A/N: I never cease to amuse myself. This has got to one of the most random pairings that I have ever written in all seriousness. I thought about including it in Crack'd, but decided not to since it includes SPOILERS for Last Episode of Birth By Sleep as well as sort of BBS in general. But I thought of this pairing a while back and got so tickled with it, and knew I HAD to write it.

SPOILERS FOR THE END OF BIRTH BY SLEEP. Aqua/Axel. Fire and water. Let's call it steam-shipping. Lulz. ONESHOT. POST BBS, POST KH2


Steam

"Who are you?" A tired question. A surprised asker. She hadn't seen anyone else around here in…well, never.

"I don't really know anymore." A tired response. A surprised responder.

The girl swept her blue bangs out of her eyes and went to stand next to the tall redheaded man, who was watching the waves crash onto the beach.

"I've never seen anyone else here before."

"Neither have I."

"…well, how did you end up here?" Aqua asked, watching the lithe man carefully.

His acid green eyes narrowed. "I'm not really sure…I was trying to save a friend. One minute I was fading away, the next minute…I was here. So…I don't even know who I am anymore. Human? Nobody? Axel? Lea?" He shrugged. "What about you?"

Aqua sighed and turned her gaze to the horizon. "I too am here because I was saving a friend. And I have been wandering in this realm ever since. I don't even know for how long…" she trailed off.

"Hm." She could feel the man's eyes on her. "Are you a Nobody?"

Aqua turned to look at him, perplexed. "What's a Nobody?"

"Have you ever lost your heart?"

"No."

His eyebrows raised. "So you're human. Interesting. So you fell into the realm of darkness and didn't lose your heart? Impressive. Kudos to you."

Aqua smiled. "I had a reason to keep going, I suppose. So what is a Nobody?"

He sighed. "When someone loses their heart, if they had a strong heart or a strong will, sometimes what's left of their body and their soul are reborn into a Nobody. Got it memorized?" He gave her a lopsided smirk. "That's what I am…maybe." Aqua watched his expression shift into one of reflection and he looked back to the dark ocean oscillating before them. "Some days, I feel like I might have a heart again. Other days, I feel like I'm still empty."

Aqua hummed pensively and turned her attention back to the sea. "I once had a friend who always told me I had too strong a will. I suppose my heart would create a Nobody if I were to give in to the darkness in this world." Her lips formed a humorless smile. "No rest for me after all; not even then."

She felt the man's eyes on her again. "So if you're not a Nobody then why are you here? Who are you?"

"I'm what's left, I suppose." She sighed. "I fell into this realm to protect my friend, like I said. I have been searching for a way out ever since. I must return to my own world, to awaken my friend."

"The same friend you fell in here to save?"

Aqua shook her head. "No. That was for another friend. It's my friend Ventus I must reawaken."

There was silence from her compatriot for a moment, and Aqua looked sideways to see why he had yet to respond. He was staring at her, mouth slightly agape. "Did you say Ventus?"

Aqua nodded. "Yes, why?"

"Blue eyes, blond hair in this sort of upward swoosh?"

"Yes! You know him? Have you seen him?" The man was taken aback by Aqua's sudden eagerness.

"Well, not really. I only met him once, and that was…" he blew air through his lips in thought, "eleven years ago."

Aqua's stomach tightened into knots as all the air left her lungs. Eleven years? But…but…

"Eleven years?" she breathed, her voice barely above a whisper.

The man looked back at her, "Yeah…are you okay?"

Aqua took a deep breath. "How old was he?"

The man shrugged. "I dunno. About fifteen, fourteen." He raised an eyebrow at her as Aqua's eyes grew large and she turned back to the ocean.

"Fifteen. He was fifteen eleven years ago?" She let out a strangled laugh. "How long have I been wandering here?"

"…Are you okay?"

"He was fifteen when I knew him…He was like a little brother to me."

She felt the man's eyes concentrated on her again. "He was like a little brother to you? Wouldn't he have been the older one?"

Aqua gave a short, humorless laugh. "I'm twenty-nine." She stated, still staring straight ahead.

She imagined that beside her, the man was staring. "No you're not," he drawled, "You don't look a day over eighteen."

Aqua shook her head, her wide eyes staring at the horizon. "Nope. Apparently, I was eighteen eleven years ago." She took a deep breath. "Time must flow differently here, if I haven't aged." She sighed. "I don't feel twenty-nine. But I've been wandering for so long…I don't know how long. I've had no way of marking time, or of telling how long it's been. It could have been days, it could have been years…who knows. Perhaps it has only been hours."

She looked back at the man. He was watching her with an expression of almost pity on his narrow face. "I don't feel eighteen, either. I've been wandering for far too long." She sighed. "So I don't feel as old as I am, but I don't feel as young as I look, either. I wonder how old that makes me?"

The man smiled at her. "Puts you somewhere in the middle, I suppose. Why don't we say twenty-five?"

Aqua smiled. "That works for me, I suppose."

He smiled in reply. "Just gotta make sure you keep track of how old you're pretending to be, if you're going to be lying about your age from now on, got it memorized?"

Aqua raised an eyebrow. "Must you keep saying that?"

"Yes," was the smug reply. Aqua smiled genuinely, before turning her attention back to the sea.

Suddenly there was a hand stuck out in greeting before her. "Axel. Or Lea. Whichever you prefer. Although," Aqua watched his acid eyes give her a quick once-over, "A girl as pretty as you, you can call me whatever you'd like."

Aqua found herself smirking, quite flattered. She shook his hand.

"Aqua." She raised her eyebrows. "Got it memorized?"

Her smirk was returned.

"Well, Aqua, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

-fin-


A/N: Not the best writing, but it came. Very dialogue based. SHAMELESS PLUG: Check out 'Asylum', my Roxiri multichaptered epic in-progress.

Review please! Let me know what you think of my strange creation. (Cuz, you know, I don't know about you, but I'm lulzing at the thought of this pairing.)