MANDATORY AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'm glad everyone liked Part One! I won't say much, I'll just get right to it! I was going to wait to update, but I'm on a roll lately, so I figured I'd update fast and not keep you guys in the dark, haha.

DISCLAIMER: This disclaimer applies to the entire story. Kingdom Hearts and any and all things having to do with it do not belong to me. However, the plot and plot events are entirely MINE, along with the band Destiny's Embrace, the use of the word Hikari as a name, and the characters' personalities. In this chapter, I mention a couple of songs, but the credit is within the mentioning, if that makes sense.

NOTES: This story is rated M. This chapter has intense sexual content, but I won't tell you between whom. Prepare to be shocked, my friends.

ENJOY!

~x~

Chapter Thirteen – Part Two

~x~

Kairi loved the beach. It held many different memories for her, all of them bittersweet. It seemed like it had been ages since she'd felt the soft, grainy sand between her toes, heard Sora's laugh fluttering through the wind. Though night had fallen, it was still quite warm out, and the breeze smelled of salt and sorrow. Heaving a sigh, the redhead took off her heels and made her way to where 100 or so people were gathering around a newly-made bonfire. Amongst the unknown faces, she saw many that she recognized, and one face that was filling her with dread.

Riku was helping some of the other boys pile driftwood of the fire in order to make it grow bigger, but he was staring right at her as he did it. He was wearing a pair of skinny jeans and a striped tank top, and his shoes were off as well. His hair, pulled up into a high ponytail, kept falling forward into his aquamarine eyes. Just looking at him, Kairi could see that all the girls were watching him, whispering and giggling, but she just felt sick to her stomach. Riku was a plague, hiding in plain sight. He wore a mask that nobody could see beyond. Nobody . . . Except Kairi and perhaps Namine.

Oh, how she wished he would stop looking at her like that.

Kairi turned around and came face-to-face with none other than Tidus. He grinned at her.

"Want me to take your shoes? We're making a pile over by that rock," he offered.

"Um, that's okay. I can do it," Kairi said shyly.

"Well, here, I'll walk with you. Let's go."

The two of them fell in step and made their way over to the boulder in question, where Kairi could indeed see everyone's shoes. She felt weird walking with Tidus, but at the same time, grateful. She couldn't see Namine anywhere, and it was starting to feel weird standing alone like that. Tidus was nice to her, anyway.

"So how are you doing? Did you like the show?" he asked.

"Yeah, dude!" Kairi gushed. "It was the best one yet. That first song was way more brutal than anything you guys have ever done. I didn't know Vanitas could scream like that."

"Yeah, we're trying new things, I guess," Tidus chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck. "But um . . . I know you probably don't want me to bring this up, but . . . Ugh, just stick by me tonight, okay?"

Kairi frowned. "Huh? Why? What are you talking about?"

"I mean . . ." They stopped walking and he turned to face her. His eyes were sincere, full of worry. "You know, since Riku's here. Just stay near me, all right?"

"Oh . . ." Kairi lowered her gaze. She had forgotten that Tidus knew the truth . . . Wait. That wasn't right . . . Vanitas and Roxas knew, but Tidus had never told her he knew. Her brow furrowed. First, those three boys had known her name without ever even meeting her before, and now Tidus knew that Riku had raped her? Something was going on, and it was starting to get frustrating trying to guess what.

Before she had the chance to call him on it, Vanitas came jogging up, a beer in each hand and a wide grin on his handsome face.

"Hey, there's drinks?" Tidus asked excitedly.

"Yeah, some kids brought like, five coolers full," Vanitas explained. "And someone brought their Bose and Sora's hooking his iPod up to it."

As if on cue, "Fame Over Demise" by Woe, is Me began to blast out all around them, and thus the party had really begun. Tidus and Vanitas each took a drink and one of her hands and dragged her back over to the crowd of teenagers dancing by the firelight. Kairi spotted Namine and Roxas dancing across the way, and the happy couple came to join the trio.

"Hey, guys!" Roxas said.

"What's up, man?" Tidus greeted. "Did you get some beer?"

"There's beer? Fuck yes!" Roxas cheered. "Where is it?"

"Roxas," Namine whined, throwing her arms around his neck and hanging off of him like a monkey. "Don't driiii-iiiink. You know I hate alcohol."

Kairi stifled a giggle at the crestfallen expression that crossed Roxas's cute face. Knowing Namine, whether he wanted to drink or not, she would get her way in the end. She watched the antics of the two for a bit before she was turned around by Vanitas.

The raven-haired boy pulled her petite frame against him, lowering his forehead to hers and smirking at her.

"And how is the road block tonight?" he asked huskily.

Kairi's arms automatically went around his neck, and she smiled. It was kinda nice having a guy be so into you after he'd already "had the cake and eaten it, too," so to speak. She wondered if perhaps he truly did like her, and she wondered if maybe it wasn't that bad of a thing. Vanitas really wasn't a bad guy; maybe they could have an actual relationship? The thought of getting over Sora was frightening, but there was also a sense of relief inside of her. To not be depressed at the thought of not being with Sora would be nothing short of a relief.

"I'm good," she said. "You were amazing tonight."

"Aw, thanks," Vanitas's lips hovered over her own. "How about we solidify that compliment like we did the last one?"

"Ooh, I see what you did there."

They kissed for a moment, and Kairi tried. She really tried not to imagine that it was Sora she was kissing, but she just couldn't do it. God, she wished that this wasn't so difficult of a situation to deal with. She just wanted to be normal, for Christ's sake!

Around them, people had started to whoop and holler, and it was embarrassing, so Kairi pulled away.

"People are . . . People are staring," she breathed with a nervous titter.

"Yeah, so?" His grip on her hips tightened and his body molded against her own. She could hear the song change in the background ("Rhinestone" by Heartist), and by the way that Vanitas was holding her, she could tell he had other things on his mind than just kissing her. Her heartbeat fluttered.

"Don't you care about your 'fans' seeing?" she teased, wrinkling her nose.

The shadows cast by flame flickered across his face. His eyes were serious, but his smile was like liquid gold.

"Nah, girl, you're cool." His eyelids lowered and he gazed at her lips. "Now . . . You were complimenting me on my dashing appearance . . . ?"

Before their lips could meet again, Vanitas was roughly shoved away from her. Collective gasps rippled form the kids nearby that happened to see, and both Kairi and Vanitas glared up at Sora. Why couldn't Sora just leave her alone? He'd made it pretty clear that he wasn't willing to work on anything with her, so couldn't he just let her be happy with someone else?

"Sora, for fuck's sake!" Kairi cried, clenching her fists at her sides. "Just leave me alone!"

Sora ignored her and glared daggers at Vanitas. Though they were twins, Sora was taller by a few inches and his overall presence was ten times more terrifying. Or maybe it was just because Kairi felt so small compared to him . . . Either way, she had to take a step back to get out of the tension-charged air.

"Back. Off," Sora hissed to his brother.

"She's not your property," Vanitas challenged. "You know that."

"If you have any respect for me, you'll back the fuck off, Vanitas."

"Hold up!" someone in the crowd yelled. "Don't you hate her, Sora?"

"Shut the fuck up!" both Vanitas and Sora hollered simultaneously, confusing not only Kairi, but most likely everyone else assembled. "No Pity for a Coward" by Suicide Silence was now playing, and Kairi had a feeling that it wasn't helping calm the boys down any.

Kairi tossed her hair over her shoulder and placed a hand on either boy's chest, pushing them away from one another.

"Both of you just calm down," she ordered, angrily glowering from one to the other. "I'm nobody's property, never was, and never will be. I'll make decisions on who I kiss or fuck or hug or whatever. So both of you can just knock it off, because you're wasting your time."

Sora and Vanitas stared at her as if she had sprouted horns out of her nostrils, both of them obviously shocked by her outburst. Kairi didn't care, though. She was sick and tired of testosterone, dammit!

Namine appeared, grabbing Kairi's hand.

"Come on, Kairi," she urged. "You don't need to deal with this—let's go drink!"

Over the next hour or so, Kairi and Namine occupied themselves by sitting with Roxas near the fire, drinking and conversing about random things. Luckily for them, the earlier excitement with Sora and Vanitas had died down, and everyone at the bonfire was so thoroughly drunk that they probably wouldn't care if the ocean rose up and swallowed them whole. Kairi had already forgotten about it, and she was so drunk that she had already forgotten what she'd said the minute before! She and Namine were red in the face, falling all over each other in the sand, laughing their asses off about God-knows-what.

"Come onnnnn," Roxas was saying as he tried to drag Namine away to the band van. He wanted a little somethin'-somethin', it would seem. He was drunk, too, but apparently he didn't show it as much as the girls did.

"But we can't leave Kairi," she whimpered.

"It's okay," Kairi giggled, waving them off. "Go ahead and go."

She watched them stumble off together, lost in a happy world of their own making. In her drunken state, all Kairi could think about was how she wanted that. How she wanted to be happy with a boy who was happy with her. Whether it was Sora or Vanitas or even Tidus, she wanted it.

Suddenly feeling stifled, Kairi staggered to her feet. The music was still blasting, but most everyone was either passed out by the fire, or off in random places on the beach, hanging out in groups and talking. Looking around, Kairi couldn't see anyone that she recognized, so she decided to take a walk, maybe ride out the alcohol in her system.

As she walked, she tried to sort through her jumbled thoughts. Thoughts of Sora, Vanitas, Riku, and the seemingly large secret that tied them all together. They all seemed to be in on some big thing that had to do with Kairi, and she was starting to wonder if maybe the three boys in black that she had met before the show were a part of it, too. Of course, that would definitely be reaching, wouldn't it? In any case, Kairi was tired of wondering and thinking and questioning. She wanted some answers, but seeing as she had no idea where Sora had disappeared to, she didn't think that would be happening tonight.

Kairi also thought of her mother, and of the horrible things she had done lately. Not giving her money to eat, taking away Hikari's things . . . It was pretty clear now that her family was trying to cut her off, and as depressing as it was, Kairi had seen it coming. She'd known it was too good to be true that her mother was on her side. Tch, her mom had probably been relieved when Kairi'd had the miscarriage. Even though it had brought Kairi more pain and misery than she could ever hope to experience, her mother had probably been relieved.

Kairi kicked a spray of sand up into the air and wandered off behind an outcropping of rock. She was so far away from the bonfire now that she couldn't even hear the music, and she had no idea how she'd managed to go so far in so little time. Either way, she didn't care. Lately, her thoughts about herself were starting to turn darker and darker. It felt like she was wading through the darkness, surrounded by shadowy people who all held lights, but none of them were willing to share. Kairi didn't know how much longer she was going to be able to stand it. It was starting to hurt, deep inside her heart where no medicine could mend.

She froze dead in her tracks when she saw who was standing just beyond the next boulder, ankle deep in the chilly waters.

"Sora . . ." she whispered.

Almost as if he sensed her presence, he turned and looked over his shoulder. The breeze played with his spiky hair, and his eyes glowed cobalt in the moonlight. Kairi felt the breath rush out of her lungs. He was so beautiful, in the deadliest of ways, and seeing him standing there reminded her of the countless times they'd come to the beach together to play as children, swim as preteens, and do both as teenagers.

Slowly, Kairi walked out to meet him, hesitating when she felt the icy kiss of the sea against her bare toes. Sora nodded to her in encouragement, and so she went to stand next to him. The two of them stared out at the dark horizon, at the way the silvery moonlight touched the gently swelling waters. Kairi was reminded of their past in such aching clarity that she had to dig her nails into her palms to keep from crying.

"I haven't been to the beach in so long." Sora's voice was soft and held no trace of any audible emotion. For the first time, he was just being himself. He was simply Sora, and it was wonderful.

He went on, "I've been meaning to get back out here, but . . . It just isn't the same when you're alone."

Cautiously, Kairi asked, "Can't you go with Xion?"

"It's not the same," he murmured.

Kairi stared up at him. Was he referencing her?

Sora continued as if he hadn't said what he'd just said, "Xion's been getting worse lately. I just don't know . . . Ugh."

"Why don't you break up with her?" Kairi asked slowly, not sure if Sora might blow up and lose his temper. "I mean, if she's as . . . A-Abusive as everyone says she is."

Ignoring her, Sora gestured to her arm. "You sure that's okay? Wearing a tank top like that? Everyone can see."

"So what?" Kairi's face screwed up in confusion. "I'm not going to hide my scars simply because it bothers everyone else."

"You . . . You haven't done it recently . . . Have you?"

Kairi looked at him. "No," she lied.

"Good. Don't." He raised his eyebrows. "I'm gonna check next time I see you, got it?"

Cheeks stained with a crimson blush, Kairi nodded absentmindedly.

Sora was silent, and then he said, "Remember when we used to sneak out at night and come here? And your parents would always come out and find us?"

Kairi looked out to sea again, a small smile ghosting across her pretty features. "Yeah . . . I think I was grounded for over half of my seventh grade year."

"Me, too."

And then they were laughing, freely and with wild abandon. They laughed as they had once laughed—they laughed as friends. And when they were done laughing, Kairi threw herself against him, wrapping her arms around his waist and holding him tightly against her. He enveloped her quickly, stumbling backward from the force of her embrace, one hand in her hair, and the other pressed against her lower back. They stood there for as long as they could; until their feet had grown numb and they needed to get out of the water.

"Can we talk now?" Kairi asked. "Please?"

Sora sighed and plopped down in the sand. He pulled his knees to his chest and loosely wrapped his arms around them. The wind caused his loose-fitting band tank top to flutter, matching the speed with which his spiky hair moved in the breeze, and he peered up at her through his lashes.

"Well?" he pressed. "Aren't you gonna sit down?"

Kairi did so, crossing her legs beneath her. They were shaking, though whether or not it was from nerves or excitement, she hadn't the slightest clue. Sora was a few inches away from her, and it felt like the air between them was on fire. She wanted to reach over and grab his hand, as she would have done when they were younger, but she didn't. She couldn't.

"You wanted to talk, so talk," he said.

Kairi blinked, having not expected him to be so blunt. She worried her lower lip between her teeth and tried to think of something to say. Of where to even begin. She had wanted this chance to talk to him for so fucking long, and now that it was finally here . . . She didn't know where to start! She played with the sand next to her, a troubled expression on her face.

"Sora, I . . . I just want things to go back to the way they were."

"Well, they can't." Sora shook his head. "I can't trust you. The fact that you would tell everyone this huge lie, just to get attention? I can't trust you anymore."

"But, Sora; that's just it!" Kairi cried. "Where are you getting your information?! I never lied about what Riku did to me. I was telling the truth. Are you forgetting that I was pregnant? Isn't that proof enough for you?"

Sora replied, "Kairi. Are you forgetting that you partied nonstop and had casual sex all the fucking time? It's obvious that you got pregnant, freaked that you would get in trouble, and then blamed it on someone else."

Great. Just fucking great. Her one chance to get on the same page with Sora, and he was still spouting the same far-fetched crap. Sora had been her best friend—her other half-for nine years. Nine years! She couldn't wrap her mind around the fact that he, of all people, thought the worst of her. She started to cry silently, tears sliding one-by-one down her cheeks like tiny testaments to her internal struggle.

"Sora, please," she breathed, causing him to turn his head and gaze at her in shock. "Please, I am asking you to believe me. What I went through, for all those years . . . It was real. It was real, and I have to relive it in my head all by myself. I am begging you to please believe me!"

"I . . ." He trailed off, studying her face streaked with tears closely. Slowly, he reached out and wiped away the evidence of her sorrow.

"I can't do this anymore without you," she whimpered, reaching up to hold his hand against her face.

"Kairi," he whispered, and there was so much broken emotion in his voice that it made Kairi start crying again. She knew it. She had known it all along. There was something there. Something that he was hiding. She had known that it didn't make sense for him to shun her the way he had, when he had always promised not to. Was he finally going to tell her why?

"Please tell me," she implored, her cerulean eyes wide and shining. "Please just tell me what's going on."

A pained look filled his eyes, exiting them in the form of tears. He was crying, and it was only solidifying Kairi's suspicions. Sora never cried. He had never cried when they were children, unless it had to do with her. He was hiding something.

"Let me kiss you," was all he said, his face beseeching her. "Please let me kiss you."

"Wh-What?" Shock reverberated throughout her body. "Sora, what are you talking about? Just . . . Just tell me what you're hiding!"

"I . . ." He dropped his hands from her and stood up. He started to pace the sand, confusing and angering Kairi. Why was he avoiding telling her, when he was so close? What was he trying to keep from her that was hurting him so much? She scrambled to her feet, swaying slightly from the alcohol that was still fueling her movements.

"Sora, tell me right now," she demanded, fists balled at her sides. "Sora, you had better tell me what's going on right now."

"When I . . . When I found out you were hurting yourself, I almost lost it," he said, turning abruptly and gazing at her with heartbreaking emotion in his eyes. "To see you doing something so permanent and harmful to yourself . . . And because of me? God, Kairi . . ."

"Then tell me why you're doing this to me!" Kairi shrieked, throwing her hands up into the air. "Tell me now!"

"Don't you understand?!" he shouted back. "I can't! I can't tell you! I want to, but I literally can't!"

Stunned into silence, Kairi's body went rigid and she stared at him.

"What do you mean?" she breathed.

"Exactly what I said," he said gruffly, wiping his eyes."

"But what do you mean, you can't tell me?" she cried. "Are you trying to get me off your back, because let me tell you, Sora—that can be arranged."

"Come here," he said, in his typical way of tactically avoiding her words.

"No!" she shouted, stamping her foot. "You've treated me horribly for the past year, and I deserve an explanation!"

"No," he said. "I can't. I. Can't."

"Are you kidding me?" Kairi buried her face in her hands, exasperated beyond belief. "This is fucking ridiculous. You know what, Sora? If you don't tell me right fucking now, I'm gone. I mean it. Forever. I will leave this beach this second, and then I'll never see or speak to you again. Okay? So this is your one chance. Because I'm not going to let you treat me like shit anymore!"

The look on Sora's face was heartwrenching, and it rooted Kairi to the spot even as he crossed the distance between them. He cupped her face with his hands and pulled her closer, holding her gaze as he repeated his earlier words.

"Let me kiss you." His voice was barely louder than the lightest breeze, and Kairi's body instantly began to blaze, burning slowly from within.

"N-No," she said. "You can't use me like this. You need to tell me what's going on."

"I can't."

"You can, you just don't want to."

Sora dropped his hands from her for the second time that night and then said words that horrified Kairi beyond her worst nightmare.

"I can't tell you, Kai, because if I do . . . It'll be the end of both of us."

"The end of . . . What are you talk—mmph!"

Sora was kissing her nose, holding her head firmly between his hands as his tongue delved deep, searching for something that neither of them could name. As their lips separated and mashed together again and again, Kairi found herself gasping and moaning with desperation. When he kissed her, she didn't care about anything else but him. Maybe he knew that, and he was just trying to get her to stop asking questions. Either way, she knew she could kiss him forever.

His fingers gripped her hair and yanked her head back, exposing her throat to the moonlight. He kissed her heavily, leaving her breathless and shivering in his arms. She moaned his name between ragged gasps and dragged him closer to her, wanting this moment and this night to simply go on for all eternity. His hands moved up and down her sides, back, and chest, gripping her possessively and silently telling her that she belonged to him. Was that why he got so angry when she talked to Vanitas? Because he believed that she was his, and only his? But how could he think that, when he had made it abundantly clear to her numerous times that he thought of her as a lying slut? Was he kissing her because he was drunk and he thought she was easy? Were any of his words truthful?

Kairi shoved him away as forcefully as she could and he stumbled backward, staring at her in shock.

"Go away, Sora," Kairi said quietly, seriously. "You don't own me, and we're done."

"Kai, I'm sorry," he pleaded. "I want to tell you, I really do, but I . . . I can't."

"Then I can't talk to you. Go."

He left, and she sank to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably. He was like walking death, leaving behind a trail of despair in his wake. She had given him the chance, and he hadn't taken it. She didn't know why he had done what he'd done—why he'd thrown away their friendship—but she couldn't wait around for him to tell her. In fact, she didn't even know if he would tell her the truth if he "could."

She heard the sand shifting behind her in the quiet, and she scowled.

"God, Sora, I told you to leave. I don't—"

"I'm not Sora."

A blinding pain exploded in her face as she turned to see who had snuck up behind her, leaving her mind reeling and her cheek throbbing. She cried out in shock and tried to crawl away. The person grabbed her ankle and dragged her back. Her hands flew out from under her and her face scraped against the sand. It went up her nose and grated against her teeth, but she was much too frightened to notice or care.

"You're so pretty now, little sis."

Riku. Oh, God, Lord above, it was Riku!

Fear such as no other exploded from within Kairi's heart and she opened her mouth to scream. She kicked her legs and tried to turn around and strike her older brother across the face, but he was so much stronger and bigger than her that it was a fool's errand. He straddled her wildly-struggling hips and wrapped one hand around her throat, choking her air supply off. She gazed up into his aquamarine eyes, saw the glee and triumph there, and she knew she was done for. It had been a year, but he surely hadn't forgotten how easy it was to dominate her.

Sora.

Sora had to be nearby, didn't he?

"Sora!" she shrieked, reaching up to claw at Riku' eyes. "Sora, help!"

"Shut up!" Riku snarled, anger filling his eyes. "Don't call that weak-ass pussy's name." He grabbed her by the hair and dragged her a few yards away fro mthe water, pushing her onto her stomach and pressing her face into the sand. Her stomach flopped with terror as he smothered her, holding her down with so much strength that she thought she would die. Her legs and arms kicked wildly and she fought, oh she fought, but it wasn't enough.

In a daze, Kairi went limp, and Riku finally took his hand off of the back of her head. She gasped desperately for air, coughing as the sand rasped against the insides of her esophagus and breathing tube. Riku made quick work of her clothes, punching her in the face whenever she even attempted to fight him off. She gave up eventually, because that's what she always had done. Ever since she was eight, when he first touched her.

"That's right," he groaned into her ear as he rubbed his nude body against hers and dug his fingernails painfully into her waist. "Just lay there and take it like a good little sister Like you always used to."

"P-Please," she sobbed, turning her face away when he tried to kiss her. "Riku, please d-don't do this to me again."

"Keep begging," he hissed, squeezing her breasts and pinning her down to the wet sand. She could feel the edge of the water soaking her hair, and it sickened her to know that now the sea that she loved so much would forever be tainted. She would never again want to come to this beach, this beach that held so many wonderful memories of Sora upon it. Riku had successfully managed to take everything she loved away from her, most of all Sora.

"R-Riku!" she whimpered when she felt him trying to shove his manhood inside of her. It hurt. It hurt worse than it ever had before. He grumbled in annoyance when her body rejected him, and then sat up, peering down at her curiously. Kairi continued to cry, recognizing the look on his face. He was going to take her another way. He was going to take her in the worst way possible.

Kairi's breathing quickened with fear when he rolled her over, grabbed her hips, and yanked her naked rear up into the air. This had happened before, but not often due to the fact that the first time it had, Kairi had been out of school for a week and had to lie to their parents. She'd told them that she'd "fallen onto her bike wrong," and they'd believed her. Because after all, why would their thirteen-year-old daughter be hurt in that particular place for any other reason?

"Your eyes are like the sea, little sis," Riku whispered as he had countless times before. "Reminds me of bluebirds."

And just as she had when she was thirteen, Kairi left her own mind for greener pastures, and tried to lock herself away in order to escape the pain. It was the only way she could keep her sanity. When Riku left her there, broken and bleeding in the sand, she was still lost in the dark chambers of her innermost heart, weeping the loss of her innocence.

~x~

It wasn't until the morning that Namine and Roxas finally found her, and Kairi was barely conscious when they did. Namine was panicking, crying and calling her name; Roxas had her head in his lap and he was trying his best to wake her with gentle pats to the cheek. She could hear their voices, faint and distorted.

Kairi's eyelids fluttered open and she coughed weakly, her throat dry and sore from the excessive amounts of sand that she had swallowed the night before. Her entire body was aching and bruised, her lower half resting in fiery agony. She immediately squeezed her eyes shut against the torrent of tears that threatened to burst forth, wildly reaching around in the air for Namine.

"Kairi, oh, my God," Namine wailed, holding her hand tightly. "What happened? What happened?!"

"Put your jacket on her, what are you guys doing?!" Kairi heard Tidus's angry voice echoing in her head. "Fuck, Roxas."

A second later, light fabric brushed against her tender skin. She winced, but knew that it was better than lying naked for all eyes to see.

"Get everyone out of here," Tidus urged, and Kairi felt him brushing the hair out of her eyes. "Where's Sora? Make sure he doesn't come over—fuck."

"What the fuck is this?" Sora sounded enraged, his voice getting louder as he came closer. "Why is there blood in the sand? Who is that? Is that . . . Kairi?! What the fuck?!"

"Dammit," Roxas hissed. He gently laid Kairi down and Kairi heard a struggle. "Sora, just stay back! You don't need to see this!"

"I don't need to . . . What the actual fuck, Roxas?!" Sora roared. "Who did this? Kairi, who did this to you?"

Kairi opened her eyes and squinted up into his worried, angry cobalt blue eyes. The morning sun was bright, but she could just make out Namine and Tidus as well. She opened her mouth to speak, but something pulled at the corner of her mouth and she tasted blood. Whimpering in pain, she reached up and cradled her cheek. The jacket that had been given to her fell slightly, exposing more of her bruised flesh for their eyes to see.

"Who did this to you, Kai?" Namine asked softly, looking her directly in the eyes.

Kairi was about to tell her just who had done it, when the person in question made his presence known. Dramatically so.

"Who the fuck did this to my little sister?" he demanded, falling to his knees beside Sora and looking determined. "I'll beat his ass—who did this?"

Fear filled Kairi's eyes. "I don't know," she lied automatically, knowing that she couldn't tell them that it was Riku with him sitting right there! Not only would he deny her claims, but she would look like a fool.

"Are you sure?" Namine repeatedly slowly, carefully. She squeezed Kairi's hand, but somehow, Kairi didn't think that Namine's support would help plead her case if she told them that Riku had attacked her and brutally raped her in the sand.

"Y-Yes, I . . . I was drunk. I don't r-remember." She coughed again, and when she pulled her hand away from her mouth, there was blood. Her eyes widened—just how much dry sand had she swallowed?

"Let's get her to the hospital," Tidus suggested.

"No!" Kairi cried, fearful of what her mother and father would do to her. She struggled to sit up, her rear end screaming in protest, and beseeched Namine with her eyes.

"Why not?" Roxas demanded.

As Kairi straightened her back, she stared down at the sand beneath her, horrified to see how soaked with her blood it was. She nearly lost her shit right there and fainted, but knew that she couldn't if she wanted everyone to think she was okay. She looked around at everyone assembled, carefully avoiding looking at Riku. Roxas and Tidus looked worried, and Namine looked pale and ashen. Vanitas wasn't there, and Sora . . . Sora was staring at her as if she would disappear if he were to look away. It was rather unsettling. As if he had a million thoughts that he wanted to say and do, but his concern over her was clouding his judgment.

Just before Roxas and Namine blocked her view of Sora in their rush to cover her nudity, Kairi caught something she hadn't expected to see.

Sora shot Riku a scathing look. A look that spoke words that could only be understood by Sora, Riku, and Kairi. Kairi's eyes widened in stages. Did he . . . Did he know?

"I'll take her home," Sora suddenly announced as he stood up, never once taking his eyes off of Riku. Riku was pointedly staring at Kairi, though, and the entire situation was creepy and weird.

Kairi looked at Namine, and the two girls nodded to each other.

"I think Namine and Roxas can take me home," Kairi said with another slight cough.

"Are you sure?" Sora's eyes were pleading with her.

She nodded. "I just want to go home and rest. I . . . I'll see you at school tomorrow."

Namine and Roxas each took one of her arms and started the painstakingly slow walk back to the parking lot, and to Roxas's car. Kairi kept her eyes ahead of her, trying not to relive the events of the previous night in her head. She had no idea when or how Riku had found her, all she knew was that it had happened and there was no going back. She cast one last glance over her shoulder and saw that Sora was standing there, watching her go.

"Just ignore his weirdness," Namine advised when she caught the redhead staring.

"I've never seen him get that worked up before," Roxas said with wide eyes.

"Chyeah, maybe he should have gotten that worked up the first time," Namine muttered.

Roxas shot her a look. "What do you mean?"

"Oh, come on, Roxas," Namine scowled. "You don't seriously think Kairi doesn't know who did it, do you?"

Kairi blinked and sighed. She might as well just let Namine spill the beans. At least Roxas would believe the truth.

Roxas stopped walking, causing the girls to follow suit. He pushed is chin-length bangs out of his eyes and glared at Namine.

"What are you talking about?"

Namine deadpanned. "Who do you think did it, Rox? Riku! He was sitting right there; of course Kairi wasn't going to tell everyone it was hime!"

"Is that true?!" Roxas gasped. "Kairi, was it Riku?"

Kairi nodded slowly, still not saying anything.

"God dammit!"

The next thing that happened was something neither girls had expected to happen. Roxas turned tail and took off down the beach, all the way back in the direction they'd come. Kairi and Namine looked at each other, and then the blonde started helping the redhead go after him as quickly as they could without exacerbating Kairi's wounds too badly.

Roxas met Riku, Sora, and Tidus halfway with a fantastic punch landed directly in the center of Riku's face. The silverette, stunned, reeled and collapsed on the ground just as Kairi and Namine caught up with the group, and everyone stared at Roxas in complete and utter shock. Had he really just punched Riku in the face?

Really?

"What the Hell, Rox?" Tidus exclaimed. "What was that for?"

"He fucking deserved it!" Roxas roared angrily, kicking Riku in the side to keep him down when he tried to get up. His eyes were blazing bright blue. "He can't keep getting away with the same fucked up shit. Not anymore."

"Roxas," Sora hissed, stepping up to Roxas so close that their noses touched. "What the fuck are you doing? You're gonna mess everything up."

"I don't care! I don't fucking care anymore!" Roxas hollered, shoving him away and leaning down to grab the front of Riku's shirt. His fist reared back once again, but Kairi was the one to stop him this time.

"R-Roxas," she pleaded. "Don't. Please. Just calm down."

"Why?" He narrowed his eyes. "This bastard deserves it for what he did to you. For everything he's done to hurt you."

Kairi merely shook her head. She admitted it—she wanted to see somebody beat the shit out of her older brother, but she didn't want Roxas to get in trouble for it. And what did Sora mean by "he would mess everything up?"

Roxas moved away from Riku, and Tidus helped the silverette to his feet. Everyone stood there in silence for a moment, each person trying to figure out what to say next. Kairi leaned heavily against Namine for support and waited.

Riku was the one to talk.

"Look, man," he said to Roxas. "I don't know what she's been telling you, but . . . It's all lies."

"No," Roxas growled. "Everything you say is a lie. And I'm sick and tired of it. Listen . . . This whole 'thing' we have going on in the background . . . I want out."

Namine and Kairi exchanged bemused glances, and then watched the boys with bated breath.

"Roxas!" Tidus warned. "Seriously—this isn't about you. This is about Kairi."

Kairi's frowned deepened. What was about her? Was this the big secret Sora didn't want to tell her about? Were they all in on it, in some giant, convoluted plot to keep her in the dark? What the Hell was this?

Roxas shook his head. "Then I'll protect her! I don't fucking care! This is fucking ridiculous, and I'm over it. I'm not kidding—I want out."

"Roxas, you know as well as everyone else here that you don't have the skills or the means to protect her," Riku barked harshly, attracting everyone's attention to him. "Quit kidding yourself and play along—or else you know what's going to happen."

Kairi clenched her fists. "I don't know who you guys think you are . . . But I'm a human being. If you're all involved in some sort of weird plot to hide something from me . . . Just stop! Stop. I can take care of myself."

"That's apparent," Sora remarked sarcastically.

"Shut up, Sora!" Kairi yelled. "You're not excluded from this. In fact, you're the main person this is directed at. I'm tired of you all using me for your own sick satisfaction. Just . . . Just leave me alone."

She turned on her heel and limped away, Namine hot on her heels.

"That was awesome, Kairi," Namine whispered, wrapping an arm around her shoulders to help her walk. "They needed to hear that."

"Do you know what it is they were talking about?" Kairi asked.

Namine shook her head. "Not really . . ."

"Not really?"

The two girls stopped, and Namine looked at her friend with a slight grimace on her face. Kairi narrowed her eyes.

"Namine," she warned. "If you know something . . ."

Namine's hand shot up to her mouth and she began to chew her fingernails. For the first time since she'd first met the girl, Namine looked shy and nervous. She was definitely hiding something, and Kairi was about ready to flip a bitch if she didn't spill it.

"Namine!" Kairi cried.

"Okay, okay already!" Namine exclaimed. "It's . . . I don't know anything beyond this, but . . ."

"Yeah?"

"They're in a gang. Sora, Vanitas, Tidus . . . All of them are in a gang."

Kairi's eyes went wide and Namine sighed.

". . . And Riku's the leader."

~x~

A/N: MUAHAHAHAAH, so a small part of the secret is revealed. The boys are in a gang. But that is all I choose to reveal for now . . . Tune in next time to see what happens next!