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Beta for Roxas fic

Hello all! I'm looking for a beta revolving around Next-Life Roxas, with sides of Axel and Sora.

Title: Pinch Me
Characters/Pairing: Roxas/Axel, Sora
Rating: PG, unless someone gets a potty mouth later in the fic (looking at you, Axel)
Word Count: 1150, but it's only about 1/3 or 1/4 of the way done right now.
Summary: Mostly angst, with a little bit of fluff here and there. Next Life. When Roxas dragged Axel to help him spend a week house-sitting his childhood home he thought he’d be happy, but ghosts tend to linger in this old house, and it is harder to escape the past than one might think. Not a songfic, but based on the song “Pinch Me” by the Barenaked Ladies.
Notes: This is the fist part of a longer one-shot. For the curious, the fic takes place in Syracuse, NY.

Pinch Me

Roxas pulled up to the house in his old, beat-up black Volvo, the car bumping as he drove over a pothole. He’d wanted to fix the suspension for months now, and would hopefully have enough money for it once this week was over. He saw a familiar red sedan in the driveway and smiled to himself. It was going to be fun, he told himself, spending the week here. He got out of the car, grabbing the bag of take-out Indian from the backseat and walking up towards the front door, pausing to take a good look at the house.

The house, much like his car, was an old, worn thing with faded teal paint and a sagging front porch. It was one of those old Victorians, common enough in this part of town, and although it had two stories plus an attic and a basement, most of the house was filled with random clutter, things both his and his mother’s parents had collected over the years. But even though it was old, crowded, and never really had decent heating in the winter, it was where he grew up, and it held a certain nostalgic charm for him.
Holding the take-out bag in one hand and holding the screen door open with his foot, he dug in his pocket with his other for his keys. He’d just found the one he needed, the silver one with the blue rubber, when the second door opened from the inside. He looked up and found himself face-to-face with the owner of the red sedan, a tall, thin man with hair just as crimson wearing a bright orange sweatshirt.

“Yo,” Axel said, grinning lazily, hand on his hip. “I turned the A/C on while you were gone. What’s in the bag?"

“That sweatshirt clashes horribly with your hair,” Roxas replied, handing Axel the bag and hanging his coat up on one of the hooks in the entrance, “and it’s Bagheera’s Indian Palace.” They walked together into the kitchen, and Roxas dug a couple of forks out of one of the drawers. “Why would you turn the A/C on?”"

“Ooh, Bagheera’s! You really do spoil me. Demyx stole my blue one – again – and I’ve gotta keep the school spirit up somehow,” Axel countered, taking the various containers of food out of the bag and arranging them artistically in the center of the kitchen table. “Oh, and the Weather Channel said that it was gonna warm up this week, starting this afternoon. Why did you drive to get food, anyway? I saw your stuff already here from this morning, and the Palace is close enough.”

“It’s colder than it looks outside,” Roxas responded, sitting down and handing Axel a fork. “Not everyone’s a human furnace like you.”

“You’d think that living here your whole life would make you immune to the weather here or something,” Axel said as they began to eat, gesturing occasionally with his fork. “If you hate the cold so much, why would you go to school in a city that has over a hundred inches of snow a year?” The redhead shoveled some curry into his mouth, missing the way Roxas faltered.

“Just wanted to stay close to home, I guess,” Roxas muttered uncomfortably. “Leon was already at Reed when I graduated high school, and we decided that it would be best if one of us stayed close to our parents.” He put his own fork down, staring at his plate.

“Because of…?” Axel began gently. Roxas whipped his head up, staring with wide eyes and meeting the even green ones across the small table.

“It’s fine, really,” Roxas said quickly, blinking and looking off to the side. “I mean, the snow doesn’t really bother me that much; I just like to complain about it.” He stood up and took his container over to the refrigerator. “I’m gonna go finish unpacking upstairs.”

“You haven’t finished your curry,” Axel pointed out, frowning.

“…I’m not hungry,” Roxas said, shoving the container in the fridge. He started walking out of the room then stopped, turning in the doorway. “Thanks for agreeing to house-sit with me; I’ll give you half of what my parents are paying me. I don’t like being…” he paused, “…alone here, sometimes.” Roxas turned and, before Axel could say anything, walked quickly out into the hall. He could feel Axel’s eyes on him until he turned the corner.

x X x X x X x X x X x X x

Roxas came to the top of the stairs, slowing as he looked around once again at the upstairs landing. The doors circled around the little hall in a horseshoe shape, some doors open and some closed. To his immediate left were the stairs up to the attic, door closed when not in use. To his immediate and diagonal right were Leon’s old room and his parents’ room. The door to Leon’s room, where Axel was supposed to be staying, was open, but Roxas looked across the hall on his left, seeing that Axel had already moved his stuff into Roxas’s old room. Directly across from him was the antique desk his grandmother had owned and that his mom now used for knickknacks and a flower vase. On the left wall was a bathroom, door open and the midday sun from the window casting dusty, yet warm light into the hall.

Roxas started walking towards his old room, resolving to finish unpacking and try to condense both his and Axel’s luggage in the smaller room, but stopped as he reached the doorjamb. He shut his eyes, determined to not think about it, not to go there, but eventually gave up, casting his gaze to the last room in the leftmost corner.

Sora’s room.

The door was shut now, but Roxas was pretty sure of what he would find if he looked inside. It shouldn’t have changed, but as if doubting his head, his feet moved of their own accord across the hall, and his hand came to rest on the doorknob. It’s just a room, he told himself, there isn’t going to be anything there that isn’t supposed to be there. But he couldn’t bring himself to step away, and his hand slowly turned the knob and pushed the door open.


Thank you for reading this, and I'll try to answer any questions you may have!



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