Wow. I kind of can't believe that this is the last chapter... I mean. Oh my god. Holy crap. It only took me THREE YEARS. I don't know what to think, what to say... ((bawls)) Except that YOU GUYS, all of you who read and review and fucking AMAZING AWESOME PEOPLE THAT SHOULD HAVE CONFETTI THROWN AT THEM.

...Right. So before I let you go and read the last chapter of this insane fanfic, I just want to vent out a few things while I still have the chance.

First and foremost, I am SOOOO sorry this took so long. I checked the last time I updated, and it was like back in December. Holy shit. All I can say is that I was completely stumped, and then laziness took over, followed by a nice dose of writer's block and me moving over to dA for a while. You guys know how I sometimes just pull stories completely out of my ass without any planning, right? Well... this is why this chapter got stuck about... ten paragraphs in.

Secondly, don't worry, I'm obviously going to go and write more pointless fic for your (and my own) entertainment. Duh.

Thirdly. While I'm going to miss this story sooo much... I am SO glad it's finally over XDDD You don't even understand.

Fourth. You might notice that after I post this chapter, this fic will randomly get updated every now and then. ...I will probably be editing. Speaking of editing, I still have to edit sunshine in a bag because it's just painful to look at.

Fifth. Please enjoy the final chapter of sweet talk 101.


sweet talk 1o1

17 : chapter one - lifehouse

A shaky breath escaped Roxas's lips as he took another step inside the room, pulled in by the familiarity of Axel's voice. Smooth and deep and cocky, every word as sharp as the weapons he used to wield. The glowing dots of green narrowed and another chuckle reached the blonde's ears.

"What's wrong, partner? Dusk got your tongue?"

Roxas paused, unsure if he should be happy or relieved or just plain scared. He could tell Axel was unstable, judging by the dark tone in his voice, but... he was also back. "...Axel."

"Ah, there we go... For a sec, I thought you went all zombie on me again out of spite."

The redhead was a bit more visible now, his old smirk in place on his lips, with just the tiniest sliver of white from his teeth showing. The expression almost looked feral, animalistic, like a hungry tiger that was just awoken. Axel stretched out a leg, hooking his foot around one of the chairs at the end of the long white table and yanked it out until it was situated in front of him. "Please, do sit. I insist."

The words left his lips with a hiss, and a chill raced up Roxas's spine as he did what he was told, sinking down into the cool wood and jumping in surprise when Axel's feet ended up in his lap. "Trying to make me behave with all those nasty pills, partner... That wasn't very nice of you."

"You were out of control," the blonde spoke up matter-of-factly. It seemed that once his voice had returned, the secret was out.

"Oh, but Roxas... It wasn't fair to be the only one to remember everything and leave 'Axel' all out in the dark."

It was then that a look of confusion passed through Roxas's features, clouding his blue eyes for a moment. Axel's smirk stretched into a grin as he dropped his legs down on the floor of either side of Roxas's chair and pushed himself off the bed, sliding into the blonde's unprotesting lap. "Out of control? Yeah, right, partner. You should consider yourself lucky that I was trapped in my own subconscious. I would've never let 'Axel' anywhere near you."

Roxas stiffened in the chair, a slight flicker of panic rushing through his eyes before quickly disappearing into those blue depths. This was Axel. His Axel. His best friend. The redhead who had fought beside him and trained him and ate ice cream on top of a clock tower with him. There was nothing to fear... he hoped.

"Why?" the boy spoke up finally, lifting his hands and pushing at Axel's chest in an attempt to get him back on the bed... but the redhead quickly gathered his wrists in one hand and yanked them up above the boy's blonde spikes. "After all that... why hate me?" he asked, not at all fazed by the redhead's dominance.

"Now, let's see..." Axel hummed and wound his free hand into the blonde spikes on the back of his captive's head and pulled until Roxas let out a soft gasp and released his control, head tipping back to expose the white column of his throat. Hungry green eyes raked across the lines of muscle in the boy's neck until they found a spot. Hot air puffed up around the pale skin, warm wetness encasing the area for the briefest of moments before Axel pulled away with a satisfied look on his face. Roxas's reaction to the touch was instantaneous, mouth dropping open to let out a tiny moan escape and eyelids drooping over darkening blue irises. His pulse had quickened and his body temperature had shot up and he'd become pleasantly submissive, just the way Axel wanted him. "... Why, oh why would I ever hate you, dearest?"

Axel grinned darkly and dipped his head down, grazing his lips over Roxas's jawline. "You see, love, this new heart of mine... it allowed me to really feel what it was like when you left me. I mean, I thought it was bad enough back then, but this time around, it was like pouring salt into a raw wound, y'know?" Lips skinned back, white teeth tracing the graceful line of Roxas's throat. The boy was frozen under his ministrations, unable to even articulate an response. "You were such a stupid boy... I didn't lie to you because I didn't want you... I lied to you because I wanted to keep you by my side. And what did you do? Turned on me and ran away, completely disregarding the fact that I actually cared about you..."

Roxas squirmed, trying to tug his hands free from Axel's strong grip. After hearing that, he finally understood... Axel had come into the next life confused, his new heart bombarded with feelings that he hadn't been able to decipher before. Unlike Roxas, who had accepted his fate and waited patiently for the next time around, Axel was still grieving his loss, even though-

"Axel... please. It's all over now. I'm here, you're here-ah!" Tears sprung to his eyes when Axel's thin fingers circled around his throat, one pressing against the bandage that was still covering his healing wound. A part of him hoped that Aeris would come in and drag him out, effectively ruining the one chance he'd have to break through to the redhead.

Axel grinned sadistically, looking far too pleased with Roxas's reaction. "Did I really matter that little to you? Did my sacrifice really mean nothing?" he asked in a mockingly sing-song voice. "I can't believe I sat there with you in those last moments, smiling, when you hurt me like that, when you'll just bring me more pain. Is it pity? Is that why you loved me in this life? Because of pity?"

There was a clatter as the chair fell to the floor, and Axel flew back into the bed as Roxas staggered to his feet, gasping for breath and clutching at his chest. He took a step back, eyes trained on Axel's smoldering green eyes. "I h-had to!" he managed to rasp out. "How... else was I supposed to pry you o-off? How else would I... convince myself that I... had to let you go? It... was all I wanted, to stay by your side until we faded into Nothing, b-but..."

Axel sat up slowly, one hand pressed to his chest where Roxas's fist had connected with his ribcage. His face was blank, emotionless, but his bright, angry eyes, were trained on the blonde.

"I wanted so badly, but... I had to... I had to convince myself to hate you, to make you hate me... The world needed Sora. Everyone needed Sora." Roxas shook his head and took another step back, until he bumped into the white table behind him. His eyes were fixed on Axel's pained ones, vision starting to blur and melt together. "You'd be the only one to benefit if I never left. If I had stayed with you, we would only have so long together... We wouldn't be able to go on to an afterlife, or live together in Nothing. We wouldn't exist anymore. I had to go to Sora. For his life and... for the continuation of mine. For everyone else's. I never..." His voice broke off, shattered, and he tried to suppress a sob, burying his face in his hands. "I n-never wanted to h-hurt you... I j-just wanted to be w-with you... E-even if it meant waiting a lifetime for another chance...!"

Revisiting those old memories was painful, a sharp heartache that had never fully dissipated. Days of hollowness, confusion, and feelings that were never fully understood with a lacking heart.

He never saw Axel move, get up from the bed and cross the room in one swift motion, grabbing the blonde's hands and pinning them to the table behind them. Roxas gasped softly and tensed up, waiting for a hit, a punch, something painful and violent. He never expected Axel to lean down, crushing their lips together in a surge of desperation and want. The redhead clutched at him as though he were his last precious breath of air. Roxas squeaked into Axel's mouth, and Axel deepened the kiss, tongue sweeping into his lover's mouth with a sense of comfort and familiarity. It was what he had needed, to hear those words, the truth he'd been yearning to hear for years. Calm had washed over him like a soothing wave, subduing his fiery rage and hurt. He felt like he could breath again, like was was finally free from the chains constricting his heart.

It really hadn't been in vain. He knew there had been a reason when he protected Sora, when he had sacrificed himself for the boy that reminded him so much of the one he loved. Because that boy had been the reason that got another chance at life.

Axel pressed closer, sliding their bodies together and pushing Roxas along the table until the boy was propped up against the wall between his knees.

"It hurt," Axel murmured, pulling away with one chaste kiss. Roxas relaxed in the redhead's grip, under the kisses scattering across his jaw, his cheeks, his nose, his forehead. "It hurt so much when I finally saw you and woke up. I thought that... it was what I had been feeling before, and went along with it, until it intensified to the point of hate. Until I... trapped my heart in my confusion. Fuck." He laughed weakly and pressed his face into Roxas's soft hair, feeling the boy's arms wind around his waist. "I can't believe that having a heart actually made me hate you... God, I'm so stupid."

"No you're not," Roxas assured softly, burying his face into Axel's neck. "You didn't know. I figured you'd be confused when I found you. It's my fault, too, leaving you the way I did. You've every right to hate me."

"I know, but... shit. First you were the confused one, and I guess it was my turn."

"You mean me not catching your completely subtle, backward attempts at making me stay?"

"...Pretty much."

Roxas smiled and pressed closer, nuzzling his nose against Axel's neck, breathing in his familiar scent. "Now we're really together again. We don't have to worry about fading or the Organization or the Heartless..."

"Yeah, that's true..." Axel muttered with a laugh, hooking an arm around Roxas's waist and pulling his other hand through the boy's blonde spikes. "And I'll never let you go for anything."


Roxas was more than reluctant when Aeris showed up and gently told him it was time to leave. "He's alright, so I'll move it him a more comfortable room," she said with a small smile.

"I'm fine right here," Axel mumbled from across the room. He had situated himself back on the stark bed, arms and legs folded and his shoulders pressed against the wall. Aeris's smile tightened, brows raising in question, but Axel only shrugged and waved a hand lazily. "Don't worry. I'm more or less sane now... but, uh, y'know. Thanks for getting Roxas here as soon as you could."

"Yeah," Roxas said, nodding in agreement. He pushed himself away from the edge of the bed, stretching his arms back. "He should probably rest though, for a while. Mental exhaustion."

Axel cocked his head, giving Aeris a weak smile. "I'm okay, Doc... just tired. Came to my senses and everything."

Aeris leaned against the doorjamb and let out the heavy breath that she had been holding for what felt like the past few days. The tension in her shoulders released and she rolled them back. "That's good to hear. Now I want you to rest, you got that? Roxas can come again tomorrow."

The blonde smiled at Axel over his shoulder, holding his hand out. A warmer hand met his halfway, fingers threading together, and gently tugged him over. "Thanks," Axel murmured against the boy's lips, feeling him smile against him.

"It's what I'm here for."

When Roxas straightened out, Aeris was staring awkwardly at the floor, not quite sure where else to look. Roxas smiled to himself and followed when the woman beckoned with a nod of her head, leading him to her office instead of the waiting room.

"...Oh, damn, what happened here?" he muttered, glancing around at the depressingly empty flower pots and vases. They all looked scorched, black rimming the tops and sides, and ashes were scattered among the floor. "Did Axel do this?"

"I don't even know," Aeris said with a weird little laugh. Roxas was reminded of a small, nervous animal. "He was panicking, so I rushed over to make sure he was okay... and when we looked up, it was like this."

The blonde hummed in understanding and knelt down beside a clay pot, poking at the charred remains of flower stalks that jutted out of the dirt like weeds. "He used to do this a lot when he got angry. Go out and burn things. It was one of the few ways he could let off some steam-"

"Okay, hold on!" Aeris interrupted, waving her hands frantically. "Can we first talk about just what the hell has been going on for the past... half year, or so?"

Roxas smiled slightly and rose to his feet. "Do you believe in the theory of past lives?"

Aeris blinked, struck suddenly with the fact that it was the same theory that she had been to skeptical to approach. A possibility, but one out of a million. And here was Roxas, a seemingly normal boy, who was speaking of events that were, well... not so normal.

"...So when Sora decided to save Kairi, he turned himself into a Heartless, which created me-"

The woman could only listen and nod, occasionally asking for a detail to be repeated. It was crazy, far-fetched, asylum-worthy... but at the same time, when Roxas spoke of Hollow Bastion, a city that didn't exist anymore, she felt a wave of nostalgia. The scent of wood and dust and cement, an orange gray sky, violet cliffs and valleys, a towering, twisted castle that pierced the heavens...

"The castle," Aeris began slowly, carefully sifting through small bursts of flashbacks. "... That was where the Heartless were being made, right?"

Roxas nodded, watching as Aeris shook her head in disbelief and slumped back in her chair. "Gods," she groaned, pulling her fingers through her hair. "I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to say at this point."

The blonde boy shrugged, his blue eyes drifting towards the window. "...It was scary and confusing to live back then. Heartless, Nobodies... drifting souls that couldn't find their place. The story sounds so straightforward and to the point, but it wasn't. At least now... we're all here again, and things are normal. All we have to deal with now is the memories and the dreams until we are able to face it and those memories disappear. I lot of people I know now that I knew from my past life... they don't remember a thing. You can only recall tiny bits and pieces. Axel and I... we almost had to relive the nightmare."

Aeris blinked, her hands drifting down to the back of her neck. "Is that what it is? Something happened in your past life that you couldn't come into this one in peace?"

"...When you put it that way, then yeah, I guess so."

"And now?"

"Now? Now... things are going to be better. We've fought a lifetime to be with each other. Y'think I'm going to let something mess that up?"

"...Good boy."


After a few more days of supervision, Aeris decided it was time for Axel to leave recovery. When Roxas came with Kairi to pick him up, there was a girl sitting with him, scratching away at her sketchpad. She was pale as snow, with hair the color of a raven's feathers, and a dress as white as the walls around them. The only thing that stood out were her eyes, a bold oceanic blue like Roxas and Sora's. She was so absorbed in her own work that she didn't even look up when the other two came in.

"Hey guys," Axel said with a grin, beckoning them both over. He had fallen into a natural, easy-going attitude, one that Kairi had been used to before Roxas had shown up, and one that Roxas remembered from his past life. The redhead had calmed, the fake persona he had used in this life now gone. He felt freer, lighter, happier, like he was supposed to with a heart. Of course, this was a secret between him, Roxas, Aeris, and the pale girl that sat with him. No one else knew, and he didn't want to dredge up painful memories for anyone.

"How're you feeling?" Kairi asked, giving him a small, shaky smile. She had been inconsolable in the past few days, worried to the point of sickness. She hardly even ate the Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes that Sora had slaved away at.

"Like a million munny," Axel laughed, pulling Kairi over and planting a kiss on her forehead. "I'm okay, I swear. Oh, by the way, meet Xion. Isn't she a cutie?"

The girl either didn't hear him or chose not to respond, pastel-coated fingertips moving fluidly along the page. Kairi smiled at her and dropped into the empty seat besider her twin.

"Ready to go?" Roxas asked, reaching for the bag that was sitting by Axel's feet.

His boyfriend nodded and then held up a finger, a signal for the boy to wait. He leaned over to the raven-haired girl beside him and nudged her shoulder gently, coaxing those large blue eyes up.

"Hey, Xion... It's time for me to go, okay?" The girl blinked in response and cocked her head, her dark bangs falling over her eyes. Axel grinned at her, curling his fingers gently around hers. "I'll come back to visit you, alright?"

She nodded and briefly squeezed his fingers in farewell, leaving streaks of red and yellow on the pale skin. Roxas stared at their twined fingers silently, nostalgia pulling at farthest corners of his mind, but not quite reaching him. As Axel pulled away and climbed to his feet, Roxas reached out and grabbed the Xion's now-empty hand. Their fingers fit perfectly together, and he could have sworn he remembered holding her hand like this some time, some place, long ago.

"...I'll explain later," Axel murmured quietly, while Kairi gathered up his things. He smiled and gently pulled Roxas's hand out of Xion's surprisingly strong grip, leading him to the door where Aeris was waiting to see them off.


"Yeah, okay," Sora hummed, tapping his fingers against the plastic of his cell phone. Riku glanced up curiously at him from the couch and cocked his head. "Alright... oh, and this is gonna sound completely stupid, but I forgot to buy ice cream, and since you're already on the road, would you mind grabbing some? None of that peanut butter crap... Ooooh, yeah the crunchy kind! ...Yes, and SeaSalt. Okay, see you soon, Rox!" He snapped his phone shut and shoved it unceremoniously back into his pocket, bouncing back over to the couch and snuggling up against Riku's side. "...Ick, smells too much like Axel."

"Well, it's his house, you'd think it'd smell like him, right?"

Sora rolled his eyes and tilted his head to the side so he could comfortably watch TV. Of course, he and Riku weren't the only ones in the household... Kairi planned for a Welcome Home, Axel party at their house, and once most of the prep (like the second cake because Demyx accidentally tripped over the first) was over and done with, everyone was pretty much left to lounge around the house in wait.

"What's wrong?" Riku asked, leaning down to nuzzle Sora's brown spikes with his nose. "You look very pensive."

The boy shrugged, shoulder rubbing up against Riku's ribcage and sighed softly. "Just thinking about how crazy and weird this school year has been. From the moment Roxas decided to switch schools and Kairi... actually, I blame Kairi for everything. This was all her fault."

"Who knew she could be so devious."

"Who knew she was planning on setting Roxas and Axel up from the beginning? I mean, it's mind-boggling!" Sora yelped, detaching himself from Riku's person to look up at him with wide eyes. "How did she manage to put on such an act without anyone noticing? I mean, look what happened! I'm friends with people that I never considered to like me before! And that's all because Axel shoved you, you landed in my crotch, and then you both were scared so shitless that Roxas and I were going to murder you two in your sleep that you ran around trying to make amends which only made things worse but actually made things better because look where we are now and I'm-mmphmmnn-going out with you now, like-mnnn-we're actually dating-what's so funny?"

Riku grinned at the brunette and bit down on his lower lip in attempt to smother down his chortles. "The fact that you're trying to explain something unexplainable yet still understandable and keep talking even though I'm trying to kiss you into silence?"

That brought out a blush on Sora's cheeks and the boy looked away with a pout, folding his arms unhappily over his chest. "I just... it's so weird, yet at the same time, it feels... normal. Being with you, like this, feels normal, and being friends with Axel feels normal, and Axel being with Roxas feels normal. Like someone upstairs had this all planned out."

"And maybe they did? To be honest, I'm glad things turned out the way they did, y'know?" Riku smiled gently in return to Sora's childishly confused expression. "As much as we want to fight it, some things are just... meant to happen."

Sora's expression softened and he glanced down at Riku's hands before slipping his fingers between the silverette's. "...I know. Everything about this feels right. I wonder if anyone else has the same feeling?" he asked, looking out at his mismatched group of friends, where Demyx was talking animatedly with Hayner over the importance of fluoride in the water, and where Larxene was teaching Olette and Yuffie how to make shurikens out of paper, and where Rikku and Naminé were playing tic tac toe with M&M's while Zexion kept score and doodle on a napkin... More classmates and friends were due to show up soon as well.

"...Probably. But what's the point in sitting there and dwelling on it when there's people waiting for you?"

Sora blinked in surprise, looking like he was coming out of some sort of haze, and narrowed his eyes slightly in thought. "...Hm. I can hear Roxas's car pulling into the driveway."


"Ah, so that's where you went."

Axel jumped slightly and looked over his shoulder where Kairi was struggling to close the sliding door while simultaneously making sure that the cup in her other hand didn't spill over. With a click, the sounds inside the house became muted white noise, and Kairi walked across the deck and sat down beside her brother on the steps. It was getting late, and the oranges and reds that were streaked across the sky were slowly starting to turn purple while fireflies began to blink on and off in the backyard.

"You alright?" Kairi asked, passing a cup of blueberry tea into Axel's hands. The taller redhead nodded, cradling the cup in his hands.

"Yeah. Just needed to take a breather. Nothing's wrong."

Kairi hummed and set her elbows on her knees, dropping her chin into her open palms. "...We should all go to the beach soon, what with school ending and all."

"Yeah? Just pack up a few cars and drive off to Destiny Islands, yeah?"

"Oh my god, that would be amazing..."

Axel chuckled softly and swung an arm out, catching Kairi by the shoulders and dragging her against his side. "How about you? Are you okay? I know you were pretty worried. Sora told me you couldn't even eat his pancakes."

"Of course I was worried, stupid!" the petite redhead bit back, smacking Axel in the thigh. "I don't care how much of a pain in the ass you are, you're still my brother, and all I've got at home while mom and dad are on the other side of the world. Oh, and speaking of, they're taking a break from their business trip to come home for a few weeks."

"What, real estate isn't selling in Radiant Garden?"

"Oh, no, it's selling. Did you hear? They uncovered some of the old architecture that existed during Hollow Bastion's time, and the moment people saw it, they went gaga over it. They're just coming home to see us and... Iunno. Recharge."

"...Was that a Lady Gaga reference?"

"Maybe." Kairi laughed brightly and turned her face to the side, burying it in Axel's shirt. Her fingers slipped down to his knee, playing with the small rip in his jeans. "...Look, I wanted to apologize for being such an abomination before... y'know, at the beginning of all this? When I was kind of acting like a-"

"-Ho?" Axel supplied helpfully, the grin on his face showing that he was only teasing.

Kairi rolled her eyes skyward and smacked him again. "For lack of a better word, yes. I know that we didn't get along before either, but... you know I love you, right? And hope to never act like some Abercrombie and Fitch cookie cutout ever again? And that I was only trying to set you and Roxas up?"

"Yeah, yeah, I love you, too-wait. What? Set us up?" Axel blinked in surprise and drew back slightly, regarding his sister with an arched brow. "...My, I didn't know you could be so... devious."

"It was more of a joke at first," Kairi sighed, twisting a strand of hair around her finger. "But then... when I thought about it, for some reason, I thought you two would look good together, and... y'know. Things escalated rather painfully from there."

Axel hummed in understanding and brought the mug to his lips. He wished he could tell her the truth about him and Roxas... but what was the use in dredging up old memories in their new life? When they already had everything they needed? It was just churn up questions, and dangerous trains of thought... No, it was better to let everyone who noticed dwell on it on their own, and then eventually let their thoughts fade away to the background while they continued on with their life and moved forward. Sora and Riku had already done it... and so had Zexion and Demyx...

"It's alright. I'm obviously not mad at you or anything."

"Heh. I noticed."

The two lapsed into silence for a while, watching tiny yellow lights flicker on and off among blades of grass that really needed to be cut. Kairi had to figure out a way to bribe Axel into mowing the lawn... Or maybe she could convince Riku to do it.

"So are you okay now?" she asked, bringing them gently out of the pensive quiet.

"Like, mentally? Yeah. Completely. In my own personal opinion, I think it was just a way for me to reject all the things that were happening... like there was me, and then the other me deep inside my head that kind of... personified the ideas I had conjured up for myself, y'know?" It wasn't exactly the truth, but at least it wasn't too far from it either. "I just... you know that game Persona that Riku and Sora play all the time? Where you have to face your true psyche and kind of... overcome it? It was kind of like that."

Kairi stared at him a little strangely, one eye squinted, with the opposite eyebrow arched high on her forehead. "...You guys play too many video games."

"I'm serious!" Axel laughed, gently nudging the girl in the side, resulting in a highly competitive game of teeter-totter.

The door behind the suddenly slid open with a whir, the sound of bare feet lightly hitting the wood. "...Should I, uh... come back later?"

With a final shove that nearly sent Axel's mug flying out of his hands, Kairi jumped up with a bright smile and dusted off the seat of her shorts. "Nope! He's all yours!"

Roxas grinned and went to take Kairi's empty seat, throwing himself into Axel's arms as soon as the door had slid shut.

Axel chuckled and set the mug down, grabbing Roxas under the arms and hauling the boy into his lap. "What's up, Fox?" he murmured, tilting his head down to press a firm kiss to Roxas's lips. Roxas responded eagerly, parting his lips under the redhead's and shifting his position so that he was comfortably straddling Axel's lap. Once they slowly pulled away from each other, both taking in deep gulps of air, Roxas shuffled back a bit so that he could rest his forehead in the curve of Axel's neck.

"How do you feel?"

"Like I'm losing the circulation in both my legs," Axel replied smartly, receiving a smack to the chest. He laughed in amusement and grabbed Roxas's hand before he could pull away, lifting his fingers to his lips. "Like I have the most gorgeous boy in the world sitting in my lap and snogging me?"

"Much better."

The redhead smirked mischievously and went from kissing Roxas's knuckles to sucking his fingertips. The blonde boy slipped a small moan on accident and yelped, yanking his hand back and hiding his blushing face behind it. "Shit, save it for later, Axel..."

"Spoilsport," Axel grumbled, dipping his head to scattered a few brief kisses up Roxas's neck before pulling away. He smiled softly at the boy in his arms and slid his grip down to Roxas's waist, leaning their foreheads together. "So you think things will be okay between us now?"

Roxas hummed in mock thought, lifting his hands from Axel's shoulders to card his fingers through his long red tresses. "Of course. Don't you think we've been through enough shit already? I'm sure someone's taking pity on us. Unless, like, y'know... you cheat on me or something, then I'll have to kick your skinny ass."

"Me? Cheat on you? Shiva, Roxas, I can't believe you think so lowly of me."

"Well, someone has to."


"You love it."

A cricket hopped past them, chirping loudly, before darting off the steps and into the grassy jungle below. Roxas smiled, watching it hop away, and turned back to his boyfriend. "Things will be okay. And even if they're not, then I'll make 'em."

"That's right, Roxas. Be the boss."

The blonde smirked and quirked his eyebrows, shifting his hips a little closer to Axel's. "I hope everyone leaves soon, so I can really be the boss."

Axel gave him a disbelieving look, but his body heat definitely shot up when Roxas grinded his hips down. "...Christ, save it for later, Roxas, there's people waiting to play Twister with us." He gave Roxas a deep kiss to compensate for his wait and climbed to his feet, Roxas still clutched tightly in his arms. The blonde laughed and threw his arms around Axel's neck, slim legs winding around his waist. "Then you can be the boss all you want."

"Are you going to tell me about Xion?"

"Before or after the sex?"

"...After obviously."

Axel chuckled and tilted his head up, pressing a small kiss to Roxas's nose. "Let's not worry about tomorrow, or the future, because whatever it is, it's just a little later on."

Roxas nodded slowly, his deep oceanic blues meeting Axel's intensely bright, green orbs. They held on to each other like that for a moment longer while the sun sank beyond the white picket fence and fireflies blinked around them like tiny white christmas lights.

"I'm glad you're back, Axel."