Axel's just a local, harmless pyromaniac. Roxas is the kid from nowhere who can't decide if he has insomnia or narcolepsy. Axel shouldn't listen to him. He really, really shouldn't.
Prologue; Burning Precious Moments
It was 3 o'clock on a Sunday morning when Axel decided to drag his sister's obscenely pink Precious Moments backpack out to his usual place - a little nook between the kwiki mart and the hardware store - and set fire to it. It took a few tries, but only because he was half-assing it as he considered getting a soda (and what kind) from the convenience store. When it finally caught, it didn't even bother to glorify its death and mostly just smoldered; the smoldering was punctuated by brief flashes of actual flames peeking out here and there (but only when he fed it bits of things he'd fished out from his pockets).
After about a minute, Axel came to two conclusions. The first he'd been wondering about before he'd even confiscated the bag; yes, indeed, Precious Moments equaled total suckage. The second only just dawned on him; plastic backpacks MELT. (BUST.)
Scowling, he left the distasteful object to fold in on itself and ambled around the corner to the kwiki mart, determined to have a REAL blaze that night. Morning. What-the-fuck-ever.
Sometimes being up at this time was really confusing.
The annoying bell went off as he entered the convenience store and he squinted at the sudden change in lighting. Sometimes he wondered how the local tweakers reacted to the change. (Maybe something like, "OMF, it's GOD.")
Speak of the devil...
Someone was hunched up against the glass door of the Energy Drink section at the back, pawing at it mindlessly. Axel glanced over at Olette, the clerk for the graveyard shift (and thus the one he knew personally enough to refer to her as Omelet on occasion) and quirked a brow, only to receive a shrug and a vague rolling of her eyes.
So, not a tweaker.
Must be a local ZOMBIE, then.
No sweat; Axel figured that, though he had no blunt objects with which to smash in their face should they bother him, he could always set the walking corpse on fire. And then run.
Olette could fend for herself.
Nodding to himself he made a beeline for the hard liqueur, ignoring the fact that he was underage and Olette knew this. As he opened the see-through door and reached for a cheap bottle of (delightfully flammable) vodka, he slanted a brief glance at the tweaker-come-zombie and caught the impression of a head full of dusty blonde hair, a pale complexion and a childish profile.
Axel couldn't bring himself to be overly interested, though, even as the low rumble of muttering drifted into his ears. He just shimmied back up to the counter and gave the vodka to Olette, who glared tiredly at him.
"No I'm not."
"Yes you are."
"... You're in HIGH SCHOOL."
"Doesn't mean I'm underage."
"... I..." Olette frowned, considering this. Then shook her head. "No, no, Axel. I KNOW you're underage. Can't trick ME."
Axel smirked then asked, "Then, if I'm underage and in high school, how old am I and what grade am I in?"
She floundered. No one really knew what grade Axel was in - or at least, no one who cared to reveal his information knew. For all anyone knew, he was just there. Glaring at him, she folded her arms over her chest. "Alright then, how about an ID?"
And so Axel, smiling like a cat that'd eaten all your favorite Goldfish (and then vomited them back up on your pillow), dug into his back pocket and produced his wallet, which he then flipped open to reveal a tiny picture of his own grinning mug and a bit of data stating that he was of the legal age to buy, consume, and get shitfaced on alcoholic beverages. And not get kicked out of Adult stores.
And Olette was pretty freakin' sure it was fake. She stared at it for a good half minute or so, but it was three in the damn morning and she was just too tired to care. She sighed. "Fine, whatever. $7.50, please."
After a brief exchange of money, Olette handed back the vodka, now in a brown paper bag, and Axel mosied his ass right back out the store.
Behind him, the zombie kid had finally figured out how to open the glass door and was fumbling through the selection of taurine infused drinks.
Now outside and back in his little nook, Axel had to wait for his eyes to readjust to the darkness before he could regard the sad sight that was formerly known as his little sisters obnoxious pink backpack. It was now a blackened mess of bubbling hot goo that smelled to high heaven.
The red head hopped up onto the crate that sat snug against the wall of the hardware store and doffed the bag hiding the alcohol. Deciding not to waste something so convenient, he tossed the bag onto the backpack and watched as it blazed to life after a few seconds. He uncorked the bottle and dribbled a bit onto his hand, idly flicking the liquid into his sorry excuse for a fire.
Then he leaned over and poured a bit over the backpack. A hot flare shot up, eating the alcohol and lighting his delighted face. Yes, he would have his fire that night... and he would never have to see the goddamn backpack again.
Then he upended the bottle, spilling out its entire contents and the fire ROARED.
He almost dropped the glass container when someone settled next to him on the crate, saying, "Smells awful."
He glanced over at the zombie kid from the store, watching as he took a long gulp from his can of whatever. A dark hood pulled up obscured most of his face but the fire illuminated enough to keep him from being entirely creepy.
"Plastic does that." Axel found himself answering. Zombie kid nodded. "What are you doing out so late?"
"Why are you?" He countered. His voice was tired and words slurred together in a strange, almost not-there accent.
"I'll answer if you answer."
"Can't sleep." He shrugged. "Insomniac."
Axel nodded, more to himself than anyone else. "Cant stop setting things on fire. Pyro."
They were quiet for a while, both watching the flaming backback.
Axel wondered if, perhaps, zombie kid's pants were particularly flammable.
"I've never seen you before." Axel mused, leaving the tempting vision of the kids pants to look back at the fire.
"Just moved here." He said.
He shrugged. "Place where God pees a lot."
Axel pulled a face. "What?"
Maybe the kid really WAS a tweaker.
"Lots of rain." Was all he said before tipping back his can to get the last drops of the liquid from it, crushing it afterwards. He got up and moved away from Axel and the fire. "Seeya."
"Seeya." Axel echoed quietly, watching him leave peaceably, until, "Hey! Wait!"
He hopped off the crate, calling after him, "What's your name?"
Mike Tyson. The kid called over his shoulder blearily, and then he was gone.
Axel stared after him blankly.
Zombie kid was LY-ING.