Author's Note: Here it is. The end of Fairy Tale Ending is here, although there will be a companion piece coming out sometime soon, called "And So It Goes". It's been quite a ride with this one. This is probably my favorite fic I've ever written, and I love that so many of you were so touched by it! It's somewhat based on my own experiences, although I took some creative liberties, of course. So it's been pretty emotional writing this and relieving it. (P.S. Just to stop the pitying "Oh you poor thing!" reviews that may come of this, I was totally Sora, not Riku. So it's all my fault. Gross.) Anyway, thank you to everyone who read/reviewed this, and please check out "And So It Goes" when that comes along.
Disclaimer: Me no own Kingdom Hearts.
Part Final: Ever After
Never before has my pillow been so soft – too soft. It's not warm and solid like the body I'm wishing it would somehow become. It doesn't have strong, comforting arms to wrap around me. It has no mouth with which to whisper soothingly or press gentle kisses on my lips. There is no heart beating steadily beneath my straining ear, and it is not a broad chest, well muscled and pale skinned, that I'm resting my head on. It's just a pillow, a soft, lifeless pillow.
But I can't stop clinging to it. I need something to cling to right now. I just wish it would cling back. I wish it were a slender, lean body with a smiling face and fairy tale eyes. I wish it were Riku, with his cocky smirk and filigree hair.
That wouldn't help me though. If Riku were hear, he would not be holding me, smiling at me and whispering promises that everything would be all right. He doesn't do that anymore. Riku doesn't hold, instead he is now held. He is the one wrapped in strong arms, resting hid head on a broad chest, sighing contently as warmth, Squall's warmth, seeps into him.
He smiles for Squall, his eyes light up when Squall walks into the room Squall takes over his thoughts. Squall holds him. Squall kisses him. He stares at Squall, he begs Squall, pleads with him, squirming under Squall's roaming hands. He. . .and Squall. . . they. . .
"Sora" is no longer in his thoughts. He doesn't care about me. He's forgotten me – and I'd just begun to remember just how much I care for him, how much I need him.
I sigh and bury my face in my pillow as my mother knocks on my door. I don't want to be bothered, so I don't answer. If I stay silent and don't move, maybe I'll pass under her radar. Mothers are kind of like T-Rexes after all.
"Sora, honey," she trills. She always sounds happy, but I can hear the note of worry in her cheery song.
"C'mon honey. Stop moping. You've been doing nothing but for almost a month!"
I'm still silent. I want to mope. Besides, I don't think I'm currently physically capable of doing anything else.
"I know you're upset because Riku's snogging Squall -"
God, why does she always have to be so blunt!
"But, Sora, who would he be snogging if you hadn't run away from him?"
I freeze. I try to convince myself that she's wrong, that Riku wouldn't have stayed with me much longer anyway, that he would've run off with Squall sooner or later. But I know it's not true.
"See, honey?" my mom murmurs after a few moments of silence on my part. "It really is all your fault. You have no right to mope. Riku is the one who should mope, and he did. But now he's happy, and you should be happy for him."
She's right. It is all my fault. I have no right to feel sorry for myself. Riku was upset – I hurt him – but now he's not and because I love him I should be happy just because he's happy.
But I'm not.
And anyway, if he's happy, truly happy, then he lied to me. All those times he's told me he didn't know what he'd do without me, that he was nothing without me, that he couldn't be happy if we weren't together – they were all lies, every single one of them. And he'd said he couldn't lie to me, which was obviously a lie as well. If he'd lied to me all those times, what else could he have lied to me about?
And. . .God, what could he have not lied to me about? What details could he have so conveniently left out of our conversations?
What if he and Squall had been seeing each other all along?
I furrow my brows and scramble out of bed, stomping towards the door to throw it open, almost stomping towards the door to throw it open, almost hitting my mother. Halfway through my angry march down the hall, she calls me.
"Sora," she says softly, almost reprovingly.
I stop to hear what she has to say, though I doubt I'll actually listen to it.
"You know, sweetie, I think you're the one who lied to him."
Again, I freeze. Mom has the strangest way of knowing exactly what I'm thinking at all times, sometimes she knows even before I do.
"When did I ever lie to him?" I say shakily.
"When you left him. When you told him you didn't love him."
I think there's some unspoken law of nature against mothers being wrong, especially mine. She always knows everything – how I feel, what I'm thinking, how I'll react to. . .
Pouting, I glare up at her from under my bangs.
"I hate you," I mutter. I should have known she was baiting me all along. Of course she'd try and get me to apologize to Riku – she loves him just about as much as I do.
"You're doing it anyway," she says with a smirk. It's not an order, it's just a statement.
"Yeah," I admit, lowering my eyes.
"Good boy," she croons, as if I were a dog, as she ruffles my hair.
"After all, the first step towards making up is an apology. And you know what they say about make-up sex."
"Mooo-ooom!" I cry. No matter how many times she's made inappropriate remarks before, and no matter how times she will do it again, I will never, ever, be able to find it any less emotionally scarring.
"Oh hush up and hurry up! It's not everyday you find your prince charming!" she squeaks, pushing me down the hall and towards the door.
"Yeah, I know," I grumble, swatting her hands away.
"Good luck sweet princess!" Mom cries with a cackling laugh and a wink as I pull on a jacket to guard against the rain I can now hear pounding against the roof. I shoot her a glare before slipping out the door, making a point of slamming it shut behind me.
Pulling my hood up, I begin making my way to the house Riku and I once called home, and, hopefully, would soon be known as home once again.
My steps become hesitant. Does Squall live there now?
The question bounces around in my mind, stirring up thoughts that topple the hopes that were previously the majority of my thoughts. What if Squall does live there now, and I just showed up on what was once my doorstop but was now his doorstep? What would I do then? I couldn't exactly ring the doorbell and say, "Hey! It's me! You know, the douche bag who thought he didn't love you so he broke your heart? Yeah, well, guess what! Turns out I do love you after all, so you should totally dump your much more attractive and sensible new boyfriend and take me back, okay? Oh, hey Squall! What's up?"
No. That wouldn't work at all.
Shaking my head, I sigh and quicken my pace. What am I worrying about? When I'd seen Riku and Squall there had been some level of awkwardness between them. At first I'd thought it was because of the awkward situation, but now, thinking back, could it have been the slight discomfort of a new relationship? The thin sheet of awkward that stands between two people who want to hold hands or rest heads on shoulders, but despite having some form of permission, refrain from doing so just because it's so new?
Pouting resolutely, I decide that that's exactly what it was and that, no, Squall couldn't possible love there because his relationship with Riku is too fresh for such things.
And yet, as Riku's house, that was once our home, and is not Squall's, I hope, comes into view I cannot stop the nervous gasp for breath or the wild flutter of heartbeats. Even if my assumption is correct, I still have to deal with Riku himself. He very well could just send me on my way. He could just stare at me blankly for a moment, and then laugh and tell me that I'm too late because he's found his prince charming, and it's not me, and he's found his happily ever after and I am not part of it.
But, then again. . .
Well, the only way to really know what he will do is to tell him and wait for his reaction. If I never tell him, I'll never know. I could never tell him and spend the rest of my life wondering what would have happened, sitting alone when I could be with him.
Frowning, I walk up the steps to the door, where the doormat smiles at me, shouting a mocking "Welcome!" as I ring the doorbell. I hear footsteps from within, and as the move closer I swallow my fear, ready to confront Riku and accept his reaction, whatever it may be.
As the door swings slowly open, I hold my breath, briefly contemplating running, and all I can picture now is Riku narrowing his eyes at me and slamming the door shut, not even giving me a chance to at least apologize.
But it is not Riku at the door, and the air comes rushing out of my lungs in a frustrated and somewhat woeful sigh.
Squall stands in the doorway, leaning against the frame, wearing nothing but a pair of navy boxers with strange yellow birds on them. I suddenly realize how early it is and wonder if I woke him after a night of. . .little sleep. He furrows his brows In confusion and brushes a few stray hairs out of his face. He remains silent and I shift my weight from foot to foot, eyes cast downward.
"Is, uh. . .is Riku there?" I ask, wavering. I'd convinced myself that Squall wouldn't be here – I'm not prepared to face him.
"No," he says, grey eyes boring into me as I chew my lower lip nervously.
"He's not home right now."
My heart sinks. Riku's not here? Where could he be? It's Thursday, he doesn't have class, and there's no way he's with family. But wait, that day, before I left him, hadn't he said something about speaking with Anya?
Well, no matter what, Riku isn't home.
He isn't home. Squall had said that Riku wasn't home. Home. That means he lives here. I. . .
I'm too late. I've missed my happily ever after, my fairy tale ending.
"I'll tell him you came," Squall says, starting to close the door.
'Wait!" I cry, sniffling and holding back tears.
"No. . .no don't tell him, please, but, uh. . ." I pause, mentally fumbling for words. "How. . .how is he?"
I sound pathetic, but I need to know, chances are I will never see him again and will always wonder just how much I hurt him, and always hate myself for it.
"Better," Squall answers, fixing me with a cold, analytical stare.
"He's happy then?" I ask softly, somewhat hopeful that he is, somewhat fearful of it. I want him to have his happily ever after, but I want it to be my happily ever after too.
Squall eyes me somewhat suspiciously as I stifle a sob just enough so that it is instead a barely audible whimper, and I hang my head to hide the tears now rolling down my cheeks.
He is silent and after a few moments I wonder why he has not answered me yet. Peeking up from under my bangs I see that he is no longer looking at me with those cold, stone grey eyes. I turn to follow his gaze.
There, standing at the edge of the driveway, is Riku.
He's staring at me with a puzzled expression, his eyes occasionally flitting towards Squall.
I fight to keep a goofy, lopsided grin from stretching across my face, and wipe the tears from my eyes.
"R-Riku," I whisper.
"Sora?" he asks, voice cracking slightly.
I stare at him a moment, not sure that I'll ever be quite done with looking at him and remember the way he used to smile when we whispered each other's names.
"Riku!" I yell, running towards him as I begin to cry again. I slam into him, wrapping my arms about his waist as we fall to the wet, cold ground and bury my face in the crook of his neck.
"Riku," I whisper, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, so sorry. So, so, so sorry. I'll never leave you again. Never. Never, never, never, never, never. Never. I promise. I. . .I love you."
Riku runs his hands through my hair, shushing me softly, before cupping my chin and raising my face to gaze into my eyes. They're back, his fairy tale eyes, and they're shining happily, more so than ever before. I don't need to hear his words; I can see them in his fairy tale eyes. But I'm hoping he'll say them anyway.
"I love you too, Sora," he murmurs before softly pressing his lips to my own.
Once upon a time there were two princes who fell deeply in love. They were torn apart by a big bad wolf, and reunited with a true love kiss.
And they lived happily ever after.