Summary: Some photos are much more precious than others. They bring back memories long forgotten and should be held close to the heart. OneShot. RikuSora.

Photo #14

A box fell to the ground with a loud clack. Dust drifted up into the air and waved around making Sora sneeze. He had to bring his hand up to wave away the choking dust from his noise before he let his hand fall to his side. Blue eyes gazed down at the item he pulled out and dropped on the floor and he carefully studied it. Getting down on his knees a moment later, he reached out gloved hands to open the dusty cardboard flaps.

Sora had taken a short break from his adventuring. Even hero's in tragic adventure stories needed time to relax. At least that was what Sora figured after seeing so many characters in his story books having to go through all this trial and error without any sort of juice break. It seemed taxing and tiresome, and Sora was by far the most carefree person in miles and he appreciated such moments of peace.

What had urged him to do a little bit of spring cleaning was beyond him.

As he pulled open the box he had to turn his head away as the box gave off another wave of dust that irritated his nose. Waiting a moment for it to settle, he reached in and pulled out the first object his fingers felt. Sora heaved out a large photo album that he hadn't seen since he was a small boy. A smile tugged brightly at his lips as he placed it on the floor.

It was of his childhood. Memories so precious and so lost now that it was good to look back and see what he might have forgotten. No matter what emotions that might be tied with those images, he was curious and happy to look back on his days as a little boy.

The brunette opened the book randomly and let the cover and first few pages fall slack against the floor. The first few photos that he saw were simple ones, such as pictures of him playing in trees or of him posing childishly for the camera. The first few pages were all of him until they flooded into pictures of him and Kairi when he was only a few years older. Faded pictures of the two of them playing little games or trying to catch fish on the docks.

His smile turned into a grin when he found one photo that showed him looking very smug and a very agitated looking Kairi. The red headed girl had cake smashed all in her hair and it seemed to be dripping down her face. Sora let out a laugh.

Turning the next three pages, Sora found that many and many of them were simply ones of him and Kairi or of Tidus and Wakka and many of Selphie loving the attention that the camera gave her. Pictures of all of them together in great big parties or simply posing on a sunny beachside day.

His smile faltered slightly. There was something wrong with all these photos. He thought hard, his eyebrows furrowing in his thought, trying to pick out just what had started to bother him about the photos.

"Who took all these pictures?" Sora said to himself. His voice was soft and curious.

He turned three more pages of group photos before he found a whole blank page with only one small photo sitting in the very center. It appeared most faded and somewhat torn on one corner. The photo was completely candid for the expression of the one of the two people in the photo was completely surprised.

"…Riku and me."

The image seemed special instantly; it had been isolated on its own on the center of the page with no other images to distract it. Sora had his arm around Riku and had his other arm flooding out of the picture as if reaching for something. Sora wore a bright smile on his face, cerulean eyes alit with happiness.

Riku looked completely annoyed, maybe even a little bit irritated. The silver haired boy seemed to be trying to almost pull away and had caught the snap of the photo rather than attempting to make the escape. His green eyes bore at Sora like it was him to blame.

Sora sat back and stared at the photo for an extended moment. How long had it been since he had seen Riku's face? His heart thumped in his chest as he gazed at the image. It seemed suddenly precious to him. Thinking for a moment, Sora realized he remembered the exact day that this photo had been taken.

----

Sunshine blazed across the sandy beach. The endless hum of the ocean waves clashing with the shore droned out any other white noise. The sand grains were hot from the long morning of beating sun. The day was like this almost ever single other one and it was hardly ever changing. Summers were long and humid while winters were only considerably milder. Fishing net littered the wooden docks nearby that stretched out into the water. Seagulls barked out noises to each other as they glided across the cloudless sky. This was life on Destiny Island.

Sora had left the house fairly early that day. For the past few months he had adopted the growing hobby of photography after managing to find a rusted camera that had been found in the attic of his home. Ever since finding the little machine he had been taking photos of everything that he could get his hands on. Pictures became solid memories that could be easily stored in books and could be used to giggle and reminisce about later. For the sole reason of that, Sora had wanted to try and take pictures of as many things as he could. So that morning he had left early to go to the ocean and take pictures of as many fishes as he could near the docks.

When he got there Sora could see Riku sitting there alone on the edge of the last plank. Curious and suddenly grinning Sora shouted to him and waved his hand in glee. The camera bounced haphazardly against his little chest as he ran towards his friend. When he reached the spot where Riku was he plopped down right next to him and beamed. "Look what I have this morning, Riku!" Sora started. He held up the camera proudly.

Riku looked momentarily amused before trying to snatch the camera away from the little brunette. "Sora, you have been taking pictures of everything lately. There is no way I'd be surprised by you having this camera now."

For once, Sora had managed to escape his friend's fingers and lifted the camera away from Riku. He fiddled with it a moment before he held it up to his face and took a very fast snapshot of his shoes hovering over the crystal clear waters below. "I want to make a photo album of all of us!" he chirped confidently, "Once I have a bunch of you and me I will be done!"

Riku looked disinterested and shrugged his shoulders. "I have been taking all the group photos for you and everyone. You always want to be in them all."

Sora looked up from his camera and studied Riku. The boy looked as if he was perfectly fine with taking the group photos for them all but Sora knew that it was just not right to have Riku take them in order for Sora to be in the photo as well. He had innocently wanted to be in all his photos and Riku had always volunteered to take them. "Riku! You're the one that always wants to take them! I'm sorry but we have to take some together today, alright?!"

Riku laughed at Sora's innocent justification. He brushed some of his bangs out of his eyes before he replied. "I don't like pictures that much so I don't mind not being in any of them."

"But I want some of you too, Riku! It wouldn't be a good photo album without some of you in them. What sort of friends would we be if I didn't have any pictures of you?" Sora pouted.

"I said I don't like being in photos, Sora. It's fine, really. I know in my heart that I am here with you all. The real thing is more special to me than some photo."

Sora felt puzzled by those words slightly. What if one day Riku had to go on a trip and Sora did not see him for a few days? There was no doubt in his young mind that he had no intention of ever forgetting Riku and with the help of a photo Sora would be set. His heart swelled as he thought about having a bunch of photos with just him and Riku to balance out the hundreds of ones that he had with Kairi and Selphie.

"Please, Riku? Please?!" he pleaded childishly. Sora gave another boyish pout as if to deter Riku away from his decision to shy away from the camera lens.

Riku denied the little brunette again and in turn Sora only asked once more in return. They went back and forth like this for a lengthy while until the moment that Sora shot his most powerful look of puppy eyes at Riku that Riku seemed to finally have snapped. The silver haired boy looked put out at having to be in a photo but with Sora looking so positively happy that look fell from his face quickly.

Sora shifted closer and observed his camera dramatically, his brows furrowing in deep thought before an idea came over his face. Turning the camera around, he lifted it into the sky and aimed it at himself and Riku. Sora smiled brightly as if any old person was behind the camera for him and snapped the button. The camera gave a little click and the shutter clacked open and shut rapidly.

"You didn't get us." Riku commented idly as he pointed at the camera, "You have bad aim, Sora." The boy laughed.

Sora pouted and reached up to flick Riku in the center of the nose. Trying again this time he reached his free arm around Riku's shoulders and tugged the silver haired boy closer to him. The brunette was fairly certain he would get a good shot of him and his best friend if it took the entire day in order to get the photo. Sora was not exactly the best photographer in the world, actually very far from it, but with his sort of determination, he would eventually get it. Getting it with or without Riku being content with all the fidgeting and adjusting he would get a photo. When he took the snapshot this time Sora had tugged Riku as close as he could to him that their cheeks nearly met. The click went off before Sora let go and turned the camera back around.

Riku looked disgruntled. He reached up to subconsciously adjust his hair again before rubbing at his eye a bit. "That felt funny." he said honestly.

Sora raised an eyebrow and replied, "It did? Why? Now I have a great photo of you and me! That is the most important thing!"

Riku sighed. "You never stop amazing me, Sora. What is in a photo anyway? It is just a picture that will eventually fade away. It makes me feel odd because this is more real to me than some picture."

Sora observed Riku again before he looked down at his old camera. The machine looked frayed and well used but inside was something special to him. It would be the first photo he had for his album with just the two of them and if that was not special then he did not know what would be. Sora felt like he wanted to cherish the photo because it was of him and Riku.

"They are memories that will always be with us. A photo can make us remember, you know? Remember each other no matter where we are." Sora replied brightly.

Seeing that contemplative look on Riku's pale features Sora shifted closer again. He knew that his friend was probably over analysing it and it seemed pretty useless to do so. A photo was just a photo and why Riku had to be critical about it confused him. If Riku wanted to only see the things for what they were and remember them by heart he would have to make a memory last for Riku without the aid of the photo then and that meant dramatics. He leaned over and pressed a light kiss to Riku's cheek and made sure to be gentle and sweet with it and poured an affectionate emotion with it. The peck was quick but meaningful. When he pulled back he smiled vibrantly.

The face that Riku gave him then was really something he could not just ignore. Riku had his lips parted and his jaw slack in astonishment. Emerald green eyes were bright with surprise and his nose seemed to even twitch. He looked completely stunned into silence. It was much too cute to see Riku caught so off guard. Quickly, Sora raised the camera and took a photo as fast as he could.

"Hey! Sora, don't take a picture of me without asking first!" Riku retorted quickly. He made a swipe for the camera but Sora stood up and started to run down the dock away from the boy. Riku was quick to follow and chased him with all his might. "That is why I don't like pictures!"

"Why, because they capture real emotion?!" Sora shouted back with glee, "That was a face I don't ever want to forget!"

-----

Sora had taken the photo out of the blank page. It was dusty and torn in one corner but it still held the image perfectly fine. Riku looked disgruntled and surprised while Sora smiled brightly into the camera. The photo was on a page of its own in the very center as if it had to be focused on more than the others. Sora had taken that photo years ago when he was innocently naive and Riku was home.

Sora gave a small sad smile. He reached up a finger to touch his lips before he went to turn the photo around. On the back it read, "A photo can tell an entire story, an entire memory. I guess you were right, Sora."

The brunette remembered that his friend had taken the other photo from that hot afternoon. He briefly wondered if the boy had kept in and when he looked at it remembered the times that occurred here on Destiny Island. Sora hoped that the photo was still with Riku, even if it was a simple one of him looking so candid after the little kiss he had given, but still, it would remind Riku of him.

Some photos were more precious than others; they can tell entire stories and make people remember the little moments surrounding the picture. Sora felt a swell of emotion run through him as he tucked the photo in his jacket carefully and a string of determination made him leave the house.

Sora would find Riku and would take more photos no matter how many surprise kisses he would have to give.