Matters of the Heart

All right, so here's a one shot that I thought of when I was wondering something. Um...it's possibly the longest that I've written one shot wise, but I don't know. :/ I hope you guys enjoy this because I tried my best writing it and I tried to keep it...um...you know, good. :) This is an early AkuRoku day one shot (Yeah, by two days :3) but I wanted to put it up since I just love you all! XD
Thank you to Hikari-sama for helping me with the title and HopeForRememberance for giving me some ideas for this story. You two were a big help. :D
Anyway, I don't own KH, the flashback (You know which one it is. :3) 'When I'm gone' by Three doors down, 'Would it matter' by Skillet, 'What hurts the most' by Rascal Flatts, 'Where the lines overlap' by Paramore, or 'What if' by SafetySuit.
Please Read and Review because reviews make me happy and then when I'm happy I think of more stories just to please people. :3
And yes, I did update this a little and YES there will be a sequel and look forward to four other one shots relating to this one. :3 What pairings? Well, I shan't tell you.


"…And wandering through this darkness, I'm alive but I'm alone."

The soft voice was the only sound within the dark void and it echoed like the slow footsteps tapping against the ground.

The voice was originating from a tall, lanky red-head that appeared to be no older than twenty and was clothed entirely in black. His form was wiry with delicate arms, lean legs, and long slender fingers. Crimson hair was styled into low spikes and there were purple reverse teardrop markings beneath acidic emerald eyes which stood out against his pale skin and accentuated his cat-like face.

It seemed to be that the man was going nowhere, merely walking in a straight line forever or until the black space surrounding him lifted; he seemed quite content, however, to just be singing to himself with hands resting loosely in the pockets of the long black zip-up cloak he wore.

"Part of me is fighting this, but part of me is gone. Somewhere in this darkness, there's a light that I can't find. Maybe it's too far away,"

The red-head gazed to his left as his expression became bored like he was tired of the gloomy nothingness enveloping him.

"Maybe I'm just blind."

There was a flicker of something outside of the male's peripheral vision but it caught his attention enough that he paused, staring in the direction the flash had come from to see a glowing white hole wavering nearby.

It's warm…the red-head thought, squinting his eyes a little as the portal's light strengthened slightly, the radiance hurting his eyes after being in the darkness for so long. ..Like the sun…

The gleam from the opening suddenly let out a brighter flash and the red-head closed his eyes from the light, shielding his face with a hand as he turned his head away.

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He felt a comforting warmth on his face along with a cool breeze and the smell of the sea.

He stirred faintly, face scrunching up tiredly as he groaned quietly, and his eyelids fluttered open to stare at the orange-gold sun gazing down at him from the clear blue sky above.

Sitting up, he felt sand beneath his bare fingers and glanced down to see sand akin to sugar crystals around him. He slowly looked right and left, taking in everything on all sides of him.

A beach, an azure ocean with waves lapping gently against the shore, a tiny waterfall splashing into a small pond, that was beside a shed, below, and a miniature islet sitting in the shallow part of the ocean with strange twisted trees growing around the edges along with a few palm trees.

Gradually, he stood up as he realized where he was. Before he could go anywhere, however, he stopped when a brief glint of something shiny temporarily blinded him and looked down at himself to see that he had completely changed clothes.

He now had on black cargo shorts that extended down to his knees and had a chain attached to the left pocket, a red-orange tank top that mixed together to make an appearance of flames with a sleeveless green jacket over it, scuffed up tennis shoes that were red and white with black laces, and he had on a necklace with a silver chain around his neck that had a blue crystal Popsicle attached to the end; the outfit made him look younger than he actually was.

With a soft chuckle, he picked up the necklace and cradled it in his palm.

"How could I forget about you?" he asked quietly, a small but heartbroken smile on his face.

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"Axxx-eelll!"

"Uhh?" the red-head halted and turned halfway around to see boy five years younger than him running toward him.

The boy had sunshine hair that naturally spiked itself up and to the right like small mountains and had the most innocent sky blue eyes anyone had ever seen; the blonde had on the same black cloak the red-head did.

"Oh, Roxas," he turned fully as the blonde stopped and leaned his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath. "What is it?"

"A-are you going to….to Castle Oblivion now?"

"Gotta go, Rox." Axel shrugged like there was nothing he could do. "Bossman's orders."

"Th-then let me give you this." Roxas held out a closed hand and Axel, who raised an eyebrow, opened his own hand so Roxas could drop whatever it was that he held into his palm.

Axel was surprised at what he saw and held it up.

"What's this?"

"A-a necklace." Roxas put his hands behind his back as he stared at the ground and kicked at it with his shoe as if he were embarrassed. "I got it from the Crystal Caves in Hollow Bastion and asked Lexaeus if he could carve it into the shape of a sea-salt ice cream Popsicle."

"It's…mine?"

Roxas nodded. "Uh-huh."

The red-head smiled slightly and slipped the necklace around his neck.

"I'll keep it on me always."

"I'm gonna miss you." Roxas abruptly put his arms around the red-head, who tensed up at the sudden contact but soon relaxed and returned the hug.

"Yeah, I'm gonna miss you, too, buddy."

The two continued to embrace each other in the dim hallway, enjoying each other's company but were interrupted when a loud voice from somewhere nearby sang, "Roxas and Axel sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S- -"

"Damn it, Demyx!" Axel yelled, not even letting go of the blonde as he looked up. "Shut the fuck up before I snap Arpeggio's neck!"

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Axel sighed as he closed his hand around the trinket before he gazed out toward the sea as he bit his lip.

Roxas…he thought, imagining the blonde's smiling face on the horizon before he shook his head and slid the necklace beneath his shirt, loving the feel of the cold crystal against his skin. He briefly put his fingertips against the left side of his chest and grinned faintly when he felt a steady beating beneath his fingers.

With a sigh, the red-head strolled to the old, creaky bridge that served as an access to the cut-off palm-lined island before he jumped up and grabbed the edge of the platform. He flipped up, balancing perfectly on his hands, before twisting up and landing neatly on his feet in the center of the bridge, raising his arms into the air. Bowing to an invisible audience, Axel turned partway as he waited to hear a giggle and a shout of, "You're such a showoff, Axel!" but the smile he had on disappeared when he saw no one standing on the beach behind him.

Oh yeah.

The red-head glanced to the side with a crestfallen expression darkening his face.

They weren't with him.

Axel continued walking toward the islet and paused near one of the crooked trees, putting a hand against the smooth bark as he stared at the beach stretching before him and marveled at how the lazy afternoon sun bathed it in a calm glow. He looked up, inspecting the yellow star-shaped fruit hanging from the top of the tree before he tilted his head lightly to the side.

"…Paopu?"

Cautiously, he began to climb the tree and reached out to grab one of the fruit. Once he had it in his hand, he slid down the tree, using his free hand to vault himself over the side.

"A Paopu." Axel murmured with a small laugh as he leaned against the Paopu tree's trunk. "If we share this,"

The red-head carefully broke the fruit partway before snapping it into thirds.

"Our lives will be intertwined, right?"

He set two of the biggest pieces along the straight part of the tree before he resumed staring at the setting sun.

"Like old times, huh?"

Axel took a bite of the crunchy fruit, enjoying the tang that tingled his tongue.

"Yeah, like old times."

Axel chewed quietly, not really thinking about anything, before he swallowed and sighed, staring at the remaining Paopu in his hand.

"Old times…"

Axel stopped, as he suddenly remembered something.

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Axel leaned casually against the brick wall as he watched the blonde stride past him. "Your mind's made up?"

Roxas stopped at the red-head's voice. "Why did the Keyblade choose me?"

He glanced at Axel. "I have to know."

"You can't turn on the Organization!" Axel roughly pushed himself out of his leaning position as he faced the blonde, trying desperately to convince Roxas to not run away. "You get on their bad side and they'll destroy you!"

Roxas scoffed lightly as he looked ahead again. "No one would miss me."

Axel watched as the blonde continued to walk away before he sighed as he stared at the ground. "That's not true…I would."

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Axel reclined on his bed with his arms behind his head and one leg drawn up partway while the other was stretched out to its full length. He had just come back from the Dark City and had refused to talk to a few of the other members as he had walked to his room. Like usual, the red-head began to sing to himself.

"What if it makes you sad at me? And what if it makes you laugh now but you cry as you fall asleep? And what if it takes your breath and you can't hardly breathe? And what if it makes the last sound be the very best sound? What if what I want makes you sad at me? And is it all my fault or can I fix it, please?"

Axel closed his eyes as he shifted his head to the side.

"'Cause you know that I'm always all for you. 'Cause you know that I'm always all for you. What if it makes you lose faith in me? What if it makes you question every moment you cannot see? And what if it makes you crash and you can't find the key? What if it makes you ask how you could let it all go?"

Axel opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling above him blankly.

"What if what I want makes you sad at me? And is it all my fault or can I fix it, please?"

The pyro shook his head as he decided that maybe Roxas leaving wasn't entirely his fault. Something caught his attention and he looked over the edge of his bed to see an envelope lying in front of his window. Curiously, he got out of bed and picked up the envelope, flipping it over before opening it and lifting out a Popsicle stick.

If he had a heart it probably would have stopped as his blood practically froze over.

He stared at the stick which had Winner printed on it vertically before he gazed out his window at the shining heart-shaped moon hanging outside in the black sky.

Roxas…

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The red-head shook his head to try and erase the memory as he took another bite to distract himself from the threat of tears that he felt at the corners of his eyes before he resumed looking at the sun as he started singing to himself.

"If I wasn't here tomorrow, would anybody care? If my time was up I'd wanna know. If I wasn't here tomorrow, would anyone lose sleep?"

A boy around seventeen laughed as he ran across the bridge.

"Come on! Slow as usual, Sora!"

"If I wasn't hard and hollow then maybe you would miss me. I know I'm a mess and I wanna be someone, someone that I like better."

The boy had sleek silver hair reaching to his shoulders and pale aquamarine eyes. He had a pallid complexion despite being an obvious native of the islands and wore baggy blue denim jeans held up by a black belt covered with square spike studs, a black zip-up tank top with a white and yellow vest over it, had a long white band covering his left wrist, and wore navy blue sneakers.

"Not fair, Riku!" a voice yelled. "You cheated!"

"I can never forget so don't remind me of it forever."

"Did- -" the boy, Riku, paused when he saw the red-head- -who hadn't seemed to notice his presence- -leaning against the Paopu tree and slowed to a stop.

"What's the matter, Ri- -" a boy a year younger than Riku also stopped when he noticed Axel.

"What if I just pulled myself together; would it matter at all?"

The second boy had spiky caramel hair, ocean blue eyes, and was slightly tanner than Riku. He had on baggy black Capri's, a blue sleeveless shirt, and a silver chain necklace with a crown hanging from the end around his neck.

"What if I just try not to remember; would it matter at all?"

"Ax-Axel…."

"All the- -" Axel stopped and turned his head at the voice only to have his eyes widen in surprise.

"S-Sora…"

"Hey, why did you two- -" a girl Sora's age walked up behind the two boys only to stop when she saw Axel.

The girl had dark red hair stretching down to her shoulders, violet-blue eyes, and wore a white tank top, pink shorts, and had a necklace with a silver bead attached to it along with three bracelets on her left wrist.

"Kairi." Axel said, taking a step around the tree as he lifted his hand slightly.

At the movement, both Riku and Sora got into fighting stances as a streak of light and flash of shadows summoned sword-like weapons to their right hands.

The weapon Sora held was three and a half feet in length with a long chain extending from the hilt that had a Mickey Mouse head token attached to the end. The blade and teeth of the sword was silver while the rainguard was blue and the square guard that surrounded the handle was a bright gold; the teeth were the same shape as the crown the brunette had around his neck.

The weapon Riku had was entirely different from what Sora held. The guard was one angel wing and one demonic wing curling around each other with a dark angelic wing attached to the top of the red, purple, and blue falchion-esque blade that was shaped like a demon wing. There was a blue eye on the handle and a black and red heart token was connected to the end of the chain at the sword's hilt.

Axel took a step back when he saw the weapons and held up his hands.

"Hey, look. I'm not here to cause trouble."

"You returned to the darkness." Sora said, lowering the Kingdom Key a bit as he stared at the red-head warily. "Why are you- -"

"I don't know." Axel interrupted with a slightly dark expression that could have been confused for bewilderment.

Riku narrowed his eyes slightly. "If he's back, that means the others might be, too."

The silver-haired teen looked at Sora.

"He's probably here to summon Heartless; they're gonna start the Organization over again!"

"N-no, that's not why I- -"

"We should stop him before he destroys our island."

"Are you even listening to me?" Axel asked, mildly exasperated that no one would pay attention to his side of the story.

"I don't know…" Sora glanced at the ground as he shook his head. "I mean, if he had wanted to, wouldn't he have already called upon Heartless to attack us?"

"Sora, remember what he and the other Nobody did. Castle Oblivion…Kingdom Hearts…he kidnapped Kairi for his own gain."

"Hey, that wasn't how it was!" Axel snapped, finally frustrated with the conversation going on like he wasn't there. "I needed her to draw- -"

"You shut up!" Riku instantly turned his attention to the red-head. "You've hurt me and my friends one too many times!"

"Will you just listen? !" Axel took another step toward the trio. "I swear, you're just like Xemnas!"

Riku's eyes widened slightly at the comparison before they narrowed dangerously.

"Wait, Riku!" Sora yelled when his friend suddenly charged at the red-head.

"Uh-oh." Axel rapidly stepped back as Riku swung Way to Dawn down, having obviously been aiming for his chest. "Come on, seriously! I don't want to fight you!"

Riku obviously didn't care about what Axel wanted as he kept slashing at the red-head, trying to make some sort of contact.

Axel quickly slipped around the silver-haired boy and ran toward the Paopu tree, climbing up its trunk before jumping to the palm tree that was beside it, sliding partway around its shoot before leaping off it and landing on the sand below.

Riku growled, glaring after Axel who had begun to run before he jumped after the red-head and began the chase.

"Riku, wait!" Sora whined, trying to get his friend to listen before he ran after the frustrated teen.

Axel looked around as he ran, trying to figure out where he could go, before he jumped up on the dock and headed toward the large pirate ship tree house that was nearby. Climbing up the ladder leading to the deck, he didn't look back to see how close behind Riku was as he searched for a place to hide.

"Hold still, scum of darkness!" Riku growled as he stepped up behind the red-head, Way to Dawn ready at his side.

Axel gave a low tsk, annoyed at how persistent the teen was, before he made a quick sweep of the area with his eyes and ran toward nearest pile of crates that apparently acted as steps to the second floor.

Riku watched him before something caught his eye and he glanced beside him before briefly looking back at the red-head and smirking.

Axel panted a little as he looked back and forth, unused to having a heart beating in his chest to tell him of the adrenaline and alarm running through him. He felt something cold wrap around his left wrist and barely had time to look at what it was before he was suddenly yanked backward, landing harshly on the first deck with a grunt. Before he could get up, Riku was there, placing a firm foot in the center of his back to keep him pinned.

"Got you."

Axel growled lightly as he glowered up at the silver-haired teen who was holding a long chain.

"Ri-Riku…!"

Riku glanced to his left as Sora and Kairi trotted up.

Sora slowed down when he saw the submissive Axel.

"So…what do we do with him now?" he timidly asked, hoping that his friend wouldn't chose to kill the red-head.

"Hm." Riku looked down at Axel, who was staring ahead of him grumpily, before he looked back at Sora. "What do you want to do with him, Sora?"

Sora shook his head. "I-I don't want to kill him. Please, don't kill him, Riku."

Axel partially looked up at the response and stared at Sora, who was looking off to the side as he scuffed his shoe against the wood deck.

"Then…should we just keep him tied up?"

Oh, real original. Axel thought, but made no comment for fear that he'd get retaliation from Riku for the remark.

"Where would we put him?" Kairi put in quietly. "Tidus, Wakka, and Selphie might find it a bit strange that we have a man tied up here."

"Hmmm…" Riku mused as he bent down and bound Axel's hands behind his back with a small amount of chain, making it look as if the red-head had on handcuffs. "The Secret Place."

The silver-haired boy removed his foot as he grabbed the handmade manacles and hauled the red-head to his feet.

"Hey, watch it!" Axel grumbled, secretly testing how strong the chains were with a slightly irritated look on his face.
"We'll keep him there."

"For how long?" Sora questioned.

Riku shook his head as he pushed Axel forward a little and the two began to head toward the ship's exit. "Dunno. However long it takes for him to give us answers, I guess."

Axel rolled his eyes, but once again didn't comment as he allowed himself to be lead to the waterfall that was beside the seaside shack.

"So are you going to feed me?" he asked as he and the other three entered a large cave that was hidden behind the falls. "Or am I just gonna have to beg for food?"

"Hmm…it just depends I suppose." Riku murmured as he crouched down beside a large rock and wrapped a long chain around it before grabbing Axel's bonds and connecting the two. "There. That should hold you."

Axel gave a puzzled pout before he decided to test his bonds by tugging as hard as he could against them. He continued this for a few minutes, gritting his teeth and grunting as the chains rattled with the movements, but did not give. Finally he gave up with a sigh and fell on his knees in defeat.

Sora seemed confused about what to do, obviously wondering whether he should comfort the red-head or just stay back.

Riku seemed triumphant. "Come on, guys, let's go."

The silver-haired boy turned around and began to exit the cave.

"We'll take turns feeding him. Kairi will take breakfast…"

Kairi followed after Riku a few seconds after he had left, but Sora stayed for a little while longer, watching Axel.

Axel looked up at the brunette from beneath his lashes as if wondering what the boy wanted. After a few seconds though, he broke contact and turned his head away with an almost disappointed air about him.

Gradually, Sora walked out of the cave and Axel made no sound or response when he heard the soft, "Sorry, Axel."

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Kairi headed toward the Secret Place the next day, carrying a tray of food.

Riku had decided that she'd take the breakfast shift while he took the lunch and Sora would take the dinner; but he said he'd be on the island with the brunette in case something happened.

"I can take the rain on the roof of this empty house. That don't bother me. I can take a few tears now and then and just let 'em out."

Kairi stopped when she heard the singing as she neared the hidden cave and at first thought maybe it was Tidus or Wakka, who were playing on the pirate ship, but she realized that she had heard them sing and they weren't as good as the voice that she was hearing.

"I'm not afraid to cry every once in a while even though goin' on with you gone still upsets me. There are days every now and again I pretend I'm okay, but that's not what gets me."

The girl paused at the cave's entrance, watching as Axel, who had his face raised toward the small hole in the cavern ceiling where sunlight was leaking through and his eyes closed, continued to sing.

"What hurts the most was being so close. And havin' so much to say and watchin' you walk away. And never knowin' what could've been. And not seein' that lovin' you is what I was tryin' to do…"

The red-head hummed a little as he relaxed before he glanced at Kairi out of the corner of his eyes with his cat green orbs.

"Oh, look, little old me gets a visitor," he said with hidden sarcasm in his voice. "I'm touched."

"Ri-Riku…said it was time for you to have breakfast."

"It's not like I'm going anywhere." Axel said, giving a pointed look at the girl as he rattled his chains lightly for emphasis. "Can't, remember?"

Kairi nervously knelt down in front of the red-head, still staying a good half a foot away from him, and tucked some hair behind her ear after she had set down the tray.

"That habit."

"Huh?" Kairi rapidly looked up as if the red-head had slapped her.

"Namine used to do it too." Axel nodded his head a little as if remembering something. "And she used to avoid eye contact when she was nervous."

"H-how do you know so much about her?"

"Hm." Axel glanced to the side. "You're not allowed to talk to me, right? So why would you want to know?"
"Because she's…"

"Your 'Nobody'?" Axel grinned as he looked back at Kairi. "Everyone has a Nobody within them whether they're conscious of it or not. But not everyone is related to their Nobody because they are two entirely different people."

Kairi averted her gaze, choosing instead to look at the bowl of what appeared to be oatmeal resting on the tray in front of her.

"Forget about it," the red-head shook his head. "I know you want to leave as quickly as you can so just feed me and leave."

Kairi obediently nodded and Axel was mildly amused at how that, too, was a trait she got from Namine (Or was it the other way around?).

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Axel shifted uncomfortably as he tried to find a position that he liked. Carefully, he altered himself until he could cross his legs in front of him, relieved to have them free and not trapped underneath him anymore.

He stared above him, trying to figure out the time by looking at the sky; he could tell that maybe it was near noon so he knew that Riku would come soon with some food for him.

Why couldn't they hide me in one of their houses? he wondered in annoyance. At least I'd be taken better care of there.

He pulled lightly against the chains restricting him, like he always did to test their strength, before he sighed and sulked.

I'm bored.

As was customary whenever he was bored or thinking about something, the red-head started to sing to himself quietly.

"Give me attention; I need it now. Too much distance to measure it out, out loud. Tracing patterns across a personal map and making pictures where the lines overlap. Where the lines overlap."

Pulling against the chains as far as they could go, Axel pulled his upper half up slightly as he raised his face toward the small piece of sky he could see like he saw something no one else did.

"Now I've got a feeling if I sang this loud enough you would sing it back to me. I've got a feeling if I sang this loud enough you would sing it back to me."

"What are you doing?"

Axel stopped and looked to his left to see Riku standing at the entrance to the Secret Place.

"Oh, well, if it isn't Riku, Sora's little boyfriend." Axel smiled confidently, obviously enjoying torturing the silver-haired boy.

"He's not my boyfriend." Riku responded tightly, scowling at the red-head as he set down a tray before him.

"You keep thinking that. 'Riku, where's Riku?'" Axel snickered. "Oh, wait, that was you before your fight with Zexion. 'Sora? Sora's here?'"

The red-head gave a hopeful look while Riku's expression darkened.

"What about you? You couldn't stop Roxas from returning to Sora. You couldn't make him remember all the memories that he lost. We were watching your pathetic attempts at returning with him to the Organization, but in the end you failed."

There was a wounded look on the red-head's face but it was only brief before he frowned.

"At least I died for a cause! When you die you're gonna be sad and alone and screaming Sora's name."

With a snarl, Riku grabbed the front of Axel's shirt and pulled him forward harshly, the red-head grunting from the strain of the chains against his wrists.

"You better watch what you say, Nobody."

"Hey, hey, control your darkness." Axel bared his teeth a little as he turned his head away when tendrils of darkness began to form around the boy's hand. "You don't know what it can do."

Riku continued glaring at the red-head before he finally released him with a slight shove as the darkness covering his hand vanished.

"I thought I had it in control…"

"Darkness does what it wants." Axel shook his head slightly. "But sometimes, it grows or wanes with the users emotions."

Riku gave a sharp look at the former Nobody, but didn't respond since he knew that Axel understood what he was talking about as he had spent multiple years alongside the shadows.

"Yo, silver hair."

Riku, who had just settled down to begin feeding the red-head, glared at Axel.

"I gotta take a whiz."

Riku scowled and glanced away, obviously debating on what to do.

"Come on, man." Axel whined as he wiggled a little. "I won't run or do anything. Not like I can go anywhere anyway."

With a slight glance at the red-head, Riku gave a defeated sigh as he stood up and unlatched Axel from the rock before undoing one of his wrists only to grab his free one and bringing them to the front only to lock them together again.

"No funny business."

Axel rolled his eyes as Riku lead him out of the Secret Place and toward the play ship.

"There's a bathroom in one of the rooms on the ship."

Giving the silver-haired boy a weird look as they climbed up to the ship's deck, Axel was about to ask why but Riku interrupted him.

"We spend a lot of time here and it'd be a waste to go back and forth to the main island, so whoever built the thing also put some plumbing in it so we didn't have to make the trips."

"Who built it?"

"What's it matter?" Riku pushed the red-head to a nearby door. "That's it. Go on in."

Giving the boy one last weird glance, Axel disappeared inside the room and Riku leaned against the wall nearby, crossing his arms over his chest as he waited for the red-head to finish.

After a few minutes had gone by, Riku was just about to go into the stall to see if he had been tricked, but Axel came out at that exact moment and Riku relaxed, thinking he had been wrong about the red-head.

Once the two had returned to the Secret Place, Axel was once again chained to the rock and Riku gave him his lunch though it was apparent the boy didn't like it; Axel had convinced him he could feed himself if Riku would let him, but apparently Riku didn't trust him that much.

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Sora looked around the corner of the Secret Place before he cautiously entered the cave only to stop when he saw that Axel appeared to be asleep, his chin touching his chest and his breathing light; the brunette thought it must have been uncomfortable to sleep in such a position.

"Umm…Axel?"

Apparently the red-head wasn't a very heavy sleeper as he lifted his head at the question and glanced over at the brunette with an exhausted expression.

"Is it night already?" Axel asked with a yawn. "I musta fallen asleep…"

Sora knelt before the red-head setting the tray down in front of him.

"Th-that's all right. I wish I could convince Riku to let you stay at one of houses as more a guest than a prisoner, but…"

"He refused, didn't he?" Axel scoffed as he looked away. "So close-minded. Just like- -"

"He's not like Xemnas."

Axel started slightly at that and looked back at Sora in mild surprise to see the brunette staring at him firmly; the red-head could definitely see where Roxas had gotten his determined expression from. The red-head looked away from Sora with a mild blush crossing his cheeks as realized he had just compared Sora to Roxas.

"Riku is Riku. He's always been that way."

Axel gave a quiet laugh and Sora instantly became suspicious.

"Why are you laughing?"

"You know, you and Riku remind me of how Isa and I used to be," the red-head smiled a little as he looked toward the door at the far end of the cave. "Isa always used to be protective of me like Riku is of you. Thought he was better at stuff than I was. I was a bit hard-headed and like to go with action first, talking later. But still…I was loyal to my friends. Ven…was actually the only other friend I made besides Isa and Ienzo."

Sora tilted his head to the side curiously as the red-head closed his eyes.

"Were you…happy together?"

The red-head started slightly at the question before he looked at the brunette.

"What?"

"Were you happy with them? Isa, Ven, and Ienzo…did you like having them as friends?"

The red-head smiled softly. "Yes. I loved them."

"I love my friends too."

"Am I your friend?"

Sora averted his gaze as he bit his bottom lip and Axel was once again reminded of how Roxas did the same thing whenever he was thinking of or worrying about something; the red-head quietly reprimanded himself for thinking such thoughts.

"I don't know yet, honestly."

"In time….?" Axel asked with slight hope.

The brunette slowly nodded. "Yes."

"I'd be honored to be your friend if you accept the offer."

Sora looked at Axel fully and gave a smile before he set about getting the red-head's food prepared.

"You know you don't have to feed me. I can do it myself. If you'll just untie me…"

"Riku said I shouldn't…"

"I promise I won't run away. Friendship is built upon trust, right?"

Sora seemed ashamed to question the red-head's trustworthiness before he stood up and headed closer to Axel, disconnecting his chains and then releasing one of Axel's wrists from the manacles.

The red-head gave a loud sigh of relief as he rolled his shoulders and stretched his arms ahead of him and above his head before switching his legs so that he was sitting Indian style.

"Ah, that's better," he said once he was sure he loosened up his stiff muscles and cracked any of his bones that needed to be cracked before he picked up the bowl of rice on the tray. "Thank you."

Sora shook his head as if to say it was no problem.

The two went quiet as Axel began to eat, muttering about how the food was at least decent.

"Ro-Roxas…"

Axel paused in mid-bite when he heard the name and looked up.

"What?"

"Roxas…" Sora nervously looked away and scratched the back of his neck. "What did you feel for him?"

Axel tensed slightly and he glanced away with an almost embarrassed look on his face.

"I don't know, really. I like him. But…"

"It's not…a friendship like, is it?"

The red-head sighed as he shook his head and closed his eyes.

"I can't tell if it's cause he reminds me of Ven or if…I really do like him."

Sora also looked away as he contemplated Axel's answer.

"Did you…ever tell him?"

Axel gave a scoff that almost sounded like a laugh.

"I never figured out what my feelings meant until…"

The red-head stopped before shook his head.

"Never mind."

Sora peeked at Axel who had continued to eat before he glanced away again, deciding that the conversation was over.

AkuRokuAkuRokuAkuAoku

Once he had finished his dinner, Sora reconnected the red-head to the rock before saying his goodbye and leaving.
Axel exhaled, his muscles already getting sore after only a few minutes.

"Guess this is my life now," he sighed as he sulked. "Wonderful."

The red-head closed his eyes when a silver light blinded him before he looked up to see the glowing full moon peering in through the hole in the Secret Place's ceiling.

"Are you watching over me?" He asked quietly with a small smile. "Guess it's only natural. You've been watching me ever since we were kids, making sure that I didn't get in too over my head."

Axel lowered his head, shaking it a little.

"I'm in a real jam now. They don't trust me. I don't know what to do to make them to. For once…I wish you were here. You'd know what to do."

Axel looked back up at the moon which was shining its silvery light upon his face.

"What can I do…?"

The moon remained quiet, merely purring at him to go to sleep.

"Why won't you help me, Isa?" Axel asked as he felt himself getting sleepy as if falling deeper into the moon's hypnotic spell. "I-I need your help…"

Finally, the red-head couldn't stay awake any longer and he closed his eyes as he lowered his head against his chest.

A few seconds later, a translucent form appeared before the sleeping red-head.

The ghost-like figure had long blue hair reaching to his shoulders blades with equally long bangs framing his face, glowing gold eyes, had a large X-shaped scar crossing between his eyes, and wore a black cloak.

The form quietly crouched in front of Axel before loosely wrapping its arms around the red-head's shoulders.

"You don't need my help anymore, Lea," the figure murmured softly. "You haven't needed my help for a long, long time."

The form stood up and stepped away from Axel before turning his back to the red-head only to turn halfway around as he glanced back at Axel.

"Take care in this life, my friend."

The figure took a few steps forward before vanishing into thin air.

AkuRokuAkuRokuAkuRoku

It had become almost habit that Axel be ready to see Kairi, Riku, or Sora for meal times after a few days of being captured. Somehow Sora had also convinced Riku to allow Axel to occasionally take walks around Destiny Islands, though the silver-haired boy still didn't trust him enough to allow Sora to do it alone so he always went with them whenever they did it.

It was apparent that Riku was jealous at how ecstatic Sora was talking to the red-head like they were the best of buddies; it only made Axel smirk though as he realized that Riku possibly had feelings for the brunette. As they spent time together, Axel grew used to narrating to Sora about all the good times he had with Roxas and Xion and Sora loved to hear about the interesting accounts that the red-head told him about.

"…So Xion had yet to be found and Roxas and I were getting frustrated that we couldn't find her." Axel chuckled as he, Sora, and Riku headed back to the Secret Place. "I mean, she was a girl, how hard could she hide? Apparently very well cause we soon found her when she giggled."

"Where was she hiding?" Sora asked, totally enraptured by the story while Riku rolled his eyes with a soft groan.

"She had used Xigbar's help to get up onto the chandelier in the dining room."

Sora chuckled as Riku chained Axel back to the rock. "It sounds…like you had a lot of fun together."

"Oh we did." Axel smiled a little but winced when the chains pinched his skin as Riku tightened them a bit too tight. "Hey, careful!"

Riku just gave him a dirty look as he straightened and walked over to Sora.

Sora watched quietly as the boy walked past him, offering the brunette a pointed glance as he did so, before he reluctantly turned around, giving a wave to the red-head.

"See you later, Axel."

Axel nodded as the brunette disappeared. "See ya, kiddo."

AkuRokuAkuRokuAkuRoku

Axel was sleeping quietly, his body already used to sleeping in a strange position.

"Axel…"

The red-head stirred slightly, deciding to ignore the voice and continue sleeping.

"Axel, look up."

Axel slowly opened his eyes as he thought That voice sounds familiar…

As he looked up, the red-head gasped at who he saw standing in front of him.

"Roxas!"

Roxas smiled a little giving a slight nod.

Axel noticed that instead of the black cloak he usually wore, he had on a black, high-collared jacket with a zipper resembling a strange star-shaped symbol. Roxas also wore two-colored pants with the legs of the pants being beige with several of what looked like buttons on the hem that appeared to attach the legs to the rest of the cloth which were dark-colored. Roxas's shoes were colored in shades of grey and black and had red straps in place of laces. Roxas also wore a wrist band with a black-and-white checkerboard pattern on his left wrist as well as a plain black ring on his left index finger and a plain white ring on his left middle finger.

"What are you- -" Axel started, but the blonde held up a hand to stop him.

"I haven't been given that much time."

"Huh?" Axel tilted his head a little to the side as he tried to understand what Roxas meant.

The blonde came forward and kneeled before the red-head.

"You're lucky. We're all still waiting for our chance."

"Chance? Chance at what?"

"What you got." Roxas reached a hand toward Axel, the red-head noticing that the blonde wasn't entirely solid, and put his fingers against his chest. "A heart…and a new life."

"Yeah, well." Axel glanced back at chains restricting him, pulling on them slightly, before he looked back at the blonde. "This hasn't exactly gone as planned."

"Don't worry. You'll be free soon." Roxas looked back over his shoulder. "I only have another minute or so…"

"What, leaving me again?" Axel chuckled a little as he grinned, but it was a sad smile that told the blonde not to leave. "That's so heartbreaking, Roxy."

Roxas rolled his eyes as he looked back at the red-head. "Keep up the jokes and I might not do it."

"Do what?"

Roxas scratched the back of his neck as he glanced to the side. "Something I've been wanting to do for a while now, I guess…"

"And that would be…?"

"This." Roxas put his hands on either side of the red-head's face, pulling him as close as the chains would allow, before roughly kissing him.

Axel gasped softly at the abrupt decision made by the blonde but relaxed and closed his eyes as he tried to move as close as he could to Roxas in attempt to get more of the blonde.

After a few seconds, Roxas pulled back and stared at Axel sorrowfully.

"Sorry, but I got to go now."

"Wha- -no!" Axel pulled against the chains as Roxas stood up and began to walk away from him. "You can't leave me again!"

Roxas paused a few feet away as if another thought came into his mind and he glanced at the red-head over his shoulder.

"Will you wait for me?"

"Yes!" Axel nodded eagerly. "I'll wait for you forever!"

The blonde seemed satisfied at the answer as he continued to walk forward only to vanish a few seconds later.

I'll wait for you forever!

AkuRokuAkuRokuAkuRoku

Sora watched as Axel shifted slightly in his sleep, the red-head mumbling "Roxas….I love you…" as a tear slid down his cheek. The brunette looked at Riku standing behind him.

"We can't just keep him caged up in here like an animal, Riku!" he protested. "It's...it's…inhumane!"

Riku started slightly at the word before he frowned.

"Sora, he's part of the Organiz- -"

"Don't you think that if he had a chance he would have already escaped? He's had multiple chances, but he hasn't! We have to let him go." Sora put a hand on the silverette's arm. "Pretty please, for me?"

"Don't do that."

"What?" Sora tilted his head to the side.

"You think every time that you say 'pretty please, for me?' I'm just gonna give in and do it, but I'm not this time, okay?"

"Pretty please, for me?" Sora tried again, giving the best puppy dog eyes he could muster.

Riku sighed. "Fine."

"Yay!" the brunette happily hugged his friend who sulked at how weak his resolve was when it came to Sora.

"I'll unchain him." Riku pulled the brunette away from him. "Contact King Mickey and ask for a Gummi Ship."

"Okay!" Sora happily skipped off and Riku sighed before he set about freeing the red-head from his bonds, Axel waking up when he felt the chains loosen.

"What's…what are you doing?" Axel asked tiredly as he rubbed one of his eyes while Riku took the chain off his other wrist.

"Letting you go."

"I'm free?" the red-head asked with slight suspicion as he gradually stood up.

"Yes."

"What, you're gonna let me go like that?" Axel took a few steps forward before he looked back at Riku. "You're not going to shoot me or anything?"

"No. Now go before I change my mind."

Axel seemed content with that and walked out of the Secret Place with Riku right behind him.

"Okay, everything's all set!" Sora yelled as he ran up to the duo.

"All set for what?" Axel asked.

"I called King Mickey and he said he'd send over a Gummi Ship for you."

Axel seemed surprised at that. "Oh…um, thanks, I guess."

"Where will you go now, Axel?" Sora asked curiously.

"Dunno." Axel scratched the back of his neck. "Probably Hollow Bastion or Twilight Town. Yeah, probably Twilight Town; he's bound to be there."

"Who's there?"

Axel ignored the question as he pulled out the sea-salt necklace hidden beneath his shirt and held onto it tightly as he stared up at the sky. "After all, I promised that I'd wait for him forever."


That's the end. I hope you enjoyed it. :) Bet this is the longest one shot I've written. *Saves, looks at word count* Wow! It's almost nine thousand! XD Cool!
And here is a trivia: Wonder why Axel was singing those songs? The first one who gets it right I will write a one shot with whatever KH Yaoi pairing they like as long as they give an idea for the story. Second gets a cookie. Third place gets a hug from Dem-Dem. :3 Make sure I can PM you to give you the results of whether you got first or not.
Anyway, please Read and Review for me, k? *Puppy eyes*