Ack! I did it again! Don't know if any of you are getting weird chapter alerts, but I keep posting the new story before I put the author's notes in... I need to stop that.
Anyway, This is just a little something I've been working on for the past week or so. (Instead of all the other projects I've got going...) Thank God it's just a oneshot!
Honestly, the thing has no plot. It's just character development and complete fluff. A complete turn around from my usual angst fest. I've just been going through a lot lately, and needed to do something fun. This is what came out of it.
Whelp, hope you like it, but honestly I think it sucks. I should just stick to angst. :)
Don't own, don't sue, yadda yadda yadda.
And please review!
Sora couldn't sleep. It had become a common ailment in the weeks since he'd been home. After more than two years of moving constantly from place to place, eternally on the lookout for enemies, he didn't know what to do with himself. He couldn't sleep the whole night—not when he was used to taking second shift. Donald was always more grumpy than usual if his sleep was interrupted, and Goofy was even more clueless without a full night's rest, so Sora was usually landed with the middle shift. Out camping in a strange world, or trapped in a tiny ship in Gummi space, the trio was vigilant about assigning a watch. One never knew what the heartless or nobodies might come up with next. But on Destiny Islands… things were supposed to be normal. Everything was safe. So why couldn't he shake the horrible skin crawling feeling that the heartless were poised to attack at any moment?
The Keybearer sighed and resigned himself to another sleepless night, ignoring the ache in his body as he pushed himself out of bed. He crept silently through the halls of the house, uncanny intuition warning him of every potential creak before he stepped. He didn't want to wake his mother. Just thinking of her made him wince. She had been so… utterly destroyed was perhaps the phrase to use—by his disappearance. She couldn't accept his truth about battles and redemptions had opted to believe he had been kidnapped these last two and a half years and held somewhere so horrible he wouldn't tell the truth about it. Sora couldn't say he blamed her, but her worry and love was absolutely stifling. He had already been forced to adulthood by danger and bloodshed and so the adult in him couldn't stand how she tried to coddle and shelter him now. She just wouldn't listen when he tried to explain that he wasn't a child anymore; merely got teary-eyed and tried to get him to go to the shrink again. Her stubborn refusal to accept the truth helped him feel less awful about deceiving her. It wasn't his fault he'd had to lie—to pretend to be the normal, happy son he wasn't really sure he'd ever been to begin with. He didn't think she would believe anything else anyway.
He had to roll his eyes as he realized his mother was sleeping on the couch nearest the door, no doubt waiting for Sora to be "kidnapped" again. It wasn't the craziest thing she'd done. She'd even gone so far as to board his window shut upon his return, or Sora would probably have left from his bedroom instead of taking all the trouble to sneak downstairs.
"Bye mom." He mouthed the words as he silently slipped out the door, trying not to feel guilty for the way his mother had dealt with all this. What could I possibly have done? He thought to himself, forcing the fears and the regrets away. There was nothing, he knew. Everything had hinged on his success back then, and he had no way of getting home even if he wanted to.
You could have found a way. The part of his mind that was always criticizing—always finding what he had done wrong an throwing it in his face—reminded him. You could have tried to contact her, but not once, not once did you even try. Sora frowned, shaking his head to clear it. He didn't need this. He couldn't do anything about it now that everything was over. No use dragging it out until he was as broken and fixated on his mistakes as Riku.
Riku… Sora wasn't even sure where to begin with that one. He cared for Riku deeply, had given up on ever seeing Destiny Islands again just to find him. Now they were both safely back home. Things had turned out better than he ever imagined they would and Riku was still… Sora didn't know half the time whether he wanted to hold Riku close or slap some sense into him. He just wished the teen could stop blaming himself. It hurt so much to see Riku suffer and know that he'd been torturing himself all alone for more than a year. Sora hadn't seen his best friend smile since the day they managed to come home. He wanted nothing more than for things to go back to the way they used to be.
But Sora was changed and Riku was changed and nothing would ever be the same ever again. There was a part of him that knew it was necessary. Without fitting himself to the hero's mold he never could have survived to save to worlds—never could have brought Riku back home again. However, now that they were here and trying to go to school and dealing with parents… it was all so mundane that it was overwhelming. Sora wasn't coping with it well. He knew it had to be ten times worse for Riku, who had not only left his regular life, but had tried to isolate himself from all human contact. When he tried to imagine the loneliness his best friend must have felt in that year of darkness, he felt his stomach clench. It was one of the many things that kept him up nights.
With his mind constantly churning, Sora reached the dock before he even realized he had left his own doorstep. He reached for the second canoe on the left and had already rowed out to sea before he realized that the boat wasn't his. Right. His canoe had been destroyed that day when Destiny Islands disappeared. God. That seemed like forever ago. Ah well. It wasn't like Tidus would be too upset. Sora had to be back by morning anyway, unless he wanted his mother to have one of her fits again. Tidus probably wouldn't even notice his boat had left the dock at all.
Sora threw himself into the therapeutic effort of rowing, finding his way to the island by the pale light of the waning moon. It wasn't hard at all to navigate despite the lack of light, even if he did have to keep looking over his shoulder at every shadow flitting across the dark water. He was paranoid and he knew it, but that was the best way he knew how to survive. If he was paranoid, nothing would catch him off guard. Better safe than sorry. That particular policy had been beaten into him on the first year of his journey after a particularly nasty fall from a ledge in the cave of wonders. Damn water-spraying trap mechanisms. How were they still working after so many years in the desert anyway? One would think they would be clogged up by sand at this point.
Sora's mind often wandered to the things he'd done these past few years—to the people he'd met and the worlds he'd seen. It felt almost…lonely to be the only one on Destiny Islands with that knowledge. He'd tried telling Kairi about all the worlds, about Aladdin and Beast and the horrible queen of hearts, but without having met any of them the stories lost their flavor. And even when he tried to tell her about the hilarious fights Donald and Goofy used to have, they couldn't hold her interest. Sora tried to talk to her about school and the other kids, but he couldn't find any meaning to that after doing what he'd done. So in the end, he felt like an outsider in his own home. The only one who could really understand was Riku and yet… Sora didn't want to bother the boy with even more problems. If he mentioned he was feeling alone, Riku might take it the wrong way and blame it on himself. Honestly. Riku had the same right to be an angst filled teenager as anyone else, but it was quite frustrating.
The air was pungent with memories as Sora finally rowed into the cove and tied the canoe to the dock. He hadn't been here at night since he'd gotten back; it was too close to the night when the island had been destroyed. He'd been too young and naïve to realize just what the darkness and the strange creatures meant. Everything had been almost a game back then. He had been playing out the hero's role he'd always wanted, fighting off the monsters to save his friends. If only he had realized how horrible being a hero really was.
Sora forcibly shut his thoughts away, knowing that they only led to self-pity. He'd come here to blow off some steam, not mope. He summoned oblivion as he leapt from the canoe to the dock, flipping in midair and landing not quite as gracefully as he would like. He fell to one knee to regain his balance and then he was moving again, leaping, twisting through the air to strike at some imaginary foe and land shoddily on the shifting sand.
"Damn." Sora cursed at his lack of grace. He was almost glad that his own mind wouldn't leave him alone tonight. He was obviously in need of the practice. The tiny island made a perfect training ground with its unorthodox terrain, and he made full use of every obstacle. He fell into the patterns so familiar to him after his journey, adding acrobatics where necessary and trying to economize each movement. The loneliness he'd been feeling vanished as he was completely absorbed in perfecting his ability to fight. This was what he really knew best. Not school or chores or the people around him—only aggression. Sora had been born to fight. It was something he had known his whole life. His purpose was to protect, and so he would be ready. He would train like this every night to be ready. The heartless or the nobodies or something would attack again. They always did.
But if they didn't… what would Sora do? How could he keep living in a world that no longer needed a hero?
At some point in the next two hours the imaginary foes became too-real memories. He lost all sense of where and when he was, and suddenly he was fighting armies of neoshadows swarming around him on the damp and dreary streets. He'd left Donald and Goofy a few alleys back, both too exhausted to continue. Sora too could feel weariness gnawing at his every limb, but he had to keep going. His friends were waiting for him in the horrible castle ahead, and he needed to get to them, to protect them, to make sure they were ok. Darkness seeped from every pore of the concrete as he slaughtered the humanoid heartless left and right. There was a niggling guilt in the back of his mind at having to kill things so intelligent that they could plan against him, but he ignored it. Guilt was weakness in battle and he couldn't afford to be weak now. The damned things were slicing him every chance they could get, cutting up his arms and legs because they were the easiest to get to. He knew he would look like he had stripes later, and maybe he would make a joke about it to his friends if he finally fought his way out of this. But the things were multiplying faster than he could kill and he would soon be overwhelmed unless he could pull off some kind of miracle.
"Sora!" He heard the shout from somewhere back the way he'd come. He was halfway poised to turn when he remembered the battle he was already fighting. A claw was coming fast at his face. He just had the time to cut it away, only to hiss as another one sliced across his ribs. He needed a curaga, and soon. "Sora!"The shout came again, this time from much closer, and the hero jumped. He whirled to his left, trying to parry another swipe as he came face to face with—
"Riku?" The writhing armies of darkness and neon lights faded to nothing but stars and night sky, memories retreating to the back of his mind to be bottled and ignored. Sora shook with physical and mental exhaustion as he dropped his blade. His legs finally gave out after too many hours of strenuous use, and he landed butt first on the sandy ground. "Ow." He growled, annoyed at the way his muscles were screaming at him. God, he was really out of shape.
"What was that all about?" Riku asked, sitting beside his friend and trying not to act like he was worried. Sora smiled even as he gasped for breath. Riku never had been good with his emotions.
"Oh, you know." Sora muttered once he could speak again. "Imaginary hoards of heartless and what-not." He let himself fall all the way so that he was lying on the beach, heedless of the sand in his hair. He knew it wasn't good to collapse like this without some kind of cool down, but he couldn't bring himself to care at the moment. Riku laughed half-heartedly.
"Yeah, I know." The Keybearer forced his head to turn so that he could see his best friend. Riku was looking at him with a strange sort of sympathy. "Same thing happened to me the other day." Sora groaned, but the smile never left his face. The situation was funny somehow.
"What is it, Posttras… post-tramsatic…" Riku laughed again, this time sounding truly happy. God it was good to hear that laugh. Sora made sure to capture the sight of Riku smiling and commit it to memory. He wanted to be able to remember, should Riku fall into brooding again.
"Posttraumatic stress disorder, you dork." Sora might have been annoyed at the name calling a few years ago, but at the moment he was just happy to have Riku back. His grin grew wider as he realized Riku hadn't stopped smiling just yet.
"Yeah, that." Sora tried to suppress a giggle, and failed. There was just something about all of this that was so damn funny. Riku's gaze met his, and then he just couldn't help it anymore. He let himself go, laughing hysterically and wincing with each guffaw. His stomach muscles were already sore and the sudden attack of hysteria didn't help much. Riku didn't take long to dissolve beside him, his aquamarine eyes filled with mirth for the first time in the worlds knew how long. The pain in his sides only made everything more hilarious, and soon the tears were streaming down his face. "Shit. Ow." Sora managed to complain through the chortles after he finally began to calm down. Somewhere in the midst of their fit Riku had sprawled out next to him on the ground.
"What were we laughing about again?" the older teen inquired, wiping the moisture from his eyes with the back of one hand. Sora scoffed, trying his hardest not to start up again.
"I have no idea." He could feel the laughter bubbling up inside him as he spoke, and resolutely pushed it away. His stomach muscles really hurt now. He didn't feel like making that any worse.
They two of them lay there in the darkness, surrounded by the comforting sound of waves on the shore as they regained their senses. Alone on that tiny island, it almost felt like they were the only two people in the world. Sora felt his smile slipping. Last time he'd been on a dark beach with his best friend, they'd both resigned themselves to slow, quiet death. Strangely enough, with Riku by his side, such an end hadn't seemed so bad. In fact… with the way things were going lately, Sora almost wished they had just faded away.
No. Sora shook himself mentally, forcing himself off that particular train of thought. He had to be positive! This kind of thinking was exactly the same thing he'd been trying to get Riku to quit.
"So what brings you all the way out here tonight?" Sora asked mainly to distract himself. He already knew what the answer would be.
"Couldn't sleep." Riku murmured, his voice back to the quiet, contemplative tone it usually took nowadays. "You?"
"Same thing." Sora murmured as he put his arms behind his head. It was really going to suck washing the sand out of his hair in the morning, but it was already too late to care. "I thought if I could work off some steam, I could be exhausted enough to sleep tomorrow." Riku smirked and propped himself up on one elbow.
"Did it work?"
"Don't know. It's not tomorrow yet." Riku opened his mouth to reply, but Sora scowled and cut him off. "Yes, jerk. I know that three in the morning is technically tomorrow."
"Wow, Sora. And I didn't have to tell you or anything." Sora playfully punched his best friend in the arm. What would have seemed patronizing before just served to make him smile now. Riku was falling easily back into the playful, teasing role he'd had before they ever left the island. It was a marked improvement from angsting and guilt-ridden.
"Hey, Riku." He sat up as he spoke, picking his keyblade back up and dusting it off. "Wanna spar? For old time's sake." Sora hadn't seen anything wrong with the suggestion, so he was a little confused when Riku shuddered, fear and revulsion plain on his face.
"Sora… I can't…" The teen looked desperate—maybe even terrified. "Never again. I promised myself I would never…" The brunette frowned, banishing his weapon as soon as he understood what his companion meant.
"Riku, nobody thinks it was your fault, you know that right?" The teen in question shook his head, his eyes looking everywhere but Sora.
"But I think it's my fault." Ah. Here was the depressed version of Riku they'd been seeing for the past few weeks. "I know it's my fault. I screwed up."
"You didn't do anything but follow your heart." Sora couldn't take it anymore. He was going to set this straight right here and now. "Maybe it led you the wrong way, but how could you have known any differently? Riku, it's not your fault! Stop blaming yourself." The older teen winced.
"I should have known you were right—I never should have fought against you. That alone should have told me that it was the wrong path." The old Riku would have been angry at Sora for telling him what to do, or even for bringing it up. This Riku just seemed tired. Sora growled. It was time for plan B.
It shouldn't have been so easy to tackle the silver-haired teen, but he was obviously exhausted and too absorbed in his own guilt to realize what was going to happen until it was already too late. "What the hell, Sora?!" He choked out as the two grappled, throwing sand everywhere in their impromptu wrestling match. Sora held the advantage despite his smaller stature—the surprise had been sufficient enough for him to win.
"Stop it." He ground out once he finally had his best friend pinned down. "Stop wondering what you could have done. Stop feeling guilty for something you've already atoned for. Multiple times!" Riku couldn't bring himself to look Sora in the eye. Perhaps if he had he wouldn't have been so surprised when the first tear fell. "Quit destroying yourself." His eyes were wide as he followed the droplet's path back up to Sora's face, horrified at what he saw there. "You're all I've got left."
The words left Sora's lips before he even knew what they meant, but the tears ran faster as he realized just how true a statement it was. Riku was the only one who understood him; the only one who made him feel like himself any more. The other kids on the island just made him feel like a pretender—an adult in a child's body. And his mother…well he wasn't even going to start with her. Donald and Goofy understood him to an extent, but they'd been sent back to the castle anyway to serve their king. No, the only one who he could relate to anymore was Riku. And Riku was dead-set on driving himself into the ground.
"Please don't leave me alone." Sora whispered brokenly as he let his head fall to Riku's chest, his grip falling slack. The silver-haired teen could easily have gotten free, but his body was stiff with shock. Sora knew how desperate he must have sounded. Hell, this was the very reason he'd tried to avoid telling Riku about the strange loneliness he'd been feeling lately. He was probably just feeding the fire. This would just be one more thing for Riku to angst over and feel guilty for later.
Sora sobbed with frustration and moved to get up. He cursed himself for letting his emotions get the better of him, blaming it on the lack of sleep. What the hell had he been thinking? But just as he was sitting again, Riku grabbed his wrist and pulled him back to the ground. Sand covered arms reached out to hold him in a strong embrace.
"Sora, I promised myself the day I got my own body back that I would never leave your side again." The Keybearer pressed his face to Riku's shoulder, taking comfort in the fact that he was really there. "So if it means keeping that promise, I guess I can try." Riku's words made absolutely no sense but Sora understood them all the same. He smiled through the tears, glad to have finally wrested some progress from his best friend. "You're probably going to have to tackle me a few more times though before I get it right." Sora gave a half sob, half laugh at Riku's attempt to cheer him up.
"Thank you." He spoke after he'd regained control of himself, lifting his head to stare into Riku's eyes. Sora felt his breath freeze in his chest. Lying beneath the night sky, Riku's hair seemed to catch what little light there was, making him look as though he were wreathed in starlight. The dweller of twilight was absolutely captivating. Sora couldn't tear his gaze away, and somehow he knew Riku was just as trapped.
Something seemed to click in that instant and then they were both moving forward, journey finally ending with a brush of the lips. That simple, innocent contact was like nothing Sora had ever felt before. It was like lightning—a sudden heat reaching though him to pull straight at his heart and finally tell him what he'd been too naïve to realize all along. The confusion and the hurt that had been bothering him since his return seemed to vanish entirely in that moment of pure bliss. He should have been shocked, perhaps even afraid, but nothing had ever made more sense in his life. Riku was, and always had been, everything to Sora. It was only just now that he was realizing what that meant.
"Oh." He murmured aloud after they finally broke away, mind stuttering to a halt. He watched impassively as Riku seemed to realize what happened. The older teen went into panic mode; his heart beating a mile a minute against Sora's gloved hand.
"Sora, I—I didn't… It won't—" Sora interrupted Riku's babbling with a finger to his lips. Now that he was looking for it he could see the way his best friend was looking at him—had always looked at him. He could feel it in the arms around him, so strong and yet so gentle at the same time, despite the fear running visible through his frame.
Many times before he had wondered just why Riku did the things he had. Why had Riku opted to dwell in darkness and wear a monster's face? Just to get his best friend back? Sora hadn't understood that sacrifice. Sure, Sora would have made the same choice. But for Riku to make it just seemed… He hadn't felt worthy of that kind of devotion. He still didn't. But at least now he knew why Riku had gone through so much.
Riku was in love with him.
Sora had seen it before—was constantly surrounded by people in love throughout his journey. Beast, who devoted himself wholly to a girl he never believed would love him back. Sally, pining after a man who was completely oblivious. Perhaps the closest he had gotten to love was through Roxas. Despite not having a heart, Axel had loved Roxas enough to die for him. Sora had seen that unending, unconditional love and never imagined in a million years it would be offered to him. It was too good to be true.
Sora looked deep into aquamarine orbs and almost balked at the devotion he found there. He wasn't worth what Riku had given him, especially since he'd been oblivious to it for so very long. He brought to memory a flash of yellow and a nervous laugh in the days before the heartless had come. Riku had handed him a paopu fruit, and in his complete stupidity he'd simply tossed it. Sora winced. How different would things have been if he had realized then what Riku meant? How much hurt could have been spared? No, he didn't deserve this. Not one bit.
"Sora?" The silver haired teen sounded scared, and Sora was baffled as to why. Because he feared losing Sora as a friend? It was completely incomprehensible that Riku should care so much about him, and yet he knew it to be true. Locking his guilt and regret away, Sora twisted his hands in the fabric of Riku's shirt and leaned in for another kiss.
After a few moments of shock, Riku's body seemed to melt against him—languid with relief and yet strung with elation. Sora felt as though he were tasting Riku's very soul with this effortless contact, and he was reeling with the pure joy he found. He really, really didn't deserve all that Riku was offering. But he'd be damned if he'd ever wanted anything more in his entire life.
That beautiful moment seemed to last an eternity, both of them completely absorbed in each other as the waves washed placidly over the shore. It lasted for forever in Sora's mind, and yet was over all too soon. Feeling whole for the first time since the destruction of Destiny Islands, Sora rested against Riku's rising and falling chest. He could still hear the heart within, pattering away faster than he thought was healthy. Sora smiled, basking in the comfort and the rightness of it all. Things were as they should be.
"Oh." Riku echoed Sora's earlier reaction. The brunette laughed, feeling almost high off this new revelation. Seeing Riku baffled was always amusing but now it seemed positively hysterical. "But I thought… What about Kairi?" Sora's euphoria turned suddenly bittersweet. It was becoming increasingly clear to him just what Riku had fought against all this time, the jealousy and the loneliness and self-loathing… He'd put Riku through so much by being clueless. He hated himself for that, but at least he had a chance to make things right.
"Maybe she cared about me before, but now she doesn't even know who I am. She still thinks I'm the same stupid child as when everything began." He made sure Riku was looking at him before he continued further. Riku had to understand that he had meant it when he initiated that second kiss. "She doesn't understand me at all. You do." There was still an element of uncertainty, of fragile wariness in Riku's eyes. The silver-haired teen was afraid of being hurt by this if it turned out to be nothing more than a dream, and Sora understood that. He only wished he could have figured it out sooner. Maybe then Riku would not be so skeptical.
"So then, what does this make us?" Sora took a mental step back at Riku's question, unsure himself of where the answer lie. He didn't know where this new direction had taken them, because it was just so natural that it didn't really seem like anything had changed at all. Riku had always been everything to Sora. It wasn't hard to apply that thinking in a new area. What he felt for Riku was more than love—so a part of his being that he hadn't even realized it was there. It had guided his actions from the beginning, though he hadn't known it. Love seemed fragile in the face of what he felt; this was a fierce need to protect, to be with, to fight alongside and live with for the rest of eternity. But he'd already known that. So what did the realization that he was also physically attracted to Riku change?
"I guess it doesn't really change anything." Sora drawled, smirking impishly. "Except that now, I can do this." He pulled Riku in for a quick, fiery kiss, intent on transferring every bit of the way he felt. He'd never kissed anyone before, but he knew he had to be doing something right when Riku shuttered against him. "I've always been yours, Riku." He whispered once the hormones were sufficiently tamed. "I just didn't know it."
He could tell the exact moment Riku threw caution to the wind, and decided to let himself believe what Sora was saying. There was a sudden confidence in the way he held himself, energy where there had been nothing but exhaustion. Riku allowed himself to smile—a small quirk of the lips that Sora knew could only have been caused by the purest happiness. How in the worlds had he missed this before? Riku was gorgeous when he smiled.
"Mine, huh?" Riku seemed to be testing the word on his tongue, tasting it as if it were a forbidden fruit. The Keybearer closed his eyes and listened to the gentle waves as he nodded. Everything seemed so much sweeter with Riku beside him like this—a far cry from the dismal, dreary darkness that seemed to cover everything when he'd rowed out to the small island. The two lay silently, wrapped in each other's arms as time spun slowly by. Nothing more needed to be said. There would be time for questions and apologies and regrets later. For now it was enough just to breathe the same air and take comfort in the fact that this was real.
Each hour seemed a blissful eternity, but all too soon the horizon began to lighten. Sora knew he had to get Tidus's canoe back to the dock and sneak into the house before his mother woke up, but he was afraid to face reality once more. Riku's embrace and the empty island were a perfect microcosm. Like this, he didn't have to remember that he wasn't normal—that he wasn't cut out for anything other than death and destruction. He wished he could stay here forever and never have to worry about school or society or a future ever again. But that would hurt his mother, could possibly destroy her even further. Sora was many things, but he was not selfish. He couldn't be the cause of someone's ruin, even if that person was already nothing more than a shell of their former self.
"Guess we should head back." Riku murmured into his hair as the light grew brighter. Sora winced.
"Guess so." He ground out reluctantly from his position against Riku's chest. He was really not looking forward to another day of tedium. Grudgingly, he let go of his hold on Riku's shirt and pushed himself up off the ground. They both dusted themselves off as they stood on aching legs. It wasn't the smartest of ideas to stay up all night, but Sora didn't regret it. This single night of revelation was more healing than any sleep could ever be.
"Hey," Riku brushed a few grains of stray sand from Sora's face as he spoke, hand lingering for longer than necessary against the Keybearer's cheek. "We'll get through this." Sora nodded and strengthened his resolve. He'd never said anything about his anxiety towards this attempt at normality, but Riku had understood it all the same. He should have realized the teen would. He'd said it himself; Riku knew him better than anyone. Gathering his optimism about him like a shield, Sora banished his worries to the back of his mind.
"Alright." He gave Riku a peck on the lips before turning to face the day, taking strength in the fact that he had someone to lean on. "Let's go." Sora grabbed the hand of the one he loved and marched proudly across the sand, cold and damp now with dew.
Maybe the world didn't need a hero any more. Maybe Sora would remain ostracized from the ones he had fought to save. But Riku's hand was warm in his own, smile enough to outshine even the most beautiful daybreak. Even if the world never went back to the way it was, even if he never learned how to live without jumping at every shadow, somehow he didn't think he would care.
"See you at school." Riku whispered after a very nice kiss, finally letting Sora go to push his canoe away from the dock.
No, Sora thought. He wouldn't care one bit.