Title: With A Cherry On Top
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Pairings: Axel/Roxas, Sora/Riku, others
-A/N-: We all like weird stories, don't we? Here's a fairytale from Hell, written because Christmas is just 'round the corner. Trust me, it gets bizarre.
Disclaimer: The Kingdom Hearts franchise is like, so totally SQUEENIX'S. Got it memorized?
Naminé floundered down the dark, spiraling stairwell. Something was not right. Roxas had not returned from the living world. Everyone was here, down within the Crypt of Exodus. But not Roxas. Naminé was worried. Her heart was pounding in her ears as she tried to find her way down the steps without tripping. She loathed this flight of stairs. They were like a nightmare trip straight down to Hell. Only, at least she knew it wasn't taking her to Hell. The Crypt of Exodus was a place where all Nobodies who have passed on into Nothingness disappear to. She and Roxas were special in a sense that they had the choice to move in and out this realm of nonexistence. They had the ability to go back into the realm of the living as their Somebodies were still alive and willing to house their souls within them. They would then see through the eyes of their counterparts. All they had to do was climb up the same set of steps she was on right now and make the journey up into the real world.
Naminé had just come from her visit to the realm of the living. She had wanted to ask her Somebody, Kairi, whether Roxas was hanging out topside within Sora.
Apparently not. Sora himself couldn't feel Roxas' presence anywhere within him.
And so Naminé was starting to feel anxious and a little upset. Usually, Roxas would be seen hanging out with his Organization pals or with her. If the blonde Keyblade wielder wasn't in the Crypt of Exodus and he wasn't upstairs in the realm of the living, where was he?
She finally arrived at the bottom of the stairs, the darkness now evaporating away into nothingness. She paced down a foyer (a vacant corridor of smooth, grey marble), a soft light that came from nowhere illuminating the surroundings faintly, faint enough to make it seem like she were in a deep cave, but bright enough to make it feel quite cozy and welcoming.
She entered through a wide, stone archway and into the main chamber. They didn't call this the Crypt of Exodus for nothing. It was definitely tomb-like. But it was where she and the rest of the Nobodies lived now. And at least it seemed to cater for their needs, having all the necessary rooms and equipment they required (such as bedrooms, a kitchen, a lounge room, bathrooms, you name it). They even had strange contraptions and machines that Naminé had never really seen in her lifetime.
Truth be told, ever since Organization XIII's demise, every member in the party seemed to have reinstated some sort of amity down here. One could say that they almost lived in harmony. There was still some poorly concealed hatred between a few members, but that could easily be overlooked. Naminé was secretly glad that they got along without much difficulty and she believed it was because they really couldn't plot or scheme anymore since they were technically… deceased (or at least not part of the living world any longer).
The young artist knew quite well that Marluxia and Xemnas, for some strange reason, hated each others' guts. It could have been because Xemnas discovered that Marluxia had planned to overthrow his Organization in their past life. Also, Vexen and Zexion were not quite fond of Axel. Naminé couldn't really blame them.
But despite the few tribulations within the group of departed Nobodies, they pretty much lived peacefully. In fact, Xemnas, despite being the egotistical superior that he was, appeared to be treating Naminé with a lot more respect now. This struck the girl as extremely odd. It almost seemed as if the man was fond of her.
Back to the matter at hand, Roxas was, simply put, gone.
Naminé frowned. She practically searched the entire Crypt before looking upstairs. Where. Could. He. Be?
"Axel!" the platinum-blonde girl called out as she spotted the redhead walking out of the bedroom hallway and towards her.
"Hey, Naminé. Have you -"
"Have you seen Roxas?"
Both their faces fell in synch.
"Guess not," Axel muttered. He ran a hand through his blood-red hair and sighed. "Right, so he's not up there with his Keyblade buddy?" he pointed upwards indicatively.
She shook her head.
"Dammit. Where the hell is that kid?" he groaned.
Naminé only shook her head again, walking towards the lounge area. Axel followed. They both found Xigbar alone in the room sprawled on the couch, flipping through channels on the television. Why there was TV down here, Naminé would never know.
"Hey, Xigbar," Axel called out.
He got no response whatsoever. The television seemed more appealing than listening to what the redhead had to say.
"Oi, Eyepatch! Roxas died."
Number II's head whipped around to face Axel and Naminé. "He what?"
"Died," Axel repeated.
Xigbar squinted his eye like he found the fire-wielder's statement ridiculous. "Isn't he already like, y'know, dead?"
The redhead rolled his eyes. Couldn't the one-eyed loser tell he was joking? But then again, this was Xigbar he was talking to.
"We can't find him," Naminé supplied quietly, a strand of hair falling into her eyes.
"Oh. I saw him with Demyx a moment ago," Xigbar said off-handedly, returning his attention back to the TV.
"Yep. I think they were going to make their proposition to the King of Longwinded Speeches. Although why they need his permission is beyond me. He ain't the boss of us. Not anymore." Xigbar snorted.
Axel was already halfway out of the room before Xigbar could finish speaking. Naminé, being the lovely girl she was, smiled and thanked the Freeshooter politely before leaving in the pyromaniac's wake.
"Hey, Axel?" she asked as soon as she caught up with the towering Organization member.
Number VIII grunted noncommittally. It wasn't like he conversed with the tiny, pale-as-snow child very much. He guessed that she hadn't forgotten that there was a time when he would have killed her just to get at Marluxia in Castle Oblivion. He was somewhat ashamed of that and so, he decided to stay out of her way as much as possible if he could help it. He did it more for her than for him. In fact, he quite liked her. He wasn't sure if she exactly liked him. But they were extremely friendly to each other, especially in the presence of both their mutual best friend, Roxas.
"Why do you need Roxas anyway?"
It was a pretty innocent question. One that earned a blank look from Axel.
"Uh..." The Flurry of Dancing Flames pondered for a long moment as they made their way through the Crypt in search of either Roxas, Demyx or Xemnas, "Nothing in particular," he finally replied evasively, "I was just pretty bored and needed some entertainment. You know, he is pretty entertaining."
Axel sighed exasperatedly, not wanting to go into details. "You know, like how he brings us on this stupid wild goose chase," he muttered sarcastically. Where could that darn kid be?
They arrived at the games room where they found Xemnas and Saïx playing an intense round of snooker. Roxas and Demyx were nowhere to be seen.
"Hey Moony! Xem! Where's Rox and Water Boy?"
"How dare you? It's SAΪX!" Saïx growled. "Who the heck is Moony?"
"Whatever, Loony." Axel turned to Xemnas, ignoring the Luna Diviner completely. "Well? Xigbar told me Roxas and Demyx would be with you. Said something about a proposition."
"They were here two minutes ago," Xemnas boomed. "Asinine kids!" he scoffed, "Christmas celebration party, hah! Just how in the name of Kingdom Hearts are they going to be able to request an invitation to those up in the realm of the living to join us for the upcoming festive season down here? What a silly notion. Besides, why exactly would I desire another gaggle of random people including two other Keyblade masters in my domain?"
"It's our domain as much as it is yours, Xemnas," Axel reminded his former-superior.
"They already put forward the proposal to you?" Naminé squeaked. "But - but, I was supposed to do that!" She looked positively downcast, not at all pleased that those two had gone on ahead to reveal the secret plans they had been working on. They were planning to invite Sora, Riku and Kairi for a Christmas dinner next week. But she hadn't quite worked out the kinks of the plan yet.
"It was your idea?" Xemnas looked incredulous, "You were the brainchild of the scheme?"
Naminé nodded slowly. "Yes. And you're wrong. I know a way that Sora and his friends may come down here." She frowned for a moment, thinking. "Well, Sora and Kairi are able to get here without any trouble, since me and Roxas can get up there. It's only logical. But…" she tapped her foot on the floor, "I'm still trying to find a way for Riku to get here. Rest assured, I will find out eventually."
Xemnas stared. Saïx stared. Axel stared.
"So that's what you, Dem and Rox have been discussing all this time. I was beginning to wonder why you three were always huddled together like you're all planning to set the place on fire."
Naminé smiled thinly at Axel. "That would probably be what you'd do without a second thought," she replied.
"Ouch. You wound me," VIII rubbed his chest, feigning physical pain. And then he grinned. "Hah! That's an interesting idea, though, Nam. I'd like to see Sora again. He was always such a fascinating kid."
The girl sighed. "Yes, but I can only invite them if everyone here approves of it. It wouldn't be much of a Christmas party if half the people don't like each other." Naminé turned to the former Superior and Luna Diviner. "So, if you don't mind… Mister Xemnas? Mister Saïx? Please, with a cherry on top?"
Xemnas seemed to be thinking hard. He looked back and forth between Saïx and Naminé. After awhile, he gave a loud sigh and nodded with finality, giving in to the innocent face of the pale-skinned girl before him. "Alright, very well. We can have a Christmas dinner party with those people," he murmured. "But I'm only agreeing for your sake, understand?"
Axel chuckled. "Wow, you must really favor little miss perfect here to consent to inviting Sora into our abode. Rox and Dem didn't manage to sway you, but the princess here…" he pointed at Naminé, "She's got tact."
Xemnas ignored Axel. It was something he usually did.
Naminé smiled at Xemnas. "Thank you, Mister Xemnas, you're too kind."
Xemnas nodded stoically, but Axel could have sworn that the corners of his lips twitched upwards in a tiny smile. He's such a sucker for Naminé…
"What about you, Mister Saïx?"
The blue-haired man of the moon shrugged indifferently. "If Xemnas permits it, then I too shall agree to this Christmas gathering... thingy."
Naminé skipped on the spot, her smile widening. "That's great! We're well on our way to making this thing a success!" she exclaimed.
Xemnas scowled. "Well, you still have the rest of the Nobodies to agree with your plan… Chances that they won't agree to it are fairly high."
"Aw, way to kill the mood, man," came a voice from the doorway.
They all turned simultaneously to find Demyx at the door of the games room, with Roxas peering in from the side.
"Where the hell have you been?!" Axel exploded, striding over to Roxas, his demeanor suddenly changing to one of fury. "I looked everywhere for you! Nam even made a trip to Destiny Islands!"
Roxas looked startled. "What did you need me for? I was in Demyx's room."
"Yeah, he was." Demyx looked a tad sheepish. "Sorry..."
"Oh, and why in the name of all things flammable would I look in Demyx's room?!"
"Could you please stop yelling?!" Roxas snarled.
Meanwhile, Xemnas and Saïx had gone back to their game, blatantly ignoring what might escalate into an all-out yelling match between two people who considered themselves 'more than just friends'. Xemnas never knew how they got along so well when both of them enjoyed getting under each others' skin. He supposed it must be some sort of 'love-hate' thing. Weren't they Nobodies? Somehow, those two were unique because they definitely seemed to have feelings.
Axel was glaring at the blonde Keyblade wielder almost accusingly. "If I didn't know any better, you've been avoiding me."
Roxas didn't seem to like being glared at, nor did he appreciate such wild accusations. "Well, I'm sorry, but you did say you looked everywhere for me. Which isn't true, since you apparently forgot about Demyx's room. I was not avoiding you!"
"I didn't check any of the bedrooms. What? You think I'd want to walk in on Larxene?" Axel's eyes narrowed. "Just what were you doing in his room?" he rounded on Demyx, who backed away from the hot-headed man with wide eyes.
"I think you should stay out of it, Naminé," Xemnas said idly, a resounding clack filled the room as he struck a ball. "Let them duke it out."
Demyx then spoke up, trying to defend Roxas. "Will you relax? All we did was come up with schemes to convince and manipulate the others into agreeing to invite Sora and his gang down here."
"Huh. Well, next time you go running off and hiding in bedrooms, tell me," Axel huffed, crossing his arms tightly.
Roxas heaved a weary sigh, wondering if Axel was just plain possessive or just looking out for him. "I'll think about it," he murmured in response, but he was already grinning faintly.
"You'd better," Axel growled, ruffling the blonde's hair pointedly, but almost good-naturedly.
"Why were you looking for me, anyways?" Roxas asked, realizing that his friend hadn't yet answered his query.
Axel scratched his head, thinking. "Hmm… I guess I got bored and needed the company of my best friend."
Roxas couldn't help but smile at that.
"Yeah, so, you managed to win over Xemnas and Saïx's votes, huh?" Demyx was saying to Naminé and flashing I and VII two thumbs up (which they both disregarded nonchalantly). "Awesome! Me and Roxas went around a few minutes ago. Luxord and Xigbar said yes without complaint," he looked at the redhead, "And I'm sure Axel would love to have Sora and the others over for dinner."
"Well, duh. Why not?"
"Haven't talked to the others yet though," Demyx continued as he ticked off each Nobody with his fingers. "We've got Xal, Vexy, Lexy, Zexy, Marly and Larx left to ask."
"Well then," Naminé said with a broad, thousand mega-watt smile, looking around at her companions with a mischevious glint in her twinkling blue eyes, "Looks like we've got a little more work to do."
"I say we go bug Zexy first!" Axel crowed, "And then threaten him with blackmail if he refuses to go with it!"
To be continued… And stuff…
Cuz we all like to see Zexy squirm.
I always knew Naminé was a devious child.
Poor, poor Xemnas.
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