As promised, here's the next chapter!  I didn't feel right about leaving off on that note after the last chapter being so poorly written (I'm sorry!) so I posted two at the same time.  And now feel like a productive little beaver.  So without ado, here ya go!

Polka Dots and Ribbons - Chapter Four

'When Sorry Doesn't Cut It'

            As Kairi had promised, there was a fair sized crowd gathered in Riku's backyard as the hour drew close to ten.  No one knew where on earth Sora had gone off to, but they all were sure he'd been there.  Who else would have decorated the backyard, especially in such ridiculous fashion?

            Long lengths of ribbon stretched from several pine trees in Riku's backyard, all gathering together around one window of the house in a large bow.  Along the ribbon appeared to be small glowing yellow blobs, but if stared at long enough, it became obvious that the 'blobs' were actually hordes of miniature paupu fruits scattered along the ribbon.  And everyone there got a kick out of that ribbon.  It wasn't every day you got to see the very evidence that, yes, the most idiotic things in that world hadn't disappeared over the years. 

            Tidus, Selphie, and Kairi all sat under one of the several palm trees, each of them looking around for Sora.  The crowd was relatively quiet, not quite willing to risk waking any of the house's inhabitants up, since none of them really knew what they were all gathered there for in the first place.

            Trying to make idle conversation, Kairi turned to Tidus, who was busy amusing himself by balancing a blitzball on the tip of one finger.  "Have you seen Yuffie anywhere?  I asked her to show up, but..."

            "Yo, Sora!  You finally sho--  Whoa, what are you wearing?"

            Kairi, Tidus, and company all turned around at the sound of the voice to find Wakka staring at none other then Sora.  But... Small snickers arose from the crowd, full blown laughter from some, for there stood Sora in the most interesting attire. 

            Still wearing his black shorts and blue tank top, it looked as though Sora had gotten into a wrestling match with the absurd polka-dotted ribbon and lost.  Severely.  The same kind of blue and white ribbons that were used to hang the paupu ornaments now adorned Sora's arms, winding around and around before finally tying into a bow up by his shoulders.  A large bow of the polka-dotted ribbon even adorned his neck, the bow hanging down off to the side, as well as several pieces of ribbon tied around his waist, more miniature (and of course, unlit) paupus adorning the makeshift belts.  All of it was accompanied by Sora's standard grin on his face, despite the jaw gaped looks he was receiving.

            Oh boy, Riku, you'd better see this.

            As if on cue, a window in the house cracked open and inside Riku peered out, eyes widening as he took in the scene below his window.  What on earth was Sora doing?

            Glancing around the crowd, Sora nodded happily.  Plenty of people, though not too many and no one he didn't know.  He'd have to make sure to thank Kairi later.  Sora's scan of the crowd eventually wandered over to where the streams of ribbons above them were gathered, the window beneath them, opened and sure enough, Riku was peering out at them.

            Perfect!

            Whatever ego Sora had built up for himself, flew out the window as he made eye contact with Yuffie, who was standing off to the side of the crowd, a control switch in her hand and at the ready.  Grinning, Yuffie pulled the switch as Sora began to talk, the PA system Yuffie had set up earlier upon Sora's request working perfectly. 

            "Hey everybody!  I guess you'll all wanna know why I had Kairi drag you guys here..." Sora began.

            "And why you're dressed up as the paupu pixie, yep."  That was from Tidus, naturally, and several people around him chuckled at the remark.

            "Haha, thanks, Tidus.  Ugh.  Anyway, I just have something really important to tell you all that I think you should hear.  Then you can run on back home and spend the rest of your Friday night doing whatever normally dirty things you all do."

            This brought more laughter from the small group of people and Sora had made his way over to the foot of Riku's house, where Kairi's ladder was laying on the ground.  Pausing a moment to reach down and pull the ladder up, Sora then carefully leaned it up against Riku's house, leading directly up to his window, surrounded by the paupu ornaments and lights. 

            Leaning against the foot of the ladder, Sora continued to talk.  "Most of you all probably have boyfriends or girlfriends or whatever.  Well, I don't.  Big deal, right?  Okay, right.  Only...  It's not that I don't like anybody."

            Sora paused, suddenly becoming nervous under all the pressure.  Probably half of the crowd there could guess at what Sora was getting at, but the other half remained clueless.  Looking up at Riku, Sora grinned before turning back to continue talking to the small throng of people in front of him.

            "As a matter of fact, I dragged you all here tonight just so you could find out who that person is!" 

            Everyone gathered below watched intently as Sora scampered up the ladder towards Riku's window, and listened intently, trying to pick up on the conversation.  Sora, however, had covered up the small microphone Yuffie had attached to his shirt as he conversed with his silver haired friend.

            "What the hell are you doing, Sora?"  Riku stared at the boy outside his window in wide eyed amazement. 

            "Putting my entire social life on the line in a feeble attempt to apologize and declare my ever undying affection for you at the same time?"

            Riku laughed.  "So what are you, my Romeo?"

            "Hell yeah.  I don't exactly read Shakespeare because it's a page a minute thriller."  Sora paused, uncovering the small microphone so the PA system could pick up his voice again.  "And... you idiot... I'm trying to ask you to be my boyfriend, here."

            There it was.  If Riku still hadn't forgiven Sora and if his own pride had been so badly wounded, Sora had just given his life long rival the golden opportunity of tearing him down.  Not only that, but the entire island would probably soon find out about Sora's infatuation, so everything was now in Riku's lap, waiting to be dealt with.  The group gathered below Riku's window stared up at the two boys in amazement at what Sora had just said.  Some smiled, some beamed, and some just flat out gaped, but there was no disgust in that crowd.

            When Riku finally did speak, his voice was loud enough to be heard over the PA.

            "No."

            No...  Ouch.

            Sora's eyes threatened to build up with tears at any second.  "N--"

            "Hold it Sora, you didn't let me finished.  No, you can't ask me to be your boyfriend, I'm supposed to ask you, moron."  Reaching out over the windowsill to cover Sora's microphone with his own hand, Riku leaned over and said in a quieter tone, "Because that gives me dibs on being on top, of course."  Releasing his grip on the microphone, Riku grinned at the brilliant tinge of pink Sora's face was taking on. 

            "So what do you say, Sora?"

            "Thank you!"  Sora nearly tipped the ladder over as he wrapped his arms around Riku's neck, regardless of the wall mostly separating them. 

            "Well, I was thinking more along the lines of a 'Yes, Riku!', but I guess a thank you works too."  Riku smirked and peered over Sora's shoulder at the grinning crowd of people below. 

            Selphie let out a loud suggestive whistle which sent everyone down on the ground bursting into laughter and clapping, also accompanied by a well deserved series of cheers. 

~~~

            Kairi leaned against the ladder, looking up at Sora who was still at the top of the ladder several minutes after everyone had left. 

            She smiled up at her two friends, Riku, who also hadn't moved from his spot by the window.  "How come you guys never told me?"

            Sora looked down and blinked at Kairi.  Unsure of how to respond, he looked back at Riku who in turn paused to think.

            "We were just... waiting for the opportune moment."

            Kairi laughed and turned to go, speaking to her friends over her shoulder.  "Well I'd say that was it.  Pretty cool of you, Sora, to be willing to do that in front of all those people.  ...I'd never be able to."

            Once Kairi left, Sora turned to look at Riku.  "Bleh, pretty cool of me?  Do you know how terrible I felt?"

            "Oh, I think I can imagine."  And with that, Riku leaned out over the windowsill and easily pulled Sora off of the ladder and through the window.  Settling the younger boy on his lap, Riku took a good look at Sora before bursting into laughter.

            "Hey!  What's so funny?!"  Sora scowled at Riku, turning his head around to face him.

            "What... are you wearing?"  Riku beamed and flicked at one of the several bows adorning Sora's all-too-interesting ensemble and snickered.

            "Well duh, the paupus are supposed to be my stupid sign of affection!  Even Wakka could probably have figured that out.  And besides, I thought it would be a humbling experience."

            "So was it?"  Riku pulled Sora's body closer to him, resting his chin on top of the younger boy's spiky hair.

            "More then you could ever possibly know.  I never want to see another polka dot or stupid ribbon again in my life."  Sora smiled, leaning in to nuzzle Riku's neck.  Mm, hey, he uses cucumber melon shampoo too... Who would've thought? 

            "Hey, I like the ribbons, they make you look sexy."

            "I thought I was just cute?"

            Riku laughed and ruffled Sora's hair.  "No way.  You're totally sexy."

            The two boys were quite content just snuggling up next to each other for a long time before Sora blinked up at Riku innocently.

            "Think my mom'll mind me spending the night over here?"

            Riku merely grinned in response.

..............................................................

            And that's a wrap!  Fill in the blanks from there... Ehehehe.  It may seem like a weird place to end a story, but I like it ending there.  Anyway, I've completed my dinky little story and, though I'm not really happy with it, I'm actually surprised it didn't turn out to be the total bust I'd expected it to be!  As a thank you for the reviews, I'm planning on making a little illustration of Sora to accompany this particular fic, and I should have a link to it posted in my profile shortly.  ^^

            I also just wanted to point out that several of the ideas of the 'opportune moment' are blatantly Pirates of the Caribbean derived.  XD  Did you catch them?  I think there's a couple of 'em throughout the entire story...  But I didn't exactly keep count.  The Romeo and Juliet bit also played it's little one-line role in this chapter.  So did that seemingly random bit about Sora's shampoo.  I blame these random things on my lack of sleep, really.  ...Okay, so it was entirely my fault.  Nevermiiind! Oh yes.  And I wasn't at all sure of the proper spelling of 'paupus.'  It looks funny to me.  Drat.

            So, as a last little note, I'd like to send a big thanks to all the readers and reviewers out there for checking out my very first fanfic!  Hopefully I'll have the guts to make more now... I think.  ;

~Ori