Last chapter, guys!

Ne, I don't own the Gackt or T.M.Revolution songs in this chapter. Or KH. Or … your face. Don't own that, either.

Web of Night

Chapter 7

"Everything?" Riku repeated blankly, staring at the calm Sora who was looking up at him from the bed.

Sora nodded in reply, "Everything."

In the silence that followed, Riku started forward. He was about to lower himself to sit on the edge of the bed, but caught himself. Sora probably wouldn't want him to be so close. Checking the brunette's reaction, Riku glanced over at him questioningly, one hand already resting on the blankets.

"You can sit."

The taller boy seated himself slowly, dragging his eyes away from the piercing blue eyes. "You know I can't tell you everything, Sora."

"But I need to know! Riku, I-" With an indignant tone, Sora sat up to grab Riku's arm and draw his attention. The silver-haired man hissed in pain, flinching and pulling his arm back. The rest of Sora's argument died in his throat as he blinked at the Ansem look-alike, who was now staring with a frown at the opposite wall.

Gulping, Sora again reached out for his arm, but gently this time. "You're hurt."

Still, Riku didn't meet his eyes. "It's nothing."

"It was Roxas and Axel." said Sora softly, running his fingertips over the smarting injury. Pulling back, he put on a fierce expression. "Look, Ansem... or Riku... or whoever you are... You don't have to hide the truth from me. I heard everything through the walls."

Riku stiffened at this discovery, not daring to turn his gaze to Sora. The Hero of Light's voice dipped into a somber tone. Sora sat back to smile sadly at his hands that were now folded in his lap. "It's kinda funny, isn't it? Who would have ever guessed that we would end up here? From our tiny little island, where everything seemed so far away... to this place in the middle of a galaxy of different worlds, where I'm dying, Kairi's back home, and you're... not Riku anymore."

"Sora." Riku's voice seemed to slice into Sora's words, cutting him off. "I didn't want you to see me like this."

Sora raised his head to see Ansem staring at him, a pleading look in his eyes. The shining gold irises sent a shiver up his spine. It was hard to believe that under that façade was his best friend. He couldn't see Riku. All he could see were those evil yellow eyes, the tan skin...

Leaning forward, Sora slipped his hand into his. "What happened to you?"

"It was just... something I had to do, Sora."

"You're not going to tell me?"

The empty pause that followed was answer enough. Riku wasn't going to disclose anything that wasn't necessary for him to.

Sora sighed. "... Alright, then. If that's what you want, then I guess... that's fine."

"You've been asleep for a year, Sora." said Riku softly, staring down at their clasped hands. "Your nobody, Roxas, was supposed to return to your body, but he left. He abandoned you. I've been trying, all this time, to get you back... and now I have to get him back, too."

Sora had been caught off guard by the information, but he quickly smiled ruefully. "A whole year? So much time wasted..."

Riku interlaced his fingers with the smaller boys, his voice picking up a fierce undertone. "Sora, I swear to you, I'll get Roxas back to you so you can keep living. I'm not going to let you die."

With a shake of his head, spikes shifting back and forth, Sora sat back once more. His eyes closed from exhaustion as his free hand came up again to knead at his chest, exactly over his heart. "No. It's all up to Roxas now. I can accept... whatever he chooses."


"Well, if it isn't our favorite little Number XIII!" Luxord smirked, leaping from his chair, breakfast forgotten.

Roxas grinned sheepishly as the remaining members of the Organization, barring Saïx and Xemnas, stood to welcome him back. Three pairs of hands ruffled his blonde spikes while Demyx finally got his chance to greet him back properly, squeezing and hugging him.

Axel chuckled under his breath. "Alright, guys, let him breathe and actually get some food."

With one final punch to the shoulder from Xaldin, Roxas and the rest of the members all sat back down to eat, Axel squashing Roxas between himself and Demyx. Xigbar, who had been in the process of snarfing down sausages, briefly put his forks on pause, as he was eating with one utensil in each hand. "So where've you been, Rox?"

Luxord took a gulp of coffee. "We heard you got captured."

"Well, uh..." Roxas reached out to help himself to pancakes, which Demyx had just passed to him. "I did. But I escaped with Axel's help."

"Good thing, too." Demyx piped up. "The Superior told Axel that if he couldn't get you back that last time, he'd have to kill you."

"Ah haha, yeah, real lucky." Axel smiled cheerily while savagely stabbing at his burnt waffles. Roxas eyed the mistreated food briefly before tucking in.

"S'been real boring around here, though." Xigbar noted, chewing thoughtfully. "No Axel and Roxas duo to be wreakin' hell and havoc around here. Saix and Xemnas've been too cheerful."

Roxas exhaled silently through his nose. "Yeah, I don't think they really missed me."

"Ah, screw 'em, Rox. We missed ya, and that's what counts." The sharpshooter waved off Roxas's gloomy comment, returning to his food. Xaldin laughed, distracted from his own breakfast of scrambled eggs.

"Xig's right, though. Too damn quiet around here these days. Superior's getting antsy, I can tell."

"Doesn't stop him from going on about Kingdom Hearts non-stop." muttered Axel, rolling his eyes.

The rest of the guys grunted their agreement, now digging in fully into their breakfast. Roxas allowed himself a brief smile as he ate. Things really hadn't changed here. The rest of the members were the same as ever: Crazy. He took a sip of his orange juice, shifting a bit to the side to rest his shoulder against Axel's, smile growing when one of Axel's arms snuck down to slide around his waist.

But as they ate, fate got the idea to ruin their peaceful moment. Xemnas stormed into the dining room as if he owned the place, which, really, he did. "Number XIII. A word, if you please."

Just barely restraining himself from choking on his pancakes, Roxas nodded and hurriedly rose from his seat, Axel's arm regretfully falling back to the red-head's side. The rest of the members had fallen silent, growing still as they watched Roxas walk out of the room. To their displeasure, Saïx slunk in to take his place, wordlessly seating himself at the front of the table.

Outside in the hall, Xemnas towered over Roxas, his gold eyes boring into blue. "Number XIII. I take it you have trained and recovered efficiently?"

"Y-yes, Superior." Roxas said, keeping his eyes to the ground. What could this possibly be about?

"Good. You are then fit enough for a new mission."

Realization flowed over Roxas like a wave. This was about Sora. It had to be.

"You are to locate the keyblade bearer and eliminate him while he is in his weakened state. Now is the perfect time to strike. I expect you to be finished with the mission by tomorrow morning. Is that clear?"

"Ah, I..." Roxas stumbled over his words, unable to fully agree to the command.

"Is that clear?"

Xemnas's tone was enough incentive for Roxas to splutter out a "Yessir." Satisfied, the Superior turned on his heel, storming off in the direction of his office and leaving Roxas to glare after him in disgust. The Organization leader moved fast if he already wanted Sora dead.

Roxas already knew that he wouldn't do it.

"Roxas." Axel poked his head out of the dining room, looking concerned. "The coast clear?"

The blonde nodded, motioning for Axel to come out. "Superior's gone."

"Good. I'm not up for anymore missions soon, especially with that last one..." Axel muttered, looking down the hall with an expression of distaste at the thought of his previous mission.

Roxas suddenly found himself wishing away and gone. He couldn't stand another minute in the stainless white castle, surrounding by nobodies and darkness. "Axel, I want to get out of here."

Axel blinked. "Now?"

"Right now."

Seeming to understand where Roxas was going with this, the pyro grinned and pulled his friend close, leaning down. Axel whispered into Roxas's ear, lips brushing against the soft outer shell., "C'mon, I know the perfect place to go."

Roxas couldn't keep the grin off of his face. "Show me."


"Axel, you're a genius."

"Mm, yeah, I know. Get it all the time."

"... idiot."

But Axel really did pick the perfect spot. As it turned out, the sun was just setting in Twilight Town. Axel had teleported the two of them to the roof of the train station tower, picking up two sea-salt ice cream bars on the way there. It was their favorite place to relax without the prying eyes of the Organization. And Axel knew that Roxas really loved the strange blue ice cream, so that was just a bonus.

The red-head smiled, watching as the streaks of red and yellow flowed across the orange sky. He bit off a piece of his own cold treat, chewing it slowly. "Gotta love the sunset."

Roxas 'hmm'-ed in agreement, licking at the slowly melting blue ice cream. He looked out at the spectacle, ignoring the stabbing pain in his chest. It wasn't from Sora, he knew. It was the feeling of loss. The memories of sitting in this exact place with Hayner, Pence, and Olette stung. A fake life, one that he would never get back. The real trio of friends didn't know Roxas, wouldn't ever know him.

Sensing Roxas's troubled silence, Axel nudged him. "Thank you, Axel, for paying for the ice cream. Again."

"Heh." Roxas nudged back. "Thank you, Axel."

"Yeah, you're welcome...ungrateful brat."

To show his gratitude, Roxas leaned over and snagged Axel's lips with his own sticky ones. Axel blinked in surprise for a brief second but Roxas already pulled away. "Really, Axel. Thanks."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah..." Axel snickered, holding his dripping treat out to the side as he stretched out to return the kiss. Roxas met him half-way, eagerly pushing his lips against the red-head's, ice cream now forgotten.

But not completely. When a huge blob of the blue stuff fell with a plop into his lap, Roxas yelped indignantly, pulling away to hastily scrape at the cold sweet.

"Lemme get that for you." Axel purred, the rest of his own ice cream in the process of being chewed and swallowed.

"What? Axel, don't!"

Ignoring Roxas's squeaks and protests, Axel dipped his head down to lap at the smeared blue sweetness. It was easy enough to lick away at the remaining half-melted chunks and some of the tiny puddles of ice cream that were nestled in the creased of Roxas's coat.

Job done, Axel arched back to capture Roxas's lips again, face now even stickier. His tongue darted out to graze against the smaller boy's, the taste of sea-salt ice cream prevalent throughout the entire kiss. But the need to breathe set in and the two finally pulled back, Axel with a pleased smirk on his face as he settled down next to Roxas, who was panting and looking deliciously flustered.

"Love you, Rox." Axel said without warning, watching as the blonde turned his head to meet his gaze. Those blue eyes were slowly lowering to a half-open position as a content smile pulled at the corners of the boy's mouth.

"Love you too, Axel."

Both pleased, the pair turned to watch as the sun dipped under the horizon, casting out more streaks of fiery colors across the darkened sky. Roxas grinned, heaving a cheerful sigh.

"Things are just about perfect now, huh?"

What? It couldn't be...! Looking around wildly, Roxas saw the surroundings frozen in time. Axel wasn't blinking, now still as a statue. The sun had halted on the precipice of the world, no longer able to sink farther.

"Sora, is that you?"

"It is. I'm sorry for prying."

So the boy could infiltrate his owns thoughts now? He was getting stronger. Feeling slightly miffed, Roxas tossed away the rest of his ruined ice cream. "What do you want?"

"Have you decided what you're going to do yet?"

Roxas flushed, hands curling into angry fists. "No."

"Well, I just wanted to let you know... that I have faith that you'll do the right thing. I don't know if you've made your decision or not, but I just wanted to tell you. You're my nobody, but I don't know you at all. You don't deserve this fate, Roxas."

"Sora, I'm not going to let you die." Roxas frowned, wondering why Sora sounded so at peace with this.

"I know. But just know... whatever choice you make, I'm fine with that."

"Sora!" Roxas gritted out, feeling the presence of the other teen leave. How could he do something like that, making his thoughts even more unorganized than before? Now he didn't even know what to do... Was he really going to let Sora die? As he argued with himself, time spun back into motion.

"So!" Axel was standing up, brushing down his coat and turning to his friend as he unwittingly returned back to the present. "Ready to go?"

"Yeah." Roxas smiled distractedly, allowing Axel to help him up before looping his arm around Axel's waist. "Let's go home."


After the sunset, the boys had returned to the castle for a full block of training. Both their muscles were sore and aching, but they had only called it quits after Roxas had wisely pointed out that their clothes were already practically in shreds, and that he didn't exactly fancy sneaking back to their rooms naked, only to get caught by the Superior. In reality, Roxas was just too tired to concentrate anymore. He still hadn't dared to tell Axel about the mission.

And so, Roxas found himself, once again, staring at the dark ceiling, sleep the last thing on this mind. Naturally, Axel was busy snoring away at his side, clinging gently to him. The blonde sighed softly, eyes shutting to block out his view of the burnt ceiling.

"Things are just about perfect now, huh?"

"I have faith that you'll do the right thing."

"... whatever choice you make, I'm fine with that."

The thoughts were swirling through his head, but Roxas was no longer baffled. The confusion and indecision was gone. He had decided already. It was for the best. For Sora and everyone else.

The life of a nobody would be easier to sacrifice. No one would miss him.

It was easy enough to just gently slip out of bed. Axel murmured something in his sleep as the familiar warmth disappeared from his side, but he didn't wake. Careful to keep quiet, the blonde tip-toed to his discarded clothes on the nearby chair. He made quick but silent work of slipping on his pants, shirt, and coat. In minutes, he was ready to go. For the second time, he would be leaving his life behind.

Except this time, it wasn't a session of soul-searching. He was leaving Organization XII for good. He was leaving the world for good. By morning, Roxas would be gone.

Hardening his resolve, Roxas finally tugged on his boots and headed for the door. An unexpected grip on his wrist stopped him in his tracks, however.

"Where are you going?"

It seemed that Axel had woken up. Roxas stiffened. How long was he lying there, watching me?

Bare chest gleaming in the light of Kingdom Hearts, Number VIII frowned down at the shorter boy, slim fingers curled around an even skinnier wrist. Roxas found that he couldn't meet Axel's eyes. He feared that those emerald green depths would scorch right through his own blue ones and see the truth. The betrayal. So he stared at his feet, caught red-handed in his escape.

"... Axel?"

"I asked you," Axel growled, taking a step forward, "Where are you going?"

Holding back a shiver, Roxas closed his eyes. "Let me go, Axel."

The chakram-user paused at the double meaning in his friend's words. The pair stood in silence, Roxas biting his lip to keep his determination strong, Axel glaring down at the blonde spikes.

"Don't make this harder." Again, a pause. Another moment of uncertainty, of struggling with self-control.

"It's come down to this?" Axel's abruptly eyes hardened as he leaned in closer. Roxas thought for a moment that maybe the red-head would start yelling, or maybe even swing in a blow, but he didn't expect him to abruptly drop to his knees.


The pyro's arms looped around his waist and hands threaded into Roxas's coat as he buried his head into the blonde's stomach. "What can I do... to make you stay?"

Roxas's eyes softened at the desperate gesture. He should've seen this one coming. "There's nothing you can do, Axel. I need to go. Sora needs me to go."

The grip around Roxas's waist tightened. "I'd give you anything, if I had anything to give. I don't have a heart, and my soul is damned to hell anyway. But I can give you me, right? Would that be enough for you?"

Was it just him, or did the atmosphere around them become heavily and suffocating. Roxas's legs began to shake. Don't do this to me, Axel. Don't. I've already made my decision, I can't go back on it now. It's too late. Just let me go. "Axel, I don't-"

"Everything I have, just take it, Roxas. Take it all!" Axel whispered fiercely, pressing his face harder into Roxas's abdomen.

"I won't." Roxas looked down at the red spikes with a soft expression, despite his fierce tone. "I won't take anything from you, Axel. I want you to keep living."

"I don't want to. I don't, Roxas..." Axel's voice was deteriorating, his grip tightening on Roxas's leather coat. "You just came back, stop doing the damn self-less act and try to do something for yourself for once. If not for you, then for me. Stay. I can't keep this up... I can't... can't... without you."

Sighing, Roxas laced his fingers through the soft crimson hair, sliding down to his knees to face Axel. Their eyes finally met and the blonde was shocked to see the blazing look of sorrow the red-head had. The expression caused him to falter, but he fought it off by forcing a small smile. Leaning forward, Roxas pressed his lips to each triangle tattoo.

Axel's eyes closed as Roxas's lips traveled from his cheeks to his eyelids, to his ears, to the tip of his nose, then each corner of his mouth, until finally their lips were brushing against each other. They didn't kiss, however. Blue met green once more as Roxas spoke.

"Remember what I said to you after our promise?"

Leaning his forehead gently against Roxas's, Axel felt a grin tug at the corners of his lips. "Heh, yeah. That we'll meet again in the next life."

"I'll wait for you." Roxas whispered, eyes fluttering shut as he finally leaned forward for a kiss. Axel eagerly met him, crushing the smaller boy's body to his as he pushed back into the kiss. They poured all of their remaining unsaid emotions into the action and soon enough, it was Roxas that had tears slipping down his cheeks. He pulled away to wipe at them, but Axel was quicker, licking them away.

Locking eyes again, Axel pushed into one last kiss before letting out a shuddering sigh. "I'll try not to take too long."

Roxas released a few chuckles but seem to choke on them. "Yeah, 'cause I have as much patience as you do. Not a lot."

The pair stood together, arms sliding away, the warmth between them fading into the chilly darkness. The Flurry of Dancing Flames grinned, but it looked more like a grimace. "Go, then. Get your sorry ass out of here."

The blonde hesitated, then finally reached again for the doorknob. "Bye, Ax."

"See ya, Roxas."

Without a backwards glance, Roxas swept from the room and headed out. Axel stared at the door, the grin still stretching his lips. Number XIII's hushed footsteps soon disappeared as he left. Axel's moved, wandering over the small indent in the pillow where Roxas's head had been resting not moments before. A pillow that would forever be left untouched by the same blonde spikes.

Finally snapping, Axel swore loudly. A chakram danced into his hands and it quickly found a new home, embedded deeply into the door as its user set to destroying and burning the rest of his room.


The way back to the lab where Sora had been last seen was simple enough. Roxas summoned a portal there, stepping out of the swirling depths to come face to face with a very surprised looking DiZ. It was apparent by the slightly widened single eye the man had.

"I wear a mask, if you tear it back,
What you'll see is sadness."

Roxas hardly spared him a glance. The main goal now was to find Sora. Sweeping the room with his sight, the only other door to take here was into the white corridor. There was a strong feeling coming from that area. Allowing his senses to lead him, Roxas stormed through the entrance to find a door in the bleached hall that he hadn't noticed before. He kicked it open. It was another, similarly colorless area. The only thing staining the décor was a very angry looking Riku, who was in the process of rising to his feet.

"Come to finish Sora off?" The taller male snarled, Way to Dawn summoned in his hand.

"Get out of my way." Roxas responded emotionlessly. His fingers stretched out to accommodate his two keyblades that flashed into life seconds afterwards. There was nothing that would stop him now. He needed to get to Sora. If he needed to fight this idiot for the fourth time, so be it. Riku would just have to be plowed down.

The battle was initiated at those words. Now at the end of his nerves, Riku sprinted forward to stab at the nobody. Roxas wordlessly met the attack, parrying neatly. He set to maneuvering the battle so that Riku's back was facing the corridor where the sleeping pods hummed softly.

"I stand alone somewhere in the dark
All the love has gone."

Timing his attack carefully, a well-placed over-head slash sent Riku skipping backwards. He barely stepped over the threshold of the doorway when the door was slammed in his face, locking him out of the room. Gasping at the expert trick, Riku's self-control went out the window as he tossed his keyblade away from himself.

"Roxas! Don't you dare go into that room! Get back here!" Riku yelled from the other side of the door, slamming his hands angrily into the steel barrier.

"Shut up!" He didn't even bother to enjoy a bit of enjoyment at the victory over the silver-haired man. Gripping the keyblades tightly, Number XIII went straight to the only other doorway. Which led to Sora.

"It's time to put everything on the line for you.
Nothing ever ventured, then there'll be no gain at all."

No time for hesitation. He didn't have any time of patience left for this. It was time to get things over with. Kicking open the door, he quickly located the familiar energy presence and launched himself blindly at it, his two weapons come down in a slash. As expected, his attack was easily blocked by a single Kingdom Key.


The blonde noted grimly that his other didn't look all that shocked to see him. Heart pounding in his chest, he nodded briefly in greeting, his face bearing no emotion.


The two identical eyes stared each other down past the trio of weapons, the only sound in the room being the keyblades as the steel scraped harshly against each other. Roxas abruptly pulled away, only to turn briefly and come at Sora with another slashing assault.

Leaping back onto the bed, the hero of Light blocked again, taking up the silent challenge with a hint of surprise. The two scuffled, Roxas pounding away mercilessly at his second half, putting his duel wielding skills to good use.

"Just like the summer you never hesitate.
I'm drawn to you like a moth is to a flame."

Even so, Sora's skills got the better of him. With a tricky move, Oathkeeper was knocked away into a corner of the room and the Kingdom Key came around in an unforeseen, over-the-head slice. Roxas just dodged in time, but the hood of his coat was split exactly down the middle.

The fight came to standstill as his blonde spikes poked out from the shreds of his cowl and Oblivion fell from his limp fingers with a loud clatter. In unison, the two watched as the black keyblade shimmered, then faded away. Silence blanketed the small room again.

"A new horizon before our eyes.
Whatever may cross our path, I'll keep this love alive.
I'm falling back into the dream again."

Obviously, it came down to the brunette to speak. Sighing and banishing his own weapon, Sora sat on the edge of the bed and took a deep breath.

"I know how much you're giving up for me. I'm sorry."

"... don't be. I'm not too eager to die and this is the only way. Ax-we... made a promise to each other and I won't be able to fulfill it if we stayed as we are now." Roxas's voice didn't carry the bitterness that he expected to. In fact, he felt surprisingly at peace.

"Still... I'm sorry."

"It doesn't matter anymore." Roxas said softly, staring now at the floor. "What's done is done. You're a worthy other, I'm... glad."

"I hear a voice inside me awake again
It's telling me to surrender to the fight
A shadow land far beyond the light."

He met Sora's eyes briefly and even managed a small grin, which the other boy returned easily. This was it. The end of everything for Roxas. It was good to know, at least, that his powers wouldn't be put to waste. He moved to stand in front of the sitting teen.

"But would you do something for me?"

At a nod from the other keyblade user, the blonde continued. "If you're gonna go save the world, try not to make a completely idiot out of yourself.

"Heh, it's a promise." Sora grinned as wide as he could, reaching up to clasp hands with his blonde twin.


Riku stormed into the room, scanning the room swiftly, only to find the brunette alone, a sad smile adorning his lips. "... Roxas?"

"Yeah." Sora nodded slowly, looking thoughtfully at where Oathkeeper had disappeared only moments before. "He's gone."

"A life that no one but I should ever have to know
I'm falling back into the web of night."


What kind of a life can you lead when the only thing that kept you going left you to fend for yourself?

What can fill your being to replace the emptiness, when in reality, it was vacant to begin with? You can't fill a gaping, endless hole.

Is there even a point to go on?

Definitely not. Axel was determined to keep moving in life. If that meant dying, so be it.

I suppose that's what brought me here, then.

Bright red tears traced by a trembling finger,
I had nothing to lose, nothing to lose
It crashes through the dark memories.

There was Sora. Through Sora, the faint glimmering of Roxas. A fire flared up in Axel's chest and the urge to do something ridiculously reckless stirred him back into life.

I hope you're watching, Roxas. This is gonna be one hell of a show.

"Nah... I can handle these punks. Watch this!"

It was simple, really. A great act of bravado. At least he'd get to go out in a fancier fashion than the blonde.

The last smile wavered, and disappears,
And the warmth is all that's left.

Soon, the flames drained his body and he was lying on the floor of a nonexistent plane, neither here nor there, hollower than even before. It looked... pretty damn bleak.

Sora looked confused. Damn kid always looks confused... Gotta explain everything to him, don't I?

But Roxas wasn't there. The only solace he found in the sight of the brunette was those identical blue eyes. At least he could pretend.

Your kind and gentle words can't heal me now,
This body's only dedicated to the never ending fight.

Send the kid on his way. Help him save the world. It wouldn't be enough to redeem his blackened record, but at least Roxas would be pleased.

"He's waiting for you, Axel. Go get him."

Number VIII felt a smile curling his lips. The portal summoned, the deed done. A life spent.

Then Axel was fading away.




... vanishing...


Because everyone returns to heaven, some day.
You'll never need to say goodbye.


"Hey, Axel!" A mohawked blonde chased after the trench-coated teen, waving furiously as he skipped around the other kids walking home from school.

Axel turned, raising an eyebrow as he noticed that Demyx had someone in tow. "Yo. Who'd you catch now?"

"I told you that my cousin was coming into town, didn't I?" Demyx moaned, tugging the second person to stand beside him. "And you said you wouldn't mind meeting him. Well, here he is."

Quirking an eyebrow, the red-head skimmed the stranger over with a small smirk. "Is he a midget?"

The angry scowl that suddenly sprouted on the smaller blonde only amused Axel further. Demyx grinned. "Axel, this is Roxas. Roxas, A-"

"The name's Axel. Got it memorized?" Axel interrupted, peering into the shorter teen's face with a flash of green eyes.

"I suppose with a stupid name like that, it'll be hard to forget." Roxas replied with a wry grin, cocking his head mockingly.

Axel felt a smile come to his lips. "Demyx, I like this kid." He leaned in closer as his voice dropped to a soft purr. "He's feisty."

Roxas couldn't help but roll his eyes, glancing over at his cousin. "Dem, I hope that all of your friends aren't as messed up as this idiot."

"Hey! I don't have to take that from you!"

"That's right, you don't. Who takes that kind of crap from a midget, anyway?"

"Why, you..."

Demyx immediately broke up the argument, draping an arm each over the boys' shoulders. "I knew you two would get along! You guys are made for each other."

"If this is fate, then Blondie and I are doomed to hell."

Roxas snorted, unable to hold back an amused grin while Demyx sighed in exasperation. Axel couldn't help but laugh it off, as he usually did. His soft chuckle was infectious and soon, the trio were laughing contently as they tromped down the sidewalk.

"You guys can keep going; I need to tie my shoe really quick." Roxas abruptly dropped to one knee to lace up one of his sneakers while Demyx and Axel walked ahead. Tying the shoe strings up into a double-knot, he stood to see that the two other guys already had a head start on him.

The blonde hesitated, an unbidden smile sliding onto his lips at the sight. The bouncing red-hair and lanky arms swung in time with the skinny teen's casual gait. Roxas could hear his loud laugh clearly from his place. Demyx was chortling along with him, smacking his friend's shoulder playfully. An overwhelming feeling of contentment came over Roxas.

Noting the prolonged absence of his new friend, Axel turned around to wave at the smaller boy. "C'mon, Roxas!"

With a wide smile, Roxas bounded after the other two to catch up. "I'm coming, wait for me!"

As he dashed ahead, he accidentally knocked into two students walking side by side. Squeezing through the pair, he waved at them in apology over his shoulder, still running forward. "Gah, sorry!"

The taller, silver haired boy frowned at him, but before he managed to make an angry retort, his friend waved it off with a cheery grin. "No problem!"

Waving again at the happy brunette, Roxas finally caught up to Demyx and Axel, who were snickering at his clumsy blunder.

"Real smooth, there, Rox." Axel smirked, "Took your time getting here. Made me wait and everything."

His eyes rolling, Roxas shrugged. "Sorry. Didn't realize you have zero patience. I'll be sure not to make you wait in the future."

Demyx laughed again, but the red-head was not rattled by the sarcasm. Looping a skinny arm over Roxas's shoulder, Axel flashed another smile. "Good! You can commit that to memory, too."

"... idiot."

And so, my very first Akuroku comes to an end. And, actually, my very first chapter story that I've seen to the very end. Thank you, everyone who reviewed, alerted, favorited, and all that. I really do appreciate everything. You guys got me to keep writings this xD What a journey. I can't actually come to terms yet with the fact that I actually finished a story for once.

And now you all finally know why this story is called Web of Night! Thank you, T.M.Revolution for inspiration! xD

All in all, some of you may not be pleased with the ending. But truthfully, things happened how they did in the game for a reason. It wouldn't have worked out with Roxas being away from Sora, in my opinion. I had planned from the beginning for him to return, so sorry for anyone who was disappointed. There's always the afterlife for more akuroku goodness! I was originally going to end the story at Axel's death, but found that I couldn't. Too angsty.

Another note. That lemon in chapter five? Yeah. My very first lemon, kthx! Might as well get all my dark secrets out now xDDD

Speaking of which. I have two more stories already planned out. Fill in the Blanks is gonna be a real-life sort of story with the boys in high school. Because everyone in their life-time needs to write a story like that and I can't help myself. It might be a continuation of Web of Night, I haven't decided yet. That one's going to be on my other sn, Marimo.

Another story, at the moment nameless and mostly plot-less, will probably be posted on this account, so you can look fer that 'un, too.

So that's it. I'm done. Thanks again and I hope to hear from you all later, whether it be for reviews on my story or vice-versa. Much love, guys.