A/N from A.C.: This was originally an OC story, and I only wrote a few chapters of it. But I really liked the concept I had so I switched some things around and fan-fic'd it. It's VERY AU. Like... really. Very, very AU.

Also... I know, I call them 'boys' even though they're like nearly 20... but I just like it that way. It sounds cute.

Anyhow! I hope you enjoy!

"Shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT!" He chanted over and over again and he ran through the streets of the kingdom. He quickly turned a corner and pressed himself against the back wall of an alleyway, the boy's chest was heaving, and he cautiously looked out at the road, only to see two of the Prince's guards rush past. The boy sighed and waited a moment before he made his way back on the open road.

The few minutes of peace didn't last long as the boy heard someone shout, "You! Stop!"

His breath caught in his throat, and he knew that those shouts and yells were directed at him. He took off once more, dodging civilians, and running toward the one place he knew the guards wouldn't follow him: the slums.

The boy was slowing down, his energy spent, while the guards just kept running. He made a dive for the invisible line that separated the peasants from the citizens on one last chance to get away from the two guards, but one of them was too fast, catching the boy by the ankle and pulling him into the ground.

The boy let out a yowl of pain as he crashed into the ground, "Get off of me! Get off!"

The large guard stood up and slung the boy over his shoulder. "Calm down, slum-rat."

"Do not call me that, you bastard!" The boy pounded his fists against the guard's back.

The guard just looked back at his friend, "We must get back to the prince."

The other nodded silently and turned to go in the direction of the castle.

"P- Prince? Why are you bringing me there?"

"You broke a large law, slum-rat. The Prince will decide your fate."

"Quit calling me that! I ain't a damn 'slum-rat' ! I have a name!"

"Oh? Why should I care? You are nothing to someone like me."

The boy snarled, baring his teeth at the citizens who watched him and the guards pass. Quite soon, the three arrived at the castle; the guards brought the young boy into the throne room and tossed him carelessly onto the floor.

"My Prince," the first guard spoke out, bowing slightly, "We have brought this boy to you, a slum-rat that crossed into noble areas."

The Prince, an elegant man in his early twenties with silver hair, deep amber eyes and dark tan skin looked down at the so called 'slum-rat'. He rested his elbows on his knees and leaned forward, placing his chin on his bridged fingers. "What is your name, boy?"

"The name's Axel, you better get it memorized!"

"Okay, Axel... Why did you break the laws of our kingdom? You're, what, seventeen? You should know the laws of the lands."

"Nineteen."

"Nineteen, then. But, tell me why. If you truthfully explain to me why you crossed that line, I will lessen your punishment."

"I wanted to get my family something decent to eat."

"What do you mean?" The Prince arched a brow in question.

"You've never been to the slums have you? It's horrible what our conditions are. You royal bastards leave us to starve while you take our money in taxes and buy the best bread and wine and stuff your faces!" He barked out, eyes narrowing dangerously, "You damn bastards-"

The silent guard quickly moved forward and clapped a glove hand over Axel's mouth.

The Prince smirked, "Well, quite the knowledgeable little slum-rat we have here, hm?"

The boy shouted out a string of curses at being called that again, but they were blocked by the guard's hand. He fought to escape the grip of the guard and the feel of the armor pressed to his bare back.

"Guard," said the Prince, "remove your hand from his mouth. I wish to ask him questions."

The guard reluctantly removed his hand from over Axel's mouth, keeping the boy in a firm grip, though, to protect the Prince.

The young boy looked up at the Prince with burning eyes, "What do you want to ask me? I have to get back to my family."

The Prince arched a brow, clearly interested in this young man's life. "Why must you get back so soon?"

"I need to get back to my family. So, just let me go!"

"Can your family not handle itself alone? Are you really needed that much? If I understand my kingdom correctly, most families in the slums have at least five children."

Axel barked out, "Yeah, why d'you think! So they can have damn workers to try to make money that you won't take away!"

The Prince chuckled, "Wild one, aren't you, slum-rat?"

"Don't call me that!"

Standing up from his throne, the Prince walked closer to the restrained boy. He took the boy's chin in his hand and dug fingernails into dirt covered skin. "You know you're terribly filthy, right?"

Axel spat at the prince and growled, "No shit."

The Prince growled and wiped the spit from his cheek with disgust. He pointed at the boy and then to a doorway, "Take this insolent little brat to the holding cells!"

"What?" The boy's emerald eyes went wide, "No!"

After kicking and scratching at the guards, Axel was eventually brought to a large stone cell in the bottom of the castle. The guard tossed the boy into the cell and quickly closed and locked the big wooden door. Axel dashed to the door, ignoring the pain he felt from landing on the hard stone floor, he pounded his fists against the door.

"Let me out!"

The only response to his desperate plea was heavy boots walking across stone - the silent guards were leaving him in the cold stone cell.

"No! No, don't just leave me here!" His voice cracked and he fell against the door, letting out a deep sob.

A hand suddenly landed on his shoulder; he jumped and spun around, pressing himself against the large wooden door.

A dangerously thin boy of about eighteen stood before him; he had long shaggy azure blue hair and sparkling golden eyes that stood out against the dirt and grime that dusted his skin, and the tattered rags he wore were nearly falling apart. The boy gave a small smile and waved at the redhead, obviously happy to have someone in the cell with him.

"Who are you?" Axel asked.

The boy shook his head and closed his eyes, breathing deeply. He drew a line across his throat and shrugged.

"You- You can't speak... can you?"

The boy shook his head once more, he opened his mouth and made a cutting motion with his pointer and middle fingers.

"Oh...I think I understand... They cut out your tongue?"

He nodded his head and opened his mouth wider for Axel to see.

"That's awful... Why would they do that to you?"

The boy held his arm out and chopped at it with his other hand. Broke. He held up one finger. One. He made an 'L' with his left hand, and then pretended to saw something in the air. Law.

"You broke a law? Must have been a pretty serious one for them to take your tongue... Now, can you tell me your name?"

The boy nodded and looked down, moving dirt around on the cell floor with his foot before crouching down and writing with his finger..

Reading the writing in the dirt, Axel looked to the mute boy, "Saix? That's your name?"

He smiled and nodded again.

"Well, I'm glad I have someone nice to share a cell with, Saix..."

The blunette moved his hand like it was a talking puppet and pointed to Axel.

"You want me to talk to you? What about?"

The boy held up one finger, telling the other to wait a moment, got to his feet and ran to the corner of the cell. He picked up a small book and made his way back to the redhead. Saix pointed to the book and flipped it open, pretending to write on the worn pages.

"A story..? You want me to tell you a story?"

The blunette nodded, pointing at Axel and then at the book once more.

"Oh, I understand. You want to hear my story..."