OF OMINOUS COATS AND WEATHER

by Kryal

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Sora stared about at the darkened city. There were no stars in the sky – it was covered with a perpetual, brooding overcast. And the only people he'd seen were twins of the unknown enemy that had challenged him all that time ago in Hollow Bastion, and the person who had for a time taken his memories away (or at least known that they were going to go away). He was not looking forwards to the fights that would come when he stepped out of this alley and into plain sight…

"…Sora?"

He jumped and yelped at the unexpected voice right behind him before spinning… and gaping.

There stood Riku – a little taller, a little thinner, the silver hair gleaming under the neon lights a little longer. But the aquamarine eyes had the same old glint, and the smirk on the handsome face was the same one he remembered from the bright, sunny islands.

"I heard that you'd come here," Riku said, grin widening slightly and an eyebrow raising, "but it took forever to find you. You wouldn't be hiding, would you?"

Sora wasn't paying attention. He'd instead looked at Riku's clothing, and now his heart was residing somewhere in the mud under his squeaky shoes.

Riku was wearing the same black coat of the few others he'd seen. The only difference was that the hood of his had been pushed back.

In Sora's experience, change of clothing meant change of allegiance.

'Not again! Not when I just found him again!'

Riku blinked and tilted his head slightly. "Sora? What's wrong?"

"Riku," he whispered, "why are you dressed like… them?" Words failing him, Sora waved an arm at the street beyond the alley, trying to indicate the whole of the city with the gesture.

Riku blinked. He looked down at himself. He looked at Sora. He blinked again. Then his expression suddenly became deadpan. "…I take it you've fought people like this before?"

Sora nodded, trying to swallow around the lump in his throat.

"And you were hiding in this alley because you noticed that everyone here dresses this way?"

Nod, nod.

"…And you think, because I'm dressed this way, that I must have gone over to the other side again?"

Sora squirmed under the flat look and tone. "I, ah…"

Riku sighed gustily and pressed a hand to his face. Then, completely out of the blue, his other hand came up suddenly and smacked Sora upside the head.

"Hey!" Sora yelped, rubbing the sore spot and staring at the person he desperately wanted to consider his friend.

Riku put his hands on his hips and glared. "Dummy."

"Huh?"

The silver-haired boy rolled his eyes. "Alright, I'll explain in short, easy terms. First of all, even if my old clothes hadn't been a lost cause by the time I got here – it has been over a year, if you've forgotten? – I've gotten taller. They wouldn't fit me anymore."

Sora blushed. That hadn't even occurred to him. And given that he himself had grown about two inches or so, at least, and had been forced to come up with a new costume as well, it really, really should have.

"Second, why do you think everyone here wears the same type of clothing?"

"Uh…"

"I'll give you a hint. There is one – read my lips, one – clothing store on this entire crazy world. And they're happy to sell you any style and color of clothing that you like, so long as it's gothic and black."

"But… the coat," Sora protested, waving his hands in the air. "The only difference is that your hood is down!" 'Please, please tell me that's a good sign,' he added in the privacy of his head.

Riku's lips quirked, and Sora realized that his friend was desperately trying not to laugh at him. "My hood is down," he said, in the slow, careful way that one might explain something to a small child, "because I was looking for you, and I knew you probably wouldn't recognize me with it up. Normally I keep it up, too."

Sora stared. "But…" he said, aware that he'd been saying it a lot in the past minute or so. "Why? What's made everyone in this world so determined to hide their faces?"

"Hide…? Sora, that has nothing to do with it."

"Then…"

"It's as simple as… oh, hell." Riku had suddenly looked up sharply. He made a face. "You're about to find out," he said instead, ducking his face as he pulled the hood up over it, casting his features into shadow.

Sora opened his mouth, but whatever he'd meant to say was lost, because at that moment the skies decided to let loose with a torrential downpour that must have raised the water level an inch after the first minute.

By the time the rain had petered off to a more normal level and they could actually hear each other again without shouting, Sora felt like a drowned rat. Come to think of it, he probably looked like one, too. His spiky hair had become plastered down onto his head, he was shivering, and above all he was cold, wet, and about to be miserable.

And very aware of the fact that with that overshadowing hood of his thick, plainly waterproof coat hiding his face, Riku was completely dry.

"…Oh." Now he really felt stupid. "I take it that it rains a lot here?" he said sheepishly.

Riku was definitely fighting laughter. And loosing. "Perpetually," he confirmed. "You just happened to come into this world during one of the rare breaks in the weather."

Sora hung his head. "Okay, okay, you win, I'm an idiot," he mumbled, staring at the puddle-lakes forming around his feet. Then he looked up and gave his patented cheesy grin. "So, um, where can I get a raincoat?"

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Author's Notes: Okay, this was just a little too much to resist. I kept reading various theories being developed from Another Side, Another Story and Deep Dive, trying to figure out why Riku and Mickey would both be wearing the same style of coat as the other Unknowns. I decided to have fun and point out that there could be an innocent reason… after all, it's not like you see much in the way of clothing stores in the game! I'm not saying that this is the reason. As a matter of fact, I would bet money that it isn't. But, hey, someone had to suggest it!

I nearly took the idea farther, and made a joke of the different way that people online refer to the various 'Unknowns' – Blindfolded, Dual-Wielder, Glowing-Eye, etc. After all, if everyone wears the same kind of clothing and keeps their faces hidden from the rain, you're going to have to tweak things a little so that you're recognizable from everyone else! …but, that would have needlessly complicated a very simplistic drabble.

Kingdom Hearts is not mine. This is nothing more than a random theory-in-story-form that wouldn't get out of my head. I hope you enjoyed it.

Commentary, anyone?