Title: this isn't love

Author: Digimon Empress Yaten (de yaten)

Warnings/Notes: Dubcon Axel/Riku. Tiny bits of Axel/Roxas and Riku/Sora. Some violence, language, and sexual situations. Originally written as a giftfic on livejournal. Reviews are welcome, as always, especially if you favorite!

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts or its characters, I don't claim to own them.

Riku knew what love was supposed to be, or what everyone back on the islands said it was: love was that Friday night teenage first-kiss on the beach, the homemade scrapbook handed over with a smile and seashells glittering the cover, the very, very last line in the fairytale, where there's a perfect sunset with a white horse and everyone lives happily ever after.

Love was...

Well, love wasn't this.

Axel snaked an arm around his waist and pulled him close, so close, until Riku could smell charcoal and cinnamon and the scent of the cum still clinging to the redhead's lips.

He licked them, slow and savoring. "So, did Sora ever do this for you?"

Riku growled at the way he said Sora with a mock-curl of his chapped lips and narrowed eyes like emeralds, grass, and green green envy. But it's the for that cut him the most, not to, FOR—like it was a fucking favor to ambush Riku time and time again – Stop him with magic or bleed and bruise him with chakrams , or sometimes appear with only words and smirks that left him crumpled on the ground and begging for Axel to just please make it all stop.

His fist collided with Axel's jaw hard enough to make him bruise and bite his cheek, and Riku tasted hot blood and cinnamon and left-over cum when Axel pulled him in for a kiss, rough and biting. It was empty and burning and really, it was nothing, but Riku didn't care and Axel couldn't care, and probably just wanted someone who he could pretend was Roxas anyway.

At least, that's what Riku figured when he was once again on his stomach, bleeding down his thighs and stroking himself because Axel was too busy getting revenge on Riku's back to tend to the younger boy's release. They both cried out at the same time for the same thing, only one was just a Nobody (RoxasRoxasRoxas) and one was a far-off dream (SoraSoraSora) but neither said a word as clothes were pulled on, hair corrected, and Darkness summoned to whisk one away while the other thought of what to tell DiZ this time.

His excuses to the man were dwindling, and Axel was slowly replacing the blood and burns and pop-topped Magic for words and embraces that hurt so much more.

"What is love, exactly?" Axel asked once, metaphoric forked tongue licking at one of the deep grooved wounds in Riku's cankered heart.

Riku flinched and wished Axel was bruising his skin instead, because he could and had forgotten those very easily. He looked up at the stars and closed his eyes, and for a moment Axel was anyone but Axel (Sora, if he was lucky) and the sand beneath them wasn't cold with winter but warm and light, like the Islands he used to curse.

"Love is… light," he said, and his mouth worked slowly, carefully, because light was fragile and he had broken it before. "Love is light," he repeated, more sure, more gentle, "and a lazy smile, and a bright blue sky with those storybook clouds overlooking a hot summer beach."

Axel snorted, and Riku pretended not to hear. "Storybook clouds?"

Riku smiled with closed eyes. "Mm-hmm. You know the ones—they make shapes and stories, castles and kings and pirate ships or," his laugh was hoarse and long-unused, "in Sora's case—cotton balls."

Axel didn't laugh and Riku didn't want to see if his eyes had gotten darker at Sora's name or if he was smirking or frowning or if even his face had changed at all. The pressure at his waist had gotten a bit tighter—or was he just imagining it, since he couldn't see?—at Sora.

"Love," he continued, because it was nice to pretend Sora without bleeding for once, "is sharing a melting popsicle or spreading your toes in the warm sand." He unconsciously mimicked the action, but the sand was cool and unwelcoming. "Or when you laugh because the other one got sunburned on the very tip of their nose."

He opened his eyes to moonlight and cold breaths scattering the air, but it was Axel who broke the game of pretend-spell by pulling Riku into his lap and kissing the soft neck.

"I give sunburns, never get," he whispered, breath hot against Riku's skin, and Riku thought he heard a snake hissing somewhere along the beach. "And I hate popsicles. And sand, especially hot sand, and looking at clouds sounds absolutely fucking boring. But," he said, raising his lips to Riku's ear, "but…"

Riku's neck craned swanlike into the touch, even as Axel's voice grew tight and low and almost-almost frightening. "I love you."

Later, Riku watched him walk into Darkness from the cold sand, not bothering to clean himself up. He was raw and sore and DiZ was probably going to catch on sooner or later. Especially if he had to return before the deep pink words burned into his skin healed and faded away—VIII and Axel and LoveLove—


Riku knew what love was supposed to be, maybe even what it really was, and this wasn't it.