For olette's memories's challenge.

((Yeah, I decided to post both my challenge fics in one day. I'm not a patient person, heh))

-chokes and goes "holy crap!"- Yeah, not only did I do a pairing that I don't love, I did a pairing that I never thought I'd ever, ever write. Because I'm not big on yaoi or even shounen-ai. But yeah, Axel x Roxas. Whoa.

And it's not even that much of the pairing, either (because, again, I'm not big into it). So, umm, sorry, I think. But yeah, nothing graphic here. Still, hope you like it.

Disclaimer: Nope.

-- - --

Sometimes, people had days where they just wanted to disappear.

He was having reoccurring thoughts of such lately.

Frustrated, he slammed his foot into a locker, hands shoved into his pockets. Nothing so monumental had happened to have him taking his anger out on objects at random, no; rather, it was just a compilation of stress after stress after stress, irking him incessantly until he found that the only way to stop himself from ripping someone's head off was to unleash his wrath on inanimate objects.

For good measure, he gave the locker another good slam of his foot.

Midterms were nearing. Obviously, a great load on his shoulders. And as he didn't pay attention (teachers had it out for him, he swore it) and his parents had high hopes that he would do well for once (naïve as their hopes were), he was panicking, not willing to fail no matter what his cool manner suggested. He was already barely passing half of his classes. To have to scrape up notes he hadn't taken for a class he hadn't paid attention to before the midterms rolled around was a hell he didn't want to imagine.

As well, he'd been fired from yet another job. His parents didn't know, and neither did his cousin, too busy with his own screwed up house problems at the moment to even acknowledge the fact that, yes, midterms were coming. Sora was probably the only person thus worse off than he was.

And thirdly, he was caught in the middle of one of the biggest…well, he didn't know the word for it. Battle, maybe? War? Whatever the case, two people were currently fighting over him, and he was entirely screwed. They were both his good friends, and he was caught in the middle, not a pleasant prospect.

He didn't even know why they were fighting. Axel just got pissed when he left to hang out with Olette, and Olette smacked him when Axel so much as touched him. When it came down to it, he was always blamed, and he didn't even know the reason for it.

He slammed a particularly brutal kick into the locker, half expecting a dent to follow.

Bowing his head, blonde strands of hair sliding into his eyes, he slammed his forehead into the locker as well, removing his hands so that they fell limply at his sides. Weakly he hit his knuckles against the metallic surface, jaw clenched as he glared at his shoes, and then he fisted his right hand and slammed it into the locker again, frustration not yet depleted. He didn't understand it. The way they acted, they were like children fighting over a toy they both wanted for themselves.

And as flattering as the sentiment was, he wished they'd just cut it out. Death glares and punches to his arm were only fun for so long.

He rolled his eyes and slammed his forehead against the cold surface again. He couldn't take much more of this.

Huh, maybe if he killed more brain cells he wouldn't have to work. And then Axel and Olette would pity him instead of blaming him for every stupid thing known to mankind.

He smirked. Yeah, right.

Twisting around, he slammed his back into the lockers, staring blankly down the hallway, hand running through his hair again in his habitual way. Toying with the strands idly, he squinted when he saw a head of brown hair down the hallway, and then tilted his head thoughtfully as the person came closer, orange shirt and khaki pants registering as familiar in his mind.

He blushed and ruffled his hair nervously, straightening his back. Sure, he could be mad at her when he was alone, but now that Olette was approaching him he didn't want to appear like an idiot.

She sighed in relief when she passed through the open doorway, and then beamed at him as she stopped and clasped her hands behind her back in a friendly gesture. Tentatively, he smiled back.

"There you are," she said. "I couldn't find you anywhere."

He shrugged simply, tearing his attention away from her emerald eyes as he looked at the tiles. Not so alert now that he knew she wasn't angry with him and he didn't have to be on his best behavior, his overall weariness washed over him again, and his back hit the locker, a sigh escaping his lips as he tilted his head back and eyed the ceiling. Her sneakers shifted on the floor tiles, and then her footsteps neared him, so that when he looked down she was staring defiantly back at him, concerned expression playing on her features.

"Did Axel---?"

"No!" he snapped, and she jumped terribly, eyes wide in shock.

He winced apologetically, looking off to the side, irritation fading away. "Sorry," he muttered. "I'm just…really tired." He sighed to emphasize such. "And you guys just keep biting each other's heads off and then blaming me, and I really can't take it anymore and…" He stopped, feeling her suddenly wrap her arms around his waist, and he stiffened, tilting his head as he looked down at her. "…Olette?"

"I didn't mean it, Roxas," she murmured, tone heavy with guilt. "I'm so sorry."

Awkwardly he placed his hand to the back of her head, still in shock that she was so close to him, and even more so that he was blushing over it. He'd thought his feelings for Olette had disappeared when she'd decided to go out with Hayner two years ago. He guessed he was wrong about that.

"I-I…" he stuttered, blinking. And then he bowed his head gently, resting his chin on her hair. "No, it's all right, Olette. Don't worry."

Her grip tightened around him, fingers grasping the back of his jacket as she moved her cheek to rest on his chest. "Guess I was just worried you would choose Axel over me in the end. You are so close to him."

"I'm close to the both of you," he replied, voice laced with confusion.

"No, I know. It's just…" she stopped, and then shook her head and sighed. "Never mind." She looked up at him and flashed him a beaming smile, her hold tightening a little more, as if she was afraid he would slip away. "Are we good?"

Brushing at a strand of hair in her face, he smiled fondly as she giggled and leaned into his touch, and he nodded.

"Yeah. We're good."

-- - --

"Would you stop?"

"What?!"

Roxas cast him a withering glare, hands currently holding a text open in his hands. He was meaning to study, he really was, but the idiot behind him kept hovering over his shoulder and he couldn't concentrate.

"That! Where you just…just stand there!"

"I can't stand now?" he drawled sarcastically, crossing his arms over his chest as he leveled him with a half-lidded gaze. "First I can't express my deep-felt hatred for that brown-haired what's-her-name you're dating---"

"Olette," he growled through clenched teeth.

He waved his hand. "---and now you're taking away my standing privileges. Hard ass, much?" He grinned lecherously a moment, at which Roxas merely rolled his eyes, and then his exasperated look returned. "Jesus, Roxas. What can't I do next? Talk?!" He threw up his hands in agitation.

"Would be nice," he muttered, turning back to his book, turning back to the cover because he'd seriously forgotten the subject he was supposedly studying. That arrogant idiot, talking incessantly…

"How am I possibly supposed to express my undying love for you if I can't talk, then?" he drawled.

"You'll live."

"You're never gonna learn all that, y'know."

"Thank you!" he shouted, rounding in the chair again and leveling him with a ferocious glare. "So much! So glad to know you have so much faith in me. Now if you wouldn't mind, why don't you shut up so I can see if I can at least save myself from failing!"

Turning back, he stared pointedly at the book, trying to uphold his dignity and shut his friend out of his mind completely. But as he rested his forehead in his hand and flipped the page, he caught it shaking and thereafter felt his shoulders trembling, not out of anger but rather intense worry. Sighing in exasperation, he dropped his hand holding his forehead to cover his eyes, and shoved the book off of the desk, onto the floor.

He couldn't do this.

"Roxas…" Axel's hand came to rest on his shoulder and he gave him a shake. "Are you---?"

"Just go get something to eat and leave me alone, Axel."

"It's my house. I can do what I want," he grumbled, but then his hand left his shoulder and his footsteps shuffled away on the carpet, until Roxas could no longer sense his presence.

Letting his arms fall, he buried his head in his sleeves and let out a soul-reaching sigh, his breathing shuddering with nerves. He shouldn't be taking his anger out on Axel, he knew that. But he just never quit, nor did he seem to respect Roxas's current situation. He didn't care in general, not even bothering to lift a finger and see if he even knew the subject name to what he had to study for the upcoming exams. But then, how Axel got into college, too, he didn't know.

Briefly it amazed him how much Axel and Olette hated each other, when they weren't even in the same school.

A hand came to the back of his head and ruffled his hair, and he sighed and turned his head, glowering at Axel as he put a soda near his left elbow, face stoic for once. Green eyes flicking to him, he smirked half-heartedly, and then he straightened, stepping away, not saying a world.

Eyes switching back to the can, Roxas scowled, hating how without a word his friend instigated massive guilt within him.

"Axel…" he said, sitting up and putting his hand on the back of his chair, desperately glancing behind him to see the redhead leaning against the wall.

"What? I thought you needed to study," he replied arrogantly. A smirk floated to his lips. "Or are my good looks distracting you?"

"Why do I ever try to be serious with you?" he muttered, putting a hand back to his forehead as he glowered at the ground. Gritting his teeth, he tried to muster up enough humility to apologize to his friend, knowing full well that Axel would immediately start gloating once he did so. The knowledge did a number on his pride, that was for sure, and he couldn't quite find the words.

"Kid. Study."

Glancing at him he frowned, lowered his eyes, and then crossed his arms over the back of the chair (swinging his body around so that he could comfortably rest his chin there), and sulked. Axel arched an eyebrow, lips curving into a smirk again in amusement, and he pushed off the wall, walking towards Roxas again.

Cringing as Axel ruffled his hair again, he grumbled slightly. But he made no protest when the redhead tugged on his arm, and stood up and followed him away from the study, into the kitchen, and on into the family room, where he was forced into a seat on the floor next to his friend.

Stretching out his legs, Axel grinned and looked down, and Roxas met his gaze, letting out a frustrated noise as Axel again ruffled his hair.

"Why are you petting me like a dog?" he muttered, shoving his hand away.

"Because you're just so cute," he teased, and Roxas grimaced. "You're my little pet, Roxas."

Rolling his eyes at him, he crossed his arms and let his head fall against the white wall, eyeing the rather empty room comfortably. He'd been living in this place for about four years, and it still didn't look that much different than it had when Axel had first purchased it. A couch was the only furniture in the room they sat in, the walls still half-painted from their attempt so long ago to do work in a civilized fashion around each other; unfortunately, it only led to a massive paint fight, Roxas indefinitely the loser as he was covered from head to toe in light green.

He laughed lightly at the memory, causing Axel to give him an odd look, to which he just shrugged. And he rested his head on the wall again, exhausted as he smoothed at the creases in his pants, trying to distract his mind from pressing matters.

"You suck at poker faces," Axel interjected suddenly, ever the one to know that he was trying to hide whatever was on his mind.

"Forgive me for being a failure in that area, too," he muttered darkly, and Axel sighed.

Suddenly, Roxas found himself staring into Axel's chest, his friend's looped around his shoulders to cradle his head gently. As he squirmed to free himself from the grip, too, he was told to knock it off and just relax, and Roxas hesitantly looked up to stare into his friend's once-more stoic face. At his attention he smiled somewhat, fingers suddenly toying with strands of hair at the nape of his neck, and he blinked, feeling suddenly calm.

"You're so goddamned nervous all the time," he teased, and Roxas sighed, letting his head fall more comfortably against his friend's chest. Axel shifted once. "You've gotta let things go."

"Whatever," he muttered, staring dejectedly at a part of the floor just beyond Axel's left knee.

"You're an idiot."

"Thanks."

"Anytime."

Laughing softly once, he felt his shoulders ease under his friend's casual hold. He didn't know how Axel did it, but with his rude sarcasm and blunt words he managed to completely evaporate all the weighing feelings in him that pressed against his heart. Sure, he irritated the hell out of him, but in the end it always managed to get Roxas to smile, so he guessed he could forgive him for that.

"Really," he murmured, closing his eyes. "Thank you, Axel."

Axel's fingers, which had for the whole time been toying with the few blonde strands at the nape of his neck, moved to run completely his hair. Drowsy already, Roxas shuddered, moving closer to his friend for comfort, and he willingly pressed him tight to his chest, head bowing to rest on top of his, lips brushing against his hair.

"No problem," he muttered, and Roxas nodded blearily, face snuggling more into his hold. Axel chuckled in answer. "I've got you memorized, kid."

-- - --

She giggled in his arms, pecking her lips gently against his, and he blushed and nuzzled closer into her hold, heart skipping a beat. He'd felt so much weight lift off his shoulders just by being in her presence, and rejoiced in just being by her side, allowing her voice and laugh to brush against his ears.

She was so beautiful, too. The way her green eyes danced…it made his face flush such a deep color.

She kissed him again, and he felt himself lean into her lips as she detangled herself from his hold, apologizing even as she pressed several more light pecks to his lips before she giggled and replied that she had to leave. He sighed, running a hand through his hair as he laughed off his feelings of isolation and waved her away, and when she disappeared from sight he allowed himself a frown, eyes on his sneakers as he kicked at the sidewalk.

His heart felt heavy again.

Deciding that it would be best if he just walked home and underwent a serious attempt towards studying, he turned around, hands shoved in his pockets, and trudged down the sidewalk, eyes lowered on the ground before him as he thought of nothing in particular. The wind rustled his blonde bangs, and was rather cool against his cheeks, a nice day for the middle of winter.

Suddenly, though, in the midst of his calm, two arms encircled him and trapped him into stopping, so that he was glowering at the sidewalk as he could only imagine who his attacker could be.

"Get off, Axel."

"Hello to you, too, lover."

"Shut up."

"You know you want me."

"To get off? Yes."

He sighed forcefully, breath tickling his neck and right ear and causing a shiver to run down his spine. Finally, however, Axel shoved him away, so that he was tripping over his steps, and when Roxas whirled on him indignantly he caught a look at his cross expression and winced slightly. God, he couldn't make Olette and Axel happy on the same day even when they weren't even near each other.

"What?" he finally snapped.

Axel glowered at him. "Why the hell are you spending so much time with her?"

"With who? Olette?" Axel's eyes narrowed, and Roxas scoffed. "Oh, I dunno. Maybe because she's my girlfriend?"

"A minor technicality," he drawled.

Roxas smirked at him and arched an eyebrow, causing some of the anger to slip from Axel's face as his weakness for his friend took over. "So relationships are unimportant to you, now."

He crossed his arms indignantly. "No. She's unimportant to me."

"Right, of course," Roxas said, rolling his eyes as he waved his hand. "How could I make such a mistake?" Shaking his head, Roxas sighed. "Well, whatever, Axel. You take up your issues with Olette on your own, okay? And stop stalking me, huh? I have to study."

He turned to go with a final wave, but suddenly Axel grabbed his arm and slammed him against the fence to the right, pinning him there as Roxas winced slightly. Recovering from his daze quickly, though, he eyed him incredulously.

"…the hell, Axel?"

"You're mine," he hissed sharply, head bowed so that their faces were dangerously close. Roxas squirmed slightly. "Got it memorized?"

Disgust dawned on his face, and he moved his hands to shove at his friend's chest. "Get out of the way, Axel. I'm not some possession for you to keep on a short leash. And you'd best remember that."

He arched an eyebrow. "A threat coming from a runt who can't even push me out of the way. How amusing."

Furious, he removed his hands from his chest and shoved at his friend's arm, moving it so he could slip past. But again Axel moved and pinned him against the fence, closer this time so that Roxas had difficulty moving.

"Would you knock it off, you idiot?" he snapped, but rage flashed across Axel's stunning green eyes and he slammed his arms to either side, fingers holding them there so that he had no chance of even attempting to slip by again. Squirming still, he raised his chin and made a face, which Axel laughed at slightly.

"It's so much more amusing when you squirm, Roxas," he whispered, body now pressed against his as his hand slipped to his cheek, and Roxas stilled, eyes wide as he stared at his friend in shock.

"Axel, what? What are you talking about?" Squirming again, he moved his cheek, away from his friend's hand as he twisted and tried to step away from the redhead's weight pressing him into the wall. "Let me go, huh?"

Axel regarded him dryly, moving his hand to play with his bangs as a smirk grew on his lips in amusement while Roxas struggled. "Having some trouble, there?"

"Screw you," he snapped.

"Would be difficult," he mused, and then grinned wickedly. "Of course, you could try."

"Get off!"

"You're just so adorable when you're caught in a death grip, Roxas."

"Idiot."

"You and your pet names."

"Jackass!" he shouted, kicking at his shins as Axel tilted his head and regarded him with amusement still.

"Must suck for you, wanting to get somewhere."

"Especially since I'm stuck with you," he spat.

Axel's eyebrows rose. "Ouch, Roxas. That hurts."

Letting out a shout of aggravation, he slammed his head into the fence and let his shoulders fall, eyes on the sky as he gave up struggling. Axel laughed, but he glowered and looked away, set on ignoring him should he say anything else.

Lips merely touched his forehead, however, and Roxas stiffened, gaping at Axel as he moved away and grinned cockily, arms swinging limply at his sides.

"Oh, look. I got Roxas to look at me."

Speechless, he moved a hand to his forehead, blinking and then darting his eyes to the ground, fingers moving over the skin there. Tension crackled in the air as he felt at a loss for something to say, their situation suddenly awkward, and he couldn't lift his eyes from the sidewalk to meet the no doubt dancing eyes of his amused friend. It was a stupid joke, and he couldn't get over it. No wonder he called him weak all the time.

Roxas jolted when Axel slapped his palm against his forehead, and jerked his head, catching his friend's smirk. Shoulders falling, he flashed a smile back, dropping his hand to punch him lightly in the arm.

In the back of his mind, though, no matter how easy going he acted around the redhead, he just couldn't erase the feel of his lips from his mind.

-- - --

Covering his mouth as he doubled over and coughed, his wide eyes watched as water trailed off of his bangs and fell to the ground beneath his feet. A shiver ran through his body as he struggled to straighten, cold, wet clothes clinging to him as he raised a shaking fist and pounded it on the door. His breath hitched and he screwed up his face to try to stop the tears burning at his eyes from falling, but with each passing second that he held in everything that was going wrong, it kept towering and towering until it threatened to collapse.

And Axel still wasn't opening the goddamned door.

He pounded his fist more insistently on the wood, fighting his urge to double over as he coughed again, body shaking terribly. He'd just run through the rain to get where he was, and he'd be damned if he'd let Axel sleep through his calling.

When there was no answer he collapsed slightly against the door, panicking. "Axel! Get your sissy ass out here!" he all but choked, shouting desperately.

He prepared to knock on the door again, but lowered his hand in relief at the pounding of footsteps. He then jumped as the door swung open and slammed against the wall, revealing a thoroughly pissed Axel standing in the threshold. But Roxas glared back, knowing he probably didn't look threatening with his disheveled appearance of rain-drenched hair, rumpled clothes, drawn face, and tears, and fisted his hand at his side, fury growing even as Axel calmed.

Before the redhead even moved, he bowed his head in rage and slammed his fist into his gut.

Axel stumbled backwards, eyes wide as Roxas swayed, obviously not well, and tried to focus his bleary eyes on the object of his contempt. The redhead, clearly in a state of disbelief, straightened himself and then stumbled over his footing again, mouth opening and closing several times, the words not coming.

So Roxas spoke instead. "You!" he snapped, tripping slightly and grabbing at the threshold. "Y-you jerk!"

Axel arched an eyebrow, having finally steadied himself. "Uh, yeah. Mind telling me what's going on, Roxas?"

"She broke up with me!" he shouted, voice cracking as another tremor ran through his body. "All because of you. Said she didn't want to get in the way of such devotion." He held back a sob, squeezing his eyes shut. "She walked away from me because you were so goddamned clingy, Axel!"

"Hold the hell on here, Roxas," he growled, crossing his arms and not at all appreciative that he was being blamed. "How am I responsible for your love problems. It's not like I went to her and ordered her to break up with you. That was her decision."

"Because of you!"

"I don't see your logic," he drawled.

Bowing his head further, he felt his knees shake, and all of a sudden he collapsed to the ground. Leaning forward, he pressed his face into his hands, shaking his head mournfully as his shoulders trembled violently.

"Forget it. Just forget it. I needed her, and for some reason you influenced her to decide to break up with me. Don't you get it, Axel?" he sobbed. "She helped me forget. I wasn't a mess in her presence. Whereas you just always screw me over by distracting me from the problem."

Axel remained silent. Grimacing against the tension that followed his words, Roxas buried his face further into his hands, jaw clenched to hide the chattering his teeth, the corner of his lip twitching occasionally as tears rolled down his cheeks. It was true. Olette's presence had helped him forget, and she even went so far as to help him with his studies, encouraging him in a way Axel never could. And now that she was gone, he'd never felt more afraid in his life, the ground seeming to crumble beneath his feet as he struggled to not let himself drown in the mounting stress of it all.

He didn't even know if they were friends anymore. She'd just given him a sad smile, tears in her eyes, and said it was over, turning on her heel after a final kiss to his lips. She was stronger than how she'd looked at that moment, and her appearance gave him cause to believe that whatever he'd done, he'd hurt her deeply.

But he just didn't know what it was that he'd done.

Why was life so complicated?

A strong grip to his arm snapped him back to reality, and he protested as Axel pulled him sharply to his feet. Stumbling, he swayed as his friend kept him fixed to the spot, and then turned his head away, refusing to meet the redhead's green eyes as he stubbornly fought to fix all his blame on him. For so long, he'd been the cause for the fighting, had always been yelled at for things he wasn't even to blame for, and dammit this was payback. He had too much stress in his life to just roll over and submit anymore. He wasn't weak, and so he wasn't forgiving Axel anytime soon.

Exhaling in agitation when Roxas still refused to shoot him a glance, Axel reached up and fisted a handful of his hair, jerking his head to the left as Roxas yelped. Grimacing, he glowered at his tall friend, remaining stubborn and refusing to apologize.

For some reason, though, Axel's lips curved upwards in an amused smirk. He arched an eyebrow, and Roxas felt himself become flustered, embarrassed that he was appearing to be nothing more than a child in his friend's presence. Unable to look away, though, he lowered his eyes, fists clenched at his side as his lip twitched again in a scowl.

"Let go."

He snorted.

"I'll kick you."

"I dare you to try it."

"Let go."

"You did punch me, if you don't recall."

"Dammit, I hate you, Axel!"

There was a vicious pull on his hair, and Roxas cringed again, squaring his shoulders as he stubbornly kept his eyes down. Sighing, Axel loosened his death grip on his hair, instead forcing Roxas's head into his chest, where he struggled as Axel dropped his arm to fall around his shoulders.

And suddenly, the tears Roxas had so skillfully curbed as he replaced his feelings with anger fell again, and he was sobbing into his friend's chest as he started stroking his hair, saying only that he was sorry that it had to be like this.

Choking, Roxas fisted Axel's shirt, feeling stupid that he was being such a baby, but reveling in the comfort he found in his friend that he'd so long been without. He really needed Axel at that moment, and he was just glad he'd opened his door, even if Roxas had only rewarded him with a punch to the gut.

"A-Axel…" he stuttered, legs weakening under him as his weight collapsed, and his friend stumbled to catch him and then held him tighter around the waist. Sighing, he pressed his face into the blonde's hair, who was currently struggling to reign in the remaining sobs that kept tearing from his throat.

Roxas clenched his jaw and pressed his face further into the redhead's chest, hating that for once he really wasn't able to hold his own. He'd always fought to be twice as strong as he really felt in Axel's presence, and yet now his barriers had crumbled, and his strength was slowly becoming depleted, so that all he felt were the tears stains on his face and the exhaustion pulling him under.

He was confused. He was cold. And for once in his life, he wanted someone to stay there and be the shoulder he could lean on, instead of him having to stand on his own. He just wanted someone to stay.

"Axel…"

"I'm here, Roxas…"

And he clung to his friend's words, feeling a sense of warmth rush through him at that.

He didn't know when he'd collapsed, and didn't know when Axel had dragged him into his lap. All he registered was his hands gripping his shirt, his body curled tightly in self-defense, and his shoulders shaking as his sobs dwindled away, leaving him feeling nothing but empty and forlorn as Axel gently ran his hand through his hair. Blearily, he stared at a spot on the wall, feeling broken, feeling scared, and knowing that he would be staying at Axel's for a couple days before he could face reality again.

The control he'd so naively thought he could grasp was slipping away.

And he wondered, still feeling torn between his two friends even now, if there was such thing as love at all.

Because he really didn't know what it was he felt anymore.

-- - --

Whoo...done. Hope it was all right and didn't suck, because I've never written about Axel and have never read the Akuroku pairing. So please review and tell me if it was okay.