|A Friend In Need
Author: QuirkQuirk PM
Roxas just wanted to run away and find something more to life, but things get complicated when he is captured and taken to a world of neon lights and shiny windows selling boys. Cue a rescue mission from a devoted, overprotective best friend. AxelRoxas AURated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Axel & Roxas - Words: 5,263 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 20 - Published: 12-10-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4707456
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Notes: So… lately I have been listening to Moulin Rouge's "El Tango De Roxanne" on repeat, I'm not sure why. And as with any song that I listen to overly much, I started to formulate a story to go to it. This one got a little carried away, and thus a fanfiction was born. XD
The disclaimer! No, I do not own Kingdom Hearts, why on earth would anyone assume that for even a second? Do you see all those wonderful boys crawling all over eachother with lustful eyes and wandering hands? Well, okay... they kinda do – but do they ever actually follow through and get the game's rating upped? NO. And that is how you know I don't own Kingdom Hearts.
Pairings: Axel/Roxas, get ready to piddle yourselves in excitement. Slight side dish of Riku/Sora, because how could I resist?
Summary: Roxas just wanted to run away and find something more to life, but things get complicated when he is captured and taken to a world of neon lights and shiny windows selling boys much like himself. Cue a rescue mission from a devoted, overprotective best friend. Axel/Roxas, AU
Warnings: Gayness between beloved video game characters, themes of kidnapping and prostitution, maybe a smidge of violence for dramatic effect. :3
Other stuff: Crap I wrote another Kingdom Hearts fic when I promised myself I was going to work in other fandoms for a while. XDD
A Friend In Need…
Roxas slunk through the dark city; emotionless steel buildings rising above him on all sides and towering over him imposingly. It was night, and there were no streetlights, no flashes of car headlights, just a few dingy windows on the upper stories of the skyscrapers to provide a little bit of light for Roxas's straining eyes.
Like some sort of criminal, Roxas pulled the hood of his cape further over his face, although he didn't know what or whom he was hiding from. There was no one on the streets – no one to see him and no one to care. He was completely and utterly alone, driven by the overwhelming desire to seek out the one thing he had spent his whole life yearning, no craving for.
Sneaky as any creature of the night, he rounded corners with caution and sleek quickness. He felt as though he was being watched, but how could that be? The streets were black and barren, and he had left everyone he had ever known behind. Pausing and frowning, he listened intently and peered through the night as best as he could, but nothing seemed out of place.
And then, suddenly, he disappeared.
The next thing Roxas knew, he was stumbling along in a daze, yanked forward by a tug at his neck, like some sort of sick, twisted puppet of a dog. He suddenly stopped dead in his tracks, coming to his senses and realizing that he did not wish to be urged onward against his will, and with no idea where he was being led.
A cold cruel laugh rang out into the night, and Roxas's head snapped up to see his leash – for he was indeed leashed like a dog – being pulled along by a man with glinting silver hair was flowing in the back, but stuck out at sharp angles near the top. He gave a particularly harsh yank, causing Roxas to nearly trip. His hood slipped off, revealing softly spiked blonde hair and crystal blue eyes, which grew suddenly wide at taking in the new surroundings.
In stark contrast to the dark, quiet city from which he had come, he was now being dragged down a street bustling with bright lights from neon signs and glowing red, yellow, and green traffic lights. The streets were busy with speeding, shiny cars that blared their horns into the night as they streaked and skidded in some sort of organized chaos. The disturbingly clean sidewalk was lined to his left with what appeared to be mostly glowing storefront windows that reflected the busy, lighted street so brightly that it was almost impossible to see what the shops were pandering. But after peering intently as he was pulled along, Roxas caught a glimpse past the reflective surface and realized with a disturbed lurch of his stomach that the merchandize displayed within was… humans.
Much like himself, leashed and additionally forced into revealing outfits. So this was some sort of… readlight district? And it appeared as though he had been captured and was the newest addition to the collection.
Another exceedingly unsympathetic jerk of the leash forced Roxas's head to jerk to the side, where his line of vision met directly with a brunet male in a window who had eyes much like his own, hands pressed to the glass and a concerned expression on his young face. Roxas felt an immediate connection, which gave him an ominous sense of foreboding.
As Roxas was once more pulled forward and dragged away with absolutely no consideration to his comfort, he didn't notice a brief flash of red and black as it streaked out of a darkened alley and into the next hidden cranny that it could find. He also missed the conspiratorial look the brunet in the window gave to his guard that stood outside (with hair as silver as Roxas's captor's own, but less cruel, somehow) and the barely there nod of recognition that the youth received in return.
Roxas's leash was removed, and he was thrown harshly into a dank and musty storage room. Unnatural light filtered in through the boarded up windows, and Roxas wrinkled his nose at the cloud of dust that stirred up where he fell. Somewhere along the way, the silver haired man had handed him over to someone new, someone with sharp features, two long scars in the shape of an X across his face, and electric blue hair that was styled in much the same manner as the silver haired man.
"Oh, I think you're going to like it here." The new captor said with a feral snarl. "It's going to drive you absolutely mad."
"Roxas…" he said with a disturbing growl, looking down at the blonde who still lay crouched and on guard on the floor, and Roxas wondered how this person knew his name. "Oh Roxas. You don't have to do this, you know. Walk the streets for a little bit of money, not caring if it's right or wrong."
Roxas fiercely glared up at him. "I'm not a –"
"Dear little Roxas." The man growled, pulling Roxas to his feet and holding the blonde tightly, uncomfortably close. "You don't have to dress up in those little outfits, sell yourself in the night…"
"I'm not a –"
"If you just stick with me…" the man was saying, and by this point Roxas had a very bad feeling about where this was going. "I can keep you… safe. You will be mine and none of the others can touch you…"
"I don't want YOU touching me!" is what Roxas wanted so badly to spit back, but the blue haired man had pulled the small blonde to his chest into a terrible, crushing embrace, and Roxas gasped for air. With a chuckle, apparently at Roxas's distress and discomfort, the blue haired captor freed him, and Roxas stumbled away, glaring and heaving for air.
His captor didn't relent in his creepy interaction, however, and began circling Roxas, making him feel very much like a caged animal that was about to be bought at an auction. He clenched his fists at his side, keeping his gaze locked as he was looked over. Somewhere along the way his cloak had been ripped from him, leaving him to feel very extra exposed, and his guard was up nearly to the breaking point.
So intent was he in keeping his attention on his captor, Roxas missed another set of eyes that was trained on his slim figure. In the shadowed rafters, a cloaked figure crouched on a heavy wooden beam, surveying the scene. This strange, terrible man's eyes upon Roxas's young, boyish face, his hands occasionally skimming Roxas's own small hands, or his lower back or a shoulder… occasionally he would even get close enough to very delicately brushing his lips on Roxas's temple, making the blonde stiffen and clench his fists even tighter.
The hooded figure wasn't entirely sure why Roxas wasn't striking out. His spitfire temper was obviously straining with all it's might to get out, but the blonde was keeping it in check. It was a sign that he was at a complete loss, unsure, unable to feel in control enough to take charge of the situation – something that happened very rarely to the hotheaded blonde. It made the hooded figure's blood boil.
His whole body tensed, and he grasped his sword by it's hilt at his side as he prepared to jump down and engage – but then someone new came into the room and he paused. He didn't want to take on more than one person without assessing the situation fully. This new arrival was young, maybe a year or so younger than himself, and had straight locks of silver hair that brushed his shoulders. He looked like he would have been easy enough to take on, at first glance, but defined muscles and a stance borne from extensive training to fight suggested otherwise.
It was hard to think clearly about whether to act or remain hidden and calculating for longer, though, when his heart was crying out, straining in his chest. It was a feeling that was difficult to fight, and in truth it always had been.
"They're looking for you." The new arrival was saying, and the blue haired freak looked like he wasn't fond of the idea of leaving his new toy. They conversed lowly, argumentatively, but the hooded figure barely heard them through the fog of his emotions. He was thinking back to when he and Roxas had been in their home city. As unappealing as it had been, it had been theirs, and he had never understood how Roxas had always felt such a pull, such a burning desire to leave; to search for something that he wasn't even sure of himself.
"I just have to go." He had said. "I have to… find something. My heart, my soul… just… something more."
They had struggled. He imploring Roxas to stay, Roxas insisting that he must leave. He had had told Roxas that he was free to leave, free to look for whatever he felt he needed out there in the world – and here he had grabbed onto the blonde's sleeves as he tried to tug away and run off down the dimly lit streets – just as long as he wasn't deceitful about his intentions, about his reasons for leaving.
And please, he had begged, as Roxas broke free and the pattering of his shoes hitting the pavement echoed in the alley, please Roxas must believe him when he said… when he said…
"Please..." He had whispered, as any sight or sound of Roxas disappeared into the night. "…I love you."
Roxas surveyed the newcomer, vaguely recognizing him from out on the streets earlier.
"They're looking for you." The new arrival was saying, and the blue haired freak looked like he wasn't fond of the idea of leaving his new toy. They conversed lowly, argumentatively, but Roxas tuned them out. He was calculating the situation… maybe if he made a break for it now while they were both distracted he stood a chance at an escape?
But no, the blue haired man was grudgingly leaving, although not without one last backwards glance at Roxas that made his skin crawl. After he was out the door, the new silver haired kid's attention was fully on him, but certainly not with the same intense, unsettling examination that he had been previously treated too. In fact, even though Roxas was still very much on guard, the look this new arrival gave him settled his need to fight slightly. It was still calculative in a way, but at the same time it was one of… almost camaraderie or conspiracy, but Roxas couldn't for the life of him imagine why that would be the case.
He didn't take his eyes off of the youth, but the silver haired male, for his part, didn't seem entirely too concerned with keeping his attention on Roxas. If it weren't for the fact that he was diligently blocking the door and keeping a lookout to the hallway beyond it, Roxas would have though that he didn't care very much if his charge stayed or left.
And suddenly, with a nod and a quick look from side to side, the silver haired youth ducked out of the room. Roxas was baffled. Was he free to go, then? It made no sense.
Ah, but it seemed as though someone new was yet again entering his makeshift holding cell. This person was about his same exact size, and had a hooded cloak much like the one he had been wearing earlier in the night, tugging it nervously around his face. When he spoke, it was with words that Roxas had never heard before, in a language he did not know, and yet somehow he innately understood.
"Roxas…" he said, and his voice was pure and clear. "Roxas, I want to help you. They won't be able to understand these words like you can if they hear them, but we are still in great danger of being found out. You have to leave, Roxas, and I can help you. He is here to help you too, but we have to hurry, hurry!"
Above, in the rafters, Axel had seen the newcomer, and immediately taken up a readiness to fish, should he get an opening and the stranger showed any signs of harming his Roxas. But instead, much to his shock, the hooded stranger spoke in a strange and interesting language that he didn't understand. He leaned forward, listening intently, and nearly jumped out of his skin when a voice next to him spoke in a clear, concise whisper.
Axel, for that indeed was his name, very nearly fell from his perch, and very certainly did draw his weapon. He saw that it was the silver haired youth from before, and he was unarmed and looking to Axel with an imploring expression, and the redhead did not strike.
"How do you know who I am?" he replied in a whisper of his own.
"It doesn't matter." came the reply. "We have to hurry – we need to distract the guards at the gate. Sora will take care of Roxas. Come on."
Really, Axel had no real proof to support what this random person was telling him, but he instinctively believed it. With a swoosh of his cloak and one last backwards glance to Roxas, he swept off into the darkness.
Meanwhile, Roxas was very confused.
"What…? Who are you? Why do you want to help me?"
The hooded stranger sighed at Roxas's stubbornness, but seemed to understand, and lowered his hood, revealing spiky honey-brown hair and wide, sky blue eyes.
"You!" Roxas exclaimed, recognizing the boy from the lighted window out on the streets. "But… I… you're just a…"
"Please, I must convince you to trust me… otherwise they will sell you, sweep you into the chaotic tango of the streets… come with me, please, before it's too late."
"…alright." Roxas slowly replied, but then realized he still needed a little more clarification about a previous comment. "So you're going to help me, whoever you are, but then who is the 'he' you mentioned?"
The brunet slowly smiled, just a slight lift of lips. "You should have known he would come for you, Roxas. He loves you, after all."
Roxas's eyes widened in shock.
He had been a large part of the reason Roxas had left in the first place… because Roxas did indeed realize the redhead's feelings for him. Sometimes he felt as though he was close to returning them, and the very notion terrified him for some reason that he couldn't quite put his finger on. His whole life he had felt like he was missing something, and the addition of those feelings had only added to his confusion and unrest.
So he had run away.
But look where that had gotten him. Kidnapped and about to be forced into prostitution in some glowing neon night city. The thought of Axel now gave him a sense of comfort, and he clung to the idea of finding a bit of familiarity amongst the chaos.
"Alright." He said with newfound resolve. "Let's go."
With a dramatic swoosh, the brunet pulled his hooded cloak back to where it covered his face for the most part, and with a finger to his lips to indicate silence he glanced around quickly before heading to the boarded up window. Wooden crated were stacked beneath it, making for a rickety but easily manageable makeshift climbing structure. The boards covering the window were old, and the nails rusted, so they had no problem prying them off.
The window was misleading, as it didn't lead outside, but Roxas had suspected this because of the unnatural light that had come through it and the fact that it was night out in the world. The window led, rather, to an open warehouse type room, with dingy, flickering fluorescent white lights hanging from the high ceiling. The room was abandoned, but newish scuffs on the floor and recently opened boxes with their styrofoam packing peanuts still laying about indicated that it was still frequently made use of. Roxas didn't want to think about for what.
Being in such a bright, open space made both boys feel rather exposed, and they stuck close to the wall as they padded to the heavy, pushbar doors on the other side of the room. Reaching them, the cloaked brunet pushed them swiftly open and continued right through, and Roxas began to suspect that the planning for this escape had been more elaborate that he had initially thought. Shouldn't there have been guards, or just other random people around? How had this kid taken care of that?
The more they snuck around, the more Roxas realized there would have been next to no way to get out of this place on his own. It appeared to be some kind of abandoned warehouse compound, and it was a virtual maze of rooms and hallways. He had no idea how he had gotten to the musty storage room in the first place, because his head had been reeling in confusion and the yank of the leash had made his vision blur with pain and anger. He didn't remember any of these surroundings, and there would have been no way for him to backtrack or otherwise navigate his way to freedom.
But this other boy… he seemed to know exactly where he was going. Faster and faster they raced through the structure, until finally they came to one last wide hallway, where the cloaked boy pressed himself to the wall, and instructed Roxas to do the same.
"This is it." He informed Roxas in a whisper, and the blonde could see the bright glint in his blue eyes despite the shadow the hood cast over his face.
"Those doors," he said, indicating with a jerk of his head in the direction of the huge double doors that served as the main entrance to the compound. "Lead out into the main yard. There are guards at post outside of it, but Axel and Riku should be dealing with that situation as we speak. We are going to make a break for it, but I need you to promise me something."
"… what?" Roxas replied in a low, skeptical voice. He didn't like the sound of this.
"When we hit the doors, once they open – just keep running. Don't look back for me, just RUN."
"But – " Roxas began to protest.
"I'll be fine." The brunet said with a crooked smile. "My job is to get you out of here, but it doesn't mean I'm not going to look out for myself as well."
Roxas nodded, satisfied. "Alright then."
"Are you ready?"
On the count of three then. One… two…"
"Wait!" Roxas interrupted in a sharp whisper. "I… in case I never see you again… what's your name?"
The brunet smiled in a conspiratory way. "Sora."
And then he ran.
Roxas was a step behind him – what had happened to the count of three, anyways? – but he ran as fast as his legs could go. Sora ran with his whole body leaning forward in intensity, and Roxas could hear shouts of surprise and indignation from all sides. He could see blurs to his left and right as people moved to catch them, stop them, but his focus remained straight ahead, on Sora and the doors. They grew closer and closer every second, and Roxas's heart raced in anticipation, excitement, anxiousness… a million different emotions that fluttered in his chest like a whole nest of fluttering birds.
Sora hit the doors first, hard, and they opened with a heavy metal clank and groan. Fighting every fiber of his being which urged him to pause, wait and check on Sora, he pushed through the doors, bursting out into the main yard, and just kept running.
Axel had never gotten much chance to put his sword fighting into practice, as it was more than a hobby than a trained skill, but he had just found out that when it came down to it he could hold his own in a skuffle. Riku as well was a skilled fighter, and together they had taken it upon themselves to engage the guards at the front entrance.
They had done a rather impressive job at ambushing, Axel thought as he swept his sword through the air and brought it with a heavy clank against a guard's metal arm plating that had come up as a shield to his face, and he could only hope that their distraction would be enough to allow Roxas's escape. Riku hadn't explained what that Sora kid had planned, or what Axel should do once they had served their purpose at the gate, but Axel didn't question it. Whatever it took to save Roxas, he was willing to do it with no thought of himself.
Less blood than he had expected had been spilled, but Axel knew that it didn't matter what sort of harm was inflicted, as long as a sufficient distraction was upheld. Just keep the guards here, he thought. So that they're not even remotely anywhere near…
Someone suddenly burst through the doors, and Axel looked up to see a very familiar figure running with absolute determination.
"Roxas!" he shouted, but his voice either didn't reach the blonde, or he was ignoring it. Axel's heart leapt, and in the moment that he was distracted something very heavy swung through the air towards his chest.
With a heavy clank, Axel was brought back to the matter at hand, and saw Riku at his side, his strange, heavy sword having deterred the slaughtering stroke.
"What are you waiting for?!" he shouted. "Go with him!"
For a split second Axel paused, not having known that leaving Riku and running away with Roxas had been the plan, but a growled "Axel!" got him moving, and assured him that Riku knew what he was doing.
He turned and ran.
Roxas was panting, nearly tripping over himself as his whole body exerted itself. He could hear the chaos of the fight, people's yells echoing from inside the hall, but he never looked back, never even paused, until suddenly there was someone right behind him.
His heart nearly stopped in a jolt of fear, and then nearly stopped again in surprise. "Axel?" he panted. "What… what are you doing here?"
"Saving your ass!" the redhead shot back, grinning.
Suddenly a clamour of barking rang out into the night, and Roxas's heart sank. Dogs. Attack dogs. They would be vicious, and they would be fast – there was no way that he could outrun an animal like that. He was already pushing himself to his limit, what more could he possibly do?
"Axel!" he shouted, looking to the side to the redhead.
"Axel, I…" he began, feeling as though he better say something now, because if he didn't he might never get the chance. "I'm sorry I ran away! I just… I was trying to –"
"Roxas!" Axel interrupted, grinning.
"Let's save the mushy stuff for after we escape, yeah?"
They were coming up on a great wall with high double doors, enclosing the compound from the rest of the outside world. How on earth were they supposed to get out? Going through it, over it… it would take much too long, surely they would be caught. Sora had said 'just keep running', but he hadn't mentioned that there would be a great big blocking force in the way. Surely the mischievous brunet must have known that there was a wall, closed doors, no way out?
But all he had said was 'just keep running, don't look back.' So far… so far that had worked. The barking of the dogs was getting closer, as were the closed doors. Roxas was between a rock and a hard place, and he looked to Axel, who also had a look of perplexity on his face, as if he had no idea what they were supposed to do, but didn't want to say anything.
Roxas suddenly felt awful. Awful for getting Axel into this mess just because he had to go and do something stupid like run away, awful for being helpless and lost, awful for having no idea what he was supposed to do now, and awful for not having even said a single 'thank you' to Sora.
'Just keep running.'
The words echoed in his head, and the gate was looming over them now, they were only yards away. The barking and snarling was right at their heels, lights were flashing, and it was starting to rain. Roxas closed his eyes, outstretched his hand, and did the only thing he could think to do.
"Do you trust me?!" he shouted, and Axel took a second to respond. When he did, he sounded confused.
"Then grab my hand!"
Roxas felt a warm weight slap into his palm, and long fingers entangled with his own. Only then did he open his eyes, and there was the gate, just seconds away.
"Roxas, what are you –"
"Just keep running!"
The world was a blur, noises were ringing in his ears, lights swirling in his vision, and then there was a bright flash of white, and then, as far as Roxas could tell, everything exploded.
The next thing Roxas knew, he was tripping, and he couldn't see anything because the whole world was black, but he got right back up, stumbling slightly, and tried to keep running, but something was holding him back. Ropes again, vines, tentacles, he didn't know what, but he struggled to get away. He had to keep running… he just had to.
"Roxas…" A voice fuzzily said, muggily making it's way into his senses. "Roxas… stop it… you don't have to… you can quit… it's going to be… Roxas…"
"No…" he groggily responded, swatting at the air as things started to come back into focus, and his senses started clearing. "I have to keep… keep…"
"Roxas, hey, come on."
And Roxas realized that he was being held by arms, and they were firm in their hold, but careful not to constrain too tightly. Wisps of red hair fell into his face, and he was pulled back into a warm chest.
"I… I have to…"
"No you don't." the voice murmured. He knew that voice… it was smooth and low and comforting and familiar. Axel. "It's okay now. You're fine."
Roxas blinked, a few times in quick, heavy succession, his whole body still tense and ready to jump into action. Little specks of light focused before his eyes, and he looked up… Windows. Stars. Dark buildings just beginning to show their outlines against the very earliest stages of dawn. Was this… home? How was that possible? Had it all been just a bad dream?
"Axel?" Roxas blearily questioned, turning his head to meet their eyes, his still having a bit of trouble focusing. "Is this… are we home?" Axel smiled slightly, pulling Roxas a little bit closer.
"Yeah. We're back, kiddo."
They both paused for a moment, both lost in thought, but Roxas's mind was still reeling and he couldn't keep from breaking the silence.
"Was it real?"
Axel didn't answer immediately, pausing to consider it, before coming to a conclusion. "I don't know, it… it felt pretty real."
Roxas frowned. "What about Sora then? And his friend. I… they saved us."
Sighing in thought and resting his chin in Roxas's soft blonde spikes, Axel pondered this. "You think they were real too, then?"
"Yes – or well…" Roxas considered it. "Not… not real like us. I think they were real but different, even for… whatever that place was."
Axel smiled. "I think so too. They'll be okay."
Roxas closed his eyes, taking it all in. The cold air on his face, Axel's warm chest against his back, the smell of the city… this was also real. As real as whatever he had just come from had been. More real. Maybe he just hadn't been appreciating it enough before. Maybe the thought of having everything he needed right there, completely un-glamorous and imperfect but still so very real had been more than he had been willing to settle for before. Maybe he had been unwilling to look underneath the scuffs and tarnishes of this very real life to see that, yes, it left a lot to be desired, but…
But maybe, just maybe, it was enough. More than enough.
A dog barked somewhere in the distance, and Roxas immediately stiffened, his whole body straining to break loose of Axel's hold and run run run, but Axel held him tight, shushing him and rubbing his arms comfortingly. As Roxas calmed, leaning back into Axel as the redhead nuzzled into his hair, still grounding him, supporting him, it dawned on him that maybe there was a lot he hadn't given a chance in this life of his.
"Calm down…" Axel hushed. "You don't have to run away anymore."
'No', Roxas thought, sighing contentedly and settling into Axel's embrace; twisting his head around so that their noses were nearly touching, their lips so close…
'… maybe I don't have anything to run away from after all.'