Author's Note: finals are coming up soon! i've been putting together all my study materials and i just managed to squeeze it free time today and yesterday...and the day before (mah! DX) to finish up this chapter. as soon as finals are over, SCHOOL'S OFFICIALLY OUT!! -happy dance happy dance happy dance- i should throw a party! ...
but not now...there's emoness to be covered in this chapter. -sniffle- i had a great time writing this chapter. for one thing, i could listen to all the best sad/breakup/love/piano songs that i wanted while i wrote it! second, because i was spazzing out while adding in stuff. seriously! is was like: "ZOMG! -GASP- THIS TOTALLY BELONGS HEREEEEEE!!!" XDD
i hope the randomness in events i pieced together works out...meep -digs a hole and hides-
Chapter Thirty Three: Axel and Roxas Time
How could he do that to me? How could he just get up and leave without telling me he was leaving? How can he deal with the guilt of leaving me behind...throwing us to the side and forgetting? For a second, I felt like stopping. I felt like pulling off to the side of the street to sit against a wall and stay there until I'd find something better to do with my life...like maybe join up with street performers. People like that always had a place to go, always something to do. I wondered if they even had to deal with relationships like normal people.
If I became one of them, I'd be so famous that I'd have to travel through different worlds and towns. Then I'd end up at Radiant Garden. Maybe then I'd get to see Axel again...watching me play with fire or juggle knives. I wondered if he'd think I was stupid and wouldn't bother to even say he knew me. Would that be the way I'd like to see Axel again?
I thought about stopping. I really thought about it long and hard. But that would have to wait. It's always hard for someone to go someplace far away from me without me seeing them for days. With Axel, I wondered if it would even last for days. Weeks? Months? Years?
While the cold air whipped at my face, I turned corners, skipped steps, tripped and pulled myself back up...no matter what I had to make it to that station. The tower rang again and it still sounded far away.
I didn't think that it used to take this long to get there. Maybe mom already noticed that I was gone and was trying to chase me down. Please, no. Don't make me stop. I had somewhere I had to be, something I had to do.
I still couldn't figure out what I'd do once I got there...if Axel was even there in the first place. There'd really be no point in running after the train. People say that it disappears off the track right when in departs from the station. That just made me add another desperate sprint in my run, even if I nearly broke my ankle when I did it.
Even if I had two broken legs, I'd find someway to make it there and hug his legs if I had to. Yeah, I'm just stubborn that way.
Being a Saturday, I expected that there would be a lot of people both outside and inside the station. I was definitely right, for once. I turned a sharp right corner up the hill and came to a quick stop before I ended up colliding with someone ahead of me. The lady didn't even pay attention to me. She was all caught up in texting on her cell phone; I told you, something that girls are pros at.
Left, right...I turned my head in every possible direction there was. I kept getting a sore chest when I saw couples hugging and crying; the wife telling her husband to come home soon and the husband telling the wife to keep safe. I couldn't care less if someone was staring at me for running around frantically, they were all too busy with stupid business to pay attention to some teenager...a teenager that was still in his pajamas, by the way.
Swiftly and carefully I picked the easiest gaps to run through in the crowd. Each time I moved past a person, I looked up and checked the time on the tower that hovered over the station.
Fifteen minutes until 7:30.
I managed to make my way through people's cell phone calls, last minute voicemails and millions, literally millions of last minute goodbyes. I'd been doing so much running that it almost hurt to breathe.
Leaving all those conversations behind me, I skipped up the stairs and pulled the station doors open like my life was on the line. Right when I opened those doors and slipped inside the first lobby, I ran off to the door to the train departures like crazy. Not only that, but I started talking to myself like crazy.
"Be there...please be there...come on, don't be gone, ok? You're still there. Pick it up, Roxas, pick it up!" For once, my body was getting a sense that this was a serious situation and sent what was left of my energy into the last few seconds of that run. I literally slammed my body into the doors but I just shrugged off the pain that came out of it.
This had to be the biggest turning point in my life...bigger than starting high school, bigger than being on the top of the newspaper headlines for days, bigger than meeting Axel.
I got blasted with a strong smell of gasoline when I eventually got the doors open. I was stupid enough to make myself the center of attention. I hadn't even been in there for five seconds when I ran to the center of the main lobby and screamed the loudest I'd ever screamed, even if my chest felt like something took a hammer to it.
"AXEL!!!" I panted breathlessly and stared around the room. I could hear that scream echo off the high ceiling and into the room where all the trains were kept. A couple of heads turned and a couple of eyes rolled but they eventually turned back around. Not loud enough. Not near loud enough. "AXEL!" I tried again, this time getting even more head turns than last time. That had to be perfect. That had to be good enough.
I couldn't just stand there and do nothing but scream until someone slapped me across the face. I ignored all the glares I was getting and ran further into the station; up the stairs and into the departure room. Still panting wildly, I threw my body from side to side, searching for seconds at a time in one spot then the other.
He wasn't here.
Panic. My heart nearly gave out when I realized that I couldn't find him. Didn't Axel normally stand out the most in a crowd? After all that running, all the screaming, pushing, shoving...he wasn't here. But he had to be.
I turned my head sharply to the left and spotted the purple train with the blue moon and star windows on each side. It was that one train that left only once a month for out of town travels...the one that people say rarely comes back. It didn't leave yet...I didn't get it.
"Axel..." I breathed, still staring at that train with my mouth hanging open. "Where...how...?" There really was nothing better to do than stammer in one spot. I eventually pulled my eyes away from the train when it started to hurt to look at it. I didn't want to think about traveling right now. With my eyes cloudy and the taste of blood in my throat, I turned back to my right and started walking toward the benches.
Nope. Axel wasn't there either.
I felt like garbage. Waste, scum...whatever word that could best describe a Roxas was what I was. That was it. He was gone. Nothing more to talk about. What if he decided to take a different train? What if there was another purple train that I didn't know about? All I knew was: I had nowhere to go now.
Right when my nose was inches away from touching the wall ahead of me, I turned around and forced my back against the bricks, holding my head in one hand while dragging myself to the floor. When I got to the floor, I stared down at my feet for a while before shutting my eyes tight and hoping that I'd fall asleep and wake up to a new school year. Not gonna happen. Nothing's fair.
I opened my mouth to breathe again and I ended up getting out a broken sob. I rubbed the top of my head and smoothed down some spikes that fell over the back of my neck. I could really remember a touch like that. With my eyes closed, I could remember feelings; go back to so many memories. No matter what I think about, I always think about Axel. I can't not do it.
I could feel something pulling down lightly on my neck and I almost tipped over. I opened my eyes and caught sight of a white ring hanging right under my face. It wasn't moving like it usually did. It was sort of just hanging there and not even the wind was doing much to it. I carefully put my hand under it and let it lay flat. I could feel its chain snaking against my skin. Cold, shivering and scared...just like me.
I never took this thing off for a second since I got it. I wasn't planning on getting rid of it. After all...
I looked up for a second to stare at a few people throwing cargo into the purple train. I broke out a little sob again but shut myself up by turning back to the floor.
After all, I guess it's all I have left of Axel.
"Roxas..." I muttered to the reflection in the ring. "You screwed up. You...really did." I shook my head once and closed my hand over the ring, letting it heat up and bit while I tightened my fingers up into a loose fist. True story is, I really think I screwed up. The heat in my hand just made me think back to the fact that I really slapped Axel. Man, I didn't even apologize.
I crossed my arms over my knees and buried half my face in them before closing my eyes again. Trains were just coming in, from what I could hear. People were boarding and, before you could blink, the trains were gone again. This wasn't right. But I guess I was giving up. Axel wasn't here and I wasn't about to jump from train to train looking for him.
I could feel a tingle against my arms, my legs, my forehead. I wasn't sure if it was because it was so cold in here or what but I thought I should just push it away. When the tingling wouldn't stop, I started getting annoyed and ended up forcing my eyes open. Just as I was about to stand up, every single nerve in my body shot up and I stayed right where I was.
Wait...I knew this. I knew this feeling. I could even recognize the khaki pants that were standing just two inches in front of me. This wasn't happening...it's not...right? Fate's not that nice.
My eyes perked up and, without even concentrating on one thought, I turned my head up from my knees and looked up at him. I would've cried if I wasn't so excited...I really couldn't say anything. I just let my bottom lip shake along with my legs. I didn't feel like letting the shaking stop. I just did what came naturally. I narrowed my eyes and reached out my arms until they were far enough to wrap around his knees. It might've seemed sappy before, but at the time, I loved it.
"Ah, man..." I whispered to no one in particular. I locked my arms loosely around his legs and tried pulling him closer to me but I couldn't do much more than hide my face. It hurt to do anything else. Don't make me let go, please don't. I need this.
After a while, I noticed that he wasn't moving. That's when I started getting heavy-chested again. Right now. Roxas, if you don't do this now, it's useless. Go on, no one's gonna do it for you. You're not a kid.
Tiredly, I moved my face away from his knees and decided to keep my eyes facing forward. I'd feel like even more of a jerk if I looked right at his face. His eyes would've ended up winning over me anyway. "Sorry..." I croaked. "I'm sorry." I dropped my arms and pulled them back into my chest pathetically. Sorry comes in close second against goodbye when it comes to pain. A hurt word, that's what it is.
I heard something shuffling and still didn't move my eyes away from my hands. That is, until I saw a sharp green in the corner of my eye that literally forced me into changing my line of sight. Slowly, I turned my head and, sure enough, Axel was staring right at me, occasionally gazing over my face like I was his lost possession. I guess I sort of am.
He's...too...perfect. I couldn't help but sit quietly while a light breeze from the passing trains blew his untamed, cherry spikes to one side. The setting twilight outside was staining itself on him, leaving a hazy orange and subtle yellow on every part of his skin. All that twilight even brought out the extra spike in his eyes, lethal green. Really up close, I had the time to pin point the perfections on his face. It's how I get to know him better, I guess. Hey, he does the same for me.
"I knew you were always crazy, Roxas. Always knew it." He turned up a sincere smirk and raked one hand through his hair.
"Axel, I..." I stopped. "...where were you?"
His smile drifted off and he ended up biting a corner of his mouth sort of worriedly. "We left early this morning so we could get our stuff on the train first thing. I tagged along with mom and Riku for a bit before heading back here."
"Where'd you go?"
Another bite. This was getting edgy. "Hospital. Visited Arson."
"Huh? Why? I mean, how's he doing for one thing?" I straightened up and little bit against the wall, nearly crashing our heads together. I had to remember to keep my voice down since all talk echoed like gossip in this room.
"That wound of his isn't healing up right. It keeps getting infected even when the doctors try to re-bandage it."
"Oh..." I couldn't help but feel miserable. After all, I was the one that stabbed him...stabbed him deep. Arson could've died if it hadn't been for the police. I never meant for things to get so out of hand. I wondered...if I hadn't done that, then maybe Axel wouldn't be leaving. Then again, we'd all be dead if I hadn't done it. Fate messes with people too much.
"Hey...hey, hey, hey," Axel sort of cooed in my ear while he reached out his hand to me. I stared at his long, thin fingers for a while before shutting my eyes lightly when he ran them through my hair. I didn't care if it made me feel small.
What started out as something sort of cute ended up tearing me apart. I felt my throat clench up while I moved my cheek against his thumb. Before I knew it, my eyes were squeezed shut and I was swallowing down sobs all over again.
"Roxas...c'mere." With his free hand, Axel took my left wrist and shook it. I got the sense that he wanted me to look so I did, feeling my wet eyelashes freeze against my skin when I blinked. He was still holding my head and I realized that he had moved in closer to me. What was he thinking? Too many people were here.
"Over here, let's go." He slipped his hand away from my head and helped me up to my feet. I didn't mind that they were falling asleep. They'd catch up eventually. I didn't bother to look around the room. I didn't even get the time to and we were walking slowly to wherever it was that Axel needed to take me. But I followed anyway and did it without being so conscious about who was watching.
This was Axel and Roxas time, no one else's.
We had to be extra careful maneuvering through the train station. For once thing, there were a lot of people, mostly girls that would most likely find some way or another to create rumors about me and Axel. For another thing, there could've been cameras or staff members that could've caught us wandering around places we shouldn't have been. Still, we risked it.
Axel led me past the third tracks where the third train normally stayed for loading and departing. I peered around his shoulder and saw some steps that led somewhere below the tracks. Funny, I didn't remember stairs being in here.
Then, just as we started sneaking down those stairs, I mindlessly curled my hand up and slipped it into Axel's hand. I just wondered what it would feel like without him having to hold my wrist all the time. I felt that it was time for a change. He took a second to look over his shoulder at me. I could tell that he wanted to smile, really, really wanted to smile...but his eyes narrowed and drooped back down to the ground as we went on walking.
I swallowed a bit and I couldn't stop feeling nervous even when we stopped walking, hidden behind a concrete wall. Walls...I knew Axel well enough to know what they meant for him. As long as I was between him and a wall, he got his dosage of entertainment for the day. I was half expecting to be thrown against it so I buckled my knees and braced myself for impact.
"So..." I started, switching glances between Axel's face and the blank wall behind him. I tried pulling my hand back but he just gave me a squeeze, telling me that that wasn't gonna be a good idea.
"Don't feel bad, ok?" He turned his head down to look me straight in the eye. After all this time, he was still capable of towering over me.
"Feel bad?" Just listening to myself talk, I could tell that I was sounding pretty worn out. My eyes were half closed and my body wasn't responding as quickly as I wanted it too. After all, I only woke up a little while ago. Come on, stay awake. I had to remember that this was important.
"Just don't get worked up about this stupid trip." He scoffed and brushed his thumb over my hand which I thought was unintentional. Just as I was about to smile along with him, his expression turned back around. What is wrong with this guy?
While I thought about it, I still felt his thumb just grazing the top of my skin, softly and unhurriedly. I really did miss that. I thought back to a couple of situations when he would touch me like that. I thought back to when we'd share a laugh, a picture, memories...those touches felt just like those memories. I'd miss it...I'd miss it a lot. I lowered my eyes to the floor just as he stopped moving completely.
"Roxas." That's all he said in some secretive, half-sob voice. Before I could say anything, I heard him laugh calmly above me. I felt his weight press down on my forehead and his hands limply fasten around my waist. His chest was almost pressing into me, close enough for me to feel him breathing. "Roxas, Roxas..." He muttered painfully.
"A-Axel..." I staggered and drew in a sharp breath of cold air. With my eyes still staring downward, I saw his foot inch forward hesitantly. I sort of understood and took a full step back until I had my body flattened out against the concrete. Axel followed me carefully until I finally had him pushing me, almost combining us. This had to be the first time that I would accept anything like this without a struggle.
For a while, I had my hands pushed out to the side before I moved them up and behind Axel's neck. There, I held him and tried pulling his head even closer to me. I really wanted him so close that I could feel his eyelashes on my skin. His breathing was quickening and mine was easily catching up. What happens now...? It's something I always ask during these sorts of situations.
"It's how much...I'll miss you." My voice cracked when I said that. Thankfully, he understood and nodded once with his head still pressed against mine. I really said it. Ever since I met Axel, I never once really told him what I felt about him. What I was doing now reflected how much I would miss him.
"Go ahead. Doesn't bother me." He started rocking his hips from one side to the other very, very slowly. Just like when we were alone...dancing out of all things. I almost gasped and I brought my eyes up to his chest.
"Mm..." I whispered shyly. It wasn't much from the fact that it felt good that he was touching me that made me make a sound like that. It was from knowing that it could've been the last time I'd get to feel it. Did that make me selfish? Did it make me a bad person to almost regret feeling him almost protect me like this?
"I got you. I'm not going yet, remember?"
"But you will...you're gonna..."
"Shh...not yet, yeah? Not yet." Wait a sec...I knew this feeling. Just as I was thinking about dreaming, I felt something touching my face, my neck...my whole body was surrounded by something warm. So it was him. He must've been saying goodbye. What's the use of goodbye if you can't look someone in the eye and say it?
That was it. I couldn't take it anymore. He was a jerk for thinking he could pull something like that off. Instead of hitting him or screaming, I loosened my hands and used one to grab the back of his head. His eyes dilated when I let all my anger out...just let it out, let it all out. I fiercely, openly kissed him, shutting my eyes quick right when I started. Seeing as I wasn't normally the one to make the first move, I felt tongue-tied...literally.
I was honestly excited and heartbroken at the same time while he moved right along with me. It hurts when two emotions like that crash. But I guess that the kissing can pull that hurt away. He started sucking on my lower lip during a short pause between each kiss. Yeah, it might've hurt a bit but it still didn't hurt as much as the thoughts I was having.
For a second, I cracked my eyes open and stared at his face. It had to be the first time that I had my eyes open while we were kissing. I thought that keeping your eyes open was bad luck. But I really couldn't help it. What if he would leave me in the next second? I wouldn't get the chance to see him again. Never again. Ouch.
I slowed down after thinking it and lowered my eyes to the ground again. What was happening to me? I never acted like this before when people left me. I remembered the time when Hayner left on a trip for a month and all I did was hit him on the back and laugh about it while he stuck his tongue out the window at me. Something's changed me...something's turned me into a different Roxas and the scars from that change hurt.
"Hurts, doesn't it?" I always knew he could read my mind. After he asked, he came onto me again, first kissing the edge of my cheek before licking my lips apart from each other. I tried thinking back to the first time he kissed me...I wouldn't really count that kiss as a real first kiss since it was more of a forced one rather than a serious "you're important to me" one. It didn't really mean anything. But, compared to this one, this one was definitely higher up the ladder.
"Ah..." Just when my breathing drew back, I calmly sighed against him just after that one beginning kiss. Yeah, I couldn't stop. There's just something about this sort of thing that keeps you going: you can't give only one kiss. Half my mind was set on moving my hands down his neck then down his back. I just barely let my fingers touch the heavy fabric on his black hooded sweater. I buried one hand under the hood and carefully rubbed at his neck while the other one inched up and down at his lower back.
At the same time, Axel's hands quickly grabbed behind my waist then traveled over to the bottom of my jacket. I felt a light tug which was followed by more of a lift. Before I could even finish the description of that touch, he already had the jacket and the shirt lifted up just enough for him to cover his hands underneath, letting them twist along my spine.
He skipped a breath and returned a sigh back at me. I wondered if it hurt him, but I had a feeling that him breathing like that was totally different from what I was thinking. Who knew that he was just as vulnerable as I was when it came to squeezing into personal bubbles? Well, I had to remember that he was just being like any other love sick puppy...just a little more mature than that. While all those thoughts went on, something cold touched my fingers which made Axel twitch instead of me.
I couldn't look down but I could feel that cold object just enough to know what it could've been. Let's see...my hands were pretty low, and the thing was pretty small...a zipper. I tried to test it out and, sure enough, when I pulled down, a little zipping noise broke though. I stretched my fingers higher until I felt the button. Once there, I unlatched it and let Axel go on shivering half nervously and half with anticipation. Score point for Roxas.
I traced my thumbs along his belt loops. Once, twice, until I figured that he would get a heart attack if I pushed it too far. Truthfully, I was getting ready to jump off the edge too. His hands weren't so gentle the first second that zipper started skidding down. Axel suddenly backed off and panted with his head pressing in between my eyes.
I felt my lips quiver a little from the sudden cold. I ducked my head and let my body shake intentionally just so Axel could move in a little closer to me. He lifted his head and rested his chin atop my head instead. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I could hear a piano playing; not too loud but not too soft. There really is something changing about me.
Something literally attacked me on the inside, making me suddenly say things that I didn't even think of saying. "I don't hate you. I really don't." With my face still looking down, I moved my hand to his face where I remembered, but didn't want to, hitting him. I just poked at it softly with my fingers, even when the situation started feeling corny.
I felt him scoff lightly against me. "Roxas," he breathed, "come on."
"You know...it's 'cause I can't hate you. Even if I really want to, I can't do it. It's just...Axel, I can't..." I half smiled but he quickly erased it with the next thing he did.
"Roxas, look at me, 'kay?" His voice mysteriously lowered to a serious level. As if he was setting a madman straight, he took both of his hands and grabbed both sides of my head. He wasn't all too demanding about it but he did make me look right at his face. It was weird to see him serious, eyes scanning over my face and smile turned flat. He still looked a little exhausted but he looked like he could handle it.
Embarrassed, I took my hand away from his face and left it hanging at my side, resisting the want/need to grab for his pants again. I was that close to dropping them. Phew, focus, Roxas. Focus.
"I'm not gonna hate you if you do things like that. It doesn't bug me that you're being you, got it?"
"What?" I asked airily.
"If you hit me like that, yell at me, throw me off a cliff...that's just you being you. If you don't do that, it'll just make me hate you then. Understand? You have to stay Roxas. Don't be a fake."
"O-oh..." My body shivered more when I felt my arms getting exposed to the wind. In the corner of my eye, I noticed that my jacket sleeve was pushed away just enough to show my upper arm. Right when I saw it, Axel let go of my head with one hand and used it to pull the rest of the sleeve down.
"That's the only reason why I like you. You're not forcing yourself to change. See, when Arson does the same exact things to me, I hate him. Know why? 'Cause he's not him. I know he's not. Roxas." He shook me.
"Uh-huh?" I got caught off guard between listening to him and feeling him pull my sleeve down at the same time.
"...I'm gonna be sappy, ok? But it'll be worth it."
"What're you talking about?" He had both hands on my jacket now, pulling both sleeves away. It finally hit me that he was undressing me in public and I was still in my PJs. I didn't say anything about it since I felt strangely comfortable with it.
"Just...stay you..." The jacket dropped over my feet right when he forcefully pulled at my shoulders and pushed my head against his chest. When I tried listening for a heartbeat, I couldn't catch it. It was like he was dead inside. "...'cause I love you for it. That's how it's gonna be."
My thoughts did a quick double take on my memories. My breathing hitched and my eyes nearly stung when I heard that last part in his chest. This was definitely what it felt like...when someone tells you they love you...you feel like passing out. You feel like running and crying; you feel like hiding and keeping quiet. But what's the right thing to do? Is it ever right to run away from love like that? Why did Axel have to tell me this now, just before he runs away?
"Took you long enough," I whispered and took a second before rephrasing it. "...I love you for that." I choked and felt my shoulders shake, not from the cold but from the crying. I had to do it. I had to be me and cry. He warned me that he was going to be sappy. There're times that sappy is acceptable, now being the best time.
The problem with moments like this is that they never last long.
"Train number one, departing for Radiant Garden, is now boarding. All passengers please report to train doors at this time."
"Hn..." I shook my head against him, tugging at his sweater, and felt the wall behind me grind into my back. I could tell he didn't want to leave. As far as I knew it, he belonged to me. It might've sounded selfish at first, but I couldn't help but think it. There was no way that I could promise him that I could stay Roxas if he wasn't there to help me.
"You're coming, right?" He said into my neck.
I let out a long sigh and unwillingly nodded. Man, I felt like a spoiled brat that wouldn't let go of a toy. When I squeezed my eyes, I pictured mom's voice lecturing for me to let go. Tiny, helpless, spoiled Roxas was digging his fingers into some Captain Wears-his-underwear-outside-of-his-pants action figure.
Roxas, Roxas, please let go. I'm not going to ask you again, young man.
...before a different voice took over.
It's not like it's a crime. You're both perfect anyway, yeah?
I didn't know whose voice it could've been, but I had a feeling like I knew it from somewhere. I didn't see a picture of anything that time so there really was no way for me to tell who was talking to me. I ended up listening to the voice I recognized, as much as it made my ear bleed to do it.
It took me a while before I could get the message to my hands to let go of Axel's waist. They eventually unlocked and he backed away, disappointedly gazing at the floor while the train whistle and the scattered conversation of the outside world came back. I reached down for my jacket and pulled it back on, just realizing how cold it was in here.
"Ok, let's go..." 1 step...
I reach out my hand and Axel takes it, just like I want him to.
He helps me move away from the wall and, in a slow turn, walks next to me to the stairs.
3, 4, 5, 6, steps...
While we walk in rhythm, the train impatiently whistles. I feel like stopping midway and dragging Axel down with me. But before I can, the stairs end and we're walking to the first tracks.
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 steps...
Right before we reach the train, I hear the piano slowly end on an unfinished note. I know it means something. It means that this isn't over. Axel turns his head to me and gives me a trademark smile; the kind that only shows up for me. I feel like taking a picture...I feel like finding a way for that smile to stay glued to my mind.
We take one more step forward. 13. Mine stop here.
I looked to my right where I noticed that the gate opened for the train to pass through. When I looked hard enough, I could sort of see that there was something past the black in that tunnel. There was just something that was telling me that I shouldn't be afraid to let Axel leave me. Call me crazy, but looking in that tunnel made me feel that way.
Right when I turned my head back to Axel, I heard something metal hit the ground. I looked around my feet until I saw a silver necklace sprawled out some inches away from Axel's leg. At first I thought it might have been any old necklace; after all, there were so many people that it was pretty easy for someone to lose anything. But, when I examined the detail in the necklace, the sharp spark in the diamonds, the sleek curve of the ring hanging off one end, I nearly panicked. Before I had the chance to say anything about it, I felt this pang at the back of my head.
Wait, where'd did that come from? When I stared at the necklace longer, I caught sight of someone's feet standing behind it. I wondered if it could've been someone who thought the necklace was theirs and I immediately brought my head up to look them straight in the eye. What would I say? Uh, sorry, that's mine and you can't have it so...shoo. Spoiled kid was kicking in again.
"Oh, uh, sorry..." My throat instantly closed up, not letting anything larger than air pass through. No...that's not. That's not possible. Maybe in dreams, yeah, but not here; I really wished this whole scene could've been a dream, but it really wasn't. How else could I see him standing almost close enough to reach out his hand and touch me? How else could I see the breeze from the trains flutter right past his face...a pale face at that? How else could I know that this guy was Zexion?
Punch me, throw water on me, bite me, pinch me, throw me off a running train. What ever it would take to snap me out of a daze, I wished someone could and would just do it. I constantly blinked even until my eyes nearly dried out and felt sandy when I shut them.
I just had to make sure that I Zexion was standing there, looking at me through that one eye of his and...smiling. Out of all things, he was vaguely smiling at me. His face was so pale and it was dimly transparent in his cheeks. His bangs still fell into neat, dark blue layers over his right eye and his eye color had even remained that one shade of deep lavender that used to scare me out of my mind when I first met him. I couldn't believe I could pull out all these things from some feet away.
When I stared harder and longer, I got used to the nearly fading color in his body and could manage to draw out the outline of his clothes: a navy blue sweater with a music note printed on the front, a black choker around his neck, a black and white tie tied at the end of his sweater zipper, baggy jeans and a pair of loose, white athletic shoes with no laces tied through them. When I thought back, I remembered that he wore this exact same outfit to the dance when he was the DJ, the same outfit he was shot in and the same outfit he wore in that picture that was displayed during his ceremony at school.
With eyes still widened, I looked down at his feet and twitched my fingers, thinking if it would be right to reach out for the necklace. As far as I knew, I still had my necklace. I shifted my arms and felt the chain swivel along my collar bone. So that meant...
Right then, I turned my head to Axel who was just standing there with his back turned half to me and half to the train ahead. It was almost like no time had passed at all...what was he doing just standing there? I looked around me in a way that made me look like I could've been the last person on earth: cold, stunned and overall, petrified. What were all these people doing with their faces turned away from me?
"Wha..." I looked back to where I had seen Zexion, fully expecting him to be nothing but a vision, but there he was, still smiling at me with one slender finger pressing lightly over his mouth. I could even see the people behind him since his hand was just as transparent as his cheeks. Get out of my head, quit messing with me.
While I slowly cocked my head to the side, Zexion, or whoever, whatever he was, lowered his finger and nudged his head toward the floor. I looked down and saw him tapping one foot beside the necklace on the ground. Before I could move toward it, thinking that he wanted me to pick it up, he took a first slow step forward and shiftily kicked it, sending it against the front of my shoe. I raised an eyebrow and tried to ask, but he just shook his head at me.
Without words, he nodded toward the necklace and flicked his fingers up twice. I shifted looks from Zex, to the floor, to Axel, to the train, to Axel again then back to the floor. In all honesty, I felt that I was hit with a spotlight, a person chosen to save a life...maybe that's it. Maybe I was supposed to save someone's life.
As if I read Zexion's mind, I bent down and carefully stretched out my hand until I had one finger through the diamond ring. I pulled myself back up and curled my hand over it, feeling some heat escape from it instead of ice, like mine always did. I squeezed tighter while having a stare down with Zex. He must've been satisfied, seeing as he weakly grinned at me.
Then why don't I feel ok?
You're just being yourself. It's normal. You really are ok.
I didn't believe that, but I didn't have much time to think about it. Reality started coming into play again. The train whistle shrilled in my ear, causing me to spin around to see if maybe I missed the departure. Good, the train was still there. But when I looked back forward, Zex was gone. Nothing. It's always first instinct to believe that he was never there. Then again, I still had this necklace in my hand. I pictured Zex with his finger over his lips.
Just as time started rolling on again and people turned their faces back in different directions, I twirled the chain around my wrist and tucked most of it underneath my checkered wristband. It was out of sight. Axel turned back to me and paused for a long time before saying, "I saw mom already get on the train. Riku's most likely with her." Translation: I'm, uh, gonna go now.
I nodded briskly as if I understood and shoved my hands into my jacket pockets. I had to make sure that the thing was really out of sight. I at least expected Axel to mention the necklaces. I guess...he didn't care.
"XYZ. Don't wanna make an idiot of yourself when you get there." I didn't bother to throw my finger out to show him that his zipper was still undone. He eventually got it and we suddenly broke out in a laughing outburst while he pulled it back up.
"Hey, take this real quick." He looked up and dug around in his pocket, pulling out a folded up piece of paper which he ended up handing over to me. He even stood over me while I took it from him with my right hand, the one I could show him. I unfolded it and lightly chewed my lip when I saw the smudged pencil marks etched throughout the page. Those smudges and lines came together in the center of the paper as that one drawing of me. This was that drawing that Axel drew in the hospital. That one drawing that he drew when I kept insisting that I hated him. I couldn't understand it; he used to only see me a couple times a day and yet he could still get all the details in my face perfectly.
Somewhat speechless, I pulled the drawing to my stomach and muttered a droned "Thank you."
He hugged me again after that, less affectionately this time since people could actually see us. I kept my hands to myself, one still in my pocket and the other smooshed between Axel and myself. He couldn't see it, but I was falling apart. No one could tell since my face was so straight and my eyes were so emotionless. I liked feeling his clothes against my face for some reason. I breathed in and out, taking in the last bit of his cologne. On the last breath I let out, he moved away, further and further away until I almost felt like I was being held back by a thin string. I couldn't follow him and I hated fate because of it.
I just stood there, mindless and in the same position he left me in. I counted his steps: five to the train, one, two, three, four, five, six more...I lost count once he actually got inside and a station member slid the door closed behind him. I didn't want to count steps anymore. It just made life seem pretty short.
I always knew that the train left fast. But, like I said, the people left quicker. It was always hard to grasp that people actually moved on. Goodbyes take forever to do since there's so much feeling in it. The actual leaving moment speeds right through since all the feelings were put into those goodbyes. I gloomily watched the train unhook from one track and lock onto another before letting out a quiet puff of steam while motoring away. Pretty soon, I couldn't even see the train anymore, the open tunnel took it into darkness and that was that.
He didn't even look back.
So long Sex Education...
So long Twilight Town, hello life of sleeping alone.
Five minutes into this thing and I'm bored-as-hell. It's not my fault that I can't stand sitting against my will. Most people call that ADD but I just call it someone-who-gets-bored-easily syndrome. I guess it's sort of pointless to think that I've got something biologically wrong with me. Truth is, right now, there's something differently wrong with me. I'm too hit up to come up with a name for it.
Apparently, I was the last one to get on the train and I was the one holding it up in the departure gate five minutes over schedule. I would've gone an hour over schedule just to stay back there.
I roughly sighed and pulled one leg over the other, resting my chin on my hand while I glanced out the window. When I say glanced, it's not a one second thing. I literally stuck there forever, just watching the station zoom out, then the houses and then the clock tower. He said that he wanted to bring me on top of that thing one of these days...can't say that's possible now. It's a shame; ice cream and Roxas go well together, in two different ways.
I looked away from the window when it started making my insides turn and instead tried finding something interesting in the fact that Riku was pulling off a Stevie Wonder in the seat at my left, nodding off with his mouth half open. Normally, I would've grabbed the nearest pen and scribbled something awful on his face, but now is an exception.
I didn't get why the whole train had to be quiet. I figured that it was because there were so many old people in here. Honestly, Riku and I had to be the only teens sitting in here. See, if only I talked mom into getting another ticket then...
I groaned and slapped a hand over my face, sliding down into my seat. Everything little thing that I thought about trailed me back to thinking about Roxas. But I couldn't help it. That kid was just...human. He acted young for his age too. Always denying this from that, always making up excuses for saying something nice, always thinking he said the wrong thing when he really made it right.
I stared down at my right hand and started opening and closing it, just barely remembering what it felt like when Roxas was next to it. When I hugged him that last time, I couldn't put a finger on why he wouldn't do the same to me. I never thought of Roxas as the embarrassed type once we settled things out between us. It's making me sound like a selfish punk.
"I love you for that." Honestly, how long was it gonna take him to say that? More like how long was it gonna take for me?
"Axel? Axel! What're you doing here?"
"Huh?" I opened my eyes (since when were they closed?) and lifted my other hand off of my forehead. Still slouching in my seat, I stared off to the right and saw these eyes bugging out right in my face.
"What're you doing here?" Boy, she seems excited. She laughed in disbelief and took the empty seat next to me. See, if mom let me get that ticket then that seat wouldn't have been empty, now would it? I pretended I saw a bird crash outside and looked out the window again.
"Taking a trip." That's technically true. I raised an eyebrow and half smirked out of my own politeness. "You?"
I saw her lean back into her seat and cross her arms over her chest. She was wearing the Sunset Hill High School uniform complete with blue and white, overly micromini skirt and tight to the skin polo. Don't tell me she followed me from school. She furrowed her eyebrows and let out a hitched sigh. Girls and their drama...
"My dad got a new job over in Radiant Garden. He's pulling me and my mom out of town to stay with him there at least until he's comfortable enough with the job."
This story sounded painfully familiar. "So, you're moving?"
She pouted and bounced her leg which made her ponytail flick. "Left everything behind. Friends, school...probably won't come back 'til next year. Who knows?" She raised her eyes and started staring at me...more like checking me out. I had to keep this thing going.
"Ohh, so you're the friend that Namine was talking about..." I shook a loose strand of hair away from my eyes. She must've really liked that. Sometimes I don't get why I have to be so, so...flirtatious; if that's even the right word. I blame genetics.
With a squeaky giggle, she cocked her head to one side and I swore she half winked at me. If she wasn't plastic then I didn't know who was. "Yep. That's me. It's sweet that you remembered me." She sat up in her seat and stared off into space for a second with her finger waving around in the space between us. "Hey, wait...you do remember me, right? You know my name, right?"
I almost rolled my eyes but glued them open instead. Oh, yeah. I knew her name. It's not that hard to forget a name and face, no matter how much you might want to. What I was trying to figure out was if I even wanted to answer her. I figured that falling asleep would've been an easy thing to do. Then she might've slapped my face or cried until she drowned. As much as I liked the thought of a drowning Larxene, I turned my head straight in her direction and locked eyes with her from a low angle.
"Aha! Ding, ding, ding! I knew you wouldn't forget." Larxene clapped her hands together once and that was the first time that I noticed that her nails were some shade of prissy pink. For a 'princess', Larxene acted half like a sporty boy: rebellious and pretty nasty.
A little bit of silence didn't last long between us. She crossed her legs, hit my foot with the tip of hers, most likely on purpose, and went back to her finger waving. "Hey, hey, you didn't answer my question yet."
"What, the one about why I'm here? Yeah I did." I was just a bout ready to drop the convo.
She shook her head violently. "Nuh-uh. You," she thrust her finger, along with her cat nails, into my shoulder, "didn't specify. Why're you going to Radiant Garden?"
I rolled my shoulder back, indirectly letting her know that stabbing wasn't helping anything. Did she honestly have to ask that again? I thought that 'taking a trip' was direct enough. That's the thing with women: they want full paragraphs of answers. Can't make life easy, can they? I un-crossed my legs and shot my eyes out the window opposite where we were sitting. The sky already got dark. I figured we weren't anywhere near Twilight Town anymore.
"You want direct?" I didn't look at her but I could tell she was glaring at me. "I just met my mom a while back. She's taking me and my brother to Radiant Garden with her. You know about the news?"
"Oh, right...it didn't get much press but Namine told me everything. She got some gossip from that Olette girl about it. Are you ok?" I caught her voice rising just a bit with her question. Hm, typical suck up.
I vacantly tried to think up of an answer. Ok, so maybe the wound did hurt every now and then. It was still pretty hard to pull on a shirt or get in the shower without feeling a sting. I could almost feel my eyes droop when I thought about it hurting, about Roxas hurting.
"She just wants to protect us; give us a new start." Funny, I didn't answer her question at all.
"Well, that's funny. I didn't think that you would go through with moving."
For once, she caught my attention. I watched her through the corner of my eye. What'd she know about me?
"I mean, you liked Twilight Town, right? You had a posse and a best friend...s. Best friends. I'd think that you'd try and run away." Larxene lightly tapped her finger on her cheek, staring at her foot while it shook to the flow of the train.
She's right. I did want to run away. I was pretty close to doing it, too. I took Roxas on that one day running away thing to Sunset Hill. In all honesty, I was so close to finding a place on the other side of town where we could stay. Our own Usual Spot. Then Roxas did some running away of his own. I still couldn't put a finger on why. Maybe he got scared? He got jealous? Jealous of what? Scared of what? Larxene...
"Look, as much as you might think I'm rebellious, I like to respect like any normal person." Man, my eyes were getting heavy.
"Hm, that's understandable. But, still. You've got a lot of guts. You're leaving more behind than I am...at least I think so. I dunno. Did I guess right?"
Sure. I've got guts. But what she doesn't know is that I really can't stand leaving. I'm not, not afraid of putting things in the past. That's not how it works. I can't stand leaving things standing still. Most people call it ADD. I call it being love sick. You've gotta keep things moving in a relationship.
"Hey, hey...! Did I...oh, sorry."
For some reason, I felt something was oddly out of place during the ride. I subconsciously rolled my neck while my eyes stayed shut. I had a sense that it was already some hours into the train ride and I was normally used to sleeping in a mattress...without Riku drooling on my shoulder...without Larxene curling up on my other one. I groaned and brought my hand to my chest, not really paying attention to the fact that Larxene could've woken up.
"Shit, the necklace."
xxXEnd...for now at leastXxx
-collapses with coffee- pahh...first ever KH story to be completed. yay! heheh, i started this about a year and a half ago around this time and now it's over for now. i think it's axie waxie's turn to tell a story now, yes? XD i hope to start a new branch (is this story a tree??) to this soon...hmm. -brain explodes- so much thinking! but, hey, i live to write! -praises pencil and computer- kuku
i haven't even gotten the chance to draw anything for this story yet no matter how much i reallllllly want to. -slap- too much homework! i need summer vacation. -sob- so far away.
well, guys, for those of you that have followed this story and have been able to bare with the annoying author notes, the drama, the angst, the citrus, the weeks of waiting for updates, and mostly the '...', i highly appreciate that you took the time to read, from my perspective, the mixed up twists and turns life does to a teenage mind. love really seemed hard for roxas during this story! but he went through change, no matter how much he might have felt like he suffered for it. maybe you'll get the chance to read what new changes will take place in axel's perspective. X3 he will possibly suffer too? maybe the sex ed lessons are still sticking around with these two...if they even get the chance to prove it!
there's so much i wish i could comment right now but school is taking over. neh. -curls into bed- i might as well listen to axel's quotes again. maybe this saturday will start a new story. ;3
all my luff (i give you all my heart...even though axel stole most of it -chases him with pot-)