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13 October 2008 @ 09:33 am
When Leaving is the Hardest Thing - Non-JRock, Kingdom Hearts II, Axel/Roxas  
Title: When Leaving is the Hardest Thing
Author: Kagome
Prompt: “Nobody said it was easy / It’s such a shame for us to part / Nobody said it was easy / No one ever said it would be this hard.”
Warnings: Angst, mild language.
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Axel/Roxas
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies.
Summary: He had known leaving wouldn’t be easy. He hadn’t known, however, that it would be quite this hard.
Comments: Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ fits these two so well. I really wanted to write something regarding Roxas’ feelings upon leaving The World that Never Was and, of course, leaving Axel. Pre-KHII.

When Leaving is the Hardest Thing

Roxas had known that leaving wouldn’t be easy—he’d prepared himself for that. Or, at least, he thought he had. He hadn’t imagined that leaving would be this hard, though. He would have never guessed.

Leaving the Organization wasn’t difficult. Leaving The World that Never Was wasn’t difficult. Leaving those behind was easy. Leaving Axel behind wasn’t easy. It probably should have been easy, because they were Nobodies and Nobodies were incapable of forming any real connection with anyone or anything. Couldn’t cut the ties that bind when there weren’t supposed to be any ties there to begin with, right?

And yet, Roxas was hesitating because this wasn’t easy at all.

“You know I’d come with you if you asked.”

Roxas turned to face the red-haired man, and he shook his head. “I know.” It was precisely why Roxas couldn’t ask such a thing of him, because he knew that Axel would go. “I can’t ask you to do that.”

“Can’t, or won’t?” Axel asked. “They’re two very different things.”

“I can’t ask you, because you’ll be in enough trouble as it is simply for associating yourself with me, once I’m gone.” Roxas sighed, shaking his head again. They would brand Axel, as well as he himself, a traitor. “If something happened to you because of me….” He trailed off, not finding that particular train of thought to be pleasant in the least. Better to derail it before it did real damage.

“You think I can’t take care of myself?” Axel sounded almost insulted.

“It isn’t that,” Roxas insisted, wanting to avoid an argument. “It’s just that I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to you is all.”

“You’d walk on—no weight on your conscience cos you haven’t got one.” Axel smiled, but it was empty (wasn’t it supposed to be?). “I’m a Nobody, after all. No-one would miss me, right?” It was ironic, hearing those words from Axel, but maybe it was fitting, too.

“You know that’s not true.” Roxas cast his gaze downwards and scuffed at the ground with the toe of his boot. “That’s why I can’t--”

“Yeah, yeah,” Axel interrupted, voice soft, “I understand.” He paused, shifting from one foot to the other. “And look, while we’re clearing our non-existent consciences… For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. For lying to you.”

Roxas looked up to find Axel scratching the back of his head. He wouldn’t quite meet Roxas’ eyes. “Listen,” Roxas began quietly, with gravity, “that doesn’t matter. That’s not why I’m going.” He’d already known about the lies and all of the hiding, but only later had he realized that Axel had been doing it for his sake—perhaps shielding him from the truth had been Axel’s way of protecting him. It was a twisted way of thinking about it, but it was much better than thinking Axel had done it out of malice. Roxas knew better.

“Besides,” Roxas continued when Axel remained silent, “it’s not like I’m capable of holding a grudge against you anyway, right?” Ha-ha. A little Nobody humor. Roxas had always been terrible at jokes. Axel had always been the joke-teller.

Axel’s smile was forced and still empty—he wasn’t amused, but he was pretending for Roxas’ sake. “I suppose you’re right.”

They stood there for several moments in silence, both of them unmoving, neither of them quite looking at the other. Roxas told himself that as soon as he took that first step, the rest of them wouldn’t be so hard. It was just a matter of taking that first one, which shouldn’t have been hard, but was hard, all the same. He was quite the paradox, wasn’t he? A Nobody reluctant to leave another Nobody.

Why couldn’t it have been easy?

“I guess I should get going,” Roxas said uncertainly, still not moving, though he knew that he had to move sometime soon. He felt that there were things left unsaid, but he didn’t know how to say them. He didn’t know what to say, because the words in mind were all a scattered mess and he wasn’t at all sure that he could rearrange them so that they made sense. Was he supposed to say goodbye? He’d never left anyone behind before (except Sora, but that didn’t exactly count, did it?), so this was unfamiliar to him.

“We’ll meet again.” Axel didn’t say goodbye, either. He sounded certain that they would see each other again, though, and that gave Roxas something to cling to, whether it was the truth or not.

“When I find Sora, maybe….” Roxas trailed off and looked up at Axel, trying to tell him with his eyes what his voice couldn’t seem to manage. Maybe I’ll come back. Maybe you’ll find me. Maybe we’ll start over. Maybe we’ll forget about starting over and things can just be like they were before.

“Yeah.” Axel stepped closer and lifted one hand, reaching out to Roxas but stopping just short of touching him. He let his hand drop back to his side.

They were lying to themselves. Both of them knew that once Roxas found Sora, nothing would be the same ever again. Hell, nothing was the same now. Both of them knew, and yet spoke nothing of it. Maybe now just wasn’t the time.

Roxas started to turn around. He was just about to take that first step but he stopped in mid-motion, turning to face Axel once more. Maybe it was something akin to desperation that made him do it, or maybe it was just due to the fact that he didn’t like to leave loose ends—didn’t like to leave things unsaid, but in any case, Roxas found himself tripping over his words as he tried to force them past the sudden lump (that shouldn’t have been there) in his throat: “You know that I….”

Yet again he trailed off, his tongue not able to keep up with his mind, or maybe the problem was that damned lump that just wouldn’t go away. You know that I’d ask you to come with me, if I could. You know that I’ll miss you. You know that I’m sorry for leaving. You know that this isn’t easy for me, even though it should be.

“Don’t try so hard,” Axel said gently. This time, when he reached for Roxas, he actually touched him, gloved fingers lightly ruffling blonde hair. “I know, Roxy.”

Had it been any other day, Roxas would have ducked away and grumpily told the redhead not to call him ‘Roxy’, because he wasn’t fond of that nickname, to put it mildly. But Roxas didn’t duck away and he didn’t tell Axel not to call him by that dreaded nickname, because today wasn’t just any other day. Today, Roxas was walking away from what was quite possibly the best thing that had ever happened to him; he was walking away from the only person that actually mattered here in this land of nothingness.

Roxas had to go. He had to go now, or he wouldn’t be able to leave at all. He’d forget about finding the answers that he needed, and he’d close the last few inches of space between Axel and himself. He would stay.

“I’ll be seeing you, then.” Roxas turned around, his back now facing Axel, and he took that first step. When he did, he could have sworn that he felt something inside him crack.

He’d been wrong—each subsequent step was not easier but harder. His feel felt heavy but he kept on moving anyway, because he had to, and with each step, the crack grew larger and his feet grew heavier still. He didn’t look over his shoulder at Axel, because he knew it would only make leaving that much harder.

Thirteen steps away (more irony, he thought), he paused just long enough to open a portal to somewhere--anywhere but here. His hand was trembling minutely.

He knew that somewhere out there, his heart (or the half of it that belonged to him, because wasn’t he one-half of Sora?) was breaking, and he wondered, almost idly, if Sora could feel it too.

Hmm. Not sure what I think of this one. I could see it so vividly in my mind before I wrote it, and then while I was writing, the details got a little fuzzy, but I’m hoping they came across clearly. The main thing I really wanted to convey was that I don’t think Roxas was being a complete ass the day he left Axel. I think, on some level, he warred with himself over it. Of course, I could be wrong, but. ^^
Current Mood: blahblah
月子bubblegumtotchi on October 13th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
TT_________TT *cuddlesquishes them both*

Don't worry so much, darling. It came across perfectly fine. ^^
Kagome_newworld on October 13th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
I don't know what it is about these AkuRoku fics but it seems that the friggin' endings of them always have to be so damn heartbreaking. XD Except the fluffy-snarky ones that I haven't posted yet. *LOL*

*cuddles you tightly* So, it's okay, then? :D
月子bubblegumtotchi on October 13th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
It suits them, though. It really does. ^^

*cuddlesquishes* Better than okay, darling. It's wonderful! (not that I expect any less from you, and you never fail to provide ^^)
Kagome_newworld on October 13th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
It does. *nodnod* Given the way they parted and how things ended up for them.... ;______;

*clings* Yay! Thank you, honey! ^_____^
月子bubblegumtotchi on October 13th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
*nods* I have this feeling that the stoicism was an act, a cover. Cuz you get the feel that they (and Namine, too, actually) don't exactly adhere to the nothingness roles that Nobodies are supposed to be.
Kagome_newworld on October 13th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
I've gotten to where I kind of adore Namine (squishes her). XD Even though she seems to get between the AkuRoku goodness.

My brain is still trying to figure out the Namine is Kairi business. *LOL*
月子bubblegumtotchi on October 13th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
Hahaha Yeah, she kinda does. XD

That's what complicates my whole Axel-is-Riku theory, too. Cuz the whole thing with DiZ/Xemnas/Ansem, and then with Roxas/Sora... but Kairi/Namine don't really fit the mold, either. Cuz apart from being slim and female, Namine and Kairi don't really look that much alike, and the names certainly don't fit... So... maybe Axel really IS Riku's Nobody, after all? *scratches head*
Kagome_newworld on October 13th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
I have no clue! XD; They need to stop doing this to us and making us all confused. *LOL*
月子bubblegumtotchi on October 13th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
AGREED! It makes my head hurt trying to sort it all out. :P But at least, adding that one in, it gives us a little more hope that we might be right? XD
Kagome_newworld on October 13th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
I dunno, maybe? XD I'm very doubtful but I still want to hope because I'm silly like that. :D
月子bubblegumtotchi on October 13th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
That's not silly. Unless I'm silly, too.

...Wait, scratch that. NEVER TO BE MINDING THAT! :P
Kagome_newworld on October 13th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
*snickers and cuddles you*

I just wrote AkuRoku drabble that is full of sarcastic goodness. :D
月子bubblegumtotchi on October 13th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
*snuggles* XD

OOOOOOH YAY! *bounces around and waits impatiently* XDDDD
KitsuneSam: Phoenix Wright- Scarf Lovekitsunesam on October 13th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)

Oh god. I love this pairing. And you, you, you~ got it down wonderfully. I agree with you, there's definitely inner conflict there, and this story is wonderful.
Kagome_newworld on October 13th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! <3333 I'm glad you like it, because I was feeling a little uncertain about it once I'd actually written it. Wasn't sure if I got the words and the meaning across clearly, but it would seem that I did. ^_____^ This makes me happy!
sillytiredmesillytiredme on March 31st, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
I'm sitting here crying.
Mother of God, that was so amazing.

AkuRoku is just about my favorite pairing, like, ever.
And this is so freaking awesome.
I loveloveloveloveLOVE it.

I can totally feel the emotion in it and the pain and the resistance of Roxas leaving.
And it's kind of making me bawl.
; ^ ;

This is my favorite line ,'He knew that somewhere out there, his heart (or the half of it that belonged to him, because wasn’t he one-half of Sora?) was breaking, and he wondered, almost idly, if Sora could feel it too.'
But when it start stating WHY it's okay for Axel to call him Roxy TODAY, yeah, that's when I started to cry.
Like a baby.
Because this ROCKS.