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thesimulacrum in desaiuniversity

Who: Zidane and Roxas
What: A friendly meeting.
When: Backdated to the day before Valentine's Day.
Where: A grocery store and the dorms.
Warnings: Tail-touching, omg. D8


Let it be known Roxas did not like grocery stores.

He'd always end up buying way too much, or downright forgetting a bunch of crap that was absolutely necessary... or at least more necessary than the stuff he'd bought too much of. Not to mention the fact that Roxas already felt too... er, feminine as it was, what with him being here for the sake of getting supplies to make another batch of cookies for Axel's Valentine's present. This, also joined with the idea that his job was cleaning at a hotel like a maid, caused him to become a little grumpy as he swung his shopping basket one-handed down a random aisle where he hoped to find the flour.

If the blond ever found out the true meaning of Valentine's Day, considering what he was doing, his head was very likely to explode.

Zidane's food supply had once again dropped to a dangerous minimum. He'd been busy lately, and at the end of the day he was just too tired out to go shopping. He couldn't quit his routine exercises, as Baku would not be impressed if Zidane came home out of shape - or starving to death, for that matter. Which was why Zidane finally decided to postpone his tree climbing for another time so he could replenish the cupboards in his dorm. Plus, little snacks and whatnot kept him energized during classes, so those were of definite importance.

He turned down the aisle that he remembered to have pancake mix; something that he couldn't live without on Saturday mornings. There was another person down the aisle, someone Zidane recalled spotting at school, but he said nothing and squatted down to choose between the many varieties of pancake mixes, his tail patting the floor behind him in thought.

Remembering with a slight smile how he'd ended up spilling his last bag of flour all over the kitchen floor, Roxas wasn't paying much attention to anything around him during that time. So it came as a small surprise to suddenly have a person squatting down near him. He'd been quite lost in his thoughts, making him even more astonished to find a tail bouncing across the floor like it had a mind of its own, the tail itself belonging to this... guy. The wheels turning in his mind, he figured that this must be the young man Axel had mentioned once or twice over the net.

Not being one to talk to strangers unless it was required, however, Roxas proceeded to make an attempt at examining the different brands of flour rather than staring transfixed at that tail. But... but it was so cute. It reminded him of his precious kitten's, the way it moved like that. No. No, he had to resist. He turned away until he couldn't see it any more, hoping that would do the trick. Mentally he kicked himself for even thinking it was cute in the first place.

It never really bothered Zidane when he felt people watching his tail, not in this world, anyway. Back home it was completely normal, so it had taken a little while for him to get used to the stares, pointing fingers and whispers. Honestly, he didn't know what was so weird about it. It wasn't like he had two butts or anything. Besides, he'd seen weirder things here in Desai.

Finally, after much debate, Zidane chose the best brand of mix instead of the cheapest. He dropped two boxes of it into his basket and returned to upright position. With two hands full - one with a list of things to buy, the other with the basket - he used that beloved tail to push a few annoying strands of hair out of his eyes. Moving on down the aisle, his tail swung freely, consequently whapping the other man as he passed. Out of common courtesy and natural habit (that had been growing since arriving at the school), he quickly pivoted on one foot and gave a small apology.

Roxas made a squeaking noise when the tail hit him, embarrassingly enough. It hadn't hurt - hell, it hadn't even surprised him - he was just struck tenfold with the urge to touch it, causing the weird sound to exit his mouth of its own accord. The keyblader spun around to face the stranger, trying not to blush as he answered. "Ah, it's okay-- I'm sorry for getting in your way." He dropped a bag of flour into his basket. Roxas was on the verge of walking away in the opposite direction when he blurted out without thinking, "Hey, why do you have a tail?" ...He'd sounded almost casual. Almost.

Quite simply, Zidane grinned. From other males he'd always expected perverted comments and such, not questions like the one the other had asked, and definitely not as polite. He'd never been asked as to why he had a tail, either. Shrugging as if it were just any other normal situation - which it was, really - he allowed the tail to swish about like it owned the place. "Oh, I just woke up this morning and thought, 'Why not have a new limb today'?"

"Zidane," he replied, tail slowing to the calm, natural pace it usually swung at. He held back another grin at the man's apparent nervousness. Why this stranger had any reason to be around Zidane was a mystery to him, but he chose to ignore it to be polite. "And don't worry about asking," the tail whipped side to side playfully, a friendly smile on his face. "You're better than some people I've talked to."

Admittedly, Roxas was relaxing bit by bit as they conversed until he realized he didn't really have a reason to be agitated. Well, he did, considering how much he longed to snuggle that tail. He'd just have to make up for it with his kittens once he got back to his dorm, though, because this kid was nice enough... nicer than other people he'd met in Desai, anyhow. He turned to face him at last, taking in a calming breath. "Why? What have other people said about it?" Roxas couldn't help being curious now. If Axel had indeed met him, he no doubt would have made some kind of kinky suggestion about the tail, and he smiled inwardly at the thought.

Zidane let out an amused chuckle, looking down at his basket of goods. He didn't want to repeat a great deal of comments that were made about his tail. "I'm sure you could use your imagination for that, but," he looked back up at the other's face, now somewhat embarrassed. "Some guy keeps calling me 'Monkey Boy' because of it. That's.. probably the only repeatable thing I've heard so far."

"Oh, well... I think it's cool," he admitted, which did not portray even half of his thoughts. What Roxas hadn't told him was that he thought it was the most delightful appendage he'd ever seen on a human being in his life (this without a hint of sick thoughts on his mind) and that he'd be borderline obsessed with it if he wasn’t so damn ashamed of his feelings.

"My name's Roxas, by the way." He grabbed a new bag of sugar for something to do with his hands, regardless of whether he needed it or not.

"Roxas?" This must have been that 'Rox Ass' person he'd heard about over the network. From what he saw, Zidane took it that Roxas didn't like the nickname. "Nice to finally meet you!" Instead of holding his hand out for a handshake, he held up the tail. Prodding and whapping and getting people to poke at it always amused Zidane a little, mainly because there was a different reaction every time. Besides, he sometimes knew when people wanted nothing else than to feel it. Hell, it got the same treatment with shampoo just as his hair did. He liked the soft fluffiness.

And there was the tail. He couldn't not touch it now that it had been placed in front of him like this, so Roxas, hand already itching to obey, took the tail and shook it lightly. It turned out to be just as soft as it appeared. It felt kinda weird to actually touch it when it belonged to the boy in front of him... but he still enjoyed it immensely, of course. "Nice to meet you too, Zidane." He smiled brightly at the other blond, opening up further now that he'd proven to be a decent person to Roxas. He was still anti-social, however, so he kept from making any more conversation and let go of the tail rather quickly. He'd bonded with Zidane well so far, sure... but he still doubted this relationship would go any further than false smiles in the halls and casual 'hello's'.

...He was too negative for his own good, sometimes.

Zidane grinned back, lowering his tail and glancing at his shopping list. He appeared to have gotten everything written down, so he shoved the paper into his pocket and began taking slow, small steps backwards. "Well, I'm pretty much done here, so," he tilted his head curiously at Roxas. "We should get together sometime, hey?" In Zidane's mind, the rule was if someone comes into willing and/or offered contact with the tail, they're stuck with it. Meaning, Zidane wished to befriend the other, seeing as how well they connected at first. He needed more friends, gosh darn it, and if Roxas was negative, Zidane was quite the opposite.

His smile wilted a little, as though he didn't want the other to leave so soon. Roxas quickly shook off the feeling, and the dying of his expression, reversing it back into a smile. He rearranged the basket under one arm; he was about to wave goodbye to the other when he realized he'd collected the gist of what he needed. Actually, all he'd needed was some milk, flour and cookie cutters, as well as some extra cat food, so he was finished too. Without any more thought about the matter he followed after Zidane to the same till to pay for his goods.

"I'm done too; I just had to get this stuff for the cookies I'm making." Now Roxas found himself longing to make some sort of conversation with the boy.

"Cookies?" Zidane said, putting his items on the counter and getting his wallet out afterwards. He gave the money and a friendly smile to the cash register lady after she scanned in all the items, and handed Zidane two bags full of groceries that were going to have to last the week and hopefully the next. "I love cookies. What type of cookies are ya making?" And there went the meaning of 'cookies' altogether after thinking and saying it one too many times.

"I was thinking sugar cookies," replied Roxas as the cashier ran his items through the till with several monotone beeps. "I made him chocolate chip cookies last time... and since tomorrow's Valentine's Day I thought they should be special this time." Meet Roxas: King of Oblivious, who didn't even realize that it was a romantic time of the month, when giving his best friend, a MAN, heart-shaped cookies was most definitely a big no-no. He didn't seem to notice the lady bagging his goods giving him an oddly furtive glance as she eavesdropped on him, either.

Yes, he was revealing a lot to this near-stranger, but he was just grateful to have somebody he could open up to for once besides Axel and Byakuya.

Well, Zidane certainly would never give cookies to another man, not just for the sake of giving cookies. Unless it was Hana, then it was alright to bend the rules a little; Hana was Zidane's first 'BFF' (and roommate) he'd made since entering Desai. Thinking that Roxas did know what the holiday was about, Zidane just smiled and decided that if Roxas was comfortable with it, then Zidane was, too. "Sugar cookies are great. When they're baked properly, anyway." He shuddered as the nostalgic taste of Blank's failed attempt at sugar cookies spurred to life in his mouth.
"I've never had 'em before. I hope Axel likes them, at least," he confided in a quiet voice as the lady handed him his bag, still with that odd expression on her face. "Are they sweet?" He'd guessed they would be, when they were called sugar cookies. But he'd been wrong before, and he didn't want Axel the Sweet Tooth to be disappointed. And whoops, he realized as he peered into his bag a moment before making towards the door; he'd just revealed who his would-be Valentine was to Zidane without meaning to.
"Axel?" Zidane snorted back a laugh. Out of the one or two encounters he had with that man, Zidane could safely admit that he didn't care for the redhead. "I really hate that guy, but," he gave Roxas an encouraging grin as they stepped outside. "Sugar cookies are sweet, yeah. Just don't mix up the salt and the sugar."

Zidane gave a short laugh, remembering his cooking experiences with friends back in Lindblum. He couldn't wait to see them all again. "Salt-filled cookies, exploding cookies, undefinable cookies.." The memories were making his voice go a little funny, so to calm himself he zipped up his jacket, and wrapped his tail around his waist, as it was getting a little chilled from hanging about loosely. "Food always comes out better when I cook alone, though."

Roxas thought upon that, wondering if it could be true. He'd been fairly positive that any time he tried to cook by himself he'd end up with a fire and crispy articles of what had once been food. He shrugged. "I dunno... I'm a pretty crappy cook in any situation." Most nights he'd eat out, with or without Axel, or at the hotel's restaurant, so he did next to no cooking for himself whenever he could. "But I can't say I've made exploding cookies before."

The school was in sight now, and Zidane was surprisingly disappointed that their conversation would soon be coming to an end. "Trust me, you do not wanna get close to exploding cookies." He chewed on his tongue, remembering the feeling. "They look all delicious and stuff, then you put it in your mouth and wham! Your tongue's falling off and the gag reflex proves that it works."

He laughed at the idea, glad that his cookies didn't have that kind of effect on people, at the very least. "They sound a bit painful, yeah," Roxas agreed, his footsteps approaching the school much faster when he had somebody to talk to along the way. "... Axel'd be pretty amused if you told him that story." The idea of explosions enthralled that guy more than anything in the world, it seemed, so why not exploding cookies?

Zidane grinned widely as he shoved the school doors open with a shoulder, tail unraveling from his waist as they entered the warm building. He went for the elevator, though he went slow to savour their bonding time. "I'll get my friend to send the recipe, then you could make them as a gag gift for Axel!"

The offer sounded tempting, but Roxas highly doubted the pyro would ever forgive him for giving him such a thing. It had the capabilities of turning Axel away from sweets for good. He followed through the doors after Zidane, switching the bag to his other hand to give his right one a rest as they went down the hall side-by-side. "Nah, I couldn't do that to him." Shaking his head, he stopped with Zidane in front of the elevator. "What floor are you on?"

If Roxas couldn't, maybe Zidane could. Though he doubted Axel would ever accept cookies from him, nor would Zidane ever have a reason to make the redhead any. "Ah, well." He shrugged and smiled, then took a moment to remember what floor his room was. "Uuhh, three."

"Really? Me too!" Roxas thumbed the button multiple times until a ding resounded and the door lumbered open. "Room 306B... but I don't have any roommates now, except Axel, temporarily, until they get the first floor dorms fixed up." He stepped inside with the tailed boy, and it occurred to him that he hadn't even thought about the thing until just then. Maybe touching his tail in the supermarket had made it easier to deal with. Though Roxas still thought it was completely made of awesome, and promptly went back to watching the limb’s movements as though hypnotized.

Zidane noticed the tail-watching, and he decided to show off his favourite extra limb as best he could. Casually, he leaned against the vibrating elevator wall, swinging his tail with vigour and purposely smacking Roxas numerous times. Normally he'd just keep it still and act like it wasn't being stared at, but with Roxas' entertaining reactions, Zidane couldn't just not do anything.

Roxas laughed at this, snatching aimlessly at the fuzzy tail like a cat would do with a toy. "I swear I'll chop the damn thing off." He failed at sounding grumpy, or the least bit threatening for once, humor still outwardly showing on his demeanor. He managed to grab it by the end just as the door opened again. Then, embarrassed, Roxas let go in case somebody witnessed his childish actions.

"I'd like to keep my tail attached, thanks!" Zidane replied with a grin. Unlike the other, Zidane didn't worry, nor did he care, if anybody saw them. The tail gave Roxas' face one last whap as they stepped out the elevator, shifting the grocery bags to dig through large pockets for the key to his dorm. Upon finding it, he wiggled it into the doorknob before turning to Roxas again. "Good luck with those cookies!"

The blond countered with one of his rare, almost blindingly adorable smiles, scratching at the back of his head with his one free hand. "Thanks." Roxas took a step away; his dorm was situated much further down the hall. "If the fire alarms go off at any time tonight, that'll be me."

He gave the tail another lazy bat before waving a goodbye to Zidane. "I'll... see you later, then?" He was walking away slowly backwards down the hall, surprisingly relaxed about his new relationship with the other boy now, and rather proud of this fact to boot. He wouldn't have even asked such a question if he thought they wouldn't speak to each other again. The thing was, he did think so, so he continued to beam at him in that entirely open way. "If the cookies aren't crap, you can come over and try some. I mean, if you want to." There was a last respite where negative thoughts overcame him again-- but for once it didn't stay for very long.

Zidane laughed and nodded, shoving the door open with his foot. "I'll come over even if the cookies are crap. It'd make more horrible cooking experience stories to talk about!" This new friendship was definitely something Zidane was going to look forward to for the rest of the school year, and hopefully decades after that.

As if Zidane had cemented Roxas' approval with his last statement, the keyblader widened his grin. This was true... but he really wanted these cookies to be decent enough - exceptional enough, even - for Axel to enjoy. He still misunderstood the significance of the fourteenth of February, apparently. He'd just assumed it was something like Christmas, only smaller. "Have a nice Valentine's Day!" He said, waving once more at his new friend.

With that he turned on his heel, and with a very un-Roxas-like bounce in his step returned to his suite, a lot less grumpy about tomorrow than he would have been otherwise.
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