Everyone has a Jericho. Roxas is his.
Axel reads when he's really, really bored. Of course, that was before Roxas came along, and before Demyx came along, and Saix isn't much entertainment when he's busy kissing up to the Superior or tearing his room apart, so Axel reads.
It might have surprised the others to find that he tackles the religious books first, but Axel doesn't feel surprised, after all, religion is all about finding the heart and the soul and where else do you start, really? They're not particularly boring either, and Axel finds it fascinating that mankind has so many beliefs, so many religions, blind faith and love and obedience wrapped up in one (or two, or twelve) leather-bound book. It's almost like how the rest of the Order treated the Superior, except the rules and the commandments and the lies are written in their bodies, their minds, their non-existent hearts.
Axel reads the Bible, reads about the tower of Babel, reads about Jericho, reads about Babylon, and he smirks, though he isn't sure how he feels about the analogies he's drawing between these places and the Order. He knows he's amused at the parallels, high places that are supported by air and nothing else, but he's confused about how it applies to him when clearly, the stories apply to everyone else in the Order.
But that's before he's met Roxas. Roxas, with the blue eyes and the sun-bright hair and the cheerless face and the double keyblades, too serious and sullen and grounded, not bothering even to pretend that he was interested in the Superior's dreams and ideals and illusions. Axel finds himself shielding Roxas from the bulk of his own mistakes, making excuses for the younger boy and cupping his hand over Roxas' mouth whenever it appeared that Roxas' talent for pointing out the painfully obvious that everyone was studiously ignoring was going to get himself killed. Even when Roxas shakes off his hand and takes off, Axel thinks he doesn't mind the screaming he gets from the Superior minutes later.
It's funny, but he doesn't see Roxas having his own Babylon either, Roxas is too apathetic to care about the affairs of the heart, metaphorically sailing through the days without a goal in sight. Which suits Axel just fine, because Axel finds himself liking Roxas more than he should, and if they're both standing on solid ground they won't have to worry about falling. Axel doesn't need to worry that Roxas would get his head twisted on backwards like Marluxia or Saix or that Roxas would make him do things he doesn't want to do like how Zexion does with Lexaeus.
They can be their own person without hearts with each other. They can laugh together (or Axel will laugh for Roxas) while they watch the Order build its castle on the clouds, safe and secure in the knowledge that they'll be the ones watching it fall, and not falling with it. Axel will take Roxas' apathetic nature in stride, because Roxas doesn't ask him to change and he won't change for Roxas.
Except, except he doesn't see it. He doesn't see how Roxas chips away at his don't-carish exterior, makes Axel wrap himself around his fingers, all without ruffling a single strand of hair, all without a single thought to Axel himself. Like the soldiers of Jericho, marching and marching day by day, step by step, not knowing what they're doing, but doing it anyway.
He doesn't see it until it's too late. He sees it only when Roxas says the words, "I'm leaving," and then he realizes that Roxas hasn't even tied himself to him/, never did, and Axel can't help feeling the threads that /tug at him, thin suffocating coils wrapping around a non-existent heart, pulling him down. He can't help it, can't help anything, can't even help himself when he finds that he's suddenly built an existence around Roxas, on Roxas, and Roxas is /leaving/.
And now, and now he's just falling, a faint, crazed echo of who he was, and a tiny voice is laughing somewhere in his head. Laughing at something about the tower of Babel.
In case you don't read the Bible or don't know the places that I've referenced here in relation to Axel and the Organization, here's a short glossary.
Tower of Babel: Built in early Bible days, the Tower of Babel was fashioned by the people of earth (who used to speak one language and one language only) because they decided they were too pompous and wanted to reach God's place by building the highest tower in the world, reaching to the skies. God didn't like the people's arrogance, so he spread disorder around them by making them speak different languages. Thus, the Tower of Babel fell (or rather, was never completed because no one could understand each other.)
Babylon: Babylon, in Bible lore, is one of the most successful cities overwhelmed with people and gold and power. It was the economic center of the earth at its time, and it also has one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Although one would think that it would last forever, Babylon was prophesised to fall and never be rebuilt again. And where is Babylon now?
Jericho: Jericho is also an ancient city in the Bible and is one of the key cities that Israel must take in order to advance their taking-over of Canaan. The problem with Jericho? It's an incredibly fortified city with SEVEN barriers, and furthermore, it's built in such a way that the barriers have one piece of land in between, and the following barrier is about 50 metres higher than the previous one. Jericho is also well-defended against siege, they can last a long time (years) without going out of their city. So, it's a daunting task for Israel to wait years for the Jericho people to come out.
So what do they do? God tells them (loosely), "Okay, I want you to march. I want you to march around the city of Jericho for seven days. The first six days, I want you to just march around it ONCE. The seventh day, march around it seven times, and after you complete the seven rounds, give a great shout. I will give the city unto you."
Think it's crazy? Think, well, how do you expect to bring an entire city down just by marching?
But that's what happened. The last day, the last march, the great shout, and the city of Jericho collapsed.