Once Upon a Dream

Axel never used to dream.

The nothingness that consumed him at night; that precious dreamless sleep used to be the only thing that kept him going. He would take on as many missions as possible, kill heartless until his hands bled and his thoughts were throbbing from strain. He didn't want to think, it hurt to think.

'Nobodies don't feel pain' Axel would try to remind himself. Even if it encased him like a prison, even if he felt like a rubber band was being slowly tightened around his chest, even if water threatened to pour from his eyes and his nose and he choked every time someone mentioned Roxas' name. Sleep was freedom, sleep was an escape. Each night he looked forward to that small death, hoping he would be born again new the next morning. Hoping he would just forget…

Until Xemnas started clearing out Roxas' room and that became impossible. Axel only managed to salvage one of his old sweaters, but he treasured it like it was his own long, lost heart.

It meant the end of any sleep. Now it was all Axel could manage, not to stay up every night, breathing Roxas in deeply, imagining that scent was Roxas materializing around him, and just trying to remember.

This was how Axel learnt to dream. That's why, now, in the small hours of the morning, Axel closes his eyes and pictures him. No, them. Together again.

He doesn't go anywhere special. Just the clock tower, with Roxas. It's always at the same time, when the sun hangs like large red globe, embraced in clouds of golden yellow. Always warm, always safe. It's a place where Axel can explore the warm fluttering of his heart, and the ugly uncomfortable feeling that rises in his stomach. He can say things and he knows Roxas won't back away, won't retreat from him. In this world Axel knows he won't lose him.

Sometimes he likes to play things over. He get's trapped in cycles of conversation, things he wished he'd said differently or times when he had wished Roxas was different. Axel realises it's probably because Roxas is still so young, but here that can be fixed too.

Roxas is still short, because Axel's a pervert and he kind of likes that. But the soft layers of teenage puppy fat melt away to reveal lean muscle and that damning haze of hormones; of Xion and Namine, even of Olette, fade to reveal only Axel.

After all, Axel doesn't like to share and Roxas would do well to remember that.

Twisting over to his side, he'll never forget to remember that he has hurt Roxas more than once here, and as something so similar to pain sets in, he knows he will do it again. Axel will let the blood pour from Roxas' mouth and nose. Watch as Roxas' skin twists beneath his flames and delight in hearing him gasp and hiss as it rises above his body. Axel never forgets to let him know that this isn't his fault, this is Roxas' fault for leaving him.

But the scene always changes, because Roxas has always been persuadingly beautiful, even his dreams. They're still bathed in firelight, only now Roxas twists and gasps in pleasure, and like the deep red sun is enfolded in the golden clouds, Axel is completely consumed by Roxas. He takes him all in, lets himself explore every last pore of his body and just soaks him up. Sometimes it's so perfect that Axel forgets to breathe.

But like the clouds tear away from the sun, when dawn breaks Axel is left alone. Again.

But if I know you, I know what you'll do

You'll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream

- Sleeping Beauty

- A LieutenantProbable one-shot, drabble type thing.