Author's Note: It's me again, already! I was driving to class other night, just singing along with the radio, minding my own business, when a story idea popped into my head. So, here I am, typing away. I can't believe that this is my fourth story already.

Okay, so before I start the story, I have to give you some information about it so it will make sense. First of all, it takes place in an Alternate Universe, so no Heartless, no Keyblade master, etc. Secondly, I'm tweaking the characters ages a bit so the story will work. Yuffie - 18, Kairi - 17, Sora - 18, Aerith - 21, Cloud - 23, and Squall - 27. I would put Riku in, but I've found that I am unable to write his character (maybe he'll make a guest appearance). And, since I don't know Kairi's and Sora's last names, I'm going to make them up as I go along. Also, the pairs will be eventually Yuffie/Squall (of course), Cloud/Aerith, and Sora/Kairi. So, without further adieu, I give you "These Are the Days."

Disclaimer: I own neither Kingdom Hearts nor the characters portrayed in the story unless it is one of my original characters, so if you don't recognize someone, it's probably an original character.

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THESE ARE THE DAYS

Chapter One: First Impressions

"Come on, Kairi! We're going to be late!" Yuffie screamed at her new roommate as she hastily threw a couple notebooks into her green backpack and grabbed a slip of paper off her already piled up desk. First day of college and I'm acting like a dork already, she sighed. Looking around the room, she shuddered at the clashing colors. Her half was done in greens and yellows, whereas Kairi insisted on purples and blues. It made an interesting combination, if you were colorblind. The floor, where you could see it through the piles of clothes, was covered in a stained beige carpet. Posters covered the white walls, most consisting of guys from their favorite music groups. And on the ceiling, the two girls had painstakingly placed glow-in-the-dark stars of random sizes.

"Chill, Yuffie," the red-head calmly replied from her side of the room, seeing that the clock showed 8:45 in red glaring numbers. "Class doesn't start for another fifteen minutes. We have plenty of time," she continued as she took a coke from the small refrigerator placed in the back corner of the room. She shook her head at the nervous ebony haired girl. How am I going to put up with her all semester, she silently wondered. "Are you going to be like this all year?"

"Plenty of time?! Plenty of time?! We don't even know where the math building is? How can you say we have plenty of time?" Yuffie began pulling her short hair in frustration. She hated to be late, usually arriving to her destination about ten minutes early.

Kairi walked over to her, placing a hand on her shoulder. "This is college, Yuffie. The professors expect us to be late." Using her roommate for balance, the red-head pulled her new sneakers on. "Besides, how far away can the math building be anyways?"

Yuffie's dark blue eyes widened at the girl's statement. "Haven't you even looked at how far apart all the buildings are?" She looked down at the map she clutched tightly in her hand, pointing angrily at a tiny dot. "Our class is all the way across campus!"

"Oh, well then, we better get going, hadn't we?" the slightly younger girl said. Yuffie rolled her eyes, sighing resignedly, wondering who she had made mad enough in the Resident Life Department to give her this particular girl as a roommate. She thought back to when she first discovered who her roommate would be.

"Yuffie," her mother called. "You got a letter from the university today. I think it says Resident Life on the front."

The eighteen year old came running down the stairs and grabbed the envelope from her mother. Ripping it open, she began to read:

"Miss Kisaragi,

We are happy to inform you that your request for a room in Welllington Hall has been complied with. As a resident of Wellington Hall, you must have at least one roommate, of the same gender, who has been randomly selected. Below is the aforementioned roommate's name, telephone number, and address so you may become acquainted with one another. We thank you for choosing our university to continue your studies.

Kairi Crawford

(XXX) XXX - XXXX

XXXX Plum Rd

Gilmer, TX XXXXX"

Yuffie put the letter on the table and picked up the cordless phone, dialing the number immediately. After the third ring, someone answered.

"Hello," a soft voice said.

"Hi, is Kairi there?" Yuffie asked excitedly.

"This is she."

Yuffie took a deep breath before speaking. "I'm Yuffie Kisaragi. I just found out that we're going to roommates this year at the university. And I was wondering if you could give me your e-mail address or something so we could get to know one another before the semester starts."

Kairi agreed and they began e-mailing and instant messaging each other for the rest of the summer. Yuffie discovered she was almost exactly a year older than the red-head: Yuffie's birthday being on November 20 and Kairi's falling on the 28th. Also, Kairi found out that her new roommate took the martial arts very seriously while she herself considered walking to the kitchen enough exercise for the week.

Coming back to the present, Yuffie threw her backpack over her shoulder and walked out the door to their third floor room, Kairi trailing after her. They walked down the long hall and descended the stairs, passing other students as they rushed to class. She looked down at her schedule for about the hundredth time that day. Okay, College Algebra at nine, Biology at eleven, and finally History at one. This isn't so bad, Yuf. You can do this. Just get through today and then we'll worry about tomorrow's schedule. On the outside, she put on a brave front, but inside she was a quivering puddle of jelly.

They opened the doors from their dormitory to the courtyard, the stifling August heat bearing down on them. "Okay, Yuffie, which way?" Kairi asked excitedly as she watched all the people milling around.

Squinting at the map, she headed off toward the North gate of campus. "This way, I think," she called back over her shoulder. Kairi caught up with her and the two girls began their trek across the large campus, falling into the crowd.

"WATCH OUT!" Yuffie turned around in time to see a guy about her age with spikey chocolate-colored hair flying down the sidewalk on a skateboard, yelling at people to move. She managed to jump to the side right before he ran her over.

"Did you see that?" Kairi said indignantly, hands placed on her slim waist. "People are so rude!"

Yuffie just leaned against the wall where she had jumped, glaring at the skateboarder as he disappeared from sight. "That bastard could have killed me!" she hissed, thinking of the many ways she could maim him for life. If I could catch him, that is, she silently mused.

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Finally reaching the math building, the two girls consulted their schedules again for the room number. "Room 159," they said simultaneously as they headed down the empty hall. Yuffie looked at her watch, "Great, we're ten minutes late." Finding the room, she slowly pushed open the door to reveal a large auditorium and about a hundred students in the seats.

"Damn, I've never seen such a big class before," Kairi muttered as she looked for two empty seats. Spotting them on the back row, she pulled the protesting Yuffie over to them, not noticing who was sitting next them.

The elderly professor looked at his watch, knowing he needed to wait for the few stragglers who had trouble finding the class. "Welcome to College Algebra. Class, please sign the roll sheet as it comes around. With a class this large, it wouldn't be practical to call role," the professor droned on, handing a sheet to a student in the front row. "Now, if you would look at your syllabus…"

Zoning out, Yuffie glanced around the large crowded room, taking in her surroundings. She got a good look at the guy sitting next to Kairi, he seemed so familiar. Wracking her brain for a moment, she tried desperately to place him. Her eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed in anger when she finally realized he was the skateboarder. "You!" she seethed across the perplexed Kairi.

"What?" he whispered back, bright blue eyes clearly showing his confusion.

Kairi looked back and forth between the two, finally settling on Yuffie. "What's wrong, Yuffie?"

"He's the guy that nearly killed me on that skateboard from hell." She pointed her finger at spikey-haired youth.

He grinned sheepishly, "I thought you looked familiar."

"I'm gonna look real familiar to you by the time I'm finished with you," Yuffie growled, murder showing in her eyes.

Holding his hands up in peace, he began to apologize. "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't want to be late for class." He reached a hand across Kairi, "Can't we let bygones be bygones?"

She scowled at him for a moment before giving into his friendliness. Shaking his hand, she said, "Okay, you lucked out. I forgive you. I'm Yuffie Kisaragi."

"Sora Johnson." He looked at the petite red-head next to him, "And you are…?"

A large smile lit up her violet eyes, "Kairi Crawford." Turning away from him, she noticed the professor was writing something on the blackboard. "Um, I think we should be taking notes, don't y'all?" They immediately pulled out their various notebooks, beginning to write furiously on the paper while the professor began his lecture on quadratic equations.

After what seemed like hours to Yuffie but had only been fifty minutes, she finally heard the math professor announce "Class dismissed," receiving a loud collective sigh coming from the students.

Getting up from her seat, Yuffie muttered, "About time. I thought he was going to go on and on about those stupid equations." She flexed her hand, trying to work the cramps out of it from writing so quickly.

"And you would think he could talk a little slower, don't ya?" Kairi glared down the professor who was answering student questions.

Sora rubbed the back of his neck as he reached under his seat to pull out his skateboard. "So, um, what classes do you guys have next?" he asked tentatively.

Yuffie retrieved her schedule from her pocket. "I'm don't have another class until eleven, and then it's Biology." She curled her lip in disgust, "I hate biology."

Kairi dug around in here backpack, finally fishing out a crumpled piece of paper. Smoothing it out, she tried to make out the words. "Uh, I think it says I have English."

"Really? Where?" the brunette inquired.

"Liberal Arts building, room 102." She folded the schedule up carefully this time and placed it in the front pocket of her backpack.

Sora's face lit up excitedly, "So do I!" He looked down at his watch, "Come on, we better hurry or we're going to be late."

"Okay." Kairi started to leave with him, then turned back to Yuffie and mouthed He's cute. Yuffie nodded and smiled happily for her roommate.

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The rest of the day passed uneventfully for Yuffie. She didn't know anyone in either of her two later classes and she hadn't met any new people. Although, there was that one guy on the front row of her biology class that caught her eye. He appeared to be about twenty-two years old and had long shaggy brown hair reaching just below his shoulders. What made him really stand out though, was the fact that he wore black leather pants with four belts and a black leather jacket with red angel wings on the back, albeit the jacket was short-sleeved, but still, in this stifling heat how could he wear leather.

Deciding to try and sit next to him, she walked down the aisle towards him, passing row upon row of empty seats. Finally reaching her destination, she asked quietly, "Mind if I sit down?"

He lifted his azure eyes, giving her the once over before answering, "Sorry, seat's taken." He turned his gaze back to the front of the class, staring off into space.

"Well, what about the one on the other side?" she persisted.

Without looking at her, he replied, "It's taken as well."

Sighing resignedly, she made her way to the back of the auditorium, watching the man down front as the seats were slowly filled throughout the room. Still gazing upon him, she became infuriated when she noticed that even after class had started, the two seats on either side of the man were still empty. If he didn't want me to sit there, he could have just said so, she fumed, sending him death glares from her seat in the back.

So, after trying not to fall asleep in her last class of the day, History of the United States, she returned to her dorm, hoping to find something to do to ease her boredom. On nearing the door to her and Kairi's room, she heard loud laughter. Hm, wonder what's going on in there? she asked herself. She reached for the doorknob when the door was suddenly pulled open by Sora.

"Sora?" Yuffie questioned, brows furrowed in confusion. "What are you doing here?"

Kairi's head appeared around the brunette, "He walked me back after our last class."

"Well, I do live on the fourth floor, so it wasn't any problem," he told the two girls, smiling especially at Kairi. "So, I'll see you tomorrow, right?" he asked, looking at the red-head.

"Yeah. You better not forget!" she laughed as he turned to walk away.

Yuffie walked into the room, shutting the door behind her. She stared at her roommate, "Okay, what was that all about?" She crossed her arms across her chest and tapped her foot expectantly, trying to appear stern, but coming off ridiculous looking.

Kairi glanced at Yuffie, blushing slightly. "Oh, nothing. We just have the same first class tomorrow, so he's gonna walk with me." Her ebony-haired roommate kept staring at her, urging her to continue. "He's…he's so sweet, and funny, and…and…I just can't describe it," she finished lamely.

"Kairi, you just met the guy today! For all we know, he's a psychopath looking for another victim."

Kairi rolled her eyes, "Yeah, and I'm the Queen of England. Come off it, Yuffie! He's not a psychopath. He's a genuinely nice guy. Can't you just accept that?"

Taking a deep breath, Yuffie began to apologize. "I'm sorry. He probably is a really great guy. I just had a tiring day, that's all."

"That's okay. I understand." Kairi looked over at the clock beside her bed. 2:46. "Hey, do you want to go to a movie or something? I hear the new Orlando Bloom movie is showing at the Rose Theater and they have student discounts," she said temptingly.

"Yeah, I guess. Let me find my wallet." Yuffie rummaged around the mess on her computer desk, pens falling through the crack between the desk and the wall. "Ah-ha! There it is!"

"Ready?" Yuffie nodded, heading for the door with Kairi close behind her, letting the door slam shut behind them.

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Author's Note: I know, I know, there wasn't a lot of Squall/Leon in this chapter. In fact, he didn't even get a name yet. But, he will be in the next chapter. I have it all planned out in my head. Typing it though, is another matter. Anyways, you know the drill. REVIEW please, it encourages more chapters faster.