Disclaimer: not mine. The end.
One sentence answers to the second challenge on lj's 1fandom community. These are focused entirely around Riku and King Mickey so you should expect spoilers for all three of the currently released games.
Comments are always welcome.
Roads Take You to the Heart
By, Nicole Silverwolf
A king of nothing here, Mickey didn't hesitate to put out his arms to support the heavy weight of an overtired teenage warrior too stubborn to admit it.
The drop stretched into forever below him and Mickey was never so grateful as to have a friend like Riku at his side or more precisely hanging tightly onto his slipping grip.
Here in Kingdom Hearts it was much harder to uphold all those ideals he'd stood for; but Riku's steady presence helped.
"You need to learn magic Riku; I'll teach you so it won't be like before!" and Mickey had to wonder at the young man's stubborn silence that felt suspiciously like fear.
He had to hurry the king realized as he watched the young man whom he called Riku and who now called himself Ansem plunge further away from the path towards dawn.
King Mickey didn't scold or question him the night he angrily kicked a hole through a box for which Riku was grateful; it would have been hard to admit it was his first Christmas away from home.
There was a rhythm to their mutual steps, the clinking of the ornate tassels on their coats and the whisper of air through his hair –a natural song for their quiet walk towards dawn.
"And once you're inside the Organization's leadership, what then?!" Mickey growled, incensed as Riku continued to carefully tie the band of midnight cloth across his eyes.
Mickey half expected the answer that came shooting from the teens mouth before he had a chance to truly consider the tone, "I'll figure that out later......your majesty!"
"I have a request of you, your Majesty," and by Ansem's tone Mickey despaired that he already knew what one thing Riku was going to ask of him.
He would share stories every night they stopped, filling the dark with visions of worlds where the sun never set and promised someday he would take Riku on a journey to see them.
"Sometimes, you don't get to cheat death Riku," Mickey consoled as the young teen stared at the door to darkness and remembered the man who had helped to restore Sora's memories.
He doubled over in laughter nearly falling to the floor and unable to wipe the vision of the king of Disney covered in pink goo, remnants from an attempted cure spell gone awry.
"That's because it's a very powerful thing Riku," the king confirmed when the young man questioned how love could possibly conqueror everything, even the darkness.
Riku pushed again; his meager bowl of soup in outstretched hands insisting the king eat something instead of going hungry another night.
Mickey watched as Riku swiped up the ornate box dropped by an errant Heartless and they both marveled at the rare Mythril stone shining brightly inside.
Neither of them were the boss on this journey, but there were times when he commanded instead of asked and Riku chose to ignore him instead of snapping 'yes sir!'
Both Riku and the King scoffed with identical gazes at the organization member's fervent declaration: "This feather will protect me!"
He felt a faint brush on his chest, right where his heart beat and Mickey's voice was quiet but sincere as he promised "I'm always here."
The heartless suddenly melted away, falling back into the shadows like a wave as another large eared shadow moved forward and Riku (who had only just fallen into the darkness of Kingdom Hearts) could only wonder 'now what?'
Riku proved often enough that he was mature, self assured, able to take on Nobodies and Heartless alike; but it didn't stop him from waking every so often calling for his parents.
It felt strange to be free of the darkness and the only one who seemed to understand how it was more complex than simply strange was the king.
King Mickey was a master of whimsy and never hesitated to engage in silly behavior so long as it made Riku smirk on the verge of a laugh.
After they parted ways, he spent hours in his travels worrying about Riku, because as a king and a friend he could do nothing less.
Riku shoved his bed under the window once he returned home, so that when he woke unsettled and unable to sleep he could see the star that King Mickey explained was his home world.
"Is this the way we go?" Riku asked, skeptically stepping onto the worn dirt path that headed east.
To make ends meet inside the darkness of Kingdom Hearts Riku and Mickey did almost any job; often that meant washing dishes in the kitchen of pubs until all hours of the morning.
They both had too much pride for their own good at times, and it eventually led them to split apart on the road to dawn.
Building Riku's trust in him took an achingly long time, but once he had it, Mickey did not even once think he would lose it.
Before the Organization expelled him from Castle Oblivion, he used every precious second to make his promise to Riku.
Watching the King fight the Heartless was proof that he had not even gotten close to perfection when it came to swordfighting.
In some ways, night and day were meaningless in Kingdom Hearts so they slept when they were too tired to walk further and woke whenever Heartless attacked.
"Your majesty!?" Riku called, voice filled with sharp terror when he turned around and lost sight of the mouse in a sea of butter yellow eyed shadows.
The saying was only partially true because while time healed all wounds, the scent of darkness (one that only those who lived with it could know) never completely disappeared.
"You are not an evil person Riku," the king insisted and the teenager looked more hopeful than assured.
They were better individuals today than all the days previous because they were friends.
Riku was resolute as he shoved the door closed, bravely extracting Sora's promise to watch over Kairi but as the crack of light grew smaller and smaller Mickey could see the young man's trembling fist at his side.
"This isn't ever going to end!" Riku shouted, throwing his keyblade across the ground and slumping to his knees in defeat.
"You are never too old to play," the king advised sagely as he pulled Riku into the breakers on the beach chasing after Kairi, Sora, Donald and Goofy.
The king loved nuts which had been gifts from his two chief engineers that he'd packed in a side pouch on his coat for special occasions like Riku's seventeenth birthday.
Mickey knelt down to grab the keyblade and shoved it back into Riku's hand after he threw it away.
Riku found as he finally sat on the shore of Destiny Island that there was a part of him that wasn't ready for this journey to be over especially as he considered the mouse at his side preparing to Gummi ship home.
Riku could never understand how Mickey could move his keyblade so fast; he was constantly asking the mouse to slow down so the teenager could attempt to master or even match the king's movements.
"Damn bugs!" Riku cursed as his blade sliced through Heartless and tried not to think too much about how they might have once been people or the cats that had lived next door.
There were times when it was hard to imagine Riku as anything other than a teenager, especially when he sulked along the road and wouldn't answer questions out of spite.
"I'm sorry!" Riku apologized for the seventh or eighth time, gingerly replacing the green goo laced bandage covering the firaga spell burn on the king's ear.
It was a carefully tied knot; even as Riku's hands trembled at the finality of what he was doing and the last vision he had of Mickey's horror filled gaze faded to ink cloth blackness.
His first blizzard spell threw him to the ground with the power of the blast but he didn't feel as embarrassed about it when the king recalled that he'd done the exact same thing when Yen Sid had started tutoring him.
"Since when have you ever listened to what they had to say sir?" Riku asked with a rueful smirk (one hundred percent Riku's) before the two of them leapt into battle.
"Leave it to rot," Mickey spat at the destroyed husk of a wandering Nobody and Riku had never heard such vehemence from anyone before that point in time.
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Thanks for reading!