emolicious periwinkle band shirt. Yes, periwinkle. It wasn't blue, or light blue, or faded blue… just periwinkle.
He gives me a curious smile. "Oh, so you're the one he invited."
"Uh, yeah. I'm Axel."
"Riku. Come in." He opens the door all the way and I walk in, taking my shoes off politely before following him into the kitchen.
Which is, by the way, a disaster area.
There are strange things everywhere, and it smells interesting enough, but I know I see a block of tofu and that can never be good. Ever. The spikey-headed kid is mixing something in a bowl, face covered in white dust that must be flour. Roxas is trying to wipe it away as he mixes and shouts about the oven.
"Make sure it's preheated!" he screams.
I wince. Loud.
"O-kay!" Roxas shouts back as he storms over to the oven. He turns a few nobs, then turns back and sees me. "Oh! Hi!"
"Uh, hey," I said with small smile. "'Sup?"
"Nothing. Sora's just being stupid because he lost the recipe and he's improvising now…" he walks over to me and lowers his voice, adding, "which usually means we'll be getting take-out."
I shrug, hands raised. "I won't complain about that."
He smiles at me and I follow him into the living room where there is less screaming. Riku eyes us from the kitchen for a moment—hello, weirdo—then tends to Sora who is now screaming about a blender. What the hell would he need a blender for?
"Well uh, thanks for inviting me," I say as I sit down on the love seat and stretch out my ridiculously long legs. Sometimes I hate being so damn tall. Roxas sits down next to me and turns to face me, smiling.
"Thanks for helping me do the shopping. It would've taken me forever and a day if you hadn't. I figure it was only right to invite you. I don't even know why we always have to eat vegetarian. Something about Sora not wanting to eat his friends or something…." Roxas shrugs. "I dunno. He doesn't like eating cute stuff. So he's a vegetarian… vegan, whatever."
I nod. "Yanno, with that kid, I can see that."
"How come you always say kid?"
"Hmm? Oh, habit I guess." I grin and shrug. "Yanno."
"How old are you, anyway?"
I guess it's suddenly come to his attention that I look a lot older than he does, but that's only because he looks like he's twelve or something. Real young. And he's short. Something about being short makes you look young while being tall make you look older.
So I decide to tease him. "How old do you think I am?"
He debates this in his head for a moment before answering, "Eighteen."
I nearly fall over. Eighteen? Shit, I don't think I look that young! Most people guess in the mid-twenties. "Uh, no," I cough out as I hit my chest. "Nope."
"Oh. I dunno then."
"Twenty-one. Do I really look eighteen?" I pout.
Roxas grins and shrugs. "I dunno. Do I?"
I wanna tell him he looks like a twelve year old but I decide to play nice. "No… not really."
"Yep," he says with a sly smile. "No one ever thinks I am. Sora's my twin, and Riku's his best friend."
"So do you guys all live here together?" I ask.
Huh. I've never seen him before today, at least not that I remember. "How long have you lived here?"
"Umm… around two years." My eyes are wide and he laughs a little, embarrassed. "I uh, I never went to the grocery store you work at because my uh… friend worked at the other one, down on Park Lane."
I try not to get the hint. "Oh, okay."
The hint could mean one of two things: one, his boyfriend works at a different store; or two, said boyfriend is now ex-boyfriend, which is much more likely, and he stopped shopping at previous grocery store.
"Roxas!" Riku calls out as he peeks his head into the room, "Sora's destroyed the kitchen again. We're going out for dinner. Does your friend want to come with us?"
"Is it something gross?" he asks. "Because I am not doing that crappy vegan place that Sora likes!"
Riku laughs and shakes his head. "No, we're going to Okii Mama for Asian cuisine. Be ready, we're leaving in a minute."
"Okii… Mama?" I ask, arching a brow. Roxas nods.
"Yeah, it's a really good Asian place. Chinese, Thai, even some Korean stuff. And Japanese, of course. It is called Okii, after all."
I have no idea what that means but we put our shoes on and stand outside, waiting for Sora and Riku to clean up and come out. It must be close enough to walk to since I don't see any cars parked out in front. "So uh… your friend… what happened to him?" I ask without sounding awkward at all.
At least in my opinion.
Roxas gives me a funny look. "Uh, nothing really. We just don't talk anymore, really."
He says it very nonchalantly; maybe I was wrong. "Oh, okay. Well, we've got better prices anyway." I flash him a grin and a thumbs up. He smiles back and nods.
The door flies open and Riku drags a whining Sora out. "But I don't wanna go! I wanna make dinner!"
"You've destroyed my kitchen beyond repair as it is," Riku mumbles as he pulls Sora down the steps. "We're going out to eat, goddammit, and you're gonna like it."
Roxas and I follow hurriedly, staying a good ten feet behind them at all times. The walk is short, only about five minutes, and the place isn't busy at all which I'm thankful for. It's almost eight and I'm dying to eat. Like, fucking famished.
Sora orders something tofu-y, Riku gets something I can't even pronounce, and Roxas orders something that has curry in it. He looks at me and nudges me in the side. "What do you want? Riku's paying for it."
"Uh… what's good?"
"What kinda food do you like?"
Honestly, I've never actually eaten Asian food. Yeah, seriously. Not even Chinese. It just looked crazy and foreign and my main diet really only consists of cold pizza and greasy burgers. Yum.
"Uh… I've never eaten anything… like this."
Roxas is amused. "Okay then… let's just get you a beef and broccoli Dragon Bowl. With… an egg roll. Wanna soda?"
"Hell yes. Suicide it is!"
"I dunno. Someone called it a suicide… but all it is is mixing fountain drinks together to get a new drink. It's yummy. I still don't get why they call it a suicide…."
Roxas is amused yet again. I don't really think I'm that funny, or amusing. "Oh, okay." He orders for me while I take my cup and mix up all the pretty colored drinks. It tastes pretty good too, and I go over to Sora and Riku and sit down across from them. Sora smiles at me while Riku nods.
"Thanks for having me," I said politely.
"It's cool! We're glad you came!" Sora chirps. Man, this kid is so freaking happy it's almost scary. "I'm just glad Roxas is finally seein—"
"Hey!" Roxas almost shouts in my ear as he sits down. Ouch. He gives Sora a dirty look, probably hoping I wouldn't see, but I do. Okay, that confirms it. He did have a break-up, and now I'm like… what, a rebound?
I don't even swing that way.
"H-hey," I choke out awkwardly. He gives me a curious look, then looks at Sora and Riku. Sora smiles dumbly and Riku rolls his eyes. Yeah, 'cause I'm dumb, guys. Hello? Right here. I can see you guys doing all those stupid eye movements that are supposed to be telepathic communications.
I clear my throat and Riku turns his attention to me. "You okay?" he asks.
"Somewhere… along those lines," I mumble.
I'm happy when they bring our food out because it means less talking and awkwardness. Which I desperately need at this point because it's not fun getting weird looks and watching other people give each other weird looks like you can't see it. God, are they all dense?
The food's actually really good, though. I scarf the egg roll down and I can feel all eyes on me. "What?" I ask as I wipe some of the roll off my face.
"You… do you not eat much?" Riku asks as he tries not to laugh. "Because it looks like you haven't eaten anything in a year the way you're shoving that into your mouth."
He has a point. "Sorry, never eaten anything Asian. This is really good!"
"See? Okii Mama has something for everyone," Roxas points out before sticking his tongue out at Sora. "Told you so. Hah."
"Whatever," Sora mumbles as before sticking a big chunk of tofu in his mouth.
We eat together, mindlessly chattering and getting to know one another. It's actually pretty fun, and Roxas is pretty cool. And he's really not giving me any gay vibes or anything, which is another plus. I could be friends with him as long as he keeps his hands to himself.
Well… I guess if I have to be honest… I'm not entirely straight. I did have this thing, once, back in high school with a guy on the swim team. It was awkward, and we didn't really know what we were doing. Since then I've kept it to just girls. I consider myself straight, so everyone else should too.
"I'm stuffed!" I finally announce after clearing my plate. The others stare at my plate amazed, then Riku raises his hand to ask for boxes. I don't eat that much, do I? Well, they pack up their food and soon enough we're walking back to their house. Sora suddenly shouts,
"I forgot my wallet!"
Riku groans. "Shit. Okay, we'll be home in a few minutes, Roxas. You've got a key, right?" Roxas nods. "Okay. We're gonna go get his wallet. Don't destroy anything or I'll kill you."
He says all that with a straight face. Whoa. Impressive. I can't usually threaten to kill someone without at least a small smirk on my face.
"Okay. Bye-bye!" he says as he waves at them.
We walk up the steps to the house and kinda stand there for a minute, not saying anything. Ugh… I need a cigarette. I could tell they didn't smoke from the grocery store, since they never bought cigarettes and we have the cheapest cigarettes in the area.
Oh well, Roxas'll have to deal with it. I pull a cigarette pack out of my pocket and put one in my mouth, then light it. Roxas gives me an interested look, then smirks. "You smoke."
"Uh huh. Sorry."
"No, it's okay. I… like guys who smoke."
I try not to take it the wrong way. But it is a weird thing to say. Kinda. I guess. I dunno. Whatever.
I'm rambling… in my head….
"So do you go to school or anything?" he asks, changing the subject.
"Yeah, I take correspondence classes. I'm only taking one class this summer, though. I'm majoring in graphic design."
"How do you take a correspondence class for graphic design?"
I laugh. "It's just for a gen-ed class this summer. Normally I'm on campus."
"Huh. I've never seen you there."
"At Twilight University?" He nods. "Well, I'm up there a lot, even now in the summer. Maybe just bad luck on your part, huh?" I laugh and scratch the back of my head.
Roxas smiles softly at me. He's kinda cute… in a weird way. I guess. "Well, I should get going," I point out as I pull my phone out of my pocket. "Gotta take the bus. See ya later!"
I wave good-bye before Roxas can say anything else.
I don't like thinking he's cute.