Title: Pizza 3.14 [Multi-chaptered]
Author: The Spork Warrior
Warnings: Random, language, gay, complete and total AU
Notes: I have no idea how a pizza parlour works. Really. So any inaccuracies… should be ignored. Or corrected, if you happen to know. I might be able to adjust for it later if I've royally screwed up. Some chapters will be written by Hallowed Lotus, inspired by her Pizza 3.14. By the by, I don't own Kingdom Hearts or its characters.
It was eleven a.m., and Roxas's favourite pizza joint was just hours away from peak daylight business hours. He had a feeling they didn't really get much business until about one or so, and by that logic it was best to go before they actually started to get busy.
It wasn't big, and it wasn't a chain. It was just a locally owned delivery and pick-up joint with the best pizza Roxas had ever had. He personally had never called in an order or been there, but his twin brother often brought the stuff home. It had been that which had gotten him hooked on their delicious pizza, and it was all possible because said brother happened to work there.
But it was almost like the pizza place was Fight Club or something, and Roxas could never get any information about the place out of his brown-haired sibling – nothing about hiring policies, other employees, location, nothing. As far as Roxas knew, Sora made all the damn pizza himself. Something which Roxas knew was ridiculous. It wasn't a secret that Sora could barely boil water, let alone make something that tasty.
It had taken a while, but after much searching (and, though he would never admit it, some illegal activities regarding his brother's bank statement) the blond boy had managed to track down exactly where his brother worked and the location of said place of employment. Roxas had never thought the place would be unlisted.
After all, if he wanted to ever get a job, he needed to go someplace that obviously has lax hiring policies. After all, how else could Sora have gotten a job so easily?
And it was because of that wish for an easy-to-get job that Roxas stood outside, staring up at the neon sign with mild trepidation. Sure, they were yummy, and he really needed a job. But, really – it had such a lame name. With a sigh, Roxas climbed the short flight of stairs to get to the door and pulled it open, followed in by the tinkling of the bell above the door.
The sight that greeted him made him pause.
"Hey, welcome to Pizza 3.14! What can we do ya for?" The man at the counter was tall. It was all Roxas could focus on. He was a good foot taller than he was, which wasn't saying much – the blonde boy knew he wasn't a very impressive height. Hell, he was probably considered short. Not only was the man tall, but his eyes were insanely green and about as bright as he'd ever seen – almost mocking, too, which was a little strange.
But what truly made Roxas stop short as he approached the counter wasn't any of that – it was how obnoxiously red the clerk's hair was. Fire engines came to mind. It was beyond the natural spectrum of hair colour, and his much darker roots – nearly black, it seemed, were very stark against the mass of red.
Roxas didn't know how long he stared at that hair. He did know, however, that the man was laughing at him, trying to get his attention, "Hell-o! Anyone in there?"
"Do I have to have crazy hair to work here?"
"Kid, you already do."
"No, have crazy hair." The red-head laughed, leaning on the counter. A grin stayed long after he stopped laughing, and he gave Roxas the once over, green eyes roving slowly over him. Roxas couldn't help but shift under the gaze, certain that his cheeks were blazing red like the man's hair. "Well, you can apply if you want a job. You probably saw the sign outside, right?"
"Uh, yeah. I have a car, so I wanted to, uh, you know, do delivery?" Roxas fumbled over his words just the slightest. That was just a little embarrassing, he had to admit to himself, but there wasn't much he could do about that. Instead, he made his way closer to the counter. He had just reached it when Axel disappeared behind it before resurfacing, slapping down a small stack of papers.
"Hope you've got your social security number memorized. Or at least have that little paper card with you. These applications ask for it like a million times." The redhead grinned at Roxas, and at the closer distance, the blond had to admit that the man certainly was handsome. The embroidered name on his shirt read "Axel," and he took a moment to wonder if that was his real name.
Pulling a pen from his pocket – an act which earned him an approving nod from the worker – Roxas grabbed the application and went to sit down on one of the two waiting benches. It took him a few moments to get comfortable on the horrible wooded torture devices, but he quickly got into the swing of signing and tedious writing.
So embroiled in his scribbles, Roxas barely registered when someone walked in the door and sat next to him. The person sat there, very still, and Roxas started to squirm in his seat, knowing he was being watched by someone other than the redhead at the counter. It was damn unnerving, and his fidgeting only got worse as he refused to glance at the person obviously looking over his shoulder.
"You spelled 'definitely' wrong." The person next to him was female, then, and Roxas slowly turned his head toward her, his face an expression of annoyance at having some random woman getting on his case about his spelling on his damn job application. "It's d-e-f-i-n –"
Roxas scowled at the woman, a blonde with one of the strangest hair styles he had ever seen, "Yes, I know how to spell it. Can I finish filling out my application now?"
Nearby, someone was laughing, while another was sighing in frustration, and Roxas took the lull in his busy scribbling to look up. Axel the Redhead was laughing at him, and the blond's scowl deepened. Next to him, a man with – of all things – pink hair looked about as frustrated with the woman next to him as Roxas felt, and he felt a sort of kindred spark between the two.
"Larxene, what have we told you about loitering! Either buy something or get the hell out!" the pink haired man's voice was exasperated. Upon closer inspection, Roxas noticed that his hair was actually more of a strawberry blond-brown colour. As though he had tried to dye his hair pink from a mousy brown rather than from a bleached base.
"Whatever, Marluxia. You know it's the highlight of your day for me to come visit you here!"
"No." The pink-haired Marluxia deadpanned, "Now buy something or leave."
The blonde woman sighed, rolling her eyes, and pushing off from the shared bench – Roxas thought he saw her wink at Axel, which only made the redhead laugh more – and heading toward the cooler near the door. She grabbed two cans of root beer, strode to the counter, and leaned against it in a manner that would have been seductive if she had actually been trying, "Oh, wonderful 3.14 employee, might I purchase these two root beers for my customer-y enjoyment? And maybe some cheesy-bread too?"
She batted her eyelashes at the other worker, who mirrored her previous eye-roll and rang the order up. He didn't bother saying the cost and simply held out his hand to the blonde in expectation of payment. Larxene passed over some cash before strolling back over to the bench, where she handed Roxas one of the two root beers.
He gave her a weird look, giving an awkward, "Thanks?" before staring at the canned drink like it was going to eat him.
"Just think of it as an 'Aw, aren't you cute!' present," she sat back down as she spoke, a giggle interrupting her words as Roxas turned to stare at her with nothing short of utter confusion, "Or it could be that Marluxia won't let me stay unless I spend more than $5 and I don't need two cans of root beer. Enjoy!"
'Okay… so she's a weirdo. But she obviously doesn't work here, so maybe I won't see her that often if I do get hired.' Roxas shook his head, muttering thank you again, before going back to his application. He was finally getting toward the references when it dawned on him that he really didn't have any. After all, he had never really had a job before – he figured selling crafts online didn't count – and unlike his brother he wasn't very out-going and so hadn't managed to get half the character references that he was sure Sora had. How embarrassing would it be to put his mother down? Mortifying probably. He bit his lip before scribbling in his brother's name. He didn't bother with the second, and left the previous employer column entirely blank.
It was probably the most pathetic job application in the history of ever, and Roxas was starting to rethink his decision as he put the cap on his pen and stared at the small stack of papers. Maybe it would magically fill itself out more fully. Or spontaneously combust.
Unfortunately, it did neither. It did, however, get snatched out from in front of him by a very nice hand with long, thin fingers. "Well then, let's see what you've got here for us."
The blond looked up to see that the redhead – his shirt certainly did say Axel – had decided he'd had plenty of time to work on the application and it was time to give up the ghost and just accept the "get out, you inexperienced little worm" that was sure to come his way.
"Oh hey! You're Short Stuff's bro!" Axel grinned, leaning at the waist and sticking his face in Roxas's personal space, "Why didn't you say that to begin with? Xiggy's been trying to get him to bring you in for forever. Something about it being awesome to have a pair to lure customers. He's a little on the weird side, but that's not important. D'ya want to do an interview now, or later?"
"I do the interviews, if you're wondering. Manager and all that jazz. Marluxia would," he jerked his thumb over his shoulder at the pink-haired man, who was busy prepping cheese bread and talking to the blonde Larxene, "but he's busy and he's not the manager on shift right now, anyway."
Roxas was about to answer that he'd like to maybe come back the next day for the whole interview process, when Axel grabbed his hand, pulled him to his feet, dusted him off, and proceeded to drag him past the counter and towards the back of the restaurant.
"Mars, I'm interviewing! Don't interrupt unless someone doesn't show up for work!" Axel's voice was a sing-song, and he practically tossed Roxas into the back room before entering himself and closing the door with a snap behind him. The lock clicked into place and the redhead sat down behind the desk, gesturing at the chair on the other side for Roxas to take.
Roxas felt as though he had just been grabbed up by a tornado and spat back out only to be tossed around by a hurricane at sea. He stood, disoriented, a moment longer before sitting gracelessly in the chair. He stared at the manager with semi-wide eyes, and let out an exceptionally articulate, "Uh."
"Okay then! I'm Axel Rose, and yes, that's my real name. Parents had a horrible sense of humour and all that." He grinned at Roxas, "I know your name already, but how about you introduce yourself anyway ?"
Roxas nodded mutely, trying to organize his thoughts and trying at the same time to keep from bolting to the door. He definitely didn't know how to take the way that Axel was eying his up and down. "Uh, my name's Roxas Highwind. My parents weren't very creative with naming me."
Axel laughed, "Yeah, the whole 'Roxas is Sora with an x' didn't escape me. Which one of you is older?"
"I am. By a few minutes, at least." Roxas shrugged; so this wasn't too bad. Axel wasn't trying to kill him in the office, at least. That was a good start.
"Hah, so that actually means it's 'Sora is Roxas without the x!'" Obviously this was very funny to him, but Roxas just stared at him. Exactly why was it funny? He had to admit it was slightly humorous, but not as much as it obviously amused the other man.
There was a long moment of silence – awkward for Roxas, but simply silence for Axel before he finally broke it, "Okay. I'd say we can start the interview proper now."
It was your standard job interview. How do you handle this situation, who do you go to when you slice off a finger – not necessarily your own, what you hoped to bring to the joint, how many weapons are appropriate to carry in a vehicle on delivery ("As many as I can fit without impeding my driving ability"). Standard, really, and Roxas felt he did pretty well. Especially considering it didn't take very long – perhaps 45 minutes at most, and he had a feeling it only took that long because Axel was a little on the ADD side and kept inputting strange little comments in random places.
Axel stood up, and Roxas made to follow but a waving motion from the man made him pause. He shimmied the lock, pulled the door open, and as he was walking out, he saluted at Roxas and informed him of what must have been the plan, "Gonna go call the boss-man up. I'll let you know if you got the job in a few, 'kay? Just hang tight and I'll be back in a tick."
'Who the hell talks like that?' the blond had to admit that Axel was probably one of the strangest people he'd ever had the fortune to meet – and he wasn't sure if it was good or bad fortune. He hoped it was good fortune.
Roxas hadn't been in the room long – the office was oddly sparse, and he was getting bored very quickly just sitting there – when Axel returned with a grin on his face and a brand new stack of papers in his hands. "Well then, Mr Highwind! Boss-man Xigbar has given me the a-ok to have you fill out these forms, which pretty much say you're hired and that any injury you get on the job is your own damn fault unless it can be proven that it was from faulty equipment or another employee being a dumbass. Both cases, you can get workman's comp – which is pretty much what it sounds like Compensation for shit that happens on the job, as long as it's not your own fault. I don't really know how it works; never had to file for it.
"Anyway, Xiggy says 'Hey there new little dude – work hard and don't blow anything up.' His normal greeting to all new hires." Axel finally paused in his rambling, tapping his lips with a finger as though in thought. "You'll be reimbursed for gas costs on delivery, and you pretty much can make your own schedule, as long as you work at least 20 hours a week. Schedule is kept just outside the office, and there's gotta be at least two delivery folks on duty at lunch time and in the late evening hours. So set your hours when you want, and make sure you're here for them. Got it memorized?"
Roxas stared for a long moment at Axel, and then slowly nodded his head.
What the hell had he been thinking to want to apply to work here? Sure, it was lax – but the people were absolutely nuts. He was almost afraid to meet the other people that worked there. It was no wonder Sora had never told him anything about the place – he was protecting him from the crazy.
'Well,' Roxas mused, 'it's a job.'
A/N: Lulz. I have no life. And Roxas wants nothing more than to work in a pizza parlour.