Guess what? Yesterday was DieChan's birthday! So I decided to write her a cute little one-shot with her favorite pairing, Riku and Sora! WOOT! It's shounen-ai, no hard core yaoi, heehee. I hope everyone likes it!

Happy Birthday DieChan. You're one of my best friends, and it was a lucky day when I first met you. You never fail to cheer me up, and I hope you like this story! This one's for you!

Crown Necklace

"That must be some special necklace you have there, Sora..."

Sora looked up at his friend's comment, cloth dripping with fresh polish in one hand and his crown necklace in the other, the chain running the length of his forearm. "Huh?"

Goofy chuckled, gloved hand over his mouth, before pointing to the necklace. The boy had been rubbing it down for the past ten minutes. "That necklace! That's the fifth time you've polished it this week!"

"Heh, yeah, I guess it is..."

"Is he polishing that thing again?" an annoyed voice from the front of the cockpit squawked.

Sora looked up at the owner of the voice, lower lip sticking out into a cute pout. "Yes," he admitted. He slowly ran the cloth over his necklace again before dampening it with more polish to repeat the process.

"You sure do take good care of it, ahyuck!" Goofy said merrily, leaning forward and resting his arms over his knees, watching Sora for a moment more. Then he said, "Hey, did someone special give that to you?"

Sora finally paused, a small, fond smile curling at the corners of his lips. Looking into the shiny metal, he could see his own reflection grinning softly at him with affection etched into the lines of his boyish face.

"Yeah, Goofy... Someone special did give this to me."

Sora's grin widened a bit, eyes glazing over as the memory, sharp as a photograph, eased itself through his mind.

Flash

"C'mon, Sora, I know you can do better than that!"

"Nuu, Riku, I'm tired!"

"Ha ha, is that an excuse, Sora?"

"No! Grr..."

With an animalistic roar, which made seven-year-old Riku laugh, Sora launched himself at his best friend, wooden sword held high over his head like a battle axe. Riku easily saw this attack coming and side-stepped it, ducking as Sora swung his wooden weapon down. It hit the sandy with a soft thunk, and Sora gasped as Riku gently brought the butt of his wooden sword on the smaller boy's back. It wasn't a heavy blow, but it was enough to send the smaller boy face-first into the sand.

Riku gave a dramatic sigh, strapping the blunt sword back onto its holder, which was attached to his belt. He folded his hands along the back of his head, grinning down at the boy who was currently on his knees, spitting sand out of his mouth. "You'll have to move quicker than that, So-ra."

Riku just laughed as Sora got up and tackled his friend to the ground, and the two began to play wrestle in the sand. The other occupants of Destiny Islands paid the two adolescents no mind, used to this daily ritual.

The sun beat down on the tiny islands as the two boys continued their tussle on the ground, shrieks of laughter ringing in harmonic peace across the sea. High tide had smoothed out the sand into tiny waves of dunes whipped away in the gentlest of motions by mid-summer breezes coming from the East.

The cry of seagulls mixed in with their shouts of laughter and yelps of surprise as they tickled or gave tiny little punches, the sun bearing light upon the scene. The sun was at it's highest peak, noon time upon the small islands. The locals bustled around with their activities, not sparing the two boys a second glance. They were used to these kinds of activities from the two. Almost every day the two could be scene sparring with their practice swords on the sandy shore, and a rough tussle usually following before they finally cooled off.

A few minutes later, the two rolled off of each other, panting, eyes hooded as they lay on their backs on the warm sand. The glowing rays from the sun warmed their bodies and the breeze shifted through silky smooth hair, blowing bangs across sweaty faces.

There was no place better to be than here.

Sora's eyes were just starting to drift shut, the fight having drained his morning energy out of him, when he heard the rustle of fabric against sand and the small jingle of a metal chain. Blinking, Sora tilted his head to the side to see what Riku was doing.

Riku had a silver chain dangling from his small fists, a large crown pendant twirling and catching the light, making Sora wince when it shone in his eye. "Where'd you get that?"

"Oh, this?" Riku asked, suddenly brought back to reality by the curious brunette. When Sora nodded, Riku smiled. "My Granny gave it to me," he said proudly. "She said it's a special necklace... so she gave it to me!"

"Wow!" Sora breathed in amazement, eyes alight with wonder. "Does it have magical powers or somethin'?"

"Hmm..." Riku hummed, sitting up and rubbing his chin thoughtfully as he stared closely at the piece of jewelry. Sora straightened up as well, anxiously awaiting Riku's reply. He wasn't let down. "Ya know what, Sora? I think it does!"

"Wow! That's so cool!" Sora exclaimed. "You're so lucky, Riku!"

Riku just laughed, thrusting his fist in the air so that the crown bounced in the air, sending tiny streams of silver light shining into the sand below. "Yup!" he exclaimed cheerfully. "And do you know what else my Granny said?"

"What?" Sora asked excitedly.

"Hmmm..." He seemed to be contemplating something. But a moment later, a tiny smirk was on his face. "Nah, I don't think I'll tell you."

"Whaa?" Sora cried. "Oh c'mon, Riku! Tell meee!"

"Heehee, what'll you give me if I tell you?"

"Umm... I'll be your bestest friend forever and ever!"

"I already know you're gonna be my bestest friend forever and ever, so that doesn't count."

"Nuuu..." Sora was in full pout mode now, sitting with his back slumped and arms crossed over a boyish chest. "You're so mean, Ri-ku!" he whined, closing his eyes and sticking his tongue out at his best friend.

Riku laughed again. "All right, all right, you big cry baby! I'll tell you!"

Sora's face immediately dropped the pout, back straightening in excitement as a bright smile spread over his face. "Yay!"

"She said..." he began, his voice sounding as if he was telling a story, "that if you give this necklace to someone really special, you'll always be together! And you'll never forget about each other!"

Sora blinked. "Isn't that like a paopu fruit?" His lips puckered in thought. He remembered Kairi telling him about it earlier. She had been blushing all the while, glancing nervously at him. Constantly.

Girls were very, very strange, he thought.

But Riku was shaking his head, silver bangs whipping across his forehead. "Nope, this is better!" He put the necklace up close to Sora's face, as if Sora was supposed to see something different about it, before saying, "You don't eat this one, so it stays longer! Besides, some old fruit isn't as cool as this!"

Sora tilted his head to the side, watching the pendant swirl around in the air for another moment or two before Riku returned it to its proper place around his neck. "So who're you gonna give it to?"

Riku raised an eyebrow before snorting, shaking his head again. "Sora, this isn't something you can just give away!" he exclaimed, arms flying out to his side in wild motions, as if to emphasize his point. "It's special! You've gotta think reeaally hard about it before you give it away!"

"Oh, c'mon," Sora huffed. "It isn't all that special!"

Riku looked scandalized. "Is too!" he insisted indignantly. "If I give this away to someone that someone has to be special!"

Sora was silent for a long moment. The cry of seagulls rang through the crisp air, filling their small, innocent ears with its soothing melody, along with the gentle lap of the waves as their tiny feet and rumbling of the sea. And then Sora broke the tranquil silence. "Am I special?"

When Riku asked what Sora meant, the small brunette buried his tootsies in the warm sand, letting the cool waves whisk around his ankles. Looking at Riku with bright blue eyes, hidden partly behind cinnamon locks, he asked, "For your necklace? Am I special enough for you to give me your necklace?"

Riku had to mull this over for a bit. He looked as if he hadn't expected Sora to ask this, but then again, he really should have. "Maybe..." Riku said slowly. "I mean, you're special and all... But I can't just give it away..."

"But your Granny said it was for someone special!" Sora reminded him, lower lip trembling. "So I'm special!"

Riku rolled his eyes. "There are a lot of special people, Sora," Riku reminded the naive boy. "You'll have to prove to me that you're special enough to have my necklace."

Sora bit his lap, staring closely at his hands, which had involuntarily folded themselves. "What do I have to do, Ri-ku?" he asked.

"Hmm..."

Sora waited. And he waited. The silver-haired boy seemed to be deep in thought, or he was constipated. Sora prayed it was the former.

Finally, at long last, Riku said, "Hit me."

Sora blinked. "Eh?" He tilted his head to the side.

Riku laughed. "Here's the deal. If you can manage to hit me with your wooden sword, I'll give you my crown necklace."

Sora looked suspicious. "Do you promise?"

Riku laughed, and then held up his right hand, pinky extended towards Sora. "I promise!"

Noticing the hand gesture, Sora extended his own pinky and hooked it with Riku's, locking their fingers into a Pinky Swear.

Sora would get that necklace if it was the last thing he had ever done.

Two Weeks Later

It seemed to Riku that Sora was willing to get that necklace if it was the last thing he ever did.

For the past two weeks, Sora had been popping out at him from the most unlikely of places. When Riku went to get a cookie from the giant glass jar on his countertop, Sora leapt out of the cupboard with his weapon at the ready, an evil glint in his eyes. He jumped out from underneath Riku's bed when the latter was about ready to go to sleep, or out of the shower. He even waited outside of the door when Riku had gone to the bathroom!

Quite frankly, Sora was scaring him.

Riku knew Sora long enough to know he was stubborn, but not this stubborn! Sora's desire to get that necklace made the older of the two nervous, and therefore constantly on guard.

There was no way Riku was giving up his special necklace that easily!

Riku was walking quite calmly down the play island today, licking a fudge pop he had taken from the ice box before his journey over here. He had learned from Selphie that Sora would be staying home today to clean out the attic with his parents, so there was nothing to be worried about today.

Right?

Wrong.

"HIYA!"

Teeth immediately clamping down on the icy treat to keep it safe, Riku dodged to his right just as a tiny brunette leapt clumsily from the palm tree towering over them.

Sora, not expecting his target to move so quickly, landed on the soft sand, air knocked from his lungs as he came in contact with the ground. His wooden sword, that had been so ready for an attack a moment before, had been sent sailing off some few yards behind Sora.

Riku just smirked, continuing to lick his ice cream as Sora lay there sprawled out eagle-style, trying desperately to regain his breath. His eyes were closed, blocking out the sharp rays of sun that stabbed at his blue eyes. The light shown through his eyelids, making different patterns of orange and cream dance before him. He could hear the ocean waves crashing down around them, and Riku's amused chuckle.

"Nice try, Sora!"

With an indignant huff, Sora sat bolt upright as his eyes snapped open, sending the meanest glare he could muster. It turned out more of a pout, but Riku got it anyway.

"Chill," Riku laughed, raising his hands in mock surrender. His prized crown necklace bounced up and down on his boyish chest as Riku's body hitched with unrestrained laughter.

Sora crossed his arms over his chest and turned his head away from Riku, sniffing. "Big stupid head."

Riku grinned. "Who, me?" he asked innocently. "It takes two to close the deal, Sora. And you agreed! Maybe next time..."

Sora stood up abruptly, pout looking more like a stern gaze now, which startled Riku a bit. Sora was really serious about this, wasn't he? "You're so stupid, Riku!" he cried in his childish voice.

Riku frowned. "What?"

Rolling his eyes, Sora continued, "You know it isn't fair! You're older than me! You know I can't beat you!"

"If you know that, then why did you agree to it in the first place?" Riku asked, glowering.

"Because then you'd ask someone else!" Sora stated as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Like Tidus! Or Wakka! Or... Kairi!"

Riku took notice of how Sora's face tinged with anger at the red-headed girl's name, and he cocked his head in curiosity. "What? Kairi?" With a look of dawning comprehension, Riku asked, "Is that what this is all about? You think I'll give my necklace to Kairi?"

"Yes!"

Riku paused. "But... why would I give it to her? She isn't my bestest friend like you..."

"Then why're you being so mean to me?" Sora asked, eyes beginning to shine even more than usual with unshed tears. "Ever since Kairi came, you're bein' meaner and meaner!"

"I am not!" Riku protested, bewildered.

"Yu huh!" Sora insisted, tiny hands clenched into fists at his sides. "You're always pickin' fights with me for her! Just to be a show off!" He paused, wiping furiously at his blue eyes to remove tiny droplets of tears that had begun to form at the corners. And then he went on, "You're so stupid, Riku! So stu---!"

Sora choked on a sob, sniffling as salty dears dribbled down his cheek. And then, just as suddenly, a pair of warm arms were wrapping around him in a familiar and soothing embrace.

"Shhh, Sora, it's okay," Riku cooed, holding his little friend close. "C'mon, don't cry."

Sora buried his face into his friends shoulder, enjoying the comforting hug he was receiving. His tears sank into Riku's black t-shirt, but the silver-haired boy didn't seem to mind too much.

Riku continued to shush the boy, running his hand softly up and down the back of his best friend, like his mom used to do to him when he was upset. It seemed to work, for Sora's sobs drifted off into tiny sobs, and then he was silent. His breath was a bit ragged, and the tears had dissolved away. The brunette's eyes were slightly red and puffy, his cheeks a bit sticky from the tears. But other than that, he seemed fine now.

Once sure that Sora had stopped crying, Riku pulled back, still holding onto Sora by the shoulders and offering the distressed boy a warm smile. "Don't you worry, Sora! If anyone's gonna get my necklace, it'll be you!"

Sniff. "Promise?"

"I promise!"

Sora seemed to be satisfied with this. With a bright grin, he hopped up and down slightly. "Hey, Riku, let's go get some ice cream!"

Riku stole a glance at his forgotten treat, which lay melting in the sand; he had dropped it in his haste to get to his friend. With a slightly brighter smile, Riku agreed. "Yeah! C'mon, I'll treat!"

Sora beamed. "'kay!" he chirped, bouncing behind Riku and to his sword. "Just lemme get my sword first!"

Riku nodded and turned away, heading towards the docks. He had been glad they had cleared that up. Riku giving his special crown necklace to Kairi? Ha! As if. He wasn't even sure if he liked her too much yet. But Sora seemed to like her... so Riku had done the only thing to keep Kairi away from his best friend.

He took the attention himself.

Riku smiled a bit, feet kicking up sand as he continued on his way. But as long as Riku got his Sora... everything was all right. His reasoning stunk, and he knew it. But that was just the way things went sometimes, right?

And then Riku toppled to the ground. The cause? A sharp blow on the back by a wooden practice sword.

"Oof!" Riku landed hard, head first, into a sandy dune. The grainy substance slide through his silver locks, and he could feel it go up his nose and into his mouth. Sputtering, he yanked his head back, shaking it so sand went flying everywhere. He spat the sand out of his mouth, nose wrinkling in disgust.

And then he heard the laughter.

"Sora!" Riku cried angrily, pouting a bit. But the younger of the two continued to beam triumphantly at him, wooden sword hung over his shoulder and the other hand planted firmly on his hip.

"I got you!" Sora informed him. "I hit you! So I win!"

It took a moment for Riku's disoriented mind to comprehend the brunette's words. And then it sunk in.

He couldn't believe it. He had let his guard down! Riku almost laughed at the irony of the situation. Just when he had thought this whole thing had been resolved... Sora turned around and surprised him again.

It was of the many qualities that Riku loved about Sora. And why he cherished these precious days when he had his best friend all to himself.

"I got you!" Sora repeated impatiently. He had dropped his sword and was now standing expectantly in front of Riku, brimming with excitement. "That means I get your crown necklace, right? Right, Ri-ku? C'moooon!"

Riku laughed, eyes bright, and tiny fingers curled around the silver chain of his necklace as he pulled it off of his neck. Sora watched in awe as Riku held it up close to his face.

"I'll let you have it," Riku said, "if you promise me one thing."

Sora nodded his head eagerly. He'd do anything!

"You can have it if you promise to stay with me forever and ever."

Sora blinked at the odd request. "What'cha talkin' 'bout, Riku?" he asked. "You know I'm gonna stay with you forever!"

"I know. It's just..." Riku sighed. His eyes were filled with hope, and a bit of sorrow. "But no matter what happens... no matter who comes into our lives, or what people do... you'll be with me. And... we'll be together. Okay?"

Sora's face had an unreadable expression on it for a fleeting moment before it cracked into a wide grin. "Okay!" he chirped happily, bouncing on the balls of his feet. "I promise, Riku!"

Riku smiled. And then he swiftly brought the chain up and over Sora's spiky head of hair and looped it around a thin neck. "Then take care of it," he said sternly. "This necklace is really special! Now that you have it... we'll be together forever!"

And then something unbearably soft, suffocatingly sweet, pressed against his cheek. Riku stood, rigid with shock and amazement, as Sora pulled back, blushing and smiling shyly. It had been a quick peck on the cheek... but it sent tingles racing up Riku's spine at the gentle contact. "Sora...?"

"I'll take good care of your necklace, Riku," Sora said. And for the very first time, since as long as Riku could remember, Sora sounded serious. "And I'll take care of you, too."

"Promise?"

"Promise."

And the silver crown necklace hung innocently around its new owner's neck, gleaming in the Destiny Islands light, basking in the glow of two best friends, and the light buried deep within their hearts. And for that single moment, everything was right.

And the crown necklace was there to witness it.

Flash

"Sora?"

Sora was brought back to realty by his friend's worried voice. Both Donald and Goofy were eyeing him oddly now, staring at him. They were back at the port in Traverse Town, and Donald had announced it a while ago. They had just now managed to snap Sora out of his stupor.

"Shucks, are you okay?" Goofy asked, eyebrows drooping in apprehension.

"Yeah, Goof, I'm fine!" Sora laughed, slapping on a trademark grin and hopping to his feet. "C'mon, let's go!"

The door hissed open and the metal slid out of the catch. Sora watched with a slightly glazed over expression as Donald waddled out, Goofy following behind him.

Pausing, Goofy looked behind him. "Say, Sora... that necklace sure is important to ya, ain't it?"

"Yeah, it is."

"Then ya'd better take good care of it!" Goofy laughed, eyes bright as he put his hands on his hips. "Sure must've been a special someone to give that to you, huh?"

And Sora just smiled. Yes. He was a special someone. And as Sora followed his dog friend out of the vessel, his fingers curled into the chain of his beloved crown necklace, a fond, reminiscent smile on his full lips.

I'll find you again, Riku. And when I do, I can keep my promise. We'll be together forever, Riku... you said so yourself...

We'll be together forever.

End

All finished! I hope you liked this, DieChan! (hugs) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!