A/N: I couldn't find enough non-AU post-KH2 stories on so I decided to write one of my own. Warning: contains boys kissing boys. If this is not your deal, I don't want to hear it. Tell someone who cares.
Full summary: Sora and Riku are on the verge of confessions, but it seems like every possible intrusion keeps preventing them from doing or saying anything.
It was a warm sunny Saturday afternoon, perfect for playing out at the beach or in the playground. However, when one is age 17 or 18, playing outside hardly seems like a fun prospect anymore. At that age, people enjoyed the pleasures of the indoors just that much more. It was no different for Riku and I, who spend our days sitting around watching TV and playing video games. It wasn't like either of us Keybladers are lazy or out of shape; we simply appreciate the peace that reigns over the islands by relaxing and kicking our feet up. We deserved it, I think.
Still, sometimes Kairi comes around and complains that we're lazy bums. I admit, I feel guilty sometimes that I'm not as active as I used to be, but I have my reasons for not wanting to act childish in the sand and sea anymore. Perhaps it was how my adventures had matured me over the years of fighting darkness, or perhaps it was the fact that Zony had released another Gamestation while I was gone and I felt I had lots of gaming to catch up on.
"Fatality!" Riku cheered as his video game character did a victory pose. I grumbled angrily, eying my dead character.
"You cheated," I stated.
"Sora, I didn't cheat," Riku said with an air of superiority. "I just know how to do combos. All you do is button-mash." I huffed, refusing to acknowledge my lack of gaming skills. It was my Gamestation, after all, so I should have been better at the game, given that I had more opportunities to practice. Somehow, though, Riku always seemed to best me. He's always one step ahead of me. Well there's one thing he can't beat me at anymore.
"I can still kick your ass in a Keyblade match," I muttered under my breath.
"What was that?" asked Riku, perking up somewhat.
"Nothing." I wasn't in the mood for a confrontation, but judging by the playful and challenging smirk on Riku's face, he wasn't about to let this go that easily.
"No, I think you said something about kicking my ass with a Keyblade. Is that right?"
"Nope, you're hearing things again. Go clean your gun rack, you weirdo." But it was too late to deter the pain-train. Riku had already set aside the controller and he pounced on me, ticking me relentlessly.
"What was that about a Keyblade?" he asked, holding me down.
"Nothing!" I cried in between giggles. "Stop, man, I can't breathe!" If there was one thing I hated, it was being tickled. And Riku knew it. Being friends with him for so many years meant he knew where all my tickle spots were and it also meant that I knew he was far from ever being ticklish himself. It was such an unfair advantage he had over me.
"Not until you tell me what you said!" With one hand, he held my arms above my head while he other hand's fingers danced across my sides and stomach. I laughed so hard that my eyes started to water. I'll never figure out why he likes to play these kinds of games. He knows exactly what I said to him, but he's being a pain in the butt just so he has the excuse to torture me. Jerk.
"Alright, alright!" I gasped. "I'll tell you!" His fingers stopped. I took a few deep breaths before I continued. "Losersayswhat."
"What?" he said before stopping and then glaring. "You bastard!" The tickles began again, but I was laughing even before his fingers touched my skin. I've never been able to fool him with that old joke before.
He paused for a moment to give me some breathing space but he didn't get up or let go of my arms. There was a sparkle of triumph in his eyes. He knew without me ever having to say anything that he won. It was always like this. I tease him or challenge him, he'd resort to tickles or mock wrestling, and he'd be the victor, every time. It was unusual that I was able to beat him not more than three years ago when he was being controlled by Xehonart's Heartless, but now I didn't stand a chance against him. Was I slipping? Or was he simply improving? Or perhaps I was subconsciously letting him win…
It didn't bother me that much, actually. Our current position was a rather comfortable one. Riku sat on me, his legs straddling either side of my hips, one hand pinning my arms above my head while the other casually held my side. There was just something… right about all this. I couldn't put my finger on it, but all I knew was that I could stay like that forever and be content. He was the only one I didn't mind losing a fight to.
Goosebumps began springing up on my arms and legs as Riku used his free hand to draw lazy invisible lines down my stomach. Judging by his somewhat vacant expression, he wasn't aware of what he was doing. Not that I was protesting. It was a strange sensation for him to not be violently tickling me, but rather, simply touching, barely grazing my skin. I shivered. Shouldn't I be tossing him off me? But… it did feel nice. His bright aqua eyes held a soft look that made me feel…safe, as clichéd and cheesy as it sounds. This was Riku, after all. Why should his exploring fingers be a bother?
After a few moments, he seemed to realize he was still holding my arms, so he pushed off me and wandered to my bookshelf. I inwardly groaned at the loss of heat and subtle pressure. Sitting up, I reset the Gamestation and started a new game of Immortal Konflict. Riku was eying my collection of vintage comic books dating back 30 years. Some of them were in rough shape, no thanks to my annoying kid brother. I took this moment to watch Riku out of the corner of my eye while I absent-mindedly selected a character in the game. Silver strands of hair cascaded down his back, swaying slightly with his movements. He hadn't really cut his hair since we got back. It suited him. I couldn't help but get envious of his masculine beauty. Many girls swooned over him. I could never get that kind of attention. I remembered asking Kairi out about a year ago and she turned me down partly because she saw me as her brother and partly because men weren't her deal. The second part was a bit of a shocker.
"Hey, you still have that copy of Arachnid-man I gave you for your birthday!" Riku said with a proud voice, turning to look at me. I fumbled with the controller, blushing somewhat. I hope he didn't catch me staring.
"Uh, yeah…" I replied nervously. "It's the one where they introduce Poison. How could I toss that out?"
"Oh I didn't think you'd toss it, I just figured you'd lose it because that's just how you are."
"Am not!" Gentle insults about my organizational and memory skills. Things were back to normal, as if the last few minutes didn't happen. I wasn't sure if I was happy about moving on just like that. I'm no fool when it comes to romance and relationships. Something was definitely brewing in my head. There were times when Riku and I would be hanging out and all it would take to set off my blushing cheeks is our hands brushing together. There were also times where I was sure Riku was making some kind of move on me, but then he'd brush it off and pretend it didn't happen, just like our tickle match. These kinds of mixed signals were driving me crazy, making me question whether or not I felt something, anything, beyond normal friendship. And when I get thinking too much, I usually end up scaring myself or getting a massive headache.
"Ready for another round?" I asked, trying to take my mind off troubling and disturbing thoughts. Riku was my best friend. Nothing more.
I was dimly aware when he took a seat next to me on the floor, his back resting against the side of my bed, his arm brushing against mine, his body heat radiating off him in waves. I tried to give my head a subconscious shake. Why was I thinking these things now? Why him? Was it just because of the tickling? Did I want him to tickle me? Did I like him just touching me?
"Helium balloon," Riku spoke up. I snapped back to reality and stared at him with my mouth slightly open in an utterly confused fashion.
"Huh?" was all I could manage to say in response.
"Your head. It's like a helium balloon – floating away to the sky. Where's your brain at, man?" He gave me a good shake. I stared at the TV screen. My character was already dead and I didn't even remember losing. "You didn't even fight back. Are you letting me win on purpose?" I slowly closed my mouth.
"No, I just…" I trailed off. What excuse could I possibly give for zoning out? I was fantasizing about my best male friend touching me? God, that just sounded wrong, even in my head. "Nothing, I'm just tired, I guess. Let's play something else." Riku shrugged and ejected Immortal Konflict from the console.
"I have the latest Ultimate Adventure, if you just wanna lay back and watch me play." I nodded and hopped onto my bed behind him.
"Sounds good." As he loaded the game, I eyed the back of his head carefully. Part of me wanted to reach out and touch his hair. The other, more rational part of me screamed leave him be. But before I could stop myself, my hand was shakily reaching forward. I just wanted to feel… I couldn't explain why. It's not like I've never touched his head before. Somehow, now was different.
My fingers made timid contact and I relished in the feel of his soft tresses, drawing my hand downwards. Riku's movements ceased, but he didn't flinch away. When I reached the ends of his hair, he slowly turned around and I waited for the inevitable questioning look or query.
Before either one came, I blurted out, "There was a bug in your hair!" I felt my cheeks warming up, meaning they must've been quite red. Riku gave me no questioning look or asked what my intentions were. Instead, he just stared with an intensity that froze me to the spot. I couldn't help but stare back into his eyes. God, I wished he would just say something. His arm rose and he brushed a few of my spiked locks from my eyes with precision and grace. Then he smiled.
"There was one in your hair too." The intensity was still there. It was inviting. Teasing, almost. Challenging me. Riku turned himself completely around so he was facing me, kneeling. He was waiting for something. Waiting for me to make my next move. How could I deny him? But what was my next move? I didn't know what I wanted to do next. I definitely had his attention now.
So I resumed my earlier petting. I couldn't help it. His hair was just so soft and my hands were like magnets, drawn to him. My left hand smoothed out his silky locks, twirling the ends around my fingers. The second run through, I ran my fingers under his hair, combing them out, kneading them as I went along. He made no complaint. In fact, it looked like he was enjoying it. His eyes were half-lidded in a feline sort of way. I hummed quietly in a pleased manner that he was allowing me to treat his hair like fuzzy animal. My other hand joined in with the caressing, lingering at the nape of his neck where his hair was softest, playing with the strands.
I nearly jumped when I felt Riku's hands grab hold of my upper arms. It wasn't a tight hold as if he meant to move me; it was a gentle grip as if he were merely steadying himself. He sighed contently and rubbed his thumbs up and down my arms, causing goose bumps to appear where he touched. Suddenly, touching his hair didn't seem like enough. I was eyeing his lips. I wondered… Oh god, how I wondered how it'd feel, just for a moment to touch those lips with my own. His slightly parted lips…
I tried to silence those thoughts. That would be taking things too far. What was I thinking? Where was my head at lately? I was having such strange thoughts about Riku! It didn't help that he was a male. My brain simply refused to actually associate a word to what I potentially was becoming, that my preference for women was shifting ever so slightly. It wasn't like I was attracted to men. Just one man in particular…
I mentally slapped the idea of kissing Riku out of my head. I had no idea how he'd react if I tried that. He might knock me out or get so freaked out that he'd never talk to me again. No, I couldn't risk it just because my stupid brain wanted to experiment. But it wasn't just my brain… My heart was telling me it was the right thing to do. Just a moment… One moment to kiss him…
I leaned in slowly, giving him plenty of time to stop me if he wanted to. He saw me coming. He knew what was coming. He didn't try to stop me. And then-
"Sora!" There were three hard knocks at my door that caused me to literally jump with fright off the bed. It was my mother's voice behind the door. I tried with all my might to make my heart stop racing. I was so close! And Riku wasn't going to stop me! Oh god, I almost kissed my best friend!
"Yeah, mom?" I called. I looked shyly back at Riku. He was busying himself with cleaning our stack of video games, avoiding all eye contact.
"Supper's ready! Come get it before it gets cold!" I heard my mother's footsteps recede down the stairs. Once the sounds of her feet were gone, I breathed a sigh of relief. I wanted to say something to break the ice, but the tension was back and I couldn't find the words to say anything at all. What was I supposed to say? Hey Riku, let's pick up where we left off! Kiss me!
No, the moment passed. I found myself avoiding his eyes as much as he avoided mine. My, things got really awkward in only a matter of moments. I knew it was a bad idea to lean in. What was I thinking?
We arrived in the kitchen where my mother was serving up plates of hamburgers and fries. My kid brother, Nuage, was already pigging out. I took a seat across from Riku and began eating.
"So," my mother started up. "Nuage, how was your day, sweetie?" Nuage looked up and opened his food-filled mouth to speak, but I quickly slapped a hand over it before he could spray us with his half-chewed food. At age 7, he still had a lot to learn about dinner table etiquette and manners. Riku grinned at my quick save and I smiled back at him. Our eyes remained connected for a lingering moment until my brother bit my hand to get it off his mouth.
"Ow!" I yelped.
"I was done eating!" he complained before turning to mom to speak. I glared at him, vowing sweet retribution for his transgression. Riku hid his smile behind his hand. My glare turned to him and I kicked him under the table. A mock offended look appeared on his face, as if he silently accepted some kind of unspoken challenge, and he swiftly kicked me back. A brief kick-match ensued beneath the table away from prying eyes, unbeknownst to my mom and brother.
After a few seconds of stalemate, Riku changed his tactics. Instead of kicking my leg, he simply ran his foot along the length of it. I shivered at the sensual contact. Was he playing "footsies" with me? I returned the favour by rubbing my foot on the side of his calf. I watched his eyes close and flutter for a moment. Then I nearly gasped when I felt his foot running dangerously high up on my inner thigh. My eyes darted to where my mom and brother were completely oblivious to our interaction. Riku's foot was creeping upwards, getting higher and higher until-
"Okay!" I squeaked, standing up rapidly. My mother and brother stared at me oddly. "Uh…" They waited for an explanation for my outburst. "Alright!" I shouted with a bit more enthusiasm. "Dinner was great, mom!" I quickly took a seat again, sending Riku a pointed glare. He smugly returned my gaze, folding his arms as if to say 'I won'.
"You're so weird!" Nuage complained.
"Nuage!" my mother scolded. "Anyway, Sora sweetie, I wish you and Riku wouldn't spend so much time in your room together-" I nearly choked on my food "-playing video games upstairs. It's a beautiful day! You should have been outside where it's nice!" I recovered and shrugged as casually as possible.
"I miss video games. I haven't played them in so long."
"While you were away at…" mother trailed off. A lot of people tended to do that when they struggled to remember exactly where Riku and I had disappeared to while we were fighting Heartless. "Camp? Auntie Salina?"
"Salina," I confirmed. Riku, Kairi, and I agreed it was best if we didn't tell anyone about our adventures. No one would believe us anyway. "And Riku was at boot camp!" I felt another sharp pain as Riku kicked me in the leg. "Sorry, band camp!" Another sharp pain.
"Well, at any rate, go outside more please. You're going to get pale like that Daria girl down the street. The one with all the make-up and bright green hair."
"She's a Goth, mom. That's what Goths do. Shrink at the sight of the sun and dye their hair cool colours."
"Sora, I think-"
"I'm going back upstairs!" I interrupted politely, if there were such a thing. I had just about finished dinner and didn't feel like being lectured anymore, as endearing as it was. I stared pointedly at Riku. "Let's go." He nodded and gave a short bow to my mom. The two of us rushed back upstairs to the sanctuary of my room and I closed the door, resting my forehead against it. Mothers could sure be awkward sometimes. Anyway, I was more concerned about that little game of footsies under the table.
"Up for another game of Immortal Konflict?" Riku called from my TV where he was flipping through my games. "Or maybe Road Combatant?" He was already trying to pretend like nothing happened. But I wasn't ready to just move on. I marched up to him, grabbed him by the shoulder, and pinned him to the floor, straddling him like he had done to me earlier.
"Why don't we try a new game?" I suggested playfully. Goodness, did those words just come from my mouth? Riku was more than surprised at my sudden shift in personality.
"Wow, you…" he stuttered. "Uh…wow." I raised an amused eyebrow. "Um…" This was a first. Usually, Riku was the calm, collected one in our group. I think I like the idea of having the upper hand on him. I began running my hands along the sides of his face slowly. He placed his hands bashfully on my sides, leisurely trailing them down until they reached my rear. I sucked in some air when I felt his hands massage the area in a tantalising way. Something told me this was right. This was how things were supposed to be. Was it possible that I was… falling in love with my best friend?
Placing my hands on the floor on either side of his head, I leaned in with no hesitation like the first time. This time, I knew he wouldn't push me off. I was close now, mere inches from his lips, so close I could feel his breath.
And naturally, I heard loud knocking at my door again.
"Sora!" called the annoying brat that is Nuage. "Mom said I can play video games with you guys!" I groaned loudly, still hovering above Riku's face, staring into his eyes. He seemed to smile apologetically.
"You better answer that," he whispered. I really wasn't in the mood to get up, especially since I was feeling particularly…stimulated.
"I wish I had a lock," I hissed as I reluctantly left the warmth of my would-be lover. I opened the door and glared at Nuage. Without even waiting for an invite, Nuage pushed past me and ran up to the Gamestation, flicking it on. "Hey you little sneak!"
"Mom said I could!" he retorted rudely. God, I hated small children. Well, that wasn't quite true. I got along just fine with children who weren't my brother. He had been a nuisance every since he could walk and talk. I can't count the number of times he tried to follow me out to the islets to play with Tidus and Wakka. Then I'd get in trouble for not watching him because he's incapable of paddling a boat on his own and wearing a life jacket.
"Go away, tike, we're playing big kids games," I growled between my clenched teeth. Maybe it was just him tagging along one too many times or maybe I was just sexually frustrated, but I wanted him gone.
"Mom said I could!" he yelled, his voice getting a little louder and little more screeched. "Besides, I'm a big kid! I can play whatever game you guys are playing!"
"Oh I severely doubt that!" I scoffed. This was getting a little out of hand. I gave Riku a pleading help look and he merely shrugged at me. Somehow, I knew that Nuage's presence was no mere coincidence. I think it was a clever ploy on my mother's part to detach me from my beloved gaming system. Well if she wanted to play rough… "Fine then, play on the Gamestation. We're leaving. C'mon, Riku." He gave me a look that said 'Good thinking'. But Nuage threw a wrench into my plans by jumping up.
"Where are we going?" he asked excitedly.
"We aren't going anywhere. You are staying here to play, remember? Mom said you could." I mocked his earlier voice.
"I wanna play with you guys!" Nuage whined. He gave me his pouty look, clearly stolen from me. It was a strong one, hard to resist, even as annoying as he was. I broke and gave in.
"Fine, fine!" I sighed, taking a seat on the bed. "Let's play some Road Combatant."
"I call Haru-bijin!" I clenched my fist. First he interrupts what could have been a milestone in my blossoming relationship with Riku, then he steals my favourite Road Combatant character. He was lucky he was just a little kid, otherwise I would have kicked him in the head by now. For now, though, I'd have to put up with his presence until he tired out. God knows how long that'd be with his energy. We'd be in for a long wait. Good grief.
A/N: I know that Nuage looks like it would be pronounced New-ah-geh, but it's actually pronounced New-aj. It's French for cloud. :P
Haru-bijin is a rough translation of "spring" and "beautiful woman". It's a deliberate spoof of Chun-Li's name from Street Fighter.
More to come. This was originally one chapter, but it got way too long, so I had to chop it in half. So be sure to be on the lookout for the next chapter. Reviews are greatly appreciated. A beta reader would be even better! Thanks!