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"Hi guys!" Demyx gushed excitedly as he watched his two favorite redhead twins walk into the restaurant. "Well jeepers, it's like high school all over again, isn't it?" He quipped gleefully as he laid his hand against his side, cocking his hip out.

"Hey Dem," Axel replied with a tired smile.

"Who's working right now?"

"Well, I'm hosting, Ri Ri is waiting, and everyone else you don't know." Demyx replied with a shrug.

"Wait, you and Rikku still work here?" Ax asked, slightly bewildered.

"Well yeah!" The blond replied, as if it were obvious that they would both work at the same restaurant they had been since they were sixteen. "This job's cushy as hell, plus I meet so many cute, gay waiters."

"Don't you have a degree in phlebotomy?" Reno smirked as he questioned, crossing his arms loosely.

"Yeah, but I'm holding on to that until I'm too old to work here, which I'm gonna guess is...twenty-seven. Anyways, you guys want a table I suppose?"

"Yes sir."

"One in Ri-Ri's section! Hey Ri-Ri!" Demyx called out across the presently-empty restaurant. The girl's head bopped up above a dividing wall, a result of obviously kneeling on a booth bench.

"HEY!" She screeched as she saw the twins. "It's Reno and Axel! Are we seventeen again? Is this senior year? Do I have a paper due tomorrow?" She and Demyx giggled as he led them over, twisting his wrist to put their booth on display. "Oh man, you're gonna make me serve you, huh? Guess my down time's over." She sighed as she stood, flattening her apron against her black skirt. "So, coffee? Of course coffee, you two always want coffee." Rikku said as she rolled her eyes, smiling before walking into the kitchen.

"Rufus?" Demyx called into the kitchen after her. "I'm gonna take my break now, alright?"

"That's fine." A voice called back, leading the blonde girl back out, mugs of coffee on a tray.

"So!" Rikku exclaimed as she took a seat, passing out the coffee. "What are you guys up to today?"

"Shouldn't you be working?"

"Uh Reno? It's dead as hell in here. I'll get up when some other customers get in. So, as I said, what are you guys up to today?"

"Well it was supposed to be the last hang out day before fire crotch over here left," Reno replied, bobbing his head in his brother's direction.

"We have the same hair." Axel said, obviously confused at the insult.

"But he's staying another week."

"You're staying longer?" Dem asked, clasping his hands together, his grin widening.

"Another week," Axel answered with a grin of his own. It was nice to feel so wanted, like people actually wanted him around, wanted him to stay. He felt loved, like he had been missed, and it was a nice feeling.

"That's so exciting! Now we can all hang out again!" Rikku clapped as she leaned her head against Dem's shoulder, closing her eyes and smiling as he rested his noggin atop hers.

"Well aren't you two just as cute as ever." Axel observed with a grin.

"It's true, some of us embrace our hags rather than ditching them." Demyx explained with a wink, high fiving the smaller blonde girl beneath him. "Not that you ditched anybody, just moved. Far, far away. Halfway across the world." He droned on, sighing dramatically.

"I get it, Dem." Axel rolled his eyes before taking another sip of his coffee. "You two still work here, unbelievable." He said quietly, shaking his head and smirking. "Did everybody just stay stuck?" He couldn't help asking.

"Nooo," Rikku groaned. "Let's see, me and Dem Dem still work here, but to be honest, we're pretty much the only ones. Wouldn't you say so?" She looked up at her male counterpart who nodded in response. "Nam got that business-y job, working out corporate kinks or something at different companies. I dunno, she explained it to me once, but I never really got it. Zexy-pants writes for the paper so he gets to indulge in his insomniatic ways every night. What else?" She asked as she looked up at Demyx, across the table at Reno.

"You already knew about Marl trying to open up the bar. He got a loan the other day! So him and Larxene are buying the Cove!"

"They're buying the Cove?" Axel asked in astonishment. He knew they were trying to open a bar, but he didn't know it would require closing the best bar in town.

"Yep, Xemnas has been wanting to sell it for a while now, so he told Marluxia if he could get the money in six months, he'd sell it to him!"

"Huh, I never thought the place would actually close."

"Well it's not gonna close per say," Demyx said, bobbing his head for emphasis. "It's just gonna be different with Marly in charge."

"Zack works at the gym, Cloud's trying to get a teaching job, Leon bartends, Angeal coaches kids at the community center." Reno ticked off on his fingers.

"Xi and Yuffie work at the coffee shop, Paine teaches kindergarten, Terra works at the Crouching Monkey!" Rikku said giddily as she counted down the rest of their friends. "And that's everybody, isn't it?" She asked, Demyx and Reno both nodded in agreement.

"Terra actually started working at the Crouching Monkey?" Axel asked as he watched his three companions.

"Well, yeah. He loves it there, I mean it's been like his second home since he was fifteen. I mean remember when we were in junior high? He was all scrawny and stuff and he would always get picked on 'cause all his friends were girls?"

"I remember," Reno reminisced with a grin. "I remember Tidus being the biggest asshole of all about it. And then he got to high school, and bam! Terra was buff as hell."

"It was pretty awesome," Demyx agreed as he nodded. "That shut Tidus up about him, god he was terrified, wasn't he?"

"It wasn't Terra he should've been scared of though." Axel reminded the other three with a grin. "It was Marluxia."

"Oh jesus, best day of my life." Rikku moaned with a laugh as she recalled the day.

"Hey." Tidus called down the hall. They just ignored him, they always ignored him. "Hey!" He tried again, but everyone kept their faces front, talking and laughing as if some douche bag wasn't trying to call them out. "Hey queers!" Axel shook his head and sighed as he tried to continue dragging Roxas down the hall, but it was too late. Everyone had stopped.

"What the hell do you want Tidus?" Namine groaned out in annoyance, crossing her arms.

"Can't we just go?" Yuffie whined as she rested her forehead against Zack's shoulder, wrapping her arms tighter around his neck. She was so lucky to have the biggest fag, it was customary for him to carry her around on his back like the princess she was.

"Yeah, just run away perverts."

"Tidus, you're the one who fucking stopped us! Now what the hell do you want?" Xion yelled, only inciting a smirk in the asshole.

"He doesn't want anything, he just wants to be a dick." Roxas sighed as he tugged on Axel's hand, obviously ready to get out of there.

"Let's gooooo," Rikku begged as she bounced in place.

"Yeah, we're hungry." Demyx pouted, pulling on the back of Marluxia's shirt as he stood at the head of the pack.

"Hungry for cock."

"You know me so well baby." Dem replied with a wink, causing a wave of titters from the group. Tidus only sneered at them.

"Tidus go back to your hovel of homoerotic anger, we all know you love cock, you're just furious about it." Zexion added with a sigh as he leaned against a locker.

"Marluxia, just come on." Axel said, turning around and beginning to walk again, only hoping the others would follow him if he got the 'boss' to come along too.

"Yeah, why don't you faggots just get out of here?" The redhead stopped in his tracks and let his head hang as he sighed gently. He couldn't just make this easy, could he? Tidus just had to fucking provoke everyone with his supreme asshole-ness.

"Tidus, what the fuck is your problem?" Axel asked, never letting go of his boyfriend's hand.

"My problem is you fag, you're gaying up the god damn town." Everyone tensed as Axel and Tidus locked eyes. Zack let Yuffie slide off his back, ready to lunge forward. Demyx and Rikku glanced at each other worriedly. Zexion sighed as Paine smirked and shook her head at the small minded stupidity. Xion and Namine could only feel their stomachs drop. And Larxene giggled as Marluxia squeezed the bridge of his nose in frustration.

"Tidus," Marly said, obviously exhausted with this whole routine, slowly walking forward, closing the space between the two seniors. "You shouldn't say that, you might come across as rude, insensitive, a total fucking asshole to be frank."

"Rather be an asshole than a faggot." Marluxia sighed again and shook his head.

"You just don't get it."

"I don't need-" But he didn't get the chance to finish. One fist flew out and knocked him flat on his ass.

"You do not get to say that." Marluxia yelled down at him, back flat on the ground, dazed, eyes desperately trying to focus. Everyone stood in shock as they watched the pink haired wonder shake his hand out and walk back towards them. "Let's go to Solars, I'm fucking starving." He said, grinning gently as he lead them out of the school, Larxene cackling as she followed closely behind him.

"Damn, I love that story." Reno grinned. "I only wish I could've actually seen it! I still know exactly where I was instead, getting fucking help from a teacher instead of watching Tidus get laid flat!" He chuckled as he punched his fist through the air.

"It was fucking hilarious and it's still a story we love to tell, even though Tidus did apologize to everyone." Demyx said with a smile.

"Oooh yeah, I had almost completely forgotten about that. Doesn't he owe me one?" Axel asked, grinning. Despite everyone's obstinacy that Tidus had pretty much made a full turnaround, he had difficulty believing that. Reno nudged him playfully as he downed the rest of his coffee.

"I have to admit, I saw it in action and it was pretty amusing." The other redhead was forced to admit.

"I'm not sure if he even knows you're in town to be honest!" Rikku said as the bell of the front door went off. "Shoot, guess it's time to get back to work." She sighed as she stood. "I'll go seat them and everything, since you're on break, Demy."

"Love you sugar pie."

"Yeah yeah," she sighed as she walked towards the front.

"So what else are you guys doing today? Wait, no, I bet I can guess. Let's see, you came here for coffee, you must be going to the arcade next."

"See how predictable we are?" Axel asked his brother as he bobbed his head at Demyx.

"Well you two have fun mingling with the junior high kids."

"Dem, it's a tuesday afternoon in the middle of March, they're all in school."

"Fair enough," the blond shrugged as he watched the two stand, Reno already heading towards the counter to pay. "Don't worry about it, you guys just got coffee. Go enjoy your brotherly bonding time. And Ax?" The one still standing at the table looked down at him. "I'll let Tide know you're in town." He winked as green eyes rolled as they always seemed to.

~0~

"Have I mentioned how much I appreciate you doing this?" Roxas said with a sheepish smile as he laid his head against the other man's shoulder.

"Yes, but not recently and I would love to hear it again." Riku replied, a smart ass smirk spread over his lips.

"I really appreciate this." The blond said as he leaned back with a sigh, resting his arms behind his neck as he grinned at his couch-companion. "I honestly don't know what I would do without you."

"I know, I still wish I didn't have to deal with Axel though. He's a jackass dude."

"I am fully aware Riku, trust me. But he's leaving soon and then our love can truly blossom." Roxas said as he once again leaned against the other man, looking into his eyes as he smiled brightly, only making Riku roll his own eyes as he pushed him away.

"Stop saying weird shit like that. It's kinda creeping me out." Rox only laughed as he sat back up and crossed his legs on the cushion, planting his hands down between his knees. "I mean I love you but in a friendly, totally platonic way."

"Yeah yeah I get it. We're just friends." His grin was anything but false, knowing exactly what their situation was and for his purposes, it was completely perfect. "You only have to pretend to date me for one night, convince Axel and then we can go back to how everything was before he decided to come home."

"Sounds like a good plan except I have one question."

"What's that lover?" He responded with a heavy accent, dramatically laying his head down in the other man's lap. Riku only rolled his eyes again and pushed Roxas off of him, continuing with his question as if nothing had happened, being all together too numb to Roxas obnoxiously coming onto him in a joking manner as a product of years of exposure.

"Why exactly didn't you hook up with Axel? You wanted to, or at least sounded like you wanted to. He was all you talked about for days when you found out he was coming home, even if it was for the funeral." Roxas was silent as he thought, he knew the answer but he wasn't sure how to word it.

"I would've...I wanted to, I really did. But that night when he came to see me at work, when he kissed me...god Riku, when he kissed me." He couldn't contain the smile that was working it's way across his lips, slowly dominating his whole face. "When he kissed me it was like I was sixteen again and I was in love with him and it was perfect. I wanted that kiss to last forever and I wanted him to stay with me and that was the problem. I knew he wouldn't stay, he was leaving in just a few days and I couldn't do it again, I just...I couldn't watch someone I love so much leave me again." Roxas smiled, slowly letting it fade away, but only slightly. The memory of the kiss was still too powerful, the tingling on his lips was real enough to keep him happy for a while. "Too painful, too painful." He shrugged and shook his head, finally raising his hands to shake them out as if getting the feelings off of him.

"And so of course, the only logical thing was to pretend you were dating me." Riku mockingly clicked his tongue in disapproval.

"Uh duh? I mean, it's perfect. Everyone already knows we're friends, but I told Ax that we're like secretly boning, it's perfect." The blond retorted with a snicker. He felt so damn sneaky, and he loved it.

"Who the hell 'secretly bones'?"

"I dunno, crazy people? People who don't want other people to know they're together?"

"Well Roxy-kins, if we were boning, I'd shout it from the rooftops."

"Gosh you're romantic. If only you didn't have a big ol' crush on one of my friends."

"Sad isn't it?"

"I suppose," Roxas grinned as he stood. "I should get back to Namine, make sure she's not hanging from the rafters or something."

"Probably a good idea. Be sure to tell her about the job at my office alright? I'm sure she'd get it."

"I will," he nodded with a sincere smile. Riku was sweet, still sarcastic as hell, but sweeter than he had come off during high school. "I will see you tonight, six ok? Be ready for the fucking Spanish inquisition part two."

"Oh I'm ready, don't worry about that."


WHOA. WHOA. ARE YOU TELLING ME I JUST WASTED A BUNCH OF PEOPLES TIME AND NERVES MAKING THEM THINK RIKU AND ROXAS WERE ACTUALLY TOGETHER? Hell yes I did. But who's excited they're NOT together? Anyone? Anyone..?