Author's Note: This year, I thought to myself "I'M DEFINITELY WRITING AN AKUROKU DAY FIC, DAMMIT!" But the problem was, I had no ideas for one. So like I always do when I'm at a loss for a plot bunny, I went to dictionary . com and I looked at their Word of the Day. It was "equipoise." And it was a perfect, perfect word for Axel and Roxas, because it's all about balance.
So then I realized that this is a special AkuRoku day, because not only is it a day celebrating one of the best yaoi pairings of all time, but it is also the month when "Kingdom Hearts: 358/2" comes out. And I realized that in order to celebrate such epic-ness, I needed to write something equally epic. Like, oh say…a drabble series!
All these drabbles will be short, around one or two pages. (Hopefully, anyways. As anyone who regularly reads my stuff knows, I fail at keeping things short.) They'll be updated rather quickly, because they don't take long to write. They'll all be unrelated unless I say otherwise. Genres will vary. And they'll all focus on how Axel and Roxas balance each other out. None will go above a 'T' rating, because I don't post smut on FanFiction.
And none of them will be "358/2" compliant. Sorry guys, I'm waiting to play the game for myself before I write any Fics. I might occasionally allude to Axel's Somebody's name, or mention that he and Saix used to be friends, but that's it.
DEDICATION: To the amazing awesomeness of Dualism. She has no idea I even exist, but if I could someday have half the talent that is contained in that writer's pinky finger, my life would be complete. Her stories got me into Zemyx, and I will fanwhore her until the end of time.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own "Kingdom Hearts." That happy privilege belongs to Tetsuya Nomura, Square Enix, and Disney. I make no money off this story. I am a broke college student living off her laptop, I have no money in general.
Equipoise (n): 1) An equal distribution of weight, equal balance, equilibrium. 2) A counterpoise.
By: Light Within Darkness
o1. Axel wants to lose, Roxas wants to find.
The first thing Axel remembers about being a Nobody was the confusion.
He was stumbling around the Dark City, naked and cold. His memories tumble through his mind as flashes of garish color. He remembers screaming, panicking crowds of people being assaulted by wave upon wave of wriggling, insect-like black creatures. He remembers running, running, calling out for someone, anyone, to save him. And pain. Oh, he remembers pain. There's still a slight ache from where a claw pierced his chest and yanked out his heart, which rose, catching the light and sparkling like a rare gem, up up up into the sky. Then everything went black.
So now he finds himself in this dark, abandoned city. He thinks, where am I? Who am I? Why aren't I dead? Why am I here? Where's my family, my friends…?
When the Organization finds him and takes him in, they explain how he's lost his heart, how he's nothing but an empty shell, a Nobody. He cannot feel, does not exist, and his only hope of regaining what he has lost lies with them. So he joins up. He's got nothing left to lose, after all.
He feels the ghost of anger, then. Anger for what he's lost, for what he's become. And deep down he feels a sharp, keening pain, like sadness. So Axel decides it would be best to forget about his life before becoming a Nobody. He covers up his memories of emotions with a cocky, laughing exterior. He plays pranks, jokes around, tries to enjoy his not-life. The Organization thinks he's immature, but Axel's not looking to make friends. He can't bring himself to care enough.
Then Roxas joins Organization XIII.
Axel remembers when he first laid eyes on the young Keyblade Wielder. He ran into him in the corridors, while Xemnas was showing the boy around the Castle That Never Was, and Axel couldn't help but think how small the boy was, how young. The black cloak he's wearing looks like it's swallowing him whole. He's trying to look tough, Axel can tell. His hands are clenched into fists at his sides, his jaw is tight, and his body language practically screams "DON'T TOUCH ME." But his eyes…they're so blue, just like his Somebody's, and they betray the same fear and confusion Axel felt when he first became a Nobody. And seeing this makes Axel stop as they walk up to him.
Xemnas stops when he sees Axel. "Ah, Axel," he almost purrs, smirking. "You remember Roxas, our newest member. I'd like you to take care of him for me, show him the ropes around here, so to speak. Help him get used to things, would you?"
Axel nods, and shoots the boy a wink. Roxas cocks his head at him, eyes going straight to Axel's unusual spiky red hair. Axel smiles slightly. He can tell Xemnas means this as a punishment; Axel has never wanted a partner. He's never cared about that. But this boy, this Roxas…
This boy makes all his questions come back. As he and Xemnas continue down the corridor, Axel stares after the blond's retreating back. He wonders for the first time in a long while just how long it's been since he became a Nobody. The old questions reverberate through his head, seeming to echo slightly, Where am I? Who am I? Why am I here?
Axel can tell that Roxas will be interesting.
When they go out together on their first mission-a simple reconaissance, as Roxas is just a beginner-Axel is struck by how much the boy wants to explore. His eyes take in every tree, every rock, and every blade of grass. Axel has never been this interested in the scenery of a world before. He's only done his missions for Xemnas and then left.
When they're ambushed by a group of Heartless, Roxas fights with unrivaled passion. Axel, who's never felt anything during a battle, is surprised at how deftly the boy maneuvers his twin Keyblades, slashing through the shadowy bodies and reducing them to nothingness. Between the two of them the Heartless are quickly destroyed, and Roxas stands and watches with undisguised amazement at the crystalline hearts they've released, disappearing into the sky.
The next time Axel spars, he thinks of the expression on Roxas' face as he fought, the way he sliced and thrust with his blades. He smirks and sets his chakram aflame. His opponent is lying on the ground in defeat in record time.
Every time they go out together on a mission, Roxas asks Axel if they can stay a few minutes longer to explore. Axel doesn't really like The World That Never Was, it's too cold and wet and dark. But he likes spending time with Roxas, and Xemnas won't notice if they're a little late coming back. So he says yes.
That's how they discover sea salt ice cream and the beautiful view of the sunset from the clock tower in Twilight Town. And it soon becomes their favorite place to sit and relax after a long, hard day. They feel they can talk about anything up there together. They feel safe, safer than either has felt in a long time.
Axel is disturbed by the traces of Sora he keeps seeing in Roxas. When they go on a mission to a world with a beach, Roxas spends a long time standing at the shoreline, looking out on the horizon. His eyes look as if he is far, far away, and he seems as if he's desperately trying to remember something. Axel tries to distract him with swimming and sand castles, but Roxas still seems as if he's not entirely present that day.
Roxas tells Axel that he's been wondering why he can't remember anything. He wants to know who his Somebody is. He wants to know why he exists. And he says all these things with such conviction that Axel feels sure he'll try to find the answers.
And this is a problem for Axel. He doesn't want anything bad to happen to Roxas, because lately he's been wondering about other things. Like if Roxas' mussed-up, honey blond hair is really as soft as it looks, or if it would feel nice to kiss those sweet pink lips. And if Axel touched him in the right places, what would those too-blue eyes look like?
"Axel." Roxas says one evening, as they're finishing their sea salt ice creams on the clock tower. "I've been having these weird dreams lately…about this guy named Sora. He's got a Keyblade like me." Roxas looks at Axel with a desperate stare, leaning forward slightly and closing the distance between the two. If Axel had a heart, it would be pounding fit to burst right about now. "Do you think this means anything?"
Axel doesn't know what to say. So he leans forward and kisses Roxas' soft pink lips.
Roxas' eyes widen in shock, and Axel worries he'll try to push him off. But then Axel feels those oh-so-soft lips smile a little, and the blond pushes himself close against Axel and kisses him back.
"I'm leaving," Roxas says, and if Axel had a heart, this would be the part where it breaks.
"This isn't enough for you? I'm not enough for you?" Axel mutters angrily, preferring to stare at the floor rather than Roxas.
"It's not that, Axel. I just…I need to know, OK? I need to find out who I really am. I need answers. A part of me will never be satisfied until I do."
Axel leans in and kisses Roxas for the last time, desperately, his tongue memorizing every inch of the boy's mouth. "Don't forget me, OK? Don't forget that you're Roxas. You'll always be Roxas." He murmurs against Roxas' ear.
Roxas leans into his chest, toying with a spike of red hair. "I won't," he murmurs.
After Roxas is gone, Axel goes back to his homeworld for the first time since becoming a Nobody.
It's nothing now. Nothing but shadows, with slinking black Heartless bodies and sickly yellow Heartless eyes around every corner, erupting from every crack in the ground.
Axel thinks that it's dangerous to try and find out too much.
Author's Note: Ugh…five pages. Once again, I fail at drabbling.
Yeah, well, this was angstier than I wanted…but that's what I ended up writing anyway. Go figure. These won't all be angsty, there will be happy sweet fluff too.
Review please? Reviews are nice.
HAPPY AKUROKU DAY!!!