A/N: Ahhhh the sweet scent of filler. Don't we all love it? No…? ._. Well then…you're sure gonna love this chapter! 8D -laughs nervously- I know, I lie like none other.

I would like to thank my new reviews, NinjaSheik and Regidork, they be awesome. Yup yup.

Disclaimer: Yeah so I was walking outside the other day and I thought, "What if I owned Kingdom Hearts…?" Then I got hit by a bus.

Now! On with the show~!


Chapter IV: Fix The Sky A Little


I had to run. I didn't care where I went; I just had to get away from here. The thought crossed my mind to just run back into the bathroom, but really, did I want to spend another night alone in there, crying my eyes out?

No, I didn't. So where else was there to go?

My eyes hit the front door and my heart leapt into my throat. I wasn't allowed out of this house, I wasn't allowed to go anywhere else but here. But no one was stopping my feet from running towards the only escape route I saw.

I fumbled with the knob for a moment, my hands still sweaty and nervous. I could hear Axel's footsteps from behind me; hear my name being shouted like a loud sweet sounding bell in my ears. I didn't stop though. I pushed the door open and flung myself out into the open aired apartment hallway. Warm August summer air hit me like a punch to the gut. It was as if I hadn't really breathed in days and this was the first time I had actually taken a full breath of real air. And it would have been totally refreshing if I wasn't running for my life.

I hitched on my toes and sprinted down the left hallway where I saw the stairs leading down the side of the building. I didn't take my eyes off of them as I fumbled while running, my feet tripping and stumbling because I refused to look away from my main target. It was stupid and ridiculous that I had even hoped to not get caught in this feeble attempt escape. I knew that when a warm and familiar hand clamped itself around my shaking arm. I hadn't even gotten to the stairs. I was seriously a failure.

"…Roxas, please wait."

His hand squeezed my arm tightly but almost affectionately. I was surprised he hadn't blown up on me yet. I thought for sure he would yell – tell me how disgusting I was. Something other than just saying my name and please! I hadn't even thought he'd be this…nice about it. What the hell was wrong with him? Something was because he was way too kind for his own good.

"Roxas…Why don't we go out somewhere?"

I blinked a few confused times, my watery eyes refusing to let the tears they desperately wanted to cry fall. I couldn't quite comprehend his question. Was I finally going crazy? Had he really just asked if he wanted to…?

"Let's just get away from here. I can go buy you a coffee, you like coffee? Or ice cream? I'll get you whatever you want, okay? Does that sound good?"

With my heart pounding in my ears I turned around, my eyes finally spilling a few drops of evil liquid. But for some reason…I just didn't give a damn that I was crying in front of him. His eyes were just so…caring. So compassionate and kindhearted. And I only cried more at that.

Why was he so perfect?


I sat still, playing silently with the straw that stuck out of the milkshake Axel had so graciously purchased for me. Not that I'd asked for it, not that I had even wanted it. I wasn't exactly in the milkshake mood.

Axel tried not to look directly at me from his spot across from me, his eyes seemingly wandering the small little coffee shop on the corner of the bay front, as if his mind was on something other than me. I wondered for a moment why Axel had wanted to take me from the apartment, it's not like I was allowed out of it. House arrest was house arrest. There weren't really any in-betweens, were there? Nevertheless, it didn't seem like he was going to tell anyone about this little outing, I mean, that would only get him in trouble anyway.

I glanced around the little shop once again, following Axel's eyes. I'd actually been here before many times. It was cozy and calm – it had that homey feeling to it and always smelled of coco beans. My friends and I came to this exact place often after school let out, just to chill and whatnot. I was glad I didn't feel any pain being there, the memories seemed to stay at bay for the time being.

I eyed Axel again; the silence was starting to bother me. I didn't want him to talk or anything, I just wished he had let me run away. I wished that he had yelled at me so I could have at least had a good reason for fleeing from his presence. I was so damn antsy just sitting there in the practically abandoned café with so much on my mind I thought my brain would overflow out my ears from all the thoughts running around in it.

What did Axel think about me now?

Well obviously he knew what I thought about him. Even though I wished those feelings away. I just longed for my stupid infatuation with him to disappear. I really didn't need to deal with this right now, after all I've been through. I guess this was just icing on the cake of despair.


I flinched when he said my name, biting on the inside of my lip nervously. And here it comes – the talk. The one where he says he's really not that in to me and that we should just be friends from now on. Well, that would be fine. I could live with that, right? All I would have to do is avoid him for the rest of my life and…

"What's your favorite color?"

I frowned down at my cup, watching the condensation drip down the sides slowly. I really…didn't understand him one bit. I try to kiss him and he sits me down to talk to ask me that?

I took a deep breath and squeaked out, "Red."

I almost slapped my hand over my treacherous mouth. Seriously had I just said red?! What the hell?! Since when had it been red? I thought it was always green

Axel surprised me by laughing out loud, a large smile stretching out on his face. His pointer finger and thumb went straight to his lip ring and he fiddled with it as he said, "Red, huh? Alright. Favorite animal?"

What was this? Twenty questions? "I…I like dogs…"

Axel nodded and continued on. "Favorite kind of food?"

I kept my eyes focused on my cup as I answered him again, "Italian…is good. But Chinese…I like that too…" So why in the world was I telling him these things? Just what was he getting at?

"Cool, I like Italian too. Are you part Italian or something?" he asked. His eyes were almost glowing with interest, his hand still stuck on his lip, pushing the ring back and forth through the hole in his skin. I watched with wide eyes, somehow it was oddly attractive the way he did it.

I swallowed thickly and tried to remember his question. What had he asked me…? Oh right. "I think I'm…a quarter Italian or something like that," I mumbled, trying to remember back to when my parents would tell me about my heritage, which wasn't much. I was just a mutt, a mix of a lot of things, they would always say. I bent the straw with my fingers, still chewing at my lip but not as frantically as before. It was weird…for a second I thought that my heart was actually calming down a bit.

"Don't know much about your heritage, do ya?" I shook my head timidly sipping from the milkshake straw, getting vanilla on my tongue. Axel just smiled and continued, "I'm Portuguese myself. Irish too, but you didn't need to know that." His smile turned into a smirk and my eyes found it hard to look away from him like that. So he was Irish? That explained the crazy red hair…

"Anything you want to know about me, Roxas?" he asked suddenly, placing both his skinny elbows onto the table he rested his chin in the cradle he created with his long, laced fingers.

I opened my mouth but closed it quickly. Axel raised an eyebrow at my action. Damn him for being so observant. "What's the matter? You can ask whatever you want, really. I'm all ears." He accentuated the comment by pulling on one of the hoops pierced through his cute ears, grinning stupidly.

I sighed, feeling defeated. There really was no point in keeping it from him. "Where are you going with this?" I asked quietly. I didn't look back up at him no matter how much I wanted to. I couldn't let him see my eyes and I didn't really want to see his either.

There were a few moments of silence but eventually he answered my question. "I just want to get to know you better."

All I could do was nod and chew on the plastic straw that sat in my mouth. He wanted to get to know me? But why? What was the point anyway? I'd be out of his life soon enough and he'd never have to deal with me ever again after that. There was no point in becoming friends just for that short amount of time.

"Isn't that what people do when they like each other?"

I almost spit the milkshake back out onto the table. Instead it got caught in my throat but slid back down uncomfortably, causing my eyes to water and a pitiful cough to escape from my mouth.

Had I just…heard right?

Axel smirked open mouthed from across the table. "Unless I got the wrong idea. I really thought by what you did back at the apartment that you—"

I waved my hands in his face, begging for him not to continue. "I-I just…I didn't know what I was thinking, or doing for that matter. I'm really sorry. It won't happen again, so please let's just get on with our lives. Please…" My heart slowed at the end of my sentence but it still beat like a fire, hot in my ears. I just knew they were beat red along with my face.

Axel didn't seem convince, maybe even a bit smugger than before. "Roxas I'm not stupid, I know how you look at me. And if you were the least bit observant then maybe you would see the way I look at you."

The straw flicked out of my mouth as I looked up at him. His smile was warm and soft, his eyes shining with the smallest bit of amusement. He was just…full of surprises, wasn't he?

"This…won't work," I stated the obvious even though I didn't want to. My mind just kept telling me to find excuses. This couldn't be real; he couldn't really be telling me that he felt the same way. It just wasn't possible. Besides, there were plenty of reasons for this to never ever work out.

"Oh yeah?" he inquired, leaning over the table again only this time a lot closer to me. Like his nose was almost touching mine. Don't lean forward. Don't for the love of god lean forward, no matter how good he smells, no matter how much you'd love those lips on yours. You cannot lean forward.

"Y-yeah," I stuttered. I was just surprised I had actually uttered a coherent word with our proximity.

Axel let out a quick, short laugh, "It's okay, I'm in to guys too. You're not alone." He quickly tapped his pointer finger to my nose, making my eyes squint. "What else could get in the way?"

"A l-lot of things…" I practically whispered. It was getting very hard to control this urge to throw myself at him. He had better lean back into his chair before things get ugly...

"Like…?" Axel trailed off, his breath encompassing me. Again the mixed scent of sugar, caramel and tobacco hit me. It was so intoxicating…I really just wanted it in my mouth. I was sure it would taste a hundred times better than the milkshake did.

It took me a minute to comprehend what he had said. I forced myself to lean back a few inches, feeling the tug and pull at my heart to move back the other way. I wouldn't give in that easily, at least I hoped I wouldn't. I spoke softly but it grew louder as I pressed on. "Like…our age difference. And the fact that you're supposed to be my caretaker. And how about the fact that I'm on house arrest? Oh and don't forget that I'm a fucked up teenager with nowhere to live because my damn father doesn't even want me anymore. Are those good enough reasons for you?"

He seemed unimpressed but he leaned back nonetheless. I was glad for that, but also infuriated. "You're not fucked up Roxas."

I narrowed my eyes dangerously at him. Who was he to tell me that? "You don't even know me."

"I'm trying to change that."

"By what? Asking me what kind of shampoo I prefer? This is stupid. You don't know who I am and you have no idea what happened to me." Well maybe he did. Who's to say the doctors hadn't told him? But really…he wouldn't be acting like this if he did know.

Axel sighed and tapped a finger gently on the table's surface. "So what exactly do you want me to do? Ask you straight forward about your past? Sure I'd like to know about that some time, but I want to know you before I know about what you've done."

But you'd never like me if you knew. You'd never want someone like me. I was a whore and a slut. I had a horrible burden on my chest that I've never talked to anyone about before. And I'd...I had…

"Barbie…you okay?"

"I said not to call me that," I growled back, my hands trembling around the cup in front of me. I couldn't get mad now. None of this was Axel's fault. He wasn't the one who controlled me. I controlled me. Only me. I was the one who fucked everything up…It was…all my fault…

"Roxas…calm down, okay? I'm not mad at you or anything, let's just—"

"Shut up! Just shut up, okay? You really don't know anything, do you?!" Between my shout I had managed to sit up without knocking the chair over. I felt bad for Axel – him being the only person around to let my anger out on. He really didn't deserve any of this. He didn't need shit from a kid like me…

"Just…hold on there. Sit back down, please Roxas," he coaxed me, standing up slowly as to chase after me if I decided to run. And I had to admit, the thought had crossed my mind. Even if I knew it would be futile it just seemed so inviting right now. Running from all my problems usually worked out.

I didn't sit or run though, I didn't even flinch. I stood tall, arms shaking at my sides, my heart going crazy in my chest. A few minutes of clenching and unclenching of my fists should do the trick. Just had to focus. Focus on nothing. Pretend.

Axel waited patiently in front of me, watching as I breathed in through my nose then out through my mouth. It's what I had learned in my time with a few therapists, the ones I had actually taken the time to listen to. Usually they were all idiotic bastards who were just doing their job for the money. Hardly any of them knew how to deal with someone like me. But then again, could I really blame them there? I hardly knew how to deal with me…

"Are you…alright now?" Axel flashed me one of his famous concern stares.

I closed my eyes and asked something I'd wanted to know for awhile now, "Why did they put me with you?"

Axel stayed silent for a few moments, mulling it over. He spoke seconds later, "Because I'm…qualified? I'm studying to become a psychiatrist actually. I've already taken a year of medical school but I'm off for the summer so I volunteered at the hospital. It's almost like a pre-medical program I guess."

Oh wow. Someone was dedicated. Why was it such a shock to find out that Axel was actually in training to become some medical genius? Maybe because he gave off the "rocker-punk-I-don't-give-a-shit" type of vibe. It really confused me to see someone hiring him with all those piercings though…and the tattoos, couldn't forget about those either.

Maybe he was just…that good? It didn't seem like it to me. Though he was dealing with me fairly well…he hadn't once gotten mad or fed up with me yet. It's always compassion with him…

"Are you surprised?" he asked after a few beats of silence. I didn't say anything but he continued anyway, sitting himself down into the chair once again, obviously trusting me by now to not run away. "I know I don't look like someone who would be that devoted or the least bit enthusiastic about something like that. But I just like…talking to people. I like getting in their heads and figuring out what the problem is. Some people like taking apart trucks and cars – I'd rather take apart someone's mind." He smiled when I sat down too, my legs getting tired of standing like that and I was just…purely intrigued by what he had to say. Information about him – it was actually good to hear. I wanted to know more about him even if I refused to tell him about myself. I was pretty much the definition of a hypocrite.

"Doesn't mean I'm a complete whiz kid or a prick or anything like that," Axel started again, eyeing me softly. "Actually I was never the smartest in any of my classes. I kind of struggled through high school but somehow managed to get into a good college. I kinda thought from then on that it was meant to be, so that's what I'm aiming for. But…well, we'll see I guess." He took a small breath then chuckled slightly at me. I probably looked very confused or impressed or shocked. In fact it was probably all three combined. "I've been meaning to get inside your head actually, figure you out. But there's this wall there, it's hard to break down. I thought going slow would be better for you anyway. We've got a month – that's plenty of time."

Suddenly a month didn't seem long enough.


I exited Axel's shiny red Toyota Camry with a somewhat lighter heart then when I had entered it. It was a nice little car I guess, though I really never was one for cars. We could have easily walked to the coffee shop anyway; there was really no reason for wasting gas.

I was about to say comment on his car, a nice compliment or something but he quickly brought his finger up to his lips, shushing me before I could speak. "You better get back up to the apartment quickly. We don't really want to be caught, now do we?" He quickly crossed the car and took my hand in his. I bit my lip, wincing as he swiftly led me up the staircase all the way to the top floor where we reached the apartment number "21". He inserted the key into the slot and then pushed open the door. I had a weird feeling of homesickness as we entered the place, kicking off our shoes by the door mat. It's not like I missed the mansion…no, I missed my old home. My real home. The one with my…

"We're just lucky you don't have one of those spiffy ankle things. You know, the ones that keep you tied to the house so you have to be within ten feet of the place at all times? They must really trust me. Jesus…" He walked into the house, disappearing behind the wall that lead to the rooms and bathroom. I blinked a few times, wondering if he was just abruptly abandoning me now to just go back to the norm. Maybe that's how he wanted it. Maybe he just didn't really feel the need to act like anything happened at all. Nothing really did happen, did it? I mean, we talked for a bit. He shared a little more about his college and school life, and then we left. He accepted my feelings towards him and he…reciprocated them? I really didn't even know. He could have just been joking around.

Or maybe not…

"Well now that my conscious is completely destroyed, how about we go swimming?" Axel reappeared, this time with two white towels and a big smile plastered on his face. I was just so relieved that he wasn't deserting me. I took one of the towels from him without really thinking.

Swimming? This place had a pool?

"Pools out the back, you probably haven't seen it yet, but it's really nice. Ten feet deep at one point," he said, practically reading my mind. It was kinda freaky how he did that.

I nodded and almost smiled. No. I couldn't let myself smile. Just because someone cared for me, whether that was all in my head or not, was no reason to smile at all. I still didn't deserve it.

"I'm going to go get changed, okay?" At least Axel could smile. I don't think I could live anymore if he didn't. He tipped his head once to me, winked and then turned to walk back to his room, whistling and swinging the towel around in his hand.

If I could have melted, I would have. If I was some kind of candle man, all made of wax, then I'd have just been reduced into a puddle on the floor. Of course, I wasn't, so I just kind of stood there like an idiot for a few minutes until I realized that I had to get changed too if I was ever going swimming with him.

I took a deep breath before setting off into my room, still feeling the urge to smile on my way there. I really had to force it back down this time. I changed quickly, checking myself in the long mirror that hung on the inside of the closet. The swim trunks were bought for a birthday I think, awhile ago and amazingly they still fit me. Surprise surprise. I glanced down at the white binds that were still tied around my wrists. They were practically falling off by now, but really, they weren't that bad. I'd had much worst cuts; they barley took that much time to heal anymore. I was just glad they were hardly noticeable this time. Still, I tied them tighter for good measure. But I wasn't really focusing on them or even the silly swirled patterns of my green and blue trunks. I wasn't even looking at my chest, which seemed to have formed abs here and there out of nowhere. No, I was looking at my face. Since when had I looked so…light? Really, if I was smiling I would have seemed almost completely normal.

That…really wasn't me. But…could I change that? Could I potentially alter myself into someone who I could actually tolerate? It was possible I guess, perhaps with Axel's help…just maybe…

"Barbie! Let's get going!"

Of course, he would have to grow up a bit and I'd have to lighten up some.

"I'm coming, hang on," I said loudly, hoping my coy voice could penetrate through the door and to his gorgeously pierced ears. I closed the closet door and grabbed the towel from my bed, pivoting then, I reached the door in seconds.

And there he was, in all his glory. And damn it…he was shirtless. Why had I not thought of that even once? Of course he would have to be without a shirt on. How had I not taken that into consideration? But damn…if I thought he was perfect with a shirt on then I was seriously wrong. His chest was so amazing…I could have just ran my hands up and down it, memorizing every curve and crevice, sensing his warmth on my own skin, loving the feel of it beneath my fingertips.

I'd have to keep my hands under control. They would not embarrass me like that. I let my eyes wander to his swim trunks, noticing the flame patterns that rose upwards towards the black waist band.

"Looking cute, Barbie. Though I think you forgot your bikini." He just laughed at my disgruntled face. Maybe I could let my hands punch him into next week. That would be fine, right? "Come on, I'm burning up in here. To the pool!" He even did the finger point and everything. He was seriously a kid, no question about that.

He once again led me by the hand, as if I couldn't walk by myself. It was ridiculous and totally uncalled for, but I couldn't say I hated it. I actually enjoyed the feeling of his warm fingers cupped over my own.

We made it to the back quickly and the pool came into vision. I could see why I hadn't seen it before – it was completely blocked off from a frontal view. And it was nice from what I could see. The water was clear blue and the smell of chlorine filled the air. Many chairs filled the inside of the gate; a few people lounged out on them, enjoying the sunshine from above. I hoped that I'd just be able to do that, swimming wasn't exactly something I enjoyed. I usually just flapped around in deep water, never really floating. I regret to say that I had to use floaties until I was 13 years old.

Axel let go of my hand to open the small waist high gate that let us into the pool area. He walked in first, his head held high while he tossed his towel onto a bright yellow lawn chair, causing me to follow suit. "You like to swim, Roxas?" he asked as he threw off his shoes, letting them both land in two different places.

I gently shook my head back and forth but took my own shoes off too. I could at least wade in the shallow parts.

"Awe, why not? Can't swim?" Axel raised an eyebrow, smiling leeringly. I huffed and walked over to the edge of the pool where the steps started. Axel laughed but followed me anyway. "I'll help you, don't worry. I won't let you drown."

"Thank you for your concern but I'm sure I'll be just fine by myself," I replied thickly while stepping into the chilly water. It wasn't that bad actually, maybe around seventy degrees. It felt good on my skin compared to the hot summer heat surrounding me.

"Well while you're here inching your way into the pool, I'll be over there doing some kick-ass cannon balls." He stared at me for a second and then smirked, saying, "Mind out of the gutter, Roxas," before rushing off to the very end of the pool. I narrowed my eyes and watched as he positioned himself in front of the diving board, took a running start then flung his body in the air, curling in on himself at the last second to cause a huge eruption of water spraying just about everywhere. A few people complained on the side of the pool then glared at me as if he was my child and I should be watching him more carefully.

"Did you see that, Roxas?" he yelled from his spot in the water, grinning like a 5-year-old that had just been given a candy shop.

I sighed and shook my head back and forth, sitting down onto one of the lower steps. "I'm pretty sure everyone here saw it," I yelled back, just not as loud.

He laughed loudly then fell backwards and did a summersault. When he resurfaced he was a lot closer to me but he was still smiling like an idiot. "Why don't you try? It's really fun."

I started at him, his hair sparkling like a wine cooler in the sun. He looked like some kind of swim suit model, just getting out of the pool after a shoot. "N-no thanks, I'm fine."

"Roxas, you are no fun at all," he said, poking my nose with a long finger.

I swatted his hand away and glared at him. "Are you sure you're 21? You act more like a—"

"17-year-old? Yea well, you act like a 21-year-old. Lighten up Roxas, its summer – you're supposed to have some fun."

I frowned as his logic. Sure he was right; I was acting like some adult who was afraid of getting too wet. But that didn't mean I was going to act like a little kid either. I sighed and splashed some water right into his face, causing him to shield back and close his eyes. The reaction was cute; maybe I should try that again…

"What the hell was that? Feeling playful now are we?" Axel smirked widely while he used his own hand to spray a stream of water into my face. And yikes, was that cold! I should have expected that, it was only fair after all. His grin merely widened at my over the top response to the cold water in my face. "Just go under, once you get used to it then it's not that bad."

I shook my head. I didn't want to move from my spot on the steps, I was fine right here thank you.

"I guess I'll have to dunk you then," he replied nonchalantly with a shrug of his shoulders. My eyes widened and I wondered if he would really do something like that. Well I couldn't count out that he wouldn't, that mischievous grin was most likely capable of anything.

I lowered my head in defeat and proceeded further into the pool, the water reaching its way up my torso with every small step I took, making me shiver.

Axel eyed me skeptically, his arms crossed on his perfect chest. "Roxas this," he said quickly, whipping his hand up to my back and pushing with the utmost force so that I fell face first into the cold water. My head went under and I resurfaced with a gasp, standing up on both my feet and brushing the water from my eyes with a scowl in place. He smiled as he finished his sentence, "is how you do it."

"Y-you bastard!" I sputtered, feeling water in my nose. "I didn't say I needed help," I protested. I wouldn't admit that it was just as he said though; the water didn't even feel cold to me anymore.

"That's not what you're thinking. You're really thanking me right now," he sang as he waged a finger in my face.

I hit his hand away and fell to my knees so that only my head was surfaced. "You're crazy…" I mumbled, blowing bubbles with my words. Actually he really wasn't crazy. I wouldn't say I was thanking him but at least now I wasn't cold anymore…

Axel laughed haughtily then sank down in front of me, his eyes locked with mine. I began to back up but out of fear of embarrassment but he spoke before I could. "Smile for me, Roxas."

My mouth gaped open and I had to close it forcefully. He couldn't have just asked me that…

"You haven't really smiled since I met you. What's holding you back?" He cocked his head to the side then brought a hand up to my face, brushing away some of the fallen damp bangs that had slid into my eyes. "Besides…I'm sure you look even cuter when you do."

The water was suddenly burning hot. Or was that just my face? Could have just been that. Why did I feel the need to dive under the water and never resurface? I could drown right now and not even care.

Axel looked at me, amused. "Smile, please." If I didn't know better I'd almost say he was stretching my face at the edges to get me to smile.

I raised a shaky hand and clamped it over his arm tightly. While glaring at him I pushed his arm back then stood up and walked out of the pool.

I knew he'd chase after me and try to get me to explain this whole thing to him. Too bad I wasn't going to tell him anything. I wasn't smiling for him, he couldn't make me. I treaded over towards the yellow chair we had tossed our towels onto and sat myself down, throwing one of the towels over my face for more than one reason.

"Roxas…come on, what was that for? Come back into the pool." Axel was already standing there, I could see through the thin fabric of the towel.

I replied with a quick, "Go away," then closed my eyes under the cloth, feeling the sun quickly drying the pool water that was still left on my skin.

"Look I'm sorry – I didn't mean to upset you or anything, really. You can frown all you want at me, alright?"

I frowned under the sheet but obviously he couldn't see that gesture. I really shouldn't have been acting this way, like a stuck up little child. But it just…it caught me off guard what he did. No one had ever realized that I didn't smile anymore. I thought I put on a good enough mask to cover up the inner sorrow that swelled inside me. Guess I'd have to keep practicing.

I sighed and waited for him to go away. I wasn't budging, besides, the sun felt amazing beaming down on me. I could just wait here while he got his energy out and then we could go back up to the apartment.

I scowled and groaned when I felt cold water splash all over my body once again but I didn't look to see who it was. Obviously it was Axel and obviously he wasn't being that mature about this. Sometimes I felt as if I should be the one watching over him.

Sunlight blinded me when the towel was lifted from my face. I gasped and was about to yell when I saw a familiar face. Big blue eyes and snow blonde hair. A warm smile that only a mother figure would have.


"Roxas? Oh, I thought that was you! Long time no see, kiddo." She smiled happily, her eyes closing at the pressure. She looked even better than she had before, back in school. She seemed less shy at least, that was good.

"What are you doing here?" I asked quickly, nudging the towel off my face I sat up and dangled my legs off the side of the chair. She stood in front of me, looking taller than before too but I knew that was just because I was sitting down. She actually was about the same height as me.

Naminé smoothed out her silky white skirt before settling down on the chair opposite of me. "I live here, silly. Well for now at least, you know how my parents never really stay in one place for too long. They travel all around the world on their business trips, so I'm just hanging out here until I finish high school."

I nodded, remembering something about her telling me that her parents were well known traveling sales persons. I always felt really bad for her, never having her parents around. "You look good, Naminé. Happier I mean."

She giggled, using her petite hand to cover up the action. "Everyone's been saying that. I guess it's because I finally realized that I really don't need my parent's to be happy. I have a lot of friends, that's good enough for me."

I nodded but not in agreement. She really had no idea what she was saying…

"So how have you been, Roxas?" she asked, her smile fading but not totally disappearing.

I shrugged and ran a hand through my hair, thinking of a good way to answer that. "Fine…I guess. Not better, but fine." That didn't sound too emo, did it?

She looked like she wanted to place a consoling hand on my shoulder but held it back, probably because it had been so long since I'd last seen her, we really didn't have that kind of relationship anymore. Not that our relationship had been anything special, she was always like a big sister to me. Watching out for me in school and always being there to care when no one else was. Me, her, Olette, Pence and…

"You…you still aren't blaming yourself for that, are you?" The weird thing with Naminé was that I could talk to her about pretty much anything and not really get overly dramatic. I really missed her.

"What else can I do, Naminé? It was my fault and I know it. I have blood on my hands, I can't just forget that." I swallowed thickly and glanced down at my now trembling hands. So maybe I didn't really keep all my sanity intact when talking to her. But you couldn't blame me. Talking about my past was probably the hardest thing in the world for me to do.

Her hand came up on my shoulder anyway – I knew she wouldn't have been able to hold it back. It felt nice, knowing that she was still there for me after all this time. "No one blames you Roxas. No one."

"No one but my father," I whispered back jerkily. My hands were now clenched together on my lap, resisting the urge to pick up one of the chairs and throw it angrily at the wall.

"Is that…why you're here?" she asked cautiously, squeezing my shoulder softly.

Her crystal-like eyes bore into mine and I nodded. "I'm currently residing with that redheaded idiot over there," I replied angrily with clenched teeth, not even glancing at the pool where I heard another splash sound from.

Naminé took her eyes off of me for a second to glance behind her even though I'm pretty sure anyone would have noticed him even without looking. "Axel? You're staying with Axel?" She seemed shocked, her mouth hanging open just a bit.


I narrowed my eyes when a small giggle escaped her lips. "He'll be good for you, Roxas."

"Sorry but I just don't think 'good for me' has crossed my mind yet," I sighed out as her hand slipped slowly back down to her side.

She shook her head, holding up one of her small fingers. "A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself. Let him in Roxas, let him see the other side of you that I used to know and love. Trust me…Axel can really…grow on you."

"Are you talking about me again, Naminé? You know I hate it when you're always spreading gossip." Axel had appeared out of nowhere, glossy and wet, sparkling in the sunlight. I had almost forgotten how amazing he looked half naked…oh god.

Naminé rolled her eyes and turned gently to the left to see the redhead. "I think you've got me mixed up with Demyx."

Axel smirked then sat down beside me, throwing a very long, very wet arm across my once dried shoulders. I practically froze in place – I'd be lucky if I ever moved again. "I guess I'll have to talk to Dem about that." He glanced back and forth between the two of us, eyeing us both through half lidded eyes. "You two know each other?"

I would have asked him the same thing if I wasn't so tied up at the moment.

"Roxas goes to my high school. He was in my Art and Computer Application classes last year. And…cooking too, right Roxas?"

I could hardly nod in the state I was in. Oh god, if he stayed like this,Naminé would most likely be scarred for life and would never want to talk to me again. Even though she knew my sexual orientation, like most people at school found out about after only a few short weeks, I really doubt she'd take kindly to seeing me jumping Axel out in public like this.

"Oh, I didn't know Roxas had friends." Damn him. If I could glare daggers at him I so would.

"We had a lot of fun at Destiny High; Roxas was always in our group of friends. Ever since he moved here about a year ago. Everyone kind of has to be friends there, the school is pretty small." I was just so glad Naminé was there to talk for me. She gave me an encouraging smile which I returned with desperate eyes. I'm really thinking 'help me' was engraved into both of them.

"Oh right, yea. I went there too. Nice school. You still have Mr. Ansem as your principle? That guy was a total jackass. I remember he caught me smoking on school grounds once, I got suspended for two weeks and had to pay a 140 dollar fine." Axel crossed his legs, shaking his head slightly causing little drops of water to spray all over me. I wished I could move – badly, so I could beat him up for this.

"Mr. Ansem is only stern or strict to the naughty students, Axel. Maybe he thought you would learn your lesson," Naminé said, wagging her finger like she was Axel's mother, her golden locks circling around her face in the slight breeze.

Axel laughed and I felt his arm tighten around my shoulder. "Never did learn my lesson. Guess I'm just a naughty, naughty boy, huh?"

God someone please shoot me. Or him, either one would work.

Naminé only rolled her eyes again, taking lightly to Axel's perverseness. Guess she really did know him, I really found that odd somehow. Who knew someone like Naminé could like someone like Axel?

"Nevertheless Axel, you had better be taking care of Roxas. He's a good kid and deserves to be treated as such." Naminé was far too kind for her own good. I hardly deserved anything she said I did, no matter how soft and polite her heart was. The truth was the truth and I couldn't run or hide from it.

I think Axel smirked but I couldn't really tell from where I was sitting. "I'm taking extra good care of him. So don't be getting any ideas that you have to step in and help out. He's all mine." If his grip could have gotten any tighter then it just did. Was he planning on breaking my arm while he was at it? Maybe suffocating me? This was stupid. He was being stupid.

Naminé only smiled and replied, "I wasn't thinking that." Her eyes wandered but she huffed when Axel apparently gave her a stare. "Really, I wasn't. Roxas is one of my very good friends. Whom I have missed terribly over the summer. We can…catch up now; I really want to know about everything you've been up to."

Oh no you don't.

"Yeah well first he's gotta tell me. I'm his guardian anyway."

She titled her head to the side, almost like Axel did when he was confused. Only they both looked totally different when they did it. "Guardian? What do you…?"

"You mean he didn't tell y—"

I managed to elbow him in the side, roughly I might add. Apparently it had knocked the wind out of him. At least I wasn't totally helpless in this situation.

"G…goddamnit Roxas, that hurt…" I wished I could see the look on his face. All I could see was Naminé's though, shocked and very bewildered. I took this opportunity to slink away and out from under Axel's arm, succeeding in my attempt flawlessly now that he was incapacitated.

"It's okay Nami. He and I have this kind of relationship," I told her quickly. I frowned deeply over at him, sneaking away as far as the lawn chair would allow so he wouldn't launch another surprise attack on me. He was still rubbing his ribs, whining like a baby.

She laughed suddenly, her gentle and soothing laugh that had always made me turn my head in the hallways at school and even now. "Well I hope you two work something out. There's no need to be arguing when there can always be talking."

She was sounding more and more like a mom every day. She really would make a good one; some guy is going to be very lucky to have her one day.

"Anyways, I have to get going," she said finally, standing up from the chair and stretching her short arms into the air, her tank top ridding up slightly as she did. I wondered quickly why she had come down to the pool dressed like that in the first place. Maybe she had just wanted some sun, I guess. She never really was one for swimming which was just another thing that we had in common. "My shift at the restaurant starts in twenty minutes. You two should come visit me sometime; I could give you some extra little mints." She giggled once more then looked me over, seriousness clouding her features. "Take care, Roxas. Come over anytime you want. My apartment number is '15' – I'll bake you cookies, okay?"

I nodded and stood up, feeling the urge to smile more and more at her light mood. How had I thought that everyone in the world had abandoned me? There was still Naminé; she was still there for me. Maybe she always would be. "Thanks, Naminé. I really don't deserve you're kindness."

Before I knew it she had me wrapped in one of her death hugs. The people at school would always call them that, she was just a really huggy person. I didn't mind though, I never did mind. "Of course you do, Roxas. You need so much more than what I can offer. That's why," she leaned in and whispered in my ear, "you have Axel now. Remember what I told you."

I swallowed and nodded – I couldn't let her down. If she believed in me…then maybe there was hope for me after all.


"So you and Naminé —"

"She's one of my best friends, Axel. Give it a rest and grow up," I snapped at him. He had been eyeing me the whole way up to the apartment, skeptical and annoying as always.

"Alright alright, calm down there spitfire, I was only asking." He walked sullenly over to the kitchen and picked up the phone, dialing a number swiftly by memory. He leaned against the wall, toweling his dripping wet hair as he pushed the phone to his ear. "Yeah, hey, I'd like two orders of egg rolls and some sweet honey chicken…yeah the kind with the sesame seeds. And uhm…throw in some sugar rolls too. Yup…yeah, the address is…"

I sighed contently and walked to my room, knowing that Axel was ordering Chinese for us. I guess that made me a little excited, I was so hungry. I presumed the time was around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, so obviously I would be hungry. I changed swiftly out of my trunks before rushing off to the bathroom to take a quick shower. I just couldn't stand the feeling I got after being in a pool for even the shortest amount of time.

After drying myself off I slipped into a new pair of knee high shorts, my light tan ones with checkers running along the sides. I grabbed a checkered shirt to match and one of my necklaces, the metal one that looked like some kind of ninja throwing star. I'd got it for Christmas awhile back from one of my grandparents I think. I had really grown to like the thing actually.

I yawned mechanically as I walked into the kitchen, smelling my favorite kind of smell.


Well that sure was fast. My hands shot forward to the take-out boxes, opening one to reveal the egg rolls. Quickly grabbing one to stuff in my mouth I opened the other box and the smell of honey chicken enveloped me. I'd probably end up eating all of this if Axel didn't stop me soon.

"Get a plate, you eat like a pig."

I shot him a glare and swallowed the food that was in my mouth. "I'm hungry, you bastard. Leave me alone."

Axel smirked. "That's twice you've called me a bastard today. I'm starting to think I'm doing something wrong."

I sat down, ignoring his demand to retrieve a plate. "That's the problem. You thinking I mean," I said while munching on a sugar roll.

Axel's smirk had left behind some kind of weird, conceited look. I didn't really like it. "Clean up when you're done, I'm going to take a shower." Before I could say anything else he was gone from the room.

Like he told me I cleaned up after I was done, putting what was left of the food into the fridge. I felt a little dense for some reason; obviously I had ticked him off on some kind of level. I really didn't think he could get angry. Besides for when I refused to talk to him, he had always been just fine, no matter what I said. Maybe I was wrong for overestimating his tolerance with me…

I suddenly felt the horrible need to apologize to him. I don't know why because I hardly ever said I was sorry, for anything at all, big or small. Really saying you were sorry didn't change a thing, but…maybe I could try.

I found myself knocking on his door, knowing he was inside, probably getting dressed. He opened the door and leaned on the wooden frame, staring at me with wide eyes, a towel throw around his neck. Well at least he was fully clothed, not that I had been expecting him to open the door otherwise…

"What's up, Shorty?" It seemed that his former good mood was back. Maybe I really had no reason to be apologizing after all.

Well this was stupid. "Just…uhm, I…I'm sorry, for before. I didn't mean to…uhh…" I was the absolute worst with words, especially words of endearment.

Axel leaned down to my level and regarded me with hazy eyes. "Who are you and what have you done with Roxas?"

I was confused at his question but answered anyway, "N-nothing, I'm right here, dammit, I'm just trying to apologize…I don't really think before I say things and…I…" Okay now I was saying too much, he hardly needed to know that. This little idea was really, really dumb. "That's…all I wanted to say, so, okay." I quickly turned around but of course, was caught by his hand. He never let me go without a fight did he?

And obviously he wasn't planning on letting me go anytime soon because he pulled me back through the door. I yelped helplessly as he shut the door with his foot then leaned back up against it, pinning my back to the wood.

Bad idea. Bad, bad, bad idea, Roxas!

I closed my eyes when he leaned in towards me, whispering in my ear, "Just calm down, alright? I can practically see your heart beating out of your chest." I took a short, quick breath but I didn't calm down, how could I? He was inches away from me and all I could do was stand there like a puppet. My eyes like huge shiny orbs, staring off into distance.

I almost passed out when his lips connected with the skin on my neck but I couldn't stop the little whimper from escaping my lips. Just what…what in the hell was he thinking? This was crazy. I had just told him today that I liked him. But I was just being a hypocrite again; I'd done this plenty of times with people I'd just met. Really…what was the difference with Axel? There defiantly was one – I just couldn't really put my finger on it. Was it because I felt this strong pull towards him? I didn't want to mess things up with him…that could have been it.

"I told you to just calm down. I'm not going to do anything rash, I promise." His breath was hot and burning; the only thing sending me shivers was his lip ring, the metal seeming way too cold on my skin.

He kissed me again, this time longer and just below my ear, which apparently was a very sensitive spot because I couldn't stop moaning in my throat like some sex-crazed girl. But I…didn't want him to stop. I actually wanted him to…continue…

My hopes were crushed when he breathed three simple words though, "Okay, I'm done."

Really…really bad idea, Roxas.

A/N: Well hello there my friends. Yes I just love cliffhangers, almost as much as I loved those marshmellows I stole from that one person's house. Yup, you know who I'm talking about. Mmmm, those were gooood. So! This chapter kind of refused to be written for a few days then I typed like crazy today, ending up with this ridiculously long ass chapter. I just hope you're liking this, it's so difficult to write sometimes! OH! And note that I have changed where Roxas lives, I kinda wanted to stay away from "real world stuff" so to speak, so I stuck to good old Destiny Islands. His home town was Twilight Town, of course but yea, you can go back and check that as you see fit.

Thank you for clicking that button! It is greatly appriciated! :D