Author's notes: sigh This was fun. How many months did this take me to complete? Don't even answer, I already know: too many. I re-uploaded this because to my knowledge, no one (including myself) did not get an alert when I updated the story. (And I'm trying to fix it or something, it just really worries me)
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts or the characters, but I do own the city they live in.
WARNING: The usual stuff: death, morbidness, violence, swearing.
another sigh Enjoy, please review.
Chapter Eight: The End
"Stop," Axel's hand went up just as he did, "I already know where you're going with this. His greenish-eyes took one last look at the fire before his fingers casually rubbed his eyes to hide his tears.
"I have my ride waiting a block away." Axel turned around; his puffy eyes were barely noticeable due to the light emitted from the fire behind him. I took one last glance; firemen were beginning to exit the building. 'Empty handed,' I assumed to myself as I turned away and followed Zexion down the sidewalk, past the festering crowds, to the car hiding in the shadows.
"Damn." I looked up to see Axel next to me, in thought, as we walked.
He didn't acknowledge the fact I was listening to him, "one left."
Zexion was walking ahead. He was no longer a human, just a walking grave. And me? I looked down at my chest and closed my eyes, listening for my heart beat. I knew it was working, keeping me alive long enough to bring me to my end, but I couldn't hear it.
I guess I'm just as dead as Zexion.
Behind tinted windows, images of reality are distorted to give you nothing but a lie. Or…that's how I saw it as I walked out of the luxurious car. Although it was dark, anyone could see the beauty in the unlit mansion.
"Wow…" Axel awed at the un-illuminated home.
"Amazing," I joined. I looked over my shoulder to see the youth that lived in that haven. He stood outside of the car, close to the chauffeur. I could barely hear them:
"Is this good night, master?" asked the silver-haired man, his face just as emotionless as his passenger. Zexion's voice was too soft to be heard. He placed a hand on the chauffeur's shoulder and nodded, "farewell, young master." The chauffeur gave a small bow and entered the driver's seat and was gone like Demyx's chances of living.
"What was that about?" Axel cocked his head to the side.
"Nothing," replied the youth, emotionlessly, "let's get this over with and I'll let you have your reward."
Axel sighed and walked next to me as we followed him into the paradoxical haven.
It pestered me like a mosquito to be in such a contradictory home.
White as snow floors, I'd hate to see them covered in blood.
I shook my head, banishing that thought away. "Where the hell did that come from? I've been around Axel too much."
"This is beautiful," I busted out, wishing the images of red liquid out of my brain. I looked over at a wall. Just as white as the floors.
White walls? Might as well be a canvas.
My hands shot up to my temples and rubbed them in a circular motion. "It's probably the stress of all this death. I shouldn't let it get to me."
The red-head snickered, "yeah, it kinda makes me feel bad for getting shit-faced in here." He looked at Zexion nervously, who was standing near the stairs. "No hard feelings of course?" Zexion didn't say anything; he just walked up the stairs, expecting us to follow him. "Jeez, prick. I've never seen someone so eager to- Roxas!" I lifted my head to the sound of my name. Axel huddled over me, grabbing my shoulders, looking into my eyes. "What's wrong?" I straightened my back and looked around the room. The white was intimidating.
"When can we leave," I whispered.
Axel pulled me into an embrace, "soon." His hand stroked my hair, just as he did when I was laying down before the fire, "it scares me too, buddy." He pulled away and took another pill. "Stay here," he commanded, watching me as he walked up the stairs.
I found an inviting chair next to a decorative pot; both being white, of course.
Lucky bitch. His death comes sooner than mine.
My palms covered my ears. "Whose thoughts are these?" I was battling a demon that I could not see. A demon that I did not know. A demon one could not fathom. How do you win against something like this? I shut my eyes and wished for them to go away. "Why am I thinking these things? This isn't me!" I squeezed my eyes until I could see nothing but black. But even away from the white room, I could still hear its thoughts.
Just be patient, he'll be back and I'll go.
A hand touched my shoulder and shook it violently. "Roxas!" Axel, again, was there at my side, worried about me. "You were whimpering. Don't worry, I'm here." He gave a warm grin but his face went back to its worried state. "Hey, why are you so pale?"
I shoved him off and jumped out of the chair, "I'm fine!"
"No you're not." Axel reached into his pocket and pulled out his pills. He handed one to me. "Take it. I can see it's sinking into you, too."
"Get that thing away from me!" My hand swung across his and struck the pill away, soaring into an unknown area of the room. I brought my hand up again to bring it across Axel's face but he stopped it.
"Roxas, listen to me. I was blind at first but you're just like me!" I don't want to hear anymore. My other hand went up to strike him, but again, failed.
"How dare you categorize me with the likes of you!" Struggling against his force did nothing but make me look like a fool, wriggling against him. For a stick-thin man, he was strong.
"I'm serious! You're going insane, please just take the damn pill and we'll end this!"
I managed to break free from his hold, "forget it!" I sped toward the door but Axel pounced on top of me, pinning me to the ground. My forehead banged into the ground and whip lashed back to hit it again. That left a bruise. He flipped me over and my eyes went all over the room.
These walls were made to be painted with his blood.
"NO!" I screamed out to the white walls. Before I could say anything more, a fist knocked me up against the side of my head. That sure shut me up.
"Are you going to listen to me now?" My blue eyes trailed from the walls, to the floor, up along Axel's face, over those triangular tattoos, and to his eyes. I nodded. He got up and handed me another pill. I would have taken it if I knew what just happened. I lost control. I lost control. I lost control. The red head sighed at my motionless body and kneeled down to my side. He leveled me and put the pill in my agape mouth. A slight tilt of my chin brought the pill to go down my throat. "I felt the same way after Vexen."
I shifted my head to look at him. His face…it was so sad…
His real emotion.
"You've probably already heard from Demyx how I've been like this," he placed a hand on his chest, "it was kind of predicted to happen. Remember how Xaldin died a year ago?" My eyes widened, the pieces were fitting together.
"So it was insanity that brought everyone to their death?" He watched me, like I had more to say, which I did, "including you."
"Yes," he nodded. "I think it's a curse for anyone to get wrapped in this dilemma. Slowly the fear, the pain, the suffering eats into their soul until they are nothing but insanity." He thrust his head away from me, hiding his face, "I should have killed you. I shouldn't have kept you here so long." He pulled me up to my feet. "Zexion said in his father's study there's a gun." Axel walked forward but my legs were jelly: too weak to support me. "Hey!" Axel draped my arm around his shoulder and helped me to the study.
Axel slammed a foot into a wooded door, painted white. Inside: a study not-so-white. A deep cherry-brown wood color. It looked antique, yet magnificent. Axel set me down in the middle of the floor, in the center of the red rug. I sat there staring at the tan walls, thankful that it was not white. Axel was to the far right of me, digging in what I assume to be Zexion's father's desk. He walked back with a silver pistol in his hand. "I've never used a gun before."
"Yeah, but it can't be too hard right," he snickered but caught himself laughing and resorted to taking another pill.
"Yeah." Axel walked behind me and I could feel the gun's presence behind my head.
"I don't want you to see."
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. "Fire when ready." It was amazing how calm I was. It was probably the power of Axel's medication. So real.
There was an elephant sitting in the room and it's name was 'hesitation.' "Well?" Axel didn't reply. I wanted to turn around but BLAM! could have happened right in my face and I didn't want to see that. There was sniffling behind me. Was he crying? "Axel, you ok?" I craned my head over a little, exposing the side of my face to him, but not being about to see him with my own eyes. There was a click and I knew he was about to fire. I whipped my head back in it's original position and waited.
Dear god, he is crying.
"Good-bye R-Roxas," said a muffled Axel. I don't know how but I knew that gun was no longer pointed at my head.
"NO!" I yelled as I spun around only to stumble over Axel, which knocked the pistol out of his mouth. He fired a shot during this fall out; luckily it only skimmed his ear.
"Shit!" The red head pulled away and stood up, holding the gun to his head. His body was hunched over and moving up and down, due to the panting. He looked like a mad man. "Good-bye!"
I wasn't there in time.
"NO!" I screamed, wincing, anticipating blood splattering across the study.
He could have died.
"What the hell?" Click, click, click. Axel continued to pull the trigger over, and over.
"DAMMIT!" The gun went speeding to the wall and bounced off of it, falling to the ground with the barrel open for me to see.
…there was only one bullet left.
"Thank god," I sighed. Axel didn't take to that comment too well and walked over to me. I looked up at him from the floor and smiled, reassuringly.
Axel's foot went into my chin and kicked me back. The back of my head hit the ground with such force I should've had a concussion right now. I groaned with pain feeling like my skull had been cracked by cement instead of wood. "What's wrong with you!" I shouted. It didn't make any sense. I saw him take the pill, why is he so moody? Unless if this is…
"I thought out of all the people I knew, you'd understand." Axel turned his face away, his tears were becoming more rapid.
"What did I do?" I though out loud to myself. But I didn't understand. "Please tell me."
He looked back at me with a face full of scorn. "Why should I tell you? You didn't and will never understand." I sat up and looked at him. His teeth dug into his lower lip as he watched me struggle for an answer.
My fists grabbed the carpet in frustration. I thought back to what I've seen and heard:
"You know, if you're scared, I can push you."
"Name's Axel. A-X-E-L. Got it memorized?"
"I would introduce you but we'll be done by tonight."
"Keep it clean, ok?"
"Lexaeus took it like a man today."
"Don't ever say that. I'm not killing you. I'm aiding you in your death."
"Roxas, come here. Closer."
I wish it wasn't this painful.
"Oh, please baby, don't forget me."
"My body may be gone but my soul is still here."
"Even if you ignore me, the memory is still there."
"It was a good thing…but a bad thing. He killed himself."
Who are these people?
"But Axel was the one that was suppose to-"
Speak of the devil.
'Aided in my death.'
"If I didn't have my sitar, I wouldn't know what to do."
"That song's special to me."
"'Please, Marluxia, for me.'"
"You wanted to learn more about Axel."
"Well, here it is: this is Axel's life."
"For Mr. Ansem."
He wanted to forget.
"Vexen…he went crazy when he saw Xemnas's lifeless body."
"Vexen wanted to die the same way…"
"I'll never forget that night."
"Axel pushed him into the oncoming train."
"…it drove him to take a sedative…"
"Choked himself to death."
"He knew someday he would end up like his friends and commit suicide, too."
"Are you scared?"
"What the hell is so funny?"
"You called it 'home.'"
"I can kill two birds with one stone."
"We're dropping like flies."
"I'm not an idiot."
Just, who exactly are you, Axel?
"The kid's too scared."
"Oops, went a little overboard. I hope you don't mind, Roxas."
How can I trust a man like this to kill me?
"It's not his fault there was gasoline all over him when he decided to light a match."
He's just as crazy as Axel.
"Let me share your suffering, my love."
"YOU JUST KILLED-"
"We aid them in their death."
"Got it memorized?"
That could've been me.
Why does he insist on making me feel this way?
"I know I've been a burden to you."
"Unlike you, Roxas, I don't give up so easily."
When would these guys actually start to make sense?
It was so funny how fast his mood would change, it was…
"…maybe we could get this done sooner."
"We can do it right now."
"If we don't hurry then the sun's going to go down."
"And why does that matter?"
"…because, I want to give you something to remember before you leave."
Just let gravity do the work, I guess.
"I won't miss next time!"
"I told you it would be quick but you're such a wuss!"
"I'm ending this. I swore it!"
"Am I that much of a nuisance?"
"…you have a duty to obey the client's wishes of disposal."
"But, he's such a coward!"
"…but aren't you too, Axel?"
My memories stopped reeling in front of my eyes. "Why didn't I see it?" Axel looked over at me, waiting for me to finish. "Zexion saw it. Why didn't I?" My blue eyes locked onto his uniquely colored ones, "you don't want to die lonely." Axel was still silent, there was more, "yet, you don't want to do it yourself."
He sighed, "I really didn't want to shoot myself, I was…scared. And I couldn't leave you. That wouldn't be fair." I got up, wobbling around, woozy from the hits on my head, front and back. I leaned on the wall for support.
"So, what do we do?"
Axel shrugged his shoulders and dug his hands in his pockets. His eyes widened as he pulled out a bundle clutched in his hand. He opened his hand and showed me: keys. We looked at each other and back at the keys, then each other, and again, back at the keys. "Should we?"
"You're not going to screw up again, are you?"
"You know I did that on purpose. Besides, this time, we're doing something different." His lips formed into a mischievous grin.
I don't like this, but it's my only hope.
"What are you planning?"
"You'll see. For now, let's get out of here."
"With what ride," I asked, stumbling over to him.
Axel scratched the back of his head, "well I was thinking of just walking there, or maybe running," he added looking at the time: five thirty a.m. "We don't want to do it when the sun's out, people will notice and the plan will be ruined. We'd better hurry."
I leaned on the wall, again. "How, I can barely stand thanks to your punt!"
"Get on my back, I'll carry you there."
His comment made me stumble backward, "what?"
"Come on," he grabbed my wrist and led me out of the study and back into the white room, "your gawking is wasting moonlight." He dragged me and crouched on the ground when we were outside, "jump on."
There was no point in arguing, Axel wouldn't take 'no.' "Are you sure you can do this?" I asked, getting on.
"Yeah, did you forget that I was in track?"
"No, but can you run and carry me at the same time?" His arms felt like the trunk of a tree, strong and sturdy.
Axel smirked, "for you, my friend, I'd do anything." I felt my face turn red; luckily, I was behind his head, out of sight.
The sun was just beginning to rise when we got there. Axel fiercely dug for the keys in his pocket, when he found them; he shoved them into the door knob but quickly pulled them back out. "No wait, not this one." The red head inched backward, staring at the door, "'occupado,'" he joked but cut his laughing off. "No," he stated, almost ripping apart his pocket to get his pills. "One left," Axel dumped the orange bottle and attempted to let the small pill fall into his quivering hand. The white tablet fell to the ground; Axel panicked and dove to get it.
"Calm down!" I shouted, gripping the man's shoulder. That flamboyant red-haired head jerked around to look up at me. His greenish eyes had paranoia in them. "This is it. No need to rush." Those words only made him even jitterier. Axel struggled to pick the pill off the ground, violently shaking all over the place, and shoved it in his mouth, along with a few grains of dirt. I took my hand away and watched him scoff at the inedible pieces. "Axel," he looked up. From my standing position, looking down at him, on his knees, he resembled a stray dog.
Axel went back to his humane senses after the back-handed slap given to him across his face. He sat there for a moment, frozen where I left him. "Sorry, I don't know what came over me." Axel got back onto is feet and walked over to the next door. He placed a key in and opened the door. The garage was completely empty except for the shelf with a few tools and items, including a can full of what I suspect to be gasoline. Axel darted to the can and opened it, "Roxas, close the door behind you." I did as he commanded and walked into the center of the room. There was only a beam of light shining through a small window at the back of the garage.
"What are you doing?" Axel dumped the gasoline on the floor in an organized manner: making a semi-circle against a wall.
"Roxas this is it," he stated tossing the now empty can to the side. "Stand there," he pointed at where the center of the circle would be, against the wall. Before joining me, he lit a match and threw it into the train of liquid. It was pretty neat seeing the gasoline light up in a flash but I was in the middle of it. Axel leaned against the wall next to me. "If the flames don't kill us, the smoke will."
"And so we wait," I whispered, watching the flames inch their way over to us.
"Yeah," Axel's voice quivered. I felt a hand grab mine, squeezing the life out of it.
"Scared?" I asked, not looking over at him.
"I'm not going to lie: yes."
"That's ok. Me too." I squeezed his hand back and waited for death, but death was not quick. "Axel, you never told me why you kept me around. Why the change of heart?"
"I didn't want to be alone." I already knew that.
"What else?" He said something but the roaring flames blocked it out. "You'll have to speak louder."
"I like you." It's always hard to tell someone you like them. I guess I half-expected Axel to see men that way too, but why pick me? Why not pick me? "You aren't going to hate me now, are you?"
"If I was, then I wouldn't be holding your hand still."
Our whole conversation was to each other, but we were speaking to the flames. For the first time, something was directly said to me, "do you still want to die?"
I looked back at him, "yes, but only if it's with you."
He leaned in, closing the gap in between us, "what if I wanted to live?"
"Life or death, I just want to be with you." He gave my hand an affectionate squeeze as he placed his lips on mine. I was pretty sure I wasn't gay but I guess I never really thought about it until the situation has confronted me. But now I know: love is love, regardless of gender.
We pulled away, but not much. Close enough where we could feel our words physically against each other's lips. "Axel," I whispered, putting my hand on his cheek to keep him close, "your ear's still bleeding."
"It doesn't hurt, I'll live," he joked, putting his arm around my waist. "You're getting a bit close to the fire."
"You're saving me from death?"
"Kinda. I just want to keep you a little longer for myself." Axel gave me another kiss but this time on the forehead.
I could feel my eye lids getting heavy. It seemed like the smoke was getting to my brain. Axel coughed, him too.
"Axel," I wheezed.
"Roxas," he called back.
"It might be three emotions too soon or maybe even three words too soon but…" I closed my eyes and felt my body fall against his.
I felt strong arms wrap around me and embrace not only my body but my spirit. "It's ok, you don't have to finish. I know how you feel…and I think I feel the same."
"Thank you," I coughed out, smiling. "Thank you for giving me this adventure."
"But Roxas," Axel's hand tilted my head up, I opened my eyes to see his greenish eyes, "it's not over."
My grim reaper let go of my face and grabbed my hand and squeezed it, "there's still our life after death." And my grim reaper changed into my ethereal angel of death as he gave me one last kiss.
We kept our lips pressed together, fingers interlocked with each other as the roaring flames consumed our bodies and as well as our souls…
Well, that was fun. I hope you enjoyed the ending as much as I did. (I wrote the ending after chapter three!!!!) Lots of hard work and planning went into this and it's finally over!!! But I recommend keeping me under an author alert for future stories and reading my profile. (You might learn something)
Please, review! They make me so happy! Thanks for reading! I'm glad to announce that A Hand To Pull the Trigger is complete!
-Lady of the Cards-
One last thing. I have to say thanks to my dear friend Aryll, again, for editing my story and getting rid of my stupid mistakes! THANK YOU!