Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts.

Pairing: Akuroku

A/N: Something old I found in my fanfiction folder, unfinished. I wonder how the final product would have been. Now it's kind of a testament to some very fond memories. Dedicated to any remaining Kingdom Hearts fanfiction fans!

g o o d b y e

Roxas had never wanted to be deaf. He had never wanted to be blind. He had never wanted to climb to the top of the tallest building, fall, and not land on his feet. He just wanted to leave. But when Axel regarded him with swimmingly violated eyes, Roxas wanted to be blind. When Axel spoke with that irritatingly nasal voice, trying but not trying hard enough, Roxas wanted to be deaf. When he felt – the irony stung like nothing else – Axel's hope in non-life dissipate, he wanted to find the tallest building. He clenched his eyes shut and promised himself that he deserved better.

But he didn't want to leave.

l o v e b i t e s

He closed his eyes lightly and smiled secretly, running a hand along his arm. Pain had never been a fond memory, bruises had never been positive. Nevertheless, he giggled when he looked down at saw the proof of something — anything – strewn across his arms in the form of discoloration.

He laughed out loud when he pictured Axel trying to hide the marks on his neck.

n o s t a l g i a

Everything seemed significantly darker without Roxas around. Everything was supposed to be dark. He had gotten used to it. He hadn't even dreamed of expecting anything else – it wasn't like there was anything to expect from a castle full of heartless shells. But now... black seemed blacker. Silence was a shrill shriek of some distant agony, perhaps the figurative cadaver of all he had discarded. Fire was useless without desire of it – Roxas hated the cold.

He grimaced when he found himself thinking of how different things would be if Roxas were still there. And then he burned a city down.

r e d l a u g h t e r

Roxas always hated red hair. At least, he thought he did. There was some semblance of distaste for the color red, like a bad memory (which he had none of). When he first saw Axel's hair, he thought it looked fake and he scowled at it. Axel had so tactfully replied, upon sensing Roxas's dislike, "See something you like?" and thereafter Roxas associated red with hysterical laughter.

g o l d b e a u t y

Axel always hated gold. Gold was symbolic of light, was the color of the elegance of the sun – both things he could not have, things he had learned to forget. He knew it was hate, and he knew he failed someone in feeling that hate, knew he had broken some unspoken rule. He was not allowed to feel. He was not supposed to feel. And then he saw Roxas.

Thereafter, Axel associated gold with boundless beauty.

p i e c e s o f g l a s s

Xemnas proved his superiority in a plethora of ways that Roxas refused to confess to Axel. Roxas liked to envision Axel's unparalleled fury, their liberation, and that sense of security Axel never failed to provide for Roxas. But sometimes, in the middle of the night, when they were both lying in bed and pretending to sleep like humans would, Roxas would feel that brokenness radiating from the shallowly breathing redhead, like he knew just as much as Roxas how dominating Xemnas could be.

He didn't like to think about it, but Roxas felt closer to Axel when he knew they were both completely shattered. He gave a hollow smile at the thought of them picking up the pieces together.

They were the only ones capable of being broken, after all.

f l o w e r s f o r y o u

Gasping for breath, Axel grinned maniacally up at Naminé, who smiled knowingly. He collapsed onto the floor, sprawled out in a mess of red and black.

"I love him," he breathed. Naminé's smile widened and she sat next to the panting redhead, flattening her hand and holding it above his head. Axel gave her a euphoric high-five. "What do I do now?"

Naminé giggled softly. "Well, you could try flowers."

Roxas had wrinkled his nose at those flowers (freshly stolen from Marluxia's garden) and pretended to be offended, but when Axel snapped at him to return them, Roxas had outright refused and locked himself in his room, holding tightly to the wilting flowers until they died.

t h e E n d

Sora lived a few long years without fully understanding the reason why he felt so empty. It took several bouts of reflection on his past for him to remember the bizarre pain he felt when he watched Axel die – though it wasn't really dying, was it? – and the way he inexplicably favored the memory of Axel above all his other memories. He didn't realize right away that he was Roxas and Roxas was him. He didn't realize right away that he had been the one who loved Axel.

c o n f e s s i o n

Axel slammed his fists on the door. His pride was the only thing hindering teleportation. "Roxas!" he shouted. "Stop acting like a woman and tell me what the hell is wrong with you!"

Roxas huddled against the door with his knees held tightly against his chest. He was dismayed to find he was shaking. "Go away!" he screamed, hoping his voice didn't break but not wanting to listen. "I never want to see you again!" He could almost feel the walls closing in around him.

"I'm not going anywhere until you give me a good reason!"

Roxas groaned loudly in exasperation. On the other side of the door, Axel raised a thin eyebrow. Roxas's voice sounded a few seconds later, high pitched and evidently hysterical. "I'm in love with you!"

Axel came back later with sea-salt ice cream.

g a r d e n s

They giggled and held each other, passion flowing equally between them, girlishness reminding them of Marluxia. Axel kissed Roxas on the top of his spiky blond head. He sought out Roxas's ear and whispered a husky "I love you." Roxas shivered and then growled.

"Don't do that. I'll rape you, right here, right now," he threatened. It wasn't a very good threat.

"That's a bad thing? You don't want me, Roxas?"

Roxas hated the way his body shook with electricity, the way his skin felt hot, like he was on fire.

"Go away," he grumbled. Axel smiled. His hands began to wander.

"But we love each other," he mewed. Roxas yelped as Axel's hand went farther than expected.

"AXEL! Stop it!" Roxas squirmed fiercely in Axel's embrace, but the redhead didn't move even slightly. He struggled anyway, just for good measure. He couldn't have Axel thinking he was easy.

Axel snuggled closer to Roxas. Roxas returned the action, awkwardly turning around to face the redhead. "You suck," said Roxas. He gave Axel a brief kiss on the cheek. Axel's face brightened. He chuckled.

"You know, some people would look at us and say we're a cute couple."

Roxas hid his face so Axel couldn't see him blush. "We'll be a dead couple if Marluxia finds us here rolling around in his garden."

p r e t e n d

He knew it was the end, he could feel it, could feel every single thing he wasn't supposed to feel. Maybe it was Roxas's influence. Maybe it was nostalgia. The possibility that it had all been a game of pretend didn't make him feel any better. He wanted to believe it was real. He wanted to believe there was still hope. But even he could not escape the glaring truth.

He asked for one last kiss, and Roxas complied. Roxas was dazed for a moment, caught off guard, having expected the kiss to be less sincere since it was the last they would ever share and he knew Axel was angry.

Axel wasn't angry. Axel wasn't hurt. Anything he might have been able to feel was lost with the kiss.

They wordlessly parted ways and Axel pretended like it had all been fake. He pretended like he didn't want to chase Roxas down and smother him with kisses. He pretended like this wasn't a goodbye, because he hadn't had a heart to say goodbye to.