I don't own Kingdom Hearts.
Hoozah as for hopping the bandwagon before the game's even really released.
I can only imagine how OOC it is and unrelated in general it will end up being.
I don't care.
Oh, and cookies for those who'll be able to find the KH2 reference XD
Sea Salt Breeze
I have something to ask of you.
Was how the blond girl he associated himself with greeted him that day, her expression grim and somewhat anxious. He knew not what bad new she had to break to him this time, nor was he too eager to find out.
More problems with his best friend.
More enemies lurking about, out to get them.
The old man throwing another tantrum over one thing or the other.
He dared not think about anything else she might've said; better the devils he knew.
Is it about Sora?
He heard himself ask before he even realized he wished to voice the question. The way in which her lips curled just like so into her usual eerie smile that made her seem even older than their mysterious companion shrouded in red robes told him to brace himself.
It helped not when she finally answered and he felt cold hands gripping the pit of his stomach all the same.
In a way, it doesn't... but in a way, it does.
He was hardly prepared for what came next though, and actually found himself gapping at her next words.
Would you consider this... a personal favor?
He should've known better than to think her asking something selfish would be a good thing. Of all the things to ask of him...
Will you go?
Of all the places she could've sent him to...
It's... on your Island.
And she had to finish that sentence in just that particular manner...
She... She's waiting for you.
Lexeaus dealt weaker blows than that one. And to be honest? He didn't know how to take her parting words either.
I'll be here when you come back. Take care, Riku.
Destiny Islands. Sunset time, to be precise. The main beach plot of the tiny island right off the mainland's shore, to be exact. The children's playground he spent the better part of his childhood - his life at. The place that served as the stage for all the Memories he held dear.
To have someone wait for him there... her, of all people...
"Was that her idea of a joke?"
A cruel joke befitting the appointed Witch of Memories, the teen reckoned as he realigned his blindfold, remembering well the words of their would be caretaker.
A conspiring she-devil;
If DiZ was to be trusted, Naminé was to be doubted.
How lucky for him then Riku had half a mind to go about the other way around more often than not.
"Better not... keep her waiting then." He muttered eventually over the sound of the breeze and began heading down the shore, looking constantly for any sign of the girl on his mind. The way in which his feet sank into the sand was so nostalgic, so comforting... ah, how he loathed lacking the luxury or being able to enjoy it properly!
"Would... she even really come here?" He had to wonder. With both Riku and Sora gone, and knowing how the girl preferred to keep her distance from Tidus and Wakka when she could... would Kairi really be waiting for him on the Island? And how did Naminé know, come to think about it? Did she sense it? Could Nobodies truly be so aware of her Somebody's wants and wishes? Then again, Naminé was truly a special case, wasn't she? So maybe, just maybe...
The notion was filed for later revision in the back of his mind as a sudden realization he wasn't alone hit him. Legs spreading and further burying in the sand, he scanned the entire area, blinded eyes searching for anything that seemed out of place, anything that remotely even moved, anything that would point him in the right direction.
And then he heard it - a sneeze.
His head turned instantly at the direction the sound came from and his eyes widened behind their fold.
Ah. Now this... made some more sense, he reckoned and couldn't keep the tiny smile from his lips as he began to head towards the even smaller patch of land, connected to the islands by a single lone hanging bridge.
She was sitting there on the bent-over Paopu tree, arms reached to hug herself as she shivered in the evening breeze despite the heavy coat covering her small frame.
A bitter nature added itself to his expression at the notion that he was in fact indeed right -
Kairi didn't come to the island, nor was she waiting for him.
He supposed he might settle for the closest thing around.
"Don't you people wear anything underneath the coat that you're shivering like that?" Riku allowed himself to ask as he crossed the bridge, hardly bothered by losing the element of surprise. Even if he wasn't detected by using the Corridor of Darkness that led him to the Islands to begin with, the sound of his boots over the wooden bridge would've.
He thus had to admit he was quite surprised when the girl, clad in the Organization's cloak jumped and turned to stare at him, her radiant blue eyes wide in alarm. The exaggerated motion proving to be too much, the girl ended up doing more than turning and effectively lost her balance, sliding off the trunk and towards the cold, damn ground.
How lucky she was Riku had both wide steps and long arms.
"...you need to be more careful." He muttered under his breath, trying to understand just how he ended up with the girl hanging off the trunk by her knees, the upper half of her body pressed flushed against his. His arms were wrapped tightly around her, locking around her waists and holding her steady.
The girl herself was still shivering though from a new set of reasons, her hands all but clutching onto his coat and an arm where they landed.
"I'm backing away now." He warned and sighed a tiny breath of relief at the girl's nod of approval. He half pulled her away from the trunk and she lowered her legs to the ground once he pulled her far enough.
"There we go." Riku let himself utter as his companion straightened her clothes and dusted some sand from her rear, now turned away from him. "Are you alright, Xion?"
Her name being uttered made her look up and she allowed herself a small smile before looking away. "Yes, thanks to you. Thanks for catching me." Xion offered yet the smile never managed to rise to her lips as Riku's fist reached to gently knock on her head. "...ouch."
"Don't fall off and I won't have to catch you."
He was rewarded with an offended pout. "Well, well don't catch me by surprise and I won't fall."
She disapproved of the way in which he tilted his head and seemed amused.
"Are all Members of the Organization clumsy like you are?" Riku asked before turning to round the tree and lean against the trunk with his arms folded, eyes set forward to watch the sunset ."Sure would make my life easier."
Xion rubbed the knocked-spot on her head for a long moment more before finally letting go of that tiny bit of childish grudge. The air around Riku was too morbid to allow further teasing between them at the time, so instead she turned back to the trunk, both gloved hands resting over the wood to serve as a sort of pillow for her to press her face against.
A tiny eternity passed before the sound of the breeze was interrupted.
"If I said... I'm happy you came..." She began hesitatingly, constantly turning to glance at his back from the corner of her eye only to stare ahead at the setting sun again. "Would you believe me?"
Teal eyes slid shut behind black fabric. Was there a man or woman alive who could answer that?
'Can Nobodies be happy?'
"If I didn't believe you... I wouldn't have been here."
Answering the question without answering it, and yet the girl couldn't smile any more brightly had she been actually glowing.
"Thank you." She uttered and pressed her face against her gloves again, eyes closed so she couldn't quite realize he was looking at her.
"...why... did you call me out here?" He eventually asked, noting clearly the subtle way in which the girl's shoulders hunched, as a child's would when scolded. "Coming here on your own... won't they be looking for you soon?"
"I've got an alibi." She responded plainly before kneeling down, making him half turn towards her in confusion. "I don't think they'll believe them for too long, but... for a while..." The girl elaborated before pulling a white, square box from next to the tree's roots and holding it in her lap. "We... just got back and headed to Twilight Town, so... they're covering for me for a while there."
There was no doubt in his mind who 'they' were.
"How did you manage to get them to let you go?"
She pursed her lips. "I promised... I'd be back."
That had to have been a first for her.
"I see." He commented plainly before peeking over the trunk. "What's that?"
It only seemed right to ask... the girl was fidgeting over it, after all...
Another tiny shocked gasp left Xion's lips before she finally held onto the box tightly. "We... we had some 'R and R', they called it... just wasting time there doing nothing, and they..." She trailed off before gulping. He knew by her turning away that she wasn't sure how he was to take her next words again. "They said, this... this was to be shared between Friends, between..." Another gulp, and he wondered if it was really the setting sun and his blindfold playing tricks on him, or if the girl really was blushing.
"Between... 'Important People'. "
His cheeks followed suit soon enough as his gaze rose to the top of the tree where the star shaped fruits still rested. What, but, no... Twilight Town didn't have access to those, right? But, then, Shared?! Xion and Sora's Nobody and... And that guy?! Wait, wha-
The box popping open made him take a step back, making the girl in turn stare up at him in surprise. "...are you..."
"I'm fine." He cut her off soon enough and turned away, fists clenched. He was overreacting, obviously, and yet he still sighed in obvious relief as the girl stood up and placed the now open box on top of the trunk.
Ice, more ice, the receipt, more ice, and...
Xion nodded lightly before reaching to push several locks of dark hair behind her ear. "It's... their favorite. Actually, I don't know about that. It's their usual, though... and, well, with them sharing it like they do all the time, I..."
Her blush deepened and she failed to find the words, yet he heard them loud and clear.
I wanted to share it with you.
Blue eyes widened at the sound of ice cubes rubbing against each other, Xion looked up just in time to see a gloved hand pull one greenish blue Popsicle from the box.
The teen examined it for a long moment as though in an attempt to familiarize himself with it.
The girl found herself amused.
"...never had one before?"
"First time I came with one face to face, actually."
Survival instincts said to back away from anything DiZ seemed overly fond of.
"Really? It's kind of a shame, if you ask me." Xion hummed before pulling another Popsicle from the box for herself. "I kind of like it."
Petite lips wrapped around the icy treat as blue eyes studied the other's profile with childish interest.
His eyes might've been covered, yet the scrunched nose and shadow of a smile told all.
"It's kind of salty..."
"It's also kind of sweet." Xion replied calmly and suckled on with a tiny smile.
"Guess it is."
"You don't like sweets?" She asked, head tilted and mouth occupied.
Riku simply shrugged.
"I don't hate them."
There it was again... was it truly so easy for her to smile, or was it he only met her on special occasions?
Riku nodded before turning to look at the box again. A lone Popsicle still rested abandoned between the mountains of ice.
"You were planning on seconds?"
Xion stared longly at the treat before closing her eyes. "If you don't like it that much..." She had to blink as he reached down to pull the cover up before placing it back on the box.
"I wasn't brought up to refuse a gift when I'm given one."
The relief all but oozed out of her. "Is that so..." Popsicle now done with, she occupied herself longly with staring at the large black LOSER etched onto the wooden stick. "I didn't know what I'd do otherwise. Would kind of hate to get rid of it... I don't think bringing it back would... be a smart move..."
"Neither would be stalling any longer." Riku replied with a stern edge to his tone as he gathered the box in his arms. "Nor will be repeating meeting like this needlessly."
Xion's shoulders hunched again, yet before she could reply, Riku had already placed his hand on her head and lightly ruffled her dark mane.
"I'd hate it if anything happened to you."
She was grateful the sun had already set; even without the breeze to emphasize it she knew how badly her cheeks were burning.
"I'll... take care then."
Riku nodded and turned to leave, only to turn back and hand the girl his clean wooden stick. "Figured you might as well have it."
Her attention shifting then to the stick, she let herself miss his departure, instead letting out an overly amused giggle.
Why wasn't she surprised to find a big WINNER at the tip of the stick?
" 'For next time'... is it?"
They were entitled to a free Popsicle, after all...
Naminé had to blink at the box that was placed on her table in the middle of all the drawings.
"...what's that?" She had to ask just as Riku walked on towards the Pod room.
"Sea Salt Ice cream."
DiZ peeked in interestedly, yet the girl had already claimed the treat.