Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts and characters belong to Square Enix, not me.

A/N: Take one of the TS epilogue. It wasn't working for me. I'm posting this because I do like some of the ideas in it, and hopefully some of you will too (let me know, yeah?). It isn't finished, I just cut it off. Sorry.

Track Season

Epilogue Take One

"Sora, you okay?" The brunet looked over at his friend who was sitting behind a desk, typing at a computer. He rolled his eyes.

"Why wouldn't I be?" Sora asked. Zexion glanced away from his computer to look at the petite boy in the lobby.

"I'm just reading the checklist of questions I'm supposed to ask volunteers," he stated simply. "There's a note here." Zexion waved to a pink sticky note on the desk. Sora smiled and walked over to verify that Zexion was telling the truth. Indeed, the sticky note asked Zexion to make sure Sora was okay after meeting with Denzel. Zexion decided to enlighten his friend. "Sora, a lot of times kids like us volunteer here when they're not ready to. I guess kids spend time with these younger guys and get really depressed, or angry, or whatever," he explained. Sora shrugged.

"It's not that bad. I mean, I only get to hang out with him once a week, but Denzel's great! He reminds me of...me, before...you know," Sora trailed off. Zexion pinned him down with intense blue eyes.

"You mean, before your father started abusing you," he rephrased. Sora sighed.

"Yeah, that's what I mean."

"So Denzel's doing well? Aerith said that the organization was pretty worried about him before you showed up and started spending time with him. Didn't they tell you?" Zexion asked. Sora shook his head and sat down across from his friend.

"They didn't tell me anything except that Denzel was abused by his mom and was put in foster care about four months ago. They didn't say he was having problems." Zexion looked to the computer and typed in Sora's charge's name, drumming his fingers on the mouse.

"Well..." he quickly scanned the document, while Sora leaned forward eagerly, "Denzel was abused by his mother, and then after the trial he was moved into foster care. He was with one family soon after his mother went to jail, and they were...unprepared to deal with an abused child. He didn't do very well, sunk into depression, and they eventually moved him back here. He's scheduled for a new family in a week and half, although the person who normally deals with all the business of meeting the family and preparing them for Denzel is going to be on vacation..." Zexion looked up at Sora with raised eyebrows.

"You mean, I could do it?" he asked with a grin. Zexion shrugged.

"I don't see any problem with it. You know Denzel the best out of everyone here, he hardly talks to anyone but you, and even then, normally he's talking about you," Zexion gave a snicker, "kinda like Riku." Sora blushed, ducking his head and murmuring something about Demyx. Zexion glared playfully, but didn't comment. "So what do you say? Would you be willing to take Denzel to meet his family on the fifteenth and then tell them about what they should be prepared for with Denzel? You would be his liaison, pretty much. Up to it?"

"Sure. It's not like I've got anything else to do all summer," Sora said. Zexion smiled.

"You'll be great at it, Sora. I'll let the director know we've solved that problem, and have her get you the paperwork and tell you a bit more about the job. It's nothing horribly intimidating, really. I'm a liaison for a girl who moved in with her family last month. All I did was make sure she was comfortable with the family and vice versa, and now I visit with both parties about once a month or so." Sora nodded.

"Sounds good. Thanks for suggesting it, Zex," Sora gave him another look, "ulterior motives aside." Zexion snorted, turning off the computer and standing up.

"Hey, we needed someone for the job, and I wasn't lying when I said you'd be perfect."

"You didn't say I'd be perfect, you said I'd be good," Sora pointed out, also standing up. Zexion shoved Sora's shoulder playfully.

"Did I? Of course I meant that you'd be absolutely, amazingly perfect at the job. Never just good," he exclaimed dramatically. Sora stalked out of the door, rolling his eyes.

"You're a jerk. Does anyone ever tell you that?" he asked. Zexion pretended to ponder an answer while locking up.

"Oh yeah, Leon tells me all the time." Sora's jaw dropped in mock outrage.

"Leon? Are you comparing me to Leon?" he exclaimed. Zexion grinned and shook his head, wrapping an arm around Sora's shoulders.

"Come on, little bro, let's go meet the gang at the beach."

"I'm not your 'little bro'," Sora remarked.

"You're certainly not older than me," Zexion retorted.

"I hate how you're impossible to argue with!"

"So does everyone else, Sora. It's really not a big deal." Sora huffed, and stomped his way to Zexion's new car.


Demyx pounced on Zexion as soon as the senior stepped out of his car and shut the door. The two slammed back into the door, Zexion successfully pinned by an ecstatic Demyx.

"Zexy! You're late! Why are you late?!" he exclaimed. Zexion raised an eyebrow.

"It's Zexion, and I was late because Sora and I had some stuff to do over at the foster care place. Sorry I didn't call. And hello," he answered with a small smile. Demyx returned the smile, leaning in to quickly kiss his boyfriend before bouncing off again. Demyx took of his shirt as he ran down the beach, crashing into the water and sending a wave of water of Roxas, who looked half-drowned. Sora got out of the car and looked to his unofficial brother with a gleam in his eye.

"Enjoy the strip show, Zex?" he teased.

"It's Zexion," the senior announced, choosing not to comment on the earlier part of Sora's question. "Go find your boy toy and leave me alone." The brunet chose to roll his eyes but not comment. He could see Riku watching their verbal exchanges from the silver-haired boy's spot next to Axel. As Sora made his way over to his boyfriend, Zexion walked down the beach to stand ankle-deep in the water and wait for Demyx to notice him again.

"I was about to come get you myself, and drag you out of that place," Riku said with a smile as Sora sat down next to him. The brunet grinned as Axel muttered something about sappy boys.

"Zexion offered me a job as Denzel's liaison!" Sora mentioned.

"What's that?" Axel asked.

"Zel's moving in with a new family in a week or so, and the organization needs people to make sure it's a smooth ride. I'm supposed to talk to the family about helping abused children feel safe, and talk to Zel about making sure he gives his family a chance. He had a bad experience with the last family," Sora explained. Riku wrapped an arm around his boyfriend.

"You'll be perfect for that," he said kindly, kissing Sora's neck.

"That's what Zex said," Sora replied. "So we have any food here?"

"We had a pizza, but it was devoured about an hour ago. You hungry?" Sora nodded, pulling Riku up.

"I think ice cream would be good right now," he said, wrapping his arm around Riku's waist and hugging his boyfriend close. Riku smiled.

"Got it. Do you want to walk or take my car?" Sora shrugged.

"Let's just walk, cars are crazy-hot in this weather. I thought I was going to be baked alive driving over here with Zex."

"Hey, hey, HEY!" Demyx yelled from the water. "BRING US SOME TOO!" Riku snorted and gave the boy a thumbs up sign, then turned with Sora and began walking towards the street. They walked in silence for a few minutes until Sora opened his mouth, a small frown on his face.

"There's something I wanted to ask you, Riku...You can say 'no' if you don't want to and I don't want to make you feel as if you have to go or anything...I just, I really want someone there and Zexion says he shouldn't go and that I should ask someone else and I thought that maybe...maybe..." Riku stopped walking and turned Sora towards him, hugging the brunet close with his right arm and tilting Sora's chin up with his left. The track star's bright blue eyes shifted away from his boyfriend's face.

"Sora, what is it?" Riku asked softly. Sora sighed.

"I...Well, the organization has me scheduled to meet with my father in two days, it's part of their recuperation plan or something, but I don't want to go alone."

"Of course I'll come, Sora. I wouldn't even think of letting you do that by yourself," Riku said seriously. Sora smiled.

"Really? You'll come?" Riku rolled his eyes.

"I'll be there with you, Sora. I promise," the silver-haired boy swore. He bent down and gave Sora a chaste kiss, just long enough to feel that Sora had relaxed a bit, and then pulled away. "We can meet up and hour or so earlier if you want and hang out until we have to be at the prison. Does Leon have to be there too?" Sora nodded.

"He has to sign me in, but he won't be allowed to see my father because he's my new legal guardian or something...I really don't understand that part, but...thanks for coming with me," he said sincerely. Riku let his arm fall from Sora's shoulders and clasped his hand instead.

"You don't have to thank me. I'm glad to go with you. Actually, I thought you would have asked Zexion, Cloud, or Roxas to go," Riku commented. Sora shook his head.

"Roxas would just get really angry at my father and start yelling and swearing at him, and Cloud would have sat there glaring at my dad the whole time, and Zexion told me before I had even asked him that he really wasn't up for it." Riku raised his eyebrows and Sora continued. "Zexion just visited his own father about a week ago...It didn't go so well..." Sora trailed off.

"Oh yeah, Demyx told me something like that too," Riku commented. "But Zex has always been a bit confused as to what he feels for his father. He used to talk with me about it more before he met Dem and you started living with him, though. Not that I mind....those conversations were always downers." Sora gave a soft smile and then shook his head.

"It's too nice out to have such a depressing conversation. Plus, we're going to get ice creeeeaaam!" he exclaimed, tugging Riku behind him as he sped up and began moving in the direction of the nearest ice cream shop. The silver-haired boy smiled at the shorter boy clutching his hand, hurrying to keep up.


Roxas dragged himself out of the water, coughing up what felt like half his organs and a lungful of saltwater while Axel laughed hysterically at his side.

"You're an asshole, has anyone ever told you that?" Roxas said once his coughing subsided. Axel knelt down next to the blond, whispering in his ear.

"Only every day, honey." Roxas sneered, standing up and turning away from the redhead. "Oh come on, Rox," Axel said, following the shorter boy. Roxas turned and glared, but waited until Axel caught up with him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders, pulling Roxas close.

The summer was going well for everyone. Sora had been volunteering at the Twilight Town Risk Center, which was essentially a hospice and home for abused and neglected children, since school got out, and Zexion joined him as an administrative worker a week or so later. Roxas had a part time job as a busser on Destiny Island, although his schedule was pretty much whenever he felt like working, which was rarely. Axel hadn't had a job in all nineteen of his years on earth and it didn't look like that would be changing anytime soon, but Roxas didn't care because it meant he could spend as much time with the redhead as possible before Axel left for college. Demyx was working in a music shop full time, except he got the weekends and Mondays off unless there was some big CD release and the shop needed an extra pair of hands. All in all, everyone was busy and content.

The trials had all gone by quickly and as expected. There was so much evidence against Marluxia, Saix, and the other minions from past files and searches that putting them away for kidnapping was the least of their worries. Roxas wasn't worried about seeing any of them again. Roy and Caroline's trial had been hard to get through for Sora, but their sentence was fifty years for child abuse and neglect. Sora requested that they were retained in the Twilight Town Corrections Center so he could visit them, although he could only visit once every two weeks, and only with at least one other person. Sephiroth was tried for kidnap and rape, was found guilty of both accounts, and sentenced to fifty years. In order to keep him locked up for life, Cloud decided to press charges for the knee injury he suffered by Sephiroth's hand. The trial was in two months, and Sephiroth didn't stand a chance.

After Cloud and Roxas's father had come home there had been a long discussion about him working out of the state. Roxas reluctantly explained the whole situation between him and Marluxia, the rape, and the STD test, which had been news to Cloud as well. After Sora's story had been mentioned, and Cloud's story, the eldest Strife instantly decided to work locally until Roxas was through high school. The conversation, explaining the drugs and rape to his father and brother, had probably been the most awkward and embarrassing thing Roxas had ever witnessed in his entire life. He wasn't really torn up about it anymore, thanks to Axel and Sora's support, but explaining to his father that he had been raped as an eighth-grader was really not so fun. His head was buried in Axel's chest for most of the conversation, though, the redhead's arms wrapped securely around his shoulders, so Roxas was spared the surely furious facial expressions. He wasn't spared the furious yelling.

Axel look down at his boyfriend as they walked up the beach, noticing the blush on Roxas' face.

"What are you thinking about?" he asked nudging the blond in the ribs with a wink. Roxas shoved him right back.

"God, get your head out the fucking gutter, Axel. I'm not think about anything," Roxas snapped, stepping over Demyx's towel and walking over to where his own towel was spread out on the sand.

"Yeah right. I think you were thinking about me doing...this..." Roxas' eyes snapped open wide as Axel grabbed him and all but threw him down, straddling his waist and slamming their lips together. The blond was too stunned to move until Axel shoved his knee in between Roxas' legs and his tongue in Roxas' mouth. He moaned, looping his thumbs through two of Axel's belt loops and pulling their hips closer together. Axel's sharp gasp caught Zexion's attention, and the senior shook his head.

"Come on, Axel, grow up. There's a fucking five-year-old eating ice cream over there," he pointed out. Roxas smirked as Axel's mouth trailed down his neck.

"Really? Sora's back already?" he asked with a small laugh.

"No. A real five-year-old, jackass. Stop making out with your boyfriend." Axel rolled off Roxas and the blond curled into him so Axel's chest was pressed to Roxas's back, the rehead's arm draped over his boyfriend's hip.

"Sure, we'll stop making out, Zexy," he said, as his hand slipped into Roxas' swim trunks and his mouth twitched into a smile. Zexion turned away, making a gagging noise.

"Don't look Dem, they're fucking rabbits."

"Ya know, rabbits are supposed to be so happy because they get to like, have sex all the time. I think rabbits are cool."

"Oh my god. I don't believe this. My boyfriend is talking about rabbit's sex habits, while Roxas is getting a fucking hand job five feet away from me!" Zexion explained pressing his face into the towel he was lying on and groaning.

"You're just...ohfuckAxel...jealous, Zexion," Roxas breathed, throwing his head back...

And that's where I stopped. This epilogue, although I like some of the ideas I had for it, just wasn't flowing together right. Still, I hope some of you enjoyed reading it.

Keep reading for the first part of Zexion's story:

A/N: this is just the beginning of Zexion's story about his year with his abusive father. It takes place the year before Sora's story, TS. Sora, Rox, and the Destiny Island track team are in the story as minor characters, as they didn't have much involvement during Sora and Rox's freshman year. Also...this little blurb is not edited and not revised. Please ignore any mistakes!

I would like all of you to respect that this story is my idea and not rip it off. Even though I won't be writing it in the near future, I'm still interested, so please...don't steal it! Thanks.

For Her (Tentative Title)

Life After Death

The last white rose was placed on the coffin, and Zexion watched with blurry, red-rimmed eyes as it was lowered into the ground. It was customary for the family to put the first shovel-full of dirt over the coffin, but both Zexion and his father had declined. Zexion especially wanted no part in burying his mother six feet into the ground.

He dropped his head as his father placed a strong hand on his shoulder; he could feel the trembling fingers through his black suit. She would never see the sky again...the sky that she so adored, the sky that reflected the color of her eyes. Zexion blinked back tears and leaned into his father's chest, holding back a sob.

"We'll get through this together, son. We'll make it by ourselves," Xemnas said with a saddened look. Zexion couldn't even bring himself to nod in agreement. How would they survive without her? How could they keep going? The blue-eyed teen looked over at the coffin that was nestled comfortably in the ground. He had a sudden, strong urge to leap into the hole and lay down with her. Let them bury me. Please, let them bury me, he thought, looking towards the three men who stood nearby with shovels, waiting for Zexion and his father to leave so they could finish their work and go home for the night.

Father and son stood in silence for several more minutes, each staring at the coffin, with the five or six roses placed on top of it. Zexion wished he had a mountain of roses for his mother...a million rose petals to scatter around her grave, a thousand glossy green leaves and stems, thorns and all. The hand on his shoulder gave a quick, but comforting squeeze, and then fell away.

"We should be going. There's still a few things we need to do today," the silver-haired man pointed out. Zexion nodded in silence, and there was a pause between the two of them. "Zexion, don't worry. We'll pull through, we're strong. We'll recover."



Zexion coughed into his hand several times, then sitting up in bed and coughing harder. His throat began to burn and constrict, and Zexion had to run to the bathroom and gulp down water to keep from choking. He raised his hands to his throat, turning the light on and looking into the mirror. The bruises were ugly, and horribly pronounced. It would be a scarf day.

"Hello? My name is Zexion," he whispered, testing to hear how his voice sounded. It was rough and raspy, sounding exactly like he had been half strangled recently. His right eye was still slightly bruised, and Zexion brushed his hair down in front of it to hide the marks and the small amount of swelling that still remained. With a sigh, Zexion gently splashed water on his face and then washed it, avoiding his right eye and letting the warm cloth rest on his abused neck for a few moments, enjoying the heat and taking deep breaths to open up his airways. With luck, his throat would stop hurting in a few hours, as long as he didn't talk much.

Zexion walked from the bathroom, tip-toeing around his father's room just in case the man had managed to actually fall asleep in his own bed for a change, and entered his own room again. The walls were plain white, and completely bare. He and his father had moved several months ago, but it didn't feel like home, and Zexion figured he shouldn't waste time trying to make it feel like home. Home was...home was wherever his mother was now. Not here.

He carefully selected a long-sleeve shirt, one of his many scarves, and a long pair of pants. He looked in his mirror to make sure everything matched, and to make sure the clothing covered all the bruises. When he had packed his backpack, Zexion walked into the kitchen. Before he started making lunch for himself, he peered into the living room.

Apparently his father hadn't made it to the bed last night. Xemnas was lying on the couch, sprawled out and drool dripping slowly from the corner of his mouth. Zexion didn't need to look at the floor to know there were several bottles scattered around the couch. He needs help. I need to help him, Zexion thought, looking to a small picture of his mother that rested on the counter. For her.

Ch. 2 – Untitled

Riku threw a wadded up piece of paper at his friend; it hit him in the head. Zexion looked up from his math with a raised eyebrow and Riku leaned over.

"You okay, Zexion? You seem...quiet today," he pointed out. Zexion shrugged, shaking his head.

"I'm fine," he whispered back, "Just a little tired. English paper last night..." Riku winked.

"Me too. What'd you write yours on?"

"Roman Empire."

"I'm fucked," Riku moaned, turning back to his own math. Zexion gave his friend a rueful smile, but didn't reply other than returning to his assignment. Riku rolled his eyes and turned to Axel on his other side. The redhead was already paying attention to his two friends, staring at Zexion with a frown. When he caught Riku's eye, Axel jerked his head in Zexion's direction.

"What's up with Zex?" he whispered. Riku shrugged.

"No clue. You should help me finish my english paper over lunch."

"Dude, I was going to ask you to help me finish mine," Axel whined, and Riku slammed his head on the desk in exasperation. The teacher looked up at the noise and snapped at the junior and sophomore to be quiet.

Zexion skipped lunch, taking a walk around the school instead, as sophomores weren't allowed to leave the campus without parental consent. His throat was still bothering him, and he knew from experience that if he ate anything now it would be sore until dinner. After ten minutes of aimless walking, Zexion slumped down on the school's bleachers overlooking the track and football field. He hadn't been lying when he told Riku he was tired. He had finished his english paper last night, but then spent an hour or so at his father's mercy after Xemnas had come home from Duggan's Pub, or wherever he had been.

It had been three months since his mother's death. The first three weeks had been fine, aside from the tremendous amount of grief that seemed to coat the walls of their home. It was during the fourth week that Xemnas had started drinking again; a desperate attempt to stop grieving if only for an hour or two. From there, Zexion noticed his father going out almost every night and coming home early in the morning, if at all. Even so, it was only after two weeks of heavy drinking that Xemnas began raising his fists...

...to be continued....maybe...

Thanks for reading!

-The Wykkyd