It took the combined effort of Axel, Marluxia, Xigbar and an enthusiastic but not-so-helpful Demyx to get the redhead into costume. Axel had managed to put on the bloomers over his boxers, the stockings and the petticoat but struggled with the corset. Marluxia helped him tie the corset up and smirked when it did very little to further define his waist line. Then he also assisted him in putting on the shirt and fastening the skirt, but something looked wrong. Demyx thought it was the hair. Xigbar pointed out the tattoos and the fact that their 'mother' did not have any breasts. Axel scowled, "What do you expect me to do? I can't just sprout them! Anyway, this corset thing is really uncomfortable. It's digging into me. Are you sure the women here wear them? Can't I just be a guy?" Growing tired of Axel's whining, Marluxia turned to find Roxas squishing something that resembled a pillow into a desired shape before snuggling down under a bit of white...
"Oh! I forgot." He exclaimed, prodding Roxas away from the pillow and tried convincing him to give it up when he immediately clung to it. The little blond whined and pouted as the soft squishy thing was torn from his grasp, but was ignored. Axel fought Marluxia off as the other man loosened the corset and padded the redhead's chest out with the cushiony thing before tightening everything up again. Axel wriggled and squirmed.
"It's itchy!" he grumbled, unhappy about the textures of the padding and the corset which was digging in even more by that point. Marluxia frowned before recalling the camisole that was supposed to go underneath the corset. He glanced around to see Roxas furiously stuffing something white down the neck of his shirt.
"Roxas...give that back." The pink haired man scolded. The little blond boy leapt up as if shot and clutched his arms about himself, backing away and shaking his head negatively.
"NO! It's mine!" He pouted, scowling up at the man. Marluxia growled and began advancing on the boy. Roxas yelped and scuttled away like a whirling dervish, leaving the graceful assassin gaping and confused. Where'd he gone?
Turning back to Axel, questioning clear on his face, Marluxia was greeted by the sight of one bright blue eye gleaming wetly, hidden behind Axel's voluminous skirts and half of a bottom lip wibbleing wildly as it tried to hold back his wails. A high pitched squeak of terror wasn't the only response to Marluxia's demonic snarl. Axel, letting out a long suffering sigh and rolling his brilliant green eyes, held out one hand to ward off his pink haired companion who looked about ready to start foaming at the mouth. The lanky redhead turned, determinedly ignoring the swish of his skirts, and scooped Roxas into his arms. "Roxy...can I please borrow your, uhm...blanket? Thing...please? Just for a little while, to stop my clothes hurting me?" He asked in a soft and pleading tone. Big blue eyes gazed up at him for a few seconds filled with deep consideration before Axel found two pudgy arms thrown around his neck and a slightly damp kiss loudly planted in the vicinity of his ear.
"'Kay...so long as you have it. Not Marly. He's a meanie." Roxas announced, freeing the camisole from its hiding place and handing it to Axel with a beaming smile. Axel ruffled Roxas' hair (able to do only because Lexaeus had enviously stolen his hat and had perched it atop his own head) and set the boy down. He swiftly rearranged the upper half of his costume, sighing in relief when the soft camisole relieved his discomforts. Marluxia then grinned and pinned the unsuspecting fire wielder to the ground as Demyx wet his hair quickly. Then the pair of them worked swiftly against the reluctant redhead to apply make-up and attempt curling and pinning his hair before attaching his hat. The other children watched in astonishment as Axel was transformed before their eyes into a rather believable woman.
Axel's tattoos had been concealed with paste and powder, lightening his face slightly and creating a base for the loose pink powder used to artificially create a delicate blush across the apples of his cheeks. His lips were defined with red colour, making them look plump and enticing. Bright green eyes were further defined with kohl and some slightly smoky colour across the lids. Demyx worked swiftly to wind Axel's hair in brown paper and let the redhead's natural body heat (increased by his anger at their treatment of him) to speedily dry the hair. After unwinding each perfect curl from its paper, the small sandy blond hair boy used bobby pins to create an elaborate twist and then attached the hat firmly. No one wanted to ask where he'd acquired such skills. All in all, the group of Nobodies looked wonderful and were fully prepared to venture out into the new world to find the now occasionally whining children something to eat. But first, they needed to make sure everyone could play their part.
"Right. Axel, you are my darling wife...Annabel." Marluxia began, met by a very unfeminine snarl which he duly ignored. "Everyone, you will have to call Axel Mother or mama. Ok?" The group of boys nodded solemnly, paying strict attention as they knew that it was important for their mission to get food to play their roles. "And you may call me father or papa. Axel, I believe I shall take the name Edward." The green eyed 'female' rolled his eyes but nodded. "You're going to need to hold...Roxas and Demyx's hands. And Zexion, I need you to hold Demyx's other hand. We all need to stay together. Lexaeus, please give Roxas his hat back. Everyone else needs to pair up and join hands too. We'll walk in a line, Axel and the three little 'uns at the front then everyone lined up with me and Vexen at the back." Marluxia nodded as everyone followed instructions, but paused as Axel, struggling to modulate his voice into something a little higher, raised a question.
"I have no idea where we're going; wouldn't it be best if you take the lead?" he asked, firmly placing Zexion's hand into Demyx's and frowning sternly at the sulking blue haired child before taking Roxas' right hand and Demyx's left.
"Yes, I suppose you're right. Ok everyone. Stay together now, we're going to get something to eat!"
With that, Marluxia stepped out of the tree's confines with Vexen meekly holding his hand, followed like a mother hen by the rest of the little chicks, all lined up in a column of two, each pair of boys holding hands right back to Axel and the three youngest.
The world was cloudy and grey, the air smoggy and damp. The roads were cobbled and filled with horses and carriages. Men and women in wonderful costumes wandered to and fro, their houses tall and beautiful with carefully tended gardens filled with clipped rose bushes. The street was lined with trees and people looked either busy or aloof, few even acknowledged the large group walking in a neat line, and those who did hardly seemed surprised by the large 'family'.
Marluxia led the group into the centre of town, away from the large houses and wide spaces into the more cramped streets of slightly claustrophobic buildings. Xemnas could be heard discussing the new world with Saïx who was holding his hand and nodding politely.
A.N - lol, this chapter's been finished for ages. I forgot about it until I was rifling through my documents for something to post for AkuRoku day. :) This is the second thing I've posted today now. Must be a new record for me! I hope you enjoy it, reading over it made me giggle a few times! ;)