Xion wanted to stab someone. Potentially Roxas the way this study session was going.
Motivate. Persuade. Inform. These were all things they were supposed to be focusing on with their given classroom prompt. These were all things they had to work on together.
Fine, except Roxas seemed to be out in left field and not actually digging through the textbook for speech ideas.
Silently, Xion seethed. It wasn’t like she didn’t have better things to do herself, other homework to deal with before getting on with her weekend plans tomorrow night. It wasn’t like she wanted to be stuck with this assignment for any longer than she had to be.
Vaguely, she remembered having heard him mention that his younger brother had been ill a month or so back, right around the time he’d been missing so much class time. Maybe that was bugging him still a little.
And that sucked. Truly, it did. But when the professor had paired the two of them together and Xion was trying to get great grades her first semester at college, she really couldn’t afford for her partner not to be as focused as she was when it came to their studies.
If it had been a written assignment, she’d have offered to do it all herself and gotten it out of the way quickly enough. Rhetoric was only a minor for her anyway. It was her Art major she was supposed to be more focused on. But this assignment required them both to do some public speaking in front of the class. If they both didn’t design an adequate speech and both didn’t figure out a persuasive argument around their prompt, it hardly mattered if she knew her position inside and out. They’d still only get half credit if Roxas floundered.
Frustrated, Xion shot a pointed look Roxas’ way, but when that elicited no response, she cleared her throat slightly.
From the plush fuzzy rug on Xion’s dorm room floor, Roxas looked up, his eyes momentarily unfocused before they fixed on her. Large, blue, and lost, they did Xion in just enough to soften the words that followed.
“Everything alright there, sly?” She shot him a rueful curve of a half-smile, still tight around the edges with irritation. ”You seem pretty distracted tonight.”
Roxas had been torn about what to do for a while now. Sure, he’d lured Zexion away from the bar by offering him information on why Axel was ignoring him that night, and if the blue-haired man had turned him down it would have meant nothing at all. However, when that face lit up as though Roxas was offering him a life-preserver that might save him from sinking, he knew.
Of course, true to his word Roxas had told Zexion exactly what was going on, even flirted with the guy a little bit (what? He couldn’t help himself; the quiet bartender was cute), and given the guy his number… ‘just in case you ever need some information, again, or if you just want to talk.’ Zexion had called him once to thank him, but not yet since then. Of course, his devious mind had thought up a tiny little tidbit to keep the attention of the blue-haired man, and given Roxas the idea to point out that it really was a little strange that Axel hadn’t been the one to share that particularly important information with him… ‘maybe you should ask him about that…?’ Other than that, what was he really doing here?
Three parts of himself were battling it out: one part that wanted Axel back, another part that solidly did not want to ever date a guy like him again, and the part that did not want to take the guy that Zexion had so obviously fallen for away from him. Childishly, Roxas would think that it shouldn’t matter. He had had Axel first! Another part remembered those gorgeous eyes lighting up when he’d shared the information with the bartender, and essentially explained that their red-head had not just been ignoring Zexion. By the Stars, he was cute when he smiled!
But what… Xion’s voice snapped him out of his thoughts, and he snapped his head up. “Uh, yeah, sorry,” he answered, looking half at her and half recalling where his thoughts had left off. “I’m just having guy problems, right now,” he said, then snapped his mouth shut. He hadn’t meant to share the exact problem with her, shit.
Did he just say guy problems?
On her bed, Xion sat up.
“As in, dating issues, or what,” she asked, her expression sharp, almost hawk-like. Perhaps it was too straightforward of a question, but did that actually mean this guy she thought was halfway decent also wasn’t someone she had to worry about getting hit on by? Because that would be…ideal, actually.
St. Merritt University was a shithole of religious conservatism, from Xion’s perspective. Most of the kids who came here on mommy’s and daddy’s dime parroted their parents’ viewpoints more often than not as well. It could be a lonely place for those who were seen as different, even if they had come from similar privileged backgrounds like Xion had. Still, Xion had been particularly careful with keeping her own orientation under wraps while at this school. The last thing she needed was some bitchy dormmate complaining to an RA that she was uncomfortable showering in the same room as someone who was attracted to other girls.
Because being a lesbian obviously made you super horny for every single girl on campus. Naturally.
The look on Roxas’ face clued her in that maybe he’d taken her question in the wrong way, as though she was planning on judging him as opposed to simply asking due to a potentially mutual experience. Made sense at this school. How many times had she heard words like “the homosexual agenda” or seen same-sex marriage written out with scare quotes? Too many to name, and she was just a freshman.
So, that in mind, Xion leaned down, stretched out one arm, and gently ruffled the blond’s already disheveled, spiky hair.
“I mean, at least you sound like you’ve got a guy.” Her voice was accepting, possibly even hinting at teasing a little around the edges. ”It’ll be my luck to remain a celibate lesbian my entire four years at this this fine institution, the way I’m going.”
Roxas tensed. Not that it would matter if someone went and outted him on school grounds, right now. He was actually pretty sure that he couldn’t possibly feel worse than he already did, but that didn’t mean he needed anyone to be disgusted with him just then either. Particularly not when it was someone he had to work with for a grade.
Her statement made him relax and deflate simultaneously, taking her words in and letting them touch that sad, cracking inner part of him that had realized all too recently that he’d been replaced after only a few months of separation. Not that they’d been together long before that, but it still hurt.
“If it makes you feel any better,” he muttered. “I haven’t got a guy anymore. He’s, I mean I think, he found someone else. Pretty sure I could have him back if I wanted, but… I mean, Zexion’s such a sweet, shy guy; it just wouldn’t be fair. Maybe… but… I don’t know.”
Ordinarily, Roxas was not the type to talk to anyone else about his problems. He saved these conversations for his journal and a carefully selected pen, but he must have been flustered because he damn near went on talking even still. It still hadn’t registered in his mind that she had called herself a lesbian, actually. He was really just trying to wrap his mind around the constant thought processes that refused to stop circling his mind, over and over again, as though thinking about the situation all the time would somehow help him come up with a solution.
Since it refused to stop, Roxas finally felt himself just drop his head into his hands, and keel over onto the bed, groaning, “I don’t know what to do…”
Xion cringed. She was being a bitch again, pretty sure. Everyone back home always mentioned how blunt she could be when she didn’t think through things before blurting them out.
“Sor—” she started after Roxas’ first sentence, but the blond continued on as though he hadn’t heard. For once, Xion simply listened, eyes widening a little as he gave out more and more details. She didn’t recognize the name of the other guy he’d mentioned, but it probably wasn’t surprising. If he wasn’t one of the 30-something art students in her composition or sculpting classes this semester, Xion probably didn’t know him and that was fine by her. Girls were petty bitches for the most part at this school, and guys were generally dicks who had dicks in her book. The only way she was going to find someone meaningful of her own was to pluck up the courage to get her ass off-campus and find someone older, more mature. She just couldn’t handle the infantile behavior that took place at this school most of the time.
But Roxas seemed genuinely torn up about this. And at least he wasn’t a total shithead, willing to hurt an innocent third party just to get some guy he was crushing on back.
That was assuming the third party was innocent, of course…
Hand still in Roxas’ hair, Xion began to massage gentle circular patterns into the boy’s scalp, hoping to soothe him a little. She might’ve been a girl who’d kick in the balls of anyone who so much as brushed up against her in what she considered an invasive way, but when it came to being physical herself, Xion hadn’t really learned boundaries yet, which she might have considered the definition of irony if she’d considered it even a little at all. She hadn’t.
“Wait, so you’re saying your man cheated on you, then,” Xion asked, shoulders bristling a little against her bob of a haircut in the process. ”If that’s the case, I know it’s probably hard, but I definitely wouldn’t be bothering with him at all.”
He cringed at Xion’s question, refusing to remove his hands from his face as he answered it. “Not exactly,” Roxas called past his fingers.
His face was red now, but he still had his hands over it so maybe she wouldn’t notice that his neck had gone pink. He was an idiot, anyways. This whole thing was stupid, he shouldn’t have said anything. Except that his brain wouldn’t shut the fuck up about it so why would his mouth? Daring to peak out from between his fingers, he glanced up at Xion.
How could he explain without telling the whole fucking story? It was kind of a long one.
“I kinda left,” he finally added. “You know, when Ventus got…sick. I didn’t exactly tell him about it.”
Unsure what to say exactly, Roxas felt the need to defend himself before she could tell him the whole thing was his own damn fault, and he should just drop it. So he went on in a wail that he would have considered undignified if he had thought about it at all.
“I was mad, okay? I don’t know if he’d just take me back anyways. I mean, I know he would or… I thought he would, but then he didn’t wait for me. And Zexion’s hot so I can’t really blame him, or no I can blame him but not him. Ah! I don’t know.”
He let himself face plant on the bed, burying his mouth so that even if he opened it he wouldn’t be able to say anymore. Roxas didn’t like feeling like he had to depend on someone else, but that was exactly what he seemed to be doing… again. Hadn’t the whole Axel thing taught him anything?
“Your brother, right,” Xion asked, just to make sure she was keeping up. Holy gods, this guy’s social life was complicated, especially compared to hers. Xion was the baby of the family, her two older brothers being just about a decade older than her each. Baby also meant accident, because she wasn’t stupid about things like that. And it meant she’d been kind of sheltered too. In fact, Xion was pretty sure if she hadn’t discovered she preferred girls over boys, her life would’ve been pretty stereotypically upper middle class boring. And that wouldn’t necessarily have been a bad thing.
“So,” she countered, speaking to the top of Roxas’ head as he appeared to be eating her comforter at the moment face-on, “just to be clear, you left your guy for a bit to take care of your sick brother but didn’t tell him, only to find out he’d moved on by the time you got back. And you think the guy he moved on with is hot. Sound about right?”
She noted Roxas’ slight nod before continuing.
“Not that I have any experience in stuff like this whatsoever, but first, it sounds like unnamed guy one is a dick for having moved on so quickly, and second, sounds like you have a serious crush on this Zexion guy,” she rattled off.
“So, the logical thing to do would just be to propose a polyamorous relationship and see how that goes,” Xion finished. Honestly, she tried not to chuckle, but she’d never been really good at hiding her emotions. Plus, she was feeling pretty proud that she even remembered that term. It’d been one she’d come across while doing research on what at the time she’d considered her own messed up attractions to girls. It’d been one of those things she could point to and say, ‘hey, at least I’m not that screwed up.’
But under the circumstances, it didn’t seem like such a bad idea for Roxas’ current predicament — if he even knew what it meant, that is. Xion didn’t like to talk down to people very often though, so she left it at that, without further explanation, and returned to patting the blond’s hair consolingly. Maybe being in a relationship wasn’t all it was cut out to be after all, hmm.