Chapter 29
It's more of a "see you later"

"Sora honey, open the door."

Sora glared at the closed door from his position on his bed, not moving or making a sound as he heard his mother sigh and the sound of clothes sliding against wood as she sat down against it.

Emmi sighed, running a hand through her hair, "We haven't come to a decision yet exactly, we wanted to discuss it with you and hear your opinion first."

Sora snorted.

"Sora we love you. We wouldn't be bringing this up if it wasn't for your own good. Your credits from the Islands aren't enough at this school for you to graduate on time. It will take you a whole extra year. And then with the bullying."

Sora scowled, mouth opening to protest before he covered it with his hand, reassuring himself the silent treatment would be most effective.

"And then there's also…the cost of living in Traverse Town is so much more than on the islands."

Sora felt a pang of guilt at that. He had known that his mother was working hard, long hours six days a week in order to provide for him alone. He had wondered only in passing how it was that she could afford to send him to school, not once taking the time to consider just how hard it was on her.

Still, his guilt did nothing to quell the anger and hurt he felt at having his parents discuss his future behind his back. He couldn't possibly consider just picking up and leaving the life he built here to return to the one he put behind him. It wasn't fair.

He grabbed his cell phone in anger, flipping it open to call Riku but stopped when he caught sight of his wallpaper. There was a moment of Riku's captured. His eyes, slightly relaxed with contentment, his strong jaw visible in profile was framed so perfectly by wisps of silver that suddenly calling the other boy wasn't enough.

'I need to see him.' Sora thought, eyes resting on the window.

Riku yawned; stretching much like a cat as he shuffled sleepily to his door, wondering who on earth would bother visiting so loudly after curfew.

"I'm coming relax!" he called in an effort to quell the incessant banging, throwing open the door to find Sora mid knock.

Riku's eyes widened, instantly awake and he momentarily forgot how late it was, "Sora!" he exclaimed, grabbing the other boy in a tight hug.

Sora closed his eyes, inhaling Riku's scent enjoying the normal mix of ever present acrylic and soap. When he thought this may be one of the last times he got to experience it his eyes began to fill with tears he stubbornly refused to let fall.

"What're you doing here? It's past 10." Riku said, pulling away, smile fading as he took in his boyfriends wet eyes and frowned. He pulled the brunette into the room, closing the door behind them.

Sora sat on the bed, lifting his feet to the edge of the mattress so he could hug his knees. "It took me a while to find which one was yours." He said rubbing the back of his head in a nervous effort to divert the subject. He needed to see Riku, but he knew coming to see Riku would result in him having to explain the current situation, and he didn't know if he was quite ready to say it out loud yet.

"Sora." Riku said, eyes never leaving the brunette as he walked over the bed, sitting beside him, "Did something happen?"

Sora had meant to say something else, to make up something trivial and forgettable, but one look at the seriousness in the other boys face had him spilling everything, tears beginning to fall against his will.

Riku didn't say anything while he was speaking, and didn't afterwards either when the words had stopped but the tears continued. He simple wrapped his arms around him, bringing them both to rest against the wall.

They sat in silence for the better part of an hour, holding each other and mulling around their individual thoughts in their head. Sora could feel himself drifting to sleep against the others chest, lulled into comfort by the steady rise and fall matched with the thumping heart. He had all but forgotten why he was here until the familiar baritone pulled him from his rest.

"Maybe…it'll be best if you go."

Sora sat up so fast he heard the air rush past his ears as he pulled out of the others arms, looking down on the other with a look as if he had just hit him. "W-what?" he asked.

Riku went to grab him to return them to their original position but Sora pulled away, getting off the bed to stand in front of the other.

"What do you mean it'll be best? Why would it be best? I thought you'd be as upset as I was Riku." Sora said with a frown, doing his best to glare at the other but afraid it didn't quite have the effect he was going for.

"Sora, I am upset but-"

"Are you tired of me? Were you just bidding your time until I disappeared and you could move on to the next guy?"

Riku felt his own frown deepening in frustration and hurt at the others accusation. "I can't believe you would even insinuate that!" he hissed through his teeth, upset that after all they had been through the other seemed to trust him so little.

"What is it then!?" Sora exclaimed loudly. "Why do you want to see me go!?"

Riku sighed, standing up to cross over to where Sora stood with his back now to him, shoulders shaking with a mix of rage and repressed sobs. "Listen. I should have chosen my words more carefully ok? I'm sorry." He said, wrapping his arms around the other and placing a reassuring kiss onto his forehead. "The last thing I would ever want is to be separated from you. These past three days were hard enough."

"Then what is it then?" Sora said quietly.

"Being mature," Riku said, holding onto the other a bit more tightly, "Means not thinking only about yourself all the time. What I want is for you to stay right here with me for as long as you want to. I want everyone else to piss off and it just be me and you all day, everyday, forever. But If I said don't go, in the end it would hurt you."

Sora looked like he was going to object so Riku kissed him, a quick chaste press of the lips to silence him.

"You would have to spend possibly another year and a half in the hell of Hikari High, long after everyone you care about and who cares for you has moved on. Then in college you'd be another year and a half behind everyone again. That totals to three years of us being on different levels, inevitably growing apart." Riku stepped away so that he was eye to eye with Sora, "Then there's the financial burden on your mother that although I don't doubt she can find a way to make ends meet, the strain it would put on your family would be irreparable."

Sora looked down at this, and Riku saw this as a sign that he was digesting all the information well and agreeing with it.

"And plus." Riku said, kissing the other boys forehead once again, "I don't know about you, but I have more than enough faith that we could survive a year apart and still be ok. You could save up and finish high school on the Islands and I'll save and finish high school over here and we can pick a place and apply to schools close together for college and get a decent place to live and start over. Away from the bigotry of Hikari High and most important of all, together."

Sora seemed to consider all this quietly, and for a moment Riku was scared he was going to say it was no good and storm out, but eventually the shorter boy reached forward, pulling the other in a tight embrace. "That sounds good." He mumbled into the others chest, so low Riku almost felt the words more than he heard them.

Sora smiled, turning his head up towards the other, "I missed you." He said almost embarrassed.

Riku smiled, "me too." He leaned forward, capturing the other boys lips as if to prove it.

When they pulled away he noticed Sora was blushing and refused to meet his gaze.

"What's wrong?" Riku thought, suddenly worried that the other was having second thoughts of living with him or leaving his friends here.

"I just had a thought that…maybe I should call my mom. Apologize for being a brat about it earlier." He said quietly, bringing his eyes coyly up to meet Riku's intense gaze. "And maybe let her know where I'm staying tonight."

Riku's eyes widened large enough to pop out of their sockets before he regained his poise, "Are you…sure?" he asked, beginning to feel slightly nervous.

With a smile, Sora nodded.

The last week of school passed in a blur for Sora. Finals had crept upon them without warning and the atmosphere in the lunchroom had eerily changed with the absence of the seniors (mainly Cloud) bringing a new quiet to the room.

"That's an ugly word don't you think?" Yuffie said finally, disrupting the quiet at the table as the friends crammed for their last exams. "Final."

"I think the idea's of finals in general is what's ugly." Riku grumbled flipping pages in his doodle filled notebook looking for anything remotely resembling notes. "What's the point of tests all year if they're just going to force everything on you at the end anyway?"

"Cruel and unusual punishment, that's what it is." Yuffie grumbled, "Which I'm pretty sure makes this unconstitutional."

"Finals aren't so bad if you prepare yourself thoroughly." Aerith said, taking a sip of her shake, "It's only those that play around in class that are suffering now." She said giving Yuffie a pointed look

Yuffie motioned to the lunchroom, "Everyone is suffering except you Aerith!" she exclaimed, making a grab for the other girl's notebook, "Share!"

Aerith pulled her notebook away from Yuffie's hands, smacking them away, "Me and Sora." She said, motioning to the boy that was currently fast asleep on the table.

Riku snickered, "Sora's not suffering because he knows he'll be leaving so he doesn't care. His notes aren't any better than the rest of ours."

Aerith face palmed.

Yuffie poked Sora in the side, earning little more than a groan as he turned over, burrowing deeper into his bag, which he was using as a pillow.

"Well, while he's unconscious shall we finalize Saturday's plans?" Yuffie asked, closing her books and leaning on them with a grin.

"I've already talked to the other and everything is all set up." Aerith said, returning the other girls excited grin.

"And I've gotten clearance with Emmi." Riku said, throwing a fond look at the other boy. "I can't believe this is it." He said with a sigh.

"What do you mean?" Yuffie said frowning.

Riku shrugged, "Just. Everything will be so different next year. Leon and Cloud will be gone, Sora's leaving. Hell, even Seifer and Irvine won't be here to annoy us anymore."

Aerith smiled, "Different doesn't necessarily mean bad. And I don't know about you guys, but I have enough faith in all our friendships to know a few measly miles aren't going to do anything to them."

"Here Here!" Yuffie exclaimed loudly, eyes widening as Sora shot up, awakened by her sudden outburst.

The brunette blinked twice, looking around the table for the danger.

Yuffie laughed nervously, "…whoops?"

Leon loved summer. Leon loved summer, because Cloud hated summer. The blonde couldn't take the heat, and on any day above 85 degrees would fall victim to an intense and all consuming lethargy. He would simply lie on the floor in the center of Leon's room, basking in the synthetic cool of the air conditioning without the energy to talk incessantly about nothing, much too hot to hang over the brunette like a second skin.

It wasn't a common occurrence that peace, quiet, and his boyfriend were involved in the same sentence.

Leon looked over the top of his book to steal a glance at Cloud sprawled out as if he was moments away from making a snow angel. "Is there any particular reason," Leon said, doing his best to suppress a smirk, "That you're lying on the floor and not the bed?"

The blonde opened his eyes, "Is that an invitation?" Cloud said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

Leon rolled his eyes, fighting the urge to throw the book at him. Apparently it wasn't too hot for Cloud to be Cloud.

"Stay on the floor." The brunette said, returning to the book he, in all honesty, wasn't even reading.

Cloud laughed, somehow mustering up the energy to turn onto his side. "Say Leon. Have you done all your shopping for Twilight University?"

"Who said I was going to Twi U?" Leon asked, wrinkling his nose at the blonde from across the room.

Cloud's expression quickly became one of confusion, "Huh? But I assumed since you used to always do research about it and stuff."

"Yea well. I found some interesting things about other schools during my research and found one I like better."

Clouds face fell. Hollow Bastion and Twilight Town were close enough that he wasn't too worried about being separated, but he didn't know how he could handle any more distance than that. "Really?" he finally managed to croak out through his suddenly dry throat.

"Yes." Leon said, using all his energy to hold back a full blown smile now. He enjoyed torturing the blonde probably a bit too much. "Like, did you know HBU's blitzball team is an A division? They're favored champions and the campus and classes are great too."

Cloud sat up, recognizing his own words from the night they won the blitzball tournament. "You…me….Hollow Bastion?!"

Leon put down his book, "I already spoke to the scout, everything's been all set up for about a month now."

Clouds grin stretched across his entire face, way too happy and relieved to be annoyed at the brunette for letting him suffer for a whole month. In two steps he had launched himself over to where the brunette sat at his desk, pressing their lips together in a chaste kiss that quickly turned heated as Leon spun the chair around so that they did not have to break apart to take a more comfortable position of Cloud sitting on the desk, bodies pressed close as starving hands roamed over familiar territory.

Leon smiled into the kiss, he really loved summer.

"And that's the last of it." Sora said, taping the last box shut in preparation for the long journey back to Destiny Islands. Ten months ago he would have been ecstatic to return home, now he was reluctantly leaving it.

He looked up to where Riku stood, leaning against the closed door, looking at him with a strange expression on his face. Sora felt his stomach flip. "What's wrong?" he asked, standing up and walking over to his boyfriend.

Riku wrapped his arms around the others waist, burying his face into the others hair. "You're leaving." He said softly, sadness tugging at the end of his words. "What am I supposed to do without you?"

Sora wrapped his arms around Riku's neck, pressing his face against the others chest. "Don't you dare make me cry." He said, punching the other lightly on the shoulder. Riku pulled away slightly to smile at the brunette before leaning in for a kiss that lingered well past the need for air.

"Boys, it's time to go!" Emmi called from downstairs.

The two boys pulled apart reluctantly, grabbing the boxes left in the room before heading to the stairs.


Sora dropped his box at the base of the stairs, eyes wide in surprise as confetti popped around him. "What're you guys doing here?!" he exclaimed to the crowd of friends gathered in his foyer.

"We all came to say goodbye silly!" Yuffie exclaimed from her place beside Aerith.

"You didn't think we'd let you just leave without seeing you off did you?!" Rikku said with a smile.

"Guys." Sora said, feeling the threat of tears but fighting them with all his might.

"Ah! No sappiness allowed." Cloud exclaimed, ruffling the others hair. "I demand it."

"You better keep in touch!" Zell said, punching the other in the chest to solidify his statement.

"I will." Sora managed to croak, not trusting himself to say much else.

"Promise?" Aerith asked softly.

Sora nodded, quickly enveloping her in a hug.

"Thanks guys." He said, pulling away, "This means a lot."

"Here." Leon said, stepping forward to shove a round object into Sora's hands, "You're a good kid. Don't change."

"It's the winning ball!" Rikku exclaimed, "Everyone on the team signed it and wrote a message."

"Me & Aer signed it too." Yuffie exclaimed, pointing to a section.

"Stop trying to make me cry!" Sora shouted, causing everyone to laugh and everything felt right.

All his new friends, together, laughing without a care despite all the hardships that waited for them once they stepped outside, that was what made everything he had gone through in Traverse Town worth it.

Riku lingered by the car door, opening it as Sora approached after loading the last of the boxes in the back.

"I guess this is it." The brunette said, a sad half smile gracing his features.

"Yea," Riku breathed, neither boy making a move.

The sound of the driver sides door shutting as Sora's father got in the car broke the heavy silence and Riku's features took on a panicked expression as he rushed forward, wrapping the other in a crushing embrace.

"I don't want to let you go." He said, so softly the words were felt rather than heard.

Sora smiled, squeezing his arms around the other boy harder.

"You're not."

And Sora will get in the car, and Riku will stand on the sidewalk to watch it drive away, and he'll stay there, sitting on the curb as friends dwindle away in pairs.

It won't be until he's back at his fathers house, avoiding unpacking that Sora will notice one more box than he remembered packing. He'll sit on the plush cream colored carpet and open it, peeling back cardboard to reveal a canvas with a deep blue "1st place" ribbon pressed into the upper left hand corner.

And he will cry then, finally, as he sees the painting that Riku slaved over for so long. He won't try to stop his tears as they fall, one by one onto the painting of a boy, with brown, impossibly spiky hair falling from a sky mid sunrise as a silver haired figure stands on the beach, looking up.

And he'll smile through his tears as he notices in the background, the faint, shaded shadow of two hands intertwined.

::The End::

a|n:*pops confetti*
4 years after it's publish & Beautiful Disaster is finally finished. I was thinking of writing an epilogue but I feel like the story ends pretty fine like this & one is not needed (if I get an overwhelming amount of people unsatisfied with it however, I may give in and just write it...but I think leaving things open is best).

Thank you soooooo much for sticking with me as long as you all did. A few of you have been with me from the VERY BEGINNING & even when I dissapeered for months on end you never gave up on this story and that means the world to me :hugs:

To everyone who reviewed, alerted, favorited, or even just read anoymously THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Now I will focus on finishing up Angel's Tale & working on some new stories I have ideas for, that I plan to take a page from my favorite authors on here and make sure I have a few chapters written BEFORE I start publishing thme so that updates don't take years ha ha.

I hope you enjoyed the final chapter of Beautiful Disaster
& please review!

(really I do, because I'm creepy like that. :hugs you against your will:)