He stood on the shoreline, staring out into the horizon shining with bright oranges and pinks. The colors stung his vision; they were too much. The light reflected off the water, burning his eyes, burning his face, burning his soul.

His eyelids folded gently over his aquamarine eyes. Darkness flooded his sight, covering everything. He could still smell that sweet, salty air and feel the tender grains of sand underneath his toes. He could still hear the waves crashing and the voices laughing.

Before, he had missed his island home terribly, yearning to feel the sun beat on his face and the water splash against his skin. It was all he had wanted.

But now, all he wanted (needed) was the darkness.

To close his eyes was a torment. It was a sick, pathetic replacement for the darkness. The darkness was cold and damp and inviting and wonderful, but all he felt now was hot, hot, hot. His flesh felt like it was melting off to the very bone, to his very core. He felt so… exposed.

He didn't know how much longer he could stay here. Here, in this horrible place he called home. He didn't know why he tortured himself so. He didn't know why he couldn't bring himself to leave.

His eyelids fluttered open slowly, and he lifted his hand up to shield his sight. The light was burning him again. Out of the corner of his eye, large splashes rose up from the ocean water, and laughter was heard again.

"Riku!" he heard her call his name. It sounded fuzzy. "Come swim with us!"

A head covered in thick, brown spikes emerged from the water and yelled, "Yeah, come on! We still have to dunk Kairi!"

His chapped lips curved into tiny smile as he walked slowly into the sparkling waves.

He knew why he wouldn't leave.

Although the darkness beckoned to him, offering its dry words of false comfort, although the light and the heat and the sun were slowly killing him inside, he knew that he would never be able to leave this horrible (magical) place he called home.

Even if he wanted to, he just couldn't escape.

Because he knew (he knew) that they would never leave either.

So he would stay forever and ever on these sun-drenched shores, burning his eyes, scorching his soul, filling his life with absolute suffering for eternity.

He dove into the ocean, and emerged quickly. Droplets of saltwater clung to his skin, shining in the bright, bright sun.

"Did I hear something about dunking?" he said as he crossed his arms smugly. Kairi shrieked and attempted to run back to the shore. Sora wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her back just long enough for Riku to grab her and chuck her into the shimmering sea.

He knew he wasn't going to mind the suffering.

After all, it was for them.




author's notes: Eh, it's okay. I just felt like writing really, really bad and this is what came up. I might fix it up more… but I need to go to bed. Oh yeah, and sorry for the super lame title. XD

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