Disclaimer: Not mine.

Rating: T-ish

Warnings: Shounen-ai, not your cup of tea don't read.

A/N: I am a little hesitant about posting this piece, this is just my take on what drove Riku to accept darkness It takes place on the day the game starts, but doesn't follow the events in the game. I know it's kind of long and I was thinking of splitting it in to two pieces but decided not to, I hope it turned out okay.

/Catch me as I fall.../

... No one's here as I fall into myself /

/This truth drives me into madness/

Whisper by: Evanescence

/Chapter Start/

Sora is sitting on the beach facing the endless water surrounding the island, Sora is staring off into the horizon watches as the waves crash onto the shore. To anyone who catches a glimpse it may appear as if he is spacing off, daydreaming. To the untrained it would appear that way, to someone like Riku, however, who has had years of experience in "Sora watching," it is obvious Sora isn't spacing off or daydreaming. Sora is thinking.

How does Riku know? Easy he can tell by the manner in which his friend hugs his knees with traces of tension between his shoulders. That's how Riku can tell Sora is thinking, about something. What that something is Riku isn't sure. He could get up walk to Sora and ask, but as it is Riku is quite content to simply sit under his palm tree and watch.

The shade from the palm tree shields him from the sun and keeps him cool while he ponders what Sora could possibly be pondering about. Maybe Sora's thinking about their trip which is schedule for tomorrow, weather permitting of course, or maybe he's thinking about sparring with him and maybe try to beat him, Riku smiles at that thought.

Or perhaps, his smile fades away as a scowl forms on his relaxed features, perhaps Sora's thinking about Kairi. And God even in his mind he can hear the name with contempt. It makes him smile and he frowns again.

Really he doesn't understand, even if he were into girls, he can't seem to find what is so great about Kairi. Riku doesn't understand what Sora could possibly see in her. Maybe Sora doesn't know either.

Considering that thought Riku smirks to himself. Maybe Sora is confused. Sure Kairi isn't ugly, though she is not extremely beautiful in a feminine type of way, she has a tendency to be rather tom-boyish. Her hair is rather short and she is quite flat chested, so perhaps Sora's confused, likes guys and thinks Kairi is one. And Riku almost laughs out loud at his own wishful thinking, instead he settles for a low chuckle.

There's a soft breeze blowing, Riku closes his eyes enjoying the gentle caress of the air against his skin. He opens his eyes and sees Sora is no longer thinking, he knows this because Sora is now leaning back on his elbows, lazily, all tension on his shoulders gone.

It's a good thing Sora is no longer thinking, Riku was just about to go over, he's decided he has deprived himself of Sora's company long enough. Perhaps he'll even ask Sora what he was thinking about. Riku stretches slowly, lazily, like a cat, unwinds his muscles and stands up. Briefly he debates whether to take his sword or leave it behind and opts to leave it, no need for a weapon among friends or so he reasons.

Riku walks towards his friend eyes never leaving Sora. When he's only a few feet way Sora drops his elbows leans all the way back and places his hands on the back of his head like a pillow. Riku freezes.

There Sora is, laying on his back his exposed arms and legs soaking up the sun along with that small bit of abdomen which was revealed when Sora stretched his arms behind his head. Riku can't seem to tear his eyes away ,nor does he want to. Sora's eyes are closed shielding his sight from the sun the small breeze plays with his messy hair caressing gently over Sora's closed eyes. Sora sighs, leaving his lips lightly parted almost like a plea to be kissed. Riku would be more than happy to answer such plea, he takes a step closer and stops.

Damn it all to hell if this isn't a test on his self restrain. It's not fair, Sora shouldn't be allowed to look so inviting when Riku's only inches away from him. And he thinks what would Sora do, if he were to kiss him? Or run his fingertips over Sora's full lips? Trail down his neck, stopping at the pulse point feeling his heartbeat speed up, and then moving further down Sora's body touching hot skin and… Has got to stop that train of thought before the can't stop his actions. Just then Sora decides to open his eyes blinks at the sun, sees Riku standing behind him. Sora smiles, Riku swallows hard.

"Hi Riku. What are you doing?"

What is he doing? Well last time he checked he was trying, and almost failing, to not jump on his best-friend and have his wicked way with him. But Riku can't say that to Sora, so what can he say?

Fortunately Riku is spared from having to answer when a giggle is heard and he knows who it is. He fights the urge to roll his eyes and groan. Another giggle, which to him sounds as pleasant as nails on a chalkboard, and she's there. Kairi runs past Riku and plops down next to Sora.

"Hi guys!"

She's always so happy, Riku knows it's an act it has to be. His logic, there is no way a person can be that happy all the time unless they're on something , like caffeine or Drugs. Maybe not, maybe Kairi's just annoying like that. Riku likes that thought and goes with it, yeah Kairi's natural ability is to annoy him and steal his Sora.

Sora however is very unaware to the on goings in Riku's mind and the feelings his friend has for him. Ignorance is bliss. Sora sits up to greet Kairi better.

"Hi Kairi!"

Oh no. Riku doesn't groan or roll his eyes when Sora's eyes go to Kairi and greets her, and he's rather proud at his self control. But why does Sora have to say her name like that, like he's actually happy to see her. Its beyond him. Now Sora and Kairi are talking. For all they care Riku might as well be that hole on the beach a few feet over, where he was supposed to have buried Tidus a day before but it got late and didn't happen, he hates to admit it but being ignored hurts. Quickly he shakes that feeling off.

The hole gives Riku and idea as he looks from it to Kairi. No one would actually blame him, all he had to do was burry Kairi in the sand, leave wonder off. After all Riku can be quite forgetful, when it suits, err at times. Wait for the tide to rise and, oops where's Kairi!

Sora's laughter pierces through his thoughts and Riku feels like he's been punched in the stomach. Sora's laughing with Kairi and not with Riku. For all intense and purposes Riku might as well not be there at all.

"Riku, already finished gathering the list of supplies I gave him. Now stop being lazy, Sora, and gather yours."

To anyone she would sound pleasant and friendly and maybe she is but Riku just doesn't like her. So he responds before he thinks.

"You're just as lazy as he is."

Oops he really didn't mean to snap and quickly throws in his most charming smile hoping to cover up that small slip. Sora laughs, she giggles, in what Riku thinks is suppose to be and innocent tone, it doesn't work. And finds he's having a difficult time keeping his breakfast down.

"So you've noticed."

Wow, and that loathsome look she just gave him lets him know exactly how she feels about him. Riku doesn't care, the feelings mutual. He can console himself knowing at least someone returns his feelings and he almost bursts out in laughter at that thought. But again sees Sora and Kairi smiling at each other, he turns ignoring the wrenching pain in his heart and walks away.

"Riku where are you going?"

It's Sora, Riku barely hears him and doesn't turn around, he doesn't think he has the heart to. In doing so misses the desperation in Sora's eyes as he walks away. Without turning, Riku replies.

"You two are hopeless. I'm going to go and be productive elsewhere."

Hearing no protests, not that he was expecting any, he keeps walking the sounds of laugher reach his ears. In that moment he doesn't think he has ever hated another person so much like he hates Kairi.

Riku has always been honest with himself, and to be fair, he knows he doesn't hate Kari. He just hates the way she and Sora can have what he, himself, can't have with Sora. The thought infuriates him. He doesn't like the way Kairi will place her hand on Sora's shoulder and hates how it makes Sora blush, stutter and get nervous. He doesn't like the way she can talk and have Sora's undivided attention and hates how that makes him feel. He hates the way she can…Riku stops his thoughts as well as his foot steps coming to a stop ,where he had been sitting, bents down and snatches his sword from the ground. Riku is angry. Anger is not a healthy thing to have, he does stupid things when he's angry. Riku knows he needs to vent out his anger somewhere.

With his sword in hand he walks along the island and up the to the platform where the waterfall is and spots Tidus. Tidus is near the mouth of the cave.

Tidus sees Riku and smiles, the smile quickly dies away to a frown. He knows that look on Riku's face, he's not really in the mood for Riku's problems today, but when has he ever been anything but a good friends. Besides if he doesn't help Riku no one else will, because no one else knows there's something wrong and that worries him.

Words are needless here between them, Tidus pulls out his weapon faces Riku and they begin a sparring match, that is a little too intense to be playful.

Deep down Riku feels guilty to have to put Tidus through this, Tidus is the only one who understands though. As guilty as he feels he can't stop Riku knows he needs this, needs to vent out his frustration in a physical way that allows him to feel some semblance of control over his demons. Good thing Tidus is more than capable to keep up with him.

In a short time they are both panting, Riku has pushed Tidus inside the cave, Tidus has fallen into defensive steps. It's getting more difficult, for Tidus, to keep Riku's blows from doing harm, for a second Tidus panics. Riku is really upset today. Every strike is relentless as if Riku really believes he can crush whatever is upsetting him through sparring. Tidus only hopes Riku isn't too far gone to actually hurt him or both of them.

Tidus misses a step his weapon is knocked from his hand, Riku pushes him onto the cave wall sword beneath his throat. They stare, Tidus feels the blunt edge of the sword he isn't afraid not of the swords the worst it can do is give him a bruise. What does frighten him is the look Riku has in his eyes. He can't describe it, he can't see Riku in that look, all he sees is malevolence. Of all the expression Riku has he has never seen this one it's almost as if his friends is being possessed by someone else.

The look passes as quickly as it came, Tidus would relax if it wasn't for the fact Riku is still pushing him into the wall. Riku watches Tidus's breath coming rapidly his chest rising up and down quickly. He can't help but feel a surge of power as he watches Tidus, who is completely still, frightened, vulnerable and beautiful.

Those wide blue eyes reminding Riku of another person, he brings a hand to Tidus's cheek, misses his friends flinch, gently runs his fingertips down Tidus's throat. The skin beneath his fingers is hot and soft and maybe if he closes his eyes he can pretend-- he leans forward closing his eyes.

Hears a sharp intake of breath and Tidus pushes Riku away, because even though he can go along and give Riku what he wants it's not what Riku needs. Riku feels Tidus push him away and lets himself be pushed away. Drops his swords which lands with a soft thud on the ground followed by silence. They stare at each other, Tidus can see the fight has left Riku, to be replace with a melancholic look. Despite the awkward moment Riku smiles gratefully at Tidus because they both know. Riku knows Tidus is not Sora and Tidus knows he is not Sora.

"Come on, I hear it helps if you talk about it."

A scoff from Riku.

"Who have you been listening to, Selphie?"

It's a light hearted reply. Riku lets Tidus breathe when he steps back. No further explanations are spoken between them. No apologies are uttered or demanded because apologies are needless. There is just acceptance because Tidus is a good friends. Riku is sure that if he weren't in love with Sora and Tidus wasn't straight he'd definitely be in love with Tidus. Its okay though he's glad he's not in love with Tidus he is sure he couldn't handle being in love with two straight best-friends. That would be most pathetic.

They leave their weapons behind and walk out of the cave. The sun has already begun to set it will be dark soon, but the dark approaching clouds tell of a starless night and the promise of a storm. Tidus sits down on the steps leading to the beach and Riku walks around in front of Tidus and sits a few steps down between Tidus's legs resting his arms on either side of Tidus's knees, he takes comfort in his friends presence.

Once relaxed Riku tells Tidus about his dilemma. It's always the same Sora. Sora and Kairi. Sometimes Tidus wishes he could make everything right for Riku, make him stop hurting. He has known Riku for a very long time and hates the unconscious way Sora hurts him.

"You should just tell him."

Riku rolls his eyes at the suggestion, but Tidus can't see since Riku is sitting between his legs with his back resting against Tidus's chest. Tidus rest his chin on top of Riku's head and waits for the sarcastic response he knows Riku will give him.

"When do you suppose I tell him? Today when Kairi's there hanging off him like a leech or tomorrow when Kairi'll still be there hanging off him like a leech."

It's not like Riku hasn't thought many times about telling Sora about his feeling because he has. The scenarios his overly active imagination have created are endless ranging from sappy to well rather steamy ones that leave him blushing and he's sure aren't appropriate to speak of. The problem, however, is Kairi and the way she's always there, and when she's not Sora will do or say something along the lines of "aww Riku you're better than a brother" or "blah, blah Kairi blah blah". And Riku will forget all about telling Sora and instead will seek out Tidus for a bit of sparring .

"Maybe you can push her off the raft tomorrow."

It's a silly suggestion meant to lift Riku's spirits and it works he chuckles.

"Too bad she's such a good swimmer." Riku answers.

The suggestion was meant to cheer Riku up, and the chuckle was okay but Tidus wants Riku to laugh and forget, at least for a second, about his hurts. So with a grin he replies.

"Not if she's tide to an iron ball and chain."

Now Riku laughs loud and heartily, head thrown backwards the back touching Tidus's chest and shoulder and he feels the vibration of Tidus's own laughter. Tidus is a very good friend.

"What are you guys laughing about?" It's Sora, standing in front of them.

With a glint in his eyes, that Riku can't see and Sora just missed, Tidus slowly and not so subtlety lets one arm snake beneath Riku's arm, which are still propped on his legs and wraps his arms almost possessively around Riku's chest.

"Nothing much Sora, Riku's, just telling me how much he's going to miss me."

Riku chuckles, Tidus proceeds to rest his chin on Riku's shoulder watching carefully for Sora's reaction.

"You wish" Riku says.

"Oh tell the truth. You're going to miss me." Tidu's voice is low almost seductive. Tidus isn't gay but Sora doesn't need to know that. He shifts his head towards Riku's neck nuzzling his nose in his hair.

Riku barely registers the caress his eyes are fixed on Sora. He almost missed the glare Sora gave Tidus when he put his arm around his chest. And now that look of, does he dare to think, jealousy? Riku is confused, tired, and doesn't know what game Tidus is playing but has a pretty good idea. With an exasperated sigh Tidus lets go of Riku.

"Well it's getting late I better head home." It sounds like a statement, but Tidus makes no move to stand.

No one moves and Riku realizes he has to stand up so Tidus can get up as well so Riku stands. Tidus stands after him, Riku turns to face Tidus who smiles and steps down a step so he's eye leveled with Riku.

"I'll see you guys in the morning before you leave."

And with calculated ease Tidus leans towards Riku kisses his cheek. That is, if his cheek were halfway where his lips are, Tidus lets his lips linger for a second longer than a friendly kiss and pulls back. He doesn't have to look at Sora to guess his reaction. Riku is staring at him with wide eyes. Tidus smiles at him gives him a wink. A wink he knows Riku'll understand and Sora'll completely misinterpret. Tidus isn't gay but Tidus is nothing but a good friend.

With a flick of his wrist Tidus waves them good bye. "Rest well."

He's off giving Sora a sly smile over his shoulder and when he's out of ear shot he laughs at the murderous glare Sora gave him. He just hopes Riku isn't too blind to see what's right in front of him. Sometimes Riku's too wrapped up in his thoughts to see how all the clues fit together and hopes Sora is not too dense to realize his feelings. He sighs those two will be the death of him he's sure.

The departure of their friend, Tidus, leaves Riku and Sora alone with an awkward silence.

"We should head home too."

A nod of Sora's head tells Riku, Sora agrees. Sora doesn't look at Riku as they begin to walk, merely falls into step beside his friend. They walk in silence towards their boats which they board and begin to row towards the main island.

Once on the main island Riku helps Sora with his boat, just like he used to when Sora was younger and wasn't strong enough to pull the boat in. Riku helps Sora now, not because Sora needs help, but because it's a lingering childhood habit Riku has been unable to rid himself of. Sora indulges him though Riku isn't sure why.

Their boats now secure, they begin their walk home. Riku's still thinking, when Sora's tentative voice brings him out of his reverie and his focus to his friend.

"You know Riku?" Sora begins slowly, "You really shouldn't let Tidus touch you like… that."

Sora pauses tries to find a word in his vocabulary to better describe what he means and fails. Riku is amused but doesn't let it show. Innocently he asks.

"Like what?"

No matter how well he controls his emotions, can't quite manage to keep the mirth from his tone. Sora doesn't notice, he's still trying to find a way to express himself more clearly.

"Like you know, like you like him." Sora sounds most distressed. Riku bites his lip lightly to keep from laughing. Somehow he manages to reply.

"But I do like Tidus." And Riku's quite good at keeping the amusement form his voice and sounds completely perplexed and innocent. Sora bites his lip, Riku smiles.

"Yeah but he might think you like him like… that."

This time Riku does laugh, not because of Sora's apparent lack of articulacy, but because what Sora just said implies something. The implication being, Sora maybe just might be jealous And the hope that implication of jealousy gives Riku is truly pathetic to him and is the true reason he laughs.

Quickly Sora gestures with his arms wildly in every which direction , something he only does when nervous, and tires again, valiantly, to explain himself.

"I mean it's okay if you like him like that, but you know how Tidus is. He might just be leading you on."

They have now stopped walking, Riku looks down at Sora who's frowning as if in deep concentration Riku smiles.

"Worried about me are you?"

Sora is now facing Riku. Sora lowers his head bites his lip, raises his eyes, but not his head to look up at Riku, through his messy bangs nodding his head.

"You shouldn't worry Tidus is…"

Riku stops in mid sentence. Riku knows he could lie, could tell Sora he likes Tidus and see how far he can push Sora's worries and feelings for him. Riku could, but he won't. The expression on Sora's face, tells him about the genuine concern and love Sora has for him, and whether those feelings are brought on because of jealousy or not it doesn't matter. The emotion is too real and he will never play with Sora's feelings that way, he loves him too much to hurt him in any manner.

"Tidus is just a really good friend. He can be a little clingy at times but that's all. Besides Tidus doesn't even like guys like that." Riku reassures Sora using Sora's own word and wonders if Sora noticed how he indicated Tidus didn't like guys and said nothing regarding himself.

"Oh." is Sora's small reply.

And Riku won't think too much about that look of relief that just passed over Sora's face, besides it's getting darker and he's probably just seeing things.

With that talk out of the way, they again begin the walk home following the familiar path to their homes. There is silence between them, but not an uncomfortable silence it's a familiar silence. Just the two of them like it used to be for so long. Even their steps seem in sync Riku wonders about Sora's awareness or lack there of. How can Sora not see the way they are together, with one another?

How can Sora not see their mannerisms are just too friendly almost bordering on how real couples behave with each other. For example now the way they walk so close together, so close in fact their arms touch from time to time and on occasions even their ginger tips.

Like just now Riku's fingers just brushed Sora's, completely by accident, Sora's doesn't move away but instead brushes his fingers against Riku's, gently in an semi-unconscious caress.

The gentle caress leaves Riku feeling warm so warm in fact he's sure if he were made of chocolate he would be a puddle of chocolaty goo at the soles of Sora's shoes. Lucky for Riku he's not chocolate but human which only means the warmth of Sora's presence just sends his heart pounding fast and hard threatening to make it's self known. He's heart is beating so loud Riku's sure any moment Sora'll ask him to be quiet.

Maybe it's luck or a tragedy that Sora seems unaware of the loud pounding of Riku's heart and even more unaware of how right it feels to just be the two of them, together.

"So are you going to miss Tidus?"

Huh? They're back on Tidus again!

"Yeah I am. A lot actually."

For the first time since they started making plans to leave does the idea actually hit him, its real and they are leaving tomorrow. He is going to miss Tidus a lot, who is he going to talk to about Sora now? Who is he going to pick on, or make really inappropriate jokes with or who is going to cheer him up from his Sora angst? Riku makes a mental note to bring Tidus an awesome souvenir back.

But he doesn't want to think about how mush he's going to miss Tidus because at least he'll still have Sora with him, even if that also means Kairi too. Before he can start having murderous thoughts regarding Kair he hears Sora ask another question.

"But I thought you didn't like him like that?"

"Well I don't but I don't need to like him romantically to miss him. He's my best friend too, I mean aren't you going to miss him or the others?"

Sora gnaws thoughtfully on his lower lip before answering. "Well yes, but I'm much closer to you and Kairi than I am with the others. And since you're both coming with me I won't feel lonely." He finishes sounded pleased.

"I guess you're lucky to have both your best friends with you on this trip huh?"

Again Riku's very proud at his ability to not sound bitter. Sora buys it.

"If I hadn't asked Kairi to come with us would you have asked Tidus?"

Not sure if he's imagining things but it sounds to Riku as if Sora feels like Tidus is a threat to their friendship. Nah can't be right, must be the full moon affecting him, even thought there is no moon out tonight. However, to Riku, the way Sora asks his question makes it sound as if he were to say yes, Sora would be hurt.

Why? Why would he inviting Tidus hurt Sora? Riku can't help but think the answer shouldn't matter, after all, he wasn't the one who invited Kairi on their two-man boat to their two-man adventure.

"Maybe if the raft were bigger, but the way we built it-- no I wouldn't have. It's already going to be difficult enough with Ka-- three people."

Whew. He just barely caught himself there. Sora seems unaware in fact Sora seems to be deep in thought. About what, Riku can't tell. They walk a bit more and they reach Sora's house. Riku walks with Sora to his front yard and to the door. Sora stops faces Riku, but still appears to be lost in thought. Riku is just glad he can hide his emotions so well or so he thinks, Sora's next comment clearly tells him other wise.

"I know this voyage was suppose to be just me and you and I kind of still wish it was…"

Oh now Riku is sure Sora can hear the mad drumming of his heart. Sora wants this trip for just the two of them like they had originally planned. Riku can't believe what he just heard, Sora is admitting he would rather be alone with him than with Kairi. Does he dare to hope Sora returns his feelings after all. Vaguely he notices Sora's still talking and wills himself to listen.

"… and when I told her we were going to see if we could find other worlds she got his look on her face. I know she says she wouldn't mind seeing her old world again like it's not a big deal."

Riku wonders why Sora's talking so fast and has a guilty look on his face.

"But I know it is a big deal. She had told me before we started to make plans to leave that even though she really loves it here that most of the time she feels out of place. I know she really wants to know where she came from, who her parents are and why she is here. And when we were working on the raft she would have this sad expression on her face. So," Stops takes a deep breath, lowers his face stubs his foot on the grass and looks up at Riku with those beautiful innocent eyes, "I asked her to come with us."

Ah, so that was the real reason behind the invitation, Riku smiles, Sora is so benevolent always putting those he cares about first. He can't help but feel even more enamored with Sora.

"I hope you're not still made at me, Riku."

Seems like Sora wasn't as unaware about Riku's feelings as Riku thought him to be.

"Sora." That's all he can say. Slowly he brings his hand up, places his finger tips gently under Sora's face and lifts up Sora's face. Reluctantly Sora looks up at his friend.

"I'm not mad."

Sora smiles.

"Really? Thanks Riku. I guess" Sora blushes getting a far off look on his face, "I just want to make her happy."

It's a low whisper and even though there is no moon out Riku can feel Sora shine with an air of happiness and see the love in his voice when he makes that statement.

As if struck down by a blow Riku's hand drops form Sora's face back to his side. He can feel his heart breaking into pieces settling with the weight of a boulder on the pit of his stomach. He clenches his teeth tries to keep from biting his lip because he's not sure if he can keep himself from clamping down and draw blood.

Instead he smiles at Sora and is glad for the darkness. This way Sora won't be able to tell the tremendous effort it takes him to put up such an unconvincing front of happiness.

"Right. Well you better get some rest, big day tomorrow. Night Sora."

Turns and walks away. In doing so misses the hurt expression Sora gives him, misses the confusion, misses the raised arm and the half step Sora takes towards him before stopping and letting the hand drop. And misses the sadness, and longing in Sora's voice when he whispers. "Goodnight Riku."

As he walks away all Riku hears is Sora's door open and close. Feels numb. The walk to his own house is short and in no time he's in front of his door reaching for the door knob and stops.

Breaths in deeply and tries to swallow around the lump that has formed in his throat. He's startled when lightning, briefly, illuminates his surroundings and thunder rumbles angrily. Signs of a coming storm.

Instead of going into his house, he walks down the neighborhood and back to the beach. Riku walks on the beach climbing a small hill, where he and Tidus sometimes like to dive off of, once on top he stand on the edge of the cliff.

From where he stands he can see Destiny Islands. The sky above him is a battle field of black clouds and splitting lightning. He likes the turmoil it matches his feelings and he thinks about what Sora confessed.

Of course Sora wants Kairi to be happy, Sora is benevolent always puts those he cares for before himself, always wants to make those closest to his heart happy. Riku just wishes he could remember when he stopped being the person closest to his heart. He is, however, not foolish enough to believe Sora doesn't care about him, Sora does, just not the way he cares about Kairi never that way. Of that he is now sure.

When he closes his eyes he can still see Sora's face when, he confessed he wanted to make Kairi happy. Riku can see the look of pure love and devotion no one could ever hope to shake not even him.

It hurts. Riku hurts so much inside. It hurts to know his feelings won't be returned, ever, and his heart breaks. He feels like he's been crushed, feels all the energy leave his body feels an incredible empty chasm in his chest and that ever present lump in his throat is expanding threatening to choke him smother him and take away his last breath.

Feels alone so alone, that even the darkness around him, which looks and feels unnaturally dark and filled with sinister intent, seems inviting. His eyes sting with unshed tears, but he is not going to cry, not for lack of not wanting but because he knows if he cries he'll crumpled to the ground and never again, regain the strength to stand. Or even worse he might miss the ground completely and fall over the edge of the cliff, falling into the water below and he's afraid he doesn't have it in him to swim this late at night nor the will.

Lightning illuminates the sky above Destiny Islands bathing the small island in shadows, shadows which seem alive, lurking, moving stealthily as if keeping secrets. The lightning dies, fades away, once again the island is draped in a shroud of darkness. Riku has never been afraid of the dark, and even though tonight it appears as if the blackness appears to be alive and engulfing everything drowning out all possible light, he is still not afraid, he never has been never will be.

Takes a deep breath and begins to walk away, how long had he stood on that cliff? He's not sure. But he knows he should really get some rest, tomorrow is going to be a difficult day. He thinks about Kairi and Sora laughing together somehow he has accept the fact he and Sora can never be, Sora and Kairi, and feels a throb of pain and also feels a new feeling. Hate. For who? He isn't sure it's late and he really needs rest and he will rest but first he's going out to Destiny Island.

The darkness which appears like a black nothing is much like the emptiness he feels in his heart. Riku thinks, if there is nothing in his heart, that means its empty, dark like the night, but that's a lie there is no emptiness in the darkness around him suddenly he doesn't feel so alone anymore.

Darkness, Riku realizes, isn't empty doesn't even obscure anything, he can clearly see what is in front of him as he walks to his boat. There is a path he is following, which the darkness leads him too ,beckons, he can hear and feel the darkness as a physical thing. It caresses his skin, whispers seductively in his ear, sooths his pain and fills the emptiness in his heart replacing it with dark caresses . He draws comfort from the darkness surrounding his being, marvels at the life he feels from it and wonders why he never noticed before. But he knows why, the light kept it away.

But not any more.

Whispers from the darkness echo in his mind.

You are the one.

You have the power.

I'll show you the way, to stop feeling…

Let me show you to feel…

No more pain.

No more pain that's what Riku wants. Riku follows the darkness which is full of promises, and opens his heart to new feelings.

Come Riku.

Yes, this is what he wants. Isn't it? Riku wants this icy feeling to engulf him. Doesn't he? Wants this numbness in his heart, so he can no longer think of Sora. Right? So why does he feel like he's dying, welcoming death with open arms.

No! no, no no! Not what I want. Screams his heart in a last attempt to reach him. Futile, it's too late, Riku's choices are no longer his own, he's too far gone. Yes, he can feel he is not longer alone, the other presence in him drowns away the warning in his heart. Not fast enough, he fights the death grip, around his heart, but the essence is too strong and unwillingly he submits.

As he surrenders the feelings in his heart are numb, he feels nothing, and it's worse than feeling pain, for he can no longer feel love. The darkness, which had seduced him with it's comfort, has left him with an emptiness more painful than his broken heart. But he can't do anything he's numb, dying slowly.

Riku falls to his knees, can hardly breathe, for now he is helpless, but refuses to let this darkness own him, he will fight. Suddenly an image of Sora fills his mind, he knows now the darkness can't have his heart, his heart already belongs to Sora, but as the darkness takes him completely his will wavers, doubt clouds his mind and feels, for the first time in his life, an overwhelming sense of fear.

That's it, let your heart return to darkness.

/Chapter End/

/Fallen angels at my feet/

/Whispered voices at my ear/

/Death before my eyes/

/Lying next to me I fear/

:Whisper: by Evanescence

Cardel/gulp/ So how was it? Jin of course inspired this piece.

Jin: Thank you, thank you no need to bow.

Cardel: . You're weird. You know that right? Anyway Demak

Demak: Is not happy, I hate sad stories. /pouts/

Jin: Why are you complaining? You got to contribute you're piece of humor.

Demak: But you made it all, all…

Cardel: Morbid?

Demak: Yes, thank you. And wasn't this suppose to be just a little vignette, vignette my a$$

Cardel: O O. Demak! You can't swear in this fic it doesn't have the rating. As for the vignette, well this idea just kind of out grew a vignette. Besides, you know how Jin and I get with angst.

Jin: I don't think we over did it.

Cardel: Me either. Well readers, tell me what you thought and 'till next fic. Ja-ne.