Flee From Our Troubles
A Heart to Die For: Part 2
Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts. But I'm getting Final Mix!
Sorry this took so long. Dx I had a lot of family issues/school issues which took priority over writing. But things are getting better, so I have more time to write... Enjoy!
"Sora…" It was a female voice.
"Come on, Sora…" So familiar…
I'm… too tired. Just too tired. I can't do it anymore. I don't...
"Sora… Is that really what you want? What about… him?" Mother?
What... what about him? You mean the boy from when I was little? That 'him'? I… I don't know… I'm not even sure if he's still alive anymore…
"You know, he just might be closer than you think…"
What's that supposed to mean?
"Just… think about it, okay? Right now… you have a choice."
"Now is the time to choose… do you really want to give up? Die, and be free of pain, or live, and fight your sorrow. Now is the time to shape your story. Your fate is in your hands."
I don't know… Nobody would miss me.
"Are you so sure? What about Riku?"
He doesn't need me anymore. He's got Roxas.
"I don't think he risked his life in a blizzard to save Roxas, Sora."
But that doesn't mean…
"Sora…choose. Now. Do you really want everything you've worked for to be lost now?
No… I...I don't! I want to live! I…want to see him again…Riku.
"Come on, kid, are you still asleep?" Another voice, this time. A masculine voice… but definitely not Riku's. With a groan I sat up and tried to see through my bleary eyes. I saw lots of white… but yet I was warm. My half asleep mind was still trying to comprehend everything that was going on.
"Riku?" I asked putting a hand to my forehead.
"Not Riku. Axel. Dork," he replied solemnly from the foot of my bed. Wait… bed?
"Where… are we?" My eyes had started to clear up, and I could tell we were in a room, but…this definitely wasn't the hotel.
"We're in a cabin. Near where you collapsed, actually. You're just lucky you hadn't passed it already. I had to take care of Roxas…"
"Roxas? What do you mean take care of him?" I asked with a gasp.
"You ask a lot of questions, don't you? He felt bad about what happened. The way you just took off… Riku went to follow you, and Roxas followed him… So naturally, I followed Roxas."
"R-Roxas followed us? In the snow?" I exclaimed, my eyes widening. "Is he okay? And where's Riku?"
"He'll be fine. Riku's in the next room. He's still asleep… What, you want to see him?" He snorted and stood up, heading for the door. "I'm going to go check on Roxas. Don't kill yourself, okay?" I glared at his retreating back and pushed the covers off of my legs. I seemed to be wearing nothing but my boxers, and number of bandages running across cuts on my legs, but how I got like this, I didn't know…well, at least, not yet… I examined the bandages on my wrists. One was starting to fall off… But what did I care? I shrugged it off and stood on my weak legs.
The trip to just the door was taxing enough. I felt weak, and needed to use the bed to support myself. I nearly fell over from the leap to the door from the bed. At the last second I clutched onto the door poll and held to it fast. I glanced outside and gasped at what I saw.
The cabin was huge. The windows were covered in layer of snow and the door was dead-bolted against the snow. A large fire was in the hearth, with large couch and chairs surrounding it. A giant kitchen rested in the corner, and doorways seemed to lead everywhere. I blinked at the splendor, and searched for the door next to mine.
"Riku…?" I stumbled into the hall and clung to the sturdy wall, slowly making my way to the bedroom next to mine. Pushing open the door, I forced myself inside.
The silver-haired boy lay on the bed, fast asleep. His face was scratched and bruised, contorted into the expression of a restless sleep. I could see that he was at least missing his shirt, judging from his bare chest, and his right arm had bandages similar to mine on it. The rest of his body was covered in wrinkled blankets wrapped tightly around his waist.
His body tossed and turned in his sleep, and he was drenched in sweat. Hobbling over to the bed, I collapsed on the covers and crawled upwards. I laid by his side and pushed the hair sticking to the sides of his face behind his hair. His dreams seemed haunted… but by what, I didn't know. I silently wished there was something I could do… something to ease the pain that plagued him. But, as far as I knew, there was nothing; I was completely useless.
With a huff of resignation, I sat next to him in the bed, slowly stroking his arms in what I hoped was calming. Yet I remained completely silent. What was I supposed to say at a time like this? I wasn't one who knew how to comfort someone… Having barely received much myself… But I guess that didn't mean I couldn't try, after all.
"Shh, it's alright," I cooed, holding him tight and tracing circles on his uninjured arm. "It's okay… Everything's alright now. We're safe… please, relax… Don't let it hurt you anymore."
"H-help…" he whimpered suddenly clutching at me tightly. I gasped as his arms wrapped around me, and I hesitantly put my arms around him. "D-don't let him…please…no more…"he sobbed with his face in my chest.
"He-he won't hurt you anymore… come on…" I murmured out, surprised at Riku's reaction. Something had actually scared Riku? I rubbed his back until the sobbing died down and he was no longer tense. He settled into what seemed to be a peaceful sleep. I continued to hold him as I mulled over my thoughts.
I glanced down at his sweaty face and wondered just what could make Riku so frightened. It was times like these that I wished I knew more about him… about his past… I held him closer and pushed more stray hair out of his face. He seemed like he was suffering… I rested my head on his until I heard a whimpered:
"S-Sora?" Surprised I looked down and came face to face with Riku.
"H-hey…" I attempted a weak smile and clutched onto him tighter.
"Why… are you here…?" I gasped and looked away, my cheeks flushing from embarrassment.
"I… um… I was worried about you… Please don't be angry with me. I'll leave…" I rambled, starting to climb out of the bed. I felt an arm push me down and pin me to the bed before I could make any progress.
"Stay with me… I like it when you're around…" he muttered, and pulled me farther onto the bed.
"O-okay…" I stuttered in surprise, wrapping my arms around him in what I hoped was comfort. "I'm sorry that you got hurt because of me."
"It's not your fault. It's mine for leaving you alone… for just deserting you when you clearly needed me the most… Forgive me?"
"Of course." I hugged to him closer and I felt his arms wrap around me hesitantly.
"I'm so, so sorry. This… this is my fault. All of it. I shouldn't have left you alone… I know what you did to yourself…"
"Don't be sorry. My fault for being stupid." I looked up and smiled weakly. "Don't be so hard on yourself." He fell silent, but I could tell there was something bothering him. I decided I'd adventure a try. It's not like things could get worse… "So… anything you'd like to talk about?"
"……No…" he answered somewhat hesitantly, before deciding. "Wait. Y-yeah… I do…"
"Oh? What is it?" I asked curiously. I wondered briefly why he seemed so terrified.
"I-I want to tell you… about my past… there's something I've been wondering… ever since the hotel… And… I have to know…"
"Y-you want to tell me?" I stammered, completely taken aback. I wasn't expecting that, of all things. "But… why? I don't deserve to – Ow!" My last words were cut off as Riku's hand grabbed my hair.
"Don't you dare finish that sentence, Sora. You deserve to know more than anyone." Guilt washed over me like a tsunami on a small island. Did he really think that? My cheeks heated up at the proximity of his face to mine. So close…
Maybe this… is the way it's supposed to be…
Before I knew it, his lips were pressed to mine. I wasn't sure who had made the first move, but I felt a rush of pleasure shoot through my body as his strong arms wrapped around me. His tongue traced my lips before delving in and exploring what was inside. Bolts of shivers ran down my back as the fleshy muscle brushed against mine. Eventually we pulled away, our cheeks flushed, and saliva running down our chins.
Glancing over at him, a smile graced his lips. "Thanks, Sora. I needed that… the confidence…"
"N-no problem…" I murmured, staring down at the sheets.
"Hm… where to begin… I guess I should tell you… When I was little, I got amnesia. I don't remember much before I was eight. Little bits and pieces… silhouettes… that's about it. The earliest clear memory I have is my father taking me home from the hospital.
"It was hard getting used to this new life. I couldn't remember anyone. My brother… my parents… none of it. As I struggled to become accustomed to what felt like an entirely separate life, things suddenly began to change. Just when I thought I knew one thing, it became something else, it seemed. First… my mother died. My brother told me that she had been frail ever since she had had me, and one night she just passed away in her sleep. I was heart-broken, but I had little time to grieve. Not long after that… father grew abusive. He saw it as my fault that mother had died. Not that he was home most of the time anyways. I was sure he had a whole other house somewhere, and that's where he was most of the time. But when he was home… well, I didn't fall asleep in the normal way, if you get what I'm saying."
My heart clenched at his words. Life was so cruel… it never gave either of us a fucking break.
"Soon, my brother eloped with his lover. I guess you could say I was happy for him… Father never approved of their relationship. Guess it was the whole 'gender' thing. He never was happy with his sexual orientation." He sighed and ran a hand through his bangs.
"Soon, it was never safe to be around him. He'd beat me on sight, making up some lame excuse for it, trying to justify his cause. He ignored me the rest of the times… until…" he trailed off and gripped me tighter.
"One day he dragged me into my room. He tied me to the bed, ripped off my clothes, and…and raped me, Sora. The sick bastard made me have sex with him!" He bit his lip to keep the tears in check, pressing so hard he started to bleed. I felt guilty for not being able to help him. But what else could I do? He was battling with something even I couldn't help him with… his own memories. "I can still feel him… every stroke, nip, scratch…release… Sometimes it's just too much…" I held him close as he tried to recompose himself enough to go on.
"Afterwards," he finally said, "I ran away. I had recovered, somewhat… The bandages were still on, but I had to get away. That was when I met them… that gang that's been chasing you. It's made up of twelve people, all of them divided into sectors that go and stay in a different section of our map each year. They said they'd protect me and feed me – no questions asked. Desperate for at least some support, I stayed with them. My twelve year old mind had already seen so much… too much…
"Over a year of traveling with them eventually brought me to a small mountain town. We stayed in a wooden hotel, where the "leader" of these twelve people actually lived. The very same hotel we were in. Although a lot of the people were nice… I realized I had to quit. They capable of making things happen. Terrible, terrible things." Here he smiled softly as a memory came to him. The sudden change had me completely baffled. Who could smile after reliving something like that?
"You see… I had started to remember distant things from my past. Places, shapes…people… Not faces, but silhouettes. Faint outlines of things that were supposed to be there, but just out of reach. I felt like a dog fruitlessly chasing after a bone I was never going to get. Nonetheless, I had to try. I remembered this amazing boy. He had spiky hair and a round, adorable face. Whenever I think about him… He just seems to emit a sense of… happiness. A simple elation that I can never find anywhere else.
"Two years of searching has brought me almost nothing. I've repeated towns, hoping that there was something I had missed. Some little piece of the puzzle that I was missing. And when I find it, the whole mystery would become clear. Two years of fruitless labor, evading the police, and the gang led me to one place. Father's second home. My old home was actually a boats ride away from this town… a peaceful, quiet village that he owned. He had bought the entire chain of small islands off the coast of the continent. He was obviously rich… he had the biggest place in the whole town…
"I didn't know how he had gotten so rich, but it became clear soon enough. He sold slaves on the black market. I… had hoped he hadn't done what I thought he had…. That he hadn't sold my friend…" He bit his lip and refused to meet my eyes. "I snuck in to see if I could find him, see if he truly was that… heartless… I simply didn't want to believe that the boy I had come to love so much had been tortured so severely…
"Yet, I had barely begun to search before he had found me. I struggled to get free, but, being as malnourished as I was, he overpowered me. He pinned me to the closest bed, and, for the second time in my life, I was raped.
"It was much bloodier this time. I continued to struggle and fight, even though I should have given up. My attempts made things worse – he tried different techniques to make me behave… knives, nails, his fists… By the time he was done, I was a bloody mess. The second he released me, I grabbed something big off of the bedside table (it turned out to be a lamp) and hit him on the head with it. I limped from the bed, gathering my clothes as I went, and got out as fast as I could before he could recover."
Riku was trembling again. I held him closer, mortified at his story. It sounded like he's had it rougher than even me…
"I escaped… There was no doubt in my mind whether my friend was there or not. I figured he'd be dead by then, if he were. And yet, I still wanted to look for him. Without trying to find him, my life had no purpose. No direction. No meaning. I stayed in a hotel for a couple days until I had recovered. I had planned to sit in a nearby park and try to figure out where to go next, until a certain little brunet boy came over. He had a certain air about him… something I couldn't get out of my mind…."
With a quick nervous glance he looked up at me. I had a feeling I knew who he was talking about… "M-me?" I asked, surprising myself. I hadn't thought I'd be able to get a word out, after hearing all of that…
"Yeah… you… Sora, I've been thinking a lot…"
"About… your past?"
"That… and…. I-I think… the boy I've been searching for is… you, Sora."
I gasped and stuttered, "M-me? You can't b-be serious…"
"It all adds up too well to be pure coincidence. You and I meeting when we did… our pasts…. I think you're it, Sora. You're the one I love."
"What about Roxas?"
"I told you. He's not the boy I thought he was. He was a fake, hired by the leader of that organization to tear us apart. When we heard you had gone missing, he broke down and told me the whole story as I was leaving. He joined a little after I left, actually…"
"Riku… y-you're him? The boy who died?"
"I… don't think the boy you knew died, Sora. He just… got amnesia. When I was coming from the hospital, I had a large stomach wound. I just didn't know from what."
"Riku…" I couldn't contain myself any longer. I buried my face into his hair and started to cry. He had been here all along… All along… And I had been too blind to see it. "Rikuu!"
"Shh…Sora…" he cooed, trying to get me calm down. It wasn't working – how could it? Shouldn't he be crying too?
"I've been so alone… It's really you… Riku…" I felt my shoulder slowly becoming damp and I pulled away to see what was wrong.
"…You don't have to feel alone anymore, Sora…" He adjusted his position on the bed and held me to his chest, silent tears stained trails down his cheeks. "…We're together. No more searching… No more plaguing dreams."
"…I've missed you. Even though you've been here with me all along…"
"I understand…Th-there's something else…"
"W-what?" I mumbled, clinging onto the elder with a death grip…
"It's… nothing. Forget I said anything."
"No, tell me. Please?" I pleaded.
He bit his lip and hesitated. "I… I love you, Sora. Please don't take that the wrong way… Don't hate me if you think same sex love is wrong…"
Stunned, I looked up at his tense, nervous face. "…"
"…I shouldn't have said anything."
"R-riku… You love me…? Why?" I asked, new tears starting to form like a tidal wave crashing over me.
"…I've just fallen for you. Do I need a reason?"
I paused for a moment, before interrupting the silence with a meek, "You deserve better."
Riku gasped and forced me to look him in the eyes. "Don't you dare say that again. I already told you…. You deserve more than anyone…" His hands had wandered down to my arms and were lightly stroking the bandages. "Why, Sora? You almost died…"
It was then that it dawned upon me that I had no idea where my knife was. My eyes widened as I tensed. "Riku…where is it? Where'd you put it? Tell me!" I cried as I looked around. "I need it!"
"…You mean that damn knife? I left it. You don't need it! You don't need to destroy yourself to feel better…"
By now I was hysteric. "I need it, Riku! I can't survive without it!"
He grabbed my wrist below the bandages and held me in place. "No. You don't. Sora, do you understand me? You almost died. You almost bled to death, frozen in the snow. You were on the brink of death, and I was lucky I could pull you back. Your lips were blue, your cheeks were pale, and your breathing was shaky. If it weren't for Axel… I don't know what I would have…" He lowered his head and suppressed a wave of tears. "I don't want to come that close to losing you… not again. I don't want another person I love to die!"
Stunned speechless by Riku's words, I fell silent. "R-Riku," I finally stuttered. "D-don't worry… I won't die…"
"I don't want to risk it!" he hissed trying to keep himself from breaking. "I don't want you to be in pain…"
"Th-then I'll stop… For real this time…" I managed out. It's not like I had my knife anymore anyways…
"That's all I ask." His eyes fell shut and he held me close.
"…I-I can handle it…" I sniffled.
"Don't cry, Sora…"
"I'm not… I'm just…happy… I don't have to search anymore…" I murmured.
"I wouldn't want you to."
"…Can I sleep in here?"
"Of course. Sleep, Sora. You need it."
"G'night, Riku… I love you."
"G'night, Sora. Love you too."
Poor Riku... Reviews please?