A/N: In postproduction, the author came to a decision that this scene no longer fit with the flow of the whole piece. However, she holds a deplorably obstinate belief that there might be some conceptual relevance in this scene. Make of it what you will.

:Lollipop Baby Boy: Deleted Ending Scene:
Dressed in an oversized white button-down shirt and underpants with fraying elastic about the waist, Sora reposes upon Riku's lap, cheek pressed against the rough nap of the other's jean-clothed thigh, as they rest upon the older boy's rumpled bed. Gentle fingers card through his burnt-caramel brown locks and massage his scalp. The young boy is half-asleep, comfortable in his best friend's presence despite himself. Or, perhaps, it is not comfort but confusion and helplessness that have stolen his flight instinct. He has never been good at self-preservation, whether physical or emotional.

He never said no.

He struggled, but he never said no…

Riku hasn't given him the space to ruminate, to freak; and Sora will, if given time alone with the tumult of his own discomposed thoughts.

Never said no.

No! No. No…


All he can do is ride the edge of a perverse sense of wrong. This is—was—will always be—wrong. Bad. Bad. Naughty. His knees are all scabbed up, the palms of his hands still sore and abraded. He can still feel the asphalt scrapping away layers of skin as they moved together—! The panties are in a twisted ball at the bottom of the dumpster, so are the thigh highs. Sora doesn't know what has happened to the rest of the outfit. He's afraid to ask.

"If you had fallen for a girl who loved you back, I wouldn't have had to do this. I could have just watched you be happy, but you had to be stupid. What am I going to do with you?"

Sora keeps his lapis lazuli eyes closed and lets Riku's voice dissolve in the humidity of the summer afternoon. Words have no meaning. Meaning has no meaning. He experiences a peculiar sensation of disorientation. Who is he?

Faithfully—and chastely—the older boy has been attending to him for the past few days since it, never letting Sora far from his side. They haven't had sleepovers in years, but now… now Riku is here, always here. Can't escape. Can't run.

No more running, Sora.

During these calm, summer-soaked moments, the fan whirring lazily overhead, Riku pours out his confessions as if the words are bleeding from his mouth. Sticky, wet and warm, they terrify Sora. These—These secrets and fantasies shouldn't be shared with anyone, much less him! But Riku won't hush, and Sora is filled, and filled, and filled to bursting with unwanted knowledge. Riku has been watching him and thinking about him for years and years. Sora's mother always called him precocious, but she probably didn't understand how right she was at the time.

Riku has been shaping their conjoined experiences to fit some warped template in his head. In this quiet, sweltering bedroom, the older boy resurrects dusty memories—worn smooth and gleaming by time and numerous recollections on his part—and endows them with a significance alien to Sora's own remembrance. This is Riku's heart unfolded, a carnivorous bloom waiting to gently enfold the innocent bee in its fleshy embrace, and how can Sora not succumb to such naked vulnerability? So much easier this way. He's so tired of fighting.

Yes, Sora can sense how Riku's silken voice has already begun to rewrite Sora's truths. Yes, Riku, this event happened the way you say it did, and not how I thought it did. You're right. Always. Yes, yes. Yes, yes.

Easier to give in this once, twice, thrice, forever. He still trusts Riku, no matter what. Because, if he cannot trust his friend, then…

With adroit verbal stitches the older boy embroiders a new truth upon the tapestry of their past and picks loose the glimmering threads connecting him to… Kairi. Riku is creating reality.

Small drops of sweat bead upon Sora's upper lip and dampen his hairline. His thighs, where they touch, are slick with the fluid. It's too hot to be close together like this, but Riku doesn't appear to mind. Or maybe this moist heat is all in Sora's head? Maybe he's delirious. Yes, this could all be a fever-dream. He's been burning up since the first touch, his skin too tight to hold him.

He's been very, very good. He's too afraid of being naughty.

So hot…

"I always knew it would be the two of us—no matter what. We made a promise, remember? When we were little, we promised to always be together. In our secret place. We borrowed your father's pocket knife and swore in blood. Remember?"

Wasn't Kairi there too…? But she never made the pact. Too squeamish about the blood, but she was there… Or maybe she wasn't. Maybe Kairi was never there.

Kairi? Kairi?

"Just you and I together."


He never said no.

After Notes:

Again, there are so many exquisitely kind individuals who have been gracious enough to leave a kind word after reading this author's humble pieces. As of the publication of this companion piece, she would like to express just how grateful she is to have been privileged with the sentiments of the following people: "Goblin Market" – Sekre, athiest; "Prince of a Flower Crown" – Aseret Kitsune, Sekre, Sikomi; "Lollipop Baby Boy" – Aseret Kitsune, Shinigami966890, Sekre, StormDarkblade, EverlastingDarkness, TheKeyToLight, Kyrene once Blood Roses, yamisukui, serenity denied, SilentSniper, Echo the Insane, Rusted and Weathered, The Glass Slipper, Heir to the World, lunarennui, akuma-river, Neko-Onigiri, Sarah, AngelicOrgueil, alchemy dream. Special thanks goes out to those who have supported this author through all three of these stories, all of whom deserve more than all the gratitude this poor author can express: Sekreserenity denied, Kyrene once Blood Roses, and SilentSniper. She remains eternally grateful for all the kindnesses showered upon her unworthy person by such wonderful people. She knows she does not deserve all this happiness. Thank you all!