Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts.

DAMN I feel like such an emo. Someone shoot me in the head. This is, like "The Open Door" and "Room of Angel", based on actual feelings. 'Cause I'm lame like that. And I decided to drag Axel down with me. Muahaha?

Anyway, it's in Axel's POV. And yeah, this IS Akuroku.

All I had to do was tell him. That was all. It played out in my head so many times I couldn't count. It wasn't like it was the end of the world, anyway. It was just a few simple words. He had to know them. Even if the words were meaningless to him; even if I wasn't supposed to have the heart to feel them anyway. They were feelings, and they were real to me. I wanted them to be real to him, too. Well, really, he didn't have to accept anything. All he had to do was know. Because he deserved to know. I knew so well that he deserved to know. If anyone deserved to, it was him.

If anyone deserved to know anything at all about me, it would be Roxas. Because even when I thought that there was nothing left for me anymore, even when I knew that Xemnas was lying about finding us hearts, even when I knew everything would fail in the end, even when I knew that I hated every single one of those other Nobodies that dared have any contact with me whatsoever, I still felt like I was worth something. And do you know why I felt that way? Because Roxas made me feel that way. No one else could do it. No one else could make me feel like I had a heart. No one else could make me feel like I was worth something. No one else made me feel like a Somebody.

It was always Roxas. It always was. There was nothing special about the way we met – hell, the only reason that day holds significance to me is because of the way things are now – and nothing special about the way I first saw him. At first, he was just another Nobody, walking down the hall all cloaked in darkness and smelling of despair. Even if his eyes were particularly radiant in their cerulean color, even if his hair was golden like an innocence he was not supposed to have.

No, none of it was significant. It only became significant when I realized that I loved him. It only became significant when I realized that he was always there for me, and I was never there for him. If anything, I treated him like shit.

But I could never make him smile like he made me smile. I could never make him happy the way he made me happy. That was something only Roxas could do, and I knew that. I knew that all too well.

So…would it really be that useful to tell him? Or would that only be damaging to both he and I? Whatever I decided on, it didn't change the outcome. I was already set on telling him everything. Because, like I said before, he deserved it. He deserved to know. Especially since he had to be in such close proximity to me all the time. He should know where my thoughts are. He should know if he has to replace me or avoid me or tell Xemnas or whatever the hell he wants to do about it.

Only he deserved to know anything.

But then, I was always conflicted about that, because Demyx wasn't such a bad guy, either. Of course, when it all came down to the basics, Demyx was as bad as all the other heartless dickwads who claimed to remember what it was like to have a heart. Demyx could have even been as great as Roxas, but he decided his own fate. It wasn't enough for him to just be there. He had to be like the rest of them. He said he felt so abandoned by everyone around him. Even with a past like his, that's really no excuse. I could tell sometimes that he was fighting it, fighting his fear and trying to just be Demyx, but then he would turn around and suddenly start acting like a member of Organization XIII. It was disappointing. Heartbreaking would work, too, but… well, you know the drill.

So when it came down to it, Roxas was the only one I really liked. He did make me feel like I had a heart. Even if it was just remembering, that was enough for me. The feeling didn't leave no matter what explanation I put to it, so it was all the same to me.

But everything changed when I set up the time to tell him. If you looked at it, you might disagree with me. It probably didn't seem like it had that much of an impact. But on me, it had an impact identical to a nuclear bomb. It was saying goodbye without saying anything at all. And that was when I had no idea how things would turn out.

It was, for whatever reason, pretty difficult for me to ask Roxas if I could talk to him. We were on friendly terms by that time and he wasn't acting like some freaky ice princess anymore with that evil glare of his and all, but it still scared me. And I just don't get scared. So that made me angry. And while I was fiddling around with the thoughts in my head, Roxas was still smiling at me as he waited patiently for words to be spoken. When I finally asked him, he laughed and said it was alright, like he knew what I had been trying to ask all along and just wanted to see me spit it out. Roxas was kind of evil like that.

Now, I wasn't the most articulate person in the world, but I could speak like a normal person. So when I found myself somewhat incapable of making decent conversation, I was frustrated. Roxas seemed to find that funny (He found a lot of things funny that weren't really all that amusing, like the time I tripped and fell down the stairs because he was distracting me with those bright eyes of his) and offered a walk. As if that would help.

Then something went terribly wrong. I became so sad all of a sudden, like a teenage girl who knows her boyfriend is about to break up with her. It was a painful feeling in my stomach that reminded me of the time Roxas had beat me with his keyblades after assuming I was being perverted when I was really asking a humble question. It was at that instant I knew that I wasn't going to tell Roxas after all. It just wouldn't work. It just wouldn't. He deserved to know, but he wasn't going to know. I couldn't tell him and worry him with it. I just couldn't. He had so much more to deal with than the rest of us; he was Xemnas's prized trump card and he didn't even have memories of his previous life. Who knew what Roxas was tormented with when no one was around to see him? Even Roxas, who supposedly had no heart either (which I knew was a lie), who supposedly was the strongest of all of the Organization members save Xemnas, had to have things that ate away at his lack of heart. Even Roxas had to be weak every so often.

So I knew I didn't need to make it worse. I knew I didn't need him to worry about me, too. He had so many other things that we so much more worthy of him fussing over, and he just didn't need my shit on top of it. He just didn't. I didn't want to be the one to drag him down or finally cause him to shatter into thousands of pieces.

It got so much worse after that; if I had only been paying attention, if I'd only been aware of the thoughts going through my head and my memories of having a heart. If only that, then… Roxas wouldn't have asked.

"Axel, what's wrong?" He was so serious. He stopped me mid-step and grabbed my arms and stared into my eyes with a determined look about him. He was worried, just like I didn't want him to be. And then came the clincher: "You're crying."

It was impossible for so many different reasons. First of all, only Somebodies cried because only Somebodies had hearts. Second, I didn't have a heart. Third… I was a man, dammit! Even if I did have the heart to cry, I shouldn't have been able to unless I was remembering the heart of some fifteen year old girl who just got broken up with!

I would have been perfectly content if I just ceased to exist right then. I didn't really consider it dying, since there shouldn't be anything left to die, but it was the same destination even still, right? And the way Roxas was looking at me, worried as hell and determined not to let me go until I told him what was wrong…it just wasn't right. This was exactly what I was supposed to be avoiding. Every second I let pass was just making it worse.

"Nothing. It's nothing. Don't worry about it," I lied. It was never a big secret when I lied. I was a terrible liar anyway. Especially to Roxas. But that didn't stop me from lying, ever; even when I knew it was so obvious that even if I did lie it wouldn't solve anything. But it was really all I knew how to do in those kinds of situations: bail out.

"Don't even start with me. I've never seen you cry before so something is evidently wrong," spat an angry Roxas. It was a little off-putting to see him so angry at me; it wasn't like before, when he was pretending he wasn't attracted to my devilishly good looks or anything. It was real, pure anger. Like he was feeling. It wasn't that big of a surprise when it came to Roxas, because he had an aura of emotion that a person without a heart should never have, but still…

I shouldn't have been so terrified. Fear was an emotion, and emotions came from hearts, and I didn't have a heart, so why was I so afraid!?!?

"It's noth—"

"Don't EVEN start with me, Axel! You can't tell me nothing's wrong!"

"I meant that it's nothing important."

"But it is important, Axel. You're my friend. And even if it's stupid, it's important to you, so it's important to me."

It stung so much that I felt like a Somebody. It's a shame you feel human from such a dreadful feeling, but it's feeling human nonetheless.

But hearing that I was his friend should have been relieving. It should have been a good thing. So why, then, did I feel like falling through the floor? Why did I feel so worthless?

Because it wasn't that simple. It just wasn't.

And it was an eternity later that I decided to tell him. I sorted out the words that I wanted so badly to tell him…the words that I had replayed over and over again in my mind…the words I thought would save me.

"There you are. Come on, we're playing DDR!"

Demyx and Xigbar were there, my eyes were red, and I felt like I just died. I was dragged away. I let myself be dragged away. I could have easily stopped it at any time. I could have told them to leave because I was talking about something important. Hell, I could have given Roxas one look and Roxas himself would have chased them away.

But I didn't.

Roxas followed silently, and we all played DDR. I threw away everything that had been swirling around in my mind, and I felt okay with it because I knew Roxas would get over it, too.

After all, when it comes right down to it, none of us really have hearts.

I was stupid to think otherwise.

Yeah, but…

I still regret not telling him.

It wouldn't have been hard. Shouldn't have been. It was just a few simple words.

It's just not worth it, though. It's not. At least, it wasn't. Not at that time.

But it's not like I have a heart to whine with.

"I love you, Roxas."

Even though he still makes me feel like I have one.

Even though he's gone.