A/N: Like a dork, I find the idea of a friendship between Mickey and Riku adorable.
Riku: There's no point in doing this if I can't
do it on my own. But I have a
favor to ask. If Ansem wins, he's going to enslave me. If that happens, I
want you to destr—
Mickey: Sure, I'll save you, pal!
Riku: Huh? You're not listening. I want you to destroy Ansem and me with —
Mickey: No can do! I already made my choice. No matter what happens, I'm going
to be there to help you. I'm not backing down. Unless you don't believe
I'll come through for you...
Riku: It's my choice to believe or not. I know you'd never let me down, Your
Mickey: Same here. You won't lose — not in a million years.
Riku: Not in a billion years!
The king fought like a midget demon, to put it truthfully. Mickey's attacks were fast and brutal. He was nimble on his feet and moved like an acrobat. Riku was certainly no pushover when it came to battle. However, he felt safe when he traveled with the king. They moved at a good pace on the starlit road, talking while they walked. Sometimes they discussed the Heartless, or wondered over the strange incidents of Castle Oblivion, Namine, and DiZ. Otherwise, they chattered about anything and everything from their close friends, to childhood memories, to all the strange things that had happened to them since leaving their home-worlds.
Riku liked Mickey. The mouse was cheerful, optimistic, and friendly. Mickey had proven himself loyal to a fault, even to someone who had been practically a stranger. Riku pondered one day if those characteristics might have had something to do with those yellow shoes—all the sweet people wore them. Which reminded him of Sora, and then he felt ashamed, remembering Sora and the other boy's new friends. He knew that he had been an arrogant little snot, and possessive to boot. Being alone for so long in the darkness and Castle Oblivion had taught him a thing or two about his own selfishness.
He said as much to Mickey, but the king just smiled that smile of his. Mickey said, "Well maybe that's another thing the darkness does. Teaches us about ourselves, and shows us the light, which we otherwise might have missed entirely."
At those words, Riku's lip quirked to one side. "Optimistic as usual, aren't we Mickey?"
"You're the one who showed me that the darkness wasn't all bad, remember?" Mickey pointed out.
Riku chuckled. "Heh, you're right. So I guess we're learning from each other then."
Mickey nodded. "Absolutely."
They walked on. Sometimes, when they stopped for breaks on their journey, Riku practiced using his sense of Scent. Those times he tied on a blindfold and tried locating Mickey by tracking the scent of the king. "If I can use it," Riku told the mouse, "I don't ever want to be tricked by my eyes again,"
"Smart thinking Riku!" Mickey said. After which the mouse king had scurried out into the field to hide while Riku stood in the center of the road to begin. At first he was a little slow at it, but eventually it got to the point where he once dove for and managed to tackle the mouse before Mickey could race off for another hiding spot.
They grew comfortable together, in a way that Riku had never imagined feeling except around Sora or Kairi back home. Riku had wanted to travel to other worlds, but he hadn't wanted to truly open his heart to anyone else except the two he had always known. It mad him sad to think that he could have been so closed-minded. He brooded sometimes, but then Mickey would always say something to make him smile. The mouse seemed to have a knack for that. Yet even if he had given it his best efforts, Mickey wouldn't have been able to chase away all of Riku's shadows.
One night Riku cried out in his sleep. Mickey was by his side like a shot, shaking him awake and asking if everything was okay. Riku sat up in his bedrolls, nodding. Tears were tracking their way down his cheeks and Mickey sat by his side quietly, patting his back, before offering a large white handkerchief. He waited while Riku dried his eyes and blew his nose. Riku stopped then and looked at the soiled linen square he was holding in his hand.
"I'm sorry…I just messed up your—"
"What do you think these things were made for?" Mickey asked patiently, taking it back and putting it away in his pocket.
Riku wanted to ask him how could a person be so kind and optimistic and good, when he saw the sadness in Mickey's eyes as the mouse looked out into the darkness. And the boy knew that he was not alone—neither of them were—and they would travel this path together.