First Blood [alternate version]

(rough draft)

A Kingdom Hearts fanfic by Raberba girl

Summary: Alternate version of First Blood where Axel actually gets out of bed and does his job. XD

A/N: Lol, I'd vaguely had this in the back of my head for a while, but Kiryn was the one who made me decide to write it as an actual story. XD DO YOUR JOB AND BE A DECENT PARENT, AXEL. :p

(Btw, this is not the story I was talking about in my devART journal; I just wanted to post this one before that one.)

o.o.o

The Proof of Existence was cold and uncomfortably silent. Xion shivered, wrapping her arms around her midriff as she padded over to the eighth portal. She entered slowly, so as not to startle the Assassins on guard duty, then moved over to Axel's bed and shook his shoulder. "Axel? Axel, please wake up."

"Mmmrrgh," he finally grunted in response to the shaking.

"Axel...Axel, please..."

His green eyes cracked open at last, taking a moment to focus on her. "Mmmm...Xi?"

"Axel...I n-need help."

"Huh?" he mumbled.

"Axel, my...my stomach was hurting, and the Elixir made it stop but I...I'm...bleeding." She waited tensely.

His eyes widened as he seemed to come fully awake at last. "Oh...holy freaking- Nooooo!"

Xion's stomach seemed to twist again, though this time because of what she was thinking rather than the mysterious ailment. 'I knew it. I'm dying.'

"Why me?" Axel was moaning now, pounding his head repeatedly against the pillow. "Why, why, why, why me...?"

"Axel," Xion said in a very small voice, "where do Nobodies go when they fade away?"

Without answering, Axel dragged himself out of bed, jerked a coat over his shoulders, and started trudging for the door as if he was heading toward his own execution.

"Axel?!" Xion hurried to follow him.

He trudged to the bathrooms, stopped and looked at them for a long time, then finally gave a deep sigh and headed into the women's side.

"Axel? That's the girls' bathroom."

"Yup," he said dully.

"Larxene will be really mad if she finds you in here."

"Yes. She will cut out my intestines and strangle me with them."

"Th-Then we have to leave."

"Ha. Ha. Ha."

Xion watched apprehensively as Axel went around rummaging in all the cabinets. Then she gulped as she felt the blood overflowing again, and looked down to find that it was now visible. She picked up the nearest towel and wrapped it around herself.

"Oh. Look," Axel announced in the same robotic tone, "I have found the item we seek." He lifted the box over his head in a parody of triumph.

"Wh-What's that?"

Axel came back over to her, opening the box and pulling something out of it as he did so. He brandished the thing at her, which kind of looked like candy in its colorful packaging. "Unwrap this and stick it in."

"Stick it in...where...?"

He winced and pointed. "Where the blood's coming from."

"I can't stick it in there!" She felt her face growing hot. "Wait, you know where the blood's coming from?"

"How I so very much wish I DIDN'T..."

Xion slowly took the thing and unwrapped it. Then she stared at it. It wasn't candy. "I can't stick that in there. I can't. I can't. I c-"

"All right, all right! Okay, uh, I'm gonna go shopping, okay?"

"You're leaving me?!"

"I'll be back, I'll be back, I'll be back, okay?" He brought her snacks and a radio and a PSP and a portable TV and told her to please please have fun and stay there until he got back, then he opened a dark corridor to the closest world with a convenience store.

It took him a long time to work up the guts to approach the cash register and set the box down on the counter. Even then, he was still cringing and unable to make eye contact. The girl on the night shift who rang up his purchase smiled knowingly and remarked, "Your mom running low on supplies?"

"...My younger sister," Axel mumbled. 'Look. She doesn't care. She thinks it's cute. It's FINE,' he tried to tell himself.

"Ah. She just start?"

"Yeah..."

"Poor kiddo. Tell her that Jenny sends her love."

Axel tried to smile. "Okay." As soon as the receipt started popping out of the register, he grabbed the box and ran.

Back at the castle, Xion was sitting huddled on the edge of the tub, forlornly nibbling on a chocolate bar. Her eyes lit up with anxious hope when she saw Axel. "You came back!"

"Of course I came back..." Axel cleared his throat and presented the new box. "Here."

"Are those more sticks...?"

"No! They're...urgh." He shuffled through cabinets again until he found some clean underwear, then brought it over using only the very tips of two fingers. It was amazing how the way one felt about women's panties could differ so drastically, depending on the situation.

Xion had, luckily, managed to get one of the packages open while she waited. Axel tried to pull himself together and show her how to apply the sanitary napkin to the garment.

"It sticks," she said with interest.

"Yes. And it stays outside. And I really wish I didn't have to be holding these anymore; you think you got it now?"

"Y-Yeah..."

He went out into the hall and waited for her to try it herself.

After a while, she came out, walking gingerly and with an expression that was both apprehensive and hopeful. "I think...it's working."

"I think I'd die if it didn't..."

"Like...I can still feel it...but...it's not getting all over me."

"Let's change the subject, okay?"

"Okay... Um, Axel?"

"...Yeah?"

"Do I have to wear this forever...?"

For the first time that night, he genuinely wanted to laugh. They were still cute. Even when they were killing him, they were still so freaking adorable. "No; just for, like, a week, I think?" A thought occurred to him. "Not the same one the whole time. You have you keep changing it whenever it gets...gross."

"Oh. Okay." She squirmed a little. "Hey, Axel...?"

He tried not to sigh aloud. "What is your request, O owner and tormentor of my soul?"

"Huh?"

"What's up, Xi?"

"I...I need to change my clothes, but..."

"But what?" 'Please be nice to me. Please.'

"Um...I'm afraid to go back to my room. Could you...maybe...?"

"You want me to barge into Vexen's room while he's sleeping and steal some of your clothes for you?"

"Y-Yeah, I guess."

'THANK you.' "Sure thing, Xi."

Once she'd cleaned herself up and was dressed in fresh clothes, they went to Axel's room with hot chocolate and a pile of comfort food. Xion had lots of questions, and did not seem to notice that Axel's dearest wish at that moment was to go back to sleep and hope he didn't have nightmares.

"Axel, what's happening to me? Did I get hurt in a battle and not know it?"

"No...all girls bleed like that..."

"Huh?!"

He took a big gulp of hot chocolate.

"But Larxene doesn't. And I never have before; this just started tonight."

Axel rubbed at his eyes. "Okay...look, Xi...do you have any clue where people come from?"

"Xemnas finds them."

'Flaming pants, I am a total fail.' "Xion, my darling girl. Okay, look. *SIGH* This is what happens. A man and a woman - human ones, not Nobodies - will fall in love, and...ummm..." The more he talked, the easier it got, as if he'd crossed some point of no return and now he was just talking and talking, saying ALL THIS STUFF with a straight face like he wasn't giving the Sex Talk to the closest thing he had to a daughter.

He did, at one point, suddenly sit up straight as it occurred to him how he'd handle this when he really did have children. Since...well, he planned on having some. Eventually. After he got his heart back and fell in love with someone and had both the time and munny to afford taking care of a family. So...eventually he'd be having to do this anyway, right?

An involuntary shiver went through him. 'That is such a weird thought.'

"So...I'm not hurt, then...it's all normal?"

"Apparently, yeah..."

"And Larxene bleeds every month, too?"

"Oh yeah."

"Is that...okay? It's not bad that we do this, is it...?"

"Xion, your period is a beautiful and wonderful thing," he said in a monotone. "Your body is a garden of femininity, with the power to create and nourish life. Be proud of it."

"Okay... You don't look very proud, though."

"That's...because I'm a Nobody, and Nobodies don't have feelings." 'Right, Xemnas? RIGHT, you filthy lying jerk? LOOK AT THESE AND TELL ME THEY ARE NOT FEELINGS. She's killing me here. I wish I didn't have feelings.'

"You say that a lot..."

He forced himself to smile. "The thing is, Xi...I'm a guy. I'm not a beautiful garden of femininity, so this is really not my arena at all. I..." His expression softened. "You need a mom, hon. An actual, real mother who can teach you things girl to girl. Someone who actually has a clue what she's doing, unlike me."

Xion hugged her knees. "But you teach me things... You know what you're doing. You know a lot."

"Xion, I'm sorry I've been having such a hard time with all this. This is just so not my thing...I wasn't ready...I didn't mean to make you feel bad about something that's supposed to be a good thing. I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry I yelled at you and Roxas on the clock tower," she responded dutifully.

He blinked in surprise, then chuckled. "Well, uh, don't worry about it. That's another thing, girls tend to get...a bit overexcited...around their time of the month..."

"Ohhh," Xion suddenly gasped. "Do boys ever bleed like this, too? Because you said that Saïx has a 'time of the month,' right?"

He burst out laughing. "Flaming pants, Xi, I really love you kids sometimes..."