A/N: I don't own anything except the plot of this fic. :D The characters belong to Square Enix & Disney. :)
Roxas, worried about Axel, is pacing the floor when he sees something that makes him tremble. He discovers that Axel is indeed in trouble and the cause of it is Xemnas, which is confirmed when Demyx comes speeding in to warn him to flight...
Chapter 3! :^) Roxas is about to begin the journey of his life and he will discover himself in the process. It isn't going to be an easy journey-voyages of self-discovery usually never are-but something good will definitely come of it. :^) He just has to get through the tough bits.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days ROCKS!!! :^) It's an AWESOME game! I'm on my second play through. :^) It really is a great story-and gives you a lot of background about Axel and Roxas-although very sad, as well. I think I have a much better grasp of Axel and Roxas since I finished playing Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days than I did earlier before I played the game and I hope that this story reflects that. :^) Of course, I will still continue to seek advice on characterization just in case I still haven't got it down quite right just yet.
Anyway, hope you enjoy this latest chapter! :) Comments and suggestions are appreciated and very welcome! :^) [Axel's dialogue is in boldface.]
Thank you to all my readers: those who have commented, read, reviewed, favourited/story alerted my stories and thanks also to those who have author alerted/favourite authored, as well! I appreciate it very much! I am glad that you are enjoying my stories and I hope that you will continue to enjoy them in the future! :)
Thank you to my betas, 1-Love-Me-Deadly and Midnight-hunter, for all your comments and insights! I really appreciate it a bunch! :)
As always, extra special thanks and MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH love to my beloved husband, DezoPenguin, for his enduring love, support, encouragement, nagging (when necessary) and comfort when I feel like tearing out my hair during the writing process! Love you, babe!
Rated Teen, Axel x Roxas, AU, Drama/Romance
Roxas paced uneasily back and forth across the black-and-white tiled floor in the kitchen, stopping every so often to look out the window for a few moments and then resume pacing.
Axel was late. There was no other way around it. He was late. And Roxas was worried.
That, in and of itself, wasn't usually enough to make Roxas start to worry but Axel had been gone for over eleven hours on an errand that should have only taken an hour at the most. It just didn't make any sense.
What could be keeping him? Roxas wondered, his eyes flickering over to the clock on the kitchen wall again, nibbling on his nail with his teeth. He's never been this late before...
He looked down at the note he held in his hand, chewing on his lower lip, his bright blue eyes creased with worry.
Went to the store to pick up some things for dinner. Be back soon!
Love you, Axel."
Sighing, Roxas set the note down on the table and sank into the chair he'd vacated earlier, rubbing his eyes absentmindedly.
Something felt wrong about all of this; he wasn't exactly certain just what but he knew that something was awry. The feeling of wrong kept increasing over time and, no matter how many times he tried to convince himself that the opposite was true, it kept coming back.
He tried to reassure himself that there was nothing to worry about, that he was sure there was a rational explanation as to why Axel was so late in coming home or...
Maybe...he doesn't want to... he thought despondently, his lips twitching slightly, turning to look out of the kitchen window at the rain which ran in rivulets down the windowpane. Maybe... he doesn't want me...
As much as it hurt to even think about, he had to entertain it as a possibility. They had been living together for quite some time and, although Axel had been certain in his affections, Roxas wasn't in his.
He could guess that what he was feeling was love but he and Axel both were Nobodies. How could he be sure that what he was feeling really was love? How could either of them?
In truth, he wasn't sure how he felt; he knew he had that tingly feeling around Axel that he didn't have around anyone else but what was that feeling, exactly? He didn't know... and it was beginning to drive a wedge between himself and Axel which hurt even more.
He knew that Axel was frustrated but he was doing his best to be patient while Roxas sorted himself out. Even so, the strain was beginning to show on the redhead's face even though he tried in every way he could to conceal it... which made Roxas feel even guiltier than he already did.
I wish feelings could be easier to figure out, he thought sadly, covering his face with his hands and closing his eyes. I wish I knew what I felt so I could stop hurting him. He doesn't deserve that.
The thought of Axel not being around was one he didn't like to entertain, let alone imagine. A quiet moan bubbled up from his lips, tears welling in his eyes. What was wrong with him today?
Roxas lifted his head, his hands falling away from his face with some surprise, his eyes widening. That... voice... where was that voice coming from? It sounded so close...but yet so far away at the same time. Could it have just been his imagination or, if he were brutally honest with himself, wishful thinking?
"Axel?" he said shakily, his wide, blue eyes darting around the room, his hands beginning to tremble. "Is that...is it...you?" He gripped the sides of the breakfast table until his knuckles turned white, his voice rising. "Where are you? I can't see you!"
A sweet, sad smile... A soft whisper...
Roxas, his mouth dropping open in shock, slowly got to his feet and stared in horrified fascination as he saw the image coming into view in front of him, reaching out a shaking hand as if to try and touch it. Or could it have simply been to keep it away?
"Axel...?" he breathed softly, the name catching in his throat and he swallowed hard, trying to get rid of the solid lump so that he could speak. "Is that... is... that... you?" He took a halting step forward, his legs trembling, his eyes never leaving the shifting, twisting image that hovered there, a lopsided grin on his face.
"It is you!" Roxas cried, relief washing over him, his mouth splitting into a wide grin, pure joy over seeing him again sweeping away all the angry and hurt feelings that had accumulated in the past twelve hours. "I've been so worried! Where are you?! Where have you been?! Why aren't you-"
-I don't have much time, Roxy,- Axel interrupted gravely, his grin slowly changing into a solemn frown. -I have to make this quick so that bastard doesn't know about it and, believe me, there isn't much that he doesn't know about.- He smiled sadly, his bright green eyes shimmering. -It isn't by my choice that I'm here, believe me; I wish I were there right now with you, rather than where I am...-
Roxas had been about to make another happy noise but, instead, snapped his mouth shut, his confusion over Axel's cryptic words plain in his eyes.
"What do you mean, 'rather than where I am?'" he demanded, his happy countenance being replaced by a worried grimace, his cerulean blue eyes reflecting his anguish."Where are you?! I've been worried sick about you!"
Axel's image lowered his eyes and sighed with regret.
-That's just it, Rox,- he replied softly, gazing at him with such love that Roxas felt his heart constrict within him. -I don't know where I am, exactly...-
Roxas stared at him in disbelief.
"I-I ... don't understand..." he stammered, biting his lip. "What...?"
-Exactly what I said. I don't know where I am.- Axel was silent for a few moments before he spoke again. -Xemnas got to me outside of the supermarket and imprisoned me somewhere; I just don't know where that happens to be.-
All the color drained from Roxas' face and he found that he had to sit down or his legs would have given out underneath him. He landed heavily on the chair.
"Xemnas?" he whispered fearfully, his heart beginning to beat double time in his chest, beads of sweat beginning to form on his forehead.
I knew something was wrong!
Axel nodded. -Worse luck. We didn't run as fast or as far as we thought we did, Rox–the damn bastard still got me.- He looked very unhappy. -Organization XIII is out looking for you, too. Get away while you can or you may end up like me.- He closed his eyes for a moment, sighing loudly. -I couldn't bear that happening, Rox. I want you to get away from them and be safe; that's all that really matters to me.-
Roxas was stunned. How could Axel so cavalierly dismiss the grave danger he was in, simply wanting to make sure that he escaped from Organization XIII's anaconda-like grip?
"What... what do you mean?" he asked in a hoarse, strangled voice, his expression reflecting his disbelief.
This can't be happening!
-It's very simple, Roxy,- Axel said softly, his eyes opening until he was looking at him through half-open slits, the bright green color shimmering with unshed tears, the corners of his mouth turning up in a sad smile. -It's because I love you.- A lone tear escaped from underneath his right eye, slowly rolling down his cheek and Roxas stepped forward, his hand reaching out to him as if he wanted to touch Axel's face, to gently wipe away that lone tear. -That's all.-
Roxas' hand shook slightly as he reached out once again, touching Axel's cheek tenderly with his fingertips, an electric thrill racing through him. He gasped in surprise at the sensation but he didn't pull away; he really wasn't sure why or what, exactly, the confusing feelings that raced through his whirling thoughts were.
It doesn't make any sense... Roxas thought unhappily, his eyes misting as he stood there, staring at the twisting, wavering image of Axel suspended in mid-air. I don't understand... what's going on?
He wanted to say more but, at that instant, Demyx burst into the room, breathing hard.
"Roxy!" he cried, holding his side, his face creased in pain. "You gotta get out of here, man! They're after you!"
They...? After... me...? Who...?
"Who's... after... me...?" he asked, his mind firmly on the twisting image in front of him and not fully on Demyx.
Demyx looked at him, disbelief plain in his face.
"You know... THEM!" He waved his arms around. "You know who I'm talking about, Roxas!"
"Who?" Roxas' brow furrowed, his mouth twisting slightly. "You're not making any sense, Demyx. Who is after me?"
Demyx ignored the question, waving his hand in front of Roxas' face. "Are you sure you're even on planet Earth? And why are you doing holding up your hand to empty air?"
Roxas snapped out of the trance he was in, blinking several times as he shook his head to clear it.
"What... empty air...? I'm... there's... its... Axel; he's here and he's in trouble!" He whirled to face Demyx who looked at him as if he'd taken leave of his senses. "Axel's here and he's in trouble!" he repeated, wondering why Demyx just stood there like a statue, looking askance at him. "We have to help him!"
"Ummm... who's here, who's in trouble and help whom, Roxy?" Demyx queried, his eyes narrowing slightly, confusion plain on his face. "There's nobody here."
"What?" Roxas' eyes were as wide as saucers. "What are you talking about?! Can't you see him?! He's right here!"
"R-right..." Demyx replied slowly, shaking his head in the affirmative although Roxas could clearly see that he didn't believe him. "Sure, Roxy; Axel's here... whatever you say..." He gave him a sidelong glance. "Are you sure you're ok?"
"Of course I'm sure!" he exploded, leaping forward and grabbing a fistful of Demyx's robe, giving it a good hard shake until Demyx's teeth rattled. "He's right here, damn it!"
"I'm sorry, Roxy, really I am!" Demyx squeaked, his eyes widening. "Honest, I can't see him!"
Roxas grit his teeth in frustration, sweeping out his arm and pointing to where he remembered seeing Axel's hovering image.
"Can't you see him?!" he barked angrily, his eyes flashing blue fire. "He's right h-" His biting words died in his throat when he turned to look and saw... nothing. There was naught except empty air and no sign that anything out of the ordinary had happened.
Roxas' face fell as he let go of Demyx, his mind whirling as he pressed his hands over his face, struggling to regain some semblance of control and fighting back the tears he could feel welling up in his eyes.
I know I saw him there, I know it! he thought unhappily, his body trembling so hard that he was only dimly aware that Demyx had laid his hand on his shoulder, crooning soft words of comfort. I wasn't imagining that! I'd know him anywhere!
"I'm sorry, Roxy," Demyx said sympathetically, his fingers tightening on his shoulder. "I know how close you two were-are-and that you miss him, but you gotta listen to me, man. You're in BIG trouble and you need to get out of here now!"