Everyday Attire

Summary: Add together a sweltering July afternoon and a slightly possessive Riku. Who knew that clothes mattered so much?

Main pairing: RikuxSora.

It was the middle of July, and the Destiny Islands were sweltering. Anyone driving along Sun Star Street at approximately 2 o' clock in the afternoon (air conditionings blasting) could look to the left (three houses down- the lovely light blue one) and see a large cluster of students sprawled across an otherwise unmarred front lawn. Though all were dressed in beach-friendly swim wear, all seemed preoccupied on matters other than tanning. Drivers would ponder to themselves, why would anyone willingly lie outside during the hottest time of the day? Was it some sort of silent protest? Then, glancing at their water-ready, attire, they'd ask, why weren't they at the beach? The pool? Or at the very least, inside a nicely cooled house?

The first two questions were easily answered. The shores along the Destiny Islands were overrun by its monthly plague of jellyfish. Moon jellies, Man o' War jellies, Box jellyfish... The feminine voices of the group- Selphie and Kairi- sensibly didn't want to take the risk of anyone being stung. Jellyfish stings hurt, dammit! And the only pool within walking distance was closed for cleaning.

The last answer was not as obvious. All citizens on the Destiny Islands were friendly with each other- it really was hard not to. However, seeing as the sun-tanning gang was also pretty much inseparable, the mothers of their children formed a bond. What started as a sensible way to carpool to and from various areas of interest developed into a tight little clique of middle-aged women. Despite some obvious differences (one could never compare bubbly Mrs. Strife to the somber Mrs. Schemer), all got along wonderfully. The group planned everything together- from weddings to seasonal cleaning dates, nothing was unconfirmed with the rest. And it just so happened that that particular day in July- the day when temperatures broke all previously known records- was the day designated for summer cleaning. Despite furious wailing, all other family members were evicted (sometimes physically) from the premises.

Soothing bruised egos and scraped extremities, all wandered purposely toward Tidus's house. Besides being the prettiest, it had the largest yard. For the past hour or so, nothing productive had been achieved. Sora sighed and wiped the sweat from his hairline. He glanced around him. Larxene and Marluxia were abusing each other in the corner near the flower garden. Axel and Roxas leaned against the slender trunk of a newly planted paopu tree, vainly trying to utilize the little bit of shade offered. Demyx was sprawled on his stomach, examining a single blade of wilted grass. Zexion, sitting upright next to him, was earnestly telling his counterpart the specifics of the plant: genus, species, and all unique characteristics attributed to the family. Tidus and Selphie were on their backs, fingers barely brushing as they pointed out distorted pictures in the clouds. Sora himself sat next to Kairi, a comfortable silence settled between them.

Sora kind of hated how everyone was paired up with someone else- not that he would have minded if a certain tall silveret were present. Riku was running errands for his mother, buying paint and brushes at the home-improvement store an island or so away. He'd be back in time for the group's weekly ritual of dinner and movie. How Sora wished he were there, with him, right now... But then again... Where would that leave Kairi? He sneaked a glance at the auburn-haired presence beside him. He often wondered what she was thinking about, especially when she was so quiet and pensive. Sora shook his head idly. Now was not the time to think about this. He cocked his head to one side. If Riku were there... Nah. It was too hot to do anything fun, anyway.

Sora rolled backwards, staring unblinkingly at the blue, blue sky above him. This heat. Wasn't there anything they could do to rid themselves of this heat? He glanced back at Larxene and Marluxia. Larxene smiled ferally, a bunch of Marly's lovely pink hair fisted in a clawed hand. Marluxia, ever the masochist, was beaming beatifically, obviously enjoying the occasional pangs of pain resulting from this violent treatment. Nothing Sora wasn't used to seeing. But next to them... Sora's eyes drifted upward, toward the water hose...

"Tidus?" he called. The other boy sat up sleepily, blinking confusedly at the bright-eyed brunet.

"Yeah?"

"Do you think we can set up the sprinklers or something?" The tousle-haired boy stared blankly.

"Why? We don't water the lawn 'till evening. And besides, won't everyone get wet..." He trailed off, eyes widening appreciatively as he finally grasped what Sora was hinting at. "Yeah!"

Sora grinned as Tidus uncoiled the length of green plastic. A metal attachment was screwed on firmly, Tidus wincing at the scalding heat trapped in the material. He set the hose in the middle of the yard. By now, he had attracted the attention of the rest of his friends. All eyes were on the boy as he triumphantly twisted the handle... And followed the trail of water that spurted weakly from the sprinkler head. Tidus waited a minute, allowing the water time to cool, then stuck his hand in the dancing stream. "Cool," he said, watching the rivulets of water run down the back of a tanned hand, "but kind of... weak." Axel nodded his agreement, silent for once. The heat had drained even him from any smart comments.

Zexion was staring pointedly at Demyx, who had tilted his head in confusion. The dirty-blond shifted uncomfortably, trying to understand what his other was telling him... Zexion cleared his throat impatiently. Demyx began to sweat. From the dry air or from Zexion's heated glare, he did not know. Suddenly, his head snapped up in comprehension. "Right!"

He extended a long hand and snapped. The water spurted weakly, began to rise and fall dramatically, rhythmically. The water began to move, splashing around randomly, hitting Selphie, Roxas, and Zexion in succession. Demyx laughed and began to dance around the water droplets. Sora grinned and joined him.

--

Three hours later, the sprinkler was turned off, the lawn thoroughly watered, and a bunch of thoroughly drenched friends lay totally exhausted on the soggy grass. Sora smiled blithely to himself. Judging by the position of the sun and the shadows, it must be around 5 o'clock... And that meant that soon, Riku would be there. With him.

"Oi! Sora!" Tidus waved him over. Sora leapt to his feet and made his way carefully across the grass. "Get ready to go. Dry off and pull on a shirt. As soon as Riku shows, we're going." Sora nodded brightly, and headed for his bag. He paused and looked up, face stricken.

"I forgot my clothes at home. Wait a moment, I'll run back for it..."

Tidus shook his head impatiently. "Naw, just borrow a shirt of mine. Riku'll be here any minute, and the movie starts early... Come on." He turned and pushed past the creaky wooden front door. Sora quietly followed, padding lightly up the carpet-covered staircase. Tidus stood in front of his walk-in closet, silently appraising his clothes. "Here," he picked a shirt from the closet and tossed it toward the bewildered brunet. "That should fit. Take pants, too." The slender boy then exited the room, closing the door silently behind him. Sora was left to change in peace.

He exited the house happily. That night, they'd be watching "Return of the Moogles." Reviewers called it a real blood bath. He couldn't wait to watch it. Sora took easy steps down the porch steps and found safety in the recently abandoned shade of the paopu tree. He sat down and leaned back against the trunk. The heat was really settling down... A slight breeze ruffled the brunet's already messy hair. He tilted his head back and closed his eyes.

Someone planted a chaste kiss on his lips, and Sora startled, scrambling for purchase on the slightly slippery terrain. He immediately melted at the view. A smiling silveret kneeled before him, green eyes dancing playfully. Sora's eyes automatically traveled down the length of his body. He had on a plain black shirt on (darnit), and his every day knee-length shorts. He looked wonderful, as usual. "Missed me?" the apparition asked, white teeth flashing. Sora leapt to his feet and grinned. He barely opened his mouth to confirm the observation when Riku frowned, taking in Sora's current appearance. Sora paused, eyes automatically drifting downwards to examine his attire. Did he get mud on his shirt? A grass stain? No... Nothing seemed out of place.

Still frowning, Riku asked, "Sora... Where's your clothes?" Sora shrugged.

"I forgot to bring them. So Tidus let me borrow some of his. Is... Is there a problem?"

Riku nodded, the motion barely perceptible. "Come on." He laced long fingers with those of his younger companion and headed down towards the street. "Tidus, we'll meet you there!" he called, not glancing backwards to see the nod of agreement. Sora followed clumsily, awkwardly stumbling over several cracks of the sidewalk.

"Riku... What's the matter?" Riku said nothing, just shook his head and continued forward. The two walked in silence for a while, Sora often looking confusedly at the back of a head of silver hair. He just didn't get what was wrong. Was Riku mad at him? If so, why? And why were they going to his house? Eventually, they made their way toward the older boy's house. Riku's mom barely managed a greeting before Sora was dragged toward his boyfriend's room. Riku roughly sat the brunet on the bed and rummaged through several dresser drawers. "Here," he said finally, holding out a pair of matching shorts and shirt. Sora looked at the clothes blankly.

"But... I already have clothes to wear."

"I don't care. Wear them."

"But they won't fit... They're too big. Tidus's clothes fit better..."

Riku's jaw clenched uncomfortably. "Please, Sora. Just wear them. Please." Sora was bewildered, but couldn't deny the older boy.

"All right then... Riku... If, um, it'll make you happy...?"

"Yes, Sora. Please. Just wear them."

Sora walked slowly into the adjacent bathroom and pulled on the clothes. He looked at himself in the mirror and smoothed the shirt uncomfortably. As predicted, they were too big... He clutched at the sagging fabric. He needed to ask Riku for a belt. But the clothes did smell nice. Very clean.

He walked out of the bathroom, looked questioningly at his other. Riku's face had relaxed considerably, eyes softening as they met Sora's own. Silently, he crossed the distance that separated the two figures. Warm arms wrapped around Sora's waist, and the boy unconsciously leaned into the comfort. Riku nuzzled brown spikes with his nose, whispering quietly into Sora's ear. "Sora... Please... Don't wear another's clothes. Not now. Not ever. Please."

Sora pulled back slightly, staring into pleading green eyes. "So it's either... my clothes, or...?"

"Nothing at all." Riku smiled teasingly before resuming his position nestled into Sora's neck.

Sora blushed slightly. "Why?" he asked. "Does it matter so much that I wore... Tidus's clothes?" Riku's grip tightened slightly.

"It does. You have no idea. Sora..." Riku sighed. "You're mine, you know that? All mine."

Sora nodded. "I know... Just like you're mine, too."

"Yes... And I know that... You might want to one day leave me, but..." Sora opened his mouth to protest, but Riku silently shushed him. "But until then... You're mine. My clothes are my way of staking a claim on you, Sora. So that others know that you're marked." Riku smiled gently. "I like seeing you in my clothes." He practically purred in content. "It makes me happy."

"Alright." Sora considered this information. "Does that mean you'll wear my clothes if I ask you to?"

Riku's laugh could be heard echoing across the pavement of Sun Star Street.