Title: love, in reverse
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Word Count: 2125
Disclaimer: I own nothing.

It wasn't about the how or why or when,
because there had never been any of those.

No dates ("Too expensive.")
or I love you's ("I'm still not sleeping with you, Axel.")
or holding hands ("Why can't we just walk?")
They'd never gotten together; they'd just always been—

(drunken, perverted, quiet, girly, pink,
soft, bright, warm, the sun, bored,
apathetic, jealous, stupid, naïve, perf –
what the hell were they?)



"We should get married in Halloween Town," Axel said seriously, only slurring the very end of his sentence. The bottle of whiskey in his hand fell onto the bar and splashed onto Roxas' shirt. "It's 'kay to marry two people there, right?"

"It probably wouldn't count though," Kairi informed him, sipping at her soda. "And you're absolutely trashed, so we can't listen to anything you say, anyway."

Roxas wiped down the counter and took the bottle away as Axel reached for it. "That's enough, dumbass."

"I hate youuuuu," Axel whined, and dropped his head onto the counter. "But I still wanna marry you."

"Well, I don't want to marry you," he deadpanned. "So shut up and pass out already."

"That's cold," Axel muttered. "You're bottoming tonight."

Kairi snorted and rubbed her forehead with one hand as Roxas nearly broke the glass he was cleaning out. "Oh, my God."

"Why do we live with him?" Roxas asked, turning to her. "Just, why?"

"Less rent to pay," she said blithely. "And pets weren't allowed."

"I take offense to that," Axel growled, teetering on his barstool dangerously. Kairi sighed and let him lean on her shoulder for support. He palmed her thigh, just under her skirt, and glared at someone behind her.

She shook her head when he went cross-eyed. "It just figures you'd be the one to get plastered on my birthday."

"He's celebrating," Roxas told her, serving a couple of giggling girls a few feet away. Kairi blinked.

"Celebrating what?"

"The fact that you're legal."

She stared at the top of Axel's head in disbelief. He looked up at her and grinned. "No more jailbait jokes!"

"Classy," she said dryly, and Roxas helped her drag him home at the end of the night.


Axel was right about the after-party; it really was the only good thing about prom.

They stumbled into Axel's apartment an hour after it'd ended. Kairi was giddy off of spiked punch and Roxas' hands on her hips, and Axel was trying to find the light switch.

"Fuck lights," Roxas groaned into her neck, and tugged at her dress. "Where the hell's Axel's room?"

"No idea," she giggled, trying to focus on just walking in a straight line. Roxas was warm and his chest was hard against her back. "Hey, wait, where's Axel?"

"Kitchen," Roxas said, and slanted his mouth over hers. Kairi's fingers found his hair, and they backed into the kitchen. She felt the edge of the counter dig into her lower back.

Axel moved away from the fridge with a can of whipped cream. He left the door wide open, and the light bulb flickered every few minutes. "Dessert, anyone?"

"I'm trying," Roxas grumbled, unzipping her dress. Axel sprayed the back of his neck. He snarled. "I'm going to kill you."

"Kinky!" Axel said, snickering, and hopped up onto the counter next to her. "Hey, dollface, open your mouth."

She swivelled to look at him and wobbled a bit. Roxas put his hand on her stomach to steady her and stared when she parted her lips. Axel grinned and leaned over to kiss her, tongue and teeth against her glossy lower lip.

"… goddamn it," Roxas breathed, and swiped some whip cream on her collarbone before licking it off. "Axel, we're not doing it on your counter."

Axel pulled away from her, breathing hard. His fingers were splayed over her bare shoulder. Kairi's voice was shaky and her cheeks were pink when he said, "Table, then?"

Roxas grunted and nipped at her jaw. "Fair enough."

They walked into the gym, and everything went quiet. Axel looked around lazily, cigarette dangling from his lips, and snorted. "You'd think they'd never seen someone come to prom, before."

Roxas stared blandly at one of the streamers hanging from the ceiling. He kicked a balloon away with his foot. "… seriously."

Kairi sighed, two parts exasperated, one part mortified. "Threesome," she muttered. The boys glanced at her. "They've never seen a threesome come to prom before."

Axel wound his arm around her waist. Absently, Kairi hoped he didn't leave little ash fingerprints all over her dress. "You know," he said, leering, "it sounds so much hotter when you say it."

Roxas touched her wrist, which was as close to an agreement as any of them would get. Kairi groaned and covered her face with her hands. "Why did I let you two take me to prom?"

"Because you love us," Axel drawled. Roxas went to get her punch.

The solution was that they both take her to prom. Kairi refused to acknowledge them or their crazy for two weeks; then Axel showed up in her room with the window pried open and Roxas sitting in his mom's car out front, and she really had no choice but to listen.

"You're going with both us," Axel said easily. "That, or we kidnap you until prom's over and you don't go at all."

Kairi gaped at him and pulled the comforter up to her chest. "Are you high!"

"Only on love, babe," he said theatrically, grabbing her by the arm and pulling her out of bed. She let him twirl her, then ripped herself away. Roxas poked his head over the windowsill and rolled his eyes.

"If you start singing," she warned, as Axel moved closer and Roxas rolled onto the carpet, "I will throw you out the window."

"Fair enough," Axel said. Roxas snuck up next to her. "But if I promise not to serenade you—"

"Oh my God, no," Roxas said tonelessly, taking her hand.

"—then you have to come with us."

"Where?" she asked, and Roxas pressed his lips against the side of her neck, a closed-mouth kiss that made her heart race. Axel grinned at her with his lopsided smile.

"Does it really matter?" he went, and kissed her hard and slow with his nicotine lips and spider legs fingers.

"You both asked me," she said, "I panicked, so I kind of said yes… twice."

"We managed to figure that out already," Roxas deadpanned, holding a frozen bag of peas against his cheek. Axel snickered from his spot at the kitchen island, nursing a split lip and black eye. "Shut up, asshole."

"Still pissed I kicked your ass?" Axel sneered, then winced when Kairi hit him in the shoulder. "Watch it, doll! That hurts."

"That's the point," she said curtly. "Maybe now you'll think twice the next time you decide to fight with your best friend on my front lawn on a Saturday at eight in the morning."

"Sorry," Roxas went.

"Whipped," Axel coughed, and took a bag of peas to the face. "Goddamn it!"

"Why me," Kairi said to no one in particular. "Why is it always me?"

She was sitting outside on the grass with Riku when Roxas came over, hands shoved in his pockets. Riku glared at him. Kairi smiled and patted the spot next to her. "Hi, Roxas!"

He stood next to her. "Hey."

She blinked up at him. "Is something wrong?"

"Go to prom with me," he said, and sat down.

"You, me, prom."

Kairi looked up from her textbook, startled. "I beg your pardon?"

Axel scratched the back of his head, averting his gaze. "Prom. You're going with me."

She eyed him suspiciously and began to put away her things. The school's librarian shot her a nasty look as her pencil case tumbled to the ground. Kairi ignored it. "Why would you, of all people, want to go to prom?"

He smirked at her and handed her the green and purple case. "The after party, of course," he said with a wink, and Kairi promptly hit him with her bag.

"Not a chance," she snapped.

He followed her home, anyway.

Prom was three months away and Kairi was getting sick of all the hype.

"It's just another dance," she said to Roxas, as he walked her to her bus. "I mean, I don't understand what the big deal is."

"It's the last dance before we graduate," Roxas replied, with the same brand of boredom he applied to everything else. "People consider that special."

"The only thing special about it," a voice said behind them, "is the sex afterwards."

Kairi rolled her eyes. "Was that the wind, or did a filthy pervert just follow us home?"

"The second one," Roxas grumbled, scowling when Axel put an arm around each of their shoulders. "I kind of wish it were the first, though."

"As if the wind could be this sexy," Axel drawled.

"As if the wind could have this much hot air," Kairi snarked.

"Probably could, actually," Roxas said, "but then Axel would be out of the job."

"Aaaaand, fuck you guys," Axel said. He turned to her. "So, why aren't you squealing with girlish glee over this prom shit or whatever right now?"

She shrugged. Roxas reached behind Axel and touched her elbow. She sighed. "I don't have a date."

Axel's eyebrows rose. "Oh, really?"

"Yeah, really," she muttered, and walked ahead of them.


They were lying on the football field, side by side. The sky was clear, something rare for Hollow Bastion, and the summer air was warm. Roxas was pointing out constellations to her, and his eyes were brighter than she could ever remember seeing them. Axel, for the most part, kept pretending to snore and then tried to feel her up.

"We're starting school in two weeks," she said, after Roxas had fallen silent and Axel had put his hand firmly on her bare knee. "It's our last year. I feel nostalgic."

"Why?" Roxas asked. "It's just another year."

"Blondie's right," Axel added. "It's not the end of the goddamn world."

"I'd appreciate the back up, but you've failed grade twelve two times; I don't think your opinion counts."

"Fuck off."

"Well," Kairi said, as the two of them began to bicker – Roxas' shoulder moved under her head and Axel's fingernails scraped the inside of her thigh. "It's nice to see nothing's changed."


"Brake, woman, brake!"

"I don't know which one that is!"

"We're going to die."

"Quiet, Blondie. Princess, would you take your foot off the gas before you get us killed!"

"It's not my fault you're the worst teacher on the face of the planet!"

Roxas sat in the backseat of the car, lips quirking up at the corners as the other two bickered up front. Axel white knuckled the dashboard as Kairi pulled a sharp U-turn. He sighed. "Definitely dead."

"Shut up, Roxas!"


"I'm Sora," her lab partner said, smiling. Kairi blushed and smiled back hesitantly. Roxas, from across the room, added too many chemicals to his beaker and almost set his hand on fire.

Later, at lunch, he said: "I don't like him."

Axel looked between the two of them, not entirely sure what was going on, and stole some of Roxas' brownie. Kairi frowned and kicked him in the shin under the table before asking, "Why?"

"Because," Roxas said, frowning. "I just don't."

"That's not a good enough reason," she snapped, and his eyes went dark.

"Because he likes you," he went, and Axel choked.

The next day, Sora told her he didn't know she had a boyfriend and she answered, "Yeah, I didn't either."


She was lost. Hopelessly lost. Kairi groaned and slumped against the nearest row of lockers. Her first day of high school and already things were looking bad.

She pulled out her schedule and stared at it long and hard. Wings, room numbers, portables – she couldn't even begin to understand it. When she looked up, there were two boys standing over her. She squeaked. "Uhm," she bit her lip. "Hi?"

The one with the red hair grinned at her. "You lost, sweetheart?"

She nodded slowly. "Very."

The blond one crouched down next to her and stuck out his hand. His eyes were very blue. "Roxas," he said. She took his hand and let him pull her up. The redhead picked up her bag for her.

"Kairi," she said, smiling now. "It's nice to meet you."

"I'm Axel," the other boy said, and put one of his long, lean arms around her. "And I have a feeling we're all going to be great friends. Got it memorized?"