Roxas lets out a slow, sad sigh as his hand slowly scratched out some words on a piece of old paper. The sounds of the hospital around him were familiar. They should be; he's been here for almost two years. And with each passing day, his body gets weaker and weaker.
He let out a sad smile as he looked out the window. Any day now, his heart was going to give out from all the stress it was being put under. The sad thing, however, was that he doesn't get to have a chance to say goodbye to Axel, tell him how he feels.
He closes his eyes and imagines the days when the two of them were able to hang out, when his ticker wasn't so fragile. They used to just sit and talk for hours, eating various sugar confections. And that laugh... He misses it so.
Shaking his head, Roxas lets out another sigh before taking a deep, shaky breath and finishes the poem. There, He thinks, reading it over carefully. Hopefully the nurse will give it to him...
I'm so tired...
He closes his eyes and lays back into the bed. The heart monitor beside the barely adult slows before that dreaded flat line echoes throughout the room.
Axel stares at the freshly upturned earth, green eyes cold with hurt. Why didn't he have me come visit him? He asks himself over and over. Damnit, Rox, I didn't get to say goodbye!
He doesn't look around as people slowly move to get out of the rain. He can't bring himself to move away from the headstone. Twenty years isn't long enough on this earth. Why did he have to go? Axel shoves his hands into his pockets, fingers brushing over a small ring. He smiles wryly. Wasn't just yesterday he was going to walk confidently into that hospital room and ask his best friend to marry him? God, it felt like it.
"Excuse me, sir?" Axel makes a non-comical grunt in affirmation that he had heard the pretty young nurse. She gives a sad smile. "Are you Axel?" Again, there's another grunt, accompanied by a nod. "He wanted you to have this," She hands him an envelope with his name written in Roxas' handwriting.
He takes it numbly and opens it. He's the only one around and he finally lets his tears fall down at the words written. It almost hurts him more to read them, knowing that the love of his life was gone forever, than to stand there in front of his grave.He can almost hear the blond's soft voice.
"Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep." Axel forces back a sob. It was one of the poems they had read together in poetry class years ago. Why had the blond rewritten it?
Shaking his head, he pushed the poem back into the envelope before shoving it into his jacket.
)(A month later)(
Axel let out a low, irritated sigh. The power was out in his house due to a wind storm and it only brought back memories of the times he had asked Roxas to tell him a funny story. It was nothing new to the blond; he knew the redhead's fear of storms.
"I am a thousand winds that blow," Axel looks around quickly, trying to find the source of that sweet voice. He felt a lump in his throat and tried to swallow. No... He's dead. He can't be talking to me. He thinks, furiously wiping the tears away. It only takes another few seconds before he grips a photograph of the blond.
Roxas stares back at him with those beautiful blue eyes he loved to look into for hours, a small smile that used to have his heart skip a beat and... That look of love aimed only at the photographer and no one else. A splash of water falls onto that pale face as tears slide down the redhead's face.
Sipping at a cup of hot chocolate, Axel sits by the window on this cold winter's night. He feels so tired all the time, not having much energy for anything. Yesterday, one of Roxas' old friends, a kid by the name if Hayner, had stopped by yesterday to check and see how the green eyed man was doing.
A wry smile came to his lips. Everything he did anymore was mechanical. He just couldn't find anything in life to enjoy. His whole world was ripped away. Slowly, he fell into a restless sleep.
A low groan left him as the sun hit his eyes. Closing them tighter before slowly opening them, his breath was stolen from his lungs.
His entire front yard was covered in snow, glistening beautifully in the sunlight. He whipped his head around when he heard soft laughter. "Go outside, Axel." The voice seemed to say. Without bothering to get his shoes on, he scrambles to his feet and opens the door quickly.
"I am the diamond glint on snow," "Hey, slowpoke!" Axel wasn't sure if it was his mind or not, but he swore he saw Roxas, bundled up in winter clothes, out in the snow, the frozen water particles clinging to his eyelashes. He looks so... happy that Axel can't help but smile sadly.
Shaking his head, he shuts the door.
There's a very fine layer of stubble on Axel's face at the moment. With a sigh, he stands up straight from working on his cousin's farm and wipes the back of his hand over his forehead, brushing the sweat away. He closes his eyes partially as a breeze blows through and he smiles slightly, the first smile he's let out in a while.
He looks over the field of wheat he's been harvesting almost proudly. Thought he couldn't help but think of Roxas, with the color of the plant. "I am the sunlight on ripened grain," Axel felt tears enter his eyes but pushed them away. He had a job to do; he could mourn when he went to bed that night.
It has been exactly one year since his love passed away. Axel is, once again, standing in front of Roxas' grave, a few flowers in his hands. He shudders softly and looks down at the words etched into the cement slab. He doesn't really know what brought him back here when he he knows that it only causes him pain.
He chuckles dryly when rain starts to fall around him, though, surprisingly, none lands on him. He looks up but doesn't see an umbrella or a tree of any kind. He feels... Warm for some reason. The tears, however, begin to fall when a soft voice whispers into his ear. "I am the gentle autumn rain." He slowly slides to his knees, not caring that his pants were getting muddied.
"Roxas..." He whispers, chocking on the knot in his throat. "God, I miss you so much." And he cries. Not a drop of water is on his body from the rain, but the ground beneath him his soaked from tears and rain.
)(A week later)(
Axel's eyes slowly open to find himself on his couch. He can't recall what happened over the past week. Crying, he can tell that much. He sighs quietly to himself and shakes his head before getting to his feet. He doesn't bother to react to the sound of soft laughter in his ear anymore. He's just too tired to cry anymore.
"When you wake in the morning hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight." Axel shakes his head, walking right through the image of Roxas he sees and opens the door to get his paper. What stops him, though, is the natural beauty of the geese, high in the air, slowly twisting and turning in the air, changing their patterns every few seconds. And he can't help it. He smiles.
The day passes by in the blink of an eye. Soon it's midnight and Axel stumbles into his door. In his hand is a bottle of hard liquor.
"Damnit, Roxas!" He shouts, throwing the bottle onto the ground. "I needed you!" He cries over the sound of shattering glass.
He shakes head as he pants and looks up at the sky, watching the stars glittering. "Hey Axel?" Roxas asks, looking up at the sky. "Let's make a promise to each other."
Axel laughs and nods, wrapping an arm around his friend's shoulder, not missing the blush on the blond's face. "Of course, Roxas."
The blond looks at the sky intently, trying to think of the words. "Oh! I know! If one of us dies, we'll look after the other, okay?" He asks.
Axel looks at him seriously and sadly. He knows Roxas is going into the hospital tomorrow and probably isn't going to be out in a while. "Of course, Roxas, just don't you go dying on me, you hear?" He asks, ruffling the head of blond hair.
"I am the soft starlight at night." Axel shakes his head of the memory. You were so beautiful... I wish you were here right now, Roxas. I need you. I always will... He thinks, looking up at the sky. The same sky as before, the only thing eternal in his short, fragile life.
Axel smiles at his reflection in the mirror, humming softly. He didn't know where the song came from all of a sudden, but he remembered the blond singing it when he was alive.
He almost jumped but touched his cheek when he felt something brush the skin there. It almost felt like a kiss. "I am the song that will never end."
"Axel? Get you ass down here!" Axel jumps at the sound of his older brother's voice and shakes his head. Jogging down the stairs, he's greeted by the sight of smiling faces, both of his family, Roxas' family and all their friends.
"'Bout time you got down here!" Hayner states, rolling his eyes. "C'mon, we want you to cut the turkey." The whole mass of people moves into the large dining room of Axel's brother's house and waits patiently.
"I am the love of family and friend." Axel glances around as he hears familiar laughter. He shrugs it off and slices into the turkey. He feels... Oddly complete all of a sudden, as if Roxas were right beside him, chatting away with Olette.
"Axel? You okay?" The brunette girl asks, setting a hand on his shoulder. Axel nods and smiles at her. Yes, that feeling is coming from everyone around him.
Dinner is soon devoured, presents ripped into and, one by one, everyone leaves the large house.
Passing by an orphanage, Axel pauses. He doesn't know why, though, but he's compelled to walk inside. The nun looks at him and smiles. "What can I help you with, sir?" She asks sweetly.
Axel returns the smile without knowing it. "I'd like to adopt," He said softly. The woman nods and stands up, leading him into the children's ward. Hearing a small child cry, he walks over to him and nearly stops in his tracks. It's a small blond with wide blue eyes.
Without hesitation, he picks up the blond boy up and rocks him softly. Almost instantly, he stops crying but clings to Axel as he sniffles. The nun watches in awe.
"I'll adopt him," Axel says, swaying back and forth soothingly. She only nods numbly and draws the paperwork up. Within ten minutes, Axel is walking down the street with a sleeping child in his arms.
"I am the child who has come to rest in the arms of the Father who knows him best."
)(A few weeks later)(
"Daddy, Daddy! Watch me!" Axel smils as he s his newly adopted son, Demyx, run into the shallow waters of the ocean beach. He is sitting on a towel, only about ten yards away. A loud giggle leaves the small boy as he ran back towards Axel and threw his arms around him. "Did you see me?!" He asks.
Axel chuckled and kissed his forehead. "'Course I did, Dem." He replies, holding the soaked toddler to his body and wrapping a towel around him when he yawns. Axel leans back lightly as he holds the boy close, eyes half lidded as he watches the sun sink lower and lower in the sky, almost gone now.
"When you see the sunset fair, I am the scented evening air."
Axel smiles and inhales slowly before letting it out. It smells so much like his love that he tears up before pushing the thought away. "Love you," He whispers.
)(Forty years later)(
Axel smiles fondly as he watches his son's family come into the house. The blond boy he had raised is holding a small, pink bundle in his arms as his very pregnant soul mate follows him into the bedroom. "Hey, Dad." Demyx whispers as he sits on the edge of the bed.
Axel smiles a bit wider and feels tears enter his eyes. "Hey Kiddo." He whispers back, voice soft in his old age. "How's my little girl doing?" He asks, gesturing to the baby in Demyx's arms. Demyx swallows thickly and gently passes the baby to him. Axel shifts and holds the girl carefully. She has her mother's lilac hair and, for some reason, his green eyes. The girl giggles as she looks up at her grandfather.
"You're gonna be a beautiful young woman," Axel whispers to the baby, tears slowly falling down his face. He only now realizes he won't see her grow up. He's dying and he knows it. Demyx's partner takes the child when he notices Axel coughing.
Demyx takes his Dad's hand and tries to hold back his tears. The greatest man he knew looks so frail on that bed, wasting away to nothing. "Dad..." He whispers.
Axel shakes his head. "Don't be sad, Demyx. I'm so very proud of you. I always have been. And nothing will ever change that." He murmurs softly, wiping the tears from his son's eyes.
He looks at the blond proudly and smiles again. Most likely the last smile he'll ever grace the world with. "You've made my life brighter than you could ever know, Demyx. Don't let this old man dying dull it." He says softly as his eyes close. There was nothing left for him to do but sleep now.
In a frame beside his bed, was the poem that was handed to him all those years ago, the paper faded but the words still visible.
"I am the joy of a task well done. I am the glow of the setting sun."
)(A few days later)(
Unlike Roxas' funeral, Axel's wasn't raining. Friends and family gathered around to lay to rest the redhead who, without knowing it, kept all of them going through the hard times.
Demyx cries into Zexion's shoulder as they lower the casket into the ground and cover it with brown earth. As everyone slowly vacates the area, he kisses his love's cheek. "I'm just going to say goodbye," He says softly. Zexion smiles sadly and nods before leaving to go to the car with their daughter.
Demyx lets out a shaky smile. "I know you're in a better place, Daddy..." His throat closes up. He hadn't called Axel that in years. Still, he forces the words from his voice box. "But I hope you know you're terribly missed." He had honored his father's last wishes and was buried beside Roxas.
And suddenly, Demyx is a little child again, crying in the orphanage. He gasps when a set of arms circles him, so warm, strong, and familiar. Looking around, he sees no one. Demyx wipes his eyes and stands straight. "I love you, Daddy," He whispers before turning to join his partner and child in the car.
"Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there, I did not die!"
Axel opens his eyes to the sound of familiar laughter. "Roxas?"
The blond grins and tackles him. "Axel!" He cries out, holding the redhead tightly.
"Where are we?" Axel asks, looking around. It was too beautiful for words. Roxas only grins.