Gamertags and Screennames

Chapter Two

Axel threw his arm over the side of the bed and grabbed his phone. He groaned as he haphazardly flipped open his LG Fusic – custom red, of course – and made a half-assed attempt to say hello.

"Axel, get up. Sora's on his way to see you with his clothes. Don't ruin him, because I'll kill you. Just get him dressed, show him how to do… uh, it… and meet me at Starbucks when you're done. I'm on break in about an hour so hopefully you'll be done by then, right?"

"Uh… sure," Axel mumbled as he looked at the clock. It was just after noon. "Yeah, that's fine. He knows which one it is?"

"Yeah. Promise me you won't ruin him."

"Ruin him?" Axel grinned wildly and, even though Riku couldn't actually see him grin, he felt the corner of his eye twitch.

"Don't make him scary like you are."

"What the hell's so scary about me?!"

Riku didn't say anything for a moment, then replied, "Everything. The hair, the tattoos, the eye makeup… The clothes. How is it that you work for Microsoft as a rep again?"

Axel groaned and sat up in bed. "A friend of a friend, 'kay? I'm good at what I do, in case you didn't notice. Anyway, I'm going to get dresse—" Axel was cut off by a knock on the door. "… Riku, I thought you said he was on his way. Not here."

"Sora lives a block down the street. That's why I called."


"Whatever. Meet me at Starbucks in an hour. If you destroy Sora I'll kill you."

"Touchy, touchy, aren't we?"

Riku hung up the phone.

"Yeah, love you too," Axel grumbled as he threw his legs over the side of the bed and stood up. He stretched quickly as there was another knock. At least Sora wasn't yelling at him to open the door. He trudged his way to the front door and opened it, rubbing his eyes as Sora smiled and waved at him happily.


"Uh, hi," he mumbled as he waved Sora in and slammed the door shut. Sora yelped and jumped, realizing there were no lights in the apartment and threw his hands out, looking for something to hold onto.

"Gimme a sec," Axel hissed as he brushed by Sora before tapping on a light switch. Sora was utterly amazed at Axel's instincts and how he somehow managed to avoid the laundry basket, a towering stack of magazines, broken PlayStation controller, and seven – yes seven – pizza boxes that were strewn directly in his path of said light switch.

"There," he said, slightly annoyed. He crossed his arms over his chest and continued, "Okay, let's see what you've got here."

Sora set his bag on the only open space on Axel's table; the rest of the table was covered in gaming magazines, newspapers, product information guides, and old pizza crusts. No plates or boxes since those were on the floor, just pizza crusts, and what appeared to be a half-eaten piece of cake. At least, that's what it looked like to Sora.

He didn't want to know what it really was.

"Uh huh…" Axel went through Sora's clothes and nodded his head approvingly. "Well, at least they gave you colors that work on you. Red and black alone isn't so much your thing. But bold colors are. Red, blue, yellow, green… not bad. Cute."

Sora smiled and nodded, touching one of the spikes on his head. "What about my hair? Do I have to change my hair?"

"Uh… What do you do to it now?"

Sora blinked. "Now? Umm… nothing."

"You just… wake up and it looks like that?" Axel asked incredulously, staring at Sora. "With the spikes and everything?"


"Holy shit. Well uh, I guess we don't have to do much with it. How do you feel about… makeup?"

"What about it?"

"Well, a little eyeliner goes a long way."

Sora shrugged. "As long as I don't look like a girl."

Axel refrained from making any smart-alec comments. "Okay, let's do this. Go change in my room, it's down the hall. And don't touch anything. Got it memorized?"

"Uh huh," Sora said mindlessly as he took the clothes from Axel and walked away. A few minutes later he came out dressed in tight black Dickies that fell at just the right spot on his hips, complete with a bullet belt and wallet chain. The shirt was green with yellow writing on it – something in Japanese, Axel assumed – and fit well, although it was a little long for his tastes.

Axel walked over to Sora and grabbed him by the belt, pulling him closer.

"Eep!" Sora yelped as he tried to swat Axel away.

"Chill, lemme fix it!" Axel growled as he stuck his hand out to cover Sora's face. Sora stopped flailing and Axel removed his hand, then took the end of Sora's shirt and tucked the front into the pants. He left the back untucked, stood back, and nodded. "Not bad, not bad at all. Okay, lemme give you some flair…"


"Buttons, pins, shit like that. C'mere."

Sora followed Axel into the kitchen where Axel threw open a drawer filled with little knick knacks. He grabbed a handful of them and started to attach them to Sora in whatever place he deemed worthy. Sora ended up with ten buttons going down the left outer seam of his pants, starting just below the belt.

Axel bit his lip for a second, then pulled a pair of scissors out of nowhere and grinned at Sora. It was a scary, toothy grin only seen, Sora assumed, before Axel ate people.

"Don't eat me!" Sora yelped as he jumped back.

"Huh? Oh, I only eat babies," he said matter-of-factly. "Now come here, I won't hurt you, shit."

Sora did as he was told and Axel took the scissors to the bottom of Sora's pants, cutting two inches up the inner and outer seams on both legs. He then took safety pins – also pulled out of nowhere – and safety pinned them back together.

"Go look at yourself in the mirror," Axel instructed. Sora did as he was told and gawked at himself. He looked so… "Emo. You look emo. But it's the good kind. You're skinny enough to pull it off." Axel walked up behind him then pulled out a stick of eyeliner and grabbed Sora's chin, turning him around and grinning.

"Huh? What's that?" Sora asked.

"Eyeliner. Close your eyes and tilt your head up." Axel expertly lined Sora's eyes with just a tad of eyeliner and finished with a bit of mascara. He grinned as he put the makeup away and folded his arms over his chest. "Hot damn, I'm a genius. Even you couldn't fuck this up."

Sora stared at himself in the mirror again and was surprised that he actually liked the makeup; not for everyday use, of course, but enough that he wouldn't mind wearing it at work. He smiled and clapped his hands together in approval.

"And off we go to Starbucks," Axel sang in tune to the theme from The Wizard of Oz as he threw on a black t-shirt over his red pajama pants. He didn't bother to change; it was only Starbucks, after all.

The walk was all of two minutes down the street and it didn't take them two seconds to spot Riku standing outside the entrance, a cigarette between his lips.

Sora waved and called out, "Hey Riku!"

Riku looked over and stared at Sora, the cigarette falling out of his mouth and onto the ground. Axel could read the look on Riku's face like it was in plain English: Holy shit, what did you do to Sora? Axel grinned as Sora ran over to Riku and gave him a quick hug.

"Y-you… holy… Axel, he did this?" Riku asked as he gave Sora a once-over. "Damn."

"Careful," Axel warned as he arched a brow. "Might give some people the wrong impression!"

Riku chuckled nervously and nodded his head, casting his eyes down. "Uh, yeah. So do you guys want some coffee?"

"Is it on you?" Sora inquired as he tried not to laugh at Riku's still wide eyes. He poked Riku in the chest and Riku promptly looked up. "Well? Because I'm still broke 'cause I haven't started work yet."

Sora's smile could melt even the iciest of hearts. How could Riku say no? He nodded slowly, holding the door open for Sora and Axel. Sora ran inside to the counter while Riku grabbed Axel's arm, holding him back for a second. "I can't believe you did that to him," he hissed.

Axel shrugged Riku's arm away. "Hey, it looks good on the kid. Almost suits him, almost. He's a little too… Sora to wear that every day, though. Pity…" Axel winked at Riku then hurried inside with Riku following, completely dumbfound.

Sometimes I wonder about Axel…

"I want a frappuccino! A vanilla one, venti size!" he told the guy behind the counter. The guy nodded slowly, staring at Sora like he'd never seen something quite so adorably rebellious; it was the only way to describe Sora at that particular moment in time. Or any moment in time, dressed the way he was; if the time-space continuum were to rupture and send them to entirely different futures, Sora would still be getting the same look.

Axel ordered next, a caramel macchiato with a double shot of espresso, and Riku settled for juice. The last thing he needed was caffeine after Sora's change of costume. They stood up front, waiting for their drinks while Sora fiddled with his shirt and belt.

"Do you like it?" he asked Riku, leaning back on his heels and smiling softly. Riku nodded. "Really? I was hoping you would. I think it's a cool outfit. Axel's really good at stuff like this…"

"Yeah, I'm pretty much a genius," Axel commented absently as he played with a rubber band. The rubber band stretched and shot off his finger into some unknown area of the store, Axel laughing and quickly turning toward Riku. "So, Riku, what's your favorite part of the outfit?" Axel asked as he grabbed Sora's hips and pushed him toward Riku.

Sora yelped and Riku blushed furiously as he shook his head. "Shit Axel, you know I'm not into clothes like that," he spat back. Sora's face fell and he tilted his head down, embarrassed. "But uh, it works for you?" he offered, noticing Sora's sudden bout of depression. Sora quickly cheered up and gave Riku a big grin.

"I like the shirt. And belt. They're my favorite."

"I like the pants, I guess," Riku threw in for good measure.

"They're kinda tight… but they're comfortable." Sora swung his hips around and both Axel and Riku nearly fell over. Sora might have only been a little younger, but sometimes Riku really wondered if Sora was a ten year old in a twenty year old's body.

"Here you go," the guy from behind the counter said, pushing their drinks forward. "And great outfit," he said to Sora with a wink. "Do you have a boyfriend?"

Riku was too astonished to inform the man that he was being more than just a little bold.

Sora stared at the guy. "Boyfriend?"

"Yeah, are you dating anyone?" The guy leaned in closer, a small smile tugging on his lips as he undressed Sora with his eyes. Sora blushed and looked down at the floor to break eye contact, fumbling with his words.

Axel nudged Riku and hissed, "The kid's gonna end up going on a date because he's too fucking nice. Do something!"

"You do it!" Riku hissed back.

Axel rolled his eyes. "Dude, I look like a child molester; no one's gonna believe I'm his boyfriend."

Riku sighed and tried not to cringe too much. "Uh, sorry. He's taken," he spoke up, putting his arm around Sora's waist.

The guy behind the counter laughed and nodded. "I should've guessed. How long have you guys been together?"

"Two years, three months, and twenty-four days!" Axel announced. Riku and Sora stared at Axel. "Yep, twenty-four days today… Wow. What an accomplishment." His soft – for once – laughter filled the room as they walked out of Starbucks and took a seat at the tables in front of the store.

Riku sighed and shook his head, opening his juice and taking a sip. "I am never going out with you again, dressed like that," he said to Sora. "Ever."

Sora's face was still flushed from the conversation inside. "Umm, yeah. Okay. Do I really… look gay?!" His words came out panicked and Axel arched a brow.

"A little homophobic, are we?" he asked.


"Well then, what's the problem?"

Sora shook his head and started sipping at his coffee. "Nothing… I just… I didn't know people assumed I was gay. I'm not…" he trailed off.

Oh my, how I do love a secret, Axel thought gleefully.

"It's okay, Sora," Axel said cheerfully; oddly cheerfully, and Riku arched a brow at the redhead. "If you were… I wouldn't mind."

Sora coughed awkwardly. "Uh, thanks for the support, Axel."

"No problem, kiddo."

Riku refrained from beating his neighbor. He figured he'd save that for the next time they played Halo 2 together.

Special thanks to Mikomi Kiyoko for beta'ing this. And of course, I need to present my dedications: tweekers, for reviewing every chapter, even when reading them back to back; Terranei Parker for sticking with me lol; Beutelmaus as well for sticking with me and, as a fellow writer, seriously kicking ass; and everyone else who reviewed and hasn't completely abandoned me .

I hope you enjoyed, and FYI, Something About Shopping Lists, Chapter 4 is in the works and due out in two weeks, so be prepared for AkuRoku drama, the emergence of two new characters, and an actual plot that doesn't only involve massive make-out sessions in coat checks!!