B.O.B ft Paramore – Airplanes
"Can we pretend that airplanes
in the night sky
Are like shooting stars
I could really use a wish right now, wish right now… "
Part 3 – By Winters Lightning: (http://winters-lightning.deviantart.com/)
Axel had always been wary of change. It made things complicated… unpredictable. His time at the Organisation's base had intensified this, drilling systems and routines so deep into his psyche that going against their rules felt impossibly surreal.
But hunched over the ship's navigation panel he found himself smiling, the thrill of the unknown singing through his mind. Endless possibilities seemed to breathe new life into his tired, cynical bones.
He'd goaded Roxas from the start. As far as he was concerned, the precious new kid had to be tested with more than drills and battle strategies. In Axel's experience simulations were one thing, and reality was a whole other game. And when you were in the shit, you needed to know – really know – that the person watching your back could stand the heat.
Prodigy or not, Axel would be damned if he'd go down in flames because some jumped up kid that was gold on paper couldn't keep his head in a real fight.
As it was, Roxas was a fortress. He never rose to the bait, never slipped. He earned his stripes and more, executing missions with the cold efficiency of a gifted soldier. The only time his fašade slipped was during Xemnas' meetings, where he would frown slightly at the facts thrown carelessly to the winds, and question their sources religiously.
Axel and Roxas had fallen into their own routine, shielded from the rest of The Organisation. Axel would seek him out in the vast hallways of the main ship, poking fun at him and waiting for a crack to appear, for self righteous anger to pour out of the tiny blonde's body.
And Roxas would turn to Axel – his superior – with a bored expression, his whole body radiating disinterest and apathy before stating bluntly, almost sarcastically, "Sir."
Then with a wink, Axel would sling his arm over the younger man's bony shoulders and together, they would head to the training area or mess hall, content in each other's company. In those days, he had told himself that in these close moments, when the warmth of Roxas at his side felt so easy and right, it was camaraderie that lead him to seek out his friend. Nothing more.
But now, sitting in the stolen red shuttle, he knew better.
Their daily ritual had felt like a shared secret, an intimate reminder that they were both just human. The hidden smile Roxas kept just for him was special, and Axel thought that maybe after so long, it was a nice change for Roxas to be treated as a person, instead of a soulless drone.
But to everyone else, he appeared to be every bit the driven, impenetrable machine the higher ups had promised.
That is, until the mission at Kingdom Hearts.
It had been a routine scout. Reports had come in that the edges of the strange moon were crumbling, leaving a colossal heart shaped mass to hang glowing in the dark sky.
And Roxas had been sent to investigate.
The boy that returned was changed. He was even more closed off than he had been before, ignoring Axel's jibes where previously he would have shot back a deadpan remark or turned away, apparently exasperated, but unable to hide that small smile playing across his lips.
Axel had been shocked to realise how worried he was. Not just worried, but terrified. The thought of losing Roxas hit him like a freight train. Desperate, Axel had dragged him into the nearest empty room and demanded answers.
In the red shuttle, Axel set a course for where all this had started.
He thought of Roxas pinning him against the concrete floor, spitting naked truths through bared teeth.
"We were never supposed to exist!"
His eyes were wide, staring down at Axel as if seeing him for the first time.
"Don't you get it?!"
Axel hadn't known how to react. He'd gazed up into Roxas' bright blue eyes, felt the pressure of the kid's knee digging into his chest and looked on, horrified, as tears began to fall onto his face.
"We're not the good guys!" He'd rasped, his whole face scrunched up in misery. For the first time since joining The Organisation, Roxas really did look young. Not some soldier emanating a maturity that reached far beyond his years… his expression held all the fear of a child who's dreams and beliefs have been shattered before their eyes.
"We're not searching for a better tomorrow, Axel!" He'd leaned forwards then tears soaking through Axel's shirt. "We're going to destroy it!"
Lying there, Axel had nothing to say. He didn't have the answers. He didn't even understand the new feelings coursing through his body, urging him to hold Roxas tight, stop his tears and protect him from all the harsh things life had to offer.
As Roxas wiped his eyes with a sleeve, Axel had lifted a hand to cup his cheek, still damp with tears. And there they stayed, frozen in time. Both feeling a shift in their worlds, as they changed forever. A blare across the main speakers announced a training drill, and Roxas was up in a flash. He glanced back at Axel one last time before dashing for the exit, and left him there on the cold ground.
Palm still wet, mind buzzing with unanswerable questions, Axel felt layers of control and conformity peeling away from his skin, revealing a new and dangerous creature hidden within.
In all the vastness of space, there was only one place Roxas would go.
Axel watched, his mind whirling through memories, as numb fingers plotted a course for Kingdom Hearts. He wondered vaguely if he had been anything like Roxas, before accepting their lies.
He didn't regret leaving, even as the old red shuttle thrashed from side to side, barely able to keep a steady course. The only thing that bothered him, that wracked him with pain was that he would have gone with Roxas in a heartbeat. If only he had asked.
Part 4 – By Inked-Pawprints (http://inked-pawprints.deviantart.com/)
He had been the one in command, the higher-ranked, the leader for so long that the stunning revelation knotted anger and misery in ties, a disparaging feeling sunk deep into his chest; a heavy weight suffocating his ability to think straight and goading darkened eyes to spill the tears threatening to fall.
If only he had hinted at his plan, a quick whisper in the mess hall, a note slipped into the folds of a pocket, anything- he would have understood. He would have gone, no questions asked.
Before leaving, he had set one standard- that if you were to pair with him, you would have to earn his trust. Hell, if you were going to be the one who he handed the safe-keeping of his life to, you better have his trust. One petty mistake would echo with countless consequences.
Trust was not an easy thing to receive; even on earth, it was not something given lightly. He could count on one hand the people who had his trust; and on one finger, he could count the person in which he would do anything for. Roxas was that single number.
And now, to know that Roxas, the person he had trained, fostered a friendship with, entrusted his secrets to, didn't trust him? It was heartbreaking.
The flashing lights of the cockpit mocked at his anguish, highlighting his burning eyes and alerting him that his destination was near. The shuttle, screaming in distress as the engines, pushed to their max, began the landing procedure, shook with the atmosphere's pressure. And there it was. Kingdom Hearts, the one and only.
Smoke trailed after the faded crimson ship as he tore through the surrounding environmental barriers, a comet of metal and steel that held no wish or hope.
He didn't care about the corrupt cause, he didn't care about the money, he didn't care if he wasn't even human anymore, a lost soul made to eliminate all competition.. All he wanted was Roxas.
And god damn if he wasn't going after the person who he had given his all to.
Part 5 – By Winters Lightning: (http://winters-lightning.deviantart.com/)
Axel was pulled from his tormented thoughts as a flash of blue light shot past the side window. The hair on his arms stood on end. Another streak crackled through the air, close and bright enough to leave a luminescent trail in his vision as he primed the guns.
"Those were warning shots, number 8." It was Xigbar. He'd come to collect.
"Shit." Axel scanned the vast blanket of stars laid out before him, and there it was. Hanging like a vast, glowing sculpture in the sky, Kingdom Hearts.
The radio spluttered back into life. "Come quietly, Axel mate. I won't miss again."
Axel made some quick calculations in his head. It didn't add up. How had they snuck up on him so quickly? Surely the radar would –
He slammed his fist onto the screen, and a group of dots suddenly flared into life. A warning beep signalled the arrival of new ships.
"Perfect." He muttered. "Just fuckin' great." Licking his lips, Axel pushed down on the intercom. Feigning nonchalance, he said "You sure about that, Xal? Your aim's been off before."
"As if!" Xigbar laughed, sounding cheerful, casual. Like he wasn't about to knock his comrade right out of the sky. "You may think you're pretty funny pulling this shit Axel, but let me tell you –
Axel felt the air within the ship constrict, a sure sign that the ships behind him were primed, Electric Bolts fired up with fingers on triggers.
" – the higher ups are not amused."
Axel pushed a strand of sweat soaked hair out of his face. This was impossible. There was no way he could get out of this.
But somehow that didn't seem to matter.
All he saw was Roxas' face, damp with tears and torn by the truth.
Xigbar was the Organisation's best shot. If there was any way out of this, he'd have to be taken out first. But then he was fried. The others wouldn't hesitate if he opened fire. He'd be toast before he could even try to evade their shots. Turning off the ship's main engines, Axel let the ship stay on its course, drifting ever closer to Kingdom Hearts… to Roxas. A stupid, reckless plan was forming in his mind and without even knowing it, Axel began to smile.
Xigbars voice was blaring through the speakers again, but Axel barely even heard it. Re-routing all the engine's power to the ship's guns he expanded the sight's aim. A less pragmatic soldier would have sent out a prayer for the impossible. Axel just looked out at the twinkling stars and thought of Roxas.
He pulled the main gun's trigger and nestled his face in the crook of his elbow, eyes screwed tightly shut.
The cabin shook with the force of the shot, as electricity exploded in a blazing arch of light, completely obscuring The Organisation's fleet. Fumbling blindly for the main thrusters, Axel pushed the throttle forwards, knowing every second mattered, that this was his one chance.
Nothing happened. It was jammed.
Yelling in frustration, Axel hammered his palm against the lever. "Come on, come on you piece of junk !" He cracked open an eye, sure that everything was over, that he had failed. The light was incredible. It seared his eyes and mind, but he ignored the pain. Gaze locked on the old ships throttle, Axel kicked at it viciously. It gave, and thrust the craft forwards at an unbelievable speed, pushing Axel back into his seat. The floor shook, the walls vibrated.
Axel strapped himself in as the first stray bolts rickashayed off the ship's shell. Kingdom Hearts loomed ahead, close enough now to entirely fill the front window. The Organisation's fleet began to advance, recovering from temporary blindness and plummeting after Axel. It didn't matter. They were too far behind to get a clear shot. Together, the small group of ships fell from the sky like falling stars.