{bgm} Islands - The XX


Hurricane

Roxas had always loved balconies. He'd bought this apartment because of it's amazing view, because he loved the rolling hills and sliding arches of Twilight Town, a small little haven of tranquillity in the Kingdom of Hollow Bastion.

What he was trying to avoid was the stench of tobacco, the gloriously addictive scent of menthol cigarettes and burning ashes. He'd been clean for a solid eight months, but he was definitely drawn to the white wisps dancing through his open French door. The night was young and painted with burning infinities on a canvas of deep, drowning black.

He'd opened them in favour of telling her off for smoking, but in the end he melted into the doorframe, eyes roving over thin white limbs, pasty and tattooed with a maze of purple veins. She was sitting on the edge of her balcony, her legs were crossed over at the knee with one knuckle-white hand keeping her balanced. She was wearing a tank top that looped around her bony shoulder and drooped to the top of her waist, the swell of her breast prominent as the rib ridges underneath it.

"You have a pretty apartment."

Roxas' mouth opened and closed multiple times, words being tugged back and forth across his reluctant tongue.

She moved to tap the cigarette against the railing, the ashes swirled in the evening wind, cinders bright like pixie dust. "The girlfriend must love it."

"I… I don't have a girlfriend."

"I know you don't," Naminé admitted, dragging the chemicals into her lungs, "You're a very lonely man, Roxas."

"No, I'm not," he defended himself. That was partly true, after all he didn't consider himself a man yet. He was barely nineteen and still hadn't gotten his shit together.

"Lonely, and quite confused."

"How do you figure?" he demanded, making a weird gesture which resembled his mind being blown to pieces. "Please pull apart my head and attack the remnants with your amateur psychology."

She didn't take offense to this in the slightest, simply shrugging her shoulder, making the cigarette in her hand bounce with waves of white mist. "You've bought a luxury apartment, which means you're trying to get your shit together, but judging by your expression when you pick up the paper in the lobby it's not working. There's a tea set on your balcony, so you're not planning to have male guests over, and you're recovering using meditation and patience. Your phone never rings, so the only way you speak to close friends is from four am and seven playing various shooters on your PlayStation three."

"Is that what they're teaching in college nowadays?" he said bitterly.

"I wouldn't know, I don't go," she replied, shrugging. She rocked a little and for the second time he remembered;

"You really shouldn't be doing that."

"Why?"

"For one thing, you could fall and die."

"And?"

Naminé's eyes were inquisitive and cheeky, crinkling at the corners and flashing with curiosity. Her body fell backwards and she let go momentarily. Roxas was sure she was going to die so he moved to jump over the railing between their balconies, but at the last second she regained her balance and smirked at him.

"So you do care."

He snorted, "I wouldn't want to be associated with an accidental suicide, if I can help it."

"God knows that would be a pain." Naminé said, cigarette wagging between her chapped pink lips. "So, how old were you when your mother left you?"

"Excuse me?!" Heckles rose, and her bared his teeth in a snarl. Her eyes widened, as if she was surprised. "What the fuck is wrong with you? Why mess with me? You've been here for two years and I'm the only tenant that actually knows your name."

"The other tenants are boring," Naminé admitted, tipping off the last bit of ash before throwing her cigarette onto the balcony floor. "They're all… cupcakes."

"I like cupcakes."

"Of course you love cupcakes. You would molest those cupcakes like a filthy drunk whore. And that's why you're interesting."

"You're insane. How do you come up with this stuff?"

She laughed, rocking back and forth, her life swinging on a tightrope, "You're so transparent, Roxas. You are nothing but a finely shaped cookie." Her eyes lowered, and the corner of her lips rose, "And you're so fucking hot for me you want to pull me off this railing and take me on the floor."

"NO I DON'T!"

Naminé giggled to herself, turning her head to the side. There was something about seeing her profile that made Roxas forget how utterly freaked out he was by this strange, strange girl. "So easy."

Roxas' growl resonated in his throat clawing at his air pipes viciously. "Hey, what did you mean about it 'not being my fault'?"

"Wouldn't you like to know."

"I would actually," he said, "I'd like to get one straight sentence out of that terrible place you call a mind."

Naminé fell silent. The grin disappeared.

"You have a huge capacity for love."

"So?" he replied, mocking her earlier attempt to scare him by jumping off the building.

"Because you have an enormous capacity for other emotions; anger, despair, regret, guilt…"

"How positive."

"There's also compassion, empathy, determination."

He crossed his arms over his chest, now fully aware how terribly cold it was. Naminé looked so thin and fragile in her shirt-dress and pyjama boots, like a weirdly attractive ghost holding up these clothes with pure willpower alone.

"Thanks."

"Don't thank me," she replied, hopping off the railing (to Roxas' great relief) and slipping indoors. "I'm just repeating what truly reflects in your heart."

It was several moments later, when Roxas had finished processing what Naminé had said that he realised she had not answered his question.

Sneaky bitch.


"I don't know man, she's weird. She said that I have a huge capacity for emotion, or some shit like that."

He heard a muffled chuckle through his phone speakers, and one distinct giggle.

"Well," Xion said, "it's not like she's wrong or anything. You are the moodiest out of all of us."

"PMSing bitch." Axel coughed to cover up his insult, but Roxas wasn't an idiot.

"Thanks for being so supportive guys. It's nice to remember exactly why I never go to you two for advice."

"Don't get your panties in a bunch." That was Axel Sinclair, a flaming idiot if Roxas ever saw one. He also happened to be Roxas' best friend, and the drummer for Revenant Empire. "If you're irritated by her then just move, man. You've got enough money to do it."

"But I've got everything set up, and construction of the aquarium took a good three months, and the view is incredible and…"

Xion's soft voice seemed lighter against the rough static of their tipsy connection. "If you like the location so much then just grin and bear it, Rox. You really have to weigh whether avoiding this girl is worth more than packing up and moving to a different part of Twilight Town." This miracle worker and voice of reason was Xion Shapiro, other best friend and keyboardist of Revenant Empire. She was the one stick of glue among their team, as well as their only source of feminine energy.

"I mean who does she think she is?" Axel asked. "Send us a picture of her."

"No, you creep."

"Tell us what she looks like." Xion requested.

"Um, she's blond."

"Gotta dig a little bit deeper than that, Picasso."

Roxas bit his lip, the thought of Naminé living with D'Blanc coming to mind. "Her hair is shoulder length, platinum blond, and… it looks really damaged."

"Interesting."

"She's a little small, probably a few inches shorter than me."

"Is she hot?" Axel demanded.

Upon being asked images flooded in of aspects Roxas saw in Naminé that he was somewhat fond of, like the spidery quality of her hands, and the smooth pale skin of her ribs and legs. He rubbed his eye and the top of his cheek, willing away the heat blossoming over the bridge of his nose.

"Ugh… I don't know."

"Then take a picture so we can see."

"Dude. No."

Roxas rolled onto his side, reaching to the coffee table where a sweating bottle of Sea Salt Soda left a circle on the glass top. Just as he was about to grab it he saw a piece of paper being slid under his door. Unable to contain his curiosity he walked over and picked it up.

It was a picture of Naminé for sure. It was a black and white photo. She was dressed in a sleeveless button down dress and fingerless gloves. The picture cut off right above her knees. In the picture Naminé was smirking with her hand positioned coyly so her finger tapped at her lips. There was a black bar over her eyes with the words 'Ce n'est pas le voisin de Roxas' written in curling white italics, drawn with some kind of white gel pen.

He raised an eyebrow, smiling to himself as he took a photo of the picture and pressed send. It occurred to him then that he might love his balcony a little more.

tbc.


kacey Please remember that this is an update when ready story. I am not actively writing this as of yet (my main focus is my story Follow Me Down, also a RokuNami, so check that out) and updates are sporadic and random.

thanks To Flying By Wire, an0naly & iVanillelay for reviewing the last chapter.

Cheers.