Quiet Like the Snow

Roxas stands outside of Xion's room. He'd had to go up nine flights of stairs, down three winding passages, and into Demyx's room (after which he realized he'd never been to the raven haired girl's room), but he'd finally reached her. So why did he suddenly regret finding the insignificant space? He'd prepared to knock on the door; he'd gone as far as to make the needed fist, but pulled it back just as soon. Shaking his head, Roxas tried to rid his mind of the odd questions that were popping up in it:

What if Xion's room reflects a different side of her?

What if she doesn't want to see me?

What if she blames me for her capture, too?

What if she's replaced me with the Organization imposter?

Roxas' attempt to torture himself is cut short when the striking beauty opens her bedroom door (nearly smacking him with it in the process). Sunrays gleams into Roxas' face from Xion's picture window. Though the Nobody raises his arm (the one he'd failed at knocking with) to block the onslaught of light, he has to wonder if part of the radiance is coming from Xion's smile. "Roxas?" The Kairi look-alike's words came out half-strangled. It's almost as if she didn't expect Roxas to come and find her. No, it was like she hadn't expected him to come save her.

Why was he such an idiot? He should have come much sooner. He should have-

Xion catches Roxas' hands in her own. It's only then that the Nobody realizes he's been pulling at his own hair. "Wou- Come inside."

Roxas doesn't miss that she'd been about to question him. How could she ever think he wouldn't want to spend every second of every day with her? She'd caught herself. But Roxas vowed then and there that he'd never let her doubt herself again.

Roxas—after entering his best friend's room—sits on Xion's bed as if it's second nature. He takes the moment to look around the room. Fluorescent pink Christmas tree lights are a sharp contrast to the pale closet door they are strung on. She has a table sat near the picture window (the window that Roxas realizes has some sort of magic on it to imitate sunlight) it is red and triangular shaped. White lace is very noticeable on the table; he can tell Xion had been cutting it up. Actually, her entire room was full with lacey shape cutouts. Though most of them, unlike the mostly unused lace on her craft table, had been tie-dyed. But what really surprises him are the ocean blue bedspreads she'd gotten. Roxas wonders if her sandy looking carpet had come with it, or if Xion had bought it separately.

Suddenly, Roxas' room seemed duller than the room Where Nothing Gathers. "What is all of this?" Roxas asks as Xion sits on her haunches across from him.

Xion blushes and Roxas is about to retract his words, until Xion jumps on the bed beside him. Pulling the blanket up over both of their heads she begins to imitate swimming motions. "Saïx is a slave driver, Roxas. I wanted to go to the beach in some way." Somehow, Xion's voice comes out distorted even when Roxas is under the blanket with her.

"You know what that means, don't you?" Roxas coughs a bit as fuzz finds its way in his mouth, but he doesn't think he's lost any effect. Or so he hopes. "I have the right to scream bloody murder. You're drowning me, Xi-Xi."

"I'll show you drowning!" Even guessing Xion's meaning, Roxas is unable to dodge her elbow as she tackles him and begins tickling the boy. Her success lasts long enough for Roxas to gather his wits, use a gravity spell, and send them both (cover and all) to the ground. This time Roxas tackles her and begins his own relentless assault. He bangs her head against the floor once before she is able to cross her arms over her chest. Sticking her tongue out at Roxas she opts to give him the silent treatment.

"I win then?" The golden haired boy asks with a raised eyebrow.

And then Xion is spluttering words. Such a thing makes Roxas smile more than anything. Xion only ever talked that openly with he and Axel. Despite her leaving the Organization, despite her capture and tension with Axel, despite the secrets... they were still somehow the same. "You don't win, Roxas! The game doesn't work when the 'ocean' is flat. If anything, you've just dyed the 'sand' blue."

It's only then that Roxas notices how big her blanket actually is. It almost covers the sand colored rugs entirely. Smiling his own secret smile, Roxas pokes Xion in the side, and quickly moves to stand by Xion's (now bare) bed again. "Fine. But that game was fun. I'm just going to have to come up with excuses to play it again sometime. Then I can win fairly!"

"In your dreams, Roxas." As Xion thinks over what Roxas has said, her eyes become notably softer. She even turns away slightly before elaborating. "Sounds like a plan. You should have heard some of the excuses I'd come up with to get you and Axel to even hang out in here."

Roxas can only stare in shock. Did she really think they needed a reason to hang out with her? No wonder things were so bad! Especially between her and Axel. He'd attacked her. That was awful in its own right, but for Xion to not see how much she meant to them both... "How could you even say such a thing?" A voice in the back of Roxas' head warns him that he's digging up skeletons, but he can't help himself.

As suspected, Xion stands up and walks to the other side of her room. She shakes a snow globe as a distraction, but it's too obvious that she's choosing not to face Roxas. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that."

She was apologizing? What was it about Xion that she could never see her worth? It made him so... so angry. "Xion, you don't need to apologize. That isn't even what this is about."

"Then wha-"

"You purposefully played that game, didn't you? It's just another way that you hide and sweep important things under the rug. Your blanket... no, your entire room is just like the hood of your cloak. It's a way for you to escape reality." And it was exactly that. All the colors were used to fight against monotonous. And all the shapes, mundane shapes at that, were the stability that she longed for.

The sound of the snow globe hitting the floor—one Roxas noticed was of the Gods of water, earth, and air—fills the room as it breaks into a thousand microscopic pieces. Roxas wonders if he and Xion's friendship has broken as thoroughly as the glass dome.

"Xion-" Roxas instantly cuts off what he was going to say when Xion turns to face him.

To Roxas' horror, tears are streaming down her face. But oddly enough, she's also smiling. "You're right, Roxas. I didn't even see it. But you're right." With that, Xion walks off. It's not a big show. But with every step she takes, Roxas feels like she's walking in slow motion.

"Wait!" Suddenly time is flying boy. Roxas latches his hand onto hers. Her breath hitches, and she's pulled to a stop. Roxas watches her from behind, and horror finds its way into him.

What has he done? This is exactly what he hadn't wanted to happen. With dread, Roxas wonders if Axel will show up and knock Xion out again if she doesn't cooperate. How is it that the scene is so similar to that day, and yet so different (the white garbs they wear is proof enough of the difference. Xion looks like an angel that knows she's about to be banished from Heaven.). "At least you're better than me. My room's devoid of anything. I might as well be a lost sheep. All I know is the Organization, but you and Axel have more to your lives." Roxas tries very hard not to think of the life she might have had with a certain imposter. "But Xion, you and Axel are all I need. I wouldn't change that about me for anything. But if you're gone Xion... I have nothing."

"Roxas, let go of me!" The boy gulps; he knows he can't stop her if she wants to go. All he can do is prolong her leaving. Once again, everything seems to be moving in slow motion. Roxas looks to Xion's blue blanket. Her need to leave, the strength she has... in that moment, Roxas realizes Xion is the very water that she loves. The water might recede. But the wind always leads it to the land again.

With that promise, Roxas changes the past. He lets go of Xion's hand. The girl turns around on him like a typhoon. She balls her hand into a fist, and Roxas prepares for her to pummel his face with it. But much like he hadn't been able to knock on her door before she had opened it, Xion can't bring her fist to Roxas' face before her other hand comes up to circle around his waist. When Roxas feels Xion relax against him, as she lets sobs overtake her, Roxas smoothes out her other hand and holds it. With his other he returns her one armed hug.

Roxas eventually brings Xion back to her bed and holds her. He rubs circles into her back until she calms down. Either that or she's become too tired to carry out any more action. Hoping it's the latter, Roxas leaves the drifting girl on her bed and sits over at her craft table.

Xion blinks her eyes open, and she almost feels too comfortable. She snuggles into something warm, but vibrations against her neck keep her from going under again. "Roxas?" Xion asks when she's awake enough to recognize his voice. But it's not his speaking voice. Roxas is singing. Xion knows she's never heard Roxas sing in her life, yet she recognizes his voice as if it's her own. "Roxas?" She tries again. Surely he's not asleep. Xigbar might have talked in his sleep, but that was way different from singing. So why did it seem like he was singing in his sleep?

"Bonded so pure, you're my only cure. Soaring with you here makes me want you more near." Xion blushes as she picks up this particular line. And yet, she wants nothing more than to hear more. So she lies with him, and rests her head on his chest so she can feel the vibrations in his chest as he sings. All too soon memories of the day before rush in. She and Roxas' tickle war, her stupid words, Roxas' words, her emotional breakdown. Xion bites the inside of her cheek at the thought of that last one. Roxas probably thought she was mad at him.

Pushing his bangs from his eyes, Xion wonders how she'll ever be able to leave him. She knows she should. She was stealing from him, harming him whenever she was with him. The Organization was hell-bent in getting rid of one of them. "You and Axel are all I need. I wouldn't change that about me for anything. But if you're gone Xion... I have nothing." Tears cloud Xion's vision as she remembers how heartfelt he'd sounded when he'd said this to her. What he said was exactly the reason she had to return to Sora. But it was exactly the reason she didn't want to.

Because she... she loved him.

Xion draws her knees to her chest and almost laughs at the absurdity of such a thing. But the pain she feels in her chest—pain she shouldn't feel—is proof enough that it's true. Xion loved Roxas so she wanted nothing more than to be with him forever. But that was impossible. Instead, she would remove herself forever because she loved him. Because she needed to save him. She just hated that she'd have to cause him pain. He and Axel both. She could hardly imagine life without them.

It's only when Roxas sucks in a breath and starts to awaken that Xion realizes that she'd been stroking Roxas' hair.

The boy pulls his hands to his face and scrubs at it. "Ugh. Not exactly how I wanted to wake up. I feel like you're grooming a dog."

Xion laughs at that. And once again, she feels the tension between them ebb. Until she feels lace falling atop her. Curious, Xion looks up only to see snowflake cut outs falling on her. With a gasp, she turns an accusatory glance on Roxas. Even then, she can't include as much anger in it as she would have liked. "Roxas what did you do?"

"Merged your style with a happier idea. You see I've realized that I'm the sky to your water. And when I think of the sky, I think of clouds. Snow is slightly frozen water from the clouds. So in that, we'll always be together."

Suddenly, Xion couldn't care less about the how and why. All that she cares about is that Roxas has given her a truly amazing gift. She jumps from her bed, and makes to dance in the sea of falling fabric. She giggles and pleads for Roxas to join her. Eventually he does. And the two play a modified version of Ring Around the Rosie, and try to knock each other down. It's all fun and games until Saïx comes in and tells them to be quiet and go on a mission. Xion makes a show of rolling her eyes in Saïx 's presence. And though she receives extra missions for it, she can't find it in her to care.

As the two once again sit down on Xion's bed, they try to catch their breath. "How did you get the lace to fall like snow?"

"Aero magic of course."

Xion nods in understanding. She'd figured that, but she needed an opening to talk about what happened. "I'm sorry about yesterday, Roxas. I was out of line in so many ways. I trust both you and Axel with my life. And I know what we mean to each other. So from now on, I'll tell you as much as I can." As Xion says this, she can't help feeling that Roxas is her cure. Just moments ago she'd been thinking about tragedy, and self-sacrifice. And yet Roxas was all it took for her to revert to the Nobody she once thought herself to be. Roxas was all it took for her to want to challenge things. To hope. "Roxas, I-"

Xions stops herself when she feels his hand atop hers. He smiles down at her, and she finds herself returning the gesture immediately. "Xion, do you remember when we talked about best friends?"

Xion barely lets Roxas get his words out before she's interrupting him. "I know. I'm not acting like one. But I'll-"

"I sang to you last night because you had nightmares." Xion freezes at this. Had he figured anything out? Had she talked in her sleep?

More pressing: he'd been singing for her?

"I understand what best friends are. Someone you'd trust enough to tell everything to. You're hiding stuff, Xion. So I guess we're not there yet. And I think I should be mad at you, but all I want to do is make sure you know you can tell me anything." This time, it's Roxas grooming Xion's hair as he says this.

Xion breathes in a sigh, as she lets calmness and understanding wash over her. "I know that, Roxas. And I will someday." If it were the last thing she did, she would tell him everything that had been happening.

"So we're not best friends," Roxas laments.

"I guess not," Xion tilts her head down at this, but it's in such a way that their faces are much closer than they had been before.

"Maybe it's because we could only ever be more." And then it's Roxas' lips vibrating with her own. The kiss is quick, and filled with nervousness. And it leaves both teens wondering. Before, they'd never enen understood the meaning of a kiss.

So why's it so meaningful to them? Why's it the best moments of their short lives?

"Yo, Roxas," Demyx says from across the hall. "I'd get going. Or Saïx's going to go Berserk."

Roxas and Xion instantly jump away from each other. And Xion's left wondering (fearing) if Roxas will pretend it never happened. After all, he's already returned to normalcy. Cringing at Demyx's words and everything.

Roxas prepares to leave, and to stop him, Xion says the first thing that comes to mind. Fortunately it's something that makes him think about everything that's happened between them. "I'd watch out, Roxas. I'm going to bedazzle your room and am going to have to come up with excuses to play the game again." Roxas smiles at the use of his own words, and Xion wonders if Roxas is thinking of her lips, the way she is his. With a little laugh (that's somehow sweet and challenging simultaneously) he steps outside her door.

Xion's a bit slow putting on her Organization cloak. She pulls up her hood, but opts to carry one of the snowflakes with her. She won't hide anymore. She won't burry things anymore. The sky and sea would always be one.

Roxas, having waited for her, holds her hand as she joins him. As they walk off, Roxas puts his own hood up. The smiles they wear can only be seen by each other.

Author's Note: The song that Roxas was singing were words written to his theme by 1BlueRozez1 on YouTube. You can hear it sung by BelovedStar18 on YouTube, too. Sorry if the timeline's a bit off. And I obviously took creative liberties with their rooms. I might edit this note later…