(a/n) : Happy Birthday, Schmelly Inc.! I had to try everything to keep this a secret. Well, I know I said I would post a Valentine's Day fic for both of my lovely friends, including punkiemonkie. But I found out Schmelly's birthday awhile back, and I planned a surprise-fic for her present. Hehe. Don't worry, punkiemonkie, I'm planning your birthday present! I lurve you guys! –hugs-

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

isn't this enough?

[ her colors mingled together in a beautiful disarray ]


I don't know how to feel…

Sobs pierced through into the bitter silence of the room, a scribbled drawing was drenched in the salty substance that leaked from endless pools of sapphire jewels. Fists clenched shredded remnants of soaked paper as they shook uncontrollably with fury; crayons, acrylic paints and oil pastels littered the floor in a mess of bleeding colors. Furious marks of wax decorated the floor as she, in an enraged tantrum, roughly scratched the tile with the violet tool that was squeezed tightly in her petite hand, her stomach twisting in sickening knots that sent her into multiple phases of mourning for the loss of her heart.

That was what he observed when he cautiously entered the room, an eyebrow arched interestingly with enthusiasm and humor as his devious gaze rested upon the girl's crumpled figure.

His lanky, yet feminine form dropped lazily into a nearby chair as he intently watched the mad artist ruin the floor in a fit of anger. A simper flitted across his thin lips that slowly transformed into a cunning grin, his immaculate senses finding this situation rather amusing, for such a sight with a small willowy girl throwing crayons and rubber erasers everywhere was a sight to behold with astonishment. And the strange fact was that this girl was new; in fact, he didn't even know her name. All that he was aware of was that she was some memory witch who could manipulate the minds of others and produce 'masterpieces', as Larxene would sarcastically say followed by a malicious snort that would send him cringing in disturbance.

But who knew if that sadistic bitch was telling the truth. Hell, she screwed around with basically any member of the dominant male gender she met. She possibly merely despised the poor girl since she wasn't anyone who belonged to the category of the opposite sex, or she proved to be pathetic competition. Either way, both theories were utterly ridiculous. This frail, defenseless little girl seemed far too spoilt and blatantly upset at the current moment, and nothing to be covetous about. Especially according to her outward appearance…

Maybe there was a reasonable motive for this sign of distraught from the blonde haired witch. But he doubted it. Females were known to be absolutely absurd when it came to their outlandish hormones. A sly, mischievous smile teased the corners of his mouth when he came to the brief verdict to push her a little farther, simply to see how she would react to his teasing. An experiment, if you wish to be blunt, to examine if she was a futile child or not when it came to his sarcastic mockery.

As he cleared his throat, the girl snapped her face towards him, her eyes shooting daggers and warnings at him. Her cerulean orbs met his emerald gaze and her face slightly softened with curiosity when she beheld the sight of a new Nobody. The man pleasantly smirked at her.

"You have to clean that up, you know? Make your messes, clean them up, too," his lengthy finger pointed meaningfully towards the mottled doodles and fingerprints that disguised the marble. Wet tears were streaming down her face and dripping from her chin, the brackish substance causing her scattered pieces of paper to be soaked as well as the floor. Her brow creased immediately with disdain.

"And what will you do if I don't? Hit me? Push me against the wall? I hate to disappoint you, but I'm used to all of that," the girl bitterly spat out before returning to her devastation of a picture, her hands moving quickly and sharply in her irritated state.

He blinked, hardly expecting such words from a small girl like that before him. But the meaning behind her remark didn't affect him in the least. Instead he spitefully sneered at her little blonde head, ignoring the way the light reflected in her soft tendrils, creating somewhat of an illusion of an angelic halo. Abruptly, he huffed, crossing his spidery arms across his chest as he leaned further back into the white, comfortable chair, his jade orbs sliding close as weariness from the night before set in. She was feisty; he had to give her that. She had a lot of spirit in her to speak to an Organization member like that. Her attitude would need adjusting, that was for sure…

Now, back to her features…no, she wasn't terribly hideous or anything like that. She was merely a tiny little thing, with sticks for limbs and a chest that wasn't fully developed. No comment on her hips, either. And from what he had observed of her face, he couldn't make a fair judgment, for her face was red and puffy, her eyes bleary and filled with fresh tears. Though she might have been somewhat attractive in a unique way if Marluxia had intended on having her dressed in apparel that practically had her skin on display to feast his hungry eyes.

Sick bastard…

He had seen the way his eyes would glint temporarily whenever his shift would start, excusing himself from the group and escaping into the mist of a dark portal to enter the prisoner's room. No doubt about it, he was pure pedophile material. Marluxia was rather masochistic in particular to begin with, quite aggressive on certain days, letting the others know that Larxene wasn't fulfilling his needs.

The red head's left eye gradually reopened when he heard her cries cease, only to see her bowing her head and fingering a sheet of paper that was beside her knees, yet her shoulders trembled from her silent weeping. He could see a few tears slip past her eyelashes and sprinkle the picture with more of her drops of sadness. He didn't imagine why she would be so…upset.

She's a prisoner, you dumbass, of course she's pissed at life in general…

But Nobodies weren't allowed to feel their own emotions, right?

He lethargically brushed the thought away from his mind as he watched the girl gather her art supplies in her breakable hands. He wouldn't allow that flicker of hope to develop in his empty chest that was a lifeless void. Nobodies weren't supposed to feel, however her actions made him second guess this fact. Yet it was practically proven that their feelings were mere facsimiles from the memories of their Somebody's sentiments. So why did this girl cry?

His attention was brought back as the slim being arose to her sandaled feet, her arms embracing a box filled with her colored pencils, crayons and paints. Bashfully, she carried the diminutive container towards her chair off to the side of the room. Positioned next to her seat was a tall stand that had a cage elevated in its grasp, and inside of it a doll defenselessly rested. The plush toy was a replica of the prisoner before him, added there to remind the girl of what she was: a constricted bird in the clutches of the Organization.

Her figure knelt to her knobby knees, sliding the box of artistic tools underneath the chair as she let out a quiet sigh, wiping her face with the back of her white hand. The gangly Nobody shifted uncomfortably in his posture at the awkward stillness that erupted in the room.

"Ahem…" his loud and rather obnoxious clarification caused the prisoner to whip herself around, her countenance turned towards him with a hint of annoyance. He sent her a grim frown.

"What's your name, Witch?" His inquiry made her glower as she turned back around, settling her delicate body into her designated location, picking up her sketchbook as she attempted this act. Dull yellow strands of her silken hair framed her round face while she preoccupied herself by going through her forged sketches.

His scowl only deepened at her disrespect. His curiosity had gotten the best of him, for he did really want to know the witch's name. Not that it would matter, of course, since he intended on calling her 'Witch' from that point on, desiring on pulling the end of her rope. Lunging himself from his seat, he made his way toward her, the sound of his light footsteps making her tear her gaze away from her drawings. As he halted within inches of her, he draped his arms over his chest again.

"What. Is. Your. Name?" his punctuated words were dangerously stern, yet she simply ignored him. Her flimsy fingers turned another page over in her sketchbook, revealing another scribble. His tempered flared at her stubborn behavior, though he managed to control it. Instead, his lips curved into a fake smile.

"Very well; I'll find out sooner or later, sweetheart," he turned on his heel, carefully strolling towards nowhere in specific away from the witch.

So much for proper introductions…

- - -


Her intense glare stabbed through his acid green eyes. His smirk broadened with satisfaction of her response to his mordant statement.

"Why do you half-ass draw these kindergarten level pictures?" A crayon smacking into the back of his scarlet head was his only answer.

- - -

She's crying again…

His bright jade orbs lay upon her crushed form in the middle of the room, papers lying about in a chaotic state. Déjà vu entered his mind as his sight beheld that of a familiar event. The question at that time, though, was if it was for the same reason as to why she was bawling exceedingly loudly two days prior, which was the cause for him entering the room at that time as well. Her sobs were heard throughout the whole thirteenth floor, and a disgruntled Marluxia sent the pyro to discover the means for this disastrous condition.

A twinge of something indescribable contracted inside his empty chest as he examined the broken girl on her hands and knees, her fingers gripping crinkled sheets of colorful paper. Pity would probably swell up inside of him, if he was capable of feeling on his own. It was possibly the wretchedness and the feeble air enveloping the girl that caused this unknown anonymity to enter into his mind.

Provoked by her weeping now, he let out a scoff to mask his inner thoughts.

"What's wrong now, sweetheart?" Scathingly, he smirked as she emitted a gasp of surprise, her innocent orbs widening as they met his. Instantly, she glared, her hands blindly scooping up her 'kindergarten' sketches.

"Leave me alone…" her head ducked in shame of herself as she spat angrily, her malicious spirit from the other day died down, so no smart remarks flew back at him to tempt him. He released a haughty laugh as he stooped down to his knees to meet her eye level, and she glanced back at him in confusion and resentment towards the guard. He flashed a feigned grin at her.

"Now, I would, but its part of my job today to find out what's pissing you off. So let's try this again…" she avoided his powerful gaze as it hardened with seriousness. His forefinger and thumb reached out and fished under her tucked chin, grasping the smooth roundness of it and forcing her face upwards. Her expression darkened with horrification of the physical touch as he restated his inquirement, "What's. Wrong. Sweetheart?" laced with jesting snide and biting displeasure of the prisoner's manners.

She jerked away, recoiling from him and crawled backwards with agility as her right hand came up and smacked his grip away.

"Don't call me that…"

Sinisterly, he stared at her as she wrapped her thin arms around herself, loose strands of blonde hair sticking to her tear-streaked face as she buried herself in the midst of her knees. He was growing steadily impatient with her; frustration crept up in his soul as he continued to look at her despicable body. He had suspected that their new pawn would lash out in denial, but it was becoming more…infuriating. An idea sparked in the depths of his mind as he straightened his stance and moved over to her, his head tilted to the side in his own humor.

"Ah, yes, I don't suppose I will anymore…after all, you sure as hell are not 'sweet', and it's completely ridiculous to imply the word 'heart' to you, since you're nobody, like the rest of us," his words left his lips with sarcasm and a heartless attitude. The girl's fingers clenched into her pale skin as the remark entered her ears, the full effect swallowing her in its meaning.

"You're wrong…" her muffled declination was heard by the pyro and he perched his hands upon his hips. He grunted.

"Last time I checked, us Nobodies lacked hearts, Witch." Her shoulders tremored violently, either in her quiet sobs or utter enragement, he didn't know. Suddenly, her neck snapped up, her hands formed into rigid fists and her moist azure eyes flickering in fury.

"Well then, Nobody; how come I bleed and you don't? How come I can cry and you can't? How come I can experience sadness and all you can feel is unkindness? Last time I checked, it seems that I have a heart and can have real emotions unlike you."

He slapped her. And her raw skin bled crimson, just like she told him.

I didn't think that was supposed to happen…

- - -

He lay awake that night, his emerald eyes boring into the ceiling above him and mentally drawing random pictures along with the intricate designs. His mind couldn't be rid of the image of Naminè's bleeding face, and later on a bruise was added to her collection of injuries. The fleshy black and blue wound was implanted around her skinny wrist that seemed easy to break in his strong hand. He had given it to her with an insincere grin, his gaze flashing with spite.

But it bothered him. Deep inside, somewhere he wasn't accustomed to, something spoke to his senses, saying that what he did was wrong. Was it remorse? Was it regret? Was it a feeling? This troublesome mindset irked him greatly, causing him to toss and turn in his perturbed sleep, until it finally woke him and welcomed him to the ungodly hours of the morning. Her hushed words repeated over and over and dammit, over again in his thoughts. Her deafening cries were not forgotten, and he remembered the look of pure hate she had sent him when he viciously smirked.

- - -

An apologetic smile would suit the witch just fine…

Insipid blonde hair concealed her mark, a shade of lies and deceit to those who asked why she was hiding her petite face. Lifeless eyes peered through the soft tendrils at him, secretly watching him impassively as he paced back and forth, examining her mere scribbles of memories of others. A boy with brunette hair and two odd comrades were the main subjects in her cunning little sketches, and the man didn't ask her why. He was acting rather peculiar that day; often times he would question her about things she didn't care about, and she never bothered to answer.

Now he was silent, just like her. His long spindly arms swathed around his waist, his index finger occasionally tapping against himself as he walked around in boredom. She wondered why; why was he like this? Why was he quiet and not his garrulous self? It was if he was meditating on something of importance, which basically never truly occurred with him. His endless pools of incongruity danced across each page that was pasted upon the wall nearest to the prisoner. When he approached her side, she flinched.

"I'm sorry…" her murmur, yet subtle and barely audible, sliced through the stillness of the room and stunned the other Nobody into ceasing. Her nimble fingers wound together whilst she bowed her head with humiliation. She was afraid; afraid of what he may do to her right then and there. Terror engulfed her soul when she cautiously cast a look over her shoulder, only to see him staring at her with cluelessness.

"Why?" He emphasized the single word into a long drawl, causing her to blush with embarrassment rather than repentance.

"I hurt your feelings…"

He released a shrewd snort, his head shaking and his red mane following direction. "I have no feelings," his astringent was curt and mocking as he returned to his stroll around the room, cynically glimpsing over to her slim figure leaning over a sketchbook resting in her lap. Her fingers wrapped around the edges of the book, her grip tightening as she sighed.

"Real or not, I still hurt them," her lip was caught between her teeth and she bit down, tasting the metallic taste mingling with her tongue. Her nervousness could practically be felt in the presence of the room, and he knew of it. But he had stopped suddenly when her words hit against him, catching him off guard. He shrugged, pushing it away and rolled his eyes towards her.

"What makes you think that you hurt my feelings, Witch?" He could hear her hesitating, and he hoped for a moment that she wouldn't find the correct answer. Once again, she threw him off.

"Why else would you hit me?"

Calmness penetrated the air as he turned around to see her gently rubbing her calloused face. Why the hell was she sorry? He was the one who should be sorry…Wait, was this guilt he was experiencing? Yes, very much so, he hated to admit it. Seeing the memory witch touch her scar from the day before caused something to twist and curl through his insides, where his heart should have existed, yet it didn't.

What if she was right? What if she did truly have the ability to go through her own emotions, and not false ones of her Somebody? Of course, that would signify that she was…special. Her apology was almost heartfelt, as if she had her own heart. In fact, he had to confess, he actually believed her. Also, when he had first met her, was that anger her own? Was her sorrow her own? Was her guilt her own? It seemed immensely true.

Envy crept throughout his dry veins as he tore his eyes away from her shimmering strands of hair. The blonde and silvery radiance illuminated in the god-awful-impossible bright lights of the castle. The angelic halo that was there before appeared again when the sun peaked through the windows and into the castle's interior. Rather than glorifying her newfound beauty, he strengthened his glare on her as a sense of jealously burned inside of him.

"I think you can feel your own emotions, too…"

He started, jumping to the idea of her reading his thoughts, but how would that be possible? However, he remembered the all too well known fact that she was, indeed, a memory witch. But that wasn't part of the packaged deal, was it?

"I saw sadness in your eyes, Number VIII," her shoulders tensed unexpectedly as she withdrew a pencil from her crayon box, flying her hand over a bare page in her sketchbook and creating another fragment of a lost memory. Emeralds glistened with realization as they floated across the girl's virtuous figure. His stomach lurched in an indescribable sense, and he suddenly reminisced that she didn't know his name. He snorted in spite of himself.

"The name's Axel, by the way. None of this 'number this', 'number that' business, babe; leave that to the officials," he took a few steps forward as she lifted her countenance and looked at him with unblinking gems.

"Axel?" He smirked.

"Yes, now commit to memory and don't forget it. I may not forgive you for it," he simply put as he tapped his right temple with his finger.

Her lips twitched momentarily until a short giggle escaped the barriers of her throat, and her hand covered her mouth as her cheeks flushed into a rosy hue. The corners of her eyes wrinkled and a dimple appeared to the side of her upper lip. But it faded as the soberness and despondency reentered her mind, sending her into another state of silence.

He watched her, and he undesirably missed the bright smile that subsisted for a few measly seconds. It was a luminous smile and was left imprinted in his thoughts that haunted him as he attempted to fall asleep that night. Her blue orbs twinkled with an unrecognizable spark of faith that mirrored those hidden secrets, and the curvature of her light-cherry colored lips lasted throughout the night in his line of creative imaginations.

He longed for more from the mysterious porcelain doll.

But she's just a child…

- - -

"Why are you crying?" This time, he meant his usually-mocking words. Those words were the ones that alleviated her, and made her entrust her answer to him.

Hesitantly, she presented the injury that blemished her flawless creamy skin of her hand. There was no question that the one who succeeded in hurting her was Larxene. The blackened mark disfigured the girl's smooth appearance, yet in his eyes there was no fault. Gently, he grasped her fragile fingers, carrying them towards his mouth and then pressing his lips softly upon the bruise. Her blush was what he would call 'cute', and she glanced away, making his smirk broaden with aspiration.

- - -

How many times will this happen?

This time when he entered the room, the threads of mist and darkness evaporating from the swirls of purple and black, his gaze fell upon that of the girl in her chair shivering and an apprehensive Marluxia displaying an ominous grin as his index finger supported her chin. Slyly, the Graceful Assassin's eyes slid towards the pyro, his menacing smile vanishing into a grim line as he arose on his feet. No words were spoken as he transported out of the room by his dark portal, abandoning the girl and the red headed Nobody.

That was when he noticed her sketchbook lying on the floor next to her chair, opened to a particular page of someone who looked eerily similar to him. As he approached the drawing, the girl emitted a sudden gasp, immediately leaping from her seat and covering the sketchbook with her flimsy hands, her face a subtle pink. His attention aroused by her furtive action, he halted as he crossed his long arms and tapped his foot. A scarlet eyebrow rose in curiosity and suspicion was etched in his feline features. He didn't notice the way her tangled mob of hair was draped over the right side of her face.

"Hiding something, are we?" She bit her lip, frozen on the spot with discomfit. A smirk appeared while he knelt, sustaining himself by his hands and knees in a crouched position.

"May I see it?" Her head shook almost vehemently as she whimpered. That was…odd.

"Why not?" he pushed her farther until the tears came.

Damn, you made her cry, you douche…way to go.

"Marluxia said he'll punish me if I don't get rid of it!" her outburst bewildered him as his smile evaporated and his brow furrowed. Her limbs now embraced the sketchbook against her bosom as she pleadingly gazed at him with wide sapphire pools that shined with moisture that developed from sadness and regret. Her behavior was insistent for his pardon, and his eyes softened with a compassionate shimmer.

"I won't let him know if you show it to me…" her shoulders went taut at his request, though his words were honest and somewhat kind. She knew he would keep on persisting for the picture, and he, being his obstinate self, would eventually win anyway. But she recoiled from him and desperately pierced her eyes into his.

"I…I don't want him to-to hurt me again," her fingers unwillingly found their way to her face, faltering as they pushed tendrils of hair behind her small ear. Her fearful words were whispers, laced with true fear of her captor, and as she revealed the right side of her visage to him, he understood why. A part of her skin surrounding her eye was swollen, an ugly grayish red mark practically screaming that it was just inflicted upon her moments ago. Pain was in her blue orbs and she affectionately cradled her sketch book.

An impish idea entered his mind as longing for the picture's mystery grew stronger. Fluidly, he stood to his feet, his gaze still lingering upon the prisoner's wound that reminded him so much of the similar one he had given her weeks ago. But he rid himself of the memory and simpered instead.

"Well, if I could just see it once, you can do whatever you want with it. Even if you want to sell it on eBay, be my guest; I'll make sure Marluxia won't find out," he extended his arm out, offering his gloved hand down at her with those suave words that made up his deceptive lie. She timidly bit her lip and reluctantly separated her body from the book, grasping the edges of the single drawing in her hand. With one tug, the paper was loose from its bounds and was now held out uncertainly to her guard. He snatched it up hastily and he swiftly moved away from her figure that was now standing on her own.

His breathing nearly hitched.

His eyes examined the masterpiece that she had produced, and yes; a masterpiece. No sarcasm was used in that mental remark, for he truly thought it was a work of art. How exceptionally talented she was, and he was unaware of this. He had only seen kindergarten-level drawings that were scribbled in five minutes to present to her master, who kept her a prisoner and who knew what else? Fibers of color and detail were woven together to create this drawing. Curves and other lines connected to make this picture of none other than him, and he couldn't help but gawk with awe and inspiration. Amazed by her ability to draw, he unwillingly tore his gaze away.

Her blonde head was bowed, almost in shame, but why? Her fingers twiddled with each other whilst her teeth held her bottom lip in anxiety. When she sensed his emerald gaze resting on her figure, she elevated her shining orbs that glistened with moisture. Her judgment immediately took his expression the opposite way, and she thought it as disappointment instead of amazement. Disheartened, she bashfully looked down, a rosy hue spreading throughout her cheeks and her tears freshening once again.

"You can…can-can burn it if you like…I know it's terrible," she sniffed once and distraughtly gripped her sweaty hands with a poignant air about her. Who knew what hell she went through with Marluxia when he discovered it? The sick bastard probably molested her or something terrible along those lines. The triumphant smirk fixed on his sharp-featured face explained everything that had happened minutes prior to Axel's entrance. He emitted a sigh unknowingly while he folded the drawing twice, the deviousness that died away crawling back again to dominate his attitude.

"Actually, Naminè, I was thinking of keeping it-" her face snapped up immediately, horrified yet somewhat contented that he had enjoyed the appearance of it enough to want to keep it for himself. She gasped inaudibly when the thought of Marluxia finding out entered her mind.

"But-but Marluxia-"

"Well, if you want to throw it away, wasting a perfectly good drawing, then you'll have to come and get it yourself…" a smile slowly played across his lips mischievously as he tucked the drawing into the depths of his cloak, slipping it down the collar and patting the place where it rested where his heart should have existed. When he saw the pink transform into ruby, he gave a light-'hearted' laugh.

"Do you want it back?" his question hung in the air, the shadiness and guile laced in his words obvious. She meaningfully nodded her head twice, tendrils of blonde hair swinging around her round face. He let out a 'heh'.

"Well then…" He lowered himself on the floor so that he was sitting down, leaning against the wall with his knees locked together and folded almost up to his chest. His hands were placed on either side of him and he sent her a suggestive smile. The girl standing before him was tense and uneasy with the situation; the nervousness was noticeable in her appearance as she tilted her head to the side, almost confused with what he was hinting at. He copied her actions with a playful indication.

"Come get it, sweetheart," he produced a sincere grin, endeavoring to feign innocence, but failing miserably. The name he had called her caused her to start with surprise, slightly shocked that he would dare use that name on her again. The last time he had so lovingly summoned her by that name was the first week of their meeting. But she pushed that aside as she sheepishly stepped forward once, timid with his presence and his position. Increasingly, she advanced towards him until she was standing a few mere inches in front of him.

As she knelt on her knees, she balanced herself with her stick-like arms and let out a shuddering breath, detecting the warmth that he gave off, for his element was fire. Threads of heat wrapped around her as she approached him and drew nearer, the comfort of his warmth easing her nerves as she prepared herself for the next act. But she stopped, frantically mentally pleading with him, though he excused it with another amused smirk. Sweat prickled the nape of her neck, and her breathing intensified as she placed her small hands on his knees, praying to goodness that this moment would pass by quicker than expected to rid of her embarrassment.

Supporting herself by resting her torso on his knees, she reached forward with anticipation and expectancy, grasping the zipper charm of his cloak with her fragile, twig-like fingers. She tugged at it, and it gave way, and she gradually dragged it downward to give her access to retrieve her cherished picture to painfully destroy it. She longed to be rid of it; she wasn't looking forward to her master's response if he uncovered her creation still existing, for he gave her one warning, and that was reason enough…

His smile broadened for some ridiculous reason, and she couldn't resist the temptation to stare back into his acid eyes that seemed to penetrate into her soul. She swallowed thickly as she slid her fingers underneath a section of his cloak of where she knew was her picture residing at, her fingertips scarcely brushing against his smooth surface of his chest. She blushed scarlet, and dread filled her soul when she caught the recognizable glint in his emerald orbs.

Heat seeped through her fingers and shot through her flowing veins where her skin met his, and before she could have a chance to distinguish the sensual sensation, he abruptly parted his knees, ripping her of her support and causing her to plummet into his chest and collapse into his arms. Warmth surrounded her when her cheek met the surface of his exposed skin, and she distinguished his burning eyes on her. She shivered unintentionally from the thrill of the experience before she gasped with despair of her humiliation.

"I-I-um-I-" she stammered uncontrollably, until she felt the rhythm of his breathing and the steady movement of his chest when he chuckled pleasantly at her. She stayed her pose, and nestled deeper into his warmth as he played with her strands of hair.

What is this feeling inside?

- - -

"I'm leaving…"

Fervency and sorrow filled her orbs as she painfully watched him from across the room, his form turned away from her and his back facing her. His words, spoken with such bluntness and frankness, nearly stabbed through her heart that only she and he believed to be there.

"Will you come back?" she questioned with hope intertwined in her diffident voice. He smirked to himself, the girl not seeing this for it was out of her view.

"It's not a life-or-death situation, Nami; more like a side mission…" he beckoned a portal of darkness to appear, preparing himself to step through without even a second thought of the girl's attendance; however, he imagined the expression of worry crossing her pretty little features. Before he could lunge forward in the mist of the portal, he heard the distinct noise of her art supplies clattering across the floor and sandals clicking against the marble. He didn't even have time to turn around to see what she was doing, for he felt two small arms wrap around his waist and her figure press into him. Flabbergasted by her boldness and confidence, he froze when he felt them come in contact.

"I'll miss you, Axel…" her words escaped her lips and were spoken into his cloak, his senses noting how her words were shaped against his back. He simpered in spite of himself.

- - -

She's happy…

This time, when he entered the room, there was no agony, nor any despair or sadness of any kind. She was smiling as she hummed quietly to herself and sketched, the dimple in place and her eyes shimmering with undeniable hope. He wondered if he was the cause of this, and his thoughts were proven correct as she glanced up, surprised of his sudden entrance for a moment and then replacing the blank expression with an even brighter smile.

The sketchbook slid from its current position on her thighs and landed on the floor in a fumbled mess of papers and faulty memories that were suddenly forgotten at that instant. She pushed herself from the chair and released her grip on her red colored pencil, allowing it to fall on the marble as she rushed forward to him, landing in her guard's consoling and comforting arms. She nuzzled deeper into his chest and clung onto the folds of his cloak, treasuring the moment for it had been nearly two weeks since their departure, and their last embrace.

"Did you bring me something?" her sweet, honey-suckle tone gave him ease as he smirked back at her, nodding in the positive as their bodies held each other and then reluctantly drew away. From the depths of his cloak's pocket, he removed a sort of plant and displayed it in front of the girl. She stared at it with a vacant countenance, puzzled, yet curious of the odd twig before her. Its branch was an olive green color, with light-green leaves unevenly spaced with white beads of berries in clusters here and there. Overall, it was a very exquisite little thing; its opal berries were quite beautiful to the girl and a smile finally found its way to her perfectly shaped lips.

"It's so pretty!" She only just touched one of the berries with the point of her index finger, investigating the consistency and the smoothness of the fruit. She then sent her guard an eloquent look with the longing to know of her present embedded in her brow and a very unambiguous sign of discretion visible to him. She opened her mouth to murmur her query.

"What is it?" He grinned impishly, his eyes flickering with a sort of desire as he gazed into her petite face.

"It's called 'mistletoe'-supposedly it's a very popular plant at the world I went to for my mission," his voice trailed off as her orbs brightened immediately with excitement. Evidently, the name appealed to her very much, or she knew of its legend, and he hoped that wasn't the cause of it…or his plan would plunge downhill. She grinned though, and clasped her hands together.

"Oh, thank you! What's it for?" Her inquiry left him amused and victorious in a somewhat pleasant way. He was aware that his strategy was a sort of sneaky, sly and demented scheme and he was also aware that he was risking the cost of their friendship, and possibly her safety if he made this secret proposal, but he was almost sure that it was worth it…She was worth it, and he had this yearning to be closer to her since his silent apology towards her a month prior.

She was so breakable, though, like a porcelain doll. Her figure was fragile, and he knew that Marluxia had abused her so maliciously many times during her imprisoned time there, possibly even touching her in unmentionable places and mentally and emotionally scarring her and sending more fear into her soul. He was afraid that he would taint her as well, making him no different than that bastard who pleased and entertained himself by torturing his 'blossom', his toy…Axel didn't want that to happen to her anymore. But what could he do? If Marluxia knew of his secretive fascination for the prisoner, he was sure to report him to the Superior, and that would lead to the end of his nonexistent life as a Nobody…

The looks she sent him, the smiles that were towards him, the twinkle in her sapphire eyes that appeared whenever he would walk behind her chair, the rosy tint that became her cheeks when he would lean over her small shoulder and brush his lips over the shell of her ear…Would this all be in vain the end? Would this be the same as experiencing his own emotions, his own elation? And what about the little witch? Would she return similar signals? Was it really worth the risk…

He focused on her beaming so cheerfully, her cheeks embellished with the color of peachy-pink, a subtle hue to her pretty little face. Maybe it was selfishness…merely a longing to have someone to hold, to satisfy themselves and not their other. Her beauty haunted him during his sleepless nights and he would imagine them so close in ways that had never occurred in real life.

Maybe it was only his selfish desire, his lust; the one thing that made he and the Graceful Assassin so alike.

But there was something else; why did he hate so bitterly to see her hurt, to see her in pain? To see her suffer through the taunting of Larxene and Marluxia's physical contact…it had hurt her. More than that, it sent something twisting a knot inside of him when he would examine her tears, her scars, and her memories confessed out in the open with his presence there.

Then maybe, just maybe…it was worth it.

He then smiled, his attention returning to the girl standing in front of him with bliss written in her features, her innocence practically shining in her countenance and her eyes gleaming with mystification of the plant before her, unaware of the trials swirling through his mind.

"Would you like me to show you?" Her head bobbed with eagerness and enthusiasm, her anticipation pronounced in her face now in wonder. His smile widened as he raised his arm above her blonde head, ignoring the sensation of exhilaration entering his empty soul. It was restlessness; maybe it was even nervousness, something he was not familiar with, but he pushed the thought away as the girl blinked, oblivious to the circumstance of events.

"Now," he displayed a pointed index finger turned upward in the direction the plant above their heads, "the rules say that two people stand underneath a mistletoe plant, and the girl, I hear, is supposed to close her eyes…" Naminè blinked a few times as she listened to his words, and suspicion suddenly flooded her features. Her stick-like arms crossed over her scarcely-developed breast as she tilted her head to the side, her lips stuck out in a cute pout.

"Why the girl? Why not the boy?"

He paused, for once at a loss of words from the actions of the witch. Her clever question was the cause for destruction of his masterful plan, malicious, too, yes- but he recovered with a quick smirk.

"How about we take turns? Then we'll be even," he quipped, and Naminè replaced the scowl with an agreeable expression.

Her pallid lids for her eyes slid close, like drapes concealing the window to her soul; a beautiful soul with kindness and compassion, and possible true feelings. Someone special was before him, right there within his reach. She was unique, and affectionate with how she portrayed herself in front of others. Her lashes, thick and softly feathered met the top of her cheekbones and she allowed a coy smile to betray her facial front, and that dimple he had so admired appeared. Her form was so small, and he towered above her, seeming as if she was a mere child, and she was; only fourteen, and he himself around the age of twenty-one. It seemed odd and awkward when he acknowledged that fact.

But the main fact was that they were Nobodies.

They deserved more than this ill fate of no emotions and bitterness and left with only hope and a pathetic dream that would never come true…wouldn't this make it better?

He lowered his arm, letting the mistletoe slip past his fingers and drop to the floor, forgotten by him in the midst of his tension. Because she was so much smaller than his height, he slowly kneeled to the floor, careful not to disrupt the still air so that she may detect his agile movement. His gaze drew to her perfectly formed lips that curved upwards in her simple smile as she waited for him to instruct her further. He swallowed, realizing that this uneasiness must have been nervousness.

She felt threads of heat course through her bare shoulders as he grasped her gently, scarcely rubbing his thumbs in a soothing motion to relax her from doubt. Still, her eyes remained shut. Agitation swelled up inside of her, and warmth from him enveloped her and intensified by every long second. Her hope for his infatuation for her increased rapidly as this situation became very real, and she clenched her fists that hung limply by her sides as the tips of her lips twitched with excitement. His breaths were heard, strong and hot against her face as she felt him lean in closer within the blissful moment.

His own lips brushed against hers softly to a point where it was barely recognized as a kiss that was simplistic as they come. He then drew away quickly, searching her features for any sign of remorse, happiness, or downright disgust. But her smile broadened, and relief submerged in his mind in an instant of pleasure.

He then placed his mouth fully over hers, sliding his arms around her slim waist and pulling her nearer to his body and she collapsed in his hold. Embarrassment was banished from their minds, and the fragile girl sunk deeper into his embrace. Her own hands found their way to his neck, and her nimble, yet slender pins for fingers swept over the skin of his sharp jaw line, letting the tips of them dance across his obvious characteristic.

A blush was exchanged, and her cerulean orbs opened when he pulled away from her lips. Tenderly he planted a chaste kiss on her brow, both her cheeks and then the smooth marble skin of her neck as he nestled his face upon her shoulder, his arms tightening in a warm embrace that she could scarcely breathe from but valued nonetheless.

He smiled against her.

I know how to feel…

(a/n) : My first AkuNami kiss! Well…kind of. Aheheh…I sort of feel like the ending is a bit rushed, but it was really hard to write that part, since it's hard for me to write kisses in general. Lol. Also, the weird part around the middle where he takes her picture feels a bit awkward to me, though I like it all the same, hehe. I don't really care if it's too fluffy or whatnot- AkuNami fluffiness is the best, and if I went overboard or anything...sorry. X3 Anywho, reviews will be loved. And again, Happy Birthday, Schmelly! I hope you like this!