Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters (Kingdom Hearts/Final Fantasy) in this story. It's all part of the large corporation called Square Enix.
Warning: Shounen-ai, yaoi, slash, male/male relationships, gay, homosexual... whatever you want to call it.
Author's Note: Okay, so.. One-shot.
YES. Thanks for asking – this WAS named after a porno that featured Rocky Balboa (well.. The guy who PLAYS Rocky).
At about four in the morning, my phone is ringing off the fucking hook. It's Cloud and he's mumbling something about Sora and a knife and medicine and how I should 'get my lazy motherfucking ass out of bed' and 'go down to Sora's motherfucking place' and 'help the fuck out' because 'Kitty needs my lazy motherfucking ass right the fuck now.'
Cloud was always the most articulate of souls.
Sora's my boyfriend. Cloud is his friend who's got the most astounding case of Asperger's Syndrome around and I'm actually amazed he's managed to fish himself out a boyfriend. He's got such a severe social retardation, he can't even get a job without getting fired three or four days later for extremely "rude" and "unmanageable" and "intolerant" behavior. It's not that Cloud isn't, you know, a fucking genius, it's just that he's a total idiot when it comes to interacting with people who aren't Squall.
People like me.
Or people like Sora.
Or even people like you.
He's the kind of guy that doesn't make empty threats. If he says he's going to come down to your place with a fork and carve out your heart, he's going to come down to your place with a fork and carve out your heart. I found this out the hard way. My face, which once held no imperfections, is still healing from an extremely broken nose. A broken nose that, when broken, the bone tore through the skin. Surgery after surgery later –
I had a broken nose.
I'm in my car and I'm trying hard to wake up. I practically live at Kitty's apartment, but the one night I stay at my empty-ass, sad-looking little shit of a hole, Sora collapses or falls down the stairs or something. God – every person with HIV should automatically come equipped with one of those Life Alert things that you can buy for old people. Just the push of a button and it dials 911 for you. It'd be perfect for someone like Sora, who, sometimes, can't even get out of bed to fucking feed himself.
He goes through spots of sickness.
He goes through little spots of sickness where we all think this is the end. And then, amazingly, it's not. It's been like this since he got HIV and it's going to be like this until he dies. The funny thing about HIV? It doesn't kill you, it just makes you suffer. Another funny thing about it? It opens you up to every single kind of illness around.
If there's an illness that causes you to cough up wads of hair and eat walnuts while doing it, if you have HIV, you'll probably get it. No joke. Your immune system becomes like the worst piece of shit on the face of the Earth and any kind of illness – even the smallest, weakest strain of the common cold -- will drop kick your ass into a brick wall.
Another funny thing?
I gave Sora HIV.
Kitty gets HIV AIDs – courtesy of Riku, courtesy of Axel, courtesy of Larxene, courtesy of Ansem, courtesy of King fucking Mickey..
The last one, I made up. But that's how all strands of anything work. Courtesy of, courtesy of, courtesy of, and then insert whatever name.
I pull into the parking lot and rush out of the car. The paramedics are on the scene and I rush upstairs. Keys are fumbled out of my pocket and I unlock the apartment door, rushing in and looking around. My fingers reach for a familiar light switch and it suddenly occurs to me – the paramedics were not here for Sora. In fact, why would the door even be LOCKED if the paramedics were here? And wouldn't Sora be on a stretcher? Wouldn't he be moaning and saying something like "this is the big one, guys"?
But he's not.
I walk farther into Kitty's apartment and I step in to the living, flipping on the light and noting Cloud laying on the couch, sprawled out and drooling all over his cheek and onto one of the many pillows Sora STOLE from his mother's house last time he saw her. Leon, Sora's brother, is seated on the other couch – the one off to the side – with Sora laying on his lap. Fingers stroke through that soft, brown, messy hair and instant relief fills my chest. Squall takes notice, mouths for me to 'shut the fuck up' and then motions for me to come over.
So I do.
Because you don't say 'no' to someone who wields a freaking sword.
"What happened?" I whisper and I reach down, touching Sora's cheek and paling. He's hot as fuck and when I look down at him, he's totally flushed and breathing heavy. "What's his temperature? Cloud called and... did you give him any medicine?" I'm kneeling in front of Leon, my hand stroking Sora's extremely hot skin.
"He's just sick," Squall shrugs and shifts, shaking Sora who frowns and sits up, slipping off the couch and on to the floor. I lift my arm and he obediently crawls underneath, nuzzling against my neck and kissing the line of my jaw. It's nice having a boyfriend who's just as infected as you. At least then you can touch each other's blood and shag each other shamelessly and not worry about infection. We both have it, so who even gives a fuck? I mean – we're careful. Our cum is no longer a harmless, sticky substance that can be swallowed. It's now an extremely contagious virus that needs to be bleached and locked the hell away.
"Hey," I squeeze him and look down at his face. My hand reaches out and I grasp his chin, forcing him to look up at me. "You okay, Kitty?"
Sora nods. "Yea, peachy. I've been dying for the past seven months. It's just a feeling you get used to."
I've been dying, too, but I don't fucking feel it like he does.
I shift into a sitting position, Indian Style, and Sora crawls in to my lap, nuzzling my face and kissing my nose. I wince and he immediately begins to apologize, mumbling half-hearted apologies into the darkness. The only light is the television. The only noise is Sora's soft, sick-sounding voice and Cloud's heavy-ass breathing. Jesus Christ to Heaven – he sounds like he needs an iron lung and I look up at Squall who looks over at his boyfriend, accesses that he's still alive, and then snuggles back against the couch.
And they say I'm not caring enough.
I'm at the hospital and I'm rubbing my face. I'm a fucking mess and I've been called off from work because Sora suddenly had an emergency trip to the hospital. Ever since he got AIDs, I've totally forgotten I have it. Or that Axel has it. Kitty is suffering so badly and who the hell am I kidding? He's practically an orphan. His father is dead, his mother hates him, Squall has no insurance, and no one has the funds to pay for the medicines he needs. He doesn't even have medical or life insurance and what eighteen year old boy does?
I know, I know.
You're thinking "that's Riku for you. Always tapping young ass."
Give me a break.
I'm only twenty-one.
I don't have the funds to cover my own medicine and I don't have insurance, either. Come on – we're GAY, not women. We don't think this shit through. We're living in the goddamn moment and who the hell am I kidding? Even if I did have insurance, how much of this would they cover, anyway? What more hell would I have to go through to make sure the both of us stay alive for, what? Another few years? It's already uncertain how long you'll live with AIDs, unmedicated. Not as long, but..
Any funds I have go to Kitty's apartment and making sure he has what he needs. At this point, I've given up my own shit-hole and I've moved out. I live with Sora and I'm being what he needs me to be which is there. With him. Mothering him and feeding him because it's not like he can go to school or work anymore. He's ill. He's sick and he's sick and he's sick and it's my fault. It's my fault and Sora would never, ever accuse me of killing him – of viciously murdering him – because he's too bubbly and too happy and he doesn't want to tarnish my memory.
Kitty is happy about his death because he knows if he's happy about it, how the fuck can anyone else be sad? If he's busy making jokes and laughing and making us critique his Will, how can we be sad and mournful?
Let's face it; Sora wants to remember his boyfriend and his best friend and his brother as we are:
Or at least smiling.
"Riku?" I immediately jump up from the chair that's right out front of Sora's room and eye the nurse. She licks her lips and offers a reassuring smile. "He's fine. He just had a severe case of the hiccups."
I'm sure I make a face because she's immediately trying to explain what happened. But I'm not listening. All I can think of now is: I got called off work because my boyfriend had the hiccups? I would be mad if it wasn't so fucking ridiculous and so very, very fucking Sora. I wonder if Leon and Cloud know about this or if Sora only told the hospital to phone me up.
I brush the nurse aside and walk into Sora's room. There's an IV stabbed in his elbow and he's trying to pull it out, but stops when I walk in.
"Hurts," a shrug and I walk over to his bedside, grasping his hand and leaning down to kiss his lips briefly.
"Sorry," Kitty reaches up to brush a bit of hair out of my face. "I had the hiccups, but they were bad. I don't know. I couldn't breathe. I got scared. I didn't want to call the hospital, but when I dialed 911, I couldn't even talk, Riku. I was hiccuping so bad, I couldn't even talk."
I fiddle with the IV bag and shift uncomfortably.
"They don't know why either," Sora grins at me, "doctors for you, right?"
I smile half-heartedly and Sora squeezes my hand really tight. Finger nails dig into my flesh and I flinch and when I blink, there are tears sliding down my cheeks. Hurriedly, I wipe them off and hurriedly, Kitty sits up, eyeing me with a great look of concern. He licks his lips and reaches up to stroke my face, wiping underneath my eyes and feeling over the bruise on the bridge of my nose.
I draw back.
"Geez, Riku," Kitty pouts at me, "it just hurts a little. You don't need to get all teary-eyed because an IV is causing me a small amount of pain."
He's looking at me, his eyes begging me to just avoid the subject he knows I want to talk about most. I squeeze his hand tight, digging my own finger nails into his skin, and I press our foreheads together. Forehead to forehead, nose to nose, our lips almost touching and I draw in a breath, trying to collect myself, but he really has no idea how shitty I feel and how relieved I feel all at once.
"I know," I draw blood because I'm digging my nails in so hard. He digs right back. "Sorry," I say.
And then I say, "I know."
We're sitting in a shitty diner just off fifth and fourth and I'm sipping from a coffee cup I've been having refilled for the past three hours. It's pouring rain and Sora won't stop shivering even though he's wearing my sweatshirt, his winter coat, mittens, a scarf, and a pair of those gay-ass fuzzy socks that seem to be all the rage during the cold months. His arms are wrapped tightly around his body and his face is horribly flushed. He's had medicine today already.
He's had a lot of medicine today already. We've been double dosing him because now that's the only thing that seems to work.
We slip him Nyquil every night because otherwise, he lays in bed and he won't sleep. He won't say it, but he's afraid of going to sleep because he's afraid he won't wake back up. I lie with him at night and after he falls into a forced, drug-induced sleep, I lie awake and I kiss his face and neck and finger tips and hands and every inch of skin my lips can touch, I kiss. I'm tracing Sora's outline. I'm trying to remember his body. I'm trying to sear him in to my memory because I know I won't live to eighty-five or even thirty-five, but I want to be able to remember him. I want to be able to remember that he has a small freckle to the left of his belly-button. I want to remember that the only place on his body where he has a whole lot of freckles is his shoulders.
I want to remember that he shaves his happy trail.
I want to remember the most intimate parts about him because if I forget him, then what the fuck do I have left?
"I feel it," Sora is sipping hot coco, courtesy of Kairi, who's working as a waitress tonight. "When you kiss me at night."
I freeze and I almost drop my cup. I don't know why, but I'm really embarrassed and I look away, trying to brush off the fact that it was a secret ritual I preformed. Something I did to make myself feel better so I could watch the love of my life wither the hell away and not cry about it. Not cry about it so I could preserve a happy memory for Sora. So when he died, he wouldn't be regretting how sad he made me. He'd be happy he could make me smile even in death.
Sora laughs and the shivering seems to melt away a little. "You do. I know you guys give me medicine to make me sleep. Sometimes I don't take it," he reaches into his pocket and he grabs out one of Squall's retarded handkerchiefs and wipes his nose with it. "And sometimes I pretend to sleep because sometimes I really like the way your lips feel against my skin."
And I like the way his skin feels against my lips.
His skin is always hot.
"God," I lean back and set my cup down. "You could at least let me know when you're awake," I try to casually reach up and rub my eye, but I more or less end up jabbing myself and Sora giggles. "Ugh, you're such a dick. We could at least fuck if we're both going to be awake."
Kitty grins wildly at me and gets up from his side of the booth and sits next to me. My arm goes around him and we fit together like a goddamn puzzle. Made for each other. Soul fucking mates since the seventh fucking grade and it's all about to end in a burning, fiery, messy inferno of fiery fire.
"I was just waiting for you to do me while I'm sleeping."
I wince. "Wha– Jesus tap-dancing Christ, Sora, could you be any more creepier?"
Like screwing a dead body, but the only difference is that Sora's body isn't cold.
It's constantly on goddamn fire.
Preserve this moment.
Sora is finally looking healthy and he doesn't seem so sick for about a week. He isn't doing jumping-jacks or running around, but he's getting around at least. He can do things for himself even though I do those things for him already. He's breathing normally, his hiccups are gone, and the weight he's lost seems to be packing back on. He can hold food down, he's not sniffling or coughing or anything and relief is coursing through my veins. Yes – the love of my life is going to die. But maybe we do have more time than I thought.
Maybe we do have more time.
"Cloud and Leon are coming back from Canada soon." Sora is naked, except for a pair of boxers. No surprise. His dad used to be a nudist and his mother, who frowned upon even the least bit of nakedness, never saw fit to her son being even a little nude. "They said a week or so tops. They're thinking about moving up there, but I kind of want them to stay here with you." he reaches up to scratch his ear and he leans against the counter top.
"With me?" I'm stirring tomato soup. Bon appetite. "Why with me?"
Sora wrinkles his nose. "Because then you'll have someone else when I.."
I drop the wooden spoon I'm using to stir the soup with and I instantly reach down and pick it up, tossing it into the sink and grabbing out another one, not saying a word. Lips are licked and I concentrate hard on the soup at hand. Don't burn it. You're going to burn it and then it'll be ruined and then what? You have to start over. You have to start over because you ruined a good thing. You ruined a really good thing and even though you're burnt, too, you're not the first to be burnt to death.
"Riku," he walks over to me and wraps his arms around my waist. "If you stare any harder at the soup, I'm sure you're laser vision will just tear right through it.." his cheek is pressed against my upper back and I stop stirring the soup. No – instead, I round on Sora and I grab his wrists really hard and I shove him against the counter top, standing incredibly close to him. My fingernails dig into his wrists and he cries out as I draw blood.
Infected, no good blood.
Blood that is frowned upon by God and everyone else in this whole fucking world.
"Riku," Sora's voice is sad.
Sora's voice is sad..
"Kitty," I drop his wrists and we stare at each other for a long time. He looks hurt and confused and he rubs at one of his wrists, smearing the little drops of blood on his hand and on his wrist. "Why?" my chest rises and falls like everyone else's chests. "What the fuck is wrong with you, huh? Why can't you just be a normal person and be SAD about dying?"
I already know the answer.
Sora stares at me.
He stares and stares and stares.
"Because I don't want to go out that way." Sora hesitantly wraps his arms around me and runs his finger nails down my clothed back. "Everyone is always so sad when someone is dying and I thought I could do you a favor by not being sad."
My chest rises and falls, rises and falls.
"Because if I'm not sad, then why should you be sad?"
That has been my question all along.
Apparently, neither of us know.
Skip forward only a few days. A week. Two weeks. I don't even know anymore.
Leon and Cloud are back from Canada and we're all in Kitty's apartment room, sitting around in the dark with the television on mute. Sora's breathing is winding down and I'm trying to sit there with an even, straight face, but my eyes keep misting over. And when they mist over, I pretend to yawn, stretch, and I wipe at my eyes. Pretending it's nothing more than a little yawn-juice. Nothing more than a little teary-eyed from a little yawn.
Nothing to cry over.
"God, Speed Buggy is such a piece of shit. What kind of car COUGHS at you?" Cloud is laying against Leon, his cheek pressed against the brunet's chest and Squall is staring over at me and occasionally glancing down at Sora.
Sora. Kitty. Leonhart.
My boyfriend who's laying, curled up, on the couch. Head on my thigh, holding my hand and kissing the finger tips again and again and again. Sometimes his tongue will dart out and he licks each digit gently, rolling his tongue across the palm of my hand and sometimes sucking on one of my fingers. I've always liked that. He's always had an amazing mouth.
I blink hard and I shift on the couch. All that weight Sora had gained back, he immediately lost. Those beautiful eyes have lost their luster and color. His lips would chap for no reason and he would shiver and sweat at the same time. I gave him the right medicines. I double dosed him on everything I fucking could without killing him until he was nothing more than a drugged, drooling, little boy.
Last night would, unknowingly, be one of the last nights we held each other.
Weak, dying Sora was still managing to withhold a smile and I was cuddling him close and kissing him and he asked me to kiss him again. Kiss his body. His hot, hot skin. Undress him and kiss him like I had before. When I thought he was sleeping. So I did. I kissed him once, twice, three times. As many times as I could and he would pull my hair and grope the locks so I would know he was still awake.
And I kissed him until he fell asleep.
Until he fell limp.
And then I held him and why would I even bother lying?
I held him and I cried.
"Riku," I look down at him and he struggles to sit up. He is so weak. So beautifully weak and he grabs a fistful of my hair and kisses the bridge of my nose. Where it still hurts. Where it's still broken.. His tongue comes out to trace over the bruise and then he seals it all over again with another kiss. And then he kisses the tip of my nose, my cheeks, my forehead, my chin, and then he kisses my lips.
He kisses my lips once, twice, three times.
And then he presses a kiss to my ear and he tells me – he whispers because it's a secret –
"I have never and I will never blame you."
Before, I was sitting there lifeless. A sack of meat. Skin and bones and now my arms reach up and I grope his clothing and I clutch him. I clutch my boyfriend, my lover, my soul mate, my every-fucking-thing, and he folds underneath my neck and closes his eyes, pleasantly. His arms loosely around my waist, his legs hanging off the couch.. This was how we used to watch movies together.
Briefly, I look down at him and he opens his eyes, halfway, to smile at me.
I smile back at him and then I kiss his forehead.
It's okay, Sora.
I get it, all right?
You never blamed me.
I'm holding Sora tightly. I'm holding him so tightly that I know he's stopped breathing. I know he's stopped breathing ten minutes ago and I have a stone-look on my face. I don't need to feel his pulse to know it's not there. I can count to zero. I know he's gone. I know all I have now is the wrapper he came in.
Squall shifts, slides from underneath Cloud who is dead silent. He's standing and he walks over and he reaches out to touch Sora and I jump.
I jump and it scares Leon who quickly reels back.
"No," I yell. I don't mean to, but I do and I immediately soften my tone. "No," I say again, letting out a breath. "Don't touch him. Please, Leon, not yet."
Fast forward to now.
Fast forward to present time.
Fast forward to the right position on your TiVo box.
I'm shivering out in the cold with my coat wrapped around my body and I'm missing Sora. I'm wearing his scarf and mittens and I'm freezing my ass off as I wait for the bus. I'm cold, cold, cold, and it's been two months after Sora died. I quit my job. Cloud, Leon, and I all live in Kitty's apartment now and they don't care if I work or not. They could give a shit if I work right now.
According to the doctors, I'm suffering from depression.
According to me, I'm just trying to deal with the death of my best friend, my boyfriend, and the love of my life.
If you're wondering, I haven't cried.
Not since the night I held him.
Not even when I held him when he died, I didn't cry. I couldn't. I just couldn't and I don't even know why. Leon says it'll be better for me if I just cry and get out all the bad feelings I'm feeling. Cloud is trying, in his weird way, to encourage me to do the same thing. But let's face it – I just can't and as much as I love Sora and as much as I miss him, I just can't.
No one refers to him as Kitty anymore.
I guess you have to be alive to have a nickname.
If you're wondering, I still have HIV. If you're wondering, I'm still carting myself around on my death bed. I've stopped taking care of myself and as the bus stops and picks me up, I shove my fifty cents into the metal thing and sit right in the front. One block, two blocks, three, four, six miles later, I'm at the morgue and I step off the bus. I walk inside, walk right up to the front, and the person standing at the front already has Sora ready for me.
In a jar.
With his name across the front in a pretty urn.
It takes everything I have to not smash that stupid vase.
Sora is not ashes.
He is a person.
He is not fucking ashes.
I grab the urn that's been paid for. There was no funeral. There will be no funeral. Sora didn't want a funeral – he wanted to be cremated or stuffed and we couldn't find someone to stuff him. So we had him cremated.
He would've made a nice end-table.
I leave and board the bus and within ten minutes, I'm back in Sora's apartment. I walk in, slam the door, kick all my shit off and clutch the urn. I don't even realize how tightly I'm holding it until Cloud comes up to ask me if that's Sora in there. And only then do I release the clay and paint and hand it over to Cloud who inspects it for.. What? For HIV? For blood? For bits of Sora on the jar?
Sora-ashes that may have escaped from the inside?
He hands back the urn and shoves on his shoes and coat, muttering something about going to pick up some things at the store. That's a translation for smokes, lube, and condoms. That's all either of them ever really brings back. Unless I ask for gummy worms or cereal.
Or peanut butter cookies which I fucking hate and won't eat, but they were Sora's favorite.
I sit down on the couch with the urn and let it lay next to me. I sit there and sit there and sit there and I bring my knees to my chest. I bring my knees to my chest and in my lap is the urn and my arms are wrapped tightly around it. Wrapped tightly around what little bit I have left of Sora and I gaze down at the little jar.
If I consumed his ashes, would I be less sad?
If I actually bury myself with his urn, just like he wants, will we end up being together in the after life?
If I smash this urn against the floor, will Sora's angry spirit haunt me?
Can I bring him back?
Can I bring him fucking back?
And then the top of the little jar is wet
and my face is wet
and I'm crying.
Soft, soft crying. The kind of crying you do when you don't really know what else to do. You do it because you're consumed by goddamn sadness and crying seems to be the only remedy for your fears. For your troubles. For your extreme emotional melt down.
Squall comes over and reaches out to take the urn from me, but I tell him 'no'.
I say 'no'
and then I say
'please, Leon, not yet.'
A/N: This was really sad. I actually got teary-eyed myself where I was writing about Sora kissing Riku's face and Riku holding him as he died. Originally, this was going to be a fun story, but ... well.. Yea.
One-shot, as usual. Sorry. Chapter stories just aren't for me, apparently.
Excuse plot flaws.