'The Tour Guide'

Disclaimer: I do not own anything about KH. But I do own my own imagination involving the characters :)

3: Runt

By the following month Axel and Roxas were meeting each other at least once a week. And as much as Roxas tried to retain his cold, antisocial demeanour eventually he talked a bit more. Hanging around the same person was bound to get boring if you sat in silence all of the time. They never talked about anything personal though, that much was made clear when Roxas had given Axel that horrifyingly murderous look that one time he'd asked about Cloud.

Since anything pertaining to either one of them was off limits in terms of conversation topics, Roxas started doing what he'd been asked to all along – update Axel on what he'd missed in 15 years. This week, they were covering the 1990s in particular, since Axel had missed most of the decade falling into a coma in 1996. Though Roxas acted like a hormonal little bitch most of the time, Axel had to credit him for his talent of teaching. By the time they had finished their coffees Axel had learnt all about the joys of slap bracelets, boy bands and fashion's strange fascination with big shoes and excessive amounts of denim clothing.

After he'd finished summing up the decade, Axel was stunned for a few moments, trying to absorb all this new information. Then he responded to Roxas by exclaiming, "Well shit! I can't believe I missed the 90s! They sounded fucking awesome."

Roxas snorted and then muttered back, "Yeah, well at least you have a legitimate excuse – you were in a coma. I was just too young to properly take it all in."

"Yes. Woe is you, kid."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Axel rolled his eyes, "You only have fuzzy memories of being a kid – like every other goddamn person on the planet. I don't really think that's cause for complaint."

"I can complain about whatever I want to-"

"Oh just shut up, will you? Jesus, I was in a coma. I reckon I'll beat you pretty damn easily if we're going to have a 'whining about the injustices of the world contest'."

It took a few moments of silence for Axel to realise that that comment had finally shut Roxas up.

They toured the city for a while, so that Roxas could briefly show Axel around the newly developed areas. This idea seemed stupid for two reasons: firstly, the entirety of the city looked pretty damn new compared to the last time Axel had seen it and second, Roxas was too young to really have any idea what had been there in 1994 and what had changed since.

Regardless of the pointless outing, Axel and Roxas wandered around anyway. Axel should have known better, that continuously belittling Roxas was going to get him in trouble. But this was Axel so he stupidly continued to prod the sleeping bear with a stick.

"So how long ago did you graduate preschool, kid?" The silence had stretched out too long and this way Axel at least guaranteed himself a reply, even if an incensed one.

That was the point that Roxas had had enough and snapped.

"Stop fucking calling me kid, ok?" Roxas growled, his voice dangerously low, "Refer to me as Roxas or nothing at all."

"What about Roxy? Or blondie? Or runt?" Axel couldn't resist – he really couldn't.

"You know what? Fuck you." And with that, Roxas marched off without a look over his shoulder.

Axel chuckled heartedly at that. Until he realised...

He didn't know how to get home.

Well... fuck.

Maybe he needed Roxas's help more than he realised.

It wasn't even his embarrassing dependency on the kid that alarmed Axel.

What really concerned him were the kinky thoughts he kept having. First impressions, he'd seen Roxas and thought – yeah, alright, average blonde kid. Nothing special. Could probably dress him in surf clothes and plop him into any stereotypical surf photo shoot. But then the kid had gone and talked which had sent everything to hell. Because he wasn't just another boring, brooding guy – there was actually some substance to Roxas (although he rarely showed it). So above all else, it was his brutal personality that seemed to be pushing Axel's buttons.

It was getting worse too, the rapidity of this fixation. Every time Roxas said something cruel Axel would only think how good he'd be at talking dirty, and when his lips curled into smirks Axel just wanted to bite down on them and then – Damn it! He was doing it again. He had no self-control. This was ridiculous. What if Roxas was underage – these thought would only land him in way more trouble...

Hadn't Reno mentioned his age? Well, either way Axel didn't remember. The little whirlwind that was Roxas had been distracting him with his bitchy glares and stupid smirks rendering him unable to retain information like his age!

It was a recollection of Reno's voice that yelled in his head then, but for once Axel was happy to hear it as it came bearing good news. "He's 20 years old, Axel." He grinned at that, "oh no you don't. Don't go anywhere near my godson." Axel tuned the voice out.

So, Roxas was 20.

That was a relief.

By the time that two months of their regular catch-ups had rolled around, the pair had established some sort of semi-comfortable routine and acquaintance/friendship-in-denial. Which would have been all fine and dandy had Axel not been constantly thinking about throwing Roxas onto whatever horizontal surface was closest and mounting him. Half of it he blamed on 15 years of pent up sexual frustration and the other half just plain curiosity of how Roxas would react.

And then this deliciously perfect moment had presented itself and Axel had just grasped for it.

Axel had walked Roxas home and dropped him off at his door, as much as the boy had protested ("Seriously, Axel, stop following me and go home already."). He just lead a boring lifestyle, and he didn't see Roxas enough to occupy all of his time so he figured he'd make the most of it when he could.

When they slowed down and eventually stopped at Roxas's front steps, Axel figured Roxas was going to give a curt nod and slam the door in his face. It seemed a very Roxas goodbye. That probably would have happened too – had it not been that Roxas remembered that Cloud had left him a spare key to give to Axel, since he was there fairly regularly. Before he went to get it from his room, he was very adamant that Axel remain on the doorstep and not come inside.

"Stay here." He stated, as if commanding a dog. When Axel simply rolled his eyes Roxas added, "I mean it. Inspect my front door, or something. I'm going to my room so do. Not. Come. In."

The instant he was out of sight Axel stepped over the threshold, because honestly, why would he ever do what Roxas wanted? It was just a bedroom. As if it mattered.

He already knew which room was Roxas's, by a simple process of elimination and it being the only room in the house he hadn't seen. So he made his way straight there and hovered outside a few moments, listening to Roxas stomp around, before peeking in.

It wasn't anything special, as far as rooms went. It was four walls, ceiling, floor and ridiculously small. An unmade bed took up the majority of the space, and what little unoccupied floor was left around it was covered in used clothes, rubbish and shoes. A few grim looking band posters and photos adorned the walls, in an artfully angled fashion, as if accidental (which obviously wasn't true). It reeked of adolescence and cliches. Very Roxas. Axel hated it on sight, but the fact that it was Roxas's room gave it a certain charm.

"I thought I told you to stay outside." Roxas grunted over his shoulder, annoyed, "Idiot."

Axel couldn't be bothered replying to that so didn't. Instead he just stood there watching as Roxas clambered around the tiny space. It was really a talent that he had made it so difficult for himself to find a simple key in such a small area.

"Found it!" Roxas finally breathed, digging it out from where it had been buried and handing it to Axel.

"You know you could have just kept it in your pocket, right?"

Roxas ignored him and instead gave a dull, "Bye."

Of course, that was Axel's cue to leave since Roxas had so politely asked him to do so. Instead he just remained there, looking at Roxas look at him. There was nothing to read in Roxas expression. But he'd let him see his room and was clearly opening up to Axel ... so ... just to test the waters ...

He'd only really intended on giving an innocent enough kiss goodbye on the cheek, but hadn't even gotten that far. That instant he'd leaned and taken a step forward, Roxas had countered him, backing away. Now Roxas just looked confused and was gave off the very clear vibe of 'what the hell are you doing?'

Axel left after that, figuring that reaction was as good an answer as any.

Roxas met up with Hayner a few days later in the park. They rarely saw each other anymore and as much as Roxas wanted to really commit himself to listening to his friend go on and on about his part-time job, his mind was somewhere else. It was in his bedroom, thinking about him and Axel. And wow did that seem a hugely misleading situation to talk about. If he wanted to talk to somebody about it, he was going to have to avoid the whole bedroom setting. And the whole 'other dude' part. Hell, he'd just not mention himself either. Best to make it a random question, rather than a personal one.

He didn't even really know how to bring up Axel's kissing attempt. This was the first time he and Hayner had hung out in ages, and even back when they were best friends they hadn't been that open to discussions about relationships. That was just too girly for them.

So he did what any self-respecting male would do, he tried to make it hypothetical and unrelated to anything.

"Was it like a thing in the 80s? To kiss another guy goodbye or something?"

Hayner gave an incredulous snort around the rim of his soda can as he took a sip. "Not unless you mean a European or something who does the whole smooching on each cheek thing."

Roxas groaned in defeat, earning him a curious look from Hayner. So the hypothetical tactic hadn't given him an answer either.

"Listen," Roxas said, cradling his head in his hands, a habit he'd acquired from watching his father, "I know there are gay people out there, ok? I am well aware that they exist and I'm not some narrow-minded guy who's simply going to shun someone else because they displayed ... uh ... slightly affectionate actions towards me. But, honestly, how exactly am I supposed to face up to Axel again after that?"

Hayner yawned and leant backwards onto his hands; palms planted firmly into the grass, idly commenting, "Well, you could always grow some balls" earning a squawk of offense from his friend.

It seemed like Roxas would have to face this problem alone.

By the time Axel got home, he'd been stewing in his own misery for such a long time that he didn't even bother giving a half-assed greeting to his brother. Reno simply watched as he collapsed, face-first, into the couch cushions.

Reno, it should be noted, was never a good candidate for Axel to find solace in when he was younger. Clearly, some things never changed.

"To platonic friendships and how no matter how much you like someone things will never exceed buddy hood because of moral obligations." Axel sighed and buried his face into the couch's cushions miserably, as if attempting to smother himself, "What a drag."

"Wait, who's pants are you trying to get into?" Reno eagerly asked, trying to gain some slight vicarious sex life drama through his brother, seeing as the man himself was currently enduring the longest dry spell of all time.

Axel stared pointedly at him. Roxas was, as sad as it was to admit, Axel's only considered friend and person he hung out with currently. It shouldn't have been that difficult a task to draw a link. Or was it really that obscure an infatuation to guess? After all Axel had seen Roxas shortly after he was born and still coated in gross amniotic goo so it could logically be seen as pedophilia.

Axel groaned; Roxas's dry jokes and insults involving the redhead had been spot on then. Not good.

Roxas was a temperamental idiot even over the most insignificant things Axel did so... what on earth was he supposed to do about the whole situation now?

A/N: Merry Xmas/Happy NY guys!
Here's my belated gift to you all. ENJOY AND REVIEW or something :D