Disclaimer - I do not own Kingdom hearts and never will.
Warning – Story will eventually contain Yaoi.
Summary - His own little prank for the castle biggest prankster. Vexen didn't know the trouble that would follow when he decides to get back at Axel for constantly being disrespectful. Now Axel is left with a big problem on his hands, looking after his three year old best friend. The worst part of it is, it's beginning to make him realize his true feelings for Roxas.
A/N - The title and the overall concept was inspired by a song called "Protecting me" by Aly & AJ. Even though this fic is not a songfic, I still thought it would be cool to put at least one line of the lyrics at the beginning of every chapter.
Chapter 1: The Experiment
You, You're always there for me.
When I need you most.
Axel and Roxas.
Just the mention of those two names together normally meant that something had gone horribly wrong. If asking any of the other members of the Organization XIII, they would be sure to have a story containing at least one headache and an enraged higher up. They were the two that at any given time would be seen pulling pranks or harassing the superiors to no end. The second Roxas became a member of the Organization, Axel took him under his wing so to speak, and taught him the ins and outs of the place. With Axel as a mentor that only meant trouble. He taught Roxas everything he needed to know to be just as headache inducing, rude, and sarcastic as he was himself. They were inseparable best friends, but unfortunately, they were utter chaos together.
Where were the two of them now?
It was no surprise that they were once again paying the price for a well thought out prank. Two flashes of red and yellow ran down the dulled hallways of the Organizations headquarters laughing like there was no tomorrow. When the two were sure they were in the clear, they came to a screeching halt.
"Did you see the look on his face?" Axel panted as he leaned all his weight on the wall behind him. Roxas didn't even bother to find a wall, he collapsed right in the middle of the hall by Axel's feet.
"That man's gonna kill you one day Axel!" Roxas laughed as a mental image of Xigbar wearing a bright magenta coat popped into his head. He was laughing so hard he was almost crying.
Axel was notorious for coming up with the best ideas for his pranks. Dyeing all of Xigbar's coats bright pink was even better then the time he pinned Larxene's underwear to the Superiors door. Boy was she mad. Axel had the scars to show for it.
The blond finally regained his posture and stood up. "Hey Axel?"
The redhead was still trying to catch his breath but managed to respond to his best friend. "Yeah?"
"Remember that prank we pulled on Demyx this morning? Do you think it worked?"
Axel ran a gloved hand through his spiked hair. It wasn't that Axel didn't like Demyx, but to be completely honest, the boy was normally a walking headache. It was only natural for Demyx he supposed. He was a musician, and the one-thing musicians knew how to do without fail was making noise. Demyx appeared happy with how he carried himself. The constant noise and talk of all things musical was what he was best at. His favorite activity was just lying around, cool and casually; unfortunately that also came with a good dose of foolishness. Demyx was a fun person to hang around in general, but his company was best enjoyed in small doses... very small doses.
"Who cares, as long as he's not tagging behind us right?"
A black swirling portal appeared right on the wall beside where Axel leaned. The redhead visibly flinched when he heard a high-pitched sing-song voice call out his name.
"Shoot me now Xigbar..." Axel muttered under his breath.
"Axel! Roxas!" Demyx stumbled out of the portal and flashed a big awkward smile at the two boys in front of him. "Hey guys, you're never going to believe what I just found on my back, see?" Demyx dug into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper with bold black writing on it. He held it up for the others to read :
For Sale : 10 munny
"This is the fifth time I've found a note like this on my back this week, and it's only Tuesday!" Demyx continued to complain while Axel and Roxas were busy hiding their guilty faces. "The nerve of some nobodies! Only ten munny? I'm worth more then that!"
"More like five munny," Axel leaned down to Roxas and whispered, causing him to shake with laughter.
Demyx, oblivious to the two trying not to laugh at him, smirked down at the piece of paper in his hands, then up at Axel. A half baked plan was slowly forming in the musicians head.
"Heeeey Axxxey," Demyx slowly began to advance on the Flurry of Dancing flames. "you wanna buy me?" He wiggled his eyebrows in an attempt to further make his point.
Axel stared at Demyx blankly for a moment. His prank so cleverly was turned on him.
"Not even if the world was crashing down around me and buying you would save my life!"
"Why would I buy you?"
"Come on, pretty please!"
"I'm not going to say it again Demyx!"
"For the last time, NO!"
Demyx wasn't as stupid as he looked. Laid-back, often times goofy, and definitely loud, but by no means stupid. He knew his way around a prank just as good as the dynamic duo standing in front of him. Even more so than pranking, he was top notch at pushing Axel over the edge.
He leaned his body in towards Axel with a savvy smirk gracing his tanned face. His shoulders rubbed against Axel slightly seductively. "I don't see why you wouldn't want to. It's almost like slavery, and in that case, I didn't know you were into that sort of kink, Axel."
"Unless you want to become a walking torch, I suggest you get off!" Axel's face began to turn as red as his hair. Demyx really knew how to get on his last nerve. At this point, Roxas feared for Demyx's well being. He knew how Axel got when he was angry. Demyx looked nervous for a second, but then smiled back up at Axel, apparently unafraid.
"You wouldn't wou-AH!" Demyx jumped backwards when a small fire erupted on his sleeve. He let a steady stream of water escape his fingers to put out the fire. Axel didn't look about ready to let him off the hook that easily. The pyromaniac held out his arms. Vines of darkness clouded his arms as he summoned his Chakrams to his aid.
"T-There's no need for violence... Take a joke Axel!" Demyx began to back up at the oncoming threat. Axel drew his hand back, and with a sinister smirk, released the spinning weapon.
Demyx ducked just in time and bolted down the hallway with Axel following close behind. Roxas, who was still laughing over the craziness of the situation, just shook his head and walked off in the opposite direction. There had to be some seasalt ice cream in this castle somewhere...
Number Nine quickly rounded the nearest corner. To avoid Axel it would require some quick thinking on his part (Something Demyx didn't do to well when in the heat of an emergency). Looking around, he noticed the door to Vexen's basement laboratory slightly ajar.
"Ohhhh, he told me not to go down there." Demyx nervously drummed his fingers against his forehead. It was apparent that Vexen wasn't one who took kindly to interruptions or antics from those younger than him. Escaping into that very scientists lab surely wouldn't have good results. On the other hand, with Axel angry his life was at risk.
"Demyx!" Axel's voice echoed loudly throughout the halls.
"Vexen's gonna have to hate me!" Demyx threw open the door and charged down the stairs.
The basement lab was a sanctuary to not only Vexen, but all the original members of the Organization, a place where neophytes were banned from ever stepping foot in. Not only for his own sanity, but for the well being of the castle. Any ruined experiments could have been chaos to the structure of their Organization. Therefore the immaturity that was widely spreading through some of the younger members of the Organization was kept mainly upstairs.
The chilly academic carefully held up a test tube full of a sticky substance. He squinted his eyes so he could better see the potion he was about to mix. Bottles and vials bubbled around the longhaired man as he carefully planned his next move. One wrong move could have put the whole experiment in jeopardy. He finally lowered the test tube over another bottle of liquid ever so carefully.
"It was just a joke Ax!"
"I don't care! You were warned!"
"OW! That thing is sharp you know!"
Vexen flinched as a frantic teen flew down the steps of the lab. A ball of fire flew in shortly afterwards; Demyx was able to, once again, dodge the attack, leaving the back wall torched.
"Burn, baby!" Axel slid to a stop at the bottom of the stairs, facing his opponent head on.
"Axel... I just want you to stop and think about what you are about to do." Demyx tried to reason with him as he ran around the lab table in an attempt to escape. Axel tried to run around the lab table trying to grab the blond, but instead ended up ramming right into Vexen. The vial of liquid that the scientist held fell into another bottle of liquid that sat over a burner. It immediately began to bubble and smoke.
"You trouble making neophytes! You were banned from my lab long ago!" Vexen pushed Axel off of him so he could dust himself off.
"I have no time for you old man!" Axel stood from the floor and once again took off for Demyx, for Vexen's sake, right out of the lab.
'FOOLS!' Vexen thought to himself 'Weeks of planning and experimentation completely ruined by those...neophytes!' Suddenly, the newly made potion let out a puff of smoke, then settled.
The definite sign of a well made potion...
Maybe... this experiment wasn't in vein.
The Organization slightly resembled a big dysfunctional family at times. They lived together, worked together, and, they even had house rules and chores they were expected to follow. The time when this could really be seen was during mealtime. It was a time when the whole Organization came down from whatever they were previously doing to sit around the table and share in a meal prepared by one of their fellow members (whoever got that duty on the chore wheel that week). All of them sat around one big table, despite previous conflicts. It would have spelled disaster if Xemnas weren't on constant watch for misconduct.
Lexaues was chosen cook for that day. The silent hero was in the kitchen preparing dinner for that night. The table was already set by the dusks that worked under them and no one had come down yet. In slipped Vexen. One could say he was in a bad mood, but that would be an understatement. He was furious. Sure he still had a potion, but kingdom hearts only knows what it did. It sure wasn't the one he was previously working on, and for that someone was about to pay.
The scientist strolled past the seat Axel usually occupied casually just in case anyone was watching. Unknowingly he slipped his ruined potion out from under his own cloak and poured the contents of it out into Axel's cup.
His own little prank for the castle biggest prankster.
Whatever the potion did, Axel would was just going to have to wait and see. Maybe after he paid for the destruction he caused then the redhead would grow some appreciation for his superiors' hard work.
Slowly, the Organization members began to fill their usual seats. It happened quite naturally. They all just sat next to the ones they could stand without killing.
The last to walk through the door was Demyx, followed shortly by Axel. The musician held the worlds largest smile painted on his face while tossing a bag filled with munny into the air.
"You bought him didn't you?" Roxas said through laughter. Axel glared maliciously at Roxas. If looks could kill, Roxas would have fallen over dead.
"Yup, I'm all his!" Demyx flung his arms around his new 'owner'. After ripping himself away from Demyx's deathly grip, he took up his normal seat next to Roxas.
Roxas began to poke at the food put in front of him, just taking in its wonderful smell. Lexaues was really a wonderful cook. He might not have looked like the type to cook, but his food always spoke for itself. It was always a happy day for Roxas's stomach when Lexaues's name was spun on the chore wheel. While Roxas was caught up in his thought of the food, Axel had reached over to Roxas's cup and switched it with his.
"What was that for!" Roxas shouted, finally snapping back into reality only to see his cup being stolen.
"I get the red cup, you get the blue cup ... Red mine ... Blue yours. Got it memorized?"
"But the red cup is bigger and you know it!" Roxas stubbornly crossed his arms and stuck out his lower lip in a pout.
"Sorry buddy, your pout doesn't work with me, remember?" Axel smirked.
"... You always get your way..." Roxas said barely above a whisper.
"And always will." He replied with confidence.
Vexen just watched as the exchange took place. What an interesting turn of events. Sure, the payback potion aimed for Axel was switched with that other little abomination, but Vexen still saw room for revenge. He would make sure he got it. The scientist let a chuckle escape his lips, alerting the slate haired teen in the next seat. Zexion raised his visible eyebrow.
"What are you laughing at?" Zexion said with a hint of suspicion.
"Nothing that concerns you. Just sit back and observe the calamity unfold." Vexen saw Roxas finally down the contents of the cup in one gulp. As soon as he did, he clutched at his throat with a disgusted expression, letting the empty cup drop to the floor.
"You ok?" Axel turned to Roxas when he heard him cough roughly.
"I'm fine, that just tasted horrible... or maybe it went down the wrong pipe or something."
"All right." Axel reluctantly turned away and focused back on his food with his friends reassurance.
Roxas on the other hand, was going steadily downhill. Slowly his face flushed of all color and his appetite disappeared. Not only that but his vision was beginning to go fuzzy on him. Almost like when a bad migraine was about to come on. His head was spinning and becoming light, as if it weighed nothing at all. Roxas glanced down at his food and heaved a heavy sigh.
What the heck was wrong with him? Just a second ago he felt fine. Now he felt as if any second he'd pass out.
His hands were shaking violently as he pushed his weight out of the chair. Everything in his body felt funny all of a sudden and his breath was coming out in ragged heaves.
"You're leaving?" Demyx looked back quickly, and then back at Roxas's full plate. "Can I have your food?"
"I knew something was wrong!" Axel said while ignoring Demyx's comment.
"Yeah sure," Roxas clutched at his head "Nothings wrong. I just -" Roxas stumbled out of his chair before collapsing out cold with a loud thump onto the ground, everything growing dark on him.
"Roxas!" Axel stood from the table and ran to his best friends side. A few others ran to his aid as well. Xigbar (much to his displeasure, still sporting a pink jacket), and Lexaues leaned down close to Roxas. Demyx run over out of pure concern for his friend.
"Roxas! Come on!" Axel shook his friend in an attempt to wake him, but his head just rolled about.
"Don't shake him, you'll make it worse." Xigbar commanded.
"Take him to bed Number Eight." A strong voice addressed him. Axel turned to see Xemnas hovering over him " He merely looks ill. A good nights sleep might do the trick" Axel nodded and proceeded to follow his orders. He scooped his friend up into his arms, the blonds' head resting against his chest.
"Man oh man Roxas, whatever you did this time..." He told his unconscious friend as he carried him toward his room.
Axel set Roxas down on his bed and pulled the blankets up to his pointed chin. The fire wielders hand brushed against Roxas's cheek which felt cold to the touch, much colder than what was normal.
"Come on Rox, you could have at least told me you weren't feeling well." Axel took a chair from the desk in Roxas's room and pulled it up to the bed. Straddling the chair backwards, he crossed his arms to rest his chin on the headrest. His eyes focused intently on the blondes unconscious face.
It was strange, nobodies had no hearts, yet, one look at Roxas always made him feel so different. Almost like a faint glimmer of one may rest somewhere deep in his chest. Friendship could do powerful things to a person, no doubt about it. Axel cared for Roxas more than anything in that whole forsaken castle.
He was a nobody. It wasn't exactly like he had something to look forward to in his life. Fighting, researching and scouring the worlds until you either succeed or meet your ultimate demise. That was it. Friendships, no matter how rare, were valuable within the Organization. Sometimes Axel felt like his friendship with Roxas was the only thing that kept him sane, stable, and glued to such a dismal place. Most of the time the highlight of his days were sharing an ice cream bar with Roxas on the clocktower of Twilight Town.
Of course, his pride wouldn't let him make that a public announcement. Their friendship was a close one. They had been through a lot of ups and downs together.
Shaking his head he looked back down at Roxas, since it was no time to be thinking of such things. He didn't just want to leave his friend to wake up alone if he was ill. He wanted to be there when he woke up just as he knew Roxas would have done for him. Of course with nothing to do but listen to Roxas's gentle breathing, sleep wasn't looking like a bad idea. Soon, Axel was fast asleep with his face in his hands.
"Axey..." Axel slowly opened his eyes to the half darkened room and looked over at the clock ... 5am... One more hour until breakfast would be called. He was going to make sure he got to make the most of that hour. He closed his eyes again.
"Axey..." Axel felt a tug on the sleeve of his black Organization coat. He knew that nickname, unfortunately that was the one Demyx gave to him. If this was Demyx's idea of a joke, it wasn't very funny at all. He pulled his arm away without opening his eyes.
"Axey." A voice hissed from below him. The redheads eyes popped open.
"What do you want Dem- ... oh." That was definitely NOT Demyx. Two very big electric blue eyes looked up at him. Strangely, this kid looked a lot like Roxas, but it was impossible, he was only about knee height! Sure Roxas was a little on the short side, but not that short. Axel blinked several times ... wait ... it WAS Roxas! The small child proceeded to tug on Axel's sleeve.
"Axey, I'm hungwey!"
A/N – Big. Dysfunctional. Family :)