There were some things that hadn't been an issue when he'd been wearing a blindfold. Learning to operate based on touch, hearing, and, oddly enough, scent weren't quite as complicated as he would've thought once he decided it was a necessity. In any case, when he wasn't using his eyes, he hadn't given a thought to how much his hair was growing out in front of them. Now that he was using his eyes, he'd started to consider there might be something to be said for peripheral vision and depth perception.

Riku had decided it might be time for a trim when he had to rely on Sora's literacy to fill in the gaps in the King's letter that were left by his bangs. He knew Sora could read, he just wasn't confident Sora would read everything before enthusiastically waving the note in the air and declaring a plan of action. Kairi would just go along with Sora so she was no good as a proofreader. Regardless, he knew there was an important test the King wanted both him and Sora to go through, which they probably didn't need to pack anything besides weapons for, and that it was going to happen pretty much now. If it'd been set for a bit later, he might've just let his hair grow out a little more, but the test was now and he needed optimum visual capacity.

Which brought him to where he was, standing in front of a broken piece of mirror on the island, shears in hand, staring at himself. If his mom found out she'd make him go to a barber and he was only now recovering from the last hack job. Getting used to having a parental authority figure in his life again came with odd moments of consternation. That didn't change how he'd never done this before, and he was having trouble trying to figure out where to begin without making himself look ridiculous.

"Whatcha doin'?"

Riku glanced to the side to see a curious Tidus. "Cutting my hair," he stated without preamble.

"Nice," Tidus peered over his shoulder and into the reflection. "Where you going to start?"

Inhaling, Riku eased the shears closer to the hair on his forehead, and was immediately deterred thinking about how they could be used to gouge someone's eyes out. Which underlined how he'd been wandering through hostile territory and fighting for his life for longer than was probably healthy. Mentally. His arms looked great.

"I can cut hair. My dad's been teaching me!"

"Really?" Riku murmured in interest.

Tidus' dad had hair that Riku respected. He took in Tidus' eager fidgeting assessingly. If one of them knew anything about haircutting, that person should be the one doing the job. Slowly, he handed over the scissors, and Tidus grabbed them with a sureness that put Riku more at ease.

He turned toward the mirror and stilled, giving his current haircut a last appraisal. Despite any vision obstruction, he really liked it and was more than a little sorry to see it go. Surely though, Tidus would approach this carefully and soberly, and Riku would end up with a haircut fairly comparable to his current style.

Tidus whipped the silvery bangs up from Riku's forehead with a quickness that almost made him flinch and snipped through. Well...his bangs were now uniformly jagged but he had no problem seeing, so it worked. It was the only part he was planning on trimming. He was about to say 'thanks' when Tidus grabbed the rest of his hair in one hand and SNIIIP.

Riku stood frozen as the scissors ground through, not quite believing what was happening.

"Done!" Tidus exclaimed triumphantly, shaking the hair from his hand where it fell and blew across the beach in lonely wisps. Either Tidus was a bad student or his dad was a horrible teacher.


"It looks just like mine!" Tidus slung an arm over Riku's shoulder and grinned into the shard of mirror.

Riku's eyes darted over to the blond thatch, aghast. In a moment of grim clarity he realized Tidus' dad's impressively matted mass of dreadlocks couldn't get like that by cutting. Hair only got like that when it was left to its own devices. Ergo, any haircutting skills possessed or passed on by Tidus's dad would only be shown in Tidus' own haircut.

"So what do you think?" Tidus was starting to sound worried.

Turning toward him, Riku felt one of his eyebrows twitch; which no one would have been able to see if his hair hadn't been chopped up. He struggled to keep his expression neutral and think of something to say that didn't involve insulting Tidus to the fourth generation.

Having a resurgence of the darkness in his heart over a bad hair day was not something he wanted to explain to the King.

"It...looks just like yours," he finally got out, hoping Tidus wasn't going to ask if he actually liked it.

Apparently, that was all Tidus needed.

"Awesome!" Tidus clapped a hand against Riku's shoulder before darting off. "I'm gonna go practice! Good luck on that test thing, but I'm gonna be able to beat you when you get back!"

Riku watched Tidus bound away, then looked back at the mirror with a forlorn sense of emptiness.

Well, at least he had the King's test to distract himself with...and the assurance that he could probably glare anyone into silence if they looked like they were going to comment on his new haircut.

A/N: Riku had the coolest hair in the entire Square franchise and now it's gone! My only consolation is that his hair seems to grow remarkably fast and by KHIII it might be looking decent again. Other than that, I really enjoyed Dream Drop.

Mosey over to the Twelve Shots of Summer archive, filled with authors more dedicated and punctual than myself. The fandoms aren't limited to KH and span the horizon.