A Kingdom Hearts fanfic by Raberba girl
For my darling Infamousplot, the first Roxas-&-Xion. X3 Before meeting you, I was just going on in my lone wolf way, not connecting with other people very well, but it's thanks to you that I've been drawn into such a great network of friends. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support, and our great conversations! :D
Summary: Cell phones can be a wonderful thing. ...Sometimes. Platonic AkuRokuShi.
A/N: Same universe as Christmas at the Castle; starts the morning of December 26th. And ftr, this is NOT the main CatC sequel (that one's going to be a lot longer and probably won't be posted for a long time), it's just a short fic that takes place in the same universe. :)
Roxas had not gotten much sleep the night before, but he was still too hyped up from Christmas to be able to stay in bed for long the next morning. It was not even quite 6:00 when he abruptly opened his eyes and sat up.
"Rarwf!" Delighted at the movement, Destiny tried and failed to lick his face, so settled for licking his hands instead.
"Oh yeah, I have a dog now." Roxas paused to happily scrub his hands through Destiny's so, so, so, so, so, so, so soft fur, then climbed out of bed. Destiny yipped urgently at him until he realized that the puppy could not get to the floor on his own. "Oh. Here you go, little guy." Heh. Xigbar and Demyx couldn't call him 'little guy' anymore, because now there was a littler one. "C'mon."
Since Larxene probably hated Xion forever now, Roxas and Axel had helped their friend move all her stuff back to Axel's room the previous night, before Larxene could wake up from "being drunk" (whatever that meant; Axel wouldn't explain it to them) and zap it all or something. Roxas walked in to find Xion still curled up under the covers, though Axel's bed was empty.
Roxas thought a moment. Then he picked up the dog and plopped Destiny right on top of Xion. The puppy slipped off her shoulder, climbed unsteadily over her neck, and started licking her cheek. Xion turned her face into the pillow and mumbled something.
"Wake up, Xion."
She finally rolled over and smiled, pulling Destiny away from her face and stroking the soft fur with both hands. "Hello, puppy," she crooned as Destiny happily tried to bite her fingers.
"I don't know. He wasn't here when I went to sleep."
"Let's go look for him."
They went to the Grey Area together. It was not very lively - just Xaldin buying something from the Moogle, and Saïx at the head of the room as usual, writing something as he waited for the rest of the Organization to show up. His eyes were red-rimmed and a little bloodshot, though, as if he'd gotten even less sleep than Roxas. "Are we still doing missions today?" Roxas asked.
"Of course we are. The festivities have been over for approximately eleven hours now."
"Saïx, you look like you need a Potion," Xion said, offering one.
"I have no interest in your assessment. Give the panel to Axel if you must."
The kids looked where he gestured and saw the Flurry of Dancing Flames sprawled on the floor behind a couch, fast asleep, with Bomb curled into a ball of fluff on his chest. Roxas took a few steps in that direction, but Xion caught his arm. "Let's not wake them up."
"But then we have to make our own breakfast."
"Well, I can crack eggs now...kind of."
"Yeah, I guess so."
They went to the kitchen and stared around for a while. "...Maybe we should just get Pop-Tarts and stuff like usual?"
"Axel will just make us eat again when he wakes up."
"Yeah. I don't feel like eggs, though."
"What about the kind we made like they do in Agrabah?"
"Oh yeah! You mean the one with all the sugar?"
"Let's do that."
It was harder than it looked, first just cracking the eggs, and then trying to pick all the pieces out of the released insides, then trying to separate the clearer stuff from the yellower yolk. It all ran together, and Roxas was pretty sure they had messed up. "Oh well."
"I bet it will still taste okay."
"Especially if we put extra sugar in it."
"Yup. Everything's better with sugar."
When they went back to the Grey Area, Xaldin was gone and Axel was still asleep, but the kitten was awake and mewing with irritated insistence up at Saïx. The Luna Diviner ignored Bomb in favor of finishing his instructions to Lexaeus, but as soon as the Silent Hero had vanished into a dark corridor, Saïx frowned down at the animal and drew his foot away.
Xion quickly dove to snatch up Bomb before Saïx could kick him or something. "Are you hungry?" she cooed. "You want breakfast, kitty?"
"Axel said we can't give him sugar," Roxas reminded her.
"Let's see if he'll eat a banana."
"...He'll drink milk," Saïx muttered, but the kids were already heading back to the kitchen and didn't hear.
Luxord was in there, putting a bagel into the toaster. He watched the Keybearers trying to offer Bomb a banana and then a popcorn ball and then a handful of chestnuts before he finally set down a saucer dish and poured some milk into it. "Try this," he suggested.
They watched with great interest as Bomb finally quit his raspy meowing and crouched down to start lapping up the milk.
"Hey, it worked."
"How did you know what he'd eat, Luxord?"
"One picks it up with experience..."
Back in the Grey Area, Axel was finally awake and arguing with Saïx. "It's the day after Christmas! I've barely gotten any sleep and everyone else is still hung over from whatever was in that punch! Seriously, Sai? Seriously?"
"We are not running a company with benefits and salaries, we're an Organization of Nobodies seeking to build Kingdom Hearts. It's a miracle the Superior even deigned to grant a single day off for the holidays, so for once in your life, will you please stop trying to push your luck?"
"Axel," Xion said, "we fed the kitty."
"He drank milk," Roxas said proudly. "He didn't like bananas, though."
Axel looked over at them and his face broke into a smile. "Oh, look, people who are nice to me." He turned his back on Saïx and came over to claim his Christmas present. "Hey there, monster," he cooed. "Uncle Roxy and Aunt Xi give you breakfast, huh? Huh?"
Bomb mewed at him in an unimpressed sort of way.
"You kids eat yet?"
"We ate eggs," Roxas and Xion declared at the same time.
"Well, good for you! I'm the only one who's allowed to eat unhealthy around here."
"That's not fair!"
It took a lot longer than Roxas thought it would to teach his Samurai how to baby-sit Destiny. By that time, it was late in the morning and Saïx was looking grumpier than usual, so they all hurriedly got their assignments and set off to complete their missions for the day.
'Giant Heartless the day after Christmas. Thanks, Saïx,' Roxas thought peevishly as he bashed away at the enormous spinning wheel that kept leaping all over the castle throne room and refusing to stay still long enough for him to hit it very often. 'Would be nice if I had some strong long range attacks so I wouldn't have to keep chasing after it...'
After work, he went to meet his friends at the clock tower as usual, but today was not one for relaxing.
"Finally," Axel said as soon as Roxas showed up. "Eat your ice cream on the way, we're going cell phone shopping."
It was a small box thing with a screen and lots of buttons. Roxas stared at it.
"You okay with blue, Rox?" Axel asked. "Or do you want a green one or a black one or something?"
"Uhhhh...does it matter?"
"How 'bout you, Xi?"
"Can I have purple?" she asked shyly.
"Sure thing." Axel plucked the orange phone out of her hand and handed over one of her chosen color. "So that's it?" he confirmed with the salesgirl. "Anything else we need?"
"Um," she said, "no, you're done, but...do you think I could get a picture with you?" she asked, shyly enough to remind him of Xion, so that he didn't have the heart to refuse.
"Sure, whatever." He tried not to laugh as they walked out of the store and he watched the kids staring dubiously at their new communication devices as if the things were calculus problems.
"I don't get it," Roxas finally said.
"You will. But not yet. Put your hoods up."
The black-coated trio dark corridored into a slightly messy bedroom where a dark-haired teenage boy was doing homework. He yelped in response to the invasion, but went abruptly silent when he found the point of a chakram poised close to his face.
"In the movies," the tallest hooded figure said, "it's always the uncool nerdy kid who figures out how to hack the government networks or crack the aliens' secret code or whatever. Rigging an interworld cell phone network should be a piece of cake for you. You've got seven days before I come back and decide whether I should do something unpleasant to you with this thing."
"Okay," Pence squeaked.
The hooded figure with girly boots poured a huge pile of munny over Pence's textbook, and the one with black tennis shoes laid three cell phones on top. Then all three figures vanished through a dark portal.
"Axel," Xion scolded as she pulled her hood down in a nearby alley, "that was mean."
"I wasn't really gonna hurt him," Axel said uncomfortably. Darn not having a heart, it really messed with his sense of judgment. Totally had not been a problem before he'd started collecting Cute Things.
"We could have tried just asking him," Roxas said sullenly.
'...Oh yeah.' "Well, this way he won't waste time. Come on, let's go grab a pizza or something."
They were still staring at him a little accusingly. "I'll give him a box of ice cream and a three-day pass to Disney Town, too, okay? Stop looking at me like that!"
A week later, Numbers VIII, XIII, and XIV went to 'pick up their order,' as Axel called it. Pence had fallen asleep at his desk, surrounded by phone innards and tools. He sat up with a yelp when Axel tapped his shoulder. "I did it," he started babbling. "Still gets kind of staticky depending how far you are from the world's heart, and a lot of it had to be theoretical since it was so hard to test outside Twilight Town, but I really did my best, and I think you guys-"
"Sshhh," Xion said.
Roxas held out two flash cards on which he had written the options he was used to being presented with whenever he was given a task. "So," he said, as if reciting, "did you rig the three phones to connect across worlds?"
Staring, Pence finally reached out and cautiously tapped the Yes card.
"I see you've connected the phones," Roxas went on. "Well done. Take this for your hard work." He held out an item, happy to finally be the one on this side of the exchange for once.
Pence accepted the reward as if it might bite him.
"The hooded man has given you a Lightning Crystal," Xion announced. Transaction now complete, the kids faced each other in a moment of silent, gleeful pride.
"The taller hooded man," Axel said, sounding like he was trying very hard not to laugh as he set a box down on Pence's desk, "has given you another week's project. Eleven more phones, same thing. Now that you've figured out the trick, should be a piece of cake."
Pence stared in dismay.
"Here's the rest of your pay for the last job. Get this one done in time and you'll get two more Disney passes, all my old video games I don't play anymore, and what the heck, I'll throw in a free computer. Plus you'll still get to live, yay."
"Number VIII," Roxas grumped, "you're not supposed to tell them the reward before they do the job."
"Number XIII, you'll find that real life doesn't always quite work the way it does in the Organization," Axel laughed.
"This is ice cream talk," Axel said meaningfully. "Let's get out of here."
They vanished again, leaving Pence to bury his face in his arms with a tired groan.
Seven days after that, Saïx frowned as Axel returned from a mission and dropped a cell phone and a sticky note on his clipboard. "What is this?"
"They're called cell phones, dude."
"Why is there one on my clipboard," Saïx asked flatly.
"I made sure yours was blue, since that's your favorite. Your number's on the sticky."
"Perhaps you've forgotten that such devices are completely useless to the Organization."
Axel winked. "Not if they can connect between worlds, too."
Saïx stared. "How?"
"I've got my sources," Axel said loftily. "Enjoy, bro." He walked off again to return to his Keybearing distractions.
Saïx looked back at the phone and finally picked it up. The wallpaper was a fanart of Sailor Moon cuddling a blue puppy, which he promptly changed to a much more generic one of a moon drifting in the night sky. Then he checked the contacts list.
There were thirteen numbers, labeled (respectively): ..., Blackbeard, Cheating DeLorean, Cryptkeeper, Emo McNerdface, Fruitmaster, LEA AKA AWESOME, Mullethead, Rox my socks, Sideburns of Doom, Witchwithab, Xi chan, and Zebra sama. LEA AKA AWESOME was the only one on speed dial. As Saïx took off the 'AKA AWESOME' part, renamed the rest of his contacts properly, and added a shortcut for the one that had originally been 'Zebra sama,' he realized that he was grinning.
Axel, however, was not, since his week had been a rather exasperating one. On Monday, he'd sent the kids off to work with a last reminder, "Now, call me if you can't make it to the clock tower. I want to know if you'll be kidnapped by idiots to make another horrendous excuse for a Christmas movie."
"Don't worry, we will."
THEY DIDN'T. Axel sat up there, waiting. Finished his ice cream. Waited some more. Checked his phone, even though he hadn't heard it ring. No messages. Called Roxas. No answer. Called Xion.
She answered on the fifth ring: "I can't talk, I'm fighting-!" There was a startled shriek, and the phone went dead.
"Xion!" Where was her mission again? Neverland? Axel rushed over there and found her flying leisurely around, collecting dropped munny orbs from the giant Heartless she'd just defeated. "Xion!"
"Oh, hi, Axel," she said casually.
"Don't 'Oh, hi, Axel' me when the last thing I heard was you screaming in pain!"
"Oh, that reminds me, I think I dropped my phone in the lagoon..."
They flew around longer until they found the (now ruined) phone, and called Roxas again. No answer. They finally trooped over to Beast's Castle, where they helped him chase down the last of the Deserters he was supposed to eliminate for his mission.
"Why weren't you answering your phone?" Axel demanded
He had accidentally put it on silent mode.
Back at the Castle That Never Was, they got Luxord to reverse time for Xion's phone so that it was good as new, then Axel let the kids make dinner as he dozed at the kitchen table. (Tried to doze. Bomb was playfully reducing the corner of his coat to shreds, and Destiny, feeling neglected, kept head-butting his knee and pawing at him for attention.) The fish sticks were a little burned, but turned out quite edible, and then they all fell asleep watching a movie in Axel and Xion's room.
Tuesday: "CALL ME."
Yet as he sat waiting on clock tower after work, not being called, he finally heard the sound of a dark corridor.
Roxas came strolling out. "Hey, Ax-" His eyes widened. "Wait!" He dove around the clock tower. There was a looooong pause, filled with beeping buttons and increasingly frustrated sounds. At last, a phone call.
"Yo, Roxas," Axel chuckled.
"Hi. I'm coming."
The line disconnected, and Roxas came back around the corner. "I called you," he said proudly.
The phone rang again. "Yo, Xi."
"Axel, I'm calling you," Xion said breathlessly.
"I'm being called by you."
"You're, like, on the clock tower steps, aren't you."
"Yeah," she said sheepishly.
"Come on up, we're waiting."
RTC. Dinner. Another set of pants covered with puppy drool; fresh claw marks on his boots. Fell asleep with video games. And so it went...
On Wednesday, Axel showed the kids how to set the alarms on their phones "to remind you to call me when it'll still be, you know, useful." That was pretty much the only day where it went according to plan.
On Thursday, Axel was in the middle of a battle with a herd of Snowy Crystals when his phone rang. He cursed, because between Dodge Rolling, casting fire spells, and hurling chakrams, he wasn't able to dig the phone out of his pocket, answer it, or hold a conversation.
A few more of the Heartless exploded into prizes, and the phone eventually stopped ringing. 'Six more to go. I'll call you back later.'
The phone rang again. "Argh, I can't answer right now!"
Just when he had blown up the last of the stupid ice cubes, he heard the sound of two dark corridors opening. Unfortunately, he could not turn to look, because that last Heartless had caught him with an attack before exploding, so that he was now frozen fast in a block of ice.
The kids ran around to face him, then just stood there, staring.
"Hi," he said. This was embarrassing. He couldn't move at all from the chest down.
"Kick your legs," Roxas suggested.
"Roxas, I'm frozen."
"I used up my Panacea already," Xion said helplessly.
"What are you two doing here, anyway?"
"You didn't answer your phone."
"We thought maybe you got eaten."
"You guys watch too many movies."
The spell finally broke, sending Axel tumbling to the ground at their feet. It was a little annoying that they both helped him up like he was an invalid.
"I'm glad you're not frozen anymore, Axel."
"Did you two finish your missions?"
"Yes. I was heading for the clock tower when I tried to call you."
"Good. Don't ever abort just because you can't reach me on the phone, okay?"
"Can we help you finish your mission, Axel?"
He smiled a little. "You're asking as if there's a chance I'd say no."
On Friday, Axel was quick to respond when his phone rang, which fortunately happened as he was ambling along rather than in dire peril. "Yo, Roxas."
"I hate recon."
"Can't say I like it much, either."
"Okay, so, if I'm here in Wonderland, and there's a Three of Clubs and a Five of Clubs doing guard duty on the south end of the hedge maze, and a Ten of Hearts and Seven of Hearts doing duty on the north side, and I recorded their stupid patrol pattern, does that mean anything? Do I have to analyze that in the report, or can I just leave it as what I have?"
"Try to answer that question yourself after imagining Vexen's reaction to reading what you've got so far."
"...Darn. So what does it mean?"
"Man, you makin' me do your job for you?"
"Well, whatever; just record what you see, and we'll all try to analyze it together over ice cream."
"Okay. Hey, Axel?"
"I'm still bored."
"Hold on, Rox, bunch of Heartless just popped up; I'll get back to you in a sec."
After he had dispatched the gaggle of Skater Bombs, he took the phone out again. "You still there?"
"You shouldn't be. Get to work."
"But I'm bored! I hate recon!"
"Yeah, you've mentioned that once or twice." Once he finally got off the phone with Roxas, Axel tried to concentrate on his mission again so he could finish quickly and head to Twilight Town, but the phone rang again ten minutes later. "Yo."
"What's your favorite color?"
"Uh...I dunno. Red?"
"Okay. I'll buy you a red one."
"What are you doing?"
"My mission was at these islands I really like coming to, and after I finished, I wanted to see what was on the mainland. So I Glided over and there's this cool gift shop on the beach where the lady explained 'souvenirs,' so I'm buying souvenirs for you and Roxas."
"Xi, you're not on vacation, and even if you were, we don't need souvenirs..."
"But the little shell ponies are so cute!"
Roxas called again shortly after he hung up with Xion. "Hi, Roxas."
"Hi, Axel. I'm not bored anymore, but this is kind of annoying."
"See, there were these weird guys at the garden in front of the house, and I'm having a tea party with them but they won't let me actually drink any tea, so, like, does tea taste good? Should I keep trying to drink some until they let me? Or does it not taste good and I should just leave? If they let me, because I dunno if they'll let me leave, either."
After that was Xion again. "Hi, Axel. So I decided not to get the ponies, but the shells are still really pretty so I wanted to know if you wanted a necklace more or a bracelet."
Maybe the cell phones had been a bad idea after all.