Title: Blush
Summary: There comes a day when all children must grow up and get married… whether they like it or not. Neither Zexion nor Leon are of that particular mindset, but fate has a funny way of hitting you in the face where you least expect it. Leon x Zexion AU.
Final Disclaimer: … aren't you really, really grateful that I don't own KH if I'm going to write stuff like this.
Notes: No, really, I'm not on anything. I came up with the idea pretty randomly, although it took me a while to decide on who I wanted to have as the other half of the coupling. Why I decided on Leon, I don't really know.
Anyhow, this is sorta a fairytale-inspired fic. I don't have a completely clear idea of what I'm doing with this fic… mostly it's just crack, but I really want to see if I can get the coupling to work. Not sure how well I'll manage that, seeing how at this exact moment I am playing through KH2 whilst writing… bwaha to my mad multitasking skills (and is it just me that Ansem the Wise is so damn bitter, while Axel and Roxas are totally love… fwee!).

chapter 1

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a wise king known amongst his people as Ansem the Wise (the people of this fair kingdom were not very creative). And while he was not always wise, he was still a very kind, benevolent ruler, although he tended to have a bit of a nasty, bitter streak when people betrayed him.

He also had a deep, deep voice that most would associate with the coming of evil, but that is a completely different story.

For most important to this particular story was the fact that Ansem the Wise had thirteen children, each lovely and unique in their own special ways. And they were loved very much by the kingdom… mostly because the vast majority of the populace had never had the unfortunate luck to actually meet any of these wonderful children. The thirteen children were, after all, the kind of people who were simply much, much more admirable from a distance.

Sadly for these thirteen children and Ansem the Wise, as well as the kingdom of Radiant Garden, their peaceful existence (previously marked only by the various conflicts that inevitably sprout up when thirteen very volatile and often incompatible personalities were forced to live under the same roof) was shattered when an appropriately evil villain named Xehanort swept into their lives.

For someone lacking a memory, Xehanort still somehow managed to become a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, nobody took sufficient notice of him until it was too late, and next thing anyone knew, Ansem the Wise had been deposed and sent to the darkness (where he would remain in a perpetual sulk until he escaped as a fashion disaster, since red bandages are typically only fashionable in horror movies), the thirteen not-so-lovely children were put under house-arrest (which was not much of a change from before as many of them were recluses anyway, with the exception of the ever cheerful Demyx, who had terrorized the populace with his note cards and infamous water tricks that usually left everyone soaked), and Xehanort had taken Ansem the Wise's name in a bid to become king.

Very few people outside of the palace were aware of this change.

Fewer still were actually affected.

For the purpose of being marginally interesting, our story revolves around the few people who really were impacted by this change, both inside and outside of the palace.

One of the most important of these characters is, of course, the man who had brought about the downfall of Ansem the Wise. Xehanort, now known as Ansem (without the 'Wise' part, a reasonable decision on his part), might not have been the smartest guy around, but he did know how to use people to his advantage. Part of the reason why his take-over had been accomplished so quickly and efficiently was because he had seen the dissatisfaction simmering within the thirteen children, and gained himself some formidable allies. Among these allies included the oldest child, a young man by the name of Xemnas who resented his father for lavishing attention on the other children (otherwise known as acknowledging their existence, but this was for Xemnas an unforgivable crime). However, after promising this child that he would revoke Ansem the Wise's previous ruling that incestuous relationships were to be frowned upon, Xehanort quickly gained Xemnas's help in removing Ansem the Wise from the throne.

Once he had done so though, Xehanort found himself with the singularly unpleasant task of actually having to run the place. This was nowhere near as fun as most people would think, which made it exceptionally questionable why Xehanort would have wanted the job in the first place. Any pleasure he might have taken from the job was also hampered by the fact that many of the un-traitorous children (a term that was to be used lightly, as it was not as if any of the other children had bothered to lift a hand to save their father when they realized what was happening) were uninterested in helping their new stepfather out. In fact, some would downright sabotage his evil plans, such as the time Axel had set fire to his brand new wardrobe the day before his coronation ceremony.

It was at this point that Xehanort realized that he needed to teach his stepchildren a lesson if he was to be able to run his kingdom (distasteful a task as that might be) in relative peace.

The best way to do it, Xehanort decided, was to take his role of evil step-father seriously. And to do so, the most evil and conniving thing he could possibly do (according to his informational pamphlet on doing a proper job as a villain) was marry off his children. Well, at least one of them, to maintain a good image of being very, very evil.

There was, however, a slight to this plan. Despite having thirteen lovely and marriageable children, Xehanort found it quite difficult to locate even one that could be married off. Xemnas, as noted before, was in a happily incestuous relationship with his younger brother (child number seven) Saix, and Xehanort knew better than to break a promise when both children in question were somewhat psychotic and prone to fits of violence. Same went for Axel, who was easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch but in a relationship with the youngest son Roxas, who while actually adopted (read, stolen from his family at an early age, and quite unaware that he had a twin brother who may or may not eventually play a significant role in this story) and therefore not actually related to Axel, was also jailbait. However, rather than try to use this against them, Xehanort decided it would be too much work to use blackmail when there were nine other lovely specimens to choose from.

Or seven, when one remembered to recall how child number ten had run off with child number eleven less than a week after the coronation. In this case, anger was not the reaction to such a betrayal. Oh no; most people recalled this incident with amusement and bewilderment, as it had been widely thought that Marluxia was a bit of… well, let it be said that he was not the type to be interested in women, and Larxene was not the type of woman to play nice. Yet the two had hit it off, and then they had run away, leaving fewer children for Xehanort to choose from.

Xigbar, with his wonderfully playful personality, was the second eldest child. He also had a tendency of trying to shoot people in the eye, perhaps due to the fact that he was missing one himself. Nobody had ever quite been able to explain how that happened to Xehanort, but he didn't particularly care anyway. Either way, Xigbar was un-marriageable, and therefore unnecessary to Xehanort's evil plans to look evil.

Same went for Xaldin, Vexen, and Lexaeus, who were respectively children number three, four, and five. Each had issues that made it impossible for them to be married off: Xaldin had sideburns, Vexen looked creepy, and Lexaeus was so determinedly not uke with his bulging muscles and towering height that there was really just no hope.

Then there was Demyx, Ansem the Wise's sweet ninth child. Demyx was actually quite ideal for a situation such as this, what with his good looks and bubbly personality that usually charmed the people who were not immediately repulsed by it.

He was also, however, in Xehanort's opinion one of the most incompetent morons ever to set foot on this planet, and while it was his opinion that marriage was not exactly the most difficult thing to accomplish, he had a feeling that Demyx would still manage to screw it up.

Hence Demyx was spared.

Xehanort therefore came to the conclusion that the one to be married off to the highest bidder would be Luxord, the tenth child. He was suave, quite handsome (once Xehanort ripped out that ridiculous earring), and prone to making rigged bets.

It was through one of these rigged bets that Xehanort found himself promising not only to not marry Luxord off (which was completely the opposite of what he had intended), but had also found himself up to his eyeballs in debt to the tenth child.

Needless to say, Xehanort did not have the required five hundred thousand munny. He barely had ten thousand, and he recalled to his dismay that one of his main selling points in ascending to the throne was no taxes. It was not much of a concession, seeing how people didn't pay taxes in the first place, but it did account for the fact that despite being the ruler of one of the richest kingdoms in all the worlds, Xehanort did not have any munny worth mentioning of.

It thus became even more urgent that Xehanort marry off a child and get some money. And because all of the other children were not quite under the category of eligible, this left only one child.

The sixth child, Zexion.

It did not matter very much to Xehanort what Zexion felt on the matter, seeing how he was out of options when it came to dysfunctional children. He did not even bother to ask for an opinion, as that was what evil step-parents did. Instead, he quickly spread the word that Zexion was looking for a husband. Any husband. And along with this message, Xehanort also let it be known that Zexion was not only eligible for marriage, but that the sixth child of Ansem the Wise was also quite a lovely specimen. Blessed with brains, beauty, and a charming personality, it was a wonder that suitors from here to the End of the World were not already eagerly trying to woo such a gem.

That of course changed very quickly once word got out, which served to please Xehanort to no end, while at the same time irritating Zexion—a pleasant bonus in Xehanort's opinion—due to the fact that it deprived this intellectual child of a quiet time to read, as it is difficult to concentrate when there are people constantly tapping on your window trying to get your attention, not quite caring that they are interrupting your alone time with one Marquis de Sade.

Yes, Zexion was starting to get quite irritated with all the interruptions and suitors, each one as hideous as the last. Zexion was starting to be of the singular opinion that each suitor was also as moronic as the last, especially when each of the conversations seemed to go as follows:

"My, you look lovely today."

At this point, Zexion would give the insignificant being who dared to speak to such a lovely specimen a haughty look. This was followed quickly by a contemplative look, although nobody knew that the thought going through that wonderfully brilliant mind was something along the lines of how to best kill the moron and make it look sort of like an accident but not really. As the point was not only to make it a painful death, but to send a message to similar fools.

While this thought was being thoroughly examined, the suitor—apparently really as vacant as he appeared—would continue on, oblivious to Zexion's deepening scowl, "A lady as lovely as yourself surely would enjoy having one around to fully appreciate-"

"I am male."

Here, there would be a long pause as the suitor would abruptly be silenced, staring at Zexion with wide eyes.

And Zexion would smirk, a small, triumphant smile of satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the smirk would quickly be wiped off his face when he discovered that most people really didn't care. Or rather, they didn't care enough because not only could they marry Zexion (for he really was quite pretty, and in this time and age that was usually the most important quality men looked for in their wives, even if said wives were technically male), but they would no longer have to deal with a certain evil stealer of thrones threatening to blow up their worlds.

What with the constant distractions—generally from those Zexion considered vastly inferior to himself—it did not take very long for Zexion to become even more of a recluse than he already was. Only snails confronted with salt were more reclusive than him, and the amount of danger he was in was about the same as that poor snail.

Particularly when it came to the future of his sanity, as Vexen and Lexaeus constantly reminded him of.

"You do realize," Vexen said to Zexion one day as they pored over his wonderful collection of acids and poisons, "that he will choose for you the richest husband, and not take into account things like looks, charm, personality, and brain cell count? He might even end up choosing someone more stupid than Demyx."

(At this, Demyx yelled 'hey!' and promptly tripped down a flight of stairs in his haste to prove his intelligence to his older brothers, thus losing even more brain cells. Actually, that is a lie. Demyx really was a smart person and a good fighter, but he was also a bit of a klutz and he didn't know when to shut up, which to the likes of Vexen and Zexion, automatically meant that he was an idiot and a waste of space, however unfair an assessment this might be.)

Lexaeus nodded in agreement, although he chose to keep his eyes on the experiment, as the last thing he wanted was for someone to mix something that would result in multiple people losing their eyebrows. Which might have been okay, even beneficial to Zexion who would probably do well to appear less attractive to all the annoying suitors, but for him and Vexen who needed all the looks they could possibly have, it was not the most ideal situation.

"He can try," Zexion replied, wondering if there was any way to slip some of the acid into Xehanort's shampoo. He doubted that making his step-father bald would make any real difference to the man's appearance, as he was not exactly the most attractive guy ever (but then, Zexion was biased against orange eyes). "But do not blame me when people start waking up with slit throats."

End Notes:
And while I play KH2… why oh why does Leon smile so much?! He like… smiles once in all of FFVIII, and that's at the end, and that's when he's about to get laid. But in KH2 he's all happy-happy joy-joy, which is terrifying to say the least.
Sora just got his little membership card that totally looks like a Disneyland year-long pass. Heh.
This will get updated... when it gets updated. Which hopefully will be sooner than my usual rate, which is about once a month...