Disclaimer: Don't own.
A/N: So, I'm a failure and only realized yesterday that today was 8/13. However, I made up for it! With a fic that's been stewing in my head for a while now, actually. So it's all good. Even though I'm supposed to be doing the summer assignment that's due tomorrow. Aaand.... I'd love reviews. Anyway, onwards!
Roxas gritted his teeth as he felt the stares of the people behind him sink into his back as he placed dirty dishes on the counter to be taken away for wash. Working as a waiter at an upscale Japanese restaurant in the city had its downfalls, not the least of which was having to wear floral kimonos to work. Every single day.
Now, this would be perfectly fine, seeing as Roxas would rather work in a legitimately good restaurant than some McDonald's somewhere if he had to work at all. Which he did, seeing as college couldn't pay for itself, even with the scholarship money he had received.
This would all be perfectly fine.
If the kimono weren't so damn tight, that is.
I thought kimonos were supposed to be loose robes, not show-off-your-ass-to-the-best-of-my-ability clothing, Roxas thought sourly. They seemed to be the latter, from the eyes he could feel following his rear as he moved about the restaurant taking orders.
He glanced around for the table that he was supposed to serve next. It was in one of the little alcoves, the fancier booths that were more secluded from the rest of the restaurant. And… it was occupied by three college kids. The kind of college kids that Roxas worked here specifically to avoid encountering. The kind whose idea of "eating out" was generally going to a Hooter's and hitting on the waitresses. The kind who came into fancy Japanese restaurants with their hair looking as if it had been hit with some sort of dark-red-dyed tornado.
Roxas rolled his eyes a little as he glided over, plastering a very large, very fake grin on his face. The blond guy with the absurd mohawk and the grey-haired man sitting next to him were both wearing nice dress shirts, while the… person… sitting across from them and leaning back in his seat was wearing a plain old t-shirt and jeans. Roxas had a hard time stopping himself from bashing his own head against the booth corner when he saw the slogan printed on the t-shirt: "I want it all, and I want it covered in chocolate."
"Can I get you a drink, sirs?" Roxas asked through his wide grin.
"Can I get you a drink?" the red-haired man purred at Roxas, who totally ignored him.
"Aw, Ax, lay off. Can't you see that just your appearance frightens the poor kid? He's probably, like, sixteen or something," the blond one chided.
"I'm twenty-one," Roxas said coolly, then turning his attention back to the quiet, slate-haired man who looked to be the most sane.
"Ignore them, Demyx and I'll both have a glass of chardonnay and Axel here," he made an obscure hand-waving gesture at the red-haired guy, "will have water."
"Hey, that's not fair, you didn't even let me order, Zexion!" Axel pouted as Roxas walked away.
"Considering how much alcohol you consumed yesterday after breaking up with Larxene, I assumed it would be a bad idea for you to have even more," Zexion covered smoothly.
"Shut up." Axel scowled, but then turned and immediately whispered conspiratorially to the blond, "Hey, our waiter has a nice ass. A really nice ass."
Demyx punched him.
Roxas rolled his eyes again and went to fetch the chardonnay and a pitcher of water. Sometimes he cursed himself for having good hearing and wished he had ruined it in high school by listening to a walkman on loud all the time.
"We'll have to go back soon, you know," Axel pointed out, slinging an arm over Roxas's shoulders.
"Yeah," Roxas replied meditatively, licking his bar of sea-salt ice cream.
"I guess we could enjoy the view for now," Axel conceded with a crooked smile. They looked out over Twilight Town holding their bars of ice cream.
Upon returning to the little booth, he ignored whatever bizarre argument Demyx and Axel were having in favor of setting down the glasses.
Demyx threw up his hands, looking like he gave up. "Fine! But if we get kicked out of the restaurant, then I'm blaming you!"
Axel grinned an eerily-Cheshire-cat-like grin. "Don't worry, we won't."
Roxas had just finished pouring the water and set the pitcher down when he felt an arm wrap around his waist and tug him down next to Axel.
"Excuse me," Roxas said coldly, looking at the hand on his hip with extreme distaste, "I don't know you, and nor do I want to. Remove yourself before I have to hurt you."
"I think you'd better take your arm off, Ax," Demyx snickered.
Axel made a dismissive motion with his free hand. "This kid needs to take a break, he's way too tight-wound and there's some sort of ten-foot stick up his ass."
"We can't get food if you're holding down our waiter, Axel," Zexion pointed out.
"That's true," Axel seemed thoughtful, or as thoughtful as somebody like him could. "I suppose I'll have to let him go."
Roxas had been taking deep breaths as he sat, just barely preventing himself from punching Axel where it hurt. As he felt the arm release him, he quickly stood back up and gave Zexion a stiff nod for his freedom.
"Now, are you ready to order?" he pointedly avoided looking anywhere aside from Zexion.
"Yes, I think we are," he looked at Demyx for confirmation, who gave him a slight nod. "I'll have a bowl of the miso soup."
"I'll have teriyaki chicken," the blond said cheerfully.
"I'll have the sushi dinner with… rainbow rolls and California rolls. And you for dessert," Axel licked his lips in a way that Roxas felt should be illegal.
Zexion buried his head in his hands. Demyx patted him on the back comfortingly.
"All right," Roxas said, walking away again. He was going to pretend that the last comment never happened for the sake of his sanity.
"Axel, are you seriously going to flirt with every pretty face you see now that Larxene's gone?" Roxas heard Demyx ask.
"Hey, I'm telling you, Dem, this is good for that kid. He seriously needs to loosen up."
"And you know the best way, right?" Demyx snorted.
"In any case, cheers to you guys on getting through three years together." Roxas heard the clink of glasses as he put the note with their orders on the chef's counter.
"Hey, do you think this can last?" Roxas asked, tracing lazy circles on Axel's chest, over where his heart should be.
"I don't know, but I think it just might," Axel admitted, wrapping his arms around the smaller figure.
Three days later, when Roxas had almost- almost- forgotten the three strange guys, he walked into the restaurant, carrying his kimono in a bag, to find none other than Axel sitting by himself at a table. Wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Again.
It wasn't his shift yet, he reflected, so he could go and tell Axel to get the hell out right now without any repercussions. He dropped the bag near the front desk and walked over.
"You. What the hell are you doing here?" Roxas asked him icily, startling Axel out of his close inspection of the menu.
"Well, I asked them-" he made a wide sweeping gesture at the front desk, where a couple waitresses gave Roxas nervous looks "-about a short blond with a stick up his ass and when I could talk to him and they told me that I would have to sit here until six if I wanted to see you. Now it's… 5:54. Cutting it close, aren't ya?"
"Listen, asshole. I don't know why you're here but I do know that you should leave right now before I call management on you. They tend not to like it when people flirt with their staff."
Axel gave him a measured glance, then shrugged and stood up. "All right."
That was easy, Roxas thought.
Then he was lifted up and slung over Axel's shoulder like a ragdoll. A very outraged and indignant ragdoll, but a ragdoll nonetheless. A hand clamped around his legs and another over his mouth.
Axel easily walked over to the front desk, still carrying Roxas over his shoulder. "Hey, this one's taking a day off, okay?" He gave the two waitresses a charming smile and they nodded numbly.
And he walked out of the restaurant.
A half-hour afterward found them halfway across town, with Roxas walking on his own, albeit ignoring Axel. The only reason he was even still following Axel was because he had never been to this region. Yes. That was why.
"So, since you're on forced vacation anyway, what do you say we go catch a movie?" Axel asked, still cheery as ever.
"What do you say you take me back to where I work?" Roxas shot back.
"Well, then it wouldn't be forced vacation, would it?"
Roxas snorted in return.
"And I was serious about what I said before, you know. You really need to lighten up, kid," Axel said.
Roxas sighed. "My name is Roxas. And I'm sorry, some of us need to work in order to pay for college."
Axel winced a little. "It's only for a day, I doubt they'll miss you. Where do you go?"
"Well, aren't we fancy?" Axel smirked. "I, myself, go to grad school at NYU. Oh, and my name is Axel, in case you didn't catch that."
"How old are you?" Roxas raised an eyebrow. He seemed a little young for grad school.
"I am twenty-four and proud. Demyx and Zexion- my friends who you met the other day- I met them a couple years ago, trying to find a room to rent. They're my roommates still. They're the same age as me, only they've known each other- and I mean known each other- for longer."
"That was so an image I didn't need," Roxas muttered.
"It's worse when you're trying to fall asleep in bed with your girlfriend and you know exactly what's going on in the next room."
"That's probably true," Roxas conceded. "The girlfriend is, I'm assuming, this Larxene person?"
"Was," Axel corrected sourly. "She broke up with me a few days ago. Said something about how I didn't pay enough attention to her. But whatever, she was kind of a pain anyway, always wanting me to get her stuff, trying to do strange things to me in my sleep." He shuddered. "It's better with her gone."
"Poor her, dealing with you as a boyfriend," Roxas observed.
Axel gave him a dirty look. "I'm not that bad, you know. I was just still a little drunk when I met you the first time. Besides, you need a day off."
"Why are you leaving?"
"I have to."
"I would take my own day off if I needed a day off."
"No, you're the type of person who'll work themselves to the bone and then wonder why they're so tired and lonely. Seriously, when was the last time you got some?"
"None of your damn business. I wouldn't even be here if I could get home myself," Roxas hissed.
Axel eyed him warily. "Fine. But you can't, and if you ask me, you really need to get some."
Roxas was angry now. "Would you stop implying that I don't get-" he was cut off by Axel pushing him into the brick wall he had been steadily backing up into and crushing their lips together. Roxas found himself unwilling to push Axel off. In fact, he had a very bizarre and very urgent desire to kiss back just as fiercely. He felt like this was familiar, somehow. He could just grasp the memory-
Axel paused for breath, his hands still pinning Roxas' wrists to the brick.
"This could be… considered… sexual assault, you know," Roxas panted out. He couldn't remember what he was just thinking about.
Axel gave him a wolfish grin. "It isn't assault if both parties want it."
Roxas' brow furrowed. "Why would I want to do something like that wi-" once again, Axel stopped the flow of words with his mouth.
"You ask too many questions," Axel leaned his forehead against Roxas's.
"You're the one making out with a guy you met three days ago," Roxas noted.
"It's been longer," Axel sighed, closing his eyes. "I don't know how, but I know it's been longer."
"Let's meet in the next life."
"You're crazy," Roxas said, pushing the other man away weakly.
"Not crazy, just honest," Axel mumbled.
Recognition bloomed in Roxas's eyes.
"Axel," he murmured, hugging him tightly.
"That's me, yeah," Axel agreed.
"No, you dumbass," Roxas choked out.
"Yeah, I know, I know," Axel said, leaning his chin on Roxas's head and returning the hug.
"It's been too long."
It may take countless years and a myriad of lives but we will meet again.