"Welcome to Home Sweet Home." Axel smiled for the audience. "I'm Axel Esposito and I'll be your host from now on." He purred into the camera. Roxas was sure hundreds of lonely housewives were busy creaming their pants.
Things were going fabulously. The only major snag had been finding someone to replace Marluxia but Alf had managed to find a really nice girl named Rikku to take over. He felt having some women on the cast was important, especially since most of the viewers were female. So far Axel and Roxas were getting along with her fabulously. The set lacked some of the tension it had had in the past but he and Axel were making up for it by interjecting a comedy note. The ratings had already jumped a bit, despite the two PM time slot. Roxas was cautiously optimistic that they'd be getting a move to something better soon.
Roxas smiled as he watched Axel charming the socks off the middle aged couple whose house they were redoing. The daughter in particular was practically worshipping him, which was good since they were struggling to find a full length mirror for her in the budget. They were trying to stay in budget so Alf's superiors wouldn't realize what Larxene had done. They'd be less than amused to find out the show was getting private funding. Besides, searching for bargains in the thrift shop made for good TV.
Suddenly his cell phone went off. Roxas frowned and ignored it. He had it on vibrate and wanted to watch Axel. Whoever was calling could just leave a message. But they a moment later they called back. And again. Swearing to himself, Roxas found an out of the way spot to answer the call.
Roxas! Answer your phone! What do you have that thing for if you never answer it? Sora. Roxas rolled his eyes.
"Hell's bells Sora, I'm at work! That's what I've got voice mail for. What the hell do you want?" He asked irritably. His brother was interrupting his Axel watching.
Uncle Ralph's dead! That immediately derailed Roxas thoughts and he blinked. Why did Sora sound so gleeful? Sure, they hadn't liked the bugger but – He was strangled to death by a clothesline while he was stealing panties!
"…Are you bloody well serious." This had to be a joke. It could not be true. The world just wasn't that perfectly ironic. Was it? But Sora was howling with laughter. "Oh my god you ARE?" Roxas choked on his own laughter, struggling to hold it in. He couldn't disrupt the shoot. He couldn't disrupt to shoot. He couldn't –
"Cut!" Alf called. "Roxas, where are you?" And that was it. He couldn't hold it in anymore. Roxas started to laugh helplessly as Axel peeked into the room, looking at him curiously. The daughter was right behind him, looking concerned.
"Roxy? What's up?" He could tell Roxas wasn't hurt or anything, but he was laughing until he was almost crying. "What's so funny?" Axel asked, perplexed.
"Uncle Ralph… he's dead." Roxas managed to choke out and Axel looked startled. He hadn't liked their uncle at all either but he couldn't imagine why that was funny. "He strangled to death on a clothesline stealing panties…!" Axel's eyes went wide as he tried to picture that. Then he snorted and pressed a hand to his face. The girl behind him blinked, a bit wide-eyed.
"I'll – I'll get you a glass of water." Axel said when he had himself under control. Roxas could hear him explaining to Alf that his uncle had just died in a highly amusing fashion as he struggled to get himself back together.
Sometimes, reality was just too much.
A year later.
Roxas smiled to himself as he watched Axel playing a handheld puzzle game. It was one of the type where you tilted it to get the ball going into the right hole. Amusing although it did eventually get boring. But it was handmade of wood and would make a great souvenir when they got home. Roxas pulled out his guide book and consulted it as they stepped onto the subway. Axel put away his game as he grabbed hold of a pole. The subway was quite full, not at all surprising in Singapore.
"Alright, we need to get off in three stops I think." Roxas said after brief concentration. "Then it'll be a bit of a hike to the place we want, but not too bad. And then we'll have beef noodle soup." Roxas was looking forward to it. Street food in Singapore wasn't exactly street food. Stringent government regulations had swept the streets clean years ago, but the result was that a lot of apartment complexes had converted their first floors into the equivalent of food courts. They were searching for one noted complex in particular, and within that a stall that specialized in glorious beef noodle soup. It had been noted on numerous guides as a must see place.
"I hope it's not too crowded but I bet it will be." Axel prophesied and Roxas could only nod. They'd quickly discovered that the best places were usually crowded. Everyone knew what was good. Roxas smiled to himself as he thought about how everything was going.
He was still in love with Axel. In fact, sometimes he felt so in love with the redhead that it almost hurt. Best of all, he was sure Axel felt the same way. They'd even been tentatively talking about marriage, although Roxas wasn't sure how he felt about that. He'd never really thought of marriage before at all. If nothing else, who would wear the dress? Roxas grinned as the thought of Axel in drag crossed his mind. Then he banished the whimsy. They'd both wear suits of course, although Sora would probably suggest a gown for him. Sora and Riku were still a going concern. Roxas had thought his brunette twin would never settle down but it was really looking like Riku was the one.
Home Sweet Home was going well too. They'd been moved from their two PM time slot all the way to six PM. Not the perfect evening slot but pretty damn close. Their viewership had jumped dramatically and most of the change had been attributed to Axel. The redhead had finally found his niche in life. With his dramatic looks and easy stage presence, he was a natural on the telly. He charmed the socks off all the ladies and the men found him easy to get on with.
"I think this is it?" Roxas snapped out of his musings and glanced around before nodding. This was their stop. He and Axel stepped out along with the crowd and ascended the escalators into the street. "Which way?"
"Over there." Roxas pointed to a street sign to their right. Axel smiled and took Roxas' hand as they walked. The blonde looked up at him and Axel gently squeezed his hand. Roxas gave him a quick squeeze back, smiling. This was the perfect trip and the perfect day. The sun was shining and the world was right. How could things get any better?
Spectacular food did the trick. The lineups were as bad as Axel had predicted but they managed to nab two bowls of spicy beef noodle broth and a couple glasses of frothy green sugarcane juice.
"God that was good! Want to get an encore?" Roxas blinked at Axel who gestured at another booth that was almost as popular as the beef place. "They look to be selling something interesting."
"Oh! Sounds great." Roxas thought he could fit in a bit more. It had been a long time since lunch. "You want to get it?" Since it had been his idea Axel could stand in line. The redhead grinned.
"Sure!" It was quicker than the beef place and soon Axel was back with a couple plates of stir fried noodles with prawns, minced fish and some kind of pungent fish sauce that stank to high heaven. It still tasted wonderful and Roxas downed it with gusto. "Oh, and they gave me this too. It's a dessert, I thought you should have it." Axel offered him a small, foil covered package. Roxas grinned and opened it to find –
"What the bloody hell?" Roxas stared as he slowly extracted a little bag. It was red velvet and when he opened it and shook it, a ring fell into his hand. "Axel!" It was a smooth black titanium band and it suited Roxas' taste in rings perfectly. "What's this for?" It wasn't his birthday and he hadn't asked for anything like it. The redhead chuckled and placed a hand over his and Roxas looked into his green eyes, feeling stunned.
"Will you marry me?" Axel asked simply and Roxas felt his head reeling. Surely he couldn't mean it? "I think we've been together long enough. I want to be with you for the rest of my life, more than anything I've ever wanted in the world. Will you marry me?"
"I…" Roxas swallowed hard, all the old doubts and fears swirling through his mind. His parents marriage had always been bad and that had left its marks. Did he want to risk that? Could he afford NOT to risk it? Axel was everything to him. Everything. "I – of course I'll marry you." The words tumbled out and Roxas suddenly jumped to his feet, darting around the table to give Axel a hug. People were staring at them now but he didn't care. "Axel, I love you." He whispered in the redhead's ear, feeling overcome with joy. This was really happening. They were really going to do this.
"I love you too Roxas." Those warm, sincere words filled him with even more happiness. So did Axel's arms around him, cradling him close.
Life just did not get better than this.
And until I say otherwise…