Warnings: Vague spoilers for KH and KH2; excessive use of the semi-colon, and a speculative time frame that extends from pre-series to way way after KH2. (Also, I may have made Sora a little too, er, silly...?)

Wishes Are Made of Sugar and Sand
Theme Set Alpha

She sends a silent thanks up to the sky that Riku is by her side, as they drag a snoring Sora through the beach, back towards home.

"Have you ever..." she lets the rest of the sentence trail, not sure if it should be 'have' or 'have been,' but nearly certain that the answer is 'yes.'

The skin between his thumb and pointer finger is rough like sand, but between her palms it is the softest thing in the world.

"I know it's you," she whispers, and he's not sure if he turns his head away because he doesn't want to see her tears, or because he doesn't want her to see his own.

"But they're your favorite," she protests, as he pushes his plate of chips towards her, "And besides, they'll make me fat!"

Embarrassingly enough, she is fascinated by worlds that have it – he scoffs and feigns indifference, but when she isn't there, he splashes around in the puddles, too.

He rolls his eyes at Sora when the other boy tells him they should bake Kairi a birthday cake, but only because he wishes he had thought of it first.

She thinks the most perfect place in the world is between the two of them, lying down like this in the hot, island sunshine; Sora and Riku are both eerily silent when she announces this.

For some reason, it's the same conversation either way: Sora calls her up and chatters on for an hour about almost nothing; Riku calls her up and says nothing at all.

She looks up at him with a half-smile and a flower tucked behind one ear, and it's all he can do to stop himself saying something stupid like, "When the heck did you turn beautiful?"

Sometimes the sky seems too far out of her reach, but she tells herself that isn't the reason why she keeps returning to his embrace, like the sea to shore.

She begins to climb the ladder to their treehouse five steps ahead; he falls back and waits for her to finish, because she's wearing a short skirt and they've got to keep their footing sure.

He's facedown on the ground and mouthing her name into a puddle of his own blood – she wakes up from the nightmare crying, wishing with all her heart that they would just come home already.

"Babies don't come from eggs or storks," Riku tells him, angrily, but when Sora asks him, "So where do they come from?" he finds he doesn't know how to answer.

He sees her crying in their cave one day, face tucked into her knees and her arms over her head; he reaches a hand out to her, pauses, and retracts it – Sora would (painful as it is to admit) be able to do a better job.

He gives her the Keyblade not because he wants to, but because he knows she hates playing the princess, and that she was never looking for his protection to begin with.

"It's not because I'm s-sad, y-you idiot," she sniffles, but she's shaking when he pulls her close to his strange, alien, body, and he can tell that she's lying.

She's only a tiny bit offended when they don't ask her to race with them, but she tells herself its only because they're afraid of losing to a girl.

"Bring them back to me," she whispers, fingers clasped against her chest in a desperate imitation of prayer – "bringembackbringembackbringemback -"

"So what do we do now?" she asks them, and it's Sora who answers, with that giant smile on his face, "Sleep!"

She's actually dreading the day when all the adventures have been spent, and all the dreams have been dreamt, because she knows that afterwards everything will have to change.

She embraces Sora tightly, for just a little longer than Riku thinks he can bear - but that's a secret, of course.

He pulls his hand away when she tries to hold it, and when she wrinkles her brow at him, he mumbles, "We're not little kids anymore, it's not the same."

He looks at the paopu fruit, and it seems almost as distant as an actual star; he knows it's Sora who will someday climb the tree and pluck it, and bring it down for her to eat.

She has been watching the ocean the same time every day, after school, even if she can't explain why – her hair is already inches past her shoulders when she finally remembers.

He believed in it too, some time long long ago, but the meaning was lost on him after he was embraced by the darkness.

Sometimes he would strike too hard with that flimsy wooden sword of his – the guilt would bubble up inside him as Sora touched the cut in wonder, saying, almost in a daze, "Riku, calm down!"

She throws up on his shoes after eating all those clams, and as he searches for the right herbs, he sighs and asks her if she was listening to him at all.

She puts her heart to his chest and listens for a long, long time, taking in the slow, steady beats, and the breathing that reminds her of the sea they all love.

The darkness was eating up the night sky, eating up the stars as if they were butter cookies, and all she could do was gaze up at the sight with her mouth open, pretending not to hear the enthusiasm in his voice.

"Are you sure you still want me there, with you, after everything I've done? -" he knows it's a stupid question, but it makes him feel a little better to ask it, anyway.

He puts his lips against her forehead once when he isn't thinking, but suddenly it's too late, and she's already kissing him back.

Sora, she knows, will keep his promise, because he's simple-minded like that; but Riku could think of a hundred reasons not to come back, and the first would be that he never swore it.

It's only for a moment, but she sees his eyes light up at the prospect of visiting Hollow Bastion, just a casual visit, y'know, the two of us.

Two years may not exactly be a short time, but she only thinks so because Sora and Riku are closer to each other than she'll ever be to either of them.

He tells her to go buy some curative materials from the potions master, or to check out where they can find some Gummi parts - she kicks the back of his knee before running off to find the armory.

There are new ways to get around, now, like airships and flying carpets and just plain flying, but nothing ever beats piggybacking.

He would make her a present of his heart, too, the way she did for Sora, if only he knew how – but such intricate methods escape him, or maybe he never had it in him to begin with?

She puts her fingers to his cheeks and pulls hard, harder than Sora ever did, and he's a little amused when she shouts, "It wouldn't kill you to try, you know?"

His mouth goes dry when he sees her that first time – it's been two years, he knows, but she never had that hard look in her eyes before.

He doesn't know if it's the fact that the darkness makes him feel more empty every day, but every time he thinks of her, he seems to feel whole.

It's probably not the best thing to associate it with, but whenever they're piling up thick in the sky she involuntarily sees the back of his head.

It's a silly, dramatic, thing to say – "Hey, look, we're falling," – but it's true, and in each other's arms like this, it doesn't seem to matter.

They've seen all the worlds, but afterwards none of them seem quite as perfect as the one they've come from, and he feels just a tiny bit apprehensive when she says that's where she'd want to die.

"You don't know anything about what I've been through," he lashes out at her, fingers covering the face he knows isn't his, heart full of darkness and mouth stinging with all the cruelty he can't seem to help, but she reaches out just the same, and for a moment he thinks he might actually have a chance at salvation.

First she sees Sora breaking surface, and then she sees the bubbles rising up beside him and that other, paler face looming out of the water, haloed by wisps of silver hair like some brand new species of octopus, and she laughs because even if the sun is setting it is infinitely more like dawn.

When he finally sees her she's wearing white, and she has flowers in her hair, and they're meeting in secret with only the moon as witness, and there is something very, very sad about the fact that he's only dreaming.

Much as he wants to thank them for bringing her to their humble little island, he's scared that they'll take her away someday, in the same way, without any warning, or any reasons why.

His fingers glide through her hair and dig into her scalp and she would have yelped in pain except that, upon reflection, she finds that she's doing the same to him, and anyway her mouth is kinda occupied.

"I'll never let you face the darkness again," she tells him, and he knows it's true, because when he's next to her there can only be light.

A/N: Written for Necca. This is my first shot at 50lines; I hope you enjoyed it. Comments would always be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading. :D