Axel and Roxas. "The first night Roxas ever spends at Castle Oblivion..." Cute, angsty because of what eventually happens in the game.
The first night Roxas ever spends at Castle Oblivion, he can't get used to the silence. He knows that he comes from somewhere bright and colorful and lively, but all the memories are half-faded and have some kind of sad cast to them. All he knows for sure is that there was a girl who was always there but never close, a boy who was always close but never there, and friends whose smiles he knows he used to carry in his heart but are no longer present. Because Roxas doesn't have a heart anymore.
If there is time in this place, it is after midnight. It is very early in the sense that it is very late, and there's a stumble outside his door and then it opens.
The first time he meets Axel, Axel is half-drunk and laughing and even as he falls into the bed smelling like rum from Port Royal, the thought catches in his mind that the fire master's hair must have been brighter than the sunlight to be so blood-colored now, because everyone fades when they are extricated from themselves.
Shadows, nobodies-but Axel's hair is still as red as anything Roxas has ever seen.
He stills when his mouth is on Roxas' collar bone and he leans up off of the small, motionless form, squinting, and says quietly, "Hmm. Wrong room."
For a moment he appears thoughtful in a hazy way-then he swears and stands, faster than someone so intoxicated ought to. "New kid. Right." He rubs his temples and Roxas pushes himself up, weight braced on his hands. He is silent.
"They've got plans for you, so. Off limits. You used to be someone pretty special, y'know?" His lips twist wryly. "If you want to do me a favor-I really didn't mean to come in here. Mistakes and all." He pushes a gloved hand back through his hair and sighs with a half-smile.
Roxas thinks he looks very kind, and also that he is very alone in this strange, new place.
"So, if you wanna not mention this to the boss-"
Roxas looks at his robe, the black of it a heavy blot on the otherwise light-colored room, dark even in the darkness as it lies folded neatly on the end table. There are very few personal effects in this room, and he is slowly starting to realize the kind of life he's going to lead, here.
"I guess I'll be going, then. Nice meeting you." He stumbles only a little when he turns toward the door, and Roxas speaks for the first time.
Axel freezes. "Excuse me?"
"I said," and he can't really say for sure what he's doing, why he's putting these terms to it-be he knows that he doesn't want to be alone here. "I won't say anything if you-stay."
Axel turns around slowly, sizes him up.
There is an instant where the lost eyes that won't meet his are creased, just a little, just beneath; and he catches on quick.
"I suppose so. You're pretty cute. What's your name?"
"Roxas," he says quietly. "I think."
"Axel," the fiery man supplies, but Roxas already knew, just like Axel already knew. They are exchanging pleasantries. "And yeah-usually the most you'll remember of your name is something that almost resembles it. Comes back all garbled. We only remember what we used to have in our hearts. Facts get screwy."
Roxas moves over a little and Axel only hesitates a moment before sliding out of his robe and tossing it carelessly at the foot of the bed. His shoes are kicked off and he slides beneath the plain cotton coverlet in his standard-issue blacks. After a minute or two he takes off the shirt as well, and then scoots a little closer to the washed-out brunette.
"Promise you won't tell on me?" He breathes quietly, and he still smells like rum. Later he'll say that he was on a mission, and he smells like the tropics, too, but Roxas can't think that business was all it was.
"Axel," he repeats quietly, "Axel. Alright." And then, "Promise."
There's soft laughter, and it's wiry, almost, and crushing, even when it is hardly louder than a whisper. "Yes. Axel is my name. Got it memorized?"
Roxas smiles, just a little, for the first time.
They've been friends ever since.