Characters/Relationships: Father/Son Xigbar and Roxas. Brotherly Roxas and Axel. And partner-ship Xigxel. Although it's based around all three of their relationships.
Warnings?: None. Although, too much fluff can kill you. Bewaaaaaaaare. :P
Word Count: 3,956.
Notes: Alright, so basically this was the idea I had above, based on what Roxas thought of the way Xigbar treats him in the 358/2 Days story line. Before I knew where this was heading I managed to speak to my mother about the idea...and she was the reason tha this little drabble turned into...into this beast!
She had the weirdest theory that Saix somehow went behind Axel's back and placed Xigbar as the secondary watcher of Roxas, just in case Axel screwed up. :P And after a lot of thought, it seriously began to make a lot of sense to me. And I really like the idea. Just don't tell her that I said that, she'd kill me . So yeah, this is based on my mother's ideas. THANK YOU MOMMEH. :-*
(C): Axel, Roxas and Xigbar and all other characters and places are not mine. I don't own anything other than this whole fan fiction, even the theory isn't mine! It's my mothers! :P So I don't own anything, so please don't come thinking that it is. Don't kill or sue me plz. :D
Roxas asked softly to his friend beside him. His feet were rocking back and forth as they hung awkwardly off of the edge of the two boy's favorite after work getaway. The Twilight Town stations heights clock tower. More often than not they would gather together, ice cream in their hands, and sit and talk about nonsense until the castle beckoned them for their return.
There were times as they sat together that Roxas's naive curiosity of the large world would promote him to ask questions. Always targeted at Axel, because he knew that, since the redhead was nearly ten years older then he, he would have the answers he longed for.
Axel took his stick from the ice cream from his mouth and turned to the boy, uttering a small "hmmm?" in response. Hearing that, Roxas took a breath and continued, mentally wondering how he was going to ask this properly without his friend thinking that he was crazy.
"Can I ask you something?"
Axel smiled and shifted his body around until he was facing Roxas, his eyes suddenly sparkling with interest.
"My favorite part of the day! What'cha need, buddy?" He spoke with such playfulness in his voice. He did, in fact, enjoy it when Roxas asked him such strange questions. It always made him feel the need to explain everything in as much detail as he possibly could, and act like such a know-it-all to the blonde. It always left Roxas with such a shocked expression, and made Axel feel quite wise.
"Well…I…" Roxas stuttered. It was so strange that he was going to ask Axel this, but he could admit that something had been gnawing at the back of his mind, for so long that Roxas could not have explained, and he finally wanted the truth.
"I wanted to ask you about Xigbar."
Axel's smiled faded. This was about Xigbar? Roxas always seemed to ask him about the world that he didn't understand, or even about their friend Xion (Which gave Axel the moment to give him cheap girl advice. Oh, how he loved that.), but never about the other members of the Organization. Honestly, Axel wondered if Roxas even actually acknowledged the others.
This question made Axel raise his eyebrow and lean closer, curious to know where the kid was heading.
"What about him?"
"Why does he treat me the way he does?"
It was then that Axel reached behind his head and scratched it, one habit of his that he often did when he was confused or in conflict with himself. Several answers started to flood his mind and he wondered what was the best way to go about this. He shut his eyes momentarily and thought back to the second week that he was with Roxas. The littlest member was still in his "Zombie" phase, as Axel called it, and did not speak often.
That day he had sat alone on his unmade bed in his room, the door shut. It was one of those moments where he tried to make sense of why exactly Saix had done what he did with him and Roxas. Turned around and made him the boy's guardian.
He had merely scoffed it off, figuring that it would be simple to train this boy, and with his skills make him become quite the fighter. But it was after the fourth day that he realized what Saix had truly wanted from him. He wanted Axel to raise Roxas, to be a parental figure. It was nearly impossible for Axel to do such a thing, especially with how little Roxas seemed to understand day after day.
That very same night Axel had a visitor in his room, and an unwanted one at that. It was Xigbar that walked into his room with a smug grin on his lips, explaining to the younger member of the Organization what orders he had just received from Saix.
"Doesn't take a blind man to see what's up, Axel…" Xigbar spoke as he cocked his head to the side, "You're not doing a good enough job with the kid here. Looks like ol' Saix appointed me as secondary watcher. Isn't that just peachy?"
As Axel stared at him with a confused look, he turned his back and waved his arm, emphasizing exactly what he meant.
"Saix told me that he knows you're not capable enough, you're getting too attached to him as a friend, when he needs a mentor. So, apparently he wants me to teach the boy what I know. He wants us to work together."
Axel crossed his arms and looked down at his feet. Xigbar and he had never been close to one another, and never had anything that even resembled the definition of "friendship". But what The Freeshooter had told him that night, something inside of Axel agreed to this so-called "partnership."
He knew that it would be for the best, let Axel take the role in Roxas's life as being something thought of as 'friend' in his eyes. Laugh with him during those after work ice cream that the blonde seemed to enjoy, give him advice, be there for him and protect him, as all normal friends would do for one another. And let the old man take the most difficult responsibility of all.
Raising the boy.
"Huh. I guess all that's left is we just have to shake on it, Flamsilocks." Xigbar said as he stood, holding out his right hand, waiting for Axel's answer.
Axel did not know how to truly feel about it that night, but he knew that if the Organization needed this boy to complete the Nobodies and give them their desired hearts, then someone would have to be there to help him along. And any less stress for Axel meant that he could just take it easy and let things play out as they intended.
Axel stood and took Xigbar's hand in his own.
"You have yourself a deal, old man."
Xigbar let go with a smirk, and turned to leave the room. When he reached the door he quickly turned back and pointed directly at the younger Nobody, a rather uncharacteristic serious face suddenly graced his features.
"Oh, and let's not let little Tiger in on this."
"No need to give the kid any more confusion than he already has. He's still trying to figure out what's up about the whole Organization, telling him about this…well, who knows? Little dude's head might overload or something."
Axel only nodded and watched him leave. So it was settled, they were in it together to raise Roxas. Axel sat back down and placed two fingers on his head and rubbed his temple. Sweet Kingdom Hearts! That was it, he and Axel, they were literally raising Roxas like some overly dysfunctional family! Just what had he managed to get himself into—?
Roxas's shrieking voice brought him back to reality, and quickly he shifted his green eyes away from the boy's blue ones. This was not the question he wanted to try and explain to Roxas. As he thought more about it, he knew that he did not want to lie to the boy about why Xigbar seemed to care so much about him, despite him being a Nobody and, in fact, not able to feel a single emotion.
But then, of course, he did not want to tell Roxas the truth, in fear that that would case far more problems and most likely sweep them both in an argument about why Axel kept this secret, and never told him sooner.
Or perhaps the whole conversation would in turn, give Roxas a headache, and become extremely awkward, extremely fast.
Axel took a deep breath and smiled.
"What do you mean? Treat you how?"
Roxas shook his head and turned away.
"You know what I mean…the way he treats me like a kid, and how he calls me 'tiger.' all the time. Why does he do that?"
Axel laughed. He knew that Xigbar tolerated Roxas from the moment he first saw him in the White Room, but even he thought that those nicknames were a bit embarrassing, for Roxas's sake and his own.
And Saix said that I was too attached to him. Xigbar's gone soft, man! He thought suddenly, but he knew that if "The Freeshooter" ever managed to read his mind, Xigbar would shoot him on sight.
Before his mind had a chance to focus back on what he was going to say in response, a badly formed answer spurted out from his lips in haste.
"Well, I'm sure he does it because he likes you. That's all."
Axel blinked. No, it wasn't a lie, but it wasn't the whole truth either. But it made his conscience feel a bit better than it would have had he lied to him. Quickly he changed the subject.
"Want him to stop?"
If Axel knew of Roxas's feelings towards how Xigbar handled him, then he could tell the elder member later on and perhaps they could come to a compromise.
After that reached his ears, it was then that Roxas sighed, and began to fiddle with his own ice cream stick.
"No, Axel. It's not that I don't like it. It's just…"
Roxas looked away and Axel leaned over and placed a hand on his shoulder, gently encouraging him to continue.
"It's what, buddy?"
"I feel like…I just want to thank him." Roxas suddenly said sheepishly. He turned his head away from Axel, in fear that he would see that a soft pink color had reached his cheeks. Roxas always felt shy when doing something special for his friends, and this was no small exception despite that he and Xigbar were not close.
"He deserves that much, don't he?"
It was then that Axel's clever little gears in his mind began to spin. He could always get back at Xigbar for putting him in this sort of position with Roxas. Oh yes, it would perfect since it was Xigbar's fault after all. He was the one who treated the boy this way, and made him feel awkward, so the blame fell on him alone, right?
Axel rubbed his hands together and let out a smooth and somewhat evil laugh. He would suggest that Roxas would do something so embarrassing to Xigbar that he would defiantly get his well-deserved payback for Xigbar doing the same to him.
Roxas looked at him with a curious expression, wondering just what he found so humorous. But before he had a chance to ask, Axel spoke once more.
"Well, Roxas. You know, you could always…hug him."
Roxas's face suddenly contracted into a odd look. What was a hug? He had never heard of the word before, and surely never seen anyone do it to anyone, at lest, not in the Organization. Was it something that you do when you want to thank someone?
"A…hug?" He said, his eyes half-lidded in confusion.
Axel reached up and stretched his head once more, before plucking the air with his free hand, suggesting that he come closer. Roxas did as he wanted and quickly the redhead wrapped both his arms around Roxas's body and held him close to his chest.
"Axel?" He spoke through a muffled voice.
"See, Roxas? This is a hug."
Roxas closed his eyes for a moment and let the feeling of being held sweep over him. It felt really nice, and he wondered why Axel never did this to him before.
So, if this was what was called a hug, and something that you apparently did when you wanted to thank someone for treating you nicely, then he would gladly do it to Xigbar!
Roxas pulled away from Axel and smiled at him softly.
"I think I'll do that Axel. I'll invite Xigbar up here and give him that! Yeah, it'll be perfect!"
All Axel could do was laugh at the sudden image that flowed into his mind. Trying to picture Xigbar, tough and serious Xigbar sitting up here on the clock tower, sharing ice cream with Roxas was nothing short of gold! Oh Axel, you monster! Your little mind has the most wonderful ideas sometimes!
The very next day, Roxas walked into the Grey Room after a painfully troublesome mission at Halloween Town. (He could not begin to describe his distaste for that trio of pranksters…) And he was surprised to see that Xigbar was sitting on one of the couches to the left of him.
His feet were propped up on the nearest coffee table and his arms were folded over his chest, and he seemed to look quite bored as he looked out the window to the Kingdom Hearts moon. Roxas walked over to the Nobody and spoke.
Xigbar looked up at the boy with the slightest of interest and gave a quick grin.
"Hey there, kiddo. What's up?"
Roxas smiled and leaned forward on the arm of the couch, he knew that this would be the perfect time to try.
"Are you finished with your missions?"
"Sure am. Why? Need something?"
Roxas looked back at Axel who was in the middle of talking to Saix about his current missions and noticed that he nodded his approval. Roxas then summoned a darkness portal with the flick of his wrist, and turned to face Xigbar who was standing up and walking over to him with a raised eyebrow.
"Yep. I want to take you somewhere."
Xigbar looked at Roxas and then over at Axel, wondering just what the young Nobodies had planned for him. He was about to question their motives, before Axel walked over and flung an arm around Xigbar's shoulder. He turned his head and smiled in the way that Xigbar absolutely hated seeing.
"Come oooon Xiggy, you need a little relaxation now and again. Are you really going to turn 'im down on the offer?"
Xigbar shot a pricing glare at Axel and shrugged his arm off of his shoulder. Whatever they did have planned, it most likely was not in Xigbar's best interest and was probably going to end badly. But nevertheless, he nodded.
"Fine kiddies, I'll play along this time."
Roxas took that answer, and grabbed a hold of Xigbar's coat sleeve, forcefully pulling him into the darkness portal, as a little child would drag their parent into a candy store.
Xigbar shot a final death glare at Axel before he disappeared into the depths of the darkness. Once they were gone, Axel broke out into laughter. Saix then walked up behind him and gave him a questioning look.
"I only pray, Axel, that you will insist to me that Xigbar will come back to the castle in one piece?"
Axel only shook his head.
"I can't make that promise, Saix."
Walking up the stairs to the clock tower, Roxas noticed that the view over Twilight Town was incredibly beautiful this one quiet evening, of course he knew that since the town was forever in the time of sunset it always stayed the same. But today…the sun seemed to shine so brightly, giving the town below a warm glow. Roxas smiled and walked over, waiting for Xigbar to follow.
After a moment Xigbar slowly came behind him, and looked curiously over the ledge that they were now standing on. He had never been to this world before, and it was all-together different than most worlds Saix had sent him, it was peaceful and seemed to have children running about every now and again.
Watching Roxas take a seat on the ledge, something inside of him still wondered why the boy brought him here.
"Isn't it great, Xigbar?" Roxas said, as he turned his head to him, trying to get him to sit down.
"Me, Xion and Axel come here almost everyday and watch the sunset."
Xigbar hesitantly flung his legs over the edge and sat a few feet away from the blonde, his hands gripping the brick underneath to steady himself as he crossed his legs. He placed his arm on his knee and laid his chin in his palm as he looked at Roxas.
"Then why bring me here, kiddo?"
Roxas didn't answer at first, only pulled out two bars of sea-salt ice cream that he managed to purchase on the way. He reached out and handed one to Xigbar, who placed his hand over Roxas's and merely looked at the bar curiously.
"I thought you needed a little something extra for all you do for me. A little…you know, icing on the cake?" He said with a small chuckle, remembering Axel's words from long ago.
"Xigbar, its ice cream. Eat it." Roxas said after seeing that Xigbar was still looking at Roxas and the bar strangely.
Xigbar nodded and took a bite of the blue prickly ice cream, and then suddenly wished to Kingdom Hearts above that he hadn't. Oh, it tasted awful! He silently wondered if that was Roxas's plan all along. The reason that he brought Axel, and Xion, and now himself, to this place to eat this---this---whatever it was…
It was because Roxas was trying to poison them! And the only reason that he kept bringing them back is because he hadn't managed to do it correctly yet. Yes, that had to be it. He really wished that when became a Nobody that, in addition to losing his heart, that he would have lost his taste buds as well.
He almost moaned aloud until he looked at Roxas and saw that the boy was still watching his every move with the same smile. So he regrettably allowed himself to swallow some of the dreadful ice cream, and hid away his shudder from the blue eyes and masking it with a lying:
"That was very…interesting."
He then snickered and reached over to ruffle his hair playfully, and as Roxas's head was down and his hands were trying to pry Xigbar's own off of his hair, the Freeshooter swiftly discarded the ice cream bar off the side of the clock tower.
When Roxas straightened himself back to his normal position, Xigbar then spoke.
"What did you mean by that, Roxas?"
Chewing on his own sea salt bar, Roxas turned his head and uttered a curious 'Hmm,' to the older man.
"What you said back there, about what I do for you. What did'cha mean?"
Roxas took his ice cream stick out of his mouth and pushed it aside, he turned his body around and looked at Xigbar with all the seriousness he could manage.
"You know. How you always look out for me, teach me things that even Axel doesn't know, and go out of your way to help me."
Xigbar scoffed, he didn't feel as though this sort of behavior required special attention.
"Well, that's my job, tiger."
"I know, but…you don't have to do it for me…"
Roxas trailed off and then moved closer and before Xigbar could say another word in response, the young member threw his arms around him. They were nearly touching behind Xigbar's back and his head was softly resting on his jacket, as Roxas merely clung more fervently, hoping he was doing it as Axel had done.
Xigbar sat there, arms out, frozen in pure surprise at what he was doing. He couldn't recall the last time someone had taken him into his or her arms and hugged him. In fact, he wouldn't have been surprised if this was the first time had actually been embraced. He looked down at the boy and let his hovering arms fall down to his side.
"What…what are you doing, Roxas?" He asked, clearing his throat and cursing himself for letting the blonde see him stuttering nervously.
"I guess…I just wanted to thank you, Xigbar. For all that you do for me…It--it means a lot, you know."
Slowly Xigbar smiled a pure genuine smile, not one of his well-known grins or a smirk, but an honest smile at the little one in his arms. He reached his arms around and returned the embrace. It was a moment of weakness, surely he would agree with himself later, but if this were the only moment in his Nobody life that Xigbar would allow himself for feel for any of his fellow members, he would gladly choose this time.
"You're welcome, little tiger. I'm more than pleased to do it." He said softly as he patted his back, and Roxas smiled. This made it all worth it.
Upon returning to The Castle That Never Was, Roxas leaped out of the darkness portal first, and franticly waved Axel down from the hallway. When the young man came over with a smile, Roxas began to speak in a quick and cheerful voice.
"You were right, Axel! The hug thing worked!"
Axel crossed his arms and basked in the glory of his ability to create such wonderful ideas with such amazing skill, when suddenly a voice ran from the entrance of the Grey Room.
"It certainly did, Axel." Xigbar said in an eerily calm voice that he was not used to hearing, it made his arms drop and chuckle in nervousness. He knew that The Freeshooter was probably quite steamed with what he made the boy do, and was more than likely about to punish Axel severely in front of Roxas's eyes.
"You. Of all people, using mind games, Flame-Boy? Using little Roxas here to get back at me for embarrassing you somehow? The way you deviously used the kid to set me up in Twilight Town, make me eat…ice--ice cream and partake in an embrace that is highly out of my character? I'm surprised at you!" Xigbar shook his head and placed both of his hands on his hips.
"So, huh, what does that mean, Xigbar?" Axel uttered from behind Roxas, (Who was currently in the middle of them both.) he stood unmoving as Xigbar circle around both members and soon enough Axel's head began to spin with dizziness from watching him.
"It means," he said as he walked next to Axel and placed a hand on his shoulder, making The Flurry of Dancing Flames flinch at the touch.
"It means that I like the way your little mind works, dude! You're all right!" Xigbar said and gave Axel a firm slap on his back.
Axel blinked; this was not the reaction that he was expecting. He quickly shrugged Xigbar's arm off and backed up against the wall, crossing his arms once again. When he looked up at both men in front of him, he was sporting a grin that matched his elder's.
"Well, what's a little fun among friends, am I right?"
Roxas let a small gasp escape his lips when he heard him utter that line, he looked over at Axel and then at Xigbar hopefully.
"So, does that mean we're friends now?"
A still silence then flooded the room. For a moment none of them dared to move, until Xigbar and Axel turned and looked at one another. Playfulness shined in their eyes mixed with a quick flash of understanding.
We can make this work.
They nodded simultaneously. It was a partner-ship then. Still such a strange concept to their minds. Although it was no longer as utterly insane that they had once thought almost two months ago. This was the step in the right direction.
Xigbar walked over and threw his left arm around Axel's shoulder once again and was pleased when the redhead did the same to him.
"It sure does, Roxas." They both uttered at once, and Roxas's eyes lit up.
Xigbar was his friend now too; oh he couldn't want to tell Xion about this amazing news! As he looked through the halls he was excited to see her coming out of a darkness portal. Perfect timing, Xion!
And as quickly as he stood there staring, he was off and running through the halls to Naught's Skyway to try and catch up with Xion.
"Xion! Hey, Xion! Guess what!" He began to cry as he vanished from their eyesight.
As the two men watched the child go, Xigbar smiled and Axel merely laughed at Roxas's energy. He would never understand where inside of him that he managed to stored all of that hyperactivity. Xigbar turned his head and locked his single golden eye with him, as he sighed quietly.
"Ya know…he's a good kid, Axel."
Axel only smiled.
"Yeah, he sure is."