Tainted Ocean

Chapter 12 - Kiss Me
Roxas POV

It felt like I was waking up from a trip underwater. First my mind broke into fresh air - then the feeling slowly moved down my body. I shifted, then blinked slowly. I felt unnaturally groggy, and it took a long time for me to remember all that had happened. Wait...I went into eye surgery. My god. Am I dead? Is that why it's so bright?

"The hell, Roxas. I think you of all people would know if you were dead." A wry yet taunting voice floated towards me. I quickly looked up, and my eyes widened as I saw Axel casually leaning against one of the beeping machines.

"Axel...?" I mumbled, blinking quickly.

He laughed slightly, his lips curling into a small smile. "Talk about Blank with a capital B."

I nodded, my words dying in my throat. Axel didn't seem angry. Did that mean I was off the hook?

"So..." Axel faltered slightly. "How're you feeling?"

"I can see fine, if that's what you mean." I mumbled, my lips drooping. The drug they used to knock me out made my tongue sluggish in my mouth. Axel's bright red hair was starting to give me a headache, and I moved my gaze to the plain ceiling. I finally managed to speak. "I'm sorry, Axel. I don't think I'll be-"

"Don't start that now. It's sort of obvious who you left us for. We both know why you stayed with her."


"You know what I'm talkin' about."

I might have felt heat rise to my cheeks if I had been able to feel embarrassment in the first place. "Where is she?" It came out as clear as mushed fruit, but Axel somehow deciphered the garbled words.

"She would be here herself if you were allowed visitors. I had to sneak past about eleven doctors and nurses alike just to get here, so ya better appreciate it." I had noticed the rather casual outfit he was sporting, but hadn't questioned it. "Speaking of - someone'll probably be around to check on you soon. I'll..." Momentarily, Axel's hand patted my pounding head. It more came off as painful (especially in my state) then friendly, but I gave him a grim smile in return. "I'll see you later, Roxas."

"Wai-" I trailed off when I saw the last of him disappear out the door. I sighed, relaxing my body against the sheets. At least I knew I wasn't gonna get my butt kicked. And with that final and rather content thought, I drifted off into a weirdly disoriented sleep.

I had never given my eyes enough credit - even that short week of not being able to see was like torture. Twisting in my bed, I reveled in looking at the sky, through the window in my small room. The same doctor kept coming in to check on me, but in my minutes alone, I looked at everything I could - seeking the colors I missed. It had taken me ages to get used to the brightness of the sun, but I drank it in all the same.

They wouldn't let Namine in to see me until forty-eight hours after the operation, but time was ceasing. After another check-up, I would be able to leave the hospital entirely. Everything had gone well, and I was feeling lighter and happier then I had in days. I would have to wear glasses for the rest of my life, but it was better then no sight at all. The frames suited me, or so the older nurse had said.

I wanted to see my Namine though. I could remember her smiling face, and her serious one. I could faintly hear her humming in the back of my head, but it was growing silent. I needed to refresh those memories. There were a few blurry spots, like the curve of her cheek, or the ends of her blond hair. I wanted to stroke her face, and most of all, I wanted to pick her up and swing her around without getting dizzy. Though things like that may have to wait until my cast had come off.

The thoughts alone were making my head spin. I barely slept, and the nurse ended up giving me another douse of some drug to get me to calm down. Nervousness pumped through me, but that cleared as soon as the doctor appeared to let me go. Excited expectation took it's place, and I hopped out of my bed enthusiastically. The doctor insisted on making me take ten calming breaths, and walk slowly around the room to make sure I wouldn't faint. I tapped my fingers against my leg impatiently as they finished marking up some papers.

In another hour, I was ready to leave this place once and for all. Or, I hoped so. I had a sling, which made my cast look much worse then it really was; the nurse walked me to the elevator and down the hallway. She only smiled at the nervous energy pouring off me, and I tried to calm myself again. I wouldn't want to scare Namine if I fell over unconscious on sight.

All thoughts disappeared when I saw her sitting there. Her clothes were wrinkled, and she looked tired from sitting there for so long, but the pumping in my chest let me know I had never appreciated just how beautiful she was. Namine finally looked up and met my eyes - her entrancing blue eyes - and she looked like her breath was caught in her throat. She jumped up towards me, startling a young woman with a baby. Said baby started to fuss, and Namine hurriedly turned around, bowing and apologizing while shuffling towards me. The lady waved her off, briefly grinning at me as I walked slowly towards the blond girl. I knew a huge smile was on my face, and when she gave a teary laugh my eyes greedily soaked up the vision, and I committed everything about her to memory.

"Ro...uh, Sora!" We hugged briefly, and the doctor had Namine sign something before finally letting us go. I hesitated when the nurse who had taken care of me waved her goodbye. I bent forward and gave her a brief hug, and she chuckled before seeing us off.

"Thanks for watching over him." Namine said gratefully.

"Not to worry. He's a sweetheart." By how she said it, I could tell she had some idea that Namine and I weren't siblings. I shrugged it off. I knew she could keep it a secret.

As we left, I breathed in the fresh air, letting the sun soak into my clothed skin. My eyesight had been returned to me - or, renewed, I suppose. Axel seemed to be fine with this sudden turn of events, and Namine...I fought to wait until we were out of sight of the hospital, before turning to the sun-kissed girl walking beside me. I reached down to grab a hold of her slim wrist, and our footsteps came to a stop.

"Roxas." She breathed, turning towards me. I cupped her face with my hands, and slowly leaned towards her. Our lips met almost gracefully, and I felt tremors of delight run through my body - Namine's lips were so soft and sweet, and I couldn't help but kiss her gently two more times before taking her hand and continuing our walk home. My heart was bursting, threatening to jump right out of my chest.

"Glasses suit you." She sighed happily, finger tapping the side of the thin black frame. I merely smiled, and reached to ruffle her hair. I let my arm drop over her shoulders, pulling her close against my side as we walked. Her own slipped around my waist, and our legs moved in perfect synchronization. She felt warm and secure, and I never wanted to let her go.

Namine smiled ahead, as we began our walk towards her cottage in the trees. I could feel her glance at me out of the corner of her eye, and we kept stopping to kiss again. I knew there was no one else I wanted more then her. I briefly wondered how much money I had - after all, it was only proper to get her a ring. I wanted to marry the wonderful girl that gave her time and love to heal me. I had finally become part of the ocean; clean and pure, my dirty self washing away with the foam and salt.

But, I would save those thoughts of the future for tomorrow. I wanted to spend the present thinking about nothing except this moment. I kissed the back of her hand; everything around me was refreshed with my new eyes.


(Oh, wait, keep reading. Epilogue time!)

E p i l o g u e ~ {Third person}

Axel slunk through the familiar grouping of trees, glancing over his shoulder instinctively, before walking through the hidden gate. Roxas was sitting on the same white porch as he always was, grinning when he spotted Axel appearing out of the shadows.

"Axel." He nodded, adjusting the napping girl who's hair was splayed across her father's lap. Axel, a quirky smile scattered on his lips, peered down at her face. His green eyes met sleepy blue. Her pink lips opened slightly, a happy half-awake giggle rising out of her throat. She rubbed her eyes with a small fist, her smile sweet in it's own way.

"Is she sleepy?" Namine came from around the corner, fixing her sunhat. When she spotted Axel hunched over to the side, she spoke again. "Hello Axel. How have you been?" She said brightly, reaching over Roxas' arm to pick up her daughter.

"Fine." Axel said gruffly, fidgeting under her kind smile. Roxas let his hand linger on his wife's, and she smiled down at him before hoisting her daughter into her arms, carrying her into the house to sleep in her room. Roxas shook his head tiredly, stretching the muscles of his arms and shoulders as Axel leaned against the side of the wooden porch. Roxas had never 'returned' to the Organization, but still remained quite close with a few members. When Axel got a phone call from a girl nervously telling him that Roxas had been hit by a car, he knew that he would never see his friend in the black cloak again. But, scarily enough, he was okay with it. He had always figured Roxas would be the first to leave. He had always been different then the other members - not very interested in the actual destruction, but just in the mechanics leading up to it.

Also, Roxas had never been interested in a girl before, so it was only a matter of time really. Soon after that phone call, Axel met with Namine in a small coffee shop. It only took a few minutes of rushed conversation; he was able to figure out just a few more reasons why Roxas had stayed with her. Axel found her gentle kindness a bit unnerving, but admired her for it nonetheless. The five years had passed quickly, and Roxas' headaches faded more with every passing day. Their treasured daughter had her father's eyes and smile, but her mother's light hair and forgiving manner.

"Are you staying for lunch?" Roxas asked amiably. Axel merely shrugged, knowing that no matter what he his answer was, Namine would be setting an extra place at the table.

Roxas fixed his hands behind his head. "Sora's coming over as well. It's been a while since we've all been together." Upon meeting, Roxas and Sora had gained a strong friendship (though it was a bit more competitive then most). Axel thought Sora was a nice kid; sure, a bit naive, but nice. Axel grinned down at his friend, who's deep blue eyes were watching the sky, a small smile drifting on his lips. He knew that the man in front of him had found the thing that his life had sorely lacked. Glad that Roxas was going to be spending his life with that singly person that filled that small extra space in your heart; where only true happiness lays.

(Of the story, anyway. Quick AN down there.)

I tried to add this the last two days, but FFnet was being stupidly non willing.
Writing epilogue's SUCKS. I didn't want to make it too cheesy, but I don't think I succeeded. Oh well. At least it's low-fat cheese, right?
Looking it over, I probably left out a few things. But I'm leaving those for you to imagine yourselves.
I'll be posting a new story soon, so check that little 'Author Alert' box when you review ;)

Review if you love Roxas. And even if you don't.
{But who doesn't, really...}