Man, dusks were such a pain. Axel loosely swung one of the chakrams in his hand, trying to find an out of this. It wasn’t looking pretty for any of ‘em, and someone still had to go and get Kairi from Saïx. “I think I liked it better when they were on my side,” he joked, trying to put a dent in that negativity. Not to much effect.
“Feeling a little regret?” As bright as ever, Sora teased him right back. Axel smirked over his shoulder to that dorky grin that looked so familiar, tugging at his heart.
“Nah, I can handle these punks.” He shook his head and laughed to himself. What a way to wrap this all up. Seemed about right for him, considering everything. “Watch this!”
He leapt right into the thick of them, drawing on the fire always on hand and pushing it through every last inch of himself. Axel strained to keep himself together as long as he could, the roar of the flames mixing with his wordless shout as it all went white-hot for a second. A minute. Who even knew?
It was all quiet for a second. No more dusks, no more fire, no nothing. Then he felt it. Pieces of him, slipping away. And Axel couldn’t even bring himself to sit up.
“Whoa!” Sora’s voice reached him somehow, his footsteps muffled as he ran over. He knelt down and Axel turned to face him. Wasn’t doing much of anything else. All these years, taking in traitors to the Organization — and he was the biggest traitor of ‘em all.
“You’re… fading away.” Real concern in his voice, on his face. Axel felt a twinge of a smile come to his face against his will. He’d forgotten what it was like to be cared about. Or to care about someone else. Roxas reminded him of that, and he chased that down like a shred of light in a dark world. He didn’t realize just how dark until Roxas. And he was willing to throw anything and everything away to have that back.
“Well, that’s what happens when you put your whole being into an attack. You know what I mean?” He scoffed. What an idiot. Why’d it have to come to this? “Not that Nobodies actually have beings, right?” Axel steeled his expression, his voice following suit. Just like the old days taking out Vexen and the others. “Anyway, I digress. Go. Find Kairi.” But it couldn’t last, could it? Never did. “Oh, almost forgot,” his voice softened just a tad. What a mess he’d made of everything. “Sorry for what I did to her.”
To be a traitor was to betray your friends, your country, or your principles. That was the by-the-book definition of it. What were you when the “or” became an “and”? Was there anyone Axel hadn’t turned out to get what he wanted? He wanted to do right by Saïx, so he killed just about everyone at Castle Oblivion. He wanted Roxas back, so he put Kairi in danger — and so many others. And when he did that, he turned his back on Isa — Saïx.
“When we find her, you can tell her that yourself.” So certain everything would turn out alright. Silly. Just because you have a next life.
He looked away, not quite up to facing him for the moment. “Think I’ll pass. My heart just wouldn’t be in it, you know? Haven’t got one.” The dark laughter wasn’t helping the whole fading bit, but there wasn’t any helping that now. Anything that made him feel better now, however terrible, was worth it.
“Axel,” he said, a question lingering in that one word. “What were you trying to do?” Searching for answers like always. Axel wasn’t about to deny him that now.
“I wanted to see Roxas.” Sora moved a bit, but Axel wasn’t about to check his expression. He was getting sentimental as his life left this form that never should’ve been. Frankly, Axel wasn’t sure he could take much more of it. “He… was the only one I liked. He made me feel… Like I had a heart. It’s kind of funny.” But here, he couldn’t fight it anymore. Axel had to look at Sora, regret and nostalgia and longing all mixing into one. “You make me feel… the same.”
No, he was being selfish again. This is what Saïx wanted so badly from him too. To remember what it was like to have a heart, to have a friend, and he betrayed him when he needed him the most. His oldest friend.
The Roxas I know is gone. Fine. I see how it is.
He and Saïx really hadn’t felt much different in the end. But Axel was so caught up in what he felt, what he wanted, he didn’t pay attention to Roxas or Saïx. Some friend he was.
Axel looked down. He’d left everyone behind him worse off than they’d been before, and he had to set it right in the few seconds he had left. Axel’s smile disappeared. “Kairi’s in the castle dungeon. Now go.” With the last of his strength, he lifted his arm and forced open a dark corridor. He just hoped it would stay up — after.
“Axel.” It was the last thing he heard before it all went away. Almost peaceful, really. Maybe there would be a next life. Maybe he wouldn’t mess it up quite so bad.