A/N: I never put these things before my story but I feel like for this one, I have to. This may contain very disturbing content to some(everyone) because it deals with a delicate subject so I feel that before you read on, you should know this. If you can handle it and feel you won't be offended, then read on.

I should really start putting disclaimers, shouldn't I?


Drowning

Axel watches the black sky, stars only a thing of myth in his mind, eyes filled with disgust and agony, the very pores of his skin oozing sorrow and pain. Long, thin limbs often compared to that of a graceful feline sprawled on the roof of the place he calls home. His streams of tears long dry like the failed prophecy in Zechariah claimed the Nile would be.

"Axel it's time for supper," his mother screams out the window with a voice worn down and phlegmy. 20 packs of Players, King size a day 36 years later and she discovers throat cancer is real, 2 packs a day of Peter Jacksons, Regular and Axel discovers he's a lot more like her then he'd like to admit.

Supper is always an awkward affair, his father watches him with eyes screaming hate and promising that if he could he'd end Axel's miserable life but instead he just eats the not so mashed potatoes and dry turkey. Again Axel thinks about desserts and the slowly drying Nile River. Maybe the prophecy isn't as failed as he thought.

He goes to his room, already ripping open his third pack of Peter Jacksons and bringing the 75th cancer stick of the day to his lips. He watches the flame of his lighter lick up towards the sky, always reaching never actually touching its destination. He watches his cherry burn brightly, stares at it as he sticks his hand out the window, the poison smoke looks beautiful swirling up against the almost jet black sky, he thinks but then again who the hell is he to know what beauty is?

He's in love with a thirteen year old for Christ's sake and he's twenty-six. He knows nothing about beauty, and he probably would have never seen beauty if it wasn't for sunny blonde and sky blue. If he knows nothing else, he knows Roxas is beautiful.

The cigarette is gone far too quickly and he walks out of his room, heavy shoes stomping down the stairs as he tugs a sweater on over his head. His father shouts, asks him when he's going to grow a pair and get the fuck out of his house, asks him when he'll finally be free of the burden that is Axel but the redhead doesn't answer, he doesn't tell him he's the one who pays for their groceries and mortgage, he just kisses his mom's cheek and runs out the door.

He keeps running, the cool air suffocating him in a tremendous feat of irony. It chills his lungs to the point that icicles growing on his bronchi would be believable, though he'd never know until they melted and his lungs filled with water, but then he still wouldn't know because he'd be dead.

He feels like he's flying, long legs stretched and he realizes just how much he's missed running. The muscles in his legs start to burn and his throat feels raw, his chest aches as he crumbles to the floor, tearing his jeans open along with peeling the skin right off his palms. He's forgotten that he isn't 16 anymore, he smokes now, he drinks, he's getting older.

He looks up at the black sky again and asks a silent question, asks why he has to love Roxas the way he loves him, asks where he's going until he realizes he's in Roxas' neighborhood. He pulls himself up, and makes his way towards the small boy's window. Roxas chose to have his room on the first floor, he told Axel it was so that he could sneak out at night whenever he was scared and he'd find Axel. He promised he'd always find him.

Axel climbs into the boy's room and Roxas is sitting on the carpet, just staring at the window and when he sees Axel tumble in, he smiles brightly. A smile he promised he'd only show Axel because "no one else deserves to see it."

"I had a feeling you'd come," he says and his voice still hasn't deepened, it makes Axel's head hurt and when Roxas stands he notices the boy wince with every step. He frowns deeply and Roxas just shakes his head.

"He was mad, he was drunk," its always the same excuses with you isn't it, Axel thinks but all thought is erased when Roxas wraps thin, bruised arms around Axel's too-boney waist and mumbles how much he's been wanting to spend time with the redhead. Axel nods along, doesn't tell Roxas he loves him, and just agrees when Roxas asks if he wants to lay down with him.

The tiny blonde curls against Axel, he talks about what he learned in elementary because Roxas is in grade seven. Roxas is in grade seven and Axel is done with college. They are a whole life span apart, but Axel loves Roxas.

I shouldn't be here

I'm going home

Don't look for me

I'm dying

I'm in love with you

I'm insane

I'm sick

"I'm tired," is what Axel forces past his lips and Roxas nods, his arm tightening around Axel's chest like he knows Axel wants to leave (like he knows Axel need something to keep him steady) but he doesn't want to be alone, not yet. He feels like their days are numbered.

"I'm tired too," he says because he wants to be like Axel; he wants to be smart and help his mom. He wants to finish school and be beautiful just like Axel. He watches the older male with adoring eyes, they shine like those mythical stars Axel lost his faith in, Axel looks down and his soul is lost to those eyes.

Roxas still has his tender, child-like facial features, his soft jaw and delicate bone structure. Axel wonders if he'll love Roxas once he goes through puberty, he wonders if he really is a sick fuck who needs to be locked behind thick iron, because back in those days, the days where belief in witch craft and demons didn't make you crazy, they believed iron held in evil. Then Roxas smiles gently and Axel realizes that he'd love Roxas no matter what. He doesn't love the fact that Roxas is a child, in fact he hates it, he hates it so much it ails him. But Roxas is beautiful, he's beautiful now and will always be. Axel wants to kiss those soft, rose petal lips and the urge is stronger then him.

He asks if Roxas has ever kissed anyone before, but Roxas says he hasn't because he can't find anyone he wants to kiss. He says he can't find anyone at school; none of those people bring out that urge in him. He looks up at Axel with eyes as dark as the sky before a storm and tells him that Axel brings out that urge. He tells Axel he likes him and Axel feels like he's losing against a current, Roxas just wants to drive him crazy. Doesn't Roxas know this is wrong? Axel does.

The blonde's lips are soft and he's awkward with the kiss, he doesn't move his lips much but Axel is satisfied with this. He's glad Roxas isn't very good at kissing, he's glad he got Roxas' first kiss as selfish and vile as that is. Roxas pulls away and asks if Axel liked it, his child-like innocence bringing tears to the redhead's eyes as he looks at him. Roxas sees the tears and wipes them away gently, with tiny cold fingers, he asks why Axel is crying, he asks if he's hurt but all Axel does is get out of the bed and climb out the window.

He wanted Roxas, he could lie to the world a million times over but he could never lie to himself. He wanted everything Roxas had to offer and the boy was so trusting, so loyal there was no doubt that he wouldn't be willing to give his everything to Axel.

The redhead stops running at a bridge, high off the ground and built over a river or something Axel believes. Axel was never a very good swimmer; his body just didn't do well with water. The water is black, a perfect reflection of the sky and Axel gets lost in it, he just stares down at his own reflection and he's drowning. He can't breathe and he's just sinking to the bottom, there's no one there to save him.

When he gets home his father is already in bed, and his mother is having her last cigarette of the night.

You shouldn't smoke he says in passing and instead of laughing his mother coughs, she can't laugh anymore, she hasn't been able to for years. Axel misses the sound of his mother's laugh, it was always so beautiful.

Her voice was beautiful and Axel realizes that he knew of something else besides Roxas that was beautiful.

He goes and drops in front of his mother, tears streaming down his face as she ashes and looks down at him worriedly. Her boney hand cups his cheek and she asks why he's crying like a girl, he just shakes his head furiously and keeps repeating that he's sick. She laughs, telling him to tell her all about it because she's been there before, she's sick, and she's bound to die in less then a year.

"Axel what's the matter?" his mother finally asks as firmly as she can, her vocal chords sounding like they've been hacked at with his grandmother's 20 pound aluminum cheese grater.

"I love him, I love him and I'm so sick," Axel cries into her lap, his tears dampening the material of her long, brown skirt and she lifts his head, making his green eyes lock with hers. This is the first time he's looked directly into those eyes in a long while, he notices just how tired and ill his mother looks. So near death he can practically smell it on her almost-gray skin.

"In love with who?" she asks but she already knows and Axel just chokes, he chokes and it hurts. His mother knows everything about him, but he wishes that she wouldn't have known this. She runs her fingers through his hair calmly; the only sound in the living room is her pained sounding breaths as they rasp out of her throat. When Axel stops dehydrating himself his mother sends him a gentle look as she gets up.

"Maybe you should leave," she says and Axel doesn't feel hurt, he knows she's right. He should have never come back in the first place. When he went off to college he was free from Roxas, he was partying and living the life someone his age should. He'd fucked anyone who presented themselves to him but in his sick and twisted mind Roxas would always remain no matter who was underneath him.

He came back because the image of Roxas in his mind was torn and yellowing around the edges. He needed a new image of the boy; he needed to see him again.

The life someone his age should live didn't interest him if Roxas wasn't in it.

He thinks about what his mother told him all day at work and for once doesn't only think of Roxas. His boss and co-workers tell him they are worried and that he needs to stop smoking so much but he shrugs them off and continues working. He would tell them all to shut the hell up and mind their own business but Axel needs this job, his mom needs this job.

Axel realizes he can't leave; his mother (not his father, never his father) needs him so instead of packing his things and giving his boss his two-week notice two weeks late, he clocks out and waves good bye to everyone, with a promise of 'see you tomorrow' he climbs into his car and drives home.

When he gets there, Roxas is standing in his living room with both their mothers. Axel fights the feeling of faintness and walks past them to the staircase; he greets them and continues on his way until his mother calls him back down. He feels like this is an intervention, maybe they are here to lock him away, maybe Roxas told his parents what he did to him and now they are going press charges, call the police.

His mother knew enough to have him locked away; Roxas knew enough. Fuck, Axel wouldn't even fight it.

"We need you to take care of Roxas, he's still too young to stay home alone. We'll be back later," Roxas' blonde, happy mother says and Axel nods his head, his mother smiles at him as she follows the blonde woman out the door. Axel doesn't wonder where his father is, because he's probably at the bar with Roxas' father as his wife is taken to the pharmacy to buy ridiculous amounts of pain killers. The blonde runs up to him once the door is shut and 5 minutes have passed. He wraps his arms around Axel and nuzzles into his chest.

Roxas is still too young to stay home alone.

"I asked them to bring me here," he says as if it's the greatest thing he's ever thought of in his life and Axel nods his head, peeling the boy's arms off him and walking towards the kitchen. "Mom wasn't too sure, but I convinced her," Roxas follows him like a lost puppy, his big eyes shinning happily as he watches Axel pour himself something to drink. Axel offers the small boy something but he refuses and opts for watching Axel enjoy his juice spiked with a little something too strong. He chugs it down, and has another, then another. His head feels light and he's watching the room swirl as Roxas watches him fade from reality.

Axel knows Roxas' mother is worried about leaving Roxas with him. He can see it in her face. She told his mother once that she didn't like her son's obsession with the man, she didn't like their closeness. Axel was twenty-six; he shouldn't want to spend so much time with her thirteen year old son.

"Axel," Roxas whispers shyly and Axel already knows what Roxas wants, he wants to kiss him again and the redhead knows he won't be able to say no. He sets his cup on the counter and walks around with surprising control to Roxas, the boy on his tiptoes as Axel stops in front of him.

It's a long way down; Axel thinks as he bends over and covers the blonde's mouth with his own. Roxas is much better then he was the other night, and Axel pulls away with drunken surprise painted over all his features. Roxas blushes and gives Axel an explanation. Tells him he watched videos, strange videos and studied them, he wants Axel to do the same thing to him.

Roxas is only thirteen years old, he can't even stay home alone yet Axel picks him up and places him on the counter, kissing him feverishly and Roxas responds. The tiny blonde's body so young, so tender under Axel's hands as his fingers explore the pale, innocent flesh. Roxas pulls Axel higher onto the counter, and Axel climbs up, goes on all fours over the small boy and stares down at his face.

Roxas is only thirteen.

"I-I don't know w-what to do n-next," Roxas admits in his soft voice, that voice that can still go a few octaves too high. Axel shakes his head, all the alcohol warming his body, plus the heat radiating off Roxas. His lowers his head and breathes against Roxas' neck; the boy's smell is so sweet.

One of Axel's large hands slips underneath Roxas' jeans, the small boy arching up and wrapping his arms around Axel too tightly. Axel wraps long fingers around a too-small erection and pumps softly, enjoying the sounds Roxas is making right in his ear.

He is sick, he is a pedophile.

Why else would he enjoy this?

Roxas comes quickly, lies limp under Axel as the man slides off him with one last kiss and washes his hand. Roxas sits up, looking drunker then Axel and giggles saying how great it was. Axel shakes his head, feels anger boiling inside him but not at Roxas, never at Roxas.

"I love you Roxas," Axel brings his 45th cigarette to his lips, the redhead looks at the small blonde and gives him a one-armed hug.

"I know," Roxas replies and cuddles against the man's side.

Roxas' mother comes and takes him home later as she promised, Roxas seems uneasy as he stands at the door about to leave, he watches Axel closely and the redhead just waves him away. His mother tugs the blonde all the way towards the car and Axel can feel the way she watches him as she closes her son's door. She sends him a look, a sad look and Axel feels his heart break at the sight.

Axel realizes his mother looks worse, he carries her upstairs to her bedroom, she can't walk, she says.

She looks at him and smiles weakly, grabbing her throat and laying tense on the bed. Her face screws up in pain, Axel can barely watch as tears stream down her face and into her washed out, red hair. This goes on for a few hours and Axel feels helpless, he can't do anything to help his dying mother.

"Axel," she breathes and he lowers his head to listen, "I love you," she says using the last breath in her lungs to tell him the one thing he'd always wanted to hear from someone, anyone.

His mother was gone, but it would have happened eventually, even if she would have accepted the treatments, she would have died. She never wanted a doctor's help.

"Why should I take up his time when it's my fault I got cancer? Let him help someone who's innocent," she said long ago, taking a drag from her cigarette.

Axel's eyes fill with tears and he waits five minutes before sliding on his jacket and leaving. He finds himself standing in front of Roxas' house just staring at all the turned off lights.

What have I done? He thinks, staring at the boy's home.

"What have I done?" he asks to no one, the question floats in the air, stays hovering around his head as he stands there.

He hates the world.

He hates cancer.

He hates children.

He hates love.

He hates himself.

He starts running, tears sliding down his cheeks and cooling his skin. He stops on the same bridge again and stares down into the dark water, the water is moving around violently, challenging anyone who dares dip their feet in it.

Axel looks into it, just as black but this time he doesn't see himself. His image isn't there as the water crashes around.

Axel remembers the first time he held Roxas, the small baby a blue bundle of blankets.

"I can do it myself," he complained when his mother stayed around him, her arms ready to steady the baby should he start to fall.

Axel was thirteen when he held Roxas; he was only thirteen years old when he looked down into those gray-blue eyes. All babies have that eye colour his mother told him and he smiled, fluffing the boy's blonde fuzz. He knew Roxas would have the bluest eyes this world had ever seen.

Axel remembers the first time he thought about love with Roxas.

Axel was sixteen when he realized he was in some way that was not normal, attracted to the three year old boy. He had realized it and first he thought it was simply sibling like love, of course Roxas wasn't his brother but he could still love him as if he was right?

Axel remembers the first time he knew he was in love with Roxas; he remembers the pain and all the hatred he felt.

Axel was eighteen when he knew for sure that it wasn't sibling like love, he knew he was sick. He was a perverse, disgusting man but he loved Roxas and never wanted to hurt him. Roxas was five years old at the time, he knew nothing about love or crushes, all the boy was worried about was impressing Axel and being as cool as he was.

Axel looks away from the water and up towards the sky, there are a few stars poking their glowing heads out from under the blanket of black and Axel wonders if any of those are his mother looking down at him.

Axel was lost, he didn't know what to do. He had ruined Roxas with his disgusting hands; he had tainted the boy's innocence. Roxas was only thirteen and now he'd live his life with the memories of what Axel had done to him.

Axel never wanted to hurt Roxas.

Axel was never going to hurt him again.

"Why did I have to love him," Axel closes his eyes as he lifts himself over the bridge's edge.

Axel was never a very good swimmer, and he was drowning.