OHMYGODS IT'S THE LAST CHAPTER! ONOES! –runs off into a corner and cries-
Summary: When a disgruntled Sora lets his parents sign him up for a summer climbing camp, he's less than enthusiastic. But with some interesting new friends, crazy counselors, and a handsome, infuriating boy to deal with, this week might be more interesting than he thought...SoraxRiku, AxelxRoxas, AU.
Disclaimer: After this chapter, I'm returning all of these characters to Sqeenix relatively unharmed. Except for Alysa and Doug. MINE!
Also, quiz questions are from some online site, which I can't remember at the time. But...not mine.
Author's Note: Omigosh last chapter. Huge thank you thingamabob at the end, in which I will get all emotional and probably blabber on for far too long. But for now, enjoy the last chapter, which I worked very hard on and is like, five pages longer than normal. Hurrah!
I know you guys want to get on with it and skip my incessant drabble, so here you go. MAY I PRESENT:
"Well, well, well, isn't this totally unsurprising."
Sora sighed in his sleep. He knew that voice. A tiny part of his subconscious knew that voice meant for him, and his sleep, and the suspiciously large and warm object that he was using as an oversize pillow, which was breathing in deep rhythms and dragging its long hair all over his face.
But on the surface, all his mind was capable of was, Mmmgh. Sleepy. So…warm…burrow in sleeping bag….now…
As if from a long distance away, he heard a muffled sigh. "Don't make me do it. I really don't want to, cause you look so cute, and all, but god knows, my patience level is nonexistent…"
A beat of silence.
"I'm coming close, boys. Dangerously close. Fatally close…"
Sora thought, at some distant point in his consciousness, that he heard the sound of a tent flap being unzipped, and soft footfalls, getting closer and closer and…
"I gave you your chance. Guess there's nothing left to do but…POUNCE!"
And suddenly, Sora was being ripped out of his sleeping bag, tossed around like a salad, and then…then…
"AHHH! Hahahahah- no, Aly—ahahaha-Alysa—aha-STOP IT!"
Being tickled all over.
Sora thrashed around wildly, trying to free himself from her clutches, but she was obviously highly practiced in the art of tickling; she attacked with one hand and the other hand was gone, reaching somewhere behind Sora..
"AHHH!" Riku's voice came, and suddenly Sora was being whacked in the back of his head with a pillow.
"Hey, Ri—ahaha it's not---me it's---ahah---ALYSA!"
"Well, I warned you," Alysa's wicked face loomed into view.
"You're ticklish, Sora?" Riku's voice came, sounding perfectly unruffled.
"Not a bit," said Riku, surveying Sora with an unreadable expression on his face.
"I thought you.—ahahahhaah STOP ALYSA----I thought—ahah—you were—that night?"
"Oh, that," Riku said with a little smirk. "Well, anything involving you touching me seemed pretty good at that point."
"That's my boy," Alysa said proudly, attacking Sora with renewed force.
"A..little…help?" Sora gasped out, casting a pleading look at Riku.
Riku just looked at him, a slow smile spreading over his face. And then he pounced.
Roxas poked his head out of the tent flap, straining his ears and stifling a yawn.
"What is it?" came Axel's sleepy voice from his position on the floor, where he had Roxas' torso in a tight grip as if it would get up and walk away at any moment.
"I can't really tell," Roxas said, furrowing his brow. He looked across the clearing at the tent which, at the moment, was bouncing up and down like Sora when he had had too much sugar. High pitched screaming could be heard with the motion, and occasional shouts of "RIKU! RIK-UUUUU!"
Axel raised an eyebrow. "I think they have the right idea, there."
Roxas kicked him. "Shut up. We went over this last night when you fell on top of me and started licking my ear."
"I thought it was your mouth. It was dark. And, besides, you liked it.."
"Shuttup," Roxas murmured, turning an interesting shade of puce. "That's beside the point."
"The point being," Axel murmured, sitting up, "might as well jump on the bandwagon, eh?"
And then he was attacking Roxas's neck again, tracing faint designs with butterfly kisses, his hands running across Roxas's shoulders, down across his chest, turning his chin so he could plant a real kiss on his lips…
"RIKUU! ALYSAAA! STOP IT, THAT HURTS!"
Axel fell backwards into the tent as if he had been punched.
"I don't feel turned on anymore," Roxas said, covering his mouth with his hand. "Are they…are they…"
"I don't want to know." Axel said, squeezing his eyes shut. "I don't wanna know I don't wanna know Idontwannaknow…"
And thus began the last morning of camp.
"What is going on here?"
Doug stood in the center of the clearing, hands on his hips and doing his best to look unspeakably furious. His mouth kept twitching in its frown, as if it longed to jump up and grin at all of them goofily. Doug kept it firmly put.
"Well," Alysa said, looking a little sheepish. "It's a long story…"
"She tickled me," Sora burst in. "And he did too. They ganged up on me. I was outnumbered. And neither of them is ticklish!" He crossed his arms. "It was very unfair. Punish them, Doug."
"Yeah, Doug," Alysa said, draping and arm around Riku's shoulders and glaring at her co-counselor in a menacing fashion. "Go ahead. Punish us."
Doug swallowed loudly.
A brief pause as Alysa considered the offer.
"Fair enough, I guess. Sorry, dear," Alysa said, reaching over to ruffle Sora's hair. "Consider it….a sign of affection."
"That goes double for me," Riku said with a smirk.
"And don't do it again," Doug said, in what he hoped was a firm voice. "And you two!"
He whirled on Axel and Roxas. Guilty expressions spread on both of their faces, and Roxas's hands subconsciously flew to his neck- to cover up the evidence.
"I haven't had a chance to talk to you yet! How was your climbing trip?"
Axel gave a low chuckle and Roxas turned around to whack him. "Fine," Roxas said, in a voice that was two octaves higher than normal. "Just…fine. Normal. Practically sterile, actually."
"That's not what you said last-OWW!"
Doug cast them both a wary eye, then turned to Kairi and Hayner, who had appeared on the edge of the clearing, both looking a bit flustered. "And how about you guys? You didn't get in until late last night, right? Anything exciting happen?"
A flush rose in Hayner's cheeks, and he began to mutter very low and fast under his breath.
"He doesn't want to talk about it," Kairi said apologetically, a hand on his shoulder.
Doug surveyed the seven people ringed around him with an expression of bewilderment on his face. "What…am I missing something, here?"
His frown only deepened when they all burst out laughing.
"I would like to be the first to welcome one and all back to her eternal loveliness- Velma the Van!"
"Oh, here's that stain again," came Axel's voice from the back. "Right where I left it."
"Wait, let me see," said Roxas. "Eww, that is gross. I didn't believe you the first time."
"That could have had something to do with the fact that you hated me at the time…"
"Children, children," Alysa said, holding up a hand for quiet. "I don't think we're being truly appreciate of the moment. We're about to drive away from the campsite, your home for the last week. You have cried, snuck out, bickered like idiots, loved passionately…"
Doug began choking on his spit.
"…and a variety of other fun-filled activities. Don't you want to appreciate the moment?"
Hayner gave a very loud snore from the front seat. Kairi shook her head apologetically. "Sorry…I don't know what it is about cars…they just knock him out…"
"As I was saying," Alysa interrupted firmly. "Take a final look, kiddos, before we get back to Camp Happyplace to reunite with mommy and daddy."
"Don't say that," Riku groaned, clutching his forehead.
But Sora realized, with a start, that she was right. He pressed a palm against the clear pane of glass that separated him from the sunlit clearing that had become his second home, so bare now that the tents and picnic table and various foods had been packed up. It looked peaceful, now, bare and green, ringed in sunlight. He would probably never come back here, to this place that held so much meaning for him, so many memories.
Alysa started the car with a quiet humm. "We ready?"
Sora gave the clearing one last look and nodded solemnly, removing his hand from the cool window. He would miss this place.
Something warm took his hand, and he looked up, surprised, as Riku laced his fingers through Sora's. The silver haired boy smiled slowly at him, squeezing his hand.
But then again; the future didn't look too grim, either.
Only two hours into the car ride, and they were all bored again. Luckily, Kairi still had her magazine...
"Okay, Axel. There's a power outage, and you and your partner need to use candles. Would you..
a) Use the candles to read a book
b) Throw together a quick meal and eat by candlelight
or c) Run a bath and have a candle-lit bath together?"
Axel squeezed a protesting Roxas happily. "Bath! But a dinner sound nice, too…maybe a dinner and a bath? At the same time? Is that an option?"
"Axel!" Roxas protested weakly, struggling a little more in Axel's arms before going limp again. "I am not bathing by candlelight with you!"
"We'll see about that," Axel said. "Alysa, does the camp have romantic candle-lit baths?"
She thought about it for a moment. "No, but we do have outdoor showers. With spiders and stuff!"
"I hate spiders," Roxas muttered grumpily, finally giving in and sinking into Axel's shoulder.
"I'll protect you, Roxy," Axel said affectionately.
"I thought we had already established that this whole idea is a no. Nonono."
Axel looked at Kairi, emerald eyes twinkling mischievously. "Does my partner have any say in this?"
"No, not really, but…"
'It's settled, then." Axel said, planting a quick kiss on Roxas's cheek. "We're getting in on in the bath."
Roxas sighed. "Is there any point in even trying anymore?"
"No," the entire car chorused back at him, save Hayner, who was, predictably, asleep.
Kairi made a note in her book and turned to Roxas. "Alright, Roxas. Your turn. The question is; Do you have a nickname for your partner?
a) No, I don't go for that.
b) Yes, but I can't use it outside the bedroom.
or c) Yes, and I use it all the time."
"No," Roxas said quickly. "Defiantly not. A."
"That's not what you said last—OWW! You've got to stop hitting me every time I say that." Axel said, nursing a sore shoulder.
"No subtlety," Roxas moaned, burying his head in Axel's shoulder. "You have no subtlety."
"I try." Axel said, patting his hair lovingly. "Sorry. His answer, for the record, is A."
"Alrighty then," Kairi said, one eyebrow raised. "Sora. Your turn."
"Do I have to?"
"Yes!" Everyone in the car shouted. Sora winced.
"Okay, okay. Let's just get it over with."
"This one is…uhuh," Kairi said slowly. "Can you remember when you and your partner had your first date?
a) No, sorry.
b) I can remember what year it was.
c) I can remember exactly what it was and what we did."
Sora flushed slowly as a flood of memories washed over him like a wave; soft rain falling through his hair, light fingers touching his skin, the soft brush of Riku's lips against his own, damp and warm from the rain…
"For your sake, it better be C." Riku said dryly.
Sora gave him a smile. "Of course I remember. I don't think I'd be able to forget if I tried."
The entire car gave a collective "Awwww."
"I don't suppose we get details?" Axel asked coyly.
"No!" Doug interjected quickly. "Just…move on, please." He sunk down into his seat, muttering something about "candlelit baths, my goodness," and "common decency."
Alysa's smirk was clearly visible in the rear-view mirror.
"Okay," Kairi said quickly. "Last one, cause I already took this one, Hayner's asleep, and no offense, Alysa, but…"
"That's alright. I think I've done a sufficient amount of mental damage already."
Kairi smiled. "Alright, Riku. You ready?"
"Go for it."
Kairi studied the page in front of her, her eyebrows raised. "Wow. How many ex-partners have you had?
a) one or none
b) a few
c) or enough to fill a phonebook?"
"Phonebook?" Axel crooned. "Try a stadium."
This time, it was Riku who whacked him.
"Well…erm…" Riku said, sounding uncomfortable for the first time in recent memory. "Does it count if Sora's the first boy?"
Kairi shot him a glare.
"Fine, fine. C, I guess."
"And that leaves us with the results," Kairi said, screwing up her brow in concentration and adding under her breath.
"Alright, out of 100...Roxas is 42 romantic."
"We'll have to work on that, eh," Axel said with a wink, then stopped as he saw the look Roxas was giving him. "Please don't hit me."
"Right," Kairi continued. "Sora is 60 romantic, and Riku is 85 romantic."
"We can boost those numbers, I think," Riku said, giving Sora a look that made his skin do that weird shivery thing. Damn Riku and his smoldery look that made Sora break out in goosebumps all over.
"And Axel is 99 romantic, which, according to this quiz, is a romance fiend."
"YES!" Axel said, pumping his fist into the air. "I WIN!"
Roxas gave him a look. "99? That explains a lot."
"You bet it does," Axel said happily, bringing the other boy even closer and wrapping a hand around his waist. "But I think we need to work on that last one percent, Roxy. Bring on the candles!"
Roxas simply sighed and buried his head into Axel's shoulder, which, despite his protest, was still the most comfortable place he knew.
Past three hours and the car grew quieter as the long week and the early morning caught up with all of them. Kairi had fallen asleep slumped over in her seat, and Doug was snoring, open-mouthed, from the front seat, and Sora was willing to bet that Alysa could set off a cannon in the car and Hayner would simply snore louder, to compensate for the extra noise.
Roxas had fallen asleep on Axel's shoulder, his wild blond hair tucked securely under the other boy's chin. The redhead was looking a little sleepy himself, but when he thought no one was looking he kept shooting affectionate glances at the sleeping boy folded into his collarbone. Eventually Axel's own eyes fluttered closed as well, his head nestled comfortably on Roxas' own.
"Looks comfortable," Riku remarked dryly, his clear eyes seeking out Sora and staying there.
"Them," Riku said simply, gesturing toward the backseat.
Sora tore his gaze away from the blurry outlines of the landscape flying by the window and followed Riku's gaze. The smallest hint of a flush on his cheeks, he deliberately turned back toward the window. "Yep. Sure does."
"I have to admit, I'm a bit…jealous…"
Sora heard the sound of Riku sliding along the bench seat towards him, and his cheeks heated up more.
He might as well try to be modest…
"I'm not sleepy, Riku…"
Strong hands slipped around his waist, pulling him close until his leg bumped against Riku's own. An arm slipped around his back, its warmth tangible through the fabric of Sora's t-shirt. It pulled him close as he gave a soft little sigh and laid his head down agreeably on Riku's shoulder, feeling it as the other boy exhaled softly.
Sora's last sensation before he fell into a dreamless sleep was a hand tightening around his waist, and a soft cheek resting against his forehead.
So much for modesty.
"Awwwwwwwwww. Isn't that just adorable? I should start a matchmaking service. What do you think about 'Alysa Will Have Hot Boys Sleeping On You in One Week or Less?' Catchy, right?'"
Doug peered sleepily into the rear-view mirror, taking in the similar positions of all of their campers. All six were smiling in their sleep, exhaling peacefully as the landscape flew on by.
"It's nice how we brought them together," Doug said grudgingly. "Thought, admittedly, I didn't imagine they would be this close together…"
"I knew," Alysa said smugly, veering sharply to avoid a squirrel.
Doug sighed, exasperated. "Of course you knew."
"Well, it was kind of obvious from the beginning, wasn't it? All you had to do was pay attention and give them a few little…nudges..." she said with a wink, elbowing Doug in the ribs.
"You know you're positively evil, right?"
"Born and bred," Alysa said with a happy little smile. "But you how blondes have more fun? Yeah, well, evil people kick their asses in the fun department."
Doug sighed and crossed his arms. "I guess…I do have to admit, the party was…sort of fun. Kinda. In a strictly out-of-character way."
"See? You can enjoy yourself too. Who knew you could dance like that? You left permanent impressions on some of those girls, Dougster."
He smiled bashfully. "Did I?"
"Oh, trust me. They won't forget some of your dance moves for years and years to come."
"Thanks," Doug said softly. He cast another look into the mirror. "They do look happy, don't they?"
Alysa smiled gently. "Yeah. You know, I'm not taking all the credit for this. You helped make this a successful trip, too."
"I did?" Doug said, sounding surprised.
"Sure you did. Some of your ideas were the starting ground for some of my more brilliant plots."
"Glad to hear it," Doug said dryly, then peered at his watch. "Only another two or three hours to go. We should make final campfire."
"Good," Alysa said, casting a smirk into the mirror. "I've missed Janet ever so much. Think she'll make us fill out another one of those Excelling in Our Experience forms?"
"The ones where we have to summarize the trip?"
"Including…" and Alysa's smirk grew positively devilish, "Camper-camper relationships."
Doug began to turn a faint shade of green. "How…oh, my…"
"What do you think is a catchier start; 'Due to our positive reinforcement, the majority of our campers have discovered not only wilderness skills, but the pros and cons of upper body groping', or do we want to go with, 'French kissing was not the only teamwork going on at the rock walls, but it was certainly the most enjoyable?" Alysa peered at her co-counselor intently. "Well? What do you think?"
"Just….just drive, Alysa."
She settled back in her seat and grinned comfortably at him. "None of us are ever going to be the same after this, eh?"
And for once, Doug had absolutely no reply.
It was weird, Sora thought, to be back here.
He had woken up just as Alysa took a particularly vigorous turn into the camp and decided that slowing down over speed bumps was overrated. As a result, all six of her campers were now wide awake and nursing sore body parts, staring at the windows at Camp Ares, which they had left behind a week ago.
It was weird because Sora could remember, extremely well, coming here a week ago with his parents, seeing that same greeting sign, that counselor, too, who had helped him get his bags, even that groups of giggling girls looked vaguely familiar. He had expected the camp to be different, somehow, to somehow reflect the change within him.
"Home sweet camp!" Alysa crooned as she coasted to a stop, slamming the car in park and hopping out of the drivers seat. "Better hurry…we don't want to miss final campfire. I heard Janet is going to be rocking some 50 Cent, and I don't like to give up any opportunity for blackmail."
"Final campfire?" Sora asked, sleepily rubbing his eyes.
"Basically, it's just like beginning campfire, except now instead of telling us the rules we might break, she tells us, in vivid detail, the rules we have broken." Alysa gave a little skip. "Oh, it's so much fun! Hurry, hurry!"
"Don't we at least get to change, or something?" Roxas asked, shivering a little in the twilight chill. Axel moved behind him and wrapped his arms around him, and for once Roxas didn't protest, just settled with a resigned look on his face.
"Run. Be quick. Go gallivanting around the camp, I don't care, just be back here in time," Alysa said sternly, shooing them away. "I have people to see and stories to tell, anyway."
And before Sora could inquire as to exactly what stories she was going to tell, a very cold Roxas had grabbed him by the collar.
"We're going to the cabin…meet you there!" he called over his shoulder to Riku and Axel, who waved and went off to their own cabin.
"It's been a long time since we've been here," Roxas said, pushing open the door of the quiet cabin. "I'd almost forgotten…what was our name, again?"
"Something to do with fruit," Sora said, trying to keep a straight face.
"I'm getting the feeling it was yellow fruit," Roxas said, in a deeply puzzled voice.
"I'm feeling yellow, too. Defiantly yellow."
"Defiantly. What about the shape? Do you happen to remember the shape?"
"The shape?" asked Sora, his mouth twitching.
The two boys looked at each other for a long moment, standing in the doorway of their bunk, and burst out into hysterical laughter.
"I almost really did forget," Sora said between gasps.
"Banana boys forever," Roxas said, staggering over to his bunk for support. "Hey, your t-shirt! You forgot to take it!"
Sora caught the orange mass in midair and held it open. The bold lettering, "Fun! Friendship! Adventure!" stared back at him, and then he had to sit down because if he remained standing much longer, he would fall down from laughing so hard and probably injure himself in some way, which would be bad.
"We made a good team, us Banana boys," Roxas said when they had calmed themselves a little.
"We sure did," Sora snorted.
"I'm gonna miss you…everything about this place. This has been…this has defiantly been my most eventful summer…"
"Hey," Roxas said with a little grin, throwing a pillow at Sora's head. "Your college is right next door to mine, practically."
"If your definition of right next door is two hours through mountains and a small lake, then sure, practically neighbors."
"Let's visit each other," Roxas said with a casual grin. "You know, just for a weekend, or something. The banana boys…now that's a legacy that can't die out."
Sora laughed and threw a pillow at him, and then the fight was on.
The atmosphere was just as surreal as the first time, except this time, Sora had new company.
He wandered down the forest path with the other campers, lit by the wavering light of paper lanterns. A cool breeze blew through the trees, carrying with it the smell of ash and burning, until Sora could see the fire through the trees; a crimson mark in the darkness. He shivered, and a warm hand fell on his shoulder. He looked up; he had forgotten how dark Riku's eyes looked, at night….
"Find your seats," a counselor said at the edge of the clearing, directing the boys toward seats on the far side of the far. Axel and Roxas led the way, Riku and Sora close behind. Kairi and Hayner followed close behind, picking their way through the benches and logs.
"The first time we were here," Sora said softly, taking his seat next to Riku, "you kept staring at me."
"I did, did I?"
"Yes," Sora said accusingly. "I thought you were going to beat me up. And then Axel started doing this dance…"
"Let's not talk about it," Roxas said quickly.
"What, do you want an encore?" Axel said, shaking his hips suggestively. "You know, I always work better with a partner."
"Anyways," Roxas said firmly. "That was when we thought you two were…well…."
"Not nice," Sora finished delicately.
"I hope I proved you wrong," Riku said, giving him a little nudge.
"For the most part," Sora said with a smile.
"HEY! EVERYONE SHUT UP!"
Instant silence fell over the campfire.
The counselor who had shouted cleared her throat and looked embarrassed. "Um…Janet has something to say. So…listen up!"
Everyone applauded politely as Janet stood up on one of the logs, holding out a gnarled hand for silence.
"Thank you. Well, welcome to our end of camp bonfire, a bittersweet occasion for most of us. It means the end of camp has reached us, but it is also a time to celebrate the adventures we had had, personal growth, and of course, new friendships."
She took a moment to sweep her gaze among the campers faces, as if checking for signs of friendship or personal growth.
"To start things off, I have a brief announcement. A few hours ago, the Falcons arrived back at camp, fresh off a week of climbing fun in Maine! Do either of you want to say a few words about the trip?" She asked, turning to where Alysa and Doug were sitting.
Alysa sprang up eagerly, jumping out of the way of Doug's feeble attempt to catch her.
"Oh my god," Roxas said softly.
Sora buried his head in his hands. "Goodbye, sweet dignity…"
"Thank you, thank you," Alysa said, springing up amid a spattering of applause. "The Falcons had a stellar trip this year, simply amazing. Rock climbing, was, of course, the main focus of our trip, and we all improved immensely in that area, but we also improved in other skills as well. Friendship, communications…"
"Well? Should I run and hide yet?" Roxas whispered from where he was crouched, hands over his ears.
"Not yet," Axel whispered back. "But…"
"…..teambuilding, hide and seek, s'more making, almost-skinny-dipping, evil schemes, tent hopping, conga, using binoculars, quiz-taking, pitching tents, sexual innuendo, making out on mountain tops--"
"Okay, now you can run and hide," Axel whispered.
Alysa smiled cheerfully at Janet. "Yes, oh-madame-camp-director?"
"Get down. Now. We're going to have a serious talk later, young lady."
Alysa gave her a mocking salute and hopped down from her log, holding her arms out to receive the tumultuous applause from the campers. "Thank you, thank you," she said with a bashful little grin. "There are still spots open for my next group…."
"Alysa…" Roxas said, groaning.
"That's her," Riku said, grinning.
Sora was about to reply when a high pitched voice interrupted him. "RIKUUUU!"
His head shot up to see a familiar face; a pretty, smug, made up face, framed by a sheet of brown hair, and arms that were reaching out past Sora to pin Riku.
"RIKU I missed you so much there are no cute boys left at camp and then Janet got mad at us for playing spin the bottle which was stu-pid cause YOU weren't there, anyways, and I had to kiss this boy with acne can you imagine it was horrendous I missed you so much cause I even took this quiz in a magazine and it said my summer romance would last FOREVER can you believe it even though my horoscope said today would be a bad day for romance well it was wrong cause my Riku baby is hommmme!"
She paused for breath and noticed the stunned expressions of the two boys in front of her. "What is it, baby? And who are you?" she said, looking down her nose at Sora.
Sora opened his mouth angrily when Riku silenced him with a sharp kick to the thigh.
"I missed you too, sweetums," He said in a deep voice, looking up at her from beneath his eyelashes.
"Really?" she squeaked
"Not a bit," Riku said flatly. "And as to he is….may I introduce Sora, my boyfriend?"
It was fun watching her face change, Sora thought. From joyous to hopeful to pleasantly confused to blank to unpleasant to absolutely, terrifically horrified, all in less than three seconds.
"BOYFRIEND?" she screeched. "BOYFRIEND? You're…you're…"
"Pretty much, yeah," Riku said, wrapping his arms around Sora.
"EWWW!" Claire screamed, now looking disgusted. "I kissed you! I kissed a gay boy! EWWW!"
"Seems Axel did turn me, after all," Riku said, and his tone bordered on dangerous.
She stopped sticking out her tongue long enough to look down her nose at him. "Well, it was true, wasn't it? God, I can't even believe it…I need some mouthwash…"
"You got me in a lot of trouble with people I cared about," Riku said softly. "And you are so lucky they understand enough to forgive me for listening to you."
Claire stared at him in disbelief. "Are you like, mad at me, or something?"
"Get out of my sight," Riku said flatly.
She gave him a hard look. "Fine, loser."
"Good one," Axel said from behind Riku. "And you better run…who knows how contagious I might be?"
Claire sniffed once, flipped her hair over her shoulder, and stalked away, almost tripping over one of the log seats in the process.
"What did I see in her?" Riku asked disbelievingly.
"I do not know," Sora said, finding his voice again. "And way to freak me out for a minute, by the way."
Riku smirked. "Sorry. I just wanted to see the look on her face."
'It was a good look," Axel said dreamily. "Like a squashed bug."
"You should have known, anyway," Riku said, bringing Sora onto his lap and wrapping his arms around his waist, "That I meant it- what I said to her."
"I know," Sora said softly, resting his head on Riku's shoulder. "I know, now."
His gaze traveled the campsite and settled on Kairi, who had Hayner's arms around her shoulders. "Hey, Kairi?"
She turned around, her gaze content. "Yeah?"
"Thanks. You know, for the quiz. And the talk, before the trip. And for not giving up on me for being completely and totally oblivious."
She shrugged, a little smile on her face. "I figured it was a boy thing. And everything turned out alright, didn't it?"
"I guess it did."
"Besides," Kairi said, turning so the orange light from the blaze lit up her hair, "It was good practice."
Sora was confused. "For what?"
"Well," Kairi said delicately, twirling a strand of hair around her finger, "I was sort of thinking of becoming a junior counselor next year. Alysa promised she would request me…."
Sora gave an involuntary shudder. "You two…together?"
"Should be an interesting year," Kairi mused. "A very interesting year."
Sora made a mental note; do not send friends, relatives, or securely heterosexual people to this camp next year. Period.
Speaking of Alysa…
Alysa appeared out of nowhere, Doug trailing behind her. "Did you like my speech?"
"The parts where I wasn't wincing in horrific embarrassment," Sora mumbled under his breath.
She shot him a beautiful smile. "Yeah, Janet liked it too. Anyways, Dougie and I just wanted to say our last farewells."
"Better now than never," Doug said with a little smile. "And I have to say…you guys have been the best group yet. I'm really…really going to miss you guys…" He sniffed loudly.
"Me too," Alysa said softly. "Evil-doing won't be the same without you."
"Aww, thanks ever so much," said Axel sarcastically, but his eyes were glimmering too much in the firelight. Kairi and Hayner were looking depressed, Riku wore a dejected expression, and Sora and Roxas were looking at their counselors like lost puppies.
"Cheer up, ducklings," Alysa said, leaning close so only they could hear her. "We'll meet again. I have one more year of college, and then I can be free to travel the world, spreading my ways. I'll find you sometime along the way."
They all nodded mutely, not trusting themselves to words.
As Alysa turned away, Sora searched desperately for something else to say to her, something to sum up the mixed feelings he had for this person who had changed him so completely.
Strangely, all that he could come up with was, "What's your major…in college?"
She turned around. Framed by the firelight, her tan skin glowed in the darkness, and her familiar grin flashed one last time as she said, "Psychology, of course."
And then she was walking away, disappearing into the milling crowds of people.
"There goes the best counselor in the whole wide world," Sora said feelingly.
All the others could do was nod.
"So," Axel whispered, low in Roxas' ears. "This is the last night."
Roxas shivered a little, despite the warmth of the fire. "I guess so."
"Been a helluva week."
"You can say that again," Roxas said dryly, pretending not to notice as the other boy's hands snaking across his stomach. "I used to think you were a spastic, evil sociopath, you know."
"And you say you don't have pet names for me…"
"I don't think you're that anymore. Well, maybe the spastic part."
"Aww. You really know to make a boy blush, Roxy."
A flush was lining Roxas' own cheeks as he stared deliberately into the fire, working up the courage to say the next part of what was on his mind.
"For what?" The redhead said, stroking Roxas' cheek.
Roxas took a deep breath. "For making me realize what an idiot I was. And for not giving up on me, when I…you know."
"Oh, you were always so adorably oblivious," Axel said, giving him a reassuring squeeze. "Sometimes I thought I wasn't getting through to you at all. Then, of course, you kissed me, so I had to rethink that part a little."
Roxas blushed more. "I can't believe it's already been a week. After this…"
"After this," Axel said in a deep voice, "I am going to need a picture of you, Roxy. To remember you by."
Roxas tried not to feel disappointed. After all, Axel and he were going off to college, where they would meet plenty of other boys, plenty of other opportunities. It was stupid to think that….nah, this would never have lasted.
"I guess I can arrange that," Roxas said in a level voice. "As long as you don't use it in….eww, I don't even want to think about how you might use it."
"Not for that, goof," Axel said, turning Roxas so he was facing him. "And not "something to remember you by" as in "Lookie, roomates, this was my first summer fling, ain't he cute?"'
"Then what do you need it for?" Roxas asked, a bit distracted by Axel's proximity.
The other boy only smiled, a ghost of a smile. "So that as long as I can see you, I'll remember why I don't need anyone else."
"That is the cheesiest thing I've ever heard," Roxas said, as his heart leapt up into his throat.
Axel laughed. "Yep. But it worked, didn't it? You're starry-eyed already, and I haven't even kissed you…." he murmured as his face drew closer and closer, and for once Roxas didn't care that they were in plain sight, that tomorrow his parents would come to pick him up, or even that in a few weeks he would have to go to college, away from Axel.
All he focused on was Axel's warm lips on his own, strong hands pulling him closer, burying in his hair, and then he thought no more.
"Should we tell them to get a room?" Sora asked distractedly, looking at the fused mass of arms, legs, and lips that was Axel and Roxas.
"Nah. Way more fun out here, in the open," Riku replied, eyeing several thirteen year olds who looked faint. "Plus, that would be hypocritical of us, wouldn't it?"
"Oh, are we making out too? I didn't even notice."
"Well, it is our last night…."
Sora's eyes immediately grew sadder. "Don't say that."
"What? After this, we have to go home, then off to colleges. We can't ignore that forever, Sora," Riku said gently. "Look at me."
Sora looked up slowly, blue eyes filled with emotion. "We're not going to get to see each other, will we?"
Riku stared at him for a long, long moment. "Not as much as we'd like."
Sora looked down again, his hair falling adorably into his eyes. "Oh."
"You know," Riku said, leaning back on his log and crossing his arms. "I seem to remember that there's a lot of space between our colleges."
"Don't remind me," Sora said sadly.
"But not just space," Riku interjected deftly. "I have a feeling there are some trees in the middle. Maybe roads, too. Maybe even lakes."
Sora looked up at last, giving Riku a worried oh-noes-has-my-boyfriend-gone-way-off-the-deep-end-look. Riku just kept smiling, which only worried Sora more.
"….birds, wildlife…..cliffs? Rocks?" Riku's smile grew wider. "Climbing walls, perhaps?"
Sora met his gaze, hardly daring to believe what he was saying. "Climbing walls?" he repeated, looking intently at Riku.
"Yeah. I think there are some climbing walls in the middle. And you know, some weekends- pretty much every weekend, actually- I like to get out. You know, just me, a lot of granite, and a tent…and maybe, you know, you could come along," Riku said with a little shrug, his aquamarine eyes twinkling at Sora.
Sora was smiling back now. "I'll have to check my busy schedule...but I think I can make it. You know I love tents."
"You do, do you?" Riku purred, pulling Sora irresistibly closer. "I think you love me more."
"I think you're probably right," Sora agreed happily. "Some weekends, huh? You're close, right?"
Riku laughed. "Close? I'll be moving in before you know it."
"I don't know how my parents will feel about that," Sora said gravely.
"Pshaw. They don't need to know," Riku said with a little wink, his arms snaking around Sora's shoulders.
"Can we do this, Riku?" Sora said, suddenly serious. "Can we really do this, you think? Can we…can we make it?"
Riku gazed at the fire for a moment- a long moment, the orange light framing his face, warming his complexion and making his eyes seem dark, dark and emotional.
Sora was just getting nervous when Riku looked at him, a small smile on his face, and said simply, "As long as I can lead."
"Never," Sora said happily, and leaned in for another kiss- but not the last kiss.
Because as Riku's lips brushed his own, he knew; things would be alright.
Wowzee this story ended up being long. Like, way long. I'm kind of impressed with myself.
Anyways, first things first. I know we're all really sad this story is over, but it had a great run, and it really meant a lot to me, especially with all the positive support you guys gave me. This story idea started off as a normal, non-KH, heterosexual, short story drabble idea that I was playing around with. But then I beat KHII and got really sad about that and came on here and got sucked into the deep, dark abyss of fanfic. And I thought to myself, "Why not give that a go?" So all the characters were changed to KH characters, the plot was tweaked a bit, and I was on my way (Alysa, however, was there from the very very beginning)
Because if you want to say anything about this site, good writers do get recognition on here. Maybe not with oneshots, maybe not with drabbles, but if you sit down and want to write a multi-chapter, well thought out, plot-heavy fic that is well done, people will find it and people will review it and it will get good recognition. Which is what surprised the hell out of me when I logged on one day and discovered that my humble little fic had 100+ reviews. And what still surprises the hell out of me when I log on and discover I now had 100+ reviews per chapter.
So I guess what it comes down to is that I really want to thank you guys, all of you who read this from the beginning to the end. I am really serious about writing, and it has been like a WOWEE confidence boost to get this much love about a tiny meaningless story I posted one day on this site. Special shout outs to those of you who reviewed every chapter, and that would be... Maki Totakiyami and Sekre! –throws confetti, balloons, brownies, plushies-…
AND ALL THE REST OF YOU! SOME OF YOU WERE SOOO CLOSE, AND I LOVE YOU AS WELL.
And more special shout outs to MyHiddenStory, who never fails to give me food, AbnormallyWeirdPerson, who wins the longest reviews ever award, ArosxIrukxOxarsxLeax, whose skit reviews have made me laugh like nothing else, RedBlackandWhite, for being the first to use my darling Alysa in a fic and still making me grin stupidly whenever I see her name in his fic, and lastly BeuitifulDisgrace246 who left me such a complimentary review last chapter that I started to blush and then walked around with a silly little grin on my face for the whole day and lead a whole bunch of people to ask my, "Why the hell are you so happy?"
AND ALL THE REST OF YOU!
But I digress.
On a final note, a lotttttt of you have started asking about sequels and/or other fics.
First off: a sequel.
If you didn't notice, this fic ended on a pretty happy note. A hugely happy note. A sugar and Care-Bears happy note. And usually, as a serious writer, I am scornful of happy endings. I loathe them. I consider them unprofessional. I love bittersweet endings, just like I love bittersweet chocolate. BUT IN THE CASE OF THESE PAIRIINGS I will make a small exception. Cause it makes me happy when they're happy. And you wouldn't want ME to be sad, would you?
What does this have to do with a sequel, you ask? Well, to make a sequel I would have to invent an alternate plot and some sort of conflict which may or may not involve another man and/or Riku and Sora OR Axel and Roxas breaking up, WHICH WOULD NOT BE FUN.
So in terms of a sequel; there's a slim chance, but probably not. If I wrote anything it would be some sort of quickie one-shot that would be like a glimpse into their future lives. But I like how I left it, so even that is questionable.
In terms of other stories;
I would like to write other stories. Really, I would. And I probably will. But not for a couple of months, at least.
Why, you ask? Well, a few things.
One, school is starting soon. We all know about school and it's evils. Taking my time. Making me do…homework. And it's just hard to dedicate time to something when you have a history assignment biting you in the butt.
Two, I want to have some time off to come up with a good idea, not just a half-assed alternate version of this story. I write best when coming off a dry spell, actually, and some time off will be good to get the good ol' creative juices flowing. Yum.
Three, I'm actually working on something else that has been SORELY neglected because of this fic, and it's feeling kind of depressed about that. Currently, I'm about halfway through a monstrous short story/novel kind of thing that I really like and would like to finish, but it takes up a lot of my time and I need give it a lot of attention, like a stray puppy. Right now it's close to being 200 pages long, and I really want to finish it, so that will take up some time.
BUT DO NOT FEAR!
I'll write something else, and I'll still lurk around this site, checking other stories…maybe your stories…out. I'm not gonna disappear forever. Just gonna…hide for awhile. Like hide and seek. Yeah!
So that concludes my monstrous huge end-of-story speech. And now I have to leave you. I'll end this with a song that I find strangely appropriate for the story, a song by Hellogoodbye (If you know them, I am impressed with you already. You get special points.) I saw them live and almost got trampled in a mosh pit, but it was sweet. Really.
Thanks again for reading. LOVE! HEARTS! CANDY! BYEEE!
I like where we are
when we drive in your car
I like where we are
cause our lips
and our cheeks
our lips can touch
when you are the one that lies close to me
whisper's hello I missed you quite terribly
I fell in love, in love with you suddenly
now there's no place else I could be but here in your arms….