A/N: This one is for LightKeyblade, who requested some AkuRoku from me months ago. I finally sat down and wrote the whole thing in a fit of inspiration. I'm sorry it's so late, Light! But it's done now, so I hope you enjoy it! Shounen ai, AU, AkuRoku...don't like, don't read, they don't belong to me. =D
"So...what's up?" The false cheeriness in Axel's voice was only a cover for the slight trepidation he felt.
"I—we need—are you free this afternoon?" Roxas was hesitant, stuttering over his words. "I mean, can we get together at the playground or something?"
"Yeah, yeah," Axel hastily agreed, glad that Roxas wanted to see him. The petite blonde had been avoiding him for a whole week, ever since the whole incident between Roxas and Namine. "Sure. Can you meet me there in ten minutes?"
"Of course," said Roxas. "I'll see you then."
Axel hung up his cell phone and shoved it in his pocket, jumping off his bed to quickly pull a pair of sneakers onto his feet. He grabbed a faded hoodie from where it lay on the floor and rushed out the door, calling out belatedly to let his mother know where he would be.
He jogged to the park, adrenaline rushing through his veins. Maybe finally he would get some answers from his best friend of...well, forever. Ever since something happened between he and Namine that one day, Roxas had been awkwardly distant from Axel, refusing to answer any questions from the lanky redhead. That wasn't to say that Axel didn't have any suspicions about the incident; it wasn't exactly a secret that Roxas had a huge crush on the willowy platinum blond. And it wasn't exactly a secret that Demyx had been sighted shortly after the incident yelling to Zexion, "OHMIGOSHROXASKISSEDNAMINE!" Or something else to that effect.
But it still bothered him that Roxas didn't trust him enough to tell him, which was why Axel was so excited to hear from him. He could tell that Roxas was nervous about something. Axel just hoped it was the same something that he was nervous about himself.
He arrived at the park before ten minutes had passed, yet he could already spot Roxas' straw-colored spikes swaying back and forth on the swing-set. Axel slowed his pace as he approached Roxas from behind, and waved at him to get his attention.
"Hey," Axel said once he was close enough to sling his arms around Roxas' shoulders.
"Hey," replied Roxas, much less enthused.
Axel could feel the tension in his friend's body and moved around so he was standing in front of him. He frowned, taking a more serious tone. "So...what's going on?"
Silence fell between them as Roxas collected his thoughts. There was a lot he wanted to say to Axel, but he wasn't sure how to say it. Yes, he liked Namine. Yes, he did kiss her in the art room that day. But—it wasn't what he'd expected; there was something he couldn't figure out.
Finally, he stood, walking past Axel and motioning with his head for the redhead to follow him. Axel easily fell into step beside him, awaiting whatever he had to say.
"I...I kissed Namine the other day," Roxas blurted out. He stared resolutely ahead, not wanting to see the expression on Axel's face.
Alright, that's a start, Axel thought to himself. "That's great," he told Roxas, turning to him with a huge smile. "You've only been crushing on her for, what, forever? Way to make a move, man." He playfully punched Roxas in the arm.
"Yeah," said Roxas weakly, mustering up a small smile for appearance's sake.
Axel noticed the forced quality to Roxas' smile, and his own faded away. "You don't look so thrilled," he commented. "Something go wrong?"
Roxas shrugged. It was now or never. "It just—it just didn't feel right," he admitted, looking away.
Axel glanced up to the sky in a failed attempt to settle his nerves. "Didn't feel right how?" he asked calmly.
The blonde gave a frustrated sigh, and suddenly electric blue clashed with acid green. "How do you know when you're in love?" Roxas questioned.
Axel was speechless for a moment, but recovered quickly. "I'm—not sure," he said at first, "but I think it's something you know when you're in it. Love, I mean." He averted his gaze, unable to withstand the intensity of Roxas' stare.
They walked along in silence for a few minutes before Roxas started the conversation again. "It felt wrong," he said quietly, "like—I just didn't feel a connection. I kept—" What he really wanted to say kept getting stuck at the back of his throat: I kept thinking of you, of what you would think, what you would taste like—
"I kept second-guessing myself," he said instead, "wondering if I was doing the right thing."
Axel was bewildered. "Why not? Why wouldn't you be doing the right thing?" he asked. "You like Nam, don't you?"
Roxas threaded his hands in his hair. "Yes, but..." He trailed off, staring at nothing in particular.
Axel could sense that Roxas knew what he wanted to say, but didn't know how to say it. He waited patiently for his friend to figure something out, ready to give him a shoulder to lean on.
"I don't know how else to explain it," he said lamely, turning to face Axel. "It just didn't feel right." He shoved his hands in his pockets and waited for Axel to reply.
"So...you don't like her anymore," Axel ventured.
Roxas shrugged. "I still like her," he said, "just not like that."
"So, there's this totally hot chick who would bend over backwards for you, who you kissed, who you like," clarified Axel with unnecessary exaggeration, "but you don't want to do her."
"You're gay," said Axel, turning around and heading back towards the swing-set.
Roxas stood and gaped behind him. When he finally got over his shock, he ran up to Axel and whacked him on the back. "That's not funny," he seethed.
"I'm not trying to be," said Axel. He could feel Roxas' glare on his face, but he refused to look down at him. "You said that kissing her didn't feel right, and you just admitted that you wouldn't do her. You're gay, Rox."
Axel gave in and gazed at Roxas with an eyebrow raised. "Rox," he said, "we've been friends since we were in diapers. Trust me on this one."
Roxas huffed. He hated when Axel insisted on pressing his opinions on him; he hated it even more when Axel's opinions were right. Roxas couldn't deny that the obnoxious redhead had managed to come to a correct conclusion this time. Even Namine knew, apparently before he did. "Fine," he said, "you're right."
"Hm," said Axel, unable to keep a hint of a grin off his face. "Of course."
"Quit it," hissed Roxas, shoving at Axel with both hands. Axel laughed, quickly pulling his hands out of his pockets to maintain his balance. He dashed after Roxas, wrapping his hands around the smaller boy's waist and tickling. Roxas doubled over in laughter, falling to his knees in no time under Axel's onslaught.
"S—s—stop," he gasped out, flailing his arms to get Axel away from himself.
Axel let go of him to protect his face, rolling away on the ground. He lay on his back a few inches away, watching warily as Roxas caught his breath and glared at him. Axel shrugged and grinned.
The flaxen-haired teen rolled over until he was lying on his stomach beside his friend. He rested his head on his folded arms and blew his hair out of his face. "See, this," he said, "this feels right."
Axel glanced over at Roxas. "That's 'cause we've been doing this forever, Rox," answered Axel. "We're best friends. If it didn't feel right—well, we wouldn't be best friends."
"No, I mean—never mind," said Roxas. It was complicated, even to him, and he didn't think he could properly explain it to Axel. Not right then, anyway. He didn't want to ruin a good thing while he had it.
They lay quietly for a few moment longer. "Hey, Rox," said Axel. "Can you answer me one thing?"
Roxas tilted his head to look towards Axel, not realizing exactly how close their faces were until he did so. "Yeah," he answered, unconsciously licking his lips.
Axel couldn't believe he was saying the words as they left his mouth. He turned his face towards Roxas. "Does this feel right?" he asked, just ask he reached out and gently cupped Roxas' cheek with his hand. Before Roxas could react, he leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to his lips, relishing in the feel. He moved his lips in a careful caress against Roxas', scared out of his mind that he was making the worst mistake of his life.
As he pulled away seconds later, he took in the momentary sight of Roxas' still closed eyes and half-open mouth, and committed it to memory. Roxas opened his eyes, and with a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, replied, "Yes."
Roxas moved towards Axel, pressing his lips to Axel's in another kiss, this time boldly bringing his hand around the back of his carmine red spikes and holding his head in place. With a pleased sigh, he rolled into Axel's grasp, settling comfortably on top of him. He loved the way Axel's arm felt so natural around his waist, loved the way his mouth tasted like the sharp, minty bubblegum he was always chewing, loved the way the entire experience felt so—right.
Roxas pulled away out of necessity for air, and took the opportunity to grin down at Axel. "How long have you liked me, Ax?" he asked out of curiosity.
Axel rolled his eyes. "Only since freshman year," he said nonchalantly. Under the collected front he put up for Roxas, he was unbearably relieved and excited that his gamble had paid off.
"Four years?" exclaimed Roxas. He mock-punched Axel in the shoulder. "You could have said something!"
"I didn't want to push anything on you, Rox," replied Axel with a laugh. "I didn't want to ruin our friendship over something as silly as—"
"As what, Axel?" asked Roxas quietly. "As love, maybe? Because I'm pretty sure I'm in love with you." He stared at Axel with open and honest eyes, and he could feel the heart beneath him beating in triple time.
"How can you be so sure?" Axel asked in a near whisper.
Roxas shook his head with a faint smile. "You said it's something I'll know when I'm in it, right? I'm pretty sure this is it," he answered simply. "I like this. It feels right. It feels...nice."
"I'm glad—I'm glad you feel that way," stuttered Axel "I mean, 'cause I sorta love you, too, so that'd be a little awkward..." With a slight blush, he scratched the back of his head with the hand that wasn't holding Roxas captive.
Roxas giggled. "You're so cute when you're unsure of yourself," he said, poking Axel in the ribs and making him squirm, "and I can say that now, because we're dating."
"We are?" Axel's eyebrows rose to the top of his head. "Geez, Rox, all of a sudden you're this confident little—hmmmph."
Roxas didn't bother waiting for Axel to finish his sentence, choosing instead to silence him with another kiss. He dragged his tongue against Axel's bottom lip, and then did a thorough check of the inside of his mouth, tilting his head into the kiss. He kissed Axel breathless, battling tongues with him until he ran out of air. Then he dragged his lips down the redhead's pale neck, biting at the racing pulse he found there
"Confident son of a bitch," Axel finished, groaning as Roxas gave a particularly harsh nip.
"Well," said Roxas, "we are dating, right?" He slid a hand beneath Axel's hoodie and T-shirt to run his fingers over the smooth skin of his stomach.
"Yeah," answered Axel shakily.
"I see no reason dance around it, then," said Roxas easily, gently touching his lips to Axel's cheek. He looked at Axel expectantly.
Axel gave a short bark of laughter. "You've always been the no-nonsense one, Rox," he said, "I'll give you that. Mr. Mom, all the way."
They both laughed at that, and a shiver ran down Roxas spine as a gust of wind blew by them. "We should probably head back," he said, sitting up and straddling Axel's legs.
"Yeah," said Axel sarcastically, "about that—I totally would stand up, but someone's fat ass is planted on my legs."
Roxas stood up in a huff and kicked Axel in the side, grinning in cruel amusement as the redhead curled up in a ball. "I'll get you for that," said Axel, reaching out and grabbing for Roxas' ankle. The amber haired boy danced just out of reach, and then took off running. Axel hopped up and sprinted after him, catching up in no time, grabbing Roxas around the waist and throwing him over his shoulder.
"Wha—hey! Let me down," he complained, twisting and fidgeting.
"Love ya, Rox," said Axel, half-jokingly, half-seriously.
Roxas growled. "I knew this would happen! That is not an excuse for everything, Axel!"
Axel only ignored Roxas' growing tirade, knowing in his heart that everything would be just fine.