A/N: I wasn't originally going to do this, but the feedback I got from the last chapter seemed to point towards the fact that most people thought I needed something else. I will admit that I kinda cut the story short for Sora and co. and it seems silly to ask for feedback and then ignore. So; just a short little bit with Sora in here, to tie give him a proper ending.
It was a small, feeble hope that all his problems would drain away with the shower water, but Sora couldn't help wishing for it. As soon as they had arrived back at the restoration committee's house, Kairi and himself had each taken a bathroom, having needed to wash ever since they had seen the blood pouring down the chute. However, no matter how much he scrubbed, his skin still crawled with the memory. Eventually, he gave up. Sinking down, he pulled his knees to him and let the shower water rain down over him.
Alone and unoccupied, his thoughts and memories caught up with him, chasing one another around his head, clawing away at his mind till he could think of nothing else. It took all his concentration to push them away, but with nothing else to take their place, they soon returned with a vengeance. It felt pointless to try anymore.
Of course, he could just get up and go downstairs. Nerves bubbled up in his gut, making him feel ill. He'd have to go down at some point, but he didn't know if he could face anyone, not yet anyway. He rested his forehead on his knees. All those people down there that he had taken Leon away from. He'd taken their leader and friend. How do you make up for something like that?
The memory of Leon and Rinoa disappearing with the flowers and plants reared its ugly head. For a while Sora had hoped that their disappearance had meant that Rinoa had taken them away. However, every time he tried to convince himself of this, he'd remember the way Aerith had cried and begged with Leon to let her help and not give up.
There was a sharp knock at the door and Sora's head snapped up, away from his morbid thoughts.
"Sora?" Riku's voice sounded from the other side of the door, just audible over the sound of the shower. Sora reached around to switch the shower off. "Riku?"
"Sora, are you alright?"
"Are you sure?"
"It's just, you've been in here for over an hour."
Sora leapt up in surprise, nearly slipping over as he scrambled out of the bath. He grabbed the towel from the floor. Hurriedly drying himself down, he called out to his friend, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to take so long, I lost track of time."
"It's okay," he heard Riku reply as Sora shoved on his pants and shorts over his damp skin. "We're just worried about you."
Sora opened the door, towel resting on his head and t-shirt in hand. In the corridor stood Riku, leaning on a crutch, his ankle now bandaged up. He examined Sora, "You sure you're okay?" he asked again.
Sora forced a grin onto his face. "Hate to point this out, but I'm not the one with the crutch."
Riku smiled. "Then step aside so I can sit down."
Sora obliged, widening the door so his friend could hobble in. Throwing off the towel, he slipped on his shirt as Riku perched himself on the edge of the bath, ignoring the water covering the surface. Sora stared at his friend's ankle.
"It's fine." Sora looked up at his friend's words. "Aerith's a good healer."
"How is she?"
Riku hesitated a moment. "I'm not sure. I think she went to her room; I haven't seen her since she finished seeing to me." Riku changed the subject. "Everyone's just working out where to put everyone. I think Kairi and Yuffie are sharing a room tonight, and Tifa's watching over Aerith, so we can stay in Tifa's room."
"I don't mind sleeping on the couch."
A heavy silence filled the small room. "Everyone really is worried about you. I think Cid was going to come up for you if Kairi or I didn't."
Sora just nodded, moving to Riku and sliding down to the ground by his legs.
"They gotta be really mad at me right?" Sora didn't bother looking up at his friend.
"I think they understand you were trying to help. Even the keyblade master makes mistakes. They don't hate you."
"It's just....Leon was really important to them. He was their friend, helping them with restoring the world. I dunno how I can make it up to them."
"You don't have to." An awkward silence filled the room. Maybe, but he couldn't just walk away from them. "Why don't we go to bed? I think everyone needs to clear their heads."
He stood and Sora followed suit, gathering up his towel and last items.
"Riku." His silver haired friends turned back to him. "I'm gonna stay here, at least for the time being."
Riku didn't argue or ask why, he just nodded. "They could use three keyblade masters." Sora's eyes widened; he hadn't meant to drag Kairi and Riku into this as well – there was no reason they couldn't go home. His objection was cut off by Riku. "You don't expect us to leave you here, do you? You'd get into too much trouble without me there to look out for you." Riku stepped out the bathroom.
"Look out for me!? I'm not the one with the bandaged foot," he retorted, catching up to his friend.
They continued to banter quietly. Sora felt bad for dragging his friends away from home again, but he couldn't deny how his heart lightened with the idea that at least when he faced everyone, he would have Riku and Kairi by his side. Not just tomorrow either, but the day after and the day after that. After the events of the evening, he couldn't think of anything better in the universe.
End (honestly, this time it really is) of Meadows of Heaven
Okay, that's a wrap. I hope to see some of you people in 'Bye Bye Beautiful'.