Author: The S PM
RikuSora stories built on 30 themes as per the 30 Kisses challenge. [2.15.07 Current Kiss 8: Pain Shared. Sora and Riku have returned to Destiny Islands, but is it really possible to go home again?]Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Riku & Sora - Chapters: 3 - Words: 8,758 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 02-15-07 - Published: 03-19-06 - id: 2851426
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Theme: #4: キミとボクのキョリとアノコ (The distance between you and I, and that girl)
Author's Note: This takes place roughly a year before KH1
Disclaimer: These characters were created by Squaresoft and are owned by Disney; the quote in italics comes directly from the Kingdom Hearts script and is strictly the property of Disney. I make no money from this; it's just for fun. Please don't sue me.
Summary: Riku is sure Sora has made his choice in Kairi. He is resigning himself to a life of misery and loneliness when he receives some startling evidence to the contrary.
"Hey Riku, come play!" Sora stood at the edge of the water looking windblown and happy. He smiled up at his best friend, exuberant, holding the wet blitz ball and waiting, expectantly as in the background Wakka yelled for him to bring the ball back so that they could resume the game, ja?
"No thanks." Riku leaned back against the curve of the paopu tree – their paopu tree – his eyes never leaving the beckoning horizon.
"When we grow up, let's get off this island. We'll go on real adventures, not this kid stuff!"
He was going to have to leave alone, Riku realised. Sora didn't want to leave anymore. He was content here. He no longer thirsted for adventure the way they both had as boys. These days, there was something else Sora thirsted for. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say someone.
Which left Riku out in the cold. He was alone now in his ambition and wanderlust, feeling alien and alienated even among friends.
Yeah, they would come to his island sometimes, Wakka to ask advice about the strange thoughts he'd been having about Tidus lately, Selphie to have someone to talk at so she wasn't always prattling endlessly to herself, Tidus to challenge him and lose over and over again. Even Kairi would come and sit with him while she wove her shell jewelry. She didn't seem to mind the silence; maybe she even thought it was peaceful or something. Riku couldn't resent her for it. He couldn't have told her what was wrong even if she'd asked.
Because the problem was her.
It wasn't her fault; not really. Kairi was just. Kairi. It was merely by existing she'd done him such a grievous offense. And Riku couldn't begrudge her her existence. He just wished Sora hadn't fallen in love with her.
Inwardly, he cringed. It hurt to even think it; but he knew it was true. He was Sora's best friend, after all. Just his best friend. And he'd been forced to watch pre-adolescent curiosity slowly develop into a crush over the last few years.
Riku couldn't remember the exact moment he'd decided not to fall in love with Kairi himself. It certainly would have been natural, the way all three of them had grown up together. Had he consciously decided not to the day a blushing Sora had confessed, after much tickling and wrestling and teasing, that he liked Kairi? Certainly, Riku would have given up any burgeoning feelings in that instant rather than get into a competition like that with his best friend. Competing in a race or a test of strength was one thing. But a girl was nothing to lose his dearest friend over.
And that was just it, he realised. Riku had never had to consciously make that decision, because between Sora and Kairi, there was no contest. He loved Sora. Always had.
But not in that creepy "the lithe curve of his back" or "the way his eyelashes lie against his cheek when he's sleeping" way that Wakka had started to objectify Tidus. Riku loved Sora for Sora. For everything the inept, short-tempered, whiny but well-meaning, not-the-brightest-bulb-on-the-Christmas-tree he was. Sora was…special.
Riku just hadn't realised exactly what those feelings meant until a while ago.
It's not like he was gay. He'd gotten curious about girls around the same time other boys his age had. He'd kissed plenty since then, gone on dates, even had girlfriends. But when the kissing and dates were over, Riku would go find Sora, and then he was happy. The kind of happy you feel where it's like you're home, even when you're not. The kind of happy where sometimes your heart starts to beat kind of funny, and you can smile like an idiot for hours without realizing it. That's how it was for Riku, spending time with his best friend.
When he'd realised what that meant, he'd taught himself to hide those feelings, fast. But, though the idiotic smiles were gone now, the feelings were still there.
And in the meantime, he'd been Sora's confidant. Willing or no, he'd had to listen as his best friend slowly worked out his confused feelings toward Kairi. And even though it wasn't her fault, Riku hated her for that.
If she loved Sora back, Riku understood. Sora was eminently lovable. He was special. No one understood that better than Riku. If she loved Sora back, he was happy. For Sora. Sora deserved to be loved in return; Riku wanted that for him, a happiness he would never have. But he would resent her until the day he died.
That girl. Why'd she ever have to come to these islands? Proving that the outside world did exist, she'd made him want to leave this stifling little world more than ever, and then turned around and ruined his dream of finally escaping Destiny Islands with Sora by stealing the heart of his special someone, anchoring it firmly right where it was. And she'd done it all through no effort of her own, just by being herself. Her own kind, sweet self you couldn't be mad at for any of it.
Riku found himself suddenly yanked out of his thoughts as someone smacked him in the back of the head. He whirled around, ready to bust Tidus one this time, only to come face to face with startling cornflower blue eyes and the last person in the world he wanted to hit.
"What the heck's wrong with you?" Sora asked, his forehead crinkled between his eyebrows in that cute little way that meant he was almost mad. His childish glare had the exact opposite effect of intimidation on Riku, who went quite mushy inside at the sight of it. "You've been moping up here by yourself all day. I asked you to come play THREE TIMES."
Three times to Sora's simple mind was as good as a million, Riku knew. Another time, he would have chuckled at the thought. But right now he had to turn away, working hard to ignore the gravitational pull those eyes exerted on his heart. He shrugged, trying his best to look nonchalant. "I just didn't feel like it. That's all."
Sora scooted around on the tree trunk so that he was in front of his best friend, and Riku had to look at him again, the spiky, insane hairdo concocted by a 3rd grader who'd discovered gel for the first time--a hairdo only an elementary school kid could think was cool--obscuring his view. "You never feel like it anymore," the younger boy accused.
Riku shrugged again. What the hell was he supposed to say, "Sorry, Sora, I'm in love with you, so we can't play together anymore. I figure you'd rather be with Kairi anyway"?
"Stop it!" Sora cried out, the only warning Riku got before the smaller boy launched himself at him, knocking him from his perch on the twisted trunk so that they both tumbled to the ground together. "Stop being such a jerk!" Sora started to punch him as he flew into what seemed at first to be one of his standard tantrums. His pathetic little rain of blows didn't do much damage to Riku, who was content to lie passively under his friend's weight, pondering the Da Vinci code of his adolescent hormones and his body's reaction to suddenly finding Sora on top of him. "You used to be my best friend! Why won't you talk to me anymore!"
Whoa. This was no standard Sora-tantrum. His skinny 13-year-old chest was heaving with unchecked emotion, and he looked like he might be about to cry. That was saying something, considering how hard Sora had been working lately to look and act grown up. His yelling sounded…scared.
"Hey. Hey," Riku said soothingly, twisting out from underneath Sora and gently taking hold of his arms to make him stop hitting him. "Calm down, Sora. What do you mean 'used to be'? I'm still your best friend. I always will be. You know that."
"You sure don't act like it!" Sora's voice cracked, and he scrubbed angrily at his eyes. "How come you don't come over anymore after school? Whenever we come to the kids' island, you always go off by yourself. Why?" Watery blue eyes looked at him accusingly. "Now that you look all grown up and have girlfriends, I'm not good enough to be your friend anymore, is that it?" He jabbed an angry finger at the older boy. "Well just because I'm younger than you doesn't mean I'm still a kid! Maybe you think I wouldn't understand your problems anymore, but I would, Riku! If something's wrong, you can still tell me!"
Riku was dumbstruck. He had no idea his distancing himself would give Sora such ridiculous notions. He sat and simply stared at his friend for a few moments.
"Not good enough to be my friend? Is that what you think?" he asked quietly.
Sora nodded angrily. "You think you're so grown up now, just because you can fit into your dad's clothes, and all the girls at school like you!"
Before he could think what he was doing, Riku did the unthinkable. With a hand on either side of Sora's face, he leaned in and planted one on him that his best friend would never forget. Sora's body went rigid with shock but he did not pull away. Riku forced himself not to let it go too long, before he was tempted to take things much further. He heard the smaller boy's breath catch in his throat as he sensuously mouthed his lips before letting him go. As he pulled away, Riku noticed Sora's dark complexion had gone an interesting shade of purple. The younger boy sat, frozen where he was, mouth agape.
Immediately, Riku realised what a mistake he'd made. He had to find a way to erase what he'd just done, and there was only one way he could think to do it.
He sat back and grinned at Sora, trying for mischievous. "Gotcha."
It took Sora time to process the total 180 Riku had just done. Then he screamed, "You jerk!" and tackled the taller boy once more. Riku let himself be tackled, laughing even as Sora pressed his knees into his chest and started punching him again. He let his friend get out his frustration for a few seconds before joining battle, blocking Sora's blows and getting in a few of his own. Soon they were rolling around in the sand, wrestling in an all-out noogie war that went on for several minutes. By the time Sora ran out of steam, they were both disheveled and sweaty. The two boys flopped back in the sand, exhausted, trying to catch their breath.
Riku's attempt to distract Sora from what he'd done had been successful. So why did it hurt? He tried not to think about it. Somehow, he was going to have to rejoin his friend's life and just get over the fact Sora liked someone else. If he didn't, he would regret the time he'd wasted when he finally did leave the islands for good. It was already a day he was beginning to dread more than look forward to.
As much of an effort as it would be, he had to try. "Sora," he said. "I'm sorry I've been distant, lately."
His friend sat up and looked at him, his soft brown hair endearingly mussed from their fight. "I still don't understand, Riku. Why'd you do it? Were you mad at me or something?"
Riku paused. "…don't make me have to kiss you again."
"Ew, no!" Sora punched him in the arm and fell back in the sand.
The older boy laughed. "Funny. I've never had any complaints before."
Sora giggled, embarrassed, his fist shooting out to punch his friend in the shoulder. "Shut up."
Riku smiled and shut his eyes against the glare of the sun high above.
They rested together that way in comfortable silence for several moments. Then he heard Sora's voice again, hesitant. "I guess it was kind of…"
Riku opened his eyes and glanced up at his friend in surprise. Sora was sitting up, hugging his knees to his chest, and blushing. "Do you think you could…maybe teach me how to…?"
Teach Sora how to kiss? Riku pinched himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming.
He tried to act less excited about Sora's suggestion than he actually was, which was very. Very very. Riku cast a sly and forcedly casual grin at his best friend. "Why, so you can use it on Kairi?"
Sora scowled and blushed fiercely. "Shut up!"
Riku closed his eyes and smiled. "Sure, I can teach you. If you want." He cracked an eye open and glanced over at the younger boy. He didn't want to look a gifthorse in the mouth, but he had to be sure this was something Sora really wanted. "You sure that won't be weird, though?"
"Do you think it's weird?" Sora asked, looking nervous and not half as grown up as he pretended to be.
In answer, Riku grabbed hold of his wrist and pulled him down for another kiss. After a moment, Sora pulled away.
"Okay. Maybe it IS a little weird."
Riku brushed spiky bangs out of thoughtful blue eyes. "We don't have to tell anyone about it," he told him softly. "It can be our little secret."
Thoughtful blue eyes drifted down to his lips, and Riku watched the thoughts scatter like startled birds. "I guess that would be okay," Sora mumbled before leaning down and initiating a kiss of his own.
Riku's heart beat fast and wild in his throat to know that Sora was willing, even wanted to kiss him. Whatever the reason he told himself, his lips couldn't lie. Not to Riku. And if all it took for bliss like this was to keep quiet about it – something that came naturally to Riku – he would gladly never speak another word ever again.
As he guided Sora through an afternoon of "kissing lessons" Riku thought it ironic that that girl who had ruined his life was the reason Sora was here with him like this now. Then again, he thought, as his best friend pressed up against him like a puppydog eager for affection, maybe Sora's crush on Kairi didn't mean she was the only one for him after all…