DISCLAIMER: Though I find this completely unnecessary, I feel somewhat obligated to state that the Kingdom Hearts franchise and the poem "Those Lazy Afternoons" do not belong to me. Also, as you read the story, keep in mind that this is simply a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of their rightful owner's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Those Lazy Afternoons
Reminiscing on old times
The yard behind old abandoned mansion was the perfect place for reenacting battles of war. The tall, dead grass, the fallen tree, and the mucky, old creek gave the field an original atmosphere that only Olette's boys would love.
Christian Hayner Richardson put his slender piano fingers onto his earpiece. "Heartless Nobody, do you read me?" the blond-haired teenager whispered stealthily into the microphone. "This is your captain speaking. Over."
Less than five yards away, Jonathan Roxas Way crouched down behind the fallen tree. He carefully examined his surroundings before responding to his friend on the other line.
"I read you loud and clear," the boy with the windswept hair commented as he readjusted his goggles. "Target sighted. Over."
Hayner grinned at his friend's detection skills. "Perfect. Pencil Case, are you sleeping again?"
"Negative, Boy Blunder," Pence Nicholas Aarons spoke softly into his headset, "I'm trying to find the target's twenty, which is oddly enough right in front of me. Let's move! Over."
Only a few yards away from the fallen tree, Hayner smirked as he watched the brownish-yellow grass rustle. His two teammates were just beyond the grass, locating one of their easiest targets.
"Boy Blunder, I'm starting to get impatient," Roxas whined, ready to pounce on their prey before the excitement wore off. "Can we please go now-?"
"Wait for my command, soldier!" Hayner hissed forcefully. "The target's surrounded. Ready… steady… NOW! Attack!"
At this point, Hayner, Roxas and Pence jumped out from their positions and shot at Olette with their loaded Nerf guns. Foam darts flew all over the place; some narrowly missing the brunette teenager while others directly hit her.
"This really isn't fair," Olette Maureen Anderson complained, attempting to shield herself with the Nerf gun she was using. "It's three against one, boys!"
Pence quickly reloaded with the foam darts surrounding him. "You're the one who picked that gun. It's only fair!"
"How on Earth is this fair?" Olette shouted, rushed for shelter from the oncoming darts. "Altogether the three of you have more darts than I do!"
"But with your choice of weaponry," Roxas explained, still trying to aim for the girl dressed in orange, "it is only fair. That gun fires the most amount of darts in the quickest amount of time!"
The four friends did their best to avoid getting hit by the zooming darts. It was no longer the predictable underhanded game of three-against-one; it was now a free-for-all. Darts flew from one end of the field to the other. Hayner shot darts at Roxas and Olette while Pence crawled along the creek collecting the fallen darts.
Hayner shot a dart toward Olette, only to realize – "Olette, look out!" he warned loudly, racing to his best girl friend.
Turning her attention to the leader of the gang, Olette noticed the blond boy coming at her with full force. A dart skimmed directly past Olette's face as she was taken in her best friend's arms and pushed to the dirt below. The brunette and the blond had fallen into the mucky stream. With her backside covered entirely in mud, Olette screamed, "CHRISTIAN HAYNER RICHARDSON!"
"No need to yell," the fifteen-year-old boy said smoothly as he slipped in front of the Way's hallway mirror. "I'm right here, Roxas."
Pence rolled his eyes, readjusting his black bowtie and straightening out his suit. "Someone's a little too excited about Homecoming, isn't he?" the raven-haired boy teased his friend. "Could it be because of who his date is?"
Smirking, Roxas nudged the heavyset boy beside him. "Obviously, he's more than just 'too excited' considering the fact that Olette signed him up for coatroom duty with her," the blue-eyed teenager played along, hastily trying to tie his necktie.
A burst of hysterical laughter filled the hallway. The two friends received a death glare from their leader; however, the dynamic duo appeared unmoved by their best friend's seemingly angered stare.
"Why exactly would I be excited about that?" Hayner questioned, fidgeting with stray ends of his spiky blond hair. "I'm going to be stuck in a dark, stuffy, smelly coatroom all night… just putting away people's stuff."
After another fit of laugher from the duo, Pence reasoned, "Why, elementary, my dear Richardson! Olette's working the same shift with you…"
"… meaning," Roxas continued, "that the two of you will be in that coatroom for the entire night…"
"… alone," the two chuckled in unison.
Hayner rolled his brown eyes for the umpteenth time that night. "Olette is not that type of girl, idiots," he reminded his two friends who were still howling with laughter.
"To hell with the type of girl I am!" Olette roared as her best friends watched her in silence. "Just because I'm usually this overachieving, goody-two-shoes girl that people can walk all over doesn't mean that I can't lose it now and then!"
Hayner stared at the fuming girl with a smirk; she had finally snapped. He knew that the all-mighty Olette Maureen Anderson would break eventually, but he figured it would be his own fault – not someone else's. Leaning beside the dartboard, the blond leader folded his arms across his chest as his best girl friend continued to lose control.
"Is everything okay?" Pence wondered as Olette violently rummaged through her backpack. "We were fine the last time we saw you… did something happen?"
Olette glared at Pence. "'Did something happen?'!" she repeated furiously. "'Did something happen?'! What in the fucking hell do you think? Of course, something fucking happened!"
Pence stared wide-eyed at the girl beside him on the couch. He could see both Hayner and Roxas hold in their laughter as Olette continued to vent about what happened during her time at the ASB workday.
"Like she fucking knows what to fucking do!" Olette said angrily. "If she knew how to fucking do it, I don't think I would be doing her fucking job."
The boys tried their best to stay silent during Olette's rant. After having been yelled at by Olette, Pence nodded politely, expressing to the girl that he understood a good amount of her anger; however, Hayner and Roxas were sitting on the opposite end of the room, both of them trying to contain themselves.
"Wow…" Roxas said, breaking the silence between the four friends. "All that happened at the workday today?"
Finally managing to calm herself down, Olette nodded. "And Mr. Boehm wasn't there to see Belinda… I'm sure if he was, he'd actually understand where the rest of the sophomore class is coming from."
Roxas pondered about Olette's statement for only a moment before responding. "I don't know what's more surprising: the fact that Belinda stayed as long as you did for a workday or the fact that the word 'fucking' is even in your vocabulary, Olette."
"Fuck you, Roxas," Olette hissed.
"Why would you say something like that?" Roxas feigned sadness from Olette's accusation. "I would never dream of pranking you."
Pulling her hand away from doorknob, Olette raised an eyebrow at Roxas's statement. She cocked her head slightly to the side as she spoke to her friend. "I didn't say anything about pranks; I said you better not waste my time because I have an ASB function to go to…"
Mentally slapping himself, Roxas continued to smile at the girl he saw as the older sister he never had. He shook his head as if telling Olette to forget about his comment, pushing her toward the garage door.
Against her will, Olette forced the garage door open. With her eyes still on Roxas, the brunette failed to see the three balloons full of paint flying in her direction. An ear-shattering scream was released from her lips as the balloons exploded on her workday clothes, drenching her in all the primary colors.
"You!" Olette sneered as she turned to face Roxas. "You set this up! You knew about this and you forced me to walk through that door!"
Laughing hysterically, Roxas replied, "I told you I would never dream of pranking you!"
Now completely covered in paint, the green-eyed girl looked at the small catapult before her. She knew that, regardless of how smart Roxas was, he was never patience enough to craft such a device on his own. Olette watched as the red paint and the blue plant mixed to create a mysterious violet. And then it clicked; she only knew one person with accessible paints.
"I'm okay!" Pence said with a laugh as he helped Olette up from the ground.
In a rush to get from one place to another, Hayner and Olette had collided attempting to get through the door of the ASB room. Olette was originally trying to get to Hayner to tell him about the results of ASB elections. Hayner, too, was trying to get to Olette to let her know about the results.
Olette groaned. "Good for you," she murmured. "Hayner, are you okay?"
Hayner, with Roxas's help, stood up and remarked, "Olette, that is one hard head you've got there!"
Roxas rolled his eyes. "Like yours is any softer!"
Remember how we'd play
It was pitch-black and cold in Roxas's garage. Numerous pots and pans stacked upon each other filled one corner of the room while the dusty, unused treadmill sat folded away in another corner. Unfolded boxes and untouched rope lay on the concrete ground as Hayner quickly and as quietly as possible jumped on top of the long chest freezer. Pence carefully place himself behind the old, dried out aquarium. Roxas, however, was trying a different approach to their little game.
"Marco?" the blindfolded brunette called out as she tried to feel what might be in front of her. "Guys, can I take off the blindfold please? It's too dark for me to see anything in here anyways; it wouldn't change anything…"
"Incoming!" Roxas cried from the top of the broken washing machine.
Olette stayed in place, trying to decipher Roxas's call. "What does that even mean-?"
Just then, a buck filled with lavender-scented liquid soap came spiraling down directly on Olette's head. The viscous, soapy liquid trickled from her head all the way down to her neck.
While attempting to free herself from the bucket, the boys began to cackle. Hayner sprawled himself across the freezer lid as Pence lay beside the aquarium; both boys kept their eyes on Olette as she struggled with the bucket.
"JONATHAN ROXAS WAY!" the brunette shrieked as she got her head out of the plastic pail. She threw it to her left, hitting Hayner with the bucket in the process. Ripping the blindfold off, Olette darted toward Roxas.
Almost instantaneously, Roxas dashed out of his garage using the side door. With Olette following him, the blond-haired thirteen-year-old boy rushed to the only grassy lot within the neighborhood. He stopped only to breathe, but was tackled straightaway by his lavender-scented, soap-drenched, vexed friend.
Or lie in the grass
"That one looks like a puppy!" Hayner exclaimed as he rested his head on the dirt beneath him. "Ooh! And that one's like a little piggy!"
The summer sun shone very brightly in Twilight Town on that summer afternoon as the quartet of misfits started up at the clouds above them. They lie side by side: Hayner next to Roxas; Roxas next to Olette; and Olette next to Pence – the usual afternoon lineup.
It was quite obvious that the four friends were up to their usual "do-nothing day" as Hayner pointed up at the hovering clouds.
Finishing off the last of his sea salt ice cream, Pence chuckled softly to himself.
"What?" Hayner said, lifting his head to look at Pence.
"Olette's like a little piggy," Pence said in a feigned whisper, not minding the fact he was lying beside the preteen girl of whom he spoke.
Previously having shut her eyes to enjoy their casual day together, Olette quickly opened her eyes and shot up from her relaxed state. She shot an icy death glare toward her close friend as he continued to look at her as innocently as possible.
"No, no, no!" he proclaimed. "I wasn't talking about you! I was talking about Hayner's cloud; I named it Olette! And I agree with him! I think it's like a little piggy!"
Roxas tried to control his fits of laughter as Hayner smirked. The two of them watched as Olette and Pence went on with their habitual battle of wits – a battle that Pence always won.
Dream all day
Pence's bedroom was one of the best places to be during the rough winter nights of December and January. It was only during the months of the summertime when the quartet would lock themselves away from the unbearable heat from which even the Usual Spot could not shield them.
"Are you guys thirsty?" Pence asked his visitors as he stood up from his bed and walked over to the closed door.
"I could go for some of that juice that you messed up Hayner's jacket with that one day in the seventh grade," Roxas joked, spamming buttons on the game controller. "Oh my freaking gosh! WHAT EVEN IS THIS! DIE MONSTER!"
"What are you talking about, Roxas?" Olette wondered. "You're playing a cooking game; there are no monsters…"
Hayner shrugged at Olette's comment. "I don't know about you, Olette," Hayner said. "Cooking Mama becomes are really scary game when you screw up part of the recipe. And like, seriously? Have you ever messed up the recipe… at night?"
Pence laughed. "You know that you guys don't have to play that, right? I have more games in my closet and some under the bed. Feel free to-."
Before Pence could finish his statement, Roxas and Hayner were rummaging through his closet for more games.
"But seriously," Pence went on as his younger brother, Adrian, swiveled around in the computer chair. "Water? Juice? Soda? Tea?"
"I'll have what Roxas is having," Hayner said with a laugh as he recalled the juice incident only four years ago. "Even if that stuff ruined my favorite jacket, I gotta admit it's pretty good."
"I'll just have a water," Olette said, curling into a ball on the top bunk.
Pence nodded as he opened the door swiftly. "Adrian, my servant boy! Fetch these people some water and juice boxes-."
"Now!" Pence demanded, pointing out the door.
With that, Pence's younger brother quickly shot up from his seat and raced downstairs to get drinks for the three guests. Pence smirked as his brother grumbled past him.
"Why are you so mean to him?" Olette asked as she moved to sit on the ladder of the bunk bed. "He's such an adorable little boy."
Pence raised an eyebrow and shook his head. "Your youngest brother is an adorable little boy. Adrian? Yeah, no – that little boy is more trouble than he's worth."
"Besides," Hayner explained as Roxas began playing a new video game, "I think it's only natural for older siblings to be that way with their younger ones. I mean Aelita and I used to constantly fight when we were younger and look at us now."
Olette chuckled as she watched Roxas play the newly inserted video game. "I suppose you're right, Hayner. I mean, even Tommy and I don't fight as much anymore."
Rolling his eyes, Roxas roughly tossed the game controller at Hayner.
"What the heck was that for?" Hayner asked. "The game can't possibly be too much for you to handle. Geez, who stuck a Struggle bat up your-?
"At least the three of you have siblings," Roxas complained. "I'm the only child and honestly with how my family is, there's no possible way for me to have a brother or sister that isn't adopted or my half-sibling."
Olette and Pence watched as Roxas tried to shrug off his last comment as a joke.
"Roxas," the two of them began, "what-?"
"It's okay, you two," Roxas laughed. "I was just being a downer. It's just sometimes I wish that I wasn't the only child. Ya'know something, guys? When I grow up, I'll make sure that I have at least two kids."
Smiling, Olette shook her head; it was very much like Roxas to say something to distract from his depressing comments. "Oh, really?" she pressed the matter. "How exactly is that going to work?"
"I almost forgot!" Roxas teased. "Innocent Olette still hasn't taken health class! You see, little one, when a man and a woman-."
The brunette grabbed the nearest plush toy from Adrian's bed and flung it forcefully at Roxas. "That is not was I meant, dummy! And that is so not true; I've taken some health-."
"The hour-long video they make you watch in elementary school that talks about puberty and whatnot hardly counts!" Pence remarked as Adrian rushed up the stairs with the drinks
"Exactly!" Roxas said, grabbing the juice box from Adrian. "And if that's not what you meant, then what did you mean?"
As Hayner quickly opened his juice box, Olette rolled her eyes at Roxas. "How exactly do you intend to live this wonderful life as a father if you've so boldly proclaimed that you want nothing to do with children and the burdens of parenthood?"
Eying his friends carefully, Roxas saw as each of their faces lit up with the memory of what Olette had mentioned. "I guess you could say," he stated, "that I've had a change of heart in the past few years of this friendship. I mean honestly… do you really think that the dreams we once had are the same as those of now?"
Pence, sitting on the floor beside his dresser, looked up at Hayner, Olette, and Roxas. "I… never thought of that."
Hayner shrugged as he passed the controller to Pence. "As much as I love Twilight Town, I just want to get the heck out of this boring hellhole. The sooner I graduate, the better."
"Assuming you can graduate," Roxas laughed, receiving a pillow in the face from both Olette and Hayner.
"What about you, Olette?" Pence wondered. "You're a natural dreamer out of all of us. Are your dreams any different from before?"
"I really don't know," Olette said, still sitting on the ladder. "I guess… I don't know. I was really sorta hoping that after our senior year the four of us could travel to see the worlds… instead of finishing my studies the moment-."
"You're willing to decline the scholarship to the RGPI?" Hayner wondered as excitement and joy filled his brown eyes. "For us?"
"… I would just be holding them off," Olette minded. "The Radiant Garden Private Institute is the school of my dreams, Hayner… you know that."
"Oh," Hayner said, mentally slapping himself. "What about you, Roxas? You're the one who sparked this conversation topic. What exactly changed for you?"
Roxas had been daydreaming about his future when Hayner asked him the question. Snapping back to reality, Roxas shook his head and looked toward Hayner, who sat at the other end of Pence's bed.
"Hmm…?" Roxas sounded as Pence turned off the game system to fully engage in the conversation.
"You sparked this topic," Hayner reminded. "What changed your mind about being Twilight Town's playboy?"
Roxas looked at the bunk bed ladder; Olette's sock-covered feet dangled from Adrian's bed, swinging back and forth as much as they could. He knew that the girl was daydreaming, just as he had been only moments before. Then, Roxas turned his head to face Pence, who was paying very close attention to him; after knowing each other since the first grade, Roxas was well aware that Pence would want to know what was going on in his life. Finally, Roxas sighed.
"A lot's changed," the boy with the blue eyes said gently, thinking about the future once more. "Things really have changed since we were in the seventh grade. I mean, we're juniors next year. Of course, my dreams aren't what they used to be."
"And why would that be?" Pence wondered.
"Well, I can honestly say that things have just changed," Roxas said.
"You certainly aren't acting like the ladies' man you were at the beginning of this year," Olette noted. "And I must say that I'm impressed."
Roxas rolled his eyes, poking Olette's right foot. "Shut up! Besides, I stopped that stuff after Naminé. No, wait! I think it was the Rachel one…? I dunno. Either way, from now on, the only girl I intend to impress is the one that doesn't see me the way everyone else does. I'll find a girl who sees me as more than a senseless, incompetent nobody. If I find her… when I find her, I know things will be all right.
Author's Note: This chapter of the story was rewritten on October 6, 2013 and republished on October 15, 2013.
I realize that I have been hiatus for an extensive time and I would very much like to apologize for that. I cannot actually recall the last time I worked on a story – whether it be to publish it or reedit it. I won't go on to bore you with my excuses of how senior year was a terrible year or how it was even a busy one, but I will repeat this: I am extremely sorry. With my somewhat freer schedule, I think I'll be able to post stories from time to time.