The spark of inspiration continues. Hopefully there is more where this one came from.
This chapter isn't as long as the other, being only about 10-11 pages, but I swear the next one will be. I'm going to have to start squeezing more into the next few chapters in order to get things moving at a faster pace. Anyways, I hope you all enjoy.
There was something exhilarating about not knowing where to go, or when to stop. There was a rush when running, not thinking and just running, without much purpose other than to get away from everything. And it was strangely wonderful. The adrenaline pumped through Luxord's body as he ran down the long road that lead to the mansion, running away from it at top speed, with his boots tied together and hitting his shoulder. He kept on running, even when his lungs began to burn and his stomach twist from lack of blood. He didn't stop when he left the tunnel of decorated trees, or when the mansion was no longer big, but a small decoration. He slowed his pace then, but kept on going. He passed the first town, avoiding it at all costs, though he couldn't explain why he did. He kept going, making sure to stay on some sort of road, at least until they were inhabited by other people. He knew he didn't want to be with other people. He kept running, past wild trees and bushes full of blooming flowers, past small mounds of grass and knolls, taking a left on a fork, another town, fields of workers of all shapes and races, past carts and people riding horses, taking the middle road out of the three, past emptiness, past another town, and when Luxord realized it was nearing the end of the day he broke away from the road altogether and ran into pure wilderness. He kept on going, though by now he was no longer running, not even walking, but was dragging his tired body to whatever destination he was out to find. He kept on going, all night long, full of burning energy and fear, with nothing to defend himself or to nourish him from the long day of continuous running. He hadn't thought about what he had done to Marluxia all day long. He didn't think about the implications of his actions, and he still didn't know where he was going. He kept trudging on throughout the night, ignoring hunger pains and sore muscles, fighting exhaustion and all the other instinctual urges raging through his body, until the crack of dawn, when the morning sky was a wonderful mosaic of blue, purple, pink, and orange. Luxord looked up at the morning sky, spotting a few stars that were still visible, and he saw the moon above him, a white lonely ball in the colorful background. Luxord was mesmerized by this, and then, after nearly a day of moving, he stopped. He stopped moving and continued to stare up at the moon; his mind recalling that he had done something similar before, though he couldn't remember when. And since he had stopped, he had more time to himself, more energy to spend on all the things he had neglected since he started running.
He noticed how quiet it was, how terribly silent the world was now that he had no one to share it with. He had now begun to realize that he had ran past the point of no return miles and miles ago, and he was now lost in a country he knew nothing about. He didn't know where his home was, or where it had been before the mansion. He didn't know a thing. He was truly lost, without anything to him but his name, and even that was questionable. Everything that he had, everything that had been given to him, was miles away, now unreachable. And the man that had given him all these things was gone, dead or dead to him. Everything, that's what it was, Marluxia had been everything to him, and was probably the only thing Luxord could have called something close to his own. It was gone now, gone, gone, gone. And to be replaced with what; there was nothing Luxord craved more at the moment than Marluxia's voice, telling him everything he had done would be corrected, and that he wouldn't have to worry about it, because why should he? Everything he did now was all him, and every effect to his cause would be his as well. With this Luxord yanked his eyes away from the moon, his head now aching with familiarity, and let his legs fall to the soft green floor. He stares at the moist grass, at the dirt and small pebbled, and then crawled into the fetal position. He wondered what had happened to him right before losing his memories, and thought how strange it would be if he fell asleep and forgot about it all over again? He would be upset, just as he had when he awoke, but he was sure it would be for the best. He didn't want to think about his predicament, about losing the man he was sure he was in love with, so having his memories taken from him again seemed more like a grace from god than anything else.
Luxord eventually closed his eyes, and he eventually fell asleep. He didn't cry. He didn't even attempt to feel sorry for himself. He just hoped, when he awoke, something would happen to him, and all of this would change and he could have a good enough reason to move on. It didn't have to be positive, it could be anything.
Axel groaned. His joints ached. He grabbed his shoulders, rubbing them together, his eyes closed and face nestled in the sheets. His toes stretched out and felt the top blanket above him. Everything felt worn, but soft and most importantly, warm. He wondered whether he was dreaming. He opened his eyes and discovered that he was covered in twisted sheets, his whole body wrapped in welcoming soft fabric.
He tossed around the bed, untangling himself from the covers, and sat up on the bed. He crossed his legs, blinking several times as he tries to figure where he was. Axel couldn't remember much. He could recall the snow, the cold, worry, fear, and then after there was hardly anything at all.
"Where am I?"
Axel looked around the small room, making out the window just a few feet away. He slowly got out of the bed, taking small steps over to the window with his stiff legs. He leaned against the wall and peeked through the glass frame.
People. Lots and lots of people walking around. Some of them had children following them, others had bags or baskets full of tools, food, cloth, or strange articles Axel had never seen before. There were females, and there were males. There were large buildings all over the place, not nearly as big as the one Roxas had lived in, but looking quite sturdy and strangely welcoming. Each one looked like the next, with strong foundation and hard rock walls, with a messy top made from smooth looking plates. The ground was a mixture of things; the middle was paved with stone, much like the entrance to Roxas' mansion, the rest was dirt that had been walked over so many times that it was hard and smooth. There was hardly any grass to be seen. There were no trees. There was hardly any snow.
Axel took a step back and looked around the room again. He was in one of the buildings.
"How did I get here?"
Just as he asked this the door behind him swung open. Axel jumped back, hitting himself against the wall and stumbled to the floor. He looked up, his eyes wide with fear. He stared over at the figure walking in, and almost immediately realized that he was dressed in a familiar dark coat. He recognized that outfit.
The young man, who was about to close the door, froze and turned around, facing Axel with a blank expression. Axel leered, staring into open aquamarine eyes. He knew better than to trust that expression, he didn't forget what had happened the last time he was with those coated strangers.
The cloaked man produced a sharp yelp, backing to the door. Axel heard a click and realized that the man had locked it. He growled loudly.
"Hey, hey," the man said, trembling just a little. "That's…not how to…treat…treat the guy who saved you…"
Axel pulled himself up. He continued to stare at the man, testing his reactions. He didn't sound as confident as the others. He looked frightened, almost terrified of him. Nevertheless Axel kept his composure, breathing hard and letting his tails quickly sway from side to side.
"Saved?" He scoffed, "right, like I'm supposed to believe that?"
The cloaked figure nodded his head.
"Uh-huh," he said. "I found you buried in the snow."
Axel hissed again, this time baring his teeth. He continued to breathe heavily, hoping it would be enough to scare away the man. He didn't have his claws to protect him, and he'd rather not have to fight.
"You were passed out…"
"I saved your life," he said weakly.
Axel sneered and took a step forward. The man trembled pathetically. He really was nothing like the other two who had captured him before.
"Please, just listen," he said. He lifted his free arm and pointed over at the table on the other side of the bed. Axel made a quick glance and saw that his few belongings were there.
"What is this?"
"I told you," he said. "I saved your life."
"You locked the door…"
"Can you blame me for being fearful?" he asked, trying to produce a nervous smile.
Axel relaxed himself. He was beginning to believe this man. He didn't seem to have any noticeable weapons on him, and he was acting rather submissive. There was no sign that he was lying to him.
"Yeah, that's it," the cloaked man said. "You just need to calm down?"
"Where am I?"
"This place?" Axel asked. "Where am I, how did I get here?"
"Oh," he said. He shrugged, "This place…I think it's called, Domadia, or Demidia…"
"Where are we?"
"What? I just told you," the man said.
Axel shook his head. He needed a map. Roxas had shown him where home was, and where the two of them were located. He needed to find that place on a map, and then ask this guy to show him where they were.
"Do you have a map?"
"What?" he asked.
"I need a map!" Axel said frantically.
"Yeesh, calm down already," he said. He then pointed to a small duffle bag lying next to the table. "I have a map…but I can't get to it unless you promise me you won't attack me."
"Go on," he said.
The young man hurried over to the small dark bag lying on the floor. Axel watched, standing on his toes as he tried to get a better look at what was going on. He still wasn't sure whether he could trust this guy or not. What if he pulled out a weapon? That thing that went 'bang'? Axel let a hand rest on his old wound. He continued to stare, and noticed a few vials within the bag full of a strange, light green liquid. He tried to get a better look, but then a gloved hand closed the bag.
"Here," he said, handing the map over to Axel.
Axel grabbed it from the man, and then opened it up and spread it across the bed.
Axel didn't listen and tried to spot the spot Roxas had showed him. It was hard. This map looked different from Roxas'. It wasn't as detailed as his, and it was worn out from use. But there was only one piece of land, no other country for him to get confused over.
"Where is it?" Axel placed his hand on the worn out map. He stared at the corner; his eyes on the large arrow pointing up at the N. Roxas said they were far up north.
He stared at a few mountains that decorated the top and noticed a large marker surrounded by a few dots. The mountains were far away from the mansion. He continued down south, stopping when he hit the next marker. This one had to be it, as there was no other markers close by.
"This is it," Axel said. He looked over to the young man who was staring at his with an impatient expression. "Come over here."
"Point out where we are," Axel said.
"You got a finger on the map," he said.
"No…just do it," Axel said. He didn't know how to explain his situation. He knew he was in no position to talk about where he had been. Roxas had bought him, and somehow Axel had a feeling that this bit of information would bite him in the back if it was let out.
"Here." Axel saw a gloved finger point at a small dot on the map. It was farther down south, in the west. Axel stared at it for a few seconds, looking at the few details that the map possessed. There was another giant marker at the most western point, right where the land ended. Axel frowned. He remembered wanting to see the ocean.
"I went pretty far…"
"You were traveling all alone?"
Axel turned and looked at the young man next to him. He stared back, with quiet, almost understanding expression. He was nothing like the others. This one seemed different.
"I'm looking for someone," he answered.
"Who?" he asked.
"A friend," Axel answered. He thought for a moment and went on. "He's just like me, only lighter, and a bit taller. He has-"
"Woah there," the cloaked man said. He smiled, "Uhm, sorry, but I can't really help you."
"Huh?" Axel asked.
"I'm not allowed to offer services to someone who isn't a citizen of this country," he said. "It' the law and all, but even if I could, I'm currently on duty, and I need to be somewhere…"
Citizen? Axel didn't know what that was. However, from the way it sounded, it seemed this man could possibly be of use to him. Axel remembered how Roxas had handed the two Hunters from before a bag of coins. Obviously munny was the way to these Hunters' hearts.
"Wait, so you can help me find Luxord?" Axel asked.
"What, who is Luxord?"
"My friend!" Axel turned to the window. "I lost him ages ago, and I need to find him before I can go back home."
"Lost him…I don't think…"
"You don't think I'll find him?" Axel asked. He grit his teeth together, feeling himself grow frustrated. "let me guess, you think he's a servant or something?"
Axel turned and faced the Hunter.
"Actually," he said, his tone changing to a much lighter one, "I think I might know where he is."
Axel' eyes brightened up. "Really?"
"Uhm, yeah," he said. "You see, I'm on my way to this really big city, and it's full of Nekos." He grinned. "Your friend is sure to be there, I guarantee it!"
Axel smiled. He felt his heart race with excitement. Finally, things were starting to look up. He looked over at his bag, and then suddenly felt doubt.
"I don't have any munny," he said.
"Oh, oh that won't be a problem."
"What? Are you sure," Axel asked.
"Oh yes," the young man replied. He rested a hand on Axel's shoulder, staring at him with a very ecstatic expression. "How's about this? I won't charge you unless we find him, and then we'll work on some sort of agreement then, ok?"
"I won't make you pay, you'll just have to do a few chores for me, carry my bags around, nothing to strenuous," he said. "Just stick with me. I'll take you there, and I'll make sure you're safe from any wild animals, fiends, or demons that may be out there."
Axel couldn't believe how well this was turning out. He had worried over how he would be able to avoid Roxas, especially since the boy had made it clear that he was his property. But this Hunter seemed very promising. He didn't look like a fighter, but he acted like he knew what he was doing. Perhaps Luxord was there too, they'd be able to get back home…
"Are you ok?"
Axel looked at the Hunter and nodded. "Yeah…" He looked down at the map. Home seemed so far away, even on that piece of paper. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it," he heard the Hunter say. "Consider me your hired man…err…"
"Right," the Hunter said.
"What's your name?" Axel asked.
"Hmm, you want to know my name?" he asked.
"Yeah," Axel said. He couldn't help but notice the chain loosely hanging from the dirty blonde's neck. He saw tags hanging at the very bottom. For some reason, he couldn't help but remember the collar. "Why, wouldn't I want to know?"
"I guess," he said. "Anyways, I'm Demyx."
Axel broke contact from the tags and looked up at Demyx.
"Great," he said. "So when do we hightail it outta here?"
Demyx chuckled. "Well, give me an hour to prepare, and then we can take a coach. It won't be a good one, since we're not exactly welcomed folk, but we should be there in a couple of days."
Axel didn't care how the couches looked. He was just so happy. He was finally getting the help he needed. He didn't need Roxas' help anymore, and he didn't have to do this alone.
"Yeah," he said.
"Don't mention it," Demyx said, looking away. Axel was sure he was being overly modest.
"I'm serious," he said. "This really means a lot to me."
"Yeah, just…don't mention it."
Roxas sat quietly on the red velvet armchair, silently staring at the collar with his family's crest decorated on it. He should have known better than to give Axel so much freedom. He had frightened the Neko away, and at the worst time possible. The weather was getting warmer, and that meant Axel would be able to travel at greater distances. Worse, people would be traveling more, and a Neko without any papers on him was considered a runaway slave, and without information on who he belonged, chances were he would be sold. Even with the aid of a Hunter or Guardian, there was no guarantee that he would ever see him again.
Roxas rubbed his temples, trying desperately to think of something, anything that would help him. Axel could be anywhere by now. Anyone could have spotted him, taken him, and had him sold off to any part of the country.
He could try to write a short summary down and have it sent out, perhaps raise awareness that he was a runaway slave, and that he belonged to someone wealthy. Maybe he could use the greed of the common people to help him. His parents and sister had never done it, figuring it a waste of funds, but Roxas was willing to give it a go. There weren't too many Neko's like Axel, so the search wouldn't take too long.
But what bothered him most was that Axel ha left, right after he had tried to explain something to him. Axel didn't even give him a chance at explain himself, he just ran off. Why did he have to leave? The answer came quicker than Roxas expected. It was Luxord. The other one. Axel wouldn't ever stop talking about him, and now he was set to find him. Roxas was only getting that he probably deserved. He had promised Axel that he would find the Neko, with the intent of never fulfilling said promise. It was a distraction. And now Axel was gone, gone.
And what would happen if he tried to find Axel? He couldn't imagine that the Neko would be pleased to be captured all over again and sent back here.
What was he going to do?
Roxas let the collar drop to the floor. He sank into his seat, feeling his face heat up with rage. This shouldn't have happened. What would his sister say when she got home? Probably that he was useless, didn't know what he was doing, and was better off not trying to make business transactions. And maybe she would be right. Why did he think taming a wild Neko would be a good idea?
He bit his lip.
Roxas looked over at the young woman standing at the entrance to the room.
"The carriage has been packed," she said.
"Oh, thank you," Roxas said. His voice was a little shaky. "I'll be there shortly."
"Will you need a coat?"
"No, I'll be fine," Roxas answered, getting up from his seat. He fixed himself up and walked over to the door. "Make sure things are kept the way they are will my sister arrives."
"Shall I inform her of your reasons for leaving?"
Roxas sighed, "she deserves to know."
"Yes Sir," she replied.
"Don't send it out now though, wait a few days," Roxas answered. "I don't want her to cause a scene or try to go after me." He sighed again, knowing just how much trouble he'd get into for leaving the property without decent notice. "Right now is an important time for her…"
Roxas hurried outside and stared at the white carriage in front of him. Instead of horses were white chobocos, which were normally used for races or aide, were now tied with harnesses. They didn't look as elegant as horses, but they would be fast enough for him to travel. Axel could have gone in just about any direction, and the more time that went by meant a lesser chance of finding him. Hopefully these birds would speed up the process.
Roxas opened the carriage door, taking one last look at the mansion. He had a feeling that he could never show his face here again, either out of shame or humiliation, or the pain of failure.
He gulped, pushing the feeling aside and went inside the carriage. He'd be here soon, and with Axel.
First things first, he needed to find Luxord.
It was so hot. He felt so hot. It was unbearable.
"Please, wake up…"
He could feel something, something soft. It was so much cooler, softer. His body ached, burned. His chest was on fire.
A soothing hand, brushing against his heated cheeks, reminding him of all those times, years ago, when he would call for his mother's attention when he was in need. He remembered even after all these years of living alone with just his father, who never seemed to have the time for him. He could feel those small hands, resting on his and beckoning him closer…
"Marluxia, please, wake up."
He wished he could. He wished he could so more than writhe about in pain, feeling sorry for his very existence.
Marluxia wished it were all over. He wanted to be able to look past this and laugh, scolding himself for not telling Luxord to me more careful about those claw. Now he knew why they were clipped. So much heat, it must be quite the infection. He must look awful right now. Marluxia didn't know though, he couldn't even open his eyes. There just wasn't enough energy.
How long had Aerith been crying? Marluxia had been diving in and out of consciousness; he wasn't sure how much time had passed since getting attacked. Was Larxene alright? Was Luxord alright?
Was he here? He could hear her cries, but nothing past that.
Where was he?
"You hear that?"
Zack turned away from the flower stand, looking over at Angeal, who was speaking with an older woman. The group of Guardians he was with had been cut to just the two of them, all of them now on different missions of their own. He and Angeal had made the decision to go back to Clathora, and meet Aerith. They were just several hours away from home.
"What?" he asked.
Angeal sighed, keeping his subtle smile on his face. "Typical."
"What? What is it?" Zack pestered. He turned to the woman. She had a very concerned look on her face. "Is something the matter?" he asked her.
"Oh, it's those Hunters," she muttered.
"What about them," Zack asked.
"Zack, manners," Angeal said.
"Sorry," he muttered.
"They've terrorized the town last night," the women said, looking down and shaking.
"What?" Angeal asked.
"Hunters aren't allowed to harm people," Zack said. "What on earth were they thinking?"
"It wasn't the people they were attacking," Angela mattered. "No Hunter would risk their lives unless it was something they could harm."
"It was a fay."
Angeal's eyes widened, his face going pale. After a while he gave a long sigh, finally nodding his head after realizing that had just gone on the night before. "I see…"
"A what?" Zack asked. He turned to Angeal, not understanding what was going on. "What's a fay?"
"Something that Hunter's despise," Angeal said without looking at Zack. He crossed his arms. "Do you know where the fay is now?"
"One of the Hunters captured her and took her as his trophy," the woman answered. "He left several hours ago."
"Which way did he go?"
"I think North from here," she answered.
Angeal nodded, "and the others?"
"West, probably back to their horrible city, Troga," she said.
"I understand," Angeal said. He finally turned to Zack, "well?
Zack didn't have to guess what he'd have to do. But he couldn't help but look over to the green plains, knowing that his love was just a walk away from here.
"Let me guess, I got to find a couple of Hunters and give them a scolding for disturbing the peace?"
"Actually no," Angeal said. "You're not at a high enough rank to do that. You'll be the one to rescue and free the fay. I'll be the one to do the scolding."
Zack's jaw dropped.
"Don't worry," Angeal said, smiling. "I have faith in you."
"I…what's a fay?" Zack asked.
"Red hair, blue eyes, hates people," Angeal said. "By the way, once you free her, I suggest you make a quick dash back to Clathora. Fay aren't exactly friendly towards humans."
"Red hair…" Zack muttered. He looked and saw Angeal walking away from him. He panicked. "Wait, Angeal!"
"I'll meet you at Clathora when we're done!" Angeal waved, continuing on his way.
Zack felt his arm s drop to the sides. He turned to the older woman and forced a smile on his face.
"So…what does this Hunter look like?"
"He was tall, had a very thin build, and he carried guns," she said.
That could be anybody.
"Uhm, anything else?"
"He was wearing dark clothes?"
All Hunters were dressed in black.
"So, it was north, right?"
"May have been northwest," she corrected herself.
"Right," Zack said. He had to head northwest, looking for a Hunter with a thin frame, with a female fay…which had red hair and blue eyes. It wasn't much, but it was something to go by.
"This better not take too long," he said, walking away from the woman. He looked past the flower stand and sighed, knowing it might be awhile before he saw Aerith again. And there was so much for him to catch up on. He hadn't seen her or Marluxia in such a long time…
He chuckled, remembering how upset the man had been when he decided to become a Guardian.
"Wonder how Marluxia's doing?" he asked himself. He walked out of the small village, continuing to think about his love. Maybe Angeal would get their first, and he'd let her know he was alright. Marluxia would still have a fit.
Zack placed his hand in his pocket, pulling out a very worn piece of paper. He carefully unfolded it, making sure the slightly torn edges wouldn't give way. He stared at the letter, rereading it as he continued to make his way in the necessary direction. There was a lot Aerith was eager to who him once he arrived. The new flowers that were blooming, the new books she had purchased, including one written by Sephiroth, even better; she had spoken to the man not too long ago, and then…
"Right, I forgot," he said, stopping at an unfamiliar name. "Luxord's living there now." He had seen many Neko;s before, most of them were the northern breed. It would be his first time seeing a free, southern breed. From what the letter said, he seemed like a nice guy.
"Can't wait to meet him."
Now, one of the things I noticed was there isn't a lot of yaoiness going on. I was definitely putting the story first before the smex. However, one of the things I've been debating over was putting in some more, not a lot, but a few moments here and there. Mind you, Luxord has no memory, and his morals aren't 100% straight. I could easily have him possibly flirting or being taken advantage of if I wanted to. This story is going to get more disturbing anyways, so why not have him doing these things as well? Give me your opinion in a review, and I'll consider your feelings about it. Of course, your review must contain information about this chapter, otherwise the story will become interactive, so don't just give me your opinion on this matter, tell me what you actually think about this story too.