Roxas and Xion sat at the table inside a little sandwich shop near campus waiting for the hot, blue-haired bartender to show up. Xion was probably right when she suggested that Zexion would be more comfortable meeting Roxas in a friendlier situation with more than just the two of them present, but it did make the conversation he wanted to have with the blue-haired bartender a little more complicated then. …didn’t it?
He fidgeted, looking at his phone, then the clock on the wall before checking the door again. Dude, chill, he tried to tell himself. You’re early. But it was very difficult to relax when he was about to put so much of himself on the line here. Roxas didn’t even know how he would say some of the things he needed to say… or how Zexion would take them.
Oh boy. He half hoped that the other man wouldn’t show up, but the echoes of disappointment when he imagined that were more painful than he had expected them to be, as well. Taking another sip of his soda, he glanced at Xion before turning his attention back to the door. Maybe if he stopped looking at it the other guy would show, or had he decided not to come after all? Ah!
Why was Roxas so nervous? Oh yeah, because he was proposing something today that made him feel like a bit of a crazy person, or a pervert depending on this guy’s point of view. This would have been so much easier if he knew what Zexion thought of him, but it was a little too late for that now. Checking the time again, he sighed, and turned his eyes down to his untouched sandwich.
Matchmaker Xion: It had a nice ring to it, maybe?
Probably not, on second thought.
Still, the raven-haired freshman thought it was kind of cute how lovesick her blond classmate happened to be. She couldn’t honestly say she’d experienced much of anything remotely relating to real attraction, so Xion didn’t necessarily understand it on a personal level herself. But still, she could think it was cute when she saw it in others.
“Simmer down, sly,” she said, noting Roxas’ fidgeting movements. ”If you described his personality accurately, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t show up.”
Part of her was curious to meet this mystery man number one as well, after all she’d heard about him. Zexion. Zexion, Roxas, and some third guy whose name she didn’t yet know. She’d never heard of a polyamorous relationship with three guys being successful, but it was an interesting idea to ponder. Guys — gay guys in particular, she figured — could be really possessive. And jealous. They’d just have to see, she supposed. It was sort of like a science experiment.
She was just here to act as a buffer, to ensure the other guy wasn’t scared off by the idea of this being a date when it wasn’t. Yet. She’d even told Roxas he had her full confidentiality on anything she overheard. Who would she have to tell anyway? She’d pretty much admitted to him that she had no friends, at school or elsewhere. The only thing there for her was her artwork. And …Roxas? Maybe.
Unconcerned that the time was drawing closer for Zexion to appear, Xion pulled out a pencil and began doodling on her napkin. Before long, she had a good handful of different sets of eyes before her. She drew Roxas’, her professors’…even some of the bitchy girls in her dorm.
How ironic then that when Zexion did actually end up appearing, Xion could see only one. For the time being, she kept her mouth shut. But still, the devious thought lingered: just what would his reaction be if she brushed that meddlesome hair out of his eye for a better look?
Axel’s ex-boyfriend, if that’s what he was, wanted to have lunch with him. He wasn’t sure if it seemed like a trap or something much, much stranger. Why him? To Zexion this all seemed a little much. It wasn’t as though he was good looking or anything, and he had gone through most of his school years knowing full well that he was just an awkward gay guy that most people might like but who wouldn’t really have many dates or boyfriends or much of a social-life at all. Why was it now that things were starting to head into the land of social awkwardness and encounters of the popular-blond kind.
Not that he knew Roxas very well or anything, but the guy had the kind of looks he would expect to see from the school jock who could get girls to hang off of his arm like candy off of a department store Santa Clause. Why were guys like Axel or Roxas even looking twice at him when they had each other? This was some sort of horrible prank, wasn’t it?
The bell on the sandwich shop door rang as he pushed it open, denying him any chance of entering silently. Roxas was immediately recognizable as his savior from nearly a week ago; the guy who had handed his heart back to him with a few simple words. He would have to remember to ask the blond how he knew Axel to… verify what the red head had told him. After all, it was just a little strange that the man who was apparently so into him that Zexion had found him pinned to the wall within seconds of entering the man’s apartment in every encounter they’d had so far was so hesitant to share details of his work life where this blond guy was not. What was going on?
Without offering much more than a nod to each seated person, Zexion sat noisily down at the table, blushed, and looked at the menu as though he was hungry and might want something to eat. He wasn’t and didn’t, but it was easier than looking at the people sitting at the table with him while he tried to think of something to say to them.
Gay boys in particular.
Xion found herself rolling her eyes as both guys around her got very awkwardly silent. Did she have to do all of the work? It wasn’t like she was the most social person on earth either.
“So, you’re Zexion, and you’re Roxas,” she said, her voice exaggerated to show her exasperation. ”So that obviously makes me Xion, third wheel extraordinaire. Hi.”
When that initially only got Zexion’s nose even further into his menu, she tried again.
“I’d recommend the Lebanese chicken sandwich,” she offered. ”Unless you’re vegetarian. Then I’d go with the portobello focaccia. Both seemed to get really good reviews on Yelp. I checked before we came over, although I’ve heard they sometimes rig their pages to give better reviews to businesses that pay them extra, so it’s hard to know for sure.”
It was possible that Roxas was shooting her an incredulous look, but seriously, screw him for the moment since he obviously wasn’t getting much done on his own. Xion knew things. She could improvise.
“And you’re actually a student at St. Merritt, right,” she asked Zexion, just to verify. ”You look a bit…mature, I guess. And I’ve never seen you in any of my classes, but I’m an art student so maybe that makes sense.”
At this point, Roxas looked positively…what was the word for it? Xion was sure it’d come to her at some point. Until then, she daintily folded her hands on the table in front of her and returned the blond’s look with a sweet smile of her own.