A/N: This isn't gonna be a very long story - it'll be less than 20 chapters, that's for sure. This had been in the back of my head for a really long time, and I finally got around to writing it.
Hope this satisfies you.
Prologue: One Hundred Hours.
Roxas couldn't sit still.
His fingers twitched on his lap and he kept crossing and uncrossing his legs at five-minute intervals. The corners of his thin mouth sagged downwards in a frown and his cobalt hues shifted around the small office, trying to find something else to focus on.
"Roxas," Mrs. Yamada spat impatiently, catching his attention; the school's guidance counselor was staring dully at him through shiny glasses lenses, "I know how school has never been much of a...priority to you, but there's only four months left 'till the end of your last year of high school and you haven't completed one single hour of community service. If you hate school so much why aren't you doing anything to make sure you don't have to come back next year?"
He rolled his eyes and leaned into his palm. "Look, Mrs. Yamada, I-"
"I don't want to hear any of your excuses," She held up a hand to stop him, and his hand tightened into an irritated fist, "After nearly four years of having to put up with them it's getting a little tiring and repetitive." She ignored the nasty glare he was giving her and adjusted her glasses before continuing. "You know you need to complete one hundred hours of community service to graduate, Roxas - it's mandatory in the school curriculum!"
"Yes," He muttered through gritted teeth, "I know."
Mrs. Yamada's shoulders depressed in a defeated sigh. "You're lucky I'm friends with your mother," She tutted, "Because if I weren't I wouldn't be telling you right now that I've already taken the first step for you."
He raised a blond eyebrow, confused. "What do you mean?"
She bent over to pull something out from one of her desk drawers; when she straightened up she handed him a couple of important-looking papers. "I've signed you up as a volunteer here," She explained with a somewhat impish smile on her aged features, "And you will be reporting here from Monday to Friday for two hours until you've completed your community service. It shouldn't take you any more than two and a half months, give or take."
"Er," Roxas squinted at the headline of the paper on top of the small stack she had given him, "Isn't this...this is a-"
"Yes," She smiled sweetly, "It is, Roxas. You should call them tonight just to verify everything." She gestured towards the door behind him. "You're free to go."
He stood up abruptly, his eyes still running over the document in his hands. Frustration licked at his stomach lining and he tried his best to keep his temper under control. "Okay," He clenched his teeth together to prevent himself from lashing out, "If I have any...difficulties...I can just call you, right?"
"Of course, Roxas. Say hi to your mother for me."
He stormed out of the office, muttering angrily under his breath. He was so distracted by his own thoughts that he forgot about his brother and half-sister, the both of whom were patiently waiting outside for him the entire time.
"Hey," Sora stood up to chase after his brother, who was still stomping down the hallway; he clapped a hand on his shoulder and stood back when the blond yelped in surprise, "Whoa," He chuckled, holding up his hands, "Sorry to scare you."
Once he calmed down Roxas showed his brother the stack of papers in his hands. "Look what the old hag signed me up for."
"I thought it was a good thing she signed you up for something," Xion took the documents from her half-brother and scanned them carefully with Sora; of course, being the goody-two-shoes in the family the both of them had already finished their hours way before they entered their senior year, "Wow, this is insane - literally."
"Tell me about it," The blond groaned as his sister returned the papers to him, "She signed me up to volunteer at a frigging mental institution! I'm gonna be stuck there for two and a half months with people who are completely out of their minds!" He rolled his eyes at his siblings, who were trying very hard to restrain their laughter. "Like I don't have to deal with that every day…"
His brother shrugged. "Maybe she's implying something."
Roxas playfully punched him in the shoulder. "Shut up." He sighed and brushed his fingers through his hair, staring dismally at the documents in his hands. "I bet she already told Mom."
Xion shook her head in amusement as she pushed the doors open; the three siblings circled towards the back of the school, where the student parking lot was. "At least she'll be happy knowing all of us will be graduating this year."
"Ha-ha." Roxas clambered into the car and waited for Sora and Xion to stop fighting on who got to sit in shotgun (the latter won, like always). He started up the clanking old sedan and veered out of the parking lot, beginning the short ten-minute drive back home.
"So I've take it that Mrs. Yamada told you about your volunteer work?" Their mother greeted them at the door the minute they arrived home; her eyes were staring at the papers in her blond son's hands, "It's a very prestigious place, I've heard."
"Yeah," Roxas muttered as he kicked off his shoes, "Prestigious as in they've got the craziest people in the country stuffed into one building." He glanced behind him and noticed that his brother and sister had already gone up the stairs.
"I'm serious, Roxas," She scolded, "This place is under the supervision of one of the world's best psychiatrists and psychologists. I'm pretty sure you'll be in good hands."
"You're making it sound as if I'm being admitted into the place instead of just volunteering." He smirked as his mother laughed.
"Oh, you know what I mean." His mother gestured towards the stairs. "Now you get started on your homework - dinner'll be ready in a couple hours or so."
When he reached his room Roxas unceremoniously dumped his bag onto the floor and reached for his cordless phone. He squinted at the number printed on one of the sheets of paper he was holding and hastily dialed it.
"Hello and thank you for calling Twilight Town Psychiatric Facility," Said a somewhat monotonous male voice, "How may I help you?"
"Hi," Roxas' fingers were drumming against the phone, "I'm Roxas Takashi and I'm just calling to confirm that I'm registered at your hospital-" He blinked incredulously when he realized how odd that sounded, "-a-as a volunteer, I mean, not a...not a patient."
"Give me a second and I'll check our records." The click-clacking of a computer keyboard's buttons filled in the silence for a few minutes. "Yes, according to our records it seems that you've been registered as a volunteer since yesterday afternoon."
Great. "That's perfect - er, do you know when I'm supposed to start?"
"Tomorrow would be preferred," The bored voice replied almost immediately, "Come in whenever you wish, but remember to sign in at the main office first."
"Alright - thanks a lot, bye." Roxas cancelled the call and rumpled the back of his hair before setting the phone back on the cradle. His eyes automatically scanned the document in his hands one last time:
It is with great pleasure and honour to welcome you to our psychiatric facility. I assure you that you will have a congenial and memorable experience here at the facility, and that you will emerge from its gates with a new personality and maybe even a new outlook on life. To hear that young people like you are showing interest in helping others with mental instabilities is both heartwarming and inspiring, and it only makes my anticipation to meet you stronger.
At our facility your job is simple: to keep our patients company. Unfortunately many of the patients staying within our walls do not have many visitors and they tend to get very lonely. Our patients are kind and most are people-friendly so there is nothing to be concerned about; patients that need special attention are kept in another wing so there is absolutely no risk of employee attack.
There are currently three directors who are in charge of the ward: Dr. Xehanort Ushiba, his brother Dr. Xemnas Ushiba and myself, Dr. Ansem Mafuyu. Along with our medical staff we have dedicated our lives in researching abnormal behaviour in the human mind, and we hope to find the cure to the copious mental diseases that are hampering many people's everyday lives.
With that being said I will be patiently awaiting your arrival, and again I hope you will have a splendid time with us here at the Twilight Town Psychiatric Facility.
With Best Regards,
Dr. Ansem Mafuyu
Director and Head Psychiatrist of the Twilight Town Psychiatric Facility
Roxas scoffed and carelessly tossed the letter on his desk. "I assure you that you will have a congenial and memorable experience here at the facility," He echoed the letter's words in an airy, mocking tone, "And that you will emerge from its gates with a new personality and maybe even a new outlook on life. Yeah, my ass."
He ruffled his hair and stretched his arms; a little nap before homework would not hurt. He unfurled the sheets, crawled underneath them and yawned as his head hit the pillow. Thoughts and worries over tomorrow washed away completely as he slipped out of consciousness, and everything became black.