Roxas's instant thought was that the other keyblade wielder's hand gripping his neck wasn't being held as tight as it could have been. Or, at least as it should have been. The blond feebly mulled over that thought while he tried to wrench the hands away, having to gasp for breath as he gazed down into the now orange eyes. They weren't orange just seconds ago. Something deep inside Roxas sorely missed the blindfolded eyes; the teen's old form.

Riku looked up at the boy he held captive, his blue eyes glimmering despite the darkness. The sapphire glint that Riku had known so well was now icy and pained, but still utterly familiar. Still utterly Sora, but not.

If he weren't a part of Sora, I'd have him dead by now, Riku reflected arbitrarily as Roxas gasped for another breath.

Wait, that was an odd thought. A dark thought. Riku knew he'd have to get used to that. No… if he wasn't a part of Sora, I wouldn't even be hurting him.

The hands slowly tightened around Roxas's neck, as if reluctant. As if they dreaded having to choke him until he was unconscious. Roxas gasped, clawing at those gloved hands helplessly. It's over, for now.

Not once did a hint of plea pass through Roxas's eyes; he'd rather be strangled to death than beg for mercy, and Riku grudgingly respected him for that. He wondered if Sora would have been the same. Roxas's cerulean eyes once again fell on Riku, recalling his original form with a fleeting hint of longing. It came as soon as it went, though he had a hunch that the feeling would have stuck around if he could only figure out how the silver-haired teen made him hurt inside, considering it was impossible for him to feel.

Why did my chest begin to ache as soon as I saw him?

"You…," Roxas started, gasping again, "You really… love him, don't… you."

A flash of surprise that Roxas managed to perceive passed through ginger eyes, but Riku quickly recomposed himself. With an arrogant smirk, he allowed a humorless laugh pass through his lips. For Sora.

"Shut up."


Riku did. He really, truly did.