Hi, you may have seen and read the old version of this story, Devil's Dose of Saccharine, last year, and may be wondering what happened to it. Well, I deleted it, as I came up with a (hopefully) better story. To those who didn't read that, I'm glad you're reading this one. This time I intend to finish what I've started here.
Regarding ANs, I'll not do too many, however this fanfic is separated into 'cours' like an anime series—24 chapters—with a starting date of when this first chapter goes live until 6 months later. Then, there will be a couple of months intermission so I can focus on getting the details right for the last 12 chapters that will come out in Winter 2021/22. If I don't update for more than a week, I'll drop more chapters in one week to catch up with the schedule. I hope you'll enjoy reading this, and thank you for your support (views, favourites, follows, all that good stuff).
I do not own the cover art for this story, and I will take it down should the author find this and not accept such usage.
A Kingdom Hearts fanfiction by Szelia
Conceptualised: c. 2014
Started: 8th May 2020
Restarted: 18th February 2021
April is unusually cold this year.
I look out of my windows, only to be met with someone else's window on the other side of the complex. The person there waves at me every morning. I wave back in reluctance. Third floor bullshit, I swear.
It's better than nothing, though.
Leaving my hair to gel and spike up, I crane my neck downwards; my eyes widen at the sight of frosted sakura covering the iced streets like sweet cereal. I smile, then focus my attention on the wheezing boiler and flick the switch up before it boils over and melts everything around it, but it gets jammed; I dispose of the water in the sink before looking at my fingers: scalded abominations that make me wince.
'Dumbest fucking thing,' I say, gifting the boiler a sharp stare. Carefully, I pick it up, and then toss it into the bin where several other failed appliances remain in their dense electronic graveyard. A porcelain mug filled with ocha in the way topples over when I accidentally brush it and spills across the drainer. My annoyance growing, I reluctantly grab a sponge and clean up, then spray the kitchen area with a sweet smell. 'Piece of shit. Glad you stopped working.'
After a few minutes, my anger calms and I open the door to my flat, only to be greeted with a chilling wind and my own shivering body, despite the several layers I have on. I don't own any gloves, so I clasp my hands together, blow into them, rub them together, and slip them into my pockets.
'Ah, tatami, tatami,' I mumble, fumbling down the complex's staircase, repeatedly warming up my hands (but this doesn't do anything, because the railings are that good kind of cold—has a kind of bite, stickiness. I prefer grasping it firmly and sliding my hands down it, covering my hand with slush-ice). 'Ta-fucking-tatami, nothing works.'
But at least it's a good day.
'That it is,' I say, my mind blank as I reach the ground floor.
Craning my neck for the last time that morning, I discover someone I've never seen before. I mean, well, it makes sense. Their seifuku looks far too clean, kept, and pure to have been used, mirroring their pale complexion.
'It's rude . . . to ignore someone,' she says, shying away.
Brought back into our shared reality, I examine her from head to toe and raise an eyebrow.
She covers her face with her hands.
'It's also rude to butt into someone's train of thought,' I reply, walking closer to her. 'Should think twice about ruining someone's morning. You know, you're a strange one.'
Then again, I'm strange too. But I'm also someone who doesn't need to talk to anyone, especially strangers.
So why am I?
'Says . . .' she begins, but I guess her train of thought collapses when speaking.
I really can't deal with shy ones. Then again, I can't deal with the open ones either.
'You're . . . you're the one with dirty clothes,' the black-haired girl finally manages to get out.
'Uso,' I quickly fire back, confused, but when I look down to my clothes, I realise that I'm very much in the wrong as much as she is in the right, with a white shirt covered in a sickly dose of ocha. 'Well, fuck. I didn't notice that.'
An innocent giggle escapes her lips and for a second I find myself trapped in amongst that sound. Pointing upwards, I give a half-hearted smile and then sigh. 'Can . . . that question wait? I need to, well, you know.'
She clocks her head to the side, which makes me feel like she's not going to wait for me, so I take my time trekking up the external set of stairs to get to my flat and getting changed into a fresh gakuran.
Before leaving once more, I look around my flat for anything that will make me want to clean it up—I'd much prefer that than talking to some fresher, and also going to school—but there's nothing, like every other day. I resign myself to unhappy memories and thoughts until I reach the road, where the tentative girl has, surprisingly, been waiting for me as she tiptoes on the white lines.
I stop in front of her and clear my throat. 'Better?'
She nods and we start walking together to Niigata Kingdom Gakkō, one of many high schools in the city, but the only one sitting right next to the coast. With each step I feel the warmer sea breeze intensifying as it replaces the weirdly cold spring chills that currently inhabit the lower western parts of the city.
'You're wondering what "it" is?' I ask, keeping my eyes on the path in front of us, though I can tell she glances at me now and again.
'It's a good day,' I say, bringing my hands up to my mouth to warm them up again. 'Fucking cold, though.'
'You think?' she says in a happy tune like a chirping bird. 'It's nice.'
When I look back at her, a huge smile is plastered on her face. 'She really is a strange one . . .'
'Talking to yourself?'
'I was?' I ask, surprised at the both of us. I find it hard to believe I talk to myself; equally enough, I find it difficult to believe she's keeping track of our conversation. I know I'm not. 'Well, erm, what's your name?'
Her infectious giggle brings me down to her level, making me let out a slight chuckle.
'Umino. Umino Xion,' she says, deeply bowing. 'It's nice to meet you'—she lifts her head up, revealing devilish intent behind her smirk—'Vanitas-senpai.'
I take a step back, my thoughts slightly clustered. 'Do you know me?'
The rest of the way to school is silent with an eerie wind following us. I'm not so scared or weak that I speed up or slow down, but it gets me thinking: she is familiar. Face, hair, height . . . it reminds me of someone in my year. Someone I'd rather not think about.
Before we part ways, I tell her, 'You know what, Umino-san? It was a good day. Until you showed up.'
'Why?' she says, taking her shoes off and placing them into her locker.
I glance back and forth at her and the icy sakura outside. 'I could tell you, but then I'd have to zip your mouth shut. And I don't like trusting others with the things I have to deal with.'
Slamming my locker shut, feeling a sweat come about, I hurry to Class 3-B without looking back.