Roxas noticed the man as soon as he walked into the store. He was hard to miss – tall, with a long mane of bright red hair pulled back into a long ponytail. The redhead moved purposefully, heading straight to the produce section. Roxas found himself watching the man absently out of the corner of his eye as he did his own shopping. An assortment of vegetables went into the man's shopping cart, and unlike how Roxas did his shopping this guy didn't just toss in the first thing he saw. There was obvious contemplation that went into choices.

He felt like they'd met before. There was something familiar. He knew he knew the redhead, he just couldn't remember how or why.

"Hi."

Roxas's eyes jerked up from the package of strawberries in his hands to find the redhead suddenly right next to him.

"H-hi."

The redhead's smile made his hair seem pale in terms of brilliance. "I'm Axel. You want these." Axel placed a different package of strawberries in Roxas's hand, hiding the other back among the other on the shelf. They seemed about the same as the previous package, maybe a bit brighter in color. "They're riper. Assuming, of course, you'll be using them soon?"

"I-I am. Roxas, by the way."

"Then you're good, Roxas."

"Oh... Okay." He dropped them in his cart. He was staring, and it was hard to stop. It wasn't often that really hot redheads approached him out of the blue. "I don't mean to sound weird, but have we met before."

Axel's lips pursed into thin line. He shrugged and smiled again. "Maybe. Do you go to Thirteen?"

The name wasn't familiar. "What's that?"

"A restaurant." Axel's grin slipped wider. "I'm one of the chef's there. Hmm..." Axel leaned back slightly, his foot tapping on the floor. "High school?"

"Rockridge."

"I went to Central. And, I'm guessing you've never been to culinary school. I never went to college."

Roxas shook his head. "I'm in Engineering."

"Clubbing?"

"Not really." He'd been once or twice with his twin Sora and Sora's partners, Riku and Kairi, but he would have remembered someone like Axel.

"I am at a loss then." The dead end only seemed to improved Axel's mood. He shifted a step closer, leaning his hip against the stand of strawberries. "What're you cooking?" Axel pointed at the grocery basket slung over Roxas's arm.

He glanced down at the assorted contents. There wasn't much there. Milk, strawberries, a box of cereal, some yogurt, a couple boxes of pasta. "No idea. I hadn't really planned anything yet."

"I could fix that for you."

Did he just get asked out on a date? Roxas couldn't remember the last time that had happened. "Ah... yeah. I'd like that."

*****

Roxas lived in a modest apartment downtown. With his salary, he could have afforded better. He chose convenience and location over luxury. His apartment was a fifteen minute commute by subway to work, right off one of the main subway lines. It was a low crime neighborhood, mostly residential. He lived on the ground floor, with a small yard maintained by the building supervisor right out front of his window.

"Nice place." He got the sense that Axel actually meant that, unlike half the guys Roxas brought back here on dates.

He glanced sideways at the redhead, his gaze once again traveling down the man's slim figured appreciatively. "Thanks."

The man knew how to dress. Roxas had never heard of Thirteen but he guessed it was a kind of upscale restaurant from the way Axel dressed. He wasn't in a suit and tie, but he was definitely dressed up – nice shirt, fitted pants. His clothing was obviously tailored to fit him, which spoke of money.

"Where do you want these?" Roxas shifted the paper bags in his hands and pointed ahead and to the right. "Kitchen's that way. Feel free to toss your stuff in the fridge if you need. There should be plenty of room." He tended not to keep left-over for long.

Roxas dropped his bags on the counter and started shelving the dry goods.

"Hey, Roxas?"

"Hmm?" He glanced up.

Lips brushed over his own in a light, chaste kiss. "Thanks for inviting me over."

They stared at each other in silence for a long minute before Roxas smiled. He looked down at the empty paper bag, folded it, and slid it behind the trash can. "Thanks for cooking dinner."

Axel laughed, the sound ringing brightly through the kitchen. "In case you hadn't guessed, I love to cook. I'm happy to, any time."

Roxas smiled. He likely would be taking Axel up on that offer. As he moved to pick up another bag of groceries, he impulsively reached up and grabbed Axel by the ponytail – not hard – pulling him down into a deeper kiss. Axel's mouth opened for him and he moaned happily, gasping slightly when Roxas released him a few seconds later. The half-lidded look Axel gave him made Roxas smirk as he stepped away to continue putting away groceries.

Axel, it turned out, was not just a chef, but an excellent chef. He'd made something with a foreign name and a lot of vegetables that had tasted divine. Afterwards, they settled on Roxas's couch with two glasses of white wine. There was a movie on the TV, something old in black and white, but he wasn't paying attention. He didn't think Axel was either. His suspicion was confirmed when Axel took a deep drink of his wine before setting it firmly on a coaster and then slid across the couch to place himself firmly astride Roxas's lap. Roxas's hands automatically settled low on Axel's hips to steady him.

"So," Axel said, a wide grin splitting his face, "where did we leave off?"

Axel's waist was thin, on the verge of bony, but Roxas didn't mind. He opened his mouth to answer and found Axel's tongue inside before he could do so. Axel shifted on his lap, rocking his hips, sliding against Roxas with delicious friction. It was Roxas's turn to moan and he used his grip on Axel's hips to occasionally press him down hard against Roxas. Axel's tongue played against his, darting in and out of his mouth, coaxing Roxas's tongue into exploring Axel's mouth so that he could then suck at it, the sound obscenely loud.

A hand on his chest signaled that Axel wanted to stop and they slowly pulled away. Axel was panting, that gorgeous, half-lidded look on his face again that made Roxas hard just from the thought of how much better he'd look when Roxas was fucking him. Slowly, Axel slid back until his knees dropped to the floor. He reached down, licked his lips once, and glanced up at Roxas before popping the button on Roxas's pants. The zipper slid down with a hiss, deafening in the suddenly silent room. Roxas could barely breathe, not quite sure if moving would break the surrealism of the moment. Axel licked his lips once more as he leaned forward and Roxas found himself fascinated with the slightly pointed red tongue as it peaked from between Axel's lips before said lips closed over Roxas's erection, enclosing him and swallowing him down.

His head hit the back of the couch and he shifted his knees wider, giving Axel more room to settle between them. Axel sucked cock like a Hoover. His mouth was hot and tight, tongue moving around Roxas's cock as he bobbed, flicking over the head as he paused with only the tip inside his mouth before swallowing it all down to the base, his nose buried in coarse hair. Then Axel moaned, the reverberations nearly making Roxas buck off of the couch. He felt Axel laugh around his cock and Roxas groaned.

Axel bobbed once, twice, then slid off with a pop.

"Lift your hips."

Roxas complied. Between them, they got Roxas's pants down around his ankles. Axel reached into his pocket and pulled out two foil packets. The first – a condom – he opened, tearing the corner of the packet with his teeth and the rolling the rubber down over Roxas's erection. Axel dropped his pants as he stood, sliding once more into place on top of Roxas's lap.

Roxas took the second packet from Axel before he could open it. "Let me."

He squirted a generous portion of the lube on two fingers as Axel pulled off his shirt, leaving him completely naked on top on Roxas. Reaching back, he traced the curve of Axel's ass to his entrance and slowly pushed both slick fingers inside, reveling in the low moan they wrangled out of Axel. He counted to ten once he was fully seated – all the way the knuckle – then started moving and scissoring them.

"Oh, gods!" Axel arched into his touch, grabbing his shoulders for support. "Ah. Please. Roxas!"

Roxas moved his fingers slowly, testing and teasing, exploring inside of Axel until suddenly Axel gasped and shuddered against him. He pressed the same spot again, then a third time, grinning at the begging pleas that emerged from Axel's mouth, making sure he had enough of an idea where Axel's prostate was that he could hit it again.

"Enough."

Axel pushed Roxas's hand out and slid forward and then down, impaling himself on Roxas's cock. They both moaned loudly. Axel's fingers gripped Roxas's shoulders tightly as he moved. He bounced, slowly at first, then at an increasing pace until Roxas was certain he had to be hurting himself with how hard their hips were smacking together. Each smack down wrangled a moan out of Axel, and an even louder one out of Roxas. He twined one hand in Axel's hair – at some point it had fallen loose from its ponytail – wrapping the strands around his fingers and pulling just hard enough to make Axel's neck arch, the other hand guiding their hips as he slammed up hard into Axel.

Axel came first, his seed spilling across Roxas's t-shirt as he shouted Roxas's name, his eyes glazed with pleasure. He collapsed against Roxas's chest, his head tucked into the crook of Roxas's neck. Shudders ran through his body each time Roxas thrust but he kept moving, albeit more slowly, and as Roxas neared the end he started to pick out the faint mewls Axel was making as Roxas continued to fuck him, almost too quiet to be heard over the harshness of Roxas's loud moans. His own climax was quiet in comparison. He buried himself deep inside of Axel and came with a soft sigh.

"I don't suppose I could borrow your shower?" Axel mumbled into his skin.

Roxas chuckled. "You can borrow the bed too." He tried not to think too hard of what it might be like to wake up with Axel there in the morning, or the fabulous possibility of morning wake up sex with Axel.

The answering laugh was all he needed. "I like this plan."

When Axel kissed him, it tasted like strawberries.