Title: Returning Time - Igniting the Phoenix
Author: Trilies
Genre: Romance, Friendship
Word length: 729
Synopsis: Even in another life with different memories, they recognize each other, and feelings don't change despite what time might want.
Yaoi/Yuri/Pairings: Roxas/Xion/Axel
Notes: I just wanted to screw around with imagery, since I was in that kind of mood.

ReturningTime: IgnitingthePhoenix

Fire rages through his veins, propelling him throughout the city as if he can leave a path that burns. Monotone and routine threaten to anchor him down, drown him for good. The flames within his blood hiss and snap at the idea, so he continues to move, switching from job to job to job. The wildfire in his heart refuses to be sated, no matter what he lets it consume: food, pleasure, knowledge from books, those who try to claim his friendship...

Yet settling down is impossible, and with every day that passes, he feel as though he will spontaneously combust from the inside out.

The day starts out at night, at a stand full of popcorn and candy. He forces out bursts of his inner fire through his appearance, sharp green and spiked firecracker red. He gives himself relief with his personality, all backstabber sharp wit and sarcasm. Movie night after movie night, he plays the game, plays heart strings and buttons. Every kind of spice he can think of is added to the mix, added to prolong his stay, but it's no use. The monotone is threatening him once again. It's wrong, all wrong, because something is missing-

Boom boom boom says his heart.

He has to leave, he thinks as yet another night starts, another night of being a flame without a glow. He has to get away, has to find that missing something which has forever plagued him.

Rushing through the line of people like one would shuffle a deck of cards, he pays attention to no one, barely looks up. They may be strangers, but he's seen them all before: typical families trying to have a night out, teenage couples pretending they have something deeper, loners here to see a new premier... No one is something he hasn't seen before, and he treats them all the same.

The line continues like an automated machine, and the next customers cause him to look up. They're another teenage couple, but...

Boom boom boom says his heart.

Their eyes are the same blue, ocean reflecting the sky blue. She stares up at him beneath long lashes with a little knowing smile. Something inside him twists in surprise as he realizes that the only black on her is the short hair which frames her face. Everything else is composed of deep reds, languid oranges, and scattered flecks of pale lavender and dark blue. The sunset he knows she must love covers her body as if it's belonged there all along.

Boom boom boom says his heart.

He, on the other hand, is the opposite. No longer afraid of the dark, but no longer dependent on the light, he wears blues and greens instead of white and black. Countering the softness of his companion, he smirks with confidence, teasing him with a sliver showing of teeth.

Their eyes have the same euphoric glow.

Boom boom boom says his heart.

Their order goes right over his head, hearing blocked while his eyes remain locked on the couple. He snaps to when they move on, away, presumably to their movie. They look back at him before disappearing around a corner, but he doesn't notice. Doesn't notice because he's too busy shoving off his ridiculous red work vest and hopping over the counter. As his chucks pound against the ground, he can hear yelling behind him, but the fire in his blood is at the hottest he's ever known. Flames flare from his heels as he skids to a stop, tumbling through a theater door-

Boom boom boom-

-and right into two pairs of waiting arms. They wrap around his waist while a feminine laugh sounds off against his chest. Laughter of his own is stuck in his throat, threatening to choke him even as he drags the two strangers-but-not closer to him. It has all the feel of a reunion, a familiarity he had thought impossible, yet he doesn't even know these two kids' names. It shouldn't make sense, but all he can think is Finally finally foundyou togetheragain as the boy's sea-salt ice cream smacks into his bare elbow, popcorn cracks underfoot, and the girl plasters a clumsily happy kiss to the corner of his mouth.

Later, in the dimness for the theater, they relax; they recline against both sides of him, trapping him in the middle. His fireblood is slowing, changing into glowing embers at long last.

"Boom boom," whispers Axel as he closes his eyes.

Author's Note: And that's it. (8 For now, anyway. Constructive criticism and reviews are loved, but not mandatory! I'm just happy you read this far.