Disclaimer: I don't own KH. There's no way I can afford the rights to that.
Zephyr here. College hasn't devoured my soul yet. I know it's been a while since I updated, but I had a VERY busy summer. And I've been writing a fair amount of Code Geass fanfics to keep me busy. As a bit of a side note, I'm sure it's obvious that the chapter titles are all songs that I like or at least know. The same thing goes for the songs that are actually in the story. My question is how many of you lovely readers actually look up the songs that I mention? I know I usually do this when I encounter music in fanfics, but I'm curious as to how many of my readers do the same. Just drop me a line or a review (those would be nice anyway) with your answer. That being said, let the deadly tale continue!
The next few days were extremely uneventful. The most exciting thing that happened was that Cloud and Zack had somehow managed to get Vexen's bari-sax up on the roof of one of the cabins. Even though Cid couldn't stand Vexen, he still had to discipline Zack and Cloud.
Despite the boredom in the camp, Roxas and Axel noticed Reno and Kadaj acting differently again. Kadaj would do anything to avoid being with Reno and Axel, but Reno kept trying to get closer to him.
Rehearsals commenced on the sixteenth day with the band playing Nineveh by E.S. Posthumus on the practice field. It sounded particularly strange, as Axel and Zack had taken over the violin parts with their guitars. Roxas was playing the vocal parts on his keyboard, as well as the parts in the beginning of the song.
The rest of the band was often bored during this song. It was a good song for the percussion and Zack and Axel, but there were few other instruments besides violins and drums in the original song, leaving a majority of the band with three minutes and forty-two seconds of time to kill.
"I don't see why we still play it." Loz complained when the song was over.
"Because it's a good warm-up for the percussion." Cid replied.
"And I get to use my cymbals." Yuffie proclaimed happily.
"I'm sure that's not the main reason, Yuffie." Xigbar said, lightly tossing his trumpet in the air.
"I won't be throwing that in the air if I were you, Xigbar." Cid's said.
"Why's that, Cid?" Xigbar asked.
"Because it'll be a pain if you break it." Cid said. "There are no other extra trumpets available. Or other instruments, for that matter."
"Oh geez." Axel stopped playing Map of the Problematique on his guitar. "That means that I can't throw my guitar off the roof, then."
"No, Axel, you can't." Cid shook his head.
"So are we almost done , Cid?" Rikku asked from the flute section.
"What do you have to do that's more important than rehearsal, Rikku?" Cid asked skeptically.
"Well, I'd like to go to bed at a decent hour for once." Rikku said with a yawn, as if this would further emphasize her point.
"That's your own damn fault!" Cid shouted across the field.
"Yeah, Rikku." Marluxia said from where he stood next to the clarinets. "If you didn't stay up until four in the morning watching High School Musical, you wouldn't be having this problem, now would you?"
"Enough arguing!" Cid yelled. "We will play The Thirteenth Struggle, then we will end rehearsal."
"I can live with that." Axel nodded.
"You're just saying that because it's your favorite song." Cloud looked over towards the redhead.
"Of course." Axel grinned.
Yuffie's cymbal crash started the song, after which Axel followed with some quick notes on the xylophone and Xigbar and Vincent following behind on their trumpets. Yazoo joined in on his French horn a few seconds later while Cloud and Yuffie drummed away as Axel rushed back and forth between the drums and the xylophone.
After about thirty seconds or so, Roxas took over the main melody on the keyboard before relinquishing it to Zack for his guitar bit before he, in turn, passed it on to Yuna and the rest of the flutes for a while. Vexen's bari-sax sounded quite nicely with Loz's baritone providing the bass, though Kadaj and Sora's alto and tenor saxes sounded a bit strange among the fray.
Soon enough, the song ended, leaving the grassy playing field silent.
"How bad did we sound?" Kadaj asked.
"You guys sounded fine." Lucrecia said from the colour guard section. "Pence just needs to learn to watch where he's going."
"It's not my fault that Leon kept running into me." Pence snapped.
"That's only because Xion was stepping on my foot!" Leon exclaimed.
"Geez, and we thought we had issues." Zack muttered under his breath.
"You guys need to get your routines worked out." Cid said. "The band is dismissed."
"But we aren't?" Larxene raised an eyebrow.
"You guys sound like you need extra practice." Cid said.
"Let's start cleaning up." Paine was already dashing over to the cases so she could put her clarinet away.
"What's the rush, Paine?" Sora asked as he followed the majority of the band over to their cases. "We've got nothing better to do for the majority of the day."
"Oh, and don't forget about practice tonight." Cid said, as if he had heard Sora's comment.
"Say what?" Reno and Axel said together.
"The second rehearsal starts at seven tonight." Cid said. "Everyone be here or I'll grab you and bring you back here. Got it?"
"Memorized." Axel said sadly.
"Axel, hurry up and put your guitar away and help put away the drums." Yuffie said.
"I'm going, I'm going." Axel strummed a few chords of Shadows of the Night as he walked off.
"Pat Benetar?" Roxas frowned as he grabbed a few mallets from Cloud. "Seriously, Axel?"
"Got a problem with it?" Axel raised an eyebrow as he gently placed Sadie in the case.
"No, I'm just surprised." Roxas said.
"Stop being surprised and help!" Cloud snapped.
"Jesus, Cloud!" Roxas exclaimed. "I needed to put my keyboard away first."
"Oh, right." Cloud said. "Sorry about that. I keep forgetting you put yours away, too."
From across the field, Zexion could be heard yelling at Demyx. "Demyx, your sitar cannot be used as a catapult!"
"You know, I should be used to this by now, considering he lives in the same cabin as us, but I still find his behaviour very strange." Cloud said.
"It is Demyx." Vincent suddenly appeared from nowhere. "It is impossible to become accustomed to him."
"Vincent, where the hell did you materialize from?" Roxas asked as he helped move a timpani across the platform.
"I simply wanted to see if you required assistance in moving the instruments." Vincent said.
"I think we've got it covered." Yuffie said. "Thanks, though."
"I will be studying with Lucrecia if you require my presence later tonight." Vincent said before walking off of the platform.
"I wonder if that's what they're really doing." Zack had jumped on the platform and was now moving Axel's snare drum.
"Is it bad that I never really miss him when he isn't in the cabin?" Roxas asked.
"No, because I feel the same way." Axel said. "Shall we get going?"
"Is there anything else we need to do?" Roxas asked. "Do you have Sadie?"
"Got her right here." Axel gestured to the coffin-esque case containing his guitar.
"So let's get going back to the cabin." Cloud said. "Mind if I walk with you guys?"
"Never." Roxas grinned.
When the three arrived at cabin six, they found Demyx sprawled out on his bed drawing pictures of flowers on a piece of paper.
"Demyx, how did you manage to get here so fast?" Roxas raised an eyebrow.
"I have super-speed!" Demyx proclaimed.
"Yeah, that answers a lot." Cloud raised an eyebrow.
"Why are you drawing flowers again?" Axel frowned as he looked at the piece of paper.
"Because I like flowers." Demyx nodded happily.
"What are you, three?" Roxas asked as he slid his keyboard under his bed. "Only little kids like drawing such bad things."
"My drawings aren't bad!" Demyx exclaimed.
"Sure, Dem." Cloud rolled his eyes as he pulled out his PSP. "Whatever you say."
"You know, I think I should go have a talk with Kadaj." Axel said.
"About what?" Roxas frowned.
"Remember what we were talking about last night?" Axel's peridot eyes were on Roxas.
"Oh, right." Roxas nodded. "Good luck. Let me know how it goes."
"Got it memorised." Axel said as he left.
"What are you two going on about?" Cloud put down his PSP, his blue eyes on Roxas.
"Just something between Kadaj and Reno." Roxas shook his head as he pulled out his laptop. "Nothing too serious."
"Is everything okay?" Cloud frowned.
"That's what we're trying to figure out." Roxas shrugged. "Have you noticed them acting strangely lately?"
"Just a bit." Cloud nodded. "Like how Kadaj looks like he's trying to avoid Reno?"
"Yeah, that's it." Roxas nodded. "We just wanted to know why."
"So Axel's going to ask Reno about it?" Cloud assumed.
"No, he's asking Kadaj." Roxas shook his head.
"Wait, why Kadaj?" Cloud raised an eyebrow. "He's more likely to get a straight answer from Reno."
"Not this time." Roxas said. "Axel thinks that Reno's going to clam up about this one, so he's going straight to Kadaj."
"Oh, I see." Cloud nodded. "Well, I hope everything works out. I don't want another episode of you two again."
"How do you figure?" Roxas frowned.
"Well, you and Axel didn't talk to each other and were fidgeting for a while." Cloud explained. "I don't want Reno and Kadaj to become like that."
"But Kadaj and Reno are friends now." Roxas pointed out. "Axel and I had always hated each other."
"Which brings me to another point." Cloud said, brushing his hair from his eyes.
"Oh?" Roxas raised an eyebrow. "And what's that, Cloud?"
"I still want to know why you and Axel are getting along now." Cloud said.
"Axel said that it would be a good idea if we started to get along." Roxas said.
"Yes, but what do you think, Roxas?" Cloud asked. "What's your reasoning?"
Roxas was spared from having to answer by Zack walking into the cabin holding a soccer ball in his hand.
"Hey, Zack." Roxas said.
"You guys up for some soccer?" Zack asked. "Some of the guys from Hollow Bastion want to play against us."
"No, I'm waiting for Axel to come back." Roxas shook his head.
"Where did he go?" Zack frowned.
"To talk to Kadaj about something." Roxas said.
"I'll go with you." Cloud turned off his PSP and set it on his bed.
"That's the spirit, babe." Zack grinned. "See ya later, Roxas."
"Bye, guys." Roxas said as Cloud and Zack left the cabin.
After a few minutes, Roxas went back to his computer and started to watch an episode of Naruto. If Axel was successful and Kadaj decided to tell him why he was acting strangely, then he could be gone for a while.
"So what did you want to talk about?"
Axel's eyes found Kadaj, who was sitting on his bed, his fingers drumming on the screen of his cell phone.
"Well, it's kind of about you and Reno." Axel replied.
"Oh, I see." Kadaj nodded slowly.
"Did you two have some sort of argument?" Axel asked, his periodt eyes showing his seriousness.
"No." Kadaj shook his head.
"Well, then what happened?" Axel frowned in confusion. "He's not acting like himself, but I'd say that your cutting him off is a bit stranger."
Kadaj sighed and said, "If I tell you, you absolutely cannot tell anyone. Especially him."
"Of course." Axel nodded. "Have I ever done something like that?"
"I just need to make sure." Kadaj responded.
"So what is it?" Axel asked.
"Well, I have this crush on him." Kadaj began.
"Okay." Axel couldn't say that he'd been expecting to hear this from Kadaj, but he continued to listen to what he had to say. "So why don't you do something about that?"
"That's the problem." Kadaj said, brushing his silver hair from his eyes.
"And what's that?" Axel asked.
"I used to like you, too." Kadaj answered.
"Oh." Axel said.
"For different reasons, of course." Kadaj said.
"Why didn't you tell either of us about this?" Axel wondered.
"Well, both of you are straight." Kadaj said. "I didn't know if it would matter to you."
Axel ignored Kadaj's first statement and said, "But why does the fact that you once liked me have anything to do with you at least telling Reno how you feel? The two don't seem connected at all in my mind."
"If I were to go out with Kadaj, it would feel really weird for me. I wanted to make sure that I was over you completely before I even thought about telling Reno." Kadaj responded. "And I am, but I'm not sure that he'll want to know."
"As his brother, I can assure you that he'll want to know about this." Axel said. "The three of us have always been close. Something like this shouldn't get in the way of that."
"Yeah, I know." Kadaj nodded.
"So are you going to tell him?" Axel asked.
"Yeah, I guess I should." Kadaj nodded again. "So he at least knows."
"Good." Axel nodded. "So stop being so emo. You'll be as bad as Zexion before you know it."
"I don't think anyone can be that bad, Axel." Kadaj said with a laugh.
"I dunno." Axel frowned. "Roxas can get pretty emo sometimes."
"How's that going for you, anyway?" Kadaj asked.
"How's what going for me?" Axel raised an eyebrow in confusion.
"Getting along with Roxas." Kadaj explained. "It's not so bad, is it?"
"Not really." Axel shook his head.
"I knew Reno was doing something right when he told you two to start hanging out." Kadaj smiled.
"And speaking of Roxas, I should start getting back." Axel said as he stood up.
"Missing him already?" Kadaj said mysteriously.
"No, but he'll wonder why I've been gone for so long." Axel said. "And tell Reno, okay?"
"Got it memorised." Kadaj said, using his friend's catchphrase as Axel strolled out of the cabin.
Roxas hadn't expected Axel to return so soon. He had given up on watching Naruto and was watching an episode of Chobits when the redhead walked back inside.
"That was quick." Roxas raised his eyebrows in confusion. "Did everything go okay?"
"Yeah, it was fine." Axel nodded.
"So what's the problem?" Roxas paused the anime and focused his eyes on Axel.
"I'm not supposed to tell anyone." Axel shook his head.
"Seriously?" Roxas looked surprised. "You can't even tell me?"
"Kadaj told me not to tell anyone, so I'm not telling anyone." Axel said as he pulled out his DS Lite and started to play Trace Memory.
"You're such a kill-joy." Roxas said. "Are you at least allowed to tell me if everything's sorted out?"
"I said everything was fine." Axel said. "Hopefully he'll actually do what I told him to do."
"Knowing Kadaj, that'll be difficult." Roxas said.
"Don't I know it?" Axel rolled his eyes.
"Guess what, guess what?" the door opened and Demyx dashed into the cabin, sitar in hand, looking very excited about something.
"Lexaeus decided to dig a tunnel to the Land of Dragons?" Axel didn't look up from his DS.
"If he did, he stole my idea." Demyx glared at Axel. "But no, that's not it!"
"What is it, Demyx?" Roxas asked dully.
"Apparently Xigbar and Luxord are going on a date tonight." Demyx nodded.
"Hang on." Axel frowned as he paused the game. "Xigbar and Luxord?"
"Xigbar and Luxord." Demyx said.
"Huh." Axel looked mildly surprised. "Didn't see that one coming."
"Where the hell are they going on a date?" Roxas wondered. "There's nowhere around here that's really date worthy."
"I'm just repeating what Zexion said that Hayner said that Seifer said that Marluxia said that Rikku said that Kairi said that-" Demyx rambled off.
"That's okay." Axel cut him short. "I'm sure we really don't care that much."
"Is that all you came in here for, Dem?" Roxas asked.
"And to tell you that Cid said that we're having rehearsal at three instead of seven tonight." Demyx said.
"Damn Cid." Axel hissed. "Why does he constantly have to change the times?"
"Because he's Cid?" Roxas frowned.
"Come on, Roxas." Axel turned off his DS in frustration. "We might as well eat lunch before we have to spend hours on the field."
Not a whole lot, but it's something. If all goes according to plan, the next few chapters should be good. The only problem is actually writing them. Damn college. *angry fist* The XigLux was included for a reader who requested it many, many months ago, but I could never find a way to fit it in. I can't remember the reader's name, but I'll try to get more of it in the storyline. That's it for this chapter! Don't forget to let me know if you actually listen to the music I mention. Reviews equal love!
Next chapter: Does Kadaj actually confess to Reno? And Axel has plans of his own.