* * *
In Which Riku Does Not Murder Everyone For Even Having This Idea Like He Should
by Edmondia Dantes and rayemars

Disclaimer: Squeenix and Disney.

AN: This all started when I put on a hat whilst cosplaying. Never put on a hat whilst cosplaying.

* * *

"We've heard rumors from Maleficent, the lead singer of DarkSide, that your bassist is considering quitting The Keybearers to join up with her crew. Do you have any comments?"

"What? No!"

"Huh? You're not leaving, are you man?!"

Riku looked at the microphone, the reporter, and Sora, who was now latched onto his leg and wailing despite Kairi's gentle tugs at his shirt. He sighed, blew a lock of hair out of his eyes, and fixed a glare into the camera lens.

"Fuck your face," he said eloquently, and punched the reporter in the stomach.

* * *

Despite heavily-repeated warnings, Sora still insisted on ending every set by throwing Oathkeeper or Oblivion to the ground, screeching "YEAAAAAAH!" and hurling himself off of the stage.

Some of their most popular concert footage occurred on the days in which he landed on the film crew, roadies, or, once, on his own twin brother, Roxas.

The sight of the lead guitarist of The Keybearers and the chief keyboarder of Organization XIII locked in a tangled embrace made for one of the most popular shots Rolling Stone ever featured on its cover.

* * *

The lead singer of Disney was tiny, adorable, endlessly cheerful, and utterly charming, all ruffled black hair and wide smiles and bright, dark eyes. On the rare occasion that they were in the same place at the same time, the two bands would hang out, mingle, and briefly take over the nearest restaurant, or the one in the next town over if Disney's drummer had gotten them kicked out of the last one.

Getting thrown out happened a lot when Donald was around.

It was just a little bit difficult, Sora thought, because even though they were a lot of fun, and both of them had moved on, the fact remained that Riku and Mickey had never really broken up, and were still a little in love with each other.

That was all well and good, of course, because Mickey's girlfriend Minnie was sweet and understanding about the whole thing, Kairi thought it was hot, and neither Mickey nor Riku would ever cheat on their current partners.

The real problem was the fangirls. Most of the time the internet terrified him beyond reason, and he'd been told time and time and time again not to Google himself or the other band members, but Tidus loved reading all the gossip and all the speculation, and Selphie... well, Selphie wrote fan fiction and occasionally supplied the gossip sites with candid photos, which then occasionally made the real news.

Which was also okay, because anyone who took themselves too seriously in this business was asking for a breakdown.

It wasn't like he didn't have fangirls of his own, either, ones that liked even weirder pairings--and they'd exploited it more than a little after that whole Rolling Stone cover thing--it was just that sometimes... rarely... glancing at one of the many candid shots of the two of them... he sometimes thought that maybe... just maybe... with the way he always curled into Riku's lap like he belonged there... and the way Riku smiled at him... and the press of that dark dark hair against the silver... and the way Riku would pick him up and twirl him around... maybe... just maybe...

Maybe Mickey was cuter than he was.

* * *

The thing was, Goofy always said, that Donald felt everything very hard. It came out in his music, in his personal life (his proposal to Daisy had been screamed out live across fifty million television screens atop the flaming wreckage of a once-expensive drum set) and occasionally, it had to be admitted, against other people as well. And it was just that the good feelings, the calm and sweet and deep ones, well, those were kept close, to be shared by friends and family.

Mickey would always just smile in his interviews, and send letters of apology and hand out free autographs to the staff of the hotel or restaurant for every room that got trashed.

Donald was once left in the company of Axel, the pyrotechnician for Organization XIII.

There really was no way to make up for the building, its surroundings, or the jail time, but both maintained that it had been worth every second.

* * *

"I think we have a problem," Xemnas said, and Roxas hunched back a little.

"...the problem's name is Axel."

Roxas relaxed a little.

Axel folded his arms and looked defiant right up until Xaldin let the left side of the set collapse rather closer to the band members than was usually allowed.

"Now Axel, it is not good form to char one's fanbase."

Axel pouted. "It was only the first row."

"During my solo!" Roxas protested, then instinctively ducked just in time not to be beaned across the skull with the left side of the background statue.

Xaldin may or may not have muttered "Damn."

"Nevertheless," Xemnas continued, "in the future the pyrotechnics will be aimed upwards instead of out. Won't they?"

Axel glared. "Sure, if you want to be boring and ordinary and like some sort of philistine who doesn't understand the true beauty and exact science of my craft--"

"You stole that speech from Vexen," Xemnas said mildly, and Axel smiled brilliantly, in doing so shutting his mouth and also sitting down before the downstage lighting rig could knock him off his feet.

"So. In the future, desist."

"...I was just protecting Roxas. How's that a bad thing?"

Roxas privately thought that this was a very bad thing, but diligently kept his mouth shut.

"Roxas does not need to be protected from ladies' undergarments, no matter how large the quantity nor the velocity at which they approach."

Roxas also disagreed with this statement, but he was also trying to sidle out the door without Xaldin noticing, and so refrained from comment once more.

"But we don't know where they've been! They could be traitors! They could be Marluxia's fans."

Xemnas was quiet for a long moment while Roxas suffered a brief moment of sheer blinding panic before tearing open the door and making a beeline for the nearest restroom.

"Move them backwards a little, at least."

Axel flashed him a brilliant smile. "You got it, bossman!"

* * *
~ rayemars ~

Riku heard the 'guitar-off' going while still in the hall leading to the recording studio. The only difference between it and Sora and Tidus's usual competitions was the extra instruments.

He shut the door and edged over to Kairi, who was closest and had the advantage of being able to use her keyboard as a shield against Sora and Tidus's dancing about. The drumset would have been sturdier, but Wakka was playing way on the other side of the room.

"Why are you encouraging them?" he asked dryly.

Kairi just laughed and kept rocking out on the keyboard. "Come on, Riku! We need a bass to anchor them."

Riku rolled his eyes, but after listening to the beat for another minute, he made his way over to the rack where his bass was sitting.

Once it was plugged in, Riku waited until Wakka looped the drumbeat around again, and then joined in with a set of minor chords.

After some post-production editing and a little remixing, it became one of their most popular instrumentals ever.

* * *

It wasn't quite like there was anything really... obviously... wrong with the Lords of Oblivion. Larxene was attractive in a dominatrix-y kind of way, and openly bisexual, and Marluxia was as well, or at least as far as anyone could tell and their relationship was the most infamously open one in show business.

Maybe it was just the music. It was beautiful, and dangerous, and full of... sharp edges. And their pyrotechnics were... well, everyone had accidents. Everyone did, it was just something that happened. All that time on the road, all of those explosives, all of the wild lighting and the special effects... very disorienting when coupled with the peculiar quality of their music. And the way they treated their so-called muse, a pretty pale artist, famous in her own right, after she'd done their first album cover when they were starting to pull away from the rest of the Organization, well...

Maybe it was just the way they had broken things off with the rest of Organization XIII. That had been public. And... sort of messy. And the involvement of the Keybearers and Disney had been... it had been hushed up for the press, of course, because that would have been horrible, just horrible, a rescue attempt in the middle of a band breakup and those explosions were quite large, weren't they? Lucky no one was hurt... much. Lucky too, that all three bands were able to escape the wreckage when that ceiling fell in, and luckier still that the warehouse had been abandoned for the practice...

But every time they were mentioned during interviews with Organization XIII, the lighting rigs started to malfunction, and every time they were mentioned during interviews with The Keybearers, Riku tended to stand up very slowly and gracefully and slink towards the cameraman with a certain lilt to his walk, and questions placed to Disney always tended to be answered with "And I'm sure they're doing quite well on their own, aren't they," in a tone of voice that most people didn't associate with their sweet-eyed lead singer.

When the Lords of Oblivion finally deigned to a brief interview of their own to discuss the breakup, Larxene just laughed sweetly and started juggling knives. Marluxia, however, smiled radiantly.

"Our art is our lives. Their art... is not."

They discovered the empty bodies buried under the warehouse floor three weeks later, but the police never did manage to track down the hearts.

* * *


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