What's up, doodz? Haven't posted anything in a while; then again, haven't finished anything worth posting in a while. I have an exam tomorrow. I hope I do well. Oh well -- enough about me.

I think the ending to this came a bit abruptly, but it's still all good. Something like that. Iono. Trivia: it took me half a year to finish this! Whoohoo! Well, it's done now, and that's that. I'm okay with it, and I hope you all are too.

Title Saturday Afternoon (Park)
Summary mild rikuroku, akuroku ; It's such a wonderful Saturday afternoon.
Rating T-ish.
Warning(s) Mildly disturbing ideas, I suppose.
Disclaimer Not mine.

:-:-:-:-:

It's the most beautiful Saturday afternoon of September so far, and Roxas skips from his house to Central Park, where he knows Riku will be on shift at the vendor selling miscellaneous food items: hot dogs, pretzels, slushies, lemonade. He's located right by the water fountain at the very centre of the park, right next to the lady selling a plethora of artisan crafts; diagonal from the benches where there's never a vacant space to sit.

There are monarchs floating through the air and cardinals dive-bombing them; honeybees grabbing their last puffs of pollen and beeches with leaves fluttering away. An amicable autumn breeze, a bright sun; today will be a good day, Roxas decides, slowing to a stroll to listen to his shoes tapping against the worn-down stone walkway through the park. He's humming as the large fountain comes into view just over the hill, bursts of water arcing high into the air and splashing back down. A man in a striped jacket tosses coins into it; a red-haired girl says something behind her hand to a blond-haired one on a bench; a boy with spiked brown hair walks his dog.

The red-and-white striped umbrella of the food vendor comes into view, and above a yellow vest sits a sheet of white-blond, almost silver hair, and Roxas smiles as wide as he possibly can as he walks up. The 'i' on Riku's nametag is dotted with a smiley face, and Riku smiles as Roxas approaches the stand; the most easily recognizable regular there could be. "Good afternoon, Roxas. Would you care to buy anything?"

"Are you for sale?" They keep smiling, and Riku's eyelids flutter as Roxas keeps talking. "I'd like a small lemonade, please..." The coins proffered in Roxas's hand are exchanged for a cooled paper cup of lemon-sugar-water before Riku even has to say "twenty munny," and Roxas shakes his head in thanks, smiles, sips, and slinks a few feet away, sitting on the fountain's wall off to the side of the vendor, sighing, staying within stalker-esque sight of Riku. Sixty seconds, sixty minutes, sixty plus sixty plus sixteen seconds, and Riku is smiling again as the sepia-haired girl Selphie takes his place.

He's seeming to walk away before Roxas clears his throat, and Riku turns and blinks, walking back. "Roxas, you're still here," he points out, and Roxas beams.

"I waited for you!"

"Three hours, four minutes, thirteen seconds?"

"Come sit!" Roxas smooths out his long-dried cup that has been crumpled and torn in his boredom, and Riku cocks his head.

"Come stand?"

"Aren't you clever," Roxas remarks, the smile still in place as he stands and walks over and falls into step as Riku chooses a path and starts in that direction. The cup almost misses a trash bin, but Riku steadies and dexterously redirects it into the metallic cylinder. "How are you today, Ri-ku?"

"I am fine."

"I thought about you last night, you know," Roxas says as he hops up a meager bit onto the border of the walkway, his arms held out to his side as he places one foot in front of the other, precariously walking next to Riku. He's glancing up for a second to see if Riku reacts to what he's said, and upon being met with no change, continues on merrily. "'Cause I was watching, uhh... what was I watchi--- oh yeah! That one, you know, Kingdom Hearts, we watched it a while ago? The one about all the hearts---"

"Yes," Riku doesn't look up or anything, and Roxas frowns.

"You don't seem very 'fine' today." He stops, and his frown widens as he has to return to the pathway and jog a few steps to catch up to the unstopping. "Hey, hey Riku, hey, are you okay? Hey Riku?"

"You have not said anything about Axel."

"Oh..." Roxas skips to avoid an over-sized pebble, and hums for a moment. "Oh. Well. You know. He's doing fine and stuff. We -- actually, we went out and visited the Natural Science Center. He taught me some stuff about combustion and pyrokinetics... no, pyro... pyrotechnics, that's what they're called. Pyrotechnics. It was pretty cool. He really knows his stuff -- likes fire. Fire's cool. Do you like fire?" Riku spares him a look for the first time in a while -- oh. "Oh. Crap. That... that was insensitive, wasn't it? Sorry." Riku's silent after a shrug, and Roxas rubs his arm slightly, feeling awkward. "I'm sorry... are you mad?"

"Do you still love me?" He hadn't been expecting it, and Roxas trips slightly, catching himself, deciding to walk on the path instead. Riku's got the most intense look in his eyes, and Roxas looks away, flushing.

"Wow, he, uh, he really overdid it on you, huh? I, uh---"

"Do you still love me?" Riku repeats, stopping in his tracks. Roxas follows suit, looking around desperately for anything that could save him from this situation--- "Do you still love me?"

"I---"

"Do you still love me?"

"...y-yeah," he finally manages to get out, and Riku nods before setting off at a brisk pace again. "W-wait for me! Riku!" Riku stops again, and Roxas almost cowers, but there's no reason to, because Riku looks as amicable as he normally does, but there's just something--- "Riku...?"

"You know what he said, Roxas," Riku says, his voice stern despite his smile. "You should follow his instructions. It is only the best for both of us."

"But I... but..." Roxas's fists clench and unclench, and he has to try and keep tears from welling and overflowing, but it doesn't work, and as a few run down his face, Riku wipes them away. The gesture makes Roxas smile in spite of how typical it is, how badly he hurts inside, because Riku's words are weapons. "Riku."

"Sorry, Roxas."

"Riku!" Roxas reaches up and grabs Riku, pulling him down to his level, and kisses him; he's so warm and soft, and Roxas can't help but run his hands through Riku's hair, but Riku is unresponsive. Roxas kisses him harder. Riku is unresponsive. Unwilling to give in, his hands tangle with Riku's, pulling him closer, but Riku is...

"...Roxas?" The most hurt, the most horrifically wounded noise comes from Axel; Roxas pulls away just so slightly to see him, and then pulls away further, eyes widening. It's not like he can try to deny what he was doing, no; he knows that, and can only stammer Axel's name in partial bits, not sure what else he could say -- but he really doesn't have to say anything. His actions have spoken loud enough, and Axel, Roxas's heart hurts as Axel's head hangs low. "I thought... You left a, a note saying you'd gone to the park -- so I thought... I'd... come try and find you... and..." He could almost vomit as Axel's hands, previously behind his back, fan out in front of him with flowers and a box -- a little blue box -- a ring box -- Roxas almost whimpers.

"Axel, I -- I had... no idea..."

Axels continues on as if he hasn't heard him, but then again, Roxas's words probably don't matter now, not when he's caused so much damage already. "I thought it seemed like you weren't into the relationship too much, but..." His eyes flash with jealousy, hurt, betrayal. "I didn't think that you'd be over me for a fucking android."

Riku says nothing, but Roxas bristles, staring Axel down angrily. "He is not an android!" He's not, he's not, he's not, and why can't anyone see that? "He's not an android, he's a living, breathing human being!"

"Made of machine parts and wires. He's programmed to have human emotions and to work as a vendor... but he's not a real human, Roxas. His feelings aren't real. He can't love you, not... not like I do."

"How can you say that?" Roxas sounds horrified -- is horrified. "How can you... say something like that? That's not true, Axel! It's... he's not, he's human. I believe it."

"What a foolish notion." It's not Axel that says it, but Riku, and Roxas stares at him, almost trembling. "I am not human, Roxas. I am a robot. Axel is right. You should leave me be."

"N-no... Riku..."

"My creator already told you once that you should. It is the best for all of us." Axel is done; he mutters something almost indecipherable as he walks off, leaving the flowers and box in a heap on the walkway. Riku is done; he nods curtly to Roxas, still smiling, and walks off in a direction different from Axel's, and Roxas, Roxas... Roxas is done, falling to his knees in the walkway, weak in his limbs, throat sore with constricted crying. His eyes almost tear up as he looks up at the trees, the clouds, the sky.

It's such a beautiful fucking Saturday afternoon, and he feels dead.

:-:-:-:-:

What stands before us is not a machine: it breathes, it will bleed and it will dream. (Job For a Cowboy - "Entombment of a Machine")