Four drabbles, many pairings, all slashy/yaoi/shounen-ai, etc. Axel and Roxas, mentions of Riku and Sora, Jack and Sora, Cloud and Leon, Cloud and Leon and Sora, mentions of Sephiroth and cloud, S...
Axel, on Roxas/Sora
He tries to watch Sora and not see his best friend's eyes echoed back at him, the hair that spiked in the same way, though it seems darker now, less translucent; everything about Roxas had a barely-there quality, and after he'd lost his memory there seemed to be nothing at all tying him to the world, or to Axel.
He fights the kid, sometimes, challenges him-he harbors the hope that violence, that force, might shock him back to the way he was, put him right; he doesn't like to think that this has already happened, that it isn't Sora who is a shadow of Roxas, but Roxas the shadow.
If he stops to think about it-why he's betraying the Organization, why he's going to all these lengths-it hits him somewhere hard, because deep down he knows that he isn't going to see Roxas again; he knows it's only Sora now, Sora who already has a best friend and wouldn't be interested in playing the part for him anyway.
And he hates, just a little, the way the kid can cut down member after member with the justification that they don't have hearts; but Axel knows that, heart or no heart, he knows what love is-he knows what caring is. He doesn't really see why he needs something to prove it. When has anyone needed to prove love, after all-but he thinks that maybe Roxas wouldn't have left if he could have.
ii. 'gold and diamonds.'
Jack, on Sora
Jack puts a hand on his shoulders under the guise of steadying himself; he's always at least mildly inebriated, and though half of his affected swagger is intentional, half of it most decidedly is not. Sora grins at him, and there's something in that flush, young face that makes Jack want to pull the kid down onto the deck and-well, what all pirates do with treasure. Pillage, plunder, repeat.
The ship rocks hard and Jack sways. The kid is strong, the muscles on his arm tensing, his shoulder tendons taught against the skin, and even as he moves to catch the Black Pearl's captain he still can't quite hold them both up; one more wave against the hull and Sora is stretched out beneath him, slender-chested and pretty-eyed and smooth and soft and, most importantly of all, shining; this kid is a real bounty, he is, all gold and diamonds and purity.
Jack's hands slide up on either side of him, thumb brushing a rib, but he's already pushing himself up and offering a hand to the lad when Elizabeth comes up from the cabin and asks if everything's alright, that last knock was a big one, and Jack did you hurt Sora when you landed on him, you oaf.
She goes back to check on Will after scanning the horizon for Port Royal, and Jack still has Sora's wrist in his hand even after they're both standing. Sora looks up at him, and his hair is in his eyes from the wind, and his smooth lips are in a kind of half smile, and Jack does the only thing he can-he leans forward, claps the kid on the shoulder and staggers to the hold to get another bottle of rum.
iii. 'alone fighting thousands'.
Leon, on Sora and darkness and Cloud
Leon worries about him because he's still so young, so untried; all of his dreams can still come true, and there's a bright, shining kind of hope that he knows could make rags of the kid's heart if it were ever snuffed out. Sora is strong, and he's never fallen far enough and fast enough to stay down, and Leon worries that it will happen before Sora's heart is hard enough to bear it. There's too much kindness in the kid, too many thin walls of security that are what he's come to believe-and he believes everything anyone tells him.
If he knew, really, if he took a moment to step back and look at himself-it's too confusing, it's too real, but it's all a battlefield and Sora really is destroying people.
Cloud never says anything about it, and when he and Leon fight back to back-they are two against hundreds, and suddenly it hits him like a bag of bricks that Sora is over there, alone, fighting a thousand.
After, when Cloud is staggering slightly and Leon's holding him up with arm back around his ribs, he wonders if what he's holding a picture of is Sora's future-silent and broken and shadowed, and always always always fighting the darkness in his heart that has taken form, that has evolved to something greater; fighting the Sephiroth that is always in his mind, and holding the light-Aerith-at arms length, and suffering for it.
Cloud is quiet, and Leon says in a way that is almost quieter than the silence, "I hope that Riku isn't his darkness," and then, "if you love the darkness the way you love the light," and he trails off quietly because there can be no middle road for Sora. He will have to choose.
iv. 'so much, but so empty.'
Seifer and Roxas.
If Seifer thinks about Roxas, it's as an impression of light, an almost-empty apparition that smiles challenges and delivers, that is always set somehow apart from Hayner and the other punks; different, almost, and deeper, and somehow not-quite-there. On Sunset Hill, and the train, and Roxas looking at what no one else sees; and talking about destiny, and "let's be friends, then" because Seifer doesn't believe in following Fate around like a lost puppy. Smooth arms and narrow shoulders and scruffy, spiky hair, eyes bluer than the sea and the sky and all manner of things, and filled with so much, but so empty at the same time.
But Seifer never thinks about Roxas-he doesn't even know who he his.
Because Roxas never existed.