Oh, hey. Just decided that I wanted to try my hand at a more...morbid sort of something.
My muse decided it was high time for this experimentation, and I can never deny him.
I usually write humour/romance so, this was a big leap of faith; if it can be called as such. All my more fluffier Kingdom Hearts fics can be found under the profile name Magnetic Cheese, if anyone is interested. I write some not too shabby Zemyx, and of course, AkuRoku. ;)
Disclaimer: Disclaimers make me sad :'c
Enjoy, if you can
Axel was—is, and forever shall be—always two years older than Roxas, a point in which Axel thought that the two year younger boy should have constantly at the forefront of his mind. It wasn't that Axel liked to hold superiority over others—Axel didn't care about the general population. Axel just happened to be obsessed with constants, mostly due to the fact that they were very rare in his life. He would constantly be two years older than Roxas, and Roxas would constantly be two years younger than him; that's the way Axel liked it, because it was a constant he could be sure would last forever. Axel liked forever with Roxas.
When Axel was seven he saw Roxas standing in the playground across his apartment building in minus three degree weather. He laughed because Roxas had no shoes or socks on, and Axel could see from his bedroom window that the boy's feet were red. He watched on in silence as a woman with the same blonde hair colour as Roxas' came running into his line of vision and grabbed the oblivious boy. He couldn't hear her, but Axel was sure that she was yelling at him.
Hearing the sounds of heavy panting and nasally moans through the thin walls of the room next to his, Axel envied Roxas for having a mother who cared.
When I was your age, my mother left me all alone with a monster…
Axel smothered his head with a pillow that night, in hopes of blocking out the endless groans from the monster's room.
When Axel was nine he met the now seven year-old Roxas for the first time. Coincidently, it was at the same park he first saw Roxas standing in—this made Axel smile because he hoped it would be a constant. Axel liked constants.
"Mommy says I'm not s'posed to talk to strangers." That's what Roxas had first said when Axel had said hi.
"That's only adult strangers; it's different 'cause I'm only two years older than you." Axel hoped he was convincing, because he really didn't have any other potential friends.
"I'm Axel. Now we're not strangers."
"…I guess," Roxas drew out the last word, staring up at Axel with big blue eyes, "I'm Roxas…want to go play on the slide?"
"When I was your age," Axel puffed out his chest and looked down at the smaller boy, "I did big kid stuff. I never played at the park!"
Roxas tilted his head to the side, staring up into sparkling green eyes. "Did you mommy never let you?"
Axel was silent, refusing to let the grin slide off his face.
That day, Axel and Roxas played at the park until Roxas' mother had come running over to them, grabbing the boy and carrying him towards the apartment complex across from Axel's, yelling at him for staying out too late. Axel grinned and waved goodbye to Roxas, sitting at the top of the slide, waiting for his own mother to do the same.
Axel woke up the next morning at the bottom of the slide.
When Axel was eleven he tried teaching a nine year-old Roxas how to make a mud-pie.
"But I thought pies were supposed to be tasty, and mud is not tasty!" Roxas exclaimed in obvious disgust as he watched the older boy sit in a pile of dirt at the park, a bottle of water by his side, and his hands deep in grimy mud.
"You're not supposed to actually eat is, Rox," he sighed, using the younger boys newly aquired nickname, "It's just for show."
"For show?" Roxas repeated, tilting his head to the side to show his utter confusion.
"Yeah, it's just for show and stuff."
"…Who are you going to show it to?"
Axel sighed again, wracking his brain for a proper way to explain the concept of making a mud-pie to Roxas. "It's not about who you're going to show it to…it's—well, it's about making it! That's the fun part, duh."
The younger boy was silent for a while, contemplating Axel's words in bemusement.
"But…wouldn't making an actual pie be much more fun? I mean, we could even eat it after we're done having fun making it…"
Axel's hands halted in the big glob of mud he was attempting to mould, and his emerald eyes flared up in resentment.
"Hey! When I was your age, making mud-pies was so much better than making real pies!"
Roxas blinked down at Axel, taking a step back in surprise. After a moment of mutual silence, he regained his composure and glared down at the fiery red-head. "Yeah, well, you're not my age anymore."
Axel grinned and ignored Roxas, choosing to focus all of his attention on making his beloved mud-pie—the only one he knew how to make.
Axel had never gotten to make a real pie before.
When Axel was thirteen he kissed Larxene, because she was the only girl he actually said more than one word to, and because some fucker decided it would be a fun dare.
It was awkward, and wet, and sloppy, and wet, and nauseating, and wet—
And Axel knew that it was completely wrong.
Of course, Roxas found out about the little dare, because that's what happens when you get enrolled into a small school; everyone knows everyone else's shit.
"So…what was it like?"
Axel shrugged, refusing to give a verbal answer.
"Come on…was it…well, was it nice?"
Axel snorted, "Fuck no! Locking lips with that bitch is like kissing some slimy frog, but the frog would look hotter!"
"That bad, huh? Hmm…maybe…maybe I should try it out? You know, just to see what it's like…" As much as Roxas attempted to sound nonchalant about the matter, he couldn't stop the obvious flush from spreading across his slightly chubby cheeks.
Yet, that was all it took for Axel to whirl his head around and glare at the taken aback blonde.
"No, you really shouldn't."
Roxas stared in shock, "Why not?"
"Because you don't need to."
"…But why not?"
Axel glared harshly down at Roxas, practically snarling in his face, "Because when I was your age, I didn't even give a damn about girls."
Roxas thought this was weird, because boys were supposed to give a damn about girls. It was normal. He didn't question the fact that he personally didn't find any interest in girls either. But then…
"Well," Roxas wondered out loud, "What did you give a...a d-damn about…when you were my age…?" Roxas felt nervous and anxious—he hoped his mother wouldn't find out that he had said a bad word.
Axel's quiet hum drew Roxas' attention, and he looked up at the contemplative older boy. After a short staring match, Axel grinned like he usually did in any and every situation.
"You." Axel gave a damn about Roxas; it was as simple as that.
And then Roxas smiled and his dimples smiled just as cutely and his eyes twinkled merrily and Axel suddenly wished that he was dared to kiss Roxas instead.
When Axel was fifteen he kissed Roxas. After a few stunned seconds, Roxas pushed Axel off of him with such vicious force, that poor Axel toppled off Roxas' twin bed. Neither of the two boys said anything for a while, stretching the tension in the air.
But there were no heavy awkward feelings in the room, merely confusion and silently asked questions. Axel decided to answer the loudest one.
"I felt like it—besides, when I was your age…boys experimented."
Yeah, it was lame, but he really wanted to kiss Roxas.
"Okay," Roxas drew out the word slowly, staring down at Axel from atop his bed, "But, don't boys usually experiment on girls? I mean…isn't that what you did with Larxene back in grade—"
"I don't like girls."
"Oh." Roxas was still a bit too young and naïve to understand what Axel really meant, but Axel didn't mind waiting for him. Besides, Axel knew that Roxas didn't like girls either—Roxas just didn't realize it yet.
"Hey, can I sleep over tonight?" Axel always tried to spend the night at Roxas' apartment whenever he could, because Roxas' mom treated Axel like her own son.
"Sure," Roxas laid back on his bed, staring up at his star covered ceiling, "But it's a school night…will your parents be okay with that?"
"Pfft, yeah. They don't really care about what I do." Axel never got around to telling Roxas that his mom left him, and his dad was a monster, and his apartment always smelled like stale sex, and that he hated it there—
"Cool, I'll go tell mom. She'll make chocolate chip pancakes for us in the morning."
Axel watched Roxas leave the room from his position on the floor. When the door closed, Axel's face split into a catty grin. Roxas tasted like blueberry pie.
When Axel was seventeen he realized he loved Roxas.
That day, both boys were sitting on the swings of the park separating their respective apartment buildings, and Roxas asked Axel why he never invited him over to his place.
"N-not to be rude or anything," Roxas stuttered nervously, his face flushing in obvious embarrassment, "It's just that…well, I never got to meet your parents, and you've met mine, and we've been best friends for, like ever and—"
"Nothing about me, or my life, is good enough for you, Rox." And Axel thought it was as simple as that; Roxas deserved better.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Roxas asked after a moment of stunned silence.
That day, Axel told Roxas everything the younger boy didn't know about his family. He told him about how his mother left him when he was five because she said he was a problematic child. He told him about how his father stopped realizing he existed, and brought a different woman home each week and fucked the daylights out of her. He told him about how he was only able to eat when he was sure his father was either sleeping or out of the house, or else he would get beaten for reminding his father of his existence. He told Roxas about how he really didn't care, and how it really wasn't as bad as it seemed.
Roxas had yelled at him then, for the first time ever. He told him how stupid he was for keeping it a secret and how best friends were supposed to tell each other everything, and how Axel didn't seem to trust him, and how much he hated Axel—
And then Axel leaned over on the swing and kissed Roxas, and Roxas didn't make a move to stop him, and—
And Axel knew he loved him.
When Axel was nineteen he had a modest paying job and his own apartment a block away from the park across from Roxas. When Roxas was seventeen, his mother decided to go crazy.
"It's not that bad, really, Axel…" Roxas tried to convince the older boy with a wince—maybe showing up at Axel's door with a busted lip and a bruising cheek was a bad idea.
"Not that bad my fucking ass, Roxas." Axel growled as he gently applied an ice pack on the younger boy's cheek while simultaneously dabbing at his cut lip with a wet face cloth. Roxas was hurt, and yeah, Axel was pissed.
"It's not the worst thing that could happen, you know." Roxas mumbled matter-of-factly.
"Yeah, and just what the fuck is, then, huh?"
Axel was silent.
Finally, with a sigh, he slowly got up from his kneeling position in front of the boy, and sat down on the small, dirty couch next to him. Immediately, Roxas snuggled up to the older boy, laying his head down on Axel's chest and fisting his hands into Axel's shirt. Axel, in turn, wound his long arms around Roxas, and rubbed comforting circles into the younger boy's back.
"What're you afraid of, Axel?" Roxas asked softly, breaking the silence after a few minutes.
"I've been through hell and back, kid—what's there to be afraid of these days?"
Axel felt Roxas stiffen against him, and after a few seconds, he also felt the blue-eyed blond begin to shift and slowly move away from his embrace. With an annoyed sigh, Axel tightened his hold on the boy and shifted his body so that he was lying on his back; Roxas sprawled out on top of him.
"Parasites." Axel knew Roxas hated it whenever he tried to play the tough guy.
"Parasites?" Roxas asked in surprise, "You mean like, bugs and shit?"
"Yeah, like bugs and shit." Axel smirked.
"Wait, wait, I tell you my biggest fear, and you give me 'I'm afraid of bugs'?" Roxas asked incredulous, as he pushed himself up on Axel's chest and stared down at the grinning red-head. "You're either the weirdest guy I've ever met, or the biggest pussy around."
That wiped Axel's grin straight off his face. "Hey now, bugs are fucking creepy little shits, okay! I'm not particularly fond of having twenty legged things crawling all over my fucking body…it's disgusting."
"You mean…like this?" Roxas breathed, ghosting his fingertips over Axel's bare arms, wiggling them in a poor imitation of a spider's legs.
Axel shivered, but it definitely was not out of fear.
"You keep that up, you little shit head, and I might just have to fuck the daylights out of you."
Roxas chuckled in obvious delight, but decided not test the truth of Axel's words; he had yet to show him the light bruises on his ribs. Instead he chose to stretch briefly and snuggle up into Axel's warm body, letting sleep take control of his mind.
But, just before drifting off into peaceful bliss in Axel's arms, he had one more question for his best friend.
"So…when did you start loving me…like that?" Axel had told Roxas on many occasions that he loved him; it took Roxas a good while to realize that Axel didn't mean it in a platonic sense.
Axel grinned, tighting his hold on his Roxas, and letting his eyes shut in happiness.
That was a very simple question.
"When I was your age."
Two weeks later, Axel called Roxas after not hearing or seeing the boy since the night they spent together at his apartment. He was sure that there was no way his answer had scared the younger boy away.
Roxas didn't pick up. No one picked up. In fact, there was no voicemail recording either.
Axel was out of his apartment the second he realized that the line was dead.
Three days later found Axel standing alone in a graveyard on a chilly autumn day. He stared down at Roxas' gravestone, wondering why he didn't fucking do something after the first three days of not hearing from his best friend. And as much as Axel hated it, the image of Roxas' cold and lifeless and blue—
His mother, that sick fuck, had drowned Roxas in the bathtub and then tucked him back into bed as soon as Roxas had stopped breathing. They found her at the kitchen table with a knife through her throat, and Axel didn't think that was good enough punishment.
His green eyes, darkened with regret, took in the simple gravestone; it bore nothing but his best friends name, his date of birth, and his date of death. There was no inscription—there was too much to say, and none of it could fit on the little gravestone. It was all Axel was able to afford.
A sudden wind soared by Axel, whistling in his reddened ears and mocking him of his existence. He let the heavy red jug drop to his side and immediately set to work.
Five hours later, and Axel dropped to his knees and panted heavily, wiping his sweat covered brow with his dirt caked hands. After regaining his breath, he crawled over to the round, heavy decorative stone he had found amongst the graveyard, and placed it besides Roxas' gravestone, shifting it a few inches away. He reached into his pocket for the switchblade he had stolen from his father's room years ago, and began carving into Roxas' gravestone. When he was satisfied with his handiwork, he turned to his own stone and began caring away as well, never noticing that the sun had decided to set long ago.
An hour later and Axel stood over his makeshift grave, staring down at its dark depths and wondering just how many fucking parasites were down there just waiting to crawl all over him and—
Axel bowed his head in shame, feeling the sting of guilty tears behind his eyes. If only he had never let Roxas go back to her; if only he had just kept Roxas there with him, then maybe, just maybe—
"I'm fucking sorry, okay! I know I fucked up, and I know you shouldn't have had to go all by yourself, and—"Axel choked on a ragged sob, falling to his knees in front of Roxas' gravestone. His hands traced the intricate carvings of his best friends' name, and then down to his own messily carved numbers that read seventeen. He looked over at his own little gravestone.
He grinned through teary green eyes. He wanted people to know, without them having to go through the trouble of calculating the math in their heads by subtracting their birthdates from their death dates, how old they both were. Axel hated math; he wanted to do something courteous for the world for once.
Getting up, he walked around to his own dug up grave, dumping the heavy red jug down into it, not caring if the liquid sloshing around inside of it spilled out. He turned his head back to Roxas and his grin softened.
"Thanks for waiting, Rox."
He jumped down into his own grave, and with a shuddering breath, he lay down on his back and tried desperately not the think about every single insect crawling around him. From his position, he picked up the red jug and stabbed several holes into the hard plastic with his blade, and doused himself with the gasoline spewing out. He breathed in the heady, toxic scent as he retrieved his lucky lighter from his front pocket.
With another shuddering breath, Axel steeled himself and turned his head to the left, willing himself to see past the dirt walls, and the slimy worms, and the small, scattered spiders, and the bulbous ants, and the lengthy centipedes—
Axel fought against the rising bile in his throat and cold panic creeping up his spine, and he saw Roxas lying there beside him, looking at him with those wide, accusing blue eyes.
"You shouldn't have had to die alone."
He raised his arm high into the air and flicked open the lighter.
"I know, I'm a total fucking ass and…"
He tossed the flame high into the air and folded his arms behind his head, grinning into Roxas' forgiving eyes.
"…This doesn't make up for it, you know."
A spider crawled across Axel's forehead and into his bright hair, and Axel tried desperately not to jump up and fucking bolt out of—
"You know," he said conversationally, "When I was your age—"
The white hot flames consumed Axel's entire body, burning his flesh mercilessly and forever engraving his grin into his scorching features. Through the fire and the flames, he swore he could hear the anguished cry of every fucking parasite in the ground.
And if Axel could have laughed, he would have.
Axel was—is, and forever shall be—two years older than Roxas. He made sure that the world would be constantly reminded of this fact, even in their death. Their age would be forever carved into their respective gravestones, and now Axel would constantly be nineteen, and Roxas would constantly be seventeen. And it would last forever. Because Axel liked forever with Roxas.
I clearly struggled with the ending there; but I can only hope that it didn't make everthing choppy and shit.
Flames are loved and most definitely welcomed.