I wrote a spontaneous AkuNami one-shot drabble thing. Obviously. I think it's even too short to be considered a one-shot… lol. I wrote it kinda weird… first person, present tense. Hope that doesn't turn you guys off. Anyway, it takes place a little after Axel gets Naminé from Riku. You all know that scene, right? Of course you do. So with that, enjoy. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts. How cruel is that?

XXXXX

Take a Chance
You never lose by loving.
You always lose by holding back.

I look at her curled up beside me and wonder, why did this happen? Why me? What was it that thought to bring her to me? Whatever it was, I am both thankful and hateful towards it. Thankful, because I now have a reason to get myself up in the morning. Hateful, because I know it couldn't last. Good things never last.

Her silky hair, like strands of gold, fans out about her head like the halo of a goddess, and her pale skin is nearly as creamy white as the clouds above. She is so youthful, so innocent, and yet has seen so much pain in her nonexistence. The small smile on her lips, even in sleep, so perfectly hides the worry that is ever present when she is awake. There is no trouble, no strife. She is happy.

I am not happy.

She does not see what I can see, or she chooses not to. Maybe she is just too unassuming to be suspicious of anything. We can't hide forever from the searching eyes of those invisible. We don't see them, but they see us. For that reason, I can never let my guard down because I might get her hurt. I might be careless and let her wander too far away. She can't leave my sight without me fearing the worst. I can be turned into a Dusk and live with it, but I can't live with it if she is captured. I don't want to be the cause of her pain again under the hands of my own colleagues.

My fingers brush her cheek, lingering where they should not, and my thumb touches just under her eye. Thank whatever's up there that she is a heavy sleeper, otherwise I'd never be able to do this. I don't want her to know what I think about when I don't have anyone to distract me.

I remember when we first found her. There was something going on in the kitchen. When I went to check it out, I found almost everyone circled around a pathetic looking kid with scraggly brown hair and sunken cheeks. It looked like she hadn't eaten or bathed in days. She was wearing what looked like a couple of potato sacks. Larxene eventually came down and tossed a shirt and a pair of shorts at her, then left. Saïx was the lucky one who got to bathe her; what emerged from the bathroom almost an hour later was a very irritated Luna Diviner and the pretty little thing that now rests beside me.

Things have changed a lot since then. We aren't the 'happy family' that we used to be, and I sort of miss it. True, I had a good part in destroying it, but it was only to protect the rest. I miss waking up to the music of the Melodious Nocturne, laughing as the Graceful Assassin teased the Savage Nymph until sparks shot off her body. I miss Vexen's complaints, Lexaeus' calming silence, and Luxord's gambling. It's funny how you don't really notice what you have until it's gone. I never thought I'd miss any of them.

But now I have her all to myself. I want to run my fingers through her hair, to feel the soft strands against my skin, but I don't want to wake her up. She can't ever know. I can't give her a reason to turn back when I tell her to run.

It would be so easy… just to lean over and touch my mouth to hers. She would never know, never feel it. Her lips are parted slightly, inviting me to taste them, and I want to so badly. I'm fixated on them now, my eyes widen, and my breath is caught in my throat. It would just be a chaste thing that I would never have to explain to her. My thumb touches her bottom lip.

"Axel?"

I freeze. She's awake. I become aware of my proximity to her now. I don't remember bending over her, lowering my face to hers, but her eyes are staring questioningly into mine. I've never seen them this close before; they are almost as beautiful as she.

Now is the moment to tell her what I really think of her. There is no better time, having been caught in this situation to which there is no explanation except the obvious. If I tell her, things could change. Holding her in my arms and kissing her until we both run out of breath could be become a reality instead of a secret dream that I harbor in the deepest depths of my mind. I don't have anything to lose. I already have no heart. I shouldn't be able to feel this, but I do. I want her to know. I need her to know.

But I won't ever tell her.

"Axel?" She whispers again, aware of our position, "What… are you doing?"

I grin my snarky grin, leaning back to support myself lazily with my hands. I twist my fingers into the blades of grass, "I was trying to find that huge, hairy spider that was crawling on your face. I think it went in your mouth."

I can't help but laugh as her face turns green and she frantically tries to rid herself of the spider that was never there. My secret is safe for now, it seems. Maybe one day, I'll be able to tell her, and maybe she'll be able to answer me the same way. For now, I'll protect her from the unseen dangers, let her regain her innocence. Then, when the time is right and we're finally alone, I can make my dream come true.

And if not, then at least I had my time to be with her. With Naminé.

My Naminé.

XXXXX

There ya go. All done. I hope you like. :D Reviews are welcome; flames will be used for Axel's enjoyment.

A brief note. How many heard about the NA re:COM release? I did. I has much happiness. And Quinton Flynn is supposed to be coming back to voice Axel, too. I'm very interested in hearing who they cast for Marluxia. He's one of my favorites. :nodnod: Also, I am almost done another AkuNami! A follow up to the other story I wrote, Find Your Wings. I am very proud of it. So yea, keep an eye out for that. :D

Thanks for reading!

Until Next Time,
Manwathiel