Oh, uh, wow, hello loyal readers. Long time no update. xDD Actually, I've been rather busy on dA as of late, working on requests. All 22 of them, which are currently my top priority. So while I know some are wondering about the updates for my ongoing fics, well… requests come first.

So! To convince people I'm not dead, here is an AkuRoku request written for lawls from Golden-Nightmare on dA.

The Ineloquence of Marriage

Everyone agrees that marriage is a beautiful thing. The bonding of two souls, the exchange of everlasting vows, the solidification of love. Engagement is even better, since the anticipation and the build-up to the marriage is enough to send mothers and other girls squealing with joy at the prospect of buying new dresses and arranging flowers.

For girls, anyway. It was always the girls who had more fun in something like that.

For Roxas, it was more of a rather unpleasant experience, especially since it was thrust on him along with a plate of bacon and eggs by his mother early in the morning on a nondescript day in August.

"I'm what?" He said blankly, a chunk of fried pork hanging from his numb lips.

"Getting married!" His mother trilled happily, reaching across the table with her fork to poke the rest of the bacon into her son's mouth then tap the bottom of his jaw to close it.

The information took a moment to wriggle its way into the blond's sleepy brain, allowing itself a few seconds to set off some emotional bursts as well before it finally hit home, sending out the appropriate electrical sparks that prompted Roxas to jerk up from his seat so rapidly that he tripped over his chair and tumbled over it to land sprawled awkwardly on the floor. Crash and burn.

"Oh, honey, be careful!"

Roxas, ignoring his mother's concerned gaze, stared blankly at her from the linoleum surface, "I'm what?!"

"Goodness, Roxas, I know you're excited, but you don't need to make me repeat myself." The woman sighed, turning back to her own meal calmly.

Roxas was just fresh out of college and taking a few months to live briefly with his parents before finding an apartment for himself. Life had been simple and straightforward until the certain nondescript day in August sent everything tumbling onto his head. Coughing shakily, the blond forced himself back to his feet and glared across the table at his perfectly content mother. Honestly. He had been a damn Psychology major, and yet his mother defied every single one of his lessons on the human psyche.

"You can't-… that's not… I'm not even-… Mom!"

And Tifa Strife, like any other mother, was not easily intimidated by her son, especially not her son who was sporting a wild case of bed-head while furiously chewing down bacon and trying to swallow while speaking at the same time. The woman was a news reporter, and used to dealing with all sorts of people and usually getting what she wanted. "Is there a problem?"

"You just handed me my breakfast with a side-order of marriage. Yes, there is a problem with that." Roxas grit out, angrily pulling his chair up from the floor and, with an obvious flare of fury, sitting down in it hard. "This isn't funny, Mom. I mean, you've done the whole blind date thing before, but this is taking it a little too far."

His mother smiled and took a sip of her coffee, "I would never joke about something like that, Roxas."

"But-but-but…" Roxas gaped, at a loss for words. "How? Why? When? Who?"

The 22 year old had woken up, set on slacking the day away. His mother had completely shattered his lazy, easy-going plans. Mornings were not meant to be jump-started with engagements.

"You're going to have to ask one question at a time, darling, it's quite early in the morning and I haven't had my coffee yet." Tifa replied with a grin, looking at her son from around her mug. Roxas had only inherited some of the black-haired woman's genes, including her stubborn nature. Otherwise, he was basically the spitting image of his father, Cloud, who was soft-spoken, serious, calm, and would have never seriously thought of such a plot like his wife apparently had.

"Fine." Roxas scowled, blue eyes blazing as his one hand tightened, gripping his fork for leverage so he wouldn't break anything. "Why… am I getting married?"

"Well." The woman set down her drink, looking serious, "In this world, Roxas, getting married while you're young is quite vital. I won't have my baby start working while a single man!"

"Mom, I-"

"Can you imagine the risks!? My little boy, a single adult! I don't want any vicious women coming after you!"

Roxas spluttered, "Mom-"

"Whores just scrambling all over your innocent self! I can't even fathom it!" As Tifa worked herself up, she slammed down her coffee mug, "Anyone would take advantage of you! You don't know any better, after all!"

The blond adult stared blankly in shock at his mother from across the table, "Whores? But I'm-"

"So that's why my boss, who is in the exact same predicament as I am, suggested that perhaps we come to an arrangement. Kill two birds with one stone, so to speak." And just like a switch of a lamp, Roxas's mother settled back down and returned to her breakfast, smiling.

"So you want me to marry your boss's kid?" Roxas gaped, food completely forgotten. Of all his mother's inane ideas, this was the worst. He would refuse to take part in it, of course, for obvious reasons, but he still needed to get all of the explanations in order. "An arranged marriage? Really?"

"It's no big deal, Roxas. It's not as if you have someone, and there are always divorces if it doesn't work out. I think it will, though." Tifa smiled to herself and Roxas saw the fight to discourage her from her idea now, peacefully, was lost. He often went through these sorts of situations with his mother; the blond had yet to erase the memory of the woman showing up in the middle of a date with Kairi Anders back in High School, ready with pamphlets on safe-sex, as well as condoms.

He ran a tired hand through his hair, suppressing his annoyance, "So, ah, when exactly is this wedding taking place? And… more importantly, when am I meeting my bride to be?"

"It's in a week." It was back to business. Tifa dug into her meal briskly, "And you'll meet your, ah… bride… tomorrow."

Now it was time for Roxas's stubborn side to come out. He smirked, "You do realize that I'm going to make this as difficult as possible? I refuse to agree to this." Tifa seemed about to interrupt, but her son barreled on, calmly, while his eyes glinted, "And by the end of the meeting tomorrow, I will send this girl crying and that'll be the end of this."

With that said, feeling rather pleased with himself, Roxas shoved his plate of food away and rose, planning on storming off to leave his mother fuming. However, just as he managed to reach the doorway, his mother stopped him dead.

"Why, Roxas." She asked in a mildly surprised tone, leaning back in her seat with a sneaky leer, "Who ever said that your bride-to-be was a girl?"

Roxas spent the rest of the day plotting revenge and sulking. To his luck, his mother left for work promptly after their discussion, and Roxas remained along with himself to plot and sulk. He hadn't known that his mother had figured out about his gay sexuality, either, which bothered him. Tifa had obviously been spying.

Then his mother came back in the late afternoon and the tension between them increased a notch. He glared, she smirked. He hogged the entire couch, she shoved him off. He refused to change the channel, she threatened to send him to his room. Him, a college graduate! To say the least, Roxas was absolutely insulted.

"You're going to marry him."

"No, I am not. You don't have my consent."

"I will by the time you meet him."

"Gay marriage isn't legal yet."

"We live in Canada, silly."


Cloud Strife arrived after work in the evening, and, after pausing hesitantly in the living room doorway, he sensed the massive, buzzing, hostile tension and decided to simply avoid confrontation and quietly go straight to bed.

Mother and son didn't come to any solution, but went to sleep furious at each other, Tifa smugger, and Roxas more determined than ever to foil her plan. Unfortunately, slumber didn't provide him with any particularly effective ideas to avoiding marriage, so the blond was left to resort to his back-up plan: wearing a paper bag over his head with a very miserable face drawn on the front, and hand-cuffing himself to the bed. The last time, it had worked quite smoothly. The girl had come in and after Roxas calmly explained about the horrible disease that had left his face disfigured ("Just imagine a plate of spaghetti.") and his unhealthy obsession with being chained to beds, she had promptly left without as much as a twitch in her paralyzed face.

Acting like a freak was almost strangely satisfying.

Roxas smirked to himself behind the paper bag, peering around at his room through the small holes in his mask. His mother had been furious back then; apparently, the girl had recommended that he be checked into a mental ward as she was leaving.

Making sure that both hand-cuffs were securely latched onto the bedposts, the blond settled back against the pillow, ready for the storm to descend. Tifa Strife would throw another riot and hopefully, the guy she had rounded up would be spooked enough to leave as well. All he had to do now was wait.

He almost fell asleep with the hour or so of patiently sitting, hand-cuffed to a bed, but his mother, with future wife/husband in hand, did finally make her appearance long-awaited appearance. He could hear his mother's loud voice, although the walls muffled it too much to allow him to discern the actual words. It grew louder, clearer, until the woman was actually opening the door and walking in.

"And I'm sure he's just happy to see you and-" Tifa Strife stopped dead in her tracks, filling up the doorway. Roxas jingled one of the handcuffs in greeting, deciding to keep silent for now. "Oh, not again."

The stranger, Roxas's bride-to-be, poked his head over the woman's shoulder, and actually laughed. Roxas could only see a faint hint of red because of his limited sight. "He's done this before?"

Tifa stormed into the room, annoyed, her hands already on her hips as the motherly symbol of anger, "Yes he has. Roxas! I told you not to do this again! Did you really have to take it this far?"

Another jingle. Yes. Absolutely, freakin' yes.

The other man walked in then, and Roxas was treated to a view of a very tall man with shockingly bright red hair. It was growing out from his skull in aggressive spikes, and was the most unique hair style the blond had ever seen in his life. Aside from that, Roxas was mildly taken aback. He hadn't expected someone so … attractive. All of his other set-up dates had been cute, but… not hot. This new one was lanky and, Roxas flicked his eyes down, dressed in a very becoming pair of tight jeans.

Still, he couldn't give in yet, even though his body was already pondering a possible surrender. Swallowing, Roxas forced himself to toughen up as he watched the man and his mother talk. Tifa looked truly harassed by now.

"I'm sorry, he's always stubborn like this… just ignore whatever he tells you. He's not disfigured. Nor does he have a fetish for being chained to beds." Tifa shot a glare over her shoulder at her son, who twitched slightly as his plan was uncovered.

The red-head, whose name Roxas still didn't know, only grinned, "It's fine, I've been through worse. Besides, Mom wouldn't be happy if this blind-date, pre-wedding meeting thing didn't go well. I can't come home empty-handed."

Tifa didn't look convinced, "I know you mean well, but… maybe you'll want to come back later?"

The conversation went quiet. Roxas could only watch from the bed as the man whispered something in his mother's ear. Tifa seemed surprised for a moment, then abruptly laughed, satisfied with whatever the red-head had told her.

"Alright, I'll leave it to you, then." She turned towards the door, but turned at the last moment, "I almost forgot to introduce you two! Roxas, this is Axel. And you're going to marry him next week."

And on that blunt note, Tifa Strife flashed her son a triumphant smile and slid out of the room, smartly snapping it shut behind her, leaving the two men alone. Roxas especially felt it. Axel was gazing at him like a curious predator. He was unsure of whether or not to drop the act; his mother had spilled the beans, and Axel definitely didn't look fooled now. However, he couldn't take the bag off because of the hand-cuffs and it was looking more and more like he had set himself up as bait for a very ravenous man.

Well, shit.

Axel had stood a moment, staring at the man on the bed, before chuckling and moving forward to sit on the edge of the mattress. "I'm going to assume your mother does this often to you?"

"Is it that obvious?" Roxas grit out, stiffening at how close Axel was sitting. He was close enough to his legs that he could actually feel the Axel's strangely strong body heat. "No offense, but I have absolutely no interest in marrying you."

The red-head gazed at him a moment before, a shadow crossing over his eyes, before he laughed abruptly, "I'm sorry, I can't take you seriously. May I?" He didn't wait for an answer, but plucked the bag off Roxas's head anyway, exposing a messy-haired, scowling blond. "There we go. Much better."

Roxas merely glared, shaking his bangs out of his eyes as he watched the only protection to hide his emotions being tossed to the floor.

"Y'know…" Axel ignored Roxas's silence and leaned back, thoughtful, as he observed the blond for the first time. "At first, I was against this, too. The marriage. I'm actually not used to being set up like this. But now that I've heard your voice, seen your cute face…" The red-head turned his attention back to Roxas, eyes gleaming. "I'll admit, I might be willing to give this a try."

Roxas immediately scooted back, hand-cuffs rattling as he pressed against the headboard. Yes, Axel was hot. Yes, Axel was looking at him like he was ready to eat him. Yes, Roxas liked it. Yes, Roxas suddenly didn't mind the marriage anymore. But the blond was still going to put up a fight, because he wasn't going to make this easy. Personality-wise, Axel could still turn out to be a big jerk. "Stay away from me."

Axel actually looked almost hurt, "Why? Now that you've met me, are you still so against this?"

"Yes. We're complete strangers." You're an especially hot stranger. "I don't trust you, I don't love you, and I have absolutely no reason for wanting to marry you. Hell, I don't even know you."

A silence stretched out between them, Axel focused his green eyes on his. Then the very same sly grin from before curved the man's lips as he leaned in, invading Roxas's personal space. The blond couldn't help holding his breath as he looked at the other man, shuddering at the breath he felt curling across his chin and a hand creeping up his leg.

The cunning smile, the very first thing Roxas had seen on Axel's face, was inches away. And then they were moving, forming words that melted Roxas's spine and made his breath stop in his chest.

"What if I gave you a good reason, Roxie?"

With immense difficulty, Roxas wasted no time in scowling and pulling his leg into himself to squish it in-between his and Axel's body. He needed some protection between this crazy red-head. "Uh, yeah, no."

Axel pursed his lips but sat back anyway, backing down. "Is there really nothing to get you to consider this?"

In response, the blond raised an eyebrow, still on his guard, "Why are you so willing to go through with this?"

"Ah, well…" Axel laughed softly, taking a moment to tug off his jacket while Roxas's eyes followed him in suspicion, "I guess you could say I have an advantage. I've already seen pictures of you, and Mom got your mother to spill the beans on you." Roxas's jaw dropped. No fair. "For example, I know that your birthday is in July, you're not a morning person, and you love cats."

"Th-that's cheating!" Roxas sputtered out, staring accusingly at Axel, who merely shrugged. "I don't know anything about you!"

"Which is why I'm saying that maybe you might want to give me a chance before blowing me off, future husband."

The silence stifled them again, with Roxas staring at Axel, face devoid of amusement and wrists still very hand-cuffed to the bed. The red-head, meanwhile, was looking happily pleased with himself, eyebrow quirked at the blond. Finally, when it became obvious that Roxas was extremely displeased and not in the mood to say anything anytime soon, Axel spoke again.

"C'mon, I bet if you gave me a chance, you'd find out that I'm not that bad of a guy." At Roxas's look of poorly hidden disbelief, Axel smirked and continued, "I actually think you already like me quite a bit."

Roxas snorted tried to assume as comfortable a position as possible, sitting up and crossing his legs. His arms were already getting tired of hanging at his sides, but the key was too far away, and he had a feeling that Axel wouldn't uncuff him, anyway. It was surprising at how easily he had fallen into conversation, and then promptly argument with the man. It was a pity that they had had to meet under such circumstances. If he had encountered Axel anywhere else, he probably would have started crushing on him immediately. However, the idea of being immediately engaged to the red-head… was a complete turn-off.

"No way."

Axel's smile could have melted the most stubborn of hearts at that moment… but served to only chill Roxas's. "I can prove it."

"You're an idiot." Roxas deadpanned, and would have left, if not for the obvious circumstances. Axel continued, knowing he had a captive audience. Literally.

"Let me kiss you." Axel shot back, "And it's not like you have anything to lose. Just one kiss and I'll let it go."

The mild pleading look in the red-head's eyes, as well as the tempting lips that were practically pouting at him helped some of Roxas's stubborn attitude to diminish. Axel had a point, it wouldn't cost him in any way… He hummed thoughtfully, tilting his head as far as possible to the left so that he could reach a hand into his hair to scratch at his scalp.

"Just one kiss?" There had to be a catch.

"Just one kiss." The red-head repeated, his grin softening to a fond smile.

Roxas, to be fair, considered. It wouldn't hurt. It would just be a press of lips to lips. He had done the same thing before when he had been out with friends, flirting, when he had actually had a boyfriend… it would mean nothing if Axel turned out to be the worst match ever made. "You're just trying to seduce me." He muttered, buying time.

"Oh, I'm not trying." Axel chuckled mildly, waiting for a response as he elicited another scowl from the trapped blond. Roxas honestly didn't see a way out of the situation, and he undeniably, secretly, did want to see how that man's lips felt. It wasn't his fault; Axel was just naturally attractive that way. It was something in the soft purr of his voice and the way his whole face lit up with every different emotion.

With a great, heaving, suffering sigh, the blond relented. "Fine." The affirmative answer seemed to almost surprise Axel, but he quickly recovered and scooched closer. He put one hand on Roxas's hip, gently this time, and another hand slid up to Roxas's cheek. The blond stiffened in anticipation as he was pinned against the headboard of the bed, eyes following every move the other man did.

"Hold still." Axel murmured as he moved in, which was pointless in a way, considering that Roxas was paralyzed anyway. A quick second passed, noiseless and still. Axel was staring at Roxas's lips, breathing slowly, and Roxas was watching him, taking in the sounds of his own breath faltering in his throat and the feel of Axel's breath passing over his chin. He could acutely sense the warmth of the red-head's fingers and palms on his cheek and leg. The quick second felt like ages. He came close to just shoving Axel away again from impatience and the tense nervousness that was making the hair on the beck of his neck stand up. It was unbearable. Roxas was just about to pop, when Axel pushed their mouths together.

Roxas had kissed boys before. Most of the kisses had followed routine; first, it would just be the innocent pressing of lips to lips, no movement. Next, maybe after a few more times, he or the other guy would start opening up a little, then it was just up to their imagination. Axel wasted no time and ignored tradition completely, deepening the kiss immediately and coaxing Roxas easily to do the same by running his tongue along the seam of his mouth.

Just a kiss? Roxas's thoughts spiraled to take in the sparks of pleasure running up his spine. Just a kiss? Goddamn. Axel certainly knew how to prove his worth in just one kiss. It was undeniable; the red-head had earned a point in his favor. Roxas was still at zero.

The red-head pulled away, then, releasing Roxas's bottom lip, which he had been sucking tenderly. Roxas rested his head back, taking a few deep breaths, trying, without much success, to look unimpressed. "Yeah, uh… phew, that was, uh… pretty lame."

"Oh?" Axel quirked an eyebrow, deciding to himself that he liked the out of breath, ravaged look that Roxas could pull off, "I guess I'll just have to be extra-convincing."

Roxas was jerked into action, shoving away Axel by folding his knees and pushing with his knees as the red-head went in for another kiss, "Hey! You said one kiss!"

"I lied." Axel grabbed Roxas's knees and jerked his legs apart, sliding between them before Roxas could snap them shut again. "Besides," He laughed, taking Roxas's face in his hands, "How can I resist someone hand-cuffed to a bed? And how can you resist… at all?"

The metal restrictions around Roxas's wrists clinked as the blond struggled to push away the red-head. He tried to yell at the man, but Axel just as quickly silenced him with another deep kiss that the younger man already knew he wouldn't be able to resist. It was just as enveloping and mind-blowing as the first. Before long, his thrashing legs sank down to actually cradle Axel's hips and his body relaxed.

"Enjoying yourself?" Axel grinned, sliding his lips over to Roxas's ear. The blond shivered, hands tightening into fists.

"Absolutely not."

Skillful fingers slipped beneath Roxas's shirt, coaxing over his sensitive abdomen, "I think you're lying."

"I think I'm… fully seduced." replied Roxas in a murmur, shutting his eyes and accepting another intense kiss while his hands strained at their bonds, wanting to do more than simply hang there, useless. Especially since Axel's hands were so busy, already sneaking around under his clothes, tugging down the zipper of his jeans…

A new voice entered the heated air, "I think you're going to marry this guy in a week."

Axel collapsed onto Roxas in shock as Roxas peered over the mane of red to see his smug mother in the doorway, "Mom!"

Tifa Strife shrugged, "Oh, please, don't mind me, carry on. I'm pretty busy organizing a wedding, anyway."

The woman promptly exited, leaving the two men on the bed, frozen. Finally, Axel burst into laughter, "I love your Mom."

Tifa-1, Roxas-0

"She's a maniac." Roxas muttered, "Now get the damn key over there on the table and uncuff me."

Still snickering to himself, Axel complied, shortly returning to unsnap the handcuffs from Roxas's tired arms. "Are we going to-"

"Shut up and kiss me again." Roxas snagged the front of Axel's shirt, tugging him back in for a fresh lip-lock. If the wedding was unavoidable, he'd just have to make it as bearable as possible, and the first course of action was establishing who was going to be the husband between the two of them. Axel started laughing again. The score was now tied, 1-1.

A week later, the two were back in bed, this time in Axel's apartment on another perfectly nondescript day in August. Roxas was busy undoing the buttons of his dress shirt, panting from the passionate kissing session they had just emerged from. The wedding had been fairly successful. Both grooms' mothers had been very proud and teary. Axel had been smug, and Roxas just… indescribable. He could barely believe events had worked out this way.

And now he was in his husband's bed, undressing, and waiting for the red-headed man to return.

And return he did. "Hey, babe, I hope you weren't waiting long."

Roxas peered over his shoulder as he peeled off the shirt, then stopped dead, jaw dropping. "Where did you find that?"

"Your mother gave them to me. Said that we can finally exploit your fetish of being chained to beds." Axel chuckled, twirling a pair of handcuffs on one finger as he approached, wearing the paper bag head with the unhappy smiley face on the front over his head and… nothing else.

"Let's get busy, wife."

"Hey! I'm the husband in this relationship!" Roxas protested angrily, "I wear the pants here!"

"Yeah, well, not for long…"

Axel-2, Roxas-1