Clyde does more drugs than he does. Axel is happy with coke or reefer or even just some alcohol. The blond has something to numb and he does whatever he can get his hands on. Axel has been noticing the delicate needle tracks on the inside of his arms for months now. He's not the blonde's mother though, so he says nothing.

On campus, Clyde still acts as if they don't know each other. Axel doesn't know why. There are a lot of things about him that Axel doesn't know and he realizes he probably shouldn't care, except, he likes the guy. He's different, special and everyone agrees.

Marluxia and Demyx are absolutely in love with him. Fuck, even Auron likes him and…Axel spots Clyde's sister, Naminé, sometimes. He thinks about asking her and then he thinks about what Clyde's reaction would be and somehow stops himself.

Axel doesn't usually talk to his blond on campus, so he's surprised when the man sidles up beside him during class, Clyde doesn't even take this class. Axel stares at him and Clyde's eyes smile back.

"Do you have any candy?" Garbage breath and asking for candy…does the guy ever stop?

"No," Axel snorts, the redhead gets a little frown in return and then a shrug.

"Guess what I have." Clyde whispers next.

"What?" Axel returns grinning, now over the initial shock, he can play this game.

"Pfft, I said guess and if you can't guess, you'll just have to come over tonight and see."

"Can I take that as an official invitation?" He'd been thrown out, quite politely, two weeks ago, for asking about the blonde's real name again.


"I'll be there."


His classes are out, he's considering bringing food to Clyde's, and suddenly his cell phone rings. He checks it and…Luxord?


"Clyde isn't looking too healthy."

"Maybe he's sick."

"Maybe he just got a little present from Bob last night…"

Axel pauses and swallows thickly. "So?"

"Not that it's any of my concern, but I think he's gone from stoner to addict."

"That is a risk," Axel growls.

"He's your boy toy, not mine, Axel," Luxord snaps back. "But you're both my friends. He's about to fuck himself up. Don't come crying to me."

Luxord disconnects on him.


Axel shows up at the apartment with Chinese take-out held in a plastic grocery bag. He knocks on the door and waits and thinks. Seven months and he still doesn't have a key to this place…

The blond appears in the door, all soft smiles, and lets him in. Axel kicks the door shut behind him, they've never actually gotten around to repainting it.

"I'm glad you brought food," the blond says, digging eagerly through the bag and Axel feels a lump rising in his throat.

"What's this great surprise?"

"Can we eat first?" Ugh, those damn eyes! Innocence in an optic.

"Yeah, sure."

So, it's noodles and rice for half an hour and all Axel does is think about Luxord's call and all the questions that Axel doesn't know the answers to.

Clyde stuffs the leftovers into the fridge and pulls Axel along towards his bedroom. It's the same old empty room with its garish border and white walls. Axel thinks about it some more and there are no posters, no pictures of family, nothing. The entire apartment is just a big physical representation of the blonde's secrets.

The blond flattens himself to the floor and crawls under the bed, because somehow everything ends up under there; cigarettes, lighters, books, shoes, and apparently this little metal box. Something clanks around inside of it and Axel wants to say...he doesn't know what.

"I got this from Bob…"

I know.

"Cost a pretty penny…"

You never have trouble with money.


"Huh?" Axel responds dumbly.



Those fucking eyes blink at him like nothing is wrong and he's confused about Axel's reactions.

"I'm not pressuring you."

You never do.

"But I'm…"

"Little shy around needles, buddy." It's a lie. Axel never backs down from a challenge but Luxord's words are in his head and he really looks at the blond. There are bags under his eyes, which at the corners are bloodshot, his hair always looks messy but now it's kind of lank, his skin looks wrong and…

He's got two needles and one is going into Clyde's arm and Axel winces for him. Intravenous…eight to seven seconds…he remembers that from somewhere. There's too much junk in Clyde's system and Axel doesn't think it's just his choice of fun anymore. Shit, when did he grow a fucking conscience?

The blonde's pupils shrink until Axel can barely even see them and it's just clear blue seas. Glazed and bright and gorgeous and…bloodshot. Fuck.

"You sure?" the blond asks, his fingers clasped around the lid of his little box and he sounds as if he really doesn't want Axel to refuse.

Axel can't say the drug is too hard for him. "That shit can kill you," he says instead.

Clyde blinks at him again and then he frowns, shutting his tin and shoving it back under the bed. He doesn't say anything in response and gets up unsteadily to his feet and…Axel knows what's about to happen. He's used to the blonde's idiosyncrasies by now and he's about to get thrown out. The redhead never really knows what exactly sets him off, just the signs afterwards.

Axel follows the man out into the living room, where the big black letters stare at him from the back of the white door and it's like it's carved there forever, their first date. Axel wonders how the blond can throw him out through that same door, time and time again, with that glaring at him.

Clyde is opening the door, so Axel goes over, puts out a hand and shuts it, staring down at the shorter.

"Our friends are worried about you." Hide behind the others, nice, Axel.

"Friends?" The blond is angry; Axel has never seen him truly angry before. He's cool and laid back, like…a chronic fiend and that's the whole problem. "What friends?"

"Don't pull this shit," Axel answers. "The friends we hang with. Demyx, Auron, Xigbar, Gods fucking Marluxia. Those friends."

Clyde laughs and shakes his head, smiling. "You of all people should know I just needed to get close to Bob."

Axel feels something weird inside of him and it's kind of dying. "Me too?"

The blond is laughing too hard to respond, his body is on complete euphoria overload. He crouches down, clutching his stomach and giggling insipidly. Eventually, he gets around to replying.

"Y-you wouldn't be complaining if you'd…"

"Hey," Axel's temper has never been the best. "Fuck it. Listen to me!"

"Axel, j-just leave."

So, he does.


Axel gets all the way down to Auron's bar before he begins to reconsider. He goes inside and almost orders a drink before he realizes he doesn't care. He just slumps against the bar and Auron asks him what's up but he doesn't answer.

"You were fighting with him again."

It's not really a question and Axel sighs. That's as good an answer as any. He sits there for…the redhead doesn't know, and Auron is talking to him again.

"Maybe you should give it up," he suggests dryly and the very idea makes Axel want to be very ill.

"I'm going to go talk to him," he decides and doesn't really mean it because the blond is probably crashing hard. Well, knowing Clyde, he took a sedative immediately and is sleeping, but Axel is going to the apartment anyway because…because…because.

Axel isn't really that surprised to arrive at the apartment and find the door open. The place is sort of trashed, or, as trashed as it can be, because there really isn't much in it at all. The potted plants are overturned, the end table is smashed and…

He sighs and wishes he hadn't left. He goes into the barren room, searching out his blond. Axel finds him in his bedroom, laying there, one of his hands pressed against the wall. Two of his pale fingers are alighted by the thin strip of sunlight that has dodged the curtains.

"Hey," Axel greets, coming closer. The blond looks at him, he's breathing slowly and his face shows that he's been crying.

"I'm sorry." And Axel is kind of stunned because Clyde never apologizes for anything he does. He kicks Axel out for nothing, then a day or a week later he comes back as if nothing has happened.

"I just want to know what the fuck is going on," Axel decides, planting himself firmly on the edge of the bed.

"I'm not going to tell you my life's story."

"And I don't want to hear it."

"What do you want then?"

"Your name, man." Axel stares at him and blue eyes meet green and…Axel wonders how his eyes look to others. "You do realize we've been involved or what-the-fuck-ever for nearly a year and I don't know your real name. All I know is you've got some kind of past that you don't want to talk about, much less think about, and that's fucking fine. Just do your future with me." And…Axel is kind of stunned because that was sappy and the equivalent of a love confession and he doesn't do that shit.

Well, the blond just nods. "Hi Axel, I'm Roxas."

"Nice to meet you."


Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts