Here's the first chapter of Kiki's adventures in the Disney 'verse. Enjoy!
It was late at night when Kiki heard the voices. She figured it was Chrono, but upon realizing that there was more than just one voice, and that they weren't actually speaking to her, she figured they were the voices of many people along different timelines, the same snatches of conversation that she'd heard in Chrono's world, right before he'd shown her the silver tree.
No, that's still not right, she thought fussily. The voices were speaking in hushed tones, and it wasn't many voices speaking, but two. One was familiar to her, the other nostalgic in an odd way, as though it was a combination of characteristics from the voices of people from her past. It was decidedly male, though. It was sweet, seemed to contain a smile, but oh, if only she knew who it belonged to!
She did a quick inventory check of herself; arms and legs were there, functioning, and she was breathing. Okay, so this wasn't watch related. She could sense the watch, just beneath her shirt, ticking comfortingly, constantly away. Her face was against something soft, and it smelled like nothing. No, not nothing, like her; a scent so familiar it didn't register. Her pillow. She was curled up beneath her blanket on her bed. Wait, her bed wasn't this rough. A couch? She couldn't do much more with smell or touch without moving, so she went back to sound.
Okay, breathing. Apart from the voices, there was breathing. She dared not hold her breath to better count the other people in the room by the intake of air into their lungs, but if she listened carefully... Two. Two other people on top of those speaking, and their breathing patterns were both steady and slow. She recognized them both: Taylor's was one, calm and relaxed, so different from his usual demeanour. The other was Andrew's, a bit faster because of his age, bound to slow as he grew up. She could imagine the looks on both their faces, the slight smile that Andrew wore in sleep, as long as he wasn't having a nightmare, and Taylor's face peaceful, finally not scowling down at her.
Kiki, don't think of that! Figure out what's going on! she told herself. Okay, so her brothers were asleep in the same room, two people with interesting voices were speaking quietly, and she was sleeping - er, had been sleeping on a couch with her pillow under her head. She could sense the back of the couch behind her in the way that she always knew things were there in the dark; that is, she somehow felt the matter when in close enough proximity to it. The voices were from behind her, so it was safe to open her eyes and look around. Moving was still not an option, because she didn't want to alert anyone to the fact that she was awake and processing the current situation. It was pitch black.
What had happened? Mocha had been over, right? Yes, she'd dragged her over to cook something for them all. Taylor had admitted that he wouldn't throw up after eating it, which pretty much meant it was delicious. They'd then watched a movie while Andrew inhaled his third, (or was it fourth?) helping of food, and the boys had fallen asleep near the end of the movie. Kiki had opted for sleeping on the couch, and Mocha had decided to do a bit of stargazing from the bench under the window.
So that must be her voice speaking. A soft voice which held the potential to be a clear alto at normal volume, or a high tenor or soprano if she so chose. But right now it was a barely perceptible whisper. Some people, when they whispered, could be quieter yelling. Mocha's whisper made all the noise of a slight breeze through new leaves. If you weren't listening for it, you wouldn't know it was there.
Well, Kiki was listening now.
"Why her, Peter? Why now?"
"I need her watch," the mysterious character at the window murmured.
"Well I can see that," Mocha whispered back, the last word hardly more than her mouth moving to form it. "You're a teenager, Peter."
"There's something wrong at home. Even Hook is acting strangely."
"So the question is, why is time passing in Neverland?" Mocha wondered.
Any desire to be stealthy was gone as Kiki vaulted over the back of the couch and and tackled Mocha out the open window.
"Neverland?!" Kiki shrieked, gripping Mocha's shoulders with fierce strength. Had she misheard? Was Mocha really talking about the Neverland? Well, the girl did technically contain all the stories within her top hat, (or necklace, or earring, or whatever it was she decided to turn it into for the day,) but why would she be speaking to Peter Pan outside? Why would she not know something was wrong, but still remove the character from their story momentarily to chat? Kiki was just about to voice these questions, (which had all taken about a second to form,) when Mocha's hands reached up and slapped over her mouth, preventing more words from escaping.
Kiki was a little shocked and a lot confused. Why wasn't she allowed to say anything? Mocha had been talking about her, after all. Didn't she have a right to give her opinion? Heck, she'd been talking to the stranger about letting him take her away. For how long? Why? What was going on?
Mocha removed one hand and held her index finger over her lips, asking for silence. At this point Kiki was a little angry, as well, so she glared down at the girl, displaying her emotions clearly on her face. She didn't need to, though. She was like an open book to most, and on top of that there was twin telepathy to worry about. The small brunette could tell when she was angry.
Mocha nodded towards the window, where a tall blond boy hovered just to the left of it, staring down at them both. Beyond that, she could just hear her brothers.
That was the sound of Taylor waking up.
Mocha pushed Kiki off hurriedly and jumped into the window, settled in the pillows on the bench and made a shooing motion with her hand at Peter. A bell-like noise sounded from somewhere behind her and Kiki suddenly felt as though someone had knocked her over the head with a pillow and also had the overwhelming urge to sneeze. She turned and saw a tiny woman, arms poised over her head, in the act of putting together another basketball sized blast of pixie dust.
"Tink!" the boy scolded, dusting excess dust off of kiki's shoulders as he helped her up. Upon being called, Tink lost her focus and the giant ball of dust came down on her head, forcing her down a few inches. She shook herself out and glared at Kiki as though it was her fault. The innocent girl simply held up her hands in surrender.
"What's going on?" Kiki finally asked, looking up at the strange boy who could only be Peter Pan. In this light she could see that he was roughly six feet tall, with ashen blond hair, deep green eyes, slightly pointed, fae like features, and a smile as fake as the set of a cheap eighties movie. It wasn't at all what she was expecting. She understood how the stories worked; they were subject to authors' interpretations, and considering how many times the story of Peter Pan had been recreated, she could understand a few differences from the boy in her head. But hadn't the one constant thing in every story, from the very first over a hundred years ago right to the latest one with all the CGI, been the smile? The boy who never grew up was supposed to have a mischievous smile, not... this.
"Uh oh, time to go!" he chirped, floating a few feet off the ground. Kiki glanced around at the voice and came face-to-face with a knee clad in skeleton leaves.
"At least they got that right," she muttered to herself, looking up into the face of the boy who peered down at her from where he hovered in the air. She couldn't imagine why she'd have to go this instant, however...
Oh right, Taylor was awake.
"Kiki, what's going on?" he asked, sounding deceptively young and curious in his half asleep state. Peter wrapped his arms around Kiki's waist and hoisted her into the air, giving her quickly awakening brother a cheerful wave.
Without a care for the girl on the window bench, he leaped at his retreating sister, reached out and barely missed her ankle. He landed on Mocha knees first, waking her up, (as far as he knew).
Kiki thought happy thoughts with all her might, causing her to shoot upwards and away from Peter, who laughed a little and followed her. Taylor looked stricken, and began calling out to his older sister in a tone of voice that almost made Kiki want to go back. Almost. Seeing that that wasn't working, he turned and gripped Mocha by the front of her shirt and shook her.
"For God's sake, do something!" he shouted. She gave a grunt of pain as his knee dug into her gut with more force than before, and shook her head, muttering something to the effect of "five more minutes, mommy."
Kiki turned away, flying higher into the sky, Peter speeding along at her side, flying at a slight angle to direct her where to go. She glanced over her shoulder in time to see Taylor shake Mocha harder and scream "I'm not your freaking mommy, now DO SOMETHING YOU HAT FREAK!" She looked up just in time to miss a goose, and just missed the actions that led to Taylor bellowing "ouch! She bit me!" She snickered, although she did dread what her brother would do to Mocha for not cooperating.
"I think it's time you explained what's going on," Kiki suggested, but Peter was laughing quietly to himself and didn't seem to hear. Momentary confusion clouded her mind and she lost track of her happy thoughts, and plummeted towards the earth. She screamed in panic, and could only think, I'm going to die! A couple walking through the park a few hundred feet below looked around at the noise which seemed to be growing closer. Kiki couldn't do much else but scream. The ground seemed to be coming towards her at the speed of a race car, and she moved her arms to cover her face-
"No, no, can't have you doing that now," a voice said in her ear as a hand clamped over her mouth and an arm caught her around the waist. She folded over the forearm like a limp noodle as she was quickly slowed, g-force making her head nearly bonk her knees. "Mocha would skin me alive if I were to let you get even a scratch."
Floating back upwards, Kiki gasped and forced air back into her winded lungs. Peter wrapped both arms around her waist and flew by himself, carrying her until she could focus again. "Even a scratch?"
"She let me take you with me under two conditions," he informed her, dropping her onto the roof of a skyscraper and putting his fists on his hips in a decidedly Peter Pan way. "One: not a single scratch," he stated in an authoritative tone. He shook his head from side to side slightly with the words and looked down his nose at her, as though that was what Mocha had looked like when she had made the conditions. "Second, have her home by morning."
"Or what?" Kiki couldn't help but inquire.
"Or I'll never tell you another story. I'll never sing the lost boys to sleep. I'll never play doctor when someone has a cold. I'll join Hook." Even the fake smile fell from his face, and he landed on the roof, as though happy thoughts were beyond him.
"Well, that's not that hard. I'll be careful!" Kiki promised.
"Will you really?" Peter asked, looking at her from under his bangs.
"Yep!" She nodded reassuringly. Tink popped up beside her and nodded so enthusiastically she made herself dizzy and toppled backwards. Kiki giggled despite herself.
"Hooray!" Peter cried, scooping Kiki up and spinning her around, soaring up into the air at a dizzying speed. Kiki gave him an awkward pat on the back and broke away from him, and caught him wearing a big cheesy grin.
Now that's more like it! she thought to herself, smiling as well.
"Do you know where to go?" he asked, doing back-flips and pulling his hat down nearly over his ears. Kiki didn't even pretend to think about it.
"Second star to the right and straight on until morning," she replied, then cried, "race you!" She didn't wait for an answer, but instead lost herself in so many happy thoughts that she almost couldn't take a breath. She hoped, somewhere in the back of her mind, that straight on until morning meant Neverland morning, not her own. Otherwise someone would be very upset when she returned home.
Happy Valentine's day! I really wanted to get this all done in time, but it ended up being a lot bigger of a project than I'd thought. This is for Chero, because she's fun to write and because she called dibs on Belle.
Chero made sure to lock up when she left the house. It wasn't that she was paranoid, honestly, it was just that regardless of her teacher being home, anyone could just walk right in. With the noises the man was making downstairs as he tried his very best to invent a new spell, she doubted anyone would have the guts, but if some thief was desperate enough to try it her master wouldn't notice their entrance.
Chero flipped through her latest read. One last page for this book, enough reading material to comfortably get her into town. She would be without entertainment for a block or two, but that was all right; she'd probably run into the other girls on her way. The other two girls in town that tended to hang around her liked to chat, and Chero found it easy to zone out to their voices. Pricilla and Clover were also apprentices to the magical arts, but like other girls their age, they were more interested in love potions than practical magic.
Just her luck, Chero didn't run into and lose herself in the chatter of the girls. Instead, her nose decided to make friends with the stitching in the spine of the leather-bound tome when she ran straight into a tall, barrel chested man. The last two sentences, (two measly sentences! What a time to be interrupted,) were lost to the space above her head as her latest adventure was snatched from her delicate fingers and held just out of reach. She knew it was just out of reach because her immediate reaction was to make a grab for it.
"Good morning, bella," a smarmy voice greeted her. Ah, and here he was: the victim of many a love potion, the great hunter, the most looked up to man in all the village-
"Battista, may I have my book back please?" Chero asked, her tone implying that she didn't have the patience for this kind of interruption. She watched in horror as the hard cover book was bent back until the front and back covers touched each other, the spine crackling as the seal of glue was broken in some places. Oh, now that book would always open to that page! That annoyed her to no end!
"How can you read this? There's no pictures!" he demanded.
"Some of us use our imagination," she muttered in exasperation.
"You know," he said matter-of-factly, "women shouldn't read. They just need to stay home and have children, and learn house-keeping spells. They don't need to think. That's for men! We're smarter anyways."
"If you want a woman who doesn't think and will sit around and listen to you, why don't you just talk to the does you kill?" Chero asked in her sweetest voice. Instead of taking the hint, Battista went off on a tangent about his latest hunting trip. He still had yet to return the book.
Chero ignored him and went to the library, mourning the loss of her story. Two sentences. Two bloody sentences! Was it so much to ask to be able to finish one measly book before being interrupted? To top it all off, Battista was still following her, boasting very loudly, pantomiming kneeling in the grass and shooting something. She passed by Pricilla and Clover, who both looked at her with pure green jealousy, and not a second after she passed she could hear them chattering to each other about how she was crazy for not seeing how lucky she was that the great Battista was even talking to her.
Chero was just giving her book one last look, just to say good-bye, when it was snatched away from Battista by one of the librarian's apprentices. She was a small thing that leaped out of the shadows, rescued the hostage, and landed with a feline grace, and immediately began to flip through the book. Battista quickly switched moods, squawking in protest and yelling loudly at the girl. She held up her hand for silence, which, despite Battista being taller and stronger, was immediately given to her, because she was just a little scary.
Her eyes flitted over the pages, and when she reached the middle of the book, she stopped, her face hardening in irritation. She closed the book, seemed to go over something in her mind, and then held out her hand, palm up.
Battista didn't understand the gesture, but Chero recognized it from the one time she'd brought a book back late. "Pay up," came the harsh demand, the girl's eyes betraying not one flicker of sympathy.
"Excuse me?" Battista gasped, his pride momentarily outweighing his fear. "Pay you for what?" The girl rolled her eyes in response.
"Mocha! Mocha, I found them!" a little voice called, getting closer. A young boy, maybe six or seven and missing a front teeth ran between the three and passed a few pages of print to the apprentice.
"Thanks, Jim," she murmured, passing the boy a small caramel candy from the front pocket of her work apron. He unwrapped it and stuffed it in his face, and then ran to go and play with the other children. (He wouldn't brag though, because if he did, it would be a few weeks before he got another candy.)
Mocha, the book-keeper, turned back to Chero and Battista and waved the pages in the man's face. "Damages," she answered. He stared blankly at her. She huffed, looking for all the world like she was speaking to someone with serious mental issues.
"Those pages belong in the book," Chero pointed out as Mocha put her hands on her hips and shook back her long brown hair as though she had better things to do. Chero ran her fingers through her own hair, the same if not a shade or two lighter. Battista looked between the two of them, then at the book in the librarian's hands.
"Like anyone cares about one lousy book," he reasoned, shrugging.
"I wouldn't want to read a book that's missing half the story," Chero objected.
"But she can fix it!"
"Supplies don't grow on trees, you know," Mocha informed him, waving her fingers in a "hurry it up" gesture.
"I don't see what the big deal is," was the muttered response.
"Let me borrow your ax. I plan to bring it back with a broken handle and not pay for the damages," Mocha snapped.
"But you can't use a broken ax!"
"And there's no purpose in a broken book," Chero stated, slipping in beside Mocha supportively.
"I don't want a broken book," Mocha said indignantly.
"Well then just give it to me," Battista said desperately, barely containing his rage at having them team up against him.
After a pause, Mocha gave the man a once over, curled her lip in distaste, and held out her hand. "Two gold pieces."
"What?" Battista shouted, waving his hands. "But you don't want it!"
"I'm still losing merchandise," Mocha reasoned. Battista grumbled and pulled his change purse off his belt.
"How much do I owe you?" he asked, picking out a few copper pieces.
"Seven silver pieces."
Mocha shrugged indifferently. "Would be five, but you've been wasting my time." Chero resisted the urge to giggle.
Battista dropped the pieces in her open palm. Between two silver pieces he'd attempted to pass off a copper piece for more than it was worth. Both girls looked dubious, and the three stared at each other until the man of the party growled and payed in full. He then turned on his heel and stomped away, his cheeks burning red.
"Thank you," Chero said, turning and smiling at Mocha.
"De rien," Mocha replied. She opened the door to the small library and held it open for Chero, who stepped into the cozy little place with a nod of thanks. As soon as the door closed, the visitor was knocked over by a flying tackle-hug, courtesy of the second apprentice of the book master. The two overturned a table during the fall, but luckily the pots of ink, sand and glue did not shatter when they hit the floor. Sparing an exhausted grumble for the almost mess, Mocha took her ruined prize to the work room, whose door was propped open to let air in.
"Chero! Hi!" Kiki exclaimed. From somewhere under her shoulder, Chero returned the greeting, although much less animatedly. Kiki stood, helping the taller girl up, and shaking dust from her short blond hair. Her habitual smile made her face bright, her brown eyes crinkling up at the corners. She looked contagiously happy, and Chero couldn't help but smile back.
"Where did you go this time?" the petit blond asked. This was her way of asking Chero what her story had been about. The brunette began recounting a tale about a brilliant detective, eccentric and strange but able to tell everything about a man from the hat he wore, who dragged around a retired soldier for no real determinable reason.
"Elementary, my dear Watson!" she finished, after having explained a small part of the story. Kiki laughed.
"What does that even mean?" she asked, giggling while she forced the words out.
"I don't really know!" Chero exclaimed, and the two continued to chortle loudly at the admission.
"Where did that book come from?" Chero asked finally, righting the overturned table and putting the pots back in place.
"Um... you'd have to ask Mocha," Kiki murmured. Though she too went with their master to search the world for stories, Kiki rarely remembered where things came from.
There was the sound of a knife being driven into a wooden worktable in frustration. "England," came the growled reply, as well as a small squeak when the knife was removed.
"You speak English?" Chero asked, raising her eyebrows.
"There are other languages in the world than just Italian, you know," Mocha replied, a light smile in her voice. Chero had to laugh a bit at that.
There was a moment of silence before a long string of curse words in a multitude of languages poured out of the work room.
"What's wrong?" Chero asked, startled.
"They're a mess!" Mocha cried, "I can't save these pages."
"Oh, that's not the reason you're mad," Kiki jeered. "You're just angry because you haven't spoken to Draco in a while."
An ink stained rag that smelled strongly of glue flew out the door and hit Kiki in the side of the head. She flailed her arms and grumbled in distaste.
"How long has it been since you've spoken to Ettore?" Mocha asked. Chero and Kiki both went to the door to watch her work.
"A while," Kiki admitted, eying the small printing press in the corner. The two girls watched as the third cut the pages from the book, trimmed off the rough edges, and cut the new, blank pages to size. She used magic to arrange the letter stamps, but that was as far as she went when making books. Many people in the area asked her why she did this; why not just use magic to do all the work? She rarely had the patience to explain, as those who asked were usually complaining about how fast they could get books. Chero had asked once, however, and Mocha had explained that magic left behind imprints of the wielder. If she made books using only magic, the readers would read the stories with her opinions and not their own. If she was in a bad mood while putting the book together, the guests of the library would be in a bad mood when they put the book down. Considering how monotonous book making was at times, the readers might feel antsy and bored in the middle of the best part of the story, and then where would the world be?
Chero still thought there was an old magic in the hands of the girl as she worked. She loved watching the graceful movements of her friend as her nimble fingers snipped, sewed and glued. It was amazing how with a few pieces of paper, ink, glue and leather could become an adventure. What took most people days took minutes, and the book was complete, the glue dried, and the volume back on the shelf for someone else to borrow, to lose themselves in, to get away.
"So what'll it be today?" Mocha asked, standing and wiping off her hands. As usual, Chero got excited at the prospect of having another book in her hands, and she leaped onto the ladder and rolled her way across the shelves, a large grin dominating her face quite suddenly.
"I'll take this one!" she exclaimed, pulling a small leather bound novel off the shelf. Kiki bounced up and down, excited to see what she'd picked. It's not that she had a bad memory, it was just that she didn't put as much work into each book, so she couldn't tell which it was just from looking. Mocha, however, had bound most of the books in the library, and she knew Chero, so she was a bit faster at guessing the girl's pick.
"Again?" she asked, a light smile stretching across her face. She shook her head. "How many times does this make it?"
"Um..." was the murmured reply. Chero turned the book over in her hands, noting absently that the blue leather had been replaced with newer stuff, making the outside look a little less roughed up. "About four times?"
Mocha waved her hand. "Keep it." Chero grinned and turned to leave, then paused in the doorway and pondered the girl's choice of words.
"Keep it?" she asked tentatively. Mocha nodded.
"It'll be well loved in your hands," she reasoned.
"Oh, thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Chero cried, crushing the other girl in a hug.
"Ouch! Back, back, back!" the other girl yelped. Chero dropped her and she hugged back gently. "Have fun."
Chero did leave, then, wishing that the two girls in the library had less work to do and could go around town with her and keep her company. She caught the last snatches of conversation as the door swung closed.
"I'm going to get a stomach ulcer, between worrying about Ettore and worrying about you!" Kiki complained.
"It's not that bad. I just hyperextended a muscle," Mocha replied calmly.
"You're gonna make Draco's hair fall out," Kiki warned. The other girl laughed.
Kiki's response was cut off as the door swung closed. Chero opened her book and dove into the well known story, and started on her way home.
A small note: Draco means dragon, (duh) and Ettore means loyal. Next chapter coming soon!