Chapter Six


The older boy froze in his tracks, having been trying to sneak out of Roxas' room and into the next. His wet hair clung to the back of his neck, and his shirt had become slightly see-through from the water. (You know - not that Roxas was looking or anything.) As he turned to look at the blonde, Roxas saw in his face he wasn't happy. He was furious.

"Shut up," he hissed. Roxas frowned and sat up further in his bed. Why, for just a moment, did he expect Riku's reaction to be any different?

"No. What the fuck are you doing in my house?" He demanded, his tone mirroring Riku's. The other boy just looked pissed, and it started a chain of argument.

"It's not actually your house, dipshit. It's Hikari's and Sora's."

"Oh really? Okay - let's get specific then. What. The. Fuck. Are. You. Doing. In. My. Room?" Roxas asked, drawing out each word like its own individual sentence.

"I come in this way all the time. Got a problem with it?"

"Yeah, I do."

"What are you gonna do about it?"

Roxas was ready to leap out of his bed right there and prove just what he was gonna do about it had it not been for Sora. Awakened by their combined noise, he had gotten out of bed to check what was going on, and stumbled onto the two. He walked into the room, rubbing his eyes as if he was half asleep.

"What are you doing in here Roxas? I'm trying to sleep and - Riku?" He mirrored Roxas' initial words when he had seen Riku, though not nearly as surprised, until he saw the extent of his bruises.

"What happened to you, man? I'll go get Mum," without a passing look to Roxas, he dashed out of the room, leaving the two alone. Roxas too was about to ask, but something caught him from doing so. Riku looked beat up… and worn out. For his usual cocky self, he did not look all that great right now.

Roxas heard muffled noises from further down the house as a light was flicked on. It gave the two some time to adjust before his Aunt appeared at the door. She too looked half asleep, just like Sora, but when she saw Riku her face instantly turned into one of concern, and she rushed to him.

"Oh Riku, you look a mess!" She exclaimed, wrapping the boy in a tight hug. In that moment of weakness, Riku seemed to crack. He hugged Sora's mother and buried his face into her shoulder.

"Sorry Aunty Hikari. Things kind of got out of hand." For a few moments everyone stood in silence. Roxas was confused beyond belief. This was… normal for them? Riku arriving at their doorstep looking like a train wreak? He glanced to Sora, who looked both worried and furious. Riku and Hikari broke their hug, and the woman raised a hand to cup Riku's cheek, flicking his bangs from his eyes.

"You go have a shower, honey. I'll make some hot chocolate and deal with it, okay?" Riku gave an awkward smile and nodded. Hikari turned and told Sora to grab him a towel, which the brunette hurried off to do. When the two of them where out of the room, Hikari turned to Roxas and gave an apologetic smile.

"I bet you have some questions?" Roxas just nodded and Hikari gestured with her hand for him to follow her. "Come with me. You can decide how many marshmallows to put in the hot chocolate."

"Riku's home life isn't that great. He doesn't like many people to know, but considering you're living with us now you have a right to know and have an expectation that this situation may repeat itself." Hikari explained, heating up the milk and dumping a tablespoon of chocolate into the mixture. Roxas stood a little way away from her, searching for the marshmallows in the cupboard. "We've offered many times for him to come and live with us, but he refuses. I think it's a boy thing. When the situation with Seifer happened, I expected it… but certainly not to the extent that it did. Normally he just crawls into the spare bed - your bed - and we see him in the morning." Her lips were pursed as she poured the hot chocolate into large mugs on the table. Roxas walked over with a large bag of marshmallows and generously tipped three of the fluffy treats into the brown.

"So he gets hit? By who?" The young man tried to keep his tone level, but he certainly didn't like what he was hearing. Sure, he didn't like Riku all that much, but it was hard not to feel sorry for him.

"His Dad. I would explain to you why but that's not my place. If Riku is willing, you can ask him. I'm just worried. He's such a sweet boy once you get past the shell and I worry that what happens to him will turn him sour," Roxas looked up. Hikari looked like she was about to cry, the images still in her head of a bruised and broken Riku haunting her vision. Roxas, hesitant at first, raised a hand and gently rubbed her back.

"He wont," he replied, attempting to reassure her. "He comes here all the time, right? That has to be respite."

"Y-Yes. I guess so." Hikari mumbled. She hiccupped and wiped her eye. "I'm sorry, Roxas. Seeing your Aunt cry was probably not what you expected in your trip." She gave a small laugh, in the hopes to make light of the situation.

"It's not bothering me," Roxas responded. He gave his own chuckle as Sora and Riku appeared at the door.

"Oh Riku, dear, how are you feeling?" Hikari asked, regaining her composure. Riku gave a small shrug.

"A little better. Sorry to wake you all up." He glanced to his left, a sign of his embarrassment. Hikari just shook her head and picked up the hot chocolate.

"You don't need to be sorry. Roxas was more generous than me and gave you three marshmallows. Don't expect this all the time,"

"Oh awesome; thanks Roxas!" Sora said, grinning. He leaped over and took a mug from his mother, giving her a kiss on the check before sitting down at the table. Roxas picked one up and offered it to Riku. The silverette forced a smile on his face.

"Thanks, man." He said. Roxas gave a small nod.

"You're welcome."

Destiny Islands Bulletin Board

A friendly reminder from your school principal! Remember that the Bulletin Board is for posting news! Who won fights does not count as news and likewise should not be asked in the first place! We at Destiny Islands are peaceful people and we need to showcase this. If we find the culprits of this posting, they will be given detentions!

U W1LL NVR FND US. I l0Ve U Bbyyyyy!

I L()V3 U 2!

I wouldn't mind if they found them

This is what we count as junk!

Class CAB3 - Gym has been cancelled for today due to the examination of one of the teachers.

Can Wakka Noswaki and Tidus Lee please report to the Principal at lunchtime.

Riku didn't go to school again. Hikari wouldn't let him, but it looked as if Riku was no state to object either. He slept on the couch downstairs, and was only woken up when Sora's mother let him know they were all leaving. Sora warned him not to tell anyone at school about Riku's condition, which the blonde didn't. What surprised him was how little trust Sora had in him. Why would he tell something like that to people? It would be like Sora blurting out his problems - the true reason he was here and the reason he had gone to the Organization Academy. He wouldn't do that.

Rumours were going around about the fight. Seifer was back, (Hayner wasn't pleased) and kept bragging about how he destroyed the "cocky little spitfuck." There was nearly a fight over it at lunchtime until Hayner intervened and told the older male to shut his face. Kairi came over, and she and Olette spent their English lesson chatting and giggling like girls seemed to do. She caught a glance at Roxas at one point and quickly passed him over a note when the teacher wasn't looking. He opened it.

Sora told me last night about what happened with Riku, The note began. Roxas looked up to see if Kairi was watching, but she was already back to talking with Olette. He looked back down. Sora said he was okay but… did he say anything to you? Do you guys talk? It's just with what he's been through I don't trust when he says he's okay.

I wish, Roxas thought sarcastically. He picked up a pen and scribbled back:

Sorry Kairi. Riku and I don't really get along. The only thing he said to me was thanking me for making hot chocolate. I could tell him you asked about him? He threw it back over her head. When she was able to read it, she turned around and nodded.

"Thank you," she mouthed. Roxas gave a half smile and nodded in return.

Roxas had a free that afternoon, so decided to walk home early. The sun beamed down him, beads of sweat forming on his brow.

So, needless to say, he was more than happy when he got home. The door was unlocked since Riku was home and the air conditioner had been put on so the room was a pleasant temperature.

The silverette was sitting in front of the TV watching Paranormal Activity, and when Roxas appeared he didn't even jump; he just leaned his head back so he could see the blonde.

"That movie isn't even scary," Roxas commented, dropping his bag and shutting the door behind him. Riku simply shrugged, pressing the pause button so that the sound of the movie wouldn't distract him.

"Haven't seen it before," he responded. "I saw a lot of reviews for it, though, and Sora really wanted to watch it."

"Sora's terrible with scary movies, though. He used to get scared by the witch in a Wizard of Oz." Roxas paused, remembering when they were kids. Roxas used to compare Sora to the cowardly lion, grinning as the boy would protest, sticking out his bottom lip and hiding whenever he heard the green woman's cackle.

"Well if I'm the Lion you're the Tin Man! You have no heart!" An echo of Sora's voice filled Roxas' mind. He shook it away, his hair flying around his face as he did so. As he did, he heard Riku laugh, waving his hand dismissively at Roxas' comment.

"He still is. He just likes to act tough," Roxas gave a small smile, a silence filling the room. As it did, the blonde's stomach began to churn. Thoughts of last night and his previous dreams hit him. Looking at Riku, so broken and bruised, he was vulnerable. Nothing like he had dreamed. But even when he was bruised last night, you could see in honesty there was nothing stopping him from fighting Roxas. He coughed, clearing his throat as he spoke.

"Listen, Riku, about last night - I'm sorry for what happened. Aunty Hikari filled me in and I…"

"You're not feeling sorry for me, are you Twilight?" came Riku's quick reply, turning his body around to face Roxas. This made Roxas avert his eyes, concerned that their meeting would make the situation awkward. But when they met - azure against seawater - Roxas found Riku's eyes were calm. They weren't hostile or looking for sympathy. That startled the blonde more than any reaction he expected from the older boy.

"No one deserves what happened to you." He replied, his voice soft. Riku just chuckled darkly.

"Yeah, well… someone had to keep your cock-head Seifer friend in line."

"He's not my friend," Roxas quickly interrupted. "You're not the only one who hates him." Riku raised an eyebrow in surprise, forcing Roxas to look away again as he spoke.

"But, uh… if I can ask: why did you guys fight? There are rumours flying all around the school. I don't really trust Seifer's side to be at all truthful."

"He's saying he beat me into the dirt?" Riku asked. Roxas nodded and the other boy laughed.

"I was winning," he said. He raised his shoulders in a shrug, a sigh escaping his lips. "One of the boys I was with in class…. Jecht is his father. His name is Tidus," he explained. "His Dad hasn't exactly been there for him. He was a champion Blitzer back in his day, but more recently he developed a drinking habit. The school lets him teach, though, because he's helped them win three titles in a row. As you saw, he thinks he owns the fucking place."

"Like with Pence," Roxas mused. Riku nodded. "Tidus was so embarrassed about that - without trying to show it to you guys. Selphie was trying to calm him, but Seifer got wind of the situation. Little fuck-tard said: "Wow, Jecht is a legend! Little scrawny brats and donut munchers don't deserve to stand in his presence. Maybe they all should just lay down and take his beatings." So I hit him."

When Riku explained, Roxas stood there stunned. He could feel his mouth forming into a small o, his shock coming across clearly.

"You're fucking kidding me?" To be honest, Roxas wasn't really surprised, but he thought Seifer had some decency. Then again, it was Seifer.

"Do I look like a liar?" Riku replied. Roxas shook his head quickly. Riku was silent for a few moments, before turning his whole body around again so he was facing the television. He picked up the remote.

"So, now you know why. Needless to say, my parents weren't impressed."

"Uh… I can see that," Roxas said, scratching the back of his head. Riku gave his own chuckle and then turned the television back on. The sound of the movie (or lack of) filled the room, and Roxas gave a nod to himself before making his way to his room.

Sorry for the delay with this chapter! I hope you all enjoy it, though, since it took so long to write. Mostly a mixture of personal and school issues - but they're a lot better now. :3 Thanks to all my new watchers and reviewers! Welcome to the crew!

Rayne Destiny: Sorry! 8D I heart you too, though. Haha, it's fine. America and Australia are different, so I don't have a problem explaining to people. Riku is sneaky! Also the branch broke. But hey; a boy can try, can't he? And yay! I hope your friends enjoy it!

Harada: Teehee. I'm glad you like it! I know, right? It's like: unf, get in my bed. D'aw, but we love you Riku; in all your beaten up hotness.

MelodyOfSadness: The bulletin board is honestly the bit I enjoy writing the most. xD I try to keep it as original as possible each time. COOKIEEEE. Yay, Xion~ She's so disliked by a lot of the fandom, but I love her. Actually I love all the KH girls but I write yaoi…

cute-stack-twin: I hope this is what you expected from bigger? :D Riku is a super creep~ And yeah. Seifer is fiiiiine. Trying to boost his ego, but fine. :3 I hope you like this one!

xSeiranx: The image of that happening, given the context of my story, makes me laugh so much. Hikari would be outside the door like: "Well, you wanted vocals!" -sweatdrops all around-

Roxas Ignis: More as you wanted! Now we all know what is up with Riku. :3

Music Fantasi: Updaaaaate! Aww, but I like cliffhangers. Keeps you all in suspense. :3

Next chapter should be quicker than the next. Stay tuned!