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Saphire Studs

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"Relax, Roxas." Axel gave a pat to his friend's back as they walked to the piercing parlour in the mall, "My roommate, Saïx? Lowest threshold for pain I've seen and he has his ears pierced."

The younger boy shrugged in response, "I'm just parents wouldn't let me before, said it was for girls and fags."

Axel barely repressed the urge to cringe. He had never met the blond's parents, but with each passing story about them, he could tell he didn't want to.

"But I want earrings," Roxas concluded with determination, "And I'm an adult now."

The redhead smiled at that, "You sure are." 'By a month,' he idly added mentally.

"And I suppose since we're dating, I'm a fag too." Roxas muttered moodily.

Axel huffed, "Roxas, you can't let your asshole parents ruin your outlook on life."

"I know. You're right." The blond swallowed and nodded, "Sorry."

"It's alright. It's hard to forget that kind of stuff after years of being around bigoted behavior." Axel's hand returned to his back, only to slip lower and settle on his waist.

Roxas grinned, a faint blush on his cheeks and nose, "Thanks, Axel."

"No problem, babe." The redhead spotted the shop and steered the shorter boy toward it, "This is the place. I hope Xion is working today, she's the best piercer."

"Hey Axel!" Xion greeted cheerfully from the counter, her bangles jingling as she waved. She smirked mischeviously, "How's that piercing of your's healing?"

Heat flooded Axel's face. He could tell she was refering to the frenulum barbel he had gotten a few months ago. He nodded shyly, "It's healing fine. You did a good job with it."

"Well, it's not every day I get to do a frenulum piercing." Xion idly drummed her black nails on the countertop, "I had to be careful, especially since that's such a sensitive spot."

"What's a frenulum piercing?" Roxas asked, looking to the redhead for insight.

Axel ran a hand through his untameable mane and averted his eyes, almost mumbling his answer, "Well,''s a...dick piercing..."

Blue eyes widened almost comically, "That sounds painful."

"It kinda was." Axel shrugged, then put a hand on the blond's shoulder, "But that's not why we're here. You're getting simple ear piercings, got it memorized?"

"So just two plain studs?" Xion interjected, leaning on the counter as she fiddled with the hoop in her left gauge, "Or were you thinking something flashier, like cubic zirconium or a birthstone?"

"How about saphire?" The redhead suggested, "To match your eyes." He smiled fondly and added, "My starters were emeralds."

Roxas nodded his consent and she waved him back to a chair. The noirette snatched up a sterile bag with the tools she needed and used an alcohol wipe to clean his earlobes.

"This'll be nice and quick." Axel assured him, standing off to the side if the chair, "Xion is good, she's done all of mine except my first earrings. Speaking of, do you do tattoos?"

"Sorry, Ax, I just have tattoos." Xion apologized as she loaded the gun, "My sister, Naminé, does the tattoos here. She's the artistic one and she's awesome at it." She grinned and gestured to her left arm with her eyes, "She did my beach themed sleeve." Xion's sleeve was artfully done in water colour style and depicted abstract ocean waves with more realistic seashells. Naminé obviously knew what she was doing.

"Alright, I'll have to make an appointment with her." Axel agreed.

Xion set the gun aside to quickly dot Roxas' ears with a marker. "I want to make sure that they end up in the same spot on each side." She explained to him while she worked, taking one last look at him to see if the marks were even. Satisfied with their positioning, Xion grabbed the gun and lined it up before quickly pulling the trigger.

The only indicator that Roxas had felt anything was his sudden hissing inhale. Otherwise, he stayed dutifully still.

"One more..." Xion murmured as she loaded the second stud and drove that one home just as quickly, smiling sweetly at him, "And you're done! You did good for a first timer, didn't even flinch."

Axel grinned and helped him out of the chair, "So how do you feel?"

"My ears sting and they feel hot." Roxas sheepishly admitted, his hands cautiously touching the tender red flesh.

"That's normal." The redhead laughed a bit.

Xion came back from disposing of any contaminated items and handed the blond a bag with a bottle of cleaner and a pamphlet on earring care, "Be sure to clean them twice a day until they heal."

"Okay." Roxas nodded, taking the bag.

Axel stopped at the counter before they left. He and Xion talked for a bit and she wrote something down in a book on the counter.

"What was that all about?" Roxas asked as they headed for the foodcourt.

"I made an appointment." The redhead told him, "Xion is going to get me in with Naminé next week to get a tattoo."

"Oh, okay. What are you gonna get?" Roxas set the bag on a table and sat down.

Axel's green eyes flicked upward as he thought, "I was thinking something to do with fire, maybe? I have a week to decide." He slid into the seat next to the blond, "The earrings look good, by the way. The saphires really bring out your eyes."

Roxas tentatively touched the warm skin again, smiling when Axel leaned over and gave him a chaste kiss since they were in public. However, the blond pressed a bit into the kiss before they broke apart.

Pleased but confused, the redhead quirked an eyebrow at the eager behavior.

Roxas just smirked impishly, "Why don't you show me how much you like them when we get home?"

Axel grinned, barely containing his excitement, "Then what are we waiting for, Roxy? Lets head home."