(Author's Note: Here it is, the last chapter! I want you all to know I was nearly crying as I typed this. When I started this story, I had no idea it would become this serious and depressing, but fear not! My next story will have a happy ending, and I like to believe so does this one. Leon and Cloud do end up together, if not in the sense everyone thought…Disclaimer: I don't own anything!! I hope you enjoy the final chapter of Slave to my heart's Desire!! Please read, review, and enjoy!!)
Axel walked through the halls of the cabin, trying to locate Roxas's room.
I fucked up soooo badly this time, Axel thought. How was I supposed to know that he still cared about me? I thought that he had moved on once he met Namine. How was I supposed to know? Well I guess all of the signs were still there. Goddammit, Axel, you're such a lousy schmuck!
When Axel finally found Roxas's room, he listened before knocking. The soft sounds of crying could be heard through the door. Axel took a deep breath before rapping his knuckles against the door.
"Roxas, can I come in?"
"Go the hell away, Axel! Don't you have my brother to fuck somewhere?"
Harsh, much, Axel thought as he called out, "Roxas, I'm here to tell you how sorry I am about what happened. But I know that sorry doesn't quite cut it, and my efforts will probably be wasted, but I believe you deserve to know the truth on why I really left you so long ago."
Roxas didn't respond, so Axel took another breath for strength and started through the door, "When I was little, my father left my mother and I, and shortly after that my mother committed suicide. I was only five at the time, so I didn't understand what had happened. I thought that my mother had died because she didn't love me anymore. I was alone in the world, with no one to care for me. I went through all different elementary and middle schools believing that nobody could ever love a freak of nature, a pyro, like me. And then I met you."
Axel paused as he listened to the sound of Roxas's shallow breathing.
"Roxas, you turned my life upside down. You showed me that there was more to life than death, and I am forever grateful to you for that. You saved me. But when you told me that you wanted us to move in together, I panicked. I was afraid that you would leave me, or grow tired of me, or leave me to die like my father did to my mother. And I didn't want to go through that pain, so I left before you could stop me. But never once after I left, never once did I stop to wonder what you would have been thinking. Never once did I stop to wonder if you missed me or really loved me. I just tried to move on, and soon I met Demyx. Now you probably want to know why, if I was so afraid of commitment, why did I leave you for Demyx? Well, I'll tell you. It's because Demyx was diagnosed with cancer."
An awful pause elapsed between them, and Axel continued quickly, "He didn't want you or Sora or Cloud, or anyone to know because he didn't want you to worry, but I'm afraid you need to know the truth. When I first met Demyx, he told me that I could never fall truly in love with him because he knew that one day the sickness would take over and he would die. And you know what I thought about that? Selfish, stupid me, wanted to have Demyx because if he died on me, then I would be able to just move on from our relationship knowing that we could never have had each other forever. Sure, we had sex, and stuff, but even through that, I knew that I could never love him. I thought that the fact that our relationship lacked love was because we were both afraid to love, because what would happen if he died as soon as we truly fell for each other? But no. Now that I look back on all that I did, I realize that I didn't love Demyx not because I knew he would eventually die on me, but because I still loved you. Do you understand Roxas? I made a mistake when I left you. I made a mistake when I went with a dying Demyx. I made a mistake when I only used Demyx for sex, when he fully loved me, knowing fully well that I didn't love him in return. I have made so many mistakes, and I know that you may never forgive me for what I've done to you and your family, but I beg you from the bottom of my heart to please forgive me. I have been such a stupid, fucked up asshole, that I never saw your true feelings. Please, Roxas. Forgive me."
There was a long pause as I heard Roxas sobbing. Gently I pushed open the door. Roxas was sitting on his bed, arms wrapped around his knees, crying.
"Roxas…" I trailed off as I approached him. Quietly I sat on the edge of his bed, and watched his shaking form. Slowly I slid over to him on the bed and when I reached out to him, the blonde suddenly flung himself around, wrapping his arms around me, and burying his face in my shirt.
"I knew he was keeping something from me!" Roxas sobbed. "I knew that he was hiding something! All of those doctor appointments on a regular basis - it just didn't fit together! But why Demyx? Why did my brother have to get cancer?"
Axel was silent for a long time before replying gently, "Sometimes bad things happen to those we love and care about. We can't change the facts, but what we can change is the way we act upon it. Now, you can act all depressed and emo like I did when my mom died, or you can make the most of it while Demyx is still…here. I think you should enjoy it while it lasts, and try to see the light side of things. Look at Demyx himself – he has been diagnosed for a few years now, but never once have I seen him depressed or even sad. He's always been happy, making the most out of life. And when he does have to suffer, he knows that he'll meet that time when it comes. For now, though, all we can do is be there for him. To encourage him and keep him happy."
"But how can we do that when we're breaking his heart?" Roxas sobbed as his blue eyes met Axel's green ones.
Axel gazed into Roxas's eyes and found himself leaning down. Gently Axel kissed away his tears, whispering into his ear, "Demyx knew from the first time he met me that he would end up giving me away for whatever reason. Now, would you rather he lose me to you, or lose me because of death? At least this way, he can still see both us happy. Isn't that what Demyx always wanted? To see those he loves happy, even if it meant his sorrow?"
"But this feels so wrong!" Roxas exclaimed as the redhead kissed his neck. "I can't take you back knowing that it would crush Demyx!"
"Then don't take me back," Axel replied smoothly.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Roxas asked.
"Don't take me back," Axel repeated as his lips trailed down Roxas's shirt. "Let me go, Roxas. Or can you not do that?"
"Axel…" Roxas started, but he was cut off when Axel suddenly pinned the blonde down on the bed.
Axel leaned down and whispered seductively, "Roxas, I am afraid that I still love you, but I know now that I will not let you go this time. I am sorry for hurting you like I did, but I promise you that never again will I leave you for anyone else."
"Demyx," Roxas all but moaned as Axel's hands slid up the blonde's shirt.
"He's dealt with heartbreak before. He'll be fine," Axel said huskily as he slid off Roxas's shirt.
"Axel…please…I…can't…" Roxas said between breaths as Axel's hands found their way to the waistband.
"Yes you can, Roxy," Axel persuaded as his hands found their way to Roxas's manhood.
"Yes you can."
"So Axel and Roxas have made up and are back together?" Leon asked.
"Well I don't know about the back together part, but after last night something must have happened between them and they're certainly near each other much more often. Demyx, however, is certain that their friendship is something more, and he is absolutely devastated over the entire thing. But whenever he is near Axel or Roxas he still acts like he and Axel are together, and Roxas is still his favorite brother," Cloud explained as he sat beside Leon in the hospital room.
"That sucks," Leon said as he took a drink from the water bottle. "I can't believe Roxas is now the one stealing his brother's boyfriend. Isn't there, like, a Commandment against that, or something?"
Cloud shrugged and took a sip from his own drink.
It's now or never, Leon thought miserably as he looked up at his boyfriend.
"Hey Cloud…" Leon began awkwardly.
"Have you been…you know…tested yet?"
"Tested for what?"
"I don't know…AIDS or something?"
"Not yet, why do you ask?"
"Just curious," Leon said as he looked away.
"What makes you ask this?" Cloud asked.
"Cloud…have you ever done it with anyone other than me?"
Cloud thought back and shook his head. "No, you were the first. That's why I was so shocked after I found out that I wasn't clean anymore."
"I think you should get tested. Do it now, so that you get it over with," Leon said hastily.
"Leon, what's wrong? Why are you acting this way? Have you been tested?"
"I was tested…" Leon said as he closed his eyes.
"Well?" Cloud asked, already fearing the answer.
Leon looked into Cloud's eyes as both hearts broke. "Cloud, I was tested positive for AIDS. I'm a carrier, and I'm afraid that I may have spread it to you."
Cloud's mind was reeling. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Leon had been tested for AIDS and had been proven positive. And now Leon, his utterly sexy boyfriend was telling him that he might have passed it on to him! Cloud tried to say something, but the words couldn't come out.
"I'm so sorry, Cloud! I didn't know I had it, and I never meant to pass it on to you! I'm so sorry," Leon was on the verge of breaking down, and Cloud knew it.
However, all the blonde could do was try to smother the pit in his heart and stomach.
"How…how long have you…known?" Cloud finally choked out.
"About two weeks now," Leon admitted.
Cloud broke away from Leon and gave the brunette a look that said, Tell me everything now.
Leon took a deep breath and began, "When I first got admitted into this hospital after the car crash, the doctors had to run their tests. However, they found something that made them want to fully test me. I agreed, and they tested me for any sort of STDs. When they found out I had AIDS, they told me all about it and how it's uncurble. Cloud, you need to be tested. What if you have it too? What if we…what if I…" Leon was unable to finish.
Cloud stared at Leon dazed. His mind was spinning. Leon, for the first time in his life, was truly frightened.
Leon…don't worry…it will be okay…these were the words Cloud wanted to tell him. But all Cloud could do was hold Leon tightly and wish that he would never let go.
"I love you, Leon," Cloud whispered.
Here before him was the man that had taken away his virginity. Here before him was the man that he had fallen in love with. Here before him was the man that might just have given him the death sentence. Here was the man that he never wanted to leave.
"I love you too, Cloud. No matter what happens, promise me that you will always be with me," Leon choked out.
"I promise, Leon. I promise!" Cloud cried as his own tears fell down his face and mixed themselves with Leon's tears.
Five weeks later, Cloud received a call from the hospital saying that Cloud had been proven positive for AIDS, and that Leon had died. Cloud rushed to the hospital and gripped Leon's lifeless hand as the tears rolled out of his eyes.
"Damn you, Leon! How could you die on me like this? You promised we would end up happy together! You promised, you bastard! Please Leon, come back!" Cloud wailed as he thought back to all of the times Leon had held him, touched him, spoken to him.
Cloud remembered waking up that one morning and wishing that he could have gone back to that night and never gotten drunk. It occurred to Cloud that if he had never gotten drunk, if he had never slept with Leon, then the brunette might still be alive. This thought broke Cloud's heart to the point where it could never be healed.
A few days later Cloud died. The sickness mixed with his depression over losing Leon had become so great that his body had snapped.
Leon and Cloud's funerals were combined and the Strife family sat in the front rows crying their eyes out.
After the funeral, Roxas walked up with Demyx, Namine, Axel, Sora, Reno, Zack, and Sephiroth beside him.
"I can't believe they're both gone," Roxas choked out. His eyes were red and his voice was scratchy. "If only we had had them tested sooner then maybe…" Roxas burst into tears as Zack said, "If only I had stopped them from getting drunk and having sex…"
Zack buried his face in Sephiroth's chest. My best friend is gone. I'll never see him again. I'll never joke, never laugh, and never annoy him again.
"All right, stop this the both of you," Namine said forcefully.
"Namine…" Roxas started.
"Leon and Cloud got drunk, had sex, and got infected with AIDS. They died because they were so in love that they failed to care about their own health. Let this be a lesson to all of you: don't drink and get drunk, don't do stuff you'll regret, if you love a person agree not to have sex before marriage, tell them that you are remaining chaste because you love them, and get tested. Otherwise you could end up dead with your friends and relatives mourning you. Now let's give the two men we loved most in this world the proper burial they deserve."
The others nodded and said their final goodbyes. Roxas, Demyx, Sora, and Axel remained behind, though. Roxas placed his hand on Cloud's coffin.
"Cloudie, I hope that wherever you are, you are with Leon and happy. I just want to tell you that I love you, and I will always love you both. You once told me, after Axel was saved from drowning, that you didn't save him because you were so afraid of losing someone you care about. Well, Cloudie, I think what you did now was the bravest thing anyone has ever done. When you found out about Leon, you didn't let that stop you from being with him. And for your love and devotion toward Leon, we can only wish that we had your heart and bravery. Cloud, I hope that you are happy with Leon, and that the two of you are looking down on us, smiling and saying, 'That's my little brother.'" Roxas's voice had cracked, and Axel wrapped an arm around him. Roxas looked up into the faces of Axel and Sora and Demyx, and after receiving nods from all of them, Roxas continued:
"Cloud, you are the best brother a guy could have. I love you, and I just want to let you know that I think I have finally found the place where I belong. We will always remember both you and Leon. Goodbye Cloud. See you in the next life."
By now Roxas was bursting into tears, and Axel, Demyx, and Sora all formed a group-hug before the coffins of Leon and Cloud.
"What do we do now?" Sora whispered as the coffins were wheeled out.
"I think I know," Axel said as he watched Leon and Cloud go away together.
Leon and Cloud were buried side by side, and on their tombstones were written the words: Here Lies Leon and Cloud, Two Lovers and Victims of AIDS. May they be Happy in Heaven and Look Down on Their Friends and Relatives with Love and Guidance.
Axel and Roxas did get together later on, and Demyx was to only be depressed for a short time. Our favorite blonde musician would meet a depressed teenager named Zexion, who Demyx would help see the light, but that's another story for another day. Demyx would live through his cancer, and he and Zexy would live together for the rest of their days.
Namine would grow older and still be the mother of the group as she gave support and kindness to all who needed it.
Reno would fall in love with a hunk named Yazoo, and they would be happily married.
Sora and Riku also were married, and Kairi and Larxene would become doctors.
Zack would mourn Cloud's loss for many years until he would realize that Cloud would not have wanted him to be sad, rather to be glad. Zack and Sephiroth got back together and lived happily ever after, never once forgetting Cloud or his lover, Leon.
Though Cloud's family and friends would miss his absence for the rest of their lives, everyone decided to construct a monument that would stand beside the lake looking over the waters. The statue was of two men – Cloud and Leon – holding hands as they looked over the summerhouse and the lake. All of the summerhouse residents would be tested for any kind of STD, but thankfully, nobody else got it.
From then on, during every Strife family get together, there would be campfires and stories told around the statue of the two lovers who loved together and died together because of one fatal mistake.
(Author's Note: And there you have it – Slave To My Heart's Desire. I hope you liked it, and I'm sorry about the sad ending, but I wanted to try something with tragedy. I know you probably hate me for killing off Leon and Cloud like that, but I needed too. This chapter was dedicated to all of the millions of people who have died because of either cancer, or AIDS. Do not worry, though – my next story will be filled with comedy and excitement, and Leon and Cloud will definitely live through the next story!! It's going to be called Runaway Cloud, and it involves Cloud, Zack, Leon, and Sephiroth having the craziest of luck! But that's another story for another time. I hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something from Slave To My Heart's Desire, and please Read and Review! Share your thoughts with me either through PM or review, and I love you all, and thank you sooooo much for reading!!)