(Sorry about the missed should be news post, I'll try to keep up on that in the future... T.T)
Rating: Teen/PG-13-15 (Mostly. I'll warn you for other ratings....)
Spoilers: Love 'em. Coudn't do this without 'em.
Characters/Pairings: BBS crew (Terra, Aqua, Ven, Xehanort) (Pair: Aqua/Ven and Xehan/Aqua)
Xehanort sat bolt upright in bed when the morning came, rolling out and dressing as fast as he could. He wanted OUT. This time, he planned ahead, taking a hat to hide his hair and some other imperfect clothes. Then, something else crossed his mind.
His tutors. Uh-oh… They would no doubt be looking harder for him than before. In fact, he'd forgotten to check in last night after all that work…
Oh well. They'd never even think to look in the city outside the walls. Much less in a back alley with a bunch of thieving teenagers… Xehanort still couldn't understand why they stole food. He had no comprehension of not having food. The palace had provided everything for the young prince all his life. Having to fight to survive wasn't even an idea he'd ever seen before, and so he simply filed it far into the back of his mind so that the strange, foreign thought didn't overwhelm his mind. Silver hair swinging wildly, Xehanort ducked out the hidden door in the back of the garden and out onto the street.
Tucking his hair up into the hat, (It felt weird) he glanced around, a little bit lost now that he had to retrace his fleet-footed steps of the day before. Eventually, he wandered into the slightly familiar alley, only to find it deserted. Taking a seat on one of the trio of crates towards the back, the prince crossed his arms and figured that now was as a good a time as any to learn patience, anyway.
Xehan spent a good deal of the next hour or so trying to not drift off into sleep. Eventually, he glanced up to see Terra and Aqua, followed by Ven, dart into the alley, the boys shoving a spare crate into the entry to ward off pursuit. Finally, Aqua glanced in his direction and blinked in surprise. Terra gave a snort.
"So you decided to show up anyway, huh?" Xehanort shrugged slightly.
"Might as well… You'd be surprised how boring the palace gets after a while…" Ven camped out on the last crate and smiled.
"Nice hat." Said hat slipped over Xehan's eyes just a bit, blocking the bright sunlight out, even though the alley had a roof of sorts formed from drying laundry from the floors of the buildings above. The bright colors still drew awe from the sheltered prince, still used to the dark colors of the courts.
"Uh, thanks, I guess…" Aqua smiled, putting a hand on Xehan's shoulder (And making him really glad for the hat, which hid his crimson blush.)
"You'll get used to it… Sooner or later…" Xehanort figured that anyone could get used to having a hand with those long fine fingers resting on their shoulder quite easily…
Oh, wait. She meant the bright sunlight. Nevermind. Xehan smiled anyway, ignoring Terra's distantly twitching eyebrow. The prince leaned back into the stone wall behind him, letting the hat fall off his head and onto his chest.
Terra's comment only jolted him slightly. "You know, for someone who lives among the roses, you do manage pretty well out here." The tone was seemingly meant both as an insult and a compliment. Ven snorted, and Xehanort realized that the small blond had contorted himself all the way around so that his feet were up on the wall and his spiky hair pointed almost straight at the ground. The prince's eyes widened. Ven tilted his head upwards, which looked distinctly odd and also smashed his hair against the side of the crate.
"What?" Xehanort shook his head slightly, his silver hair flying out of its simple tie again.
"Whatever…" Ven looked up at the sky and sighed. "It's really not usually this boring around here… We actually have to run around a lot. I'm surprised we've been able to stay here as long as we have, really…" A slightly cynical tone floated out of the boy's voice. "We're orphans, well, not Aqua but still… Terra and I don't have anywhere to go. No where to call home, and who would notice if we died tomorrow? Nobody, that's who. I hate it…" Xehan stared. "What? I don't like it, but it's the truest thing around here…"
Aqua shook her head, blue hair flying about in a brief mess before settling back on her shoulders. "Ven, don't say things like that. It's hard enough to deal with Terra when he goes off, not you too."
"Sorry… I don't know why it hit me so hard there…" Xehan glanced away, feeling bad. He was the reason all these thoughts of starvation and death came into their minds, he, the pampered prince, who had never worked a day in his life… Well, he decided, that was going to change.
He'd always been better at learning things by doing them than by the words his tutors rambled on about anyway. Xehanort raised his head slightly. "You know what?" All three looked at him.
"What?" The prince stood up, feeling the most like a prince he ever had, here off in a back alley in the middle of the city, as far from the courts, emotionally and mentally, as could be. He raised his head high, prideful in this small place, of this small place, that felt more like home than the palace ever could.
"I'll care." And that was enough.