Roxas hates Birth 1
"Twins," Carabosse breathed. Their mother lay dead upon the floor and their bloodless father stood watching, his eyes glinting curiously. "Twins," Carabosse hissed again, with greater fury. "There can be no twins!" She threw one of the children to the floor and the infant began to cry. Their father made no move to stop his mother-in-law.
"Kill one," Rufus suggested, nonchalantly. He tapped his foot and examined his watch; he would be late for his plane if she continued on this way much longer.
Carabosse made a shrieking sound and threw the other child to him. "You will not speak such blasphemy. You filthy Shinra may do as you please, but you are a member of my family now. Oyashiro does not permit the blood of the Maleficent to be spilt."
Rufus caught the child, just barely. It slammed into his chest and began to weep in tandem with its brother. He stared down at his son for a moment, watched its' maw gape as it cried. Rufus was unmoved. He brought both babes to their dead mother, laid them beside her blood-seeped futon.
"Then don't kill one," he spat at his mother-in-law. "It doesn't matter to me."
Hayner hates Apologies 2
Roxas screamed when Hayner entered the bathroom. The half-shattered light fixture flickered and swung precariously from its wires, ripped haphazardly from the wall. Roxas's eyes were huge, the muscles in his face twitching wildly, his pupils shrunken into pinpricks of hysteria. His scream faded, slinking back into his throat with a whimper and a laugh.
"Roxas?" Hayner asked, hesitantly. He reached out a comforting hand and his roommate lunged at him, entwining their fingers and laughing, childishly, gleefully. The pressure from his hand fluctuated from almost slipping away again to nearly breaking Hayner's fingers.
Roxas shuddered. Harpies and laughter and maggots and harpies and laughter and maggots and maggots.
"I'm sorry," he said, stooping his neck and licking at their interlocked fingers. "I… I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Hayner stared in disgust as Roxas shivered and continued to suckle their fingers. He used his other hand to force his friend's face up. Roxas's lips were smeared with blood.
"Roxas?" Hayner repeated, his mouth dry.
Roxas sat back on the floor and displayed his fingers and his arms and his neck proudly. Blood dribbled down the insides of his thighs and his shirt was stuck, gummy, to his body. His neck looked like he'd been wearing barbed wire.
"Shit," Hayner cursed, grabbing Roxas by the wrists and hoisting him up off the floor. Roxas giggled, fingers contorting and reaching for his own neck again. Hayner jerked them away sharply. "Shit. Jesus, Roxas. Fuck."
He'd tried to claw his throat out, frantic lacerations, bloody barbed wire hatching across the paper-thin skin of his neck… Where had the rest of the blood come from? What had Roxas done?
"I know! You're sorry. Fuck. Stop that! Stop it! Damn it. Let's get the first aid kit."
Roxas trembled. "I-i-i… have to go home."
Roxas hates Nihongo 3
Everyone in the God-fearing village of Hinamizawa was a once-upon-a-relative. The blood was thin, but dark with the breath of demon-kind.
"There is demons' blood in the water," the cicadas wept.
Axel was someone's wife's sister's child, a relative-nobody on their camphor family tree.
Roxas was Sora's younger twin, a nobody in reality. A nobody in words, Rokusasu Da-re-mo. That was what the Japanese servants whispered behind his European relatives' back—and as he had been raised to, Roxas understood.
Roxas understood what they meant when they whispered, "Tsuinnoaka."
The Twin's Filth, a hated word they did not use for Sora. Sweet Sora did not have the dirt-blood of the unwanted in his veins.
Sora, beautiful, beautiful, Sora taking the best of their mother's Japanese and Italian heritage; dark hair, delicate features in a round face, but the Caucasian complexion and azure eyes of their father.
Sora was well loved, even if they were both the Majonoko.
Sora was not adept at translating the dialect of the servants. Gentle Sora thought the term was simply the magic user's children.
Roxas, arctic-eyed Roxas, knew better. Roxas knew majo was witch and that ko was not so simple a term as children. The servants called them the Witch's Children. They called them children, like the young of an animal.
To Roxas, these names were crueler than the unforgiving coldness and brutality of his European family. They had their reasons to hate him, Roxas knew. His existence had ruined the line of succession, bringing in to question whether Sora was really older, whether Roxas would take his place should he die. There were cousins and uncles and aunts who would have seen him dead with no regret.
But to the servants from the village he was something much worse. He was a curse, a twisted superstition come to plague their lives. As much as they resented him, they also feared him. The demon-blood was a palpable stink on him.
Well, Axel had never called him these names. Axel mocked his pale skin and flaxen hair, but Axel never called him the Twin's Filth or the Nobody or the Witch's Child.
Axel, with two European parents through marriage to his accent, called him by his name with a flourishing and affected roll of a Spanish R.
Axel was Roxas's only friend.
Hayner hates Not Knowing 4
The room was empty.
Olette and Pence fidgeted uncomfortably as Hayner moved towards the door again, touching the knob, unwilling to open it. It had once been Roxas's bedroom in their shared flat. It was empty now.
"Hayner," Olette began to say (—the room was empty—), twirling a brown curl around a shaking finger, "The room is empty."
A strange and vicious grin split Hayner's slim face. Pence had only seen that look a few times before; he did not like it as a portent. (It was empty now.)
When Hayner spoke, his voice stutter-tripped over itself with fear and glee and growling violence.
"He lived here. He lived here for-for two years. It's so… it's so impolite, Roxas."
He had cried when Roxas had first gone, his tanned façade of wiry soldier boy had broken down because his best friend had gone somewhere. Somewhere secret, somewhere sinister.
"Hayner," Olette begged; she had steady sea-green eyes that would have settled Hayner at any other time. Not now.
It had taken almost three years to save up the money—and the room was empty.
Roxas hates the Distinction 5
Axel knew the rules when they were caught. It didn't matter that they were children; that Axel was thirteen and Roxas was eight—Roxas had always known the rules.
When they were caught, Axel knew the consequences, and his smile disappeared and Roxas shoved him away, but it was too late because Carabosse had seen and Distinction would have to be given.
She asked them in her curling voice, "Will Roxas take responsibility for this? Or will Axel?" She was mocking them and even as Roxas opened his mouth instinctively, Axel overrode him.
Axel was old enough to know the rules and Sora (half brainwashed, half beaten, half broken) was a wall of lessons and pity. Brother Sora's shards were held together with masking tape and submission to Carabosse's poisons and teaching. His eyes were vacant, his face pale as he presided over the Distinction. He would make a fine heir to his grandmother… he would. He would make sure the transgressors knew the difference between Right and Wrong. They would have to be punished (tortured) so they could show how sorry they were, to make them promise this would not happen again.
"You know the rules," Sora murmured and Carabosse nodded approval. "What are your intentions towards my brother?"
Axel leered, his emerald eyes searching the small audience for Roxas's heathen-blue. "I have no pure intentions for such filth."
And when he said filth he said Tsuinnoaka.
Twin's Bloody Filth.
Hayner hates Incredulity 6
Ansem's eyes seemed almost burgundy in the dim cast of the room. His graying-blond hair was lank and his beard was untidy, but his expression was intense.
"You don't know his age, surname, nationality, hometown, birthday, or, I don't know, even his height?" he asked, exasperated.
Hayner bristled on the other side of the desk. "No, I don't know," he asserted for the fourth time.
Outside, Canberra bustled; the capital was a far cry different from sleepy Twilight Town on Queensland's northern shore. Ansem drew back a curtain and gazed down into the busy street. He was quiet for a very long time before he murmured,
"I don't want to take your money. I can look, but the chances of me finding this guy with little-to-no information are slim."
Hayner had hedonistically blue eyes and they glinted with pride when he replied, "I'll pay you. I'll pay you until you find him. I'll sell my car, my apartment, my watch, I'll get a second job, I'll get a third job. Just look."
Ansem inspected his face curiously and his mouth pulled downward irritably. "If it means that much to you."
Ansem hated when stories tugged at his emotions.
Roxas hates Friendship 7
For his thirteenth birthday, Axel held Roxas down and raped him in front of his family.
Sora's eyes were glazed, his darker half summoned at a snap of Grandmother Carabosse's fingers.
Father was there too. Rufus Shinra had married into the Carabosse family for money and for power. Throughout Japan the names Carabosse and Hinamizawa created a deep sense of stifling fear. And as Rufus Shinra grew more powerful, the rumors and superstitions spread, his business partners growing more shivering and more craven.
Rufus Shinra watched in silent appreciation as the branch-family boy viciously raped his son at his mother-in-law's command. Sora was silent, drawn into himself to protect what little innocence was left. Carabosse smirked, the crow's feet around her ancient lips dark and shadowed.
Roxas was bleeding on the tatami, a steady drizzle from his torn asshole. Roxas was making choked little sounds, sharp whimpers of pain and fear and submission.
Axel whispered sharp litanies of betrayal that Roxas did not care to understand.
Hayner hates Waiting 8
For two years Hayner drove himself to poverty as he waited for news. He sold his apartment, his car, got a second job, begged money from his parents, Olette, Pence, and made shady deals with a local thug.
"Nothing, nothing, nothing," Ansem snapped at him. Hayner did not let him refuse payment.
Roxas hates Life 9
The first time Roxas tried to run away, Sora caught him and held him close to his chest and begged him to never try it again or he'd have to, he'd just have to tell Grandmother. Sora, his sweet twin and brother and older other self led him back to his small room and held him and they cried together.
The second time, Roxas was more careful, but his father's men caught him. Rude looked down at him with dark glasses and Reno grinned eerily in the shadows. They didn't rough him up as much as they could have, said it was because they'd known him since he was born. They dragged him back to his small room by his hair and only Rude glanced back when he began to cry.
The third time, Roxas made no mistakes and disappeared from Hinamizawa at the age of nineteen.
Hayner hates the Craven 10
"I found a boy similar to your description," Ansem admitted; he sounded angry. Then again, Ansem always sounded angry. Hayner was used to that.
Ansem rubbed his temples, grumbling to himself under his breath. He had the nerve to make Hayner wait while he poured himself a drink before handing over the folder. Hayner's eyes began to rove:
NAME: Roxas Carabosse
"Well," Ansem interrupted, "He's twenty-four now. The info I found was from when he enrolled in a private boy's school in Gokayama when he was ten. He was expelled for fighting."
Hayner ground his teeth. "But we don't know it's him?"
Ansem shook his head. "There's a picture in there. Some other info…" Ansem had pleading eyes. "Look, even if you think this kid is him… his family is big time yakuza in Hinamizawa. I wouldn't mess with them, not for the world, not for God."
They glared at each other over the desk. They'd done so many times since Hayner had first stepped in here, all desperation and crumpled bills.
"That's pretty melodramatic," Hayner sneered and Ansem looked surprised and then harsh.
"I'm not making a scene, you brat. People have ended up dead for lesser offenses than snooping around. I'll be damn lucky if I don't get a visit from them."
They continued to stare each other down and then Hayner left the office in a flurry, the folder clamped to his side. If Ansem was too much of a coward, he would do this himself.
Like Ansem had said, the first mention of Roxas beside a birth certificate was when he was sent away at age ten. The registration to the Gokayama Boys' School seemed clear as day with, enough useless information to make Hayner want to scream. Roxas, it appeared, was excellent in English and poor in every other subject. Hayner could have cared less.
Roxas had been expelled at age thirteen for fighting and brought home. Several months later his records had been transferred to some piece of shit school in Hinamizawa and that was the only lead to his current whereabouts. The registration, upon further inspection, was not as complete as it could have been.
Contact information for both mother and father were missing. Roxas was listed to have one sibling, but that sibling had never gone to the Gokayama School and therefore had never been named. No one else was even mentioned.
The only constants to the mystery were Roxas himself and the town of Hinamizawa.
Roxas hates Worrying 11
Roxas landed in Australia on a Wednesday. He had almost nothing to his name. No luggage and only a pocketful of yen that became a handful of change once encountering the exchange rate.
The woman at the bus stop gave him a strange look when he asked for a ticket. She asked where he was from, said his accent was strange and it was. It was a mixture of Japanese, Italian, and a 'proper' English learned from the British tutor who had been hired for Sora. Roxas told the woman he was from America, she didn't believe him but gave him the ticket and took his money anyway.
Roxas didn't notice the bus ride. He fell asleep in his seat because he hadn't rested once since escaping. He was too worried, sure the family had some way of tracking him, would find him and come get him any second and this time there would be no one kind enough to keep him from punishment, from Axel, from Sora, from Carabosse, from Father, from the torturous Distinction ritual.
They would find him, they would find him, and they would drag him back by his throat and—The thoughts haunted his sleep and the other passengers were disturbed by the expressions on his face, but too afraid to wake him. It was only the bus driver himself who finally came and shoved Roxas out of the seat.
"Twilight Town. Get off."
Hayner hates Pursuing 12
"Hayner," Olette begged in wide-eyed confusion. "You can't… you can't just go off to some backwater village in Japan!"
Hayner loved her something fierce, but he still wheeled on her snapping-and-snarling the way he always did when she tried to convince him to stop trying to find Roxas. He tried to forgive her, because she just didn't know. She didn't know Roxas like he did, she hadn't lived with him; she hadn't been there. She hadn't seen the frantic look in Roxas's eyes, the laughter that oozed out of him as he realized he was bleeding and his fingers felt raw because he'd dug through flesh in search of veins to rip out.
Her eyes watered and she bit her lower lip because she just didn't understand. "I don't want to say this, but, what about me? What am I supposed to do? Just let you go off? Leave me behind while you're God knows where wandering the countryside for months?"
Hayner paused. He hadn't realized she felt that way. He hadn't realized, just hadn't known because he hadn't been there when Olette had cried. Olette missed Roxas too. Pence and Olette and Hayner and Roxas and it had been so perfect until he'd come home and Roxas lay bleeding on the bathroom tiles and said he was going, back to a terrible place he called 'home'.
"Come with me," Hayner whispered, holding out his hand to her.
Roxas hates Moving 13
Roxas spent the first week in a homeless shelter paralyzed with fear. He left when the concerned woman at the soup counter tried to take him to a hospital. He couldn't go to a hospital. The hospital would try to find his family, they'd ask for his name, and they'd ask for his identification and if any of it got out, even so much as his description, they would find him.
He spent another two days hiding in a park, sleeping and shaking uncontrollably. But then… it was a simple matter of resolve. He looked around himself, saw no one he knew, saw nothing he recognized except the sky. He wasn't far enough away, nowhere was far enough. But he was here, and he had to try for as long as he could. For now, and for the past several weeks, he had been free. He couldn't waste any more of this time being afraid, though he would always be afraid.
Now he had to move.
So, he applied to be a stock boy at a local supermarket. He looked young and strong, so they accepted him and paid him as little as possible. He bought some clean clothes at a consignment store to wear to work and returned to the shelter until he'd saved some money to rent an apartment.
Pence was a bagboy and Olette worked at a department store a few streets up. Hayner was in the liquor right across the street.
Pence was the friendly, neighborly sort, and he invited the new worker with the strange accent to lunch. They asked him where he was from, and Roxas said Italy. They didn't know much better, and they accepted him, because even though he was quiet he had a good sense of humor and his laugh was infectious.
Soon he was invited to lunch almost every day. Roxas was thankful. He felt guilty eating the food at the shelter, as if someone more deserving could have had his share. When he ate with his friends, they all split the bill and it seemed he was contributing something, even if his meager means made that something very little.
And then one day he heard Hayner complain about the price of his rent, and that he couldn't find a good roommate. Roxas asked and Hayner stared in surprise.
"Don't you already have a place?"
Roxas did not tell them where he had been living. He simply shook his head and said he would be able to move.
Hayner hates Traveling 14
The sky below was a brilliant blue that burned into his retinas, but he watched. Olette was asleep at his elbow and Pence, left behind, was worrying away in Twilight Town.
Japan was just ahead, the first shoreline gliding gracefully into sight.
It would take days to get into the mountains where Hinamizawa was hiding… Hinamizawa: where Hayner did not even know if Roxas was.
The plane was descending, the air pressure snapping. Olette woke up, rubbing at her eyes.
"Are we almost there?"
Hayner swallowed roughly, "Yes."
Roxas hates Companionability 15
And they were never lovers; they were brothers, they were friends. They gossiped like girls, they roughhoused like boys, and they bickered like the perfect couple.
But Hayner had Olette and Roxas had scars.
Hayner had a fondness for superficial action movies, Roxas for traditional Japanese horror skits.
Hayner had a tendency to be more bark than bite, Roxas the tendency for sneers more biting than words.
Olette was a little scared of Roxas and Pence a little intimidated by Hayner.
There was a balance to it all, but at the core, was the wiring between Hayner and Roxas. Who became best friends after only a few months, because that was the way it was meant to be.
"You said you were from Italy?"
Even secrets were allowed.
Balance and wiring.
And then the dreams began. The feeling of someone standing over his pillow as he slept, the phantom sound of footsteps. The whisper of terrible things against the shell of his ear. The feeling of maggots on his skin, the laughter of harpies.
And the call to come home… Roxas was used to madness, and he resisted. He resisted for so very long. But the mind is fragile and Hayner returned to their shared apartment one night to find Roxas with his body bloody and his throat savagely clawed.
"I-i-i… have to go home."
Hayner hates Searching 16
Hayner's Japanese was weak, but was better than Olette's by a long shot. They bumbled, just barely getting by on snatches of conversations and an area gestured to on a map.
People continued to tell them no and the only meaning Hayner could decipher was that no one wanted to go to Hinamizawa. It was too close to some festival, they said. They looked so scared… No, they asserted, no.
Hayner and Olette rented a pair of bicycles, and a GPS. The mists that surrounded the mountains were nearly impenetrable, but they went. They dove into the viscous white waves and were never seen again.
Roxas hates Those Who Did Not 17
Roxas returned to Hinamizawa as broken as when he left. Carabosse was livid and purring and smug. She whispered his punishment to Sora and Sora's eyes shattered for a moment.
Sweet Sora did not weep, instead he pulled on the empty mask of duty and ordered Axel to beat and rape his brother.
Axel did not hesitate.
Father did not protest.
The bodyguards did not watch.
The servants did not help him.
"Oyashiro-sama does not tolerate desertion, but she will forgive you," Grandmother Carabosse whispered, her noxious breath fetid. "You will suffer, child. Every moment of your life will be penance from now on."
She gave him to Axel, who Roxas refused to speak to in English and would only address as Naitsuusha, Betrayer. Axel hit him every time so much as a syllable of Japanese escaped his lips.
Roxas was a collection of bruises and scars. In the mirror he marveled at the ring of shiny purple barbed wire around his throat, the lacerations to his heart and his spirit. The bruises were striking, the split lip meaningful, and the broken ribs painful.
Carabosse gave him to Axel, as a decoration, as a toy, as a whore and Axel used him.
The bleakness came swiftly. Roxas found himself unable to leave the bed, much less the bedroom. The sheets began to stink of his blood and sweat and tears and anger and hurt.
He tried to starve himself, refusing food for two weeks until Sora came and begged him not to go.
Roxas resented him. Roxas resented him so deeply for asking something so selfish of him, but the battered innocence inside of Sora always moved him. He ate sparingly.
Oyashiro haunted his pillow, Oyashiro-sama—his Grandmother's antiquated superstitious nightmare—laughed cruelly as Roxas bled and the maggots crawled.
And sunken-eyed Naminé from the temple came to him. "Roxas," she whispered, her words old and respectful. "Oyashiro-sama does not forgive."
Hayner hates Them 18
They emerged into the valley drenched with dew, cold and shivering. There were dark bags under Olette's eyes and sweat stains on both their shirts.
But the village lay just below, the rooftops piercing the abominable mist. Following the road still further north, there was a city, but they did not intend to go there. Hayner was too focused, too centered on Roxas—like a bloodhound that could hold a scent for years at a time.
They coasted down the grassy hills bathed in morning light and the fog began to dissipate.
Everyone they passed in town smiled and waved, greeted them excitedly, but no one responded to the photo of Roxas they brandished. They did not know him, the villagers said and returned to their preparations.
The fog had delayed Hayner and Olette in arriving; they had not anticipated stumbling onto a festival.
"Everyone comes to Watanagashi," a woman explained. "If your friend is really here, that will be the best place to look."
Hayner and Olette washed up at the invitation of the temple priestess, a small girl with wraith-blue eyes and white-blonde hair. She had a gentle smile and an endearingly chirruping laugh. She asked them very politely to come see her performance, she would be in charge of the ritual dance that night.
Olette took to her quickly and promised they would be there. Hayner showed her the picture of Roxas and she shook her head. She did not know him.
Roxas hates Her 19
Naminé came again the day of the Watanagashi. She looked skeletal in her large ritual garb, her small cold hands like ice picks from beneath her flowing sleeves.
"People are looking for you."
He sat up in bed; it was nearly noon, he had not slept for three days and he had not sat up. "What kind of people?" he croaked.
"A boy and a girl," the priestess replied. "They have a picture of you, they want to know where you are."
Roxas lunged from the bed frantically but she shoved him down and called in a singsong voice for his father's guards outside the door. Reno and Rude entered obediently.
"He is not permitted to go to the festival," she instructed, her voice low and sibilant.
Hayner hates Goldfish 20
It was the first time attending a traditional Japanese festival for both Hayner and Olette. Despite themselves they marveled at the clutter of brightly colored stalls and the intense smells which wafted up and down the alleyways of booths.
Hayner found himself smiling indulgently and paying for Olette to take a try at the goldfish scoop, his attention drawn away long enough for Roxas to have walked past unnoticed seven or eight times.
"Thank you," Olette said to him, even though her paper net had broken before she had caught any fish. Then her attention returned dutifully to the throng of people and they moved together, hands clasped, eyes on both sides.
The cicadas created a nauseous ruckus that night and the fireflies swarmed in the air.
When the time came, Hayner and Olette split apart to observe both sides of the crowd watching the girl-priest's complicated dance of ritual.
Neither of them could spot Roxas, but Hayner was certain they had simply missed him. He said there was a feeling in his gut; a sensation caught in his flesh that told him Roxas was here, that they had come all this way to the right place.
Beneath the dim paper lanterns they waited and they watched as people slowly broke off from the mass and began to head home.
The sound of footsteps did not fade.
Roxas hates Watanagashi 21
Reno and Rude were forced to taser Roxas into unconsciousness to keep him on the compound.
The next morning, Axel dragged him out of the house by his hair to be the first witness to Hayner and Olette's corpses.
Hayner had clawed his throat out. Truly, blood and sinew and vocal chords nothing more than tattered remains around his broken fingernails. The expression on his face was terrible and Roxas began to cry, his entire body shaking.
He began to absolutely howl when he saw the charred husk that was Olette's remains.
"W-w-w…" Roxas could not force the words from his throat, so Axel grabbed him there, choking.
The man's green eyes darted nervously. "Are you trying to ask why?"
Roxas only hiccupped miserably, tears painting his face.
Axel threw him to the ground. "Oyashiro does not forgive."
Axel hates Everything 22
Roxas had not been invited to the family dinners for a very long time. The night following Watanagashi was no different, and Axel had never been so glad.
Carabosse smiled at him from the far end of the table and Sora stared at him with something Axel could not decipher, until he realized the divide that existed within him.
The part of Sora who loved his brother was sickened and angry and hated Axel desperately. The broken part of him, who loved and feared his grandmother, was approving.
Their feelings on the matter did not matter, all Axel knew was that he could not eat with his hands this way and he did not know what it would take to make them clean.
Roxas hates the World 23
Roxas would not speak, not even in the Japanese Axel had been told not to allow.
Roxas laid in silence, not moving, not eating, not drinking, just barely breathing and blinking.
Axel was told to demand a response from him, but Roxas would not give one.
Axel was told to beat a response out of him; Roxas's skin-and-bones bruised as easily as they always did, but he did not reply.
Axel was told to fuck a response out of him, and that was when Roxas began to sob.
Sora came after a few days and coerced his brother to eat, and even then the younger twin could only get down a few spoonfuls of mush or soup before he began to convulse and wail.
Sora stayed for several days, shirking all his other duties to comfort his twin. "I'm sorry, Roxas."
Roxas resented him and Roxas hated Axel and Roxas despised Carabosse.
Terror and rage and blinding pain paralyzed him.
He seemed almost as sunken-eyed as Naminé, but his blue did not reach to the gods or to the future. Only within, to where he was trapped inside his own flesh.
Axel hates the Struggles 24
Sometimes Roxas would lose his mind and fight Axel tooth and nail for any piece of flesh he could rip off of him.
Roxas's body was an atrophied waste of material and Axel hurt him with ease.
Sometimes pain would snap Roxas out of it.
Other times, it did not.
When Roxas did not fight he barely breathed.
It was like owning a corpse and Axel remembered well the Distinction he made for Roxas at thirteen-years-old.
Rude hates What They've Done 25
Rude had known Roxas since he was born, and he knew there was nothing evil or wrong with the kid.
Rufus's father had employed both Rude and Reno when they turned eighteen. There was friendship and loyalty between the families, something Rude felt sorely taxed by some of the things he was required to do.
Rude kept that to himself, however. Who would listen to him? Rufus wasn't in Hinamizawa often enough to care about either of his sons. He relegated their rearing to his witch of a mother-in-law.
Tseng knew how to follow orders and, like Reno, was even kind of vicious enough to get a kick out of it. Rude could tell Elena didn't like it at all, but a swift talking to by Tseng seemed to have warned her away from voicing her feelings.
Even for all that, Rude almost couldn't stomach it. The whole family made him ill and if he'd ever thought for one second he could get out without getting killed, he probably would have.
Roxas hates Memories 26
Sometimes Axel would give up on him and leave the room in some kind of disgust, be it with himself or the vegetable Roxas had become, Roxas couldn't say. All he knew was that it left him alone and when he was alone he could think.
He didn't like to think, because he always thought about Hayner. Hayner had been his best friend, his savior, his confidant, his brother, and his father.
Hayner had never betrayed him.
Hayner had always been kind to him.
The memories would come in waves almost as swift and brutal and maddening as Oyashiro's dark gaze and the chirruping laughter of the cicada-winged harpies.
Roxas had once eaten himself sick with candy. In Twilight Town he'd discovered a fetish for little green gummi bears and had traded the rest of his spectrum to make a small army of little green gummi bears.
Hayner had laughed at his complaints of upset stomach. Hayner'd had a nice laugh, like the warm sands of a beach. Hayner had come over to him and rubbed his stomach playfully, telling him it would be okay, making fun of him for being such a kid and getting himself sick on candy.
The nausea overtook Roxas again.
Hayner had torn his own throat out.
There had been gobbets of flesh and the wound had burbled wetly with what Roxas prayed to God had not been Hayner's final breath.
Olette had been burned alive.
She had been barely distinguishable and she had smelled so strongly of death.
Roxas felt his gorge rising and he felt himself crying again and could not stop, even as he became aware that someone had entered the room.
Rude, his father's hulking shadow of intimidation, sat down beside him on the bed. Roxas continued to weep without acknowledging him, so Rude gathered the tiny body up in his arms and held him awkwardly.
"Axel said he couldn't deal with you."
The tone of Roxas's keening changed, into a sort of high humorless laughter beneath his grief.
"I think I can deal with a skinny little shit like you."
Roxas threw his arms around the man and buried his face in the crook of his neck.
Axel hates Carabosse 27
She would not rest until she saw Roxas submit to her completely.
She came, gliding on black silk, her fingers dipped in poison and whispered in Roxas's ear.
That was when the screaming began.
Axel was told to make him stop. Axel knew how he was expected to proceed. He tried and failed, but it was the attempt and the bruises that Carabosse hoped for with her dark eyes. She left then, leaving Roxas bleeding on the floor, but still screaming.
Angry and sickened with pity and self-loathing, Axel left the room, tersely ordering Rude to shut him the fuck up.
Roxas hates His Mind 28
With little to do while Rufus was outside the compound with Tseng and Elena, Rude took to watching over Roxas.
Roxas was broken. Maybe he always had been, like his brother, but now it had reached a new level. He was shattered from shell to core.
When he wasn't sobbing, he was laughing. When he wasn't laughing, he was shaking and making strange motions with his hands or staring at his skin or screaming.
After the visit from Grandmother Carabosse, it was nigh on impossible to get Roxas to eat. Axel gave up and Sora could not always come.
Rude was surprisingly patient with him, silently holding the food out for what could stretch into hours.
Rude… Rude… Rude… it was a strange name, Roxas thought, but perhaps he liked it. He wasn't sure; all he could tell about himself was that he liked Rude. He liked the quiet way Rude could sit, he liked the calm way Rude could breath, he liked that he couldn't see Rude's eyes or any of the pity that might be in them, and he liked the huge protective strength of Rude's arms.
Rude could stop him when the fight came out. When the terrible force of Oyashiro's voice drove him up and out of himself and his fingers became like knives and his throat like meat to carve. When the harpies' piercing shrieks made his ears bleed and the maggots fed on his rotting eyes, wriggling up into his brain and steering him towards deeper horrors than he had ever known.
Rude caught him at it and held his wrists together in one of his big dark hands.
Roxas sobbed and Rude waited. Rude waited until he stopped, sagging limply against the bed he so rarely left.
His throat hiccupped with spasms a while longer and then Rude let him go and Rude cleaned the scrapes on his neck and bandaged them up well.
No one had ever done that before. Roxas found himself stroking the gauze, strangely pleased.
Rude hates Whispers 29
She had told Roxas that she'd had Sora feed him pieces of Hayner.
The boy, who was already an anorexic nightmare, refused to eat entirely. It took hours of assuring where the food had come from before he would eat. He wouldn't touch anything brought by servants or Axel and usually refused what Sora brought as well, unless it was some kind of pre-packaged sweet.
She had told Roxas she'd fed him the best friend she herself had ordered murdered.
Roxas had screamed until his throat had given out and then he'd cried soundlessly, curled into a tiny miserable ball on the filthy sheets he shared with Axel, his betrayer and master.
Roxas would die of hunger sooner or later, everyone knew, but only those closest saw where he had returned to scratching at his throat like a frantic animal. Mutilating himself in search of escape.
Rude suddenly took to spending huge amounts of time watching him. His partner Reno complained bitterly about being left to amuse himself in this piece of shit little town. He asked what the fuck Rude was doing.
"What I was told to do."
Axel had told him to deal with Roxas.
Roxas hates the Animal Inside 30
Axel commuted to the northern town for work each morning and returned each night, to sleep, to shower, to eat dinner with the family.
During the day, while he was away, Roxas slept or lay wide-eyed and unmoving in the bed. Sometimes he cried and sometimes he screamed and sometimes he laughed and sometimes he talked to himself and sometimes he talked to Hayner.
And occasionally he tried to kill himself.
Rude was there for him during the day.
Rude watched him as he slept, which sometimes helped to keep the nightmares away but never kept Oyashiro's eyes from him.
Rude watched when he lay quietly on the bed. Rude would even try to coax him to eat and to drink and would remind him to take of the toiletries he often forgot about until Axel threw him out into the cold baths.
When he cried, Rude silently held out little packets of tissues. When he screamed, Rude muffled the sound of it with his chest. When he laughed, Rude waited patiently and let the hysterical mirth run its course. When he spoke, always to himself even when addressing Hayner, Rude listened politely.
And when he tried to kill himself, Rude held him very still, just holding on as if he were a bucking horse, but a very small one that Rude was confident of taming.
Roxas was tired of being tamed.
He felt caged and rabid and desperate and mad, absolutely insane on so many levels he didn't know which one was his own anymore.
Suicide became like the fights with Axel, they began directed at himself, but when Rude touched him he felt even more wild and lashed out. He foamed at the mouth, he snapped and snarled and kicked.
Roxas only managed to surprise Rude with an attack once, catching him with his shoulder and knocking off his dark glasses.
At first, they both held very still and just looked.
There was nothing to read in Roxas's sapphire blue eyes but sadness and a bloody hunger for recompense.
But Rude's… Long before Rufus had ever married Carabosse's daughter, Rude had been in a fight for him. Back then, half-breed as anyone else, Rude's genetics had given him the complexion of his South American father with the blue eyes of his Italian mother. In that fight for Rufus, he'd been stabbed in the eye and it was only thanks to Rufus's money and the best doctors in the entire world that he could still see out of the pitch-black thing at all. Bright lights still sent pain shooting through his nerves unless he had on the sunglasses.
Neither of Rude's eyes read pity, just a cold resolve: a fight in their own right. Something incendiary that made Roxas buck again, showing his teeth like a dog, mouth still foaming, fingers still flexed and scrabbling for his own throat, or maybe Rude's.
He began to breath unevenly, short and shallow, growling in his nasal and hissing out between his teeth.
He was out of control. He just needed to be snapped out of it, but for one of the first times in his life, Rude didn't want to just hit somebody.
Roxas made the move, not him, smashing their mouths together and barking something that sounded too much like, fuck me until I can't think straight.
He had not been a boy or a virgin in any sense for a very long time.
Rude hates Revelations 31
Roxas was intense and responsive when he consented to sex. He focused closely on every moment, open and aware.
Rude wouldn't lie, for all of the punishments Axel was told to administer, Roxas was still a tight piece of ass. But at the same time, having sex with him exposed something, maybe a few little glittering fragments of who he could have been if he hadn't been maimed so badly.
Roxas's hands relaxed, like a cat contently pulling its claws in. Roxas's bony hips writhed and Roxas's wasting flesh gained a strange luster.
Roxas did not orgasm, but whispered throatily that it was more Axel's fault than Rude's.
They went to the baths together to get cleaned up and Roxas took an odd pleasure in being the one to wash down Rude's brown skin.
They even had lunch together. Roxas drank the tea Rude made for him and ate both the bowl of rice and the bowl of soup Rude set before him. He purposefully gagged at one point, his eyes taking on that dangerous psychotic gleam, but Rude simply pushed the cup of tea forward and suggested Roxas drink a little more of it. Roxas did so with shaking hands and then continued eating.
Ansem hates This 32
A friend of Hayner's came into Ansem's office and said he was dead. The kid, Pence, said Hayner and his girlfriend had gone off to look for Roxas Carabosse in Hinamizawa. They'd died.
Hayner'd ripped out his own throat. They speculated it was due to drug overdose. The girl had been found miles away, burned alive. The police thought Hayner had done it to her. Pence said it wasn't true. Pence begged Ansem to look into it.
Ansem sat in the same chair he'd sat across from Hayner in. "I told him," Ansem mourned. He hadn't meant to get attached to that pernicious little bastard, but he had. "I told him it was dangerous. It's just too dangerous to snoop around in Hinamizawa."
"Please," Pence begged, holding out a check with the same air of a child holding out his piggybank. "Please. I have to know."
"So did Hayner," Ansem snapped, turning to face the window, to look down into Canberra. Shit, but it was so much darker in here. "Hayner just had to know, and look what happened. Hinamizawa is a mafia cynosure."
The Carabosse were powerful enough in their own right before they got into bed with the Sonozakis. They were even more powerful since that Carabosse witch killed her husband and took over everything. She married her daughter to a Shinra, who were on the rise then and were now second only to the Carabosse. As bodyguards they had the son of South American drug cartel, an Irish terrorists, a North Korean special operative, and that American girl Shinra had scooped up after she'd been given a dishonorable discharge from the FBI; even Ansem couldn't find out why.
Ansem did not want to risk it. But Pence, after losing all his friends to that town, would not give in.
"I'll go alone if you won't help me." The boy knew his blackmail.
Roxas hates His Shattered Control 33
Roxas could not keep himself sane. As much comfort as he took out of Rude's solid presence, his own mind still tormented him. The shadow of Oyashiro, who he knew and swore was just a story, continued to dog his steps and disturb his sleep.
Sometimes he would feel the maggots and if Rude wasn't there to stop him, he would scratch until he bled, screaming or laughing or crying feverishly.
The violent and sudden need to attack still overcame him sometimes. His blood would rush and his ears would scream and he would hear Oyashiro's high brutal laughter—feminine and oftentimes cawing like a crow.
Axel was easier to hurt, but his punishments brought Roxas perilously close to the brink and often left him sobbing. Rude was easier to trust, but Roxas felt guilty about his uncontrollable behavior and was wary of ever depending on anyone.
And he did. He depended on Rude so desperately.
He needed Rude to stop to the disease from spreading. It already had his heart and his skin and his fingers and most of his mind, but the rest was his and the anorexia's.
Rude hates That Look 34
Rude liked the progress he saw in Roxas, but just as Roxas remained wary of him, he mistrusted the way Roxas behaved. He had moments of painful lucidity still horribly tainted by upheavals of immense insanity. The shifts were sudden, swift, and atrocious.
Roxas still looked like a skeleton. Nothing but bones and flesh, his skin ashen and the rings around his eyes a kind of unhealthy red as opposed to smudges of black. Occasionally, Rude would find Roxas vomiting up his food. Sometimes, he would catch Roxas clawing after maggots on his stomach or thighs, as if Rude would not see the marks there.
Sometimes Roxas would laugh until he couldn't breath and then scream until his voice cracked and bled. Sometimes he wept himself into exhaustion and sometimes his strange libido would go into an overdrive that even Rude, healthy and strong, could barely keep up with.
Rude did not ask Reno for assistance with this. Roxas did.
It was when Reno stumbled in on them in their usual setting of Axel's bed. He made a snide and somewhat threatening comment that Roxas turned into an overture. Reno gave that sleazy smile of his and joined them. He had been baffled when Roxas compliantly held out his wrists, pressed together in prayer.
"What's this game you two got goin' on?" the redhead asked, leering.
Roxas answered him with a soft birdlike sound, "It's so I don't scratch at the maggots and bleed." He wiggled his fingers like so many spider legs. He had a strange look on his face, something disturbingly childlike and dangerous.
His words seemed to interest as well as disconcert Reno.
Roxas's peculiar drive for sex and frenetic ways of engaging made the encounter with Reno strange. Roxas seemed to take an unexpected amount of pleasure and interest in Reno's brilliantly red hair. The fetish he displayed made their small orgy all the more intense and enjoyable.
In private, Rude and Reno agreed on this fact and Rude warned Reno that if he ever did or said anything untoward to Roxas he would have to beat the shit out of him.
He had been hurt enough.
Axel hates What He's Lost 35
Carabosse knew things. Everything that went on in her compound, she knew.
There were cameras, everywhere. Axel had never realized; like everyone else he'd always thought the witch just knew the people around her so well, that she kept a skilled ear close to every bit of house gossip and talk that passed by.
There were cameras. Everywhere. From the kitchens to the dining room to the foyer to Axel's own bedroom, which he observed now.
Roxas and that piece of shit bodyguard Rude rutting like they actually enjoyed it, in Axel's own bed.
Or, that was how Carabosse wanted him to feel. Axel rarely agreed with Carabosse, he hated the old bitch, but… what Axel did to Roxas was kinder than what she would do to him. What she could have Sora do to him.
If Axel was going to be honest with himself, he was relieved beyond words to see Roxas even moving. He watched Roxas smile faintly and run one of his tiny fingers along the strong ridge of Rude's nose. He watched Roxas's muscles tweak and watched Rude grab his wrists firmly. He watched how quickly that smoothed things between them. Roxas still acted like a mute doll around Axel, and that frightened and dismayed him.
"This is unacceptable," Grandmother Carabosse said, motioning to the monitor. "What do you intend to do, Axel?"
Axel knew what he would have to do. Rude would have to be sent to Rufus and Roxas would have to be punished. He would have to be, because Carabosse would be watching. Axel knew this now. If he did not do these things, Carabosse would know and Carabosse would make Roxas perform the Distinction. Carabosse would break him, finally snap his spine and leave him a gibbering mess of deaths and delusions and apologies.
"I want Rude gone," Axel said, swallowing jaggedly. "I'll take care of Roxas."
Roxas hates Losing 36
Roxas was very silent when Reno came in the afternoon to tell him Rude had been sent to join Rufus in America. Rufus was not scheduled to return from his business for nearly another year.
Reno stared at his shoes; the first and only time Roxas would ever see him hesitant. "Uh, look, kid, I'm gonna be sent too and… I'm sorry. Okay. Yeah. Whatever. Try to hold together or something."
Roxas was very silent that day and Oyashiro laughed mockingly in his head and the maggots crawled but he did not have the will to scratch.
Roxas was very silent that night when Axel returned home and shoved him face down into their mattress and fucked him, nearly suffocating him.
"She's watching," Axel hissed in his ear and Roxas did not make a sound.
Roxas was very silent the next day and the next. He ate his food and did small chores around the house, much to the annoyance of the maids. They preferred it when he kept his tainted presence within his own room.
Roxas was very silent. He would not speak to Axel, and was beaten accordingly, because Carabosse was watching. He would not speak to Sora, and his twin cried very quietly, because Sora was running out of tears and was running out of self. He had no pity to spare for Roxas, and Roxas had none for him.
Axel hates Risks 37
Axel took the risk of bringing Roxas one letter from Rude. The blond blue-eyed boy who had once been his friend stared at him in a kind of shocked hurt, clutching the envelope to his chest. He looked like a child, and it seemed he was all the more betrayed by Axel's kindness.
Axel backhanded him across the jaw to wipe the expression from his face… maybe Roxas understood the truth of the matter, and maybe he didn't. Maybe he was just happy to have the letter and he hurried to hide it away.
Axel paid for the risk, as he always did, and Sora presided over the ceremony with the emotionless mask that was almost his real face. The punishment for this somewhat minor infraction was a whipping, and Axel took it, because he hoped the letter would help. It didn't—it was only ink and paper.
After several valiant weeks, Roxas began to fall back again. He would stay in their bedroom, staring bleakly at the ceiling. His skin began to disappear beneath his nails and Axel could barely touch him, much less sleep in the bed they shared, without coming away crusted with blood.
"Roxas," Axel begged.
Roxas laughed quietly, growing louder and more desperately pitched with each second he continued.
Axel let him. They lay side by side in the bed they were both loath to share, and Axel simply let Roxas laugh.
Ansem hates Knowing Better 38
Ansem had the forethought to arrange transportation from the airport to Hinamizawa beforehand. It was easier that way, making contact with a truck driver who was going out there on his route.
Pence was a pleasant and considerate traveling companion. Ansem found himself developing affection for him, especially after the younger man woke up on the plane from seemingly the same guilt-ridden dream, which had plagued Ansem ever since Pence had told him about the fate of Hayner and Olette.
Ansem was not good at expressing his compassion and they were very nearly to the valley before he managed to say, "It will be okay, Pence."
Roxas hates Doing This Again 39
Somewhere in his madness, Roxas had sworn to kill Naminé if he ever saw her again. However, when she came to visit him he found he didn't have the strength to move and that the ever-present sound of Oyashiro's voice seemed fuzzy and very far away.
"There are people looking for you again, Roxas," she murmured. "An old detective and a friend who weren't satisfied with the reports of Hayner and Olette's deaths."
Roxas choked down screams of rage and terrified tears. "Please don't."
Naminé laughed at him, the same cackling laugh Oyashiro mocked him with. "Oyashiro does not forgive, Roxas. You left, you still want to leave, and for that you will be punished. You will not be permitted to leave the compound."
She left and Roxas remained paralyzed for a long while, but then the strong feeling of Oyashiro's eyes on him returned and he finally jolted from the bed.
His bare feet padded down the halls and the maids stared and he was very nearly to the door before Axel of all people was there, shoving him against the wall.
"Where are you going?" the redhead growled. Roxas stared up at him, uncomprehending before he breathed, "To save my friends before you kill them."
Axel shoved him again, knocking him against the wall with a thud. "I know the priestess was here and she told you not to leave the compound."
Roxas was shaking and Axel tried not to notice. "Not again."
This time Roxas pushed Axel and tried to escape, but the taller man grabbed him and pressed him face-first to the wall.
"Stop it, Roxas," Axel hissed in his ear. "Do you know how hard it is to get it up to hurt you? She's watching so just stop, there's nothing we can do."
Roxas made a low whining sound like a kicked dog and flailed to escape, but Axel had him. Axel begged him again to stop, but Roxas would not relent. Gulping down air as resolve, Axel grabbed a fistful of blond hair and bashed Roxas's face against the wall. He watched the younger man's eyes go unfocused and dazed and used that as his opportunity to drag Roxas back to their room and lock him away.
Ansem hates Portents 40
Hinamizawa greeted them brightly, the people they passed asked if they were backpackers because there wasn't a festival for a while. Ansem and Pence told them no and showed them a picture of Roxas, which none of them recognized. They asked about the strange murders of Hayner and Olette, which none of the villagers remembered.
The population was sparse, but the village spanned miles upon miles of farmland. Ansem had the bikes they'd rented from the Northern town and a gun and the hope they'd make it back alive.
All day they rode, knocking on doors and stopping cars and pedestrians. No one recognized Roxas and they did not see him in the street and no one admitted to remember the deaths of Hayner and Olette on Watanagashi.
Ansem had known long before they'd left that coming here would be a mistake, a fatal one.
He'd just hoped he would be able to save Pence.
Roxas Doesn't Hate Anymore (Harpies and laughter and maggots and harpies and laughter and maggots and maggots.)
Carabosse ordered that Roxas see the bodies, but this time even Axel wanted to puke. He couldn't imagine Roxas holding up to the sight, but Carabosse insisted.
So they went.
Pence had a neat gunshot wound through his head, just a little singed hair and brain splatter and shocked, terrified expression.
It was Ansem that was disturbing, face skinned off, organs in a neat pile, all his extremities ripped off and then broken down again at the joints.
Roxas stood very still to observe the bodies. He did not know the old man, but he could guess why they were there.
"Take me home, Axel," he requested after a little while.
Axel gratefully obliged.
That day, Axel went off to work and Roxas roamed the compound in brooding silence.
Satisfied he was broken, Carabosse did not watch and that was her mistake, because she was the first Roxas found.
At first, he just wandered, but then he saw and he knew it was all her fault and he hated her, he hated her and her Oyashiro, constantly laughing at him, constantly wriggling like maggots under his skin, making his blood burn him from inside and making his own mind rebel against him.
He'd broken a vase from the hall and cut her throat with its shards before he knew what he was doing and he'd gouged out her eyes and mauled her face with the jagged porcelain before he'd regained control of his hands and by then the blood smell was deep within him.
He found other weapons throughout the house, kitchen knives, scissors, guns, and tasers; anything solid that he could pick up in his hand. He stalked the house methodically, room by room, picking off the maids and servants who had considered him a curse.
At the door to Sora's study, Roxas paused and tried to reflect on his feelings for his twin, but realized Sora was as gone as he was. He slid open the door and Sora looked at him calmly before nodding in invitation.
He killed Sora the quickest and the gentlest of them all and then moved on.
The baseball bat he saved for Axel, it had a special kind of irony saved from their childhoods… He waited, just inside the door.
And when it opened, and Axel paused, stunned by the mutilated bodies in the foyer, Roxas brought the bat slamming down on him with a resounding metal thud.
Axel swooned; Roxas kicked him awake again so he would see. And Axel saw, wild-eyed Roxas, blood on his face and his hands and his teeth gleaming an iridescent white.
Roxas brought the bat down across his kneecap with more power than Axel had ever thought he'd had. Adrenaline… enough adrenaline and madness to shatter that kneecap and Axel cried out and Roxas took out his right shoulder next.
Through his own pain, Axel barely managed to identify the sound of Roxas crying. He looked up from the floor and grinned weakly, clutching at his shoulder, which throbbed and pulsed hideously.
"Go on, do it."
Roxas's sobs twined eerily with laughter and the bat came screaming down against Axel's ribs, breaking through them, the flat of the weapon smothering Axel's solar plexus, he gagged unexpectedly on bile. Roxas giggled at the green foam that crested his lips.
Axel choked, spat and murmured, "Go on, kill me, I love you."
"I hate you," Roxas whispered, raising the bat up, his face contorted with shadows.
Axel nodded. It was right that Roxas hated him, hated all of them. This was right.
"Go on," he said again.
This time, Roxas did not miss. The bat made contact with Axel's head, and continued down, driving Axel and his busted skull into the floor with a sick spray of blood… Head wounds do so like to bleed…
Laughing and sobbing and rambling to himself and Hayner and Rude, Roxas and the bat pulped his betrayer until there was nothing but a puddle of gore.
Rude hates What He Hears 41
"The question is, Rufus," Rude heard Tseng say. "Is if you want your son to survive or not."
Rude looked up and from behind his sunglasses his expression was hidden. "What's happened?"
Tseng glanced at him imperiously. "We've just gotten word that the younger twin murdered nearly the entire household. Carabosse and her heir were among the victims."
Tseng sounded unaffected and when Rude studied Rufus's face, he seemed much the same.
"And what happened to the kid?" Rude grunted, trying not to let his thoughts and feelings bleed through.
"Oh…" Tseng said, offhand. "He was there with the bodies. You know how he could be, silent like that."
Rude swallowed roughly and then left the room. Yeah, he knew how Roxas could be, could imagine him sitting cross-legged in a ring of corpses—as silent as the grave.
Rude closed his eyes and swallowed again, leaning back against the wall outside the door. He heard Tseng and Rufus resume their conversation.
"We can have the lawyer flown here so business won't be interrupted," Rufus decided.
"And your son?" Tseng prompted. "Once he is released from the hospital, he will be tried."
Rude knew Rufus's answer before it left the man's lips. "He's no good to me, we'll let the lawyer know we want him committed."
Rude felt his hands ball into fists. He knew Roxas would die soon no matter what happened to him. He'd finally taken revenge and there just wasn't anything left… but in one of those wards, Roxas would die tormented and miserable; harassed by sick doctors intent on fixing him by any means necessary.
Maybe Rude kind of understood that betrayer Axel for a minute, because he found himself wishing he could kill Roxas himself before they hurt him. He knew just how he would do it: his large hands crushing Roxas's tortured white throat.
Rude took a deep breath and drowned those thoughts in the ocean that separated him from Roxas. Calm returned and he moved through the halls with the grace of a mausoleum.
The sunlight streaming in through the open window hurt his eyes, even with his sunglasses on.