The apartment had been perfect, Larxene thought weakly as she sank down to the floor next to the kitchen. Clean, spacious, interesting, with a spare room that the host had promised she'd be allowed to make into a studio for her artworks and a fully equipped kitchen - everything she'd been looking for. It was perfect, utterly perfect, and although she'd have liked to have lived alone she thought that it was worth having a couple - Vexen, the guy who owned the place and his girlfriend Marluxia, whom she'd had yet to meet - living there too because it was exactly what she wanted and more.
Except, she had now discovered in the worst way possible, there was something horribly horribly wrong with Marluxia and that was that she was a man.
She sighed heavily, running a hand through her hair just as Vexen, half dressed and hastily pulling up his fly, appeared in the kitchen doorway.
"I'm sorry, you didn't need to see that."
Somebody out of view handed him his shirt and he shrugged it on, buttoning it up before holding out a hand for Larxene. She didn't take it.
"You arrived earlier than we expected."
"You were having sex." Larxene managed to spit out accusingly, wishing that she didn't have that image in her mind now, every time she closed her eyes.
"Yes, we were."
"In the kitchen."
"It was a spur of the moment thing."
Finally Larxene stood, glaring with unveiled hatred at the man in front of her. He wasn't unattractive, very tall and very thin with long, pale limbs and long, pale hair and acidic green eyes.
"With a man."
Vexen nodded slowly.
The man of which Larxene was referring to popped out of the kitchen, still shamelessly naked and apparently unconcerned by any of it.
"What's going on?"
"For goodness' sake, Marluxia," Vexen chided disapprovingly, looking Marluxia up and down with eyes that the pink haired man certainly didn't seem to disapprove of. "Put some clothes on. Not everybody wants to see you naked."
Larxene had already turned away, covering her eyes with her hands.
"Oh, this is the new girl?"
"Heh. So much for first impressions."
"Oh, just go and get yourself decent, please."
"I've only got a towel."
As Marluxia disappeared again, Vexen gingerly reached out to touch Larxene's shoulder.
"Larxene? Are you okay?"
Larxene let out an agitated hiss, shying away before turning slowly to face her new flatmate.
Vexen glanced back at the kitchen.
"I thought you knew that."
Larxene sighed again, with petulant irritation.
"That," She declared, "Is disgusting." And she stalked off to her new room before Vexen could reply.
"Marluxia, we have a problem."
Marluxia was making a cup of tea in the kitchen, and rather than chase up a rather angry-seeming Larxene to try to explain everything to her, Vexen had decided to return to the kitchen where his lover was waiting.
"Yes. We were having sex and then we got interrupted."
"Not everything is about sex, Marluxia," Vexen commented dryly as he had his backside resolutely slapped on his way past Marluxia. The other man - shorter, but only just - laughed.
"Pull the other one."
"You've only got one."
"I'd grow another for you any day, baby. What's up?"
Vexen rolled his eyes at the terrible innuendo he'd just walked himself into.
"Larxene," He said, shaking his head of the mental image it incurred, "Is homophobic."
"And this is a problem because...?"
"Marluxia, you cannot possibly have been having sex with me for six years and not have noticed that we're gay."
"I didn't mean that," Marluxia huffed, coming over to place his fingertips neatly across Vexen's neck, kneading slightly at the place where he knew the tension always built up the quickest. As he leaned down to nip a kiss at an already fairly comprehensively love-bitten neck, he added, "Why does it make a difference to us if she's homophobic? We can just ignore her."
Vexen sighed a little, tipping back his head to allow Marluxia easier access until his nose was tickled by soft, fluffy hair.
"Besides," The pink haired man continued, "She's probably just shocked from walking in on us."
"I told you doing it in the kitchen was a bad idea," Vexen huffed.
"Oh, you were enjoying it."
Larxene Underwood. Eighteen years old, art college student entering her first year of university; petite in stature and anything but in attitude.
She'd been brought up well by her strict Catholic parents - although she didn't much believe in God any more - and while she'd always known that things would change once she moved out, she hadn't expected that.
Ew. It was just wrong, in a hundred different ways, even without sex being involved - which it clearly was. Sex was for reproduction, not pleasure.
Still, the apartment was perfect... and she could just ignore them, couldn't she? It wasn't like she actually had to be friends with either of them, she just happened to be in the same house as them, right? It didn't need to be a problem.
She was just finishing unpacking when there was a knock on her door.
"It's Vexen. Marluxia and I are about to go out. We shan't be back until late."
Although she'd still been awake when they returned, the fact didn't console her in the slightest because it was a good hour or so before the moans died down in the next room.
This was going to be a problem. A very big one.
The next morning, Larxene make sure to peek into the kitchen out of the corner of her eye to check that it was empty before walking in to avoid a repeat of yesterday's palava. It was, thankfully, empty.
The fridge was filled to bursting with foods of all kinds, ordinary and exotic, and on the front was tacked a post it note in presumably Vexen's handwriting - Feel free to help yourself. Larxene grabbed herself a yoghurt and found the bread bin to make herself toast - couldn't open it for a moment but she soon found another post it with instructions - it's a bit stiff but if you punch it it'll work just fine. A bit like Marluxia.
Larxene rolled her eyes as she shoved the bread into the toaster. It was a small thing just big enough for two slices, and presumably had been white once but somebody had scribbled notes all over it with a marker pen so that now it was an electric mix of bright - borderline psychedelic - colours. It was sort of sweet, really, until Larxene looked closer and saw what the person had been writing on it.
She did her best to ignore it after that, as well as the gay magazines lying on the counter, as she settled on a stool in front of the sideboard that served as the kitchen table and began to eat.
She was just finishing as Vexen walked in, dressed smartly with his wet hair plastered back into a high pony tail bar two strands that hung stubbornly around his long face.
"Good morning. I take it you found my notes."
Larxene nodded in vague acknowledgement but otherwise ignored the older man. Moments later there was a clack as the bread bin was punched and opened, then the click of the toaster humming to life again.
"I'm sorry about the toaster. That was Marluxia's fault. Mostly Marluxia's fault."
"You could have cleaned it off."
"I probably could get it off," Vexen continued as he leaned past Larxene for the butter, "But considering what attempting to do the same did to my skin, I'm hesitant to try."
Larxene couldn't help but ask, although she regretted it immediately.
"Why did you have permanent marker on your skin?"
"... You probably don't want to know."
After that they both ate in silence, Larxene standing with her plate once she was done.
"What should I do with this?"
"Just leave it by the sink. Marluxia'll wash it up once he gets up."
"And when will that be?"
"Probably when I drag him out of bed kicking and screaming," Vexen chuckled, although he fell right back into awkward silence as soon as Larxene didn't join in. She simply left the plate next to the sink and left without another word.
Vexen resisted the urge to lay his forehead on the counter at her blunt disapproval of him - well, fair enough, she had walked in on them having sex - but fingers crossed that would only last a few days. Marluxia could probably win her over with his boyish charm and elegant sophistication. He always seemed to manage it with all the other girls.
Half an hour later, Larxene left for university without another word, and Vexen decided that it was probably time to start stealing bedding from Marluxia. His first lecture wasn't until ten; if they were quick they could probably fit in a round of morning sex before he needed to leave.
Larxene had been lucky enough not to be going to art college alone - her old friend, Naminé, who was nine months younger than her, had been lucky enough to get into the same university as her and they'd decided to do the same course - foundation - so that they could be together. And though they'd originally planned to move into a little flat together, or maybe halls of residence, things hadn't quite worked out with Naminé's parents who wanted their precious little flower of a daughter to be safe, so she was stuck living with her grandparents who owned a little house in the next town over.
"Larky! You arrived safe!"
They shared a hug as Naminé hopped off the train to greet Larxene, laughing a little at finally seeing each other again after a long summer.
"How've you been, kiddo?"
"Don't call me that!"
"I've been fine," Naminé laughed as they made their way down to the university grounds. "The trip to Africa was amazing. You should have come with me, Larx. You'd have loved it. What about you? Is that guy's girlfriend nice?"
Larxene's smile instantly faded.
"Nice?" She echoed sarcastically as they stopped at a traffic light. "Nice? He's a man."
This didn't seem to have the intended effect on Naminé, whose eyes suddenly lit up with a shy little grin.
"Really? Oh, that's so cute!"
"It's not "cute"," Larxene huffed sourly. "It's vile. I walked in on them having sex. Up against the counter in the kitchen."
Naminé was giggling.
"You're so lucky. I'd love to live with two gay guys."
"I guess," Naminé said reluctantly. "But at least they're not trying to hit on you, right? That would be worse."
"Better me than each other," Larxene muttered. "And anyway, Marluxia's quite good looking. When he's not naked."
Naminé stopped giggling only when Larxene shot her a look of pure evil.
"What about Vexen, is it? What's he like?"
"He looks kinda like a ghost," Larxene admitted. "I mean, he's so pale."
"Is he an albino?" Naminé asked.
"Oh, no. His eyes are green. I mean, really green. Like, electric green green. The rest of him is completely colourless."
Larxene gallantly didn't put her head in her hands.
"That's so sweet," Naminé murmured. Larxene scoffed.
"Vulgar, more like."
They were silent for the rest of the journey to the college and their first tutorial.
Marluxia LaRue was a happy man.
Even as he dug out a stick of the concealer that he and Vexen were always using to hide their love bites, he couldn't help but smile discretely to himself. It was nearly three years since he'd moved in with his boyfriend and slowly all their life's plans were really beginning to come together now. It wasn't perfect because Marluxia had long since realised that nothing would ever be no matter how hard he wished for it, but they were pretty damn close.
Vexen had already left to travel to University where he was in his fourth and final year of studying chemistry. The thought of next year his doctorate being complete made Marluxia a little giddy with anticipation. Dr Vexen Carlisle. It had a wonderful sort of ring to it. Marluxia himself had forced himself through A Levels but given up school as soon as he was eighteen, mostly to be with Vexen, but also because while he was okay at almost everything, there wasn't any single subject in which he really excelled. It didn't bother him much. He helped out in a bookshop and worked as a waiter a few evenings a week which kept him busy and earned just enough money to pay the bills, and besides, somebody needed to do all the housework that seemed constantly to be piling up.
He'd never been one to let other people get to him (except Vexen, but that was a good thing), so he was hardly concerned by Larxene's apparent distaste for his sexuality. Although the chances were that Vexen was blowing things out of proportion (again) and Larxene was just taking her sweet time in actually properly introducing herself to them.
The small smile hadn't faded in the slightest as Marluxia pulled on his trainers and disappeared out of the door.
A week later, and Larxene had lost count of the number of times that she'd walked in on Vexen and Marluxia making out or worse here there and everywhere. She'd even caught them in public, once - walking to the station with Naminé who'd gleefully pointed them out kissing on a park bench as though she was delighted at being able to tease Larxene about it. Which was unlike Naminé at all, and Larxene didn't like that one bit.
And since the two of them were far too intimidating when together, Larxene decided to approach Marluxia about the issue on her Friday off after Vexen had left for one of his lectures.
"Can't you two just tone it down a bit? I'm getting sick of having to put up with you constantly swapping spit and more all over the place."
He turned from watering the line of carnivorous plants on the windowsill and smiled apologetically.
"Sorry, sweetheart. You're talking to the wrong person. I really couldn't care less."
Larxene frowned angrily, drawing her small lips together into a thin, tight line.
"It's disgusting!" She announced, her main argument for her case.
Marluxia turned disinterestedly back to the plants, smiling again as he effortlessly caught a fly buzzing against the window and dropped it into a gaping trap.
"You know, these traps can close in less than a tenth of a second," He said. "That's faster than you can blink."
"What has that got to do with anything?" Larxene asked incredulously. Marluxia shrugged and didn't reply - and effortlessly destroyed the conversation. It was a few minutes before Larxene managed to try again.
"Look, what I'm trying to say is that fair enough, do what you want in your bedroom, but I don't need to see it or hear it. You're two bloody exhibitionists, that's what you are. It's just wrong."
"Wrong?" Marluxia questioned, turning back and arching one neat, tapered eyebrow. "Is it wrong to express your love to another?"
"It's not love," Larxene instantly shot back. "It's just sex."
"Keep telling yourself that, darling."
He patted her tussled hair as he walked past, smiling again, and she scowled, unnoticed, at his retreating back. Then, quite suddenly, he turned.
"I'm going to walk next door's dog this afternoon. Care to join me?"
Larxene wrinkled her nose. Dogs and gays. No thanks.
"Fair enough. But I think the fresh air will do you good."
"You think that taking it up the arse is a good way to have fun."
Marluxia laughed flippantly, unconcerned by Larxene's low stabs at his sexuality.
"It is. You should try it some time."
Larxene rolled her eyes.
"See what I mean? That's just not right."