If he was hard-pressed, Riku could recall what life was like before Vanitas. Sure, Sora had always been there and forever it seemed, Sora was all there was back then. But even then, there was something hanging over them; lurking in the shadows, hovering in his peripheral. For a few years he chalked it up to residual shit from the constant struggle with darkness, and for a couple years after he gave in, he thought it was because Sora was either hardcore het or just not interested in him as more than a best friend (written in rainbow glitter with a heart to dot the i).

Riku discounted the latter after a night of drinking in celebration of being home when Sora insisted he sleep over, and then proceeded to fondle him half the night and fall asleep mumbling about how un-gay he was. Riku tolerated the awkwardness the following day and didn't pursue it as his mere mention of it seemed to bring the brunette physical discomfort. The grimace on Sora's face when he tried to broach the subject was something he never wanted to witness again, especially knowing that he had been the cause of it.

Leaving home again, he never expected anything other than a fight. He never expected to meet someone who would forever change the Riku/Sora dynamic. He chuckled at the memory of his first encounter with Roxas and how stressed he had been that somehow the world would end if he allowed himself to have what he had craved for so long. Yes, Sora had been his best friend for as long as he could recall but they were very different. Sora was good and strong-willed, and always seemed to find the light in everything. Riku was dark and moody, always teetering on the borderline of propriety…always drawn to danger and darkness. The blonde had just enough of that darkness to be tantalizing.

Roxas appeared in his life at a time when he had been so busy self-deprecating over the Sora incident that he had even considered fucking Kairi just to end the friendship for good. Fucking Kairi would kill all there was between them...yes. Sora loved her and she adored Sora…like people adore their pets. It was pathetic. It pissed Riku off and once he had cornered her and given her a piece of his mind. She had laughed in his face and told him he was just jealous (yes, in fact he was). Kairi was the worst kind of cunt, in Riku's opinion, but given enough alcohol she would fuck one of the statues at the colosseum, so a warm body would simply need to be available.

He thought that the Roxas affair would kill it…but that seemed only to amuse Sora. He even teased Riku and asked him if he was thinking about him the entire time. Riku was positive that his face twisted into the same grimace that he had avoided seeing on Sora's face. Attempting to carry out an actual relationship with Roxas turned out to be a terrible idea. After calling him Sora during sex, a fight of epic proportions ensued…which led to more sex. Roxas was like that. Angelic as he appeared, he was a walking IED. The sex was great but the whiplash he got from the blonde's mood swings trumped that. So it had ended and Roxas was still (as far as Riku knew, not that he cared enough to keep up) with the insane pyromaniac.

Then there was the disastrous Namine affair. Riku knew better…he still didn't know what truly motivated him to seduce her. He could've fucked anyone in any of the worlds at that point, so why her? Because she was good and pure. Everyone knew about his darkness, making him the model bad-boy and therefore much sought after guilty pleasure of princes and princesses everywhere. He had accepted what he was but maybe in a moment of weakness he thought that being with Nami would make him a better person…and Sora would come around. Right.

Sora was concerned when Namine confided in him that Riku had been secretly visiting her. He warned her that as much as he loved his best friend, there was a side to him that she needed to be wary of. She didn't listen, and when she confided in Sora once again and admitted that Riku had in fact deflowered her, well…Sora was pissed. That wasn't at all what Riku had been going for so he did as Sora commanded and dropped Namine like a hot rock. She cried…a lot. She enlisted the help of her little monster Xion to try and further defame Riku. That turned out to be a tough sell. He had fucked entirely too many people in all the worlds for a bit of gossip to change anyone's mind about him.

Then one day as he was leaving the Underworld after a particularly boring exhibition fuck for Hades, from out of nowhere, the masked boy dropped into his path and propped on his keyblade. Scowling, Riku started around him without a word but Vanitas grabbed his elbow. "Hang on there, Romeo."

Glaring at his own reflection in the helmet visor, he could have sworn he saw a flash of yellow from behind it. Yellow eyes, the color of pus…Vanitas, the embodiment of everything foul… "What do you want?"

"Loaded question. Care to rephrase?" Vanitas began to remove his helmet.

Riku shrugged. "You can want whatever…doesn't mean I'll give it to you."

As the helmet came off, Riku cursed his eyes and immediately fell victim to that face.

"What if what I want is a very extensive list?" Vanitas smirked and watched the sparkling aqua orbs take in the entirety of his person.

"I'm tired…fuck off." Riku snarled and started past him again but was stopped again by the hand, this time gloveless.

Turning with every intention of taking a whack at him with his own bare hand, he paused when he saw the gleam in golden eyes and the smirk on his lips as he hissed. "Come on…you can call me Sora if you want."

And so it began…