A/N: So...yeah. Enjoy.
Axel sat at the bar, nursing another beer as he watched on in amusement as Zexion attempted to teach Demyx how to line up a shot for pool. It wasn't going well. He wasn't sure exactly how long he'd been here – not long enough to get drunk, but definitely long enough to wish that Roxas was with him. But Roxas had a three hour night class, so their normal group of five was cut down to Demyx, Zexion, Axel and Kairi. Currently, Axel was by himself because Kairi was off doing…whatever girls do in their bathroom. Sighing, the red-head pulled out his cell phone.
He's teaching Demyx to shoot pool. Besides, you're more fun to bother =)
Tell Zexion that if you come home in more than one piece or any extra bruises, I'll kill him.
"Texting Roxas?" Axel raised his head, grinning stupidly at the brunette who had just rejoined him.
"Busted." He admitted. A small frown flitted across Kairi's face and Axel could feel his eyes narrow. "What's the matter?" She smiled uncomfortably at him.
"It's silly. It's just, has Roxas ever actually told you that he loves you?"
"Excuse me?" he asked, raising a questioning eyebrow.
"I'm just worried that maybe Roxas doesn't feel as much for you as you obviously do for him." She explained hurriedly.
"You're telling me…that you think my five year relationship with Roxas is doomed because he never says I love you? Kairi, he doesn't have to say it for it to be true. He shows me in a million different ways every day."
"But he should say it," she insisted.
"You mean to tell me that if your boyfriend told you every day that he loved you, you'd believe him, even if he didn't mean it? Even if he was screwing around behind your back?"
"Axel, what does this have to do with –"
"I'm saying," he interrupted, "that it's not about the words." Kairi looked like she had more objections, but the chiming of Axel's cell phone caused her pause, and she waited patiently while he checked his message.
Finished chapter early. On my way home, want anything?
Something to eat. Leaving for home now.
"I'm sorry, Kairi. But you really don't know what you're talking about here." Grabbing his jacket, Axel waved goodbye to Zexion and Demyx. He really couldn't wait to see Roxas.
"Here," Roxas stated, tossing a greasy bag at the pyro, "eat and be merry." Axel smiled softly as he pulled his dinner out of the bag, his bad mood from the bar beginning to lift. "How was the bar?" he asked, tucking into his food. Axel's scowl was enough of an answer.
"How was class?"
"The same as always. What happened at the bar?" Roxas refused to be distracted.
"Kairi has a lovely imagination of what is socially acceptable in a relationship. We're not fitting into her ideology." Roxas raised an eyebrow. "Don't worry about it, it's stupid. Basically, she thinks it's words and not actions that are important." Roxas snorted.
"Blame Sora for that. He follows her around like a besotted fool, telling her he loves her every second of the day."
"And you are constantly making fun of and abusing me. How the hell are you two even related?"
"My parents had Sora, and then had unprotected sex again and had me." Roxas deadpanned. Axel coughed, nearly choking on his burger. Roxas rushed over to him, but Axel managed to swallow the bite of food before the blond could do anything.
"Damn," he croaked out, taking a sip of his soda before clearing his throat.
"Idiot," Roxas muttered. "Could you not hurt yourself for five minutes?"
"It's not my fault that you decided to deadpan right as I was attempting to finish dinner!" Axel protested. "Besides, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were worried about me for a minute there."
"Don't be ridiculous," he snapped. "I'm just… used to you, that's all." Axel smirked before shaking his head and looking out the window.
"I'm used to you, too. Come on, let's go to bed."
Axel woke up at 10:30 to his message tone beeping on his phone. He very nearly threw said phone across the room, because it was the first day of his week off and he would have liked to have slept as late as humanly possible. As it was, he checked his message, grinning like a besotted fool as soon as he had opened it.
If you're going out today, take a coat and umbrella.
I think your mother would be embarrassed by what we did last night.
You never met my mother…
Pervert. Be home at 2:00.
Gracelessly stumbling out of bed, Axel made his way into the kitchen. Upon opening the refrigerator he found a very sparse selection and remembered that he was supposed to have gone grocery shopping yesterday. He heaved a sigh and quickly got dressed before grabbing his keys and locking the apartment behind him. It was only after reaching outside that Axel remembered that it was raining. Weighing the evils of getting a little wet or hiking back up to the third story, Axel went with the first option and headed toward the car. And really, it had seemed like a good idea at the time. It was only after coming out of the store that the pyromaniac had realized that the light rain he had left in was now a torrential downpour. Gritting his teeth, Axel grabbed the bags and ran to his car.
Slamming the door shut behind him, Axel didn't even pause to rest. Roxas would kill him if he got the carpet soggy, and he didn't really want to let the blond know he had been out without an umbrella in the first place. Throwing the cold food and drinks into the fridge, Axel peeled off his sopping clothes and threw them in the washer before taking the hottest shower he could stand. By the time Axel had finished preparing lunch, his clothes were going around the dryer and Roxas was walking through the door.
"Hey," the blond greeted. Axel had to clear the tickle out of his throat before responding.
"Hey, I made soup for lunch. Want some?"
"Yeah, thanks." Roxas peeled off his Hollow Bastion University hoodie. "It's fucking cold out there." Axel almost gave himself away, swallowing back the 'I know' he almost let out. He instead chose to sneeze. Spooning the soup into two bowls, Axel missed the suspicious look that the shorter boy tossed his way.
"How was class?" Axel asked, handing off one of the bowls to Roxas.
"Long. The teacher had us broken up into groups to discuss the symbolism of Young Goodman Brown, but my group just wasn't getting it. Most of them are there because the college requires it, and let me tell you, it shows." Axel nodded, but didn't respond. "By the way, when today did you go grocery shopping?" The red head grinned ruefully.
"Can't sneak anything by you, can I?" Roxas merely glared. "Earlier tod –" The rest of his sentence was cut off by the coughs he had tried to hold in.
"Idiot!" Roxas grabbed Axel and dragged him into the bedroom. Shoving his protesting boyfriend under the covers, the blond disappeared into the bathroom only to return with a thermometer. "Open," he ordered. Axel rolled his eyes but obeyed.
"M'fine," he muttered around the thermometer.
"102.5 does not constitute fine. I told you to wear a coat and take an umbrella, and I'll bet you forgot both."
"Wrong. Just the umbrella." Roxas growled at the red head.
"If you survive this, I'm killing you."
Axel woke the next morning with an extremely dry mouth and a head the felt like it was stuffed with cotton. His nose was stuffed to capacity and he was pretty sure his boyfriend had beaten him during the night because everything ached. He really wanted a cigarette, but he was pretty sure he had finished the last one driving home from the store yesterday. He decided to locate his phone and make sure.
NO. You can't breathe as is.
There are these things called stores.
In retaliation for hiding the thermometer this morning, I stole your car keys. And I already told the building watchman to send you back upstairs if you try to walk.
You're evil, blondie.
Go back to bed.
Bed sounded like a fantastic idea. Crawling back under the covers, Axel decided that nothing could entice him to leave it for the rest of the day. The fucking apartment could burn down for all he cared, he wasn't moving.
Roxas all but bolted from his last class. He wanted to make sure that Axel had actually listened to him when he had told him to go back to bed. He could very well imagine Axel plotting a path out of the building just to get cigarettes. Not really paying attention to anything besides getting home, Roxas barreled into Kairi.
"Hey! Watch where you're – Oh, hi Roxas."
"Sorry, Kairi, I'm in a bit of a hurry," he explained, kneeling to help pick up her books.
"Can I ask you something?" Roxas stared at her. "Um, does Axel ever tell you he loves you?"
"Sometimes, why?" Kairi hesitated, thinking about what Axel had told her. She knew Axel was sick, and she had seen Roxas texting constantly today, even when in class. Now he looked like he was going to murder her if she didn't get to her point.
"Never mind," she stated, grabbing her books from the blond and heading to her next class. "Tell Axel to feel better!" Roxas stood where Kairi had left him, her words echoing in his mind. They circled in his head on the way back to the apartment and mocked him as he prepared an early dinner for the both of them. Walking into the bedroom, Roxas smiled softly at the sight that greeted him. Somehow, Axel had wrapped himself into a blanket burrito, the sheets twisted around his body.
"Axel," he called softly. "Axel, come on, I've got dinner." Waking the sick red head, Roxas pushed Kairi's words to the back of his mind. Right now he had a sick boyfriend to take care of. Even if he was an idiot.
Two days later, a healthy Axel was deciding on what to prepare for dinner. Roxas came in while he was sharpening knives and Axel shot him a smile in greeting.
"What are we having?" Roxas asked.
"Don't know yet. Any requests?"
"Edible human food is generally thought good." Roxas shouted from the bathroom.
"I'm rolling my eyes!" Axel shouted back. Roxas grinned, padding down the hallway until he was leaning in the doorway. The pyro hadn't heard him and was still concentrating on sharpening the knives he intended on using later. Kairi's words floated to the front of Roxas' mind. Axel had told Roxas that he loved him. He usually snuck it in a couple of times a week, though Roxas had yet to actually say it once in their five year relationship.
"Yeah?" he replied, not looking up from what he was doing.
"I love you." Axel's head whipped around so fast Roxas worried he might get whiplash. But it was the slip of the knife that drew Roxas' attention next.
"What?" Axel choked out.
"Asshole!" Roxas shouted. "You're bleeding! We've got to get you to the emergency room." He grabbed a dish cloth, attempting to wrap it around Axel's bleeding hand, though he was continually interrupted by Axel, who kept kissing him.
"I can't believe you said it," he said, quiet and stunned.
"See if I ever do again," Roxas growled, knotting the towel. "You're going to need stitches, you stupid bastard."
The chairs in the emergency room are really very uncomfortable, not that Axel is actually paying any attention.
"You love me," Axel said, grinning like an idiot.
"I will neither confirm nor deny that statement," Roxas grumbled, "as the consequences are apparently considerably more far-reaching than I ever anticipated."
"You love me," Axel repeated, undeterred.
"You knew that, idiot. You didn't have to slice your hand open over it." Roxas was saved from whatever Axel would have retorted with when the nurse called his name. Axel instructed him to stay where he is, they don't need to be kicked out of the hospital over Roxas' hostility. Roxas flipped him off.
Walking outside, Roxas lit a cigarette, pulling it from his lips after taking a drag. The smoking was a bad habit he had picked up from Axel and had so far been able to keep hidden from him. Axel would laud it over him if he ever found out that Roxas had started smoking because the smell had helped him deal with the three months that Axel had been gone while working on a project for the organization. Stubbing out the cigarette, he walked back inside right as the nurse was bringing Axel back to the waiting room.
"Only five stitches." Axel was still beaming at him like a moron and Roxas merely rolled his eyes, pulling out the keys from his pocket so he could drive both of them home. "I'm supposed to take this when I get home, after eating." Axel said after they're back on the highway. Roxas only hummed in agreement, something weighing on his mind. As if sensing this, Axel kept quiet the rest of the way home. It's only after Roxas has parked the car and helped the pyro up the five flights of steps and down onto their living room couch that Roxas says anything.
"Did you really not know?" he asked quietly.
"That you loved me?" Axel asked. "Of course, I knew, idiot. I just never expected you to actually say it."
"I mean, I know I'm not good at this shit, but I really do fucking love you, and –"
"Roxas, I know."
"How can you possibly know?" Axel shifted, trying to straighten himself up on the couch. He had forgotten about his hand, however, and hissed when he accidentally put pressure on it. Roxas' eyes narrowed. "Could you possibly quit hurting yourself, you fucking asshole!" Axel laughed.
"THAT's how! You show me you love me by yelling at me when I hurt myself, or get sick – the fact that you text me when it's raining and tell me to dress warmly and take an umbrella with me. I don't need the words to know you love me, Roxas. It's not about the words. And I know that you're not really comfortable saying it. That's why I was surprised, Roxas. Not because I didn't know," he finished, fighting to open the Vicodin packet with one hand.
"You can't take that on an empty stomach, idiot" Roxas states, snatching it out of Axel's good hand. Axel's only response is to laugh and state,
"Love you, too, Roxas."