HOLY SHIT. Its been over a year since I've updated. Tee hee. I've tried to update several times- between writers block and college and work I've been pretty busy, but here's a new chapter for all you folks who have been waiting EEEONS (is that how you spell that idk?) for me to update, I LOVE YOU, and to my new readers, enjoy ;)
P.S. Woah- 250 reviews and 162 followers. Thanks guys, you really deserve this.
"NAMINE. Did you just hear anything I said? I know you've always been the more rebellious of the two of you, but frankly, this is unacceptable! Whatever problems your adolescent brain thinks has made this sort of behavior okay are not sufficient excuses for you to miss THREE WEEKS worth of classes." Roxas pulled his ear sharply from the phone, through which his mother was chiseling his patience away bit by bit. He ground his teeth in frustration, knowing he was largely at fault, but the feeling of anger and heartbreak clenching in his chest kept his mouth shut from both apology and explanation while she ranted.
Larxene tossed a tennis ball idly against the wall from where she sat on the floor, seemingly uninterested in Roxas' conversation; but his mother was hollering so loudly that he was sure she was listening to every word both parties exchanged.
"Yeah, mom. Sorry," Roxas rubbed his hand against his hair in a flustered rush, his wig waiting diligently in its spot on the bedpost, and then decided that all he wanted was for this conversation to be over. His mother began to blubber onward about how she couldn't believe he was wasting all that tuition money when he cut her off, saying, "Look mom, I'm coming home in a couple of days for Thanksgiving, can't we just talk about it then?"
Larxene stopped throwing the ball. The phone was quiet enough that she couldn't hear the answer, and she waited quietly while Roxas went through the typical, "Yeah mom. I know. Alright, I will. Yeah. Alright, love you too. Bye," and hung up.
"You knew you couldn't get away with it forever," she stated plainly. "I'm surprised you managed to get out of two classes for this long without serious repercussions. If you weren't one of the minority students whose parents pay full tuition you'd have been expelled by now."
Roxas grimaced, a recently familiar gesture. He'd been skipping music class and P.E., the two classes during which Axel had a decent chance of catching him alone, since the Halloween party. He'd stayed home after school. He'd ignored texts, phone calls, e-mails, letters, deleted his facebook, and the few times Axel had tried to interrupt his other classes to get a chance to see him, Tifa had done a pretty excellent job getting the point across- "She dumped you, Axel." Those were her exact words; and the stricken look on that arrogant, strikingly handsome face had broken something inside his chest, where his heart used to be.
And Larxene was right. He'd been lucky. Tifa had called him to her office more than once. Between her, the school counselor, and the school nurse he'd come up with so many excuses: cramps, illness, more illness, personal issues, family emergencies, mental breakdowns, ADD, until it became clear that he was straight up ditching school, ANYTHING to keep him from having to face Axel. Because he still couldn't think of anything to say; and once caught alone, Axel wouldn't stop until he had an answer.
The counselor had pulled in some of his friends, Larxene included, to ask them about him earlier that week; the prognosis was that he was depressed, and finally the school called his mother to let her know that her 'daughter' had been missing two classes a day for almost three weeks now; they were very concerned about 'Namine's' mental health. Of course, after the party he hadn't been able to answer to his other friends either. Especially Kairi. She'd come up to him asking what the fuck he did to her brother, and why he wouldn't even talk to him. Seeing as Kairi was the shoe goo holding most of their friends together, he'd distanced himself from everyone by doing so from Kairi. Ironically, the whole situation was pretty depressing.
Larxene had remained civil; but there was definitely a rift between them. She maintained her promise not to turn him in, and she never asked about what happened on Halloween. But she made it clear that she didn't approve of the way he'd chosen to handle everything after promising her she'd tell Axel the truth, and failing to do exactly that. This was all implied through a silently coldness that fell over their relationship, and Roxas never questioned it. As far as he was concerned, he deserved it. And now, he felt like his tank had finally hit empty; this truck was stuck in the mud, and now there wasn't any gas left for him to dig himself deeper.
Larxene sighed and stood up. Slowly shaking her head, she walked over and wrapped her arms around Roxas, making him jump a little, startled, she hadn't touched him, let alone hugged him, in awhile. As the taller girl leaned over him into the hug, she sounded tired, "You've been a coward. This pity party can't last much longer without you bringing the roof down on top of yourself".
Roxas eyes started to water; mostly from emotional exhaustion. "I'm tired of this. But I don't know what to do anymore. I've already ruined everything, so what's left to lose?"
Larxene groaned and stood up, giving Roxas an angry look as she did. "No. You don't get to say that. Roxas, you broke your promise, you abandoned your friends, and you ran away from someone who likes you SO much that it completely crushed him. But every choice you make is a step in one direction or another. You fucked it up, now only you can fix it."
Roxas stared at his feet. He didn't just feel like it, he was the scum of the earth. "I'm sorry, Larxene. I'm just going to do what I can to finish out the quarter. I've been e-mailing Namine, telling her that it's not working out here. She'll be back from France in time to take my place here after winter break."
Larxene's eyes widened a bit, "So you're really giving up? That's it?"
Roxas sighed wearily. "Yup. I'm done."
It was Friday, and Demyx was ready to get the hell out of dodge; dodge being this estrogen-stenched penitentiary of a school. The bright sides were that it was fall, so the typically stuffy, rarely comfortable music room was at a comfortably cool temperature. And that it was Friday. If he didn't get out of here soon, though, he was gonna whoop out some Rebecca Black on those half-wit teenage asses. Facetiously speaking, of course; Demyx was pretty sure he wasn't allowed to refer to his student's asses for any legitimate reasons. Not that it meant anything, the entire faculty knew him and Zexion had been dating merrily for about a month now. What was he thinking about again?
The bell rang, and he picked himself up, slightly regretful that he didn't make a run for it while he had the chance, and opened his mouth to address the class when the door opened and in walked Namine.
Roxas felt the weight of stares from every person in the room fall onto him as he continued walking and pulled up a chair in the back. "Sorry I'm late," he muttered, uncomfortably. There was no response for an awkward moment, before finally Demyx broke it.
"Well! Well, well, well. Namine, it's good to have you back," he grinned at her, earnestly happy to see her after having assumed he may never see her in his class again. Roxas gave him a weak smile back and Demyx began to address the class, gathering up all those lingering stares to the front of the room and away from the small blonde sitting alone in the back. Demyx reminded them all that they were to study over break, because though he personally didn't care for tests, the school board required him to give them midterms, and there would be two; one on basic music theory, one on music history. Both topics had been thoroughly covered during the first half of the period during the weeks Roxas had decided to be absent, and both exams would be given the Friday of the first week back. Attendance without explicitly pre-approved reason was mandatory, lest you fail the class.
Roxas groaned inwardly and sunk lower in his chair (absently pulling his skirt down with disciplined habit that he'd developed since taking up cross-dressing). He hadn't been there for any of the lectures, and without a seriously good tutor he'd fail for sure. He didn't want to do that to Namine; not when it was his own damned fault. The class broke up to go work in their groups on their music projects, and Roxas found himself standing, searching through the students, trying to find a suitable tutor. He could ask Yuna, but he wasn't sure she'd be willing to help him after how many times he'd turned down plans to hang out and ignored her texts. He couldn't help but consider that karma might be an ugly mutherfucker who plays dirty.
Considering karma and all, he didn't really notice Demyx until the teacher was standing literally a foot away from him, and spun around frantically, "Hi! Sorry, um what did you say?"
Demyx frowned worriedly, "Axel's not here."
Roxas blinked. Oh yeah. Axel. He had a brief thought to laugh at how he'd completely forgotten about Axel in the one class they had together cross, and then sudden anxiety washed it away. "What? Where is he?"
Demyx licked his lips nervously, "well, when you stopped showing up he thought he could wait you out, you'd come back eventually… but then days turned into weeks; he hasn't been in at all this week."
Roxas felt a stab of guilt, but did his best to ignore it… he nodded slowly, not really sure what to do next.
"I'd put you in another group in case he doesn't come back, but we're already half way through the quarter; it would be unfair to the other kids," Demyx gave him a sympathetic look, "Do you have any material you can work on today?"
The boy shook his head, "No, Ax… Axel kept it all. He did most of the work, so it made sense for him to hold on to it."
Demyx nodded. There was a moment of silence between them before Demyx finally put a gentle hand on Roxas shoulder. "You know, he was pretty beat up over you dumping him. It was pathetic. I bet if you asked, he'd literally come running back to class and help you finish the project, if only to spend time with you."
Roxas wouldn't look Demyx in the eye. "Yeah, which is exactly why I don't want to ask."
The teacher sighed, letting his hand fall to his side. "Alright. Do whatever you think is best. I'm not good at this role model thing; shit, I'm only like two, maybe three years older than you? But I do know that you can't finish this project without your partner; and without a tutor for these midterms, you'll probably fail the class too."
All Roxas could do was nod and say, "I understand."
Demyx gave him a hesitant look, and then turned to head to his office, where he'd wait for students who came to ask him for help periodically throughout the period. "And because you seem to need it right now, good luck," he called back as he slipped through the door.
The long blonde fibers of the wig tickled his cheek as Roxas turned and walked towards a practice room for some privacy. More than you know, he thought, wishing as hard as he could for luck to exist, and that he could come across enough of the stuff to get him out of this mess.
On the bright side, it was Friday, and after school his mom would pick him up and bring him home. Being a boarding school, they were given all of thanksgiving week off to spend time with family. Later in the week he would go to pick up his sister from the airport, and come home as Roxas, back from dad's for thanksgiving weekend. He would be home. He could see his sister. And he wouldn't have to see anyone from school for a week. He wouldn't have to pretend to be Namine for awhile. He wouldn't have to face Axel… at least, not yet. And as far as he was concerned, putting off that last one for as long as possible, even if that wasn't going to be very much longer, was all he had left.