A/N: Haunting Ground and Wii Tennis. The song is "Tik Tok" by Kesha (one of the most retarded songs in the world). Wow. It feels weird. Sora and Riku weren't in this story at all. Ah, well. Final chapter! Woo!

Chapter 3 – Losing Kings

It lasts a week. It lasts a week and then Larxene is turning in her chair, inquiring about what author Kairi plans to write her essay on. It is with only the slightest measure of hesitance that Kairi replies, "Sartre."

"Was that on the list she gave us?" Larxene presses. Kairi nods.

"Yeah, toward the top. He's one of the playwrights. Easier that way, you know? I only have to read two plays and one book instead of three books." A silence creeps upon them, threatening to be awkward, but Kairi shoves it aside with a dim smile. "What about you?"

Larxene straightens her posture a bit before proudly proclaiming, "Orwell."

Kairi's eyes glitter and her hands come together just once in a sort of clap. "Ahh, I almost picked him. I just love that man."

And then they're talking in school again which leads to neither of them feigning illness on movie nights which leads to the pattern returning, with Kairi lounging on Larxene's bed as the blonde screams profanities at her television screen.

Their conversations remain vague and unattached for as long as they can stand, and then Larxene can't help but ask, as Kairi's running a big-boobed woman through a castle full of psychos, "Have you spoken to him?"

Kairi jolts momentarily, the woman on the screen nearly running headfirst into a shrieking woman wielding a large shard of glass. "No."

"That's good," Larxene replies, and she can't hide how relieved she is. Kairi passes her the controller a few minutes later, updating her on what they need to proceed to the next area of the game. When Larxene takes the controller, she purposely lets her fingers touch Kairi's, testing. Kairi shivers and tries to disguise it by rolling over onto her back, prepared to sit upright.

But Larxene tosses the controller onto the floor and she's hovering over the redhead, arms on either side, head dipped low, low enough for their breaths to mingle.

She can feel Kairi's hand on her stomach, sliding up her side, tangling into her hair. They gaze at each other for a few very long, agonizing seconds before the intensity thickens so much that it seems to be taking physical shape. Larxene's eyes are hazy with lust, and she knows this because that's how Kairi's looking at her, and she remembers the time on Axel's couch but she knows she's not running anywhere this time.

Kairi pulls Larxene down as she rises up to meet her lips, and the mashing of their mouths is painful with clacking teeth but by no means is it unsatisfactory. A dog is barking frantically on the television, a woman is chuckling darkly. And just as Larxene slides her tongue into Kairi's willing mouth, a shrill scream jumps at them and the two girls are leaping away from each other, hearts racing and breaths labored. They do not look at each other, and Larxene looks at the television screen.

"Guess I forgot to pause it," she murmurs, taking the controller into her hands. She loads again and starts to play, emptying her mind. Kairi soon returns to her rightful place at Larxene's side, lying on her stomach as she shouts and points at the screen.

-0-0-

Larxene's in the middle seat of Demyx's van, absorbing the body heat of a strangely rigid Kairi. Axel's in the front seat, ranting about how Roxas needs to just run into his open arms already, and Zexion's in the back, headphones over his ears and eyes directed out the window.

Larxene loathes Demyx's taste in music but as Demyx dances and sings to an absurdly catchy song, Larxene tries to subtly ask what the name of the song is. Demyx is all too willing to tell her, noisily, so that all the inhabitants of the van learn of Larxene's uncharacteristic inquiry.

"It's called Tick Tock, I think," he says. "You like this song?"

Kairi's looking at her now and Larxene feels her face getting hot so she swiftly turns to stare out the window at the nothing of the wasteland they live in. "No, not really," she insists. "It's just catchy. The song itself is fucking retarded, but I like that weird 'oo' thing she does."

Demyx laughs and tries to mimic it as the song continues, failing miserably. He's not a bit sad about it though and laughs heartily as the group laughs with him. It was a general warm moment for everyone, but Larxene will remember it later for Kairi's genuinely cheerful giggling.

And after Demyx drops them off—Kairi deciding last minute to stay the night with Larxene—they're suffering an awkward silence until Kairi suddenly leaps onto Larxene's bed, boldly singing out loud with all her strength of lungs. She tries to get the weird sound the lady singer made, the one Demyx couldn't get right, and she does it so perfectly that Larxene begins to wonder just how biased she is.

Her cheeks turn pink, so Larxene rushes up onto the bed with her, throwing her arms into the air as she, too, attempts to mimic the singer's voice.

Kairi laughs so hard she clutches at her ribs, and Larxene can't help but laugh just as insanely. They fall into each other, their only support, and as they sing silly lyrics and mimic bizarre noises their noses are so close they're nearly touching, their lips are so close they're nearly kissing. And suddenly Larxene is acutely aware of her own chest against Kairi's, and it raises within her a fit of guilt. She wants to pull away, wants to leave, but she loves this moment, loves Kairi's iridescent smile and the simplicity of this situation.

The redhead sees Larxene's smile falling and her own does too, but as the girls catch each other, they burst into another fit of girlish giggles. A running thought seems to latch onto the thick guilt-ridden air and suddenly they aren't giggling anymore because their lips are too busy.

Larxene throws Kairi down on the bed—Kairi giggles again, reaching up to wrap her arms around Larxene's neck as the blonde straddles her. They laugh periodically as their lips mesh, but it's hysterical, insane, and it evolves into dripping tears and low sobs. Larxene can't tell which tears are hers and it doesn't seem to matter, they are the same body of water, flowing through each other, clawing at delicate, female skin, pulling at sanitary, silken hair.

Kairi does not stop Larxene's hands on her breasts, does not stop Larxene's fingers sliding up her skirt. She gasps and grips Larxene's hair so tightly it should hurt, but Larxene does not even begin to notice.

And for awhile, they're both in that other dimension, far away from the little town perched in the middle of nowhere, far away from crazy ex-boyfriends and cynical, pushy childhood friends. For awhile, it's just Larxene and Kairi.

-0-0-

The mall, being the only place teenies can be other than home, is swarming with chattering, faceless nobodies, the kind that sicken Larxene. But Kairi's next to her, smiling again, and this time that man won't be around to shatter Kairi's radiant happiness. Larxene even goes so far as to wrap her monster hand around Kairi's tiny one, and Kairi grins up at her.

A tempest rages in. Larxene can feel it racing through her hair, pulling at her skin, urging her to take Kairi and run. When she finally glances away from the used video game in her hand, she sees Kairi at the front of the store, talking animatedly with a young blond man.

Larxene creeps silently upon the pair, hawk eyes glowering at the man from behind Kairi. Kairi is actually smiling and laughing with this…this nobody.

Kairi follows the intimidated gaze of her companion and her eyes light up. "Larxene!" she breathes. "This is Tidus. We dated for like a week. He's a real sweetheart." The boy blushes and, in his ignorance, speaks.

"Hey, I get a break, like, now. Wanna go out for lunch?" he offers. Kairi looks at Larxene questioningly, innocently, but Larxene is too angry to deal with this.

"The fuck do I care? Do what you want," she sneers, and she glimpses Kairi's falling face before quickly leaving and ducking into the next store over, eyes peering out, waiting for Kairi to leave the game store. She wouldn't dare leave with the boy, surely.

But she's forgotten that Kairi does stupid things when she's distraught, and her glimmering angel is heading toward the foot court with the stupid blond boy at her side.

She's ready to leave until she sees him.

He's got the barest remnants of a bruise over his left eye—Larxene prides herself on her artistic talents—and a very angry expression. He shoves the blond boy aside and takes Kairi by the arm roughly, staring intensely into her eyes. Whatever he says has Kairi in tears, looking torn, and Larxene immediately flees the security of her hiding place to approach them.

Upset waters meet melting ice, and Larxene doesn't say anything, she just watches Kairi get led away by the man she'd pummeled to a bloody mess. Kairi doesn't say anything, either—she looks like she's waiting for something. She pulls against the lead of her ex, desperate as she pleads Larxene with her watery gaze.

Larxene doesn't move, and Kairi is drowning, being sucked into the waves of humans. Her bright blue eyes never leave Larxene's, and Larxene never looks away until Kairi is entirely out of sight.

A pair of familiar hands are on her shoulders and she's slammed against the window of whatever shop she'd ducked into.

"What are you doing?"

Axel's flaming red hair is drawing in all her attention, and it reminds her vaguely of Kairi's hair. He's angry, she can see it, feel it, taste it rolling off him in waves. A few feet behind him stands a short blond boy with a girlish face and eyes that pierce almost as fiercely as Kairi's do. His arms are folded across his chest, and he's looking at Larxene like he's disappointed in her. She wonders, idly, why she sees a mother's gaze in every pair of eyes upon her.

"I'm letting her go, Axel. She's too fucking flirty. She wants to be with men," Larxene replies, but she doesn't really believe what she's saying.

"You know that isn't true, dumbshit!" Axel shouts, and he spins her around and shoves her in the direction of Kairi's disappearance. "Go get her back!"

She's already running as he says it. Her athlete legs are pushing her forward, pulling her through hordes of people. And Kairi's just up ahead, still being dragged by that repulsive man, her eyes scanning the crowds behind her for Larxene.

"Kairi!" Larxene shouts. Kairi's eyes are on her at once. "Kairi, don't leave me!"

Kairi's punching the man in the face, Kairi's running, Kairi's in Larxene's arms, embracing the taller girl tightly as though she's her only anchor to the world.

"I'm sorry, Larxene!" Kairi shrieks hysterically. Larxene takes the girl's face in her hands and glares at her.

"Don't you be sorry!" she orders. "I'm the jackass here."

"No," Kairi insists. "We're both jackasses. We're both jackasses, Larxene. We've been jackasses for a long, long time."

Larxene laughs but she's crying. Kairi's crying, too. "Let's not be jackasses anymore," she croaks. Kairi nods fervently, pulling her into a kiss. When they separate, Larxene searches over Kairi's shoulder. "Do I need to kick his ass again?"

"No," Kairi laughs. "He's never going to bother me again."

"Never?" Larxene asks, running her hands through Kairi's long, soft hair.

"Not as long as I have you."

Larxene smiles wistfully. "Never," she confirms.

-0-0-

Demyx and Zexion are clutching Wii remotes tightly, eying the screen, concentrated. Kairi and Larxene are doing the same, but their continuous sneaked glances at each other elicit complaints from their opponents.

"Oh, come on," Demyx whines.

"You can look at each other all you want later. We're in the middle of a game," Zexion reminds them irately.

"Fine, fine," Kairi mutters, and she swings her remote, serving the ball. On the television screen, the ball races past Zexion and Demyx's characters, earning her the final point to win the game. Cheering echoes from the television as Zexion and Demyx groan in unison. Axel and Roxas cheer from their corner of the couch, but it is obvious they weren't paying attention to the game, either.

"How on earth did you two manage that?" Zexion demands as he tosses his remote in Axel's general direction. Axel yelps.

"It's the power of our love," Larxene jokes, laughing maniacally as she scoops Kairi into her arms.

Demyx rolls his eyes. "Oh god, you make me sick." Zexion brushes past him, heading resolutely for the kitchen where pizza lies in wait.

"I will never understand the complexities of the female," he mumbles. Kairi and Larxene share a secretive glance. They reply simultaneously, grinning fondly.

"Neither will I."

It's okay if Larxene knows very little about the complexities of Kairi Lockhart.

She has the rest of their lives to figure them all out.