Where: Damien's shop
What: Argue, talk, bond over drinks and playing possibility of playing with fire.
So this one time, Damien was sitting outside his shop, smoking a cigarette. He wasn't sure why he had picked it up again, but there he sat, taking long, deep drags and exhaling the smoke in rings.
Adain had just left the dorms again after being informed that Shin really needed to study and if he valued his life he'd understand that. He was walking down the street minding his own business when he picked up a wonderful smell. Oh, he hadn't smoked in months, but with all this recent crap he'd been thinking about it again.
"You know that'll kill ya right?" he said upon recognizing Damien as the smells source.
He arched an eyebrow slightly and ran a free hand through shaggy hair- he had long since removed the dread extentions, and his hair had gotten even longer... he really needed to cut it soon. "We all gotta die somehow, Red. What brings you here?"
"Good point," Aidan said stopping next to him and leaning against the wall. "Not much…hopefully bumming a cigarette off of my new best friend."
"I sure as hell hope you're not talking about me, Red." Damien sighed heavily and pulled another cigarette out of the box, lighting it with the end of his before handing it to Aidan. "Enjoy. I sure as hell hope you're not a minor."
"Do I look like a fucking minor?" Aidan asked taking a drag from the lit cigarette. He exhaled the smoke with a long sigh falling back against the wall. "Damn it's been forever."
He smirked just a little bit and flicked the ash from the end of his cig. "Nah, but I never base age solely on outward appearance." After a couple seconds of silence, Damien looked over at Aidan and grinned. "...... you know that'll kill ya, right?"
"Yeah with the crap you're smoking," he said after another bliss filled inhale. "I gotta get a new pack of cloves…wonder how Rox will react to that."
"Shin?" He arched an eyebrow slightly.
Aidan looked over at him suspiciously at the question. "What about him?"
".... You called him Rox." Damien sighed and rubbed his face with one hand. "Honestly, Axel, you've got it bad... gonna get you in trouble."
Aidan just kinda stared at Damien for a moment, before crossing his arms and looking away. "You don't know what the hell you're talking about."
"Can I ask you a question?" He beckoned for the younger man to follow him into the shop. "It'll just take a sec." walking into the shop was like walking into a brick wall- it was fucking hot in there. "Sorry about the temperature, I've got the forge going in the back room."
Aidan flicked the cigarette onto the street before following Damien into the store. "What do you want to ask?" He wasn't concerned about the temperature at all, it felt nice. He didn't sweat or show any outside sign of being uncomfortable at all.
"Do you like Shin for who he was, or who he is now?" Damien said simply, pulling down one of the keyblades that was on display on the wall. It looked... positively devious. The handle looked like the wings of a bat or a demon, and a chain ran the length of the blade from the hilt to right bedore the scrolling teeth of the key. It was mostly black, with blue and grey accents.
Aidan's eyes snapped up to Damien when he asked that question. There was a sudden flare of heat coming from the forge, but it quickly went out as Aidan's expression change and he looked away. He didn't want to see the keyblade or think about that question. It wasn't fair to ask. "What kind of question is that?"
Damien tilted his head slightly, feeling the heat rise momentarilly. "It's... pretty relevant, all things considered. You need to let him pick who he wants to be... Tell me, if he wanted to forget everything and stay Shin, would you let him?"
"Why would he want to do that?" Aidan asked quickly, eyes wider than he would have liked to admit. "Have you been talking to him?"
"No, I haven't. I'm just saying... Everyone's had a lot of mixed feelings about the memories we're getting back. Everyone's reacting differently... And I want to make sure that you're going to like Shin for who he wants to be, not who you're desperate for him to be." Damien gave the keyblade a couple test swings, before offering it to Aidan.
"Since when do you get to act all preachy Xal~din?" Aidan asked angrily. He was on the defensive and damn if it wasn't going to go down kicking. "Gonna throw another spear at my head if he chooses wrong?"
"No. We have a right to choose, this time. If he wants to become Roxas once more, then by all means, that is his choice. But don't pressure him into something that he cannot be." Damien flicked some hair out of his face, eyeing Aidan with the eerie sense of calm that had often surrounded Xaldin and Dilan, more often than not when the nobody or his other were plotting destruction.
Aidan didn't care if there was a warning sign, he was damn pissed now too and not afraid to show it. "You don't know anything," he bit out. He batted the keyblade out of the way not wanting to accept anything from him right now. "Mind your own business."
"Just because he might not choose to be Roxas doesn't mean he won't still love you." Damien swung the keyblade again, before hooking it back onto the wall. "Always a little hot under the collar, weren't you?"
Aidan was surprisingly silent for once, and fixed Damien with the glare he had used often in the meeting rooms when he'd had a lot to say but didn't want to deal with the ramifications of saying it (since they would usually be him being dead). "Stay out of it," he said sternly and turned to leave. Damn he really wanted a cigarette now.
Damien sighed and facepalmed, waiting a moment before locking the shop up and pursuing Aidan. "Hey, Red. Hold up a minute."
Aidan was not in the mood to talk anymore. Especially not with Damien as his memories kept telling him he was one of the last people who had any say in his relationship with Roxas. However he had enough pride to not act like he had suffered a defeat and turned back to face the other man. "Did you forget something?" he asked.
"I'm sorry. You're right, I don't have any place interfering with your relationship with the kid." Damien dug in his pocket for the pack of cigs, pulling it out and offering one to Aidan. "This whole situation is fucked to shit- I just don't know what to make of it all."
Aidan accepted the peace offering and leaned back against the wall. Instinctively he put a finger on the end of the cigarette to light it. "Join the fucking club," he said before taking a drag. "The only thing that makes sense is that nothing makes sense."
"Indeed." Damien took his own cigarette out of the pack. "Got a light? I'm all out." He smirked a little bit.
"What am I a lighter?" he asked as he took the cigarette from Damien anyway. He didn't need to, but since he was a show off at heart he brought four of his fingers together to create a small flame with which to light the other's cigarette. He handed it back to Damien with his 'oh yeah I'm a badass' smirk.
Damien laughed and took the cigarette back, taking a long, deep drag. "Apparently, yes. But that's besides the point." The sky was rather overcast and dreary; He could smell rain on the wind. "Thanks. You're getting a handle on your powers, are you?"
Aidan shrugged in answer. "When I want," he said. He didn't want to admit how little he had a handle on them at the moment, he'd managed to stop the random combustions at least.
"Good enough. I can't control mine as yet... All I've mannaged are lances randomly stabbing my furniture, and obnoxious gusts of wind. But those appear to be linked to mood than anything else." So far, all Damien had to show for the strange coincidences and burning marks were a handful of painful memories.
"I had to unplug the smoke detector after the plants in my apartment kept going up in flames," he admitted since Damien had said his failings first. "Plus I'm never gonna get my deposit back with that scorch mark on the counter…Maybe I'll make Shin pay for it, it was his damn fault."
He paused, looking over at Aidan and seemingly trying to decide whether or not he should laugh at him. ".... Harsh. Do I even want to know how he caused it, or is that included on the list of personal shit I do not want to know about for the sake of my remaining mental stability?"
It was amazing how much a cigarette break could make people talk; there was nothing else really to do while waiting for the cigarette to be burned up completely. "Of course not," Aidan smirked a little, mind working in evil ways. "It's not like it happened when we had sex against the counter, geez get your head out of the gutter."
"....." HEAVY SIGH. "Thanks for that one, Red. I appreciate it. Really. Not." He rolled his eyes and took another drag. "That does indeed fall under the category of things I don't need to know. Kindly do not describe your sex life to me." How wonderful. He'd never be able to look Shin straight in the eye again.
Aidan didn't try to hold back the laughter after that one, it was too easy. "Ok, guess you don't want to hear about the club then," though the cigarette was up at his mouth he was still laughing too hard to be able to inhale anything.
".... No. no, I don't. Don't tell me about it or I might punch you. Right in the mouth." Damien groaned internally. What the hell was with this kid? Oh yeah, he was Axel. "You are every bit your nobody, Aidan." He said offhandedly.
"My what?" Aidan asked, laughter suddenly cutting off. He hadn't heard the word 'nobody' yet. In fact aside from his powers and the random people he seemed to know he'd been putting a lot of effort into not remembering the past. He didn't want to.
"Axel. You're a lot like he was." The mark on his shoulder was burning, and the look in his eyes was becoming more distant, as if he was losing concentration. "But you're different, too... he wasn't... He couldn't be..." Damien stopped in his tracks and grabbed at the mark on his shoulder. "... Free."
"See that's where your problem is," Aidan said staring off straight ahead of him, cigarette held in his folded arms ignored. "You're separating things. I can't talk about 'Axel' like he's someone else, cause he's me, and this is me too." It made sense to him; that was how he and Shin could interchangeably use either name and it was all the same. "I don't need to worry about Shin choosing which life, cause they're both the same damn thing."
"Hm." Damien continued to space for a moment, hardly even noticing the burning pain in his shoulder anymore. A strong wind blew past and he shut his eyes, pondering for a moment. "Another nature vs. nurture argument... I didn't lead the same life as Xaldin or Dilan as I did as myself. Even though I had their memories deeply seeded within me, my experiences were different, and therefore, I can't say that I'm the same as them."
"I thought the whole thing that made us special last time was that we remembered who we used to be?" Axel said, turning his head towards him. He didn't know where all of this was coming from, but as he'd gotten used to lately, he just went with it. Whatever. "Who the fuck cares, it's just more added on top, just like last time."
"... I suppose..." He shook his head, trying to clear the fog. The wind picked up, blowing violently for a moment or two before dying completely. "I need to stop thinking about this. It makes my brain hurt."
"You're the one who brought it up," Aidan reminded him, bringing the neglected cigarette back to his lips. "Personally, I don't want to think about it, who cares. We're here, fuck everything else."
He nodded a little bit and rubbed the side of hus head. "Touchee. Want a drink? I could use one."
"You keep booze in your shop?" Aidan asked almost sounding impressed. "Alcohol and fire, sounds like my kind of place."
Damien laughed. "With the kinda shit I deal with, it's always good to keep some good quality stuff lying around." He beckoned Aidan to follow him back to the shop, unlocking it and heading to a back room that had a couch and a locked cabinet (among other things) in it.
Aidan followed behind and took no time in making himself at home on the couch. "I keep trying to tell the morons at the bookstore that, and they just keep going on and on about how if they find me drunk at work I'm fired."
"... Something about a guy who controls fire working at a bookstore doesn't strike me as all that of a wonderful idea." Damien chuckled as he unlocked the cabinet and pulled out a bottle of sake. om nom. "but then, that's usually the way it is with retail. S'why I never bothered with it.
"Haven't lit it on fire yet," he retorted. "Yeah I wish I wasn't bothering with it. But it seemed like a good idea during college and now there's nothing else around to pay the bills with."
"Oh? What degrees do you have?" Damien got a couple cups and flopped down on the couch, pouring some sake for Aidan and himself. "I'm sure there's something you can do besides work in a book store."
"Ha! Guess again!" Aidan said with a surprising amount of mirth and sarcasm. "I was an English major."
"... Ouch." He winced.
"Yup!" he replied. "It gets better, I'm an English major who doesn't even have a crappy novel I'm half way through that will bring me to the big leagues in NO TIME."
Damien blinked and stared at Aidan for a while, then held out the bottle. "... You need more booze."
"Yeah that's what I always say," Aidan agreed taking the offered bottle. "Then people just start lecturing about wasting your life…Personally I think wino is a great career with an English degree."
"Have you ever thought of going back to school for something that's actually useful? You could be a teacher." ..... ".... scratch that."
"With what money?"
".... Shit, you're right. A connundrum presents itsself." Damien pondered and poured more booze for them both.
"Even if I had it…I'm not going back," Aidan said shaking his head. "I am not going to be in school a year lower than Shin, that's just not right."
He laughed quietly and shook his head. "What about an apprenticeship? Learn a skilled trade... there's good money in that."
"An apprenticeship?" He asked. "Those still exist? Only time I heard that word was when some moron was trying to write the next great fantasy novel and needed a medivally sounding word."
"Yeah, they still exist. They're not quite the same as they used to be, but they're a good way to learn skilled trades or arts or something." Damien shrugged and stood up, getting a glass of water to dilute the alcohol in his system.
"Doubt they have any of that stuff up my alley either." Aidan was having too much fun being negative today, and the booze he kept drinking couldn't be helping. "Someone with books or Fire…oh wait! I could join one of those crazy religious groups and burn the books they think are full of sin or whatever the hell they're pissed off about this week."
".... Something tells me those aren't so common nowadays." he chuckled quietly. OH HEY LIGHTBULB. "Hey, how are you with artistic stuff? Or... like.... administrative stuff?"
"Well as long as you don't listen to Shin, I'm totally artistic and shit…why?"
Damien stood up and left the room for a minute, returning with a sketchbook and a pencil. "Show me." He poened the book to a clean page and handed it to Aidan. "Draw the first thing that pops into your head. Doesn't matter what it is."
Aidan quirked an eyebrow and took the sketchbook. He was kinda put on the spot and didn't really know what to do. Fortunately the drink gave him some fun ideas and he instantly started sketching furiously hiding what he was doing. When he was done he handed the sketchbook back to Damien, with a full page of stick figures having sex, it looked like a storyboard for a later movie.
"...." And then Damien lol'd hard.
Aidan laughed with him. "You said the first thing that popped into my head."
"Yeeeeep, that I did. And I appreciate your honesty and sense of humor." He chuckled and tilted his head. "Want a job? I could use someone to help with administrative crap and I could always teach you how to work with the machines that make fire." Wiggly fingers at Aidan |D
Aidan stared up at him surprised at where this conversation had gone. "You're actually offering me a job? Oh I get it…You just want to save on fuel by making me do all that crap."
"I wasn't actually thinking about that... but now that you mention it..." PONDER 8D~ "Eh. Whatever. You wanna keep working for your bookstore?"
"Fuck no," Aidan said. "Why the fuck not. Sure beats dealing with fucking freshmen all day. At least here if they're morons I can chuck them into the forge."
"Well, you can't chuck them in the forge, but you do have my permission to tell them they can fuck themselves with a rake." 8D
"Well I'm sold," Aidan said, slapping his hand down on the couch. "When do you want me to start? Can I have next week off? And how about a raise?"
"You can start in two weeks. I'll figure out your pay, but it'll be more than $10 an hour, and I'll need your banking information." Damien locked up the alcohol cupboard. |D~
"Yeah yeah I know the drill," Aidan waved it off, it wasn't like he hadn't had jobs before. "Oh man I can't wait to go in tomorrow and tell them all to fuck off!" He'd been waiting for that since freshman year.
Damien snorted softly and shook his head. "Yeah, you have fun with that." He handed the sketchbook to Aidan and smirked. "And... do try not to act this out in my shop with your little friend."
Aidan stood up from the couch laughing. "Oh don't worry," he said on his way out the door, "That was all last night!"
".... Be here in two weeks at around 10 and I'll have some stuff for you to do. And... maybe a scheduel. If you give me availability and shit like that." He waved a hand dismissivley. ".... And don't tell me about your sex life, either. I really, really, really don't need to know."