Disclaimer: I do not own Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts, nor am I making any money off this fanfiction.

Author's Notes…

Yes, a new story. I wanted to do one based around manga tropes, like a teenage drama. Haha. I think I pulled it off pretty well, but we'll see. Let me know what you think!

Many thanks to the lovely hesteen for beta-ing for me.

Paopu Glamorous

Chapter One

The Rules

"So if you wanna make it here, follow them!"

i. Never Piss Off Riku Damenson. Ever.

"Ahh! It's Riku!"

"Riku! Eee! Look this way!"

"Oh, my god, Riku! I LOVE YOU!"

"That girl just said she loved him… No! SHE DOESN'T LOVE YOU LIKE I DO, RIKU!"

Shiozu Sora's eye was twitching. He put a hand over it to try and stop it, but the more the girls around him screamed, the harder it pulsed. It figured. He couldn't even walk around school without bumping into Riku Damenson's fan club—not when the King of Paopu High himself was on the premises.

Tidus, his best friend since the third grade, chortled. "This shit's always hilarious to me. Oh, Riku," he said in falsetto, giving an exaggerated flutter of his lashes. "Please, I'm spreading my legs for you right now, so whip out your dick and—"

"Whoa, language!" Selphie Tilmitt, Sora's other best friend, this one from kindergarten, popped up to Sora's left. She was busy juggling some of her school books around. "Any time you talk about Daemonson-senpai, the conversation always goes R-rated!"

"More like triple-X," Sora muttered.

"So what?" Tidus huffed defensively. "You know that guy's gotta be a sex god."

Sora shot him a look. "A sex god? Really, Tidus?"

"Well, look at him…"

All three came to a halt in the middle of the hallway as Yuna, Rikku, and Yuffie, Paopu High's top three cheerleaders, materialized in front of them. They had an uncanny knack of showing up whenever Riku was mentioned. And now here they were, decked out in their cheerleader uniforms, the colors of yellow, green and white.

Yuffie Kisaragi waved her pompom in Sora's face. "Riku Damenson: age eighteen! Senior at Paopu High School and the son of the business tycoon Sephiroth Damenson!"

Rikku grinned and shook both her pompoms from over the black-haired girl's shoulder. "Blood type: AB! Hair color: silver! Eye color: emerald green! Height: five feet eight inches!"

And last but never least, Yuna giggled nervously. After a moment, she put one hand on her hip and thrust a finger of the other in Tidus' face. A wicked gleam made her eyes narrow at him as a matching smile spread across her lips. "Sex status: virgin!"

"Whoa," Selphie whispered into Sora's ear. "Like they'd actually know."

Yuna perked up. "I heard that!" She skipped to Selphie. "It's true, you know? Riku told us himself! We had an interview with him just last week!"

Tidus sputtered. "Yeah, right. I'm sure he lied!"

"And why would our king lie?!" Yuffie took an offensive position, pompoms raised like they were shurikens. It was hard to take seriously, and easy to ignore.

Tidus turned to Sora. "Like they don't know? Riku obviously has to lie to prevent the cat fights that would start. Duh. It's such a smart idea…"

Sora rolled his eyes. "I'm gonna be late for class." He made his way around the tittering girls as they all crowded around Tidus, ready to bite his head off. Selphie giggled and followed him, clutching her messenger bag close to her shoulder, now that all her books were safely inside it.

"They do get a little too serious, I guess." Selphie shot him a wistful smile. "Isn't it kind of romantic, though? So many girls in love with him… yet he's a loner…" She sighed, tucking hair behind her ear. The color was a pretty honey brown, and flipped up at the ends. She kept it cut around her chin.

"Maybe he's a loner because he's a loser?" Sora retorted more than a little sourly. He couldn't help it. That Damenson jerk got on his nerves. It wasn't that Riku had ever purposefully done anything to him. It was just… hundreds of fangirls, a mountain of wealth, everything he could ever want right at his fingertips, without having to do anything at all… while Sora struggled with two part-time jobs just to help keep his family afloat…

Sora's mother worked for Sephiroth Damenson's company. And it wasn't that President Damenson treated everyone horribly, not at all. But she was rarely home, and when she was, she almost always immediately went to bed, exhaustion lining her face. And they still barely made the bills for the month.

Cloud, Sora's older brother, was off at university, and all of their mom's spare money went to his tuition and to help keep him afloat. He was studying so much, he barely had time for a job. He wanted to be a doctor. It meant he was rarely home, too.

And that was where Sora's two jobs came in. If he wanted any of his own pocket money, he had to work. He took half of his earnings and gave it to his mother to help with the bills. The other half, he kept for himself. He went to a prestigious school, and his mother could barely keep Cloud in college, let alone pay for things like Sora's uniforms.

He sighed. Just thinking about it made him tired.

As if reading his mind, Selphie nudged him. "Where are you working this afternoon?"

"The coffee shop," Sora replied. It was also where he got most of his studying done when it was slow. The shop, Hollow Bastion, wasn't corporate-run and had a single owner. It made things laxer around the place. Plus, Sora's boss had a sweet spot for him.

"Think you can use your discount to get me a yummy iced drink tonight?" Selphie licked her lips.

Sora frowned at her. "Selphie."

"Uh huh?"

"Your mother owns a publishing company."

"Uh huh…?"

"So then why the heck do you need my discount?"

"Becaaause, Sora! It's your discount!" Beaming at him, Selphie slipped her arms around Sora's elbow and held on tight.

Sora could feel the twitch starting up in his eye again.

Rich people.

Yes, his two best friends were wealthy. Yes, Sora had attended school with them since they were children. But sometimes, particularly now, their lives never seemed more like night and day. Tidus' father was a famous athlete. Selphie was going to inherit that publishing company. The two had never wanted for anything, either.

But Sora was constantly struggling to stay at the school. The only reason he was here was not because of money, like the other attendees. It was because of his grades. The second he slipped below a 4.0 GPA, the headmaster, Ethoran, would give him the boot.

Sora pursed his lips.

Man, he was in a grouchy mood today.

And then it happened.

The unthinkable.

The moment that would change the rest of his life.

"Sora, look out!"

Shiozu Sora ran into Riku Damenson.

The impact of slamming into the floor caused his teeth to knock together. Sora hissed, his elbow and hip throbbing. They had taken the brunt of his weight. He shook his head, trying to clear the pain away. What had just happened?

"Hey," said a cool voice above him.

Dead silence filled the corridor, broken only by tremulous whispers of gossipers here and there.

Great. An audience.

Hobbling, Sora climbed to his feet. When he looked up, it was to meet Riku's frosty green eyes. His senpai knelt after a moment, collecting something off the ground. Then he brought it to Sora's face for the younger boy's inspection.

A cracked face of what must have been a priceless watch.

Shit, Sora thought. For the first time, his impassiveness was replaced by a quiver of anxiety. His throat tight, he took a step away from the silver-haired boy.

Yuffie, Rikku, and Yuna stood behind him, pompoms raised around their shocked, open mouths. A gaggle of students lingered, their numbers being added to by the minute as people grew curious about the onlookers.

"You broke my watch…" Riku arched a thin, silver eyebrow. His long hair had been pulled up into a high ponytail. His uniform, as always, was immaculate. The strap to his bag was broken, and his books had spilled over the floor beside his shiny shoes.

"And your bag," a student smirked from the throng of their classmates. Sora vaguely recognized her as some girl named Arlene.

"Hey, hey. Didn't his father give him that watch for his sixteenth birthday, Yunie?" Rikku was whispering furiously behind Riku's back to her friends. She tugged on Yuna's arm impatiently, but Yuna couldn't seem to draw her gaze away from the dangling piece of jewelry Riku held clasped in his fingers.

"And my bag," Riku drawled. "So… are you going to pay for it?"

Sora's mouth fell open. "Pay… for… it…?" He felt faint just thinking about it! Riku was the son of one of the wealthiest people in the city! Just imagining how much that watch had cost…

"Yeah, I thought so." Riku's lips twisted with a smile. It wasn't very friendly. He flipped the watch onto his palm, then pocketed it. With a snap of his fingers, he waited as a student came forward to gather up his books for him. "You're the Shiozu kid, right? One of the few students here because of grades and not money…"

Sora pursed his lips, but said nothing.

"And your mother works for my father's company."

"How did you—?"

Riku shrugged. "It doesn't matter. The fact is…" And he lifted his eyes again to Sora's. Sora felt his heart jolt in his chest. Oh, boy. He was in trouble. "…You can't pay for the damage you just caused."

"It was an accident," Sora defended himself. "I wasn't watching where I was going."

"Like I care?" Riku laughed, a short, derisive sound. "All I care about is how you're going to pay me back, and since you can't do that… I guess I'll have to tell my father. I'm sure he'll garnish your mother's wages to make up for it."

"What?! N-No!" Sora pushed himself off the set of lockers he hadn't even realized he'd backed into. "Don't!" Oh, God. If his mother's wages got garnished… Their bills, Cloud's medical degree… it'd all be for nothing…

"Well, I can't see any other solution—oh, wait…" A sly gleam crept into Riku's eyes then. Sora got the sudden feeling Riku had been building up to this moment.

Riku came close and gripped Sora's chin, and when Sora tried to pull away, Riku's grip tightened. "There is one. It'd save your mother's job, and it'd be the perfect way to pay me back." Riku released Sora and took a step away. "From this day forward, you're now my personal slave."

W-… Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

ii. Avoid the Organization At All Costs ("What are they, anyway?")

Sora gave a long sigh around his iced coffee drink. His literature textbook was spread out before him, and his accompanying binder had never looked more disorganized. He'd been trying to locate his notes on Chaucer, to no avail. It seemed he was going to have to start over. All those hard hours of research, gone.

If this were a normal school, this class wouldn't be so detailed. But that was precisely why he'd wanted to attend the Paopu Industry chain of schools to begin with.

He glanced around Hollow Bastion, the café he worked at on school afternoons. It was dead except for an old man nodding off in the far corner of the building, the crushed red velvet sofa beneath him sagging from his weight. This was the last place Sora would have expected an elderly person to want to grab their cappuccino, but who was he to judge?

Hollow Bastion was known to be a hangout for the wealthier kids in the city, nearer to Paopu High or Paopu University. It was the latest cool place to be seen at. With the gothic architecture—a freaking gargoyle was roosted above the doors—and the dim lighting, along with the mellow, throbbing dungeon music (in truth, it was far from the dungeon-type, but Sora was feeling morbid that afternoon, given his circumstances)… well, it was, needless to say, a draw to those who liked lavish surroundings slightly on the vampire fan side.

Cobblestone floor. Rugs made out of fur pelts. Coffee tables with clawed feet. Wicked chandeliers in place of lamps or light fixtures. Torches set in sconces all along the walls. How the owners of this establishment got away with the fire hazard was anyone's guess, although Sora suspected the fire marshal was being paid to be quiet about it.

A fire crackled in the grate, above which crystal balls and ancient books sat on display on the mantelpiece. Hot chocolate was served in tankards. Fortunately, in Sora's opinion, the coffee remained normal, with normal containers, even if they did have weird names to go along with the dark ages meets modern Goth.

It was as Sora was surveying his surroundings, as they never grew old, that Lea—Axel—Goodwin walked in.

By himself.

Sora straightened his shoulders. He knew what this was about, and he already had his answer prepared.

"No," he said for the fifty-sixth time. He'd taken to counting. That was how often Axel harassed him about this particular subject.

The redheaded boy spread his hands. "Aw, but you don't even know what I was going to say!" His gleaming green eyes said otherwise, however.

He was Sora's senpai, though were someone to examine their behavior closely, they wouldn't have known it. Axel was flamboyant, with his orange scarf around his throat, the teardrop-shaped tattoos he'd gotten on his cheeks earlier in the semester, and the cross earring dangling from one year, clashing with the bright yellow shirt he had on over simple skinny jeans and Converses.

"You're going to ask me to join the Organization." Sora frowned at him. "Right?"

"Weeeell…" Axel drawled, sticking his hands in his back pockets. He was almost obscenely tall, towering a little over six feet, and was as gangly as they came. "…Maaaaybe." He leaned forward suddenly, cocking one hand in a trigger position. "So what do you say?"

"I just said no…"

"Don't you think 'Roxas' has such a great ring to it, though?" Sora's unwanted companion sang with a spread of his long fingers. The other boy was half-shrugging.

"If I wanted to add an 'x' to my name and make an anagram, don't you think I would have joined already?"

"Okay, look." The redheaded individual with the spiky hair pulled out a chair and threw himself in it, dangling his arms over the back of it. "I talked to Saix—"


"—and he's agreed to promote you immediately to our secondhand." Axel thrust a finger skyward. "That's how badly we want you to join!"

Sora pulled his binder over to him. He couldn't afford to get behind. Unlike the other students at his school, he didn't have the money to keep him enrolled should his grades drop. "What's the Organization about? Tell me, and I'll consider it." Sora smiled sweetly at him.

This earned him a pout. "Sora, you know I can't tell you until you join…"

"And I can't join until I know what cult plans on brainwashing me." Sora propped up his pencil. "So thanks, but no thanks."

Axel stared at Sora's forehead, like it was going to make him submit or something. But Sora went on about his homework, humming a cheerful tune to himself. Finally, after about five minutes, the older boy gave up and left the café, looking like a dejected puppy. The solid oak door swung shut behind him.

Sora let his head thunk down on the desk.

He had to deal with getting out of Riku's slavery. He didn't have time to deal with Axel and his goofy Organization right now. Besides, Axel wasn't even the leader, just a recruiter. And Sora hated clubs.

iii. Wasting Riku's Time Results in Dire Consequences ("Gosh, I'm sooo jelly!")

"Mother of God, what took you so long?"

Sora bit back a smart remark. The last thing he wanted to do was infuriate Riku this early in the game—well, that was only partially true. He'd love to do much more than simply make the guy angry, but his mother's job was on the line. So he had to grin and bear it for now.

"I had to take the bus to get here, and then I had to walk a few blocks."

Riku Damenson sniffed. "A bus?"

Sora tilted his head. "…Yeah, you know, those big boxy things on wheels? Seats a lot of people? Carts them around the city when they don't have cars…?" Like me, a luxury my family can't afford right now.

The older boy narrowed his eyes. "I know what a bus is." But Sora got the strangest feeling he hadn't until Sora had put a name to such vehicles. What a pampered life! "Well, you're twenty minutes late. That's unacceptable."

With the way Sora kept grinding his teeth, his jaw was going to be aching something fierce by the afternoon if this kept up. "I woke up at 5:30 just to get here, Damenson-senpai."

"To get here… late." Riku snapped his fingers. A footman came forward, dressed in a trim black suit. He was holding a stack of books. When Riku gestured, the elderly man deposited them in Sora's arms before Sora even knew what was happening.

"…What the hell are these?"

Riku smirked. "Books. You know, those rectangle shapes full of pages?"

Sora had to admit he'd walked into that one, but he wasn't quite ready to deal with humor. Nothing about this situation was funny. "So what do you want me to do with them?"

The silver-haired boy reached out and thumped Sora on the forehead. "Carry them." He strode forward, down the stone steps that led up to his manor, and the footman rushed to open the door of the shiny black limo parked on the curb.

"Here you are, Young Master." The footman dropped into a deep bow.

"Don't you have a bag?" Sora stood rooted to the spot. If Riku thought he was going to get back on the bus and lug these books to the school, he was dead wrong!

"You broke it yesterday," Riku reminded him.

"So go to Louis Vuitton and get another one!" Who did this guy think he was kidding? Sephiroth Damenson's safe could probably hold three of these manors.

"No," Sora's senpai drawled. "I don't feel like it." He gestured for his lower classman to come forward.

Grind, grind, grind. Sora dared not open his mouth as he obeyed. The two stood before the open limo door, eyeing one another in the sunlight, Riku faintly amused, Sora ready to lob all of the books he carried at that pretty face.


"Well, what?" Sora's frown deepened.

Riku shoved a foot in Sora's side and pushed. "Get in."

"Gwah!" Sora went flying onto leather seats, the books spilling onto the floor of the cabin. Riku climbed in after him, stepping delicately over him to reach the other side. The door thunked closed behind him.

"From this morning forward, I'll have a driver come pick you up." Riku slipped a slim phone from his pocket.

"That won't be necessary…" Wincing from his bruised ribs—did Riku really have to kick him?—Sora gathered up the books and settled himself into a seat.

"It's non-negotiable." Riku said the word like he'd been dying to try it out, savoring each syllable. "I can't have my slave being late. For this to work, you have to be on time. You have to be there for my every need." Riku paused thoughtfully. "Father is overseas at the moment, and we have a lot of empty rooms… Yeah." His smile grew. "That'll work."

Sora eyed him suspiciously as he finished buckling himself in. "What will work?"

"Also as of this morning forward, you'll be staying at our manor. That way, you'll be there to wait on me hand and foot."

Sora groaned. When would he wake up from this nightmare?

iv. Don't Keep Your Enemies Closer Than Your Friends. No. Really. Don't.

Some peace and quiet, Sora thought to himself as he trudged into the cafeteria. That's all I want.

A five star buffet was spread out, as usual, along the far wall, with caterers and servers behind it to man out portions. The silver dishes that held the food were so polished, one could see their reflection in them. Steam rose off chunks of grilled potatoes and strips of asparagus as gelatin desserts wiggled by themselves in their colorful tiers.

Even after all this time, he felt like he was caught up in some teen drama. What had happened to regular trays of food, and students milling about to separate lines of different cuisines, such as pizza, or the grilled chicken being served that day, or some sort of vegetable soup with a peanut butter and honey sandwich? And, his all time favorite, little cups of ice cream with a pull tab. They had ice cream at PH, but it was given out with golden spoons, and had its own array of candies and fruits to top it off with, like a personal creamery the school was in possession of.

It was just too much.

Sora plopped down at one of the wooden buffet tables. This tabletop had a starched yellow linen on top of it, and a tiny stain in the center where it looked like someone's potato had popped off their plate. With a long sigh, he reached into his messenger bag, withdrawing his book and his brown bagged paper lunch. Unlike the rest of these kids, he couldn't afford over sixty dollars a day on a solitary meal.

He started to read whilst waiting for his friends to join him. Selphie would more than likely not arrive until the end of the lunch period, as she liked to stay after class and flirt with her physics professor. And Tidus had a habit lately of finding Yuna, wherever she was, and begging her to go on a date with him. So far, she was declining, but it was only a matter of time before she caved. Tidus just had that sort of charm about him.

So when he heard someone seat themselves across from him near the end of the lunch hour, he lowered his book and sandwich, expecting his petite female friend, he was surprised to find the opposite. Yuna, Rikku, and Yuffie had joined him for lunch, each of them holding saucers wide enough to feed three starving Ethiopian families. And more than half of it would go to waste, as they were like delicate birds, only pecking occasionally at their meals.

Sora pursed his lips. If this kept up, he was going to form premature mouth wrinkles.

Yuna broke the silence first. She was seated between Rikku and Yuffie, and her green eye and blue eye twinkled pleasantly at him. "Helloooo, Sora."

"Hello!" Rikku echoed exuberantly, her hands circling at him in excitement like a dog paddling water.

Yuffie merely eyed him sullenly, sticking a bite of medium rare steak into her mouth.

"Hi…" Sora was hesitant, and he felt he had every right to be. The captain of the cheerleaders and her lead posse members never went anywhere outside of Riku's shadow. Well, or Paine's, but Yuna and Rikku's warm body for common sense was notably missing. Paine refused to cheerlead, and was a social recluse. How Rikku and Yuna had pulled her into their group, Sora could only guess at.

Paine wouldn't have been at the bottom of the popularity ladder if not for those two. It was just, she had a bit of a dangerous disposition. She could knock someone flat if they so much as tried to bully her.

"So we noticed you're friends with Damenson-senpai now!" Rikku hopped up and down in her seat, giggling.

"Yeah!" Yuna's smile widened. "That's so great, Sora! We're so happy for you!"

"Friends?" Had they lost their minds? They were right there when Riku had proclaimed that Sora would be his slave henceforth!

"Uh, yeah," Rikku retorted. "What else would you be? No one else has the honor of following Damenson-senpai around with his books!"

They called that an honor?! Sora's arms were still aching! He'd spent the first half of the day trailing Riku like a puppy, and it was humiliating, what with all the pointing and whispering going on between students. The only reason he was let off the hook now was because they didn't share a lunch period.

"Wanna trade?" Sora muttered.

It was supposed to be rife with sarcasm, but Rikku, apparently, didn't catch it. She only leaned forward over the table, clapping her hands together. "Ooooh, really? That would be so great!"

"Rikku." It was the first word Yuffie had spoken since her arrival. She glared daggers at the only blonde at the table. "Don't be that girl."

Rikku pouted. "What girl? Huh, huh? Tell me!"

Yuffie released a long sigh at that and waved a pom pom. Whoa, Sora thought. Where had that thing come from? "The girl who steals another girl's boy!"

"What?" Rikku huffed. "Since when is he yours?"

"Ladies," Yuna coaxed as Yuffie immediately turned laser-like eyes on Rikku and brandished her pom poms like those ridiculous weapons again. Rikku was batting at Yuna's arm lightly, trying to get to Yuffie, but when she couldn't, she settled for sticking her tongue out at the black-haired cheerleader.

Sora put away his book. He had a feeling he wasn't getting anymore reading done, and escape was futile. The girls would just follow him. They'd come here for a reason, and they wouldn't stop pestering him until it was achieved, whatever it was.

"Awh, Sora, don't look so glum." Yuna frowned at him. She clasped her hands together, tilting her head to the side. "Why aren't you happy?"

"Yeah, Shiozu-kun!" Yuffie waved her pom pom menacingly at him, as Rikku perked up with a, "Yeah, yeah!"

"Who wants to be somebody's slave?" Sora wasn't sure how many more ways he could spell this out for them.

"Don't you get it, though?" Rikku wagged a finger at him, her other hand on her hip. "Damenson-senpai doesn't associate with anyone! Sure, he lets us follow him around, but that's because we don't give him any choice!"

"But you…" Yuffie leaned across the table as Rikku had done minutes earlier. Her big, brown eyes narrowed speculatively. "What's so special about you, bozo? We're trying to figure it out, and we ain't coming up with anything!"

Sora stared at them in mute disbelief.

"Well, whatever the reason, we've decided we're going to follow you around, too!" Yuffie proclaimed.

Sora choked on the sip of water he'd just taken. Rikku scrambled around the booth to pat him on his back, while Sora thumped on his chest, his eyes streaming as he coughed, his windpipe protesting fiercely at the intrusion.

"We just want to know more about Riku!" Yuna explained as Yuffie went back to attacking her steak with gusto. Sora wasn't so sure anyone should have armed Kisaragi-san with a steak knife. The girl thought of herself as a ninja, quite literally, and she was pretty much both a klepto and a spazz. She didn't need to have real weapons.

Sora looked about at the three of them. Rikku was rubbing his back with a warm smile as his coughs eased, and Yuna's own smile shone as brightly as a star. Yuffie paused when she felt his eyes on her, her lips wrapped about the tines of her fork. She raised an eyebrow in question, then shrugged when Sora said nothing and resumed eating.

He sighed again. Do I really have a choice?

Rikku must have read his expression as one of defeat. She squealed and punched him several times on the arm. "Yeah! We did it, huh, Yunie?!" The two girls high-fived over the table.

"Yeah, we did!"

"All right!" Rikku cheered.

Fuck my life, Sora thought, slumping in his seat.

v. Raid Tidus' Porn Stash Whenever Possible. He Carries the Best Stuff.

"Holy shit!" Tidus yelped as Sora tossed items he would need into a few boxes. He'd gathered them from behind the little grocery store he helped out at on Tuesday afternoons. "Holy shiiiit! Holy shit!"

"Dude." Sora tossed a pillow at him that had been thrown to the floor that morning. Sora had been aiming for the alarm clock and missed by three feet. "You're not a broken record. Knock it off."

"I don't know which is more awesome! Getting to live like a king at the Damensons' residence, or being within constant groping distance of Yuna!" He mimed grabbing the brunet's admittedly round ass and kneading it. "God… If I could touch it just once, I would die a happy man…"

"When did you turn into such a pervert?"

"Since when is a man appreciating a woman's body perverted?"

Sora opened his mouth, started to say something, and promptly thought better of it. "You know what? Nooooot worth it." He chucked some clothes into one of the boxes he had already set up with the duct tape he'd unearthed from beneath the kitchen sink. For unknown reasons, they didn't seem to have any packing tape.

"What isn't?" If Tidus had been a puppy, his ears would have been sticking up, his tail wagging freely behind him.

"You." Sora opened his nightstand drawer and dumped its entire contents into the box, on top of his clothes.

"Me?" Sora's blond companion pointed to his chest with his thumb. "Por que?"

"You know why." Putting his hands on his hips to survey the damage of what was left, Sora pivoted. His closet—what could he take from that? He didn't want to pack too much… Because if he could, he wasn't staying at Riku's house for very long. He still wasn't even sure how he was going to convince his mom to let him, but one obstacle at a time.

"Cryptic isn't really your style, Sora."

Sora grinned at his pouting friend. "I have a style?"

"Yeah." Now Tidus outright sulked at him. "It's called Grade A Douche."

Such outlandish insults resulted in the usual tussle. Sora leapt at Tidus with a mock-offended cry, tackling him on the bed. The two fell to the floor as they grappled for the upper hand. Tidus' shoulder slammed into Sora's box of clothes and riffraff, denting the cardboard in on one side. This went unnoticed, as Sora's attention was completely focused on trying to get an arm around Tidus' neck.

Tidus was the taller of the two, and built more, but Sora was like a monkey. He got his legs around Tidus' waist and clung, his arms around his neck, and nothing Tidus did could dislodge him. By that time, Tidus was back on his feet, yelling and scrabbling to get Sora off his back. Sora chose this moment to clap his hands over Tidus' eyes. It sent the blond boy stumbling forward, careening them into Sora's dresser. Tidus yelled in pain, losing his footing even more. Instead of going down, Sora scrambled around Tidus' larger frame, put his hands on Tidus' shoulders, and pushed. Down toppled Tidus like a stack of dominoes, and Sora relished in the delight of pure victory.

Before Tidus could get any bright ideas about climbing back to his feet, Sora got an arm around his neck, securely this time, the other wound tight over Tidus' forehead.

"God damn it!" Tidus cursed.

"What's the magic word?" Sora was panting from the effort of keeping Tidus restrained, but at least he was winning.

"Suck my cock."

"Nah-uuuh," Sora sang breathlessly.

"My father will hear of this?" Tidus tried. He threw his weight to the left.

Sora moved with him, still holding on. "Your father would kick your ass for letting me hand you yours."

"Damn it," Tidus whined again. "Fine, jerk off. Mercy, mercy!"

Sora released him. Sweat beaded his brow. He felt alive with energy. He nudged Tidus with his toe. "That's three to one, now."

"Yeah, yeah," Tidus muttered sourly. "You don't even play sports. How the heck does a punk like you keep whooping my ass?"

Sora was desperately thirsty. He was going to have to go downstairs for some water. "Because sometimes it's not about the brawn. It's about the brains."

And brains would be the only thing to get him out of Riku Damenson's enslavement.

vi. When All Else Fails… Well, Now You're Just Up Shit Creek

I'm not ready for this, Sora thought as he watched Riku's limo pull up to the curb of the sidewalk in front of his house. It was just a stupid watch.

A priceless watch.

Whatever. How much money does his family have? It's not like he'll miss it.

But that apparently wasn't up for him to decide.

Sora sighed and gave his bedroom a last look-over. He'd left up all the posters of his favorite punk-rock bands. His computer desk was still in the corner of the room, but Sora had taken a few books from it… though he somehow doubted he'd have time to read…

Mom's going to lose it, he mused, making his way downstairs. He had two boxes in his arms. He only wanted to take enough clothes to change for a few days, and shit to do to keep him entertained. That was it.

In the meantime, he left his mother a note on the counter stating that he'd be staying a few nights with a 'friend.' It wasn't like it really mattered. She was never home, between her job at Sephiroth Damenson's company and the part-time job she held most evenings. Sora was used to fending for himself. And honestly, he had plenty on his plate, too, what with his school load and his own jobs.

That was part of what made this entire thing with Damenson-senpai so irritating. He didn't have time to be some sort of rich kid's plaything.

He locked up the house and gave it a last longing look. It was a quaint building, two stories but small. There was just enough of a yard for some swatches of grass to grow before it met with the sidewalk. Bushes framed the front steps leading up to the porch. Ivy climbed up the trellis and around where Sora's bedroom window was.

But if one looked closely, the paint was flecking all along the house, and it badly needed a power wash. The plant beds in the back yard hadn't been touched in close to two years. The porch's roof was sagging slightly.

The smooth noise of a car window rolling down sounded behind him.

"Are you going to stand there and gape at this shithole forever, or are you going to climb in?"


Sora was three seconds away from trussing Riku up like he had Tidus a few hours earlier, except with a lot more bruises and two black eyes. The thought of his mother was the only thing that stayed his fist. So, with a deep breath, he turned around, opened the door to the limo, and reacquainted himself with the smell of leather and Riku's musky cologne.

His upper classman raised a silver eyebrow. "That's it?"

Sora stared at him blankly.

Riku gestured to the boxes Sora had set on the floor between them.

"You didn't exactly bring a moving truck," Sora said, with maybe a little heat.

Riku nudged the cardboard boxes aside with his toe. One of them was still badly dented from Tidus landing on it, and the duct tape was peeling a bit. Fury boiled in Sora's chest, and his fist clenched.

"Come here, Shiozu."

"Come where?" Sora snapped.

The older boy gestured to his lap.

Sora's jaw dropped. "Excuse me?"

When he didn't move fast enough, Riku reached over, grabbing him by the arm and yanking him forward. Sora stumbled and found himself sprawled rather ungracefully across Riku's lap. While he was still regaining his bearings, Riku gripped his hair at the base of his skull and pulled. Sora's head was wrenched back, fire shooting up along his scalp.

"Ow, asshole!"

Riku released him. "Now kiss me."


"I said kiss me."

Honestly, Sora hadn't seen it coming, that Riku was a homo. Sure, his hair was always shiny and perfectly groomed, and his clothes were perfectly fitted. But that didn't mean anything. Taking care of yourself was hot to girls. Right? Right.

"Why?" Sora blurted. He almost smacked himself. That was the question that had popped out when Riku had demanded that Sora kiss him? 'Why'?

"Because I'm curious." Riku put his hands around Sora's waist. "I want to know what it's like when two guys kiss."

Is he out of his fucking mind?!

"So kiss a Ken doll!" Sora sputtered.

"I don't want to kiss a Ken doll." The first threads of anger entered Riku's eyes. "I want to kiss you. So pucker up and do it, or your mom gets fired."