Van had a girl, who Roxas couldn't quite see at first, pressed against the wall. His hands were around her waist and Roxas could tell they were "showing their affection for one another".

When they heard him scream, Van pulled away from her, setting a heavy glare at Roxas. But when he noticed it was only his cousin, Roxas saw him relax.

However, Roxas was stumped to find that it was Xion he had pressed against the wall.

What the hell?

Roxas's hands dropped to his sides limply and he just stared at them. His mouth was agape in shock, mixed with bewilderment.

"Hey Roxas," Xion said casually, leaning into the wall. Her hands were lingering over Van's back pockets.

Holy shit, Roxas thought. They were…they've been…oh my god…

He could've fainted.

"What're you doing here?" Van asked bluntly, his eyes boring into Roxas's.

"I stayed behind." Roxas stammered. "Er—what…what's going on here?"

"Well, Roxas," Xion said sweetly, smiling flirtatiously up at Van, "I have kind of taken a liking to your cousin."

Van was all smiles now, and replied, "I've taken a liking to your friend."

Roxas couldn't believe his ears. How Van was interacting with Xion was beyond normal. Normally he was all emotionless and had only disturbing stares. Yet here he was, sweet talking Xion—the toughest girl Roxas knew.

What was the world coming to? The sky might as well be yellow for all he knew, because never in his wildest dreams had Roxas expected Xion and Van developing a thing.

Well, he never thought Van could like anyone. Literally.

"What?" Roxas choked out, watching as Van slowly leaned in for a lingering kiss. He shook his head and spoke up, "Okay. Since when did this…happen?"

The front door swung open and Sora walked in with the biggest smile on his face. However, when he saw Van and Xion kissing, he took one look, swung his hands in the air, and walked back out, mumbling, "Things just don't make sense anymore."

Roxas continued to stand there, trying to comprehend what his eyes were seeing.

"Well I'm going to head home," Xion said softly, kissing Van once more. She hugged him, punched Roxas on the shoulder (which hurt like hell) and walked out like nothing had happened.

Roxas's mouth was still hanging open. Van still had a faraway smile on his face, staring at the door.

Roxas watched as Van finally walked back to his room, disappearing behind the door. Sora walked back in through the front door, looking somewhat scared, and asked Roxas, "Rox? What the hell was that?"

Roxas stated, "Van likes Xion. Xion likes Van."

"What? But that's impossible." Sora walked in, glancing around. "Is he gone?" Roxas nodded. "But Van hates everyone. He can't like anyone! It's like saying you like Kairi or something. It just can't happen—the universe will explode!"

"Calm down, Sora." Roxas said way too calmly. "We just…we have to think about this. Xion's been coming over almost every day. Each time she comes over, she goes right to Van's room. We should've known this from the start. We're idiots."

"No we aren't." Sora said weakly.

"Oh by the way, what happened with Riku?"

"Oh I confronted him about being all competitive. He apologized and said I looked cute when I got mad." Sora said, that smile reappearing.

Roxas rolled his eyes. "Compliment whore."

"Hey!" Sora quickly recovered. "I still don't understand. Xion's so…Van's so…they both hate the world…"

Roxas remembered that one time Xion finally told him why she was the way she was. Van was, obviously, different than many guys. Roxas knew Van was tough as hell, and he rarely showed his feelings to anyone. Xion was a lot like him. She was the toughest girl he knew of, and her feelings were expressed differently than Namine, for instance.

They had a lot in common. That's the only thing Roxas could put together.

But he's never spoken to Van about stuff like that. Yes he'd have small conversation—but that meant nothing. It was then that Roxas realized he knew almost nothing about his own cousin. Wow.

Maybe, He thought to himself as Sora continued talking about things that don't make sense. Maybe I should try to get to know him.


"That's Snuggles."

Roxas almost had a heart attack when he walked into Van's room. Van was holding a black cat with yellow eyes who hissed at him right when he walked in.

"Snuggles?" Roxas choked out, backing against the door. "When'd you get it?"

"Her," Van corrected sharply, setting the feline on the bed. The cat immediately dove to the ground and disappeared under the bed. "I found her near a dumpster. Picked her up. You got a problem with that?" His golden eyes pierced into Roxas's challengingly.

"Er, no problem at all." Roxas said, turning to look to the left to find what looked like an aquarium. He had fish? There was no water though. Roxas hesitantly stepped closer and to his horror, saw a tarantula watching him.

"Holy shit!" Roxas jumped away, nearly knocking down a red guitar. Van was glaring at him now, obviously pissed off.

"What do you want? Leave Rosie alone." Van demanded, crossing his arms over his chest.

Rosie?! THAT IS A HORRIBLE NAME FOR A TARANTULA!

Roxas had wanted to talk to Van. To get to know him. He just didn't know a tarantula or an evil cat was in here.

"I wanted to talk to you." Roxas said, trying to remain a friendly composure even though he swore his heart was going to explode.

"About what? You scared Snuggles."

Who the hell names a cat Snuggles?

"Did you name her that?" Roxas asked casually, praying Van didn't. If he did, Roxas would lose all respect for him.

"No. She had a collar that had Snuggles on it." Van snapped. "Now what the fuck do you want?"

"I, uh, wanted to see if you…" Roxas trailed off, suddenly feeling pathetic. "If you…wanted to…hang out."

"Hang out?" Van repeated bluntly. Roxas was shocked to see a cat-like smile cross his cousin's features. "Sure. I'll hang out."

"Really?" Roxas swore he heard wrong.

"Tonight I'm going to a concert. You can come with me."

A concert? Roxas knew the kind of concerts Van went to weren't exactly "safe". But it was better than nothing, right? Who knows. Maybe Roxas actually made some progress here.

"Yeah. I'll go." Roxas said, beaming. "What time?"

Van shrugged and lay on his back. Roxas saw that he was wearing huge, gothic boots that had hundreds of laces. "I'll let you know."

"Cool." Roxas took this as his cue to leave. However, just as he opened the door, Van said his name. Roxas looked over his shoulder to find Van sitting up, looking him up and down.

"Don't wear those clothes." Van said finally. "Wear something less…matching."

Roxas refrained rolling his eyes and just walked out.


"Why would you go with him to a concert?" Yuffie exclaimed, throwing the rest of the trash away. Sora ran to get some paper, for some unknown reason.

Van was in his room. The adults all left somewhere, only telling Roxas that they would be back tonight.

"Do you know what kind of concerts he goes to?" Yuffie repeated with wide eyes. She had just got back from an evening jog; her hair was tied back and she wore loose clothing.

"The kind that plays music?" Roxas guessed weakly.

"It's not music." Yuffie said quickly. "It's screaming. Shrieking. It's noise but it's not music."

"Everyone's entitled to their own opinion." Roxas mumbled.

"Rox—quick," Sora threw the paper in front of Roxas and threw a pen down. "Write your will."

"What the hell?" Roxas glared at his twin. "Write my will?"

"Oh, you know. In case you don't return."

Roxas sighed. "Guys, I'm just going to a concert. Nothing dangerous."

"It's very dangerous." Yuffie disagreed. "Once time Van came home with a broken jaw."

Roxas's face paled. "How'd he get a broken jaw?"

"He said some guy pissed him off so they got in a fight."

Roxas pictured Van attacking some guy and having a fight. He shivered. Who in their right mind would mess with Van?

"Roxy, maybe you shouldn't go." Axel reappeared from the bathroom, after taking a shower. Roxas did a double take. His hair was wet, a darker red, and slicked back from the dampness. He looked…different. But oh-so good. Roxas forced himself not to stare.

"I want to get to know Van." Roxas insisted, glancing down at his clothes. He wore a white shirt with black jeans, and checkered wrist bands on his arms. He tried not to match so much, like Van said. But it wasn't easy. Yuffie was now insisting on doing his hair. Apparently she wanted it spikier. Roxas thought his hair was spiky enough.

"Now Roxas, since you insist on going so much," Yuffie smiled evilly and held up what looked like a pencil. "Let me do your eyeliner."

Roxas blinked. "What?" Axel busted out laughing.

"Let me do your eyeliner."

By now, Sora was slowly sneaking off to the safety to his room.

"I'm not wearing eyeliner." Roxas said, as if it was obvious.

"Oh yes you are." Yuffie walked closer.

"Why would I wear eyeliner?"

Axel leaned against the wall, clutching onto his stomach from laughing so hard.

"Because it would bring out your eyes. And you'd look sexy as hell."

Roxas's mouth fell open. "Hey! Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I'm a girl! What the hell, Yuffie?"

"You're our gay emo of the family." Yuffie said sweetly, lightly stroking Roxas's hair. "Look, if you don't like it you can wash it off."

Roxas said bluntly, "You won't let me wash it off. I'm not stupid." He then realized what she said. "And I'm not emo!"

"Hush! Look up." Yuffie leaned closer, aiming the pencil.

Roxas tried to get off of the chair, protesting, but Yuffie slammed him back down. Roxas blinked. She was stronger than she seemed.

Sometimes, arguments with Yuffie were futile.

"Axel," Roxas protested as Yuffie pushed down on the skin beneath his eye, "say something!"

"Hey, I think you'll look sexy." Axel said casually, finished laughing.

Roxas glared at him as Yuffie began "stabbing" his eye. He tried his best not to blink, but he felt his eyes beginning to water. Damn it.

"Me and Axel will hang out until you guys get back," Yuffie said softly, concentrating on her work. "And I'll give you mercy. I'll only put bottom eyeliner. Happy."

Roxas stated emotionlessly, "I'm never happy."

"Bull shit." Roxas felt Axel wrap his arms around his neck from behind, and felt him kiss his head.

"Axel!" Yuffie snapped. "Don't make him move!"

Axel drew away, hands in the air. "Fine, fine. I'm going to raid your pantry." He walked from the room, wandering into the kitchen.

"So much for dignity," Roxas muttered when Yuffie was done. The girl was smiling excitedly.

"Oh my gosh! Axel—come here! Quick!"

Axel ran into the room. When he saw Roxas he dropped the bag of chips and just stared. Roxas felt his cheeks burn and he glared at the two.

"What? What'd you do Yuffie?" Roxas demanded sharply, hating being stared at like this.

"Damn." Axel breathed, staring at Roxas like he was an alien. "You look…"

"Gorgeous." Yuffie finished.

"No not gorgeous." Axel interjected. "He looks…different."

Roxas was honestly hoping Axel would go goo-goo over this. But instead, the redhead looked indifferent.

"Roxy, do you want to wear eyeliner?"

Roxas hesitated. "No." He still had pride, right? He wasn't like those guys who wore eyeliner.

Suddenly, Axel rushed forward, picked up Roxas, and threw him over his shoulder. Roxas gasped, noticing Axel was holding him up with one arm, and saw the distance to the floor. His world swayed as Axel carried him off, receiving many protests from Yuffie.

Axel hurried into the bathroom and closed the door, locking it.

Roxas was shocked to see that Axel looked beyond pissed. The redhead refused to meet his eye. Instead, Axel was looking through the drawers for something.

"Axel?" Roxas asked cautiously. "What's wrong?" He then saw his reflection. The eyeliner was thick under his eye. It did bring out his eye's color, but it gave him an edgy look. Roxas wasn't quite sure what he thought of it. If he was punk like Van, he'd love it. But he was Roxas. Roxas. He had never worn eyeliner before. And honestly, it gave him a feminine look. Just because Roxas was gay didn't mean he was feminine. Yes some guys are—and that's their choice. But Roxas liked having some kind of control.

"Here." Axel began roughly dabbing Roxas under the eyes with a pad. It slightly burned. "Let's get this shit off of you."

"I look that bad?" Roxas asked quietly.

Axel paused. "You think you look bad? That's why you think I'm doing this?"

Roxas shrugged.

Axel's eyes narrowed. "I'm pissed because Yuffie forced you to wear this. If you wanted to put fucking eyeliner on, you could ask her. But the fact that she pushed you down and forced you to wear that is stupid." He continued dabbing on the eyeliner. "You can't let people tell you how you should look, no matter how many compliments they give you."

Roxas stared up at him. "You wore eyeliner once?"

Axel hesitated. "No. Larxene wouldn't allow it."

"So you wanted to?"

"I never said that."

"So you let Larxene control you." Roxas said softly. "That's why you're pissed."

"She had control over everything I did." Axel mumbled. "I had no pride. No dignity. I had nothing. It was terrible. She used to compliment me, so I wanted to please her. But one day she got mad and I decided that I don't need her compliments. I have to be happy with myself."

"That sounds complicated." Roxas admitted when Axel was done. The redhead threw away the pad.

He smiled down at Roxas, cupping his cheeks gently. Roxas felt hi chest warm up.

"Now this," Axel murmured, "is what you want. Yes?"

Roxas swelled in happiness. "Yes." With you.

"Good." Axel leaned down and they kissed.


Van was a silent driver. He was excellent, driving safely, which shocked Roxas. He imagined Van to be a dangerous, fast driver.

"So," Roxas said as they stopped at a redlight, "you and Xion?"

"We're dating."

Yes. I know this.

"Er, how did this start?"

Van shrugged.

Roxas glanced out the window. They passed by a gas station. He saw a woman waiting for her gas, two boys in line for Redbox. But this figure caught his attention. There was a hooded figure leaning against the wall. The figure wore a black trench coat with a hood covering its features. Roxas felt uneasy when he felt like the figure was watching him from the distance.

Van drove when the light turned green. Roxas tore his eyes away from the hooded figure and focused on the road in front of them as they began driving again.

"Who's playing at this concert?" Roxas asked, trying to strike a conversation again.

"A band."

Well no shit.

"Where is the concert?"

Van replied with a location. Roxas didn't know where it was. He looked out the window, feeling awkward like last time. He was surprised to find his phone vibrate.

Roxy. How's it going with your cousin?

Roxas smiled.

Hey Axel. It's kind of awkward. He's not exactly fond of two-way conversations.

I'm stuck with Yuffie practicing Kung-fu moves on me. -_-

I'm sorry D:

It's fine. You just owe me ;)

I'll buy you a bag of cheetos.

Oh! Yes! :D :D :D

"You and Axel," Van spoke up finally. He had a quiet, calculating voice. "How'd you guys…you know…"

Roxas hesitated. "It's a long story."

"We have time."

Roxas smiled to himself. "Well, Axel is Kairi's brother. He came to live with her over the summer and we texted over the phone on accident. We met at Kairi's house and hit it off from there."

"You guys broke up."

"Yes."

"Why?"

"I was being stupid." Roxas mumbled. "I thought he was going back to his crazy ex girlfriend. So I broke up with him so I wouldn't get hurt. But it figures out—"

"SHIT!" Van shouted suddenly, slamming on the breaks. Roxas would've flown forward if not his seatbelt, which pressed tightly against his chest as the car skidded to a stop.

"What was it?" Roxas asked breathlessly, his heart racing.

"I think I almost hit a log." Van said uncertainly. "Would you mind taking it off the road in front of me?"

"No problem." Roxas unlatched his seat belt, opened the door, and stepped out into the night. He paused a moment to stretch, feeling the nice, cool October breeze. He was just about to look for the log when he heard the door slam shut. He turned just in time to watch Van speed off, leaving him on the side of the road.

Roxas tried not to get angry. Van had to be joking. He'd come to a stop and turn around. They'd have a good laugh and have some inside jokes. Then they'd go to this concert and finally get to know one another as family members. But Roxas watched in horrified silence as he turned a curve, the vehicle disappearing.

He just ditched me.

Roxas kicked at the ground, suddenly betrayed and pissed off. He kicked at the ground again, harder. He picked up a rock and chunked it at a tree. Breathing hard, he dialed Axel's number.

"Roxy?" Axel answered on the second ring.

"Can you pick me up?"

Axel said something to Yuffie. "Wait, what? Why do you need to be picked up?"

"Van ditched me." Roxas snapped, his cheeks burning in anger. The next time I see him, I'm kicking his ass. I'll do it. I don't care if he pulls a knife on me.

"He ditched you?" Axel repeated, louder. "What the fuck? How'd he ditch you?"

"I'll tell you later. Can you please just pick me up?" Roxas felt pathetic, having to ask Axel for a ride.

"Of course I'll pick you up. Where are you?" Roxas already heard a door close and Axel hurrying outside. "I'll use Kairi's mom's car."

"I'm on the outside of town."

"Near that one gas station?"

Axel didn't even have to describe it.

"Yes."

"I'll be there in 10 minutes."


Two cars stopped to ask Roxas if he needed a ride. He felt so humiliated. A log? Why would a log be in the middle of the road? Roxas felt like an idiot. Like he was stupid to believe Van would want to get to know anybody.

Roxas sat in the grass, staring up at the stars. Sometimes, he forgot how lucky he was to have Axel.

"Axel, they're throwing rocks at me." Roxas, six years-old said during recess. Kevin, the school bully, chose this one day to focus his attention on Roxas, who was a tiny kid.

Axel looked over at Kevin. "Oh yeah?" Axel was the school's fastest kid. He caught Kevin easily and forced him to swallow three rocks. Needless to say, the school caught him and he had to go home for a few days.

Roxas sighed from the memory. How had he forgotten this? It was like, the more he got to know Axel, the more he remembered.

Blood. So much blood. Roxas felt like crying—and he was. It was embarrassing, since Axel was there.

"You weren't supposed to jump that far." Axel said, his feet in front of Roxas's. "You hit your head, didn't you."

"Yes." Roxas said, his forehead burning as if it was on fire. He felt himself crying. He wouldn't bring himself to look up. Axel would laugh at him…

"People are looking," Axel said, crouching in front of Roxas. "Try to not cry. Okay? I'll take you to a teacher." Roxas controlled his tears, just as he felt Axel pick him up. The redhead struggled to hold the blonde up, but he half-carried, half-dragged him to the teachers, who immediately began panicking at Roxas's bleeding forehead.

Roxas felt that same sweet relief wash over him when he saw Axel pull up. Axel slammed the front door, stormed over, and hugged Roxas tightly. Too tightly. It hurt.

"Axel," Roxas choked out, "I can't…breath…"

"Sorry." Axel released him. Roxas noticing his eyes were red in fury. "Where the hell is your cousin?"

"He said there was a log." Roxas said, feeling even more pathetic. "He asked me to get out and move it. Once I got out, he closed the door and drove off."

"That little bitch," Axel hissed, staring at the road. "Why couldn't he just say no to you? Why would he invite you to go with him if he was going to do this?"

Because it's Van.

"I was stupid for wanting to get to know him." Roxas mumbled.

"Fuck this shit," Axel said darkly, grabbing Roxas's wrist to practically drag him to the car. "Let's go to your house and do something."

"Like what? Watch TV?"

"I don't know. But when your darling cousin gets home, I'm kicking his ass."

Roxas couldn't help but add, "I'll help."


A/N: I didn't take too long to update this time. Praise me. Anyway, thanks for the reviews people. I'll update when I can. ^^