Author's (DEATH) note: holy...duuuuude. school year is over in literally one and a half weeks!! guh. but i have the strange feeling that this next week and the week of finals will be THE longest of my life. they usually are. sigh. there will be crappy ceremonies about crap that i honestly don't need to know about. crying will also commence. i don't think i can take much more of the tear shedding, to be honest.
at the moment, i have this strange obsession with show tunes and piano music. i go through the phase about once every month. it's like getting a period...but not. even funnier is that the phase lasts for about a week, too. xP will there ever be a reason?? i think i was born with this disorder known as "obsession".
gasp. do you recall the previous chapter? what in the heck was up with the last one liner, you ask? ...hm. well, to quote xigbar: "gee. i just don't know..." and, for the record...yes. i do do research on gunshot wounds on google before writing about them. ACCURACY. ACCURACY, I SAY! therefore, axel getting shot in the lung and being able to stay awake and walk about is quite realistic. ahem...
Chapter 25: If
I never liked cemeteries. Just the thought of them makes me feel like I'm gonna be the one six feet under. You know the feeling. Seeing those tall gates and the patchy grass is like looking at the other side of the world. You might think that I'm an idiot. After all, I've experienced loads of deaths-probably way more than any one person should in their lifetime-so there's no reason to get wigged out. I've seen more violence than your average teen should and I've broken more rules than any parent sets for their kid. Awake past curfew, running away, escaping the law, drinking, dancing, crying, lying...
And falling in love.
Ok, so it's cheesy to say. But I guess only people that've either been in my situation or have dreamt of it can relate. Right? Am I right? Well, while you sit there and wonder, let me continue a bit. I came to visit for a reason, after all.
See, falling in love was somewhat of a mistake. I guess it's 'cause I ended up throwing myself into loads of BS...then again, maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. 'Cause in the end, I ended up getting something that was all worth while. Something that maybe I didn't deserve. Something that I could make mine to help me be me. 'Cause who else could I be? That's really all he ever wanted.
So, in reality, I could never be six feet under anymore. So...I just wanna say thanks. Not only to you, but to that something. I never say that enough.
"Thought I'd find you here."
Hah. I should've known.
I blinked after opening my eyes and the first thing I saw was the grass turning orange. Must've been sunset. Guess I'd been out past curfew again. Whoops. I smiled carelessly and just barely glanced over my shoulder. Hm. We were just talkin' 'bout you...
"Surprised?" I asked, my voice hoarse since I hadn't been talking for at least a couple of hours. He shook his head and stepped closer towards me. He looked like a shadow with the sun setting right behind him. I could never figure out why I just couldn't grow up and why he had to be so tall all the time. Eventually I should get over it.
"Not really," he replied with a sigh. "Today was it, yeah?"
I nodded and turned back to the grass below me. "Yeah...Today was it."
"Hm, didn't think that you'd wanna revisit. I almost tried to forget on purpose. Almost."
Hah. That was so like him-never wanted to end up face to face with a situation that would lead to the ultimate downer for the whole day. You know, he'd try the craziest things just to brighten the day up. Running and pulling off some shitty prank was usually on the agenda. But, in the end, he had to face facts and go with the flow. Yeah, today was the day that Zexion died. Buried right here, as a matter of fact. And there's no use in passing by and saying that you're sorry it happened. What's been said's been said and what's been done's been done. Axel was actually the one to teach me that one.
I pulled my chin in closer to my chest and after one last look at the headstone in the ground, turned to my left and started to walk away. Just as I thought. Axel's footsteps started echoing after me, and at a pretty quick pace, too.
"So, what's next on your agenda, Rox?" he asked quaintly. "I just got back from visiting mom and Ayden so-"
"Nothing. And nowhere, thanks for asking."
"Aw, come on, Roxas. What's with the short answers?"
"Nothing." Ok, so in reality I was just making him gang up on me. Truth was, I really, really missed it when he'd tailgate for my attention. Sure, it was a pretty selfish intention, and I know it's bad, alright? But can you blame me? He's like a toy, this guy. How can youleave him alone? All you have to do is find the switch, find what makes him tick and watch him go. You should try it sometime. It's great fun, I swear. I started smirking at my feet when I heard him click his tongue in annoyance.
"Look, uhm, should I say I'm sorry I found you? Or maybe I'm sorry I didn't find you sooner? Man..."
I just kept walking down the row of gravestones with my hands in my jacket pocket and my head still turned down. Hm, I put that skateboard where again? Can't seem to remember...
Maybe I put it behind that tree over there? Nah. By the entrance gate? Probably not...
"Hey, yo, Roxas."
Oh, that's where I put it. Right under the tree by the hours of operation sign. Now all I have to do is get it and-
"You're gonna step in dog shit!"
Shit! Just before I lifted my foot off the ground, I stopped myself and backed away while I started scanning the ground for the nice present Fido left over. That's when I realized that I'd just made a doofus out of myself. You'd think that nearly eight years of knowing each other I'd clearly remember that Axel was, in fact, also a doofus. I sighed and shook my head.
"I just wanna get outta here, Axel. Graveyards creep me out after dark."
He didn't say anything after that. Heck, even when I started walking again and got to the sign he didn't say a word. Hm. I should try that one more often, ey? You see the magic that I can do? And he calls himself a manipulator. I walked around the sign and there was my skateboard, leaned up against the metal post just where I'd set it. Present from mom. Seventh grade. Boy, I missed her...
Axel probably saw my face when I thought about her and, like usual, prodded at me about it. "What's up with you?" he asked, crossing his arms and leaning against the sign so I wouldn't get around him. I frowned at the graffiti on the post when I replied.
He grunted and smeared a hand down his face. "There you go again with the nothing!"
"But it's really-"
"You mind putting the board down a sec and talkin' to me? Maybe we can chat about this nothing of yours, hm?" Axel raised an eyebrow down at me and slapped a hand down on my shoulder, making me slump and lose grip on the end of my skateboard. Seeing as I didn't wanna damage the thing, I set it down carefully in the patchy grass and decided to give in to communicating with him. Stubborn me, I know.
The tree beside the two of us rustled and the gate groaned when a breeze flew over the cemetery. Quiet. Just quiet. Dead people didn't have much to say, now did they? I propped a foot on the skateboard and started pushing it forward and back absently like any kid that didn't want to confess something to their mom. I never was fully an adult. Don't think I ever will be. Psh. Axel sure has one heck of a way to go.
"There's allota graves we've seen dug up, ey, Rox?" he said dully. I smiled faintly.
Didn't wanna admit it. "Yeah. Mom's...over there. Up the hill from Zex."
There was a long pause after that. And I mean a long pause. He never was good at answering to those sorts of things right away. So I played around with the skateboard while listening to the leaves in the tree talk nonsense in the breeze, just waiting for him to say something along the lines of 'I'm sorry to hear that'.
But I knew him better.
His head suddenly ducked so he could get a better look at my face and in the corner of my eye I saw that his expression was pulled into concern. Real concern. So real that even before he looked at me I could feel his heat and even his eyes looking right through me. Concern? For me? Aw. You shouldn't have.
"Never told me that detail, y'know," he mumbled, staring right at me.
I shrugged and cradled my arms, still pushing the skateboard. Back and forth and back and forth. "You didn't need to hear that. You were goin' through too much stuff."
"Well you can tell me now, right? All the stuff I went through's gone. All that's over. All that's in the past."
I wondered if I should really tell him anything or not. I didn't want to delve into immense detail about mom's death. There really wasn't anything interesting in it. She'd just gotten old and died. That's all. She wasn't too old, but she wasn't too young either. It'd been a year since Axel got back into town and all I could tell him about myself was, well, that I was gonna get married.
"She just died naturally," I said to my foot that was pushing the skateboard. My shoes were sure worn out from running so much. To think that they were brand spanking new. That was before I'd met Axel. Before I started getting along with him. Then I was running from and for everything.
"Hm. That's how I'd wanna go," he chuckled while taking a step closer to me. The sun suddenly disappeared when he did and I shivered under the coldness of his shadow. "That's probably how I'm supposed to go eventually. I mean, I've been shot at and kicked around like a bag, but I'm still here, aren't I?"
I nodded solemnly, rethinking the shooting and the kicking part of that sentence.
"Come on. I thought you'd be happy to hear that one."
I looked up slowly and shook my head. "Sorry. I am."
"Doesn't sound like it."
The truth was: I just wasn't happy. These past few days, I've been nothing but a sloth. A stick in the mud. A puppy without a chew bone. In short, I've been nothing but complete crap. Why? Well, I'd tell you...but that topic should be coming up about-
"...Ah. This is about me leaving again, isn't it?"
Yeah. There sounded about right. And he always decides to pick the best time of year to leave. Spring. The prettiest season in Twilight Town next to summer. And without him, you know, it's never the same. Seasons just never change like they should. They never look like they should. And I'm never what I should be. You can't tell me that that's not something to be frowning about.
Regretfully, I nodded once, pulling the skateboard further and pressing the wheels deeper into the dirt. I increased the speed, making the dried grass crackle and hiss when the wheels ground against it. That pretty much made me look insecure. Then, all at once, the back wheels caught onto something on the ground and my foot slipped on the board just as I was about to move it again. I yelped, the world spun and just like that the ground became the sky when I ended up falling backwards.
I heard the grass rustle only a bit, not because of the wind, but because he'd moved to grab me. And after I felt the impact travel up my spine, we sat there with him leaned up against the sign post and me with my back against his torso. I sort of liked hearing the fabric in our clothes brush together along with the leaves. I liked having the world slow down and the feeling of not knowing which way was up and which way was down. With him, you get that feeling...
And you're just left in a daze.
"...You worry me sometimes," I whispered with my eyes shut from the impact.
I felt his chest vibrate when he laughed. "Had to do it, Roxas. Can't afford seein' a sad face before I go. Oops." He quickly lifted a hand to cover his mouth. "I mean..."
"It's fine...You're heading back home and that's that. Said so yourself. It's in the past...Nothing we can do."
"When you put it that way it just sounds flat out miserable."
Well, isn't it? The story went like this. Weeks after he was being hospitalized for a punctured lung and a boggled mind, we started off on a clean slate. His mom and Ayden bought tickets to leave for Radiant Garden after they'd been asked all they could be asked by the police about Reno's death.
Months later, we were living like kids all over again. Thought about living here and maybe finding our own place. Preferably by the beach 'cause he knew I liked it best there. Maybe get to bring him to the top of the clock tower without police in the way. Run in the streets and hope that we don't get caught kissing in an alley. Learn how to skateboard all over again. Learn how to smile...all over again.
Who would've thought that 'go back to Hallow Bastion without Roxas' would fit into that perfect schedule? He'd bought that ticket ages ago and I just couldn't do anything. Nothing. No refunds, for one thing. A lot of money to buy for another. Nothing. So maybe sitting here on the warm grass wasn't such a bad thing...
"You're really going..." I said, meaning for it to only reach my ears. "You're really-" I couldn't finish the sentence.
I felt something on my left wrist and at first thought it might've been a bug. But when I looked, I spotted the tips of his fingers just barely touching my skin-tracing the shape of the gaps between my own. I watched him until he stopped in between the pinky and ring finger.
"I'll let you in on a little secret, 'kay?"
Really. Was this the right time to be telling secrets?
"See, I gave you a little something for a good reason...and if I just got up and left you to wear it without reason, that'd be delusional."
I narrowed my eyes and twitched when his ring finger began tracing again. "...What're you saying?" I asked with a tiny scoff.
His body shifted so he could lean his head in closer to my ear. I tilted my head the other direction to give him room and gave him all the attention in the world. All I heard was him at that point. Nothing else. Nothing...
"I can't go. That's just it."
So...were those plans we were making off the top of our heads gonna play out? But, wait, him not leaving? That doesn't make sense! He'll miss out on work! He's already been gone a year. Longer than that even. He even told me that his boss was gonna end up cutting him lose if he didn't show up first thing Monday morning which was, by the way, a couple days away from today. No. He couldn't change his mind! Not even...not even for me. He can't be doing this just because of my own selfish needs.
I held my breath when I sat up and pushed away from his body. I turned halfway around and saw him looking right back at me like he was about to fall asleep. Getting comfortable...and at a time like this! Geez, Axel, you're supposed to be at the damn station in an hour! We shouldn't be here!
"What? You can't not go...What're you thinking?" I nearly spat. He shrugged lightly and stared off behind me at the gate that enclosed the cemetery.
"I'm thinking about what's right?"
I rolled my eyes. "Oh, yeah. Real smart of you."
"Oh, c'mon, Roxas," he drawled, sitting up just to get closer to me. "Are you hearin' yourself talking? Let's think about that again..." With that, he tapped the side of my forehead with a finger and all I could do was let him. I just didn't wanna get up.
I sighed in defeat. I pretty much gave up trying to negotiate things with Axel. "Let's not, ok? Let's not." Regretting that I'd even reacted that way, I turned my back to him and instead of getting up like you'd probably expected from a pissed off me, I sat still and waited.
"Hm. Thought you were gonna shoot me for sayin' that."
"I don't believe you..."
Axel chuckled and used a free hand to touch the top of my head. He started pulling his fingers through my hair, probably without even realizing it. I'm always someone's damn cat. But, I actually like it...sometimes. I let out a shaky sigh and shut my eyes while staring up at the dark orange and purple sky above us. Why couldn't I just let things go?
"Yeah, I know I'm gonna lose my job and the respect of pretty much the entire fashion industry. Plus the rabid fans out there, you know." He laughed again, thinking about it, before going on to say, "But they'll always be around, right? Now you on the other hand..." His fingers stopping moving and just when I opened my eyes, I felt him shift and his breathing graze the lower back of my neck. "You're a once in a lifetime person, Rox."
"...Please," I scoffed, holding back emotion as best I could.
"Too flattering? Hm. But don't you deserve that kind of treatment?" His smile touched my skin and I closed my eyes when they did. Swallow. Shiver. No, no there was no way that I deserved that kind of treatment. I didn't need some gooey words. What I deserve right about now is a nice couch, a good show and a flat soda. Yeah. But I had to stick with dry grass, a sunset and the feeling of Axel breathing down my neck.
I shook my head and let my shoulders droop. "Axel," I sighed, "you can't keep throwng your life away like that. I mean, you worked hard for that job...and that ticket-"
"C'mon. Let's not talk like adults for a minute, huh? If you ask me, you gotta learn to take a sec, Rox. Mellow out..."
Uh-huh. Sure. You expect me to mellow out? And how do you propose we not be like adults, Axel? God, I really wonder about you and the world you're living in. A Peter Pan fantasy, maybe? Wanna fly around a pirate ship and live on an island where we never grow up? Wish that you could make small talk with the fairys and meet one of those mermaids by a magical waterfall? Hm? Is that where you live?
But the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize: maybe Axel really had started this strange world for us to live in. Ever since I'd met him, I really could act like a kid and like it. I really could look at something and see it as another. So maybe there weren't mermaids and fairy dust. And so what if there wasn't any chance that we'd be able to jump off a building and fly? I guess we were living in a make-believe world ever since we met. We were pretty much openminded enough to create those feelings ourselves...
With Axel still barely breathing down my jacket, I turned my head all the way up to face the sky and started rolling my neck as he teased and teased...and touched and lived. I'd gotten so lost that I forgot to push his hands away when they wrapped around my waist and pulled me backward. From there, I fell against him like he was a good pillow. A very good pillow.
With my eyes open to slits, I continued to stare upward only this time with him blocking my view of the sky. Not like that was a bad thing, right? To think, after all the things he and I have lost, we were, well, still we. His smile softened up and I stared drowsily when it did.
"...You're not gonna make me leave, now are ya?" he asked quietly.
It took me a minute, maybe more, but I eventually shook my head.
"Thought so..." Chuckle. "You're too predictable." With that whisper, he kissed me. An upsidedown one. A slow one. A short one. But a kiss nonetheless. Sorta awkward, although it really shouldn't be. I guess the fact that I'm predictable should be taken as a compliment. And you know? I was greatful for that one. I still had my eyes closed long after the kiss stopped. Yeah, I know I can be Little Miss Sleeping Beauty once in a while...but honestly, does anyone care?
"What's say you an' me get outta here? That train's long gone by now anyway, right?"
I smiled. Just smiled. "Right...psh. You dork." I was still trying to understand that he and I could lounge around like this and, you know, kiss on a regular basis. I sorta wanna say that it makes me a bad person for playing a horrible game and not knowing for sure why I happened to end up with Axel. Love, love, love. People tell you one thing about it, but it's never true unless you've experienced it yourself.
And I've been there. So I can pretty much say all I want. Wanna believe it? Well, that's up to you. Honestly, I can't even believe it...
After about another five minutes or so, both of us got up from the ground and finally I got the chance to get on the skateboard like I wanted to. Always a kid, I tell ya. I caught him smiling up at me when I zoomed off toward the pathway and toward the exit gate. Soon he was walking beside me out of the cemetery where we just left everything behind. Burdens, tears, loved ones and friends...all of 'em.
I gave another push on the skateboard and glanced over at him. "Yeah?"
He looked down at his feet-the black converse that I knew so well, and that were just as worn out as mine-and hid his hands in his pockets with the ghost of a smile etched on his face. "I've been wonderin'...if I'd died back when Reno was still alive, where would you be?"
Well, awkward question to ask. It actually concerned me. And it concerned me more that I knew just what to say. "I'd be...well...alive."
"...'cause that's how you would've wanted it."
I knew I answered it right. 10 points right there. Axel's smile just wouldn't stop showing up today, and because of that I felt like I'd grown just a little bit taller. Maybe not so much, but just enough to feel like myself, you know? I just felt like a kid. Only...a little smarter than I used to be. No, I didn't think that Axel was selfish for liking my answer. I just did what he wanted because I liked to see him happy. In turn, it would make me feel the same way.
With another kick to the pavement, I went speeding down the hill toward the marketplace, whooping while the wind sped right past. "Race you home!"
"You got it!"
We still lived in the old townhouse, but it wasn'tso bad. Tons of memories were there. Good ones. Very good ones. And even after we'd move out, I still had a feeling that we'd end up coming back for more. Gotta live life to the fullest. Memories'll never end. In fact, racing Axel and actually beating him to the front door was gonna stick with me forever, no doubt. A snapshot moment for everyday. That's what was up ahead. And you'd think they'd end there but they didn't. Short of breath, one foot on the skateboard and one hand on the doorknob, I was turned around and carefully pressed flat against the front door.
"You think they're asleep?" Axel whispered by my lips.
I scoffed. "Sora? Hayner? Take your pick. Either one's most likely passed out by now."
"'Nother Blitzball game?" His eyes suddenly shut and his lips parted when he tilted his head.
He barely kissed me. Barely kissed me. Instead, he took a hand and placed it on the doorknob so he could twist the key and push the door open. I felt my body lurch backward, but thankfully I didn't fall. With that, Axel started backing me up into the darkening living room where I could hear the faint whimpering of Zipper from under the coffee table. Well...Zipper wouldn't mind us.
That's when my lips curved, Zipper bounded into the kitchen and the house felt like it belonged to us. And only us.
"No," I replied tiredly. He just raised an eyebrow when I added, "Your room."
This didn't happen very often. About, oh, two times a week roughly. But a change of scenery would be nice from time to time. He was still camping out downstairs in that old bedroom. It would be awkward if we shared a room, even if Sora and the others knew that we were together. Ever since his mom and Ayden took a hotel room, life in the old house was pretty much a work in progess.
Axel moved us back further into the room and locked the front door behind him. With little effort, I backstepped to my left and we eventually made it to where I imagined his door to be. The scent of his cologne was fading, and although it was nice to breathe easy, I sort of...missed it. With our lips grazing each other's, I collided with the door with stronger force and my head suddenly started to spin from impact. Both of his hands held onto both sides of my head while I gripped onto the back of his shirt, getting close to prying it off.
I looked up at him through half shut eyes. I couldn't speak. And for some reason, right then and there, something started to well up in my eyes. I wasn't sad or anything. Just...overwhelmed. I couldn't believe...a lot of things. I just couldn't.
One of Axel's thumbs rubbed against my cheek and I shut my eyes after feeling it. Why do you always know what to do? "You happy with where we're at?"
I thought about it. Was I happy? Then why was I on the verge of crying? I wasn't overjoyed about anything...but maybe I was just happy enough to cry. So many things had happened today years back, and remembering all of it was so much to take in. Having Axel here to be concerned, to be a shoulder to cry on, was all I had as a source of refuge. I'd lost so much. And here we are...and here we are. In a way, it just wasn't fair. And in a way, it was all for the best.
With that, I nodded and opened my eyes to stare right at him. When the air hit my eyes, they felt cold and wet.
And just before opening the door and kissing me in places I can't even remember, Axel smiled in such a sincere way that I shivered.
"Gotta hand it to Zex for tellin' the truth..."
And you know, Zex? I really do have to hand it to you. 'Cause if it weren't for you, I'd never know the meaning behind "I love you". I'd never know about "goodbye" or the effects of answering "yes" or "no". Boy, I just wish you were here to see it all play out the way you wanted it to. I wake up, and he's there. I'm asleep, he's still there. And if what you said is really true, then that's the way it's gonna stay. For a long time.
"...Hey, is this the part where I say I love you?"
Axel looked up at my face as I was laid on the bed for him to undress us both. He looked confused, but that didn't last very long. His tongue made its way in the dip of my belly button before he trailed up to my face, smirked and quietly replied:
"Hm. You know that'll catch me off guard...but, hey. If you can manage t' say it in between other things, I'm not gonna stop you..."
As much as I liked having an off guard Axel, I figured that tonight I wanted less work. It's funny how I plan these things out now...it's almost embarrassing.
"...Alright. I'll save it," I muttered, feeling him instantly dive in between my collarbone.
"Ha. Love ya, Roxas."
I can't say no to Axel much anymore.
But I'm not gonna complain...
You'll both be somewhere perfect...you'll both find each other there, understand?
This life isn't perfect. He and I sure aren't either. But I always liked non-perfection...so I guess that means that we're living a dream, right?
So maybe Sex Ed didn't throw my life in the wrong direction. Maybe it did change a few things for the best. I told you from the very start that the title was strange, didn't I? And I told you that the author was sort of busted up in the head. I told you that I loved summer. I told you my rules.
I told you that I fell in love. For a very good reason.
I wanted freedom. I wanted acceptance. I wanted something real.
...And was it all what you expected it to be?
Even I never knew the answer to that on mornings after...
i...honestly cannot believe that i managed to create such a monster. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?
well..."t-t-t-that's all folks!" not the end of my writing, of course...but the end of this akuroku sex story creation. normally, there are triple shot stories out there, but i decided to go against the flow and create only one sequel. there really isn't much to say now that so many people have died and now that axel and roxas are back together. unless you'd like me to write a follow up story on how they become old, crippled and die. no. no i don't think i shall. xO
anyway. it's been a wonderful ride. these past years in writing "sex ed 101" and "sex is the question", i've really gone through multiple changes in my writing skills, and in my personality. i really think that these two have kick started my fanfiction "career", so to speak, and i want to thank each and every one of the people that read, reviewed and bothered to acknowledge that this story even existed. to be honest, my writing is fueled by those that actually speak up and say a word or two. all of you need to take a bow, pat yourself on the back or at least treat yourself to a fancy dinner at, i don't know...the olive garden?? at any rate, you are all such amazing people who i shall never forget. i'm oh so grateful.
axel and roxas will forever be a part of me. these two stories were simply a way for me to portray their relationship in a "rainbows and sunshine" way, more sex ed than the sequel. i wanted them to have special moments in which they could be together and be there for each other. you never see that enough, now do you? this sequel acted as the matured version of the first, and having axel narrate it was the only way i saw it fit. i left a few questions in the plot unanswered on purpose, in case your were wondering. but no matter. the two deserved a break (for sex...).
so thank you. thank you for being here and supporting. more akuroku is still on the way, so don't you touch the remote control. i love you all, and adieu. -less than 3-
your room, or mine?