Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts or any of the characters used. I also do not own the game Cranium.

Warning: This story will contain male/male pairing(s).

Pairings: Riku/Sora, Tidus/Kairi

A/N: Most likely some OOC and slight Tidus bashing.

Thanks to all my reviewers!

"Talking"

'Thoughts'

Pretend You Love Me

Chapter Six: Pretend You Still Need Me

Shadows loomed over the island as an overcast of clouds came into view. The temperature had dropped a few degrees but it was not much to affect the residents, as the humidity from the day still lingered in the air. The dark clouds swept overhead ready to let the water drops release at any given moment. The residents hoped that the excruciating heat wave would finally be over with this passing shower. With the rates and usage of the air conditioning systems, many still wondered how a blackout had not affected them yet. The population of the island was not exactly large enough to require a large power station.

A scowl appeared on the brunet's face as he looked up at the darkening sky. It wasn't that he disliked rain showers, it was just he did not like being caught in one. The idea of having to probably walk home with wet clothes and his unruly hair sticking to all the wrong places, just did not appeal to his current predicament. The young teen glanced towards his left where Riku was currently walking along beside him. The boy had been relatively quiet the entire time after they had left the arcade.

'It was right after he finished talking to his friend on the phone.' Sora thought while gazing intently at his companion, hoping that the intense stare would somehow give him the ability to read minds. The spiky-haired teen just sighed before looking back ahead where his best friend and her boyfriend were having an animated chat. Apparently Tidus had this great idea but with the rain approaching Kairi thought it would just be better to do an indoor activity. She never did mention what Tidus had suggested in the first place and he couldn't have been happier. Sora found Tidus to be as interesting as a pencil…unsharpened.

The quartet continued to walk in the direction of Kairi's house. That was the indoor activity she suggested. Of course she has the largest collection of romantic comedies known to man, and Sora just knew that she was planning a movie marathon complete with one of her many board games. Sora inwardly cringed at the thought. As long as the board game was not Twister he would be happy. He didn't need anymore awkward moments today, especially with Riku. Speaking of the boy, Sora glanced one more time at the silver-haired teen who had still not said a word. The brunet wondered if the boy was even blinking. He sighed for what seemed liked the thousandth time in one hour before returning to his thoughts.

"You know, you looking at me and sighing is not going to make the situation any lighter." Sora almost jumped at the sudden comment before looking at Riku. At least he knew that the boy still had a voice.

"Sorry." The brunet said quietly while looking down embarrassed. He should have been more discreet while being consumed in his thoughts.

The older teen stayed silent, appearing to go back to wherever his mind was before. Sora felt like he should start up a conversation with the other male, perhaps about his earlier conversation with his friend. That seemed to be the source of his thoughts but Sora knew that prying might just make the older teen annoyed and irritable. He did not want that, especially with Kairi present. The brunet just decided to remain quiet after a long mental debate with himself. However, there was something that he and the silver-haired male both had in common at the moment, and that was their thoughts.

'Are relationships supposed to be this complicated?'

Kairi stared back at both males walking alongside each other with confusion evident in her eyes. They have both been relatively quiet ever since they left the arcade, especially Riku. She didn't want them to know that she noticed so she acted the same, but she wasn't dumb. Something was up between the two. Just a few hours ago they were talking like they were the best of friends and now they barely said two syllables to each other.

"Is everything okay?" Her boyfriend asked beside her, clearly worried about her actions.

"Huh?" Kairi replied quickly as she snapped back to reality from her thoughts.

"You got really quiet all of a sudden."

"Oh, you know, just thinking about stuff. I have so many ideas on what we can do! This is going to be so much fun!" Tidus just smiled at her since she was once again acting like her usual perky self. He continued walking while talking about how his latest blitzball game went. Kairi just vaguely listened before her thoughts consumed her once again. She glanced back at the two teenage boys before giving Tidus a nod, indicating to him that she was paying attention.

'I wish you would just talk to me like you used to Sora. A girl can only use her instincts for so long.'


The blond picked up another cookie from the plate while watching as many emotions changed on his friend's face. There was initially confusion, followed by bewilderment, then amusement and finally an illegible look as an evil, sinister grin was left on the red-head's face. He had been staring at his cell phone the entire time which made the blond even more curious. Especially since he knew who he had been talking to.

Axel couldn't help but have a smirk plastered on his face. He had definitely heard Riku correctly. The silver-haired teen was indeed not alone at the moment, in fact he was hanging out with his so called 'boyfriend'. Of course at first he was beyond confused. He thought that maybe the reception on his phone was crappy but he couldn't deny what he heard. In fact, Riku had hung up as soon as he released that little bit of information. The teen didn't even bother with a good-bye or anything. This made Axel even more curious and dare he say, amused. Yes, Axel was very interested as to what Riku was doing on the mainland right now.

He did wonder why Riku wanted to keep it a secret though. Although the spiky red-head had to admit that it wasn't that shocking to hear that Riku was dating another male. What was shocking was hearing him call his male companion his boyfriend. A boyfriend would imply a commitment to that one person and Riku wasn't really the commitment type. Sure he has dated people before, but none of them ever truly turned long-term.

'How did this guy manage to make Riku stay with him?'

Then quite an intriguing thought slipped into the handsome red-head's mind. Riku would probably not want many people to find out about his tiny secret since he was hesitant to even tell Axel himself. Therefore, Axel could use this piece of information for his own benefits. He knew that this would mean he would be blackmailing his own best friend, but he really wanted to see how far he could use it against Riku. He may even get some free ice cream out of it.

A dark grin spread across his face as soon as the thoughts entered his mind. He chuckled before placing his cell phone back into the back pocket of his jeans. Axel looked up and noticed his friend, Demyx, looking at him one eyebrow raised in confusion, and half a cookie in his mouth.

"Well, what did Riku say? Is he meeting us at the harbour or what?" Demyx finally asked after swallowing the cookie he had in his mouth.

Axel looked at his blond friend in amusement with the sinister smirk still on his face. Demyx felt nervous under Axel's gaze and began to move his feet from side to side. The red-head opened his mouth preparing to say something to the nervous blond before he was interrupted by a new feminine voice that had just entered the room.

"Bad news guys. The ferry has been cancelled because of an oncoming rain shower. We'll have to wait a bit before we can get back to the mainland. You should inform Riku, Axel. I guess we'll have to see him at school tomorrow instead." The petite blonde stated before exiting the room.

Demyx watched as Axel showed slight disappointment before grabbing a cookie and taking a large bite out of it.

"Are you going to call Riku again?" he asked, still curious about what their previous conversation was about.

"Nah, I'll let him have his fun. Now where do you suppose Naminé hid the other cookies?"


Deep, ocean blue eyes watched as the seconds ticked by slowly on the large clock hanging on the wall. The brunet would look away every few seconds but would quickly return his attention back to the clock. Through this repeated process, his mind was able to reach one simple conclusion.

'Time really does stand still at Kairi's house.'

Said girl was currently in her own thoughts as she watched the actions of all the guests in her home. Her boyfriend was currently checking his voice mail on his cell phone, which she did not understand why since she's probably the only one to actually leave him messages. Her best friend found that old clock in her living room to be the most interesting thing in the world at the moment and continued to just glance at it, trying to hide the fact that he was but she saw right through him. And last but not least, the new visitor to her home was still silent and still appeared to be deep in thought. She was beginning to wonder if that was everything the silver-haired male new how to do.

An idea struck the girl's mind and she clapped with excitement to gather the three male's attention. Tidus looked at her expectantly; he was probably feeling as awkward as she was at the moment. Sora appeared relieved and Riku still appeared to be contemplating something. She was beginning to get really worried about him. His behaviour from this morning had changed so quickly she did not even realize something happened to trouble him in the first place.

"Why don't we play a board game? I have tons of them and I'm sure it'll be fun." Kairi stated before running up the staircase towards her room, not even waiting for the responses of the boys. Silence roamed over the males as they waited for the auburn girl to return.

Kairi walked into the silent room and almost sighed at the silence. If there was one thing she was good at, it was breaking the ice.

"Okay guys," she began while plopping the games onto the table placed in the centre, "choose one to play." Her guests just looked at her expectantly causing Kairi's frustration to increase with them.

'Oh for heaven's sake! Men, why do they have to be so damn impossible?!'

The only female of the group put on a pseudo smile to cover up her frustration and decided to just pick any game at random. Preferably one that involved teamwork. Lots of it. Kairi picked up one that managed to catch her eye. She had a plan, a practically flawless one at that. A few minutes playing this game and everyone would be once again enjoying the day with laughter and merriment. Or so help them, she will botox smiles onto their faces.

She smirked as she held up the board game that would make all her wishes come true. Sora looked confused until he saw the displayed worlds of Cranium plastered all over the box. He visibly cringed which caused his companion to look at him questioningly, before realizing just how evil Kairi's smirk looked.

Kairi began to set up the game onto the centre table after removing the other board games off of it. She decided that she and Tidus would be on one team and Sora and his boyfriend on the other, as it made the most sense. She picked the red pawn for her team and the blue pawn for Sora's team. After placing both pieces at the starting positions, she made sure all the cards were set up properly on their respected colours and gave all four piles of cards a good shuffle.

"I assume everyone here has played Cranium before." Kairi said while shuffling the last deck and placing it on the red colour-coated area. Riku and Sora both nodded while Tidus felt playful and decided to have some fun with his girlfriend. He raised his hand which caused Kairi to glance at him before giving him an annoyed look.

"Honey, you're the one who taught me how to play so don't even try to be funny right now." Tidus chuckled nervously at the deathly serious expression Kairi was sending his way. He quickly put down his arm. Sora inwardly smirked, he loved seeing Tidus frightened and convinced himself a long time ago that it did not make him a bad person. Glancing to his side, he noticed that Riku also appeared amused.

"Now since it's my game, I think that me and Tidus should go first." Sora just nodded as he really couldn't care at the moment. The auburn girl excitedly grabbed the colour-coated die and rolled it. The green side of the die was facing upwards. Kairi shrieked in excitement and grabbed a green card from the immense pile. She quietly read over the card before handing it to Tidus to do the same.

"One of us has to be a performer and silently act out clues so that the other team member can guess the answer." Kairi explained to the other team what their task was. "Let me be the performer Tidus!" Tidus just shrugged as his girlfriend grabbed the card from him. Riku and Sora just silently watched, interested as to what Kairi has to act out.

"Okay, the hint is activity." Tidus nodded in understanding before Sora began the one minute sand timer. Kairi thought for a few minutes before beginning her clues. She began by pretending to get on something with her feet and then be appearing to whip the air. Tidus just raised a brow in confusion. Even Sora and Riku were confused. Kairi then got another idea and appeared to be shivering while still whipping something. Sora was still confused and was caught off guard when Riku leaned in and whispered the words dog sledding into his ear. The brunet did not have much time to react since he noticed that the sand in the timer had run out already.

"Time's up Kairi." His best friend looked at him before staring at the stationary sand in the timer. Her eyes widened and she pouted in disappointment.

"Tidus, how could you not get it!" She exclaimed in frustration.

"I seriously have no idea what you were acting out!" the blond male stated defensively.

"It was dog sledding! I was on a sled, commanding the dogs to go faster and was cold. What's not to get?" The statement caused Tidus to also stand so that he was practically eye level with Kairi.

"What are you implying?"

"Sometimes you can be a real airhead, Tidus."

"Our loss had nothing to do with my lack of intelligence but with your lack of acting skills!" Kairi was about to retaliate but Sora decided to step in before things got weird. They would never talk to each other like this, especially not in front of him.

"Hey guys it's okay. We just started the game so there will be many opportunities to try again." The brunet said hoping to calm the feuding couple down. He assumed it worked since both sat back down quietly and Kairi placed her green card at the bottom of the pile.

The girl handed the die to Sora from across the board and he quickly rolled it, hoping that it would break some of the newly formed tension in the room. The red side of the die was left facing the ceiling.

'Great, I hate the red cards. I always lose.'

Sora reluctantly picked up the red card and read the question printed onto it. After rereading it about ten times he gave up. The red cards were always about knowledge and facts, two things which weren't exactly his strengths.

"Can I read it?" his companion asked. Sora smiled and passed it to Riku, watching as the other male's facial expression did not even falter as he read the question.

"Well Sora, what's the question? You didn't even let Tidus and I hear it." Kairi asked, breaking the silence she had been holding for the past few minutes.

"It's a multiple choice question," Riku began, "the question is, which city is located on two continents. Niagara Falls, Cairo, Istanbul or Havana."

"Wow that sounds hard. I have no idea."

"Shocker." Tidus whispered sarcastically beside her. She heard him but chose to ignore him in order to keep the peace. Instead she started the timer for the boys.

Sora turned towards his partner whom appeared to be in deep thought again. They still had time but no matter how much time he took he did not know the answer.

'Who the heck would build a city on two continents anyway?!'

"Istanbul." Riku stated quickly, disrupting the solitude. Sora looked at him questioningly as to what he was talking about.

Riku raised a silver brow at the brunet's expression. "The answer is Istanbul." Kairi seemed surprised herself since only a few seconds had passed since she started the timer.

"Is that the answer you both agree on?" She asked.

Riku looked at Sora who just shrugged. "I guess."

Riku handed the red card to her so that she could check the answer. Sora watched as she appeared surprised once again before giving them both a smile. "Congrats, that's right."

Riku just smiled and moved the blue pawn to the nearest red coloured area. Sora watched in bewilderment.

"How did you know that?" he finally asked the silver-haired male.

Said male just shrugged. "I remember hearing that it is split between Asia and Europe," Riku gave him a flirtatious smile before continuing, "I guess that was your geography lesson of the day."

Sora blushed and looked away flustered.

'Holy cow! My boyfriend is sexy and smart!'


Emerald eyes gazed outside the small cottage where the rain drops have recently begun to pick up speed. He could hear the fast hums of the drops onto the roof. His mind was elsewhere, however, which was further proven by the charming smirk on his visage.

"You know, you're really starting to scare Demyx." A hearty, feminine voice broke him out of his trance which cause him to pout. He liked having all the devilish thoughts cloud his mind. It actually gave him something to do until they got back to the mainland.

The girl noticed that Axel would not be responding anytime soon and decided to just continue. "What has gotten you in this mood anyways? Apparently it happened right after you finished talking to Riku. What exactly did you two talk about?"

The red-head just gave her an innocent smile while putting on his best whatever-do-you-mean face. His blonde companion did not fall for it and silently demanded an explanation. Axel's expression faltered after a few seconds and he turned serious, something he only does when he actually was having thoughts provoke him.

"Hey Naminé, do you think Riku's lonely?" The blonde girl appeared stunned for a moment before a sentimental expression found its way onto her face.

"Why are you asking something like that all of a sudden?" Axel just shrugged and continued to gaze out the window.

"Well, I don't think he is. I mean he has his friends and family constantly around him. Why would you think he was lonely? Did he tell you something?" Naminé began to show worry for her friend. If Riku was feeling lonely he would have said something right?

Axel shook his head. "No, he didn't say anything. It's just…" Naminé waited for him to continue but he didn't seem to be starting again anytime soon. She was about to question him until he spoke once again.

"You dated him, right? Did he always enjoy your company?"

"Axel that was back in middle school."

"What's your point?"

Naminé sighed before giving in. "I guess. We both enjoyed each other's company but we found out that we were more comfortable being friends than an actual couple. He's like a brother to me. You know all this so why bring it up?"

"I think Riku wants that again. I mean only with someone else. You know, be an actual couple and not just go on a few dates or fool around."

"So that's what you mean by him being lonely." The blonde girl now pondered her friend's thoughts more thoroughly. If Riku did want a girlfriend again he could easily get one. It wasn't like girls ignored him, quite the opposite really. Girls were constantly trying to get Riku's attention. Even some boys were known to try and get the silver-haired male's interest.

"Axel, is that what you two were talking about before?"

"Sorry Nam, but I can't reveal that information." Axel stated cockily with his trademark grin on his face.

'So much for having a serious conversation for once.' The blonde girl thought.

"Whatever. The rain should stop soon so make sure you have everything packed. We are not coming back for anything. Understood?"

"Yes, mother." Axel said while rolling his eyes. Naminé gave him an annoyed glance which caused the red-head to raise his hands in defence and offer peace.

"Come on don't be like that, Nam." He went to embrace the blonde girl who resisted at first but later gave in. Axel was unusually sentimental today and she would enjoy it for the time being. As soon as those thought left her mind, however, the annoyed expression was once again placed on her face.

"Hands above the waist Axel!"

The red-head just smirked.


Kairi did not know what was worse at the moment; having a boyfriend who was actually clueless about everything or presently failing at her favourite board game. Tidus was currently acting out another activity but quickly stopped once he noticed that time had run out. He looked disappointed but the girl couldn't care less at the moment. They were losing because of him!

Kairi held out her hand to stop Tidus from talking. "I don't even want to know what you were trying to do." Tidus just glared at her before taking his seat.

"Our turn!" Sora exclaimed while snatching the die off the board. Riku just smiled at his companion's enthusiasm. They were currently in the lead and it appeared that the game was most likely going to be their win. Even Riku was excited. His previous thoughts were now in the deep recesses of his mind and his only motive was to please Sora. The brunet wanted to win so that was what he was working on. His brain was finally being put to a good use. He would also get to put Tidus in his place, but that was just a perk.

The die rolled across the board and revealed the colour blue upright. A smile once again found its way onto Kairi's face. The blue cards represented creativity and drawing abilities. Since Riku had solved the previous challenge it was Sora's turn, an unwritten rule they had created for the game. She knew that Sora was not exactly talented in the visual arts. Hopefully this would help the red team try to catch up to the blue team.

"Oh, I love the blue cards! Sketching is so much fun!" she exclaimed.

Sora appeared uneasy. The challenge required him to draw clues so that his partner could guess whatever the answer was. The catch was that his eyes had to be closed while sketching.

"Come on Sora, you can do it." Riku smiled encouraging at the brunet which caused Sora to return the smile. Riku's smiles were always contagious.

"The hint is thing." Sora stated before closing his eyes and pressing the pencil against the sketchpad. Kairi started the timer and Sora began drawing.

'Drawing is hard with my eyes open! How am I supposed to do it with my eyes closed?!'

Riku watched as a messy oval shape appeared on the paper followed by a sketchy rectangular shape underneath. The two shapes weren't connected but Riku assumed Sora had wanted them to be. The brunet paused for a moment while hovering to one side of the oval. He began to draw specks with his pencil that appeared to be falling and little rectangular and square-like objects. Since Sora couldn't see, Riku also presumed that whatever the other boy was drawing was supposed to be throughout the messy oval. He thought for a quick moment before an idea came to him. It was worth a try.

"Is it a-"

"Sorry time's up!" Kairi quickly exclaimed after watching the timer intently for a full minute.

Sora opened his eyes to see what he had created and almost cringed. What he was visualizing did no look like that at all.

"Riku was about to say something, though."

"Sorry Sora, I don't make the rules."

Before anyone could respond she grabbed the die and rolled it hard across the board. The colour yellow faced upwards at her. Yellow cards had to do with words in every way, shape or form. She thought she would be able to handle it. Tidus grabbed the yellow card before she could and began to read it. He had been doing that for the past couple of rounds. It happened right after his 'we're a team speech'.

After a few seconds, Kairi grew anxious and took the card from Tidus' clutches, who did not appreciate the gesture whatsoever.

"Read the card aloud, Kairi." Sora said teasingly.

"We have to determine the correct definition of the word. The word is sororal and our definition choices are either exhausting, chorus of women, sisterly or miserable toothache."

"Well you two better start thinking." Sora stated before starting the sand timer.

Kairi was not about to admit defeat but she had no idea about what the answer could be. She was usually very good at spelling and grammar in general but right now she was stumped. Her partner was no help either as he appeared just as confused as she was. She watched helplessly as the sand drained to the bottom of the glass timer.

"Time's up!" Sora practically shouted as the last bit of sand hit the bottom. Kairi had to resist glaring at her friend but knew he was just getting back at her.

Tidus sighed while placing the yellow card back in the pile. For once he would actually like to win a game. Kairi was so competitive sometimes that she lost sight of what actually mattered.

"This is pointless," Tidus said while standing up and stretching, "I'm going to get a snack."

"What you can't leave now! What if the next card is an all-teams activity?! You can get a snack later." The boy's girlfriend exclaimed while he began his trek towards the kitchen.

"So, they'd still win anyways. Face it Kairi, we already lost." With that said, Tidus walked out of sight and into the adjacent kitchen.

Kairi, upset and frustrated at her boyfriend not cooperating, raced into the kitchen after him. Riku and Sora were left alone in the living room to wonder what exactly had just taken place. Sora was more confused than the other male since he had never seen Tidus and Kairi act this way towards each other before.


The pretty, auburn girl stomped into the kitchen and watched her boyfriend snack on some chips, barely acknowledging she had even entered the room.

"What was that all about? We're supposed to be a team, remember Tidus?"

"Really because in there it seemed like you were calling all the shots. I barely got a chance to read what we had to do before you'd take over."

"But-"

"How do you expect me to help you when I don't even know what the hell I'm doing!"

Kairi could tell that Tidus was upset but she didn't care. Right now she was fuming and did not even bother admitting that they never spoke this way to each other before.

"Well maybe if you were more willing to participate I wouldn't have to take the lead. You did not even try in there!"

"Yes I did! I just wasn't good enough for you. Nothing ever is!"

Kairi was speechless but soon her anger was all she could think about. Everything inside her was eager to get released. She wasn't even sure if the game was the only thing that seemed to fuel her rage anymore.

"If you don't meet my expectations, apparently, then why are you still here!"

Tidus looked at her, anger evident in his eyes and equally in hers.

"I don't know." The blond said softly, almost like a whisper, before darting past her, into the hall and out the door. The door shook for a few seconds from the pressure before returning to normal. Kairi stared ahead at the wall with the same intense expression she gave Tidus. Emotions that she had been covering up for too long began to surface, with or without her consent. Before she knew it or even control it, her vision became blurry and she felt her cheeks become wet.


Sora and Riku were having an animate conversation just like the previous day. The brunet noticed that the other male was slowly returning to his previous self from this morning, including all his innuendos and quirky remarks. Sora didn't realize how much he missed the talkative Riku until he was actually gone.

"You know, I was never able to actually pass that game since-" Sora's input was cut off by the argument he undeniably heard coming from the kitchen, where Kairi and Tidus just happen to be at the moment. Judging by Riku's sudden mood change, the brunet could tell he noticed too.

"How do you expect me to help you when I don't even know what the hell I'm doing!"

Sora and Riku just continued to stare at the doorway leading to the kitchen. Every few seconds they would glance at each other both wondering if they should interfere.

"Well maybe if you were more willing to participate I wouldn't have to take the lead. You did not even try in there!"

Sora had never heard Kairi raise her voice at Tidus like this before, or even at anyone for that matter. She was genuinely a kind person, who didn't really need to use her voice to get her point across.

"Yes I did! I just wasn't good enough for you. Nothing ever is!"

Riku didn't like how their conversation was turning. Tidus was taking everything out on Kairi which he knew was wrong.

"If you don't meet my expectations, apparently, then why are you still here!"

Sora gasped. They had gone from a great morning to an awkward midday, which then lead back into a wonderful afternoon. What was going to happen now? He really did not want the awkwardness to return.

Riku and Sora could not hear the rest of the conversation as it had gotten quiet, but were quickly jolted in surprise by Tidus' fast strides out of the house. They both watched as the door vibrated for a moment before returning to normal.

"Kairi." Sora said worriedly, with the need to protect surfacing. Riku watched as Sora quickly got up and practically ran to where his friend was. Through the silence that had now enveloped the house, he heard quiet sobs and soothing words coming from the kitchen.

With determination, he quietly but hurriedly stepped out of the house and caught sight of someone walking away hastily. He narrowed his eyes at the blond mass in the distance and hurried to catch up to it.


Sora stood in a tight embrace with the girl who had been his best friend since as long as he could remember. Her sobs and the echoes of rain drops on the roof were the only sounds breaking the silence of the house. Even with their not-so-great friendship during the last few months, he would not be letting go anytime soon. She needed him and he'd be damned if he weren't there for her.


I'm terribly sorry for the delay of this chapter but some family matters came up that needed my attention. They haven't exactly been resolved so I thank you in advance for your patience. I'll try to have the chapter available as soon as possible.

Your reviews have given me motivation so thanks again. :)

And you could probably tell that this chapter did have a bit more serious moments in it than others and a bit more about Riku has been revealed.

TheDarkTraveller