My Boyfriend is a Pop Star
Summary: He's my half sister's stepson…wait what?
Aftermath: Once in a lifetime
You only experience so much once in a lifetime. Like meeting a rock star. Some people never even experience that, let alone falling in love with one. Well, then again some people never even experience falling in love, period. So when he looked back and thought about it, Roxas figured that all of the luck his life saved up for him from all of the unfortunate his life gave him was used into meeting this rock star and falling in love with him. So he felt he couldn't ask for more.
But life was giving him more anyway, because here he was at his college graduation, standing among his fellow students who were still picking up their graduation cap that they had thrown into the air earlier, and Axel was in front of him, on one knee, with a ring in hand.
"Hey, Rox!" The sound of his best friend in the major, Hayner, came behind him as a hand tapped his shoulder.
"Oh my God!" Roxas jumped and grabbed Axel's hands, dragging him up to his feet. With haste and nervousness he pulled Axel with him. "Congratulations, Hayner!" He yelled behind his back. Hayner was thoroughly confused. "I'll see you later!"
"Are you out of your mind?" Roxas asked upon pushing Axel into his car.
"What?" That wasn't the reaction Axel was expecting.
"Do you have any idea how crazy of a hassle we're gonna get into if somebody saw—"
"We've been through this, Roxas. I don't care. I want us to be together and I don't care what other people think…"
"Oh, we're not teenagers anymore, Axel. Can't you see what I'm trying to say…"
"What does this have to do with age? Do I have to be a teenager to want to marry the person I love?"
"No but then maybe that suggests you should stop acting like one?" Roxas asked with his tone raised, like an adult chastising a child. "You know, this is something I've always hated about you—sometimes you just act on impulse like a teenager."
That touched Axel's soft spot, and he got defensive. "Really? Are you sure it's not the fact that I'm a celebrity that you hate? You just don't want anyone to know your boyfriend is me because you're too embarrassed to admit—"
In the spark of moment of anger, Roxas slapped Axel.
"Go cool down your head." Roxas said. "And leave some space between us for a while."
It's no surprise to Roxas that news travels fast through the media, but what is surprising to him is that news also travels fast within the band. He had to wonder if Axel taped a notice on his forehead saying "Roxas is ignoring me" because pretty much within half a day of their argument, Demyx texted Roxas about the postponed engagement, Zexion called to make sure Roxas was okay, their album's project manager called to complain, and even the lady who brings the band refreshments during breaks seemed to know what happened.
And now Tifa was visiting their house, checking up on Roxas. She looked at the blond still trying to cook calmly, but could see that he was looking pretty upset. She sighed.
"So I guess you didn't answer him?" She asked.
"No." He said. "What did he say?"
"He didn't say anything." She said. "We had to cancel the recording because he wouldn't even open his mouth. Do you know how much trouble it was to reserve the studio and then cancel it?"
"Sorry." He said, cutting cucumbers.
"What did you say to him?" She asked.
"I… I said he acted like a teenager." Roxas mumbled. "And that I hated it when he acted on impulse. Just like what you said, about him making you guys cancel the recording. This is something in between us; he should know better than to let it affect his job and other people."
She sighed even more. "Roxas." She held still his hand that was holding the knife. "But that's what everyone love about him. He affects us. It's like he can infect us with his emotions. That's why his songs sell."
Roxas said nothing. Now it was her turn to reproach him.
"Isn't that the reason you fell in love with him too?"
"Yeah." Roxas replied quietly. Now he sighed and put down the knife. "Tifa, I know I was harsh, and I'm reflecting upon it. But I need you to understand how many things are going through my mind right now. It all came so suddenly." He turned back to the sink and washed his hands, moving over to do other preparations. "I'm only twenty-two."
"My parents got married when they were twenty-three." She shrugged. He wanted to glare but didn't.
"Just… I need some time to think about it, okay?" He said into the fridge.
"Well, you could've just said that." She said, heading back for the living room. "Besides, I don't think he was acting on impulse." She looked back one last time and caught Roxas' questioning gaze. "The proposal. It wasn't on impulse."
Rachael Yamagata's Reason Why played softly in the background. It was a turn for slow from the fast blasting Katy Perry song just now. The surface of the bar counter changed color from red to blue. Pence was making a scene out of himself up on the stage screaming 'The graduation party had only just begun!' Hayner cackled at his friend who got a nasty talking-to from the DJ. Roxas gave a soft chuckle.
"So, where'd you run off to after graduation that day?" Hayner turned to his friend, and asked. That was two days ago.
"Oh, just home." Roxas said, thanking the bartender who gave him his second beer.
"Home, eh?" Hayner stared directly in front. An assortment of spirits sat silently on the shelf. "So when are you going to give us a tour around it?"
Roxas didn't have the heart to say "never." He smiled at his friend, "I don't know."
"It's your home!" Hayner said.
If I could so easily bring you guys in, I would, Roxas thought. The thing is he couldn't. He could only vaguely remember, but the first time he brought someone else into the house was with Naminé, and everyone all knows how that ended up.
"I see, I see." Hayner said. "Boyfriend won't let you, huh?"
Roxas couldn't muster up the effort to say "that's not it" either. Hayner looked as his friend tried to find some words.
"It's alright." He said, his eyes lingering on Roxas a second before going back to the bottles of gin and vodka. "…Are you happy with him?" At least Roxas seemed to live normally, with a normal social life, with friends from college and all that. His boyfriend, whoever that is, at least wasn't a manipulative controlling bastard like Olette's ex.
Roxas's hand subconsciously touched the label of his beer. He grabbed the drink and downed a gulp.
"The truth is, I've been proposed to recently." He said.
"Oh really?" Hayner said, with a grin. "From him?"
"Yeah." Roxas chuckled, looking at his fingers.
"Congratulations!" Hayner patted his shoulder.
"No… I haven't answered him yet." Roxas said. "I don't know… He's probably just joking around." He said dismissively.
"Why do you say so?"
"I don't know… With his personality and stuff…" Roxas looked away from Hayner's inquisitive gaze. He knew himself that wasn't the true reason.
"Hm… Is that so…" Hayner said with a tone of disbelief. "For the person that you know him to be, is he the kind who would take something like marriage as a joke?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well… I mean…" Hayner said, musing. "I don't know him, so I can't say much. But I know you, Roxas, and I know you're not the kind of person who would get into a relationship with someone else if you know that person isn't serious about you. So… unless you made a mistake, I don't think you'd choose someone who jokes around like that."
Hayner's words were like a wand that tapped onto something in Roxas' heart. What does it say about himself if he had so little faith in someone he spent four years with?
"But still…" He sat up, pulling his feet onto the ring under his stool. "Why do people want to get married so badly? I mean… is it necessary? What's wrong with the way we normally live? We can be together when we want, walk away from each other for a while if we don't want. Just do things the way we want to. Isn't life happier this way than getting married? All I see nowadays is people getting married and then end up hating each other's guts. So much so that I start to wonder if it was worth it to begin with."
"Well… that is something we gotta think about." Hayner nodded. "But isn't that what it means to share your life with someone? It's like a journey that can only be embarked on with two people. Sure, you'll have times when you hate him, and times when you're not happy with him, but… isn't overcoming those what it means to be married?"
Roxas bit his lips, thinking.
Axel rolled the ring on each of his knuckles. One, two, three, four, and back again. The ring was made of platinum with the simple design of an engraved line running deep in the middle. He wondered if the thing was useless now and he should just toss it. He sighed, slumping down further into his chair. Demyx's soft rhythmic tapping of a pencil against the score in front of him somewhat soothed his nerves. They were in Demyx's house at the moment, Axel sleeping over for the while when Roxas remains ignoring the redhead. Axel pulled his long legs up the chair and curled into a ball. He just wanted to be alone right now. Tifa had insisted that Axel stay with Demyx. In a way she seemed silly: what could Axel possibly do? But then in a serious consideration: what is he to do now? If Roxas says no—or worse, if his actions had scared the blond enough to break their relationship… He didn't want to imagine it; that face, that beautiful blue-eyed face, with sorrow buried deep behind the irises, softly telling him that he just couldn't spend his life with Axel…
"You okay?" Demyx looked up from the score at his friend.
"No, I'm not." Axel sat up. They remained in silence for a moment before Axel sighed with frustration at himself. "Why did I have to do that? I mean, I know he's got a snappy temper sometimes but I'm usually the patient one and take it in and I've never blown up on him. Why did I have to say those things? I don't even mean any of it!"
Ah, the guilt, Demyx thought. "Well, maybe you've just been the nice one for too long."
Axel looked at his friend, not comprehending or not wanting to.
"What I mean is, it can't always be just him having his way and you have to take it all. This is a two-way thing, Axel. You put a lot of yourself into this relationship and it's only fair that he does the same for you. I don't think you did anything wrong when you defended yourself because it was just as unreasonable for him to lash out on you like that. I may have no right to say this, but he was disrespecting your feelings when he said you acted on impulse. I mean, come on, Axel, I know you've been thinking about it since the beginning of the year. I know you've thought through it really carefully and there's no reason why he should assume otherwise."
Axel's hand, unbeknownst to himself, had fisted around the ring as Demyx said these words.
"With that said," Demyx sighed. "Of course you don't want to start arguments every time you guys come upon topics like these. Talk to him. Let him know that you have limits too, and try to find a way so that both of you can talk about it without blowing up on each other. Try to stay off each other's nerves, you know?"
Axel breathed in, and let out another sigh. Demyx was right; he only wished that he could have a chance to do that now, hoping that it's not too late.
That night, against Demyx's protest, Axel had decided to go home. It was a problem between him and Roxas, he thought, and there was no excuse to bother Demyx about it. He felt like he had already given everyone else so much trouble about this—it was obvious how unhappy it made Tifa and how unprofessional it all seemed.
He entered the foyer, all lights lit. Just then Roxas slid open the door to the kitchen and walked out, and their eyes locked dead on with each other.
Roxas looked as if he had something to say, but he kept his lips pursed and stalked off to the room he used to sleep in before he moved into Axel's room. Sorry, Demyx, Axel thought, looks like I'm not talking to him tonight either. He had been dating Roxas for four years; he knows better than anyone that when Roxas had something he was set on doing, he'd go through with it.
Axel sighed and headed off into their room. He was tired and he was Roxas-less for three days. It was so incredibly strange when he had to sleep in his bed alone again without Roxas by his side after not having done so in three and a half years. It was cold, for sure, and it sucked. He stopped at the door, not wanting to go in given that another lonely and empty night by himself was waiting up ahead. He looked to his right and at the door Roxas disappeared into.
Talk to him. Let him know that you have limits too, and try to find a way so that both of you can talk about it without blowing up on each other.
Somebody has to break the silence, and if this is how it must go, then he would do it. He knocked on the door.
"Roxas." He said. No response. "Babe, open the door."
Nothing. Okay, fine, he can still talk this way.
"I know you're listening." He said. "Look, I'm… I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me." Another apology. It feels like they've been here before. Like the repetition of a behavioral pattern that they both were helpless to change. It's as if nothing has changed—Roxas like he used to be, locking everything up inside, and now the blond felt further than ever from his reach. It was making it painful for him to even breathe. "The thing is, Roxas… I may be more sensitive than I thought I was. I know you've been trying to protect me and protect us, but… I've introduced you to my entire life—my family, my friends, my co-workers—everyone knows about you. It's because you're special to me and I want to let you in. But… when I come to think of it, you've never introduced me to your friends. You never bring me along when you hang out with them. I don't know if they even know I exist." Axel gulped. How should he go about this? He felt like he needed to pad the words with extra-soft padding. Bubble-wrap the whole thing if he could. "I'm not accusing you of anything. But I just don't want to have to feel like I'm a thing to be hidden every time your friends come around. I'm not asking to become friends with them as well, but I don't want to feel like you're trying to hide me from everyone you know. I don't want my identity to be a burden on us." Was that too defensive? He couldn't tell because there weren't any response from Roxas. He closed his eyes and slumped his forehead against the door. He had said it; he had confessed the thing that had bothered him somewhat unconsciously for these years. It was true that at first he didn't want Roxas to tell anybody about their relationship; but if they were going to get married, people have to start knowing.
He looked up and down at the unmoving door. A strange feeling was beginning to rip across his heart. He picked his staggering self up and dragged himself to bed.
Roxas was all curled up in the bed. A spot in the pillow and the sheets was all wet with his tears. He felt so guilty and yet so pushed at the same time. He loves Axel, and he had just found out how much he'd hurt the redhead. But he didn't want to say yes right now—he didn't want to marry Axel out of guilt. It wasn't the right timing. He was to marry Axel under his own accord, because he wants to.
Sleep has never evaded him so much, and under such circumstances, either. He wished for nothing more than to be held by Axel, to feel that warmth that lets him know everything was okay.
When Axel woke up, he almost thought Roxas was back by his side. He turned around in his bed to see what caused him to think so. Warm fuzzy steam wafts from the tray placed silently on the dresser next to the bed.
Roxas was nowhere to be seen. Loneliness hit Axel as he looked at the only evidence of his love's being in this room earlier. If he made Axel breakfast, he had to still care. It was a good sign, Axel told himself, and he believed in it.
After breakfast he walked down to the kitchen to put the tray away. Then his glance swept over a magnet calendar on the fridge, and he realized why Roxas wasn't here. It was his first day at work. Upon graduation Roxas had found a job, and at this moment he was probably getting his initial training.
There was another mark on the calendar, two days after today, and Axel immediately cursed at himself upon seeing it. How could he have almost forgotten about their Europe tour scheduled to start next Monday? Two days later he would be on a plane to England. He groaned; he wished he would have a chance to talk to Roxas before then. The blond should know that he's leaving if he'd been looking at the calendar on the fridge door. The lack of communication in between them was eating away at Axel, leaving him wrapped in insecurity and uncertainty.
The first couple days at work were incredibly and unexpectedly time-consuming. He worked extra hours both days and came back pretty late. But Axel was not home either days. He knew Axel was probably held up at rehearsal, but he had wanted to see Axel one more time before he left. What would he say if they were able to meet? What was he expecting him to say? An apology? A single word, a phrase, or an entire explanation?
Feeling the urge to stand up and do something, he put down his suitcase onto a dining chair and walked up to a phone. He punched in the number to Tifa's office.
"How can I help you?" The call was answered after three rings. Her voice was somewhat expectant.
"Is… Is Axel there?" He asked.
"No." She took a moment to answer. "He's at the airport. He should be checking in."
"Wait, right now?"
"Yeah." She said. "And I have to go soon too. I thought you knew we were leaving tonight."
"I didn't know when exactly." Roxas said. "He never… told me."
On the other end of the line, Tifa sighed. "Roxas, do you want to come see him go?"
It would be a lie if he said no, but he had so little time. "I'll try to be there in an hour." Silence.
"And you want me to keep him there for as long as we could?"
"Please, Tifa. I need to talk to him." He said.
"Well then call him!"
"No, I need to see him—I need to talk to him face-to-face." That earned a suppressed, frustrated groan from the manager.
"Well, you better hurry up." She said. He was out the door next second.
Axel. Have you ever imagined where we would be in ten years? Would the sky be as blue as it is today, and maybe even better? Maybe it would be alright then for us to take a walk down that park with our hands connected. Do you think that would be possible? The world would accept us as we are, and it's free to love. We won't have to listen to anybody, and we won't have to worry about anything.
We're already there, Roxas. The future is here and now. We can make it happen, Rox. In ten years I'll be right here with you. You know that.
He wasn't gonna let Axel go away thinking that he was alone. From the sounds of it, that seems to be the exact way of thinking Axel is having. From birth, to a rough childhood, to rebellious teenage years, and independent college life; come to think of it, Axel had a much lonelier life than it seemed on the surface. Sure he had plenty of people around him all the time – that just happens when you are rich and especially when you turn famous. But Roxas was the one who had the lucks of a normal life. Being a normal boy, pitching and batting baseball in the backyard with his dad, having big holiday dinners and spending Christmas with everyone together. Friends and family, loved ones. Axel never had that…
Until now. He is Axel's loved one. Roxas stopped in the airport lobby, coming to realize where his train of thought was bringing him. Axel was asking him to be his family.
Fear bubbled up his stomach, and he pushed it down, distracted himself with finding where Axel would be.
"Axel!" Roxas caught a glimpse of his beloved redhead at the head of the security line. He was preparing to remove all articles airport authority deemed appropriate for prying into. He whipped his head around upon hearing his name. Looking over the snaking line of passengers he found Roxas standing outside the tape stanchion.
"Don't think for a second that I wasn't there for you." Roxas said, hoping his words would get to his boyfriend. "Never, Axel. I'm here the whole time just like you were for me."
And when he saw Axel about to tear up in the middle of the lines, covering his lips and squeezing out smiles just to stop himself from crying, Roxas felt loved. And then he felt it – he felt the want to give it back. To love as he is loved.
In the following weeks, Roxas tried to bury himself in work to forget about Axel's missing presence. It did him no harm anyway, as he needed the extra time to catch up on everything he'd learned at his new job. The logistic logs left over by the person in his position before were a mess, and he had been staying in the office beyond midnight everyday to clean them up.
Just then, a bubbly chime from his computer echoed in the empty office. Axel came on Skype.
Roxas put his face into his palm and pondered. Should he call? Should he wait? Maybe they'd best talk when they're face to face.
Axel had made the choice for him. The chirpy ringtone danced with the icon on the screen. Roxas gulped, and answered the call.
"Hey." He said. There was a moment of silence.
"Hey." Axel mirrored.
"Up so late?" He looked at the clock. Eight-o-three. It would be 4am over in Europe.
"Can't sleep." Axel's voice came over as coarse and worn out. "Are you home?"
"No, I'm at the office." Roxas sighed. "Overtime."
"What, just you?"
"Yeah." Roxas said, mindlessly tapping the end of his pencil against the sheet of paper in front of him. "It's Friday night; everyone else is out."
He could hear Axel breathe in and exhale in a sigh.
"Axel, about the…"
"I miss you."
Roxas felt warmth spread on his cheeks. I miss you too.
"God, I want this tour to be over." Axel continued. "I want to go home."
"Axel… Remember what I said."
"I know, I know." Axel said. "I can't be a kid about it. I won't. I'll finish this tour properly. I just… wish you were here with me. I gotta bring you here some time. It's so beautiful in Europe, you know? You know what they say about Rome, that it wasn't built in one day? I don't think anyone can truly understand that until they've actually been here themselves."
A smile found its way onto Roxas' face. "Tell me more."
"Tell me more about your trip." Roxas said.
And Axel started telling him. He described all these places, all the people he's met on his way, tried to describe the scenery, though he was clumsy with his wording. The excitement in his voice seemed to bring back life to them, and has infected through the phone connection to Roxas. Roxas could see Axel, sitting behind that screen, exhausted to the point where he couldn't sleep, but suddenly sprang back to life as he recalled the vivid memories of his travel.
"…And then Demyx tried to bike over the puddle and it splashed all over him!" Axel exclaimed, sending them both into a fit of laughter.
And after the laughter subsided, Roxas felt an incredible sadness fill his heart.
"Axel…" He put down his pencil. "…I miss you too."
"Rox…" Axel's voice sounded choked up. He was probably making this hellish for the redhead.
"I want to see you. Can I?"
Axel knew right away what Roxas meant. He didn't mean turn on the webcam and meet over the screen. He meant let's take a flight and meet somewhere.
"Yeah, Roxas. You know what, let's meet right now." He said. "Let's meet halfway."
Roxas sat watching taxis drive by in front of him under the overpass. He was thinking. The train of his thoughts snaked through the things that had happened since graduation. Slowly he was coming to a realization—a revelation of sort. The automatic door next to him slid open to a few people coming out of it, the intercom message "Welcome to LaGuardia Airport…" temporarily leaking out into the air.
He looked up at the voice. It all seemed a bit unreal to him. Axel smiled gently under the shadow cast by his beret and squatted down so they were eye level.
Roxas reached for the back of Axel's head and kissed him. The beret was knocked to the ground. Axel felt something lift in his heart and kissed back.
"Axel…" Roxas hugged his boyfriend.
"You're going to miss your concert, aren't you?" Roxas asked. It was the weekend for him, but not for Axel. "Tifa's going to be mad, right?"
Axel let out a helpless laugh. "Hm, I think so." His arms gave the smaller blond a light squeeze. "It's alright. You're worth it."
"I'm sorry." Roxas said. "I know I was the one saying all that about immaturity and being impulsive, but I'm the one who's been immature all this time. Tifa was right… The truth was I was insecure, because you're such a big star and you're so popular with everyone. I wasn't sure of how I should go about being your… your hus…"
"Roxas, you were just scared." Axel pulled away and looked at Roxas' face. He remembered what Demyx told him, that he had to be more honest as well about his thoughts, "Well… was it really such a shock to you that I'd propose?"
Roxas tried to figure from Axel's eyes and his own memories. "The trip that you said we would go on after my graduation, the one you started planning for in February… is that the honeymoon?"
"Uh-huh." Axel nodded, a smile sliding his lips open.
Roxas' eyes seemed to light up with revelation. So Axel had been thinking about getting married with him since the beginning of the year. He hadn't noticed them this whole time, but now that he is prompted to face it, Axel's attitude had been changing slightly and slightly over the months, becoming more affectionate and lingering both in daily life and in bed. No longer were they consumed by sudden heats of passion, but a kiss before someone went out the door, or a slight touch on the waist as Axel reached behind Roxas for a towel while Roxas brushed his teeth, or tickling Axel to get him out of the dining chair so he would help with the dishes have appeared almost instinctively as part of their daily routine.
"Axel, I want to marry you." Roxas said. That sentence came out easier than either of them had thought, because it was such a sure truth for Roxas, and it suddenly seemed insensible for him to have said anything else. He truly wanted to marry Axel from the bottom of his heart, because he realized that he was the one who couldn't do without Axel. Axel had been living alone most of his life, in the house that was too big and lonely for one person to live in, until Roxas had come in, and started filling in the empty spaces with photographs and memoirs of their relationship. But it was Roxas who'd put up those photographs, wanting nothing less of hard evidence that they are together. "I want to be your family."
Axel couldn't find the right words to say. Roxas hugged him again, and he finally moved his lips, "I love you."
Sometimes those three words lose their meaning after being repeated over and over again in years; but today, Axel was pretty sure they had found the meaning in these words again.
Needless to say, skipping an entire Saturday concert was unacceptable and Axel got a pay cut. He went around every agency and crew office to apologize. He kept the entire thing quiet from Roxas, because he knew that if he'd told Roxas he would worry over it, and Roxas did not need distractions from his job at this stage. He seemed exceptionally bright and motivated to everyone else after coming back and worked ten times harder to get the remaining shows running smooth with his extra energy.
Roxas got back to Los Angeles on Sunday and began planning for the wedding. It was strange to him. He wasn't quite prepared to envision himself in a tuxedo, heading off to a church or court to get married. After all, even some straight people never once find someone they could marry for life, let alone gay people. And even those who found their true love, all thanks to society, how many gay couples ever actually married?
The wedding was decided to be in New York. Axel had wanted to get married in Spain but since they were going there for the honeymoon, Roxas promptly lifted the map pin and dropped it back within Uncle Sam's jurisdiction. Axel's mother constantly pestered them about all the little details involved with the ceremony and the party, to the point where both boys wanted to smack their heads upright.
"She's really excited about this." Axel couldn't help the grin on his face, shaking his head as he scrolled through the hotel options in Spain.
Roxas ended the call with a press of the button. "I'd be excited if my only son was going to get married." He plopped onto the couch, leaning on Axel's side. "Especially when said son had been slutty for the most of his whole life."
"What do you mean, 'slutty'?" Axel feigned hurt, and leaned away from the computer so that Roxas was partially leaning over his chest. Mischievously he laid a hand on Roxas' stomach.
Roxas slapped his hand and gazed up at green eyes. "This is exactly what I mean."
"Oh come on you enjoy it as much as I do." Axel smiled and helped himself to Roxas' neck. His hand slid in between Roxas' legs and the blond yelped.
"Not on the couch." Roxas said sternly. Axel looked up at Roxas with a sarcastic look of 'Really now?'
"We've even done it in the kitchen before…" He whispered into Roxas' ear. "And you were the one who suggested it, too."
It was true. That was on one of the days when Roxas had finished all his finals for that semester. Two prior weeks of stress, an Axel with a lot of free time on his hand, and a worked-out Roxas with the heart of going into party mode ended up in lovemaking right in the kitchen.
"Okay, how about this—you stop right now, and tonight you can do what you want." Roxas pried Axel's hand away. The redhead looked at Roxas with half-incredulous and half-teasing eyes.
"Whatever I want?" Axel asked.
"Anything but bondage." Roxas said, and went back to going through his phonebook to figure out who to invite to their wedding. They tried it once and all Roxas had to say about it was that it was silly.
"Didn't you like playing pirate captain and hostage?" Axel asked teasingly as he too went back to his computer.
Here is where the usually quick Roxas-style witty comeback did not come.
"Roxas?" Axel asked. He looked over Roxas' shoulder at the cell phone screen he was staring at.
"I haven't told her yet…" Roxas said. "About our engagement."
Axel recognized the address. It was the county jail.
"I think you should." Axel said. Even though she couldn't come to the wedding, Axel felt Roxas' half-sister at least have the right to know what's happening to her brother's life.
"I know but…" Roxas said. "I don't know how she'd take it. She was so against us to begin with." Indeed, that is the sole reason she is in jail right now.
"Roxas, she's your family." Axel said.
"You're my family." Roxas turned to the redhead. He was still getting used to that, but it was sinking in fast and he felt comfortable saying it too. "It's why we're making this happen." He put his hand into Axel's.
Axel smiled gently and brushed some of Roxas' bangs out of his eyes. "You're right. Well, just do what you think is the right thing to do." Roxas is an adult now. He can decide for himself what he ought to do.
"Thanks." Roxas brought Axel's hand to his lips and kiss the back of Axel's hand.
On the day of the wedding, in through the wooden doors of the chapel the guests were filling in. Pretty much the whole of Axel's insides are plagued with twisting butterflies. His hands involuntarily rubbed against each other while Demyx gave him a pat on the back. What if Roxas gets cold feet? What if he decided that he didn't want to spend the rest of his life with a rock star who's sometimes got an overblown ego?
Then the limo pulled in and Axel held his breath to see that beautiful thing coming towards him. Roxas was really good at making Axel want to sing. Like with his knees down on the ground and singing every word of praise that he knew, but then Roxas would get embarrassed and the wedding is really about to start.
He reached out his hand to hold Roxas', wishing he had words to describe how beautiful he looked.
"Let's go." He settled on that for now.
The officiate welcomed everyone in the seats with an address of what true marriage meant. After all the speech and the laugh at occasional jokes, Axel and Roxas were asked to cite their own vows.
Axel went first, pulling out a flat piece of paper where he'd prudently wrote down his vows. He reached for Roxas' hand, and felt the lump in his throat relieved with a look at Roxas' gently smiling face.
Today is a day I will never forget. Four years ago you and I were mere strangers, and if it weren't for some fortunate circumstances we would never have met. Roxas, you taught me what it means to truly love someone, and how to express my love for you. In our years together, I have come to realize my wish to share my life with you, that the same journey I take for the rest of my days will be so much fuller with you by my side. So today I stand here to ask you to join me in marriage, as I would feel more honor and happiness than words can describe in being your husband, and in taking you so."
Roxas' hand squeezed Axel lightly. The witness smiled upon the end of Axel's vows, and asked Roxas to do the same.
It's been a long way we've come to get here today. Everyone who knows us will know that, in the beginning, we've had our differences. I knew nothing about you, and we had a hard time understanding each other. Oh yes, we had quite a bit of arguments."
Roxas glanced over at the audience, who immediately let out laughter. He glanced back at Axel, remembering their early days.
We'll still live our lives separately. We won't probe into each other's privacy. No nothing.
"But… slowly, and surely, you began letting me in. The more we stumble into each other's insecurities, the more we learn about each other.
It's just… I've never had dinner with someone at home. It all feels kind of awkward to me.
When I was your age, this was my favorite place to come and cool myself off when I was upset.
Now don't you cry, Roxas. Everything will be okay.
"I found out many things about you. Things I didn't like, things I did like. And things I couldn't help but love.
Is that what you say about people you slept with? You don't remember them? I always thought people were supposed to do that kind of stuff with the person they love.
I know, I'm sorry. I was drunk—that's not an excuse, I know. I shouldn't have behaved that way. I'm sorry I hurt Zexion and almost hurt Demyx.
You didn't hurt Zexion and Demyx only.
It must have been because he wanted to protect you. He never wanted you to worry, so he smiled to you. He must've hoped you would learn only to smile, and never to cry.
Did you hear that? Be nice to me.
"And then one day, I learned just how much this person, this person right in front of me, treasures me. How far he would go to protect me."
Most importantly, she has hurt more than just me. In the process of this, she has hurt someone who is very important to me. Her obsessive behavior is endangering my family and the people I love.
I've known Axel for a long time. I know what kind of a person he is. If he said he would protect someone, he would never do anything to hurt that person. And Axel has told all of us in the band, all of us here, that he wanted to protect you more than anyone else.
There are also a few more rules I want to add. If either one of us wants to share our problems with the other person, that other person must at least hear out what the problem is. And, if either one of us have something to celebrate about, he must tell the other person and share the joy.
As if his thoughts were somehow telepathically conveyed to Axel through their handhold, Roxas could see the tears Axel was trying to fight from rimming up.
"I got you. I got you, Axel. I feel the love you're giving me." He squeezed Axel's hand again, pulling the last straws behind Axel's resistance to crying. "And I want to say thank you. Thank you for your love, because you've made me realize…
I never got the chance to tell you this, Axel, but I don't think I'll ever get sick of hearing your voice. How could I get sick of hearing your voice, the same voice that made you so famous?
At least I can look up at the stars, and remember the one star that I truly love.
Don't think for a second that I wasn't there for you. Never, Axel. I'm here the whole time just like you were for me.
Axel, I want to marry you. I want to be your family.
"That I love you too, and I am graciously gifted to have you as partner for life."
Tears of joy. It sounded so cheesy like typically fairytale endings, like every cheap chick flick movie that ends with everyone crying in happiness. Perhaps somewhere in the back of people's minds it had become nothing more than a silly motif only to be found in movies. But at this moment, Axel had finally found the true feeling, the true essence behind what it means to shed tears of joy. He is the luckiest man alive. He was sure of that.
Demyx presented the rings for the couple to exchange. Axel took the one for Roxas, who automatically placed his hand into Axel's. His other hand went up to wipe away the tears on Axel's face. The redhead laughed a bit with embarrassment as he put the ring into Roxas' fourth finger. Roxas then did the same for Axel, biting back excitement.
Following the exchange the officiate declared, "By the power vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you married. You may kiss."
Axel couldn't wait to pull Roxas into a kiss. Their lips met in a soft, smiling kiss, and it felt evermore like a blessing to know that from today on they could share as many of these kisses as they wish.
"Inmate ID 10446…" Muttered the lips of a man-like female correctional officer. She stopped upon a cell door that looked just like any others, and looked inside. She tapped the iron gate with her baton to catch the inmate's attention. "They have something for you at the mail counter."
The prisoner was let out of her cell and taken down to the mail counter. She was handed a simple off-white envelope. Back to her cell she was taken, and finally she opened the letter.
I hope you are doing alright in there. I had wanted to tell you this when I come visit you next time, but as vacation dates work out for me at my new job in comparison with the county jail visit hours, I don't have the chance to see you before we take off, so I'll write you here first.
Axel and I are getting married. We're getting married in New York, and then we'll head over to Europe for the honeymoon. I'll send you the pictures over as soon as we have it. You should know that Axel treats me well. He treats me very well, to the point where I don't think there would've been anyone else that I'd meet later in my life who would treat me as well. Even to this day, I am happy we're together. You know me, I'm stubborn about a lot of things, but despite all of the things we say to each other, I've found that at the end of the day he is still there for me. He never left me, no matter what happened. When the police took you away, do you know what he said? He said he was my family now. And that's what our marriage is about. Making our family.
The thing is, Sis, I love you too. If you ask Axel, he'd tell you I've forgiven you that day at the hospital when you left. But I was always too afraid to let you know. I don't know how you would react, I don't know if you even want my forgiveness. I'm afraid you would really disown me, that I would truly lose my last family. But I'm not afraid anymore. Axel is my family now, so I can feel some more confidence when I tell you this:
I forgive you.
You're my family too. I look forward to the day when you are released. Let's have dinner together then.
Suddenly, amidst the air in the cold cell warmed up by the late morning sun coming through a small cell window, a wailful sob hiccupped its way through. She buried her face in her palm, the end of the letter in between her fingers touching her forehead as if she was praying to it. In between what was shaking from sobbing and nodding into her hands, she whispered,
"Thank you, Roxas… Thank you."
Thank you for all those who supported this story! Really, I applaud you for holding on there despite that long absence of updates. I know I probably can't stick around that long for a story in progress so your support really impresses me and it IS what keeps me going. I hope you've enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed writing it, and hope to see you again in the future!