A/N: I've had this title stowed away for some time, but could never come up with a story for it. Luckily, I had a dose of inspiration, and here is my first Namixas in quite a long time. I hope you enjoy. It is rather cute, if I do say so myself. :)

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Sadly.


Ragged Winter

A Roxas & Naminé Oneshot


The cold chill of the wind made her shiver, her lips trembling as she walked over the bridge and clutched her jacket closer to her torso. There wasn't much else she could do to protect herself from the frigid cold. The weather would have no mercy on her today, and that was something she was just going to have to accept.

There was always warmth that a certain someone could provide, or at least that was what she imagined. She'd never really initiated intimate contact with him, since the both of them were hesitant of such a thing. One touch and their worlds could fall apart, not that hers wasn't already broken. She'd lost her parents in an awful car accident, but no one knew the details. It was hard to talk about.

She was stuck with her uncle until she could afford to live on her own. Her parents referred to him as Uncle Ansem, but he preferred Ansem personally. She complied with his request, finding his anger unfitting for her own tastes; she was already timid around him. If those amber eyes glared at her with hostility, she would crumble.

She stayed away from the mansion as much as possible because of that, working part-time at the post office as a mail carrier. She was always friendly, never rude, which was one of the reasons she was hired for the job. According to her boss everyone liked to receive their mail in a polite and timely manner.

Naminé was never late for anything, even her curfew. There were times when he kept her out later than usual, and she had to pay the price when sneaking back into the mansion failed to be a success. A scream here, a hit there—it was her life. She grew used to it over the years.

"Roxas. Where are you when I need you?" she asked, her pale blue eyes lifting to the gloomy, sunless sky. Snow began to fall, a flake landing on the teen's nose before she lifted a small hand to wipe it away.

Roxas would never stand for abuse, especially to the opposite sex. He'd seen a bruise on her arm one day, and she had to make up a lie on how she hit a mailbox when she slipped on some ice. He seemed skeptical, but he bought it all the same.

"If something's ever wrong," he once told her, "you come to me. Okay? I'll help you."

It was a sweet offer that made Naminé blush, but it was one she never accepted. Ansem grew furious when his inventions and experiments never worked correctly, and sometimes she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Once things settled down, she would return to her empty, white room and release her emotions through her drawings.

Roxas managed to sneak into the mansion once without her knowledge. He scared her out of her wits when he came into her room unseen and unheard, speaking when he was right over her shoulder. He only laughed at her when she smacked him in the chest for frightening her so badly, though he did apologize and make it up to her by keeping her company.

She hadn't seen him in a while, which made her loneliness only that much more obvious. She often caught the whispers that drifted her way during school. Nobody thought she could hear them when she walked down the hallways with her head bowed, but she did. Naminé had ears, after all.

Roxas was always there to help, as he promised. One of his friends always bugged her about what happened to her family, in which she couldn't speak of. She never spoke of her parents. Roxas was forced to slug the boy to get him to back off. Immediately after the incident he escorted her home.

"Don't worry about him," he said to her that day. "He's just jealous that I'm spending more time with you than I am with him."

If that were really true, then where was he now? Naminé glanced behind her to see a car pass, creating a draft that made her shiver once more. She pulled at the hat she learned to knit herself, tugging it further over her ears. Her teeth chattered as her blonde hair whipped against the side of her face. She wanted to be someplace warm and sipping at a mug of hot chocolate, just like her father used to prepare for her. Nothing so warm came from Ansem over the last year.

Naminé approached a sheet of ice on the sidewalk and cautiously tried to step over it. With her lack of luck, she managed to slip and fall, barely catching herself with her hand. A sharp pang shot up her arm, however, causing her to wince. No one was around to help her, nearly every road closed down due to so much snow in the last week. She had a hard enough time getting through it on the walkways.

The young girl pulled her arm close to her chest, setting a hand on it to try and soothe the pain. Such a thing couldn't happen so easily, unfortunately. Her eyelids fell over her blue irises and hid them from view. No one would be able to tell that the loneliness, sorrow, and hurt were taking their toll on her innocent soul.

"Are you trying to get sick, Nam?"

Except him.

The nickname was a dead giveaway of who was in front of her, and Naminé lifted her head to see the blond boy she'd missed for so long. "Roxas…"

"You look surprised to see me," he pointed out, tilting his head a little. A faint smile graced his lips, which made her blush and look away.

"I-I am. You…haven't been around for a while."

He squatted down to be at her level, his elbows resting on his knees. "Blame my dad. He refused to let me leave the house over all these snow days." He proceeded to roll his eyes. "What a joke. I'm fifteen and a little adventurous—it's gonna take more than a few words and some snow to keep me away."

The girl laughed weakly. Still clutching her arm, she glanced up at him from underneath thick lashes. "How'd you find me?" she questioned softly.

"I don't mean to sound cheesy or anything, but I just had this feeling," Roxas explained. "It told me to head this way. Good thing, too, because you don't look like you're having much of a good time."

"Unfortunately Lady Luck has given me too much space."

"I don't think that's such a bad thing," he said. "She left enough room for me to step in, didn't she?"

"Mm," Naminé hummed quietly. A small smile found a place to rest against her lips. "I suppose so."

Roxas stood up and offered his hands. "C'mon. Let's go get some hot chocolate," he suggested.

"Where?" Naminé grasped his gloved hands tightly, and he pulled her to her feet. "Isn't every café closed?"

"Every one but 'Mocha Mocha'." He released her hands, which actually left Naminé feeling a little disappointed. "Let's go, but watch your step."

They traveled carefully to the café that was only a few blocks away. By the time they stepped inside, Naminé's nose was redder than a rose. She kept her arms crossed over her chest as Roxas went to order the drinks. Meanwhile she took a seat by the window.

The little shop was cozy. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, as were the colors of the walls and furniture. She and Roxas often came here after school. The first time had been the day Roxas ended his friendship with Hayner—for her. It was a big deal, since Roxas and Hayner had been best friends since the second grade. She couldn't have predicted that he would throw such a friendship away after eight precious years, but it was flattering all the same.

"Two hot chocolates," Roxas chirped as he approached her. He set her mug down in front of her before taking the seat across from her. "Extra marshmallows for you, as usual."

"Thank you," Naminé said with a polite smile, lifting the warm mug to her lips. The beverage melted any negative thoughts she had lingering in her mind from before, her eyes closing as she hummed in content.

Little did she know that her companion was admiring her from across the table.

"It's strange how a beverage can make even the worst things better," she mused, looking from her mug to the boy. He didn't respond right away, though he did shake his head and agree a few seconds later.

They drank their hot chocolate amidst casual conversation, and once the last drop was taken from Naminé's mug, she sighed.

"Time to go home?" Roxas asked, his hands still encircling his drink.

Naminé glanced at her watch. "It's only two. Ansem won't be expecting me until seven," she told him gently. "I have plenty of time to stay out, though I don't know where I'll go…"

"We can always go back to my house," Roxas suggested with a small shrug.

"But you just got out of it," Naminé said, her eyebrows furrowing ever so slightly. "Wouldn't you like to stay out a little longer?"

Roxas smiled a little and shook his head. "It's not that big of a deal. I can finally show you how to play that video game I'm always talking about, right?" He pushed himself up from his seat, grabbing his coat.

Naminé couldn't help but chuckle. "I suppose so. We've never really followed through with that silly idea."

"Silly or not," he replied, zipping up his jacket and stepping over to help his friend put on hers, "I doubt first-person shooter is your specialty. You're gonna need some instruction from the master."

The blonde girl rolled her eyes and grabbed her scarf. "Thank you, Roxas. What would I ever do without you?"

"Nothing." He flashed a smile her way before escorting her to the door. He held it open for her and they stepped out into the frigid weather together, departing for Roxas's home.

They walked along the sidewalk for some time, engaging in cozy conversation for a few small minutes. It was then that a snow plow caught their attention, coming down the road and shoving snow to the side. Roxas grabbed Naminé and yanked her over so the snow wouldn't cover her, being forced against the boy's chest. She glanced up at him briefly before pulling away. Her cheeks began to burn and turn even rosier than they were moments before.

"Uh…looks like we won't have many snow days left," Roxas said. He lifted a hand to the back of his head, running it over his blond spikes.

"Mm," Naminé hummed softly, nodding as she crossed her arms over her chest. "I guess you're right. I won't mind it, though—there's never much to do at the mansion but my art."

"I thought you loved doing that?"

"I do, but after being restricted to one place for so long, you lose inspiration quickly."

"Makes sense." They came to an intersection and Roxas turned in the direction of his home. "This way," he instructed softly, starting over the crosswalk.

Naminé followed suit, only a few steps behind. She noticed a little too late that there was a patch of ice in the middle of the road, covered by a light layer of snow. She stepped onto it and slipped, yelping lightly as she landed on her back. Her senses didn't pick up on Roxas turning around, nor did she notice the car heading in her direction.

"Naminé!"

She sat up, only to turn her head and locate two bright lights coming toward her. The screech of brakes along the road reached her, and soon enough so did the front of the car. A gasp left her lips, but that was the last thing she registered before everything went black.


A bright light reached Naminé, wherever she was. She felt weightless, as light as a feather, and the sight of the light made her smile. So warm, she thought. It grew brighter and brighter until it swallowed her senses, making her close her eyes once more. She let the warmth engulf her until she recognized that there was something more to where she was. Opening her light blue eyes a second time, she realized that she wasn't in Twilight Town anymore.

All she could see was green—the trees, the plain. It was beautiful, and she couldn't help but walk further. There was a small bridge that led over a creek, one she crossed as she lifted her gaze to the sky. It was nearly cloudless and a bright blue, which made her smile. It was the complete opposite of the colder weather back home; there was no snow and no gloomy skies. Instead, there was sunshine and a warm breeze that rustled green leaves.

Naminé wasn't too warm, either. Looking down and expecting to see her winter attire, she grew surprised to notice that she was wearing a white dress and sandals. How odd, she mused. The atmosphere around her, however, didn't let her question it for long. It was too lovely for her to think of something so strange when there was a beautiful world awaiting her.

As she wandered through the tall grass, she acknowledged the fact that she was no longer alone. Her eyes located two people in the distance, one with dark hair and the other blond. She continued to walk and, as they got closer to each other, she recognized them.

"…Mother?" she called. Upon hearing her voice, the brunette lifted a hand in a wave. Naminé's jaw dropped, a rough gasp leaving her in shock. "Father!" She no longer took her time wandering through the field, instead running over to them. She crashed into her father, wrapping her arms around him in a tight embrace. His chuckle vibrated against his chest, making her smile. "You're really here…"

"As are you," her mother said with a small smile. She was graced with a hug from her daughter as well, though she pulled back to set her hands on her little girl's shoulders. "Naminé, sweetheart… We've missed you so much."

"I've missed you too," she replied, smiling up at her mother before looking to her father. "But, where are we?"

Her parents shared a brief glance before looking back to her. "We've been watching over you for this past year, honey," her father began. "But there was no way we could have saved you from this. It was beyond our control."

"What do you mean?" Naminé shifted her gaze from her father to her mother, who had unshed tears in her blue eyes. "Mother?"

"…What is the last thing you remember, Naminé?" she asked of her, her hands still resting on her shoulders. "What is the last memory you have before coming here?"

Naminé couldn't help but stare at her mother in confusion, though she did find the strength to answer her question. "I was with Roxas…in Twilight Town," she told them. "We were walking to his house before I fell."

"What did you see?"

"I…" Naminé looked to her father before staring at the grass. She thought hard to remember, though she could only recall one thing. "I saw a light."

"That wasn't just any light, Naminé," her father said. "Those were the headlights of a car." Upon seeing his daughter's eyes widen, he set a hand on the top of her blonde head. "You were hit, sweetheart."

Naminé had trouble speaking for a moment, her heart skipping beats before she forced herself to look away from her parents. Her eyes roamed the land around them. "So, this place is…? I'm here because I…?"

"Yes," her mother replied with a weak nod. "You're no longer alive, Naminé."

The girl instinctively took a step back from her parents, looking at each of them in a stunned silence. A year ago her parents died in a car accident, but they weren't illusions. They couldn't be; they were too real. They hugged her and spoke to her—they were warm and lifelike. This wasn't a dream, or a nightmare. This was reality.

She was dead.

"Naminé, look at me," her mother requested. Her long, white dress blew in the gentle breeze along with her short brown hair. "This isn't where you're meant to be, honey. You must find the will to go back to your home. You must survive."

"B-but I—"

"Listen to your mother, Naminé." Her father gazed down at her with gentle brown eyes, ones she fought to see as her own sight blurred. "It isn't your time to be with us. We will see you again, someday. We promise."

"No…" Naminé shook her head, grabbing her father's hand. "Not without you. I'm not going back without you two!"

"You must," her mother told her, standing beside her husband. "You're here only to see us, but now you must go back. He's waiting for you."

"Ansem?" she asked automatically. "No, he would never wait for me. He despises me, Mother."

"We're not talking about your uncle, Naminé. We're talking about your friend," her father said.

"…Roxas?"

"Yes." Her mother nodded, a faint smile appearing on her face. "He's a great young man. We've seen how happy you are with him, darling, and it's much happier than when you are here with us. He's waiting for you to come back to him, sweetie, so you must go."

Roxas is waiting for me? Am I…still on the road? Naminé closed her eyes, hating the thought. Was this really true?

"You will see us again," her father said a second time. "I promise, but for right now you belong with him. You'll see what we mean when you go back."

"What?"

Her father only winked at her, his wife setting a hand on his arm before stepping forward to hug her daughter. "We'll miss you, Naminé, but we'll be watching over you. Never lose your spirit. You have so much potential, and we want to see you live it out. Do you understand?"

Naminé fought her emotions as she embraced her mother. "Yes, I understand."

Her father was next to hold her. "Be careful from now on, alright? We do wish to see you again, but only when it's truly your time."

"Yes, Father," the girl whispered, squeezing her parent before stepping back. "…I love you."

Her mother smiled, linking her hands in front of her. "We love you too, Naminé. Return to where you belong and shine, honey. And remember that we're never too far away. We're always in your heart."

Naminé hummed softly, nodding with a faint smile before forcing herself to turn around. Tears fell from her eyes as she approached the bridge, and once she was over it, she looked back. Her parents waved to her and slowly faded away. It was then that she truly knew they were right with what they said—she didn't belong here, not right now.

The girl approached an orb of light that floated just beyond the bridge. She lifted a hand to touch it, and as soon as she did, the light engulfed her completely.

Goodbye.


Naminé knew she was back to her world when an agonizing amount of pain impacted her body. Her body tensed, a weak groan escaping her lips. Her parents were right—this amount of pain could only be received from getting hit by a truck.

"Naminé?"

Roxas. The name instantly came to her. She didn't know why or how, but her only guess was her guardian angels—her mother and father.

She turned her head a little on the pillow. There was weight on her right hand and an obnoxious beeping noise coming from somewhere close by. "Mm?" she managed.

"Open your eyes," he begged, the weight on her hand increasing. "Open your eyes, Nam."

She couldn't help but smile weakly, humming. Nam… It really is him, she thought. Mother and Father were right. He has been waiting.

"Naminé?"

Her eyelids slowly lifted, though she was too weak to open her eyes fully. Her sky-blue irises fell on those of cobalt. "…Roxas," she whispered hoarsely.

His smile was amazing at that moment, something she'd never seen before. He had smiled plenty of times around her—at her, even—but none could compare to this one. It was breathtaking.

"Nam…" he replied. She wasn't sure if she was hallucinating or not, but she could have sworn his voice was trembling. The worry in his eyes was another story completely. There was no way that was a result of her imagination.

While he stared at her with bright eyes, she let her gaze wander. She was lying down in a hospital bed, dressed in an uncomfortable gown and under thin white sheets. The walls were a light blue and sunshine poured in through a nearby window. The last time she checked there hadn't been any sunshine.

Her eyes lowered to see what was wrong with her hand, why there was so much weight. It was then that she realized that both of Roxas's large hands were devouring one of hers, and he was clutching her tightly. She looked up at him in slight astonishment and confusion. How long had they been like this—hand in hand?

"Roxas…" she said again, unable to say anything else. He smiled at her again and squeezed her hand.

"Don't worry," he said with a shake of his head. "Everything's okay now."

"Was I…hit?"

He looked away at that, instead staring down at their hands together. "Yeah," he replied weakly. "You fell and the car couldn't stop… They slid along the road and—" He stopped short, shaking the memory away. "An ambulance came. They had to pull me away from you; I wouldn't let go…"

Naminé closed her eyes. While Roxas was worrying over her, she was too relieved to see her family that she neglected whatever happened with him. She had forgotten everything until her parents reminded her.

"I'm sorry."

He looked up at her with wide eyes. "What?"

"I'm sorry, Roxas, for making you worry. I didn't mean to," Naminé whispered softly, ignoring the pain in her head and neck as she spoke.

"Don't say sorry," he insisted. One of his hands left hers and found the top of her head, the touch making her heart skip faintly. "This was an accident… A complete accident."

"I miss Lady Luck…"

Roxas chuckled ever so slightly, but it was enough. "She left a little more room than I originally thought," he said in good nature. "Just enough for the paramedics to save you."

Naminé opened her eyes when Roxas's hand traveled over her hair, locating him. "…I died, Roxas."

His expression fell apart at the words, and he didn't say anything. Instead he squeezed her hand and kept his own where it was right next to her face. "I know, Naminé. I know…" he finally managed. "Someone up there… They must really want you to stay here."

Naminé smiled weakly. You wouldn't believe me if I told you, she thought. Maybe one day Roxas could know, but for right now, she wouldn't mention any of it. It would stay with her for the moment.

"How long have you been here?" she asked after a minute of silence. His gaze never left her, so she felt the need to at least say something.

"All night," Roxas answered without missing a beat.

Naminé blinked. "What time is it?"

"A little after eight in the morning."

The first thing that came to Naminé's mind was her uncle. "Ansem… Does he—"

"Yeah, my dad called him. He…hasn't visited, Nam."

She closed her eyes again, releasing a heavy breath. "I'm not surprised. I'm not one of his favorites."

"Don't worry about him, okay? What matters is that you're alive," Roxas insisted. Even with her eyes closed, she could practically see the relief in his gorgeous eyes. What her parents said, was it true? Was Roxas the reason she was back?

"Roxas?"

"Hm?"

The girl opened her eyes to look at him, faintly smiling. "I didn't realize it until now, but…I missed you while I was gone."

When his gaze turned watery, she knew that she wasn't imagining things. Roxas lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it, surprising her. He only smiled at Naminé, which caused her to turn breathless once again. "Naminé, you big klutz, don't ever scare me like that again," he said. "You hear me?"

She hummed slightly, a weak laugh leaving her. "Crystal clear."

He ran his thumb over her forehead again, and she only relished at the touch. Something changed while she was in that plain and in the company of her parents. They told her she was going back because Roxas was waiting. His gestures were so gentle, intimate. She never expected it, but it was something Naminé actually enjoyed.

Life with Ansem would be hard, but as long as she had Roxas nearby and her parents within her heart, she would make it.

"Lady Luck played a big role in this, I think." Roxas smiled at her, his hand resting in her blonde hair.

Naminé shook her head, her smile still weak as she gazed at her companion. "Luck has nothing to do with it, Roxas," she told him softly. "This…is destiny." It was fate that she met her parents, and it was fate that she was here with Roxas. It was where she was meant to be.

As long as he was at her side, Naminé knew that she would be able to do just as her mother told her.

Even through the gloomy weather and hard trials, she was going to shine.


'Tis done, kiddos. Review, if you will. :3
Until next time!