Title: Separate Lives

Author: Slashapalooza

Disclaimer: Once a lass met a lad. "You're a gentle one," said she. In my heart I'd be glad if you loved me for me. You say your love is true and I hope that it will be. I'd be sure if I knew that you loved me for me. Could I be the one you're seeking? Will I be the one choose? Can you tell my heart is speaking? My eyes will give you clues.

What you see may be deceiving. Truth lies underneath the skin. Hope will blossom by believing the heart that lies within. I'll be yours. Together, we shall always be as one if you loved me for me. Who can say where we'll go? Who can promise what we'll be? I will stay by your side if you loved me for me.

Fiction Rating T: 13+ Unverified. Contains content not suitable for children. Suitable for teens, 13 and older, with some violence, minor coarse language, and minor suggestive adult themes.

Summary: AU Sora has always been taught that the rich and the poor shouldn't mix. But when flunks out of his prep school and gets sent to a public school in the 'slums', can a certain white-haired boy change Sora's perceptions about the world? RS

Main Pairings: Sora/Riku (Duh), Leon/Cloud, Tidus/Selphie. So, basically, all the important people are set up.
Kairi & Wakka: WHAT ABOUT US!
Slashy: I said important people.

Author's Note: Yeah, the song in the disclaimer did nothing to disclaim anything, but I think we all know by now that I don't own Kingdom Hearts. The song's from Barbie's Princess and the Pauper (Yeah, I know. Eww, Barbie. But the movie was so addicting!)

Anyway, so, I had this story idea awhile ago, but I've finally decided to sit down and write it up. You should enjoy it. Sora's quite naïve and Riku is quite willing to corrupt. Plus Tidus and Selphie as well as Leon and Cloud have their own little side plots! It's all very planned out.

Except, you know, not really.

Category: Parents strongly cautioned. This story may contain boys kissing and/or being kissed, groping and/or being groped, molesting and/or being molested, dry humor, sexual situations and/or sex related humor, extreme flirting, obsession, and the bending of the body into a variety of odd positions.

Get your mind out of the gutter, you sick children.

Feedback: It's my favorite word.

Setting: Destiny Islands and the mainland

Date Begun: April 4, 2005

Date Posted: April 14, 2005

001: Pilot
Sora folded his last shirt and stuffed it into his suitcase, a thoughtful frown on his face. He couldn't believe he'd managed to get himself kicked out of Takaishi Prep School. His parents had gone there! His sister was going there!

And he… had just flunked out of there.

He groaned under his breath. So he'd failed a few subjects. He'd never been good at math, there was way too much history, he never claimed to be a good writer, he couldn't draw at all and he kept blowing things up in the science lab.

But, honestly, kicking a Harada out of Takaishi Prep? It was unheard of! The Harada family contributed so much money to the school every year that it was a miracle they didn't own the place. Sora must have been the first Harada to ever get booted.

Damn, his life sucked.

He closed his suitcase and dropped it on the floor, looking around his dorm room one last time. He was due home some time in the late afternoon since it was a long trip from the northern tip of Destiny Islands, all the way to the west side where the mansions were located.

He doubted his parents would be very happy to see him, especially considering it was only January and half way through midterms week. Sora had a sneaking suspicion that he'd been failing those, too.

"Hey," Kairi greeted as she entered the room. Sora gave her a look, watching as she dusted off her navy blue Takaishi Prep uniform skirt. It matched well with the white, collared Oxford shirt with the Takaishi seal embroidered into the breast pocket and the navy blue tie. Kairi was missing the royal blue jacket to go with it. "All packed up yet?"

"More or less," Sora answered, brushing his fingers through his hair and pouting again. "I still can't believe this. I'm a Harada for pity's sake!"

"Harada or not, you still flunked out, Sora. Accept it and move on. In the meantime, do you think I look better with the jacket or without it?" Kairi asked, spinning in a circle so her brother got the full effect. Sora rolled his eyes.

"Kairi? Not helping. Not even remotely cheering me up," Sora told her flatly as he grabbed his suitcase. "The limo's coming to pick me up in a few minutes. I begged Drew not to tell Mom and Dad about this."

"You're going to have to face them eventually," Kairi said, examining herself in the full-length mirror on Sora's wall. "If you're still alive after Dad gets through with you, call me. If not, I'm turning your room into a storage closet when I go home in two weeks."

Sora glared. "Gee, thanks."

"What are sisters for?" She kissed his cheek with mock affection, laughing when he swatted at her and wiped his cheek off with his sleeve. "You'd better hurry up, Mr. I Flunked Out Of Six Schools In Five Months."

"Whatever, Ms. My Favorite Thing To Do Is Stare At Myself In Shiny Objects," Sora shot back, rolling his eyes and heading out the door before she could retort. He sighed again as he walked through the familiar halls for the last time.

He'd only been going to Takaishi for three months and he'd already flunked out! That was a new record.

Sora opened the limo door and slid into the back, dropping his suitcase on the ground and immediately reaching for the bowl of candy they now kept in there since Sora took the limo everywhere.

"Your mother will be very disappointed," Drew commented, looking at Sora through the rearview mirror. Sora, his cheeks stuffed with candy, glared and put up the window separating the front and backseat.

He didn't need his driver lecturing him, too. He'd have to put up with that as soon as he got home. All he could hope for was traffic and excruciatingly long red lights.


Sora walked into the three story mansion, dragging his suitcase along behind him. Drew had offered to carry it for him, but, the way Sora saw it, if he ran into his parents first thing he could pretend to faint from exhaustion and gain some pity points.

Sure, that might get Drew fired, but the man was expendable and Sora had his own life to look out for.

"Mom? Dad?" Sora whispered, barely loud enough for a mouse to hear. He smiled cheekily. "Guess they're not home. Lucky me."

He walked over to the elevator next to the grand staircase and pressed the button for the third floor where his bedroom was. He took a seat on the couch that was arranged beautifully in the elevator along with a magazine rack and sighed, wondering if he could manage to make himself scarce so his parents wouldn't notice he was home.

He doubted he could pull that off for two weeks until Kairi got home with news that her oh-so-loveable brother had flunked out of school. No doubt she would take great joy in relating the news to their parents.

He got up as the bell rang, signaling he'd made it to the third floor. The elevator doors opened and Sora jumped back, nearly tripping over his suitcase and falling. He gulped. "U-uh, Mom… Dad… h-hi…"

Seiya Harada placed her hands on her hips and gave Sora a look. "What are you doing back home, Sora?" she asked in a 'you'd better answer right or you're in trouble' tone. Yukito Harada raised an eyebrow at his son, frowning.

"You got kicked out of Takaishi, didn't you?" he asked in an oddly calm voice. Sora merely nodded, not trusting himself to speak. Otherwise it might come out something like 'BACK DEMONS!'

Seiya rubbed her temples. "Oh, Sora, how could you?"

"How could they?" Yukito ranted, pacing from side to side. "We practically own the school! How dare they throw out a Harada! It's unspeakable!" Seiya continued giving Sora a disappointed look.

"Sora what happened? You were doing so well there!" she said, sighing. "Now we're going to have to find you a new school and enroll you and probably pay them off, too, and…"

"Don't blame the boy, dear. It's the prep school's fault. I'm withdrawing all of our donations," Yukito announced with a firm nod of his head.

"You can't do that! Kairi's still going there. If we withdraw our funding, the gossip will spread like wildfire. You know she doesn't handle gossip well," Seiya argued with one hand on her hip. Yukito raised an eyebrow.

"Are you questioning my authority?"

"No, I'm telling you you're being stupid. You have no authority over me."

"Wanna bet?"

"Wanna sleep on the couch tonight?"

Sora backed himself further into the elevator and watched his parents bicker back and forth. He sighed in relief as the elevator doors slowly closed and the elevator began moving back downstairs. He decided that going for a walk around the island would be perfect for getting him out of the house and give his parents time to accept the news that he'd gotten kicked out.

Leaving his suitcase in the elevator, he headed back outside and climbed into the limo. "I want to go for a walk," he announced to Drew, once again dipping into the candy bowl.

Drew glanced back at him. "So… what are you doing in the limo then?"

"Tch," Sora snorted, raising an eyebrow. "Who says going for a walk has to involve walking? Are you questioning my authority?"

"Well…"

"Just drive," Sora said flatly, sticking a jawbreaker into his mouth and closing the limo door.


"Alright, troops," Riku said, adjusting the cooking pot on his head and looking at the six children he had lined up in front of him. He was in the kitchen of Tidus's house and was currently playing a game of War with Tidus and his younger brothers and sisters. He'd taken six and rallied them in the kitchen while Tidus and his six had taken hold in the basement. "We're going to beat them and we're going to beat them good."

"What do we do, Wiku?" asked five-year-old Fuka, the youngest of the group. She never could seem to get his name right and her missing front tooth didn't help the matter much.

Riku hummed thoughtfully. "How about an ambush?"

"Nah," nine-year-old Kenshin chimed in. "Tidus is smart. He's probably got the basement booby trapped and waiting for us."

"You just made two major errors, private," Riku corrected, pointing the wooden cooking spoon in Kenshin's direction. "First, you made an assumption, which makes an ass out of you. Second, you called your brother smart."

He smiled at the round of snickering that came from the children. Clearing his throat, he went back to the game plan. "Alright, so, I want two of you to come with me to ambush Tidus and his group. Two of you will hang back to be the rescue party. One of you will hold down the fort and the last of you will serve as a guard."

He hummed thoughtfully. "Kenshin and Fuka, you come with me. Rin and Risa, you're the rescue party, Haru, you're holding down the fort, and Kaoru is the guard. Are we ready to kick some Mihada hinny?"

"YEAH!" the children screamed, pumping their fists into the air. Riku saluted them, watching Haru and Kaoru scrambled off to the living room to watch their fort and looking back at the rest. Nodding to Fuka and Kenshin, he began the walk over to the basement door.

He put a finger to his lips to get them to be quiet and peeked down the stairs. It was quiet. Too quiet.

He headed down first, careful to avoid the squeaky stairs so as not to give away his position. He adjusted the pot on his head against and looked around. He couldn't see any sign of Tidus or Sakura, Tomo, Jou, Yuu, Mika, and Hojou.

Fuka held her silver ladle tightly and started heading to the right while Kenshin took his spatula weapon and headed left. Riku headed right down the middle, keeping his eyes and ears peeled. Tidus was awfully tricky when it came to War.

"ATTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCKKKKKK!"

He quickly flipped around in time to block a swipe heading for his head. He smirked at Tidus and poked him in the stomach with the wooden spoon before Tidus could block, then parried and went in for the strike again. Tidus avoided the blow and swung for Riku's feet, but Riku quickly flipped backwards and avoided it.

"There are only three of them, Tidus!" Riku heard Jou report from somewhere to his right. "I've got one!"

Fuka was screaming. "Wiku! WIKU! HELP ME! They've got me!"

Riku glanced to the side and spotted a wheelbarrow right behind Tidus. He swung for Tidus's chest, causing the blond to duck, then he quickly swung for Tidus's legs and tripped him. He smiled in satisfaction as Tidus fell back into the wheelbarrow.

Riku turned and went running. "Fuka! Fuka, are you still alive!"

He found her sprawled out on the floor by the tool shelf, one hand over her heart and her weapon falling from her hands. He knelt down next to her, giving her a sympathetic look as she started coughing. "Wiku… it was horrible… they were everywhere…" she said, coughing again.

"Are you gonna make it?" Riku asked, taking her hand and squeezing it gently.

"I need the kiss of LIFE!" Fuka announced dramatically, putting a hand to her forehead and coughing again. Riku smirked and shook his head, kissing her forehead. Fuka instantly sprang back up and grabbed her spoon, swinging it around. "Vive la révolution!'

Riku laughed and went to go see how Kenshin was holding up, finding the boy in the middle of a circle of enemies. Riku picked up Tomo and set her down on a table, ignoring her protests. He grabbed Jou, Sakura, and Yuu as well, setting them both in the wheelbarrow that he noticed was now empty.

Leaving Kenshin to contend with Mika and Hojou, Riku went back to looking for Tidus, wondering where he could have gotten to.

"RIKU! TIDUS IS ATTACKING THE FORT!" Haru called from upstairs. Riku took off for the stairs with Fuka on his heels and raced into the living room. Tidus was on the floor, wrestling with Kaoru for the flag. Riku jumped into the fray, helping Kaoru get the flag.

"Quick, Fuka, go find their flag!" he instructed, still trying to wrestle the flag from Tidus's grasp. The blonde just would not let the damn thing go.

Fuka nodded and ran off, taking Haru with her for protection as they went to go search for the flag. Riku looked back at Tidus and smirked. "You're losing, Mihada."

"You wish, Masaki," Tidus snapped back, not letting go.

"Your men have fallen. Give up!"

"Half of them are girls, and I won't give up so LET GO!"

They continued pulling back and forth until they heard a key being inserted into the keyhole. Riku's eyes widened and he let go at the same time Tidus did.

Tidus stood up. "THE WICKED WITCH IS BACK!" he called.

Riku pulled down the pillow fort and put all the pillows back in their rightful place, taking the pot off his head and throwing it behind the couch for safe-keeping. Tidus did the same with his kitchen utensils, watching as, one-by-one, his brothers and sisters ran into the room and arranged themselves on the floor.

Riku and Tidus hopped onto the couch and turned on the TV just as Tidus's mother, Kitara Mihada, came stumbling into the house. As usual, she was fairly plastered.

"Tidush?" She called, her words slurring a bit. "Where're you?"

"In the living room, mom. Riku's over," Tidus said, toying with one of the pillows. Kitara entered the room and looked around, her eyes taking a minute to focus before a hesitant smile spread on her face.

"This is nice… all watchin' TV toge'tha," she mused, running her fingers through her hair. "Should I make din'er?"

"No, we already ate," Tidus answered again, not taking his eyes off the TV screen. Kitara nodded and left. Nobody relaxed until they heard her walk up the stairs and heard her bedroom door slam. Fuka sighed and sat up.

"Mommy had too much to drink again?" she asked, climbing into Tidus' lap. The blonde nodded, ruffling her hair affectionately.

"We'll play again tomorrow, alright?" Tidus told her with a smile. He looked over at Riku. "Can you make it?"

"Nah, Dad wants to have one of those father-son days after school," Riku explained, smiling a bit when Tidus made a face. "Ya'll can go ahead and play without me, though. Invite Wakka over or something."

Tidus snorted. "Yeah. That's what I'm gonna do."

"Hey," Riku said, getting up. "Just because he beat you out for captain of the blitzball team is no reason to hate his guts. He's pretty cool, even though his taste in music and his fashion sense pretty much suck."

Tidus rolled his eyes, but otherwise didn't acknowledge the statement. Riku ruffled Fuka's hair as well and looked at the rest of the Mihada children. "Alright guys, I'll catch you later."

"Bye Riku!" they chorused happily. Riku chuckled and waved before heading to the front door, grabbing his backpack on the way and running his fingers through his hair. He spent way too much time at Tidus' house. He was starting to forget what his own house looked like.

The only place in his house he really spent any time in was his room. Otherwise, he was either out at Tidus' house or just out.

He jammed his hands in his pockets as he headed down the streets to his house. He didn't really care much for the location. It was just down the street from the land bridge that led to Destiny Islands, where the rich and richer were all located.

Riku had never been to the islands before. He was quite happy living on the mainland and hanging with his friends. There were times when he wondered how the other half lived, but those times were few and far between.

He kicked a can out of his way and continued down the sidewalk, musing a bit. He was, of course, planning to lock himself up in his room for the rest of the afternoon. Maybe he could even get some work down on the art project he was doing for the art show.

Although that was due in two months and he had no idea what he wanted to make a statue of exactly.

Mentally shrugging, he dug his keys out of his pockets and opened the door, walking into the house and kicking off his shoes. "Dad, I'm home."

"Bout time," Ichiro Masaki said irritably, glaring at Riku from his seat in the Lazy Boy armchair. Riku rolled his eyes and headed for the stairs immediately. "Hey, I'm not done talking to you boy!"

The white-haired boy stopped and turned, raising an eyebrow. "Yes, Dad?"

"What's that crap I found in your bedroom? Went in there looking for the remote and I found some giant slab of crap—"

"It's clay, Dad. I have to make a statue for the art show, remember? I told you about it last week?" Riku said in a tired voice, not in the mood for another one of his father's lectures about how art was not a good hobby for strong young men and how, with his hair being as long as it was, taking up art would only serve to make people think he was gay.

Riku couldn't imagine what his father would say if he knew that he really was.

"Of course I remember," Ichiro snapped, which, Riku knew, was code for he didn't want Riku to know that he had forgotten. "Just keep that shit off the floor. I pay the bills for this place, got it? I don't want it messy."

"Got it, Dad," Riku said with a tired sigh, jogging up the stairs. He walked into his room and closed the door behind him. His room was half bedroom, half art studio. The walls were covered in paintings and sketches that Riku had done, mobiles hung from the room, statues decorated the furniture. On his desk by the window was a giant slab of clay that he was supposed to make another masterpiece out of.

Better said than done.

Riku flopped down on his bed and sighed deeply, closing his eyes. He was tired as hell and could feel the beginnings of a head ache coming on.

Shaking himself out of it, he sat up in bed. He still had homework to do.


Sora watched Timmy Turner wish that there were no more girls on earth, stuffing his face with cheese doodles. He was lying on the huge couch in the living room, his eyes glued to the big screen TV.

Sora had only been home for about two days now and his parents had yet to find him an acceptable new school. Therefore, it was easy living for him. Seiya had been very close to punishing him, but Yukito had stopped her.

Luckily for Sora, his father was still blaming the school for all of this.

Sora glanced up as his mother entered the room, swallowing his mouthful and smiling. "Morning, Mommy," he said in a childish voice, giving her a peek of the big baby blues.

Seiya rolled her eyes. "I'm not buying it, Sora. Do you know how much trouble you're giving us?" She paused. "And you're getting cheese stains all over the nice, white couch!"

"The maids will clean it up," Sora whined, not touching on the trouble subject. He was well aware of it and was trying his best not to push his luck. "Besides, you should be happy to have me home. I'm your son and you love me."

"You're my son and you just flunked out of school. Again," Seiya returned flatly. "I could voice my opinions on the subject, but it would lower your self-esteem."

"Thanks for sparing my feelings," Sora said sarcastically, lying back down and stuffing his mouth with another handful of cheese doodles. "How're you guys doing on the school thing?"

"Well… you've flunked out of all the schools on the islands," Seiya told him as she turned off the TV and took a seat on the couch by his head. She pulled Sora's head into her lap and started playing with his hair. "So, we're looking elsewhere."

"Where's elsewhere?" Sora asked, getting tired. He always began to get sleepy whenever people played with his hair. It was his secret weakness.

Seiya's voice dropped too low for Sora to hear. "Elsewhere like… the mainland…"

"That's nice," Sora yawned, closing his eyes and curling into a ball. He began dozing off a bit, barely conscious. Seiya slid Sora's head off her lap and watched him cling to the nearest pillow and whimper.

She shook her head and headed out of the room, meeting Yukito in the hallway. "He's asleep," she noted.

"Did you tell him?" Yukito asked. He was obviously unhappy. He didn't want his son going to some public school! For all he knew, Sora could get shot or robbed or mugged or raped or all three at once.

Yukito had never been one to associate with those who were 'blue-blooded'.

"Kind of," Seiya answered innocently, averting her eyes in a guilty manner.

Yukito rolled his eyes. "You put him to sleep, then whispered it didn't you?"

"…Maybe…"

Shaking his head, Yukito walked into the kitchen and picked up a pamphlet for the only school they'd found that was willing to take Sora in – Ayanami High School. It was a public school located on the mainland, which was bad enough since that was Poor People Country.

It was located way at the other side of the mainland, in the quote-unquote 'slums'.

Yukito shuddered just thinking about it. "Sora's going to die, isn't he?"

"Hey, stop imposing your prejudices on our son. Just because they don't live in houses that have more rooms than people doesn't mean they're stupid or dangerous or all pregnant and planning to steal things."

Yukito remained firm. "That's what you say, but I know the truth."

"Just call them up and tell them we accept. I'll tell Sora… eventually…"

"Meaning the day before he has to go?" Yukito asked, used to Seiya and her antics by now. Seiya grinned placidly.

"Exactly."


Riku wrote down some equations from the board and ran his fingers through his hair, trying to concentrate on the lesson. It was an incredibly hard to do since Mr. Obana's voice was about as interesting to listen to as static, but he was managing fairly well.

He was sitting at the back of the room so it was either pay attention or read the writing scrawled on the desk. Option A was the better choice.

"Alright, tomorrow, we'll be having a quiz. Either come prepared or prepare to fail because there is no excuse for missing it," Mr. Obana said as he concluded the class for the day. He frowned as he saw a hand rise and sighed. "Yes, Mr. Mihada?"

Riku glanced over at Tidus, noting the smirk on the boy's face. "What about extreme sexual exhaustion?"

The entire class broke out laughing and even Riku had to spare a few chuckles. Only Tidus would come up with something like that. He raised his aquamarine eyes to the teacher to wait for the reply, shooting Tidus an amused smile.

"Doesn't count," Mr. Obana answered with a roll of his eyes. "You can use your other hand to write. Class dismissed."

Riku snorted, getting up and barely holding his laughter in. He saw Tidus' face turn a bright red as the class erupted in laughter again and shook his head, smirking. "Tch, poor Tidus. Just you and your left hand at home tonight?"

"Shut up, Riku," Tidus grumbled as he got up and grabbed his bag, glaring. "It's not my fault that guy has it out for me."

"It is your fault!" Riku corrected. "You keep provoking him."

They headed out of the lunch room and towards the cafeteria. Riku couldn't help letting a few snickers escape him. Pretty soon he was fully laughing, his laughter increasing as Tidus groaned and shoved him against the wall.

"Stop laughing at me, dammit!" the blonde demanded, pouting slightly. "You suck."

"Sorry, I don't look at you that way, dude," Riku said with another snort of laughter, rubbing the shoulder that Tidus had pushed. "You're way too loud for me."

Tidus gave him a flat look. "Thank you for the horrible images you just put into my head."

"Which one?" Riku asked cheekily, quickening his pace before Tidus could hit him again. He laughed and walked into the cafeteria, joining the long line and grabbing a tray for them both. He smirked over at Tidus. "So, speaking of romantic involvement…"

Tidus raised an eyebrow. "Who was talking about romantic involvement?"

"Well, now that you mention it," Riku cut in smoothly. "How are you doing on the girlfriend front?"

"I'll tell you once I get a girlfriend." Tidus scooped some mashed potatoes onto his tray and reached for a carton of milk, handing one to Riku. The white-haired boy set it on his tray and laughed.

"Still flying solo? That's so pathetic," he mocked as they headed to a table. "After all this time that I've known you, you haven't gone out with anyone… at all."

"You're one to talk! One girlfriend and then you decide girls aren't your thing," Tidus shot back with a roll of his eyes, sitting down. "So don't talk to me about pathetic love lives. Have you found yourself a boyfriend? I didn't think so."

Riku pretended to bat his eyelashes. "Aww, but Tidy-poo, I thought we were an item? Together forever? Isn't that what you told me?"

"Okay, a, I was six at the time and b, even thinking of kissing you makes this…" Tidus ran a fork through the goop on his plate, making a face. "Slop look appetizing."

Riku rolled his eyes and began digging through his own food, frowning a bit. Tidus stared at him for a moment before looking away and coughing. "What are you going to do for the art show? Is your dad coming?"

"Of course not," Riku answered flatly. "Who would want him there?"

"That was mean, ya," Wakka chimed in as he sat down at the table across from Tidus. The blonde boy immediately scowled, his eyes narrowing. Wakka blatantly ignored him. "I'm not that bad."

"That's a matter of opinion," Tidus muttered under his breath, sinking down in his seat and sulking. Riku rolled his eyes again.

"Calm down, Tidus," he said with a frown. "Wakka's our friend. Just because he plays blitzball better than you—"

"He does not—"

"—doesn't mean that he's the enemy. Do I have to leave you two alone to talk about your feelings?" Riku snickered at the twin glares he received. "…Is that a yes? Alright then." He left his tray and got up, slinging his bag over his shoulder and ignoring any and all protests from behind him as he walked away.


A few weeks later, it was hell in the Harada household.

"You can't be serious!" Sora protested, his eyes flitting from one parent to the other. "You're sending me to a public school? With… Poor people?"

Kairi was back by now from school on a small break while the lower grades took their midterms. She had, of course, gotten high grades as usual. She wasn't lacking in the brains department like her brother.

She rolled her eyes. "Sora, don't say that. Just because they're poor doesn't mean they're another species."

Sora gave his sister a look. "But, they're not just poor people! They're from the slums!" he said, gesturing wildly. "Dad says that I'm going to be going to school with drug dealers and convicts and rapists—"

"Sora…" Seiya began.

"—And gangsters and pimps and shoplifters and—"

"Sora…"

"—End up dead in an alley with my money stolen and—"

Seiya clapped a hand over her son's mouth, sufficiently shutting him up. She rolled her eyes. "Since someone flunked out of their prep school—" Sora looked sheepish. "Then this is your only option."

"But I only failed, like, three—"

"Five," Kairi corrected, examining her nails and ignoring Sora's glare.

"Five subjects. That's no reason to put my life in danger!" Sora finished, pouting slightly. "I thought you cared! I thought I was your son and the heir to the family fortune! I thought I meant something to all of you!"

Yukito rolled his eyes. "Son, if anyone touches you, we'll sue their ass."

"They're poor, Dad," Kairi reminded him, leaning her head against Seiya's arm and sighing. Why were the men in her family such imbeciles?

"So, we'll evict them or something. What does it matter? All you need to worry about is not failing. Again." Yukito gave Sora a hard look while his son merely blinked innocently. "This is your sixth school in the last five months."

"It's not my fault the stuff they were teaching us was extremely complicated," Sora protested, pouting once again. He brushed his fingers through his spiky brown hair and looked to his mother and sister for help.

Seiya merely shrugged. "Complicated or not, if you flunk out of school again, I'm afraid we'll have to home school you." Her lips curved into a smirk. "Here. All alone. With us. All the time."

Satisfied with the horrified look on her son's face, she smiled over at Kairi. "Want to go out to the garden for some cookies?"

"Yes, please," Kairi answered cheerfully. She began following Seiya out of the room, noting the hungry look on Sora's face. She winked at him. "I'll save you one if you get there in time."

Sora sighed as he watched them leave, then looked back at Yukito as he rested a hand on Sora's shoulder.

"Now, son," Yukito began. "I know you're not happy about this. I'm not either. Poor people are extremely uncivilized and probably either pregnant, dead, or planning to kill someone. But, I have a plan."

Sora blinked.

"If they find out you're rich, they'll eat you alive. So, you're going to tell a bald-faced lie."

Sora blinked again.

"You're going to pretend to be poor, too. If anybody asks if you're related to the Destiny Island Haradas, you will laugh and say 'no'."

"…Okay…?" Sora agreed hesitantly, wondering if his father was out of his mind. "Won't they get a bit suspicious when I arrive at school in the limo?"

"Who said you're taking the limo?"

Sora blinked uncomprehendingly. He took the limo everywhere. His father knew that. "What do you mean? Of course I'm taking the limo."

"No you're not," Yukito corrected. "You're taking the bus."

"…The bus?" Sora said blankly. "You mean that dirty, smelly thing with all those people on it and the bathroom that stinks like hell but everybody's too polite to say so?"

"Close, but no. That's the," Yukito shuddered. "Public bus. I meant the other one."

"You mean that dirty, smelly thing with all of those people on it and no bathroom so you either have to go at home, or pee your pants because the bus driver drives really slow?" Sora tried again.

Yukito nodded. "Yes. That bus."

"Oh." Sora groaned. "Great."


Author's Note Part II: Next chapter, they actually meet! Plus Tidus meets Selphie (I think) and we get introduced to Leon and Cloud's situation. All I can say about Sora and Riku meeting is… Sora is very blunt and Riku is very amused.

…Okay, yes, I'm procrastinating. So what?

Next Update: Part 002: The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most