Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts, its characters, or the original plot. Ownership belongs to Disney and SquareEnix. This was a written work created by a fan, for fans, and was written without the intentions of monetary gains. This disclaimer pertains to all future chapters, too! (:
Yuki Notes: A rewrite of the old story "So Funny I Can Cry", with a new title, new writing style, and new sequences. Old readers who are familiar with the original version – I strongly suggest you all to reread everything starting from chapter one. There aren't really any significant changes to chapter one but, starting from chapter two, you'll start seeing a deviation from the original tale.
Oh, and a quick pre-reading note! I finally have a livejournal that I keep on a daily basis! Check my profile for the link and more information! :D
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOVE
Chapter 01: A Prelude to the Start
There had been a gleeful kind of mean in the air. The skies clashed, a thunderous roar of black and white as lightning flashed and struck, a defiant hammering against the rolling waves, into the sea. Wind and rain clawed, howls of pure fury as the entire surrounding raged. Enormous waves stretched higher and higher, growing into the darkened skies with its looming clouds and terrifying thunder. It ripped at the teetering yacht, struck the middle of it, as sea water hammered the once gleaming deck. A sharp ring, metal against stone, clang in the air, a clear and final warning from Mother Nature to man.
Run. Find cover. Hide.
Unheeding of all this, nearly deaf to the sea and the winds, a single boy ran. His lungs were on fire. His muscles screamed for him to stop. Taking in a large gulp of breath, tasting the salt from the sea and tangy, bitter taste that came from pure fear, he continued to run. Frantic aquamarine eyes scanned the deck desperately. Someone was screaming, a hoarse and panicked cry. He didn't recognize the hysterical shrieks as his own, couldn't recognize anything past that dreadful panic that was all but choking him. He had but one thought in his mind: He had to find him. He had to.
"Sora! Where are you! Sora!"
Jolting out of the padded chaise he'd been lounging on, Riku gulped in the familiar scent of salty sea air as his infamous aquamarine eyes flew open. It took him a second, perhaps two, to remember where he was. Letting out a breath, he swallowed a little as his heart continued to beat, desperately hammering to get oxygen back into his system, as the nightmare—no, the memory—flashed across his mind.
Choking back the bile, he deliberately breathed in the salty scent. The sky was indescribably blue, the white, fluffy clouds a stark contrast against the horrible thunderclouds in his memory. Calm. The seawater was calm today. The couple of seagulls overhead cooed at one another as they glided lazily through the heated summer air.
Cursing silently to himself, Riku Thanatos waved at one of the passing pool boys and ordered a drink. He didn't care what it was, the drink, as long as it could wash down the disgusting taste of fear that remain stuck on the back of his throat. It annoyed him that, after all these years, he still dreamed about that night whenever he's on a boat.
He'd found Sora in the end, hadn't he? That was all that mattered. They had huddled behind those crates, too terrified of the storm to brave the run back to the safety of their rooms. He couldn't remember how long they huddled together, with the crash of the storm raging overhead. He didn't remember how they had been eventually rescued; neither did he recall the high fever they both suffered afterward. But he did remember the fear. A suffocating, bone chilling fear that he wouldn't find him. That he was gone. That Riku had been too late.
It had been a miserable way, overall, for Riku to realize just how desperately in love with his best friend, Sora, he was. His very innocent, very oblivious, very male best friend.
A sigh escaped him as trained eyes spotted a nest of very familiar cinnamon-brown hair. Shifting his shades more comfortably on the bridge of his nose as the pool boy hurried back with his drinks, Riku nodded his thanks as he slowly dropped back onto the chaise. The sight of his best friend's familiar sapphire gaze soothed the last of the fear from his mind. Smirking a little, Riku let his gaze sweep down south, past that slender waist, and further down to Sora's rather gangly legs.
On cue, the brunette stumbled, bumped into a nearby pool boy, bowed once in apology, and flashed a smile that could dazzle the sun.
Laughing silently into his drink, Riku shook his head slightly as he marveled at the wonder that was his best friend. If he was completely honest, Riku couldn't objectively say that Sora was breathtakingly beautiful. Granted, Sora, with his deep-set blue eyes (ones that reminisced the sapphire skies for which he was named), did have one of the most arresting gaze he'd ever seen. When those twin gems of pure lapis lazuli honed in on you, they could quite literally steal your breath away. In contrast to this stunning feature, his hair, a myriad of colors ranging from light brown to ebony black, was usually a mess of spikes—a result from his natural tendency to avoid to comb. Add a set petal soft lips set on a heart shaped face in skin tones that would have made the French half of Sora's ancestry weep, most people would have termed the teen cute, at least, and pretty, at most.
And yet, as the cinnamon haired teen stopped before him, sheepish smile in place, Riku couldn't deny the sudden skip in his heart; nor could he prevent his own eyes from drinking in every feature. And the term "beautiful" immediately flittered across his mind.
"There you are," Sora bubbled, as he plopped down onto one of the chairs beside Riku. Surveying the deck of one of the most luxurious cruise in the world, the brunette dismissed his heavenly surroundings and waved for a drink. "Kairi and I have been looking all over for you!" he said, as he nodded at the pool boy. "A smoothie, please. Any flavor." Turning back to Riku he added, "We actually have a bit of a s—" Stopping suddenly, Sora tilted his head in confusion as he finally took note of Riku's appearance. "Hey, what's wrong?"
"Nothing." Quickly replacing the shades back on, Riku made a show of sipping casually on his drink as he willed his shoulders to relax. The one thing about Sora was that the teen was entirely too intuitive when it came to Riku's "issues".
Frowning slightly at the too quickly answered response, the brunet reached forward and jabbed his friend quickly in the waist. Ignoring the weird squawk-squeal that came from his best friend, and deftly avoiding the predictable punch that came after, Sora frowned as he poked again. "Tell me. Or I'm just going to keep poking you."
Riku sighed. "I had a dream about that time, okay?"
Immediately the poking stopped. Having guessed as much, Sora sighed as he casually sloped down on his chair, careful to keep his eyes on the sky as he said, "I'm okay, man."
The silence permeated them for a couple of moments, each boy deep in their own thoughts, before Riku shrugged, an elegant sweep of one shoulder. "I know. It's stupid."
It was a whisper, said low enough that Riku knew he could pretend not to have heard anything. He knew that Sora would change the subject in a moment. He always did because he understood that the topic was a sore subject for Riku. Predictably, Sora let out a small huff of breath beside him. "So. What're you doing out here anyways? You hate coming out on deck."
Riku shrugged as the pool boy finally returned with Sora's drink. "Tanning. I figured if our parents were going to put us on a cruise around the world…I might as well get a tan while I'm at it."
Snickering, Sora gratefully accepted his smoothie as he shook his head. "You don't tan, Riks," he laughed, indicating to the stubbornly pale skin before glancing at his own tanned skin. "You burn."
Shifting on the lounging chair, Sora sighed contently as he settled in place. Looking out towards the sea, sapphire blue eyes shimmered against the sunlight as they took in the luxury surrounding them.
"I can actually recognize some of the waters around here," Sora murmured a little as he stared out at the quickly approaching land. "Can you believe that our vacation's ending soon?" Sighing a little, he leaned back against the white chair. Closing his eyes, Sora enjoyed the breeze currently ruffling through his hair. "School's gonna start soon."
Riku smirked, as he replaced the shades back onto his eyes. "So serious. Did you expect us to be on vacation forever?"
"That'd be nice."
Tilting his head a little, sensing that the sentiment was said with a credible amount of wistfulness, Riku shot a look over at his friend again. Sora shrugged, as if in answer to Riku's silent probs. "School's fun, of course. It'd be nice to see everyone again. But this is nice too."
Turning, Riku raised a brow at the fuming redhead that was currently storming up to them. Violet eyes flared as Kairi Misano, their other best friend, snarled at the pool boy who happened to cross her path. Wisps of red hair gleamed brightly against the sun as irritation pursed those pouty lips. Sipping his drink carefully as Sora suddenly paled beside him, Riku grinned in pure admiration (similar to how one might admire a lioness in all of her magnificence—from a far), as he prepared to enjoy the show.
Quite obviously, Sora must have done something since, upon reaching them, the redhead barely spared Riku a glance as she rounded on the little brunet. "Sora Strife, you…you…!" Gasping, unable to think of an insult that was potent enough in her anger, Kairi faltered as she pointed a shaking finger at him.
Jumping at the unexpected pause, Sora wince as he pleaded, "Oh shit, Kairi! I'm so sorry! I forgot! Please don't eat meeee!"
"Forgot? You forgot!" Running a hand through her short cap of hair in frustration, Kairi snarled as splotches of red started to explode onto her face. "You conveniently forgot about coming back to save me after you ditched me with that…that fifty year old bimbo with a receding hair line and a BO that smells worse than one of Tidus' molding locker room socks! "
"I wasn't planning on ditching you, Kai," Sora coughed, laughing a little at the mention of their friend's less than hygienic locker. "I came to look for Riku. Honest! Look! I found him! You know how good he is with getting rid of pests. But he distracted me and…"
"Oi, don't drag me into this," Riku protested, as those violet eyes rounded on him.
"And you!" She swore, as she pointed an accusing finger at his slightly amused expression. "Don't give me that bland, innocent look mister! Do you have any idea how long Sora and I've been looking for you all morning? You could've left us a note or something. You're the reason why that weirdo decided to come up to me and start talking to us!"
"You mean talking to you," Sora supplied, glad that her attention was now successfully averted to Riku. "He had no interest in me."
Foolish man, Riku thought fleetingly as he noted the healthy flush in Sora's cheeks and the way the winds tousled the cinnamon strands. Shaking his head at the way Sora was currently grinning at Kairi, with all of the innocence and charm of a six year old who'd knew he'd been caught being naughty, Riku turned his attentions back towards their steaming friend.
"Come here," Riku patted the seat beside him. "Enjoy the sun with us. That weirdo's not here now—and I'll get rid of him for you if he comes, okay?" Throwing a winning smile towards her just in case, he grabbed a drink from another one of the passing pool boys and offered it to her.
Slightly mollified by the offer of a seat, and softening because of that smile, Kairi accepted the drink. Drawing her long, slim legs onto the sun chair on the other side of Riku, the redhead muttered quietly as she sipped. "You two are always getting away with things."
Sora snickered. "Who do you think we learned all of this stuff from?"
"Definitely not me," Kairi sniffed, smirking a little as her two friends started laughing. "Seriously! I'm the most innocent out of all three of us!"
"Yea right," Riku snickered.
"Oh c'mon, I had nothing to do with that time when you guys dyed Sephiroth's hair pink!"
"Oh yea, that was good!" Riku laughed, nodding appreciatively over to Sora. "My brother was traumatized for weeks! Although, living with him after that really wasn't all that safe." His Greek God of a brother, the Adonis in their home, had blown up at everyone at random in the house for the following months.
"But you were the one who gave us the idea in the first place!" Sora countered hotly, pouting a little at Kairi.
"I most certainly did not." Kairi countered, deliberately sipping on her drink a little as her mouth twitched. "I was just talking about dying Cloud's bunny pink. It's not my fault that you guys misinterpreted my words and decided to dye Sephiroth's hair. "
"Oh yeaa…" Laughing a little to himself, Sora shrugged. "Well then, what about that time when you dared me to antagonize that bulldog, huh?"
Kairi smirked as Riku laughed. "Only an idiot would actually go and antagonize a bulldog."
"You said I'm not a man if I didn't follow-up on my dares!"
"Ooh…your manliness." Kairi taunted. "You're gay, Sora."
"So? That doesn't mean I'm not a man. If anything, I'm manlier than regular straight men, half of whom are probably only pretending to be straight anyways because they don't have the guts to step out of the closet! And anyway what about Riku?"
"What about Riku?"
Sora sniffed. "He's as manly as they come isn't he? And he likes boys!"
At this, Kairi stopped. Sneaking a peek over at Riku, she snickered when she saw the slight blush that he was desperately trying to hide. "What are you doing Sora, fattening up his already oversized ego?"
Rolling his eyes, relieved that Sora hadn't noted his blush, Riku scoffed. "I do not have an oversized ego, thank you. It's well deserved." Smirking a little now, slanting a look over at Sora, he added, "Who else do you know is as gorgeous, smart, athletic, and manly as I am?"
Rolling her eyes a little, Kairi sighed.
Riku laughed, "Oh man, but speaking of bunnies…Remember that time when Sephiroth made us steal Cloud's favorite teddy?"
Sora sighed. "Yea, and then you had to go and lose it. My brother was sulking for a month."
"What the Hell? I wasn't the one who lost it. You pushed me and made it drop from our old fort." Pausing a little, Riku smiled as he remembered the raggedy old tree house the three of them had built (with lots of help from a grudging Sephiroth and an amused Cloud) at the tender age of seven. "And then the old Makino couple's dog had to steal it away."
"I'm telling you," Leaning forward a little, Sora pointed a finger up as his brows furrowed together. "That old dog was seriously in love with Cloud's bear. He used to never leave it alone, you know?"
Smirking a little from how serious Sora looked as he talked about the old poodle that used to be the bane of their existence, Riku shivered a little as a sudden sense of foreboding overcame him. Frowning a bit, the teen turned as he sniffed a bit, only to freeze at the sight behind them.
There, behind the three of them, stood the massive angry blob that was one Cloud Strife, older brother to Sora Strife. The blond spikes that were usually gelled to perfection seemed especially sharp today as bright blue eyes glared into the three of them. Sucking in a breath, Riku braced as those lips that reminded him a little bit of Sora's parted.
"So it was you idiots who stole my bear."
Riku opened his mouth to speak. At the glare that Cloud sent his way, he quickly snapped it shut again. Scratching his head a little, eyeing the pool boy who suddenly turned a one-eighty upon seeing Cloud's angry silhouette, Riku sighed. He highly doubted that he'd be able to placate this teen with just a smile and an offer for a drink.
Sora would have rather the ship had wrecked, pierced a hole right beneath the deck in which he stood, and had the sea swallow him whole than face the current frigidity that was his older brother, Cloud. In all the years that they've been brothers—and it has been a good sixteen years—Sora could count the number of times that his brother had seriously gotten mad at him in one hand.
It's not that Cloud didn't get mad. In fact, despite what most people thought, Sora had always thought that his brother was the one person who might actually match up to Sephiroth's crazy temper. It's not that he went into rampages like the other teen. In fact, in complete opposition, the blond goes into one of his crazy, as Sora had deemed it years ago, Ice Modes of Doom.
It wasn't even the fact that Cloud was just a rather quiet guy in general—a little detached, just a bit aloof. However, despite that fact, most people would agree that Cloud Strife was anything but a mellow guy. After all, not many people can cause immobility with a single icy glare. Nor can they claim that they had effectively wrecked an entire dojo—and its thirteen disciples along with it—their freshman year of high school solely because of the verdicts of a rather prejudiced judge.
The reason was actually quite simple: Cloud, if no one else, adored his baby brother. Beyond the cool exterior lived the soul of a loving brother in all of his brother complexities.
As such, it was with much apprehension from one Sora Strife as he chased his brother off the deck. Shivering slightly from the vehement ice permeating off the blond, Sora actually sneezed. Quickly backtracking into his two best friends as chilly blue eyes darted towards him, Sora sniffled a bit when Cloud turned right back around and started stalking back to their quarters.
"I'm sorry, Cloud," Sora pouted a bit as he braved a step forward. As his friends watched, the brunette quivered his lips a bit before he reached forward, snagged Cloud's sleeves and pulled himself directly in front of his brother.
"I'm sorry," Deciding that explaining the past would just irritate his brother further, Sora went with the direct approach. Lowering his head a little, he let soulful sapphire eyes peering sadly into Cloud's rather glacial glare. "Don't hate me…please?" Letting his lips quiver just once more, he slowly dropped his head. "Do you hate me now?"
Even before Cloud cursed, Riku knew that Sora had already hooked him. Smirking to Kairi as Cloud sighed, Riku rolled his eyes as Sora's head snapped up, hope brimming in those wide sapphire gems. As far as he knew, the reason why no one dared to cross Sora's path in the Strife household was because everyone knew that Sora could pull tricks like that. No matter what trouble he landed himself into, give him three seconds with his puppy dog face, and he'd be right out of it.
Well, nearly all the time, anyways.
Cloud, despite the fact that he understood full well that Sora was doing this on purpose, could only sigh as he quietly gave in. Patting those soft spikes, he threw a glare over to the two accomplices behind him. Noting Riku's "I'm innocent" whistle and Kairi's carefully maintained "What a wonderful vacation!" smile, Cloud only sighed again. He could never stay mad at those three.
Sora, aware of where Cloud's thoughts were heading, quickly bounced away from him and grabbed both Riku's and Cloud's arms. "C'mon, c'mon!" he beamed, spiky cinnamon strands bouncing slightly in his haste, "It's our last day on this cruise! Don't you guys want to stalk those big hunks in the crew and watch them strut their stuff?"
Smiling happily as the car slowed, Sora squirmed around in his seat happily as he waited for the gates leading to his home to open. Having gotten off the cruise around an hour ago, the brunette found himself actually excited to be home. While it was a little sad that play time was over (after all, classes start tomorrow), he couldn't deny that he'd missed his mom. Poking his head out of the window, he breathed in the fresh air, as he waved to the guards by the front gates of his home.
"Hi guys!" He beamed, tilting his head a little as they looked at one another before hesitantly waving back. Deciding that they must be new (most of the older servants are rather used to the exuberance within his home), Sora grinned as the large iron gates parted for them.
"Sit down, Sora, before your head hits something."
Pouting just a little, he obeyed anyways as he plopped back down onto his seat. Looking over at his brother, Sora swung his legs a little before he leaned over to look at what Cloud was reading. Noting the kendo stances and various other articles, Sora blew out a breath as he nudged Cloud. "I'm bored."
"We'll be back in literally two minutes, Sora." Shaking his head a little at how hyperactive his younger brother was, Cloud closed the magazine just as the car slid to a slow stop. "There, we're home." Not waiting for their chauffer to reach his side, he opened the door and slid out.
Quickly scooting out of the car, Sora leaped up the stairs, past an amused Cloud, as he ran straight for the front doors. Before he could even open the large ebony doors, they opened on their own, admitting a middle-aged woman with short blond hair.
Short blond hair gleamed as the patisserie hat flew off her head in her haste to grab onto the two boys. Light brown eyes, somewhat hazel in the sunlight, lit up in happiness as she threw her arms around the two of them. Elena Pierrot-Strife breathed into Sora's hair as she laughed. "I've been waiting forever for you two to come home! Let me have a good look at you."
"Hi mom," Sora said, smiling cheekily as his mother looked him over.
"I'm home." Cloud gave a small smile, leaning forward to give his mother a soft peck on her cheeks.
"Oh!" At this, tears filled those brown eyes as she reached forward to hug her babies again. "Oh! I missed the two of you! Did you guys have fun?"
"Hehe, we missed you too, mum!" Reaching up, nuzzling his mother's cheek in affection, Sora grinned as Cloud ushered them into the house. "It was really fun. We sailed all the way to the Caribbean. There were some really interesting and remote islands."
Cloud shook his head a little as Sora chattered away, their mother laughing the whole time over some tale or other. Looking over to the butler, he nodded over to the luggage that the chauffer had already diligently taken out of the car. Following his family into the family parlor, he settled into his favorite chair as the maids came out with tea and cakes.
"…There was this one place, though. It was a really small local place. They had this really interesting type of dish called the "Marik." It's like a shortcake, sort of, except when you bite into it, the center's crunchy."
"Really?" Scooting out of her seat a little, Elena pushed her bangs behind her ears as she frowned in curiosity. "I wonder how they did it?"
Sora grinned. "I knew you'd wonder, so I took the liberty of begging the recipe out of their chef. I have it in the luggage along with a couple of other really interesting recipes. I'll give it to you later mom."
"Aww, aren't you my son," Elena laughed. "Still thinking of the company even when you're off vacationing."
"You mean he was just making up excuses to gorge on every location we happened to stop by along the way," Cloud teased as he took a bite of the shortcake their chef had made.
Smiling, Elena shook her head as warm brown eyes regarded her other son. "Well? How was vacation for you?"
"Pretty good," Cloud shrugged. "I had plenty of relaxation."
Making a loud "tsk!" at such a typical answer, Elena clapped her hands together as she suddenly remembered. "Oh yea! Cloud! By the way, we got a call from your school's club advisor. I think he asked that you call him back as soon as you can. He said something about how you're officially the kendo team's new captain." Delighted and immensely proud of her son, Elena added, "I left his number on your desk."
"Oh, okay. Thanks, mom."
"Wait a second! Cloud, you ran for kendo captain!"
Raising his brows a little, Cloud nodded. "I'm surprise you didn't already know."
"Is it really so surprising?"
"Duh." Clapping his hands together, Sora immediately reached behind him, only to find a cushion as opposed to his book bag. "Wait a sec while I run up to grab my recorder and pads. I wanna interview you for the paper!"
Cloud frowned. "Sora you're overreacting."
"No I'm not!" Already halfway up the stairs, the brunette's voice rang over the house as he pounded across the hall towards his room. Quickly grabbing his notes, he flew back down the stairs only to find that his brother was already heading back up. Backtracking, he followed the blond down the hallway leading to the bedrooms. "Our kendo team has the greatest chance of winning the championship this year. Everyone's all hyped up about it so you making captain are definitely Trinity Limit worthy news!" he said, naming the school's paper.
"Not interested, Sora."
Turning around as he opened the door to his room, Cloud nearly smirked when he saw that Sora was pouting again. "No, Sora. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a call to make."
The bakery was as busy as usual when Riku walked through the automatic doors. The familiar scent of fresh bread and delicious sweets wafted to his nose as eyes adjusted to the warm yellow lights of the famous Strife Bakery. Customers lined at the cashier as attendants greeted and aided even more customers in their selections. Waving at a couple of people he recognized, Riku grinned when he spotted Sora behind the cashier. Sapphire blue eyes caught his own immediately as he smiled and waved in his direction, before turning back to the customer before him.
He thought he saw the brunette maiming the motion of making a creampuff just before the old man before him laughed while the girl beside him rang up his purchases. Taking the bag from her, Sora handed the bag over to him as he waved goodbye. Even as Riku watched, Sora murmured something to the girl beside him before slipping out from behind the counter.
Weaving easily through the crowds, helping a customer here, greeting a customer there, Sora grinned as he finally reached the front of the bakery. "Hey, sorry, that was an old customer."
"I know how it is," Riku grinned as they walked out of the store together, leaving the noise and people behind them. "So, why the sudden urge to go shopping on our first day back?"
Sora shrugged as they walked down the road that would lead to the mall nearby. "Kairi called me earlier and said that Axel and Reno was driving her up the wall back home. You know how they were about missing out on the cruise."
"And if I didn't get out of the house, Cloud might've killed me since I was bugging him so much. Did you know that he became the new captain of the kendo club?"
Raising his brows a little, Riku shook his head. Although, if he really thought about it, it wasn't all that surprising. There had been signs that the last leader had been prepping Cloud for the position since last year.
"You know how buzzed the entire school is about placing third in the nationals last year," Sora continued as they walked through the doors that led into the mall. "So I wanted to interview him about this."
"Lemme guess, Cloud refused."
"Yea!" Pouting, Sora blew out his cheeks as the escalator took them up to the first floor. "You'd think I was trying to eat him or something."
The sudden music, a deliriously happy tune, interrupted them as Riku quickly dug into his pockets. Pulling out his cell phone, Riku glanced at the caller briefly before answering.
"Hey Kairi, we're right in front of Kaido-Sen."
"Perfect!" Through the phone, Riku could hear the loud background noise that told him that she was already at the mall. "Stay right there! I'll be there in a second! I swear! I just saw this reeeeaaaaally cute top this girl had. She said she got it from Kaido-Sen. I bet it'd look wonderful on Sora!"
"Kairi, I don't think Sora would appreciate you—"
"Oh don't worry about details, Riku. Ooh, I think I see you guys! Talk to you in a sec!" And as the connection died, Riku glanced up in time to see the redhead making a beeline towards them. Before either of them could register what had happened, she had already hauled Sora into the store and grabbed the attention of a sales assistant. Used to her sergeant-like attitude when it comes to shopping, Riku quietly followed after them.
As the two women dragged Sora around the shop, comparing tops and bottoms with the shirt Kairi held tightly in her hands, Riku sighed as he resigned himself to waiting.
"Damn it, just a little more!"
"I…I'm gonna crack…j-just hurry up will you?"
"Oh my God this is so tight!"
"Oh no, oh no, nnnngh! Arrgh, I can't stand it anymore!"
With that said, Sora released the breath he'd been holding for the past five minutes and collapsed. Coughing a little as his lungs sucked in the much needed air, he fell unceremoniously onto the ground as the zipper of the forest-green leather pants he'd been trying to fit himself into for the past twenty minutes promptly streaked back down. Glaring at the abomination that Kairi had been torturing him with for the past hour, Sora scowled.
"I'm not wearing this to school tomorrow," he announced, pointing at the half-on pants. Glaring at his reflection in the stall of the fitting room, he added, "I hate green."
"What are you talking about?" Kairi demanded, planting her arms onto her waist. "Your favorite color is green!"
"Not anymore," he muttered, stepping out of the pants that were twenty sizes too small for him.
Huffing, Kairi frowned in disappointment at the fact that, in the end, the past half an hour was an utter waste. Mourning the loss of the pants, Kairi placed it down with the pile of other failures. If only Sora had been half a pound lighter. If only he'd been just a centimeter skinnier, he would have fit. Damn it, it would have been gone wonderfully with the black shirt she'd already decided that would make Sora look like a God.
Sighing, recognizing defeat, she shrugged. "Fine, Forget those." Holding up the other pair of black jeans, she thrust them towards her friend. "Get into these right now."
Sora stared at the piece of tiny clothing before him. "Kairi, are you trying to kill me?"
"Sora, c'mon. You promised to cooperate."
"I do not remember promising anything. You just dragged me into the store and started piling clothing on me and then you and that scary sales clerk ganged up on me!" Sniffling a little as he remembered the woman with eyes that were just a little too eager, Sora unconsciously crossed his arms over his chest. "I thought she was gonna rape me!"
Rolling her eyes a little, Kairi held up the pair of pants before the teen again. "Seriously. Sora, we're standing in the middle of the fitting room. You're completely naked except for your boxers, and I'm holding up your pants. How do you think this'll look if that annoying attendant comes barging back in here?"
"I'm not wearing that! I'll die from lack of oxygen!"
"You will not die! Now get into these!"
"No! I don't want to!"
The sudden knock on the door interrupted their glaring contest. Whipping around, two sets of eyes stared as the door to their stall started to open. The saleslady, indeed, had decided to barge in upon hearing the racket they were making only to freeze, mouth unwillingly falling open at the scene before her. Sora, had he not been the one in the situation (and half naked too, to boot), would have found it comical the way her eyes widened in shock before her head snapped back.
"What in the name of—! Miss Misano! This is not a…! We are not a…! We don't condone…!" Seemingly unable to finish her sentences, the attendant flushed as she quickly closed the door. "We're not a teen 'let's get it on' joint! I ask that you please take your activities elsewhere!"
A pause. And then—
"…Or, at the very least…Can I join?"
Riku, seated in the middle of the mall's cafeteria, finally released the laugh he'd been holding in since Kaido-Sen. Choking a little, nearly toppling his drink in his haste to grab for a napkin, he coughed as he desperately tried to stopper his chuckles. Smirking slightly, green eyes dancing as he swallowed his Cola, Riku laughed as he declared, "God, only you and Sora can somehow manage to turn a shopping session into an orgy."
"It's not funny!" Still slightly appalled from the proposition he'd received back in the store, baby blue eyes revealed the beginnings of a sulk as Sora stabbed angrily at his chicken teriyaki with his bent straw. "That was by far the most disturbing thing that's ever happened to me! It's even weirder than the fifty year old man who tried to come onto Kairi!"
"I told you, you should've just put on those pants," Kairi huffed. "We could've avoided all of that if you'd been clothed. And, just so you know, that was not anything at all like being hit on by a fifty-year-old."
"At least you're straight, Kai," Sora gripped. Turning back to Riku, Sora pouted. "Can you imagine, Riks? Me standing in the corner of that hellish stall, those disgusting pants still half off, and Kairi desperately tugging at them? I swear, I saw blood completely draining from that sales lady's face."
Choking a little again, as Riku desperately tried not to imagine Sora all alone in a stall with his pants half off. Riku pounded his chest as he quickly reached for his drink, again.
"What do you mean 'disgusting'? I'll have you know, Sora Strife, that those pants are currently the most fashionable piece of sex in the entire industry!" Kairi declared, completely ignoring Riku, who had just inhaled all of his Cola in one gulp.
"Well I'm not looking for sex! Besides, those pants will make me look like I'm in mourning!"
"That's not what you said at Gackt's last concert," Kairi snorted as she turned to her own drink. "Who was it that declared that Gackt has the hottest butt in the whole world with the exception to—"
"But he wasn't wearing my pants!" Sora hastily interrupted, silently handing napkins to a dying Riku.
"HA! So you did want them! They're not your pants, Sora."
Finally coughing out the last of the cola out of his lungs, Riku patted his throat a little as his two friends promptly fell back into bantering mode. Turning his attention decidedly away from the conversation—on the off chance that they'd say something that'll really kill him this time—Riku frowned as he suddenly realized something.
"Hey guys, where's Tidus anyways?" he asked, interrupting Kairi's tirade about Sora's closet—or the lack thereof.
"Oh, uhhh, last I heard, he was downtown." Having given up on their food, the three of them stood and began walking out of the food court. "Heard he's been trying to learn Chinese Lion Dancing the whole summer."
Riku blinked. "Why?"
Sora shrugged. "I'm not sure. I called him to see if he wanted to come hangout today, since we haven't seen him all summer. But he said he had something to do and would meet up a little later. If not, he'll see us tomorrow."
"Huh." Picking their way carefully through the crowds of people, the three rounded the corner towards their next frequent shop. "He's gotten kinda weird, lately. Did you guys notice?"
"Oh that's not true," Kairi smirked as she turned knowing violet eyes onto Riku. "He's just been a little preoccupied with something lately. Someone I know is even weirder." Not waiting for Riku's retort, she skipped into Mai Rik.
As Kairi started going nuts over the new outfits that would look superb on Sora, Riku went over to the vest section. Surveying the new stock with a critical eye, he fingered one of the vests hanging on display. Considering it, he raised his brow when suddenly, a girl popped up behind him.
"Nice choice!" The pixie-like girl with the cap of short black hair beamed as she pointed to the vest Riku held. "Those just came in and we've already sold, like, a million of them already!"
"Oh," Losing interesting, Riku replaced it onto the rack. "Too bad."
"Huh? No, don't put it down! What I meant is that it's popular and everyone wants it!"
"That's nice." Riku smirked. "But I'm not very interested in things everyone else already has."
"Oh." Eyes widening in understanding, she rushed forward as Riku started to head towards Kairi and Sora. "Wait, wait! What I meant to say was that nobody likes this vest and—arrgh."
Chuckling a little, Riku smirked at she stomped her foot in frustration. "Are you new here? I've never seen you around before."
She rolled her eyes. "Yea, I'm Yuffie. I was hired by the great owner of Mai Rik last week."
"Haha, you're interesting, Yuffie."
"Thanks! Wanna buy something and tell my boss how interesting I am?"
"Riku," Kairi smiled at Yuffie a little before turning to her friend. She held up two pairs of pants. "The forest green or the midnight black?"
Riku blinked. "What's with your obsession with tight pants?"
"Because, Sora looks great in them." She smirked a little before adding, "Besides, don't pretend like you're not interested. You benefit most from it, after all. So, the green or the black?"
"Neither." Pointing at their favorite brunette, who had just sneaked out of the dressing room, Riku whistled. "Go with that."
Turning, both girls gasped simultaneously when they caught sight of the small teen currently trying to hide from view, calling, "Kairi? Where'd you go?"
"Oh my God, I have good taste." Releasing her breath all at once, Kairi dumped the pants she'd been holding onto Yuffie's lax arms.
Swirling in their direction when he heard their voices, Sora blushed when he spotted Yuffie. Tugging at his belt helplessly, the brunette turned those pity-me blue eyes onto his one ally. "Riku."
Unable to stop grinning for some reason, Riku walked over to Sora and, with the privileges of sixteen years of friendship, reached out to feel the material of the tank. "Looks good."
"Kairi was trying to fit me into girl pants," Sora complained, pouting a little even as he blushed from the compliment.
"Doesn't change the fact that this looks good on you." Which was a major understatement. He had never seen his friend dressed quite like this. Damn, when had Sora been able to fill out a beater like that? And those pants—God, he'll end up killing Riku if he just walked in that little number.
"You really think so?" Turning a critical eye on the mirror, Sora frowned as he surveyed the two beaters, white over light blue, matched with a pair of black-blue baggy pants. The only pair of baggy pants Kairi had brought to him. The ones that made his legs look a mile long.
Kairi, who seemed to have gotten over her excitement, quickly hurried over. Rounding Sora a couple of times, scrutinizing him from all angles, she finally giggled as she pumped her fists in triumph. "Ha! The perfect outfit!" Fanning herself cockily, she grinned as she backtracked once more to take a better look at her friend. "You look sport and cute—with the perfect butt, too."
Turning to look, Sora blushed at the chain attached to his back pocket. "Is this really necessary?"
"Yes! You'll ruin the outfit without it!"
Rolling his eyes, knowing better than to question Kairi when it came to fashion, Sora walked back into the stall to change out of his clothes. "Well this outfit is okay. It could be worse. Like that crazy girl top you brought me earlier."
Insulted, Kairi sniffed as she accepted the clothes Sora threw over the door. "It wasn't a crazy girl top, you nincompoop. It was a perfectly unisex shirt," Kairi explained to Riku. "And it went really well with his skin tone."
Opening the stall, Sora accepted the clothes as he rolled his eyes. "The shirt was pink."
"Real men wear pink!"
"I can't stand pink." Reaching the register, Sora handed his purchases over to Yuffie. "And let's not get started on the bunch of other crazy stuff you tried to torture me with."
"They were all perfectly fashionable articles of clothing!"
Laughing, noticing that Yuffie was trying to get Sora's attention so that he could pay, he quickly grabbed Sora's wallet from his hands and handed her the credit card. Shaking his head a little, since Sora didn't even notice his wallet had been taken from him, he waved it in front of his friend's face. "Pay attention, Sora."
"Huh? Oh, thanks Riku." Turning back to Kairi, taking his purchases and credit card back from Yuffie, Sora turned back to Kairi. "But it doesn't change the fact that most of clothes on that pile are girl clothing."
"And what's so wrong about wearing girl's clothes?"
"'Cause I'm not a girl! Anyways, how come you never make Riku dress up as a girl?"
As silence suddenly descended onto their group, Riku froze. Looking over at Kairi, the same shivery feeling he had earlier when Cloud nearly maimed them on the cruise suddenly returned as Sora suddenly grinned.
"No guys." Backing up a little, holding up his hands defensively, Riku shook his head. "I'm not doing it."
"C'mon, Riku," Sora wheedled as he inched forward. "It's not so bad."
"I'm serious guys, no."
"Don't worry, Riku," Kairi smirked. "I have amazing taste."
"No! No, guys! No!"
"Kairi! You grab his other arm! I'll grab his legs!"
"His legs—? Ohh, got it!"
"Wait guys! NO!"
End Chapter – Story TBC
Yuki Notes! Chapter 01 – revamped!
First, I need to apologize to readers who waited a lonnnnnng long time for this story to be updated! Second, to any reader who might actually prefer the older version, again my apologies. (This version is much wordier, and I know some readers prefer the dialogues.) However, because the overall plotline remains relatively the same, I didn't want to create a new story and just leave this one hanging. So I decided to just change everything over.
One of the criticism from the old version of So Funny was that the scene changes are really abrupt, especially since I generally do a POV change with each scene change as well. That, and some readers were confused by the way the story flowed from pairing to pairing. (Yes, this version maintains the original pairings.) So, I decided to make this an anthology instead. The first part to this four part anthology is Riku & Sora's tale.
Finally, I hope you all enjoyed this new installment! And I'll try to keep up this speed keep the updates coming!
As usual, all your reviews rock! Please keep 'em coming!
Lots of love,
This version is currently unbeta'd. If anyone is interested in betaing, please contact me through a PM! I prefer to get to know you and your writing style before working together, but it all depends!