Title: Boring System
Disclaimer: I own an AHAP textbook that I will NO LONGER BE USING
NOTE: Wow, at least that didn't take FOR FUCKING EVER.
For those of you who read through my author page, you'll know that I recently took some pretty huge tests that could effect the way my life turns out. Needless to say, I had to prioritize, and unfortunately for my loving readers, FF was pretty much at the bottom of my list. So I apologize for the hiatus and I RETURN TRIUMPHANTLY! I return with a fear of what my SAT score will be, a drivers license, and a determination to NOT think about the atrocity that WAS my AP test.
Anyway. Heyo. Nice to be back.
That being said, this chapter features everyone's favorite stupid shit TAROT! To those of you who were offended by the last sentence, I'm sorry. I personally think divination and all the magic whatever crap is bullshit, but I respect the fact that you don't. I will no longer say anything bad about it. Here at least.
Anyway, tarot. That is something that will be featured in this chapter. Oh, you all would be so proud of me, I actually went and looked all this shit up on the internets to make it all seem real and whatever. Unfortunately, I lost the site I found it all on, including the reading I made up to work with this story, so if you ask me "BUT WHAT ELSE DID ROXAS'S CARDS SSSSAAAAAYYYYY?!" I will be forced to laugh at you and then cry silently, praying for absolution. Bad me. BAADD ME. I forgive myself, though, because this was all, like, a month ago. A month ago I didn't know what the Wilmot Proviso was. I still don't, but I know every minute detail of Communist Cambodia, so I don't give a fuck. Do you know what Operation Breakfast was? No? Then shut the hell up.
L-O-L, Luxord believes in godS. Plural. And ye gods do I love the way he talks.
Enjoy the new, fat free chapter of Boring System! CONSUME!
Roxas spent the rest of Saturday in Agrabah.
Agrabah was a section of the city that was a Middle Easterner's sanctuary. Roxas had never been to the Middle East, but he was pretty sure that it was something like this—the large stonewalls, the carpets and curtains draped over the marketplace. Bearded men yelling out how they had the best prices and how their products were the greatest in all the land. Roxas smiled, walking past a young woman giving a boy an apple. How sweet.
He turned a corner and walked down an alleyway where masked fortunetellers spun tales for wide-eyed believers. Roxas had never believed in tarot cards—once Namine tried to explain them to him, but he just stared at her stonily until she gave up. He didn't want to believe that his future lay on a tabletop. And so he didn't.
But still, he thought, fingering his wallet in his pocket. Might be fun. Maybe he could ask about Axel…
Christ, man, thought Roxas as spotted a stall called "The Gambler of Fate." If you became more of a girl you'd look like Namine.
He ducked under the black curtain covering the front of the stall and looked around, suddenly nervous. With the curtain closed, the stall was dark, the only light coming from an eerie lamp covered in a blue shawl. There was a small table with a black cloth pulled around it and two battered stools shoved next to it. Roxas looked around the stall, the noise from the street hushed in the darkened room. "Excuse me?" he called.
Maybe I should go to a different one. Or get the hell out of here, thought Roxas when no one replied. Then he heard some rummaging from the other side of the stall, the side connected to the building. "Hey," he said again in a loud voice. "Is anyone there?"
"Is 'hey' really a way to talk to someone you've only just met—Oh fuck me." From the other side of the stall walked out the last person Roxas wanted to see: Luxord, that pervert from the night before. He had a bandage on his purpled nose and his eyes looked a bit puffy, but otherwise he looked the same has he had the night before: feral, tall, strong, and horrifying in Roxas's eyes.
The two blond men stared at each other for a long, shocked moment of silence. Then at the same time:
Roxas tried to run out of the stall but got tangled up in the curtain. Luxord grabbed him by the back of his shirt collar and slammed the young boy against the table. "You!" he growled. "What are you doing here? Do you have any idea what that animal you were with did to me?!"
"Get OFF me!" roared Roxas. He tried desperately to kick the larger man in the crotch (no matter how much his mind screamed at him not to—every man has his pride), but Luxord had pinned Roxas's legs between his own.
"He made me lose face in front of all of my peers!" raved Luxord. "He broke my damn NOSE! I had to go to the hospital, you imbecilic cherub! And now you dare come to my fortunetelling stall! To my place of business! You little—"
"I didn't know you worked here!" yelled Roxas. "I'll leave right now. Or yell rape." He glared into Luxord's eyes. "Which is kind of what you were doing last night, isn't it?"
Luxord's eyes bore into Roxas's blue ones but the teenager held his gaze. The man's grip tightened around Roxas's shoulders and he pressed his body harder against the boys'. "Listen to me you little—"
Roxas head butted him.
"ARGH!" roared Luxord, letting go of Roxas and grasping his forehead in pain. He silently thanked the gods that the boy hadn't gotten his nose.
"FUCK!" yelled Roxas, holding his head in his hands. "That HURT!"
"Oh, REALLY?!" Luxord's eyes burned with fury. "YOU'RE hurt?! You…ugh!" He grabbed Roxas by the shoulder and shoved him onto one of the stools. "Just stay there. Don't. Move." The look on Luxord's face was so ferocious and the pain in Roxas's head was so strong, the young blond doubted he would move anyway. Though his head was screaming at him to get the fuck out of there.
Luxord disappeared behind the curtain once more and soon shuffled back in with two plastic bags filled with ice. He handed one to Roxas and gingerly placed the other over his entire face. Roxas held the ice pack to his forehead and watched Luxord out of the corner of his eye.
They were both silent for a few moments.
"So is there a reason you're here, or do you just like to burst into random shops unannounced?" asked Luxord from under his pack, breaking the silence. Roxas glared at him.
"I wanted to have my fortune read."
"Why the fuck not?"
"Are you always this vulgar?"
"Does it matter? As soon as I feel better, I'm getting out of here and trust me, we'll never see each other again."
Luxord snorted. "I doubt that."
Roxas sat up straighter on his stool. "What? Why?"
"I'm a fortune teller. I have some idea of the future."
"Bullshit," snapped Roxas. "None of this is real. It's just smoke and mirrors."
Luxord had to hold his ice pack on his face to keep it from falling while he laughed. "Are you serious?" he asked incredulously, still chuckling slightly. "Do you see any mirrors in here? I don't look into a ball and I don't look at your hand, I look at cards. Sometimes I take out the arcane and challenge passersby's to poker."
"What, so you don't believe in your own…whatever?" asked Roxas.
"I believe in my cards, thank you," said Luxord evenly. "I don't think they spell out the future, but they certainly point you in the right direction."
"What do you mean?"
"I can't believe I'm having this conversation with…" Luxord heaved a long-suffering sigh and pulled the pack off his face to look Roxas in the eye. "I personally believe in destiny. You may not, but then again no one in your stupid generation does. And don't say what you're thinking, little boy," he snarled, effectively stopping Roxas from commenting on how much Luxord seemed to like people in his generation, particularly boys. "Regardless of how I feel, I know most don't. Or if they do, they take it to such an extreme that…well…you saw those morons outside, didn't you? It's a lucrative business, fortunetelling. Not definite by any means. But it points you in the right direction. Today I kept randomly picking cards and coming up with the six of cups."
"So?" asked Roxas. "What's that one mean."
"It means you'll meet old friends. From childhood and such." Luxord considered Roxas for a moment. "We did meet last night, so I guess that could qualify. I had some idea someone I met once would come, but had I known it would be you…" Luxord sighed again. "You're name is Roxas, right?"
"At least I met with you and not that animal you were with last night…"
"Axel's not an animal. If anyone was an animal last night it was you."
"I..!" began Luxord, sitting up a bit straighter. Then he slouched back on his stool and sighed. "Yes. I suppose I was. I hope you can accept my apology."
Roxas shrugged one shoulder and made a non-committing grunt. Luxord smiled past his ice pack.
"The man you were with, Axel…he seemed considerably older than you."
Roxas wanted to say So are you and that didn't stop you from hitting on me, shitbag, but his hatred for Luxord was beginning to fade slightly with his apology. "Yeah. He just took me there so I could see what it was like."
Luxord laughed at that. "Did he?"
"What'd you think?'
"It was really stupid."
"I assume I had something to do with that presumption."
Luxord sighed. "Can't you think of something more interesting than 'yeah'?"
Luxord grinned, looking feral once again. Roxas stiffened. "You know, you're much smarter than you let on," said Luxord. "I can't imagine why you would want to spend time with that Axel."
"He's my math tutor."
"Your math tutor? That's an…interesting profession." Luxord took the ice pack off his head and set it on the table. He considered Roxas for a moment. "Does he make a living doing that?"
"His um…his boyfriend makes the living. Axel's just doing it as a part time thing."
Luxord raised an eyebrow at that. "His boyfriend? Really? Then what was he doing with you in the—"
"That's none of your business," said Roxas, bristling. "I don't even know why I'm still here. Thanks for the ice pack." He thrust the pack on the table and stood to leave.
"Wait!" cried Luxord, standing abruptly. "I want to tell you your fortune."
Roxas turned and looked skeptically at Luxord. "What?"
"I want to tell you your fortune. Free of charge. It's the least I can do after I…" he let the sentence hang in the air.
Roxas stood for a moment more, then sighed. "Fine. Whatever. But you know I think it's—"
"Yes, yes, I know, hang on," said Luxord. He disappeared behind the curtain once again and Roxas wondered, for the thousandth time, why he didn't just leave. Before he could consider this more, Luxord returned with a pack of battered cards in his hand. He smiled. "Pick out eleven cards."
Roxas stared uncertainly at the cards for a moment, then picked eleven random ones from the pile.
"Sit, sit…" said Luxord. He put the cards Roxas had picked in a pattern on the table, face down. "Ask your question."
"You have to ask the cards a question to get your fortune."
"Oh," said Roxas uninterestedly. "Uh…will I ever get better at math?"
Luxord rolled his eyes. "Why don't you ask about something you care about? Like that Axel."
"Once again, can't you think of something more interesting to say than 'what' or 'yes'?"
Roxas glowered. Luxord just grinned. "Come on now, Roxas, surely you can think of something."
Roxas could feel his cheeks turning red. "Uh...will…will Axel fall…um…"
Luxord smirked and turned the cards over.
"Hmm…Love Situation, High preistess…Love and me, King of Cups…ow, Love Challenges, The ten of swords."
"Ow?!" gaped Roxas, panicking. "Why 'ow'?!"
"Calm yourself," said Luxord with a smirk. "Listen. You're a bright boy, you can figure out what love challenges means."
"Challenges I'm…going to face in the relationship?" asked Roxas slowly.
"Very good. The ten of swords is not a very happy card as you can see." The man shoved the card in Roxas's face, making the boy grimace. The card had a man lying on the ground, ten swords stabbed into his bleeding back. "All you need to know is this card tells you what the relationship will be like. Whether or not you should leave when it gets too hard or if you should sit through the hell that it's going to be. And no matter what, always remember that this card means whatever you think the relationship will hold? It might not be worth pursuing." Luxord gazed into Roxas's eyes. "Does that mean anything to you?"
Roxas said nothing for a moment. "What's the High Priestess mean?"
Saïx stared at the phone in his hotel room. The phone made no attempt to stare back at him because phones cannot stare.
"Maybe I am psychotic," Saïx said aloud after that thought ran through his head.
He and the Sup-Xemnas, along with some other high-ranking employees, had just come back from lunch with Maleficent. Since it was "just a luncheon, the real meeting will come later", they had all pretended the lunch was only a social engagement, but the moments of long, tense silence let everyone know that, regardless of their professional relationships, personal relationships were not to be had between the Organization and Heartless.
"That was moronic," Xemnas had muttered as they were driven back to the hotel. Saïx had said nothing. He didn't trust himself to speak in front of Xemnas anymore. Not after Friday night, where the blue haired man had been forced to look over copious notes without a shirt on, not to mention Xemnas had insisted upon sitting entirely too close with his robe hanging off his shoulders. Had Saïx only looked down to the right, had he moved his head a fraction of an inch, he would have been able to see Xemnas'…
Xemnas had made no mention of the night before. True to his word, he'd let Saïx go back to his room after they finished their shirtless meeting planning session. But as Saïx had hurriedly pulled his shirt on, Xemnas had commanded him to do it more slowly. Then, after Xemnas ran a finger down Saïx's back (sending shivers down his spine…), he whispered silkily that Saïx could leave.
Now, after the most uncomfortable car ride of his life, Saïx was back in his hotel room, glaring at the phone.
What if he's not home? Saïx wondered.
Of course he's home, he answered himself. Where else would he be?
Visiting friends? Tutoring that dumb fuck he made out with and won't shut up about?
Saïx shook those thoughts out of his head. Axel had not made out with that kid. He'd just been…Axel. It was shocking how much easier it was to appreciate Axel now that he wasn't living with him. When Saïx had came back to his room from his surreal night with Xemnas, he'd thought of Axel every second. When he did his before-bed-bathroom-ritual, he imagined Axel standing next to him, dressed only in boxers, idly brushing his teeth with one hand and combing his fingers through Saïx's hair with the other. When he got undressed, he could hear Axel's wolf whistle from the bed. When he climbed under the covers, ready to fall asleep, he'd grabbed one of the extra pillows and draped an arm around it, pretending it was Axel, even though Axel had a hard, thin body with spiky hair that Saïx always complained got in his face (but he'd really gotten used to). And in the morning, Saïx almost found it odd to wake up and not find Axel lying next to him, sprawled out on his side of the bed and mumbling nonsense in his sleep.
Saïx reached for the telephone and held the receiver to his ear. The dial tone board into his head and it took him another minute to dial his own phone number.
One…two…three…four…five…six rings and then the message Axel had recorded for their personal phone came on (as opposed to the message on Saïx's work phone, which Axel was never to touch): "Heeeeeyyy, it Axel and Saïx, got it memorized? The observant among you can tell we're not here right now, so tell us what you want after the beep and MAYBE we'll get back to you if you're not a total douche bag." Saïx heard himself in the background saying "Axel, what're you—oh God, stop being so fucking obnox—" and then came the tone.
"…Hello Axel," said Saïx after a moments pause. "I wanted to check in. I hope…you're doing well. I…" the blue haired man stopped and sighed. He hung his head. "I miss you," he murmured into the phone. "I want to be back with you. I…I've been thinking, I want us to start over. I think I…I miss you Axel. I uh…" Even the thought of Axel could turn Saïx into a sex-crazed moron, when said thought wasn't making him furious. "I thought about you…last night. All night…and…I want to be back there with you. In our bed. In our shower. Just you and me…Um…the meetings have been going well…my boss is…uh…." Christ, what could he say about his boss? "Not quite what you imagined. And I miss you. And want to be home with you. Call me. Try me late at night, around midnight, I'm usually getting back around then. And I know you're still up, so call me. I…I…" he struggled for words. "I lo—" and then there was another loud beep, signaling the machine couldn't hold a longer message.
Saïx sat on his bed with the phone still held against his ear, trying hard not to think of the night before and how this would affect him, both personally and professionally. He tried to ignore the images of Xemnas coming into his head and he tried not to think about the shocked, hurt, and eventually furious faces that Axel would make when he found out Saïx had been forced to cheat on him. Because Saïx may have been strange, and he may have been violent, but he knew when he had to something and when he didn't. And he knew that, if Xemnas really wanted him to, he would have to…
Saïx really wished Axel had answered the phone.
"Have you noticed anything different about Roxas?" Sora asked Riku.
Riku groaned. "Sora, do we have to talk about this right now? I'm kinda—"
"I know," said Sora apologetically, "I'm just worried about him."
Riku heaved a sigh and pulled himself up from between Sora's legs. "Only you could ruin a mood by talking about your twin…" muttered Riku. He pulled the sheets up around himself and his brunet boyfriend and wrapped his arms around the smaller boy.
"Sorry…" said Sora, cuddling up with Riku. He ran his fingers up and down Riku's chest. "Last night, when I got home, he asked me if I was in love with you—"
"And you said?"
"I said yes I am."
"Good boy," said Riku, kissing the top of Sora's head.
"Hmm. And then he asked me how I knew and I told him and stuff and then he…didn't talk anymore. But he seemed like he was really upset."
Riku sighed. "Sora, your brother is fucked in the head. You know that. He's weird and homophobic and he's probably just wondering how you can't resist me and he can." Riku grinned. "And good for him, there aren't many people who can."
Sora rolled his eyes. "Rikuuuuuuu…"
"I know, I know, sorry," said Riku, still smiling.
"He said his date was 'frustrating.'" Sora frowned. "What does that mean?"
Riku shrugged and put his arms behind his head. "I dunno, she didn't go down on him?"
"Oh come on, that was too good to pass up."
"You are frustrating," mumbled Sora, turning away.
"You make me frustrated," said Riku with an evil smile. He wrapped his arms around Sora and began tickling him wildly. Sora yelped.
"Make me," growled Riku, and he continued running his hands all over Sora's chest, making Sora laugh and try to scramble out of the bigger boys' reach. Soon, Riku hands began to rub down onto the lower planes of Sora's flat stomach. Sora stopped chuckling and began to moan softly. Riku grinned and pressed his lips against Sora's neck, suckling the soft skin.
"Sounds like you don't want me to stop," he whispered into Sora's ear. Sora responded by flipping himself over and kissing Riku hard.
Two hours and a shower later, Sora and Riku were curled up on Sora's floor, naked and lying entirely too close to one another. The sun from outside shone warmly into the room, making it a very comfortable place to lie post-sex.
"So…" said Sora after a long silence. "Can I talk about Roxas now?"
"Mmf. No. Too comfy," muttered Riku. The warm sun and Sora's hot body lying next to his was making him sleepy.
"C'mon, Riku. You can talk about Sephiroth."
"Pfft, I don't want to. That guy's a psycho. His boyfriend or some shit broke up with him and now he's on a never ending question to get him back from some shitbag named Squall or whatever." Riku snorted. "If Cloud was dumb enough to leave my bro for some guy named after a gay bird, then what the fuck ever, you know?"
"Cloud is Sephiroth's ex, right?"
"So…uh…is he acting weirder than usual?"
"Sephiroth? Weird? HIM?"
"Sorry. Stupid question."
"Very stupid," Riku grinned and rolled over to kiss Sora on the lips. "But I forgive you."
Sora smiled, "Aw, thanks."
"No problem." Riku rolled back to his earlier position and sighed. "What's really bugging you about Roxas? I mean, you're not usually this weird about him. I thought you both agreed you could take care of yourselves. You don't need stupid Wonder Twin Powers or whatever."
"No, we don't need… whatever you just said. But we're still brothers. We still care about each other. I love Roxas. And not the same way as I love you, stop looking at me like that," Sora added just as Riku was about to make a snappy retort.
The brunet sighed and rolled over, draping himself across Riku's chest. Riku ran his fingers through Sora's chestnut hair. "Come on, Sora," murmured the silver haired boy, "what's really bugging you?"
"Remember that day when you were making fun of him, saying he popped a boner for his math tutor or whatever?"
Riku smiled, remembering the look on Roxas's face when he had said that. "Yeah. But I leave him alone about it now, what's the problem?"
"When he ran away, I followed him and tried to comfort him and stuff—"
"Shut up. Anyway, I tried to talk to him and he told me—"
"Hey, Sora, is Riku still here, I really need to talk to y—"Roxas pushed the door to his and Sora's room open and found himself face to face with his brother and his brother's boyfriend. Cuddling. Naked. On the floor.
Where he, Roxas, walked. Sometimes barefoot.
There was a six second period of absolute silence.
"ARGH!" yelled Roxas, clamping his hands over his face. "GRATUTIOUS MALE NUDITY! MY EYES!"
"Roxas!" cried Sora, scrambled to his feet and grabbing the towel he left on his bed from the shower earlier. He threw one at Riku, who was laughing his head off. "Roxas. I'm so sorr—"
"Fuck your 'sorry'!" roared Roxas. "I can never un-see that! Oh Jesus Christ!" he yelled, and ran out of the room. He slammed the door after him.
Riku was laughing so hard he was crying. He clutched his stomach and rolled over, hysterical.
"Oh my…oh my GOD!" he shouted between bursts of laughter. "Did you…did you see his face?! Holy shit!" He didn't noticed the murderous look in the brunet's eyes, or how Sora was twisting his towel into a whip. "I can't…holy fuck, I can't BREATHE! That was classic! That was fucking class—"
Sora whacked Riku in the head with his rolled up towel
Made more funny for you amusement. REDUNDENT!
Anyone who gets where Roxas's "gratuitous male nudity" line comes from gets a shout out next chapter. Not that you'd want one, but whatever.
Sorry this took so long and sorry the beginning note is so infernally lengthy, but that's the way it goes, kiddo.
NEXT CHAPTER! We find out more about Roxas's walk home, because I didn't say ANYTHING about it, etc. We also check with Axel and his cRaZy friends again. And maybe more of everyone's favorite psycho. Or his equally psychotic boss. Still working on that one.
Shitty quasi-sex scene added for your reading pleasure.
And as for today's MUSIC DROP: Once upon a time The Whodid a song called Love, Reign O'er Me, which is incredibly good. Then Adam Sandler made a movie with that title, featuring a cover of that song by Pearl Jam (who also did, amongst other songs, Jeremy, which you should also check out). That cover is insanely good, as is the original. Check 'em out, if you wanna.
I just checked, and I've been writing this for seven days less than a year. Isn't that something. Wowie.
Please review! Sorry I've been gone for so long!