-Re-uploaded. I read through it and parts were screwed up. -face palm- Enjoy.-


He had been following the blonde for some time now, just waiting for him to notice that fact. But it was like the boy didn't want to admit he was there, or simply hadn't noticed. Out of respect for the other, Axel hoped it was the first one. Ignoring the funny looks that the other students gave him as he stalked through the hall, he moved the strap of his messenger bag further up onto his shoulder, hoping that wherever it was Roxas was going wasn't too much further. He wasn't built for endurance. Tall and skinny, that's what he was, nothing more to add to his figure; he seemed to religiously avoid working out and even gym, which was mandatory at the high school.

Black boots thudded against the carpet as he made his way after the boy almost obstinately. This sudden determination was odd for the older teen, who was almost famous (within boundaries) for trying to get away with doing as little as possible. Typical lazy Axel. As it neared time for the bell to ring, he sped up his pace, finding it slightly harder to ignore the glares of the teachers than it was to ignore his peers.

Roxas finally entered a classroom, only moments before the bell rang. Taking his time now, Axel sauntered into the room, which drew more stares from the class, seeing as he was two grades ahead of these students. But none of them said anything, whether it be out of amusement at what might happen or surprise, Axel truthfully didn't know and couldn't have cared less. Noticing the teacher had not yet arrived, he made his way to the back of the class and slipped into the desk beside Roxas, pushing the science textbook in front of him towards the side, where it lay half on and half off of the desk.

"And how long were you planning on ignoring me?" Axel asked, pulling his black hood up, so that it covered his extremely red, spiky hair. Tipping the chair back, he tossed his head back, his messenger bag still strapped over his shoulder and knocking against his hips. Feet were kicked up onto the desk as he lounged there, apparently quite comfortable to wait until the younger answered, however long it might have been.

"You're skipping class," the blue-eyed blonde pointed out, voice almost bored as he began to unpack his things, setting them neatly on the desk before him. But the organization was not to last. The teen beside him, as soon as Roxas set one thing down, would pick it up and almost neatly set it down somewhere else on the desk or the floor. Breathing in deeply, Roxas stopped trying to unpack and simply put his fingers to his temples, massaging them gently as he continued to speak. "What class are you skipping?"

"Oh, just gym," the junior replied cheerily. He, unlike most of the boys in his grade, had chosen not to take a sport, but gym instead, which involved the participants running around playing pointless games, something that didn't interest him in the slightest. So, the result was, he was actually quite weak, though slender and quick in his movements, and highly underweight for his height and age (although that wasn't the only reason for this).

"And are you planning to spend all period bugging me, then, Axel?" leaning over in his chair, Roxas, who was noticeably shorter than the other, though with a much healthier body, began to pick up the various items Axel had set on the floor.

Grinning, Axel shrugged noncommittally. "Oh, you never know. And don't say my name like that; it makes me go all tingly inside." He was well-known for being flamboyant and overly showy, something that, combined with his dislike of exercise, led many of the males in the school to believe that Axel was gay. He did nothing to neither prove nor disprove this fact.

"Shut up, some of us actually care about graduating," Roxas growled, straightening as he finished picking up his things. When his friend made to push one of the books off the desk, he picked thebook up, fixing the oddly bright green eyes with a threatening stare from his own equally vivid blue ones.

"You're going to graduate?" Axel asked, sitting up straighter, taking his feet off the desktop and putting them back on the ground. "So you're going to college? What are you majoring in?" When it came to education, Axel figured he didn't have a very good chance of graduating high school, as he had only made 11th grade by sheer luck, and had no money to go to college, nor the potential. So, as a result of this, he was supportive of his friend's learning.

"Yes, I'm planning on doing so, yes I'm going to college, but I don't know what I might major in yet. Does that answer all your questions?" Roxas shook his head, getting the feeling he was in for yet another 'the importance of education' speech by Axel. Luckily, he was spared by the teacher entering.

Axel grinned at the late arrival, sitting back and pulling his hood lower over his face. The older teen slid on a pair of headphones, not unlike DJ headphones, and switched them on, eyes closing as the music began to berate his eardrums. He hummed softly in tune with the music, which Roxas, right beside him, could faintly hear; Axel liked his music loud. Roxas recognized the tune, but was unable to place it with a name; he would have to ask him the title after class.

"Sorry I'm late, class," the instructor began, setting his things down. "A few of the hallways were closed down due to a problem with the water main; several of the bathrooms were flooded." He continued to speak about it for a few more moments, but Roxas had turned to his left to see the black-clad teen grin widely for a few seconds before it vanished into more humming.

"Axel!" Roxas hissed, yanking the headphone speaker closest to him off of Axel's ear, "you can't do things like that! Vandalism's illegal!" Letting go of it, he let his friend readjust it, sighing frustratedly at Axel's antics. "All this just to talk to me? It'd better be good, or god so help you, Axel, I will kill you myself."

Axel was silent for a few moments, turning his music off and glancing at Roxas, for once extremely serious. "You would kill me, Roxas? Would you do it yourself? Could you guarantee that?" He said nothing more, but stared at Roxas with his impeccable stare.

It's a figure of speech, god," he growled, shaking his head before turning to the other. "Wait. Are you high again, Axel?" He had only seen him like this a few times in the few months that he had known the rebellious junior; when Axel got high, he was unusually silly and wigged out, but when he came down, he was as depressed as you could possibly get, always somehow managing to talk about death and how he probably wouldn't have any meaning to the rest of his life, so end it now, please?

Shrugging, the teen in question turned his music back on, louder, as to ignore the others around him, including the teacher, who was doing his best to teach a class much more interested in the older student lounging around in the back; they wanted to know how long until he was found out. If he was found out, the questions and escort to the principal's office would take time out of their class, something they always looked forwards to.

"Answer me!" Roxas commanded, pulling Axel's hood back angrily. Though drugs seemed to be something Axel did quite often, it never sat well with him that his friend was almost constantly high or downing, making him less than fun to be around.

"I'm not, I'm not," he shook his head, and having answered, tried to pull his hood back up. But he found that Roxas wasn't about to take his word for it. While the pair were a sort of friends, it still didn't mean Roxas trusted the other with what he said; Axel could think he was saying the truth and end up speaking total gibberish sometimes.

"Show me your arms. Your arms, Axel!" Roxas, discovering Axel was making sure not to oblige him, grabbed his arms and turned them so that the undersides were facing up. Pushing the black sweatshirt sleeves up, he rolled his eyes as he found a long-sleeved black shirt underneath. "Didn't anyone tell you it was hot outside?" ("It's November!" Axel protested). He grumbled as he pushed them up. Looking at his wrists and the inside of his elbows, where the vein was, he glared up at Axel's innocent expression as he threw his arms down. "No needles, then," he agreed, before grabbing his friend's face.

Surprised, Axel took his headphones off and glanced down at him, wagging a finger in front of his face. "No kissing unless you ask, Roxas. You can't just demand these things from me. What do you think I am?"

"A crack addict," Roxas growled, only half playing along with him, flicking his nose with a finger; it hurt worse than it sounded. "You've snorted it, haven't you? You're nose's red, you genius."

Rolling his eyes, Axel rubbed his nose with a hand. "Oh, well. Better luck next time," he giggled, apparently not coming down, just more thoughtful and serious than normal. "So, what're we learning today?" he questioned brightly, no longer seeming to care that his headphones were hanging around his neck still blaring music and his shockingly bright hair was now visible; two things guaranteed to draw attention to him (not to mention the all black clothing).

"I have no clue. I've had no time to listen, because you've been babbling like a maniac the entire time!" Roxas nearly yowled, resisting the urge to hit his currently high friend. "You moron. Why're you even in here in the first place?"

"Roxas," a voice decidedly not Axel's answered, "perhaps you would like to tell us why you have been disrupting the class by talking with you friend for the past 15 or so minutes?" The teacher stood before the pair, completely unnoticed by Axel, who had pulled his headphones back on again and was listening to his music at full blast once more. "And who exactly is your friend?" The professor hadn't noticed yet who Axel obviously was, odd, as he was well-known throughout the school as a pyro and a troublemaker, or he simply wanted Roxas to answer the question; it wasn't sure yet.

"Axel Erickson, at your service," the pyromaniac drawled, turning his CD player off and glancing over at the older man. Rising, he put his gloved hands into the back pockets of his black jeans. "And how exactly would you have me service you?" The teacher looked at him confusedly, before the teen clarified. "Would you prefer to take me to the teacher's lounge and fuck me there or something else?" His tones were quite pleasant and obliging, as if he meant what he said; knowing Axel, he might have.

"Wh-what!" the adult demanded, becoming more flustered than he had when he had entered late. "Well, Mr. Erickson, you and I can go right on down to the office, and see what the principal has to say about your behavior! Skipping class, disrupting another class, cursing, and making homosexual and pedophilic sexual innuendo in front of a 10th grade class!"

"Something else, then, I take it. A threesome, oh, goodie! It's been forever since I've had one of those! Now, I've forgotten, is the principal a man or a woman? Because, you know, there's different ways to have a threesome with either gender. I need to be prepared, though." Axel took it all in stride, smirking at the man; the pair were about the same height.

"Mr. Erickson!" he protested, taking the boy's arm sharply in his hand. "I will stand for no more of this! We're leaving right now!"

The class watched all this in silence, knowing it had gone better than they could even have hoped. Their mystery guest had been one of the more infamous students on campus, and he was in a particularly disruptive mood at the moment. It was highly likely there would be no more science for the day.

Hitting his forehead with his palm, Roxas cursed under his breath. Axel was normally a bit dim, but he had never gone as far as to offer to screw a teacher before, much less after already receiving his warning multiple times!

"Oh, wow, you sure do like to get straight down to business, don't you, mister?" Axel simply smirked as he was led out of the room; detentions and suspensions were common enough occurrences to him and his group, but, as far as everyone else knew, he had never taken it as far as to nearly accuse a teacher of pedophilia.

Hayner, who sat in the desk in front of Roxas with Pence, turned backwards once Axel and the teacher left, not even bothering to whisper. "Axel Erickson. Much as I really don't like him, we're lucky he came in here. We don't have class now!" He grinned, sitting in his chair so that his chest was against the back of his chair and his elbows on Roxas' desk.

"Why was he in here, anyways, Roxas?" Pence asked quietly. "Why was he sitting next to you? Do you know him?"

Before the blonde was given a chance to answer, Hayner jumped back into the conversation. "Roxas? Know Axel? Are you kidding? Roxas is a good little boy, and Axel, well, you just saw him in action. Most definitely not a 'good little boy'. What did he want?"

"Just to talk," Roxas answered, made uncomfortable by his friend's questions; they didn't know that, despite the fact that 'Axel wasn't a good little boy', he had befriended him, of a sort, anyways. "He was…" pausing, he wondered if he should tell his friends that the older boy had been high when he had entered the class.

"'He was' what?" Hayner pushed, waving to Olette as she walked towards them. "What was he doing?"

Well, so much for avoiding the question. "He was high when he was in here, that's it." Roxas did his best to shrug it off, but the stares his three friends gave him weren't about to let him get out of answering every question the student population ever had about Axel.

"High? I'd heard rumors about him doing things like that… but he was actually high? At school?" Olette gasped softly, sitting on the desk, where Axel's feet had been earlier. "Why would he do that?" She folded her hands in her lap, legs dangling off the side.

"I dunno," Roxas answered, shifting in his seat.

"You know what?" Hayner began, commanding their attention. "I don't know about him. You heard how he was talking to the teacher." The other three just sort of nodded at him, not following what he was saying. He sighed, exasperated, "he's flaming, you idiots! Are you blind? Axel Erickson is obviously gay!" Having finished, he looked around at the others, smirking almost proudly. "Can't you tell?"

Pence shrugged, trying his best not to take sides. "I-I don't know. I haven't met him, and it's not really fair to judge on what you've only heard as rumors…--"

He was interrupted by Hayner flailing his arms madly. "What? What! You can't tell? Look, do I need to spell it out for you? Axel acts gay, he's been rumored to have been gay, and just now he offered to let the teacher screw him! Now you tell me he's not gay."

"I'm not so sure," Roxas began quietly, feeling he owed Axel at least that much. "I told you, he was high when he came in here, and when he was talking to the teacher. That's it, he's not gay."

But Hayner completely ignored his friend, going on as if he had never stopped. "And, since Axel's undoubtedly gay, I think he's after our little Roxas, here." He glanced at the blonde pointedly, who blinked sharply before glaring at him.

"Look, that's really not funny, Hayner. Don't bring me into this," he growled, rising from his chair, angry, which countered the faint blush that had colored his tanned face. "You can talk about Axel all you want, but when you start to say things like that, I have to draw the line!" He had over-reacted; he knew that. But, since it only echoed his own feelings that the red-head might be gay, he didn't want to have Axel interested in him, even if only in idle conversation with his friends.

"Could we talk about something else, now?" Olette piped up, knowing that the conversation was making Roxas uncomfortable. Hayner could get stuck on a topic too easily, not seeing the obvious discomfort it brought to the others.

"Oh, good idea. What do you think Axel's doing right now? Think he's actually screwing the teacher?" Hayner's eyes lit up as he recognized his chance to talk about his theory of Axel being gay even more.

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When the science professor reached the principal's office, he knocked on the door angrily, having had to put up with Axel's 'witty' banter the entire time down there. When it was opened and the principal, a bespectacled man, let them in, he almost shoved the boy inside, following him in and closing the door sharply.

"What exactly happened?" the principal ('Mr. Thomson,' Axel noticed) asked, sitting down in the chair behind his desk. "And why isn't your own teacher the one escorting you, Mr. Erickson? I'm sure Mr. Coyer has a class to teach."

"But that's just it, sir! He skipped class, coming to my own, which he disrupted by distracting a student, and, when confronted, began to mouth off in a manner I've never before seen!" the man answered, agitated. "So I brought him here to see you."

"Oh, a man-on-man-on-man threesome, hm? I can do that. It's much easier than two men and a woman. That gets much too messy," Axel shook his head regretfully, bright bangs falling into his eyes. "Well, should we get started? Who wants to do what?"

Mr. Thomson stared at him, before glancing to the teacher. "Is this how he mouthed off earlier?" He kept calm, unlike the other, peering at the hostile teen through his glasses. "Mr. Erickson, why weren't you in your own class? And where do you think you get off speaking like that to a teacher or a principal? Where do you think you get off talking like that to anyone, at that matter?"

"Because I don't like athletics," Axel shrugged, lounging in a chair despite the fact he had never been asked to sit. "I don't see why I should waste my time running in circles." At the last question, he brightened visibly, smirking widely before answering. "'Get off'? Well, I don't personally get off talking like that, though others might. And if I were, I'm sure it would be right here," he laughed softly, almost to himself, taking off a glove and allowing pale fingers to play about the crotch of his jeans. "You wanna try and get me off?" He watched both of them carefully, slipping the glove back on.

This time, both the principal and the teacher stared at him, shocked once more at his blatant disregard for rules and manners. "Mr. Erickson, I'm afraid I'm going to have to call your parents about this. You can't go around speaking like this. It is a public offense." Opening the student directory, he began to flip to the 'E's', ignoring the look the teen gave him. Finding the name in question, Mr. Thomson picked up his phone and began to dial the number listed there. Finishing, he waited for it to begin ringing.

"Can't you help me as I'm startin' to burn?

Too many doses and I'm starting to get an attraction.

My confidence is leaving me on my own.

No one can save me and you know I don't want the attention."

Axel slipped his cell phone out from his messenger bag, singing along with the song (the same he had been listening to in Roxas' class), before flipping it open and emitting a cheery, "y'ello!"

"H-hello?" the principal asked, realizing that the number listed was the teen's cell.

"Axel speaking!" said teen replied, grinning at the man as he spoke, who hung up the phone. Following suit, he put his cell back into his bag before wrapping a bony arm about the back of the chair. "So, now what?"

"We're going to call your home phone now, and see if your mother or father picks up." He began to dial the second and last number, glancing at Axel, who put both of his hands in the air, as it rang.

"Yo, this is Axel. Can't answer right now, either 'cause I'm somewhere else or just not taking--

DEMYX! GET OUT OF MY REFRIDGERATOR! YES, RIGHT THIS INSTANT! YOU CAN'T JUST GO AROUND EATING MY FOOD! I HAVE TO BUY THAT, YOU KNOW!

Sorry 'bout that. But if you--

YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE IN THERE! OUT, OUT, OUT, GET OUT! THAT'S MY BEDROOM! OUT!

Hiiiiiii. This is Demyx. I'm at Axel's house right now, just hanging out. Zexion and Marluxia are here, too, and you really don't want to know what they're doing. Anyways, Axel has a tub of ice cream sitting in his fridge, just so you know. Oh, and he has some weird stuff in his bedroom. Really weird. As in kinky weird. And on the counter, where this phone is, it's all black and junk, like scorched and all. He set the phone on fire a few weeks ago when he was bored. Had to buy a new one.

DEMYX, GET OFF THE PHONE, I'M TRYING TO LEAVE AN ANWSERING MACHINE-MESSAGE-THING!

Hey, Axel again. Try my cell if you can't catch me here. Adios!

--BEEP--"

The principal looked at him, hanging the phone up again. "Do you live by yourself?" he questioned gravely, having noticed the lack of parental supervision the teen seemed to have, along with at home, if Demyx's, Axel's friend and year-mate, words had been true.

"Yeah, so?" Axel shrugged, tipping the wooden chair back. "'Daddy was a cop an' momma was a hippie.'" He sang roughly, shoulders meeting the wall, balancing his weight. "That's how it goes, and poor little Axel's left to fend for himself." His eyes narrowed slightly, as if daring the two men to say anything about it; he didn't like the way this conversation was going. Whenever someone brought up his parents, things got awkward quickly; no one seemed to understand he enjoyed living alone. It wasn't even really 'alone', as Demyx had made the apartment his second home.

"Well, Mr. Erickson, I can't let you get away with what you did, so you're going to have three days of suspension." Axel nearly began laughing; three days? He got worse for only bad-mouthing in class, never mind skipping class and subjecting that teacher to his words. "But for now, I want you to get back to class. Your suspension will being after school today. And I expect you to get in no more trouble. Is that clear?"

Axel rolled his eyes as he stood, turning on his CD player and walking to the door, headphones still around his neck. "Yeah, yeah, clear as you can make it," he agreed, not paying attention anymore. "Which really isn't very clear," he added under his breath as he slammed he door behind him, the frosted glass rattling in it's frame.

As he made his way through the halls, he growled quietly as he wondered which class he was in at that point, anyways. He had skipped first period to mess with the water main, 'blow-torch took care of that, easy,' he thought; then, for second period, he had made his way to Roxas' class, where he had a little chat with the lower classman. Midway through that he was dragged off to the office, where he received his suspension notice. 'That'd make this third period. And I have to stay here for the whole day?' Hunching his shoulders up, he stalked through the hallway aimlessly. He glanced at his schedule, not having memorized it yet, it only being the third month of school.

Science---Room B103---All Year (Marluxia and Zexion)

Athletics---Gymnasium---2 Quarters (No one)

Math---Room C208---All Year (Demyx)

Health---Portable C---2 Quarters (Demyx and Zexion)

A Lunch---Cafeteria---All Year (Demyx, Marluxia, Xemnas, Zexion, and Roxas)

Band---Room A116---All Year (Demyx)

Language Arts---Room B105---All Year (Xemnas)

Social Studies---Room B110---All Year (No one)

"Math," he rolled his eyes, realizing he was going to have to explain to Demyx why he wasn't in science earlier, who would have heard it from his other friends (he had marked who was in his classes on his schedule). Shrugging, he turned up the volume on his CD player, noticing it was on the same song as earlier. Pleased, he began to sing softly to it, hardly noticing when the bell rang.

"Yo! Hey, Axel! 'ey!" came a demanding call. "Pay attention, man!" Demyx laughed loudly, yanking the headphones off. "Where were you this morning? I missed you before class, and Marluxia said you weren't in science. What's up with you today?" His bright eyes were wide as he questioned the smaller teen, looking down slightly, trying to meet his eyes. "Look at me, Axel," he commanded.

He complied, rolling his eyes as he paused his music. "Science? During science I was busy breaking a water main, so that I could skip at least part of athletics. That enough?" He continued to walk, his strides long, Demyx trotting to keep up.

"You? Flood the school? I could see me doing that, but not you. Remember? You like to light things on fire," Demyx continued, in much better shape that Axel, allowing him to fast-walk alongside him and talk normally at the same time.

The pyro glanced at Demyx, headphones around his neck for the second or third time that day. "I did it with a blow-torch."

"That's more like you. And where'd you go, then, if you didn't go to gym?"

"Science," Axel answered shortly, going up a flight of stairs.

"But didn't you skip science?" Demyx asked, confused by this point. "Marluxia said you never showed up…"

"Not my science class," the younger teen shook his head. "I went to someone else's'."

"Oh… who's did you go to?"

"Roxas'," Axel grinned, apparently still high. He opened the door to their class and slipped in, leaving his friend to deal with the door on his own. Walking to the back right of the class, he threw himself into the chair, dropping the messenger bag on the floor. Long fingers danced patterns on the desktop as Demyx sat in the desk next to him. Moving his hand from the desk to the neck of his sweatshirt, he played with the chains he had attached to it, in place of the drawstrings.

"Woah, Axel, what're you on?" Demyx questioned, lowering his voice to a whisper as the teacher entered, setting down her things before she began to write on the board. "What're you on and where can I get some?" he rephrased, grinning at his druggie friend.

"Just crack right now," Axel grinned widely, fingers going back to the desk to beat an erratic tattoo on the surface.

Demyx laughed once more, shaking his head as he commented, "wow, Axel. I've never seen you like this before. Why'd you go to Roxas' class, anyways? Do you even know him that well?"

"Kinda," the other shrugged, tipping his chair back so that lanky legs could thud onto the desk, one leg over the other, boots clunking on the wood as he did so. "He's a pretty cool kid, ya know?"

"I didn't know that. But did you know that he's Sora's cousin?" Demyx grinned back at his friend, waiting for his reaction.

Now, to put it simply, Axel, Demyx, and their friends were a gang, thus the reason they all dressed similar, and the reason Demyx had brought up Sora. Sora, Riku, and their friends were a bit of a 'rival gang', if they could call it that. They weren't so much a gang as a group of people with opposite views and personalities that didn't like the gang in general.

"What? Roxas and Sora are related? How could they be?" Axel demanded, perhaps a little louder than necessary, as the class and teacher all turned to look at him oddly. There was an awkward silence before Demyx took over.

"Oh, don't mind him. He's just tired, you know, not enough sleep. Teenagers have been proven to fall asleep later than regular people, and therefore get less sleep, leading many to believe that school should start later so that teens like Axel get their sleep and are less disruptive to the class." Demyx provided with an innocent smile.

"Thanks," the red-head whispered, silently praising his friend's extremely quick thinking. Demyx normally acted like a dumb blonde, but was brilliant when it came to things like excuses. And even Axel knew he couldn't risk another office visit.

"No problem, but you're going to owe me," he answered, winking. "But anyways, about Sora and Roxas. Can't you tell? They look almost exactly alike, except for hair and eye color!"

"And hair style," Axel added, trying to defend why he hadn't known. "And they act so different! I mean, come on, Sora wouldn't give me the time of day, and Roxas is worried when I get high!"

"Is he really?" Demyx asked, sitting up a little straighter. "He's actually worried? He's not all 'holy crack, I think you're on crack!' or anything?"

"Ha-ha, you're funny," Axel answered wryly, rolling his eyes once more. "No, he's actually worried. Kinda funny, actually, if you think about it. My own parents never really worried about me, and now some kid who I've hardly known for three months is worried about whether I'm shooting up or not."

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By the time lunch arrived, Axel was more than excited to get out of the classroom. Math had been less than entertaining, and while Health was a bit more interesting, talking about contagious and non-contagious diseases still wasn't the pyromaniac's idea of fun.

But lunch, when he had most of his friends all in one place, that was the highlight of his school day. Not only was Demyx, his best friend, there, but Zexion, Xemnas, and Marluxia were all there, too. And Roxas, of course; Axel had taken care to write his name on his schedule. The kid was too entertaining to pass up, not to mention Roxas' friends.

The first of his friends that he spotted was Zexion; the blue-haired teen was an obvious stand-out. Marluxia was with him, checking two-for-one off of his list. Xemnas wasn't too far behind them, seemingly lost in his own thoughts, and Demyx leapt up behind Axel, jumping on the light-weight teen's back.

"Yo, Axel, what's up, buddy?" he shouted, despite the fact he was literally on top of the other. "It's good to see you again!"

"Goddammit, Demyx, get off of me! We just had class together! I haven't even been out of your sight!" Axel shouted from the floor. Being the skinny figure that he was, when his taller and heavier friend had pounced of him, he had fallen to the floor, which was a usual occurrence when it came to Demyx.

Standing up, he offered a hand to the other, who took it, rising to his feet. "You've got to eat more. You're emaciated, Axel!" Laughing at his own joke, he put his own gloved hands into his pockets.

"Shut up!" Axel yelled, standing up and making sure to scream it in Demyx's ears.

The other three of his friends simply walked to the screaming pyro, grouping around him and Demyx. Marluxia was leaning against Zexion, smiling contentedly. It was quite obvious the pair were gay, though some believed Marluxia was simply a transsexual, not gay, which subjected him to different torments than Axel. Zexion had similar torments, but only those who didn't think his partner was a transsexual would poke fun at him for being gay.

Axel glanced around, having lost his friend. "Demyx? Where'd he get off to? I swear, if we didn't--" but he was interrupted by a bowl of spaghetti being thrust into his face, followed by a laugh from Demyx.

"Eat up, pole-boy! We can't have you snapping in half every time someone tries to hug you!" Demyx grinned widely, grabbing Axel's hand and dragging him to their established table. The other three followed after them, sitting down in their accustomed places.

Axel glanced meaningfully at his fork, or lack wherefore of. "Demyx?" he requested, before taking out a plastic baggie, which he set in his lap, before remarking, "and a knife, too, while you're at it."

"Right-o, Captain Bright-o!" Demyx answered, getting up and slipping through people nimbly to get to the eating utensils.

"'Captain Bright-o'?" Axel stared, at a loss for words.

When Demyx returned, he threw a knife, a fork, and a spoon at Axel, who ducked impulsively, before straightening, picking up the knife first. Opening the bag he had brought out, he poured a little of the white powder onto the table. Glancing about, he took the knife in hand, straightening the thin line of cocaine. When he was satisfied, he let his friends draw close as a kind of shield as he lowered his head, snorting the coke. Blinking rapidly, he breathed in as he sat up, before rubbing the edge of his nose.

"Nn," he mused, putting his hand back on the table. "Thanks," Axel nodded, slipping the bag away once more.

"You're going to end up getting caught one day if you keep doing that at school, Axel," Xemnas voiced, head on his hands as he rested his elbows on the table. "I know you can deal quite well with school trouble, but the actual legal system's much worse. Even you can't wriggle your way out of it."

Zexion looked from Xemnas to Axel, blue hair covering his eyes as Marluxia played with it, laughing softly to himself.

"You think so?" Axel asked, eyes closed as he waited for the drugs to kick in. "I really don't plan on getting caught. And I'm a minor with everything working in my favor. I have no parents to keep me on the right track, I'm in trouble at school, doing drugs. It all adds up to simply no parental influence. Worst thing that can happen is I either get juvvie or sent to some sort of foster home for a while. If I'm at some foster home, it's even easier to lift cash, you know?" He grinned, sliding about so that he could rest his back on the table. Tilting his head back, he let it lay on the table, slightly blood-shot green eyes looking up at his friends. "And whatever. I haven't been caught yet. Have any of you?"

The others shook their heads, before Xemnas remarked cautiously, "but none of us take it so far as to bring it to school, Axel."

"But it's the risk, the thrill of it that's half the fun!" Axel waved his hands wildly, nearly knocking things off the table.

"You guys shouldn't be yelling about it, though. Wait until schools out. Alright?" Marluxia requested, finally speaking up, looking to them from his spot basically on Zexion's lap.

"Axel, you're suspended for three days, anyways. We'll have plenty of time to talk about it then, but anyways, you'll also have plenty of safe time to get high. So just hold off until you get home." Zexion opened his eyes, which had closed when Marluxia was playing with his hair as he spoke, watching his two friends.

"Fine, fine, fine," Axel shrugged, turning around and sitting up again. "No more at school." Looking around, he saw a familiar blond that was shorter than his imposing best friend. "Lookit! There's Roxas! I'm going to go talk to him!" he told them, before he was up, bag once more hanging from his shoulder as he made his way through the crowds of people wanting to eat to get to the 10th grader. "Roxas, hey, hold still for a second!" he shouted, half running and half hopping to Roxas as he tried to avoid running into people.

Roxas looked up after hearing his name called. "What? Oh, it's Axel again," he noticed, moving only far enough to get to his own table, which was the other half of the table Sora and his friend's sat at. Hayner, Pence, and Olette joined him there, setting their trays down.

"Axel? Really? Is he stalking you or something?" Hayner asked, picking up his chocolate milk to drink. At a glance from Olette, he rolled his eyes before adding a grumbled, "not to make you uncomfortable or anything."

"I really have no clue," Roxas answered, starting to open his own chocolate milk, watching the red-head seemingly dance his way to them in an attempt to avoid being trampled in the crowd. "I wonder what he wants."

Upon reaching them, Axel threw himself down on the stool beside Roxas, snatching the chocolate milk. "I swear, they're putting crack in the chocolate milk! I mean, everyone has one!" Plucking the cap off, he held it in one hand while he downed Roxas' milk, holding it with the other. "Woah, that's some good milk," he nodded enthusiastically, setting it back down, still holding the lid. "No crack, but still good milk." He wiped his mouth off with a sleeve, before leaning over to spin the lid on it's side, not unlike a top.

"Um… hi, Axel. Axel, this is Pence, Hayner, and Olette. You three, this is Axel Erickson," Roxas did his best to introduce them, but Axel was distracted by the spinning bottle top, and only waved for a split second.

Olette, who was sitting right across from him, smiled at him, tucking a stray hair behind her ear as she began to speak. "It's good to meet you, Axel. I'm Olette. How're you doing?" Another winning smile as she waited for him to answer.

"Oh, yeah, fun, good, very," Axel answered, words jumbled up. When Roxas slammed his hand down on the milk top, Axel jumped, before snapping back to attention. "Olette! Good to meet you, Axel," he nodded, before blinking to Roxas, as if asking him what to do next. Not so inconspicuously, Roxas mimed shaking someone's hand. Axel grinned, before offering a gloved hand to Olette, who took it, and he shook her hand. "Ah, very good, very good!"

"P-Pence," Pence stated, offering his own hand to the older and taller teen. "Good to meet you?"

Axel, having caught on by now, shook his hand before glancing to Hayner, offering his hand and a drug-induced smile.

"It's Hayner, and there's no way in hell I'm shaking your hand, fag-boy." Hayner crossed his arms across his chest, as if daring Axel to try and get along with him.

Roxas growled at Hayner, but knew there was no changing his mind. He looked to Axel worriedly, wondering how the temperamental upperclassman would respond.

"If you feel that way, it's fine by me; I've heard it all before. Gay, fairy, pixie, fag, faggot, fag boy, queer, homo, whore, slut; none of it's new to me." Axel shrugged, standing, before adding, "if you're afraid of me for being gay, if that's how you see me, than that makes you a homophobic." As he began to walk off, unable to resist, he called back, perhaps a bit louder than necessary, "see ya later, 'phobe."

Hayner sneered at the teen's retreating back, a hand raising to flick him off angrily. "You queer," he hissed under his breath, before turning back to Roxas. "See? He's gay!" He expected Roxas to admit he was right, or something along those lines. He certainly didn't expect his friend to full out punch him in the face when he turned back around; which is what Roxas did.

"You fucking idiot! Even if he is gay, he still deserves some sort of respect! And I think he's right! You're homophobic!" Roxas pulled his fist back, noticing it was shaking slightly, glaring at Hayner. "What's wrong with you? He's still a person who has feelings!" Even though Axel was high, there would be no forgetting that little conversation for a while.

"What the hell, Roxas!" Hayner demanded, watching as Roxas stood up, following the lanky teenager who had left first. "What's up with him?" he mumbled, a hand rising to feel his swollen jaw.

Axel, who was moving rapidly away from Roxas and his friends, no longer took care in avoiding the other people milling around him. He simply walked through the cafeteria, ignoring those in his way.

"Axel, hey, wait up!" Roxas shouted, getting lost in the crowd. He could still see the red hair of the other, who threw himself down on his chair among his friends. Growling, he began to force his way through, finally making it to Axel's table.

Axel sat there with his head on the table, cheek pressed flat against the wood, face turned away from Roxas. His friends watched Roxas as he approached, the tall blonde standing up in front of Axel protectively.

"What do you want? I think you and your crowd have done enough already," Demyx growled, folding his own arms as he glared down at Roxas.

Roxas glanced about, noticing the blue-haired boy and the brunette, along with the oddly silver-haired teen, all of which were watching him, though none as sharply nor as angrily as Demyx. "Hayner was out of line," Roxas provided, looking up to meet the angry blonde's gaze.

"Damn straight! Do you know how much of that Axel goes through in a day? A week? You have absolutely no clue the shit he's been through, so don't even try and understand. Just fuck off and leave him alone," Demyx commanded, sitting down and turning to Axel's prone form.

"You should let him alone for now. Demyx may be a bit over-protective, but everything he said is true," the brunette, Marluxia, murmured to Roxas before turning his attention back to Zexion, kissing his cheek flirtatiously, smiling happily when the other put an arm around his shoulders.

"Well? Are you going to gape and him and call him something else, or are you going to leave him alone?" Demyx nearly shouted this time, looking away from his best friend for a moment, long enough to chew Roxas out for not leaving.

"I wanted to apologize on Hayner's behalf… Axel's my friend, and Hayner had no right to--"

"You aren't Hayner, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't exactly want to apologize to Axel. And Axel's your friend? What exactly do you know about him? And if your other friends are going to treat him like this, I'd say you aren't a very good friend to him. So, again, screw off." Demyx narrowed his eyes, before a bony gloved hand yanked on his sweatshirt hood, pulling him back. Axel mumbled something unintelligible to Demyx, who nodded, before turning to Roxas. "He wants me to tell you that he's not mad at you, but he really doesn't even want to hear about Hayner anymore."

Roxas nodded, knowing there was nothing else he could do, much as it frustrated him. Turning, he began to walk off, but stopped a bit aways, noticing none of the black-clad teens were watching him.

Demyx had Axel in his lap and was running an ungloved hand through his friend's hair, allowing Axel to rest his head against his chest. Tears had left faint streaks down his cheeks and over the black triangle tattoos under his eyes.

Roxas stepped closer to listen to what Axel was saying, curious despite himself and the anger with which Demyx had told him to leave.

"I said what you told me to, Demyx," Axel mumbled, pressing his face against the black sweatshirt that Demyx also wore.

"Well, what happened?" Demyx asked patiently, still running his hand through Axel's hair, as if trying to soothe him.

"But it didn't work. He didn't care, and it didn't make me feel any better about what he had said," the druggie answered, shaking his head.

Demyx's own eyes softened, and he let his hand rest on Axel's back. "Well, it seems like the crack's not working as well as it should be. You sure you got the good stuff, 'cause you're coming down way soon, and way hard."

Axel cracked a weak smile at his friend's words, before nodding thankfully. "That's it, I'm sure. I'm never buying from that dealer again. Cheap shit never does the job right; just makes everything worse, which isn't the point of it, in the first place."

"Exactly," Demyx nodded, hugging him close once more, allowing himself a smile. "Go for the more expensive stuff, even if it costs more. 'Cause Axel, when you're down, you're a real downer, you know what I mean?

"Yeah, I know what you mean," the smaller teen agreed, before shifting uncomfortably and awkwardly. "'ey, Demyx, I'm better now. You can let go of me."

"Right!" Demyx nodded, releasing him and letting the pyro get up and sit down on his own seat.

Roxas stared at them. So it wasn't just Axel who was a druggie, but Demyx, too, apparently, which most likely meant the whole group was on drugs. He shivered involuntarily. So Axel was finally coming down; even Roxas knew some things about drugs: when you came down, it wasn't just a few sad and emotional minutes; it lasted longer than that, so Axel was either used to it or a good actor. Knowing Axel, it was both. Still a bit wary, he turned to leave, walking back to his friends.

"So, what're you planning to do for the rest of the day?" Demyx asked, leaning on the table and looking at Axel. "We've got band left together, and you still have… social studies and language arts, right?"

"In opposite order, but yes," Axel nodded, standing and grabbing his bag, which he slung over his shoulder. His shoulders were hunched again, despite his words that he was fine, the drugs were just wearing off. For a moment his carefully constructed disguise faltered, as his eyes let forth a flicker of pain before it was rapidly and much too easily put back up. "I dunno… I think I'll just skip class. Demyx, Xemnas, think you can convince the teachers I was sent home earlier because I was sick?" he requested, turning to glance back at them.

"I can do that, and I'll do the same for your social studies' teacher," Xemnas nodded, hands in his pockets as he continued walking.

"Oh, sure, no problem," Demyx agreed, following his friend. Still obviously worried, he pulled Axel aside from the students, who were all leaving, falling behind to talk to him. "Axel, are you alright? You're really screwed up right now," he began, a hand on either of the smaller boy's shoulders.

"I'm fine, and let me go," Axel commanded, pulling away and walking quickly towards the others, who hadn't slowed; Axel and Demyx often had 'little talks'.

With a near snarl, Demyx stood in front of him, grabbing Axel's much-too-thin wrist. "Listen to me! You haven't been eating at all recently, you're even more risky than normal… you're not yourself!" If it had been some sort of romance novel, Demyx might have added 'you're not the man I fell in love with!', but that wasn't how their relationship was, nor was it a novel.

"So? What matter of it is yours?" Axel shot back, pulling away and trying to duck away from the older boy, who stubbornly followed him. "Leave me alone!" he yelled, moving faster, pulling his hood up as if in an attempt to hide.

"Axel! Axel!" the musician shouted, shoving his way too the other. When he caught up, he grabbed the pyro's upper arm, dragging him from the crowd and pushing him into the men's restroom. "Look, listen to me, Axel," he began, before noticing Axel's expression.

Axel's eyes were downcast, purposefully not meeting those of his friend. The hood, which was pulled low, nearly covered his face to his nose, wiping all semblance of the pyromaniac from him, except for his constant slouched posture.

"Stand up straight," Demyx requested, getting off track. "C'mon, that's not good for your back." When Axel only shook his head with a half-hearted mumble, Demyx grabbed the hood, pushing it off of his friend's face and hair, so that he ended up with an arm around Axel's side.

Axel looked up at him, his hair mussed up from the hood being thrown roughly back. He fell forwards into Demyx's chest, hands clutching at the other's sweatshirt. His knees buckled, causing him to nearly fall to the ground, but Demyx caught him, helping him stand up.

"You sure you're…" Demyx began, before noticing that Axel was clinging weakly to him, eyes glazed over, expression vacant. "You all there, man?" he asked, waving a hand in front of the other's face.

"Hnn, yeah?" Axel blinked, weak from hunger, having to grab onto the stronger teen's upper arms to remain standing.

The pair stood there like that for a while, before Demyx cautiously took a hand and tilted Axel's face to him, so that the green and blue eyes ('Roxas…?' Axel wondered dazedly) met. Both were silent, though for different reasons, as Demyx leaned over, kissing the fragile teen on the lips, wrapping both arms around Axel, keeping him standing as the boy nearly passed out of his feet, a combined effect of the drugs and no food. Demyx slipped the glove off of his hand, running it through Axel's red hair again, treasuring the moment. Axel blinked at the action, snuggling into the older's chest, smile contented. Axel's eyes drooped shut as he fell asleep, held there by Demyx.

The two stood like that for a few minutes, before the tardy bell rang, waking the sleeping teenager, who's eyes widened sharply, before he looked up at Demyx.

Demyx slowly let him go, making sure he could stand, concerned again.

"What…what happened?" Axel asked, leaning against the wall, still exhausted.

"You fell asleep on your feet while I was trying to talk to you, and I had to catch you," Demyx answered, biting a lip nervously. It was a plausible enough lie.

"Oh, thanks," Axel answered almost blankly, putting a hand to his head. "Damn, I've got a massive headache going on. Not fun, not fun," he shook his head, before wincing; bad idea.

"No problem," Demyx shrugged, standing beside Axel and putting a hand on the other's shoulder as he looked down. "You need to sit down?" he inquired carefully.

"Yeah, at least for a minute; I'll see you later sometime," Axel nodded, sitting down on the floor, head in his hands as he tried to ward off the headache. When Demyx only crouched beside him, Axel glanced over to him. "You can go to class." Band was their class right now; though Axel was planning on skipping it, he knew it was Demyx's favorite class, as the musician seemed to have a passion for playing the electric guitar.

"Hey, you're my friend. If you're not feeling well, I'm going to make sure you're alright. Missing one class is fine, my record's pretty much clean," Demyx reassured him, wrapping an arm around Axel's shoulders.

Axel nodded, still not all there, "oh."

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"Roxas, you ass!" Hayner yelled, catching up with his friend, who had stalked off when the lunch bell rang, apparently still in a bad mood. "The faggot deserved it! Why the hell'd you hit me?" As Roxas continued to ignore him, his black and white checked jacket moving through the crowd. "Stop ignoring me!"

Roxas growled to himself. This was the second time that day someone had decided to follow him, although, this time, his stalker wasn't about to be quiet about it. Clenching his teeth against a comeback, he only hoisted his backpack further up on his shoulders; he quickened his pace, storming into his classroom. It would be impossible to continue to ignore Hayner; they both had language arts together.

Hayner, as he expected, slamming the door as he entered, threw himself into his seat beside Roxas. "Now. Answer me. Why were you protecting the queer?" He began to get out his things, still watching Roxas.

"Because he's my friend," Roxas hissed, taking a leaf out of Axel's book and simply shoving Hayner's books off the desk. "And I hate it when a friend says something bad about another friend."

"Yeah?" Hayner shot back, picking his books up and standing, "if he's your friend, you can have him, but I won't have anything to do with the fag and his friends." Striding off, he called back with a sneer, "so find yourself someone else to sit by!" He sat down beside Sora and Riku, who only glanced at him. Sora looked from his cousin to Hayner and then back again questioningly.

Roxas only shrugged setting his backpack down. Picking up a pencil, he set the tip on a piece of paper, doodling aimlessly as he began to think about what to write about. While he was thinking, he drew a stick figure, before adding clothing. Still at a loss, the boy added hair, making it spiky like Axel's. Amused now, he drew the chains on the sweatshirt, and carefully marked the triangles under the eyes. Taking a green colored pencil out, he made the eyes green, remembering they were strikingly colored.

Holding his paper up, he blew on it, before setting it back down. Not content yet, he drew another stick figure, this time with the semblance of Hayner, getting beaten up by the Axel stick figure. Laughing softly to himself, he slipped it into his folder. He would have to show that to Hayner; it was really funny, and he knew his friend would appreciate it. Roxas stopped, before glancing at Hayner, Sora, and Riku. Hayner wasn't his friend anymore.

Pence, as always, would remain neutral, trying to stay friends with both, but what about Olette? What would she do?

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Demyx nearly fell as Axel stumbled, steadying him. "Hey, lean on my shoulder, alright?"

Axel nodded, head falling back down again as he tried to remain awake. His eyes were closed again as he hung off of his friend's shoulder, shoes scuffing the ground.

Picking up the half-asleep teen, Demyx blushed faintly at the closeness, before readjusting his backpack and continuing to walk. He knew the way to Axel's apartment by heart now, having walked his friend home every day, and always ended up spending most of his free time there.

Slipping his hand into his pocket as he reached the right door, he unlocked the apartment, doing his best to carry Axel inside while holding the door open, along with his own backpack and Axel's messenger bag. Dropping both bags on the ground, he lay Axel down on the couch, sitting beside him, Axel's head on his lap.