A Pillow Talk
Axel was in Roxas's room again tonight. He was lounging on the bed talking while Roxas brushed his teeth. Roxas secretly loved that Axel kept coming to his room every night even though he wouldn't admit it to Axel. The only thing he disliked was having less time to think about things on his own. It was really hard to do much of anything when Axel was around. He was too distracting. But Roxas had decided to stop worrying about it and just enjoy their time together.
Despite this decision, he was still dying to know why Demyx had gotten mad at Axel the other morning in his room. He hadn't had the opportunity to talk to Demyx about it yet. What was he so worried about? Roxas had never seen Demyx and Axel talk to each other except at organization meetings. They rarely spoke to one another – at least as far as Roxas knew.
He approached the subject cautiously, fearing that Axel would be reluctant to talk about it since they'd ignored the subject for almost a week. Axel had shrugged it off like he did most everything else that Roxas found particularly interesting.
Axel had just finished telling him some crazy story about setting something or other on fire (which was one of Axel's favorite activities), and the timing seemed perfect. "Hey… Axel, what was up with Demyx last week? I mean, coming into my room like that?"
Axel characteristically scratched the back of his head as he sat on Roxas's bed. He looked so comfortable and at ease, like always. "Well… I think Demyx might have already mentioned this to you…but, you know that we kind of, uh….dated?"
That wasn't the impression Roxas had gotten from Demyx's description. Demyx made it sound more like they'd kissed a lot and only when drunk. "Demyx didn't really say that you dated. He made it sound much less serious…"
"Ah…" Axel said, and he smiled somewhat oddly. "I guess he wouldn't see it that way…Despite the fact that he, um, was in a relationship with me, Demyx is more or less straight."
"That means he likes girls."
"Well, I like girls – or at least, I like Xion…" He thought about all the women he knew personally, and realized there were only two. "But not Larxene…" Roxas recognized for the first time how male-dominated his world was.
Axel laughed. "Don't feel bad. I don't like Larxene either," He shrugged. "But, anyway, you've never kissed a girl have you? So how would you know? Wait," Axel said with a peculiar look on his face and a slight smile, "you haven't kissed Xion have you?"
"No! Of course not." What a weird question, Roxas thought. "Well… I guess I wouldn't know if I liked girls. I only know two, I guess, but you can like someone without wanting to kiss them."
"Not in the way I mean, Roxas."
Roxas realized what Axel meant, finally and asked the next question that came to his mind without really thinking. "So, uh, are you… straight?"
Axel laughed. "I am most definitely not straight. Although what you would call me is also a mystery. I guess if you had to classify it…well… I've been with my share of men and women."
Roxas realized once again just how young and inexperienced he was in comparison to Axel. He wondered if his somebody-Sora, he remembered- had kissed men and women like Axel had. He wondered a lotof things about his somebody, but he only knew his name.
"I'll explain it when you're older, Roxy," Axel said. He put his hands behind his head and continued his story. "So anyway, like I was saying, Demyx is, in spite of everything, pretty much straight, which means that for him, our relationship- his and mine- was not really very emotionally involved. I guess you would say it was more physical… And, I was kind of…obsessed with him, really. And I think he just found my persistence in getting to him so necessary he allowed me to keep coming back. He was lonely," Axel said in way of explanation. "Neither of us really had anyone to turn to. I wish you'd been there," Axel said and looked at him briefly. Roxas smiled. Axel smiled too and continued. "Anyway, those were awful times, but… I guess I can see why Demyx saw it as, uh… not as dating…What-What did he say about our relationship? If you don't mind me asking."
"Basically what you just said. Just that it was lonely, and he mentioned missing his wife and kids and all that. He said his relationship with you was a way to keep sane…" Roxas felt awkward. At least Axel wasn't looking at him.
"Yeah, I remember how conflicted he was when I first met him. Poor guy. I used to hear him crying in his room at night," Axel said, and he looked genuinely concerned. Then he smiled mischievously. "Well, anyway, that was until I started showing up in his room." Roxas was leaning on the doorframe of his bathroom, unsure how to reply to what Axel had just said.
"Roxas," Axel said, looking at him, "Come here." He gestured toward the bed and scooted over, so Roxas could sit by him. Axel put his arm around him. "I was crazy and reckless then. Oh, and extremely unstable. And insecure…Well, come to think of it – I'm still all those things. But at least now I'm trying to be better. You know… I'm actually glad you didn't know me when I first joined the organization. I don't' think you would have liked me."
Roxas thought about it. "I don't know," he concluded. He couldn't imagine an Axel that was more crazy and reckless than the one he knew, but he liked Axel just the way he was (even though he sometimes wished he didn't like him quite so much). He figured he would like the old Axel just as irresponsibly as the one he knew. He realized they'd gotten off subject. He still wanted to talk about Demyx. "But… it's weird to hear you talk about Demyx like that"
"Roxas…" Axel was looking at him. "Are you jealous?" Roxas didn't respond. He was thinking about it. He might be. "Don't worry," Axel said as he kissed Roxas's forehead," I like you best,"
"I… like you too," Roxas said. He was smiling in spite of himself. Axel cuddled closer to him. He seemed almost child-like as he put an arm over Roxas's chest. "I don't want you to worry about my past Roxas. It's, well, in the past obviously. Demyx and I are just friends now."
"Then why was he so angry when he came into my room that morning?"
"First of all, I like to think of it as our room now, and second, he made me promise not to uh…. I don't know how to explain this to someone who can't remember ever getting the, uh… birds and the bees talk…"
"The birds and the bees?"
"This is awkward."
"I don't see why."
"One day I'll tell you. But not any time soon. Demyx made me promise."
"Add that to the list of things I'll tell you when you're older, Roxas."
"I hate it when you add things to that list, Axel."
"Demyx is looking out for you. That's all you have to know. And he doesn't trust me."
"I don't know-" Roxas paused. He didn't think he should finish the sentence, but he knew Axel wasn't going to let him drop it now that he'd begun.
"Know what?" Axel said as he quietly exhaled on Roxas's chest.
Roxas knew he would end up telling Axel eventually anyway. "I don't know… if I trust you," he finished. He wished he didn't mean it. He wanted to trust Axel, but he didn't.
"Really?" Axel looked up at him. Roxas was surprised that he looked curious rather than upset.
"Well…" It was too late to change his mind now. "Yes, kind of."
Axel laid his face back on Roxas's chest. "That's probably for the best."
"That's not what I hoped you'd say."
"I can't always be the person you think I am. I'm trying to be."
"What kind of person is that?"
"The good kind."
"You are the good kind." How many times could he say it? Every time he felt like he believed it less and less, and he was angry at himself for it.
"I am a terrible person Roxas. How many times do I have to tell you that?"
"Try a million," he replied. He may have his doubts about Axel sometimes, but he was definitely not a terrible person. He just wasn't perfect. Maybe he wasn't even good. Roxas didn't know. He was too blinded by the way Axel made him feel to tell.
Axel smiled and moved his lips to kiss Roxas's neck, his cheek, and his lips. These were really the times when Roxas had the most trouble remembering what made him so unsure about Axel in the first place. He put a hand on Axel's neck and pulled him closer. He wanted to kiss him forever. It made him forget everything. He only knew how happy he was and how much Axel was a part of that. The bad things disappeared.
As they continued to kiss, Axel moved closer and closer to Roxas until their entire bodies were touching. Roxas devoured the moment as Axel slowly moved his lips away and simply looked at him. Roxas loved those green eyes. They were rarely as vulnerable as they were now. What was Axel looking for, he wondered? Possibly approval. Or perhaps redemption. Maybe just hope. Lovely, lovely eyes, Roxas thought.
Axel broke the moment first and moved his body back so he could lay his head on Roxas's chest once more. "You know it's hard to control myself around you… You should thank Demyx one day."
Roxas thought he was starting to catch on to what Demyx and Axel's agreement entailed, and he wished it didn't exist. He still wanted to know what the look in Axel's eyes had meant. Why had Axel looked away so soon?
"Goodnight Roxas," he said as he reached over him to turn off the light.