Forgiven

- All is lost to Roxas Kain… sleeping on the streets, drugs, sex, and drinking are his life. But all that is about to change when an angel appears with the message of his death. Can sins be forgiven?

A cliché fic. It's been a while since I did one. I miss the simplicity, so to remedy my frustration with W.H., P.M., and W.a.V. … I'm doing a good ol' fashion cliché and murdering it.

I am where corny fanfiction clichés come to die and be completely revamped.

All hail me.

Insert witty and interesting disclaimer here… I can only dream of owning or have some dibs on these characters.

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What do you do when you have nothing…?

What do you do when everyone has left you?

You're alone. And the only comfort in the world is found on the streets… a quiet place behind a cold and dumpster.

The only thing you have left is a wristwatch, fifteen cents, and the clothes on your back…

Why?

Because you sought out a thrill. A ride. A freedom that your life couldn't give you.

And now you're its prisoner….

So here I am.

Lying on the pavement long after the sun has gone down, shivering into myself. A needle isn't too far from my fingers, but I'm so numb I can't feel them. The stars are moving overhead, and I'm easily enraptured by this due to the high surging through my veins. My heart pounds in my chest and I manage to stand up. I want to be closer to them, touch them.

In some delirious form of my intoxication, I reach upward, straining, almost begging for one to come down a little just so it could burn me. I wanted to feel the pain… I wanted it to let me know I was human…

When I failed, I slumped against the stone wall, leaning my head back against it. I was hungry. How would I find food?

I'd probably have to suck someone off to get some cash to buy a sandwich… I closed my eyes in dread… I heaved a deep breath… the high was wearing off already if I could think this clearly. How long had it been? Seconds? Minutes? Hours? I didn't know.

I didn't care either; I hit my fist against the damp wall and started walking. Where to? No idea.

I could go for another hit.

I passed another on the street; he had passed out with a half empty bottle of booze clenched in his grubby hand. I paused to look at it and then took it from him, swigging the bottle back and letting the harsh vodka do its work. I continued walking, it was his loss, my gain. I wasn't much into morals.

With another swig I left the area behind, searching for a new place to crash for the night… if I slept at all today. With my free hand I rubbed at my eye, it was twitching and it annoyed me. I rounded into another ally and let the rest of the bottle drain into my throat before tossing it away.

"Roxas?"

I turned to the voice at my name, barely focusing on them.

"Roxas? Is that you?"

I blinked and looked away, "Who wants to know?"

They stepped into the ally and I stared at them, finally recognizing them. Dammit Hayner, why'd it have to be you?

"Roxas... you look terrible…"

I rolled my eyes and looked away, he grabbed my face and made me look at him. "What have you done to yourself? Tell me."

"Nothing that wasn't expected," I said with a slight slur.

He shook his head and took a step back, "you went sober…"

I smirked, "I lied." He grabbed my shirt and started shaking me.

"WHY!? Why Roxas? WHY?" I didn't answer, looking at him with an empty stare.

He shook his head and reached into a bag, pulling out an orange, and two apples. He handed them to me with a pleading look. "I can't trust you enough to give you money. Goodbye Roxas."

He hoisted the bag onto his shoulder and left. I looked at the apple; its bright red surface reflected my face a little… of course… I could see myself in the fruit of sin.

I shoved the other two things into my pocket and took a bite out of my reflection, stupid thing.

I slumped down a few blocks over, eating the core as well as the apple without flinching, only picking out the seeds. My mouth was bleeding from the effort, but I didn't care… I ate. I picked a bit out of my teeth with my tongue and leaned back on the wall. Not much for a change of scenery… but it would do. I found a nice spot, huddled into my knees and drifted off.

I had a dream. But I couldn't remember what it was about… I shot up, already half awake and yawned, stretching slightly and then rubbing my eye with my palm.

I relaxed and looked around. Same scenery.

I rose to my feet and sat down on the street corner, setting down a baseball cap I had for when it rained and curled into myself again. People looked down at me as they passed, but few dropped anything in. I was relieved to see that human cruelty was still available in hoards as I tossed out a couple bottle caps, plastic quarter and a brown button.

I sighed, looking down at the pavement ahead of me. If only I had a talent… but then I wouldn't be here. My life wouldn't be terrible and I wouldn't have resorted to cocaine to make it better.

I'd be normal.

But no. I'm just the same worthless Roxas Kain as I've always been. I rubbed my eye again… if I had insurance I'd get that looked at... it itched constantly… When I looked up I noticed a pair of bare feet standing in front of me, white fabric fanning out across the ground. My eyes drew up and I stared up at a bare chest, shoulders hidden by a white trench coat that almost touched the ground. A head of bright red, spiky hair and green eyes stared down at me.

"Whaddya want?" I asked.

How much of a freak could this guy be? Walking around with bare feet and a no shirt on. Idiot, it was forty degrees out here.

He didn't say anything, just knelt down on one knee and looked me directly in the eyes.

Green.

Very green.

Each of his almond shaped eyes were decorated with a heavy application of eyeliner and a deep purple tattoo. An upside down tear drop from the looks of it, right under the center of each eye. His hair was a complete opposite to his eyes, bright red and spiked in God knows how many directions directly behind him.

"What. Do. You. Want?" I said slowly, I hated repeating myself.

Again, he said nothing, just scanning my eyes for something. What a freak.

"Roxas Kain," he said smoothly.

"Yeah," I grated. "What of it?"

"You're going to die soon."

"I could die in five minutes."

He shook his head and then resumed his freaky eye contact. "I'm an angel sent to help you mend your mistakes and bring you to the other side."

"Or else what?" I hissed. "God will smite me? He's a little late."
"You will burn in hell for all eternity," he said simply.

"Yeah right," I sneered. "Go find some other sick fuck to believe you. I'm not buying it."

"You must," he urged. "If you linger in Limbo for much longer, you will be sent to Hell."

"Limbo? Hell? You're a sick twist. Get away from me." I scooped up the money in my hat and shoved it back into my pocket before rising to leave. I rounded a corner and he was suddenly in front of me. I let out a slight yelp. Had I forgotten taking something?

"I was sent to help you find peace," he said in a soothing tone. "I am your guardian angel."

"Well, you've been doing a crappy ass job," I shoved past him.

"You misunderstand," he said. "I am only sent when one is about to perish. I am your guardian from eternal damnation."

I waved over my shoulder and began walking down the streets. Every so often, he would magically reappear, watching me walk by.

When this angel mirage went on for over five hours, I knew it had to be some sick joke. I walked into an ally and wasn't at all surprised to find him following me. "Look," I hissed turning. "I have no idea who you are, but leave me the Hell alone. I don't believe your bullshit so go try it on someone else; you hear?"

"Roxas Kain," he said simply. "Age twenty-three. Lost his apartment due to failure to pay the rent. You had a crush on a girl named Namine in high school, your best friend was Hayner and you had a crush on him as well along with his enemy Seifer.-"

"Who the HELL are you?" No one knew that I liked Seifer. NO ONE.

"- Your parents died in a car crash when you were thirteen while coming home from work that day. Your grades started slipping from straight As to straight Fs, to find solace you started taking pills. When those failed you moved onto heroin and cocaine. You sell your body to pay for it. Have I gotten anything wrong?"

I stared at him, he just stared back. How could he know all that? "Who are you?"

"My name is Axel," he said with a slight smile. "I'm your guardian angel."

"Oh…kay," I said slowly. "Why me?"

"Because you are stuck in Limbo and without guidance you will fall into the depths of Hell and be lost forever."

I blinked. "So they sent a creepy stalker to help me?"

He drew back, his calm exterior faltering. "Excuse me?"

I shook my head. "I can't believe this. This is crazy."

"Most people would be gracious to see an angel."

I shot back into attention. "Wait, if you're an angel… where are your wings?"

He looked over his shoulder, "My apologies. I didn't want to startle you. Would you like to see them?"

I folded my arms across my chest and nodded firmly. This should be good.

He took a deep breath and put his hands out in front of him, then dropped them in a graceful arc to an angle at his sides, his head tilted down slightly. With a burst of light and startling speed, massive white wings broke from his back. Feathers danced on glitter and light as they drifted down. He looked up at me. "Now do you believe me?"

I felt my side hit the ground and my sight faded to black... and then… nothing.

I woke up to the sound of music. Where am I? What is going on?

I groaned and sat up from a wooden bench… a church bench. How had I gotten here? I rubbed my eye and let out a soft mewl of annoyance. This was no place for me… at least the dream was over and I wouldn't have to deal with-

"You're awake."

I looked up to see Axel. His wings were curled at his shoulders, long and fluffy. I shook my head and hit myself in the temple. It simply couldn't be real. I was delirious from some drug high or something.

"Are you hurt?"

"No," I lied. My side was killing me and my eye still itched. I rubbed it irritably.

He apparently saw through my lie and shifted down beside me, not sitting properly so his wings were comfortable. He took my face in his hands and examined my eye. It started to twitch again, he smirked and leaned forward. I panicked slightly and shut my eyes. I felt the slightest brush against my eyelid and suddenly it felt one hundred times better. The itch was gone.

Completely… gone…

"You can't lie to me."

I opened my eyes and looked at him, "How did…"

He shrugged, "I'm an angel."

I put my hand to it, my lips parted in amazement. "Thank you…"

"Does anything else hurt?"

My pride. My soul. Life.

"My side hurts a little from when I fell," I confessed.

"Fainted," he corrected.

I showed him where and he kissed his palm and laid it across the harmed area. I watched as a bruise completely faded under a delicate touch… just like that.

He smiled at me, a flashing grin that reflected something I hadn't seen in him yet.

"You're not being as formal as when we met…"

He shrugged again, "You didn't seem to like the adoration and respect, so I'm just being myself now."

"That's reassuring," I muttered.

"Personally, I think you'll like me better this way."

He jumped up to his feet and then bounced, completely graceful, onto the back of the bench in front of me. With an insane balance, he crouched down on the balls of his feet and smiled at me. "I'm really a chatter box and I love a good time."

I stared up at him, "Okay…"

"Now, we better start working on your redemption, from now on until you die; no drugs," he counted on his fingers in front of me, "no whoring yourself out, no booze, and no meaningless sex."

"So I can have sex, but I have to mean it?"

"You have to care," he corrected.

"On top of that, I'm going to lead you around and get you cleaned up. We're taking a massive trip down memory lane and you've got some serious kissing up to do."

"What if I don't?" I hated thinking of my past.

"You burn in hell for eternity."He sounded so nonchalant about it.

I sighed, "When do I start?"

"Tomorrow, you need your rest for today, this probably took a lot out of you."

I reached into my pocket and took out the orange, rolling it in my hands. To my surprise, Axel took it from me and looked it over. "HEY, give that back."

"Exactly nine seeds," he said simply. He made a soft noise and then I watched as he tossed it into the air. "Tah dah," it landed in his hand as a massive deli sandwich, oozing with meat and mayo. "Angel magic," he said enthusiastically.

I took it from him and stared down at it. It was so big. Could really eat all of that? I timidly took a bite from it and then a much bigger one. It was delicious. Axel watched with a soft smile. "And by the way… no one but you can see me.. unless I'm holding something, well, they still can't see me, but they do see a floating whatever."

I nodded and continued eating my sandwich.

When I was done with it, I passed out on the church bench.

I woke up, refreshed like I'd never been before. I expected to be craving some form of drug or booze… then I remember Axel. He probably tampered with something. I sighed and blinked a few times, it was nice to not have that stubborn itch.

"Good morning," Axel greeted, patting me on the shoulder. "Ready for this?"

"As I'll ever be? What do I have to do exactly?"

"Receive the whole forgiveness of three important people in your life."

"What if it's only partial?"

"Then we add another person to the list to make up for it."

"How long do I have…?"

"Until you die," he said simply. "You've got a while, but not too long. So I suggest we hop to this."

Hop? Okay… I nodded to him and he nodded back. "Let's go get you cleaned up," he said with a smirk, tugging on my shirt and then poking me in the forehead with the same hand.

I followed him to a small stand, "This lady needs some help moving some boxes in the back. I think you can manage. There's fifty dollars in it if you can."

"Can you help?"

"Can't touch anything remember?"

I sighed and stepped inside.

"Now repeat after me," he said slowly as the lady walked in. "My name is Roxas and I'm in desperate need of a job. I lost my house and I need to get something to eat… is there anything I can do around here to earn a little cash?"

I repeated his exact words. The little, graying woman with green eyes looked me over, "You don't look like a drunk or a druggie…" She said slowly. "Follow me."

Axel definitely tampered, I glanced over at him and he grinned at me in response.

The woman took me into the back and I moved boxes. Sure enough she handed me two twenties and a ten. "It's not much, but it should buy you food for a week or so."

"Thank you," I said with a soft smile. "You're very kind."

"You're welcome your welcome now go on…" She ushered me out, it probably just looked bad. I looked up at the sign above the place, money clenched in my fist.

Red's Knicks and Knacks.

What a funny title.

Axel absolutely beamed at me, "So how does it feel to earn your money without taking your clothes off?"

I clutched the cash to my chest as we walked away, Axel's feet floating a few inches above the ground as he floated happily behind me. "Really good."

He flashed a girl-killer smile at me and led me to thrift store. I found myself buying a pair a beat up sneakers, not near as bad as mine, a black shirt, jacket and some worn out jeans.

"Now… a shower…" Axel muttered to himself. "We're going to the gym Roxas."

"Okay," I said uncertainly.
I blindly followed him all the way to the locker rooms. I took my clothes off and just threw them away, wrapping my new clothes up really well in their plastic bag and hiding them on top of the lockers. Axel covered his eyes with his hand as I did all this, and repeatedly followed me around saying 'marco?'

I'd say 'polo' just to amuse him. I didn't worry with the fact I wasn't the only one in here… they didn't know if I was talking to someone else or not and it wasn't their problem.

I scrubbed away months of dirt and grime and used a quarter to buy some shampoo. Axel slipped into the stall with me and I let him uncover his eyes. Nothing he hadn't seen before right? He peeked around, making sure no one could see him before helping himself to lathering down my hair and back.

At first I was against it, but he was really gentle… it felt… nice, I relaxed back into his touch, closing my eyes as his fingers did wonders on my scalp.

He had to get me to buy more shampoo, but I didn't mind. It felt good. He was just a good with my back and shoulders… felt like a massage. I nearly whined when he stopped and pushed me under the spray of water.

When I zipped up my jeans and turned round for him to look at, he flashed me another girl-killer smile and whistled. "There's a person under there after all! I was starting to think you were a mud monster." I used some nearby deodorant and then put it back.

I glared at him, and the guy behind him looked confused. We walked out without confrontation and started down the street. "So now what?"

"Stop number one," he said holding up a finger. "Your old crush, Namine."

"Why Namine?"

"She was your closest friend right? You'll find out why you need redemption from her when we get there. She's four blocks away, but you're used to walking so you should be fine."

"Or you could fly me," I muttered.

"Don't want you getting lazy," he said with a cocky smirk.

I glared at him again, and sighed in defeat as I started to run. He was extremely fast, keeping up with me easily on his massive wings. He was even cocky enough to start humming as he flew. "Cheater," I hissed.

He shrugged and started running beside me, still humming. He turned around and ran backwards, then skipped backwards. Show off. I sped up and tore down the streets, dodging people left and right. It was weird for them not to be disgusted when I touched them... they just looked mildly annoyed.

It took an hour to get there, but I ran all the way to her apartment. "You'll… be… there to… help… right?" I managed between breaths.

"Sure will, but don't expect a lot."

I gave myself a minute to catch my breath. Then I rang the buzzer.

"Hello?" Her voice cracked on the speaker.

"Uh, hey Namine' it's Roxas."

Pause.

"What do you want Roxas…?"
"I need a reason to come by?"

"You usually have one, yes; money, food, sex…" she trailed off.

I bit my lip... I understood now. "I just want to see you Namine… it's nothing like that."

There was another pause and the door unlocked. I walked up the stairs and wasn't even marginally surprised to find her eyeing me suspiciously. "What do you want then?"

"I don't want anything," I replied.

"Bullshit," she hissed. "You always want something."

"I just wanted to see you Namine…"

"Why?"

"I just… wanted to… I missed you…"

Those words were like flipped a switch, she nodded to the door and we stepped inside. She held my arms and looked me up and down. "You look… good."

"I'm trying to clean myself up."

She hummed in response. "You've said that before." She grabbed a cup of tea and sipped at it as she walked back over to her chair and sat down. An easel was to her left.

"I didn't mean it then," I tried to reason.

Axel sat on the couch, waving at me. I trailed off for a moment. "I really want to change now…"

"So what? You randomly show up at people's homes unannounced?"

"I... don't have a phone." She hummed again. "So... yeah, that's the basic gist."

"Why me?" she said slowly.

I looked at Axel. He motioned with his hand for me to continue.

"I guess," I said slowly, realizing everything I'd done to her in the past. "I felt guilty. I… wanted to make it up to you somehow…"

She just stared at me.

"I didn't treat you the way I should have… I used you. What's bad is a really liked you too… but… I took advantage of that…"

Again more staring.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is… Namine'…" I knelt down on the floor in front of her, my hand on her knees. "I'm sorry. For everything. I can't blame you for being so sick of me. I'd hate me in your place…. I'm sorry."

It was funny. I wasn't just saying it to get what I wanted. I really meant it this time. I really and truly meant it now that I had a clear head… Axel waved in the background… sort of clear head anyway. I put my forehead on her knees and waited to be struck down, just knowing she was going to turn me away. Who wouldn't? I mean… I was a real nightmare to her…

Then I felt her fingers comb through my hair… I looked up and she was smiling, a tear slid down her cheek. "Roxas," she dropped down on the floor to my level and hugged me, burying her face in my neck and crushing me as best she could with her thin arms. "It's okay… I forgive you."

"One down, no take backs." Axel said behind me.

She pulled away and tried to pull herself together, I cupped her cheek and wiped away a few stray tears. She laughed lightly and smiled at me, I mirrored it back. "I missed that…"

"Missed what?" I said blondely.

"You're smile… your emotions…"

Is that how she knew I was for real this time? Then that meant she had known all along that I was using her before. "I'm sorry."

She ran her fingers through my hair and molested my face with her hands. "Do you have somewhere to stay? Something to eat?"

"No," I confessed. "I don't want to be any more of a burden though… I can manage…"

She shook her head. "It's on me."

She rose to stand and walked into the kitchen. I walked over and sat down next to Axel. He lightly patted my shoulder and nodded at me. "Way to go kid, you're tipping the balance."

Within an hour or so, Namine had a full meal fixed up for me. I stared down at the plate of steaming food like an idiot for a moment. "Dig in," she said happily. "It's your favorite."

Salisbury steak on a bed of rice and smothered in sauce and peppers.

She didn't forget after all this time.

With the first bite I died and went to heaven. Axel cocked an eyebrow at me from afar. "She's a really good cook; I wish I could taste it. Smells great."

I wanted to nod to him, but Namine was too busy chattering with me and I thought it would be weird, then awkward… then just bad. She was a full time designer now, and made good money. Her paintings were displayed all over the country, even in our city. I made a note to try and see it before I kicked the bucket.

In another hour, she had settled me into her spare room with fresh sheets and a pillow. Axel sat down on the edge of the bed with a smile. "How long has it been since you slept on a bed Roxas? Few months? Days?"

"A few years Axel," I said softly, stepping into the shower for a quick rinse off.

"Years? Seriously?"

"Except for when I was fucking… but I didn't really sleep did I?"

"I guess not."

I came out of the shower smelling like flowers and ocean breeze, but it beat sweaty young adult. I pulled down the sheets down, wearing only pants. I pressed my hand against the soft mattress before actually sinking into it. Axel smiled at me as I wiggled like a little kid for a moment. It was so… nice… it was like a thrill.

I didn't know if be able to sleep on it. It was so nice and weird at the same time.

Axel plopped down beside me, resting his head on his hand in a suggestive fashion that showed off his chest. "Want a bedtime story?"

I swatted at him. "Maybe tomorrow night."

"Alright," she said smirking as I laid down. "Pleasant dreams Roxas."

Namine was actually sad to see me go, but I told her I'd be okay and maybe I'd see her around. She planted a kiss on my cheek before letting me go down the stairs, blushed like crazy, and rushed back inside to her new painting.

Wonder what it was…

"Next stop is Hayner."

Oh great. Thankfully he was only half a block away.

"This one should be a little harder. The last one the hardest."

"It just can't be easy can it?"

"Of course not," he said grinning. "Everyone would be in heaven."

Axel and I had a mildly interesting chat about nothing as we went to Hayners small house in a nice little subdivision. Kids were playing in a small park at the end of the street and Axel pointed out his house.

I reluctantly rang the doorbell.

"I'll get it!"

The door opened to a little kid, dirty blonde hair in bouncing waves around a cherub face. She was adorable. "Selphie, I told you not open the door like that." A louder and louder voice scolded.

She just stared up at me. "There's a funny man and an angel Mommy!"
Axel cursed beside me, "forgot that innocents could see me."

Olette stepped out from what appeared to be the kitchen and looked at me, there was a pause as I waved awkwardly. The little girl, Selphie danced around at my feet, trying to see Axel better, who was maneuvering around me to try and get away. "Roxas…?"

"Hey Olette."

"Selphie, stop that!" She stopped and I laughed as she pulled the innocent angel routine, hanging her head and pushing her bottom lip out. She shuffled over to Olette and the brunette held her by the shoulder.

"Mommy, there's-" Axel flinched beside me as she pointed at him

Olette shushed her, "Hayner! You have a guest!"

The footsteps came closer and Hayner appeared in front of us. "This will only be a minute."

He pushed me back without touching me and stood on his doorstep. "what do you want Roxas? More food?"

"No I…"

"Then leave. I don't want you near my family."

Axel bit his lips. OUCH. On a whim I reached into my jacket pocket and pulled out my last apple. "I wanted to give this back to you. I don't need it anymore."

He stared at the red fruit that I held out to him insistently. He took it hesitantly and I turned on my heel. Five… four… three… two… "Roxas," he called.

I turned around, already at the sidewalk.

"Would you like to come inside?"

Damn I'm good. My head bobbed in a curt nod and he ushered me inside.

"You look much better than you did a couple days ago. What gives?"

"I had an epiphany," I glanced at Axel.

"I'm not complaining," Hayner said slowly. "You look great."

"Thanks," I said, scratching my neck. I felt something lay across it and I glanced over to find it was Axel's guiding hand.

Selphie ran back inside, squealing. "Angel man!"

I turned and Axel visibly flinched, dodging her touch. She laughed and thought it was a game.
"Excuse her, she has a vivid imagination."

I laughed, "If she sees and angel there probably is one. Children can see them you know."

Axel glared at me as he rushed between us, floating and lifting himself out of the child's reach. Hayner smiled, "Then what about monsters in her closet?"

"Now those are total BS," I replied.

He laughed slightly. "Mind if I ask what caused all this?"

I quickly thought of a lie. "I saw a guy die. Hit me that… that could be me. I'd just pass on without anyone knowing or caring… or worse... being relieved." As the words came out of my mouth, I became more aware that I was telling the truth. "I could go at any moment of any day, and I'm cleaning myself up so that when it happens I can leave something positive behind me. I'm tired of being alone and being a burden."

He nodded. It sounded more selfish than I had meant.

"I… don't really know how to put it."

"I get what you mean," he said slowly. "It's just odd that it happened so quickly."

"Life is funny that way."

He laughed again and gestured for me to sit down, I did robotically. "I saw Namine' yesterday."

"really? How is she?"

"She's great actually. She's getting pretty high up there."

"Good for her," he said smiling.

Olette peeked back in to retrieve the frantic Selphie. Axel looked relieved and climbed off of the ceiling and rested on the armrest behind me. A short chat continued… nothing of real importance. I dodged the topic of my previous life as of three days ago.

Olette made us sandwiches. Ham and grilled cheese with a pickle and a can of soda. I was overjoyed.

I hadn't had a fizzing soda in years.

Selphie sat down somewhere nearby and just STARED at Axel. It was really creeping him out.

"Daddy," she said turning. "Is angel man going to have to leave soon?"

"I probably should be getting rid of myself," I said, finishing off my can of coke. Hayner watched in astonishment as I disposed of my own paper plate and recycled the can with no help what-so-ever.

"You're welcome any time," he said, clapping a hand down on my shoulder. "As long as you're clean."

When we stood on the doorstep and I started walking away he added, "Hey Roxas…"

"Yeah?"

"Don't sweat it man. All is forgiven."

Axel threw a hand up in the air, "Two! Only one more Roxy-boy!"

I smiled at my old friend. "Thanks Hayner. It means a lot to me."

He nodded to me and walked back inside. "Where to Axel."

"The church. We've got a while before we can do the last one."

"I only have a while…" I said slowly.

"Exactly… so don't fuck it up."

We were at the church before sunset, and Axel insisted that I watched it with him.

He walked me around back, and took me by the shoulders. "You won't freak out?"

"No," I said slowly.

He pulled me into his chest and spread his wings. I gaped over his shoulder. I hadn't seen them this close before…

With one beat my feet left the ground, I clung to him slightly tighter and he laughed slightly as his wings beat again, launching us above the roof. He slowly brought us down and folded them, smiling at me like a chesire cat. I gripped something on the roof and balanced myself, he took a seat facing the sun light and leaned forward to rest his knees, wings spread out behind him like a blanket of snow. I slid down carefully and sat down beside him.

He was intently watching the sunset, it glittered on his pure white and skin, reflected in his eyes. "Hey Axel?"

"Hm?" He turned to look at me.

"Mind if I ask you something?"

"No, what's on your mind?"

"How did you die?"

He heaved a sigh. "I was wondering when you'd ask that," he leaned back on the rooftop and looked up at the colored sky. "Once upon a time I was in your shoes Roxas. I was hardcore mafia."

"Mafia? No way."

"Really," he said with a smile. "I landed in Limbo because I only went that way to help my sister. She had leukemia, and we needed money. I joined up and I could pay for the doctor visits. I killed people… but I always felt bad about it and visited the graves as soon as the suspicion died down. I didn't like it, but I did what I did to save my sister."

"So your actions landed you in Hell, your heart in Heaven."

He made a motion of balances with his hands. "Perfect balance… anyway. My angel was named Reno. I still see him around and about, but not much. He made me atone for my sins, in other words, apologize to the families… give them closure… and then turn myself in. He said he'd help my sister… but I didn't live to see it."

"What happened?"

He pounded his fist into his chest, "I got shanked by a police officer. The mafia had killed his mother or something like that. He probably filed it a self defense, and they probably believed him. I don't mind."

"What about your sister?"

"I haven't seen her. I don't know if she's even alive. She'd be around thirty eight now…"

"What was her name?"

"Kairi."

"Pretty," I said simply.

"It means 'sea'."

I nodded, "why that?"

"Her eyes were the same color as the ocean," he trailed. "Can we talk about something else...? I'm getting mushy."

I smiled and laughed at him, "sure. What do you want to talk about?"

"Well shit I don't know I was hoping you'd have something."

I laughed again, harder this time, probably fracturing a rib from the pain in my chest. "It wasn't that funny."

I laughed harder. He hit me on the shoulder and after I managed to control my fit of laughter, and we watched the sun set together.

The last flicker of color faded and I was about to pass out. Axel smiled and picked me up bridal style. I unconsciously cuddled into his chest and he jumped off the roof, his wings capturing the air in their arc. His feet brushed the ground softly and he carried me inside on rhythmic, smooth footsteps. He sat down on a bench in the far corner with me, laying sideways and leaning into his own wings. He pulled me on top of him and brushed my hair with his fingers… the action drove me into a perfect slumber.

I had good dreams… Axel in a mafia suit speedo. Namine painting him in sunglasses with a squirt gun... Hayner dumping water on him… Selphie coming out of nowhere and tackling him as he became magically clothed… It was ridiculous… but ridiculous was a good thing.

I woke up with my face plastered to his chest, drooling slightly. I sat up quickly and wiped my mouth off, it had that weird gunky feeling you get from sleeping with your mouth open. I looked up at Axel… he was still sound asleep. I relaxed on him and watched. He breathed… I could feel the rise and fall of his chest underneath me.

His expression was tranquil, it was actually believable that this guy was an angel now… His eyelashes fanned out against his cheek like wings and his face had perfect lighting. I wouldn't believed I was actually seeing him except for the fact I was laying on him. His wings cradled us in fluff and feathers as he sprawled out on the pew with me on him. His bright red hair was capturing light and looked amazingly soft despite the random and slightly intimidating spikes.

I reached out and traced one of his tattoos with my fingers, his grip tightened on me and he made a soft noise. I looked towards a stain glass window; the sun was just rising… meaning it was like… four in the morning… I turned back to Axel and shifted into him, laying my head down on his shoulder and resting there until he woke up.

His waking up process was slower than I expected. He just made a soft noise and jostled slightly. I felt him move and I opened my eyes and sat up. "Morning," he yawned.

"Morning," I echoed.

He yawned again, shaking his head slightly and I eased off of him so he could get up. He slid off the pew sideways and reached upward, standing on the very tips of his toes and stretching. His wings angled out slightly as he did so, and then he rocked on his heels for a second. "So… what's the game plan for today Rox?"

"Huh?" I blurted. "You're the one making all the plans I thought."

"Not for a couple more days… You're last charge is coming in at the end of the week. They're not here at the moment."

"Oh," I said slowly. "Well I don't know. Normally I'd just… get high, fuck someone, and sleep."

He made a soft noise of acknowledgment. "That's true I guess…. What to do what to do."

He sat up on the edge of a pew and put on a dramatic-pooh-bear display of thinking. I suddenly thought of Namine, "why don't we go to the museum… see Namine's painting…?"

He turned to smile at me. "That sounds great Roxas! So clean and innocent!" he waggled his fingers at me with a bright smile.

"well let's get going, the museum is on the other side of the city and I'd like to be there by dark…" I turned and he grabbed my arm.

"Why don't you let me handle that?"

"I thought you didn't want me getting lazy…" I retorted cockily.

"Consider it a present for successfully being forgiven twice and thinking of an honest place to spend our time."

I smiled, "alright then…" I let the sarcasm drip off my tongue like acid, "if you insist."

Who was I kidding? I was as giddy as a little kid in a candy store. The idea absolutely amazed me. Axel shook his head and put his hands on his hips. "You're something else, you know that?"

I shrugged. We walked out and around to the back of the church. He leaned down and scooped me up onto his back like I was a little kid. He crouched down slightly, "Hang on blondie."

I gripped his jacket for dear life and then we were up in the air. He made it to the roof of the church in one clean bound and then used it jump into the sky. I briefly wondered what would happen if we passed a plane or something. A small part of my brain flared up and I started laughing, it was just too AMAZING. Who could honestly say they were cushioned in between two large and extremely soft angel wings and flying over the city streets of De Moines? That's right. Me. And me alone. Axel laughed beneath me, "Having fun back there?"

His wigs moved slightly and I leaned back, trying not to get in the way. He laughed again and then angled them and we started to downward slightly. We combed through the skyscrapers and taller buildings with ease. I stared down at everyone in amazement. "They're all so tiny."

He chuckled, "That's what happens when you're this high off the ground."

"WHOOOO!" I threw my hands up in the air. "I'M ON TOP OF THE WORLD!!! YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAH!" Axel jostled me slightly and I screeched slightly and gripped his shoulders again.

It wasn't long before that part of my brain resurfaced and I started singing.

"What's that called?" he asked me.

"All the Small Things," I told him.

"It's annoying, sing something else."

I shrugged and went with the next random tune in my head… the hamster dance.

"Would you like to be dropped a few miles above ground?"

I shook my head and picked an actually (personally) good song to sing at the top of my lungs.

I started it slow like the song was supposed to be, "She said I need some time to find myself… I need a little space to think…. And maybe we should start seeing ooooooother people, baby things are moving way too fast for me. So I picked up with was left of my priiiiiiiiiiiiiiide… I put on my walking shooooooooes… and I got up on that hiiiiiiigh road…. And I did what any gentleman would do. I uhmm…"

At this point Axel was heaving a sigh… but then my favorite part caught him off guard.

"I GOT A BRAND NEW GIRLFRIEND! We went jumped off the deep end! Flew out to L.A. for the weekend- spent the whole day- lying on the beach wearing nothin' but a smile. Playing kissy kissy smoochy smoochy talking mushy mushy about NOTHIN'! Man I think I'm on to something! Something something! I GOT A BRAND NEW GIRLFRIEND!"

Axel stopped for a moment to laugh so hard he started crying. We landed on a rooftop and he put me down just so he could hold his stomach and fall over to dramatize his insane fit of laughter. So I fell over and laughed with him, "I'm sorry!" I wheezed.

He just rolled. Apparently he'd never heard Brand New Girlfriend by Steve Holy before. When we were done, we were laying on or back staring at the sky, panting for breath and grinning like morons. "I didn't expect that…" he admitted.

I rolled over to look at him. "Want me to continue?"

"I'd be honored," he said grinning.

I stood up and reached downward. He stared at my hand for a moment and then took it, weightlessly pulling himself upward and shrugging. I climbed back onto his back and we took off, and as he requested, I sang like an idiot.

By the end of the song he was signing it with me, and we looked absolutely ridiculous. Who cares? I'm going to die soon anyway. Axel's DEAD.

He put me down in an alley nearby the museum to avoid notice. I managed to stand upright, but when I took a step, I topped over and into his outstretched arm… he knew I was going to fall…

I gripped his arm and looked up at him, he had a soft smile on his face and I was slightly taken aback by it. There no was no faking that kind of smile… it was just not done… He let me get my balance back and feeling in my legs before he put his hand on my back and directed me into the museum.

For once in my life, art really interested me. Before all I'd seen were ornate scribbles that happened to look like something. Now I was actually seeing the pictures… I could have been the fact I wasn't stoned… but it was probably the fact Axel was apparently an art freak. He was darting from picture to picture with this amazed expression. Since the place was empty on a weekday, he proceeded to take my wrist and show me every one of them.

There was a few with flowers and fruit… maybe a glass or something. Those didn't really interest me. Then he pulled me into a section of sculptures and portraits. Landscapes, people, and surreal images lined the walls, surrounding random sculptures. He rushed past and then let out a loud gasp as I was staring intently a picture of a war scene. He suddenly grabbed my wrist and pulled me aside. "I think I found it!"

I let him pull me along and then he spun me to face a picture, nearly the size of the wall. "Look," he put a hand on my shoulder.

My jaw fell open as I stared at it.

"That's… me?"

Sure enough, there was a blonde with my hairstyle and my eyes staring back out of the picture. He practically glowed in the dark scenery of the ally around him, and the burn of a cigarette in his visible hand. His head was tilted back and leaned against a wall with a blank expression, but the eyes said it all. His clothes were just starting to wear in places, one foot was on the wall, but the other was place on the ground in front of him… truly leaning into the damp looking concrete.

It was called, "Lost in Darkness." Oil canvas by Namine Taylor.

"She had to really know you to pain something like that," he said beside me.

I felt myself leaning into him slightly. His hand rubbed my shoulder. "Come on, there's something else you should see."

He didn't sound… happy… I followed him through the hallways and into a more dark section of art. It was… photography, all rather depressing and scary.

"This one," he said slowly. He put his hands on my shoulders as I stood in front of him.

It was a black and white image, but the boy in the image looked a lot like me. Probably blonde… hair in several different directions. He was reaching out towards something… as he was… dying… Liquid in a dark color was pooled around him and there was a gun and empty shells scattered around his body. You couldn't see any of the wounds, so it almost looked staged. The look in the boy's eyes is what told you it wasn't.

"This is what happens when a guardian angel fails…" Axel said slowly.

I searched the picture and noticed something. In the reflection of the blonde's eyes, just barely visible, was wings… and a random set of spikes. I gasped slightly.

"His name was Cloud," Axel said slowly.

I looked up at him, my hand covering my mouth and in shock.

"I couldn't save him… What he'd done was just… too dark to be forgiven…"

"What happened?" I whispered.

Axel shook his head. "You'd rather not know, this picture was taken by a reporter."

I turned back to the person… he looked so panicked.

"There's another thing I want you to see."

"Not another person dying I hope…" I muttered as he walked off and deeper to the photography gallery.

He shook his head, "Worse."

I stopped in my steps for a moment before following again, swallowing something in my throat. He stopped in front some newspapers… He pointed to one specific article dated back to the eighties…

I slipped up beside him and read aloud, "Mafia Member Dies Before Trial." I gasped and looked up at him, "It was you."

He shrugged. "Doesn't mean anything to me, but it doesn't say anything about my sister… That bothers me a little…"

I nodded and read the entire article. You could tell it was covering up something, but I supposed they wouldn't have cared back then… he was Mafia after all. "Why did you show me this?"

"To prove it to you. I got the feeling you didn't really believe me."

I turned to face him, "What made you think that?"
He shrugged, "just a hunch. And besides…" He leaned down and pointed to a picture. "That's a terrible picture of me."

I looked at it and snickered. He had this odd expression that made it look like he'd seen something terribly gross or something. But I must add- he looked damn good in a tuxedo.

He smiled at my shoulder and walked off to look at something else. I followed slowly, pausing to look at the picture of Cloud. "When a guardian angel fails…" I muttered.

"Roxas?"

"I'm coming," I continued walking.

We got escorted out when the museum closed, I didn't know I could spend that much time in a place before. Much less a museum. Axel and I walked down the streets, I was humming something to myself. I picked something seventies so he'd know it.

He did. By heart. So I was walking down the street with an angel singing 'Play That Funky Music' beside me. I wasn't really enjoying for some reason… something just felt… off.

Axel yawned. "I think we should hurry. The sun will be down soon and we need to be in a safe place by dark."

"Why?"

He paused. "Roxas, be smart. You've got an angel following you around. You don't honestly think that I'm the only one that knows you're in Limbo?"

I turned to stare at him. "What do you mean?"

"I'm not the only one following you Rox," he said slowly. "I'm trying to push you on my side of the fence… and they are trying to get you on theirs."

It made… horrifying sense.

Hell was after me too… just like they were after Cloud… I looked at Axel and I suddenly didn't feel well. I didn't feel… safe looking at him. He'd failed once…. What if he failed again?

What would happen to me?
He tilted his head to the side and stepped up to me. "You okay Roxas?"

"Yeah," I lied. "Just a little tired."

"You can't lie to me Roxas… remember?" he put a finger under my chin and lifted it to look at me. He looked worried. "You have to trust me… I'm the only hope you got… not mention your weapon against them. You can't fight them… but I can." He licked his lips nervously. "I believe in you Roxas." He put his hands on my shoulders. "You can do this. Just one more and you can have eternal peace. I won't let them take you."

"Promise?" I said slowly.

"I promise," his head tilted in a slight nod. He jerked around to face another direction.

"Now come on, we've got to get out of here." He reached behind me and scooped me into his arms before taking off. A woman on the street gasped and stared up at me, but Axel paid no mind, flying faster. He doubled over in the speed from the landing, cradling me in his arms with one knee on the ground.

"Get inside," he said softly, eyes darting around. "Don't come out… no matter what you see or hear."

I nodded curtly and rushed inside the church doors. I left it open and stared as Axel as he stood up. He was completely rigid, edgy. Every noise I made caused him to flinch slightly. "Roxas…"

I bit my lip.

"Shut the door and lock it."

"No," I barked out.

He turned and glared at me, I drew back a step. "SHUT THE DAMN DOOR!"

I shut it, and let the lock slide into place. I heard a noise, a loud hissing noise, and then the slightest sound of Axel's voice.

I didn't understand what I was hearing; I ran up to a stained glass window and tried to focus through the dark blue glass. What was going on? I could see flashes of light and Axel's jacket moving around but I couldn't make out what was happening. I knew it was bad. Something just told me that… I bit my lip, rushing into the back of the church and behind the altar, my heart was racing and I couldn't figure out why. I threw myself down, back against the stone and covered my ears, shutting my eyes and trying to relax.

The door bust open and Axel crashed into the altar behind me. I shuffled up to my feet and crouched down beside him. "Don't touch me… they can't see you in here as long as you don't me," he hissed. He was badly injured, his wings were bleeding, he had several future bruises and blood trickled past his lip. "Stay hidden," he whispered.

I nodded and rushed away from him. He was fighting for me… He wiped off his lip and stood back up. I crouched down on the other side of a bench and watched. His eyes darted around for a minute and then something appeared in front of him. It grabbed his neck and lifted him off the ground. "And here I thought you'd be happy to see me…" it hissed, using it's free hand to lower its black hood.

Axel's eyes widened and he went slightly limp for a moment, still trying to pry the hand off his neck. I leaned forward to see the person and had to hold my breath not to freak out.

Cloud.

"Where did you hide the boy?" he hissed.

Axel didn't answer, flailing slightly.

Cloud shook him slightly. "WHERE?"

"Burn in Hell," Axel hissed.

"I am, thanks to you!" Cloud spun around and threw him, effectively shattering a glass window. I rushed over and stared through the window past Cloud as he stood in the window frame. "Now tell me where you took the boy and I'll spare your afterlife."

"Not gonna happen," Axel hissed back, crawling back into a standing position. "I won't let you touch him."

Cloud stared down at him. I didn't like the look in his eyes. "Do you think you can protect him?" He stepped out of the window and stood on the other side of the broken glass. "I know all your tricks Axel… or have you forgotten?"

He drew a step back, fingers curling into fists.

I had a feeling Cloud was smiling. "Fine. I will let you live out your little charade, I will leave for now." He spun around and looked directly at me, my heart stopped for a moment. His eyes were so… cold… Hestepped directly up to Axel, looking him in the eyes. "Until next time…. Axel."

And he just… poofed. He was gone. Axel collapsed to his knees, exhausted. "AXEL!"

I rushed out of the door and over to him. "Roxas…" he whispered.

I reached out to touch him and he grabbed my wrist and pulled me into him. My face was pressed into his shoulder, one of his hands in my hair and the other arm was wrapped around me, holding me there. I let go of my pride and returned it, closing my eyes against the torn white fabric.

"I'm sorry-… I couldn't-… I didn't know he-… I'm sorry."

I held him tighter, "It's okay Axel. It's okay."

He just held me there. "I've got to get you out of here… but I can't…"

I looked up from his shoulder, his wings were shredded, small bits of colored glass were pressed into the feathers and larger pieces were in the wings themselves, also fragments were in his hair, small cuts and pieces were shredding his skin. He was in terrible shape.

"How can I help?" I whispered.

"I need to get somewhere I can heal… holy ground that way you're hidden too."

I slipped out of his hold and put an arm under his, lifting him to his feet. "I know these streets. I know just the place; it's remote, unexpected and holy ground. Better yet, it's only a block away."

He looked so upset, so concerned, before nodding and accepting my help.

After staggering a whole block some bit more, I led him into a very easily forgotten cemetery. Axel looked uneasy as I led him through the white, gray, and black stones and into the complete center. It was a small mausoleum with a large weeping willow over it… almost completely invisible. I'd crashed here a few times.

Axel slid down to the floor with a groan of pain. "This isn't right… I'm supposed to be helping Axel slid down to the floor with a groan of pain. "This isn't right… I'm supposed to be helping you not the other way around."

I moved a brick in the wall and pulled out a bottle of whiskey. "Shut up."

"What's that for? You're not drinking it."

"I'm not," I said insistently. I ripped off part of his jacket; it was shredded anyway, and tipped the whiskey into it. I suppose since I was touching it, so could the liquid, it seeped in readily.

I reached out and started to dab at the bigger cuts, him hissing and muttering oaths under his breath as I increased pressure. "Hopefully this will help. I don't know how to deal with angel injuries…"

He tried to smile but stopped when I pressed down on his skin around a cut and reached in carefully to pull out a shard of glass. He groaned in response, "this sucks."

"Its gonna be a while before you should fight again."

"You don't have a while Roxas… I have to do my job…"

"Wait a day or two at least. Just let the cuts start healing, okay? Can you do that for me? I'll be fine on my own for a day or two."

He smiled, "Alright… if you insist… but you gotta keep talking to me. No going out at night. No running off, got that memorized?"

"Got it," I replied.

As if on cue, he passed out, the blood loss and exhaustion finally hitting him dead on. I kept fixing him up, sliding his jacket off of his shoulders carefully… I'd always wondered how it fit around his wings anyway… There were two slits along the entire back; they fastened just below the wings with a very small zipper…. It took me a second to figure it out. I was bandaging him up with it carefully. It made sense to me. This way if he left it wouldn't look like a bunch of moving bandages… he'd still be invisible. His wings were the hard part, I had one on my lap and very carefully did a great impersonation of a monkey and started picking out the glass, shard by shard. It made me sick to see all that blood…

I don't know how long it took. The next thing I knew, I was waking up to steady breathing, my arms crossed on his chest and fingers splayed across his skin. I jolted backward as soon as I realized it, hoping I hadn't hurt him.

I looked him over, and he seemed unharmed… just asleep. Unlike before, it wasn't peaceful… it was more cold and dead looking. It could have just been the cuts. I reached out and brushed a strand of hair out of his face. "I'll be back… I promise."

I shut the door behind me and carefully made my way across the graveyard, hesitating at the entrance. Without Axel, I should appear to be just another guy…. But still it made me nervous. I took one cautious step after another and stepped into a few thrift stores and asked if they needed any quick help around the place for some cash. Strangely, I found myself at Red's moving boxes again. She commented on the fact I'd visibly changed since the last time she'd seen me, and was happy to see it. After I completed the job well done again, she pressed forty dollars in my hand.

"It's not much, but it should get you some food for you and that friend of yours… where is he today?"

"Friend?" I repeated.

"You know the one in white with the spiky hair?"

I stared at her, "What?"

"The guy in white that led you here… where is he?"

"You saw him?" How?

"Of course," she replied cheerily. "How is he?"

"He's…" I hesitated. "He's not well."

"That's unfortunate. IF you need anything just come by okay Roxy-darling?"

I nodded and smiled at her. I walked by a fruit stand and got something to eat and a loaf of bread at the bakery before walking back to the cemetery. When I parted the leaves of the willow I found Axel sitting outside, resting against the trunk. "You're back," he said slowly.

"You said no running off," I replied, as I sat down beside him.

There was a pause as I reached into a bag and pulled out an apple. "Here," I held it out to him and he stared at the fruit.

"Thanks," he murmured as he took it from me.

He carefully bit into it with small, calculated bites.

"Axel…?"

"Yeah?"

"What would it mean if an adult could see you?"

He looked at me, "it means that person is going to die… or they have something of their own following them around… why?"

"That girl that let me work for her again… she could see you."

He hummed in response. "That's unfortunate…" Another silence ensued.

"She was asking about you… wanted to know where you were and if you were okay…"

"Really?"

"Yeah," I murmured, taking a bite out of a freshly peeled orange I had been working on.

"What did you say?"

"That you weren't well."

He hummed again.

"How are you doing anyway?"

He let out a shallow breath and tapped his fingers against the surface of the apple. "Alright I guess… thanks to you."

"You're welcome…" I nibbled another slice as he carefully ate his apple.

"Sorry again Roxas. It wasn't supposed to be this way…"

"It's fine Axel… I really don't mind."

It was silent again and he finished off his apple and then laid his head on my shoulder, falling asleep again. I decided not to leave and shifted slight so we were both comfortable. My slid closed and I listened. His breathing had evened out and was actually really warm against my skin. I had to mentally smack myself at the fact it felt rather erotic and really good. I wondered why he couldn't just heal himself… that would seem a bit cheater-ish though… maybe he couldn't heal himself… only me.

That made me feel bad.

I hummed a tune that had implanted itself in my mind called "Always on my Mind". Axel made a really soft sound and huddled into my shoulder, his hair brushing against my face.

I looked at him and I swear my heart swelled. He looked so… cute. I carefully reached around with my other hand and brushed some stray stands of his hair behind his ear. I smiled in spite of myself and leaned my cheek against his hair. It was softer than I had originally thought but just slightly stiff from some form of hairspray or something. It smelled good too… he never ceased to amaze me with how human he seemed. He breathed, ate, bled, and had a scent.

Yet I was one of very few that could even see him… the only one who was supposed to…

How much longer before no one could see me either? I closed my eyes again and relaxed, pushing the thought away and enjoying the moment. Those thoughts could wait until later. Right now, Axel needed me, and I needed him.

Slowly but surely, I drifted into oblivion with him.

Axel's shooting up like a jack-in-the-box was what woke me. His forehead collided with my cheek and part of my chin and he instantly started apologizing. I brushed it off and rubbed the area. Before I could stop him, his lips were on the section of my cheek that was throbbing, and trailing down my chin.

This could be bad. He needed to stop.

He did and the pain subsided. I guess he can't heal himself after all, just me. I was blushing furiously at the fact he'd just burnt a line of kisses down my face. He seemed a little confused by this, "What's wrong?"

"N-nothing." Lie.

"Roooooxaaaasss…." He muttered, crossing his damaged arms delicately on his chest.

"Just let me get away with it Axel. I don't even really know." Truth.

His mouth twisted in an odd fashion, "mmkay… sorry about that though."

"its fine Axel," I muttered, trying to get my breathing under control.

A couple little kisses could do this to me? What the heck is wrong with me lately? I'm acting like a little school girl with a crush. What happened to my fuck-four-people-in-a-row-and-not-even-be-fazed ability?

Stupid butterflies.

He let out a low sigh and leaned back on the tree with his eyes closed. "The sun's going to set in a few hours… I should be getting ready."

"Why? How are they going to find us?"

He carefully leaned forward and stretched his damaged wing in front of me, "I give off an angel's light. I glow in the dark like a light house."

I thought about that for a moment… "I have an idea."

An hour later, I'd found an empty space in the mausoleum and pried the blank plate off of it. I was surprised it was so large… but then again, they do fit whole coffins in this one. "It might be a little cramped, but it's solid. No light gets in or out.

"What about you?"

"They can't see me, I'll just stay hidden."

He scanned my eyes with concern. Then looked away in thought, holding his practically useless arm in his other hand. "Alright... but if you need me, you call okay?"

"Call?"

"I can always hear your voice. No matter how far away you are, I can always hear you. If call me, I'll come."

I nodded and picked up some of my bread. He was grateful I had gotten enough for him too, even though he didn't have to eat. I just thought it would help speed up the healing process. "I really wish you'd told me all this stuff when we first met."

"If I remember correctly, you said 'You're a sick twist. Get away from me'. It's kind of hard to talk to that attitude."

I winced. "Ouch, you remember that?"

"Rox," he said darkly. "It was only a couple days ago."

I smiled nervously, "I'm sorry about all that. It's not every day a druggie is told they're going to die by a shoeless guy in white."

"With wings," Axel added.

I nodded, "with wings."

We were silent for a moment. "Hey Ax?"

"Yeah?"

"Did you have a girlfriend or anything like that before you died?"

He shook his head, "Too busy shooting people and going to doctors offices. Besides… girls? Yuck."I whipped around to stare at him. He shrugged. "I thought it was obvious, but to make it perfectly clear, yes Roxas, I was a gay Mafia member."

"Wouldn't they kill you if they found out?"
"That's why they never found out," he said slyly. "I'm gay not stupid."

The next silence was rather awkward. I just nibbled on my bread and then put the remaining back, suddenly losing my appetite.

Why couldn't he be straight? WHY? It would make the butterflies DIE and all would be well.

But no. There's the possibility that I was allowed to like my guardian angel.

Call me crazy, but Axel was damn hot. He understood me, he protected me… he cared about me. He was a friend and more to me. It was only natural that, even though it's only been a couple days, I'd start developing some random and crazy affection for him.

Reason number god knows what I did drugs- to escape the hells of homophobia.

You guessed it, I'm actually bisexual. Girls are hot, guys are hotter. I preferred bros before hoes any day.

"What?"

I shook myself out of my trance and realized I'd been staring at him this whole time. "Uh… Axel?"

"Yeah?"

"Can you do me a favor?"

"What is it?" He suddenly looked so serious, the playful glint leaving his eyes. "What's wrong?"

I can't believe I was actually doing this. I felt so LAME. "I uh… kinda bit my lip and I think it's bleeding- do you think you-"

His lips cut my horrible pick up line off. His hands cupped my face and his lips completely caressed mine. He pulled back with an addicting softness. "You sure it wasn't the inside of your cheek?"

"You know," I muttered sarcastically. "I'm not sure now that you mention it."

His lips pressed against mine again and his tongue slid past and tangled with mine. He had a taste too… he tasted like… apples and whiskey…

Oh wait. My bad. But it all was mixed with a strong sense that was just Axel.

So here I was, just picture it because it should make the world news. Roxas Kain, the ultimate drug high addict and all around whore that is going to die sometime soon, making out with an angel that used to be a Mafia member, but saved himself and now saves others.

Picture perfect.

To make it worse, try and picture this. No one else can see Axel, so I'm technically making out with something that isn't visible to normal people…. It's hard for me to image, but I figured someone else could.

Axel shifts wrong and then stops, hissing in pain. I let out a soft sound, close to laugh, "You okay?"

"I'm fine," he mutters, annoyed.

"What hurts?"

He sighed in defeat, "my chest."

"The big one?" I muttered, looking down at it, a large bandage was covering the largest of his cuts.

He nodded, biting his lip. I slowly reached towards him and untied the bandage. It was badly looped around him and the fabric started to fall away as soon as the knot came undone. Axel watched me with a slight concern and confusion. It revealed a massive gouge in his chest, red and angry from the strain of turning towards me.

"Is there anything I can do help?" I asked, looking up at him. "Anything at all?"

He smiled and leaned forward, his lips brushing mine softly. "There's always distraction."

He smiled and I closed my eyes in a soft huff. "Of course, but I meant to heal you."

Axel almost looked disappointed, "I guess we could try something. Put your hand over it… gently please."

My hands were shaking, but I managed to do as he said, my fingertips just barely touching his skin. Then he leaned forward and kissed me again.

I felt… warm. Like something was rushing through me at a high speed. I liked it, but it was somewhat uncomfortable. Something suddenly heated up my hand and I felt the urge to pull away. Axel's free hand grabbed my wrist and held it there, it wasn't possessive or even controlling…. Just guiding. His tongue ran the seam of my lips and I parted them for him. As it slipped past, the heat grew to a burning. I could only take it for a little while, my hand was suffering. I pulled away from him and panted slightly, cradling my burnt hand in my other. Looking down at the palm I realized there was nothing wrong.. just a weird tingling sensation. "Roxas… look."

I looked up and watched as the cut seamed itself back together and became a scar instead. My jaw hung open as his eyes flickered up to me with a bright smile crossing his face. "Good job Roxas… I wasn't sure it would work."

"Did I do that?" I blurted.

He nodded, "It's the same technique I use to heal you… Normally, I couldn't heal myself like that, but by sending my energy through yours it changed slightly and could heal me."

"Why can't you heal yourself?" I asked, flexing my fingers.

"No Angel can, it's just an unwritten law. It takes energy to heal a charge. If we try to heal our own energy, it just absorbs it and nothing happens."

"But by transferring it through me, it changed enough that it wasn't recognized as your energy?"

"I guess," he said, brushing his fingers over the scar. "It apparently weakened it some, but at least the pain stopped."

"I'm sorry…" I muttered, looking away. Maybe if I stayed a moment longer it wouldn't have scarred like that…

His hand cupped my cheek and I lifted my face to look at him. "Thank you Roxas." He smiled. "I feel much better."

I smiled back, it was hard not to.

"It takes a very strong bond between angel and charge to even attempt that, and you managed to actually heal me. You should be glowing with pride."

I looked over his shoulder, "Speaking of glowing… the sun is going down."

He looked behind him carefully and frowned, "you're right."

I rose to a stand and offered him help. He stood up with an amazing sense of balance and walked with me into the mausoleum. It took him a couple tries, but he got into the space with his wings curled around him like feather insulation. He shivered regardless. "It's cold…"

I leaned in and pressed my lips to his in a chaste kiss, "Think of something to warm you up."

He smirked and winked at me with the words, "Shouldn't be too hard."

"I won't leave the cemetery, try to get some rest Axel." He nodded and looked concerned. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," he echoed. "Be safe."

I bit my lip and let the nameless plate slide back into place. I then hid my things behind a loose brick and curled up in the corner, shivering slightly. He was right, it was cold. I curled up with my knees to my chest and shivered slightly. I could faintly hear Axel mutter something but I couldn't quite make it out. The sun went down and I clutched my knees tighter to myself.

I put my forehead on my knees and closed my eyes, trying to ignore the fact I could see my breath. Damn it got cold fast here. I needed to find a place where me and Axel could hide together in a hallowed ground… like a storm shelter or something. I liked my lips and tried to distract myself. Think of something warm… fireplace. Okay. That works… a nice fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate… with those dusty little marshmallows that stick to the sides like glue. I shuddered. I need to warm myself up… badly.

Think of something really hot.

And as if on cue, Axel waltzed into my head. His wings, his eyes, that cocky smirk he got. The white fabric around him, fluttering slightly in the wind and making it cling to his figure. I felt myself relax, the pure thought of him was starting to get to me.

His frown, his hands, his tattoos… I tried to recall every little detail I knew about him. It seemed to be working too. I think I passed out though… I came back into reality at the sound of the doors being blown open. I repressed a shriek as Cloud and a man with long silver hair and a sword at his side stepped in. I instantly realized Cloud had one as well on his back. I covered my mouth to suppress my labored breathing. Axel. Please don't make a sound Axel. Stay hidden.

They looked around the room, obviously oblivious to my being there… as well as Axels.

Cloud slammed a fist into the wall. "WHERE ARE THEY?!"

The other seemed annoyed by this, "Control your temper, we'll find them."

"There's not a GLIMMER of Axel's fucking light in the entire city and the kid must be on hallowed ground. I can't sense him! They haven't left the city, I know that much."

"We have many other places to search, we should be on our way."

"No. They have to be somewhere nearby. Axel's wings are broken and severely damaged, he couldn't have gotten very far even with the child's help. This is the closest place to the church that is hallowed ground. I know they must be somewhere here." He took a step forward and was precariously close to me. I could read the labels on his shoelaces if he had any.

I stared upward and he looked around the room. Axel… I closed my eyes. OH GOD.

The silver haired one grabbed his shoulder and pulled him away. I nearly had a heart attack. "This is a rather large cemetery, if you believe they are here then they probably are. We should split up and search for the boy, the angel is of no concern if he is as weak as you say."

I've got to get out of here…. I have to hide… but where?

Cloud snorted, "True enough."

They walked outside and I quietly followed them, waiting until they were out of my sight range. "Axel, I'm going to the crypt. I'll be safe, but you're going to have to get me out in the morning. Wish me luck." I dashed out of the room, hoping he was awake to hear me.

I jumped over stones and rushed across the grass, only the occasional leaf rustling beneath my feet until I came across the family crypt of the McAllister's. I quickly located the center crypt and slid it open as quietly as I could and slipped inside. It was the most disgusting and disrespectful thing I'd ever done in my life… but I had little to no options. Besides… it was empty. The person had actually been cremated; this was just commemorated to honor their name and non-existent body. I pressed my arms to the stone roof and moved the stone over, leaving just a crevice of space for air and light. I huddled into a small ball, trying to preserve my body heat. It was too much, the strain on my body from the mad dash, the stress, and the cold forced me into a nearly comatose oblivion.

--

Something was wrong. I couldn't place it, but something was wrong. I didn't know if it was day or not, but I quickly decided I didn't care… something was really, truly wrong. I just wish I could tell what… I reached in front of me and the plate started coming loose. How did Roxas manage to move this thing? I used both arms and started to press on it. It moved and then flew off with a burst of pressure. I slid out and looked around. It was still night, but day would be coming soon. I bit my lip and rushed out.

Roxas had said something to me… but I was too disoriented to understand it. I hit my forehead and mentally cursed myself, come on Axel. REMEMBER.

A crypt. Something about a crypt. I looked up and around me. There was surely to be one somewhere…. I cursed myself again and started running, wishing I could let my wings go… but no, they couldn't be put away when they were healing.

Screw it. "ROXAS!?" I looked around wildly. "ROXAS WHERE ARE YOU!?"

"Axel," I turned around and found him staring at me.
"Roxas…" I tried to move forward but he shook his head and took a step back. "Rox?"
"No Axel… don't… don't touch me."

"Roxas what's wrong? What did they do to you?"

He bit his lip and shook his head. "Don't come near me."

My brows furrowed in confusion, I took another step forward and he turned around and RAN. "ROXAS!?"

I chased him of course, I had to. They'd done something to him, but what?

He tripped and scrambled up to his feet, but wasn't fast enough. I stood in front of him and reached out to him. "NO AXEL!"
He jumped away, falling over again. "Please…" he begged. "Just go."

"WHY?" I barked back. "Tell me what's going on Rox! What did they do to you!?"

"They… they didn't do anything to me Axel…"

"Then what's going on!?" This was starting to tick me off.

He looked up at me with the biggest, saddest expression I've ever seen. "I don't want you to see… please go."

"I won't," I argued.

"PLEASE."

"NO."

He hung his head and managed to get back up onto his feet. He backed up a couple steps. "I have to go…"

"Go WHERE?" I shouted at him.

He didn't reply, just shook his head and turned around. "I don't want you to know."

I ignored it and followed him back to wherever and noticed it was a crypt. This must be the one he was talking about… He stepped inside and stood there.

In a flash of a second, Cloud and Sephiroth were suddenly beside him, Cloud's hand on his shoulder. I jolted backwards and got ready for a fight. Roxas turned around and looked at me, and it made me relax instantly. "What's going on?" I demanded. "get away from them Roxas!"

He shook his head. "I can't…"

"Why the FUCK not!?" It was frowned upon for me to curse, but I couldn't help it.

He lowered his gaze… "I-I-I…. I…." He closed his eyes and looked towards the floor, HARD.

"He sold his soul," Cloud finished, drumming his fingers with the hand he'd woven into Roxas's hair.
"WHAT!?" I blurted, loudly. "NO ROXAS! YOU CAN'T! YOU'LL-"

"I KNOW!" He burst out. I realized he was crying. "I know…"

"Then… WHY? TELL ME WHY!?" What the hell? WHAT THE HELL!? WHAT IS THIS!?

"In exchange for my soul…" Roxas said slowly, tears dripping down his face. "They would spare your life…"

I drew backwards.

"They wouldn't annihilate you as long as I gave them my life."

I drew back, "Roxas… no… NO…"

He closed his eyes again, "I'm sorry… I'm so sorry… but I can't… I can't lose you…"

He looked up at me, tears streaming down his face.

He looked up at Cloud and then Sephiroth. "Okay…" He took a step in front of them and turned his back to me. By law… there was nothing I could do…

Then it hit me. I'm sorry.

Cloud pulled out his sword, a smooth and unnerving motion. I was panicking with my realized thoughts, unable to fully think one process through. The sword went through his body and I heard myself scream. Cloud retracted it from his body and sheathed it, unfazed. "Thanks for giving me something to take away from you Axel… it's been fun."

I rushed over to Roxas, ignoring them. I scooped the blond up into my arms as he sputtered blood and stared up at me. "Roxas…" I cupped his cheek in my hand. It wasn't supposed to be like this…

"I…" he choked, sputtering on his own blood. "I'm… sorry Axel…"

"It's okay Roxas…" I breathed, biting my lip in order to keep myself from breaking into tears. "I forgive you…" He blinked slowly, his entire body going limp and cold. I lifted it and cried into his chest, coating myself with his blood. "I forgive you…" I breathed. I heard his heartbeat stop, felt it, and died with him.

Cloud moved behind me and I heard them leave… they had what they wanted.

I'd failed…

I failed again.

This couldn't be happening… it couldn't be.

Not to Roxas… anyone but Roxas.

Going back to Heaven was the hardest thing I'd ever done. It didn't feel like I deserved it. I didn't want to be here anymore… not if Roxas wasn't. I'd burn in Hell for him… I would… I curled up in field of green grass and blocked out the world, staring at my hand. I'd fully healed since I came back… another thing I thought I didn't deserve. The scar on my chest was permanent… I wouldn't let them take it from me… I clenched my fingers into a fist and closed my eyes, blocking out all my thoughts and hoping God would smite me.

And then I heard something in front of me. "Axel…"

I looked up slightly to see a pair bare feet…. He knelt down in front of me. It couldn't be…

I looked up into the bluest eyes I'd ever seen. I looked back down at the body and then back up at him, not fully believing it. It couldn't be… no… it was to… unreal.

Could it be possible?

He reached out and brushed away one of my new tears.

It could… He carefully rose to a stand as I did. "How?..." I breathed.

He took one of my hands in his and looked up at me, "You forgave me…"

"But… but I… But you… you…"

"You're the most important person to me Axel…in this entire world." He wasn't lying. The bright white radiance of his skin could prove it. "And because you forgave me for the pain I'd caused you-…" He shut his eyes. I gasped as a pair of beautiful, bright white wings with the slightest blue spread behind him. "-I can fly… You saved me. I can't sell a soul that doesn't belong to me."

I looked back down at him, a tear falling in happiness now. "Roxas…"

He wrapped his arms around my neck and pressed his lips to mine. I let the tears stream down my face and kissed him back.

-a few months later-

"Okay, you can open your eyes." I did and found that Roxas had led me down to Earth again. "Tah-dah! Happy Birthday Axel!"

"What's going on Rox? Where are we?"

He shushed me and knocked on the front door. A man with brown hair entered and looked around at the seemingly empty area. He stepped outside and Roxas pulled me through the open door.

"Who was it Sora?" a voice said as he came back inside.

"I don't know," he said to the girlish voice in the other room. "Probably the neighborhood kids playing pranks again."

He took my hand and made me follow him. We were suddenly standing in a quaint living room. The brunette, Sora, was kissing a girl on the cheek. She smiled up at him and Axel gasped beside me. "Kairi?" Sora walked out of the room, smiling like he was king of the world.

She looked up and around. "Who's there?"

What?

"People that have experience a near death experience can hear us," Roxas said slowly.

Kairi looked around wildly, "That's right. Where are you spirits?"

I stepped up to her and put my hands over her lifted one, she looked down at it in confusion. "Who are you?"

I smiled. "It's me Kai…"

Her face split into a smile and she looked like she was going to cry. "Axel?"

"It's me…" I said nodding; I turned and looked over at Roxas. He was smiling. I couldnt find the words to say. But somehow he knew...

"I love you too Axel."

--- The End ---

See? Cliché maximum. I enjoyed writing it. Tried to make it a fluffy fic rather than smutty. It's rare I don't put in the smexy smex right?

I needed a break...I had one… but I'm still having problems with my other fics…*sigh* Writers STOP. Not just block- STOP.