Well, here's that weird idea I got during a dream I had a while back while sleeping on top of my laptop during my little Polka Dots and Ribbons writing spree.  ^^  It's probably destined to be more of a random humorous thing rather then actual Riku Sora lovin', but I'm reeeally not sure yet.  It'll also probably end up being longer then my previous little fic, so I probably won't rush the ending quite as much when I get there! 

            That all having been said, time for the ... total randomness.

            Oh yes, and in case no one knew, Riku, Sora, Tidus... etc... Kingdom Hearts and all related characters are not mine.  XP  I just like poking them and watching them twitch.


One for the Band - Chapter One

'What Self Image?'

            Sora cautiously lifted the spoon from his bowl, making a face.  Nope, there was no saving that ice cream now.  All that was left of his earlier sundae was now just a mush of sticky ice cream soup. 

            "Sora, what are you..?  Oh no, not ice cream for breakfast again?"

            Looking up from his bowl, Sora noticed his mother standing in the doorway to the kitchen, pinning her hair back into a loose bun and frowning at her son.  Sora shared the same brilliant blue eyes and chocolate hair his mother had, though his heart shaped face gave him the babyish appearance that Bryna's slender and elegant frame didn't. 

            "Last time you had ice cream for breakfast, Skippy died.  Have you been keeping another pet I don't know about?"  Bryna laughed and moved over to where Sora was sitting at the small kitchen table, swiping his bowl away from him before he could object.

            Instantly slapping his trademark pout on his face, Sora glowered up at his mother, seemingly agitated that she couldn't read his mind just to keep him from the trouble of having to respond.  "Riku's birthday is in two weeks and I have nothing to give 'im."

            "Aww, why not just give him yourself?"  Bryna winked slyly at her son as she put the bowl and spoon into the dishwasher, well aware of Sora's more-then-friendly feelings towards his friend.  "He'd looooove that.  Oooh, wouldn't that be just romantic, Sora?"

            "...Sora?  Sweetie?"

            Rolling her eyes, Bryna placed her hands on her hips, now in an empty kitchen. 

            "I swear that boy is the dumbest thing..."

            Sora had darted silently out of the kitchen as soon as his mother as brought up the topic, shoulder his backpack in the hallway and creeping out the front door.  I knew it was a mistake telling her.  No, Bryna had yet to give up badgering her son about his affections, constantly scheming ways to get the two of them together.  Very un-motherly behavior as far as Sora was concerned, but then again, this was his mother. 

            "Soraaaa!  Hey, Sooooorrrrraaaaa!"

            The boy unconsciously cringed as he was pelted by the small hyper ball known as Selphie.  Bouncing in circles around Sora, Selphie babbled mindlessly about... something.  As usual, the girl was talking so fast Sora couldn't pick up a single word of what she was saying and looked towards Kairi, who had shown up behind Selphie, for clarification.

            Kairi giggled and shook her head as Selphie's antics, falling into step beside Sora as they began the normal procession towards school. 

            "She's excited about the first color guard practice after school today.  We both decided we'd try out this year and practices are starting up two weeks before the actual tryouts so all the girls know the routine and everything."

            Sora merely nodded his understanding, unable to comment further as Selphie continued to babble, though now at a slower pace so that she was at least understandable.

            "Uh huh, uh huh!  And we're sooo gonna make the guard!  Hehehe!  It's not as if there's much to choose from anyway, ya know!  No one tries out for the guard, so totally because they couldn't spin a pencil, much less a flag.  Ooooh, I'm gonna kick some serious ass, Sora!  You should come to tryouts!  Oh, you should come to practice too!  You can see how good Kairi and I are gonna be!  We're so totally gonna rule!  Hehehe!"

            Unconsciously backing away from Selphie, Sora laughed nervously.  "Ye-ah, I'll bet, Selph.  Go get 'em."


            Sora felt a light tug on his hair and wheeled around to face Riku, who was grinning at him.  "You shouldn't encourage her, Sora."

            Laughing, Sora batted Riku's hand away from his hair.  The four of them continued their walk to the high school, though by the time they got there, three of those four were seriously consider slamming their heads against bricks. 

            "Selphie, please!  Shut up!"

           "Awww, Riku, you're no fun!"  Selphie stomped her foot angrily as the group entered the main hallway of the school, an angry pout now adorning her cute face.

            Turning to Riku, Sora mimicked Selphie gleefully, taking full pleasure in making fun of their hyperactive friend.  "Yeaah, Riku.  Why are you always so meeean?  You got something against color guard?"  His own bottom lip jutting out into a pout, Sora peered up at Riku through his thick eyelashes, the entire act resulting in Selphie's outraged squeak.

            The warning bell rang loudly throughout the school, the four of them splitting into two separate groups, Riku and Sora headed for gym while Kairi and Selphie headed for their creative writing class.

            "Hey, hold up one second, Sora, I gotta go drop this off in the band room." 

            Sora stood idly in the main hallway, watching his friend disappearing into the adjacent band hall.  The hallway in itself was a complete mystery to Sora, who had never really been musically gifted and so had never even set foot in the hall.  Even though the warning bell had already rung, there were still clumps of older kids lazing around in the band hall, seemingly oblivious to the school's standard chaos outside of it.  Cocking his head to the side, Sora wondered what would happen if he even tried walking in there.  I'd probably hit an invisible force field.  The thought didn't really seem that absurd, actually, since the atmosphere the hall contained was so... different.

            Riku returned minutes later, waving to someone behind him as he headed out of the hallway, his trumpet case no longer in hand.  Raising an eyebrow at Sora's vacant expression, Riku passed a hand over his friends eyes.  "Hey there, Sora, you home?"

            Shaking his head, hair flying about as a result, Sora's eyes snapped up to blink at Riku before he grinned.  "Yeah, yeah, I'm here, I'm here.  I was just waiting for you."

            "Well if you wait much longer, we'll be late for gym.  Blitzball today, you ready for it?"

            Sora's grin only widened at the prospect of playing the game in gym.  Though he'd never considered himself anywhere near good enough to try out for the school's blitz team, the game was still fun, especially when pitted against people who had no clue how to play the game in the first place.  Tidus had ensured that both Riku and Sora learn the basics of the game when Sora had only been six.  Of course, this was the same Tidus who had climbed his way up to star of the high school's blitzball team, even though he was only a sophomore. 

            Filing into the locker room with the other students ten minutes later, Sora poked Riku in the ribs.  His mother's words from earlier that morning still on his mind, Sora decided to bring up the whole birthday thing, maybe even being able to wheedle a gift idea out of Riku if he was lucky. 

            "So you never told me whatcha wanted for your sweet seventeenth, Ri-ku..."

            "Sora, it's sweet sixteenth, not the seventeenth."

            "Whatever.  You're avoiding the question."

            Riku groaned as the two boys began unlocking the small gym lockers, still talking to Sora as he spun the dial on his lock to enter the correct combination.  "I told you I'd tell you if I thought of anything.  I mean, I've got everything I need, right?  I don't need clothes, I don't need a car... uh, not that I'd want you to go buy me one anyway... I don't need shoes, a new trumpet, or anything."

            There was silence a moment as a smile grew on Sora's face. 

            Removing his shirt to change into his gym uniform, Sora didn't make eye contact with his friend next to him as he said, "You forgot the idea bit."

            Tugging his own shirt over his head, Riku blinked back at Sora.  "Huh?"

            "You've been giving me the same speech for, hmm, let's see, nearly a whole week now.  And after you say you don't need anything, you're then supposed to say," Sora deepened his voice in an impression of his older friend, furrowing his eyebrows together in an attempt to look imposing.  "'I'm completely out of ideas, Sora!'"

            Riku grinned as they both finished dressing out, bending down to tie up his shoelace.  Looking over at Sora, the back of Riku's mind made a harmless comment about how girly Sora's legs were.  Opening his mouth to joke about it, Riku then thought better of the statement on the tip of his tongue, and quickly shifted gears back to the current issue at hand.

            "I'm surprised you remembered, Sora!  This all from the same kid who couldn't remember his two-times tables until he was in the fourth grade."  Wrapping an arm around Sora's waist, Riku ruffled his already messy brown hair with his other hand, laughing.  "My little baby's all grown up!"

            "Augh!  Cut it out, Riku!"

            Thankfully, Riku didn't seem to notice the blush that had momentarily made itself clear all over Sora's face.


            Several hours later, Sora happily plopped down to sit at the lunch table surrounded by the same old gang.  Riku sat next to him, Tidus and Wakka across from them (deep in discussion about blitzball practice that afternoon, no doubt), and Kairi and Selphie on his other side.  All in all, lunch was always his favorite time of the day, not just because of the food, but also because it was one of the few times during weekdays when he and his friends were all together.

            Though it looked as though Selphie still hadn't gotten over the first color guard practice of that afternoon...

            "Eeee!  I'm so excited!  Only three hours and twenty three minutes 'til I finally get to get my hands on one of those shiny flags!"  Bouncing up and down in her chair, it was a wonder that Selphie was able to now choke on the soda she then gulped down.

            Riku groaned and leaned his elbows on the table, cradling his chin in his clasped hands.  "Will you just get over it already, Selphie?  Honestly, it's not like it's a challenge to get into color guard.  They'd take practically anybody, their group is so small.  Besides.  Twirling a flag.  Big whoop."

            Kairi cut in before Selphie could bash Riku up one side and down the other with her more then sour commentary.  "You know, Riku, it really does  seem like you've got something against the guard."

            "You know, it's funny, but I could've sworn Riku was putting down the color guard..."

            Sora, who had previously been listening to the conversation with half an ear, now turned to see who the new speaker was standing behind Riku.  Yuffie stood there, arms crossed in front of her, practically glaring daggers down at the silver haired boy in front of her.  Though Yuffie was as innocent and bouncy as Selphie was, she was also a junior like Riku, as well as a member of last year's guard.  Probably not the smartest move on Riku's part to anger the girl, though judging by Riku's smile, he seemed to have come up with a plan to wiggle himself out of any grudges Yuffie might hold.

            "Yuffie!  Nice running into you, ne?  I was just talking to Sora here about the color guard tryouts Selphie keeps talking about."

            Always one to support dear Riku in his time of need, Sora grinned and played along.  "Yep!  Riku has nothing but admiration for the girls on the color guard!  I mean, obviously, ya know, since he's in band and all, and the two practically work side by--"

            "And you know what I think, Yuffie?  Well I was just talking to Sora, and don't you think he'd be a great addition to the color guard?"

            Well that was unexpected.  Sora's eyes widened as he turned to look at Riku, trying to catch his eye to wordlessly ask, 'What the hell are you doing???'  However, Riku didn't break eye contact with Yuffie, nor did he seem to notice that the entire table was now staring at Sora.  Craaaap.

            Yuffie blinked in surprise, her scornful attitude gone as she studied Sora.  Looking back and forth from Riku to Sora, Yuffie then began laughing.  Really, really hard.  Clutching her sides from the laughter, Yuffie finally got control of herself, and was able to speak clearly, though there were several fits of giggles.

            "Sora?  Riku, there hasn't been a boy on guard in...  Well I don't think our color guard has ever had a guy on it!  Hahahaha!  Ohhh, that's priceless, Riku, just priceless!  Sora!  Hehehehe!"

            Sora narrowed his eyes.  Just what was so funny?  Had he completely missed something??

            "Actually, Yuffie, Sora's quite serious about coming to that practice you're all holding this afternoon, aren't you Sora?"

            Sora was a deer caught in headlights.  What exactly was he supposed to say?  Riku then reached over behind Sora, stealing the brownie from the boy's lunch tray, at the same time placing his mouth right up against Sora's ear.

            "Try out and I'll make it worth your while."  The words could barely be heard, even by Sora who was already so close to Riku's voice.

            Hardly able to keep himself from casting a confused look at his friend, Sora wasn't able to keep his eyes from widening even further as he felt a jolt run up through his body.  What is Riku who had just said that? 

            "I... er..."

            'Try out and I'll make it worth your while.'  No way does Riku mean that the way I think he means that...  Sora snapped back into reality, only to find himself looking up at an expectant looking Yuffie.  Okay, obviously the girl wanted some sort of confirmation from Sora about Riku's absolutely insane declaration. 

            "Umm... yeah."  He forced a grin on his face.  "Can't wait 'til this afternoon?"

            And obviously that was enough for Yuffie, for the girl then burst into more laughter and this time she wasn't alone.  Selphie, Tidus, and Wakka were all doubled over in laughter, and even Kairi couldn't stop a giggle from escaping her mouth.  No doubt this small and seemingly harmless bit of information would be gossip feed for the entire school within the hour, especially with both Yuffie and Selphie present. 

            Inwardly kicking himself for having played along with Riku's stupid game, Sora gave Riku a small glare, only to receive a triumphant smirk in return.  How exactly had he gotten himself shoved into this position again?  ...Oh, that was right.  The idea of possibly engaging in the horizontal tango with Riku was far too appealing for Sora to brush off Riku's promise of 'making it worth his while.'  Nonetheless, that didn't change the fact that Sora was now expected to show up at some ridiculous color guard practice.  He didn't know the first thing about spinning a flag, nor was he exactly dying to find out.

            After everyone had slowly drifted away from lunch (all of them still chuckling at the thought of Sora spinning a flag), Sora turned on Riku with a vengeance.

            "What the hell was that about?"  Sora narrowed his eyes at his friend as they both stood up from the lunch table, grabbing their backpacks from off of the ground.

            "What the hell was what about, Sora?"  Riku fixed the younger boy with an innocent grin. 

            "You don't really expect me to try out, do you?  And what did you mean by--?"

            "You're right, Sora, I don't expect you to try out, I expect you to make it onto the color guard."

            Sora scowled, jogging to catch up with the silver haired boy who was already moving on to his next class.  Could Riku possibly be more confusing if he even tried?  Sora couldn't tell if Riku was teasing him, or what he was doing, but he had absolutely no clue as to how to respond.

            Riku smiled secretively as he turned to Sora outside the door of his next class.  "As for what I meant by it, you're just going to have to wait a while to find out, now aren't you?"  Tugging on one of the messy spikes of Sora's hair, Riku grinned and said, "See you when you get home from guard practice Sora."


            It must have been drizzling rain sometime during the school hour, for when Sora found himself being dragged out to the blacktop that afternoon by Kairi and Selphie, he was easily pulled across the slick surface of the blacktop, his yellow sneakers hardly providing enough traction to help him any. 

            "Haha!  Told you he'd show, Quisty!"  Yuffie was already out on the blacktop, as well as several other junior girls, most of whom Sora had never even seen before.  The girl Yuffie seemed to be addressing as Quisty turned around, arms crossed, eyes narrowed at Sora.


            Yuffie bounced over to Sora, Kairi, and Selphie, waving cheerfully.  "Heya, kiddies!"  Over her shoulder she called the small handful of girls over.  "Hey, lookit!  Didn't I tell you guys there was gonna be a boy on the guard this year!  Look, look, look!  Isn't he adorable??"

            Quistis studied Sora through her small glasses, her lips puckering into a small frown of disapproval.  Her blond hair had been dragged back into an organized bun, all held together by a large black clip.  It wasn't so much that Quistis looked threatening.  Rather, she just felt threatening, boring into poor Sora with her cold stare before acknowledging Selphie and Kairi with a small nod of approval.

            Great, I haven't even touched a damn flag an it's already hell.

            Quistis then raised her voice just loud enough so that the small group of girls... and Sora... could hear.

            "Okay, well, welcome to your first practice for the upcoming tryouts.  It's good to see you girls!  I'm your captain, Quistis, since captain tryouts were held at the end of last year.  Everyone wanna introduce themselves to the new kids?"

            Sora made a mental note to accidentally hit the 'captain' in the head with a flag as soon as he got the chance.  The term 'girls' would have to go.  The last thing Sora needed on top of everything else was being referred to as 'girl.' 

            So it was that the girls assembled there introduced themselves.  Not surprisingly, Sora didn't know any of them, though he'd recognized a few as some of Kairi and Selphie's older friends.  Rikku (the exact opposite of his Riku, personality wise) was no less hyper then either Yuffie or Selphie, her thick blond ponytail swishing back and forth as she made sure to shake Sora's hand particularly enthusiastically.  Paine, the only other senior besides Quistis, had a quiet and reserved manner, though everything about the darkly clad girl just emitted responsibility and trust.  Instantly, Sora had to wonder why it was that Paine hadn't been made captain over Quistis.

            Not like I care anyway.  I'm not exactly going to be on the color guard at all.  But then there had been Riku's promise...

            Other members of the color guard consisted of Yuna and Aeris, both rather shy but nonetheless nice girls, as well as Rinoa, Ashe, and a rather gothic looking girl named Lulu.  Lulu was probably short for something, though Sora wasn't even going to bother guessing what.  It wasn't that he had problems with anyone of the girls, well, except Quistis' imposing dislike of him, and were it not for the fact that he would rather shove his left foot in a blender than be on the color guard, it looked to be a fun group of girls.  Plus Sora.

            "Well then, let's get down to business!" Rikku cheered happily, punching her fist up into the air energetically as Yuffie appeared rolling out a large bin of practice flags, patched up in several placed where the fabric had seen better days.  The two happily saw to handing out the flags and when Yuffie finally handed Sora one of the many flags, she grinned and spoke to him in a lowered voice so Quistis was just out of ear shot.

            "Don't worry about Quisty, Sora.  If you really wanna make the team, there's like, no way she can stop you!  You can do this, I totally have a good feeling about it!"

           Sora couldn't help but smile at the dark haired girl as she moved on to doling out flags to Selphie and Kairi.  All right, it was good to know that he wasn't the only one picking up the "I'm going to work you 'til you die, boy" vibes from Quistis.  Looking down at the long flag he now held in his hands Sora blinked.  He somehow had the feeling that he was going to need more then just Yuffie's good wishes to pull this off. 

            But what am I even pulling it off for?  Dammit all, Riku...


           Flinging open the door to his room, Sora tossed the practice flag half heartedly to the ground alongside his backpack.  Storming over to his bed, Sora pulled a pillow off, plopped down on the mattress, and screamed for all he was worth into the pillow's surface.

            Guard practice was the most difficult thing he'd ever found himself trying to do.  Bruises he'd gotten when playing blitzball paled in comparison to the whacks he'd been dealt by his own aluminum pole during only one two hour practice session.  What's worse was that Sora still didn't understand himself and why he was willing to do all this.  Yes, Riku had told him he'd make it worth his while, but what the hell was that supposed to mean anyway?

            What the hell had he dragged himself into?


            Ooooh, I'm quite happy with the length of this chapter.  ^^;;  Reviews would be great, especially here since I want to see if I'm headed in the right direction with this idea.  Umm, in case anyone doesn't know what a color guard is (I've met several people who don't, really), they're the part of the marching band which provides for a big chunk of the whole visual production of it all.  ...A.k.a, the flag-twirly-people.  Or, me!  Yep, I'm a member of my school's color guard as well as the one-girl search team for a male edition to the color guard.  =__=  Too bad I'll probably graduate before I ever get the chance to get a guy on guard.

            As always, though, thanks for reading!  The next chapter should be posted shortly, now that things are finally returning to their good normal self around here.