Right to be Wrong.

What's the deal with Riku? Roxas finally asks Sora, just as Sora's sprawling over the bed, muttering stuff about Algebra being worse than anything else he might have encountered through the worlds.

"Huh? Something wrong with Riku?" and there's apprehension in Sora's voice, worry and Roxas knows that Sora is three seconds from running towards Riku's house.

Roxas frowns and sighs and then allows the soft pull of Sora's will for him to be almost out, just enough for Sora to be able to talk to someone face to face. He's not used to this kind of physical intimacy, Sora's face close to his own, but Roxas also supposes that it'd be kind of impossible for them to not get close. That's kinda what happens when you share someone's heart.

"Not wrong," Roxas says, rolling his eyes at the way Sora is still wary, but he can't really blame him. "Just. Weird."

"Oh. That'd be Riku just being Riku," Sora shrugs, and the relief makes Roxas smile a little. Sora's relief is different than his own, but he still feels the echo of it, sweet and slow.

He still shakes his head. "It's more than that."

"How so?"

Roxas isn't sure how to put it out in words. It's just that he's used to watching more than Sora ever does, that despite everything he is, after being part of Sora, a warrior, and that he knows that the way Riku doesn't look at him whenever it's him out, or the way he seems to avoid touching him at all means more.

Riku is kind of really shit at lying, and Roxas has always been goot at noticing when people do. He's no good at just leaving things in the dark.

So okay. Since he can't explain it, he'll just have to drag the truth out.

"Hey, Sora?"



"He wants to what?" Riku drawls, jumping down the wall to look at Sora as if he was a little crazy, a little touched in the head.

Roxas rolls his eyes but Sora just sounds a little confused and worried. And worried for both of them, even, which makes Roxas kind of want to sigh and perhaps hit Sora's shoulder for being such a softie.

He doesn't, however, take over like Sora had offered, because he wants to make completely sure that there's the awkwardness, that there's the way that Riku looks at Sora and then almost winces as he looks a little away, as if not wanting to see him inside Sora's eyes.

"Fight you, he says." Sora doesn't notice because Riku is not really doing it because of him. It had taken him a while to shake the last guilt off, mostly done thanks to Kairi's gentle wisdom and Sora's laugh, but it kind of annoys him that Riku is ignoring him.

He can count with both hands the people who know that he exists and there are fingers left when he's done, and it makes him both scared and angry to have one of the people who knows to deliberately ignore him. It's not that he thinks that Riku and him have to be best friends just because he and Sora share a heart: it's just that he and Riku fought each other and they were enemies, and the least he expects is the respect of awknowledgment.


"He really didn't say," Sora is frowning, the same worry than before spreading and Roxas sighs, tries to make it alright for Sora without giving up his whole thoughts, because then Sora'd start feeling guilty, too, and Roxas still can't quite deal with the full strength of most feelings, and he doesn't want to quite share his bitterness over this. "Just that you owed him."

There's no mistaking Riku's wince there if even Sora notices it. Riku bows his head a little, as if to hide his eyes.

"... yeah, okay then."

Well. Roxas is used to dealing with idiots that needed their asses kicked to get over themselves. He just hopes that Namine, Kairi and Sora won't get too mad with him at the bruises he's gonna leave.


Bond of Flames is almost burning in his hand, leaving a trail of flames as he twirls it that makes Roxas feel a little sad, a little overwhelmed. Oathkeeper is steady in his other hand, and for a moment Roxas wishes for his uniform to do this.

He's not bitter about how Riku won him, that other time, though perhaps it's better for them both to be out of that, fighting during the sunset instead that over the light of a fake moon. Riku's posture is completely bad and Roxas decides to be annoyed about that, about Riku not taking this seriously so he attacks without warning, trailing flames and light as his keyblades collide against Oblivion in Riku's hand.

Sora is quiet inside him but listening, ready and nervous and anxious; Roxas curses, tries to stop Sora's feelings mixing with his own and breaking his concentration, even trying not to let the memories of this body move as it does when fighting Riku, because this is his fight, not Sora's.

Finally, he knocks Oblivion and knocks Riku of his balance, botk keyblades against Riku's neck and he barely resists putting a foot over Riku's chest, for all that he glares at him.

"What," Roxas asks, letting his annoyance finally come out. "The hell is your problem with me?"

Riku glares back for a moment before he looks away, muttering a 'nothing' and it takes a hell of a lot of patience he doesn't have for Roxas not to press more with his keyblades. Bond of Flames is quirky at best, and for all that he's an idiot, Roxas doesn't want to burn Riku.

Not yet, at least. If he keeps on with this crap? That might change.

"I said. What the hell is your problem. I want an answer."

"You act as if everything was okay!" Riku says finally, as it pains him, and he glares at him, hard. Roxas doesn't flinch. "You see me and you're okay!"

"So you want me to not be okay?" Roxas aks, making sure his tone expresses clearly how much of an idiot he thinks that Riku is being, how insane he sounds. He thinks Sora is facepalming inside them.

"You should be angry with me!" Riku says and Sora murmurs helpfully that if he wants, he totally can knock some sense on Riku with a keyblade and that he'll even help. "And you're not. After all I did--"

"Oh, I'm angry right now so, well done. Idiot."

Roxas sighs, but doesn't move his keyblades for a moment until he retreats, shaking his head. He wonders if there is a way to explain that even if he had still been angry he isn't anymore, first because he had forgotten that he should've been angry, and then it was too late, being pressed so close Sora's feelings, too late and too damn hard to try and hate him or be angry and Roxas didn't care to fight about that, and then...

And then Axel died, saying that he would've done anything for his best friend, and as Roxas mourned – and that was an experience he hoped never to live again – Roxas thought about Axel's reasons and Riku's reasons and he decided that he was mostly annoyed with both of them, for the way that each of those idiots made him and Sora feel.

"Seriously. It doesn't-" he doesn't say it doesn't matter, because it does. Dealing with feelings is something that Roxas still has issues with, so he shakes his head. "I'm really okay with it. You're seriously overreacting. Got it?"

The deal with caring like this, he guesses, is that it's too much. Roxas isn't sure how Sora does it, leaving his heart so open, but it makes him nervous and what little he can call his, what little he dares, Roxas is careful to keep a tight control. But the way Riku is looking at him makes him feel a little soft, perhaps. The idiot thinks too much, perhaps.

There's something like regret shows on Riku's face. He even closes his eyes before he speaks.

"Got it memorized."

Bond of Flames is fickle. It's something that had almost made Roxas smile, as he started knowing his blade. It's a loyal keyblade and it works better with him than it ever does with Sora and Sora has even stopped trying to use it, but quick on the attack and sometimes it almost seems to have a mind of it's own: for all that its weight is familiar upon his hand, Roxas is almost surprised to feel it again there, ready to strike.

Riku smiles a little.

"So you're okay?" Riku asks and it's kind of pathetic even though it's also smug, as if he had proved that it's not okay, as if he missing his best friend and missing the life he never quite got was something he was ever going to get over with.

"What the fuck do you want?" he asks instead, making himself calm down. It hurts, Axel not being there, has hurt since the moment Roxas saw him die from behind Sora's eyes, but unable to do anything because Sora didn't know he was there, hurt because it had taken him so long to realize that 'best friend' actually meant something for him. "Do you want me to keep on kicking your ass? To fucking punish you?"

"... perhaps."

Roxas glares, and then he decides fuck it. He's tired of this, of having to feel constantly on edge near someone Sora trusts so much. It's not about them becoming best friends, but about the people they both care and the fact that perhaps he's not entirely okay.

"Kneel," Roxas says, feeling ashes and bitternes in his mouth, a little. He keeps holding Bonds of Flames, ignores Sora's surprise the best he can. "Hands behind your back."


"You want to make things okay with me? Then, do as I say."

Riku glares for a moment before he does, moving slowly, and with the way the shadows have started to gather, Roxas thinks he can see him wearing the Organization's uniform, the leather drapping over him and he swallows the lump of bitterness that is forming deep in his throat. Anger is easier and better for this, he thinks.

"Apologize," he says. "Say you're sorry for what you did."

Riku ducks his head, shoulders slumped forward, whole body saying how sorry he is.

"I'm sorry."


"I'm sorry."


It's bitter, and ugly, and it's him hurting in a way he didn't know apologies could hurt, and Roxas doesn't really understand the way his heart is aching. He knows how hard this must be for Riku, for someone as proud as Riku, because he's the same. Apologizing hurts, deep inside, and all the people he wants and should apologize to don't exist anymore, so all the 'I'm-sorry' he wants to say are over his shoulders.

Riku is in the middle of apologizing again when Roxas falls to his knees, and then he's pushing Riku to the sand and then he's kissing him and Riku is kissing back, for all that this, too, is almost like fighting, pushing against each other, pulling and teeth and biting and anger, the swell of anger that Roxas didn't think he still had the right to feel now burning the same way Bond of Flames does.

For a moment, Roxas thinks he feels Sora wrapping arms around him, almost, or at least him thinking about it and whispering a 'now you'll both be okay' but Riku's hands pulling at his shirt to slide calloused hands underneath distract him from that, at least for the moment.


They stay lying on the sand, both of them, bruised and sore and sated. Calm. Roxas leans against a rock and Riku's head is pillowed against his thigh, and they're too tired too be awkward about the fact that they both came, rubbing against each other and pretty much fighting as they made out.

He touches his tongue to his split lip, and eyes the bruises over Riku's chest and face that he left. Not exactly how he thought this was going to go, but eh.

"You're still an idiot," he tells Riku, but he feels calm. He moves a hand and vaguely rubs at Riku's scalp.

Riku makes a soft humming sound, acknowledging his voice, but he doesn't say anything else.

It's okay, anyway.