A/N: Okay, so here you go, chapter 4~

Sorry it took so long, I got distracted by homework and drawing and crap like that.

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts or any of its characters. (If I did, you'd all fangirl/boy me, right?)

[IV]

He didn't even need to look up; the polished white floor, now streaked in dark crimson, showed a hazed reflection of the scene he dreaded. One of Axel's weapons lay behind the door. Its grip had become stained with blood as it was forced away from it's owner, and it now lay alone, out of reach. It's twin was missing. Roxas didn't care about any of this; his sight was firmly fixed on the man who appeared to be standing by the far wall, head bowed silently to stare at his own face in the cold marble below.

-

At first glance from the doorway it had looked like he was standing, staring down in a kind of quiet thought, and it wasn't until Roxas got closer that he saw the smooth, blue metal of Xaldin's spears, decorated with ornate patterns and blades carved into dragon heads, now sticking at violent angles from the redhead's body like some piece of horrendous, warped art. Intricate black lines radiated from the three points where the spears had continued their journey part-way through the wall, smashing the blank canvas into a series of distorted cracks. Was this one of the true implications of their actions? No matter how much their superiors had tried to inculcate the fact that any form of inter-organization close relationship was strictly against the rules, he and Axel had carried on with their meetings. Xemnas had clearly stated that anyone who didn't fully adhere to the said rules would be punished, but Axel had dismissed it without a second thought using something along the lines of 'Stupid fun-haters, never gonna get a heart that way.'

-

Axel had been smiling when he said that. Now, however, the usual sarcastic, confident smirk had gone, replaced instead by a stoic if not slightly pained expession, faded green eyes ringed with red and narrowed as he remained suspended by his restraint. Roxas moved towards the older male slowly, unsure as to whether the redhead was even conscious any more. That question was quickly answered as his foot met the silver metal of the weapon he had forgotten about, sending it spinning across the floor and instantly evoking a quick, involuntary and startled yelp (which surprised Roxas; he must have been more on edge than he first thought, and the loud metallic clattering in a previously silent room hadn't made it any better). However, the noise had also evoked the pyromaniac's attention and he slowly raised his head to view the disturbance, probably expecting the return of his tormentors. His eyes were blurred, unfocused and framed by smooth, pale skin, which led Roxas to wonder just how long they had kept him pinned up like this.

-

"Roxas…"

The redhead drew the word out slowly, as if he was trying it out for the first time, before taking another deep breath and returning back to his previous silent position. He sounded tired. It had taken a copious amount of effort just to sound that one word, and he struggled to find the energy to keep himself awake much longer, and so he closed his eyes. He heard the blond's approach, the soft footsteps coming to a rest in front of him

"Why are you here?…"

His words were considerably louder this time, but also came with considerably more effort in doing so. The blonde sounded almost hurt by this question, but he kept his voice steady.

"Axel, I was worried…you…just left…and…and…"

He trailed off, staring sadly at the broken figure in front of him. This was a man he's never seen before. Axel had always been one of the kindest (in his own unique way, of course) among the members, and Roxas couldn't recall any real time in the past that he'd had looked so distressed. He'd learnt to hide well behind a smile, but all of that seemed to be forgotten now. A steady stream of red had travelled along one of the spears, eventually losing it's ability to stay there and instead forming a crimson pool at their feet.

-

"Stupid."

Roxas felt a slender finger under his chin, lifting his head so that his eyes met those of Axel. He'd reached out with his only free hand, the other one pinned back by the weapon that had forced its way through the top of his arm and exited just above his shoulder blades, only to meet the cold, hard wall (which, too, didn't appear to have put up much of a challenge).

"You worry too much."

"Huh? How can you say that?!"

"I'm alive aren't I?"

Roxas was speechless. 'Alive' could only be used, in his opinion, very loosely; Axel looked like he would keel over any second if it wasn't for the spears holding him up. Yet, on the other hand, seeing Axel's faint smile gave him a kind of confidence.

-

"I'm sick of standing here, let's go."

The blonde's eyes widened in surprise.

"Let's…go?"

"Yeah."

He was amazed at Axel's ability to look at any situation in such a simple, unfaltering way, but part of him still wondered whether he was only saying it to try and ease his worry. Either way, he came to the conclusion that, no matter the reason, he wasn't going to be able to move the redhead. Axel may have been putting on a light hearted attitude, but Roxas was in some way afraid that the the older male's now fragile frame might shatter completely if he fell.

"Axel, I can't, the sp-"

His sentence was cut off mid word as a hand fell heavily on his shoulder, practically knocking him over and triggering an almost instant reflex which involved Roxas' elbow connecting sqarely with his attacker's face…or who he thought was his 'attacker'.

-

Rubbing his arm, he turned to see who the hand had belonged to, only to find the spiky-haired Demyx now doubled over on the floor with his head in his hands.

"Oh! Demyx! I…uh…sorry!"

A sheepish expression made its way across his face. He'd just inflicted a considerable amount of pain upon one of the only other members who was nice to him.

Axel's comment of 'Well done.' was drowned out by Demyx's 'Hey, no hard feelings, 'kay?' accompanied by a shaky thumbs up.

"I heard a noise or something, so I came to see what was up."

The brown haired teen managed to take his hands away from his face long enough to look up at the redhead who was still unnaturally held in the same position.

"I…I guess that scream was you then…?"

"I screamed?"

Roxas quickly interrupted what would probably have turned into a full blown debate.

"Nevermind that! Axel, we have to get you out of here! Demyx, give me a hand now you're here!"

His confidece, however, was short-lived as he took another quick observation of the scene; the three spears, the readhead being held up by them, and the now steady pattern of of blood forming around him. Axel wore a pallid look, to say the least, only now his free hand gripped the weapon holding his shoulder to the wall. Roxas realised what he was going to do within seconds of him actually doing it, but the sharp, pained cry that the action resulted in still shook him.

-

Axel's gaze had returned to the floor, his breathing quick and drawn as the first spear hit the floor beside him with a loud metallic crash, resonating through the room for a few seconds before silencing.

"Whoa, Axel, take it easy."

It was Demyx who spoke again, stepping carefully past crimson trails and blue metal to the shivering figure in front of him. The effects of the blood loss had only just started to make a real appearance; he'd started shaking almost uncontrollably, only slightly at first, and what worried Roxas even more was the fact that his skin was now perfectly cold. Absolutely none of his previous warmth remained, the warmth that Roxas had become so used to in all his time knowing Axel. And worse still; two spears still remained, one through the right side of his chest, and the other through the opposite shoulder, but the readhead seemed determined to deal with this problem himself. He took in a long breath and a small hesitation, before reaching a bloodied hand to the next spear. He'd chosen the one through his other shoulder, the only reason being that the one through his chest would still hold him up even if he fell unconscious. This time, Demyx helped, taking a firm hold (firmer than Axel's anyway) on the spear's grip.

"Three…two…-"

He didn't say one, instead tearing the spear straight out in one quick movement yet still drawing another horrifying scream from Axel that made the blonde wince. Demyx set the weapon down, quietly this time.

"Just one more, okay?"

Roxas wasn't sure whether those words were actually going to offer any comfort to the redhead, but it made the prospect of pulling the last one out slightly more bearable.

"Just…get it over with already."

-

The last one wasn't any easier to pull out than the previous two had been, except for the fact that it was met with a worrying silence instead of another choked cry. That last spear had been Axel's only means of support, and it took both Roxas' and Demyx's help to even keep him standing.

"Back to his, Rox?"

Roxas exchanged a concerned glance with Demyx. Easier said than done. They knew damn well that nobody else would bother to help them, it was comparable to 'kill or be killed,' or 'every man (or woman. Roxas remembered that only two of the Organization's members were women) for himself'. They'd have to take the redhead back and try and fix him up as best as they could, despite their lack of experience in that area.

-

By the time they got back, Axel had been drifting in and out of consciousness for some time, and Demyx had ended up having to almost carry him (for Roxas was much too short for such a task) up to the room they had shared. However, that didn't stop Axel giving a quick thanks and ordering a rather dejected Demyx to 'leave now, I got stuff to do."

Roxas wondered what 'that 'stuff' might be, and some part of him dreaded to think of the possibilities, but he thought better of it than to ask and spent the next half an hour carefully bandaging a majority of the wounds (much to Axel's apparent amusement at the prospect of having the blonde take his shirt off).

-

"All done…"

The redhead gave him an appreciative smile, despite the fact that the pain was still somewhat etched on his face. Roxas had always looked up to Axel, always seen him as the one who would protect those close to him; never in such a vulnerable state as he was in now, and it made him feel strange knowing that it would be the other way around for a while.

"Axel…you're cold."

The redhead was still shivering, and Roxas wasn't sure whether it was because of the loss of blood, or because his usually extremely warm body heat had now completely vanished. He also didn't know why he did what he did next; a kind of spur of the moment, but the next thing he knew was that his arms had found their way around the older male's body, in a kind of light hug. Axel seemed equally surprised, his smile fading into a confused half-frown.

"Roxas?"

"I'm keeping you warm."

There was a long silence, in which Axel stared at the blonde, and he stared back, not once loosening his grip but all the while making sure he didn't hurt his friend. Axel hid his feelings well, and Roxas struggled to tell what he was thinking. He wore a blank yet vaguely thoughtful look, and the blonde couldn't tell if that was a good or a bad result…although…he wasn't actually sure what kind of result he was aiming for in the first place, which just made him confused.

-

If Roxas hadn't known what result he was aiming for in the first place, it didn't make sense that he was so surprised at what he ended up doing. He was still holding onto Axel when he felt a rough pull on his arm, and by the time he'd looked down, their faces were in an even closer proximity than they had been the previous night. Axel had laid down, pulling Roxas along with him into a position that would have been extremely awkward under normal circumstances. He felt his face burn slightly, and he knew that he was probably the deepest shade of red in existence at the time, but he didn't move, instead just returning the stare. He wanted to be there. He wanted Axel. That's what he was thinking when their lips met in a brief, few-seconds kiss. For the slightest moment, he was disappointed that it didn't last longer, that he couldn't have stayed like that forever, but his disappointment was quickly put to sleep as it happened again, only this time it lasted. He felt Axel's cool fingers trace light, delicate lines down his back, coming to rest on the waistband of his jeans.

"Roxas."

The redhead had pulled away, and was now staring up at him.

"Yeah?"

"I hope that door's locked."

__________________________________________________________________________________

So, yes. It's 04:17am, and I am absolutely BUGGERED. I need sleep, and a sandwich.

I apologise if half of this doesn't make sense, I'm not designed to be up at this time.

I'll try and update sometime soon., reviews are appreciated!

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