A/n: Oh my! This has been brewing for a long time. Since…summer time. Before school started again. Yes! This is Kingdom Hearts, wait till the end. Enjoy for now, and hopefully you'll have an 'OOOH!' moment.
Takes place a few weeks before Roxas departs.
Before the summer was out, he asked for my humble beginnings. Seeing as how I couldn't deny him anything he wanted, I complied.
Most people wouldn't tell anyone how their whole life fell apart. But, I'm not a person to begin with.
When I was sixteen, I ran away from home. My mother had remarried, and he brought his two daughters with him. Mom always wanted a daughter. But, I was a son. She doted on them, and gave them presents. She even gave one of them my bedroom, and I had to sleep on the dilapidated sofa in the basement. Seeing as I was only sixteen, I became fed up with it. Working two jobs, and going to school along with hormones had me more then a little stressed out.
Most teenagers feel like their parents are ignoring them. Or that they simply don't care about them. Or that they hate them, that the world is out to get them. I didn't think my mom hated me. I thought she forgot me. Literally.
One day, I came home for dinner. It was the first time I had come home for dinner in a long time. When I walked into the kitchen, my mother was refilling one of the little girl's drinks. It took her a few seconds to recognize me, where upon she said:
"Oh, I didn't make enough for five. Maybe you can heat something up?" Most rational people would see that as my mother just not expecting me home for dinner. I saw it as betrayal.
I didn't eat dinner that night.
The next week she forgot to give me my allowance.
The next, she didn't go to my parent/teacher conference.
The month after that, she sold my car.
And for summer vacation, she took the two girls to Disney World with the money she made from selling my car. She left me at my Aunt's house.
Before school started back up, she enrolled the girls into private school.
And finally, one day she forgot my name. She could not, for the life of her, remember the name of her own son. The only child in this house that she actually gave birth to. The one that she had raised for over the last decade. The one she taught to walk, and talk, and use the 'big boy potty'.
My world had fallen apart.
So I left it.
I simply left. My mother didn't even notice me packing up my things. I took my clothes, the bed sheets, my pillows, and my gaming system. I wasn't sure if I would ever have enough to afford my own TV, but I wasn't going to leave it with those brats.
It took me awhile to actually form a plan. I had to find an apartment, a high paying job, and possibly a roommate. I also had to plan the date, someday my mom wouldn't be home. And I didn't want the girls to be home either. I also had to get my assets together. This meant finding a way into my college fund. My mother had been building it up since I was born. The death of my father only added to it. But I wasn't allowed to touch it until I was eighteen.
I got around that easier then I thought I would be able to. In the middle of October, a few weeks before I left, I told my mom I was going on a field trip for school. I then gave her a 'permission' slip. She signed it. It was actually one of the things I needed her to sign to get to my money. I made up little lies like that from then on. Something for work, something for a project. One time I told her I needed her signature to get into a movie. Which she bought.
My mom may not know this, but she was actually the one who was renting the apartment I lived in until I became what I am today.
One day I didn't go to school. Called a taxi, loaded it with my crap, and was gone.
Not once was there an Amber Alert sent out for me. Never saw any missing posters. I didn't make the news, or the newspaper, or the town flyer.
I quit my old jobs, and found three new ones. Not only did I move out of my childhood home, but out of my town. In fact, I moved to the other side of the state.
I worked at a local coffee shop, in a used bookstore, and at an indie theater. Seeing as how all of these palaces were unique, they needed unique workers. Unique workers in unique shops get paid more then your average Joe. Or that was the theory behind it.
My theory didn't pan out. Obviously.
By then I was seventeen. I celebrated it by pulling more money out of my college-fund-turned-checking account to buy myself a TV. Then I went out and rented a rated 'R' movie.
The next day I went out on a job hunt. I was looking for a full time job, but it's a hard task to find a job when you don't even have a GED. But I did find work, as a receptionist at a local publishing house. They said my voice was pleasant, had good enough 'people skills' and that I could "type up a storm". And my mom said playing video games would get me nowhere.
They said if I preformed a satisfactory job, next year I could apply for a higher position. If, I acquired my diploma. And seeing as I was only making enough to keep the apartment and feed myself, I was going to need that diploma.
I made my first (new) friend at the publishing house. He was a young editor fresh out of college. We quickly bonded as the 'new kids'. His name was Lance, and he was one of the nerdiest people I've ever seen. Lance had these big thick glasses, and was normally dressed in a baggy sweatshirt. But I took what I could get. You can't live by yourself forever, you know.
Lance sticks out in my mind because he was the first person who ever visited my apartment. He'd always bring along a stack of papers and a six pack. We would spend the nights laughing at dumb jokes and watching bad sci-fi movies. But we didn't have much in common, and it didn't take long for us to grow apart. He was my only friend for that first year though.
As soon as I hit eighteen, I took some classes and got my GED. I was then promoted to a secretarial position for the big man himself. But being only eighteen I wasn't satisfied with only working.
I was able to keep most of my hormones in check by just trying to stay alive. But I couldn't keep them there forever. One day I was in a coffee shop when some guy approached me. He was handsome, I'm not afraid to admit it. Somehow he was able to convince me to go to a club with him.
After that it gets pretty hazy and I can remember waking up in my apartment. The bedroom was trashed, and the clothes I had worn the previous day were all over the place. I had a killer headache and a limp. You can presume what had happened to me.
But, that incident opened up my life. For the first time in a long time, the hormones came back. They were harder to keep in check this time around. And I guess I should be happy that I didn't end up fucking half the people I met.
One day I was coming home from work, I think it was in the middle of winter, when I spotted a girl outside the building. I asked her if she was here to see her boyfriend, and if she needed to be let it. She had a ton of bags with her, and it looked like she was moving in. The girl told me that yes, she did need to get into the building, and that she'd been buzzing for someone to let her in, but nobody had.
I figured her boyfriend simply hadn't given her a key or the code yet. So I punched it in for her and let her into the lobby. That's the last I expected to see of her, but she followed me into the elevator. My mother must have installed some manners into me, because I offered to carry her bags for her.
Inside the elevator I punched my level, eight, in and she told me she needed to go to the same floor. I didn't suspect her of anything at the time; maybe I was too innocent back then.
She followed me to the door, and when I opened it she rushed inside. I stared at her, confused. I wasn't sure why the hell she'd run into my apartment. But there she was, staring at me with her big cow eyes.
Over the next hour she told me her story. Her father had abused her, and so she ran away. Her story wasn't that different from mine. Though she had a harder time at leaving. I couldn't help but let my heart go out to her. Her name was Holly, and it was decided that I would put her up.
It was my silent hope that she would leave in a week. But Holly stayed for longer then a month. I didn't really mind though. When I came home from work somebody was waiting for me. With a joke and dinner ready, she welcomed me home. She brightened up my apartment with her long blonde hair and beautiful smiles.
Holly herself was beautiful. She was two years younger then me, and worked as a babysitter for one of our neighbors. Soon, it felt like she had been there forever. I couldn't even remember the last time I had slept in my own bed. Not only had she invaded my apartment, but commandeered my bed as well. Out of generosity, I let her have it.
"Welcome home Lea!" She chirped happily when I entered the apartment.
"Hey Holly." I only yawned in response. She giggles slightly, which made me look up at her. I gasped. "What did you do!"
"Oh this?" She twirled a piece of her hair around a finger. "I thought it was time for a change." My darling blonde Holly had died her hair a vibrant red.
I stared at her for a long time before breaking out into laughter. She put her hands on her hips, glaring at me. Before long she joined in my laughter.
"You should laugh more often, it makes you cute." I raised a delicate eyebrow in her direction, and she only laughed harder. "Come on, dinner's ready."
We ate dinner in silence. She normally talked about her day, but today she seemed to be studying me. This only made me more nervous. When we were washing the dishes later that night, she suddenly turned to me.
"Holly?" I asked. She stared at me for a long time, before slowly leaning in to kiss me.
I've been kissed before, obviously. But there was something there that was so sweet and innocent I couldn't help but love it. In fact, I loved her. The realization hit me so suddenly I was stunned. So stunned, I could only stand there petrified.
"Oh!" She blushed and ducked away from me, dropping the plate she was holding back into the sink. It splashed down and crashed into another plate. She quickly hurried off towards the bedroom, but I caught her arm.
"Holly." I stared at her, still confused over my discovery.
"Lea, I'm so sorry! I don't know what came over me. I shouldn't have ever done that!" She hung her head. All I could think about was how beautiful she looked.
I pulled her to me and into another kiss. It started off nice enough, but it led to somewhere that I wasn't sure we were ready for.
The next morning I woke up in my bed for the first time in months. Holly was snuggled up against me, and I couldn't help but smile. The memory of last night flew through my head.
Over the next few months we officially dated. Life continued on the same way it had before. Only now there was something else to look forward to when I came home from work. I had enough money to go to night school, and Holly was making plans for obtaining her GED. When I asked her what she wanted to do, she said she wanted to eventually become a teacher. I thought it suited her perfectly.
When Holly and I had been together for over a year, I popped the question. I was nineteen, and she seventeen. But I could tell she was the one for me. I remembered something my mother had told me once when I brought home my first girlfriend. Wedding rings should cost about one month's salary. But I ended up buying one that cost three months of pay. Sure, we'd be hurting, but she deserved it.
Of course she said yes! You should've known.
I was the happiest I had been in years. Almost as happy when it had been just mom and I. Now that was going to be a married man, matured a lot in the last three years, I was ready to talk to her again. I actually wanted her approval.
"Lea!" Holly whined as she did her crossword puzzle. "You've done so much by yourself, do you really need her permission?" I told her I did, and that it was important to me. Surprisingly enough she understood. And I knew then that she really was the girl for me. She got me.
When I called my mother the following week she as in near hysterics. Like she couldn't believe that I was still alive. That didn't redeem her at all in my mind's eye, but it was nice to know she felt somewhat guilty.
A month after I called her, she came and met Holly. On the outside it looked like they had clicked. But when my mother left Holly turned to me and said.
"Oh, she's a very self-centered woman." I couldn't help but laugh. "No really. I mean it. Lea! Stop laughing!" I just laughed harder. "Douche!" She punched me playfully in the arm.
The plan had been to be married on the day she turned eighteen. We weren't going to have a ceremony, but just go to the local court.
A few months before her birthday she asked me what she could do for our wedding. Something to repay me for the ring. I told her to just have her hair go back to blonde. That's all I asked for. She laughed, and kissed me on the cheek.
A week before the wedding I was running late. I was running late because I had asked out one of Holly's friends from the building to help pick out a dress for her. She might not be getting a real wedding, but I wanted her to feel dazzling. I can remember the woman telling me I was the most romantic man she knew. That it didn't matter that we were so young. She told me that we would make it.
When we arrived back at the complex the whole eighth floor was in flames. Firemen rushed past us, as I stood frozen in fear. I panicked of course. Screaming and crying for Holly. When I realized she wasn't there I attempted to run into the building, to go save her.
A mob of people held me back, and I fought. God, I fought so hard. It didn't matter if I died, as long as I could save her. Fingernails dug into my arms, sculpt, and back. I screamed my lungs raw, weeping for Holly.
The only thing they had salvaged from the apartment was her engagement ring.
One of the neighbors took my cell from me and called my mother. They told her what had happened in hushed tones. My mother really wasn't family anymore. Family was the people around me. Like Mrs. Fin who baked me cookies for every holiday. Or the two twins that lived down the hall, they always brought me flowers when I was sick. Family was the crazy guy who lived up stairs, and would comment on whatever movie we were watching at the time. Family was Holly.
My mother picked me up at three in the morning, hours after the firefighters had left. One of the twins, a little girl named Claire, had stayed up with me. I'm surprised her mother allowed her to, but she did. When mom tried to take me away, Claire clung to my leg. I told her it would be okay, and that I'd be back soon.
The ride home was silent on my part. Mom rambled on about how much the girls had grown, and how I wouldn't even recognize them. To tell you the truth, I couldn't even remember their names. She chatted away, trying to clear the air. It didn't work.
Mom told me the girls were sharing a bedroom, and I could use the spare bed tonight. I collapsed into the twin-sized bed. It felt so cramped, and empty. Crying, I feel asleep.
The next morning I tried to talk my mom into letting me go back. She wouldn't let me. The trip was to long, and I didn't even have anywhere to go. I took all my vacation days, and apologized to my boss.
I felt like a child. Wandering the empty halls of my old home. It all seemed so different to me. I found myself building up that angry wall I had when I was sixteen. That wall wasn't mature, and it wasn't me anymore. I had outgrown that part of my life. Or so I thought.
A few nights later I had sneaked out of the house. I don't really think I should've. There was no reason for me to do it. I mean, I was an adult, if I wanted to go out, I could've gone out.
I went to a club, and repeated that first sexual encounter all over again. Yet again, I got drunk and went home with some guy I didn't even know. The next morning I left his house quietly, he was still passed out from last night's activities.
It was so wrong. So out of character. This whole experience, it felt surreal. I felt sick. I was sick. Something had gone bad inside of me. I had to stop in an alley to empty my stomach on the way home. Or what was home now.
Crouched on my haunches, I stared at the brick wall for a long time. My vision swirled and turned. I didn't even notice what was sneaking up behind me. How many of hundred of thousands of things were approaching me.
When I finally turned around it was to late. The heartless had got to me. I lost my heart. Oh I fought. Something inside of me told me that if these things got me, I would never see her again. And that was the only reason I hadn't killed myself. All I wanted out of life was to die respectively, so I could met her in the next life.
I don't remember dying. What I do remember is remembering Holly. I always cherished this one memory of her. It was the essence of Holly.
This took place right after we had gotten together. After another…eventful night, I woke up. She was humming quietly to herself, playing with my hair. I laughed and asked what she was doing.
"You're so beautiful. Sometimes I can't believe that you're all mine." I laughed even harder. I wasn't beautiful, I was Lea. Just Lea. "Don't laugh. Its so true." She leaned over on top of me and kissed me.
Next thing I knew, I was waking up naked. Well, to tell the truth, it wasn't the next thing I knew. Becoming a Nobody was much more like being reborn. I didn't know where I was, or who I was. I just knew something was wrong. I was missing something. I think it was Xigbar who came to fetch me. Before I knew it, I was being handed a cloak and given the tour of the castle.
Roxas was staring at me, like I'd just grown a third head. I couldn't help but laugh at his antics. He slowly reached up for me and pulled me into a hug.
I didn't know how to handle this. Or what was really happening.
"I…I don't have words for it…"
"Do you pity me?" I asked him suddenly.
"I think I do. I can't remember what pity feels like." I laughed mirthlessly at him, pushing him away from me.
"Roxas don't pretend you can feel. And don't pretend that I'm him. I'm not. Okay? Lea and me are two different beings. He was a person, and I'm a Nobody. I'm all the things that were him, and not at the same time. Just like how you're somebody's shadow." Roxas nodded stupidly. "It took me months to remember all of this, and I didn't even care. I don't care if some retard name Lea fell in love, and got date raped twice. I don't care if I remember how it feels to have heart. I'm me now, and that's all I can be."
Roxas stood up, shaking.
"Of course you care! You care a lot." I laughed coldly again.
"I don't! You do though. I have no idea why you do."
"Because its not fair!" He was screaming now. "Its not fair that you get to remember. Its not fair that you can emote. Its not fair!" I could only laugh harder. "God damn it Axel!" He roughly grabbed my head and pulled me down into a kiss.
I'm not sure why he kissed me. I never really had the impression that he cared for me all that much. The tiny boy had me pushed up against a wall, as his fingers ran through my hair. They tangled and caught, and he used it to pull me even closer to him.
Some part thinks that he only wanted to feel. But that's pretty much impossible for a Nobody. Sure, I could feel him pressing up against me, and his mouth on mine. But I couldn't take much pleasure away from the situation.
When he released me he stared up at me, eyes suddenly cold again. Much more like the Roxas I knew.
"She was wrong."
"What?" I asked, breathless.
"You're fucking ugly when you laugh. It's the most horrible thing I've ever seen. So fucking ugly." A small smirk crept across my lips as he turned away from me, panting.
A small laugh burst from me. I couldn't contain it anymore. I laughed my fucking ass off.
A/n: Read and Review. I feel free to ask ANY question you want to. Also, please don't bash Holly. She's dead! Okay? She's not coming back to munch face with Axel anymore. Thank you for reading!