Token Female

By Rhino7

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts, its characters, or storyline. This brain-fart is mine. I really have no excuse for this one. Just more Twilight Town silliness. Not even close to my best work. I should have rewritten a few parts and been more thorough, but this originated just as a ditty to keep my brain distracted from my statistics homework, so…don't expect anything epic. Enjoy.

..:--X--:..

Three o'clock in the morning was a decidedly inconvenient time to get food poisoning.

"Ugh, I think it's time."

"Time to what?"

"To put me down."

"What?"

"Euthanasia…That's legal here, right?"

"You're an idiot."

Hayner glared at Olette sourly, practically immobilized by the cramping across his abdomen. He was probably dying, and she was sitting there, calm as you please, working through a Sudoku puzzle book. He groaned and looked away from her.

"I've been poisoned, and you're playing games." He said miserably.

"I told you not to eat that crusty stuff in the back of the fridge, but you didn't listen to me. Now look at yourself. I feel no pity for you." Olette said, not looking up.

"Pence double dog dared me. I'm not backing down from a challenge like that." He argued.

"You're still an idiot."

"Oh yeah? Well you—" He cut off suddenly and grabbed at the waste basket as his stomach turned.

Olette pulled herself out of the chair and crossed over to stand beside his bed, holding the bucket as his stomach rebelled against him. It burned all the way up his throat and did nothing to help his headache. He kept his eyes pinched closed; he did NOT want to see the inside of that bucket.

When he had reduced to dry heaving, Olette held the cool side of her hand against the back of his neck. She might have been muttering words of comfort or reassurance, but given her mood tonight, er, morning, he doubted it. He couldn't tell anyway, the blood pumping in his ears was blocking sound.

"Okay." She said after another minute or two. "You think you're done?"

Hayner didn't reply beyond snatching up the towel on the bedside table and wiping his mouth with it. Taking that as a positive response, Olette poured water into a small paper cup and offered it to him. He didn't trust his stomach to let him speak, so Hayner just took the water, swilled it around his mouth, and spat it out into the bucket. Olette lowered the bucket to the floor and scooted it out of view.

"Easy." She watched him roll slowly onto his back again. "Keep your arm straight."

Hayner snarled but complied, glaring hatefully at the IV tube that was hooked into his arm, connecting to the bag of hydrating fluids hanging by the bed.

"This suuuuuuucks." He lifted his free arm to rub at his eyes.

Olette walked back over to her previous spot, plopping sideways onto the recliner in the hospital room. Her legs dangled over one arm rest, and she leaned back against the other, flipping her Sudoku book open to her current puzzle.

"I should have dared Pence to eat it first." He muttered.

Olette reached into her purse that resting on the floor and pulled out a stick of gum.

"If you had, I'd still be here, except with him, and you'd be home asleep, like he is." She peeled off the wrapper and stuffed the pale blue stick into her mouth, chomping down on it.

"Then call him up. He should be suffering too. And why are you chewing gum?" He tilted his head toward her.

She squinted at her puzzle. "Because watching you eat in reverse for three hours makes MY mouth feel gross. I can't imagine how you feel right now."

"Yeah, there's some crusty stuff left in that fridge with your name on it."

She saluted him with a raised middle finger without looking up from her book.

Hayner frowned and looked back up at the ceiling. "You're grumpy without your eight hours of sleep." He grimaced as his stomach cramped, but thankfully the nausea remained minimal. "How much longer is this going to take?"

"The doctor said it just has to run its course, work itself out of your system. It might take several hours." She answered flatly.

He groaned again, hugging his arms around his stomach.

"Hey." Olette grunted.

Hayner pouted and straightened his right arm again. "I thought the girl was supposed to be the nurturing one in the group."

"How do you figure that?" She jotted a few numbers into the blank spaces.

"Well, Kairi for instance. She's all…concerned about Sora and that Riku dude. And Fuu…well, she's less of a jerk than Seifer or Rai. But you're mean…did you know food poisoning can be fatal?"

Olette swiveled her head to face him, expression flat, and wordlessly blew a large blue bubble with her gum. It popped with a soft pah sound and deflated over her nose.

"You're disgusting." He said bitterly.

She turned back to her puzzle, using one hand to pull the gum from the top of her nose, stretching it away from her teeth and then pushing it back into her mouth.

A beat passed.

"I'm not the one who ate the crusty stuff."

"You're not going to let me live this down are you?"

"Nope."

"Seriously, I'm really in pain here, and you don't seem to care." He rubbed his stomach.

"I got rid of sympathy to make room for all this sour temperament." She replied.

"Look, I'm sorry, but you're not the one stuck in here. Don't be all mad at me. I didn't ask you to spend the night here with me." He grunted.

"Well maybe I'll leave then." She folded her book closed.

Hayner watched her, regretting his words. Sure, she didn't have the best bedside manner, but he didn't want to be alone. She put her book down by her purse and pulled out her cell phone, but she didn't make any motion to get out of the chair. He relaxed a little.

"Sorry, I—I want you to stay." He offered, wincing at the shafts of pain that were attacking his insides. "Your attitude can take a hike, though."

Olette settled deeper into the chair, glaring over at him. She wasn't a make up kind of girl, but the sleepless circles under her eyes were really standing out now, and the left side of her hair was matted and flat. She'd spent half an hour in the ER with him and now another two hours in his room. He supposed he deserved the nasty looks she was giving him, but on all other levels, he didn't care because—crap this hurt!

Groaning, he hooked his arm around his middle, rolling onto his side. Olette narrowed her eyes and he lifted his other arm, showing her how straight it was. He had been running a low grade fever since they'd taken his temperature in the ER. His collar felt hot and his face felt sticky. His muscles were aching and his intestines felt like they were waging war with his stomach. On top of all of that, Olette was looking at him strangely.

"What're y'lookin' a'me like that for?" He grumbled, squinting one eye closed as his head pounded.

She flipped her phone open, lifted it, and snapped a picture. Hayner gaped at her as she casually saved the picture and replaced her phone in her purse.

"Did you just take a picture of me while I'm in pain? That's a whole new level of bitch!" He hissed.

"Sorry, I've just never seen that shade of green on a person before." She quipped.

He tried to glare at her, but he was too exhausted. If he was too tired to glare, witty comebacks were totally out of the question. So he settled for dropping his head into the pillow and pinching his eyes closed. He tried to focus on something else.

It figured that his group got the tough love girl. Olette was a great friend, but he'd brought this on himself, so sympathy from her was going to be hard to come by. Kind of like that D he got on that history report…She'd refused to use her Teacher's Pet tricks to get him any slack. None of the teachers liked him anyway, so recovering from that grade had been hard work…Well, it would have been, but…but what?

He frowned. Had he failed that class? He couldn't remember.

Geez, had he swallowed knives or something? A moan escaped before he could choke it back and he bit his lip, stifling the end of it and exhaling heavily through his nose. It couldn't get any worse than this.

"I could smother you with a pillow."

He lifted one heavy eyelid to see Olette fully reclined across the arms of the chair, studying him with a mixed expression of boredom and mild worry. No, surely not worry. Olette was severely indignant of the notion of the token female of a group. Technically, it was her own fault for hanging out with boys. She was just asking for it, really.

Before he could form a retort that wouldn't come out as a groan or vomit, his vision brightened and his muscles locked up. Strange, at the same time, his limbs felt loose and detached. Olette was saying his name, but it felt like cotton had clogged his ears. Why did he have to say it couldn't get worse? Hayner started to gag, but found his lungs uncooperative and refusing to draw in air. A weird, tingly sensation spread through his nerves and he twitched.

Oh, this sucked so much a—

Hayner didn't remember passing out. It felt like he'd just closed his eyes for a few minutes when he opened them to find himself on his back, staring up at the white panels in the hospital room ceiling, a mild headache making the light in the window hurt his eyes.

Light?

Blinking, he turned his head toward the window and squinted at the bright sunlight spilling through the curtains. He winced and turned his head the other way. Olette had moved from the recliner to the small two-seat couch. She was on her stomach, using one arm as a pillow, the other arm dangling to the floor. Her legs, too long for the couch, were sticking up and leaning against the back of the couch. She looked awful.

Hayner shifted and his eyes flitted to the clock on the wall. It read just a few minutes before eleven o'clock. In the morning? Eyes widening, he looked around the room, saw no evidence to the contrary of the clock or red flags, and relaxed a little. He must have fallen asleep. Olette must have too not long after. Weird. He was sure he had been in too much pain to fall asleep. He made a face and rubbed his stomach. No pain now. Must have worn off. About time.

Feeling fidgety, he shifted again, getting his elbows under him and pushing himself up. Aside from feeling heavy and wobbly, nothing hurt, and the IV was gone. That was a relief, although his arm felt sore now. Ignoring that, he turned and swung his legs off the bed when the door to the room opened and Pence walked in.

"Whoa!" Pence jumped when he saw Hayner, who just raised an eyebrow at him. "Dude, how are you feeling?" He lowered his voice, glancing over at Olette, who just grunted and slept on.

Hayner, having achieved the upright position, felt suddenly exhausted. "Confused. How long was I asleep?"

"Asleep? Try unconscious." Pence answered, walking past the couch and dropping into the recliner. "You had a seizure, man."

"Seizure?" Hayner gripped the edges of the bed, anchoring himself. "Only last night, right? I've only been here the one night, right?"

"Yeah, yeah," Pence waved him off. "Will you lie back down before you fall down? You're freaking me out."

Hayner blinked at him before realizing he was listing to the side, one move from an interview with the floor. Lifting his legs laboriously back onto the mattress, he lay back against the raised head of the bed and bit back a sigh of relief at how much better that felt. Pence watched him warily.

"You want me to get a nurse?" He offered.

"Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?" Hayner rubbed his eyes. "No, thanks. So a seizure, huh?"

"Yeah, apparently sometimes when you get bad enough food poisoning, you have a seizure." Pence explained, "The doctor said you're okay now and after a few tests, you can go home. Do you remember any of it?"

Hayner squinted, "Not really. Was I awake?"

"What I got out of Olette was basically you started shaking really badly. She was taken out of the room before it stopped. I guess if you don't remember then you weren't awake." Pence stood up and crossed the room, tugging the curtains closed and blocking out the brightest sunlight.

"Thanks." Hayner let his eyes gratefully adjust to the dimmer indoor lighting. "When did you get here?"

"Four o'clock this morning." Pence offered a snarky look, walking back over to the recliner. "Olette called and made it sound like you were dying, so I got here as quick as I could. I didn't even know you were sick, dude." He sounded a little hurt.

"I wasn't…" Hayner averted his eyes. "I mean, it was one in the morning when it started, and Olette happened to swing by, declared me invalid, and brought me here."

"Who just 'swings by' at one in the morning?" Pence couldn't hide that mischievous grin.

Hayner glared flatly at him. "You made me have a seizure, so shut up."

"How did I make you have a seizure?"

"You double dog dared me!"

"You don't even know that's what poisoned you."

"It had been in the fridge for a month!" Hayner said incredulously.

"What was it, anyway?" Pence folded his arms.

"I have no idea." Hayner said in defeat.

"So you're saying you would have just ridden it out by yourself in your apartment, Mr. Daring Seizure Man?" Pence asked.

Hayner cleared his throat, "It wasn't that bad—"

"Olette DRAGGED you to the hospital, at one in the morning." Pence replied, deadpan.

"That's where she's a hypochondriac. I was barely sick and she thought I—"

"Had food poisoning? Well, how dare she." Pence mocked.

Hayner groaned at him and coughed again. On the couch, Olette grunted and her arm twitched. "How long has she been here?" He asked.

"Oh, she never left." Pence answered. "She only dozed off about two hours ago."

"Really? Why?" Hayner cleared his throat again.

Pence pulled a bottle of water out of seemingly nowhere, handing it to him. "Because you had a seizure and didn't wake up afterwards. Why do you think she was freaking out?"

"She was freaking out?" Hayner felt a small pang of guilt. "Last night, er, this morning, she was being all snarky and…kind of a bitch."

"Well, those adjectives morphed into panicky and psycho by the time I got here. I was thinking about suggesting a sedative." Pence said.

Hayner mulled that over, twisting open the bottle of water and taking a few tentative sips from it. "Huh." He muttered noncommittally. "She didn't cry or anything, did she?" He muttered.

Pence narrowed his eyes. "Don't make fun of her, man. She was terrified."

That sobered Hayner up, and he looked at Olette, out like a light on the couch. Basically the entire rant last night about her role in the group and nurturing instincts had gone undone. She couldn't help herself. After however many years of being friends, Hayner and Pence both knew Olette well enough to know that being aloof and unconcerned was impossible for her. But Hayner couldn't figure out why she thought that it was wrong for a girl to be all…girly and maternal. Token Female Theory, his ass. His group had the coolest girl.

While he mused, Pence had plucked up Olette's forgotten Sudoku book, flipping it open and picking up the pencil serving as the bookmark. After staring at the puzzle for a moment, he looked over to Hayner.

"If I had known that it would give you food poisoning, I wouldn't have dared you to eat it."

"Yeah, I still hate you." Hayner said, but there was no heat in it. "You suck."

Pence nonchalantly turned the page to a fresh puzzle. "Whatever, dude, you're the one who ate the crusty stuff."