Casting out my dreams of light

to be forever shrouded in darkness


"Roxas, this is fucking ridiculous."

"You have to get used to this."

The redhead practically growled. "I don't want to."

"Well, it's not my fault you let a goddamned Mandragora kick your ass, or that you waited too long to see Vexen and the poision sank in. Stop whining."

Axel fingered the fresh gashes laced across his angular face, a sour scowl puckering pale lips. He blinked, the varying shades of gray swirling across a once perfect field of vision as he tried to focus on something.


The blond shifted beside him. "How'd this happen, anyway? Mandragoras aren't exactly known for their speed. Or intelligence."

Axel shrugged. "It ambushed me."

"You're a fucking fire wielder!" Roxas shouted, staring intently into those blank, acid green eyes. The redhead's expression remained exquisitely oblivious.

He sighed.

"Mandragoras are weak against fire! WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T YOU TORCH IT?!"

The redhead gaped.

"Didn't think of that, did you?"


"This is your own goddamned fault, and you know it."

"How the hell was I supposed to know the stupid fucking things are weak against fire?" Axel ran his fingers through tangled hair in exasperation. Clouded eyes searched for the smug grin he knew would be plastered across Number Thirteen's face, wishing more than anything he could see to knock it right off.

Lips brushed lightly against his ear. "Did you happen to read the mission statement before you took off?"

More silence.

"Because if you had," the sultry voice continued. "You would have known that it clearly states both the strengths and weaknesses of the creatures you may come up against. Not to mention it even offers efficient methods of doing away with them."

Roxas shifted once more, trailing a gloved finger along the sharp angle of the redhead's jaw. Axel fidgeted, feeling more vulnerable now than he ever had in his mundane nonexistence.

"It's not as if you've never made a mistake before," he said quietly, those wicked leather-clad fingertips still ghosting over his skin.

"Not one that cost me my eyesight, no," the blond countered easily. "But I'm still rather new to this Organization bullshit. How long have you been doing this again?"

The redhead resigned himself with a heavy sigh. He opened his eyes, shadows of outlines the most he could make of anything. The boy beside him chuckled humorlessly, and for a moment he was almost certain he caught a flash of blue and gold.

"Face it, fire-crotch." Axel's nose wrinkled instinctively at that less-than-endearing nickname. "You brought this on yourself, and now you're going to have to live with the consequences."

Footsteps echoed across the cold stone floor, and the soft click of the door falling shut told him he'd been left to his own devices.

Fucking fantastic.


It was the kind of darkness not even the light of his own flame could touch. Where once he could bathe himself in that comforting orange glow, he was tainted by a foreboding nothingness. The whispers followed him, as did the badly camouflaged laughter.

For once, he was grateful that he couldn't see their faces.

Axel was in a perpetually foul mood. While the gashes on his skin had faded to mere ghosts of what they had been, his vision had been reduced to the kind of inky blackness one would normally only find at the bottom of an endlessly deep poll of water. He couldn't even make out shadows anymore.

He couldn't remember how long it had been since he'd seen that mess of blond hair. Or those cold blue eyes.

The sadistic smile he was pretty sure he could easily live without.

He'd recently taken to wandering the wide, empty corridors of the Castle, losing himself within the labyrinth of twists and turns until he was quite certain he didn't know which way he'd come. There, he would see just how long he could go without bumping into a wall or tripping over the hem of his coat. It would never be long, regardless of how wide the hall was--it never failed that the toe of a boot would catch an edge of fabric and he would tumble gracelessly to the floor.

He had to keep up appearances. His pride would not allow him to continue humiliating himself in front of the others. It was bad enough that his own carelessness had robbed him of such a vital sense--if he kept tripping over things and falling flat on his face he would forever be the butt of everyone's jokes.

Oh, how the tables had turned.

Gloved hand braced against the wall, he took one small step away from it, and then another. The echo of his footsteps was almost too loud as he continued forward until only the very tips of his fingers remained in contact with the surface of stone. Slowly, he brought his arm back to his side as his steps became even smaller, to the point of being almost infinitesimal. So far, so good.

Feeling bold, he took a longer stride--the forward motion of his body sending the edge of his coat swishing precariously around his ankles. Two more steps and he was almost grinning. This was going much better than his previous endeavors. Nothing could stop him now.

Except, of course ... SMACK!

Another wall.

The brunt force of impact sent him flailing backward where he landed hard on his bony ass with a muted grunt. Blood ran in rivers from both nostrils down his chin, soaking into the fabric of his coat.

All he could think was, Please, for the love of all Nobodies, let no one have seen that.

A soft chuckle somewhere off to his right told him that once again, as always, luck was not on his side.

"Jesus, Axel, one would think you would have tried a walking stick or something .. to keep you from denting the walls."

"Thanks for the input, Roxas." The redhead leaned back, pinching his nose shut in a vain attempt to staunch the flow. This merely reversed the direction of the flood, sending it sliding thickly down the back of his throat.

He was slowly drowning in a sea of his own blood. What a way to go, eh?

"Was there anything else you'd like to add?" He nearly cringed at the sound of his voice, having taken on that obnoxious nasal quality that comes from attempting to thwart the escape of one's lifeblood through one's nose. He inclined a blank gaze in the direction the blond's voice had come from.

"Or are you content with watching me make an ass of myself?"

Stale laughter made its way to Axel's sensitive ears, burrowing deep into his core. He's laughing at you, Number Eight! a tiny voice taunted. He was beginning to wonder if the loss of his sight has somehow resulted in the loss of his sanity as well.

What the fuck?

"I'm quite content with watching you humiliate yourself. You should know this by now." Roxas stepped away from the opposing wall, footsteps echoing just as loudly as Axel's had previously as he strode slowly toward the sprawling figure on the floor. "But it's become rather boring as of late. All you do is mope around the Castle."

The redhead sighed and brought his hand away from his nose, feeling the flow of blood slow to a steady trickle. How long had he expected to fly under the radar? That damn blond was too observant for his own good.

"What would you do if you lost such a vital part of your existence?"

"I'd make myself as useful as I could."

"How fucking useful can you be when you can't fucking see anything?!"

They were both momentarily silent, the sound of their breathing only barely audible in the palpable silence. Axel let his eyes fall shut, not wanting the blond to see the way his brows had furrowed; the sour scowl that painted his angular features. Roxas was suddenly beside him, the close proximity of his body making the air thick and hard to breathe.

"You think yourself useless?"

He was silent. How often had that very thought clawed its way into his mind, poisoning him just as badly as the venom had? And what he couldn't understand was why it had taken something this disastrous to make him care that he felt completely incompetent.

He didn't even trust himself to call his own flame. It was one thing to singe an eyebrow or burn a few holes in his bedsheets; one slight miscalculation could reduce Oblivion to rubble, and though the very idea had amused him once, he didn't care to be responsible for extinguishing the lives of those that resided here.

Although, the thought of seeing Larxene burnt to a crisp was exceedingly enticing ..

"We rely so heavily on sight," he murmured softly, rolling clouded eyes toward the ceiling. "We never think it will be taken from us, so we never stop to think of how incapacitating blindness really is." He reached up to his nose to catch a trailing drop of blood.

"I don't know what to do with myself anymore."

"So you decided to immerse yourself in your own personal pity party?" Roxas snorted in disgust. He got to his feet, the leather of his boots creaking softly as he walked a slow circle around the redhead. "You can't just .. shut down every time things get a little harder than you're accustomed to. It shows weakness."

Axel's shoulders squared indignantly. "You're acting like I haven't tried."

"That's just it! You haven't!" The blond whirled around, fingers curling menacingly over the curve of a pale throat, thumb pressing hard beneath a pointed chin, forcing that blank gaze upward. "You haven't done a single thing for the Organization since this happened. All you've done is wallow in your own self-loathing and feel sorry for yourself." He released his grip and the redhead fell back on his elbows, acidic eyes widening in astonishment.

Roxas stared hard into those dead green orbs. "Get off your ass and do something for once."

"What the hell am I supposed to do, Rox?" Axel shot back, empty palms held outward as if waiting for the answer to simply fall from the empty air. "I'm more of a burden than an asset, now. I'm a joke to them."

The blond made an odd, strangled noise that sounded almost like genuine laughter. "Since when do you care what they think of you?"

Slender shoulders feigned nonchalance. "I don't."

"Well then. Since you don't, it should take nothing at all for you to show them you're still a valuable member."

"Okay, genius. Tell me exactly how I'm supposed to prove my worth when I can't take more than a few steps without falling flat on my face." The redhead sneered, lip curling in a whisper of his old wicked smile. "I live in darkness, to coin a bad phrase. I have no depth perception. What am I supposed to make of that?"

Roxas didn't miss a beat. "Use it to your advantage."

"You're such a fucking comedian."

"I'm sure you've noticed," the blond began, blatantly ignoring that last outburst, "that though your eyes are useless, your other sensory receptors are a bit more sensitive."

Axel's face was blank. "I have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about."

"No .. of course you wouldn't."

The air shifted abruptly as a portal swirled into existence beneath the redhead's sprawling frame. "What the--"

He could almost hear the gloating smile as the portal closed around him and cool lips were suddenly pressed to the shell of his ear.

"I guess I'll have to show you."


It was all routine. A carefully choreographed dance they both had memorized the steps to long ago. The blond was aloof and enigmatic as ever, and Axel was left in the dark, attempting in vain to analyze his skewed train of thought. It was just a game.

Let's see how far we can take it before the redhead breaks down.

Just this once, he wished Roxas was capable of being as blunt as everyone else. Come right out and say it. Not everything is meant to be a fucking riddle.

But then again, there's a certain thrill to guesswork. It's not as fun if you don't have to work for it, right?

Too bad Axel was notorious for being exquisitely lazy.

He was pretty sure he knew where he was when the portal faded from around him. It was cooler than his room. The air was charged with a certain energy that set the fine hairs on the back of his neck on end. The scent of twilight was everywhere. A tiny, almost invisible smile curled the edge of his lip. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been here.

Had it really been that long?

"Sit down," Roxas murmured from somewhere off to his left, the sound of glass tinkling disturbing the otherwise unbroken quiet. The redhead took a running guess at which direction he was facing, and as he took a tentative step forward his knee caught the edge of the bed and he landed face-first on the mattress.

If he were any less graceful, he'd be a one-legged Dusk on foot patrol. It was embarrassing.

The slight pressure of his landing caused his nose to throb painfully as a feeble groan wormed it way from the back of his throat.

This whole thing .. he thought idly, is completely pointless.

"I told you to sit .. not faceplant," the blond offered, a hint of laughter in his voice as he grabbed hold of a thin arm and hoisted Axel into a sitting position. A small glass vial was shoved into an open hand. "Drink that."

"You know, you have this way of speaking the fills me to the brim with sunshine and butterflies," the redhead mumbled sarcastically, nose wrinkling as he sniffed the contents of the vial. "What is it?"

"A potion. For the bleeding disaster on your face. Unless you care to let it heal on its own?"

He tossed it back with a flick of the wrist, the bitter aftertaste coating the inside of his mouth like unsweetened molasses. "Disgusting."

"You're such a baby. Suck it up."

"Again, with the sweet talk. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were trying to get into my pants. You know all you have to do is ask."

Roxas sighed and pushed him back against the bed. One leg swung over that lean frame, he positioned himself until he was straddling the redhead's thighs. Two pairs of leather gloves were rather tediously removed, one finger at a time, and tossed carelessly aside. Axel was, to put it mildly, very pleasantly befuddled.

"Um, not that I'm complaining .." he began carefully, trying hard to measure his increasingly ragged breaths as the zipper of his coat was pulled slowly downward. The sound of it was too loud, almost deafening in that unforgiving silence, and far more seductive than it had any right to be. The very tips of those familiar fingers ghosted over the surface of his skin, trailing behind them a line of fire that curled tendrils of heat tightly around the base of his cock. He swallowed hard.

"But .. uh .. what exactly does this have to do with my eyeballs being useless?"

"When something as vital as sight is lost, the remaining four senses tend to .. overcompensate." Having brought the tab of the zipper to the end of its track, Roxas carefully pushed both panels of leather away from the pale, impeccably smooth flesh beneath. Boasting the luxury of knowing Axel would never be able to see the look of wanton desire etched across his face, he took a moment to fully appreciate the beauty of the figure before him. A startling disarray of crimson wildfire fanned out across the mattress, framed an angular face only slightly marred by faint scars across eyes, cheekbones and chin. They formed a sort of sinewy spiderweb that gave the impression it was done on purpose; a new way of tattooing sans the mess of injecting ink. They traveled the length of a long neck, crisscrossing in a playful design that ended just above the sharp protrusions of jutting collarbones. The redhead shifted beneath that heated gaze, raising himself up on his elbows and squaring his shoulders in the process. The action made his clavicles that much more prominent. That much more alluring.

It was the blond's turn to stop and catch his breath. Just this once.

His sapphire gaze continued its slow descent, taking in the slightly sunken cavity of Axel's chest. It was the one thing that set him to worrying on occasion; the idiot was far too skinny to be healthy. If he stopped to think of it, he was almost positive he wouldn't be able to recall ever seeing him eat. Yet another reason he decided long ago that he needed almost constant supervision.

The most defining feature of that malnourished body were those hips. Sharp, dangerous curves that sang each time he moved. They were almost feminine--almost, but not quite. He moved with such fluid grace that the thought of him being a dancer in some parallel version of the existence he made here frequently crossed his mind. It was a damn shame that grace seemed to have disappeared along with his sight. What a waste.

At that precise moment, eyelids fluttered slowly open and hazy, acid-colored eyes stared straight ahead--colliding deftly with ocean-blue.

It was surreal, that feigned lucidity. Like a vivid dream. It was almost identical to any previous engagements they may have shared, each holding his ground and diving headlong into the mind-fucking power struggle that kept the whole thing alive.

Too much.


He hadn't realized he'd stopped breathing.


"Be quiet." The blond's head swam.

Those eyes were burning holes clear through his being. Just as they had before. How the hell was that possible?

He was sorely tempted to blindfold him just so he wouldn't be so easily distracted. He was on a mission here, after all. Operation: Annihilate Emo Redhead. He almost laughed at himself, then.

What the hell.

He leaned forward just slightly, the cords of his coat brushing gently over Axel's lower abdomen. As he brought his mouth a mere breath away from full, pale lips, he could feel the body beneath him begin to tremble. Lips parted fractionally as the blond darted his tongue across yielding flesh, coaxing a soft whimper from the back of a dry throat.

"Taste isn't nearly as important as sight, you know," Roxas whispered harshly. "But oddly enough, the palate becomes much more sensitive in its absence. I wonder .." His tongue danced lightly over trembling lips as he smiled.

"How will I taste to you now?"

The redhead froze as his mouth was taken asunder, fully subdued by the lightest of touches. He surrendered himself willingly to the thrust of a small pink tongue against his teeth. He focused on breathing, counting the seconds between each rise and fall of his chest lest he forget completely.

God, you're everywhere.

He chanced the unthinkable, reaching up with a bare hand to cup the side of the blond's face. He traced the achingly familiar contours of his jaw with his thumb, drinking in the overwhelming taste of twilight as Roxas curled that wicked tongue around his own. Almost as an afterthought, his fingers threaded loosely into the pale gold strands at the base of the other's neck, pulling him closer, closer.


Smaller, but no less practiced hands covered his, bringing them away from the warmth of the skin he wanted so badly to touch. To feel beneath him, slick with perspiration, heated to the point of burning--he was denied the very thing he wanted most.

A breathy sigh in the palpable silence as lips framed the outline of an arrogant smirk.

"Not yet."


"The subject of touch is far more sensitive than that of taste; pardon the pun." Fingertips hovered above an exposed throat, dancing just above the surface, over sharp collarbones as the body beneath the blond shuddered almost violently. Axel bit his lip a bit too hard to suppress his willingness to submit completely as that hot mouth followed those teasing caresses, teeth nipping lightly, playfully. Feather-light touches ghosted down his chest, tracing patterns over the cage of his ribs, hesitating just above the dangerous curves of his hips. He rolled them upward experimentally, grinding against that petite frame. The arrogant laughter returned.

"Are you burning yet?"

"You little--ah!"

His hips jerked involuntarily as warm, distracting fingers closed around his cock though the fabric of his pants. A tiny bite to the side of his throat had him arching off the bed, teeth catching the edge of a pale lip to stifle the scream threatening to break clear through his control. He lay completely motionless, struggling to breathe as the hand curled around him slid up to the button of his pants.

Oh, shit.


He was so hard it nearly hurt. Every touch, every whisper of a caress sent tiny bolts of electricity surging through his body, and if he'd had a heart, it would have been pounding a beat fit to match the maddening rhythms of Demyx's sitar. It was as if every fiber of his being was attuned to the actions of the body above him--he could hear every rustle of fabric, every soft sigh from that small mouth. He could still taste him on his lips, all sweet mystery and raw, undefined sensuality. His skin was flushed--burning--for the return of those hands, that mouth--every part of him ached for the other.

Nimble fingers made short work of the button, and the low, seductive hiss of yet another zipper being pulled down engulfed the redhead's ears. The rigid length of his cock rested against his belly, unrestrained by any other unnecessary cloth, and Axel nearly groaned, hips twitching sporadically.

If this were a lesson in self-control, he thought he was doing pretty fucking well for himself.

Roxas slid back, weightless, off the redhead's thighs and stood on unsteady legs. He'd been so intent on the other's seduction--that mouth, that skin, those hips--that he hadn't realized his own desire had sunk deliciously sharp claws into the pit of his stomach. The blond growled low under his breath, hands shaking as he fought to remove his coat calmly, carefully. The lean body sprawled before him tensed, dim green eyes going wide at the sound.

Mine, was the single, dangerous thought that slithered through his mind as he watched the slow rise and fall of Axel's chest. It was feral, possessive--wild and reckless. He wanted nothing more at that moment than to dominate; to claim every inch of pale flesh he could get away with.

Even more, he wanted to make the redhead scream.

The leather fell away from his body as he shrugged the coat from his shoulders. Axel's breath hitched, just slightly, his empty emerald gaze settling to the right of where the blond actually stood.

"I wish I could see you," he murmured softly.

Roxas stepped forward, spreading lean thighs as he knelt before the redhead. "Don't dwell on what's been taken away from you," he whispered. Fingertips ghosted over hips, curled into the waistband of nearly-suffocating trousers and slid them down, down, down.

"Focus on what's here and now; what you have right in front of you."

A tentative lick to oversensitive skin wrenched a strangled groan from dry lips, and the blond caught himself grinning smugly.

"Besides .. you should know I won't allow you to concentrate on anything else."

... deep breath before the fall ...

Lips parted, and ..

Fucking hell, he's hot.

Fully engulfed in that tight, moist heat, the redhead found it even more difficult to breathe as he should. His hips bucked involuntarily, seeking of their own accord to bring that delicious mouth even closer, but surprisingly strong hands held them in place with no effort at all. A practiced tongue slid up his shaft, flicked over the head before that scorching heat claimed in again. Axel could have sworn he saw stars.

"Goddamn, Roxas."

The blond seemed to purr as he took his length fully into his mouth once more, the vibrations sending sweet jolts of pleasure straight to his core. Fingers found their way to soft strands of golden silk and tugged lightly, his body writhing against the torturous manipulations of his cock.

A low, muffled moan disturbed the otherwise unbroken quiet as the redhead fought to maintain control of himself. That mouth was too hot, too wet, too fucking good for him to even try to last.

"Rox .."

He was starting to pant. How embarrassing.

"Let me touch you."

The blond removed Axel's length from the warm, enticing cavity of his mouth and opted instead to tease him with long, lazy strokes. His cheeks had taken on a rosy flush, blue eyes had become glazed over due to his ministrations on the other's cock--he could feel his own hard and tight against the confines of his pants. His other hand wandered absently to his crotch, fingers teasing the zipper as he bit his lip to keep from groaning. The redhead squirmed beneath his touch, head falling back as his spine arched beautifully.


"Oh, you know I love to hear you beg." Roxas' grin was sharp as he stood, dangerous as he gazed down at the vulnerable form on the bed. He made quick work of the obnoxious zipper and stroked himself openly, a blatant groan filling the silence as he worked the fabric off his hips. Stepping out of the pile at his feet, he leaned forward to straddle trembling thighs. Axel reached up, pulling him closer, lips searching for the warmth and aching familiarity of the other.

Their mouths collided, teeth clicking loudly as tongues engaged in a slow, sultry dance--their subtle quest for dominance nothing more than routine. The redhead's hands were frantic, seeking to feel every inch of that velvet flesh beneath his fingertips; he paused briefly at the gentle protrusion of collarbones, the slight hollow of his belly, the subtle curve of slender hips. His arms then curled possessively around the blond as he ground deftly against the other's petite frame.

Roxas heeded this desperation, drank it in as a man dying of thirst would worship water. He settled himself above Axel's length, his own cock throbbing with need. Teasingly, he rolled his hips against the other's, grinning smugly as his back arched sharply off the bed.

"You're such .. a fucking tease," the redhead groaned softly, breath hitching as blunt nails scratched down his chest. He pulled himself up, pressing close to the blond in his lap, lips dancing lightly across a bare shoulder. Roxas threaded his fingers through strands of fire, bringing his mouth close to the shell of a very sensitive ear. His breath is hot, ragged as his teeth catch the lobe and bite down hard.

"Yeah .. but you love it."

He lowered himself in one sleek, fluid motion, sheathing the redhead in a tight, unbelievably hot cocoon. His grin is feral once again as he takes in the muted groan from that pale mouth.

"And you know it."

God .. damn.

The blond's hips began to move, and Axel does the best he can to keep the fire in the pit of his stomach from consuming him completely. He buried his face in the side of the other's neck, mouth moving slowly over sweat-slick skin as his fingers curl hard enough around him to leave bruises. Absently he brought a hand to the cock grinding against his belly, stroking in time with each rise and fall of the other's body.

We move as one.

He planted biting kisses beneath his chin, along tantalizing clavicles so familiar it almost hurt. Roxas leaned back, exposing the sleek line of his throat as he rocks harder, faster.

It was far too tempting to resist.

The redhead's teeth claimed golden skin in a sharp, stinging bite as his hips thrust upward, sinking himself as deeply as he can into that unforgiving heat. The blond's back arched almost painfully, meeting that urgent thrust more than willingly and grinding back even harder.

Their bodies did indeed move as one; where one receded, the other followed close behind. It was a dance--one of their finest--as both forms moved languidly in the direction of an explosive finish.

If only I could ..

Sparse, erratic thoughts raced through Axel's mind as his thrusts became more shallow, and Roxas began to tremble violently as the hand around his cock worked furiously to bring him closer to the edge.

.. see your eyes.

The blond ground down harder, filling himself completely and consequently taking the redhead fully, as deeply as he could possibly go.

He all but exploded into the other's hand, mouth open in a silent scream, eyes screwed tightly shut. His body was drawn tight as a bowstring, quivering as if plucked--it was the most captivating action the redhead had ever born witness to.

Axel came with a barely muffled groan, teeth abusing an exposed throat even more as he held the other's body in place, as if by sheer force of will they would indeed become one in the same if he held them there long enough.

His mind reeled--while outwardly he remained the same, stoic and nonchalant, on the inside he felt so .. alive. His ears were ringing with the sound of the blond's labored breathing, the rush of his own blood pounding through his veins. His skin was tingling. He could feel each and every drop of perspiration, the direction it trickled if either of them moved a certain way. The strands of hair beneath his fingers were undeniably soft, like so much silk, and as he threaded those wayward digits even further Roxas leaned his head forward, nuzzling gently into the side of his neck. The sigh that followed was one of pure contentment, and the redhead found it difficult to keep from pulling him even closer.

The taste on his tongue--of salt, rebellion and dusk--was far more potent than it ever had been before.

"I think you have me convinced," he murmured softly against the other's ear. A wicked grin flashed pure white before it disappeared.

"But, you know .. I won't complain if you feel you have to show me again."

The blond's sleepy response was nearly lost in the quiet of the room "Mm .. I know you're dense, Axel .. but really, did you think I'd fall for that?"

A shrug of pale shoulders was barely noticeable. "Worth a shot, wasn't it?"

His question was met with pure silence; a slow smile crept its way across his scarred cheeks as his empty gaze rolled toward the ceiling as it was so prone to do. He let his eyes fall shut as he settled his arms around the other, his skin beginning to cool beneath the slight chill in the air.

I may have lost my sight. His thoughts were becoming lazy as his mind recovered from its adrenaline-fueled state. Maybe even a bit too comfortable.

But at least I have you.