Say Goodbye

Sort of like Too Short but more in depth and less rushed. I personally like this one better.

Summary - Roxas has a mysertious disease that causes his bones to become frail and easily broken. Worried that his friends would try to take pity on him, he tells no one. But, after a nasty fall when he and his best friend, Axel, are playing a friendly game of Blitz, he's forced to tell the redhead everything. What happens when he finds out that the doctors that did his surgery to repair his broken bones operated on him with infected tools?

Disclaimer- Don't own the game, the characters or the disease.

Warnings - Character death, boylove, swearing

Pairing - Akuroku

"Axel," His voice was barely audible over the phone. "I ... I'm dying."

xXxXx

It was completely innocent. What they were doing wouldn't hurt anyone. Or at least that is what they believed. They were just acting a fool, having a friendly game of ball.

xXxXx

"Hayner! Hayner, get it! Quick! Before Tidus! Go!" Roxas cried out, already being pinned to the ground by his smirking best friend.

"Too late, Rox-as. Your team is so gonna lose."

"Says you!" The smaller blonde tossed the redhead from him, turning onto his stomach to rocket to his feet, rushing after the other boys. "Catch me if you can, Axel!" He chided at the groaning redhead.

"We'll win, Rox! Got it memorized?"

"Believe it when I see it! C'mon Roxas, don't let Hayner have all the glory!" Demyx, a taller blonde with wild, sweat-drenched hair, called, grabbing Roxas' wrist as he ran by. Smirking at his best friend, Roxas chased after Demyx, down to the other end of the field. Axel sauntered to his feet, glaring daggers at the mass of blondes fighting over the ball. Before he could see who had the blue and white sphere, it was being hurtled in his direction. He yelped as it collided with his forehead, sending him sprawling back down to the ground.

"Good Yevon, explain why I picked you again! You really suck, ya'know, Axel?"

The redhead grumbled at the elder teen helping him up. "What can I say, Wakka? It's my instant reaction when I see balls coming for my face!"

Wakka sighed before chasing after whoever now had the fumbled ball. "Tidus, c'mon, bud, I'm open!"

Axel sulked. He hated playing ball with all the others. He preferred it just he and Roxas, out in the back yard, the moon just coming up over the horizon. Closing his eyes at the fantasy, Axel ignored his surroundings, blocking out the screaming teens crashing into each other in their attempts to make their team proud. He hummed happily as he had fantasy-Roxas pinned in the sweet-smelling grass, just about to lean down and do something he would never have the guts to do to real-Roxas before he felt something hard jab into his ribs. Another hum, not completely out of his daze. The noise earned him another painful jab to the ribs. His eyes drifted open and he was only mildly surprised to find himself on the ground once more, a blonde roughly two heads shorter than he having knocked him down.

"Play right, Axel."

"Can I just not play?"

"Who'd play in your place? And besides, I thought you liked this game."

"Have Cid play. Get another blonde to be confused with out there. It's not like my team is benefiting with me being out here anyways." Axel ignored the latter bit of Roxas' statement.

"C'mon, Axel. Please?"

How could he resist those cerulean oceans pleading down at him? Again, Axel sulked. "Only if we go out for ice cream later and play - just us - tonight."

"Are you buying?"

"Loser buys."

"Deal."

The redhead grumbled, feeling the blonde that his dreams were made of push off of his chest. He had to use all his energy not to whimper. Smiling happily at his easy victory, Roxas extended his hand to his best friend, stumbling forward slightly before digging his heels into the grass as Axel hauled himself forward, getting up. "I really hate you sometimes, twerp."

"Oh, you love me," Roxas shot back, smirking happily as he tore off once more after the ball. Axel faltered, something fluttering in his chest.

"If only you knew," Axel sighed before yelping once more as the ball rocketed towards him. This time he caught it and tore off for the goal. As he neatly landed the ball in past the black-haired goalkeeper, a smug smirk on his face, Wakka caught up to him, tackling into him, forcing him down to ruffle those crimson spikes further.

"Right! That's why I picked ya', ya'know! Axel, Mister Fire Fingers! Where have ya been hidin' all game?"

xXxXx

"Ugh, I can't believe you guys won."

Smirking, Axel took the offered cone, moaning softly in satisfaction after taking a large lick off the side, falling back onto the bench behind him. "Tastes so much better after a hard-played game."

"Hard-played my ass."

"Ooh, is that an invitation?"

Roxas glared at the perverted joke, in no mood for such talk from his best friend. "You're a jerk."

"You made me this way."

Axel took another large lick, stealing a glance at the blonde when he received no smart-ass retort. Said blonde was swinging his feet back and forth, taking small, tentative licks of his own. Watching that pink muscle dart in and out of Roxas' mouth to be covered in silver-blue ice cream almost made Axel drop his own, the hand not holding onto his treat going down to hide his growing arousal. Mental images swam through his mind of that tongue lapping at his skin the way it was the frozen treat. A moan left his lips at the thought.

"Okay, you can stop rubbing it in that it tastes so much better for you."

Axel stiffened, fantasy-Roxas coming back to prod at his twisted mind. "I-I ... That's not what I was doing." Blushing, Axel turned away, glad that the streetlamps were already beginning to come on, signaling the beginning of his favourite time to play.

"What were you doing, then?"

Silence but for the slight lapping of salty-sweet ice cream passed by the two, each staring heatedly in opposite directions. Caterpillars had wormed their way into Axel's stomach, morphing into flaming butterflies that crashed clumsily around his insides, causing him to quickly lose his appetite. But he refused to stop licking away, not daring to have wasted Roxas' money or wanting any reason to look back at the seductive blonde.

"Axel ..."

"Sorry I was such a spoilsport today," Axel cut in, not liking the serious tone the blonde had spoken his name in. "I'm sorry if I ruined the game for you."

"Wha-? Uh, no, it was ... okay. I shouldn't have forced you to play if you didn't want to."

Turning to look at the blonde, Axel forced a smirk, trying so hard to inject humour into his voice. "Now, you aren't just saying that because you would have won had I not snapped out of it, are you?"

Roxas smiled slightly, still not looking at Axel. The redhead noticed with some sort of dull pang that the glimmering ice cream had begun to melt, dripping down Roxas' thumb, over his wrist. But he didn't seem to notice. He was still gazing at his shoe. "Rox-as, is everything alright?"

"Hmm? Oh ... This is where I'm supposed to say that everything is fine, right?"

"R-Rox?"

A tear shimmered on the edge of Roxas' eyelash, slipping down over his cheek. Axel's eyes widened in shock, beginning to hold his hand out to Roxas before the blonde pulled away slightly. The blonde straightened up, leveling his gaze on the redhead, but Axel could see the shimmering lights beam in his eyes.

"Axel, I ... I want you to be the first one to know. And, I don't want you to blow it out of proportion. It's just ..."

Axel's head was swimming. What was going on? His imagination piqued.Oh, Axel, I just want you to know that I love you more than anything in the world and I just want you to kiss me right here! was one of the things his fantasy-Roxas was leading up to. But, the Roxas sitting in front of him was not a fantasy. He bit his lip expectantly.

"I found out that I have some weird disease-type thing. I don't remember what it's called. Some big name that starts with O. But the doctor said that it was pretty bad. He said that ..." There was a moment's pause and it seemed that Roxas couldn't go on. Axel's voice was quiet, concerned.

"What, Rox? That what? You're gonna be okay, right?"

"Ugh ... Yeah, I think."

"Then it's okay. You'll be alright. I'm sure of it."

Roxas smiled happily, more tears spilling out, rolling down the path of the first. Axel took Roxas' ice cream in his hand after throwing his own in the garbage. The blonde didn't protest when the lanky redhead wrapped his arms around him. "You'll be okay."

xXxXx

"Roxas, it's time for you to take your medication!" The blonde's mother called up the stairs, causing the younger boy to groan.

"I'm not taking it anymore! I refuse!"

Footfalls up the stairs and Roxas' black-haired mother opened the door to his bedroom. "Not taking it anymore?"

The blonde curled his lip in disgust, hitting the pause button on the game he and his best friend were currently absorbed in. Axel stretched slightly, flexing the fingers that had gripped the controller that now lay on the floor. His feet hung off the side of the bed, one of his knees bent so his foot was in the air. Roxas lay beside him, both on their tummies.

"No, Mom, I'm not. I haven't for a week now."

Axel gaped at the blonde and Tifa just scowled. "And your reason?"

"I just don't care. I'd rather have all the bones in my body break then have to live with those side effects."

"Rox, if it means you'll get better, please take whatever it is you have to take! I'd even let you do crack if it meant you were better."

The blonde huffed, shoving himself up to kneel, crossing his arms over his chest. "This isn't even fair! You guys can't gang up on me!"

"I don't want you to die, Rox-as!"

"And I would rather not live in the constant fear of possibly needing to rush my son to the hospital with a whole body of broken bones."

A sigh. "Fine. Mom, can you go get them?"

"Already have. Which is why I'm up here."

"Oh. O-Okay."

She handed them to her son. "Now, Axel, make sure he takes it."

"Yes ma'am! You can count on me. I'll force it down his throat if I have to."

"Well, let's hope for his sake he doesn't need you to go that far."

"Okay, Mom, you can leave now."

With a soft smile, Tifa backed out of the room, shutting the door once more behind her. "How bad can these side effects be?"

"Pretty bad."

"Apparently. And, what is wrong with you again?"

"Some weird ... bone eating disease? I don't know. All I know is that my bones will break really easily if I don't take these pills."

"Yet you've still been playing ball with us?"

"Yeah, I don't see why it should ruin my life."

"If you say so, bud. Just take them, okay?"

Roxas sighed once more, popping one of the large pills out of its spot in the package. He curled his lip in disgust, holding up the liquidy-looking pill to shimmer in the dim light shining through his window.

"Looks like one of those LiquiGel Tylenol things," Axel commented before Roxas shoved it into his mouth, swallowing without the aid of water.

"Good thing it doesn't taste like it. Okay, c'mon, let's get back to my kicking your butt."

"Oh, yeah right! I'm so winning!"

It was ten minutes later before Roxas paused the game once more, his features drawn up in an expression of pain. "R-Rox?"

"I-I'll ... be alright."

"Side effect?"

"Y-Yeah."

"I-Is there anything I can do?"

"L-Leave for a while. I-I ... don't want you to ... ack ... Nng. Don't want you to see me like this."

"But Rox, I wanna help."

"Y-You can't. M-Maybe you should j-just go home."

"No. Not while you are in so much pain."

The blonde cried out as fire ripped over his body, tears leaking out of his clenched eyes. He was curled up, holding his stomach, panting at the pain. Axel was shaking. There was nothing he could do and Roxas looked as though it would be better to die at this point.

It took a moment, but Roxas' panting lessened though he never let his hold on himself falter. He gazed up at Axel, cringing as another wave of pain hit. "Tell me there is something I can do, Rox. Please!"

"H-Hold me?"

"What?"

"H-Hold me. It ... helps ... if I know I'm ... not alone."

The redhead instantly opened his arms, allowing the blonde to crawl shakily into his embrace. Feeling the blonde's back against his stomach and chest made Axel shiver. Wrapping his legs under Roxas, he snaked his arms around the blonde's stomach. Roxas curled his arms back into him, pushing Axel closer to his body. Another cringe rolled through Roxas' body, but it was less severe as Axel began to rock them, his chin in those blonde spikes.

"Y-You ... help a lot."

Axel just smiled, feeling those flaming butterflies crash around once more.

xXxXx

Despite the fact that it tore out his heart to see his best friend in such pain, the duo had made it into a routine of Roxas taking his medication and Axel holding him until the fire died down. Another week passed.

"C'mon, Rox. You promised that you would play tonight."

"I know, I know! I'm comin'! Jeez, hold your chocobos!"

Axel sighed, already rushing out into the cooling evening air. Roxas was a little ways behind him, ball in hand, taking slightly shaky steps, not fully recovered from his episode. Taking a deep, steadying breath, the small blonde darted out past the lanky redhead, shooting straight for the elder's makeshift goal with a big burst of laughter at Axel's bewildered expression.

"Hey! Cheater!"

"C'mon, keep up, Axel!"

Axel glowered at his blonde best friend, streaking after him. Just before Roxas landed the goal, Axel reached out, grabbing the blonde's shoulder and yanking him back. The ball shot out of his grasp and straight into the goal as he started to fall backwards, pulling Axel with him.

Roxas landed with a sharp cry of pain.

Axel fell on top of him, just barely stopping himself from crushing the smaller boy. The blonde's back was arched, his body writhing. Axel purred despite himself. Until he heard Roxas' scared voice.

"C-Call Mom... Ahh, oh my God, it hurts! ... Axel ... I think something broke!"

Shooting back, Axel's face was swiped clean. "Y-You're kidding, right? J-Just some big joke on the big bully, right?"

"W-Would I kid about ... something like this?"

"R-Roxas, no! I'm so sorry!"

"Just go! Please!"

Axel rocketed to his feet, almost tripping, stumbling once or twice on his way to the back door. "T-Tifa! Tifa, come quick! Please!"

Huffing, Axel slammed himself against the doorframe to attempt to steady himself. The black-haired woman appeared at the other end of the hall. "What happened?"

"I-It was an accident, I swear! I-I didn't know he would get hurt! Please, just come here!"

"Axel, calm down and tell me what happened."

"It's Roxas! He said he broke something! It's all my fault! I pulled him down to the ground and now he's hurt!"

The color drained from the woman's face and she followed Axel at a run, dropping to her knees beside her gasping son. "Stay with him, Axel. It's okay, darling. I'll go call the ambulance." She was off once more. Five minutes later, the sirens could be heard blaring through the eerie quiet. The only noises besides the screaming sirens were Axel's sobs and Roxas' panting and moaning.

"We'll need to ask you to move out of the way, sir," the first paramedic on the scene ordered of Axel, helping a second with the stretcher-board they had brought out of the ambulance. Roxas was gently shifted onto the board and Axel gaped at where his best friend had just been laying. A large tree root was protruding from the ground and he had shoved the poor blonde down on it. His stomach stayed on the ground as he pushed himself to his feet, chasing after the pained teen.

"Roxas, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!"

"C-Can he ... come with me? P-Please?"

"Of course. Hurry up and get in, sir. We need to get him to the hospital now."

Axel was guided into a seat beside the blonde. "R-Rox-as," he sobbed.

"I-I'll be okay, Axel. I promise."

The blonde shifted his hand, raising it in an indication he wanted Axel to hold on to it. "I-I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't know that root was there. I'm sorry!"

"It's okay, Axel. Remember, it helps if I know I'm ... not alone."

xXxXx

"He'll be out of surgery soon."

xXxXx

Axel was getting impatient. The blonde had been in surgery for the better part of the night and now he was asleep in his hospital bed, face peaceful with the drugs flowing through his system. It turned out he had broken three ribs and his right arm in the fall and one of his ribs had gone in and almost pierced through his lung.

Axel had almost killed his best friend. And he could barely live with the thought. What would he do if Roxas never woke up? How would he be able to live with the guilt of knowing he had destroyed his best friend? And he still had yet to tell the blonde how he felt about him.

"A-Axel? A-Axel, is that ... you?"

The redhead spun around in his pacings to gape at his best friend. Almost pouncing on the smaller teen out of joy, Axel barely was able to catch himself. Instead he fell to his knees, crumpling into a ball, gripping his stomach as he cried. The blonde shifted groggily to the side of the bed to see the fallen redhead.

"Axel, is everything alright?"

"God damn it, Roxas, I could have killed you! No, everything is not alright! I can't believe what an idiot I am!" Axel howled, moving his hands up to his crimson spikes and pulling hard.

"It's not your fault. I don't think, anyway. It was an accident. And I'm fine now so you don't have to worry."

"Stop kidding yourself, Roxas. You are not fine! You're stuck in a hospital with three broken ribs, a broken arm and more bones in your body that will break someday because I just can't get it through my head that you are fragile now! You're breakable! And we all know I'll be the one to break you!"

"I told you not to blow this out of proportion," Roxas mumbled, laying his head back down onto his pillow.

"How can I not, Rox? I could have killed you."

"But you make me better!"

"Bullshit! If I made you better, we wouldn't be here right now!"

"Fine, you make it bearable."

"Even though I put you in even more pain. You aren't supposed to do that to the person you love."

"Wh-What?"

Axel's emerald orbs shot open, realizing what words he had just said. He curled farther in on himself. "I-I ... have to go home now. I didn't tell Mom where I am. She's probably worried." His cheeks a dark crimson, both from blushing and the force of crying, Axel didn't raise his eyes from the floor as he stood, brushing past the bed. Roxas held out his unbroken arm, extending his fingers to the fleeting shadow of the redhead as he stumbled out the door, a whimpered "Axel, wait!" escaping his lips.

The redhead didn't stop. Roxas had a new wave of tears in his cerulean orbs. "Axel ... I love you too," he whimpered, allowing his hand to fall, thumping to the bed beside him.

xXxXx

"I-I ... I feel like I'm going to be ..." Roxas didn't get to finish his statement as the contents of his stomach decided that they didn't except their new home. He groaned, writhing slightly, reaching out for the offered-too-late bucket but was glad he took it as his stomach churned once more. Taking in shuddering breaths, Roxas began moving the soiled sheets away from himself before another wave hit him.

"I'll go get a doctor, okay, Roxas? I'll be right back." Tifa pulled the rest of the sheet from her son before running out into the hall. Coming back a few seconds later with a white-clad doctor, Tifa put a steadying hand on her son's back.

"What seems to be the problem here?"

"What does it ... look like?" Roxas growled dangerously at the man as his body tried to rid him of even more stomach contents though there was nothing left to be rid of.

"I do not see anything wrong. You most likely just had the flu before coming in here."

"Wh-What?" Roxas cried incredulously, coughing.

"I'm sure it is nothing."

"Y-You call this ... nothing." Roxas eyed the saliva he had wiped away from his lip after his coughing episode. The doctor stared at him in shock before backing from the room.

"R-Roxas!" his mother cried out, seeing the crimson blood still dripping over his thumb and down his chin.

"M-Mom ... Wh-What's wrong with me?"

xXxXx

"You've got to go see him, you know, Axel."

"Just leave me alone, Demyx." Axel tossed over under the covers as his friend stood at his bedroom door, leaning against the frame.

"He's been in there for almost a week now! He is really depressed and keeps asking about you."

Axel stiffened. "I don't see why he would. I bet he hates me."

"Why would he?"

"I sent him there! I ... also told him that ... I love him. In some weird way, I told him."

"All the more reason to go see him. It would make the two of you feel a lot better! Trust me!"

The blonde moved forward, placing his hand on Axel's shoulder which the redhead shrugged off. "C'mon, please? I hate seeing you mope around like this. You've got to get your life back. The guys are starting to get worried about you."

"I can't, man. I just ... I almost killed him."

"But you didn't!"

"I could have."

"You didn't."

The phone rang but Axel made no move to go pick it up.

"Axel, it's for you!"

xXxXx

"I'm sorry, ma'am. There is nothing we can do for him. The infection has spread too quickly. It has already eaten away at his stomach and has transferred to his lungs. It is only a matter of time before it progresses to his kidneys and then to his heart."

Tifa was shaking with anger. "And how did he get this 'infection'?"

The doctor looked away to his colleague who blushed and stared at the floor, her face filled with sadness and regret. "What did you do to my boy?"

"Th-There was a patient in last week with the virus. I-I guess that ... the patient must have come in contact with it... somehow," the woman stuttered, receiving a glare from her boss.

"And how would that have happened?"

"I-I ... I guess our instruments ... to do the patient's surgery were ... contaminated."

"I have a name, you know! It's Roxas!" He cringed. "Got it memorized?"

Tifa stroked her son's back once more. "You mean you killed my son?"

"I-I ..." The woman appeared to be almost in tears. "Y-Yes."

"H-How much longer ... how much longer do I have?"

"Considering how far along the infection is, I would say a day, at most."

Roxas refused to let himself cry anymore. He had to stay strong. "I ... Mom, I need to call Axel."

"Of course, honey."

xXxXx

"Got it! Hello?"

"A-Axel. I-It's good ... to hear your voice again."

"O-Oh. R-Rox-as. I-I ... was just talking about you."

"You were?"

"Yeah. Demyx is here. I-I'm ... sorry I haven't been in to see you." The butterflies were back, this time bringing reinforcements to clench at his heart.

"I ... I would say that it's okay but ... I've ... missed you. A lot."

"Shouldn't you be out of there by now?"

There was a long pause and Axel could hear sharp intakes of breath and a sickly retching sound even though it was very distant. "Rox-as?"

Another few seconds of panting before Roxas could be heard once more.

"Axel," His voice was barely audible over the phone. "I ... I'm dying."

The redhead almost let the receiver fall from his hand from the shock of the words. He felt that something clench tighter around his heart and he had a strange feeling he was going to be sick. "Y-you're ... what?" He tried to keep the quiver out of his voice.

"I ... Axel, I'm dying."

"Wh-What? ... How? ... Why? ..." He couldn't bring himself to ask the question that mattered the most. When?

"Got some stupid infection because the doctors here are shitheads. I don't care, Mom. I can swear if I want to. I have every right."

"R-Rox...as. P-Please ... Tell me you're j-joking." He couldn't hold back the tears anymore. Ignoring Demyx's confused expression, he pulled his knees up to his chest, cradling the phone like it were a lifeline. "T-Tell me you're joking."

"I ... have to go now, Axel. I'm going to be sick again. Axel, I want you to know that I -"

"How long do you have?" Axel screeched despite himself. He couldn't just listen to Roxas anymore. He had to see him.

"You're such a jerk, Axel." He laughed weakly. "Less than a day. Now, I want you to kno-"

"A day? A day? No! Rox! Please, no! This is all just some horrible joke to get back at me for hurting you! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! God damn it all, I'm so, so, sorry!"

"Axel, I love you too."

The line went dead in his ear.

Axel was shaking uncontrollably. Demyx, now sitting beside him was gripping his shoulder in concern. "Wh-what happened?" The redhead didn't reply. He couldn't even move. Except for his uncontrolled tremors.

"M-Move." Less than a breath through his lips.

"What?"

"Move!" he cried, shoving himself off the bed and hurtling towards the bathroom. He fell to his knees, gripping at the cold porcelain as his stomach churned with his mind. He was dizzy, the world was spinning and he was going to die himself if he didn't find something to hold him up. His pillar was being ripped from him so quickly, so suddenly.

"Axel? What happened?"

Leaning back, the redhead wiped his mouth clean, flushing the toilet as he placed his head against the tub. Demyx was standing in worry in the doorway. "He's dying, Dem. He's dying and it's all my fault."

Demyx gasped, but held the whimper from his voice. "Go see him. Please, just go see him."

"I can't."

"Why?"

"I ... I can't face him. It's my fault."

"Which is why you should go."

"Just leave me alone, Demyx."

"No. I refuse. You're going to go see him. What if he really does die? And you don't get to see him. What if you never actually tell him that you love him? Say all that gushy crap. What will you do if you lose him?"

Axel placed his head in his hands, crying out in anger and frustration. "I can't, man! I can't tell him. I can't do a thing because it's all my fault."

"Fine. You know what? I just don't care anymore. Just sit here feeling sorry for yourself. I'm going to go make sure one of my best friends doesn't die alone! I'll make sure that he knows someone cares enough about him!"

The blonde stormed from the house and Axel heard his car rev before flying off towards the hospital. "It's okay, Axel. Remember, it helps if I know I'm ... not alone." The redhead sauntered up to his feet, fire rolling over his body at the effort.

"Is everything okay, honey?"

"Mom ... can you drive me to the hospital?"

"Are you okay? Do you feel sick?"

"I ... need to see Rox-as."

xXxXx

"It means it has already progressed into his kidneys. He only has about half an hour to live."

"No! Not this quickly! Just a few minutes ago you said that he wouldn't be gone for a day!"

"The virus must have mutated. Or he has a weak immune system. I'm sorry, ma'am. I suggest you go sit with your son."

Tifa clenched her fists before striking the man that was standing in front of her. "You bastard. I'll be suing you for every penny you have! Don't you dare think you'll be killing anyone else!" She spat on his shocked features before turning on her heel and marching into her son's room. Roxas looked up at her before returning his gaze back to the ceiling.

"He knows I hate being alone." Roxas sobbed quietly, trying his hardest to keep the tears locked away. Tifa sat by his side, running a shaking hand through those blonde locks.

"Is Roxas still in that room, sir?"

"Yes, but I would suggest not going in there at the moment."

"Why not? I've been in before."

"Demyx!" Roxas gasped, sitting up quickly, only to fall back against the bed. A taller blonde poked his head in, being followed by the rest of his body. His aquamarine orbs were dancing with tears. "Wh-What's wrong?"

"I ... was just at Axel's."

Roxas looked away with a cringe. "He ... didn't come, did he?"

Demyx shook his head sadly. "When I left, he was puking."

"Is he ... okay?"

"About what?"

"In general."

"He seems healthy, I guess, if that's what you mean. Really depressed and mope-y. Thinks it's all his fault."

Roxas smiled sadly, still staring out the window. Demyx moved over to his side, apologizing to Tifa who moved down to a chair beside the bed. "Roxas?"

"I'll ... be okay ... I guess." The blonde cringed, causing Demyx to jump. "It ... hurts. But, Dem ... do you think ... you could sing ... please? I always ... love your singing voice."

Demyx chuckled, the tears brimming over his cheeks. "What, so my regular voice gets on your nerves? But, fine, I guess."

xXxXx

'Hold me, whatever lies beyond this morning is a little later on. Regardless of warnings the future doesn't scare me at all.'

He recognized the voice. It was Demyx. He was headed in the right direction. "Rox-as, hold on, lil' buddie. I'm almost there."

"Sir, stop running in the halls! You may hurt someone!"

"I don't give a god damn! I've already hurt someone!" Axel flung himself around the corner, following the sweet sound of Demyx's voice. At first he ran straight past the blonde's door but stopped on a dime, almost falling to the floor as he slid around to hurry back to it.

"Axel? You made it! C'mere, quick!" Demyx squealed happily, shooting off the bed as Axel huffed through the door. Roxas was laying on the bed, his eyes closed, his breathing labored.

"Rox-as. Rox-as, please, open your eyes. Please." Axel sat by his best friend's side, gripping his hand tight, leaning down to place his ear on the boy's chest, hearing the slight thump of Roxas' heart. Tifa and Demyx locked eyes, nodding to each other before standing and leaving the room.

"Y-You ... came."

"Of course, Rox. You didn't expect me to leave you here all by yourself, did you?."

"Axel ... Axel, I'm ... I'm sorry!"

Emerald orbs opened wide in shock. "What for? I'm the one that should apologize."

"I'm sorry ... because ... I'm dying and ... I never got to tell you ... how much you ... mean to me."

"I ... I love you, Rox-as. I love you, I love you, I love you. And now you are being stolen away from me and I don't know what to do. What do I do, Rox-as?"

"Kiss me. Kiss me and everything will be okay."

"But, if I kiss you, it means that you can leave me. I can't let you, Rox. I can't let you leave me! Please!"

Axel could hear the dull thudding of Roxas' heart losing strength. Unable to take the sounds of his best friend dying, he moved back slightly, only to have Roxas grip his hand firmly.

"Please, Axel. ... Just ... Kiss me."

This wasn't just one of Axel's dumb fantasies. This was real. The lights were fading in those cerulean eyes and the grip on his hand was fading fast. It was now or never, as they say. Taking a deep breath, Axel pressed his lips down onto Roxas' who responded, if only just barely. Axel kept kissing, even after the heart monitor was yelling at him that there was nothing left to kiss. He only stopped when he felt a hand on his shoulder, gently pulling him back.

"R-Rox-as."

xXxXx

"C'mon, Axel. It's been five months. Surely you can come play ball with us today."

"How can you act like nothing's happened, Demyx? Huh? How can you just go around pretending Roxas never existed?"

The smaller teen smiled sadly, shrugging. "It's just not my thing to keep obsessing over things I have no control over."

"But I did! I had control over it all! It's all my fault."

"Okay, fine. Don't play ball. I'm done caring. It's too exhausting trying to tell you that you need to get on with your life. Roxas died, not you."

Axel sat on the sidelines with a few other spectators, just people from school that enjoyed cheering for their favorite players. Half-way through the game, the ball strayed, bumping into Axel's feet. Long-forgotten butterflies flickered around his stomach.

"Hey, Axe, pass it back, would ya'?" Wakka asked grumpily, still upset that his star player had quit on him.

A smile appeared on Axel's lips, but he didn't know how it got there. Suddenly, his feet and fingers were moving on their own accord. Flying down the field like a madman, the ball gripped firmly in his grasp, he stared down the black-haired goalkeeper that was shaking slightly in fear. "This is for you, Rox-as!" he cried, slamming the ball into the goal.

"Yeah! Mister Fire Fingers returns! You all are going down now!"

xXxXx

Ten months later and every goal Axel scored he scored for his love, Roxas.

The End

To think, this was only supposed to be short. :D I had a lot of pent-up angst and just had to write it all out. :D I liked it. It was really fun. Kinda cliche in parts, but, ah well. And no, I do not know what Roxas had nor the virus he contracted. :D Just made up things. :D But, if you wish, think of his disease as... osteogenesis imperfecta. Look it up. :D I really should, but, Beta (RecklessxDreamer, love her!) told me about it and I said sure. :D

So baby keep my heart beat b-beat beat beating, the sole reason I keep believing, we're gonna die like this, you know ohohoh. -Heartbeat

StereoSkyline

~xbuttonsx~