The lights flashed around Roxas. He was giddy with excitement, and already a little tipsy. The bodies around him were radiating heat. He could feel the pulse of the music beating through him.

"Happy 18th Birthday Roxas!" exclaimed another well loved friend, hugging him tightly in her warm embrace.

Roxas's throat was already a little hoarse. He'd be yelling a lot at the beginning of the night. High from the exhilaration of finally being an adult, of finally being able to get into clubs and such. It had died down a little. But only a little.

He was hugged again. This time he recognised the smell of the person. Sora. He'd know that girly shampoo anywhere, jasmine and honey. Sora leaned close to his ear to be heard better "Roxas! How are you enjoying your party?" Roxas laughed "It's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Just how I always imagined my 18th" "There's more..." winked Sora before letting go of Roxas and disappearing into the crowd before Roxas could ask.

More? What more could there be? He was with his friends, at a club, having the time of his life, legally able to drink.

Someone grabbed his hand. He glanced up to see Kairi and Namine grinning at him, Kairi pulled on his hand "Come on Roxas, we have a surprise for you!" the girls lead him towards a platform at the centre of the club. He pulled a face, confused.

Sora appeared again, he spoke to Kairi and Namine "I double checked with the DJ, he said it's still cool, he's got the song, and he'll get us a mic."

A mic? Roxas was a little worried.

"Sora right?" the group turned to see a man standing behind them with a microphone in his hand. Tattoo's swirled up his arms, his brown hair slightly dishevelled.

"Yup. Thanks. This means a lot to us." Grinned Sora taking the mic.

"Good luck Roxas." Grinned the man, before disappearing.

"What's going on?" stuttered Roxas. He did not like where this was going.

"Relax" smirked Sora. "We'll explain in a minute."

The girls giggled in excitement.

Roxas was definitely worried.

At the end of the song playing, there was static before the DJ announced. "As a special request I'd like to say happy 18th to Roxas..."

There were cheers from around the club and exclamations of "Happy birthday!"

The DJ continued "Apparently Roxas can hold a tune, and his friends asked if I could organise a sort of karaoke for Roxas. Special birthday present to embarrass the hell out of him apparently" the DJ laughed "So anyway. In a few seconds when his friends manage to force him onto that little stage in the middle Roxas will be singing Beautiful Soul by Jesse McCartney for you!"

More cheers erupted. "Woo! You go for it Roxas!" could be heard.

Roxas blushed and glared at his friends "I hate you guys. And I won't do it!"

"You have no choice in the matter Roxas." Kairi smirked.

Unwillingly Roxas was hauled onto the stage by his supposedly 'best friends' he glared at them. Sora stood by his side still holding the mic, making sure Roxas couldn't run off.

"I hate you." Roxas stuttered. Looking in awe and embarrassment at the sea of people around him.

"You'll get over it. Roxas, you can do this. You don't want to regret not doing this later. This is your chance, to show people your voice." Sora hugged his friend, handing him the mic, before jumping off the stage.

He gave Roxas the thumbs up.

An overhead light shone lightly on Roxas. Not enough to distract him or hurt his eyes. But rather to illuminate him. His hair glowed gold, his light blue eyes glowed. To the crowd he looked... beautiful.

A hush fell over the crowd as they waited. Roxas blushed staring at his feet.

"You can do it Roxas!" some random from the crowd yelled.

Roxas cleared his throat before glancing at the DJ. The DJ nodded and began the backing track of 'Beautiful soul'.

Roxas coughed nervously. Counting himself in.

Then he sang...

"I don't want another pretty face..."

A little shaky at first. But this was his favourite song and he had practiced, a lot.

"I don't want just anyone to hold
I don't want my love to go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul

People began cheering. And he gained confidence, his voice growing stronger, and surer. He knew these words off by heart.

"I know that you are something special
To you I'd be always faithful
I want to be what you always needed
Then I hope you'll see the heart in me

His eyes searched the crowd. And then he focused on a pair of bright green eyes fixed on him intently. He flushed slightly but his voice stayed strong.

"I don't want another pretty face
I don't want just anyone to hold
I don't want my love to go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul
You're the one I wanna chase
You're the one I wanna hold
I won't let another minute go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul

He watched the figure with the bright green eyes, the flashing lights illuminated startling red hair. Axel. Roxas blinked vaguely wondering what he was doing here.

But to be honest he didn't care.

"You might need time to think it over
But I'm just fine moving forward
I'll ease your mind
If you give me the chance
I will never make you cry c`mon let's try

Or rather, He did, he cared very much. Axel.

"I don't want another pretty face
I don't want just anyone to hold
I don't want my love to go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul
You're the one I wanna chase
You're the one I wanna hold
I won't let another minute go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul

Axel moved closer to the stage, weaving his way gracefully through the crowd.

"Am I crazy for wanting you?
Maybe do you think you could want me too?
I don't wanna waste your time
Do you see things the way I do?
I just wanna know that you feel it too
There is nothing left to hide

Axel stood beneath the stage, gazing up at Roxas. He remembered the redheads last words to him "Why won't you give me a chance?" He had begged, before Roxas had stormed off, annoyed as to where Axel wanted their relationship to go. They were friends and only friends, they couldn't be anything more, he didn't feel that way about Axel.

"I don't want another pretty face
I don't want just anyone to hold
I don't want my love to go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul
You're the one I wanna chase
You're the one I wanna hold
I won't let another minute go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul

But he was back. Like always. No matter how often he annoyed Roxas, he had to appreciate the fact that he always came back, like he was drawn to Roxas.

"I don't want another pretty face
I don't want just anyone to hold
I don't want my love to go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul
You're the one I wanna chase
You're the one I wanna hold
I won't let another minute go to waste

Axel. Who was always there, who always cared, who stood beside him even when he was being stupid, laughed when he made a joke, helped him when he fell, promised never to leave him.


"I want you and your soul
I don't want another pretty face
I don't want just anyone to hold
I don't want my love to go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul
Beautiful Soul, yeah
Oooooo, yeah
Your beautiful soul

Axel who messed him up, because he was so in love with that boy.

The crowd erupted into applause. Roxas barely noticed. He was too busy staring into those green eyes below him. The eyes that made his heart speed up, that turned his brain to mush, and made him realise that he would always be loved.

Roxas took a deep breath. His face flushed from singing. His friends were cheering, screaming that they knew he could do it. Axel just smiled sweetly at him.

Roxas took a step to get off the stage, but something went wrong. He felt something at his ankle. He felt the pressure that tripped him. Sending him falling face first towards the ground, off the stage.

But he never reached the ground.

Two strong arms caught him, held him safe. Hugged him tightly. Lips at his ear whispered "Happy Birthday Roxas, I love you." He stiffened in the embrace, even though it felt so good. The boy holding him stiffened as well.

He was released and he watched numbly as Axel walked away from him.

"Roxas that was brilliant!" Someone screamed in his ear. People were patting him on the back, and hugging him. Congratulating him, and complementing his singing.

Roxas barely heard it. He felt nothing but the loss of those arms from around him.

Sora watched his friend worriedly. Everyone else may not know the significance of that redhead boy, but Sora did.

He saw the light flickering from Roxas's eyes. The way his face fell slightly.

He grabbed his friends arm and dragged him away from the admiring fans, towards the bar.

Sora looked at Roxas seriously. Roxas stared back expressionless.

"Go after him."

Roxas blinked sullenly "Why?"

"You love him"

"Maybe..." Roxas conceded "But I hurt him. He won't want me anymore. Not after I rejected him."

Roxas wasn't thinking, he was wallowing in self pity, pining for those arms...

Sora let out an exasperated sigh "Roxas. It doesn't matter. You saw the way he looked at you. I saw him mouthing that he loved you. He still loves you. You can't just stop loving someone. Just because you didn't love him back didn't mean he could stop loving you. Stop being so difficult and go tell him already."

Roxas groaned "... It's embarrassing. I rejected him. And now... after all this. I just suddenly decide I want him? He won't accept it. He will probably think I'm lying..."

He had heard Axel say "I love you", but he didn't believe it, didn't accept it, and didn't take it in. Why? Because that's what he most wanted to hear.

Sora glared at his friend "Do I have to spell it out for you! He loves you. Fuck. I know you love him. Love can happen suddenly. But none of it would matter to him, if you love him. Because that's what love is..."

"I'm scared Sora..." Roxas's eyes were large.

"It's okay to be... tell him..."

"Okay." Roxas straightened decisively.

Sora grinned as he watched his friend go to look for Axel.

Where could he be? He couldn't have gone that far...

Roxas walked through the crowd looking everywhere for that flame of red hair, those sparkling green eyes.

What if he's already gone home? No. He has to be here somewhere...

A flash of red? No.

Roxas settled on a chair in a corner in defeat. The crowd was just too big, too many people moving. Axel didn't even know he was looking for him.

"Looking for someone Blondie?"

Roxas whipped around, Axel stood behind him smiling lightly.

"Axel..." he breathed.

Axel tilted his head "That's my name Blondie."

Roxas bit his lip. Now that he had found Axel – Or rather Axel had found him – he didn't know what to say.

"You look nervous. What's wrong?" Axel walked around and sat on the chair near him.

Roxas cleared his throat nervously "I h-have something to tell you..."

"Get the fuck out of this club? Stop ruining my 18th?" Axel tilted his head again; his voice had some of its former teasing in it.

Roxas snorted "Nothing like that. I'm... glad you came..."

"So am I. You have a beautiful voice."


"I sense you have more to tell me than 'I'm glad you came'" his voice was curious.


Roxas's nervousness seemed to amuse Axel.

"You can tell me Roxy..."

"I know... I'm just trying..."


"To think of how to phrase this, and get the guts to say it."

"You're brave Roxas. You sang in front of a club of people. I know how you are with crowds. It took guts to do that. Whatever this is, it should be easy for you..." Axel voice was getting more and more teasing.

"Mmm" Roxas stared at his shoes.

Axel just sat silently, waiting for him to speak. He was patient, he didn't mind how long it took Roxas to say it. He was just content to watch the blonde. That's why Roxas loved him. Or one reason.

Finally steeling himself Roxas looked up at Axel.

Axel smiled in encouragement, curious.

Roxas cleared his throat... and leaned towards Axel "I'd rather... uh... whisper it... rather than say it too loud... right now..."

Curiosity flashed in Axel's eyes as he leaned closer. Axel's breath tickled Roxas's neck, he shivered. He leaned forward so his lips brushed Axel's ear. The air was warm, the atmosphere was calm, yet expectant "I'm sorry. I... love you Axel."

They both froze. Waiting for the other to say something.

"'I'm sorry'" quoted Axel quietly, his voice slightly confused.

"For... rejecting you, then ignoring you, and in general being a jerk. I couldn't admit it to myself, let alone you. I caused you pain. And for that I'm sorry. I hope you can forgive me. I love you, and hope it's not too late."

Axel pulled back to look the blonde in the eyes.

"It's never too late." He smiled his voice tender before cupping Roxas's face in his hands and leaning forward to press their lips together.

The kiss was sweet and simple, yet stole their breaths.

When they pulled apart Roxas leaned his forehead against Axel's.

"I love you."

"I love you too."

Roxas leaned forward to capture Axel's lips again.

Everything was perfect. "That song was for you..." he whispered against Axel's lips, eyes shut.

"Thank you. The song may be for me. But I am yours, always and forever."