Chapter Four
Doom and Gloom

Axel's place reminded Sora of a basement, only above ground. It was a single room apartment on the ground floor of what Sora had orignally thought was a warehouse. It was poorly furnished, with a card table, metal fold out chairs, a ratty old couch that Sora was just slightly terrified of, and a ridiculously old looking television across from the couch. Somewhere between noticing the oddly colored stains and multiple cigarette burn holes in said terrifying couch he deemed it unsafe and off-limits. In addition to that, Axel's apartment also seemed to lack any windows which Sora found slightly odd.

"Sorry it's a little, uh…" Axel trailed off and laughed heartily. "Yeah."

"It's okay," Sora said cheerfully, grabbing one of the chairs propped against the wall and setting it up just to the left of the television. He sat down and Riku pulled up a chair next to him as Axel and Roxas took a seat beside each other on the couch. Sora resisted the strong urge to cringe and scream: Danger Will Robinson, danger!

"So what do you do for a living, Axel?" Riku asked, breaking Sora's concentration on sending Roxas a telepathic message in regards to the couch.

"Uhh…"

"If he told you he'd have to kill you," Roxas joked uneasily, glancing between Sora and Riku. Roxas breathed a sigh of relief as Riku accepted the answer.

Sora found a sudden interest in studying Axel's television, which he was almost positive was older than both he and Riku combined; it actually had knobs to change the channel, and Sora was sure that it lacked a remote control of any kind. Plus, there was that really annoying crack in the top left corner that would have driven him nuts, even though it wasn't all that big.

He watched Roxas's reflection in the television for a moment, then frowned. Axel wasn't sitting on the couch anymore… He turned to his left to search for where Axel had disappeared to, then realized that the redhead was still sitting next to Roxas. His gaze shifted back to the television, where there was still no Axel, and gasped.

"What the hell?" he exclaimed as he jumped out of his seat to kneel in front of the television.

Axel, Roxas, and Riku exchanged confused glances as Sora screamed at the TV. "Are you okay?" Riku asked as he stood up, eyebrows furrowing.

"He doesn't have a reflection!" Sora shouted loudly as he pointed accusingly at the blank screen.

Riku's eyes darted to Roxas just as a look of pure terror enveloped his face. "Oh shit," the blond swore.

Axel seemed considerably less concerned than his partner. "Oh well," he said with a cheeky grin, leaning back casually in his seat. "It was bound to come out sooner or later."

"You fucktard," Roxas growled and punched the redhead solidly in the shoulder. "You should have thought of this before you sat down!"

Axel just shrugged. "What's the big deal?" he asked, gesturing to Riku and Sora, who still looked shocked with horror. "They don't seem to care that much."

"Axel," the blond hissed acidically, "they look traumatized."

"So did you at first," he pointed out calmly. "They'll get over it eventually."

"Get over what?" Riku asked, interrupting their conversation.

"Me. Being a vampire," Axel said matter-of-factly. "I mean, it's not that weird."

Sora stood up and turned his accusing finger to point at Axel. "You're a vampire and you're dating my brother!"

"Sora, relax," Axel said in a soothing voice. "I'm not a bad vampire."

"It doesn't matter!"

Riku shook his head and grabbed Sora by the arm, dragging him down into the chair. "Sora, breathe," he instructed. Sora took a deep breath and tried not to attack Axel, who he had immediately come to dislike, once again.

"I can't believe this is happening," Roxas muttered under his breath as he shook his head.

"Oh whatever," Axel said as he nudged Roxas lovingly. "No more secrets, right? I mean, he is your brother after all."

"I hate you!" Roxas whined as he crossed his arms with a disgruntled look. "You suck."

"I do not."

"Do too."

"Do not," Axel insisted defiantly before leaning over Roxas and placing a chaste kiss on the blond's cheek. "You love me."

All conversation and shock was halted as Axel dropped the 'L' bomb. "I-I… shut up!" Roxas all but shrieked as he pushed the redhead violently away from him and positioned himself at the far end of the couch. Axel, unfazed, shrugged as he turned his attention back to Sora who was staring blankly in their direction.

"You okay there?" he asked, concern in his voice. "Uh, any questions?"

"You… you're… I…" Sora shook his head as he tried to form a complete sentence. He seemed to be lacking all brain power as his mind combusted from pure sensory overload. He's a freaking vampire, repeated itself over and over in his mind and no matter how many ways he tried to twist it, he still couldn't make heads or tails of it.

Riku's hand on his shoulder shattered his daze and their eyes met, Riku's full of worry for Sora's lack of conversation. "Hey, you alright?"

"Is this not freaking the crap out of you?" he asked as calmly as he could.

"It is, but I'm more worried about you than that," he replied.

"Oh." Sora plastered a docile smile onto his face. "I'm okay," he said in a voice verging on psychotic. "I'm totally fine. Really."

Riku laughed nervously, a small twitch forming at the corner of his mouth. "Sora… don't freak out on me. Please don't freak out on me."

"I'm not freaking out," he half-sang as his smile grew into a grin. "I am so fine right now. Okay, good, well, astoundingly purr-fect."

"He's gonna freak," Roxas mumbled before Sora hit the floor with his arms wrapped around himself. He closed his eyes tightly and Riku stared before getting down on the floor with him and pulling the smaller boy against his chest.

"Dammit," he cursed as Sora muttered to himself incomprehensibly. "Sora, Sora, talk to me. Talk to me, dammit."

"I wanna go home I wanna go home I wanna go home," he whined as he tried to get Riku to let go of himself. "Take me home!"

"Here we go again," Roxas said as he slid off the couch and crawled over to Riku and Sora on his knees. He grabbed Sora's face with both his hands, forcing Sora to open his eyes and look at him. "Sora, you're okay. Shit, it's me. Okay? Just breathe, stop freaking out, and we can just talk about it, okay?"

"Is he okay?" Axel asked, standing up and peering at Sora from what he considered a safe distance. "He isn't gonna like… throw holy water on me or something crazy like that, right? Because that shit hurts."

"No," Roxas growled as he shot Axel a dirty look. "Sometimes he just gets freaked out by stuff is all. He'll be fine in a few minutes, as soon as his brain pieces itself back together again."

Axel nodded his head and drifted off into the kitchen. "So, is anyone thirsty?"

He received no response as Riku and Roxas focused all their attention on calming Sora down. After a few long minutes Sora was finally coherent and calmly sitting in Riku's lap, warm arms wrapped around the brunet as Riku held him close– partially for his own benefit but mainly to prevent Sora from wildly and rabidly attacking Axel.

"You okay now?" Riku whispered into Sora's ear. "I don't want you to go all Buffy on me."

"I would be Angel," Sora grumbled. "'Cause I'm a boy."

"Of course you would," Riku agreed with a small grin on his face. "Because you're a bad ass, right?"

"Hell to the yes," Sora responded with a slight nod of his head.

"But Angel's a vampire..." Axel trailed off with his logical reasoning , coming to the realization after a seriously dirty and not in the perverted sense glare from Roxas, that Sora didn't need the fact that Angel was indeed a vampire pointed out to him during his moments of temporary insanity. Roxas kindly refrained from muttering obscenities under his breath, even though Axel knew it was exactly what his favorite blond was thinking.

"He good?" Axel asked, ignoring Roxas's death glares as he sauntered over to the rest of the group."Hey there," he said with an easy smile as he got down on one knee in front of Sora. "I didn't mean to freak you out."

"Umm, it's okay?" Sora said uncertainly.

"Do you have any questions? Because I've got answers!"

Sora narrowed his eyes. "What are your intentions toward my brother?"

Axel looked surprised. "With all the vampire questions you could have asked me, you want to know my intentions toward Roxas?"

Sora tilted his chin defiantly upward, the back of his head resting against Riku's shoulder. "Yeah."

Axel heaved an almost exasperated sigh and rolled his eyes to the ceiling. "Isn't it obvious?"

"Uh. No?"

Sparing a glance at Roxas, who was still sitting adjacent to Riku and Sora, Axel rubbed the back of his head and said, "Can we do this with Roxas out of the room?"

"No way," Roxas said, sitting up straighter. "I want to hear this too."

"Motherfucker," Axel muttered to himself. "Okay, well, uh. I guess I'm kinda serious about him."

"You guess?" Roxas growled.

"Are you actually going to make me say it?"

"Yes," Roxas and Sora said in unison. Riku merely looked amused.

"Fine," the redhead huffed, standing to cross his arms awkwardly and cock his hips to the side. "I'm in love with Roxas and I want to marry him and have his half-vampire babies. Are you happy now?"

"Sarcasm doesn't count," Sora pointed out.

"Who said that was sarcastic?" Looking less embarrassed now that he'd actually said it, Axel grinned and raised his eyebrows. "What do you know about vampire reproductive systems?"

"That they don't exist," Roxas answered. "Stop bullshitting him and give me a straight answer."

"Roxas," Axel said, softening minutely, "come on, you know how I feel. Don't make me do this in front of other people."

Apparently, that was enough for Sora, because he uncurled from Riku's embrace and unsteadily made his way to his feet to face Axel. "Okay, now that that's out of the way, how do you eat?"

"I don't eat."

Sora's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. "Oh, you poor creature!"

"I don't miss it that much," Axel said with a sharp smile. "Feeding is much better."

Sora made a face. "Oookay, you just went from sympathy-worthy to creeptastic."

"Whatever," Roxas interrupted, rising from his place on the floor to stand next to Axel. "Now that everyone knows about you, I can finally ask what the fuck you were talking to Cloud about yesterday."

"How do you know about that?" Axel asked, blinking.

Roxas jerked a thumb over his shoulder to indicate Sora. "He told me."

Axel sent Sora a little glare, to which the brunet squeaked and sat back down beside Riku. "I can't tell you that," said the redhead.

"Like hell you can't."

"It's classified information," Axel insisted. "Cloud's here on official business."

"Like I have anyone to tell," Roxas drawled. "What am I going to say? 'My vampire boyfriend said there's an infestation of zombies in the area, so you should probably stay inside for the next week or so while the secret supernatural military exterminates them.' Who the hell's going to believe that—er, Axel, what are you doing?"

In the middle of Roxas's speech, Axel had grabbed him by both shoulders and was staring at him with a grimly serious expression. "Where did you hear that?" he demanded.

"Axel, you're kind of hurting me," Roxas grunted. "What's your problem?"

"Who told you about the infestation?" Axel growled.

"I was making it up," Roxas explained, glaring. "You know, like a joke. Haha, funny, that sort of thing?"

"Seriously?"

"Seriously," Roxas echoed. "Now let me go, I'm going to have bruises!"

"You already have bruises," Axel leered, seeming less concerned now, and released him giving him a brief affectionate squeeze. "But I guess the cat's outta the bag now. There really is a zombie problem in town, so, uh, yeah. Cloud's on it, but you guys should still be careful."

"And you weren't going to tell me?" Roxas yelled.

"I was gonna protect you," Axel said defensively.

"During the day?" Roxas pressed.

"We're working on that."

"Whatever," Roxas muttered dismissively and flung himself onto the couch. "This day has been such shit. Let's do something fun before I die."

"Emo much?" Axel joked as he sat down beside the blond, slinging his arm over his shoulders. He pulled him closer and nuzzled his hair. "Come on, cheer up. I'm your knight in shining armor!"

"Knight my ass," Roxas mumbled, but allowed himself to be pulled closer until Axel responded,

"Let me just get out my sword," and grinned predatorially.

Riku chuckled while Sora looked confused. "What?" he asked, craning his neck to peer at the silver-haired boy. "I don't get it!"

"There's nothing to get," Roxas hissed and jerked himself away from his boyfriend. "Axel is just being a dick." He gave Axel a scathing glare. "And don't even think about touching that one."

Laughing, Axel held up his hands in self-preservation. "The thought never even crossed my mind."

Mollified, Roxas scooted back over to him and leaned back against the taller boy, allowing himself to rest his head on Axel's shoulder. "Good."

And then, under his breath, Axel couldn't help but mutter, "Because if I were being a dick, I'd be in you."

"Axel!" Roxas screeched and punched him squarely in the jaw. "Fucking behave for once!"

"He's a vampire," Sora chimed into the conversation. "Why do you keep punching him? Does it even hurt him?"

"Oh, fuck no," Axel said. "But it's cute to watch him try."

"If you don't stop," Roxas said in a warning tone, "I will start wearing a cross around my neck."

"Oh, whatever." Axel waved off the threat, but he didn't push the subject. "So can we finally stop sneaking around now, or what? No more meeting in skeevy bars?"

"Where the hell else would we meet?" Roxas asked with raised eyebrows. "Seventh Heaven is the only supernatural-friendly establishment in the entire town."

"Ohhh." A light bulb suddenly went off in Sora's head. "So that's why you never wanted me to go there."

Roxas rolled his eyes. "Well, duh."

"Most of the people there are pretty friendly," Axel said, idly toying with a tuft of Roxas's hair. "A bit strange, but fun to talk to. It's… enlightening, to say the least."

"Not to be a downer, but shouldn't we be slightly more concerned about the zombies?" Riku suddenly entered the conversation. "I mean, that seems at least mildly important, in my opinion."

"Cloud's got it covered," Axel told him confidently.

"He's only one person," Riku pointed out.

"And he can only go out at night," Roxas added. "I'm with Riku. Why are we just sitting around?"

"I said we're working on it."

"Cloud's a vampire too?" Sora asked in surprise.

"No, he's just allergic to sunlight," Axel muttered sarcastically. "Of course he's a vampire, couldn't you tell?"

"Uhh, not really." Sora scratched the tip of his nose. "He just looked kinda scary, is all."

"Well, you've got that part right. Cloud's good at what he does, so you don't have to worry about the—" He was interrupted by the sound of scratching and banging at the front door, and he was distracted for a few moments before finishing uncertainly, "Zombies…"

-

A/N: Confess here, and oddly enough I have decided not to abandon this story OR destroy this account. So yes, you may worship and review . Let me know if this was a good idea O.o or a bad one?? Anyway, main purpose here is to have everyone spam my former partner in crime because I would prefer to finish writing this story with her even if she is a little... yanno. Also to get her to come to my baby bros 18th bday party . So email her ... reechan at hotmail dot com

I don't think she'll be too happy with me for giving out her email, but I don't care. Put REMO as the subject and tell her why she should finish the story. We only have a few chapters more written, so if you wanna see the conclusion, EMAIL HER. Yep, I am a devious little writer, but I have learned the hard way that if you want to get your way, you have to freaking earn it. So, lovely darling reviewers, let's finish this story and I hope you enjoyed!!