Tantalize: A Kingdom Hearts Fanfic

Summary: Roxas wants to get out of his small town, Sora wants his boyfriend to open up to him, Riku wants to forget his past, Leon wants Cloud, Sephiroth wants Cloud, Cloud wants a decent boyfriend, Zexion just wants peace and quiet, Demyx wants Zexion, and Axel wants to get laid. All in a day's work.

Disclaimer- The day I get the rights to all Kingdom Hearts software is the day that Xemnas's name is changed to Mansex...

Ten Reasons why I shouldn't kill myself:

A list by Roxas Strife

1. Suicide is supposedly wrong…

2. Would get in trouble with parents if I oddly survived attempt at self-homicide…

3. Being grounded isn't worth trying to die.

4. I don't want Sora to get a hold of my 160 gig i-pod… he doesn't deserve it.

5. Naminé promised to help me fill out a paper for Hollow Bastion University

6. Said paper was supposed to be mailed yesterday…

7. My paycheck would become void

8. I really, really need money… and I don't think I'd be paid if I was put six feet under

9. I don't want to die in this redneck, useless town.

10. … See above.

"Uh… this isn't what I asked for." The innocent girl flipped her hair back and smiled prettily at the near-dead boy who looked ready to commit murder. "I wanted a mocha latte with soy milk and a hint of pure vanilla bean extract and extra whipped topping on the top. Does that look extra to you! And you put a bit too much caramel drizzle on top; I can't drink all of that!" She fumed for a moment as the boy mimed stabbing himself with the straw that he was about to hand her.

"If you can't drink all of it, then I could easily put it in a smaller cup." He said from gritted teeth, grabbing the cup back, ready to pour it out and remake the drink from hell. Said drink was then snatched from his hands to be held tenderly by the customer from hell.

"I mean, you put too much drink and not enough foam!" She attempted to correct him, looking down at her drink like he'd spat in it. Honestly, Roxas was tempted to do so, but he withheld the desire. Once was enough, he decided.

"That's what a latte is…" He groaned as she stared, wide-eyed up at him like he's started blathering in German.

"But I wanted a mocha latte." She pointed out, hand on her hip as she held the drink tightly.

"That just means chocolate was added to it." The cash register looked oddly inviting, and Roxas wondered if one hit could knock him out.

Maybe not…

"Oh… really? So if I wanted more foam…" Her voice trailed off and she stared expectantly up at him.

"Then it wouldn't be a latte." He barked, earning a vicious glare from a red headed girl already seated at a table, laptop out and legs crossed daintily.

"Can you change it?" She asked. Roxas face-palmed.

"If you'd like…" He ground out, watching as she silently deliberated and his patience wore out. Finally, her eyes grew bright and excited as she took a big slurp from her coffee, sending a wink to the red head. The girl grinned smugly… a little too smugly for Roxas's liking.

"I don't want to be too imposing." She simpered, taking the straw and placing it in the drink. Grinding his teeth together the steaming blonde forced his head to move up and down before he rang up the drink and snatched the munny from her hand. As she swayed away from him to sit next to a girl with vibrantly red hair, Roxas sunk below the counter and fake strangled himself.

"I hate my life…" He moaned dramatically, rubbing his eyes and staring morosely at the wall he was facing. Glancing down at his watch he noticed that he still had three hours before his shift was over and the next set of Strife siblings would take over.

The Strife Coffee House was one of the few fine establishments in Twilight Town, a place so small that it wasn't even marked on some maps. It was a town where everyone knew everyone and everyone's personal business was public topics. No secret was safe in Twilight Town, and no person tried to hide things for that fact. People's great-great-great grandparents founded the land, and kids raised their kids in town as well.

Roxas hated it.

He had five siblings, much to his displeasure. There was his ever spastic twin, Sora, his older brothers Demyx the singer and Cloud the mechanic, his younger, innocent sister Naminé, and his sadistic older sister, Larxene. His father's, father's, father, Luxord the 1st founded The Strife Coffee House and it had been passed down until Roxas's father, Luxord the 4th broke tradition and didn't name any of his deranged children Luxord.

"Uh… hello?"

Though, to be fair, Luxord never did like to fit into the norm. That's why he added two stories to their rickety house and referred to it as "The Burrow" to be funny. Sora loved it, Demyx laughed at it, Cloud ignored it, Larxene tried to tear it apart, Naminé smiled at it, and Roxas wished he lived somewhere else.

"Anyone working the register…?"

Yes… somewhere far, far away from Twilight Town…

"I just saw the blonde kid a moment ago… he was serving Selphi…"

Hopefully he could just up and leave one day, if he could find it in himself to leave the one place he'd always grown up living…


Roxas popped up by instinct, startling the two guys who were lounging at the counter, waiting for help. Behind him, Cloud let out a low, barely there chuckle and kept walking, manager tag slightly askew as he brushed past the counter to make sure everything in the shop was clean. He had nothing better to do anyway.

"Way to be observant, Roxas." Cloud complimented with a smirk, earning a deathly glare from his brother.

"Man, talk about popping up outta nowhere! You scared the hell outta me!" Another red headed kid stood in front with a shit-eating grin covering his face as he nudged yet another red head next to him. The other one was sporting a momentary heart attack.

"How can I help you?" Roxas asked between clenched teeth, trying to put on his best customer's face. It must not have worked though because the two red heads exchanged looks and began grinning at the same time. Roxas recalled that they were twins, or something close to that. Axel and Reno, the most obnoxious and most talked about idiots in Twilight Town.

"I'd like a small espresso with as many shots as you can fit in there." The one with goggles and swoopy tattoo's ordered with a flourish of his hand. Which one was he? Roxas couldn't find it in himself to care.

"Yes, and what about you?" Roxas turned his attention to the other one with upside down tear drop tattoos instead. He pretended to think, sending a lazy wink to his brother before leaning in and pushing his spiky read hair from his face.

"Are you on the menu?" He asked with a raised eyebrow. Roxas glowered and shook his head, silently counting back from ten like his father always counseled him to do. It was a neat trick, if it worked. Instead of working, Roxas found himself wondering why he was even counting in the first place, trying instead to not to impale himself with something very, very sharp.

"Do I look like a cup of coffee to you?" He snapped, turning away from the grinning red head to begin making the other's espresso. Through the back window he could see Larxene in all of her bitchy glory reading a magazine and not taking inventory like she'd been sent back to do. Turning back, he set the drink in front of the not as annoying red head and looked at the other expectantly.

"Just as tasty as one, I'm sure." He raised an eyebrow and licked his lips slowly, earning another murderous glower and a bucket of laughter from his brother. Ten… nine… eight… seven… six… five…

"Look, are you going to order something or just waste my time?" Roxas asked, eyeing the cash register with a hungry look that didn't seem all too healthy.

"Just give me a straight black coffee, medium cup." The less imposing one passed over ten munny and motioned for him to keep the change. Getting the drink as quick as possible, Roxas set it in front of the smirking red head and turned away from them, glaring once again at the wall.

"Why thank you, Roxas." Flinching, Roxas turned back to see the annoying one grinning like he'd just won the lottery. "I'd like to comment on your fine behavior and good customer service." Roxas pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes for a moment before he could calm himself enough to face the idiot head on and wait for him to continue speaking.

"Though I felt like I was going to be impaled by a sharp object-" How did he know! "I have to say that The Strife Coffee House is home to some of the most delectable treats I've ever set my eyes on." Roxas didn't have time to fully process everything that was said before the guy tossed him a wink and then began walking towards his brother, taking a long slurp of his coffee.

"ROXAS!" There was a loud banging at the entrance to the shop before a slightly frazzled looking Leon rushed into the area, gaze murderous. When people looked over at him he let out a slow breath, clearing his throat and shaking his head, putting on the bad boy image for all appearances sake. Once he'd calmed down enough, he began coolly walking over to Roxas, ignoring the girl's hungry gazes on him. Sighing loudly, Roxas raised an eyebrow and waited for Leon to reach him, already knowing what he wanted.

"Is it true that… that Cloud- that he-" Leon paused and let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding.

"Went on a date with Sephiroth last night, yeah." Roxas nodded and looked over where the back office was, the likely area that Cloud would be found. Glancing back at Leon, he noticed the way that the brunette looked like he'd been socked in the stomach.

"And did they… you know, have fun?" He choked out the last part, his concern unusual. It originally was Cloud that pined for Leon and Leon who came around as aloof and uncaring.

"I don't know, you'd have to-"

"We can help out, can't we?" Roxas gritted his teeth as he recognized the voice.

"By help out, do you mean…"

"Yeah, that's exactly what I mean."

"Meh, can't hurt."

"Can't help either!"

"Didn't you just say we can help out?"

"By help, I meant more like… cause trouble."

"Like we always do?"

"You read me like a book, bro." Roxas looked over at the pair of red heads that were sauntering toward Leon and Roxas with identical smirks. Leon gave them a vicious glare that could melt skin before rolling his eyes and turning back to Roxas with a clenched jaw.

"Look, I hang out with Rude and Rufus, and I gotta tell ya… Rufus and Sephiroth have the worst relationship, ever. I know all the gritty details." The one with the ponytail shrugged and stuffed his hands into his pockets as Leon turned to him with a hungry look. Nodding to the booth he'd just been sitting in, Leon followed him as they made their way to sit down and talk.

"I'm not one to gossip, but I swear Sephiroth was all over him…" Reno/Axel said informationally.

Roxas noticed the other red head was staring at him with a funny look on his face like he couldn't decide whether to laugh or not. Giving him a withering stare, Roxas went over to check the different machines to make sure they worked.

"You're not going to get many girls looking like that." He commented as Roxas ignored him and washed the cappuccino maker. He ignored the redhead that seemed bent on talking with him, causing the idiot to say again,

"You're not going to get many girls looking like that."

"Not looking for one." He grouched.

"Oh, already have a girlfriend?" The guy sounded surprised.

"Don't like girls." He snapped, dropping the washcloth into the sink of soapy water underneath the counter. The other guy gave a grunt that Roxas couldn't decide whether it was disgust or amusement before he began talking again.

"Never liked girls myself… how about a date?" The guy was leaning against the counter, watching as Roxas attempted to busy himself with not looking over at the expectant stranger. Giving the blender an unhealthy, longing look, he shook his head.

"Yeah, because we have so much in common." He retorted nastily, opening the back door to see Larxene reading her magazine. "Are you going to get off your lazy butt and do something?" He asked politely. Looking up nostalgically Larxene flipped him the bird before going back to her magazine.

"She's a gem." The red commented behind him. Not able to stop from nodding in agreement Roxas turned back to see the guy smirking at him.

"What do you want with me?" He asked, exasperated. The guy deliberated for a second, probably weighting the pros and cons of being an outright pervert again.

"When's your next break?" He inquired, looking up at the clock. Seeing the slow comings and goings of the outside world, Roxas glanced from the crazy and slightly strange guy to the half empty café before he shrugged.

"I don't even know your name." He said truthfully, knowing that even if he'd heard it before, he'd never bothered to care what it was. It was either Axel or Reno, Roxas couldn't find it in himself to care which one he was. Though it was a small town where everyone knew everyone, Roxas tried his best to get out of that mold by refusing to know everyone. Take that, small town.

"Name's Axel. A-X-E-L. Got it memorized?" The guy gave a sarcastic salute with two fingers and Roxas rolled his eyes.

"That how you introduce yourself? By spelling your name? How old are you, six?" Roxas shook his head and leaned against the back wall, not sure whether he wanted to take a break and talk to the guy or not. Roxas, as a rule, generally didn't like people and this guy would be first on his list of people to burn in hell if he could make a list without being seen as a psychopath. He wasn't crazy or anything, he just had anger issues. Lots of anger issues.

And this Axel guy wasn't making it any easier to deal with them.

"It always works with the ladies." Axel informed him roguishly, winking.

"I'm sure." Roxas replied scathingly, half tempted to take a break so that he didn't have to work. Not that he didn't mind working, but seeing as how no matter what he did he was sure to spend the rest of his life working at the coffee shop, he might as well take a break now, right?

"Look, just take a ten minute break and if I annoy that much you can put your little apron back on and serve coffee." Axel raised an eyebrow invitingly and before Roxas knew what he was doing, he was tossing his apron on the counter top and walking around the side to sit with the crazy red head. Why? Because he could easily ignore the guy for his entire break and still get that break in for the day. That's what he needed, a break. Something to take his mind off of hating his life.

As they sat down, Roxas immediately folded his arms and scowled at the window, earning an amused laugh from Axel.

"You're not much of a talker, are you." It wasn't a question, and Roxas let out a low sigh, nodding but still not looking at Axel.

"Why's that, I wonder? Are you shy or something?" Axel glanced around the room and then looked back at Roxas, waiting for an answer. Not getting one he nodded to himself as he let them sit in awkwardly comfortable silence for about five minutes. Bored with life, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. Roxas watched him with barely concealed disgust and then leaned away when Axel, smirking, offered him one.

"I don't smoke." Roxas said stiffly, watching the counter for any new customers. Axel nodded thoughtfully and shrugged, inhaling deeply and then clouding the area with smoke as he sighed in obvious relief. Seeing Roxas's speculative gaze, he shrugged lazily.

"Withdrawals are a bitch." He said by way of explanation. Leaning in, he tilted his head and watched Roxas shift uncomfortably under his gaze. "Are you always this tense?" He asked.

"I really, really hate my job." Roxas replied honestly, not exactly sure why. He should be shoving the cigarette into the random kid's eye and stomping back to his post at the counter, not truthfully replying to some random kid who had somehow coerced him into sitting down and actually –heaven forbid– taking a break.

"So why work here? Oh, wait, don't tell me…" Axel tapped his head thoughtfully and then smirked. "Family obligation." Roxas rolled his eyes and shrugged, not wanting to answer. Why? Because that was the reason. How did this guy know?

"So I must be right…" Axel mused, a triumphant grin on her face.

"Why are you bothering me?" Roxas demanded. "I'm just trying to enjoy my break and pretend you're not here. Is that too much to ask?" Axel's didn't seem detoured from him though at the anger. If anything, his smirk seemed to grow and curl at the edges.

"Because it has just occurred to me that you're the best looking cashier that I've ever seen."

"You're revolting."

"And you're secretly attracted to that." Roxas' eye twitched at that, and he could almost see himself grabbing the spoon beside the napkin dispenser and stabbing Axel, repeatedly. Luckily for Axel, a customer entered into the building, saving him from destruction. Roxas recognized them immediately and stood up, startling Axel.

"I've got a job to do." Roxas mumbled to him as he began walking away.

"Well that was short." Axel raised an eyebrow and snorted to himself. Taking a drink of his coffee he followed Roxas back to the counter, ignoring the way the kid muttered to himself. So he had mental issues? Axel could deal with mental issues. All he wanted was the blondie. There could be a little psychological baggage but hey, Axel didn't lift weights just to look good.

"Can you just leave me alone?" Roxas suggested after he walked around the counter and pulled his apron back on, giving a forced smile that looked like a grimace as the customer smiled brightly and asked for the usual. Grabbing a small cup he began working to ignore the red head's expectant gaze and gave a slightly longing look to the sharp blades that blended the drink up.

"Thanks, Alice." He said grouchily as he handed her the drink and she tipped him. As she worked her way over to a bar stool Roxas let out a soft sigh and slumped down, too tired to care that he was settling himself onto the ground that he'd forgotten to clean for a week.

"Hey, when do you get off?" Axel was leaning over the counter, grinning brightly and unfazed with Roxas giving and undignified squeak and ducking. Peeking up at him Roxas scowled as Axel merely grinned and shrugged, looking funny as he leaned more than halfway over the counter, almost falling over and landing on top of Roxas.

"Six… why?" Roxas asked suspiciously.

"Me. You. A movie?" Axel pointed to each specific person as he spoke. "You're hot enough that this could be really, really fun." Axel raised an eyebrow as Roxas's face turned a violent shade of red and he stood up quickly, backing away slightly.

"Not interested." Roxas snapped, hand groping for the back room of the shop.

"But I am." Axel protested, righting himself and ignoring the looks cast in their direction.

"Tough luck, life's not fair." Roxas finally found the back door and opened it, slipping through the crack and slamming it behind him rushing past his sister who merely rolled her eyes and popped her gum as he made his escape.

Five reasons why I should kill myself:

A list by Roxas Strife

1. Escape from suicidal thoughts

2. No working over hours

3. No working with idiots

4. No having to deal with strange, stalker-type red heads who spell their names

5. … See above.

Hit or miss?

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And so it begins... this will be fun. :)

I'll update soon!