Author's Notes: Oh man. Seriously, you guys. I said I would never do it. So many people asked for this, and I said again and again that it just wasn't something I thought would ever happen. And yet here I am… writing the into author's note for a sequel to 'Where The Hell Is Magic Lake?' XD
And why am I doing it? Well I'd have thought that would be obvious! I am doing it for YOU! Yes, you. Me and my friend who originally schemed and plotted up WTHIML thought long and hard, and decided that yes, we wanted a sequel. And it seemed as though a lot of you did as well, and so well…
HERE YOU GO! 8D
The disclaimer! I do not in any way, shape, or form lay claim to Kingdom Hearts, any of the characters contained in it, or anything else related to the ultimate Disney/Final Fantasy crossover video game of awesomeness. But darn it all, I'm allowed to play around with it!
Pairings:Axel/Roxas as main pairing, hints at Riku/Sora, Zexion/Demyx, and Seifer/Hayner on the side.
Summary: Finding himself suckered into a winter trip to a ski resort, Roxas must deal with all of the crazy events that come his way, and face up to some old issues that just can't seem to be left behind. AxelRoxas AU
Warnings: Boyxboy happenings, craziness, occasional over-exaggerated characterizations, and general craziness all around.
Other Stuff:This story is dedicated to every single person whom I painstakingly assured that there would never be a sequel. XD
when you think you're in control,
just when you think you've got a hold,
just when you get on a roll,
Oh, here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again.
Oh, here it goes again!
"Here It Goes Again!" – OK GO
Fool Me Twice
Here We Go Again!
"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!"
Back and forth, back and forth, the creaking and groaning of chains was the only sound to be heard. Roxas had always found swingsets to be a rather nice place for sitting and thinking. The rhythmic movement provided a sense of consistency that the blonde found to be strangely comforting, and quite favorable to brooding and pondering.
Winter never truly felt like winter in Roxas's town. He lived in a small little town where the sun was always shining, the rare instances of rainfall were always followed by rainbows, and every storm cloud had a freaking silver lining. It was so utterly nice all the time, and Roxas wasn't adverse to it for most of the year, but… just once he wished he could have a white Christmas, or a rainy December day, or a cloudy winter morning. Anything. Couldn't the weather toss him bone, just once?
But no, the setting sun in the sky was casting a yellow glow over the earth, remaining warmth from the rays settling over Roxas as he swung in place. Roxas liked his swing, though. No outside distractions, just him and his thoughts. And the quiet creaking of the swing's chains.
Ring a ling ding! Ding a ling doo! Diddily diddily ding! Ring-a-ding-a-doo!
… and the ridiculously irritating ringtone issuing from his pocketed phone.
Groaning, Roxas pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, knowing that that ringtone could only mean one person, he reluctantly glanced at the screen, seeing the name 'Sora' flashing obnoxiously at him. The spiky haired brunette had picked out the ringtone himself, setting it as his personalized ring for Roxas's phone. It was annoying, but it did serve as an effective warning. A 'Sora Alarm' of sorts. Roxas would never want to deal with Sora without being properly prepared; mentally and possibly physically as well.
Sighing, Roxas flipped his phone open, holding it to his ear but maintaining a safe distance in case Sora just started shouting excitedly over something. "…Hello?"
"Roxas!" Sora greeted – chipper, but not overly, obnoxiously, excited. "Hi! How are you today?"
"I'm fine." Roxas replied, immediately suspicious. When Sora didn't get straight to a point, something was up. Something devious, and something that ultimately led to terrible, horrible disaster for Roxas.
"Well that's good!" Sora happily chirruped, humming to himself a little.
"Sora, what do you want?" Roxas asked, no longer wishing to beat around the bush.
"Weeeeeeeell…" Sora drawled. "See the thing is, me and Riku were planning a trip, and –"
Roxas wasted no time in hanging up, forcefully shoving the phone back in his pocket as if to get it as far away from his ears as possible. No. No way.Nothing involving Sora and the phrase "planning a trip" was even a little bit okay in Roxas's book.
Ring a ling ding! Ding a ling–
"What?" Roxas irritably snapped.
"Hey Roxas! I think your phone died or something, because –"
"No, Sora. I hung up on you."
"Oh!" Sora didn't sound disheartened in the least. "Well that explains it! Anyways, like I was saying, I was talking with Riku and we decided it would be fun to –"
It only took a few moments before the phone was ringing yet again, and Roxas picked it up, only to immediately hang up without a single word. It, of course, rang again an instant later, and this time Roxas didn't even bother answering. After going through the whole obnoxious ring cycle it stopped… before starting up again as Sora called back once more. Relentless as ever.
Five more times the phone rang and was ignored, before it finally stopped for good. Roxas had to wait a minute to be sure, but when a full sixty seconds had passed without that horribly irritating ring, the blonde let out a sigh of relief, settling back into his swing and kicking his legs back and forth, swaying leisurely. Yes, it was nice to just sit and think on his little swing with no distractions, no interruptions…
What was that sound?
Digging his heels into the sand beneath his swing, effectively halting his swinging motion. Tilting his head, Roxas listened carefully, trying to decipher what he was hearing. It was… very rhythmic, and growing louder by the second. A pitter-pattering of sorts. Almost like…
The blonde groaned, sealing himself for the inevitable collision. Sure enough, a second later he was being pummeled to the ground, an excitable brunette landing right on top of him with an ear to ear grin.
God, Roxas hated small towns.
"Sora, get off me." Roxas ground out, shoving at the brunette. Sora complied, but barely, sitting back on his heels enough to allow Roxas to sit up, but he refused to extract himself from the blonde completely. Grumbling, Roxas sat up, rubbing at the back of his head. With a heavy sigh he looked to Sora, wincing at the intensity of the other boy's happiness, which seemed to radiate off of him in hard-hitting waves.
"Hey Roooooooooxas." Sora sing-songed. "What are you doing over winter break?"
"Staying home and wasting my life with computer games and daytime television." Roxas quickly responded, finality in his voice.
"But that's no fun!" Sora whined, pouting. "Wouldn't you much rather –"
"But it sure would be nice if –"
"Haven't you ever wanted –"
"But a white Christmas!"
"Sora, I said… wait, what?"
Sora positively beamed, realizing Roxas's curiosity was piqued. "A white Christmas, Roxas! A blanket of snow, picturesque treelines, towering mountains and cocoa by a fire, the whole shebang! Haven't you ever wanted that?"
Now as much as Roxas had learned to never trust Sora's abilities for planning "fun", a white Christmas was just what he had been longing for. It was hard to feel the cliché holiday feelings that were always emulated on Christmas cards when surrounded by palm trees and clear blue skies.
"I…" Roxas reluctantly replied. "I suppose the thought has crossed my mind, yes."
"Well that's great!" Sora exclaimed, throwing his arms out. "Because Riku has a cabin up in the mountains, and he wanted to know if I wanted to go up there over winter break, and of course I said yes, but then I thought 'oh wait! I bet Roxas would like to go!' so I asked him if I could invite you, and…"
At this point Roxas stopped listening, his mind wandering. He always wondered why Sora considered him a close friend, when most of their interaction was reluctant or outright unwilling on Roxas's part due to their clashing personalities and lingering memories of past events-gone-awry, but Sora consistently invited him to things, made an effort to go out of his way to help when Roxas was having problems, and was just generally friendly and nice to him on a daily basis.
"…so I thought, I mean, it'd only be for like a week, and we'd be taking the train up and then renting a car, but if you wanted to come to the cabin with us it'd be totally cool, and there's snow sports and hot tubs and I just think it would be totally awesome if you came with us!"
Roxas considered it, sitting there in the playground sand with Sora on his lap. Under the circumstances, he considered it the best he could. A cabin at a ski resort was… it was civilized, unlike where he had been dragged to the last time Sora planned an event. And it would no doubt be lavish, judging by the fact that Riku and his family were rather well off. And he wouldn't be paying extravagant amounts of money for a trip he had always wanted to go on, since the whole thing was basically taken care of. Taking the train meant no horrible music being played on car radios by Sora. Events taking place all over a mountain meant plenty of space to get away from Sora's deviously crazy plans, should any be made…
It was nearly foolproof.
Some tiny little thought was still nagging at the back of his mind, but he brushed it aside. For some reason he really wanted to go on this trip. There were just a few last minute details he wanted to sort out.
"This is like… a legit place, right? Not in the middle of nowhere?"
"Nope!" Sora replied. "It's a really cool resort with lots of staff and interesting people!"
"And we're just going to be gone a week? To do… normal ski-resort stuff?
"And… this is with you and Riku? Only you and Riku?" This aspect was key. Last time he had agreed to Sora's crazy trip plans he had gotten roped into having to get along with a complete stranger. Whom he supposed could no longer be called a complete stranger, but… if that same person was going on this trip, there was no way Roxas was going to be able to go.
"Mm-hmm!" Sora hummed. "Just me and Riku."
Yet for some reason this answer still wasn't completely satisfactory, as much as it reassured him. Riku was a cool guy, and even Sora was alright, once you got past all of the exuberance, but the two of them together… Roxas wasn't sure if he felt like being a third wheel for a week, even if there would probably be plenty of other things to keep him entertained…
"I'll go on one condition." He decided.
Sora beamed at him. "Name your price."
"I get to bring a friend."
"…and there's gonna be freaking slopes to conquer, and hot chicks to woo, and craploads of good food… Damn, Roxas, thanks again for inviting me!"
"And again, you're welcome." Roxas drawled.
Hayner was Roxas's best friend. They were always together, at school, on the weekends… the two had known eachother from a young age and spent most of their childhood growing up nearly inseparably. They didn't hang out quite as consistently anymore, but they were still fast friends, and Hayner had been the first person Roxas had thought to invite along with him. With his messy, dark blonde hair, fashionable and quintessentially "cool" attitude, Hayner was the epitome of guyishness. Sometimes it was a little too much for Roxas, when the "dude" side of Hayner became a little too overbearing, but they got along well, and Roxas knew that having him along for the trip would be a blast. Better than playing second fiddle to the dynamic duo of Riku and Sora for a week. He and Hayner could hit the slopes and pal around… it was going to be great.
Well, it was going to be if Hayner would stop talking about how great it was going to be. Roxas swore, the guy had gone over every aspect of what was going to be "so freaking awesome" about the trip at least a dozen times. Cramped in the double-seated bench on one side of the train, Roxas looked across the isle to see Sora bouncing his head happily along to some music that was no doubt blasting in his headphones. Riku was reading a book, but kept getting jostled by the brunette's thrashing, and Roxas was glad of his choice in seat partners. Hayner could be a little much when he got pumped up about something, but at least Roxas wasn't stuck with Sora. Riku didn't seem to mind too much, and Roxas was yet again reminded of how envious he was of the older male's infallible aura of composure.
After a grueling who-knows-how-long train ride, they were finally stopped at the correct station. Grabbing their luggage, the four teens off-boarded the train, stepping out into the chilly mountain air and looking around for the rented car that was supposedly waiting for them.
Crunching through the snow, it didn't take long for them to discover that they were extremely under-dressed for the occasion. They had all worn their warmest clothes in preparation, but coming from a place when it was pretty much nice all the time, their wardrobes were rather limited, as far as clothing for extremely cold whether went.
And standing in about three feet of snow… Roxas had to say that this was probably about the coldest weather he had ever experienced.
"Hey you guys." Hayner called out, jerking his leg out of a particularly slushy pile of snow that he had been unfortunate enough to step into. "I don't think I should have worn my cargo capri's."
"Good observation." Riku chuckled. Of course he had a favourable enough selection of winter wear, and was looking quite snug. Roxas felt water creeping up his legs as it soaked into the fabric of his pants, and he inwardly cursed his lack of foresight.
"I w-wish I owned s-s-something other th-than sho-o-orts." Sora stuttered, teeth chattering with the cold. Riku was quick to offer the brunette his jacket, and Roxas rolled his eyes.
"Let's just get our stuff to the car – I think that's it over there – and then we can go get some snow gear, okay?" Riku suggested, taking charge of the situation. And like sheep, everyone followed, desperately going along with the suggestion seeing as it promised a solution to their dire problem.
Riku knew the way to the cabin, and turned out to be rather good at navigating winding, snow-slicked roads. As soon as their vacation home was in sight, every occupant of the car perked up, looking forward to the promise of shelter and heating systems.
Roxas took a moment to be impressed by the cabin they were going to be staying in. Made of what appeared to be weathered pine, the two-story cabin was snugged into the side of the mountain, surrounded by trees and snowpiles. There appeared to be a balcony with a sizable deck on the second floor, which no doubt would give a spectacular view of the surrounding valley. The late afternoon sun cast shadows from the beams and rafters, creating and overall very picturesque scene.
Taking a turn, the cabin was momentarily out of sight, but after rounding the next corner, they found themselves pulling right up to it. The car was put in park, and immediately all four boys began scrambling for their belongings, eager to get out of the car and into the cabin as quickly as possible.
After dragging their things and themselves through the snow-covered paths and up the icy stairs, Riku unlocked the cabin with his family's set of keys, and Sora was the first to slip inside, followed by Hayner who pushed his way past everyone else. Riku stepped to the side to allow Roxas a chance to get it, and with a shiver, the blonde gratefully stepped inside. As soon as the silver haired teen had closed the door after himself he went over to the thermostat, turning on the heating system.
"Riku I wanna go pick out my room!" Sora announced, bouncing in place with an eager expression. Riku's mouth tugged into a lopsided smile at this.
"There's only two bedrooms. We're gonna have to share."
"Aw man, I don't wanna sleep with a guy." Hayner complained, and Roxas shifted uncomfortably at the statement.
"I CLAIM RIKU TO SLEEP WITH!" Sora excitedly announced, oblivious to Hayner's previous complaint. Roxas winced at the volume, and the implications of what Sora was boldly declaring.
"That's fine with me." Riku responded. He turned to Roxas and Hayner next. "You guys okay bunking together for the week?"
"Yeah, I guess." Hayner answered. Roxas simply nodded. Sleeping in the same room as another guy for a week brought him a twinge of discomfort at past memories…
"Alright then, let's get unpacked. I think there are some extra snow jackets and pants laying around somewhere, and then we can all go down to the common lodge and get some dinner."
"Alright!" Hayner replied, pumping his fist enthusiastically. "Food!"
The lodge, it turned out, was a large and impressive cabin set up a little ways down the hill, right smack dab in the centre of grounds. Upon entering, the boys were met by warmth and drifting conversations, even the faint clinking of silverware from an out of sight restaurant of some kind. There was a large sitting area with plush armchairs and couches situated around a huge stone fireplace, and the interiour decorating was homey, in a mountain-ish sort of way.
"Gift shop!" Sora shouted, spying a little room across the way that was full of sparkly knick-knacks. Riku rolled his eyes.
"Alright, while we're waiting for him to get done exploring, let's go get some food."
They ended up ordering their meals to go, so that they could sit around the fireplace to enjoy their food. Hayner and Sora dug into their foods with vigour, as Riku helped himself eagerly, but with a bit more restraint. Roxas, though, found it hard to process that all of this was actually happening. Sora had actually planned a trip that the blonde had wanted to go on, and everything was going smoothly. They were in a normal cabin in a normal ski resort, having a normal meal around a perfectly normal fireplace. It was too good to be true, and yet it was actually happening. Still almost unable to believe his good luck, Roxas happily dug into his food, utterly pleased over how well everything had turned out.
Out of the corner of his eye, a flash of bright colours and music caught Roxas's eye, and he did a double take trying to make sense of what he was seeing. Before he could fully process what and who he was looking at, the person was gone around a corner, and the only thing Roxas had been able to pick out was a disorganized mop of dark blonde hair, cut into some outrageously ridiculous fashion. But for some reason it sparked something in him… the sense that there was something very familiar about the person…
"Hey Roxas, can you pass the mashed potatoes? I wanna make a volcano!"
With a sigh, Roxas turned back to his friends, passing Sora the potatoes and shrugging off the familiar looking person. But as they ate, another strange thing happened, when a flutter of pink brushed past their sitting area. Roxas barely caught a glimpse of who it was, as the person apologized briefly for bumping into Roxas's chair and then was gone. Pink-tinted hair wasn't very common, was it?
After dinner, everyone opted to stay around the fire a little longer, seeing as it was too late to go playing in the snow, but too early to go sit around in the cabin already. Out by the fire it was warm, and there was a social air about the room, so everyone was able to agree that it was the best place to stay.
"So tomorrow I was thinking we could go out pretty early and hit the slopes before everyone else tears them apart, does that sound good?" Riku suggested. Sora, of course, agreed as he snuggled into Riku's lap in the large armchair. Hayner was enthusiastic about the idea as well.
"Oh hell yes!" he shouted. "Those slopes won't know what hit 'em!"
"You've skied before?" Riku asked.
"Pfft, no!" Hayner replied, waving off the very thought with a flick of his wrist. "I snowboard! It's way more intense, and so much cooler."
"Skis are cool too." Riku defended, looking ruffled.
"Heh, yeah, if you're an old geezer or a fruit, maybe!"
It was barely perceptible, and if Roxas hadn't been looking for it maybe he wouldn't have even noticed, but Riku stiffened at the comment, ever so slightly. Roxas internally cringed. Guys liking other guys wasn't something he discriminated against, but after certain events that occurred last summer it wasn't something he was entirely comfortable with either. With Riku and Sora, nothing had ever been officially announced, but Roxas always suspected that there was something going on with them.
"I think skis are cool!" Sora piped up, snuggling up to Riku in a sleepy manner. "They're long and pointy and fast, and they can fly."
"No they can't!" Hayner argued.
"I think he's thinking of ski jumps." Riku clarified. "And in any case, skis take a lot more skill and practice to master, I'll have you know."
Roxas rolled his eyes, settling back into his chair with a sigh. Here they went again. Hayner was often brash and argumentative, and Riku was a highly competitive individual as well. He and Sora had grown up play-fighting with sticks, and although they had finally reached a stage where they didn't have to compete with eachother, the nature was still there, and Hayner and Riku were constantly finding something to butt heads about. It was usually never anything serious or mean, but they both had a competitive streak a mile wide.
"…ver done either before?"
"Sorry, what?" Roxas quickly replied, realizing the question was directed at him. Riku and Hayner were both looking at him expectantly, and Sora was fidgeting in his seat, looking over the back of the armchair at something or another that he found to be a point of interest.
"I asked if you've ever done either before, snowboarding or skiing?" Riku repeated.
"Uh… no." Roxas replied. "I've never even been to the snow before."
"WHAT?" Hayner exclaimed, sounding scandalized. "But then how are you gonna –"
"We can ask for an instructor, it's not a big deal." Riku cut in. "Besides, we'll need someone who can show us the different slopes anyways."
"Yeah, I wanna find the biggest, baddest slope there is!" Hayner announced. "And lemme tell ya, I'm gonna –"
"Roxas, I want some cocoa!"
Roxas snapped his attention to Sora, who had just made the out-of-nowhere proclamation. He had no doubts that Sora most certainly wanted some hot chocolate, but wasn't sure what the brunette wanted him to do about it. "Uh… then go get some?"
"But I can't!" Sora insisted. "I'm keeping Riku's lap occupied."
'Really?' Roxas thought. 'Seriously?' The kid couldn't go get himself a cup of cocoa because he was keeping Riku's lap occupied? With one look at Sora, he saw that the brunette was absolutely serious, and when he looked to Riku, the silver haired teen simply shrugged, unable to do much with a hundred plus pounds of Sora insisting on being settled in his lap.
"Why don't you make Riku get it with you, that way you can both go together and no one has to worry about anyone else's lap?" Roxas irritably suggested. He didn't like being treated like hired help.
"Pleeeease, Roxas! I'm really comfy! And so is Riku!"
"Well so am I!" he argued, again looking to Riku to see if the older male would throw him an out. Riku simply stifled a smirk, however, so Roxas interpreted that he was amused by the situation. He may have been the oldest and most mature out of all of them, but darnit if he couldn't be a right little bitch at times.
"Why don't you ask Hayner to do it?" Roxas grumbled, sinking further into his seat.
"Oh for God's sake, Roxas, just go get the fucking hot chocolate!" Hayner exclaimed, on the pretense of being frustrated with the argument. Roxas shot him a glare, knowing his friend simply didn't want to be made to put out the effort.
"Fine, but I'm not paying for you. Fork over the money."
Rummaging through his pockets, Sora pulled out a few rumpled dollar bills, handing them over. With a sigh, Roxas pushed himself out of his comfy armchair, giving his friends one last glare before heading off to where Sora had been looking, assuming that was where the cocoa was. It was getting late, though, and the small café area looked completely deserted, even though the lights were still on.
"Hello?" Roxas called, wandering over to the counter. "Uh… is this place still open?" A muffled reply came from somewhere in the vicinity of behind the café counter, and Roxas hesitantly approached it. "Uh… hello?"
"Just a minute…" came the distorted reply, barely comprehensible from under the wooden counter, further abstracted by the rustling of pans and boxes.
Roxas impatiently tapped his fingers against the countertop, waiting for the café server to be done with whatever he was messing around with. When the banging and rustling didn't cease, Roxas cleared his throat loudly, reminding the café attendant of his presence.
"Keep your pants on." Came the grumbled reply. Roxas reminded himself to complain to someone about the service. At the same time, there was something vaguely familiar about that voice, and an ominous feeling started seeping into his veins. All of a sudden he was pretty sure that the café attendant could stay down there as long as he wanted, and that would be just fine with Roxas.
"Uh… uh, actually nevermind, I'm just gonna –"
"Kid, hold your horses, I was just getting a…"
As the cashier stood, grasping a dented spatula, Roxas felt his blood freeze in his veins, and he wanted more than anything to just turn and leave, but he found himself unable to do so.
There was a standstill between both of them, as they stood frozen in place; not speaking, not moving, just staring. It was unexpected, it was unlikely, it was unbelievable.
The blonde reeled, wanting – no needing – to get out of there as fast as possible. But unfortunately he found that his body had turned traitorous on him and refused to listen to his commands that it turn on its heels and march as far away as possible right fucking now.
Roxas gulped loudly, right before he found out that his throat and vocal abilities had apparently turned on him as well when he found himself answering the other male's prompt.
.x.x. .o.O.o. .x.x.
First chapter of a brand new fic, you guys! 8D
I'm so excited to be working on this, and I really hope you guys are gonna enjoy it! I was so, SO pleased with the support I got for this story's predecessor, and because of that, decided to go ahead and do a second installment to the storyline, as many of you asked of me!
Thank you in advance to anyone who decides to leave a review, because I love and appreciate hearing your thoughts! And if you just read it and choose not to review for whatever reason, thank you anyways for reading my story, and I hope you liked it!