why do you still care about that boy? he has all but deserted you for the keyblade and his new companions, after all.

i don't care about him. i was just messing with him a little.


Riku wishes that he could tell the truth. He wishes that his lies were determinable, like the puppet with his growing nose and innocent voice and painted heart. Sometimes, Riku wishes he didn't have a heart so that it wouldn't feel so awful when Sora smashes with every damn footstep he takes into the new worlds.

He lies to Maleficent a lot. Mostly about his feelings for Sora. He tries to compress them, and he doesn't want them to exist. But he can't even begin to express the joy he feels when Maleficent gives him the power to create.

And so he creates a new best friend.

A better best friend.

A Sora who loves him in return.

He's the ideal best friend.

A lover.


he is unusual. not many puppets have hearts. i'm not sure, but maybe he can help someone who's lost theirs.

wait a minute. are you talking about Kairi?


"You dwell on the past too much, Riku."

Riku just continues to sit on the ledge, watching the ground below him. He can't get Sora out of his head, and he can feel it in the way that Maleficent speaks, that she knows. She knows everything about him and he hates the way that she can reach into his insides and curl her spindly fingers around his heart.

"The boy is useless. You have no need for him."

Especially when he has such a good replacement.

Riku pulls Antisora into his lap, petting his pretty black hair and he knows that Maleficent would give anything for a simple touch like that. He lets a smirk grace his pale features, and she tightens her thin lips into a straight line and attempts to act like she doesn't care.

But she does care.

And Antisora can't.

He's heartless.


what? you'd rather fight me? over a puppet that has no heart?

heart or no heart, at least he still has a conscience.


Sometimes, when he's tired, he'll lay with Maleficent. She's got her hair down from the headdress, and it's like murky waterfalls of ink against her back. She's sitting, stroking his pretty pale hair and he's laying in her lap like some kind of king.

"I wish you would make a different… pet. The Antisora… there's something about him."

Riku scoffs, and tries to sit up. She restrains him with a light touch, and he falls back down, resting his head on her thin thigh. "You just don't like him because he looks like Sora."

Maleficent frowns. It's true. She hates Sora because he preoccupies Riku's mind and everything about Riku revolves around Sora. His first instinct after the islands fell into darkness was to find Sora. Maleficent knows this, and she wants to ignore it, but she can't.

She can't because Riku won't forget.

He'll never forget Sora.

"Don't you miss anyone else?" she mutters, referring to Kairi. Riku doesn't like Kairi. She doesn't know why Riku's trying to find the girl's heart. It doesn't make sense to her.


"Your mother, even?"

Riku cocks an eyebrow.

"Who needs a mother when I've got you?"

But no, Riku thinks. Maleficent isn't like his mother.

His mother never loved him this much.


Riku cries a lot.

He may act cocky and strong on the outside, but every time he sees Kairi, lying there with wide eyes and a wide mouth and a wide space where her heart should be, he cries.

Antisora is nearby, trying to comfort his shaking master, trying to make him feel like he's whole again. Ansem is inside of him, trying to calm him down, because he's weak when he's crying. He's so weak and Ansem can't stand it.

Riku just holds his head, clamps his ears shut and yells and yells and yells for him to shut up.

Antisora blinks his yellow orbs, and reaches his arms around Riku's body, and holds him.

so, Kairi's like a lifeless puppet now?

He may have said that about Kairi, but Riku can't help but feel...

...that he's the only puppet in the room.