Business Pressures:

Disclaimer: What do you think? If I had really created Kingdom Hearts would I seriously be sitting at my laptop writing fanfics about it instead of spending my much deserved earnings from the game series? *Sigh* If only...

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Weird Introductions:

As a fairly unambitious eighteen year old, Roxas Carrey's life turning point took place when he decided to work for a while at Grenville Enterprises mere months after having graduated from Twilight Academy Secondary School.

Justifiably, Roxas continuously told himself that the only reason he was going to be spending 6 months working here was simply for the money and possibly for a reference on his embarrassingly blank resume.

If it weren't for these two factors, Roxas was positive that he'd currently be working part time at a cafe or video-store whilst simultaneously going on to University to further his education, like his friend Pence was doing. His other companion, Hayner, on the other hand, had dropped out of high school at the beginning of their last year, saying that he didn't need a certificate declaring his completion of school when he knew he was just going to start working in his family's local business: the travel agency.

Roxas was really hoping that this would be his big break – and if he worked really hard, then it wouldn't matter that he'd skipped University, as he'd already have a full-time dependable paying job.

He supposed he'd just have to wait until his first day, and then make fantasy-like presumptions later.

---

Roxas had always known that he was fairly... well... short for his age. Barely reaching 165cm in height, he'd always been subconsciously aware of it.

Right now, however, standing in front of an enormous eighty-something storied Grenville Enterprises skyscraper, Roxas scowled, pulled his bag up his shoulder and marched inside towards the reception. Why did everyone and everything always have to boast their grand height over his own?

It took around twenty minutes for Roxas to actually manage to successfully find his way into the correct floor and then winced when he saw the time on a clock he rushed past. He was already ten minutes late to his orientation talk with his boss.

Way to make a good first impression. Roxas irritably sighed as he rushed past a wide expanse of working cubicles and headed into an office with the words Regional Manager printed on the door.

The moment Roxas opened the door and stepped inside the relatively cramped office, a voice greeted him.
"You're late."

Roxas spun around stupidly, until he found the source of the voice. A tall man with ridiculously long, white hair stood in the back corner of the office, disinterestedly flicking through a booklet of some sort.

The blond quickly took a seat opposite the large wooden desk that miraculously managed to fit in the small office.

"It's a big building." Roxas managed weakly.

"If that's your attempt at an excuse I'll ignore it." The man shortly countered, finally looking up at Roxas to glare at him with bright orange eyes. "Well, I'm Xemnas Hudson, the Regional Manager of this district of Grenville Enterprises. In other words, your boss. Make a simple avoidable mistake and you're fired, understand?"

Something about this guy holds an air of creepiness
. Roxas involuntarily shuddered, "Yes..." he felt an urge to add sir as he would have back in high school, but controlled himself.

"Anyway..." Xemnas sat at his desk and switched on his computer monitor, "Onto personal details... name?"

"Roxas Carrey." Roxas answered promptly.

"Nothing unusual there..." Xemnas murmured to himself, whilst quietly tapping away at the keyboard. Roxas raised an inquisitive eyebrow and Xemnas stared vacantly at him, "You'd be surprised at some of the weirdos that apply for jobs here. We do background checks on everybody, just to make sure you're not criminals."

Roxas's stomach impulsively spasmed. What kind of messed up place had he been employed for?

"Next is age..."

Just as Roxas opened his mouth to state his age, the office door behind him swung open, banging loudly in the wall. Roxas nearly jumped out of his skin at the sudden and unexpected volume. And just as he started to calm down, he nearly shat himself when he saw who had slammed open the door in the first place.

An incredibly tall, lanky guy leaned on the doorframe, wearing the mandatory suit and tie – though in a completely untidy and noncommittal fashion. The stranger's particular lack of clothing etiquette, however, would have to be one of the last things to receive Roxas's attention. The man had horrifically bright red hair, and not even ginger, because ginger Roxas could (though only barely) tolerate, but red-like-a-fire-truck hair. The blinding mane was styled in long pointing curves, which had been tied back loosely into a ponytail at the nape of the man's neck.

The man, understandably, eventually noticed Roxas staring at him and returned the action with a mocking expression. This was the exact point where Roxas noticed the facial tattoos under the guy's green eyes. Upside down triangles, like a clown.

Is this one of those ex-criminal employees that Xemnas was talking about?
Roxas thought, He sure fits the position physically.

The red head's gaze flicked away from Roxas to Xemnas, "Hey, Mansex, I've got some paperwork for you to have a look at."

Roxas glanced at Xemnas, expecting the man to snap at being called such a name. To his immense surprise, however, his boss simply fixed the man with an aggravated stare.
"I'm glad to see that you've finally found some small sense of initiative, Axel."

The redhead, whom Roxas now presumed was named Axel, grinned crookedly at Xemnas, "God no. You think I enjoy this shit? Good old Mervin told me that I had to do it." He raised his hands defensively, "I had no choice in the matter. Anyway... who's the new guy?"

"This is Roxas Carrey, our district's most recent employee." Xemnas introduced shortly, obviously hinting at Axel to leave. His attempts failed and Axel ended up continuing to lean on the doorframe. Roxas inwardly cursed at Xemnas for giving his full name to a potential criminal. He mentally planned to not leave his wallet in the vicinity of the redhead unwatched from that point on.

"Oh, ok. You're getting his personal details, I presume?" Axel remarked, "Don't stop on my behalf."

Roxas again waited for Xemnas to throw Axel out of the office using force, but again, was disappointed. Perhaps his boss was more of a pushover than he first appeared. Then again, Roxas didn't really want to personally test that theory.

"Where were we...?" Xemnas scanned his computer screen quickly, "Oh, age. You do like quite young to be applying for a position here. How old are –"

Axel cut him off with a snort, "He looks young alright. Since when did we start hiring grade-schoolers fresh out of the playground to work here?"

Roxas look fiercely up at the redhead, but when his gaze was returned, swiftly directed his head to look at his shoes, deciding it best to not start an argument with a man who looked capable of taking Roxas out with one punch. Instead, while staring at his shoes, Roxas settled with imagining Axel being repeatedly hit over the head with Xemnas's computer.

"Anyway..." Xemnas continued, "How old are you exactly, Roxas?"

"I'm eighteen." Roxas responded, wisely ignoring the snigger that sounded from the doorway behind him.

After shortly giving Xemnas his home address and telephone number information Xemnas saved Roxas's information and switched off the monitor. He then pinned Roxas with a pitying look. Seconds later Roxas understood why.

"So, Roxas, as you might or might not have already gathered, this is one of your many colleagues, Axel." Axel gave an evasive wave without really paying attention to Roxas, "And here we share cubicles between two people. You'll be fortunate enough to be sharing with Axel."

Roxas's jaw physically dropped open at this point in shock. He'd be sharing a work cubicle with... that freak?

Axel grinned wickedly at him and said, "Lucky you, kid."

This was when Roxas decided that the world hated him.

---

Roxas liked to think of his and Axel's relationship as an immediate mutual hatred of each other.

After spending 7 hours every weekday sharing a cubicle with the man, Roxas could justified his loathing of the other with these simple reasons:

- Axel never stopped talking. On Roxas's first day he had said it was because he was bored, but when Roxas politely asked him to quiet down so he could work, Axel smiled and instead, continued to talk - possibly more so than he had been before.

- Axel's personality. He came across as... wait, no... he didn't even come across as, he just was arrogant and conceited. Perhaps, if Axel's personality had been a bit more friendly and appealing, then maybe Roxas wouldn't hate him so much for talking (see point one).

- Axel's lack of working ability. Roxas repetitively wondered to himself why on earth a multi-million dollar company would continue to pay a slack employee who literally sat with his feet resting upon his desk all day, disinterestedly watching his In stack of paperwork grow bigger and bigger.

- Since Axel didn't spend his work time actually working, he'd instead spend his precious free hours plotting at ways to prank Roxas. So far he'd glued Roxas's desk draws shut, broken his office chair, emailed to his work account a huge amount of porn pop-ups, accidentally placed his only copy of a memo into his paper shredder and, when he couldn't think of anything creative enough, would simply settle with frequently throwing balls of paper at the back of Roxas's head while he worked, or flick his ear hard with a rubber band.

- Oh, and possibly the most aggravating reason of all... Axel only referred to Roxas as 'kid' or 'shortie' or 'girl'. And it pissed Roxas off. Only a little though... only enough to make the blond want to shove the end of Axel's tie into his paper shredder and watch the redhead slowly and painfully choke to death in front of him. Yeah, Roxas was a tad cruel like that.

Axel, on the other hand, with his simple mind, only remarked one reason why he hated Roxas. He had said it before he left early from work again while Roxas was going to have to work late again to catch up on his overdue paperwork that he was unable to complete because of Axel's continuous distractions.

"Hey kid," Roxas determinedly glared at his computer screen, and ignored Axel as he leant one of their cubicle's walls. Roxas made no sign to show that he was listening.
And then Axel flicked his ear with a rubber band to get his attention. And it hurt. A lot.

"Ow! What the hell are you –"

"Anyway, as I was saying..." Axel slouched onto the wall, "You're kinda moody for an eighteen year old. Makes my day that much more depressing when I have to spend it with you. Lighten up, shortie."

And with that, he sauntered away.

"Oh, I'll lighten up," Roxas grumbled to himself, "I lighten up so damn fucking bright that you'll be blinded and I exploit you and your poor sight and throw you into a tank full of sharks. Heh."

This is why Roxas didn't talk much.

But then again, seriously, what right did Axel... Axel of all people have to give Roxas a heart to heart little advice chat when he himself couldn't even sit still for twenty-odd minutes?
Insanity.

---

One particular Thursday, Roxas finally snapped.

It had been during one of Axel's long non-stop talking sessions that one particular point had really got under Roxas's skin.

Now, normally, Roxas was easily able to drown out irrelevant babble if the need was really necessary, as he did live with his older brother who often once started talking, wouldn't stop until he either passed out or went to bed.

So, Roxas was in his work refuge, working productively and letting Axel's words wash over him without actually affecting him in any way.

Until...

"It kinda makes my heart break inside, kid," Axel sighed melodramatically, "when I see people like you wasting your life away at a desk when you could be going out there and having a good time. I mean seriously, do you even know what a girl is? Have you ever even gotten some? Far out, the fact that we're sharing a goddamn work cubicle means your lack of physical expertise makes me look bad."

Roxas spun around, biting the inside of his cheek to stop him from giving into the temptation to strangle the man sitting in front of him, "Could you shut up? I don't have time for this."

"Ah ha!" Axel exclaimed, clapping his hands together, "So that's why you're not getting any. I'm betting that's your response to any propositions you've been given? Riiight?"

"Fucking hell!" Roxas yelled, and stood up with so much force that his chair fell over. Axel raised his fists, as if expecting Roxas to attack him, but then was surprised when the blonde marched off, fuming, out of the cubicle.

Roxas didn't even notice his legs steer him towards Xemnas's office until he had smashed open the door.

"Axel," Xemnas sighed slowly wheeling his chair around to face Roxas, "could you seriously stop doing that to my door? You're going to break... it..." He then noticed Roxas, "Oh, Roxas. Sorry, I just assumed it was Axel. Having trouble with something?"

Roxas snorted, "No. I want to put in a complaint about Axel. He's been distracting me the whole time I've been here. I would really like to move work cubicles."

"Every cubicle is full, Roxas."

"So then switch me with someone else."

"And force them to have to put up with Axel? That's being a little selfish, Roxas, don't you thi-"

"MY GOD!" Roxas bellowed, as Axel crept up behind him to watch the scene unfold from the office doorway, with a little knowing smile in place. "You're meant to be the boss that fires people over ridiculously tiny mistakes! If that's true then why is Axel still employed? He's a nuisance! The whole two weeks I've been here – I haven't seen him glance at one piece of paperwork! Why don't you just fire him?"

Roxas took a few deep breathes and then asked, more calmly, "Why does everyone around here get treated like shit except for Axel?"

Xemnas leant forward, tapping his fingers against his desk. "Well, Roxas, you're a smart boy, but it's quite obvious that you didn't really research Grenville Enterprises for your job interview did you?"

Roxas's cheeks coloured, "I did research though! I learnt about all the districts and the economic-"

Xemnas sighed, "What about the history of the business, then?"

"Ah... I wasn't aware that I'd need to know about that."

"Well, if you perhaps had researched that and been paying close attention," Xemnas said smoothly, "You'd notice that the founder of Grenville Enterprises was named Mervin. He fathered a daughter called Julie Grenville, who married Tony Miller and had a child..."

Roxas visibly paled and knew where this was going, even before Xemnas said it. "Axel is, in fact, the heir to Grenville Enterprises. The only reason many don't know this is because of his last name. His grandfather... Mervin, is currently running the business."

Mervin... Roxas thought, That sounds familiar...
"Good old Mervin told me that I had to do it."

Xemnas watched for Roxas's reaction across the table, "Mervin is determined for Axel to take over his place to run the business when he dies. That's why he's employed here... that's why he's never been fired."

Roxas couldn't help but wonder, If he's so important then why does he have such a low-positioned job?

Before he asked that, however, he remembered why he was here in the first place.
Well, shit, you're in it deep now, telling him to fire the heir of the company, so what more do you have to lose?
"Who cares?" Roxas growled, "Just because he's royalty to the company doesn't mean he can just do whatever the hell he wants! I'm a good worker and you know that, boss! I deserve better than some stuck-up rich kid!"

Axel, meanwhile, continued to watch, but he's previous knowing expression had morpher to one of confusion and slight intrigue. Why had the blonde kid continued to argue and complain, even after learning of Axel's importance?

Axel run a hand through his hair and wandered back to his cubicle, lazily slouching into his chair and raising his legs to rest on the desk in their normal position. Well, that was weird. He'd been expecting the kid to suddenly change from complaining to sucking-up to Axel. That's what all the other's did, anyway.

"Why kind of kid is he?"

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A/N: First chapter! First story! First ... bleugh.

I've read waaaaay to many lovie dovie Akuroku fanfics and thought, well screw that. I'll make them hate each other... for now... Mwa ha ha ha HA HA HA! ha... ehem.

Anywho, tell me what you think. *Nervously laughs* I still haven't figured out how to check reviews I've received but I'm betting I'll eventually get it and think... well, shit, that was embarrassingly easy.

Yeah. I've sort of gotten the whole story planned out... and I'm thinking of doing an epilogue to it... though with different characters :D