Eyes Like A Tiger's

A Kingdom Hearts fanfic series by Raberba girl

Summary: Collection of ficlets and one-shots focusing on Saïx & Jasmine, though not always in a romantic context. Includes AUs.

Introduction: Around the time Kiryn got me interested in the Terra/Cinderella pairing, Saïx/Jasmine was also mentioned in passing. I don't think the latter was meant to be taken seriously the way the former was, but it caught my fancy anyway.

Even though I have lots of other, far more important projects to be focusing on, I wrote this first drabble and figured it couldn't hurt to post. I vaguely plan for this series to have at least seven installments, which is when I'll slap a "Complete" label on it, but if I get any other Saïx/Jasmine ideas, I'll just add them onto the end as new "chapters."

It occurred to me, RIGHT as I was first uploading this to FFN, that there's a "Forgotten Couples" challenge out there that Saïx/Jasmine might qualify for. Unfortunately, I can't find the original challenge, but if I can somehow get hold of the rules and prompt list and decide to take it on, it won't be until after I finish one or two of my current challenges in progress. I'll just stick with my seven-chapter idea in the meantime, or if the challenge doesn't work out.

1 - Eyes Like A Tiger's

Summary: The girl is a Princess of Heart, of course she's going to be nice to the weirdo in the suspicious black coat who's been creeping around her city.

o.o.o

Saïx was in Agrabah, preparing it for the mission he was going to assign Roxas the next day. He had already set out the treasure chests and recorded the Heartless types, making a note to warn about an abundance of Fire Plants in the mission brief. He was in the middle of setting up a barricade when he realized that his cover had been blown.

"Hello."

Saïx gave an annoyed sigh, then ignored the greeting and continued working.

"...Perhaps you're new in town and don't know this, but my name is Jasmine. My father is the ruler of this kingdom."

"You honor me with your presence, Your Highness," Saïx said without bothering to turn around. He affixed a barricade line to the ground and then reached up again, summoning another chain of non-existence to intersect with the first.

"I should probably thank you," the voice went on. She sounded less grateful and more like she was demanding to be paid attention to. "We've been wondering for a while now what those odd crossed shapes are. They keep appearing out of nowhere, filling doorways or gateways, but it's like they're not even there - people can just walk straight through them."

'Obviously,' Saïx thought. 'If they're made of nothing, they cannot bar the way of beings who actually exist.'

"Then they disappear again a day or two later. It's good to finally have an explanation. Even the less superstitious of us have been getting uneasy."

'Just go away,' he thought, completely uninterested in her chatter. 'There's so much work to do.'

"Why are you putting up those strange things, anyway?"

"Don't you have repairs to make or sand to sweep up?" he said, retrieving his backpack and moving on to the next area that needed to be sealed off.

"I'm bringing refreshment to the workers. I wonder if that includes you." She was starting to sound a little fed up, which likely explained the mischievous note that was creeping into her voice. Saïx had grown up with Axel. He was well aware that such a tone always meant trouble - people who were bored and/or annoyed seemed to have an inexplicable fondness for teasing him. Gritting his teeth, he turned to face the princess for the first time.

... Close up, she was quite beautiful. Not that he had any means left to appreciate concepts such as beauty, but he was still able to acknowledge them. Her hair shone as glossy as a raven's wing, clearly well-cared for. Well, she was a princess, after all. Not surprising that she would stand out in this world full of far too many grubby commoners. Her dark skin glowed like copper in the bright sunlight, great swaths of it exposed in a way that was a little overwhelming for someone grown accustomed to seeing people clad in Organization coats. Not that this particular viewer could get overwhelmed, but...in theory.

The princess was regarding him appraisingly as she stood with a clay jar resting in the crook of her arm. "You seem to be working hard, but as far as I can tell, you're not really doing anything useful."

"I'm certain that our definitions of 'useful' differ significantly in this instance." He paused a little mockingly, as if thinking. "Though perhaps you might agree with me that decreasing the Heartless population here could be of some use to both of us."

"So mysterious," she said challengingly. "Just like the face that must be hidden under that hood of yours. Care to enlighten me?"

"I have better things I need to be doing with my time." He drew forth another length of non-existence.

"...In any case, I'm sure it's difficult to slave away in the hot sun while dressed in that ridiculous outfit. You must be cooking to a crisp in there."

Exaggeration and figures of speech aside, she was completely correct. However, it was none of her business, and it shouldn't have any effect on his mission. He had long ago learned how to work through such discomfort.

"Would you like a drink of water?"

Saïx paused. He would, actually. His own water bottle had developed a leak when that Heartless had ambushed him, and had been bone-dry since midmorning. The Hi-Potions he had equipped could substitute, but his supply of them was very finite, and their healing properties might be needed later on.

"A simple yes or no will be fine," she said, sounding a little amused. Saïx realized that he had been standing there without moving for too long.

"Yes," he finally said. "I would appreciate a drink of water."

She hefted the jar up. "Here."

He made as if to take the jar from her, but she kept a firm hold on it, allowing him to steady the jar with his hands but not letting go herself. It robbed him of an independent stance, which he was sure was fully intentional on her part.

As the cool water filled his parched mouth, he felt his hood slipping and the touch of this world's harsh sunshine on his face. As soon as he had had his fill, he let go of the jar and stepped back, drawing up the hood again even as he wondered why he was bothering. It wasn't like she would be able to forget seeing a strange man with long blue hair and very distinctive facial scars.

Her mouth had come open a little in surprise. With her eyes still fixed on him, she set down the jar and stepped close, reaching toward him.

'Don't,' he wanted to say. Yet it would make him sound helpless, and again, he had no reason now to continue to hide his face from her. He did not resist when she pushed back his hood.

"Oh," she said softly.

'I must look so strange to her.'

Her expression broke into a smile. "You have such pretty eyes! Just like my pet tiger's."

'...What?'

"His name is Rajah. I should bring you to meet him one of these days."

"That...won't be necessary," Saïx managed.

Jasmine smiled again and stepped back, leaving his hood down. "Don't worry. He doesn't hurt my friends. You are a friend of mine, aren't you?"

What was he supposed to do, say no and incur hostile attention from the locals every time he had to come here to set up future missions? "...Yes."

"Of course you are. Though I never got your name, friend."

"My name is of no consequence."

"Oh. I see. Then I suppose I can just introduce you as Kitten Eyes. I think that's a cute nickname."

"Saïx," he said quickly. "My name is Saïx."

Jasmine gave him a wink. "Well, Saïx, I hope to see you around again soon. I'll be sure to have Rajah with me."

"Don't bother. I'm really more of a...dog person."

"Oh, that's all right. Rajah's very nice, he'll forgive you. Probably."

Well, it looked like he was never going to be able to let Xigbar, Axel, or Demyx come here for missions ever again. If any of them got wind of this whole business...

"I'd better finish making my rounds," she realized. "It was nice to meet you, Saïx."

"Thank you for the water," he sighed.

"It was the least I could do for a brave Heartless-slayer, hm?" She gave him a little wave as she left. She really was a pretty girl. Good thing he didn't have a heart to get distracted with.

"...Now, where was I?" Barricades. One more left to go. Saïx got back to work, not realizing that he was smiling a little.