I had a real urge to write a CloudxRiku fanfic and also a friend challenged me to it, so here it is! It's nothing to strong like... well no one takes their clothes off if you get my understanding!! It's subtle, you might probably not notice it.

Also I promise to anyone who's been reading my other story 'Just Too Late' I am still writing it, it's just come to a stop at the moment but i'm hoping to get the next chapter as soon as I can!

I'd like to hear what people think of this as I really enjoyed writing it, I really spent some time with this to make the best job as I could, and I'm tempted to continue this into a multi-chapter story. So yes please do write reviews on whether you think it should be continued!

As for the song reference I was listening to Broken Strings by James Morrison as I wrote this and I thought it fitted slightly, so that's the only reason that it's there.

Summary: At a party at Radiant Garden, Riku strays away and meets some unexpected. Slight CloudxRiku (more one-sided) than anything. Set after KH2.

Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with KH or the song Broken Strings.

You can't play on broken strings
You can't feel anything

That your heart don't want to feel
I can't tell you something that ain't real

Broken Strings – James Morrison and Nelly Furtado

Broken Strings

The stars twinkled high above in the sky, while the bright lights of the fireworks exploded in front of them illuminating the sky and the town below it. There was a small gentle breeze running through the town, just cold enough to make your legs shiver. The streets were filled with the occupants of Radiant Garden, as they all stared up at the night sky and the array of celebratory fireworks, smiles across their faces knowing what this signalled.

Leon smirked to himself, as he heard the various 'oh' and 'haws' that came from the onlookers, pleased that his hard work was being appreciated. He felt a soft tug on his arm and he glanced down at the brunette flower girl. "They're beautiful Leon!" Aerith smiled, as the fireworks finally came to an end. Her long hair was bound up in her normal plait and her pink dress swung round her legs. "That must have taken you all day!" She laughed, watching the dying lights in the sky before looking once more at the tall brunette, she watched him nod as he too watch the final sparks disappear. "Well done Leon." She said finally, remembering that praising someone for their hard work can go a long way. The crowd began to break around them and head back inside away from the chilly breeze and to the music and drinks the Radiant Garden Restoration Committee had laid out.

Sora had returned, together with his two friends that he eagerly introduced to everyone. The Organization XIII had finally been laid to rest and Sora and Yuffie had decided a celebration was in order. Leon had at the time wasn't sure if there was much point, seeing as the townspeople only knew about the Heartless and had no idea of some creatures called Nobodies. They may have seen them a couple of times but clearly nothing more was thought of them.

Now that the main attraction of said celebration was over, the tall brunette man was pleased he'd allowed the others into forcing him to do this.

"That wasn't half bad Mr Grumpy!" Leon turned and looked at the ninja who stood behind him. "I'll give you that, but there's some serious food that needs testing inside, let's get going!" Yuffie smiled happily to herself and grabbed the closest person to her, that being the other woman's arm and pulled her inside. Leon caught sight of Aerith's frown at him as he allowed her to be pulled inside back into the crowd by the teenage ninja.

Deciding he had nothing else to do Leon slowly followed them inside and watched as Yuffie literally launched herself at the buffet table with poor Aerith in tow. Merlin was in deep in conversation with King Mickey, while Cid was obviously debating with the two occasionally. Donald and Goofy were besides Yuffie watching the girl as she grabbed whatever food she could with a look of amazement on their faces. Tifa meanwhile was sat near the wall, her smile across her face that Leon could easily see through while she spoke with Sora's close friend Kairi. The dark haired man had made it part of his job to talk to Tifa tonight just to make sure she was alright, together with Aerith, after Cloud had taken off again. The dark haired woman turned and waved at him once along with a small smile. The red headed girl besides her turned and looked and offered a wave before obviously asking Tifa who he was again.

Scratching his head, unsure what to do with himself, he headed over to Sora who'd obviously already visited the buffet table and resigned himself to sit down. "Where's your friend?" Leon muttered, dropping besides the teen.

"Who?" He asked. Leon frowned, Sora had a load of friends here, and he should have at least made it a little more accurate.

"The silver haired guy." Leon muttered, unable to think of the other teen's name. Knowing he should know it seeing as Sora had talked about his friends he was looking for none stop.

"Riku?" Sora asked, turning to the young man besides him. "He's gone out for a while. I think he still feels a little bad, about the whole darkness thing and I don't think he's a fan of parties." Leon looked to Sora wondering how the boy could speak so quickly and say so much at the same time.

Riku turned and walked down the last few steps into the Old Bailey. He glanced up at the town and could still hear the music playing and people's laughter. He'd felt so wrong standing in the middle of the party, he still couldn't begin to comprehend how Sora was able to forgive him just like that. Running his fingers through his hair he leant against the cold stone wall staring out at the dark sky. He liked this world. He figured. These people had accepted him just like that, even though he was pretty sure Sora had filled them in about what had happened. 'The past is the past' Aeris or Aerith had said, he couldn't remember her name too many people said it in different ways. He'd ask Sora later.

He looked down the stone walkway, and narrowed his eyes as he caught something. A pair of glowing blue eyes was locked on him. The silver haired teen instantly summoned his Keyblade and turned on whatever was in the dark. "Come out!" He snapped, ready to leap out at the monster. He heard the scuffle of feet and quiet footsteps.

A man came into view and stopped a few meters ahead of him, at his side was a gigantic sword that easily came up to his shoulders. It was wrapped with white cloth, like it was almost holding it together. He looked to its wielder and watched him. He stood a little taller than himself, and wore nothing but black. Riku wasn't even sure if the man could heave the sword up but decided not to count on it. His hair was blond and spiky he wasn't sure if was like that naturally or it had been perfected into that way. I made Riku think this man was be a distant relation of Sora. "You're Riku right?" Riku jumped, when the man spoke. His voice was calm and almost peaceful something he wasn't expecting.

He eyed the man a moment waiting for a single movement. The blond stood quite still leaning on his sword, his black leather gloved hand flexed round the deep blood red of his sword's hilt. "What's it to you?" Riku finally spoke, still keeping his keyblade tight in his hand. This man certainly looked like he'd come from the darkness, but there was something else that stopped the silver haired teen from leaping at the man.

"Relax." The blond spoke first, relaxing his grip round the hilt of his blade. "I'm not here to attack you." Muttered the blond, turning to the open window and staring out at the old castle, his azure glowing eyes scanned the distance like he was searching for something he'd lost. He looked once at the silver haired teen that still hadn't moved. "Sora barely shuts up about you, hence how I know who you are."

Riku finally relaxed watching the older man, maybe in his early twenties. "You know Sora?" He asked, getting a grunt in reply. "Sorry." He murmured, allowing his keyblade to disappear again, not sure if the blond took it in an apology that he knew Sora or that he'd refused to drop his guard. Riku stood in silence unsure what to do, trying to remember if he'd seen the man earlier when he'd came down. "I'm Riku." He said abruptly, holding out his hand, remembering his dad had told him once how to greet strangers. The other looked at him and then at his palm, before leaning his sword against the wall and then slowly taking it and shaking it once.

"Cloud Strife." He murmured, turning back to stare out the desolate area that surrounded the town.

Riku raced through his mind trying to remember if Sora had ever mentioned a Cloud before, but was unable to come up with anything. He was pretty sure he'd remember someone with a name like Cloud Strife. "Why aren't you at the party?" Riku asked quietly, feeling slightly more at ease with the man.

There was a silence for a moment, as the blond warrior thought of something to say. "I've had other things to be doing." The blond answered. Riku eyed the gigantic sword, wondering if the man was some Heartless hunter.

"I thought the Heartless here were all dealt with, with that security system." Riku asked quickly desperate for the eerie silence not to follow. He frowned while leaning against the grey stone wall still watching the blade. He heard a small laugh escape the man's lips and he instantly looked up and stared at the man's blank face wondering if it was him who laughed.

"Bigger things than that." Riku nodded once, realising that was the signal from the man that this conversation was over. He stared at the blond for a while, at the unnatural glowing azure eyes, his pale creamy skin and his spiked blond hair which looked perfect in its own way.

Cloud turned knowing the boy's gaze was on him. "Why aren't you up there?" He asked nodding his head in the direction of the town. He was pretty sure he knew the reason the teen wasn't up there if he remembered Sora's constant babbling about his friend who'd fallen to the darkness right.

Riku tore his eyes away and shrugged. "It's...uncomfortable." He whispered, looking out at the grey stone Maw and the ruined castle. The moonlight bounced off of the metal of the castle and gave the building a sinister glow. He wasn't sure if some of Sora's friends appreciated him, after everything that had happened. Sora had assured him that they didn't hate him or anything. But the Leon guy, he was pretty cold. Then again Aerith or Aeris had said he's always like that.

"I'd say it gets better but I don't know." Cloud mumbled. Riku turned to Cloud; wondering if the blond was being sarcastic, but glancing at him once he wasn't sure if the man was capable of humour let alone sarcasm. He heard another small laugh. "Trust me, I know." Riku looked up at him. Cloud turned and faced him. "But you've found your light right." Riku wasn't sure if it was a question or a statement. He silently wished the man would put some emotion into his words.

Riku nodded once, hoping not to receive anymore probing from the man. "Are you looking for your light?" Riku asked trying to remove the attention from him. He guessed maybe this man is in the same situation as he was a year back. He took a step closer to the man, suddenly struck by the smell of blood and sweat; he stared at the bandages that had been hastily wrapped round his arms that he had not noticed before. "There's a healer up at the town, she could..."

"I'm not sure." Cloud answered, cutting him short. Riku frowned and leant on the rocks beside him. "There's still something I have to do." Cloud turned and watched the teen focusing on the green eyes beneath the silver bangs. He looked away instantly; everything about the boy reminded him of his darkness. He shook his head once, trying to shake the thoughts out of his head.

Riku swiftly felt slightly nerved by the man's look of disgust as he finally looked properly at his face, forcing it to the back of his mind he slowly spoke "Anything I can help with?" He was suddenly overwhelmed with feeling compelled to help him. Cloud shook his head slowly.

"This is my fight, against my own darkness." He whispered. Riku shook his head slightly, did this guy mean mentally, or physically? He rubbed his temples in confusion before brushing his silver bangs from his eyes. "My darkness has taken its own form." He heard Cloud begin to explain, Riku guessed Cloud had seen the confusion on his face or even more worryingly he could tell what he was thinking. "Once I've defeated it, I'll start looking for my light." Riku wanted to say something, to give the man some support but was now lost for words.

Cloud sighed, wondering what was possibly making him tell this teen he'd just met his past, present and future practically.

"Well, don't give up." Riku managed to say, he gave Cloud a smile. The blond watched him, his eyebrows furrowed slightly before nodded once. There was suddenly a blinding flash in the distance and they both turned and stared out. The light had illuminated the whole of Radiant Garden for a second before it fell back into the darkness of the night sky.

"That's my cue." Cloud stated, lifting his sword up as if it weighed nothing. Riku watched him for a minute. There was a solemn look on his face, like he knew he was walking to his death perhaps, like he may never return here again. The memory of closing those huge white doors erupted in his mind as he saw Sora on the other side and himself on the other, he remember thinking for a single moment he might never see his childhood friend again.

Not wanting anyone to ever feel like that, Riku decided he'd have to help this Cloud. "You sure I can't help out?" Riku asked, he decided he liked this guy. He could relate to him and it made Riku feel better inside that there is someone else trying desperately to fight against their darkness. He didn't want to lose the blond young man now that he met him.

"I don't want anyone else involved." Cloud muttered, eyeing his sword over once. "And tell Sora to stay out of this, I only told him to tell me if he sees him."

Riku nodded a smile across his face not surprised that Sora would go out of his way to help anyone. He paused suddenly wondering who this him is, he watched the man slowly begin to walk. "I'd like to see you fight with that." Riku cried out too quickly for his liking. He hit himself mentally for practically asking to meet up with the blond sometime. Looking up he saw a small smile on the man's pale face, it wasn't much of a smile but he guessed it was all the guy could manage.

"We'll see." Cloud muttered. "Keep a hold of your light Riku." The silver haired teen stepped to the side allowing him to go past and make his way to whatever had appeared in the distance.

Kairi smiled as she listened to Tifa's account to a bar she used to own in her own world and how she took care of two children that weren't hers. She could tell she was phasing out sometimes and would nod occasionally just so Tifa knew she was kind of listening. Staring out of the double doors once Tifa had finished she admired the sparkling stars in the night sky, glancing down she saw the silver haired teen walk in slowly, running his fingers through his long hair. "Where have you been Riku?!" Cried Kairi, smiling at her childhood friend as he entered. Riku looked up suddenly a look of shock on his face; he slowly walked over towards the red headed girl.

"I met someone." Riku muttered. He looked up and was greeted with Kairi's brilliant bright smile, she held out a glass of wine to him and he gratefully took it. He smiled once to the woman sat besides Kairi, Tifa he thought her name was but wasn't sure if he could remember. He stared at the champagne coloured drink and tried to work out if it was champagne.

"Anyone we know?" Kairi said with a laugh, knowing she hardly knew anyone here. Tifa laughed slightly, wondering if she should up and leave the two alone to talk before Riku began to speak again.

"I don't think he was from around here, he looked a little beaten up but." Riku shrugged and drank out of the glass, coughing once from its sudden bitter taste, not getting a reply from the teen or woman he decided he ought to describe the man he'd met a little more. "He said his name was Cloud." He saw the dark haired woman almost fall off her seat at the man's name. Riku looked up at her, wondering if this man was some escaped convict he should have stopped.

"Cloud?" Tifa asked quickly, watching Riku nod. "Which way did he go?" She cried, stopping herself from grabbing the teen and shaking him so he answered her quicker.

"Why has he done something wrong?" He asked in utter confusion looking to Kairi hoping she might know something. The red head merely shook her head and shrugged before sipping on her own wine glass.

"Which way?" Tifa cried again, making Riku almost jump and he frowned at her slightly at her impatience. "There was some light in the distance, like where that castle is; I guess that's where he went." Tifa smiled at him and then ran straight out of the building. Kairi looked at him once and then wondered if she should have followed Tifa. The two watched the dark haired woman turn round the building and disappear, soon after they saw the tall dark haired man Leon run after her.

"What's wrong with her?" Riku asked, taking the now empty seat and leant against the cream wall watching everyone in the large building.

"I don't know." Kairi muttered, watching Aerith and Yuffie speak to one another after their friend's sudden disappearance.

Riku watched Yuffie the self proclaimed 'Greatest Ninja in the Universe' run out as well leaving the green eyed woman alone. The silver haired teen guessed maybe Cloud was from around here, but wasn't sure if Cloud knew there were people up here that cared about him?