I'm baaaaaaack! ^.^ Did you guys miss me?
Well…school has sucked up ALL OF MEH TIME. D: But, in the future, I'm going to be more dedicated to writing my stories, so hopefully there won't be such a long break in between chapters again, unless I'm working on another story or something…
WOOT! This chappie is a whole twenty-two pages long! A new personal record! ^.^
I don't own anything. Especially the awesomeness that is Kingdom Hearts. Duh.
Anyway, the rest of the morning was spent rocking out and having fun. In fact, I didn't feel so nervous around the new people anymore. Everything was going great until…
Sora's stomach growled. The teen covered his mid-section with his hands, as if trying to silence it, but it wasn't working.
"Heh," he chuckled nervously. "I forgot to have breakfast this morning."
Riku sighed, but a smile still found a way onto his face. "Again?" He then muttered to himself, "That explains why you're so hyper today…"
"What'd you say?" Sora teased, poking his silver-haired friend in the arm.
"Nothing," Riku replied.
The Keyblade Master continued to poke Riku. "C'mon, Riku! I know you said something!"
Riku swatted Sora's finger away. "No, now cut it out!"
Sora just grinned mischievously and resumed his poking. "Huh? Huuuuuuh?"
Adam laughed and jumped up onto the couch next to Riku. He moved in a position to poke Riku's other arm. "Huh? Huuuuuh?" he mimicked, beginning to poke the silver-haired teen as well.
I giggled at the scene. "Okay, okay! I'll go get some more snacks. We can probably eat lunch in an hour," I said, glancing at the clock. As I walked to the kitchen, I could hear Sora and Adam laughing, as well as Riku demanding that they get off of him. I laughed. This is so surreal…
I rummaged through the pantry, looking for something that would satisfy all of the guys for a least an hour. I began searching, ignoring some strange noises from the other room. In the middle of my search, I found a hidden treasure. At first I thought I didn't see right, but it turned out to be…
"OH MY GOSH!" I squealed, grabbing the bag and dashing back out to the living room. My sudden outburst caused everyone in the living room to turn and stare at me. For what must have been the thousandth time that day, I blushed. My cheeks burned when I softly said, "Sorry… I just…um… I found cotton candy!"
At the mention of candy, Demyx's eyes widened and he hopped over to my side.
Dylan groaned. "No, Emily. Put it away. We don't need you hyped up on sugar right now."
My face fell as I contemplated not being able to eat what I considered to be the most delicious food in the world. "But…but it's cotton candy!"
"Yeah! It's cotton candy!" Adam jumped off of Riku and ran over to me. Sora continued to poke the silver-haired teen, who looked very annoyed. I blinked at the scene and looked over at Axel and Roxas, who were standing on the other side of the room, wearing odd expressions. Roxas shrugged when he caught my gaze.
I didn't even notice Adam snatch the candy from my hand and present it to Sora.
"Twy it!" we heard the little boy demand. Blinking, I looked at my hand.
"Hey!" I exclaimed, realizing that my cottony goodness had been stolen, "Adam, give it back!"
The boy just turned around and stuck his tongue out at me. "But Sowa wants to twy it!"
"Uh…" Sora blinked as he sat up again. Riku grunted and dusted himself off, thankful that no one was on top of him anymore.
"I thought Mom got rid of the rest of the cotton candy," Dylan groaned.
"What is it, anyway?" asked Demyx as he hopped over to Sora and poked the bag. He scrunched his eyebrows together and squinted at the bag, as if doing so would tell him exactly what the fluffy substance was.
I briefly wondered if Demyx was always like this when candy was mentioned.
Adam opened the bag in excitement and showed them the fluffy candy inside. "It's cotton candy!"
"Well, yeah, I know that…" The Melodious Nocturne replied, "but what is it made out of?"
Dylan gagged, as the thought of eating the candy disgusting him. "Pure sugar," he answered bitterly.
Roxas walked over from his corner and said, "In that case, you probably shouldn't give any to Demyx, or Sora, for that matter."
"Oh, come on! Why not?" asked Sora. "It looks good!"
"Yeah, why not?" whined Demyx.
Roxas rolled his eyes. "Because you and Sora will have a sugar high. I bet that's worse than Emily's sugar high," he said with a nod in my direction. I looked away, a little embarrassed.
Ok, so maybe the cotton candy wasn't such a good idea, I thought.
"Besides, you've never had that much sugar in your whole life, Sora," Riku replied somewhat cheekily. "Who knows what that'll do to you?" A smirk slowly appeared on the older boy's face.
"What if you just have a little?" I asked, suddenly taking the bag away from Adam, who promptly stomped his foot in displeasure. I took a small piece out myself, and then handed the bag to Riku. The cotton candy was passed around and everyone took a little. Dylan was the exception; he disliked sweets.
Axel was the first to try it. His eyebrows shot upwards and his eyes widened.
"Whoa…it melted," the Nobody said.
I had to smile at the unexpected surprise in his voice, "Yup!" And with that, I ate my piece. I smiled again as the sweet fluff dissolved in my mouth. Cotton candy is my favorite treat.
By now, all the guys had eaten their candy. Riku's face was twisted in confusion, as if he wasn't sure what to think of it. Axel, Roxas, and Demyx all eagerly took more, while Sora didn't even finish his first piece.
"It tasted kinda like gummy candy," Sora said with a grimace.
Riku nodded, "Yeah," he agreed though without the grimace.
"What's 'gummy candy'?" Dylan asked.
"You don't know what gum is?" Sora asked.
Riku spoke up to explain. "It's candy you can chew for a long time."
My older brother nodded. "Ok, yeah, we have that here, too."
"I love gum!" Adam suddenly exclaimed, determined to steal the spotlight.
Axel shrugged. "Nah, I never really liked—" but he didn't get to finish, because Sora interrupted with a question.
"So…what is this world called, anyway?" Axel rolled his eyes, annoyed at being unable to finish his question.
I swallowed my dissolved candy and answered, "Earth. It's actually called a planet, because it's so big." I decided to elaborate, as my world seemed to me very different from any they had been to. "It has seven continents, all with dozens of countries, and sometimes millions of people in each country." From their stared glassy-eyed stares, I could see that most of the guys hadn't understood a thing I had said. I smiled, a little embarrassed. Sometimes, I ramble on about the little details I know of things. That isn't always a good thing, because it's earned me a reputation as a "know-it-all".
Roxas blinked. "Wait…what?"
"Oh, I know!! I'll go get the globe!" declared Adam.
Dylan smiled, "That's actually a good idea!"
"So…what did you say this world is called?" asked Riku.
"Earth," I answered.
"And…what's on this world?" Riku continued.
Thankfully, Adam rushed into the room at that moment carrying the globe. It would have been much harder to explain without it.
I sat in the middle of the living room with the globe on my lap. All the guys gathered curiously around me.
"Ok, this is the world we're on right now," I explained. I turned it around so they could see all the different continents. I smiled slightly as their eyes widened. Next, I pointed to each landmass. "These are called 'continents'." Now, I pointed to North America, "This is the continent we're on. And this," I said, pointing to America, "is the country we're in. Every landmass in this world is divided into continents, and every continent is divided into countries," I said while pointing to the corresponding parts. I didn't explain the further breakup of countries, because I could see the guys were still trying to take in this new information.
Axel whistled. "Wow. Sounds like this world is pretty big."
I nodded. "It's HUGE. There are millions of cities on this world."
Demyx's eyes bulged. "Whoa! Have you been to them all?"
Dylan and I laughed.
"No," I explained, "I've never even been outside of this country."
Demyx nodded slowly. I could tell from his expression that he didn't really understand.
I was about to explain more to the guys when the phone rang.
"I got it," said Dylan, rushing to the kitchen.
"So, do you have to use Gummi Ships to get to each city?" Sora asked.
I smiled patiently. Obviously, they weren't going to understand this right away. "No, all the cities are located on this world, but you do have to drive in cars or fly in airplanes to get to other cities or countries."
Sora frowned and looked at me. "Cars and airplanes? What're those? Are they like gummi ships?"
I opened my mouth to answer, but Dylan poked his head into the living room. "Kyle wants to know if Adam can come over and play. Do you think that's OK while Mom and Dad are gone?"
I frowned, briefly confused until I remembered that Kyle was one of Adam's friends that lived on our street.
"Yay! Play! Play!" yelled Adam, jumping up and down.
I sighed. "Well, I guess it has to, now that you've mentioned it in front of Adam."
Dylan grinned and went back to talking on the phone.
"So, you guys have phones, too?" Riku asked, sitting back on the couch.
I turned back to the guys and nodded. "Yup."
Adam eagerly jumped up and ran to his room to get ready to go to his friend's house.
After explaining the concept of cars and airplanes to the guys, I offered to show them around my home.
* * * * * * * * * *
While Dylan took Adam over to play at his friend's house, I gave the guys a quick tour of the main floor and basement of our average-sized house. It didn't take too much time, but when we finished I could tell that they were restless. They needed to get out and do something. Sora was fidgeting with his jacket, and Riku tapped his foot restlessly. The Nobodies kept looking outside, as if they wished they were out-of-doors.
Unfortunately, there wasn't really much we could do without going out into public. Our yard doesn't have a fence, and it meets a busy road in the back.
So, while we waited for Dylan to get back, we sat in the living room just staring at each other. They asked me a few more questions about earth, and I answered them, but beyond that, we didn't do much talking. I couldn't think of anything to say. There were dozens of questions I wanted to ask them, but I didn't think it was appropriate to ask them. After all, I had only known them for about two hours! I didn't want them to think I was weird for suddenly asking questions about them.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, Dylan arrived home.
"Hey!" he said, stuffing his keys into his pocket. "I got this great idea! Why don't we spend the day at Paradise Park?"
My jaw dropped and eyes bugged. Whoa. That was sudden… I thought. But then again, it's Dylan.
I blinked several times at my brother. It seemed he was serious. "Um, NO. Why don't we stay at home and out of the public eye?!"
"Ah, come on!" Dylan said, nudging me playfully. "I bet they'd love to see more of our world while they're here!"
Yeah, I thought. I also think they'd LOVE being on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper and Kingdom Hearts Insider!
Sora nodded excitedly. "It would be really fun for us to go out and see a city from your world!" Riku, Roxas, and Demyx nodded in agreement. Axel didn't say anything.
I shook my head. "It's still a bad idea. What if someone finds out you're actually real? Do you have any idea what could happen?!" I argued.
Dylan shrugged. "We'd just tell them they're crazy…dress-up people, or whatever you call them."
"Cosplayers," I muttered.
"Cosplayers?" Roxas quietly whispered to Axel. He just shrugged back in confusion.
"Whatever. Besides, what's the worst that could happen? Them getting locked up in Area 51 so the government can find out how their hair defies gravity? C'mon, a waterpark will be fun!" Dylan nudged me again.
I hated to admit it, but he had a point.
"A waterpark?" asked Demyx, his eyes gleaming.
Axel's reaction contrasted, "A waterpark?" He grimaced at the thought.
Dylan nodded. "A waterpark! What'd ya say, Emily? It'll be fun!"
I let out the breath I hadn't noticed I was holding. "Fine. But you guys can't tell anyone that you're for real, ok? Like I said, who knows what could happen!"
They all nodded eagerly, except for Axel.
"Yeah," the Nobody said sarcastically. "A waterpark sounds fun. Especially for those fire-type Nobodies who just happen to be here."
Roxas smirked and said, "What's the matter, Axel? Afraid you'll ruin your hair?"
"No, I just don't like a lot of water, that's all," replied Axel, trying in vain to hide his embarrassment.
"Um, is there anywhere else we can go?" I asked Dylan.
"Nope. I already bought the tickets." Dylan brandished a hand full of yellow tickets.
My eyes bulged again. "Whoa! Where'd you get the money? And for that matter, when did you get them?"
Dylan smirked. "Mom left some money for us, in case of emergencies. And didn't you wonder why it took me so long to run Adam just down the street?"
"Well, you did take a long time… But what are we going to tell Mom when most of the emergency money is gone and there was no emergency?!"
"Aw, relax!" Dylan said, patting my shoulder. "Most of the money won't be gone—all of it will be gone! We've gotta go buy them swim suits!"
Sora rose from the couch and bumped fists with Dylan. "Alright, this sounds fun!" Riku agreed, and Dylan instructed them to get into the car. Demyx and Roxas followed, with Demyx dragging the unhappy Axel behind and Roxas laughing.
I sighed, raising my eyes and hands toward heaven. Why me? I thought.
"Better get your stuff!" Dylan said with a wink. "Bus leaves for Walmart in five minutes."
"This is all your fault, you know," I muttered angrily.
Dylan smirked and maneuvered the van through the light traffic. "You'll thank me later."
I don't think I'll ever thank you! We're so grounded when Mom and Dad get home! I thought worriedly.
"Hey, I know what you're thinking, so stop worrying so much!" Dylan said, poking my arm. "This'll be fun!"
"Ah! Keep both hands on the steering wheel, please! I have no desire to die today!" I yelled, pushing his hand back to the steering wheel.
Dylan rolled his eyes. "Geeze, you're such a worry wart!"
I also rolled my eyes. Am not… I thought defensively.
Soon, we turned onto a long road lined with department stores.
The guys all sucked in a breath at the sight of the huge buildings.
Axel whistled. "Whoa!"
Demyx's eyes were as big as saucers. "Whoa! Is there a city in there? It's huge!" he exclaimed, pointing out his window.
Axel, Riku, and Roxas simultaneously rolled their eyes. Dylan chuckled.
I looked out the window on my right. "Um…no. That's just Super Target. It's a department store."
"That's a store? Wow! Are they all that big here?" the Nobody asked excitedly.
"Uh, no. Not all of them, just the big corporations," I answered.
Demyx frowned. "The big whats?"
"Nevermind," I mumbled.
A moment later, Roxas pointed out his window, which was on the left side of the car. "Hey, guys! I think there's that Walmart you were talking about!"
All the characters turned and looked out at the gigantic store, jaws hanging open.
I couldn't keep myself from giggling at them.
"Woa…That is really, really big!" Sora exclaimed. "It looks like it's the size of our play island, don't ya think, Riku?"
The silver-haired teen nodded. Even his eyes seemed to widen. "Yeah. Why is it so big?"
I glanced over at Dylan. I'd never actually thought about it before. Walmart was just big.
"Well, because there are a lot of different products in our world, and Walmart sells practically everything, so they need a big store to display all the different items and brands," I said, putting it as simply as I could.
Riku nodded, understanding. However, Demyx and Axel frowned, as if they still didn't understand.
A few minutes later, Dylan parked the van and we all jumped out. I stretched, thankful to be out of the car after the long ride across town. The guys jumped out and stood, awestruck at the crowd of people and all of the cars. They had only seen cars a few times before, so it was hard for them to imagine billions of these machines existing all over our world. Dylan and I had to explain how cars worked on the way there, as well as the reason we wear seat belts. It ended up boiling down to "It's the law. Just buckle up."
Dylan grinned. Apparently he enjoyed watching the guys' expressions as much as I did. Twirling the keys to the van around his finger, my brother motioned to the nearest entrance. "Shall we?" he asked, beginning to walk.
We made an odd parade as we marched into the massive store. Several moms grabbed their children, glared at Axel and Demyx, seemingly because of their black coats, and hurried out of our way. Everyone else seemed to stop and watch us walk into the store. I nervously tucked a strand of hair behind my ear and walked closer to my brother, suddenly wishing I hadn't come along. I felt like everyone was looking at me, judging me for bringing these strange men into the store.
My mind began to whir with anxious thoughts. What if they think we're terrorists? What if we get thrown out of the store? Or worse, arrested? What if it gets on my permanent record and I can't get into a good college and I have to live at home with my parents for the rest of my life and--
A gentle tap on my shoulder brought me back to the real world. I jumped slightly and turned around to face Sora.
"Are you sure it's alright for us to be here?" the Keyblade Master whispered. He looked just as uncomfortable as I felt. In fact, they all looked slightly unnerved with the crowd of people staring at them. But Axel, I noticed, was taking it all in stride, and stared back at the people until they turned away out of embarrassment.
Smirking, Axel placed his hands behind his head. Then he noticed Sora and I looking at him. "What?" he asked, shrugging slightly.
I shook my head. "Nothing. Let's get this over with."
A few minutes later, Dylan and I were sitting outside of the men's dressing room while the guys tried on their swimsuits.
I sighed, feeling a little overwhelmed by the day so far.
Dylan poked me in the arm. "You're holding up surprisingly well."
Rolling my eyes, I swatted his finger away. "What? You didn't think I'd handle all this well?"
My brother smirked. "No, I didn't. I remember how you freaked out when that new Kingdom Hearts game was released."
"That's Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days," I corrected him. Which, by the way, we can't let them see while we're here… "And it wasn't released, it was just announced for release in America."
"See? That just proves my point even more! And I know how much you hate guys in costumes."
I shrugged, not willing to agree out loud with his statement. It's true; I've never felt comfortable around people in costumes. Halloween is my least favorite holiday for this reason.
"But," I pointed out, "they're not in costumes. However, I do see your point." I sighed. "Trust me, I'm freaking out on the inside." This still doesn't seem real… I thought and pinched myself for what had to be the thirtieth time.
After the guys were done trying on their swimsuits, we walked around the store to give the guys a taste of our culture. They were especially impressed at the size of the food section. Sora and Riku said that they'd never seen this much food in one place, while Axel and Demyx claimed the food was making them hungry.
"So…does everyone come here to get their food?" Roxas asked, walking up behind me.
I shook my head. "No, just some of the people in our town."
"Wow. Your town must be pretty big, then."
Laughing, I answered, "No, not really. We drove through it on our way here."
Roxas's eyes widened. "Oh. That was it?"
I nodded. "Yup, that was it. Pretty small, huh?"
The Nobody shrugged. "I've seen smaller."
We walked in silence for a little bit longer until a high-pitched squeal rang out. It actually made me wince.
Roxas grimaced and touched one ear. "Ow…what the heck was that?"
We turned around and noticed that the rest of our group was still standing by the refrigerated drinks. When Riku saw Roxas and me, he motioned us to come. He looked over in a mixture of wonder and fear.
Roxas looked at me, and I shrugged. But as we went closer, we saw what was going on.
Apparently, I was not the only Kingdom Hearts fan in the store. There were three girls, all teenagers, standing with the guys. They were also hugging them and taking pictures with them. Axel seemed at ease. He chatted with the girls and seemed to enjoy their attention. Demyx, Riku, and Sora on the other hand, were slowly backing away into another aisle to hide from the girls. Dylan glanced back and forth between the groups nervously, as if he wasn't sure what he should do.
Roxas frowned. "W-What's going on?"
"They probably think you guys are dressed up for a party or something. Just play along," I whispered, a little stunned.
"Huh? How do I—whoa!" Before Roxas could finish his questions, one of the girls ran up to him and gave him a hug. Roxas looked really shocked, not to mention uncomfortable. I noticed that Axel and Dylan were laughing at the scene. One of the girls had caught Demyx trying to escape and was now taking her picture with him. Demyx looked really confused and scared. Riku and Sora had fully disappeared from view into another aisle.
"Ohmigosh, you look just like Roxas!" exclaimed the girl that had hugged the Nobody. "That's so amazing, I have to take a picture of you! Is there a convention you guys are going to around here? Your costumes are awesome! Where did you get Roxas's outfit? I can't find it anywhere!"
I decided to step in and save the poor petrified Nobody.
"He bought it off of E-bay," I said, trying to act confident.
Roxas turned to me and gave me a look that asked if I knew what I was doing. He could have been pleading too from the glance. I just gave him a big smile to let him know it was going to be ok. Hopefully…
Just then, the other two girls ran over, squealed, and leaped onto Roxas.
"Whoa!" yelled the Nobody, before he crashed to the ground with the girls on top of him. The girls giggled, while Roxas grunted.
The shorter girl standing next to me put her hands on her hips. "Girls, behave!" she commanded.
Reluctantly, the two taller girls got off of Roxas. They giggled and squealed some more while talking about their favorite Kingdom Hearts scenes. I think they wanted Roxas to answer them, but the Nobody had his breath knocked out of him when he landed on the floor.
The others walked up just then.
"Well, it was nice meeting you ladies," Axel said, putting his arms around the girls. They melted like ice cubes. "But we've got stuff to do. Got it memorized?"
The girls let out some more high-pitched squeals of delight while Demyx helped Roxas up. The two stood away from the rest of the group, afraid of getting glomped again.
The tallest girl giggled. "Alright, have fun you guys!" The other two said goodbye to us as well and ran off to another part of the store, chatting the whole way.
We stood still for a moment, shocked by the whole experience. The other shoppers hurried away from us, as if they were afraid the girls would come back.
Maybe going to the waterpark isn't such a good idea… I thought. Looking around at the guys, I could see they were shaken. Even Axel's fake bravery had dissolved into a look of confusion.
"What the hell was that all about?" The fiery-haired Nobody asked.
At the same moment, Dylan started laughing. I glared at him.
"Th-that was so f-funny!" he said, laughing. No one else was amused.
"That was weird," Riku corrected. "Did they know about that game, too?"
I nodded. "Yeah. Those are what we call 'fangirls'. You should stay away from them if you can. They can be nasty sometimes." As they more than likely could tell now.
Dylan patted me on the back still smiling widely. "And that's not the pot calling the kettle black at all, right?"
I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms. "I am not a fangirl. Unlike those three, I'm level-headed."
My brother rolled his eyes. "Right… Well, should we get going?"
"I don't know if that's a good idea anymore," Sora said softly. "What if there are more 'fangirls' there?" The others nodded in agreement.
Dylan and I exchanged glances. Sora was right; what would we do then?
"Well…he's got a point," I said softly.
"But I've already got the tickets," Dylan insisted. "Besides, once we're there, you'll have so much fun, you'll forget about crazy fans!"
I sighed. That's Dylan for you. He's always so happy-go-lucky and positive. I don't know how he does it.
We are going to run into fans at the waterpark. So what do we do about it?
"Well…" Roxas suggested, "what if we pretend that we don't know what they're talking about?"
"Hmm… I don't know… It might work…" I said, thinking. Really, there wasn't much we could do about it. This is exactly why I didn't want them coming out in public. People would go nuts, rumors would abound, and we'd be in trouble. Heck, they could probably be arrested for being illegal aliens! Dylan and I could be charged for helping them!
I shook my head, trying to clear it. What are we going to do?
Dylan chuckled. "Me and Emily could be your loyal bodyguards." He struck a pose, using his thumbs and index fingers on both hands as guns.
"Aw, but we couldn't!" I laughed.
I giggled. "We don't have any sunglasses! Or black clothes! And I'm not big enough to be a bodyguard!"
Dylan rolled his eyes. "Whatever…"
"I guess we'll just have to take our chances," Riku said, crossing his arms.
The others nodded. Axel frowned, obviously unhappy that our trip to the waterpark was still on.
Dylan smiled and began walking to the nearest register. "Alright! Then let's get going!"
After a short drive, we were at Paradise Park. It's the only waterpark in our area, and it's one of the biggest ones I've ever been to. There's a huge wavepool, a lazy river that snakes around the entire park, and about fifteen waterslides.
As we waited in line to get in, excitement filled the characters once again. They loosened up and seemed less nervous as they chatted eagerly about which rides they wanted to go on first.
Axel, however, crossed his arms and glared at the park as if he wished it would suddenly disappear in a fiery explosion.
I took a few steps away from Axel and the park, just to be safe.
"Let's eat first," suggested Roxas. "I'm starving!"
Demyx nodded in agreement. "Yeah, that sounds good!"
The others nodded as well. I couldn't disagree.
When we got up to the gate, the lady at the counter blinked rapidly in surprise.
"Uh…H-how many in your group, s-sir?" She stammered as she fumbled with the ticket scanner. She seemed really nervous as she eyed the characters. I glanced around at the guys, and realized she was probably confused and surprise by their odd hair and clothes. Everyone else we had met had steered clear of our odd group. I smiled sympathetically at her, but she didn't seem to notice.
Dylan smiled politely. "Seven."
The lady clumsily pulled out seven paper bracelets. "C-can I scan your tickets, please?" she asked.
We all gave her our tickets and she helped us put on our bracelets.
"H-have a good day at Paradise Park!" she said, waving.
Sora smiled. "Thanks! You have a good day, too!"
The lady's face grew bright red, and she turned around to help the next people in line.
I'll bet she's a Kingdom Hearts fan as well… I thought. Wow! That makes four in one day! A new record! I smiled at the thought. And here I thought I was one in only a few…
Demyx picked at his bright pink bracelet and frowned. "What are these for?"
"You wear those so you can get back into the park if you have to leave," I answered. "And so the park officials know you didn't sneak in."
Demyx nodded. "Oh. Ok…"
Riku pointed to our left. "There's the food court."
"Great! Let's go!" Sora cried, running to the food court.
We followed Sora to the nearest food shack, where we got in line. As the Kingdom Hearts characters looked at the menu, they all frowned and threw questioning glances at each other.
"Hey, Dylan?" Axel asked. "What's a 'hot dog'?"
"Uh…it's just a hot dog!" my brother laughed. "You've never had one before?"
Axel shook his head. "Nope. You guys don't eat real dogs here, do you?"
Dylan laughed and shook his head. "It's meat in a long bun," he explained. "It's really good!"
My mouth watered at the thought of a hot dog. Then again, it was after noon and I was so hungry, anything sounded good.
Demyx tapped my shoulder. "Hey, Emily! They've got cotton candy here!"
I smiled. "We should probably get some, huh?"
The Nobody grinned. " Oh yeah!"
Next to me, Roxas frowned. "What's a 'pizza'?" He asked, sounding out the word slowly.
"Yeah, and what's a 'hamburger'?" chimed in Sora.
Dylan and I patiently answered the many questions the guys threw at us, while ignoring the questioning looks of the people around us. We all decided to get hot dogs, drinks, and Demyx and I both bought a bag of cotton candy.
Before we sat down at the only open picnic table, I stopped to grab some pickles and onions for my hot dog.
"What are those?" a voice behind me asked.
Surprised, I jumped and turned around. Riku was standing behind me with a confused look on his face. I briefly wondered if he had been so quiet today because he was confused.
Embarrassed at my reaction, I explained, "U-um, these are pickles and onions. I like them with my hot dog."
Riku shrugged. "Well, I might as well try them with mine." He scooped out some pickles and slices of onion, then we went to sit down at the table.
"Mmm!" exclaimed Sora after he bit into his hot dog. "This is really good!" Roxas nodded in agreement.
"Eh, the dog is ok," said Axel, taking a sip of his soda. "This…soda ain't bad either."
I watched Riku add a few onions and pickles to his hot dog, then take a tentative bite.
His eyes widened. "Hey, this is good!"
I smiled and nodded. "Yup! It sure is!" I noticed Riku quickly take another bite.
Dylan groaned. "Don't tell me she's sucked you into eating onions, too!"
Riku swallowed and asked, "What's wrong with onions?"
"They make your breath stink!" Dylan said, waving his hand in front of his face.
The silver-haired teen looked back at his hot dog, shrugged, and continued to eat it.
Dylan rolled his eyes. "Suit yourself."
I giggled quietly and added some pickles and onions to my hot dog.
As I began to eat my hot dog, Sora asked, "Are these pickles?" He was actually pointing to the onions.
"No, those are the onions," I corrected him.
"Oh…can I try them?" he asked.
"Sure!" I said, handing him a small slice of onion.
Sora sniffed it and popped it into his mouth. A second later, his eyes sprung open. "Ah! Hot, hot!" he cried, grabbing his bottle of water.
The rest of us laughed.
"Onions are not for the faint of heart," I joked.
Riku smirked. "And you call yourself the Keyblade Master? You can't even handle onions!" Laughing, Riku took another bite of his hot dog.
"Hey!" cried Sora. He punched Riku playfully. "You're just sore because you lost our last sparring match."
My eyes widened in surprise. Sora beat Riku?
Glancing over at Riku, I saw that his face was slightly red with embarrassment. The teen punched Sora back, and the Keyblade Master laughed.
Demyx reached over and picked up a slice of pickle and onion. "Can I taste?" he asked.
Well, since you've already touched them… I thought, a little annoyed. "Go ahead," I said.
Soon, Axel and Roxas were also trying the vegetables. Demyx liked both of them, while Axel preferred the onions. Roxas didn't like either, and politely kept his half-eaten pieces on his napkin.
While we were eating, I noticed that people were watching us. Call me paranoid, but it felt like everyone in the park had their eyes on us. I ate a little faster, hoping that the sooner we finished eating and started going on rides, the sooner our group could stop sticking out like a sore thumb.
A group of girls walked past us and giggled. The guys all looked up, wide-eyed, afraid that the girls were fans.
I overheard one of the girls whisper, "Those hairstyles are so dorky. Who're they trying fool?" The other girls laughed at her comment and the four of them sat down.
I sighed and ate the last bite of my hot dog. Some people can be so immature, I thought.
Dylan stretched and sighed contentedly. He was blissfully unaware of the amount of attention we were attracting. "Everybody ready?"
Demyx stuffed the last piece of cotton candy into his mouth and nodded, his eyes gleaming with excitement. We all got up, threw away our trash, and went to the locker rooms to change.
When I was done locking my things away in the girl's locker room, I headed back outside with my towel wrapped around me.
Dancing across the hot stone walkway, I made my way to the reclining lawn chairs where Dylan and Sora were waiting for the rest of us.
"Ow! Ow, ow, ow…" I muttered, jumping into the shadow of a nearby chair.
Dylan smiled. "It is hot in Topeka."
Without thinking, I replied, "I'm a hot toe picker!"
My brother laughed. "Pick my toe, it's hot!"
We both had a good laugh, remembering one of our oldest jokes. But then, I noticed Sora looking at me curiously and was immediately embarrassed.
I bet that sounded really stupid, I thought as my face grew bright red. I looked away from Sora so he wouldn't see my embarrassment and pretended to put on sun screen.
Dylan sighed. "I guess I'd better put some of that on if I don't want to look like an apple tomorrow." He took the bottle from me and squirted some on his arm.
Sora cocked his head to the side, "What's that stuff?"
"Sun screen," Dylan and I answered simultaneously.
"Oh. Ok, I'll put some on, too," Sora said, reaching for the bottle. He took his beach towel off of his shoulders and began to apply it to his chest.
As Dylan and Sora chatted about the sun screen in our world, my eyes widened as I looked at the visitor to this planet. Whoa…the game does not do Sora justice! I thought. His muscles, usually hidden under his baggy clothes, were well toned. Only Sora's face and arms were tan, I realized. Where I live, we call that a "farmer's tan". I also had tan lines where my t-shirts usually were, but they were more noticeable on Sora than they were on me.
I didn't realize I had been staring until Sora glanced at me and asked, "Is there something on my face?" He smiled and pointed to his cheek.
Blinking, my eyes met Sora's. "Huh? Uh…no. I just…um…there was…something in the sky." I muttered and looked up.
Sora turned around and looked, "I don't see anything…" he said, confused.
Dylan laughed. "Emily, you're such a bad liar…"
"Dylan!" I cried, flinging my towel at him.
Sora just laughed.
I laughed nervously. At least he doesn't seem to care…
"Hey," a calm voice behind me said. "What's going on here?"
Turning around, I came face-to-face with Riku. A shirtless Riku. My eyes widened again, and I spun back around to face Dylan, keeping my gaze away from Sora and Riku. I suddenly hated being the only girl.
"J-just putting on sun screen!" I said. Why hadn't I expected this? I'd known we'd be going to a waterpark; why hadn't I been preparing myself for…this? I mean, it's not wrong to see guys without their shirts…but I still felt uncomfortable. I hurriedly finished applying sun screen.
A few seconds after I'd finished, Demyx, Roxas, and Axel came out of the locker rooms. Axel's arms were crossed, and he wore a scowl.
I guess he's still not happy about coming here… I thought. Although, his green swim suit really brings out his eyes…
Demyx and Roxas quickly ran up to us and also stood in the shadow of the lawn chairs.
"Wow, it's really hot!" Roxas said. Demyx nodded in agreement.
Axel slowly sauntered up to the rest of us. "Nah, it's not so bad. I kinda like it."
I tried to keep my eyes on their faces instead of letting my gaze travel down their well-sculpted bodies. I couldn't help but notice that Riku, Roxas, Axel, and Demyx were noticeably paler compared to Sora.
The only thing I could say was, "Here, put some sun screen on," and then hand them the bottle.
The guys had all choosen their favorite colors for their swimsuits. Sora had decided on blue swim trunks with a tropical print, while Riku's were plain yellow. Demyx had chosen swim trunks that were sky blue, Roxas's were black with a white block pattern, and Axel's were bright green. I was actually really surprised we had found them swimsuits in the short amount of time we had at Walmart.
Dylan's and my swimsuits were plain and faded from the constant use. My brother's were red with black trim, and my tankini had a high-rise, flower-print top and skirted bottom.
Tugging self-consciously at my swimsuit, I thought I really need to buy something more in-style…
I glanced around at the guys who were just finishing up with their sun screen. They seemed relatively at ease and were chatting with each other about which rides to go on first. Unlike the others, Axel was taking in the scenery and people around him. He was still having fun glaring at people if they stared.
Eventually, Roxas spoke up to his friend. "What's up, Axel? Don't you wanna go on the rides with us?"
We all turned to look at the fiery-haired Nobody, who looked away. "Nah, not really… water isn't really my thing. Got it memorized?" Axel's voice had wavered and sounded surprisingly quiet compared to his normal cocky and composed voice.
"But you took a shower this morning," Dylan pointed out.
"Yeah, but a shower is really quick. You're in, then you're out."
Sora raised an eyebrow. "It looks like that's how things work here. You're in the water ride, then you're out."
Axel frowned, still unconvinced. "Yeah, I guess so…"
Riku, I noticed, wasn't taking part in the conversation. Come to think of it, I had just realized that he hadn't said a thing to the Nobodies since he arrived here…
"Well," said Dylan, standing up. "Are you guys ready to go?"
Demyx smiled. "Yeah! Let's go!" He pumped his fist into the air, jumping as he did so.
I giggled softly. "Which ride do you guys want to go on first?"
Most of them turned to point at a big purple and white cone turned on its side. "That one!" they said.
Dylan smiled eagerly. "Alright, let's get going then!"
Luckily, the ride was close by and it didn't have a long line. We headed toward the area where they held the tubes for the ride.
"Ok, it looks like we'll have to do one group of four and one group of three…" I said.
Together, we pulled out the huge inner tubes.
"Hey, Dylan, Emily," Riku said, nodding in our direction. "Do you guys want to be with us?" He motioned to himself and Sora.
Dylan shrugged. "Why not?"
Demyx smiled. "I guess that means we're a group, huh?" he said to Axel and Roxas.
Axel rolled his eyes. "Great. I'm with Waterboy. Yippee."
I giggled and helped the rest of my group roll the tube up the four flights of stairs to the top. We reached the end of the line long before the Nobodies had even begun ascending the stairs.
"Hey, guys," Riku whispered when we were waiting in line near the top. I assumed he was talking to me and Dylan. "Don't you think something's…weird about them?"
Dylan stared blankly at Riku. "Who? Oh, you mean the Nobodies?"
Riku nodded. Sora looked a little uncomfortable.
"Something's definitely up," Riku whispered. "Don't you guys think it's weird that they suddenly showed up right when we did?"
Personally, I think this whole day is weird, I thought. And yes, it is weird that you guys all showed up together. What's your point?
Dylan slowly nodded. "Yeah, a little."
I frowned, not convinced. They hadn't done anything bad so far…
"I just don't think we can trust them," said Riku.
Why not? I thought bitterly. Is it because they were once "bad guys"? You were, too, Riku. And you turned over a new leaf. Why can't they? The rest of the Organization is dead, as far as we know. We don't have anything to worry about!
I had to restrain myself from responding harshly.
"I don't really think we have to worry about them," Sora said, softly but forcefully. "Axel gave his life to save mine and Roxas's, so I don't think he'd suddenly turn on us. Besides,"--a smile lit up his face-- "Roxas isn't so bad once you get to know him."
I briefly looked down the stairs to see if the Nobodies were catching up to us. Sure enough, they were. I noticed that Axel and Roxas were doing all of the work to push the heavy tube up the stairs, while Demyx walked in front of them, hands behind his head and a bright smile on his face.
The line started to move again, so we all had to roll the inner tube up the stairs.
I took a deep breath. "I agree with Sora. I don't really think they're that bad, we just need to give them a chance." Sora nodded and smiled gratefully at me. I waited for the backlash I thought I was sure to get from the other two, but Dylan and Riku just stayed silent. I didn't know whether to be worried or thankful.
We continued to push the tube up a few more feet before the line stopped again.
"Whew!" a voice behind us breathed. We looked back down to see Demyx leaning against the stair railing while Roxas and Axel steadied their tube. "Man, I'm so not cut out for this work!"
"Work? What work?" Roxas asked, poking Demyx in the ribs. "You haven't done anything to help!"
"Oh, that's not true!" Demyx said. "I've been…uh supervising!"
Roxas rolled his eyes. "Right…"
Axel, I noticed, stayed quiet. I don't think it had anything to do with not wanting to get wet though. When I looked at Riku, he was staring intensely at Axel. The fiery-haired Nobody narrowed his eyes at the boy, as if daring him to try something.
I glanced at Dylan, nervous about what would happen if this kept going.
He must have noticed my look, because he suddenly exclaimed, "Look! We're almost there!" which caused everyone to look up at the platform just above our heads. We were so close to the funnel now, we could hear people scream as they were shot into it.
I smiled with anticipation. This is going to be great! I thought.
Just a few seconds later, Sora, Riku, Dylan, and I were on the loading deck and placing our tube into the loading pool.
"Good luck guys!" Demyx waved as we got into the tube.
I sat farthest away from the dark tunnel that would drop us into the funnel, not wanting to go backwards.
The lifeguard, who had initially raised his eyebrows at our group (it was probably the hair again), asked us if we wanted to be spun.
"No!" I quickly said, but Dylan and Sora overruled me by shouting "Yeah!"
"Alright, here ya go!" the lifeguard said, pushing us off and kicking our tube to make it spin.
Horrified, I noticed that I was now heading backwards into the tunnel! Dylan was laughing like a maniac, partly from anticipation of the ride, but also because of the shocked expression on my face.
"Bye! Have fun!" Demyx shouted after us and waved.
I gripped the small plastic handles tightly, a little nervous now.
The tunnel was now pitch-dark. I knew the drop-off was coming, but it still took me by surprise. I inadvertently let out a scream as the tunnel suddenly opened and we practically fell into the funnel. Sora also let out a small "Whoa!" of surprise.
My fear gave way to delight as we coasted up one side, then the other. Sora and Dylan were laughing, while Riku was wearing the biggest smile I've ever seen.
"Hey! Guys!" We all looked toward the opening of the funnel we had just come through where Demyx, Roxas, and Axel were standing. Demyx waved, and I gave him a thumbs-up in return.
We ducked our heads as we exited the funnel underneath a waterfall. In the exit pool, we were all smiling as we jumped out of the tube. I went underwater and combed my usually chin-length hair back from my face before I helped the guys pull our tube out of the water.
"That was amazing!" Sora said, his face beaming.
"Yeah, that was great!" Riku agreed.
I smiled, still feeling the adrenaline rush of the ride. "It was really fun!"
"You guys wanna do that again?" Dylan asked.
Shaking my head, I answered, "There's a whole ton of rides we haven't gone on yet, so let's go one some different ones."
By the time we put our inner tube away, the Nobodies were in the exit pool. Demyx let out a whoop of joy before jumping out of the inner tube. He got out of the pool and ran eagerly over to us.
"That's the best ride I've ever been on!" Demyx declared.
I smiled, glad that they all liked it.
When Roxas and Axel dragged their tube over, they were still laughing about it. Roxas seemed really excited for the next ride, and so did Axel. The fiery-haired Nobody combed his hair out of his eyes, and I saw they were alive and dancing like sparks.
"Where should we go next?" Demyx asked eagerly.
"Let's go on that one," Sora said, pointing to the ride next to ours. It was a racing slide with four lanes. It started out in a straight tube at the top, then curved and twisted before the tunnel opened up. From there, the four lanes were straight until they hit the finish line and a shallow exit pool.
The rest of us nodded and voiced our agreement.
As we headed towards the ride, I overheard Dylan ask Axel, "That wasn't so bad, was it?"
To which the Flurry of Dancing Flames replied with a smirk, "Nah, it was pretty awesome."
The racing ride, called "The Snakes", had foam mats instead of inner tubes. After we each grabbed ours, we climbed the stairs to the back of the line. The line was pretty long, so while we waited, we talked. Dylan and the Nobodies were laughing and joking about something, while Sora and Riku were conversing quietly about what they were doing in this world. I was content on eavesdropping on Sora and Riku's conversation.
"Do ya think the King is here, too, and needs our help?" Sora whispered.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Riku shake his head, sending droplets of water flying. "I don't know. Mickey said he wouldn't leave Disney Castle unless he had to. So if he is here, it must be something important. But I think he would've found us by now if he needed our help."
I moved up a few steps to keep up with the line. Roxas looked back down at Sora questioningly, as if he knew something was wrong. His Somebody didn't return his gaze and Roxas turned to me. I shrugged.
Sora and Riku stopped talking, however, when a group of teens took their place in line behind them.
Slowly, the line inched forward until we were at the top. Sora, Roxas, and Riku decided to race each other. Which meant that I would be racing Dylan, Axel, and Demyx.
"Ready…" began the lifeguard. Roxas, Sora, and Riku placed their mats in the water. "Set…go!" The three teens leaped onto their mats and were gone in an instant. All anyone could hear from them were whoops of delight. I craned my neck over the wooden railing, trying to get the best view of the finish line. Finally, the three emerged from the tunnels. Riku was in the lead, and Sora and Roxas were tied for second. The silver-haired teen crossed the finish line first. It had taken him a total of fifteen seconds. The three sat, laughing, in the exit pool. Sora playfully splashed Riku, and the silver-haired teen tried to dunk his friend. Both the lifeguard and Roxas appeared to order the two to get out of the pool for the next people coming. The teens reluctantly complied.
The lifeguard turned to us now. "Alright, you dudes ready to go?" he asked.
We nodded and placed our mats in the water.
"Ready…set…" I gripped the plastic handles tightly, preparing myself for the intense ride that would follow the signal.
I jumped onto my mat and brought my knees under me as I was swallowed by the tube. Going on that ride is scary because it's pitch black and you never know what is coming next. I tried to scream, but I ended up getting a mouth full of water.
The next thing I knew, I was shooting out of the tunnel and the sun was glaring in my eyes again. Blinking, I tried to regain my sight and noticed that Dylan was in the lead and I was in last place.
Laughing, I rolled off my mat and into the exit pool. "That was so fun!" I exclaimed. "Good job Dylan and Riku!"
Riku smiled. "Thanks! You too."
I laughed. "Right…"
"Hey, over here!" Axel called. We turned to look at Axel, who was motioning us to follow him.
"That's my kind of ride," Axel said, pointing to a huge red body slide. It was the tallest ride in the park, the kind of body slide only a crazy person would go down. The slide was five stories tall and was a narrow channel traveling straight down until it curved just before the ground and sent the rider into a small water trough.
My eyes widened. Yeah, that's definitely Axel's ride… I thought.
"What, the death-drop waterslide?" Dylan asked. He laughed. "Yeah, we want to go on a ride that is all the horror of falling off a cliff, drowning, and losing a layer of skin at the same time!" he said, quoting one of his favorite comedians.
We all laughed.
"Well, I'm going up. See ya guys later!" Axel said with a wave.
Roxas chuckled. "This I gotta see," he said.
I giggled. "Me too," I agreed.
Demyx nodded. "Yeah, this is gonna be funny…"
Sora, Riku, and Dylan decided to go save some spots for us on a different ride.
Axel was at the top of the five-story slide in a matter of seconds. At the top, the lifeguards instructed him on how he was supposed to lay to travel safely down the slide. We watched as Axel gave the lifeguards a thumbs up and laid down on the slide.
Demyx, Roxas, and I watched excitedly as Axel plunged down the steep body slide. The Nobody shouted with excitement as he came flying down, spraying us with water at the same time.
I laughed and clapped as Axel sat up and came to a halt.
Axel gasped for air as he smiled. Then, he began to laugh.
"That was great!" he said as he got out of the trough of water.
"Really?" I asked. The slide looked really scary to me…downright terrifying…
"Yeah, it's just like being in a waterfall and flying at the same time!"
"It looked really fun," Roxas commented. "Don't think I'd do it, though." He eyed the slide suspiciously.
"Y-yeah…I think I'll pass…" Demyx said, giving the ride the same distrusting stare Roxas did.
I nodded. "The others are waiting for us at another ride. We should meet up with them."
Roxas and Demyx nodded, while Axel shook his hair out of his face, spraying us with water in the process.
We caught up with Sora, Riku, and Dylan half way up the line for one of the most popular rides at the park, the Avenger. The Avenger is a lime green water ride that eight people can go on at a time because of the large rafts. It takes you through twists and turns in a pitch-black tunnel, then takes you on a wild ride out in the sunlight.
"Wow, this line is really long…" I said.
Riku nodded. "Yeah."
"I bet it'll be worth it, though!" Sora exclaimed.
Demyx smiled. "At least we don't have to bring any huge inner tubes with us."
Axel and Roxas glared at Demyx, while the rest of us nodded in agreement.
The guys once again began to talk and converse, while I stayed quiet and took in the amazing view from the high platform. Small patches of trees dotted the landscape beyond the park, and farms stretched in each direction as far as the eye could see. There were only a few roads this far out of town, and I occasionally caught a glimpse of cars driving past.
"Hey, look guys!" Demyx said, laughing. I turned around and looked at Demyx, who was pointing at my brother. Dylan and Axel began to laugh. It was then that I noticed what they were laughing at Dylan's hair. It was spiked like Roxas's!
Roxas cocked his head to the side. "Is that supposed to be like mine?"
Demyx laughed. "Yeah! Pretty good, huh?"
Roxas shook his head. "I don't see it…"
Laughing, I jumped up to the step under Dylan's. I tugged at one of the spikes, pulling it to the right. "There! Much better!"
"Yeah, he does look like you Roxas!" Sora laughed from behind us.
I laughed. "Dylan, all you need are blue eyes, longer hair, and an Organization robe to go as Roxas for Halloween!"
Dylan rolled his eyes. "Right. Well, you could go as Sora!" He reached down and pulled a clump of my hair up, causing it to stand straight up like the Keyblade Master's.
"Hey!" I cried, flattening the hair as everyone else chuckled. "Don't touch my hair! It's tangled enough as it is! Besides, you'd need a whole truck of hair gel to get my hair to stay in place!"
"No problem!" declared Dylan. "We could always use Sora's keyblade to hi-jack some random hair cement semi after this!"
We laughed at the image this gave us.
"So, when do we have to leave?" I asked Dylan.
"About four fifteen so we can pick up Adam at four thirty."
I glanced at the huge clock displayed at the top of the welcoming center of the park. It read one o' clock.
"Well, at least we've got a while…" Roxas said.
Yeah, maybe we have just enough time to get through this line and ride this slide before we have to go… I thought. The line was moving extremely slow, and it was hard to find shadows to step in to keep our feet from burning up.
A few people in the line asked the characters if they were Kingdom Hearts cosplayers, to which Dylan and I hastily told them they were. They gave the guys many compliments on their "wigs" and tried to strike up a conversation about Kingdom Hearts. One of the comments a fan made was about how he had really liked the Organization, and didn't like the fact that Sora had killed almost all of them off. A chorus of voices agreed.
Our group fell eerily silent upon hearing this. Riku's face twisted into an expression of confusion and anger. Sora looked away from the Nobodies, uncomfortable with the guilt he suddenly felt. Demyx crossed his arms. It seemed he didn't like to remember that he was supposed to be dead, and he was spending the day with his killer. Axel cleared his throat awkwardly and looked away, pretending to become suddenly interesting in a group of birds overhead, while Roxas looked down at his feet.
I inwardly sighed. Great. Everyone starts feeling comfortable together, and they're reminded of how much they're supposed to hate each other…
The guys tried to ignore the rest of the comments made as we waited for the line to move.
Eventually, after close to fifteen minutes of waiting and Kingdom Hearts related questions, it was our turn. The lifeguards hauled a large raft into the loading pool from the conveyer belt and instructed us to get in. I sat next to Dylan and Demyx, while Roxas was sitting across from me. After the mandatory safety instructions, we were off!
Demyx whooped with joy, his previous displeasure forgotten, while Dylan and I laughed as the lifeguards pushed us off. We went spinning into the tunnel.
Dylan laughed and decided to yell, "I can't see!"
"No, really?" replied Axel, his voice echoing.
"Ah, I lost the game!" I shouted.
"Emily! Now I've lost the game!" Dylan cried, playfully knocking me with his elbow. We could hear people at the entrance of the tunnel also shout that they had lost the game, which made me laugh.
"What's 'the game'?" yelled Demyx through his laughter.
"We'll explain it to you later!" Dylan and I shouted as we went under a waterfall. We were out in the sunlight again.
Our raft swerved at every turn, causing one side to be lifted up, then the other. Roxas and I almost fell over several times! After several waterfalls and whirlpools, the ride came to an end. We were all laughing and shouting when we splashed into the exit pool. Thankfully, the ride seemed to make the guys forget about some of the comments we'd overheard while waiting.
After sending the raft back up the conveyer belt and exiting the pool, Dylan and I explained "The Game" to the guys.
"Alright," said Dylan, holding up one finger. "Rule number one: You are now playing the game."
"Ugh! I lost the game again!" I cried.
"Rule number two," continued Dylan, holding up a second finger. "You can't think about the game, or you lose it."
"I lost the game," I mumbled. I could see that the guys were becoming confused.
"Rule number three: If you think about the game and thus lose it, you must announce to everyone around you that you've lost the game," concluded Dylan.
Riku raised his eyebrows. "Ok…so what's the point of 'the game'?"
I jumped in and exclaimed, "To get the whole world playing the game, so when one person loses, everyone loses!"
The guys stared at us.
"Is this something everyone on your world likes to do?" Axel asked.
Dylan chuckled and said, "Nah, just the cool ones."
"Ok…" Axel said slowly. Apparently, none of the guys understood.
I sighed and Dylan said, "Nevermind. Let's go on some more rides, shall we?"
We spent the remainder of our time at the park laughing and going on rides. I've never had that much fun with a group of guys before! We must have ridden every ride at least twice. Everyone's nerves, even mine, seemed to melt away as the afternoon wore on.
Demyx and I had a lot of fun splashing around in the wave pool, as did everyone else except Axel and Dylan. Dylan claimed it made him sea-sick, while Axel still wasn't crazy about being in that much water.
Axel's favorite ride was, of course, the "death drop" bodyslide. He rode it whenever we passed by it. After a while, I began to think he did it just to impress the cute girls that always seemed to be watching him.
Sora and Riku really enjoyed two other slides called "The Lemon" and "The Lime". They're water coasters that are really fun, though not as exciting as real coasters.
Demyx's favorite was the wave pool, where he kept shouting, "Dance water, dance!" Several other Kingdom Hearts fans and I joined him in singing it when the waves started.
Roxas's favorite was one of the log rides nicknamed "Ole' Rusty" because of the rusted gears that make the ride work.
Dylan and I both agreed that our favorite ride was the first one we went on. We called that ride "The Toilet Bowl" because the ride didn't have a name. And, of course, because it reminded us somewhat of a toilet turned on its side. I wasn't who thought of it of course, it was Dylan!
We also rode the not-so-lazy river several times and played water volleyball when we could. We had a blast!
Around four o' clock, we called it quits and went to the showers to wash up. I changed back into my regular t-shirt and shorts apparel, gathered my things from the locker, and went outside to wait for the guys.
As I sat on a lawn chair and waited, I thought about the events of the day with a smile on my face. I had no idea that so many Kingdom Hearts fans could be in one park! Ok, so maybe the dozen or so we met isn't a ton, but I've only met a few people before that actually enjoy the game. It was cool! And to think that the characters of that videogame got to come along and hang out with me and my brother all day was really amazing!
I never want this day to end… I thought. Unfortunately, with the excitement wearing off, my previous worries came back to me.
Tomorrow's Sunday…Mom and Dad will come home…what do we do then? I chewed my lip, thinking of possibilities. "Hi, Mom! Hey, I know us having almost half a dozen strange guys in our house is odd, but it's not! You see, they're actually from Kingdom Hearts, and it turns out they're real! The game is real! I think…anyway, do you think they could stay here with us until they figure out how to get home?" I shook my head, shivering as I imagined my parents' reactions. And what about school on Monday?!
Just then, the guys all came out of the locker room, each one laughing and shuffling a towel through his hair.
I smiled and stood up to meet them.
"Ready to go?" Dylan asked me.
I nodded. "Yup!"
After checking out at the welcome center, we headed out to the car.
"Man, that was fun!" Roxas exclaimed.
Axel nodded. "Yeah, it was. We should do that again sometime."
I smiled and nodded.
"Yeah, it was great…" Demyx replied half-heartedly, "except for all the work we had to do to get those inner tubes up the stairs for the rides… Yeesh…"
The rest of us just laughed.
"Those water coasters were great!" Sora said. "We don't have any waterparks on Destiny Islands. It's probably because we're surrounded by water!"
Riku smiled and nodded. "I liked the wave pool. It's just like the ocean waves."
Smiling, I replied, "Yeah, I bet it is!" I'd love to visit the ocean sometime… I thought wistfully. It would be great to see Destiny Islands. I've never been on an island in the middle of the ocean before…
Dylan laughed and said, "We got really lucky today!"
"How so?" Riku asked.
My brother laughed again. "One, the park wasn't really busy today,"
Demyx's eyes widened. "That's not busy?"
Dylan shook his head and continued. "Nope. And two, none of the inner tubes popped because of Sora's hair."
"Oh!" I said, laughing. "Ouch!"
Sora laughed and scratched the back of his head, a little embarrassed. "I don't think my hair could actually do that…"
"Are you sure Sora? Are you sure you've never impaled any small, defenseless birds with your hair?" Dylan joked.
Laughing, Sora replied, "Well, there was that one time… Haha, no, just joking. It hasn't happened. Yet."
When we finally got to the car, we piled in and Dylan drove us home. My brother dropped us off while he went to get Adam.
I sighed. It was nice to have at least the afternoon off from my little brother…
"So…uh…are you guys hungry? We could have an early supper if you want to," I said, a little self-conscience now that Dylan had left. I always feel more comfortable with my older brother around.
"I'm STARVING!" cried Demyx. "Let's go!"
I giggled. "Alright!" I said and led the way into the house.
When we were inside, we took off our shoes and I told the guys to hang up their wet swimming things in the hall bathroom. Meanwhile, I started sifting through the cabinets to find something easy and quick to make for supper. Finally, I found some mac and cheese.
I smiled. Alright, this shouldn't be too hard to make! I thought. I set the boxes on the counter and got out a large pan to make the three boxes we had left.
"Hey, Emily?" Sora asked, poking his head into the dining room. "Can we play some more 'Rock Band 2'?"
"Sure!" I replied. "Just turn on the TV, hit input, and turn on the Wii. 'Kay?"
Sora nodded, but with a thoughtful face. "Alright."
I filled up the pot and began boiling the water just as the guys began playing the game. But above the noises filling the house, I heard another noise that made my stomach flip upside down. I stood perfectly still, trying to make sure I heard it correctly. Glancing outside, I saw that it was still light outside. There weren't any clouds in the sky, either.
Maybe it's just me…? I thought. I had to make sure.
Running into the living room, I demanded, "Does anyone hear that?" Axel paused the song he, Roxas, and Sora were playing and they all listened.
Axel nodded. "Yeah. What is that?"
I began to shake. No…not now! This can't be happening now! I ran to the window, unlocked it, and cranked the handle to open it. The sound of a blaring siren filled the room.
Everyone grimaced and covered their ears.
"Ah! What is that?" Roxas shouted.
"It's the tornado siren!" I yelled. "Everyone, get in the basement now!"
THANK GOD, IT'S FINALLY THE END OF THE FILLER CHAPTERS!
. You guys have no idea how long I've waited to say that last line… After this, it gets sooo much more intense!
Please review and let me know what you thought of this chapter! Also, let me know if you have tornados where you live. We have quite a few, and we've learned that the tornado sirens NEVER go off unless there is a tornado on the ground somewhere in our county. Talk about scary!
Oh, before I forget… MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! ^.^ HAPPY EARLY YEAR OF THE LUXORD!!! ^.^
Did anyone else out there go to TobyMac's Winter Slam concert tour thingy? I went with a group of my friends, and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! ^.^ If you went to it, tell me what you thought of it! Or, if you just like TobyMac's music, let me know!
One last thing to say: EEEEK!!! I cannot wait for Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep!!!!! ^.^ :DDDD It sounds so intense and mysterious! When it comes out in Japan, I'ma gonna spoil mehself silly! XD