Title: Conversation with a Princess

Fandom: Kingdom Hearts I

Rating: PG

Characters/Pairings: Princess Jasmine, Riku

This princess seemed especially squirmy, and her voice annoyed Riku; he sighed when she hit him for the third time since they had set off toward the dungeon where the girls were staying until Maleficent needed them.

"Stop that!" He finally yelled, and dumped her onto the cold stones of the hallway with an exasperated growl. From the floor she glared angrily up at him; he was strangely reminded of Kairi in the middle of a good sulk, despite the difference in build and coloring and pretty much everything else.

"Take me back to Agrabah right now," The girl said as she stood up and brushed the dust from her clothes. Riku shook his head, annoyed and unsure of what to do. None of the princesses before her had objected this much though the one with the black hair had sung a song, which he considered much worse.

"Sorry, Princess. No can do – I've got to hand you over to Maleficent so my friend can get her heart back." Riku grabbed her arm, yanking her along because he could not be bothered to carry her again. For a while his explanation shut her up and they plodded along in silence until they came to her 'cell'. He opened the door, rolling his eyes at the luxury of the chamber

'We must make our guests… comfortable for the time being,' the old witch had said when he questioned the necessity of suites bigger than his house for so-called prisoners.

Violet – Lavender, Jasmine, whatever her name was – gasped when she saw the room, which was decorated in the style of her palace. Obviously she had expected a dungeon; Riku thought bitterly that she could sleep his dank room if this one did not suit her. As she critically examined the overstuffed couches and armies of pillows he turned to leave.

"Wait!" She called, turning around and giving him the look of someone who expected to be obeyed. Riku, entirely sick of following orders from strangers, rolled his eyes.

"Your friend –" the girl tried again, and this time Riku stopped as though under a spell – which would not be all that unusual in this particular castle.

"That's really none of your business, Princess.' he found his feet again and managed to reach the door before she started again.

"Does she know?" With fire in his eyes, he spun around and glared at her.

"Would she want you to do this for her?" Jasmine, despite her apparent awareness of the dangerous ground she stood on, did not as much as flinch when Riku practically flew across the room in a rare show of anger.

"You don't know anything," He whispered with his face so close to hers that their noses brushed. Internally, he counted to ten and breathed deeply, reminding himself that temper tantrums solved nothing.

"She — your friend — would be ashamed of you." Flinching in the face of such condemnation, Riku realized it was the fact that it was true that made his stomach crawl.

"I – no –" He sputtered, for once not in perfect control of his silver tongue.

"Riku!" Maleficent's call echoed over the entire palace by the strength of her lungs or magical amplification, Riku did not know.

Jumping slightly at the sound of the summons, Riku forced himself to remember the real world. To the Princess he gave a sneer as he left the room and waved before shutting and bolting the door.

"You're wrong," He whispered to no one.

He had to do this to help Kari. Maleficent would keep her end of the bargain. Everything would be fine; after all, what could go wrong?

-fin-