a/n: Hi there. :awkward wave:

Everybody wants to do a highschool fic some time. So here's my spin on it---I'll just talk about it for a bit up here. Mmmm. Roxas is a boy who loves watching people's expressions change. No, that's not a premise, it's just a fact. Ummmm. Oh! If you read my other akuroku fic, The Cool Guy, don't start freaking out on me---this is just a side thing, that I probably won't continue unless some people take a liking to it. I might focus on it after I finish The Cool Guy, but not before I do. So no worries, k?

Anyway, first person limited can be difficult. heh.

And KH is owned by Disney and Square, folks!


So much for That

Prologue

"I think it's so great that your mom decided to move back here, I mean, my mom was practically in tears when she heard. She was like; 'we'll have to repaint the living room and plant the flower garden and you'll get to see Roxy after all these years!' It got old after a while, but I'm happy she's happy. Although, I didn't really know what to expect---the last time I saw you you were busy kicking over my sandcastle and stealing my ice cream while I---ommph! What did you stop for?"

I could hear my cousin take a breath, and was faintly relieved to hear some sort of annoyance in his voice as he stumbled into my back---a petulant annoyance, but it was there. I was starting to think that he always spoke with a grin on his face.

For the most part, though, I was busy staring at a house on the corner of the street two blocks from the house I'd moved into earlier that morning.

Calling it a house wasn't exactly fair to those upstanding structures that littered the surrounding area. It was more like a shack. A cottage, maybe? Whatever. It was a dark and dilapidated building with grimy windows and a squat porch that seemed to vomit a set of ancient looking steps, mere feet from the comparatively normal sidewalk we were standing on.

Towards the back of this horrendous construction the ill kept yard---strewn with the faded plastic remnants of scooters and god knew what else---dissolved into a thick copse of trees laced with thorny undergrowth.

It was like hell itself had decided set up a summer house.

I took a quick, belated step backwards, tripping over my cousin's huge red and yellow---a terrible color combination---sneakers and ended up landing on my butt. Hard.

"Ouch," I said, once again belated.

"Here," my athletically superior cousin reached down and grabbed my hand with his own large palm and tugged me up to my previous position.

"Sorry," I said as an afterthought. My eyes were still trained on the house. Its neglected, shoddy wood siding was pulling my gaze to the equally neglected front door, which showcased a wooden knocker and a knob that was only precariously fixed to its surface.

For some reason, my first thought after evaluating its appearance was a desire to stride up those horrific steps and risk splinters to pull open the door.

I probably would have done exactly that, except my cousin took my silence as an invitation to start talking again.

"Not a problem! I can see why you stopped, though. It is the sort of place that turns heads, I guess, but—well. How should I put this?"

I eyed my cousin warily. After spending the afternoon in his near constant presence I had started cataloguing his emotions---if I was any judge, the pose he was striking meant that we were about to have a moment where the new kid listens to the guy with all the experience, who warns him about the dangers and precautions he should take in his new environment.

It was too late for me to stop him, and he barreled into the speech with the same knowing tone I'd guessed he would.

"Around here, there are some things you just don't do. I mean, besides the obvious stuff, like drugs and arson and unprotected sex."

I blinked.

"Like, you don't look Mr. Xemnas in the eye. You'll meet him soon enough---he teaches calculus at the highschool. Only he doesn't want to teach calculus. I mean, he's crazy obsessed with science, only we already have a teacher who does physics and chemistry, so every year around teacher evaluation he gets super creepy. They say that the weird smoke and lights that come from the school on nights that there's no moon are from him doing weird experiments and…stuff.

And, uh…oh. You don't mess with Demyx's guitar. He lives two houses down from us. It's hard to say whether he likes swimming or music more. I think he splits his time equally between the two…I mean, so one day, me and Riku---you'll meet him later, he's been my best friend since I was, like, two---snuck into his room and hid his guitar while he was at the pool."

At this point my cousin made a curious expression, one I hadn't seen before, but could have been something complex like "regretful distaste."

"Anyway, I won't go into details, cause then you'd never go near him, but my hair grew back and Riku…Riku never liked puppies anyway." He bit his lip, but continued with a cheerful determination to see his admonition through to the end.

"The last thing is also the most important. That place?" He jerked his head towards the house, making his loosely spiked hazelnut colored hair bounce in a vague sort of way. "Don't ever stay here too long. And never, ever, go inside."

I looked at him. "Why? Who lives there?" I cocked my head over at it.

He stared at me. Then he laughed, throwing his arms behind his head. I wondered if it was habit, or merely a nervous gesture.

"We should get going," he said, and started walking back the way we came, in the direction of the regular line of well-painted, comfortable two story homes. "I told my mom we wouldn't be too long."

"It's only been ten minutes," I protested. "I'm sure she won't get mad at us."

I was mostly arguing for the sake of argument. With the house several steps behind me I immediately lost all interest. People were probably warned away because the floor would cave in if you walked on it, or something. There hadn't been a condemned sign, but maybe it had fallen down.

I turned back once to test my interest in the place. My second run through wasn't nearly as interesting as the first. It just looked like any other junky old house.

"Hey, Roxas, come on!"

I kept my sigh to myself---only one afternoon and already I didn't like how cheerfully he called my name, how cheerfully he'd dragged me out of the house, and how cheerfully he was now dragging me back.

I forced a small smile. He did seem to be a good guy.

After all, it didn't even look like he knew why my mother and I were moving in with his family---information I was not about to divulge unless circumstances included a loaded gun---and who knew, maybe not even then---but as soon as I'd stepped through the front door, it had been "Hi I'm Sora!" with an audible exclamation point further punctuated by that sunny smile. His mother had been the same way, and my mom was probably still chatting with her over French roasted coffee in their spacious, well lit kitchen, with its classic tiling and finished oak cupboards. Sora's mother had a polished, successful look about her. It was easy to read, from the tips of her honey colored hair to the heels of her stylish black flats. She had kept a girlish figure and an endearingly impish grin through her years as a mother.

Beside her and her equally polished son stood my mother in her lavender t shirt and favorite pair of faded jeans, hollowed cheekbones and bright eyes prominent. And behind her I stood, waiting patiently on the doorstep, waiting for Aunt Gene to turn out to be a bitch or for my mom to change her mind like she did every other time we attempted to move.

But it didn't happen. Like I said, it was "Hi, how are you, I haven't seen you since you were this tall," and my mom and his seemed to be on better terms than the rest of the family.

The rest of the family. What a joke. Cards at Christmas scrawled with things I'd rather forget and hysterically disastrous calls at three in the morning. I stopped thinking about guidance from my elders by the time I was twelve, and stopped expecting much at all when I turned fourteen to be greeted on the phone by some drunken relative asking some pretty incriminating questions, considering my age.

"Roxas? You're spacing out. It looks like you do that a lot---well, that's fine. Riku does that too sometimes; it's probably why I talk so much, ha ha. Anyway, there's this movie on tonight, and I was wondering---well, would you like to watch it with me? I mean, you don't have to; you seem like the type of person who might want to stay in their room---uh, no offense! There's nothing wrong with that. I should probably do it more often. But---"

"That sounds great," I interrupted Sora's flustered babbling, noticing that his cheeks turned a fascinating shade of pink when he blushed.

Seventeen years without family other than my mom. Outside the nice, welcoming house I was starting to recognize as a new beginning, I realized that if it meant we could play nice and get along when all the others failed horribly, I'd never so much as look at the strange, sad shack on the corner of third and weft again.

And when his eyes met mine, I smiled for real. "Sora," I tacked on, wrapping my mouth around the syllables with great care.

I was almost blinded by the force of his returning smile, and had the breath knocked out of me by his tight hug.


a/n: Umm, yeah! So drop me a line if you like or don't like, otherwise I won't even know to continue it!