Note: Thanks to Lifes. Lover for helping with summary.

This is for Sami-Band's birthday… in May… =_= I'm really SORRY! I've been writing this for so long and it's stuck on my computer for THAT long. And I doubt I'll be able to push myself to write more if I don't submit this. I'm just NOT good at writing a LONG fic. So yeah, I decided to chapter it~ here ya go. X3

Happy birthday, Hunny!

An Artist's Artifice

Long ago, there lived an artist with a magical gift. He had an imagination without boundary. His gift, though, was that he was able to turn his imagination... into a reality. AkuRoku. Yaoi.

Chapter 1

--

One sunny bright morning, a child was born with hair so red and skin so pale. There were two birthmarks on his cheeks, right below his emerald eyes. The birthmarks' shape was inversed triangle. The baby never cried no matter how his parents and nurses had tried to make the newborn shed tears. It was unusual for newborns to not cry and this worried his parents.

The newborn was later named… Axel, meaning—the "Father of Peace" because the child never cry.

--

Axel should have lived a normal live as any other boys his age should. However, his parents discovered soon that Axel bore a peculiar illness that no one had encountered before in the field of medical science that time.

After Axel's birth and the confirmation of the doctors, saying that it was okay to bring the baby back home…something strange happened. The baby got really sick when he was taken out of the hospital. He continued crying, screaming, and tossing around on his father's arms. His skin grew red, seemingly burnt. Then, blood suddenly seeped out of the baby's nose.

When he was taken back to the doctor, they had no real confirmation as to what was happening to Axel.

However, soon it was clear that Axel might die if he was exposed too much to the outside world.

--

For all his live, he was always a usual boy. There was nothing special in his life. He led a secluded and reserved life in his house's basement. His parents didn't allow him outside because of his illness. The boy had a weak body no matter how tough he looked from outside. The baby had grown into a tall, lanky boy with a very charming appearance.

However, his parents were worried. Just a little harm or a small bacteria or virus could cause the boy's death. And thus, the boy with the charming and flaming red hair was kept in his basement and home-schooled for his life.

All he wanted for his whole life was to be able to get out of his basement and actually make some friends in real life.

And within a blink of an eye, he was already fifteen years old, growing up in the darkness of his basement, only watching the world outside through the windows, watching as life passed by him. He never blamed anyone, ever. He might have a weak body, but it was nobody's fault. There was no one that should be blamed for his conditions. He understood that his parents were worried about him and had been finding ways so that he would be able to get out of his basement and breathed fresh air once again.

His basement was an adequate living place and he appreciated his parents' effort to keep him from getting bored or sad in that prison. It was filled with all sorts of high-technology devices—those that normal families wouldn't be able to afford. It was not only that, the entire basement was also filtered and sanitized to keep Axel safe.

From what he knew, his family was filthy rich, but of course, he also had vague imaginations…remembering that once—when he was small he had a chance to see the size of his own house from outside. He remembered that it was huge and that there was no basement. He remembered how happy he was to be able to feel the sunlight gently touching his face…but of course, that was when he was still really small—he couldn't exactly remember, but he had a vivid imagination—one that was so vague and blurry, one that was connected to his life and death. He remembered being on the verge of death, but was saved. It was one of those times when he decided to rebel and forced his way to the world outside—and was punished severely by the everlasting pain and the suffering that he had to went through for almost a year.

He remembered how his lungs felt hollow, how he couldn't breathe, how his skin would blister, and how bad his head throbbed…and how horrible it was to have his heart clenched like that as if someone was trying to suffocate him—but it was far worse than that. Ever since that "life-challenging" experience, Axel never attempted to try to go outside anymore. He began to think that it was not worth it, but his soul…somewhere deep inside him was screaming and protesting…wanting no more that to be able to be free outside, to be able to feel the wind once again…feel the sun, feel the nature…those things that normal people would have missed in their normal daily life—but those that Axel would never forget…those that Axel would never stop dreaming to be able to get his hands on.

He also remembered, meeting a boy with beautiful golden locks and eyes as blue as the sky, chubby cheeks, but cute and adorable—the boy that had helped him when he had collapsed on the street…the figure that he could never forget—but also one that he couldn't exactly remember. Whenever he tried to form the correct face, nose, and eyes…it felt disfigured—no, his imagination didn't fit the boy at all. He knew that the boy was so much more than his imagination. The boy was so gorgeous and beautiful—his imaginations didn't do any justice to the boy.

And he vaguely remembered that he had spent some precious time with said boy.

--

Being in his basement for his whole life and homeschooled, Axel hardly socialized. He hardly ever talked, even to his home-school teacher, he never spoke a word. Eventually most of his teachers quit their jobs because Axel was too much to handle—too silent, too stubborn, and too persistent. Axel wouldn't do anything that those people told him to do. Homework and those subjects taught to him always seemed to fly away from his mind. In addition, anyone who wanted to enter the basement must be equipped and dressed properly.

That meant…that everyone who was about to enter the well filtered and sanitized basement must wear a suit that was made especially to keep germs and bacteria off. Their hands must be cleaned and washed properly too and they had to take a bath so that they would be considered fully sanitized and cleaned. It was such a hassle and troublesome process to follow and of course, Axel's parents were especially strict about those rules—since it concerned their son's life and death.

The redhead had low immune system that even a single harmless germ could kill him.

Axel merely grinned and chuckled as he watched his teachers quitting one by one. That meant that he would have more time alone, more time to imagine, more time to go wild, and more time to see the outside world…not only from his windows, but of course, from his HD-TV—which was very enough for him. He was happy if he ignored the fact that he would be kept forever in the prison of his basement.

Food was delivered to him through a machine that acted as a small elevator. It would appear on the small rectangular box in scheduled time.

From what he had been watching on the TV, he somehow came to a conclusion that the outside world was…rotten in a sense. Every time, watching the news on the TV, he heard about how people were injured, killed—how people hurt each other. But of course, that wasn't enough to keep him from wanting to go outside and be free. He wanted to at least feel what it was like.

Other than watching TV like a good boy, Axel had been picking up some interests. He was especially drawn to drawing. In fact, he loved to be able to draw and turn his imaginations into something solid on the paper. The boy with golden lock was the one that got him into this interest. It started one day with Axel picking up a pen—when he was eleven—just dully playing with the piece of stationary and suddenly got an idea to try and draw this…adorable figure of the boy that had been filling his mind for the past years. Hence, he picked up drawing.

--

He was nineteen.

The boy had turned into an adult with the same but longer flaming wild red hair, tall feature, and a long, but well defined face. He didn't acquire much study as his parents gave up on giving him much education—no one was willing to come by and home-school Axel. The redhead didn't mind. He spent every single second in his basement with a stack of papers, drawing and merely pouring his imaginations out. He kept drawing and drawing and writing and writing—forming all sorts of stories for his drawings…he kept practicing and practicing—trying to give the boy with golden locks a better face… better eyes, better lips, better nose…better everything. He was still not satisfied. The boy…looked somehow different no matter how hard he had tried to make everything looked perfect. There was something missing… his imagination was not providing him with any help, his memories were very vague. He would have to meet the boy once again... but how? The boy might not even remember him. And surely, he didn't even know about the boy or where the boy might reside. Furthermore, the boy must have changed now…how many years had it been since he first saw him? How many days and months had passed? Axel had lost count of time.

He tried his very best to draw the boy's feature, every little detail of what the boy would looked like, growing up—of what he remembered the last time he saw him. He remembered how those beautiful golden locks were combed and spiked to the sides, of how those silky locks would be swayed by a little blow of wind. He closed his eyes, taking in a sharp breath, imagining…imagining. C'mon Axel. You can do better than this. It's that boy.

He released a big sigh, finally giving in to sleep.

--

The next thing he knew, he was sitting at his desk again, with a pen on his hand and a stack of papers at his side, drawing and drawing as if there was no tomorrow. Sketching, doodling, and creating all sorts of stories and backgrounds, drawing himself in the paper along with the boy. His pen kept dancing on those papers, never ending.

Axel poured all his emotions and feelings into his drawings.

His arts and works were beautiful—simply gorgeous, just right, more than what other artists could do…perfect. But he was never satisfied…not until he was able to see the boy with golden locks in person…not until he was able to turn everything into a reality.

--

At the other side of the town, there was the boy with golden locks, cheerful, light-hearted, kind, but at the same time, he could be a threat and malice whenever he wanted to. He was always thoughtful and careful in speaking out his mind because he was well aware of the fact that not everyone liked to hear what he was thinking about. His name was Roxas—hair as bright as the sun, eyes as blue as the skies, lips thin and pink as roses. The boy was sweet, a little bit on the emotional side, but always kept his true emotions hidden deep inside.

He led…of course, a normal life. School, part-time job, eat, home, dishes, laundry, commuting—everything that normal people would experience in order to pass the day. Roxas didn't have many friends, but he was nevertheless, popular. He didn't want to get involved into a deep relationship, he never had any desire and he didn't think he need to. He was a genius in his school, highest-grades, and best achievements.

Life was never dull or exciting for him.

There was… one time when he knew that he felt…a sort of true emotion, but it was too vague for him to remember. He didn't know when it happened…he didn't know how—but he just… remembered.

That day, as usual, Roxas stepped out of his house, ready to go to school and face the day. However, the moment he took a step out of his house, he stopped suddenly, feeling the wind blowing passed him and he shivered. He quickly turned around to see what was happening, but there was nothing. He suddenly felt unease…a very… comfortable sort of unease? He didn't know how to explain it, but it certainly felt weird and bizarre to him. Locking his door, he stepped away, going into the streets.

He was still thinking of the sudden happening just now. It was nothing much—but he never felt so crept out before. He wondered slightly if he had been studying too much…maybe the final exam's dread was creeping into him.

As he was thinking, he didn't watch where he was walking.

When he snapped himself back into reality, coming into a conclusion that everything was simply a hallucination that was caused by his lack of sleep, he found himself in the middle of the road. He was shocked and surprised, immediately trying to run back to the side road. However, before he could do any of that, he could hear wild honks and when he looked, he found out that there was a huge truck coming at his direction—the next thing he knew, it was all dark.

--

Axel jolted up from his slumber. He had fallen asleep again.

Releasing a silent groan, he slowly rubbed his eyes and raised his head from its rest on the desk. Raking his wild red hair a bit and massaging his scalp, he released a small sigh and broke into a huge grin—excited, wanted to go back as quickly as possible to his obsession again…drawing the boy with golden locks.

However, he was surprised. His emerald eyes went wide at what he was seeing on the papers that was lying near him. He blinked a couple of times, thinking that he was simply half asleep and was still residing in his dream land. He slapped himself softly on the cheek a couple of times, blinking, and trying to register in…but it was still the same sight that he saw, the same surprise and the same bizarre thing…

He got up from his seat, looking frantically around on the papers that were lying neat on the ground in the well-lit basement. It was the same… every piece of paper… every drawing of the boy with golden locks…the pictures of the boy was vanishing, becoming…rather transparent…disappearing. He frowned again and again. What was happening? He didn't know…all he knew was that every single piece of his sketches and drawings of the boy…were magically erased from his papers.

It couldn't be his parents doing…nobody could have done it. He was drawing with a pen, with a permanent marker—nobody would have been able to erase them so perfectly and he doubted that anyone would take the effort to do such things.

He tried to recollect himself, but he couldn't. Something strange was happening—even Axel knew that much. He shook his head in confusion. Was it a sign? Did something happen to the boy with golden locks? But…a sign? For real?

He took in a deep shaky breath—suddenly feeling uneasy. His mind couldn't form anything. Maybe it was all his imagination. And then, he sat down and picked up his pen again, concentrating on that blank piece of paper in front of him. Once again, he imagined the feature that the boy had. He imagined and let his imaginations ran wild. When he was finally calm and collected, he went back to drawing—as usual. And something even bizarre happened.

Nothing could be seen coming out from the tip of his pen—not a single line…nothing. Had his pen ran out of ink? He raised his hand and shook the pen a little, hoping that it would help the pen in working well, but still… nothing. He tried again, imagining the blond…nothing.

Then, he took in another deep breath and tried to imagine something else—some scenery…something and he drew. The pen…magically worked! But, when he imagined the boy again…the pen…refused to cooperate. Axel tried this with all of his other markers—same thing happened. He couldn't draw the boy?! What was…

--

Roxas was soon brought into a hospital. The doctors soon attended to him, trying to treat him. The boy was losing a lot of blood. He was heavily injured and wounded. The big truck had done a severe impact on him. He was hyperventilating, showing that he was still very much alive. But his breathing became slower and slower as his life began to ease out.

--

Axel felt a huge discomfort in his chest. If he was not being completely delusional and out of this world…all he could make up in his mind was that…something was happening to the boy. Something… something that he didn't know of. But what?!

I want to meet him. What is happening?! Why can't I draw him?! Axel pulled his hair out. He had been living his life drawing and imagining the boy—but now…some kind of force was holding him from putting the boy into a solid picture on a paper.

He walked around in circle in the basement, his hand on his chin. Thinking… thinking of anything he could do—at the same time wondering why he felt so worried and trouble. He finally sat down, closing his eyes and began imagining some more. Be alright…

The next time he tried, he was able to actually draw the boy again. Maybe it was all actually his imagination.

--

Roxas could see the lights.

"I'm…dead?"

He wondered loudly, looking around. Everything was bright and white, there was nothing else around him. He walked around, running.

--

Axel began forming his drawing again, giving stories into his works, drawing the golden locks boy running. He smiled. The boy looked very adorable, but he knew that the real one would look so much better than his drawing. He kept drawing.

--

"Where am I?" Roxas asked again, running into some directions, any locations. It was still bright.

--

Axel scratched his cheek with his index finger, thinking that he should draw some scenery.

--

As he ran, Roxas suddenly saw some trees forming up behind him. He turned—it was all strangely black and white—only some forming lines and everything started to form in on him and finally, as he waited, he saw some colors dripping in. "What's happening?" he muttered.

He raised his arms to look at the clothes he was wearing…some sort of attire, light and very old style as if… he came from an adventure role playing game.

Everything came to life soon as he walked forward. The trees, the wind, the sun—he could feel them all. It was so comforting to be in the forest—but at the same time, he couldn't help but wonder where he was and what was happening to him. Then, he saw a horse in front of him. The horse was well-bred, milky brown with very beautiful pony.

Far away, Roxas could see a figure standing near the edge of the cliff. The blond had to narrow his eyes in order to see the figure clearly. He could catch a manly figure with bright red hair.

--

Axel was concentrating on his drawing, yet at the same time worrying about the unease that was still constricting his chest. I need to know. But there was nothing he could do. Suddenly, as he was drawing…everything went dark.

--

Roxas decided to approach the redhead. "Hey?" he asked uncertainly, tapping his index finger on the stranger's shoulder.

Axel turned. He looked around in confusion. Where was he? Was he…? Outside?! How come? But.. he couldn't be outside. He waited some more, preparing himself for the pain that was about to come.

But there was nothing. He was…okay. He…was actually outside, feeling the breeze and the soft wind blowing against him, feeling the itchy feeling of the grasses against his legs, hearing the rustles of the tree, watching the perfect blue of the sky…and…who was that…in front of him? The boy…with golden locks? Axel could feel his breathe hitched. Had he fallen asleep again? Dreaming?

"You…?" Axel suddenly felt weird to be hearing his own voice. He hadn't talked for so long.

"Uhmm, do you mind telling me where this is?" Roxas asked uncertainly, looking around to catch in the scenery. It was certainly beautiful and alive. It felt so real that he couldn't believe it was all a dream. The redhead felt strangely familiar to him. He didn't know how or why. He felt a certain…feeling.

Axel registered in the figure before him. The golden lock boy. He broke into a huge childish grin. "It's you!" he exclaimed cheerfully, resting his hands on Roxas' shoulder.

The blond blinked, wondering what was happening. "Do…I know you?" he tilted his head to the side.

Axel blinked. He wondered if he should tell the boy even though his inner heart was jumping out of the joy that he was able to meet the boy, in such an awkward and bizarre way—one that he had never figured out before. The boy was definitely way more beautiful than he could ever imagine. The boy with golden locks had grown into a teen, even though the boy still kept his same boy-ish feature that Axel remembered from a long time ago. His hair was still as golden as he remembered. His facial feature was very well defined and soft and cute and adorable. The redhead couldn't help but smile at the face that was looking at him.

When Axel looked around some more, he soon noticed that the world and the scenery around him was the same as the ones that he drew. And…something felt a little bit familiar too…like how everything would go… it felt very familiar as if everything came out directly from his imagination—which he was quite sure of the probability. But then, if everything was within the realm of his imagination and everything was merely make-believe… would that mean that the golden locks boy standing in front of him was also part of his imagination? That everything was happening simply because he had been thinking about him too much and now they were infiltrating his dream?

"Hello?" Roxas forced a small smile, noticing that the redhead had been lost in his own thoughts. The blond waved his hand in front of the redhead. "Hey?" he asked again when there was no response.

"Huh? Oh, oh! Sorry." Axel grinned.

"Are you alright?" Roxas tilted his head to the side, examining the redhead's face. "You seem a little pale. I bet... you know nothing about this place too?"

"Hum?"

"Well, as soon as I regain consciousness, I found myself here… this weird… alternate…world-feeling place. I've never seen this area before. Or…" Roxas released a small chuckle. "Someone with such amazing red hair as you."

But you've seen me before… "Oh, yeah? Regain consciousness?"

Roxas looked up to the sky. "Ah, anyway, maybe we can find a way out of here together? There's no one here and I don't really fancy walking alone in this strange place."

Axel nodded. "Sounds like a good idea. What's your name?" he inquired, trying not to sound eager.

"Roxas." The blond smiled.

Axel grinned. The golden locks boy…Roxas.

"Well, what about you?" Roxas inquired curiously when he didn't get anything from the redhead.

"Axel. You can call me Axel."

"Axel, huh? The… Father of Peace?" the blond frowned.

Axel didn't say anything.

"Sorry." Roxas laughed softly. "I guess you are peaceful after all. You're so quiet."

"Yeah…" Axel nodded, not knowing what to say. He dreaded the fact that he hardly ever socialized in his life. He never would have thought that he would need his social ability when he met the golden locks boy…he never even thought that he would ever meet the boy.

"Let's go." Roxas said, turning, about to go to the other direction.

"I think… I know the way around here." Axel spoke.

"Oh, you do?"

Axel nodded again. "I have a feeling." He looked around; all he could see was green. The trees that he drew and colored, the grasses, the rare flowers that bloomed amidst the grassy field, the brown golden colored ground, and the horse that was resting in the middle of the field, the bright blue sky, the clouds…everything, just as he had imagined and remembered.

"Well, that's great!" Roxas grinned.

Axel nodded again. His eyes…clear and blue…sharp. "Right here." The redhead led the way, quickly shaking his thoughts away, careful so that he didn't get lost in his own thoughts again. He stopped when they were standing in front of the well-bred horse. "Sora…" he whispered while gently patting the horse.

"Sora? This horse is yours?"

"Yeah."

"Sora…that means…the sky, right?"

"You know a lot." Axel tried to strike a conversation no matter how awkward it felt for him. That was the first time that he tried so hard to make himself talk.

"Yeah, I guess." Roxas answered awkwardly, playing with his fingers.

Silently, he took in the redhead's feature…seemed like the figure of a big brother to him. Axel was wearing really strange clothes too, ones that the heroes of RPG games would wear. He could somehow feel that he had met the redhead before, but he couldn't dig it out of his memories. The redhead looked so slim and pale and he didn't seem to be one who would talk much about anything. This made Roxas wondered whether to trust the older male or not. But of course, that led to a question as to why he should doubt him. Since when did speaking a lot mean that the person was someone one could trust? It was a strange theory, but for now, he would rather not speak too much too, to avoid any unnecessary events. After all, his parents wouldn't be happy if he was found conversing with a stranger.

Axel jumped on the horse. He was a bit unsteady at first with the fact that he had never before dealt with animals. All he knew about a horse came from books or TV. However, if it was really the story that he made, then everything should go well. And it did. Axel steadied himself on the horse and Sora acted as if Axel was really his owner, not throwing the redhead off. "C'mon."

"What? You want me to get on a horse?!" Roxas frowned.

"Yeah, what's the matter?"

"I've never been on a horse before!"

"Well, I've never been on one before too, but this works out wel..." Axel stopped, immediately going to scratch his cheek with his index finger.

"What did you say? I thought Sora's your…"

"Ah, it's nothing." Axel grinned. "Now, do you want to get out of here or not?" The redhead questioned back. He had read before that messing with people's psychology was the best way to get them around and agree with you.

Roxas pouted, "Alright…"

Axel offered his hand and the blond took it, jumping up on the horse's back behind Axel. Roxas was a bit shaky and Sora whined a bit from the additional weight. The blond held tight, hugging Axel's waist. The redhead blushed. "Good?" he tried to sound casual.

Roxas gulped and nodded, readying himself, tightening his hug to make sure that he wouldn't fall down.

--

The ride on the horse went well. Roxas wasn't as scared anymore as he got used to it, but he was still holding tight on Axel. They walked through the road, the beautiful and gorgeous scenery of the forest surrounding them, the sunlight gently touching their skin.

Axel was definitely enjoying himself. Everything felt so real to him. It was his first time to be able to go outside and feel the breeze and the sunlight—he was even surprised and happy that he got to go out for his first time with his most favorite boy. It all felt like such a corny dream to him—one that of course, he wouldn't mind having and experiencing. The wind felt so great against him and of course, the little voices of the birds chirping and crickets singing and the sounds of water flowing…

"Now I really wonder where we are. This is a really comfortable place." Roxas smiled.

"I agree."

"Don't you think…"

Before Roxas could finish his sentence, there was suddenly a huge and strange rumbling and a violent tremble. Sora was shocked, stopping to a halt, dropping its two riders in the process. Both Axel and Roxas landed on the ground. "What's happening?" Roxas inquired, looking around.

And suddenly, the sky turned dark and it began pouring violently. In front of them, just right ahead…suddenly manifested a huge shadow from the ground. Roxas blinked a couple of times, trying to register in what was happening.

Axel frowned…it couldn't be happening right there? Me and my imagination…he sighed. It was the same monster that he had imagined. However, he had no idea as to what would happen after that. He took out the sword that was resting in the sheath that was tucked near his waist. "Stay behind me." He told Roxas.

Roxas narrowed his eyes, unsure of what to do. The monster was gigantic and it was standing right in front of them, smashing the ground and ridding the beautiful forests and trees out of view. When its hand was about to lay on the both of them, Axel quickly reacted and grabbed the blond by the waist, dodging away.

"Hop on Sora and run away, Roxas!" Axel commanded. He sure didn't want anything to happen to his favorite blond. No, not after all that. He finally got to meet the blond…after all these years.

"Can you at least explain what is happening?" Roxas countered, trying his best to stay leveled on the shaky ground while looking left and right to seek for an escape—for both of them.

"…" Axel shook his head. He didn't know what was happening either, still staying firm, holding the sharp weapon with both of his hands. He rushed in, trying to attack the huge shadow, but it was in vain. The monster wasn't even hurt.

The monster suddenly turned its attention to the unprotected blond. Quickly smashing and attacking the area around the blond.

"Roxas!"

Roxas was quick enough to response and immediately rolled away. Sora, however, got attacked and was slammed to a tree nearby, unconscious.

"Sora!" Axel shouted. He panted. Then, taking in a deep breath, he rushed in again, trying his very best to divert the monster's attention. He jumped up to the monster's body, never knowing that he had such acrobatic skills before. But the monster still kept his attention glued to the blond.

Roxas was panting. He was trapped between a tree and the monster in front of him. He had nowhere to run.

Axel noticed this.

The monster was getting closer…

Closer…

"Roxas!"

Roxas closed his eyes.

Bam.

--

Axel was jolted up yet again, sweating and panting. The paper that he was lying on was all crumpled up and damped from the sweat that was trickling down his jaw and pulled down by the gravity. Axel took in a deep shaky breath, slowly raking his hair with his hand. What…just happened? He whispered to himself. There was no voice coming out from his throat. Only shaky breathing… he couldn't even swallow. He felt as if his lungs were constricted—tied together by a thin piece of iron wire. He looked around.

He was back.

In his room…

In his so called room…

That was nothing but a cage.

He stood up from where he was sitting. Stumbling a bit, he was finally able to hold himself together. He walked over to the place where the cups were set and he took one. He poured water into it and began gulping down the water. He did it again and again until his stomach couldn't hold any more liquid. And he ran over to the bathroom…to throw up.

--

"Wow… it's big…" little Axel whispered in amazement when he saw the size of his house. Without wasting any more time with his amazement, he ran away further away from his resident. He wanted to see the world. He didn't know why his parents had forbid him from going outside of the safety of his house. Everything was very beautiful. The fresh air felt so warm against his cheeks. He wanted more. So, he ran. And he stumbled and fell, injuring his knee. But he got up, without shedding even a single tear. A huge grin was plastered on his face.

He arrived at a very peculiar place.

A place filled with wooden contraptions.

A wheel that was hanging off chains and thick irons. A strange plank of wood hold into place and hammered to the ground.

Amidst all the strange tools scattered around the area, he could see a blond, all alone in there. There was no one, except for him and the blond.

"What is this place?" Axel asked out of curiosity, approaching the golden locks blond.

The blond looked at him, a pout was on his face. "Playground." He said emotionlessly, looking away.

Axel smiled. "I see. So this is called the playground." Eight years old Axel said.

This certainly caught the little blond's attention. "Where are you from?" he frowned, looking at the other boy up and down.

"I'm from this town." Axel answered easily, starting to shift his weight back and forth. He felt really strange. His whole body felt itchy.

Roxas was taken aback. "Then you should know what a playground is."

Axel was silent. "My name's Axel. A-X-E-L. Got it memorized?" he changed the topic swiftly.

At that, Roxas grinned. "Roxas." He nodded, still sitting on the huge rock. "But you shouldn't talk to me."

"Why is that?" Axel asked, this time he went to scratch his arm. It was blistering.

"I bring bad luck."The blond said, voice low. "Everyone knows so. They're staying away from me. It would be best for you to…"

When the blond turned his attention back to the redhead, he saw that Axel's skin was slowly but surely blistering. Axel began to scratch and scratch until the blisters bled. The redhead swallowed, panicking. "What's…?"

"What's happening?!" Roxas asked, panicked, immediately jumping down from the rock he was sitting on and going closer to Axel.

"I don't know!" Axel shouted, continuing to scratch. It felt so good and it eased away the itchy feeling. But as he continued doing that, his blisters kept bleeding even more and he felt severe pain seeping into every inch of his body.

"D-Don't scratch! Where do you live?!" Roxas asked, holding Axel's hands together.

"A-Around here. It hurts…" Axel whispered softly, trembling in panic and horror.

"C'mon. I'll bring you back. Show me where it is." The blond child said, trying to be as calm as possible, going to help Axel. The redhead could hardly stand…

--

Yeah, have to cut it short. I'll work on this, I promise! Just gimme some time.

I hope you enjoyed it so far! Happy birthday again.

Love.