Pre-note: I would like to thank a fellow writer pen-named SorenDevin. She has rekindled my love of Kingdom Hearts through her story, A Heart Never Still. Those who know me as a writer from Dragonball fandom, rest assured I will not abandon it let it collect dust in the corner of the room; I love both of them all the same.

Random musing about Kingdom Hearts: Don't Sora and Riku resemble Goten and Trunks? And their friendship, too?

Disclaimer: I don't own the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

Happy reading!

Ventus was supposed to have gone to bed, but he couldn't sleep.

Being a lively—or more like hyper—kid he was, it was way too early to call it a day. Besides, both Terra and Aqua were still awake, but at the same time he knew they wouldn't let him play or have fun with them at such a late hour despite his best, most adorable impersonation of puppy eyes. They would just chase him away and told him that "… little children should go to bed early."

Of course he was nowhere near pleased at this. Every night, he would need to expend all his energy before he was finally able to slip into the realm of sleep, and Ven himself had to admit, that was by no means an easy task to do considering his vast reservoir of pep. Fortunately he had a sure-fire method to counter that: Terra's handheld game console.

The fourteen-year-old had snatched it from the brunet's room since he knew he wasn't currently in need of it. He would only stop when he finally fell asleep or the console ran out of charge, whichever came first; either way, the poor console always ended up needing a full recharge the next morning. Of course everything had to be done in secret; he didn't want Terra to find out that his possession had actually been in the wrong hands for several months.

Tonight, though, things were different.

Ven wanted so very, very much to sleep, thanks to the punishment he had endured earlier on for messing around in the kitchen and somehow setting the electric—yes, electric—cooker on fire. Whether it was due to him shorting it or casting Fire on it, nobody knew how he caused it to catch fire; he just did. Cleaning up after the mess was exhausting to say the least, what with scrubbing the burn marks off the counter, walls, floor… boy, was he glad and relieved when it was finally over.

He didn't care if it was currently only nine o'clock; he wanted to drag himself to his bed and give in to its irresistible charms. Upon reaching his room, he just threw himself onto the bed, little else but the sweet embrace of sleep in mind. But oh, sadly for him, even when he had buried that spiky head of his in the pillow, he failed to drift off into slumber.

Blame it on the temperature.

During his several years of stay in the Land of Departure, never had Ven experienced a night as hot as right now. He tossed, he turned, and he even took off his shirt for relief, but nothing seemed to help at all. He was starting to perspire and his sweat began to seep into the sheets, which obviously didn't make things any better; thanks to that, he would need to have them laundered the next morning.

Exasperated, he gave up trying his best to sleep and turned his attention to the game console on his study desk. Hoping it could somehow distract him from the heat, he turned it on and started playing on the bed. It looked like it worked since in no time, Ven got so absorbed in the game, his incessant sweating his only link to reality.

Sadly, Lady Luck was out for a night stroll. He was particularly dull tonight and unlike usual, lost more times than he won. Instead of getting calmed, Ven grew more and more frustrated every second, causing his loss count to skyrocket rapidly. Childish whines, muffled grunts, and silent mumbles escaped his mouth…

… and those whines, grunts, and mumbles caught the attention of a certain someone who happened to pass through the door to his room.

Terra, who was walking back to his bedroom, heard the muffled noises from inside Ven's room. He immediately figured that his friend was having difficulty sleeping due to the abnormal ambient temperature. Now, being a good friend he was, he decided to come to Ven's aid so that he could sleep well; he saw some ice cream in the freezer, so why not? Cold treats in hot days—nights in this case—was a godsend, and he could use the time to joke around to help Ven relax a bit.

So, as usual, he casually opened the door and barged in, without regards whatsoever as to what the boy might be doing at the time. "Hey, Ven, want some ice—"

"WAH! T-terra…!"


Bad, bad move.

Not wanting to get caught playing with the stolen console, the first thing Ven did was hold it under the sheets, hiding it from sight. He succeeded in doing so since Terra mentioned nothing at all about the console; for that, he breathed an audible sigh of relief. However, when he saw him staring at him with wide eyes and mouth agape, he began having second thoughts.

From where Terra stood, it was a sight he would rather not see in his lifetime or beyond.

He saw Ven, his best friend, the child he had thought of as his own little brother, sitting upright on the bed. Shirtless. Sweating. Nervous. His face tense. His lower half concealed by some sheets. His hands under the same sheets. Terra could only think of one thing, and that sure as heck wasn't a good thing.

"Ven… were you…" when he finally managed to recover, Terra stuttered. "Were you doing what I thought… you were doing?"

The boy didn't answer that question. It was more than enough an answer for the young adult.

"You were… spanking the monkey?"

"What monkey?"

A long, uncomfortable silence ensued.

Initially showing anxiety, Ven's expression gradually changed, this time exhibiting pure, unadulterated curiosity. Those words coming from Terra were new words he didn't know the meaning of, causing him to find out what they meant at all costs. Never mind the console for now; Ven could tell that Terra wouldn't bat an eyelid even if he saw it, because he was more interested in this invisible monkey.

Jumping out of the bed—with his pants on, of course—Ven nonchalantly approached Terra. "What monkey are you talking about, Terra?" he asked.

It was now Terra's turn to be unable to get his act together. Seeing that Ven still had something on underneath those sheets, it seemed he had misjudged him. However, he didn't know whether he should be relieved or even more apprehensive than before, since he wasn't out of the hot soup yet; now, he had to explain to the boy what he meant by his words. But would he be able to bring himself to corrupt Ven's pure, innocent mind by doing so?

The answer was no.

"Nothing. Nothing at all," he replied, hoping that it was an acceptable answer although it was really, really unlikely.

Ven eyed him suspiciously. "I know you're hiding something," he said with a devious smile. "C'mon, Terra! Tell me. What did you mean by spanking the monkey? I don't keep a pet monkey!"

"I told you, it was nothing. Now get back to sleep."

"Aw, you're no fun. If you don't wanna tell me, then I'll go and ask the Master about it."

The Master? That would spell disaster! He had to think of something, and fast! "N-no, Ven! Wait!" he flailed his arms desperately. Knowing that he had gotten himself in a no-win situation, Terra sighed in defeat. "Okay, you win. I'll tell you…"

Ven was practically jumping up and down in excitement. He loved learning about new things, and this is no exception. After Terra prepared himself to reveal the meaning of those fancy words—he did that by inhaling and then heaving yet another sigh—he leaned his head closer to the latter's face.

"It's an expression," the older boy finally spoke. "It means doing something when you're feeling bored."

"That's all?" asked Ven.

Terra nodded. The kid's expression became slightly dejected; to be honest, he was expecting to hear more, so this revelation kind of came to him as anticlimactic. But that didn't matter now… most importantly, he had learned a new expression, and he had Terra to thank for that.

"See, what's so difficult about it?" Ven grinned in triumph. "Just tell me and it'll be over real quick."

"Right. Well, you know, I… kinda have to go now. Good night, Ven," said Terra. He shuffled closer and closer to the door, and upon reaching it, he slammed it open and ran off into the distance.

Finally alone again, Ven could continue his gaming session. Before returning to enjoy what he had been doing earlier, he made sure to lock the door so no one would be able to interrupt him again. Almost getting caught playing with the console by Terra was enough thrill for the night, and he sure wouldn't like something similar to happen again.

'Spanking the monkey, huh?' he thought inwardly. 'That's a quite cool expression, if you ask me!'

The next morning, all four inhabitants of Land of Departure were gathered in the kitchen for breakfast. Because of the accident last night, Ven wasn't allowed anywhere near the cooker, so he had to sit on his chair and wait patiently until the others were done preparing the meal. He didn't like to be treated like a kid like this, but there was nothing he could have done… after all, he was the youngest among them all.

And so, to kill boredom, he decided to study what the three adults were doing. Scanning them, he found that they had distributed the task. Master Eraqus was currently slicing a cucumber and tomatoes. Aqua was skilfully flipping pancakes by tossing them from the pan into the air. And Terra… what a jester he was. He was chugging milk straight from the carton, and what a sight to behold it was.

Alas, for someone who had the attention span of a goldfish, Ven got unamused very quickly. Ennui quickly took over his mind, and he figured it would be better to just wait in his bedroom and play rather than doing nothing here.

"Aww, waiting for the breakfast is soooo boring," he said while stretching his hands. "I guess I'll return to my room and spank the monkey."

To say that everyone else was shocked by the blonde's words was an understatement.

Master Eraqus almost segmented his own fingers nicely.

Aqua missed the pancakes and had them land on her hair with a pleasant "plop" sound.

Terra spurted the milk all over the kitchen counter.

Their unorthodox reaction amused Ven to no end, but he had no time for that. He was still bored beyond belief. The others could just turn into stone statues for all he cared, but he would be doing something much more productive than that in his room.

Before he could get out of the kitchen, though, Aqua intercepted him with her word. "Ven, how did you know about those words?" she inquired.

"What words? Spank the monkey?" Ven asked back in an innocent tone of voice, causing the others—especially Terra—to cringe. "Terra told me that. He said it means doing something when you're bored. I'm bored now, so I'm gonna do that."

And just like that, Ven went away, unharmed in any way. Smiling, he strolled at a leisurely pace and made his retreat to his bedroom.

With the youngest gone, the situation in the kitchen was now very, very tense. Master Eraqus and Aqua, believing Ven's words to be true, turned their gaze to Terra; if looks could kill, said brunet would have been dead by now, since they were practically glaring daggers at him. Things were going south for him, and it was just a matter of seconds before a pile of excrement hit the fan and spatter everywhere.

He was dead. Totally dead.

With only a carton of milk to defend himself against the oncoming onslaught, he held it in front of his face and very amiably offered to serve some the other two adults.

"Does anyone want a cup of milk?"

Post-note: Have a blessed Good Friday to all you who celebrate! And for those who don't, have a great, long weekend!