The fan community needs works like what Broken Republic's done in this story. Axel fans know it's hard to find a decent fic depicting our favorite character in all his awesome glory without being emo, goth or something else stupid, but Broken Shield has it down to a fine science. Not only is Axel expertly in character, but so is everyone else in this giant fun fest of KH characters.
This is the only AU story that I've come across that doesn't wholly depart from the magic of the games. It's set in an alternate reality where Axel helps Sora on his quest to become Keyblade Master. It's an action-packed, and at times psychological, thriller.
And if all that sounds like your cup of tea, you'll also like to know that there are actual Disney characters in this! Yes, that's right, those rare, wondrous cartoons that we all grew up on and loved playing with in the games are NOT neglected in this story! They're actually solid contributors to the plot for a nice change of pace in fanfiction...
Read this story, Axel fans! You'll be glad you did.