Okay, so. This is actually the first of three that come in a sort of order before Make the Most of the Night.
Owen/Axel. Joey/Axel if you squint real hard. This one was written while listening to The Harold Song.
Axel grinned in partial-wakefulness as something rough scratched across his cheek. Owen could grow a five o’clock shadow by noon, which is why he carried an electric razor pretty much everywhere. But then he opened his eyes, and reality hit.
Prank nudged at his face again with his nose, whiskers tickling more than they scratched this time. The ferret had let himself out of his cage in the night and, while he’d been content to just let Axel toss and turn all night long, the talking was getting annoying. Mainly because he just kept saying the same thing over and over.
“Owen. No, come back. Please.”
Axel’s pet twitched its nose at him, and the ache in his chest lightened somewhat. He wasn’t alone, not completely. “At least I’ve still got my loyal sidekick.” He said, dragging the wriggly animal off his pillow and onto his neck. The steady beat of Axel’s pulse was lulling him to sleep, and the comforting warmth of Prank on his still-marked collarbone was doing the same for Axel. He was just falling back into dreamland, when the memories hit.
They’d been yelling. A lot. About stupid crap, like who was supposed to be watching what, and Axel accidentally catching some civillians in one of his T-bomb explosions. They said hurtful things, called each other names, and then Owen stormed out with Len and Evan, and he never came back.
Axel could have cried. He’d never wanted their thing, whatever it was, to end. Let alone like that. And maybe he did cry. A little. In the shower, with the water cascading over his head. When he was wrapped up in the blankets he’d stolen from Owen’s bed in his fort, wiping his eyes and runny nose on the parts that didn’t smell like Irish Spring and sweat.
He composed a million texts, and never sent them. Picked up the phone a thousand times, but never hit send. He’d been to jail. He’d hurt people, killed them. He’d been beaten a hundred ways past Sunday, but trying to reach out to his maybe ex-boyfriend was officially harder and more painful than anything else. And then it hit him.
He couldn’t let Owen go because he, there was a good possibility at least…fuck. He loved Owen. More than anyone, or anything. True love hurts, and being without Owen was killing him. But then, Owen wasn’t calling him either.
And then Owen was on TV fighting next to Nightwing and Arsenal, and Axel knew he would never get him back. He stole an armload of bottles from the fridge and brought them back to his fort, drinking them all in the hope that tonight, he could sleep alone and not care.
It didn’t work. He woke with dried salt tracks on his cheeks and a pounding headache, but no pain anywhere else on his body came close to matching the ache in his chest. Life went on, as he knew it would, yet Axel felt empty. So he started going out at night, trying to start over. Find someone else who turned his head. That didn’t work, either. Every person he tried to kiss, tried to flirt with, just turned into Owen. So he pushed them away, until he finally found someone who was nothing like Owen. Who couldn’t turn into Owen.
Joey wasn’t really what he wanted, but he was what he needed right now. And that was close enough.