Kairi squinted past Sora's head and even though his mouth was moving, she wasn't hearing him. Is that Riku? And Vanitas? So, I guess it's all true. Has he finally given in to his darkness completely? You think you know someone…

"Kairi!" Sora snapped and then turned to peer over his shoulder to see what held her attention. Turning back to face her, she averted her eyes from the other couple and winced at the miserable expression before her. "I'm sorry, Sora…want me to kick his ass?"

"I can do that myself." The brunette mumbled as he shoved his chair back and started over to their table. Kairi reached for his arm only to have it jerked out of her grasp, and she smiled. This was that proverbial straw and Sora was about to lose his shit…all over Riku.

Earlier that evening, Riku approached the restaurant where Vanitas had agreed to meet him for their first real date. He was nervous and couldn't figure out for the life of him why. Vanitas stood near a bench that sat outside the well-reputed establishment and smiled slightly when he saw Riku approaching. Not stopping until they were nearly toe-to-toe, the latter planted a chaste kiss on a smooth cheek and returned the smile. "You look nice."

Vanitas lowered his head and nodded. "Thanks…so do you. I wasn't real sure about what to wear but since I don't have a lot of variety in my wardrobe…"

"Black is always good." Riku was relieved that he wasn't alone in his nervousness.

"You may not want to go in there…and if we go somewhere else, that's cool with me." Amber eyes darted toward the door before returning to Riku, scanning his person, and then resting on his mouth to await a reply.

"Why would I not?"

"Sora's in there…I can feel him." Vanitas shoved his hands into the pockets of his black pants and wondered once again if he had left too many buttons open on his shirt that revealed his black undershirt and a smattering of tattooed skin.

"If you don't want to go in, we'll go somewhere else." Riku nodded and placed a hand reassuringly on Vanitas' shoulder.

"It doesn't bother me…I mean I just didn't want to cause a problem between the two of you. I'm sure you haven't told him about us and you know that twat of a girlfriend of his will cause a scene."

"So let her." Riku reached up and tugged at his ponytail. "That will ensure that everyone knows about us at least…are you ok with that though?"

"Yeah, I don't give a fuck who doesn't like it…you know me…I'm always ready to fuck somebody up."

Riku chuckled and his seldom heard laughter surprised Vanitas and made him smile genuinely. "Let's go make Kairi's day."

Sora stood with his arms folded across his chest, Kairi at his back, glaring at Vanitas who was grinning like a fiend. "What the hell, Riku? Since when do we consort with the enemy?"

"Consort." Vanitas giggled and Riku sighed. "He isn't the enemy, Sor."

"Since when?"

"Since I decided he isn't, now will you let us enjoy our date?"

Sora looked confused but Kairi cleared it all up for him. "I tried to tell you he was fucking Vanitas. Where the hell do you think those hordes of Unversed came from?"

Vanitas made the eek face and then winked at Sora who was simply staring with his mouth in the shape of a small o. Riku closed his eyes and sighed.

"Now do you see why I try to keep you away from that loser? He endangers everyone for his own selfish pleasure. How many of them have you had to fight, Sora? Just so he could get off? They're disgusting and if Riku is that heartless, well then he isn't much a best friend, is he?"

"Well, I…" Sora was dragged away before he could finish his thought and Riku stared at the closed door of the restaurant until Vanitas spoke quietly. "I'm sorry…this was a bad idea."

Aqua eyes unmoving, Riku replied. "But it was my bad idea…no need for you to apologize."

Vanitas nodded. "Okay…well I'm taking off so you can catch up to them and fix things with Sora."

Riku turned to him and grabbed his wrist even as he was standing to leave their table. "No…"

"He's been your friend forever…no point in throwing that away over this…whatever this is." Vanitas tugged his wrist free but Riku stood and stepped in front of him, taking both his hands. "Wait…I knew what I was doing when I walked through those doors with you."

"Right, so do I. You wanted to make Sora jealous. You did, so go to him." Vanitas freed himself again and turned to walk away.

"Don't leave right now, goddammit. I'm trying to tell you that I want to be with you. This wasn't about Sora…it hasn't been about Sora since the first week we were together." Not giving him a chance to respond, Riku wrapped him in an embrace. Burying his face in the raven hair that he liked to watch rainbows form in as the sun rose, he closed his eyes. "Just give me a chance…ok?"

"What are you trying to prove with me?" Vanitas' voice was muffled against Riku's hard pectorals and any other time, that would have been hot…but at the moment it was just inconvenient. Pushing gently, he looked up into pain-filled eyes. "I'm no good."

"Then neither am I…because I want this, us…I want to try to make it work." Riku watched as amber eyes glistened, threatening tears, just before Vanitas shoved him away and ran out into the evening.

Deciding to walk home, Riku ran into countless Unversed. He fought until he was exhausted and then fought more. Finally, he decided that running wasn't always a coward's way, and headed for hiding. Losing them when they found others to harass, he slipped into an abandoned building and peeked out while he tried to catch his breath. What he saw made his breathing stop completely.

Vanitas was fighting his own Unversed…his own demons…and he screamed in pain with each blow. Once he was down, more Unversed came and he dragged himself back up to fight again. "I'm such a pussy…I have to stop this before he kills himself."

Rushing to his aid, he helped him defeat the last of them and then hauled his ragged form over his shoulder to escape the ones that would follow. He didn't stop until he reached his home. Locking the door behind him, he carried Vanitas upstairs and deposited him onto the bed. Looking down at barely open yellow eyes, he shook his head. "What were you thinking?"

"I was thinking …how many of these bastards do I have to create and kill before I die. You disrupted my experiment."

"Asshole." Riku went to get warm wet cloths to clean his wounds and returned to find him curled into a ball, sobbing bitterly into the pillow. Crawling onto the bed, he held him close against his chest and waited for him to calm down enough to speak.

"Why am I here? Why was I even created?" Vanitas croaked. "I'm just a bi-product of a tree-hugging hippie who won't even speak to me for fear that I'll harsh his mellow."

Riku smiled into the black spikes of hair. "You're your own person, Vani…and it's time you started living like it. Stop waiting for Ven to come around."

"I'm just so tired…"

"Then rest...stay here with me." Riku pulled the pillow off his face and rolled him over. Wiping the tears from his cheeks, he lifted his chin and kissed his lips. To anyone else, the kiss may have been insignificant but to Riku, it was a much sought-after prize, a rarity. The excitement of finally getting to kiss him exploded in Riku's brain and he rolled him to his back, devouring his mouth.

Vanitas returned the kiss hungrily and whined quietly at the sharp pain in his chest. Unversed knocked and scratched at the windows while clothes were discarded and whispers of affection were exchanged in the dim light of the bedroom.

The sun rose like every other day on Destiny Island. As Riku woke, he smiled when he smelled the familiar scent of his love. Reaching for him, he found nothing but an empty pillow and a slip of paper.

Dear Riku,

I now realize what I have to do. I can never be what you want me to be so I want you to go to Sora and make things right. I'm sorry for the mess I made of things. This never should have happened. I never should have happened.


"No, no, no…" Riku knew where he would be, so he grabbed the nearest clothes and headed out to try and find Ventus…which would be exponentially harder for him than it was for Vanitas. They had a connection, and he could generally tell exactly where Ven was at any given time. Riku didn't have that…but maybe Sora did.

When he finally found Ventus, Riku fell to his knees defeated. "I'm too late."

Ventus was staring dazedly toward the horizon, with yellow eyes blazing. Grabbing his arms and shaking him violently, Riku barked. "What happened to him?"

"He's back where he belongs." Ventus murmured as if he couldn't be bothered with Riku. Shaking him off, he walked away and didn't look back.

"Fuuuuuuck!" Riku roared and disappeared into a portal.

A month later as he lay in bed, smoking paopu and surfing porn sites, a pebble pinged against his window. Growling softly, Riku crawled off his bed to look out. "What?"

"Let me in." Sora hissed up at him and he scowled down before leaving the window to do his bidding. Once inside, Sora followed him to his room like he had countless times before and closed the door behind him. Riku sat on the edge of his bed and looked at his ex-best friend solemnly. "What is it, Sora?"

"I wanted to tell you that me and Kairi broke up again and it's for good this time."

Riku shrugged. "Ok."

Sora's mouth opened to ask him if he was still mad but something else distracted him. "You cut your hair!"

Riku shrugged again.

"Why!? I loved your hair." Sora reached out to comb his fingers through the much shorter silver locks.

Riku tried to ignore the warmth that pooled in his stomach when Sora touched him affectionately. "Is that all you came here to tell me?"

"I guess…I thought you might ask me to spend the night." Sora toed the edge of the rug that Riku had picked up in Port Royal, and waited on the invitation.

Riku shrugged. "I have something to do…maybe another time."

Sora looked wounded to his core. "Sorry…I guess Vanitas is coming over."

"Nope…no one is coming over." Riku re-lit his homemade smoke and smirked. "Especially not Vanitas."

"Is it over?"

"Way over."

"Are you still mad because I wouldn't help you find him that day?"

"Nope…not mad at all. It was probably for the best." Riku checked the time and slipped his shoes on. "I need to go… see you around."

"Bye…" Sora watched him go and then left for home, closing the door behind him.

A few blocks away, Riku slipped into a portal and emerged in a very bland white room. Pulling his shirt over his head and giving it a toss, he lit more smoke. "Sorry I'm late… got held up."

"You should be punished." A hiss from a tall chair by the window made him smile as the smoke curled from his lips. "Who's gonna do it?"

Roxas stepped to him and grinned evilly. "Shut up, whore." The blonde shoved him toward the bed where he was grabbed by another set of larger, thinner hands. Pressed to the mattress, wrists pinned over his head, Riku gasped as bright emerald eyes bored into his. "I think I'll let Roxy do the punishing…I'll just make sure you don't run away."

"Safe word?" Riku squeaked.

"Safe words are for bitches." Roxas giggled and Axel cackled like a mad man.