Title: Going Under

Summary: Axel is a troubled 21 year old convict going back to prison, again. Roxas is an 18 year old adolescent caught up in his emotions and past. Fate brings these two together in the most likely place. AkuRoku later, amongst other pairings. More inside.

Rated: M for violence, drug reference and use,

alcohol reference and use,

sexual content, and for deep emotional expression

Pairings: AkuRoku, Axel/Saix, Axel/Demyx, Saix/Xemnas, Riku/Roxas

:::Chapter 1:::

:::Old Habits Die Hard:::

"Axel Flurry, you have been brought before the court today to testify your guilt or innocence of the charges being pressed against you." The bailiff handed the judge a long strip of paper and he read out loud what was written on it. "Four counts of vandalism, destruction of public property, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, illegal drug possession, two counts of vehicular homicide, attempted murder, and arson." He looked up. "How do you plead?"

The 21-year old redhead glared at the judge with his piercingly green eyes. He rubbed the ball of his tongue piercing against the roof of his mouth before replying, "Guilty."

The judge shook his head. "What are you doing son? Do you honestly intend to spend the rest of your life in the courtroom, prison, or running from the law?"

"I made my decision." Axel said flatly. "Can we get this over with already? My cell is waiting for me."

"As you wish," The judge sighed. "Surely you know the way we run things by now."

Without a word, Axel stood and took the stand.

"Present the evidence."

::::

"And this," The lawyer held up a bag filled with a fine white powder. "This was found in the car that was totaled by Flurry." He turned Axel and held the bag in front of his face. "Is this yours?"

The man crossed his arms and snarled, "Yeah, it's mine. What's it to you?"

"And what would you be doing with a bag of cocaine?"

"I don't see you sharing your personal life with the rest of the court, so why should I?"

"I repeat, what were you doing with this?"

"I'll tell you this much: I wasn't planning on using it myself."

"So you're a drug dealer?"

"That's not even half of it."

"Oh, really," The lawyer snarled. "Care to enlighten us Flurry?"

"My life is fucked up, there's no doubt about that," Axel admitted as he crossed his arms. "Trust me, you have better things to be doing than sit here and listen to me bitch and moan about my past. I screwed up—bad—and I still haven't learned my lesson."

"Clearly," Setting the bag down, he picked up another baggie that contained a black lighter. "This has your fingerprints on it."

"Well no shit, Sherlock. I use it to light my cigarettes."

"Cigarettes," He nodded. "and warehouses."

Axel quickly rose and pounded his fist on the top of the stand. "You have no proof!" He growled.

"This was captured by a security camera."

A screen descended from the ceiling and the lights dimmed. It showed the inside of a building and a silhouetted figure squirting a liquid everywhere; on the floor, on the wall, on the boxes. The sound of a lighter clicking on echoed in the room on the video and flames engulfed the entire area. The dark figure escapes through an emergency door. The lights came back on and the screen disappeared back into the ceiling.

The lawyer addressed the jury. "This lighter was found outside of the warehouse building." He turned back to Axel. "How's that for proof?"

The redhead muttered something inaudible and he picked some skin off of one of the teardrop scars under his eye.

"I rest my case."

"Had the jury reached a verdict?" The judge asked.

One of the jury members stood. "We find that Axel Flurry is guilty of all charges pressed against him."

"I could have told you that," Axel mumbled. "What a waste of time,"

"Axel Flurry, you are hereby sentenced to forty years in prison."

With that the gavel struck the wood three times, ending the trial.

::::

"Here's your cell," The guard said as he unlocked it. Good ol' Cell #813. Everything was the same: bunk beds, a toilet, a sink, but one thing was missing.

Axel cocked a pierced eyebrow. "Where's…"

"He was released after your last sentence. Haven't seen him since."

The last time the man had been here, he had a cellmate named Demyx, who had been an accomplice in a second degree murder. They spent ten months together and became good friends so it was a little hard to accept the fact that he was gone.

"Thanks, Lex, 'preciate it."

"You could be doing so much with your life and yet you choose not to."

"Yeah, I know, but that's not how things worked out."

There was a moment or two of silence before either of them spoke again.

"Lights out still at ten thirty?"

"Yeah,"

The cell's steel bars screeched as they closed. Axel stared at the dark, empty cell sighing, "Home sweet home."

"Hey, you!" An unknown voice called.

The redhead turned around. A man—probably not much older than Axel—was standing up against the bars of the cell across from his. Long, silvery hair flowed over his somewhat broad yet elegant shoulders. His sea-blue eyes made his pale face appear even paler. With a crooked smiled, he said, "You're Axel Flurry."

"So," Axel crossed his arms and grinned. "You've heard of me,"

"Heard of you?" The man scoffed. "You're a god to these people. They worship you." He laughed. "I just never thought I'd meet you in person."

"Well," Axel shrugged. "I never thought the police would be able to catch me after my recent joy ride, but here we are."

"I'm Riku, by the way,"

"And what're you in for? Let me guess…" The redhead studied the other man for a minute. "I'm thinking illegal drugs, arson, or possibly second degree murder."

"Damn you're good," Riku smirked. "I was high on coke; killed a man and then burned down the building with his body still inside,"

"Nice," He said nodding, attempting to sound impressed. He really wasn't. That was absolutely nothing compared to what he'd done in the past.

Footsteps approached from down the hallway. The other convict retreated into the darkness of his cell. However, Axel stood and watched as the person passed. Usually the prisoners don't speak to guards unless they are spoken to, but the redhead recognized the 'X' shaped scar in between the man's powder blue eyes.

"Saix?"

The guard turned around and faced the cell. "Axel…" He smiled for a split second before it became an unfriendly scowl. "Axel."

"Hey, Saix, best friend," The man said with very forced enthusiasm. "Long time no see,"

"Sure, Flurry," Saix hissed flatly.

"Oh come on, don't act like you haven't missed me," Axel smirked as he curled his fingers around the cold, steel bars. "I mean, it's been seven years since high school."

"Seven years since you dropped out, you mean,"

"Same difference,"

"So this is how you decided to spend your life—a jailbird,"

"Hey, that was uncalled for!" Axel growled. "Just because you went to college and everything….besides, we promised we'd be friends forever, remember?"

"You didn't care about our friendship, about us,"

"Of course I did!"

"If you actually cared, you wouldn't have left." Saix snapped, beginning to tremble.

"Saix, what are you-" Axel stopped talking when he realized what the man was speaking about.

::: Flashback :::

"Come on Saix!" The young redhead shouted. "You're soooooooooo slow!"

"You know I hate running, Axel. Besides, the ice cream isn't going anywhere."

"I know," He sighed, frowning.

After a moment, Saix grinned. "Alright, alright, but just this once,"

The two boys raced through the street, ducking and weaving through the multiple obstacles that the busy town provided. Just stopping short of the doors, the friends tried to catch their breath.

"Who…who won?" Axel panted.

"I….I don't….know," Saix coughed. "I think it was a…tie…" After they started breathing normally again, he smiled. "Let's go,"

:::::

Axel and Saix sat and watched the sun set.

"Doesn't get any better than this, huh?" Axel grinned.

"Sure doesn't," Saix agreed.

Axel fidgeted. He had been thinking a lot lately, about how he didn't really feel anything between any of the girls he had previously dated and how he kinda liked Saix. The redhead just didn't know how to tell his best friend that.

"Axel?"

"Huh, what?"

"You okay? You're spacing out on me."

"Yeah, yeah I'm fine."

"You sure?"

The boy's heart beat faster, his conscious edging him towards what he wanted to say. After another moment of hesitated silence, he took a deep breath. "Saix, there's something I need to ask you."

"Yes?"

"Do you…do you like me?"

"Of course I like you, you're my best friend!"

"No, I mean like-like me."

"Oh…." Saix looked down. "…why?"

The teen's face heated up and his chest throbbed. Did that mean "No, I don't like you that way" or "Yeah, I do"?

"Axel…" Saix moved closer and wrapped his arms around the boy and whispered in his ear, "You…you love me, don't you?"

"I think I do, I just….I'm not…"

"You can't tell,"

"No,"

Saix brushed Axel's face with the back of his hand. "Then maybe I can help you decide,"

Looking into each other's eyes, the two teens kissed. A moment or two later, Saix pulled away.

"Well?"

"Is there any chance you'd keep going?" Axel asked.

Saix smiled, sweetly. "That can be arranged," He pulled the boy in for another round. Their lips met again and again, each time with more passion. The two began to breathe in synchronization and their foreheads touched. Exhaling, Saix ran his hand through Axel's hair. By now, the sun had gone down and everything was engulfed in the darkness of the night.

"It's so beautiful," Saix sighed.

"Yeah, it sure is,"

"Let's go, it's late and our parents'll worry,"

::: End Flashback :::

"You stopped talking to me, and then you just disappeared off the face of the earth," Saix said. "I cared about you…."

"Saix, I-"

"I loved you, Axel, and that's how you repaid me for giving my heart away."

"Saix, I'm sorry,"

"No, forget it," He growled. "We're over. We've been over since that day we found our feelings for each other. I'm where I should be and you're where you belong."

With that, the guard turned and walked away. A knot formed in Axel's throat and tears threatened to escape from his emerald eyes. Pushing the thoughts of giving into his emotional pain deep down inside of him, he exhaled sharply and yelled after him, "Fuck you too!"

Pounding a fist on the bars, he slunk back into the darkness; lay on the lower bunk and stared up; his former best friend and lover's words still were piercing his very soul.

You're where you belong.