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The Bastion

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Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts does not belong to me, neither does Final Fantasy. They belong to their owners, like Square Enix and Disney, so please don't sue me. Also whatever else I may reference, also does not belong to me. Only this story is mine, the rest belong to other people/corporations/other stuff. Also this story is not based on any persons living or dead, or zombiefied, any similarities to people, places, things, ideas, musicals, goats, editors, cabbage, shards of glass, and puppies and completely coincidental. Warning: there will be yaoi, that's man on man, :3, swearing, blood and gore, military situations and other mature stuff, so if that isn't your boat, or if you think reading this will make your head implode, please don't read this, for everyone else, enjoy!

It was almost five in the morning, and he was ready, not just getting up, or ready to go back to sleep like he might have been in another lifetime. No, he was up, showered, shaved and ready for the day. As the seconds ticked closer to five, he allowed one more glance into the full length mirror that was in his Spartan room. He checked his uniform to make sure everything was perfect, it had to be, always had to be, but certainly, even more so today. He ran his fingers through his high top, just within regulations, but still there, as his hands traveled to the back of his neck. There used to be long hair there, but it was gone, and in this slight moment he caught himself thinking, "How long has it been since the Judges declared martial law?"

Thirteen, thirteen long years since a world that was supposed to be at peace was now tearing itself apart at the seams. It seems like just yesterday, he was only nine years old, in his school's music room, falling deeper and deeper in love with all the sounds around him. The intercom came to life and thundered with the voice of the Lord High Judge, Judge Gabr- knock, knock, knock. Demyx was torn away from his thoughts and glanced at his watch. "Five on the dot, really Axel?"

The newly made First lieutenant opened the door to see his company commander about to knock again. "Morning Axey!" Axel couldn't help but smile at the affectionate name Demyx used for him in the past.

"Look, Dem. We can't call each other those names anymore, it was great while it lasted, but we both decided to call it off at the end of last year, and furthermore, I'm your commanding officer now, and we both know that there is no fraternization between officers and their subordinates."

"I know, I know, but still I haven't seen you since before we all had our internships over break., Quick before we go down to the quad, let's catch-up ok?"

"Okay Dem., but only a quickie." Axel smirked.

"Very funny…..sir." "So first off, what's with the hair, and those tattoos?"

"Well the hair." Axel ran his right hand through his long spiked red hair he'd gotten up and hour early to try to gel just right. "Only the fourth years have to be shaved, and the third and second have to keep theirs in the regulations of an active duty soldier, but we first year cadets." Axel playfully rubs the top of Demyx's head. "We can keep ours whatever way we choose, it's one of the perks of being at the top."

After fixing his hair, Demyx asks, "And what about setting the example to your cadets? Hmmmm? Mr. Company Commander? In charge of how many cadets?"Axel starts to count his fingers and tries to keep track in his head. Demyx couldn't stand the sight of this, so he had to say something, after all, it was his place to make sure that his captain knew what was going on, "Try at least one hundred, captain."

"At least one hundred, I knew that." Axel grins his signature grin.

"And the tattoos, well," Axel started, while tracing the two tattoos underneath both of his eyes with his right index finger.

"Well, I figured that since I'm a Company CO, and have two platoons under my control, I got a tattoo for each of them under my eyes."

"That doesn't make very much sense Axel. Why do that to yourself when you'll only have those two platoons for one year?"

"It's the memory Dem. Just one more reminder of the place." Axel makes a gesture with his hands, trying to indicate the area around them.

Demyx huffed to himself, "Like we need any more reminders."

Demyx thinks about his own tattoo that he had gotten when he first got accepted to the "Bastion" the number nine on his left shoulder, large enough to tell at a distance, but still small enough to be hidden under the sleeve of a short sleeve-shirt. It was his own reminder of his past, and how things changed when he was nine, and how he wanted the world to go back to back when people had more freedom, back when they weren't an empire. Back when Walt Disney was president, and he promised so many good things for them all.

"Well, I guess whatever turns you on Axel." Thinking quickly before Axel was able to even finish opening his mouth. "Not a word Ax."

"What?" Axel asked, it's not like he was going to say anything vulgar, or at least anything really vulgar.

Demyx just stares at his slightly taller friend and commander.

Trying to change the subject and also trying to get Demyx to stop looking at him like that, Axel says, "So where did you go to study this summer Dem.?"

"Nice change of subject." Demyx gives Axel a thumbs-up.

"Thanks, I try!" Axel returns the gesture and winks.

"I decided to go to the port-city of Atlantica, check out the naval facilities, and of course that huge theatre that the prince ordered as a wedding present to your sister."

"Yeah Ariel was always so spoiled, sweet though."

"The sweetest!"

"We had so much fun singing and playing music with Director's Sebastian's orchestra and chorus."

"So when you weren't learning about the tides and the navy and all that stuff, you were singing and playing music with her right? Or, was it the other way around?" Axel asked as he brought his hands to his hips, with a knowing look on his face.

Demyx just scratched the back of his head and looked down to his very well polished shoes, and stared at his reflection. "You know me that well huh?"

"Of course I do, and you know me just as well, why else would I have made you my second-in-command when I was promoted to company commander?"

"True, true." Demyx agreed, "Alright, your turn Axel, where did you go over the summer?"

"Alright I'll tell you, but can we start walking down first? We're on the third floor, I'm sure we'll have time to talk about my trip as we get ready to get into formation." With that, the two started off outside Demyx's middle room on the third floor and headed to the stairwell at their far right.

"Well you know how some people may call a fire-enthusiast right?"

"I think the correct term is pyro, fire starter, flame-head, or pyromaniac, but yes, go on."

Axel let off a bit of laughter that seemed like it should come out of the mouth of a mass murderer or some convict that is kept behind glass to be studied, or a truly sick-twisted individual, well, maybe he's not that far off from those.

"Funny, Dem, well, ah hem, I went to Halloween Town"

"Halloween Town? That place why?"

"Come on Dem why do you think?" Axel leans back on the railing, using his elbows to prop himself up. He tosses his hair in the cool morning breeze flowing through the stairwell before continuing. "You know why we call it that now right?"

Demyx stops when he notices that Axel was no longer on his right and turns around, almost getting dizzy, and finds him getting comfortable on the railing Demyx gives Axel a slight shrug in the affirmative and leans against the wall to Axel's left , just around the corner from the stairwell entrance.

Axel begins to explain, "Well, in case you weren't paying attention to the news in the past few years, which in your case is likely." Demyx puts on a pout. Axel resumes, "Well the resistance there was so hard, and their fortifications so thick, that deep forest, it was hell in a hand-basket just trying to even find the enemy forces, trying to shoot them."

"And that is why?" Demyx questioned.

"Yeah that is why, Dem., Too many good soldiers were being lost due to fruitless patrols and recon missions, hell, we couldn't even get their natives on our side, and how can you take an area that doesn't even want to be taken, not only that, but will fight you tooth and nail to the very last to make sure it isn't taken?" Demyx shrugs, and waits for Axel to continue. "We bombed and burnt it to cinders!" Axel then jumped up and exclaimed in his joy and excitement, thus startling Demyx, "What a beautiful sight Operation Hellfire would have been!"

Axel gets goose bumps just imaging what might have occurred in the most infamous act that of the Great War, the trees and buildings melting to the ground, people being burnt alive in one section, or completely atomized in another, whilst divisions of infantry with flamethrowers mopped-up the rest, and made sure all was well and burnt, and nothing was lest but piles of ash. To be able to see the scores of planes that must have filled the air to deliver such a tremendous blow to the entire world! Every other group that dared tried to rise up against the Kaiser would always have the image of Hellfire scorched into their minds, just like the physical scorch marks that will never heal in the ground, the sky is still dark from the ash, it's like permanent night, and the sole occupiers of that land, despite the soldiers at the base, are the dead, those poor bastards, unlucky enough to get caught up in the firestorm that was like Hell on Earth.

"You can't beat a scorched earth policy, Dem., after that it was much smoother sailing for the rest of the war."

"So then why did you go there? If everything is gone?

"Not everything, there are the men and women responsible for Operation Hellfire that are on the base, and over the summer, I was able to learn all sorts of new ways to create fiery death!"

"We actually found some poor sap that tried to lead a coup against the empire, thanks to the new laws though, only he was to be punished, shame that, I wanted to try what I learned on more of those traitors."

"Wait you did what?"

"I applied what I was taught by the veterans of Operation Hellfire, Demyx, you could not even imagine the sheer terror in his face, or the screams he made, it was to me, what your old age classical music is to you, sweet music at its finest!"

"You're a sick fuck, you know that Axel?"

"Yes, I do." Axel then pops off the railing and hugs Demyx, "But I'm your sick fuck!"

"Get off me Axel! What if someone sees?"

"Then they'd be jealous?"

Feeling like he is about to be squeezed to death, isn't that his job, to squeeze other people to death? Demyx quickly thought of a way to get out of his current painful predicament. "Don't we have a company to get to?" Realization snuck in past all those thoughts of Axel and his "fun" over summer break. "Crap! You're right! Quick trusty XO to the stairwell!"

And there goes one of the most senior cadets sliding down the railing as it circles and circles down to the bottom, why did Demyx have to be the executive officer to such a glorified loon? "Boy did they choose the wrong guy for this." Demyx said to no one in particular, but just felt like it had to be said, there must be some reason he's even still at the college instead of just giving the country a couple years of his life then doing what he pleased. No, he wanted to be an officer, an a graduate of the Bastion to boot, a leader among leaders. He sighed inwardly as he strode down the steps, if only the civies knew what their leaders were like when the doors were closed, or even what they were like in this college.

As Demyx neared the bottom of the stairs he couldn't help but wonder why he was ever attracted to Axel in the first place, sure he's fun to be around, has a good sense of humor, and is a good looking guy, but over three years of hard military training would do that to most people, and certainly all here. They were fast friends and when the confessed to each other about their "preference" it seemed somewhat natural to them to become an item. Maybe it was just because they were both gay and military life kinda frowns on that, well at least they used too, until h-"DEM!" Could he really not talk to himself for any length of time today?

"I said…."

"Yes Sir, I heard you Axel!"

"So why did you call my name?"

"Umm, where is my company again?"

Face-palm "You can't be serious." "Well….." Axel starts tracing and outline with his shoe, as he mutters to himself.

"Look at the area between the northeastern section and the southeastern section"

"Okay" Axel turns to look in the direction.

"Your other northeastern section and the southeastern section"

"I knew that, I was just making sure you were doing your job of keeping me in the right direction as my second."

"Of course Sir, Well, you see those men?"

"Yes, are those mine?"

"No, those are the Chocobo Calvary, captained by Ramza."

"Oh, so mine are the ones where I looked at first, see that there is my excellent leadership skills taking charge and pointing me toward my men, right?"

"Actually that is the artillery battery, captained by Gippel."

Axel starts to pout that he still can't find his own men, Some great leader he is already turning out to be, he thinks to himself.

"So, where do the infantry companies line up at?"

"Between the two companies I just said, along the back wall here." Demyx indicates that they are at the back of the barracks in the back left corner.

"And since we are in Alpha Company, my men must be the ones nearest us on this back wall!"

"Very good Sir."

"I do have a question before we join the formation though Captain."

"Speak freely Dem."

"Why is our company doing PT this early? They haven't even been assigned their physical training uniforms, or any uniforms, since it's their first day. Isn't today supposed to be the day the cadets get their things squared away, and tomorrow they really get exposed to the Fourth-Class system?"

"Well it's the First Sergeant that's directly in control, of the enlisted, not I." the redheaded captain responded.

"Well who did you appoint for your First Sergeant?"

"That second class cadet, Seifer, you know the PT-freak?"

"Are you trying to kill them on the first day?" Demyx almost yells at his commanding officer.

"What about killing?"

Axel and Demyx looked puzzled, then realization hit them at the same moment "That sounds like Xigbar!"

"Xigbar, what happened to your face?" both Captain and his XO yell.

"Nice to see you guys too." Xigbar laughs.

After the "slight" shock of seeing their friend of four years scarred from Lord knows what, Axel is the first to recover from the shock and speak, "Xiggy, dude, what happened?"

"Well not all of us went to a bombed out city, like the now apply named "Halloween Town", Axel, or a naval facility with a lively city practically next door like Atlantica, Demyx. No some us went to experience the duties we'll have to face first hand."

Demyx finally regains some of his, although limited, brain functions, "Well where DID you go?"

Xigbar sighs, realizing the two will not drop this subject, until they hear the whole story, "To the eastern province, with the 22nd Special Forces."

With the mention of the famed 22nd, Axel couldn't keep quiet,

"Wait you mean to tell us that you went with some of the most well known sharpshooters in the world to "The Land of Dragons?"

Almost offended, the fresh First Lieutenant responds "Yeah, I scored the highest in the marksmen tests, and we are part of the greatest military college in the world, we all have to go on internships that will aide us after the Fourth-Class system, and why not test my mettle in the jungles of the Far East, by doing so?"

Demyx's turn to question the fellow 1LT, in his mind anyway, "What about the "Dragons" you know Shan Yu's men, do you see any of them?

Almost laughing Xigbar counters with, "How do you think I got these?

Still clueless Demyx asks, "Well that is what we have been trying to ask you this whole time Xig., tell us already! What happened?"

Staring at Demyx with his one good eye, wondering if this guy is serious, then thinking back to their first year, when Demyx was told, by their 1SG, at the time, to bring head-light fluid and elbow grease to their platoon, and Demyx actually went in search for some. Xigbar laughs at the memory in his head, he was found a week and a half later, with his pants on his head, belt buckled, and sitting in a puddle, almost dead, due to heat exhaustion.

"I guess I will have to spell it out to you won't I?" Both of the leaders of Alpha Company nod their heads. "Here's what happened, Well it was just another routine patrol through some of the main checkpoints in the jungle… we were coming up near the next field base… when a falcon was heard screeching toward us. As we looked up at the bird several insurgents have circled us from the surrounding trees and tall grass… even some perched on branches, they were starting to pop off rounds in our direction. As the platoon I was with started to take cover and find their targets, I was hit." He pauses. "BY THAT GOD DAMN FALCON!"

"It latched on to and scratched my face down this side here" Xigbar runs his hand down the left side of his face, "And that damn bird, fucking pulled out my eye with its beak. As I writhed in pain on the dirt floor of that cursed jungle, I looked up to a nearby rock where it was perched, my eyeball hanging by its veins, like a ball swinging back and forth on a string.

"It looked at me, stared at me, full of hate that, I thought I should be feeling, not it, and in one fluid moment it twisted its head in a sharp movement and swallowed my eyeball, right there in front of me."

"Then I blanked out, the next thing I knew it was night and we were all around a campfire and the guys were saying how they couldn't believe my aim was so good, even better with only one eye, and how many men they thought I'd killed, look, all I know, is that whatever, I want to say bird?" Xigbar thinks back to the campfire trying to remember just what was cooking that night. "Well whatever animal, being roasted on the fire, in the middle of the encampment, sure did taste good that night." Xigbar licks his lips and fondly smiles at the memory.

"That sounds really rough Xigbar, so are you going to keep the eye-patch on the whole time?"

"No, Axel, I just wanted to look like a pirate on my first day back."

"Really?" asks Demyx

"Of course not! Besides, don't you guys think I look even more intimidating now?"

"Like your company needs to scare the newbies anymore than I'm sure is already being done."

"What do you mean Dem.?"

"What my XO means, my myopic friend." Axel could never help himself making a joke at someone else's expense. "Is that your company CO, is none other than the queen bitch herself, Larxene."

"Speak of the devil and she appears." Axel muses to himself, as he spies the blond witch coming down the opposite stairwell. Axel throws a thumb in her direction, "You better head off before she gets angrier"

All three men knew exactly how Larxene was seemingly in a constant state of PMS and was always awake early in the morning to 'greet' the new cadets. Everyone felt sorry for the cadets on the first day, but Larxene's company had it the worst, simply because they were hers.

"Yeah you're right, see you guys out on the quad!" Xigbar waved as he doubled timed over to his company's commander.

"She really needs to get laid." Axel couldn't help stating the facts, especially after she used to pine over him when they first started at The Bastion. Demyx lightly punched his arm at the rude remark, and both still laughed at the fact that Axel was speaking the truth.

"Well I think it's about time we stop stalling and face our new cadets! I can't wait to see their fresh faces, and later rub their bald heads; they look so cute like that!" Demyx bounced up and down, regaining his energy at the thought of being in front of people again, and the idea of teaching them and molding them into the image The Bastion expects. As Axel tried to get control of the blond, he realized those cadets have still been doing PT this whole time, man it must suck to be them right now.

"Well, it time to get into character Dem." Axel said as he composed himself, and grabbed a cigar from his front right pocket, and stuck it in his mouth.

"I know you smoke Axel, but since when cigars?"

Axel shrugs and grabs Demyx's left shoulder with his right hand, and starts to quote of one the best shows he knows, "It ain't no mystery." Axel drops his hand from Dem.'s shoulder and chews off the bottom of his cigar. "If it's politics or history." He sniffs the fine aroma that floods his nostrils. "The thing you got to know is." He walks onto the black and white checkerboard patterned quad; that is in the center of the barracks, he leisurely strolls from the rear making his way to the front. "Everything is show-biz." He lights his cigar and inhales deeply. "Sup, Alpha Company," He stands sideways toward his company, turns his head to the left, and gives a half-hearted salute with his right hand, as his cigar rests in the left corner of his mouth, to his men and women. "I'm your Captain, Captain Axel, A-X-E-L, got it memorized?"

As Demyx walks just behind and to the right of Axel, He couldn't help but sigh to himself at Axel's theatrics, God help them.