Hey! Yeah. It's me. Sorry for not updating the oldest fanfics, but I just have to get this off my chest!
I do not own Kingdome Hearts, of Bleach. Wish I did. Then I wouldn't have to pay for college! :D
A black-clothed hand dropped weakly at its owner's side. The redhead sadly gazed fondly at the spiky brunette. He closed his eyes as a terrible pain overtook his supple body. He could feel himself slowly fading into the darkness. For the first time ever, he felt frightened. Even when he was threatened with a thousand or more Dusks, fear was not in his heart. But now, as he slowly disintegrated, the cold fingers clutched at his non-existent heart.
Slowly, the fiery redhead gave up the fight, closing his emerald eyes forever. As he felt himself being lifted up, he wished the best for the Roxas inside Sora. "Protect him with all your heart." Echoed through his parted lips as he gave up his last ties to the world.
There was a light he could see through his eyelids, and the redhead immediately became confused. He opened them, blinking at the suddenly bright blue sky. He looked around, not recognizing where he was. The area looked strangely Japanese-themed, with light grey cobblestones and white-washed buildings. To be honest, it wasn't completely unlike Castle Oblivion, or even the World that Never Was. Where were all the people? Where were the Nobodies?
So confused by his surroundings, he barely even noticed the strange black and white under-kimono he was wearing. Axel looked down at himself, shocked that he wasn't wearing his black leather coat anymore. His boots were replaced by sandals and socks, and his tight pants had been replaced by baggy, flowing, skirt-like pants. Where could he possibly be?
The Flurry ran a hand through his fiery hair and looked around again. He quickly chose a path and strutted down it, gazing at all the buildings. He definitely wasn't in Betwixt and Between anymore.
He probably had been walking for about thirty minutes, and hadn't seen a single soul. What was with this place? Wherever he was, he wanted out! Axel gave an exasperated sigh and paused in his wanderings. Sensitive ears picked up the sound of a deep, booming voice followed by cheering. Number Eight broke into a sprint, dashing to the area where he heard the people.
The flame-haired male stopped short and gasped at the sight of a huge carnival. From where he was standing, he could easily make out many multi-colored booths. His emerald eyes also saw many other people dressed like he was currently. He carefully picked his way through the crowd, eyeing the booths as he passed. A delicious scent filled his nose and his stomach gave a low growl.
Axel followed his nose to an orange-colored booth run by a tall, bald man. He tilted his head. "What are you selling? It smells good." He inhaled deeply, his mouth watering.
"Dumplings. You want one?" the man asked, already pulling a stuffed dumpling off the grill. He wrapped it in a sort of paper and handed it to the redhead. Axel couldn't wait and sunk his teeth into the soft, doughy crust, letting all the spiced juice flow down his throat.
"Hey, Renji. What did you do with your sword? Normally it's at your waist." The bald man asked curiously, pointing at the dumpling-eater's white belt.
"And what happened to your tattoos? You normally like to show them off. What's with the sissy purple diamonds? Get tired of your freaky eyebrows?" he continued, smirking.
Axel growled, the air heating slightly around him. "Why do you call me Renji? My name's Axel, got it memorized? And what freaky eyebrows? I've only had the 'sissy diamonds'." He snarled, already pulling away from the booth. Dumplings or not, he wasn't going to stick around.
He stuffed the rest of the snack into his mouth and chewed quickly. He gulped it down and looked at the next booth that caught his eye. It was quite large with a black and a white square with an X and an O on them. He looked around, wondering what it was, and where he could enter.
"Step right up! Don't be shy! You! You look like a promising specimen. Want a try?" a high-pitched voice behind him crowed, making the Nobody whirl around. "Who...Who are you?" he asked, in shock over the weird-looking man with the white face and corncobs sticking out of his ears. The weird man scoffed.
"My my. Perhaps you've suffered from a case of amnesia. How interesting, but I'll humor you. I am Mayuri Kuratsuchi, Captain of Squad Twelve, and you were just joining, Renji." He answered, shoving 'Renji' into the line of waiting contestants. Axel glared at him, not liking being pushed into line.
"Watch it, you!" he snarled, clenching his ungloved fists. "Don't make me mad!"
The pale-faced man scoffed and waved a long, finger nailed hand. "Whatever. I've lost my interest." Axel watched him warily as the captain took his spot on a stage-like platform. The line in front of him began to move, and he was soon put onto the black-and-white board along with a scared-looking kid, a man who had no sense of style, and an orange-haired teenager. Orangy cast his eyes over toward the flame-haired man and offered him a hand. "Hey, Renji. May the best man win. By the way, what did you do to those tattoos? You had them five minutes ago. Did you put some cover-up on or something?"
Emerald eyes glittered dangerously. "I'm not Renji." He muttered under his breath. Was Renji a name given to all red-haired people here? His thoughts were interrupted by Mayuri's voice.
"First question. Daiguren Hyorinmaru is Toshiro Hitsugaya's Bankai."
Axel's eyes narrowed. What was a Bankai? Who was Toshiro Hitsugaya? He had to leap upwards quickly to avoid being sliced in two by Orangy's giant, black-and-white sword. "Jeez! What's your malfunction?!" he roared at the teenager. A wave of sand nearly blew him out of the board. He moaned and hastily got up on his feet only to have two bottles of smelly green liquid tossed onto his body. The stuff clung to his skin and it burned like crazy, dripping off of his black kimono.
"Time's up." Mayuri called, gazing over the contestants. Axel met his eye and to his surprise, the man smiled and nodded happily. Number Eight looked at the O he had been standing on.
Emerald eyes flicked back to the other contestants. That answer had just been pure luck. The redhead turned his attention back to his clothes. The green stuff still burned and was now starting to create muscle spasms. He moaned and tried to brush some of it off before the next question was announced.
"Next question. Soi Fon is the captain of Squad Two."
Axel growled in his throat. He didn't even know who Soi Fon was. He stood strong on his spot, knowing he had a fifty percent chance of getting it right. Unluckily, the three other contestants barreled toward him. The Nobody quickly crouched in a defense pose, ready to shove them off his square. The dark-haired kid came at him first, but Number Eight easily threw him back with a heavy kick in the ribs. The green-panted man came charging up next. The brunette dodged the first kick, but was caught in the side with a round-house kick, sending him flying over to the X. The last one was the orange-haired kid.
The Flurry took a breath as his sword swung at him. With the skill of a cat, he leapt into the air and came down upon the blade, trapping it between the floor and his foot. Axel smirked, then flew backwards as the sword was heaved upwards. He twisted, landing gracefully back on the O tile.
"Time's up." Peridot eyes swiveled to the man on the stage. "Correct." Mayuri congratulated to the redhead. Axel grinned. So far, his Nobody's luck was still holding. Quick eyes shot over the wounded contestants. They were still down, and only he and the teenager were still standing.
The Captain of the Six division stalked around the cheery festival, looking for his Lieutenant. Renji had run away from work to join the festival. Unacceptable. Byakuya narrowed his eyes, silently vowing some terrible punishment. As he passed Squad Eleven's dumpling booth, he looked over to the bald man.
"Madarame. You haven't seen Lieutenant Abarai pass through here, have you?"
A hand went up to scratch his bald head and his dark eyes glinted, tinged red by his eye markings. "Sure did. Wanted a dumpling. Left that way a huffy muttering something about not being Renji. You may want to take him into Division Four." He offered, met by the black-haired man's steely gaze.
"Thank you, Madarame. Your suggestion is dutily noted."
With a spin of his heel, and a whirl of his haori, the angry captain left the stand, heading in the way Ikkaku had been pointing. He was going to make Renji pay for making him go into a festival. A festival! Of all things! Byakuya growled, seeing a head of flame appear in a tan-roofed booth playing Mayuri's quiz game.
His strode quickened, wanting to catch his assistant captain off guard. Renji still hadn't noticed him as he moved in from behind him. With an arm as quick as a viper, Byakuya snatched his lieutenant's ear, pulling him away roughly.
"Hey! What's the big idea? Oww! Stop pulling on my ear!" the redhead yelled, trying to pull away, but the captain's grip held firm.
"You skipped out of work to join a festival. After you do your paperwork, you shall be punished." Kuchiki sighed, still dragging the feisty Soul Reaper into Sixth Barracks. He opened a door and shoved his 'lieutenant' inside. Byakuya closed the door and locked it. He turned stiffly and strode down the hallway into his own office, slamming the door shut.
Axel growled. First everyone mistook him for someone else, now he was forced to do paperwork? Not happening. His emerald eyes darted around the room, looking for some way he could escape. His eyes rested upon a small window viewing the outside. A grin appeared under his purple diamonds. That would do nicely.