||[Sep. 30th, 2010|10:55 pm]
Dignified Squee-- Writing Community of the Insane
Title: It's a Small World (After All)|
Fandom: Route 29-verse, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Persona 4
Characters: Ventus and Rise Kujikawa
Notes: I should never write again. Really.
Summary: Ven shows Rise Disney Town and re-teaches her the joy of dorking.
Rise took in her new surroundings with an open mouth and an expression that Ven would have called "Deer in the Headlights", if he'd known that was the proper name for it. She certainly looked frozen enough, but he was confident she'd adjust quickly. His friend had always been remarkably adaptable, no matter how difficult or ridiculous the situation was.
It was ridiculous. It was beyond ridiculous. Rise had had enough experience with the world through the television and her adventures in Johto not to accept the existence of multiple worlds, and Ven had been escorting her to all of the ones he'd been to, but this one was by far the oddest.
Odder than befriending a tiny golden fairy (and subsequently finding herself floating and yelping about it until Ven and Peter Pan gave her a brief flying lesson).
Odder than meeting seven tiny men, all of whom became fond of her within seconds when she smiled at them. "Because you're Rise," Ven had said simply, grumbling, "but they sure are rude when it's just me, and I said I didn't want their diamonds!"
Odder than watching Ven and another scrawny kid race each other to smash pots in a giant Greek coliseum, and later having a dark-haired boy waltz right up to her, and manage to simultaneously ask her out and scold Ven for "keeping such a cute girl hidden"; once her friend stopped stammering and Rise stopped laughing, all three boys teamed up to give her some fighting pointers.
She knew odd. Rise, however, had never once felt as though she'd shown up in Disneyland, but the entire town looked so cartoonish and exaggerated and festive and there was a-- a horse walking around in clothes like that was entirely normal to do, but-- was that really a horse? It could have been someone in costume, but she didn't see any zippers from here, not like what Teddie had. She squinted, tilting her head first to the left, and then to the right, as if this would make the sight any less confusing. It didn't. For that matter, for a town, where were all the people? Even if she saw a few animals, it didn't look very populated at all.
Was it really a mascot? She supposed something that looked like an amusement park would have mascots, but she... hadn't really been to one, other than for brief appearances and performances for the public, so she couldn't say for sure. You usually went to things like that with your family, or friends, or a boyfriend, but she'd--
"H-huh?" When she blinked, the horse was gone, blotted out by Ven's concerned blue eyes and his equally worried expression.
He stepped back, resting his hands behind his head and giving her a light grin. "You were staring off into space for awhile there. Are you okay?" The grin faded in favor of a more guilty-looking frown. "I know we've done a lot of running around today, and you might be getting tired--"
"Nope," came the breezy denial. When Ven's frown didn't fade immediately, Rise moved forward to poke his forehead. "Honestly, Ven, my idol schedule's more packed than this, and that was work. I've still got a lot of energy left, I was just... thinking."
It didn't take much to reassure him when he was the type to believe unwaveringly in his friends, and his grin returned. "Well, hey, that's more than Aqua says I do! What's on your mind?"
"You'll laugh." Rise shook her head, pigtails flying and lips pursed in what was about to become a pout, had Ven not suddenly dropped a hand on her head and effectively distracted her. He kept it there for a moment, just staring at it as if he was debating whether or not to ruffle it, like Terra did to him so often. But girls were supposed to be treated with more delicacy. He settled for (very gently) fluffing her bangs.
"I won't," he said simply, and meant it.
She peered up at him and drew her eyebrows together, but whatever effect she was going for was ruined as he teasingly ruffled her hair once again. "I was just thinking that this town reminded me of a theme park," she muttered, and gave his own hair a swift, retaliatory mussing until he squawked indignantly and jumped back to restore it to its proper state of disarray. "I've never actually been to one just to have fun... so it feels a little weird now." Not to mention that she really did feel as though she were in a cartoon. Or in someone's TV dungeon. She knew that mess was over and done with, but she couldn't help but feel a little wary.
... In a place called Disney Town, most likely the Happiest Place on... this world. If she could have rolled her eyes at herself, she would have.
"Well," Ven said brightly, not at all liking his companion's pensive air; everything was always better when Rise smiled. "Today's your lucky day! I've only been here a couple of times myself, but I'll give you a look around! And you'd better believe me when I say that we--" He jabbed a thumb at his chest, then pointed it at her. "-- are gonna have fun today! Just you wait, Rise!"
"Actually, don't wait. Let's just get started now!" True to his word (and perhaps sensing that Rise was still trying to take all of this in), he grasped her hand and took off at a quick jog-- simple enough to keep up with, but no meandering for either of them.
"Afternoon, Ven and little missy!" called the horse to the both of them as they went past. "Stoppin' by to check out the place? We haven't seen any monsters lately, so rest easy!"
"Glad to hear it, Horace!" Ven called back-- while Rise did her best not to stare, and kept up an inner mantra of Disney, this is Disney, the animals are definitely going to be talking, and this isn't going to be weird to anyone else except for you, GET USED TO IT. "Hey, Rise, let's try Rumble Racing first! It's great if you don't get hit by tornadoes!"
"T-- tornadoes?! Are you crazy!? Ven, that's not something to be happy about, those are kind of natural disasters--"
"I bet they'd let you ride with me, it's not like you're heavy or anything--"
"You're not listeniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing..." Rise's wail petered out as they gained distance from the curiously observing Horace Horsecollar.
"Weeell," he remarked to himself, "dunno who that girl was, but if she's got that much energy, she'll do just fine with that one."
Rise's stamina was nothing to scoff at, and it served her well through the races (which she spent mostly clinging to Ven and calling out warnings about approaching tornadoes and racers, since her first attempt at riding a Keyblade on her own had sent her falling off of it five seconds in).
And Fruitball, in which they'd first played against a duo of chipmunks, a group of Unversed, and then against each other. Three watermelons, six apples, and five bunches of grapes later, Rise was wobbling badly from a pineapple to the head and a frantically apologizing Ven had stumbled over a banana peel in the process of checking on her and almost landed flat on his face.
("Told you... my aim's deadly," Rise gasped out, having narrowly won the round with several scattered grapes, but also panting hard.
"T-total fluke," Ven retorted just as breathlessly, and then they looked at each other and burst out laughing.)
And Ice Cream Beat, where Rise really shone. She'd gotten used enough to talking animals by this point so she could greet Huey, Dewey, and Louie with the friendly ease she would have used on any human children. All it took was a mention of ice cream and rhythm, and she'd lit up brighter than Tinkerbell. Soon enough, they had her perched up on the machine, ready and eager to get started once Ven was done explaining how it worked.
("... And that's how you do it," he finished. "Ready to give it a shot?"
Rise grinned at him, her brown eyes dancing in challenge. "Wanna bet I can do it with my eyes closed?"
Ven learned the true skill of an idol that day.)
The sun was just considering setting as they settled on the edge of the square's stage with ice cream in hand.
"So how was it?" Ven looked over at his friend, who was intently scrutinizing her Snow Bear ice cream and just as solemnly testing one of the ears.
Rise would have replied positively, but she found herself instantly distracted by her ice cream's flavor. "... It's tofu!"
"It... tastes like tofu," she continued, staring at her chosen treat with the look of someone who'd just discovered the emergence of an endangered species. "How do you do that? I mean, you'd use momen for cooking, but this isn't exactly cooking, it's more like mixing and freezing, right, so-- maybe it's silken? I didn't think they had tofu here!"
Ven stared, a little surprised by Rise's surprise and previously unknown knowledge about... tofu. "You sure know a lot about it, don't you?"
The look she gave him was a sheepish one, accompanied by pink cheeks. "My grandma ran a tofu store, so I learned a lot from her. It's not something you think an idol would learn, huh? But she said I was like tofu, too... looks fragile, but it's resilient. Stands out or blends in." She snorted softly. "I don't know about that. It's a little embarrassing, but tofu's some pretty amazing stuff, and I'm--"
"Even more amazing!" Ven interjected immediately, swiping some of her ice cream with a finger to try it for himself. "And your grandma's right, Rise. Except for maybe a few things." His grin only continued to grow. "First off, you don't look fragile, you look just like someone with a whole lot of strength. It's just that they're looking for someone with a ton of muscle, like... like Terra. I had problems with that, too, but I'll get there!" His joking grimace and determined pose drew an answering smile from her. "Anyone who knows you also knows just how strong you are. And I don't know what she means by this 'blending in' stuff. I bet you anything if you were in a room crowded with people, I'd find you in an instant. Of course you stand out, you're Rise."
Rise had learned quite some time ago that she could respond to compliments and flirtatious actions without so much as breaking a sweat, but with Ven, he genuinely meant every word he said. He wasn't saying it just to win her over. He really believed it. Because of that, acting any kind of teasing or flirtatious would have just felt wrong. She couldn't lightly wave off his words.
The blond was nodding to himself now. "And the last thing... your grandma says you're like tofu, but I think you're more like this ice cream." He offered his cone to her: Honeybunny, if she remembered right. When she blinked at him and cautiously took a lick, it was to discover that it was an interesting mixture of apples and honey.
"Like this one?"
"Yeah." Ven held the cone in place. "I guess tofu's great and all, and I'm not gonna argue about you being resilient, but this one's sweeter. And it's pretty cute, too."
He said this with no hesitation or embarrassment whatsoever, and completely missed the flustered squeak as his friend's head jerked in surprise and she ended up with ice cream on and up her nose. He did see the end result, though. "H-hey, are you okay?"
"Fine!" Rise said hurriedly, wiping the ice cream off. "I-I'm fine!"
"Are you sure...? Ice cream's pretty cold, and getting it up your nose probably--"
"I had fun today!"
It was rushed, and completely unrelated to the (highly embarrassing, as far as she was concerned) topic at hand, but it served its purpose. Ven looked at first startled, then hopeful, and finally positively exuberant. "You did? Really?"
Rise tipped her head back and nodded. "We made a lot of good memories today, didn't we? It feels like I was able to forget about everything else, even if it was just for a little while, and just focus on the here and now. It's been awhile since I've been able to do that... so thanks, Ven. I'm glad I got to do all of this with you."
Ven (in the manner of all teenage boys) had managed to scarf down the rest of his ice cream in the time it took her to finish speaking, and he hopped nimbly off the stage and swept into a knightly bow, as if he was addressing a princess instead of Rise. The effect was destroyed immediately by the big, dorky grin that had spread across his face.
"Hey, it was an honor and a pleasure. I had a lot of fun with you, too, Rise."
And there was her smile, not one fashioned for a stage or an audience, but Rise's true one.
"You know," she said thoughtfully, sitting there for a moment longer until she'd finished her ice cream. He was waiting patiently, arms lifted to help her off the stage, which she accepted. "I think you're more like that flavor of yours." And she waited. Sure enough, with a bit of a stammer--
"Riiiiise! Y-you don't call guys cute!"
"I do when it's true!" Victory was hers as he sulked.
Or so she thought.
"Man, and here I was going to let you visit the Queen before we left..."
"Whaaaaat? You mean Minnie?! I want to see her-- wait, but not like this, I'm a mess--"
"Well, you do still have some ice cream left on your nose."
"But you look just fine to me!"
Five minutes later, there was no clear winner in their banter, two hands were clasped together, and Ven was confidently leading the way to Queen Minnie as Rise hummed along with the Mickey March theme cycling through the air.
That was just how they were, and neither of them would have changed the other for anything.
Rise did vow that she was going to find some way to fluster Ven to the moon and back, though.