It's me snitches! Just in time for my birthday too. First of all, I want to deeply apologize for making you wait this long. I could list a number of excuses, but it all just comes down to me being lazy. Even now, I'm not sure if this is where I want it. But here it is, kiss number three. Before I continue, I just wanna say: I'm not one of those authors who'll stop my story until I have a certain number of reviews, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear from you! Drop me a line and tell me how I'm doing why don' cha! And also, don't think I've forgotten my announcement, it'll be here at the end of the chapter. For now, read, review, and enjoy the show.
Disclaimer: (running around) "It's mine, it's mine!" (slams into a lawsuit.) "Dang it."
"Your heart is my school, so learn me the alphabet of love." Anas Chabarek
Kiss # 3: Alphabet Soup
"I think it's ready now." Roxas said, lobbing the words up and down before tossing them over his shoulder, where they bounced and tumbled, before they came sprawling to a stop before his companion. From her seat at the large table, Naminé smiled at him, hair and eyes glinting in the artificial light.
It was a wet, dreary day in The World That Never Was. Well, that was no surprise, as it was always wet and dreary in their home world. But a cold, wet, and dreary day, now there was something new. At least this kind of cold. Roxas's nose wrinkled. Seriously, it was like Vexen went outside and let one into the atmosphere and the ice shards clung, creating the cold, frozen hell they were in now.
Most of the other members in the castle were off doing their own thing, while the rest ( a.k.a. Axel and Demyx, the only ones that mattered) were off on missions, leaving them with no extra company. Naminé didn't want to go outside (helloooo, cold frozen hell people) so they were forced to be content with their usual routine of her drawing and Roxas either making small talk, staring at her or off into space. It wasn't until the growling of their stomachs had them falling back down to earth that he had realized how late it had gotten.
He was just trying to figure out what to scrounge up, when, wonder of wonders, the young girl offered to make them lunch.
And that was how Roxas found himself downstairs, standing over a large pot of alphabet soup, in the Kitchen That Never Was. The Key had been pleasantly surprised and impressed as he watched his girlfriend alternately glide and bounce around the room, filling the broth with seasonings and herbs he'd never considered, let alone heard of. She even added a bit of pepper "for a kick", she'd giggled to him. It was a new and inventive spin on the classic dish.
What was even more of a surprise was that Xaldin had granted them use of his designated space. Roxas was sure that if he had a heart, it would have gone into cardiac arrest. The superior member was known to be very possessive of their eating quarters, something that was fast bordering on obsession. Once, he had come down for a midnight snack, only to find Xaldin, on hands and knees atop one of the counters, crooning to it softly as he scrubbed vigorously.
'Ah well', Number XIII sighed to himself, picking up a large serving ladle. The transparent wisps of steam distorted the air in front of him as he poured the mixture into twin ceramic containers. 'To each his own.' And as long as Xaldin and his craziness stayed far, far away, Roxas was content to pretend that everything was normal. He spun neatly on his heel, taking care not to disturb the sloshy substance in his hands as he made his way over to the table.
"Where'd you learn to cook like this?" His words dug themselves out of a deep curiosity as he found his place beside her. Naminé smiled brightly as the bowl was set before her with a soft "here you go." "Demy-nii taught me how. He saw all the stuff that Xaldin uses when he cooks, and found that some of them go good in a soup or something simple like that."
Well, duh. Roxas rolled his eyes at the stupid question, while at the same time smiling at the affectionate suffix. Demyx had become a fixture in Naminé's life, teaching and sharing many things with the witch during their time together. He had sat, enraptured, as she shared her knowledge of paintings and art with him, oftentimes helping her to expand on it, and he in turn shared his extremely vast and impressive knowledge of music. (A lesson that Roxas had readily taken part in. He hadn't known the older blonde could play so many instruments, and he was rather enjoying learning how to play the guitar and cello).
Roxas reminded himself, not for the first time, to not be jealous. Naminé needed more people in her world than just him, and he was glad that she had found someone like Demyx. He knew that her bond with the Melodious Nocturne was nothing at all like the one they shared. The young man loved her like a sister, and Naminé returned those affections. Roxas sighed contentedly; glad she had a familial bond.
"What're you thinking?" A head turned, ocean blue orbs coming to connect with rare, light blue ones, their shade changing like colors on a mood ring. Right now, they were bright with curiosity, waiting for his answer. "Oh, uh, nothing." The image of Number Three came, unbidden, into his mind. He shuddered. And then, at the raising of her brow, "Nothing important, anyway." He swiveled back around, mentally chanting 'Get out of my head scary man', before indicating to their food.
"C'mon, let's eat before it gets cold." He lowered his head to stare at the broth and dough figures in front of him. It had to be room temperature by now...
He leaned in, sniffed appreciatively while picking up his spoon. "Mmm, smells good Nam." He gifted her with a pearly smile, and she sent a blush in return. She still wasn't used to being praised or complimented. His body went through the necessary motions: raise arm, lower arm, dip hand, submerge spoon. And reverse. He paused, sent out a breath just in case, then allowed the utensil to be engulfed in his mouth.
His eyes almost popped out of his head as he gagged.
"Dear sweet, Kingdom Hearts!" The exclamation ran through Naminé like a electric shock, startling her into letting go of her spoon, which fell back into the bowl with a splash. Whipping around, she looked at him anxiously. "Roxas? Are you okay?" She raised her hands, ready to help him. Oh no, oh no! What happened? Was it the soup? What was wrong with it? Too much season salt? Or maybe it was too bland. Oh, she knew she should've added more pepper...
"This is...this is..." Naminé waited, her teeth digging into her lip and worry threatening to carve valleys into her forehead.
"This is friggin' awesome! Seriously!"
She stared at him. One minute. Two minutes. Three minutes. For five whole minutes, she did nothing but look at him, her face empty and blank and all kinds of creepy. Roxas could feel himself start to sweat under the force of it. And then, finally... "Roxas." Naminé's voice was softer than usual and the boy leaned closer to hear.
"You drama queen!" A growl was leveled at him and a hand was against his arm, pushing him back. Now the shove wasn't at all hard (at least to him) but the surprise that she was the one to do it made him sway slightly in his seat. He looked up in shock. "What? What did I do wrong, Nami ?" Roxas' voice was confused, as was his expression.
Naminé continued to glare at him with angry eyes and an equally upset (albeit cute) frown, which broke when she directed her gaze to her dress, which she tugged at forlornly. He could make out the tiny stains on the otherwise pure snow-like fabric. Oops...
"Ah. I'm sorry Nami-chan. You know I didn't mean to." His smile was both sheepish and apologetic, his words gleaming silver as he attempted to get in her good graces. She only huffed and turned away, but the waxing smile he glimpsed let him know he was forgiven.
"But seriously," he wrapped his hands around the porcelain and gazed at it adoringly. "If this was a person, I'd marry it."
"You'd throw me over for bowl of soup?"
Roxas smirked, sensing a challenge. "Hmm. Depends on the soup."
"What?" Naminé threw down her spoon and glared at him, though her eyes, he noticed, were sparkling. "After all the stuff I've put up with? When I get up at 'x' o' clock in the morning when you're coming back from a mission, even though I know that my sleep pattern will be thrown off for days. When I give up my lap, knowing that I will have the pins and needles, so that you will have a nice, warm, living pillow. Not to mention your 'surprise attacks.' I didn't even know that 'tile burn' could exist-"
"All right, all right!" Roxas gasped, eyes filling with tears, stomach muscles clenched tight, and cheeks on fire from laughing so hard. "I- I get it, I get it. Phew." He brushed away a liquid spill.
"Can we just eat?" Naminé was getting annoyed and he could feel her glare needling at his skull. He decided to spare himself the headache. "By all means."
It was relatively quiet for several minutes, the clanking of utensils and drip-dropping of liquid the only things to pass between them. In fact, if it wasn't for the odd occurrence, Roxas would have stayed silent.
"Hmm.? You have a 'spy' in your soup."
Naminé paused, set down her spoon, pretty sure that he had finally lost it. "A what?"
"A spy. Look."
Naminé shot him another "your crazy' look and before peering into her soup. It took her two sweeps to find it, but there, on the surface of the murky, season-filled liquid, the doughy letters had indeed come together to form the word "spy."
"Huh. Well whaddya know."
Her stare was still on her meal and so she didn't see her boyfriend's unusual smile, until another bowl was bumped against her elbow and the word 'misanthropic' was sloshed around dangerously. She looked up, and, after a moment, answered his challenge with one of her own. "Your on."
The next half hour was a literal battle of words. It was all-out war, each trying to outdo the other, using simple kiddy words from "cat, "dog" and "tree", to full blown dictionary words like "evince", "lupine" and "babillard"
Roxas twirled his spoon madly, bringing together the letters he needed. This was it. He was so going to win.
"Hah!" he laughed. "Let's see you try to beat that!"
Naminé leaned over, cocked her head at the bowl and the, admittedly, impressive, phrase within. Then, without warning, she grabbed her spoon and immediately began stirring and mixing, Roxas, confused and somewhat intrigued, sat silently and watched.
It wasn't five minutes later that Naminé raised her head from the table, lifting her bowl with a triumphant, yet bashful smile. Roxas leaned over the concoction, curious to see what she had written.
There, floating on top of the murky surface, were three words, small in form, but powerful in meaning. Three words that he would never get tired of hearing, no matter in what way, shape, or form they were conveyed.
'I love you.'
Not stopping to consider his actions, he surged forward to press his lips to hers. He probably should have thought about them, so he wouldn't scare her. But no. He didn't want to think. He was tired of that. Tired of planning, tired of everything. He didn't want to think. He only wanted to feel. Thought and logic had no place here at the moment.
After a short time, he pulled away, not completely, just enough to face Naminé properly. He opened his mouth. "I -"
"Man. You can't go anywhere these days."
That snarky, mocking voice could only belong to one person. Growling in exasperation, he turned around to give Axel a patented Look.
The other male snorted, rolled his eyes. "I come back from a long, hideous mission with this guy," he jerked a playful finger at Demyx, who glared at him, equally playful. "Hoping to get something to eat, and take a well deserved nap, and I find you two, trying to eat others faces off. And you think I'm not going to tease you?"
"Axel." The normally gentle water user turned a scolding tone on the other, who merely ignored him and headed for the stove. "Don't be too upset Rox." He put a sympathetic hand on the boy's shoulder and smiled apologetically at Naminé, seeing how red she was. Demyx turned to the redhead. "Ax here's just fed up with the world and wants to get it out of his system."
He followed after Axel, grabbing a bowl along the way. Thoughtful sea green eyes turned to the ceiling. "When you think about it, that's a pretty pathetic reason to pick on someone."
Axel let out a "Hey!", looking slightly affronted. "I do not pick on them. It's just a little harmless ribbing. And for your information, making fun of other people is a great stress reliever."
"What? That makes absolutely no sense!"
"How can that not make sense? It's exactly what I said."
Naminé was only vaguely listening to the two squabble. She was too embarrassed to look up from the safety of her lap. Stupid Axel, ruining everything. She wanted the ground to open up and swallow her right about now.
But then a hand, strong and warm, wrapped around hers, and both settled atop her thigh. Her eyes flicked to the right. Roxas stared back, lips pressed firm and eyes serious.
"You know I do too, right? Er -" He quickly rewound, knowing she'd be confused. "Love you, I mean."
Her answering smile was like a sea of stars, bright and beautiful. She touched her lips to his cheek, humiliation forgotten. "Of course. I've always known that."
"Jeez, would you two give it a rest? Always have to have your lips, hands or other body parts on each others." He and Demyx came and sat down across from them, their own bowls now full and steaming. "Well, except for this last time. That was at least semi PG. Smooth, Roxie, smooth."
Thirteen considered making a nasty comment about his friend's sex life, or lack thereof. He settled for launching another Look at him.
Eight easily sidestepped the superglare. "So, what were you doing if you weren't planning to defile the kitchen table?" He stopped talking to look into Roxas's bowl. "? What the hell?"
The young couple smiled at each other and tried to repress the sudden laughter. "What?" This was from Naminé. "We were just putting the alphabet soup to good use."
Axel raised an eyebrow, but didn't comment any further. Demyx, for his part, looked simultaneously interested and impressed. "Sounds like you two had a lot of fun while we were gone."
Roxas squeezed her hand again and laughed aloud, unable to hold back any longer. Naminé only smiled.
"Believe me. We did."
And there you have it. Not my best work, but I was anxious to get this out to you. Now enough talk. Here is my long awaited announcement.
I was going through my list of 30 Kisses trying to think of which one to write next. Only, as I was reading, I realized that I had no idea what to write for some of them, and still don't. After a long time of deliberation, I had no choice but to toss those out.
Your probably wondering where this is going, right? Well my dear readers, this is where you come in! I need you to e-mail or PM me your ideas for 30 kisses. Send me a story title and summary for what you want, and I will write it out for you. I currently have over six slots that need to be filled, with more on the way, so if you have any ideas or questions, don't be shy. Thank you, and till next time!