Author's Note: I know, I'm supposed to be working on Slightly Sedated Slumber, but this came to me and I just had to write it down before I forgot it! So, my updating schedule might be even more out of whack, but I'm really going to try to get things up faster. Hopefully, you'll all like this!

Summary: Axel has been killed 20 times, and it's always Roxas's fault. When God gives him one more chance not to screw things up, will Axel finally succeed in having a normal life? Then again, with Axel, nothing ever seems to go as planned. [Akuroku

Disclaimer: If I owned the game, which I don't, I would have better housing appliances, ones that don't try to kill me…

Warming: Eventual lemon, character deaths, angst, ect, ect, ect.


Enjoy! (And Review? Pweese?)

Of all the times he'd been killed so far, this one had to be the worst. He sighed and pulled the blonde against him, watching as Roxas smiled softly, and kissed him softly on his forehead.

"Did we win?" The blonde wanted to know, shifting uncomfortably in Axel's arms, probably because of the blade sticking out of the back of his oversized black hoodie. The equally maimed redhead's face held a ghost of a smile, which turned into a tiny smirk.

"Yeah, we won, bud, we won," he murmured into the blonde's hair, hiding his face from the blonde so he wouldn't see the tears rapidly streaking down his bloodstained face.

In the background, the sound of police car sirens and ambulances could be heard, but Axel knew they would be too late. By the time they arrived to the scene of the gang fight, there would be no survivors, just a bunch of dead people, most of them barely even legal adults.

"Axel, what happens when we die?" Roxas whispered, knowing the answer before he asked. Axel always gave the same answer, because Axel always knew. After all, Axel remembered being dead, he remembered all of his deaths. He'd never talk about them, but he remembered them, every single one. And Roxas believed him.

As normal, the redhead responded simply, saying the same thing he always said, "If you did everything you needed to do, you stay in heaven. If you didn't, you get another shot."

Roxas nodded into the redhead's chest. His vision was starting to become a little foggy, probably from the blood loss. "Hey Axel?" he murmured softly into the redhead's chest, which was only barely covered by a thin green shirt.

"Hmm?" the redhead responded, blinking back more tears. Roxas would die first, of course. He always did.

"I love you. I love you so much. And I don't want to die. What if I never find you, next time? What if I don't get a next time? I don't want to die," the blonde mumbled into the redhead's shirt, his body shaking, either with sobs or shock, Axel couldn't tell.

I'll find you again, I always do, Axel thought, but he didn't say that. Instead he sighed and responded very simply, but passionately, "I love you too, Roxas, I love you."

The blonde seemed to be comforted by that, and he snuggled into the warm, although quickly cooling, chest of the redhead. Could he even be considered a blonde anymore? Probably not, his hair was so matted with blood he looked to be as much a redhead as Axel himself.

"Love…you…Axel," were his last words before he stopped breathing. Axel sighed, and with all the strength he had left, he shut his friend's open, peaceful eyes, and shutting his own eyes, he murmured back, "Always, Roxas, always."

Dying was painful, but never for long. The pain stopped after a while, and then there was just numb. Axel had died so many times now- always in a different body, of course, although he always looked the same-that dying didn't really hurt all that much anymore before the numb came.

Still, what always hurt the most was seeing Roxas die. Because Roxas couldn't ever remember dying, he couldn't ever remember his other lives, all his other 20 lives with Axel. He'd never been able to. After all, Roxas had a horrible memory. It wasn't like he forgot easily, oh no, not really, but he just wasn't like Axel. Roxas had a normal human memory. Axel got everything memorized. In every life, that stayed the same. He could remember anything. All the state's capitals, their state birds, their state names. He could remember someone's favorite color if they'd told it to him when he was 5, even 19 years later. He was a memorizer. Roxas wasn't. Sometimes, Axel hated him for that.

Because he deserved to remember to. He deserved to know. He deserved to know that every time Axel died, it was always because of Roxas, it was always his fault, and even though it was his fault, Axel would never hate him for it. He could never hate Roxas, and it was always, always, his downfall. He'd go on forever, finding Roxas, loving him, dying, and repeating, because they never did everything they needed to, so they could never stay in heaven. They could never live in eternal peace, because Roxas always screwed things up.

Suddenly, everything was white. Axel flinched at the sudden light. Yep, he was back. He sighed and got to his feet, looking at his body, now completely naked. All his scars, all his wounds, they were all gone. He was unharmed. Nope, nothing was wrong with him, except, well, being dead. But being dead wasn't all that bad, anyhow.

"Axel." A loud voice spoke gently to him. It was a stern voice, but gentle at the same time. Loving and at the same time a superior. Axel sighed and bowed his head in respect.

"God-dio," he responded, with utmost respect. The voice chuckled. Him and God, they had a pretty good relationship, seeing as Axel was always coming back.

"You're back. Again, and not staying, eh?" God asked, chuckling a little bit. If he wasn't just a disembodied voice, Axel could tell he'd be grinning with that little twinkle in his eye.

"Yep, I reckon I am," Axel responded, and sat on the floor, placing his long knobby arms around his long knobby legs and cradling his head on his forearm. He let out a sigh.

"Axel, you can't keep doing this. I've given you so many tries, Axel, so many tries," God wearily spoke. Axel nodded, agreeing silently. The silence lingered a moment before Axel spoke once more.

"So this'll be my last chance? Before I just stay up here… and… and hope he gets here too, eventually? My last chance?" he asked aloud, hoping. He needed one more chance, because without it, Roxas would never get to heaven. He couldn't fulfill his destiny without Axel, it wasn't possible. They shared the same fate. They always had.

"Yes. This will be last chance. Don't fail this one, Axel; we need more angels up here. Plus, Riku and Sora want back their friends, Sora wants his brother back. You can't fail," God told him, and Axel stood up, determined.

"Ok. But I'm going to wait a couple of hours. The 2000's seem pretty bright, I've heard. I think I want to try there. We've tried almost everywhere else," Axel requested, hopefully. They'd been so close to the 2000's. 1980's, that was the last time, they'd chosen that the last time. They'd forgotten the Roxas kind of enjoyed gangs. It had been a bad idea all around. Killed by their own gang members. Chicago, who's stupid idea had it been to put them in Chicago? Ok, well, it had been Axel's, but that wasn't the point.

"2000's it is. Don't fail, Axel. Don't fail." God told him, and Axel thought, once again, that if he had a body, God would give him a big hug right now, smile, and pat him on the head reassuringly.

Axel lay down. Now it was time to wait. He sighed, his mind drifting off to a new time. The next time he was fully awake, he'd be there again, 19, and in the 2000's. He would've missed his childhood, but that's how he always chose to start a new life. If he was 19, Roxas would be 18. God would've established them both lives; they'd have new memories, even though Axel would still have his old ones.

This was his last chance. Axel thought, as he fell into a deep slumber, that he'd been all of the luck in heaven not to screw up this one.

Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEEEEEEEP, SMASH!!!!!

Axel groaned. God sure did have a sense of humor, giving him an alarm clock that just got louder when he ignored it. He looked at the new hole in the window and sighed. A large smashed alarm clock was in the street, gold with cracked glass. He'd have to clean that up later if he didn't want to pop his tires while driving around.

He looked around his room. He appeared to live in an apartment, but it wasn't crappy, it was nice for once. The room was painted a deep, deep blood red with lots of golden trimming. His bed had a velvet red sheet; he had a stereo, a television, a laptop. His closet looked humongous, with clothing he actually didn't hate in it. God must've been trying to give him the best chance he had.

He looked down. Pink footed pajamas adorned his long, lanky body. He doubled over laughing. Ok, so, maybe God had been a little upset that he'd failed again. He quickly got rid of the hideously pink pajamas and found a pair of black pants and a black tee with flames on it. He turned on his television.

The news station said he was in New York. Good, he'd always enjoyed big cities, although the risk of him or Roxas dying was higher than normal. Still, the adventure, and just the general attitude of city goers was infectious. He'd always liked cities, he was glad he was in one.

He found out soon after that he lived in the penthouse of a large expensive apartment complex. Apparently he was some sort of model. Axel sighed. It really was his last chance. God had never given him huge jobs, because sometimes he'd show up in history books. If he looked the same in too many places, too many time periods, if he was too noticed, too historic, people could start asking questions. Questions were never good, never. It had to be his last chance, if he was famous.

Oh well, he wasn't complaining. Once, he'd only been given a lime green jeep. He swore, he'd never be a hippie again. Ever. Sorry Roxas, but no more free love for you, if it means having to wear purple bell bottoms, you'll be on Earth for a long time, Axel thought.

Axel sighed and exited his room. The rest of the penthouse was similarly decorated. Lots of red, lots of gold, and Axel definitely liked the multiple gaming systems he found in the living room.

Still, the whole thing felt ominous. Did God give him these good things because he wished Axel the best luck? Or had he given him the best because he knew Axel would fail? Worry pulsed through his veins like liquid fire, but he exited the apartment anyhow, beginning his search for Roxas.

Looking at his driver's license, Axel was happy to see he'd gotten the same last name he had as his last life. He'd gotten used to it, even if it was kind of odd. Axel Gabriel. Apparently, it was also the first name of some angel really high in the ranks of heaven. Personally, Axel didn't give a shit, but he still thought it was a cool name.

Inspiration struck as Axel realized that if his last name was the same, it could be likely that Roxas's last name was the same as well. He hurried off to find a phone book for New York. Upon finding one at a telephone booth, he got out a pocket knife he'd found and cut it free. No one seemed to notice his theft, so he went into a café and started looking.

It took forever.

For god's sakes, how many people had the fucking last name 'Key?' It took forever. For-ev-er. Personally, Axel knew how long forever could be, and it was a long, long time.

Finally, after hours of looking, he found it. Roxas Key, phone number of 465-725. Address: 468 Wicker Ave. Axel stopped reading then. Great, Roxy lived in the slums. Axel sighed and put his head in his hands. If Roxas lived in the slums, he would've already gotten into gangs, violence, drugs… he got addicted to adventure and heroism, really easy, and somehow gangs and stuff had always enthralled him. Stupid kid.

Hopelessness. It's a word Axel had felt many, many, many times during his many, many lives. He was beginning to feel it again, which sucked, because normally he only felt hopeless during the end of his stays on Earth.

He slammed his fist on the table and put his forehead down, sighing softly and willing himself not to cry. He didn't know what he'd do without Roxas. This time, it wouldn't just be losing him for a while; it'd be losing him for eternity. They had to be together, they just had to! It was so unfair, so, so, so unfair. Last time, he'd been so close. Roxas had even seemed to be remembering a few of his past lives! But no, he'd fail again. He always failed. He chocked a moment, trying not to sob. He had to be strong. He couldn't be hopeless, but everything just seemed so futile and useless.

"Bounce! Bounce! I found you! Oi! Bounce, oh, crap, I mean… Axel!" an annoyingly familiar voice cut through his depression. Huh? Who one Earth knew him? Aside from the paparazzi… Ok, well, a lot of people knew him now a day, but… who on Earth did he know?

And then he saw him. Blonde, blue eyed… and Mohawked. For god's sake, what was he doing here? He'd been in heaven for ages now!

"Demyx, what the hell are you doing here?" he snarled, but softened his gaze when the boy looked wounded. He added quickly, when he saw tears, "I mean, I thought you were… y'know, in happily ever after land, of whatever," Axel continued. Demyx smiled brightly at that.

"Well, yeah, but God talked to me, and he figured maybe, you know, you could use a little bit of help, so I volunteered! I mean, we were best friends for that first couple of times before me and Zexion… you know," Demyx rambled. Axel furrowed his eyebrows and a concerned look passed through his eyes.

"Demyx, no, you can't be down here. If you don't find your reason for living this time, which you won't, because Zexion isn't here-" Axel started, but what cut off.

"Uh-Uh-uh! See, I'm not permanent residence," Demyx paused and looked around at the empty café. The works seemed to be on break, and no one was around. "See?" suddenly, a glowing, golden halo appeared over his head. Axel looked awed.

"Wow. I guess it really has been a while since you've been up there, if you're on Guardian Status now…" Axel mumbled, feeling envious and a little stupid. Demyx frowned and sighed.

"Axel, it has been…well… 300 years since you've started trying. Of course I'm on Guardian Status by now. You know… you could be too… God said you've found your reason… you could go up and leave Roxas behind. All he does is ruin it-" Demyx started but Axel jumped up and pulled him off the ground by his collar.

"Shut up, Demyx," he stated, coldly. Because for Axel, no life was better than a life without Roxas.

Their conversation continued for a while, much more peacefully after that, when Axel realized how late it had gotten. He got up to leave. "Oh, right, Demy, where are you staying?" he asked. If the Angel was going to be down here, he might as well take advantage of his services for a while.

"Hilton on 2nd," Demyx yawned. Axel got his cell phone out of his pocket, where he'd found it a couple of hours ago.

"Got a number?" he asked, and they exchanged numbers and said their goodbyes. Axel walked a couple of blocks peacefully staring up at the stars. It probably wasn't a good idea for someone semi-famous, like him, to walk around at dark, but he had a knife on him, which he'd found before in his apartment, and generally, Axel was a pretty strong person.

It was these thoughts that startled him when he felt a hand reach into his back pocket, where he kept his wallet. He'd barely felt it, being so deep in thought, but eventually he did. He quickly grabbed the hand of the thief and pinned him to an alley wall, thoroughly prepared to chew out the guy who'd been trying to steal from him. Except when he caught sight of who it was, his heart almost stopped beating.

He had Fluffy blonde hair, like an angel, although a bit unkempt and unclean, like most street rats. He had eyes like a clear ocean cove, and a body like a pin. He was insanely skinny, really, like he had no muscle. Axel could feel his ribs from where he'd grabbed him.

But none of that mattered. Frankly, he couldn't have cared less if he was fat or covered in zits, because the boy had his heart. Roxas. Roxas, who was glaring at him and trying to escape, Roxas who was trying to kick out of his iron grip.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I just needed food, I'm sorry!" Roxas was saying, repeating it over and over like a mantra. Roxas who looked frightened, Roxas who was so thin and hurt. Roxas… this was his Roxas.

"You're coming with me, kid," Axel said, pushing all of his urges to jump him away. It was always so hard, having to start over with someone you knew everything about. It was hard to start over when you knew someone's favorite color was purple; their bad habits included singing in showers badly, where their sweet spots were, how they were ticklish on their right kneecap. It was hard to start over.

But Axel had 300 years of practice, 20 lives worth of starting over with Roxas, and this time would be no different, except for the end.

Life number 21 had finally begun.

Author's Note: And there you have it! It's kind of more like a prologue than anything, but I kind of liked it. Also, Demyx does call Axel Bounce for a reason; it's not random or a typo. Um… any other questions should be asked, and possibly answered next chapter?

Review so I know if I should continue?

I'll bribe you with cookies?