"So how's crazy camp going?" Was the way Reno greeted Axel over the phone. Axel leaned into the wall, twirling the white, rubber cord around his index finger. He felt like he was in jail, and being permitted to have his one phone call. Each resident of Birth By Sleep has a scheduled time to call whomever they please. Axel, of course, had Reno's number memorized. He was the first person he called.
"It's bad ass." Axel said casually, glancing over his shoulder. A large guy, who was popping every bone in his body—ranging from his neck to his ankles—looked like he had no patience. He had dark circles around his eyes and skin way too pale to be healthy. Axel winced and turned back around. Quietly, he mumbled, "Some of these people are seriously fucked up."
"You'd know." Reno snapped to someone in the background, probably Zack. Axel found himself smiling. Strange. It's only been one day and he already missed Reno. "What do you have to do?"
"We have a roommate." Axel said, remembering Roxas. He smiled wider as he gushed, "And damn. My roommate is cute as hell."
"Oh no," Reno groaned, "don't tell me—"
"—I think we have a connection." Axel said. "He's warming up to me."
"Oh Axel. I can only imagine the things you've told him. How can he even talk to you?" Reno was very much aware of Axel's obsession with things. "Have you scared him yet? Or molested him in his sleep?"
Axel noticed a school official giving him a strange look. Axel winked at her, turned the other way, and said, "No. I wouldn't do that."
"Axel. What idiot do you take me for?"
"Damn it, Reno. Just have a normal conversation with me, okay? I can only talk to your sorry ass once a day."
"Two more minutes." The school official said.
"Oh excuse me." Reno said sarcastically. "How were your classes?"
Axel, perfectly aware of the cameras and officials watching him, said, "Boring as fuck. Like school."
"You can't burn this place down—I don't care how boring it is!"
"I never said I'd do that." Axel rolled his eyes. "I do one thing and nobody ever lets me live it down."
"Okay, whatever. So what classes do you have?"
"The kind I'm forced to go to." Axel shifted his feet. He was beginning to lose interest in the conversation. "How's Zack?"
"He's fine. We're about to head to the movies."
"To see what movie?"
"Never heard of it. But judging from the title, I must say it sounds…sinister."
"Ha, ha. Aren't you hilarious?" Reno replied to Zack in the background, and Axel already knew it was time to go. "Anyway, I gotta go. Be good. No burning down schools or murdering a little old lady, okay?"
Axel rolled his eyes. "You need to have more faith in me."
"I love you." Reno said, suddenly genuine. "Come home as soon as you can."
Axel mumbled quietly, "I love you, too." He quickly hung up, tossed the phone to the large guy behind him, and said, "Have fun."
"Hi! I'm Selphie!" A girl with light-brown hair and a friendly, welcoming face bounded next to Roxas in the hallway. He was making his way to the cafeteria the next day for breakfast. The girl seemed excited, walking with a bounce in her step.
"Hey," Roxas greeted, unsure of what else to say.
"Do you like syrup?" She asked him.
Roxas glanced behind him. Why was she talking to him again? Unlike normal high school, Roxas noticed people here talked to everyone, unless they simply didn't talk or had conversations with themselves. This girl seemed normal though. Why was she here? She sure seemed peppy enough.
"Syrup is cool." Roxas answered finally.
I LOVE syrup!
I like hot sauce.
Guys. Not now.
"Me, too!" The girl gushed. The ends of her hair flipped upwards. Roxas paused a moment when she did. But when her head turned to the side, he saw a huge gash on the size of her face. It literally looked like an elephant stepped on half of her face, leaving a gigantic black and blue bruise. Roxas's eyes widened and his heart sunk. What the hell happened to her?
She got in a fight?
"What happened to you?" Roxas asked without thinking.
The girl quickly turned around, as if being caught by something, and Roxas saw distress flash all over her features. He caught her stammering, an obvious sign of lying. "I fell."
"You fell." Roxas wanted to see more of the bruise but she quickly turned her cheek. The rest of her face looked completely normal.
Her smile was gone. "Yes. I fell." With that said, she walked off, no longer a bounce in her step.
Roxas. I think she fell.
Idiot. She didn't fall. Her boyfriend obviously beat her. She went through a mental crisis where she felt pity for him, allowing him to hit her, and he must've gone too far. Now she's in this hell hole so she can learn about self-respect.
Van! How'd you know this?
She can't get a bruise from falling. That bruise wasn't from a punch either. Too big. He slapped her, multiple times on that same cheek. Also, did you not see the bruise on her neck? It was either a hickey or another bruise.
I like the idea of her falling better.
I don't give a damn. That's the truth. Did you not see how she was lying to save him from getting into trouble? Everyone already knows what happened. She just won't tell them the truth because she pities the bastard.
Okay. Guys, it's whatever. Not my problem.
Roxas tried to ignore the conversations swirling through his head as he entered the cafeteria. Instinctively, he went into the line and saw Demyx and Zexion sitting at the table. Demyx was talking his head off, and Zexion was staring at the table with a blank expression.
Demyx could be completely oblivious at times.
But why would someone do that! That's so…that's so messed up!
No shit, Sherlock.
Roxas grabbed a white tray and got some fresh pancakes. He poured a bit of sugar, grabbed a cup of white milk, and made a beeline for the table.
"Roxas!" Demyx greeted loudly, not fazing Zexion at all. Roxas sat across from the two.
"Hey." Roxas glanced at Zexion, who didn't acknowledge him.
"Where's Axel?" Demyx asked.
"He was taking a shower when I left." Roxas said. Axel wasn't a morning person. He woke up moments after Roxas did. Honestly, the blonde thought Axel was going to talk his head off. Instead, Roxas was surprised when Axel took one look his way, with hair sticking all over the place, and dragged himself to the bathroom like a zombie. He definitely wasn't a morning person.
Roxas wasn't a morning person either. He just wasn't that bad. Well, he hoped not.
What's with Zexion? He's all quiet.
He's always quiet.
So? Talk to him! Maybe he doesn't always want to be quiet. Maybe nobody bothers paying attention to him.
Roxas was taking a sip of his milk when he heard a voice that stuck him almost painfully. It sounded strangely like—
"…a milk please." Roxas whipped his head around, popping it in the process, just to see a guy in the line. He had the same brown hair and everything. Roxas didn't know he was staring at him until someone scared the hell out of him by coming behind him and yelling, "BOO!"
Roxas jumped, startled, and heard Axel laughing.
"Good morning," Axel greeted with a wide grin. His hair was still damp, and he had it tied back in a low ponytail. He sat next to Roxas, rubbing his hands together. "Do they have any hot cheetos?"
"I don't think so." Demyx replied, glancing at the line.
Roxas looked back over there to see the guy gone.
His mind was silent.
Nothing. No reply.
Okay…this is weird. Guys. Come on.
Roxas, confused, stared hard at his pancakes and furrowed his eyebrows. Axel was talking to Demyx about something, and Zexion was silent—like always.
SORA! Come on—don't ignore me!
Roxas felt himself beginning to panic. He glanced around him, for some reason hoping to find that guy. But he was nowhere. Who the hell was that guy? He saw him and everyone went silent in his head. Everyone. His voice…
Sometimes you make me wonder.
Van? What the fuck happened to Sora? I'm so confused!
Calm down, kid.
Don't tell me to calm down!
Isn't this what you want? To be just you?
Roxas rubbed at his temple. His head felt like it was about to explode.
It was then he noticed everyone's—even Zexion's—eyes on him. He noticed that Zexion had deep, dark blue eyes. They were kind of mesmerizing…
"Roxy?" Axel nudged Roxas. "You're zoning out…again."
"Sorry." Roxas mumbled, his head throbbing. A bead of sweat was forming above his eyebrow.
Zexion suddenly stood up from the table and strode off.
Demyx shot a look at Axel. "Sometimes I wonder if he even has a tongue."
Demyx defended Zexion. "He's just…a quiet kind of guy."
Axel watched him leave. "Dem. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe he doesn't even want to sit with us?"
"Maybe. But…where else would he sit?"
"Beats me." Axel stood up suddenly. "I'm starving. Be right back." He hurried off to the line. Demyx was finishing off his milk, and when he pulled away, he had a milk moustache.
HE HAS A MILK MOUSTACHE!
Roxas felt himself sigh in relief. The headache diminished almost instantly when he heard that familiar voice ring throughout his head. He was almost happy it was back, for some reason.
"So what's it like having Axel as a roommate?" Demyx's voice cut through Roxas's inner thoughts.
"Uh," Roxas fiddled with his pancakes, poking them with his fork, "he's not bad."
Demyx was grinning. "Axel's great."
Roxas glanced over at the redhead, who was currently arguing with one of the lunch ladies. He murmured in deep thought, "Yeah. He is."
"Are you gay?"
Axel had to use every ounce of self-control—which wasn't much to start with—to keep himself from throwing everything he held to the ground and pin the girl to the wall. It was the one from yesterday, the one who dared to try and take his hot cheetos.
In his class yesterday, the teacher talked about self-control.
"Just take a deep breath," Axel remembered him saying, "and count to ten in your head. No matter how much the person bothers you, stay in control."
So Axel ignored the girl's very existence and continued walking. He could feel her stare on his back.
"Hey," Her voice was right next to him. It wasn't polite; it was blunt and probing. "Did you hear me? I asked if you were gay."
"Shut the fuck up." Axel said calmly. He bit down on his tongue and slowly began counting to ten.
"My friend thinks you're cute." She continued.
One, two, three…
"She wanted me to ask you if you had a girlfriend."
Four, five, six…
"But I think you like dick."
Her voice was teasing, mocking.
Axel's hands began to shake. He felt like there was a force making him need to act.
"Have you ever—"
"—why won't you leave me alone?" Axel finally snapped, turning to glare at her. They stopped in the hallway. The girl was much shorter than he remembered. But it was strange. Despite her "dark" demeanor, she had a gentle smile.
"So…you aren't gay?" She asked innocently.
"I haven't thought of my sexuality much." Axel said, thinking of Roxas. I'm willing to learn. Damn it Axel! I can't believe I said that to him!
Axel shrugged. "I'm not the relationship kind of guy."
"You won't bring a girl roses?"
"I'd burn them first."
"Or take her out on dates?"
"Er, I never tried asking anyone. I'm a busy guy." Axel shot her a look. "And you don't look like the kind of girl who's interested in this shit."
Xion's smile widened. "Just because I'm an emo?"
Axel busted out into a loud, barking laugh. "Please! You are not emo."
Xion's face turned serious. She watched Axel laugh in muted silence.
"Now have you seen Zexion?" Axel asked. "He's the perfect example of an emo."
"I'm not the sad kind of emo." Xion said, as if explaining why the sky was blue. "I don't cry and inflict pain onto myself to make it go away. I get angry."
Axel stopped laughing.
She pushed back her long-sleeved black shirt, and Axel was shocked to see her forearms covered in scars. It didn't even look like skin. He saw cigarette burns, razor scars—everything. He wondered how the skin even stayed intact.
"Holy shit," Axel breathed.
Xion shoved her sleeve back down. "Yeah. Anyway, who's that blonde guy you're rooming with?"
"Roxy." Axel replied instantly. "Er, Roxas."
Xion smiled. "Is he gay?"
"He's bi." Why is she asking me this?
"You should introduce him to me." Axel didn't like the smile Xion had. It looked…
"No." Axel said firmly.
"No? Why not?"
Because he's mine!
"I think that'd adorable. Next time you see him, you should give in a good word for me."
Axel felt his heart rate pick up. "No." Is that all you can say? NO?
Xion narrowed her eyes. "Why not?" Her lips pursed, Xion looked ready to pin Axel to the wall.
Axel lost his control. He had her pinned into the wall, his hands gripping her collar. Through gritted teeth, he hissed, "I saw him first, bitch. He's my roommate. He's my friend. He's my Roxy. Got it memorized?" He stopped, breathing heavily.
Xion looked shocked. Then, she started laughing. Axel released her, knowing he just threw himself away.
"So you like him," Xion said.
Would Roxy like her? No. Impossible.
Axel ignored her. "He's mine. So back off." He held back a nasty insult.
"Fine, he's yours." Xion said, starting to walk away. "But does he even like you?"
Axel opened his mouth to reply when Xion stuck out her tongue and ran down the hallway. With a sigh, he walked to his class, where Larxene awaited him.
I think she's really pretty, Rox. Maybe you should try talking to her more.
I'll think about it.
Seriously. When was the last time you dated?
I dated Olette. Does that count?
That was for an hour.
I didn't want to ruin our friendship!
That was in first grade. FIRST GRADE.
It's not my fault I moved. I wonder what happened to her anyway.
I don't know. You should call her up or something.
Roxas made his way down the hallway after his one and only class. Today, his teacher made them "explore" their split personalities more. Roxas knew his weren't normal—none of theirs were. He didn't know how they thought they could held them.
Aw. You're not crazy!
I hear two voices in my heads. I can picture them. I even gave them names.
Hey. I have a name you know.
It's like having a constant conversation! Whenever one of us gets mad, we can't just escape one another.
Well I'm not leaving! I like being in your head.
Because…I just do. I feel at home.
Ugh. Sometimes I can't even hear myself think. Literally.
Roxas turned up a flight of stairs. He had a long walk until he got to his room.
Hey. Where's Van go?
Silence. Roxas turned the corner of the stairs and bumped into someone's shoulder. He was taken aback, more than taken aback—he was bewildered to see those same piercing golden eyes and that dark, raven hair. VAN.
Right in front of him.
Van's eyes looked into Roxas's. Roxas felt like he had been stabbed in his eyes right then and there.
"Van?" Roxas managed to choke out.
The boy suddenly shoved Roxas out of his way, mumbled, "Move it, kid," and stormed past him, disappearing into the crowd.
Van? Was that Van? It had to be Van! What the hell?
Roxas stood there in a blind stupor, trying to fixate reality from fantasy.
Van's not real…he's just a voice in my head….
..he's just a voice in my head….
But Roxas could not deny what he just saw. He would recognize those eyes out of anywhere. And that hair…so much like Sora's except darker.
He saw Van.
He saw him. Not in his head, but in real life.
Van was real. So this must mean…
Sora's real too.
A/N: Hey guys! I'm ALIVE! ^.^ Anyway, I can't tell you guys how sorry I am! I haven't updated this in so long! Mainly because I had a whole awesome chapter ready, but my entire laptop crashed. So now I'm stuck with a computer and no internet. Anyway, from now on I'm going to finish up this story and put my attention to it ;p Thank you all so much for the reviews! I hope you guys find it in your hearts to forgive me :D
But I shall update much more often.