Title: Inextinguishable

Author: Mariah Kincaid

Summary: "I shall open my burning heart to you, digest you till my stomach turns, and walk to heaven at the earth's end. One sun, one moon." A tale of love, secrets, rage, and betrayal. Based on a 1916 Korean poem titled "April" by Pak Tu-Jin. RoxasxXion.

Rating: It's rated high T because of the heavily limey goodness in this chapter. :]

::Author's Note::

(The song used in this chapter, that Roxas sings, is called Let Love Bleed Red by, of course, Sleeping with Sirens)

I just graduated high school today. :3 Well, technically I graduated Tuesday, but the ceremony where we got our diplomas was today. Whoot! Anyway, in celebration, I decided to make Roxas and Xion get "together" in this chapter. Well, I had already planned on making this story about their relationship strengthening throughout the storyline, rather than having them fall in love as friends and THEN get together. I wanted it to be more realistic. Anyway, you guys will REALLY like this chapter.

/take what is left of me\\

Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.

A swingset is only capable of two movements: backward . . . And forward.

Was I like the swingset, only capable of two things? Being hurt and being taken advantage of? Did I have no other purposes besides the two? I couldn't understand why it was so easy for people to treat me the way they did, and most of all, Roxas.

I closed my eyes and stopped swinging momentarily, tilting my face up to the sky. Attempting to calm myself was always a hassle, especially when I wasn't underneath my willow tree. Maybe I just needed to go home; that seemed like the best option. I could just leave right now, never speak to Roxas again, and try to get through school as best as I could . . . Alone. It seemed that Namine wasn't going to be hanging out with me anytime soon, anyway, so that meant that I had virtually no friends. What was the point of life without friends?

I don't know how long I sat there in that swing set, waiting for God-knows-what to happen. People came to the school in throngs, filling the gym with their incessant chatter and cheering, even though Roxas's band wasn't scheduled to play for awhile. Some kids even waved cheerily to me as they passed by, but I could barely manage a smile in return. I felt like something was clamping down on my heart—something heavy, something malicious. It was causing me to never want to get up from my spot, and I don't think I much cared at that point.

Finally, I heard the crunch of feet on gravel behind me, and I already knew who it was.

"What are you doing over here, little chicken? I was worried you left," Roxas said earnestly, kneeling in front of me and placing his hands on my knees. He peered up at me with such pure sincerity in his eyes that I had to force myself to look away. With a simple glance, he made me want to give in—to trust him all over again.

Roxas frowned. "Why won't you look at me?" I felt his fingers brush my cheek and I jerked my head away, looking at him with a mixture between beseechment and suspicion in my eyes. He studied my face for a long moment, his gaze switching from my left to my right eyes, and then he sighed.

"What did I do?" he muttered dejectedly, almost guiltily.

I just shook my head. "I'm going to go home," I said in a tiny voice.

"Xion, please," Roxas pleaded. "Just stay—watch us play."

I pulled my iPhone out of my sweatshirt pocket and unlocked it, preparing to dial Ayumi's number. Roxas placed his hand over mine, restricting my movement, and seemed to almost pout up at me.

"Don't do this again," he whispered, sounding almost . . . Broken. "Please stay."

I felt a surge of anger and I pushed him away from me, causing him to have to hop to his feet to avoid falling into the playground rocks. I got up off of the swing and stormed toward the parking lot. People were looking at us, pointing and whispering Roxas's name.

"Xion, please!" Roxas called after me.

"Leave me alone!" It burst forth, sounding like a child's cry, and made me flush red-hot with anger and embarrassment. I felt Roxas's hands on my arm, but I wrenched myself out of his grasp. I didn't even want to look at him.

"Xion!" he finally shouted, causing everything and everyone to seem to cease movement. "I can't do this without you!"

I halted in my tracks, feeling something in his voice tugging at my heart. I lost my breath for a moment, and turned slowly to face him. As we looked into each other's eyes, I felt the wind breezing through, whipping our hair about our faces.

In that moment, I felt so angry, all at once, that I wanted to slap him across the face.

"Can't do this without . . . ?" I repeated, lowering my gaze to the concrete below our feet. I clenched my fists and looked up all-of-a-sudden, at his innocent, hopeful face, and almost couldn't believe what I was hearing.

"Do you think I'm an idiot?" I practically screeched, earning even more curious glances from the surrounding teens.

Roxas took a step back, his eyes widening.

I continued, "Why don't you just go 'do it' with your girlfriend? Because I'm pretty damn sure she's the one you can't do anything without."

Roxas's jaw dropped and he angrily replied, "My what?"

I crossed my arms. "I can't believe you led me on," I sneered, shaking my head slowly and trying my best to convey my twisted, hurt emotions in a single glance.

"Led you . . . ? Xion, what the fuck are you talking about?" Roxas cried.

I continued to shake my head, refusing to listen to any of his pleas or excuses. I was so used to having my trust broken that this it was starting to get old.

"I hate this," I spat. "I hate being treated like shit. I just . . . I—"

"Xion!" he roared, causing me to jump. "I have no fucking idea what the fuck you're talking about!"

"I trusted you!" I screamed back, stomping my foot out of pure rage. Tears had collected like pools in my eyes, and it was becoming a struggle to see. I could tell that Roxas was coming toward me, but I suddenly found myself unable to speak for fear of letting out the sob that was desperately attempting to claw its way out of my throat.

Roxas ignored me. "Xion, who the fuck told you that I had a girlfriend?" he shouted.

I flinched at the loudness of his tone and the tears began to fall. I wiped my nose with one arm and gestured lamely to the gym with the other. "That Kairi girl, or whatever . . . She told me . . ." I said in a thick voice.

Roxas seemed to freeze as white-hot fury radiated from his entire body. He stiffened and clenched his teeth, finally crossing the rest of the distance between us.

"I am not . . . Dating Kairi . . ." he growled, placing his hands on my shoulders and looking into my eyes.

"But she said . . . ?" I protested lamely. "For two years . . . ?"

Roxas muttered, "Because she's crazy, little chicken."

There was a moment of silence as I kept my eyes pointed downward, feeling the most intense amount of guilt that I had felt in a while. I felt terrible for thinking that Roxas was such a bad guy—he hadn't betrayed my trust after all. Roxas must have been so pissed at me; I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd never wanted to talk to me again. To say that I was relieved would only be half of the truth—I also felt mortified; mortified that I would say such horrible things to Roxas. However, I was still puzzled. Why had Kairi lied to me about dating Roxas if they really weren't?

I snapped out of my bewildered thought process as Roxas grabbed my chin gently between his thumb and forefinger and moved my face upward. I remained looking down, feeling almost beyond horrible.

"Look at me," he ordered softly.

I slowly moved my eyes to his, feeling my heart stop in my chest. He was gazing at me so tenderly, so intensely that I began to shiver. I could feel the heat of his body washing over me, and behind that, I could still detect his anger at Kairi, or whoever it was that he was angry with.

"I like you, Xion . . ." he said quietly, never once looking away from me.

The moment I felt his lips touch mine was quite possibly the only time I could ever remember feeling valuable.

An electric feeling shot up and down my spine and all throughout my arms and legs. I sighed against his mouth, trying to comprehend what the heck was happening, and attempting to figure out when he' had started to kiss me. Around us, people were cheering slightly, and a few even made a couple cat calls to Roxas. I wanted to laugh, cry, and scream, all at the same time.

This felt like the first kiss that had been stolen from me so long ago.

When Roxas pulled back, I immediately dissolved into tears. Roxas had no idea how his simple, gentle kiss had made me feel. I felt so cared for—more cared for than I ever had in my entire life. My only memories of romanticism involved the violation that my brother had inflicted upon me, but this . . . This was much, much different. My whole body hurt, but it still felt good—as if that made any sense.

"Why are you crying?" he laughed, pulling me into a tight hug and kissing the side of my head. I felt his lips even through my hair, and it made me blush.

"I . . ." I couldn't bring myself to say it, so I settled with my second-strongest emotion. "I'm just so happy."

"Good," Roxas murmured into my ear, picking me up off the ground as he hugged me a second time. "Now, don't you worry about Kairi—I'll deal with her. Just come watch me sing, and then I'll take you out for ice cream afterward."

I followed him back into the gym, extremely aware of all of the eyes that followed us, and it was as if I was soaring above the clouds. I couldn't remember ever feeling this good about myself or about the way that my life was going. I had liked Roxas since I'd first met him two weeks ago—who would have guessed that he liked me, too?

"Lay me down, tell me everything will be all right, things will be all right," Roxas sang into the microphone that night, looking seemingly into the depths of my soul from the front of the gym as I stood in the front row of the crowd, a small ways away from the mosh pit.

"Thunder storms could never shake us. Lay me down and kiss me like things will be all righttttttt. Everything will be alll riiiiigggghhh-iiiigggghhtttt."

/fall deeper and deeper\\

I opened my front door with a wide smile on my face and a strong feeling of joy in my heart. There Roxas stood, wearing a pair of tight black skinny jeans and a black-and-red-striped V-neck. He grinned back at me, and tackled me in a huge hug.

"I missed you," he said warmly into my ear as he set me down.

"Mm," I nodded. Today, I wore a simple outfit: a white chiffon sun dress with a cute black ribbon tied into a bow cinching the waistline. I hadn't really been expecting Roxas until the last minute, so my long, long hair was worn straight and loose, flowing down my back like a waterfall of inky black.

It had been a week since I'd seen Roxas, seeing as I'd been grounded for sneaking out and attending the show. As soon as I'd gotten home that night, I had felt the sinister air in the house. My parents had demanded to know where I'd gone and who I'd been with, I'd told them, they'd flipped out, and the result was a week-long grounding and the strict order to never see Roxas ever again.

So why, you may ask, was Roxas at my house?

My parents were upstairs, asleep early because of a trip out of town scheduled for the next day, leaving me under the care of Ayumi, who had almost gotten fired for helping me to sneak out. Naturally, I had invited Roxas over as soon as I'd found out they were going to bed early. Ayumi had no idea I had done this, but she was in the shower, so I was merely going to sneak him up to my bedroom. It was a foolproof plan.

Roxas laced his fingers with mine and followed me as I led him to the grand staircase. He stopped me, however, and whirled me around to face him.

"Let's go out to the willow tree instead," he said. "We've got a lot to talk about."

I nodded my agreement, knowing that the low-hanging branches of the willow tree would be sufficient enough to hide Roxas's presence from any onlookers or maids, and we headed out back.

Once underneath the tree, Roxas and I both heaved huge sighs and sprawled out in the grass, spread-eagle and staring up into the branches of the tree. We simply enjoyed the silence for a long time before Roxas spoke.

"Whacha thinkin' 'bout?" he asked curiously, rolling his head to the side so that he could look at me.

I closed my eyes and inhaled, yet again, the scents of our surroundings. There were about a million and one thoughts racing through my head, but only one seemed to spring forth at the moment.

"I feel like I can finally stop hiding."

Quietness settled, and then, Roxas sat up on his elbows and gave me an odd look.


I smiled gently and shook my head. "It's nothing—a story for another day."

He pulled his knees up to his chest and rested his arms on top of his kneecaps. He watched me for a long moment, until he finally seemed to find the words he wanted to say.

"Xion, I feel different when I'm with you . . ." he murmured, gazing into my eyes almost inquisitively. "When I'm with you, I feel like . . . I feel like all of the lyrics in my songs make sense. Everything makes sense, I guess." He laughed a little bit, and finally looked at me, rather than through. "I started to write a song for you."

Shocked, I rushed to sit up, a large blush spreading across my face.

"A . . . A song?" I stammered. I was astonished that he liked me that much—astonished that he thought so highly of me.

He grinned, his black lip studs pushing out a little bit as he did so. "Want to hear the first two lines?"

I nodded energetically.

He stuck his tongue out at me. "Well, you can't."

I glared at him and punched him in the arm. "You're so mean."

"I know!" he gushed, grabbing my hand and squeezing it a little bit.

"Can I ask you a question?" I asked after a bit, the wind picking up the ends of our hair.

He tossed his head to move his long bangs out of his eyes. "Yeah?"

"It's about . . . Kairi . . ." His smile faded, and I almost lost all of my courage. "Uhm . . . Uhm . . . I'm sorry. Was that too bold?"

He frowned, but shook his head no. "Go on."

I twisted the hem of my yellow V-neck in my trembling hands, avoided his inquiring stare, and mumbled, "Why did . . . Why did she lie to me about you guys dating?"

Roxas chuckled mirthlessly, and a strange look crossed his face. He dropped my hand almost abruptly, and my heart sank. Had I done something wrong?

"That bitch can go die in a sink for all I care," he snarled. "She's the craziest bitch I know."

I curled my fingers into the grass until it hurt to clench my fists, trying to keep myself from crying. He seemed so angry—it was because of me, it had to be. Nevertheless, I put on a small smile and nodded.

"Oh. I understand. That's good," I said, turning the aforementioned grin onto him to show him that I was okay. If he really was mad at me, then I knew I was going to have to do whatever I could to fix it.

He looked at me, and I flinched, knowing that he knew I definitely wasn't okay.

"It's a mask, isn't it?" he asked softly, peering at me as if looking deep into my soul.

"What?" I asked, confused at his sudden subject change.

"That smile . . ." he answered. "The smile on your face."

I blinked owlishly, and brought my eyes to his. Where had that come from? Roxas wasn't usually one to talk deeply unless I asked him directly about something personal. His behavior was strange.

"What are you talking about?" I asked, slapping him lightly on the leg. "Don't be so analytical. Why don't we work a little bit on our project?"

Roxas nodded, and we set about writing a little bit more on our song. I found that we couldn't keep off eyes off of each other the entire time, and that for some reason, Roxas couldn't stop reaching over and brushing my bangs out of my eyes. Every time his fingers brushed over my skin, I shivered and an odd, dull ache in my lower gut caused my stomach to clench. It was an odd, alien feeling that I wasn't sure if I liked or not.

"Hey," Roxas said after the sun had long started to fade.

"Mm?" I asked, looking up from ticking out the beat of our song on the notebook.

Roxas was eyeing me strangely, biting his bottom lip softly and studying my face as if it were a rare specimen. The moonlight filtered in sparsely through the branches of the willow tree, causing Roxas's cerulean eyes to seem to glow silver. He looked handsome, even in the dark. Blushing in embarrassment at staring openly, I averted my eyes.

"What is it?" I asked.

"It's dark out; don't you think I should go home?" he asked.

I sighed and nodded. "Yeah; I'm pretty tired anyway."

We clambered to our feet and Roxas reached over to sweep his fingers over my hair. At my questioning glance, he merely mumbled something about dirt and then trudged off to the house. I couldn't help but give his back a small smile before I dashed off after him.

As we walked, we chatted amiably about the day's events, and about Roxas's band's next show. He seemed to be laughing a lot, and I had to shush him more than a few times, knowing that my parents were trying to sleep upstairs.

"I don't really want to go," Roxas pouted when we got to the driver's side of his truck. He surprised me by wrapping his arms around my shoulders and smiling down at me softly. "Can I stay the night?"

I snorted. "What? No!" I whispered. "My parents would flip a bitch if you were here in the morning. That, and it's extremely inappropriate for us to sleep in a bed together." I smirked.

Roxas laughed, and I shushed him again.

"What, are you scared of me?" he said, his voice immediately dropping to a low whisper. His lip studs glinted briefly in the light of the moon, and I felt my heart race at the look he was giving me.

I shook my head. "Never," I smiled. "I'm just trying to uphold my morals."

"Xion, a guy and a girl can share a bed without having sex, you know . . ." he said, hugging me to his chest tightly. I opened my mouth to protest what he was talking about, but he cut into my sentence. "Don't freak out, little chicken. I won't make you do anything you don't want to do. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

I nodded and lifted my head to say good night, when all-of-a-sudden, Roxas's lips were on mine. I felt them caressing my mouth softly, gently, and then, passionately and desperately. It felt as if he'd stolen my breath right from my lungs. He held me tight enough to let me know how much he desired me; loose enough to give me the chance to step away. But why would I ever step away?

I slipped my arms about his neck, tangling my fingers in his hair as rational thought packed up and left my brain for a vacation. My body felt strangely electric-more alive than it had ever felt. Roxas's hands slipped just under the hem of my shirt and gripped my hips, his fingers burning hot against my flesh. He gripped me unnaturally tightly as his skillful lips caused my mouth to open in a gasp.

Roxas pulled away abruptly, leaving me panting for breath in his arms and attempting to steal another kiss.

"Good night," he said with a wide, knowing grin before he turned around and climbed into his car.

I entered my house with the feeling of Roxas's hot hands imprinted onto my hips and stumbled through the kitchen. My mind was whirling, trying to make sense of the strange feelings that were coursing through my body. For some odd reason, I was wishing that Roxas could have stayed the night. However, as soon as the thought entered my mind, I struck it down. There was no way I was going to let Roxas into my heart of hearts so quickly-we weren't even officially dating. It was surprising that I'd even allowed him to kiss me so often.

I was still beating myself up about the whole situation when the dining room light flashed on suddenly above my head. Before I had the chance to adjust to the sudden brightness, a hand caught me across the face and I cried out in pain, reeling back and falling onto my rump.

"Oma!" I stared up at my mother in shock, barely registering the look of pure hatred that was in her eyes.

"You little whore!" she screeched, grabbing me by the hair and causing stars to explode before my eyes. I pleaded with her to stop as she dragged me kicking and screaming into the living room.

"We'll just see what your father has to say about your little boyfriend," she spat in her broken English, tossing me forward so that I landed on all fours in front of my father.

There was a long, tense silence, in which I heard my mother catching her breath, panting angrily. I trembled with terror, realizing that my mother and father had seen me outside with Roxas. Oh, what would they think of me now? I started to cry, the tears leaking steadily out of my eyes and dripping off of the tip of my nose as I kept my head bowed.

Finally, my father walked away.

"Deal with her," was all he said before he ascended the stairs.

I didn't even have time to take another breath before my mother's hands were in my hair again, yanking me backward and up to my feet. She shouted nonsensical words at me-shouted about how I would make my father look, and how impure I already was, how worthless. I continued to cry, hardly feeling the heavy rain of stinging blows that she laid upon my face, neck, and shoulders. She left me with another week of grounding, snarling at me to stop sniveling since I apparently "ruined my father's life when I got my brother arrested."

By the time I hauled myself to my feet, the pain had washed over my entire body in a wave. My head was pounding agonizingly, reminding me that nothing I ever did would be acceptable to my parents. I had to crawl up the stairs, my vision was swimming so badly, and I couldn't even get myself into my bed. Instead, I just lie there on the white carpet in the dark and cried myself to sleep, the only light coming from the moonlight that spilled in from the sliding glass door to the veranda.

/the sirens are singing your songs\\

"Xion! What are you doing on the floor?"

I thought I heard Ayumi's voice, thought I felt her soft hands patting my face in a desperate attempt to wake me up, but when I was finally able to crack open one swollen eye, I was astonished to see myself looking up into the eyes of Roxas.

"H-How did you get in . . . ?" I stammered meekly, placing a hand on his chest. I felt a light breeze against my body, coming from the balcony's open door, and I knew that somehow, he'd climbed up and come in that way.

"I . . . I had to come back . . ." he whispered, combing my bangs away from my eyes and lifting me up in his arms, cradled like a small child. He shushed me as I protested, and climbed under the comforters and sheets of my bed with me. I was beyond shocked by now, but the ache in my body seemed to have worsened. I wondered how bad my bruises were, and whether or not Roxas could see them in the moonlight.

"Why did you come back?" I asked softly, trying my hardest not to let the bruises show. I was thankful for the darkness that permeated the bedroom, knowing that if even the slightest sliver of light hit me, he'd see the bruises that had most likely appeared between now and the time I'd fallen asleep on the floor.

Roxas didn't answer and, instead, rolled over to lie on his back. He folded his arms behind his head and stared up at the ceiling, his jaw twitching as he ground his teeth together. I frowned and wondered if he was angry, and for what reason. The fact that he was lying with me in my bed was beyond me, though-I was too weak and in too much pain to care.

Finally, he rolled back over and looked deep into my eyes, studying me closely for the umpteenth time. When I began to feel as if I would fall asleep staring into those baby blues, his hand reached out to cup my cheek-I tried not to flinch at the contact, even though my bruises throbbed in protest. My breath caught in my throat, and I knew he was going to kiss me again.

"Let me show you why . . ."

Roxas pulled me in for a simple, chaste kiss that lasted perhaps a second longer than an average kiss. Though it was simple and sweet, I still felt it sizzle all the way down to my toes. He pulled away, and I found myself trying to look into his azure eyes through the darkness and his long, choppy bangs.

What was Roxas doing to me? I felt a strange hunger in me; one that frightened me as much as it intrigued me, and when Roxas leaned in for another small peck, I was the one who crossed the last half of the distance. He pulled away only once more, opening his eyes briefly to give me a lustful look before his mouth was on mine once more, trying to coax it open beneath his. The force with which he kissed me was causing little fires of agony to spring up all over my face, marking where my bruises were, and the pain mixed with the pleasure in an exquisitely weird way.

Roxas moved on top of me, placing his hands on either side of my head and pressing his hips into mine. My hands roamed up his chest, having found nothing else to do, and gripped his shirt tightly. My legs sort-of . . . Fell apart, spreading to accommodate his lower body. The heat from our bodies was unbearable in only the best way, and before I knew it, I was gasping as if I had been thrust into the center of an inferno.

I winced as Roxas moved his lips from mine to my chin, up my jaw line, and he began to nibble on my ear. Against my will, I whimpered at the sudden, sharp spike of pleasure that zoomed through my body and I twisted my hands in his shirt.

"A-Ah . . . Roxas . . ." I whined as he bit down lightly on the skin beneath my ear.

I felt him smirking against my skin as he dipped his tongue into the lobe, eliciting a low moan from my lips. I froze, appalled at myself for making such a noise, but Roxas didn't seem to mind. He kept kissing his way down the side of my neck, biting down hard in random places, and then running his tongue along the stinging marks. I hissed in pain whenever he did this, because my neck felt like one giant bruise from the rough way in which my mother had dragged me to the living room earlier that night, but I didn't stop him.

"R-Roxas . . ." I whispered his name again, hoping to catch his attention so that he would stop. Things were moving much too fast, and I was rapidly filling with terror. If he didn't stop, I already knew what was going to happen, and I was not ready to experience that again.

Strangely, the more searing his kisses became, the more I found myself moving my hips against his, striving to reach a place that I knew I didn't want to go to again-not since what had happened with my brother. That, and the pain of my mother's beating was finally catching up to me, causing me to feel as if the agony was pulsating, rising to a crescendo, and waiting to explode.

The fear caused tears to fill my eyes and I tried to push Roxas away, but he didn't seem to feel my hands on his shoulders. He was definitely a lot stronger than he looked. My eyes snapped open as Roxas's lips found the deep V-shaped neckline of my shirt, traveling dangerously close to my breasts. I tried to scoot up toward my pillow, to push him away, but he seemed to mistake my light shoving for me desiring him to remove his clothing. So, he sat up on my hips and pulled his shirt up over his head, causing his already-unruly hair to fall into his eyes in a messy, attractive way. Frankly, he looked sexy.

I lost myself in his kisses again as he brought his lips to mine and I felt his toned chest underneath my hands. His skin was almost scorching-it was definitely hot enough to provide me with warmth, even though the door to the veranda was open. Roxas's tongue slipped in-between my lips and engaged mine in a fierce battle of dominance, even though I knew I was sure to lose. All the while, I unconsciously let my hands wander absentmindedly over his torso, back and front, feeling his taut muscles. My fingertips brushed one of his pelvic bones and froze when he suddenly went rigid, and a small sound escaped his lips that seemed like a cross between a growl and a groan.

I started to tremble violently as Roxas grabbed my hand and place it upon the front of his pants. Images of my brother shoving me down into the dirt, ripping into my beautiful party dress and biting into my flesh. The pain . . . I knew this was wrong—sex was supposed to be a beautiful thing that came after marriage, and was part of a relationship built on the foundation of God. It had already been taken away from me once—would I give it up again so easily? I turned my face away, feeling the tears rolling unchecked down my cheeks as Roxas pushed himself up onto one hand and prepared to unzip his skinny jeans.

"P-Please . . ." The plea was small, meek, and nondescript, but it was enough to finally catch Roxas's attention.

Roxas halted in his tracks and removed my hands from my body, and then, he sat up.

"Xion?" As he looked upon me and touched my face, he felt the tears. The seconds ticked by as the guilt and fear and relief set in, and he peered down at me as if trying to make a hypothesis about an experiment.

"Oh, my God!" he eventually gasped. "You're a virgin, aren't you?"

I started to shake my head, but stopped myself. If he knew about my brother, what would he think? He would think I was disgusting, or impure, or abhorrent. Though they were all the same adjectives, they were each horrible in their own way.

Soft sobs escaped me; I was unable to hold them in any longer. Soon, I was crying so hard that I could hardly breathe. Roxas's eyes widened and he hurried to gather me up into his arms. The embrace was warm, and one of the most tender embraces I'd ever experienced in my entire life. Even though Roxas had lost control and almost forced me to do something I definitely didn't want to do, I still wanted to lie there, in his arms, until Kingdom come.

If that's what it took for me to be happy, then so be it.

"Oh, fuck, I'm so sorry, little chicken," he murmured against my hair, running his fingers through the now-tangled ebony tresses. "I feel like a piece of shit."

Roxas ran his fingers backward through my hair and pulled back and held my face in my hands. The unexpected contact was surprising and didn't really hurt too badly, but because of its suddenness, I jerked away, crying out. I stared in dismay at the long pieces of hair that I had to shake off of my arm, horrified at the amount of damage my mother had wrought upon me this time. Roxas narrowed his eyes and examined my face, searching for something he couldn't see.

Roxas buttoned and zipped his skinny jeans in record time, and then grabbed my small wrist in his hand. He dragged me out of bed, and I protested.

"Stop," I begged quietly, so as not to wake my parents. I began to panic as he dragged me to the open terrace door, knowing that if he got me into the path of the light, then he would see the bruises.

Roxas placed his hands on my shoulders and shoved me backward into the moonlight, his mouth immediately dropping open. His shimmering azure eyes traveled all over my face-from my eyes to my cheeks to my forehead to my mouth to my neck-and nothing was spared his critical gaze. His hands dropped off of my shoulders and fell to his sides. He took a step back, and my tears quickened.

"I'm sorry," I whispered, clasping my hands to my chest. "I'm so sorry."

Roxas shook his head slowly in disbelief, his eyes seemed to sparkle. Were those tears I saw . . . ?

He suddenly shoved past me and stormed into the bathroom, slamming the door shut. I flinched at the loud noise, but was much too focused on my self-blame. I just wanted to curl up on my bed and fade into the nothingness. Why did all of this have to happen? This was my worst fear-having what my brother did to me get in the way of my romantic life.

I cursed my brother mentally and fell to my knees on the floor, staring at the closed bathroom door as I attempted to force the sobs back down. I balled my hands into fists and tried to imagine what Roxas was feeling right now. Was he angry at me? Did he never want to see me again? I felt lost as to what I was supposed to do. I didn't want to lose Roxas-he was the only person who made me happy. I hadn't felt this happy in years.

I struggled to my feet and staggered over to my vanity. My brain hurt so bad; it felt like it was rolling over and over inside my head. As soon as I saw my face in the mirror, however, it felt like everything-including my swimming brain-stopped. I gasped in horror and ghosted my fingers over my mottled flesh. There was a nasty dark bruise encircling my right eye, causing it to hurt whenever I blinked. A large, spread-out bruise ringed my neck and some of my shoulders, only made to look worse by the small bite marks and reddish splotches that Roxas had left in his fiery escapade across my skin. I touched my cheek gingerly, careful of the medium-sized bruise that seemed to be splashed upon my cheekbone. No wonder Roxas had been appalled.

The thought that my own mother could do something so horrible to me caused me to start sobbing. My knees could no longer support me, and my stomach hurt from crying so hard. I sank down and wondered what I had done to deserve the hand that life had dealt me. A mental image of the pure incredulity in Roxas's eyes when he'd seen my bruises only served to make me feel worse.

After a while, I noticed that Roxas still hadn't come out of the bathroom. I wiped my tears away, though they still built up in my eyes, and tried my hardest to stop hyperventilating. I rose to my feet and walked silently over to the bathroom door. I knocked once, but no answer came from within. Eventually, I pushed it open and reached beside me by reflex to flip the switch on.

Roxas stood shirtless, hunched over the sink, his palms flat on the countertops, and his unruly spiky blonde locks hanging into his azure eyes. He glared at me through the mirror, and from my spot by the door, I could see him trembling lightly.

"R-Roxas . . . ?" I whispered, slightly frightened at the almost animalistic look in his eyes.

"Who was it? Your mom or your dad?" he snapped suddenly, causing me to flinch and take a step backward.

"I . . ." I squeezed my eyes shut against the fresh tears that stung at my corneas. "My mother."

Roxas scowled and threw his arms up into the air. "Xion, I don't know what the Hell I'm supposed to think."

"I'm sor-"

"Don't fucking apologize," he growled roughly, turning his heated gaze away from me.

My mouth closed and I stared down at the ground, unhappy and feeling guilty. Would things ever work out in my favor?

I was surprised when I felt Roxas's arms around me once again, holding me as gently as if I were made of porcelain. I knew he could feel me quivering, but he only continued to embrace me, pressing light, barely-there kisses to my neck.

"Come on; let's just go to sleep," he whispered, grabbing my hands and pulling me over to my bed. He helped me under the covers, and I tried not to think about the future and what the morning would bring-I tried only to focus on his warm breath on my forehead as he enfolded me in his arms once again. Our legs twined together of their own accord, and slumber set itself upon us rapidly.

A/N: Lul. There was like, two or three mistakes in the last chapter, even though I said I was fabulous. Idgaf if there's mistakes in this chapter I guess. Bahaha.