Song: I Hate You, Don't Leave Me
I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me | Demi Lovato
I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me | Demi Lovato
The awkwardness that had rose moments before had fizzled out from being completely encapsulating to something that was segueing with the rock in his chest. Axel didn’t know what to label the feeling, the emotion, since he hadn’t experienced it before. As a generally heartless person with no good tucked underneath, he’d only felt about a ‘teaspoon’ range of emotions — mostly just bitterness, anger, apathy, and the similar sorts. He didn’t usually care when people cried and certainly didn’t give a fuck if it was his fault (most of the time when it was the latter, he actually felt pride). The fact that it wasn’t his fault that Vex was a sobbing mess and the issue that was was something that Axel didn’t care for didn’t equate to the older twin offering comfort. There was something wrong with that math sum. Comfort was something he didn’t give out regularly; the only person who had ever gotten it was his fiancé. All his claims of not loving her may be well and true, but he was lying when he said he didn’t care for the girl. They may fight and threaten each other and have far too much angry sex than considered healthy for a functioning relationship, but when it came down to it, the two did care. That showed when Rachel made him lunch for his work day and visited and brought him coffee in her break and when he’d buy her favourite ice cream on his way home and he’d play her a lullaby to help her sleep when she had nightmares and especially when he’d draw her into his lap when she was crying to hold her close. The only way he knew how to be affectionate or caring - even if he wasn’t completely into it - were in ways he’d learned from Rachel, so it was the only knowledge he could use in the situation with Vexen. Trying not to cough awkwardly, Axel extended his arm so it was fully around his brother, fingers wrapped around bicep as his other hand took a hold of his thigh to drape him over his lap. The older of the two avoided eye contact heatedly, keeping his cerulean hues flitting between the couch and the table. His mind kept trying to wander back to details of his twin but he’d force it away, to distantly think about what a bore his next guitar lesson was going to be with his least favourite student. It wasn’t working so well, because the sound of broken sobbing and incoherent murmurings were becoming overwhelming. He almost wanted to say “Jesus, Vex,” in a reprimanding tone but he managed to bite his tongue in time. Instead, Axel just sat there in silence as the tears his little twin brother shed soaked through his dark t-shirt.
Vex hadn’t meant to break down the way that he had, but gripping to Axel and crying into his shoulder wasn’t really something that he could control. He felt like he was falling apart, moreso than when he had been desperately screaming Fletch’s name whenever they were trying to revive him and there was nothing he could do. Right now he couldn’t even focus on the fact that Axel was being gentle and caring compared to his usual reactions to Vex’s existence. He was to busy letting himself have that breakdown that he’d spent what felt like forever holding back. It was like the stream of tears would never cease and that he’d fall apart like this forever, even though that was impossible. Vex had lost a lot of things in life, but nothing had quite hurt the way that losing Fletch had, and that had caused him to lock it all away. Now, though, with his twin’s comfort, he finally let that dam break and he couldn’t stop sobbing even though he was trying. Vex didn’t want to think about the way that his heart had been broken by extenuating circumstances because that was just his shit luck and it was expected that the second he found someone he wanted to spend the rest of his life he lost them. It took him what felt like forever before the sobbing started to cease and Vex had to pull back and take a shuddery inhale of breath before he wiped at his tears, muttering ‘sorry’ to Axel before his voice caught on the word and he choked on a sob. He wouldn’t start crying again, wouldn’t let himself fall apart on his brother again especially when he knew that Axel had a short temper and he’d already had his breakdown. He sniffled and pressed his face into his hands for a moment, trying to get rid of all of the tears before he looked at Axel again. It didn’t work, though, and the second he managed to wipe his face clean, they sprang to his eyes again and he swallowed thickly. “I loved him,” he breathed out. “I thought I was going to have him for the rest of my life and- and now…” He sobbed again, trying to bite back the feelings to no avail as the tears started falling again.
The scene that followed was singlehandedly one of the most awkward experiences of Axel’s life. He wasn’t one for emotions, whether they be his own or others. It was just how he functioned — he was like machinery, just dutifully performing tasks as if he were programmed and there was nothing personal attached to anything. The only thing he really felt was a passion for music, but that couldn’t substitute for love, especially the kind that was making his twin brother cry because he’d lost it. Vexen, over the years, had learned not to cry in front of Axel. As babies, they constantly fought and the older blond caused a lot of tears by stealing toys, but all that would get was another smack from the toy hammer. Their lives progressed and they grew to be best friends, doing things like swapping clothes and taking each others classes all the way through to the end of middle school. High school was where everything changed because Axel got new friends and although he’d look at Vex and see his twin brother that he cuddled and kissed, his friends would see a target for bullying, and that’s what the younger became. The warring emotions intensified behind closed doors with their sexual explorations and things just kept getting worse. In the secret of the night they’d please each other but as soon as the moon was away, Axel was abusing his brother. But sun or moon, Vexen was only a ‘thing.’ That way of thinking hadn’t diminished much over the years, especially when it was Vex having sex that cost Axel his music career. The way that the younger twin treated himself only justified this thought. What was happening was new territory and he didn’t know how to react. Laughing wouldn’t be a kind action nor would teasing; even though Axel wasn’t known for kindness or thinking about others, he did have some knowledge of tact and could bite his tongue. For the most part with everyone else, he ignored emotions, but with Vexen that was a must. He kept them buried deep within and didn’t dare bring them up to view or discuss. It’s why he felt like he might be sick or possibly start choking when he felt a horrible feeling stir in the pit of his chest. It was heavy, making him feel like he was going to run out of breath if it stayed. The back of his eyes were aching, like that was an affect of how uncomfortable this brick in his torso was. Clenching his hands by his sides, Axel glanced over at his twin and tried to block out the unpleasant sound of growing sobs. His mouth felt dry and he didn’t know what to say. He didn’t even know what to do, but apparently his subconscious did because he found himself gravitating forward to sit down next to Vexen and wrap an arm around him.
Do not cry. That was the one thing that Vex had been telling his body to do over and over again but to no avail. He couldn’t not think about the curly-haired boy man who had been his, the one person who had picked him over everyone else in the world and had cared about him when Vex couldn’t care about himself. Fletch was burned in his brain and would be for the rest of eternity, even if Vex did eventually move on. He would never forget the person who, while he had not been his first love, had been the most important one and the first person who loved him back. Then again, thinking about Axel as a first love wasn’t much of a plus, especially since their twisted relationship had been a medley of pain and misery on Vex’s behalf. Axel had gotten out of it clean, untainted by the way they had fallen together and gone from something so sweet and innocent to an abusive nightmare. That wasn’t love, not really, but to Vex he had been more in love than anyone could ever know, and the self-destructive behaviours that had manifested from a lack of Axel’s ability to care about him despite taking all of his firsts and giving nothing in return that didn’t involve a punch to the gut or a hissed slur proved that. Fletch had been good to him, shown Vex what it could be like to have someone that would treat him right, that someone could care, and then before he knew it, he was gone. It was just an accident with nobody to blame except for his fiancé’s lack of sight and in the end, the one thing that he said he would never call a disability was the thing that ended up taking him away. Vex tried to keep the sobs muffled and nonexistent, because he didn’t need to do this around Axel, especially when he was sure his twin would just say some sarcastic comment or mock his pain, but nothing came. The words that Vex was certain he was going to hear stayed silent and instead there was an arm around him, a source of comfort that Vex hadn’t had in a long time, especially from his twin. Axel hadn’t done anything like this in a long time and the fact that his brother was being nice broke the walls that Vex had worked so hard to keep up after he lost Fletch. A choked sob escaped his throat and he almost desperately leaned into the touch, composure breaking as the tears steamed down his face. For the first time since Fletch’s death was he finally able to cry about it, to let out all that pain and misery that had kept him together, kept him strong, and as Vex sobbed, barely managing breaths between whimpered noises and blurred sentences of not fair and I miss him, he had Axel there, even if it wasn’t the best comfort. The knowledge that his brother wasn’t pushing him away like he had for the last half-dozen years or so was enough for him to let himself fall apart.
If Axel’s fatal flaw was his general demonic behaviour, he was dubbing Vexen’s his newfound stubbornness. It made the elder nostalgic for the days when his younger twin was wrapped around his finger and would do whatever he’d ask; having a punching bag and a sex toy in one person was a positive, even if it came with a side of conflicting emotions and nausea because it so happened to be his brother. “Either talk at me and I’ll pretend I’m listening or stop acting like a little bitch,” Axel drawled as he shifted again. He pushed himself up, using his palms on Vexen’s chest as a harsh brace, moving so he was straddling the body beneath him with his back straightened. “Well if you don’t stop being a pansy, you certainly wont be worth my time.” Reaching out, his palm slapped across his twins cheek as he smiled without genuine emotion. Just for good measure, he pressed down on Vexen’s face as he hopped off and stood up. The apartment was quiet and boring, two things Axel didn’t do, so he was searching desperately for a remote or an iPod dock. He spotted the controller for the television in seconds and was quick to turn it on, but he wasn’t expecting what he saw. He was hoping to flick to a music channel and possibly half-dance around to that new Mac Miller track with the pretty girl but instead he was staring at a semi familiar face, frozen with the pause symbol in the corner. Axel squinted, head tilting as he crept towards the screen somewhat. The realisation of who it was hit him because he’d been interviewed by the curly haired boy on the screen back in London when he’d just gotten off The X Factor and he turned around suddenly. “It’s that Conradical bloke!” He exclaimed, as if Vex wasn’t aware his dead fiancé was on the television. Puzzle pieces began to click together in the twenty year olds head and he made a soft, drawn out “oh” noise. There was only a few moments before he was speaking in his usual brash tone. “So you having a good cry over Fletch, then?”
There were no surprises when it came to Axel at this point, not when Vex had spent the last twenty years of his life at his brother’s side, used as a plaything for him whenever he got bored of being an actual brother and friend. Those had really been the days, but they had been lost thanks to years of being Axel’s punching bag and sex toy, something that had helped Vex to form the idea that all he was good for was being a sex toy, and he’d mastered the art of it in the years since he’d become a prostitute. Still, the feeling of Axel’s hands pushing hard on his chest started Vex a bit and he sucked in a quick breath before his eyes flickered shut. “I’m not being a bitch,” Vex said before he swallowed thickly, words barely getting out before Axel slapped him, and that was normal. That was the behaviour that he was used to from his twin. He had been Axel’s punching bag for so long that he’d forgotten what it was like to have a civil conversation with him, and now that he was, miserably, trying to do that, he went right back to the punching bag. “Thanks,” Vex muttered in a slightly sarcastic tone before he pulled back away from Axel, glad that his twin didn’t try to do anything else. He was too used to Axel beating him up for his own fun and he didn’t need it right now, let alone ever. With the freedom of not having the warm and heavy weight against his chest, vex scrambled back, leaning against the arm of the couch as he watched Axel poke around, clearly looking for something, and when Vex realised that he was hunting down the remote, a weak noise escaped his throat and he almost managed out a protest butt before he could, there was Fletch’s face, haunting him and reminding him of the fact that he wasn’t there anymore, that the only person he’d ever loved who loved him back was gone. Vex curled up in on himself, pressing his face into his knees as he tried to kill that surge of emotion, the weight that had settled in his chest to remind him just how fucking lost and alone he was. He didn’t even pay attention to Axel’s words, completely uncaring to his brother’s actions in the moment when his main focus was on not crying. He wouldn’t do that with Axel here, no matter how overwhelming the feeling was, but Vex could feel his body betraying him and he did his best to hide a weak sniffle as tears prickled at his eyes. He hadn’t cried yet and he wasn’t going to do it now. He wasn’t going to fall apart in front of the one person that would take his emotions and twist them for his own needs. Axel had done a lot to him in the past, things Vex knew he ought to hate him for, but he wasn’t going to let Axel torture him about this.
“Nah, I’m comfortable.” Axel immediately replied, his words holding the arrogant air they always did. It seemed that his brother always managed to bring out the worst in him, because the elder was hardly ever this intolerable around other people. He had his moments with Rachel, but it seemed Vexen was the lucky winner in getting Axel in his most ‘asshole’ state. To reiterate his point of I do what I want, I don’t listen to you, it’s still that way, the musician shuffled to make himself comfortable on top of his twin as if the body was a bed. He laid out on his stomach, Vexen’s skinny legs trapped between his with his elbows sinking into the cushion either side of the youngers head. He was somewhat unnerved at being so close to Vex again, to be staring down at him with their lips only moments apart. If he paid any more mind to that fact he would probably be out the door as quick as he came in, but thankfully he didn’t feel like contemplating their incestuous past and how completely fucked they were. He was in more of a “I like making people’s lives a living hell” mood. With a lopsided, cheeky grin, Axel spoke again. “So ye gonna tell big bro what the problem is, Vexy? Or am I gonna have to get it outta ya?” There was an evident challenge in his eyes. No matter how old they got or what issues they worked over, there would still be the unspoken rule that Axel was in charge. It didn’t come down to his age, but the fact he was naturally dominant. If things didn’t go his way, it wasn’t worth it. Maybe Vexen had grown past that in their years apart but now they were back in the picture together, Axel still had the impression he had the upper hand, and there wasn’t a thought in his mind that that was going to change.
It was no surprise to Vex that Axel was doing what he usually did, taking control of the situation and being that annoying, dominant part of him. Vex had really never seen any other side of Axel, not personally at least. Sometimes when they were younger, he had managed to catch glimpses of Axel being nice with others or a complete gentleman. Once he had even been like that with Vex too, his best friend and partner in crime. Now, though, they were nothing. They hadn’t been anything for a long time, not since the moment that they’d kissed, that Vex gave up his entire being for Axel and let him twist and trick him into whatever he could get to make it work. It had been so long since then that Vex didn’t like to think about it, which was why it made it so hard for Vex when Axel thought that sprawling out on top of him and taking over his body in a way like he once had. A few years back Vex would have longed for this moment, done anything for the attention that Axel was giving him, but right now it was the opposite. He wanted to be left alone to mope, to maybe finally cry about the whole situation. He hadn’t cried since Fletch died, hadn’t been able to, and that aching in his chest had carried on so long that Vex didn’t know how to feel any other way. “I don’t want to talk about it,” Vex replied after a moment, glancing up at his brother before he closed his eyes. “Besides, if you haven’t figured it out by now it’s not worth your time. Then again, I don’t know what is worth your time anymore. Haven’t in a long while.” He squirmed beneath Axel, trying to get him to get off of him. The feeling of another body pressed against his like this, without any expectations of sex or desires of using him in a manner similar to that, was something that Vex hadn’t experienced since Fletch died and having it be Axel that was doing it wasn’t exactly what he wanted. If he was just talking to him like a normal person, maybe that would’ve been alright, but being pressured and pushed beneath his dominating twin was something that Vex wasn’t interested in dealing with on top of the feeling of overwhelming misery. This he just wanted to stop.
There were known to be days where Axel Rhys wasn’t a complete monster. They were rare, but they existed. If someone were to ask him to go see his twin brother, they’d either get punched in the face or yelled at - the lucky ones got both - but not today. His fiancé hadn’t even prompted it, it was all on his terms. The twenty year old had been visiting Frisky more frequently between gigs and school, using the lies of “working late” and “extra practice.” Super cliche but fool proof for now because Axel had never used them before. If he was going to see someone or going somewhere shady, he tended to straight up tell Rachel (of course, he’d leave out the details of him fucking other people because the less she knew the better). She still had no idea that he’d even gone back to Frisky a second time, living in oblivion that the twins caught up in nicer places like the others flat. But that’s genuinely where they were this time. Axel had invited himself over despite how unwanted his company would be. Even though he didn’t really care for anyone’s feelings besides his own, that didn’t mean he wasn’t aware when someone was upset. He was Vexen’s other half, of course he’d know if his brother was in a mood. Whether he was going to improve said mood was another question, but Axel was his usual self as he aggressively pushed open the door, kicking it shut behind him and swaggering into Vex’s flat like he was Gods gift to the world. Spotting his mirror image on the couch, he walked over instantly and fell down on top of him with an ‘oof’, shifting to sprawl over him. “Sup, mopey.”
Vex was moping, plain and simple. After all, he had a right to. He hadn’t meant to stumble upon the video that he had filmed of him and Fletch on their last vacation, hadn’t meant to watch it at all, but that’s what he’d done; fallen into a hazy state in between asleep and awake at four in the morning while tears threatened to fall and Fletch laughed on his television screen. It had been so long since then and yet it felt like no time had passed, like Fletch was still with him and he could hear him ghosting the hallways with his bright laughter and comforting words. Vex missed those the most about him, really. The way that Fletch had been able to cheer him up and make him feel like a person, like he was cared about. That had been something that Vex had never experienced before Fletch, and now he was alone again, the love of his life gone where Vex couldn’t reach him no matter how hard he tried. That was probably why the sound of the door opening didn’t register in his brain, not until it was kicked shut and he glanced up to the doorway to spot his twin. The shock that Vex felt didn’t show, thankfully, and he just sunk a little further down into the couch cushions in response to Axel’s arrival, only reacting to it when he found himself covered in the man. “Get off,” Vex muttered half-heartedly, not bothering to try and push Axel away because as much as he couldn’t stand being around him at times, it was nice to just briefly feel like he was cared about. “I thought you were joking when you said you were coming over,” he breathed out, looking at Axel quietly before he shifted beneath him, resisting old urges to reach out and touch him, to grip to his shirt and cling to him like he’d been the only thing that had missing from Vex’s life. Despite the fact that that was true on some parts, it wasn’t like that anymore. Vex wasn’t dependent on Axel’s being around anymore, and that was probably more of a combined blessing and curse than having him around had been.