Title: Simon Says
Summary: Seven-Shot. College welcome week was never this much fun. AkuRoku
Rating: T for offensive language and adult situations
Disclaimer: Not my sandbox. I just play in it.
Dedicated to: My clone/former roommate Becky, off of whom I bounce my ridiculous little plot bunnies.
Monday: Simon Says
I gaze up at the residence hall with well-disguised trepidation. I shift, hefting my backpack and turning back to watch my older brother approach with the last of my suitcases. Cloud's a good guy, really. Drove me all the way here from Twilight Town, where I grew up – an hour-long drive, if you discount traffic.
"You okay, Rox?" Cloud asks, setting the suitcase next to the other two. I shrug. I'm nervous as a… well… a very nervous thing, but I'm not about to let him know. Cloud's always had a very independent streak, which I've adopted for myself – be strong! Show no weakness!
"Guess so," I say, trying to keep my voice level. Cloud raises an eyebrow. I should have known he'd be able to see right through me.
"If you say so. Got your key?" I hold up the keychain issued by the res-life office, allowing the two keys (one for the building's main door, one for my room) to clatter against one another. I've always had a thing for keys. These in particular are very interesting – not the kind you'd usually expect for general-issue dorm locks. Cloud continues speaking as I space out. "Good. I'd better get going. I promised Leon I'd wait for the AC repairman while he was at work."
"What? But how am I supposed to get all of this up to the fifth floor on my own?" I cry, motioning to the three suitcases, two large cardboard boxes, TV set and mini-refrigerator that litter the ground nearby. Now, I'm glad I live on the top floor and therefore don't have to deal with too much noise, but come on! Four flights of stairs? Someone's going to steal my crap while I'm making the first trip, you can count on it. Cloud gives a nonchalant shrug. I take it back – he's not such a good guy after all. Lazy bastard.
"Get a friend to help you."
"I don't have a friend, Cloud, it's the first day!"
"So make one. See you at Thanksgiving."
"Wha -? Bu -! Cloud!" The bastard saunters off as I stutter. Typical Cloud – in and out as quick as possible, doesn't mince words.
"Ouch. The tough-love approach, eh?" I turn to the source of the new voice and stare. The young man who spoke looks like he's gotten into a fight with a razor and lost. "I'm Demyx Myde – the RA for Atlantica Hall over here!" He pats the wall of the res hall lovingly, as if it's some kind of overgrown pet.
"Roxas Strife," I mutter, figuring that it's probably a good idea to get on the RA's good side.
"Can I call you Roxy?"
"N – "
"Great! Nice to meet you, Roxy. I can help you with your things, if you want." I stare – more a glare now – and then sigh. He's seems like an idiot, but at least he's a helpful idiot.
"Sure. I'm fifth floor. Could you just watch my stuff, make sure no one takes any of it?" I ask. Demyx snaps to attention and gives a jaunty salute.
"Sir yes sir! Lieutenant Myde reporting for guard duty, sir!" I give him a calculatedly blank look, although on the inside I'm trying not to let out a snort of laughter.
"Okay. Thanks, man." I heft the backpack again and grab the handle of one of the suitcases, heading into the building.
The poor sap doesn't suspect a thing. I smirk, then dart out my tongue to wet my lips. My breathing is shallow, my muscles tense. I take a step forward, and then another, reveling in the drama. I feel… rather like a lion, stalking its prey, poised to spring.
Finally, after a moment of this reveling, I launch myself at my unsuspecting victim.
He lets out a girlish squeal as I tackle him to the floor, spurring an impromptu wrestling match. Which I win, of course.
"Axeeel!" Demyx whines. I smirk triumphantly from my perch on his back, pushing down on the back of his head and smooshing his face into the grass.
"Gotcha, Dem," I say.
"Aaaaax, I'm buuuuusyyyyy!" Tch. Pansy. He knows how much I hate his whining.
"You don't look busy to me, nancy-boy."
"I'm on guard duty – Ax, c'mon, lemme up!"
"Guard duty?" I ask dubiously, standing up. "Who the fuck would put you on guard duty?" And what the fuck was he supposed to be guarding? Demyx looks up at me from the ground, grinning.
"One of our new charges!" he says, ebullient. I roll my eyes.
"Ah, freshmeat," I say, playing on the designation. "No wonder." Demyx dragged me into this RA business last year after I couldn't find a place to stay off-campus. Traverse Town University only provides housing for the first two years, and my roommate from last year high-tailed it to Hollow Bastion on some kind of urban planning internship or another. Thus, I'd been homeless until Demyx got the bright idea to drag me down with him in his fit of school-spirited philanthropy.
Ah well. At least I have a room now.
"So," I say, gazing at the various items – the freshman's luggage, apparently – that were spread haphazardly on the grass. "Doesn't Freshmeat have any friends to help him move his shit?" Dem shrugs.
"His brother was here, but the guy had to leave for something or other." He clearly isn't paying much attention. I nudge one of the cardboard boxes with my foot, causing one of the flaps to open. I glance up at Dem, who's pulled his sitar out from the case that had been slung over his shoulder and started tuning it. Grinning, I root around quietly in the box – no harm in checking out what kind of newbies we've got ourselves this year. Dem doesn't notice.
My hand closes around something vaguely electronic-like. I pull out my plunder to find an iPod in my hand. Jackpot. I pocket it, nudging the cardboard box back closed. Dem starts strumming a cheerful tune on his sitar as I gaze around the Green in front of our res hall.
Atlantica is one of five res halls (the others being Agrabah, Olympus, Neverland and Port Royal) that open onto this field. Each hall has two RAs – Dem and I keep the Atlantica kids under control. It's not as busy as I expected it to be, even if it is the early move-in day. I sigh and fold my arms, scanning the surroundings for something interesting to do.
My eyes light up as they land on Marluxia, one of the RAs for Neverland Hall. He's always good for a laugh. I bid Demyx a quick goodbye to go and pester the pink-haired guy for a while, Freshmeat's iPod still in my pocket.
I managed to get the rest of my stuff up to my room in one piece. Demyx followed me, though, so now I have to listening to his chattering and strumming on his… sitar?... while I put everything in its place.
"…and there'll be dances, and games, and free food, and…" Currently, he's chattering something about Welcome Week, which starts today and ends when we start classes. It sounds relatively fun, but right now I'm preoccupied with making up my bed and hanging my posters. There's another bed in the room, currently unoccupied. Demyx says it's because I'm the first one here, and that my roommate is probably driving down later.
I don't really care.
"Oh! And tonight, we're having a massive game of Simon Says!" Demyx is saying, catching my attention. I own at Simon Says. "It's supposed to be ongoing – weeklong. If someone can outlast our 'Simon' till then, they get a 500 munny gift card to Belle's Bookstore – that's just off campus."
"500 munny?" I ask incredulously. Demyx beams, clearly happy to have evoked a response.
"That's right. I don't think anyone'll last though. Axel – he's our 'Simon' – is a god when it comes to calling for Simon Says. It'll be over within an hour." I narrow my eyes. This could prove interesting. Demyx continues chattering.
"Axel's the other RA for this building, you know. We've been friends since high school." I grunt noncommittally, not really paying attention as Demyx continues rambling. My mind is more focused on what books I will buy once I win the Simon Says competition.
The sound of the door opening makes Demyx shut up (finally) and me whip my head around. It would seem my roommate has finally arrived – a teenager with messy blond hair and camouflage pants. He's flanked by a girl with brown hair and an overweight boy wearing a sweatshirt for the Hollow Bastion Technical Institute, each carrying a cardboard box. Demyx lets out a joyous cry and jumps up from my bed to introduce himself.
"Er, hi," my roommate says, giving Demyx a look that one generally reserves for the mentally incompetent. "I'm Hayner." He turns his gaze to me as I finish putting up my poster of the Besaid Aurochs over my bed. "You must be my roommate…"
"Roxas," I say, reaching to grab another poster. "Nice to meet you."
"Well, I guess I'd better get going to make sure everyone is settling in," Demyx says, making sure to collect his sitar from the foot of my bed. "It was great talking to you, Roxy. Don't forget the game tonight, and come find me if you need anything."
"Game?" Hayner asks as Demyx exits, humming a cheerful tune. I shrug.
"Some Welcome Week thing. One of our RAs is in charge."
"Ah." There's an awkward silence as the other two (whose names I don't know) exchange glances.
"Well," says the girl, "Pence and I are gonna go get the rest of your stuff, Hayner. You should start getting organized." Hayner nods, rolling his eyes, as the boy and girl exit quickly. He turns to me, eyebrow raised.
"You come down here by yourself?" he asks. I shrug.
"My brother drove me and my stuff up here, but he had stuff to do, so he left me to move everything in myself."
"Ah," Hayner says. Another awkward silence permeates the air. I tape up another poster. "So… what's this game that Dumyx guy was talking about?" I snort as he butchers the RA's name.
"Demyx was talking about the first Welcome Week event… some kind of Simon Says game that lasts the week. Prize is 500 munny to a bookstore off campus." Hayner raises his eyebrows.
"Lot of money. You could probably buy your textbooks for an entire year…" I laugh.
"Unlikely. 500 might cover a semester. Maybe."
"Yeah, you're right," Hayner says, smiling sheepishly. "A guy can dream, though." Pence and the girl return, bringing with them a large cardboard box and wide grins.
"Hey, the cafeteria is open," Pence says. "You wanna go get lunch?" Hayner grins and dives into one of his boxes, pulling out a battered wallet.
"Sure thing," he says, following the others out. He pauses at the door and glances back at me. "You wanna come, Roxas?" I grin and hop down off of my bed, swiping my ID card (which doubles as an ATM card on campus) and keys from the desk.
Freshmeat has some pretty decent music, I've decided. I flip through his library while listening to some My Chemical Romance song… Panic at the Disco, Coldplay… and is that… Backstreet Boys? I raise an eyebrow. He's certainly got variation.
Marluxia's chattering about something or other – I'm hardly paying attention. Freshmeat's iPod is much more entertaining. The pink-haired RA is interrupted when Demyx skips up to us, all sunshine and rainbows.
"Hey, Ax, Marly! All the newbies are settled, so we need to have a meeting with the other RAs before we kick off the Welcome Week Games." I shrug and jump off of the railing I've been perch atop, my eyes still glued to the iPod. The three of us start strolling to the central lounge, where all of the meetings for the dorms take place. Demyx and Marly are chattering when Demyx suddenly pauses and looks to me.
"When did you get an iPod, Ax?" he asks. I smirk.
"Wha – ? But you've been on campus all morning… do they sell those at the cafeteria now…?" I snicker at Demyx's obtuseness and don't answer. Mostly because he'd get all PMS-y to find out that I swiped it from Freshmeat's luggage. A PMS-y Demyx is not fun to deal with, as I found out during finals week in our first year of college, when we were roommates.
We're the last to arrive at the central lounge. There are ten RAs, including Demyx, Marly and me, and we all answer to the bossman, Xemnas, and his power-tripping assistant, Saix. Saix is giving us the evil eye as we troop in and settle down on the couches by the other minio – er, RAs.
"Now that we're all here," Xemnas says, "I trust there were no major problems with getting the new students moved in?" Demyx raises his hand eagerly, as if we're still in grade school. Xemnas rolls his eyes. "Yes, Demyx?"
"Some of our kids had trouble getting larger stuff to the upper floors. We should probably get elevators," Demyx chirps. It's amusing how he takes himself so seriously, sometimes.
"Duly noted. Anyone else have hundred-thousand-munny ventures in which they feel we should partake because freshman plan poorly for moving?" Demyx pouts and retracts his hand.
The meeting proceeds, and I ignore it in favor of Freshmeat's iPod until Xemnas snaps at me.
"Axel." I look up into his annoyed amber eyes, a bit miffed myself at the interruption.
"You are in charge of the weeklong competition, yes?" Xemnas asks. I sigh and wave my hand dismissively.
"Yeah, yeah. Simon Says."
"Did you decide on a prize?"
"Winner gets 500 munny," I say absently, returning to the iPod. My retreat is curtailed by 'the Superior's' angry growl.
"And you didn't think to clear it with me before you allocated 500 munny from the res life treasury to one prize in the first week of school?"
"Don't worry about it Xemmy. I'll have them all out before the first day. Rules are I have to give up before anyone wins," I say, ignoring the fact that he is mentally castigating me for using such an informal nickname with him.
"Yeah, and we all know Axel is stubborn as an ass," Larxene – the other Neverland Hall RA – says crudely. She's the only female RA. Traverse Town University is a very male-dominated school. "No one will ever be able to make him surrender." Xemnas scowls and rubs his temples, before turning to me with a face like thunder.
"You'd better have them out by tonight, Axel. If you don't, the prize munny will be coming out of your pocket." I shrug. It'll be cakewalk.
Hayner watches in bewilderment as I toss clothes out of my dresser and overturn my storage boxes to search their content.
"Are you sure you brought it?" he asks, cringing as one of my t-shirts flies by his face.
"Of course I brought it! I can't survive long without it! How else will I drown out annoying chitchat on the way to class? What'll I listen to when I'm studying?" I'm not usually the type of person to panic, but when I do panic, I do it with a vengeance. And misplacing a 200-munny piece of electronic equipment – my very lifeline – is definitely cause to panic.
"It's just an iPod," Hayner attempts to console me as I flit from one end of the room to the other. "You can get a new one."
"It has all of my music on it! I haven't transferred any of it to my new laptop yet. Two thousand songs, Hayner! Do you know how much munny that is in iTunes? How many hours of illegal downloads?" I think I'm starting to hyperventilate. Hayner apparently thinks so, too.
"Calm down, dude. You'll give yourself a heart attack. We'll tell Domyx ("That's Demyx!") that it's missing, and he'll spread the word. Come on, we've got that Simon Says game to get to – five minutes!" I take a deep breath and close my eyes. He's right, as much as I hate to admit it. If I haven't found it after twenty minutes of tearing up my side of the room, it's probably not there.
"All right," I say after a moment. "Demyx will probably be down on the green waiting for the game to start." Hayner gives a sigh of relief.
"Let's go!" he says, bounding through the door. I follow at a more sedate pace, making sure to lock the door behind me.
The other students are already congregating on the green. Demyx is easy to spot, strumming away on his sitar and surrounded by admirers. We push through the crowd, and Demyx stops playing once he sees the distressed look one my face.
"Roxy?" Demyx asks over the groans of his groupies. "What's wrong?" I open my mouth, but Hayner beats me to it.
"His iPod is missing," Hayner says. I'm not looking at him, but I can tell he's rolling his eyes.
"Could you spread the word, Demyx?" I plead, letting Hayner's impatience slide. Demyx nods dutifully.
"Of course! Don't worry a thing about it, Roxy, it'll turn up!" He's so cheerful it gives me a headache.
"Hey! Listen up!"
My head whips around to the speaker, a lanky redhead standing on one of the picnic tables. I stare. This guy is weirder than Demyx (scuffle-with-a-lawn-mower hair and all). His hair is sticking up all over the place in gravity-defying spikes – a bright, blood-red that I'd have a hard time believing isn't dyed. He's got practically no eyebrows to speak of, and upside-down teardrop tattoos on his face.
And he's holding my iPod. My iPod, with the sparkly star stickers my cousin Sora stuck on the back last time he came to visit. I'm seeing red now, and it's not just his hair.
"It's time to get this party started," the redhead says, swirling the iPod wheel around and raising one eyebrow in a way that is making me certain he's just found my stash of RENT songs. The redhead looks up briefly, making sure he's got everyone's attention. As if anyone could miss him in a crowd. "I'm one of the RAs for Atlantica Hall – " Oh no. " – The name's Axel. Commit it to memory. I'm also in charge of this little ice breaker game of Simon Says – " Oh nonono. " – Dem over here is gonna explain the rules." He waves briefly in Demyx's direction.
The perky blond, having put away his sitar in its case, bounds up to the picnic table and jumps atop it in a single stride. He teeters a bit, arms windmilling, before righting himself and smiling at the crowd. He starts into an introductory spiel for the res halls in general, and I sidle out of the crowd and stalk over to where Axel is browsing through my iPod, apart from the crowd.
"That's. My. IPOD," I hiss at him through gritted teeth, once I'm within earshot. Axel looks up at me calmly.
"Is it, now?"
Play it cool, Axel. Suave. Don't let on that you feel any shame – that's easy, 'cause you don't. But definitely don't let on that Freshmeat is the hottest piece of ass you've seen in a long time.
"Yes. It is," the blond bombshell replies.
Or that he's especially cute when he's angry. Well, he could be that cute when he's not angry – you wouldn't know, as this is the first time you've met him.
"Ah," I say, inspecting him. "And?"
"And, I want it back." Oh, he's getting pissed, now. You should probably backtrack, Ax. If you're not nice to him a little, he'll never sleep with you.
Don't let on that you want to fuck him.
And don't let on that you talk to yourself, either.
"One condition," I say, giving him my most charming grin. "Tell me your name." Freshmeat presses his lips together tightly. There's a moment of silence as he contemplates and Dem chatters in the background about the rules of our version of Simon Says.
"Roxas," he spits out at last. This must be what winning the lottery feels like.
"Can I call you Roxy?" I ask with a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin.
"N – "
"Great!" I cut him off, shoving the iPod into his hands. "Best of luck in the game, Roxy, I'll go easy on you." Hands in my pockets, I stroll back to the picnic table. Dem sees me approach and wraps up his soliloquy, sitting cross-legged on one of the benches as I jump back up onto the table.
"All right, kiddies! Let's get started. Simon says jump." They all – even Roxy, to my surprise – comply. I give a glance to Marluxia, Larxene, Xigbar and Luxord, who are monitoring for any outs. Xiggy smirks and gives me a thumbs up – they're ready to pull people out. I smirk. Rapid fire time.
"Simon says touch your nose. Simon says spin. Simon says hop on one foot. Simon says raise your hand. Lower it." About half of the poor innocent freshmen, confused by the brisk burst of instruction, are caught with their hands down. A hundred or so more to go.
I'm pleased to note that Roxy is still in. He's glaring at me. I wonder if he knows how amazingly blue his eyes are. I wonder what they look like when they're glazed over as I…
Enough of that. Think about him writhing beneath you later. Get people out now.
The game continues. For freshmen, these kids are pretty quick. About an hour in, and there are still about twenty-five remaining. Roxy is still one of them. I glance at Xiggy – the seniormost RA – making motions at his watch. I look at my own and sigh.
"All right, guys. Game's over for tonight. Head back to your dorms," I say. There's a clamour as the remaining players regroup and start talking amongst themselves, wandering off.
Roxy stays put, smirking determinedly now.
"By the way," I call, mirth coloring my tone, "if you just moved, you're out." There's a stunned silence, followed by groans as the offenders leave the 'arena' we cordoned off with traffic cones. Roxy is the last one remaining. I turn to Xigbar, who's frowning.
"He didn't move, Xiggy." Xigbar turns a measuring gaze to the freshman.
"Sharp," he comments.
"Go Roxy!" Ah, yes. Demyx was still sitting on the bench.
"So does he win?" asks some unimportant blond kid from the peanut gallery.
"Not quite," Luxord says. "Axel has to give up before the kid wins." All eyes turn to me. I preen for a moment under the attention.
"Simon says the game is over for tonight and resumes tomorrow at nine A.M," I say, stretching luxuriously and gazing at Roxas all the while. He shifts uncomfortably as I grin at him. It's like earlier when I scared the living daylights out of Demyx – but this time, my prey will be much, much more satisfying. "Hope you're an early riser, Roxy."
I stare at my iPod in its position on my bedside table. I'm disgusted at the thought of touching it right now. One week to make that thieving, arrogant, clownish jerk give up.
I am so screwed.
One down, six more to go. Getting very excited about writing the next chapter!
To be continued in "Tuesday: Hide and Seek"