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Heading home on Christmas Eve, the last thing Roxas expected was to find something, or rather someone sitting on the steps leading up to his apartment. Pausing at the bottom of said stairs, he looked on with honest surprise as his unexpected guest remained motionless, a spent cigarette held loosely between two fingers. Of all people, he never thought that he'd find his short tempered redheaded roommate willingly sitting in the cold, centimeters of snow already gathered on his hair and shoulders.

"Axel?" he called quietly in question, slowly ascending the stairs. "What are you doing here? I thought you were going to be out of town for the holidays?"

"Hmm?" Axel shook himself, clumps of snow falling free from his scarlet locks. He had been so lost in thought, trying to think of the best way to tell his best friend, roommate and love of his life that not only had he lied about having plans for the holidays already, but that he had done so in order to avoid potentially spilling his feelings and the subsequent awkwardness he was positive would follow.

Apparently, a certain pair of mutual friends had other ideas and had not only cornered Axel, but had all but threatened blackmail if he didn't actually confess to Roxas. Because that's what friends did; kicked you while you were down and then blackmailed you into growing a pair. Well crap… he finally showed up.

"I um… that is… Well, you see, my uh, grandma called me right? Apparently the weather is wicked bad out her way and…" he began, trying to remember exactly what excused he'd originally used as the younger man neared him, confusion written all over his face. Damn Demyx… I swear he's picking up this whole being sneaky thing from Zexion!

Stopping a couple steps below Axel's perch on the top step, Roxas reached forward to halt the redhead's ramblings with a touch of his gloved finger to the other man's lips. Forced to silence, the cold conditions Axel had been sitting in finally caught up to him in the form of nearly violent shivers. As per usual, he had sacrificed some much needed warmth in favour of fashion. Stupid idiot. When will he learn that his damn leather jacket isn't warm enough for northern winters? He shook his head and sighed. "Never mind that, what the hell were you thinking sitting out here in this freezing cold? Did you lose your keys or something?"

No. Demyx and Zexion STOLE my keys. All of them, including my damn CAR keys. Bastards. "Ye-es, I must have left them at Demyx's when I was visiting him and Zexion this afternoon. I didn't want to bother you at work so I decided to just, well… wait for you to get home."

"So that's why your car isn't here?" Roxas asked, growing more and more puzzled by Axel's rather odd behavior. And that was saying something, considering his friend was more than a bit peculiar to begin with.

"Um… yes?" He answered, although it came out as more of a question than an answer. His attempt at a charming smile was less than successful if Roxas' expression was anything to go by.

"Ri-ight," the blond drawled, an eyebrow quirking in a remarkable imitation of the one so often worn by his older brother. "Well, then get your ass up before you freeze to death or something," he continued, reaching down to grasp the hand not still holding the sad stump of a cigarette.

Little did he know how that simple gesture make Axel want to both pull him close and alternately run away and retch his guts out of nerves. He did, however, note that his friend did not exactly look his best at the moment. Must be from sitting out here on the steps for so long…

"Why didn't you call me? You could have come by the shop to borrow my keys, you know."

Well shit. Why didn't I do that? Oh right, because I'm an IDIOT. "I… didn't want to disturb you at work?" Axel temporized, wrapping icy digits around warm wool and tossing the dead cigarette over the railing to join its fallen brethren on the icy ground.

"Axel, I work at the video rental shop just off campus and it's Christmas Eve. Exactly how busy do you think I was tonight? I think I had a grand total of three customers during my entire shift!" He shook his head and proceeded to withdraw his hand so that he could unlock the door to their apartment. "I would have welcomed a distraction! It's not as if I had any homework to work on, and I finished the book I brought with me."

Oh you have no idea the ways I'd love to "distract" you, Roxas. No. Idea. "Heh, I guess you're right," he laughed nervously, shaking as much of the remaining snow off his person as he could before he followed the blond through the doorway. "I'll remember that next time," Axel added, giving what he hoped was a disarming smile.

"What are friends for, if not to laugh at you for losing your keys before lending you their own?" Roxas smirked, shucking out of his layers of winter armor before heading into the small kitchenette. "I don't know about you, but I am so ready for a couple days off," he continued as he bustled around filling the coffee maker with water, filter and grounds, completely oblivious to his roommate's plight in the hallway.

"Thanks Rox, love ya too man. Why don't you just dump some snow down my shirt and call me an idiot already?" Axel grumbled, finally getting his frozen fingers to cooperate enough to unzip his coat and hang it up.

"Because that, Axel," Roxas smirked as he poked his head out of the kitchenette, "would be immature and redundant. You already know you're an idiot, so why do I need to tell you that?" Turning around, he snorted before he started snickering at Axel's rather bedraggled and all together pathetic appearance. Normally vibrantly spiked hair was now hanging limply as the snow and ice that had coated it melted in the warmth of the apartment, while the owner's cheeks and nose were almost match for that very same hair in hue. Not at all Axel's usual self.

Axel slumped in one of the chairs at the table, even going so far as to let his head fall to rest on the tabletop. "Remind me again why we had to go to the college that's in the one city colder than the Snow Queen's ass?" He mumbled into the smoothly varnished oak. Hmm, we really need to wipe this thing down better…

"Uh, that would be because we wanted to move away from our folks? And because HBU had both the programs we were interested in?" The blond shrugged, leaning against the counter while waiting for the coffee to finish brewing. He was more of a tea man most of the time, thanks to years of association with Zexion and Demyx, but he knew that Axel preferred coffee and didn't mind it when it was fresh and hot.

"You know Axel, you kinda look like shit. Are you okay?"

"Funny you should mention that Rox, because I kinda feel like shit. I fucking hate snow!" A loud sneeze followed his expletive, closely hounded by a pitiable amount of sniffling and groaning. He'd purposely failed to mention that he had wandered the streets for a few hours in an attempt to find some kefi, chutzpah or whatever you'd like to call it.

He hadn't found any, but the cold had succeeded in driving him back to their apartment anyway. Sadly, Axel had forgotten that Roxas didn't get out of work until 5:30, even if it was Christmas Eve. And so, he'd ended up sitting on the top step doing his impression of some sort of demented Christmas decoration, collecting snow until Roxas returned and jolted him out of his reverie. Which led in turn to his present location in the small kitchenette, Roxas making coffee and Axel doing his impression of a pathetic, drowned rat.

It was far from his best moment, by any measure.

"Here," Roxas said, setting down a steaming mug of coffee prepared just the way Axel liked it before sitting across from him. "So does this mean you'll be staying for Christmas then?"

Sipping the hot brew carefully, Axel moaned as the warmth traveled all throughout his body before he nodded. "Yeah, I guess it does. Think ya can handle having me around?"

The blond rolled his eyes and continued to drink his own coffee. "I think I can," he replied. Turning his thoughts to the vague excuses Axel had made not only this year but the previous as well, he began to wonder. Why did his friend always come up with some lame-ass reason why he was leaving for the week between Christmas and New Years? They used to always celebrate both holidays together back in high school and that had continued for Roxas' first year of college. It was now his third year (and Axel's fourth) and for the last two years including this one, the redhead had made himself scarce. Strange, all things considered. And last year, he swore he'd seen Axel zipping around a corner the day after Christmas.

"Axel," he began softly, staring into the depths of his half-empty mug. "Can I ask you something?"

"You already have Rox, but sure… go ahead," Axel placed his now empty mug on the table and avoided looking Roxas in the eyes. Something was telling him that he wasn't going to like where this was going.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out in a soft sigh, Roxas began slowly, only to gain momentum by the end. "Why do you always leave for holidays lately? We used to always celebrate them together, but all of a sudden last year, you started to not be around. I know you're not that close with most of your family, and it's not as if it's a short drive there anyway. Is it something I did?-"

"No!" Axel's hand shot out to grasp one of Roxas', halting the words flowing from the blond that were making his own heart twist deep within his chest. "No, it's not you. It's never you, Roxas. I…" he sighed, trying to make his thoughts into words that would not sound completely idiotic. "I'm an idiot, okay? I couldn't stand the thought of losing you as a friend, so I did the best thing I could think of. I ran away."

His eyes were downcast, suddenly finding the grain on their old and battered table utterly fascinating. Softly warm hands shyly wrapped themselves around his still cold digits, rubbing the icy flesh gently. "Axel, that makes absolutely no sense. Why would you sticking around for Christmas or New Years make me not want to still be your friend?"

"Because… because… because Roxas," Axel's normally strong voice faltered. "Because I'm in love with you, okay? And I couldn't stand the thought of spending the holidays with you but not being able to really share them with you. To not be your New Year's kiss, your Christmas good morning. I just… I couldn't… but I can't stand not being here anymore."

That said, he pulled his hands free, stood and turned to head down the hallway to his bedroom. His progress was halted by hands grabbing his arm, spinning him around and tugging his shoulders down so their owner could press their lips against Axel's. The redhead did the only thing his short-circuiting brain could think of – he kissed Roxas back, wrapping his arms around the blond's waist to pull him closer.

"Rox?" His voice was a little bit harsh and he was more than a little confused. Ecstatic, but confused.

In answer, Roxas simply pointed up at the mistletoe hanging from the arch that led to the hallway, a small smirk spreading across his face. "I love you too, you idiot," he laughed. "Merry Christmas Axel."

Warmed in a way he'd never thought possible, Axel laughed joyously and hugged Roxas tight. "Merry Christmas Rox."

Let it never be said that one's friends didn't act on the Christmas spirit.
Argh, I've been assimilated by the Borg!! Ahahah. But yeah, these two just did not want to cooperate... thankfully, eventually I was able to wrangle them together into this little drabble.

Written for :icontheisraelproject107:'s Secret Santa as a gift for :iconrosekoneko: - I hope you like it hon! Sorry it took me forever!

Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, but they sure are fun to play with!!

Also, I apologise for any mistakes - I proofread this myself, but things slip by sometimes!

A/N: You may or may not have to "download" in order to read - dA has made everything all wonky for submitting literature/fics since the last time I've done so. >_>
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RoseKoneko Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2010
@________@ I love it! Thank you so much! This is probably going to be one of my favorite Christmas presents.

(^^; I'm sorry this is REALLY late, I lost my internet for awhile. It had excellent timing, that I lost it apparently the day you posted your wonderful story.)
TwilightFalcon Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010
:hug: I'm so glad you like it! It definitely made me work outside my normal "comfort" zone as it were!

Ah hah... and here I though you hated it! ;) But I totally understand - I do NOT miss the days of dial-up and it getting knocked out constantly.
starsie14 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
awww cute
TwilightFalcon Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
Thank you~
starsie14 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
no problem!
IrishCosplayer Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
I love it! Such a good story and really good description! ^_^
TwilightFalcon Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! :)
IrishCosplayer Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2010
=D I sure did!
Katze-Kazet Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
OMG This was well written and so sweet! It makes me want to draw a fanart of this story!! I loved all the little descriptive details you placed. I could really see and feel it all. Wonderful work!!
TwilightFalcon Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
Haha thank you so much! I have to admit, it's still super awkward for me to write Roxas and Axel. Glad you liked it and if you ever do feel inclined to draw any fanart, let me know so I can fangirl over it. XD
Katze-Kazet Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
Well I think that it was great!! You wrote it very well!!
Your writing skills are wonderful!!
I'm a big AkuRoku fan and ARR too..and I will totally let you know
if I draw some!! I really want to so you probablly will hear out of
me again!!! :la:
TwilightFalcon Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
I'm still convinced that AkuRoku is the Borg... but when it's written/drawn well I can deal. ;) ARR is delicious though. XD

I will definitely look forward to seeing that then! ^__^
Katze-Kazet Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
xDD It almost is!! LOOL
But I totally agree. And who can pass up
a Axel, Roxas, Reno sandwich? Yum! >//<;;
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December 30, 2009
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