An Epilogue... Of Sorts

The doorbell rang. Axel groaned when Roxas tried to push him off, muttering something about needing to get the door.

"Axel, please?"

"But we're just getting to the best part of the movie!"

"Axel, don't give me that," Roxas said, turning his head away when Axel tried to kiss him. "You weren't even watching the movie- you said it yourself it was just for background noise so we wouldn't wake Dad up."

"I know that," Axel said, licking Roxas's neck. "But, it's a Saturday morning, and people who are up this early to see other people fit the profile of 'stalker' and the only one allowed to stalk you is me. So, I'm keeping you right here."

Unfortunately for Axel, Roxas really didn't care about whether or not the person ringing the doorbell was a stalker; if he kept it up, Cloud would be awake and then Roxas would have to start cleaning the house and Axel would leave. He slipped out from underneath Axel, hearing the redhead groan again as he left the room and went to answer the door.

"Clyde?" Roxas saw his- well, since Cloud signed the divorce papers, he and Clyde weren't stepbrothers anymore.

"Hi, Roxas," Clyde said, nodding. "I just came to say that I'm leaving... for good, probably."

"What? Where?" Roxas said. He could hear his bed creaking; Axel would be here in a few seconds.

"I'm... look, I know I did some pretty bad shit to you, including the thing last September. But, I don't really, y'know, remember most of any of it, which makes me think I might have a few screws loose up here," Clyde tapped his temple, "and I'm going out to Destiny Islands to check in."

Roxas understood. Destiny Islands had a good mental health facility, and Clyde had mentioned going there in his last few letters.

"Okay," Roxas said. Axel stood behind him, his hands circling Roxas's waist while he put his chin down on Roxas's head. "But, you know, even if you're perfectly fine, you're still my brother, okay?" Roxas said, leaning back into Axel's chest.

Clyde nodded. "Say hi to Cloud for me," he said, then turned and left.

Axel watched him go, the leftover dusting of snow from the previous night kicking up and covering the older teen's boots. He reached around Roxas and closed the door, then pulled the blonde back to the bedroom to finish their movie.

Spring Break found Axel and Roxas sitting on the bank, watching the wind brush through the budding trees. Axel sighed, then remembered something he had been meaning to ask Roxas.

"Hey, Rox, what's a 'chimo'?"

Roxas looked over at him and laughed. Axel felt completely stupid, but he really didn't know.

"It's short," Roxas said, catching his breath, "for 'child molester.'"

Axel's view of their physics teacher changed dramatically from then on out.

Cloud and Roxas were having dinner one night in May, when Cloud suddenly said that he was sorry. But, when Roxas asked what he was sorry about, Cloud would not answer, just repeating his apology, and going back to his macaroni.

Roxas let it go, but Cloud kept doing it. Randomly, whenever they were alone for some reason or another, Cloud would just hang his head and say "sorry" for something that Roxas wasn't sure of. He had already forgiven his Dad for leaving him with Lydia, and he couldn't think of anything else that Cloud did that would need an apology.

It was when Roxas finished his last test of the year, a three-hour exam, that Cloud explained it. Roxas got on the motorcycle and Cloud got on behind him, letting his son drive, and when they got home, Roxas was bombarded by a huge chorus of "Happy Birthday!" as he opened the door. He looked back at Cloud and smiled.

He had almost forgotten it himself.

They had a cake, opened presents, talked, and then the guests started leaving. Roxas took a long while to say good-bye to Hayner, Pence, and Olette; he hadn't yet been able to talk to them, as his schedule was completely different from their's. But, soon it was down to Axel, Zexion, Lexaeus, and Aeris left. Aeris said a quick and final "happy birthday" to Roxas before kissing Cloud and leaving; Zexion and Lexaeus nodded to him and told Axel they'd be over again later that week for visiting.

"I'm sorry, son," Cloud said.

Roxas groaned. "For what?"

Cloud stared at him, hard. "I was only in the next town over; the least I could have done was send you a card for your birthday."

But Roxas shook his head. "It wouldn't have mattered, anyway, Dad. Lydia would have just thrown it out the minute it got here, anyway. And, if you had called, she would have hung up on you. There was no way that you could have gotten through to me, Dad; don't beat yourself up over it."

Cloud still muttered his apologies every now and then.

Roxas never did find out what had happened to him that day that Lydia had come for him at Axel's house. Aeris, though she was over at his house a lot, would never tell him what the results of all those tests were; neither would Val, and Axel said he didn't know them, only that it had been a fluke and most likely wouldn't happen again.

Axel still checked, though, when he knew that Roxas was asleep; he checked when he knew that Roxas was having a nightmare, to see if Roxas was still breathing. It might have been a fright-induced incident, but the possibility was still there, that it could happen.

"Hey, Zexy?"

"Don't call me that, Axel."

"Why are you still with him?"

"I'm not allowed to be in a serious relationship with someone else?"

"I don't remember you ever being in one before..."

"I've never had one."

"So why start with him?"

"Because I'm sick of you hooking me up with people you think I might click with only to have it end a week or so later."


"And because I think I might be in love with him."



"That's cool."

"What about you?"

"I fell in love with Roxas before I knew him."

"That's so sweet, I'm gonna get cavities from it."

"Shut it."

Axel walked Roxas home on a Monday morning, after the blonde had spent the night at his house, and went in with his boyfriend to stay a little while. They greeted Cloud as he was going through the mail, but Cloud did not look up from a letter he had in his hand. Axel saw the man's eyes shine with horror as they scanned the words on the page.



Roxas's Dad looked up at them, at Roxas. He said nothing, but left the letter on the table. Cloud went past them and out the door, most likely to go to work. Axel reached for the letter, and read it silently while Roxas did the same next to him.

Keep a good hold on that son of yours. He might just disappear from under your nose.

Axel put his arm around Roxas's shoulder. He didn't need to be told who it was that sent the letter; he could tell from the way that Roxas started shaking at his side that Lydia was after him again.

But... why? What did she want? Didn't she hate him? Shouldn't she be glad that Roxas is out of her life?

Couldn't she just leave them alone?

Disclaimer: The Almighty Spork Says "NO!!"

A/N: HA! All set up for a sequel. Yay! But, though I have the basics down for it, I'm still planning details out, and it will not be posted until my FFIX fic is complete. Sorry. Stick around for it, though, okay?