It was late. Around 1.30 by Riku's living room clock which was notoriously always wrong as Axel was late for everything. He was the only one in the house who didn't own a watch, preferring his own version of time.
The red neon facia gave part of the room an ugly glow, a few degrees from red light district.
The rest of the room was dark apart from a slither of light creeping under the door from the hallway outside. The television in the corner flickered, projecting shadows onto the wall. The volume was turned down so low that it was overwhelmed by the ticking clock.
Crushed beer cans lay like the dead on the carpet, a few having rolled under the glass topped coffee table. A few lucky ones were standing to attention next to a large cardboard pizza box. Discarded pieces of pepperoni swimming in the fat at the bottom.
Against the wall opposite and across the room, dividing it in two were a couple of sofas that looked like they have been bought at a car boot sale 50 years ago.
Demyx sat on the far end of the sofa that intersected the room. He'd been working on a beer for the past 20 minutes. Zexion was sprawled lengthways and had fallen asleep on his lap. The empty can he had been holding before he passed out, had fallen onto the carpet when he rolled over and had thrown his arm over the edge of the piece of furniture. He was now gently breathing and snuffling when dust got up his nose.
On the other sofa was Axel, his long legs wrapped around Roxas who was trying his best to stay awake. He rocked forward and dropped his head until a mug of coffee was was shoved under his nose. He sat bolt upright and grabbed the chipped mug from Riku's hand.
Riku sloped off the other side of the sofa and threw himself onto it, avoiding Sora's head by centimetres.
Roxas tried to stand up, managing to fall to the side, only to be caught by Axel before the coffee hit the carpet.
"Not going anywhere babe."
He was pulled backwards onto the redheads lap where he decided it was best not to fight and made himself comfortable. He gave Axel a disgruntled pout as he sipped his coffee, which was unfortunately for him an expression that the redhead thought was cute.
He eventually wiggled out of Axel's vice like grip and shuffled over to the other end of the sofa to play cards with Riku and Sora. Axel took his beer and sat by Demyx, ready to laugh at whatever Sora did next.
"How did you and Zexion meet"
Axel focused the question to Demyx
"I saved his life"
Demyx ruffled Zexion's hair, who's only response was to move to a more comfortable position. He rolled half of the sofa, leaving the blonde's arm the only thing to keep him from falling.
"I work with him. He's in customer services and I work in aquatics. I used to try and talk to him, even practicing my half of the conversation in front of the mirror first. He admitted quietly.
"Why do you think I resorted to leaving my number in Roxas's car.
Demyx smiled at the whispered display of empathy
"The thing was that none of the conversations ever went to plan and I got all sweaty and ended up annoying him."
Demyx didn't mind telling this story with a captive audience.
"The only conversation that went right was the one where I had to give him mouth to mouth and had to swallow dirty pond water."
"He said he had taken a wrong turn and had slipped. He slipped because he was on crutches with a broken leg. Who would go to work with a broken leg?"
He bought me a drink to say thanks, I left my number on his cast and it went from there."
"Rox, come here a minute."
Demyx called to the blonde who looked up from his card game. he shook his head refusing to leave a game where one, he was winning and two, didn't trust Sora not to cheat.
"Do you know how Zexion broke his leg?" Demyx continued, ignoring the scowl sent his way.
"Experiment number 8" he said simply, before looking back at his cards and smiling. "Anyone got a 7?"
"Go fish" Said Riku wearily.
Roxas was too hyped up for him and he spent a lot of time with Sora. He realised that it was a bad idea to give him a third cup of coffee.
"You can't say that and not make with the details. It's so unfair."
Roxas recognised the tone as tell me or I'll steal your favourite shoes.
"You mean he hasn't told you?'
He looked up at Demyx who was pouting and gently pulling Zexion's hair. He shook his head.
Roxas put his cards down
The relief on Riku's face was instant. 11 games of go fish were enough for him.
Roxas dragged Axel back to their position of the sofa and sat on the floor using Axels' legs as a back rest.
"It's really good." he said, sipping his now stone cold coffee.
Axel rolled his eyes, took the cup from Roxas and pushed himself off the sofa so Roxas was between his legs and he could rest his head on the blondes. The finished masterpiece resembled a totem pole.
Demyx had also made himself comfortable on the arm rest, careful not to disturb Zexion's slumber.
"Ok, a little background. Zex got a chemistry set for this 14th birthday.'
Roxas paused for a second.
Axel's voice vibrated throughout his body.
"He'll kill me for telling you this."
"Only if we tell."
Demyx gave him an evil grin. It was an unusual facial expression, like he'd been taking lesson from Axel.
"Ok, his birthday ended with a trip to casualty, being grounded for a month and no chemicals till he was 18."
Roxas garbled the whole thing quietly for fear of waking his friend who was a notoriously light sleeper. Zexion didn't move a muscle and the blonde was thankful for the sleep inducing effects of beer and carb laden pizza.
Demyx seemed to be desperate for blackmail material, Roxas assumed that it was to get the skinny leg jeans that hung in the wardrobe without an repercussions.
"Then came the broken leg." The tone was urgent, eager to push the story along.
"Picture this scene.' Roxas was really starting to enjoy himself. "Zexion at the bottom of the stairs with some weird metal boots on his feet, muttering something about science hating him. I had to take him to hospital and he whinged like a child the whole way about the college science fair. They had to surgically stick a metal rod in his right leg which cost a bomb and was told no electrical stuff until he was 21.
Stupidly, I offered to help him get around, hence I am the guinea pig.
"What does he do now?
Demyx shuffled towards them.
"And I thought he cooked for me out the kindness of his heart."
"Think yourself lucky that you still have your eyebrows.'
"No electrical stuff till he's 21 huh?" Axel interjected.
"That explains why he's afraid of the toaster." Demyx grinned, an evil one that wouldn't look out of place on a Batman villian. He was extremely happy with his blackmail material.
To anyone who looked into the bedroom would think that it was the room of two average teenage boys.
The alarm was bleating beside the bed nearest the door. Clothes were spread over the floor, sitting in heaps where they fell.
The alarm trill was finally muted by a hand that shot out of the duvet then snapped back into the warmth. 10 minutes later it bleated again. The hand shot out and hit snooze. This happened a few more times each hit getting more and more aggressive, finally cumulating with the clock flying through the air and exploding against the wall. Axel rolled over, taking the duvet with him and revealing Roxas who had curled up in a ball with his back to him.
The blonde grabbed the corner of the duvet and rolled up in it. Axel opened one eye slowly, scratched his head and sat up.
He reached over and gently pulled the blondes spikes that were poking out the top of the duvet. The duvet twitched.
"Roxie" Axel wheedled, bending over to lick the skin on the blonde's shoulder.
"Pervert." Moaned the blonde peacefully.
"Don't you know it."
Roxas opened his eyes.
"We're not at your place."
"Sora stayed over there, but I dragged you back at 3 this morning. We have the room all to ourselves."
Axel gave his usual predatory grin that Roxas ignored. He sat up and kissed the redhead lightly on the lips before snuggling into his arms
"On the plus side, we don't have Sephiroth glaring at us over breakfast." He said
"No, we have Cloud, which is probably 10 times worse.
"My brother's not that bad." He looked up at Axel with what he hoped where big innocent eyes.
"You're so cute when you're defending him."
"He just thinks that you're a bad influence, that you've corrupted me."
"It's not my fault that you're so corruptible."
He kissed Roxas on the forehead and let his hand wander down the inside of his left thigh. "Anyway, you liked guys before I got my hands on you."
"But, he doesn't know that."
"In that case I will gallantly take the blame for any of your misdeeds in the eyes of your brother."
"Such a gentleman." Roxas pretended to swoon.
"And don't you forget it."
Axel ran his fingers through his unruly spikes making it look like he had stuck his whole hand in an electric socket.
"He hates Riku too, it's not just you."
"I'll have to try harder then." Axel whispered into the blondes ear, before nibbling his earlobe.
Roxas shivered and quietly moaned, so quiet, that Axel could only feel it vibrate through his chest. He dove under the duvet and pulled Axel under with him.