Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts or any of its original characters.

Rating/Genre: T, but possibly M in the future. Romance/Drama/Humor. Thanks To: ConverseG1rl for beta-ing! And instrumental music! R&B, rock, etc. was not helping ._.

A/n: Thanks, Allers3 for being my 100th reviewer! 8D But I can't thank ALL OF YOU enough! T^T So I updated this quick, huh? lol Nah, I know it's not, my bad. I was planning for this chapter to be much longer than it is. Like, you remember Chapter 4? The one that nearly made me die? Yeah, it was gonna be even longer than that. Like TWO of those. But I decided it'd be better to just make them into two separate ones. Plus you guys won't have to wait AS long for an update.

'N ohmygawsh, I finished watching Durarara! Have any of you guys seen it? If not, I suggest you do. IZAYA~! Anywho, here's the next installment! Please, read and enjoy~!


90 Days

Chapter 8:

That push to go forward


It'd been two days since Ventus had the discussion with his brother. He ended up missing work that evening as he overslept and the coffee shop called in someone else to work his shift. When he woke up that night, he was slightly irritated that Roxas didn't wake him up or anything, but then again, he couldn't blame him. He could tell his twin was bothered by him not saying who it was in their room and perhaps letting him miss a day of work was the older boy's small way of payback.

Now, Ventus was making up for it by working more hours as he was currently behind the coffee shop's front counter, handing a customer their Chai Latte. "Here you go," he put on a smile as the older women accepted it after paying the small amount of cash. "Come again!" Ventus waved goodbye politely and the glass door closed behind her. The blonde shifted his weight casually on one leg as he reached for his own latte he had purchased for a discount. Raising the beverage up to his lips, he sipped the soothing liquid from the straw.

The past few days have been surprisingly relaxing for him, only describing it as such because his last month has been anything but a vacation and he had expected there to be an uncomfortable tension at home. However, Roxas didn't seem to hold a grudge over him for too long because the following morning, they were fine. Conversing at the kitchen table and laughing at whatever funny was on TV. Of course, neither of them brought up their conversation from the day before, but even so, Ventus was just relieved him and his twin's relationship wasn't in complete shambles like he feared it might be. The blonde employee was also on vacation from school since the University gave a week long break after exams. The only thing Ventus had been spending his time doing was working instead of his usual of adding on schoolwork and doing whatever Vanitas said. Speaking of which, the main reason Ven found his days to be even more calming was the lack of his interaction with Vanitas. The black haired teen hadn't called or ordered him to do anything for him. Not one thing. In fact, Ventus hadn't even talked to the raven since…

He shook his head feverishly. The furthest corridors of your mind, remember? The furthest!

"Um, excuse me?"

"O-Oh, sorry!" Ventus looked up from his half-empty cup to see another customer holding a brand muffin and he was surprised he didn't notice the chime when she arrived. Ringing up the object, he kindly said, "A dollar and six cents, ma'am." She handed him the exact change and took her muffin and receipt from his extended hand. "Have a nice day!" Ventus called as she left the shop. He continued to leisurely sip on his drink when he heard the door chime again upon someone else's entrance.

He turned his head to see the familiar short, black hair swaying back and forth with every step. "Xion!"

The girl looked up from the Blackberry held in both her hands and immediately a smile spread across her face. "Hey, Ventus!" She tucked her phone away in her pant's pocket before striding over to the boy. "I didn't know you were here today!"

"I'm making up hours," he smiled back at her. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, I'm just getting out the house for a little bit." She leaned forward to rest her elbows on the surface near the cash register. "It's lonely over there," she said, dropping her face into the palms of her hands with a frown.

"It is?" Ventus questioned, looking down at her. "But… Isn't…? Um…"

Xion raised her thin brows, blinking up at the teen. "…Vanitas there?" she assumed. "No. He went out somewhere. As to where to, I'm not sure. Like I mentioned before, he doesn't tell me these things," she puffed out her cheeks childishly before exhaling. "But I would think he would've told you."

"Oh…" Ventus scratched the back of his head. "No."

Xion tilted her head to the side as she looked at him puzzlingly. "I haven't seen you over at the house in a couple days either. Which is weird because you're usually always over," she frowned in mild concern, "Are you guys fighting?"

"…Aren't we always?" Ventus decided to say after a prolonged pause. He figured it was a safe enough answer and, more or less, true.

"Yeah…" Xion tapped her chin. "Sometimes I don't understand how you guys are even dating."

"It's almost like we're not," Ventus breathed. If she only knew how true that statement was.

Xion shrugged a bit before a grin swept away her frown. "But don't let it get'cha down! I'm sure you guys can work it out!" she rose up from the counter to clinch a fist in enthusiasm. "My brother may not seem like it, but he does have a heart." Her expression was warm as she smiled at Ventus, almost admirably. "You should know that better than anyone."

The blonde teen said nothing as he fiddled with the cash register, hoping his face wasn't as red as it felt. What was she talking about? Ventus had only known him for about a month now and half of the things Vanitas did made no sense to him. The raven was someone who had him blackmailed and would sue him in a heartbeat if he didn't agree to such terms. He threatened to break his arm one time and got pissed off at him for even dreaming about him, like Ventus could help that! If anything, he was the least likely person to know Vanitas had a heart or lack thereof. So how could he, someone who wasn't even romantically involved with him, possibly know that better than anyone? "Xion…" he began slowly, his thoughts making a sudden question rise in his mind, "has Vanitas ever…dated anyone...? Else, I mean."

The sister looked at him funny as one dark brow arched and she wore a small pout. Her head nodded once. "Oh yeah," she answered, to Ventus's surprise, rather bluntly. "But don't worry, none of those girls have anything on you!" She chuckled faintly. "They were more like flings than girlfriends. I always felt bad for not warning them though. 'He's only gonna break your heart!' or 'It's not as deep as you think it is!' but Vanitas would kill me if I was a cock-block." Xion scratched her cheek, a frown across her face, "Which really sucked 'cause one of them was my best friend..."

"Seriously?" Ventus's eyes widened as he reflexively leaned forward on the counter. "Namine?" he asked, never expecting the sweet and innocent girl that he described to be Vanitas's exact opposite to be the raven's…well, type.

"No way," Xion snorted. "Kairi. She thought just because she lost her virginity to him that he was bound to her forever. Boy, was she dead wrong."

Ventus's blue hues enlarged even further, if possible. What? "…Vanitas and Kairi…had…?" A blush crept on his face and he bit his bottom lip, unable to finish his sentence with the three letter word.

"Yeah… Sex," Xion shuddered, her face reddening a tad as well. "I-I told her to wait, but noooo! She was all 'He loves me! I think I'm ready!' blah blah blah. Between you and me," she held a hand up to the side of her mouth as if she were whispering a secret, "I think she was just trying to fill the void from where she lost Sora, but she would never admit to that."

"…Wow… That's…" Ventus didn't know what to say. He was at a loss for words. He recalled a moment where he wondered whether the teen was a virgin or not, but didn't think too much of it. Now that he knew that he wasn't…it was like a slap-in-the-face surprise to him. Why? The man practically defined sin and it was the raven's choice to sleep with whoever he wanted. Ventus shouldn't care. He didn't care. Not even in the slightest...

"But, uh," Xion started optimistically, catching the expression across the blonde's face, "You're the first boy Vanitas's ever dated! And you've been with him for the longest! I have to say I'm surprised he chose a boy, but…it's just so cute!" She grinned widely making Ventus feel even more uncomfortable than he already was. He hadn't even realized he'd been blushing until Xion pointed it out excitedly, "Aw, Ven! You're face is all red!"

"X-Xion, are you going to buy anything?" the blonde quickly changed the subject as he fidgeted with the buttons on the cash register.

"Oh! I wish I could…" she placed a hand to her stomach making a slightly pained face, "I'm pretty hungry, but we just paid rent so I'm sort of broke at the moment."

"Oh..." Ventus said before glancing up at her, "I can buy you something, if you want."

"Really?" Xion beamed. "You'd do that?"

He nodded his head, a smile appearing on his face now. "Of course. What are friends for?"

"Aw, thanks!" She spun around and Ventus watched as she ventured down the isles happily for something to snack on. It wasn't long until the teenage girl came back with a jumbo honey bun in her hands and handed it to the blonde.

"These are good. Nice choice," he said, looking down at it. Ventus rang it up and then slid his card into the slot to pay for it. After, he held it back out to Xion, "Here ya go."

"Thanks, Ven," she accepted it cheerfully. "I'll pay you back my next paycheck. I promise."

"You don't have to, don't worry. It was only ninety-nine cents for me."

Xion ripped open the wrapper that stood in the way between her lips and calorie-packed goodness. "Are you working late today?" She glimpsed up at him after taking a bite into the pastry, a soft 'mmm' expressing her approval.

Ventus smiled. "I've been here since five 'o clock in the morning. My shifts almost over in…" he looked to the side at a clock above the coffee bean rack, "whoa, about ten minutes actually!" he exclaimed to his surprise. He'd been working all day, but it only seemed like a couple of hours.

"That's perfect!" Xion blurted out, quickly putting a hand over her mouth until she was done chewing and gulped. "You wanna hang out then? I remember you called me before and I was busy, but now's a great time!"

"Sure," he looked back at her. "I just need to finish up here and we can go, uh, where to?"

Xion shrugged lightly. "I don't know. Where do you wanna go?"

"It doesn't really matter to me. Anywhere is good."

"M'kay, in that case you can just trek around town with me."

The boy laughed a bit. "Sounds good."


That push to go forward


The air was cool outside as the sun's face was only peeked out behind big, puffy clouds. Ventus and Xion were walking past Twilight University on their way back to the girl's apartment. They spent a couple hours around the area, stopping at a videogame store where they looked at the latest releases and Ven tried out the new system that was fresh on the market. They went into clothing stores where Xion would always giggle at the blonde's discomfort when she would drag him down the women's isle before they looked at men's attire. The teens visited small retail shops selling assortments of things and dropped by a pet store so Xion could 'awww' at the little puppies and fish while Ventus petted a cat through the cage bars. It hadn't looked like the one he rescued, but it did remind him of it. Enough so that he had to step back from the cage before his mind relived the accident all over again. The two would've continued browsing together if the raven-headed girl hadn't gotten a call from one of her female friends asking for her assistance.

The roads weren't too busy; Ventus noticed this as they crossed one to the other side of the street towards Badlands Drive. Coming to an intersection and turning the corner, they entered the back entrance of the complex. They began walking up the slight incline of the street, moving over to the grass when a car came down the road.

"Thanks for walking me home, Ven. I know it's not a short walk back to your place. And sorry that we couldn't hang out longer," Xion waved her cellphone in the air for emphasis after she just sent a text, "Kairi calls."

"No, it's fine… I had fu- OOF!" The blonde suddenly found himself on the ground; face first into something thick and gooey. He heard the girl giggling behind him as he groaned, pushing himself up with both arms and standing to his feet. "Ah, my shirt!" the teen exclaimed, looking down at the splattered mud on his clothes.

"I guess some spots are still wet from the rain the other day." Xion looked back at the slightly lowered soil he tripped into. "Are you okay though?" she turned back to him.

"Yeah…" Ventus wiped some of the dirt off his face, the dregs falling back down in the grass. He attempted to pick some of the brown muck out his hair until he hopelessly dropped his hand. "I'll wash it out once I get home," he exhaled.

Xion still snickered a bit, "Aw, but it looks great on you," she grinned and Ventus couldn't help but laugh at her joke. They reached the apartment labeled 606 and the teenaged girl stopped in front of the door and fished out the house key from her back pocket. Unlocking the door, she waved a hand goodbye before stepping into her living room. She was about to shut the front door behind her when something dawned on her and she cracked it back open, leaning her head out before the departing blonde got far, "Hey, will I see you at the party tonight?" Xion called.

Ventus stopped and looked over his shoulder, his eyebrows arched. The cerulean irises blinked multiple times. "Party?"

"Uh-huh," Xion nodded, stepping back outside. "That's what I've been asked to help with. Kairi's throwing a party at her place since she aced all her exams! She was really happy."

"…How does she know?"

"Her grandma knows the dean," Xion shrugged. "I even got her to find out mine, in which I passed all of them with A's except one with a low C, but still!" she finished with a wide grin.

Ventus wished he was that confident in his own test scores. He was pretty sure he did well on everything else, but Economics on the other hand… "Oh…" he said slowly. "I never heard about this. It's tonight?"

"Yeah," Xion frowned, "Nobody told you?"

Ventus shook his head from side to side. "This is my first time hearing about it."

Xion made a sound of disapproval in the back of her throat, "Ugh, you can't count on anybody. I told Roxas to tell you! Sorry, if I had known, I would've told you myself." She rolled her eyes irritably before she clasped her hands together in a completely different manner, "But please tell me you'll go anyways, despite the short notice? It'll be fun!"

Ventus blinked in surprise, looking at her pleading cobalt eyes. He probably would've told her yes at that moment as Xion utilized the puppy-dog look to her advantage rather well, yet…something made him reluctant to answer. It wasn't like he had anything else planned for the day. He had no reason not to go, but…after hearing that little bit of information on the auburn haired girl and Vanitas, it made some unknown emotion inside him scream out in rejection to the invite. Why?

Ventus was going to stop paying attention to his subconscious these days because it never made any sense to him. "Sure, I… I guess I'll go. But Kairi doesn't really know me that well," he added. He only knew her through Sora, being his ex-girlfriend and all. Other than that, the two of them never really talked.

"But she's one of my best friends," Xion explained upliftingly, "so I say you can go! Along with Roxas, so I can strangle him for not telling you!" She unlaced her fingers to place her hands on her hips with a scowl.

Ventus gave a small sideways smile. "Did he say he was going?"

"I don't know… I asked him, but he hasn't really given me a solid answer." Xion exhaled exasperatingly.

"Oh…" The blonde's smile fell, only to come back and reassure her, "I'll ask him when I get home for ya. Promise."

Her mood lifted as she returned the gesture, "Thanks, Ven."


That push to go forward


"No, Axel! Get off me!"

"Come on, man. You know you want to!"

"That's the understatement of the year!" The blonde teen writhed as he tried to break free of the red-head's strong grip. "Now get off me! You're cutting off the circulation to my legs!"

"And I will!" The year older boy had one of his friend's arm pinned behind his back as he rested his weight on the back of the blonde's thighs while Roxas laid front side down on the mattress. "Just as soon as you say yes. Please, just this one time?"

"No! I already said no!" Roxas struggled, using his free arm to give himself enough strength to roll out from under the teen. Axel made a slight 'oof' sound as he fell to the side and Roxas exhaled, sitting up from the bed and adjusting his twisted T-shirt along with his out of place hair that stuck out messily in even more different directions than it normally did. "I'm not wasting my time at some stupid party where a bunch of wild teenagers just get drunk and have sex."

Axel sat up and shook his head amusingly before he wiggled his index finger in a 'tsk tsk' sort of fashion. "Roxas, you seem to forget that we're in college. That's what the life is! You're seriously going to look back on your college days knowing you didn't go to any college parties?"

"Sure, why not," he answered stubbornly, standing to his feet and marching over to his bedroom door. He paused, turning around to the other man. "Wait a second, you leave. This is my apartment."

"You're just going to kick me out?" Axel moped, looking towards the door.

"I didn't invite you in," Roxas informed as he turned the knob, "because I knew you were going to bring up this dumb party yet again."

Axel scratched the back of his head. "You'd think you'd just say yes already," he murmured.

"No." Roxas stated in a stern tone of voice. He pointed out the doorway, "Go."

"Roxas, come on. Everybody's going!" Axel exclaimed and the blonde made a face that rhetorically read 'and why should I care?' The redhead elaborated in hopes that he'd reconsider, "Your past girlfriends will be there. Your best friends. Your seemingly lifelong crush." A sly smirk lifted the corners of Axel's mouth as he eyed the blonde suggestively. Got 'em, he thought.

Roxas flicked his eyes to the side, a light blush appearing on his face. "I-I don't know what you're talking about."

Axel teased, leaning forward, "Then why can't you look me in the face when you say that?"

"Axel. Leave." The blonde declared, surprising Axel with his flustered demeanor only being a brief one.

Dammit. The man's expression softened as he tried a different approach, "You don't wanna be here all alone, do you?" Axel frowned, but nonetheless it was a serious question.

"It's fine by me." Roxas rested his arms on one another as he crossed them over his chest. "You guys have fun. I'll be here."

"Roxas…" Axel sighed heavily before throwing his arms up into the air in a temporary surrender. "Alright, alright. I'll give you a little bit more time to think about it." He stood up and walked towards the door, pointing towards the blonde as Roxas leaned back from the extended index finger in his face, "But you better change your mind soon, got it memorized?" He pushed the blonde's forehead lightly.

"Like hell!" Roxas called down the hall after his friend exited out his bedroom and he shut the door.

"Geez, he can be so hard-headed sometimes," Axel mumbled. Apparently, it was going to take more than his and Xion's influence to get their buddy to have a change of heart. Though, Axel couldn't see what the problem was. Go to a fun party and have a good time or stay at home? The answer seemed pretty obvious to him. The older teen walked down the stairs, contemplating how anyone would choose to stay at home, when the front door cracked open. Axel looked up to see the face akin to the boy's he just talked to. "Ven!" he called, quickly going down the steps and running over to him. The blonde just closed the door behind him when two hands abruptly clamped down on both his shoulders. "You're just in time!"

"H-Huh?" Ventus stammered, somewhat startled. He blinked up at the teen, "Axel? What are you doing here?"

"Your brother's one stubborn- Dude, what happened to you?" Axel raised his brows, pushing the blonde back slightly to get a better view of him.

Ventus glanced down at his dirtied figure for a second. "I just fell," he mumbled in response. "But what were you talking about? In time for what?"

"Uh," the teen shook his head before shaking the blonde's shoulders back and forth, "to talk some sense into Roxas! You're his twin after all!"

"W-What?" The light haired teen's words came out shaky as he was being jostled. "F-For w-what?"

"For what? The party!" Axel continued manhandling the boy. "Don't tell me you don't know!"

Gosh, did everybody know? "I-I just found out about it," Ventus squirmed out of Axel's grasp as he took a step back, trying not to trip over his feet as he felt a tad dizzy.

"Really?" Axel asked, resting his hands on his hips. "Weird, I thought Roxas would've at least mentioned it to ya."

Ventus looked up at him before he glanced down at the carpet, "Me too…" he said quietly, speaking up as he explained, "but Xion told me a little while ago."

"Xion? That a girl!" Axel clinched a fist, a wide grin across his face. "But you will talk to Roxas about going, won't you? Convince him to join the dark side?"

"Dark side?" Ventus repeated questioningly.

"Going to the party, little buddy," Axel laughed, ruffling the blonde spikes. "After you get this gunk out your hair. Not attractive to the ladies, man."

"I will," Ventus said, making a face that resembled a child's when unwantingly being babied.

"Well, I best be going now. Got things to do," the fiery haired boy chimed taking his hand away from the blonde's head. "Talk to him for me, will ya?" He waved a hand, stepping over to their front exit.

Ventus turned towards the opening door. "Uh, yeah, I will!" he said as the door clicked shut. The blonde stood in place for a moment before he looked down and tugged at the collar of his shirt. Axel was right, first thing first, a shower.


That push to go forward


BRING! BRING! BRING! Roxas looked up at the ceiling from his bed as he reached over to the side, fondling his mattress until he touched his red phone. Picking it up, he hit the button that took the call, being very familiar with all the controls, and held it to his ear. "What?"

"Think about it…"

"Axel! Shutup!" He clicked the red icon that ended the call and dropped his hand back down on his bed. Maybe if he had bothered to look at the caller ID he wouldn't have picked u- BRING! BRING! BRING! "Oh, my-!" he grumbled, hitting answer-call, "What?"

"The party is tonight…"

"I don't care, Axel! For the last time, I'm not going!" The blonde twin snapped his phone shut again. This was just getting plain annoying. How many times did a guy have to say- BRING! BRING! -CLICK! "MAN, I'M NOT PICKING UP ANYMORE IF YOU DON'T ST-!"

"Whoa, sorry, Roxas. Bad time?"

The cerulean hues enlarged at the new voice. "O-Oh, Sora." Roxas's tone sounded less agitated and he cleared his throat embarrassingly. "Sorry, I just got finished talking to Axel."

The brunette laughed on the other line. "It's cool. I know how that goes... Hey, uh, I just called to see what's the status on you and Kairi's party?"

Roxas's expression fell as he rolled his eyes up at the popcorn ceiling. His voice automatically went back to how he had spoken to his older friend. "I'm not going," he said bluntly.

"You're not?" Roxas could hear the disappointment. "Why not?"

"I'm not the party guy like you, Sora."

"So? Riku isn't either and he's still going."

"Yes, because telling me Riku's going is really gonna make me change my mind."

"My bad…" Sora scratched the side of his head. "But still… It won't be the same without my best friend there."

Roxas paused for a moment. "…You already said Riku will be there."

"You know what I mean, Roxas," Sora stated. "You're like my best-best friend, like I am to you, right?"

Roxas's response was delayed as he pondered why Sora would even ask him that. Was he trying to bring up their argument of Roxas's unexpected kiss again...? The blonde shook his head fervently. No! They already got pass that! He was just looking in to things too hard. The question was an innocent one. "Yeah," he answered before he hesitated for too long.

"SO GO!"

"Sora…" Roxas exhaled, resting his free arm over his forehead in an exasperating manner as he blocked some of the rays from his ceiling light in the process. "I don't want to."

"Why?" the brunette insisted. "You have not given me a legitimate reason why you won't."

"Do I need to? If I don't wanna go then I won't go," the blonde boy said firmly. After a few still seconds passed, he was beginning to think his friend just hung up on him. "…Sora? Sor-"

"Pick you up at nine, Roxas."

"What?" Roxas flew up from his relaxed position. "No! Sora! Sora!" He took the phone away from his ear and saw the words 'Call Ended' across the screen. "Ugh!" he rolled his blue irises, flopping back down on his bed. "They're so persistent…" He had drifted his eyes close when the smell of soap wafted in to the room.

The younger teen walked in, patting his golden locks with a lime colored towel while another one was wrapped around his waist since he went straight to the wash after conversing with Axel and brought in no change of clothes. "Hey," Ventus said looking over at his twin.

"Hey," Roxas replied, opening his eyes to give him a quick glance.

Ventus removed the towel from his head and draped it over one shoulder. His hair was still damp and cool against his skin, but at least it wasn't dripping wet anymore. "You heard about a party Kairi's throwing?"

"Ven," Roxas spoke, almost warningly, "Not you too."

"Wait a second," he waved his hands out in front of him in a defensive manner, "just hear me out." Ventus walked over to their closet to rummage for something to wear. "You heard about it, right?"

"Yes. Sora was the first one to tell me about it."

"And you didn't tell me?" The younger brother pulled out a sky-blue V-neck and a pair of pants before he looked back towards his twin. He saw Roxas shrug indifferently and Ventus frowned, looking away from him and down to the garments in his fists. "…So are you going?"

Roxas noticed his twin's saddened tone and felt a sudden guilt in his chest. He didn't mean to come off as insensible, he was just already irritated by his numerous invites to a party he wasn't interested in going to. "…I don't really want to," he began slowly, making sure his voice was gentle, "but Sora insists I go…" He and the brunette were roughly back to the way things use to be. Though, it didn't start off that way the couple days that followed the day of their argument. Roxas noted Sora would look a lot more bug-eyed when he leaned too close to him, even when doing something as simple as reaching his hand over for a pencil while Sora would murmur 'oh.' But now, Roxas could grab his pencil and Sora wouldn't even budge. They were back to being best friends and that…was a good thing, right? Roxas couldn't help the sigh that escaped him before he added, "along with Xion and Axel."

"Oh. Yeah, Xion's the one who told me about it," Ventus pulled on the shirt over his head, the material loosely hugging his chest.

"Are you going?" Roxas asked.

"I guess so..." Ventus remembered what he told Xion. "I have nothing else to do today," he scratched the side of his face. His schedule was pretty much empty unless Vanitas all of a sudden called him to do something… The blonde's eyes gradually widened. Vanitas! What if he was going to the party? His sister was attending and apparently his ex-girlfriend/fling…person was throwing it, so why wouldn't there be a possibility he'd be there? How could he not even have thought of that? "…W-Whose going?" Ventus asked, his sudden anxious tone making Roxas blink, "Do you know?"

"Uh…" Roxas glanced at him, "Xion said Kairi basically invited everyone we went to school with."

Ventus's eyebrows knitted together, "That's a lot of people."

"Yeah, I know," Roxas said dully. "But her grandparents are rich, whadda ya expect?" If anything, that should give the older twin all the more reason not to go. With so many people there, it was bound to get crazy.

"Oh, yeah..." Ventus mused. So that meant Vanitas could very well be there tonight. Was it too late to change his mind? That subconscious feeling was attempting to talk to him again, telling him that it wasn't too late. He could always stay home. Perhaps he would join Roxas and just pass on the invite… No. He already told Xion he would go and made it sound like he would try his best to get Roxas to attend, not to mention he told Axel he would. It sounded to Ventus like Kairi's place was pretty large anyways so avoiding the raven shouldn't be much of a problem... Besides, how would it look if there he was trying to hype up his twin into going when he himself wasn't even planning to? He frowned before looking towards Roxas, "You should go."

"Ven," Roxas sat up. He rested his elbows on his bent knees as his legs hung off the side of the bed, "its Kairi's party. She doesn't really like me."

"You don't know that for sure," Ventus pointed out. "And she doesn't even really know me and I'm still going."

"Well, everyone warms up to you so that's not a problem."

Ventus blinked puzzlingly before he elaborated, "Like you said, Roxas, a lot of people are going to be there. It's not like you're forced to talk to her or anything. And I doubt she knows or exceptionally likes everyone that'll show up. Our high school class isn't exactly small."

"…You've got a point," Roxas crossed his arms, "but still..."

Ventus narrowed his orbs as if he were trying to understand something. "Why don't you like Kairi?" He wasn't too familiar with the girl, but he knew she wasn't some evil witch-like person and she was one of Xion's best friends, right? So she couldn't be all that bad…

"It's not that I…dislike her…" Roxas spoke while looking at the floor between his feet.

"Then what?" The younger twin blinked innocently and Roxas looked at his brother.

Kairi had dated Sora for awhile. When they were children it was obvious the girl had a crush on the brunette and a few years down the line, the feelings became mutual. It was then that Roxas began to distance himself from her. He didn't want to see her hold hands with Sora, hug Sora and definitely kiss Sora. Avoiding the auburn haired chick also meant less time with his brunette friend, but in the time he did, he got to make other friends like Xion, Axel, Hayner and the gang. Hell, he even dated Olette in middle school and Namine in high school, all while his best friend was still with Kairi. The two were probably your picture perfect couple. They looked good together, their personalities went well together, they even won prom King and Queen senior year and Roxas couldn't stand it. Any of it. It was apparent that the feeling that had grown inside him towards the girl was sheer jealousy and he had no real reason to hate her unless envy was a good enough one.

But when Sora broke up with his girlfriend months after graduation, it took the blonde totally and utterly by surprise. Sora explained to him that the breakup was mutual, but how? Even if Roxas hated to admit it, they were perfect for each other. They dated most of their school life and after graduation day, Roxas pretty much lost all hope and concluded they were going to get married, raise a family and he wasn't even going to be a factor in Sora's romantic life. And how could he be? He was a guy. Sora was his best friend. Roxas knew all this, yet couldn't help the brief feeling of hope upon the news Sora told him. It was then, that he noted, the hate between him and Kairi became not so one-sided. It wasn't like Sora hated her and didn't want anything to do with her after their breakup. He still considered Kairi one of his dearest and closest friends. Kairi and Riku to him were like Axel and Xion to Roxas. So imagine the blonde's confusion when every time the girl even looked at him, she frowned, almost like it hurt to look at him. By this time, their relationship was already a three out of ten at best, so Roxas didn't really care if she didn't like him. This only made him not change his feelings towards her. Things were just never going to be well between him and Kairi. And that was that.

Roxas's eyes were still on his twin and Ventus stared back at him, waiting for a response. "No reason," he said nonchalantly as he stood up from his bed.

"No reason?" Ventus repeated, looking up at him. "What do you mean? There's got to be. You know this is exactly what I meant when I said-"

"I don't tell you everything about my life?" Roxas asked and Ventus bit down on his bottom lip, not meaning to bring up their window conversation.

"I…"

Roxas stared at him for a moment before he turned his head, walking over to the door. "I'm going to go take a bath. And forget about the party, I'm not going."

"Wait! Roxas!" The blonde extended his arm, but the bedroom door already shut close. Ven looked down at the floor and solemnly began picking out a pair of boxers from their closet. "Sorry, Axel…"


That push to go forward


That night…

Ventus sat on the couch near their living room window. His knees were bent as his legs were up on the couch and he leaned on the arm of the sofa, his cheek rested in his palm. He was aware the party was starting, if not now, was soon to be in a few minutes. He knew he told Xion he would go, but he was beginning to have second thoughts...or maybe this was his third or fourth time reevaluating his decision. Something in the back of his mind was still bothering him. His reason for ignoring it though was because he didn't want to sound like a hypocrite when trying to convince Roxas. Now that his twin seemed dead-set on not going, Ventus's reasoning for staying was that he didn't want to leave Roxas at the apartment all by himself. That would be so boring. Though, the silence the two were sitting in wasn't all too "exciting"either.

The younger twin knew his brother was probably wondering why he was still at the house and not on his way to Kairi's place, but not wishing to bring up the topic again, Roxas merely sat at the table eating some leftover lasagna he made earlier that week, his eyes lying only on the Italian cuisine under him.

Ventus wasn't really doing anything, just sort of sitting and thinking. He gazed down intently at the floor only turning his head when he heard the low motor outside their house. For a second, his heart skipped a beat as he mistook the sound for a certain vehicle. He leaned towards the window and parted two blinds with his thumb and index finger to peek through the glass. "Hey…" he started steadily, "Isn't that Riku's car outside? …The silver Corvette?"

Roxas raised his head at these words. "What?" He stood up from the table and joined his twin to look through the blinds. "Ah, fuck it is." He leaned back after taking a quick peek at the now parked car. "No doubt Sora's probably in the car with him too," the teen claimed, knowing Riku would never just drop by unless influenced by his friend.

"I don't think Riku's in it at all," Ventus said upon seeing the car door open and the brunette step out from the driver's side. Ven looked back over his shoulder and the blondes blinked at one another when a knock came to their door.

"You get it," Roxas insisted with a motion of his hand.

Ventus obediently stood up from the couch and walked over to the front door, elevating himself on his tip-toes slightly to look through the peep hole. "Yep, it's just Sora."

Roxas cringed a bit at the name. "Crap, he actually came?" he said, more to himself than to Ven. Although he didn't find it too surprising in the back of his mind. Sora was a man of his word, which was another thing Roxas liked about him, but at times like this he found the trait to be aggravating. The blonde turned around and began to flee upstairs.

"Where are you going?" Ventus looked back at him. "I said Sora was here."

"And tell Sora I'm not here. You can go with him." Roxas went up the steps and Ventus heard their bedroom door shut.

He blinked and turned back to the front door, twisting the knob with his hand. "Hey, Sora," he greeted answering the door.

"Hey, Ven." Sora smiled at him before tilting his head to try to look over the boy's shoulder. "Where's Roxas?"

"Oh, he's…uh…" Was Roxas expecting Ven to lie for him? "He's at Axel's place."

Sora looked at the blonde confusingly for a moment before a smirk sketched over his face. "Hm. Well, can I still come in?"

"Oh, um…"

Sora placed a hand on the side of Ven's shoulder and gently pushed passed the boy in to the living room. He glimpsed around the space, seeing no sign of his stubborn friend. He looked to the side and his eyes ran over the table. The brunette walked over to it, picking up the fork of lasagna and stuffing it in his mouth. He chewed before gulping it down, a smile gracing his features. "It's good. Roxas made this, right?"

Ventus nodded his head, still standing at the door, but shut it behind him. "How'd you know?"

"…I don't know," Sora shrugged absently, "From knowing him so long, I guess." He put down the fork and turned, pointing up the steps, "Is he upstairs?"

"I-I said he was at Axel's."

Sora tossed him a toothy grin. "Would you be mad if I said I didn't believe you?" Ventus's face reddened at his inability to lie to Sora. He had known him since they were young. It was hard to deceive someone like that, especially doing it halfheartedly. Sora chuckled at the boy's expression then initiated going up the stairs.

"Nn, wait!" Ventus followed him.

Sora knocked on the bedroom door, "Roxas? Roxas, it's me!" Shit! The blonde thought to himself from inside his room. Didn't he tell Ventus to tell him he wasn't here? Roxas sprung up from his bed, running over towards the door to lock it with a flick of his wrist until the door collided with his forehead, making him fall to the ground. "I'm coming-" Sora blinked, looking down at his friend, "in…? Roxas, are you okay!"

The blonde groaned, holding his head as he stood to his feet, "Unless you have a good reason to be here-"

"I told you I was picking you up at nine," Sora tapped his wrist as if he had a watch on. "Come on. The car's running." He reached out and took the other teen's hand.

"No," Roxas tried to pull away from the brunette's grip. "Let go of me, Sora."

"No way! It'll be fun, don't worry." He pulled Roxas out the room, making the boy stumble behind him. Ventus wasn't sure whether Sora was just stronger than Roxas or if, at the moment, he was more determined than his twin.

Roxas continued pulling the opposite way of his friend. "Sora, if you don't stop-!"

"You're going to fall down the stairs if you don't walk," Sora frowned as he informed him when they were close to the staircase. "Or you're gonna force me to have to carry you."

Roxas's face flushed out of the sheer humility of the suggestion. "You are not carrying me down the stairs!"

"I won't have to if you willingly walk!"

"How many times do I have to say I'm not going?"

"Please, Roxas?" His voice was soft and his eyes were insistent as he stopped tugging to turn and look the blonde in the eyes. It reminded Ventus a lot of Xion's big, blue pleading hues and he considered that the look might run in the family, although he couldn't see Vanitas giving the puppy-dog eyes to enforce any sort of desires or wishes. Still, something set Sora's expression apart from Xion's as it looked like it was coming from somewhere more sincere. So much so that Ventus himself wanted to go now and Sora wasn't even talking to him.

Roxas licked his lips dryly. It was hard enough to decline the invite over the phone, but now that the brunette was in front of him, locking gazes with him, the warmth of his hand against his own, it made Roxas's heart begin to noticeably thud inside his chest. "…Y- You're impossible." Roxas scowled, but commenced down the steps, this time pulling Sora by the arm.

Sora looked surprised for a brief second before he smiled widely, following behind his best friend as he allowed himself to be led. He looked up over his shoulder, "Come on, Ven! You're coming too, right?"

"U-uh, sure." He walked downstairs where Roxas let go of Sora's hand once he realized they were still intertwined. Blushing lightly, the older twin turned the knob and opened the door with Sora exiting after him. Ventus stepped out as well once he locked and closed the door. The three walked over to the Corvette. The sky was pitch dark and only the headlights of the car and streetlights were allowing them to see. Opening the door for the seat behind the driver's, Ventus asked, "Where's Riku?"

"Already at the party," Sora got into the car. "I told him I'd need to borrow his car to pick you up actually, Ven," he laughed lightly, "Since he most likely wouldn't let me have the keys if I directly told him I was getting Roxas." Said blonde rolled his eyes and Sora added, "He said it was fine as long as I drove him home on the way back. Which, of course, means I can't drink, but whatever."

"Why are a bunch of eighteen to nineteen year olds going to be drinking anyways?" Roxas spoke from the passenger's seat, "Like we're all twenty-one and older."

"It's college, Roxas." Sora said before buckling on his seatbelt and reversing out the parking lot. "College."


A/n: Special thanks to: tHaToNeWeIrDgUrL, OmniaVanitas, Lionwings, chrisal, TheAnnoyingVoice, SkyeDescent, DarkSapphireXx, Sgofyyah13, Arkaraz, KonataIzumi1, BlueEyesWhiteDragon3000, C212, Kitty-Kat-Gone-Bad, Innocent Uke Or NOT, VIII, Athena Julliette, Naomi (haha!), OhDaaaym, Allers3, zackslittlepuppy, MaikaKitsune18! And those who have alerted, favorited, etc.

No Vanitas in this chapter? D: WHAT? Even if I complained about him last a/n, I miss him already! But don't worry he will be in the next chapter & the one after that & probably the one after that & after that, but maaaybe not the one after that. I'm kidding XD lol

And I don't plan for Kairi to be some super-bitch in this story like she is frequently portrayed as. In fact, I see Xion portayed as a bitch a lot too. Why is that? :/ Hell, I admit I'm guilty of making Kairi one in most of my KH fics that call for her when she's nothing like that in the games xD And neither is Xion haha I love Xion though.

I'm excited to write the next chapter in which I thought I was going to here, but yeah xD Thanks for those who answered my questions at the end of last chapter, it really helped! :D I hope to read from you all again & new people too! Please, REVIEW~ :)