Our Distant Years
Disclaimer: Don't own KH, never will.
Joh: Just felt like doing a one-shot.
Jessie: don't you have a million other one-shots only half done?
Joh: Yes well….
Warnings: Yaoi, language, AU, angst
Note: From Sora's POV
And our childhood seems so distant.
We would run down the dirt path to the beach, laughing and screaming as we raced each other.
The crush of the waves would curl up along the warm yellow sand as we splashed our way through.
You never ran ahead back then. You kept your small hand clutched around my even smaller one. Back then; you were afraid to let go.
The glow of the setting sun would remind us to return home, and we would retire from our play, exhausted from our games of pretend.
You would lead me home, confident in your soft steps. You have always been so proud of the fact that you were one year older. Even back then you liked to act like the more mature one, being as how you were a six years old while I was only five.
I used to look up to you with such adoring blue eyes.
I bet you loved that.
I bet you loved how whenever I fell and you would be the one to help me up. And I would always wipe away my tears and smile at you. I would mouth the words
Because back then all we had was each other. Our parents were often too busy to take care of trouble making toddlers so they would let us spend the whole day in each other's company. I didn't know anyone but you. You were my whole world back then.
Yet the memories of those days remain the strongest.
Four years later you liked to think of yourself as an adult, now that you were ten, a two-digit number.
I remember being so jealous! I had to wait a whole six months until I turned ten.
Your birthday party had been small. It was only my mom, your mom, and I. Our fathers were away on business. Thinking back on it, I think you were upset that he wasn't there to celebrate your birthday. You hid your anger well though; I'll give you that.
"Happy birthday Riku!" we all chorused as you blew out the candles set into your white cake.
I nudged you with my elbow as I asked you what you wished for.
You told me it was a secret and I would have to wait and see.
And I smiled, sure that it was the perfect wish that would come true for you.
That night I slept over and we made a tent out of your blankets and pillows. We huddled together in our homemade tent and told stories, both of us trying to outdo the other.
We had promised to stay up all night, without sleeping at all. We both laughed when we woke up at the same time, the morning sun peeking through your open window.
It seems so long ago, but at the same time so recent.
I remember when you were thirteen and you called me in tears, asking me to come over. It had been years since I had last seen you cry, so of course I was terrified. I ran all the way to your house, my bare feet slapping against the sidewalks. When I was twelve I was going through a phase where I hated wearing shoes.
You answered the door, tears running down your pale cheeks and your silver hair in a mess.
Your green eyes were red from crying and you stumbled forward to place your head against my shoulder.
I patted you awkwardly on the back, not sure of what to do. As I said before, I was usually the one crying, not you.
There had been a strange man in your house, standing behind you and eyeing me with a blank look. I remember vaguely noting how he looked somewhat like you. At the time I didn't realize that that was the first time I had actually seen your dad in person.
"She's dead." You whispered in my ear. It was hard to understand you since your voice was so choked with sobs. "Some fucker was drunk and crashed into her car."
I was so shocked by the news that I forgot to ask what 'fucker' meant. You always were picking up strange new words from school.
"Dead?" I had repeated, breathlessly.
You pulled away from me, shaking and wiping furiously at your eyes. Your father placed a large hand on your shoulder, causing you to flinch and smack it away.
"Don't fucking touch me!" you had screamed, eyes suddenly blazing.
Your father pulled back, lips pulled into a stern frown. "Don't curse." He scolded you quietly.
With a snarl you grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the house and down the road. I let you drag me. I wasn't sure where we were going. I don't think you knew either.
Strangely, the closer these memories come to the present, the harder they are for me to grasp.
It was around the time you entered high school that you started changing. You wore your hair long, reaching just past your broad shoulders. When you had first started growing it out I had made fun of you and called you a girl.
You smirked instead of smiled. It became a rare sight to see you have a real smile.
I used to try so hard to see your lips move into a familiar smile.
Suddenly you became busy. You made new friends, loud people who I didn't really like. You would still hang out with me, but it wasn't the same as before. It wasn't just you and me anymore.
On one of those strange days where you found time for me, you kissed me.
I remember it perfectly.
We were sitting on that low tree branch that overlooked the beach. It was cloudy, the sky looking grim. I was telling you that we should head back home if we don't want to get wet when it rains.
You told me you didn't care.
So we stayed where we were, just enjoying the silence and each other's presence.
When I started shivering you moved closer to me, as if you thought that would keep me warmer. It did. You were warm and you smelled like grass, a comforting smell to me.
Hesitantly you leaned forward, eyes shyly making contact with mine.
I remember I only realized what you were about to do the second before you actually did it.
Your lips were warm and gentle as was your hand clutching my arm. My eyes fluttered before I pulled away. Honestly, I was in shock. My best friend had kissed me! What was I supposed to think?
Without a word I slid off the tree branch and stared at you. You stared back at me, a strange expression on your face. With your head bowed you jumped off the branch and pushed past me, running home.
I wanted to follow you, call out to you. But I didn't. I had stood where I was, tracing my lips with my fingers. I thought I'd be able to talk to you about that later.
I didn't know that the next day you wouldn't be my best friend anymore.
It's like you're trying to make things hurt as much as possible.
When I entered high school I had made new friends so I wasn't alone anymore. None of them could ever have been as close to me as you were, but they were good friends. They were the kind of guys who would stick up for you no matter what.
I had felt lost that first day of school. Everything seemed so intimidating. Then I saw you, in the hallways. You were leaning against the lockers snickering with your friends. It felt like forever since I had last seen you.
And it was like seeing a whole different person.
Your hair had gotten longer since we had stopped being friends. It was now pulled back in a messy ponytail with your long bangs shading your face. A silver band glinted in your ear when you tilted you head back to laugh. I wondered when you had gotten your ear pierced. You used to be afraid of needles.
"Riku!" I called out to you, waving timidly. I wasn't sure how you would respond.
Your friends turned to look at me quizzically before turning back to look at you with raised eyebrows.
You stared at me with a flat look before brushing your hair out of your green marble eyes and pushing off of the lockers. Without a word you brushed past me, pushing me slightly as you past me.
I thought you had forgotten me, but then you turned to look at me one last time. A strangely smug smirk twisted into your graceful features.
It was like when we were little and you used to be able to tell me things without saying a word. You were telling me 'I'm going to make you're life a living hell.'
I had suddenly felt sick.
And I don't even know why.
And you were true to your words. Your friends bullied me relentlessly; to the point where I would walk home crying.
You were always there, just watching with that small smirk of yours I had grown to hate. You never said anything. Sometimes I would wish you would, even if it was to insult me. I needed to hear your voice again.
But you never spoke.
I would watch you from a careful distance, worrying about you and hating you at the same time.
You had started smoking. Whenever I saw you outside of school you had your cigarette in one hand and your sketchbook in the other.
Sometimes I wondered what kind of things you drew. I imagined that you would be skilled at drawing, perfect at it just like how you're perfect at everything else.
Or maybe that was just part of the image you had built for yourself. To everyone you were the untouchable popular kid at school. You got perfect grades despite the fact that you skipped more than half the time. You had perfect looks and perfect clothes. You were great in every sport known and got away with just about anything. You were the image of perfection.
On the outside at least.
Sometimes when I passed by your house on my way to the bookstore I would hear you screaming with your father.
I remember the first time I heard the shouted argument I was so shocked I wasn't sure what to make of it.
"Don't even try being a parent now! It's too fucking late for that!" I had heard you screech from the window left open in your kitchen.
Your father's deep voice had answered you. He was speaking too low for me to make out what he was saying, but you replied loud enough.
"Don't you DARE give me that bullshit! You don't care! You didn't even care when she died! I fucking hate you!" Your outburst was followed by a loud crash which I could only imagine was the sound of glass breaking. You most have thrown something.
The front door soon slammed open as you stormed out of the house. Your eyes were smoldering as you fished a smoke out of your back pocket and lit it with trembling fingers.
As you walked down the path you looked up and noticed me. I had frozen, not sure of what to do. Should I run? Should I say hi?
But you didn't give me a choice. You merely scowled at me and turned around to walk away in the opposite direction, a cloud of smoke billowing behind you.
But I know...Someday I will forget you.
A year fluttered past us, whisking us into another whirlwind of change.
I was sixteen when I got my first girlfriend. She was pretty, what with her long red hair and dark blue eyes. Life had gotten a little better for me since I had joined the basketball team. Less people made fun of me now.
I think I really liked her. We hung out a lot on the beach where you and I used to play when we were kids.
She was so happy when I had given her a shell necklace that I made myself. She had smiled at me and leaned up to brush her lips against mine.
Blushing, she held the necklace to her heart and smiled at me.
I smiled back.
The next day we walked through the hallways hand in hand. I remember passing you in the hall. You had glared at me then glared at her, your eyes narrowing to slits.
Nervously I walked faster, hoping that you wouldn't send your friends out to tease me again. But you didn't. You merely leaned back against the wall and watched me walk down the hall with her.
The next day when I walked past your locker I saw you and her talking to each other. I was about to call out to her when you wrapped an arm around her shoulder and kissed her.
I had always wondered what it feels like to have your heart break.
You looked at me from over her shoulder, a devious look gleaming in your eyes.
I swallowed and turned and fled.
I didn't blame her for letting you kiss her like that. You've always held a charm that could draw anyone in. You're the master of manipulation I came to discover. Why should I hate her for falling for your seduction when I would have fallen just as easily?
And you may someday forget me.
A year later you were at prom that night when I was home alone eating ice cream while watching T.V.
It was pretty late at night when you knocked on my door.
I answered, standing in the doorway as I stared at you.
You were drunk, that much I could tell. "What do you want?" I had asked you coldly.
"Let me come in." you rasped, grabbing the door frame for support.
I stared at you, my blue eyes narrowing. I was debating on whether or not I should slam the door in your face. As I studied your unfocused green eyes I gave in and stepped aside to let you stumble your way into my house.
You immediately threw yourself down on my couch with a groan. I stood over you, frowning.
"I feel like shit." You moaned, pushing back your hair from your sweating face.
I bit my lip before retrieving a cup of water and a wet cloth.
You accepted both eagerly and drained the cup. As I pressed the cloth to your head to wipe at the sweat you frowned at me.
"What are you doing?" You had asked me, confused.
I remember feeling so angry when you asked that question. What did it look like I was doing? I was trying to help you even though you didn't deserve it!
With a sigh I flung myself down on the armchair facing you and crossed my arms, hoping you would just fall asleep. I still don't know why you came to me that night and I was trying to work it out at that moment.
"I…don't hate you…you know." You whispered. "I really…" you trailed off.
"What?" your voice sounded different from what I remembered.
But you said no more. Your eyes were shut and you were breathing deeply, apparently asleep.
That morning when I woke up you were gone.
And before I knew it you were graduating.
And I may never know...why you stopped talking to me.
Four years have passed since I last saw you. I now work as a writer and a waiter when I run low on money.
I've gone out with a few more people but I've never been in a relationship that's lasted. I sometimes wonder where you are. Who you're with.
Because despite what you've done, I still remember you.
After all, why else would I be sitting here, writing about a boy I once knew?
Joh: Sad, right? It's a one-shot just so you know…I'm not planning on continuing this so please don't ask…
Jessie: If you do she'll feel pressured to continue it.
Joh: Tell me what you guys think, okay? If you're confused about Riku's actions come up with an idea yourself. Make up a reason why you think I had him do what he did.