TITLE | sugar, spell it out
PROMPT | in the air tonight
FANDOM | Kingdom Hearts
PAIRING | Roxas/Kairi
RATING | M
PART | 2/5
NOTES | I love these three with a burning, burning passion.
A week into their strange – and unwanted, if you were Kairi – living situation, Axel and Roxas started snooping around the compound. Kairi stayed in the cafeteria, which had become their base of operations two days in, and picked through the folders they found, looking for anything remotely incriminating. She felt terrible, looking for evidence to prove that the man who had raised her was actually a terrorist, but she figured if she could go through all the files and not find anything, it'd be worth it.
Only, it seemed that the more reports she read, the closer they got to proving Ansem's involvement in the nuclear weapon's development. In fact, from the looks of it, he was the head developer on the project. The thought still made her stomach lurch violently.
She was sitting in the middle of the circle of tables they'd created, on top of her sleeping bag, when the two of them walked in. Axel had gone out hours after the evacuation and gotten them all the supplies they'd need for at least a month. Meanwhile, her and Roxas had gone back to her apartment so she could pack. It'd been awkward, but she found herself preferring his company to Axel's. It might've been because he didn't hit on her constantly.
Axel dropped a pile of loose-leaf paper next to her and sat down with a groan. Roxas, from behind a pile of boxes, kicked him in the shin.
"Get up," he deadpanned. "You still have to get the rest of that crap from the research lab."
"There are days where I wish I'd infected you with anthrax when I had the chance," Axel muttered, but got up and loped out of the room anyways, his leather jacket dusty at the cuffs and shoulders. Roxas crouched down, and Kairi helped him put the boxes on the ground.
"Thanks," he said, and took half the pile of unread reports sitting next to her. She smiled at him appreciatively and continued highlighting parts of Ienzo's observations in hot pink. They worked quietly, the only sounds being the shifting of papers and the occasional rustle of denim as their knees brushed. Kairi couldn't remember the last time it'd been this silent – Axel could never stop talking, couldn't go five minutes without commenting on something.
"Found something," Roxas muttered, tapping the page in his hand. Kairi leaned over, her hair touching his shoulder and neck, and blinked. He pointed to an underlined sentence. "Read that."
"Reactor blasted a hole in the lab wall today," she said aloud. "Will tell Myde to move it into a more stable environment with the rest of the project during tomorrow's session."
"It's still in the building," Roxas said, his mouth level with her ear. Kairi turned and looked at him. He continued to stare at the report. "We thought they'd moved it, but it's still here."
"Guess you guys don't have to look very far, then," she mused. "I wonder what they considered a stable environment though."
"Probably another lab," he suggested. "The ones in the basement are made of concrete and steel."
"That'd be a good place to start, then," Kairi said, and reached over to the pile sitting at his other side. He gazed down at the top of her head, eyes widening, but she didn't see it. "Sorry, I finished all of mine. I figured I'd help you out."
She grabbed a manila folder labelled 'classified' and started to open it. Roxas glanced at it, then did a double take and took it from her harshly. She spluttered.
"Not this one," he mumbled, and handed her a different file. "I'll read it."
She narrowed her eyes at him, but said nothing else and grabbed the pen behind her ear. Axel came in minutes after that, boxes under each arm, panting a little, and quirked an eyebrow at them. "Getting cozy in here, are we?" He snorted. "Kids these days…"
It was only then Kairi realized how close they were to each other. Their knees were touching, and she was still leaning towards him. They pulled away from each other at the same time. Kairi scooted over enough for Axel to sit down, and exhaled. "He was just showing me something."
"Like what," Axel snarked, plopping down next to her in an unceremonious heap of gangly limbs. "The inside of his mouth?"
"I hate you," Roxas said, tonelessly. Kairi mumbled her agreement and moved over another foot or so.
At around three or so in the morning, she woke up to Axel and Roxas arguing over something. The neatly stacked files she'd put on one of the cafeteria tables were knocked over and spread across the floor. Axel had his back to her, so she could only make out the set of his shoulders. Roxas was frowning across from him.
"Axel, you already know how this is going to go," he deadpanned. "We find the weapon, we tell Superior its location, we get it out of here, and then we ship it to Radiant Garden. After that, I'm leaving."
Axel cracked his knuckles. "You're an idiot if you think it's just going to end there. They aren't just going to let you leave, Blondie. You can't walk away from a group like theirs. They'll kill you before you make it to the front door."
"I can take care of myself," Roxas said. He was holding the classified folder from earlier. "Besides, it's not like anyone would care if I died."
Kairi found this very sad, felt her heart twist painfully. Axel slumped as the other boy turned away from him, flipping through something she couldn't see. "That's not true," he muttered, loud enough for only her to hear. "I would."
She waited until he'd left the room, fists clenched but posture defeated, before climbing out of her sleeping back quietly and tiptoeing over to Roxas. She reached out and touched his elbow. "You're probably his best friend, you know."
"… I know," Roxas mumbled, showing no indication that she'd surprised him. He kept his back to her, still rifling through papers. "But I can't keep doing this."
She took a chance, and asked, "You can't keep doing what?"
He glanced at her when she stepped up next to him, eyes narrowed – not angrily, but more like he was contemplating something. She didn't try to peek at what he was doing, and he didn't make any move to cover it. "I can't tell you."
"So you can't tell me," she went, slowly, "but you can drag me into the middle of it without a problem? That seems a little hypocritical."
"This whole damn thing is hypocritical," he grumbled, closing the file. She kept staring at him. "I can't tell you, Kairi."
"Can't," she asked, "or won't?"
"Both," he said honestly, turning to her. His eyes were still an intense blue, even in the darkness. "Stop asking."
"Is it because you're ashamed of what you've done?" she pressed, taking a step forward. "Or is it because you're scared of what people will think of you if they knew?"
"Neither," he said tightly, voice bordering on a growl. She walked until they were toe-to-toe. Roxas didn't flinch.
"Then tell me," she said. "What've you got to lose?"
He was quiet. Then he stepped away from her and started for the door. "Axel probably went to go look for the weapon. We should help."
"Oh, sure," she muttered, "now I can get in on the action. Boys."
Ahead of her, Roxas snorted. He stopped in the hallway and waited for her. He was smirking. "Are you going to complain all day or what?"
"Infuriating," she griped, lashing out with her foot when she passed him. He avoided the kick, but didn't dodge the slap to his shoulder. She smiled despite herself when he sulked. "So, where to first?"
"Basement floor," he said, not nearly as flatly as before. He guided her by the wrist towards the elevator she'd never known existed until then. "You know what it said in the report – whatever we're looking for is there."
"How will you know you've found it?" she asked. When they stepped into the elevator, he dropped her wrist and pushed a few buttons.
"… It's a weapon of mass destruction," he drawled, not looking at her. The elevator started to move. "It won't be too hard to find."
Kairi let the silence linger for a bit, before she finally burst out with a, "You have no idea what it looks like, do you?"
Roxas shot her a withering look, but might, or not might not, have been blushing. "Like I said; it won't be too hard to find."
"We're going to be here forever," Kairi griped. Roxas frowned again, and the elevator jerked to a stop. The doors slid open, and there was Axel, grinning the biggest grin Kairi had seen on him since they were thirteen and he'd dyed all Ansem's clothes hot pink. She raised an eyebrow. "What?"
"I found it," he all but cackled. His smile wavered for a second when he saw Roxas, but was back in place before she could even blink. "You guys didn't have sex in there, did you?"
Roxas spluttered. "No!"
Kairi sighed. "Totally."
Axel snickered at what must've been the other boy's horrified look – Kairi didn't know, she was already walking down the darkened hall, towards the large doors. Behind her, she could hear them talking quietly.
When she got to the end, she turned. "Are you guys done plotting your devious plan or what? I want to see what this thing looks like!"
"You can't," Roxas went, and winced when she glared.
"Top secret stuff, Princess," Axel continued, patting her on the head. She huffed. "You understand, right?"
"I hate you," she grumbled, then whirled on Roxas. "Why did you bring me down here to help look, then?"
"… Uh," Roxas went, tugging at her collar. Axel was barely suppressing laughter behind her. "I kind of… figured Axel would've found it by the time we got here. The basement isn't that big."
Kairi gawked at him, then stomped back towards the elevator. "Unbelievable."
"I'll see you upstairs!" Axel called, sounding entirely too happy. Roxas was quiet. Kairi only realized once she'd gotten to the elevator that she didn't know how to operate it. She took the stairs, instead.
Axel had to leave the next morning to tell whoever it was he and Roxas were working for that they'd found the weapon. Kairi helped him put away some files, and kept the one labelled 'classified' when he wasn't looking.
"Don't harass The Human Rock too much while I'm gone," he said, while the three of them stood at the front doors. "And Roxas, if anything happens to her, I'm blaming you."
"What's going to happen to me in an empty laboratory?" Kairi grumbled. Roxas and Axel exchanged A Look.
"It's more like what couldn't happen to you," Axel corrected, before squeezing her side and darting away from her fist. "I'll see you guys in a week or something. Later."
There was a very long, awkward pause between them as they watched him walk towards his car, which was still parked out front. Kairi thought about the file hidden under her sleeping bag and tried not to smile. "What're we going to do for a week?"
"Wait," Roxas said dryly. She rolled her eyes and started for the cafeteria. She could hear him trailing behind her with his shuffling footsteps.
"You're a genius," she said back, equally bland, and pushed the metal doors open. Roxas reached around her, arm against hers, and helped. "Thanks."
"No problem," Roxas mumbled, walking past her quickly. He sat down cross-legged on his makeshift pillow and began picking through one of the backpacks.
Kairi touched her elbow and wondered how someone so cold could have skin so warm.