Roxas coughed, his eyes watering as his chest heaved in and out with the force. He was forced to sit up in the bed to get air into his lungs. Axel suddenly appeared in the room, his face a study in concern as he crossed to where Roxas was hacking, bending down to look at him carefully. “Hey, now, you okay?”
Roxas glared up at him, his coughing fit subsided. “I blame you.”
Axel gave him a sheepish grin, rubbing at the back of his head awkwardly. “I don’t know that I’d say that...”
The glare intensified. “You locked me out of the castle. In the rain. For three hours.” He held the gaze for a couple moments, then fell back onto the pillows with a heavy sigh. His hands wrapped around the blankets, pulling them up to his chin, his lower lip sticking out in an exaggerated pout. “I hate being sick.”
His eyes slid closed and he began to fall asleep. Axel smiled down on him, the expression on his face oddly tender. His fingers curled and uncurled tentatively, then gently reached out and brushed a bit of Roxas’ hair off of his sweaty forehead. He was startled to feel the heat emanating from the youth’s skin. “Fever,” he muttered to himself, shaking his head. Roxas stirred, groaning lightly in his fitful sleep, shivering under the covers.
The redhead drew an extra blanket out of the pile at the foot of the bed and laid it over the boy’s shaking, shivering form. He then turned, leaving the room and quietly drawing the door closed.
When Roxas awoke later, he was alone, and the room was dark. His head was pounding, and as he drew in a breath, his chest hitched and he started coughing again. Again, almost immediately, Axel was back in the room with him, this time holding a steaming mug.
“I was waiting for you to wake up,” he said, holding out the mug. Roxas took it, a curious look on his face. He sniffed at the steam rising from the cup and made a face. “What is this?”
Axel shifted his feet. “It’s medicine,” he said. “It’ll make you better.”
“It smells like a Hi-Potion that was left in the fridge for three months and then allowed to ferment in the sun.” Roxas could be quite descriptive when the situation called for it. Axel grinned at him and shook his head.
“It’s nothing commercial like that--it’s a home brew.” His face fell and his voice quieted a little. “Marluxia taught me.” Roxas fell silent as well--he knew of the history between Axel and Marluxia, before everything had fallen through and the rift had split the Organization. Before Marluxia had been destroyed. But he couldn’t let Axel reminisce forever. There were far more pressing matters at hand--such as convincing Axel to not force him to take the medicine.
“...It still smells disgusting.” Axel looked up at him and laughed, but his eyes were no longer as warm as they had been.
“Roxas. Drink it.” His voice adopted a commanding tone, and he glared at the shocked blond. He couldn’t understand why his friend was being so forceful about this.
“I don’t want to!”
“You will drink it one way or another.”
“I can’t trust this! You could be trying to poison me!" A strange, hurt look passed over Axel’s face. Roxas was partially joking, but Axel seemed to be taking it quite seriously. Soundlessly, the redhead took the mug back from his friend and tipped it back against his lips, taking a gulp. He gave Roxas a look that clearly asked, ‘Satisfied!?’
Roxas still looked wary. It smelled gross. He thought that ifthe smell of it bothered him that much, the taste would probably make him more sick than he was. He didn’t take the proffered mug back from Axel.
“Roxas...Drink. The. Potion.”
Roxas hated medicine of any kind. It was gross-tasting, it hardly ever worked...did Axel seriously think he would take it just because he asked?
“I’m not giving you a choice.” Roxas raised an eyebrow, opening his mouth to speak, but another fit of coughing blocked off any words. Axel sighed, waiting not so patiently while Roxas cleared out his lungs.
“What are you going to do, forcefeed me?” Axel didn’t answer, turning around as though to leave. Roxas smiled, feeling triumphant, but the smile vanished from his face as Axel whipped back around to face him, his cheeks puffed out with the liquid contained in them, and firmly pressed his lips over Roxas’. His thumb pulled the blonde’s chin down, opening his mouth, and he forced the medicine from his own mouth into Roxas’. Startled, the blond swallowed, feeling the bitter fluid oozing down his throat. He barely noticed it, however, as Axel moved his lips against Roxas’, changing their contact from a simple transfer to a full-out kiss, his arms raising up and wrapping around the blond’s lean form. The youth whimpered a little, pressing his body closer to Axel, but pulled his mouth away.
“You’ll get sick,” he whispered, his eyes slightly glazed. He didn’t know what was happening. His best friend was sitting on his bed, arms wrapped him, his lips parted and obviously wanting to keep kissing him, and yet he didn’t question it. He didn’t ask questions, he didn’t even think to himself that this could possibly be wrong. It just seemed so...right. Axel shook his head with a grin in response to his worries.
“I can always make more medicine.”
((THIS IS NOT MINE!!))