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sunshine in a bag

CHAPTER 13 : in other news

"So hold me when I'm here, right me when I'm wrong, hold me when I'm scared, and love me when
I'm gone, everything I am, and everything in me, wants to be the one you wanted me to be, I'll never
let you down, and even if I could, I'd give up everything if only for your good."

-3 Doors Down 'When I'm Gone'


It's been almost two years and I still find myself looking back two years before now, still wondering how the crazy redhead had managed to squirm his way into my life. Not that I regret it or anything, no, not at all.

But me. He chose me out of anyone else and stuck with me when all I did at the beginning was pretty much bitch and whine. But it still was me and every time I think about it, I swear that my heart flutters. I'm a sap, I know.

Anyway, we had abandoned our apartment in favor of a one-bedroom apartment. It was cheaper but surprisingly more spacious. Not only that, but it was closer to college, too. I went in for music and Axel for mechanics, plus the extra odd classes.

I've also mellowed out a lot more through all this time, and I know my depression had lifted too. I'm not even quite sure what triggered it in the first place. Was it that I wasn't getting enough attention before? Not like I remember. But when it lifted, so did all my negative thoughts about myself and my parents.. and my brother. I've got Axel to thank for that. He sorted out my papers, read my heart and mind and put my spine back together.


I stretched out for a moment on the couch, accidentally kicking Sora in that spiky head of his. I rolled my eyes when I heard him whine and curled up back around my pillow, burying my face into it. It smelled like Axel.. apple and spice..

Today was actually Axel's birthday, but we he was at work and we were all waiting for him to come home. Sora, Riku, Kairi, Yuffie, Rikku, Naminé, and even Demyx with his most recent boyfriend, Zexion, were here. I would've allowed more people to come, but, y'know, there's only so many people you can fit into an apartment of this size. I probably shouldn't have invited them over so early either... we all ended up crashing in the living room for a nap.

I let out a sigh and tried to roll over. I blinked and frowned when I realized that I hadn't moved. Was.. someone sitting on my legs..?

"...Ah! SHIT, KAIRI! What the hell are you doing?!" I screeched, grabbing onto the armrest and trying to heave myself away. Ohjesusgodshewas-

"Writing 'Axel's Bitchslave' on your ass with marker," came the smug reply.

I glared at her over my shoulder and whined (quite pathetically), trying to shake her off, but to no avail. She merely grinned and waggled her perfectly manicured fingers at me.

"Aw, christ, c'mon, Kai! I can see Zexion doing something like that, not you!"

I sent another glare at Zexion but he only gave me a sleepy smirk in return.

"Jeez, Rox, you act as though I've never seen you naked before."

"...Ew, Kairi."

"Shut up, Riku. He lost a bet."



"Please don't ever bring that up ever again," I groaned, raking a hand viciously through my hair. Oh, god, the memories.

Kairi giggled from somewhere behind me and I jostled her off, making her fall on top of Rikku and Yuffie. I nestled back into my corner of the couch and lay there silently for a moment. ...Until the cushion under me vibrated.


I bolted upright and frantically groped for my cell phone, yanking it out with a triumphant "Hah!" when my fingers brushed against it.

"Hello?" I asked, flipping it open without bothering to look. I already knew who it was.

"Hey, sunshine, I'll be home soon."

I grinned, unable to squash the butterflies swelling in my stomach. "Awesome, can't wait."

"Heh, okay. See you in a bit, babycakes."

...Ugh. I could practically hear him grinning his ass off.

"What'd I say about nicknames?"

"I don't know. What was it, Roxy-baby?"


Axel chuckled on the other line and said, "Later sunshine," and hung up. I blushed and smiled to myself, only slightly aware that everyone else was watching me with grins on their faces.

"What'd he call you this time?" Demyx asked with a chuckle.

"Ummmm.. today it was babycakes and Roxybaby.. and the usual. But either way, he's coming."

"...That's what he said."

"...Shut up, Zex."

Just for that, I shoved Zexion under the coffee table when we all ran to hide. He grumbled and protested, but hey, if he could fit under there then I couldn't give a damn. I waved everyone else off silently to their hiding places and went to stand by the door.

When I heard shuffling outside of the door, I knew it was him. I opened the door (probably grinning my ass off) and jumped at him, quickly covering his eyes with my hand. Axel grinned also and slipped an arm around my waist.

"What, is it a surprise? Kinky."

"Not that kind of surprise," I grumbled, kicking Axel's shin lightly. He chuckled at me and his grin softened into a smile.

"Alright, then. Lead me."

I smiled back even if Axel couldn't see it. I kept one hand on his eyes and wrapped my free hand around his, pulling him inside.

I loved him more than anything, I swear.

I pulled my hand away once we were both inside and everyone was thankfully on cue (even Zex), jumping out and screaming "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

Axel blinked in pure surprise, arm falling limp around my waist.

"You can at least say something instead of standing there, mouth agape," Naminé huffed, crossing her arms.

Axel smirked, shaken out of his reverie, and punched her shoulder lightly, pulling me closer again with his other arm.

"Jesus.. I love you guys. Even you, one-eye."

Zexion glared in annoyance and gave Axel the finger, and everyone's tension faded away. I smiled to myself and tuned out for a bit, holding onto Axel as everyone around me buzzed to pull out presents and the lopsided cake we all helped make.

"So, let's celebrate to you being one year closer to being legal," Riku said, pulling forward a bottle shaped package with a gleeful look on his face. I arched my brows and shuffled a little farther away, slightly creeped out.

"Oh, you guys, corrupting my no drinking streak."

"What streak?" I deadpanned, and Axel nudged me with his elbow. I only smiled at the jab and nuzzled my nose into Axel's side as Riku popped the cork to the champagne bottle.


"I never... wanna see food... or cake... ever again..." Sora groaned, slumping down on top of Riku, who moaned out in protest and unsuccessfully tried to push him off. I chuckled at the two and moved closer to Axel, who was sprawled over almost the entire length of the couch.

"Hey.. you.. you're not drunk are you?" I asked with a giggle. ...Oh jesus. I think I just giggled.

Axel waved his hand dismissively, grinning from ear to ear. "Not enough..." He stretched an arm out, pulling the bag of gifts closer to himself, and picked up a small, square package, slowly peeling the white wrapping off.

"That one's from me and Zex," Demyx called from his spot on the floor, watching as Axel pulled out an apple green iPod.

"Good, cos you broke my other one," Axel said, throwing Demyx a grin.

"Hey! Shut up! Not my fault it ended up in the washing machine. Besides, Zexion put all of your other songs on it."

"Aww, that's so sweet, one-eye," Axel cooed. I snorted at the tone of his voice, but Zexion didn't seem all too pleased with the nickname.

I think I must've spaced out again after that for a bit.. or longer.. because Axel was suddenly shaking my shoulder, repeating "Earth to Roxy" in my ear. I blinked and sat up abruptly, realizing that way more than a few minutes had passed and that all of the presents had been opened.

"Hey, kid, you okay?" Axel whispered in my ear. I nodded and blushed, catching everyone staring at me curiously.

...I was happy.


We finally kicked everyone out well into the night. Now I was spacing because I was seriously tired.

Axel sighed and leaned against the door and I let him pull me into his arms, chest to chest.

"Had fun?" I mumbled, letting my eyes fall shut.

"Definitely. The part where Rikku got cake in her bra was especially amusing."

I laughed softly, not being able to help myself despite how exhausted I was. I heard Axel let out a deep breath above me and felt him bury his nose into my hair.

"Thanks, Roxy."

I tilted my head up and kissed his jaw with a smile. "Don't thank me yet. I still have to give you my present."

"Mmm.. I was wondering about that. Me? You? Bed? Awesome birthday sex?"

I opened my eyes and frowned, punching him playfully in the stomach. "...Other than that." I grabbed his hand and pulled him to our room before he could make any other perverted remarks.

"Eager, aren't we?" Axel purred, grabbing me around the waist and throwing me on top of the bed.

"H-hey, you sex freak! Get off!" I shrieked, pushing at his chest. At this rate, I wouldn't even get close to giving him the damn box.

"Sex freak, or sexy freak?" Axel asked, growling teasingly into my neck. I bit my tongue, refusing to answer, but was unable to hold back a small moan when I felt his fingertips slide beneathe and around the edges of my jeans. I sighed shakily and gave in, letting Axel do as he pleased for a while.

"So... what present were you talking about?" Axel asked me once he had my shirt off and my jeans unbuttoned. He was kissing along my chest, nothing rough.. just tender touches.

I smiled down at him and gently pushed his head away, sitting up. I grabbed the small black box sitting on the nightstand by my own black and white iPod, and hid it in my hand.

Axel blinked curiously at me and crawled around me, trying to grab it. "What is it?"

"I surprise," I sang, scooting farther away from him. Axel pouted at me and shoved my shoulder.

"Aw.. c'mon, Rox. I love you?"

I chuckled and grabbed his hand, pulling him closer to me. "I love you, too, Ax.. So much."

He smiled at me and I swear to you, my heart floated.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. "And.. I'll always love you." My words were suddenly scrambling, coming together, and I had to slow down just to calm myself. "I don't.. I don't know what'll happen tomorrow.. or next month, or next year.. But I know I'll always love you. Forever."

I kissed his hand, smiling at his shocked expression, and slipped the box into his fingers.

"Don't give me that deer-in-the-headlights look, just open it."

Axel traced his finger over it for a long moment before finally flicking it open. I grinned, seeing his eyes widen even more because I knew he was looking at two, identical silver bands with one tiny flame cut into each.

"I'll always love you," I said again, much softer this time, and placed my hand on top of his, waiting for an answer..

Axel flicked his eyes up, staring deeply into mine with greengreen orbs.. and I nearly lost my breath.

"...You are so amazing that I can't even think of a reason for why I'd want to leave you."

I blushed and looked away shyly, the deep, heartfelt gaze making my head spin.

Axel pressed his warm lips against mine, and I easily melted against him, arms going around his neck. I knew we were going to be okay. I pulled away from him, flushed and breathless, and Axel slipped one of the rings onto my finger. I smiled softly and took the last ring, sliding it onto Axel's finger. It seemed to practically glitter there...

"God, I love you so much, Rox," Axel breathed, pulling me close against his chest.

"Mm.. I know.."

"Hell, you better, after all this time."

Axel shifted me in his arms and slowly leaned back into the bed, the downy blankets wrapping around us in the air conditioned room. I yawned, too tired to do much other than just lay there for practically forever, right in Axel's arms.

"Goodnight.. sunshine.." Axel whispered sweetly in my ear.

I nodded, fluttering my eyes open for a moment. Through the curtains, beyond the outline of the city, I could see the sun begin to rise, filtering gently into our room.

The sun. I was his sun.

I closed my eyes once more and burrowed my face against Axel's warm chest, letting the sound of his heartbeat put me to sleep.

And he was the burning flame that would always keep me going.




And... it's over.


I don't really know what to say now.

...Well... I'm sad to see it go... It's funny how it started out as a pointless, plotless, little story and attracted so many people and their feelings. I'm so, so glad you all love this story. I think that was my goal. Not to bowl you over with too much drama, too many places, too many people. But to give you that warm fuzzy feeling you get when it's winter and you're on the couch wrapped up in a blanket, drinking some hot chocolate... or with a signifigant other... :3

This was dedicated to you all, especially my Axel, Lorien, for sticking with me for.. almost two years now, despite the fact that we live on opposite sides of the country.

Sunshine in a bag is over, but I promise you that there will be so much more.

I hope you all loved this chapter (and this story) as much as I did.

Thank you, I love you all.