Uh... Guys? I noticed a bit of an irregularity a few days ago in my hit count. Chapter four has just over a hundred less hits than chapter five, despite the fact that they were put up at the same time. I think maybe people did what I usually do and assume that the very last chapter is the only updated chapter, and just ignore all of the others. Well I posted four and five that night. It's not really a big deal because four had NO plot in it whatsoever that was in any way shape or form necessary to the story, but it's a hundred people who apparently just missed a chapter. Probably less than that when you take into account all of the people who are repeat readers, but still...
Laying sprawled out on the couch, I sigh in contentment as Riku shifts his naked body beneath me, even as he accidentally kicks my leg while wrenching his foot out from under the cushions where it had become lodged sometime in the last few minutes.
"Sorry," he mumbles in an utterly unconcerned fashion, not bothering to even open his eyes.
"You're not forgiven," I chuckle, propping myself up on my elbows so that I can look down on his exhausted, peaceful face. God, he's so gorgeous like this.
"Oh?" he says, opening one green eye to stare at me in mild curiosity.
"Uh-uh," I confirm playfully with a shake of my head as I lean to kiss the tip of his nose, "That was the worst apology I've ever heard. You'll have to do better than that."
Riku opens both of his eyes now, vibrant green meeting my blue for several long seconds, a soft smile creeping over his full lips before he turns his head to the side and lifts himself up a little so that he can press them to my own. Our mouths meld together, opened invitingly to one another, but neither of us braving more than gentle caresses with the tips of our tongues. It's enough though—more than enough.
"I love you," Riku whispers as we let up enough for his lips to form the words.
"And I you," I reply just as quietly. Riku wraps his arms around my neck and pulls me back down to lay on top of him, smiling serenely the entire time and I'm regretful that I have to get up.
"Come on, babe, I have something to show you," I say, snaking my arms around his waist and pulling him into a sitting position. He whimpers, eyes still closed, and falls back limply as only my grip on his midsection keeps him from resuming his previous position.
"Riku," I admonish lightly, to which he pouts, eyes peeking out from under dark lashes imploringly. I just shake my head.
"Come on, Ri," I beg him, "You'll like this, I promise."
Riku continues to give me his best pout for a minute before seeming to realize that it's futile and sighing.
"Oh, very well."
I grin and spare a kiss for his cheek as I tug us both off the couch, both still naked as the day we were born. I slide around behind him, placing my hands over his eyes and begin to guide him towards the only room that we have yet to enter since we left this morning; the bedroom. I accidentally lead Riku right into a low table that I hadn't seen, but he just gives a heaving long-suffering sigh and waits patiently for me to set him right again. Finally, after keeping a much closer eye on where we were going, I maneuver him to the closed bedroom door. I fiddle with the knob before nudging Riku in and following close behind, my hand still over his eyes.
"Okay," I say after giving the room a cursory glance to check that everything is in order, "You can open them now."
I feel his lashes graze my palm as he obeys, taking in the room calmly before his gaze focuses on the bed, upon which he looks over his shoulder at me with a cocked brow and a crooked smile.
"And where have you been hiding that?" he asks.
I grin back at him mysteriously and simply nod towards the bed, "Go open it."
"Yeah," I agree with another 'go ahead' motion of my hand.
Riku laughs and darts over to the bed, climbing on top of it to assess the large, brightly wrapped box and it's overlarge silver bow. He gives me one more brilliant smile before tearing into the paper with all the excitement of a kid on their first Christmas. I stroll over to jump on the bed myself in order to get a better look at his face, catching his mischievous smile as he flips the lid off the box, only to dissolve in laughter as his face screws up in confusion.
"What the—oh for goodness sake, Sora," he sighs in exasperation as he realizes what's going on, "Very cute. The box within a box trick." He starts to attack the next layer but I intervene once I see that he hasn't noticed my "addition" to that layer's bow.
"Wait, wait, wait!" I call, grabbing his hands, "Check out the bow before you massacre the box anymore."
"Hm?" he plucks off the bow and brings it up to eye level to be examined.
"I don't—oh," he blinks bemusedly before glancing over at me and saying sarcastically, "You shouldn't have, Sora," and pulling out a ballpoint pen the exact same shade of red as the bow. He twirls it around in his fingers and smirks at me.
"I've always wanted one of these, you know."
"Oh shut it," I grouse in mock annoyance, "Go murder your next box—and don't forget to check around it this time."
"Yes, milord," he says pompously with a low bow, not even attempting to dodge the pillow I toss at him before he resumes his attack on his gift.
As wrapping paper starts flying, I take the opportunity to crawl to the head of the bed and after fluffing the plain shams into a comfortable softness, lean back to watch the show. Riku glances upwards at me, pen tucked behind his ear, before lifting the next lid and peering into the box. One silver brow shoots up and he tosses the top onto the bed next to him so he can retrieve the next item.
"A book?" he muses to himself as he turns the small thing over in his hands to read the front, looking up at me in surprise once he does, "A travel guide?"
"Not just any travel guide," I elaborate with a wink, "A complete travel guide, courtesy of the King. There's worlds in there that I guarantee that neither of us have ever heard of—much less been to."
Riku continues to look at the small guide with a mixture of bemusement and interest, flipping absently through the pages and stopping every now and then to take another look at some world or another. I simply sit back watching with growing satisfaction at his obvious pleasure, even as it wars with his equally obvious curiosity. He's undoubtedly trying to piece all of this together in his head and I can tell by the set of his brows that he thinks he's already got it mostly figured out.
Oh, if he only knew what I've got in store for him.
The next lid is chucked unceremoniously off the end of the bed and Riku pulls out two card-like sheets of paper, reading them intently before suddenly laughing with a self-assured nod.
Oh no no, Riku, you haven't figured it out yet, I assure you.
"Two tickets for a 'wildly romantic cruise through the stars'?" he asks teasingly, "Have you always been such a closet romantic or did Kairi put you up to this?"
"Uh!" I huff in mock annoyance, "I'll have you know that I came up with that idea—and not because I'm a closet romantic, either."
"Riiight. And what shall serve as our cruise ship, hm?"
I turn my nose up snobbishly at Riku as I reply.
"I'll also have you know, you cretin, that I built a special gummie just for the occasion. So there!"
"Ah. And would I be correct to assume that we're doing more than just 'cruising through the stars'?" he asks, waving the travel guide.
"You would. But don't be so sure that you've got me all figured out just yet—you've still got several layers to get through."
My silver-haired lover gives me a thoughtful look that I return with a faint smile that only grows as he bites one of his lips and returns to accosting his boxes. After a moment, he fishes out a dinged up pair of silver cuff links, glancing up at me in utter confusion.
"Threw you for a look there, didn't I?"
"I'd say," he agrees, looking back at the twin pieces of jewelery, "So what's up? I don't get it."
I shake my head and nod towards the box, "Don't worry about it now."
He continues to give me that look for a minute before leaning over to hand me the two items so that he won't lose them as he tears at the next layer.
Riku takes on such a dumbstruck expression as he stares down into the box that I have to rake my memory to try to figure out what was in the layer under the cuff links—oh.
With a faintly scandalized look, Riku pulls out a white lacy thong, pinching it between his forefinger and thumb and holding it away from himself as if it were a poisonous serpent.
"I had Kairi tear that entire thing apart this morning just to add that in after you agreed to wear your red thong again," I explain, feeling a stitch starting to form in my side from holding in my laughter when Riku undergoes a full body twitch.
Finally reigning in his disgust and shock, Riku pitches the thong at me and just closes his eyes and shakes his head.
"Whatever," he hisses, "I'm not even going to ask."
With that, he returns to his task, albeit with much trepidation. Though I can't blame him for that.
His next acquisition is met with much less horror, but just as much confusion.
"Isn't this...Kairi's?" he asks as he dangles a simple gold chain with an ornate celtic love-knot charm from his index finger.
"That it is," I nod, "But like I said, don't worry about that right now. You'll understand soon."
When he next pulls out a pair of sapphire studs, he stops dead and looks up at me in astonishment, mouth open but nothing coming out but the shallow breaths that his heaving chest creates as he glances wildly at the last four gifts. Finally he does seem to regain the use of his vocal cords.
"Two more," I interrupt quietly with a small smile.
He starts at my words and does turn back to the box, though he shoots me several wild looks throughout the process until he picks up the newest bow and pulls a small pen case-like box from it's folds. He swallows hard and opens it. His eyebrows furrow and his expression holding nothing but disappointment for a moment before comprehension dawns on him and he closes the box with a snap and digs into the next, and last, layer. I push myself up from my comfortable position and crawl up behind him, pressing our naked bodies together and wrapping my arms around his slender hips just as the lid that was so reverently lifted from it's place is dropped from suddenly numb fingers. Riku sags back into my chest and just stares down at the twin sparkles of platinum laying innocently within their nest of black velvet at the bottom of the otherwise empty box.
And suddenly he's twisting in my arms, fighting to turn around, and so I let him, only to have him suddenly hugging me tight and burrowing his head in my neck. I feel tiny tracks of wet hitting and then running down my shoulder, but I don't say anything, just hold on to him as he shakes in my embrace. Then he's laughing through his tears, palming at his eyes, but not pulling back.
"I don't know what I can possibly give you now," he laughs, "Hell I guarantee that nothing I've gotten can match this!"
"At this point, the best gift you could give me would be to say 'yes,'" I hint and he pulls back as if stung.
"Oh. I...uh—yes! Of course, yes!" he exclaims, throwing his arms around my neck and kissing me hard.
"Of course you realize though, Sora," he begins once he releases me, "that I'm not a girl and unless you've somehow—god only knows how—hidden something vital from me this entire time, we can't get married. Not in a way that anyone would legally acknowledge, at least."
I'm shaking my head before he's even finished and once he stops to stare at me imploringly, I smile gently and give him a squeeze.
"This isn't about validating us with the law," I tell him feelingly, "This is about me showing you that I want to be with you for the rest of my life. This vow is for us alone. Why should we need some government snob to acknowledge that we're in love?"
Riku rocks back on his heels and looks at me in amazement until suddenly he begins chuckling and draping his arms around my neck again.
"You're right," he whispers as he nods, "This is our decision and we don't need someone to approve of it as long as we're happy. You're absolutely right."
And with that, we slowly sink back into the mattress, bodies pressed intimately together even as our kiss is the most chaste and pure that we've ever shared.
"Noogiewoogie, can you get me the cinnamon? I really can't at the moment," I call to my husband on the other side of the kitchen where he is doing dishes, raising my dough-covered hands as an explanation. He nods, rinsing his hands off, and I turn back to my bread dough. Riku has always had a weakness for cinnamon bread and I think I'm just going to take a quick nip over there in a few hours to deliver some—and check up on the results of our conversation earlier.
A large, tan hand reaches over my shoulder to shake a good heavy shower of the sweet stuff out over the dough, and I turn my head to kiss my Noogie on the cheek in thanks.
"Thank you, love."
"Hm," he hums, already walking back to the dishes. We work in silence for several minutes as I finish up kneading the dough and place it within the bread maker that I purchased solely for the purpose of making Riku's sweet snakes several years ago. It does have a feature on it where you can simply dump in all of the ingredients and it will do the kneading itself, but I usually forgo that feature because I've always liked that step, myself. It's the later steps of having to stay in the kitchen and watch it that always result in lumps of charcoal instead of bread in my oven. There's just always so much to do, I don't have the time—or patience—to watch bread bake for an hour!
"Are you sure you want to go over there later?" Nooj asks suddenly, bringing me out of my musings, "They may be...occupied."
"Maybe," I consent with a shrug before starting to giggle, "But that'll just make it all the more amusing when I can hear them both flipping out on the other side of the door. Riku'll have a nervous breakdown when he finds out it's me."
Nooj and I both look over at the phone ringing on the counter top and he raises his soapy hands helplessly as I raise my bread dough covered ones.
I shrug at him and say, "Just let the answering machine get it," to which he nods and he goes back to the dishes and I walk next to him to begin washing off the dough.
"Sorry but we're not in right now. Leave a message and we'll call you back!" says my voice from the answering machine before the automated voice takes over with, "To leave a message wait for the beep."
I scrub a little harder just in case I need to pick up the phone but it doesn't do much other than make my hands all the more slimy. Blast it, this stuff just doesn't want to come off!
"Hey Leblanc, it's Riku."
"Ack!" I squeak and steal Nooj's rag in an attempt to get my hands clean faster.
"Remember how you were saying that you were leaving the upstairs loft alone until something serious happened between me and Sora?" he says coyly to the answering machine and I stop what I'm doing and turn around to look at the phone in surprise. I swear, if those boys have fought again— "Well I'm just calling to let you know that you can now paint it whatever horrid shade of pink you've had set aside for it. See ya!"
"One new voice message," the automated voice says in the background but Nooj and I are completely out of it as we both stare wide-eyed at the phone.
"Was he just implying what I think he was implying?" I finally ask my husband after several very long seconds of dead silence.
"I dare say he was," Nooj answers back just as stunned.
"Oh," I say dully, staring into space a while longer before wheeling around to look at my Noogiewoogie with a brilliant smile, "So, how do you think the loft would look in light pink?"
Nooj quirks an eyebrow and says, "Wonderful, I'm sure, dear, but how about we finish what we've got here before running off to get paint. If you remember correctly, Riku is none too fond of baked goods with high carbon levels."
"Yes, yes, yes," I dismiss his comment, pointedly ignoring the part about "high carbon levels." I swear that man has the oddest ways of expressing himself. Now I wonder what I should get them for their, I'm assuming, wedding. If Riku's wearing the dress—which I'll employ all of my feminine wiles to ensure—I'm so making sure that I help him shop. We'll have all kinds of fun just shopping for the garters alone! Not to mention the pre-wedding spa stop for a full body waxing to make sure that he's silky smooth for their wedding night. Oh this is going to be so much fun!
"Darling," Nooj inquires, sounding almost disturbed, "You've been laughing manically for five minutes, what are you up to?"
"Oh nothing, dear," I assure him with a dazzling smile as I all but dance my way out of the kitchen to my office with my computer. Doing a little online research never hurts, now does it?—and I happen to know a very high quality spa that has an almost painless bikini waxing procedure!
I really don't know why I've always half-wished that Riku was a girl—you can have fun planning your little brother's wedding too. Especially when he's so gullible!
A violent shudder from Riku breaks the kiss that I grabbed him for after he hung up the phone. I lean back and put my hand to his forehead to check his temperature. Nope, not hot.
"You getting sick, babe?" I ask in concern.
"It feels like somebody just walked over my grave," he says with another shudder and a suspicious glance over at the phone.
Well, this is the end, folks. I'm relieved and yet saddened to say that, but it is what it is, and it is FINISHED!
As usual, please leave a review. And for anybody who liked my Riku-mpreg ETaNE, you should know that it has a drabble sequel featuring Kaori and his baby brother. And all thanks to one person who didn't take note of my plea for mercy and requested a sequel anyways. Meh.
And one MORE thing. I have two very large SoraxRiku stories that I have only recently began to write. Both of them are mysteries. The only thing is, I've never tried my hand at mystery, so I'm going to take extra long with these fics—I know, I know, you're thinking, "Dear god! 'extra long'?! For The Dax that means roughly a year or more between updates!" Yeah, yeah, everybody's a critic. But I just wanted that fact to be let known so that I would be held to my word and people would nag me. And is it just me or are stories with Sora and Riku dying out now-a-days? I generally don't read fanfiction for the fictions that I write for, so yesterday was the first time in a LONG time that I've checked through the KH archives. It's absolutely FLOODED with Organization XIII fics and Riku and Sora are actually hard to find!