Title: Gamertags and Screennames
Series: Kingdom Hearts II
Main Characters: Axel, Roxas, Sora, Riku
Warnings: Language, BL
Pairings: AkuRoku, SoRiku
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts II or the characters in it.
A.N. This is dedicated to all my wonderfully amazing (verbose aren't I??) reviewers, especially those who were kind enough to accept my invitation to "vote" for which story they wanted me to write next. So here it is, finally. As I write this, I am forcing my dear Sora MUSE to write me a summary, being as I suck. She writes about ninety percent of my summaries...
So of course I can't forget my betas extraordinaire: 1/2 of The Medic (not my half, but my dear Sora MUSE, who rocks!!), Beutelmaus (thanks for taking the time to write me craploads of feedback on my UNBETA'D stories) and of course Mikomi-Kiyoko (who is the cutest Roxas cosplayer ever, FYI).
Gamertags and Screennames
Zoom! Welcome to Xbox Live
Axel threw his controller on the ground; the new black Elite controller Riku had just bought along with his new black Elite Xbox 360. Riku stared at the controller, then turned to Axel who was sitting on the couch and slapped the redhead in the side of the head. "What the hell is your problem?!"
"Stupid Halo 2… I hate that game," Axel grumbled as he shied away from Riku's angry hand.
"What," he asked with a snide look on his face, "did you get beat again?"
"I hate snipers. I suck at snipers."
Riku smirked and nodded his head. Axel had never been too good at destroying things when it required even the slightest bit of precision. Give him a rocket and BOOM!, that was the end of that. A sniper rifle? He was as good as dead.
Axel sighed and sulked against the couch, turning his head away from Riku. "I am not going to play this game anymore. Just call Microsoft and tell them to cancel my membership. I'm done. I'm fucking done with this game."
"Really? Because I don't have a problem doing that," Riku said as he picked up the cordless phone off the sidetable. "Okay… 1-800-4-My-Xbox…"
"Hey!" Axel shouted as he grabbed the phone away from Riku. "I wasn't serious! I still play other games online…"
Riku rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders back. "Hey, you're the one that said you wanted to cancel it. Not my problem. I was trying to do you a favor."
After a roll of the eyes, this time from Axel, Riku stood up and walked across the room to pick up the Xbox controller. He tossed it back to Axel who caught it, just as Axel chirped, "Wanna play for me?"
"What, to increase your ranking? No way."
"But you're a level 50," Axel whined. "You have a halo as your rank! And it fucking glows!"
"That's because I practice, idiot. Just… stop playing for a while. Go watch Red vs. Blue or something."
Axel chuckled. "Cockbite."
"Roosterteeth," Riku retorted. "Are we really going to argue about this? Just stick it in and watch that for a while. I'll order pizza or something. Are you hungry?"
"Hell yeah. Ugh… I can't believe I'm only rank 30…"
"That's still an accomplishment. And for chrissakes, you work for Microsoft. Deal with it; I mean, don't you get to play games all day?"
Axel tried not to laugh; he really did, but as usual it came out as a half-snort, half-yelp. "No, I don't get to play games all day! I get to train, drive around to every store in this district, and train other people about Microsoft products. Most of it is about software anyway, not games. The 360 is just one small part of Microsoft's lineup that we're training on. Plus, with Halo 3 coming out soon I've got my work cut out for me. The Elite just came out, so we're backordered on all of those… I mean, even Best Buy only got eight per store in this last shipment. GameStop and EBGames only got three per store!"
"Uh huh…" Riku mumbled as he waved his fingers in Axel's direction, only half listening. He then got out his cell phone and dialed the pizza place only to be greeted with very loud hold music.
Of course, not loud enough to tune Axel out entirely.
"Sure. Gotcha," he responded numbly. Riku suddenly found great entertainment in watching his neighbor across the street through the kitchen window.
At no point does plaid ever match with stripes, he thought to himself, still catching bits and pieces of Axel's usual conversation with himself. The thought of recording Axel speaking came to mind, just to play it back to him eventually, but was whisked away as he realized that the plaid was red and the stripes were neon green and black.
No… never, Riku immediately decided. That's a fucking sin if I've ever seen one.
"…I'm serious. We're almost as bad as Nintendo with getting the Wii's out there. Shit. And the Wii is somehow managing to outsell the PlayStation 3 by almost two to one here in the States!"
Riku's attention came to as the phone stopped playing bad elevator music and a voice asked what he wanted to order. "Can I get a large Hawaiian Pizza, regular crust? … Oh, and cheesy breadsticks, extra marinara sauce… Uh huh. Okay. Thanks. Bye."
"…the issues with the 'Red Ring of Death' as it has so kindly been named… even the other guys at work have started calling it that… anyway, we had to increase the warranty to three whole years and refund everyone who paid for their system to get fixed because of that issue. Man, it's costing the company a shitload of money."
"Are you still talking about that? Because I just ordered pizza and you weren't even paying attention," Riku grumbled as he put his cell phone in his pocket. "And put that back on the charger. I don't want it dying again. I hate when that happens."
Axel nodded his head in an admitted defeat and put the phone back in its cradle, crawling over half the couch to do so. "My job is interesting," he pointed out to Riku as he reclined back and stared at the silver-haired boy. "All you do is sit around and type code all day. Bo-ring!" he sang. "How is that fun at all?"
"It's fun because I get to test out the games when I'm done. So shove it, Axel."
As Axel trailed off Riku's phone started ringing; his ringtone was, of course, the theme for Halo. "Hello?" he said as he answered it. "Oh, hey Sora. What? …Oh, we just ordered pizza." He paused, then answered, "Me and Axel… I kind of work with him… Yeah, the neighbor. Uh huh… okay. I'll see you later then." He closed the phone and stuck it back in his pocket as Axel leered at him from the couch.
"Who was that?" he teased with a menacing grin. "Your girlfriend?"
"Sora? No, he's my best friend."
"I thought I was your best friend!" Axel exclaimed.
Riku rolled his eyes for probably the millionth time that day and walked over to the couch, plopping himself down on the opposite end that Axel was on. "No, you're just a co-worker. Sort of. Anyway, he wanted to know if he could stop by later."
"Does he game too?"
"Sora? Uh, not really. He gets pretty emotional when he plays Halo… plus, he's one of those kids that flings the controller in the direction that he's trying to run." Riku made an exaggerated movement to the right with a fake controller in his hand. "Plus, he can't run and gun. He stops, turns, and shoots. But by the time he shoots he's already dead."
Axel burst into a semi-retarded fit of laughter, rolling off the couch and onto the floor. "Are you serious?! How is he your friend then? I mean… you're one of the top ranked players on Halo 2! Shit! You should like… get him a Wii or something. At least then he might get somewhere!"
"I don't care that he doesn't game. I prefer it that way; it means I can go out and do things in real life as opposed to sitting around trying to increase my rank," Riku spat back. Axel stopped rolling around on the floor and sat up, giving Riku an amused but annoyed look.
"I do stuff."
"Your best friends are on Xbox Live. That doesn't count."
Riku tried to contain himself. "Uh huh, okay."
"You're just jealous."
"Of what? Your fake friends?"
Riku arched a brow as he threw his legs over the side of the couch. "Whatever. Sora's a lot of fun; you should meet him. He just moved here a few weeks ago, but I haven't really seen him since I've been so tied up with work."
"Yeah… uh huh."
"Axel," Riku warned.
"Okay, okay. I know. Making games and shit. Whatever, I get it. They already announced that they're pushing the date back another six months. You've got time."
"They pushed it back because we're so behind, Axel. Just because they pushed the date back doesn't mean I can slack. There's a lot of work that goes into making games."
"Yup. I know."
"You are really starting to get on my nerves," Riku growled.
Axel laughed and stood up, stretching his arms above his head. "But you adore me, so it's okay."
Riku tried not to gag. "If you say so. God forbid I intrude on your delusional perception of reality."
"Uh huh. Don't do that. I wouldn't want you to break my fragile little mind into pieces, Ri."
"I hate when you call me that. It's Ri-ku, not Ri."
"Uh huh, Ri."
"Axel!" Riku shouted as he threw a pillow at the tall redhead. "Shut up!"
Axel barely managed to dodge just as there was a knock on the door. Both of their attention was redirected as there was a second knock. "Hello?" someone said. "Are you home?"
Axel arched a brow as Riku got off the couch and went to the door. "Is the pizza here already?" he asked as Riku glanced back at him for a moment. "It doesn't sound like the pizza guy…"
Riku opened the door and found Sora standing before him in a rather strange outfit: too tiny red shorts, a tight black shirt, black button down with the sleeves rolled up, and black tennis shoes. "Sora?" he said with a questioning look. "What are you doing here?"
"Uh… can I come in?"
Riku nodded and let the much shorter and smaller boy inside the apartment, closing the door behind him. Axel eyed the guest curiously from the floor, a smirk on his face. "Hello there, kiddie."
"Huh?" Sora grabbed Riku's arm and half hid behind the taller boy, staring at Axel. "Who're you?"
"Axel. Got it—"
"Shut up, Axel. I am so sick of that stupid line," Riku said as he rolled his eyes. He pulled Sora out from behind him and put his hand on Sora's shoulder. "Sora, Axel. Axel, Sora. Do me a favor, Axel, and don't eat him. Or burn him."
Axel grinned as he pulled a lighter out of his too-tight black and green plaid pants, flipping it open and lighting it. "Aww… why not?"
"Because, I don't want you to kill my best friend."
Sora smiled and waved at Axel, ignoring the lighter. "Hi."
"Aren't you a little old to be shopping in the kids' department?" Axel asked as he stood up and walked over to Sora, tugging on his shorts. "I mean… this is a bit much. Or little. Even for me."
Sora blushed a ridiculous red and shrank back slightly. "Umm, I'm not used to doing my own laundry. It came out like this."
"Did you put it on high heat or something?" Riku asked as he went into the kitchen. "Because if all of that's cotton and it wasn't pre-washed to prevent shrinking, that'll happen."
"I… don't even know what that means!" Sora admitted awkwardly as he put his hand behind his head and laughed. "Maybe next time you'll show me how?"
"Yeah, just let me know. Sorry I've been so busy," Riku said as he came back out of the kitchen with two beers and a Cola. "Here, Sora." He handed him the Cola, then turned to Axel and handed him a beer. "How do you like it so far? In the big city, I mean."
"Um, it's okay. My roommate's really nice! He has a really cool job; I think you would like him. He works for Best Buy. He just transferred to the one down the street from here, actually. He's a manager or something."
"You have a roommate? I thought you were going to live by yourself."
Sora nodded his head. "Yeah, well… rent's a little higher than I thought. I don't really make as much as you do…" he trailed off and blushed again. "But I'll get by!" he said energetically.
Axel half-smiled at Riku. "Kid's cute. So I guess you're both from some hodunk town in BFE."
"BF… E?" Sora repeated. Riku slapped a hand to his forehead and sighed.
"Yeah, BFE," Axel explained. "Butt-fuck Egypt. Middle'a nowhere. Yanno?"
Axel laughed. "Man, you really are from BFE. Riku's got a lot to teach you about the big city, kiddie. Lots'a scary perverts running around looking for a cute piece'a ass like y—"
"Jesus Axel!" Riku shouted as he threw his unopened beer in the redhead's direction. Axel stuck his hand out and caught it, scowling at Riku.
"Alcohol abuse, hello!"
"It was closed, moron."
"Uh huh… but it could have popped open and then we would've had a real problem," he insisted.
Riku sighed and shook his head. "Well, now that we're all acquainted…"
"Hey Riku? Can I borrow some clothes?" Sora asked urgently. "I don't wanna walk home in this outfit! If there really are perverts…"
"Yeah, that's fine. They're probably gonna be a little big on you, though." Riku lead Sora into his room and handed him some clothes, then closed the door behind himself. He gave Axel a dirty look as he grabbed the beer out of his hand and folded his arms over his chest.
"What?" Axel asked as he opened his beer and took a sip out of it. "I was just warning the kid!"
"He's only a year younger than us, first of all. And second, don't scare him like that. This is his first time in the city; besides, I don't want a call from Kairi complaining about how he refuses to leave the apartment and lost his job or something…" the words were sour as they came out of Riku's mouth and he made a face. "Ugh."
"Who's Kairi? Why don't I know any of your friends?"
Riku coughed as he choked back a laugh. "Because you're an embarrassment to the human civilization."
"Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. Kairi is Sora's… kinda girlfriend. I think. We all grew up together. She moved here about six months ago and I assume she's the one who's been helping Sora out. She's a nice girl, real cute. Just a little annoying when it comes to Sora. She's like a mother hen…"
Axel grinned and took another sip of his beer. "And you're not papa hen?"
"Hens are female. Roosters are male," Riku pointed out.
"Eh, whatever. You're not papa? Giving him clothes to change into and shit…" Axel laughed and waved a hand around. "I mean, the kid just showed up on your doorstep dressed in… well, I don't really know what he was dressed in."
"Are you trying to imply something?" Riku asked in a dangerously low voice. "Because if you are…"
"Not really. I'm just saying."
Sora burst out of the bedroom, happy as could be, in a new change of clothes. "What a relief!" he screamed as he jumped up and down. "They're not tiny!"
Axel's mouth nearly hit the floor. Riku sure does have interesting taste in dressing his friends, he thought. The spiky-headed brunet didn't seem the type to wear anything Riku did, least of all any of Riku's baggy blue cargo pants – which were way too long – or his too-short zippered vests that said 'hello, bellybutton.'
Sora zipped the bottom zipper up, then down, then up again, leaving half of his stomach exposed. "Lookie!"
"Uh huh, now that we know you have a navel, mind keeping your clothes on?" Axel said sarcastically before downing his beer and crushing the can in his hand. He pulled a cigarette out from behind his ear and lit it, blowing the smoke out in rings. "I understand that you're absolutely fascinated with the progression of modern science in clothing but—"
"Axel," Riku warned, cutting him off. "Leave him alone."
"Okay, okay," Axel mumbled as he took a spot on the couch and grabbed a glass ashtray. "So Sora… what do you do?"
"For a job?"
Sora blushed but Axel couldn't see it. He was too busy checking his messages in Halo 2. "I just got a job at a clothing place… I think it's called Hot Topic."
Axel choked on his cigarette and coughed hard, his face turning red. "You're going to work at Hot Topic? Who the hell hired you?!"
"Why? What's wrong with it?"
"It's… it's for…" he looked at Sora and shook his head. "Yer not emo, or gothic, or anything even remotely emogothiclicious."
"Emogothi-wha?" Sora repeated.
"Emogothiclicious. You're… normal. Mainstream. Average," Axel explained as nicely as possible. "Hot Topic is for punks and goths and rich kids who want to rebel against society by conforming to a subculture. You're none of that."
Riku couldn't help but nod his head. "Axel's got a point. Uh, they have a kind of dress code…"
"Oh yeah. They said I should wear their merchandise. They gave me some stuff for free, which was cool. I haven't tried any of it on though. Or even looked at it, really… lots of belty-chain thingies, though. It looked okay."
"So you've been in there?" Riku asked. "And you didn't think it was weird?"
"No. Just lots of black and red… kinda like your friend," Sora said, pointing to Axel. "How do you… well, is it hard for you to get dressed in the morning? I mean, with the make-up and pants and shirt… thingy?"
Axel arched a brow, lip twitching. "What do you mean?"
"I… you… uhm…" he wrinkled his nose cutely and looked at Riku, giving him the big eyes that screamed, 'save me Riku!'
"Axel's more into that… scene."
"Are you really that naïve? Or were you just seriously sheltered as a kid?" Axel asked as he put his cigarette out. He stretched out on the couch, his shirt riding up to expose a sliver of smooth, pale stomach. Sora eyed him curiously, noticing that he had a tattoo on his hips that went underneath his clothes…
Sora blushed and lowered his eyes. Axel noticed and laughed. "Just don't think too much about how low that goes, kiddie. And uh… well… if you want, I can help you out in the clothing department so you don't seem like a complete 'tard on your first day of work."
Axel shrugged. "Yeah, bring your clothes over tomorrow or something. I'm across the hall from Riku. I'll help get you ready. When do you start work?"
"Um, day after tomorrow. Wow, thanks a lot!"
Riku eyed Axel nervously, and then sighed. "Okay, okay…"
The doorbell interrupted Riku.
"Yes, pizza!" Axel shouted as he threw the controller onto the floor and nearly attacked the door. Riku gritted his teeth as he stared at the controller lying there, taunting him.
I am going to kill you, were the last words Riku thought before picking the controller up and throwing it at Axel's head. Axel hit the floor with a thud, as did the controller, minus one analog stick.