AkuZeku Co-op Fiction Chapter 3-6
Pairing: Axel x Zexion
Done and Completed by Cloakedschemer06
Word Count: 848
"Sorry 'bout that, Kairi. Didn't see your shorty-ness there."
"Get bent, Axel." Then another giggle fell from her glossy lips as she noticed Zexion finally calming down. "But thanks for helping me up."
And so it continues
"Don't mention it; I always knew you'd fall for me." Axel grinned that well-known, irresistible smirk of his.
Zexion couldn't help but laugh, a peal so genuine, it startled the other two.
It warmed Axel's heart to see Zexion finally opening, even just a little, especially after this morning's class. He had never seen anyone so devoid of emotion, so withdrawn and cold that they looked like a ghost.
Axel shuddered internally at the memory of the haunted, soulless look on the emo's face as he told them about his past. The kid seemed to have aged well beyond his years with just a few words, not to mention the whole three hours it took for him to speak through just to end the lecture.
A small part of him had wanted to get up in the middle of the class, walk up to Zexion, and simply embrace him, just to make the kid realize he wasn't alone anymore.
Axel hadn't even realized that the two people beside him had sobered up from their little fiasco until Kairi's voice brought him back to the present time.
"Hey, so, you two want to go get something to eat uptown at lunch or are you sticking to the nasty cafeteria food here?" Kairi asked, tilting her head slightly.
" Axel glanced over to Zexion.
Zexion returned his gaze for a moment, and then turned his attention to Kairi once more.
"I don't have much funding. If you recall, I had to get into this school by talent and circumstance alone. I couldn't pay the fees, and without my experience to save my hide, I would have never come to this school in the first place. They offered to give me whatever food I wish from the cafeteria here as part of my, reward, I suppose, for allowing myself to be a lamb led to slaughter."
Zexion hadn't meant to sound quite so bitter; he truly hadn't, but he knew from the way the other two cringed slightly that he had been, far more than he had consciously realized.
"My apologies," he mumbled.
"Nononononono, it's okay," Kairi smiled, "no need to apologize. I guess I just forgot that you didn't have to pay to get in. It's not a bad thing, I mean, it means people don't realize you're differe-"
"Kairi, shut up," Axel snapped.
The red-haired girl turned on Axel, raising an eyebrow.
"That was rude! I didn't mean anything- Oh," she paused.
Zexion had turned away from them both, shaking his head, and mumbling softly.
"It's not your fault. You don't know any different, either of you. Not that I blame you two for being ignorant; it's merely human nature and nothing more."
"Zexy, don't be like this. C'mon, we'll go get something to eat now wherever you like, alright?" Axel offered as he walked up to his new-found friend and wrapped an arm around his shoulders, giving them a squeeze.
Zexion shrugged off his arm, "No, I'm not hungry. I-I'll see you after class, Axel. And you'd better go to yours. I don't want you to jeopardize your schooling for someone like me, understood?"
The smaller of the trio started walking off in no general direction. He simply wanted to get away from those two; all he ever wanted was to be left alone - couldn't they understand that?
He pulled out the map he was given when he had first arrived and set off towards his next class, sober, and resolute that he would not let anyone, anyone, see under the cold walls that protected his heart ever again.
Not Axel. Nobody.
"What was that about?" Kairi glanced over to the tall red-head next to her as they watched the smaller boy retreat.
"Look, Kairi, you gotta watch what you say around the kid-"
"I didn't mean anything by what I said! I didn't realize-"
"That's just it. You didn't realize. You weren't there in the class, were you? You didn't get to see his face and how quickly he just
he crumpled in on himself. It was like he wasn't even there, like his body was just a shell without a soul," Axel mumbled.
Kairi cringed away from him. It wasn't often that Axel -sarcastic, easy-going, smart ass, Axel- was serious. In fact, there was only once that she had seen him this way and it made her heart ache to see him this pained. He, himself, sounded just as Zexion had and his thin stature suddenly seemed far too thin. Was this what he meant by Zexion looking old beyond his years?
Of course, everyone knew what had happened to Axel, but nobody ever talked about it to his face. They were too afraid to. Sure, Axel was lean, extremely so, but he had proven many times that people shouldn't judge by appearance alone. Hell, he was the one who had given Xigbar that nasty, gnarled scar on his face.
It was all because Xigbar had brought up the one thing that nobody ever dared to bring up around Axel:
the death of his little brother.
~To Be Continued