A/N: I knew this was a bad idea as soon as these words hit the paper! I know I shouldn't be writing more fics, because I really should be updating mine, but C'MON. Damn plot bunnies wouldn't frikkin give me a break! Now I got another story to worry about… I'm gonna have a heart attack…
Disclaimer: I own nothing… Awww…
A cloaked figure walked through the streets. He walked with fast strides, as if he was frantically searching for someone. He walked through every alleyway, but he did not encounter anyone. With a sigh, he continued to walk. 'He has to be here somewhere…' the figure thought. True to his thoughts, just as he was about to turn a corner, someone ran into him.
"Oof!" a young brunette cried out as he landed on the floor. The cloaked figure just stared at him. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" The brunette replied, standing up. He opened his eyes to look at the person he had just run into. "Roxas!" he exclaimed, as he hugged him.
"Roxas" just pushed the young brunette off. The figure pulled back his hood to reveal spiky blond hair and deep blue eyes. "Sora," he said, "how many times have I told you? You are not to leave my side!"
"I'm sorry," Sora once again said, shrinking back a little at Roxas's tone of voice. "I just had to see it… I mean… It was so-"
Roxas sighed, looking annoyed. "Sora, you can't be easily distracted. We're supposed to be on the run. If you keep toting yourself about, we're sure to get caught!"
"I'm sorry!" Sora said, tears welling up in his eyes, as he looked down at the ground.
Roxas sighed once again, before putting his hood up. "C'mon, let's go. We still have to reach the next town by nightfall."
"Okay!" Sora said, as he immediately replaced his near-crying face with a happier one. He dutifully followed Roxas, as they left the alleyway.
Axel wandered through the halls of the castle, bored. Without a war, things got boring fast, and he just didn't feel like training with his subordinates at this time. Actually, they all were terrible at fighting. If he ever wanted a true challenge, he knew he could turn to…
"Hey Riku!" Axel called out in the courtyard. Riku, the man he had just been calling to, was busy stringing a bow. Axel rolled his eyes. Riku just had to be good at every weapon. Something about being multi-proficient. Axel had laughed at Riku's attempt at magic. Let's just say that hole in the wall would never be fixed.
"What do you want?" Riku asked, as he pulled back the string and aimed at his target. He released, and the arrow hit his large circular target.
"Hey you hit it!" Axel cheered.
"Shut up before I shoot one at you," Riku muttered. "You're much easier to hit than a target anyways… And I think I'll even aim for your wyvern's wings…"
"Hey, don't bring Genarog (1) into this!" Axel exclaimed. "Or should I cut a certain horse's leg off…"
"If you're gonna get to Achaeus (1) then you'll have to go through my blade first!" Riku threatened. Genarog was Axel's wyvern, while Achaeus was Riku's horse. They both loved them dearly, and they were always very protective of them.
"You're blade is nothing compared to my lance!" Axel boasted.
"Wanna bet?" Riku asked, looking at Axel challengingly. As much as Axel really wanted to spar with Riku, he just didn't really feel up to it.
"Heh, sorry Riku, I got something to do in town," Axel said, while turning around and walking off.
"Aww, is the little wyvern knight scared?" Riku teased.
"Nope," Axel said, while looking back and winking. "Just finding a place that Genarog and I can bury your body." With that, Axel walked on off, ready to go have some fun. Just in case Riku needed him, at least he'd know where he'd be.
Axel approached the stables where all the horses were kept. Achaeus's stall was kept separate from the others. "Hey Achaeus," Axel said, coming up to the white stallion and petting him. Achaeus whinnied at his touch, and looked at Axel. "He's trying the bow again," Axel explained. "But you know better. You know your master is stupid. You know he'll never master the bows. Right?" Achaeus whinnied again, and moved its head up and down. Axel smirked and petted Achaeus. "Good boy. Alright, I gotta go with Genarog into town. I'll get you something." Achaeus watched Axel as he left and walked on over to the stable where the flying mounts were held.
No soldier, other than Axel of course, had a wyvern. About three girls were pegasus knights, but other than that, no one else had a flying mount. Axel was kinda happy that he had a wyvern. He absolutely loved the feeling of the wind blowing through his pointy fiery hair, and he always found wyverns more appealing than pegasi. Besides, pegasi were for girls… (2)
Axel approached Genarog's stall and smiled at the napping form of Genarog. Genarog was like a large lizard with wings. Green scales, yellow underbelly, and always napping in the sunlight. Axel picked up his spare steel lance that hung by the door and poked Genarog's nose with the back of it. Genarog lazily opened one eye to glare at Axel.
"Hey Genarog!" Axel replied in mock cheerfulness. "I'm going out to town!" Genarog merely closed his eyes, and shifted a little, as if to turn away from Axel. Axel rolled his eyes. "Yea, like I'm gonna walk there. Wake up!" Axel heard the growl, but he knew Genarog was just playing around. He put his saddle on Genarog's back and wrapped it around the front. A sleepy, albeit grumpy Genarog complied with his master's actions until Axel hopped on. "Let's go!" Axel cheered on, as he Genarog slowly paced outside and jumped up into the air. He began flapping his wings, until they got higher. They then began to start soaring in the air, off to the town of Raiz.
"Roxas, I'm hungry," Sora mumbled, as they walked down the path. Roxas looked around a bit. They seemed to be doing okay in progress.
"Very well than, we can rest for a while," Roxas said, sitting down. "I'd still like to make it to the town of Raiz before nightfall."
"Okay, okay," Sora said, with a smile, as he immediately began digging the bag that Roxas had just set down. He immediately pulled out a piece of bread, and broke it in two. He gave the smaller part to Roxas, hoping that he wouldn't notice.
"Try to be sneaky now, aren't you?" Roxas said with a smirk, as he took the smaller piece. "That's alright, I'm not that hungry. Eat up." Sora smiled at Roxas before greedily devouring his own. Roxas rolled his eyes and began eating his at a more moderate pace.
Soon, they were on the move again. Sora, eventually grew tired, and started piggybacking on Roxas. Roxas didn't mind that Sora had fallen asleep on him, but he did mind that if they were suddenly assaulted, he would have no means to defend himself.
True to his thoughts, he heard a rustle by the side of the road. He peered through the darkness. Night had already fallen, and Roxas was slightly irritated that they couldn't make their time limit he set. Still, Raiz shouldn't be too far off now. Roxas decided to pick up the pace, making sure Sora was still sleeping comfortably on his back.
Soon, houses came into Roxas's view. Not all of them were lit, telling Roxas just how late it was. He wanted to head for the nearby inn, but he suddenly saw three people heading down the road in his direction. They stood side-by-side in a wall-like motion, and Roxas actually thought they were after him. Roxas immediately veered to the right, hoping that he could get through on the alleyways alone. He would be unable to fight while protecting Sora at the same time…
He walked down the alleyway, and turned left. He turned right at the next intersection, and kept walking into the darkness. For once, he desperately wanted a torch. Suddenly, he stopped when he realized he has almost run into a wall. He was trapped in a dead end. He heard chuckling behind him. "So, he finally realizes he's trapped," a voice said. Roxas turned around, but he couldn't see anyone.
"Who is out there?" he called out. "Shows yourselves, cowards!"
"Now now, you shouldn't yell at us," the voice said once again. He chuckled. "Especially while you're at our mercy."
"What do you mean?" Roxas asked, trying to find the figures through the darkness. The fog that had rolled in was really irking him.
"You see, you are trapped. There's no way you can get out of this with your lives intact, while protecting that boy. I suggest you give yourself up now. Maybe we won't kill you."
"I refuse to," Roxas said, as he stood his ground. "Come and try to get me."
"Heh… So foolish. Come on out boys!" Out of the darkness, four brigands appeared out of nowhere. Roxas gulped.
"So," Axel said to a pink-haired girl as they walked out of the tavern. "How about a midnight stroll?" The girl giggled. "And how about a nice nap under the stars? I'm sure the innkeeper won't miss you too much."
The girl giggled again, and batted her eyelashes. "Well, if you insist."
Axel smirked. "Oh yeah?" He pulled the girl along the road, but he instantly saw some shifty figures going down an alleyway. Axel didn't care much for it, until he saw the customary red bandanas that they wore. Red bandanas… Those were Dai's bandits! Dai's bandits were known for assaulting fair-looking men and women. It wasn't uncommon for dead bodies to be found sexually assaulted. 'Should I help?' Axel thought. He was with someone right now! I mean, not like it anything serious, but… He just wanted to get lucky…
Axel sighed, as he instantly pictured Riku. Riku would've instantly helped the unlucky victim. For once, Axel cursed the rivalry that he and Riku shared. He turned to the girl. "I'm sorry my beautiful flower, but could you please wait in the inn? I need to pay a visit to the armory."
The girl smiled. "Don't be too long, soldier. When you get back, maybe we can cancel those plans for a walk. Maybe you could see my room?" She winked, and walked back into the inn. Axel shook his head of any thoughts and started running to the armory. He wasn't totally lying…
"One axereaver please," Axel said, as he ran into the armory.
The man looked at him and gruffly replied, "1950 gold pieces or no deal."
Axel reached into his pocket. Crap no gold! Axel felt around his pockets when he suddenly remembered something. He reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a circular red gem. He laid it down on the table. "This should do," he stated firmly.
The vendor picked up the gem and looked at it. He pocketed it and picked up a lance from the rack. "Here you go," he replied gruffly. Axel nodded, and ran out, taking it with him. There goes his gift to that girl…
"So what are you going to do?" the voice said once again, as Roxas glared at the brigands. They all had impassive faces and Roxas knew they were nothing more than the grunts. They were weak, unskilled, and followed all orders regardless of what they entailed. Still, even an unskilled axe user could hurt a sleeping Sora.
"Looks like he's not answering boss," one of the brigands remarked.
"Then attack you morons!" the voice shouted. The brigands nodded, and started walked closer to Roxas. "What are you waiting for? Attack him!"
The brigands rushed forth, but Roxas was ready. He kept his right hand to his back to support Sora's body, while he reached to the blades that hung by on his sash. He pulled out an iron sword, and began deflecting blows. However, Roxas could only perform flimsy counterattacks at best. The brigands soon pushed him back to the wall. He was already covered with several scratches, and there was an open gash on his left arm from where an unlucky axe hit him. He could barely defend with his sword anymore, and the brigands soon disarmed him of it. One of them brought up his axe, and let it fall, but he suddenly stopped, when a spear went through his body. He slumped over, and the spear withdrew in a fluid motion. A redhead with spiked hair, carrying a torch in his left hand, hoisted the spear up with his right arm.
"Anyone else want some?" he asked challengingly. The remaining three brigands looked at each other before rushing forth. Axel was able to evade and counterattack, especially since he was using a weapon fit for fighting against axes. Soon, not a single brigand was left, and Axel strapped the lance to his back. He bent down to Roxas's currently sitting form. "You alright?"
"Thank you," Roxas said, as he tried to stand up, but failed miserably, falling back on the ground. There was no use when his left arm was just flopping about uselessly.
"That looks bad. We need to get a healer," Axel remarked. "Here, give me the kid. I'll let you stand." Axel started reaching for Sora.
"Don't touch him!" Roxas snapped. "I can get up on my own. I appreciate your help in fighting off those bandits, but I don't need anything else."
Axel blinked owlishly at Roxas. He just saved his life, and this is what he says? "Are you normally this much of a bastard?" Axel asked the still sitting Roxas.
"I can never be too wary," Roxas muttered, as he stood up, this time going slowly. "You could be a bandit yourself."
"Oh right, how could I forget that possibility?" Axel said, as he rolled his eyes. He was starting to regret saving this kid. "Look, do you want my help or not. That wound looks bad, and I don't want the kid to see you collapse."
"His name is Sora," Roxas shot back. "…And fine… If you could, could you locate my bag? I believe one of the bandits might've taken it in the brawl."
"Alright, let me search for it," Axel said, as he used the torch to peer through the darkness. He found the man that had been chuckling evilly to himself. He was a weak man who did not even have a weapon in him. He seemed to talk an awful lot though, as that was how Axel found them. Axel looked at the man's dead corpse and found a bag. He showed it to Roxas. "Is this it?"
Roxas nodded. "Yea, can you look for a vulnerary inside?" Axel nodded, and opened the bag up. He dug through several articles of clothing, as well as some gold.
'Not a lot,' Axel thought to himself. He eventually pulled out a vulnerary and handed it to Roxas. Roxas thanked him, and rubbed the salve onto his wound. "That's gonna take some time to heal up," Axel remarked. "At least a day or two. That wound is pretty deep."
Roxas glared at Axel as he put away the vulnerary. "I know…"
Axel sighed. "Look, do you want help or not? I noticed you don't have a lot of gold."
"I told you to only get me a vulnerary!" Roxas yelled. "How dare you look through my possessions!"
"Calm down," Axel said, sighing to himself. "As I was saying, I noticed you don't have a lot of gold. So renting a room at the inn would be more of a waste of money. So how about you stay with me until you get better."
Roxas narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "You intend to put me farther into debt by doing this favor?" he asked.
"No!" Axel said, groaning a little. What was he trying to say? Was he actually thinking of inviting him to the castle? However, deep inside his head, Axel probably already knew the answer. "Look, I live at the castle that runs this city. I can bring you back to the castle, and you can stay there for a while."
"I will have nothing to repay you though," Roxas said, closing his eyes and concentrating.
"It's alright, just leave it to me," Axel said with a smirk. "C'mon. Are you going to come or what?" Axel turned around and started walking away. He knew Roxas was going to follow. This always worked…
"Wait!" Roxas called out. Axel looked back. "…I will… come with you," Roxas said.
"Great," Axel said. "Now hurry up! It's already gonna be tough enough to wake Genarog up…"
"Genarog?" Roxas said, puzzled.
Roxas had been surprised with seeing the giant wyvern just napping there right next to several bags. He was even more surprised when Axel poked its nose with his spear. He almost lost it there when the wyvern looked at him, its yellow eyes piercing through him.
"Genarog, be good," Axel said. "We're taking these two home with us." Genarog looked at Axel. "Stop thinking perverted things!" Axel suddenly exclaimed, a slight blush tinting his cheeks. Roxas didn't get it... He supposed that some people spent too much time with their mounts.
"Hey, what's your name again?"
Roxas was suddenly snapped out of his thoughts by that question. He looked at Axel. "That's right," he remarked. "We haven't been formally introduced yet. I apologize."
"Nothing to 'pologize for," Axel said, amicably. "Genarog just wanted to know who he'd be carrying."
"My name is Roxas," Roxas said, more to Axel than the wyvern, "and this is Sora. He is… my younger half-brother…"
"Well, as you know, my name is Axel. Got it memorized?"
"..." Roxas did not respond.
Axel turned to his wyvern. "What do you think, Genarog?" Genarog seemed to stare at Roxas a bit more, which seemed to unnerve him. "Go on," Axel said, to Roxas. "Pet him."
Roxas hesitantly reached out his weak hand. "Uhm… Like this?" Roxas petted the top of the Genarog's head lightly. It felt soft. It was still scaly, but it had that living element that it was still a living creature. Roxas stared into Genarog's yellow eyes, and Genarog stared back at Roxas's blue ones.
Genarog flicked out its tongue and licked Roxas's hand.
"Oh!" Roxas cried out, a hint of excitement in his voice. "He licked my hand!"
"Heh, wow," Axel said, watching the exchange between his new friend and his oldest friend. "That's actually impressive. It looks like Genarog likes you. I've never seen him become so friendly with anyone other than me." 'And Riku,' Axel mentally thought. 'But Genarog's never licked Riku's hand. This kid must be different...'
"Really?" Roxas asked, his hand rubbing Genarog's head. He didn't even realize he was rubbing his head, it just seemed to go automatically.
"Yup," Axel said with a smile. As much as he wanted to watch this little exchange, he knew he had to get back soon. "C'mon Roxie! We gotta get back!"
"Roxie?" Roxas asked, dumbfounded by such a nickname.
"Yea!" Axel said, with a smirk this time. "You no like?"
"As a matter of fact, I don't…" Roxas mumbled. He looked away from Axel, although he did accept his help on getting onto Genarog.
"Alright then," Axel said, making sure both Roxas and Sora were comfortable and not about to fall off. "Put the little guy in-between of us, and hold on to me. That way I can make sure none of you will fall off." Roxas did as he was told, finding it better to just listen than argue on the wyvern. Admittedly, he was a bit nervous. He had never flown in the air before. "Alright then… Genarog, go!" He flicked the reins a little, and Genarog took off running on all fours. Luckily, they were in the open plains area outside the city. Soon, Genarog was off the ground, and flapping his wings higher into the air. The wind blew softly, but as Genarog flew higher into the air, it became faster.
Roxas held tightly onto Axel. He was scared, but he was also feeling a bit excited. This feeling of being in the air was… amazing. The wind blew his hood back (when he had just put it back up) and he felt it sweep through his hair, making him feel more relaxed. Roxas smiled, as he leaned into Sora, who was sleepily laying on Axel's back.
Roxas looked at Sora's sleeping form, and his smile became just a little smaller. He was kind of sad that Sora was unable to experience this. He always loved mounts, but he too, had never ridden one. Roxas decided it was just better to let Sora sleep.
Riku sighed. Honestly, whenever Axel went out, he always came back late. And sometimes, he didn't come back at all. Riku knew he should've set out to look for his errant friend earlier, but he had some business to attend to. He headed for the stables to prepare Achaeus, but he noticed a speck flying through the night air. Riku smiled. At least the flaming-haired idiot had made it back on time. And by the looks of it, not drunk, since Genarog wasn't swerving. Not that Genarog would've let his drunken master control his movements anyways…
As Genarog landed, Riku noticed that there were two people behind Axel. Riku raised an eyebrow at this, and walked on over to Axel. Well, just for fun…
"Axel!" Riku called out, as Axel slid off his wyvern.
"Wassup, Riku?" Axel asked.
"So you brought someone home, eh?" Riku joked. He looked at Roxas trying to slide off of Genarog while keeping Sora up. "Mmm, he's cute."
"It's not that!" Axel exclaimed, his face growing red, although it was hard to discern in the darkness. He heard Genarog snort.
"My name is Roxas," Roxas said, looking at Riku when he had gotten both him and Sora down from Genarog. "This is my younger half-brother and charge, Sora. Apparently, Axel here rescued me from some bandits. He then said I could rest here at the castle. I do not wish to be an inconvenience. If my presence here troubles anyone, then I shall make my way back to town."
Riku looked at Roxas and nodded. "I see… You're welcome to stay, but…" he said with a smirk, "does that mean Axel's up for a threesome tonight?"
Both Axel and Roxas blushed. "It's not like that!" Axel exclaimed. "I just so happened to save him from bandits…"
"And what did he do for you in return?" Riku said with a smirk.
Roxas sighed, as he held Sora in his arms. "As enticing as this conversation is, I really must ask for a room. Sora has been asleep for quite a while, and should he awake, I'd rather have it not be in my arms."
"I'll hold him," Riku offered on impulse.
"He won't let anyone hold him," Axel said, as he led Genarog to his own stable. There was something that resounded in his voice, but he didn't know.
"I'd prefer if I could bring him to the room myself," Roxas said, staring hesitantly at Axel's retreating form, and then at Riku.
Riku nodded. "Come then. I'll show you to one of the spare rooms. You can rest there until morning." With that, Riku started to walk off, and Roxas followed him. "So, Axel saved you from some bandits?"
Roxas nodded. "Sora was already asleep, and I was unable to defend myself," Roxas explained.
"I see," Riku mumbled. "So you fight?"
"I am pretty decent with a blade," Roxas admitted.
"Ah," Riku said. "Well, I fight with all kinds of weapons… Just not well with any in particular… Well actually, I like the swords too." He chuckled a little.
"Mmm," Roxas muttered in acknowledgement. The rest of the walk was full of silence, as Riku showed Roxas through the main halls. He led Roxas to one room, and opened the door to a simple room. It held one bed, one wooden desk, and a candle and an inkwell for the desk.
"Sora can stay in here," Riku explained. He turned to the room across the hall. "And you can stay in the room across from him."
Roxas shook his head. "I wish to stay with him," Roxas said firmly. Riku took that as an odd request, but, regardless, he nodded.
Roxas walked with Sora into the room, and tucked him into the bed. Riku stood by the door, and asked, "So I'll send someone for you before breakfast starts. You'll probably need to meet the king and queen too."
"Thank you," Roxas mumbled. "I will pay you back in time."
Riku smiled. "No need to worry about that," Riku said. "Just get some rest. I'll also send one of the priestesses here in the morning. Those wounds look pretty bad."
"Only minor discomforts," Roxas said, ignoring them. "Thank you for your hospitality."
Riku smiled. "You're too proper Roxas. Cut back a little. 'Night!"
"Good night," Roxas said, as Riku closed the door. Roxas looked over at Sora's sleeping form. He sighed. What had he gotten them into?
1. To those of you who played Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stone before, those two names come from mounts in the game. I just like those names the best! Do you know whose mounts they come from?
2. It's true you know. There has never been a default male pegasus knight to my knowledge.
A/N: Just for your information, I've played FE 7, FE 8, and FE 10. That's Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stone, and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Yea, I'm a FE nerd too, but FE is sooo good. Support conversations are the probably the most interesting aspects, although I was disappointed in Radiant Dawn's support conversation function…
Oh well, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you liked it. Until next time!