Riku spent the next few nights at Sora's, never going beyond cuddling, but always sleeping comfortably together in Sora's bed. Sora spent each day chirping about his apartment, dragging Riku out to see movies with him, doing anything and everything to try and make Riku laugh.
Yet half the struggle, most of the time, was just getting Riku out of bed.
He'd lay there, seemingly comatose, but with his eyes open, just staring at the wall. Sometimes he'd cry, and Sora would just hold him, whispering to him that it would be okay, that they'd go out to the park and count how many kids fell down again, or they could go to a bar, whatever Riku wanted to do. But Riku never wanted to do anything.
Sora knew he was in trouble, because he was completely and totally encompassed by everything Riku. The silver haired man and his strange quirks had maneuvered their way into his heart; but the one thing the brunet didn't know was if his heart could stand how intense Riku could be.
He loved the times he spent with Riku, but damn. The silver haired man would come to his house either sobbing, paranoid, or happier than ever... And it seemed to be different every other two weeks or so.
But it was helping Sora discover something about himself; when he loved, he loved fiercely. Right now, he would do or give anything to see Riku smile.
And so it was that he was trying again to get his Riku up.
"C'mon, Ri," Sora soothed, hugging the other man to his chest. "Let's just get to the den and watch a movie. And you can get something to eat... You didn't eat yesterday, and I'm worried about you."
Riku nodded, tears coming to his eyes again. "I'm sorry Sora, about all this. I don't... I don't know what's wrong with me. I've never understood why this happens... Why it gets so bad. But you're right. I have to at least move." Riku looked up at Sora, his eyes dead but shining with tears. "I can't eat though. My stomach feels like it's rolling. I just think... I don't know... Fuck, I don't know anything."
"Hey, it's okay. I mean, I didn't even know who I was until two weeks ago..." After mom came and went. "Just come on."
With Sora's insistent tugging, Riku was pulled out of bed, still in his jeans from the day before.
As Sora stood in the kitchen, fixing something for Riku despite the other man's protests, Riku started to talk.
"Sora... I don't know when this started, but feeling this... this shitty... Well, it goes back a while." Sora stops his bustling, leaving the macaroni and cheese to sit in the microwave, pausing to listen to his friend. His best friend.
"It's like, since I can remember, things would just get so dark all of the sudden. Like I can't breathe, like it's too much to even take on. I get so... overwhelmed. My thoughts, they just race, and it's like I list off everything wrong I've ever done and have the potential to do wrong... I spiral down." Sora could hear Riku sniffle, but knew it wasn't time to go to his side just yet. "I used to be on medicine, you know. Before my parents died, back when I could afford it." Riku paused here uncertainly, unsure of how Sora would take that news. After all, not everyone really understood what it meant. "But when they died... it seemed like the medicine sent me through the roof.
"That whole thing with wanting to go into film? That's not the first time I've done something like that, or gotten so paranoid about it. God... I don't even know what I'm saying. I'm so fucking crazy." Sora got the feeling that Riku was no longer speaking to him. "I just get so obsessed with things. With people. I can't help it, I just need it. It makes me feel like I'm okay, like I'm not completely out of it."
The speaking stopped, and Sora went to the couch, only to find Riku sprawled out on it, looking more pale than usual, tear stains marring his otherwise perfect features. Sora gently sat Riku up, and placed the silver head in his lap, once again relishing in running his fingers through that hair.
"You can always talk to me, Riku. I... hope you know that."
Riku took Sora's free hand, and held it in his own, his grip almost fierce.
"I'm completely broken, Sora. Sometimes... I just don't want to be alive anymore. I'm not proud of myself. I'm not proud of the fact that I can't remember the name of every person I've had sex with. It makes me sick to think about what I did to my parents... I must've worried them for so long." Riku choked on his words. "You... you're parents didn't accept you, love you even. But I had all that. They were fine with me being gay, they loved me unconditionally. But I just had to fucking prove that I was grown up.
"They'd grounded me, Sora... And I snuck out to go drink. Because it was cool. Because I was too grown up to be grounded. How much of a fucking child can one person be?" Riku was crying fully at this point, squeezing Sora's hand like a lifeline. Sora could only feel his heart breaking. "I came home, the next day, Sora, and they were dead. The cops had to tell me they were dead. And they died because afucking drunk driver hit them, while they were out looking for me, because I wouldn't answer my phone. It's my fault! God, it's all my fault!
"And now look at me! How the fuck could they be proud of some insane son who gets insane ideas, and blows all their money on shit like a camera and expensive photo editing shit and all the other crap I've gotten so hyped up on doing and then just gave up on! I'm such a fucking maniac! God... God dammit!"
"Riku! Riku, you've got to snap out of this!" Sora tried, knowing his friend was getting absolutely hysterical. Maybe he should have left him in bed... No. That would have been even worse. "So you made some mistakes... Riku, you're not crazy! You've been through something horrible... Having people that love you more than anything, and then losing them? I can't even imagine..." Sora stopped, thinking of how he would feel if something were to happen to Riku because of him.
He wasn't surprised when a weight dropped from his throat to his gut at the thought, and he felt his own tears begin to prickle at his eyes before he blinked them away, refocusing on the man who was falling apart in his lap.
"Sora... you're all I have. That's... That's why I was so scared and thought that people were shooting you." Riku seemed to have calmed under Sora's words, and only spoke after several minutes of tearful silence.
"But everything turned out okay, didn't it, Riku?" Sora said, soothingly.
"Sora... you... you're the first one that hasn't completely run away..." Riku stopped himself, nuzzling into Sora's stomach, trying not to break again.
Sora's brow furrowed. "What do you mean?"
Riku suddenly sat up, turning to face Sora.
"I have to tell you, Sora. I don't know about anything, I'm confused all the time, and I'm fucking crazy. But I do know one thing... I need you in my life." Riku hesitated, looking away from Sora. "I want you... to be more than my friend. I want you to be with me."
Sora could only sit, completely shocked.
"Ri, I... I don't..." Sora fumbled with words, unfamiliar with such overwhelming emotions.
Riku only started to cry again.
"Riku... I want... I want the same thing..." Sora said, very hesitantly, attempting to touch his friend's shoulder. Riku pulled away as if Sora were a blazing fire.But I need you to calm down.
Riku stopped him before Sora could say another word. "There's always a 'but' though, isn't there, Sora? You're just gonna run away too... I'm always too intense, too needy, too crazy!" Riku shouted, standing up and walking quickly toward the bedroom where his shirt and jacket lay over a chair (where Sora had neatly placed them the night before).
"Riku, wait! That's not what I meant..." You are intense, but I can handle it... You just need to get some help...
"Fuck you, Sora!" Riku shouted, before slumping helplessly. "I have to go. I can't stay here."
"Riku! RIKU, just stop!" Sora shouted after the other man, deciding now was not the time to search for a jacket, because wasn't it summer, shit, his mind wasn't even working.
Riku turned, and walked out of Sora's door.
Sora didn't know what to do.
He decided Riku would come back soon, and that he needed to be there when the silver haired man got home.
It only took the brunet ten minutes to realize that Riku was not just going for a walk to cool off - Riku wasn't coming back. Sora paced around his apartment for another five minutes, running his hands through his hair and trying to logically think about where Riku might have gone. He remembered Riku saying he lived in the building across the street and two buildings down... Even though, strangely enough, Sora had never actually been to Riku's apartment.
It took thirty minutes of bargaining and a fifty dollar tip to get the front clerk to give Sora Riku's apartment number. But when Sora pounded on the door, he got no response. Desperate, Sora rammed the door with his shoulder, shocked and startled when it gave to his weight and he was thrown into Riku's space.
Everything around him was purely Riku... but all of it was dusty from a lack of Riku's presence. It was a studio apartment, Riku's shit scattered all over the floor. Old black and white films littered the silver haired man's bed, though the camera was presently in Sora's room. Clothes were strewn everywhere, but the kitchen was clean and slightly dusty from disuse.
It was obvious that Riku wasn't there and hadn't been there.
With no cellphone, Sora felt completely helpless.
Despite all that (after sealing Riku's door as well as he could) he just started to walk. He walked past the bus stop where he had seen Riku get off; he even made it to the one where they first met, the night he ran from his parent's party.
What's so fucked about your life that you can't smile?
He walked past the restaurant where the two often stopped for coffee.
"You have shit on your face." Riku stated. Sora looked surprised.
The man with aquamarine eyes sighed. "Here."
Sora couldn't help the blush that stained his cheeks as Riku smudged away some of the chocolate resting innocently on the corner of the brunet's mouth.
Riku only smirked at him. "You really aren't used to guys touching you much, are you?"
Sora smiled, and shook his head, thinking about his blush and the tingle Riku's fingers left on his face. "Yeah, I guess you're right."
And hour passed. Sora sat on the bench in the park they frequented, holding his head in his hands. Riku, where are you?
"See that kid over there?" Riku pointed in the distance with his cigarette. "He's falling all over his face about once every five minutes."
Sora had laughed, and then felt mischievous. "You're kind of a pervert, aren't you Riku? Staring at little kids and all?"
Riku snorted. "You're only saying that because you were totally that kid when you were little. Clumsy ass."
Sora's smile faded slightly. "Actually, I didn't get to be that kid for long. Mom had me take lessons, after a while... On how to be more graceful." Sora shrugged at Riku's disbelieving stare. "It was more normal for me not to be such a klutz."
Riku only shook his head. "You're upbringing was really fucked up, you know?"
Sora's smile disappeared. "I know." He said sadly, before getting an idea. "So let's go be kids again! We'll go swing, and go down the slide." He said excitedly, his face instantly brightening.
Riku laughed. "We'll really look like pedophiles, but whatever." He snuffed out his cigarette in the near by trashcan. "Let's do it."
Two grown men on swings? Whatever.
Riku'd shown him just how much of a kid he still was. Sora was still innocent in a lot of ways, still wanted to just play all the time. He hadn't even known it until he met Riku... Sitting around and watching movies, playing video games he sucked at... He was having more of a teenage-hood in a few months at age twenty four than he'd had in his entire stay in Slenderwood.
Sora tried really hard not to breathe too fast. This was so stupid! The movie was probably fifty years old, so honestly, how scary could the monster be?
"Sora, you okay?" Riku asked, eyeing his friend quizzically.
"M'fine," Sora mumbled, squeezing his pillow to him tightly.
The brunet was completely surprised when the slightly older man was suddenly pinning him to the couch, looking at him evilly.
"Scared the monsters are gonna get you?"
Sora's face was as red as a tomato. He thanked whatever god there was that it was dark in the room.
"N-no, that's not it, I just get nervous-"
But then Riku's fingers were dancing on his sides, and Sora was laughing so hard he almost wet himself.
God, he missed Riku.
Riku was the one who'd shown him what the world was really like. That there were fucked up people, and that it was okay for Sora to be one of them.
But there was something wrong with Riku. Sora had known from the start that the other man was special, but there was something that was way over the top about his friend. The amount of intensity Riku had... it was dangerous.
Not for Sora, really. Sora actually didn't care too much about himself, which he thought was rather sad. Sora was concerned that Riku might hurt himself.
The paranoia, the obsessive spending of money, that horrible depression Sora'd seen in him... It was like asking for Riku to do something drastic.
With those thoughts, Sora's feet picked up the pace. He was trying to get back to his apartment, to see if Riku had come home to him yet. After all, it'd been at least - Sora checked his watch - three hours since the only person he'd ever loved had stormed out on him in a depressive fit.
When the brunet man arrived home, he was frantic. He opened his door with trembling hands, having left it unlocked in case Riku came back, and burst into his own apartment. His eyes searched wildly for Riku, and found him sitting in a small puddle of blood on his kitchen floor, a knife sitting next to him. Three deep cuts marked his ankle as Riku sat, slumped, his head in his hands, not making a sound.
"Riku!" Sora said, collapsing next to the man on his kitchen floor, pulling him into a hug. "God, Riku. Thank god, thank god you came back." Sora's whole body was shaking, and he could feel himself on the verge of weeping. "I want it too, Riku. I want to be with you. But you can't stay like this... And I can help you! I can afford help, everything will be okay..." Sora said shakily, his hand reaching out and gently covering the fresh wounds. "Riku... why?"
Riku shook his head. "I'm so messed up. I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry... But when I left I thought you didn't want me..." He said, looking at Sora with eyes rimmed red from tears. Sora could smell the alcohol on Riku's breath. "I went to a club. I dunno which one, so don't even ask. I just went, and I found somebody, I needed somebody, anybody..." Riku's eyes left Sora's. "I took him home... I was going to..." He stopped, unable to say it.
Sora swallowed, feeling his heart break, but trying to keep it together long enough to save Riku.
"It's not okay!" Riku shouted suddenly. "Look at me! What the fuck am I doing? I know that you're what I want, and there I am ready to fuck another guy - until I start crying and kick him out. And then I come here, and I know I've lost you, because fuck I'm so insane... Another person, how can you even think to forgive that, Sora? God I love you, and look at me! I almost fucked him."
Sora looked at him sternly, grabbing Riku's chin and forcing him to look at his friend. "But you didn't." Sora shook his head, gathering Riku in his arms awkwardly (despite his claims, he was a good deal smaller than the other man). "But Riku, why did you do this?" He asked, gesturing to the blood now drying on his floor.
Riku's body shook, like he wanted to cry, but he didn't. "I don't know, Sora. It... this just happens, sometimes. I feel so worthless... And I deserve to hurt, I guess. I had to hurt. Or something. I don't understand... I don't get it. I wish my brain would just... SLOW DOWN!" He half-screamed, holding on to Sora like he was the only thing keeping him from going completely crazy.
Which was, more than likely, entirely true.
"We'll fix it all, Riku," Sora said gently, pulling back. He took Riku's cheek in his hand, and gently turned his face towards his own. "I promise, it will all be better. I'll help you." And after a moment, Sora smiled. "I love you."
Sora's lips were placed gently on Riku's and the two men held the chaste kiss for minutes, just gently pressing and moving lips in a promise.
Everything would be okay.
Four months later, Riku and Sora stood in front of a small building they were going to rent, to start up a cafe. Riku's arms snaked around his boyfriend's waist, and in return the brunet snuggled against him.
"I told you everything would be okay." Sora said, smiling at their reflection in the glass window.
Riku smiled back at him, but his eyes were somewhat serious. "It's still on it's way to being okay," He started, pausing for the right words. "This bipolar thing is something I'm gonna have to live with for the rest of my life... And sometimes, despite everything, the boredom and anxiety get so difficult to manage. God I don't want to have to fight every day..." Sora's smile faded a bit, but then Riku turned the brunet around to face him. "But, you know Sora, I think I've finally found something right. And I think I can live with that."
As they kissed lightly, Sora thought to himself, Me too.
Just a short story I did for cathartic purposes. I've been where Riku was, and it was not a very pretty sight. But really, in the end, things do turn out okay. :)
Notes: Okay, I'm just going to explain a few things because it's all probably a little confusing for people who aren't familiar with the mood episodes that can be involved with Bipolar disorder. I really only want to touch on one thing: sometimes, in what I like to call a "mixed-state," depression and hypomania/mania cause chaos simultaneously. This is what accounts for Riku's paranoid delusions about the thunder being gunshots/visual images of Sora being hurt. Its like every bad thought in your head works like this: instead of going from point A to B, it goes from point A to 12, linking something only slightly related to that thought and making it become more in sync with the original thought. Because thoughts are racing too fast to really keep up with, things begin to lose meaning and reality becomes skewed, because what is happening becomes mixed confusingly with what is being thought. Thus, Riku assosiates: feeling fear + feeling guilt about past actions people out to get me. People out to get me + fear + hearing thunder --leads to-- fear + gun shots fear + danger --leads to-- fear + Sora hurt --leads to-- panic. Anyway, that probably doesn't make any sense... but yeah. I tried.