Title: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Author: Tenshi no Nozomi
Contact: RikuxSora, hinted TidusxKairi
Summary: Life goes on the same as always; to make the ordinary special, do you have to take a step further? Or is that special something always with you?
Author's Notes: My first foray into KH fanfiction as well as shounen ai. I appreciate all constructive criticism. I can handle whatever you have to say—I've written SMcrosses for over five years now—so if there's anything at all you'd like to say… please review.
Dedication: To Chibi Michi and Silversweet, who both encouraged me to write this and then post it. If it weren't for you guys I probably would have deleted it. Also, a special thanks for the folks at Atra Viscus for their encouragement.
Sora slurped at his slush hesitantly; Kairi had recommended it, but he wasn't sure if it was really going to be good or not. He hated oranges. He let out a small noise of surprise, though, when the liquid-ice mix hit his tongue. It was fruity, sweet and tangy, some kind of mix that was surprisingly delicious.
"Wow, Kairi! This really is good," Sora admitted, taking another taste. Yup, very good.
"I told you so," she replied, not unkindly. Selphie came and sat down next to Kairi on the other side of the booth with the fruit drink she'd ordered. Kairi was having whatever he was having, and although Selphie agreed that it was good, she preferred watermelon.
"I still can't believe they built a place like this here," Selphie said conversationally. Sora had to admit, too, that the sleek little café didn't really seem to suit Destiny Islands. And yet it was already immensely popular, and it seemed like literally all of the students came here to hang out after school.
"Well, you can never really guess exactly what'll happen," Kairi said, almost philosophically, twirling a strand of her red hair between her forefinger and thumb. That was the truth on more than one level, and Sora had to laugh a little around his straw. Their eyes met, and Sora knew they were thinking much the same thing.
It was their big secret, of course—the way the planets had fallen apart, the way it had been saved, where they'd been for that year. It was strange, though. Life had resumed at Destiny Islands like nothing had ever happened. People went about their daily lives, not asking questions about the strange events that had occurred only three years ago. It was just as well, since they couldn't explain.
"Earth to Sora, come in, Sora," Selphie said, interrupting his thoughts. Sora jerked, almost guiltily. "A munny for your thoughts?"
Sora just laughed and shook his head. Selphie pouted, but didn't press it. Maybe the reason no one asked questions was because they felt the weight of the secret on them, too. Sora felt it when he contemplated telling others. So maybe there was some magic tangled up in his life even now.
"So, what did you think of today's History exam?" Selphie asked Kairi, and off they went talking about the mundane. Sora sipped at his drink some more, wondering just what this taste he couldn't name was.
"Hey, Kairi," Sora said. "Do you know what the ingredients for this are?"
Selphie gave Sora a funny look. "Wait. Wait, wait, wait. You didn't tell him what's in that, Kairi?" the bubbly girl asked her friend. They exchanged some kind of look, and then Selphie was holding back snickers behind her mouth.
"Hey, hey," Sora said, alarmed. "There better not be anything gross in this," Sora warned, putting down his drink and eyeing the goldenrod, semi-frozen mix in the transparent.
Kairi was laughing too, now. "Easy, Sora. Take a chill pill. I would never do anything like that to you. Besides, I don't know anyone in the back who'd risk their job to put a worm in it," she teased him. "It's not a big deal, really. I know there's lemon, and some orange, and bananas, some sugar and honey, but the reason Selphie's laughing is because the last ingredient is"—
A hand reached from nowhere behind him and grabbed his cup. Sora whipped his head around, and it was none other than Riku. Of course Riku would be the only one who would steal his drink. Blasé, as though he'd been invited to it, Riku took a good drink from the cup, until there was less than a third left.
Sora scowled at Riku, who apparently didn't notice or care. "Hey, that was mine, you know. I paid for it." Mostly, though, Sora wasn't mad. If anything, it was good to see Riku acting this way. For a long time after they'd returned Riku had been changed—perhaps humbled, certainly subdued—by what he'd experienced. The first time Riku had teased Sora for being short after an entire year of caution, Sora nearly cried with relief.
Riku didn't so much as bat an eyelash. "I was thirsty," he replied with a shrug. And then that cocky smile of his transformed his handsome face. "Of course, if you have to be a girl about it, then… I humbly apologize, my dear lady," Riku said, replacing the cup on the table.
Sora's scowl deepened; again Riku shrugged nonchalantly before taking a seat beside him. "Hey, it's not my fault that you spend too much time around girls." Riku stretched an arm across the back of the seat and slouched characteristically. "What's the matter with you two?"
The sound of more giggles—stifled, half-hysterical—turned Sora's attention back to Selphie and Kairi. Both girls were staring at the two of them, with some mixture of shock and disbelief. And Selphie, well, from the way she was straining to keep from laughing, it looked like she was going to explode.
"What? What is it now?" Sora asked, wary. He liked Kairi, but… girls were so weird. They always started giggling when they knew something you didn't. Like they enjoyed being in on the secret, the power of knowing.
Selphie and Kairi exchanged glances—and some secret knowledge passed between them—before Selphie exploded into another fit of giggles that left her breathless and sagged against the table. Kairi's look of shock slowly transformed into something sly and confident; the grin that spread across her face was purely devious.
'Uh-oh,' Sora thought to himself. That was the look Kairi got when she'd heard something spectacularly gossip-worthy. "Well. Like I was trying to tell you… the final ingredient in that drink is Paopu fruit. Apparently, with enough sugar and honey, it actually tastes really good anyway. But… well… you know what they say about two people who share a Paopu fruit." Kairi grinned at Sora suggestively.
The first thought that exploded into his mind like a firework was 'She planned all of this.' Kairi had known for over a year now—closer to a year and a half—that Sora had the most terrible fixation on Riku. It was why they'd chosen to break up, though they'd never told another soul. But she'd been trying to get Sora to confess, to fix him up with Riku ever since. Was this just her latest attempt? 'She planned all of this, somehow, and I'm… going to kill her.'
The next went something like Oh-my-god, I shared a Paopu fruit with Riku. What if he doesn't like me? What if he likes girls? What if he doesn't like me? What if he thinks that story's crap? What if he doesn't like me?
"Pssh," Riku said, waving one of his hands at the girls, like they'd just suggested the moon really was made of cheese, and that a space exploration there would leave them with enough cheese to last a life time. "Don't tell me you girls actually still believe that story, do you?"
Selphie's giggles were finally dying down. "Oh, I dunno. My aunt shared one with her childhood sweetheart, and they got married and have two kids now."
"Man, that's such bull, ya know?" Wakka came up from out of nowhere. If Sora hadn't been having a meltdown before, he was now. Wakka and Tidus were both surveying the rest of them. "I'll prove it, ya?" He said, before grabbing Kairi's drink.
"H-hey!" Kairi gasped, trying to rescue her cup, but it was out of her reach. Luckily for her, Tidus was both closer and quicker.
"Don't go drinking my girlfriend's Paopu-drink-thing," Tidus said scornfully. He then eyed it and added with an impish grin. "If anyone's going to share it with her, it's gonna be me," he declared, and took a giant swallow.
The girls both erupted into squeals. Kairi looked shocked and a little embarrassed, but there was a glow in her eyes that said at the same time she was pleased. Probably, regardless of the Paopu's possible magic, they would end up engaged at some point.
"Are you going to drink the rest of that, Sora?" Riku asked, gesturing at Sora's fruit-slush. Sora looked at his drink, and just as quickly looked back at Riku. Probably he looked about as startled as he felt, because Riku added with raised brows, "Don't tell me you believe that old housewives' tale, too."
Sora hesitated. They were all looking at him, waiting. His face was starting to go red from embarrassment. Finally he picked up his drink, and took another few sips from it.
Conversation turned to school, to exams, to graduation, which was coming up soon. And then his friends started to drift away, one by one. Wakka to play his beloved blitzball by the beach, Tidus and Kairi went to go hang out privately—which probably meant to make out—and Selphie went too because she was the kind who got bored easily. Which left him and Riku in the café, alone, and not really talking.
Sora glanced at Riku a couple times, trying not to get caught looking. He wondered if any of the others aside from Kairi knew. Probably Selphie did; girls seemed to get some kind of kick out of the thought of guys liking each other. Why, Sora didn't really understand; it was just another one of those things that made girls weird.
"So have you heard anything from Donald or Goofy lately?" Riku asked, like he was talking about the weather. He was drinking what was left of Selphie's drink; apparently he didn't worry about germs.
"No, not recently," he replied, a little sad. Not seeing them anymore made him lonely. They'd become good friends, and their prolonged absence in his life left him feeling only slightly less lonely than when he had been without Riku and Kairi. "Not since we left on the ship last time."
Riku nodded, thoughtfully, quiet. Even now, Riku was changed from his experience. He still bragged and laughed and teased and mocked, but it mostly seemed like a show he put on for others' benefits. It worried Sora; whether or not they were ever more-than-just-friends, he wanted his friend to just be himself.
"Uhm, Riku," Sora started, fumbling for words, for his thoughts, which ran away from him. He'd started, but now he wasn't sure what he should say. 'I love you,' maybe? Or, 'You don't have to hide from me?' Or, 'I'd like to share a Paopu fruit with you for real some day.'
"Yeah?" Riku asked, looking at him, meeting his eyes. Sora loved Riku's eyes; they were the color of the ocean in certain spots, when the sun shined just right and the sand beneath was just the right distance below, and the water was clean from seaweed. If he'd been having problems thinking before, though, he was truly lost now. His palms were sweating in his lap, and he had to fight the insane urge to wipe them off.
"Uhm," Sora croaked, coming up with nothing. His mind was screaming at him to abort the mission, he was in too deep, he was failing, floundering, a dying beached whale. "N-Nothing," he stuttered. "Never mind." If Kairi were here, she'd be so disappointed; she seemed to be more eager for Sora to confess than Sora himself was. She'd probably just tell Riku for him, or lecture Sora when Riku was gone about how they weren't getting any younger and he should stop wasting time and just say how he felt.
Riku cocked his head to the side and furrowed his eyebrows, staring at Sora like he was trying to peer inside his brain. Sora hoped that Riku wouldn't pursue it; sometimes he got strangely persistent. In the end, Riku just snorted and shook his head. "You're such a weirdo, Sora, even now."
Sora just waited for his heartbeat to go back to normal. So he'd panicked. It was okay. They were back to normal, back to the old routine. He hadn't confessed, but he hadn't screwed up.
Riku finished up the last of Selphie's fruit punch and then reached back over and took Sora's drink, which he'd sort of forgotten about. He proceeded to finish off the last of it. "You really don't believe the story about Paopu fruits, do you?" Sora asked, genuinely curious.
It was unusual; he wouldn't say that the people on the island were superstitious in particular, but most people tended to believe that sharing a Paopu fruit with someone you loved was a big deal. Parents always asked if their kids had shared the fruits with their boyfriends and girlfriend when things got serious, and it was traditional for a couple to share one on the night of their honeymoon.
Riku looked at Sora, but his expression was completely blank. "Do you?" he asked, and Sora knew it was a loaded question. They'd both seen magic, knew the consequences of the real stuff. Sora wasn't sure if the Paopu really possessed that kind of power or not, though, so he didn't really say anything.
Riku softly snorted. "Weirdo," he said again, but Sora knew that was how Riku showed affection. His friend got up, stretched, and threw away the trash their friends had left behind. "C'mon," he said, already heading for the door. "If we hurry, we can probably still catch Wakka down at the beach."
Sora hesitated. Life was normal. It was an average day, and he hadn't changed it; he and Riku would play blitzball with Wakka and maybe Tidus and when they went home and went to bed tonight Riku still wouldn't know how Sora felt. But they were still friends, and they were still close, and so it wasn't all so bad.
His heart was content with knowing that day in and day out, he'd see Riku and Kairi and they'd laugh, and sometimes Donald and Goofy would come and they'd go on adventures and fight what was left of the heartless and nobodies together. And someday, maybe near or far off in the future, Sora would tell Riku how he felt. He could feel it in his heart, like a promise to himself, and knew it to be true. And then maybe they'd get to share a Paopu fruit together, whether or not the stories were true.
"Sure," he agreed, and followed his friend out into the sunshine.
Cookies and luff for reviewers.