Axel knows that if there were any afterlife for him, he would go straight to hell.

He would like, cheat, back-stab, cross your words until you felt dizzy and your mind went numb but he just didn't feel.

And then along came Roxas.

……

When they would hang out, he could feel his heart. Not like he always did, the constant thump of irony that lulled him to sleep at night, but was louder; almost pounding in his ears and he could almost feel.

If he could, that is.

From that description, many humans would call it love, which it wasn't because he couldn't feel anything and the closest possible thing it could've been was friendship if it was a feeling at all but it wasn't.

No, if anything, the closest thing that could bring him to feeling was fire. It made him feel alive—the rotting corpses and the screaming voices that would cry for mercy until their throats were burnt and raw and eventually there wouldn't even be ashes left of them.

That was when he could hear his heart pounding in his ears, adrenaline screaming, feeling more alive that he had in years and maybe he would laugh or maybe he'd smirk at the screeching melting thingthat could've been a person or a shadow but now it was nothing but a result of his not-so-guilty pleasures.

As he sat on top of Memory's Skyscraper; and he could've been waiting for the sun to rise—something that it never did, Roxas would always point out, Because then the sun would never set, he would explain— Axel wondered when everything started to lead back to that kid; the one who couldn't smile, their key to being 'complete' that had slipped though the cracks in the floorboards.

And Axel almost hated himself for it, for being so close to being so dependant on the boy; but there it was again, that ever-present irony like the copper taste of blood in his mouth. Roxas was the only one who could make him feel that way even though he couldn't and shouldn't. Frienship, contentness, hate. The shrieking of dying beings with voices resonating in their pain and his pleasure just wasn't enough for him anymore.

So maybe Roxas had it, Roxas had his heart. Could've found it behind a locked door that only he could open.

He wanted to test that theory-in his fit of semi-dependency-he wanted wanted to see those blue eyes drowning in a sea of fire and amist the burning organs and smoking body he would pick out the heart stolen from him and take it back.

--You didn't get into the Organization by staying sane.

But that would defeat the whole purpose, wouldn't it? He was in the Organization for kicks, to see the faces of those bitten by a flame they wouldn't-and couldn't-forget.

Because he had never cared much for his heart and after all isn't it much more fun to play the game without the rules? But now he wanted to know-how far could he go, would it be stronger?- what would it be like to have a real heart with Roxas?

So he waited for the sunrise that would never come, that- light that would never return-flaming ball that would call all the shadows out to play, burning everything into nothing but ashes but was doused by the night.

And Axel considered burning the moon down because it made everything so goddamn bright and he wished it could be darker so everything would be easier to see-and burn-instead of so blindingly white in a city that should never have existed but did anyway and the beings who drew the short end of the sticks and did not be and did not feel and un-lived to so many 'did-nots' it was Axel a migrane.

He closed his eyes and saw smoke rising high with flames burning anguished screams—and he still wasn't blind and he pounded his hand into the ground and felt the gravel embed into his skin. But he didn't.

At least, not anymore.