Silver Bells

Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts characters belong to Square Enix.

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He was a hawk, ready to drop down on his unsuspecting prey. He'd strike as faster than any eagle and bring down any who came in range. One…Two…

"YAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" Sora dropped down from the tree he was perched on, crashing into an unsuspecting black and red figure below. Or was supposed to. Instead of the warm, slightly bony body he'd expected, there was wet, cold snow. Coughing, he sat up, soaked to the skin and staring accusingly up at Axel's laughing frame.

"You dodged."

"It's my bad habit," the redhead replied, completely unabashed.

Something meowed softly from the redhead's shirt, prompting Sora to look up curiously.

"I found her near the broken cart up the hill. While I was looking for you," Axel added pointedly.

Sora got up, dusting the excess snow of his clothes. The special clothes the fairies had given him was already drying, much to his relief. He went up on tiptoes to peer inside Axel's shirt, seeing a pair of luminous slit-pupil green eyes. The kitten poked its head out, a fluffy ginger tabby, probably without an owner, by the starveling look of it. Two red ribbons with silver bells on each were tied about its neck.

"What's that for?" Sora asked.

"Probably so people would know where she was at," Axel said, making a slight face. "Which reminds me." He drew one of the bows from the cat's neck, slipping the ribbon off. "I think you need it more than she does."

"H-hey!" Sora protested as Axel slipped his warm hands around his neck, tying the red ribbon about the boy's slim throat. The shiny silver bell jingled, like a tiny fairy's laughter.

"I think it looks good, actually," Axel remarked, pretending to look Sora over. "And this way I won't have to go looking for you under every other snow drift."

Sun-browned cheeks reddened, blue eyes glaring up at him. "Then you need one too!" Sora gently tugged the other ribbon off from the cat's neck, tying it about Axel's wrist. Axel's hand was warm. Always had been. And holding it like this made Sora suddenly wonder if he shouldn't have been so impulsive.

"Cute." Axel inspected the clumsy bow. "We should probably go now, though. Your caretakers will kill me if I keep you out too long."

"Riku and Kairi wouldn't," Sora said with the matter of fact tone only the singularly determined could have.

"Do me a favor and tell them that."

Nonetheless, two sets of footprints left for the town walls, accompanied by a duet of chiming silver laughter and the soft mewl of an impatient kitten.

-fin-