Title: All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye

Summary: Because I know how it usually happens. And I know you know. And we both know it has to change.

Disclaimer: Put away the lawyers, it's just me trying to get over some stupid stuff involving reality and a boy and a girl. And I kinda tweaked the reality. And gave a big dosage of OOCness to Roxas and Namine again. Yes, credits to John Mayer for the title. And it's AU. *shot*

We know each other so well, don't we?

Background check. We both moved into the same neighborhood, we were both precocious eight-year-olds. You opened the door to your house one afternoon to find me on your porch with a popsicle, with the sea-salt ice cream running down my hand and the relentless salty water leaking out of my ocean eyes that match yours. You didn't care that we're strangers, you just let me in.

That's when it all started, you know.

You were quiet. Everyone else kept telling me It's okay, Roxas, it's going to be all right, everyone was smothering me. You just kept quiet. Just sat beside me. Just hid my trembling hand that had dirty fingernails because she was the only one who took the time to cut them and knew how to cut them so I wouldn't bleed-you hid it all with your own trembling hand placed on top of mine. I'm sorry I pulled it away. Sorry I ran away.

Everything scared me. I was afraid to go to school after that week from hell. I didn't go at all. Dad didn't care.

Didn't care when I started hanging out with those kids from the wrong end of the neighborhood. Ignored the smell of cigarette smoke that tainted my room and the entire house. Pretended everything was alright, even after he had to rush to the E.R. and witness the doctors pumping the lethal amount of bootleg out of my stomach. I lived, but it's not a story I like to tell.

She would've cared.

You cared, though. I know you did.

On that belief, I willed myself to be clean for five months, and I willed myself to go to school. Of course, my father's shadowy connections took care of the primary school years I missed. I landed in your year, in your classroom, beside your armchair that had a class schedule that somehow lent order to the graffiti and peeling paint. I merely added to the chaos of mine.

Everyone knew what I'd become. You especially. And you let me know it.

You kept your distance, kept an air of disdain. In activities that made us partners, I could taste your disappointment.

And it only made me want to make it go away.

Yeah, we know each other so well.

We know that I like to sing. And we know that you don't like being sung to, because you practically ignored my existence after I did. I didn't know what made you act like that. Not yet.

I really thought I was the problem. You made me believe it until that day you came to me and stared at my Chucks, and stared at yours, and said that it was like killing a person.

You looked at me because I was silent for too long, then I realized you were actually talking to me, and I ask, quite politely and unaffectedly, What's like killing a person? And you answer, Hating you. And I'm sorry was blurted out a little faster. And I just chuckled at the small pile of shredded Judge wrappers at your feet, and what's left of them in your hands. And we chuckled, like how real friends chuckle. All the while you were looking up at me because I'm a head taller, but that didn't lessen my urge to just fill in those eight inches of space between your lips and mine.

But I knew this newfound happiness was me on a tightrope suspended above the chasm I'd been trying so hard to climb out of, so the urge was duly strangled.

By this time we knew that I liked to give things to people I 'liked', and we knew you were too kind to decline any gift. No false modesty. Which was why you became the ecstatic owner of Regina Spektor's Begin to Hope album, because I happened to have it and I happened to hear you sing 'Fidelity'. Let ReSpekt do the serenading for me.

It became worse, and by worse I mean cheesy and peachy and ponies and rainbows, but we know you are bullshit intolerant, so I did a good job of disguising it in nonchalant amiability. None of it was bullshit, by the way, but you were so damn convinced it was.

I wanted to prove that it was all real, and I took the blind leap and asked you to be my prom date because you liked that kind of romantic and we know you are just naive that way. Big surprise, you already had a date, thanks to the school system. My pessimism saved me from disappointment, but I still badly wanted to take you to the dance floor.

And you let me. And for a moment I forgot who I used to be, I just knew that I was with you and you were with me and we were dancing half-blinded by the strobe lights.

This is the part where I began abusing those three tired words. Dangerous words.

They had the power to drive you away, again.

By then I was suspecting that I was the road and you were the BMW that kept breaking down. I couldn't fix you, but I knew how to be there for you when you're ready to move along.

We know each other so well.

By now we do so well that I'm here on a swing in the once glorious neighborhood park, our haunt of haunts and our rendezvous. Now I know what's going to happen tonight. The twist here is I know, and you know, but you're the one who's pretending otherwise.

Your gaze will be on the ground because it's too dark and the park also functions as the common feline and canine lavatory. You'll find me on the swing, and you'll smile. Nothing big, just a lighting up of those sad eyes, and the slightest lifting of a corner of your mouth. You'll come closer, seemingly with such confidence, but I'll expect to see some tremors in your movements, and I'll see them in your hand, in your smile, and you'll stumble a little on the uneven ground. I'll keep a straight face and get off the swing and offer it to you, all the while maintaining inane chatter to coax your soft words and soft voice from those nervous, insecure lips.

You'll decline my hand and effortlessly start the pendulum, but before you start pumping higher I'll stand in front of you and try to pull everything into a hug. But your defenses will be high and strong and you'll start kicking in the general direction of my crotch, albeit jokingly. I'll abandon the cause, though, because I'll be thinking about your latest sob story, how you couldn't make a decent conversation with anybody, let alone make a decent relationship work, even with family, especially with family. You've gotten so good at pushing everyone away.

You'll say It's getting late, and I'll hear the sigh you'll fail to suppress. Your sigh will be for the rules that bind you to obey, to get home early, and the rules will force you to lie about the age of the day and I'll protest, but we'll start getting home anyway. We'll keep up stilted conversation because something's changed, then we'll come to the fork in the road and it won't matter that we'll probably change so much in our different colleges that we won't recognize each other anymore, it won't matter because you've gotten so good at pushing everyone away, so I'll say Bye Nam, and you'll turn your back and walk on.

We both know this is what you're planning to happen as you start the pendulum, but before you start pumping higher I stand in front of you and grab the swing's supporting chains, just above your white-knuckled hands. You stare at me and I stare right on through.

"What are you trying to do, Roxas?" You ask with the slightest tremble in your voice as you suppress the humor and a little confusion, because we're supposed to know what's supposed to happen. I'm twisting it around, Namine, because I know you're tired and broken.

I go about it carefully. "Well, you've never tasted sea-salt ice cream, have you?"


"And the idea of sugar and salt together repels you from tasting it."

"Get to the point."

I've leaned in close enough without you noticing. "'Cause I pretty much moved into this town since it's the only one that sells it, and I'd hate to let you leave without letting you try it." I know you'll forgive me for stealing this. We both know it.

"Roxas, I have no plans of ever trying it-"

"Give in just this once, Nam," and I finally fill in the space between us.

You pull away and catch your breath, and I hold mine.

Then it happens. Nothing big, just a small lifting of that corner of your mouth. "It tastes good."

And your hand is on my waist and the other's on my nape and we lean in again.

A/N: My brain needs a defib unit.