Spontaneous Combustion

o-o-o-o-o-o

...marry me (Larxel)

o-o-o-o-o-o

"Is it wrong to feel dirtier coming out of the shower than you felt when you went in?"

"No, Lea, it just means I'm good at what I do."

"Axel, darling. Axel. One would think you would have that memorized by now, seeing as though we're lying in bed together."

Larxene looks up from her current gothic novel of choice, pages ripe with torture and blood and visceral fluids. It pains her to look away, because she was in the middle of ingesting a magnificently grotesque disemboweling scene, but Axel was ranting about his name again, and she has never met anyone who suffered from a more severe identity crisis except for Roxas, who could have been Adolf Hitler in his former life for all he knew and would be none the wiser.

"Doesn't matter," she responds, voice light and airy and utterly captivating. "I've been to bed with plenty of men, most of which I didn't even know had names."

"Larxene..." Axel hisses, covering his unblemished porcelain face with a hand. "I don't need to hear this."

"Oh please, tell me that doesn't turn you on," she says, mainly to herself, as she blithely flips another page in her novel and resumes her previous activity of indulging in an elaborately foretold medieval torture scene.

"You making love to another man," Axel reiterates, staring pointedly at the ceiling. "No Larxene, that does not turn me on, I'm sorry."

Larxene smirks. "...who said it was a man?"

Axel's eyes bulge and his head snaps around to meet her artic gaze with his own acidic one.

"Kidding," she flippantly offers, though the look on his face was priceless and well worth the implied homosexuality.

"Dammit Larx, don't scare me like that!"

She is smirking behind her novel and he knows this.

Even though his jargon has died down temporarily, Larxene can't help but muse over one of his previously intoned phrases that she couldn't help but pick up on, torture scenes notwithstanding.

"Why do you always refer to it as making love?" she inquires, placing the book down in her lap. She is wrapped proficiently in a nondescript sheet and has the comforter adjusted at her waist as she leans against the headboard with her characteristic torpor.

"As opposed to what?" Axel questions, barely audible, like this line of interrogation is absurd and why are we bothering to pursue the matter? He occupies himself by setting one of his fingers on fire and watching the flame jump from hand to hand.

"Well, there's always sex for starters..."

The man shrugs and continues to manipulate the flame that is dancing across his palm.

"It just seems more romantic, is all."

Larxene, unsure of how to react to this unforeseen reply, stares blankly at him, for she never pegged him, of all people, to be one for romance. And further more, she never pegged herself to become involved with someone who was one for romance. But then again, though she will never admit it, it was always something she secretly longed for. Every girl does. Being dead, or exceedingly sadistic, doesn't change that.

At this, Larxene places down her novel on the night stand and drapes herself expertly over Axel's well formed chest. She nuzzles her face dangerously close to his and she knows he is dying inside due to her proximity and lack of oral intimacy.

"You're a retard," she whispers into his ear, her loving tone contradicting, in the sweetest and most intoxicating hypocrisy Axel has ever witnessed, and the harsh words drip from her mouth like verbal cyanide.

Axel tries to wrap his arms around her, for he knows all too well she is as fleeting and elusive as the most ethereal wind. Larxene can feel him running his hands down the smoothness of her back, and she can't fail to notice they are growing warm, dangerously warm, the way they do when he is moments away from setting himself on fire (as he is notorious for doing whenever the intimacy is strong enough to stifle lesser men.)

"...are you eating enough?" he abruptly questions, his hands trailing down to the fineness of her waist. She has to hold back a laugh at this, for she has never found a man more concerned with her well being than that which was holding her right now.

"Yes Axel, I'm eating plenty," she assures, and she derives great pleasure from his apprehension, more so than she will ever admit, but she likes to think he knows anyway and that is why he puts up with her.

"You sure about that? Because you feel kind of—"

He is cut off by the moist lips that are pressed against his. He is startled by this random display of affection, and even though he was in the middle of a tirade, he decides it can wait because he'll be damned before he passes up an opportunity to melt with Larxene.

She tastes likes breath mints and altoids and winter and it is of great contrast to the simmering heat that Axel is now feeling boil up inside of him. No matter how many times they do this, she will always manage to set his insides ablaze and ignite the passion that has been in hibernation for so long.

Larxene lets the kiss linger, to the point where she is almost certain Axel is about three seconds away from total self combustion, and then she breaks it to lay down beside him and curl into his torso, her lithe arm draped over his chest in a lazy like fashion, almost as if it happened to fall there coincidentally while Larxene was collapsing and oh well so be it, even though the move was carefully calculated and planned out before hand, nonchalance and all.

She breathes in his scent and melds into his side, inhaling cinnamon and cheap cologne that he probably stole from Roxas because, as attentive as the man was, he could not keep track of his belongings to save his soul. Anything he ever purchased disappeared the moment he set it down in the abyss that he calls a bedroom, never to be seen or heard of again. It was like a black hole, gobbling and devouring anything within its confines. So anything tangible, cologne, deodorant, shampoo, and soap included, inadvertently came from Roxas. Not to say he smelled like Roxas, for the kid always smelled like laundry detergent and cotton, but she knew the cologne was not his own and tried desperately to concentrate on the hints of cinnamon she could pick up, for she knew that was his natural scent and he exuded it without even knowing.

And Larxene does not know why, whether it be the ambiance of her bedroom, the candles flickering on the mantle, the moonlight trickling in from the window, or the steady rhythm with which Axel continues to rub his thumb over her shoulder, but she feels intimate and vulnerable and she doesn't quite know what to do with herself.

"Axel," she whispers, barely audible and not a decibel too loud. "Why do you even like me?"

The man senses a rare vibe being emitted from his girlfriend, and he knows to proceed with caution when it comes to her articulating her insecurities. He would do so anyway, even if his reproductive organs were not on the line, but he tries not to register too much surprise at her sudden question, for he has never heard her voice so small and so soft and so scared in his entire second life.

He turns on his side and draws Larxene near. She collides with his frame and he buries his face within her hair, doing all that is with in his power to let her know she is loved and she is wanted and she is safe, but he feels the slightest traces of a tremor and it tears him apart inside to know how vulnerable his significant other really is.

"Larxene," he answers, exhaling her name off his lips, voice muffled by the hair, "you know you mean the worlds to me."

"...but I'm a bitch," she responds, voice deadly and cutting and slicing into his chest. It bounces back at her and she involuntarily cringes at the reverberations of her own sound.

"You moron," he drawls into her scalp. "Why do you say stuff like that?"

"Because it's true," she grumbles, looking up at him. "Think about it, stupid. How did we meet?"

"We met in the library," Axel answers simply.

"Yes, I know." Larxene rubs her forehead, already foreseeing he would not cooperate with this. "And what were my first words to you?"

"...you didn't really use any."

"And why was that, pray tell?"

"You were otherwise preoccupied."

Larxene sighs, debating between finding this man's sickening loyalty alarmingly sweet or absolutely repulsive.

"Axel," she intones flatly, his name the prelude of the cutting remark that was to come. "I kicked you in the balls."

"Well, yeah, but that was because I tried to get in your pants."

"Asking me if I am single does not constitute as trying to get in my pants."

"It was what I was getting at," Axel mutters off hand.

"Stop trying to defend me."

"I'm not."

"Yes you are and you know it."

Larxene follows up by jabbing a finger into his chest. It bounces off, for he is built like liquid steel, lithe and agile but strong and sturdy, and she momentarily wonders if she just broke a nail.

Axel exudes a sigh and proceeds to brush away the stray strands of hair Larxene has decorating her forehead. "Why do you find it so hard to believe someone actually likes you?"

"Hm, lemme think," she feigns. "I read sadistic manifestos for fun, I am about as cold and withdrawn as an artic ice burg, and I have the amiability of an unearthed dinosaur fossil. You tell me what's so attractive about that."

"...unearthed dinosaur fossil?" Axel muses out loud. "Where the hell did you get that?"

"Roxas. He was annoyed I wouldn't play checkers with him."

"...so he called you a dinosaur fossil..."

"Yes," came the clarification.

"What the hell? That doesn't even make any sense!"

"It's Roxas. It never makes sense."

Axel averts eye contact and stares off into the distance for a minute, as is usual when he is plotting or otherwise pondering someone's untimely demise.

"I could go burn him if you want me too."

"No Axel, you don't need to burn him. I think I can handle being called a fossil."

Axel shakes his head, sending his cherry blood strands flying, and resumes his previous activity of staring down at Larxene, who is lying cocooned in his arms and nestled into his side.

Intent on proving her point that she was indeed a bitch, or perhaps simply trying to maintain her claim to fame in fear she was being demoted to that of which she always made fun of: the emotional little rag doll of a girlfriend who woos and giggles accordingly, she continues to present Axel with evidence of her scandals.

"Axel, what was my first nick name for you?"

"...Man Whore?" he recalls with startling clarity, for Larxene utilized the endearment every time he applied his war paint. "Maybe I liked being called Man Whore..."

"I swear to God Axel, you are so whipped."

There was a pause in the conversation.

"Actually, I specifically requested we stop with the whips because I was beginning to—"

"Metaphorically, you imbecile."

"...I knew that," he replies in a last ditch attempt to salvage his dignity.

"Liar."

"I don't lie," he insists stubbornly, almost like a child who says they don't deserve to be sent to the time out chair. But Mommy! I didn't do it.

"Um, telling The Superior what we have is platonic...?"

Axel furrows his brow and stares off into the distance again, cultivating his mind for some excuse he could twist to his advantage.

"Well, that was true...at the time..."

"Yes, for about two weeks."

Axel remains silent and continues to stare at Larxene, who is nervously avoiding his penetrating gaze. He lets her fester for awhile, for sometimes she needs to do that, and resigns to silently stroking the back of her neck with his forefinger to let her know he was there but he would wait until she was ready, however long that may be.

"Quit gawking at me or I'll castrate you."

Axel averts his vision but he continues with his hand, for he keenly notes she made no threatening comment concerning that, and pretends to find great fascination with the pillow case.

"Because you can kick my ass," he blurts without thinking. The words just dribble from his mouth before he can give his consent, and Larxene is left to try and figure out whatever the hell he meant.

"...what?"

"That's what attracted me to you. You could totally kick my ass in a fight. I like that in a woman. It's hot."

"...it's sadistic."

"Well then you should find that attractive."

He has run her into a corner now, and she knows this and it irks her to quite an alarming degree. She is trapped in a cage of her own making and Axel is standing outside of it, dangling the keys in front of her face while he sticks his tongue out and mocks her situation accordingly. He had an ego to suffocate all life; except whilst in bed. And while pillow talk should never be held against a man, Larxene can't help but find it ever so ironic that a guy with such a superiority complex crumbles in the palm of her hand while in the confines of a bedroom. Her power is supreme and she knows this.

True sadists would use this to their advantage.

But Larxene has always clandestinely questioned how hard core she really was until she met Axel. It wasn't until then that she discovered she was reduced to no more than he, only she maintained the façade he was willing to surrender and that made all the difference in the worlds.

"Shut up," she retaliates with, and it is weak and pathetic and not effective in the least but Axel lets it slide. Under normal circumstances he would mock her to hell for it but this was the bedroom and chivalry reigned in here, no matter how much Larxene originally protested.

"Oh," the man startles, almost as a spontaneous afterthought. "And I like your bug antennae."

"Excuse me?" Larxene inquires, in that tone that is practically screaming 'take that back lest you want me to jump rope with your disemboweled spinal cord.'

"Those...hair thingies you have sticking out of your head," Axel indicates, wrapping one around his finger. "Did you ever think of curling them?"

"Go to hell," she snips, all caustic and vitriolic up front but deep down she is reveling in the fact that Axel finally took the initiative to touch her buoyant bangs and this pleases her more than he will ever know.

"Been there," Axel sing songs, continuing his infatuation with her hair piece. "It was hot, but I'm hotter."

"Your impudence knows no bounds."

"Now Larxene, you shouldn't use big words you don't know the meaning to. Leave the vernacular to the grown ups and don't speak unless spoken to."

A punch was received in response, but Axel was expecting this so he had already braced his abdomen for the frontal assault. That coupled to the fact Larxene held back considerably, for as sadistic as she claims to be, she did not derive pleasure from beating upon the man that had gone through such great lengths to glorify her.

"...and I am totally captivated by your intelligence," Axel finishes off, softly and mitigated, spoken into the hallow of her neck to which he kisses after he is done brushing his lips against her skin in the form of speech.

Larxene tries to fight the pit in her stomach and the lump in her throat because when oh when was the last time someone took the time to compliment not her curves, not her aesthetics, not her waist line, but her mind? It was unexpected and uncalled for and who knew Axel, whose aplomb was that of most fascists who proceed to win over the majority of their country simply through their erudited literacy and affable nature, was capable of murmuring the most delicate, insightful things into the neck of a woman?

Her spine goes rigid while her insides turn to mush, and such is the oxymoron that personifies her at the moment. Her veneer is impenetrable, though Axel has come the closest that any man has to tearing it down in one graceful swoop.

Her physical demeanor does not escape him, nothing does, really, and he feels the tension in her back and thinks for a moment perhaps he did something wrong.

But his consternation is put to rest when he feels the fragile arms of his girlfriend, who is usually capable of such destruction and that only makes her delicacy even more poignant, wrap around his neck and pull him even closer so that they are practically one in the same now, bodies intertwined as one as they lay there in an intimate embrace that sets Axel's very soul ablaze like an inferno.

"You're my morphine," she whispers into his ear, her breath tickling his skin and causing electrical impulses to consequently jump down his spine.

"My God Larxene, that was emo."

He risks breaking the moment to make her laugh, for there is no sound more enlightening to him than that of the nymph's melodic giggles so rarely heard he once thought the sound to be extinct, and he is given the reciprocation he is looking for when he feels her smile into his shoulder and that is all the affirmation he needs.

"Not really possible," she retorts, venturing outside of her comfort zone and beginning to run her fingers up and down the vast landscape of his back. The motion shocks him into a temporary paralysis and he finds it hard to even breathe given the current circumstances. "We're incapable of feeling emotion, remember?"

"That's turd and you know it," he answers, finding it within himself to articulate a response even though he has to keep telling himself to inhale lest he fall victim to asphyxiation. He is certain that if he had a heart he would have to tell it to beat, this embrace being what it is and him being in the position that he finds himself in.

"Um, Retard, we don't have hearts."

Axel snorts at this.

"So? It's not like Xemnas confiscated our hypothalamuses."

Larxene abruptly pulls away to face her partner.

"Axel, what the hell?"

"What?" he asks innocently, as if his previous proclamation required no further explanation whatsoever and every person given half a brain cell should automatically know just like they know the sky is blue and the grass is green exactly what a hypothalamus is.

"The hell is a hypothalamus? Is that some kind of disease?"

"No, it's the part of our brain that lets us feel emotion."

Larxene narrows her eyes in disbelief. "Leave it to you to know what a bloody hypothalamus is."

"...actually, it's not that bloody. The vessels lining the brain are where the blood is stored." Upon seeing the incredulous face of his significant other, he quickly adds, "Zexion taught me that."

"And why were you and Zexion conversing about hypothalamuses?"

Axel rolls his eyes at the inquisition. "Because Zexion and I are secretly homosexual lovers and we wanted to figure out a way to say 'I love you' given our current situation."

Larxene simmers in her discontent that she is not doing a successful job in hiding.

"We have butt sex every night," Axel continues, seeing the twitch in Larxene's eye and sacrificing the previously intimate moment all for the sake of humor. "And he calls me his man bitch. I even let him chain me up once in awhile."

"Funny," Larxene dead pans. "You don't let me do that."

Without thinking, Axel honestly responds, "Well, that's because I think making love should be intimate and tender, not something you would correlate with a torture fest."

The words are expelled before he can realize what he is saying, and Larxene is left with the sentence hanging in the air begging for affirmation of some sort, like when a previously sangfroid, masculine individual admits such things out loud he requires a compensation from the recipient to let him know they are not, in turn, questioning his sexuality and offering him hormone therapy.

"...that was, unexpected," is all she can come up with and relies on the distraction of nuzzling into his chest to escape her lack of punctuation concerning the matter.

"I draw the line at the blindfolds," Axel continues to blabber, once again falling victim to diarrhea of the mouth and proceeding to string incoherent sentences together as he rants about his preferences. "Kinky is fun and all, but there's a fine line between fetishes and bondage."

Larxene does not see the difference but makes no statement indicating such.

"Love doesn't have to be friggin' painful," he mutters, mouth obstructed by a vast amount of hair that he has once again buried himself in simply so he can breathe in the scent of perfume and hair spray and roses.

"...it's always painful," Larxene quips, transforming into an alabaster stone in his arms. "People die and people leave and people move on. There is nothing permanent in love." She inhales sharply. "I'm glad I can't feel anymore. The pain is gone."

Axel lets her words sink in, even though each syllable cuts him like a knife. He can't stand to see her like this, but then again she never made any claims otherwise. This was how she presented herself, and just because he became a romantic pursuer in the bedroom doesn't mean she has to follow suit and play his counterpart.

He pulls her out of his chest and grabs her by the shoulders and forces her to look at him. She squirms under his untamed gaze and tries to avoid direct line of vision, staring at his hair, his nose, his mouth, anything but that which matters most.

"You really feel that way?" he asks, voice broken and barely audible, almost as if the question being posed died on his lips and never made it to her ears.

She stares hard at his chin and lowers her head in resignation.

"Larxene, I'm not going to leave you and I will never hurt you."

He says this as though it were written in the Bible, as if it were the devout truth and it would be sacrilege to argue otherwise. Larxene does not want to be blasphemous but she is a heathen in the world of romance and she knows it.

"You say that now," she murmurs, not snide and harsh like usual, but quiet and frail, almost as though she doesn't want to admit it.

"And I'll say it always."

He cups her chin in his hand and lifts it to his face. Their foreheads are grazing and she can taste him in her mouth, breathe him in through the air. She begrudgingly looks up at him and is surprised to see the earnestness that is leaking out of his very pores. She feels the lump again, and tries to swallow it away but it refuses to succumb this time and she is left with a constricting feeling that makes it hard to breathe.

"...marry me," he whispers into her forehead, the gossamer request as delicate and subtle as the most fragile of ornaments. Her world stops and her mind spins, throwing her equilibrium off balance and sacrificing her vision to the deity of nebulousness.

"We...we can't..." she stutters, now constricting and tight and pulling away.

Inside Axel is screaming no, no, no and he won't let her go this time, he can't, he needs her dammit and there's nothing he can do about it, so he pulls her back to him and wraps his arms around her, holding her prisoner to his embrace whether she wants to be a willing participant or not.

"Why not?" he demands, finding solace in her neck once again. She winces upon contact but he is persistent and she eventually gives in to his touch, whether it be out of necessity or desire, he'll never know. But he thinks he has an idea.

"...we're...we're Nobodies Axel! We can't feel, we can't love...hell, Xemnas will have a fit! Where are we supposed to hold a friggin' ceremony? We're dead for God Sakes and you want to run off and...and get married? Lea, what are you thinking?"

"...not the reaction I was going for," he mutters, his dry humor seeping through unintentionally.

"Well what did you expect? For me to go all starry eyed and jump into your arms and leave my transgressions behind so we can go riding off into the sunset and—"

"Yeah."

She's choking up now, it's unavoidable and hideously embarrassing but there's nothing that can be done about it. He's everything she ever wanted and she's denying herself the pleasure of resting in his unconditional love for reasons she knows are sound but she wants to abandon anyway.

"Axel, I...I can't. I don't know how. I just—"

And he's kissing her now. Inhaling her breath and drinking the life out of her. It's passionate and vigorous and all encompassing and he can't stop once he starts. He pulls her to him without consent, and only if she electrocutes him will she be able to make him stop. His wandering hands find the small of her back and the concave of her neck and he wraps himself around her like a long neglected vine wraps its way around a house. He squeezes her too tightly and kisses her too fiercely. He's giving, giving, giving all he has to give and she is tired of being the taker but it is how she has painted herself to be all these years and why stop now?

How can she stop now?

Contrary to ever piece of media she has ever bared witness too, it takes more than a scrotum and some strategically placed musical score to change a previously unforgiving bitch into some romantic sap with more estrogen than brains. And even if she clandestinely harbors an uncalled for yearning to be pursued and fought over and fought for, she doesn't know how to say it, doesn't even know how to feel it, so she let's Axel take the lead—just this once, she swears—and maybe just maybe this ridiculous marriage thing will work out. It was impulsive and brash and uncalled for, but then again, so was he. And isn't that why she was in bed with him?

She breaks the kiss in one fluid motion.

"Fine," she consents. "But I want a prenuptial."

Axel, shell shocked, stares at her blankly, his eyes devoid of emotion, like they always should be except they're not, and that will be something that will riddle Larxene forevermore.

"I'm kidding," she offers flatly. "This is me trying to make a joke."

Axel resumes breathing again.

"Yeah. Yeah I got that."

"Did not. You thought I was serious."

Axel pauses.

"Well, getting a prenup implies getting married in the first, so..."

For a man who was so painstakingly diabolical and known for his excessive scheming, he certainly had a hard time putting two and two together.

"I'm not wearing white," she informs, rolling over and turning her bare back towards him. "I don't do white."

Axel has no ready remark at hand and she assumes he's gone into some sort of traumatic shock. She contemplates turning over and checking on her partner's current deposition but figures it doesn't matter. He's already dead, so what harm can come to him?

"I guess we'll have to leave out that clause 'till death do us part," her comrade finally comes back with, a smile detectable simply by the sound of his words. He is radiating elation and a very small part of Larxene is tingling inside because she knows she is the cause of it. It is an unfamiliar feeling, and it scares her, which is odd because nothing scares her, but there isn't anything to be done about it. Love is not something you can take a two by four to when you don't want to deal with it anymore. It isn't disposable and it isn't avoidable. It's there and she can't ignore it, and more importantly, she can't explain in. Though she figures Axel probably could.

"...ya know, we don't have hearts..." she trails off into the darkness, the last of the candles flickering out and giving way to the moonlight that is leaking in from the nearby window. It pools and dapples on the floor and for some reason Larxene finds more comfort in looking at that as opposed to her significant other, and she doesn't know why.

"Yes," Axel agrees. "But we do have hypothalamuses."

And something in the way he says that lets her know that maybe they'll be alright.

o-o-o-o

Author's Note

o-o-o-o

This came out of left field, I swear. It just...happened. In no way is it supposed to be a foreshadowing for the ending of Repercussions, because that is something I will make you all wait for even if you decide to attack my house with an angry mob and pitchforks while singing in uproarious volume, 'kill the beast!' simply because I can.

Hee hee.

Yes, I know. I reduced Laxene to goo. Oops. I reduced Axel to goo, too. Oops again.

Though, I dunno. It works. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe. Maybe not.

I'm contemplating making this a collection of sorts. What kind of collection? Ha. You get to wait and find out. Because I'm sadistic and take notes from Larxene. Mwa ha ha.

Though I've already got some chicken scratch planned out for the corresponding additions so we will see how that goes. I'm rather excited about the prospect. Tee hee.

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(--Pokes Hope with a stick, for she is currently sprawled out along the floor in a strange state of coma due to the Larxel overload she probably never thought I'd write--)

o-o-o-o

For Hope, Cuz Moving Sucks

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