A/N: Thank you for all those who reviewed, fav'd and had this fic on story alert! You guys made me happy!
Poll's still up! I added another option to RokuShion lovers. (:
Ice Cream and Seashells
"You know him!" Xion pulled away from the phone, rubbing her ear. Kairi's voice could wake the entire neighborhood with just a phone call. Xion waited for a few moments for Kairi to calm down. In the midst of Kairi's bickering, Xion could make out something about 'boyfriend' and 'didn't know he's already taken'.
When Kairi finally stopped shrieking into the phone and gave a muffled 'you there?', Xion deduced that it was safe for her to place the receiver next to her ear, but not before putting some distance just in case Kairi go crazy again.
"When? Where? How?"
"A week ago. At the clocktower. I gave him an ice cream. And then BAM! We're friends."
There was a pregnant pause and Xion could imagine Kairi's expression over the phone—with her eyes wide, jaws agape and everything.
"You met him and you gave him that funny tasting ice cream?" She finally spoke.
"It tastes so good! You just don't know how to appreciate sea salt ice cream. It's a blessing. He said so too." Xion retorted, her hands trailing over the smooth leather case of her melodeon.
Kairi gave a loud sigh. "You two are so not romantic."
Xion rolled her eyes at Kairi's comment. "You and your fantasies. Anyway, he gave me something."
"What?" Kairi's voice was curious and Xion could hear a tinge of excitement in it.
"A melodeon," Xion said, opening the leather case. She could not help but smile every time she looked at the melodeon, her brain forming an image of a blond boy.
"A melodeon?" Kairi repeated. "Ahh.. You two are really hopeless."
"Kairi!" Xion hissed. "We just met! And I don't like him in that way. I don't think he does either. He's like a brotherly figure to me. I prefer him to Sora. Speaking of Sora, how are you and him?"
"W-What do you mean by him and I?" Xion smirked as Kairi stuttered. Kairi was never one to let her guard down.
"I mean you and your four years crush on my bro—"
"S-Shut up!" Kairi interrupted quickly. "He's not in your room, isn't he?"
"Why? Want me to call him?" Xion chuckled to herself. "I'll help you call him since you miss him too much. Soooora!"
"H-Hey! Stop it, Xion!"
Within seconds, Xion heard her bedroom door opening and she spotted the familiar brown spikes peeking in from the door. "Bwah?" Sora said, his question muffled from the white foam escaping his mouth. He must be in the washroom, brushing his teeth before going to bed when she called him.
"Oh nothing! Just feel like calling your name because I love you, my dear brother!" Her brother's eye twitched and he scowled at her. He had raised his hand and Xion deduced that he was going to give her the finger before he remembered that their mother was at home. The last time he flipped her off had earned him a two hour lecture from their mother. Xion chuckled at the thought.
Sora turned away from her and left the room. "Anyway, Kairi said hi!" Xion shouted just when Sora slammed the door. She heard two loud 'hey!'s, one coming from her phone, the other coming from the kitchen where her mother was probably at.
"Ahaha! I'm sorry," Xion laughed, clutching her stomach which is hurting from all the laughter.
She heard Kairi made a noise that sounded like "Guhhhhh…" Kairi must be pouting over the line now. "You sure had lots of fun today, eh?"
Xion stopped laughing immediately; Kairi's voice had gone cold and dangerous. Not good.
"A-Anyway," Xion stuttered, alarmed by Kairi's sudden change in tone. "I gotta go! I-I have to go to the washroom."
"Don't give me B.S, Xion," Kairi growled. Crap. Xion fumbled with her phone. What do I do now?
"I'm kidding, Xion! Now you've become quiet. Sorry, I was just getting back for what you did to me." Xion heaved a sigh of relief. Nobody would want to come across an angry Kairi. "We were talking something about that blond dude giving you a melodeon right?"
"His name's Roxas," Xion said, collapsing on her bed, her free hand fluffing her pillow. She laid her head on it.
"Nice name. But why a melodeon?"
"He said he wanted to buy a piano for me but it's too expensive so he got me a melodeon instead." Xion waited for Kairi to say something but she did not so she continued. "Besides I'll be able to carry it anywhere with me and I can finally learn the piano with this!"
"Good for you!" Kairi said excitedly but her tone became soft. "I'm sorry. I'm your friend and I'm suppose to teach you piano but I—"
"Oh no no! It's totally fine." Xion said hurriedly. Kairi was her only close friend in school. She will not lose a friend like her. "You have school and concerts to worry about and besides, Roxas had offered to give me lessons."
"If he leaves Twilight Town, I'll be your piano teacher. I promise I'll make time for you." Xion wanted to retort but Kairi continued in a loud voice. "I can't lose to a guy like him!"
That last comment made Xion burst out in laughter. "You're mine forever!" Kairi yelled over the phone. "Uh-oh! Gotta go, Xi. Mom's calling. It's late. See you tomorrow in school! Night, babe! I love you!"
"Haha! Okay! Love you too! Night!" Xion hung up.
That night, Xion slept like a log with a smile on her face.
To say that Roxas was happy was an understatement. He was in bliss. He could not help but smile contentedly as he watched Xion played a few keys on the melodeon, her brows furrowed in concentration.
"C, D, E, F, G!" Xion inhaled and blew into the reed that came with the melodeon and smiled when she played the correct notes.
It had been a week ever since Xion was given the melodeon. She had it with her almost every second as if it was part of her. Being given a piano was impossible but a melodeon was good enough. She had went home, practically skipping and giggling non stop. Her elder brother, Sora, had even popped his head into her room to find out why his sister was being crazy. While spying on his sister, his eyes widened to saucers when he saw her new leather case. And then, he rushed into her room, grabbed it and fled to his room, leaving Xion completely stunned. She had then, yelled at Sora and snatched it back before he had a chance to dismantle the melodeon. Seriously, Sora was four years older than her and he was still acting like a seven year-old.
However Sora's eyes had turned cold and stern when Xion continued fiddling with the leather case. He had demanded who gave it to her since he could tell it was pretty expensive. He was taken completely off guard when Xion told him it was from a Strife. He told her that he did not expect a scrawny, unattractive girl like her would be able to catch the attention of famous company holder. That night, Sora had ended up with a swollen black eye.
Ever since then, Roxas and Xion would meet up every other day at the clocktower in the evening for one to two hours. Of course, Xion would be the one buying the ice creams. She insisted to pay for the melodeon even though Roxas kept telling her not to. During those times, Roxas would spend about an hour teaching Xion how to read notes and eventually learning to recognize key and time signatures. Xion was a diligent student and a fast learner. He had praised her for that but she said it was because he was such a good teacher.
Roxas sighed as a cool breeze kicked up and blew over them, tousling his hair to the side. Xion was humming to some kind of tune he never heard before. He leaned against wall and closed his eyes, enjoying the summer breeze. Soon it was going to be autumn.
"Oh!" Xion stopped humming. "What was it that you were playing the other day?"
Roxas raised his eyebrows. "What?"
"I'm pretty sure it sounded something like this…" Xion closed her eyes and hummed a tune. Roxas immediately recognized it as the song he had yet to finish composing.
"It's…" A slight blush stained his cheeks. "…something that I composed. It's not done yet, though."
Xion snapped her head up at a speed so fast Roxas thought she was going to break her neck. He did hear a joint crack though. "You compose?" She squealed, her pitch going up an octave. "That's amazing!"
She stood up, completely abandoning the melodeon. "Amazing! Amazing! You play the piano well and you compose! Soon, you're going to inherit one of the world's largest companies too! Is there anything you are not capable of doing?"
Roxas' lips curled up into a slight frown and placed his index finger to his chin. "Hmmm… Well, all you need is brains and brawns to do everything well!" His finger then traveled to flick Xion's forehead, earning an 'ow' from her. He chuckled as Xion gave him a playful sock on the arm.
"Egotistic jerk," Xion said, rubbing her forehead. It was not that painful.
Roxas laughed heartily. "As I said, it's not done yet."
"Doesn't matter. It's still amazing that you compose," She said, sitting down, bringing her attention back to the melodeon. "Have you decided a name for it?"
"Nope." Roxas said, his eyes focusing on the setting sun before him.
"Can you play for me?"
Roxas turned to her. Xion was looking at him with a playful look in her eyes. "I know you can't play the full range… But you can play the main melody, right?"
And so, Roxas obligingly played it for her, keeping an even breathing when he played the different passages. While he was playing, he could feel Xion's eyes on him, or rather, his fingers tapping on the keyboard. Xion, being a fast learner, was able to follow Roxas' playing and slowly began to hum along with the melody. He quickly changed the simple melody into a series of arpeggios, adding a few mordents and trills here and there. Taking it as a challenge, Xion quickly grasped onto the new melody.
When Xion was able to catch on to him, Roxas changed the melody into chords and perfect octaves. He smirked when Xion stopped singing. He could see her pouting from his peripherals. "Hey! Nobody can sing that!"
He stopped playing and gave her a teasing smile. "I didn't ask you to sing along." Xion's face turned a deep shade of red when she heard that.
She folded her arms and looked away. "A-Anyway, how were you able to change the melody so easily? You make it seems more… 'colorful' than before."
"Thank you. It's not that hard actually," Roxas said, playing an ascending scale on the melodeon. "You have to know the chords and all you have to do is just change it into something more 'colorful', as you said. Like arpeggios, scales, mordents and trills. Some of the notes don't belong to the chord. We call them decorative notes."
Roxas played a few examples; starting with chords before changing it swiftly into different playing styles. Xion could not help but stare in awe. She quickly grabbed her school bag and dug out a manuscript (Roxas had brought her to a music store he passed by the other day and suggested her to buy one) and a pencil, scribbling madly into it.
"I see…" she muttered, chewing on the eraser of her pencil.
"I think you should major in music."
Xion beamed at him, closing the manuscript book.. "You think so?"
Roxas nodded, "Definitely, since you're so passionate about music and all." He then, proceeded to take the manuscript out of her hands and drew a treble clef. Xion waited patiently for him to finish drawing some notes before asking him what that was about.
"It's the melody I played just now," He had said and Xion was once again, smiling gleefully at him. "It's not finished though. I didn't have to the time to complete the entire piece. In the meantime, you can only play that much."
Xion was shaking her head when he handed the manuscript back to her. She hugged it against her chest and said, "Well, you can continue it when you have the time to finish it! Make sure you come up with a name at that time!"
Xion stepped into her two bedroom apartment only to meet with a strong whiff of something that smell of barbequed pork and fried chicken. She blinked. Had she stepped into the wrong house? But her keys were dangling on the door knob. Strange. She thought, closing the door. Maybe the aroma came from next door.
However, after she had removed her shoes, replacing them with slippers and walked into the living-dining room, a black blur tackled her, knocking the wind out of her.
"M-Mom!" Xion exclaimed. "Can't… Breathe!"
Her mother, Rinoa, released her from her bear hug, her eyes shining and Xion wondered what made her so happy. Her eyes traveled to the dining table beside them. She gawked at the amount of food on the table— sweet and sour pork, fried chicken wings, sushi, and basically food she had never dreamed of eating was on the table. "Guess what?" Rinoa asked.
"We won the lottery?" Xion joked, earning a flick on the forehead.
"You know I hate gambling!" Rinoa frowned. "I got a job at the new factory!"
Xion's eyebrows went up in surprise. "She's referring to the factory the Strife had been building a year ago. It finished recently." Sora, who was sitting on the floor, said. He reached over to grab a drumstick but Rinoa slapped his hands away and insisted that the whole family has to begin dinner together.
"That's great mom! I'm so happy for you!" Xion went over to hug her mother.
"They're paying eighty per hour!" Xion beamed at the good news. No wonder they were having a feast today.
Xion glanced at a photo frame on a cupboard beside her. She smiled and whispered to herself. "Thanks, Dad, for watching over us."
"Roxas, are you done?" Roxas threw in one last pile of clothes into his luggage, zipping it up, and went to join his father by the door. They would be leaving at eight in the evening for Radiant Garden which was a good twelve hours train ride from Twilight Town.
As he followed his father into the elevator, down to the lobby, his hands closed around a wooden stick in his pants. He found it while he was cleaning up his room that morning and remembered he had yet to ask Xion what the "WINNER" means. He made a mental note to ask her when they meet up at the clocktower later for the last time.
Roxas was definitely going to miss Twilight Town— the quietness of the surroundings, the beautiful sunsets he witnessed at the clocktower, the taste of the sea salt ice cream…
And of course, Xion, the girl who he had been dangerously attached to during his short stint in Twilight Town.
"Hey." Xion said, smiling sadly as she sat down beside Roxas.
"Hey yourself." He greeted.
"So it's time huh?" Roxas nodded his head. He pulled out the stick from his pants pocket.
"Can you tell me what will I get from this?"
"What's this?" Xion turned her head to read the letters on the stick. "W-I-N-N.. Winner?" She looked up at him and back to the stick. "Woah. You must have lady luck on your side. I have been eating the same ice cream, every day, for the past five years and never once do I get a WINNER stick."
"It's from the first ice cream you gave me. You would have gotten this if you gave me the other one," Roxas said. Xion shook her head furiously. "I gave you that ice cream, so it's yours."
"So what do I get?" Roxas repeated his question earlier.
"A free sea salt ice cream."
He stared at her in surprise. "That's it?" He said. Xion nodded and then he laughed. "And I thought I won something big."
"Hey! Those sticks are rare! I heard the owner talking about it the other day. He was telling me how unfortunate for me to not get one WINNER stick after eating so many ice creams and how fortunate it is for him to be earning money from all the ice creams I bought from him." She pouted and crossed her arms in a childlike manner.
He chuckled and took her palm, giving her the stick. "You can have it. Treat is as a farewell present."
"Really? I'll treasure it!"
Roxas raise his eyebrows. "You're not going to show it off to the owner? You can tell him you finally gotten one from his ice creams."
She shot him a glare, clearly furious. "Never. It's a present from a precious friend, of course I'll treasure it."
Roxas watched Xion stare at the stick with childlike innocence. It made him want to protect that innocence. But Xion's eyes turned sad as she diverted her gaze to him. "What's wrong?" he asked.
"I knew you're leaving but I didn't get anything for you…" She confessed.
"Hey! It's fine! It's not like I'm leaving forever. I can still come and visit you when I have the time to."
"But you'll be busy right?" Xion asked. Roxas became quiet. It was true that he would be busy if he goes back to Radiant Garden. He would be joining his father in the business world in a few years after all and he would have to devote his time into studying business in school.
"Ah!" Xion exclaimed, snapping Roxas out of his reverie. He watched Xion fumble through the things in her school bag. She produced a small glass bottle, about the size of a person's thumb, a yellow ribbon was tied around it probably for decoration. It contained a little bit of sand but the most attractive thing about the glass bottle was that there was a baby blue shell with a pinkish rim.
"It's beautiful," he breathed, still looking at it as the sunlight danced off the transparent glass of the bottle.
"Isn't it?" Xion agreed. "I had this ever since I was little. It was a shell my father picked for me at the beach when he was still alive. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. It's still am."
She looked at him in the eyes. "And now, I'm giving it to you."
Roxas looked startled. "H-Huh? What? Are you sure? Isn't this one of your prized possession?"
"No. You got me something. It's natural for me to return the favor," She said and Roxas wondered how old this girl was again. Wasn't she twelve?
Xion's eyes looked so determined that Roxas had no choice but to accept the gift. He held it gently but firmly in his hands, careful not to drop or crush the fragile little thing in his hands. "Thanks…"
Xion grinned. She checked her watch that was strapped onto her bag. "It's seven thirty already! Your father must be waiting." She stood up, swinging her bag over her shoulders. "I have to go too."
Roxas followed Xion down the stairs in silence. The atmosphere was too depressing to say anything. When they reached the door that leads to the station, Xion had given him a sad smile before opening the door and bid him farewell in a small voice, promising that they would meet again.
He had then, watched her run off with those short legs of hers and he himself, proceeded to meet up with his father and a few bodyguards clad in black and sunglasses near the train platform.
"Let's go," His father said, jerking his chin towards the door of the train where a bodyguard was waiting for him. Roxas had nodded but he could not resist the urge to turn back and search the crowd for the petite girl.
His eyes roamed around the sea of people in the train station and eventually landed on a girl crouching in a corner, curled in a ball. She was staring directly at him, her eyes a little watery.
"Father," Roxas said, without looking at him. He was afraid that if he would lose her if he was to avert his eyes from her. "I'll be back."
He ran towards her, his arms outstretched. The girl stood up immediately and did not hesitate to run into his awaiting arms. He did not care what his father would say to him later. For now, it was just him and Xion. Xion's face had landed right onto his chest causing Roxas to let out a hearty 'oomph' from the impact. Both of them had laughed then, their arms entangled around each other. Roxas gave Xion's head a pat and pulled away, planting a kiss on her forehead. Xion's face flared up. Roxas laughed again.
"Be a good girl. I'll come back when I have the time."
Xion grinned. "Good luck with whatever you're doing!"
He smirked and walked a few steps away from her before breaking into a run, his right hand waving at her as he bid his farewell.
"Make sure you finish the piece! I'll be waiting for you to play it!" She yelled over the crowd, her hands cupping her mouth. Roxas stopped beside the train and smiled at her before disappearing into the train.
On that day, Xion spotted a few red flowers growing on the sidewalk outside the train station and she wondered when those flowers got there as she had never seen them there before. And over time, she came to learn the name of those flowers.
They are called Lycoris radiata—Red Spider Lilies.
Fluff! Fluff! And more fluff! I know things are going really slowly for the first few chapters of this fic but I assure you the fun starts sooner than you thought (:
This will the last chapter I'm posting before school starts. I'll be busy and acting all nerdy again when I'm back in school. And hence, I'll be posting rather slowly when school starts. I can only write in my free time after all.
Cookies for the person who knows what Lycoris radiata means in flower language :D
Sea Salt Ice Creams as a bonus for the person who knows what Lycoris radiata means in Ice Cream and Seashells! :D
I hope you guys liked this chapter!