So, this is the last chapter. Sorry. I kinda sucked it up on this story. Oh well. I like how it ended. I couldn't come up with any more real conflict and I was planning on this being a short story. Anywho. Hope you enjoyed.
"Riku?" Sora's voice carried through the bustle of late shoppers.
Riku blinked remembering he was supposed to say something in response. "Sora?" he managed to place a smile on his face.
Sora's face lit up and he dropped Axel's hand as he quickened his pace. He stopped about a foot before Riku. Sora took a few seconds to take in Riku's features. Riku was taler than him, paler than him, more muscular than him, more beautiful than him. Sora nodded and turned his head to meet Axel's anxious gaze, "Told you he wasn't a 40-year-old pervert."
Riku chuckled and suddenly became very aware of just how adorable Sora was. The boy's chestnut hair stood up in all directions, his eyes were wide – an intoxicating light blue – and his smile was infectious. "Nope, just your average teenager, " Riku finally said.
Riku tried to think of something else to say, but Sora's arms were around him before he could get out one complete thought. "So good to finally meet you," the brunet smiled into Riku's chest.
The older wrapped his arms cautiously around the boy, fully aware of the glare Axel was sending. He then pushed the boy away a tad and focused on the red head, "So, you must be Axel?"
Axel nodded as he grabbed Sora's hand. Riku looked to Sora for an explanation.
"Sorry I didn't tell you, Riku," Sora smiled. "Things just sorta happened last night. It was kind of unexpected."
Riku nodded as his facial expression hardened. Leon, who had just finished sending another text, finally looked up and saw the change in Riku's appearance. Then he noticed Axel.
"Hey, didn't we go to school together at some point?" Leon asked.
Axel squinted as if the cloudy Ohio sky was breaking through the food court. "Squall Leonhart. Yeah, you were a year ahead of me in high school. I'm a senior now."
"Thought so. We had Japanese together, right?" Leon was trying hard to strike up some form of conversation that would give Riku time to compose his thoughts.
"Oh yeah," Axel's voice lifted to show a tad of interest. "You were in my group for the year." Axel nodded. "Dude, it's been a while. How goes it?"
"Good, good. Still with Cloud," Leon looked over to Riku and flashed a smiled. Leon remembered Axel's lack of attention span from class and was now fully taking advantage of it. "Hey, want to go get something to eat? Give us time to catch up?"
Axel hesitated and glanced at Sora, then to Riku. Except he glared at the silveret, nothing pleasant left in his face. Sora looked from Riku to Axel and gasped a little, understanding the look Axel was giving. He gave the redhead a hug and looked up to him with puppy dog eyes, "Go catch up with your friend. Riku and I are just going to go do the same."
Axel nodded and then kissed Sora's cheek, never taking his eyes off of Riku. "Meet me back here. I'll text you," with a hug he walked away. He turned to Leon and starting chatting about school and boyfriends.
Riku turned to Sora and then motioned to a table, "Sit. Explain."
Sora gulped. He wasn't expecting the first time he met with his texting friend would be so...intense. He sat down and explained in as few words as humanly possible what happened the day before, and now that it was out there, the whole thing kinda of confused Sora himself.
"So, Axel was jealous because you talked to me, and that pissed off Roxas, so obviously the next step is to date your cousin's long-time boyfriend?" Riku said, trying to keep the anger out of his voice. He had no reason to be mad at Sora, but he did find the situation a bit ridiculous.
"Well, there's more than that. I guess I really did like him all those times I pretended to flirt," Sora shrugged and stared at Riku. Why did he have to be so beautiful? Sora shook his head. He was dating Axel now. The thought made the boy shiver.
"What was that for? Am I that repulsive?" Riku chuckled.
"Not you. Just, ugh," Sora looked down and toyed with his hands. "I wanted someone so badly..."
"...And now that you have someone it doesn't feel right?" Riku finished Sora's dangling sentence.
Sora's head shot up. His eyes widened as he nodded.
Riku sighed and put his head in his hand. Why did he have to be so good at relationship advice? Especially when he had so little experience? "Sora, ever think finding a guy attractive and flirting with him may not be the best grounds for a relationship?"
"I know, but --"
"But what, Sora?" Riku's voice was harsh. Riku had to get used to actually speaking to the brunet and not taking the time to type his responses. He paused for a moment to rethink his next statement, something easily done while texting. "I just think you jumped into something you weren't ready for, that's all."
"I've been ready to date someone for a long time," Sora said quietly. He didn't want to upset Riku again. "Why does it bother you so much what I'm going through? We barely know each other."
That last bit stung Riku, but it was the truth. "I don't know. I just see bad things happening. I don't want you to be hurt. I've seen the whole rebound thing happen so many times. But you're right. It's none of my business." Too harsh. Again. Riku sighed and let his hands fall on the table.
"I didn't mean it like that," Sora reached a hand across the table and placed it on top of Riku's. Riku's skin felt cool against his own. He suddenly had no idea what he was doing and stared blankly at Riku.
Riku cocked an eyebrow and looked at the hand that laid on top of his own and then back to Sora. He slowly turned his hand around and wrapped his fingers around Sora's. "Sora, I – "
But Riku's words were cut off. He could hear Leon's voice booming in the background. Riku figured Leon was trying to give him some form of a warning. He dropped the brunet's hand and leaned back into his seat. He got out his phone and started a text.
"Sora!" Axel's voice cut through the crowd. It made Riku twitch. "Check your phone. Has Roxas been ninja texting you?"
Sora blinked and then realized he was asked a question. He shook his head for a brief second and looked down at this phone. Sure enough, there were about 20 texts from his cousin. He quickly scrolled through them and frowned. This wasn't good. "Yeah. He wants you or me or anyone to call him."
"Thought so," Axel nodded and lifted Sora from the seat with his hand. "We should get back before he sends out a search party."
Sora looked at Axel and nodded. He turned to Riku and mustered up a smile. "It was really nice meeting you," he meant it.
Riku nodded, "Go take care of your cousin." Riku's finger hit send.
Sora opened his mouth to say something, but he couldn't form a sentence. He smiled again at Riku, grabbed Axel's hand and bounced out of the mall.
Leon appeared behind Riku and put a hand on his friend's shoulder, "That poor boy is going to get crushed."
"I know," Riku groaned. He looked down at his phone once before putting it back in his pocket. "Trust me, I know."
Just as Sora hit the exit of the mall, he felt his phone vibrate. With his free hand, he looked at the text:
I need to tell you something, well some things. -Riku.
Sora spent the last of Christmas Eve at his grandma's as usual. The only difference was that Axel wasn't there. Roxas had been texting Sora to plead with his cousin to not bring the redhead to the get together. Now that Sora was here with his family, he felt even more out of place.
Sora wandered into one of his grandma's spare bedrooms. He laid down on the bed and sighed. He hadn't texted Riku back. He'd barely spoken to Axel. And he was positive Roxas would never speak to him again. How could everything been destroyed in such a short period of time?
He was flipping his phone open and close idly when Roxas made an appearance.
"Hey, Sora," Roxas stood at the door frame, unsure if he should move. "Can I come in?"
"Sure, sure," Sora sat up and scooted to the edge of the bed to make room for Roxas. He opened his mouth to speak, but Roxas shook his head.
"Look, Sora," Roxas began with a heavy sigh. "I think I might have fucked everything up."
Sora leaned forward. His cousin wasn't the one to curse. He noticed a tear forming in the blond's eye. "How so?" Sora began, even though he knew the answer to the question.
"With Axel. With you," Roxas choked back a sob. "I still love him. I thought, I thought he liked you. But as soon as I broke up with him, I thought I was just being stupid and jealous. I never really thought you liked him back. I should have known." Roxas shook his head and stared down at his hands.
"Roxas...," Sora's voice trailed off. His hand brushed away loose hairs from his cousin's face. "I didn't know I liked him until he said something about it yesterday. I would have told you if there was something else going on."
"I know," Roxas replied softly. "I'm not putting any blame on you, Sora. It's all my fault. I know how seductive he can be. I should have know if I broke up with him he would have got you."
"It was kind of random how it all happened," Sora sighed. There wasn't much else he could do at this point. "He said that you broke it off because he liked me. It got me thinking about all the fake flirting. I don't know. I just liked the idea of being liked."
"Sora," Roxas placed a hand on Sora's. "I'm not asking you to leave him. I'm just, I don't know what I'm trying to do right now. I guess I'm just trying to understand why I left him in the first place."
A long, heavy silence filled the room. Neither spoke for a solid two minutes.
"I shouldn't have broken up with him," Roxas stated.
Sora blinked, "But Axel made it sound like this was coming for a long time. He...I..." Sora shut his mouth and sulked.
"Look," it was Roxas who was now comforting Sora. "What's done is done. I don't hate you. I kinda hate him. But more importantly this was my fault. I'll take the blame. Just make yourself happy." Roxas offered a crooked smile before hugging the brunet for a moment. "Merry Christmas, Sora. I'm going to go help with dinner."
And Sora was alone. He sat cross-legged on the bed, more confused than before Roxas entered the room. He instinctively grabbed for his phone and decided now was a better time than ever to text Riku, and Axel for that matter.
First was Axel – he asked how his boyfriend was. Then Riku – he asked what his friend wanted to talk about. Sora leaned back on the bed. Everything refused to make sense.
I'm doing ok. How's the family? Sora sighed. He knew Axel was really asking "How's Roxas?" Sora texted back a generic response. Now where was Riku?
Riku sat at his dinning room table, alone, as usual. His parents were out at a Christmas Eve party and Leon was with his family. Riku had been invited to come along in Cloud's stead, but he politely declined. He kind of wanted to be alone anyway.
Riku tried to busy himself wrapping the few gifts he had purchased. He looked at the one he had purchased this afternoon and sighed. Would he even see Sora again? He knew it was a stupid question. Sora would want to see him. Sora was a nice guy. But could Riku see Sora without wanting to touch the boy? He shook his head and went off to his room.
His painting stood abandoned in the corner. It had been a few days since Riku felt in the mood to tackle that beast. Tonight seemed as good of a night as any to work on it. He tossed off his shirt and grabbed the rugged hoodie. He was mixing a dark green when his phone vibrated.
After wiping his hands on an old shirt, he glanced down at his phone. Sora. Only six hours later. The brunet was asking what he wanted to talk about earlier.
Earlier, Riku thought. Had he met Sora today? It felt like weeks ago. Nothing. Don't worry about it. Riku texted back and went on with his color mixing.
He had been working on his painting for lord knows how long when his phone began vibrating. It was a call this time, not a text as he was expecting.
"Hello?" Riku answered before looking at the caller ID.
"Hey, Riku. It's Sora," Sora was now sitting in his basement at home.
"Oh, hey," Riku's tone lightened a bit. He wasn't expecting Sora to actually call him, ever.
"You weren't answering my texts and it was getting late and I really wanted to talk to you for some reason," Sora's words were spoken quickly and running together.
Riku's eyes widened at Sora's tone. "Is everything okay? You sound distressed."
"I don't know. Things are confusing and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be dumped by the morning," Sora sighed. At least he wasn't crying anymore, Sora thought to himself.
"Sora...," Riku's voice trailed off. He considered an "I told you so" but refrained. "Axel's not worth it."
"But he's a good guy. He just isn't my guy, I guess. I think I knew this when he came onto me yesterday."
"Sucks to be the rebound," Riku agreed, remembering his last couple of relationships.
"The thing is, I knew I was. I just...," Sora breathed. "I just wanted to feel wanted."
Riku felt his chest swell at the confession. It's all he ever wanted as well. "I know the feeling," he finally answered.
"Axel belongs with Roxas. Roxas is the only person I know that can handle the shit he does," Sora managed a small laugh.
"He did seem quite unruly," Riku laughed as well. The conversation paused for a second, just long enough for Riku to compose his thoughts. "So, what are your plans for tomorrow."
"Oh yeah, there's more to my lovely day," Sora sighed, again. "My mom is in the hospital."
"What?!" Riku wasn't expecting that to happen.
"Yeah, she has an infection in her arm. They think it's staph. I don't know," Sora leaned against the wall. Worst Christmas ever.
"So, how long is she going to be in there? And what about your dad?" Riku felt a sudden wave of worry run over him. He had never met Sora's parents, but he wanted them to be okay.
"They're divorced," Sora informed. "She went in right after dinner. Her arm was hurting her and it looked gross. I'm going to visit her tomorrow afternoon. She'll be in there for a few days at least."
"Want me to come over tomorrow? After you get home? We do dinner early and I don't want you to be alone on Christmas," Riku was accustomed to being alone. He could tell Sora wasn't.
"Yeah, sure," Sora grinned. "I'll text you my address."
"Okay, then," Riku picked up his brushes off the floor. "So, around 4ish good for you?"
"Prefect," Sora's phone started beeping in his ear. He groaned at the called ID that was telling him Axel was calling. "Axel's calling. I should probably answer."
"Yeah," Riku sighed for Sora. "Call me if you need someone to talk to."
"Will do. Merry Christmas, Riku."
"You, too, Sora. Bye, kid," Riku hung up the phone and said a silent prayer for Sora, hoping Axel was gentle to his dear friend.
Sora woke up Christmas morning to an empty house and an empty feeling in the pit of his stomach. He groaned as he crawled out of the ball he had slept in. He walked into his living room. There were no presents under his tree. His mother still put them there ever year while he was sleeping. It made Sora uneasy to not see the festively colored packages under the tree. He knew his mother was okay, but he still, it didn't feel like Christmas.
Axel had left him. Not that it was the biggest deal ever, just made Sora feel like a dejected piece of crap. He sighed. At least his cousin was happy again. Axel explained to Sora that even if he really did like Sora, he couldn't do that to Roxas any longer. Axel also informed Sora that no matter what he would love Roxas. That's probably what hurt the most – Sora knowing he could never be enough. Sora now thought of him as a mistake, a stain on Roxas and Axel's otherwise perfect relationship.
He sat down on the couch and stared at the Christmas tree. He had slept in his clothes from the family get together. He sat there, unmoving, until noon and then went off to see his mother. The visit was brief. His mom would be fine. It was staph, but would be okay. He ate some crappy hospital food and had his mom open a few gifts. They sat and talked for a few hours. Sora glanced down at his watch at some point and realized Riku was to be at his house in less than 15 minutes.
After kissing his mother goodbye, he sped home. He entered his house at 4:15. He hoped he hadn't missed Riku. Then again, the silveret hadn't texted or called the entire day. What if Riku had forgotten about him? Sora sighed and turned on the TV. A Christmas Story, perfect. He sighed and laid on the couch.
About half an hour later Sora was sleeping. He had been up until God knows what time thinking.
"Sora?" a voice filled the brunet's head. "Sora? I'm coming in."
Sora turned over, positive he was still dreaming. Riku had forgotten about him.
"Sora," Riku was now chuckling. He sat down on the edge of the couch. "Wake up silly. It's Christmas."
Sora turned over and slowly opened his eyes. They widened at the sight of a very well dressed Riku. "Wait, you're here?" his voice sounded unfamiliar.
"Of course," Riku stretched out a hand and ruffled Sora's unruly hair. "Sorry I'm late. Dinner took forever."
"So that's why you're all dressed up," Sora giggled and sat up.
"Shut up," Riku frowned a little at his appearance. He was wearing a pair of dress pants and a button-down dress shirt. "Mom makes me wear this stuff to family dinners."
"Heh," Sora's mood had lightened significantly since he woke. The brunet's stomach made a rather audible noise.
"I'm taking it you have eaten anything," Riku's brow furrowed. "Well, come on. Let's go find something to eat." Riku grabbed Sora's hand and pulled the boy to a standing position.
Sora looked down at his hand. Before he realized Riku was holding it, the silveret had dropped Sora's hand and was walking to the kitchen. "There's nothing in there. My mom hasn't had time for grocery shopping."
"Hmm. Well, let's go out then," Riku flashed a smile and grabbed his coat.
"It's Christmas Day, Riku. I doubt anything is open," Sora sighed as he found a hoodie in the hall closet.
"There has to be something open," Riku grabbed his keys from Sora's dinning room table. "Come on," Riku held out his hand. "You need to eat."
Sora took Riku's hand. The brunet looked at the way his hand fit into Riku's. He never wanted to let go.
"I told you nothing is open," Sora laughed at Riku as the silveret pulled into a gas station.
"Shh, you," Riku turned and glared playfully at Sora. "Looks like it's gas station food for the win." Riku smiled and exited the car.
Sora was trying to free himself from his seat belt when he heard his door open. Riku stood, door in hand.
"Well, are you going to get out or do I have to do that for you?" Riku chuckled.
Sora blinked. Riku had opened his door for him? "Yeah. Once sec," Sora finally freed himself from the car and stood, still staring at Riku.
"Oh, come on, Sora. You're stomach's going to start digesting your spleen at this rate." Riku's hand extended out to Sora again.
The burnet took the hand and kicked the door closed. Riku led them into the small gas station and to the deli sandwiches.
"Hope you like tuna," Riku frowned at the poor selection.
"Tuna's fine," Sora said with a smile as he picked up a half sandwich from the cooler. "Oh! Lunchables! Can I get one of these, too?"
Riku laughed at Sora's enthusiasm. "Sure. Go get some Tostitos and cheese dip, too."
Sora nodded and bounced down an aisle, returning shortly with a bag of chips and jar in hand. Sora walked over to the counter and placed down his Christmas dinner. He reached into his back pocket for his wallet, but he hand stopped moving when he saw Riku pull out a debit car.
"Riku, I can pay," Sora half-whined.
"Don't be silly," Riku said to Sora before thanking the gas station worker.
The silveret grabbed the bag of food and headed outside, Sora following close behind. Riku's hand opened the door of the car for Sora, who was staring at Riku.
"Something wrong?" Riku wondered.
"Oh," Sora got into the car. "No. Just confused."
Riku nodded and walked around the car. Once in, he pulled out the parking lot. His free hand searched for Sora's. Once he had reclaimed the brunet's hand Riku finally spoke: "About?"
"Stuff," Sora paused. His blue eyes still looking down at his hand in Riku's.
"Oh?" Riku held Sora's hand a little tighter as he drove the short distance to Sora's house.
"Mmhm," Sora responded, not about to actually say what was on his mind.
Riku sat in silence for the rest of the trip. It wasn't awkward, just quiet. He pulled into the driveway and stopped to look at Sora. "Let's go eat this wonderful feast."
Sora nodded and bounced up the stairs. Once inside, he set the table, figuring even though it was just tuna, a lunchable and chips, it was worth pretending to be a real dinner.
Riku poured a drink for Sora and handed it to the brunet. "To the end of crappy relationships and new beginnings," he said raising his glass of Mountain Dew.
Sora clinked his glass against Riku's and took a long sip. He bit into his tuna sandwich and made a face. "This is probably the worst tuna I've ever eaten in all of my life."
"It's not that bad," Riku took his first bite, chewed a few times and then gaged. "Okay, maybe you were right." He put the sandwich back on the plate. "So, about that Lunchable."
Sora giggled and opened the Lunchable and bag of Tostitos. "After this, want to play RockBand or something?"
"Sounds good," Riku nodded. He took a few more chips. "We could probably move in there now if you want."
"Kay," Sora rose from the table and bounced into the living room. It was amazing how much Riku could affect his mood. He turned on the TV and PS2 before taking his seat on the couch.
"I hope you don't want to play drums. They take forever to set up and I'm not motivated," Sora said handing Riku a guitar.
"Nope," Riku took the guitar and sat beside Sora. Their bodies just barely touched. "I'm good right here," he looked to Sora and smiled.
Sora nodded with a faint blush and started the first song. He had decided on singing for the night, not that he could sing in tune to save his life. Sora was halfway through "Say it ain't so" when he couldn't take it anymore. Sure enough, he failed.
"Sorry," Sora turned to Riku and blushed. "I should have went on easy."
Riku chuckled. "It's okay. I don't really have the attention span for a video game right now anyway. Movie maybe?"
Sora looked into Riku's eyes, noticing for the first time how amazingly brilliant they were. He was lost for a moment in pools of aquamarine before he closed his mouth and nodded. "Um, Pirates of the Caribbean all right?" Sora waited for Riku to nod and then went to find the movie. After fumbling with the DVD case for a few seconds, he finally had it in the Playstation and pressed X.
When Sora climbed back onto the couch, he noticed Riku had changed positions. Riku was now sitting with his back against one of the arm rests while his body laid perpendicular to the TV on the couch. He motioned for Sora to come lie beside him.
Sora found himself laying next to Riku. The older had his arms wrapped around the boy's waist. Sora scooted his body back, so his back was against Riku's chest. Sora felt comfortable there. The brunet didn't really know what was going on with Riku, but he had no problem going along with it. Sora sighed a happy sigh and let his eyes close.
Riku opened his eyes. The room he was in was dark except for the light of the movie, which was still playing. How long have I been asleep? Riku thought. He tried to move his arms but found them locked around Sora. He smiled and kissed the boy's neck.
"Wake up, Sora," he cooed into the brunet's ear.
Sora squirmed for a second in Riku's arms, obviously forgetting he had fallen asleep in them. "Riku?" Sora yawned. "What time is it?"
"Dunno," Riku said as he turned Sora around so he could see the boy's face. "Movie's still on, so not too late, I suppose."
"Shouldn't you be getting home soon? Family time or something?" Sora suppressed another yawn as he stuggled to keep his eyes open. It had been a long time since he'd slept so deeply.
"Nah. My family isn't around much. Usually spend holidays alone or with Leon," Riku shrugged a little. It kind of hurt him to think too much about his lack of a home life, but right now, everything seemed okay. "Being with you is a nice change."
"Glad I could be of service," Sora managed a small laugh. "We should hang out more often."
"I'd like that," Riku smiled and pulled Sora in for a long hug. He let out a deep breath, knowing he wasn't really alone anymore. A few seconds later he pushed Sora away slightly so he could see him while he spoke. "I got you something for Christmas. I'm going to go get it really quick."
"Aw, Riku," Sora's face fell. He wasn't excepting a gift. "I didn't get you anything. You'll make me feel bad."
"It's okay, Sora. You gave me somewhere to be on Christmas. That's good enough," Riku said as he got off of the couch. Riku walked to the dinning room and fished around for a light. Then he grabbed a package out form his coat pocket and laid back down beside Sora. "It wasn't expensive. More like a practical gift than anything else."
Sora looked at the present for a second. It didn't weight much and really wasn't that big. It could easily be hidden inside a coat pocket. Sora sat up a bit and started to tear at the paper. Once, he could see what the present was, he couldn't help but emit a small laugh.
"A case for my phone? Really, Riku?" Sora giggled.
"I thought it was quite fitting," Riku explained. "We met over that phone, why not try to protect it?"
Sora looked at the case and tried to understand the double meaning behind Riku's words. He grabbed his phone from his pocket. Riku helped him open the case's plastic cover and put it on Sora's phone.
"Fit's nicely," Riku was happy it was the right size.
"Yes," Sora nodded and turned the phone over in his hands. "I like it a lot. Thank you."
"You're welcome," Riku took the phone from Sora's hands and placed it on a nearby end table. "Just one more thing."
"Hmm?" Sora leaned a little closer to Riku.
"I know we haven't known each other for too long, but will you be mine?" Riku's words were quiet and spoked directly into Sora's ear.
"'Course," Sora smiled. His hand found Riku's and he laced his fingers in the others'. "I'm your's."
"Good," Riku said with a grin. Riku's other arm was around Sora and brought the brunet up to eye level. Riku leaned his head in and kissed Sora gently on the lips before he lost his reserve and pushed his lips harder against Sora's. Sora's hands tangled in Riku's hair as he parted his lips. A few heated seconds later, Riku broke the kiss and smiled into Sora's eyes. "I could get used to that."
"Me too," Sora grinned and nuzzled his cheek into Riku's chest.
Riku let out a sigh as he bugged his boyfriend. It felt good to have Sora in his arms and better to know he was no longer alone.
I gotta go, pig! I'll see you later!