Blu's first Christmas fic! Actually, it's a holiday fic, but you know what I mean. Either way, I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: You know the drill. Kingdom Hearts belongs to the wonderful people at Disney and Square Enix. Keep doing what you do!
Together for the Holidays
Winter time in Radiant Garden. The snow was slowly falling down over the castle town that, despite all the trouble it had been through for the last several years, was swept up in the joy brought by Christmas. The stores in Market Square were getting more business from the townspeople during the usual Christmas rush—especially the Moogles, who often had requests for special accessories for him and her. Not a Heartless or Nobody or any denizen of darkness could destroy the good feeling that everyone felt. Even the ones who weren't of the world.
"ACHOO!" Roxas and Xion sneezed at the same time, freezing from the cold. The blonde and raven weren't prepared for the cold, and didn't exactly dress for the cold climate. They didn't think it snowed over at Radiant Garden.
"I don't get what people like about snow… It's cold, it's wet, and it's making me sick," the former Nobody sniffled.
"Don't blame the snow because we weren't prepared…" Said Xion. "Although, it could have helped if someone told us about this firsthand…"
Lea looked back at his friends. Unlike Roxas and Xion, the reborn young man was wearing a dark coat with fur lining, a checkered red and black scarf, earmuffs and snow boots. The two were dressed in their usual casual clothes that they wore back on Destiny Island. "What?"
"Ya could've told us that this place got so cold in the winter, Axel!" Roxas snapped, brushing the snow out of his hair.
"Well, I'm sorry. I was gonna send you a letter the mail— Oh, wait! There's no such as an intergalactic postal service!" Lea joked as he resumed walking through the crowd, his friends following behind him. "Geez, didn't you guys think about the seasons? Not every world has the same weather year in and year out. We can't all be tropical paradises…"
"Well… I guess being in the snow is kinda better than being in the rain…" Said Xion, trying to make the best out of the situation. She held a hand out and caught a snowflake in the palm of it. "I've never seen snow before… It's pretty."
"Where are we going, anyway?" Roxas asked, hugging himself for warmth.
"The worse part of the holidays… Tree shopping," Lea spoke in a dark tone. Roxas and Xion gave him looks of confusion.
"What's so bad about trees?"
"I can excuse your confusion because you've never celebrated Christmas before. But if you knew what these…these…bastards do! They put up ridiculously high prices for trees that you could chop down yourself!"
"Then why don't you do that?" The blonde asked with an arched eyebrow.
"What're you, nuts? It's wintertime! I could freeze to death trying to find and cut down a good tree!" Lea shouted while Roxas rolled his eyes. "No, no, I…have got a better plan!" He said with a smirk and a dangerous glint in his eye.
"I don't like the sound of this," whispered Xion to Roxas.
"Would you rather leave him alone and get into who-knows-what sort of mess?"
A short while later, the three friends arrived in a small area in town where trees were sold. Roxas and Xion stared at the sight of people leaving with trees—some as tall as a person, others so big that they needed several people to carry them. They noticed three familiar faces nearby, leaving with a pine tree.
"Come on, guys! But those muscles into it! Don't tell me you can swing those swords around, but you can't lift a tree!" Said Yuffie as she goaded on Cloud and Leon, who were the ones stuck with carrying the Restoration Committee's tree. Actually, they were dragging it. The two swordsmen were strong, but the two of them alone couldn't carry the tree.
"Here's an idea: why don't you come and actually come and help us?" Leon asked while he and the spiky-haired blonde moved slowly.
"I'm giving you guys support! Isn't that helping?" The ninja asked with her hands on her hips.
"Mmph mmph mmmph mmph mmph," came from Cloud, whose mouth was obscured from the Chocobo-print scarf wrapped around his neck and the lower half of his face—an early gift form Aerith. Yuffie walked over to him and pulled the scarf down for the spiky-haired man to speak. "Normally, but your support's not very helpful."
"I liked you better with the scarf on," the dark-haired girl grumbled as she pulled up the scarf once more, getting a glare from Cloud. "I should've just brought Tifa. She could've done this with ease, unlike you two crybabies." Leon and Cloud flinched, their manly pride wounded a bit at the idea that Tifa could do this faster than them. The two swordsmen's eyes began to burn with determination and they began to hustle, moving three times as fast now. Yuffie grinned like the Cheshire Cat and gave the peace sign. "Works every time."
Roxas and Xion watched as the ninja girl skipped after her friends. "Are we gonna have to carry a tree as big as that with us?" The raven asked the blonde.
Roxas looked out at the tree lot. "I don't think we're going to have that problem." He pointed forward and Xion looked to where he was pointing. There wasn't a tree left on the lot now. "Well, there goes Christmas."
"A tree can't be that important…" Xion mumbled.
"Hold it!" Lea exclaimed, pointing at something nearby. "There's one left!" The tree he was pointing to was small...and mostly bare except for a few pine needles on its branches…and looked like it would die before Christmas would come around.
"…You're joking, right?"
"Are you blind? That thing looks like it's about ready to be put out of its misery."
"No duh. But something like that's gotta be cheap!" Lea said with a smirk. "Hey, it's better than my other plan. I was just gonna have you two start a fire with your magic while I stole a tree."
"So since you can't do anything anymore, you gotta have us do your dirty work?" Xion asked flatly. "Shame on you, Axel."
"Ffffff…!" Roxas stifled his laughter and bent over. "D-don't say your name in front of us!"
"Why not?" The redhead asked.
"Because every time you say it, I think of how it's spelled…and when I think of how it's spelled… LEAH! HAHAHAHA!"
"Of all the things he finds funny, it's my name…!" Lea grumbled under his breath before he grabbed Roxas's head and began to noogie it. "It's pronounced 'Lee'!"
Xion rolled her eyes as the two boys went back and forth. "Uh, guys? The tree?"
245 munny and one long complaint from Lea later found Roxas and Xion parting ways from their friend. He was going back home to decorate the 'tree' they got, telling the pair to do their Christmas shopping quickly before all the good stuff was taken.
"What do you think Axel would like?" Xion asked as she and Roxas walked through the crowd.
"Huh. I really don't know… Maybe we should just browse around and get whatever catches our eye…" The blonde Nobody mumbled. "Let's split up."
Roxas and Xion then split up, the blonde watching the raven disappear amidst the crowd. He sniffled before he headed up the stairs to the accessory boutique—the nearest shop. He stood amongst husbands and boyfriends seeking to impress their other halves, trying to see if there was anything Lea might like.
'I wonder if Axel wears chains…' He thought as he stared at a silver chain with an 'A' pendant hanging from it. His view moved to a set of gold rings, one with a bright red stone in the middle of it catching his eye, then to a chain bracelet. 'Or any sort of jewelry. Maybe I'll just get something for Xion here.'
"Hi!" Chirped two out of three of the little creatures that floated in front of Roxas's face. It was the Gullwings—Yuna, Rikku and Paine, wearing only earmuffs and scarves in their respective colors.
"Hey, it's what's-his-name!" Said Rikku as she pointed down at the blonde boy.
"Ventus," Yuna guessed wrong.
"Roxas," Roxas corrected.
"Don't blame us if you both look alike," said Paine as she crossed her legs.
"Whatcha doin', Roxas?" The blonde sprite said as she settled on the former Nobody's head. "Getting a gift for what's-her-name?"
"The girl with the blonde hair! Your girlfriend! What's her face!"
Roxas blushed. "N-naminé isn't my girlfriend! And I'm not shopping for her!" 'Although I could get her something while I'm here…'
"Oh, then your girlfriend must be the one with dark hair, huh?"
"Shi-on?" Yuna pronounced, now sitting on Roxas's shoulder.
"Yeah, that's her!" Rikku said with a nod.
Roxas's cheeks became a darker shade of red. "Sh-she's not my girlfriend, either!"
"Ohhh… Well whoever you're shopping for, girls like jewelry!" The brunette sprite advised the blonde boy.
"The more expensive, the better!" The blonde sprite added.
"Buzz off!" Roxas swatted Rikku and Yuna off of him and continued to shoo the fairies away. "I don't need your help to do shopping!"
"Sheesh! You try to be helpful and people treat you like mosquitoes!" Rikku said with a pout.
"Not much difference between you and a mosquito anyway," Paine commented.
"Hmph." The black-clad fairy disappeared in a flash of red light, followed by the others with orange and blue light.
The blonde sighed and shook his head before he got a thoughtful look. "Hmmm…"
Back with Xion, the dark-haired girl was humming to herself while she carried a bright red box wrapped up with a bow—Lea's Christmas present. A pair of chakrams from the item shop. She didn't know he wasn't allowed to have those as he was on probation for using fire magic and he couldn't use magic without a medium
'He's going to love this!' She thought with a smile as she made her way through the crowd. "Oh! While I'm here, I may as well get something for Roxas…" 'Wonder what I should get him. I've never seen Roxas interested in anything in particular…' Xion blinked as she noticed two familiar women walking towards her, too preoccupied with talking to notice her.
"I can't believe you're gonna buy Cloud that for Christmas," Rinoa said as she pointed at the bag in Aerith's hands.
"What's wrong with it?" The green-eyed brunette said with a pout.
"Nothing! Just… It doesn't seem like the sort of thing he would like."
"Well, what would you buy for someone like Cloud?"
"How should I know? It's hard to know what he likes when he acts the way he does. I can't tell if he's better or worse than Squall…"
"Then what are you buying for Leon?" The blue-clad woman pulled out a piece of paper that appeared to have been ripped out of a magazine. "What's this?"
"It's from a magazine Squall reads when he's not working. Lucky me, I found it when I found him napping off the stress of dealing with Yuffie and that mistletoe. So I figured I'd get him a newer, fancier model like this one."
"That's nice. I wish I knew what hobbies Cloud had. He's always so mysterious when it comes to what he does outside of Committee business…" Aerith spoke while they both walked past Xion, too busy to notice her.
"Hobbies… Does Roxas have a hobby?" Xion tried to think of all the things Roxas liked to do.
#1) Eat sea salt ice cream
#2) Hang out with Axel/Lea and Xion.
#3) Beat up Riku.
#4) Skateboard around town.
It was as if a light bulb came to life in her head. Skateboarding. Now that she thought about it, skateboarding was one of the few things Roxas liked to do by himself. Now there was just one problem.
'Do they sell skateboards here?'
Meanwhile, with Lea, the spiky-haired redhead was inside of his small home in the boroughs trying to decorate. Emphasis on trying.
"Stinking lights…!" Lea growled as he tried to untangle the bunch of Christmas lights that were among the decorations in the cardboard sitting in the middle of the living room area. He had been at it for almost half an hour and he wound up with a twisted line with several knotted wires. If he still had his powers, he'd have set them on fire. But then he remembered that would've been counterproductive, so he settled for glaring weakly at the accursed lights before dropping them into the box. "Aw, I'll worry about that later…" He pulled out one of the tree ornaments—an angel made of clear crystal—and put it on a branch of the sick little tree. The branch bent a bit, and for a moment, it looked as if the ornament would fall. When it didn't, Lea turned his back to dig through the box for more.
After a few seconds, the redhead heard a shattering noise that made him go still. He turned his head and looked down at the pile of broken glass on the floor, the head the only thing that seemed to be whole. He stared at the broken ornament for a while in silence before he began to shake.
On the other side of town, at the Restoration Committee's headquarters, a faint noise similar to yelling could be heard from outside.
"Wow. Someone's not feeling jolly this holiday, huh?" Said Tifa as she folded her arms across her chest. She turned around to look at Cloud and Leon, who were still trying to push the tree into the building. "You sure you guys don't need my help?"
"Positive," the blonde grunted.
"Just get the stuff for the party before the stores run out," said Leon.
"Alright…" The busty brunette spoke as she began to walk down the road to the market square. "I was gonna suggest they get Merlin to shrink it down, but if they wanna do it the hard way…"
Lea breathed slowly after his cursing fit, although he was still muttering "Damn" under his voice.
"Axel?" He looked over his shoulder and saw Roxas and Xion standing in the doorway. "You okay? We heard you screaming from down the street," said the blonde as they both came inside, each one carrying a shopping bag with a Moogle's face on it.
"I'm fine, I'm fine," the redhead grumbled while looking down at the broken ornament's remains.
"What happened…?" Xion asked as she bent down slightly to look at the mess.
"The tree couldn't hold the ornament…and it dropped…and it broke," Lea spoke flatly.
"It's kinda obvious that you shouldn't put decorations on a tree like that. Probably couldn't even put a star on it, either," said Roxas as he put his bag down on the table.
"Roxas!" Xion scolded the blonde boy.
"What?" He blinked when she nodded her head towards their red-haired friend, who was staring down at the broken glass listlessly. "Uh… Are you…really okay, Axel? It was just an ornament. If we hurry, I'm sure we can get a replacement. Or not. I doubt it'd make a difference with our crappy—I mean, tiny tree."
"I don't really care about replacing it. It's just the memory it holds is all," Lea mumbled, scratching his head. "My family's had since before I was a kid. And I would always be the one to put it on the tree on Christmas," he said, smiling slightly at the memory.
The Roxas stilled. It just came to him. He was told that Christmas was one of those holidays where family got together and enjoyed being around each other. But here they were in Axel's house without his family. A part of him wanted to ask where they were, but another reminded him of where they were. Radiant Garden. The first world to be taken by the Heartless. If anything, they might've had their hearts stolen, too, but weren't as fortunate as him in regaining their former forms.
"I'm sorry," Xion said, looking at the redhead sadly.
"Huh?" He looked at the dark-haired girl in confusion. "What're you apologizing for? I'm the one who dropped it after all."
"I'm sorry if you miss your family."
Lea blinked. "Who said that? I didn't say anything about missing 'em."
"Is this…the first Christmas you're celebrating without them?"
"Does it matter?" He asked with an arched eyebrow. "Besides, I've got you two spending it with me, and that's good, too." Lea looked out of the corner of his eye. "Of course, if no one was here, I wouldn't have to go through all this crap and I'd be able to sleep in for the entire holiday…"
"Geez, you'd even sleep in when it's Christmas? Really, Axel!" Roxas said with a sigh as he put his hands behind the back of his head. "You can't be that lazy!"
"I think you're underestimating his degree of laziness," Xion giggled.
Lea growled under his breath for a while before he got a smirk. "Hey, Roxas. C'mere. You, too, Xion. I have something I wanna show you both."
The two teens gathered around their older friend, confused and curious as he scrounged around the bottom of the box of Christmas things. He pulled something out, clutching it in his hands before holding it over their heads. "It's mistletoe."
"It's a plant," said Roxas.
"Thank you, Captain Observant."
"What's so special about a plant?" Xion asked, arched an eyebrow while Roxas continued to stare at the sprig of plastic flora.
"During the holidays, if two people are underneath a piece of mistletoe, they kiss."
"Really. That's weird…"
It took a few seconds for both teens to notice that Lea was holding the mistletoe over their heads. Their pupils immediately shrank at the realization and they started to blush. They looked at each other out of the corner of their eyes before they scooted apart, eyes wide and cheeks red.
"Hahaha! What, you're afraid of a little kiss? You've gotta learn to do it at some point! Haha!"
"Shut up!" Roxas shouted as he tackled the redhead and they both fell over, Lea's hand now holding the mistletoe over them.
"Ha ha! Now you two have to kiss!" Xion said with a smile as she pointed at the boys.
"No way!" The blonde shouted, immediately getting off of the redhead and stepping back, looking a bit disgusted. "I'm not kissing him! I don't know where those lips have been!"
"Oh, like you've got people running up to kiss you," the older of the trio spoke. "You'd be grateful to have a catch like me kiss you."
"When the Underworld freezes over."
"I bet Xion would rather kiss me than you."
"Actually, I wouldn't kiss either one of you guys." At the dark-haired girl's words, both boys seemed shattered. She started to laugh at their expressions, which got them laughing as well.
"Hey, you two still gotta kiss!" Lea pointed out.
"Do we have to?" Both teens asked with a hint of a whine.
"It's tradition," the redhead spoke sternly with his arms folded across his chest. Roxas and Xion blushed as they stared at each other, then they leaned in and kissed—a quick peck on the lips that didn't even last a second. "I can't believe you two actually kissed."
"You said we had to!" Roxas snapped, his face as red as a tomato while Xion remained speechless.
"I didn't think you were gullible enough to do it."
"Wait'll I get my hands on you!" The blonde shouted.
"That…wasn't so bad…" Xion mumbled as she blushed and smiled while Roxas tried to choke Lea.
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