Finally! It's done! The first chapter to my first multi-chaptered (not counting "The World, And Other Meaningless Truths") RoxSorRox story! I'm so happy... And well, speechless. No, really, this is sixteen pages on Word, and it's pretty much self-explanitory. But I hope you guys like it! The song I used for this chapter is "This Love This Hate" by Hollywood Undead.


1 :: Home


"In a time of need only few can see what's wrong,
millions tend to crawl but only those who choose can make it through this all,"


His name is Sora Taylor, he attends Destiny Island Private School, and is the current Class President of the Junior class. He is a high honors student with great friends and a beautiful mother, Kiyoko Taylor, handsome father, Richard Taylor, and brilliant older brother, Axel Taylor.

He lives a perfectly balanced life of school, extracurricular activities, and socializing, and has been planning on attending the most prestigious University on Destiny Islands, Radiant Gardens University, since he has entered high school, and there he will study until he finds work at the local hospital on the island. Not that he would need to work, ever in his entire life, seeing as how he belongs to the most wealthiest family on all of the islands.

Yeah, isn't his life just perfect?

He doesn't even really have to interact with his own family, that must be a blessing judging by what some people say about their own! Yep, he doesn't have to wake up in the morning to a kitchen with a mom and dad and older brother chatting, or have to worry about them sitting up late at night waiting to punish him when he comes home from a party at two in the morning, or comes home after school to get a "Welcome home!" from them, or say "Bye!" when they leave for work, or even worrying about what to say at the dinner table, because it's always just him there.

It's great, really, don't you think his life is perfect?

In fact, it is so perfect that he doesn't even have to worry about finding love and getting married. Nope, his parents got him one of those handy-dandy arranged marriages when he turned four, to the daughter of the second wealthiest family on the islands, Kairi Howards. He'll never have to worry and be scared about asking a girl out! He already has a fiancé! No worries about her breaking up with him, either! It's an arranged marriage, she can't! No worries about knocking her up when they finally decide to lose their virginities! Because their parents are expecting two-point-five children anyways!

Yep, over-loaded with school work, too many fake friends, ridiculously high standards for his future, a pretentious arranged marriage to a girl with a mutual dislike of him, and parents that are never home. A perfect life, it really is.

And when his family is around, all they do is fight anyways. Ever since Axel came out of the closet, died his hair fire-truck red, got those weird upside-down triangle tattoos under his eyes, and got piercings all up his ears and one in his tongue and eyebrow, there has been no chance of a happy moment between Axel and their parents.

As for him, he likes to pretend he's adopted.

For one, their parents have seemed to put all their efforts into making sure that he carries on their family line, ever since Axel guaranteed there would be no arranged marriage with Larxene Tilmitt, who had belonged to the third largest family on the island, but the Howards had become more rich between the time Axel and Sora were born.

Axel's nineteen, Sora's seventeen.

The day Axel guaranteed there would be no marriage with Larxene that involved him, was the day he came out of the closet, and made it very well known what exactly his sexuality was. That particular day is still not brought up in the tri-state area.

I bet you're now wondering why Axel doesn't just move out, if he's so unhappy with their parents. Well, Axel is in college, doesn't have a job, doesn't have his own money, and our parents are still, at the moment, using the threat of disowning him and cutting off all financial support to keep him in some control.

And besides, as stated before, they aren't usually home to begin with. Axel and Sora see them once a month, at least, twice if there is something they think they need to talk to them about has come up, thrice if it's an emergency.

Thrice is never good, for more than just the emergency part.

Luckily, thrice is as rare as a rabbit carrying a watch and leading Sora down a hole to a wonderland with pot-smoking caterpillars.

So, in conclusion, I think it is safe to say his life is just freaking perfect. He will grow up, probably be forced away from Axel at some point, marry Kairi (who he despises more with each passing day) and have two-point-five children. All of which will be named by their parents, naturally, as their parents had named their children.

Their lives at that point will be planned out to the best of their parent's abilities, right down to how they eat their eggs. Dueling lessons after piano lessons, all before some classes that will teach them how to debate politics with some half-ancient men at some borings social occasions that hold no real meaning to anyone except the hosts (rarely).

Life is perfect, it's beautiful, and Sora thinks this everyday when he wakes up and remembers where he'll be when he is his parent's age.

At the age where he will finally have enough power to control his own life, but by then will be too bitter towards the world to act on it. Just bitter enough to cause misery on the next generation, who will end up the same way and cause misery for the generation after them, and it will be a never ending cycle. Never to be broken.

Just replayed again, and again, and again…

Just waiting for someone to break the damn record already.


"These lies are leading me astray it's too much for me to stay,
I don't wanna live this destiny it goes on endlessly,"


Sora gulped down the yawn that threatened to rip itself from his throat, knowing better than to do such a thing when around his parent's business associates, it would be a bad impression, and they only wanted the best impressions of the family.

Hence the reason Axel was locked in his room for the evening.

True to their once a month visit, it was no surprise it was only for a relaxing dinner at home with some business partner to discuss some rather pressing issues in peace. Normally, Sora wouldn't mind such a meeting in the least bit, he had gone through enough of them to easily zone out a couple minutes in, and then magically "wake-up" at whatever time the meeting was adjourned.

This time, though, he was tired. He was exhausted. He was about ready to put his head in the mashed potatoes on his plate, because they looked fluffy enough to be a pillow and he really thought he would probably fall asleep before he realized they were, most definitely, not pillows. But he didn't let this show, hopefully, because then his parents would get angry and Sora would just have to stay up even longer to listen to their scolding.

Obviously, because of his "undesirable affect on the family image," Axel had been confined to his room for the night. One bodyguard and one maid outside his door, just in case he needed anything. The bodyguard wasn't to keep him in, Sora had almost been kidnapped and held for ransom when he was younger, so it was for Axel's own protection.

That bugged him, though, as it had been years since then. Sora had been seven at the time! Now he was a black belt in karate, and knew how to duel with swords, and how to shoot, aim, and pretty much take out any target within 100-feet of him with a gun. Oh, and had learned some minor tricks with knives from the half-insane chef his parents hired, then fired, a couple years back…

He missed Cid…

A rather loud laugh snapped Sora out of his thoughts, causing him to flinch and turn his attention back to the guest of the evening, Rufus Shinra. A business man of some sort, he didn't know of what though, hadn't been paying attention. International trade of some kind of special knew source of energy… Maka? Mako? Whatever, it was one am, he needed some serious sleep.

Last night wasn't spent at a party, which is usually what would cause him to be this sleepy, instead it had been spent with Axel tutoring him for hours on end for a test that he had taken earlier today. Math had never been his thing… Then again, neither had been history or any science that involved any dangerous tools or chemicals.

Sora had always been quite good at English, though, he had always enjoyed reading, getting lost in a whole other world. And unlike most teens his age, he not only understood Shakespeare, but also enjoyed reading his work. Sora had always wanted to try his hand at writing a novel for himself, to indulge in the emotions and thoughts and personality of another, but…

He didn't have the time for that. He never had the time for that. Good grades had never came to him naturally, when he's not out at a party or socializing at some event, then he's studying. It's horribly mundane, and it controls his life to the point where he'd have dreams about what he studied!

Another laugh jolted him from his thoughts, this time it was to see Rufus Shinra nodding his head and thanking his parents, they probably just made a deal. What a lucky man, to have the money of the Taylor family backing him up, right?

Sora sighed, lightly, through his nose, hoping this meant the dinner would be coming to a close soon when his father suddenly turned his attention to the brunette, "You wouldn't mind, right, Sora?"

Really, there was no need to feel panicked in this situation, even if Sora had been paying attention, he still wouldn't have been able to give my honest opinion. He would have to answer with the reply his parents wanted from him anyways, so there was no real need to pay any attention.

He smiled politely and nodded, "I wouldn't mind in the least bit, I'd be happy."

Sora wondered what he was agreeing to, though. It's not everyday that one of their business associates involved him in whatever they are talking about. He really hoped he didn't just agree to stay at his summer home with him or something, Sora really didn't want to be raped by some random creeper his parents were just saying anything to make a deal to.

"My nephew will be overjoyed when I tell him the news, like I said, I would've taken him in myself, but with all the traveling, I figured he would just appreciate a more solid home for now." Rufus spoke with a deep voice, one that vaguely reminded Sora of a cat telling a mouse that it would be a smart investment to hide from danger in his mouth.

He didn't think he liked where this was going. Crap, he should've paid attention after all, why the hell would this involve him though? Okay, Sora, just calm down and think. He said something about a solid home for his nephew, and Father asked him if he would mind something. Well, if this was brought up at all during this stupid dinner, then it must involve his family somehow. It must involve him and something of his if Father asked him if he'd be alright with it… A steady home… Wait, they couldn't be thinking about inviting someone into their home! Someone they don't even know! Someone that Axel and Sora have to live with, not them!

Fighting the urge to groan out loud, he knew that was most likely right. The next thing they said would most likely confirm it.

"Your nephew, Roxas Casey?" A nod from the blonde guest confirmed this, "I'm sure he'll love to stay here with our son for the time being. We don't mind in the least bit either, it's important for growing children to have a stable home." Father nodded as Mother sipped from her cup of tea idly.

Wait, how old was this guy? And exactly how long was he staying here?! Damn it, Sora, you should seriously learn to pay attention! Stupid, stupid, stupid…

"Why don't we move into the parlor to talk more about your company, Sora can go tell the maids to prepare a room for Roxas," Father took a glance at the brunette, seemed to make a quick conclusion, then smiled politely once again at Rufus, "You said your nephew was almost 17 now, right? Coming from Hollow Bastion, we'll be sure to give him one of the better guest rooms, a nice change from that unpleasant city, it will be."

Rufus chuckled, completely oblivious to how Sora's father just totally saved the teen's ass on that one. He swore, they may be controlling tyrants, but that just makes him appreciate the moments of kindness all the more…

Well, that sounded utterly depressing…

As they left the dining room, Sora headed up the stairs, his parents and their guest heading towards the parlor where there was surely tea and treats ready for them and their business talk. Finally out of sight, he let a yawn out, letting it shake his entire body from it's intensity. The teen sighed as he looked for a maid or butler, anyone of them, he wanted to tell them to make the room and then go see Axel. Sora thought, tonight, he'd probably end up falling asleep in his room, he just didn't feel like sleeping in his own, alone.

Spotting Aerith, he smiled warmly at her, having always liked her calm and gentle demeanor, it was so pleasant that it just made you relax when you saw her, "Aerith," She turned, slightly surprised to see him, her green eyes slightly wide before they wrinkled at the corners with a smile spreading across her face.

"Young Master, what can I do for you?"

Sora yawned again, not at all ashamed it was in front of a servant this time, he was much more relaxed around them than his parents and their guests, "Rufus Shinra's nephew, Roxas something-or-another, will be staying with us for a length of time that I had not been paying any attention to whatsoever. He's about my age and from Hollow Bastion, I get the feeling from Father that he's not rich, either, so I think it's safe to say you guy's don't need to kill yourselves going all out and making the room dazzling, but still use one of the better ones, alright?" He yawned again, his upper body shaking slightly with the force.

He was gonna fall asleep standing, Sora honestly believe that…

Aerith smiled at the teen again, seeming to be amused with him, "Yes, sir, will you be heading to your or Master Axel's room?"

He paused for a second, his mind spinning slightly, before he responded again, "Mm, Axel's. I'll probably fall asleep in there."

She giggled lightly, nodding, "I'll notify Yuffie and tell her to not bother waking you up in your room tomorrow."

"Thank you, Aerith, I appreciate it. With all this work you're doing for me, I'll make it up to you sometime, I promise." She just laughed at his tired smile, then nodded for him to go to bed.

"You don't have to do anything, I'm happy serving you. Good night, Young Master Sora."

She's a saint, Sora would swear it, Aerith is always doing more than what he asked her to, always looking for ways to make his and Axel's lives easier. They're spoiled, by their wealth and by how easy she makes their lives, and he felt so bad because he felt like he hasn't truly thanked her enough for that. But he had no idea how to make it up to her. Extra money on her paycheck doesn't really make her any happier, she's already told him this, and coming from her, it was believable.

Besides money, he's not sure how else to repay her except doing favors for her and getting her extra days off. But he didn't give her that many extra days off, he didn't want her to get into trouble with the other servants. They were her friends here, after all, and he wanted to thank her, not make her friends ostracize her or anything.

Finally reaching Axel's room, the bodyguard nodded to Sora while the maid curtsied, he nodded back and the guard unlocked the door, letting him inside before locking it behind him again.

Axel's room was as dark as it was outside, meaning he either snuck out or actually decided to stay and sleep in his own bed, which was rare, he preferred sleeping over his friend's houses.

Slowly finding my way to the bed without his sight, he tried to be careful but inevitably hit a couple things. Sora winced as his knee came into harsh contact with the coffee table, making a sharp pain shoot up his entire leg. Biting his lip to distract himself, he took a couple more steps and sighed in relief when his hands met the soft and fluffy material of Axel's bed.

His thoughts returned to whether or not Axel actually decided to stay the night or not, knowing he probably left, and he realized his coming to the redhead's room, knowing full well the chance he would still be here was minimal, was pointless in it's own way. But Sora had already told Aerith, and she was going to tell Yuffie not to go to his room to wake him up, so he had no other choice by this point.

Gulping down another breath, he climbed onto the bed and fell onto his side, curling into the soft sheets and burying his face in the pillow. He could tell now, laying there. Physically, the closest people to him were the bodyguard and the maid outside the door.

Sora just didn't want to be alone.


"Only few can sing like lions 'cause we sing until we're gone,
and we've got each others backs until we're back where we belong,"


The blonde glared at the cloud that hid the sun from view, willing it to go away and reveal the bright sunshine to the city, to allow it to heat the streets and chase the other people inside and off the hot asphalt. But, unfortunately, it was one of those cloudy, perfect temperature days. The ones you always think are great until you get outside and see all the other people who decided to spend a great day outside, too.

Then it just sucked.

He grunted, shoving aside another person as he tried to get around the crowds, skateboard held against his side tightly under his arm, the mass of people had made it practically impossible to actually use the board, it was easier to carry it. That was just sad. Whose bright idea was it to squish this many freaking people in one place anyways?

The guy was probably dead already anyways, but if Roxas found his grandson or something, ooh, that guy better watch out.

An elbow connected with the blonde's side, causing him to wince and spin around, kicking a guy, the one he assumed was who the elbow belonged to, in the shin before quickly pushing people even quicker as he made to get through the crowd faster than the man could get to him.

Bodies pressed together as tightly as they would in mosh pits at a concert, only with less violence, except on Roxas's end, he was pretty sure he just shoved some 12 year old girl into a box of potatoes. He found himself regretting ever coming out of his home during good weather, especially on a Sunday, that was the day everyone in the city went to the Market Place, right after church. Another bad idea, probably suggested by the same guy who decided to make the city itself, and it's giant population.

Roxas could see the scene, see the stupid man with a hillbilly-like accent jumping up from a table and yelling out things about making a place where people can all be over-crowded together, then suggesting they can all go shopping on the same day, too. Idiots.

He finally reached a wall, what wall he was not sure, but he was at a wall, which meant he was slightly safer because now he would actually be able to go in one direction without being jostled and pushed in every other direction. It was especially hard for the vertically challenged, like him. People just thought they could walk right over him.

He shoved past a man with a Mexican-looking mustache, glancing at the stores he was walking by, looking for his temporary home. Finally he was there, the bakery Lulu owned, causing him to smile slightly and squeeze through the door. Once inside, the sent of freshly cooked bread nearly caused him to melt. Glancing around quickly, he was happy to see it wasn't over-crowded, although a bit more full than usual.

He quickly jumped into line behind a woman who looked to be in her late-middle-ages, tapping his foot impatiently as she reached all around her pudgy body for her purse just to start the usual questioning of which credit cards they take.

They don't take any.

"Sorry, ma'am, just cash." Roxas smirked at the sound of Wakka's voice, the guy obviously hadn't seen him behind the pudgy woman if he hadn't greeted him yet. Wakka would get distracted by things so easily, he once dropped an entire tray of half-baked croissants when he saw Roxas, just so he could give the small blonde a bear-hug. It was a miracle Lulu put up with him…

The lady made a couple more mutterings, something about her son and husband, medical bills these days, teenagers, and piercings, none of which did she word in any way that didn't sound condescending, before she finally pulled out her wallet. Her big, fat, wallet with a knitted puppy-dog on the front.

Damn rich people complained too much, just took everything for granted.

Just look at this lady. She dressed like she was straight from a boutique in Paris, had enough credit cards to give Roxas one and set him for life, and she obviously ate more than well with her size. And yet, here she was whining and moaning about kids, husbands, medical bills, teenagers and fashion styles that are most definitely not healthy but completely cool. It was ridiculous. She should be on her knees and thanking that God that she most likely believed in that she was lucky enough to have the money she did, she should be happy that she didn't have to worry about her home or paying those damn bills.

Instead, she wasted her time with mutterings and over-stuffed, knitted puppy-dog wallets.

Roxas was almost on the verge of beating his skull in with his own skateboard when she finally finished paying for her damn pastries, waddling out of the way to let the blonde come into view of Wakka. The tanned man smiled widely, reaching right over the counter and pulling the teen against it as he hugged him, making Roxas slightly envious of his height, "Hey! Roxas! Welcome back, buddy! You stayin' outta trouble, right? Lu's in the back if you wanna see her, I'm-a lil' busy up 'ere."

He just nodded, walking around the counter to let himself into the kitchen, smiling softly when he saw little Vidina, Lulu and Wakka's son, named the Al Bhed word for "future," playing with flour on one of the tables. He was covered, from head to toe, and Roxas was positive Lu was gonna have one hell of a time trying to clean the child later.

The toddler looked up, smiling brightly as his eyes settled on the blonde, "Rockus!" He threw out his arms to the teen, flour flying away from him in a giant white cloud. He hadn't noticed it though, waving his arms around towards the blonde, obviously asking to either be held or hugged, most likely hugged, it seemed Wakka's intense need for bear-hugs is genetic.

Roxas chuckled lightly and stepped over, dropping his board to the floor and kicking it under the table beside the door so no one would hurt themselves on it… Again. He grabbed a wet cloth from the counter and let the toddler wrap his arms around the his chest, only reaching to just underneath the older one's shoulder blades, Roxas didn't mind getting Vidina's flour-covered arm and body prints over his black tank top, the kid was too cute to turn down, even if he had been wearing an expensive, rented dress-suit.

The blonde smiled warmly as he gently began wiping away the flour from the child's face and head, before moving onto his hands and arms, "Who let you into the flour? You're a mess, where'd your mommy go?"

Vidina's eyes lit up dramatically, smile widening as he turned and pointed to a back closet, "Mommy!"

The blonde nodded and picked the small one up, carrying him to the closet with him, as he didn't want the toddler to start digging through the flour once again. Stepping around in the doorway and looking around the corner, he saw Lulu there, searching through several boxes and bottles, a gentle frown on her face.

Roxas cleared his throat, suddenly bringing her red irises onto him, she smiled warmly at the two of them, stepping over and taking Vidina into her arms despite the flour. Roxas laughed as the boy reached up and began to swat at one of her braids. One thing that never ceased to amaze Roxas was how Lulu managed to keep herself so together, to still look young, and put on all the make-up, and continue to dress as before, even after she married Wakka and had Vidina. It was amazing, how calm and collected this woman could be.

She smiled down at Roxas, "Roxas, could I ask you to look for the cinnamon while I clean this one up? Wakka did inventory yesterday, and now I can't seem to find where he placed it."

Roxas chuckled lightly and nodded, walking up to the shelves as she left, ascending the stairs to the apartment above, where the happy family had allowed Roxas to stay for the past month.

The blonde considered himself lucky, really, that they took him in. They had been offering for years, but it wasn't until Roxas's landlord began to threaten to evict him because of three over-due rents that the blonde finally had to take them up on the offer. He didn't understand why his parents suddenly stopped paying rent, though, they were never there, they had left Roxas to his own devices since he was about ten, but they had never failed to send plenty of money to pay rent and buy groceries, and clothes, and other things.

But, about seven months ago, the money just stopped coming. Roxas had begun working at Lulu's bakery to get money to try and pay rent and food, but it just wasn't enough. So he had to get another job, as a poster-boy. At night, basically, he went around with someone else, ripped down posters and put up new ones. Why at night? Who knows? Who cares? Roxas doesn't care how shady it seems, as long as he gets his pay check.

That was just barely enough, he was able to pay for an entire month's rent, but he still had another over-due rent waiting. That, plus he didn't have much money to spend on food, so Wakka and Lulu began to try and feed him, instead. Which he refused, because it wasn't their job to take care of him.

He just didn't understand where his parents went. Well, he knew they were traveling the world, they were rich, and Roxas had refused to go with them because his life was in Hollow Bastion, but they had always supported their son, even though they basically abandoned him.

Roxas didn't have time to care, really, though. He had gotten laid off from his poster-boy job because they found out he wasn't really eighteen. So he was sent off searching for another job, and didn't find one until half way through the month, at the very least, it was at a coffee shop. But he had found it too late and didn't have enough money to pay for rent, once again.

He kept the jobs for awhile, though, learned how to work the weird hours, basically had to drop out of school, paid his rent, ate at least small meals twice a day. He was doing it, he was surviving without his parents.

Then he got a new boss at the coffee shop whom he didn't have a particular fondness of, told the guy exactly what he thought about him, got fired, and missed another month's rent, was evicted, and Wakka and Lulu welcomed him with open arms. So while he felt extremely guilty for basically mooching off of them, he knew he was extremely lucky. He could've ended up homeless.

Finally finding the cinnamon in the very back of the bottom shelf-what had Wakka been thinking?-he snatched it up and walked back into the kitchen, just in time to see Lulu bring Vidina back down the stairs, flour-less and with new clothes. But Lulu didn't look as happy as Vidina did about this, with the home phone pressed against her ear, she frowned deeply, worriedly, then nodded to Roxas. The blonde placed the cinnamon down on the island, next to the mess of flour the child had made earlier, and walked up to her, curiosity written across his features.

"Yes, he's right here, hold a second, please?" She held the phone out to Roxas, still frowning as the blonde raised it to his own ear.

Cautiously, watching as Lulu grabbed the cinnamon and went to a mixing bowl, still holding Vidina in her arms, he asked slowly, "Hello?"

"Ah, is this Roxas Casey? It's nice to finally talk to you, Roxas. I heard recently from my sister that she and her husband haven't been able to wire any money to you in the past couple months. Apparently they're traveling through some rather poverty stricken African villages at the moment. Anyways, they figured you would be able to take care of yourself, but they wanted me to send money to you anyways. Well, I couldn't hear of it! A child living all alone, just receiving money from their parents! Anyways, I have made arrangements for you to live with some good friends of mine. They will pay for your expenses and such until you either turn eighteen, or my sister finds it in her soul to come back home. I never agreed with her tactics much."

Roxas spluttered for a second, mind spinning slightly as he tried to make sense out of what the man was talking about, just watching Lulu continue to add ingredients to the bowl, a recipe he didn't know quite yet, "Uh, whoa, huh? What? Who is this?"

"Oh! Haha! Pardon me, it's your uncle, Rufus Shinra. My friends, the Taylors, they live on Destiny Islands, so you'll have to take a plane there. I do hope that is not a problem. If it is, I can easily arrange a train ride and then a ferry instead, although it would take longer, and I would imagine it being less comfortable."

"I-uh-wait, what? I have an uncle?" Roxas's head was spinning again, raising his hand to run through his hair in the nausea that was suddenly starting to hit him, eyes flickering to the door as Wakka came in with a flourish, a wide smile dimming as his eyes quickly registered the tension on his wife's and Roxas's faces, "They're in Africa, but-uh, I have a place to live, I'm living with friends, good friends. I don't need money, I'm fine, you-"

"Nonsense! It's not their responsibility to take care of my nephew! I would've taken you in myself, but I imagined that you would rather stay in one place, instead of jumping all around the world because of my business, that is why I asked the Taylors. You will like it there, Roxas, I know you will."

"What? What-What? Hold on, back up! I'm living with my own friends, I don't need you taking care of me! I don't know who you are! I don't know those people! I-"

"So I will have a private jet sent to the closest airport to you, how does Friday sound, it give you a full day of packing! I'll alert the Taylors, their sons, Axel and Sora, can pick you up at the local airport. The trip should be about five to six hours, but you don't have to worry about anything. It is a luxury air-craft, really."

"Hey, listen to me! I'm trying to talk! No, stop it! Listen!"

"I will have your parents contact you as soon as possible, though I don't know how soon that will be, exactly, as they are in Africa. Why Africa of all places? And why the poverty stricken areas? I will never know what is going through that woman's head! The jet should arrive around ten, so you will probably want to get there at nine, at least. Just to get through security, I heard it is ridiculous in Hollow Bastion."

"You-No-Stop-STOP! Hey! I-I said! Don't make me talk over you! Hey! I'm talking here! What, are you a recording or something! Hey! Don't ignore me! I'll sing! You don't want to hear me sing! I'll sing REALLY loudly, and you'll have to hear me! HEY! SHUT UP! ME NO COMPRENDO! SOMETHING!"

Wakka snorted, making me scowl at him, "Try singing, I wanna hear it, ya?"

Roxas evened him with a scathing gaze, before sucking in a large breath of air, his supposed uncle still blathering over the phone, then, "LONELY! I AM SO LONELY! I HAVE NO-BODY! TO CALL MY OWN! OOOOOH!"

"ROXAS! What are you doing?"

"No," Roxas sighed, running another hand through his hair, "What are you doing? I've never heard of you in my life! And you just randomly decide to call because you just found out that my parents are in Africa and have left me alone for seven years?"

"SEVEN YEARS?! THEY SAID SEVEN MONTHS!" Roxas sucked in another breath at the outburst, pinching the bridge of his nose in aggravation, "Roxas! I will have my bodyguards come down tomorrow! They will pick you up and bring you to the airport, and there you can take the plane! Prepare, pack your belongings! This is outrageous! I must call my sister! I will visit you at the Taylors as soon as possible, good bye, Roxas, and good luck!"

"No! Stop! You're not listening again! I will sing! It's a threat! Hey, don't you dare hang up!"

Wakka and Lulu watched him as he slowly dropped the phone away from his ear, letting out a sigh of anger. All was quiet, even Vidina, the moment's tension giving away to something much more depressing, much too depressing for Roxas's conscious to bare for thrusting it upon this happy family.

Then Wakka broke the silence with another dumb statement, "He hung up, didn' 'e?"

Roxas just looked at him for a long moment, "Ya…"


"Maybe one day we can choose how it feels to be a woman or a man
without rules but buried underneath there's a picture glued."


Roxas had two bags. One with clothes, the other with his art supplies. Looking between the two, he cocked his head to the side when he realized something a bit unnatural, the bag with clothes was a lot more empty than the one with the art supplies, and they were the same type of bags.

Well, at least he knew where all the money he used to get from his parents was mostly going to. He had never been much of a clothes shopper anyways. Blinking for a moment, he looked around the small room for anything else. Spotting his skateboard, he quickly shoved it into the clothes bag, realizing that he wouldn't be riding it to the airport. Heck, the only reason why he was even bothering was because Lulu reasoned, it wasn't his choice. Body guards were coming to take him away. And while they certainly loved him, they weren't about to hide him like he was illegal. They reasoned he could certainly sort this out with this uncle and return to Hollow Bastion after he saw him in Destiny Islands.

Roxas still found his "uncle" to be someone he'd rather not meet, though.

Another glance around, and he spotted the album he kept under his bed. Pictures inside of his mother's travels around the world, and then of her meeting his father in England, Ipswich to be exact, and then of their marriage in Mexico City, and then of Roxas's birth in Bangkok, Thailand. Then it moved onto a picture of a house in Hollow Bastion, many of Roxas between the ages of one to ten, he being one when they finally decided to live in Hollow Bastion. But after ten, it was just pictures of his mother and father in the different places they were traveling. As they had been sending him pictures weekly, and he would loyally place them in the album.

The thing was huge. Old leather that had to be in possession of three-inch binding. He believed his mother had said she bought it in a pawn shop somewhere in Russia, which was pretty easy to figure out, as it was definitely pawn shop worthy, and the cover read, "забытый память," which Roxas had looked up and realized meant something along the lines of "forgotten memories."

That was most definitely coming. And luckily, it fit in the bag, leaving only about five inches of space left. Another glance around the room, though, proved the space would not be filled with anything. He planned on coming back, he definitely did, he was just bringing the important stuff because…

It's important, duh, that's why. Just because he was bringing the album didn't mean he wasn't planning on coming back. He just couldn't bare to be that far away from it, it held really high sentimental value. Oh, great, now he sounds like a girl.

"Rockus," The blonde's gaze darted to the doorway, where Vidina stood, arms tightly wrapped around the doll Lulu had given him when he was a baby. Kid was attached to the thing, it was helplessly adorable.

Roxas shifted onto his knees, sitting on his heals to hold his arms out for a hug. The toddler came running, making Roxas think, once again, the bear-hug need must be genetic, "What's up, kid? Shouldn't you be going to bed by now?"

Vidina shook his head back and forth fervently, fixing Roxas with a hard gaze, slightly disturbing for a kid that young, "No! Rockus is goin' away!"

Roxas's eyes widened, oh, god, if he was the cause of some separation anxiety for this kid when he was older, he would probably be hanged by his conscious, just freaking great. The blonde smiled, pointing to the bags, "No, it's just for a little while, okay? I'll be back before you know it. I promise."

He frowned, eyes becoming slightly glassy, making Roxas's conscious start to pound on his head immediately. Then Vidina did something Roxas was sure he was gonna regret, shoving the precious doll into the five inch space left in Roxas's clothing bag. Could Vidina really survive that long without it? Great, not only is he gonna be the cause of separation anxiety, but he's probably gonna blame himself for stealing the kid's security-blanket/item, too. Wonderful.

"You can take Moogle, but that means you havta come home now!" Vidina pointed at him sternly, bottom lip pouting out as he attempted to look serious. Roxas attempted to not laugh and just pulled the kid into another hug, smile bright across his face.

"Alright, Vida, I promise, okay? I'm definitely coming back, my home is here!"

"Aww," Roxas let the kid go to look up at the doorway again, seeing Wakka and Lulu, both smiling at him, although one with more a gentle warmth while the other seemed to threaten his ribs with a bear-hug. Wakka looked a little teary, suddenly running over to the two other boys, "Aw, man, come 'ere you! We're gonna miss ya like heck, we are!"

Roxas laughed breathlessly as Wakka, as predicted, was squeezing his ribcage to the point where it felt like it was going to break, "You and Vida are just alike, you know that?"

"You havta come back!" Wakka was nearly sobbing, making Roxas laugh more as Lulu moved to sit on his bed with Vida in her lap, still smiling.

"You're getting up early tomorrow, right? We invited all your friends to say goodbye before you leave." Roxas gasped in breaths as he looked at her in surprise.

"Really? But," He frowned, looking to his bags, "It's not gonna be that long. Like a small vacation, more like it…"

Lulu shook her head as Wakka came to sit beside her, "We can't be sure of that, Roxas. So everyone is going to say goodbye, and hope that you can talk to your uncle as soon as possible."

Roxas shook his head, "No, I'll pay for myself to come back here, I mean, I'll hitch-hike if I havta."

"Hey now," Wakka laughed, "Don't be doin' dangerous and stupid stuff. That's saved for college. You just go there, be smart, go to school, make friends, and call us every night to tell us if you see any cute boys!"

Roxas scowled, a pink he dusting over his face, "Hardy-flipping-ha, Wak, you were the one who was just all teary-eyed and hugging me."

Wakka laughed again, making Roxas's smile come back to his face. Looking between the three people on his bed, he blinked for a second before jumping up and running out the door, "Hey! Wait there for a second, I'll be right back!"

In what seemed like only moments, he was back with a digital camera in his hands, smile still spread across his face as he came back in to see Lulu had moved to lean against Wakka's shoulder, Vida drifting off to sleep in her lap still. Holding up, they smiled again, a warmth in those smiles that Roxas was positive would last forever in the picture.

Later that night, after a visit to a 24-hour convenience store down the street, he placed that picture on the next blank page in the album. On the label beneath it, he wrote: Home.


"This love this hate is burning me away."