I have literally no words, I'm sure no one even remembers this story or reads it or has any intention of reading it, but it's just so close to being done and I've recently had this urge to just fucking write, so that is exactly what I'm doing.
"Crap," Axel hummed as he heard the front door open. "Marluxia?" He called to the back. "Hold your fire, there's more." He yelled as he kneaded his forehead, listening to Marly groan loudly, the sound of the mop hitting the floor. All he wanted to do was get the hell out of work, but noooo, apparently more people needed sex paraphernalia, hindering his departure.
"Don't stop on our account," a strong, male voice said as two people rounded the corner. Axel felt his stomach drop slightly, what the hell could they possibly want? He smiled nervously at the smirking brunette, his arms crossed over his chest, obviously buffer than his own.
"Do you guys need something?" He asked wearily.
"Not really, we just-"
"I'm sorry guys, but we're closing-hey! Hey guys!" Marluxia gushed as he came towards the register, grinning at the customers. "What are Gen and Vincent doing in our humble little sex shop? Are you two boning nowadays or what?"
"Absolutely not," Genesis said, his eyes half-lidded, shaking his head, ignoring Vincent's scowl.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"Geesh, sensitive." Gen replied as he shook his hand out. "We came to talk to you." He said as he looked at Axel who, in return, could only watch both men with wide eyes. "Don't look so nervous stud, we're not here to beat you up or anything."
"Ooh, dramatic!" Marluxia sang as he leaned against the counter.
"Shouldn't you be mopping?"
"Well aren't you the buzz kill this evening." He sighed as he made his way to the back once more, leaving the other three men alone.
"So why are you here then?" The redhead questioned as he jumped up, slamming his narrow ass back down on the counter with a thud.
"We came to extend our apologies," Genesis muttered as he and Vince exchanged slightly guilt-ridden glances.
"Apologies? About what?"
"Uh since...the funeral, we've taken into consideration that maybe we've been bad friends." Vincent said, trying not to be awkward. "I'm not exactly sure what happened but we're sorry...I guess."
"You sound so sincere." Axel noted with an arched brow, a gentle smirk.
"He's bad at this, but we are sorry." Genesis added as he leaned against the counter next to the redhead. "We used to be good friends right?" He asked, smirking as he crossed his arms over his chest smugly. Axel nodded as he smiled at both of them. It was a pleasant surprise for the evening.
"To be fair, I think we drifted when I got serious with Demyx..." He mumbled as he let his mind wander. "Did you guys..I dunno, talk to him at all? Uh before it happened? He wouldn't talk to me, didn't answer any of my calls and I just, I was just curious."
"Sorry, we didn't really talk to him." Vincent frowned as he watched the redhead. "But for what it's worth, Zex told me once that he seemed...happy."
"I'm glad," he replied with a shrug. "And Zexion? I mean, what about him?" Genesis scoffed unwittingly, immediately reddening as he coughed, clearing his throat in a desperate attempt to cover it up.
"Zexion seemed fine, but I guess he wasn't." Vincent answered once more, shrugging. Gen looked with worry at his companion. "Xion sends her apologies as well." He added, trying to steer the conversation away from delicate territory, grounds that no one was really ready to discuss anyways.
"Really? I find that surprising," Axel admitted with wide eyes.
"So did we, but I guess she's sort of been repenting for going a little crazy."
"I can't really blame her, I didn't at all. I know Xi, I wasn't worried about it or anything. But uh thank her for me I guess."
"Also to the kid you were with, she wants you to tell him she's sorry too." Axel felt his heart clench momentarily. He had successfully gone a few days without thinking about Roxas, and now it was just thrown back in his face. Life had a lovely way of perking him up, bringing in friends from his past, dredging up memories of his deceased ex, and now shoving that god damn kid in his face again.
"I would tell him, but I'm not actually speaking with him. Anymore. So if it's super important to her, I'm afraid she'll have to find another way."
"You're not with the guy you brought to your exes funeral? Please tell me it wasn't some stupid fling," Gen begged as he shook his head, making Axel scowl over at him.
"No, it wasn't just a fling, it just turned out the kid wasn't really who I thought he was, or rather he was exactly who he was but I just ignored it."
"The kid cheated on him!" Marluxia shouted from the back, obviously eavesdropping on the conversation.
"Thank you MARLY!" Axel screamed back, letting his eyes lid in frustration.
"Sucky karma much?" Genesis asked as he walked away from the counter, gently prodding the neon pink condoms hanging off the first shelf.
"No, if it was karma it'd be worse," Ax mumbled as he recalled his brother's anger about the whole thing. "You know Reno is dating Zack now?"
"Fascinating, I always thought he was straight." The brunette responded, pulled from his observations on the latex. "He covered it well," he added as he walked back towards Vincent. "We have to get going, plus you have to close anyways don't you?"
"Yeah, but uh, it was nice seeing you guys."
"It was nice seeing you too," Vince acknowledged with a simple nod. "We'll try not to be such crappy friends from now on, sound fair?"
"Fair enough," the redhead replied with a grin. Vincent left with a nod, expecting Genesis to follow, but the brunette stayed behind for a moment.
"I'm sorry you got cheated on."
"Oh, it's not really a big deal or anything, he was just some kid-"
"Axel, I saw you at the funeral, and I saw your face when that kid stood up for you and grabbed your hand. I know it wasn't just some kid." He explained calmly with a smile aimed at the floor. "So like I said, I'm sorry he didn't turn out to be who you thought he was, but maybe he just needs some time."
"...you think?" Axel was cautious to take heed to any of this, but this sort of positive feedback was something he secretly craved.
"I think so, I don't think anyone who didn't care about you would so something like that, I mean Xion is terrifying." Genesis finished as he smirked at the redhead.
"No problem, buddy. Just...take the risk. What's life without risk?" The brunette questioned, smirking as he shrugged, watching the redhead smile, somewhat sadly, his eyes on the counter. "Bye Marly," he called out as he slipped through the door.
"Bye guys!" Marluxia called out as he came back to the front, crossing his arms and scowling at the redhead. "Shoo me to the back," he complained as he leaned against the counter, looking back to watch Axel. "What'd they wanna talk about?"
"They just wanted to apologize." Axel replied with a shrug, finally slipping off the counter, planting his feet on the ground. "Genesis said Roxas didn't seem like just some kid," he sighed out as he walked over to the door, locking it to prevent any other late night visitors.
"Well, of course he isn't." Marluxia rolled his eyes, snapping it out as if it was an obvious statement. "Have you ever met another 'kid' like Roxas? 'Cause I sure as hell haven't."
"HEY! KID!" A girl screamed down the hallway, making Roxas cringe and roll his eyes as he stopped dead in his tracks. How had the nickname followed him all the way to school? He wasn't quite willing to turn yet, not ready to face whoever was calling him out. "Yoo hoo!" Apparently she wouldn't take no for an answer. "I didn't even know you went here, how is it possible I haven't seen you before?" Roxas tried to put on his strong face as he turned to see who it was, but his eyes dropped as soon as he did.
"Uh, I don't come to school much," he mumbled, tentatively wrapping his fingers around his forearm.
"Are you a senior?" She asked with narrowed eyes, lips pursed with suspicion.
"No, I'm a sophomore." He admitted with what dignity he could muster, watching her eyes widen slightly then tone down.
"And you're dating Axel, someone who just turned twenty two." Xion smirked gently and let her hand fly up to the back of her head, running her fingers quickly through her mane. "You're a kid after my own heart," she said, shaking her head a little.
"I'm not dating Axel, I never was. I was just screwing him."
"I see," she nodded, arching a brow. "You seemed awfully supportive at the funeral."
"And you seemed awfully crazy, we all change don't we?"
"You're pretty sassy aren't you?"
"It's the only way I know how to be." The two watched each other cautiously , like animals preying on one another, and finally, Xion let her lip turn up softly.
"I'm sorry...for how I acted then, it was uh, slightly crazy, wasn't it?"
"Just a tad, but I couldn't blame you, not completely anyways."
"Well, it's been a long summer, and I think it's better now, so I just wanted to apologize to you."
"You set out looking for me?"
"No, not at all. It was fate that I saw you here."
"Or fate." She argued back, still smiling, her eyes bright. "What's the matter, don't believe in fate, blondie?"
"No," he answered, faking the confidence he wished he could have when he said such things. Stupid Axel, stupid Leon, stupid fucking life. "I tend not to believe in such ridiculous things," Roxas mumbled as he heaved his bag on his shoulder again. "Do you need anything else from me?" He asked, his eyes darting towards the doors out, hoping his bus hadn't left yet.
"I guess not," Xion shrugged, tilting her head to the side as she watched him. "You want a ride home?" She asked, her eyes scanning the path to the world outside the high school, hearing the groan of a bus engine, hearing the groan of an obviously disgruntled kid beside her.
"Sure, sounds awesome." Roxas sighed out, following the grinning girl out to her car. "I live on Traverse street."
"Want a cigarette?" Her slim fingers moved to her lips, shaking the pack in front of his face, breaking the silence of the seemingly long drive. He only shook his head. "Really? Definitely woulda pegged a little badass like you as a smoker."
"I am a smoker, I'm just not in the mood. Might be laced with cyanide or something." His bright blue eyes rolled as he clenched his fist, resting his chin against it.
"You're testy ain't ya?" She asked with a grin, blowing smoke to the side, trying not to let the smoke billowing out of the window distract her from the road. "Well, whatever. It's a bad habit, you should quit. I should quit. I just kinda picked it up for lack of a better bad habit."
"Is there a reason you're doing this?"
"Doing what?" Xion asked with wide eyes, genuinely surprised at his hostility.
"Why are you apologizing? Being nice? Offering me a ride home and talking to me like I'm a human being?"
"Well, aren't you?"
"A fucking terrible one..." he grumbled, looking out the window once more. He didn't feel like a human being, not the way they were supposed to be. Human beings were supposedly compassionate and good, they cared about one another, they didn't do stupid thing after stupid fucking thing.
"See, I don't think so."
"What?" He was pulled from his inner rambling, his silent self loathing.
"I don't think there's such thing as a terrible human being. People are magnificent, they're wonderful. They're full of love and kindness, but everyone's got...bad stuff. It just happens, it happens to everyone. We make bad choices, we do horrible things, some of us more than others, but I would like to think, no, I know that people are good. Mostly, they're good. Especially you...what's your name?"
"Roxas...it's Roxas," the words stumbled across his lips clumsily, barely escaping.
"Roxas, whether you know it or not, whether you've really realized this or not, you're a good fucking person. You are loved, I know you are, and you are capable of so much fucking love. I saw it, I saw it at the funeral, when you took Axel's hand, and you stood up to me? Some wild eyed, mad stranger? You have this incredible potential to be a fantastic person, you're busting with it." Her smile so wide, her eyes so fucking bright, her whole energy was so fucking positive he almost couldn't handle it. Xion didn't know him, she knew nothing about him.
"Good people..." He felt his throat choke, he felt his words snag. "They don't exist, they-"
"They do," she argued with him again. Her eyes focused on the road, her fingers spastically tapping and gripping the steering wheel, she grinned impossibly wide. "Roxas, you're a great person. I can just tell. If I learned anything, if I learned anything during that whole fucking summer, during my whole god damn life, it's that people are capable of so much fucking love it hurts." And now she was crying, still smiling, still driving, but tears streamed down her face. She hit the brakes, a screeching halt at the corner. And now Xion turned to him, entwined her slim fingers with his own. "You can love and do bad things, it's just a matter of what you do after." She laughed a little as she wiped her eyes, trying to erase any marks of a hysterical outburst. "Roxas, love is powerful and important...any kind of love. All kinds of love. There are a million different ways to love someone, and they're all perfect." Roxas could only nod at her, his own eyes wide now.
"Thank you," he managed to mumble. He didn't know what it was about this girl, this tiny yet strong girl, but she seemed absolutely, madly brilliant. Roxas couldn't stop himself as he leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her. "Thank you for the ride, thank you for...not killing me at that funeral." She laughed into his shoulder before they peeled themselves off of one another. He heaved his backpack again as he got out of her car.
"I will see you around kid," she promised him, and he absolutely believed her, not even angry with the title he had been trying to escape for so long. He walked down the street, a much shorter journey than his original fake home when he first got know Axel. He trekked his way up the stairs and leaned against the door, erasing his own hysterical outburst, though it hadn't been hysterical or an outburst of any kind, mere tears running freely.
"Rox?" His mother asked as she peered around the corner from the kitchen. "Roxas! What's wrong?" Yuna practically screeched as she raced towards him, and he could only wrap his arms around her now, hiding his face in her chest, breathing deeply.
"I love you," he choked out and Yuna felt her heart practically stop. It had been so long since she had heard her son say that.
"I love you too sweetie, but what's wrong?"
"I'm sorry, for everything. I'm sorry for being so fucking terrible, and I'm sorry that my father was such an asshole. I'm sorry for everything you've had to do and put up with me." And now his mother was crying, he knew it, he didn't even have to look up to know that. "I'm so fucking sorry that I turned out so awful."
"Oh Rox, you're not terrible. You're the only fucking thing worth doing that I have ever done.