This is my new story that I've been working on for a little bit. It's inspired by things that have happened in my own life, and I hope that everyone enjoys it! I've been in a kind of writing slump lately, and my writing hasn't been that good. DX. I've made sure to extra-edit this one; since I'm stuck home right now and can't go anywhere (got my wisdom teeth pulled. UGH).

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this, and please review. :D

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts or its characters (but I do own the Kingdom Hearts t-shirt that I'm wearing right now!). Everything belongs to Square Enix and Disney, except for this plot. Muahaha, it's all mine XD

Chapter 1: Axel

If you would've asked me six months ago about my family, I would have laughed in your face. I would've fallen to the ground in hysterics, and not recovered for about five minutes. And when I finally recovered, I would have told you that I don't have one. As simple as that.

Then you would've waited for some other explanation. I mean, falling into hysterics for a full five minutes, and then responding with a simple statement doesn't sound like it's a full explanation to anyone. I would've told you that that was all. I didn't have one.

You would've shrugged, and then walked away like everyone else.

And when you were gone, I'd continue to giggle until I felt like it wasn't funny anymore, or until someone asked me the same question. In that case, I would fall back into hysterics.

But I did have a family. But, I didn't like them at all, you see.

If you would have asked me the same question now, instead of laughing for five minutes, I would talk about how great my family was, and how loving they were, and how my grandma is a phenomenal cook. You would've smiled, and then proceeded to tell me about your family. I would've listened, then laughed along with you at the funny parts, rolled my eyes with you at the stupid parts, and felt sorrow with you at the sad parts.

I love my family to death, but the only thing missing is that they're not my family. They've just accepted me in countless ways that my own didn't.

They're his family.

&!&! Six months earlier&!&!

Axel hated year round school. Hated it. What he liked was getting the three month break in the summer, instead of having random three week breaks plus having school when it was blistering hot out. And in Twilight Town, it got blistering hot and stayed that way for most of the summer. Who wants to sit in a classroom and listen to teachers drone on about stupid stuff when they can be out doing other things?

Axel laughed to himself. It's not like he really did anything outside of school anyway, besides avoiding his own home, that is. But still. Year round school. Who even thought of the horrendous idea?

Axel leaned back in his chair and ignored the looks from the current substitute teacher. Substitute teachers always gave you 'the look' but never really enforced it. Everyone knew it, and everyone exploited it. Including him. He looked out the window, and smiled when he saw heat waves above the pavement, as if sending him a signal that it was boiling out. This was Axel's favorite weather- blistering hot and to the point where you could fry an egg on the pavement if you really wanted to. And he was stuck in this year round pit of a dilapidated school.

As if on cue, a chunk of plaster fell from the ceiling and onto his graffitied desk. Axel flicked it, and it skidded over onto Riku's desk and right into his sleeping head.

Riku looked up, startled, and Axel forced back his laugh. Riku looked around, and when he saw there wasn't anything out of the ordinary he put his head back on the desk and went right to sleep again. Axel yawned, and put his head down, intending to sleep just as Riku was. No one was awake during first hour, except for the people who actually cared about learning. There were very few people like that in his school.

Take Kairi for example. Small, pretty, smart. The perfect example of a model student, and person, for that matter. She was nice to everyone, was one of the only people in the school to get straight A's (besides her twin Naminé), and managed to keep a job in her free time. She didn't belong in a rotting school like this; she belonged in a private school with excellent education and uniforms. But her parents were poor, and she was stuck here in the 'bad side' of town.

And because of all these great qualities she possessed, she most definitely wasn't Axel's type. He preferred the straight F, didn't care about school, doing-whatever-the-hell-she-wanted type. And, of course, they liked him back. Just ask his girlfriend, Paine.

Axel glanced at the whiteboard, and not to his surprise, it was now filled with the substitute's scrawl that was practically unreadable. And on one side, there was the sub's attempt at public humiliation for the students. He had written 'See me after class,' and his list had about twenty names under it.

So basically, everyone except Kairi.

Axel heard the classroom door open, but he didn't bother to look up. He figured that it was probably the principal coming in to tell them that the bathrooms were off limits to everyone for a week because of the recent vandalism. It happens every week, and everyone was used to it. Everyone had pretty much trained themselves to hold their bladders until they got home.

"Well… class, we uh, have a new student…" The substitute, Mr. What's-his-face (Axel didn't bother learning his name) seemed flustered, used only to teaching and not other teacher responsibilities. He didn't know how to approach the arrival of a new student, and his inexperience to the teaching world was showing. "Er, introduce yourself, I guess."

Axel took his head off the desk, figuring that a new person was more interesting then the class getting yelled at for vandalism again. But when he saw the new person who was a short blonde boy wearing name brand clothes, he felt like putting his head back down. He resisted the urge, however, knowing that he might as well look at the kid now because within a week he'd be gone, just like every other kid like him.

The kid cleared his throat, and Axel was pleasantly surprised to see that he didn't get nervous with the class's stares upon him. "My name is Roxas."

The substitute nodded. "Alrighty then… sit down, I guess. Find an empty seat." Mr. What's-his-face scanned the room and pointed to the seat right next to Axel. "There's one by the tall redhead."

Axel looked at the seat next to him and grimaced. Sure enough, it was empty. Axel remembered the chick that sat there last week… Selphie, was it? Either way, she stayed at the school for a half a week then left. She was just like the kid that was about to take her seat. Axel lazily put his head in his hand, and watched the kid sit down.

The kid slouched down into the chair, keeping his sapphire eyes on the whiteboard.

"So, Roxas…" Axel felt like toying with the kid. He'd be gone soon anyway.

"Yeah?" Roxas rolled his head toward Axel, disinterest plain on his features.

"So where'd you come from?" His first guess was somewhere ritzy like Radiant Garden.

"Hollow Bastion."

Axel raised an eyebrow. Hollow Bastion was about as run down as it was here.

Roxas noticed his motion. "What? Is something wrong with Hollow Bastion?"

Axel shrugged. "Nope. Just not exactly what I expected." Axel didn't want to explain why that wasn't what he expected. It wasn't a good conversation starter to say "You look rich. What the hell were you doing in such a dump?"

Roxas sighed with annoyance and looked back up at the board. "Figures."

A few moments later Riku snorted in his sleep, and Axel rolled his eyes.

"God Riku," he muttered, "if you're gunna sleep in class you might as well do it quietly." Axel moved down to doodling on his empty notebook paper (that was supposed to be full of notes).

With a glance to the side he noticed that Roxas doodling as well. Axel squinted at the picture. He couldn't discern what it was supposed to be.

Is that supposed to be a pony or a hippo? Or maybe it's was a giraffe…?

He didn't notice Roxas stop drawing and look up at him. "What? You look confused."

Axel shrugged and took his eyes off the picture. "I can't really make out what you're picture's supposed to be. It looks like a giraffe to me, or possibly a llama."

Roxas chuckled. "No, stupid. It's supposed to be a dog. My golden retriever, Sandy."

Axel pulled the notebook closer to him, and looked at the picture harder. No matter how much he squinted, he couldn't make out a dog in it. "Are you sure?"

Roxas rolled his eyes and took his notebook back. "Yeah, it's supposed to be. I'm not exactly the family artist." He scratched his head, blushing slightly. "That would be my mom. She can draw, and boy, she's great when it comes to fixing like injuries and stuff. She's just an all around good person." He laughed to himself, and drew an ear on Sandy. "She's actually a teacher. A good one, too."

I snorted. "A teacher? My mom's the exact opposite of yours."

"How so?"

"Eh, you don't want to know." Axel couldn't tell someone he barely knew about his mom. How could he, when even from the little information he just learned, he could tell that Roxas's mom was the polar opposite of his? His mom was a whore, always had a new boyfriend, and didn't even talk to him. Even from Roxas's small tidbit of information, he could tell that the blonde was way better off than him. Because, when it came down to it, his mom was a slut. There was no other explanation.

Axel was content when Roxas didn't press the issue. He admired the fact that Roxas knew when to stop asking questions. Axel grimaced to himself. Unlike a lot of the other people in the school, some of which didn't realize they were about to get punched for prying too much into someone else's business.

Axel yawned, and then rested his hands behind his head. He felt like he should keep talking to Roxas (it's not like the blonde was even paying attention, anyway) but he was lost for what to say.

"Hey, do you have any gum?" Axel asked randomly, looking at Roxas hopefully.

Roxas smirked and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a pack of Big Red gum, and Axel let out a small squeal of delight then ripped it out of Roxas's hand and shoved a piece in his mouth.

"Ohhhhh, I loooove Big Red." Axel handed the pack back, and let his head rest on his hand in bliss. "You just made my day, blondie."

Roxas popped a piece of the cinnamon flavored gum in his mouth. "Yeah, I live off this stuff."

Axel licked the silver wrapper that he'd gotten the gum from, and Roxas laughed. When he'd successfully gotten the cinnamon taste off the wrapper, Axel balled up the silver foil and tossed it at Riku's head (who was still sound asleep and not snorting anymore, thankfully). Riku's eye twitched when the foil bounded off his forehead.

Both boys began to giggle, and didn't stop even when the sub gave them a glare. After a few minutes their quiet snickering died down, and they both looked up to see the substitute looming over their desk. Axel wondered how long Mr. What's-his-face had been standing there.

"Boys, see me after class." The sub shoved his little pug nose into the air, and walked away with an attempt at looking important.

Roxas rolled his eyes, and Axel crossed his arms. "Is that the normal teacher?" Roxas asked, going back to add details to his drawing of his dog.

Axel shook his head. "No. He's just some cocky sub who no one's going to remember within five minutes of walking out of this class. We get those a lot here. The teachers don't really stick around much." Axel ripped off a small piece of his lined paper, and began to tear it into even smaller pieces, just to occupy his hands.

"So the teachers take regular breaks from you guys? Are you that bad?" Roxas eyed Axel with a glint of humor in his eyes.

Axel raised an eyebrow. "Roxas- welcome to Twilight Town Public High School. A.K.A. TTPHS. This isn't a normal school where the worst crime is stealing an iPod."

"By the way," Roxas asked, "What's your name?"

"Axel. A-X-E-L. Got it memorized?"


Axel balanced his lunch tray on one had, while simultaneously tripping a freshman with his opposite foot. Axel smirked as the small boy stumbled. Tripping freshman was his favorite pastime; he even did it to others when he was a freshman himself. Without looking back at the kid he'd tripped, he strolled on and sat down at his usual table. Demyx was throwing food at Marluxia, and Zexion was reading a book. This was the normal scene during lunch, so Axel paid no mind to the food flying from Demyx's hands. He took his usual spot next to Zexion, and dug into his food, ravenous.

Demyx chucked a bit of potatoes at Marluxia, and they settled in his light pink hair. Marluxia groaned, pulled out the bit of food, and then wiped it on Demyx's arm.

"Demyx, that's disgusting. Eat your food instead of throwing it at me like a smelly gorilla!" Marluxia took a bite of his food, and scowled at Demyx while chewing.

Axel threw a pea at Marluxia. "Relax, plant boy. Here, have a pea. I hate them."

Marluxia managed to catch the pea in midair, and then threw it behind his shoulder with disgust. "Are you ever going to leave me alone about working at the family store?" Marluxia's parents owned a shop that sells plants, such as flowers, vegetables, and small trees. Marluxia worked there most of the time after school and on weekends, and he liked the work, which was exactly why Axel gave him hell for it.

Axel grimaced at his sort-of chicken nugget and stuffed it in his mouth, chewing obnoxiously. "Nope." At least the nugget didn't come with feathers and a beak, he mused.

Axel swallowed the nugget, and noticed Roxas walking around out of the corner of his eye. Roxas was running his eyes all over the cafeteria, looking for a place to sit. Axel was about to call Roxas over, but before he could say anything Roxas's face lit, and then the boy rushed over to a spot somewhere behind him. Axel glanced back to see where Roxas took off to, and watched him sit down by Hayner (the hot-head who didn't fight half the fights he claimed to), Pence (too smart and annoying for his own good), and Olette (way to goody-goody for this school).

Axel went back to his food, and stabbed a chicken nugget with his plastic fork. He internally rolled his eyes. What did Roxas and those losers have in common?


"No, Paine. I don't want to hang out tonight." Axel paused a minute, half-listening while Paine prattled on about how she wanted to hang out with him.

He knew exactly what she meant by 'hang out,' and normally he'd be all over it, but he just wasn't feeling it tonight, and Paine wasn't buying it. "I'm sorry. Calm down, woman! We can just hang out this weekend, okay?"

Axel let out a sigh of relief when Paine finally calmed down. "Alright. Bye, babe."

He snapped his cell phone shut, and shoved it in his pocket forcefully. With his backpack dangling over one shoulder, he walked into the house, slamming the abused door behind him. His mom was in the kitchen, sitting on the counter and angrily eating a bowl of cereal. She hated cereal, so this meant they were out of food again.

"No food, huh?" He dropped his backpack onto a pile of shoes. "Maybe you should stop doing the guy of the week and work sometime so we actually have money to buy something to eat, huh?"

She gave him a look brimming with annoyance, and swallowed the bite in her mouth. "Don't give me that, you little prick. You know how hard I work for you." She grimaced as she shoveled more cereal into her mouth.

"It's not hard work to open your legs." Without waiting for her response, Axel ran up the stairs two at a time and locked his bedroom door behind him. He heard his mom yell something and slam her bowl into the sink, but he tuned her out. He lay down on his bed, and rolled over on his side. He glanced at the calendar on his wall, and groaned when he counted six more weeks until the school's next break.

Turning away from the calendar, he his thoughts wandered aimlessly until he briefly wondered what it would be like to have a mom like Roxas's.

He rolled onto his back and stared up at the ceiling. He soon was distracted by all the graffiti that littered it. He and Demyx had spray painted all of it up there two years ago when they were sophomores. It said stupid things that Axel could hardly even read, but he loved it there anyway. It gave his room character, but he mostly liked it because it pissed off his mom more than anything.

His thoughts wandered back to Roxas as he looked away from the graffitied ceiling.

What would it be like to have a mom like that? A nice one that didn't call him a prick, lousy, or lazy every three words?

He snorted.

Life would be so boring.


The next day in first hour, Axel showed up ten minutes late. When he got into the class he was distraught, and everyone took notice, including Mr. What's-his-face. The substitute crossed his arms and gave Axel a wicked look.

"And where were you? I thought you would've wanted to grace us with your presence." The sub smiled cockily. Axel gave him a blank stare in return.

"Hey, pull whatever crawled up your butt out. I was late on account of girlfriend problems, not that you would know how that is." Axel adjusted his backpack, and then stomped back to his seat. The class burst out in hysterics at his insult, but he didn't join. He wasn't in a good mood, thanks to Paine. She'd found him that morning, and had attempted to yell at him in front of her friends for ditching her after school yesterday (and her friends all had smug, self-satisfied looks. They never liked him). Then she'd randomly switched gears from crazy yelling bitch to bitch that wanted to make out in front of everybody. Of course, Axel had pushed her away. He couldn't swing moods as fast as any girl could. Sometimes he had to admit he was impressed at how fast girl's moods would switch, especially Paine's, even though it annoyed him.

Roxas noticed his grumpiness. "You look happy." He idly began to scribble circles in his notebook.


They were silent for a moment, and when Axel didn't say anything else Roxas spoke up. "Soo… feel like talking about it?"

Axel snorted. "It's nothing. Just my girlfriend. She's completely insane." He wasn't going to divulge the whole story to Roxas, whom he barely knew.

Roxas laughed and nodded, agreeing. "All girls are. Even my mom has her moments and she's usually the calmest, nicest person."

Axel smiled, glad for the turn of subject. Even though he'd only known Roxas for 24ish hours, the thing he liked most was that the kid tended to mind his own business. "Yeah, trust me, I know that one. My mom is one big moment."

The sub slapped a yardstick down their desk, and gave them stern looks down his nose. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't talk while I did." He crossed his arms. "The principal's coming in for an important announcement, so I'd like it if you at least paid attention to that." He stuck his nose in the air and walked back to the front of the class, and turned to face them all. "The principal will be in here soon," he announced to everyone.

"What's he coming to talk about?" Kairi asked. Unlike if someone else said it; there was no bite in her voice, so the substitute didn't respond with a snappy voice of his own.

He gave her a warm smile. "Well, I don't know that." His smile fell as he looked over the rest of the class. "Maybe one of you cretins did something." His eyes rested accusingly on Axel for a moment, and then kept going.

Axel noticed some students smile guiltily out of the corner of his eye.

Kairi sighed, ignoring the small bout of commotion in the class. She reached down and pulled a reading book out of her bag, and flipped it open. She occupied herself with it, ignoring everyone. She was one of the few people in the school that were annoyed with the wrong-doers. Everyone else just laughed about it, or were wrong-doers themselves.

A moment later, the door flew open and the principal walked in, blank-faced as usual. Their principal, Xemnas, was never nice, and never showed his emotion, unless it was a small, almost sadistic smirk when he was suspending someone. Axel chuckled quietly- he'd seen that smirk about a hundred times.

"Class, I regret to inform you that your teacher quit." His loud, deep voice cut across the classroom and stifled all other noises. "She spoke of a disrespectful class that threw things and wrote obscenities on the board when she wasn't looking. Plus, countless other things that shouldn't even me mentioned, let alone done in a school environment." He stared down every single person and gazed right into their eyes. "I hope you've been more respectful and becoming of your substitute teacher."

A couple kids in the back snickered, but cut off quickly when Xemnas shot a meaningful look at them.

"Am I wrong?" He asked the substitute. "Have they been ill-behaved?"

The sub nodded and swallowed, the adam's apple in his throat bobbing. His eyes were wide, and it was obvious that he held a slight fear of Xemnas's commanding presence. Out of everyone in the class, he was the only one.

Xemnas's mouth twitched. "I thought so." He looked back at the class and folded his arms in front of him. "In a week, you will be receiving a new teacher." He paused to see if there was a reaction from anyone. Axel glanced at everyone, and saw that no one was surprised in the least bit. Teachers quitting and new ones coming in to take their place wasn't rare.

Xemnas started to pace across the front of the room. "I've made sure that this teacher isn't going to be nice, isn't ever going to let you slack, and won't tolerate any," his voice raised in emphasis on the word 'any,' "rude and disruptive behavior!" He watched the class.

Axel smirked slightly when there still wasn't any reaction from the class, seeing as no one cared.

Xemnas nodded to Mr. What's-his-face and walked out without a word. When he left, the substitute visibly relaxed his stiff position. He even gave the class a smile of his own.

"Well, you heard him. There's going to be a new teacher that doesn't tolerate your BS." He cleared his throat, and attempted to stare down the class the way Xemnas had. "And until then, I won't tolerate it either."

Axel didn't believe it. Maybe the sub had that mindset now, but within ten minutes, it would be out the window.


His timing was almost perfect. Ten minutes of paper rained down on the sub. Ten minutes of spit wads were shot at him. Ten minutes of people talking loudly and obnoxiously. And after those ten minutes of teacher hell, the sub broke his fabricated toughness.

The sub threw his chalk at the ground, and it shattered into pieces. "All right, I'm leaving! Class dismissed!"

Roxas looked at the clock, and slammed his notebook shut with a smile. "Twelve minutes early. Not bad." He shoved his stuff into his backpack, and stood up, flinging his backpack over his right shoulder.

Axel followed suit. "Hey, you wanna sit by my friends and me at lunch? I'm sure they'd dig you."

Roxas smiled apologetically and shrugged slightly. "Hey, sorry, I told Olette that I'd sit with them again." He rolled his eyes good-naturedly. "I think she likes me or something, which is weird because I've only known her for like, a day."

Axel laughed at this. "Olette? She's like, a serious goody-goody."

Roxas shrugged and glanced up at the clock. "Yeah, but she's nice."

"Well, just make sure that you come sit by me and my friends sometime, ok?" Axel offered.

Roxas nodded, and walked away with a smile and a wave. "I'll be sure to. See ya later." He turned around and filed out of the room with everyone else.

Axel waved goodbye to Roxas's back. The redhead felt a slight pang of jealousy. After all, he'd met Roxas first, so by default he should be the one to sit by him at lunch. Axel shoved past everyone and made his way out of the room, heading toward his second hour. He wasn't really in the mood to vandalize anything or piss anyone in particular off, so second hour it was.


At dinner that night, Axel poked at the spaghetti noodles on his plate. His mom was across from him, fidgeting and more dressed up than normal. Usually at dinner she was in sweats and a tank top (usually with no bra, to Axel's disgust), but tonight something was different.

"Mom, will you quit twitching, it's irritating." He wrapped one of the noodles around his fork and shoved it into his mouth. "What are you so dressed up for, anyway?" He was almost afraid to know.

She mussed with her hair for about the millionth time that night. "I didn't tell you?"

"No…" Axel raised an eyebrow at her.

She rolled her eyes, as if he had said something stupid. "I have a date coming for dinner tonight, so I expect you to be on your best behavior."

"As if you could expect anything less from me." He blinked at her innocently. "After all, I am your birth control baby."

She scowled at him, but didn't respond.

She'd told Axel a couple times in his life that he was a mistake. She'd gotten pregnant with him while she was taking birth control, and she'd been forced to keep him when he was a baby because of her mom, Axel's now deceased grandmother. She was seventeen when he was born, and her parents would not let her put him up for adoption. And after she moved out, Axel didn't know why she didn't just put him up for adoption then. She complained about her life enough as it was, and how she never wanted kids.

It didn't bother him though, like it would most people. He wouldn't have minded either way; after all, he'd still be the same person and maybe, just maybe, if he'd been put up for adoption he wouldn't have been living in this shithole.

But, a long time ago he figured out there was no point in fussing about it. This was his life, no matter which way he looked at it.

The doorbell chimed through the house, and his mom jumped up, almost taking the whole table and her chair down. She rushed toward the door, and looked back at Axel with her hand lying on the doorknob. "Now, don't be a dumbass, because this guy's important to me."

Without waiting for him to respond, she opened the door with a swing of her arm. "Hey, honey." Her date walked in, and she stood up on her tippy toes and kissed the tall man on the cheek. "Welcome to my house." She held out her arms to take his jacket.

The man stepped in and removed his jacket, setting it gently into her waiting arms. He was about 6'4'', only a couple inches taller than Axel. His hair was raven black, and there were glasses perched on his bird-like nose. He looked like someone that was important, unlike everyone else that his mom dragged over for dinner.

He greeted Axel with a small nod. "Hello, I'm Nicolas. Who are you?"

Axel wasn't surprised that the man had no idea who he was. "I'm Axel, my mom's biggest mistake." He smiled sweetly at Nicolas.

She squeaked with embarrassment. "Oh, that's not true. He's my son. My only son." She stealthily shot Axel a glare. "And not a mistake, like he seems to think."

The man shrugged and looked away from Axel to his mom. "I've got two boys of my own; I know how they can be. If you would've told me you had a son, I could've brought them…"

She dismissed the idea with a wave of her hand. "Oh, no, tonight's about us." She turned to Axel with a sugar-sweet smile on her face. "Axel was just finishing up, weren't you dear?" She batted her eyelashes, but the look in her eyes told Axel that he needed to get his ass up to his room, or else.

Axel picked up his plate, and grabbed a carton of sea-salt ice cream out of the freezer on his way out. "Yup, wouldn't want to stick around for this anyway." He walked down the hallway, and yelled behind him, "Don't forget to lock the door on your way out, Nicolas!"

Axel shut himself in his room, making sure to turn up the TV extremely loud to block out the noises of their dinner, and the noises that were sure to come later in the night.


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