Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts. It's probably for the best.
A/N: I'll check for errors later. Dun feel like it now. This is sort of AU but mostly not. This is also probably one of the worst stories/fanfics I have ever written. Regardless of how craptastic it is, I dedicate this to Dreaming-Of-A-Nightmare, since it was she who inspired me to write it. But by no means should you associate the utter failure of this fic with her. She is awesome.
"The way I think of you…and the way…the way you think of me…they are two very different things."
Blood flows freely from a wound buried beneath golden hair. Eyelashes dripping with red flutter; eyelids listlessly open, bearing two beautiful blue eyes which peer around the room bemusedly. Pale arms struggle against clanging chains, fingers flex in a feeble attempt to grasp something, anything.
"I just want you to love me. No, not even that. I just want you to feel something for me."
Roxas leans back, chains rattling with the movement, blood flitting from the tips of his yellow hair. His hands begin to shake and his skin succumbs to a violent chill. Red hair tickles his nose, teases the chalk-white skin that is his face.
Axel leans forward, resting his hands on the back of the chair, his eyes softening as he gazes forlornly down at the puzzled captive. He could cry, but he doesn't. Instead he bends lower to lightly kiss cold, dry lips.
"I love you. You know that, right?" he asks quietly, lips still faintly against those of Roxas. The boy is quivering, his teeth chattering, though it could be simply from the icy air of the dark room. The blond turns his head, grunting in disapproval.
"You can't be serious," says Roxas, his eyes hard and empty on the stone wall to his left. His heart is racing, but his breaths come in disjointed gasps. It is far too cold for this. Too cold.
Axel throws himself away from the chair, eyes glittering with fury. Hastily, he removes leather gloves from his hands and he makes to touch Roxas's bare shoulders. He hesitates, hands hovering over the boy's skin. Roxas twitches in acknowledgement but does not struggle.
"You're supposed to be the different one, Roxas. You're supposed to be the one who loves." His hands clamp down on Roxas's shoulders and the boy hisses in pain. Smoke rises from the place their skin meets; the horrid scent of burning skin wafts pungently into the air. "Yet you cannot feel a thing."
Roxas's breaths are labored. Tiny sounds escape his throat. His hands grip the binding chains tightly. Biting his lip until it bleeds, he forces down the scream that threatens to rise.
"Is it…Naminé?" Axel lifts his hands, admiring the black handprints left behind. Roxas sighs in relief; it is nearly inaudible, but it does not escape Axel's ears. "Is it because she is broken the way you are?" He runs his fingers lightly down the side of Roxas's face, watching the blond's contorted expression fondly. Frowning, he runs his index finger along the length of the boy's jaw, eliciting a gasp of agony. "We are all broken, Roxas. Just in different ways. Am I not hollow enough for you?"
He drops to his knees before Roxas, he looks up pleadingly, his hands glowing with flickering fire. His hands are on Roxas's knees, nails digging into the boy's flesh unintentionally. He does not know how angry he is, how tightly he's holding, but Roxas does not say a word.
"Do you see what you make me do? What I have to do? I must make sure Naminé can never have you." It is a whimper, a weak, pathetic mumbling. To Roxas, it must be pitiful. It must be insane. Roxas is looking at him now, watching him intently, but he's not really looking at him. This hurts more than anything else.
Axel howls in pain though nothing has happened. He falls back against the wall, burying his face in his hands. He wants to cry, but he can't. He wants Roxas to see him cry.
Roxas's head lolls on his neck, side to side, and his eyelids droop. The pain in his shoulders is fading. Axel seems to sense this and looks up, eyes filled with urgency. Roxas had not noticed before, but Axel's hair is wet, his locks hanging limply around his face, clinging to damp skin. He cannot tell what it is wet with, but he smells blood and he notices the way the bright red is tainted by something of a darker color.
"Whose blood is in your hair?" he inquires. Axel is sliding onto his lap, long legs on either side of him, hands reaching up to hold Roxas's face steady as he leans in to kiss him. The kiss lasts a long time, and Axel is deeply lost in it. Upon recovering, he does not answer, he merely adjusts the temperature of his skin and goes to place his hands around Roxas's neck. "What are you doing, Axel?"
Axel tilts his head to the side and almost smiles. "I have to make sure it's not her I'm tasting. Is it her? Every time I kissed you—was it her I was tasting, feeling?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Axel didn't expect to hear the truth. He places his hands loosely around Roxas's neck, and Roxas screams this time, though it is strangled. Axel decides that he would very much like to strangle Roxas, but it is not the time for that. There is no time for that.
He pulls his hands away and Roxas pants desperately. The blond's head slumps forward, his face buries in Axel's shoulder. Axel can feel Roxas's lips against his skin, murmuring something, but it doesn't matter what Roxas is saying anymore.
"I'd have to burn it all off, you know, to get rid of her filth."
Roxas's heart races faster and his eyes widen. He's almost afraid.
"You can't be serious," he breathes.
Axel is smiling politely. "I want you to cry for me, Roxas." He takes Roxas's face into his hands again, this time running his thumbs down Roxas's cheeks, forming a line of charred skin from his eyes to his jaw. Then he releases Roxas and lets the boy slump forward into him again. "There, now. Tears you can't deny."
The heat and the smell make Roxas's eyes water. He tries to stop it, he knows what will come, but he can't. Salty tears slip down his face, stinging the burns in his cheeks. He screams into Axel's neck, and to cope he bites the skin there, the bitter, sweaty skin.
Axel does not react; he allows Roxas's teeth to sink into his neck, and he relishes the blood dripping from the wound. Roxas stops and groans.
"Why are you doing this, Axel?"
But Axel doesn't want to hear it, doesn't want Roxas to ask that. Roxas should already know. He should already know. Everything is his fault. He should know.
"I hate you," he says. "I love you so, so much. And I hate you just the same. Can't you do that for me? Can't you give me one of those? It doesn't matter which you choose." He pauses to kiss Roxas again. "You don't see me like I see you. I wish that you did. I wish that we were the same. Don't you understand that it's your fault I can feel all of this? You affect us this way, Roxas. You affect all of us. And yet you cannot feel a thing yourself. Don't you realize how cruel you are?" He inhales deeply, his nose in Roxas's hair, and savors the smell of Roxas's blood. "Or is it just me? Can you feel for her, Roxas?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"And you don't even have the decency to tell me the truth. You won't even tell me you don't want me." He fists his hands in Roxas's hair, pulls the boy's face toward his own. "WHY, ROXAS?" But Roxas doesn't answer, won't answer, can't answer. Axel tears himself from Roxas, gets to his feet. He holds a hand high in the air and clutches the whirling chakram that appears above his palm. He holds a blade to the edge of his jaw. "I want to live forever with you, Roxas."
"Axel, what are you doing?" It sounds like Roxas is afraid, concerned, worried, but Axel knows better. Roxas's pretty little lips have been telling him pretty little lies for such a long time. He wonders, idly, if anything that Roxas said was true. It's no use to ask, but he does anyway.
"Did you ever love me, Roxas? Was it ever true?"
Roxas winces. It must hurt to speak, to try to speak, to breathe at all. And his eyes are still watering. Though, it's funny, his eyes shouldn't be watering anymore. The smell has faded slightly and the heat has surely faded also. But Axel knows he's not going to get an answer.
"Roxas, this is the problem, don't you see? You don't think of me like I think of you." He distances the blade from his neck and leans down to kiss Roxas once again; this time, he kisses each of the scorch marks he's left behind, and then finishes with a lengthy kiss on Roxas's cracked lips. "I know for sure that was you I tasted," whispers Axel, and he grins contentedly. He's on his knees in front of Roxas again, he's holding the blade to his neck again.
"Axel, no, don't!" Roxas shouts, but Axel is already carving a crescent into his own neck, blood is already gushing profusely. Axel falls forward and his head lolls into Roxas's lap, blood spewing across Roxas's legs.
Roxas tries to free his hands, to move, but he cannot divest himself of the chains trapping him to the chair. He looks down at Axel's lifeless face, Axel's eerie, dead smile.
"Axel, I'm sorry, I love you, I love you, Axel, please come back, please, please don't leave me, Axel…"
He thinks he is alone, he feels alone, and as helplessness sets in, he begins to cry. He cannot move, he cannot even hold Axel. The corners of Axel's mouth twitch.
Axel sits upright, touching the wound on his neck and then eying his bloody hand curiously. He smirks at Roxas, stands, and ruffles the blood-drenched golden hair. He reaches around Roxas's frozen form, unlocks the chains, listens to them clank against the stone floor. He laughs, loudly, obnoxiously, but Roxas can only stare up at him, dumbfounded.
"Nobodies can't die that easily, silly," Axel says, running a hand through his hair. He sticks out his tongue at Roxas between glittering white teeth. He strides across the room and stops in the doorway, glancing back at Roxas, who has not moved.
"I love you, you know, even if you are cruel," he says, and then he is gone.