The amount of times this one chapter alone has been rewritten astounds me. I'm not exaggerating when I say it has probably hit the 15 mark.

But due to the fact that it's been forever and I needed something to do so I wouldn't go literally batshit insane for the next couple months, I decided to come back to this story and nearly rewrite every damn sentence.

So, this means that just about everything is slightly different. Maybe nothing THAT new else than a couple things here and there, a competently new flashback for this chapter. What it is is the same thing with one word taken out. I reworded, rewrote, messed with the structure, gave it some more life. I worked on just this chapter for a long time.

I will also try to write a new chapter. Never before seen!

And now, for the disclaimer we see so often:

I do not own the characters, they are property of their respected owners.

I would like people to flame me about my writing and how much I suck at it. Not the pairing and the whatnot. That'd be nice, huh?

Please give me reviews even if you hate it. Thank you.


promise.

A young boy with messy spiked brown hair woke up and looked around. All he could see was that he was in his pajamas on the deck outside his bedroom and it was maybe noon judging from the sun that was directly on top of him. He stretched his arms over his head, popping some sore joints, probably caused by sleeping on a wooden deck all night. The boy could feel the ocean's breeze hit his skin as his stretching lifted his blue t-shirt up over his boxers.

The day felt different to the boy for some reason. Although, he wasn't sure why; it was a beautiful day. Seagulls flying overhead, the ocean splashing on the shore, and a wonderful blue sky. Despite all of this, he had a strange gut feeling that something interesting was going to happen today. He didn't want to think about it that much since it would probably ruin it. Besides, he liked surprises.

It was just now that he began wondering more important things like how and why he ended up on his deck this morning. As he walked up to the deck's end to rest his arms on the edge and think, a voice coolly said in his ear, "Have you been sleepwalking, Sora?"

Sora's answer to this ended up with him jumping in the air with wide eyes until he landed with a thud on his deck floor, knocking his head on one of the posts.

Well, he liked some surprises, it seems.

He rubbed the back of his head and grinned the pain away with a bright smile up to the dark silhouette standing in front of him due to the sun's glare. The shadowed person chuckled at the boy's childish reactions and reached his arm out to help the boy up to his feet.

Once Sora got back to his feet, he asked up to the person with a confused look on his face as he dusted his clothes off, "How'd you get out here, Riku?"

Riku leaned against the door that lead into Sora's room and said, "Your mom let me in. I swear, the woman treats me like I'm her own son."

"But you kind of already are, Riku," Sora said looking up to Riku. The older boy was now in a better light and Sora could see his features clearly. Riku had more of stronger build than Sora's feminine looking body and was also around five inches taller than him. Around two if you counted Sora's huge, spiked hair that went in every direction. Their faces were also different since Sora's face was more circular and round like a child's and Riku's was longer and a more prominent chin.

Riku was just one year older than Sora, but they were still in the same grade in school. His mother, being paranoid and overprotective, held poor Riku back a year because she thought kids would pick on him because of his strange hair.

His hair was strange because, unlike normal kids on the islands, he had shining, silver hair that had a blueish tint to it as if it reflected the sky. It was much longer than most guys would ever want, considering it almost touched the middle of his back, with his bangs hanging lazily in front of one of his eyes like a curtain of silver. He liked it though.

Riku sighed, ignoring what Sora just said. He flicked away a stray strand of hair from his other eye and said, "Don't you have a date with Kairi in..." Riku paused and looked at his wristwatch tauntingly, "Oh, I'd say about ten minutes?"

"What? CRAP!" Sora's eyes widened as he yelled. As the boy sped into his room, Riku smirked and followed the boy back inside.

Sora rummaged through his closet, underneath and around his bed, dressers, and anywhere else his clothes could be. Unfortunately, anything that he found that was actually clean wasn't enough to make a decent outfit. Nothing matched, nothing looked presentable. His "Who farted?" shirt would probably get him kicked by Kairi.

As he ran from pile to pile like a mad man, he was mumbling things to himself as if he were trying to add to the effect. Saying things such as, "She's gonna kill me, she's gonna kill me so dead... God, where are my pants..."

Riku tried to hold back his laughter and called over to him, "Hey, Sora."

Sora peeked his head out from a pile he was digging through. He looked exhausted and about to cry.

"WHAT."

The older boy smirked at his friend, obviously happy with the results he was getting.

"Hm, now what was I about to say? That look of yours was just so priceless I think I just forgot!" He teasingly looked up to the ceiling and stroked his chin, looking like he was trying to find something out. Sora was about to break down into tears. His patience ran out when he was looking under the bed.

"Riku! I don't have TIME! I need to go!" Sora's voice cracked at the word "time" and continued on cracking, "Just tell me!"

Riku laughed a teasing sort of laugh and pointed straight to Sora's bedroom door.

The boy turned his head slowly and saw that there was a neat, carefully put together outfit hanging on his door hook. A silver crown pendant and chain dangled on top of it. Sora was impressed.

"I put that together while you were asleep outside. Some from your stuff, some from mine. Hope it fits. Sort of made your room worse while finding some of it, though, sorry... But I'm not sure you even noticed that. Your room is a mess, you know tha--"

Riku was interrupted by Sora hugging him. He could hear Sora say quietly, "Thank you..."

He stopped talking and just smiled and patted Sora's back to assure him that he'll be fine and said, "I called Kairi, by the way. Told her you overslept again"

"Thank you so much... But holy crap, don't do that again..." Sora mumbled into Riku's shoulder.

Sora let go of Riku and ran over to his door and started taking everything off their hangers and put them on the bed by his wall. Riku was stunned for a split second but he didn't think Sora even noticed it. Getting back to his senses, he turned around on his heel and slipped through the door.


Riku stood outside of Sora's room to give him some privacy and give himself time to himself to think.

The gentle summer breeze blew through his long hair as he laid his elbow on the railing to rest his chin in his palm. His face was warm and he realized he was blushing still from the hug.

Various thoughts went through his head over and over; him and Sora being best friends since they were children, going through everything in life together. People thought their bond wouldn't last long considering their various differences. Regardless, they were inseparable and just stuck together like magnets.

Riku lightly laughed at the cliché way he was thinking and shook his head with a smirk.

A memory appeared in his head and he relaxed with the sweet nostalgia.

The sounds of children yelling and laughing could be heard. The clouds overhead were cheerful and friendly looking to the children below even though the clouds would most likely turn into a nasty storm later that night. They carried on with their simple lives and played and played. Some on swings, some playing with a soccer ball, kicking it, tripping, yelling to use some teamwork. Teachers made random glaces over to make sure no one was severely hurt and went on chatting with each other.

Recess.

Two young boys, maybe only a couple years into grade school, played with a big rubber ball and bounced it on the ground to each other. One with brown hair, another with silver. The younger looking boy smiled brightly to the other, clearly enjoying the plain game.

Riku started to get bored and that led to getting just a bit distracted and his eyes started to wander. While this happened he noticed some kids walking towards Sora and his direction with mischief burning in their eyes.

Being distracted, the ball hit Riku's hand and bounced in the other direction but missing Sora completely.

Conveniently, the ball landed at the feet of what looked like the "leader" of the snot filled kids that were now grinning wide. A group of about six older children, all boys but one girl who could care less about what was going on but had a grin nonetheless.

The "leader" boy with vibrant orange tousled hair picked the ball up. Green eyes sparkling with joy and excitement, he asked, "Is this your ball?"

Sora turned around and grinned and said, "Hehe, yeah. Could you toss it over? This game is getting intense." Riku wasn't sure if Sora was kidding or really was that bored.

The blonde girl in the group clicked her tongue at Sora's comment with the attitude of an evil queen. Especially a game of tossing a ball back and forth. She had more important things to do.

"I was thinking the same thing, Ren," said another boy in the group with a guitar shirt.

"Shut up," she retorted, apparently too annoyed to think of anything else.

Riku though these guys were really easy to read, even as a kid. Not many of them really got along with each other.

"How about something more interesting, huh, guys?"

The group agreed.

"Like what? A new game?" Sora was actually curious.

"You could say that," the boy with the flame hair snickered.

The leader whispered something to Ren and she snickered, probably pleased with it. Riku guessed it had something to do with harming others. He took a step forward to stop it but somehow two of the other kids in the group already were behind him and held his shoulders.

Ren immediately ran around the playground finding anyone who was willing. A couple others and their friends didn't agree and Ren was infuriated with their inability to cooperate with her plans and pouted.

A plan was a plan though. She rounded up around eight other people who were bored enough to go with their idea. All were carrying a similar ball to Sora and Riku's and had four extra for the other kids in the group.

"Oh, fun, you got more people to play with me and Sora," Riku played along, not happy, but was glad Sora wasn't looking at how pissed he was. The two boys holding his shoulders loosened their grip when he stopped talking. Probably thinking things would be easy with this pansy boy.

"Have you ever played dodge ball, kid? You see... this turf is ours on the playground. I don't know if you've heard. And this ball, too. It's ours. What were you thinking?"

"Um... Er... I didn't know," Sora looked genuinely sorry.

"He didn't know, he says," said a boy holding Riku back.

"You want to know how you play dodge ball?"

"Uh... sure," Sora was beginning to get uncomfortable.

"Start running. We'll give you a five minute start. Then we'll try to hit you with these."

Sora was confused. "What?"

"Better get running."

"Sora! Just run." Riku snapped to him, looking at him with concern.

The brunette snapped out of it and started running towards the swings in the playground.

The redhead counted to five and decided that was long enough.

"You said five minutes."

"I say a lot of things," the boy laughed and started running towards Sora with the ball ready to launch.

In a fit of rage, Riku kicked the shins of both the boys holding him and when they reached down to their legs to stop the pain, he ran towards the red haired boy with full force.

Collision like that of a train hitting a car at full speed.

"AL!" a kid cried out from the group. Some looked disappointed in how this was going down. Some were confused and looking at Ren expectantly.

Riku was still on top of the bully, about to punch him right in the face. "Sora! Run!"

Sora turned around confused and only just realzed what was really happening. He turned around and ran with all his might to hide.

"So, you think it's funny to team thirteen kids against two?"

The boy smirked, "More interesting than Ren bit--"

Al was cut off by a fist hitting him in the cheek and a glare from Riku that could cut through diamond.

Riku continued throwing punches to Al's face. He landed a quick punch to Al's nose and there was a crunching nose. His nose was broken and was now bleeding. By the end of this, Al's face was a mixture of black, blue and red.

The other kids from the posse were eventually were able to push Riku off of their leader and walked him over to the teachers who somehow saw everything due to a friendly red haired girl who pointed it out. She waved to Riku and went back to the swings with her friends. The teachers began yelling.

Looking around, he couldn't see Sora anywhere and recess was about to end. However, he had an idea where Sora was. Underneath one of the jungle gyms, there were a series of tubes. Sora went there during recess sometimes to be left alone and it was his secret place with only his close friends. Riku had to punch maybe ten kids at random times during elementary school to make sure no kids decided to use it for the same purpose. It was theirs. Everyone had territory and that was their set spot.

Even before getting that into the tunnels, he heard a voice with a tinge of fear and crying mixed together saying, "Thanks, Riku... I owe you. Again. I need to get stronger..."

"Yeah, you do."

Riku decided to be blunt, today.

Sora flinched with the sudden shocking statement but then Riku continued going through the tunnels, "But I'll teach you. It isn't that hard. Just seem intimidating and stuff."

"Intima-whatnow?"

The older boy sighed and met Sora hugging his knees in the middle of the tubes, "Scary, Sora. You need to do your homework more, too."

Sora frowned and was silent for a while.

"I'm sorry you have to protect me all the time."

"I don't mind. I kind of like it. I feel cool protecting someone."

"Really?"

"Yeah. I'll always protect you."

"... Promise?"

Riku blinked, confused, but then the confusion turned into a soft smile.

"Promise. Come on, the bell's going to ring."


Riku smiled a little more because of the memory. He sat there reminiscing and thinking about how much he cared about Sora until quiet clicks of Sora's shoes hitting the wooden deck. Sora's soft voice called out teasingly, "Riku, are you daydreaming about sex again?" Riku would have nearly jumped if Sora hadn't used that joke a couple weeks ago before to make Riku laugh and tease him about his habits of getting lost in thought.

He turned around to see Sora changed and slightly pink in his cheeks, blushing.

Sora was wearing a plain black tank top covered by a plain white jacket with a tribal pattern flowing around it. For sheer weather purposes, the sleeves cut short of his elbows. When Sora shifted his weight, being sort of uncomfortable with Riku staring at him for so long without speaking, his wallet chain jingled catching Riku's attention; he forgot about that thing. It wrapped around the side of his leg nicely on top of his baggy blue jeans that were held up by a nice looking black and white belt that had a vertical pattern of taking turns.

In the center of Sora's chest was the crown necklace he's had since he was a kid. The bright silver brought a nice contrast to the black underneath. Sora looked a bit embarrassed but looked like he was enjoying himself in the cool outfit. He was probably only uneasy about this because Riku did work for him again. Riku didn't mind at all.

Riku started to blush even more after being a tad embarrassed with the flashback he was just having. He could feel the embarrassment and the blood flowing to his face. It was so warm it hurt.

"Are you okay, Riku?" Sora asked, "You look like you're getting a fever or something."

"I'm fine, don't worry," Riku lied, shaking his hand in a nonchalant way to shove the matter off and continued, "Do you like the outfit?" He knew it would look good on Sora but... damn.

"You sure?" Sora shoved his hand underneath Riku's bangs to get to his forehead, not noticing Riku's normally pale face was nearly all red. "That's weird... You're warm but..." Sora rambled on before going completely silent. He was so close to Riku at this point that while the boy was thinking about something tough, his breath could be felt on Riku's neck. Riku involuntarily shivered at this.

Then, out of nowhere, he gasped with wide eyes and asked loudly, probably joking, "Maybe you're getting some kind of new sickness! It could be deadly!"

"Sora..."

He continued anyway, "That can't be detected at all!"

"Sora."

"And you'll die in three weeks!"

"Sora!"

"And the doctors won't know what to do! Oh, Riku! You can't die!" Sora had a face of sadness and shock on his face as he carried on, "Who'll do my math homework for me?"

"SORA!!" Riku yelled.

"Yes?" Sora asked, grinning.

Riku sighed, and said assuredly, "I'm fine. I promise. Can we go now?"


Alright~. Opinions about it now? I think it's a bit better, a bit less cliché and stuff... but yeah.

I have to say, I'm flattered by the fact that a couple people have been urging me to keep writing this and continuing on. I didn't realize it was that great, then or now, honestly. But I really didn't hear many bad comments which sort of made me smile. I'd like to improve, though, so if you think something could be changed or just doesn't feel right to you, please say so. I love critique.

Oh, and the names for the kids in the playground scene I sort of meant for them to be like, the Organization as kids but not nobodies. Al is Axel, Ren is Larxene. Renela would be her full name I think. I'm so clever.

Hopefully I'll get all these chapters done soon. I'm going to write a new chapter once those are done. It gives me time to review what I've written. It's been a long while, folks.

Thank you for your support and thanks go to my friends who sat through this and helped me with the re-edit. Thank you Elle, Jenni and Rali and everyone else. You guys are awesome.