Prompt: It’s not quite good enough.
Warnings: Angst, mild language
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Axel/Roxas, Sora
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies.
Summary: He is almost (but not quite) the one Axel has been looking for.
Notes: Prompt given to me by zhen_zheng. It just seemed so fitting for Axel. ^_^ It was supposed to be a drabble, but it was just a tad too long to make it. XD I tend to say that drabbles are under 600 words. This goes over the word limit. >_>
Hidden in the shadows, Axel watches as Sora fights the Heartless, making no move to either aid or hinder the boy. He merely watches, knowing that Sora will be all right in spite of the fact that he’s managed to somehow get himself separated from his companions. He’s doing well enough on his own.
Sora’s moves in battle are almost (but not quite) like Roxas’; they are almost (but not quite) as graceful, and almost (but not quite) as feral when need be.
Each time Sora attacks, whether the attack is carefully calculated or not, Axel can see a little of Roxas in there—in Sora’s movements and in his eyes and in the way his jaw clenches in determination.
Axel knows that Roxas is no longer here because of Sora. He knows Roxas is literally part of Sora now—two-in-one, but not quite. He wonders if it’s possible to make Sora go back to sleep, because maybe then, Roxas will come back.
Axel wants to strip Sora bare—not just of clothing but of everything: flesh and bone and sinew, and he wants to reach inside the deepest recesses of him and drag Roxas out so that Roxas can be here again.
Maybe he would do that, if it were possible, but Axel knows that it isn’t possible.
The Heartless are gone now. Vanquished. Sora has done his job. He is still standing there, breathing heavily, but he is uninjured. Unsurprising.
Giving in to what can only be described as reckless impulse (no thought, just action), Axel steps out of his hiding place and claps for the boy, the sound not muffled by his gloves, since he is currently not wearing them. “Excellent job, Sora.”
Sora is instantly on his guard once more, his Keyblade rematerializing in his hands. “What are you--”
“Watching,” Axel interjects, moving closer to the boy. Sora doesn’t back away, but he raises the Keyblade a little higher, as though in warning. Axel isn’t afraid in the least; he is a Nobody and lacks the ability to feel such things, after all.
They stand there, a few feet away from each other, neither one backing down, neither one speaking until Sora finally breaks the silence: “Why?”
Good question. “Because I C-A-N,” Axel replies childishly before gesturing at the Keyblade and raising empty hands. “You can put that away, you know. I’m not going to attack you.”
How can I trust you? those eyes ask even as Sora lowers his weapon and lets it disappear. His eyes are almost (but not quite) the same shade of blue as Roxas’, and Axel idly wonders if Roxas is awake in there—wonders if the blonde can see him and hear him and smell him.
“Not that,” Sora begins slowly, seeming uncertain, and Axel doesn’t know what the boy could possibly be referring to. Thankfully (or perhaps not-so-thankfully), he elaborates: “I don’t want to know why you’re here.” His demeanor has taken a drastic turn, and he looks almost… sad, perhaps. Or desperate. Or curious. Or all three of those things and more.
It doesn’t make sense, though. “So why ask why?”
“You’re the only one of them so far who hasn’t called me Roxas. I want to know why.” He’s frowning now, his lips set in a thin curve that is almost (but not quite) identical to Roxas’.
Axel smiles even though he doesn’t mean it and lifts one hand, brushing his fingers over hair that is almost (but not quite) the same texture as Roxas’—surprisingly much softer than it looks.
Sora flinches slightly and gapes at Axel like he’s lost his mind. Perhaps Axel has, even though he feels like he’s lost something much greater. Something he’s never possessed in the first place.
“Axel?” Sora begins, disbelief and something akin to shock scribbled all over his face. He hasn’t moved, and Axel wonders if Roxas – Roxas, who has to be in there somewhere – can feel him, too.
Axel continues to touch him, running his fingers down the boy’s cheek, caressing skin that is almost (but not quite) as soft as Roxas’. His fingers reach Sora’s lips and he pauses. He is willing to bet that Sora almost (but not quite) tastes like Roxas, too.
He leans in to find out, but when Sora says his name again, he snaps out of it and backs away, needing to put some distance between them. He looks into endlessly blue eyes that aren’t Roxas’ as he finally answers: “Because you’re not. You’re not Roxas.”
Sora is only almost (but not quite) Roxas. He is almost (but not quite) the person Axel is looking for. He is almost (but not quite) the only person that’s ever made Axel feel like he had a heart.
Axel turns around and opens a portal to the Darkness, ignoring the weight of Sora’s questioning gaze as he does so. He has to get the hell out of here. He has to leave.
Because almost (but not quite) is only almost (but not quite) good enough.
Poor Axel. ;___; Don’t you just want to cuddle him now?